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Title: The Maple Leaf, Volume 1, No. 5, November 1852

Date of first publication: 1852

Author: Robert W. Lay (1814-1853); Eleanor H. Lay (18??-1904)

Date first posted: Oct. 9, 2020

Date last updated: Oct. 9, 2020

Faded Page eBook #20201021

This eBook was produced by: Iona Vaughan, Susan Lucy, Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net




Volume 1, No. 5.

November 1852




The Victoria Regia129
The Pen and the Press132
Uncle Tom’s Cabin133
Eastern Method of Measuring Time141
The Dog142
untitled item142
Depth of the Sea143
The History of Canada144
untitled poem147
Monumental Inscriptions148
The Forest Monarch and his Dependants152
untitled item153
Precepts Inviting and Important154
Droop Not Upon Your Way155
Things Useful and Agreeable156
The Two Travellers158
Garland, C.M.160


On the Continent of Europe, much time and skill have been devoted to cultivation of certain plants. We have heard of the splendid tulips and hyacinths of Holland, and the wonderful varieties and beauties, which the rose presents in France, but in no country is floriculture in every point carried to so great an extent, as at this time in Great Britain. We shall not be surprised at this, when we remember that with many noblemen, and persons of wealth, gardening is a passion; and they expend immense sums of money upon their favorite plants and flowers, and the gardeners they employ are men of high intelligence. The exhibitions of the Horticultural, and of the Royal Botanic Societies, are the most wonderful sights of the kind in the world. Such has been the interest taken by the English in the subject of botany, that men have spent years in foreign countries, to collect rare plants, learn their habits, and if possible bring home specimens for cultivation. Among the foreign plants discovered by English botanists, perhaps none is more remarkable than the splendid Victoria Regia. This Queen of water lilies, was discovered in 1837, by Sir Robert Schomburg, in his progress up the river Berbice, in British Guiana. All the calamities and trials, which he had endured in his explorations, were forgotten, when he saw this vegetable wonder. He says, “I felt as a botanist, and felt myself rewarded, when I saw a gigantic leaf, from five to six feet in diameter, salver shaped, with a broad rim; of a light green above, and a vivid crimson below, resting upon the water. Quite in character with the wonderful leaf, was the luxuriant flower, consisting of many hundred petals, passing in alternate tints, from pure white, to rose and pink. The smooth water was covered with the blossoms, and, as I rowed from one to another, I always found something new to admire. We met the plants frequently afterwards, and the higher we advanced, the more gigantic they became. We measured a leaf which was 6 feet 5 inches in diameter, its rim five and a half inches high, and the flower across fifteen inches.” It is said that a French traveller discovered the same, or a similar plant, in the river Plato, as early as 1828; and it was seen in a branch of the Amazon, in 1832; and other travellers have found it occupying large districts in all the lakes, and tranquil tropical rivers of South America; where its seeds are roasted and eaten by the natives, who call them Water Maize.

Various attempts to introduce it into Europe, were made by Sir Robert Schomburg, but all to no purpose, until the year 1849, when some seeds sent to Sir J. W. Hooker, at the Royal Gardens, of Kew, England, gave germs of active vitality. We extract the following account of these plants from the Annual of Scientific Discovery: “They were immediately sent to Chatsworth, where, under the care of Sir Joseph Paxton, they grew and flowered. The germs were planted in a large tank, prepared especially for the purpose, in loam, and fine sand. The water was kept by means of hot-water pipes, at a temperature of 75°, to 90° F., and, in order to place the plant, as far as possible, under the same conditions in which it exists naturally, a small water-wheel was placed in the pond, in order to produce gentle undulations, as in the Guiana rivers. The development of a leaf, on first arising to the surface of the water, presents a most curious sight not easily described. Rolled into a body of a brownish color, and covered with thorny spines, it might readily be taken for some large species of sea-urchin. The form of the leaf is almost orbicular, the ribs are very prominent, almost an inch high, radiating from a common centre; there are eight principal ones, with many others branching off from them; the veins contain an enormous quantity of air-cells of considerable size, which give the leaves great buoyancy. The young leaf is convulate, and expands slowly. The under side of the leaves, as well as the long stems by which the flowers and leaves seem anchored in the water, are thickly covered with thorns, about three quarters of an inch long. The colors of the lily are white and pink, the outer rows of petals being white, and the inner a rich pink. The entire flower is from nine inches to a foot in diameter; it is of short duration, opening only on two successive evenings; but there is a constant display of flowers throughout the season. The petals always open early in the evening, and partially close about midnight. During the day-time, therefore, the Victoria Regia is seldom seen in its fullest splendor, unless when removed from the parent stem.

If the development of the leaves presents such a singular appearance, the successive changes in the flower, are not less extraordinary, and are far more beautiful. The crimson bud, which for several days, has been seen rising, at last reaches the surface of the water, and throws off its external investment in the evening. Soon after which, the flower petals suddenly unfold, the expanded blossom, like a mammoth magnolia, floating upon the surface of the water, decked in virgin white, and exhaling a powerful and peculiar fragrance, which has been compared to the mingled odors of the pine-apple and melon. On the morning of the second day, another change is seen; the outer petals of the flower are found turned backwards or reflexed, leaving a central portion of a conical shape, surrounded by a range of petals, white on the outside, but red within. A slight tint of pink is discernible through the interstices of these petals, which increases as the day advances. In the evening, about five o’clock, the flower is to be seen again in active motion, preparatory to another production. The white petals, which were reflexed in the early part of the day, now resume their original upright position, as if to escort their gay-colored companions, surrounding the central cone, to the limpid surface below. After this, the immaculate white of the first bloom changes to gay and brilliant pink, and rose colors. Finally, a third change ensues, marked by the spreading of the petals further backwards, so as to afford the enclosed fructifying organs liberty to expand. They are soon seen to rise, giving to the disc of the flower a peach-blossom hue; the stamens and pistils assuming, at the same time, a figure not unlike a crown. On the third day, the flower is nearly closed. All the petals seems suffused with a purplish pink; the coloring matter, which was originally seen only in the centre, having penetrated the delicate tissues of the whole flower.

During the past year, the Victoria Regia has been introduced into the United States, by Mr. Cope, President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. This gentleman has succeeded in bringing the plant to a greater perfection, as regards the size of the flowers and leaves, than has been attained in England. He has also succeeded in raising the lily under glass, without the aid of stove-heat.


“The Pen and the Press, bless’d alliance! combin’d

To soften the heart and enlighten the mind;

For that to the treasures of knowledge gave birth,

And this sent them forth to the ends of the earth;

Their battles for truth were triumphant, indeed,

And the rod of the tyrant was snapped like a reed:

They were made to exalt us, to teach us, to bless,

Those invincible brothers—the Pen and the Press.”



(Continued from page 116.)


liza made her desperate retreat across the river just in the dusk of twilight. The gray mist of evening, rising slowly from the river, enveloped her as she disappeared up the bank, and the swollen current and floundering masses of ice presented a hopeless barrier between her and her pursuer. Haley therefore slowly and discontentedly returned to the little tavern, to ponder further what was to be done. . . .

Sam was in the highest possible feather, and expressed his exultation by all sorts of supernatural howls and ejaculations, by divers odd motions and contortions of his whole system. Sometimes he would sit backward, with his face to the horses tail and sides, and then, with a whoop and a somerset, come right side up in his place again, and, drawing on a grave face, begin to lecture Andy in high-sounding tones for laughing and playing the fool. Anon, slapping his sides with his arms, he would burst forth in peals of laughter, that made the old woods ring as they passed. With all these evolutions, he contrived to keep the horses up to the top of their speed, until, between ten and eleven, their heels resounded on the gravel at the end of the balcony. Mrs. Shelby flew to the railings.

