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SCIENTIÆ MISCELLANEA.–No. V.
These irregularities result from the action of
what a naturalist calls “ disturbing causes.” I TENDENCIES.
will mention and illustrate the action of one or two We often observe in the growth of natural of these. Let us suppose that the young tree is objects, a tendency towards a cerlain form, which growing in a perfectly perpendicular directionthey seldom if ever assume. In the common lan- its stem is possessed of a certain degree of elasti. guage of natural history, they are said “ to affect city—if bent by a slight wind it soon recovers, but certain forms.” I do not know a better illustra- by a stormy wind it may be so far bent as not to tion of this remark, than is afforded in the growth be able to restore itself, and thus a permanent of plants. Plants affect a perfect regularity of crook may be given to the stem. Again, let us form-a regularity which shall extend not only suppose that the buds are all formed at the proper to the form and position of their leaves and boughs, time, and in their proper places, and that all are but also to the angles at which they are joined carefully wrapped up to defend them against the together. Could the trees of the forest effect that inclemency of winter. Of these buds it is not which they only affect, instead of that endless va- probable that more than one-half will survive to riety with which they now delight the eye, they open at the call of spring. The most insignificant would present a stiff and monotonous regularity, circumstance may determine which shall perish, as if jointed and morticed together by the hand of and which survive. Even the insinuation of a an artist. Then might a fanciful man, find, in- drop of water beneath its scaly covering, may deed, some foundation for a figure used by a cele- destroy a bud, and thus give rise to an irregubrated American botanist, who has spoken of trees larity in the form of the future tree. Let us take as“ cities of leaves.” This tendency of plants to the case of a shoot on which eight buds had been assume a perfect regularity in their growth, is formed at the close of summer, and suppose that manisested in several ways. If we examine one as one-half of these are destroyed during the succeedit first springs from the ground—a young peach-ing winter ;, it is a coincidence hardly to be extree, for example—we will find that it has two pected that these should be either the first, third, large fleshy leaves, placed exactly opposite to each fifth and seventh, or the second, fourth, sixth and other, and perfectly alike in color, structure, &c. eighth; and yet all this would be necessary in The shoot which is to become the future tree, order to preserve a perfect regularity of form to springs from between them in a direction perpen- the tree. dicular to the earth's surface. If we wait until it An insect may destroy a bud, or even a whole has developed its leaves, and then again examine bough. Many insects are taught by instinct to it, we will find the second leaf just one quarter of pierce the bark of certain plants, and there to dethe way around the stem from the first, and mea-posite their eggs. Where this is the case, the suring up the stem a little more than half way be- part pierced swells up, and a complete derangetween the first and the third. The same will be ment ensues. The nut-gall, and the common found to be true respecting all the other leaves. green ball, seen on the leaves of some species of If I may be allowed the use of such language, the oak, are produced in this way. If we suppose that difference of longitude between each two consecu- the growth of the plant was perfectly regular tive leaves is 90 degrees; whilst the difference of before, and that no deleterious influence is exerted Jatitude is a little more than half the distance upon the wounded part by the sting of the insect, between the leaf below, and the leaf above the one yet as each bough receives an equal portion of the from which we measure. During the months of nourishment taken in by the root; and as a part of July and August, at the point where each leaf is that received by the wounded branch is necessainserted into the stem, a bud is formed, the embryo rily employed in forming the excrescence, there of a future bough. By carefully dissecting one of must be less left for increasing the size of that these buds, and examining with a microscope, the bough; and thus an irregularity is produced. whole of the bough, so far as it is destined to be Many other of these disturbing causes might developed by the next year's growth, may be dis- be mentioned, but these I deem sufficient for the covered in miniature; each leaf carefully folded purpose of illustration. By far the greater part over the one below it, and all packed away within of them act more powerfully during the winter four hard scales, intended to afford them protection than during the summer; and bence perennial from the frosts and storms of winter. By care- plants are much more irregular in their structure, fully examining this bud, we will discover that than annuals; and those which grow slowly, than the same perfect regularity is provided for, in the those which grow rapidly. All plants, however, growth of the next set of branches, which charac- are more or less irregular, not because they do terised the first year's shoot. And yet this per- not affect perfect regularity of form, but because fect regularity is never attained. In some trees they are never exempted entirely from the operaa nearer approach is made to it than in others, but tion of disturbing agencies. And yet their ideal all present greater or less irregularities. 'regularity is very seldom so far departed from, as
to unfit them for performing the part assigned house, added a certain quantity of water to each them in the economy of creation. It generally cask. The spirit having been delivered on board, happens, that about as many buds are destroyed on and tried by the hydrometer, was discovered to be one side a tree, as on the other; seldom if ever does wanting in strength. When the vender was it become so one-sided as to be broken off, and charged with the intended fraud, he at first denied fall by its own weight.
