* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This eBook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the eBook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the eBook. If either of these conditions applies, please contact a https://www.fadedpage.com administrator before proceeding. Thousands more FREE eBooks are available at https://www.fadedpage.com.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. IF THE BOOK IS UNDER COPYRIGHT IN YOUR COUNTRY, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR REDISTRIBUTE THIS FILE.

Title: The Maple Leaf, Volume 2, No. 1, January 1853

Date of first publication: 1853

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

Date first posted: Sep. 2, 2023

Date last updated: Sep. 2, 2023

Faded Page eBook #20230902

This eBook was produced by: John Routh & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net



Dear Nurse! What is the name of that pretty creature, that you hold in your hand? What bright eyes! what a soft tail, just like a grey feather! Is it a little beaver?” asked Lady Mary, the Governor’s daughter, as her nurse entered the nursery. Carefully sheltered against her breast, its round, lustrous black eyes, and little nose peeping from beneath the hand that secured it, appeared a small grey furred animal, of the most delicate color and form.

“No, my lady,” replied her nurse, “it is not a young beaver. A young beaver is a much larger animal; its tail is not clothed with soft grey fur like this; it is scaly, and broad, and flat, and looks like black leather, something like my seal-skin slippers. The Indians eat beavers’ tails at their great feasts, and they think, they make a very dainty dish.”

“If they are black, and look like leather shoes, I am very sure I should not like to eat them. So if you please, Mrs. Frazer, do not let me have any beavers’ tails cooked for my dinner,” said the little lady in a very decided tone.

“Indeed, my lady,” replied the nurse smiling, “it would not be a very easy thing to obtain; for beavers are not brought to our market; it is only the Indians that know how to trap them, and these little creatures are not nearly so plentiful as they used to be formerly.” Mrs. Frazer would have told Lady Mary a great deal about these animals, but the little girl interrupted her, saying—

“Please nurse, tell me the name of your dear little pet. Ah, sweet thing, what bright eyes you have,” she added, caressing the soft velvet nose that peeped out from between the folds of the muslin handkerchief, to which it timidly nestled, casting furtive glances at the admiring child; while the panting of its breast told the mortal terror that shook its frame, whenever the fair fingers of the little girl were advanced towards it to coax its soft head.

“It is a flying squirrel, Lady Mary,” whispered the Nurse; “one of my brothers caught it a month ago, while chopping in the beech woods. He thought it might amuse your ladyship, and so he tamed it, and sent it to me, in a basket filled with moss, with some acorns and beech mast, and hickory nuts, for him to eat. The little fellow has travelled a long distance; he came from the beech-woods, near the town of Cobourg, in the Upper Province.”

“And where is Cobourg, Nurse? Is it a large city like Montreal or Quebec?”

“No, my lady; it is a large town on the shores of the great Lake Ontario.”

“And are there many woods near it?”

“Yes, but not so many as there used to be many years ago. The forest is almost all cleared, and there are fields of wheat, and Indian corn and nice farms, and pretty houses, where a few years back the lofty forest grew dark and thick.”

“Nurse, you said there were acorns, and hickory nuts, and beech mast in the basket. I have seen acorns at home in dear Scotland and England, and I have eaten the hickory nuts here, but what is beech mast? Is it any part of a Canadian ship?”

“No, Lady Mary; it is the name that is given to the fruit of the beech tree. You have seen the beech tree in England—the nuts are enclosed in a rough and somewhat prickly husk, which opens when it is ripe at the top, and shows two or more three-cornered shining brown seeds, in a smooth, tough, leathery skin; these fall out, shaken down by the wind when it waves the boughs. Hogs fatten upon these nuts, and squirrels, and dormice, and wood-chucks, gather them into their granaries for winter stores; and wild pigeons, and wild ducks come from the far north, at the season when the beech mast fall, to eat them; for God teaches these, his creatures, to know the times and the seasons when his bounteous hand is open to give them meat from his boundless store. A great many other birds and beasts also feed upon the beech mast.”

“It was very good of your brother to send me this pretty creature, Nurse,” said the little lady; “I will ask Papa to send him some money.”

“There is no need of that Lady Mary. My brother is not in want; he has a farm in the Upper Province, and is very well off.”

“I am glad he is well off,” said Lady Mary. “Indeed, I do not see so many poor beggars here as in England.”

“People never need beg in Canada, if they are well and strong, and can work; a poor man can soon earn enough money to keep himself and his little ones.”

“Nurse, will you be so kind as to ask Campbell to get a pretty cage for me to put my squirrel in? I will let him live close to my dormice, who will be pleasant company for him; and I will feed him everyday myself with nuts, and sugar, and sweet cake, and white bread. Now do not tremble, and look so frightened, as though I were going to hurt you—and pray Mr. Squirrel do not bite. Oh nurse, nurse! the wicked spiteful creature has bitten my finger! See, see, it has made it bleed. Naughty thing! I will not love you, if you bite so hard. Pray nurse bind up my finger, or it will soil my frock.”

Great was the pity bestowed upon the wound by Lady Mary’s kind attendant, till the little girl, tired of hearing so much said about the bitten finger, gravely desired her maid to go in search of the cage, and catch the truant, which had effected its escape, and was clinging to the curtains of the bed. The cage was procured—a large wooden cage, with an outer, and an inner chamber, a bar for the little fellow to swing himself upon, and a drawer for his food, and a little dish for his water. The sleeping-room was furnished by the nurse with soft wool, and a fine store of nuts was put in the drawer; all his wants were well supplied, and Lady Mary watched the catching of the little animal with great interest. Great was the activity displayed by the runaway squirrel, and still greater the astonishment evinced by the Governor’s little daughter, at the flying leaps made by the squirrel in its attempts to elude the grasp of its pursuers.

“It flies! I am sure it must have wings. Look, look, nurse! it is here—now it is on the wall—now on the curtains! It must have wings, but it has no feathers.”

“It has no wings, dear lady, but it has a fine ridge of fur, that covers a strong sinew or muscle between the fore and hinder legs, and it is by the help of this muscle that it is able to spring so far, and so fast; and its claws are so sharp that it can cling to a wall, or any flat surface. The black, and red squirrel, and the common grey, can jump very far, and run up the bark of the trees very fast, but not so well as the flying squirrel.”

At last, Lady Mary’s maid, with the help of one of the housemaids, succeeded in catching the squirrel, and securing him within the cage. But though Lady Mary tried all her words of endearment to coax the little creature to eat some of the good things that had been provided so liberally for his entertainment, he remained sullen and motionless at the bottom of the cage. A captive is no less a captive in a cage with gilded bars, and with dainties to eat, than if rusted iron shut him in, and kept him from enjoying his freedom. It is for that dear liberty that he pines, and is sad, even in the midst of plenty.

“Dear nurse, why does my little squirrel tremble and look so unhappy? Tell me if he wants anything to eat that we have not given him. Why does he not lie down and sleep on the nice soft bed you have made for him in his little chamber? See, he has not tasted the nice sweet cake and sugar that I gave him.”

“He is not used to such dainties, Lady Mary. In the forests, he feeds upon hickory-nuts, and butter-nuts, and acorns, and beech masts, and the buds of the spruce, fir, and pine kernels, with many other seeds, and nuts, and berries that we could not get for him. He loves grain too, and Indian corn. He sleeps on green moss, and leaves, and fine fibres of grass, and roots, and drinks heaven’s blessed dew, as it lies bright and pure upon the herbs of the field.”

