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over, a face red enough to lead one to suppose be had in the trundle-bed, which was drawn as near to the fire made his money as a dealer in claret; but, in truth, one as possible; and every spare article of clothing that the of the kindest of men, in spite of a little quickness of house afforded was thrown over them, in the vain attemper. He is profoundly versed in the art and mys tempt to warm their shivering frames. “Stop your tery of store keeping, and as profoundly ignorant of all whimperin', can't ye!” said Ashburn, as he hewed away that must sooner or later be learned by every resident with hatchet and jack-knife; “ you'll be hot enough beand owner of the western country.
fore long." And when the fever came, his words were Thus much being premised, we shall hardly wonder more than verified. that our good old friend felt exceedingly aggrieved at Two nights had passed before the preparations were meeting Silas Ashburn and the “ lang-legged chiel Joe, completed. Ashburn and such of his boys as could work, (who has grown longer with every shake of ague,) on the had laboured indefatigably at the troughs, and Mrs Ashway from his tract instead of to it.
burn had thrown away the milk, and the few other stores What in the world's the matter now!" began Mr which cumbered her small supply of household utensils, Keene, rather testily. “ Are you never going to begin to free as many as possible for the grand occasion. This that work?"
third day had been “ well day" to most of the invalids, “I don't know but I shall," was the cool reply of and after the moon had risen to light then through the Ashburn; "I can't begin it to-day, though."
dense wood, the family set off in high spirits, on their “ And why not, pray, when I've been so long wait long dewy walk. They had passed the causeway, and
were turning from the highway into the skirts of the fo« Because I've got something else that must be done rest, when they were accosted by a stranger, a young first. You don't think your work is all the work there man in a hunter's dress, evidently a traveller, and one is in the world, do you?"
who knew nothing of the place or its inbabitants, as Mr Mr Keene was almost too angry to reply, but he made Ashburn ascertained, to his entire satisfaction, by the an effort to say, “ When am I to expect you, then?" usual number of queries. The stranger, a handsome
“Why, I guess we'll come on in a day or two, and youth of one or two and twenty, bad that frank joyous then I'll bring both the boys."
air which takes so well with us Wolverines; and after So saying, and not dreaming of having been guilty of he had fully satisfied our bee-hunter's curiosity, he seeman incivility, Mr Ashburn passed on, intent only on his ed disposed to ask some questions in his turn. One of bee-tree,
the first of these related to the moving cause of the proMr Keene could not help looking after the ragged pair cession and their voluminous display of containers. for a moment, and he muttered angrily as he turned “ Why, we're goin' straight to a bee-tree that I lit away, " Aye! pride and beggary go together in this con upon two or three days ago, and if you've a mind to, you founded new country! You feel very independent, no may go 'long, and welcome. It's a real peeler, 1 tell ye! doubt, but I'll try if I can't find somebody that wants There's a hundred and fifty weight of honey in it, if money.”
there's a pound.” And Mr Keene's pony, as if sympathizing with his The young traveller waited no second invitation. His master's vexation, started off at a sharp passionate trot, light knapsack was but small incumbrance, and he took which he has learned, no doubt, under the habitual in upon himself the weight of several troughs, that seemed Auence of the spicy temper of his rider.
too heavy for the weaker members of the expedition. To find labourers who wanted money, or who would They walked on at a rapid and steady pace for a good own that they wanted it, was at that time no easy task. half hour, over paths which were none of the smoothest, Our poorer neighbours have been so little accustomed to J and only here and there lighted by the moonbeams. The value household comforts, that the opportunity to obtain mother and children were but ill fitted for the exertion, them presents but feeble incitement to that continuous but Aladdin, on his midnight way to the wondrous vault industry which is usually expected of one who works in of treasure, would as suon have thought of complaining the employ of another. However, it happened in this of fatigue. case that Mr Keene's star was in the ascendant, and the Who then shall describe the astonishment, the almost woods resounded, ere long, under the sturdy strokes of breathless rage of Silas Ashburn,--the bitter disappointseveral choppers.