it, for he knew of no human means which could What is particularly worthy of remark in this have made the discovery; but on the exact quanmatter, is, that with every thing tending to a stiff tity of water which had been mixed, being speci. and formal regularity, such an infinite variety fied, a superstitious dread seized him, and having has been made to spring up and delight the eye, by confessed bis roguery, he made ample amends." what may be called the incidental operation of The above is one instance among many which causes, whose chief end is to produce results with might be mentioned, of the advantage which wbich the vegetable kingdom is in no way con- scientific knowledge gives its possessor over the nected. This, I think, may fairly be cited as an ignorant. Whilst the philosopher in his study is instance of economy in creation. So universal is engaged in the laborious investigation of abstract the operation of these “disturbing agencies,” and truths, the question is often asked “cui bono?" so endless the variety of forin which results from But when the results of his investigations are apthem, that we might search the world over in vain plied to the affairs of real life, their benefit is at to find two trees precisely similar in shape. In once evident. Perhaps one or two instances more fact I do not know but that I may say, without may set this truth in a stronger light. laying myself open to the charge of extravagance, “On mount Pilatus, near lake Luzerne, is a that there never have been two such trees upon valuable growth of fir trees, which on account of the surface of our globe.
the inaccessible nature of the mountain had reA remark or two by way of applying this to mained for ages uninjured, until within a few settle a question of taste. A little more than half years a German engineer contrived to construct a a century since, it was the fashion in England to trough in the form of an inclined plane, by which trim trees in the form of cubes, spheres, pyramids, these trees are made to descend by their own cones, &c. &c. If my memory does not deceive weight, through a space of eight miles, from the me, I have noticed in a few instances, something side of the mountain to the margin of the lake. of this same taste in this our good state of Vir- Although the average declivity is no more than ginia. Such taste might, perhaps, be tolerated in about one foot in seventeen, and the route often cirthe neighborhood of those mountains in China, cuitous, and sometimes horizontal, yet so great is which on the authority of Osheck, quoted by Malte- the acceleration, that a tree descends the whole Brun, we believe, to “ have the forms of the heads distance in the short space of six minutes. To the of dragons, tigers, bears,” &c.; or even in En- spectator standing by the side of the trough, at vionne, in the Valais, where their principal moun- first is heard, on the approach of the tree, a roartain resembles the old French frizzled wigs; but ing noise, becoming louder and louder; the tree in this land, which nature has made the depository comes in sight at the distance of half a mile, and of many of her grandest works, it is intolerable. in an instant afterwards shoots past with the noise For my own part, I had much rather see the same of thunder, and almost with the rapidity of an arrow. number of green boxes or barrels, mounted upon But for the knowledge of the inclined plane, which poles, than these distorted caricatures of trees. It this German engineer had previously acquired, such was a taste of this kind which Goldsmith intended a work as this would have appeared impossible.” to ridicule in his story of the seven sisters of the The chronometer, a species of watch constructed Flamborough family, who, on having their like to go with great accuracy, has of late been applied nesses taken, each one was painted smelling an to the purpose of determining longitude at sea. orange. Should any of my readers feel inclined to "After months spent in a passage from South ornament the outsides of their dwellings with trees, America to Asia,” says Arnott, our captain's trimmed in the style just mentioned, I hope they chronometer announced that a certain point of will improve upon the hint given them by Goll- land was then bearing east from the ship at a dissmith, and ornament the inside after the manner of tance of fifty miles; and in an hour afterwards, the Flamborough family.
