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benefits on mankind than the inventor of our present steam-engine.
This will be the fame of Watt with future generations: and it is sufficient for his race and his country.
VALUE OF ATTENTION. [CHARLES DICKENS, the greatest, most popular, and most fascinat
ing of modern novelists, was born 7th February, 1812. At a comparatively early age he published the "Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club” in 1837, and from that day until his death, in 1870, his prolific pen poured forth work after work, which have taken their place among English classics. He was an active man of the world, and delighted to lend his powerful influence to all movements
connected with the education of the people.] “ COURAGE— PERSEVERE." This is the motto of a friend and worker. Not because the eyes of Europe are upon you, for I don't in the least believe it; nor because the eyes of even England are upon you, for I don't in the least believe it; not because your doings will be proclaimed with blast of trumpet at street corners, for no such musical performances will take place; not because self-improvement is at all certain to lead to worldly success, but simply because it is good and right of itself, and because, being so, it does assuredly bring with it its own resources and its own rewards. I would further commend to you a very wise and witty piece of advice on the conduct of the understanding which was given more than half-a-century ago by the Rev. Sydney Smith-wisest and wittiest of the friends I have lost. He says—and he is speaking, you will please understand, as I speak, to a school of volunteer students—he says: “There is a piece of foppery which is to be cautiously guarded against, the foppery of universality, of knowing all sciences and excelling in all arts-chemistry, mathematics, algebra, dancing, history, reasoning, riding, fencing, Low Dutch, High Dutch, and natural philosophy. In short, the modern precept of education very often is, “ Take the Admirable Crichton for your model, I would have you ignorant of nothing. Now," says he, “my advice, on the contrary, is to have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order that you may avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything."
The one serviceable, safe, certain, remunerative, attainable quality in every study and in every pursuit is the quality of ATTENTION. My own invention or imagination, such as it is, I can most truthfully assure you, would never have served me as it bas, but for the habit of commonplace, humble, patient, daily, toiling, drudging attention. Genius, vivacity, quickness of penetration, brilliancy in association of ideas—such mental qualities, like the qualities of the apparition of the externally armed head in Macbeth, will not be commanded; but attention, after due term of submissive service, always will. Like certain plants which the poorest peasant may grow in the poorest soil, it can be cultivated by any one, and it is certain in its own good season to bring forth flowers and fruit.
Admirable Crichton.-James Crichton was a native of
Perthshire, and was born sometime about the year 1560. He received his early education in Perth, whence he went to the University of St. Andrews, at that time considered the chief seat of learning in Scotland. The progress he made in his studies is said to have been astonishing. He was acquainted, so tradition asserts, with all the learning and accomplishments of that age, and had, besides, the advantage of a very handsome person. He went to the Continent, and in Paris, Rome, and Venice he held disputation with the most learned men of the day, all of whom he easily overthrew in these intellectual contests. He is said to have perished in a street brawl in Mantua. On account of his various accomplishments he obtained the title of the “Admirable Crichton.”
THE RISING OF THE WATERS. (Joan Galt, a native of Irvine in Ayrshire, was born on the 2nd
of May, 1779. Early in life he removed to Greenock, where he commenced his literary career. After various unsuccessful attempts in authorship, he commenced novel writing, and produced several works which are still largely read. After a very chequered existence, he died in Greenock on the 11th of April, 1839. Our extract is from his novel,
“Laurie Todd.”'] ABOUT daybreak it began to rain, and continued to pour with increasing violence all the morning; no one thought of stirring abroad who could keep within shelter. My boys and I had for task only to keep the fire at the door of the shanty brisk and blazing, and to notice that the pools which began to form around us did not become too large ; for sometimes, besides the accumulation of the rain, little streams would suddenly break out, and, rushing towards us, would have extinguished our fire, had we not een vigilant.
The site I had chosen for the shanty was near to a little brook, on the top of the main river's bank. In fine weather, no situation could be more beautiful ; the brook was clear as crystal, and fell in a small cascade into the river, which, broad and deep, ran beneath the bank with a swift but smooth current.
The forest up the river had not been explored above a mile or two: all beyond was the unknown wilder
Some vague rumours of small lakes and beaver dams were circulated in the village, but no importance was attached to the information : save but for the occasional little torrents with which the rain sometimes hastily threatened to extinguish our fires, we had no cause to dread inundation.
The rain still continued to fall incessantly: the pools it formed in the hollows of the ground began, towards noon, to overflow their banks, and to become united. By-and-by something like a slight current was observed passing from one to another; but think
ing only of preserving our fire, we no farther noticed this than by occasionally running out of the shanty into the shower, and scraping a channel to let the water run off into the brook or the river.
It was hoped that about noon the rain would slacken; but in this we were disappointed. It continued to increase, and the ground began to be so flooded, while the brook swelled to a river, that we thought it might become necessary to shift our tent to a higher part of the bank. To do this we were, however, reluctant, for it was impossible to encounter the deluge without being almost instantly soaked to the skin ; and we had put the shanty up with more care and pains than usual, intending it should serve us for a home until our house was comfortably furnished.
About three o'clock the skies were dreadfully darkened and overcast. I had never seen such darkness while the sun was above the horizon, and still the rain continued to descend in cataracts, but at fits and intervals.
No man, who had not seen the like, would credit the description.
Suddenly a sharp flash of lightning, followed by an instantaneous thunder-peal, lightened up all the forest; and almost in the same moment the rain came lashing along as if the windows of heaven were opened ; anon another flash, and a louder peal burst upon us, as if the whole forest
was rending around us.
I drew my helpless and poor trembling little boys under the skirts of my great coat.
Then there was another frantic flash and the roar of the thunder was augmented by the riven trees that fell, cloven on all sides in a whirlwind of splinters. But though the lightning was more terrible than scimitars, and the thunder roared as if the vaults of heaven were shaken to pieces and tumbling in, the irresistible rain was still more appalling than either. I have said that it was as if the windows of heaven
were opened. About sunset, the ground floods were as if the fountains of the great deep were break
I pressed my shivering children to my bosom, but I could not speak, At the common shanty, where there had been for some time an affectation of mirth and ribaldry, there was now silence : at last, as if with one accord, all the inhabitants rushed from below their miserable shed, tore it into pieces, and ran with the fragments to a higher ground, crying wildly, “The river is rising!"
I had seen it swelling for some time, but our shanty stood so far above the stream, that I had no fear it would reach us. Scarcely, however, had the axemen escaped from theirs, and planted themselves on the crown of a rising ground nearer to us, where they were hastily constructing another shed, when a tremendous crash and roar was heard at some distance in the woods higher up the stream. It was so awful, I had almost said so omnipotent, in the sound, that I started on my feet, and shook my treasures from me. For a moment the Niagara of the river seemed alnıost to pause—it was but for a moment—for, instantly after, the noise of the rending of weighty trees, the crashing and the tearing of the rooted forest, rose around. The waters of the river, troubled and raging, came hurling with the wreck of the woods, sweeping with inconceivable fury every thing that stood within its scope ;-a lake had burst its banks.
The sudden rise of the waters soon, however, subsided ; I saw it ebbing fast, and comforted my
terrified boys. The rain also began to abate. Instead of those dreaded sheets of waves which fell upon us as if some vast ocean behind the forest was heaving over it spray, a thick continued small rain came on; and, about an hour after sunset, streaks and breaks in the clouds gave some token that the worst was over; it was not, however, so, for about the same time a stream appeared in the