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inspirea wish to read a French author. Her , except their household accounts, a few knowledge proceeded little further than receipts for preserving or making cakes, the pronunciation of a few common-place and perhaps, in the course of their lives, phrases. An able master was engaged some half dozen letters to an absent to teach the young lady the art of writ- parent or partner; and why the young ing; and her neat hand, and exact arith- ladies of the present day should want to metical exercises gave great satisfaction be so much more learned, he could not to her father; but the proposal of her imagine. He feared it boded no good preceptor to give her themes for the ex- for the nation. It will be supposed that ercise of her intellectual powers, and for the views of the good old man, on the facilitating a habit of composition, were subject of general education, were not regarded with excessive jealousy; and very liberal. He watched, with minthe study of astronomy, a subject on gled apprehension and satisfaction, the which she discovered some curiosity, was wide and rapid spread of Sunday-school absolutely prohibited, as far too exalted instruction, doubting whereunto this and mysterious to be fit for a young lady. would grow." His majesty, for whom On one occasion, Miss Dormer was al- Mr. Dormer had a profound veneration, lowed to spend a few days at my uncle's, was, about that time, reported to to meet my sisters and my cousin. Dur- have said, that he hoped the day ing their visit, my uncle engaged a lec- would come, when every poor child in turer on natural and experimental phi- his dominions would be able to read the losophy, to meet the young people in his Bible. My uncle repeated it as a noble library. A very entertaining and in- sentiment, and, coming from such high structive evening we had. But old Mr. authority, the old gentleman could not Dormer was perfectly horrified when his dissent from it. “True! yes ! it was very daughter, in the simplicity of her heart, desirable, and he himself earnestly detold him all she had seen and heard; espe- sired it, that every person should be able cially on experiments illustrating the to read the Bible; but then, would they theory of thunder and lightning. This make a good use of it? and would the he considered the height of profanity, matter stop there? If they should sin which he could not have supposed would against light and knowledge, it would be have been tolerated by my uncle. He worse than sinning in ignorance, and never afterwards permitted his daughter their condemnation would be the greater; to visit there, without stipulating that she and, if they were taught to read the should see no philosophical experiments. Bible, who could answer for it that they Her library was restricted to the Bible would not apply the ability, thus acand one or two books of devotion, Sal- quired, to the reading of bad books; or, mon's Gazetteer, Culpepper's Herbal, at least, to the acquirement of knowledge the Complete Housewife, and the Univer- not necessary to their station in life ? He sal Spelling Book. If ever the lucubra- had heard of some enthusiastic teachers tions of the young lady took a wider who, not content with teaching poor range, she was, by her father's injudi- children to read the Bible, employed a cious restrictions, exposed to a two-fold week evening in teaching them to write ; injury: that of acting in stealthy disobe- an accomplishment which he considered dience, and that of making an indis- extremely undesirable, and likely to lead creet selection. My uncle, in some de- the way to all sorts of mischief. A poor gree, convinced Mr. Dormer of his mis. man had been recently executed for fortake in this particular ; or, at least, so gery. If he could not have written, that far won upon his confidence, as occa- would never have happened.” sionally to obtain permission to place in My uncle reminded Mr. Dormer of the hands of the young lady some book an opposite circumstance.

A diligent which he decidedly recommended as of a and industrious lad, known to both the harmless and useful tendency, though gentlemen, had entered a mercantile the permission was generally accompa- house in its very lowest department. He nied by a sigh of apprehension, lest she devoted every moment of leisure to the should turn her brains with study, or be acquirement of useful knowledge; and diverted from attention to proper femi- with a little assistance from one of the nine duties. Her mother, he said, was clerks, he learned to read and write. an excellent woman, and her grand- This circumstance excited little notice in mother too; and they never thought of the establishment; but his general inreading scientific books, or of writing, dustry, fidelity, and aptitude for busi

