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these brilliant effects. When the current is closed by means of different metals reduced to thin leaves or wires, they ignite and produce very beautiful effects. Silver leaf burns with a beautiful emerald-green light; gold leaf produces a bluish-white light; copper leaf a bluishwhite light accompanied with red sparks; lead affords a beautiful purple light; and zinc a vivid bluish-white light fringed with red.
Platinum is one of the most refractory of all the metals; subjected to the most intense heat of the furnace it will not melt; but under the influence of a powerful voltaic battery platinum wire melts readily. With a battery of moderate power platinum wire or foil becomes red or white-hot. In the following figure the
poles of the battery are united by means of thin platinum wire; on removing the thick brass wire at a, the platinum wire becomes white-hot, fuses, and falls about in a liquid state.
These experiments illustrate, to a certain extent, the theory which seeks to explain the production of heat by the voltaic battery. It is supposed to be due to the resistance which the electric current encounters in passing from one pole to the other along a bad conductor; and that the portion of electricity thus momentarily arrested, produces the heat. By attaching an alternating series of wires of the same length and diameter, but of different metals, such as platinum and silver, the worse conductor becomes incandescent, and the better conductor remains cold. This instructive and striking experiment is arranged thus:
Pieces of fine platinum and silver wire, p, s, p, s, being fastened together alternately, are made to close the voltaic current by being attached to the poles P, N. The pieces of platinum then become ignited, and give a red light, while the silver pieces are not affected.
A similar arrangement of platinum and gold wires produces the same results; with gold and silver, the gold only becomes incandescent; with gold and copper, both metals are heated to redness; with gold and iron, the latter only is ignited.
These experiments are beautiful and instructive; they connect the heating power of the battery with the electrical conducting powers of the metals, which also bear a remarkable relation to their calorific conducting powers. Platinum conducts electricity less perfectly than silver; the resistance to its passage is greater for the former than for the latter metal, and consequently it becomes ignited; but the current passing rapidly along the silver wire produces no such effect. This inverse relation between the conducting power of a metal, and the facility with which it becomes incandescent, greatly favours the truth of the above expla
THE BERNACLE-GOOSE TREE. (Fac-simile of a cut in
IN reading the works of naturalists who flourished and were highly extolled, some centuries ago, we cannot help being struck with the love of the marvellous which seems to have prevailed among them. The state of general knowledge was so different to that of our own times that we are bound to make allowance for their credulity; but we are nevertheless surprised to find that an unexplained fact in Natural History, instead of stimu lating their powers of observation, and quickening their zeal to arrive at the true solution, was frequently invested with a mysterious importance, and accounted for by the wildest and most improbable theories. And when once these theories had been formed, the senses seem to have been entirely led captive; so that popular and pleasing writers are found declaring themselves eye-witnesses of occurrences which we are well assured could never have taken place in the ordinary course of nature.
We have a curious instance of this in the history of the Bernacle Goose, a bird which is by no means uncommon in the Orkney and Shetland isles, during the autumn and winter months. This species of goose has not been ascertained to breed either in the islands or in any part of the north of Scotland: so that naturalists or former times, observing the bird, and not being able to discover its eggs, set themselves to discover by what wonderful means the bird could be propagated.
Now there is a well-known molluscous animal called
the bernacle, which attaches itself to the bottoms of ships, or to floating wood. This animal becomes rooted to the timber by means of a sort of stalk, which at the other end has the shell of the bernacle. During the violent storms which rage in the North Sea these bernacled logs of wood are frequently cast ashore, and driftwood is seen in all directions with the bernacles on the under side. It also happens that the same circumstances which drive ashore these bernacled logs of wood, exhaust the strength of the geese in question, so that their dead bodies are frequently seen floating on the waters, or the living bird is cast ashore in an enfeebled state. These two circumstances, produced by the same cause, but having no connection whatever with each other, were soon made the subject of a marvellous tale, which was believed all the more readily, for its very improbability, and which was soon enhanced by popular
rumour. The bernacles were believed to be the geese | in an embryo state, and the geese were nothing more than the bernacles arrived at perfection. One of the oldest Scottish historians, who pretends to have been an eye-witness of this circumstance, gravely informs his readers that when trees in the course of time fall into the sea, and become worm-eaten, then in all the bores and small holes of the timber little worms do grow which first of all do show their heads and feet, and afterwards their plumes and wings. Then he relates a story of a great tree that by alluvion and flux of the sea was brought to land, near the castle of Pitsligo, in the sight of many people, and when the laird of the castle had caused it to be cut asunder, immediately there appeared a multitude of worms throwing themselves out of the holes. Some of them were rude and misshapen; some had both head, feet, and wings, but they had no feathers; while some of them were "perfect shapen fowls." Again he speaks of a vessel that had lain three years at anchor in one of the Scottish isles, and was afterwards brought to Leith, and there broken up. The timber was very much worm-eaten, and "all the holes thereof full of geese." This writer also gives the additional piece of information that the fruits of trees standing near the sea, drop into the water, and are speedily changed into geese.
