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THE CHINESE JACAN A. The position in which this remarkable that the body to be supported has too bird is here presented, shows distinctly small a base, that base must be extended. the peculiarity for which it is distinguish- Now, in the case before us, the base of ed. Though a bird of some size and the Jacana is virtually extended, as truly weight, it has toes of such uncommon as is that of the Indian when he attaches length that it can walk upon the broad a snow shoe to his foot : for the long toes floating leaves of water lilies, and find a
pressing equally upon the different parts resting place about the borders of ponds, of the floating leaf, prevent it from collapsas far from the shores as that plant ex- ing, and distribute the weight in small tends.
portions over the surface. The upward It will easily be seen how the Jacana is
pressure of the water on the extended leaf able to stand or walk where other birds, being greater than the downward pressure even though much lighter, would sink of the bird's whole weight, he finds a firm into the water. It is on the same princi- footing ple that the web-footed fowls can walk Many cases may occur to us all, in which upon mud, when it is so soft that a hen a little attention to such a subject may cannot pass without the aid of her wings; prove of practical importance. and that a camel's broad foot only rests In the town of Northampton, Mass., a upon the sand of the desert, where a horse nurse was called to take care of a sick persinks in to his fetlocks. Broad wheels, son in the winter of Seventy-nine-eighty," for the same reason, are best for roads of as it was afterwards called, on account of loose sand; and snow shoes enable the its severity in our country. The snow northern Indians to travel through drifts, was very deep and dry, and the nurse was even with burthens on their backs, when, a woman of extraordinary size. It may be with only their moccasins, they would interesting to some of our readers to learn sink in to their waists, or perhaps to their that she was the daughter of Phebe Bartnecks.:
lett, whose early character is sketched with The general principle is this : when the such simplicity and interest by President surface is of such a feeble consistency
The shortest way to the house was across several fields, covered with snow up to the tops of the fences, and wholly impassible in any ordinary way, even by a person of the lightest frame. She took with her two blankets, which she spread upon the snow, and crept over them on her hands and knees, changing them as she proceeded, until she reached her destination in safety.
It has been related of a division of Gen. Packenham's army, while on its march towards New Orleans, that it crossed a tract of soft and marshy land, by moving in a close file, over the long and tough grass which grew upon it, the leader carefully bending it down before him at every stepthe weight of all the soldiers preventing their slender bridge from separating. The story, whether probable or not, may serve as another illustration of the same principle, which is seen, in its simplest form, in a common raft with its load.
them like others. Then they will feel that they must study. As to the moral contamination to which I know you think they are exposed, that idea is all squeamishness. My children are not better than other people's. They are in the world and they must take their chance."
I saw this plan was settled, and thought I saw a different reason for the decision from that which he thought to be the true one; but in the words of the old song, "I only answered with a sigh."
I have another person now in my mind, whose course with his children I know for several years. He never objected to expense. He had no reason for doing so, being opulent. He is also conscientious, has a high estimate of learning, and prefers that which is sound. He is even so remarkable for his just views, that he has sacrificed intellectual to religious improvement for a time, when circumstances, in his opinion, justified it.
His children were now here, now there, now under a private tutor, now in a select school, now at a boarding school, then under private tutors again. What was the matter? He took no part in their education himself. In this he was like the first. The same sources gave rise to two streams, as different as the currents running in these two families.
A single lady, of superior attainments and much literary taste, was once lamenting the unhappy state of dependence in which she found herself and depicting, in affecting colors, the difficulties and discouragements attending every attempt to gain even the slightest income. I was bold enough to hint, though in as gentle and indirect a way as I could, that she might easily find parents, who would thank as well as pay her for spending a few hours each day with their daughters. “Oh, it is out of the question !" replied she, “ I have not the ability. I know enough of the common branches to get along with; but I should not know how to begin to instruct.” I then began at some length to show her, that only a little preparation and exercise would be required to make all that familiar; and that her extensive reading, cultivated taste, and firm principles would form a fund of the highest value, the use of which would afford her a daily repast highly congenial to her nature. She lis. tened a few moments, and then cut me short by exclaiming : But, oh! I never had patience enough to keep school!"
Now, how many parents may there probably be found, who are deterred from undertaking the regular instruction of their children only by one or both these objections? They are either too ignorant, or too little inclined to the task.
