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New and Curious Method of Causing Plants to Blossom at Will.-I observe, Mr. Editor, a very curious account given of some experiments, recently made at Onslow House, Brompton, illustrative of a process, the invention of M. Herbert, for promoting, in a space of time so short as to be not improperly termed "instantaneous," the flowering of plants. Some geraniums, and also a rose tree, it appears, were placed under a species of glass receiver; the earth in which they were set having already been impregnated with certain chemical compounds, which, submitted to the action of a prepared fluid poured upon it by the operator, generated a strong vapor, and with it a peculiar condition of heat, the effect of which was to expand the buds of the geraniums, and throw them into full bloom. The rose tree remained impracticable; but M. Herbert accounted for the failure in this instance by saying, that he had not had the plant in his possession sufficiently long to prepare it for the process. The experiment was curious, and the promised "blossoming " was no doubt accomplished; but to what extent the process may be made available, with what degree of ease, what the safety as regards the plant itself, and what the period of the bud at the moment of making the experiment-are points yet to be satisfactorily elucidated. The geranium flowers which were produced by M. Herbert, on this occasion, were distributed among the ladies who were present. This experiment is rather curious than useful, for nobody could take pleasure in systematically setting aside the operations of nature.
Birds and Bird-Catchers. I need not tell you, my best of friends, how delighted I am to read all you say about those villanous bird-catchers. I hate them as bitterly as you do. My old master, BOMBYX ATLAS, too, is equally their enemy. Now and then (for he is ever on the look-out) he catches sme boys and men climbing the trees; and waits till they get pretty high up towards the nests. Knowing what game is "up," I hide myself till my master's whistle summons me to my pleasing duty. The rascals are then loudly called to, and desired to "come down instantly." I hasten their descent by a bark and a growl, both perfectly comprehensible I assure you! When "Bombyx" has done with them, and a pretty dressing they get from him!--I lend them a hand, by seizing them à tergo. My teeth generally meet,-not in their flesh, but right through their habiliments; and when I have frightened them till they are nearly half dead, then I allow them to escape. I have created quite a reign of terror in our neighborhood among the bird-catchers; and I still watch them narrowly. But now, my dear friend, I have a bone to pick" with you. How could you fall so cruelly foul of ME,-the Public's "own dog "-in your last number; and so cruelly misunderstand the parenthetical remark I made about "Our Editor?" Do read again what passed in that "Stroll through Epping Forest." Neither I nor my master, while speaking of that old birdcatcher, commended his "calling." Surely not! We spoke of him as a weary traveller. My remark-Helen W. that he was "just the man for you," had reference to his knowledge of the habits of birds; with all Oak-Apples.-What are these, Mr. Editor, and which, he said, he was so intimately acquainted. how are they produced? I was asked the question, Pray set me right with the world on this matter-one day last week, and was obliged to confess my for I am now a public character, and must not have any slur cast upon me that I do not deserve. Indeed you were very snappish with your old friend. You snubbed me cruelly; nor did I get any sleep, after reading your severe remarks, for several days and nights. I know your disposition too well, to imagine that you will refuse to do me justice; and therefore at once appeal to your generosity to see me righted. You told me to shut up. Do you remember this? Oh! cruel remark! What did you mean by it? Adieu! Thine own faithful, loving friend,-FINO, ham, June 10.
[They are the produce of a fly, scientifically called Cynips. This little creature is furnished with an ovipositor, or egg-layer. With this instrument, the bark or leaves of a tree are perforated. An egg is then deposited therein, and around this arises an excrescence, termed a "gall,” or oakapple.]