“Is that you, Sam? Where are they?”

“Mas’r Haley’s a-restin’ at the tavern; he’s drefful fatigued, Missis.”

“And Eliza, Sam?”

“Wal, she’s clar ’cross Jordan. As a body may say, in the land o’ Canaan.”

“Why, Sam, what do you mean?” said Mrs. Shelby, breathless, and almost faint, as the possible meaning of these words came over her.

“Wal, Missis, de Lord he persarves his own. Lizy’s done gone over the river into ’Hio, as ’markably as if de Lord took her over in a charrit of fire and two hosses.”

Sam’s vein of piety was always uncommonly fervent in his mistress’ presence; and he made great capital of scriptural figures and images. . . .

“Now, Sam, tell us distinctly how the matter was,” said Mr. Shelby. “Where is Eliza, if you know?”

“Wal, Mas’r, I saw her with my own eyes, a crossin’ on the floatin’ ice. She crossed most ’markably; it wasn’t no less nor a miracle; and I saw a man help her up the ’Hio side, and then she was lost in the dusk.”

“Sam, I think this rather apocryphal,—this miracle. Crossing on floating ice isn’t so easily done,” said Mr. Shelby.

“Easy! couldn’t nobody a done it, widout de Lord. Why, now,” said Sam, “ ’twas jist dis yer way. Mas’r Haley, and me, and Andy, we comes up to de little tavern by the river, and I rides a leetle ahead,—(I’s so zealous to be a cotchin’ Lizy, that I couldn’t hold in, no way),—and when I comes by the tavern winder, sure enough there she was, right in plain sight, and dey diggin’ on behind. Wal, I loses off my hat, and sings out nuff to raise the dead. Course Lizy she hars, and she dodges back, when Mas’r Haley he goes past the door; and then, I tell ye, she clared out de side door; she went down de river bank;—Mas’r Haley he seed her, and yelled out, and him, and me, and Andy, we took arter. We come right behind her, and I thought my soul he’d got her sure enough,—when she gin sich a screech as I never hearn, and thar she was, clar over t’ other side the current, on the ice, and then on she went a screeching and a jumping’,—the ice went crack! c’wallop! cracking! chunk! and she a boundin’ like a buck! The spring that ar gal’s got in her an’t common, I’m o’ ’pinion.”

Mrs. Shelby sat perfectly silent, pale with excitement, while Sam told his story.

“God be praised, she isn’t dead!” she said; “but where is the poor child now?”

“De Lord will pervide,” said Sam, rolling up his eyes piously. “As I’ve been a sayin’, dis yer’s a providence and no mistake, as Missis has allers been a instructin’ on us. Thar’s allers instruments ris up to do de Lord’s will. Now, if ’t hadn’t been for me to-day, she’d a been took a dozen times. Warn’t it I started off de hosses, dis yer mornin’, and kept ’em chasin’ till nigh dinnertime? And didn’t I car Mas’r Haley nigh five miles out of de road, dis evening, or else he’d a come up with Lizy as easy as a dog arter a coon. These yer’s all providences.” . . .

It will be perceived, as has been before intimated, that Master Sam had a native talent that might, undoubtedly, have raised him to eminence in political life,—a talent of making capital out of everything that turned up, to be invested for his own especial praise and glory; and having done up his piety and humility, as he trusted, to the satisfaction of the parlor, he clapped his palm-leaf on his head, with a sort of rakish, free-and-easy air, and proceeded to the dominions of Aunt Chloe, with the intention of flourishing largely in the kitchen.

“I’ll speechify these yer niggers,” said Sam to himself, “now I’ve got a chance. I’ll reel it off to make ’em stare!” . . . .

The kitchen was full of all his compeers, who had hurried and crowded in, from the various cabins, to hear the termination of the day’s exploits. Now was Sam’s hour of glory. The story of the day was rehearsed, with all kinds of ornament and varnishing which might be necessary to heighten its effect; for Sam, like some of our fashionable dilettanti, never allowed a story to lose any of its gilding by passing through his hands. . . .

“Yer see, fellow-countrymen,” said Sam, elevating a turkey’s leg, with energy, “yer see, now, what dis yer chile’s up ter for fendin’ yer all,—yes, all on yer. For him as tries to get one o’ our people, is as good as tryin’ to get all; yer see the principle’s de same,—dat ar’s clar. And any one o’ these yer drivers that comes smelling round arter any our people, why, he’s got me in his way; I’m the feller he’s got to set in with,—I’m the feller for yer all to come to, bredren,—I’ll stand up for yer rights,—I’ll fend em to the last breath!”

“Why, but Sam, yer telled me, only this mornin’, that you’d help this yer Mas’r to cotch Lizy; seems to me yer talk don’t hang together,” said Andy.

“I tell you now, Andy,” said Sam, with awful superiority, “don’t yer be a talkin’ ’bout what yer don’t know nothin’ on; boys like you, Andy, means well, but they can’t be spected to collusitate the great principles of action.” . . .

“Dat ar was conscience, Andy; when I thought of gwine arter Lizy, I railly spected Mas’r was sot dat way. When I found Missis was sot the contrar, dat ar was conscience more yet,—cause fellers allers gets more by stickin’ to Missis’ side,—so yer see I’s persistent either way, and sticks up to conscience, and holds on to principles. Yes, principles,” said Sam, giving an enthusiastic toss to a chicken’s neck,—“what’s principles good for, if we isn’t persistent, I wanter know? Thar, Andy, you may have dat ar bone,—’tant picked quite clean.”

Sam’s audience hanging on his words with open mouth, he could not but proceed. . . .

“Yes, indeed!” said Sam, rising, full of supper and glory, for a closing effort. “Yes, my feller citizens and ladies of de other sex in general, I has principles,—I’m proud to ’oon ’em,—they’s perquisite to dese yer times, and ter all times. I has principles, and I sticks to ’em like forty,—jest anything that I thinks is principle, I goes in to ’t;—I wouldn’t mind if dey burnt me ’live,—I’d walk right up to de stake, I would, and say, here I comes to shed my last blood for my principles, for my country, fur der gen’l interests of s’ciety.”

“Well,” said Aunt Chloe, “one o’ yer principles will have to be to get to bed some time to-night, and not be a keepin’ everybody up till mornin’; now, every one of you young uns that don’t want to be cracked, had better to be scase, mighty sudden.”

“Niggers! all on yer,” said Sam, waving his palm-leaf with benignity, “I give yer my blessin’; go to bed now, and be good boys.”

And, with this pathetic benediction, the assembly dispersed. . . .

The February morning looked gray and drizzling through the window of Uncle Tom’s cabin. It looked on downcast faces, the images of mournful hearts. The little table stood out before the fire, covered with an ironing-cloth; a coarse but clean shirt or two, fresh from the iron, hung on the back of a chair by the fire, and Aunt Chloe had another spread out before her on the table. Carefully she rubbed and ironed every fold and every hem, with the most scrupulous exactness, every now and then raising her hand to her face to wipe off the tears that were coursing down her cheeks.

Tom sat by, with his Testament open on his knee, and his head leaning upon his hand;—but neither spoke. It was yet early, and the children lay all asleep together in their little rude trundle-bed.

Tom, who had, to the full, the gentle, domestic heart, which, woe for them! has been a peculiar characteristic of his unhappy race, got up and walked silently to look at his children.

“It’s the last time,” he said.

