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this was my home for which I had sickened-this was and anxious fully to examine the subject which attracted my country! The object of my journey was not accom me to this famed institution, I set out from my hotel plished till I came here. But when I did come, I saw nothing more than walls and trees. I lingered beside month of October. Before reaching my destination, the
soon after break of day on a fine autumn morning in the them simply because I had nowhere else to go. That is all.'
sun had completely risen, and shed his beams over the When Walter had finished his narration, he again stately and venerable old palace, which, placed on a gentle looked round the beautiful library, then at the door, eminence at the end of a long avenue of trees, formed a where he saw in imagination the young children, and striking and imposing pile. Soon after passing the their warm, loving smiles ; and with an unconscious massive portals which form the main entrance, I found, shiver he rose up, and pressing more closely the collar on making inquiry, that I had arrived fully two hours of his threadbare coat round his neck, seemed about to before the time of opening the school for idiots. This move slowly away. The earnest look with which Wilo circumstance, though causing a little loss of time, gave liam had been regarding him softened, and his eyes were suffused with that manly softness which in gentler me, however, the opportunity of first walking through woman is turned into tears.
the whole establishment, and also of inquiring very narSit down,' said he, 'my poor friend—my unhappy rowly into the state of several congenital idiots, who were accomplice! We were separated for the good of both, loitering or playing in the yard adjoining the building and we meet again to complete the plan of a higher, devoted to their reception. After strolling about for some wiser Power. A circumstance the most inconceivably time, I stepped into one of the rooms, where several of trifling, the most apparently fortuitous, gave a different the young inmates were separated from their fellows, colour to our whole fortunes-a different direction to owing to the prevalence of an epidemic ophthalmia which our whole lives. As a stone interposed in the course had recently broken out among them. The greater numof a stream divides it in two, sending one portion ber were placed in bed, and were receiving the attention through a garden and the other through a desert, 80 that circumstance made you a convict, and me—what and appliances which their present condition rendered you see. I was placed in circumstances where the wild- necessary. Three of them, who had recovered from the nesses and indiscretions of youth were subdued, and ophthalmia, were seated at a small table, partaking of my heart touched and changed even by prosperity ; excellent soup. They sat in an orderly and decorous while you were permitted to pass from folly into guilt
, manner, and took their food without scattering it or that your more masculine nature might be wrung by smearing the person—a circumstance nearly always obits invariable attendant-misery. Sit down, Walter: let us be thankful for even the worst of the past, interne, who kindly accompanied me, the youngest of the
servable in the neglected idiot. At the request of the and look forward bravely, hopefully, confidingly to the three rose from his seat, and repeated one of Lamartine's future!'
Twenty years before, we have said, these two had sat fables very distinctly, and with much spirit. During this in the same room; and twenty years after the present recitation the others ceased to eat, and appeared to listen meeting they were still occasionally there together. But with pleasure to the display made by their young friend. the same difference continued in their appearance and Conceiving that this child manifested a precocity and position. Walter was for many years the governor of a irregularity rather than a deficiency of intellect, I intineighbouring prison, his cousin (never known as such) mated my wish that his cap should be removed, so that I being security for him to a considerable amount; and could have the opportunity of examining the shape of his he was highly respected in the country.side both for his head. He immediately made the attempt to comply, but firmness
and humanity. They are now both dead; but finding that the strings had become knotted under his though sleeping in the same churchyard, their relative rank is undisturbed. There is a tomb, which is one of chin, he showed some signs of impatience at the obstructhe lions of the place, bearing an inscription commemo- tion. One of the idiots, seeing his difficulty, rose from rative of the talents and virtues of the deceased, and of his seat, and rendered him the necessary assistance, by his public services in the prevention of crime and the carefully untying the knot. I remarked that this youth, reformation of criminals. Near it is a plain slab, record who thus noticed the dilemma of his companion, and then ing merely the name and age of the dead. And even immediately relieved him, had all the characteristic apthis humble legend is nearly effaced by the footsteps of pearance of a genuine idiot. I could not observe this the visitors, who stand upon it to view the more re simple occurrence without becoming at once sensible that markable monument. These are the tombs of the two much had been done for these poor creatures, who, born felons.
with an imperfect mental organisation, have been made
capable of exercising the faculties of observation, compreVISIT TO THE BICÊTRE. hension, and a power of application, which, a few years As superintendent of an asylum for the insane in one of ago, it would have been thought impossible to communi
cate to them. the northern counties of England, I had for some time felt desirous of visiting Paris, for the purpose of exa
After waiting a little while, the arrival of M. Valleé, mining the methods there pursued for cultivating the the courteous and spirited instructor of the youths,
was announced. I was conducted by him to a spacious faculties and improving the habits of children of naturally. weak intellect. This visit I was lately able to per- room, in which were assembled about forty idiots. They form; and considering that what I saw may be usefully
were arranged along three sides of the room, and were standing still in a most orderly manner.
