« PreviousContinue »
beams kissed their upturned brows and extolled their spotless purity. Hummingbirds fluttered around them, and in return for the sweetness they stole from the hearts of the flowers, gave idle words, and sparkling glances; while various insects constantly encircled them, swinging upon their delicate stamens, and resting on their pure leaves, while they unceasingly hummed fulsome flatteries into the hearts of the thoughtless flowers. This perpetual incense of admiration and pretended love, from sunbeam and stream, insect, bird, and breeze, intoxicated and bewildered the lilies, hitherto reared in strict seclusion. They never doubted the sincerity of all they heard, and displayed their charms to the greatest advantage, while they lavished their fragrance upon every passing breeze. They were in a perfect whirl of excitement all the time, and had not a moment to reflect upon their course.
Meanwhile the Lilies were utterly unconscious that the insects who were so freely admitted constantly to rest upon their leaves, had despoiled them of their perfect whiteness, and left their vile stains instead, while the caresses of Zephyr had brushed the delicate gold powder from their stamens and scattered it over their bosoms; they were withering, too, beneath the scorching gaze of the sun, and their pure unsullied white was giving place to a sickly yellow hue.
But of all this the flowers knew nothing: the stream failed to reflect them truly, and deceived them with flattering words. The glad summer time passed rapidly away, and the autumn days were come. The buzzing insects forsook the flowers who had nourished them, and the sun veiled his face behind a clouded sky. The gay birds soared away to warmer climes, to find fresh beauties on whom to lavish their tender songs. And Zephyr, fickle, inconstant Zephyr, wooed the fading flowers no longer in low sweet tones; he came with rude and blustering voice, jeering at the fast decaying loveliness he had once pretended to adore, and heralding the approach of the terrible north wind, who so soon would strip them of their leaves, and bow their slight forms to the earth.
When the poor Lilies found their flatterers forsaking them, and Zephyr, on whom they had wasted their sweetest
odours, false and cruel at the last, they remembered with vain longing their happy home in the quiet solitude, where no scoffing words or biting winds had ever reached them, and where, in a long, still summer, their days flowed gently to their close.
The merry stream meantime had grown sluggish in its course; it no longer bounded joyously onward with gleeful tones, forming fantastic eddies and mimic waterfalls in very sport, but crept slowly between its banks with an ever mournful murmur; the coming winter with his frosty breath was benumbing the bright stream, and striving to bind it in his icy fetters.
The deserted Lilies were desolate and very sad; their gay neighbour Columbine had long since flaunted out her brief reign of pleasure, and none were left to console them. Yearningly they turned toward the stream, and in its scarcely rippled surface trusted now to see themselves reflected truly.
They bent above the water, and in the yellow tinged flowers that looked up to them, failed to recognise themselves. But as they stooped still closer to the wave, the shadowy flowers beneath seemed to arise and greet them slowly; the painful truth then dawned upon them: their coquetry and vanity had met its just reward; the varied admiration which they had coveted, and for which they had forsaken and despised the calm affection of the still, deep waters, had been theirs for a season,-it was now fled, but its ineffaceable stain was upon them, and the Lilies were pure no more.
With a shuddering sigh the leaves fell from their stems and were scattered upon the stream. When the current bore them onward to the spot where once they bloomed so happily, their sisters wept pearly tears over their despoiled whiteness; but Zephyr refused to carry the stained Lilies in the spring time back to their early home, and they saw it not again.
When the gay summer brought back the idle crowd of flatterers, they surrounded the young Lilies as before, and the sun deepened their yellowish tint into a golden hue; but the flowers were happy no more, and, glad to escape the praises they no longer trusted, bloomed and faded in a day. Some of the family, however,
grown utterly unfeeling, and heeding nothing but the voice of admiration, curved their leaves proudly back, and smiled upon the sun until his ardent gaze gave them a deep orange hue, and the very stains of the idle insects were made ministers to their vanity, and worn with vain complacency as evidences of their power. But who loves the flaunting Tiger Lily, with its gaudy spotted breast, or turns not with a tender look to the pure and sweet white flower, whose modest innocence is its greatest charm?
THE preference given in this country to French gloves is no matter of fashion or prejudice, as is commonly supposed, but of judgment on the part of the purchaser. Not only is the kid finer and better dressed of which gloves are made in France, but the gloves themselves are better cut than in England; and their superior fitting must be from the French manufacturers possessing a scientific knowledge of the shape of the hand, as we gather from the evidence of a first-rate London "warehouseman" before the Parliamentary Committee upon Arts and Manufactures. It should, however, be added, that there are very few manufactures in which the French excel so much as in gloves; and this circumstance has strengthened the evidence in favour of the necessity of establishing Schools of Design in this country, to enable our manufacturers to compete with the taste as well as materials of the continent.
Although the disposition on the part of our legislature to raise the standard of public taste is full of promise, we are not unmindful that good taste in every department cannot be established by dictation, but must be left to force its way gradually through example; and its rules, when once exemplified, are pretty sure to be followed, though slowly. Let any one recollect the ugly forms of our ordinary crockery and potters' ware forty or fifty years since, when the shapes were as deformed as that of the pipkin which cost Robinson Crusoe so much trouble; and observe the difference since the classical outlines of the Etruscan vases have been adopted as models for our Staffordshire ware.
