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tic. They are contained in a tract preserved in the have been more appropriate, at the present crisis, to Harleian collection, which states, in addition, that some hold out some additional signals of friendly regard and months after the poor fellow's death, a ship touched at generous fellow-feeling towards other states, than to get Ascension, and found his journal, and his body, and pos- up a cry that we are not in a fit state to defy them to sessions there. Yet this unhappy man need not have do their worst. When will the time come for states to died : : a little knowledge of the first principles of che assume in their relations to each other the looks and mistry would have saved him. We were struck recently language which give sweetness to the relations of priwith the expedient of some sailors in procuring fresh vate life — those demonstrations, for example, which water from salt, which, though perfectly familiar to us will cause natives of different countries, when they meet before, deserves notice. The apparatus was an iron and travel together for a few days, to become attached pot, a wooden lid, and a musket barrel. By this means a and friendly, and to regret the approach of the hour good supply of pure fresh water was obtained by distill- which must part them? Odd as it may sound-from ing the salt water. So might our outcast have saved him- the mere novelty of the idea—there is nothing in the self from death. How easy to make a still of the tea- relation of man to man more than in that of state to kettle which he had, and a worm of the musket barrel! state ; and France and England have at this moment as
Two or three hours thus spent every day, might have little reason to fall out with each other, as a Frenchman supplied him with sufficient fresh water for all his ne- and an Englishman have to get into a quarrel on meetcessities, and preserved him from the dreadful death ing at a table d'hote in Brussels. To render a little which overcame him. Not knowing into whose hands service to a fellow-creature, or even to express sympathese pages may fall, we have thought it worth while re- thy with him on the occurrence of a domestic affliction, peating this homely suggestion here. How different now is makes him a friend. Suppose that, when an opportuthe aspect of this once melancholy island! Many acres nity of obliging the French were to occur, we were to take of the Green Mountain are under cultivation ; esculents it. Suppose, on an occasion of famine in France, we of all kinds grow in abundance; roads have been made; were to offer them aid in the language of unmistakeable a plentiful spring of water has been discovered, whose good-feeling : might we not expect the same results as contents are conveyed by iron pipes to a large tank in we find in similar cases in private life? Undoubtedly. the English fort. Cattle, and sheep, and livestock en- Hours of time and pounds of money devoted in this way liven the hills, where wild goats still wander in immense would go as far as years and millions in any other way numbers. An importation of terriers has exterminated spent. One sentence of honest good-feeling spoken with the rats. Fruits of various kinds adorn and enrich little ceremony, were worth whole bureaux of the most the gardens. A safe anchorage has been found, in elaborate diplomacy conducted in that style of cunning which many a gallant ship has ridden ; and a govern- and dexterity which has come down from old times as ment establishment gives Ascension its laws and orders. the style proper to international affairs, but which is Thus have the united efforts of men caused this wilder-only devil's wisdom at the best, and necessarily unavail. ness to smile and blossom as the rose,' where all the ing to any good purpose. energies of one unhappy individual proved insufficient Some years ago, there was a district in the Highlands to deliver himself from the combined terrors of thirst of Scotland which was in such a state of Arcadian simand hunger.
plicity, that the locking of doors by night had fallen
into desuetude. An Englishman came to take a situaOCCASIONAL NOTES.
tion of trust in the place, one long accustomed to all the
rogueries and sharperisms of London. His discourse NATIONAL DEFENCES.
was full of references to clever expedients for detecting THERE is an assumption of offence being meant, which and defeating frauds, and, as a matter of course, he locked is almost as bad as to give offence. It strikes us his door. The suspiciousness expressed by his words, that this is eminently the case as between nation and and, in particular, by this deed, made him decidedly nation. For one of these aggregations of humanity to unpopular. So may nations, which are meaning no express an apprehension of danger from another, is as- offence, be provoked by the arming and defending of suredly an unfriendly demonstration on its own part, a wrong-witted associate. No doubt, if there were any and we can readily imagine such a thing leading, through very strong and decided ground for apprehension, it a brief process, to a diminished inclination for peace on would be proper to arm nevertheless. But this ought both sides. Thus to increase the likelihood of war, to be very clearly ascertained before the provoking merely by a false imputation of bad dispositions in a policy is entered upon. We do not scruple to avow our neighbour, is surely much to be deprecated. It becomes belief that there is no real appearance of materials for an obvious duty of nations, living peaceably side by a war against England in any part of the earth, though side, to be careful of adopting any erroneous views as to we can imagine serious thoughts of it arising in some each other's inclinations in this respect, lest they pre places if we should show, by the proposed defences, cipitate the very evil they would guard against. that our thoughts are not turned on peace.
