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ber of persons married also slowly augmented to 1821, the produce of skill and labour; and though skill moves when they amounted to 201,736-exceeding those of per saltum in inventions, human labour advances slowly, 1815 only by 1848. The price of corn was 66s. in 1815, as generation follows generation. In the invariable 78s. in 1816, 98s. in 1817, and fell to 87s. in 1818; and decline of marriages following an increase of their to 768., 688., and 56s., in 1819-21.
numbers, they have never fallen back to the original 1822–8.-Within this epoch falls the terrible year of numbers — population increasing faster than they. speculation mania (1825), whe however, the number While the marriages increase in times of prosperity, it of marriages was not so great as might have been is a general rule that the proportion of marriages to the expected to be the case during the reign of the population decreases as the mortality decreases, and delusion. The mania was, in fact, chiefly confined to that marriage takes place later as life becomes longer. gambling in shares and loans, and was restricted to a A few interesting facts relating to the 143,743 marcomparatively small class of the community in towns, riages performed in England in 1845 may be added. as contrasted with the recent railway mania, which of these, 129,515 were performed according to the rites gave employment and high wages to thousands upon of the established church, and 14,228 not according to thousands throughout the country. From 209,446, in these rites—a proportion of nearly 9 to 1. About 18,000 1824, the numbers rose to 220,856—wheat being at 695. licenses are granted by Doctors' Commons and country as compared with 64s. in 1824; and although in 1826 surrogates annually — yielding a revenue of at least corn fell to 59s., the collapse of the excited hopes of the L.36,000 per annum. There were 9997 marriages in country was followed by a decrease of the persons mar- registered places of worship other than churches ; 3977 ried to 209,882 ; but by 1828 the numbers had more in superintendent-registrars' offices; 180 according to than recovered themselves (222,348).
Jewish rites ; and 74 between Quakers : 6287 men and 1828–37.-In 1829 wheat rose from 603. to 66s., and 19,376 women were married under 21 years of age: the numbers sank to 208,632. Trade had become de- of the men, 4:37 per cent. were minors, and 13.48 per pressed ; riots occurred in the manufacturing districts; cent. of the women; 18,176 (or 12.64 per cent.) of the and during the next four years fluctuations occurred men were widowers ; 12,369 (or 8.60 per cent.) of the according to the progress of important political events women widows; 47,665 (33-2 per cent.) of the men and then in action. In 1833 and 1834, cheapening of pro- 71,229 (or 49:6 per cent.) of the women signed the visions and a great commercial development took place register with marks! 2 in 3 of the men, and only 1 in with a corresponding increase of the numbers.
2 of the women, wrote their names—and this in the In 1843 the numbers were 247,636, and increased in middle of the nineteenth century ! 1844 to 264,498, and in 1845 to 287,486.
How much is it to be regretted that, for want of The Registrar- General remarks, that the marriage proper marriage registers in Scotland, there can be no returns indicate the periods of present or anticipated analysis of the above nature presented respecting that prosperity almost as distinctly as do the funds the hopes part of the United Kingdom ! and fears of the money market. It appears, 1st, That marriages always increase at the termination of a period
THAT WHICH MONEY CANNOT BUY. of war, when a great number of persons are discharged from active service with small pensions, and still more Mr WAKEFIELD was the proprietor of the fine farm of from the stimulus given to employment by the greater Stoke in the county of Somerset, and passed for the activity of trade and extension of commerce. Such in- richest yeoman in the neighbourhood. He began life crease took place at the Peace of Paris, the Peace of as a small farmer, and everything succeeded with him: Amiens, and at the close of the last war. 2d, While the wind which blighted the harvest of his neighbours wages have a limited range, the price of corn under seemed to pass harmless over his fields; the distemper goes great variations; and, with few exceptions, mar- which decimated their flocks spared his; whenever he riages increase when corn is cheap, and decrease when wanted to buy, the prices were sure to lower in the dearth prevails. 3d, The establishment of new or ex- market; and if he wished to sell, they generally rose tension of old employments, giving an increase of in- as opportunely. In fact he was one of those spoiled come to greater numbers, is always followed by a children of fortune whose numbers in the lottery of life notable increase of marriages, as is seen in respect to always draw a prize, and who can afford to begin an the cotton manufacture, the canals of the last century, undertaking, just as we plant a slip of osier, leaving to and the railways of the present. 