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A STUDENT'S REMINISCENCES OF HIS EARLY

SCHOOL DAYS.

IT is a good thing at times to divert our thoughts from the stern realities of present existence, and direct our imagination to those scenes which once inspired our minds with hope, or filled them with sorrow and dismay, but which now, connecting as we do in one lively picture, occurrences that then slowly and tardily progressed, appear like a dream beautiful and attractive, and cause even events of a painful character, to wear an aspect of brightness and romance.

It was in the summer of 1832 that I was introduced within the walls of the ancient Grey Friars' Monastery-Christ's Hospital; and having, with a number of other striplings, been ushered into an antiquated apartment for the purpose of being formally admitted as scholars, we were then hurried to the "wardrobe" to exchange our clothes for the quaint and old-fashioned garb which forms the distinctive characteristic of the "blues." Nothing could exceed our delight when we found ourselves invested with our gay apparel, and this circumstance alone went no little way towards reconciling us to our new position, and enabling us to part with our relatives in a tolerably happy condition.

The coaches to convey us to our Hertford home soon presented themselves, and were soon rumbling over London's stones with their precious cargo closely and securely packed. The tedious journey was wiled away by a thousand diversified tricks; one examining attentively every part of his new and remarkable attire; one indulging his appetite in the luxuries provided him by a fond parent; another employing his new leathern girdle for the purposes of a whip or for fishing up articles dropped in the window slide; and altogether, being quite to ourselves, we managed to laugh and joke till the dreary gates of our future prison came in sight.

On entering these gates, a long carriage-drive, used as a play-ground, and surrounded on each side with lofty trees fronting the various wards, conducts the visitor to the writing-school, a large brick building very nearly resembling a chapel-of-ease. To the left of the writing-school is situated the dining-hall, and near this the " buttery" or bread-store, to which place we were marched (with countenances sadly changed), headed by a sturdy beadle, and then into the hands of each was placed a huge mass of bread and cheese, to recruit the inward man by way of supper. This jovial repast was soon discussed and apparently relished by some of the more hungry ones, and then our various wards were allotted us by the steward, to which we were led by our former conductor.

What strange scenes had we now to experience. Most of us never before absent from the paternal roof, being now suddenly thrust into a large public school, to battle our way amongst hundreds of urchins who well knew how to tyrannize over the "new boys," rendered our situation by no means an enviable one. However, we managed to turn into our hard but comfortable little bedsteads, to dream of home and distant

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A STUDENT'S REMINISCENCES OF HIS EARLY SCHOOL DAYS. friends, but only to be awakened by the loud ringing of the clamorous bell, as a signal that our dreams were then to end; and the shrill cries of our monitor, "Get up, there-get up!" effectually roused us. And then what confusion we were in; and how we anxiously watched our older brethren in the performance of that responsible duty-bed-making; we were quite nonplussed as to which article should first cover our mattress, and in what manner the succession was to be maintained: and certainly this was no mean share of our numerous little difficulties. The process of washing had next to be performed, and ranged two and two, we entered the lavatory, where a row of taps fitted into a low and long cistern allowed the water to drop, and enabled us to undergo a thorough ablution. All these ceremonies, with breakfast, occupied till nine, and then the eternal bell again sent forth its notes and told that school-time had come. Now the "new boys" had the privilege of a holiday or two in order to accustom themselves to the rules and place, and so we beheld our brother blues wend their way into the different school-rooms, and trusted it would be long ere we accompanied them. There were two school-rooms at Hertford, the grammar and the writing, and the boys were divided into two parts-one went into the writing-school in the mornings of one week and in the afternoons of the next, and one into the grammar-school on the mornings of one week and in the afternoons of the next, and vice versa.

We passed our time on the two days allowed us in as pleasant a manner as possible; we had some good games in the field attached to the school, and took great care to spend every farthing of our cash in the "tuck shop," and doubtless were not overglad when we were collected together by one of the beadles and introduced into the grammar-school to have our "divisions" assigned us, or to hear which school we were to attend in the afternoon or morning.