“Dear little squirrel, pretty creature, I know now what makes you sad. You long to be abroad among your own green woods, and sleeping on the soft green moss, which is far prettier than this ugly cotton wool. But you shall stay with me, my sweet one, till the cold winter is passed and gone, and the spring flowers have come again, and then, my pretty squirrel, I will take out of your dull cage, and we will go to St. Helen’s green Island, and I will let you go free; but I will put a scarlet collar about your neck before I let you go, that if any one finds you, they may know that you are my squirrel.”

“Were you ever in the great forest, nurse? I hear papa talk about the ‘Bush,’ and the ‘Back-woods’—it must be very pleasant in the summer to live among the green trees. Were you ever there?”

“Yes, dear lady, I did live in the woods when I was a child. I was born in a little log shanty, far, far away up the country, near a beautiful lake, called Rice Lake, among woods, and valleys, and hills covered with flowers, and groves of pine, and black and white oaks.”

“Stop, nurse, and tell me why the oaks are called black and white? Are the leaves black and white, or the flowers, or the acorns?”

“No, my lady. It is because the wood of the one is darker than the other, and the leaves of the black oak are dark and shining, while those of the white oak are brighter and lighter. The black oak is a beautiful tree. When I was a young girl, I used to like to climb the sides of the steep valleys, and look down upon the tops of the oaks that grew beneath, and to watch the wind lifting the boughs all glittering in the moonlight.—They looked like a sea of ruffled green water. It is very solemn, lady Mary, to be in the woods by night, and to hear no sound but the cry of the great wood owl, or the voice of the whippoorwill calling to his fellow from the tamarack swamp, or may be the timid bleating of a fawn that has lost its mother, or the howl of a wolf.”

“Nurse, I should be so afraid. I am sure I should cry if I heard the wicked wolves howling in the dark woods by night. Did you ever know any one who was eaten by a wolf?”

“No, my lady; the Canadian wolf is a great coward. I have heard the hunters say that they never attack any one unless there are a great flock together, and the man is alone and unarmed. My uncle used to go out a great deal hunting, sometimes by torch light, and sometimes on the lake in a canoe, with the Indians, and he has shot and trapped a great many wolves, and foxes, and raccoons. He has a great many heads of wild animals nailed up on the stoup in front of his log house.”

“Please tell me what a stoup is, nurse.”

“A verandah, my lady, is the same thing, only the old Dutch settlers gave it the name of a stoup, and the stoup is heavier and broader, and not quite so nicely made as a verandah. One day my uncle was crossing the lake on the ice; it was a cold winter afternoon; he was in a hurry to take some food to his brothers, who were drawing pine logs in the bush. He had besides a bag of meat and flour, a new axe on his shoulder. He heard steps, as of a dog trotting after him; he turned his head, and there he saw close at his heels a big, hungry-looking grey wolf. He stopped and faced about, and the big beast stopped and showed his white, sharp teeth at him. My uncle did not feel afraid, but looked steadily at the wolf, as much as to say, ‘follow me if you dare,’ and walked on. When my uncle stopped, the wolf stopped, when he went on the beast also went on.”

“I would have run away,” said lady Mary.

“If my uncle had let the wolf see that he was afraid of him, he would have grown bolder, and have run after him, and seized him. All animals are afraid of brave men, but not of cowards. When the beast came too near, my uncle faced him, and showed the bright axe, and the wolf then shrunk back a few paces. When my uncle got near the shore he heard a long wild cry, as if from twenty wolves all at once. It might have been the echoes from the islands that increased the sound, but it was very frightful, and made his blood chill; for he knew that without his rifle he should stand a poor chance against a large pack of hungry wolves. Just then a gun went off, he heard the wolf give a terrible yell, he felt the whizzing of a bullet pass him, and turning about saw the wolf lying dead on the ice. A loud shout from the cedars in front, told him from whom the shot came. It was my father, who had been on the look out on the lake shore, and he had fired and hit the wolf, when he saw that he could without hurting his brother.”

“Nurse, that would have been a sad thing if the gun had shot your uncle.”

“It would, but my father was one of the best shots in the district, and could hit a white spot on the bark of a tree at a great distance without missing. It was an old Indian from Buck.horn lake who taught him to shoot deer by torch light, and to trap beaver.”

“Well, I am glad that horrid wolf was killed, for wolves eat lambs and sheep, and I dare say they would eat up my little squirrel, if they could get him. Nurse, please to tell me again the name of the lake near which you said you were born.”

“It is called Rice Luke, my lady. It is a fine piece of water, nearly thirty miles long, and from three to six broad, in its widest parts. It has pretty wooded islands on it, and several rivers empty themselves into it. The Otonabee river is a fine broad stream, which flows through the great forest a long way. Many years ago there were no clearings on the banks and no houses, only Indian tents and wigwams; but now there are a great many houses and villages.”

“What are wigwams?”

“A sort of light tent made with poles stuck into the ground, in a circle, and fastened at the top, and covered on the outside with the skins of wild animals, or with birch bark. The Indians light a fire of sticks and logs on the ground, in the middle of the wigwam, and lie or sit all round it; the smoke goes up to the top and escapes. In the winter they bank it up with snow, and it is very warm.”

“I think it must be a very ugly sort of house, and I am glad I do not live in an Indian wigwam,” said the little lady.

“The Indians are a very simple folk, my lady, and do not need fine houses like this in which your papa lives. They do not know the names or uses of half the fine things that are in the houses of the white people. They are happy and contented without them. It is not the richest that are the happiest, lady Mary; and the Lord careth for the poor and the lowly. There is a village on the shore of the Rice Lake where the Indians live. It is not very pretty. The houses are all built of logs, and some of them have orchards and gardens. There is a neat church and they have a good minister, who takes great pains to teach them the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The poor Indians were pagans till within the last few years.”

“What are pagans, nurse?”

“People, lady Mary, who do not believe in God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour.”

“Nurse, is there real rice growing in the Rice Lake? I heard my governess say that rice grew only in warm countries. Now, your lake must be very cold, if your uncle walked across the ice.”

“This rice, my lady, is not really rice. I heard a gentleman tell my father, that it was, properly speaking, a species of oats,[1] water oats he called it; but the common name for it is wild rice. This wild rice grows in vast beds in the lake, in patches of many acres. It will grow in water from eight to ten or twelve feet deep; the long grassy leaves float upon the water like long narrow green ribbons. In the month of August, the stem that is to bear the flower and the grain, rises straight up, above the surface, and light, delicate blossoms come out, of a pale straw color, and lilac. They are very pretty, and wave in the wind with a rustling noise. In the month of October, when the rice is ripe, the leaves turn a bright yellowish color, and the rice heads grow heavy and droop; then the squaws—that is, the Indian women—go out in their birch bark canoes; in one hand they hold a stick, in the other, a short curved paddle, with a sharp edge. With this, they bend down the rice across the stick, and strike off the heads, which fall into the canoe, as they push it along through the rice beds. In this way they collect a great many bushels in the course of the day. The wild rice is not the least like the rice which your ladyship has eaten; it is thin, and covered with a light chaffy husk. The color of the grain itself is a brownish green, or olive, smooth, shining, and brittle. After separating the outer chaff, the squaws put a large portion of the cleaned rice by, in its natural state, for sale; for this they get from one dollar to a dollar and a half a bushel. Some they parch, either in large iron pots, or on mats made of the inner bark of cedar or bass wood, beneath which they light a slow fire, and plant around it a temporary hedge of green boughs, closely set to prevent the heat from escaping. They also plant stakes, over which they stretch the matting, at a certain height above the fire. On this they spread the green rice, stirring it about with wooden paddles, till it is properly parched: this is known by its bursting and shewing the white grain of the flour. When quite cool, it is stowed away in troughs, scooped out of butternut or hickory wood, or else sewed up in sheets of birch bark, or in bass mats, or in coarsely-made birch baskets.”

