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now, steadythere you are you see, my dear
Miss Smith, squinting abominably; I told
you how it would be, if you would wink your

Spoilt children are perhaps a trifle worse;
some of them taking advantage of my
absence under the curtain to throw stones at
the camera, and others screaming with terror
because they consider it to be a deadly
weapon provided for their special destruction,
which I have sometimes devoutly wished it
was. But the most unwilling sitters whom I
ever took were a couple of dozen gentlemen
who were accepting, for various terms of
years, the hospitalities of the governor of a
certain north country gaol. More than one
of them had recently shown a disposition to
leave the place, and not to be burthensome to
him any longer; but their host was determined
not to hear of such a thing; he was
even prepared, in case of their departure, to
go the length of fetching them back again,
and applied to me to assist him in such a case
by enabling his servants to recognise them.
The photographees did not like my
interference one bit. The machine seemed to
remind them exceedingly of a bull's-eye
lantern, to which they had a very natural
repugnance; their positions were far from
graceful, their expressions such as had no
parallel in all my photographic experience.
I never saw folks so disinclined to look the
sun in the face before. There was, however,
one among them, a mere lad, expiating his
first offence in the prison, who had one of the
most honest countenances I ever beheld; he
was the only one who did not tell me he was
innocent, and the only one who appeared to
me as being possibly not guilty; he took
occasion to entreat of me not to put him
amongst a portrait-gallery of felons for the
remainder of his days, because, if his mother
should come to hear of it, it would surely
break her heartit was almost broken now,
he said. I thought of the poor lady in
mourning then, and how much worse than to
lose a son it must be to have a son in such a
plight as this; and, whether there was
something wrong about the collodion, or whether
I handled this particular photograph rather
clumsily, it is very certain that the young
lad's face is smudged, and by no means to
be recognised.


NATURE'S gay day is now drawing rapidly
to a close: she has already divested herself
of many of her brighter and sweeter habiliments,
and is now preparing to cast her robe
of many-shaded green into the dust. Silent
type of human glory, bright and fair to see in
the sunshine of prosperity, mean and dejected
as the sport of adverse wind. Paterfamilias
of The Vegetable World, shalt thou lie
inglorious, rotting, will no friendly, speculative
hand grind thee into snuff, or twist thee into
the exhilarating Pickwick?—there should be
no preference amongst equalssurely were thy
inorganic worth but known, guano and other
factors of manure, would become competitors
for thy metempsychosis.

Botanical theorists offer two explanations
of the fall of the leaf; one, that it is consequent
upon the rupture of that delicate spiral
coil, or vessel, which sprang at the birth of
the leaf from the very centre of the interior
of the stem to form the leaf-stalk and veins,
and return hence into the bark; the fracture
taking place at the very moment when
the fully uncoiled fibre refuses further
accommodation to the rapidly fattening sides of its
parent stem; the other, that it ensues on the
obliteration of its cell-bulk from the gradual
deposit therein of the various earthy matters
of the sap, so freely submitted to the leaf,
both for aeration and digestion, and its
consequent inability longer to discharge its
function. These causes combined may have
the advantage of either in the explanation of
the effect.

Functionally the leaf is both the lung and
stomach of the plant: its cell-substance
between the veins of the upper surface is close
and compact, and into this is poured by the
vessels from the centre of the stem, the rising
sap, whence having undergone digestion it
passes to the lower stratum of loose cellular
tissue, to be submitted to the process of aeration,
ere it is removed by the returning vessels
into the bark where it receives its final
elaboration. The upper surface of the leaf,
therefore, represents the stomach, the lower,
the lungs.

It is not, however, an active agent merely
in the maturation of food obtained for it by
the root, but exercises a wonderful energy in
abstracting from the atmosphere the most
essential article of its own diet; that which,
being given out largely in man and animal's
breathing could not be rebreathed by either
without entailing their destruction; that
which, as the result of combustion (both
natural and artificial), would long since have
put an end to animal lifecarbonic acid gas;
were it not that the ever active function of
the leaf is and has been incessantly engaged
in removing the poisoning carbon from the
vapour, and restoring it as lung-nutriment,
in the form of pure oxygen. By this means
was the volcanic earth prepared for man's
habitation; thus is the quiet globe still
supported as his dwelling-place.

But, it may be demanded, if plants are
purifiers of the atmosphere, how comes it
that they are excluded from the bed-room on
the supposition that they prejudicially affect
the respiration of the sleeper? To this it
may be replied, that their ill effects on the
night-air are certainly much exaggerated;
during the sleep of plants, however,
when their leaves are drooping, their function is
suspended, light being the grand stimulant
to the exercise of the plant's vitality; the