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Title: The Maple Leaf Vol. II No. 2 February 1853

Date of first publication: 1853

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

Date first posted: Sep. 5, 2023

Date last updated: Sep. 5, 2023

Faded Page eBook #20230907

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



Nurse, we have had a very nice sleigh drive. I like sleighing very much over the white snow. The trees look so pretty; as if they were covered with white flowers, and the ground sparkled just like Mamma’s diamonds.”

“It is pleasant, Lady Mary, to ride through the woods on a bright sunshiny day, after a fresh fall of snow. The young evergreens, the hemlocks and balsams, and spruce trees are loaded with great masses of the new-fallen snow; while the slender saplings of the beech, and birch, and basswood, are bent down to the very ground, making bowers so bright and beautiful you would be delighted to see them. Sometimes, as you drive along, great masses of the snow come showering down upon you; but it is so light and dry that it shakes off without wetting you in the least. It is pleasant to lie wrapped up in warm blankets, or buffalo robes, at the bottom of a lumber-sleigh, and travel through the forest by moonlight. The merry bells echoing through the silent woods, and the stars just peeping down through the frosted trees, which sparkle like diamonds in the moonbeams.”

“Nurse, I should like to take a drive through the forest in winter. It is so nice to hear the sleigh bells. We used sometimes to go out in the snow in Scotland, but we were in the carriage, and had no bells.”

“No, Lady Mary, the snow seldom lies long enough in the old country to make it worth while to have sleighs there; but in Russia and Sweden, and some other cold countries, they use sleighs and bells.”

Lady Mary ran to the little book case, where she had a collection of children’s books, and very soon found in one of Peter Parley’s books, the picture of Laplanders and Russians wrapped in furs in sledges.

“How long will the winter last, nurse,” said the child, after she had tired herself turning up the prints, “a long, long time—a great many weeks? a great many months?”

“Yes, five months, sometimes six.”

“O, that is nice—nearly half-a-year of white snow, and sleigh-drives every day, and bells ringing all the time. I tried to make out a tune, but they only seemed to say, ‘Up-hill—up-hill,’ ‘Down-hill,—down-hill!’ all the way. Nurse, please tell me what are the sleigh-robes made of?”

“Some of the sleigh-robes that you see, Lady Mary, are made of bears’-skins, lined with red or blue flannel; some are of wolf-skins, lined with bright scarlet; and some of raccoon. The commonest are buffalo. I have seen some of deer, but these are not so good, as the hair comes off, and they are not so warm as the skins of the furred or woolly-coated animals.”

“I sometimes see long tails hanging down over the backs of the sleighs and cutters—they look very pretty, like tassels, like the end of Mamma’s boa.”

“The wolf and raccoon-skin robes are generally made up with the tails; and sometimes the heads of the animals are also left. I noticed the head of a wolf, with its sharp ears, and long while teeth, looking very grim and fierce, at the back of a cutter, the other day.”

“Nurse, that must have looked very droll. Do you know that I saw a gentleman, the other day, walking with Papa, who had a fox-skin cap on his head, and the fox’s nose was just peeping over his shoulder, and the tail hung down his back, and I saw his bright black eyes looking so cunning, I thought it must be alive, and tame, and that it had curled itself round his head—but the gentleman took it off, and shewed me that the eyes were glass.”

“Some hunters, Lady Mary, make caps of otter-skins, and minx, and badger, and ornament them with the tails, and heads, and claws.”

“I have seen a picture of the otter, Nurse, among ‘Knight’s Pictures’[1]—it is a pretty soft looking thing, with a round head, and black eyes. Where do otters live?”

“The Canadian otters, Lady Mary, live in holes in the banks of sedgy, shallow lakes, mill-ponds, and sheltered creeks. The Indian hunters find their haunts by tracking their steps in the snow—for an Indian or a Canadian hunter knows the track made by any bird or beast, from the deep broad print of the bear, to the tiny one of the little shrew-mouse, which is the smallest four-footed beast in this or any other country, to the best of my knowledge.”

“They catch the otter, and many other wild animals in a sort of trap which they call a dead-fall. This, I believe, is a hole dug in the ground, according to the size of the creature they desire to catch, and lightly covered with sticks and earth. When the animal falls in, he is unable to get out, and is easily captured. Wolves are often so trapped, and then shot. The Indians catch the otter for the sake of its dark shining fur, which is used by the hatters and furriers. Old Jacob Snow-storm, an old Indian that lived on the banks of the Rice Lake, used to catch many otters; and I have often listened to him, and laughed at his stories.”

“Do, please nurse, tell me what Old Jacob Snow-storm told you about the otters; I like to hear stories about wild beasts. What a droll name, Snow-storm!”

“Yes, Lady Mary, Indians have very odd names; they are called after all sorts of strange things. They do not always name the children as we do soon after they are born, but wait for some remarkable circumstance, some dream or accident. Some name them after the first strange animal or bird that appears to the new born. Old Snow-storm most likely owed his name to a heavy fall of snow when he was a baby. I knew a Chief named Musk-rat, and a pretty Indian girl who was named ‘Be-dan-bun,’ or the ‘Light of the Morning.’ ”

“And what is the Indian name for Old Snow-storm?”

“It is Be-che-go-ke-poor.” Lady Mary said it was a funny sounding name, and not at all like Snow-storm, which she liked a great deal better; and she was greatly amused while her nurse repeated to her a great many names of the squaws and pappooses, (the little Indian children.) There were among them such names, as the Long Thrush and the Little Fox; the Running Stream, the Snow Bird, the Red Cloud, and the Young Eagle; the Big Bush, and many others,

“Now, nurse, will you tell me some more about Jacob Snow-storm and the others?”

“Well, Lady Mary, the old man had a cap of otter skin, of which he was very proud, and wore it on great days. One day I was playing with it and he said—‘Otter funny fellow; he like play, too. He catch fish, too, sometimes. Indian go hunting up Ottawa, that great big river, you know. Go one moonlight night; lie down under bushes in snow: see lot of little fellow and big fellow at play. Run up and down bank; bank all glass ice there. Sit down top of bank; good slide there. Down he go splash into water; up he comes. Down go another into water; out again. Funny fellow, those.’ And then the old hunter threw back his head, and laughed till you could have seen all his white teeth, he opened his mouth so wide.”

Lady Mary was very much amused at the comical way in which the old Indian talked.

“Can otters swim, nurse?”

“Yes, Lady Mary. The good God, who has created all things well, has given to this animal webbed feet, which enables it to swim; and it can also dive deep down in the waters, where it finds fish and mussels, and, perhaps, the roots of some water-plants to eat. It makes very little motion or disturbance in the water when it goes down in search of its prey. Its coat is thick, and formed of two kinds of hair; the outer hair is long, silky; but stiff and shining. The underpart is short and fine, and warm. The water cannot penetrate to wet them,—the oily nature of the fur throws off the moisture. They dig large holes with their claws, which are short but very strong. They line their nests with dry grass, and rushes, and roots gnawed fine, and do not pass the winter in sleep, as the dormice, and some squirrels, and raccoons, and bears do. They are very innocent and playful, both when young and even after they grow old. The lumberers often tame them when young, and they become so docile that they will come for a call or whistle. Like all wild animals, they are most lively at night when they come out to feed and play.”