4th, Increase of mar- the rain and sunshine the care of bringing it to maturiages accompanies the periodical epidemics of specu- rity. Deceived by this continued career of good forlation which are witnessed in this country. 5th, * The tune, he had ended by glorying in his success, as if it nation is sometimes extraordinarily sanguine. A states had been but the due reward of his own industry. He man of genius, like Lord Chatham, at the head of affairs, himself attributed this easy conquest over every diffiproduces the same confidence in a country as the pre- culty to the skilful employment of his money, to which sence of a Cæsar, Napoleon, or Wellington on an army. he assigned all the wonderful powers with which the Great victories, the joy of peace, large financial or magic wand of fairies was in former days supposed to political measures, new discoveries in science, new ap- be endowed. In other respects, Mr Wakefield, jovial, plications of the powers of nature, the opening of king-friendly, and kind-hearted, had not contracted any of doms and continents to commerce, raise public feeling those vices which are too often the attendants of prosto a state of exaltation, long before the slightest im- perity, but his self-importance made him now and then provement in the material condition of the population appear a little ridiculous. One morning, as he was is realised by those measures that are likely to have busily employed superintending the masons and carultimately that effect; and such periods are almost in- penters, who were employed in making some additions variably accompanied by an increase of the number of to his house, he was saluted, in passing, by one of his marriages.
neighbours, an old retired schoolmaster, who had laThe various causes influencing the increase or diminu- boured hard in his vocation for forty years. Old Allan, tion of marriages differ in energy, and may be combined, as this personage was called, lived in a small house of or even opposed to each other. But after any extraor- rather mean appearance, in which he had dwelt for dinary increase of their number, or any unusual con many years, happy in the respect which was felt for sumption of the comforts, stimulants, or necessaries of him by all his neighbours, on account of his excellent life, a corresponding diminution is always found, testi- character, and thankful for the small share of this fying to the very uncertain description of that prospe- world's goods which had fallen to his lot. rity, immediately on the occurrence of which so many The proprietor of Stoke warmly returned his salute, hasten to incur the additional responsibilities of the and exclaimed gaily, : Well, neighbour, I suppose you married state. Wealth may be suddenly destroyed, are come to see my improvements : come in, friend, but a sudden creation of wealth is impossible, for it is come in; one is always in want of a little advice from
such a philosopher as you.' This epithet of philosopher *Good news, I hope,' replied Allan. had been bestowed upon the old schoolmaster in the · My nomination as justice of the peace.' village partly from esteem, partly in badinage ; it was, The schoolmaster offered his sincere congratulations at the same time, a harmless criticism on his taste for to the proprietor of Stoke on his attainment of this * wise saws and modern instances,' and a homage which little distinction, which he knew to have been long the was rendered by all to his cheerful temper and the object of his ambition, and which he felt that his friend undisturbed serenity of his mind.
justly merited. The old man smiled good-humouredly at the sum- • Merited !' repeated Wakefield ; 'and can you ven. mons thus addressed to him by the wealthy farmer, ture to say in what respect I have merited it, my good and pushing open the gate, entered his enclosure. Mr neighbour? Is it because I am the cleverest man in Wakefield then showed him, with the satisfied air of a the neighbourhood ? My next neighbour, Mr Hodson, proprietor, the new additions he was making to his knows ten times more of the law than I do. Is it be. already extensive buildings; by means of which he cause I have rendered greater services to my neighbourwould now have an excellent lock-up coach-house, hood than anybody else? Here is old Lawrence, who, several spare rooms for his friends, and a small conser- by his courage and presence of mind, saved ever so vatory wherein his wife might indulge her taste for many people from being burnt in the late conflagration, exotics.
and who last year found out a means of curing the rot * All this will cost a great deal,' said Mr Wakefield; amongst the sheep. Is it because there is no other but one must never regret the expenditure of money honest, right-minded man in the parish of Moreton ? when it really adds to one's comfort.'