when a mist had cleared away, the looker-out on
the mast gave the joyous call, land ahead! veriNo. VI.
fying the report of the chronometer almost in a SUPERIORITY CONFERRED BY SCIENCE. such a moment, with the dangers and uncertain
mile, after a voyage of thousands. It is natural at “A shopkeeper in China sold to the purser of a ties of ancient navigation before the mind, to exult ship a quantity of distilled spirits according to a in contemplating what man has now achieved. sample shown; but not standing in awe of con- Had the rate of the wonderful little instrument in science, he afterwards, in the privacy of his store- all that time changed even a little, its announce
A. D. G.
ment would have been worse than useless—but in | lion.” Our duty to the community, which must be the night, and in the day, in storm, and in calm, in discharged by the education of a whole race, comprises heat, and in cold-while the persons around it were many unobtrusive, almost invisible points, which in experiencing every vicissitude of mental and bodi- detail may seem trivial, or at least desultory, but which ly condition, its steady beat went on, keeping the rill to the broad stream.
are still as important, as the rain-drop to the cistern, or exact account of the rolling of the earth, and of the stars; and in the midst of the trackless waves, it tation of domestic tastes, and a vigilant guardianship
A long period allotted to study; a thorough implanwas always ready to tell its magic tale of the very over simplicity of character, are essential to the daugh. spot of the globe over which it had arrived." In ters of a republic. That it is wise to give the greatest one point of view, this result appears to arise from possible extent to the season of tutelage, for those who the perfection of the chronometer's mechanism; have much to learn, is a self-evident proposition. If but had not the man of science determined the they are to teach others, it is doubly important. And exact figure of the earth, and its rate of motion there is no country on earth, where so many females around both its own axis and the sun, the chro- are employed in teaching, as in our own. Indeed, from nometer could have given no information respect the position that educated women here maintain, it might ing longitude; it would have told its tale indeed,
not be difficult to establish the point, that they are all but without science as its interpreter, that tale teachers
, all forming other beings upon the model of
their own example, however unconscious of the fact. would have remained wrapped in the mystery of
To abridge the education of the educator, is to stint the an unknown tongue.
culture of a plant, whose " leaves are for the healing of the nations."
I was delighted to hear a young lady say, at the age
of nineteen, “I cannot bear to think yet of leaving DUTY OF MOTHERS.
school, I have scarcely begun to learn.” With proBY MRS. SIGOURNEY.*
priety might she express this sentiment, though she
was eminent both in studies and accomplishments,-if Mothers best discharge their duty to the community, the great Michael Angelo, could adopt for his motto, in by training up those who shall give it strength and his ninetieth year—"ancora imparo," -and “yet I am beauty. Their unwearied labors should coincide with learning." the aspirations of the Psalmist, that their “sons may It has unfortunately been too much the custom in our be as plants grown up in their youth ; their daughters, country, not only to shorten the period allotted to the as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a education of our sex, but to fritter away even that brief palace.” They would not wish to leave to society, period, in contradictory pursuits and pleasures. Pawhere they had themselves found protection and solace, rents have blindly lent their influence to this usage. To a bequest that would dishonor their memory.
reform it, they must oppose the tide of fashion and of We, who are mothers, ought to feel peculiar solici-opinion. Let them instruct their daughters to resist the tude with regard to the manner in which our daughters principle of conforming in any respect to the example of are reared. Being more constantly with us, and more those around them, unless it is rational in itself, and entirely under our control than sons, they will be natu- correctly applicable to them as individuals. A proper rally considered as our representatives, the truest tests expenditure for one, would be ruinous extravagance in of our system, the strongest witnesses to a future gene- another. So, if some indiscreet mothers, permit their ration, of our fidelity or neglect.
