Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

lear to

I could sleep myself that night, for think- did not overtake them, to go directly to ing of my pet. I remember I dreamed their pew. I had not gone far before I that little angels came to watch over me, found Kitty at my heels. I spoke as as I had been told they would watch over crossly as I could to her, and sent her good children, but that, when they came back, looking after her till she was out

my bedside, they all turned of sight. But just as I reached the into white kittens, and purred over my church, she came bounding over the fence, deep.

and went trotting along before me. Now, The next morning, I asked my mother what could I do? I felt that it would be for a name for pussy. She laughed and very wicked to take a cat to meeting, but zave me “Keturah,” saying that it was I feared that, if I left her outside, she good Sunday name, but that I might call might be lost, or stolen, or killed. So I er Kitty, for short.

took her up under my shawl, and went Soon, I am happy to say, all the family | softly into church. I dared not carry her rew to liking my pet very much, and I to Doctor Wilson's pew, which was just ecame exceedingly fond and proud of before the pulpit, but sat down in the farer. Every night when I returned from ther end of the first slip, behind a pillar, hool, I thought I could see an improve- and with nobody near. lent in her, till I came to consider her a

I was very sorry to find that it was itten of prodigious talent. I have seen not our handsome young minister that any cats in my day, and I still think that preached, but an old man and a stranger. leturah was very bright. She could per- His sermon may have been a fine one for rm a great many wonderful exploits, the grown-up people, but it struck me as ich as playing hide-and-seek with me, all rather dull. I had been a strawberrying rough the house, and lying on her back that afternoon, and was sadly tired, and arfectly still, and pretending to be dead. the cat in my lap purred so drowsily, that made her a little cloak, cap, and bonnet, I soon found my eyes closing, and my head ad she would sit up straight, dressed in nodding wisely to everything the minister lem, on a little chair, for all the world said. I tried every way to keep awake, ke some queer old woman. Once, after but it was of no use. I finally fell asleep, had been to the menagerie, I made her a and slept as soundly as I ever slept in my uy suit of clothes, and taught her to ride life. y brother's little dog, as I had seen the When I awoke at last, I did not know onkey ride the pony. She, in her turn, where I was. All was dark around me, as very fond of me, and would follow me and there was the sound of rain without. henever she could.

The meeting was over, the people had It happened, that when Kitty was about all gone, without having seen me, and I year old, and quite a sizeable cat, I be- was alone in the old church at midnight! ame very much interested in some religi- As soon as I saw how it was, I set up us meetings which were held on every a great cry, and shrieked and called at Vednesday evening in the village church, the top of my voice. But nobody heard bout half a mile from our house. I me,- for the very good reason that noeally enjoyed them very much, for I body lived anywhere near. I will do Kitty uved our minister, who was a good and the justice to say, that she showed no fear ind man, and I always felt a better and at this trying time, but purred and rubbed appier child after hearing him preach, against me, as much as to say, “ Keep a ven though I did not understand all that good heart, my little mistress.” e said.

One evening it chanced that Oh! it was a dreadful place in which to here were none going from our house; be, in the dark night! There, where I vut my mother, who saw that I was sadly had heard such awful things preached lisappointed, gave me leave to go with a about, before our new minister came, who reighbouring family, who never missed a loved children too well to frighten them, meeting of the sort. But when I reached but who chose rather to talk about our Doctor Wilson's, I found that they were good Father in Heaven, and the dear already gone. Yet, as it was not quite Saviour, who took little children in his dark I went on by myself, intending, if I arms and blessed them. I thought of

Him then, and when I had said my prayers, I felt braver, and had courage enough to go and try the doors; but all were locked fast. Then I sat down and cried more bitterly than ever, but Kitty purred cheerfully all the time.

At last I remembered that I had seen one of the back-windows open that evening, perhaps I might get out through that. So I groped my way up the broad aisle, breathing hard with awe and fear. As I was passing the pulpit, there came a clap of thunder which jarred the whole building, and the great red Bible, which lay on the black velvet cushions of the desk, fell right at my feet! I came near falling myself, I was so dreadfully scared; but I made my way to the window, which I found was open by the rain beating in. But though I stretched myself up on tiptoe, I could not quite reach the sill. Then I went back by the pulpit and got the big Bible, which I placed on the floor edgeways against the wall, and by that help I clambered to the window. I feared I was a great sinner to make such use of the Bible, and such a splendid book, too; but I could not help it. I put Kitty out first, and then swung myself down. It rained a little, and was so dark that I could see nothing but my white kitten, who ran along before me, and was both a lantern and a guide. I hardly know how I got home, but there I found myself at last. All was still, but I soon roused the whole house; for, when the danger and trouble were over, I cried the loudest with fright and cold. My mother had supposed that Doctor Wilson's family had kept me for the night, as I often stayed with them, and had felt no anxiety for me.

