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son, find real happiness and content, look into the cottage of the slave, not upon the splendor of the prince.”—" Happiness, Oh my children, dwelleth in the heart; and he who would find her, and bring her home to that dwelling, must follow the guidance of virtue, and listen to the instructions of benevolence."
VISITOR, No. 26.
Jam vaga prosiliet frænis natura remotis.
But take the curb of fear away,
I HAD lately a singular instance of what the naturalists have so often observed, that, to the discerning eye, there is scarce any of the most familiar objects that does not abound with theme for contemplation. I had received, among the remembrances of friendship that pass from place to place at this social season, a quantity of oysters, of a particularly large kind, from a new discovered bed off the island of Sheppy: as a servant was taking away the shells of some which I had been opening, I was struck with the profusion of vegetable furniture with which the surface of one of them was covered; and ordered it to be laid before me.
With what amazement does the mind accustomed to look up from effects to their causes, from created beings to the great source of being from whom they derive their existence, view
that profusion, as we may almost term it, of beneficence, which leaves not the smallest space capable of supporting existences of any kind unplanted with them. The covering of an animal, esteemed of the lowest tribe, appeared, on examination, a kind of world teeming with inhabitants. Its surface was a spacious continent to millions of little worms that wandered up and down within the boundaries of a straw's breadth on different parts of it, and had each its cavern, burrowed with its own teeth in the solid shell for its retreat: among these, some larger insects, scarce confined, perhaps, to the limits of a single shell, rolled their unwieldy forms about, preying on these as they on others, too minute to be perceptible; and over all were spread the vegetable productions I had first seen, covering the whole extent, and inviting the eye to examine their variety and elegance.
We are always ready to admire the verdure of the meadows, and stand in rapture before the varied purple and gold in the flower of a tulip : we send to the Cape for its beautiful sea-shrubs, and purchase the mosses of the most distant regions at a vast price, ignorant that every thing they have to boast is excelled among the refuse of our own productions. On one part of the surface of this little garden, a cluster of con
fervæ spread their entangled branches, glowing with all the vivid tint of the emerald; in another, a snow-white eschara covered the subjacent clusters with a piece of regular network; near it, a bunch of fuci stretched abroad their divided arms, painted throughout with colours beyond the highest stains on the most gaudy flower, polished as the wrought tortoiseshell; and, in another part, the transparent ulvæ covered, without hiding, a thousand little shoots that promised beauty.
All these, for want of a denser medium than the air to support them, lay flat upon the shell; but, in the midst, a plant of firmer mould, a coralline, raised its towering head self-supported, and of an elegant and surprising figure. It was this which had first attracted my eye, and this continued to demand my principal attention. To examine it the more favourably, I ordered the shell, with all its furniture, to be put into a glass of clear salt water. On the instant, the several tufts of herbage, that had laid as dead on the surface, erected their tender forms, and made a kind of under-wood, in the middle of which stood this stately cedar. Its trunk was, for about the first inch, naked; from thence to the summit, which was near two inches more, there grew, in wonderful regularity, a number of branches; these answered evenly to each other
on the several sides of the trunk, and grew only in the same circle, at small distances from one another. The branches from each circle were equal in length; but those of the lowest range were longest, and those of the several others gradually shorter to the top, where the main trunk terminated in the pointed pyramid. The form of this vegetable inhabitant of the deep, elegant as it appears, is not the greatest object it affords of our admiration: the structure is not less singular. The land-plants, in general, are formed of a continued stem, shooting forth branches of the same kind; but, in this surprising body, the whole was composed of short and regular pellucid joints, each smaller than the head of the least pin, and each received into its parent articulation at the base, and receiving into its summit the succeeding joint. How wonderful a structure for a plant destined to a place of growth where there are no eyes to see it that are capable of admiring its form !
Thus might we argue in that pride that swells us into an imagination of all things being made for us; but so does it not appear to him who created them. Every portion of this wonderful organisation has its uses, and those of the noblest kind; nor, though not formed for our amusement, are they utterly hidden from our in