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THE MONTH JULY-ALMANAC OF NATURE.
In attempting to fill the earth with life and beauty to repletion, Nature has exhausted herself, and now, in the fever of plethoric weakness, she pants for breath, and sees the exuberance around her to be almost a mockery; for the tender and deliciously fragrant flowers of the spring are gone, the birds are nearly all silent, and amid all this luxuriance of deep green leaves, the spirit of life and beauty is not to be found. The robin and the wren may now and then be heard, but they are very sparing of their songs. The chiff-chaff seems to have been seized with fever of the brain, or temporary insanity, if we may judge from the new unearthly whistle which he now utters in place of the two monotonous notes which he is content to repeat at other times. All the young birds are hatched, with the exception of the young of the meadow pipil, and the chief work of seasonal production has been accomplished. There are fewer flowers, less fragrance, greater heat, and nature seems pausing to ripen the fruits and to convert the green uplands into gold.
and a few other birds of passage leave with him. Swallows and martins are now very busy in teaching their young ones to fly, and immense broods of the little ones may be seen at early morning trying their wings in short flights. The goat-sucker flits about in the warm evenings, and hovers around goats and cows, to prey upon the insects which infest them. This is the bird called Night-jar, and it is the subject of many superstitious notions i country places. In this month gulls are very abundant on the sea shore. and the rocks around Freshwater and the Needles, at the Isle of Wight, are occupied by such immense flocks, that it appears as though the very cliffs were alive.
Some very beautiful moths are to be seen this month; and the most elegant of the beetle tribe come out to sun themselves in pathways and dry meadows. The observer of nature will find much to amuse and instruct him in his woodland rambles in this month. Of the many curious appearances which now present themselves the excrescences on the branches of the rose tree are very curious. They look like red tufted lichens, made up of moss-like fibres, of quite a different nature to the leaves of the plants. When cut open they will be found to consist of aggregations of cells, usually amounting to a dozen in each, and each cell tenanted by the maggot of a kind of gnat. This gnat or gall insect, pierces the back of the rose tree, with its ovpositor, and lays its eggs just within the bark, and the juices of the tree being thus interrupted, bulge out into a kind of tumour, which forms a home for the grubs which proceed from the eggs deposited, while the bark separating from its woody fibres, forms into a kind of fringe, which covers the tumour. The perfect insect is a formidable gnat, and in moist warm weather he seems well inclined to indulge his propensities for biting.
The chief flowers of this month are the field poppies and the cruciferous plants. Wild cabbage, wild turnip, wild mustard, and a few others which give a cheerful appearance to byepaths and hedge-rows with their bright yellow blossoms. In this month woad is gathered. This plant was in great repute among the ancient Britons, who used it for painting their bodies, from which custom they obtained their name, Britho, in the Celtic tongue, signifying to paint. Woad is now used for dyeing thread and wool. The various kinds of Sedum are in flower this month, and the rocky surfaces where they grow look exceedingly picturesque. Nettles are also very abundant, and form thick underwoods of a dark green, uninviting appearance in waste places, and on the sides of unfrequented roads. The cuckoo leaves our shores this month, to migrate to other lands, An occultation of Mars will take place on the 12th day of this month. The planet will disappear behind the body of the moon, at 5h. 28m. P.M., and re-appear at Ch. 33m. P.M. Mercury is in the constellation Taurus till the 9th, in Gemini till the 24th, and in Cancer after the 25th. He is a morning star. Venus is an evening star and in the group Cancer till the 4th, and in Leo after the 5th. Leo throughout the month. Jupiter is in the constellation Saturn is in the constellation Pisces during the month. the month.
The mountain thyme "purples the hassock of
Eight species of St. John's Wort .
Raspberry Beetle. (Byturus Tomentosus.)
Chicory, the "sweet remembrancer" flows.
Hank Moth, Water Beetles numerous.
Holy Thistle, Tamarisk, and Thrift, by sea-side
Yellow Water Lily and Arran Head in streams
Wild Sage, Teasel, Betany, &c. on skirts of
Cotcon Thistle. Young wild ducks.