Aunt Chloe did not answer, only rubbed away over and over on the coarse shirt, already as smooth as hands could make it; and finally setting her iron suddenly down with a despairing plunge, she sat down to the table, and “lifted up her voice and wept.”

“S’pose we must be resigned; but oh Lord! how ken I? If I know’d anything whar you’s goin’, or how they’d sarve you! Missis says she’ll try and ’deem ye, in a year or two; but Lor! nobody never comes up that goes down thar! They kills ’em! I’ve hearn ’em tell how dey works ’em up on dem ar plantations.” . . .

“I’m in the Lord’s hands,” said Tom; “nothin’ can go no furder than he lets it;—and thar’s one thing I can thank him for. It’s me that’s sold and going down, and not you nur the chil’en. Here you’re safe;—what comes will come only on me; and the Lord, he’ll help me,—I know he will. Yer ought ter look up to the Lord above—he’s above all—thar don’t a sparrow fall without him.”

“It don’t seem to comfort me, but I spect it orter,” said Aunt Chloe. “But dar’s no use talkin’; I’ll jes wet up de corn-cake, and get ye one good breakfast, ’cause nobody knows when you’ll get another.”

In order to appreciate the sufferings of the negroes sold south, it must be remembered that all the instinctive affections of that race are peculiarly strong. Their local attachments are very abiding. . . . The threat that terrifies more than whipping or torture of any kind is the threat of being sent down river. We have ourselves heard this feeling expressed by them, and seen the unaffected horror with which they will sit in their gossipping hours, and tell frightful stories of that “down river,” which to them is

“That undiscovered country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns.”

A missionary among the fugitives in Canada told us that many of the fugitives confessed themselves to have escaped from comparatively kind masters, and that they were induced to brave the perils of escape, in almost every case, by the desperate horror with which they regarded being sold south,—a doom which was hanging either over themselves or their husbands, their wives or children. This nerves the African, naturally patient, timid and unenterprising, with heroic courage, and leads him to suffer hunger, cold, pain, the perils of the wilderness, and the more dread penalties of re-capture. . . .

“Now,” said Aunt Chloe, bustling about after breakfast, “I must put up yer clothes. Jest like as not, he’ll take ’em all away. I know thar ways—mean as dirt, they is! Wal, now, yer flannels for rhumatis is in this corner; so be careful, ’cause there won’t nobody make ye no more. Then here’s yer old shirts, and these yer is new ones. I toed off these yer stockings last night, and put de ball in ’em to mend with. But Lor! who’ll ever mend for ye?” and Aunt Chloe, again overcome, laid her head on the box side, and sobbed. . . .

Here one of the boys called out, “Thar’s Missis a comin’ in!”

Mrs. Shelby entered. “Tom,” she said, “I come to—” and stopping suddenly, and regarding the silent group, she sat down in the chair, and, covering her face with her handkerchief, began to sob.

“Lor, now, Missis, don’t—don’t!” said Aunt Chloe, bursting out in her turn; and for a few moments they all wept in company. And in those tears they all shed together, the high and the lowly, melted away all the heart-burnings and anger of the oppressed. O, ye who visit the distressed, do ye know that everything your money can buy, given with a cold, averted face, is not worth one honest tear shed in real sympathy?

“My good fellow,” said Mrs. Shelby, “I can’t give you anything to do you any good. If I give you money, it will only be taken from you. But I tell you solemnly, and before God, that I will keep trace of you, and bring you back as soon as I can command the money;—and, till then, trust in God!”

Here the boys called out that Mas’r Haley was coming, and then an unceremonious kick pushed open the door. Haley stood there in very ill humor, having ridden hard the night before, and being not at all pacified by his ill success in re-capturing his prey.

“Come,” said he, “ye nigger, ye’r ready? Servant ma’am!” said he, taking off his hat, as he saw Mrs. Shelby.

Aunt Chloe shut and corded the box, and, getting up, looked gruffly on the trader, her tears seeming suddenly turned to sparks of fire.

Tom rose up meekly, to follow his new master, and raised up his heavy box on his shoulder. His wife took the baby in her arms to go with him to the waggon, and the children, still crying, trailed on behind. . . .

“Get in!” said Haley to Tom, as he strode through the crowd of servants, who looked at him with lowering brows.

Tom got in, and Haley, drawing out from under the wagon seat a heavy pair of shackles, made them fast around each ankle.

A smothered groan of indignation ran through the whole circle, and Mrs. Shelby spoke from the verandah,—

“Mr. Haley, I assure you that precaution is entirely unnecessary.”

“Do’n know, ma’am; I’ve lost one five hundred dollars from this yer place, and I can’t afford to run no more risks.” . . .

“I’m sorry,” said Tom, “that Mas’r George happened to be away.”

George had gone to spend two or three days with a companion on a neighboring estate, and having departed early in the morning, before Tom’s misfortune had been made public, had left without hearing of it.

“Give my love to Mas’r George,” he said, earnestly.

Haley whipped up the horse, and, with a steady, mournful look, fixed to the last on the old place, Tom was whirled away. . . .

Tom and Haley rattled on along the dusty road, whirling past every old familiar spot, until the bounds of the estate were fairly passed, and they found themselves out on the open pike. After they had ridden about a mile, Haley suddenly drew up at the door of a blacksmith’s shop, when, taking out with him a pair of handcuffs, he stepped into the shop, to have a little alteration in them. . . .

Tom was sitting very mournfully on the outside of the shop when suddenly he heard the quick, short click of a horse’s hoof behind him; and, before he could fairly awake from his surprise, young Master George sprang into the wagon, threw his arms tumultuously around his neck, and was sobbing and scolding with energy.

“I declare it’s real mean! I don’t care what they say any of ’em! It’s a nasty, mean shame! If I was a man, they shouldn’t do it,—they should not, so!” said George, with a kind of subdued howl.

“O! Mas’r George! this does me good!” said Tom. “I couldn’t bar to go off without seein’ ye! It does me real good, ye can’t tell!” . . .

“Look here, Uncle Tom,” said he, turning his back to the shop, and speaking in a mysterious tone, “I’ve brought you my dollar!

“O! I couldn’t think o’ taking on’t, Mas’r George, no ways in the world!” said Tom, quite moved.

“But you shall take it!” said George; “look here—I told Aunt Chloe I’d do it, and she advised me just to make a hole in it, and put a string through, so you could hang it round your neck, and keep it out of sight; else this mean scamp would take it away. . . .”

“And now, Mas’r George,” said Tom, “ye must be a good boy; ’member how many hearts is sot on ye. Al’ays keep close to yer mother. Don’t be gettin’ into any of them foolish ways boys has of gettin’ too big to mind their mothers. Tell ye what, Mas’r George, the Lord gives good many things twice over; but he don’t give ye a mother but once. Ye’ll never see sich another woman, Mas’r George, if ye live to be a hundred years old. So, now, you hold on to her, and grow up, and be a comfort to her, thar’s my own good boy,—you will now, won’t ye?”

“Yes, I will, Uncle Tom,” said George, seriously.

“And be careful of yer speaking, Mas’r George. Young boys, when they comes to your age, is wilful, sometimes—it’s natur they should be. But real gentlemen, such as I hopes you’ll be, never lets fall no words that isn’t ’spectful to thar parents. Ye an’t ’fended, Mas’r George?”

“No, indeed, Uncle Tom; you always did give me good advice.” . . .

“Be a good Mas’r, like yer father; and be a Christian, like yer mother. ’Member yer Creator in the days o’ yer youth, Mas’r George,” said Uncle Tom.

