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the artery (a), and drives the blood through it to all parts of the body; from whence it is again returned by the veins to the right auricle of the heart. This explanation will show you how it is that in the arteries only there is any pulsation, since in those vessels only can the impulse of the contraction of the heart be communicated to the contained fluid. Each pulse at the wrist records a contraction of the left ventricle of the heart, and the driving of a fresh supply of blood over the whole human frame.
I have now explained the anatomy of the most complicated heart, and if you will think over what I have said to you about it, you will have no difficulty in forming an idea of all the other varieties of this organ in the lower animals, since all are constructed upon a similar principle. This will be rendered the more easy if you observe that the heart which I have described is double, and has two auricles, and two ventricles, four cavities in all. In fishes there are only two cavities, i. e. one auricle, and one ventricle; and the blood having passed from the gills into the pulmonary vein (d), goes directly forwards into the vessel (a), Fishes, therefore, have no pulse in their bodies.
when taken out of the water; on the other hand, those fish which live near the bottom of the water, or in the mud, have a comparatively small requirement for oxygen, and sustain life for a long while after they are caught. The proverb, "Dead asta herring," has probably arisen from the suddenness of the death of that fish upon its removal from the water. Mr. Yarrell states that perch (a common fresh-water species) has an extraordinary power of retaining life; and that these fish are 66 constantly exhibited in the markets of Catholic countries, and if not sold, are taken back to the ponds, from which they were removed in the morning, to be reproduced another day." A rare little fish, known by the name of the Anglesea morris, has been known to live after having been carried in brown paper in a gentleman's pocket for three hours. The carp, a common resident in the ponds of the West of England, is also singularly tenacious of life, as might be anticipated from its ground-haunting habits. Your grandfather, when a boy, was present on an occasion when the water was "let off" from a large fish-pond, in which were a great number of this mudloving fish, and about fifty of the smaller fry were given to him. They were packed in a basket with damp straw, carried a distance of more than ten miles, and after being out of water for nearly three hours, on a fine warm day, were found to be alive at the end of their journey. They were turned into a small pond, when five or six only, out of the whole number, were discovered to be unable to resume their ordinary activity.
The gills, or lungs of fishes, are formed of an immense number of small bloodvessels, or capillaries, arranged in loops like fringe, and covered with a thin and transparent membrane, resembling goldbeater's skin. This membrane loses its transparency when it becomes dry, and in drying, contracts, and thus impedes the circulation of the blood through the fringe of vessels. Moreover, the blood in its passage through the gills, when the fish is out of water, dries up, and becomes thickened, and unfit to circulate. You will now see how it is that these organs become unable to abstract oxygen from the air, and how it happens that the fish can no longer breathe. It dies from suffocation, or want of air.
The class of animals called Fishes are for the most part oviparous. The term is derived from two words meaning "egg," and "to be born;" it signifies that the young are produced from eggs. Almost every person has seen the roe of the common herring. This is a mass of eggs, and would take you a very long time to count its contents. In a common perch, weigh
The power of living out of the watering half a pound, the number of eggs was
varies, nevertheless, extraordinarily in dif-
discovered to be no less than two hundred
These arrangements for the reproduction of the species prove how necessary these
animals are; for such a provision for their A few moments, and another light footmultiplication would not have been made step crossed that stream of sunshine; a unless they fulfilled some important part loving arm was thrown around the young in the great system of nature. What that girl, who raised her head, and turned a part or what the purpose of the CREATOR sweet hopeful smile upon the pale face in so carefully guarding against their ex- which was now bent upon her own with tinction-may be, has not yet been dis-all the earnestness of a sister's love. covered, and must be left for the enlighten- There was sunshine in every expression of ment of future time to determine. In the the girl's face-the richest, brightest sunmeanwhile, let us learn patiently to use shine of life, even that which comes from such light as may be given to us, assured the hopeful spirit and strong heart within. that the most insignificant portions of the It was this inner light which fell so cheergreat realm of nature are necessary and ingly upon the path that no outer radiance important parts of a grand scheme which could cheer and lighten. The girl knew ministers to our benefit and joy. Yet let this, alas! too well, while closer sank the us not arrogate to ourselves the sole right long fringes over her eyes, as though it were to happiness in this beautiful scene, but a mockery to raise them ever so little. The remember that the lowliest living thing eyes of the blind girl looked within, and has, in its sphere, a happiness of its own there, in her own true spirit, she found the that we have no right, in mere sport, to light which to all outer sense was lost for destroy.
