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THE KANGAROO BEETLE. The various tribes of insects, particularly the Beetles, present more extraordinary forms than any other portion of animated nature. The little real knowledge ■we possess of their habits, makes it very improbable that we shall ever be able properly to appreciate the wisdom of the Creator in furnishing them with so peculiar an arrangement of parts; but that this has been done for the benefit of the individual, we cannot have the least reason to doubt. To some, a terrific appearance may have been given for the purpose of deterring their enemies ; and the hard shell of the Beetle affords an excellent protection for its tender body, against the attacks of other more powerful creatures.
The Mole Cricket is furnished with a very strong pair of legs in front; the last joint of which is made much in the form of the forelegs of the mole, and in both cases, turned sideways like the human hand. In this case, there is not the least doubt, that this peculiarity is for the purpose of assisting the animal in working its way in its passage underground, and it is possible, that the enormous hinder legs of the insect here figured, may be applied to some such purpose.
The Kangaroo Beetle.
The same peculiarity of form has been the means of giving it a name, from its bearing a remote resemblance to the kangaroo of New South Wales. It is supposed to be a native of South America; but little is known to a certainty, of the place from which it comes.
Beetles of most kinds perform the same office as the vultures, and assist to clear the earth of putrid substances, which they either devour at once, or bury with great dexterity; a curious instance of this is to be found in the burying beetle, by whose exertions the body of a dead mole is removed to several inches under the surface of the ground, in an incredibly short space of time, when the size of the insect is taken into consideration. The number of known species of this tribe is very great; in England alone they amountto not less than 4000 j and, in some of the hot climates, the land absolutely swarms with them.
THE COMMERCIAL EXPEDITION TO AFRICA. II.
In continuation of a former paper on the Commercial Expedition which lately sailed for the river Niger, we now give a copy of the letter which has been prepared for the purpose of announcing to the Native Chiefs the objects of our countrymen in "visiting their respective territories, and of opening a friendly communication with the several states and tribes with whom it may be found desirable to traffic.
The original letter is written in Arabic, by Mr. Abraham Salame, the Egyptian, who acted as Interpreter to Lord Exmouth, in his negotiations with the Dey of Algiers, after the celebrated battle in which that chief was so severely chastised by the British Admiral. Our copy is taken from a literal translation into English, by the writer of the original letter. The copies taken out by Mr. Lander, for circulation among the chiefs, are handsomely printed upon broad sheets of coloured paper, and decorated with engravings of steam-vessels.
"Praiso be to God alone, there is neither power nor authority but in God.
"From the slaves of God, Richard Lander, Macgregor Laird, Thomas Briggs, and their coadjutors, servants of the King of the English, to our dear friend in God, the monanh or Prince (Lord of this country), salutation be unto you, together with the mercy and blessings of God.
"Hence, after presenting our perfect salutation and due respect and regard to you, we have to inform you (may God inform you of all good news!) that His Majesty, our Great King, did send several times previously, some of his Captains and great men into the countries of Africa and Soudan, for the purpose of seeing their rivers, their wonders, and all the marvellous things that are to be found in them, and which are not to be found in our country.
"On their return, they reported to him (the King) all the kindness, and good deeds, and protection, which they received from you, and from the people of your countries; and that they were permitted to come back with articles of'merchamlise for the purpose of trading with all safety upon the faith of God, and on the faith of his Apostles, accompanied by your protection.
"This was spread among the people of the wide countries who were gladdened on hearing it. Our Great King was also delighted, and praised your good deeds towards his servants. Whereupon he felt desirous of establishing a friendly intercourse between you and him, for the purpose of benefiting by trading, both the people of your countries and those of his.
"We are, therefore, come now in the great sea Quorra, with two vessels of our said King, with the intention of selling, buying, and trading. And we have brought with us articles of merchandise of the manufacture of our country, for disposing of, or exchanging them for Elephants Teeth, and such other articles as your countries produce, and which are not to be found in our own.
"We are come to be with you upon every good feeling of peace and amity, upon the faith of God, and on the faith of his Apostles. We, therefore, desire of you protection, hospitality, and safety, both to us and to our people, either in selling or in buying; especially, because we are your guests; 'for the guest is always respected for the sake of God.'