Dear mother!-I remember how she took off my dripping clothes, and made me some warm drink, and put me snugly to bed, and laughed and cried, as she listened to my adventures, and kissed me and comforted me till I fell asleep. Nor was Kitty forgotten, but was fed and put as cosily to bed as her poor mistress.

The next morning I awoke with a dreadful headach, and when I tried to rise I found I could not stand. I do not remember much more, except that my father, who was a physician, came and felt my pulse, and said I had a high fever,

brought on by the fright and exposure of the night previous. I was very sick indeed, for three or four weeks, and all that time my faithful Kitty stayed by the side of my bed. She could be kept out of the room but a few moments during the day, and mewed piteously when they put her in her little house at night. My friends said that it was really very affecting to see her love and devotion; but I knew very little about it, as I was out of my head, or in a stupor, most of the time. Yet I remember how the good creature frolicked about me the first time I was placed in an armchair, and wheeled out into the diningroom to take breakfast with the family; and when, about a week later, my brother Charles took me in his strong arms and carried me out into the garden, how she ran up and down the walks, half crazy with delight, and danced along sideways, and jumped out at us from behind currant-bushes, in a most cunning and startling manner.

I remember now how strange the garden looked,-how changed from what I had last seen it. The roses were all, all gone, and the China-asters and marigolds were in bloom. When my brother passed with me through the corn and beans, I wondered he did not get lost, they were grown so thick and high.

It was in the autumn after this sickness that one afternoon I was sitting under the shade of a favourite apple-tree, reading Mrs. Sherwood's sweet story of "Little Henry and his Bearer." I remember how I cried over it, grieving for poor Henry and his dear teacher. Ah, I little thought how soon my tears must flow for myself and my Kitty! It was then that my sister came to me, looking sadly troubled, to tell me the news. Our brother William, who was a little mischievous, had been amusing himself by throwing Kitty from a high window, and seeing her turn somersets in the air, and alight on her feet unhurt. But at last, becoming tired or dizzy, she had fallen on her back and broken the spine, just below her shoulders. I ran at once to where she lay on the turf, moaning in her pain. I sat down beside her, and cried as though my heart would break. There I stayed till evening, when my mother had Kitty taken up very gently, carried into the house, and laid on a

soft cushion.

Then my father carefully examined her hurt. He shook his head, said she could not possibly get well, and that she should be put out of her misery at once. But I begged that she might be allowed to live till the next day. I did not eat much supper that night, or breakfast in the morning, but grieved incessantly for her who had been to me a fast friend in sickness as in health.

About nine o'clock of a pleasant September morning, my brothers came and held a council round poor Kitty, who was lying on a cushion in my lap, moaning with every breath; and they decided that, out of pity for her suffering, they must put her to death. The next question was, how this was to be done. "Cut her head off with the axe!" said my brother Charles, trying to look very manly and stern, with his lip quivering all the while. But my brother William, who had just been reading a history of the French Revolution, and how they took off the heads of people with a machine called the guillotine, suggested that the straw-cutter in the barn would do the work as well, and not be so painful for the executioner. This was agreed to by all present.

Weeping harder than ever, I then took a last leave of my dear pet, my good and loving and beautiful Kitty. They took her to the guillotine, while I ran and shut myself up in a dark closet, and stopped my ears till they came and told me that all was over.

The next time I saw my poor pet, she was lying in a cigar-box, ready for burial. They had bound her head on very cleverly with bandages, and washed all the blood off from her white breast; clover-blosSoms were scattered over her, and a green sprig of catnip was placed between her paws. My youngest brother, Albert, drew on his little waggon to the grave, which was dug under a large elm-tree, in a corner of the yard. The next day I planted over her a shrub called the "pussy-willow."

her

graceful gambols and mischievous frolics of a playful kitten.

