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a merry key,” cried the Commodore. America is now the name of a quarter of the globe.
Antiquarians say, that an old negro, at Cape Cod, whenever his master required any thing of him, would exclaim “ Massa chuse it.” Thence, in time, the name of Massachusett.
The city of Albany was originally settled by Scotch people. When strangers, on their arrival, asked how the new comers did, the answer was,
All bonny.” The spelling we find a little altered, but not the sound.
A fat landlady, who, about the time of the flight of Mahomet from Meca, lived between New Orleans and the Chicasaw-cliffs, was scarcely ever unfurnished with pigeon sea pye; and thence got the name of Mrs. Seapie. The enormous river Mississippi owes its name to this fat landlady.
When the French first settled on the banks of the river St. Lawrence, they were stinted by the intendant, Monsieur Picard, to a can of spruce beer a-day. The people thought this measure very scant, and every moment articulated “ Can a-day!" It would be ungenerous in any reader to desire a more rational derivation of the word Canada.
GROANING AND CRYING.
A French surgeon lately published a long dissertation on the beneficial influence of groaning and crying on the nervous system. He contends that groaning and crying are the two grand operations by which nature allays anguish; and that he has uniformly observed that those patients who give way to their natural feelings, more speedily recover from accidents and operations, than those who imagine it is unworthy of a man to betray such symptoms of cowardice and weaknes, as either to groan or to cry. He is always pleased by the crying and violent roaring of a patient, during the time he is undergoing a severe surgical operation, because he is satisfied that he will thereby so soothe his system as to prevent fever and insure a favourable termination. From the henefit hysterical and other nervous patients derive from crying or groaning, he supposes that by these processes of nature, the superabundant nervous power is exhausted, and the nervous system is in consequence rendered calm, and even the circulation of the blood greatly diminished. He relates a case of a man who, by means of crying and laughing, reduced his pulse from one hundred and twenty to sixty in the course of two hours. That some patients often have great satisfaction in groaning, and that hysterical patients often experience great relief from crying, no person will deny. As to restless, hypochondriacal subjects, or those who are never happy but when they are under some course of medical or dietetic treatment, the French surgeon assures them that they cannot do better than to groan all night and cry all day. By following this rule, and observing an abstemious diet, a person will effectually escape disease, and may prolong life to an incredible extent.
(From the Works of Father Fitz-Eustace.)
“ Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
Regumque turres.”-HORACE. “ With equal pace impartial Fate
Knocks at the palace, as the cottage gate.”-FRANCIS.
In the above quotation Horace inculcates a severe moral truth; but the figure is by no means equal to the dignity, or perhaps the awfulness of the subject. Malherbe, on the contrary, has quite surpassed the Roman poet, as he has expressed the same idea with a greater degree of strength and pathos.
“ Le pauvre en sa cabane, ou le chaume le couvre,
Est sujet a sès loix ;
N'en defend pas nos rois."
The amplification of the simple “ regumque turres " into, a garde,” &c. is at once beautifully striking and sublime, and the imitation evidently far surpasses the orignal
Death, then, is the universal doom. Its empire equally extends over every sex, class, and denomination ; its summons requires immediate attendance, and its edict is irrevocable. The infant at the mother's breast, the youth bedecked with all the smiles of beauty, and all the promises of future strength and maturity,--the man in the fullness of health and confidence,-sufficiently testify the uncertainty of human existence. We daily behold the grandest projects defeated, the most glorious designs frustrated, the fondest hopes blasted, and the earthly career of multitudes cut off in the very sunshine of their days : and the period will come when the gay, the laughter-loving, the proud, the licentious the extravagant, as well as the humble, the meek, the lowly, the injured, and the oppressed, will be laid low in the grave ;-will be forgotten, even as the path of the vessel is known by the track which she leaves behind; but when that closes up, all knowledge of her career is lost-for ever!
Death, then, is a fit subject for meditation. It not only deepens the pensiveness of the philosophic mind, but renders more interesting the tragic page. In the palace and in the cottage, in the hall of festivity, and in the dwelling of misery and wretchedness,-in the public haunts and in the prison-house--it is the oft recurring object,—and, under every circumstance, tends to a conviction of the fragility of human existence.
The grave is the test of the truth of affection; it is the ordeal to try the sincerity of our protestations, and fervency of our attachment; it is the gauge wherewith to measure the depth of our love and our devotion. When the object has been laid in the tomb; when all that was fair and smiling, lovely and blooming, has faded away, become food for worms, or mouldered into a handful of ashes, interest no longer influences the ration, nor is the form present to refresh the recollection ; every thing is trusted to memory, and it is soon manifest whether the soul in reality cherishes a fond regard, or indicates a perfect indifference for the departed.
