Puslapio vaizdai

three hundred. The nests of these insects place that can in any way be made availare, for the most part, constructed on the able comes amiss; and he "who loves to surface of the ground, in meadows, pas-hear the wild-bees' hum," and follows them tures, and open woods, the material em- in their various haunts, to study the deployed being moss, when the builders can tails of their history, will often be struck get it, and when not, any convenient ma- with their strange and wonderful devices terial that comes to hand. Mr. Smith in obviating difficulties, and accommodatmentions a case in which a knowing ing themselves to circumstances. "foggie-bee," being hard driven for material for her domicile, repaired to a stable, and gathering up little bundles of the short hair which had been curried from the horses, set about composing her nest entirely of horse-hair. In the case of some of the humble-bees, the nests are built under ground; and this difference in habit is marked, it seems, by a great difference in the spirit of the architects, for while the above-ground builders exhibit very little courage or pugnacity, the dwellers below defend their nests with much resolution.

The solitary bees exhibit great diversity of taste in respect to the matter of housebuilding. In the pleasant pages of Kirby and Spence they stand arranged as clothierbees, carpenter-bees, mason-bees, upholsterer-bees, and leaf-cutting-bees; to which ample list of bee-tradesmen, Mr. Rennie, in his "Insect Architecture," very properly adds the mining-bees. These designations are of course somewhat fanciful, though there is sufficient foundation in fact to allow of their use; and there is this further resemblance between the human and the bee worker, that when one trade, from local circumstances, fails, or cannot be followed, the industrious insect can easily, as the industrious man, turn his hand to another the carpenter become mason, or the mason miner. In the situations chosen for the construction of the nest, and the manner in which the latter is formed, there is an almost endless diversity. The mining-bees form their excavations very commonly in the sunny sides of cliffs and sand-banks, or in hard and beaten pathways this latter fact having been noticed so long ago as the days of Homer. The carpenter-bees tunnel out old posts and railings, or the decaying trunks of trees. The masons build their nests within the boles of trees and the cracks of walls, and sometimes in such curious places as the empty shells of snails, that lie half-buried in hedge-banks. Some of the smaller species tunnel out the pith of bramblestems; while others find a convenient abode in the hollow tubes of straw thatch.



In the course of the past summer, we discovered a most singular habit of one of the carpenter-bees, which, it appears, has never before been observed. The bee in question is a little fellow, with a thin, elongated body, and rejoices in the name of Chilostoma florisomne, which, however frightful it may look in entomological Latin, is both pretty and appropriate when rendered into English as the "lip-mouthed flower-sleeper." The first part of this name speaks for itself, and the second is thus explained: Our little bee is of a convivial turn, and is given to staying out of nights. At times, therefore, of a summer evening, instead of returning home to the old post or rail in which its nest is tunneled out, it betakes itself, with some half dozen boon companions, to a capacious dandelion, and there makes a night of it. The darkness coming on, the flower, of course, shuts up; and then the boozy company, huddled up together, have to pass the night as best they can. In early morning, when the flowers are first opening to the sunshine, you may often light upon these little knots of topers, in that stupid, half-awake condition which plainly warns you they have had a jovial night. The thing is of constant occurrence, and hence the name the little tipplers bear.


Now for our discovery, which relates, indeed, to another, and still stranger manner in which this little bee sometimes passes the midnight hours. In searching along a hedge-row one afternoon, we came upon a spot where we observed a number of small bees flying about a dead bush of hawthorn, which had been thrust into the hedge to stop a gap, and some old posts close by, which were thickly perforated with their holes. Looking closely at the dead and leafless bush, we were surprised at seeing a considerable number of the bees impaled, apparently, on the points of the thorns; but a nearer inspection showed us that the little fellows were not impaled, but voluntarily holding on to the thornpoints with their mandibles, their bodies being held out straight and rigid, and their

legs folded placidly beneath. Our presence in no way interrupted them, and continual fresh arrivals at the bush came and settled within a few inches of us. It was a curious spectacle, and we watched it intently. The little fellows all assumed their attitude of repose in the same manner, first alighting on a twig of the bush, then getting on the chosen thorn, with their heads toward the point, and when at the very extremity, turning themselves round, seizing the point with their mandibles, and stretching out their bodies straight and stiff. It was getting late, and, suspecting the insects were settling themselves for the night, we visited them again early the following morning, when, to our astonishment, the thorns were still bristling with bees, that had apparently remained motionless throughout this night, still holding on by their jaws alone! We wrenched off a twig with a dozen of the bees attached to it, and yet not one of them relaxed its hold we held it up, swung it as we went along, and still they held on, and kept their bodies out as rigid as before!

