Page images


diminish inflammation and give strength | duce.

When it cannot be borne, however to the organ, provided it does not irritate --for there may be such cases among us, or give pain.

in a community where there is so much Our leading purpose, however, in these incipient disease --washing and bathing remarks, is to suggest the more important the face often with the eyes closed, is means of improving the eye, rather than highly serviceable. Nearly the those of removing debility or disease ; and good effects, only in a degree less intense, to those who have eyes already compara- may result from this mode of application, tively healthy and good, and who only which follow from the other. The eye-lid wish to cultivate or improve-in other is very thin, and its sympathies with the words, to educate them in the best eye itself very strong. possible manner, we would say : Make a "64. EXERCISE.-On this point-the last, daily use of cold water. Not only wash but not the least important we have the face well several times a day, and the selected - our opinion will probably be whole body once,—the eyes being closed deemed more heretical than elsewhere. It when the water comes in contact with these has been very generally supposed, that in parts, - but occasionally open the eyes order to strengthen the eye, above all, ir themselves while in the water.

debilitated or diseased, it must be little "When we commenced a regular course used. From this mistaken view have of study at the age of twenty-five, our

arisen a thousand errors. To it, in no greatest fear was lest our eyes-naturally small degree, we owe the mighty deluge of weak, and rendered worse by improper spectacles of all sorts, of which we have medical treatment for the measles-should already loudly complained ; together with fail us. But, by daily bathing them, and a host of mechanical contrivances for especially by opening them in cold water, favouring weak eyes, or improving those and by a proper course of exercise to be already strong. To it, moreover, we owe, described hereafter, instead of growing in no small degree, much of that superworse by study, they actually grew better ficiality in learning which is so common every year for many years--indeed, till among us now-a-days. Many a student we were more than forty years of age. seems to regard spectacles as a sort of Now, while we would not lay too much substitute for thought and solid learning. stress on single cases, it is impossible for “Now, we are of the number of those us not to make at least two inferences who believe that if no person in the world from these facts.–1. That though the were to use any sort of spectacles or glasses exercise had its full share in this work of for a thousand years to come, the

eyeimproving the eyes, the cold bathing did sight of the race then on earth would be something. 2. That what did our eyes far better than it is likely to be, as things some good, or at least did not injure them, are now going on. This is not saying that diseased though they were, would be far spectacles may not, in some instances, be more useful-certainly safe—to eyes as advantageously applied, but only that the yet comparatively healthy.

extreme to which we have alluded, would “We have already alluded to the dele- be far more tolerable than that which now terious consequences of eye waters ; espe- exists. Nine in ten, perhaps ninety-nine cially those which are as harsh as sul- in a hundred, who uses glasses, are injured phuric acid or elixir of vitriol. And yet, by them in the end, most unquestionably. while

many people will use the latter with “ The grand point, after all, in the work great willingness, they will shrink from of improving the eye-just as it is in the the application of cold water to the tender work of improving any other organ-is to surface of the eye! Strange inconsis- give it a proper amount of healthful tency! And yet not a whit more strange exercise. In one word, it must be used.

“Exercise of the eye, to be useful, must " Pure cold water thus applied to the eye, be varied. We must not read always, nor twice or three times a day, especially in always refrain from reading. We must the early part of the day, is most unques- not always read the coarsest print ; nor tionably the best tonic for this must we go to the other and worse extreme, light excepted, which the world can pro- that of always using small print.

than common.



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

must not use a strong light always; nor and persists in it voluntarily 'neither must we resolve not to use a strong light cometh to the light,'nor enjoys the full at all. We must not read too much by benefit of the light he already possesses. artificial lights ; nor need we refuse to use “Important truths, like important knowa lamp or a candle in any circumstances. ledge, and like our locomotive organs, are We should not read much when the mind given us to use; and if not used, they or the body is in a state of considerable soon either dwindle away or perish. Nor fatigue; nor need we go to the other is this all. We are accountable for them; extreme, of never reading at all in such not only for the lost truth, knowledge, circumstances.

and bodily organs themselves, but for the “ The course which science, experience, uses to which, respectively, they might and observation would seem to point out, have been applied.” is the following :-Keep the eyes cool. Use them much, generally in a full strong