“Dear little things; I should like to have a tame otter to play with and run after me; but do you think he would eat my squirrel. You know cats will eat squirrels—so mamma says.”

“Cats belong to a very different class of animals; they are beasts of prey, formed to spring and bound and tear with their teeth and claws. The otter is also a beast of prey, but its prey is found in the still waters and not on the land; it can neither climb nor leap—so I do not think he would hurt your squirrel if you had one.”

“See, Nurse, my dear little squirrel is still where I left him, clinging to the wires of the cage, his bright eyes looking like two black beads.”

“As soon as it grows dark, he will begin to be more lively, and perhaps he will eat something, but not while we look at him—he is too shy for that.”

“Nurse, how can they see to eat in the dark?”

“The good God, Lady Mary, has so formed their eyes that they can see better by night than by day. I will read you, Lady Mary, a few verses from Psalm civ.:

Verse 19.—He appointeth the moon for seasons—the sun knoweth his going down.

20.—Thou makest darkness, and it is night, wherein all the beasts of the forest do move.

21.—The young lions roaring after their prey, do seek their meat from God.

22.—The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.

23.—Man goeth forth to his work, and to his labor, till the evening.

24.—O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou formed them all. The earth is full of thy riches.

“Thus, you see, my dear, that our Heavenly Father taketh care of all his creatures, and provideth for them both by day and by night.”

“I remember, Nurse, that my dormice used to lie quite still, nestled among the moss and wood in their little dark chamber in the cage, all day long, but when it was night, they used to come out and frisk about, and run along the wires, and play all sorts of tricks, chasing one another round and round, and then they were not afraid of me, but would let me look at them while they eat a nut, or a bit of sugar; and the dear little things would drink out of the little white saucer, and wash their faces and tails—it was so pretty to see them.”

“Did you notice, Lady Mary, how the dormice held their food?”

“Yes, they sat up, and held it in their fore-paws, which looked just like little tiny hands.”

“There are a great many animals, the fore feet of which resemble hands, and these, generally, convey their food to their mouths,—among these are the squirrel, and dormice. They are good climbers and diggers. You see, my dear young Lady, how the merciful Creator has given to all His creatures, however lowly, the best means of supplying their wants, whether of fond or shelter.”

“Indeed, Nurse, I have learned a great deal, to-day, about squirrels, and Indian rice—no, water-oats, and otters, and Indians, and a great deal besides, so now, if you please, I must have a little play with my doll. Good-bye, Mrs. Frazer—pray mind and take great care of my dear little squirrel, and mind that he does not fly away.” And Lady Mary was soon busily engaged in drawing her wax-doll about the nursery, in a little sleigh lined with red squirrel fur robes, and talking to her as all children like to talk to their dolls, whether they be rich or poor—the children of peasants, or a Governor’s daughter.

Pictures published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, by Charles Knight.


Heart with tumultuous tossings driven,

  This thought for thy instruction take;

How stable are those stars of heaven,

  That tremble in the rippling lake!


A wavering hope may yet depend

  On that which fails or wavers never;

Nor fully know until the end,

  Its strength—the Rock that stands forever.

National Magazine.


This is a bright mild pearl of love and mercy, set in the midst, upon the icy crown of Winter. Sudden and grateful to the lonely traveller from the Alpine side, is the sight of the Hospice, for its stone steps do almost hang down over deep, precipitous gulfs, where a tourmente might bury you for ever, even with the sweet chime of the Chapel bell dying on your ear amid the tempest, so near one might come to the Refuge, and yet be lost. Storms arise almost as sudden as Indian hurricanes, and whirling mists spring up, like dense dark fogs around a ship at sea, with jagged reefs before her; and neither, by storm nor mist, would one wish to be overtaken on this mountain, even in August, and out of sight of the building. So might one perish at the threshold of mercy, even as the storm-o’er-taken peasant sinks down exhausted in the snow, within sight of the struggling rays of light from his own cottage window, nor wife, nor little ones shall more behold. . . .

The sagacious dogs of the Hospice make as good monks as their masters. Noble creatures they are, but they greeted me with a furious bark, almost as deep as thunder, being nearly the first object and salutation I encountered after passing the crowd of mules waiting out of doors for travellers. The dogs are somewhat lean and long, as if their station was no sinecure, and not accompanied by quite so good quadrupedal face as their labors are entitled to. Probably the cold, keen air keeps them thin. They are tall, large-limbed, deep-mouthed, broad-chested, and looking like veteran campaigners. Most extraordinary stories are told of their great sagacity of intellect, and keenness of scent, yet not incredible to one who has watched the physiology of dogs, even of inferior natures. They are faithful sentinels in summer, good Samaritans in the winter.

But I had almost asked, Why do I speak of the summer? for the deep little lake before the Hospice, though on the sunny Italian side, does not melt till July, and freezes again in September, and the snow falls almost every day in the year. They had had three or four inches two nights before I reached the Hospice; and when the show melts, it reveals to the waiting eyes of the inmates nothing but the bare ridgy backs, and sharp granite needles, crags, and almost perpendicular slopes of the mountains. Not a tree is to be seen anywhere, nor a sign of vegetable life, nor a straggling shrub of any kind, but only patches of moss, and grass; and the flowers that spring up by a wonderful, sweet, kindly impulse, out of this dreariness, like instructive moral sentiments in the hearts of the roughest and most unenlightened men. The flowering tufts of our humanity often grow, like Iceland moss, beneath the snow, and must be sought in the same manner. These earnest, patient, quick-coming, long-enduring little flowers, on the Grand St. Bernard, are an emblem of the welcome kindness of the monks. They remind one, as the foot treads among them, or as you kneel down to admire and gather them, of Wordsworth’s very beautiful lines, very memorable:—

“The prenial duties shine aloft like stars,

The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless,

Are scattered at the foot of man, like flowers.”

With these good monks, the charities and primal duties are the same. They shine like stars, and are scattered like flowers, all the year round; and it is at no little sacrifice that the post is maintained, for the climate is injurious to health, and the dwellers here are cut off from human society during the greater part of the year. Nevertheless, the institution is one of great benevolence, and the monks are full of cordiality and kindness. A guest-chamber or hall is kept for travellers, apart from the refectory of the monks, only two or three of the elder and more distinguished among them having the custom of entertaining the strangers. The monks remain at the Hospice only for a limited number of years. One of them told me he had lived there for fourteen years, and he pointed out another who had been there twenty. In general the brotherhood consist of young recruits, whose vigorous constitutions can stand but for a few years the constant cold, and the keen air of these almost uninhabitable heights and solitudes. They enter on this life at the age of eighteen, with the vow of fifteen years’ perseverance. . . .

They have a very nice chapel, adorned with paintings, and in it is a “Tronc,” or charity-box, where travellers, who partake of the hospitalities of the kind monks, do ordinarily deposit alms, though the shelter and Hospice are entirely without charge. A pleasant fire is always burning in the guest-hall for travellers. A piano decorates this room, the gift of some kind lady, with plenty of music, and some interesting books. The records of the Hospice, or registers, I should say of the names of visitors, abound with interesting autographs—men of science and literature, men of the church and the world, monarchs, and nobles, and men whose names sound great, as well as multitudes both of simple and uncouth nomenclature, unknown to fame.

