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wise, without doubt, been borrowed from animals. The simple operation of rowing a boat by means of oars, is seen in the way in which fishes push themselves on by means of their fins; and when skilful sailors feather their oars in the back motion to prevent the speed of the vessel from being checked by the resistance of the air, this is an exact imitation of the motion of a bird's wings, from which it probably has its name,-and the use of sails might have been first borrowed from the Nautilus.
“ Learn from the birds what food the thickcts yield,
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, It is not my design to send you a description of the Eddistone light-house, as I doubt not, that you are able to furnish your readers with one, if it should meet your purpose; but, as you have often shewn us how the works of Nature (I ought to say Providence) furnish a guide to the works of art, it may be interesting to know that it is exactly so in this wonderful work of the Eddistone light-house, near Plymouth. Perhaps your readers do not all know that this light-house is built on a rock in the sea, and that the former buildings were washed away by the violence of the waves. At length it came into the mind of the architect who built the present light-house to examine the 'sort of form in which it had pleased Providence to fix an oak tree in the
ground, as this seemed most particulary capable of resisting the power of storms and tempests. The present light-house is built in that very form. It is not built perpendicularly, or straight and upright from the ground, but curved in the same sort of curve that the stock of an oak tree is fixed in the ground by : and the additional strength and security that is gained thereby, is known to every one who has seen that extraordinary building, or who is acquainted with its history.
THE ART OF SWIMMING, It has been said that every man could swim if he pleased, but that people are frightened and do not try, and that it is on that account that they do not swim.-It is not difficult to understand what is meant by this. The reason why any thing sinks in water, is because it is heavier than the water; the reason why any thing rises in water, is because it is lighter than the water. Whether, therefore, any thing falls or rises in any fluid, depends upon the weight of that thing compared with the fluid that it is in ; this comparative weight is what is called specific gravity; it is the weight of any thing compared with the weight of another thing of the same size. Take a pail of water, hold a solid piece of wood in it, half way down. The space that this piece of wood takes up, was before taken up with water, and then all was at rest. Now if this piece of wood be exactly of the same weight as the bulk of water that filled the space before, then it will neither rise nor fall, it will continue exactly in the place where you left it when you took your hand away. But it will proka. bly be lighter than its size in water, then it will rise; if it were a heavy sort of wood, or if it had iron or lead in it, it would be heavier than water,
and would therefore sink. Thus most sorts of wood, feathers, cork, and such things, rise in water; and stones, lead, &c. sink. It is for this reason that balloons rise in air, because the air which we live in, is a kind of fluid or liquid ; and a balloon is filled with a lighter sort of air, and therefore it rises; but most things are heavier than common air, and therefore they sink. Now then, it is plain that if the body of a man be lighter than water, he will naturally float at the top of the water :--if he be heavier, he will naturally sink. Now the real truth is, that the human body is lighter than the water, and therefore ought always to float. And, certainly, if we observe, we shall find that it is
difficult for a man to keep himself at the bottom of the water-he naturally rises. If he did not naturally float on the top of water, all the motion in the world of his hands in swimming would not keep him up; if a boat is loaded so heavily as to sink, no motion of the oars will keep it up. The motion of the hands in swimming is to push the body forward, (like oars in a boat) not to make it float. What is the reason then that every body cannot swim ? Why, the truth is, that, though the body of a man is lighter than its size in water, yet it is not much lighter. Suppose we say that the weight of the human body is to the weight of water, as about 7 to 8, then we may suppose the body naturally to lie about seven parts out of eight under the water. Now then it is plain that some management is required, that the part which is above the water should be the face, that there may be the power of breathing through the nose or mouth; and, moreover, if much water gets into the body, and takes place of the air that was there before, then the body does become specifically heavier than the water, and then it will sink; and this is the reason why people who fall into the water dip and rise up several times; and, when they have taken in much water, they sink to
the bottom. People who have not learned to swim are, of course, greatly alarmed when they are in deep water, and have not presence of mind to try to put themselves in a right position, and thus they soon are filled with water, and are drowned. If a person could be collected enough to throw himself on his back, and lie straight along, his face would be out of the water, and he might there float, till assistance arrived. It is said that there are instances of very little children, who did not know their danger, lying quietly on their backs in water, and thus floating for a length of time without the smallest injury. If we can thus be persuaded that the human body naturally floats, the art of swimming will not appear so difficult as we are sometimes apt to think it; and more persons will perhaps be encouraged to attempt to acquire a faculty which may be the means of saving their own lives, or those of their fellow-creatures.
It is this comparison of weight between fish, and the water which they live in, that enables them to live and move in water as they do : and Providence has supplied them with a most beautiful contrivance by which they can rise or sink: this is the air bladder when this is filled with air, the fish is lighter than the water, but he can get rid of this air, and then he sinks, and thus he moves with perfect freedom to the surface or the depths of the stream which he inhabits. For the same purpose, the Almighty contriver of all things has furnished the Nautilus with a chamber in his shell, which he can fill with air or with water, and so rise to the top of the sea or sink to the bottom. The more we examine the works of Providence, the more we find them to abound in wonder and in beautiful contrivance,
LIGHT SHINING OUT OF DARKNESS.
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
And rides upon the storm.
of never-failing skill,
And works his sov’reign will.
The clouds ye so much dread
In blessings on your head.
But trust him for his grace:
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour;
But sweet will be the flow'r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
And he will make it plain.
VERSES ON THE PARABLES.
It is awful to hear of the Talents receiv'd,
of the gifts which our Lord'has bestowed for our use; Let us mourn that so oft we his Spirit have griev'd,
And see that our Talent some profit produce. Next, the Prodigal points to a haven of rest,
For each soul thai has stray'd from the heavenly bound;' Where the contrite in Christ's spotless robe may be dress’d,
And the Father rejoice for the son that is found.