ment of the rest, when they found, instead of the beeThe Ashburns, in the meantime, set themselves busily tree, a great gap in the dense forest, and the bright moon at work to make due preparations for the expedition shining on the shattered fragments of the immense oak which they had planned for the following night. They that had contained their prize! The poor children, faintfelt, as does every one who finds a bee-tree in this re ing with toil now that the stimulus was gone, threw themgion, that the prize was their own—that nobody else had selves on the ground; and Mrs Ashburn, seating her the slightest claim to its rich stores; yet the gathering wasted form on a huge branch, burst into tears. in of the spoils was to be performed, according to the in “It's all one!” exclaimed Ashburn, when at length variable custom where the country is much settled, in he could find words; “it's all alike! this is just my luck! the silence of night, and with every precaution of secre It ain't none of my neighbour's, work, though! They cy. This seems inconsistent, yet such is the fact
know better than to be so mean! It's the rich! Thein The remainder of the “ lucky" day and the whole of that begrudges the poor man the breath of life!" And the succeeding one, passed in scooping troughs for the he cursed bitterly and with clenched teeth, whoever had reception of the honey—tedious work at best, but unusu robbed him of his right. ally so in this instance, because several of the family “Don't cry, Betsey," he continued; "let's go home. were prostrate with the ague. Ashburn's anxiety lest I'll find out who has done this, and I'll let 'em know some of his customar; bad luck should intervene between there's law for the poor man as well as the rich. Come discovery and possession, made him more impatient and along, young 'uns, and stop your blubberin', and let harsh than usual; and the interior of that comfortless them splinters alone!" The poor little things were trycabin would have presented to a chance visitor, who ing to gather up some of the fragments to which the knew not of the golden hopes which cheered its inmates, honey still adhered, but their father was too angry to be an aspect of unmitigat?d wretchedness. Mrs Ashburn kind. sat almost in the fire, with a tattered hood on her head " Was the tree on your own land?” now inquired the and the relics of a bed-quilt wrapped about her person; young stranger, who had stood by in sympathizing siwhile the emaciated limbs of the baby on her lap,—twolence during this scene. years old, yet unweaned,-seemed almost to reach the “No! but that don't make any difference. The man floor, so preternaturally were they lengthened by the that found it first, and marked it, had a right to it afure stretches of a four months ague. Two of the boys lay | the President of the United States, and that I'll let 'em
know, if it costs me my farm. It's on old Keene's land; ! among birds and flowers as a poet or a Peri; and not and I shouldn't wonder if the old miser had done it Ariel himself, (of whom I dare say she had never heard,) himself, but I'll let him know what's the law in Michi accomplished with more grace his gentle spiriting. After
all was “ performed to point," when no dahlia remain“Mr Keene a miser!" exclaimed the young stranger, ed unsupported, --no cluster of many-hued asters withrather hastily.
out its neat hoop,--when no intrusive weed could be “Why, what do you know about him?"
discerned, even through Mr Keene's spectacles,--Claris. “O! nothing that is, nothing very particular-but sa took the opportunity to ask if she might take the I have heard him well spoken of. What I was going to pony for a ride. say was, that I fear you will not find the law able to do “To see those poor Ashburns, uncle." any thing for you. If the tree was on another person's 6 They're a lazy, impudent set, Clary." property- "
“ But they are all sick, uncle; almost every one of “Property! that's just so much as you know about the family down with ague. Do let me go and carry it!" replied Ashburn, angrily. "I tell ye I know the them something. I hear they are completely destitute law well enough, and I know the honey was mine--and of comforts." old Keene shall know it too, if he's the man that stole * And so they ought to be, my dear," said Mr Keene,
who could not forget what he considered Ashburn's inThe stranger politely forbore further reply, and the pertinence. whole party walked on in sad silence till they reached But his habitual kindness prevailed, and he concluded the village road, when the young stranger left them his remonstrance (after giving voice to some few rewith a kindly “good night!”
