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NHESE are days, my dear boys and girls, of

wonderful educational activity. My greengrocer's errand lad tells me that he has " learned at least half a dozen of the natural sciences, which he has imbibed in a concentrated form (like

"Liebig's Essence,” or “ Parrish's Chemical Food") during a brief career at the Board School round the corner; while his

ster Polly, who being “ trained" for a pupil-teacher, lears lectures, whose range is yet more alarmingly extensive, only that the said sciences get somehow" mixed” up in the dear child's “ knowledge-box."

Of course, then, you will expect an “'Ology Page " in Young ENGLAND, sooner or later.

Not that your magazine is designed to give formal lessons in any department of science, since hand-books and manuals—good, cheap, and well

illustrated with cuts--may be obtained by all who really desire them. I only wish it had been so when I was a lad with an inquiring mind.

But there is such a thing as 'ology for amusement—the recreative side of science; and this, we think, ought to find a place in a young people's journal. In any of these branches of knowledge may be found an endless supply of interest and diversion for leisure hours, if only taken up heartily and pursued in the right way.

“But what is the right way?” The way I think the best, is just to let books and diagrams alone for the while, and go straight into Dame Nature's big schoolroom, and see what she has got there to show you. There is no Professor like her, and no experiments so “jolly” as those which she is constantly performing on that great wide lecture-table which we call the world. Haven't you read Longfellow's lines about this?

"Come, wander with me,' she said,

• Into regions yet untrod,
A.nd read what is still unread

In the manuscripts of God.'
“ And he wandered away and away

With Nature, the dear old nurse,
Who sang to him night and day

The rhymes of the universe.
“And whenever the way seemed long,

Or his heart began to fail,
She would sing a more wonderful song,

Or tell a more marvellous tale."
. But that is only poetry, you know?"
Yes; but poetry is always truth, if it be
real poetry; and under the figure of

Mother Nature,” we mean, of course,
the handiwork of our Father in heaven-.

the grand open book of creation, which lies spread out evermore before our eyes. And just as there is a meaning in every Bible

pbrase and text, so every part of Creation's book has a meaning also.

I once heard Mr. Babbage (the late eminent mathematician) declare, in the presence of a gathering of members of the Geological Society, that every pebble and fragment of rock had its history written upon it, if we only had the power to read the hieroglyphics ; and, undoubtedly, there is very much that we may learn to interpret of Nature's picture-writing. A lady, who had long been an invalid, and suffered all an

The Chase. invalid's weariness, for want of occupation, found just what

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she required near at hand. A fresh sod of earth I think will go on well I shall also try the manner which you was brought to her room every morning and placed recomend in the Magazine. Could you tell me what small on her table ; then with the point of a knife she where I could procure or finde the Chrysalis or caterpillars of would dig in this little garden and bring to light the following insects Purple Emperor, Painted Lady, Swallow every tiny plant, and seed, and land-shell that it Tail Butterflies also the Puss Moth Silver Queen and Marsh contained. When restored to health, she was accus- Fritillay also the name of those reptiles which could be kept

in confinement where the could be procured & it also the best tomed to say that her recovery was largely due to way to cultivate ferns and mosses and Mulberry trees also this simple recreation.

which of the Magazines have either about insects or ferns in It does not matter where you begin, and you want also whether those papers for amusements can be obtained or neither lectures, nor manual, nor apparatus. A plublised in the ones for which a prize was offered for I mean, friendly helper, or a companion or two like-minded to obtain

a collection of all sorts of insects birds eggs botanicle with yourself, are not to be undervalued, but they specemines fossil &c also what papers are there in the Magaare not essential.

zine also will there be Thomas Edward,

any papers in your

Magazine this year also the Banffshire shoe

wether it would be posmaker and naturalist,

siable to keep fish and had no books but

reptiles together and

what sort of cases are the Book of Nature,

the best for reptiles I no companions but

shall be much oblidged such as thought him

for an answer in a day “ daft," and his only

or two as soon as pos

siable for which “ helper"

stamped envelope is ensound thrashing for

closed. R. H. T." bringing his · beasties

Our young friend's

spelling and compomesses into his

sition were certainly father's cottage. Yet he became not only

open to improve

ment; but such a lad an observer, but a

would be sure to discoverer also.

gather information As you need but

rapidly. few helps, so you want but few rules.

