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the velvet-like richness and bright hues of its once pale petals are derived, few plants seem to offer more unwearied homage to the fountain of light, spreading wide its blossoms, and following the glorious sun, in his progress from east to
"Heaven wills that lifeless things should give
Nor less pleasing is the field-scabious (scabiosa arvensis), with its tufted, lilac-coloured, and sweetly fragrant globular head, visited by all such butterflies and bright insects as sport from one flower to another, and presenting a striking contrast to the scarlet poppy and blue corn-flower; the first denoting a light and shallow soil, and growing invariably among wheat and barley; the second (centaurea cyanus), associated with the memory of that gifted woman, Mrs. Rowe, who, in her girlhood days, when living in the seclusion of a country village, extracted its brilliant juice for painting, and thus anticipated the discovery of a later age. But the beauty of a flower does not depend solely on its vivid tints. What an exquisite coronet of florets is presented by the corn-flower, each floret resembling a tiny vase, in which sweet nectar is contained for the butterfly and bee: useful, too, as indicating bad farming to the landlord, this beacon flower, with its neighbour plants, the knapweed, poppy, mayweed, and brilliant corn-marigold, announce the neglect of using clean seed and judicious culture. Ages have past away since a youthful enthusiast, named Cyanus, delighted to loiter in the corn-fields, and weave garlands of all hues; among which "this flower beloved the most" was invariably conspicuous. But the name given by her companions to this favourite flower, commemorative, it might be, of one they had loved in life, has remained to the present day.
The plant which of all others I the most admire, when growing among corn, is the spattling-poppy (silene inflata), one of its prettiest decorations. The perfectly white calyx, elegantly varied with green or purple veins, is worthy of close inspection; and near it often springs the milfoil-yarrow (achillea millefolium), with cream-coloured flowers, slightly cloven, and yellow anthers, yielding an essential oil, and uniformly indicating a stony soil. The common agrimony (agrimonia eupatoria), with its delicate scent, resembling apricots, was seen also in my favourite field, with its long terminating bunches of fine yellow flowers.
The field, thus gay with flowers, has also numerous occupants, which, either on foot or wing, often pass swiftly among the waving corn. The timid leveret may be seen hiding in the thickest part, or causing by his movements an unwonted rustling; and occasionally is heard the shrill cry of the female partridge, calling to her young. Harvest-mice are numerous: a field of corn is to them a forest, of which the topmost ears are utterly unattainable; yet the grain is their greatest luxury; and this they readily obtain, although the stalks are too slippery and slender to afford a footing, or to sustain their weight. They nibble at the root; and, when the stalk has fallen, procure a plentiful supply.
I shall speak elsewhere of the rapidity with which all such occupants betake themselves to different sites, when the sickle is put in. August, most generally, is the reaping month; but fields of corn often remain uncut till the beginning of September. Thus it happened on our windy hills, and with the field of which I have spoken; and therefore I shall not take note concerning the time of harvest.
That field, skirted in its highest portion by one of those broken banks, with ferns and flowers and tangled bushes, that give a peculiar charm and character to many an English corn-field, was tenanted by burrowing insects of various kinds, which made their dwellings in the bank or soil beneath.