Are not you here, Father Allan - you who are old *You are in the right,' replied Allan: 'a man who Honesty himself, dressed up in a coat and pantaloons? has nothing to annoy him, is worth two discontented It must therefore be quite clear to you that I have remen any day.'
ceived the appointment simply as the most influential • Without reckoning, besides, that we shall gain in man in the parish, and that I am the most influential, health by the change! And this reminds me, friend because I am the richest. Money, my friend, always Allan-do you know that when I was passing your money! A few minutes ago, I was proving to you that house yesterday an idea struck me all of a sudden ? it could purchase health and comfortable ease : now
* That must happen to you more than c.ice in a day, you see how it procures me an honourable appointment neighbour, I should suppose,' replied the schoolmaster which I wished for: to-morrow it will satisfy some new with a smile.
desire. You see, therefore, that the world is a great No, but, without joking,' resumed Wakefield, 'I shop, whence everything is to be had for ready money.' have found out the reason of your suffering as you do • Has Peter sold you his dog?' inquired the schoolfrom rheumatism: it is the fault of that row of poplars master, waiting a decided answer. which masks your windows, and shuts out the air and Wakefield looked at him with a smile, and then slaplight.'
ping him on the shoulder, exclaimed, “Ah! you want * Yes,' replied the old man, 'at first they formed only to prove that my theory was at fault! You defied me a little leafy wall, which was refreshing to the sight, to persuade Peter to give me up Growler for his weight attracted the birds as a nesting place, and allowed a in gold.' free course to the sun's cheering rays. I used mentally His weight in gold!' said the schoolmaster; "that to bless my neighbours the Rengtons who had planted would be a great deal; but I know that the shepherd such a border to their garden; but since then, the wall loves and values his dog as if he were his bosom friend.' has risen in height, and that which at first lent a charm Well, this bosom friend is now in my possession !' and gaiety to the scene, is now transformed into a triumphantly rejoined the farmer. Allan started with source of gloom and of discomfort. Thus is it too often surprise. “Yes,' replied Wakefield, 'he has been mine in life-that which seems graceful and amusing in the since yesterday. Peter had signed a security for his child, is hateful and repelling in the man; but now the sister: yesterday the bill fell due, and the money was thing cannot be helped, so it is as well to make the not forthcoming: he came himself to offer to sell me best of it.'
Growler.' • Cannot be helped !' exclaimed the farmer; 'and why ' And the dog is here?' not? Why should not the poplars be cut down?' • Yes, chained up in the inner yard, where he has
• To have a right to do that, one must buy them been supplied with everything which constitutes the first,' objected the schoolmaster.
happiness of a dog-namely, a well-filled trencher, and • Well, then, I will buy them,' said Mr Wakefield: a kennel comfortably lined with straw; but come and 'I shall not regret the price, if your rheumatism will see for yourself.' only leave you in peace.'
The farmer led the way into the yard, followed by Old Allan expressed the warmest gratitude to the the schoolmaster. They had no sooner entered it, proprietor of Stoke; but the latter laughingly exclaimed, however, than they descried the trencher upset, the *Do not thank me: I only do it to prove that money chain broken, and the kennel empty. The dog had is good for something.'
taken advantage of the night to break his chain, and Say for a great deal,' replied Allan.
to escape over the wall. 'I should say for everything!' rejoined Wakefield. 'Is it possible,' exclaimed the astonished farmer, he The schoolmaster shook his head. Oh, I know your has actually made his escape?'. opinions, old philosopher,' continued the farmer ; ' you • To return to his old master,' observed Allan. look upon money with a sort of prejudice.'
