Page images

Eachen Dhu, or Black Hector:

which at this time was far from being morose, made him a general favourite among those of his own class, as he possessed in a plentiful degree that kind of rustic badinage, which seldom fails to secure the admiration of the softer sex in that rank of life. His attachment to a servant girl belonging to our farm was well known, and his affection was generally understood to be returned with equal ardour, and the match being in every respect suitable, a day was fixed for the wedding. Unfortunately he became acquainted with some illicit traders, who frequented this part of the coast, and my father having discovered his guilt in some acts of dishonesty, dismissed him from his service.

The poor girl to whom he had been betrothed was so much overcome by grief, at her lover's disgrace, that for a considerable time she was incapable of attending to her usual occupations. From an honest pride, she refused to see, or even to hear from him, and driven to desperation he joined the lawless gang, who had first been the means of leading him from the paths of rectitude.

We had heard nothing of him since the time of his leaving us, but there is no doubt that the person who bad warned me in Glenelg, and had carried me off at the commencement of the fire, and the man who answered


mother's exclamation, was Eachen Dhu, who from bad to worse had turned riever, i* and thus at once glutted his appetite for plunder, and satiated his desire of revenge.

Next day the unfortunate Flora, who had long been in a declining state of health, was nowhere to be found. On enquiry some of her fellow servants recollected that she had as usual retired to bed at an early hour. On account of the groundfloor being rather damp, her bed had been removed to the upper story, and the conjectures which were now circulated were most appalling—but alas! were but too true. On searching the ruins, the remains of this hapless young woman were discovered literally reduced to ashes. Whether the ruffian who was the cause of this dire event, ever learnt the tragic issue of his barbarity, is uncertain, he was never afterwards seen, and was reported to have left this countiy for America.

* A Robber, or Pirate.

Some Account of the Siro, or Cheese-Mite.


my friend I have given you the outline of as melancholy a tale, as was at that time within the



any person in the island, and to this day, the circumstance is never al. luded to, without the tribute of a tear to the memory fortunate Flora.

I am, my dear Sir,

Yours truly,

H. S****.

of the un



if the worlds
In worlds enclosed should on his senses burst,
From cates ambrosial, and the nectar'a bowl,
Man would abhorrent turn."

Every part of creation with which we are acquainted, teems with life. The very food we eat and the air we breathe are full of animalculæ. Millions of beings, far too minute for the grosser sense of man, dwell in every piece of matter; and because placed beyond the reach of our perception, are permitted to enjoy the delights intended for them by their Creator, without being tried at the bar of proud and presumptuous reason on the charge of inutility to our race.

Above these, however, in the scale of being, there are others, hardly appearing on the very borders of our world, which have not failed to attract attention, and excite a considerable degree of curiosity. And here I find the whole class of Acari, or insects of the mite kind—a class which, according to Linnæus, embraces no less than thirty-five species ; some of them inhabitants of the earth, some of waters, and some even under the skins of other animals. But the Cheese-mite is, to us, the most interesting, both on account of its own peculiarities, and from the circumstance of our constantly

, perceiving it before our eyes, without being able to discern almost any thing of its structure. It is hoped, therefore, that the following short description will not prove uninteresting to the generality of readers. i To the naked


these mites appear like moving particles of dust; but the microscope discovers them to be perfect ani


Some Account of the Siro, or Cheese-Mite.

mals, having as regular a figure, and performing all the functions of life as perfectly as creatures that exceed them many times in bulk. The principal parts of them are the head, the neck, and the body. The head is small in proportion to the body; and has a sharp snout, and a mouth that opens and shuts like a mole’s. They have two small eyes, and are extremely quicksighted; and when they have been once touched with a pin, you will easily perceive how cunningly they avoid a second touch. Their legs are each furnished at the extremity with little claws, with which the animal very nicely takes hold of any thing. The hinder part of the body is plump and bulky; and ends in an oval form, from which there issue out a few exceeding long hairs. Other parts of the body are also beset with thin and long hairs. The males and females are easily distinguished in these little animals. The females are oviparous, like the spider ; and from their


young ones are hatched in their proper form, without having any change to undergo afterwards. They are, however, when first hatched extremely minute; and in growing to their full size, they cast their skins several times. These little creatures may be kept alive many months between two concave glasses; and applied to the microscope at pleasure; Their eggs