Moon in Pis. Trefoils (Yarrow Lavenda.)
F 26 S 27 Su
Moon in Aquarius Vervain Bindonk
Moon in Cetus, Thorn apple, Henbane, fl.
Mars is an evening star, and in the constellation Leo till the 29th, on which day he passes into Virgo, Uranus is in the constellation Aries throughout.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
The Soldier's Destiny. A Tale of the Times. By Geo. Walter. London: Gilpin, Bishopsgate.
A WELL written and useful tale. It cannot be read without creating a feeling against the whole system of war and its appurtenances. It is evidently written by a person who knew the subject on which he wrote. We hope it will soon see a second edition. When it does,
we hope for the sake of the poor, who should be acquainted with its revelations, that it will be brought out a little cheaper.
Poems of Fritz and Liolett. London: Sherwood and Co., Paternoster-row.
THIS is the best little book of poems which, in our estimation, has issued from the press for some time. We are not surprised that it has met with such a favourable reception by the press generally. Such a little visitor, in 'so neat a dress, is quite cheering in those days of political economy and utilitarianism. On some future occasion we will give our readers a specimen or two from its pages.
Health made Easy for the People, with thirty Engravings. By Joseph Bentley. London: Darton snd Co., Holborn-hill.
THIS is an exceedingly cheap book, and it is as useful as it is cheap. We should like to see a copy of it in the hands of every man and woman in the empire. It is brim full of useful information, and good sound advice.
lf men and women knew more of their physical nature, and attended more carefully to the laws of health, we have no hesitation in saying that there could be but a comparatively small amount of disease and physical suffering to what is now endured. People want plain, practical information on the subject, and it is the object of "Health made Easy' to supply it. We most earnestly recommend this book --which may be had for a shilling-to all persons who wish to be instructed in the rudiments of anatomy, physiology, and the laws of health.
Ince's Outlines of General Knowledge.
Ince's Outlines of General History. London : Gilbert, Paternoster-row.
THESE little books are stuffed full of useful facts. A person unacquainted with English history may, with one of these volumes, acquaint himself in a few hours with all the principal events, facts, and all the principal characters of our eventful annals. The manner of condensation and arrangement is praiseworthy. The writer of the last-named volume falls into many of the mistakes of the historians of the Hume school. For instance, one of the attributes of Cromwell's character is said to be "profound dissimulation." An impartial and comprehensive survey of his life and actions would not justify or sanction such an expression. On the whole, these volumes are very cheap, very useful, and they deserve, as they have had, a very wide circulation.
Christian Education. By Philo-ternus. London Nisbet and Co.
A LITTLE book which contains many good things, and, in our humble opinion, many questionable things. It does not attempt to settle the much-disputed question of State or Anti-State education. It throws out hints on
the conducting of schools, and the nature of the education which should be imparted in them. It is favourabe to a decidedly religious education, and, evidently, religion in the opinion of its author means a belief in theological dogmata, more than in purity of life and spirituality of character. It contains little that is new, but many of its suggestions and advice are worth attention. The writer has little sympathy for modern "philanthropists" and philanthropy," or he would not go out of his way to sneer at them. He is evidently afraid that "philanthropy" is gaining ground, and occupying the place in which he thinks religion should stand. We think genuine philanthropy is the offspring of genuine religion. The Purpose of Existence popularly considered, in relation to the Origin, Development, and Destiny of the Human Mind. London: John Chapman, Strand.
THIS is a book which attempts to solve the chief problems of human existence; and no doubt, in the author's opinion, he has done it. We think otherwise. He tries to prove that mind is evolved from matter-that the living, thinking, aspiring soul of man is elaborated by digestion, assimulation, &c., from the food that is eaten and the liquids that are drank. This is tried to be proved with scarcely a show of warrantable evidence. The writer is ignorant of the common rudiments of chemistry and physiology, or he would not have written such nonsense as he has done, about the spiritual part of man being manufactured out of alcohol and the juices of animals. Starting wrong, the book, as might have been expected, proceeds wrong. The author of the "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" tries to show, by an unbroken chain of evidence, the progress of animal and vegetable and human life. The author of the "Purposes of Existence" would show, if he could, without any reliable evidence, the production of mind out of matter. The book, however, displays much reading, liberality, and thought. It is very eloquently written. If the reasoning were as good as the composition, it would be a valuable addition to literature.