The wild bee (M. succincta) had excavated a horizontal cylinder, about two inches deep, and placed within it three or four membranaceous cells, shaped like a thimble, the base of one ingeniously fitting into the opening of the other. The drapery-bee (A. papaveris), which lines the habitation destined for her young with leaves and flowers, was there also. Having formed a cylindrical burrow, and made smooth the walls, she flies into the field, and, pleased, it would seem, with attractive colours, selects the brilliant scarlet petals of the wild poppy, and bears them to her home. Though often cut from a wrinkled and half-expanded flower, she straightens their folds, and fits them to her purpose by removing all superfluous parts. Beginning at the base, she overlays the walls of her domicile with this beauteous tapestry, and renders the floor both soft and warm by several layers of the same material. This done, honey and pollen are deposited to the height of about half an inch, an egg is laid, and over the whole an additional covering is carefully arranged; the entrance to the cell being closed Years have come and gone since I gathered a with earth, to prevent the possibility of intrusion. bouquet of such wild flowers in the same spot, and The mason-wasp (odynerus) had likewise bored a blended with them the elegant clustered bell- cylindrical cavity in the hard sand, by means of flower, lesser-pink centaury, and perforated St. a glutinous liquor, which it pours from the mouth. John's-wort, noticed by Linnæus as growing in This valuable secretion acts upon the segments of Lapland on green declivities open to the sun. the sand like the vinegar with which Hannibal is The little gleaner, who gathered them on a neigh-fabled to have softened the Alps, and renders the bouring common in returning to her mother's cot- separation of the grains easy to the pickaxetage, reminded me of the Sicyon flower-girl, re- kind of mandible pertaining to the little mason. nowned for combining with singular elegance the In that same bank also nestled a brotherhood of flowers she weaved into garlands and chaplets. field-crickets-joyous, light-hearted creatures; My little gleaner, with her glowing cheek, her and near them dwelt the hermit-spider, which hat thrown carelessly aside, and blue apron filled closes the entrance of his cell with a door comwith flowers, might have afforded Parrhsius a sub-posed of several coats of dry earth, fastened ject for his pencil equal to the one that has immortalized his name.
together by means of an adhesive kind of silk. The door is kept upright with a silken hinge;
and, when the occupant wishes to go out, he opens | largest of the swallow tribe, and gliding through
it with ease, shutting it, as he passes, with equal
Time would fail me, if I were to speak concerning the dwellers in that field and bank; and yet, though numerous, and liable to every kind of casualty, it would be extremely difficult to find a dead mouse or cricket, beetle or humble-bee, or any of the numerous occupants. The charitable office of interring all such is performed by the grave-digging beetle (selpha vespillo), who, with his companions, "kindly lend their little aid," and this so quickly, that three or four will dig a hole in the ground and bury whatever small dead creatures they may find, in the course of a few
Apparently intent on the one sole object of their existence, they first inspect the creature they are about to inter, and then commence digging a hollow in the mould or sand beneath, by removing the soil, and shovelling it on either side. This is effected by bending down their heads, bearing strongly on their collars, and working with singleness of purpose: the bird, meanwhile, seems to move its head or tail, its wings or feet, when the labourers seek to drag the body by its feathers into the hole.
Five hours are often required for this laborious operation, till the hollow is nearly excavated; and then it happens, not unfrequently, that only one of the labourers continues to work, the rest being either disheartened or fatigued. When this occurs, the remaining beetle may be seen to stiffen his collar, after the custom of his tribe, and, by an extraordinary exertion of strength, to lift the bird or mouse, and arrange it within the spacious hollow. Every now and then the sagacious creature will mount upon the body, and appear to tread it down; and then, after resting a-while, renew his efforts, and press it a little further, till sunk to a considerable depth. At length the small grave-digger, being unable to continue his exertions, and seemingly spent with fatigue, retires under ground.
Next morning he may be seen again at work. The dead bird having been sunk to the depth of two fingers' breadth, resembles a tiny corpse upon a bier, surrounded with a mound of earth. Before night the grave is hollowed somewhat deeper; and the indefatigable beetle, again aided by his companions, continues to labour at intervals for nearly two days longer, till the whole is finished.
This singular propensity in the grave-digging beetle is essential for the preservation of its young. Eggs deposited by the parents in the substances which they inter produce, when hatched, larvæ that grow to an inch in length; and these turn into yellow chrysalides, from which beetles emerge, to follow the occupation of their race.
And thus from sire to son, through circling years,
The swift, or black-martin (hirundo apis),
the air without any perceptible motion of the wings, is now preparing to migrate: lapwings and linnets assemble for the same purpose: starlings are seen in flocks; and goldfinches flutter about the hedges. Stillingfleet noticed also, at least a century since, that the rooks in his neighbourhood returned at night to roost in the trees that contain their nests; and the same adherence to ancient habits is still obvious, so unchanged are the laws of nature.