THE SUNSHINE OF LIFE. THERE was sunshine gleaming through the hazel copse, and upon the little brook which divided it from an ample garden. There was sunshine lighting up the latticed porch and trellis-work of the pretty, cheerful rectory of Dahlwell, which seemed set in the midst of a garland of summer flowers. And there was sunshine creeping between the clustering roses and vineleaves which curtained the long, low window of its little sitting-room; and this light, so soft and flickering, reflected the trembling foliage, and lay in rich golden tracery upon the Indian matting that covered the floor-as if there were enough of brightness diffused throughout that cheerful room, and this bold sunshine was willing to lie still, and form a rich mosaic beneath the small feet which stepped from an old-fashioned damask couch placed at the side of the window, towards the casement: and then the gold tracery rested tenderly upon the rich brown curls which fell in silken masses over the shoulders of a young girl, as, leaning her arms upon the window-sill, she bent her drooping head lower and lower, till the bright waving hair swept the lattice-frame, and mingled with the sweet flowers and green leaves which clustered thickly round.
"How kind, dear Agnes, to hurry back so quickly! Do you know that I have been indulging in such happy dreams during your absence, that I almost forgot that my darling sister was not by my side." And while she spoke the blind girl pressed yet closer to the side of that loving sister, and suffered her to draw her gently back to the couch, when Agnes answered in a cheerful tone
"I only stopped to see poor widow Brown, my sweet May, and to tell her that we would call together on Monday; but were the dreams happy, dear one? I feared that I had done wrong by leaving you to your own thoughts to-day."
Agnes, dear, true sister!" exclaimed the young girl, while she raised herself for a moment from the circling arm which was thrown around her, "look at me now, and tell me if my face wears one shadow more of sadness than it ever did? I cannot see, but I feel that there are no thoughts within which should throw gloom without. It was not always so, Agnes; you know how hard a task it was to fan the tiny sparks of Hope and Patience into steady flames. Often, when I lay through those long dreary months in my darkened room, I prayed that if the blessed light of Heaven might never more gladden my eyes, I might die to everything else on earth. These were wrong, rebellious thoughts, but they have passed away for ever I trust, and made room for all the peace and thankfulness
which now fills my heart.
So never fear, my sister, to leave me to my own thoughts, when they do but make me stronger and happier-never more weak and sorrowful.
Marion Leslie had spoken the simple truth, when she told her watchful sister that her own thoughts could never harm her. There was an inward strength of purpose, and noble abnegation of self in her brave heart, which won love and admiration from all who knew her sad history, and came prepared to soothe and pity her.
old age-and the old man felt his spirit refreshed by the glad hopefulness of youth. For several years of this happy time of learning, the young girls had another companion in the old study, as well as in their woodland rambles, and pleasant wanderings among the sweet glens and bosky hills which surrounded their home.
Agnes and Marion were the orphan children of an artillery officer; their mother dying when they were very young, they were placed under the care of their maternal grandfather, an earnest, singleminded old clergyman, who held a small living in one of the prettiest villages in Yorkshire. He had been several years a widower, when the two motherless children of his only daughter were given to shed new light and happiness round his desolate hearth. They were the unceasing delight of the good old man's heart, and never were children's lives more truly what they ought to be, than those which the rector's grandchildren led. Even as they grew up to girlhood, and the death of their surviving parent left them entirely under the guardianship of their grandfather, they seemed to lose none of their innocent happiness; it was only merged in new delights, won from the rich stores of knowledge which the powerful mind of their beloved guardian unfolded for their instruction. It was in truth a sweet sight to look upon, when, in the cheerful long library of Dahlwell Rectory, the old man sat between the two fair creatures, who nestled close beside him, and read them rare lessons from his choice heavy tomes-not the less precious that they were in part made clearer and
The only brother of the squire of Dahlwell came for a stated time each afternoon, to receive more good help in his studies from his kind old master. And though Frank Leonard was full ten years the senior of little May Leslie, and was, moreover, so good a specimen of the true student, in all calm abstraction, and quiet earnestness, there never was a gentler friend, or one readier to help on, and join in the childish pleasures of the young maiden, than this same grave, loving student. In truth, any stranger who might have invaded the sanctity of the tutor's study during the hours when it was only used for its legitimate purpose, would have seen at once that the young man, who appeared to be so devoutly poring over his Euclid, showed almost as much devotion to the pretty, graceful little learner, who drew her seat beside him, and, perhaps, took rather more brotherly interest in her studies than there was occasion for, seeing that her grandfather was as close to her on the other side.