young daughters to waste in elaborate dress and fash“Unless women,” said the venerable Fellenberg, ionable parties, the attention which should be devoted “are brought up with industrious and religious habits, to study, need their example be quoted as a preeedent ? it is in vain that we educate the men: for they are the to do as others do, which is the rule of the unthinking, ones who keep the character of men in its proper eleva. is often to copy bad taste and erring judgment. We
use more discrimination in points of trifling import. + The rule which we usually observo, is to leave our readers to We pause and compare patterns, ere we purchase a form their own judgments upon the labors of our contributors, without comment or commendation from ourselves. We shall garment which, perchance, lasts but for a single season. be justified, however, in departing from this rule, in reference to Why should we adopt with little inquiry,-or on the this article from the pen of Mrs. Sigourney, if, by so doing, it strength of doubtful precedent,--a hubit, which may shall arrest the attention of our readers generally. To say noth: stamp the character of our children forever? ing of its characteristic graces of style, the subject of which it
When circumstances require, the youngest girl should treats is of momentous importance to the happiness and well. being of the community; and, if it were possible, it should be be taught not to fear to differ from her companions, placed in the hands of every mother capable of appreciating the either in costume, manners, or opinion. Singularity for beauty and originality of its thoughts and precepts. We own its own sake, and every approach to eccentricity, should ourselves to have been highly delighted with it, as we usually be deprecated and discouraged. Even necessary variaare with every thing from the pen of this highly gifted lady. The lions from those around, must be managed with deligenius, taste, and morality of our country are already much indebted to her, and her fame as an authoress is the public pro. cacy, so as not to wound feeling, or exasperate prejuperty of the nation. We do not know whether the works of dice. But she who dares not to be independent, when Mrs. Sigourney have been as yet generally introduced into our southern female schools ; if not, they certainly should be, whe decision of character, perhaps, integrity of principle.
reason or duty dictate, will be in danger of forfeiting ther they are regarded as chaste models of composition, or as repositories of all that is pure in sentiment and sublime in Simple attire, and simple manners, are the natural morals.-[Ed. So. Lit. Mess.
ornaments of those who are obtaining their school education. They have the beauty of fitness, and the policy | be, if the “strong meal” on which he has so long fed, of leaving the mind free, for its precious pursuits. have not wholly indisposed him to relish the "milk of Love of display, every step towards affectation, are babes.” If he is able to arrest the thoughts and feelings, destructive of the charms of that sweet season of life. which charmed him when life was new, he will still be Ceremonious visiting, where showy apparel, and late obliged to transfuse them into the dialect of childhood. hours prevail, must be avoided. I feel painful sympa. He must write in a foreign idiom, where, not to be thy for those mothers, who expose their young daughters ungrammatical is praise, and not utterly to fail, is victo such excitements, yet expect them to return unim- tory. Perhaps, in the attempt, he may be induced to paired and docile, to the restraints of school discipline. exclaim, with the conscious majesty of Milton—"my “ Those who forsake useful studies,” said an ancient mother bore me, a speaker of that, which God made my philosopher, "for useless speculations, are like the own, and not a translator." Olympic gamesters, who abstained from necessary la- It has been somewhere asserted, that he who would bors, that they might be fit for such as were not so." agreeably instruct children, must become the pupil of
Shall I allude to the want of expediency, in exhibit- children. They are not, indeed, qualified to act as ing very young ladies in mixed society? Their faces guides among the steep cliffs of knowledge which they become familiar to the public eye. The shrinking deli- have never traversed; but they are most skilful concacy of their privileged period of life escapes. The ductors to the green plats of turf, and the wild flowers dews of the morning are too suddenly exhaled. They that encircle its base. They best know where the get to be accounted old, ere they are mature,-more is violets and king-cups grow, which they have themselves expected of them, than their unformed characters can gathered, and where the clear brook makes mirthful yield, -and if their discretion does not surpass their music in its pebbly bed. years, they may encounter severe criticism, perhaps Have you ever listened to a little girl telling a story calumny. When they should be just emerging as a to her younger brother or sister ? What adaptation of fresh opened blossom, they are hackneyed to the com.subject
, circumstance, and epithet? If she repeats mon gaze, as the last year's Souvenir, which by cour-what she has heard, how naturally does she simplify tesy or sufferance, maintains a place on the centre-table, every train of thought. If she enters the region of though its value has deteriorated. Is not the alterna- invention, how wisely does she keep in view the taste tive either a premature marriage, or an obsolete con- and comprehension of her auditor. Ah, how powerful tinuance in the arena of fashion, with a somewhat is that simplicity, which so readily unlocks and rules mortifying adherence to the fortunes of new candidates, the heart, and which,“ seeming to have nothing, posas, grade after grade, they assert their claims to feeling sesseth all things." admiration, or vapid flattery?