Entertaining these views, we cannot but think the Should we be told that peace-breathing sentiments present an unsuitable time for raising an alarm about are all very well, but that they will be unavailing the means of national defence; that is to say, supposing against the attack of a bellicose neighbour-vain as it that these means are not sensibly less in magnitude and would be to coax a Hyrcanian tiger, or preach morality force than they have been at any time during the past to a highwayman-we reply that we are not so ill prethirty years—which we believe to be the case. The pared for defence as necessarily, on an exigency, to tendency to war was certainly never less than it is have only such soft expedients to look to. England now among any European people. There is no feature found herself safe during the last war, when an amount in the state of foreign nations to give the least in- of hostility was mustered against her such as scarcely crease of apprehension. On the contrary, we are at any nation ever had to contend with. She is not weaker the commencement of the experience of a great change now in proportion to the force that might be brought in international economy, which manifestly has a ten against her, but probably much stronger. The fact is, dency to create a community of interests among na- that the difficulties of landing a large force in a popu. tions; while increased means of personal communication | lous island, possessing anything like decent means of are everywhere making them better acquainted with resistance, are next to insuperable. There is also such each other, and thus diminishing mutual antipathy, a thing as the cheap defence of nations, of which we and increasing mutual affection. This is rather a time have abundance. We have a defence in that wealth for putting on the smile of kindly good-feeling towards which gives us the readiest command of the means of our neighbours, than the sullen scowl of suspicion. We war. Peace and all its attendant circumstances, so far are no more advocates for a Quixotic benevolence, than from disqualifying us for war, if the monster should for an irrational jealousy ; but we do think that it would come, are constantly adding to our best power for fighting and resisting, in as far as they are constantly in- made somewhat too much of it: that her fairies appear creasing our wealth, and enabling us to effect those too often, say too much, do too little, and are not suffisocial reforms which, by extinguishing grounds of com- ciently distinct in their character and feelings from plaint, are strengthening the fidelity of the people to human beings. But such objections are neutralised by their own common cause. In these considerations, it the fact, that the story would be very beautiful and inseems as if we had sufficient grounds for resting satis- teresting even without the aid of the supernatural mafied with the present amount of our tangible means of chinery at all; and the candid reader accepts this defence; and we earnestly hope that such will be the adjunct as something intended to soften and refine the judgment of the nation, if the question of increased common incidents of life-and, above all things, to admit defences should be further pressed.
of a store of pictorial illustrations and ornaments, such
as few works of the kind can boast of. IT IS ONLY A FORM.'
