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PLAN FOR CLOTHING CHILDREN OF THE
We have lately met with the following plan for providing school children with certain articles of dress twice in the year.
Many benevolent persons are willing to help the poor; but little good can be done in this way, unless the poor are also willing to help themselves : the proposed plan encourages both these inclinations. If any gentleman or lady will provide a penny a week for a school-child, and the child can itself bring another penny, the whole sum thus collected is returned to the child in the shape of useful articles of dress, chiefly made by the girls durinz their afternoon school. · One great advantage of this plan is that the girls are thus practised in that sort of work which is so likely to be useful to them afterwards.
If the sum of 8s. 8d. a year be thought but little, we must remember that the clothing is for children, the greater part of whom are under eight years of age; and common articles of dress are at this time cheap, especially when purchased in large quantities, and the work, besides, is done by the scholars themselves for nothing. Moreover, if this will not provide all necessary clothing, it will provide à considerable part, and the sum may be increased, or lessened, according to the circumstances of the parties, and extended to a greater or less number of children as is found expedient and practicable.
REFLECTIONS ON FLOWERS. (See p. 132.) I suppose myself in a field covered with flowers, or in a well cultivated garden. What colours, what richness, and what sweetness. I perceive !-From what source could the beauties we look upon arise ? What is in itself the principle of so much splendor and ornament ? --But let us pass from this general view to the consideration of some flowers in particular; and let us cull by chance the first thạt shall fall in our way. Has art invented such lively, and at the same time such delicate hues? Is any stuff so fine, or woven with such exquisite regularity? Is the purple of Solomon equal to the flowers in my hand? How coarse in comparison,--how rough-how gross in the workmanship, and how inferior in the colour! But, though this flower were less beautiful in every part than it is, can we impagine a more per, fect symmetry in the whole, and more regular disposition in its leaves, or a greater exactness in its proportions.
One would believe, if we were only to observe the extraordinary care bestowed in the formation of a flower, that it was to last for ever! Yet, before evening, it shall fade;. and the next day, be withered by the sun; and the day after, perish. What should we then think of that great Being who bestows such care upon an herb that is to last but for a few hours? What will He do in the case of his people? And how great is the blindness of the world, who reckon upon beauty, youth, and human glory as solid benefits, without remembering that they are as the transient blossom, which to-morrow shall be no more !—“ All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof as the flowers of the field.”
HITHERTO we have considered the earth as a field or a garden of herbs ; let us now consider it as a rich orchard abounding with all kinds of fruit, which succeed one another according to the seasons.
I consider one of these trees extending its branches, bowing down to the earth, under the weight of fruit, whose colour and smell invite the taste. This tree, by the pomp it displays before my eyes, seems to cry out, "Learn of me how great is the goodness of God, who has formed me for you. Receive his gifts with gratitude."
Such invitations I seem to hear from every quarter; and, as I advance, I still discover new subjects of praise and admiration. Here the fruit lies concealed within ; and there the kernel is covered with a delicate pulp, all shining without in the most lively colours. This fruit arises from a flower, as almost all fruits do; but that other, which is so delicious, is preceded by no flower, but springs out of the very rind of the fig-tree. The one begins the summer, and the other ends it. If one is not speedily gathered it falls and withers ; and if time is not allowed to the other, it will never come to maturity. The one keeps long, and the other presently corrupts; one refreshes, and another strengthens; but all I see raises in me a spirit of wonder and transport, and I cannot avoid crying out with the prophet, “ The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord, and thou givest them their meat in due season; thou openest thy hand, and fillest all things living with plenteousness."
E. L. M.
ON FIRING HORSES.
We were little aware, when, in our January number, we copied, from a newspaper, a groom's letter "on firing horses," that we should have been led into so lengthened a discussion of the subject. We do not, however, think those pages of our work ill occupied which tend to discourage unnecessary cruelty to any kind of animals. If, indeed, the operation of firing is likely to be of use to a horse, it cannot be called unnecessary cruelty ; but whether it be necessary or not, seems to be a matter on which opinions differ." The old groom” seems to think it wholly useless, and we have heard the same opinion given by experienced practitioners. Our newspaper statement asserts that Mr. Martin has procured a declaration from the Veterinary College condemning the practice. We have not been able to procure a copy of this declaration, and we have reason to know that this is not, at any rate, the unanimous opinion of the members of that board. Doctors disagree, we conclude, at the Veterinary College, as well as at other colleges. As we have no wish to establish any particular opinion on this subject, but merely to lead to such reflections as may prevent any unnecessary torture, we do not scruple to give a place to the following letter, though the writer's opinion differs from that of our former correspondents.
A great deal will be gained, if persons are led to such careful treatment of their horses, as shall prevent the necessity of having recourse, afterwards, to severe measures."
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
Feb. 12, 1824. Sir, I regularly take your excellent Publication, and in the two last numbers I observe letters, condemning the practice of firing horses, as cruel; and reflecting upon the character of farriers as recommending the operation, merely for their own profit.
As to the efficacy of the operation of firing, I am surprised that any groom can have a doubt upon the subject.--I am a great admirer of that noble animal, the horse, and I have also paid some attention to his habits and constitution. I am likewise one of those who use not their horse as a slave, but cherish him more as a friend. I should therefore be the last man in the world to advocate any measure which might be considered harsh or cruel; but, having had occasion to try the operation of firing upon a favourite horse, whose legs were weak, and feet contracted in consequence of hard work, (not, I beg to remark, in my service) I am enabled to say, from experience, that the effect, as I was assured by the farrier would be the case, was surprising and complete.- One of your correspondents seems to doubt whether the rest which the horse enjoys after the operation, is not the cause of his recovery. Rest might sometimes suffice, when the case is not too far gone; but not always. In the instance of my own Horse, I tried the effect of rest, unwilling to put him to any needless pain; but, to little or no purpose, till he had been fired.
The efficacy of firing being then, in my mind, placed beyond all doubt, what shall we say of the cruelty of the operation? All surgical operations are painful; but if they are efficacious, they may be considered merciful rather than cruel, the patient, whether man or beast, being thereby relieved from weakness and pain. The cruelty, as to the horse, consists, in my mind, in pressing his noble and generous nature, beyond his strength and powers, great as they are; and thus reducing him to the necessity of a painful operation. And, as your