图书图片
PDF
ePub

life among animals moves restlessly round unable to transport themselves by swimthe globe. Here also there is an inces- ming, far from their native shore. Off sant going and coming, flying and push- the Moluccas and Philippines, sailors ing, an endless change of home, to ex- often meet, after a typhoon, with floatchange a used-up past for a promising ing islands of matted wood, full of life, future.

and covered with large trees, so as to No class of animals, high or low, escapes deceive their eyes, and to endanger the entirely the general law of movement, safety of their vessels. Trunks of trees, and if we read occasionally of flights of also, are found drifting in the great curstorks and shoals of herrings, these are rents of the ocean, perforated from end mere anecdotes, nothing but single, de to end by the larvæ of insects, and filled tached features of that unwearied life with the eggs of molluscs and fishes. At which moves in grand and restless masses other times, they have been known to round the terrestrial globe.

convey lizards and birds from land to Of the earliest migrations of animals, land, and on the island of San Vincent even of those whom man has bound up there appeared once a huge boa-conwith his own existence, we know but very strictor, twisted around a large, healthy little. History, which tells us nothing of cedar-tree, with which it had been torn man's own first journeys, co scen not from its home in the primeval forests of to speak of beings less noble. We guess, Brazil, and swallowed several sheep berather than we know, that the domestic fore it could be killed by the astonished animals at least left their common home natives. The gulf-stream, it is well in the great centre of all earthly life, known, carried, more than once, dead Upper India, together with the first mi- bodies of an unknown race, with ungrating nations. We conclude this mainly usually broad faces, to the Azores, and from the fact, that the races of men se- thus contributed to the discovery of Ameparated at a time when they were all rica, by confirming Columbus in his faith shepherds. This we know from language; in the existence of a New World. Greenfor in all idioms the words relating to landers and Esquimaux have even been pastoral life are cognate words, whilst in carried alive across the Atlantic, and other respects the relationship is far more found themselves, to their amazement, complicated and difficult to trace. A re- on the coast of England. markable instance of this connection is Nor are these always individual jourthe word ' daughter'in German, 'tochter,' neys. Currents of air carry myriads of from the Greek Suyarng, which is in vegetable seeds, and with them countless Sanscrit'duhitri,' and there means 'milk- eggs of insects and infusoria all over the ing woman,' because we know that it was world. To settle this formerly disputed the custom of all pastoral nations to leave question, a German philosopher, Unger, the milking of the herd to the daughter placed several plates of glass, carefully of the owner. The animals themselves cleaned, between the almost air-tight maintain a certain connection with their double sashes with which he protected first home on earth, for most of them have his study against the rigours of a fierce still some wild relations on the high table- northern climate. Six months later, he lands of Middle Asia, where, in primitive took them out, and examined the dust fierceness, strength, and beauty, they rove that had fallen on them through imperabout, and race for hundreds of miles ceptible cracks and crevices, with the along the valleys, to exchange exhausted microscope. The result was, that he dislands for new rich pastures.

covered in the apparently inorgnanic dust Animals, like plants, travel occasion- the pollen of eight distinct plants, the ally by means of the various agents whom seeds of eleven varieties of fungus, the nature herself places at their disposal. eggs of four higher infusoria, and living The giant rivers of the earth, the Gan- individuals of at least one genus ! ges, Congo, Amazon, Orinoco, and Mis- But also larger animals are thus carsissippi, annually float islands towards ried about by as yet little known modes the ocean, covered with living inhabi- of conveyance.

There exist, among tants. Nothing is more common than others, countless examples, from the oldto meet out at sea, thousands of miles est times to our own, of mice and rats, from all land, masses of fucus floating insects, fishes, and reptiles, being carried on the surface of the water, and serving off by storms and whirlwinds far from as a resting-place for small shell-fishi, | home. Only a few years ago, a long and and mist

violent rain in the heart of France ing, leaves the deserts of Great Tartary, brought with it millions of well-sized and feeds in summer to the north and fishes, which were eagerly devoured by east of Lake Aral; in the fall they migrate hosts of storks and crows, and other by the thousand to the north of India, birds, that came suddenly from the four and even to Persia. The lare of Siberia, quarters of the wind to share in the rich and the rat of Norway, the reindeer and and unexpected repast. Rains of frogs the musk-ox, all leave at their season are even more frequent, and have, since the Arctic regions, and travel, impelled by the days of Moses, occurred in almost hunger, to southern latitudes. More reevery country.