The substance of the literature, and most of the illusThe recent trial for selling a commission in the East trations, appeared originally in the · Art-Union JourIndia Company's service is full of instruction. Two nal,' which in itself is sufficient evidence of the value gentlemen are found guilty of this offence, and sub- of both ; but the names of the fair author, of Maclise, jected to all the ignominy usually associated with cri. Stanfield, Landseer, Paton, Creswick, and numerous minality; while no one pretends to doubt that such other artists of distinction, afford an additional guacomunissions have been all but regular matter of barter rantee. This origin, however, has been productive of for many years. In one country town known to us, the another peculiarity—that the hero of the tale is an genteel residents who had sons to provide for, were ac artist; and although we concede to certain critics, that customed to consider the giving of eight or nine hundred the people of this country have not sufficient familiarity pounds for a commission in the Company's service as a with art to feel any deep interest in the recorded formatter of course. A clergyman had agreed to advance tunes of its followers, still it should be observed, that a son in this way; but when the papers were presented, Mrs Hall has had too much tact to treat the young and he found that he was expected to sign one declaring gentleman before us as a professor. It is not the incithat he had given no money for the commission, he dents of an artist's life which delight not the million, drew back, and refused, for conscientious reasons, to but the prosing about art itself, the æsthetic mysratify the bargain. A gentleman of our acquaintance teries which they can neither comprehend nor enjoy ; once took some steps with a view to obtaining such a and in Midsummer Eve,' all this is either avoided ensituation by favour for a friend's son. He found it was tirely, or touched upon so lightly, as to give refinement set down to provincial simplicity that he should think to the narrative without weariness. of obtaining by favour or good-will what brought several The story is founded upon the popular belief in Irehundred pounds in the market! Such being the case, land, that a child whose father has died before its birth, the actual culpability of the two condemned gentlemen if born on a midsummer's eve, becomes the rightful becomes somewhat different from the apparent, though property of the fairies ; and the esoteric purpose of the we certainly should not like to become their advocates. work is to describe the conflict of good and evil in
It seems at first a little difficult to understand how fluences to which the individual is so delivered. But men moving in a respectable sphere of society should setting these aside, the tale, as we have hinted, is a have been able to get over the difficulty of making a capital tale in itself, and the child in question grows declaration directly contrary to the truth. We suspect up into a glorious girl and a heroic woman, as natuthat, after all, this is but little of a marvel. In public rally as if there were no such beings as fairies in all Ireaffairs, there are so many things merely formal, and not land. We must not detain the reader longer, however, real, that men's sense of rectitude as to what they say but proceed to lay before him a specimen of both kinds and sign is apt to be much confounded. For example, of interest—the supernatural and the natural. a cathedral chapter is called on to elect a meet person While the mother-expectant was in her last exigence, to be a bishop, as if it would be an error on their part on a certaiu midsummer eve-and a fearful eve it was, i to elect one who is unmeet; but there is no real choice 1 in the matter. They would break a somewhat terrible
On which a child might understand,
The deil had business on his handlaw if they were to fail to elect the particular person pointed out. Continually such things occur, You sign an old nurse was watching anxiously for the arrival of this; it is only a form.' It may be an attestation of assistance. 1 something you know nothing about; but it is only a “A certain wise man—known as Randy the Woodform. Hesitation would look like Quakerism or imbe-cutter-had been sent off for the doctor; and while she civity, and you sign accordingly. The effect of such waited his return, she had, she thought, frequently
things must be demoralising, by reason that they accus- heard him “whisperin' and cosherin' at the door;" and ! tom men to treat the semblances of solemn affirmations yet he came not. At length, however, his well-known
with levity. While they are so rife around us, we sus- step was distinctly audible. pect that declarations like those given on obtaining a " Is all right, Randy?" she asked from within. commission for a son in the East India Company's “ All will be right when I knock," he answered, " and service, will be but a slight protection against a breaking then open quickly.”
of the law, even though one culprit out of a thousand “ Is he on the road?” inquired the nurse, heedless of I be now and then detected and exposed.
the warning ; but before he could reply, a sharp blast
rushed inward, and extinguished the flickering light of MIDSUMMER E V E. *
the lean candle she held with a trembling hand.
"A cross and a blessing about us, Kitty Kelly !”. A FAIRY tale of love, bearing the date of the year of exclaimed Randy, falling on his knees. “God, he li grace 1848, and not specially intended for good boys knows I couldn't help it. Why did you open the door
and girls, but likewise for grown men and women ! | before I knocked? I done all for the best, as the end This is an odd fashion ; but it must be owned it is the will prove. Oh murther! Why don't you shut the fashion; and, moreover, that the genius of one of the most door, instead of standing there like a rock in the lake : graceful of the female writers of our day, never looked there's something more than the wind passed in now! more graceful than when arrayed in its phantasy. The bless yourself, woman, dear! Oh, then, sure it's impos. chief fault of the volume is--and we like to get out the sible to tell what would be on the wings of the wind critical growl at once, and have done with it—that Mrs this midsummer eve !”. Hall, aware of having seized upon a capital idea, has Kitty is in great consternation; and the rather that
Randy (who, the reader must know, is a celebrated * Midsummer Eve, a Fairy Tale of Love. By Mrs S. C. Hall. seer), instead of bolting out the wind, stands staring Longtoan, London. 1848.
and bowing to the rafters.
