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amongst which no fewer than 180 European weeds have been recorded as intruding themselves, and having become thoroughly naturalized; and probably double that number will yet be found, as they have never been systematically collected; but the most curious part of the history is this, that whereas of indigenous New Zealand plants, scarcely any are annual, no less than half the naturalized European ones are annual.

Of the effect of these introduced European plants in destroying the native vegetation, I have given examples in an article that appeared in the Natural History Review (January, 1864), from which I quote the following:

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In Australia and New Zealand, the noisy train of English emigration is not more surely doing its work, than the stealthy tide of English weeds, which are creeping over the surface of the waste, cultivated, and virgin soil, in annually increasing numbers of genera, species and individuals. Apropo of this subject, a correspondent (W. T. Locke Travers, Esq., F.L.S.)-a most active New Zealand botanist-writing from Canterbury, says, "You would be sur"You would be surprised at the rapid spread of European and other foreign plants in this country. All along the sides of the main lines of roads through the plains, a Polygonum (aviculare), called cow-grass,' grows most luxuriantly, the roots sometimes two feet in depth, and the plants spreading over an area from four to five feet in diameter. The dock, (Rumex obtusifolius or R. crispus) is to be found in every riverbed, extending into the valleys of the mountain-rivers, until these become mere torrents. The sow-thistle is spread all over the country, growing luxuriantly up to near 6,000 feet. The watercress increases in our still rivers to such an extent as to threaten to choke them altogether; in fact, in the Avon, a still deep stream running through Christ Church, the annual cost of keeping the river free for boat navigation, and for purposes of drainage, exceeds 300l. I have measured stems twelve feet long and three quarters of an inch in diameter. In some of the mountain districts, where the soil is loose, the white clover is completely displacing the native grasses, forming a close sward. Foreign trees are also very

luxuriant in growth. The gum-trees of Australia, the poplars and willows particularly, grow most rapidly. In fact the young native vegetation appears to shrink from competition with these more vigorous intruders."

Dr. Haast, F.L.S., the eminent explorer and geologist, also writes to me as follows: :

"The native (Maori) saying is, 'as the white man's rat has driven away the native rat, as the European fly drives away our own, and the clover kills our fern, so will the Maoris disappear before the white man himself.' It is wonderful to behold the botanical and zoological changes which have taken place since first Captain Cook set foot in New Zealand. Some pigs, which he and other navigators left with the natives, have increased and run wild in such a way that it is impossible to destroy them. There are large tracts of country where they reign supreme. The soil looks as if ploughed by their burrowing. Some station holders of 100,000 acres have had to make contracts for killing them at 6d. per tail, and as many as 22,000 on a single run have been killed by adventurous parties without any diminution being discernible. Not only are they obnoxious by occupying the ground which the sheep farmer needs for his flocks, but they assiduously follow the ewes when lambing, and devour the poor lambs as soon as they make their appearance. They do not exist on the western side of the Alps, and only on the lower grounds on the eastern side where snow seldom falls, so that the explorer has not the advantage of profiting by their existence, where food is scarcest. The boars are sometimes very large, covered with long black bristles, and have enormous tusks, resembling closely the wild boar of the Ardennes, and they are equally savage and courageous.

"Another interesting fact is the appearance of the Norwegian rat. It has thoroughly extirpated the native rat, and is to be found everywhere, even in the very heart of the Alps, growing to a very large size. The European mouse follows it closely, and, what is more surprising, where it makes its appearance, it drives, in a great degree, the Norway rat away. Amongst other quadrupeds,

cattle, dogs, and cats, are found in a wild state, but not abundantly.

"The European house-fly is another importation. When it arrives, it repels the blue-bottle of New Zealand, which seems to sbun its company. But the spread of the European insect goes on very slowly, so that settlers knowing its utility, have carried it in boxes and bottles to their new island stations."

But the most remarkable fact of all has been communicated to me since the above was printed, viz, that the little white clover, and other herbs, are actually strangling and killing outright the New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), a plant of the coarsest, hardest, and toughest description, that forms huge matted patches of woody rhizomes, which send up tufts of sword-like leaves, six to ten feet high, and inconceivably strong in texture and fibre. I know of no Engglish plant to which the New Zealand flax can be likened, so as to give any idea of its robust constitution and habit, to those who do not know it; in some respects, the great matted tussocks of Carex paniculata approach it. It is difficult enough to imagine the possibility of white clover invading our bogs, and smothering the tussocks of this Carex, but this would be child's play in comparison with the resistance the Phormium would seem to offer.

