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thus to wound conscience and load our hearts with anxiety!
Conscience becomes quiet again when we confess the wrong that we have done, and resolve to do so no more. It is probable that the principal reason why God has given us conscience, is to prevent our doing wrong; and so, when we cease to do wrong, it generally ceases to give us pain. If a boy is only intending to do something wrong, but has not yet begun to do it, and his conscience is warning him and making him feel restless and uneasy, he can very easily quiet its warnings, and obtain peace of mind again. And how? Why, simply by giving up his design of doing wrong, and determining to do right. If he has already done wrong, and injured any one by it—then if he will determine to do so no more, and confess his fault, and make reparation for the injury if he can, he will be happy again.
Peace of mind and a quiet conscience are of inestimable value. Without these, all other means of enjoyment will fail of making us happy; and with them, whatever other privation we may suffer, life may pass pleasantly away.—J. Abbott.
LESSON XXXI.—THE Y0UN0 LINN.EUS OK TORNEA.
At Tornea, at the northern extremity of the Gulf of Bothnia, Dr. Clarke, the celebrated traveller, met with this interesting youth, of whom he has given the following account: —
"We had sent to the apothecary of the place for a few jars of the conserved berries of the rubus arcticus. They were brought by a boy without either shoes or stockings, who, having executed his master's orders, began to cast a longing eye towards the books of plants which we were engaged in turning over—being then busied in arranging our specimens—when, to our astonishment, he named every one of them as fast as they appeared, giving to each of them, with great accuracy, its Linnasan appellation. This extraordinary youth, with whom we soon became better acquainted, was the dutiful son of a poor widow, named Pyppon, living at Uleabag, who, having bestowed upon her child the best education her circumstances could afford, had placed him as an apprentice to this apothecary. The apothecary had himself a turn for natural history, but did not choose that his little pupil should quit the pestle and mortar for the pursuits of botany and entomology; 'It interrupted,' as he said, and perhaps very truly, ' the business of his shop.' The consequence was, that this young Linnseus carried on his studies unknown to his master, concealing his books and plants, and risiDg every morning before three o'clock, that he might snatch a few stolen hours from the duties of his profession, and dedicate them to inquiries which had already qualified him to become his master's instructor. If he found, in his barefooted rambles, a new plant or a new insect, he was compelled to hide it in his hat, and thus bear it to his hidden museum. It fell out, however, that his master discovered his boxes of insects; and these he afterwards allowed him to place in his shop, because they attracted the notice of customers, and gratified the master's vanity, who always exhibited them as of his own collecting. They had been thus exhibited to us. This curious example of the power of genius rising superior to all circumstances, and overwhelming every obstacle, in one so young and friendless, induced us to take some pains in prevailing upon his master to allow full scope to the bent of his inclination; and many were the pretences upon which we sent to the shop, that our young philosopher might be made happy, by bringing what was required. Upon one of these occasions we told him that a plant rather rare, the soiichus sibiricus, was said to grow in the neighbourhood of Tornea, but that we had failed in our endeavours to find it. The words were scarcely uttered, when he ran off, as fast as his legs could carry him, and soon returned, having in his hand two or three specimens of the plant."
LESSON XXXII. NESTS OF BRITISH BIRDS.
The hemispherical cups of mud, formed by the common House Martin in the corners of windows, and under the eaves and ledges of houses, are well known to every one. Soft mud from the edges of pools, or ruts in the high road, is collected by the bird in little pellets, carried in her mouth to the selected spot, and there plastered against the wall, pellet after pellet, until the lowest layer is formed. As each is deposited, the tenacity of the material is increased by an admixture with glutinous saliva secreted by the bird, and minute bits of broken straw help to render it more compact. Lest the weight of the work, while it is yet soft, should pull it down, the little architect does not work too fast; but making only a shallow layer every morning, she devotes the rest of the day to amusement: thus the work progressively hardens. She works by clinging to the irregularities of the wall, with her strong feet in a perpendicular position, the tail strongly thrown in, and serving as an additional support; and as she lays on each pellet of mud, she plasters it about with her chin, moving her head rapidly from side to side. Thus, in the course of ten days or a fortnight, a snug and tight chamber is constructed, with a small hole near the upper part; and being lined with grass and feathers, is admirably adapted for the reception and rearing of the young brood. The nest of the Golden Oriole, rarely found in England, is said to be in shape like a purse or a basket, with two handles, by which it is hung with great art from two parallel twigs, or the fork of a branch. The materials used for it are chiefly long grass and wool, so curiously interwoven as mutually to confine and sustain each other. The Chaffinch and the Goldfinch are remarkable among our birds for the extreme neatness and beauty of the nests which they construct. The substances which they use are chiefly moss and wool, the whole compacted together, and rendered almost as close and smooth as a piece of cloth. That of the Goldfinch is the most smooth and uniform—not a single fibre of the moss being allowed to project from the outline; but that of the Chaffinch is tastefully ornamented on the outer surface, by the addition of minute paper-like lichens, of a delicate green or silvery-grey hue, stuck on and fastened with spiders' webs. The nest of the Longtailed Tit is, in form, much like a bottle with a short neck, composed of green mosses carefully felted together with wool. The outside sparkles with silver-coloured lichens, scattered over the surface, and intermingled with the egg-nests of spiders, from the size of a pea and upwards, parts of which are drawn out to assist in felting; so that when the texture of the nest is stretched, portions of fine gossamer-like threads appear among the fibres of the wool. The interior is filled with a profusion of soft feathers, among which twelve or fifteen little Tits are sometimes brought into the world.
LESSON XXXIII. A PSALM OF LIFE.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal; "Dust thou art—to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow
Finds us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;