““ Kitty Kelly, you're not altogether of this country!” that their strength was beyond his grasp, though not exclaimed Randy in a low tone: "you've only been two beyond his aim. This frequently dispirited the artist; hundred years in it-for you came in with ould Oliver and so intent was he on bringing up his picture to the Crommell; so give way to your prayers—it's no wind ideal of his conception, that he would destroy the that we're trembling in: of the three we're watching, labour of a week, if any new thought-or a thought one came in with me—the mistress will thank me for fresh set-suggested a better working out of his subthat; there was a second—and there will be a third. ject. As the spring advanced, Sidney became more You may strive against them; I dare not!”
abstracted, more nervous, lest his great labour should “I dare!” replied Kitty, whose courage had in part not be completed in time. He ceased to concern himreturned ; and then she started, for she fancied she self about the necessaries of life, and then Eva rejoiced heard shouts of ironical laughter ; but, little daunted, at being able to labour unobserved. She gloried in the she attempted to close the door violently. In this, how- great privilege of shielding him she loved from petty ever, she did not succeed; the wind pushed against her, anxieties, the frets of life. She endured all things and not only had the best of it, but flung her to the patiently, save the terror which arose from an idea that other end of the kitchen.
his mind was at times confused-overwrought, over“ Make the blessed sign,” said Randy, yet without burdened. He could not endure noise; the very gentlest moving to her assistance.
tap of the lame boy's finger at the door would make “I can't,” she replied; “my hand's weighed down by him start, and render his hand unsteady. As the time a ton weight.” She had hardly uttered the words, when approached when, finished or unfinished, his picture a gust of wind, freighted with most extraordinary must claim admission, he could neither sleep nor eat. noises--sighs, and snatches of music, atoms of laughter, In the dead hour of night she would awake, and hear and fragments of old songs, mingled with the sound of him pacing in the darkness, or see him through the rushing waters-entered the cottage, and filled it as gloom, leaning his head, at intervals, upon the frosted with an atmosphere.
glass of the window to cool its burning. It was at “ It will shut aisy enough now," observed the wood these times—in these dark-thinking hours--that Sidney cutter, rising from his knees, and wiping his brow. struggled bravely-as great men do not only with the “ Air, earth, and water! Oh, I'm not afraid to say my hard and knotted world, but with themselves-against say about the good people, day or night; they never did apprehensions which Eva never felt; but for her, the me an ill turn, and never will; quiet, and kindly, and picture he laboured at would never have left the easel : good they are, and mane nothing but good to the dear he thought it unworthy of his better genius : he had lady ;” and his huge head nodded, and his long limbs neither space nor light for his great conception; combent and twisted, in a peculiar sort of homage to some- mencing his figures on so large a scale, he had worked thing invisible to all eyes but his own. The nurse upon too small a canvas: the praise Eva bestowed thought it probable that Randy made the speech, and upon it at times sounded like reproach, while at others performed his gesticulations, in the hope of propitiating it reconciled him to all contingencies. She looked upon the good offices of the company whom she now knew his talent as certain of triumph; and, secure in had come to the birth. It was currently believed that that, was able to combat what, after all was achieved, he could see and understand more than beseemed an would serve but as shadows to the great brightness of honest man; and yet Randy was an honest man, and the future.' But in the meantime their necessities grew had the unbought happiness of being more loved than more and more urgent, till every trinket, every small feared.
