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HABITS OF GERMAN AUTHORS.
HABITS OF GERMAN AUTHORS.
THE German knows, as no one else, how to subsidize others into his service, thereby saving a vast amount of time and purely mechanical labour. Almost invariably he has an amanuensis, and frequently more than one, to whom he dedicates or gives in pretty full outline what he proposes to embalm in print. Bunsen, who, despite his long residence in England, and identification with English life, never forgot his German method of authorship-used to have half-a-dozen secretaries at work for him. All he did was to give them the general directions, and they thus multiplied his years. Moreover, he had scholars at work for him who lived in various parts of the country. He told them what points he wanted to fortify, what theses they must elaborate; and they did it gladly -for, poor, half-starved fellows, they knew that Bunsen could pay them well for their toil. Many of the more solid works in German literature are produced by the professors in the universities. These men, almost to a unit, have the services of a promising student (or two) of literary taste, who spends his spare bours in searching up authorities, conducting correspondence, getting the master's own hieroglyphics into shape for the printer, and examining libraries far and near for information to pack into the volume at hand. While the real author is responsible for every word that goes out under his own name, and can justly claim the parentage of the whole idea and plan and scope of the work, he is spared much of the drudgery incident to all book-making, which is not the immediate fruit of imagination. Where history is to be ransacked, facts to be grouped, and matters of pure detail to be gleaned from various sources, often another could do better service than the author. The real writer is the Powers who furnishes the model, and yet never himself uses the chisel on the block of marble, but takes good care to have the merely muscular part of the execution done by others. His eyes go over all carefully, but he saves his physical energies from exhaustion.
The German author takes care to have social refreshment. Without this he would soon fall amid his gigantic literary plans. He cultivates clubbable qualities, and has his circle of friends, with whom he spends evenings and the afternoons of festive days. He seldom works with his pen at night, and generally not after dinner. He crowds his labours into the morning hours, and where he leaves anything for the afternoon, it is a light matter-the trim
HABITS OF GERMAN AUTHORS.
ming up of the grand trunk he had felled before noon. Reading, comparing authorities, and such easy parts of his labour, he can do without weariness after his after-dinner smoke. But for dictation, downright authorship, he commonly takes the forenoon; and urgent must be your demand if you get a welcome from him then. He often has a placard on his door at this time, exhorting all trespassers on his time not to enter unless their business is very important, and they are willing to leave very soon again. His rule is to spend all his afternoons and evenings with his family or literary friends. He is a grand diner-out; knows how to occupy two hours at the table, and four or six hours in digesting what he finds on it. He plays all manner of games with his children, and serves as donkey and what not for them; goes to the readingroom, and drops asleep over the "Vierteljahrsschrift;" makes a foot excursion with his wife and children to a neighbouring village, and wakes up next morning with fifty brand-new pages at his tongue's end. Thus he goes through his volume, half-playing and half-working, but always absorbing; and when he has finished it he does not need a journey to another continent to bring him elasticity, nor does he shiver like a slave beneath the critic's lash. His nerves are strong, his blood far from torpid, his spirits high, his brain ready for anything. He would begin a cyclopedia on the shortest notice, and fulfil his publisher's best hopes.
The German author, moreover, owes a large degree of productiveness to his simple diet and regular hours for sleep and rising. He rises early and never touches any work until he has taken a cup of coffee and a biscuit. He never puts his brain and eyes into harness, and under spur and whip, without little food to start with. At ten he takes a light lunch, such as a sandwich of bread and cheese, and goes to work again, and sticks to it until about one o'clock. Then it is all over for that day. He has performed an immense amount of literary work. Six solid hours, and not one minute lost in painful digestion of ham and eggs, beef steak, hot rolls, etc. As for hot bread, he never saw any in all probability; for all the bread comes from the baker's and is served cold twice a day. If by any oversight he should eat a couple of steaming soda-biscuits, it would cost him a whole day's work; for he never could bring himself to the belief that he has the capacity to digest hot bread. He would moan and smoke, and declare, in spite of the papers, that the French are marching straight for Berlin. The dinner is plain, but plentiful; the supper is light, with black bread as the staple. With the fibre and strength from one day's food he does the work of the next; hence digestion gives him no trouble or thought. He no more
THE INTELLECT OF BIRDS.
thinks of his stomach than of Barbarossa's falcons. Of course he smokes a great deal; but even this, I have noticed, he pushes off largely into the play-hours of the afternoon.-Dr. Hurst.
THE INTELLECT OF BIRDS.