An English naturalist, named Turner, of some celebrity in his day, helped to confirm the notions just alluded to. He says "Nobody has ever seen the nest, or egg, of the bernacle; nor is it marvellous, inasmuch as it is without parents, and is spontaneously generated, in the following manner. When, at a certain time, an old ship, a plank, or a pine-mast, rots in the sea, something like fungus at first, breaks out thereupon, which at length puts on the manifest form of birds. Afterwards these are clothed with feathers, and at last become living and flying fowl. Should this appear to any one to be fabulous, we might adduce the testimony, not only of the whole people who dwell on the coasts of England, Ireland, and Scotland, but also that of the illustrious historiographer Gyraldus, who has written so eloquently the history of Ireland, that the bernacles are produced no other way.
Not satisfied with the marvellous nature of these stories, several writers, and Turner among the number, went on to state that not only was one species of bernacle engendered from decayed timber, but that there was another species found growing upon trees on the sea-coast of Scotland.
In the time of Queen Elizabeth, the botanist Gerard fully participated the belief in these marvels; and gives his own testimony as an eye-witness, saying, "There is a small island in Lancashire, called the Pile of Foulders, wherein are found broken pieces of old and bruised ships, some whereof have been cast thither by shipwreck, and also the trunks and bodies, with the branches of old and rotten trees, cast up there likewise; whereon is found a certain spume, or froth, that in time breedeth unto certain shells, in shape like those of the mussel, but sharpe-pointed, and of a whitish colour, wherein is contained a thing in form like a lace of silk finely woven together, of a whitish colour; one end whereof is fastened unto the inside of the shell; the other end is made fast unto a rude mass, or lump, which in time cometh to the shape and form of a bird: when it is perfectly formed, the shell gapeth open, and the first thing that appeareth is the foresaid lace or string; next come the legs of the bird hanging out, and as it groweth greater, it openeth the shell by degrees, till at length it has all come forth, and hangeth only by the bill; in short space after it cometh to full maturity, and falleth into the sea, where it gathereth feathers, and groweth to a fowl bigger than a mallard and lesser than a goose, having black legs, and bill, or beak, and feathers black and white, spotted in such a manner as our mag-pie, called in some places pie-annet, which the people of Lancashire call by no other name than tree-goose."
Though men of penetration occasionally protested against these stories, and declared their disbelief of them; and though several foreign writers bore testimony to the fact that these geese laid eggs and hatched their young in the usual way; yet almost to our own
times there has been a certain degree of importance attached to these tales, and many persons have been found credulous enough to believe them, in spite of their absurdity, and the outrage they put upon common sense. Bernacle geese, as distinguished from common geese, are described by Cuvier as having a shorter smaller bill, whose edges are not apparent beyond the extremities of the laminæ. In the Orkneys the bird is called claik or clack goose, and Cuvier states that klake is the Scotch name for goose. In this he was mistaken. The only meaning of "claik" as applied to this goose refers to the clacking gabbling noise which it makes. The bernacle goose measures about two feet and a half in length; the bill is scarcely an inch and a half long, black, and crossed with a pale reddish streak on each side. The head is small, and as far as the crown, toge ther with the cheeks and throat, white; the rest of the head and neck, to the breasts and shoulders, is black. The upper part of the plumage is prettily marbled, or burred, with blue-grey, black, and white; that of the wing coverts grey with a black and white border; the tail coverts and under parts white, the tail itself black, and five inches and a half in length. The feet and legs dusky, very thick and short, and answering well with some of the habits of the bird. The bernacle goose is much more on the water than is usual with its congeners, and does not migrate so far, or so much inland. It is common in the northern parts of Europe, and has been observed in great abundance in Greenland, where its eggs have been seen in large quantities. We can only account for some of the stories related above, by curious structure of the bernacle shell-fish, and mistook supposing that the authors were really deceived by the the peduncle, or foot-stalk, for the neck of the young goose, and the tentaculæ, or feelers, for the feathers of the bird.
