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condition, and no intervals of stem whatever and the delicate portion or blade into a clubare formed between them. The vegetative like body called an anther. This anther constage of youth is passed away for ever, and the sists of two lobes or cells, which correspond plant has now entered upon the reproductive to either side of the lamina leaf-blade, and period of its life, or the
lying between them you will notice a prolonPERIOD OF PUBERTY.—This epoch in plant gation of the filament called the connectivum life clearly corresponds to the same interesting or connective, which answers to the middle of and critical period in human life, when man the leaf. The inside of the anther is filled attains his greatest strength, and woman is with fertilising matter called pollen. The most gentle, graceful, beautiful. " All flesh stamens are called collectively the Andræcium is as grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as (åvip, a man, oikos, habitation). the flower of the field.” Isaiah xl. 6.
The Pistil.—This consists of a leaf folded on In the flower the leaves are crowded together its midrib, the two sides of the lamina or blade in order that they may communicate in a pecu- of which are united at their margins to form liar manner with each other, and in consequence
The summit of this folded leaf of the gradual expiration of the vegetative force denuded of its epidermis corresponds to the in that direction. Hence the change of struc- stigma of the pistil. The interjacent portion ture or departure from the ordinary type of leaf een the ovary and stigma is called the increases as we pass from the outside to the style. The pistils are always situated in the inside of the flower; for the vegetative forces are centre of the flower ; when both stamens and gradually enfeebled in the flower, and reduced pistils are present in the same flower the former to zero in the centre, where the inetamorphosis always surround the latter. The ovary of the of the leaf is at a maximum, or the leaf attains pistil is so named, because it contains the its highest stage of organic perfection.
ovules, which after fertilisation are transWe select for analysis one of the more highly formed into seed. organised flowers, where all the parts usually The process of fertilisation.—This takes place described are present. We must however say when all the floral leaves have arrived at matuthat these parts, though well defined in some rity, and is as follows : flowers, are more or less blended together in When the flower is fully expanded, at first others. Nature laughs at all such distinctions, the anthers of the stamens are unruptured, and we seek in vain to confine her within the moist, and closed ; but, as the stamens approach fetters of an artificial nomenclature. The follow- maturity, the anthers become dry, open their ing distinction of parts, is, however, very con- cells, and discharge their pollen on the stigvenient for beginners. The flower, then, consists matic surface of the pistils, which about this of four sets of progressively metainorphosed time exudes a clammy fluid which serves to leaves. The two outer sets which are generally retain the pollen-grains. These grains absorb the most showy, are simply the envelopes the exuded fluid, swell out, and finally emit which surround the true butanical flower. They delicate tubes, which penetrate the loose celluare called the calyx and corolla. Let us con
lar tissue of the style, and convey the fertilissider each.
ing fluid contents of the pollen-grains to the The Calyx.—This, when well-defined, con- ovules in the ovary of the pistil. The ovules stitutes the outermost cluster of the floral having received the impregnating matter, the leaves. Although greatly diminished in size, embryos or miniature-plants begin to form in the leaves of the calyx not uufrequently retain them, and the ovules are then gradually transtheir green colour. Individually they are called formed into seed. With the discharge of the sepals (lat. sepalum, a leaf), collectively the pollen, the act of fertilisation is accomplished. calyx (gr. kálvę, a cup), because they form a The vital forces from this period begin to be cup-like involucre around the next set of enfeebled, and all the phenomena mark another leaves, which are called collectively
well-marked change in plant life, a gradual The Corolla (lat. corolla, a garland), and subsiding of all energetic life movements, which individually petals (néralov, a leaf). These are culminates in death and disorganisation. Our the most showy leaves in the cluster, consti- plant therefore clearly enters upon tuting the part which is popularly considered THE PERIOD OF OLD AGE.—In all the previous as the flower.
Thus the red petals of the rose, stages of its existence it was a beautiful subthe yellow petals of the butter-cup, the white ject for contemplation, but it is particularly petals of the lily, constitute the corolla of those interesting as a study when it approaches the plants.
close of its allotted period of life.
