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published by the same house, and resemble Mr. Houghton's book in size and holiday-dress. They are, however, suited to more advanced students of Nature, and take higher ground; and the circumstance that both have passed through a third edition is a sufficient proof of the popularity of the clever author's treatment of her subjects, and of the estimation in which her works are held. The preface to the Telescope thus simply elucidates the purpose of the volume—" To suggest to those who can admire and wonder at the splendour of the firmament, how much they can improve their view of star or planet by examining them with the help of a small telescope to relate a few discoveries of the learned in language which the unlearned can understand to show how
the stars appear in their season, coming back year after year in their appointed time, while the stately planets move in their solemn paths, changing their places gradually among the unchanging stars, as they have done before our time and will do when we have passsed away." These are the objects of "Telescope," and very eloquently does the writer speak of the effect of what she calls this humble form of astronomy on her own mind. The apparatus used are few and simple, and need not deter any thoughtful neophyte from commencing a study fraught with the highest interest, and which, we have no doubt, will in some cases lead to more ambitious results. The author supposes the reader to be already interested in the appearance of the starry heavens, and acquainted perhaps with one or two of the constellations, inquiring how he may learn more. He must have a set of maps of the stars, an almanack (Dietrichsen and Hannay'a for instance), and a telescope which can be readily fixed. The better this instrument the belter for the student; but with an object-glass only two inches in diameter (technically called two inches aperture), or even less, he will be wonderfully assisted in his observations. The writer recommends maps in preference to a globe for the purpose of learning the stars, for reasons which the reader will see for himself, and which are very cogent on;s. Happy fur the young student, youth or maiden, whom the author's love of her elevating study shall induce to pursue it likewise. The work is written in a very lucid and agreeable style. Take, for instance, the following paragraphs from the chapter on the Moon:
Of all the heavenly bodies the moon is beyond comparison that of whose physical constitution we cau learn most. With the aid of even a small telescope, its highly diversified surface presents a strange and striking appearance, and one to which the observer mutt devote some time and study before he can become even moderately familiar with its details. Riccioli, a distinguished aavant of the seventeenth century, performed a piece of good service to the students of the moon by giving names to the various parts of its surface. He styled the broad-shaded tracts seas, oceans, ie. For instance: there is the Sea of Serenity, the i>ca of Showers, the Ocean of Storms, lie called the
mountains after [the most celebrated astronomers of ancient and modern times; and a few bear the names of well-known mountains in the earth. The observer soon becomes well acquainted with the conspicuous and brilliant summits of Tycho, Capernicus, Kepler, and Aristarchus; the strangely dark "craters" of Plato and Grimaldus, and the glittering ridge of the lunar Appenincs.
The " Microscope" brings us face to face " with the minuter part of God's creation;" and many of the objects seen through it are beautifully illustrated, from the author's drawings, in the elegant little volume before us. Like all lovers of Nature, the Hon. Mrs. Ward is warmly interested in her beautiful study, and would fain draw others to be sharers in her intellectual delights. After describing microscopes generally, and giving plain instructions as to the purchase of one, the mode of using it, and of caring for it, and all the elegant additions that may be made to the apparatus-, the author goes on to direct the mounting of objects, and to descriptions of them as seen in the object-glass. The chapter on the "Scales of Insects and Fishes" is very interesting, and that on " Eyes and other Objects" still more so. The following description of the eye is so clear and simple that we quote it entire for the benefit of our youthful readers:
The eye-boll is a little room nearly spherical in its form: its outside wall is white, except at the front, where it has a large, round, and slightly projecting window called the cornea; mnch like a watch-glass. Behind this window is a permanent circular blind, with a round aperture in the centre: this is the iris, and the aperture is called the pupil, and if you look through it and try (disregarding your own chubby image on the cornea) to get a glimpse of the little room's interior, you will see that this is lined with black, as every camera-obscura is or ought to be, to prevent confusion and indistinctness from double reflections. The white outside circle 13 what I have called the outside wall, and you can see at the left where it is interrupted by the cornea, behind which yon con make out the section of the iris and its aperture. The cornea is kept distended by a fluid like water, and a similar purpose with regard to the rest of the eye is served by a jelly-like transparent substance called the vitreous humour. The fine immediately surrounding this is the black lining of the eye; and the remarkable structure suspended in the vitreous humour, not in its centre but near its front, is the crystalline lens—spherical in fish, but of the form called double convex in man and in various lower animals. The shaded appendage at the right of the eye is the optic nerve, which expands inside the eyeball into a delicate cup-shaped membrane called the retina, exactly answering to the slightly concave round table inside a landscape-camera.