The head grammar-master was by no means an individual of prepossessing appearance, at least to us poor chaps; with his clerical gown and his elevated desk he looked very formidable indeed, and certainly I do not think we found ourselves afterwards deceived in the estimate we had formed of him. A portion of my companions were directed to the writing-school, and so far as distinct recollection extends, I think I remained with the residue in the grammar-school. A small abridged Latin Grammar was then given to each, and our labours had commenced.

It was a terrible day-was the first that we spent in that grammarschool-poring over the (to us) difficult "Musa" and "Magister," and ever and anon without daring to look up, hearing a smart box on the ear, and occasionally being regaled with the cries of a boy, hoisted on another's shoulders, on whom our worthy preceptor was inflicting the terrible punishment of the rod. These were rare stimulants to assiduity, though it must be confessed, they seemed rather to puzzle our faculties through fear, and probably induced that trembling we experienced when repeating our first task. But unfortunately these impressions by degrees became fainter and fainter; and, as it was so common an occurrence to see a boy hoisted, we began to view the operation with a kind

of recklessness and hardihood. Twelve o'clock soon flew round, and then a general rush towards the door took place; and immediately the field and front play-ground were thronged; and games of every description were resorted to. Having so considerable a space, and so detached from the town, many sports were allowed which, at the school in London, were improper, such as cricket, kites, hockey, &c. and these were among the principal amusements. At a quarter to one, we proceeded to dinner, due notice being given by the bell. Our provisions were served up in an immense wooden platter, and eaten off square flat pieces of board called trenchers. It was rather a ludicrous sight to witness the procession of the boys who held these different "trades" as they were termed. The platter boys carrying their loads of meat,— the pail boys following with large tubs of potatoes,-the salt boys with bowls of salt, the bread boys with huge wicker-baskets filled with that necessary article, and bringing up the rear the "jack" boys parading in stately form, invested with their insignia of office-buckets filled with water and "swipes." Nine or ten of each of these "trades" being required for the various wards, the ceremony occupied some minutes in its performance, which, together with a very long grace and our previous exertions, rendered us capable of dispatching a much larger portion than fell to our share.

(To be continued.)

FERMENTATION.

THE principal ultimate constituents of all organic substances are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, and phosphorus. The three first of these elements are almost invariably present; nitrogen is less extensively distributed, and the two latter occur but seldom. It must not be supposed, however, that a certain amount of each of these simple bodies combine together in an indefinite and promiscuous manner to produce a living being; on the contrary, they first form certain proximate principles, as albumen, gelatine, starch, &c., which, entering into combination with one another, give rise to the various tissues of which the organs of the individual are composed. The constitution of most of these proximate principles is exceedingly complex, and their component elements are held together only by a feeble affinity, resulting generally from the vitality of the system, of which they form a part; consequently, when they are separated from this living system, and thus removed beyond the influence of the vital power, every force which is capable of acting on them tends to induce new arrangements of their molecules, and to resolve them into simpler, and more stable combinations.

The power necessary for effecting these changes sometimes originates from within; the mutual attraction existing between some of the particles of the substance, overcoming the force which combined them as a whole, (so long as it existed as a portion of the living structure,) the entire compound is then speedily broken up, and the affinity between the

remaining constituents is permitted to come into play. This series of changes occurs in animal tissues, and all other complex substances containing nitrogen, on account of the great tendency of this element to unite with hydrogen, whereby ammonia is generated.

But in non-nitrogenous substances there are no intrinsic principles competent to bring about these results; they enjoy, therefore, a certain degree of permanency of composition, which, nevertheless, is readily destroyed by external agencies, and the nature of these we must next proceed to examine.

Now, in inorganic chemistry there are several instances wherein the presence of a third body serves to effect changes between other two substances, which cannot be referred solely to the influence of ordinary affinity. Thus, to mention only one example, it is found that the metal platinum perfectly resists the solvent action of nitric acid, or aquafortis; whilst silver, on the other hand, is quickly dissolved by it. It might hence be inferred that on submitting an alloy of these two metals to the influence of the acid, the platinum would still escape action; but the result proves the reverse to be the case, for both undergo solution. The action of the nitric acid on the particles of the silver induces a a similar action on the particles of the plantinum. From this, and numerous other instances of a similar character, Liebig has deduced the following general law:

"When any substance whatever, organic or inorganic, is in the act of undergoing a particular change, a tendency to the same change is communicated to any other body that may be lying in contact with it."