I MUST tell you of a feat of my dog Beau. Walking by the river-side, I observed some water lilies, floating at a little distance from the bank. I had a desire to gather one, and, having a long cane in my hand, by the help of it_endeavoured to bring one of them within my reach. But the attempt proved vain, and I walked forward. Beau had all the while observed me very attentively. Returning soon after towards the same place, I observed him plunge into the river, while I was about forty yards distant from him; and, when I had nearly reached the spot, he swam to land with a lily in his mouth, which he brought and laid at my feet.-CowPER.
MANY of the sports and pastimes of our forefathers, are, in the retrospect, picturesque and pleasant; but attempt to practice them at the present day, and the very villagers would laugh at them as ridiculous child's play, and in fact they are child's play. They were the amusements of a generation-children in intellectual culture, though of brawny growth of body-they were the pastimes of beings whom, in the race of real knowledge, our very clowns have left behind. Nay, I question whether our peasantry could witness, without an internal feeling of contempt, what at one time were the highest entertainments of the highest classes-at which "lords, and dukes, and noble captains" toiled day after day, and the proudest and brightest_dames sate witnesses, not in impatience, but in pleasure. In vain do we lament our Christmas sports, and the old games of gentle and simple-they are pleasant pictures in pleasant associations-they are highly to be valued as relics and remembrances of the olden time-of the good olden timegood to the good people who enjoyed them-good possibly in themselves-but
Another race has been, and other palms are won. Knowledge has run to and fro in the earth. It has penetrated into the remotest hamlet-in the obscurest nook; and though many a goodly superstition and many a jocund folly have fled before it, I trust, and I think I know, that sufficient simplicity of heart and manner remains, and is likely to remain, in what may be called truly the country; and instead of ignorance and laughter, we have intelligence, industry stimulated by higher views, and, whenever there is occasion to display it, mirth and good-fellowship.-Book of the Seasons.
Or if the Garden with its many cares,
The welcome call, conscious how much the hand
Or misapplying his unskilful strength.
Nor does he govern only or direct,
But much performs himself. No works indeed,
Not tire, demanding rather skill than force.-CowPER.
PERHAPS there is no employment which, to the man of leisure and retirement, yields a purer satisfaction, or more healthful recreation, than the management of a garden; indeed, without this source of enjoyment, and the continual calls on the attention which it affords, there is no doubt but that many a man, retiring from the labours of his profession, or in possession of that ease which competence affords, would find his time hang heavily, and would be apt to envy the busier portion of the community. Too much study is "a weariness of the flesh," and the quiet of the library, delightful though it be, needs frequently to be interchanged for kindly communications with our fellowcreatures, and active, inspiriting occupation.
That the cultivation of a garden combines pleasure with utility does not need any proof: experience has, in all ages, attested it; while the appointment of this occupation to man in a state of innocence attests its beneficial tendency. There is also abundant evidence that this species of employment was regarded among heathen nations as productive of peace and tranquillity of mind. It is related of a Sidonian prince who had been reduced to support himself by the produce of a garden cultivated by his own hands, that when asked by Alexander of Macedon, how he had been able to endure his poverty, he replied, "May Heaven assist me in bearing prosperity as well! I then had no cares, and my own hands supplied all my wants."
The man, therefore, who employs himself in the cultivation of the soil, whether within the confined limits of the garden, or in the ampler field afforded by the farm, has certainly made choice of an occupation that is as likely to conduce to happiness, as any that could be named; though here, as in every thing else, the state of mind with which the task is entered on, is the grand ingredient in its beneficial or unsatisfactory influence.
There are many persons, however, who look to the garden merely as a place of recreation from study, where they may employ their superior skill in the direction of others, or where they may undertake such lighter portions of the work as may afford them healthful exercise. There are also numbers of less skilled hands, who, seeking to cultivate to the best advantage the portion of ground which may be attached to their abodes, are glad to seek assistance from the more experienced, as to the formation, and general management of a kitchen-garden. To the latter class of persons a few simple directions, given for each month of the year, may afford valuable assistance in their work.
