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March. Blood-stone. Courage and success
in dangers and hazardous enterprises.

April. Sapphire or diamond. Repentance
and innocence.

May. Emerald. Success in love.

June. Agate. Long life and health.

July. Carnelian and Ruby. Forgetfulness,
or cure of evils springing from friendship or love.

August. Sardonyx. Conjugal fidelity.

September. Chrysolite. Preserves from or
cures folly.

October. Aqua-marine or Opal. Misfortune
and hope.

November. Topaz. Fidelity in friendship.

December. Turquoise or Malachite. Brilliant
success and happiness in every circumstance of

JET can hardly be called a gem or precious
stone, but with, malachite, lapis lazuli, jade, and
some other stony minerals, it hovers on the
confines of this costly series of natural treasures.
Many highly ornamental and beautiful varieties
of stones, common enough in other forms, might
readily be quoted as coming under the same
category, but we must not detain the reader
longer by a mere enumeration.

We have now gone through the list of gems
or precious stones, elaborated and lying buried
in various parts of the earth, and from time to
time extracted for the use of man. With few
exceptions, all these numerous and varied
substances are objects of beauty and luxury, and
cannot be regarded in any sense as objects of
necessity, or even of great use. We could
certainly do without any one of them, and if we
had them not we should hardly feel the want.
What lesson ought we to draw from this lavish
and elaborate ornamentation, even of those stones
that are mixed up with the dust under our feet?
Whence and why this marvellous beauty in
things that under ordinary circumstances are
not seen by mortal eye or come within mortal
ken? It is only when by accident or design
some one having wealth the result of spare
and accumulated labour is enabled to bestow
a part of it in rewarding those who discover or
render available these hidden treasures, that
their beauty is seen and their value recognised,
and this notwithstanding that they possess
properties of some importance distinguishing them
from other minerals.

It is no more a right thing puritanically to
despise and neglect these gems than it is to
refuse to admire flowers, to profess to despise
beauty, or to shut our eyes to other clear
purposes of nature and nature's God everywhere
expressed. We live in a world of beauty; the
green carpet of verdure is beautiful, the flower
brightening the verdure is beautiful, the butterfly
sipping the nectar of the flower is beautiful,
the bird pursuing the insect is beautiful, and the
blue sky and gorgeous clouds in the heavens are
also beautiful. All these are for our use and
enjoyment, and it is our duty to study them in
order that we may enjoy them. And can it be
that those other more durable treasures buried
in the earth, distributed only sparingly and
found only when looked for properlycan
it be that these were meant to be neglected
and despised? Surely such an assumption is
contrary to the whole course of nature and the
spirit and sentiment of creation.


MAN is the only animal that knows how to
kiss. Dogs lick their masters and bears their
ragged cubs, cats their kittens in place of
nursery baths and Turkish towels, donkeys rub
noses, cows and horses fondle each other's heads
and necks, love-birds nestling close on the same
perch dive rosy bills into fluffy heaps of
brilliant down, or chirrup them together in very
sweet and loving guise; so do pigeons and
stock doves, and perhaps some others; but none
of these creatures kiss. Even low-class savages
do not kiss like civilised men; so that we may
take this habit and function to be actual
evidence of intellect and civilisation; which is a
pleasant idea at any rate.

Kisses have generally been made matters of
ceremony and state symbol, as well as those
dearer expressions of feelings which require no
settled ceremonial. To kiss the forehead is the
instinctive sign of elderly good will: and whenever
fathers give any blessing at all, they seal
it with a kiss upon the forehead of the child.
Kissing the shoulder is, in some places, the sign
of inferiority: not always, though, when the
shoulders are fair and round:

       - Enough white
      For Venus' pearly bite,

as Keats says.

Kissing the foot is a sign of inferiority; so of
the hand, but most of all the ground, which is even
baser than the foot, and gets its special hallowing
from the mere passage of the adored. The Poles,
Bohemians, and Russians, catching the ugly
trick from the Asiatics, kiss the ground before
the stick and the superior, and are sufficiently
honoured in the permission so to abase
themselves. Is it too much to say that they will
never come to good while that debasing trick
remains as an institution among them?

It is curious to trace the gradual change of
certain customs, which, beginning in simple
manly respect, and end in slavish self-abasement.
The habit of kissing the ground, or foot,
is one of them. Among the early Romans the
higher magistrates gave their hands to be kissed;
and, under the first emperors, the monarch did the
same. But this was soon thought too familiar
to be an act of true homage; so, only the superior
officers kissed the hands, while the inferior
were to be content with touching the royal
robe, or their own hands, as not worthy to be
admitted to nearer participation. Sometimes the
emperor kissed the mouth and eyes of those whom
he wished to gladden with most signal honour;
but this was a very rare privilege; and persons
whom he wished to disgrace he kissed with
marked coldness. Agricola complained that
when he returned from overcoming the