The causes of this prepotency of the European weeds are probably many and complicated; one very powerful one is the nature of the New Zealand climate, which favors the duration of life in individuals, and hence gives both perennials and annuals a lengthened growing season, and, in the case of some, more than one seed crop in the year. This is seen in the tendency of mignionette and annual stocks to become biennial and even perennial, in the indigenous form of Cardamine hirsuta being perennial, and in the fact that many weeds that seed but once with us, seed during a greater part of the year in New Zealand. Another cause must be sought in the fact, that more of their seeds escape the ravages of birds and insects in New Zealand than in England; the granivorous birds and insects that follow cultivation not having been transported to the Antipodes with the weeds, or at least, not in proportionate numbers.

Still the fact remains as yet unaccounted for, that annual weeds, which, except for the interference of man, would with us have no chance in the struggle with perennials, in New Zealand have spread in inconceivable quantities into the wildest glens, long before white men or even their cattle and flocks penetrate to their recesses. Such is the testimony of Drs. Haast and Hector, and Mr. Travers, the original explorers of large areas of different parts of the almost uninhabited middle island, and who have sent to me, as native plants, from hitherto unvisited. tracts, British weeds that were not found in the island by the careful botanists (Banks, Solander, Forster, and Sparrmann) who accompanied Captain Cook in his voyages; and which were not found by the earlier missionaries, but which of late years have abounded on the low lands near every settlement.

This subject of the comparative great vis-vitæ of European plants, as compared with those of other countries, involves problems of the highest interest in botanical science, and the subject is as novel as it is interesting; it is quite a virgin one, and requires the calmest and most unprejudiced judgment to treat it well. It cannot be doubted that the progress of civilization in Europe and Asia has, whilst it has led to the incessant barrassing of the soil, led also to the abundant development of a class of plants, annual, biennial, and perennial, which increase more rapidly and obtain a greater development when transplanted to the Southern hemisphere, than they have hitherto done in the Northern, and that, in this respect, they contrast strikingly with the behavior of plants of the Southern hemisphere when transplanted to the Northern; and hitherto no considerations of climate, soil, or circumstance, have sufficed to explain this phenomenon.

Temple Bar.


SOME fifty years ago, two young men of nearly the same age were seated in the coupé of a diligence that was rattling along the road from Abbeville to Paris. Though they were total strangers to each

other when they met, before the end of their journey they had become bosom friends.

The younger of the two travelers, whom we will name Villiers, was of an extremely open and communicative disposition, so that it was not long before his companion was in full possession, not only of the history of his past life, but of his intentions and aspirations for the fu


The immediate object of his present journey, he said, was to make the acquaintance of a young girl, whose parents had entered into an arrangement with his own, years ago, to give their daughter to him in marriage, when they should both have grown up.

"From all I hear," he added, " Annette Heppe is as lovely as she is amiable; and already I feel myself deeply enamored of her. But here have I been chattering for full an hour about my own uninteresting self, and boaring you, I dare say, with my affairs; so en revanche, tell me a little of yourself, pray. You are married, no doubt ?"

"Neither married nor likely to be," replied Beaufort, laughing. "My history is mere prose compared with the romantic poetry of your life! In a word, I am just returned from England, and am going to Paris to meet my uncle, General de G, who writes to inform me that he has been able to procure for me the post of Under-Prefect in one of the Departments. I am to meet him at the Hotel de Ville to-morrow evening at six precisely; for he is the most punctual man in the world."

In due course of time the diligence accomplished its weary, dusty journey; and the two young men by mutual agreement repaired to the same hotel.

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Supposing you go to the opera," said Beaufort to his friend after dinner; "I have several letters to write, which will occupy me some time; and when you return we can enjoy a cigar together before going to bed."

And so it was arranged. Villiers went to the Opera, and returned home about ten o'clock.

"I have just finished," cried Beaufort, as his friend entered the room; and now for our cigar! but tell me, how did you like the opera? Was Mdlle. C

charming? But I forgot; you are bound not to look at opera dancers now, however pretty their ankles may be-eh? But what is the matter?" added Beaufort, noticing that his companion looked rather glum. "I hope I have not offended

you ?"