marks which would not have gratified the Ashburns It was soon after an early breakfast on the morning particularly,) by saddling the pony himself, arranging which succeeded poor Ashburn's disappointment, that Clarissa's riding-dress with all the assiduity of a gallant Mr Keene, attended by his lovely orphan neice, Clarissa cavalier, and giving into her hand, with her neat silver. Bensley, was engaged in his little court-yard, tending mounted whip, a little basket, well crammed by his with paternal care the brilliant array of autumnal | wife's kind care with delicacies for the invalids. No flowers which graced its narrow limits. Beds in size wonder that he looked after her with pride as she rode and shape nearly resembling patty-pans, were filled to off! There are few prettier girls than the bright-eyed overflowing with dahlias, china-asters and marigolds, Clarissa. while the walks which surrounded them, daily “ swept When the pony reached the log-causeway,-just with a woman's neatness," set off to the best advantage where the thick copse of witch-hazel skirts Mr Ashthese resplendent children of Flora. A vine-hung burn's moist domain, --some unexpected occurrence is porch, that opened upon the miniature Paradise, was said to have startled, not the sober pony, but his very lined with bird-cages of all sizes, and on a yard-square sensitive rider; and it has been asserted that the pony grass-plot stood the tin cage of a squirrel, almost too fat stirred not from the said hazel screen for a longer time to be lively.
than it would take to count a hundred, very deliberateMr Keene was childless, and consoled himself as ly. What faith is to be attached to this rumour, the childless people are apt to do if they are wise, by taking historian ventures not to determine. It may be relied into favour, in addition to his destitute neice, as many on as a fact, however, that a strong arm led the pony troublesome pets as he could procure. His wife, less over the slippery corduroy, but no further; for Clarissa philosophical, expended her superfluous energies upon a Bensley cantered alone up the green slope which leads multiplication of household cares which her ingenuity to Mr Ashburn's door. alone could have devised within a domain like a nut “ How are you this morning, Mrs Ashburn?" asked shell. Such rubbing and polishing--such arranging the young visitant as she entered the wretched den, her and re-arranging of useless nick-nacks, had never yet little basket on her arm, her sweet face all flushed, and been known in these utilitarian regions. And, what her eyes more than half suffused with tears,—the effect seemed amusing enough, Mrs Keene, whose time passed of the keen morning wind, we suppose. in laborious nothings, often reproved her lawful lord “ Law sakes alive!" was the reply, “I ain't no how. very sharply for wasting his precious hours upon birds I'm clear tuckered out with these young 'uns. They've and flowers, squirrels and guinea-pigs, to say nothing of | had the agur already this morning, and they're as cross the turkeys and the magnificent peacock, which scream as bear-cubs." ed at least half of every night, so that his master was “Ma!” screamed one, as if in confirmation of the fain to lock him up in an outhouse, for fear the neigh maternal remark, “I want some tea!" bours should kill him in revenge for the murder of their “ Tea! I ha’n't got no tea, and you know that well sleep. These forms of solace Mrs Keene often condemned as “really ridic'lous," yet she cleaned the bird “Well, give me a piece o' sweetcake then, and a cages with indefatigable punctuality, and seemed never
piekle." happier than when polishing with anxious care the bars “The sweetcake was gone long ago, and I ha'n't noof the squirrel's tread-mill. But there was one never thing to make more-so shut your head!" And as dying subject of debate between this worthy couple, - Clarissa whispered to the poor pallid child that she the company and services of the fair Clarissa, who was would bring him some if he would be a good boy and equally the darling of both, and superlatively useful in not tease his mother, Mrs Asburn produced, from a every department which claimed the attention of either. barrel of similar delicacies, a yellow cucumber, someHow the maiden, light-footed as she was, ever contrived thing less than a foot long, “ pickled,” in whiskey and to satisfy both uncle and aunt, seemed really mysteri water—and this the child began devouring eagerly. ous. “ It was, Mr Keene, don't keep Clary wasting her Miss Bensley now set out upon the table the varied time there when I've so much to do!"-or, on the other contents of her basket. “This honey," she said, show. hand, “ My dear! do send Clary out to help me a little! ing some as limpid as water, “ was found a day or two I'm sure she's been stewing there long enough!" And ago in uncle's woods-wild honey-isn't it beautiful?" Clary, though she could not perhaps be in two places at Mrs Ashburn fixed her eyes on it without speaking, once, certainly accomplished as much as if she could. but her husband, who just then came in, did not com
On the morning of which we speak, the young lady, mand himself so far. “Where did you say you got having risen very early, and brushed and polished to that honey?" he asked. her aunt's content, was now busily engaged in perform “ In our woods," repeated Clarissa; “I never saw ing the various behests of her upele, a service much such quantities; and a good deal of it as clear and beaumore to her taste. She was as completely at home I tiful as this."
