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PORTRAIT GALLERY.

erroneousness of this opinion, but the structure of his own mind was such as to give to it an air of plausibility.

Whatever the subject might be to which he applied his REV. DAVID WELSH, D.D.

powers, he completely mastered it; and there were comMANKIND do not willingly let die' those whom they have paratively few subjects which did not engage some share loved and honoured. Affection and piety have embalmed of his attention. His first publication was ' An Account their bodies, and monuments have been erected to per- of the Life and Writings of Dr Thomas Brown ;' a work petuate their memories. But it is idle thus to contend which Sir James Mackintosh has characterized as “full of with Death. All that is mortal he claims and keeps as analytical spirit and metaphysical reading.' His intimacy his own. He reigns in triumph over the muffled and with the first metaphysician of his age, and perhaps the motionless mummy; and the cold marble or unbreathing natural bent of his own mind, induced him to devote brass can only preserve the form or image of the body, much of his time in early life to metaphysical pursuits, which is soon resolved into kindred dust. Their own and the work to which we have referred forms a pleasing works form the best and most enduring memorial of the memorial of his acquirements in mental science. The lucid truly great. They are immortalized by their own im and interesting digest which he presents of Dr Brown's mortal thoughts. It is in the record of their virtues that philosophical doctrines—his acquaintance, not more exthey survive, to instruct and edify posterity: in the page tensive than accurate, with the various authors who have of history they live, and speak to a thousand genera- treated of the same or kindred subjects--the freedom and tions.

familiarity with which he enters into the most profound The possessors of the greatest powers have not, indeed, and subtle speculations—the masterly manner in which he been always the most useful or the most worthy of being discusses every topic which he touches, combining original remembered. Genius has too often been subject to melan- thought, an independent judgment, and a just appreciacholy aberrations; there have been lights which only led tion of the merits of others, with an affectionate admirato bewilder, and dazzled to blind;' and noble gifts have tion of the friend whom he revered-afford unequivocal been prostituted to unworthy and ignoble purposes. In indications of his fitness to excel in this branch of inother instances, men of extraordinary talents have been quiry, and intimate that it was in his power, if he had placed in circumstances of such rare occurrence that few chosen to pursue this path, to become the first metaphycan possibly emulate what it may be both the duty and sician in a country which has been more celebrated than the delight of all to admire. Individuals of more mode- any other for the works which it has produced on mental rate endowments faithfully discharging the duties of every- physiology. day life, are, perhaps, fitted to be more generally useful But however inviting the study of the human mind as examples to their fellows. The righteous should be might have been to him, and however well he was qualihad in everlasting remembrance;' and it were well if fied to gain fame in this field of inquiry, Dr Welsh had the world were as familiar with the record of their virtues early devoted himself to a nobler science, and had conas with the stories that are rehearsed of the heroes and secrated all his gifts to the service of God. It was in the demigods of old renown.

study of the sacred oracles that he found his most conIt was to this latter class that Dr Welsh belonged. It genial employment; his highest ambition was to be a is not our province to give even an outline of his tranquil minister of Christ; and in the luxury of doing good,' and unerentful life; but we may be permitted to express in discharging the humblest offices of a Christian pastor, the hope that a memoir of this most estimable man will he experienced a greater satisfaction than he could have ere long be prepared by some skilful and competent hand. derived from all the honours which the world confers. His course was like that of a peaceful and pellucid stream, He did not, however, abandon his early pursuits when he which attracts no observation by its brawling noise or became a minister of the Gospel; nor did he for one motortuous windings, but which insensibly gains on the ment imagine that human learning was unfriendly to the spectator by the purity of its healthful waters, and the study of divine truth. It was while he was minister of fertility and freshness of its beautiful banks.