“And what on earth has he gone in quest of down *No,' replied Allan, 'I look upon it as an instrument, there? What can he have wanted ?' which may be powerful in our hands either for good or • That which you could not purchase with him, evil, according to the spirit in which we use it; but gently replied the old schoolmaster; 'even the sight of there are things in the world which do not bow before the man who nourished and cherished him until now! its rule.'
Your kennel was warmer, your provision more abun. * And I say that it is the king of the world!' inter- dant, and your chain lighter than that of Peter; but i rupted Wakefield; “I say that it is the source of all in Peter were centered all his recollections, as well as our enjoyments in life, and that to escape from its in- his habits of attachment; and for the beast, as well as fluence, one must become an angel in Paradise.' for the man, there are some things which can neither be
At this moment a letter was placed in his hand; he bought nor sold. Money can purchase indeed almost opened it, and had no sooner glanced his eye over it
, every earthly good, except the one which lends its value than he uttered an exclamation of joy, and exclaimed to them all-affection. You are a wise man, my friend; triumphantly, Here is another proof of what I have do not forget the lesson which chance has thus taught been saying: do you know what this letter contains?' you: remember, henceforth, that though one may in.
deed purchase the dog for money, one can only acquire surface, evidently intended principally for this end. his faithful attachment by tenderness and care.'
While meditating upon this subject, we have been “Yes,' replied the farmer thoughtfully, 'I now see much struck with a thought probably new in its applithat there is something which money cannot buy.' cation. Before our study stands a beautiful evergreen;
here are leaves which were new just a year ago; clouds
of dust have enveloped every artificial object exposed NATURAL LAW OF CLEANLINESS.
during the same period ; but the leaves of this holly In these days of universal wash-house, bath, and scour- are as glossy and clean as though the creation of last ing propensities, it may be amusing as well as inte- week. Let the reader extend this remark, and reresting to learn what has been long since taught in the member how large a number of evergreen plants are kingdom of nature by the silent but impressive method apparently specially provided with highly - varnished of example.
surfaces for this very purpose, that the leaves, being In endeavouring to illustrate our subject, we shall peculiarly liable to become dirty, by reason of their not enter into its minute details, but seek to glean the long duration, may effectually resist the polluting influgeneral truth from a variety of facts cursorily men- ence of time. It is not forgotten that other ends may tioned. Beginning even with inanimate nature, we find be in view also; but it is a well-known fact to the natuthe lesson of cleanliness on her first page. Who that ralist, that in the works of creation many effects are prosurveys the most ordinary landscape, unfitted perhaps duced by a very limited number of causes. That this to inspire the poet or awaken the imagination of the cleanliness of aspect is, however, due to something more romancist, can point to any stain upon its smiling face, than a nice disposition of surface, will appear when we if the defiling contact of man be not manifest? The reflect upon the utter impossibility of keeping any fresh raiment of the fields, the hard features of the artificial substance, however highly polished, in a simirocks, the stream descending in clear, sparkling, laugh- lar condition of cleanliness when exposed to similar ing, tumbling waters, or stealing in slower measure dirt-disposing causes. Look at our window-panes, for through the plain ; the spotless aspect of the driven instance: here is a surface which should resist filth, if snow, the smooth-laid surface of the sandy shore, the that were all that is necessary; but a little time deep pellucid waters of the great ocean-these are all elapses, and while the evergreen leaves are ever fresh clean. There is no spot of filth to be seen in them, and shining, the reflected pane has become clouded except when the purificatory process is actually going with dirt. This effect is doubtless attributable to the on. Then the heavens assume what we might perhaps cutaneous transpiration which is constantly taking consider a filthy aspect—the sky becomes clothed with place, and which loosens the attachment of dirt, so sackcloth, the hills disappear in murky fogs, the moun- that the next shower washes all away, and the leaf is tain stream comes down in floods of mud, hurling along as glistening as ever. The velvety clothing of other heaps of degraded materials; the sea casts up its mire plants contributes likewise to the same end; for dust and dirt, and at these times the law appears suspended; will not, and water cannot, adhere to such a surface. but, on the contrary, this is the very process itself by Our beautiful and delicate companions the flowers are which the general result is obtained. In a little while also furnished with a wax-like structure, by which all this seeming disorder ends, and the landscape only means they are able to cast off the