" I thought as much!” said Ashburn angrily; "and | “You need not attempt," solemnly began Mr Keene, now, Clary Bensley," he added, “ you'll just take that “ you need not think to make me believe, that you are cursed honey back to your uncle, and tell him to keep | not the man that set my house on fire. I know your it, and eat it, and I hope it will choke him! and if I live, revengeful temper; I have heard of your threats, and I'll make him rue the day he ever touched it.”
you shall answer for all, sir! before you're a day Miss Bensley gazed on him, lost in astonishment. older!" She could think of nothing but that he must have gone Ashburn seemed struck dumb, between his involunsuddenly mad, and this idea made her instinctively has tary respect for Mr Keene's age and character, and the ten her steps toward the pony.
contemptuous anger with which his accusations filled “ Well! if you won't take it, I'll send it after ye," him. “ Well! I swan!” said he after a pause; “but cried Ashburn, who had lashed himself into a rage; and here comes Clary; she's got common sense; ask her how he hurled the little jar, with all the force of his power the fire happened.” ful arm, far down the path by which Clarissa was about “ It's all over now, uncle," she exclaimed, almost to depart, while his poor wife tried to restrain him with | breathless; " it has not done so very much damage.” a piteous “ Oh, father! don't! don't!"
“ Damage!” said Mrs Keene, dolefully; “ we shall Then, recollecting himself a little,- for he is far from never get things clean again while the world stands!” being habitually brutal, he made an awkward apology “ And where are my birds?" inquired the old gentleto the frightened girl.
man, “I ha'n't nothing agin you, Miss Bensley; you've al “All safe-quite safe; we moved them into the parways been kind to me and mine; but that old devil of | lour." an uncle of yours, that can't bear to let a poor man live, « We! who, pray?" -I'll larn him who he's got to deal with! Tell him to “Oh! the neighbours came, you know, uncle; and look out, for he'll have reason!”
Mr AshburnHe held the pony while Clarissa mounted, as if to “Give the devil his due," interposed Ashburn; “ you atone for his rudeness to herself; but he ceased not to know very well that the whole concern would have gone repeat his denunciations against Mr Keene as long as | if it hadn't been for that young feller.” she was within hearing. As she paced over the logs, “ What young fellow? where?” Ashburn, his rage much cooled by this ebullition, stood “ Why here,” said Silas, pulling forward our young looking after her.
stranger; “ this here chap." "I swan!” he exclaimed; “ if there ain't that very “ Young man,” began Mr Keene, but at the mofeller that went with us to the bee-tree, leading Clary ment, up came somebody with a light, and while Clarissa Bensley's horse over the cross-way!"
