Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page

,--_--THE COURT. ..-*,,-----

----POLITICAL GOSSIP.

THE ARTS, LITERATURE, &E.

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. -

OUR MISCELLANY.

News
Cite
Share

OUR MISCELLANY. --+- Little Worlds. Ours is the most gossiping, slander-loving village in the world," said a young lady to me once. I ventured to doubt it; I dared to deny it. All, however, I presumed to suggest was—Ask the next parish. Chalveyoum-Hookey was certainly on a par with Hookey-cum-Suivey. i When you are out for a summer holiday, and look from some lofty elevation on vale and village-counting here and there the spires and steeples which peep through the pic. I turesque surroundings of the woodland—you are looking down upon so many "little worlds" with their large planets and their little stars, their popular I preachers and their plodding parsons* their districts of St. James and St. Giles. To a very great many that "little world" ia their all and in all. Its emilo ] sends them to bed in eostacy; its scorn makes them i wake with tears. Those quiet-looking, demure sort of I houses which dot the road near the village-green, looking ao unobservant of you and your belongings, remind us of the words of the poet, Things are not what they seem." Doubtless, at Ramsgatecor Brighton you have paid your sixpence and visited the little round-house, where, looking on the table in the centre, you have aeea the ships on the ocean, the sailors on the shore: quite a stirring interesting scene is all at once spread before you in that quiet, little circular heuse. Do not for a moment suppose that the demure little abode you pass is quite a different place from that.—The Quiver. Hostilities under Difficulties.-Ranjeet asked if there was anybody present who could drink wine as well as Sir W. C., and I said, for fun, "Mr. A. coald;" upon which there was a general cry for Mr. A., and poor Mr. A. was accommodated with a chair in front of the circle, and Runjeet began, plying him with glasses of that fiery spirit which he drinks himself. Mr. A. is at present living strictly on toast and water. However, he contrived to empty the glass on the carpet occasionally. That carpet must have presented a horrible scene when he went. I know that under my own chair I deposited two broiled quails, an apple, a pear, a great lump of sweetmeat, and some pome. granate seeds, which Rutjeet gave me with his dirty fingers into my hand, which, of course beoame equally dirty at last.-Up the Country. By the Hon. Emily Eden. Liz and Joe.— So I wag glad when I began to see That Joe the costermonger fancied me; And when, one night, he took me to the play, Over on Surrey side, and offer'd fair That we should take a little room and share Our earnings, why, I could not answer "Nay!" And that's a year ago; and though I'm bad, I've been as true to Joe as girl could be. I don't complain a bit of Joe, dear lad, Joe never, never meant but well to me; And we have had as fair a time, I think, As one could hope, since we are both so low. Joe likes me—never gave me push or blow, When sober: only, he was wild in drink. Bat then we don't mind beating when a man Is angry, if he likes us and keeps straight, Works for his bread, and does the best he can 'Tis being left and slighted that we hate. -Mr. Buchanan's Poems. Wisdom Learnt from Failure.—We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mis- take, never made a discovery. It was the failure in the attempt to make a sucking-pump act;, when the working bucket was more than 33 feet above the sur- face of the water to be raised, that led observant men to study the law of atmospheric pressure, and opened a new field of research to the genius of Galileo, Torre- celli, and Boyle. John Hunter used to remark that the art of surgery would not advance until professional men had the courage to publish their failures as well as their successes. Watt, the engineer, said, of all things most wanted in mechanical engineering was a history of failures "We want," he said, "a book of blots." When Sir Humphrey Davy was shown a dexterously manipulated experiment, he said, "I thank God I was not made a dexterous manipulator, for the most important of my discoveries have been suggested to me by failures." Another distinguished investigator in physical science has left it on record that, whenever in the course of his researches he en- countered an apparently insuperable obstacle, he gene- rally found himself on the brink of some discovery.— Se If Help. The Spider's Web.—How wonderful is the tenuity of these fairy-like lines, yet strong enough to enable the aerial voyager to run through the air, and catch his prey which ventures within his domain. It is so fine that, in the web of the gossamer spider, the smallest of the tribe, there are 20 tubes, through which is drawn the viscid globules, the gummy matter it employs in spinning, each of the thioknesa of about one-tenth of a.n inch. It takes 140 of these globules to form a single spiral line; it has 24 circumvolutions to go through, which gives the number of 3,360. We have thus got the average total number of lines be- tween two radii of the circle; multiplying that number by 26, the number of radii which the untiring insect springs, gives the total amount of 87,360 viscid glo- bules before the net is complete. The dimensions of the net, of course, varies with the species. Some will be composed of as many as 120,000 lines; yet even to form this net the spider will only take 40 minutes. Wonderful indeed is the process by which the spider draws the thread from its body-more wonderful than any rope or silk spinning. Eaoh of these spin- nerets is covered with rows of