gular are the lemmings, a kind of LapFar more remarkable, however, are land marmot. Scarcity of food or overthe spontaneous, though casual, journeys population drives them once or twice every of certain animals; as, for instance, those twenty-five years, in prodigious bands, from of the almost invisible gossamer of Europe, the Kolaiand Lapland Alps, one species to floating in the air on a silvery thread. the east, another to the west. A terrible They were a marvel to former days, and scourge, they devastate field and garden, Chaucer even says

ruin the harvest, and hardly spare the As sore some wonder at the cause of contents of houses. Turning neither to thunder,

the right nor the left, they march on in On ebb and food, on gosomer,

a direct, straight line, undeterred by And on all thing till the cause is wist.

mountain, river, or lake, passing boldly The tiny aeronauts may be seen, on al- through village and town, until their most any fine day in autumn, spinning a ranks, thinned by numerous enemies, are wondrously fine thread without fastening lost in dense forests, or they reach the it, and then letting it waft about, until it Western Ocean, and there end both their is strong enough to carry them. All of journey and their life. Other bands go a sudden they shoot out their web, and through Sweden, and perish in the Gulf mount aloft, even when no air is stirring. of Bothnia, so that but rarely, and often And on these slender threads they tra- after an interval of long years, small vel we know not how far; for Darwin armies re-unite again, and turn their steps found, 300 miles from shore, thousands once more towards home. of these little red sailors of the air, each Of the lower animals, molluscs and inon its own line, fall down upon his ves- fusoria travel probably in largest numsel. Various and curious have been the bers; their hosts are literally countless, surmises as to the precise nature of their and it is well known how they give a mysterious power to float in the air. As peculiar colour to large tracts of the they are mostly observed on misty days, ocean. when a heavy dew falls, it has been The most curious circumstance in the thought that their filmy thread might life of insects is their migration. They get entangled in the rising dew, and by appear in large flights from unknown reits brisk evaporation be enabled to rise gions, in places where they have never even with the additional weight of the been seen before, and continue their spider. Others have discovered that the course, which nothing can check for a little creatures are quite familiar with the moment. They fly, they jump, they even laws of electricity, and avail themselves crawl, for hosts of slow, clumsy

caterpillars of it for their airy voyages. Their threads have been met with in the attempt to are said to be negative electric, and con- cross broad rivers. The more disgusting sequently repelled by the lower atmo- they are, the more persevering their lasphere, but attracted by the higher layers, bours to fill the earth. The bed-bug, which are positive. This remains to be that most hated, and yet most faithful proved, and, in the meantime, we can companion of man in all parts of the but repeat: Hearken unto this; stand globe, was not even known in Europe still and consider the wondrous works of before the eleventh century, when it first God!

appeared in Strasburg, and then, with Among the well-known causes of such the beds of exiled Huguenots, was brought spontaneous and irregular migrations, to London. The far more useful silknone is so frequent and so all-powerful worm, on the other hand, defies all our as hunger. The wild ass of the steppes care and attention, and will not travel of Asia, of whom it was said that the beyond the reach of his beloved friend wilderness and barren lands are his dwell- / and only food, the mulberry-tree, whose leaf has to be destroyed by a vile cater- emerge without wings from the ground; pillar, to be changed into bright, beauti- but, when mature, they rise on the first ful silk. A native of Asia, this worm faint breeze that stirs, and fly, under the also was used in China long before any guidance of a leader, in masses so huge other nation knew of its existence; in and so dense, that the air is darkened, the sixth century a monk brought the and the sound of their wings seems as first eggs in his bosom to Constantinople, the murmur of the distant ocean. In and the Emperor Justinian at once spread immense flights they travel from the the new branch of industry zealously east to the west, penetrating far into through Greece. When King Roger of the interior of Africa, crossing apparently Sicily conquered that land, he carried the without difficulty the wide waters besilkworm home with bim as his most pre- tween Africa and Madagascar, and from cious booty, and introduced it into Sicily. Barbary to Italy. They have been seen From thence it was with equal care carried in the heart of Germany, and a few have further north.

even been met with in Scotland. The The bee loves the west so dearly, that land is as the garden of Eden before it is not found beyond the Ural Moun- them, and behind them a desolate wiltains, and at the beginning of this century derness, for they destroy all vegetable great pains had to be taken to carry it life with unfailing certainty, and thus into Siberia, especially the district of often cause famine, whilst the myriads Tobolsk. Unknown to America, it had of corpses which they leave behind poino sooner reached its shores, in 1675, son the air, and not unfrequently produce than it spread with amazing rapidity all disease and pestilence. Well did the over the continent. The fly of the Eng- Jews of old know this fierce plague, and lish 'soon became an abomination of the well can we understand how the angel Indian, because their appearance in the of the bottomless pit could appear to the woods was to them a sure sign of the inspired seer in the form of a fearfullycoming of the white man. Even now it armed locust. leads the great movement towards the west: first is heard the busy humming of the SATURDAY NIGHT. bee, then the squatter's weighty axe, It is good, when the week is ended, to and after him the German's strange look back upon its business and its toils, jargon.