Roses and Rosebuds-At a season when we are positively revelling in the enjoyment of flowers, Totten--whose praises, my dear sir, you do so rejoice to sing, let me assist" in directing particular attention to the fairest of all our flowers, the Rose. It is now shedding its sweetest fragrance on all around. The Rose may be said to be the oldest of celebrated flowers; and, in the impassioned strain of the ancients, we find it associated with the Lily of the Valley, as expressive of all that is pleasing to the
[Thou very best of all good and loving dogs! That we have injured thee is too true,-in word though, rather than in thought. The fact is, FINO, at the time your excellent master's account of your "Stroll through Epping" reached us, we were half crazy at the complaints made to us from all parts of the country, about the doings of "bird-senses and renovating to the mind. In the mycatchers." The very allusion, therefore, to one thologic ages, it was sacred as the flower of young of their tribe, no doubt irritated us; and our ire affection and endearment, and of mature love,fell upon your devoted head. Forgive us, dear the favorite of Cupid and of Venus; and stripping FINO. Hand us thy faithful paw, and let us shake this of the mythological phraseology, which in all it with all the sincerity of true friendship. From cases was a fictitious mantle thrown around someour very heart we love thee, and thy dear master thing previously felt, no similitude of any flower too. So wipe thy eyes, and let us all be better- could be more appropriate. The Rosebud, the (no, that cannot be) as good, we mean-friends as sweetest subject that appears in the garden, is ever.-P.S. What delightful weather this is, for typical of all beginnings from the issue of which you to tear away after those rabbits! We hope enjoyment and pleasure are expected. The early to join you soon in a forest ramble.] dawn, the lamb playing its first gambols around its mother, the young bird trying its half-fledged
to a 66
The Poultry Fountain.- I observed in your last, an announcement of a Poultry Fountain, which was said to be useful to amateurs. Do you know anything about it, or have you seen any of them in use ?-JOHN F., Marlow.
wing, young schemes and projects,-young life, -young love (though the last is especially subject worm i' the bud "),--and a hundred other young associations, all of delightful kind, are linked with the Rosebud. An ample bed of Roses in full bloom has no parallel among the productions of the earth. The habits and colors of the several varieties, are varied almost without end; and yet there is great beauty in each of them. Then the perfume with which they embalm the zephyr as it plays over them, is quite unique; nothing among other flowers can be compared to it. Most of the fragrant flowers have something of a sickly nature in their perfume, which, while it gratifies the sense for a little, soon brings a heaviness over the mind. This is especially the case with bulbous-rooted flowers-such as hyacinths and lilies, which contain a small portion of prussic acid, and a much larger portion of diluted carbonic, which soon brings the perfume to the ground. The odor of the Rose, on [The fountain you allude to (we have two of the other hand, is all-exhilarating, floats light and them in use) is the registered invention of Messrs. buoyant on the breeze; and, besides being the BAKER, King's Road, Chelsea. It is a cheap and most delightful to the sense, it gives tone and elas- very clever contrivance for supplying pure water ticity to the mind. In most instances the odor of to the poultry-yard,-its contamination by dirt, a flower dies along with it, and the decaying petals being rendered impracticable: The great secret are offensive to the nostril; but not so the Rose. of success in keeping fowls healthy, lies in the We find it yielding a variety of fragrant liquors, practice of giving them a constant supply of pure which do not require the corrosive ingredients water. We must, and do ever insist upon this. which are in many of the compound essences of Half the complaints we receive about sickness in the shops; and Attar of Roses, especially when the poultry-yard, arise from the impurity of the prepared in the valley of the Ganges, where square water that is given to the inmates. Messrs. Baker's miles are devoted to the growth of this flower, fountains are well calculated to remedy this evil. is now almost the only substance which, weight By placing them in a horizontal position, they are for weight, is more valuable than gold.-HEARTS-readily filled,-there being only one opening, which EASE, Hants. is below, immediately over the trough; when full, they are placed upright, and immediately become self-supplying. It must be remarked, that no more water flows from the reservoir than is actually required, and it will continue to flow so long as there is any left. The fountains are so prepared that they cannot corrode, and therefore may be used without fear.]
