Page images
PDF
EPUB

same results are experienced, so that before night the human race at large seems as if it were about to revert to the savage state.

of society has imposed. We would all fain be the eass, pleasant, happy children which we think we once were, instead of the cold, artificial, heartless beings which we think we now are. But, in feeling thus, we forget that when we were children sporting with each other, we were perpetually giving and receiving offence, from rudeness of behavior among ourselves—in other words, from the want of a conventional system of respectful manners —and that thus we were often the most unhappy wretches in the world, frequently snarling at each other, sometimes getting sound thrashings from our offended companions, and sometimes giving them, perhaps for very little fault; and, in general, only prevented from being rude and riotous, nay, sometines, from being rank spoliators and oppressors, by the fear of punishment from a stronger hand.

If the world were only gratified in its gereral desire of abjuring ceremony for one day, by way of experiment, it would soon, I apprehend, find the necessity of returning to a decent degree of affectation. Suppose a respectable gentleman going abroad that morning, full of the idea of doing all kinds of things in an easy way, as he used to do when a boy. He sees an old school-fellow a little way before him on the street, and, thinking it a good joke, rups up and knocks the hat off his head, making it spin far into the highway, and then turns about and laughs in the face of the injured party, The jokee, however, has a different idea of the matter from the joker; and whereas in school-boy days it would have been settled by a slight pommeling, rendering them rather sulky with each other for a day or two, nothing less will serve in these rational days of adolescence, than a regular interchange of Shots at each other, at the distance of twelve or nine paces, as he case may be.

Suppose two ladies, intimate friends, meeting on the street. One admires the other's bonnet immensely, and, as might have happened long ago in the case of a pretty cap for a doll, she endeavors to snatch it from her friend's head. The other, however, defends her property at the point of the parasol, and the end of the joke is, that the two are taken to the police office. Suppose a dinner party meeting in the afternoon of this unceremonious day; if the day has lasted so long without a return to good breeding. Instead of each gentleman conducting a lady to the dining-room, which is a horrid piece of affectation, the whole male sex goes trooping off, in an easy candid way, leaving the women to come trolloping after. Of course, the respect of the men for the women is not increased by seeing them come in at the door pell-mell like a drove of sheep; and, therefore, there is the less disposition to accommodate them with seats, or to serve them with food. The fair part of the company soon become quite indignant at the men, and attack them with all the virulence of the ancient harpios. A scene ensues which there is no describing. The greatest confusion prevails. There is a squabbling of tongues enough to deafen Babel or Billingsgate. The air is darkened with flying plates and candlesticks. At last, within ten minutes after the ringing of the dinner bell, the ladies are seen pouring out of the house like enraged bedlamites, some with their bonnets and shawls, and more without them, and the want of a little ceremony is found to have "_broke up this mirth, marred this good meeting,

With most admired disorder."
In every department and contingency of life, the

[graphic]

Nest of the Tchitrec. ARCHITECTURE OF BIRDS. One of the prettiest of the woven bird's nests is figured and described by Vaillant in his splendid work on African birds; though he is doubtful what species of bird was the mechanic. The following is his account of this beautiful nest.

“ It is, I believe,” says he, “the nest of the tchitrec; for though I have never captured the bird of this species on the nest, and am not therefore certain of the fact, my good Klaas, a faithful if not a profound observer, assured me that it was. In one of our journeys through a wood of mimosas, in the country of the Caffres, he discovered and brought me this nest, having seen, he said, and particularly observed a male and female tchitrec occupied in constructing it. It is remarkable for its peculiar form, bearing a strong resemblance to a small horn, suspended, with the point downwards, between two branches. Its greatest diameter was two inches and a half, and gradually diminishing towards the base. It would be difficult to explain the principle upon which such a nest had been built, particularly as three-fourths of it appeared to be entirely useless and idly made; for the part which was io ontain the eggs, and which was alone indispensable, was not more than three inches from the surface. All the rest of this edifice, which was a tissue closely and laboriously woven of slender threads taken from the bark of certain shrubs, seemed to be totally useless. The interior of the nest was not furnished with any sort of soft material, such as down, wool, or hair, but as the female had not laid her oggs when Klaas brought it to me, it is probable that the nest was not quite finished; a fact indeed proved by the birds being still at work at the time."