retreated behind Mr Ashburn, the stranger was recogWe have seen that Mr Keene's nerves had received nised by her aunt and uncle as Charles Darwin. a terrible shock on this fated evening, and it is certain “ Charles! what on earth brought you here?" that for a man of sober imagination, his dreams were “ Ask Clary,” said Ashburn, with grim jocoseness. terrific. He saw Ashburn, covered from crown to sole Mr Keene turned mechanically to obey, but Clarissa with a buzzing sbroud of bees, trampling on his flower- had disappeared. beds, tearing up his honey-suckles root and branch, and “ Well! I guess I can tell you something about it, if letting his canaries and Java sparrows out of their nobody else won't,” said Ashburn; “ I'm something of a cages; and, as his eyes recoiled from this horrible Yankee, and it's my notion that there was some sparkscene, they encountered the shambling form of Joe, in' a goin' on in your kitchen, and that somehow or who, besides aiding and abetting in these enormities, other the young folks managed to set it a-fire." was making awful strides, axe in hand, toward the sanc The old folks looked more puzzled than ever. “ Do tuary of the pea-fowls.
speak, Charles," said Mr Keene; “ what does it all mean? He awoke with a cry of horror, and found his bed Did you set my house on fire?” room full of smoke. Starting up in agonized alarm, he “I'm afraid I must have had some hand in it, sir," awoke Mrs Keene, and half-dressed, by the red light said Charles, whose self-possession seemed quite to have which glimmered around them, they rushed together to deserted him. Clarissa's chamber. It was empty. To find the stairs “ You!” exclaimed Mr Keene;" and I've been laying was the next thought, but at the very top they met the it to this man!" dreaded bee-finder armed with a prodigious club!
“ Yes! you know'd I owed you a spite, on account o' “Oh mercy! don't murder us!" sbrieked Mrs Keene, i that plaguy bee-tree,” said Ashburn; "a guilty confalling on her knees; while her husband, whose capsi- | science needs no accuser. But you was much mistaken cum was completely roused, began pummelling Ashburn if you thought I was sich a bloody-minded villain as to as high as he could reach, bestowing on him at the burn your gimcrackery for that! If I could have paid same time, in no very choice terms, his candid opinion you for it, fair and even, I'd ha' done it with all my as to the propriety of setting people's houses on fire, by heart and soul. But I don't set men's houses a-fire way of revenge.
when I get mad at 'em.” " Why, you're both as crazy as loons!” was Mr Ash
“But you threatened vengeance," said Mr Keene. burn's polite exclamation, as he held off Mr Keene at “ So I did, but that was when I expected to get it by arm's length. “I was comin' up o' purpose to tell you | law, though; and this here young man knows that, if that you needn't be frightened. It's only the ruff o' | he'd only speak.” the shanty there,—the kitchen, as you call it."
Thus adjured, Charles did speak, and so much to the “And what have you done with Clarissa?"_“Ay! purpose, that it did not take many minutes to convince where's my niece?" cried the distracted pair.
Mr Keene that Ashburn's evil-mindedness was bounded " Where is she? why, down stairs to be sure, takin' by the limits of the law, that precious privilege of the care o' the traps they throw'd out 'o the shanty. I was Wolverine. But there was still the mystery of Charles's out a 'coon-hunting, and see the light, but I was so far apparition, and in order to its full unravelment, the off that they'd got it pretty well down before I got here. blushing Clarissa had to be enticed from her hidingThat 'ere young spark o' Clary's worked like a beaver, place, and brought to confession. And then it was I tell ye!"
made clear that she, with all her innocent looks, was the It must not be supposed that one half of Ashburn's moving cause of the mighty mischief. She it was who hasty explanation“ penetrated the interior" of his hear encouraged Charles to believe that her uncle's anger ers' heads. They took in the idea of Clary's safety, but would not last for ever; and this had led Charles to venas for the rest, they concluded it only an effort to mys ture into the neighbourhood; and it was while consulting tify them as to the real cause of the disaster.
together, (on this particular point, of course,) that they managed to set the kitchen curtain on fire, and thenthe reader knows the rest.
These things occupied some time in explaining,but they were at length, by the aid of words and more eloquent blushes, made so clear, that Mr Keene concluded, not only to new roof the kitchen, but to add a very pretty wing to one side of the house. And at the present time, the steps of Charles Darwin, when he returns from a surveying tour, seek the little gate as naturally as if he had never lived any where else. And the sweet face of Clarissa is always there, ready to welcome him, though she still finds plenty of time to keep in order the complicated affairs of both uncle and aunt.
