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my love of speed, I neither encourage horses, carriages, nor steam-boats, and never travel willingly either by the one or the other. They return the compliment by disregarding my powerful aid ;-a power courted by the British navy and the East India Company. I always patronize the kite carriages, and often take a tour in a balloon, for I am haughty and ambitious, and love "to ride on the curled clouds.”
I am as old as the hills, or more properly my birth was coeval with creation, and I am spoken of in holy writ. I was the instrument, under Divine Providence, of enabling the Israelites to cross the Red Sea. In later times I have also done wonders for mankind. It was I who forwarded Columbus on his voyage, and without me even the jewels of Queen Isabella would have been of no avail ;-to me he was indebted for his safe guidance, for you may remember that the variation of the compass was then first discovered, which quite alarmed the pilots, who thought they were entering a world subject to unknown influences. Columbus was not disconcerted, he ingeniously accounted for the phenomenon, and
trusted to my direction. I was a great friend to Queen Elizabeth, and therefore a great enemy to Philip of Spain. I was of comparatively little use to Captain Parry, and by modern inventions iny use has been often superseded. And beneficial as undoubtedly I am, I am often considered an impediment. I have ever been a friend to commerce, so much so that I have received a title from the merchants in consequence, and many would fail without my support. I can live in any climate however intemperate; but at the Torrid Zone I am most uncertain in my temperament, sometimes so violent that no house can hold me. They talk of the passionate little hummingbird, that tears a flower into pieces if it cannot immediately get the honey it contains : I (and with regret I own it) destroy whole gardens, tear the fruit from the trees, and throw it on the ground, break the sugar-canes, and scatter cocoanuts about like stones. You will think that I am a destructive giant, and so I sometimes seem ; but again I am like a little fairy, and gently carry a fragile butterfly to cradle it within
Poets say that I sigh, and that I am sentimental; it may be so, I certainly never smile nor
ever commit the vulgarity of a laugh, and enjoy no sport but flying kites. It is quite astonishing to think how many things are compared to me. Would you describe the swiftness of the reindeer, it assimilates to me; and in one of Ossian's descriptions of Cuthullin, he says he drove his car with a speed only equal to mine. Is any one unmanageable, ungovernable, he is said to be like me. But of all attributes, that most recurring, is my uncertainty; yet I am required like a passport, to ensure travellers safe conduct to foreign countries, and a species of guidepost is erected in most towns and villages, to say which
way I am going. I have as many names as a German prince, or a Spanish Don. I have not yet spoken of my accomplishments, and in these days how much value is set upon accomplishments! I am no poet, no painter, no dancer, but I am a musician; and so far celebrated, that without being the inventor, many musical instruments have been named after me.
I play upon the harp, but I am chiefly celebrated for my whistling; and those who love to be wiser than their neighbors, declare that my whistling is prophetic, and they presume to know
what it portends. My note, unlike the nightingale's, is
« Not musical but melancholy."
Like many celebrated performers, I have particular seasons for appearing to the notice of the public; at other times I am silent, like the cuckoo, or I wander like the swallow, nobody knows where. If in this particular I am like a bird, I am afraid you will say I am like a wild beast, when I own to you that I often roar and howl—actually howl! Can you then believe that I have happy moments when
“I come o'er your ear like the sweet south,
I have yet my most mysterious confession to make -I AM INVISIBLE !
THE FISHER BOY.
BY MARY HOWITT.
H! Fisher Boy, I well know thee,
Brother thou art to Marion Lee ! What, did'st thou think I knew thee not, Could'st thou believe I had forgot? For shame, for shame! what? I forget The treasures of thy laden net! And how we went one day together, One day of showery summer weather, Up the sea-shore, and for an hour Stood sheltering from a pelting shower, Within an up-turned ancient boat That had not been for years afloat. No no, my boy! I liked too well The old sea-stories thou didst tell;