LOOK UP AND LOOK I will mention only

Down. three :

I am quite ready 1. OBSERVE — mi

to admit that there nutely, patiently,

are stronger inducerepeatedly.

ments to ask ques2. RECORD what

tions of Nature you observe, in

amidst the exuberVote Book.

ant, overflowing 3. CULTIVATE

wealth of the sum

mer time than in be ready to learn

the bare, cold, and from everybody and

often depressing everything.

winter months. But OB RVE this

an “observing eye” made Newton, John

will always find Hunter, and Darwin

enough to observe, what they were.

and a genuine inRECORD-never mind

quiring mind (like how roughly; if you

“R. H. T.'s ") would trust to memory you

ask questions (and will forget your best Comma Butterfly, Caterpillar, and Chrysalis on an Elm Branch. get answers too) all facts. BE TEACHABLE

the year round. -never be afraid to ask questions. The humblest

“O look up to the heavens above" can tell you something you did not know before. on a clear night in November (and such nights Let your mind be open to the light of truth from all there are), and mark the silent hosts of glittering quarters.

stars, the occasional bursts of flashing meteors, and Talking of questions reminds me of a letter which the ever-changing form and hue of the moving I received from a schoolboy some time ago, and which clouds, with, perhaps, the ruddy flush of the Aurora I transcribe here, just as it was written, as an example Borealis. There is no dreary waste above us, and of what I call “ an inquiring mind.”

none below. In spite of fog or frost, there is many a A BOY'S LETTER ABOUT NATURAL HISTORY. quiet page of Creation's volume to be turned over. “DEAR SIR,—I hope you will not be offended at receiveing

MOSSES AND LICHENS, another letter from me but your letter give me such a great help that I again write to you. I have a case which at present The Mosses, with their tiny urns of tinier fruit,






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balanced on thread-like stalks, shine fresh and ruddy mounted on thin cards, to view with the graphoscope, on the top of many an old wall, when nearly all the and very effective they are. flowers are faded and gone. A dear friend of mine,

A PLANT METHUSELAH. now studying with enlarged mind (I doubt not), in a nobler state of existence than this, wrote of the

In striking contrast to flowers which perish year Moss tribe as follows :-“ Mosses are found all by year is the history of such a plant as the justly around us ; on the bare sides of mountain rocks, on celebrated chesnut tree at Tortworth, Gloucestershire, the tiles of housetops, on the tops of walls, on the on the estate of Earl Ducie. “ It is believed to be more bare ground, on the branches and trunks of trees, than a thousand years old, and is, in all probability, on stones in running streams, on bogs and morasses, the oldest tree of its kind in England. In an account on the ground, in woods, and indeed well-nigh every of it, published in 1825, it is stated that even in the where. Their foliage” (for mosses have leaves, year 1150 it was called the great or the old Chesnut and very beautiful they appear when magnified) of Tortworth, a statement which would agree with " derives much of its richness from the moisture of Gilpin's information that it was a boundary tree the (winter) season, and their comparatively minute in the time of King John,' or even in the earlier forms are not then concealed by the thick summer reign of Stephen. In 1720 it measured fifty-one feet mantle of foliage, while many live only in winter, in girth at six feet from the ground. In 1779 it had their spores (seeds of flowerless plants are so called) measured fifty-four feet in girth. An exact measurelying dormant in summer.”

ment of the Tortworth Chesnut at the present time “ Have you never seen” (an American writer asks) is as follows :-Girth, at three feet from the ground, “upon old walls or vines a moss which is most forty-nine feet; at six feet from the ground, fifty feet; curious in shape? It grows luxuriantly, and looks north and south, eighty-six feet through ; east and very much like velvet in its richness—the very walls, west, eighty-eight feet through.” as well as decayed trunks of trees, made green and fresh by this mossy covering, giving the woods the aspect of new life in the midst of winter. This is the Screw Moss. To examine it, you would believe



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An Animal Mcthuselah, There are short and long livers among animals as among plants. Probably the 'tortoise may be regarded as the Methuselah of the animal kingdom,

though it is of course difficult to get reliable statis7

tics. In the Bishop's palace at Peterborough the shell

of one of these slow-going reptiles is preserved, with 9

an inscription, giving some particulars of the deceased, and stating that its age must have exceeded

a hundred and twenty years. Each year, in or about Insects' Eggs.

October, it used to bury itself in a particular spot

in the garden, and sleep until the following April. it to be crowned with fruit, having a little skull-cap

"But if he slept half of each year he ought only over it, which upon being lifted shows you a sort of to be reckoned as sixty years old when he died ? brush which some writer has likened to one that Perhaps so; but in that case, if you sleep away,

twelve • the fairies might use to sweep out the flowers.' On hours out of the twenty-four you will be but ten putting this apparent brush in water it will open and years and a half old when you come to man's (or display the seed within."

woman's) estate. Remember that, when you are Mosses are easily found, easily mounted on paper tempted to lie too long in bed in the morning. or cardboard, preserve their colours well when dried,

SLEEPING IN WINTER. and will at any time, if moistened, reveal their minuter beauties under a magnifying glass, forming

Tortoises, or other reptiles, are far from being the a pleasant amusement for an evening at home.” only animals which sleep-through-the-winter-hyber