The door was now easily closed, and luxury, had disappeared; but Eva did not murmur, for the candle relit at the kitchen fire; the woodcutter Sidney never missed them. Sometimes he would talk threw upon it an additional heap of bog-fir: the old wildly about his hopes ; at others sink down beside his cat's hair stood out like porcupines' quills ; every now easel in a sleep so unrefreshing and disturbed, that his and then she opened her mouth to hiss, but closed it wife would abridge it. The picture was his great again without a sound; she would lift a paw, and stretch stimulus, and he revived to fresh exertion. At length it forth, bristling with claws; then draw it back again, it was sent to the Academy, not finished as he intended each claw returning to its downy sheath.
it should have been, for painting in and painting out “Sit down, Randy, and don't be showldering the retarded his great purpose. But Eva thought, notwithchimney, as if there wasn't a chair in the place,” said standing, that it would attract the world. Poverty in the nurse through her chattering teeth.
England was then denied all access to high works of “I know better manners than to disturb any one aft; but she would look at the pictures in the shop from their sate," he answered, bowing round respect- windows, and return with increased faith in the greatfully.
ness of her husband's conceptions.' • The nurse crossed herself with the thumb of her The interval of suspense after the picture was sent to right hand, and retreated to the bedroom of her mis- the Academy, and before the painter knew whether it tress. The fire burned brightly, yet the cat took no would be received or not, was terrific. Sidney, howpleasure in its blaze, but kept moving uneasily from ever, poor Eva thought, 'would care little for his one side to the other, “wrinkling” up her coat, as if threadbare coat when Fame heralded him to the world, water had been thrown upon it, her tail twitching and and wealth followed in her footsteps; and so they went bristling in restless discomfort.
on from one long day to another--the poor painter and " It's hard on you, pusheen gra!” said Randy, ad- his wife !-he fancying that she paled daily, she knowdressing the cat ; " but you can't help yourself. They'll | ing that he was gradually wasting-until at last they peither hurt nor harm you, pusheen. They've got divided crusts with Keeldar!'—their faithful dog. possession now, and they'll keep it,” he thought to They are rescued both from illness and starvation by himself.
a good physician; and the exhibition being at length “ They will!” whispered a soft voice in his ear.' opened, the painter, more receiving support from his
This may be taken as an introduction to the super- wife than giving it, took his way towards Somerset natural parts of the story; but as for the fairies them- | House. selves, we dare not meddle with them, because, tiny as Eva and Sidney walked quickly along Oxford Street, they are, they would take up too much room.
but were obliged to pause at the crossing to let a pomWe must now turn to scenes of natural interest. The pous funeral go past. It moved slowly; the hearse heroine, with her husband, a high-born but poor artist, heavy with plumes, the mourners in trappings of the is struggling for bread in London.
deepest wo-all except their features ! They expressed But Eva had stern realities to deal with. Like all no sadness; the eloquence of death made no impression persons of great talent, Sidney was discontented with on them; they kept time to the horses' tread, and that his own labours. He had “looked” at the old mighty was all. Some private and mourning carriages folones-not to imitate, but to emulate ; and it might be lowed.
“We shall not be among the first,” exclaimed the • Gaining strength from his, Eva muffled her face in impatient Sidney. They crossed: another mourning her veil, and clinging to his arm, they descended. carriage was passing: they were recognised by one of “A shilling,” said the porter, as he handed the cataits inmates—it was the physician. He thrust his arm logue. out of the window. “God bless you!” he said, and ‘Sidney could not say he had it not, but he turned every feature of his kind face was lit up with pleasure; away. “I give you joy with all my heart.”
Pay me next time,” added the man, whose generous "I daresay," whispered Eva to her husband—“I heart was in his kindly countenance. How their findaresay he has heard the picture is well hung."
gers trembled among the leaves, as a bird rustles amid " You speak, dearest, as if you were certain it was the foliage that surrounds its rifled nest: eagerly they admitted."
glanced over it. • A light, light laugh, such a one as had often echoed “H-H-H-No Sidney Herbert !” through the Dovecote, followed this observation. On “Sad want of room, sir; some of the very finest picthey went.
tures rejected for want of room. A fine exhibition " You are looking pale, dearest,” said Eva; “shall could be made of the rejected pictures,” explained the we call a coach?"
kind porter, who comprehended the scene at once. “You require it more than I do, my own kind love,” ' Sidney returned the catalogue. he answered; "but I fear we cannot spare so much.” ** The gentleman looks tired,” persisted the man; “I have three shillings.".
