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surface till they make a second step.” Netther spiders nor any insects with which we are acquainted can thus produce gum from their feet to aid them in walking upon glass, though the housefly can walk thus by causing a vacuum between its feet and the glass, as we shall subsequently describe at length. But the spider and all caterpillars can only climb in such cases by constructing a ladder of ropes, as is represented by Rösel in the instance of the goat moth caterpillar.
B, C, or letters. The learning of their letters being the first and humblest lesson of children at school, persons who are farther advanced in life think it beneath them to learn alphabets; and, from that silly prejudice, they remain ignorant of the sciences to which those alphabets are the keys.
Yet those alphabets are the most wonderful of human contrivances. The steam engine and gas light are mere trifles compared with the A, B, C.
The figures 1, 2, 3, &c. which are the alphabet of numbers, are very curious; and enable us to do that in so many seconds, which, if we had no such contrivance, we could not do in as many centuries. The distance of the sun from the earth is about 190 millions of half miles, and half a mile is about a thousand paces; five miles an hour is fast walking, and the paces then are as fast as one can count distinctly At that rate, though the first man had begun the journey, or the counting, at the moment of his creation, and he and his posterity continued at it twelve hours every day, it would have been more than 200 years after the birth of Christ before they had finished the task. By means of the alphabet of numbers, any body can do it as fast as three O's can be written. The half miles are 190,000,000; the paces in half a mile 1000: we have only to add three O's to the first of these, and we have the whole number of paces,–190,000,000,000.
The alphabet of numbers does not, however, express the relations of numbers, and so we must have other signs for these; and, as the figures which stand for the names of numbers are different from the words, or names, which are the names of things, there are also different signs for the principal relations of numbers. But as the value of every thing that can be valued is reckoned in numbers, the relations of numbers are of very general use; and as the signs of those relations are the shortest means of expressing them, every body should be acquainted with them.
These signs are sometimes called “Algebraical" signs, and the name is far from being an improper
“Al” means "the," and " jabr” means to consolidate," or bring together into little space, so that the whole may be seen at once; and thus " Algebra” means " the expressing of the greatest meaning by the fewest signs."
Goat moth caterpillar escaping from a drinking glass, by spinning &
ladder of silken ropes One of these caterpillars, which we possessed, made its escape in a manner much more unexpected, if not so ingenious, by means of its great muscular power, in which, it is not a little singular, that insects, as Baron Haller remarks, appear to excel in proportion to their diminutiveness.' Of this we have a remarkable example in the common flea, which can draw seventy or eighty times its own weight. The muscular strength of this agile creature enables it not only to resist the ordinary pressure of the fingers in our endeavors to crush it, but to take leaps to the distance of two hundred times its own length; which will appear more surprising when we consider that a man, to equal the agility of a fea, should be able to leap between three and four hundred yards. The flea, however, is excelled in leaping by the cuckoo-spit frog-hopper, which will sometimes leap two or three yards, that is, more than two hundred and fifty times its own length; as if, (to continue the comparison) a man of ordinary stature should vault through the air to the distance of a quarter of a mile.
ANECDOTES OF INSECTS. The grubs of some two winged flies and of wasps, bees, ants, and ichneumon Aies, do not change their skins; but spiders and other allied tribes though they exhibit no other appearance of larvæ, moult frequently during their growth. Goldsmith, among other curious mistatements respecting a house-spider which he himself observed, asserts that it “lived three years, every year it changed its skin, and got a new set of legs: I have sometimes plucked off a limb, which grew again in two or three days." The fact is, that few spiders live one year, much less three; and all their changes skin are gone through in a few months, and their acquiring new legs for mutilated ones takes some weeks. It is probable, indeed, that Goldsmith never thought of ascertaining the identity of this spider; if the whole story be not a mere fancy, like his assertion that spiders, " when they walk upon such bodies as are perfectly smooth, as lookingglass or polished marble, squeeze a little sponge which grows near the extremity of their claws, and thus diffusing a glutinis substance, adhere to the
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But we shall not confine ourselves wholly to the animal, the vegetable and the mineral kingdoms of
eating and drinking in general, there appears to have been great plenty, but not much care or delicacy in preparing the provision. It was deemed a mark of favor to send the guests a great deal of any dish; thus the mess or portion which Joseph sent to Benjamin was five times greater than was sent to any other of his brethren. It is an honor to receive any portion from the table of the master of the feast, if he is a great man. A modern traveller, who dined in the presence of an eastern king, describes his majesty as tearing a handful of meat from a quarter of lamb, which stood before him, and sending it to his guest as a mark of honor. This custom also prevails in China. Van Braam, the Dutch ambassador, relates that some bones of mutton, with half the meat gnawed off, were sent to hin from the table of the emperor, and he was told it was a great honor! Knives and forks never have been used in the east as among us.