If our children are to be sent to school because we are too ignorant to teach them, it is one thing. Let us consider this distinctly in the first place. And we may ask the question, how wise are the teachers to whom we confide them? How many times better qualified are those to whom we send our children than ourselves? If ten times or twenty times, perhaps we do wisely: but it is certainly more difficult to teach many than a few. Now where have the majority of the teachers obtained the knowledge they undertake to communicate ? Chiefly by their own exertions, stimulated by the desire to perform the duties of teachers, or by the more selfish motive of gaining success in their business. Might not parental love and duty be as powerful with us, and ought they not to be so ?
Again, how many of those teachers do we really think to be as good models of manners as ourselves, as sound in principle, as faithful, kind and interested in watching, guiding and inciting our chil.
How to Educate our Children. " What shall I do for my children?" inquired a friend a short time ago, "I want to give them a good education, but I cannot afford to send them to a boarding school or to a college” “Do it yourself, my dear friend,” ieplied I.“I cannot; it is impossible. See how my time is occupied. I have to leave home after breakfast, and seldom can return to dinner." “ You have some time, have you not ?" “ Very little, very little." “ What do you do before breakfast?"
“ Nothing regular; who can ? Besides, I must confess I am not always an early riser. All the forenoon I am at my business, and in the afternoon I want rest, and amusement. I read, walk, or play on some instrument. I used to smoke segars and then pipes. I have cast them off; and, so, you see, I have reformed." “Do you ever talk to your children, hear them read, or direct their minds in other ways ?" * No, that would be more labor. I want repose and amusement, as I said before.” “ There are both repose and amusement in that. You have begun to reform, pray do not stop yet.”
Here then was time enough to do somethingnot as much time as might be desirable, it is true ; but some time-several hours. And one hour a day is a considerable amount in a year. I shall try to show hereafter how considerable it is when well employed; and how few pupils, even at the most expensive schools, receive more than one hour's unintermitted attention in a day.
My friend made a few more remarks; but I soon ceased to press the subject. He had embraced a few opinions which opposed my views, and held them with a tenacity, which he expressed to me in sharp terms, as if determined to convince me from the first that nothing I could say should ever shake him.
“ Children will not study at home,” said he ; they must have a regular teacher, who will treat
ren in the paths of propriety, knowledge and virue ? Some are so, no doubt-many, it may be loped; but it is our duty to discriminate.
[To be continued.]
them. Close investigation and long study were necessary to discover them; and the learned have been long performing the laborious task. To learn the results is comparatively easy. Every one of us may acquaint himself with some important fact by reading a page of a familiar work on stones, plants, insects, fish, birds or beasts, and thus qualify himself better to walk among the fields, to till the little garden, to direct the management of the farm, or to perform his part in domestic or social conversation.
Books on such subjects are of incalculable value in families, especially if illustrated with drawings. Audubon's splendid book on our birds stands at the head of the list; and a wealthy father should prefer it to a coach, or any other expensive article of luxury. Wilson's Ornithology, though costly, may be bought for one fifth part of the price of some shawls, or pieces of elegant furniture, and will more adorn the mind and heart, than such admired trifles can ornament the person or the drawing-room. Many smaller works on the different branches of natural history might be named, of moderate, and even trifling cost, which abound in information important, intelligible, and interesting to young and old.
Family Libraries. You have one : but of what kind ? A little reiection will convince us that this is an important question. A library is a portion of household furature of the highest importance, and deserves cau. ion as well as knowledge and taste in the selecion, and judgment in the use. No doubt there have been good libraries which have done little or no good. We have seen them in the possession of fathers and mothers, who used them only them. selves, and never encouraged, or taught, or permitted their children to have access to them.
But almost always the children are not only permitted to read, bút do read, and read over and over some of the books of the family library. And who cannot remember the influences they exerted on their own minds? Many have thus had their taste and opinions, their whole course of life
sway. ed and directed. We have known persons in middle life, and even in advanced age, who seemed to have been merely living out the principles or characters of the books on the shelves to which they had first clambered in their childhood.
In early life we read without experience, without prejudice, and without foresight. Therefore, if we become interested, the mind receives the whole impression, as from a seal with nothing interposed between it and the wax. We must not say that we begin without a fixed taste. The mind has naturally a taste for truth, when truth is not its enemy; and this is one of the few traits which have survived the days of Paradise. But this love of truth may soon give way to the love of fancy, which fictitious writings so strongly excite and gratify. So universal is the taste for them, that few seem capable of reasoning about their tendency. They make the question one of taste, not of judgment; and conclude that truth has nó attractions, because they do not perceive them. But let us look at the naturalist, the historian, the rational philanthropist, the practical Christian, and we shall find that truth has the only real treasures in the world, and that all others are worthless though gilded baubles.