And how goes life with our friends the Ashburns! Mr Keene has done his very best to atone for his injurious estimate of Wolverine honour, by giving constant
employment to Ashburn and his sons, and owning himself always the obliged party, without which concession all he could do would avail nothing. And Mrs Keene and Clarissa have been unwearied in their kind attentions to the family, supplying them with so many comforts that most of them have got rid of the ague, in spite of themselves. The house has assumed so cheerful an appearance that I could scarcely recognise it for the same squalid den it had often made my heart ache to look upon. As I was returning from my last visit there, I encountered Mr Ashburn, and remarked to him how very comfortable they seemed.
“ Yes," he replied; “ I've bad pretty good luck lately; but I'm a goin' to pull up stakes and move to Wisconsin. I think I can do better, further west."
STUDIES FOR THE YOUNG NATURALIST.-No. I. If we could suppose a human being, in the full posses. | the true standard of taste is always to be found; for she sion of all his faculties, and in the maturity of his judg. is perfect and invariable. ment, led to an eminence, and for the first time made The very sight of the fair face of nature is sufficient to behold the earth and the sky, the waving trees, spark- to gladden the heart. Her mild influence imparts a joy ling waters, green meadows, and the happy sporting of to the careworn and the afflicted. The revellers and the birds and animals, what would be his expressions of toiling plodders of the vast city gaze with an inexpreswonder, delight, and admiration! It is by gradually be. sible pleasure when her animated beauties are spread coming acquainted with the different objects before and out before them. The emaciated being who has pined around us, and more particularly by the effect of long on the bed of sickness, drinks in with delight the first custom in blunting and deadening our curiosity, that the draught of the fresh air, and exults at the first vision of mass of men look with so little interest on a world teem green fields; and the wretch who has passed his dark ing with the most beautiful and wonderful productions, and solitary years in the gloom of a dungeon, has been or direct so small a share of their attention to a series known to weep tears of indescribable emotion as he gazof the most singular operations and changes daily and ed once more upon the sun and sky. hourly passing before them.
Nature, then, has charms even for the most uninitiated. Natural science embraces a wide field of human spe The green fields and the waving woods, the playful culation. All that we see around us, both in the air and motions of happy animals,-the wheeling flights of birds, on the earth, every substance, both animate and inani the buoyant air filled with innumerable insects on glittermate, with the properties peculiar to each, and the laws ing wing,—the fleeces of white clouds rolling their fan. which regulate them, come under the consideration of tastic lengths along the blue sky,—are all capable of imthe naturalist.
parting a simple pleasure to the mind. But a knowledge To form a general view of the science, he must first of the various operations of nature is calculated to heightbegin with investigating the relation which the earth en this pleasure of contemplation in a tenfold degree, bears to the planets and other heavenly bodies; then in. and enables one to perceive delicate beauties and nice vestigate the nature of the air or atmosphere which sur adaptations, before unheeded or unthought of. A philorounds the globe; its various states and conditions, giv sophical poet, Akenside, has very beautifully remarked, ing rise to winds, hurricanes, meteors, thunder-storms, that the sight of the rainbow never gave him so much rain, snow, hail, &c.
pleasure as when he first was able to understand the The next object of inquiry is the formation of the principles on which it was formed, when he viewed it earth itself; the various substances of which it is com not only as the “arch sublime” spanning the heavens, posed,-solids, fluids, metals, salts, and their infinite but as a curious and beautiful illustration of the rays of combinations; then comes the vegetable world; and last | light, decomposed into their various constituent colours, and highest of all, the wonderful mechanism of the ani by the natural prism of the globes of rain from the dropmated creation. In such a wide field of inquiry, it is
In such a wide field of inquiry, it is ping cloud. The landscape-painter looks with additionnot to be wondered at that ages on ages have elapsed, al delight on a beautiful scene, because he can enter into and yet but very limited and imperfect glimpses have the perception of the mellowing of tints, the disposition been obtained of many phenomena. The prosecution of of light and shade, and the receding perspective of the even one department is sufficient to occupy the attention of a lifetime; and it is only by the combined and accu The appearance of the silky-like haze rising from the mulated knowledge of numerous successive observers, ocean, floating about on the surface of the deep, and that the general science has arrived at its present ad hence ascending in clouds of various shapes and hues, vancement.