“And is the rice nice to eat, nurse?”

“Some people like it as well as the white rice of Carolina; but it does not look as well. It is a great blessing to the poor Indians, who boil it in their soups, or eat it with maple molasses; and they also eat it when parched without any other cooking, when they are on a long journey in the woods, or on the lakes. I have often eaten rice puddings of it made with milk. The deer feed upon the green rice. They swim into the water, and eat the green leaves and tops. The Indians go out at night to shoot the deer on the water; they listen for them, and shoot them in the dark. The wild ducks and the water-fowl come down in great flocks to fatten on the ripe rice in the fall of the year; also large flocks of rice buntings and red wings, which make their roosts among the low willows and lilies, and flags close to the shallows of the lakes.”

“It seems very useful to birds, as well as men and beasts,” said little lady Mary.

“Yes, my lady, and to fishes also, I make no doubt, for the good God has cast it so abundantly abroad on the waters, that I dare say they also have their share. When the rice is fully ripe, the sun shining upon it, gives it a golden hue, like to a field of ripened grain. Surrounded by the deep blue waters, it looks very pretty.”

“I am very much obliged to you, nurse, for telling me so much about the Indian rice, and I will ask mamma to let me have some one day for my dinner, that I may know how it tastes.”

Just then lady Mary’s governess came to bid her nurse dress her for a sleigh-ride; and so for the present we will leave her. Next month we will give our young friends another chapter about lady Mary and her flying squirrel.

All for the best!—then fling away terrors,

  Meet all your fears and your fees in the van;

And in the midst of your dangers or errors,

  Trust like a child, while you strive like a man;

All’s for the best!—unbiassed, unbounded,

  Providence reigns from the east to the west;

And, by both wisdom and mercy surrounded,

  Hope and be happy, that all’s for the best!

Zizania, or water oats.



(Continued from Vol. I. No. 6, December 1852 issue)


“In Ramah there was a voice heard,—weeping, and lamentation and great mourning; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted.”

Mr. Haley and Tom jogged onward in their wagon, each, for a time, absorbed in his own reflections. Now, the reflections of two men sitting side by side are a curious thing. As for example, Mr. Haley: he thought first of Tom’s length, and breadth, and height, and what he would sell for, if he was kept fat and in good case till he got him into market. He thought of how he should make out his gang; and how humane he was, that whereas other men chained their “niggers” hand and foot both, he only put fetters on the feet, and left Tom the use of his hands, so long as he behaved well. . . .

As to Tom, he was thinking over some words of an unfashionable old book, which kept running through his head again and again, as follows: “We have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come; wherefore God himself is not ashamed to be called our God; for he hath prepared for us a city.” These words of an ancient volume, got up principally by “ignorant and unlearned men,” have, through all time, kept up, somehow, a strange sort of power over the minds of poor, simple fellows, like Tom. They stir up the soul from its depths, and rouse, as with trumpet call, courage, energy, and enthusiasm, where before was only the blackness of despair.

Mr. Haley pulled out of his pocket sundry newspapers, and slowly recited the following paragraph:

Executor’s Sale.Negroes!—Agreeably to order of court, will be sold, on Tuesday, February 20, before the Court-house door, in the town of Washington, Kentucky, the following negroes: Hagar, aged 60; John, aged 36; Ben, aged 21; Saul, aged 25; Albert, aged 14. Sold for the benefit of the creditors and heirs of the estate of Jesse Blatchford, Esq.

Samuel Morris,

Thomas Flint,


“This yer I must look at,” said he to Tom, for want of somebody else to talk to. “We must drive right to Washington first and foremost, and then I’ll clap you into jail, while I does the business.” . . .

The day wore on and the evening saw Haley and Tom comfortably accommodated in Washington,—the one in a tavern, and the other in a jail.

About eleven o’clock the next day, a mixed throng was gathered around the custom-house steps,—smoking, chewing, spitting, swearing, and conversing, according to their respective tastes and turns,—waiting for the auction to commence. The men and women to be sold sat in a group apart, talking in a low tone to each other. The woman who had been advertised by the name of Hagar was a regular African in feature and figure. She might have been sixty, but was older than that by hard work and disease, was partially blind, and somewhat crippled with rheumatism. By her side stood her only remaining son, Albert, a bright-looking little fellow of fourteen years. The boy was the only survivor of a large family, who had been successively sold away from her to a southern market. The mother held on to him with both her shaking hands, and eyed with intense trepidation every one who walked up to examine him. . . .

Haley here forced his way into the group. Walking up last to the boy, he felt of his arms, straightened his hands, and looked at his fingers, and made him jump, to show his agility.

“He an’t gwine to be sold widout me!” said the old woman, with passionate eagerness; “he and I goes in a lot together; I’s rail strong yet, Mas’r, and can do heaps o’ work,—heaps on it, Mas’r.”

“On plantation?” said Haley, with a contemptuous glance. “Likely story!” . . .

Here the auctioneer, a short, bustling, important fellow, elbowed his way into the crowd. The old woman drew in her breath, and caught instinctively at her son.

“Keep close to your mammy, Albert,—close,—dey’ll put us up togedder,” she said.

“O, mammy, I’m feared they won’t,” said the boy.

“Dey must, child; I can’t live, no ways, if they don’t,” said the old creature, vehemently.

The stentorian tones of the auctioneer, calling out to clear the way, now announced that the sale was about to commence. A place was cleared, and the bidding began. The different men on the list were soon knocked off at prices which showed a pretty brisk demand in the market; two of them fell to Haley.

“Come now, young un,” said the auctioneer, giving the boy a touch with his hammer; “be up and show your springs, now.”

“Put us up togedder, togedder,—do please, Mas’r,” said the old woman, holding fast to her boy.

“Be off,” said the man gruffly, pushing her hands away; “you come last. Now, darkey, spring”; and, with the word, he pushed the boy toward the block, while a deep, heavy groan rose behind him. The boy paused, and looked back; but there was no time to stay, and, dashing the tears from his large, bright eyes, he was up in a moment.

His fine figure, alert limbs, and bright face, raised an instant competition, and half a dozen bids simultaneously met the ear of the auctioneer. Anxious, half-frightened, he looked from side to side, as he heard the clatter of contending bids,—now here, now there,—till the hammer fell. Haley had got him. He was pushed from the block toward his new master, but stopped one moment, and looked back, when his poor old mother, trembling in every limb, held out her shaking hands toward him.

“Buy me too, Mas’r, for de dear Lord’s sake!—buy me,—I shall die if you don’t!”

“You’ll die if I do, that’s the kink of it,” said Haley,—“no!” And he turned on his heel.

The bidding for the poor old creature was summary. The man who had addressed Haley, and who seemed not destitute of compassion, bought her for a trifle, and the spectators began to disperse.

The poor victims of the sale, who had been brought up in one place together for years, gathered round the despairing old mother, whose agony was pitiful to see.