in warm weather, hatch in twelve or fourteen days, but in winter they are much longer. These eggs are so small that a regular computation shews that ninety millions of them are not so large as a common pigeon's egg. They are very voracious animals, and have often been seen to eat one another. Their manner of eating is by thrusting alternately one jaw forward, and the other backward, and in this manner grinding their food; and after they have done eating they seem to chew the cud. There are several varieties of this species found in different substances beside cheese; as in malt-dust, flour, oatmeal, &c. Those in malt-dust and oatineal are much nimbler than the cheese-mites, and have more and longer hairs. There are also a sort of wandering mites, which range wherever there is any thing they can feed on; they are often seen in the form of a white dust, and are not suspected to be living creatures. The mite is an animal very tenacious of life, and will live months without food. We have heard of one which lived eleven weeks on the point of a pin, on which it had been fixed for the pur. pose of being examined by the microscope.?:

We have often heard it loudly and obstinately disputed, what and these animalcula serve in creation; and even asserted that

French Reform-The Absent Man-Miracles.

they are of no use whatever. But we do not wish to encourage or enter in the dispute. We do not like the spirit of it. What reason has man to suppose that every thing was made with immediate and exclusive reference to his enjoyment? That he lawfully obtained dominion over the creatures, and has a right to make them subservient to his virtuous purposes, is indeed most true ; but he has no right to sit in independent judgment upon the works of the All-wise, and certainly no reason to complain, considering the place assigned him in the scale of animated being, though his little sagacity be not always able to discover the direct bearing of every thing inferior, with regard to his sordid and narrow concerns.

“ Let no presuming impious railer tax
Creative wisdom, as if ought was formed

In vain, or not for admirable ends."
12th June, 1819.

A. T.


French Reform.--At the commencement of the French Revolution, when every man was bringing forward his plan for the good of his country, one of the deputies (a farmer) proposed tbc supression of pigeons, of rabbits, and of monks. This whimsical mode of classing grievances, which had excited a laugh in the Assembly, the fariner very gravely justified by stating, that the first devour us in the seed, the second in the blade, and the third in the sheaf

The Absent Man.-Mr. A**** receives a letter, he knows the hand writing, he wants to read it in haste—it is already dark, he strikes a light, tears a paper, and lights a taper, but the letter is gone. He had used it to light the candle !

Miracles. A priest Milan took it into his head to have miracles performed by means of a young man whom he instruct


ed; the governor seeing the object at which he aimed, sent them both to prison :-" I have no doubt,” said he to them publicly, “ that to-morrow you will be at liberty; this little additional miracle cannot be difficult to you; and will be very important in silencing the incredulous; for myself, I engage not to arrest you again.'

Irony.- A person who had been telling many incredible stories ; in order to repress this impertinence, Professor Engel, who happened to be present, said, “ But gentlernen, all this amounts to very little, when I can assure you that the celebrated organist, Abbe Vogler, once imitated a thunder-storm so well, that for miles round all the milk turned sour !"

Memorandum.—An Irishman possessed of a very treacherous memory, setting out on a journey, wrote in his memorandum book," Passing through Dublin, to remember to marry Miss

Raparte.- An officer in a dragoon regiment at a review lost his hat by a gale of wind. A private dismounted, and presenting it to him on the point of his sword, accidentally made a puncture in it.

“ Confound it, Sam, I would sooner that you had pierced my arm.” Why so, Colonel ?"

66 Because I have credit with

my surgeon,



none with

* Refutation.—A private soldier refused to subroit to flagellation, as being a private, he was not a corporal, and not being a corporal, he could not suffer corporal punishment.

A military Pun.-In a new raised Irish corps a soldier lately observed to his comrade, that a Corporal was to be dismissed the regiment, “ Indeed! I hope it is the corporal so troublesome in our company." • What is his name?” inquired the soldier ; " Why, Corporal Punishment, to be sure, my honey."

A Dispute.-An inmate of a madhouse being asked how he çame there ? answered, that it was owing to a dispute. The world said I was mad, and I said they were mad; but they outwitted me, and sent me here.

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