For some weeks past we have had with us on the sea-shore a beautiful little French girl,—one of the loveliest creatures alive,-who has a remarkable fondness for a pretty black and white kitten, belonging to the house. All day long she will have her pet in her arms, talking to her when she thinks nobody is near,-telling her everything,—charging her to keep some story to herself, as it is a very great secret, - sometimes reproving her for faults, or praising her for being good. Her last thought on going to sleep, and the first on waking, is this kitten. She loves her so fondly, that her father has promised that she shall take her all the way to France. We shall miss the frolicsome kitten much, but the dear child far

-

more:

After that I had many pet kittens, but none that ever quite filled the place of poor Keturah. Yet I still have a great partiality for the feline race. I like nothing better than to sit, on a summer afternoon or in a winter evening, and watch the

"O, we'll be so sad and lonely

In the dreary autumn weather, For the birds and little Maric

Are going forth together! When upon the flowers of summer Falls the cruel autumn blight, And the pretty face of Marie Has faded from our sight."

Ac

IMPERISHABILITY OF HUMAN TIONS.-Man's deeds are of imperishable character. Not only are they recorded in the book of Divine remembrance, but modern discoveries of science have established a fact peculiarly calculated to impress creatures of sense, viz., that their every word and action produce an abiding impression on the globe we inhabit. The pulsations of the air, we are told, in Babbage's "Ninth Bridgewater Treatise,"

once set in motion, cease not to exist; its waves, raised by each sound or muscular exertion, perambulate the earth's and ocean's surface; and, in less than twentyfour hours, every atom of atmosphere takes up the altered movement resulting to it from that sound or action. The air itself is one vast library, on whose pages are for ever written all that man has ever said

or ever whispered. There, in unerring and imperishable characters, stand recorded the jests of the profane, the curses of the swearer, tne scoffs of the infidel, with al. the unhallowed words with which Christians insult the Majesty of Heaven.—Elliot.

be grown in light peat soil, to have abundance of water, particularly over the leaves, and ample drainage. They should also have as much air as can conveniently be given to them, and not too much sun. The first

PLANTS IN BALCONIES. thing to be done, is to supply the balconies or leads over porticoes, which are to be filled with flowering plants, with boxes to contain the plants. In most cases, the boxes only serve to contain the pots in which greenhouse plants are grown; but in others, they are filled with earth, in which mignonette and other annuals are sown. In the latter case slate boxes should be used, as, though they are dearer, and are not so portable as those made of wood, they are much more lasting. Slate boxes should also always be used when they are intended to be fixtures, and to stand out all the winter, as they generally do, when planted with evergreens or hardy climbers. When boxes are only to stand out during the summer months, they should be made of the best yellow deal. Their dimensions may vary as regards their width according to taste or circumstances; but their length should never exceed three or four feet, because if they are longer it is difficult to move them, and this is a very important matter. The depth of the boxes should never be less than seven inches; but it need not be more than ten inches, even for boxes of the largest size. Mignonette boxes are generally made seven inches deep by seven inches wide, and from eighteen inches to three feet long. The length is not of so much consequence as the depth and width, which should never be less than the dimensions given above, as mig. nonette does not look well unless it is planted en masse; and the plants will not thrive unless they have plenty of pot room. It is a very good plan to have a few greenhouse plants, say three or four, plunged in the same box with the mignonette, when the season is a little further advanced, as they fill up the blanks when the mignonette begins to fade. It is necessary to be very particular about the size of the boxes, as very few carpenters will make boxes for plants either wide enough or deep enough, unless they are kept to the exact dimensions.

THE GARDENER.

CAMELLIAS.-Certainly we have reason to be grateful to the Rev. Father Kamel, a Jesuit missionary, who first saw these beautiful flowers, camellias, in Japan, and sent them to Europe. It is true, that it was not till very many years afterwards that camellias became generally known; and even the first that were brought to England, in 1739, died from being kept in a hot-house; but the idea of them was given, and it only wanted time and perseverance to make them what they now are, the ornament of every greenhouse throughout the kingdom. The first beginning of the present universal cultivation of the camellia, was in 1792, little more than fifty years ago, when the single red was re-imported from China, where camellias are very common, though their native country is Japan. The camellia is now, indeed, naturalized in China, and Mr. Fortune met with specimens growing wild in the woods of Pooto-san, some of which were trees between twenty and thirty feet high. The double white and the variegated red were the next kinds introduced, and they were followed by the Waratah, or Anemoneflowered, and the fringed white, the pale blush, and the striped. The single white was not introduced till 1818; and Mr. Fortune has lately seen a yellow kind in China, shaped like the anemone-flowered variety, of a deep golden yellow in the centre, and the outer petals of a paler yellow. All these kinds, and many hybrids, are varieties of one species, Camellia iaponica; but there are also some other species, the handsomest of which is C. reticulata, which was introduced by Capt. Rawes, in 1824. C. maliflora, the apple flowered camellia, has beautiful little flowers, very like apple blossoms in colour and shape, but double. This species was introduced in 1816; it is very pretty, but rather tender. Camellia Sasanqua is still more tender, and it has a single white flower like that of the green It is very like the tea-plant altogether, and its leaves are used for some kinds of tea. There are several other species of camellia, all closely resembling this, and not possessing much beauty in their flowers. Camellias should

tea.

