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AN ILLUSTRATED MEDIUM OF INTERCHANGE AND GOSSIP
FOR STUDENTS AND
LOVERS OF NATURE.
EDITED BY M. C. COOKE,
AUTHOR OF A PLAIN AND EASY ACCOUNT OF THE BRITISH FUNGI,” “ MICROSCOPIC FUNGI,"
" STRUCTURAL BOTANY,".
I crave forbearance for having thought that even the busiest mind might not be a stranger to those moments of repose, when the clock of time clicks drowsily behind the door, and trifles become the amusement of the wise and great.
LONGFELLOW. “ Outre Mer."
T is natural to
name, however undignified it may be, and with it some minds, we gain admission to the fireside of thousands, whilst would almost be- the same talisman excludes us, we hope, only from lieve, to look the drawing-rooms of a few. Parents seldom give with horror on to their children names which satisfy all their friends, the face that can and we cannot hope to be more successful than they.
a smile, Yet, after all, a name may degenerate, or become
or to shudder at | dignified, by its associations. We make no great the sound of a hearty laugh. pretensions, our desire being to gossip with our Let us hope that the tor- readers, as a man chats to his friend, of passing ments of enduring Christmas events in which we are interested, to ask and have not driven any such to answer queries, and pass a pleasant half-hour in the extremity of renouncing talking of scientific subjects in the language of the mankind for ever, and all as- fireside, and not as savans. We do not aspire to be sociation with laughing bi- an oracle in Natural History, nor to enter deeply into peds. It is related of two the mysteries of Science, neither do we think it ancient worthies, who flou- beneath our dignity to confess ourselves Gossipers, rished, we know not how many or criminal to unbend ourselves and seek amusecenturies ago, that one passed ment, as well as instruction, in trifles. his life in smiles and the other
There is moreover a charge of frivolity to which in tears. One laughed con- we will scarcely advert, since our readers are the tinually at the follies of his race, the other best judges of their own feelings, and if any of them wept for them, as though their follies were should consider a long face and a grim visage the crimes. That was the spectator of a continual best style of physiognomy for a monthly visitor, who comedy, this an actor in a tragedy without end. just drops in for a chat, we would not hurt his feelEach of these had his followers; perhaps some ings by hinting at doubts of his sanity. Manner, or may be living at this lour, or else we can scarcely
matter, we imagine our verdict must be, that as to account for the fact that the barmless enjoyments of changing the title, we couldn't if we would, and as some of the buman specics can cause sighs and sor- to the substance, we wouldn't if we could. Not rows in others of the same great family. Not only that we are above consulting our friends or taking will a season of festivity plant thorns in the morbid
their advice, but because we believe that in this bosoms of such men, but " the trifles which become decision we only represent the feelings of those the amusement of the wise and great” in moments whom it is our privilege and interest to serve--the of repose are magnified into monsters that disturb supporters, roaders, and contributors to our journal. their rest, and inflict upon them an eternal night- If we were, ever so politely, solicited to commit mare. It has been whispered abroad that we, in personal suicide, we think that we should feel our humble endeavours to “Gossip” freely over the bound, as politely, to decline the honour of selflittle extracts which we collect from the book of sacrifice at the shrine of friendship. So, when inNature are giving offence. Not that we act as vited to perform a similar act figuratively, our im“snappers up of unconsidered trifles,” but because pulse is strongly in favour of self-preservation. we give to them an undignified name. On the Therefore we trim the quill, poke the fire, dust the threshold of the temple of Janus, with our first glasses, snuff the candle, and settle down for another volume under our arm, we again announce our year of SCIENCE-GOSSIP.
1. VOL. II.