“ better go and sit down in the sculpture-room.” The admission two, and the catalogue one."
Neither replied, but Eva's look thanked him. “But you will get in free-have your card for the “ There it is again,” he muttered, looking after them. season, Sidney."
“I often wonder how I have stood it so long-poor • He beckoned to a passing carriage, and the manner things !” in which he threw his wearied frame upon the cushions, You hear, Sidney ; some of the finest pictures have proved how much he needed rest.
been rejected for want of room," said Eva. * They alighted in the Strand; crowds of persons Oh, what agony was in the answering smile! What were hurrying forward; the joy-bells of the churches power—what eloquence--what anguish! too earnest, were ringing merrily ; every person seemed to them in too intense for words! Heart understood heart. Never holiday dress. Together they passed beneath the por- -never-never, in their long course of love, had each tal of the once palace of the proud Somerset, pausing loved the other with such entireness of devotion as at for a moment, and looking at each other. Eva fancied that moment! Sidney became paler than usual, but she could not be “My Eva!” he said. She felt him tremble: she
certain. Her head swam round, and motes, strange hurried him to the open door. There, rushing forward, 1 tiny forms, floated between her and him. She could came the physician. Although the mourning crape was
not have defined her feelings: they were already of still on his hat, his face was charged with tidings of mingled hope and despair. She saw clearly enough great good. He was too full of it to impute their that the elect” walked confidently in, knowing they changed looks to more than ordinary fatigue. “I am were “well hung.” They had touched upon their pic- delighted to have found you,” he exclaimed; "such tures—a grace only accorded to those whose station and true homage as you have received !” Before the senknowledge in art ought not to require such a privilege. tence was concluded, Sidney fell on his shoulder, to all She rejoiced in the happiness of others; but she wished appearance lifeless.' that Sidney had the same certainty! She pressed his All this is admirable, and worth scores of fairies; but arn more closely to her side. He did not tremble, but having now shown what kind of interest there is of she felt that he breathed earnestly, as if nerved for both kinds, we must conclude, but not without assurtrial, and she dared not look at him again. Numbers ing the reader that Sidney did not die this bout, but who pressed forward were haggard and careworn: brows succeeded to a fine estate, where he and his high-minded of noble mould, wrinkled by anxiety, not age, contracted wife, as is necessary in fairy tales, lived happily all the ofer eyes filled with fire-blazing it out in discontent. days of their life. Some, again, with compressed mouth, so rarely defeated --men who shape their own fortunes; others whose frank features were changed into recklessness by disappointment; numbers, bitter thinkers, who mistook a forwards. There are but few men in this country, we had
What, we ask, is the secret of British success ? - Looking desire to paint for the power to do so; all these mingled almost said in any class of life, who have not been wronged with the visitors—some loving art for its holy self, and injured--we might say ruined—and all but annihilated others for its fashion, others, again, because the exhibi: over and over again, they and their fathers before them. tion,passed away time, that great material of the skilful Time after time we have begun life again, and rejoiced in workman!'
a fresh start. Who cannot remember, if not in his own Unable to obtain a catalogue, they traversed the pic- history, at least in that of his family, the greatest vicissiture-rooms in an agony of suspense. “She felt that her tudes? We could point to men who, twenty years ago, powers of sustaining such a trial were passing away. swept shops and slept under counters, who were cast on In a whirlwind of conflicting emotions, she talked, the world orphans or homeless, or who, after a youth of hardly knowing what she said. She sprang to the next toil, were stript of their all by dishonest partners or needy fight of stairs after her husband; but eager as she was, friends, who were ruined by commercial crises and finan
cial uncertainties, who might have sat down and wept she could not equal the rapidity of his movements. themselves to death at the sight of the misery around "You see, you see ; it is not here-nor here!” he re-them, but who speedily wiped the tears from their eyes, peated. Then in a hoarse voice he added, “Let us go and smoothed the wrinkle from their brow, who found down for a catalogue.” Eva followed him breathlessly, hope at the bottom of their empty wallets, and set to but she felt as if her heart was breaking. When they work as if the world was before them, who have thus won were opposite the principal rooms, he paused, drew her from the future a revenge on the past, and remember what hand beneath his arm, and bending down, whispered, they have gone through only as a foil to their present “ Do not sink now, my own heroic wife. You have prosperity. Such is the case not merely in the classes in sustained me through much worse than this, when all which fortunes are lost and won, but even still more so the earthly friendship was far from us. It is not so now.