The majority made known in my own country, I beg leave to do so
of them appeared to be about twelve or fourteen years through the medium of the Edinburgh Journal.*
The principal establishment for the reception of idiot of age; a few seemed to be not more than seven or eight; children at Paris is the Bicêtre, a large hospital pleasantly and a still smaller number had perhaps reached their situated on a rising-ground a short way from town. Aware twentieth year. There were no indications of impatience, that the French begin their labours at an early hour, those disagreeable moaning whining sounds known to be
no involuntary movements, gesticulations, nor any of * This paper has been forwarded to us from a respectable quarter, common among this class of persons. All seemed attenand though referring to a subject already noticed in these pages tive, and ready to enter upon their exercises. I cast my consolatoriness to many an unhappy parent, induces us to give it eye around the room, with the view of ascertaining, from a place.-Ed. C. E. J.
external conformation, whether the young people standing
before me were truly congenital idiots. I recognised a yet he executed his part with marvellous accuracy, and few who had previously attracted my attention as having evidently with no small enjoyment to himself. all the characteristics of this class in a marked degree, interesting to observe the pleasure he manifested during, and most of the others presented similar indications, such and immediately after, the short and occasional beats az stinted growth, small and peculiarly-shaped head, and which constituted his part of the performance; and it was singular form and vacant expression of countenance. still more interesting to reflect on the consciousness he Satisfied that I saw before me a number of human beings had, by education, been made to feel, so as to be able to born with that species of imperfect organisation in which appreciate the singing of the others, and understand the the understanding does not become developed, I waited precise instant when his part required to be executed. with no small interest for the commencement of their The next musical lesson showed that instruction in this exercises.
department can be carried to a much higher degree of At the request of their kind master, two of the younger perfection than we could have supposed possible. The boys advanced from the line in which they were arranged, youths were arranged in three groups, each group taking and stood forward towards the centre of the room. Each a part of music different from the others, and each led by placed his arm over the shoulder of the other without any an assistant One or two songs were surprisingly well degree of awkwardness or unsteadiness, and they remained performed, the respective sections singing different notes thus for a short time, standing in an easy and graceful from the others, but all preserving the utmost harmony posture. At the sound of excellent music, played on and exactness of execution. several instruments by three or four old men, they began A large black board, on which were chalked, in large to dance; first performing a slow movement, and after characters, a gamut, and the notes of an air, was now wards a quicker step. During the whole dance, each brought into the room, and placed in a conspicuous situarested his arm embracingly on the shoulder of the other; tion, so that each pupil could readily stand before it. and it was pleasing to observe the grace and uniformity Arranged in this manner, the youths were desired first of their various movements, as well as the accurate time to read the several notes; this they did by pronouncing kept by both to the music. They ceased the instant the simultaneously, and with great distinctness, as the stick performers ceased to play, and then retired to the places of the tutor was pointed to the notes, la, sol, fa, &c. After from which they had advanced. During this time the thus reading the music in the natural voice, they were reothers remained standing in the same order as at first; quested to give to each note its musical tone. Accordingly, there were no signs of restlessness, and many even seemed as the wand was pointed to each note, they sang it. This to regard the dancers with attention and pleasure, whilst exercise began by first passing regularly up and down only a few retained that vacant expression peculiar to the gamut, and then they were led from one note to antheir class. There were, however, no moanings or gesti- other indiscriminately, showing a power of memory, and culations, but each stood by his neighbour, forming three immediate application of it, which I was little prepared lines at the end and sides of the room.