the parish of Crossmichael that he prepared his account The characteristic merit of Dr Welsh did not consist of Dr Brown; and the sermons which he composed at in a remarkable pre-eminence in respect of any one this period--a volume of which was published some years quality of the head or of the heart, but in the combina- ago—bear conspicuous marks of the severe discipline tion of talents and virtues which he exhibited. He was which his mind had undergone, and of the high state of not, perhaps, the very foremost in any one department; cultivation in which it was kept. These sermons are on but, on the other hand, there was none in which he was practical subjects, but they contain numerous proofs of a deficient. All his powers were of a high order-any one large and noble intelleci. Acute and intelligent observaof them would have conferred distinction—but his pecu- tion of the world, clear and consistent views of divine liar excellence resulted from the even and happy balance truth, an amazing dexterity in detecting the hidden of his faculties. He wanted the gigantic proportions of springs of action and resolving niixed motives into their a Colossus, but he possessed the exquisite symmetry of component elements, great comprehensiveness, combined an Apollo Belvidere.

with a nice discrimination, glowing affection, fervent It has been thought by some that the minds of men piety, and a style so clear, so simple, and so elegant, as are all equally fitted for every kind of inquiry ; that as to be equally adapted to every class of readers-these are we can move eastward or westward according as we choose some of the qualities which Dr Welsh exhibits in this to set our face in the one direction or the other, so it de- volume of sermons. He surrounds us with a transparent pends entirely on the determination of the will whether atmosphere, and leaves us always with a satisfying imve shall excel in this or that department of study. No pression of the reasonableness and justice of his views; one could be more convinced than Dr Welsh of the ' or rather-and in this, perhaps, we may discover his chief

ness.

excellence—we forget the author in the subject-we our- diamonds were of the purest water, and they bore the selves are made to commune with truth, our eyes be- finest polish. hold the light, we listen to the voice of God. There have Dr Welsh was not more eminent for his talents and been more popular pre chers than Dr Welsh ; but we are attainments than for his virtues. He was a man of sipacquainted with no volume of sermons superior to these gular modesty, and of the most self-denying benerolence. for family reading. The peculiar doctrines of Christianity Such was his abhorrence of ostentation, that his most inare clearly unfolded and enforced with great earnest-timate friends were often surprised by the extent of his

There is an entire freedom from fanciful inter- knowledge and the kindness of his heart. Unbounded conpretations, and mystical speculations, and unprofitable tidence could be placed in his integrity, and he was scrudi cussions. Every thing tends to instruct, or convince, pulously truthful, never allowing himself to indulge in or persuade.

