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5. And a host of white-robed, nameless things,
Come fluttering o'er me on gilded wings;
6 And tells me of such unbounded love,
And bids me come up to their home above;
LXXXII.-THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM.
1. An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's kitchen without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one summer's morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped.
2. Upon this the dial-plate (if we may credit the fable) changed countenance with alarm; the hands made a vain effort to continue their course; the wheels remained motionless with surprise; the weights hung speechless; each member felt disposed to lay the blame on the others.
3. At length the dial instituted an inquiry as to the cause of the stagnation, when hands, wheels, weights, with one voice, protested their innocence. But now a faint tick was heard below from the pendulum, who thus spoke:
4. “I confess myself to be the sole cause of the present stoppage, and I am willing, for the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. The truth is, that I am tired of ticking.”
5. Upon hearing this the old clock became so enraged that it was on the very point of striking.
5. “Lazy wire !” exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its hande.
7. “Very good ! ” replied the pendulum ; “it is vastly easy for you, Mistress Dial, who have always, as every body knows, set yourself up above me - it is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness! You, who have had nothing to do all the days of your life but to stare people in the face and to amuse yourself with watching all that goes on in the kitchen! Think, I beseech you, how you would like to be shut up for life in this dark closet, and to wag backwards and forwards year after year, as I do.”
, 8. “As to that,” said the dial, “is there not a window in your house for you to look through?”
9. “For all that,” resumed the pendulum, “it is very dark here, and, although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an instant, to look out of it. Besides, I am really tired of my way of life; and, if you wish, I will tell you how I took this disgust at my employment. I happened this morning to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in th course of only the next twenty-four hours; perhaps some of you can give me the exact sum.”
10. The minute-hand, being quick at figures, replied, “ Eighty-six thousand four hundred times.”
11. “Exactly so,” replied the pendulum. “Well, I appeal to you all, if the very thought of this was not
enough to fatigue one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by those of months and years, really it is no wonder if I felt discouraged at the pros pect; so, after a great deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I will stop.”
12. The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this harangue, but, resuming its gravity, thus replied: “Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious person as yourself should have been overcome by this sudden suggestion. It is true you have done a great deal of work in your time; so have we all, and are likely to do, which, although it may fatigue us to think of, the question is, whether it will fatigue us to do. Will you now give about half a dozen strokes, to illustrate my argument?”
13. The pendulum complied, and ticked six times in its usual pace. “Now," resumed the dial,“ may I be allowed to inquire if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you?”
14. “Not in the least,” replied the pendulum; “it is not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions."
15. “ Very good,” replied the dial; “but recollect that, though you may think of a million strokes in an instant, you are required to execute but one, and that, however often you may hereafter have to swing, a moment will always be given you to swing in.” 16. “Then, I hope," resumed the dial-plate, “we shall
“ all immediately return to our duty, for the maids will lie in bed if we stand idling thus."
17. Upon this the weights, who had never been accused of light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, and the pendulum began to swing; while a red beam of the
rising sun that streamed through a hole in the kitchen, shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up as if nothing had been the matter.
18. When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock, he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.
1. The soft and valuable article called eider-down is procured from the nests of a bird called the eider-duck. In Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, and other northern countries, these birds associate in vast flocks, their favorite localities usually being on small islands near the shore, to which they resort year after year. Here they construct nests so close to each other that, in some places, it is difficult for a man to walk among them without crushing their eggs.
2. The duck pulls the down from her breast to line the nest and cover her eggs. The inhabitants watch them, and visit the nests frequently to remove the down, which is as often replaced, until the duck has entirely removed all the warm covering from her breast. Her mate, the drake, also contributes his, which is taken away in the same manner.
3. About half a pound is procured from each nest. It combines with a peculiar lightness, softness and fineness, so great a degree of elasticity, that a quantity of it which might be compressed and hidden between two hands, will serve to stuff a small coverlet.
4. “ The eider-duck," says a traveler in Iceland,“ holds the very first rank among the useful birds of this cold region. Its chief breeding places are small, flat islands
on various parts of the coast, where it is safe from the attacks of its greatest enemy, the arctic fox.
5. “ These breeding places are private property, and have, some of them, descended from generation to generation in the same family, and have proved a rare source of wealth."
6. There are very strict laws for the protection of these birds in Iceland, and any persons found guilty of killing the birds or stealing the down are severely punished. Proprietors of certain small islands frequented by them reside alone among their feathered tenants, and allow no visitors to land without special permission.
7. All noise, shouting, or loud speaking is prohibited, as the birds will quickly forsake a locality in which they are disturbed Materials, like hay or straw, supplied for
. the construction of nests will sometimes induce them to leave one island for another.
8. The female lays five or six greenish eggs in a nest lined with her beautiful down, which the collectors remove, lifting the duck from her nest. She soon after commences to lay again, though this time only three or
9. These and the down are also removed, and she has her labor to perform the third time, assisted in lining her nest by the down of the drake, her own having been exhausted.
Two or three eggs are now allowed to remain in the nest, the rest having been preserved for winter use.
10. A small island on the north of Iceland (one of the chief resorts of the eider duck) is occasionally visited by travelers. It is represented as affording a most wonderful sight in the breeding season of these birds. Says one: “The ducks and their nests were everywhere some even piled in heaps, one upon another.
11. “ The solitary farm-house, occupied by the good