Those who are conversant with little children, are How much more faithfully does the mother perform not always disposed sufficiently to estimate them, or to her duty, who brings forth to society, no crude or allow them the high rank which they really hold in the superficial semblance of goodness, but the well-ripened scale of being. In regarding the acorn, we forget that fruit of thorough, prayerful culture. Her daughter, it comprises within its tiny round the future oak. It associated with herself, in domestic cares, at the same is this want of prospective wisdom, which occasions time that she gathered the wealth of intellectual know. ignorant persons often lo despise childhood, and renders ledge, is now qualified to take an active part in the some portions of its early training seasons of bitter sphere which she embellishes. Adorned with that bondage. Knowledge is an impression of pleasure," simplicity which attracts every eye, when combined said Lord Bacon. They who impart it to the young, with good breeding, and a righe education, she is ought not to interfere with its original nature, or divide arrayed in a better panoply than the armor of Semira- the toil from the reward. Educated females ought mis, or the wit and beauty of Cleopatra, for whom the especially to keep bright the links belween knowledge Roman lost a world.
and happiness. This is one mode of evincing gratitude Simplicity of language, as well as of garb and man to the age in which they live, for the generosity with ner, is a powerful ingredient in that art of pleasing, which it has renounced those prejudices, which in past which the young and lovely of our sex are supposed to times circumscribed the intellectual culture of their sex. study. The conversation of children is rich in this May I be excused for repeatedly urging them to concharm. Books intended for their instruction or amuse- vince the community that it has lost nothing by this ment, should consult their idiom. Ought not females to liberality ? Let not the other sex be authorised in excel in the composition of elementary works for the complaining that the firesides of their fathers were juvenile intellect, associated as they are with it, in its better regulated than their own. Give them no chance earliest and least constrained developments? The to throw odium upon knowledge, from the faults of its talented and learned man is prone to find himself em- allies and disciples. Rather let them see, that by a barrassed by such a labor. The more profound his participation in the blessings of education, you are researches in science, and the knowledge of the world, made better in every domestic department, in every the farther must he retrace his steps, to reach the level relative duty-more ardent in every hallowed effort of of infantine simplicity. Possibly, he might ascend benevolence and piety. among the stars, and feel at home; but to search for I cannot believe that the distaste for household indushoney-dew in the bells of flowers, and among the moss-try, which some young ladies evince, is the necessary cups, needs the beak of the humming-bird, or the wing effect of a mere expanded system of education. Is it of the butterfly. He must recall, with painful effort, not rather the abuse of that system ? or may it not the far-off days, when he "thought as a child, spake radically be the fault of the mother, in neglecting to as a child, understood as a child." Fortunate will helmingle day by day, domestic knowledge with intellec
tual culture ? in forgetting that the warp needs a woof,
FALKLAND, BY E. L. BULWER.* ere the rich tapestry can be perfect? I am not prepared to assert that our daughters have too much learning, This is a volume which has been for a considethough I may be compelled to concede, that it is not rable time sur le tapis ; and, from the reputation always well balanced, or judiciously used. Education is not indeed confined to any one point of has doubtless long since found its way to the bou
of the author and the subject of which he treats, our existence, yet it assumes peculiar importance at that period when the mind is most ductile to every of fashionable life, and ergo of fashionable novel
doir of every lady, married or single, who is fond impression. Just at the dawn of that time, we see the mother watching for the first faint tinge of intellect, reading; for I take it for granted, that a truly “more than they who watch for the morning.” At her fashionable lady has little time to devote to aught feet a whole generation sit as pupils. Let her learn her else than those works of folly and fuolery which own value, as the first educator; that in proportion to are daily and hourly poured forth from the press, the measure of her influence, she may acquit herself of in the form, and under the name of novels. We her immense responsibilities.