and sailing along the sky, and lighted up or darkened as The study of nature has in all ages attracted the at they pass and repass the sun, is a sight of beauty and tention of mankind. It is a highly interesting one, and, splendour calculated to please and amuse the eye; but unlike many other human speculations, leaves no dis when we know that this appearance from the deep is a agreeable impression on the mind; like the perception species of distillation going on, that a portion of the of odours or sweet strains of music, it delights and ex pure water of the ocean is taken up by the atmosphere, hilarates without causing subsequent depression or per carried along by the winds, and descends upon the face turbation. Political discussions are often apt to inflame of the soil in refreshing showers, giving life and sustenthe passions and pervert the judgment,-religion, when ance to the animal and vegetable world,- to our feelings it leaves the pure and primitive path, becomes intolerant of pleasure are superadded those of wonder, delight, and and dogmatic,-the caprices and incongruities of fashion gratitude. are proverbial,--and the imagination itself, that sublime It is the same with the botanist, the mineralogist, and and etherial attribute, often clouds and obscures the the investigator of animal life. A tree is perhaps one mind, instead of irradiating; but when we turn to na- | of the most beautiful objects in nature; the massive ture, there all is simplicity, beauty, and harmony,—there | strength of the trunk, the graceful tortuosity of the branches, and the beautiful and variegated green of the themselves into clouds whenever it passes. Some of leaves, are all so many sources of pleasure to the be- these clouds appear like white fringes at the skirts of the holder. But when we think on the series of fibres and thunder-cloud; but these keep continually growing darker tubes by which this tree for ages perhaps has drawn and darker as they approach or unite with it. nourishment from the earth, and by a process of assimi | When the thunder-cloud is grown to a great size, its lation added circle after circle of woody matter round lower surface is often ragged, particular parts being dethe original stem, till it has acquired its present enor tached towards the earth, but still connected with the mous bulk,—when we reflect on the curious mechanism rest. Sometimes the lower surface swells into various of the leaves, by which, like the lungs of an animal, they large protuberances, bending uniformoly towards the decompose the air of the atmosphere, selecting through earth. When the eye is under the thunder-cloud, after the day what part of it is fit to enter into the composi. it is grown larger and well-formed, it is seen to sink tion of the tree, and giving out at night a different spe lower, and to darken prodigiously, at the same time that cies of air,- when we think of the sap passing up the a number of accessary clouds (the origin of which can small series of tubes during summer, and these tubes never be perceived) are seen in a rapid motion driving again remaining dormant and inactive throughout the about in very uncertain directions under it. While long winter,-these reflections awaken a train of ideas these clouds are agitated with the most rapid motions, in the mind more lasting and more intense than even the rain generally falls in the greatest plenty; and if the the first vivid impressions of simple beauty.
agitation is exceedingly great, it commonly hails. While The untutored imagination may have a vague plea the thunder-cloud is swelling and extending its branches sure from the contemplation of meteors and tornadoes, over a large tract of country, the lightning is seen to of flaming comets or darkening eclipses, as the fore dart from one part of it to another, and often to illuminboders of important events, or the precursors of national ate its whole mass. When the cloud has acquired a calamities, the wild savage may listen to the hollow sufficient extent, the lightning strikes between the cloud voice of the coming storm, the shrieking spirit from the and the earth in two opposite places, the path of the njountain, his good or evil genius, or the strange cries lightning lying through the whole body of the cloud and of unknown birds and animals, with an excited awe and its branches. Immense volumes of vivid flame, either delirious tremour, but to the enlightened inquirer into in huge balls, which instantaneously expand, or in forknature, there are pleasures no less intense, and grounded ed streams, which dart suddenly forth, continue to be on a more rational, permanent, and ennobling basis. His discharged at short intervals, aecompanied by a loud readmiration is no less great as he looks on the vast and port. The longer this lightning continues, the rarer the striking revolutions of the heavenly bodies, and the im. cloud grows, and the less dark is its appearance, till at posing phenomena by which they are accompanied, be last it breaks up in different places, a clear sky is discause he scans the laws by which they are upheld and played, and the purified atmosphere being set at rest, regulated; and when he turns to the worlds of animated Nature resumes her wonted serenity. existence, descending to the minutest points, he has a field opened to his view of accurate adaptation, and most
PROGNOSTICATIONS OF THE WEATHER, curious and elaborate construction, the investigation of There are some good rustic proverbs and maxims, the which is calculated to excite the highest feelings of ad result of experience, which an attention to the influence miration.