“I’ll be real good, Uncle Tom, I tell you,” said George.

“Well, good-by, Uncle Tom;” said George.

“Good-by, Mas’r George,” said Tom, looking fondly and admiringly at him. “God Almighty bless you! Ah! Kentucky han’t got many like you!”

And here, for the present, we take our leave of Tom, to pursue the fortunes of other characters in our next chapter.

(To be Continued.)

Eastern Method of Measuring Time.—The people of the East measure time by the length of their shadow. Hence, if you ask a man what o’clock it is, he immediately goes into the sun, stands erect, then, looking where his shadow terminates, measures his length with his feet, and tells you nearly the time. Thus the workmen earnestly desire the shadow which indicates the time for leaving their work. A person wishing to leave his toil, says, “How long my shadow is in coming!” “Why did you not come sooner?” “Because I waited for my shadow.” In the seventh chapter of Job we find it written, “As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow.”—Robert’s Illustrations.


He will not come,” said the gentle child.

  And she patted the poor dog’s head,

And she pleasantly call’d him and fondly smil’d;

But he heeded her not, in his anguish wild,

  Nor arose from his lowly bed.


’Twas his master’s grave where he chose to rest,

  He guarded it night and day;

The love that glowed in his grateful breast,

For the friend who had fed, controlled, carest,

  Might never fade away.


And when the long grass rustled near

  Beneath some hasting tread,

He started up with a quivering ear,

For he thought ’twas the step of his master dear,

  Returning from the dead.


But sometimes, when a storm drew nigh,

  And the clouds were dark and fleet,

He tore the turf with a mournful cry,

As if he would force his way, or die,

  To his much-loved master’s feet.


So there through the summer’s heat he lay,

  Till Autumn nights grew bleak,

Till his eye grew dim with his hope’s decay,

And he pined, and pined, and wasted away,

  A skeleton gaunt and weak.


And oft the pitying children brought

  Their offerings of meat and bread,

And to coax him away to their homes they sought;

But his buried master he ne’er forgot,

  Nor strayed from his lonely bed.


Cold winter came with an angry sway,

  And the snow lay deep and sore,

Then his moaning grew fainter day by day,

Till close where the broken tombstone lay

  He fell, to rise no more.


And when he struggled with mortal pain,

  And Death was by his side,

With one loud cry that shook the plain,

He called for his master,—but all in vain,

  Then stretched himself and died.

L. H. S.

Adhere rigidly and undeviatingly to truth; but while you express what is true, express it in a pleasing manner. Truth is the picture, the manner is the frame that displays it to advantage. There is nothing, says Plato, so delightful, as the hearing or the speaking of truth.



s to the bottom of the sea, it seems to have inequalities similar to those which the surface of continents exhibits; if it were dried up, it would present mountains, valleys, and plains. It is inhabited almost throughout its whole extent by an immense quantity of testaceous animals, or covered with sand and gravel. It was thus that Donati found the bottom of the Adriatic Sea; the bed of testaceous animals there, according to him, is several hundred feet in thickness. The celebrated diver, Pescecola, whom the Emperor, Frederick 2d, employed to descend the Strait of Messina, saw there, with horror, enormous polypi attached to the rocks, the arms of which, being several yards long, were more than sufficient to strangle a man. In a great many places, the madrepores form a kind of petrified forest, fixed at the bottom of the sea, and frequently, too, this bottom presents different layers of rock and earth.

The granite rises up in sharp-pointed masses. Near Marseilles, marble is dug up from a submarine quarry. There are also bituminous springs and even springs of fresh water, that spout up from the depths of the ocean; and, in the Gulf of Spezia, a great spout or fountain of fresh water is seen to rise like a liquid hill. Similar springs furnish the inhabitants of Aradus with their ordinary beverage.

On the southern coast of Cuba, to the south-west of the port of Batabans, in the bay of Xagua, at two or three miles from the land, springs of fresh water gush up with such force, in the midst of the salt, that small boats cannot approach them with safety; the deeper you draw the water, the fresher you find it. It has been observed, in the neighborhood of steep coasts, that the bottom of the sea also sinks down suddenly to a considerable depth; whilst near a low coast, and of gentle declivity, it is only gradually that the sea deepens. There are some places in the sea, where no bottom has yet been found. But we must not conclude that the sea is really bottomless; an idea which, if not absurd, is, at least, by no means conformable to the analogies of natural science. The mountains of continents seem to correspond with what are called the abysses of the sea; but now, the highest mountains do not rise to 20,000 feet. It is true that they have wasted down and lessened by the action of the elements: it may, therefore, be reasonably concluded, that the sea is not beyond 30,000 feet in depth; but it is impossible to find the bottom, even at one-third of that depth, with our little instruments. One of the most singular attempts to ascertain the depth, was made in the Northern Ocean, by Lord Mulgrave. He heaved very heavy sounding-leads, and gave out with it cable rope to the length of 4,680 feet, without finding bottom.—Family Friend.



y Young Friends,—I will now endeavor to describe to you the principal changes which the “Constitutional Act” of 1792 made in the Government of Canada.

In the first place, it abolished the Council, composed of between 17 and 22 gentlemen, who, in company with the Governor-General, used to meet together at Quebec, and devise measures for the welfare of the country.

Secondly, it divided Canada into two parts, namely, into Upper Canada, and Lower Canada. It gave a separate Government to each part, and, in some respects, different laws.

The Government, in both parts, was composed of three branches. 1st. The Governor-General, who represented the Crown. 2nd. The Legislative Council; and the 3rd. was the House of Assembly. The Governor-General, for each part, was to be appointed by the Government in England. The Members of the Legislative Council were likewise to be appointed by the English Government, and to hold their office during their lifetime. The number of Members in the Council, in Upper Canada, was not to be less than seven; and in Lower Canada, they were not be less than fifteen. It also ordained, that no one could be made a Member of the Legislative Council, who was not twenty-one years of age; or who was an alien, that is, a person not born, nor naturalized in a country belonging to Great Britain.

It also ordained, that the third branch of the Government, namely, the House of Assembly, should be, in Upper Canada, comprised of not less than sixteen Members; and that the House of Assembly, in Lower Canada, should not have less than fifty members. It ordered, that the Members to the House of Assembly should be elected by the male inhabitants of Canada; and that, to enable an inhabitant to vote for the election of a Member to the House of Assembly, he should possess certain qualifications, which I will endeavor to explain, thus:

We will suppose you are residing in Montreal, and that, from some cause, there is no one to represent the City in the House of Assembly. Accordingly, some gentleman, perhaps a resident in the City, who fancies himself able to promote the interests of the country, calls upon you, and asks you to vote for him, so that he may be elected the Representative of Montreal. Now, then, this law which I am endeavoring to describe, declares, that to enable you to give this vote, you must be a British subject, and 21 years of age, or upwards; and you must possess a house, or a piece of ground in the City of Montreal, which is worth a rent of not less than five pounds sterling a year; or, if you do not possess a house or land, you must have resided in the City for twelve months previous to the election, and pay not less than ten pounds sterling per annum, for the rent of a dwelling-house. But, if you reside in the country, instead of in a city or town, and a gentleman asked you to vote for him to represent the county in which you reside in the House of Assembly,—in that case, the qualifications to enable you to do so are different. You must possess land in that county of the yearly value of not less than forty shillings sterling a year, be 21 years of age, and a British subject, and then you can, if you see fit, give him a vote.