There is a museum in a hall adjoining the strangers refectory, where one might spend a long time with profit and delight. The collection of medals and antique coins is very fine, and there are some fine portraits, paintings, and engravings. It is curious to see what blunders the finest artists will sometimes make in unconscious forgetfulness. There is in the museum an admirable spirited drawing, which bears the name of Brockedon, presented by him to the monks—a sketch of the dogs and the monks rescuing a lost traveller from the snow. The Hospice is drawn as in full sight and yet the dogs, monks, and travellers are plunging in the snow, at the foot of an enormous pine-tree. Now, there is not a tree of any kind to be seen or found within several miles of the Hospice. The drawing, however, is very fine. I am not sure it is by Brockedon; I think one of the monks told me not; but it was presented by him.

The Hospice is on the very highest point of the pass, built of stone, a very large building, capable of sheltering three hundred persons or more. Five or six hundred sometimes receive assistance in one day. One of the houses near the Hospice was erected as a place of refuge in case of fire in the main building. It is 8,200 feet above the level of the sea. There are tremendous avalanches in consequence of the accumulation of the snow in such enormous masses as can no longer hold on to the mountain, but shoot down with a suddenness, swiftness, violence, and noise, compared by the monks to the discharge of a cannon. Sometimes the snowdrifts encircle the walls of the Hospice to the height of forty feet; but it is said that the severest cold ever recorded here, was only 29 deg. below zero of Fahrenheit; sufficiently cold, to be sure, but not quite so bad as when the mercury freezes. We have known it to be 35 deg. below zero in the interior of the State of Maine; and at Bangor, one winter, it was below 40, or, rather, being frozen, it could no longer be measured. The greatest degree of heat recorded at the Hospice, has been 65 degrees. The air has always a piercing sharpness, which makes a fire delightful and necessary even at noon-day, in the month of August. The monks get their supply of wood for fuel from a forest in the Val de Ferret, about twelve miles distant, not a stick being found within two leagues of the convent. . . . . I believe it is some years since any persons have been lost in passing the mountain. In December, 1825, three domestics of the convent, together with an unfortunate traveller, of whom they had gone in search with their dogs in a stormy time, were overwhelmed with an avalanche. Only one of the dogs escaped. These humane animals rejoice in their benevolent vocation as much as the monks do in theirs. They go out with the monks in search of travellers, having some food or cordials slung around their necks; and being able on their four feet to cross dangerous snow-sheets, where men could not venture, they trace out the unfortunate storm victims, and minister to their wants if they find them alive, or come back to tell their masters where the dead are shrouded. These melancholy duties were formerly far more frequent.

The scene of greatest interest at the Hospice, a solemn extraordinary interest indeed, is that of the morgue, or building where the dead bodies of travellers are deposited. There they are, some of them as the breath of life departed, and the Death Angel, with his instruments of frost and snow, stiffened and embalmed them for ages. The floor is thick with nameless skulls and bones, and human dust heaped in confusion. But around the wall are groups of poor sufferers in the very position in which they were found, as rigid as marble, and in this thin air, by the preserving element of an eternal frost, almost as uncrumbling. There is a mother and her child, a most affecting image of suffering and love. The face of the little one remains pressed to her mother’s bosom, only the back part of the skull being visible, the body enfolded in her careful arms, careful in vain, affectionate in vain, to shield her child from the wrath of the tempest. The snow fell fast and thick, and the hurricane wound them both up in one white shroud, and buried them. There is also a tall, strong man standing alone. The face seems to look at you from the recesses of the sepulchre, as if it would tell you the story of a fearful death-struggle in the storm. There are other groups, but these two are never to be forgotten; and the whole of these dried and frozen remnants of humanity are a fearful demonstration of the dangers of this mountain-pass, when the elements, let loose in fury, encounter the unhappy travellers. You look at all this through a grated window; there is just light enough to make it solemnly and distinctly visible, and to read in it a powerful record of mental and physical agony, and of maternal love in death. That little child hiding its face in its mother’s bosom, and both frozen to death;—one can never forget the group, nor the memento mori, nor the token of deathless love.—Taken from Wanderings of a Pilgrim in the Alps, by George S. Cheever, D.D.


Why love I the lily-bell,

Swinging in the scented dell?

Why love I the wood-notes wild,

Where the sun hath faintly smiled?

Daisies, in their beds secure,

Gazing out so meek and pure?


Why love I the evening dew

In the violet’s bell of blue?

Why love I the vesper star,

Trembling in its shrine afar?

Why love I the summer night,

Softly weeping drops of light.


Why to me do woodland springs

Whisper sweet and holy things?

Why does every bed of moss

Tell me of my Saviour’s cross?

Why in every dimpled wave

Smiles the light from o’er the grave?


Why do rainbows seen at even

Seem the glorious path to Heaven?

Why are gushing streamlets fraught

With the notes from angels caught?

Can ye tell me why the wind

Bringeth seraphs to my mind?


Is it not that faith hath bound

Beauties of all form and sound,

To the dreams that have been given,

Of the holy things of Heaven?

Are they not bright links that bind

Sinful souls to sinless mind.


From the lowly violet sod,

Links are lengthened unto God.

All of holy—stainless—sweet,

That on earth we hear or meet,

Are but types of that pure love,

Brightly realized above.


How could beauty be on earth,

Were it not of heavenly birth?

Foul things perish, but the pure,

Long as angels will endure.

Stars, and founts, and azure sky,

Shine when clouds and tempests die.


Say ye that the rose decays?

Ay, the flower, but not its rays—

Not its color—not its scent—

They were holy beauties lent;

That may perish—’tis but dust—

But it yieldeth back its trust.


Fragrance cometh from the air,

And in time returneth there;

Color cometh from the sky—

Thither goeth, ne’er to die;

Foul things perish, but the pure,

Long as angels shall endure.

Mrs. S. C. E. Mayo.

“A million of blades of grass make a meadow, and millions and millions of grains of sand make a mountain; the Ocean is made up of drops of water, and life of moments.”




In what part of the world rice was first found, as well as many sorts of grain, now in common use, is not known. It has long been a staple article of commerce, in several parts of the Southern United States. Dalrymple says, that the rice in Carolina is the result of a small bag of paddy, given as a present from Dubois, treasurer of the East India Company to a Carolina trader. From a hundred pounds planted in Carolina in 1698, sixty tons were imported into England.[1] It is cultivated in that portion of India where the country can be inundated, in China, Cochin China, Cambodia, Siam, and the finest, whitest quality is raised in Japan. It is also produced in Italy, Spain, and in some portions of France, and of late years it has been introduced into Hungary.

Rice is generally cultivated on low flat lands, in the vicinity of a river which can be made to overflow, and annually enrich them by a deposit of mud. There is a kind which grows upon a dry, undulating, sandy soil, and receives no moisture except the ordinary rain and dew. This is called Mountain Rice, and has been cultivated in Maryland. There is also a species of rice sufficiently hardy to thrive in a latitude as high as that of Canada. “This, it may be expected, will at some future time, form an acquisition of value to the European and American cultivator.”

