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THE couEr.I






---.... OUR MISCELLANY. -:+-


OUR MISCELLANY. -:+- Manners.-The first requisite to good manners, I am convinced, is ease; and this is never to be ob- tained by dwelling upon self. Consideration of the feelings of others is true politeness. To give a visitor a smiling welcome, a comfortable chair, seek for a footstool, draw down or raise a blind, So that there may be enough, or not too much light, undivided at- tention given to what they are saying, and if you differ from them, a gentle deference of manner is what is re- quired by good breeding.-Mrs. Penelope Jot, in Cassell's Illustrated Family Paper. A Fly's Eye.-If we examine the eye of a fly, for example, we shall observe that it forms the segment of a sphere projecting from each side of the head. If we pursue the examination further with the aid of a microscope we shall find the surface is mapped out, as it were, into countless numbers of separate lenses arranged side by side like the cells of a honey-comb. These lenses, somewhat conical in shape, converge towards the centre of the spherical segment. It has been computed that the eyes of some of the butterfly tribe number from 10,000 to 40,000; of these hexagonal facets Hooke counted 7,000 in the eye of the house fly. What, therefore, is lost by want of mobility is gained by extension of power.-Once a Week. Ancient Trees.—The celebrated chestnut (Cas tanea vesea) on Etna must be a thousand years old at least. The Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) of the Green Cape demand ef us, according to their thickness and the number of zones in some of their branches, an age of four thousand years, or thereabouts. The gigantic cypress (Cupressus discicha) at Santa Maria del Tule, six miles east of Oaxa.c"" in Mexico, has a circumference of 124 Spanish feet, about forty in diameter. This tree must be nearly three thousand years old. It is historically certain that it is older than the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards. The age of the great dragon-tree (Dracaena draca) at Orotava, in Teneriffe, is supposed to be five thousand years. These examples are quite sufficient to prove the possibility of a compound plant living on without end-Schleiden's "Principles of Scientiifc Botany." The Way they Make Butter in France.-It is well known that cream may be converted into butter by simply being buried in the ground, but it is not generally known that this mode is in common use in Normandy and some other parts of France. The process is as follows:—The cream is placed in a linen bag of moderate thickness, which is carefully secured asd placed in a hole in the ground, about a foot and a half deep it is then covered up and left for twenty- four or twenty-five hours. When taken out the cream is very hard, and only requires beating for a short time with a wooden mallet, after which half a glass of water is thrown upon it, which causes the buttermilk to separate from the butter. If the quantity of cream to be converted into butter is large, it is left more than twenty-five hours in the ground. In winter, when the ground is frozen, the operation is performed in a cellar, the bag being well covered up with sand. Some persons place the bag containing the cream within a second bag, in order to prevent the chance of any taint from the earth. This system saves labour, and is stated to produce a larger amount of butter than churning, and of excellent quality, and is, more- over, said never to fail.- Journal of the Society of Arts. Unhappy Marriages among Men of Genius.-The rare occurrence of genius with domestic comfort is perfectly awful. Take Dante, the exile, who left his wife never wishing to see her more; take Tasso, wifeless; Petrarch, wifeless; Ariosto, wifeless; Milton, thrice married, but only once with much comfort; Dryden, wedded, like Addison, to a title and discord; Young lives alone till past fifty; Swift's marriage is no marriage; Sterne's, Churchill's, Byron's, Coleridge's marriages, broken and unhappy. Then we have a set of celibates-Herrick, Cowley, Pope, Thomson, Prior, Gay, Shenstone, Grey, Akengide, Goldsmith, Collins, Cowper, and I know not how many more of our best poets. Johnson had a wife, loved, and soon lost her. It is almost enough to make women tremble at the idea of allying themselves with genius, or giving birth to it. Take the philosophers- Bacon, like his famous adversary, Coke, seems to have enjoyed little domestic comfort, and speaks, for, as he says, certain grave reasons," disapprovingly of his partner. Our metaphysicians—Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, Butler-are as solitary as Spinosa and Kant. The celibate philosopher Hume conducts us to the other great bachelor historians-Gibbon and Macaulay; as Bishop Butler does to some of the princes at English divinity—Hooker cajoled into marrying a shrew. Chillingworth unmarried, Hammond un- married, Leighton unmarried. Barrow also single. I only take foremost men: the list might be swelled with monarchs and generals in marriage.—Lacon in Council. An Interrupted Feast.