There is something so pleasing, so delightful to the soul, though certainly tinctured with a portion of melancholy;--S0 alleviating, soothing, so consolatory, in sorrow for the dead, that the survivor would nowise forego it. See the mother, whose infant has perished, as the sweetly budding rose which by some rude hand has been rent from its parent stem,-how she indulges in daily grief! And would she forget her bereavement; would she willingly drown all recollection of her loss ? Not for the wealth of worlds! Though the thought be attended with the bitterness of of sorrow,—though the remembrance wring her heart with the keenest anguish,--though all the horrors of the death scene,
when the object of her fondest hopes, and her most anxious wishes, lay a cold and lifeless corpse before her eyes, arise to her fancy,—though every thought be a pang, and every pang attended with a flood of tears,- yet she revels in all the luxury of recollection! See the heart-rending despair, the deep affliction of the youth, who has attended the mortal remains of her he most loved ; of her, whose sınile never failed to awaken delight in his bosom, and whose look was suficient to dispel every cloud from his brow—to its last tenement. Would he accept the consolation which oblivion imparts ? Let him who has experienced that misery, and encountered that misfortune,- let him return an answer, for he best can tell !
But it is astonishing how, oftentimes, the human mind can be perverted, how the feelings can be benumbed, and the senses chilled. It is surprising how quickly at times the heart can be hardened, how soon it can become incapble of sympathy, and callous to misery and wretchedness. This may, indeed, be attributable to custom and habit, to daily intercourse with the world ; and, consequenly, I may be justified in saying, to experience. The grave-digger, when in the very act of his occupation, when surrounded by the signs of mortality, when throwing up bones and ashes, and when on every tomb-stone around him he beholds the death's-head and hour-glass,-can even laugh and joke, and sing of love :
• In youth, when I did love, did love,
Methought it was very strange !" And well might the sensitive mind of Hamlet ask the occasi on of the grave.digger's merriment :
“Hamlet.-Has this fellow no feeling of his business ? hc sings at grave making!
Horatio.-Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
HAMLET.—'Tis e'en so : the hand of little employment hath the dantier sense.”
This may be exemplified. With what coolness do we gaze upon a funeral procession in the streets ! The sight does not excite one serious or solemn thought. We cast upon it a listless look, pass it with the most perfect indifference, and it is lost to us for ever! But the attendants are in a degree worse than the passengers. The mutes laugh, and talk, and whistle—the undertaker smiles with great self-satisfaction, as he is mentally calculating the profits of the job ; the thoughts of the hearse-driver are engaged upon his sweetheart ; and the mourners, with much deliberation, are speaking of the rumoured change in the ministry, the last goverment loan, or the latest intelligence from Turkey, Russia, and Greece.
Turn we from this to survey the death chamber, and a sight
no less surprising and extraordinary will meet our view. The husband, an old East Indian, who had with patient industry amassed a princely fortune, and who, on his return to his native country, married a young woman, has scarcely breathed his last, when every corner is ransacked for the Will. It is at length found ; when one offers his services as reader-general, and is immediately encircled by a gaping body of relatives, old, young, male and female, nephews and nieces, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, and cousins even to the tenth degree. The widow, who is secure of the bulk of his property, in the meantime is quietly sitting in the corner, attended by her dear Captain, to whom she has already given her consent, as the courtship was carried on during the husband's indisposition, and the offer made on the very morning that he breathed his last. One of her eyes is laughing with secret pleasure, while from the other she is endeavouring to squeeze a tear. In every other face keen expectation and earnest hope are visibly depicted ; and while the will is being perused, you can see the success which each individual has experienced. While cousin Sue has (after she heard of a bequest of five hundred pounds to herself) burst into a flood of tears, attaching a string of the most endearing epithets to the name of the deceasd; Charles and Simon are congratulating each other upon their good fortune ; and Polly and Dicky are rushing out in a violent passion, cursing the old miserly dog, who could die without leaving them a single sixpence, for the many attentions which they had paid him, and the many inquiries which they had made after him during the period of his illness.
Miss Draggletail is waiting-how patiently, may possibly be imagined—for the death of her old aunt Stubbins, before her passion for her dear George, who is nothing loth to wait, provided he can touch the tocher, can be crowned with the Aower of Hymen's yellow garland."
The Honourable Mr B— has run through two cosiderable fortunes ; has been altogether imprudent, inconsiderate, and extravagant; but now he is obliged to pull in his horns, put down his chariot and curricle, dismiss his retinue of servants, sell his house, furniture, and plate, his stud of horses, and his pack of hounds ; retire with his lady to rusticate in the country, until the death of an old unclc, for which he prays night and day, shall enable him to move with his wonted degree of eclat in circles of fashion.
Walking down St. James's-street a fews days ago, I met my old fellow-collegian, young Wilding. When at Oriel he was a sad incorrigible dog, thoughtless, extravagant, over head and ears in debt, and generally without a penny in his pocket. He was the same in exterior ; and I much doubt whether time and experience had instilled into his head the smallest grain of prudence and economy. He was dressed in a suit of mourning; and upon