There are various modes adopted to sow or plant the Rice, and to bring it to maturity. On hilly ground much the same course is pursued as with barley. On land that admits of irrigation, the sower often wades knee deep in the water. This method is more common in the countries of the East, than in the Southern States, where they form shallow trenches, and scatter the seed in rows. After the shoots are once hoed, they are flooded to the depth of three or four inches, the water remains on for nine or ten days, when it is let off, and a fresh supply admitted, which remains until it becomes necessary to dry the earth for the second hoeing, and this process is repeated until after the third or fourth hoeing, when the water remains until the grain is fit for harvest. The Zizania, or Wild Rice—properly an aquatic grass; Nultall mentions the species found in the United States, viz, the Zizania miliacea, Zizania fluitans, and the Zizania Aquatica, which last is found in great profusion in that charming body of water, which has received the appropriate and pleasing appellation of Rice Lake.


The Zizania aquatica, or Wild Rice is also found in the northern and middle States, and is there called Indian Rice, or Wild Oats. The seeds are dark colored on the outside, but white within, and are generally three quarters of an inch long, round, and about the size of a darning-needle, and as smooth. The panicle, or head which contains the grain, does not differ much from a foot in length. It grows in swampy places, and in deep water at the margin of ponds and sluggish streams. Almost all kinds of animals are fond of it, either in a natural state, or dried like hay. The stem from which the rice is gathered, springs from the same root, year after year, or in botanical language, the root is perennial. I have a pleasing description of this plant, which is so much better than anything I can give from my own knowledge, that I transcribe it, as it appeared some time since, in a paper entitled, the Ohio and Mississippi Pilot. “Among the productions of the Western Territory, north of Illinois, and west of Green Bay, on the Onisconsin and Fox rivers, the wild rice, called Folle Avoine by the French, and Menomen by the Indians, claims particular attention. It grows in inexhaustible abundance through all parts of the territory, in almost every one of the lakes, ponds, bays, rivers and creeks. It is said to be as palatable, and as nourishing as common rice, and if so it will be incomparably more valuable. It grows where the water is from 4 to 6 feet deep, and where the bottom is not hard or sandy. It rises above the surface from 4 to 8 feet, and is often so thick as almost to prevent canoes from passing through or among it. The stalk is soft like the bulrush, and grows in points like the reed cane, which it much resembles. It is usual for the Indians to force their canoes through it just before it ripens, and tie it up in large bunches, for the purpose of preventing the wild ducks and geese from breaking it down and destroying it. When fully ripe, they pass through it again, and spreading their blankets in the inside of their canoes, they bend the branches of the wild rice over them and thresh off the grain with their sticks. • * • It is thought by many that the Zizania aquatica will some day be an object of culture, which may afford a means of bringing into use large tracts of inundated land.”

Johnson’s Farmer’s and Planter’s Encyclopedia.

House Plants, in winter, should be kept dry, not too warm, just free from frost, in fact, in nearly a torpid state. Oleanders, Scarlet Geraniums, Verbenas, Cacti, with all of the succulent tribe of plants, should not have one drop of water at this season. If you should, improperly, have any plant in a very dry place—a warm kitchen for instance—and they appear shrivelled, you may administer a very small quantity of water to them. Hydrangeas, if very dry, should have a little water.—Family Friend.



(Continued from Vol. II. No. 1, January 1853)

It was a bright, tranquil evening when the boat stopped at the wharf at Louisville. The woman had been sitting with her baby in her arms, now wrapped in a heavy sleep. When she heard the name of the place called out, she hastily laid the child down in a little cradle formed by the hollow among the boxes, first carefully spreading under it her cloak; and then she sprung to the side of the boat, in hopes that, among the various hotel-waiters who thronged the wharf, she might see her husband. . . .

“Now’s your time,” said Haley, taking the sleeping child up, and handing him to the stranger. “Don’t wake him up, and set him to crying now; it would make a devil of a fuss with the gal.” The man took the bundle carefully, and was soon lost in the crowd that went up the wharf.

When the boat, creaking, and groaning, and puffing, had loosed from the wharf, and was beginning slowly to strain herself along, the woman returned to her old seat. The trader was sitting there,—the child was gone!

“Why, why,—where?” she began, in bewildered surprise.

“Lucy,” said the trader, “your child’s gone; you may as well know it first as last. You see, I know’d you couldn’t take him down south; and I got a chance to sell him to a first-rate family, that’ll raise him better than you can.”

The trader had arrived at that stage of Christian and political perfection which has been recommended by some preachers and politicians of the north, lately, in which he had completely overcome every humane weakness and prejudice. . . . The wild look of anguish and utter despair that the woman cast on him might have disturbed one less practised; but he was used to it. He had seen that same look hundreds of times. You can got used to such things, too, my friend; and it is the great object of recent efforts to make our whole northern community used to them, for the glory of the Union. So the trader only regarded the mortal anguish which he saw working in those dark features, those clenched hands, and suffocating breathings, as necessary incidents of the trade, and merely calculated whether she was going to scream, and get up a commotion on the boat; for, like other supporters of our peculiar institution, he decidedly disliked agitation.

But the woman did not scream. The shot had passed too straight and direct through the heart, for cry or tear. . . .

The trader, who, considering his advantages, was almost as humane as some of our politicians, seemed to feel called on to administer such consolation as the case admitted of.

“I know this yer comes kinder hard, at first, Lucy,” said he; “but such a smart, sensible gal as you are, won’t give way to it. You see it’s necessary, and can’t be helped!” . . .

“O! Mas’r, if you only won’t talk to me now,” said the woman, in a voice of such quick and living anguish that the trader felt that there was something at present in the case beyond his style of operation. He got up, and the woman turned away, and buried her head in her cloak. . . .

One after another, the voices of business or pleasure died away; all on the boat were sleeping, and the ripples at the prow were plainly heard. Tom stretched himself out on a box, and there, as he lay, he heard, ever and anon, a smothered sob or cry from the prostrate creature. . . .

At midnight, Tom waked, with a sudden start. Something black passed quickly by him to the side of the boat, and he heard a splash in the water. No one else saw or heard anything. He raised his head,—the woman’s place was vacant! He got up, and sought about him in vain. The poor bleeding heart was still, at last, and the river rippled and dimpled just as brightly as if it had not closed above it. . . .

The trader waked up bright and early, and came out to see to his live stock. It was now his turn to look about in perplexity.

“Where alive is that gal?” he said to Tom. . . .

“Well, Mas’r,” said Tom, “towards morning something brushed by me, and I kinder half woke; and then I hearn a great splash, and then I clare woke up, and the gal was gone. That’s all I know on’t.”

The trader was not shocked nor amazed; because, as we said before, he was used to a great many things that you are not used to. . . .

In concluding these little incidents of lawful trade, we must beg the world not to think that American legislators are entirely destitute of humanity, as might, perhaps, be unfairly inferred from the great efforts made in our national body to protect and perpetuate this species of traffic.

