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SOME CURIOUS AVERSIONS.
SOME CURIOUS AVERSIONS.
THE Secretary of Francis I. used to stop up his nostrils with bread if he saw a dish of apples, to prevent an otherwise inevitable bleeding at the nose. A Polish king had an antipathy to both the smell and sight of this wholesome fruit, and a family of Aquitaine had a hereditary hatred of it. A Flemish damsel was sadly troubled by an uncomfortable aversion to the smell of bread. Cheese, mutton, musk, and ambergris have been so repugnant to some nasal organs as to send their owners into convulsions.
Gretry, the composer, could not endure the scent of the rose, neither could Anne of Austria. The mere sight of the queen of flowers was too much for Lady Henage, bedchamber woman to Queen Bess; indeed, Kenelm Digby records that her cheek became blistered when some one laid a white rose upon it as she slept. Her ladyship's antipathy was almost as strong as that of the dame who fainted when her lover approached her wearing an artificial rose in his button-hole. A violet was a thing of horror to the eyes of the Princess de Lamballe; tansy was as abominable to an Earl of Barrymore; Scaliger grew pale before the watercress; and a soldier, who would have scorned to turn his hack on a foe, fled without shame from a sprig of rue.
A poor Neapolitan was always seized with a fit upon attempting to swallow a morsel of flesh meat of any kind, and nature thus condemned him to vegetarianism-a sorer infliction than that suffered by Guianerius, whose heart palpitated violently if he indulged in a pork dinner; or by the lady who could not taste udder of beef without her lips swelling to uncomfortable dimensions. Dr. Prout had a patient who declared honest mutton was as bad as poison to him. Thinking that was all fancy, the doctor administered the obnoxious meat under various disguises, but every experiment ended in a severe vomiting fit.
Another unlucky individual always had a fit of the gout a few hours after eating fish; and a Count d'Armstadt never failed to go off in a faint if he knowingly or unknowingly partook of any dish containing the slightest modicum of olive oil. A still worse
penalty attached to lobster salad in the case of a lady, for if she ventured to taste it at a dancing party her neck, before she returned to the ball-room, would be covered with ugly blotches, and her peace of mind destroyed for that evening.
According to Burton, a melancholy Duke of Muscovy fell instantly ill if he but looked upon a woman, and another anchorite was seized with a cold palsy under similar provocation. Weinrichur
tells of a nobleman who drew the line at old ladies, which did not prevent him losing his life in consequence of his strange prejudice; for, being called from the supper-table by some mischievous friends to speak to an old woman, he fell down directly when he beheld her, and died then and there. What an old woman did for this old hater, an eclipse did for Charles d'Escaro, Bishop of Langres. It was his inconvenient custom to faint at the commencement of a lunar eclipse, and remain insensible as long as it lasted. When he was very old and very infirm an eclipse took place. The good Bishop went off as usual, and never came to again. Old John Langley, who settled in Ireland in 1651, cherished an antipathy quite as obstinately, but had no idea of dying of it. By his last will and testament he ordered his corpse to be waked by fifty Irishmen, for each of whom two quarts of aqua vitæ were to be provided, in the hope that, getting drunk, they would take to killing one another, and do something toward lessening the breed.-Chambers's Journal.
OUR readers are aware of the density of the Dead Sea-its waters being almost a fully saturated solution of various salts. The great Salt Lake resembles it in buoyancy and in the general absence of life from it, though it seems that this absence of life is not absosolutely total in the latter. It may possibly yet be found that a similar exception obtains in the forner.
There are no fish in the great Salt Lake. The only living thing about its waters is a worm, about a quarter of an inch long. This worm shows up beautifully beneath the lens of a microscope. When a storm arises, the worms are driven ashore by thousands, and devoured by the black gulls. We found a pure stream pouring into the lake. It was filled with little chubs and shiners. The fish became frightened, and were driven down the brook into the briny lake. The instant they touched its waters they came to the surface, belly upwards, and died without a gasp. The water is remarkably buoyant. Eggs and potatoes float upon it like corks. Mr. Rood and myself stripped and went in swimming. I dived into the lake from a long pier, which had been built for the use of a small steamer that formerly plied upon the waters. The sensation was novel. The water was so salty that my eyes and ears began to smart, but so buoyant that I found no difficulty in floating, even when the air was exhausted in my lungs. As I
THE TREE AND THE POST.