We have great pleasure in calling attention to this clever series of books, which, welcome at all times, are doubly so at this season of good gifts.
Fern Oakden" shall appear iu our next Cot on 7 stitches.
THE LADIES' PAGE.
COUVRETTE, OR ANTIMACASSAR.
Materials.—Twelve reels of Crochet-cotton, of Messrs. Walter Evans & Co., Derby, and a pair of steel
needles, No. 14,
1st row.—Knit 7.
2nd.—Seam 5, pull the last stitch on the lefthand needle over the 2nd, seam 1.
3rd.—Slip 1, knit 5.
4th.—Seam 4, pull the last stitch on the lefthand needle over the 2nd seam 1.
5th.—Slip 1, knit 4.
6th.—Seam 3, pull the last stitch on the lefthand needle over the 2nd, seam 1.
7th.—Slip 1, knit 3.
8th.— Seam 2, pull the last stitch on the lefthand needle over the 2nd, seam 1.
9th.—Pull the 2nd stitch over the 1st twice.
Cast on 6 stitches and repeat from the beginning 7 times more, then pull out the last stitch into a loop, and pass the reel through *, then pick up 4 stitches at the straight edge of the nst point, 1 stitch to each knot at the end of
the rows, knit 3 stitches, pass the 2nd stitch on the right-hand needle over the last, knit 1, turn, seem 3 stitches together, turn, knit 1, bring the cotton forward and repeat from * till all the points are done; when all are taken up, seam 2 together, repeat at the end, seam 1, then cast off, pass the end of the cotton through the 1st cast-off stitch, and fasten it neatly at the back, sew the last point to the first in the same place, that the other points join; this completes the star. For the small piece to join them, cast on 6 stitches, *; 1 st row, knit 6; 2nd, knit 4, knit 2 together; 3rd, slip 1, knit 4, pull the 2nd last stitch over the last 4 times, pick up a stitch at the end and knit it, pull the 1st stitch over this one, cast on 5 stitches, and repeat from * 3 times more, join them into a diamond and sew the points together.
KNITTED OVER-BOOT FOR LADIES.
Materials (for one pair).—One and a half ounce black, one and a half ounce white fleecy, some black Bcrliu
wool; thick steel knitting-needles.
The pattern is worked in common brioche knitting, alternately one row with black, and one with white wool. Put the wool at the end of each row, fasten it off, and begin with another colour. Begin the boot at the top with black fleecy; Cast on 38 stitches.
1st row of the brioche knitting.—Slip the 1st stitch, alternately knit 1, throw the wool forward, slip 1, taking it on the needle as if you were going to purl it.
2nd row, with white wool.—Knit together the stitch that was slipped, and that which was made, by throwing the wool forward in the preceding row, and slip the knitted stitch after you have thrown the wool forward. Knit all the other rows like the 2nd one, but change the colours. Knit 32 rows without increasing. Increase once at the beginning of the next 44 rows, so that the Nth row has 82 stitches; then knit
14 rows without increasing; then 14 rows in plain black Berlin wool for the sole of the boot (knit in the 1st of these rows, as one stitch, the stitch and the wool thrown forward in the proceeding row). Knit twice two together in the middle of each row. Then fold the work in the middle, so that the stitches come opposite each other, and cast off 2 opposite ones together. The sloped long sides are sewn together; the black rows must be on the outside; fasten the ends off carefully. Sew also the toe of the sole against the toe of the boot, and cover the seam on the instep with a row of slip-stitches in black Berlin wool. Two long cords are made in chain stitches, to lace the boot on both sides of the seam, and are completed by small tassels of white wool, and tied in a bow at the top and bottom.
NEW STITCH IN KNITTING.
IOR COMFORTEBS, OPERA-CAPS, CARRIAGE-SHAWLS, JACKETS, ETC,
Cast on an uneven number of stitches. 1st row.—Slip one, make one, knit one, make one, knit one, Repeat.
2nd row,-- Slip one, then always knit two to gether to the end of the row.
RECEIPT FOR SHETLAND VEILS.
Cast on 140 stitches, knit 6 plain rows.