Who does not know how our great men are outdoing themselves, in declaiming against the foreign slave-trade. There are a perfect host of Clarksons and Wilberforces risen up among us on that subject, most edifying to hear and behold. Trading negroes from Africa, dear reader, is so horrid! It is not to be thought of! But trading them from Kentucky,—that’s quite another thing! . . .



The light of the cheerful fire shone on the rug and carpet of a cosey parlor, and glittered on the sides of the tea-cups and well-brightened tea-pot, as Senator Bird was drawing off his boots, preparatory to inserting his feet in a pair of new handsome slippers, which his wife had been working for him while away on his senatorial tour. Mrs. Bird, looking the very picture of delight, was superintending the arrangements of the table, ever and anon mingling admonitory remarks to a number of frolicsome juveniles, who were effervescing in all those modes of untold gambol and mischief that have astonished mothers ever since the flood. . . .

“Well,” said his wife, after the business of the tea-table was getting rather slack, “and what have they been doing in the Senate?”

Now, it was a very unusual thing for gentle little Mrs. Bird ever to trouble her head with what was going on in the house of the state, very wisely considering that she had enough to do to mind her own. Mr. Bird, therefore, opened his eyes in surprise, and said,

“Not very much of importance.”

“Well; but is it true that they have been passing a law forbidding people to give meat and drink to those poor colored folks that come along? I heard they were talking of some such law, but I didn’t think any Christian legislature would pass it!”

“Why, Mary, you are getting to be a politician, all at once.”

“No, nonsense! I wouldn’t give a fig for all your politics, generally, but I think this is something downright cruel and unchristian. I hope, my dear, no such law has been passed.”

“There has been a law passed forbidding people to help off the slaves that come over from Kentucky, my dear; so much of that thing has been done by these reckless Abolitionists, that our brethren in Kentucky are very strongly excited, and it seems necessary, and no more than Christian and kind, that something should be done by our state to quiet the excitement.”

“And what is the law? It don’t forbid us to shelter these poor creatures a night, does it, and to give ’em something comfortable to eat, and a few old clothes, and send them quietly about their business?”

“Why, yes, my dear; that would be aiding and abetting, you know.” . . . .

“Now, John, I want to know if you think such a law as that is right and Christian?”

“You won’t shoot me, now, Mary, if I say I do!”

“I never could have thought it of you, John; you didn’t vote for it?”

“Even so, my fair politician.”

“You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! It’s a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I’ll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman can’t give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!”

“But, Mary, just listen to me. You must consider it’s not a matter of private feeling,—there are great public interests involved,—there is such a state of public agitation rising, that we must put aside our private feelings.”

“Now, John, I don’t know anything about politics, but I can read my Bible; and there I see that I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate; and that Bible I mean to follow.”

“But in cases where your doing so would involve a great public evil—”

“Obeying God never brings on public evils. I know’t can’t. It’s always safest, all round, to do as He bids us.” . . .

At this juncture, old Cudjoe, the black man-of-all-work, put his head in at the door, and wished “Missis would come into the kitchen;” and our senator, tolerably relieved, looked after his little wife with a whimsical mixture of amusement and vexation, and, seating himself in the arm-chair, began to read the papers.

After a moment, his wife’s voice was heard at the door, in a quick, earnest tone,—“John! John! I do wish you’d come here, a moment.”

He laid down his paper, and went into the kitchen, and started, quite amazed at the sight that presented itself:—A young and slender woman, with garments torn and frozen, with one shoe gone, and the stocking torn away from the cut and bleeding foot, was laid back in a deadly swoon upon two chairs. There was the impress of the despised race on her face, yet none could help feeling its mournful and pathetic beauty, while its stony sharpness, its cold, fixed, deathly aspect, struck a solemn chill over him. He drew his breath short, and stood in silence. His wife and their only colored domestic, old Aunt Dinah, were busily engaged in restorative measures; while old Cudjoe had got the boy on his knee, and was busy pulling off his shoes and stockings, and chafing his little cold feet. . . .

“Poor creature!” said Mrs. Bird, compassionately, as the woman slowly unclosed her large, dark eyes, and looked vacantly at her. Suddenly an expression of agony crossed her face, and she sprang up, saying, “O, my Harry! Have they got him?”

The boy, at this, jumped from Cudjoe’s knee, and, running to her side, put up his arms. “O, he’s here! he’s here!” she exclaimed.

“O, ma’am!” said she, wildly, to Mrs. Bird, “do protect us! don’t let them get him!”

“Nobody shall hurt you here, poor woman,” said Mrs. Bird, encouragingly. “You are safe; don’t be afraid.”

“God bless you!” said the woman, covering her face and sobbing; while the little boy, seeing her crying, tried to get into her lap. . . .

A temporary bed was provided for her on the settle, near the fire; and, after a short time, she fell into a heavy slumber, with the child, who seemed no less weary, soundly sleeping on her arm. . . .

“I wonder who and what she is!” said Mr. Bird, at last.

“When she wakes up and feels a little rested, we will see,” said Mrs. Bird.

“I say, wife!” said Mr. Bird, after musing in silence over his newspaper.

“Well, dear!”

“She couldn’t wear one of your gowns, could she, by any letting down, or such matter? She seems to be rather larger than you are.”

A quite perceptible smile glimmered on Mrs. Bird’s face as she answered, “We’ll see.”

At this instant, Dinah looked in to say that the woman was awake, and wanted to see Missis.

Mr. and Mrs. Bird went into the kitchen, followed by the two eldest boys.

The woman was now sitting up on the settle, by the fire.—She was looking steadily into the blaze, with a calm, heart-broken expression, very different from her former agitated wildness.

“Did you want me?” said Mrs. Bird, in gentle tones. “I hope you feel better now!”

“You needn’t be afraid of anything; we are friends here, poor woman! Tell me where you came from, and what you want,” said she.

“I came from Kentucky,” said the woman.

“When?” said Mr. Bird, taking up the interrogatory.


“How did you come?”

“I crossed on the ice.”

“Crossed on the ice!” said every one present.

“Yes,” said the woman, slowly, “I did. God helping me, I crossed on the ice; for they were behind me—right behind—and there was no other way!” . . . .

The woman looked up at Mrs. Bird, with a keen, scrutinizing glance, and it did not escape her that she was dressed in deep mourning.

“Ma’am,” she said, suddenly, “have you ever lost a child?”

The question was unexpected, and it was a thrust on a new wound; for it was only a month since a darling child of the family had been laid in the grave,

Mr. Bird turned around and walked to the window, and Mrs. Bird burst into tears; but, recovering her voice, she said,

“Why do you ask that? I have lost a little one.”

“Then you will feel for me. I have lost two, one after another,—left ’em buried there when I came away; and I had only this one left. I never slept a night without him; he was all I had. He was my comfort and pride, day and night; and ma’am, they were going to take him away from me,—to sell him,—sell him down south, ma’am, to go all alone,—a baby that had never been away from his mother in his life! I couldn’t stand it, ma’am. I knew I never should be good for anything, if they did; and when I knew the papers were signed, and he was sold, I took him and came off in the night; and they chased me,—the man that bought him, and some of Mas’r’s folks,—and they were coming down right behind me, and I heard ’em. I jumped right on to the ice: and how I got across, I don’t know,—but, first I knew, a man was helping me up the bank.”