“Couldn’t dey leave me one? Mas’r allers said I should have one—he did,” she repeated over and over, in heart-broken tones.

“Trust in the Lord, Aunt Hagar,” said the oldest of the men sorrowfully.

“Mother, mother,—don’t, don’t!” said the boy. “They say you’s got a good master.”

“I don’t care—I don’t care. O, Albert! oh, my boy! you’s my last baby. Lord, how ken I?”

“Come, take her off, can’t some of ye?” said Haley, dryly. . . .

A few days saw Haley, with his possessions, safely deposited on one of the Ohio boats. It was the commencement of his gang, to be augmented, as the boat moved on, by various other merchandize of the same kind, which he or his agent had stored for him in various points along shore.

The La Belle Rivière, as brave and beautiful a boat as ever walked the waters of her namesake river, was floating gayly down the stream, under a brilliant sky, the stripes and stars of free America, waving and fluttering over head; the guards crowded with well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, walking and enjoying the delightful day. All was full of life, buoyant and rejoicing;—all but Haley’s gang, who were stored, with other freight, on the lower deck, and who, somehow, did not seem to appreciate their various privileges, as they sat in a knot, talking to each other in low tones. . . .

“I’ve got a wife,” spoke out the article enumerated as “John, aged thirty,” and he laid his chained hand on Tom’s knee,—“and she don’t know a word about this, poor girl!”

“Where does she live?” said Tom.

“In a tavern a piece down here,” said John; “I wish, now, I could see her once more in this world,” he added.

Poor John! It was rather natural; and the tears that fell, as he spoke, came as naturally as if he had been a white man. Tom drew a long breath from a sore heart, and tried, in his poor way, to comfort him.

And over head, in the cabin, sat fathers and mothers, husbands and wives; and merry, dancing children moved round among them, like so many little butterflies, and everything was going on quite easy and comfortable.

“O, mamma,” said a boy who had just come up from below, “there’s a negro trader on board, and he’s brought four or five slaves down there.”

“Poor creatures!” said the mother, in a tone between grief and indignation.

“What’s that?” said another lady.

“Some poor slaves below,” said the mother.

“And they’ve got chains on,” said the boy.

“What a shame to our country that such sights are to be seen!” said another lady.

“O, there’s a great deal to be said on both sides of the subject,” said a genteel woman, who sat at her state room door, sewing, while her little boy and girl were playing round her. “I’ve been south, and I must say I think the negroes are better off than they would be to be free.”

“In some respects some of them are well off, I grant,” said the lady to whose remark she had answered. “The most dreadful part of slavery, to my mind, is its outrages on the feelings and affections,—the separating of families, for example.”

“We can’t reason from our feelings to those of this class of persons,” said the other lady, sorting out some worsteds on her lap.

“Indeed, ma’am, you can know nothing of them if you say so,” answered the first lady warmly. “I was born and brought up among them. I know they do feel just as keenly,—even more so, perhaps,—as we do.” . . .

“It’s undoubtedly the intention of Providence that the African race should be servants,—kept in a low condition,” said a grave-looking gentleman in black, a clergyman, seated by the cabin door. “ ‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be,’ the scripture says.”

“I say, stranger, is that ar what that text means?” said a tall man standing by.

“Undoubtedly. It pleased Providence, for some inscrutable reason, to doom the race to bondage ages ago; and we must not set up our opinion against that.”

“Well, then, we’ll all go ahead and buy up niggers,” said the man, “if that’s the way of Providence, won’t we, Squire?” said he, turning to Haley, who had been standing, with his hands in his pockets, by the stove, and intently listening to the conversation. . . .

The stranger, who was no other than the honest drover whom we introduced to our readers in the Kentucky tavern, sat down and began smoking, with a curious smile on his long, dry face.

A tall, slender young man, with a face expressive of great feeling and intelligence, here broke in and repeated the words, “ ‘All things whatsoever, ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.’ I suppose,” he added, “that is scripture, as much as ´Cursed be Canaan.”

“Wal, it seems quite as plain a text, stranger,” said John the drover, “to poor fellows like us now;” and John smoked on like a volcano.

The young man paused, looked as if he was going to say more, when suddenly the boat stopped, and the company made the usual steamboat rush, to see where they were landing.

“Both them ar chaps parsons?” said John to one of the men, as they were going out.

The man nodded.

As the boat stopped, a black woman came, running wildly up the plank, darted into the crowd, flew up to where the slave gang sat, and threw her arms round that unfortunate piece of merchandize before enumerated, “John, aged thirty,” and with sobs and tears bemoaned him as her husband.

The young man who had spoken for the cause of humanity and God before, stood with folded arms, looking on this scene. He turned, and Haley was standing at his side. “My friend,” he said, speaking with thick utterance, “how can you, how dare you, carry on a trade like this? Look at those poor creatures! Here I am, rejoicing in my heart that I am going home to my wife and child; and the same bell which is a signal to carry me onward towards them will part this poor man and his wife forever. Depend upon it, God will bring you into judgment for this.”

The trader turned away in silence.

“I say, now,” said the drover, touching his elbow, “there’s differences in parsons, an’t there! ‘Cussed be Canaan’ don’t seem to go down with this ’un, does it?”

Haley gave an uneasy growl.

“And that ar an’t the worst on’t,” said John; “may be it won’t go down with the Lord, neither, when ye come to settle with Him, on one o’ these days, as all on us must, I reckon.”

Haley walked reflectively to the other end of the boat.

“If I make pretty handsomely on one or two next gangs,” he thought, “I reckon I’ll stop off this yer; It’s really getting dangerous.” And he look out his pocket book, and began adding over his accounts,—a process which many gentlemen besides Mr. Haley have found a specific for an uneasy conscience. . . .

Tom, whose fetters did not prevent his taking a moderate circuit, had drawn near the side of the boat, and stood listlessly gazing over the railings. After a time, he saw the trader returning, with an alert step, in company with a colored woman, bearing in her arms a young child. She was dressed quite respectably, and a colored man followed her, bringing along a small trunk. The woman came cheerfully onward, talking, as she came, with the man who bore her trunk, and so passed up the plank into the boat. The bell rung, the steamer whizzed, the engine groaned and coughed, and away swept the boat down the river.

The woman walked forward among the boxes and bales of the lower deck, and, sitting down, busied herself with chirruping to her baby.

Haley made a turn or two about the boat, and then, coming up, seated himself near her, and began saying something to her in an indifferent undertone.

Tom soon noticed a heavy cloud passing over the woman’s brow; and that she answered rapidly, and with great vehemence.

“I don’t believe Mas’r would cheat me so; it can’t be true!” said the woman with increasing agitation.

“You can ask any of these men here, that can read writing. Here!” he said, to a man that was passing by, “jist read this yer, won’t you? This yer gal won’t believe me; when I tell her what ’tis.”

“Why, it’s a bill of sale, signed by John Fosdick,” said the man, “making over to you the girl Lucy and her child. It’s all straight enough, for aught I see.”

The woman’s passionate exclamations collected a crowd around her, and the trader briefly explained to them the cause of the agitation.

“He told me that I was going down to Louisville, to hire out as cook to the same tavern where my husband works,—that’s what Mas’, told me his own self; and I can’t believe he’d lie to me,” said the woman.

“But he has sold you, my poor woman, there’s no doubt about it,” said a good-natured looking man, who had been examining the papers; “he has done it, and no mistake.”