So with the LICHENS—white, gray, brown, or green nate is the right word to use, instead of those four. - which hang their rough tapestries on the bare Those whose food disappears with the cold weather tree.trunks in winter time. A lady friend of mine must do one of four things :-(1) migrate to other has a very pretty collection of these lowly plants countries; (2) store up provisions for the winter; (3) hybernate, or else, of course, (4) die. Now, we pillars (larra is the technical term), or as chrysalides live on an island, hence none of our land animals (we do not say chrysalises, and pupa is shorter, and can migrate, except the birds ; some are storers, means the same thing). A few pass the winter in such as squirrels and bees; many of the lower the still more tranquil condition of an egg, in which tribes perish as the cold increases ; but yet a large we might call them yolk-fellows. But information is number do not, but hybernate, re-appearing with lacking concerning a number of these singular punctuality in the spring or early summer. the sun." Who will find out ?



The study of these hybernating animals offers a We have in this country about a hundred and wide field of investigation, but one very partially twenty different species of land and fresh water shells. explored even in these days of activity in research. Naturalists call the inhabitants of such shells MOLTake the insect world, for example. It is not known, LUSKS (or soft-bodied animals), whether they live on for instance, where all our sixty-four or five native land or in fresh or salt water. Of these “real butterflies pass the winter months. Some few hide natives," about seventy-five dwell on land, and fortyin out-of-the-way nooks and corners, and astonish the five in ponds, ditches, rivers, and streams. tyro in such matters by emerging on a fine sunny day they are not“ annuals,” and hence must winter somein February. Forthwith a paragraph headed “ Signs where, asleep or awake. The common garden snail of an Early Spring ” is sent to a local paper. The hybernates in companies in snug corners where there sun goes in, the frost returns, and the butterfly re- are no draughts, and appears to be a rather delicate turns too, and slumbers (perhaps laughing to himself and susceptible darling, retiring early in the season. as he composes his wings and legs) until another A large light brown species, called the Apple or delusive fine day affords him the chance of a few Roman Snail, and found in chalk districts, excavates hours' exercise.

an underground vault for itself as winter approaches, Ten species of butterflies are said to sleep plasters the inside, then forms two or three layers of through the winter in their perfect state. I give that paper-like membrane that everyone has noticed their English names :—The Large and Small in the garden snail, so as to close up the mouth of Tortoiseshell, Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, its shell with warm partitions, and sleeps safe and Comma, Brimstone, Clouded Yellow, Pale Clouded sound till “ hard times” are over. Yellow, and the rare Camberwell Beauty.

But I think you will be saying that “ Our 'Ology Most of the butterfly tribe hybernate as cater- Page ” has been sufficiently filled for this month.




say that the postman had brought the letters, and

that Mrs. Brand wished to know if there was any. T was a sunny day in autumn. thing especial in one that was in Miss Brand's handAlison leaned listlessly against writing. a porch covered with clematis Alison flew, tore open the letter, and exclaimed and bright-hued Virginian “ Aunt Miriam will be here this afternoon." creeper. The air

was fragrant Then she rushed about the house, from room to with the breath of many room, making a little alteration here, or putting flowers, and everything was flowers there, where Aunt Miriam loved to see them.

fair and golden all around, Last of all, she arranged an easy-chair, with a footbut the girl looked wearied.

stool beside it, in the pleasant bay window of the “ Beaten without a fight!" library, where she and her aunt had had many a chat

The words fell involuntarily from together. her lips.

And then Alison Brand Then she had nothing else to do, and looked at the clasped her hands tightly together, clock and wondered if the time would ever go : the

as if a sharp pain had suddenly shot day seemed interminable. Yet in due time the through her, and she was trying to bear it without a hours went by, and Aunt Miriam drove up to the cry.

docr. “I don't know if I can or not,” she muttered ; “I am so glad ! I am so glad !” said Alison, as she “ sometimes I do, and it is very hard, very, very greeted her. The very presence of Miss Brand hard. And sometimes I feel as if I were glad to be seemed to give her comfort. She could not talk over free, free with the world before me.” And her eyes her troubles and perplexities with her mother, for gave a flash. “I wish Aunt Miriam were here!” she that would have revealed to her anxious parent how added.

much her daughter had suffered ; and Mrs. Brand As if in answer to her wishı, a maid appeared to had already anxieties enough in the state of her


Alison Brand's Battle in Life.


husband's health, for he had sunk into a condition Again Miss Brand gently stroked her niece's hair. of hopeless imbecility, in which he might linger on “ You must be brave, Alison." for many years.