struck out for the beach I felt as light as a feather. In spite of all that I could do my heels would fly out of the water. I found it impossible to stand upon the bottom. The lightness of the water and the surging of the waves forced my feet from under me. person who could not swim might be easily drowned in five feet of water. His head would go down like a lump of lead, while his feet would fly up like a pair of ducks. The water is as clear as the water of Seneca Lake; so clear that the bottom could be seen at the depth of twenty feet. When we reached the shore and crawled out upon the sand in the light of the sun, our bodies were quickly coated with salt. We were compelled to go to the little stream from which we had driven the chubs and shiners, and wash off in fresh water before we put on our clothes. Our hair was filled with grains of salt which could not be washed out. The Mormons occasionally visit the lake in droves for the purpose of bathing. Many of them say that their health is improved by leaving the salt upon their bodies, and dressing without wiping themselves with napkins.
THE TREE AND THE POST.
If an oak, a hundred years old, or any giant tree, is cut down, in the place where it stood there is a visible vacancy-a vacancy that is felt. For many years, as you look at the place, you miss it. The branches of the neighbouring trees do not fill the space, it is as if they shrunk from occupying the place where their mighty neighbour once stood. There are hollows even in the grounddepressions which show how massive were its roots, and how far they extended. But if you draw out of the ground a wooden post you soon forget where it stood. The surface of the ground is not disturbed, the landscape is not changed. There is no vacancy. No eye misses anything.
Art thou, dear reader, a cedar, planted in the house of the Lord, spreading around thee on every side a grateful and cooling shade? Art thou a palm tree, bringing forth blossoms and rich fruit, so that all pronounce blessings upon thee Art thou so
useful, that, if thou wert taken away, it would seem impossible to fill thy place? Or art thou only a dry post-a thing without leaf, or sap, or fruit-which might at any time be taken away, and no one would ask, "What is gone there?"
Blessed be God, that there is One who can guide the streams of life even into the dry post, so that it shall be covered with bloom.
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
Two KINDS OF GOODNESS.-There are two, and only two, kinds of goodness possible: the one is the goodness of those who have never erred; the other is the goodness of those who, having erred, have been recovered from their error. The first is the goodness of those who have never offended; and the second is the goodness of those who, having offended, have been reconciled. In the infinite possibilities of God's universe it may be that there are some have attained the first of these kinds of righteousness. It may be amongst the heavenly hierarchies there are those who have kept their first estate, whose performances have been commensurate with aspirations, who have never known the wretchedness and misery and degradation of a fall. But whether it be so or not, is a matter of no practical importance to us. It may be a question speculatively interesting, but it is practically useless, for it is plain that such righteousness never can be ours. only religion possible to man is the religion of penitence. righteousness of man cannot be the integrity of the virgin citadel which has never admitted the enemy; it can never be more than the integrity of the city which has been surprised and roused, and which, having expelled the invader with blood in the streets, has suffered great inward loss. Appointed to these two kinds of righteousness there are two kinds of happiness. To the first is attached the blessing of entire ignorance of the stain, pollution, and misery of guilt,-a blessed happiness, but it may be that it is not the greatest. To the happiness resulting from the other is added a greater strength of emotion; it may not have the calmness and peace of the first, and perhaps in point of intensity and fullness it is superior. It may be that the highest happiness can only be purchased through suffering; and the language of the Bible almost seems to authorize us to say, that the happiness of penitence is deeper and more blessed than the happiness of the righteousness that has never fallen could be.-Robertson.
THE POWER OF PRAYER.-John B was a drunkard; for more than twenty years he had been addicted to the use of the intoxicating cup, and, as a natural consequence, divided most of his time between the dram shop and the gaol. "There goes old B, drunk, as usual," was a common expression. Tears, prayers, expostulations, all seemed to be in vain. The evil spirit seemed to have absolute control of this poor wreck of humanity. The wife's pleadings were hushed by blasphemous oaths; the children's cry for bread by cruel blows; until both wife and children learned to shudder at the approach of him who should have been the comfort and support of the little household. All seemed dark, very dark, in that desolate home; yet God's Spirit was working there, and he was about to shed peace and joy around the family hearthstone. John came home from his carousal one night looking more sober than usual. After sitting silent for awhile he spoke: Wife, Mary, I'm going to take the pledge, and be a better man,