the exaggerations and embellishments to which too many The talents and virtues of Dr Welsh could not fail to are prone. Above all, he was unfeignedly devout, though bring him into public notice. From Crossmichael he was accustomed in conversation to express his convictions rather removed to Glasgow; and, in a few years afterwards, he than his feelings. The combination of his talents was only was appointed to the chair of Church History in the less wonderful than the variety of his graces. He could University of Edinburgh. The effort of preaching was be severe-his weapon was sharpened to the keenest edge, always painful to him. He did not recover from his and it cut to the quick ; but it was scarcely ever employed. Sabbath's exertions for several days; and it is more than He was a man of the mildest manners and of the gentlest probable that his life would have been materially abridged heart. He could feel an injury acutely, but he was of the if he had not been relieved from the fatiguing duties of the most forgiving temper; with a high standard of excelpulpit. For this reason, and as affording him inore leisure lence no one was more forbearing towards others. He to gratify his thirst for knowledge, and still more, perhaps, had the rare art of maintaining his own views and followbecause of the interest which he took in education in all ing the course which his own conscience pointed out to its branches, bis appointment to a professorship must have him as right, without giving offence to others; so that been satisfactory to himself: unquestionably it was of though he had to take a decided part in the late great great service to the church of which he was a minister. ecclesiastical controversy which all parties allow has proThe only fruit of his labours in this department which voked many evil passions and engendered innumerable he has given to the world consists in the first of a series strifes, and though he bad to occupy the most conspiof volumes which be intended to publish from time to cuous position on the day of the disruption of the Escatime, under the title of The Elements of Church His-blished Church of Scotland, he has left the world without tory.' It is to be regretted that he did not live to com- leaving an enemy, or an unkind wish in the bosom of a plete his design; for though the volume which has ap- single human being. The delight of all his friends, the peared exhibits many of his characteristic qualities, it is pride of all his students, regretted in the world of letters, not perhaps a fair specimen of the man. There is im- mourned and honoured in the church, eulogized in Parmense learning, an accuracy that is almost painful, the liament, and loved and reverently praised in a thousand strictest impartiality, consummate judgment, and a sensi- lowly dwellings, the affection with which he regarded all tive regard for the honour of truth-still the subject to was reflected back upon himself, and he was a universal which he was restricted (the external history of the favourite. There have been greater men, but within bis church during the first three centuries) was not such as sphere few have ever approached so nearly to perfeeto develop the powers which he possessed in the highest tion. degree. His style was admirably adapted for the expres- It may be mentioned as a proof of the influence which sion of exact thinking, but it was too terse; it wanted the he exercised, and of the success with which he prosecuted copiousness, and perhaps the flexibility which is necessary any object in which he was deeply interested, that, in the to a free and flowing narrative. It was in treating of the course of a few weeks during last summer, be obtained internal history of the church-in giving a clear and candid subscriptions for a new college to the amount of £21,000 statement of the opinions of the fathers-in detecting the from twenty individuals; and that, in little more than a sources of heresy in the dispositions, habits, and circum- year, he collected upwards of 8000 volumes (many of them stances of those with whom it originated-in exposing very rare and valuable) for the theological library conspecious errors—in bringing prominently into view im- nected with this college. portant truths which prejudice or interest had consigned In personal appearance Dr Welsh was about the average to obscurity and neglect-in distinguishing between the height, of fair complexion, and rather small features. real causes of events and the accidental circumstances by His countenance had two prevailing espressions that of which they were attended-in delineating character keen inquiry and cheerful kindness. His voice was weak and in illustrating the various virtues of eminent saints and unmusical, though his utterance was sometimes acthat he appeared to most advantage. The volume last companied with great power. In the case of compositions mentioned, we have understood from those who have characterized by simplicity, where every word presents a attended his lectures, does not afford an adequate view of new idea or evokes a new feeling, his delivery was pecahis course as a whole.

liarly impressive. It was a great delight, for example, It is well known that Dr Welsh was editor of the to hear him repeat Wordsworth's well-known rerses beNorth British Review-a periodical which professes to ginningcombine the highest literary and scientific merits with sound morality and evangelical religion. His acquaint

* There dwelt amidst untrodden wass.' ance with many of our best writers, his own extensive No one could doubt whether there was strength or weakacquirements

, great sense, and excellent principles, quali- ness in the concluding lines. There was a sudden and fied him in no ordinary degree for this high office; and irrepressible revelation of a deep, strong-grasping affecit cannot be doubted that, if he had lived, he would have tion, which had been long pent up in an unsophisticated rendered this journal one of the most popular and in- mind, and which found vent in the briefest and simplest fluential, and therefore one of the most useful, publica- words. tions of the present day.

Dr Welsh died very suddenly, in the prime of life, It is no disparagement to Dr Welsh to say that his leaving a widow and four children. He was well preeminence was owing not more to his original powers than pared for death; and when called away from this world to the assiduity with which these were cultivated. What he was engaged in devotional exercises. The honours of ever he did was done to the best of his ability. He had a public funeral were awarded to him. His remains lie in too much respect for the world to be careless or slovenly, the West Churchyard, Edinburgh, at the base of the Whaterer proceeded from him therefore exhibited ela- Castle rock-meet resting-place for one who, during his Loration and refinement. His gold was precious ore, lifetime, habitually reposed within the shadow of the and it came shaped and shining from the mould; his Rock of Ages.