The Voice of the Skylark.—I cannot wonder at this bird of Heaven being such a favorite with Our Editor. He is indeed a lovely fellow; as all must acknowledge who see and hear him in his upward flight. Hogg calls this bird "the emblem of happiness," and he certainly does diffuse happiness on all around him. His is "the" voice that sings at the portals of the golden sky its grateful hymn of contentment, and pours out its heart full of adoration to the Supreme Being. He is the lowliest dweller on the green-sward,-the loftiest soarer skywards. There is a sweet cheerful lesson to be learnt from that voice in the air-one of contentment, light-heartedness, and gratitude. And what bird has so good a right to sing "at Heaven's gate" in the summer sky, as this gentlest and truest of birds? He never wanders from nest, and his native land, but dwells ever among us, making the very clouds musical during the spring, summer, and autumn; and gathering together, in the silence and gloom of winter, in friendly flocks, when his song ceases. He is then too often destroyed to supply the table of the luxurious! Nor, whilst speaking of this charming songster, may we forget his kindred bird, the woodlark; for his song also is very sweet, when he warbles in the choruses of spring. Less brilliant than that of the lark, it has great softness and tenderness; and after sunset, when his sun-worshipping cousin has sunk in gentle silence on his grass-sheltered nest, the woodlark, perched on the largest branch of some neighboring tree, and looking down on his nest, which is placed beneath the shelter of a May-thorn hedge, or hidden by rank grass and gigantic dock
leaves, trills a placid and soothing lullaby. I quite agree with you, my dear sir, in believing that we may learn many a practical lesson from these sweet creatures. I never fail to carry out, to the best of my ability, the many hints kindly thrown out by you for my individual benefit. I know many others, too, whose sentiments are in unison with my own.-HELEN W.
[We are proud, fair Helen,-pleasingly proud, to have such a coadjutor as yourself. You are perfectly correct in the feelings you cultivate, and are to be commended for spreading them far and near. Rely upon it, OURS is the true philosophy.]
Chloroform administered to a Horse.-A few days ago, says the Editor of the Bris tol Times, chloroform was administered, under the direction of Mr. J. G. Lansdown, to a horse belonging to Messrs. Matthews and Leonard, of this city, and called "Sambo." The object of giving it to him was, that they might be able to shoe the animal with less difficulty than they usually experienced; his violence on such occahissions being so great, that it took seven men six hours to perform the work, and then only at a risk of having their legs broken. The experiment was successful; for after gradual doses had been administered for half-an-hour, the animal commenced a sort of dance on all fours, which he increased rapidly, and finished by raising himself up and falling backwards in a corner of the shoeing shop. He was then dragged out, and remained perfectly motionless until one fore and one hind foot were shod, the chloroform being continued in small doses all the time. The two shoes were put on in twenty minutes; he was turned over, and in eighteen minutes the other two were completed. While the operation was going on, the animal got into a sweat, and continued so until towards the end, when he became rather cold: he was then well rubbed all over, and was got on
his legs, when he appeared weak, and staggered at first, but, being supported by the men, soon after recovered himself.-By this, it would appear, Mr. Editor, that a certain and harmless remedy is at hand, in cases where severity and force are useless. Let us hope it will more frequently be OWN JOURNAL. Placing her tongue in the holresorted to.-WILLIAM C., Gloucester. low of her cheek, she made a peculiar noise, like a stifled whistle, and said, "What do I care? Do The Growth of Salmon.-In the year 1850 a your worst." A rich specimen of American vulnumber of salmon smolts, says the Berwick War- garity is Mrs. Hayden; but this, I imagine, is der, were taken from the river Tweed to stock a only when she finds she is detected. (Let me tell pond near Melrose. A few days ago, three or you, we all went on purpose to detect the imposifour of these fish were captured with the rod, and tion; and we said so, boldly, on entering the although by this time nearly three years old, room.) I asked, first, "What is a Spirit ?" The their average weight was found to be only half a answer was,- "A Soul!" "What is a Soul?" pound. They have all the appearance, however, "Don't know," said the Medium, carelessly. of full-grown salmon, their stunted growth being Thought so;" said I, "and so it seems, Mano doubt attributable to their being kept in a dame, I have come upon a fool's errand." A ringfresh water pond without ever having an oppor-ing, roguish laugh (we all could not help joining tunity of reaching the sea.-JAMES L., New-in it), was the answer. I was "done!" No castle. 'Spirits "could be seen or heard. We were told to "try and imagine" that there were Spirits in "Then," the room. We said, "We could not." said Madame, they won't appear." (!!) The "tappings" under the table were made as usual; and there only. It was not difficult, at all, to see who made them. The best of the joke remains to be told. I imagined one of the party, to whom I had handed the wherewithal, had paid " the fees" on entrance. It seems otherwise. On preparing to leave, my cara sposa was called aside into a private room. She readily went, having no fear
Spirits" before her eyes. Here she was mysteriously reminded by the petticoated Rapper, that we had not yet "tipped-up." This was the only "rap" which we perfectly comprehended an American dodge which has now become thoroughly English! I of course required amount. I do not regret this visit at all. I love philosophy, as you well know, in all its bearings; but, like yourself, I detest humbug. If philosophy leads us beyond the confines of TRUTH, what it worth? I owe a duty to the public; and through you, I discharge it. I told Mrs. Hay
den I would do so; she defied me with an air of excessive vulgarity that " must be seen to be appreciated "I told her, as I now tell you, that my name is JOHN AMOR, 135, New Bond Street. June 16.