to expect. They then sang the air, the notes of which After the completion of this dance, the whole of the were chalked on the board. This, though more pleasing boys were desired to sing one of the songs which had been to the listener, did not, however, show an amount of composed for them. It was a very simple air-such as mental capability equal to that evinced by the sudden those sung by the classes of Hullah'in our own country, and unexpected transition from one note to another in and the words were well suited to their feeble compre- the previous exercise. hension. During this performance they were led by two During the latter performance I advanced forward asistants, who rendered important aid by singing with amongst them, so as to be able to observe more accuthem, beating time, and encouraging them in a lively and rately how far each youth took his portion, or whether spirited manner. A copy of the song was handed to me, some remained silent or not. This unfortunate step on 30 that I had an opportunity of noticing how far this my part disturbed their attention, and some irregularity congregation of idiots were capable of exercising the fa as well as discord was the consequence, but only for a culty of enunciation, The words were as distinctly, if short time. Aware that my presence amongst them had not more distinctly, pronounced than we usually find to unintentionally formed a cause of disturbance, I became be the case with us by singers, and it was truly gratifying sensible of my error, and was made conscious how slight to follow them, line by line, through this beautiful little a cause is sufficient to destroy the order and precision melody. It was sung with full force, but not over-loud; which has been created in these feeble and imperfect the time was well-kept; the pauses between each verse minds. distinct; and, as far as I could judge, the tune appeared This completed the musical exercises, which were gone correct. In short, the whole piece was executed in a through in a manner that would hare done credit to any style quite equal, if not superior, to what we are in the juvenile class of singers enjoying the full use of all habit of observing in the junior singing classes of Great their faculties. The songs were sung with much clearness Britain.
and great power. Indeed such was the force of sound It may readily be conceived that the novel spectacle produced, that whenever any of the musicians took up of so many unfortunate and hitherto-considered incapable their violins by way of an occasional accompaniment, the creatures harmoniously engaged in the execution of this instrumental music was completely drowned by that of simple but touching piece of music, was calculated to the united voices. The general effect was remarkably produce a new and lasting impression; and I shall not good, and such as would have met the approval of any easily forget the sensations which I experienced at the person ignorant that the performers were composed of a time when listening to the performance of it. Although class of imbeciles. The effect of music, at all times grateapparently an unmoved spectator, yet that strange mix ful, was in this instance exalted in a high degree by the ture of feeling arising from sympathy with affliction, and contemplation that it formed a powerful means of ex. rejoicing at its relief, was powerfully excited within me. citing faculties which otherwise might for ever have reEvery faculty of attention seemed 'roused into action; mained dormant. Its influence was manifest among this and I felt the full importance of devoting the little time assemblage of persons, formerly supposed to be incapable permitted me to observe, with the strictest accuracy, the of any amount of execution, still less of any capabidemonstration about to be made.
lity of appreciating it. It was evident, however, that In a little while one of the youths, with a drum slung not only did each join with full spirit in the general across his shoulders, advanced to the middle of the room, chorus, but also that an exhilarating effect was produced and placed himself in an attitude of readiness to take throughout the whole body, well calculated to quicken part in the next exercise. This consisted of a martial the feeble and scanty germs of intellectual power beair, sung by the boys, and accompanied at intervals by stowed on these forlorn creatures. Apart from this higher bent of drum. The drummer had every characteristic of consideration, the evident delight they all manifested & congenital idiot in a marked degree; and although he when engaged in singing their songs, was of itself very possessed only that imperfect power over his fingers pleasing to witness; and I could not avoid thinking, which rendered a secure hold of the drumsticks difficult, I that if it were to serve no other purpose than that of
illuminating, by a momentary consciousness of happi To what base uses hath it come at last! Who would ness, an existence otherwise dark, blank, and joyless, it think that there is still restoration for it in its present would be desirable to institute such exercises. In a future article will be given a description of the flung into the kennel? Who would dream that it was
disgrace-falling in tatters from a beggar's back, and various methods adopted to communicate to the pupils a knowledge of things and signs, of reading, writing, and still destined to return into the hands of its first miscalculating, as well as the mode of instruction pursued tress—that she would receive it with smiles of welcomto enable them to follow various mechanical employ- / ing--make it the dearest companion of her solitudements.
press it, perhaps, to her lips and bosom, and cover it
with kisses and tears? Yet this is the history of a sheet RAGS.