"We are ready to pay you the customs and gifts that are generally expected from all the merchants and dealers that trade in your markets, according to equity and justice. We are ready to observe all your laws and regulations, therefore, you must do us no injury, and we will not harm you; because we do not wish any tiling but wealth and advantage to your country and to ours, as well as profit to your people and to ours.
"And after the termination of our trading, and the completion of our selling and buying, we will return in peace to our country, and import to you the things which you may desire, and such articles of merchandise as the people of your countries arc fond of, if God be pleased, for the sake of continuing friendship and harmony between you and our King, and by the assistance of the generous God, wealth and profit will bo increased both to your ad van tage and our own.—Amen.
"Dated in the year 1248 of the Hegira, which corresponds with the year of our Lord, 1832."
Tipp'd by the sun's emerging beams,
How bright the village spire;
A lamp of living fire.
So shines thy sun of mercy, Lord,
Affliction to illume; Reflected from Thy Holy Word, i Whec Ul Sesido is gloom. Townces-i.
Through the Gothic archway of the littla chanceldoor, all seemed bright and cheerful in the open air; the atmosphere full of golden light, the springing grass in the church-yard, the young, fresh leaves just opening, the ceaseless cawing of the busy rooks in the high trees about Hodnet Hall, and the sweet songs of a hundred joyous birds.
The solemn quietness and mellowed light within the church were better suited to my mood. I was thinking of Reginald Heber. It was in that church that he had led the worship of the great congregation, during the period of his ministry in England, until he was made bishop of Calcutta. How often had his untravclled heart turned to his beloved parishioners in dear, dear Hodnet; and, doubtless, that country church, and the old familiar faces there, had often and often risen up before him, and been welcomed with blessings from his kind and loving heart. I thought of his farewell sermon in the midst of his sorrowing flock, and of the affecting description given of his departure from Hodnet.
"From a range of high grounds near Newport, he turned back to catch a last view of his beloved Hodnet; and here the feelings, which he had hitherto suppressed in tenderness to others, burst forth unrc-truined, and he uttered the words, which have proved prophetic, that he ' should return to it no more!'
As I thought of him, I blessed that gracious Master, who, in calling his servant from the charge of a few sheep in this quiet and remote spot, to make him the shepherd of the flocks upon a thousand pastures, had so graciously fitted him for his high calling, not only bestowing upon him many splendid gifts, but those meek and lowly graces, without which no gifts of genius could have made him fit to be the
minister of Him, who is at once meek ana lowly in heart, and the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. I thought of that which has always appeared to me the most blessed assurance of his growth in grace, and his ripeness for eternity,—the Prayer found, after his departure, in his book of private devotions, bearing the date of the 28th of March, (He entered into his rest on the 3rd of April.)
■ Oh, my Father, my Master, my Saviour, and my King, unworthy and wicked as I am, reject mo not as a polluted vessel; but so quicken mo by Thy Spirit from the death of sin, that I may walk in newness of life before Thee! Convert me first, O Lord 1 that I may be the means in Thy hand of strengthening my brethren 1 Convert me, that t may be blessed to the conversion of many! Yea, convert me, O Jesus! for mine own sins' sake, and the greatness of my undeserving before Thee, that I, who need Thy mercy most, may find it in most abundance 1 Lord! I believe— help Thou mine unbelief! Lord! I repent—help Thou mine impenitence! Turn Thou me, O Lord, and so shall I be turned! Be favourable unto me, and I shall live! and let what remaineth of my life be spent in Thy service, who livest and rcigncst with tho Father and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever! Amen."
On the side wall of the southern chancel, just beyond and just above the very spot where the good rector of Hodnet had so often stood, is a tablet of white marble, upon which the finely-shaped head and intelligent features of Reginald Heber have been cut in bold relief by Chantrey.
I have had more facilities than a mere visiter would have had for learning something of the history of Hodnet Church, but very slender materials are to be found at the place itself. Leland's description of it in one word exactly suits it now: "Hodnet, a townlett." It is neither a "village nor a town, but consists of little more than two streets of irregular buildings. At the upper end of the higher street stands the church. The whole church-yard and many parts of the "townlet" are bedded on a huge mass of red sand-stone rock. The church is built of the same kind of rock.