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ness recommended him to promotion, to diffuse it among their fellow creatures and he was advanced a step or two in the to the widest possible extent. He was office scale. At length, one of the clerks, not only a liberal contributor to public who had long been in failing health, was designs for this object, but was the prinentirely laid aside ; and one of the prin- cipal originator and supporter of schools cipals observed to the other, that it was in his immediate neighbourhood. The matter of regret that the faithful lad, results of these institutions, in some dewith whose services they were so well gree, brought to the mind of Mr. Dorsatisfied, had not been qualified by edu- mer a conviction of their utility. It was cation to fill the vacant post. To their not, however, without fear and tremgreat surprise they learned that, for bling, lest future years should develope several weeks, if not months, he had some latent evil in the system, that he actually almost entirely discharged its became an unsolicited contributor to the duties in addition to his own. He was funds, sheltering himself behind the immediately appointed to fill the situa- judgment and benevolence of his friend ; tion, and ultimately became head of the but confessing his misgivings, lest the establishment, and was, at the time the ranks of servants and labourers should circumstance was mentioned, a retired be deserted, or, at least, that faithful, country gentleman, an active magis- attached domestics would become in. trate, and an extensive benefactor to his creasingly rare. neighbourhood. " If this young man,

About that time, the life of Mr. Dorsaid my uncle, “had not learned to mer was placed in circumstances of imwrite, he could not have taken the situa minent peril, by the ignorance of a fation which led to his subsequent ad-vourite, and, indeed, valuable servant, vancement and extensively beneficial in- of whose merits he had often spoken fluence. It will not do, my good friend, with exultation, adding, “And she can to argue against any thing merely from neither read nor write.” This old wobeing abused, or being capable of abuse, man, who had been the nurse of Miss else we might argue down as evil, the Dormer in her infancy, was always lady sight of our eyes, and light of day.” paramount in the sick chamber; and on

Mr. Dormer admitted that there might one occasion, Mr. Dormer having met be here and there a youth of talent, who with an accident, old Betty who could not might properly be allowed to make his read the labels, administered, by way of way to literary attainments of a higher draught, a powerful liniment, and assiclass than those assigned him by early duously rubbed the shoulder with what education ; but, in general, thought it was intended for a cooling draught. quite unnecessary for domestic servants This incident probably had some influand village labourers to acquire any thing ence in convincing the old gentleman more, than an ability to read the Bible. that it was possible for the value, even Fifty years ago, he said, writing was of a faithful domestic servant, to be ennever thought of for people of that class, hanced by the possession of knowledge and yet there were servants as trusty and enough to prevent such a mistake. respectable as in the present day. He Mr. Dormer had a dreadful antiexpressed great satisfaction in saying, that pathy to the modern practice of meof his own servants, each of whom had dicine. He had an old friend, a phylived very long with him, not more than sician of the old school, and, while one or two could write ; and on the very he lived, Mr. Dormer never hesitated rare occurrence of having 'occasion to to follow his prescriptions, taking it for hire fresh servants into his establish- granted, whether with or without reason ment, he always gave the preference cannot now be said, that his practice was to those who could not write. Indeed, governed by two maxims, which Mr. D. he very much questioned whether read- held to be incontrovertible—That every ing was, in any case, an unqualified ad- land yields both food and physic adapted vantage.

to its own inhabitants; therefore foreign While Mr. Dormer was debating these drugs can never suit the constitution of questions, my uncle was acting on the an Englishman--and, That flesh and liberal decision that, "for the soul to be herbs being appointed for the food of without knowledge is not good ;” that man, and nothing said about minerals, knowledge is favourable to individual and no kind of mineral substance or presocial happiness and virtue; and that those paration can be adapted to the purposes who possess this advantage, are bound l of medicine. The old man had boundless faith in certain infallible family re- several of the old standards like himself, ceipts, of infusions or decoctions of Brit- preferred employing the evening in doish herbs, handed down from generation mestic worship and instruction, and a to generation, as of sovereign use under decided opposition was anticipated on his all the maladies that flesh is heir to. part ; but, at length, the desire became By the help of these, in conjunction with so general, and the prospect of usefulness a sound constitution and a temperate so evident, that it seemed a duty to salife, Mr. Dormer enjoyed a good portion crifice individual preference to general of health and activity to old

When good.

Mr. Dormer's was the only dishis health began to fail, he was continu- sentient vote to the proposed measure of ally lamenting the loss of his old friend, engaging an assistant minister to take and declared that he could place no con- the afternoon service, and establishing an fidence in any of the modern race of evening lecture. Every possible means medical men.