accidental pollutions looks cleaner than ever when it is over. A vast prace of the ambient air. This effect is materially assisted tical benefit results from a chain of circumstances ap. by the position of the parts of the vegetable creature, parently so trifling as the gathering and discharging of such as the generally dependent curve of the leaf, the a rain-cloud. All the impurities which a state of change drooping of flowers, and at the period of their death, necessarily entails are thus removed ; not only is the the dead portions drop, by a natural process, from the face of the earth renewed, and the crowding vegetation stem, fall to the earth, and are speedily hidden from which luxuriates upon its fertile bosom re-invigorated, view in the soil, from which, in a little while, they but it is also washed clean, exposed afresh to atmo- come not to be distinguished. Doubtless, also, the spheric influences, while the gatherings of previous sober brown colour of the mould, as well as the geneweeks are all swept down and deposited out of sight rally subdued tone of every natural landscape, adds beneath the surface of the blue wave. Water thus much to the clean and unsoiled aspect of the whole, by, appears the principal restorative of beauty to nature's as it is commonly called, hiding the unavoidable dirt. countenance; but it is no doubt aided materially by The opposite effect would have resulted had the ordiwinds, which scatter into the air the dust and other nary colours of earth been similar to its extraordinary extraneous particles, which might and do collect upon ones : what, for example, would have been the uncomthe face of all natural objects.
fortable-looking condition of things if the earth had We have a series of beautiful illustrations of the same been bright-red, or yellow, or blue, in its ordinary tones ? attention to cleanliness of appearance in the vegetable Things, however, have been differently ordered; and kingdom, which, though in accordance with received while we survey all nature, we may fully join in the usage we class them under inanimate nature, we con expressions of Dr Macculloch, and say that it presents ceive to have a just claim to a different position. The that universal book of cleanliness and neatness, which provisions for cleanliness, however, are principally of the is as striking as if there was a hand perpetually empassive order. At first sight, one would be inclined to ployed in po other office, preserving an order which we believe it almost impossible that a blade of grass, in im- cannot maintain in our possessions without constant mediate proximity as it is to a filthy soil, could be labour.' kept clean; the dirty splashings of a shower, or the Few minds will be found, we believe, which will down-pressing influence of a breeze, would suflice to resist the evidence here adduced to the existence of a take all the beauty out of an artificial grass - blade. law of cleanliness in creation; but if we turn to the ani. How different the result! Pick a handful of the tender mal kingdom, the testimony becomes quite conclusive. herb from the worst field, the very slushiest meadow, Many precautions against dirt in this, as in the other and it is found clean, fresh, shining, without a spot of division of nature, are passive. No one that looks dirt or any such thing, so that it looks as though it upon the glittering corslet of a cockroach, inhabiting, had but just left the hands of the Great Artificer. as it does, the dusty cracks and crannies of our kitchen This result is principally due to the lustrous coat of floors all night, and spotless as it is, can deny the silex with which the blade is provided, and the polished, conclusion, that there is an admirable proviso against glittering surface of which denies attachment to a spot filth in this insect. And the same may be said of the of dirt.°Grass, however, is by no means the only class metallic-coated family of beetles, whose burnished backs of plants furnished with a similar provision, a glazed repel alike the minutest speck of dirt or the heaviest
pelterings of a summer shower; and the wing-covers * Vide Indications of Vegetable Instinct, Journal, No. 136. of these beautiful insects are without doubt, while they are the shields, also the dirt-repellers of the delicate well said they have been commanded to delight,' for gauze-like wings so artfully folded up beneath them. while it is a sanitary act, it is also one which seems to Again, in the same division of zoology, consider the afford them great gratification. Were it not that this down and hair-clothed insects; or those that are cased beautiful part of creation is always thus employed, what in the loveliest array of scales, as the butterflies; no- filthy objects would many become who have to seek thing defiling will stick here, and the unsoiled aspect their food in mud or in the earth! But, as Drayton has of every such insect sufficiently testifies the perfection said, they are always of the arrangement. The glossy surface of the hair of
• Pruning their painted breasts :' animals is a similar provision for a similar end; and the facility with which it repels water, man often re- and thus, under the most disadvantageous circum. cognises, and applies to his own purposes for coats, stances, the lustre of the bird of paradise, or the snowy aprons, hats, or caps.