The two sexes of this insect differ greatly from each other in appearance; the female

the glow-worm-being a wingless, elongate, soft-bodied creature, possessed, however, of six legs, and in other respects very unlike a "worm ;" while the male is a true beetle, endowed with wings and wing-cases of ample size, but able to emit only a very faint light in comparison with that of his more brilliant mate. We have two of these insects which flew to us one summer night while sitting with a lamp at an open window, the little rovers having doubtless been attracted by the light, mistaking it possibly for an unusual display on the part of some fair lady.

The weather, we should observe, was cold and windy; and thinking that possibly the determined inactivity of the insects It is a pity to say anything ungracious was thus to be accounted for, we took a about a little creature so wrapped up in twig, with some of them attached to it, poetical associations and pleasant memointo a warm room, when they almost im-ries as the glow-worm, and yet the truth mediately relaxed their hold, and began to must be told. It feeds, then, good reader walk about. But, on removing the twig-not on violets and primroses, nor even quickly to an empty fire-place, where the on the common greenery of the hedgerows insects were exposed to a constant current-but on flesh-the flesh of snails; and of cold air, they immediately attached eats it most voraciously! Well may we themselves as before, and remained with- say with Mr. Douglas: Let us draw a out moving for upward of thirty hours! vail over the scene, and, as with some examples of human genius, be content with the ultimate luster, without inquiring into the minutiae of its origin and support.

No order of insects, perhaps, exhibits a greater variety of forms and and of corresponding habits than the Coleoptera, or beetle tribe, not including, however, the so-called black-beetle, which in reality is not a beetle at all, but a near connection of the cricket and the grasshopper. In exchange for the "black beetle," the coleopterist claims the glow-worm, which is his of right, with a good many of the "fireflies" of tropic lands. It is now pretty well known that it is the female glowworm alone that lights up the little lamp to be seen in our hedgerows in summer, although the poets have very commonly assigned the function to the male. Thus Shakspeare has :

"The glow-worm shows the matin to be near, And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire."

And Rogers, again, in his verses on the fire-flies of the Tusculan groves, in his poem "Italy," gives us “him” and “his” throughout in his references to the glowworm. Both Montgomery and Moore, however, give the lady beetle the credit that is her due, and doubtless assign the true reason for the display, when, as the former says, she lights her lamp

"To captive her favorite fly, And tempt the rover through the dark."

The pleasures of entomology are only half enjoyed by the stay-at-home student. In order to know what the delights of the science really are, one must go forth a-field, and study the busy tribes in their own proper homes; and there is this additional advantage in so doing, that, besides attaining his special object, in the observation or collecting of insects, the entomologist enjoys, as few others can, the beautiful scenes among which he plies his vocation. It is quite true," Fortune and Nature are earnest females, though popular beauties; and they do not look upon coquettish triflers in the light of genuine wooers."


I HAVE here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.MONTAIGNE

CUDWORTH was an eminent preacher and a devoted and self-sacrificing laborer in Christ's vineyard, in the days of Cromwell. There is a quaint beauty in his style, which will never become obsolete, and there runs through all his writings a vein of chastened piety that will never cease to refresh and invigorate. On the subject of


he has some thoughts no less pertinent to the present day than to the time in which he lived, to our own readers than to the House of Commons before whom they were delivered:

Let us take heed we do not sometimes call that zeal for God and his Gospel, which is nothing else than our own stormy and tempestuous passion. True zeal is a sweet, heavenly, and gentle flame which maketh us active for God, but always within the sphere of love. It never calls fire from heaven to consume those that differ a little from us in their own apprehensions. It is like that kind of lightning which philosophers speak of, that melts the sword within, but singeth not the scabbard; it strives to save the soul, but burteth not the body. If we keep the fire of zeal within the chimney, in its own proper place, it never doth any hurt; it only quickeneth, warmeth, and enliveneth us; but if we once let it break out, and catch hold of the thatch of our flesh, and kindle our corrupt nature, and set the house of our body on fire, it is no longer zeal, it is no heavenly fire, but a most destructive and devouring thing. True zeal is like the vital heat in us, that we live upon, which we never feel to be angry or troublesome; but though It greatly feed upon the radical oil within us, that sweet balsam of our natural moisture, yet it lives lov. ingly with it, and maintains that by which it is fed.