He was sure they would was tried to meet and conciliate his feel, poison him with calomel. At length, ings. It was known that he assembled after much persuasion, and in order to his family exactly at five o'clock, and satisfy his daughter, Mr. Dormer con- that they separated at half-past six. The sented to see the successor of his late time of the afternoon and evening serfriend, an honest and intelligent man, vices were so arranged as to admit

of his who kindly entered into, and bore with attending either, without interference the little peculiarities and prejudices of with his domestic order ; but no, he his patient, candidly told him that medi- could not attend in the afternoon, becine could do but little for him; and cause it was a minister to whom he had that the particular class of medicines, not been accustomed ; and he could not against which he had so strong an anti- attend in the evening, because he had pathy, would, in his case, be neither always been used to go out in the after, necessary nor proper. This seemed to noon. Thus he went on for several win the old man's confidence, and he con- years, depriving himself and his family trived to receive the visits of his doctor, of privileges after which they pined, and made no further question as to his and considering himself as deeply inprescriptions; but, after his death, old jured by the minister and congregation. Betty confessed to her young mistress, The afternoon preacher he had never that the medicines, at the appointed hour even seen; and he had become very shy of taking them, had, by the express in- of his old pastor. Two or three years junction of the patient, been regularly before his death, Mr. Dormer was laid thrown away. Thus was “the ruling aside for several weeks, by an accident, passion strong in death.”

My uncle frequently visited him, and Before I dismiss old Mr. Dormer, I happily succeeded in introducing the must mention one instance in which he young minister, and in re-establishing carried out his opposition to the habits the intimacy of the old gentleman with of the times, much to his own spiritual his long valued pastor. Afflictions are privation, in a matter which excited sometimes sanctified in softening down much sympathy towards him, in the prejudices, and mellowing the feelings. It minds of his minister and the fellow was so in this case. Mr. Dormer became Christians with whom he was associated; truly thankful for the visits of both these but in which they could not feel them- gentlemen, one or other of whom kindly selves justified in sacrificing the interests conducted the domestic service on the of many, to the feelings of one. Mr. Lord's-day evening, until Mr. Dormer Dormer had been always accustomed to was able to resume it himself. After his attend public worship twice on the Lord's recovery,. he resumed his seat in the day, and in the evening to read a sermon sanctuary every sabbath afternoon; and to his household. In his latter years, on several occasions was known even to the practice of evening preaching was attend the evening lecture. He also very generally adopted, and was found added a codicil to his will, bequeathing very useful, in bringing under the sound a testimonial of friendship to both the of the gospel, multitudes who had been ministers and each of the friends who accustomed to spend the sabbath even- had opposed his views about the evening ing in dissipation or idleness. In the lecture, with an expression of regret that congregation with which Mr. Dormer he had ever spoken or thought hardly of worshipped, the measure was not very them. soon adopted; for the minister, and

C.

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MOUNT TABOR.

warmth to our frame, and energy to our Mount Tabor is a very remarkable feelings? What! though “ winds be mountain, of sugar-loaf shape, standing, loud and ways be foul,” and snow cover alone on the plain of Galilee, but sur- the ground, shall we fear to venture rounded by hills at some little distance forth

? Come into the fields, for though Its summit is flat and very fertile, being nature wear her humblest garments, she pretty thickly studded with trees and is still attractive to her votaries. shrubs, though towards the south it is

See, the hardy furze (Ulex Euromore open, and from that quarter there peus) which covers the common, is is a most agreeable view which amply putting forth its golden blossoms, in compensates for the exertion of the as- beautiful contrast with the dark green cent. Round the mountain, the plains of its thorny stem. This shrub, which of Esdraelon and Galilee spread their is very abundant, forms in summer a beauty to the eye, and the Mediter- fortress guarded with an array of spears, ranean rolls afar in the north-west. to which many of our smaller birds, as Mount Hermon is descried in the east, the linnet, repair, to build their nests ; as also the sea of Tiberias, and fur- in winter, it offers beneath its dense ther to the right rises the high ridge of canopy, an asylum for various animals, Gilboa: at the same time, the scenes which there find security and concealof our Saviour's life are continually ment. There the hedgehog often hybrought before the mind as the eye bernates, and field mice and shrews surveys, and the ear almost at every make their burrows; the viper too, inturn catches the names of places hal- tertwined with others of its race, for lowed by his presence.

the sake of mutual warmth, there, in some snug recess, passes the colder season; and the lizard secures a dormitory.