purity of the swan, is never to be seen dimmed by dust We probably judge rightly in supposing that the or defiled by mud. Still, under the division.combing,' active demonstrations of cleanliness are the most inte- we may mention the most familiar example of all, the resting, and are likely to be the most impressive. The common blow-fly. Who that has watched the ludicrous several means by which this is accomplished, supply care with which this insect attends to its personal us with the order in which we shall mention them. / appearance, has not been reminded of human actions. These are combing, brushing, licking, and washing, four When we remember our own manæuvres with the divisions to which nearly all may, we think, be reduced. clothes brush, and compare them with those of the fly One of the commonest and most curious examples of dusting his jacket, the action has all the oddity of a combing, for the purposes of cleanliness, may be ob- caricature. How carefully he sweeps down the wings, served by closely watching a common garden spider. and then his eyes and head, as if he were on the very These insects are particularly exposed to dirt; the point of presenting himself at court, or to the considedust of the air, particles of their webs, or defilement rations of some fair friend! The microscope reveals his from their prey, become entangled in the hairs of instrument. It consists of two rounded combs placed at their legs, and would probably both materially add to the bottom of the foot, and consisting of two or three the discomfort and to the disability of the insect for rows of teeth, somewhat like a currycomb; and this its active life, were they not removed. The wants of contrivance perfectly removes all extraneous matters, the creature have not been forgotten, and its mouth so that the cleanly insect flies off a complete beau, if is furnished with serratures like the teeth of a comb. lustre and absence of dirt would constitute one. The insect puts its leg into its mouth, and gradually Brushing is the next division. The bee gives as a draws it through these teeth, so as entirely to comb good example in point. This unwearied insect, in her off every particle of dust and dirt, which it then col- perpetual search for honey, has to penetrate many lects into a pellet, and carefully tosses away! In flowers, which abound in pollen or farina—the light order that this operation may be thoroughly done, and delicate powder produced by the anthers of flowers. no part of the leg escape, a little curved hook is added, When she comes home, she looks quite an altered chawhich bends down over the edge of the comb, render- racter, all dusty as she is with yellow pollen, so that ing the escape of any part of the leg impossible. When she could scarcely be recognised as the modest brown this self-cleaning operation is perfect, the insect with insect which the morning saw depart from the hive. fresh strength betakes itself to its occupation. This The principal cause of this is the hairyness of her body, curious fact appears long to have been unnoticed, and the pollen particles sticking fast in the pile. The insect was first discovered by Mr Rennie, who mentions it in stops, and raising her hind - legs, which are set with an interesting paper published at the Royal Institution. thick hairs, she brushes every particle clean off; but as The bird well known as the fern-owl, or night-jar, has the pollen is valuable, she does not throw it away; on an instrument on purpose to effect this object, a real the contrary, she kneads it into little masses called bee. comb. One of its claws differs from all the rest in bread, and then enters the híve, having stowed it away length, and in the remarkable fact of its being serrated in certain little pockets behind. Many spiders are proor toothed like a comb; and such is the intention of the vided with brushes of close-set hairs, which effect the contrivance. It was long mistaken for an instrument same purpose ; and the foot-cushions of the cat must be with which to wound its prey. Other naturalists per- considered as instruments of similar intention. We are ceiving its resemblance to a comb, and considering the often presented with examples of licking as an operation whiskers of the bird, conceived that it was intended to of this kind. The cat takes incessant pleasure in it, comb the bird's whiskers. But against this ingenious hy- and is very particular about her children too, whom pothesis it must unfortunately be mentioned, that some she licks continually when they are