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THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM.

this is strictly correct. A plant is an organized structure,

having numerous minute cells and porous tubes through It is now midsummer-the bright sun shines throughout which a sap or juice flows, and by which all the functions the long day, diffusing light and heat over the face of na- are performed, tending to increase, preserve, or multiply ture—the earth is in its full luxuriance; and in the the species. It is possessed of what has been called irriwords of Milton, 'it were an injury and sullenness against tability, which in many respects resembles some of the nature not to go forth and taste her beauties, and mingle motions of animals, as is exemplified in the shrinking of in her rejoicings with heaven and earth.'

the sensitive plant when touched by the hand, the moreWhat a change a few months has brought about! ments of the leaves of plants towards the light, and the Lately, the earth was bound up in the severe frosts of twining of their tendrils round other neighbouring subwinter-not a leaf or a gay blossom was to be seen-all stances for support. But plants have not sensation. They was apparent barrenness and desolation. And so was the do not feel like animals, por exhibit any traces of conearth before it was first clothed with the green herb-a sciousness. In short, they possess only that lowest form bare, rocky, and barren mass. Vegetables are as it were of vitality which has been called organic life. the clothing of the earth; flowers, shrubs, and trees, its Plants vary greatly in their structure, but the geneornaments. There is a softness and appropriateness in rality have roots, stems, branches, leaves, blossoms, and the subdued tinge of green, which is with very few excep- receptacles for the maturation of their seeds. Pervadtions the prevailing livery of the earth-something which ing the roots and stem, there are a series of minute is pleasing and refreshing for the eye to look upon, with hollow tubes and spiral vessels through which the sap out being too glaring or dazzling.

passes upwards from the earth, and, mounting to the kaves, Vegetables, though they do not possess the structure there combines with the gases of the atmosphere, and and sensations of living animals, have yet a kind of life of thus becomes converted into a nutritious juice, which again which mere matter is altogether destitute. They form a descends, and is distributed throughout every part of the link, and a most important one, between mineral sub- plant for its growth and nourishment. The outer bark stances, such as rocks and stones, and animated beings. of the plant consists of a thin membrane, somewhat like But though they are thus endowed with a kind of vitality, the skin of animals, and serves a similar purpose, to proyet, as to actual composition, they are, like all animals, tect the parts beneath from the air and from external innot excepting man himself, literally formed out of the jury; serving also for the exhalation and absorption of * dust of the earth.'

moisture through its numerous pores. Immediately unA few simple substances, such as carbon, sulphur, phos- der the skin is a soft pulpy structure, consisting of inphorus, potash, soda, lime, magnesia, combined with numerable cells, and which is of a green colour in almost three gaseous bodies, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, all vegetables. Of this kind of structure, too, the leaves make up the whole of the matter of which plants are of plants are composed. Under this cellular substance, composed. Nov, exactly the same substances combine to we find in woody plants the true bark or liber, composed forin the flesh and bones of animals; but as animals can- of numerous fibres running in a longitudinal direction, not extract and combine these substances directly from and having the appearance, when slightly macerated, of the air, water, and soil, they have to depend either di- a fine net-work. In this portion of the bark the peculiar rectly or indirectly on vegetables for their nourishment. virtues of plants principally are found; such as gums, No animal, even the simplest or most minute or insignifi- resins, essential oils, as cinnamon, peppermint, turpen cant, can live on inorganic matter. A great proportion tine, and the astringent tannin of the oak. The wood is of quadrupeds derive their sole support from grasses and found immediately under this, circle within circle, exgreen herbs, and many kinds of birds from grain and tending to the pith, which is situated in the centre. The seeds; these become the prey of carnivorous animals, and outer circle of wood next the bark is softer and juicier afford them their sole means of subsistence. Fishes prey than those in the centre, being the newest ; and as a circle upon flies and insects, which either directly or indirectly is formed each year, the number in a transverse section, derive their subsistence from the vegetable kingdom; near the root, will commonly denote the age of the tree, and man, as well as some other animals, lives indiscri- at least all those trees of temperate regions. Throughminately both on animal and vegetable matter. We thus out the woody fibres, but especially the outer circies, find that vegetables perform a most important office in there are numerous tubes and cells, generally six-sided, creation. By their peculiar structure and functions, and through which sap and air freely flow. The leaves of under the laws of vital action, they assimilate air, water, plants are most important appendages, and may be comand earthy salts, and form out of them the matters called pared to the lungs of animals. Plants will not live if degluten, starch, sugar, and oils, which become the food of prived of their leaves, or if they have not free access to animals.