JEREMY TAYLOR has been styled the poet of the pulpit, and although there are wellgrounded doubts as to his orthodoxy on some points of the Christian faith, the exu berant beauty of his style will always secure for him hosts of admiring readers. We string together a few passages from his pages:

mingled with so much horror, or else meets so with our fears and weak discoursings that they who, six hours ago, tended upon us either with charitable or ambitious services, cannot, without some regret, stay in the room alone, where the body lies stripped of its life and honor.


So have I seen a rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood, and, at first, it was fair as the morning, and full with the dew of heaven, as a lamb's fleeco; but when a ruder breath had forced open its virgin modesty, and dismantled its too youthful and unripe retirements, it began to put on darkness, and to decline to softness and the symptoms of a sickly age; it bowed the head, and broke its stalk; and at night, having lost some of its leaves, and all its beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and out-worn faces. The same is the portion of every man and every woman; the heritage of worms and serpents, rottenness and cold dishonor, and our beauty so changed that our acquaintance quickly know us not; and that change VOL. XII.-14


Covetousness pretends to heap much together for fear of want; and yet after all his pains and purchase, he suffers that really which at first he feared vainly; and by not using what he gets, he makes that suffering to be actual, present, and necessary, which in his lowest condition was but future, contingent, and possible. It stirs up the desire, and takes away the pleasure of being satisfied. It increases the appetite, and will not content it. It swells the principal to no purpose, and lessens the use to all purposes; disturbing the order of nature, and the designs of God: making money not to be the instrument of exchange or charity, nor corn to feed himself or the poor, nor wool to clothe himself or his brother, nor wine to refresh the sadness of the afflicted, nor his oil to make his own countenance cheerful: but all these to look upon, and to tell over, and to take accounts by, and make himself considerable and wondered at by fools, that while he lives he may be called rich, and when he dies may be accounted miserable, and, like the dish-makers of China. may leave a greater heap of dirt for his nephews, while he himself hath a new lot fallen to him in the portion of Dives. But thus the ass carried wood and sweet herbs to the baths, but was never washed or perfumed himself: he heaped up sweets for others, while himself was filthy with smoke and ashes.


So have I known a luxuriant vine swell into irregular swigs and bold excrescences, and spend itself in leaves and little rings, and afford but trifling clusters to the winepress, and a faint return to his heart which longed to be refreshed with a full vintage; but when the lord of the vine had caused the dressers to cut the wilder plant, and made it bleed, it grew temperate in its vain expense of useless leaves, and knotted into fair and juicy bunches, and made accounts of that loss of blood by the return of fruit. So is an afflicted province cured of its surfeits, and punished for its sins, and bleeds for its long riot, and is left ungoverned for its disobedience, and chastised for its wantonness; and when the sword hath let forth the corrupted blood, and the fire hath purged the rest, then enters into the double joys of restitution, and gives God thanks for his rod, and confesses the mercies of the Lord in making the smoke to be changed into fire, and the cloud into a perfume, the sword into a staff, and his anger into mercy.


Enjoy the blessings of this day if God sends them, and the evils of it bear patiently and sweetly; for this day is only ours, we are dead to yesterday, and we are not born to the morrow. He, therefore, that enjoys the present, if it be good, enjoys as much as is possible; and if only that day's trouble leans upon him, it is singular and finite. "Sufficient to the day," said Christ, "is the evil thereof." Sufficient, but not intolerable. But if we look abroad, and bring into one day's thoughts the evil of many, certain and uncertain, what will be and what will never be, our load will be as intolerable as it is unreasonable. To reprove this instrument of discontent, the ancients feigned, that in hell stood a man twisting a rope of hay, and still he twisted on, suffering an ass to eat up all that was fin

ished: so miserable is ho who thrusts his passions forward toward future events, and suffers all that he may enjoy to be lost and devoured by folly and inconsideration, thinking nothing fit to be enjoyed but that which is not, or cannot be had.