First of all things, then, do our family libraries contain the truth? Or are they mere depositories of those poisonous seeds, which are now daily planted in the minds of our children, to overshadow them in future life with plants which will serve for neither food nor medicine ?
The American Institute. The late Fair of the American Institute collected a large and interesting number of specimens of the mechanical and agricultural skill and industry of our countrymen. To walk through the halls in which they were displayed, was both agreeable and instructive. We realize only when we witness such an exhibition, something of the vast amount of thought and labor annually bestowed by the intelligent and industrious on the objects of their appropriate departments; and the sight is well calculated to remind us of our obligations to them, for improving society, and for stimulating us to the useful occupation of our time by their example.
A VENERABLE BIBLE.—At the Anniversary meeting of the American Bible Society, an old divine from New Hampshire, of the Presbyterian denomination, called Father Robbins, held in his hand the identical Bible upon which the members of the First Congress and President Washington were sworn into office, and containing the names of all those old worthies written on its pages. “ These,” said Mr. Robbins, Bible times and these Bible men—and God blessed and prospered their labors ; and under these men our country was prosperous. sir,” said he, “that we may again have such rules and such times !”—Presbyterian.
HORSES' COLLARS.-An ingenious person, resident at Spalding, has invented a great improvement in this part of a horse's harness—the collar being, it appears, inflated. The success attending the improvement has been established by experiment, and has proved a wonderful relief to that noble animal.
Natural History. What an unfailing source of pleasure and in. struction is found in the study of nature! Those of our readers who live in favorable country places, need not to be told of the varying beauties of the landscape, or the succession of vegetable and animal life brought on by the progress of the sea. sons. Some of them, however, may perhaps have need of a hint, to provide their children with such books as may aid them in learning something of what they may see, and encourage them to direct their attention to objects not obvious to the careless observer. Many persons, probably, are careless observers in consequence of ignorance. If we all were aware of the interesting objects surrounding us, we could not but fix our eyes upon
Balloons. Men have always desired not only to quicken their speed on the ground, and to cut like a fish through the seas, but to rise and glide in the air. There is something natural in this desire. Though we often chide or ridicule it in the young, we ought to remember whence the aspiring spirit springs. Our thoughts can fly from place to place, from star to star. If we have a friend at a distance, we visit him in fancy, at our pleasure ; and we send our thoughts to foreign scenes of which we have only heard, or back to those of our childhood. But when we have to move our bodies, how great is the contrast ! We bear the delay and the labor of locomotion with regret, if not with dissatisfaction and fretfulness. We feel almost humiliated by the slow pace to which our nature confines
us, and desire to increase it. The fleet horse is unable to satisfy us, though he fall breathless in his course ; and we are now clamorous at the delay of our engineers, who are studying to hasten their steamboats beyond twenty miles an hour, and their rail cars beyond forty.
The truth is, the soul has yet to wait too long, and is still weary of delay. Let us not join in the general demand for more speed, which has often no definite objects, neither let us blame our Maker for giving us a corporeal nature: but let us remember the capacities and interests of that superior part, whose abilities we are apt to overlook in points of greater importance.
The first balloon ever planned is said to have been described in 1670, by Francis Lana, who proposed to have four balls exhausted of air, to raise it. Hydrogen gas being discovered, in 1766, to be very light, experiments were made by Cavallo in 1752, but he could not find a fit covering. In the same year, two brothers named Montgolfier, raised a silk bag to the height of 36 feet, by heating the air within with burning paper. They gradually made larger ones, until they sent up one 117 feet in circumference, 6,000 feet into the air. Yet the cause of the ascent was not understood.
