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One of the chief pleasures of his latter days was to hold out a helping hand to poor inventors who deserved assistance. He was a true man to the last, whom failure never drove to despair ; whom success never elated to folly. Inch by inch he made his ground good in the world and for the world. A year before his death, in 1848, somebody, about to dedicate a book to him, asked him what were his “ornamental initials.” His reply was, “I have to state that I have no flourishes to my name, ei before or aster; and I think it will be as well if you merely say, George Stephenson.”

Household Words.

THE MAIL-COACH AND THE RAIL. The modern modes of travelling cannot compare with the old mail-coach system in grandeur and power. They boast of more velocity, not, however, as a consciousness, but as a fact of our lifeless knowledge, resting upon alien evidence; as, for instance, because somebody says that we have gone fifty miles in the hour,though we are far from feeling it as a personal experience, but upon the evidence of a result, as that actually we find ourselves in York four hours after leaving London. Apart from such an assertion, or such a result, I myself am little aware of the pace. But, seated on the old mail-coach, we needed no evidence out of ourselves to indicate the velocity. The vital experience of the glad animal sensibilities made doubts impossible on the question of our speed; we heard our speed, we saw it, we felt it as a thrilling sensation; and this speed was not the product of blind insensate agencies, that had no sympathy to give, but was incarnated in the fiery eyeballs of the noblest amongst brutes, in his dilated nostril, spasmodic muscles, and thunder-beating hoofs. The sensibility of the horse, uttering itself in the maniac light of his eye, might be the last vibration of such a movement; the glory of Salamanca might be the first. But the intervening links that connected them, that spread the earthquake of battle into the eyeball of the horse, were the heart of man and its electric thrillings-kindling in the rapture of the fiery strife, and then propagating its own tumults by contagious shouts and gestures to the heart of his servant, the horse.

But now, on the new system of travelling, iron tubes and boilers have disconnected man's heart from the ministers of his locomotion. Nile nor Trafalgar has power to raise an extra bubble in a steam-kettle. The galvanic cycle is broken up for ever; man’s imperial nature no longer sends itself forward through the electric sensibility of the horse; the inter-agencies are gone in the mode of communication between the horse and his master, out of which grew so many aspects of sublimity under accidents of mists that hid, or sudden blazes that revealed, of mobs that agitated, or midnight solitudes that awed. Tidings, fitted to convulse all nations, must henceforward travel by culinary process; and the trumpet that once announced from afar the laurelled mail, heart-shaking, when heard screaming on the wind, and proclaiming itself through the darkness to every village or solitary house on its route, has now given way to the pot-wallopings of the boiler.

Thus have perished multiform openings for public expressions of interest, scenical yet natural, in great national tidings, for revelations of faces and groups that could not offer themselves amongst the fluctuating mobs of a railway station. The gatherings of gazers about a laurelled mail had one centre, and acknowledged one sole interest. But the crowds attending at a railway station have as little unity as running water, and own as many centres as there are separate carriages in the train.

De Quincey.

for ever


THROUGH the mould and through the clay,
Through the corn and through the hay,
By the margin of the lake,
O’er the river, through the brake,
On we hie with screech and roar!

Splashing ! flashing !
Crashing! dashing!

Over ridges,
Gullies, bridges !
By the bubbling rill,

And mill-

Hollow hillJumping-bumpingRocking-roaring

Like forty thousand giants snoring!


O'er the aqueduct and bog,
On we fly with ceaseless jog,
Every instant something new;
Every moment lost to view,
Now a tavern-now a steeple-
Now a crowd of gaping people-
Now a hollow-now a ridge-

Now a crossway-now a bridge-
Fretting--getting in a stew!
Church and steeple, gaping people,
Quick as thought are lost to view!
Everything that eye can survey
Turns hurly-burly, topsy-turvy!
Glimpse of lonely hut and mansion,
Glimpse of ocean's wide expansion,
Glimpse of foundry and of forge,
Glimpse of plain and mountain gorge,
Dash along!
Slash along!
Flash along !
On! on with a jump,
And a bump,

And a roll !
Hies the fire-fiend to its destined goal !



See how yon flaming herald treads

The ridged and rolling waves,
As, crashing o'er their crested heads,

She bows her surly slaves !
With foam before and fire behind,

She rends the clinging sea,
That flies before the roaring wind,

Beneath her hissing lee.

The morning spray, like sea-born flowers,

With heap'd and glistening bells,
Falls round her fast, in ringing showers,

With every wave that swells;
And, burning o'er the midnight deep,

In lurid fringes thrown,
The living gems of ocean sweep

Along her flashing zone.

With clashing wheel, and lifting keel,

And smoking torch on high,
When winds are loud, and billows reel,

She thunders foaming by ;
When seas are silent and serene,

With even beam she glides,
The sunshine glimmering through the green

That skirts her gleaming sides.

Now, like a wild nymph, far apart,

She veils her shadowy form,
The beating of her restless heart

Still sounding through the storm;
Now answers, like a courtly dame,

The reddening surges o'er,
With flying scarf of spangled flame,

The Pharos of the shore.

To-night yon pilot shall not sleep,

Who trims his narrow'd sail :
To-night yon frigate scarce shall keep

Her broad breast to the gale;
And many a foresail, scoop'd and strain'd,

Shall break from yard and stay,
Before this smoky wreath has stain'd

The rising mist of day.
Hark! hark! I hear yon whistling shroud,

I see yon quivering mast;
The black throat of the hunted cloud -

Is panting forth the blast!
An hour, and, whirl'd like winnowing chaff,

The giant surge shall fling
His tresses o’er yon pennon staff,

White as the sea-bird's wing !

Yet rest, ye wanderers of the deep:

Nor wind nor wave shall tire
Those fleshless arms, whose pulses leap

With floods of living fire;
Sleep on,--and, when the morning light

Streams o'er the shining bay,
Oh, think of those for whom the night
Shall never wake in day!


MONKEYS. The whole family of those amusing and interesting animals, usually denominated monkeys, stands conspicuous in the catalogue of animals. I shall at once divide it into four distinct departments, without any reference to subdivisions, and this plan will be quite sufficient for the instruction of young naturalists. I would wish to impress upon their minds that, notwithstanding what ancient and modern philosophers have written to the contrary, monkeys are inhabitants of trees alone, when left in their own freedom; that, like the sloth, they are produced, and live

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