Spiritual Manifestations.-That the world is turned upside down, Mr. Editor, appears plain; for we see that, in addition to the fashionables at the West, many of the clergy are supporters of this crafty deceit. I congratulate you on your remaining true to your principles. I see the conductors of Chambers's Journal are veering round, and giving in their adhesion to the Spirits. It is to be regretted; but not to be wondered at. Yet is it sad to think that the established Christian Religion should be publicly avowed a farce. The idea seems monstrous to a reflective mind, that the Creator should permit any intercourse (at the will of a juggler) to take place between the departed and the living. John Bull will believe anything! But this last American humbug is "too" bad. It proves, as you say, that we are going a-head over fast. Well may we read of so many people going mad after witnessing such exhibitions! We are getting "wise above what is written;" and we must take the consequences.-E., Bath.
[We are weary of commenting on this subject. Infidelity is not to our taste. We have repeatedly said the world is mad; and are they not proving it daily? If the people will give themselves up to such silly bewitchery, let them do so by all means; but we are sorry to see leaders of the people willing to listen to it; and still more sorry to observe them treat the imposture with gravity and composure-aye, and even argue upon its truth. We are clear of this.]
will briefly tell you that a more ridiculous piece of imposture-a more gigantic humbug-never was, never could be, palmed off upon a credulous public. I told Mrs. Hayden this, and I promised that she should hear of it through the PUBLIC'S
More of the Spirit Ghosts, Spirit Goblins, and Hobgoblins.-Let me compliment you highly, my dear sir, for having so early and so loudly raised your voice against those ghostly impostors, the " Spirit Rappers." I hardly need tell you, that my mind was thoroughly made up, long since, about the absurdity of these catch-penny exhibitions; but not wishing to have it said that I was prejudging the " Spirits" without going to see them "called up," I have just martyr'd myself and family for the public good! Mrs. Hayden has had from me, and mine, five golden pieces; in exchange for which, we enjoyed a succession of hearty laughs that you might have (almost) heard at Hammersmith. As you have so ably exposed the details of the humbug, in former numbers, I
[We have made it our business to confer personally with all the party who are referred to above; and they are unanimous on this point-that a more abject piece of humbug was never before introduced to an English public. What sane person doubts it ?]
Trees, or Old Ruins, Covered with Ivy.-To give a picturesque appearance to a tree, or ancient ruin, covered with ivy, or any evergreen climber, clematis montana and a Virginian creeper (ampelopsis hederacea) should be planted, to run up over the ivy. Do not, however, allow them to cover it all over. The clematis, after reaching the top, will hang down in long wreaths of snowwhite blossom to the ground in the month of May; and in the autumn, the purpleish scarlet tinge from the fading leaves of the "creeper" would be no less beautiful, nor less in contrast to the deep green below it.-EMMA G.
The Goodness of God, shown in the Structure and Adaptation of the Eyes of Insects.-How wonderfully constructed is the beautiful organ of insect vision! How admirably adapted to the necessities of insects! The gaudy dragon-fly, presenting, as he does, such a conspicuous tempting show of colors to the active swallow, eludes the feathered enemy by superior agility of flight. Mere agility, however, would avail nothing without the aid of powerful eyes. Accordingly, nature has given him somewhat more than twelve thousand, bright and piercing; some looking up wards, some downwards, some backwards, and some on either side. In the ants, there are fifty of these faces or eyes; in the horse-fly, four thousand; in butterflies, upwards of seventeen thousand three hundred and fifty-five have been counted-nay, in some coleopterous or scaly winged insects, there have been numbered no fewer than twenty-eight thousand and eighty-eight.—Rose.