An ill-arranged and unproductive kitchen-garden has been classed among the great evils of a country residence. It entails much expense, and yields no satisfaction; indeed it is far better to be without a garden altogether, than to possess one on which toil and industry are thrown away. If the reader, then, is about to form a kitchen-garden, let him make good choice of situation and soil. The garden should be laid out in a sheltered, but not a confined, spot, and should have a gentle slope towards the south. A rich, friable, and
loamy soil is the best calculated for the purpose; and a light, sandy, or clayey soil is the worst. But as the nature of the soil is not always at the command of the cultivator, the best means must be taken, in draining and trenching the land, to render it healthy and capable of raising good vegetables. A trench of eighteen inches in depth has often been found sufficient, under proper management, and the method of proceeding is as follows. When the first trench, which may be as much as two feet wide, has been dug, the bottom is well picked up to the depth of several inches, and the top spit of the next trench thrown in upon it, the whole being broken and levelled as the work proceeds. Great care must be taken that the bottom of each trench be properly broken up, or from being much trodden upon in the digging it will form a sort of trough where the water will settle instead of being carried off. This is the plan recommended by an experienced cultivator, (Mr. Rogers,) in preference to many others which might be employed.
With respect to the size of a kitchen-garden, the laying out of the paths, &c., the plans are necessarily variable, but too much space should not be occupied by the latter; neither should ornament be consulted at the expense of convenience. Attention to the succession of crops, the renovation of the soil, and the removal of all weeds, litter, &c., are main points with the gardener. The tools employed in these operations are very numerous, but the more important kinds are too well known to need description.
Supposing the kitchen garden already formed and stocked, we have only to give a few notices of the employments required to keep it in order during the present month. And first, it may be remarked, that as the next month is usually a much busier one than this, it is desirable now to destroy and keep under continually all weeds, and everything which might add to the work at a subsequent period. Dead leaves should be removed into a pit, or into some place appropriated for them, to form leaf mould; while litter of other kinds may be added to the general compost heap. Those plots of ground which stand in need of improvement may be renovated by additions of manure if the weather prove frosty; and temporary coverings may be put over such vegetables as are likely to receive injury from the frost. These coverings may consist of Russia matting stretched over hoops, or they may be only layers of straw, or of fern leaves. Among the plants needing this kind of protection are peas, beans, lettuces, cabbage plants, cauliflowers, endive, &c. Such coverings must not be imprudently removed. It has been well said, that to expose plants whose vessels are penetrated by frost to the sudden action of a powerful sun, would be about as wise as to expose a frozen limb to the action of a large fire, or to plunge it into warm water. Therefore, the fern-leaves, litter, or matting must not be removed until the ground is thoroughly thawed.
If mild and open weather occur during this month, and the ground be in good condition for working, peas may be sown in southern borders and in sheltered spots. An extremely rich soil is not favourable to the pea, so that if the garden ground be of that description, a mixture of drift sand with the earth of the drills is an improvement. The sowing of peas may now be continued throughout February, and until July, once every two or three weeks, that the crops may be had in due succession. The seed must be placed in drills, or by the dibble in rows, at a distance varying according to the height to which the variety grows. The varieties of pea are too numerous to be noticed here; but those which are perhaps the best appropriated for sowing in this month are, the early Warwick and the Charlton about the first and second week, and the Prussian and dwarf Imperial in the last week.
When the plants are two or three inches high, they
must be hoed, the weeds cleared away, and the earth drawn round the stems, but not so high as to cover any of the leaves. This operation will require to be repeated several times during their growth. Sticking must not be neglected after the peas are six inches high, for it not only supports them, but affords some shelter. A matting also, or any light covering can be much better placed to defend the young plants in very severe weather, when the sticking affords something for it to rest on without injury to the leaves. The best wood for pea-sticking is the brush or fan-shaped branches of the hazel, and if the ends are charred before they are thrust into the ground, they are less liable to decay; so that if stored away in a dry state they will last for three or four seasons.
Beans may also be regularly planted from the beginning of this month to the end of June, once every three weeks, weather permitting. A moderately rich and dry soil is best adapted for early crops, lest the seed should decay: later in the spring a moist soil will be desirable. The early Mazagan bean is a prolific bearer, and may be planted, as may also the long pods, about the first and last weeks of this month. The situation should be tolerably open, but still it is desirable to get some protection from violent winds, as the plant is sure to suffer if its leaves are much injured. The seed may be sown in rows, from two to three feet asunder, either by the dibble or by drilling. In the early stage of its growth the crop will require dry litter, or some other covering, which may be prevented from touching the plants by small branches or hoops. But this is only desirable in very severe weather, and must be removed on the recurrence of a milder temperature; otherwise the plants will become weak and spindling.
In the last week of the month the hardier kinds of lettuce may be sown in a frame, or in a warm spot. A light rich soil is needed for lettuces, as they never thrive or attain their full size in a poor and tenacious one. The sowing is always performed broadcast, moderately thin, and raked in even and light, care being taken that the bed is trampled upon as little as possible.