MANNER OF EATING AMONG THE ANCIENTS.
In ancient times, it was the custom, among the patriarchs and others, frequently to take their meals out of doors. We meet with many instances of this in the gospels, and it is usual among eastern nations in the present day. The regular meals were, dinner a little before noon, and supper in the evening. The latter was the principal meal. The feast of the passover was in the evening.
The Hebrews did not eat with the neighboring nations: we are not told in the Bible when they began to separate themselves in this manner; but it was their custom in Joseph's time, although in that instance it appears to have arisen from objections on the part of the Egyptians. The Jews in our Saviour's time did not eat with the Samaritans, and they objected to our Lord's eating with publicans and sinners. This custom was so strictly observed, that when the Lord was about to extend his church to the Gentiles, he sent an especial vision to St. Peter, to show that it might be discontinued. Peter was blamed by the other apostles for eating with Cornelius, and from several passages in the epistles, we find that the early Christians abstained from meat offered unto idols. As these sacrifices were offered at all solemn feasts, and on many occasions of less importance, they were thereby separate from eating with the heathens in general.
It was usual in ancient times, and is still the custom in China, Persia, and many other countries, for one or more of the guests to have a little table or tray placed on the floor, upon which dishes are set separately for them. In India, many persons never eat out of the same dish as others, believing that it would be sinful to do so, and thinking that their dishes, &c. are polluted and spoiled if touched by persons of another religion. If so touched, they break them, as the Jews were to break their earthen vessels when touched by an unclean animal. This assists in explaining the apostle's words: “ Touch not, taste ·not, handle not.” Dr. Clark found similar customs among the Turks. He was one night entertained very kindly by a Turk and his family; after leaving the place, the next morning, Dr. C. returned for a book he had left behind, when he found his kind host and all the family employed in breaking and throwing away the earthen-ware plates and dishes, from which his guests had eaten, and purifying the other utensils and articles of furniture by passing them through fire or water.
Elkanah, the father of Samuel, distributed portions of provision to each of his wives separately. It is still the custom in all countries of the east, when there is more than one wife, for each to be separate, as much as the master of the family can afford. When entertaining strangers, as well in
THE PET MONKEY AND THE SHIP'S CREW.
I need not dwell on the common-place tricks of a nautical monkey, (observes Captain Hall), as they must be well known to every one; such as catching hold of the end of the sail makers' ball of twine, and paying the whole overboard, hand over hand, from a secure station in the rigging; or his stealing the boatswain's silver call, and letting it drop from the end of the catheal: or his getting into one of the cabin ports, and tearing up the captain's letters, a trick at which even the stately skipper is obliged to laugh.
One of our monkey's grand amusements was to watch some one arranging his clothes in his bag. After the stowage was completed, and every thing put carefully away, he would steal round, untie the strings, and, having opened the mouth of the bag, would draw forth in succession every article of dress, first smell of it, then turn it over and over, and lastly, fling it away on the wet deck. It was amusing enough to observe that, all the while he was committing any piece of mischief, he appeared not only to be under the fullest consciousness of guilt, but living under the perfect certainty that he was earning a good sound drubbing for his pains. Still, the pleasure of doing wrong was so strong and habitual within him, that he seemed utterly incapable of resisting the temptation whenever it fell in his way. When occupied in these misdeeds, he continued alternately chattering with terror, and screaming with delight at his own ingenuity, till the enraged owner of the property burst in upon him, hardly more angry with Jacko than with his malicious messmates, who, instead of preventing, rather encouraged the pillage.
All this was innocent, however, compared to the tricks which the blue jackets taught him to play upon the jolly marines. How they set about this laudable piece of instruction, I know net: but the antipathy which they established in Jacko's breast against the red coats was something far beyond ordinary prejudice, and in its consequences partook more of the interminable war between cat and dog.