and mark wherein we have failed of our Ants also have their well-known mi- | duties, or come short of what we should grations, and aimless as they seem to be have done. The close of the week should to human eye, blindly as the little in- | be to each one of us like the close of our sects seem to wander in the dust, still lives. Everything should be adjusted they go as little astray as the countless with the world and with our God, as if stars in heaven. The black ant of the we were about to leave the one and apEast Indies, especially, becomes even use- pear before the other. This week is, ful to man. They travel in countless indeed, one of the regular divisions of hordes; the fields are black as far as the life; and when it closes, it should not be eye can reach, and field and forest are without its moral. From the end of one left bare behind them. Boldly they en- week to the end of another, the mind can ter human dwellings; they sweep over easily stretch onward to the close of exroof and garret, cellar and kitchen; no istence. It can sweep down the stream corner, no crevice, ever so small, remains of time to the distant period when it will unexplored, and no rat or mouse, no be entirely beyond human power to recockroach or insect, can be found, after gulate human affairs. Saturday is the their instinct has moved these not unwel- time for moral reflection. When for the come guests to continue their march. mercies of the weak we are thankful, and

Very different are the migrations of when our past months and years come the fearful locust, that ancient symbol of up in succession before us, we see the mighty conquerors, laying bare country vanity of our youthful days and the vexaafter country, as an overshadowing and tions of manhood, and tremble at the dark cloud, pregnant with the wrath of approaching winter of age. It is then Heaven. Their home is in the far East, in we should withdraw from the business places near the desert. There they depo- and the cares of the world, and give a sit their eggs in the sand; when hatched thought to our end, and to what we are by the heat of the sun, their young to be hereafter.

DAYLIGHT IN THE ARCTIC the skill of such first-rate artisans as are REGIONS.

not to be met with in the haunts of For the first time in more than a month crime; 5. by the three-deckle or rough we saw daylight, and I cannot describe edges. These edges are produced when how cheering was the effect of those the paper is in pulp; two notes being pure, white, brilliant rays, in spite of the placed in the mould and divided lengthiron landscape they illumined. It was no ways. The deckle is the raw edge of the longer the setting light of the level arc- paper, and cannot be imitated by cutting. tic sun; not the twilight gleams of shift

6. By the strength of the paper; a banking colour, beautiful, but dim; not the

note will lift a hundredweight, if carefully faded, mock daylight, which sometimes adjusted. The printing is of two kinds, glimmered for a half-hour at noon; but

type and plate; the paper is moistened the true white, full golden day, which we by water driven through its pores by had almost forgotten-so nearly, indeed,

the pressure of the atmosphere; 30,000 that I did not for some time suspect the

double notes are thus moistened in the cause of the unusual whiteness and bright

space of an hour; the ink used is made ness. Its effects upon the trees were

at the bank, from linseed oil and the superb. The twigs of the birch and

charred husks and vines of Rhenish the needles of the fir were coated with grapes; this gives a peculiar velvety crystal, and sparkled like jets of jewels

black to the mark in the left-hand corspouted up from the bosom of the imma- ner of the note. The notes are numbered culate snow. The clumps of birches can

by a machine which cannot err: and, lastly, be compared to nothing but frozen moun

are authorised by the signature of the tains, frozen in full action, with their

clerk. The bank-notes are printed on showery sheaves of spray arrested be

the side of the paper which receives the fore they fell. It was wonderful-a fairy

watermark, so that, if the watermark be world we beheld; too beautiful to be life- split, the unprinted surface only retains less, but every face we met reminded us the slightest trace of that mark. the more that this was the chill beauty

THE BROKEN DOLL of death-of dead nature. Death was in

An infant is a selfish sprite; the sparkling air, in the jewelled trees, in But what of that? the sweet delight the spotless snow. Take off your mitten, Which from participation springs and his hand will grasp yours like a vice; Is quite unknown to these young things. uncover your mouth, and your frozen lips

We elder children, then, will smile will soon acknowledge his kiss.--Bayard

At our dear little John awhile,

And bear with him, until he see Taylor.

There is a sweet felicity

In pleasing more than only one, THE BANK OF ENGLAND NOTE.