What! The Stamens.—These are situated imme- wben its leaves are withering and falling from diately within the corolla. In the stamen the its stem, when its flowers are losing their brilstalk of the leaf is converted into a filament, liant hues and inimitable colouring, and when
the whole vegetative economy is languishing ? the proper conditions of temperature, air, and Yes, even then it becomes, if possible, an object moisture, when our little friend wakes up, of deeper admiration! Why do the flowers re-appears on the earth's surface, running lose their beauty, the petals detach themselves through precisely the same instructive and and fall, the stamens experience the same ever deeply interesting life-movements. And degradation, the stigmas and styles of the we must add, in conclusion, we are always pistils disappear equally with the other parts ? glad to see our little friend, to whom we are It is because these parts have done the work becoming every season increasingly attached. which was assigned them by nature ; and also,
HARLAND COULTAS. for this reason, a new vitality has now been established in the impregnated parts to their
LONG EXPECTED. detriment. Take, as an example, the forming pod of the common garden pea, which every
In expectation, all the year, body knows makes its appearance after the
I watch and wait, I watch and wait; flowers have faded and fallen. That pod is I keep within a court of state ; the ovary of a pistil. The calyx will be found Perchance, e'en now, the time is near. at the bottom of that pod, and at its top the remains of the style and stigma. Its two For who can tell the very day surfaces are at first flat and parallel with each When he shall sail love's tropic seas, other, but as the ovules in its interior grow in Borne on by sweetest fantasies size, they become convex. The sap from the To golden regions far away? leaves now passes through what was formerly the peduncle or flower-stalk into the green walls The spring-time comes, and hope is high, of this pod or ovary, which acts like a leaf on For winter's snows are past and gone,
The summer seems to call me on, the atmosphere, and haring been rendered
The violets whisper “She is nigh.” there additionally nutritious, the currents finally meet and pour their contents together into the little cord of vessels, or seed-stalk,
Sweet summer cometh, crowned with flowers, which attaches the ovule, or forming seed, to
And then my heart of hearts is gay,
For to myself I often say, the maternal wall of the ovary, and which may
"My love will choose the summer hours." be very properly called the umbilical cord, or vegetable navel-string. The currents of sap are all converging to those little seed-stalks, to
But summer fades to autumn's gold,
Yet still I watch and still I wait; those forming plant embryos contained in the
I think _“My love, she cometh late, seed, and the little store of starch is being The days are short, the nights are cold.” prepared which is to support their infant-life. Nature carries on this process until the em
Then winter follows, dark and sere, bryos, their food, and the wrappers, or seed- And then I trim my beacon-light, covers, are all perfected, the transformation of To guide her through the darkest night, the ovule into the seed is then accomplished,
And so I measure out the year. and all the movements of life cease. We must add that the seed-vessel as it
And thus the rolling years pass by : matures always assumes such an organisation At times I think “She will not come, as is calculated to effect the dispersion of the
Perchance the way is wearisome seed which has been thus brought to maturity.
And dark, beneath a wintry sky.” Sometimes the seed-vessel opens with a springlike mechanism, as in the furze-bush and But yet I know she comes from far, garden balsam, and the seeds are projected to
As surely as the silver light,
Flashing for ages through the night, a considerable distance from the plant. Who
From some yet undiscovered star. has not seen the wind performing its duties as a faithful servant of Nature, and transporting the seeds of the willow-herb and dandelion And so I keep my court of state, from their parent plants ? The beautiful
With all my heart in solemn dress;
With everything in readiness, stellate down attached to those seeds—what
I watch and wait, I watch and wait; is this but a contrivance to catch the breeze? Here we must stop. We are entering a new and vast field where Nature displays Gazing towards the eastern sky, her usual provident care.