Charles was the first to send up a hydrogen balloon, 12 feet in diameter, which rose 3,123 feet, disappeared in the clouds, and fell at the distance of 15 miles. In 1783 Montgolfier and Roger made a balloon at Paris, and the latter was the first man who ever ascended in one, though only 50 feet. In November of the same year, Rogier and D'Arlandes ascended from the Castle of Nuette, and came down safely after a voyage of 15 minutes, though they narrowly escaped
being burnt. In December, Charles and Ro bert ascended from the Tuileries, in an im proved hydrogen balloon,and reached 1,80 feet. Descending, Robert stepped out, whez the balloon rose with Charles 9,000 feet but he reached the ground again in safety
In 1784 four men ascended together, in a complex balloon, and encountered dangers which are detailed in the British Cyclopædia. In the following year, Blanchard, after several experiments, undertook to cross the British Channel, accompanied by Dr. Jefferies, an American, and landed in France in an hour and a half. The following year Rogier and Romain lost their lives in attempting to cross from France to England. They had two balloons, which were burnt in the air, and the bodies of the unfortunate adventurers were dashed to the ground. The first attempts in Germany were made by Siungius in 1805. An unfortunate excursion was made by Major Money, from Norwich, England. Instead of landing at Ipswich, as he had intended, he was carried by a hurricane towards Yarmouth, and fell into the water at the distance of nine miles from the land. Fortunately the balloon retained sufficient buoyancy to keep a man above water, after being relieved of most of his weight; and he was able to retain his hold to the ropes, until boats came to his relief.
Balloons and aerial voyages are now common, and the mode of filling balloons with hydrogen gas has been witnessed by thousands. We have thought our readers might like to read a brief history of their invention and early use.
The art of making and raising balloons appears to have now reached its point of perfection. We have perhaps nothing further to expect, or to desire, with tional ground, but that some way may be devised to steer them through the air. Signor Muzzi has recently arrived in this country from Italy, with a model of an invention he made a few years ago for that purpose. We have seen certificates which he brings from some of the scientific men of Tuscany; but without some other moving power than the gravity or levity of the balloon, it is impossible to move it against any considerable wind.
Rules for Preaching.
BY AN UNKNOWN AUTHOR. 1. Use the mother speech and tone, without affectation or imitation of any man, that you may not seem to act a comedy, instead of preaching a sermon.
2. Clog not your memory too much-it
tactics of the Celestial Empire was given us three or four years ago by an English Review, in extracts from a French translation of a work by a distinguished military writer. Many of the words of command were followed by directions, instructing how they were to be obeyed in a soldierlike manner.
We recollect examples like the following:
“ Present arms! Bring up your piece with a quick motion, scowl and look fierce, to frighten the enemy. Take aim ! Bring up the piece, look along the barrel, and give a yell. (Poussez des cris.)
“ Handle matches ! Seize the match, hold it in readiness, scowl and give dreadful yells. (Poussez des grands cris.")
Such a picture of a Chinese army was well calculated to give an idea of their extreme inferiority; and we recollect to have made the remark at the time, which many others also may have made : that it betokened an expectation of a conflict. That conflict has occurred, and is now past. How ridiculous it seems, to look at the awkward soldier above depicted, and recollect, that a few thousands of such men were at one time ordered “peremptorily,'' to have mercy no longer on the English invaders, but to rouse up with energy drive all the red imps into the sea !"
But, on the other hand, how sad it is to reflect on the ostensible ground of the war: the claim of England to carry on a free trade in opium, by which millions of Chinese are made victims of one of the most destructive of vices ! Will not such a policy become, at some future time, a subject of general concern among civilized nations, and stand on the same ground with others forbidden by the laws of nations ?
A MAMMOTH Ox. One of the finest animals of this class ever seen in this country, was recently exhibited in New York. It is seven years old, and said to be the largest in the world-weighing nearly five thousand pounds, measuring twelve feet from his horns to his tail, and in girth nearly twenty feet. Its color is almost entirely white, with the exception of a few black spots about the neck and shoulders. This noble animal was raised by E. H. Smith, Esq., of Smithtown, L. I.
A CURIOSITY. - The bark Columbia, at Philadelphia, from the Mediterranean, has brought a Maltese sheep as a present from the American Consulat Malta, to the Secretary of the Treasury. The animal is said to have a tail as broad as a small blanket.
A Chinese Soldier. The sight of this ferocious countenance might perhaps give the reader a shudder, if the awkward arms and accoutrements, and certain peculiar recollections associated with them, did not excite feelings of a different description. With all that savage look, we know that his musket is only a matchlock; and at this time of day there is something perfectly childish and 'ridiculous in the idea of holding a gun in one hand and firing it with a match in the other. How preposterous the expectation of resisting with such arms the most improved European musket, with the best flint lock or percussion cap!
But the Chinese Soldier himself is as far behind the civilized Soldier, as his firearms are inferior, if we may credit the accounts we have from different sources. A particular and very amusing introduction to the