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which he kept it. The animal flew out and left
behind it a red spot. He compared this with
the spots of the bloody shower, and found they
were alike. A prodigious quantity of butterflies
flying about, he observed that the drops
of the miraculous rain were not to be found
on the tiles, nor even upon the upper surface
of the stones, but chiefly in cavities and places
where rain could not easily come. " Thus,"
says Reaumur, who tells the story, " did this
judicious observer dispel the ignorant fears
and terror which a natural phenomenon had

A happier superstition was that which caused
the Greeks to give the name of Psyche to
the butterfly as well as to the soul—" of
which apparently strange double sense,"
observes Dr. Nares, " the undoubted reason is,
that the butterfly was a very ancient symbol
of the soul. From the prevalence of this
symbol, and the consequent coincidence of
names, it happened that the Greek sculptors
frequently represented Psyche as subject to
Cupid in the shape of a butterfly; and that
even when she appears in their works under
the human form, we find her decorated with the
light and filmy wings of that gay insect." On
this principle also the antique sculptors
represented Plato's head with a pair of butterfly's
wings, because he was the first to write on
the immortality of the soul. To this day,
in the north and west of England, the moths
that fly into candles are called Saules, perhaps
from the old notion that the souls of the dead
fly about at night in search of light.

We English are not so poetical as the
Greeks, and call our insect Psyche by a very
homely name; given to it, say some
lexicographers, "from a buttery kind of softness in
its wings, the surface of which gives way under
the touch exactly as the surface of butter
does, though from another cause." This
derivation is far-fetched. Most likely, the
English nomenclature was given on account of
the hue of the wings of the commonest kinds
Pieris Brassicae, for instancewhich are exactly
the colour of butter. For the same reason the
Germans say " Butter-fliege," and the Dutch
"Boter-flege"— though both these Teuton
relatives of ours use other appellations the first
saying " Schmetterling," which conveys the idea
of a fluttering insect, and the second"
Schoenlapper," though I am a Dutchman myself if
I understand what resemblance a butterfly bears
to a "cobbler"—the literal translation of the
word. The Swedes have a softer name,"
Sommarfogel" (bird of summer), characteristic of
the season in which the butterfly appears; the
French borrow their " Papillon" from the Latin
Papilio;" the Italians, in liquid accents, say
"Farfalla;" and the Spaniards, combining dig-
nity with grace, make use of the word " Mari-
posa: "— the two latter, perhaps, being cognisant
of the principle declared in the Hindu law,
that "the names of women should be agreeable,
soft, clear, captivating the fancy, auspicious,
ending in vowels, resembling words of benediction,"
and applying it to woman's frequent type,
the gaily-drest, the light, the graceful, the
inconstant Butterfly.


A THIN mist, like a veil of " silver crape," hung
round the rank cotton plantations of " Green
Vine" landing, as I awoke for the third morning
on board the famous fast Mississippi steamer the
Alligator, and found myself kneading my still
heavy eyes close to the pilot-house on the
summit of the third or uppermost deck of our
swift, double-funneled, and rather "risky" craft.

Three days ago, on choosing my cabin at a
cotton plantation landing an hour and a half
below Vicksburg, I had, by the advice of
my travelling friend, Captain Felix Goodloe,
selected a berth as near as possible to the ladies'
cabin, and as far as possible from the engines.
Our steamer was a high-pressure boat, and a
"blow up," or a " burn up," were not among
the possibilities that a prudent man, without
nervousness, might altogether ignore.

It must have been full three hours yesterday
evening that Captain Goodloe spent with me as
the boat was taking in pine-knots at
"Chikison's landing." As for the worthy Dr. Hiram
Birdan (one of our party), his conversation turned
all that time on nothing but steam-boat collisions
and steam-boat fires. It had also happened
that the dinner conversation had also run on
the late lamentable accident at Lake Michigan,
and one of the gentlemen present had told us
that he had lost a brother in the ill-fated Lady
Elgin. Now, for days past, the Georgian papers
(I had just come from Georgia) had been full of
details of that terrible accident, describing how
defaced bodies, still encumbered with steel hoops
and French finery, were continually being washed
up upon the lonely reedy shore of the lake. A
day later, on entering Carolina, I had read the
evidence of a witness at the trial of the officers
of the Lady Elgin, who deposed that the captain
of the offending schooner had boasted at a liquor
store that " he had run down the tarnation big
fire-ship and sent her to the bottom." In fact,
the evidence contained many proofs of the
extreme heedlessuess with which culpable carelessness,
and subsequent loss of life, is regarded in
America. An engineer on board had then
explained to me, as a stranger, the increased
safety of river steamers since the donkey-engine
had been introduced to prevent the boilers ever
getting empty, and also, that since the boats were
of a superior build, there was less competition,
and, therefore, less racing. I had gone to sleep
trying to count the pulse of the engine, and
calculate how many miles an hour we were moving
over the brown thick water.

But now this morning, after a dive into my
dark sleep bath, I had washed my mind clear of
all these foolish fears, and here I was standing on
the upper deck, the frail planks springing under
my feet, the fresh morning air playing round my
temples, and the great avenue of the vast river
receding into a misty vanishing point before my