The name of Hodnet, or, as it was anciently written, Odcnett, was taken from Odo, probably the father of Baldwyn, the lieutenant of the celebrated Roger, first earl of Shrewsbury (or Schrobesbury) and Montgomery at the time of the Conquest. For five generations, the Hodnets owned the lordship, and church, and lands bearing their name, till in the reign of Edward the Second, Matilda de Hodnet, the heiress of the whole property, bestowed her hand and all the wealth of her ancestors on William de Ludlowe of Stokcsay, near Ludlow, knight. Their descendants for seven generations were possessors of the demesne. The largest part of Hodnet Hall was built by them in the fourteenth century, and finished by the Vernons in the sixteenth. The Vernons, a noble family, originally from Vernon in Normandy, intermarried with the Ludlows some years after the battle of Shrewsbury, and succeeded to the estate on the failure of the Ludlows. In the Vernons it remained till 1754, when the male line failed, and the property passed to bishop Heber's grandfather, who descended from them in the female line.
The work of spoliation seems to have been carried on at Hodnet with a bold and reckless hand during the Rebellion. The rector, Dr. John Arnway, being devotedly attached to the royal cause, was driven from Hodnet by the garrison of Wenn. His rectory and his books were burnt, and not merely to the rector, and his own personal possessions, did this persecution extend,—the church was stripped of its ancient memorials, even the registers were destroyed. Dr. Arnway has related part of his sufferings in two little pieces called The Tablet, and An Alarm, In one of them he says, " they offered me 400/. per annum, sweetened with the commendation of my abilities to bow to it (meaning the covenant.) I replied I had rather cast my staff and tackling all overboard to save my passenger and pinnance (soul and body) than sink my passenger and pinnance to preserve my staff and tackling." Again he complains that his persecutors left him not a Bible of his library to comfort him, nor a sheaf of his means to nourish him, nor a suit of his clothes to cover him, nor use of common air to refresh him. He lost a large fortune, which he did not lament in his extremest .penury, and never recovered either his books or papers, but after being imprisoned and very ill-used, he fled first to the Hague, and then to Virginia, where he died in poverty before the Restoration. *' He was a very worthy and excellent man; he yearly clothed a certain number of poor old people (I think they were twelve), and dined as many every Sunday at his table; and his loyalty kept pace with his charity, for he furnished out no less than eight troopers for his majesty's service, which alone is sufficient to account for the true reason of all his troubles."
The spacious church is divided into two broad aisles and chancels by a row of six pillars, five of them circular, and one octangular, running lengthways the whole extent of the building, and supporting five circular and two pointed arches; the capitals of the pillars are without any ornament. The ceilings of the north and south chancels are panelled with dark oak, and small, but flowered, bosses. The royal arms are painted between the south aisle and the chancel, with the date 1660. The church is dedicated to St. Oswald. At the principal entrance is a small oaken box for alms, with two locks, and the words *' Remember the poor" in raised carving upon the front of it.
Hodnet church is said to have been built by Sir Rowland Hill, in the reign of Henry the Eighth. I suspect it was rather rebuilt in parts than built by him. The tower is octagonal, and said to be Norman. The font is very old and grotesque. In the broad and lofty mullioned window that fills up the whole eastern end of the northern chancel, there are one or two fragments of coloured glass, no more. Beneath this window stands a reading-desk, of carved oak, to which some old books are fastened with chains.
Hodnet is worthy of notice, as being the native parish of the high and truly honourable family of the Hills, of Hawkstone. The family vault, bearing the date of A.d. 1500, is beneath the pavement of the north chancel. There are several monuments in Hodnet Church, sacred to the memory of members of this excellent and much-respected family.
In a corner, where it cannot be generally seen, is the monumental tablet of Sir Richard Hill, the elder brother of that generation of which the Rev. Rowland Hill is now the only survivor.