water in your face. It is a living creature and not
[Your remarks and observations of nature, ROSE, do you honor. Nature's goodness knows no bounds. Foreseeing the danger to which man kind are constantly exposed, she has bountifully given us, her children, two eyes, two legs, two feet, two ears, and two hands, so that, if either should sustain injury, there would still be another left to perform the extra duty. Some weeks since we had a heavy fall in the street, and sustained severe damage in our arm, elbow, hand, and fingers; so sadly were our sinews strained, that we were for a length of time compelled to suspend the—they exercise their talents for what they can wounded limb in a support, attached to the neck. get, as well as because it is their born vocation to Fortunately, our left arm was the sufferer. The please. Every petal is a movable member, whose right hand has, ever since, been doomed to cease-office is to provide for the central mouth. Drop a less toil. In perfect agony, it has travelled over pin's-head morsel of fish-meat just over the anereams of paper, and answered letters innumer-mone, so as to fall, while sinking, between the able. But it has done its duty; and we are arms; and it is clutched by the one that is nearest thankful. During the extremity of our suffering, to it, and packed at once into the digestive reposi we could not help pondering much on that beauti- tory. But feast your flower, and he doubles himful saying,-"If one member suffers, all the self up close-to open no more until he is again other members suffer with it." There assuredly half famished. Our sea-anemone travelled about is a remarkable sympathy in the different mem- the glass, by sliding along, sometimes at quite a bers of the body; and it is wisely ordained that it perceptible rate, on his sucker. Now and then should be so.] his spirits drooped while changing his skin, which came off occasionally in a filmy cuticle. On one occasion only did he try to escape; and that was when the water had become turbid, by shrimpflesh put in to feed his abominations, the crabs. He climbed up the glass until he was almost high and dry. It was to renew his bath. But the weather was stormy, and we could not go to the beach for his usual supply. Next morning he lay at the bottom of the tumbler, all flabby and unattached. We thought he was dead, but it was only a piece of pouting. In an hour or two he was as cheerful as ever. To reward his good conduct, we descended the cliff, and tapped the raging ocean at the risk of a good ducking. The seaanemone was perfectly amiable in comparison with the tenants of an opposite tank. Spring water was the element which filled a souptureen that had ever been innocent of English mock-turtle. Instead of the nutritious and delicious and pernicious stuff, which, when cold, you may chop with a hatchet, this vase of ab stinence had never got beyond sorrel and cabbage, with a Sunday bouillon in which were swimming mighty islands of well-soaked crust.
as much as to ask us
The Sea-Anemone.-I was very much pleased with that pretty article about the Dormouse, so kindly copied for you by your interesting correspondent" Heartsease (ante, p. 315). From the same source, I have busied myself in making a few extracts about the "Sea-Anemone," which will come in as a sequel to the particulars of that little creature, furnished at Page 186 of OUR JOURNAL. It is a "labor of love" to work for Our Editor, and therefore I offer no apology-feeling sure of a welcome :-"Everybody has not seen a sea-anemone, although they are multitudinous on many parts of our coast. If you take a stroll at ebb-tide, below high water mark, along a rocky shore, you will find the boulders plentifully sprinkled with seeming specks of clotted blood. Touch them, and they shrink into a thin leathery patch. In the little pools which have been left by the retiring waves, you will observe apparent flowers of various sizes, from a sixpence to a five-shilling piece; and mostly of a dull deep crimson tint. You might fancy them a knot of self-sown, submarine German asters. Try to gather one, and it withers into nothing; perhaps squirting a few drops of
Its contents were also maigre during its second phase. On the surface floated a green bunch of watercress; in the middle sported a leash of stickle-backs, whose only pleasure was to fight and dissect each other alive with their dorsal thorn. At the bottom pined a pair of cray-fish, hating the light, disgusted at being stared at, refusing to eat, and denouncing in their heart of hearts the villanous temptation of the dead dog in a faggot, which had brought them into this pale captivity from their dear dark holes on the river's bank. Be pleasant they would not, unless at night, when we were all upstairs and fast asleep. Their hearts were more obdurate than mine. They stood out so well, and refused to be comforted so completely, that we turned them into a brook, to take their chance. And yet they might have been amusing, if they had not proved so nocturnal and shy. They are the very miniature of the esculent lobster, only of stronger build, and greater tenacity of life; with the further claim to close relationship by turning red when they are boiled."-The last few paragraphs remind me of the collection of zoophytes, molluscs, and other curious marine "fry now exhibiting at the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park. Have you seen this remarkable sight, my dear Sir? If not, do; pray do. There is enough to laugh at for a month at least!-HELEN W.