THE ISLAND BUILDERS. light, and in the open air; but at any rate use them. Accustom them, on occasions, A great many years ago—so long since, to almost every degree of light, every kind that history does not tell us when--the of type, and every kind of artificial fires in the centre of the earth burned arrangement : taking care, however, very fiercely, and the confined vapours especially in reading small or bad type, struggled long and terribly to escape. and in using a light badly constructed, or The earth seeined to quake, and the broad in a bad position, not to go so far as to rolling waters of the Pacific lashed and induce fatigue. We believe that, with tossed, and at last fell into a long rolling these latter cautions, the eye will always surge, which swept from the tropic to the improve by use; and that, on the contrary, ice-bound circle around the southern pole. the more it is favoured and indulged - When the earth had ceased to quake, and babied as it were-the worse will be its the waters were stilled, it was found that condition. We believe that thousands a volcano had sprung up in the depths of tend or baby their eyes into chronic or the

sea, and had risen to the height of deep-seated disease, when constant and many hundred feet, but was yet far bevaried exercise, and a due attention to neath the surface of the waters. light, air, and water, would have rendered Soon afterward, a colony of polypes, them as strong as our own.

We have no or coral insects, lighted upon this volcano more use for spectacles now than we had peak, and finding it well suited for their at twenty years of age ; nor do we mean purpose, determined to build an island. to use any for twenty years to come. And I suppose many of the young readers of yet we read with impunity--for a little this story have seen coral, but none of while at once in all sorts of light; and them have seen the coral insect. It is one have done so for about fifteen years. And of the most astonishing facts in natural yet, according to common appearances, history that such small creatures should no man had a worse prospect before him, produce the immense coral reefs and so far as eyesight merely is concerned, | islands which are to be seen in different fifteen or twenty years ago, than ourselves. parts of the world. Yet the polypes have And though we would not lay too much done more in the smallest island in the stress on the experience of one individual, Pacific, than did all the Pharaohs when we must be permitted to believe that it is they built all the pyramids of Egypt. worth something.

It was

a great undertaking for such “ As in the work of reform and improve- little creatures. What! build an island ! ment everywhere, so in this particular Strange that such a thought should enter department, whatsoever the hand findeth into their little heads. But although it to do,' should be done immediately. was a great thought for their heads, it There is little hope for him who will not was not too great for their stout little begin now to do that which he knows to hearts, which were as big as their thoughts. be nis duty. He that doeth truth' as They knew what they wanted to do, they soon as he knows what truth is, “cometh knew how to do it, and they knew it would 20 the light;' while he that doeth evil,' take some time to get through their work;

a moment.

but as they had a great aim before them, / tisans knew that he was a big fellow, and they made up their minds to set about they could see that he was a big boaster, it and lose no time uselessly.

too; so the leader quietly told him that A grand council was called, and the he had better commence his day's work, leader of the colony, with a deal of cere- for they were getting his grave yard ready mony (as great affairs of the kind are for him. now done,) proceeded to lay the corner- On this the whale, enraged at their stone of the new island. Mounting a boldness, had a mind to fling himself beautiful little crystal of zeolite which lay against their building and break it to half imbedded in a fragment of basalt, he pieces, but presently he thought he would very quietly deposited the first atom of be better avenged by bringing some of his calcareous rock in a little cavity in the great materials, and burying them all in stone. When this was done, the tiny ar

With this purpose he sailed tisans went to work and soon saw the away, but was soon diverted from his inresult of their labour in a beautiful garden tention with other things, and after sportof coral branches, of every variety of ing, and hunting, and travelling about shape, and making the rim of the volcano many hundred thousand of miles, and look like the flowery circle around a having nearly forgotten his resolve, he garden walk.

one day thought of his visit to the little When the first hundred years had gone fellows struggling away at their toil in by, and many of the polypes who com- the bold effort of island-building. In fact, menced the island had passed away, and he felt so little concern about them, that left their places to others who were going he even thought he need hardly go to see on with the work, a great whale, who had them. But after thinking a few moments, left his hunting grounds in the north on a uncertain in which direction to turn, he southern cruise, happening one day to resolved to pay them a visit out of mere dive down deeper than usual, espied the curiosity, and take no notice of insults crowds of labourers, and wondered what it from such insignificant creatures as they could all mean. After a time he seemed to get some idea of what the curious ob- Falling into the parallel of 20 degrees jects were—that they were little insects south latitude, he struck west, in search very busy, or who pretended to be (as of his object, and frequently diving to a many little folks often do), about some great depth, he at last came upon a widething of importance to themselves, but of spreading mass of coral, which had grown no use to any one else in the world. At to an astonishing size since his last visit. first he thought he would not take any He did not know the place, and had it not notice of them, but finally, to show them been that he remembered some marks what paltry things they were, and that near the spot, he could never have been they were very busy about nothing, and certain that he had found his little that he was somebody, he resolved to friends. honour them, by asking, in a tone which Finding, at length, that he had reached showed that he expected to be asked for the end of his journey, he spoke to the some favour, what they were about. tribes around him, which had now in