“Then it’s no account talking,” said the woman, suddenly growing quite calm; and, clasping her child tighter in her arms, she sat down on her box, turned her buck round, and gazed listlessly into the river.

And she saw sunshine sparkling on the water, in golden ripples, and heard gay voices, full of ease and pleasure, talking around her everywhere; but her heart lay as if a greet stone had fallen on it. Her baby raised himself up against her, and stroked her cheeks with his little hands; and springing up and down, crowing and chatting, seemed determined to arouse her. She strained him suddenly and tightly in her arms, and slowly one tear after another fell on his wondering, unconscious face; and gradually she seemed, and little by little, to grow calmer, and busied herself with tending and nursing him.

“That’s a fine chap!” said a man, suddenly stopping opposite to him, with his hands in his pockets. “How old is he?”

“Ten months and a half,” said the mother.

The man whistled to the boy, and offered him part of a stick of candy, which he eagerly grabbed at.

“Rum fellow!” said the man. “Knows what’s what!” and he whistled and walked on. When he had got to the other side of the boat, he came across Haley, who was smoking on top of a pile of boxes.

The stranger produced a match, and lighted a cigar, saying as he did so,

“Taking her down south?”

Haley nodded and smoked on.

“Plantation hand?” said the man.

“Wal,” said Haley, “I am fillin’ out an order for a plantation, and I think I shall put her in. They telled me she was a good cook, and they can use her for that or set her at the cotton picking. She’s got the right fingers for that; I looked at ’em. Sell well either way;” and Haley resumed his cigar.

“They won’t want the young ’un on a plantation,” said the man.

“I shall sell him, first chance I find,” said Haley, lighting another cigar.

Haley and the stranger smoked a while in silence, neither seeming willing to broach the test question of the interview.—At last the man resumed:

“Well, stranger, what will you take?”

“Well, now,” said Haley, “I could raise that ar chap myself, or get him raised; he’s oncommon likely and healthy, and he’d fetch a hundred dollars six months hence; and in a year or two, he’d bring two hundred, if I had him in the right spot; so I shan’t take a cent less nor fifty for him now.”

“I’ll give thirty for him,” said the stranger, “but not a cent more.”

“Now, I’ll tell ye what I will do,” said Haley, spitting again with renewed decision, “I’ll split the difference, and say forty-five; and that’s the most I will do.”

“Well, agreed!” said the man after an interval.

“Done!” said Haley. “Where do you land?”

“At Louisville,” said the man.

“Louisville,” said Haley. “Very fair, we get there about dusk.” And so, after a transfer of certain bills had passed from the man’s pocket book to the trader’s, he resumed his cigar.

(To be continued.)




I come with my sports, and with childhood’s glee;

I come with bright records for memory;

I come to gather the fireside throng

And awaken the joyous and merry song.

I come with a group for the grandsire’s hearth,

As his tale he recounts for the young heart’s mirth;

I come with strength for the sinewy arm,

With a glow, for bright cheeks from the life blood warm.

The husbandman tilling earth’s bounteous soil

Shall welcome my rest from the hour of toil.

The schoolboy shall hail me with frolic and play,

And with gladness and mirth, while the moments away.

I come once more with my icy dower,

And creation shall feel my arm of power;

The storm-cloud I’ll gather and spread out its reign,

And Nature will humble beneath my domain.

I will come with my gifts of hail and storm;

The snow-flake shall wrap my glittering form;

The moon shall be clothed with a beam more bright,

And the stars look out with a clearer light,

Though the ocean will mock at my stern decree,

And lightly my sceptre pass over the sea,

Though the wave will still dash on its sandy bound,

And the roar of the billow still thunder around,

Yet I spread my chill away with a giant hand,

And the rivers shall bow to my stern command.

I come with a blight for the verdant fields,

And a chill for the bounty which Autumn yields;

I come with a scar for the forest bough,

And my voice is heard on the mountain’s brow.

The song-bird roars for a Summer-cline;

The bright flowers droop in their beauty and prime.

Ah! such is the scar, the darkening bright,

With which Death clothes Life in its tints of night:

And what my chill to the flower doth impart,

Such the world’s rude blight to the youthful heart.

H. E. F. Lay.


The Wolf is classed, as a Carnivorous or flesh-eating animal, with the Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Panther, Ounce, Cat, Carnival Lynx, Puma, Jauger, Dog, Fox, Jackal, Hyena, Bear, Badger, Raccoon, Weasel, Martin, &c., &c.

The scientific name of the common wolf, as given by Linnæus, is Canus Lupus, so called from its great similarity to the dog in its physiological organization: externally, too, such is the striking resemblance, that formerly it was looked upon by naturalists as the dog in an untutored state. Were it not from the fact, that the eyeballs of the wolf are of the most fiery, frightful green, with a peculiar savage slant, his face would not be unlike our large watch-dog, the mastiff. Wolves are found in almost all countries, and like the dog their color varies from black to brown, grey, and white, according to the different latitudes in which they exist. Their ordinary length does not differ much from three feet six inches, exclusive of the tail, and their height is about two feet six inches. The strength of the wolf exceeds that of the most powerful dog. Nature has endowed him with great cunning, agility, and all those requisites which fit him for pursuing, overtaking, and conquering his prey. He is, however, a great coward, and never braves danger except when pressed by extreme hunger, and then he becomes furious, and ventures as far as the farm-yard, and, like the thief, “cometh not but for to steal and destroy.” His merciless disposition is unsurpassed. When he breaks into a poultry-yard or sheep-fold, he is never satisfied with slaughter as long as there is any killing to be done; what he cannot eat he mangles and destroys. The rapacity of the wolf may have been understood at a very early period. Certain we are that its characteristic habits were known and described, by way of comparison with the wickedness of unregenerate nature, thousands of years before Cuvier, Nutall, or Buffon existed. Jacob prophetically described the fierceness and cruelty of Benjamin as a “ravening wolf,” and the Scriptures frequently refer to the nature of the wolf as a similitude in depicting the cruelty of princes, judges, and rulers. Habakkuk said of the Chaldean horsemen, “They are more fierce than ravening wolves.”

In a work on Canada, written by Edward Allen Talbot, Esq., and published in London in 1824, we find some animadversions on a singular quotation, which is given as coming from Guthrie’s Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar. We give the quotation and remarks as we find them. “Wolves are very scarce in Canada; but they afford the finest furs in all the country. Their flesh is white and good to eat, and they pursue their prey to the tops of the tallest trees.” In contradiction of these five positive assertions of the learned geographer, Talbot says: “Wolves are very numerous in Canada. They produce no fur at all. Their skins are, if possible, inferior to that of the dog, and of so little value, that when the animals are killed, they are seldom deprived of their pelts. Their flesh is black, and so wretchedly bad, that the most savage inhabitants or wild animals of the wilderness will not attempt to touch or taste it. They are also unable to climb the lowest tree, and when they are pursuing an animal they give up the chase the moment it takes refuge in a tree.” At the present day wolves are only found in the unsettled portions of Canada, or where the forests are dense and extensive. They are seldom seen unless hunted, and then several days may pass before one is tracked. It is difficult to get at them. Occasionally they commit frightful havoc in farm-yards adjacent to large forests; but they do not attack man unless pressed by hunger. In the British Isles wolves are extinct. It is said that King Edgar first attempted to annihilate them by giving a class of criminals their liberty provided they would bring a certain number of wolves’ tongues. Afterwards, these animals increased to such an extent that Edward the First ordered one Peter Corbet to superintend and assist in their destruction. A wolf was killed in Ireland in the year 1701. Long previous to this it had become an extraordinary occurrence to find one of these creatures.