“There's nothing to expend my bravery upon," I couldn't have left them, Aunt Miriam, it replied Alison. wouldn't have been right to do it. Lewis thought I “There's the hardest foe you have in the world to did not care enough for him, but I could not leave fight against, and that is yourself. Remember, 'He my mother. Was I right, or was I wrong ?” that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a

So spoke Alison, as, after having given her aunt city.'" due time for rest and refreshment, she drew her into * Aunt Miriam, it is all very well in theory," the library, closed the door, and seated herself at her moaned Alison, laying her head in her aunt's lap; aunt's feet. “ It is all over now, Aunt Miriam, it is “but it's all so fresh with me now, and I can't all over-over without my being able to do any- get over it. Not unless,” she added, “not unless thing. I am here with my hands tied, and all my I could fight the world as my grandmother did, happiness taken from me."

and struggle and have to work, and not sit with my “ Has all your happiness gone, Alison ?

hands before me, as I am doing.” “I think so. The world will never be the same " Need


do that?” asked Miss Brand. to me again. There is a blight upon everything, and “Yes," said Alison, “I need. Here I am, with not uothing can ever make up to me for what I have lost. a thing to do for myself: servants to do everything I shall go on drearily to my life's end, and be giad for me; money to buy everything I want to buy; when I die,” said Alison, passionately.

nothing that I want that I cannot have-except-" Aunt Miriam stroked the girl's hair fondly, she And here Alison broke down, and sank on the koew how sore her heart was, and bided her time footstool beside her aunt. for replying.

“ And yet you've been very brave, Alison." “Lewis might have trusted me,” Alison went on.

Alison looked up in surprise. “What could he expect from a wife who did not do “Yes,” said Aunt Miriam, “ I'm not going to let her duty to her parents ? Aunt Miriam, can't you you look entirely at the desponding side. You're no say something to help me. I shall never be happy coward, Alison, and you've done what many a girl again, I know; but I should feel better if I were would not have had courage to do.” doing something, like St. Christopher. I don't mind “Did I do right, Aunt Miriam ?" said Alison, how hard the work, but I must work, I must fight, I eagerly. “Lewis said it must be ‘now or never.' I must be a good soldier on the battle-field.”

wanted him to wait just a little. I told him I had They also serve who only stand and wait,'" not changed, and I begged him to consider that my quoted Aunt Miriam.

mother was not strong enough to be left alone. But “Wait! wait!” repeated Alison, somewhat con- he was angry and went away, saying that he had temptuously; "sleep and slumber and apathy. No, been mistaken in me; that he saw I did not care Aunt Miriam, it won't suit me.”

for him as he had cared for me, or I should have “ Does waiting only imply a passive state ? ” asked been willing to make any sacrifice of my own feelings.' Miss Brand; “is there not an element of ex- “Lewis was wrong; he was selfish.” pectancy, even of hope, in it, and strength and “ No, no, Aunt Miriam, I do not think that; but endurance also ?”

he did not understand me. Sometimes I think if I "Hope!" exclaimed Alison.

could but explain - but he is gone away, and it is • Yes, hope. The sentinel at his post knows it is all over ; and it does not matter, perhaps, for he his duty to remain there, and he waits for the termi- said · now or never !" nation of his watch. The garrison in a blockaded And you said 'never'?" said Aunt Miriam. city waits in patience and endurance, but there is “Not quite," answered Alison ; “I said it could hope in the waiting, for relief may come. And, not be now." Alison, when earthly matters do not turn out as we Aunt Miriam was silent for a moment. would have them, and we have to lie still under the “ No, child, it could not be now; you were right. Father's hand, we must try to bear it. Many things There would have been no blessing upon it,” she that seem hard to us at the moment and impossible said, after a pause. to bear, when we look back upon them, we see that Alison clasped her aunt's hand tight. These were they are the very stepping-stones that have helped the first comforting words she had received. us to ford the river."

“ You have begun the battle of life, Alison. It Alison shook her head.

matters not what we have to overcome : the struggle “I have not come to that yet. I have to live up to is the same, whether it be privation, poverty, or any the turning-point-to travel up the hill from whence other evil. You have fought well in two actions.” such a view is possible. You think I am wicked and " Aunt Miriam !” exclaimed Alison. rebellious, Aunt Miriam, and that I distrust the pro- “Yes, two—the second has been the conquering of vidence of God. But I do not. I know in my heart your trouble outwardly, so that your mother may of hearts that I must have faith, and that it will not have the pain of knowing how deeply you suffer.” seem all right in many years time, and that, perhaps, “ I did not think of that. I only knew that she I may even come to be glad about it then. It could not bear it, so I did not let her know," said isn't that I don't know and believe it all; but it's Alison, simply. "But, Aunt Miriam, I may tell you just now, this weary, weary time, that I want to everything-you will not mind, you can understand, battle through, that I want to get over quickly, and I and it helps me." can't. For, Aunt Miriam, I do care--I can't help "I will do all I can to help you, my child," said caring about it all."

Aunt Miriam, earnestly.

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