the sun and air. During the day, and in sunshine, the It is to the operations of vegetables, too, that we owe a leaves of plants continually absorb the carbonic acid and considerable proportion of the soil which covers the earth. nitrogen gases of the atmosphere, which enter into union If we examine the rocks and stones around us, we shall with their juices, while oxygen gas is as constantly exfind their surfaces covered with circular patches of grey haled. In the darkness of night this process ceases, and and yellowish lichens. These are simple plants, the mi-a portion of the carbonic acid of their juices is thrown dute seeds of which, wafted by the winds, fall on the rocks, off. Now, this daily action of plants is just the reverse and adhere to them by means of a glutinous matter on the of the breathing process of animals—the latter consume lower sides of the seed. Attracting moisture from the the oxygen of the atmosphere, and give out carbonic acid, air, they germinate, increase, and then moulder to decay. so that in process of time the air we breathe would be Their remains, mingling with the mouldering rocks become vitiated, were its oxygen not continually renewed neath, in time accumulate a certain depth of soil, which by the operations of the vegetable kingdom. Here then still goes on increasing, till at last it becomes a deep bed we perceive another providential adjustment; not only fit for receiving and nourishing other species of plants do plants contribute food for animals, but they are also that may be driven towards it by the agency of the winds, the great regenerators of the atmosphere, the purity of of birds, or other means which nature employs for the which is equally subservient to animal existence. diffusion of vegetables. In this manner have our deepest But there remains another feature of plants to be noticed and most fertile soils derired their origin. We find also - the flowers or blossoms, those variously tinted portions vast accumulations of decayed plants making up peat which add such beauty and splendour to the face of 11amasses—and vegetables of a still more remote growth ture. We cannot in the summer season turn our eyes treasured up in the bowels of the earth in the form of that in any direction, where we do not find the trees, hedges, most valuable mineral, Cual.

| and fields, loaded with gorgeous ornaments, froni wbich In corninon linguage, we sprak of plants as living, as proceeds also a mingled odour of delightful sweets. Even growing or increasing, and as fading and diing. Now, the meanest weed beneath our feet shows its little white