of the winds, &c. will serve to explain. One is, “ A Instead, therefore, of being filled, like the wild gazing rainbow in the morning is the shepherd's warning, a savage, with perturbed notions of the power, and wrath, rainbow at night is the shepherd's delight." Now it is and caprice of an unseen unknown divinity, the patient obvious, that, in a country with the ocean to the west, inquirer into nature will find displayed before bim a nine-tenths of the rain will come from that side. If, beautiful system of order, regularity, and mutual har therefore, the clouds to the west are in the morning mony, the consummate arrangement of an all-powerful, saturated with moisture, so as to produce a rainbow, benignant, and merciful God.
since with a westerly wind they will be impelled towards THE THUNDER-STORM.
the east, they will in all probability in their course over
the adjacent country produce rain; whereas, when the This generally occurs in the summer months, dur rainbow appears in the evening, that is, in the east, the ing a still and sultry state of the atmosphere. The clouds which would produce it are past, and the prog. day is perhaps one of the hottest and most oppressive nostic is consequently in favour of fair weather. of summer,-all nature appears sick and languish Another of these observations is, that when it rains ing, -at first there is scarcely a cloud in the sky, with an east wind it will probably rain for tw the sun shines out with unrelenting fervour,-man feels hours. This remark is also applicable to countries siturestless and uncomfortable,-and the birds of the air ated in the same manner, In general, in such countries and animals of the field, as if they anticipated what was the east wind is dry; but when it meels with an opposto follow, seem restless and agitated. From a particular ing south current charged with moisture, then the rain part of the heavens a dark pitchy cloud is now seen | will endure for a long time. slowly rising,--it rolls along in several black masses, and A very common remark also is, “ that the weather then suddenly mounts up into the higher regions of the generally clears at noon; but if it rains at mid-day, it air. The lower surface is black, ragged, and uneven; seldom clears up till sun-set.” As the sun advancesptobut the upper is in the form of an immense arch. wards the meridian, it is plain that the heat will raise Several of these clouds seem frequently piled one upon the vapours higher in the atmosphere, and consequently another, all arched in the same manner; but they keep clear the lower regions of superfluous moisture; but if continually uniting, swelling, and extending their arches. there should happen to be so much moisture in the at
At the time of the rising of this cloud, the atmosphere mosphere, that the sun is not able to produce this effect, is generally full of a great number of separate clouds, (which is shown by the fall of rain at noon,) it will promotionless and of odd and whimsical shapes. All these, bably continue for some hours. upon the appearance of the thunder-cloud, draw towards When the wind follows the course of the sun, there is it, and become more uniform in their shapes as they ap- generally fair weather. This regular current of wind proach, till, coming very near the thunder-cloud, their evinces that there is no point where the atmosphere is limbs mutually stretch towards each other, they imme- particularly rarefied; and the equal diffusion of heat, and diately coalesce, and together make one uniform mass. the balance in all points being in a manner preserved, But sometimes the thunder cloud will swell and increase there will rarely be a fall of moisture. very fast without the conjunction of any of these acces- A whistling or howling wind has generally been ac. sary clouds, the vapours of the atmosphere forming | counted a prognostic of rain.