A curious circumstance is worthy of note, as connected with Hodnet Church. The sum of 21. 15s. 2d. is paid yearly, according to some old agreement, by the rector of Hodnet, to the Pendrills of Boscobel, the family in whose house Charles the Second was concealed. Perhaps the patron in those days, as well as the rector, Dr. Arnway, was devotedly attached to the royal fugitive, and consented to pay off part of the king's debt of gratitude, by allowing such a tax to be laid on the income of the living of Hodnet.
[Abridged from an Article in the British Magatine.~\
For every hundred persons employed in agriculture, there nre in Italy 31 non-agriculturists; in France, 50; and in England, 200.— Babbage.
SCRIPTURE DIFFICULTIES. The Jewish Rabbis, in their comments on Scripture, so oft as they met with hard and intricate texts, out of which they could not wrest themselves, were wont to shut up their discourse with this: "When Elias comes, he will explain this difficulty." Not the Jews only, but the learned Christians, in all ages, have found many things in Scripture, which wait for such an interpreter. For, besides those texts of Scripture which, by reason of the hidden treasures of wisdom, and depth of sense and mystery laid up in them, are not yet understood, there are many things of time and place, and apparent contrariety, which bring vast obscurity to the text. The Areopagites, in Athens, when they were troubled in a doubtful case, in which they durst not proceed to give sentence, were wont to put off the cause for a day of hearing some hundred years after,—avoiding, by this means, further importunity with the suit. In such doubts of Scripture, it will be our best way to put them to some day of hearing afar off,—even till that great day,— till Christ, our true Elias, shall come, who, at his coming, shall answer all our doubts, and settle all our waverings.
Meanwhile, till our Elias come, in places of ambiguous and doubtful, or dark and intricate meaning, it is sufficient if we religiously admire, acknowledge, and confess; maintaining neither side, reprobating neither side; but rather recalling ourselves from such bold presumption. To understand, belongs to Christ, the Author of our faith; to us is sufficient the glory of believing. It is not depth of knowledge, nor knowledge of antiquity, nor sharpness of wit, nnr authority of councils, nor the name of the church, can settle the restless conceits that possess the minds of many doubting Christians. Only to ground our faith on the plain incontrovertible text of Scripture, and, for the rest, to wait and pray for the coming of our Elias; this shall compose our waverings, and give final rest unto our souls. Hales.
Liberty Ano Licentiousness.—There is a very peculiar contrariety between those vices which consist in excess, and the virtues of which they are said to be the excess and resemblance, and whose names they affect to bear; the excess of any thing being always to its hurt, and tending to its destruction. In this manner, licentiousness is, in its very nature, a present infringement upon liberty, and dangerous to it for the future. A particular man may be licentious without being less free ; but a community cannot since the licentiousness of one will unavoidably break in upon the liberty of another. Civil liberty, the liberty of a community, is a severe, and a restrained thing; implies, in the very notion of it, authority, settled subordinations, subjection and obedience; and is altogether as much hurt by too little of this kind as by too much. The love of liberty that is not a real principle of dutiful behaviour to authority is as hypocritical as the religion that is not productive of a good life. Bp. Butler.
Selden had once intended to give his library to the Uni versity of Oxford, and had left it so by his will; but, having occasion for a manuscript, which belonged to their library, they asked of him the customary bond of £1000 for its restitution: this he took so ill at their hands, that he struck out that part of his will by which he had given them his library, and with some passion declared that they should never have it. The executors (of whom Sir Matthew Hale was one) stuck at this a little, but, having considered better of it, came to this resolution; that they were to be the executors of Mr. Seidell's will, and not of his passion ;— so they made good what he had intended in cold blood, and passed over what his passion had suggested to him.
This collection of books, at the time, was valued at some thousands of pounds, and now forms a valuable part of the magnificent Bodleian Library at Oxford.
THE TABLE OF SHEW BREAD.