Of course

"Oh, not at all!" responded the other, smiling; "but I have got into a mess! It was late when I entered the opera house; I had not taken my seat long when I felt some one tap me rudely on the shoulder, and a gentleman in a rude voice informed me that I had taken his seat, and that I must move. if he had spoken civilly I would have relinquished my seat at once; but I told him I had been shown there by the boxkeeper, and there I should stay in spite of him. At this he got angry, and so did I, and so did the audience, for they began to hiss vigorously. Well, the end of all is that he demands satisfaction, and that we are to meet to-morrow morning in the Bois de Boulogne at six. It is very unfortunate, you see, but it can't be helped. See! here is his card. Now, my dear fellow, I know nobody in Paris, at least no one whom I could ask to be my second. Will you?-that is if I am not presuming too much on our short acquaintance.'

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"Of course I will, my dear Villiers," responded the other. "Yes! it is very mal àpropos, because you see, if you there is an end to the matrimonial scheme; and supposing that you either get wounded, or wound your adversary, the affair will get wind, and will not raise you in the estimation of your intended relatives. However, there's no help for it, so now let us get to bed. Sleep all you can, and I will see to call you in time."

"Thanks! thanks! but I am going to make another demand on your friendship," added Villiers. "In case I fall, will you deliver these letters to Monsieur Heppe, and break the news to him as favorably as you can? In one respect, you see, it will not be a very painful duty, because they know nothing of me-in fact, have never seen me; so that my loss will break no one's heart, not even dear little Annette's!"

"Certainly, I will perform your wishes to the letter; only I feel confident you will be able to act as your own ambasa

dor," replied Beaufort, trying to cheer up his friend, who seemed to view matters rather despondingly.

Early the next morning-some minutes before the appointed time-Beaufort and Villiers were at the spot agreed on. They had not to wait long before the other party arrived also on the gronnd. Beaufort had not been without some hopes of being able to bring about an amicable adjustment of the quarrel, but all his endeavors to do so proved fruitless.

Nothing therefore was left but to place his man, and give him instructions to fire at the appointed signal.

Shaking each other by the hand, a mere mockery of friendliness, the two principals now turned back to back. When they had each stepped twelve paces they were to turn round and fire. Precisely at the same instant their weapons were discharged, but not with the same result. Villiers fell to the ground with a short, sharp cry of pain, shot through the heart, while his adversary received his bullet through the left arm.

There was no time to lose, so lifting up the dead body of his friend, and carefully depositing it in the carriage, Beaufort set off as hard as he could back to Paris. Arriving at the hotel, his first care was to give the landlord instructions to send information of the event to the police, and to make the necessary arrangements for the funeral, which was appointed for six o'clock the same evening. This being done, a more disagreeable commission remained behind. He had promised Villiers to break the news to Monsieur Heppe, and though he would gladly have intrusted the task to some one else, he felt that the promise made to the dead man was too sacred a matter to be treated lightly. It is of course always unpleasant to be the bearer of sad news; still in this case Beaufort felt that no grief of a heartrending nature would be caused to any of the Heppe family when he should announce to them the sad intelligence of young Villiers' death.

Monsieur Heppe was a retired merchant. Having amassed a very considerable fortune, he had determined on passing the remainder of his days in peace and quietness. In former years, when he had first engaged in business, he had been under great obligations to young

Villiers' father, who had assisted him at a time when, but for his aid, he must have been utterly ruined.

Some few years previous to the incidents above related, old Villiers had payed his friend Heppe a visit, and it was on that occasion that he conceived the idea of promoting a matrimonial connection between the two families. Feeling himself to be under such great obligations to his kind patron, Monsieur Heppe readily entered into the project; only stipulating that not a word of it should be breathed to their respective children, till they had attained an age when they could judge for themselves in a matter of such importance; and further, that if on acquaintance the young people should not take to each other, no persuasion should be used by their parents on either side to bring about a union, which in such a case could be productive of nothing but misery.