would not, however, be understood as aiming to Her debt to the community must be paid through rank the volume now before us among the pubher children, or through others whom she may rear up, lications of the denomination just mentioned. Far to dignify and adorn it. Aristotle said," the fate of from it; we regard it as meriting a much more empires depended on education.” But that in woman, serious attention. We regard it as possessing far dwelt any particle of that conservative power, escaped more than ordinary ability in the author, in his the scrutinizing eye of the philosopher of Greece. The far-sighted statesmen of our times have discovered it. development of character and his portraiture of A Prussian legislator, at the beginning of the present the passions. Yet, while we prompuy award to century, promulgated the principle
, that "to the safety it that meed of praise, which, as a literary effort, it and regeneration of a people, a correct state of religious most unquestionably merits, we are far from acopinion and practice was essential, which could only be cording to it our applause for the moral tendency, effected by proper attention to the early nurture of the which the author, in his ingenious preface, would mind." He foresaw the influence, whieh the training fain flatter his readers, he has been enabled to of infancy would have, upon the welfare of a nation. infuse into its pages. We think, on the contrary,
Let our country go still further, and recognize in the that it contains sentiments supported by a reasonnursery, and at the fireside, that hallowed agency, ing and eloquence worthy of a better cause, and which, more than the pomp of armies, shall guard her which, if suffered to pass unexposed and unconwelfare, and preserve her liberty. Trying as she is, in demned, are calculated to sap the very foundations her own isolated sphere, the mighty experiment, whether a republic can ever be permanent-standing in
of those wise and salutary institutions, upon which need as she does, of all the checks which she can com- Tirtuous society, and indeed every thing relating to mand, to curb faction, cupidity and reckless competi- the moral government of mankind, must ultition-rich in resources, and therefore in danger from mately and inevitably depend. To expose the her own power—in danger from the very excess of her deleterious tendency of those sentiments, and 10 own happiness, from that knowledge which is the birth- pass upon them a loudly-called-for condemnation, right of her people, unless there go forth with it a moral is the purpose for which we have again, for a few purity, guarding the unsheathed weapon--let this our moments resumed our grey goose quill, dear country, not slight the humblest instrument that
“That mighty instrument of little men." may advance her safely, nor forget that the mother, kneeling by the cradle-bed, hath her hand upon the ark
We are introduced to the hero of the tale by a seof a nation.
ries of letters from him to his friend Monkton ; from Hartford, Con. October 18th, 1938.
which we learn that he is somewhat of a solitaire, shrouded in the pall of melancholy, and, in the
genuine spirit of a misanthropist, ruminating with GREECE.-A SONNET.
gloomy but bitter sarcasms on the unsatisfying Land of the muses, and of mighty men!
pleasures of a gay bel mondo, in the golden light of A shadowy grandeur mantles thee; serene
whose flattery and applause he had long mored As morning skies, thy pictur'd realms are seen,
with glory and renown. He treats with a proud When ether's canopy is clear, and when
contempt and verily we think justly too, the The very zephyrs pause upon the wing
mercenary motives which dictate the conduct and In ecstasy, and wist not where to stray.
call forth the friendship of the generality of manBeautiful Greece ! more glorious in decay
kind. “From the height of his philosophy
he Than other regions in the flush of spring :
compassionates" the imbecility of human greatness, Thy palaces are tenantless; the Turk
and pours the phials of his indignation upon the Hath quenched the embers of the holy fane ;
Thy temples now are crumbling to the plain, * These remarks upon Bulwer's “Falkland," were written For time hath sapped, and man hath helped the work. several years since. They are now offered for publication from
a belief in the mind of the writer, that an undue applause has All cannot perish-thy immortal mind
been awarded to the imaginary productions of the distinguished Remains a halo circling round mankind. [Blackwood, novelist.