At the time of the conquest of Spain by the Arabs, the Moslem general, Taric, found, near Toledo, a rich precious table, adorned with hyacinths and emeralds. Gelif Aledris, in his description of Spain, calls this remarkable piece of antiquity, "the Table Of Solomon, Son Of David." This table is supposed to have been saved by the Jews, with other precious and sacred vessels, from the pillage of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, and brought with those fugitives who found their way to Spain. Indeed, some writers do not hesitate to assert, that there is little doubt of this having been the original "Table Of Shew Bread," made by Solomon, spoken of in the Book of Kings, and by Josephus; and which, with the candlestick and the altar of incense, constituted the three wonders of the temple.
That table which Titus brought with him on his triumphal return to Rome, was clearly not the same: for when the city and temple, after the first destruction, were rebuilt by the order of Cyrus, the sacred vessels were made anew; similar indeed to the old, but of inferior excellence.
A CHILD'S EVENING THOUGHTS.
All the little flowers I see,
Their tiny eyes are closing;
The lambkins are reposing.
The sun, where that dull streak of red
Is faintly glimmering still,
Behind the purple bill.
And I, through all the quiet night,
Must sleep the hours away,—
To live another day.
And well I know whose lips will smile,
And who will talk to me, the while
Shell tell me, there is One above,
Upon a glorious throne,
More tender than her own.
The pretty shrubs and llowers,
That flutter through the bowers.
He keeps them underneath his wings,
And there they safely rest;
He loves us far the best.
For, when the birds and flowers are dead,
Their little life is past;
Our life shall always last.
And we shall live with him in heaven;
For he has sent his Son
The sins that we have done.
He'll make my heart grow like his own,
.All loving, good, and mild;
And take me for his child.
Within my little nest;
His children while they rest. E. S.R. A.
Atfkctation is the greatest enemy both of doing well, and good acceptance of what is done. I hold it the part of a wise man, to endeavour rather that Fame may follow him than go before Mm.—Bishop Hall.
You complain that you cannot pray. At least, then, you have one petition that you are bound to offer.——T. K. A.
The Castle of Bamborough is situated in the county of Northumberland, about five miles to the east of Belford, and 359 north from London. It stands upon an almost perpendicular rock overlooking the sea, and about 150 feet above its level. A stately tower, the only original part of this once famous strong-hold that now exists, appears to have been built on the remains of some ancient edifice which once, perhaps, formed one of a chain of fortresses raised by the Romans to protect this part of the coast, when they were in possession of the northern portion of the Island.
Bamborough Castle is said to have been erected in the year 559, by the Northumbrian king Ina, and formerly possessed great strength; in many instances becoming the place of refuge for the kings, earls, and governors of Northumberland, in troublesome times.
In the year 642, it was besieged by Penda, the pagan king of Mercia, who, not satisfied with the victories he had already gained, endeavoured to destroy the castle itself by fire. "He laid vast quantities of wood under the walls, to which he set fire, as soon as the wind was favourable; but no sooner was it in a flame, than the wind changed, and carried it into his own camp, and forced him to raise the siege.
In 705, Osred, the son of Alfred the Great, shut himself up within its walls when pursued (after his father's death) by the rebel Edulph. The castle suffered greatly by the fury of the Danes, in 933; but was afterwards repaired, and esteemed the strongest fortress in the county. William the Second besieged this place in person, when Robert Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, took refuge there after his treasonable acts. At the appearance of the king, the earl made his escape, but was afterwards taken prisoner; still, however, Morel, his steward and kinsman, defended it against all the king's forces.—" The king had turned the siege into a blockade, and raised a fortress near it called Malvoisin—(Bad Neighbour) some time before the earl fled. Morel still held out with such great resolution, that the king had recourse to policy, to effect that which he had failed to accomplish by force. He ordered the earl to be led up to the walls, and a declaration to be made, that if the castle was not surrendered, his eyes shouldbe instantly put out.—This threat succeeded; Morel no sooner beheld his kinsman in this imminent danger, than he consented to yield up the castle to the king. For the servant's sake, probably, the incensed sovereign spared the life of the master, but kept him a prisoner in Windsor Castle, where he remained for thirty years."
In 1463, Bamborough Castle was taken and retaken, several times, by the generals of Edward the Fourth, and Henry the Sixth; and a little before the Battle of Hexham, Sir Ralph Grey, the governor, surrendered to the earl of Warwick: during these conflicts, the damage done to the building was very extensive. Since this time it appears in several instances to have been used as a state prison.
