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should appear. But they do not. We look
in vain for obscurity to shape itself into
form. The only perceptible apparitions are
ourselves; we comeas Herr Teufelsdröck
saysnobody knows whence; we show
ourselves to contemporary eyes for a brief and
fleeting interval; and then vanish utterly,
body and soul, departing to no one knows
what region or abode, as completely as the
ghosts that flit away at cock-crow. Exactly
what generations and generations of men
now are, shall we ourselves be before very
long. We are now the only true apparitions.

Another living object passes across the
chambera moth! It settles upon the wall.
I must rise from my seat to go and kill it.
Why kill it! What right have we to do
that? May it not claim its privilege to enjoy
its term of apparitioning as well as men and
women? But, you say, it will deposit its
eggs amongst our clothing, and so destroy
them. The sure way to avoid that evil is to
use them, and to amass no greater store of
them than is needful for use. Lay not up for
yourselves treasures where moth and rust do
corrupt. If this prostrate sick child should
never again require her little treasure of
furry comforts and silken finerywhy, there
are others who may be thankful to——but
hark! What is that, ticking so loud and
slow behind the wainscot? It cannot be the
timepiece down stairs that we hear; it is the
death-watch! Listen; how deliberately and
regularly the hidden creature makes its signal
beats! There is no need to feel alarm; the
death-watch is actually a sign of life instead
of death; it meansincrease and multiply.
I accept the omen in its favourable
sense; our patient will recover; she slumbers
tranquilly, without restlessness, and on her
hands may be felt the slightest possible

But oh, my young companion in the watch,
how hard it is to keep awake when one has
not acquired the habit of watching. We
easy-living people are much put out, if the
sacrifice of a night is required of us. Yet
hundreds and thousands of our fellow men
and women live only by night-work, and
make a regular practice of what we take to
be so wonderful an act of self-denial. I must
resist this drowsiness which is stealing over
me. How our aged friend has stood against
it so long, is wonderful. It will help me, if
I get up and walk about the room a little;
noiselessly, though, for fear of disturbing the
sleepers. At the window, a dim light glimmers
in the sky. Can it be the dawn that is
breaking? Is morning coming, to conclude
our heavy task? No, not yet; it is only
the rising moon, now fast fading away
into a shabby, dim, gleaming anti-crescent.
Patience; as others have had patience before
us. At this very hour, apparently so long
and irksome, a change for the better, I
believe, is working to reward us. There is hope
to look forward to, and devotedness to
contemplate. Let us not grudge an extra half-
hour of slumber to her who has watched so
constantly, though stricken in years. Could a
young person, like yourself, have done the
same as well and as faithfully?

And if, in return for such services as these,
we cannot patiently listen to a few expressions
of opinion adverse to our own, bear a
little unasked advice, pardon a few infirmities,
or ignore a few foibles,—when our
own turn comes, my joyous young friends,
shall we have a right to complain if we are
pushed into corners, made to feel that we are
one too many, set down as bores, extinguished
with a sneer when we open our mouths, and
left alone by the wayside, as useless, worn-
out, effete, human marine-stores? Believe
me, the amiable, gentle, and conciliating
atmosphere which gathers around a person who
has long striven to fulfil his duty to his
seniors, remains to his profit, causing him to
attract and to be beloved by the young. And
what more charming member can appear in
society than an elderly person in the enjoyment
of well-deserved popularity? There is
an absence of boyish rivalries; while the
graceful prepossessing manner of youth is
combined with the fulness of mature
experience; there is everything to please, except
the bright eye and the smooth ruddy cheek
of adolescent men and maidens: and of those
fascinating ornaments, I am delighted to feel
assured, the rising generation is likely to
suffer no lack.

There now; am I not a crafty fellow, so to
prepare my own retreat into the shady
lumber-room of senility?


THOSE signs of past or of occurring
changes in the inorganic or mineral kingdom,
which depend upon crystallisation, are
very striking and suggestive, and are most
fruitful of varied and surpassing beauty.
We are ignorant of the causes which
determine, with wonderful regularity, the
outline of crystalline bodies; and which
give to them their sparkling brilliancy,
whether exhibited by the jewels of a court,
or by the frost-wrought tracery of a cottage-
window. It is true, indeed, that certain guesses
have been made, by Haiiy and others, at
causes which may possibly be concerned in
producing the effects observed; but these
guesses rest upon no other evidence than the
very circumstances which they profess to
explain, and amount to little more than
another form of words for describing them.
Thus it is said that the ultimate atoms of
every crystallisable substance (the smallest
particles into which it can possibly be divided)
have themselves some determinate form;
which is reproduced, on a larger scale, when
many of these particles are collected into a
mass. Again, as it is manifest that, in the
absence of a power which shall guide all the