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now is a beautiful wonder, and a wonderful beauty. That fragment of coal-we kick it about the hearth, we handle it with the shovel, we touch it with thumb and fore-finger as if it were glowing hot; we say of a desperate case, 'black as coal.' We personify smutted coarseness as a huge coal-heaver, and yet, this worthless fragment lacks but about twenty-eight per cent.—not as much as many a poor fellow has paid for the loan of a dollar-of being all carbon; and if we could only manage to get rid of the alumine and the silex, and the oxide of iron, why then, it would be, of a truth, all carbon, and pure carbon. "Well, and what then?" you say. Not much to be sure, and yet enough to sink the anthracite, the stone, the blind, and the Kilkenny, and don a new title; enough to make that thumb and finger a whole hand, to close over it with the clutch of a vice, all along through life, and away through into death; enough to turn earth into a battle-field, and redden the turf before sunset; enough to transform a fair-browed, open-souled boy, into a wrinkled, glowering old fiend.
And what is all this about, you inquire; what this carbonic wonder? A yellowish or bluish, or reddish or brownish, eight-sided crystal; a thing strown along from Bengal to Cormorin; a thing that glittered in
he hilt of the sword of the man of destiny; that the Autocrat of Russia waves in his sceptre; that glows on velvet round many a princely brow. It is― but what's the use of telling, when you know already?—it is that thing they call a DIAMOND--elder brother of the coal, the swarthy Anthracite.
"Brilliant," "Rose," or "Table" Diamonds-by whatever name, they call them-burn them in Oxygen Gas, which is nothing but the mere day-breath of flowers, and you have only carbonic acid gas—an element that transformed the Black-hole of Calcutta into the charnel-house it was—an element that you cannot breathe and live. And where's your Diamond!
Return we now to the black brother of these brilliants, the Anthracite. Examine it, and you shall find no trace of the wood it was. has effaced each fibre, and made it a mineral treasure, and no tree can claim its kindred.
And how long, think you, has it been since that coal had the silken texture of a leaf, a flower, a shrub? How long since childhood slept beneath the shade it helped to make? How long since Beauty breathed its fragrance in a flower, and listened and believed that love was changeless? And the Beauty and the Lover, and the sentiment are fossils, or are dust, or are
nothing now, to you or me. Here now are two specimens of Mineral Coal; the Black, the most common of the smutty fraternity, that brightens the grates of all England, and envelops it in a coal-heaver's "glory," and the Cannel or Candle-coal, with its polished surface, and its peculiar odor, and the crackling it makes when first heated. Cannel Coal when at home' in England or Scotland, Ohio, Virginia or Pennsylvania, has a roof to be under--a roof of slate, where Nature herself played tiler, and decorator withal, for those roofs of slate all bear imprints of ferns-the lithographs of old time. And last of all the brotherhood, I shall mention, there is the Lignite, with its clove-brown tint, and its woody texture. And better company it keeps, than the most of its genus. You may find it strown in the Amber Mines of Prussia, and amid the crystals of an Iceland winter; Lignite betrays the secret of its origin, for there are the fibres still, the outlines of the branches and the leaves of trees, that once had life in them, and beauty and music.
Ah! who wonders the Coal has so sorrowful a tone, as it glows and sighs there in the grate, with its voice of the Dead. The Dead? We said, awhile ago, the Mighty Dead? and it is mighty. Open that Atlas, lying under
your elbow there, and find for me New-York, and then pass your finger over that parti-colored robe of States, through the South Pass, away where you can fancy you hear the clink of the diggers of gold. Would you see the power that can weave that full breadth of space into something like a selvedge, with the Steam Engine? Look in that grate, and you shall see the thing that can do it. Do you see that Mountain's steep, and that granite column at its base? Ambition's self could not raise it to that mountain's brow with regiments of men, in half a century; but a dozen bushels of Coal can do it, in half an hour!
But those fragments of coal have burned out, and the grate is no longer of a glow. I take the shovel and stir the bed they have made for themselves. Nothing but ashes-ashes for the garment of mourning-ashes for the urn--ashes for the winds—the mighty Dead no more!
TO-MORROW is Thanksgiving Day. Come to think,' there was no necessity for telling it. There is no school, so the children all know it; no paper, the editors and devils all know it; the Governor has proclaimed it, and every body knows it. Some people have visions of turkeys about these days;' I don't. Some people have turkeys; I haven't. But no matter for that; I love Thanksgiving Day for the memories it brings with it. Do tell me, if you can, what has become of those old days, and why don't they make them so now? Has the clerk of the weather' lost the recipe, or what, in the name of scythes and forelocks, is the matter? It used to be, that Thanksgiving wasn't Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or any other day of the seven, but a day by itself, put in by "special act," to make people happy and friendly, and human, and all that; but some how or other, it has changed. Almanacs have changed, or we have ; and greatly do we fear it is the 'we.'
Kind reader, I never saw you, don't know you, but here's my hand, and there's a chair; and now for a