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Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
-R. Southey (1774–1843).
THE SPECTATOR. — PART II.
ITS MARVELLOUS POPULARITY.
1. It is not strange that the success of the Spectator should have been such as no similar work has ever obtained. The number of copies daily distributed was at first three thousand. It subsequently increased, and had risen to near four thousand when the stamp tax was imposed. That tax was fatal to a crowd of journals. The Spectator, however, stood its ground, doubled its price, and, though its circulation fell off, still yielded a large revenue both to the state and to the authors.
2. For particular papers, the demand was immense; of some, it is said, twenty thousand copies were required. But this was not all. To have the Spectator served up every morning with the bohea and rolls, was a luxury for the few. The majority were content to wait till essays enough had appeared to form a volume. Ten thousand copies of each volume were immediately taken off, and new editions were called for.
3. It must be remembered that the population of England was then hardly a third of what it now is. The number of Englishmen, who were in the habit of reading, was probably not a sixth of what it now is. A shopkeeper or a farmer who found any pleasure in literature was a rarity. Nay, there was doubtless more than one knight of the shire whose country seat did not contain ten books, receipt books and books on farriery included. In these circumstances, the sale of the Spectator must be considered as indicating a popularity quite as great as that of the most successful works of Sir Walter Scott and Mr. Dickens in our own day.--Lord Macaulay.
Questions on the lesson :—What is said of the popularity of the Spectator as compared with other similar works? How many copies were daily distributed? What arrested its circulation? Of some numbers how many were sold? Besides the daily circulation, in what other way were the papers disseminated? What proportion of Englishmen then took interest in literature? What is said of its popularity as compared with the works of Scott, etc.
1. This passeth year by year, and day by day,
Till it fell onés in a morrow of May
And saith, “ Arise, and do thine observance." 2. This maked Emelie have remembrance
To do honour to May and for to rise.
yard. And in the garden at the sun uprist
She walketh up and down where as her list.
-Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?–1400). onés for once is, like twice, thrice, a genitive form. The spelling in es is the earlier.
morrow, morning. Strove, vied.
sene is an old form of the infinitive which originally ended in n. Compare han for huve.
a-night, at night; compare a-days in now a-days.
honour: in Chaucer's time many words had the accent not on the first syllable as now, but on that which was accented in the French or Latin words from which they were derived.
yclothed: in Old English y was the sign of the past participle. It was originally ge as in German.
devise, to consider, to contemplate. uprist seems to be for uprisen—a weak for a strong conjugation.
subtle is not used here in its modern figurative sense of crafty or artful, but in the oriyinal meaning of skilfully woven. (Lat. subtilis for subtexilis, finely wove
oven.) hevenlich, in heavenly manner. ly of adjectives was criginally lic
The adverbial form was lice. The spelling in the above passage has been modernised so far as seemed possible. Chaucer's spelling is yere for year, fe'le for fell, morue for morrow, fayrer for fairer, lilie for lily, grene for green, newe for new, strof for strore, here for hue, hem for them, er for ere, redy for ready, wol for will, seson for season, gentil for gentle, herte for heart, slepe for sleep, sterte for start, thin for thine, yelwe for yellow, here for hair, gesse for guess, gardin for garden, doun for down.
1. To the vesture of leaves with which plants are clothed is due all the splendour of the vegetable creation. Their flowers, indeed, form a charming ornament which attracts and delights the eye, but in the grander scenes of Nature, where she unrolls before us her most splendid landscapes, her sombre forests or her vast plains of verdure, they remain unnoticed.
2. Respiration, one of the most important functions of vegetable as of animal life, is effected through the leaves. They are the lungs of the plant. The air, from which the carbonic acid gas is decomposed in order that the carbon may be appropriated for the nourishment of the plant, is admitted into the interior of the leaf through mouths cr stomatı, distributed over its under surface. When the weather is dry these mouths are closed, lest more of the moisture of the plant should disappear by evaporation than is essential to its well-being.
3. The leaf is composed of two parts—the blade (lamina) which spreads out in an endless variety of forms, and the leaf-stalk (petiole) which supports it. In some plants the blade is naturally perforated so as to appear like a skeleton leaf or an elegant net-work, as in the curious lace or lattice plant of Madagascar. Water plants have sometimes their submerged leaves transformed into thin hair-like filaments which may be seen gently floating, like the tresses of some Naiad, beneath the limpid water. Those leaves, however, of the same plant which are exposed to the air have an entirely different character, as any one may see in the common water crowfoot whose delicate white flowers ar
cuous on the surface of many of our ponds and streams.
4. If we transport ourselves to the banks of the Amazon in South America, we shall find leaves on its surface so large and continuous as to form what seems like an unbroken plain of verdure. These leaves belong to the Victoria Regia. They are almost circular in form, and from six to eight feet in diameter. The upper surface is
of a beautiful green, and seen at a distance, the leaves look like so many floating tables covered with velvet.
5. The strength possessed by these leaves is such that they are able to support a great weight without sinking. Aquatic birds rest and even pass the night on them, enjoying the cool which is always grateful in those burning regions. The daughter of an illustrious botanist tells