The chief of the tribe, who had a great creased to millions on millions, quietly deal of independence, and who felt that he adding grain by grain to the mountain was in the right path and needed no in- mass, and laying a foundation of solid terference from conceited loungers, told rock for the next class of workers. He him that they were “building an island.” saw that some great change had taken This was too absurd for the whale. He place, and began to think that, in time, if tossed his tail, puffed off a great column they only had long lives, and were very of water, and looking in pity on the silly busy, they might make quite a big bed of little things, said, “ Building an island ! coral down there but an island ! the The island will wait a long time to be thing was the most crazy idea in the finished, if you have it to do! I can do world. more in one day, than the whole of you Just to prove to the polypes how foolish in a million of years !” The little ar- their conduct was, and how they wasted



He now


their strength, and to show them that the him, for he had lost so much time that he

end could be gained in a much began seriously to think he had trified too shorter way, he thought he would teach long. Diving down to the coral island, them how to build an island, and thus he was surprised to see it only a little way confer on them a great benefit. So he from the surface of the water. merely said that he would show them what turned away and raced up and down the island - building really was, and went deep to find materials with which to build away.

his island, but in vain. After many useNow this freak of the whale was carried | less attempts, and finding that he was into effect just to ridicule the little trifling unable to perform his task, he was so works of the polypes, and to show how chagrined that he gave up in despair, and fast he could build an island-not that the soon died. coral workers should have the benefit of But the polypes had been working up it, but that the world might praise his solidly from the bottom. great deeds, while the busy toilers were The trade-winds blowing in that region not seen at all. Forth he goes over the bore the carcass along until it had reached face of the deep, and brings from every the point where the meridian 160 deg. west quarter of the globe, trunks of tall giant of London crosses the parallel 20 deg. trees, seaweeds, and plants of every kind, south of the Equator, when it struck upon all the floating matters on the surface of a reef elevated about twenty feet above the water, and from various shores, all the the surface of the water, on which a few timber and materials he could possibly small trees were just beginning to grow. obtain. With this immense raft of mat- It seemed to be a very strange circumter, he drew near to the place of his tri- stance, but he was afterward seen by Capumph, and after leaving it not far from tain Harpoon, of the good barque Spermthe next island, he went away to bring one chaser, and taken on board his ship. more mass which should seal his victory The coral builders left an island which and give him his desired renown. On his never be shaken, and having been return, he found that the tides, the winds built solidly up from the bottom, it has a and the waves had destroyed his island—it strong foundation on which to rest. The had all drifted away, and only one frag- bread-fruit and the cocoa-nut are growing ment of sandal wood remained. This was there now, and the natives of an island a sad sight, but having brought an iceberg close by have settled upon it, for the coral with him, he left it, thinking it would workers have provided a home for man. serve as a firm support for the other ma- So may it be with the labours of all, terials in his next and crowning attempt. old or young, who lay their foundation

Meantime the polypes were working up well, and work and wait patiently for their solidly from the bottom.

reward. After being away a long time, the whale came back to see his island, and to watch REMEMBERED HAPPINESS. — Mankind the coral workers, so that he might know are always happier for having been happy; the time when it would be necessary to put so that if you make them happy now, you in the last materials and finish his work, make them happy twenty years hence, by for he did not care about doing it in a the inemory of it. A childhood passed single day, lest it should be thought he with a due mixture of rational indulgence, was doing it merely to gain the admiration under fond and wise parents, diffuses over of the world. So he worked slower than the whole of life a feeling of calm pleahe thought at first he would do, in order sure, and in extreme old age is the very to prevent his vain-confidence from being last remembrance which time can erase

from the mind of man How enjoyment, But the polypes were working solidly however inconsiderable, is confined to the up from the bottom.

present moment !

A man is the happier After some time he returned once more for life from having made once an agreeto his island, and found that the iceberg able tour, or lived for any length of time had melted away and left only a small with pleasant people, or enjoyed any con. mass of ice under water. This alarmed siderable interval of innocent pleasure.




All at rest now-all dust!-wave fows on wave;
But the sea dries not !- what to us the grave ?
It brings no real homily; we sigh,
Pause for awhile and murmur, “ All must die!”
Then rush to pleasure, action, sin once more,
Swell the loud tide, and fret unto the shore.