of writing-paper-of a metamorphosis as wild as Ovid THERE is lying in the kennel before the windows an
ever imagined. Nor is this allusion to letters made object without determinate form or colour, yet giving solely for the purpose of rendering the contrast more the idea that it once belonged to the wardrobe-perhaps striking; for it is this kind of paper we manufacture the under-clothing—of a human being. It bears the from our own rags, while we send abroad for the matepermanent stains of antiquity, only half visible through rials of our printing paper. those of accident; and is infinitely ragged, not so much
The rag before us will probably owe its preservation from violence, as from gradual decay. It is an object to an old woman who may be seen prowling about which a beggar would scorn pick up; and indeed mysteriously in the morning and evening twilight, and which a beggar, we have little doubt, has cast away. stuffing such matters into her apron, gathered round Yet will it serve us, who are less nice, for a text. In her waist. In Scotland, the old woman is usually proour eyes it is surrounded by a thousand proud and vided with a creel; but neither she nor her English beautiful, as well as abject and melancholy, associations; sister has much of a business-like air. They seem to and we pray the reader's forbearance for a few minutes be half ashamed of their employment, and give you the while we vindicate the dignity of rags.
idea of persons reduced by distress to some temporary This rag has a history. It has a past as well as a shift. In France, on the contrary, the chiffonier is proud present; and notwithstanding appearances, it is des of his profession. He is not unfrequently a young abletined for a glorious future. It is in all probability bodied man; and we have known some of them dandies (supposing it to be linen) of foreign origin; and in its of considerable pretensions, dressed habitually in clean condition of flax, once waved, perhaps, in the fields of white trousers. Some years ago—for we have long been Marienburg. But on this we shall not insist; for it partial to rags-we printed elsewhere the following nomight likewise be claimed by the whole of the Baltic tice of the Parisian chiffonier and his trade :provinces, and also by Belgium and Holland. Nay, it • The chiffonier has a basket strapped to his shoulders, is not impossible, after all, that it may be a native of and a sharp-pointed stick in his hands, with which he our own country; although here the cultivation of corn dexterously picks up his rags, and throws them with a has almost entirely superseded that of flax.
jerk behind his head. IIe has a fancy, too, for old However this may be, the flax in question received bones, old bits of iron, pieces of dirty paper, and broken the fabric of linen possibly in the north of Ireland-glass. Neither will he pass without some notice even more probably in Dundee; and was thence transferred a franc piece, if it should lie in his way. Some of these to the weary fingers of those needlewomen, the inade- professors are well off"; but in general they are supposed quacy of whose wages (caused by the superabundance to make at the most only eighteenpence a-day. Still, of labour in a kind of industry in which all women are this sum is produced, as it were, from nothing. One proficient) has latterly awakened so much generous would have thought it an easier matter to make gold sympathy and thoughtless indignation. It is now worn out of lead, than silver out of old rags ! It may be said by the fair and the wealthy, adding a lily-like freshness that a person who receives eighteenpence for running even to beauty itself. Perhaps it receives in its folds errands, makes his money also from nothing. But the the wearied limbs that have just returned from floating runner does no good to trade. His service produces through their first ball. Perhaps, after a time, it be nothing but the transference of coin, and leaves no comes the perquisite of the lady's-maid. This is an result that is felt in the business of the country. The unfortunate vicissitude ; for the lady’s-maid, on losing labour of the chiffonier, on the contrary, creates capital her situation (supposing it to be in London), has recourse out of refuse. The four thousand chiffoniers of Paris to the pawnbroker for a loan, and gives it as a hostage. collect 1200 francs' worth of rags in a day, which, on Once in his hands, it is always sure to get back into passing into the hands of the wholesale people, whose them again and again, till on some occasion the time employment it is to have them sorted and washed, give a fixed by law elapses, and it is sold at a public auction living to five hundred persons, and become worth 2400 of unredeemed pledges. The purchaser is the sale-francs. About the same quantity of rags is obtained shop' man, who exhibits it in his warehouse of mis- from the hospitals and other quarters ; and thus the cellaneous bargains ; where, after a time, it attracts the city of Paris, out of mere rubbish and