This Constitutional Act also enacted, that no Member of the Legislative Council could sit in the House of Assembly, nor any clergyman. That the Legislative Council, and the House of Assembly should meet once every year; and that, at the end of every four years, the Members of the House of Assembly should be deprived of their Membership, so that the people might elect them again, or others in their stead, for another term of four years.


It also enacted, that the seventh part of the land—that is, one acre out of every seven acres of the land belonging to the Crown in Canada—should be given for support of the Protestant Church in this country. This appropriation is known as the Clergy Reserves, which has caused, and is now causing, much political excitement and bad feeling in this country, but more particularly in Upper Canada.

It declared that his Majesty should empower the Governors of the Province to erect parsonages, and endow them with lands, and present them to ministers of the Episcopal Church. Power was given to our Legislature to repeal these provisions for the clergy, but any repeal or alteration could not come into force, until it had been confirmed and approved of by the Imperial Parliament.

All lands to be given or sold by the Crown in Upper Canada were ordered to be granted in free and common soccage; and so also in Lower Canada, when the grantee or purchaser required it. The owner of land, under the tenure of free and common soccage, enjoyed the absolute control of it, without being burthened by any feudal obligations, or periodical payments, provided he has paid the purchase money, and, (if it be wild land which he has purchased,) cleared it from trees, &c., according to the requirements of the agreement, by which he became the proprietor.

In fine, this Constitutional Act gave Canada the right, subject, however, in certain cases, to the approval of the Imperial Parliament, of governing itself in all matters; except, as regards levying duties on foreign vessels which came to Canada, of for the regulation of the duties on goods passing between Upper and Lower Canada, and on goods coming from, or going from Canada to any foreign country. In these matters England claimed exclusive control, as an acknowledgment of her sovereignty and protection, but she gave us the use of the money obtained from these sources, to dispose of as we might see fit.

In my two former letters, I omitted to mention the names of those who held the office of Governor general. Eight gentlemen held that post successively from 1765 to 1792. Only one of these is deserving of particular mention, namely Sir Guy Carleton, whose portrait is before you. He was Wolfe’s quartermaster, at the storming of Quebec, in 1759. In 1766 he was made Captain General and Governor of Canada. He successfully commanded the British at Quebec, when attacked by the Americans under Montgomery, compelled the latter to raise the siege, and drove his forces out of the Colony. In 1777, he was superseded in military command by General Burgoyne. He succeeded Sir Henry Clinton in 1782, as Commander of the British Forces. In 1792 he was re-appointed Governor General of Canada, and was distinguished as a brave, skilful and energetic man. He died in England, at the close of 1808, aged 83 years.—I remain, yours, &c.

J. P.

Think nought a trifle though it small appear,

Sands make the mountains, moments make the year,

And trifles life. Your care to trifles give,

Else you may die, ere you have learned to live.



eath walketh abroad through our world, and chooseth his victims from all ranks and conditions. He knocketh at the palace gate, and lifteth the latch of the peasant’s straw-thatched hovel. No mansion so magnificent as to intimidate him; no roof so lowly as to escape his notice.

“There is no flock, however watched and tended,

But one dead lamb is there;

There is no fireside, howso’er defended,

But hath one vacant chair.”

“Passing away.” We read our destiny in the fading flower, the falling leaf, and the changing seasons. We feel it in declining strength, in flagging energies, and failing faculties. Yet even were Revelation silent here—we know—that all does not perish with the frail form.—This strong, intuitive conviction has in all ages mocked the weak reasoning that would shake it, for it is the impress of God, and nothing less than immortality could satisfy the soul! We cannot even consent to let our memories perish from earth. Who does not wish to leave behind him at least, “Some stone to tell the wanderer, when he came here, and when he went away;” and how it oppresses the heart with sadness, to anticipate the time, when even this will refuse to bear its record! All are anxious to be remembered; the ignorant and obscure, as well as the mighty and honored. Hence man seeks to build up for himself a name of enduring glory. Fame has been said to be man’s ruling passion; he desires his memory to live in the hearts of his fellow-men, when he shall sleep beneath the sod. He will place himself foremost on the field of battle, where the death-shots fall thickest; to be called a hero, to have the world applaud his bravery. And to gain the nobler, and more enduring fame, that talents and knowledge bring, what sacrifices, what efforts are made! How life itself is coined into the pure gold of literature, until the writer, like the fabled swan, sings his own death-song. This principle is universal; perhaps no sentient being was ever entirely divested of it.

We learn from history, that the ancients erected costly, and magnificent monuments, and pyramids, the work of ages of immense toil, to perpetuate their memories, as long as stone and marble resist the impress of time. One of the earliest, of which we have any record, is that of Absalom, who having no children to bear his name, “reared up for himself a pillar.” These substantial structures have for centuries bid defiance to the battling elements. But few of the inscriptions upon them can now be deciphered; the tears of time have long ago blotted them out, no one now living can tell by whom, or for whom, many of them were built; while some bear names of which history has preserved no record. They stand there in their greatness and majesty, as if in mockery of the vanity, and frailty of man. Can the most costly and enduring structure long bear our names? No! Time defies the skill of the sculptor, his busy fingers will soon erase them, and beneath his mighty hand the very stone and marble will crumble to atoms. Yet like the ant, man toils over what the next careless foot may crush. Our friends are taken from us, and we seek to make their memories as enduring in other hearts, as in our own. We choose for their last resting place, some cherished spot, which seems to us beautiful; we adorn it with flowers, and give to it the quiet peaceful shade of foliage, we carve their names upon marble, and fondly believe that none can pass the spot, or read the inscription without one thought of interest in the sleeper beneath. To us it becomes a home, where one, by one, we bear all that is dear to us, on earth, and where by each fresh mound, we think with a calm pleasure of the time when the sod we have marked for our own rest, shall be lifted, to open for us the gate of immortality.

In every country, we find chosen spots for the reception of the dead; and here may the different degrees of advancement in civilization be seen. It has been remarked by travellers, that the cemeteries of the United States, are the most beautiful in the world. One reason may be, that our country presents so many appropriate natural situations; and, perhaps, somewhat is to be attributed to the taste of the Americans. This prompts them to choose a spot far away from the busy haunts of men, far from the hum of human voices; and guides art in decorating and embellishing it. Some of these cities of the dead, are within hearing of old ocean’s mysterious and solemn music. Mt. Auburn and Greenwood, are thus situated; and, are perhaps the most beautiful. In visiting one of these art-embellished cemeteries, or even, the quiet country grave-yard, decorated only by the hand of nature; a calm repose steals over the spirit; we feel that death is not such a bitter, and painful thing; that the rest of the grave has no terrors.

It has been said that we can judge of the character of a nation, from the mode of interment, and the inscriptions on its monuments. The devotional character of the Germans, in former times, led them to call this last home “God’s acre,” where the

“Seed sown by Him, shall ripen for the harvest.”

Infidel Paris inscribed over the gate of Père la Chaise—“Death is an eternal sleep.” The rude Scottish tribes, in their rocky country, heaped piles of stones, as monuments; while in smoother England, mounds of earth were raised for the same purpose. The inhabitants of the remote north, unable to open the frozen ground, cover their dead with branches of trees; and many of the wandering tribes of South America, carry the body of their relative, on his favorite horse, hundreds of miles, to the family cemetery. The Greeks believed that the spirits of the unburied could not enter the abodes of the blessed, so if one died at sea, or where his body could not be found, they built for him a cenotaph.