After having been a long time in the possession of the crown, it became the property of a family of the name of Foster, from whom it was purchased by Lord Crew, bishop of Durham. This prelate died on the 18th of September, 1720, in the 88th year of his age, and left the castle, together with the estates of Bamborough, to charitable uses. In 1757, the trustees repaired the great tower, and applied it and the funds of the estate to the purposes of the will. Pennant, who visited this part of the coast in the year 1777, gives the following account of this munificent bequest. "The castle, and the manor belonging to it, was once the property of the Fosters, but purchased by Lord Crew, bishop of Durham, and with other considerable estates, left vested in trustees, to be applied to unconfined charitable uses. Three of these trustees are a majority; one of them makes this place his residence, and blesses the coast by his judicious and humane application of the prelate's generous bequest. He has repaired and rendered habitable the great square tower. The part reserved for himself and family is the large hall, and a few smaller apartments, but the rest of the spacious edifice is allotted for purposes, which make the heart to glow with joy when thought of.
■ "The upper part is an ample granary, from whence com is dispensed to the poor without distinction, even in the dearest time, at the rate of four shillings the bushel; and the distressed, for many miles round, often experience the conveniency of this benefaction.
"Other apartments are fitted up for shipwrecked sailors, for thirty of whom bedding is provided, should such a number happen to be cast ashore at the same time. A constant patrol is kept, every stormy night, along this tempestuous coast, for above eight miles, (the extent of the manor,) by which numbers of lives have been preserved.
< "It often happens that ships strike in such a manner on the rocks as to be capable of relief, in case numbers of people could be suddenly assembled, to render the necesary assistance. For this purpose, a cannon is fixed on the top of the tower, which is fired once, if the accident happen in such a quarter; twice, if in another; and thrice, if in such a place. By these signals, the country-people are directed to the spot they are to fly to, and frequently preserve, not only the crew, but even the vessel; for machines of different kinds are always in readiness to heave ships out of their perilous situations.
"So extensive a charity, to flow from a private bounty, is singular; men, in former ages, were canonized for trifling acts of benevolence, compared to this. But, although the resources were given by Lord Crew, yet the disposition was not of his arrangement. To the benevolent heart of the Rev. Dr. Sharp, the chief part of the blessings derived from his lordship's will is to be attributed."
Since the above account was written, life-boats (by the means of which so many lives have of late years been saved) have been added to the establishment, and the utility of the charity has been materially increased.
The cotton of Java 19 conveyed in junks to the coast of China, but from the seed not being previously separated, three quarters of the weight thus carried is not cotton. This might, perhaps, be justified in Java, by the want of ma chinery to separate the seed, or by the relative cost of the operation in the two countries. But the cotton itself, as packed by the Chinese, occupies three times the bulk of an equal quantity shipped by Europeans for their own mar kets. Thus the weight of a given quantity of cotton costs the Chinese nearly twelve times the price to which, by a proper attention to mechanical methods, it might be reduced. Babuage.
Good For Evil.—An old man, of the name of Guyot, lived and died in the town of Marseilles; he amassed a large fortune by the most laborious industry and the severest habits of abstinence and privation. The populace pursued him, whenever he appeared, with hootings and execrations. In his will, there were found the following words :—" Having observed, from my infancy, that the poor of Marseilles are ill-supplied with water, which can only be purchased at a great price, I have cheerfully laboured, the whole of my life, to procure for them this great blessing; and I direct that the whole of my property shall be laid out in building an aqueduct for their use."- Thoughts on Laughter.
Cruelty To Animals.—Let us take notice of the great variety of creatures, which are made for our use; some for labour, some for food, some for clothing, some for pleasure. At the same time let us remember, that our right in these creatures is not absolute; we hold them from God, and He can deprive us of them, whenever He sees fit, and when ever we abuse them :—and therefore the spirit of God has given us this rule: "The merciful man is merciful to his beast." And whoever abuses any of God's creatures, or tortures them, or destroys such as are neither hurtful when they are alive, nor of use when they are killed, will have more to answer for than many usually think. W. J. M.
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