ORIGINS AND INVENTIONS. POWER LOOMS.-The power loom was invented in 1787; but it was at first so imperfect, that it was not applied to any practical use until 1801; and so great was the prejudice of hand - loom weavers against it, that it was introduced very slowly. The estimated number of powerlooms in use in Great Britain in 1813, was but 2400, and in 1820 only 14,150. In 1834 the number in the United Kingdom had increased to 116,891.
CANALS.-Some time previous to the Christian era a canal was made from the Red Sea to the river Nile in Egypt. The great canal of China is said to have been commenced as early as the ninth century. Some small canals were made in Flanders as early as the twelfth or thirteenth century; very many were made in Holland in the seventeenth century, though they were generally small; those made in the eighteenth century were much larger; but the largest canals in Holland, those of greatest depth and width, have been made during the nineteenth century.
MANUFACTURED SILK. Though silk was made into cloth at a very early period in China, India, Persia, and some other countries of Asia, and its use became known to the Romans before the Christian era, yet the rearing of silkworms and the silk manufacture were not introduced into Europe until the time of the Emperor Justinian, about the year 530. But after the introduction of these arts at Constantinople, Thebes, Corinth, and Argos, Greece continued to be the only European country in which they were practised until about the middle of the twelfth century, when they were introduced into the island of Sicily. From this island they spread into Italy; and Venice, Milan, Florence, and Lucca, were soon after distinguished for their success in raising silkworms, and for the extent and beauty of their manufactures of silk. The silk manufac ture was introduced into Tours, in France, by some workmen from Italy, on the invitation of Louis XI., about the year 1480, and at Lyons in 1520; and into England about the same time, though it did not make much progress in England until the age of Queen Elizabeth.
for each part. After marking with a perforated pattern, go over the design with a rather thick solution of gum-water and flake white. When dry, run on the braid with one of the strands of the same, a length of the braid being previously cut off for the purpose. Take every stitch across the braid, not along the centre. The gold thread is to be laid on each side of it, and sewed down with China silk of the same tint. If it be thought that the quantity of gold makes the slippers too expensive, it can be laid only on the outer edge of the silk braid. Albert braid is not suitable for working on mo
The ends of the braid and of the gold thread must be drawn through to the wrong side, with a coarse rug needle. Morocco can be procured in various colours. Purple, with Vert-islay braid;
centre only being without either increase or diminution, we will describe the way in which the decrease is so effected as to leave a regular edge; the increase being always done as we have described in the 2nd row. There are two close squares at each end.
FOR THE DECREASE.-Slip on the first stitch, Sc on the next, Sde on the next, De on the fourth, do three more Dc, 2 Ch, which form the first open square in the line. At the other extremity reverse the process, working on the four last stitches, 1 Dc, 1 Sde, 1 Sc, 1 slip.
In all the succeeding rows that are decreased, make the slip stitch on the first De stitch of the previous row, at each end, thus shortening every row by three stitches.
The edge being of two close squares, allows for all the ends being worked in, which should invariably be done.
Work one row of open square crochet all round, with the De stitches sufficiently close at the corners to set flat, and in every square knot a fringe of twelve or sixteen strands, and 2 inches deep.
For terms used in crochet see No. 67, Old Series, and No. 6, New Series, Family Friend."
THE ABUSES OF THE EYE.
THE "Journal of Health," a very useful monitor on this subject, contains the following excellent observations by Dr. W. A. Alcott. We have already alluded to this subject in page 356, vol. ii., New Series, Family Friend :
"One evil of cities and city life is more than indicated by our preceding remarks. Not only does the eye of the citizen rest on substances too light coloured, while in the dwelling, the school house, the study, the shop, the factory, and the church, but elsewhere. If he goes out, in one of our cities, the relief of even a garden is denied him. All is naked pavements and sidewalks and walls; and he is too closely occupied to go beyond these for relief. Whereas, if he is to be shut up to improper objects the rest of the time, he ought at least to have his eye rest on better things in his walks abroad. The least which can safely be done is to have well
cultivated gardens, in which he can ramble; and well cultivated fields and choice grounds are almost equally indispensable. "When will mankind understand the importance of verdure to the eye, to say nothing of its effects on general health and happiness? Until they do, not only will the manufacture of spectacles and eye waters continue to increase, but the manufacture of a thousand other things, which, while they afford present relief only, seem to encourage, or at least to license, a still farther deviation from the path which has been marked out to us by the Creator.
"2. AIR.-What we have said of the importance of light to the eye, and especially of going abroad in the garden, fields, groves, etc., to secure a supply of it, will preclude, in a great measure, the necessity of dwelling long on the importance of air since it happens that whenever we go abroad, we have the full benefit of light and air both. Our rooms, however, may be well lighted, and yet, badly ventilated; indeed, we sometimes find them so. Now a free and full supply of pure air is almost as important to the eyes as to the lungs. We know, indeed, that another source of injury to the eyes is so often conjoined with want of ventilation-we mean too high a temperaturethat it is not a little difficult to say precisely how much of the injury is to be attributed to this one, and how much to the other. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that bad air is pernicious to the eye-sight, not only indirectly, or through the medium of the lungs, but also in a more direct manner.
"3. WATER.-For very weak eyes, a little caution is necessary in the application of water to them, especially as regards the temperature. To some, cold water is painful; to others, warm water is so. In these cases we know of no safer rule than to leave it to each individual to be governed, in respect to temperature, by his experience and judgment. If cold water is painful, why then raise its temperature till it ceases to be so. If, on the contrary, warm water appears to be injurious, we may lower the temperature. It should be remembered, however, that the cooler the water, the better it is, so far our object in its application