Man from the Cradle to the Grave, being Shakspere's Seven Ages of Man, illustrated in a series of seven original designs on wood, by Gilbert Claxton and M. Kewan; engraved by Thomas Gilks. London: W. H. Smith and Son, Strand.
A VERY spirited series of etchings, which do credit to the designers and engraver; and which cannot but be remunerated with an extensive sale, as the whole may be had for one shilling.
1. Clarke's Catechism of the Rudiments of Music. Nineteenth edition.-2. Hamilton's Dictionary of 3,500 Musical Terms. By John Bishop. Thirty-fourth edition.-3. Clare's Psalmody. -4. Hamilton's Modern Instructor for the Piano-forte. Enlarged and improved.-5. The Chanter's Hand Guide, for the use of churches, chapels, training colleges, schools, &c. London: Messrs. Cocks and Co., 6, Burlington-street.
WE most cordially recommend the above to the attention of the lovers of music.
Notices to Correspondents, &c. EDITOR'S address-" Public Good" Office, 20, Lovell Court, Paternoster Row.
PRIZE TALE.-We fully hoped and expected that the present number would contain the first chapter of this tale; but the adjudicators have not yet aecided. It is almost certain their decision will be known in the next.
PRIZE ESSAY ON WOMAN'S MISSION. We received sixteen competing manuscripts for this prize, and two of the appointed adjudicators, after carefully reading them, came to the conclu. sion that neither of the writers had really grappled with the subject, and treated it in a manner which it deserved. On the 20th of June, we received the following letter from one of the adjudicators:
"10, Lincoln's Inn Fields, 19th June, 1850. "DEAR SIR,-I have read through all the Essays on Woman's Mission, which you placed in my hands; and I regret to say that no one of them appears to me worthy of the title of a Prize Essay. Most of them contain creditable thought, and good feeling; but no one of them treats the subject in a complete or satisfactory manner, and the style of all is extremely faulty. They seem to be written by parties who may perhaps be apt scholars, but certainly are not yet competent to become teachers. "I am, dear Sir, yours truly, "Pass. Edwards, Esq." "WILLIAM SHAEN." The receipt of this put us to our wit's end. What should we do? Our readers would expect an Essay on the question, and we had no one to give them. We immediately set about writing, and, without stopping, produced the one contained in the present number. We shall resume the subject in our next impression, and can only add we are sorry the competitors did not bestow a little more attention on the subject, and prevent the necessity of our writing on it.
A. S., Newport.-A letter addressed to Elihu Burritt, 3, Winchester Buildings, City, London, would reach him, who no doubt would gladly give the desired information.
J. K., Ipswich, asks what is the best and simplest mode to preserve botanical specimens? Perhaps some one of our readers who have a practical knowledge on the subject will favour J. K. with an answer.
POETIC SUPPLEMENT.-A great many persons have written us, asking when we intend bringSome ing out another Poetic Supplement. wish it to be brought out half-yearly, some We shall quarterly, and others monthly. certainly not bring it out monthly, and for two weighty reasons-we should want poets and purchasers. At present we cannot promise to bring it out quarterly; but we will promise to issue another at the end of the year, provided we get sufficient suitable poems. Good as the last was, we should like to make the next much better. PUBLIC HOUSE SIGNS.-We have this week given a page of serious and curious epitaphs. We should like in our next to give a page of curious and quaint rhyme and doggerel on public house signs. Perhaps our teetotal friends will assist us in the matter.