In the second and fourth week of the month, depending as in other cases on the weather, the short top, and early dwarf radishes may also be sown. The soil best suited for them is a mouldy loam, which should be dug a full spade deep, and well broken. Manure should not be put on at the time of sowing, as it is apt to make the roots fibrous. Warm and sheltered situations must of course be chosen, unless the advantage of frames can be procured. The seed may be sown either broadcast, or in drills; if the former, the beds should be four or five feet wide, divided by alleys a foot in width, the earth from which may be thrown up to raise the beds.
Towards the close of the month also a small portion of the early York and sugar-loaf cabbage seed may be sown, either under a frame, or in a warm border. This will come first in succession after those which were sown
in the August of the preceding year. Repeated small sowings of the different varieties of cabbage may be made at intervals of a month, from this time all through the coming season. The seed is sown broadcast, and raked in evenly about a quarter of an inch deep, and the same precautions may be employed as a defence against the frost, as in the other cases mentioned. A free and open situation is required for cabbage, but this applies to its after culture: the soil of the seed-beds should be moist, and not too rich.
These are the main operations of the month; but not always practicable from the state of the weather. The earthing up the stems of brocoli, savoys, and celery may also be attended to.
A HUMAN being, in the age of innocence, is always worthy of respect.--SILVIO PELLICO.
CURIOUS CHESS PROBLEMS. VI.
AMONG the curious conditions to which a player has sometimes submitted when opposed to a player of inferior strength, is the following: At the beginning of the game, a ring is put over a certain pawn, and the first player undertakes to preserve this pawn throughout the game, and finally to give checkmate with it. As this pawn is not allowed to queen, the player is cautious how he advances it towards the adversary's royal line. If it is captured, the first player of course loses the game; hence the efforts of the second player are generally directed to the capture of this pawn, and, regardless of his own game, and the preservation of his pieces, he rushes heedlessly to the attack, and thus often allows the first player to bring about a position in which the mate can be forced in a given number of moves. The following is such a position, in which White moving first is to give checkmate with the pawn at the fourth move.
CONSIDER if that mind which is in your body does order and dispose it every way it pleases; why should not that wisdom which is in the universe, be able to order all things therein also, as seemeth best to it? And if your eye can discern things several miles distant from it, why should it be thought impossible for the eye of God to behold all things at once? Lastly, if your soul can mind things both here and in Egypt, and in Sicily; why may not the great mind or wisdom of God be able to take care of all things, in all places?-SOCRATES.
HUMAN institutions are not like the palace of the architect, framed according to fixed rules, capable of erection in any situation, and certain in the effect to be produced. They resemble rather the trees of the forest, slow of growth, An instant will destroy what it has taken centuries to tardy of development, readily susceptible of destruction. produce, centuries must again elapse before, in the same situation, a similar production can be formed. Transplantation, difficult in the vegetable, is impossible in the moral, world; the seedling must be nourished in the soil, inured to the climate, hardened by the winds. Many examples are to be found of institutions being suddenly imposed upon a people; none of those so formed having any duration. To be adapted to their character and habits, they must have grown with their growth, and strengthened with their strength.-ALISON's History of Europe.
JOHN W. PARKER PUBLISHER, WEST STRANT, LONDON
THE period in which "Merchant Taylors' School" was founded was a very remarkable one in English history. Amidst general and wide-spread ignorance, party-feeling was at its height. The religion of the State had been changed twice within three years, and amidst the distractions which such a state of things inevitably occasioned, many persons in private life disguised their real sentiments for the sake of the means of subsistence, while some of those who occupied public offices, either retired from them until they could ascertain the wisest course to be pursued, or suffered themselves to be ejected from them rather than make a sacrifice of their principles. The light which dawned on the country during the short reign of Edwar1 the Sixth was obscured VOL. XXIV.
on the accession of his bigoted sister, Queen Mary, and only began steadily to diffuse its beams during the sway of Elizabeth. It is not to be wondered at that amidst these important changes, education should have been greatly neglected, and the pursuit of literature absorbed in more pressing studies. Indeed many of those best qualified to teach, had left the country to escape persecution.
Accordingly we find that in 1563 (two years after the organization of Merchant Taylors' School), there were only two divines of Oxford, capable of preaching before the university. And in 1570, Horne, Bishop of Winchester enjoined to his minor canons tasks which seem almost beneath the capacity of an ordinary school-boy.