Annette had therefore only been apprised a few days of the intended visit of young Villiers, and of the object of the visit. Though she felt she could safely intrust her happiness to her parents' choice, it would not be a matter of surprise to hear that she felt ill at ease at the unexpected announcement. For she thought "perhaps we shall not be suited to each other, and though I shall readily perceive this, it may not be so evident to my parents, who seem to have set their hearts on the match. I shall either then have to cause them pain by rejecting the offer, or else to sacrifice myself." And the roses began to fade from her cheeks, and a seriousness, almost approaching to melancholy, came over her.

This of course did not escape the watchful eyes of her parents.

"I do believe our darling does not like the idea," said Madame Heppe one evening to her husband as they were sitting alone; "she looks so pale and thoughtful! I wish from my heart the arrangement had never been made. However, if she does not like him, Monsieur Villiers shall very soon receive his congé."

Tut, tut! my dear! Of course, she is a little thoughtful. I suppose you were

eh, my love? But, at all events, do not let us prejudice ourselves against the young man. Indeed, from all I hear, he is possessed of really good qualities. Let)

me see he is to arrive to-morrow, so mind, wife, we give him a good reception."

Next day, precisely at the time appointed, a cabriolet drove up to the door. Monsieur Heppe, his wife, and daughter, were assembled in the salon in readiness to welcome their visitor.

"What an elegant young man!" exclaimed old Heppe, peeping out from behind one of the curtains, in order to have a good look at his expected son-in-law before he entered the house.

"And how good-looking!" chimed in Madame, who was similarly occupied, under cover of the other curtain.

Annette, who had taken up her post at a third window by herself, and had followed the example of her parents, did not give vent to her feelings as they had done; but, if the truth were known, she felt already that she had been somewhat hasty in her fears. Indeed, Beaufort was a remarkably handsome, gentlemanlylooking young man. With ladies he had ever been a universal favorite, for not only was he most attentive and courteous in his manner towards them, but there was that about him that betokened a thoroughly good-tempered, unselfish disposition-qualities that are always calculated to ensure their possessor a welcome into any circle he might choose to enter. "Welcome, my dear young friend," said old M. Heppe, advancing to meet his guest at the hall door; welcome to our house. What! no luggage? Oh! I dare say it is to follow. But come in. My wife and daughter are all impatience to shake you by the hand."

"Could I speak a word with you in private?" whispered Beaufort, who deemed the present a fitting opportunity to communicate the intelligence of young

Villiers' death.

"Presently, my dear friend, presently. We have plenty of time for that?" and almost before he knew where he was, Beaufort found himself responding to the hearty welcome that Madame Heppe gave him.

"And this is our daughter Annette," she added. "Come here, my child, and bid Monsieur Villiers welcome to Paris."

Little had Beaufort expected to see such a lovely girl as the one who now

stood before him, offering her welcome with an ease and gracefulness that many a noble's daughter might have envied. For a moment he stood like one entranced, forgetting everything—where he was and what he was about-so astounded was he at the surpassing loveliness of the fair girl before him.

"Supposing we all sit down, and have a little chat before dinner," presently said Madame Heppe, who noticed with secret pleasure the impression her daughter's appearance had evidently made upon the visitor.

At the sound of her voice Beaufort, with a start, awoke from his dream, and now for the first time it flashed across him that the good folks were taking him for Villiers. What should he do? Tell them at once of young Villiers's death? Yes! he could do it very well if alone with Monsieur; but, with that fair girl beside him, it would be cruel-such a shock to her nerves!

I do not believe that it had as yet entered his mind that if he did not pursue this course, the only other alternative left was to personate young Villiers as well as he could. At all events, whilst trying to decide upon the line of action he should take up, his host and hostess kept plying him with such heaps of questions (and Annette looking so fresh and charming the while) that, almost without knowing it, he found himself acting his late friend's part.

"How like he is to his father!" presently remarked Madame Heppe.

This remark decided him. "Well! I'm in for it now; if these good people will persist in taking me for their intended son-in-law (and, by Jove! I shouldn't have much objection), they must: that is all I have to say!"

"Pooh! my love, not a bit," replied M. Heppe; he takes after his mother; just as I remember her when she was about his age."

"Yes," stammered out Beaufort, thinking he must say something; "I've always been told I was very like my poor dear mother!"

"God bless us! Why, you don't mean to say your mother is dead?"

Beaufort quickly perceived his blunder, and answered very composedly:

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