1st row.—Knit 5 stitches, knit 2 together. *Thread forward, knit 1 thread forward, knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together, repeat from *, until 5 stitches of the end, thread within forward, knit the rest plain.
2nd.—Purl or seam across.
3rd.—Knit 6, *thread forward, knit 3, thread forward, slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slip over, repeat from * until 6 remain, thread forward, knit 2 together, the rest plain.
5th.—Knit 6, *thread forward, knit 2 together,
knit 1, knit 2 together, thread forward, knit 1, repeat from * until 6 remain, thread forward, knit 2 together, the rest plain.
7th.—Knit 5, knit 2 together, "thread for, ward, slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slip overthread forward, knit 3, repeat from * till 5 remain, thread forward, knit plain.
To be" repeated until "you get the required length, then to be finished with 'R crochet border.
IN PO NOLAN D.
He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in wiuter. It is true the pomp and pageantry are swept away, but the essential elements remain,—the day and the night, the mountain and the valley, the elemental play and succession and the perpetual presence of the infinite sky. In winter the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of more exalted simplicity. Summer is more wooing and seductive, more versatile and human, appeals to the affections and the sentiments, and fosters inquiry and the art impulse. Winter is of a more heroic cast, and addresses the intellect. The severe studies and disciplines come easier in winter. One imposes larger tasks upon himself, and is less tolerant of his own weaknesses.
The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to Literature, summer the tissues and blood.
The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after such a career of splendour and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread.
And then this beautiful masquerade of the elements,—the novel disguises our nearest friends put onl Here is another rain and another dew, water that will not flow, nor spill, nor receive the taint of an unclean vessel. And if we see truly, the same old beneficence and willingness to serve lurk beneath all.
Look up at the miracle of the falling snow,— the air a dizzy maze of whirling, eddying flakes,
noiselessly transforming the world, the exquisite crystals dropping in ditch and gutter, and disguising in the same suit of spotless livery all objects upon which they fall. How novel and fine the first drifts! The old, dilapidated fence is suddenly set off with the most fantastic ruffles, scalloped and fluted after an unheard-of fashion! Looking down a long line of decrepit stone-wall, in the trimming of which the wind had fairly run riot, I saw, as, for the first time, what the severe yet master artist old Winter is. Ah, a severe artist! How stern the woods look, dark and cold and as rigid against the horizon as iron!
All life and action upon thesnowhaveanadded emphasis and significance. Every expression is underscored. Summer has few finer pictures than this winter one of the farmer foddering his cattle from a stack upon the clean snow,—the movement, the sharply-defined figures, the great green flakes of hay, the long file of patient cows,—the advance just arriving and pressing eagerly for the choicest morsels,—and the bounty and providence it suggests. Or the chopper in the woods,—the prostrate tree, the white new chips scattered about, his easy triumph over the cold, coat hanging to a limb, and the clear, sharp ring of his axe. The woods are rigid and tense, keyed up by the frost, and resound like a stringed instrument. Ortheroadbreakers, sallying forth with oxen and sleds in the still white world, the day after thejstorm, to restore tho lost track and demolish the beleaguering drifts.
All sounds are sharper in winter; the air transmits better. At night I hear more distinctly the steady roar of the North Mountain. In summer it is a sort of complacent purr, a» the breezes stroke down its sides; but in winter always the same low, sullen growl.
A severe artist! No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel. When the nights are calm and the moon full, I go out to gaze upon the wonderful purity of the moonlight and the snow. The air is full of latent fire, and the cold warms me—after a different fashion from that of the kitchen-stove. The world lies about me in a "trance of snow." The clouds are pearly and iridescent, and seem the farthest possible remove from the condition of a storm,—the ghosts of clouds, the indwelling beauty freed from all dross. I see the hills, bulging with great drifts, lift themselves up cold and white against the sky, the black lines of fences here and there obliterated by the depth of the snow. Presently a fox barks away up the next mountain, and I imagine I can almost see him sitting there in his furs upon the illuminated surface, and looking down in my direction. As I listen one answers him from behind the woods in the valley. What a wild winter sound, wild and weird, up among the ghostly bills. Since the wolf has ceased to howl upon these mountains, and the panther to scream, there is nothing to be compared with it. So wild! I get up in the middle of the night to hear it. It is refreshing to the ear, and one delights to know that such wild creatures are still among us. At this season Nature makes the most of every throb of life that can withstand her severity. How heartily she indorses this fox! In what bold relief stand out the lives of all walkers of the snow The snow is two great telltale, and blabs as effectually as it obliterates. I go into the woods and know all that has happened. I cross the fields, and if only a mouse has visited his neighbour, the fact is chronicled.