August has its own deep beauty, distinct from that of all other months; varying in its character from those which have gone before, and essentially different from such as are yet to come. August is the ripening month, when corn and barley assume a mellow tint, and stand ready for the sickle; when, also, fruits of every kind, having attained their full size, develop that exquisite variety of bloom, or hue, which belongs to their tribe or family. True it is that the same process commenced much earlier, and that gooseberries, raspberries, and currants were seen in the kitchengarden; but now stone-fruits of various kinds are fully ripe: cherry and apple-orchards vary the cheerful scene, and blackberries cluster in the hedges. Who, that ever gathered the wild blackberry, does not vividly recall to mind the pleasure of rambling in a fine August morning, through glens and glades, and up many a steep bank, where grew the tempting fare, while all around was one continuous rustle of green leaves, with openings through the trees into some deep valley, with its clear stream winding in singleness and beauty?
Naturalists have spoken much concerning roots and leaves, and of that wondrous mechanism by means of which all vegetable functions are performed. Passing over these as facts well known and repeatedly described, I shall merely advert to the ripening of fruit, it may be of the common blackberry or wild apple, quince or cherry, as illustrative of all other kinds. A few weeks since, green and tasteless berries began to form, though still surrounded with a few straggling white petals, which seemed to watch over the nurslings which they had cherished from infancy. At length, one by one, the petals fall off; a slight change of colour becomes perceptible in the ripening fruit, while the taste peculiar to each gradually developes. All this is obvious; but how inexplicable is the fact, that the same soil and atmosphere and sunbeams produce that dissimilarity of hue and flavour which pertains to every kind of fruit! Such wonderful though familiar results owe their origin to a chemical change which the sap undergoes in passing through the vessels of the plant or tree, when acted upon by light and air. Thus much we know; but the thickest veil obscures the means by which such changes are effected.
Buffon caused his statue to be inscribed with the following sentence:
"A genius equal to the majesty of nature."
Yet the dissimilar taste and colour of a peach and cherry, when growing in the same soil, disprove his impious pretensions.
THE DEVOTED MAN OF SCIENCE.
DR. JAMES HOPE.
"The device of the excellent author of "Theron and Aspasia' was ingenious and instructive. At the end of a long and almost tiresome avenue in his garden a beautiful arbour promised the wished-for rest; but on reaching the attractive spot a plain surface was only found, all was light and shade -a complete illusion, with the motto in the centre of the painting, 'Invisibilia non decipiunt." " THOMAS H. BURDER, M.D.
THERE is something-such is the remark in substance of a clever writer-peculiar in the professions of medicine and surgery. The subject of study and observation in these professions is the human body—the most complicated of all God's works, and the one most calculated, in enlarged and comprehensive minds, to inspire admiration and reverence of the all-wise Author; and yet there is, probably, no class of men in which there are so many sceptics or even positive infidels, as among physicians and surgeons. Strange-the frequency of religious doubt amidst the brightest evidence!
Now, whether stern truth or tempting exaggeration be most apparent in this remark, from its censure he must be excluded whose name heads the present chapter. An impassioned lover of science; indefatigable in the pursuit of truth; highly gifted by nature; and master of informa tion, various, versatile, and always at command, the abiding sway of religion hallowed every acquirement, and lit up every advance in the realm of knowledge. "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" was the governing question of his daily life. Nor did he fly to religion, as may be atfirmed of many, when galled by the world's neglect, or when baffled in some favourite pursuit. He was a successful man. Of him it was observed, and with truth:
"How few at the close of life can look back and say, as Dr. Hope might have done, that, so far as this world is concerned, they have accomplished all that they have planned, and attained all that they had desired!" His career, if brief, was singularly unclouded.