—The excavations at Pompeii are going on with an activity stimulated by the important discoveries made almost at every step, and the quantities of gold and silver found more than suffice to cover the cost of the works. Near the temple of Juno, of which an account was recently given, has just been brought to light a house, no doubt belonging to some millionaire of the time, as the furniture is of ivory, bronze, and marble. The couches of the triclinium, or dining. room, are especially of extreme richness. The flooring consists of an immense mosaic, well preserved in parts, and of which the centre represents a table laid out for a grand dinner. In the middle, on a large dish, may be seen a splendid peacock with its tailspread out, and placed backto back with another bird, also of elegant plumage. Around them are arranged lobsters, one of which holds a blue egg in its claws; a second an oyster, which appears to be fricasseed, as it "is open and covered with herbs; a third, a rat farci; and a fourth, a small vase filled with fried grasshoppers. Next comes a circle of dishes of fish, interspersed with others of partridges, hares, and squirrels, which all have their heads placed between their fore feet. Then comes a row of sausages of all forms, supported by one of eggs, oysters, and olives, which in its turn is surrounded by a double circle of peaches, cherries, melons, and other fruits and vegetables. The walls of the triclinium are covered with fresco paintings of birds, fruit, flowers, game, and fish of all kinds, the whole interspersed with drawings which lend a charm to the whole not easy to describe. On a table of rare wood, carved and inlaid with gold, marble, agate, and lapis lazuli, were found amphorae still containing wine, and some goblets of onyx.—Qalignani. French Wives.-French laws and customs re- specting marriage, althout they cannot erase and obliterate the natural distinction ot sex, confer com- plete equality and fraternity. A Frenchworaan is not only a wife at bed and board, she is also a partner in business and a joint proprietor, without whose consul- tation and consent no important step can be taken. She knows when a bill is due as well as, or better than, her husband. She can consent to, or forbid, her children's marriage, She never sinks her maiden name, but attaches it to that of her spouse in a form very little differing from that of commercial associa- tions. Mr. WhIte starts a concern with Mr. Black; they announce their joint undertaking as White and Black. M. White married to Mdlle. Black, are known to the world as White-Black. A hyphen or an and makes all the difference. The same kind of fraternity also frequently occurs-quite as a matter of course, exist- ing in the nature of things—in the talk talked, in the books read, in the songs listened to, and in the double meanings laughed at jointly by a Frenchman and his wife. But while the laws of property and marriage do all they can to rivet the chains of matrimony, other in- fluences work in an opposite direction. Thus, moments of repulsion are sure to occur between a girl firmly grounded in a religion of rituals, scrupulous of small observances, and looking no further, and a man who believes few religious dogmas, or if he admits their spirit, will not be fettered by their letter. Bat above every other cause likely to prove the germ of future estrangement, is the way in which French matches are made. Many of the French themselves are far from being satisfied on this head, and have even the boldness to quote with approbation the ad- vantages offered by the English system as far as hap- piness is concerned.-All the Year Round,. Soldiers' Workshops in India.—We give be. low the preface of a catalogue of articles of the Belgaum Exhibition, and in doing so express a hope that the same spirit of enterprise exhibited by the 44th may also be adopted in many other of her Ma- jesty's regiments. The success of the Belgaum Exhi- bition, as the preface states, is no doubt in a great measure due to the establishment of soldiers' work- shops for we find the official report thereon mentions the 44th as one of the regiments'which has particu- larly distinguished itself in connection with Sir Hugh Rose's order:—" The object of the exhibition," gays the preface, was, first, to give the tradesmen and handy men, women and children of thelregiment, an opportunity of showing their ingenuity and skill, ac- cording to their various tastes; and, secondly, to give,, a direction to the minds of the men, and to occupy their leisure hours. The idea proposed by Colonel MacMahon was warmly taken up, a committee formed, and every encouragement afforded to all to come forward and lend a helping hand; great facilities' being offered by the recently established regimental workshop system, by order of the commander-in-chief in India, and which has been found to work so well, The undertaking has caused a spirit of emulation, and brought forward talent which otherwise would have remained unencouraged, and has moreover been the means of enabling the married tradesmen of the regiment to provide their families with many neces- sary comforts. A further result of the scheme has been the production, for the convenience of officers and residents, of numerous articles of furniture, black- smiths', armourers', shoemakers', and needlework- very difficult to be obtainecikt an out-statioza.Bo-m- bay Gazette, July 8. Pepys and Etty.—In, built 1675, Samuel Pepys, the diarist, cme to live in 1684. The house, since rebuilt, was the lasv0n the west side, and looked on the Thames. It had \jeen his friend Hewer's before him. A view of the libia.ry shows ns the tall plain bookcases, and a central winOwv looking on the river. Pepys, the son of an army tailor, and as fond of dress and great people as might be ejected of a tailor's son, was for a long time secretary of the Admiralty under Charles II. He was president of the Royal Society, and it is to his five folio books of ballads that we owe Dr. Percy's useful compilation. Pepys died in 1703, at the house of his friend Hewer, at Clapham. Pepys' house (No. 14) became after- wards, in the summer of 1824, the home of Etty, the painter, till within a few months of his death, in 1849. Etty first took the ground floor (afterwards occupied by Mr. Stanfield), then the top floor, the special object of his ambition being to watch sunsets over the river, whiehhe loved