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their incessant bleedings for all ailments, with
the more solemn remedy of charms and sacred
words written on holy scraps of paper in the
room of our pretty little globules, or more
majestic and material rhubarb pillswhat chance
did there seem for the ultimate salvation of those
benighted children of the past? Talk of the
decay of the presentyes, about as much decay
as goes to ripen an orchard or to make a man
out of a child!

There were no inns of any decent character
or behaviour, and the man who set forth on a
journey must expect to be robbed half a dozen
times and killed at least twice before he got to
the end of his pilgrimage. Then, too, though
there were no fashion-books and no crinoline,
the modes were just as preposterous as at the
present time, with the disadvantage of clerical
interference perpetually occurring. And as the
clergy made a good thing by moral crimes
the more crimes the better the trade for them
they contrived that everything should be a
crime, for the compromising of which they
would get compensation. Long dresses in men
were moral crimes; and long sleeves, long
trainson which one enthusiastic preacher
declared he saw a little imp, all black and sooty,
sit, as on a cushionand long liripipes in
women were moral crimes. It was a moral crime
to know a little more than one's neighbour, and
a crime, too, that often brought one to the
scaffold, or the stake; a crime to be fond of
certain animals, and a greater crime to be skilful
in taming them; a crime to be hysterical,
epileptic, or " sensitive; " a crime to think for
oneself, to act for oneself, or to question the
absolute and irresponsible power of the feudal
lord; a crime to love science, or to know
one single event of nature not patent to the
wits of the gentlemen who drank on the nail
and broke " cockcombs " in the hall: it was
a crime to love where forbidden by the lord
or suzerain, and a crime to refuse to love when
commanded by the lord or suzerain; it was
a crime to think white white, or black black, if
told to call them blue or grey, and if acting therefore
on one's own unlicensed and independent
judgment; a crime to assert one's own manhood,
to defend one's honour, to deny one's person to
the strongest hand, to declare the equality of
all men by any practical proof on one's own
side, or to make independent use of any gift
of reason or perception which God had given

Yet though we have risen, slowly, painfully,
and with many a hard struggle, out of all this
social degradation and ignorance, though we
have set our feet steadily, and ever advancing,
on the heights of the better places, there are
yet men so ungrateful to their blessings, or so
ignorant of truth, who look back to all this blind
and brutal past with an admiration they will not
grant to the present, and regret even its brutality
for sake of the fuller flavour of animal life about
it. The false glitter of romance has gilded
many a falsehood in this world; it has created
none greater than that which ascribes more
virtues to the past than to the present, and which
denies the truth of the glorious doctrine of the
infinite and enduring progress of humanity.


SHARP-SIGHTED naturalists have discovered a
family of creatures, the constitution of whose
members is peculiar. The several and sundry
species of Actinophrys, Arcella, and Gnomia, are
furnished with armsor "pseudopodia," to show
our learningwhich are not invested by any
limiting membrane like our skin, but which
coalesce with each other and completely unite,
whenever they put themselves into actual
contact. If two or more limbs happen to come
together, a thorough fusion of their substance
takes place. Many little limbs will make one
stout limb; several limbs will drop their
individuality and agglutinate their mass into one simple
body. The remarkable fact has likewise been
noticed, that two perfectly distinct individuals
became gradually fused so as to form one large
single animal. Moreover, in most of these
creatures, there is visible, somewhere towards the
centre, an uncertain-shaped empty space, also
learnedly called a " vacuole" (likewise a
"contractile vesicle"), whose use is undemonstrated,
except it be to serve as a paunch for the reception
of heterogeneous matters.

A race of men, known as Italians, are of
similar habits. The family is distinct enough,
with natural characteristics and boundaries; it
has considerable talent, great personal advantages,
a language derived from a common Latin
root; a country walled in by enormous
mountains at top, bathed by the sea throughout the rest
of its boundary, and planted within a ring fence
such as few landowners can emulate. In spite
of which, for ages past, it has been dismembered
and chopped up into portions, each moved by a
separate directing power and groping in the dark
after whims of its own. The oldest member of
Europe as a civilised country, it is the youngest
as an united community. Towards its centre,
there has long existed, and still exists, a large
vacuole, called Rome, full of mysteries and
monstrosities, a receptacle for things cast out from
other bodies politic, in which all sorts of scum
and offal undergo the fermentation of putrefaction,
not unfrequently running over. Of late,
however, the "vacuole" has assumed the character
of a " contracting vesicle;" and the race of
men to whom we allude are even hoping that, as
far as its present constitution is concerned, it
may speedily contract into nothingness.

An eminent experimentalist in governmental
science (whom we refrain from naming),
who is not afraid of a severe operation if
need be, recently tried the effect of raising the
barrier between two contiguous members of
this disunited body. The result surpassed his
expectation, perhaps even exceeded his wish.
Not only did a portion of Lombardy amalgamate
at once with Piedmont, but Parma, Modena,