He took up his permanent residence in London as physician in Dec., 1828, with only one private friend, Mr. Æneas Mackintosh, of Montagusquare, and one medical acquaintance, Dr. Henry Holland. His professional maxims, suggested by his venerable father, adopted, and steadily acted upon by himself, were simply these:
1. Never keep a patient ill longer than you can possibly help;
2. Never accept a fee to which you do not feel yourself justly entitled; and
3. Always pray for your patients.
His fame rose rapidly. In 1831 he was appointed physician to the Marylebone infirmary; * From "The Closing Scene; or, Christianity and Infidelity contrasted in the last hours of remarkable persons." By the author of the "Life-book of a Labourer." London: Longmans and Co. The idea of this volume is a happy one. We find here proof enough that the only stable support in the hour of sickness and death is simple faith in Jesus. We were personally acquainted with more than one of the individuals whose last hours are here narrated'; and, though some trifling misstatements meet our eye, yet on the whole we think the character of each well delineated.-ED.
in 1834, assistant-physician to St. George's hospital; and in 1839, physician to that truly noble institution. Previous to this last triumph he had given to the world his two elaborate and enduring works on "Morbid Anatomy," and on "Diseases of the Heart.
The amount of mental toil he underwent as a medical writer may be gleaned from the following fact:
It had long been his custom to work with little intermission from seven in the morning till twelve at night; but, when once engaged in any work of interest, he seemed not to feel fatigue, and to know not where to stop. While writing this book he frequently sat up half through the night. When completing it he often rose at three in the morning! On one occasion he rose at three, wrote, without cessation, till five the following morning, then went to bed; and at nine o'clock Mrs. Hope, for he had been married a few months before, was at his bed-side, writing to his dictation while he breakfasted?
The highest medical honours now appeared within his reach. His professional opinion was eagerly sought by patients from every part of the kingdom. His income rose to four thousand per annum. But mortal disease-to be subdued by no skill, and alleviated by no expedients-assailed him; and, in March, 1841, at the age of forty, he retired deliberately to Hampstead-to die!
"But so completely had he gained the confidence of his patients, that, even after he had retired from practice, they insisted on consulting him. During the first three weeks after his retiring, he made 1007.—that is, rather more than 1,700l. per annum-in fees received from those who would not be refused. Even after his removal to Hampstead he might have been fully occupied with seeing those who, having come from the country, did not hesitate to go a few additional miles for his advice. So late as the day before his death, he declined a visit from one of his former patients."
Three prominent features in his character challenge attention and remark:
1. His habitual disinterestedness.
"In the earlier years of his residence in London it was his delight, and indeed his frequent custom, to spend the night at the house of a patient who was dangerously ill; and, though the increase of his practice rendered this impossible at a later period, yet he occasionally thus indulged himself even till within two years of his death. These attentions were not confined to the rich. There was a gentleman of large fortune, whose dying bed he had thus soothed, and whose family avowed their deep obligations to him. Grateful as they were for that kindness to which the rich are so accustomed that they almost deem it their prerogative, they were much surprised some time after to find almost similar attentions lavished on a groom, who was seized with a dangerous complaint, requiring almost constant watching. After the most assiduous attention on the part of Dr. Hope, accompanied by the divine blessing, the groom recovered; and the family afterwards mentioned the circumstance as illustrative of Dr. Hope's genuine benevolence, uninfluenced by considerations of wealth and station."
"On Diseases of the Heart."
2. His sleepless jealousy for God's honour. He maintained that no calling in life should be prosecuted without distinct reference to the great First Cause and Lord of all. In his conversations with medical students he frequently combated the infidelity and materialism too often embraced by them, on the false notion that such opinions indicate superior intellect. As a medical lecturer he never opened or closed a session without introducing religious allusions and motives to action, and animadverting on the irrationality of infidelity.