Our word “cemetery” was introduced by the early christians, who regarded the grave as a sleeping place, and interred bodies without burning them. Their burial places were generally caves of vast extent, which in times of persecution, served as hiding places. In visiting various places of sepulture, we see a great diversity in the style of the monuments and their inscriptions. Some only tell the name, age, and death of the sleeper, while others are carried to the other extreme; long and flattering epitaphs are inscribed; which in many instances, we feel, must be untrue. Should the sleepers beneath, be suddenly awakened, could they be gratified with such gross flattery? There is one feature of the human mind, which is here often exhibited. The man, who during his life time toiled on, unnoticed, and unrewarded, is after his death, suddenly discovered to have been a hero, a patriot, or a child of genius, and he is immortalized by a long inscription on his tomb-stone: but these honors came too late, to benefit the departed. He heeds them not, and would sleep as sweetly if nought but the green turf, and the glad sunshine were above his breast.

Many of the inscriptions on the tombs in Westminster Abbey, are in Greek and Hebrew, and none but the learned can decipher them. There are few such in our country; though the same inscription in Latin, and in English, is often placed on monuments of public interest, because Latin is everywhere understood by the learned.

Perhaps the curious mind may be most interested in visiting the quiet country grave yard; where age after age, sire and son have been buried. It is here the quaintest epitaphs are seen; and it is impossible to read some of them without a smile, even in so sacred a spot; but the very solemnity of the place often increases the ludicrousness.

What can be more beautiful, and congenial to the man of taste, than a few simple, and true words, carved upon the marble-tablet; and how refreshing it is to turn to such a one, after wearying the eye, and vexing the soul, with reading some long inscription, amounting almost to a history. We occasionally meet with such a one as this:—“Our mother fell asleep Feb. 9th 1840. When will the morning come?” A name is often seen, carved on the stone, telling that it is also inscribed on a far more enduring tablet above. In a grave-yard in Missouri, among epitaphs, that seem relics of barbarism, stands a pure white stone, with only this inscription:—“MY WIFE and LITTLE WILLIE.” One of the most beautiful monuments in beautiful Laurel Hill, is the statue of the sleeping infant that lies beneath. The tablet, canopy, and pillow, are all of the same pure white marble, with the figure of the child. The expression of the sweet baby face, is that of sadness and weariness; as though it had wept itself to sleep: and insensibly as you gaze upon it, your eyes fill with tears of gratitude that it shall weep no more!

It is well for the living to visit the abodes of the dead, ’tis well to think often of the grave, and to look forward to futurity.

“How frail is man! his earliest breath

  Is but the promise sure of death;

From being’s dawn, to darkling age,

  The grave his certain heritage!”



By Mrs. Traill.

On a green extensive plain, grew a lofty oak, of noble stature; its wide-spreading arms affording a refreshing shade from the scorching sunbeams. Thither the cattle came at noon-day, to repose upon the velvet turf, and rest beneath its grateful shelter. The breeze played among its shining leaves; the birds sang joyfully amid the boughs; there they built their nests, and securely hatched their young brood. Myriads of insects dwelt there; the leaves, the bark, the wood affording them food and shelter. At its roots sprung the greenest grass, among which grew deep blue violets, that scented the air with their odor, and gladdened the eye with their half-concealed beauty—and the violets grew and spread on every side, protected by the Forest King.

Spring came and went, and still the birds sang on, and built new nests, and hatched new broods; and the oak rejoiced in their prosperity, and asked them not why they came, or whither they went. The squirrel gambolled freely among the topmost branches, and gathered there his store of winter food; the gay-winged insects fluttered their little day of pleasure among the glossy leaves; the violets blossomed sweetly at its roots; and the cattle found shelter and comfort in the cool shade. None had cause to complain of their patron; he extended his blessings alike to all his dependants. Ignorance begets envy. A stranger came and rested himself on the green sward beneath the Oak, and he looked upward, and admired its grandeur and its beauty, its mossy trunk, and its wide-spreading arms, its glossy foliage, and shining fruit; but he gave no heed to the birds, or the insects, or the blue violets, and went on his way. Then there was a murmur of discontent. The birds were indignant that their songs had been unheeded; the insects, that their bright wings had not been noticed; and, most of all, did the violets complain, that their beauty and perfume had been disregarded. Envy and hatred filled their jealous hearts, and they lifted up their voices with one accord, to reproach the mighty monarch of the wood, and clamorously desired that the woodsman would come with his axe, and level the oak with the ground. Then the oak was moved with anger at the injustice and malice of his ungrateful dependants, and said, “Have I not sheltered you and your children from the summer’s scorching heat—from the gales of autumn, and the bitter frosts of winter? The thunderbolt that would have smitten you, has fallen upon my head—my arms were spread over you—my leaves nourished and sheltered you—from my own vitals have I fed you—O! ungrateful children!” and the sighing breeze that swept sadly through the branches seemed to lament the rebellion among the dependants of the mighty Forest King. But the birds, and the insects, and the violets still sighed for the destruction of the oak, that they might rise into public notice. That day, the stranger returned, and with him, many woodsmen, with axes and hatchets. “Let us cut down this glorious old tree,” they said, “that he may help to build a mighty ship to navigate the seas.” And the axe was laid to the root of the tree. The turf, torn and bruised, no longer hid the violets from the iron heels of the choppers, who trode them beneath their feet, and crushed their slender stems. The oak fell, and, in its fall, buried the envious flowers, never again to rise. The birds no longer sang among its branches—the cradles of their unfledged younglings were broken, and scattered to the winds of heaven—the squirrels saw their magazine of food destroyed, and, with the mighty monarch, perished the happiness and prosperity of his dependants.

My children—Our Lord has commanded us to render honor unto whom honor is due—to honor and obey the king, and all that are placed in authority under him—and to be meek and lowly, that, in good time, He may exalt us.


Time is the only gift or commodity, of which every man who lives, has just the same share. The passing day is exactly of the same dimensions to each of us, and by no contrivance can any one of us extend its duration by so much as a minute or a second. It is not like a sum of money, which we can employ in trade, or put out at interest, and thereby add to, or multiply its amount. Its amount is unalterable. We cannot even keep it by us. Whether we will or no, we must spend it; and all our power over it, therefore, consists in the manner in which it is spent. Part with it we must; but we may give it either for something or for nothing. Its mode of escaping from us, however, being very subtle and silent, we are exceedingly apt, because we do not feel it passing out of our hand like so much cold coin, to forget that we are parting with it at all; and thus, from mere heedlessness, the precious possession is allowed to flow away, as if it were a thing of no value. The first and principal rule, therefore, in regard to the economizing and right employment of time, is to habituate ourselves to watch it.

“The hours are viewless angels,

  That still go gliding by,

And bear each minute’s record up

  To Him who sits on high.


And we who walk among them,

  As one by one departs,

See not that they are hovering,

  For ever round our hearts.


Like summer-bees, that hover

  Around the idle flowers,

They gather every act and thought,

  Those viewless angel hours. * * *


But still they steal the record,

  And bear it far away;

Their mission flight, by day by night,

  No magic power can stay.


And as we spend each minute,

  Which God to us hath given,

The deeds are known before his throne,

  The tale is told in heaven.


Those bee-like hours we see not,

  Nor hear their noiseless wings;

We only feel too oft when flown,

  That they have left their stings.


So teach me, Heavenly Father,

  To meet each flying hour,

That as they go, they may not show,

  My heart a poison-flower.


So, when death brings its shadows,

  The hours that linger last,

Shall bear my hopes on angel’s wings,

  Unfettered by the past.”