refuse, produces attention of an economical cook, who thinks that, with a daily value of 4800 francs, or 1,752,000 francs in a plenty of bleaching and a little darning, it may do very year. The yearly amount for the whole kingdom of well till her next wages are due. After wearing and this singular trade is 7,480,000 francs; affording a washing it almost to tatters, the cook presents it, in a living at the rate of 500 francs (or twenty pounds) to fit of proud generosity, to the scullion; and she, when 14,960 persons. It would not be easy to ascertain corshe finds it impossible to make it hold longer together, rectly the statistics of the rag-collection in England, for bestows it in charity. It is now never washed; its with us it is not a distinct profession. In London the constitution is gone; its fabric moulders away; and at greater part of the gatherings are obtained by the rag length the beggar-woman, in a rage, tears off a rotting shops, distinguished by the sign of a black doll dressed dangling fragment from her dress and flings it into the in a white frock; and thither servants and others resort kennel. This is the rag on which we are now lec- with fragments of all sorts. Even economical families turing
of the lower middle rank save their rags for this traffic,
receiving for them a price which varies with the supply; as a substitute for feathers--if we should not rather say but may be quoted as averaging twopence a-pound. chaff—in their beds. These shops derive much assistance from the peddling Paper made from cotton is said to have been known merchants who go about from door to door, dealing in Greece so early as the ninth century, although the chiefly by barter. They exchange glass and earthen- Egyptian papyrus continued to be used, together with ware, and in other instances combs, mock jewellery, parchment, long after. Macpherson, in his Annals of and other small wares, for rags and refuse of all kinds, Commerce, mentions a specimen of linen-rag paper in such as dripping, &c. The Quakers are the most re- the year 1243, but others date the invention from the solute hoarders of all such matters, although they pro- beginning of the fourteenth century, England, however, bably dispose of them in another way; and we have was much behind in the art. The first paper-mill was frequently been reproved by these benevolent econo- established at Dartford by a German, jeweller to Queen mists for throwing into the fire a fragment of string or Elizabeth, in 1588. During the seventeenth century, paper, with the warning that we were wantonly destroy- England was indebted to France for the greater part of ing the food of the poor.
her supplies, and her first important efforts originated Much might be said upon the appearance of the rags in Frenchmen chased from their country by the madness of the various countries, and many curious analogies of Louis XIV. in 1685. The manufacture now began to might be traced; but, economically, the only difference improve in England; and in 1690 that of white paper, is, that those from the northern ports are stronger and hitherto almost untried, was added. During the last darker than those from the south. At one time, it was century considerable progress was made; but in 1800, important to the paper-maker that the rags should have when we were in the very thickest of the twenty years' as little dye in them as possible; but the powers of war, the scarcity of paper was so great, that the expechemistry render this no longer of consequence. With dient was first resorted to of discharging the ink from certain bleaching powders, the paper-maker will deterge what had been used, and remanufacturing it. This is the darkest tint, whether natural or artificial. The effected, in the case of printed paper, by subjecting the rags, therefore, which now command the highest price pulp to a caustic ley of lime and potash, while the writin the market are those of stout linen materials, of ten paper is treated in the same way with oil of vitriol. whatever hue; an old sack in this respect being prefer- Thus we see there is no end to the future of the wretched able to the finest cambric shirt. The United Kingdom rag on which we are lecturing! being altogether incapable of supplying the vast and For a long period paper-mills were conducted on increasing demand for rags of a superior kind, a large a meagre scale; the sheets of paper being made singly import takes place from Hamburg and other ports in by a manual operation with a sieve. Fourdrinier's northern Europe ; thither bales of rags centre from all splendid invention of the paper-making machine has parts of the interior for exportation; so that, in point of almost entirely superseded this ancient process, and now fact, the bulk of our paper is composed of the cast-off a single mill will turn out more paper in a week than apparel of the German peasantry-continental chemises, one of the old concerns could manufacture in a year. bodices, blouses, and other articles, transformed, under Thanks to Fourdrinier