“And where do you mean to go, my poor woman?” said Mrs. Bird.

“To Canada, if I only knew where that was. Is it very far eff, is Canada?” said she, looking up, with a simple, confiding air, to Mrs. Bird’s face.

“Much further than you think, poor child!” said Mrs. Bird; “but we will try to think what can be done for you. Meanwhile, never fear, poor woman; put your trust in God; he will protect you.”

Mrs. Bird and her husband re-entered the parlor. She sat down in her little rocking-chair before the fire, swaying thoughtfully to and fro. Mr. Bird strode up and down the room, grumbling to himself, “Pish! pshaw! confounded awkward business!” At length, striding up to his wife, he said, “I say, wife, she’ll have to get away from here this very night. A pretty kettle of fish it would be for me, too, to be caught with them both here, just now! No; they’ll have to be got off to-night.”

“To-night! How is it possible?—where to?”

“Well, I know pretty well where to,” said the senator, beginning to put on his boots, with a reflective air; and, stopping when his leg was half in, he embraced his knee with both hands, and seemed to go off in deep meditation.

“You see,” he said, “there’s my old client, Van Trompe, has come over from Kentucky, and set all his slaves free; and he has bought a place seven miles up the creek, here, back in the woods, where nobody goes, unless they go on purpose; and it’s a place that isn’t found in a hurry. There she’d be safe enough; but the plague of the thing is, nobody could drive a carriage there to-night but me.”

“Cudjoe must put in the horses, as quietly as may be, about twelve o’clock, and I’ll take her over; and then to give color to the matter, he must carry me on to the next tavern, to take the stage for Columbus, that comes by about three or four, and so it will look as if I had had the carriage only for that. I shall get into business bright and early in the morning. But I’m thinking I shall feel rather cheap there, after all that’s been said and done; but hang it, I can’t help it.”

“Your heart is better than your head, in this case, John,” said the wife, laying her little white hand on his.

After a while, Mrs. Bird opened a wardrobe, and, taking from thence a plain, serviceable dress or two, she sat down busily to her work-table, and, with needle, scissors, and thimble, at hand, quietly commenced the “letting down” process which her husband had recommended, and continued busily at it till the old clock in the corner struck twelve, and she heard the low rattling of wheels at the door.

“Mary,” said her husband, coming in, with his overcoat in his hand, “you must wake her up now; we must be off.”

(To be Continued)



Many years ago, the village of Lorette, in Lower Canada, was the scene of a distressing tragedy, arising from a deadly encounter with one of these fearful and formidable animals. Lorette was inhabited entirely by a tribe of warlike Indians, retaining the simple tastes of their fathers, uncontaminated, as yet, by their intercourse with white man. Between the village and the nearest Seigneurie, lay an almost impenetrable forest, which was seldom traversed by the habitant of the surrounding country, save in large hunting parties, for it was well known to be the resort of many bears and wild animals, which, in the present day, and owing to the progress of civilization, are nearly extirpated.

The Indians and the habitans cultivating the cleared farms skirting the forest, were, however, on friendly terms, and they traded frequently and amicably with each other.

It was in the month of September, 18—, that a white man, venturing to traverse alone, and on foot, the mazes of the forest, on his way to Lorette, saw approaching him, a bear of the large and fierce grizzly kind.

This bear, the fiercest and most powerful of its species, is but very rarely met so far eastward; and to attempt to encounter it single-handed, the unfortunate man knew would be entirely useless. It advanced slowly towards him, and mastering his terror, he assumed a crouching attitude, doubling his body, and keeping his eyes fixed steadily on the bear.

It paused, then advanced, till he felt his brain reel with agony, again it stopped, then suddenly trotted off in a different direction.

As soon as he became fully conscious of his happy and providential escape, he hastened on with speed, accelerated by fear, and reached in safety the village of Lorette.

For a few months previous to the above occurrence, there had been residing in the village, two young men, brothers, of the name of Dupont. They inherited a valuable Seigneurie at some distance, but being of a bold and daring spirit, they determined, after entrusting their estate to a faithful agent, for a time to indulge fully in the dangers and excitement of the chase.

Their calmness in danger, their unerring aim, and their frank and agreeable manner, had won the hearts of the wild Indian tribe with whom they resided. Their hunting dress and equipments were similar to the chieftains of the tribe, and their powerful athletic forms, handsome countenances embrowned by exposure, their wild but striking dress, armed with their rifles, and couteau de chasse, they formed models of Herculean strength and beauty.

Passionately attached to each other, did danger assail one, the other risked life in his defence, and many and narrow were the escapes they had met with in their forest life.

But the danger of the chase seemed only the more to fascinate their fiery and fearless spirits.

On hearing from the habitan of his perilous adventure, they, at once, without waiting for a stronger escort, sallied forth to beard the terrible foe.

After following the circuitous forest path for some distance, on one side, another and more intricate diverged from it.

Here, the brothers separated, agreeing to keep within hail of each other. They were each provided with a set of signal calls; and, in a few minutes, the elder Dupont heard the sharp crack of a rifle, followed by that signal, which they had agreed to use only in cases of extreme and imminent peril.

Answering the call, with bounding leaps he cleared the intervening thick and thorny underbrush, and what a sight awaited him.

The young hunter had met the deadly foe, fired, but the ball had glanced off, only slightly wounding him.

With one spring the ferocious brute reached the unfortunate youth, and with a stroke of his terrible claw, had laid bare the flesh from the right shoulder to the hip. Sinking under the loss of blood, prostrate beneath the infuriated animal, he yet retained presence of mind to give the signal call, which had brought his brother to his aid.

With maddening despair, the elder Dupont found, so close was the head of the monster to his beloved brother, he could not fire without still more endangering that precious life. Again the bear fixed his deadly fangs in the breast of his unfortunate victim, who cast one concentrated look of dying love on his brother.

Unable longer to witness, without an effort to save him, so harrowing a spectacle, he raised his rifle, the ball told, tore away part of the jaw-bone of the bear, but entered then the forehead of the prostrate youth.

With a yell of agony, Dupont rushed on the animal, his arm nerved with vengeance and despair, and lacerated and torn as he himself was, with the dying struggles of the terrible creature, the fiercest of his species, and famed for its extraordinary tenacity of life, he succeeded in stabbing it through the heart.

The Indians, alarmed at the reports of the rifles, and not seeing the brothers, went in search, and found Dupont stretched, in a bleeding, exhausted state, on the dead body of the bear,—his brother lying dead also by his side.

Life, to him an unenvied boon, was granted, but the noble mind had sunk.

One thought alone pursued him, vengeance. The forest became his home, and many and sanguinary were his encounters, single-handed, with the terrible brutes.

At times, he would return to the village, where he was ever received with sympathy and kindness.

The Indians could well enter into his feelings of vengeance. Many were the trophies he brought of his victims—some, are even now, preserved and regarded with respect by the Indians of Lorette.