We are also glad to find that our suggestion about Twopenny Polytechnics is quite likely to be carried into practical operation some time next winter, in London,
THE PROVINCIAL PRESS. -The Editors of country newspapers who have so favourably noticed the Public Good and the Supplement, have our thanks. They would oblige by direct ing the papers they send us to the Public Good
ARGUS suggests that it would be a good thing if "booksellers would exhibit the page of autographs in their window." Perhaps they would do so, if such persons as Argus" would request them to do so, and state the advantages resulting therefrom.
T. S., F. R., C. H., B. G., and others, misunderstood our observations on "Young Writers." We did not mean to insult or to wound their feelings, when we told them to burn their productions. We merely suggested We it as a mode of disciplining their minds. beg also to state that no mean threat about ceasing to subscribe from T. S., or any one else would for a moment influence us in keeping back our opinion.
F. R. YOUNG, Diss, will get some very useful information "on individuals who suffered
capital punishment innocently" in one of the
Messrs. Chambers' Miscellaneous Tracts.
All the Couplets contained in the present number are not original.
THE LEVER OF LIFE.-The seventh chapter will appear in our next.
We hope to give the autographs of the most celebrated Americans in our next, including those of Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson, Emerson, Lloyd Garrison, Longfellow, Cooper, Frederick Douglas, Channing, Theodore Parker, Whittier, Daniel Webster, &c.
"PUBLIC GOOD" ACROSTIC-We beg to acknowledge the recept of several already.
ALSAN.-There is such a work as "Roman Catholic Martyrs," and it may be had through any of the principal houses in Paternoster Row.
VULCAN. It appears that Lord Byron was not born in Aberdeen, but in London. We are obliged to Vulcan and others for calling our
attention to it.
"PLEASANT PAGES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE."-We are glad to see that a new journal with this title is about to be started, and we sincerely hope it will meet with success.
J. B., Chester.-We will try and insert his paper on Sunday Schools in our next number. CHINEZE'S Letter, No. 3, is unavoidably put by till our next.
G. T. A., May send us the answers to the conundrums in No. 2.
Q. R., J. P. L., W. W., and others, have not sent us their names and addresses.
TESTIMONIAL TO JOSEPH HUME.-We are glad to find that our suggestion is likely to be carried into effect. One gentleman writes us, promising £1 1s.; another, 5s. Twenty working men of Newcastle-upon-Tyne would devote the proceeds of one day's labour, provided 1,000 others would do the same. The Committee of a provincial Parliamentary Reform Association would be happy to co-operate. A teetotaler in Hayle would give half-a-guinea himself, and guarantee to get another halfguinea in pennies. We are happy to find so many who have looked upon the suggestion so warmly,
A HAPPY new year to you, good reader! This is the second time we have been privileged to write these words. The PUBLIC GOOD has now existed twelve months. To have lived so long in such a world as ours, and in such a nation and age as ours, is something to be proud of and thankful for. And not to have lived in vain-to have done something worth doing during the time-to have encouraged and aided a fellow mortalto have assisted in developing his nature, or to have contributed to his enjoyment and strengthened his hopes and aspirations, or to have thrown into the bosom of a family a ray of that divine life which consecrates home, to have done this when no one else would have done it, is really worth living for, is a compensation for the cares and struggles which necessarily accompany life. Now, at the hazard of being supposed egotistic, we make bold to say we believe we have in many instances done this. Since we last wished our readers a happy new year, we have received about seven hundred letters from different places of England and other parts of the world, approving of and applauding our Magazine, and stating reasons for the opinions expressed.
Well, after twelve months of labour, with its accompanying anxieties and enjoyments, while we are as full of hope and promise as ever, it will be seen that like almost all young things we increase as we grow older. We have added twenty-five per cent. to our size and weight. We now give forty instead of thirty-two pages of matter for two pence; and all we ask is that our readers should co-operate with us in increasing our number of subscribers. If by giving more for the money we obtain an increased circulation no one will be the loser, but every one a gainer by the change. This is a new way to enrich all without impoverishing any. The alteration entails on us additional labour, but what of that if we have the additional satisfaction of working for an increased family of readers. Whether we have performed our promises or not during the year just departed is not for us to say, all we know is that we have done our best with the limited space at our command. Having now more elbow room, we will try not to be unfaithful to our expanded space and enlarged freedom.