[The article which is facetiously sold in London as "milk," has been repeatedly analysed, and in very many cases has been found quite innocent of any acquaintance with a cow. It is a most horrible compound, for the most part, whose use habit alone has reconciled to the palate. We hold it in supreme abhorrence. There are thousands of poor animals (we grant) confined in sheds, cellars, stables, and hovels, which really are 16 Cows; and by deluging their stomach with watery grains, some considerable quantity of sky-blue fluid is forced from them thrice, or oftener, daily-yet is this quite inadequate to supply a millionth part of London. Then again, large supplies of milk now arrive from all parts of the country daily. may be milk when it arrives; but it is no secret that one gallon of it is, by the aid of water, converted into at least four gallons; and happy ought we to be even then, if it reaches us in that state. But, alas! no. The further process of reduction and addition, however, we will not inquire too closely into. We have heard it given in confidence, but it is too disgusting to repeat. And as for the manufacture of "London Cream,' this would be far too shocking to meet the eye of our readers in detail. It is plain, then, that there is not a sufficient supply of "milk" to admit of only one person in a thousand getting an homœopathic taste of it daily (we speak of London and the suburbs). The statistical account of the number of cows kept, proves this; and the ascertained quantity of milk sent up to assist in the supply, still further confirms it. "Ignorance" in this matter is "bliss." In our recent ramble through Hampshire, we did indeed get a taste of "milk." A taste ? a feast! In a certain homestead, to which we have alluded in another part of our paper, we saw some very noble-looking cows, whose symmetrical proportions quite delighted us. Our kind hostess, observing the interest we took in the farm-yard and its associa tions, asked us-"if we were fond of milk?" Our reply was-a look in the affirmative. We added that, as we lived near London, it was very long since we had tasted any real milk. We observed a slight telegraphic communication pass between the mistress and a most good-tempered domestic, attached to the yard; and in a few moments there stood before us, in a pretty chamber, a bowl of the richest milk that was ever brought to table. The snowwhite froth on it heaved like the waving of a syllabub; and the aroma exhaled from it was quite a nosegay. Never shall we forget the kind look of that farm-servant, as he recognised the delight with which we quaffed from his mistress's royal bowl, and praised his handywork in its quick presentation on the table. (By the way,what a treat it is, to see how these domestics, in the heart of the country, love and esteem their em
May I have taken several moths, usually said to occur in June.-CERURA.
Insects, Ligustri, &c.-I may, perhaps, have been rather hasty in forming an opinion about Ligustri, mentioned in your last number. Let me, therefore, pay respect to the superior knowledge of "Bombyx Atlas." I imagined that the larva had not been pierced by an ichneumon, because, on dissecting it, I did not observe any of those minute maggots which I have seen in insects thus attacked. A subject of some interest was recently propounded to me, and perhaps some of your correspondents can throw some light on it. The question debated was this-whether Moths and Butterflies continue a fixed time in the pupa state. If they do so usually, how can we account for the great variations we sometimes meet with? Are they occasioned by differences in feeding, temperature, &c.? Thus, for instance, three caterpillars of Cucullia Asteris, which entered the earth on the dates September 20th, 21st, and 23rd, made their appearance from the chrysalis on the three following days-July 6th, 7th, and 9th. But again, three caterpillars of Vinula formed their cocoons on August 15th, 18th, and 19th, respectively. Of these, the last appeared on the 1st of June, the second on the 7th, and the one that changed first came out on the 9th. Insects would appear therefore to be uncertain in the time of their appearance; so that we cannot rely on the statements in books regarding the time of obtaining them. The larva of Ocellata, for instance, is usually said to arrive in September to its full size. Of these, two were reared last year. One was full-grown in July, and the other at the end of August. Also in
London Milk.-Do you believe, Sir, that one half or one quarter of the article sold in London as "milk," ever formed a part and parcel of the animal known as a cow? I have heard strong disputes about this, and I refer to you as an authority" to settle the point.-ARTHUR J., Regent's Park.