At last, he came not, and, after a long search, they found him stretched in death, beneath the tree where his brother’s remains were interred. In his hand was grasped a claw of the grisly bear, of immense size, as though recently taken from his hated foe, and his own lacerated form shewed but too plainly he had met his end in the encounter.

At some distance was found the carcase of the animal, and the loving sad heart had dragged itself to the grave of the deeply-mourned brother—fraternal love triumphing even in the last agonies of death itself.

C. H., Rice Lake.


Much has been written and sung and felt in admiration of the human frame, which, like a wondrous temple, enshrines the soul. Had poets only apostrophised the beauteous proportions and fair features of the speaking countenance, their theme had been deeply interesting, for the traces of ancestry, descended from immortal source, are seen in all its pencillings and outlines. The speaking eye, whose delicate mechanism expresses so powerfully the nicest shades of feeling—the mantling color that tints the cheek, painting to the beholder emotions of joy, or timidity, or shame—the mouth, whose lines flowing and graceful, or stern and decided, invite confidence, or warn triflers—the beautiful expression of the whole face, through which, even in the savage glimmers celestial light, might each occupy our attention with profit and pleasure. Painters have studied these beauties. Inspired by genius, they have pictured faces of angelic form, and the cold canvass has glowed with living truthfulness. We do not wonder that they have almost worshipped the Madonnas of their own creation. We can sympathise with their devotion to the art, though not to such an extent—a devotion which has led some of the greatest masters to sacrifice ease and luxury to it, knowing no other love, and feeling ever that mysterious forms of beauty surrounded them. Conceptions of transcendent loveliness fill the artist’s mind. He thinks and studies hours, to give shape to the struggling idea, but hours lengthen into days, and days are lost in years, and still he sits at his easel—he cannot catch and bend the ethereal; at last the grand conception of beauty triumphs over every failure, his soul speaks, and dipping his brush in imperishable colors, he traces his own wreath of fame amid the flowing tresses of his spirit’s bride. It is the presence of the God-like mind that invests the noble art with its fascination. Song, too, with its witchery of intonation, melodious, lofty, or mournful, claims “kindred with the skies,” and poetry, consecrated by inspiration, has lent her aid to express the heart’s aspirations, or strike chords of the deepest woe.

But it is the intellect, considered in its powers and capabilities, which we wish to present. The mind, complex and wonderful, expands in knowledge and enjoyment the more it turns within itself to examine its own origin and resources. Admire the beauty and adaptedness of the body as we may, after all it is the soul’s minister—it is mortal. Mind, viewless as the wind, dwells with matter; we see its effects, and can study its phenomena. Intellectual philosophy is one of the most interesting and improving subjects which we can examine. It is calculated to delight us by leading our thoughts into a wide field, and spreading out before us pleasing views of the progressive nature of the mental powers, and their fitness for the enjoyment of all that is good and beautiful here, and all that we conceive of the refined and glorious happiness of heaven.

We wish to point out this subject as a fine study for all, especially recommending it to the young ladies who read the “Maple Leaf.” Nature has done as much for the women of Canada as for those of any other country. Here eyes beam and faces glow with the eloquence of the soul—here intellect governs, and female beauty is doubly beautiful, and the plainest features light up with an interest which renders them fascinating. We may have a Hannah Moore, or an Agnes Strickland, or a Harriet Beecher Stowe, among us, but circumstances have not developed the powers which are yet to instruct and captivate our minds. Mental discipline is what our young women need. We speak of them as a class. The severer studies, such as a thorough mathematical course, or an acquaintance with the languages, would not be accessible to all. Those who have left school, and entered upon the activities of life, could not gain the time or retirement necessary to pursue them. We know it requires time to “read and inwardly digest” any book of merit. We do not wish our fair friends to neglect “the weightier matters,”—the home duties. We only urge them to systematize their time. Leave an hour each day solely for improvement, and let nothing but necessity infringe upon its sacredness. Procure a standard work on mental philosophy, and select a portion for investigation; for example, we will suppose the portion selected is the history of Intellectual Philosophy, under which head might be found some such divisions as the following: The present advanced state of knowledge on the subject as compared with the views entertained in ancient times, opinions of the ancients in relation to mind, the belief of the materialists, etc. The subject should be read with attention, then shutting up the book, the reader should endeavor to think over the main topics in order, and then write them down in a neat blank book prepared for the purpose. In other words, carefully analyze the chapter, and make the thoughts her own. The next day she might read her own analysis, and she will find the subject growing in interest, and be led to apply to other books for further information, all of which she should embody in her own words. Her analysis will thus become valuable, and in continuing the study from time to time, she will make additions to it, which will show decided improvement in thought and style of expression.



The flower of youth never appears more beautiful, and is never so fragrant as when it bends towards the Sun of Righteousness.

Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in deserving them. Ceremonies are the smoke of friendship. Reverence is an ennobling sentiment; it is felt to be degrading only by the vulgar mind, which would escape the sense of its own littleness by elevating itself into an antagonist of what is above it. He who has no pleasure in looking up, is not fit so much as to look down.

A real debt of gratitude, that is founded on a disinterested act of kindness, cannot be cancelled by any subsequent unkindness on the part of your benefactor. If the favor be of a pecuniary nature, we may, indeed, by returning an equal or greater sum, balance the moneyed part; but we cannot liquidate the kind motive by the setting off against it any number of unkind ones. For an after injury can no more undo a previous kindness than we can prevent in the future what has happened in the past. So neither can a good act undo an ill one—a fearful truth! For good and evil have a moral life, which nothing in time can extinguish; the instant they exist they start for eternity.

A young preacher once read a discourse to Father Moody, and solicited remarks. The father replied, “Your sermon is very good, but you have selected the wrong text for your subject. You should have taken the passage, ‘Alas, master, for it was borrowed.’ ”

Dr Watts, when a child, early formed the habit of making rhymes on almost all occasions, and his father fearing it would prove injurious to him, threatened to chastise him if he did not cease rhyming. The son instantly and pleasantly replied

“Dear father, do some pity take,

And I will no more verses make.”

Absurdity.—A theoretical practitioner having engaged to teach an Irishman the art of swimming, after several observations on the subject, directed him to go into the water. The facetious son of Erin responded, “I have no notion to go into the water till you have made me a good swimmer.”

Clear streams are nature’s mirrors, whose pure surfaces reflect the grace end elegance of the forest, the wavy outline of mountain and side hill, and the luxuriance of the meadow flowers. Here and there nestling lovingly down in the vallies, limpid lakes reflect the fairy form and wild beauty of the Indian maiden, who stops astonished at the vision of her own loveliness traced in the calm waters. Amid the solitudes of the woods, where human footsteps seldom penetrate, God has set gem-like fountains, and there little birds dress their glossy plumage ere they tune melodious songs; and the fleet gazelle, and timid fawn, and majestic lion, view their fair proportions, and alike quench their thirst.

Rain drops serve to reflect and refract the rays of light.


Earth hath its mountains, lifting high

Their viewless summits to the sky;

Its plains, that in their boundless maze,

Baffles the eye’s far-searching gaze;

And sees, immeasurably deep,

Which, in their secret holds, do keep

Treasures unknown to human thought;

Treasures by human hands unsought.