We have said in another place," every book should bear upon its front not merely the assertion but the proof of its right to be printed, circulated, and read." We base our right to be so-on the fact that no other journal occupies that position amid our periodical literature which is filled by the Public Good. Our ostensible purpose is to educate man and elevate society by the aid of philanthropic literature. According to our way of thinking literature only answers its highest purposes but when it is consecrated to the advancement of humanity. The press of Great Britain teems with periodicals of the highest description, but they are more or less entertaining for the sake of entertainment. We say interest the reader by all means, but interest him to elevate him; and in the prosecution of our design we would call to our aid fact, fiction, the revelation of science, the inspiration of art, and the light gossip; we would use the essay, the comment, the report, and at the same time we would weave everything together with the thread of a good purpose; we would subordinate the most substantial and the most imaginative reading to the political, social, mental, and moral elevation of human society.
WHAT IS THE HOUR ON THE WORLD'S CLOCK.
BY J. PASSMORE EDWARDS.
TIME has dropped another feather from place, one mile nearer home. So comes its wing; the year 1850 is gone into new year's day, and suggests to us that the eternity of the past. The world's time is short-that life is fleeting-that clock, anno domini, strikes one thousand the past is irrevocable—that destiny is eight hundred and fifty-one. Whilst we inexorable. It is a point of time from are on the threshold of the second half which retrospective and prospective views of the nineteenth century of the Chris- are taken; the past is reflected on, the tian era, let us, good reader, pause for a present is appreciated, the future is conmoment and reflect. Let us ask our-templated. The beginning of a new selves the questions-who are we? whence came we? where are we? and whither go we? Important questions these, and a fit and proper occasion is the present to revolve them in our minds.
The dawning of every new day, though of so frequent occurrence, is an important event in the life of a human being. Who does not feel when he opens his eyes in the morning, (and especially if he were not laden with food and wine the preceding evening), that another day is gone, and another is come, that he is one day further from the time of his birth, and another day nearer the time of his death, that time sweeps by heedless of the heads it whitens and the brows it wrinkles. How frequently do such thoughts, accompanied alternately with sorrowful and sunshiny emotions, pass through the mind of the reflective man as he journeys through the vale of life. But how much more deeply do sueh reflections impress the mind, when the last day of an old year falls into the grave of the past, and when the first day of a new year opens upon the world. As a year is a more important part of a man's life than a day, so does the departure of a year impress men's minds more deeply than the departure of a day. There is nothing more important about a new year's day in itself, than there is about any other day in the year-any more than there is a particular importance attached to the foot of ground on which the milestone stands, from any other on the road. But the man who is walking a long journey, passes the milestone with a very different feeling to that which impressed him as he passed other points of the way. He says within himself, one mile farther from my starting
year is when a great many people turn over a new leaf in life; it is the starting point of new resolutions, the burial-time of sorrows, and the birth-time of hopes.
The young man frequently celebrates his twenty-first birth-day with a deeper feeling, and more forceful reflection, than he does his twentieth birthday. The consciousness of his having lived twentyone years impresses him with a respect for his manhood, and impresses him with a sense of his responsibility as a citizen; he is at that age when he is recognised in the eye of the law as a distinct, independent, responsible being, consequently such a period is looked upon with unusual interest, and remembered with unusual delight. So it is in the history of people. In the life of nations some ages are more important than others. The commencement of a new year is sometimes the commencement of a new era; and the commencement of a new century is accompanied with deeper emotions, and profounder thoughts than the commencement of ordinary periods.
But time, after all, is a relative thing. To estimate its value rightly, it must be considered relatively; there is sometimes more done for the world in one year than at other times in ten, and it is not unfrequently the case when a human being does more for his emancipation and his enthronement in right in one year, than he performed in a preceding life. One man lives fifty lives while another man only lives one. Life is not to be considered merely by the number of moments, or days a human being remains on the earth; we should ask what he has done, how the moments were employed during the time he lived? Two men live through a day, one of them