The monkey, who entered with all the zeal of a hot. partisan into the designs of the blues, showed no mercy to the red faction, against whom he had not, in fact, the slightest shadow of a real quarrel. As that trifling circumstance, however, seemed, as in graver cases of quarrel, only to aggravate the hostility, every new day brought a new mode of
he fired off a volley of imprecations, the only effect of which was to increase the number of his audience, grinning and laughing in chorus with the terrified mischief-monger.
attack upon the unhappy soldiers, who were never safe. At first he merely chattered, or grinned contemptuously at them; or, at worst, snapped up his heels, soiled their fine pipe-clayed trousers, or pulled the cartridges out of their cartouch-boxes, and scattered the powder over the decks, feats for which his back was sure to smart under the ratan of the indignant sergeant, to whom the "party" made their complaint. Upon these occasions, the sailors laughed so heartily at their friend Jacko, as he placed his hands behind him, and, in an agony of rage and pain, rubbed the wounded part, smarting under the sergeant's chastisement, that, if he could only have reasoned the matter like a statesman, he would soon have distrusted his advantage in this offensive, but not defensive, alliance with the Johnnies against the Jollies. Sometimes, indeed, he appeared to be quite sensible of his absurd position, caned by bis enemy and ridiculed by his friends, in whose cause he was suffering. On these occasions he often made a run, open-mouthed, at the sailors; in return for which mutinous proceeding he was sure to get a smart rap over the nose from his own party, which more than counterpoised the anguish at the other extremity of his person, giving ludicrous occupation to both his hands, and redoubling the shouts of laughter at his expense. In short, poor St. Jago literally got what is currently called monkey's allowance, viz. "more kicks than halfpence.'
In process of time, as Mr. Monkey, by dint of that bitter monitor, experience, gained higher knowledge in the art of marine warfare and ship diplomacy, he became much more formidable in his attacks on the “corps,” and generally contrived to keep himself well beyond the reach of the sergeant's merciless ratan. One of the favorite pranks of the sailors was to place him near the break of the forecastle, with a handspike, taken from the bow-chaser gon, in his paws. It was quite as much as he could carry, and far more than he could use as a missile against the royals; but he was soon instructed in a method of employing it, which always grievously annoyed the enemy. Theoretically speaking, I presume poor Jacko knew no more of the laws of gravitation, when applying it to the annoyance of the marines, than his friends the seamen did of centrifugal action, when swinging round the hand-lead to gain soundings by pitching it far forward into the water; but without such scientific knowledge, both the monkey and his wicked associates knew very well that if a bandspike were held across the top of the foreeastle ladder, and let go when a person was about half way down it, the heels of the said individual would be sure to bring up or stop the bar. The anhappy marine, therefore, who happened to be descending the steps when Jacko let his handspike fall, generally got the skin taken off his heels, or bis instep, according as his rear or his front was turned towards the foe. The instant Jaeko let go his hold and the law of gravitation began to act, so that the handspike was heard to rattle down the ladder, off he jumped to the bow of the barge, overlooking the spot, and there sat, with his neck stretched out, his eyes starting from his head, and his lips drawn back, till his teeth, displayed from ear to ear, rapped against one another like a pair of castanets in a bolero, under the influence of the most ecstatic alarm, curiously mixed up with the joy of complete success. The poor wounded Gulpin, in the meantime, rubbed his ankles, as
ANCIENT BRITISH COSTUME. After the conquest of England by the Romans, the Britons seem to have adopted the costume of their subduers with considerable taste and dexterity. A kind of mantle, in the fashion of a Scottish plaid, took the place of the cloak of skins, which it somewhat resembled in shape.
This, by no means inelegant, drapery, was fastened on the shoulder by a clasp, either of gems or of plain metal, or perhaps only by a small wooden skewer-according to the rank of the wearer. Beneath this mantle was a vest, or tunic, with sleeves reaching either to the wrist or elbow. A sort of trouser completed the costume; but we do not find any trace of shoes, nor even of buskins. The feet were usually bare, or covered only with a rough piece of skin.
IRON. In few instances do we perceive the concern of Providence for the wants of mortals more fully exemplified, than in the abundant distribution of this substance over the face of the earth, not only in a metallic state, but also in an infinite variety of combinations: from which source are derived many articles of almost indispensable use in our arts and manufactures, as plumbago, commonly called black-lead, (a combination of iron with charcoal,) Prussian blue, green vitriol, &c.; but at present we must only take into consideration the simple metal.
Iron is seldom fonnd in a pure metallic state; but its ores are diffused throughout nature in greater abundance than those of other metals, oftentimes combined with them, and sometimes in the state of an oxide, i. e. rust. In this state occurs the Swedish iron ore, which produces such excellent metal. In order to reduce the ore into cast-iron, in some manufactories, it is broken into small pieces, and mixed with lime, or some substance capable of promoting its fusion. It is then thrown into the furnace, together with a quantity of coke or charcoal; whore, after being submitted
for some time to a most intense heat, the reduced metal descends through the fuel, and collects at the bottom, whence it is let out, and forms pigs of cast-iron. In this state it is employed in the fabrication of various kinds of machinery and utensils.