O what is Death? 'Tis life's last shore,
Where vanities are vain no more !
Where all pursuits their goal obtain,
And life is all retouch'd again;
Where, in their bright results, shall rise
Thoughts, virtues, friendships, griefs, and joys.


The lovely bird, so young and fair,

Called hence by early doom,
Just came to show how sweet a flower
In paradise would bloom.

The man, how wise, who, sick of gaudy scenes,
Is led by choice to take his favourite wall
Beneath Death's gloomy, silent cypress shades,
Unpierced by vanity's fantastic ray!
To read his monuments, to weigh his dust,
Visit his vaults, and dwell among the tombs !


Leaves have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath,

And stars to set-but all, Thou hast all seasons for thine own, o Death!


INTERESTING STATISTICS. “An elevation of 500 feet, a very common variation in the surface of a hilly country, diminishes the average weight of the atmospheric pressure on the human body something more than a sixteenth part, or 600 pounds."

It has been computed that two hundred and ten battles have been fought in England, from the invasion of Cæsar, to the close of the Scotch rebellion, in 1745. In only forty of these is the slaughter ascertained; but in those forty battles no less than 580,000 men were sacrificed.

EDMUND BURKE calculates that the number of human beings who have been slain in battle, and who have perished in a no less miserable manner by the consequences of war, from the beginning of the world to the commencement of the French Revolution, were at least seventy times the number of souls then on the globe; which, at the calculation of five hundred millions of its population, amounts to the almost incredible number of thirty-five thousand millions.

NUTRITION OF A Cow.-A cow consumes on an average 100 lbs. of green food in 24 hours. This, for 185 days of summer, is 18,500 lbs. In winter, 45 lbs. of root a day; or for 180 days, 8,100 lbs. One-third of this may be potatoes; the rest, other roots. But she gives, if well fed, 2,000 quarts of milk a year.

OF 100 men who are born, 50 die before the 10th year, 20 between the 10th and the 20th, 10 between the 20th and the 30th, 6 between the 30th and the 40th, 5 between the 40th and the 50th, 3 between the 50th and the 60th ; therefore, 6 only live to be above the age of 60. Haller, who collected the greatest number of instances respecting the age of man, found the relative duration of life to be in the following proportion:--Of men who lived from 100 to 110 years, the instances have been 1,000, of from 110 to 130, 60.

Ir is estimated that there is yearly consumed in the linen and other manufactures of Great Britain, 100,000 tons of flax. Of this quantity, 75,000 tons are imported, the remaining 25,000 tons being the produce of the British isles. The total value of all the articles of British manufacture, in which the flax fibre imported is employed, exceeds £5,000,000 annually. Flax-seed for sowing and crushing is imported annually into Great Britain, to the amount of £1,820,000, taking the quantity imported, 650,000 quarters, at 7s. per quarter; 70,000 tons of oil-cake, for feeding of cattle, having a value of £600,000, are also imported yearly.

The Bible contains 3,566,480 letters; 810,697 words ; 31,173 verses; 1,189 chapters; 66 books. The word and 46,227 times; the word reverend only once, which is in the 9th verse of the 11th Psalm; the word Lord 1,855 times; the middle and least chapter is the 117th Psalm; the middle verse the 8th of 118th Psalm; and the 21st verse 7th chapter of Ezra contains the alphabet. The finest chapter to read is the 26th of Acts; the 19th chapter of second book of Kings, and the 37th chapter of Isaiah are alike. The least verse is the 33rd of the 11th chapter of John ; and the 8th, 15th, 21st, and 31st verses of the 107th Psalm are alike. Each verse of the 136th Psalm ends alike; there are no words or names in the Bible of more than six syllables.

Ere sin could blight, or sorrow fade,

Death came with friendly care,
The opening bud to heaven convey'd,
And bade it blossom there.

My joy is-Death ;
Death, at whose name I oft have been afеard,
Because I wished this world's eternity.

SHAKSPERE. Death gives us more than was in Eden lost. The king of terrors is the prince of peace.

YOUNG. Soon as man, expert from time, has found The key of life, it opes the gates of Death.

YOUNG. Whatever farce the boastful hero plays, Virtue alone has majesty in death; And, greater still, the more the tyrant frowns.

YOUNG. On this side, and on that, men see their friends Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch out Into fantastic schemes, which the long-livers, In the world's hale and undegenerate days, Could scarce have leisure for; fools that we are ! Never to think of Death and of ourselves At the same time! As if to learn to die Were no concern of ours !

BLAIR. A death-bed's a detector of the heart; Here tired dissimulation drops her mask, Through life's grimace, that mistress of the scene.


« PreviousContinue »