It was the boast of Cicero that his philosophical studies had never interfered with the services he owed the republic; and that he had only dedicated to them the hours which others gave to their walks, their repasts, and their pleasures. Looking on his voluminous labors, we are surprised at this observation; how honorable it is to him, that his various philosophical works bear the titles of the different villas he possessed; which shows they were composed in their respective retirements. Cicero must have been an early riser, and must have practised that magic art of employing his time so as to multiply his days.”

Knowledge, while it is essentially power, is indirectly virtue, and can hardly be acquired without the exertion of several high moral qualities. Some distinguished scholars have no doubt been bad men, but we do not know how much worse they might have been, but for their love of learning, which to the extent it did operate upon their characters, must have been beneficial. A genuine relish for intellectual enjoyments is naturally as inconsistent with a devotion to the coarser gratifications of sense, as the habit of assiduous study is to that dissipation of time and thought and faculty, which a life of vicious pleasure implies.

Knowledge is also happiness. And were its pursuit nothing better than mere amusement, it would deserve the preference over all other amusements, on many accounts. Of these, the chief is, that it must become something better than an amusement, must invigorate the mind, and refine, and elevate the character. So far from losing any part of its zest with time, the longer it is known, the better it is loved. It may be resorted to by all, in all circumstances; by both sexes; by the young and the old; in town or in the country; by him who has only his stolen half-hour to give to it, and by him who can allow it nearly his whole day. Above all, it is the cheapest of all amusements, and consequently the most universally accessible.

The habit of reading is rapidly extending itself, even among the humblest ranks. Nothing can be more natural than this. A book is emphatically the poor man’s luxury; for it is, of all luxuries, that which can be obtained at the least cost. By means of district libraries, almost every individual of the population might be enabled to secure access to an inexhaustible store of intellectual amusement and instruction; at an expense which even the poorest would scarcely feel. As yet, these advantages have been in the possession of a few individuals, comparatively speaking, to whom they have been a source, not more of enjoyment, than of intelligence and influence. Wealth and rank are perhaps, on no account more valuable, than for the power which their possessor enjoys, of prosecuting the work of mental cultivation, to a greater extent than others. Many have seldom more than the mere fragments of the day to give to study, after the bulk of it has been consumed in procuring merely the bread that perisheth; while the man of wealth may make literature and philosophy the vocation of his life. To be able to do this, many have willingly embraced comparative poverty, in preference to riches. Among the philosophers of the ancient world, some are said to have spontaneously disencumbered themselves of their inheritances, that the cares of managing their property might not interrupt their philosophic pursuits. Crates, Thales, Democritus, and Anaxagoras, are particularly mentioned as having made this sacrifice.”

Cicero, who was more sensible of moral pleasures, than of those of any other kind, says in his oration on the poet Archias:—“Why should I be ashamed to acknowledge pleasures like these, since for so many years the enjoyment of them has never prevented me from relieving the wants of others, or deprived me of the courage to attack vice and defend virtue? Who can justly blame—who can censure me—if while others are pursuing the views of interest, gazing at festal shows and idle ceremonies, exploring new pleasures; engaged in midnight revels: in the distraction of gaming; or the madness of intemperance; neither reposing the body, or recreating the mind; I spend the recollective hours in a pleasing review of my past life—in dedicating my time to learning and the muses?”


Ho! ye who start a noble scheme,

For general good designed;

Ye workers in a cause that tends

To benefit your kind!

Mark out the path ye fain wou’d tread,

The game ye mean to play;

And if it be an honest one,

Keep stedfast on your way!


Although ye may not gain at once

The points ye most desire;

Be patient—time can wonders work,

Plod on, and do not tire;

Obstructions too, may crowd your path,

In threatening stern array,

Yet flinch not, fear not! they may prove,

Mere shadows in your way.


Then while there’s work for you to do,

Stand not despairing by,

Let “forward” be the move you make,

Let “onward” be your cry.

And when success has crowned your plans,

’Twill all your pains repay,

To see the good your labor’s done.

Then Droop not on your way!

The Harpers.—In 1826, James and John Harper, worked as journeymen in a printing office in New York. They were distinguished, like Franklin, for industry, temperance, and economy. The well-known editor of the Albany Evening Journal worked as a journeyman printer at that time in the same establishment. “James” says he, “was our partner at the press. We were at work as soon as the day dawned, and though on a pleasant summer afternoon, we used to sigh occasionally for a walk upon the Battery before sundown, he would never allow the ‘balls to be capped,’ until he had broken the back of the thirteenth ‘token’.” What is the sequel? The journeyman printer of 1826 has become the head of one of the first, if not the first, publishing houses in the world, a man of ample fortune, and enjoying the confidence of his fellow-citizens in an eminent degree. It was in 1844, that, in the city in which he was first known as a journeyman printer, his name was made the rallying cry of a new political party, whose irresistible enthusiasm and overwhelming numbers speedily elevated him to the chief magistracy of the great metropolis of the western world.


A Babe in a house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love; a resting place for innocence on earth; a link between angels and men. Yet is it a talent of trust! a loan to be rendered back with interest; a delight, but redolent of care; honey-sweet, but lacking not the bitter. For character groweth day by day, and all things aid it in unfolding, and the bent unto good or evil may be given in the heart of infancy. Scratch the green rind of a sapling, or wantonly twist it in the soil, the scarred and crooked oak will tell of thee for centuries to come; even so mayst thou guide the mind to good, or lead it to the marring of evil, for disposition is builded up by the fashioning of first impressions. Therefore, though the voice of instruction waiteth for the ear of reason, yet with his mother’s milk the young child drinketh education.

The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Never was there a severer satire uttered against human reason, than that of Mirabeau, when he said, “Words are Things.” This single word explains the whole French revolution. Such a revolution never would have occurred amongst a people who spoke things instead of words. Just so far as words are things, just so far the infinite contexture of realities, pertaining to body and soul; to heaven and earth; to time and eternity, is nothing. The ashes and shreds of every thing else are of some value; but of words not freighted with ideas, there is no salvage. It is not words, but words fitly spoken, that are “like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

Which is the happiest season?—At a festal party of old and young, the question was asked, “which is the happiest season of life?” After being freely discussed by the guests, it was referred for answer to the host, upon whom was the burden of four score years. He asked if they had noticed a grove of trees before the dwelling, and said,—“When the Spring comes, and in the soft air, the buds are breaking on the tree, and they are covered with blossoms, I think, How beautiful is Spring! And when the Summer comes and covers the trees with heavy foliage, and singing birds are among the branches, I think, How beautiful is Summer! When the autumn loads them with golden fruit, and their leaves bear gorgeous tints of frost, I think, How beautiful is Autumn! And it is sere winter, and there is neither foliage nor fruit, then, I look through the leafless branches, as I never could until now, and see the stars shine.”

A cloud may intercept the sun;

A web by insect workers spun

Preserve the life within the frame,

Or vapours take away the same.


A grain of sand upon the sight,

May rob a giant of his might,

Or needle point let out his breath,

And make a banquet-meal for death.


How often at a single word,

The heart with agony is stirr’d,

And ties that years would not have riv’n

Are scattered to the winds of heaven.


A glance that looks what lips would speak,

Will speed the pulse, and blanch the cheek;

And thoughts not look’d, nor yet exprest,

Create a chaos in the breast.


A smile of hope from those we love,

May be an angel from above;

A whispered welcome in our ears

Be as the music of the spheres.


The pressure of a gentle hand

Worth all that glitters in the land,

Oh, trifles are not what they are,

But fortune’s ruling voice and star!

