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Germans have urged the like powers in their
language to an excess now and then ridiculous,
crossing their words till they breed
alligators out of them, with jaws as long and
as jagged as those of the Greek and Latin

That the language of science must be
universal, and that a dead language is neutral
ground on which students of all nations may
meet, we know and acknowledge. Yet even
Latin or Greek words need not be so used as
to ensure a toothache to rash strangers who
bite on them unawares. We ask, in the
purely scientific naming of things in nature,
only for some regard to human teeth and
human ears; we ask also that second names
well fitted for popular use shall be supplied
to every object of which men in common can
be brought to speak.

The German writers, when they make
books for the people, give the Latin and
Greek terms in brackets, while in the body
of the work they use plain, homely speech.
Hence, at the first reading, a German youth
may go through a new book upon natural
history without heeding the Latin terms,
and so make himself master of the facts
disclosed. His ideas may be far from
correct; but he has had encouragement to
study farther. Afterwards, at a third
or fourth reading, he may add to his stock
of knowledge all the foreign words, which
being repeated (in brackets) from time to
time, catch even insensibly the reader's eye,
and so may trickle quietly into his memory.
For instance, in describing the parts of a
flower, the writer does not begin by saying
that the "external floral integument is the
calyx," but he says that the "outer covering
of a flower is the cup [calyx], the leaves of
which are called the cup-leaves [sepals]."
Then he shows that, within the cup, there
is a gaily-coloured part called the crown
[corolla], the leaves of which are the crown-
leaves [petals]. Hence, when he wishes to
tell the learner that in certain flowers the
crown has several leaves, he does not tell
him that the "corolla is polypetalous," but
that the "crown is many-leaved."

One other good thing he does. He takes
care, from the very first, to let the learner
know what it is that he is about to learn, and
clearly states the leading facts. Thus, he
would begin by telling how a plant grows,
how the leaf-bud opens out into a leaf, and
how the flower-bud becomes a flower; how
the parts of the flower make fruit; how that
fruit contains seed, and in what way; how,
at length, the seed escapes from its enclosure;
and how, being put into the ground, it gives
rise to a new plant, which will grow up in
the likeness of its parent.

Such information as this, accurate and free
from pedantry, we people of England want.
It can be no man's wish, at the outset of any
study, to be troubled and distracted by a
prolix jumble of hard words. If Mrs.
Peachum, in her Cookery Book, had said,
"Decorticate the pomarian fruits; incise them
vertically and transversely; deposit them in a
patina; superinduce a layer of saccharine
matter; asperge them with aqueous fluid, and
cover them with a crustaceous integument
composed of farinaceous particles," only a
cook already in her secret could see that she
was teaching how to make an apple-pie.


WE married, just six years ago, upon less
than the minimum income allowed by the
Times' correspondents to be sufficient for a frugal
young couple, and we are still in the flesh
and in a good deal of it. The bitterest cup
which we have yet had to drain is that of
Messrs. Bass and Company; and I, for my
partand, I think I may say the same, in a
more mitigated sense, of Mrs. P.—have ever
drained it cheerfully. Workhouse relief has
not yet been applied for to meet any peculiar
emergency in our domestic economy. The
titled aristocracy of our native land do not,
indeed, cultivate our personal friendship so
much, perhaps, as we (especially Mrs. P.)
at the time we were first united, anticipated;
but we are now content to believe that this
is their loss rather than ours.

Still, it must be confessed, there are little
unpleasantries inseparable from a little house
and a little income which do not happen to
my neighbour (in a very profane sense) the
Duke of Bredlington. I allude more
particularly to our back garden. It is probable
that his grace is unacquainted with any such
spot except through the medium of romance
and poetry; or, he may have heard Mr.
Robson of Wych Street, London, inform
an audience, with his accustomed precision,
that the garden wherein Villikins met his
Dinah was the back garden, and yet not
have accurately realised what a back garden
is. He may have imagined (I am speaking
of his grace), as we did, a dainty piece of
verdant lawn, set with parterres of flowers,
with an arbour, perhaps, hung with honey-
suckle, or other sweet-smelling blossom of
that nature; with, maybe, a fish-pond, or even
an inexpensive fountain in the middle of it.

"Wherever we are," we thought, "no
matter how humble the abode, let us have a
dear little bit of garden at the back of the

Well, we have got our little bit of garden in
that position, and decidedly a dear one. It
is not exactly the spot we had pictured to
ourselves in the way of seclusion, because all
the back windows in our terrace and all the
front ones in the next street command it. It
does not possess any erection that can well be
called an arbour. It has no fish-pond; nor
fountain; nor stalactite cave (which might
just as well be expected as the other two) at
the end or in any part of it. We did a
great deal with it, at first, in floriculture;

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