If any of the in
Waiting the coming of the morn,
The first faint flushing of the dawn, numerable seeds thus scattered abroad find a
Waiting and watching-till I die. suitable home, all is quiot until the return of
Hewlet, and lastly, Lord Stair. Against some WHO WAS THE EXECUTIONER OF of these the accusation is, of course, utterly
KING CHARLES THE FIRST ? groundless ; but on the trial of the regicides CASES of “historic doubt" seem to be the after the Restoration, a distinct attempt was legitimate property of the novelist. The made to fix the act of beheading on William mystery which has enveloped the executioner Hewlet. The evidence for the prosecution of King Charles the First, the apparent impos- was worthless enough, but the court had quite sibility of fixing the act of beheading upon any made up its mind on the subject beforehand, man for certain, have opened to the writers and a verdict of guilty was returned. Hewlet of historical romance a fair field for the exhi- was not executed, however; the insufficiency of bition of their art. And they have availed proof was too remarkable, and the restored themselves of the opportunity. To mention government had some sense of shame. one or two instances : the author of " White- “ Many have curiously inquired," says hall,” M. Alexandre Dumas in his “ Vingt-ans- William Lilly in the History of his Life and Après,” and Mr. Sala in his novel of “ Captain Times,' “ who it was that cut off the king's Dangerous," have introduced to the public head ; I have no permission to speak of such various candidates for the distinction of having things, but he that did it is valiant, resolute, killed a king. The generally accepted theory, and of a competent fortune.” After the Restohowever, is to the effect that the deed was ration, Lilly was examined before Parliament done by the common hangman of the period on the subject. “At my first appearance,” for a reward of thirty pounds. But the name he goes on, “I was affronted by the young of the hangman has been less clearly ascer- members, who demanded several scurrilous tained. Jack Ketch, "a wretch," says questions, and I should have been sorely Macaulay, " who had butchered many brave troubled but for the assistance of Mr. Prinn and noble victims, and whose name has during and Mr. Weston, who whispered to me occaa century and a half been vulgarly given to all sionally, holding a paper before their mouths. who have succeeded him in his odious office,” | Liberty being at last given to me to speak, I was not appointed until about 1682. " While delivered what follows : • The next Sunday Jefferies on the bench, Ketch on the gibbet but one after the execution of King Charles sits,” says a lampoon of the time. The bung- the First, Robert Spavin, secretary to General ling cruelty exhibited on the occasion of the Cromwell, and several others, dined with me, execution of the unfortunate Duke of Mon- ! when the whole of our discourse was only who mouth, nearly led to the destruction of Ketch by it was that beheaded the king ; some said the infuriated mob; a strong guard was necessary the common hangman, some Hugh Peters, to save the executioner being torn in pieces. and several others were named, but none conKetch had succeeded a man named Dun, who is cluded. After dinner was over, Robert Spavin addressed as Squire Dun in a poem by Butler. retiring with me to the south window, took “The addition of squire,'” says an authority, my hand and said :
These are all mistaken, “ with which Mr. Dun is dignified, is a mark Lieutenant-Colonel Joyce was the man, for I that he had beheaded some state criminal for was in the room when he fitted himself for the high treason, an operation which, according to work, and stood by him when he did it ; no custom for time out of mind, has always one knows this but my master, Commissary entitled the operator to that distinction.” Ireton, and myself.” The predecessor of Dun was Gregory Brandon, It is certain that Lilly, although originally after whom the gallows was sometimes called a royalist, was afterwards actively engaged in the Gregorian tree, as in the prologue to the cause of the Parliament, and was one of “Mercurius Brittanicus,” acted at Paris, the close committee to consult upon the proper 1641 :
carrying out of the king's execution.
celebrated as an astrologer and impostor, and This trembles under the black rod, and he Doth fear his fate from the Gregorian tree.
amassed a fortune by casting nativities and
foretelling events, and preying generally upon An earlier hangman was named Derrick ; pos- the weakness and superstition of all ranks of sibly, from his name the tackle employed in society. In the words of Dr. Nash, in his raising heavy weights on board ship is still “ Notes to Hudibras,” Lilly was
a timeknown nautically as a derrick.
serving rascal,” and it is necessary to use The executioner of King Charles was pro- caution in placing credit upon any narrative bably either Dun or Brandon ; yet various proceeding froin him. authorities, at different times, have charged According to Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, George with the deed, William Walker, Richard Selwyn, that insatiable amateur of executions, Brandon, Hugh Peters, Colonel Joyce, William had a different story, however, on this subject.