This theory affords a satisfactory explanation of the phenomena of fermentation. The molecules of starch, sugar, and other allied nonnitrogenous principles, are retained in union by the vis inertia of their elements, so that even the slightest causes suffice to disturb the equilibrium. Amongst these causes we must include contact with a body containing nitrogen, and in an active state of decomposition. Such are all ferments, the particles of which being in continual motion, excite corresponding movements in those of the fermenting fluid; and its atoms being thus set free, are enabled to obey their special attractions, and form themselves into new groups.

We are now prepared to understand the changes which take place in the various kinds of fermentation, denominated saccharine, vinous, acetous, &c.

1. Saccharine Fermentation.-Starch is one of the most important products of plants. It exists in almost every member of the vegetable kingdom, but more especially in the seeds of the cerealia, such as barley. When this grain germinates, as in the preparation of malt, the starch gradually disappears, and is replaced by sugar. This metamorphosis is termed the saccharine fermentation, and is occasioned by a substance named Diastase, containing nitrogen, and in a state of decomposition; a true ferment, therefore, and sufficient to account for the changes that take place.

2. Vinous Fermentation.-The fermentation of sugar is the only

source of alcohol. When a solution of sugar is placed in a temperature between 55° and 70° F., and some ferment added, it soon becomes turbid, carbonic acid is evolved, a scum collects on the surface, but subsequently falls as a precipitate, and a clear liquid remains, possessing intoxicating properties.

The

Sugar consists of 12 atoms of carbon, 14 of hydrogen, and 14 of oxygen; and these are decomposed through the influence of the yeast into 2 equivalents of alcohol, 4 of carbonic acid, and 2 of water. following diagram, in which the elements are represented by their initial letters, will show the changes that occur at one view:

2 eq. alcohol. . . . C. 8, H. 12, 0. 4. Sugar-C. 12, H. 14, 0 14—4 eq. carb. acid . . C. 4,

2 eq. water

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• ....

0.8.

H. 2, 0. 2.

3. Acetous Fermentation.-All vinous fluids are susceptible of being converted into vinegar, which is an impure and dilute solution of acetic acid. In the ordinary mode of preparing this liquid, certain azotous principles are requisite, and therefore this process also is a true fermentation. It consists in the oxidation of the alcohol by atmospheric oxygen, and may be explained as follows: Alcohol, C. 4, H. 6, O. 2) 1 eq. acetic acid, C. 4, H. 3, 0. 3. Oxygen (from air), . O. 4 3 eq. water H. 3, 0. 3. There are still other varieties of fermentation, but in a popular paper like the present, it would prove foreign to our purpose to enter more minutely into detail. Enough has been said, we trust, to excite our hearers to a further study of this interesting subject.

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EXTRACTS.

"The relationship between mind and matter, is a solemn, and an incomprehensible, truth. We are each of us ignorant of the period, when, with our commoner, our Earthly, nature, mingled the Etherial, making us beings of intelligence and responsibility-and death must be personally experienced ere we can understand the mystery of dying, or be informed how body and soul can sever, and be separate.

"In the processes which are peculiar to animal and organic life, we cannot suppose that spirit has any actual share. How limited would be its purposes, how insulted its purity, were it occupied in the constant sustenance and servitude of matter-in fashioning atoms into an embryo, and an embryo into man -in exciting an organ to activity, and sustaining it by constant watchfulness- -never neglecting the mechanism lest its movement should cease-living incarnate for a few years, chiefly engaged in animating its worldly vehicle-and then departing for a freer state, leaving the form it once vitalized, a prey to worms and rottenness. No! matter was created and organized for the mind-not the mind for matter. Perishable, insensate, atoms, at the will of Deity, mysteriously congregated themselves into a living

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