An exceedingly interesting description of the peculiarities of the wolf may be found in Buffon’s work, who, by the way, is considered by Goldsmith as a complete model for the study of natural history. In confirmation of Talbot’s remarks, and to show the contempt many naturalists have for this animal, we close this account by transcribing a paragraph from Buffon. “However useful this animal may be in North America, the wolf of Europe is a very noxious animal, and scarcely any thing belonging to him is good except his skin. Of this the furriers make a covering that is warm and durable, though coarse and unsightly. His flesh seems to be disliked by all other animals, no other creature being known to eat wolf’s flesh except the wolf himself. He breathes a most fœtid vapor from his jaws, as his food is indiscriminate, often putrid, and seldom cleanly. In short, in every way offensive,—a savage aspect, a frightful howl, an insupportable odor, a perverse disposition, fierce habits,—he is hateful while living, and useless when dead.”

Uncle Van.

[For the Maple Leaf.]



I was musing upon the past, and the present, and eagerly endeavoring to delineate from thence the probable future; when suddenly an angelic form appeared before my eyes, “Daughter,” said she, “wouldst thou view days to come? Thou shalt be satisfied. The mystic veil shall be rent, and thou shalt be indulged with scenes from the great landscape of futurity. What wouldst thou?” “A scene from the years of glory,” I answered. “The years when the chain shall be cast over the destroyer, and his dark empire on earth be overthrown.”

I instantly found myself in a different region. All around me in our own earth was harmony and beauty. Nor was inanimate nature alone changed. The fertile earth teemed with a swarm of living population. Light forms and beautiful, mingled in sweet intercourse among the flowery lawns, and spicy groves, and ere the morning sun had peered above the hills, one mighty song of praise had arisen from the voice of the four quarters of the globe, and, as I listened, the reflection was caught up by the angels, who tuning their golden harps, prolonged the morning orison, and sung the glories of the thousand years, saying: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”

But thought and vision went further. Commerce unfurled her sail, and the flags of every nation fluttered in the ocean breeze. Cities floated on the bosom of the seas, and aerial, like terrestrial locomotion, was performed from country to country, with astounding rapidity.

Employment, so necessary to the happiness of rational and physical beings was still there, but it was employment, the end of which was the glory of God, and the song of devout admiration, ever resounded over the works of the hands. The wilderness and desert were fertilized and blooming, and there the population of the holy drew their support. Sickness and sorrow were unknown, and death had no entrance there. The brow over which had passed the circuit of centuries, still glowed in freshness and beauty. Strife was unknown, for the day dawned and closed with one universal aspiration of peace and good will. Ambition wreathed not his thorny crown for the Hero, the only laurel was the Dove branch, the only emulation that of holiness. No conqueror’s bloody footsteps strode over the downfall of thrones, and the ruin of nations, in pursuit of a nameless phantom. The warrior had cast aside the plumed helmet, the proud steed was untrained and unbridled, and the sword and the battle spear found no longer a name. The tribes of red men walked in holy musing by their bold torrents, and trode unmolested the borders of their majestic Rivers. The Jews, gathered from among the climes of their exile, poured as a mighty stream into the city of their Fathers, and the golden spires of Mount Zion, glittered once more in the morning sun. But no High Priest with mystic Urim and Thummim, ministered there. The Great High Priest himself made intercession. The Shekinah of Jehovah’s presence was reared upon the altar of every family, both Jew and Gentile.

No captive’s wailing arose from dungeon’s glooms. The tyrant and oppressor had ceased. The crowns of Empires were cast down before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; for the archangel had proclaimed from Heaven the mandate of universal liberty. “Captivity was now led captive.” “Holiness to the Lord,” was inscribed on every object. Every countenance was radiant with a celestial beauty. The wild beast had laid aside his ferocity, and came at the bidding of man; the reptile, venomous no longer, was the plaything of the child; and the lion, in his mighty strength, crouched to the caress of a maiden’s hand.

The day passed onward. Domestic and social joys were also found to blossom there in their brightest lustre. The husband and wife walked out amid the shady and blooming foliage of the garden, discoursing of the works of the great Creator. Filial piety lit up its holy fires, and parent and child joined in the sweet interchange of affection. Brother and sister were bound in tender cords of fraternity, and friend to friend in those of interchanging friendship.

I lingered with my guide till the day was far spent. And now as twilight drew on, angels, in white robes mingled with the sons and daughters of earth. With golden tinged pinions, they ascended and descended, once more to join in the note of rapturous praise, ere the hour of repose passed over the world. Again the choral song echoed around; sweet strains from heavenly harps floated o’er lake, and hill, and arose like grateful incense to the bowers of heaven.

“When,” said I, “shall these things be?” The time is hastening, responded my guide. The efforts of genius, the progress of art, literature, and commerce, will hasten it. The investigations and discoveries of science, tend to that period. And these discoveries and investigations will still be onward. For these events are in the hands of Him who governs all mind and matter, and who will overrule them all to bring about that glorious period, when Immanuel shall spread his sceptre over the universe, and all nations flourish beneath his reign. . . .

But, ere this time, tremendous convulsions shall shake the earth to its centre. Kingdoms and empires must totter and fall; the enemy of righteousness must put forth one last effort, for his falling dominion, and, as the tempest and whirlwind, will be his wrath.

And thus the reign of peace, the glorious “thousand years,” shall be ushered in. “Then shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”


What a busy scene our world presents. Events that would have startled our ancestors and caused them to lift their hands, and open their eyes in perfect wonder, are viewed by us, in these days of thickening novelties, with little interest, and almost with indifference. We regard the vastness and variety of every sort of improvement on foot now, as bringing in their train one evil, which it should be the aim of parents and teachers to obviate. We mean the tendency of our youth to fly from one new thing to another, without cultivating those habits of careful attention, so necessary to intellectual strength. The thirst for strange things is natural, and subjected to salutary control, lays the foundation in the character, of all that patient research and enthusiastic devotion, which men of science have exhibited in bringing to our knowledge, the mysteries embosomed in the earth, or hid for ages beneath the rubbish of ruined cities, or beautifying the caverns of the deep. We cannot all be thoroughly scientific, nor can we all be inventors, we cannot all write essays, or originate powerful productions, whose pathos and arguments may gain a world-wide celebrity, and improve and comfort multitudes. But we can all treasure up sufficient knowledge to make us happy. We can attend thoughtfully, and carefully to many subjects; note well their bearings and differences, and lay up our knowledge safely for future use. Thus we shall never be at a loss for topics of thought or conversation, and though the march of knowledge be ever onward, and the human mind be ever expanding, we need not to be left in the rear ranks, or faint despondingly in the journey of life. We would particularly recommend to our readers to select some subject on which their attention may be placed, and to devote to it a few moments each day, pursuing it in all its branches, as far as possible, and only leaving it for a new subject, when they fully understand it. Let this be followed up constantly, and they will be surprised at the amount of pleasing information they will gain in the course of the year. We can most cordially urge such a course, not only for its inherent value to the person adopting it, but for its reflex influence upon the circle in which he moves.