Bon Mot.-The late Dr. Barclay was a wit and a scholar, as well as a very great physiologist. When a happy illustration, or even a point of pretty broad humor, occurred to his mind, he hesitated not to

apply it to the subject in hand; and in this way
he frequently roused and rivetted attention, when
more abstract reasoning might have failed of its aim.
On one occasion he happened to dine in a large
party, composed chiefly of medical men.
wine cup circulated, the conversation accidentally
took a professional turn, and from the excitation of
the moment, or some other cause, two of the young-
est individuals present were the most forward in
delivering their opinions. Sir James Mackintosh
once told a political opponent, that so far from fol-
lowing his example of using hard words and soft
arguments, he would pass, if possible, into the oppo-

site extreme, and use soft words and hard argu-
ments. But our unfledged M.D.'s disregarded the
above salutary maxim, and made up in loudness
what they wanted in learning. At length, one of
them said something so emphatic—we mean as to
manner-that a pointer dog started from his lair
beneath the table, and bow-wow-woved so fiercely
that he fairly took the lead in the discussion. Dr.
Barclay eyed the hairy dialectician, and thinking
it high time to close the debate, gave the animal a
hearty push with his foot, and exclaimed, in good
broad Scotch,-“ Lie still, ye brute; for I am sure
ye ken just as little about it as ony, o' them.”

CONTENTS TO PART (V.

[ocr errors]

Page
Page

Page
Abbreviations and Signs
191 Hints to Talkers
153 Place Vendome .

159
Acting of Children
190 Hulan and his Charger
178 Poisons of the Ancients

156
An Ultra Mariner
182

Popular Errors in Medicine 160
Angling Anecdote
168 Instinct of Animals

180 Popular Information on Science 161
Anecdotes of Insects
192 Italian Sleep Walker
166 Praries, The, by Bryant

188
Another year has gone
176 Italian Banditti

189
Arch of L'Etoile
167. Iron
195 Quotations -

158
Advertisement
193 Indigo

205
Aucient British Costume
195

Ravages of Locusts

183
Architecture of Birds
207 Jabiru, The
188 Reply of Diogenes

160
Remarkable Facts

172
Bridges
180 Keats' Epitaph
188 Remarkable Travels

181
Buffalo Light-house
169

Round Tower of Swords

157
Burke, Edmund
155 Lapland Skate-Runners 191 Return of Capt. Ross

187
Business
160 Leopard Hunt

172 Retlections on the Study of
Bon Mot
207 Lithography

165, 178
Nature -

199
Liverpool Railroad

175
Castanospermum Australe 183 Lost Nestlings

171 Sassafras Tea

184
Chivalry
170 Lowell
201 Saturday Evening

184
Charlotte Corday
198

Sense and Smell of Insects 199
Curious Case of Deception 184 Mechanical Power

168
Meteoric Phenomena
173 The New Zealanders

187
Daft Sandy Miller
168 Meteor of 1807
177 Treatment of Sprains -

163
Destructive Kissing

160
Manner of Eating among the Turkey Vulture

179
Dreains
154 Ancients

194 The Pet Monkey and the Ship’s
Dublin, View of
153 Martyrdom of St. Vincent, a

Crew
Duties and Advantages of Society 190 Španish Martyr

204 The First of March

200
Moderate your Desires
204 The Horn of the Alps

202
Early Britons
202 New Zealanders Fishing 165 Turnip Bread

204
No Ceremony
206 The Art of Writing

205
Facade of the Louvre .

172
Of the Heavenly Bodies 187 Union Bridge, By-town

161
Glaciers

161 Of the Generosity of the Lion 196
Guillotine

161 On the Growth of Plants 203 View of the Amphitheatre of
Gymnastics
197

Pompeii

181
Perseverance

176
Hall of the Jacobins
164 Pickpockets

168 Weapons of the New Zealanders 159
Hannah Moore
164 Poetical Quid pro quo

168

[ocr errors]

194

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »