Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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most esteemed. The French wines rank be-
fore the Spanish and Italian ; and in no south-
ern countiy of Europe or Africa, except Ma-
deira, where elevation makes the difference, is
the wine iu much repute. The grapes of
France are more delicious for the table than
those of Spain or Madeira. In the southern
part of the United States, the excess of hf-at
and moisture Wights the grape to such an ex-
tent, that all atteu pts have failed in its culti-
vation. The grape-vine, however, whether
wild or cultivated, grows there very luxuri-
antly. The vinous fermentation can also be
best conducted in a climate comparatively
cool; and all the pressing, fermenting, and
distillation of the juice of this delicate fruit
can be safer and more profitably managed in a
mild region.

" The olive, and other oleaginous plants,
yield more fruit, of a richer flavour, and can
be better pressed, and the oil preserved, in a
mild climate. In France the tree is healthier,
and the fruit and oil better than in Spain or
Italy ; and the Barbary States are known to
import their oil from France and Italy.

" Many other plants might be named, whose
habits would equally support our position. It
is presumed, however, that enough have been
cited to call the attention of philosophy to this
curious subject, and enable us to give proper
attention to it, in all the practical operations
of agricultural pursuit. Much time and ex-
pense might be saved, and profits realized, if
this were more generally understood.

" We have already observed, that the heat
of the sun in southern cliuies, forces plants to

a fal.^e miiturity, runs them on too rapidly to
fructification, and renders dry and woody the
culms, stalks, and leaves of the plants, where
these parts are used. Hence the chaffiness of
the leaf, the dryness of the culm, the lightness
of the grain, and the unsavoury, spongy quali
ty of tlie pulp of the plants in those latitudes
Hence the difficulty of fermenting their juices,
distilling their essences, and preserving for
use the fruit, juice, or hiades of such plant:
The prevalence of insects is another bar to the
productiveness of southern plants : swarms of
them invade and strip the leaves, bore the
fruit, and lead to blight and decomposition ;
and just in proportion as the labours of man
have rendered plants succulent, and their fruits
and seeds sweet and pleasant, do these insects
multiply on them, devour their crops, and de
feat the objects of husbandry.

" The labour of man too is more conserva
live in northern climates, because his arm ii
better nerved for exercise, his health and spi-
rits more buoyant ; and instead of saying, ' Go
and work,' he says, ' Come and work ;' treads
with a cheerful heart upon his own soil, and
assists in the cultivation, collection, and pre-
servation of his own productions. It is in tem-
perate climates that man can be most familiar
with nature ; it is there he has the best oppor-
tunities of observing the guarantees which
nature has for the preservation of her animals
and plants against the devastation of the ele-
ments ; he sees an occasional apparent neglect
of individuals, but a constant parental care of
races. In every thing he sees the wisdom and
benevolence of God."


Not more necessary is it for the health of
the body that the heart should have room to
beat, and the lungs to play, than it is for the
welfare of a crowded city that places of out-
door exercise and rational amusement should
be provided. In this point of view, the
Parks and the Zoological Gardens claim our

As the number of persons visiting the latter
is great, so no expense is spared in providing
for their entertainment. The grounds are
spacious, the shrubs and flowers attractive,
and the walks kept in good order; while the
birds and beasts of the four quarters of the
world are put in requisition, to render the en-
tertainment complete.

The varied tastes, as well as dispositions of
the visiters, are plainly developed. One gazes
on the plumage of the feathered race with eager
delight ; another enthusiastically surveys the
animals, both tame and savage ; while hun-
dreds, with no strong predilection for either,
roam among the pleasant parterres of the
place, occupied in observing the company.

Perhaps, after all, the principal gratification
we feel in such places is not so much derived
from the things we see, as from the associa-
tions they call forth. There is a holiday feel-
ing visible in the visiters, that excites some-
thing of a similar kind in our own hearts.
The wonderment of the children at all around


them ; their awful fear at the sight of the
beasts ; their unfeigned delight in gazing on
the birds; and their unrepressed raptures at
the tricks of the monkey tribe ; take us back
again to the days of our childhood.

We cannot look at the lion without think-
ing of Africa, and desert sands, and crocodiles,
and snakes, and monsters. We cannot gaze on
the polar bear without placing him on an ice-
berg. In the instant we are with Parry and
Ross, near the northern pole, laughing at the
antics of the Esquimaux, in the twilight of the
regions they inhabit.

Perhaps I carry this feeling further than
many of my neighbours ; for the very shrubs
and flowers are rife with the power of cre-
ation, and conjure up scenes that are pleasant
to me. Half au hour ago did I enter the lodge
gate, and yet I have not reached the bears.
A thistle growing on the right, a few yards
from the lodge, at once took me back to a
common, where a shaggy donkey was brow-
sing ; while a party of gipsies, in the tent
they had pitched, were cooking their midday
meal in the iron pot suspended from three
crooked sticks.

Then, again, a prickly holly-bush on the
left called me away to another scene. It was
that of the summit of a knolly-field. The
morning was frosty, the snow crackled under
the foot, and the holly-bushes near were co-
vered with their heart-cheering red berries.
It was the sabbath morn, and Giles Ashford
was striding along the scarcely beaten path,
in his well-brushed blue coat and big buttons ;
while his wife Margery stayed behind
knock out the snow from her patten against
the stile.

It is pleasant thus to link together, by asso-
ciation, the country and the city. As I stand
here, musing, decent domestics, and cleanly
attired persons evidently of the poorer class,
pass by to share, with the carriage company,
the gratification of the gardens. I love to
see this : gentle and simple walking, side by
side, in quest of rational amusement. Why
cannot the whole creation be linked and bound
together in the bond of brotherhood ?

Well, here are the bears, brown and black;
and there stands a gentlemanly figure hardly
looking at them. He has seen them before
over and over again ; he has lost the enjoy-
ment of novelty. Poor man! he is grown too
wise to be happy. But here are beings of a
different kind: half-a-dozen rosy, laughing
children, and their mammas. Happy lads!
How they come, eagerly pressing before the
rest ; and these smiling girls are their sisters :
one can hardly toddle along the gravel walk.
Now we shall see something worth seeing ; the
fresh feeling of youthful hearts called forth in
wonder and delight. He in the white trow-
sers is evidently thinking of the bear in Ro-
binson Crusoe, that Friday made to dance on
the bough. The little toddler looks up with
an awe-struck face, to ask whether they will
bite; and mamma seems not quite sure that the
climbing bear will not leap from the top of the

It appears but as yesterday, when I stood
on this very spot with the Rajah Ram-mohun
Roy at my elbow. Since then he has been

_____^ 307

called away from the world. How many of
those around me may be visiting the gardens
for the first and the last time I

The view from this place is interesting : the
company in groups ; the pigeons on the roof
yonder; the pond; the fowls; the birds; and
some of the animals. I could stand on this
bench for an hour.

I have given a nut or two to the red and
yellow, and the red and blue maccaws. How
they climb their cage, holding the wires with
their crooked bills ! They appear to have more
interest, when we think that some of them are
from the land where the slaves are set free,
and others from the sultry clime where the
mighty Amazon, greatest of rivers, rolls his
flood for more than three thousand miles.

The grisly bear must be prodigiously pow-
erful ; what great limbs! what fearful claws!
Hark ! scarcely can there be a sound in the
universe more desolately doleful ! — it is that
of the sloth bear. But I must hasten on-
ward. ********

What a number of animals have I gazed
on ! antelopes, nylghaus, deer, zebras, and
kangaroos; wolves, panthers, leopards, lions,
and hyenas. How varied is the form ! how
diverse are the habits of the brute creation !
and yet not a limb, not a muscle among
them, but what is suited to the economy and
welfare of its possessor. How infinitely inca-
pable is man to estimate the Great Creator,

"In these his lowliest works 1"

If there were no other advantage attending
a visit to these gardens than that of observing
the endless variety of the animal creation, and
the infinite wisdom manifested in their forms
and adaptation to their several habits and
modes of existence, it would abundantly repay
the reflecting visiter for his pains.

Nor is it unworthy of a thought, that we are
highly favoured in being able to inspect these
creatures at our ease, not one of them making
us afraid. Here can the wild boar be seen
without the dread of his tusks; and the huge
rhinoceros, free from the danger of his horn.
Apes, baboons, and monkeys, play their antics
with no annoyance to the bystander ; and
tapirs, peccaries, foxes, badgers, and wild
cats ; jackals, opossums, squirrels, lemurs, and
lynxes ; with porcupines, racoons, beavers, and
otters, may be observed at leisure, without

What a goodly collection of the feathered
race ! the white-bosomed pelican ; the bare-
necked vulture; the strong-winged condor;
and the crooked-beaked, iron-taloned eagle.
One is lost among such a profusion of birds
and water-fowl: the warlike ostrich; the
emu ; the cassowary ; and the crane ; the
towering falcon ; the painted parrot, and the
crimson-feathered flamingo; with a hundred
other kinds of a smaller size. These are the
works of God 1 Every specimen, perfect in its
kind, proclaiming his Almighty care ! Infini^
Wisdom comprehends what to us is inconV
prehensible. He says, " Every beast of thp
forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand
hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains;
and the wild beasts of the field are mine."

What amazing antlers have the wapiti



deer ! and what a merciful provision is the act
of shedding ihem, when their weight hecomes
burdensome !

'I'he elephant is in the pond ; liow lie rolls
about his giant bulk, like a iiuge leviathan !
Now he has dived altogether beneath the sur-
face. Again he emerges as an island in the
water, and slowly stalks forward, discontinu-
ing his watery gambols.

Who can observe the childlike obedience of
the bulky animal to his keeper, without read-
ing therein a fulfilment of the promise made
by the Almighty to Noah and his descendants ?
— " And the fear of you, and the dread of
you, shall be upon every beast of the earth
and every fowl of the air, and upon all that
moveth upon the earth."

And these are the giraffes, the objects of
general attraction. Stately creatures, what
pigmies ye make of us ! The cloven foot, the
over-lapping lip, the tufted tail, the spotted
body, and the towering neck, are all worthy of
a separate regard. The eye has the fullness
and the fearlessness, though not the fierceness,
of that of the ostrich; and the black, sleet,
serpent-like tongue, has a character altogeth-
er its own. What news from afar, fleet cour-
sers of the desert sands ? bear ye no message
from the wilderness ?

such a one as I have seen in a window of an
alms-house; where might be discerned the
aged inmate, with her spectacles, bending
over the Holy Scriptures of eternal truth. 1
love the gilly-flower, because it will bloom
even on a mouldering wall, and smile in de-
solate places ; and I love the geranium, be-
cause it gives cheerfulness to the abodes of

'J'he principal points of these Surrey Gar-
dens are, the beautiful lake, the eagle-rock,
the choice collection of forest trees, and the
great superiority of many of the wild ani-
mals ; but I must not omit the glass conser-

A Home in the centre, deservedly praised,
'I'ransparenl as crystal, is artlully raised,
Where African lions, and tigers untamed.
And sloths and hyenas, for savageness famed,
And leopards and ladies, and monsters and men,
Securely may meet in the very same pen.

Come with me, and gaze on the beasts ; the
hyenas, the leopards, and the tigers; but es-
pecially the lions. 'l"he keeper is now feed-
ing them. Is there any thing that you have
ever conceived of the monarch of the woods,
that is not realized in that noble Nero? Re-
gard his flowing mane, his giant limbs.

What a majesty in his mien ! What an un-
tameable glare in his lordly eye ! His jaws
are opening ; what a deep, unearthly, scream-
ike roar! Even here it is terrible. What
must it be when resounding through the
forest 1

The serious spectator at such a scene as
this traverses the wilds of Africa, with the
missionary Campbell; or, familiar with Bible
associations, goes back to the days of Daniel,
when the Eternal laid his hand on the mouth
of the lions, and the prophet of the Lord re-
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ mained in safety among them.

Many of the diflerent exhibitions which
And these are the Gardens of Surrey ! I j take place here are of an attractive character,
have wandered through the various avenues but they are sad trespasses on the quietude
of this agreeable place; given a bun to the and repose of the place, and prevent that
bears, and nuts to the monkeys. ( have ' neatness and order which might otherwise
stroked the antelopes; patted the trunks of more universally prevail.

The Regent's Park and the Surrey Gardens
afford much gratification, and should not be
visited without some profitable reflection.
The boasts and birds of the four quarters of
the earth are here assembled, bearing witness,
by their captivity, to the pre-eminence with
which man has been endowed by his Creator.
The swiftness of the giraffe and the ostrich ;
the soaring flight of the falcon and the eagle ;
the matchless strength of the rhinoceros and
the elephant ; and the rapacity of the tiger
and the lion ; have not been able to protect
their possessors from becoming the captives
of man. If, then, God has thus given to man
dominion over the " beasts of the field, and
the fowls of the air," how grateful ought he
to be for the gift of his pre-eminence ! and
how anxious to use it to the glory of the Al-
mighty Giver! If the Lord is " good to all,
and his tender mercies are over all his
works," how mindful ought man to be, to
exercise forbearance, and kindness, and mer-
cy, to every creature committed to his care !

Your feet have trod the burning sand.

Where the lion's lair is known ;
Where panthers prowl, and jackals cry.

And 6ery blasts are blown.
And ye have cropp'd the desert tree,

In haunts where man's exiled ;
And heard your Maker's mighty voice,

In the tempest of the wild.

How rapidly has time flown ! but there
will be time yet for a hasty peep at the Sur-
rey Gardens. I must escape by the turnstile

the elephants ; placed my hands on the scaly
backs of the boa and the python ; and am now
standing near the eagle-rock ; it is a |)leasaiit

This running stream, with the tall green
flags growing on each side, and the ponds
almost covered over with the broad leaves
and the fair flowers of the water-lily, remind
nie of quiet, retired nooks and corners in
country places, where the wild duck dives in
the secluded reedy pool, and the moor-hen
hides herself under the overhanging branches
of the trees.

The lake and the drooping-willows form a
lovely scene, and recall every thing that we
have witnessed of silvery streams and luxu-
riant foliage.

Would you gaze with emotions far purer than mirth
Jpn one of the fairest creations of earth,
tome at even and breathe the pure breath of the
From ffie seat by the lake 'neath these wild willow-
trees !

I could loiter here long without weariness.
Here grows a scarlet-flowered geranium, just

Selected for " The Friend."

riiose thai eow in Icors shall rtsp in joy.-— P,almt.
Contrite mourner ! though thy tears.

Like the melting shcw'rs ol spring,
Full from clouds of grief and fears,

Fruitful harvest shall they briiiir;
Harvests where no tods annoy,
Sown in tears, but reap'd in joy.
Hast thou lost a bosom friend,

Buried lifeless in the clay ?
Of thy sorrows see an end.

At the last great harvest day :
Though his body worms destroy,
Sown in tears, 'tis rais'd in joy.
Disappointments hast thou found,

Disconcertmg cv'ry scheme ?
Sow lliy hopes in heavenly ground, —

Earthly bliss is all a dream :
Pleasures fatally decoy,
Reap'd in tears if sown in joy.

Keen afflictions dost thou feel,

Poverty, disease, and pain 7
Know, the hand that wounds can heal,

Temp'ral loss — eternal gain :
Rich the harvesi, sweet the employ,
Sown in tears to reap in joy.

Sent to call the wand'rer home,

Lov'd, if cliasten'd, by the Lord,
Lo ! ho bids the contrite come —

By his Spirit— by his Word —
To exchange a puerile toy,


vorld of endless


Wounded mourner ! cease to weep,
Though foul crimes may stain thy soul,

Boundless Mercy, free and deep,

Bids thee wash, be clean, and whole ;

Then go weep, with no alloy.

Harvest of eternal joy !

T/ie Horrors of War. — The following pas-
sage occurs in the leading article of the Law
Reporter, on the case of the Somers. It is
said to be the production of Attorney General
Austin : —

" It is against all our notions of justice, and
all our religious sentiments, that a man should
hold, by his own breath, despotic power over
human life; h

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 114 of 154)