star, or yellow, red, or variously spotted gem of blossom. grew from this earth. Mr Keith performed a similar exNature is not only bountiful in bestowing the useful and periment. On 15th April, 1811, he procured a quantity necessary, but prosuse in pouring forth beauties to please of black clay taken from the depth of 100 feet, and exand gratify the senses. Nature, however, is not profuse posed it to the action of the air and weather. It was in vain-each of those brilliant cups and curiously tinted placed upon a slate in one of the quarters of his garden. fibrils has its decided use; and all the parts combine to carry On the 15th of May, he placed upon another slate a simiout the great conservative plans of creation. Like animals, lar quantity of carth taken from the depth of 150 feet, plants are possessed of organs necessary to accomplish the under a hand-glass, which was only removed to give the purpose of nature-the reproduction and continuation of earth an occasional watering. No symptoms of vegetathe species. From remote antiquity, the importance of tion appeared in either the one or the other till the 3d the organs of the flower in perfecting the seed was known; of September following, when several plants were found and although Linnæus did not wholly make this discorery, springing from the surface of the exposed clay, and one yet it is to him we owe its complete elucidation about the also from the surface of the insulated clay. The former year 1730. If we take a common wild rose, we may proved to be plants of the common groundsel, which readily perceive the several parts of this structure. The was then coming up from seed over all the garden, and green bulb attached to the flower stem is the ovary, where henco casily accounted for; the latter was a plant of the seeds are matured. Above this is a green cup or calyx, ranunculus sceleratus, the seed of which, he says, Fas notched into segments, and which serves to support the undoubtedly brought to the clay along with the water it parts of the flower above. The flesli-coloured leaves form was watered with, which was procured from a neighbourthe corolla, an undivided body in some plants, but in this, ing pond, around the edges of which the plant grew in as in many others, divided into numerous petals; this profusion. corolla, which is generally the showiest part of all The various methods which nature employs to disperse flowers, serves as a protection and defence of the parts the different varieties of seeds over the earth are truly within. These consist of the pistil or female flower in wonderful. Many plants, when the seed is fully ripe, the centre, and of the stamens or male flowers ranged discharge it from the seed-corer or pericarp with a jerk around the circumference. The stamens carry on their or elastic spring. The common oat is thrown out in this tops an oblong loosely attached body, which is the anther, way; and the loud crackling of the pods of the broom in containing the pollen or fertilizing dust, which in due a dry sunshiny day, which is caused by their bursting time bursts and scatters its contents on the stigma of and scattering about the contained sceds, must have been the pistil. In some plants, the blossom contains only frequently noticed. The cones of fir-trees remain on the the pistils or female flowers, while the stamens grow on tree till the summer succceding that on which they gros; other plants, or on separate twigs of the same plant. In when the hot weather commences, the scales of which such instances, the pollen is borne along by the agency they are composed burst open, and the seeds are scattered of the wind, or of the bee or other insects, roaming from to a considerable distance. Then, there are the down flower to flower in search of food.

appendages which buoy up the smaller seeds, as the thistle Such is a rapid glance of the arrangements of nature in and dandelion, carrying them through the air to great even the lowliest plants. From the simple moss or lichen distances-the currents of rivers, floating down seeds froin up to the tall cedar or the splendid magnolia, there are one district to another and even the tides and currents of course many diversities of this structure-but all are of the ocean, which bear along the germs of vegetation on one uniform plan, and every plant produces its' seed from separate regions of the globe. Birds, too, by feedafter its kind.' What a field here for the exercise of the ing on particular seeds, carry them to great distances, attention, and for exciting pleasing and wonderful thoughts where being often voided entire, they vegetatc. This is of that Being who in wisdom has contrived the whole !' particularly the case with stone fruits, as cherries and When the celebrated traveller, Mungo Park, found him- plums. self alone in the barren wilds of Africa, robbed, maltreat- The secd of a plant, as the common bean, consists of ed, and then deserted by cruel and savage robbers, be sat the outer skin or covering, within which is contained a for some time gazing around him with amazement and starchy substance divided into two halves, called colyterror at his utter abandonment. Whichever way I ledons. At the place where these two join, just opposite turned,' he touchingly relates, ‘nothing appeared but dan- to the outer cye or black spot of the bean, is situated the ger and difficulty. I saw myself in a vast wilderness, germ or rudiment of the future plant. When the bean and five hundred miles from any European settlement. is put into the earth and subjected for a few days to At this moment, painful as iny reflections were, the ex- heat, moisture, and air, it begins to germinate. "The traordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irre- starch of the cotyledon is converted into sugar, and affords sistibly caught my eye. Can that Being, thought I, who a nutritious juice for the sustenance of the germ, till this planted, watered, and brought to perfection in this obscure latter is old enough to push out roots into the soil and part of the world a thing which appears of so small im- provide for itself. The cotyledons thus resemble the portance, lock with unconcern upon the situation of crea- white and yolk of a bird's egg, or the milk supplied by a tures formed after his own image! Surely not! Reflec- mammiferous animal. The springing germ consists of tions like these would not allow me to despair. I started two parts—the rootlet, which invariably takes a downup, and, disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled ward course into the earth, and thc leaf-bud, which is forwards, assured that relief was at hand-and I was not invariably aspires upwards. This is an admirable providisappointed.'

sion in nature; for in whatever position a seed may fall It was an old opinion, and one which is not quite era- into the soil, the leaf always reaches tho surface, and dicated even at this day, that the carth, when dug up in thus is preserved, and rezetates; whereas, had it not reany place, will spontaneously produce plants without seed. ceived this fixed deternination, it might have remained Nothing, however, can be inore fallecious. It is true, the in the soil and rotted. whole face of nature teems with seeds of plants that come Como seeds have only one cotyledon, as the common floating on the air, and are borne about and scattered by | oat, while the gerininating buds or sporules of the inbirds and animals and other means; but in situations ferior classes of vegetables cannot be said to possess a true where no transmission of this kind can occur, experiment cotyledon at all. has proved that there will be no vegetation, and that Besides propagation by seeds, many plants may be raised every plant must proceed from some seed or graft, or root from slips or cuttings, roots, and buds, taken from a of a parent plant. Malpighi procured a quantity of earth parent plant and placed in the soil. The reproductive dug from a great depth, and enclosed it in a glass vessel, power of most plants is generally very great. Some, it wliose mouth was covered over with several folds of silk, | is true, produce only one, two, or three seeds, but others so as to adinit air and water, but to exclude all such seeds again an inconceivable number. A single capsule of toas might come from without; the result was, that no plant I bacco often contains a thousand seeds. The head of the

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white poppy has produced eight thousand; and the cap-born, wished that he should receive the education of a sule of the vanilla from ten to fifteen thousand. A plant clerk; and, in her dreams of maternal love, she saw him of elecampane will produce altogether three thousand already clothed in the cassock, chaplain to some great seeds; and a plant of the great cat's tail ten thousand; lord; or, should bis inclination not lead him towards the while a single stalk of spleenwort produces a million. church, she figiired him to herself invested with the

honourable functions of notary, and perhaps even judge

of the district. At her earnest desire ihe curate of THE FORTUNES OF PAUL DUBOIS.*

Mouthier had been induced to give some lessons in Latin A TRADITION OF FRINCHE-COMTE.

to this little Benjamin; and the good dispositions of the Those who have passed any time among the poctical lad contributed not a little to keep alive in the heart mountains of Franche-Comté, and assisted at the winter of his mother a natural degree of pride and ambitious evening gatherings within the rustic abodes of the peasan

hope. try, bare no doubt heard of the Vouivre, a magical winged

But one evening, as Paul entered beneath the paternal serpent, which, according to tradition, glides rapidly roof, carrying in triumpli a fine large page, which he had through the air like a faint ray of light, bathes herself in written with all the accessories of the most elegant calithe fountain like a naiad, and carries on her forehead a 'graphy, a problem of arithmetic which he had himself diamond more precious than all the gemis in the crown of solved, and a book which his master had given him as a France. The admirers of old traditions are not agreed testimonial of his satisfaction - Enough, enough,' said the upon the symbolical idea represented by this marvellous father Dubois, Paul shall go back to the school no more; creature; and M. D. Monnier, who has written so many I am very well pleased that he can handle the pen só curious pages upon the old superstitions of our forefathers, well, and that he is able to sct down figures upon paper has not himself been able, with all his knowledge and in good order ; that will serve his turn well enough. But ability, to solve the important question. Many people be already knows a great deal more than ever I learned. think that the Vouivre is simply ihe einblem of fortune; I do not wish to make him a gentleman, sporting silk the fleeting nature of which she represents by her wings, breeches, and perambulating the pavements of great its brilliancy by her diamond, its capricious turnings by towns, whilst his brothers work as labourers.

Cur her snake-like rings. Tradition afirms, that the Fouivre, family have been vinedressers from father to son for before diving into the solitary springs and hidden rivulets many generations-all honest and irreproachable people, of which she loves to gain the liquid depths, lays down God be praised! I am resolved that Paul shall be a vineupon the bank that splendid jewel which is her eye, her dresser too, and to-morrow I shall put the mattock into star, her light. If, at the moment when she thus aban. his hands. dons herself to voluptuous repose, some one should be able

The poor mother suffered much on hearing this formal adroitly to seize the inestimablegem, which she carefully decision. However, she perceived that she could not hides in the grass on the margin of the stream, he would equitably establish a distinction so marked among her instantly become immensely rich; for neither the mines children, as to devote one to the easy tasks of the schoolof Brazil nor the inountains of the Ural have ever dis- room and leave the others exposed all the year through closed to the eager eyes of mankind a diamond of such to hard labour. She knew, besides, that when her huspriceless value.

band expressed a resolution in terms so decided, it was A crowd of ambitious Franche-Comtans hare revelled of no use attempting to make him change it. She held in the hope of acquiring this treasure, and have watched down her head, therefore, in silence, stifling at the for the Vouivre at the sides of every lake and strcan. 1 bottom of her heart a heavy sigh; and, resigned in the remember myself, that in the days of childhood-in that mean time, waited till events should offer a means of recredulous age, that age without pity, as the good Fon- viving and carrying out her darling projects. taine has said, I have more than once wandered along Paul took up the pruning-knife and the mattock, and the banks of the river Doubs, in the hope of seeing the went with his brothers to work among the vines. But it Vouivre descend, and with the guilty thought of stealing was easy to see that this was a labour which caused him from her her singular eye. But apparently the good old extreme annoyance, and that he only engaged in it in wives who undertook to teach me the haunts and halits obedience to bis father's will. This degree of resignation of the Vouirre, were not so well informed as they pre- very soon attracted the respect of all. His brothers themtended, or did not wish me to profit by their instructions; selves, who had not hitherto been able to get quit of a for I confess that I hare never seen the serpent; and í certain portion of jealousy, were ailected at sceing him hare nerer been able, to my great regret, I avow, to rob accomplishing with such docility a task seemingly so ber of her diamond. But Paul Dubois once got hold of it, difficult; and when they found themselves alone with more than a hundred years ago, and I am now about tó bim, out of sight of their father, they persuaded the poor relate how it happened.

boy to lay down his heavy instrument and take some reFaul L'ubois was the youngest son of an honest vine- pose, promising to make up among themselves by indresser of Mouthier, who, by his habits of order and in- creased efforts the labour that had been assigned to him. dustry, had brought himself into rather easy circum- | Paul was of a delicate constitution, which would not perstances, Of the six sine children with whom licaven had mit him with impunity to rest like them for many hours blessed him, four sons and two daughters, the first five reciined upon the turf. Ha, hevescr, yielded to their had been, from their carliest years, taught to share the affectionate catreaties, sat down on a grassy hillock by labours of their parents. While the boys went with the the side of a small stream, fronting the magnificent father to work in the fields and to plant the stocks of the masses of verdure and the majestic ramparts of rock vine, the young girls assisted their mother in her dornes- which encircled the delicious valleys of Moutbier, and tic occupations: they took care of the cattle, prepared passed a part of the day in gazing and in dreaming. At food for the servants of the house, and spun flax to be night, when seated at the family hearth, he leaned his woven into clothing. Paul was born at a time when the head upon his hands, listening in silence to the popular family began already to enjoy the little fortune thus gradu- traditions of the village, as detailed by a garrulous old ally acquired, and great pains were taken in his upbringing. female servant of the family, and wandering in thought More fortunate than bois brothers, in place of being re- through those castles in the air-through that magical stricted to rude creryday tasks, he was intrusted to the world, the marvels of which those traditions so quaintly care of a tutor, who was regarded as a great scholar, for depicted. The Vouivre, above all, often occupied iis he ran up columns of addition with a glance of the eye, mind-the serpent with the inappreciable treasure which and read with facility old acts written upon parchment. it carried in its forehead--with all the ideas of happiness The worthy Madame Dubois, who doated on her latest attached to its acquisition, and which were very naturally

seductive to the imagination of a young man. That night * Translated from the French, expressly for the INSTRUCTOR. he saw the fairy diamond glittering in his dreams, and

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