NONE of the lower animals, except the monkey, seems to have so much imitative power, particularly in relation to sounds (the imitative power of monkeys has more of capacity in it for imitating gestures) as parrots, mocking-birds, ravens, and other tribes of birds. Curiously enough, this seems to be more or less a quality of tame, as distinguished from wild birds. At least, Mr. Leith Adams says that parrots, the cleverest of all these imitators when in captivity, "are not by any means given to copy the call-notes of other birds in their native woods;" so that imitation would seem to be the channel into which their intellectual energy is apt to be directed when they are robbed of their natural occupation. That is, we suppose, their perceptions being very acute, and their voice well developed, directly they are cut off from their usual occupations, they begin to imitate all they hear, by way of exercising their latent faculties. That birds can go beyond mere imitation, and are to some extent accomplished actors, the evidence as to all those birds which by false pretences of agitation lure the trapper away from the vicinity of their nest, completely shows. Mr. Leith Adams bears witness to this, and tells besides the story of the trick played by the ruby-throated humming-bird of Canada, which, if captured, "feigns death by shutting its eyes and remaining quite motionless," and then suddenly makes a vigorous effort to escape. This shows not merely a dramatic gift, but a distinct purpose in the use of it. Ruses of a similar kind are, however, not unexampled in other animals than birds. Cats, for instance, constantly feign sleep for the purpose of catching birds or mice more effectually.
On the whole, however, it may be safely said that birds seem to have much more capacity for perceiving beauty, much more gift for social enjoyment, a finer knowledge of distance and direction, and more power of vocal imitation, than any other order of animals of which we know anything. On the other hand, they have less sense of power and sympathy than the dog, and, therefore, much less sense of responsibility to their superiors, whom they often love, but seldom serve. Perhaps we might generalize these mental qualifications by saying that birds are chiefly educated
by perceptions-wonderfully accurate, indeed, but still of things at a distance, of things at an almost telescopic range; that their rapidity of flight makes them creatures of a wide experience but not of full experience of any species but their own; and that, as a result, they cannot know men well enough to learn as from men as dogs, and cats, and elephants, and even other orders of creatures learn. Birds, in short, get bird's-eye views of the earth; and bird's-eye views, however instructive to those who have previously mastered the details carefully, do not exactly furnish a good basis for progressive knowledge.
THE ETERNAL HOME.
ALONE! to land alone upon that shore!
And sounds all strange and new;
Alone! to land alone upon that shore!
Our disembarking on that awful strand,
Alone? No! God hath been there long before;
For us who were to come
To our eternal home;
Oh! is He not the life-long Friend we know
Alone? The God we trust is on that shore,
Than we have trusted those
On whom we leaned most in our earthly strife;
So not alone we land upon that shore;
-F. W. Faber.
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
HUGH MILLER'S FIRST LESSON IN ASTRONOMY.-The introduction of the modern boy to the overcoming facts of astronomy is almost invariably an epoch opened in his life. I remember my own small initiation well. It was through the medium of Chalmer's Astronomical Discourses prematurely read. I had been somewhat prepared for them by a good father's all too inadequate lessons. But the terrible hold that the great preacher's revolving career of explication took upon my youthful mind can never be forgotten. Like a rushing wind it sucked me up the welkin in a state of intellectual intoxication. I was made drunk with the joy of new images, new fears, new hopes, without end; and all this, while lying on the floor of an empty room. One summer evening, soon afterwards, I had been playing long and lustily at "Hie spy," and when my companions had retired to their beds I lay down on my back in an empty cart opposite the house. The city of God had come out, unawares. These were the abysses full of stars, many-sized and many-coloured, stretching from before me, with beginning but with no end, with ponderous speed that made one dizzy to think of it, with splendour that immense distance alone rendered endurable-and all swathed in that fathomless, billowless, speechless light. Morbidly feeling myself drawn towards the centre of the earth by gravitation, I could not move till a sudden panic of awe drove me home in terror. The punctual house-mother had been taking tea at a neighbour's, but had just returned in time for family worship. I rushed to her knees, and, kneeling, unbid, to say my prayers at her feet, could not find a word to say, but burst into a passion of tears, hiding my head with sobs in the warm lap. That hour of feeling had its share in shaping my whole lite.
AFFLICTIONS SANCTIFIED.-As lilies grow best in the valley, so some Christians grow in grace and thrive best in the valley of humiliation. Some are weak, and if planted on the mountain-top, with the sun of prosperity shining on them, it may be too much for their strength, and cause weakness and langour. In times of health and prosperity we are apt to grow self-confident, and forget our entire dependence on God. We sometimes turn aside from the narrow path which leadeth to life, and get entrapped and entangled in the by-path meadows of sin and the world; but every step we take we are learning by sad experience that the world is a hard master, and does not give us just returns for the service we render; but like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord watches over us, and will not leave His own to perish in the wilderness. He watches over us and brings us back in His own way. He knoweth our frame, and what we need. One is brought into the furnace of affliction. A loving Father is sitting by as the refiner, moderating the heat, watching the process. In time, the pure metal is brought to light, the dross consumed, the gold refined, the soul is saved; and now the Father says, Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver. I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Oh! the blessing of sanctified affliction when we can see Jesus