bristle-like points, so very fins that a space about the size of a pin's head will cover a thousand of them. From each of these points or tubes issues a email but slender thread, which unites with the other threads, so that from each spinneret proceeds a series of threads, forming one compound whole. These are situated about one- tenth of an inch from the apex of the spinnerets; they also unite and form one thread, 624 of which are used by the spider in forming hia net. With the instru- ment which N atnre has given him, the claws of his feet, the spider guides and arranges the glutinous thread as this seemingly inexhaustible fibre is drawn from his body, and interweaves them within each other until the net is complete. In this way spiders are the weavers of a supple line, whose touch, for quickness and fineness, surpasses that of any spinning jenny,—Cassell's Family Paper. Fishes and How they Multiply.-Fish are the most prolific of all creatures. This is, of course, more noticeable in some species than in others, and is more obvious to our notice in the immense shoals of herrings, pilchards, and mackerel upon our own shores. Many cgther species are probably equally prolific; but, nob being of gregarious habits, are not seen together in such vast numbers, and are in consequence less easily taken. Bat any one who attempts to estimate the number of eggs in the roes of various kinds of fish may form some faint conception of the degree in which the sea. generates reptiles with spawn abun- dant." The old microsoopist, Leuwenhoek, gave esti- mates which the mind could scarcely grasp. The greater accuracy of modern research has somewhat moderated his statements; but enough remains to fill the mind with astonishment. Thus the roe of a codfish has been found to contain nine millions of eggs; of a flounder, nearly a million and a half of a mackerel, half a million; of tenches, three hun- dred and fifty thousand; of the carp, from one to six hundred thousand; of the roach and sole, a hundred I thousand; of herrings, perches, and smelts, twenty and thirty thousand; lobsters, from seven to twenty thousand; shrimps and prawns, above three thousand. In fact, scarcely a month passes in which we may not gather, from the commonest sources, some fact show- ing the enormous productiveness of fish. At one time we are told that a hundred thousand mackerel are in the season brought weekly to the London fish-market (Billingsgate). At another, that herrings andpilohards have been caught so abundantly as to have no market value encept as manure—for which purpose they are carted away in tens and hundreds of thousands by the farmers near the coast. Look, then, at the sprats, the whitebait, the shrimps, and consider what hecatombs of these minute existences are sacrificed to help the dinner of a Dives, or to form the support of a Lazarus. -Dr. Kitto. Betting Knaves and Fools.-Starting from a police-station in a long flagged court in St. Giles's—a on so modestly retiring that it seems to be playing at hyde-and-seek with its customers, and to 'W L l- nave won ipue game-the first evidence we nave of the contiguity of the noble sportsman is furnished by a gentleman who comes to prefer a oharge. A tall, fresh-looking man of fifty, a prosperous farmer, or country attorney with a good seat across country; this gentleman nervously twiddles two small bits of pink pasteboard—not unlike the checks given for readmis- sion to the theatres—and with a troubled expression, half indignation, half shame, on his good-tempered, florid face, explains that one piece of pasteboard represents three pounds, and the other two pounds ten. He staked these sums upon a horse which came in first yesterday, and on applying this morning for the money he had consequently won, the list. keeper, although then prosecuting his calling, had first laughed in his face, and subsequently threatened to punch his head if he didn't hook it, and that (ad- verb) quick too." Staggered and discomfited, the luckless winner now came to the police-office, with a vague hope,which his own common sense obviously told him to be baseless, that some steps might be taken to punish tha swindler, and indemnify him for his loss. Clearly sot a ease for the police. Perhaps a summons in the county court for the money borrowed mighs answer the gentleman's purpose; perhaps some means of escosisg the tiWJ!1;tlf.r,t list-keeper, wight cooar to him; but his money was gone for ever, and the best advice that could be given was, "Don't bet with strangers in the street again." We saw the Welsher"-for with dubious compliment to the Principality, such is the slang narae for turf defaulters, who are at once petty and fraudulent—a few minutes afterwards, calmly pursuing his vocation amid a crowd 'of his follows. The victim was detailing his wrongs, and showing his tickets as corroborative evidence, within earshot of the swindler, who smoked a cigar in the intervals of shouting, I'll lay four to one, bar one!" with imperturbable calm. No one seemed sur- prised, or shocked, or indignant. The farmer was stared at while he told his little story, with a sheep- ish, woebegone look on his jolly visage, which made it wonderfully ludicrous; and then the starers elbowed through tho crowd to gaze on the Welsher, who was decidedly the more popular of the two. The mourn- ful, He won't even answer me, and says he'll punch my head," was heard concurrently with the jubilant "I'll lay four to one; and three half-crowns went into the pocket of the list-keeper for a fresh ticket, while within a few paces the worthlessness of his promises was being half-timorously, half-indignantly, proclaimed.-All the Year Round.

EXTRACTS FROM "PUNCH" & "FUN."

[No title]