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and thereby save themselves from the misery of dependence, and from that equal or worse misery of sinking down, suddenly or with slow torture, from that position and way of life which education and habits of refinement have made almost more necessary to them than mere bread. It would be difficult, and it is not needful, to calculate the probable number of educated women now living in our own country whose case is such as we have in view. We imagine that very few of our readers will be at a loss to recall to mind one or more such persons within their own circle, however narrow it may

be. No one will deny or doubt that there is a very large number of them altogether, and that though they form comparatively a small class in the entire community, they hold so important a relation to it, and are besides so keenly susceptible of a thousand pangs which the dull and uncultivated escape, in whatever condition they find themselves, that to study their interests is a task well worthy of the highest wisdom and the purest love, and fitted to engage the best sympathies of all. Indeed, the widest possible interest and sympathy may well be awakened by the consideration that every day makes additions to the number of this class, and that so long as death and unforeseen inevitable misfortune hold their own in this world, no family can boast itself of perennial exemption from the common liability, or be sure that one or more of its own members will not one day be the victims. Yesterday perhaps the blow of misfortune fell on the thriving merchant; his business is broken up, his fortune, built up by the labour of long years, is dissolved in a moment, and his future is a blank, to be filled up as best it may. To-day the clergyman is struck down by death; to-morrow it may be the physician or the lawyer. In all such cases there may be wives and daughters and sisters, who, unfitted by delicate nurture and the habits and associations of refined society for rough usage and hard work and contact with the coarse work-day world, must yet face such things or die. How many perish in the miserable struggle it is impossible to guess. They suffer for the most part quietly, and quietly at last they die. Only now and then a paragraph in the newspapers gives us a glimpse of the tragedies of this kind that are too plentiful around us.

What kind of task can be devised to meet the case of this class of sufferers? It must be something capable of being pursued privately and at home: it must be not purely mechanical, but must have some intellectual interest, must be better than toy-making and pastime, that the mind may be kept healthfully active and in a state of animated interest; and in order to be remunerative it must meet and



satisfy some existing want or taste. The several tasks we are going to propose will, we think, fulfil all these requirements. They all lie within the domain of natural history; and the first is

The collection, classification, and mounting of natural objects as specimens and illustrations of science.

Many of our readers have, no doubt, frequently seen and admired the pretty ornaments made with seaweeds tastefully arranged on cards; or have amused themselves by turning over the leaves of a portfolio on which favourite ferns are mounted; or have glanced with delight over collections of bright-hued butterflies, and sparkling insects, and rose-lipped shells. Well, let the time, and the patience, and the skill, and the refined taste which have gone to the composition of these elegant toys be turned to better account. Instead of choosing objects at random merely for their prettiness or their singularity, and making playthings of them, choose them methodically, and make them helps to the study of nature. Select a science, say botany, or entomology, or geology, or conchology, whichever you know most of, or are most attracted to, or have the best means of studying practically; and make it your object to collect and mount for preservation classified sets, as complete as possible, of the species comprised in certain genera or orders of plants, insects, fossils, or shells, each set forming either a trustworthy museum of one genus or order, or part of a more comprehensive systematic collection.

Or, the plan may be—and this will probably be the best adapted to the purposes and opportunities of those whose case we are considering-to give the collections a distinctive local character. Let each collector devote herself to one or more classes of natural objects,—the ferns, the mosses, the grasses, the seaweeds, the seashells, the fossils, the insects, or what not—of the particular district in which she lives. And let no one for a moment fancy that such 'homestead,' wherever it be, would be a too limited and barren field for the work. Nature is rich beyond our belief, and there is no spot of earth that is not sufficiently full of life and living forms and beautiful facts to engage the observation and task the study of a lifetime. This is no less certainly to be affirmed of the neighbourhood of our great towns, London included, than of our rural mansions and cottages. There is no doubt that such special investigations of nature in limited fields would lead to many new discoveries; and the local collections would be very important auxiliaries to the highest scientific studies. Just in the same way as the histories of parishes and counties and


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families may form valuable contributions to the history of a

. nation; and as the histories of nations in their turn are the elements of the vaster history of the human race.