So passed these well-spent years peacefully away, until the girls grew up into graceful women. Few sorrows had as yet been theirs, except the sorrow of saying good-bye to Frank Leonard, when he left his native country home, and pleasant studies, for a lucrative appointment in India. His departure had caused a sad blank in the little circle at the Rectory. The good old man missed the intellectual companionship of his young pupil; Agnes missed his reauy help in all her serious
lighter to the young minds of his grand-studies; and May missed those words of children, by his own plain alterations and encouragement, and the kind smile which, explanations; and a sweeter sight still to after her grandfather's approval, were the watch the sunny faces, and bright eyes of rewards she prized the most. Even the the girls, as they raised them intently to huge carved oaken chair, which had always the mild, earnest countenance of their been Frank's seat, seemed to miss him too. reverend teacher, whose white hair fell in Still standing in its accustomed place, it thick masses even upon his shoulders. was the only unused chair in the room, and Rare and precious hours were those passed looked as stiff and uneasy as in reality it in the quiet study, both for the taught and was. the teacher; for the young learned, how holy and sacred is the experience of wise
Still years sped rapidly on, and found and left the Rectory at Dahlwell the same
abode of peace it had ever been. Time, which had ripened the beauty of the orphan sisters, from bud to blossom, and laid a richer hue on the sunny tresses and glowing cheeks of May Leslie, and a deeper tint to the thoughtful eyes of her graver sister, had been as kind and true to the noble brow and heart of their dear guardian. His clustering curls still hung in snowy whiteness over the collar of his sable cassock, and his kindly blue eyes beamed brightly as ever in all human sympathy and christian charity.
The long accounts which Frank regularly forwarded of his success in his new sphere, were an unfailing source of pleasure to the old man, and scarcely less welcome to his granddaughters, for they always found a portion of his letters devoted to them and the remembrance of old happiness.
once convinced that all hope of regaining her sight was over, she rose from the darkened couch in all the trust and patience of her pure womanly nature. She felt it her turn to soothe and cheer now; and it was indeed marvellous to see that brave young creature so strong-hearted and cheerful, with the same bright smile, and the same clear, ringing tones of mirth ever on her lips, tempered a little by what she would call her "wholesome sorrow." It was wonderful, too, to see how readily she moved along the old passages, and reached her favourite books from their familiar places on the study shelves; and then, taking her accustomed place between her grandfather's arm-chair and the vacant seat, which was still called Frank Leonard's, with upturned face (that her dear friends might see the smile was safe), she sat, and Marion had reached her eighteenth year, listened to the holy teaching of that rare when a fever broke out in the village; old scholar, Jeremy Taylor, whose works from the dwellings of the poor to the houses were such choice favourites with the good of the wealthy, it passed with fearful rapidity. rector. Or Agnes would read to them from The squire of Dahlwell was one of its first that treasury of golden thoughts and sayvictims; and from offering the last conso-ings, and of sweetest melodies of divine lations of religion to his dying pupil, the poesy, laid up for us by our Shakspeare. rector returned to find his youngest grand- Or, oftener still than these, the old man child in the wild delirium of the disease. would open his large Bible, and turn to that blessed history of Him whose whole life was one long harmony of love, and mercy, and charity: and so he read on, in his deep and sonorous voice, of the Saviour's love and pity, and ever-present help for those who seek it; of strength given to the weak, health to the sick in body, and sweet forgiveness to the troubled soul: and read, too, with a voice perhaps less strong and clear than was his wont, how the touch of that blessed One had given sight to the closed eyes, which opened at his word, and "gave glory to God."
After a severe struggle, the youth and excellent constitution of May Leslie prevailed, and she was pronounced out of danger. Slowly, very slowly, did the returning strength of their darling reward the fond sister and grandfather for their anxious watchings round her sick-bed; but more slowly still did the strength and brightness which had always beamed in her clear, beautiful eyes, seem to return. All the weakness yet lingering after her severe illness, appeared to have concentrated itself, and fixed upon this most precious gift sight. For many weeks Agnes and the
May knew so well the thoughts which
old man kept constant watch within a dark-were on one of these occasions busy in the ened room, and round a darkened couch. loving heart of her grandfather for they The most eminent practitioners from the were almost the echoes of what had once neighbouring cities were summoned; but been her own-that she clasped the hand skill and patience were equally unavailing. she held within both hers more fondly, In an agony of grief, the loving friends and with a smile said gently: "You learned that their sweet May-the bright- would hardly grieve for me, dear grand
eyed, happy girl of a few months back-papa, if you knew how truly in spirit was irretrievably, hopelessly blind.