The Value of Five minutes.—If you waste five minutes, that is not much; but probably, if you waste five minutes yourself, you lead some one else to waste five minutes, and that makes ten. If a third follow your example, that makes a quarter of an hour. Now there are about a hundred and eighty of us here; and if every one wasted five minutes in a day, what would it come to? Let me see. Why, it would be fifteen hours; and fifteen hours a day, would be ninety hours, about eight days, working time, in a week; and in a year would be four hundred days.


(From the Italian.)

“Say, who art thou, with more than mortal air,

Endow’d by heaven with gifts and graces rare

Whom restless, winged feet, for ever onward bear!


“I am Occasion, known to few, at best;

And, since one foot upon a wheel I rest,

Constant my movements are; they cannot be repress’d.


“Not the swift eagle, in his swiftest flight,

Can equal me in speed; my wings are bright;

And man, who sees them waved, is dazzled by the sight.


“My thick and flowing locks, before me thrown,

Conceal my form! nor face nor breast is shown;

That thus, as I approach, my coming be not known.


“Behind my head no single lock of hair

Invites the hand that fain would grasp it there;

But he who lets me pass, to seize me may despair.


“Whom, then, so close behind thee do I see?

Her name is Penitence; and Heaven’s decree,

Hath made all those her prey, who profit not by me.


“And thou, O mortal, who dost vainly ply

These curious questions, thou dost not descry

That now thy time is lost; for I am passing by.”

“Let him that is without sin, cast the first stone.” John viii. 7.—Sir William Jones, that fine oriental scholar, relates that offended by the irregularities of the poet Hafiz, the priests refused to admit his corpse to be interred in consecrated ground. One, however of the body, who had a personal love for the victim of sensuality, pleaded in his behalf, and at length prevailed upon his brethren to have recourse to that simple, and as has often happened, effective augury, opening a book, the first sentence of which should determine the matter in dispute. The poems of the poet were chosen, and the volume, or roll, most probably, unfolded, when the following touching lines were read;—

“Turn not away in cold disdain from Hafiz’ bier

Nor scornful, check thy pitying tear,

For though immersed in sin he lies;

His soul forgiven to heaven shall rise.”

The appeal was responded to, and the rites of holy sepulture were accorded to the erring but penitent poet. If I remember rightly, the lines were inscribed on his tomb.

Kindness.—“Kindness is stronger than the sword. Little kindnesses are great ones. They drive away sadness and cheer up the soul beyond all common comprehension. They become sources of great influence over others, which may be used for important purposes. When such kindnesses are administered in time of need, distress, danger, and difficulty, they are still more likely to be remembered with gratitude. Parents should be as much concerned to make their children kind, gentle, obliging, and respectful to all others around, as to provide for them a common education in needful knowledge. The Father of Mercies is kind to the evil and the unthankful; bears and forbears long; and multiplies his absolute favors to a marvellous extent. He suffers his kindness to be very long and very widely abused before he vindicates. In this kindness we all share very extensively every day, hour and moment, which lays us all under great and solemn obligations to abound in all needful kindnesses, to the needy and suffering around us, to serve one another and ‘let good favors go round,’ as Franklin expressed it.”



Of all unfortunate men, the most to be pitied is the utterly selfish man. The beneficent, dividing his mouldy crust with one more famished than himself is rich, for he has the highest joy that wealth can give, that of imparting happiness to others; but he who, though surfeited with abundance, feels that kindness is a luxury that he cannot afford, is the poorest of the poor.

We can sympathize more readily with excess of sorrow than with exuberance of joy. Sympathy increases with the former, not with the latter.

He who, when calm and cool, presses his rights to the utmost, will, when actuated by passion, overstep them.

Admiration profits not the object so much as the subject of it. While rejoicing that a man is great, we have also reason to rejoice that we are able to appreciate his worth.

The Death of our beloved gives us our first love again. By death we are taught truly to love the dear one, who no longer subject to our caprice or his own, remains a spotless glorious object of love; and time, instead of taking away from his attractions, gives to him additional charms. Thus the heart is always a gainer, give it but free room, and full liberty to love.

Some Day it will be found out that to bring up a man with a genial nature, a good temper, and a happy frame of mind, is a greater effort than to perfect him in much knowledge and many accomplishments.

Kindness is the birthright of children. The angels treat them with the utmost kindness, and the Lord himself took them up in his arms, and blessed them.

The following striking lines form an inscription, found at Melrose Abbey:—

The earth goeth to the earth, glistening in gold;

The earth goes to the earth, sooner than it wold;

The earth builds on the earth castles and towers;

The earth says to the earth;—“All shall be ours!”

The Seven Wonders.—They were the Egyptian pyramids; the Mausoleum, erected

by Artemisia; the temple of Diana, at Ephesus; the walls and hanging gardens of Babylon; the Colossus at Rhodes; the Statue of Jupiter Olympus; and the Pharos, or watch tower at Alexandria.

The Nautilus.—It is said that to this little fish, which is found in the Mediterranean, we are indebted for the origin of ship building. It swims on the surface of the water, on the back of its shell, which exactly resembles the hull of a ship, it raises its two feet like masts, and extends a membrane which serves as a sail, while the other two foot are employed as oars.

To Purify the air of an Apartment.—The best method of effecting this will be obvious, if we consider the influence which heat exercises on the atmosphere. Air is expanded and rendered specifically lighter, than the ordinary temperature, on the application of heat. Hence in every room heated above the temperature of the atmosphere, there is a continual current of air in circulation. The hot air in chimnies ascends and creates a draught towards the fire-place, whilst the hot air in churches, theatres, and other buildings, passes through the gratings in their ceilings, and its place is supplied by the flow of cold fresh air through the windows and doorways in the lower parts of these buildings. The following simple experiment can be easily performed, and is highly instructive. Take a lamp or candle, and hold it to the top of the doorway of a crowded apartment, or of a room in which is a fire, the hot air will be found escaping out of the room at the top of the doorway, as will be indicated by the outward direction of the flame. If the lamp be placed on the floor, the cold air will be found coming in at the bottom of the doorway. If now the lamp be gradually raised, from the bottom to the top, the flame at first inflected inwardly, will be seen gradually to become vertical, as the lamp approaches the middle of the doorway, and, finally, it will again be blown outwardly, when the lamp readies its summit. It would appear from this that in the middle of the doorway the temperature is uniform, hence there is no current either in or out of the apartment. The whole experiment is highly interesting and instructive, and proves that a fire is an excellent ventilator. Hence, to ventilate an apartment thoroughly, it is only necessary to kindle a good fire, and let the air have free access through the doorway and windows, the fire will create a current of fresh air in the apartment, and its atmosphere will be thus kept continually changed. We would remark, in conclusion, that those moving masses of air called winds, are produced in a similar way. The sun is the great cause of winds; its heat is unequally diffused on the earth’s surface, and the air consequently becomes heated in one part to a greater degree than in another. The hot air rises, and its place is supplied by the flow of the colder air from the surrounding parts. When the vacuum thus created is sudden, and the flow of the surrounding air is violent, the meeting of winds from all points of the compass, produces at sea the phenomena of water spouts, and on land whirlwinds, caused by the air ascending in a spiral into the higher regions of the atmosphere. There are a number of causes which produce inequalities of temperature in the atmosphere, some of the most obvious of which are the alternation of night and day, and the occurrence of cloudy and unclouded skies. The air must necessarily be heated when illumined by the rays of the sun, and cooled when those rays are withdrawn.