A second task which we think it worth while to suggest, as peculiarly fitted for the pursuit of educated women, is the preparation of slides for the microscope.

More attention is now directed to the study of natural history in all its departments than was ever before paid to it. And observers are everywhere eagerly availing themselves of the microscope, as their most powerful and now, indeed, indispensable auxiliary. The very great demand for microscopes has led not only to a greatly increased production of them, but to immense improvements in their construction; and, what is of importance to almost all who need them, to the making of very serviceable instruments at a surprisingly low price. Objects properly prepared and mounted are of course in great demand; indeed, it is said that the demand for slides is now considerably beyond the supply. A large number of buyers no doubt seek nothing further than occasional amusement, and it is well that amusement so rational should be sought and furnished. But what we wish now to point out is that much more than mere amusement is easily to be had in this field. Hitherto, objects have been generally selected for what we may call, in the phrase of the day, certain sensation' qualities. For example, the compound eye of the bee, the tongue of the house fly, the antennæ of a cockchafer, eggs of various moths, scales of brilliant butterflies, globules of yeast, common cheese mites, and so forth. But it yet remains to reap a rich harvest of knowledge, both full and exact, in a wiser and methodical employment of the microscope. In Botany, ex. gr., take any common hedge-side plant, chickweed, daisy, pimpernel ; and let a set of slides be prepared for the exhibition of all its parts : root, stem, leaf, leaf-skeleton, flower-stalk, bud, flower; the component parts of the flower separately, viz., calyx, corolla, stamen, pistil; and, more minutely, let there be petal, pollen, &c.; then, fruit and seed. Sections also of the root, longitudinal and transverse, of the stem, of the stalk, the fruit, and the seed. Similar sets may be prepared of the beautiful mosses and of the smaller species of ferns and seaweeds. In entomology let a like plan be pursued. Instead of merely pleasant pastime and fruitless wonder over curiosities, let the object be the acquisition and diffusion of more exact knowledge of any and every

fact and detail of nature. Devote a set of slides to the house fly : exhibit the head, the eye, the mouth, the antennæ, the tongue, the wing, the leg, the foot, &c. The study may be carried


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1. Brigand Life in Italy. A History of Bourbonist Reaction.

Edited, from Original and Authentic Documents, by
Count Maffei. 2 vols. London: Hurst and Blackett.

2 vols.

2. Brigandage in South Italy. By David Hilton.

London: Low, Son, and Marston.

3. La Camorra. Par Marc Monnier.


Paris : Michel Lévy

4. English Travellers and Italian Brigands : A Narrative of

Capture and Captivity. By W.J. C. Moens. 2 vols.
London: Hurst and Blackett.



5. Discorsi detti alla Camera dei Deputati nelle Tornate del

4, 5, 8, e 11 Gennaio, 1864, dai Ministri dellInterno e di Grazia e Giustizia, e dai Deputati Massari e Castagnola, nella Discussione sulla Legge per la Ripressione del Brigantaggio. Torino.


F Gray was right in saying that where ignorance is bliss,

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our nomadic tendencies, and to stay at home instead of roving through every clime. Travel is a sad disillusioniser, at least in one respect. It may answer our purpose so far as regards the countries we visit, but it rarely does so with regard to the inhabitants. The picturesque devotee, who, in Roberts's pictures, kneels and prays so fervently before the gorgeous altar of some splendid cathedral, turns out to be a dirty beggar, who, while she mutters her prayers, holds out an 'itching palm' for such stray coin as we may be foolish enough to give. The Bedouin Arab, that simple-hearted

the desert, as we used to deem him, proves to be child-like only in his ignorance and acquisitiveness. The brigand, whose bronzed face, piercing eyes, raven locks, and broad-brimmed, conical hat used to be found in the portfolio of every school-girl, we now know to be a thief, and very probably a murderer. The first delusion every continental traveller has discovered for himself. Mr. Palgrave has lately exposed the second; while, as for the third, two English gentlemen had a few months ago very good reason to know that of all sham heroes the Italian brigand is the greatest sham, at least since the days when Byron made pirates the idols of romantic misses and downy youths. The narrative


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