Dear little, craving, selfish John. The bank of England possesses no secu- He laughs, and thinks it a fine joke, rity which may not be known by any per

That he our new wax-doll has brāke. son who will make himself acquainted

Anger will never teach him better; with the following characteristics of the

We will the spirit and the letter

Of courtesy to him display, paper, the plate-printing, and the type

By taking in a friendly way printing of the note. The paper is dis- These baby frolics, till he learn tinguished --1, by its peculiar colour, True sport from mischief to discern. such as is neither sold in shops nor used

Reproof a parent's province is;

A sister's discipline is this, for any other purpose; 2. by its thin

By studied kindness to effect ness and transparency--qualities which

A little brother's young respect. prevent any portion of the printing on

What is a doll ?-a fragile toy; the note being washed or scratched out What is its loss? if the dear boy, without a hole being made; 3. by its Who half perceives he has done amiss, characteristic feel, which consists of a

Retain impression of the kiss

That follow'd instant on his cheek singular crispness and toughness, owing

If the kind, loving words we speak to the fact that the bank paper is made Of 'Never mind it,' .We forgive'from new linen and cotton, not from rags; If these in his short memory live, 4. by the peculiar wire mark or water Only perchance for half-a-daymark, which can only be produced when

Who minds a doll, if that should lay the paper is in a state of. pulp; conse

The first impression in his mind

That sisters are to brothers kind ? quently the forger must procure a mould, For thus the broken doll may prove and make his own paper, both requiring Foundation to fraternal lovo.

FINDING VIII.

HOME FINDINGS.

so unlike his usual mild tones, that she ran down-stairs all in a flurry, with her

bonnet-strings untied. 'Juliana, my dear, you will be too late Mr Kerr was indeed very angry, and for the post. It goes at twelve; yet there his face and manner, as he told her that you are, scribbling away at your crossed the clock had chimed the half-hour, and letter of eight pages, as if you had all the gave the important missives, together day before you.

with her own to her dear Letitia, into her 'Oh! never fear, papa,' replied Juliana, yet ungloved hand, convinced her that he a spoiled boarding-school miss of some was no longer to be trified with. She sixteen years of age. 'I must finish this hastened through the garden, and down for my dear Letitia, or she will be so dis- the hill towards the village, tying her appointed.

bonnet and putting on her gloves as she But, my dear, you ought to have writ- went. ten it yesterday. You knew as well as I But the conventional school-girl, trained that the post was early to-day, and that to walk in a stiff double row of her felnot being able to go myself

, nor to trust lows, with the stately governesses bringing the boy, I should have to depend on you up the rear, and on the watch to repress to take some very important lettere. But any vivacious movement, was ill fitted to ever and always this procrastination !' bear the exertion of a run up-hill and And Juliana's father threw himself back in down-hill, such as she was now taking; his gouty chair, and sighed impatiently. so that the natural consequence of her

Juliana thought to herself, 'What an unwonted exertion soon reached her in old fidget papa is!' and then she went the shape of what is vulgarly called a on with her long, crossed scrawl, abound-stitch in the side.' This took her so ing in 'dears,' and 'loves,' and emphatic suddenly and so violently, that she was dashes. The clock struck eleven. compelled to stop, and walk very quietly

'Juliana, I must insist on your coming up the abrupt ascent towards the village; to a conclusion. The walk will consume and while thus slowly progressing, the nearly half-an-hour, and I know to my village clock rang the quarter to twelve. cost how long it takes you to put on your Juliana well understood the importance bonnet.'

of posting her papa's letters in time, and 'Papa, what nonsense! Just as if I it was only her blameable habit of proshould care how I put on my things to go crastination, and not any real indifference to a country post-office. One moment, about her errand, that had caused her to and I have just done.' ('With warmest run so great a risk of being too late after love, and many, many kisses, your ever af- all. There is time enough,' has been fectionate though melancholy JULIANA.') the ruin of many important interests; "Now, papa, I will not be five minutes. even of that most weighty one of all, the Stay! I must seal my letter. Oh dear! salvation of an immortal soul. Having where is my tiny love of a seal ?'

with much effort surmounted the abrupt Juliana searched her writing-desk, her ascent, there was still the long village work - box, her drawing-box, in vain. street to traverse, on the left-hand of Meanwhile, her papa was almost stamp- which, mid-way to the post-office, stood ing with impatience, and the clock chimed the church. As Juliana passed the gates, a quarter past eleven.

she cast an anxious glance up at the Oh! here it is, in the pocket of my clock. Seven minutes to twelve. apron. Now, papa.'

Oh! how the poor girl tugged and Up flew Juliana to her bedroom, two strained to overcome the remaining disor three steps at a time. She had nearly tance. Too late! the post-office winattired herself for her walk, when she re- dow closed inexorably down just as she membered that there was a chance of her reached it, and to her knockings and meeting the new curate in the village. timid supplications, she could only ob"This old straw bonnet will never do,' she tain the cool, matter-of-fact answer, "The thought. 'I look such a fright in it.' bags are being made up; we can take in So she put it off again, and taking a pale no more letters.? green silk one out of a bandbox, was pro- The father could not but forgive his ceeding to arrange it on her elaborate child at the sight of her sincere repentcurls, when the voice of her father sounded ance, but Juliana could not forgive herfrom the bottom of the stairs in accents self.' Nor were the results of her delay,

« 上一页继续 »