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way to their breeding-place, near some solitary watercourse or ruined tank. The sun at last
“ Sinks, as a flamingo Drops into her nest at nightfall;"
Twilight succeeds, and the crepuscular birds and animals awaken from their midday torpor, and prepare to enjoy their nightly revels. The hawk-moths now take the place of the gayer butterflies, which withdraw with the departure of light; innumerable beetles make short and uncertain flights in the deepening suade, and in pursuit of them and the other insects that frequent the dusk, the night-jar, with expanded jaws, takes low and rapid circles above the plains and pools.
Darkness at last descends, and every object fades in night and gloom, but still the murmur of innumerable insects arises from the glowing earth. The fruit-eating bats launch themselves from the high branches on which they have hung suspended during the day, and cluster round the mango-trees and tamarinds; and across the grey sky the owl flits in pursuit of the night-moths, on a wing so soft and downy that the air scarcely betrays its pulsations.
The palm-cat now descends from the crest of the cocoa-nut, where she had lurked during the day, and the glossy genette, emerging from some hollow tree, steals along the branches to surprise the slumbering birds. Meanwhile, among the grass, already damp with dew, the glow-worm lights her emerald lamp, and from the shrubs and bushes issue showers of fire-flies, whose pale green flashes sparkle in the midnight darkness, till day returns, and morning “pales their ineffectual fires."
Emerson Tennent's Ceylon.
THE BROKEN PANE.
Have you ever had occasion to witness the fury of the honest burgess, Jacques Bonhomme, when his scapegrace son has broken a pane of glass ? If you have, you cannot fail to have observed that all the bystanders, were there thirty of them, lay their heads together to offer the unfortunate proprietor this never-failing consolation—that there is some good in every misfortune, and that such accidents give a filip to trade. Everybody must live. If no windows were broken, what would become of the glaciers ? Now, this formula of condolence contains a theory which it is proper to lay hold of in this very simple case, because it is exactly the same theory which unfortunately governs the greater part of our economic institutions.
Assuming that it becomes necessary to expend six francs in repairing the damage, if you mean to say that the accident brings in six francs to the glacier, and to that extent encourages his trade, I grant it fairly and frankly, and allow that you reason justly. The glazier arrives, does his work, pockets his money, rubs his hands, and blesses the scapegrace son.
This is what we see. But if, by way of deduction, you come to conclude, as is too often done, that it is a good thing to break windows—that it makes money circulate—and that encouragement to trade in general is the result-I am obliged to cry, Halt! Your theory stops at what we see, and takes no account of what we don't see.
We don't see that since our burgess has been obliged to spend his six francs on one thing, he can no longer spend them on another. We don't see that if he had not had this pane to replace, he would have replaced, for example, his shoes, which are down at the heels; or have placed a new book on his shelf. In short, he would have employed his six francs in a way in which he cannot now employ them.
Let us see, then, how the account stands with trade in general. The pane being broken, the glazier's trade is benefited to the extent of six francs. This is what we see. If the pane had not been broken, the shoemaker's, or some other trade, would have been encouraged to the extent of six francs. This is what we
And if we take into account what we don't see, which
is a negative fact, as well as what we do see, which is a positive fact, we shall discover that trade in general, or the aggregate of national industry, has no interest one way or other, whether windows are broken or not.
Let us see, again, how the account stands with Jacques Bonhomme. On the last hypothesis, that of the pane being broken, he spends six francs, and gets neither more nor less than he had before, namely, the use and enjoyment of a pane of glass. On the other hypothesis, namely, that the accident had not happened, he would have expended six francs on shoes, and would have had the enjoyment both of the shoes and of the pane of glass. Now, as the good burgess, Jacques Bonhomme, constitutes a fraction of society at large, we are forced to conclude that society, taken in the aggregate, and after all accounts of labor and enjoyment have been squared, has lost the value of the pane which has been broken.
BEFORE WE TRY TO FORCE PROVIDENCE TO AN
“ALTERATIVE,” IT WERE WISE TO CONSIDER
WHAT THE ALTERNATIVE MIGHT BE. “It is I that support this household,” said a Hen one day to herself; “the master cannot breakfast without an egg, for he is dyspeptic and would die, and it is I that lay it. And here is this ugly poodle, doing nothing earthly, and gets thrice the victuals I do, and is caressed all day. I vow they shall give me a double portion of oats, or they have eaten their last egg!” But much as she cackled and croaked, the scullion would not give her an extra grain ; whereupon, in dudgeon, she hid her next egg in the dunghill, and did nothing but cackle and croak all day. The scullion suffered her for a week, then (by order) drew her neck, and purchased other eggs at sixpence the dozen.