THERE is no end to quotations from FULLER, and little weariness in reading them. He is sententious, epigrammatic, and pointed. Withal, there is in him an abundance of that staple article the rarity of which makes the phrase by which we designate it common sense something like a misnomer. The character here graphically described is not unknown even at the present day:

He keeps a register of many difficult places of Scripture; not that he desires satisfaction therein, but delights to puzzle divines therewith; and counts it a great conquest when he hath posed them. Unnecessary questions out of the Bible are his most necessary study; and he is more curious to know where Lazarus's soul was the four days he lay in the grave than careful to provide for his own soul when he shall be dead.


THE phrase originated with Dr. Chalmers, and is thus illustrated by HENRY ROGERS:

You remember the coachman who said to the gentleman on the box, "Do you see that off leader there, sir?" "Yes, what of him?" "He always shies when he comes to that 'ere gate. I must give him something to think on." No sooner said than up went the whirling thong, and came down full of its sting on the skittish leader's haunches. He had something else to think on, no time for panic, or affected panic, and flew past the gate like lightning. If we can but give youth, in time, “something else to think on," we may keep out of their minds, by pre-occupation, more evil than we can ever directly expel. One of the essential properties of matter may be said to be also one of the essential properties of mind, impenetrability. It is as impossible that two thoughts can co-exist in the same mind at the same time, as that two particles of matter can occupy the same space.


THOSE who have attempted it know how difficult a thing it is to write, not childish verses, but poetry for children; and those who have not tried it may infer the same fact from the exceedingly small number of juvenile hymns that are to be found in the language. Hitherto, and judging from the past, so it will continue, the name of Isaac Watts stands pre-eminent, solus per se, in this department of literature. From a genial tribute to his memory in the North British Review, we take this estimate of his labors for the lambs of the flock:

The last time he took up the lyre, was to entertain and instruct the lambs of the flock. Arrived at middle life, a bachelor, a student, and an invalid, it might have been supposed that he would have lost his interest in

children, if he did not even find their company an irritation and a trouble. But as long as the heart is green -as long as it retains aught of the poet's ingenuousness, or of the Master's graciousness, it will try to secure some leisure for the little ones; it will survey them with tender and sympathizing reminiscences, and will seek to resuscitate its earlier self, in order to commune with them. So was it with Isaac Watts. He felt that his mental harvest had been reaped, and fancied that with his powers it was coming to the sear and yellow leaf. But there was still the Michaelmas summer. It brought out again some blossoms of the spring; it revealed some birds of passage which had not taken flight; and for the sake of the children he caged the

birds, and made a posy of the flowers, and he has left them in his "Divine" and "Moral" songs. And what should we have done without them? How tame and tuneless would the days of our childhood stand out to our retrospect, if stripped of "The Cradle Hymn," and "Abroad in the Meadows," and "The Rose, that Beautiful Flower, the glory of April and May!" And cross, and lazy, and hard-hearted as we are, how much worse might we have been were it not for "The Dog's Delight," and "The Busy Bee," and "The Voice of the Sluggard," and "Whene'er I take my Walks Abroad!" Kind tutor! how mellow is thy memory! How hallowed and how innocent do the days now look that we spent with thee! and how glad we are to think that in the homes and the Sunday schools of Britain and America, some millions of young minds are still, from year to year, enjoying thy companionship, so loving, wise, and holy!


So have I seen the sun kiss the frozen earth, which was bound up with the images of death, and the colder breath of the north; and then the waters break from their inclosures, and melt with joy, and run in useful channels; and the flies do rise again from their little graves in walls, and dance a while in the air, to tell that there is joy within, and that the great mother of creatures will open the stock of her new refreshment, become useful to mankind, and sing praises to her Redeemer. So is the heart of a sorrowful man under the discourses of a wise comforter; he breaks from the despairs of the grave, and the fetters and chains of sorrow; he blesses God, and he blesses thee, and he feels his life returning; for to be miserable is death, but nothing is life but to be comforted; and God is pleased with no music from below so much as in the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows, of supported orphans, of rejoicing, and comforted, and thankful per



DANIEL WEBSTER, referring to his own lowly origin and his birthplace, gave utterance to sentiments which did him honor, and which will find a responsive echo in many hearts:

It is only shallow-minded pretenders who make either distinguished origin a matter of personal merit, or obscure origin a matter of personal reproach. A man who is not ashamed of himself need not be ashamed of his early condition. It did happen to me to be born in a log-cabin, raised among the snow-drifts of New Hampshire, at a period so early that when the smoke first rose from its rude chimney and curled over the frozen hills, there was no similar evidence of white man's habitation between it and the settlements on the rivers of Canada. Its remains still exist; I make it

an annual visit. I carry my children to it, and teach them the hardships endured by the generations before them. I love to dwell on the tender recollections, the kindred ties, the early affections, and the narrations and incidents which mingle with all I know of this primitive family abode; I weep to think that none who then inhabited it, are now among the living; and if ever I fail in affectionate veneration for him who raised it, and defended it against savage violence and destruction, cherished all domestic comforts beneath its roof, and through the fire and blood of seven years' revolutionary war, shrunk from no toil, no sacrifice, to serve bis country, and to raise his children to a condition better than his own, may my name and the name of my posterity be blotted from the memory of mankind.

DOING RIGHT WITHOUT KNOWING IT Is not very common; but DR. MOORE, in his work entitled "Man and his Motives," relates the following:

A society of philanthropists endeavored to encourage deeds of charity and virtue among the Pawnee Indians. They found a young man of that tribe who had daringly signalized himself by rescuing a young woman from an awful death. While she was surrounded by her intended executioners, he rushed into the midst of them, and bearing her away to a spot where he had placed a fleet horse, he escaped with her before they had time to recover from their surprise. It might be supposed that a sense of that injustice with which a number of warriors were about to expiate some small offense in their helpless victim, moved him to this noble deed; but when the philanthropists presented this young warrior with a silver medal for his reward, he exclaimed, "I did not know that I did right!" In short, his conscience had only condemned him for interfering with the cruel usages of his savage countrymen; and the only excuse he had to offer for his daring deed was the sufficiently manly one, that he wanted a wife.


THE amiable condescension and patronizing airs of the great vulgar are admirably hit off in the simple verses which follow. They are from an anonymous volume recently published in London:

"Good-night, Sir Rook," said a little Lark;
"The daylight fades, it will soon be dark;
I've bathed my wings in the sun's last ray,
I've sung my hymn to the dying day;
So now I haste to my quiet nook

In yon dewy meadow: good-night, Sir Rook."

"Good-night, poor Lark," said his titled friend,
With a haughty toss and a distant bend;
"I also go to my rest profound,

But not to sleep on the cold damp ground;
The fittest place for a bird like me
Is the topmost bough of yon tall pine-tree.

"I open'd my eyes at peep of day,
And saw you taking your upward way,
Dreaming your fond romantic dreams,
An ugly speck in the sun's bright beams;
Soaring too high to be seen or heard--
And said to myself, what a foolish bird.

"I trod the park with a princely air;
I fill'd my crop with the richest fare;
I caw'd all day 'mid a lordly crew,
And I made more noise in the world than you!
The sun shone full on my ebon wing;

I look'd and wonder'd; good-night, poor thing!"
"Good-night, once more," said the Lark's sweet voice,
"I see no cause to repent my choice;
You build your nest in the lofty pine,
But is your slumber more soft than mine?
You make more noise in the world than I,
But whose is the sweeter minstrelsy?"

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OURSELVES. The past year has been one of severe trial to all classes of the community, and most especially to the publishers of periodicals. When the necessity for retrenchment has been so general it is not a matter of wonder that subscriptions to newspapers and magazines have been discontinued; nor are we disposed to murmur that with some of our own readers we have been obliged to part company. We trust it will be but for a season, and that with returning prosperity we shall again greet them with our monthly visits. In the meantime, is it too much to ask those who take an interest in THE NATIONAL that they will aid the publishers by an effort to extend its circulation? We have scarcely a subscriber who could not, with a little effort, if so disposed, procure the name of a friend or neighbor, and more than one, perhaps, to whose family circle our monthly visits would afford rational amusement and profitable instruction. We have no special agents devoted to this work, and our publishers choose not to descend to the system of puffing advertisements, so common with many of our cotemporaries. If the Magazine has not sufficient merit to make its own way without resorting to mere tricks of the trade and purchased eulogies, which may be had to any extent, if paid for, they think, and in this we agree with them, that it would be better to discontinue its publication altogether.

THEATRICAL TENDENCIES.-We see it stated in a religious paper that in one or more of the churches in Boston they have a method of

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