Yet hath not mountain, plain, nor sea,

In all their vast immensity,

More power to speak, through wondering sense,

Of the great God’s omnipotence,

Than one small drop of water! Yes,

Behold its living world! (no less)

Of creatures beautiful and bright,

Disporting ’midst its liquid light.


Some like to rare and clustering gems;

Like lilies some, with silver stems,

Waving in graceful motion slow,

(Like measured cadence) to and fro;

Others like fairy bells appear,

Ringing their chimes in fancy’s ear;

And there are serpent-forms that glide

’Midst tiny banks of moss, or hide

Their glittering coats beneath the leaves

Of mimic boughs, which nature weaves

By the same hand of power that made

For man the mighty forest-glade!


But vainly words essay to tell

What things of wondrous beauty dwell

Within these liquid worlds concealed,

Till by some magic spell revealed.

Come, watch the myriads as they pass

In bright review before the glass

Of wizard science! then declare

If aught on earth, in sea, or air,

Can with these water drops compare.

Great Cataract in India.—The river Shirhawti, between Bombay and Cape Comorin, falls into the Gulf of Arabia. The river is about one-fourth of a mile in width, and in the rainy season, some thirty feet in depth. This immense body of water rushes down a rocky slope three hundred feet, at an angle of 45 deg., at the bottom of which it makes a perpendicular plunge of eight hundred and fifty feet, into a black and dismal abyss, with a noise like the loudest thunder. The whole descent is therefore eleven hundred and fifty feet, or several times that of Niagara. The volume of water in the latter is somewhat larger than that of the former, but, in depth of descent, it will be seen there is no comparison between them. In the dry season the Shirhawti is a small stream, and the fall is divided into three cascades of surpassing beauty and grandeur. They are almost dissipated and dissolved into mist before reaching the bed of the river below.

Laughter.—We could not get on without laughter; the pools of life would become stagnant; care would be too much for us; the heart would corrode; life would be all bas relievo, and no alto; our faces would assume a less cheerful aspect, and become like those men who never laugh; the river of life, as we sailed over it, would be like “the Lake of the Dismal Swamp,” we should indeed have to begin life with a sigh, and end it with a groan, while cadaverous faces, and words to the tune of “The Dead March in Saul,” would make up the interludes of our existence.

When a woman has good sense and good taste, these are some of the things she will not do. She will not be so anxious to obtain admission into any circle as to seek it by a conformity to its fashions, which will involve her in labor, or expenses that lessen domestic comfort, or are inappropriate to her income. She will not be particularly anxious as to what the fashion is in dress or furniture, nor give up any important duty or pursuit to conform to it. Nor will she be disturbed if found deficient in these particulars, nor disturb others by making apologies, or giving reasons. She will not, while all that is in sight to visitors is in complete order, and in expensive style, have her bed-room, her kitchen, and her nursery ill furnished, and all in disorder. She will not attempt to shew that she is genteel, and belongs to the aristocracy, by a display of profusion, by talking as if she was indifferent to the cost of things, or by seeming to be ashamed to economise. These things are marks of an unrefined person, who fancies that it is money, not character, that makes the lady.

Tapioca Pudding, the queen of all puddings.—Put a tea-cup of Tapioca and a teaspoon of salt into a pint and a half of water, and let them stand five hours where it will be quite warm, but will not cook. Two hours before dinner peel six apples, and take out the cores without dividing the apples. Put them in a pudding dish, and fill the holes with sugar, in which is grated a little nutmeg, or lemon peel. Add a tea-cup of water, and bake one hour, turning the apples to prevent them drying. When the apples are quite soft, pour over them the tapioca, and bake one hour. To be eaten with hard sauce of butter and sugar. Sage can be used instead of tapioca.

Loaf Pudding.—Put into boiling water, well salted, a baker’s loaf, tied in a cloth, and boil it one hour and a half, for a pound loaf. Serve it with pudding sauce.


Dear readers, here is the last month of Winter, and how mild it has been! Foreigners speak of Canadian winters with an involuntary shiver, and refer to our country as the theatre for the wildest freaks of Jack Frost and all his train. Snow piled, and drifted, and spread throughout the land; rivers and lakes ice bound; the very breath freezing, are features by no means inviting to those who live in a mild climate. ’Tis true, our winters are usually rigid; and if we were looking for the first time upon snow-clad mountains, or listening to the howling northern blast as it sorrowfully sounds in the leafless forests, we could scarcely trust in the promise of sacred writ, and believe that “seed time and harvest” will surely follow. We love a genuine cold Canadian winter. In the clear air, the stars, like friendly lights, sparkle and twinkle, and seem near to us; icicles festoon the trees, and rivulet and cascade, in fantastic shape, glisten brightly in the sunlight. To our mind the generous hospitality of Canadian in-door social life, the excitement of the sleighing parties, the high health and spirits fostered by long walks over the crusted snow, more than compensate for the severity of our climate. The summer is short, or rather so much business of every kind must be done in the summer months, that not much time can be devoted to the interchange of friendly visits; but when the farmer has secured his harvest, and gathered the last rosy apples and delicious winter pears, and brought in the vegetables raised by his own industry, he begins to find time for social visits, and hours for reading and instruction, and we are sure our long winter evenings never pass drearily to him.

Our cities present Winter in a very agreeable aspect. We have often heard of the hum of business and pleasure, that may convey the right idea in Summer; but in winter it is not a hum that we have, but a perfect gingling of sounds. Far and near the merry music of sleigh bells is borne upon the wind. Here we meet an honest Habitan in his national costume, with his hood drawn closely, only leaving a pair of eyes visible,—there a tall son of Scotia, wrapped in his plaid, seems to bid defiance to the piercing cold. Groups of gay ladies flit along, well wrapped in furs, and looking cheerful and hurried, as if everything depended upon their making just so many calls, or doing a certain amount of shopping in one short winter afternoon. They see clearly that time flies! But we did not mean to give a homily upon our pleasant winters. We love them not only for their bracing effect upon health, but for the peculiar advantages they afford for improvement. ’Tis plain to us that those who live where the trees are “ever green,” miss many sources of enjoyment,—the pleasures of contrast, not to mention many others.

Speaking of evergreens, we always thought the Maple Leaf deciduous,—we are acquainted with a species which has remained quite fresh and thrifty all winter; or, to speak more to the purpose, we may say that our little magazine is gaining many friends. We are much cheered by the constant marks of favor bestowed upon it. For the encouragement of its friends we may state, that we are receiving letters from different directions, expressing satisfaction with the arrangement of its articles, choice of matter, embellishments, and neatness of execution. Our subscription list is increasing, and we have reason to expect that ere long the “Maple Leaf,” entwined with other precious and improving influences, will add interest to a vast number of family circles throughout the length of our land.

We have to thank our contributors for some very interesting articles. A friend has sent us a pleasant original tale, which we hope to bring out in our next.

We assure C. H., Rice Lake, that we received her communications with pleasure, especially her prose article, which appears in this number. It is very interesting, and written in that easy, perspicuous style, which, like unostentatious grace of manners, always distinguishes the refined lady.


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 Vol. II No. 2 February 1853 edited by Robert W. Lay and Eleanor H. Lay]