young. Other aniof the species possess the comb without the whiskers, mals have similar propensities, and hence arose the in which case its function must be, on that supposition, popular myth about the bear licking her cubs into unnecessary. The celebrated Alexander Wilson, the shape, when she was, in fact, only giving them a ma. ornithologist of America, decided the question by find ternal purification. Insects are equally fond of it, and ing in the whip-poor-will,' a bird belonging to the repeatedly lick one another. By the same means they same group, and the inner edge of one of the claws of free their eggs or pupæ from dirt. Every one must which is also pectinated, portions of down adhering to also have witnessed again and again the scrupulous care the teeth. He therefore very rationally concludes that with which many animals wash themselves. "Birds are this instrument is most probably employed as a comb very fond of this practice, and perform the operation to rid the plumage of the head of vermin, this being the with a skill which evidently manifests that the instinct principal, and almost the only part so infested in all is heaven-taught. To get a mind-drawn picture of this birds. In another portion of that splendid work, he feat, let the reader think of the manceuvres of a duck mentions that the night-heron, or 'qua-bird,' possesses at a pond, or the more stately performance of a swan in also a pectinated or comb-like claw, which has from a stream. thirty-five to forty teeth, and is used for a similar pur- One of the most curious illustrations our subject pose to that in the last case mentioned.
admits of was discovered by the talented entomologist Under the head of combing we are doubtless to include before-mentioned. It is a special apparatus for clean. what is called the 'preening,' or, more correctly perhaps, ing a very peculiar insect. At the bottom of a hole the pruning of birds. Probably no creatures are more near an old tree Mr Rennie found a curious grub, which attentive to personal neatness than the generality of he had never seen before. Taking it home, with a few birds, and this they principally effect by embracing small snails found in the same place, and watching the their feathers with the beak, then drawing the beak to creature, he found it employed in a very anomalous the extremity, by which means all dirt and soil are manner. Its tail was turned up, and bent over its back, speedily removed. In this healthy exercise it has been and every now and then removed again. For some
time the object of the creature in this occupation was upon the threshold of all government offices and the a complete mystery. At length the tail was examined, seats of all government officials, in order that, should and the most singular apparatus was there found. In the latter be absent, and the former closed, the anxious shape it was somewhat like a shaving brush: under the applicant need not call again for the answer he will microscope it was found to consist of a double row of most assuredly receive. white cartilaginous rays, which were retractile at the But the more closely we examine the full bearing and will of the creature, like the horns of a snail. In the import of this combination of words, the more admirable interspace was a funnel-shaped pocket, which turned it must appear to us. An individual inquires, “How is out to be a sort of little dust-hole. Now this was its my business going on ?' and I, an official somewhere or manner of operation : the tail was bent up over the other, reply, “It is under consideration.' 'Under conback, and applied to any part of the insect's body; the sideration ?' Observe the satisfactory ambiguousness of creature then caused the rays to retract, so as to make the words. Had I said 'under my consideration,' or the whole act somewhat like a boy's sucker, thus 'under any one's consideration,' I should have reduced drawing off every particle of dust and dirt from its it at once to the value of the unit; but now not only glossy skin. This done, they were stored up in the am I included, but everybody else who works with me: little pocket until it was quite full, and then the insect, the entire body of which I am a member are clearly by a vermicular motion of the same instrument, caused designated. There is nothing whatever to prevent your the collected matters to be expelled in the form of a imagining the heads of government engaged in the little pellet, which it was careful to deposit out of the matter; the applicant, if a novice, of course concludes way.
