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upon the scene, that was, when we were here before, so passing fair. How changed! Where are the gay flowers that covered the ground with beauty, and filled the air with perfume? where the bright green leaves of the trees ? -" They are faded now.” Where are the happy creatures that carolled their songs from every spray, that gambolled in playfulness on every side ? — They too are gone—we see them not now. But they are safe : nay, more, they are happy. God has made none of his creatures for misery. Some have fled far away to southern lands, to sunnier climes, where winter's snow and storm is unknown. Others have formed themselves warm nests in the hollow tree, or deep beneath the frozen surface of the ground, and are passing, in a state of freedom from all sensation, the days their faculties were not fitted to enjoy. The caterpillar has changed his form and is bound by a silken cord, safe in some crevice of this wall, where he will rest till the warm sun wakes him to a new state of exist
The little snail, too, having blockaded the entrance to his shell, is snugly lodged beside him: the bat is hanging by the hooks on his wings in the tower in a comfortable sleep: and many, many others, which were all life and gaiety, have passed from the face of the earth, and are not.
Our friend, “that wears the scarlet stomacher," is here, though, in his old station on the ash tree; he is peering inquisitively at us, to learn our business may’hap; and now he is singing away as blithely as ever; and the little kitty wren has just scuttled through the fence, where you see the snow dropping, and is shouting his song from the opposite side.
Notwithstanding that the beauty of the scene has vanished, the proofs of the goodness of the Deity are as numerous and convincing in the tender care for the preservation of these his creatures, as when all was loveliness. They do not meet the
eye, but they must be evident to the most indifferent mind.
But our thoughts are checked, and turned into a different channel, at the sight of the graves.
We did not notice them when we came here in the jubilee of nature; our minds were so occupied with the exuberant happiness of all we saw, that they were not observed.
But now, when all the gaiety is gone, we can see the hillocks that rise thickly throughout the churchyard, and we can look at the
" frail memorials still erected by,"
and think that, to the same bourne whither these have arrived we are tending We too must die. The bare trees remind us that. “we all do fade as a leaf;" the flowerless earth tells us of the vanity of the “glory of man," and the graves complete the picture, by shewing us our final home. Yet, though man, a fading flower, passes away and is gone,” “the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” And that word assures us,
the sleeping tribes of nature awake to life and happiness in the Spring, so shall man, that dwelleth in dust, awake and rejoice. “We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised, and the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Sown in corruption, we shall be raised in incorruption; dying in dishonour, we shall live again in glory; buried a mortal body, we shall be raised a spiritual body. “ Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man to conceive,” the blessedness of that future state, “which God hath prepared for them that love him." No longer fettered by the flesh to this speck of matter, we shall have the boundless universe to exercise the lofty powers of our purified souls in. For all eternity engaged in raising hymns of praise to “ Him that sitteth on the throne;" and constantly receiving accessions of wisdom and of true knowledge.
“ The year is closed. Our task is done.” We have thus led you, indulgent reader, through “the varied year.” We have smiled in the Spring, we have gloried in the perfect Summer, the sobriety of Autumn induced thoughtfulness, and, now pale Winter is come, we conclude with a “hope full of immortality.”
Feeling that there is a perfect concordance between the word and the works of God, we have generally concluded our observation of the one with a reflection from the other. And feeling that “all these things must be dissolved,” we have endeavoured to direct your thoughts to brighter scenes,
“Where everlasting spring abides,
And never-withering flowers ;" and especially to point to the way that leads to those happier realms.
If we have displeased any by so doing, we are sorry for their sakes. To those who deem our remarks ill-timed, we only point to the command, “ be instant in season, out of season." Should any one feel determined to pursue our plan of studying nature, we greet him as a brother, and assure him that he is in a fair way to obtain no small degree of happiness here below. Indulgent reader, farewell ! Dec. 1st.
CULINARY ANTIQUITIES. Salt-Cellars.—A salt cellar, says Dr. Johnson, is so called from salt and cellar : in this case it ought not to mean a vessel of salt set on the table, but rather a cell underground where salt is stored. Probably the French salière is the real root of the latter half of the word, in which case the word salt is a superfluous part of the compound. We have many such tautologous combinations which give both the English and French name. Such are but-end, robin-red breast, wine-vinegar. Why has it been esteemed unlucky to overturn a salt-cellar ? This superstition derives from Pagan Rome; where the salt-dish was a holy platter, in which the firstlings of the feast were offered to the Gods, and which was usually ornamented with the figure of some divinity. 6 Sacras facitis mensas salinorum appositu, et simulacris deorum.” And again Livy : “Ut salinum patellamque deorum causâ habeant.” And Horace: “ Paternum splendet mensâ tenui salinum." And Statius : “ Exiguo placuerunt farre salina.” To overturn altars and images of the Gods, was naturally held ominous.
Dried Cherries.—Cherries might be dried on the large scale in ovens, and afforded cheaper than raisins. They form a more delicate dessert dish, and make an excellent pudding.
Walnut-Oil.-In Switzerland great use is made of the oil of green walnuts, which is preferred to olive oil for salads and delicate purposes.
The walnuts are gathered while the interior shell is white, soft and pulpy; and are squeezed in adapted presses.
The Devil's Dinner.-In Milton's Paradise Regained, the devil offers a tempting dinner, which is described in these words :
A table richly spread, in regal mode,
Gris-amber-steam'd; all fish from sea or shore,
And exquisitest name. Probably this is a faithful description of some of those cabinet dinners, of which, while Milton was Secretary of State, he partook at the Protector's, or elsewhere. It differs from a modern dinner in the order of viands, the fish occurring last.
It also differs in the singular circumstance, that the pastry was perfumed with ambergris. No doubt those tall goose-pies, built in standing crust, which last so long as to smell of the cupboard, were still in vogue; and might well require fumigation, when about to be presented before company. And what is ambergris ? Is it the drug we now call
spermaceti, mingled with some aromatic?
Peacocks.—Varro, in his third book on agriculture, mentions that Hortensius first set a peacock on his table, augurali cæna, or, as we might say, at the generals of the clergy. At first this new dish was found fault with, as indicating a taste rather luxurious than severe; but the fashion spread so rapidly, that the eggs of peahens were bought at immense prices, in order to rear a brood. Ut ova eorum denarius veneant quinis, ipsi facile quinquagenis. Macrobius repeats this anecdote; but he withholds a remark of Galen, that the flesh of the peacock is not easy of digestion : it keeps however better than that of any other fowl. Aldrovandus, in consequence of some strange misunderstanding, asserts in print, that he ate in 1598 part of a peacock which had been cooked in 1592, and was still very good; but it smelt, he says, a little like fennel. Dioscorides recommends to gouty persons the eggs of pea-fowl.
NORWICH MECHANICS INSTITUTION.
We have only room to say that the lectures and debates have been carried on, during the past month, with their usual degree of interest and instruction. Earnestly do we wish that the prosperity which this valuable institution so eminently merits, and has so long and uninterruptedly enjoyed, may continue and increase.
PRINTED BY J. FLETCHER, UPPER HAYMARKET, NORWICH.
Norwich Mechanics' Institution,
Family History of Wisdom and So-