But the furze is not the only plant By a Naturalist.

which dares to unfold its flowers: the

polyanthus may be often seen in bloom, 'Tis done! dread winter spreads his latest

the mezereon, and the daisy; and in glooms,

sheltered borders, the snowdrop, towards And reigns tremendous o'er the conquered year.” | the close of the month, peeps timidly

Shall we sit shivering by the fire, forth, and discloses its' bell-like blosor brave the cold, and by exercise give ! som.

DECEMBER, 1840.

NOTES ON THE MONTH.

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DECEMBER.

- 2M

At this season, when the ground is / kind is related by Bewick, for the truth frozen, and the snow lies deep, the of which he personally vouches. Durtimid tenants of the fields often ap- ing a severe storm, one of these aniproach the habitations of man; hares mals was traced in the snow from the and rabbits venture into gardens, and side of a rivulet to its hole at some disnibble the culinary vegetables ; the tance from it. As it was observed to tracks of the fox and the polecat in have made frequent trips, and as other the snow, prove that these marauders marks were seen in the snow, which have been roaming all night about the could not be eas'ly accounted for, it farmer's barns and outhouses ; and when was thought a matter worthy of greater the wolf was a denizen of our uncleared attention: its hole was accordingly exwoodlands, urged by want, and ren- amined, the polecat (or foumart, as it dered thus doubly ferocious, that dread is termed in the northern countries) was ed animal prowled around the hut of taken, and eleven fine eels were disthe peasant, and devastated the sheep- covered to be the fruits of its nocturnal fold and the cattle yard. During the excursions. The marks on the snow winter, indeed, the rayages of this beast were found to have been made by the of prey were very great; nor was man motion of the eels in the creature's safe from its attacks. These animals mouth. Mr. Bell, in his interesting abounde in the hilly and thinly peo- History of British Quadrupeds, alludes to pled parts of the island, and their de- | the foregoing circumstance, and quotes struction became a matter of such im- from Loudon's magazine an analogous portance, that in the reign of Edgar instance, in which a female polecat was the punishment of certain offences was pursued to her nest, where five young remitted, on the condition of the of

ones were found, comfortably embedded fender producing a certain number of in a snug nest of withered grass, but wolves' tongues. A tribute of wolves' adjacent to which, in a hole by themheads was received in Wales, as equi- selves were packed forty large frogs valent for taxes, otherwise to be paid and two toads, all alive, though merely in money; and long after that period, so; they were, indeed, capable of sprawllands were held on the condition of ing a little, and that was all, for the hunting these animals. Yorkshire, in polecat had contrived to strike them all the time of Athelstan, so abounded with with palsy. They were found, on them, that places of refuge were built more careful inspection, to have been for the security of travellers, tracked bitten through the brain. by sanguinary troops, “burning for In the colder portions of England and blood, bony, and gaunt, and grim.” | the continent, the stoat, or ermine, asHappily, the wolf no longer disturbs sumes that snowy whiteness of fur, exthe peasant with his nightly howl; but cepting at the end of the tail, which in some parts of the continent, and es- renders it so much esteemed, as a lining pecially in the wooded regions of the for winter garments, and for robes of northern countries, this animal is very state and royalty. In the southern discommon, and every winter commits ex

tricts of our country, the ermine seltensive depredations.

dom becomes entirely white, this colour The otter, well known for its de- only appearing in patches, mottling the structiveness to fish, quits the smaller brown; but in Scotland and the northstreams which it haunts, or the lake ern counties of England, pure white where it habitually dwells, should they specimens are often met with ; and we now become frozen, and seeks broader have seen one, in this snowy garb, from and deeper rivers, and not unfrequently Ireland. Still, both as regards the fullit descends to the sea. In some cases,

ness and softness and also

the purity of when the means of obtaining fish fail, the colour of the fur, no British speciit has been known to make inland ex- mens at all equal those obtained in cursions, and visit the farmyard, at- Russia, Norway, and Siberia ; nor intacking sucking pigs and poultry; but deed is the animal so abundant in our instances of this kind are very rare. islands as to be worth consideration in On the other hand, the polecat has a commercial point of view. On the been ascertained to pursue and capture contrary, in the northern regions of fish, when other means of support be- Europe, the ermine exists in astonishing come scarce ; and an instance of this numbers, the vast forests covering with

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