The red fox is the only species that abounds in my locality; the little grey fox seems to prefer a more rocky and precipitous country and a less vigorous climate; the cross fox is occasionally seen, and there are traditions of the silver grey among the oldest hunters. But the red fox is the sportsman's prize, and the only fur-bearer worthy of note in these mountains. I go out in the morning after a fresh fall of snow, and see at all points where he has crossed the road. Here he has leisurely passed within rifle-range of the house, evidently reconnoitring the premises with an eye to the hen-coop. That sharp, clear, nervous track,—there is no mistaking it for the clumsy foot-print of a little dog. All his wild ness and agility are photographed in that track. Here he has taken fright, or suddenly recollected an engagement, and, in long, graceful leaps, barely touching the fence, has gone careering up the hill as fleet as the wind.
The wild, buoyant creature, how beautiful he is! I had often seen his dead carcase, and at a distance had witnessed the hounds drive him across the upper fields; but the thrill and excitement of meeting him in his wild freedom in the woods were unknown to me till, one cold winter day, drawn thither by the baying of a hound, I stood far up toward the mountain's
brow, waiting a renewal of the sound that I might determine the course of the dog and choose my position,—stimulated by the ambition of all young Nimrods, to bag some notable game. Long I waited and patiently, till, chilled and benumbed, I was about to turn back, when, hearing a slight noise, I looked up and beheld a most superb fox loping along with inimitable grace and ease, evidently disturbed, but not pursued by the hound, and so absorbed in his private meditations that he failed to see me, though I stood transfixed with amazement and admiration not ten yards distant. I took his measure at B glance,—a large male, with dark legs, and massive tail tipped with white,—a most magnificent creature; but so astonished and fascinated was I by his sudden appearance and matchless beauty, that not till I had caught the last glimpse of him as he disappeared over a knoll did I awake to my position as a sportsman, and realize what an opportunity to distinguish myself I had unconsciously let sup. I clutched my gun half angrily as if it was to blame, and went home out of humour with myself and all fox-kind. But I have since thought better of the experience, and concluded that I bagged the game after all, the best part of it, and fleeced Reynard of something more valuable than his fur without his knowledge.
This is thoroughly a winter sound, this voice of the hound upon the mountain, and one that is music to many ears. The long, trumpet-like bay, heard for a mile or more, now faintly back in the deep recesses of the mountain, now distinct, but still faint, as the hound comes over some prominent point and the wind favours,— anon entirely lost in the gully, then breaking out again much nearer and growing more and more pronounced as the dog approaches, till, when he comes around the brow of the mountain directly above you the barking is loud and sharp. On he goes along the northern spur, his voice rising and sinking as the wind and lay of the ground modify it, till lost to hearing.
The fox usually keeps half a mile ahead, regulating his speed by that of the hound, occasionally pausing a moment to divert himself with a mouse, or to contemplate the landscape, or to listen for his pursuer. If the hound press him too closely he leads off from mountain to mountain, and so generally escapes the hunter; but if the pursuit be slow, he plays about some ridge or peak, and falls a prey, though not an easy one, to the experienced sportsman.
A most spirited and exciting chase occurs when the farm-dog gets close upon one in the open field, as sometimes happens in the early morning. The fox relies so confidently upon his superior speed that I imagine he half tempts the dog to the race. But if the dog be a smart one, and their course lies down hill over smooth ground, Reynard must put his best foot forward, and then, sometimes, suffer the ignominy of being run over by his pursuer, who, however, is quite unable to pick him up, owing to the speed. But when they mount the hill or enter the woods, the superior nimbleness and agility of the fox tell at once, and he easily leaves the dog far in the rear. For a cur less than his own size he manifests little fear, especially if the two meet alone remote from any house. In such cases I have seen first one turn tail, then the other.
A novel spectacle often occurs in summer, when the female has young. You are rambling on the mountain, accompanied by your dog, when you are startled by that wild, halfthreatening squall, and in a moment perceive your dog, with inverted tail, and shame and confusion in his looks, sneaking toward you, the old fox but a few rods in his rear. You speak to him sharply, when he bristles up, turns about, and, barking, starts off vigorously, as if to wipe out the dishonour, but in a moment comes sneaking back more abashed than ever, and owns himself unworthy to be called a dog. The fox fairly shames him out of the woods. The secret of the matter is her sex, though her conduct, for the honour of the fox be it said, seems to be prompted only by solicitude for the safety of her young.