for his skilful adaptations ; for the magical hands of our paper-makers, into a fabric of to his machinery are the public in a great measure surpassing strength and beauty. Great, however, as is indebted for the vast supply of cheap and popular litethis rag trade, it falls very far short of what is required by rature they now enjoy. So expert have English and the exigencies of literature; and England, if permitted, Scotch papermakers become in the use of rags, that woald sweep to itself every rag in Europe. Like the Great Britain is no longer indebted to her neighmagician in Aladdin, we go about offering our new bours for paper, unless it be for some French hangings, wares for the old, filtlıy, wonderful lamp, which has which she still occasionally imports at the demand of
the property, when in skilful hands, of enlightening the fashion. Į darkest corners of the earth! But some there be who We have described the fortunes of cotton, linen, and
will not listen to our charming, charm we never so woollen rags, and it now only remains to say a few words wisely. Of such are the Dutch, Belgians, French, touching silk. The fragments of this costly fabric, one Spaniards, and Portuguese, who, in prohibiting the ex- might suppose, would be more valuable than those of port of their rags, of course inflict an injury on those commoner clothes; but the reverse is the case. Neither amongst them who would gladly exchange their disused the peddling barterers, nor the black dolls of London, garments for the well-told money of Old England. will look at your silk rags ; even the gentleman who
Deprived of such means of recruitment, our paper comes round with his donkey-cart, and traffics liberally makers have been driven to their wits' end to find ma- with your servants for bones, bits of metal of any kind, terials for their manufacture. Assisted by the deterging broken glass, &c. turns away from them with contempt. processes to which we have adverted, they now gather He will buy your old bones by the pound or the bushel, together and use substances which were formerly either and give you a good round price for them (perhaps as thrown away as worthless refuse, or used as manure. inuch as a penny a-pound), but he will not have the Thus the sweepings of cotton and flax-mills, thick as fragments of your once best dress even as a gift. they are with grease and dirt, have become materials The unhappy position of silk rags we look upon as for paper; and this circumstance, trifling as it appears, something very extraordinary, considering the value of has given that wonderful Manchester another great ma- the raw material on the one hand, and the progress of nufacture. Old ropes, damaged flax-anything, in short, chemical and mechanical science on the other. We however foul, can now be purified and bleached as white know that the Phænician women unravelled the Chinese as snow; and instead of throwing the materials in a silks, and multiplied them into fabrics of such loose heap, as formerly, to undergo a process of decay, they texture as gave great scope to the satirists. No atare merely cleared of the dust by one machine, and tempt, however, has been made in England, so far as then torn into millions of shreds by another, before we know, to revive this species of industry; althougla being subjected to the chemical treatment.
we have recently heard of a French projector who has Woollen rags are chiefly used as manure, especially conceived the idea of dissolving the silk into its original in the cultivation of hops; but some are mixed with glutinous substance, and spinning it silkworm-fashion new wool, and rewoven into cloth. The fabric, of course, This seems feasible enough; but by unravelling is not the stronger for this intermixture, but it looks existing rags, one would think that at least some coarse: very well ; and many a man who shudders at the idea but compact fabric might be produced which would be of a coat from Holywell Street or Rag Fair, arrays him- found useful in articles less dependant upon elegance self with complacency in the worn-out covering of a than a lady's gown. German peasant. The same material is also used in We have only one word to add, and it is on the scansome sorts of thick, but not tenacious, packing-paper, dalous impolicy of taxing the manufacture of rags on in felt, and in gun-wadding, and by the poorer classes their transformation into paper. At present, the excise
duty is three-halfpence per pound weight on the manu- enemy; while it is one which in some cases exhibits in factured article--a rate almost equal to cent. per cent. a singular light the mental faculties, if the expression can on the cost of the raw material. It is to be trusted be allowed, of the creatures to whom it has been given. that the press will not long maintain its unaccountable Imitativeness is a safeguard whose utility depends upon indifference on this subject.
a creature passing for what it is not, and being thus
overlooked by its foes. Imitativeness is either passive or NATURE AT WAR.