ALMANACKS.-It is impossible to suppose that, at any period, almanacks of some sort or other were uncommon. That the Alexandrian Greeks constructed them in or after the time of Ptolemy appears from an account of Theon, the celebrated commentator of the "Almagest," in a MS. found by M. Delambre, at Paris, in which the method of arranging them is explained, and the proper materials pointed out. The ancient Romans had also their Fasti, resembling the modern almanack. The earliest almanacks (in MS., of course) which Lalande, an indefatigable bibliographer, could obtain, are those of Solomon Jarchus, published in or about the year 1150, and of the celebrated Purbach, the translator of Ptolemy's " Almagest," published in 1450-61. An almanack for the year 1442, in MS., is preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi, at Paris; and there are various MS. almanacks of the 14th century, elegantly executed in the libraries of the British Museum and of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. But John Muller, or Regiomontanus, a celebrated astronomer of the 15th century, born at Koningshoven, in Franconia, in 1436, who acquired great reputation by publishing an abridgement of Ptolemy's "Almagest,' which had been begun by Purbach, was the first, we are told, who arranged and methodized almanacks after their present and modern form; and which, although they simply contained the eclipses and places of the planets, &c., were sold, it is said, for ten crowns each in gold! The first almanack, says Dr. Rees, in his "Cyclopædia," art. Almanack, was printed in 1474, but he does not say where; and in the London "Cyclopædia," under the same art., it it stated, that "the first almanack is said to have been printed at Constantinople, under the direction of Ahdonaham;" but the date he gives, viz. 1716, is evidently incorrect. We presume it ought to have been in 1476, the year in which Regiomontanus died, as say, of the plague, or, according to others, that he was assassinated in his second journey to Rome, where pope Sixtus IV. had provided for him the archbishopric of Ratisbon, and had sent for him to reform the calendar. See other information on this subject in the "Bibliothèque | Astronomique ” of Lalande.

some

ORIGINS AND INVENTIONS.

ORIGIN OF HIGH PEWS.-Bishop Burnet complained that the ladies of the Princess Anne's establishment did not look at him while preaching his thundering long sermons, as Queen Mary called them, but were looking at other objects. He, therefore, after much remonstrance on their impropriety, prevailed on Queen Anne to order all the pews in St. James's Chapel to be raised so high that the fair delinquents could see nothing but himself when he was in the pulpit! The princess laughed at the complaint, but she complied, when Burnet told her that the interests of the Church were in danger. The whim of Bishop Burnet was imitated in many places which had not been pewed before, and are, at this hour, to be seen in remote country parishes.-Strickland's Lives.

HOB AND NOB. What is the origin of these words as verbs, in the phrase "Hob or nob," which means, as I need not inform your readers, to spend and evening tippling with a jolly companion? What is the origin of "nob?" And is either of these two words ever used alone? [This phrase, according to Grosse, originated in the days of good Queen Bess. When great chimneys were in fashion, there was at each corner of the hearth, or grate, a small elevated projection, called hob, and behind it a seat. In winter time the beer was placed on the hob to warm; and the cold beer was set on a small table, said to have been called the nob; so that the question, Will you have hob or nob? seems only to have meant, "Will you have warm or cold beer? i. e. beer from the hob or beer from the nob." But Nares, in his Glossary," s. v. Habbe or Nabbe, with much greater reason, shows that hob or nob, now only used convivially, to ask a person whether he will have a glass of wine or not, is most evidently a corruption of the old hab-nab, from the Saxon habban, to have, and nabban, not to have; in proof of which, as Nares remarks, Shakspere has used it to mark an alternative of another kind:-" And his incensement at this moment is so implacable, that satisfaction can be none but by pangs of death and sepulchre; hob, nob is his word; give't or take't."-Twelfth Night, act iii., sc. 4.]—-Notes and Queries.

66

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »