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VEGETABLE SUBSTANCES--THE CEDAR OF LEBANON
In addition to the durability of its timber, the cedar is, in its appearance, the most majestic of trees; and when it stands alone in a situation worthy of it
, it is hardly possible to conceive a finer vegetable ornament. Its height in this country has seldom equalled the taller of the larches, though it has nearly aproached to it; but the very air of the tree impresses one with the idea of its comparative immortality. There is a firmness in the bark and a stability in the trunk, in the mode in which that lays hold of the ground, and in the form of the branches and their insertion into the trunk, not found in any other pine, scarcely in any other tree. The foliage, too, is superior to that of any other of the tribe, each branch being perfect in its form: the points of the leaves spread upwards into beautiful little tufts, and the whole upper surface of the branch, which droops in a graceful curve toward the extremity, having the semblance of velvet. The color is also fine; it is a rich green, wanting the bluish tint of the pine and fir, and the lurid and gloomy one of the cypress.
The description of the cedar of Lebanon by the prophet Ezekiel is fine and true: “Behold the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.
His boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long. The fir trees were not like his boughs, nor the chesnut trees like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God like unto him in beauty."
Whether the cedars of Lebanon were thinned to exhaustion by the fourscore thousand axes of the King of Israel, or whether they have decayed in consequence of some variation of climate, or other physical change in the country, it is impossible to say; but modern travellers represent that very few now exist, though some are of immense bulk--about thirty-six feet in circumference, and quite undecayed.
Various specimens of the cedar of Lebanon are mentioned as having attained a very great size in England. One planted by Dr. Uvedale, in the garden of the manor-house at Enfield, about the middle of the seventeenth century, had a girth of fourteen feet in 1789; eight feet of the top of it had been blown down by the great hurricane in 1703, but still it was forty feet in height. At Whitton, in Middlesex, a remarkable cedar was blown down in 1779. It had attained the height of seventy feet; the branches covered an area of one hundred feet in diameter; the trunk was sixteen feet in circumference at seven feet from the ground, and twenty-one feet at the insertion of the great branches twelve feet above the surface. There were about ten principal branches or limbs, and their average circumference was twelve feet. About the age and planter of this immense tree its historians are not agreed, some of them referring its origin to the days of Elizabeth, and even alleging that it was planted by her own hand. Another cedar, at Hilling. don, near Uxbridge, had, at the presumed age of 116 years, arrived at the following dimensions: its height was fifty-three feet, and the spread of the branches ninety-six feet from east to west, and eighty-nine from north to south. The circumference of the trunk, close to the ground, was thirteen feet and a half; at seven feet it was twelve and a half; and at thirteen feet, just under the branches, it was fifteen feet eight inches. There were two principal branches, the one twelve feet and the other ten feet in girth. The first, after a length of cighteen inches, divided into two arms, one eight feet
and a half, and the other seren feet ten. The other branch, soon after its insertion, was parted into two, of five feet and a half each.
A poor woman, who had seen better days, understanding from one of her acquaintance that Dr. Goldsmith had studied physic, and hearing of his great humanity, solicited him in a letter to send her something for her husband who had lost his appetite, and was reduced to a most melancholy state by continual anguish. The good natured poet waited on her instantly, and after some discourse with his patient, found him sinking into that worst state of sickness, poverty. The Doctor told him they should hear from him in an hour, when he should send to them some pills which he believed would prove efficacious. He immediately went home, and put ten guineas into a chip box with the following label: “ These must be used as necessities require: be patient, and of good heart.'
LITERATURE Is a ray of that wisdom which pervades the universe. Like the sun, it enlightens, rejoices, and warms. By the aid of books we collect around us all things, all places, men and times. By them we are recalled to the duties of human life. By the sacred examples of greatness, our passions are diverted and we are roused to viriue. Literature is the daughter of heaven, who has descended upon earth to soften the evils of life. Have recourse then to books. The sages who have written long before our days, are so many travellers in the paths of calamity, wlo stretch out their friendly hands, inviting us when abandoned by the world, to join their society
INSTANCES OF THE LOSS OF INTELLECT. Sir Isaac Newton lost the use of his intellect befor his animal frame was arrested by the hand of death
So it is said of a Mr. Swisset, that he often wept because he was not able to understand the books which he had written in his younger days. Cornivus, an excellent orator in the Augustine age, became so forgetful as not even to know his own. Simon Tournay, in 1201, after he had outdone all at Oxford for learning, at last grew such an idiot as not to know one letter from another, or one thing he had ever done.
An excellent rule for living happy in society is, never to concern one's self with the affairs of others unless they wish for, or desire it. Under pretence of being useful, people often show more curiosity than affection.
Every man has in his own life follies enough-in his own mind troubles enough—in the performance of his duties deficiencies enough-in his own fortunes evils enough, without minding other people's business.
THE PATH TO THE GRAVE.
BY MRS. H. M. DODGE.
Their light is on the track;
It gives no glory back.
The mighty and the brave;
Has perished in the grave.
Has lett a song behind,
Must perish from the mind.
But there are still an humble few,
How blessed is their lot-
But shall not be forgot;
Your help is from the sky;
To your bright homes on high.
Thy sacred body lay;.
Since thou hast past that way.
I KNOW THOU HAST GONE.
BY T. K. HERVEY.
I know thou hast gone to the house of thy rest,
Then why should my soul be so sad ? I know thou hast gone where the weary are blest
And the mourner looks up and is glad! Where love has put off, in the lands of its birth,
The stain it had gathered in this : And hope, the sweet singer that gladdened the earth,
Lies asleep on the bosom of bliss! I know thou hast gone where thy forehead is starred
With the beauty that dwelt in thy soul,
Nor thy heart be flung back from its goal:
Through a land where they do not forget,
And takes from it only regret.
I believe thou hast visions of mine,
I have not yet learnt to resign ;-
Or alone with the breeze on the hill,
And my spirit lies down and is still !