active. Either the colour, form, or aspect of the creature To him who is accustomed to contemplate nature as a
resembles some other natural object, or, by an effort of great scene, in which nothing but universal peace and its own, it is able closely to imitate the object for which it harmony prevail, it will be a startling assertion to make, wishes, so to speak, to be mistaken. Among insects we that all nature is at war. It is, however, not the less meet with many instances of passive Imitativeness : some true. Throughout all animated nature, from man him- of the spectre tribe, or Phasma, exactly resemble small self down to the meanest animalcule sporting in its ocean branches of trees, aping them in their appearance even of a drop of water, there runs a system of reciprocative to the very sprays, knots, and unevennesses on their defensive and offensive warfare--the stronger against the surface. Others appear like dried leaves-brown, arid, weaker, the greater against the less. Nor are we to re- and lifeless ; while others have delicate frames of lacegard the vegetable kingdom itself, ordinarily looked upon like texture, so closely approximating to the aspect of as so passive and inoffensive, as an exception to this rule: leaves whose parenchyma has been removed (such as we the stronger and more luxuriant weed is more than a find in ponds after they have undergone a long maceramatch for the delicately appetised flower, and it will tion), as to render it a matter of difficulty to decide eventually, though by a power of a negative character, upon their real nature until the creatures are seen in succeed in expelling its gentler rival from the field. But, motion. The Bombyx quercifolia, and some of the Leas a general rule, it is right to consider the vegetable pidoptera, come under this classification. When these world as ‘more sinned against than sinning;' and we con- creatures are seen on trees hanging down like withered sequently find that the powers with which it has been leaves, none but an entomologist would dream of their endowed are chiefly of the defensive kind. Still let me not being anything else. M. Lefevre mentions an insect he be misunderstood. It is not that I would intimate that a met with in the desert, which was of a perfectly identical real harmony does not characterise the operations of the colour with the brown sand; while a little farther on, Divine creative intelligence ; for such a harmony, as
where the soil was white, the insect assumed a silvery white wonderful as it is great, really exists, and is, in fact, appearance. Insects also often resemble pebbles, stones, the wise and beneficial result of this very circumstance gravel, &c. and can hardly be distinguished from them, -the war of nature. From the scenes of confusion, when resting among such objects, even by a very sharp anarchy, and mutual destruction, appearing such when scrutiny. Many too, such as the little green and yellowish separately regarded, springs that beautiful correlation insects which infest our flowers, especially rose-trees, are of organised beings known to the natural philosopher of a colour so precisely that of the green leaves or as the equilibrium of species, or the balance of creation. branches they are devouring, as in many cases to escape It is my purpose, on the present and upon a future occa- detection. When these tiny creatures change their sion, to enter into some consideration of the elements of abode, their colour generally changes to a corresponding this warfare, defensive and offensive. Some of those colour. Some resemble the mosses, bark, and even the striking evidences of a foregoing design, which find their flowers of trees and shrubs upon which they are found; wide development in creation at large, are to be found in and so nearly, that a leaf upon which one is resting may rich abundance in the discussion of this interesting sub- be taken into the hand, and yet the insect remain unject, and reveal to us, at every step, a fresh demonstra- perceived. Some which prey upon the ova, or produce of tion of the stupendous attributes of that creative Wisdom other insects, are so nearly like their victims in appearwhich, while it produces a universe, can stoop to organise ance, as even to be permitted to enter the nest, and aca humble insect, or to endow with form and functions a complish their predatory objects, without discovery; they still more insignificant animalcule.
are little wolves in sheep's clothing.' It is stated that If, in our first excursions into a foreign country, we bees, who have generally something to afford, are frewere to see the inhabitants going about carrying pistols quently subject to this species of deception. in their belts, and swords in their hands, or covered with We find also among the finny tribes the evidences of a some impenetrable armour, we should make the very similar provision. Those fish which swim low in the water natural conjecture that an intestinal warfare must be have their backs coloured to correspond with a deep-sea going on. The weapons of offence and defence imply hue; while those which, like the mackerel, swim near the an enemy and a warfare in themselves. When, there- surface, have their bellies of a lustrous white, so as to fore, we discover among the inhabitants of the animal be less distinguishable, by enemies swimming beneath kingdom an infinity of apparatus expressly contrived for them, from the bright sky above. Indeed the general attack and defence, we are led to draw a similar con- difference in colour of the back and belly of fish seems a clusion. Thus, from a brief review of the defences with provision against enemies from above and below. Those which the Creator has supplied his creatures, we shall fish which live among weeds, have the colour of the collect the fact, that there is a civil war going on through weed as their prevailing tint; while those which live at all grades of the animated and organised worlds. These the bottom, such as soles, flat-fish, &c. resemble the sand defences are of many kinds. Such as will admit of classi- or mud. Some fish, as well as frogs, change their colour fication will be treated of first, and afterwards those of a with that of the mud and weeds of the waters they inmiscellaneous nature. It will also be convenient to con- habit. sider the defensory provisions of the vegetable world, Birds, upon whose strength and swiftness of pinion though briefly, as distinct from those of the animal, depends their greatest security, are able likewise to avoid although in their general nature they are closely assi- their winged enemies by the strict correspondence of their milated.
plumage in colour with that of the brown fields, or the To commence. Imitativeness is one of the most curious withered branches and leaves, upon which they repose. and interesting of these means of defence against an | Who, in the boyish pursuit after the tiny wren, has not half