Cast-iron acquires carbon from the charcoal or coke used in its reduction, and originally contains oxygen and other adventitious substances, which cause its brittleness and render it fusible, though with some difficulty. In order to deprive it of these, it is kept in a state of fusion for a considerable time, and repeatedly stirred; during which process, the carbon and oxygen uniting, pass off in the state of carbonic-acid gas or fixed air. At length, having become thick, it is taken from the furnace, and submitted to the action of the hammer, or the regular pressure of large steel rollers, by which the remaining impurities are forced out, and the metal is rendered malleable, ductile, and nearly infusible. · Iron in this state is called bar or wrought iron.
Iron, by the above process, being divested of charcoal, must again absorb a small portion of pure carbon, in order to be converted into steel. This is effected by submitting good iron to an intense heat, for several hours, in conjunction with carbonaceous matter, such as charcoal, carbonate of lime, &c. Good steel contains about one part of carbon in two hundred of iron.
It may be remarked, that, of the metals in common use, (platinum excepted) iron alone possesses the property of welding. Innumerable are the advantages which we derive from this peculiar quality, by which, without fusion, merely by heating, iron is moulded into the variety of forms, in which it is every where exhibited to our view. Iron possesses likewise the property of being attracted by the magnet, and of becoming itself magnetic. To this property we are indebted for the mariner's compass-an instrument, by which man is enabled to steer his course towards any part of the globe, with the greatest accuracy and certainty.
Contrary to the prejudiced opinion of the ancients, who supposed that iron was poisonous, and that wounds, inflicted with instruments made of this metal, healed with difficulty, it seems that its effects on the animal economy are very beneficial, both in medicinal preparations, and in its state of natural solution in chalybeate waters. Indeed, of all metals, this is the most important; since there is no other, wherein are contained, at the same time, so many useful properties; none which can be applied to such a variety of uses; and, finally, none which exists in such abundance, or in so many different states, for it pervades all nature, is found in vegetables, and even in animal Auids.
It may not be improper to state here, that the article, known in commerce by the name of tinued plate, is not tin, as some suppose, but iron plates, which, having undergone certain chemical preparations, are immersed in melted tin, which not only adheres to the surface, but even partly penetrates the plate, and gives it a very brilliant appearance.
large dogs. As soon as the noble animal made his appearance, four large bull-dogs were turned loose upon him; three of which, however, as soon as they came near him, took fright and ran away. One only_had courage to remain, and make the attack. The Lion, however, without rising from the ground upon which he was lying, showed him, by a single stroke with his paw, how greatly he was his superior in strength; for the dog was instantly stretched motionless on the ground. The Lion drew him towards him, and laid his fore-paws upon him in such a manner, that only a small part of his body could be seen. Every one imagined that the dog was dead, and that the Lion would soon rise and devour him. But they were mistaken. The dog began to move, and struggled te get loose, which the Lion permitted him to do. He seemed merely to have warned him not to meddle with him again. But when the dog attempted to run away, and had already got over half the enclosure, the Lion's indignation seemed to be excited. He sprang from the ground, and in two leaps reached the fugitive, who had just get as far as the paling, and was whining to have it opened for him to escape. The enraged and flying animal had called the instinctive propensity of the monarch of the forest into action; the defenceless enemy now excited his pity; for the generous Lion stepped a few paces backward, and looked quietly on, while a small door was opened to let the dog out of the enclosure.
This unequivocal trait of generosity moved every spectator. A shout of applause resounded throughout the assembly, who had enjoyed a satisfaction of a description far superior to what they had expected.
The Lion is said to be long lived, although the precise period of his existence is perhaps unknown. By BUFFON, he is limited to about twenty-five years, but it is certain that his life is of a much longer duration. The great Lion, called Pompoy which died in the Tower, A. D. 1760, was knows to have been there above seventy years, and another brought from Africa, died in the same place at the age of sixty-three.
OF THE GENEROSITY OF THE LION.
Of late years, the truth of the accounts, which have been so long current, respecting the generous disposition of the Lion, have been called in questfon. Several travellers, in their accounts of Asia and Africa, describe him as of a more rapacious and sanguinary disposition than had formerly been