He professed to have obtained his information man stretched upon a narrow bed. His lord. from the Duchess of Portsmouth, who, he said, ship was loaded with thanks for having coudealways asserted, on the authority of Charles scended to comply with the request contained the Second, that the king his father was not in the letter, which the old man avowed he beheaded by either Colonel Joyce or Colonel had written. He offered many apologies for the Pride, as was then commonly believed ; but trouble he had occasioned his lordship. He that the name of the real executioner was then made mention of many curious facts not Gregory Brandon ; that this man had worn a generally known in connection with the Stair black crape stretched over his face, and had no family, the Dalrymples, and finally inquired of sooner taken off the king's head than he was the Earl whether he had not recently expeput into a boat at Whitehall Stairs, together rienced much inconvenience from the want of with the block, the black cloth that covered certaiu title-deeds and conveyances relating to it, the axe, and every other article that had his paternal estates. His lordship admitted been stained with the royal blood. Being that such was the case, adding that for want of conveyed to the Tower, all the implements some particular documents he was in great used in the decapitation had been immediately danger of losing a large portion of his inherireduced to ashes. A purse, containing one tance. The old man then pointed to a box hundred broad pieces of gold, was then de- which stood by his bedside, “ There,” he said, livered to Brandon, and he was dismissed. are the writings you require. You will ask He survived the transaction many years ; but how they came into my possession,—who I am ? divulged it a short time before he died. • This I have led a wandering and miserable life, account,"
" Wraxall adds, “as coming from strangely prolonged to one hundred and twentythe Duchess of Portsmouth, challenges great five years, and I now live to behold in you a respect."
lineal descendant from me in the third generaA curious miscellany, called the “Lounger's tion. The fame of your gallantry has reached Common Place Book," published in 1793, a I resolved to place in your hands the favourite work with Leigh Hunt, and often contents of that box. The wretched old man quoted by him in his “ History of the Town," you see before you was a subject, a friend, adds to the stock of stories on the subject of and favourite of King Charles the First ; but Charles the First's execution, an extract from a suspecting him of having wronged, most cruelly French work called “ Délassements de l'Homme wronged, the woman I loved, my loyalty Seusible, "professing to be written by a Monsieur turned to hatred, an insatiable thirst for d'Arnaud. It will be as well perhaps to warn revenge possessed me. After his trial and the reader at the outset that the Lounger is by deposition, I requested permission to be my no means an authority upon any subject, and sovereign's executioner. This was granted to that his appetite for the apocryphal is almost A moment before raising the fatal axe, I without bounds.
whispered in his ear the name of his victim The Frenchman relates, according to the and her avenger. But from the hour of the Lounger, that Lord Stair, once the favourite king's death I have been a prey to the keenest minister of King George the Second, retiring remorse, an outcast and exile in different in disgust in consequence of some real or parts of Europe and Asia ; and as though to imaginary affront received after the battle of increase my punishment, Heaven has seen fit Dettingen, and on his way to Scotland, made a to prolong my life far beyond the common age short stay in London to settle some regimental of man. Now leave me to my fate ; ask me accounts, when an anonymous letter in a no more ; forget that you have ever seen me.” strange hand was sent to him, requesting that Lord Stair quitted the house, to return the he would favour the writer with an interview next day in the hope of rendering some assisat a particular time and place, as he had tance to the mysterious old man. He had certain information of the most singular im- disappeared, however ; no trace of him could be portance to communicate. Prompted by discovered, and he was never heard of more. curiosity, and moved by the tone of entreaty M. d'Arnaud's story is curious, but, of course, of the letter, the Earl, taking some precautions worthless from an historical point of view ; it to ensure his own safety, went to the place will not bear the test of the simplest critical appointed. He knocked at the door of a analysis. The secret as to the executioner of corner house adjoining an obscure alley in a King Charles has been well kept, probably remote quarter of the town. He was admitted from its being very little of a secret at all, and by a ragged and forlorn-looking wretch, who capable of a solution so simple, that people conducted him up a narrow tortuous staircase in such a case were rather inclined to avoid to a dingy garret, dimly lighted, in one corner than accept it. It was no doubt difficult to of which he perceived the figure of a very old credit that a prisoner so extraordinary should
fall by the hands of the ordinary executioner singular importance. Less than twelve years of the time, like any other prisoner sentenced after the death of the king, the commissioners to death. But that this was really the case appointed to bring the regicides to judgment there can be little question. It is worth while could not clearly ascertain who was the actual to remark, however, as an element in the con- executioner, and notwithstanding that they find sideration of the trustworthiness of history, a prisoner guilty of the offence, doubt on still
, how very soon, as in this case, doubt and and scruple to infict the punishment to which mystery collect round and obscure an event of they had sentenced him. DUTTON Cook.