Man! why frettest thou, and whinest thou ? This blockhead is happier than thou, and still a blockhead. Ah, sure enough, thy wages are too low!
THE RICH AND THE POOR. In the time of fairies, things went on no better than they do at present. John Hopkins, a poor laborer, who had a large family of children to support upon very scanty wages, applied to a Fairy for assistance. “Here am I half starving," said he, "while my landlord rides about in a fine carriage; his children are pampered with the most dainty fare, and even his servants are decked with gaudy liveries : in a word, rich men, by their extravagance, deprive us poor men of bread. In order to gratify them with luxuries, we are debarred almost the necessaries of life.” “'Tis a pitiable case, honest friend,” replied the Fairy, "and I am ready to do all in my power to assist you and your distressed friends. Shall I, by a stroke of my wand, destroy all the handsome equipages, fine clothes, and dainty dishes which offend you ? " Since
you are so very obliging,” said honest John, in the joy of his heart, “it would perhaps be better to destroy all luxuries whatever; for if you confine yourself to those you mention, the rich would soon have recourse to others; and it will scarcely cost you more than an additional stroke of your wand to do the business outright, and get rid of the evil, root and branch.”
No sooner said than done. The good-natured Fairy waved her wand, and, wonderful to behold! the superb mansion of the landlord shrunk beneath its stroke, and was reduced to a humble thatched cottage. The gay colors and delicate texture of the apparel of its inmates faded and thickened, and were transformed into the most ordinary clothing; the greenhouse plants sprouted out cabbages, and the pinery produced potatoes. A similar change took place in the stables and coach-house; the elegant carriage was seen varying in form, and enlarging in dimensions, till it became a wagon ; while the smart gig shrunk and thickened into a plough. The manes of the horses grew coarse and shaggy, their coats lost all brilliancy and softness, and their legs became thick and clumsy: in a word, they were adapted to the new vehicles they were henceforward to draw.
Honest John was profuse in his thanks, but the Fairy stopped him short. “Return to me at the end of a week,” said she: “it will be time enough for you to express your gratitude when you can judge how much reason you have to be obliged to me.”
Delighted with his success, and eager to communicate the happy tidings to his wife and family, John returned home. "I shall no longer,” said he to himself, “be disgusted with the contrast of the rich and poor. What they lose must be our gain; and we shall see whether things will not now go on in a different manner.” His wife, however, did not receive him with equal satisfaction ; for on having gone to dress herself (it being Sunday) in her best cotton gown, she beheld it changed to a homely stuff; and her China teapot, given her by her landlord's wife, and on which she set no small store, though the handle was broken, was converted into crockery ware !
She came with a woeful countenance to communicate these sad tidings to her husband. John hemmed and hawed, and at length wisely determined to keep his own counsel, instead of boasting of being the author of the changes which had taken place. Presently his little boy came in crying. “ What ails you, Tommy?” said the father, half pettishly, and somewhat suspecting that he might have caused his tears also. “Why, daddy,” replied the urchin, “as I was playing at battledore with Dick, the shuttlecock flew away, and was lost, and the battledores turned into two dry sticks, good for nothing but to be burnt.” "Psha !” cried the father, who was beginning to doubt whether he had not done a foolish thing. In order to take time to turn over the subject in his mind, and console himself for his disappointment, he called for his pipe. The good wife ran to fetch it, when, lo and behold! the pipes were all dissolved! There was pipe-clay in plenty, but no means of smoking. Poor John could not restrain himself from anger, and, in order to pacify him, his wise kindly offered him a pinch of snuff. He took the box; it felt light, and his mind misgave him as he tapped it. It was with too much cause, for, on opening it, he found it empty! At length, being alone, he gave vent to his vexation and disappointment. "I was a fool,” cried he, “not to desire the Fairy to meddle with the luxuries of the rich only. God knows, we have so few, that it is very hard we should be deprived of them. I will return to her at the end of the week, and beg her to make an exception in our favor.” This thought consoled him for a little while; but, long before the end of the week, poor John had