One of the most notable features of the fox is his large and massive tail. Seen running on the snow, at a distance, his tail is quite as conspicuous as his body, and, so far from appearing a burden, seems to contribute to his lightness and buoyancy. It softens the outline of his movements, rnd repeats or continues to the eye the ease and poise of his carriage. But, pursued by the hound on a wet, tbawy day, it often becomes so heavy and bedraggled as to prove a serious inconvenience, and compels him to take refuge in his den. He is very loath to do this; both his pride and the traditions of his race stimulate him to run it out, and win by fair superiority of wind and speed: and only a wound or a heavy and mopish tail will drive him to avoid the issue in this manner.
To learn his real shrewdness and cunning attempt to take him with a trap. Rogue that he is, he always suspects some trick, and one must be more of a fox than he is himself to overreach him. At first sight it would appear easy enough. With apparent indifference he crosses your path, or walks in your footsteps in the field, or travels along the beaten highway, or lingers in the vicinity of stacks and remote barns. Carry the carcass of a pig, or a fowl, or a dog, to a distant field in mid-winter, and in a few nights his tracks cover the snow about it.
The inexperienced country youth, misled by this seeming carelessness of Reynard, suddenly conceived a project to enrich himself with fur, and wonders that the idea has not occurred to him before, and to others. I knew a youthful yeoman of this kind, who imagined he had found a mine of wealth on discovering on a remote hill-side, between two woods, a dead porker, upon which it appeared all the foxes of the neighbourhood had nightly banqueted. The clouds were burdened with snow, and as the first flakes commenced to eddy down, he set out, trap and broom in hand, already counting over in imagination the silver quarters he would receive for his first fox-skin. With the utmost
care and with a palpitating heart he removed enough of the trodden snow to allow the trap to sink below the surface. Then, carefully sifting the light element over it and sweeping his tracks full, he quickly withdrew, laughing exultingly over the little surprise he had prepared for the cunning rogue. The elements conspired to aid him, and the falling snow rapidly obliterated all vestiges of his work. The next morning at dawn he was on his way to bring in his fur. The snow did its work effectually, and he believed had kept his secret well. Arrived in sight of the locality, he strained his vision to make out his prize lodged against the fence at the foot of the hili. Approaching nearer the surface was unbroken, and doubt usurped the place of certainty in his mind. A slight mound marked the site of the porker, but there was no footprint near it. Looking up the hill, he saw where Reynard had walked leisurely down toward his wonted bacon till within a few yards of it, when he had wheeled, and with prodigious strides disappeared in the woods. The young trapper saw at a glance what a comment this was upon his skill in the art, and indignantly exhuming the iron, he walked home with it, the stream of silver quarters suddenly setting in another direction.
The successful trapper commences in the fall, or before the first deep snow. In a field not too remote, with an old axe, he cuts a small place, say ten inches by fourteen, in the frozen ground, and removes the earth to the depth of three or four inches, then fills the cavity with dry ashes in which are placed bits of roasted cheese. Reynard is very suspicious at first, and gives the place a wide berth. It looks like design, and he will see how the thing behaves before he approaches too near. But the cheese is savoury and the cold severe. He ventures a little closer every night until he can reach and pick a piece from the surface. Emboldened by success, like other foxes, he presently digs freely among the ashes, and finding a fresh supply of the delectable morsels every night is soon thrown off his guard, and his suspicions are quite lulled. After a week of baiting in this manner, and on the eve of a light fall of snow, the trapper carefully conceals his trap in the bed, first smoking it thoroughly with hemlock boughs to kill or neutralize all smell of the iron. If the weather favours and the proper precautions have been taken, he may succeed, though the chances are still greatly against him.
Reynard is usually caught very lightly, seldom more than the ends of his toes'being between the jaws. He sometimes works so cautiously as to spring the trap without injuring his toes; or may remove the cheese night after night without even springing it. I knew an old trapper, who on finding himself outwitted in this manner, tied a bit of cheese to the pan, and next morning had poor Reynard by the jaw. The trap is not fastened but only encumbered with a clog, and is all the more sure in its hold by yielding to every effort of the animal to extricate himself.