Зображення сторінки

the female, figure; but who does not, likewise, admire the proportion and polish of the bones, and the admirable contrivance of the joints of the bare skeleton? It was the contemplation of a skeleton which turned Galen from being an atheist into a worshipper of the Great Jehovah !

A few of our forest trees which are called deciduous' retain their foliage until late in the spring, especially when shooting from old stools in woods and copses, where they furnish a comfortable shelter for many of the small birds during the night, and a covert for the owl by day, as boys well know. The beech, and oak, are the most remarkable of this kind. The leaves of the common elm now strew the ground in profusion, and we trample over the rustling foliage without noticing any thing remarkable. Should we be led to observe these leaves, we shall find them marked with a dark spot, which is invariably attached to some of them, every autumn, more or less; by dissection under the microscope it forms a very pretty object, constituting one of the numerous race of FUNGI, arranging as sphæria xylomoides! Perhaps no part of organized creation exists for self alone, but constitutes a portion of one great union; the fine bearing and connection of each fibre may elude our discovery, but reason and conviction fill up the void. Every known animal yields support to some other being, either externally or internally ; .. the humble bee, the dorbeetle (scarabeus stercorarius), the vermes on fish, &c. are instances of the first; the intestinal worms in man, sheep, dogs, the cormorant, (pelicanus carbo), and many other animals of the latter: almost every plant gives support to another either in health or decay; and generally each genus affords something widely different from the other: the common laurel and ilex aquafolia have a very remarkable one attached to their leaves, when in a state of decay (spheria bifrons), unlike any other that we know of; and this spot upon the elm leaf,

though not so remarkable, presents its distinctive character as manifestly as in plants of more frequent and ready observation. These little notices engage our thoughts and employ our faculties, and the next transition perhaps

Fixes on the
Mind the impress deep of wisdom and of
Power, and lifts the grateful soul with joy,

With rapture, and with love. The Virginia-creeper (hedera quinque-folia) is particularly rich and beautiful in the autumnal months, with its leaves of every hue, from a bright to a dark green and deep crimson. .

That highly-esteemed fish the salmon now ascends rivers to deposit its spawn in their gravelly beds, at a great distance from their mouths.

The stock-dove (columba anas), one of the latest winter birds of passage, arrives from more northern regions, towards the end of this month. The females and young of the brown or Norway rat now leave their holes at the sides of ponds and rivers, to which they had betaken themselves in the spring, and repair to barns, out-houses, com-stacks, and dwellings. See T. T. for 1817, p. 338. Moles make their nests, in which they lodge during the winter, and which are ready for depositing their young in the spring. These are distinguished by being of a larger size than the common mole-hill, and are lined with dried grass, leaves, &c. .

The woodman now repairs to the woodlands to fell coppices, underwood, and timber. Some particulars of forest scenery, in this month, are noticed in T. T. for 1818, p. 297. :

The farmer usually finishes his ploughing this month. Cattle and horses are taken into the farmyard; sheep are sent to the turnip-field; ant-hills are destroyed; and bees are put under shelter.

The gardener sows peas and beans in a warm si

tuation for an early crop, if happily they may survive the frosts of winter.

Violent storms of wind are not uncommon in October and November; but the partial injury which they occasion is amply compensated by the benefits derived from them in purifying the atmosphere.

Amid the mighty clouds that move along,
The moaning winds of AUTUMN sing their song,
And shake the red leaves from the forest trees ;
And subterranean voices speak.

B. CORNWALL. The following lines afford a fine description of the effect of a storm on the aged tenants of the forest:

How would each sweeping pond'rous bough

Resist, when straight the whirlwind cleaves,
Dashing in strengthening eddies through

A roaring wilderness of leaves !
How would the prone descending show'r

From the green canopy rebound !
How would the lowland torrents pour!

How deep the pealing thunder sound! BLOOMFIELD."

In this war of the elements many a noble forester is stretched upon the ground; many a'gnarled' oak succumbs to the power of the mighty wind :-but removed and at length converted into one of Britain's best bulwarks, will yet

Mapy a conflict brave, ..
And many a dreadful storm defy;
Then, groaning o'er the adverse wave,

Bring home the flag of victory! .. BLOOMFIELD. Such is the effect of a storm on the forests in this temperate region; but how insignificant is this compared with the hurricane of America, the progress of which is so admirably described by her native bard, Mr. PAULSEN. Much as we affect to despise the literature of our transatlantic brethren, and unwilling as we are to allow them merit of any kind, the most prejudiced Englishman must, we think, on the peru

sal of the following lines, be convinced that the Americans possess at least one living POET.'

T'he forest roared, the everlasting oak
In writhing agonies the storm bespoke;
The live leaves scattered wildly every where,
Whirled round in madd’ning circles in the air;
The stoutest limbs were scattered all around,
The stoutest trees a stouter master found;
Crackling and crashing down they thuud'ring go,
And seem to crush the shrinking rocks below:
Then the thick rain in gathering torrents poured,
Higher the river rose, and louder roared,
And on its dark, quick eddying surface bore
The gathered spoils of earth along its shore;
While trees that not an hour before had stood
The lofty monarchs of the stately wood,
Now whirling round and round with furious course,
Dash'gainst the rocks that breast the torrent's force,
And shiver like a reed by urchin broke,
Through idle mischief, or with heedless stroke:
A hundred cataracts, unknown before,
Rush down the monntain's side with fearful roar,
And as with foaming fury down they go,
Loose the firm rocks and thunder them below;
Blue lightnings from the dark cloud's bosom sprung,
Like serpents, menacing with forked tongue;
While many a sturdy oak that stiffily braved
The threat'ning hurricane that round it raved,
Shivered beneath its bright, resistless flash,
Came tumbling down amairi, with fearful crash:
Air, earth, and skies, seemed now to try their pow'r,
And struggle for the mastery of the hour.


Remarkable Days


2.-ADVENT SUNDAY. THIS and the three subsequent Sundays which precede the grand festival of Christmas take their name from the Latin advenire, to come into; or from the word adventus, an approach.

The actual appearance of Christ forms an æra, whence flowed blessings of inconceivable magnitude. The dark and depraved condition of the world was almost irremediable: the poor heathen lay enveloped in clouds of ignorance and superstition; while the subjugated Jew bemoaned the degenerate state of his country.

But see! what sudden glories from the sky

To my beniglited soul appear,
And all the gloomy prospect cheer:

What awful form approaches nigh,
Awful, yet mild, as is the southern wind

That gently bids the forest nod:
Hark! thunder breaks the air, and angels speak,
Behold the Saviour of the World! Behold the Lamb of God!

Ye sons of men, behold his aspect meek,
The tear of pity on his cheek;
See in his train appear
Huniility and Patience sweet,

Repentance prostrate at his sacred feet,
Bedews with tears, and wipes them with his flowing bair.
No more repine, my coward soul,

The sorrows of mankind to share,
Which He who could the world control
Did not disdain to bear!

6.-SAINT NICHOLAS. Nicholas was Bishop of Mýra, in Lycia, and died about the year 392. He was of so charitable a disposition, that he portioned three young women, who were reduced in circumstances, by secretly conveying a sum of money into their father's house. The annual ceremony of the boy-bishop, once observed on this day, is described at length in T. T. for 1814, p. 306. Wells, in his Geography of the New Testament (vol. ii, p. 290), speaking of Myra, says, *Saint Nicholas, one of the bishops hereof in the primitive times, is said to have been a great patron of scholars: his festival, annually holden on the sixth of December, is celebrated in the church of Rome with several pastimes, and still in some

« НазадПродовжити »