Plants in Rooms.—The reason why plants fade so soon, is because due attention is not paid to them. The mere supplying with water is not sufficient. The leaves should be kept perfectly clean. Plants breathe by their leaves; and if their surface is clogged by dirt of whatever kind, their breathing is impeded or prevented. Plants perspire by their leaves; and dirt prevents their perspiration. Plants feed by their leaves; and dirt prevents their feeding. So that breathing, perspiration, and food, are fatally interrupted by the accumulation of foreign matter upon their leaves. Let any one, after reading this, cast an eye upon the state of plants in sitting rooms, or well-kept greenhouses; let him draw a white handkerchief over the surface of such plants, or a piece of smooth white leather, if he desires to know how far they are from being as clean as their nature requires.

To make an Æolian Harp.—This instrument should consist of a long, narrow box of thin deal, about five or six inches deep, with a circle in the middle of the upper side, of an inch and a half in diameter, in which are to be drilled small holes. On this side, seven or ten, or more strings, of very fine gut are stretched over bridges at each end, like the bridges of a fiddle, and screwed up, or relaxed with screw pins. The strings must all be tuned to one and the same note, and the instrument be placed in some current of air, where the wind may pass over its strings with freedom. A window of which the width is exactly equal to the length of the harp, with the sash just raised to give the air free admission, is a proper situation. When the air blows upon the strings with different degrees of force, it will excite different tones of sound; sometimes the blast brings out all the tones in full concert, and sometimes it sinks them to the softest murmurs.

The best Way of making Corn Cakes of all Sorts.—There is often a sharp and strong taste to corn meal, which is remedied by wetting it up the day before it is used. The best kind of corn cakes are made by wetting up a large quantity of indian meal with milk, and letting it stand for several days. Take a quantity of it, and first make it as thin as you want, either for griddle cakes, or drop cakes, or thicker cakes. Add salt, and a spoonful of melted butter or lard for every quart, also sugar to your taste. A little sugar always improves all corn cakes. Then dissolve soda or saleratus, a teaspoonful for each quart. If it is very sour it will want more, and tasting is the surest guide. Just as you are ready to bake, stir in enough saleratus to sweeten it, and stir quickly, and only long enough to mix it well, and then bake immediately in buttered tins. Domestics often use too much saleratus, which is bad for the stomach, and the housekeeper should ascertain by trial the right quantity, and then direct to have it carefully measured every time. Corn cakes, made as above, just thick enough to form into round cakes, half an inch thick, and baked on a griddle are excellent.

To Clean Unvarnished Paint.—Put upon a plate some of the best whiting, have ready some clean warm water, and a piece of flannel, which dip into the water, and squeeze nearly dry; then take as much whiting as will adhere to it, apply it to the paint, when a little rubbing will instantly remove any dirt or grease; wash well off with water, and dry with a soft cloth. Paint thus cleaned looks equal to new; and without doing the least injury to the most delicate color, it will preserve the paint much longer than if cleaned with soap; and it does not require more than half the time usually occupied in cleaning.

[For the Maple Leaf.





In a lone mossy dingle, with green trees o’erhung.

Their wild song of sorrow three Highland maids sung,

Who were doomed with their people in exile to roam

O’er the stormy Atlantic to seek for a home.


For the hearth of their fathers, by want’s chilling hand,

Had been sternly extinguished that morn in the land;

And they came for the last time, all weeping, to bring

The cool gushing water from that pleasant spring.


It was piteous to see how their sweet eyes grew dim

With their fast flowing tears, as they hung o’er the brim,

And looked their farewell to that beautiful spot,

Endeared by those ties that can ne’er be forgot.


And oft from their vessels, replenished in vain,

They restored the pure stream to the fountain again;

And fondly they lingered, and loth to depart,

They sobbed forth their grief in the anguish of heart:—


    “Dear fountain of our native glen!

      Far hence we’re doomed to go;

    And soon for other urns than ours

      Thy crystal streams will flow.


    “Thy snowy lilies still will bloom

      On this delightful spot,

    Dear fountain of our native glen!

      Though we behold them not.


    “And thou wilt from thy sparkling cell

      Still softly murmur on,

    When those who loved thy voice to hear

      To other lands are gone.


    “Dear fountain of our native glen,

      Which we no more may view,

    With breaking hearts thy children pour

      Their long, their last adieu.”


Agnes Strickland.


Hours, golden hours, fly rapidly now, in these last days of the year 1852! Gladness and brightness have painted bewitching imagery for the future—the future, looming up vast and trembling in a delicious semi-distinctness which renders it lovely. Everywhere the sky is tinted with warm hues, and surmounting piles of gorgeous clouds is the bow of hope, whose extreme sections embrace the year 1853.

We tender our readers the complimentary expressions suited to this happy period. In other days our hearty wish of long life and prosperity called forth a glow of kindly feeling from a few tried friends perhaps. We realise the wish more fully now. We feel bound to do our part to make the New Year a happy one, and throw in our mite of influence on the side of virtue, and excellence, and high attainment in knowledge, and self culture. Ideas ought to glow, and agitate, and actually effervesce in the editorial mind! What glimpses of the great and good our pen must portray! what soaring to the grandeur of heaven for motives! what skimming on thought’s untiring wing from continent to island, from mountain to valley, from ocean to river, in measureless circuits throughout this world of wonders, to glean items of information and amusement for our readers. We promise to do our best to please them, craving at the same time, their kind indulgence for those imperfections which a new work almost inevitably displays, and assuring all who take an interest in our progress, that our motto is, improvement from month to month.

The Publisher has redeemed his promise, made in the December number, and though the first chapter of the “Governor’s Daughter,” is long, we are sure that the interest is so admirably sustained, that our subscribers will not regret it. The authoress has written us a letter, and as it explains the design and scope of her beautiful tale, more fully than we could, we make no apology for inserting it here.

Dear Editor.—One of the readers of your excellent little periodical suggested to me the idea of writing an article every month, illustrative of the Natural History and Botany of Canada, and expressly adapted to the capacity of the younger branches of the families who take the “Maple Leaf.” There is nothing indeed, in your magazine, which may not be read with advantage, both by the young and old from the extreme purity that pervades its pages; but, however intelligent the younger part of your readers may be, there will necessarily be articles beyond their limited comprehension, and it is an advantage to have some pleasant reading for all. Acting upon the suggestion of my friend, I immediately set to work, and have written the first chapter of a little tale, which, if it meet your views, I will continue monthly, until I have introduced all the interesting portions of the Natural History of the Colony. I have cast it in as simple a form as I could do, to suit the youngest capacity, and if you think it need any apology for the Juvenile style I have chosen, I can only say that few mothers will quarrel with information conveyed in an amusing form—an easy step to the ladder of knowledge.

With much respect, and best wishes, I remain, Mr. Editor,

Very faithfully yours,

C. P. T.

Our respected friend and Contributor, Uncle Van, has sent us two very excellent articles, which will form fine accompaniments to the “Governor’s Daughter.” We are sorry that they did not arrive in time to insert them both. We give his sketch of the Wolf, and promise to make room for his remarks on Rice and its varieties, which with a drawing of Rice Lake, kindly furnished by an accomplished lady, will add much interest to our next number. Our space does not admit of our inserting several communications which our friends have kindly sent us, we shall do justice to them as soon as possible.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

When nested quoting was encountered, nested double quotes were changed to single quotes.

A cover was created for this eBook which is placed in the public domain.

[The end of The Maple Leaf, Volume 2, No. 1, January 1853 edited by Robert W. Lay and Eleanor H. Lay]