3. His practical and unhesitating reliance on the Most High.
"On this occasion* Dr. Hope gave a very decided proof of the strength of his religious principles. After he had been for some days engaged in the canvass, with little apparent prospect of success, a party of very influential medical governors sent to offer him their support. This communication was made at ten o'clock on Saturday night; and, as persons naturally feel their own honour interested in the success of their candidate, these gentlemen stipulated that he should canvass most actively and under their guidance. To this Dr. Hope made no objection; and they proceeded to point out his work for the following day, Sunday. To observe the sabbath was, however, a principle from which he could not swerve. He preferred risking the offered support to offending his God. He urged that, without the divine blessing, his election could not prosper, and that he could not expect that blessing while acting in opposition to the divine commands. It was in vain that his new friends argued, intreated, and even threatened to withdraw their support. Dr. Hope was inflexible; and they finally yielded the point, thinking him no doubt an odd fellow, who could prefer religion to self-interest, and who would rather trust to the promises of God than to his own exertions." Such a man could not be deserted, in his hour of need," by him whom he served; and this is his closing scene:
After removing to Hampstead, Dr. Hope never went out in his carriage but once, and that was to Highgate cemetery, where he intended to be buried. Without indulging unmeaning fancies on the subject of his interment, he gave directions for it as for any other ordinary affair. Mrs. Hope, having hinted the possibility of her attending the funeral, he seized the idea with joy, and eagerly intreated that, provided it did no violence to her feelings, she would be present.
Dr. Latham, the last time he saw him, quired if he "felt quite happy."
"Perfectly so,' was Dr. Hope's reply. "I have always been a sober-thinking man; and I could not have imagined the joy I now feel. My only wish is to convey it to the minds of others; but that is impossible. It is such as I could not have conceived possible."
He was particularly anxious to convey a cheerful idea of death, and his own happiness in the prospect of it, to the mind of his son, who was at that age when all impressions sink deep into the mind. He often talked to him of his great gain, and used sometimes to say:
* Contest for the office of assistant-physician to St. George's hospital.
"You see, Theodore, what a lucky fellow I am. You have your fortune to make; but mine is ready-made for me. I am going to my heavenly inheritance. You know how hard I used to work formerly to get fees for you and mamma; but all that is over now: my toil is at an end."
He then spoke with much warmth and gratitude of the many blessings that had been vouchsafed to him. He noticed that, though God had not thought fit to give him affluence, yet he had always had enough. He dwelt with especial interest on the large share of intellectual enjoyment that had been granted him-more he believed than to most men-and "this blessing ought to be taken into account."
On Monday, finding him much weaker, I said*:
"I think that one week will do great things for you."
"Do you think so, indeed?" answered he, very quickly, and with a radiant smile. "Very well, whenever God pleases, be it soon or be it late, so that I go off in such a way as not to frighten you. I think, however, that you are very much mistaken. I must get weaker yet, and take to my bed."
On Wednesday morning he was much weaker; and I then said that I thought my words about a week would come true.
"Do you mean about my dying in a week?" "Yes," I answered.
"I think it is very likely, as this tugging at my chest is very distressing, and gives me a sensation of faintness."
His departure, and all the tokens of its approach, were constant subjects of our conversation; and one never feared to depress him by noticing the progress of his disease. The effect was always the contrary; and, as I never had been with an invalid, he frequently called my attention to the symptoms of declining strength, and commented on them medically. During this day he was very restless, but betrayed no symptoms of impatience. His bed could not be made to his satisfaction; but he seemed to be perfectly aware that this arose from his own feverish state. Instead of evincing annoyance at the repeated failures to promote his comfort, he only praised the patience of the attendants in making and re-making it so often. The most common services were exaggerated by his grateful spirit into acts of extraordinary kindness, and he frequently lamented the trouble which he feared that he was giving to all around him. He slept during almost the whole day; waking, however, every ten minutes or so, and asking me to read to him. This I did; first from the bible, and then from "Leighton on St. Peter." As soon as I began he fell asleep; but whenever he awoke he regretted that he had not heard anything, and begged me to "give him another trial." He had often said that, though unable to follow the connected thread of my reading, he never failed to pick up what furnished him with delightful meditations.
It was evident that he was worse; but neither of us apprehended any immediate danger. When awake he continued, however, to take an interest in our ordinary occupations. He directed me to * Mrs. Hope is the speaker.
put some lights into a drawing which I had finished some months before; and even so late as half past six o'clock he told me to put up his own drawing of Staffa, in order that he might look at it.
At half past eleven at night, the thermometer having fallen considerably, I shut the window, and told him my reason. In a minute he called me to his bedside, told me to keep a good fire for myself, but to open all the windows and doors as much as I could bear. He then complained of great embarrassment in his respiration, and expressed a doubt whether he should get through the night.