great industrial staple of the British population. Nineteen I am, you see, calm-calm! There may be some mis- they chose, how they were buffeted in youth, how they
labourers or artisans out of every twenty could tell, if take. Bear up, Eva! He who gave me such a treasure, were starved at home, slaved by their first masters, inwill give me strength to keep it! Bear up, my darling ; sulted, turned off, cast adrift, wanderers on the face of the you always hoped more from this picture than I did ! earth. They could tell of cottages from which they were Bear up !”
ousted, and commons of which they were defrauded; how
But I leave thee to thy sleep,
often they had to begin the world afresh, how often they were penniless and friendless. But they did not tum rebels and murderers. They did not even sit down to make a catalogue of their wrongs. They forgave what they could, and forgot the rest. They buried their grievances, and so put them out of sight. They looked before them for employment, and above them for aid. So they set to work, and built their nests again. Such is the story of that Saxon whom we are accustomed to hear so much beholden to fortune, to position, and to successful ascendancy. The secret of bis success is in himself, as it is in every one who chooses to look forwards instead of sitting down to brood upon the past. Times.
BY W. MOY THOMAS.
PRITHEE, from thy topmost height,
have had my fill,
ECONOMIC PREPARATION OF FOOD. A short time ago, No. 201, we presented a brief account of the method suggested by Liebig for preparing food economically, and are gratified to find that it has been practically and advantageously put to the test. In a letter written to us by Mr Leach, of Vernon House (a Retreat for Mental Invalids), Breton-Ferry, near Neath, South Wales, the following passages occur:
Permit me to thank you for calling attention to the very valuable work of Baron Liebig on animal chemistry: In consequence of reading your paper on the subject, I have had the meat, soup, &c. of this large establishment (about 160 inmates) cooked according to Liebig's directions; the result is, that the waste in cooking is lessened 50 per cent., while the quality of the food is greatly improved. Were all the animal food in the whole kingdom cooked in this manner, an immense national saving would be obtained; and what is even of more importance, the national health would be greatly benefited-thanks to you and Liebig!'
We of course disclaim all title to thanks : we have only performed a duty to the public in disseminating the knowledge of a fact likely to prove generally advantageous.
THE PULQUE OF MEXICO. The maguey, American aloe-Agave Americana-is cultivated over an extent of country embracing 50,000 square miles. In the city of Mexico alone, the consumption of pulque amounts to the enormous quantity of eleven millions of gallons per annum, and a considerable revenue from its sale is derived by government. The plant attains maturity in a period varying from eight to fourteen years, when it flowers ; and it is during the stage of inflorescence only that the saccharine juice is extracted. The central stem which encloses the incipient flower is then cut off neat the bottom, and a cavity or basin is discovered, over which the surrounding leaves are drawn close and tied. Into this reservoir the juice distils, which otherwise would have risen to nourish and support the flower. It is removed three or four times during the twenty-four hours, yielding a quantity of liquor varying from a quart to a gallon and a half. The juice is extracted by means of a syphon, made of a species of gourd called acojote, one end of which is placed in the liquor, the other in the mouth of a person, who by suction draws up the fluid into the pipe, and deposits it in the bowls he has with him for the purpose. It is then placed in earthen jars, and a little old pulque--madre de pulque—is added, when it soon ferments, and is immediately ready for use. The fermentation occupies two or three days, and when it ceases, the pulque is in fine order. Old pulque has a slightly unpleasant odour ; but when fresh, is brisk and sparkling, and the most cooling, refreshing, and delicious drink that ever was invented for thirsty mortal.- Adventures in Mexico.