It was in the season of bitter sorrow which followed the announcement of this sad truth, that the true courage and nobleness of May Leslie's spirit was shown;
that prayer of the blind man has been answered to your blind girl. As if the hand of the blessed Jesus had touched these eyelids, not indeed to unclose them to the light of the outer world, but to give
a clearer, purer sight of the hidden treasures of spiritual light and peace. Were it not for this inner brightness, how should I bear the darkness which seems spread between me, and you, and Agnes, and every familiar object in this dear old room. Thank our Father in Heaven, dearest grandpapa, that he had compassion on your poor blind child, and poured the precious light of love and peace into her darkened heart. And pray, too, that no shadow of doubt or complaining may ever cloud it again."
And earnestly the old man did pray for his sweet, patient grandchild; while not the less earnestly were the girl's own thoughts raised to the Giver of light and life.
this feeling of hers May had no sympathy. Her only answers to her sister's reiterated expressions of pleasure at the prospect of having their old companion back, were the tears which fell so quickly upon the precious letter-for precious it was to May Leslie's heart, though it called forth a show of more sorrow than joy. Nobly as she had conquered all vain repinings for the blessing she had lost, the struggle must begin anew now. Frank Leonard would be at Dahlwell in a day or two-but she would not see him. He would perhaps often, as in old times, share her grandfather's hours of study, and give his ready help to Agnes in hers-while she must only sit and listen-not even look upon that bright smile which had been so dear to her from her very childhood, and which was even now so fondly cherished among other sweet, sad remembrances of light and beauty-lost to her for ever.
Thus strengthened and held up by Faith and Hope, her darkened life passed happily along; she listened, if she could not read, and her voice was cheerful as ever; her step as true and light as in other days; and often in the twilight she would sing the sweet old melodies which her grandfather loved to hear, till the old man wept for very joy, and blessed her in his heart for the true brave spirit she really was.
The sisters still sat in their own quiet sitting-room, where we first introduced them to our readers, when the good rector entered, his face beaming with pleasure, as he placed an open letter in Agnes' hand, and seating himself on the other side of the blind girl, said, while he kissed the fair cheek which was upturned to him: "Good news, my sweet child! we shall have our old friend, Frank Leonard, here in two days at farthest He writes me from London, saying how anxious he is to be among us all again, and sends more remembrances than I can deliver to his 'dear little sisters' as he calls you. Agnes will read his letter, for I promised to go to the Hall and see Harris about some little preparations he wishes to make in honour of his new master's arrival; and the ringers have been to ask if they may give the Squire a peal of welcome. The whole village is rejoicing at Frank's return." b.Long after the old man left them, the sisters bent over Frank Leonard's letter. Agnes hailed his coming to the house of his fathers with the same feelings with which she would have welcomed the return of a dear brother; but with the usual tact sof womanly observation, she saw that in
Agnes knew the cause of her sister's grief too well to offer any words of soothing; she could only fold the weeping girl more tenderly in her arms, and kiss the fevered brow which rested against her shoulder; but before the last gleam of a golden sunset had passed away from the latticed window-frame, with its garniture of vine-leaves and china roses, the shadow which had fallen on May Leslie's spirit had passed away, and she stood with Agnes at the open casement, with a calm, happy smile, and cheerful voice, talking over the return of Frank Leonard to Dahlwell.
A year had fleeted past since Frank Leonard's return, and again the light of a summer's sun shone brilliantly through the deep glades and stately woods which surrounded his home, and lit up its many windows with a broad stream of radiance, until it looked more like some golden palace of fairy-land, than the grey old English hall it really was; and, through the stained diamond panes of a deep mullioned window, which opened upon a blooming rosery, this stream of sunshine fell upon the interior of a small chamber, known for long years, at Dahlwell, as the "Lady's Room." There, before an antique ebony book-case and cabinet, stood Agnes Leslie, completing the arrangement of a row of dark old volumes, which contrasted strangely with the handsomely bound, modern looking