as much as Turner did, who frequently said There is finer scenery on its banks than those of any river in Italy." Its ebb and flow, Etty used to declare, was like life, and the view from Lambeth to the Abbey not unlike Venice. Thornbury's Haunted London. Fashion and Variety. A story," says an eminent writer, is never too old to toll if it be made sound new." If this be true, I may be excused for narrating the following veritable history:—In an Indian jungle there once resided a tawny jackal, a member, as all those animals are, of a jackal club which met at night ia the said jungle. It was the custom for the different subscribers to separate early in the evening on predatory excursions, and on one oc- casion the individual in question ha-viag dined very sparingly that day on a log of a horse, ventured in hopes of a supper within the precincts of a neigh- bouring town. It happened that while employed in the Drawling distinctive of his kind he fell into a sunken vat filled with indigo, and when he had contrived to struggle out again, discovered, by the light of the moon, that his coat had assumed a brilliant blue tinge. In vain he rolled himself on the grass; in vain rubbed his sides against the bushes of the jungle, to which he speedily returned. The blue stuck to him, and so with the acuteness for which jackals are renowned, he determined to stick" to it. Shame indeed would have overcome him—ridicule have driven him to despair, when he rejoined his club, but for this resolution, that every morning he appeared among his kind, whisking his tail with glee, and hold- ing his head erect. A titter, of course, welcomed him, and, before long, you would have thought that every jackal present had been turned into a laughing hyaena. Our hero was nothing abashed. "Gentlemen," said he, in the dialect of Hindustani peculiar to his kind, "I have been to town, and bring yoa the last new fashion." The laughter changed to respectful admira- tion. One by one the members of the club stole up to him and inquired where he got the colouring, just as George IV. asked Brummell what tailor had madethat coat. The address was imparted, and if on the follow- ing evening not all of the prowling beasts appeared in a blue coat, it was only because three of them had been drowned in the attempt to procure it. The fable, which is a real Sanskrit one, will at once remind us of one concerning that sharp-nosed quadruped which farmers denounce and squires combine to run to death. But it has a moral as well as a satirical bearing, and we believe that this moral has not been done justice to. Fashion is called a despot; but if men, like the jackals and foxes, are willing, nay, eager to be its slaves, we cannot, and ought not to upbraid fashion. Its crowning is, in short, nothing more than the con- fession that vanity makes of its own weakness. We must be vain; we are weak; all we ask is to be guided in our vanity.—Hahits of Good Society. Murder of the Prince of Orange. The murder of the Prince of Orange gave the first rude shock to the system of ostensible neutrality which she (Queen Elizabeth) had proposed to herself. The crime of Balthazar Gerard irrevocably determined her future course. The story, so fraught with ruin to the Protestant cause, demands a word in passing. In 1583, the prince had shifted his quarters from Ant- werp to the little town of Delft, which lay on the high road between Rotterdam and the Hague. A canal, overshadowed by tall trees, occupied the centre of the principal street. On each side was a roadway, beyond, houses with their courtyard and offices stretched back to the town walls. One of these houses belonged to the prince; it was a two-storey brick building; it looked on to a courtyard which bordered on the street; along one side of the court, at right angles to the roadway, a narrow alley ran back to the walls. On the ground floor was the dining-room, and the principal entrance into the court. The entrance communicated by a covered way with a little hall, into which opened on one side the dining-room door, on another a deep archway with a door in the lane, on the third stairs which led to the private apartments above. On Sun- day, 8th July, 1584, the prince was aroused from sleep by the announcement of a courier from France, who bore intelligence of the death of the Duke of ADjon. The messenger was summoned to give details of the murder. He was a man of low stature, and meanly dressed; his complexion sallow; his general appear' ance furtive and disagreeable. He appeared to be somewhat under thirty years of age. His name stated to be Francis Guion, son of a martyred Calvinist. Such was Balthazar Gerard, a xnaJl who for seven years had been sworn to assassinat the man who now lay before him unarmed and in bed. The summons to the prince's chamber was so ucex" pected that Gerard had not time to mature his pJ!J>Il; nor, indeed, had he funds to buy a weapon. He vv" indebted to the charity of Orange, who oopip2,5" sionated his forlorn appearance, for an alms, which b6 expended in the purchase of a pair of pistols. purchase was made on the Monday. About noon oil the Tuesday, Gerard concealed himself in the sha()W of the archway which led into the lane. The prince, who was at dinner with his friends, came out con- versing pleasantly with the burgomaster of Lee- warden, his only guest that day. He had advanced to the bottom of the stairs, when Gerard stepped forward and discharged his pistol. The assassin passed through the archway, and ran swiftly towards the walls. He was, however, arrested by the attendac^f' But the greatest statesman of the age lay dead own dining-room, with three bullets through fii beart.-Exoclns of the Western Nations, by ViscoiW Bury.

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