it at once to be so, and pictures to himself the whole Not only are animals commanded by the Author of administration engrossed by his memorial, employed their being to pay this regard to their personal cleanli- upon the means of redressing his grievance or granting ness, but the homes of many among them are patterns his petition. What can satisfy him if he be not content of neatness and order. How often may we be amused with every wheel of government turning for him, and at the diligence of the spider in keeping her net clear for him alone? of the smallest particle of dirt! what lines will she not Under consideration. You are not left a word to cut away and lay down again to secure this end! What say: objection you can make none. Had you been told a miracle of skill and neatness is a bird's nest, and how It has been considered, you might naturally have assiduously_ the parent birds remove every impurity asked, 'What was the decision?' Or had it been said from it! Even the proverbial filth-lovers, swine, are “It will be considered, you might request, with all uncommonly particular in their homes ; for it is well due humility, to be informed at what period it was known that no creature is so anxious to have a clean thought possible it might come to your turn to engage and comfortable bed. And very probably the dirt- the attention of the body to whom your business has encasing gambols of these animals are to be excused on been submitted. But it is quite another matter now. the score of an irritating cutaneous amiction, or are The words are, 'It is under consideration;' that is to intended to resist the stings of insects. Let us hope, as say, at this very moment every effort is being made to we close this short article, that the lessons it is calcu- do you full justice, every energy is put forth, every lated to convey will not be forgotten. Let our poorer nerve strung in your behalf: the attention of every one classes take just shame to themselves to be alone in is riveted upon you, and you alone. What more would their filth. While every domestic animal teaches wis- you have? You stand, with open mouth, completely dom, and while all creation exhibits the same pervading arrested, fixed to the spot by this answer, unable to principle, will they be content to run the risk of oppos- articulate more at the very utmost than an 'Ah!'-a ing a plain precept of nature? Theirs is not all the little prolonged it may be—and you can but bow politely blame, when we remember that even statesmen are and retire, as fully satisfied as your temperament or only just alive to this oldest of all truths, coeval with knowledge of the intrinsic value of words permits you the very institution of the present scheme. When it to be. has been our lot to visit dirty habitations, and when • Under consideration. You may have these words we remembered the wide - spread lesson taught us in repeated to you for twenty years successively; but with creation, often have Heber's words risen to recollection what show of reason can you complain of the cool, with a sigh, reminding us that
cautious, deliberate inquiry into every circumstance of Only man is vile.'
your case, or of the length of time employed in the investigation of your business ? What is it you want?
That it should be considered.' Well, and have you YOUR BUSINESS IS UNDER CONSIDERATION. not been told that this is precisely what is doing? You
have absolutely nothing left to say. If not completed FROM THE FRENCH OF PETIT SENN OF GENEVA,
sooner, it is because it is impossible to proceed more EVERY administration in the world—whether it be the rapidly in doing the thing well. Surely you would not executive of the state, or a corporation board, or a com- have it slurred over? And you cannot, in conscience, mittee, or an individual dressed in a little brief autho- require that your case should be considered oftener than rity'-has a greater or less store of dilatory phrases to always. which recourse is had for the purpose of answering ur- Most valuable phrase! What tiresome circumlocugent applications, putting off the impatient, satisfying tions, what troublesome explanations, what framing of the clamorous, and giving to all petitioners the impres- excuses, are spared by it to authorities in general! Ofision of unceasing labour in their cause. At the head cials may slumber as sweetly on these few words as in of these phrases for answering everything and every- an easy-chair. The phrase is the very ottoman of body, the sentence surely deserves to be placed, “Your | power, the downy pillow of bureaucracy, whence it business is under consideration.' Admirable phrase ! may meet every proposal of amelioration, every expecadmirable for the very vagueness of its definiteness and tation of improvement, every desire for a new order of the very definiteness of its vagueness. Laconic too! as things by a few words—the true talisman of statu quobrief as could possibly be desired. It is eminently an • It is under consideration.' administrative phrase. Unparalleled in its applicability, And now that it has been itself under considerait adapts itself to everything-furnishes a full reply in tion,' who will not thank me for having made this itself, or an admirable backing to an objection or excuse feeble effort to hold up a phrase playing so important a -accounts for the most protracted delay in any kind of part in parliamentary proceedings to the enthusiastic business under the sun-is an answer to every question, admiration and gratitude of those who make use of and the only answer to some questions. All committee it? I write not for the ingrates who are unreasonable rooms echo with it-all council chambers resound with enough to feel indignation at its being addressed to it. It is a sentence, in short, which should be engraved themselves.