I made some parting observations. He rejoined, "I will not make speeches; but I have two things to say."
The first was an affectionate farewell to myself. In reply, I reminded him of the superior satisfaction he possessed of having promoted my happiness, not only in this world, but also, as I trusted, in the world to come.
He answered meekly, "It was not I."
Here he was interrupted by coughing. When he was again quiet I reminded him that he had another thing to say, and begged him to take the earliest opportunity of doing so. He then added, "The second is soon said. Christ is all in all to me. I have no hope but in him. He is indeed all in all.”
I quoted "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." He said, "They do comfort me. There is no darkness. I see Jordan, and the heavenly Joshua passing over dry shod."
Throughout the night, when awake, he was perfectly calm and collected. At his request I read the fifteenth chapter of the 1st Corinthians; and at a later period he begged me to repeat texts, which I did from time to time. He frequently asked whether I was cold or tired; made inquiries as to whether I was adequately clothed, and proved, in various ways, that he retained his faculties, and his characteristic solicitude for others. He also directed me what medicines to give him, how to prepare them, altering the quantities, and making medical observations from time to time on his state.
At ten minutes to two he said, "You see it will not do ;" and repeatedly urged me to go to rest, "as I must be tired," promising to waken
me when he came to the last!
At ten minutes past three he left a parting message for Theodore, directing him always to pray to God. He then begged me not to make him speak, as it would cause him to go sooner. A minute after, he said in a quick, lively tone, and with a smile of joy:
"I am going now: I shall soon sleep." "And you will wake again?”
Day beginning to dawn, he looked out of the window; and I remarked
"What a glorious day is dawning on you, my dearest !"
He assented with a look of joy.
I said, "There will be no sun and no moon there; for the Lamb will be the light thereof." Looking fixedly before him, he murmured, "Christ," "angels," "beautiful," "magnificent," "delightful ;" and then turning to me, with a look as if re-assuring me, "Indeed it is." At one time he said, "This suffering is little to what Christ suffered on the cross."
I quoted, "But our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
A few minutes afterwards he said, "I thank God!" And these were the last connected words which he spoke.
I also read several texts, to which he assented either by word or sign. I continued to do so at intervals so long as he breathed; but he soon ceased to respond, though he must have heard them, as he gave the following sign of consciousness.
At ten minutes past four, being tired of standing, I removed to the opposite side, and sat down on the bed. He missed me immediately, and, following the sound of my voice as I continued repeating texts, turned his head with great effort towards me, and, grasping my hand, gave me a dying look.
His hold relaxed immediately; and he gave no further sign of consciousness, except occasionally turning his eyes to me. He continued to breathe till twenty-three minutes past four, when he slept in Jesus.
What a peaceful close to an active and faithful life! How completely the fear of death was taken away! How thoroughly all regrets at his early doom, at prospects so bright and so suddenly overcast, at so abrupt and final a termination to all his labours, and studies, and projects for the benefit of his fellow-creatures, were quenched in the anticipation of approaching glory* !
Does it not prove the justice of his favourite position, that, "if religion was any thing, it must be every thing"? and bear out the conclusion of the celebrated William Grimshaw, addressed to Mr. Romaine, in the year 1763, "When I die, I shall then have my greatest grief and my greatest joy; my greatest grief that I have done so little for Jesus; and my greatest joy, that Jesus has done so much for me?"
This was no passing or evanescent feeling. One day he met Dr. Chambers in consultation at the house of a patient; and, having alluded to his approaching death, Dr. Chambers
I quoted "Those that sleep in Jesus will God kindly answered "that he ought not to despond, for that he bring with him.”
Thinking he was going immediately, I said, "Lord Jesus, receive his spirit."
This he repeated after me three or four times, and also some other things, of which I only caught the words "God," "Christ," "triumph."
would be quite well yet." Dr. Hope stopped him with an assurance that he needed not to be thus cheered, for that he was well aware of his condition; that, besides, the nature of Dr. Chambers' communication was not cheering, for he should be sorry to be detained long from his heavenly inheritance, and to exchange its prospect for the toils of his profession.