An Invaluable Curiosity.—Horace Walpole tells a lively story of an old porcelain vender, who had an exceedingly rare and valuable jar, on which he set an almost fabulous price. One hot summer, a slight volcanic shock, jarred his house about his ears, and split his precious vase. To an ordinary mind this accident would have been calamitous, but the china seller rose superior to fortune. He doubled its price, and advertised it as “the only jar in the world which had been cracked by an earthquake.”

Among the latest discoveries at Nineveh, one coffin was found, containing the body of a lady of the royal House. Many of her garments were entire, also the gold studs which fastened her vest. The most singular discovery, however, was a mask of thin gold, pressed upon the face, so as to assume and retain the features of the deceased.

The First Profile taken, as recorded, was that of Antigonius, who, having lost an eye, had his likeness so taken, 330, B.C.

Belgian thread spinners.—The spinning of fine thread used for lace-making in the Netherlands, is an operation demanding so high a degree of minute care and vigilant attention, that it is impossible it can ever be taken from human hands by machinery. None but Belgian fingers are skilled in this art. The very finest sort of this thread is made in Brussels, in damp under-ground cellars; for it is so extremely delicate, that it is liable to break with the dry air above ground; and it is obtained in good condition only when made and kept in a subterranean atmosphere. There are numbers of old Belgian thread-makers, who, like spiders, have passed the best part of their lives spinning in cellars. This occupation has an injurious effect on the health, therefore to induce people to follow it, they are highly paid. To form an accurate idea of this operation, it is necessary to see a Brabant thread-spinner at her work. She carefully examines every thread, watching it closely as she draws it off the distaff, and that she may see it distinctly, a piece of dark blue paper is used as a back ground for the flax. Whenever the spinner notices the least unevenness, she stops her wheel, breaks off the faulty piece of flax, and then resumes her spinning. This fine flax being as costly as gold, the pieces broken off are laid aside, to be used in other ways. All this could never be done by machinery. The prices current of the Brabant spinners usually include a list of various sorts of thread suited to lace-making, varying from sixty francs to one thousand eight hundred francs per pound. Instances have occurred in which as much as ten thousand francs have been paid for a pound of this fine yarn. So high a price has never been paid for the best spun silk.

Remarkable Ignorance.—A correspondent of the Boston Post gives the following description of an incident at Faneuil Hall:—“While my mind was riveted on the Departure by Wier, my attention was arrested by a question from a young man who was sitting by my side. ‘Which is Columbus?’ ‘He does not appear in this picture,’ said I, ‘it is the Departure of the Pilgrims.’ ‘Oh, no,’ said the young man, ‘he does not; he came over afterwards!’ ”


The leaves are falling on the ground,

  The vale is damp and chill;

The wheat is gathered to the store,

  Which waved upon the hill:

The summer birds have taken wing

  The sky looks wan and grey,

And from the coppice calls the crow

  Through all the gloomy day.


The joyous bee is heard no more

  Amid the faded bowers;

Low lying in the silent graves

  Are all the gentle flowers:

The azure fount is choked and dumb,

  And ’neath the rivulet

The water-blooms have left the stalk

  On which they late were set.


The fall of leaves and wane of flowers

  Make sad a lonely heart;

They, like the loveliest of our race,

  From this world soon depart.

But as the dark is changed to light

  When morning’s dawn-beams pour,

So death’s long night shall turn to day

  When Time itself is o’er.


Preserved Quinces.—Pare and core your quinces, taking out the parts that are knotty and defective; cut them in quarters, or round slices; put them in your preserving kettle; cover them with the parings and a very little water; lay a large plate over them to keep in the steam, and boil them until they are tender. Take out the quinces, and strain the liquor through a bag. To every pint of liquor allow a pound of loaf sugar. Boil the juice and sugar together about ten minutes, skimming it well; put in the quinces, and boil them gently about twenty minutes. When the sugar has completely penetrated them, take them out, and put them in a glass jar, and turn the juice over them warm. Tie them up when cold with paper dipped in clarified sugar.

Preserved Apples.—Take equal weights of good brown sugar and of apples; peel or wash, core and chop the apples very fine; allow to every three pounds of sugar a pint of water; dissolve, then boil the sugar pretty thick, skimming it well; add the apples, the grated peel of one or two lemons, and two or three pieces of white ginger, and boil till the apples look clear and yellow. This will keep years. Crab apples done in this way, without paring, are next to cranberries.

Preserved Pears.—Allow three-quarters of a pound of sugar to a pound of pears. Clarify the sugar, if brown is used, then put in the fruit, and boil it till tender. A few pieces of ginger, or fine ginger tied up in bags, may be boiled with the pears, to flavor them. Vergaleuse and choke pears are the best for preserving.

Sausage Meat.—Take one third fat and two thirds lean pork, and chop them, and then to every twelve pounds of meat, add twelve large even spoonfuls of pounded salt, nine of sifted sage, and six of sifted black pepper. Some like a little summer savory. Keep them in a cool and dry place.

Another Method.—To twenty-five pounds of chopped meat, which should be one-third fat, and two thirds lean, put twenty spoonfuls of sage, twenty-five of salt, ten of pepper, and four of summer savory.

Indelible Ink.—Buy three drachms of nitrate of silver, and put it in a vial, with two spoonfuls of water. Let it stand a few days, then color it with a little ink, and add a table spoonful of brandy. The preparation is made of strong pearlash water, stiffened with gum arabic, and colored with red wafers.


Two travellers once rested on their journey at an inn, when suddenly a cry arose that there was a fire in the village. One of the travellers immediately sprang up, and ran to offer his assistance; but the other strove to detain him, saying, “why should you waste your time? Are there not hands enough to assist? Why concern ourselves about strangers?” His friend, however, listened not to his remonstrance, but hastened to the fire; the other following, and looking on at a distance. A woman rushed out of a burning house, crying, “My children! my children!” When the stranger heard this, he darted into the house amongst the burning timbers, whilst the flames raged fiercely around him. “He will surely perish!” cried the spectators; but after a short time, behold he came forth with scorched hair, carrying two young children in his arms, and delivered them to their mother. She embraced the infants, and fell at the stranger’s feet; but he lifted her up and comforted her. The house soon fell with a terrible crash. As the stranger and his companion returned to the inn, the latter said, “Who bade thee risk thy life in such a dangerous attempt?” “He,” answered the first, “who bids me put the seed into the ground, that it may decay and bring forth the new fruit.” “But if thou hadst been buried among the ruins?” His companion smiled and said, “Then should I myself have been the seed.”—Krummacher.


The increasing favor with which our Magazine is received, encourages us to hope that its friends will not be disappointed in its success. We are pleased to hear that it is welcomed to many home circles, where the varied information it contains is read with interest and attention. It shall be ours to aim at continued excellence in the arrangement, as well as choice of subjects, so that it may always be hailed with pleasure, and regarded as an improving visitor.

A fine engraving of the Victoria Regia, a magnificent Water Lily, named by its discoverers in compliment to her majesty Queen Victoria, embelishes the first article of this number.

We continue the History of Canada, and give an engraving of one of the principal characters of those times.

The fable of The Oak, which was written expressly for the Maple Leaf, in Mrs. Traill’s, peculiarly simple and graceful style, contains a beautiful moral.

The article on Monumental Inscriptions was composed by a young lady, a member of the senior class of a celebrated female seminary in Granville, Ohio, and communicated for our magazine. It is interesting as a specimen of school composition, and will give us an idea of the training pupils receive in the neighboring States, where the system of female education is at present diffusing the blessings of high moral and intellectual culture.



Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of The Maple Leaf, Volume 1, No. 5, November 1852 by Robert W. Lay and Eleanor H. Lay]