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case, a new outside lens, in the shape of spectacles, will to some extent remedy what is wrong. In the latter case, the lens has to be removed, and its place altogether supplied by glasses.
Behind the vitreous humour we come to the most essential part of all, the ‘RETINA’ of the eye. Most essential, because every other part of this complicated organ is for the express purpose of casting upon the retina a clear image of the object to be seen. The whole apparatus seems to be designed and contrived with this end in view.
The retina is exceedingly complex, being formed mainly of innumerable delicate nerve fibrils,' or interlacing nerve-threads of extreme fineness; all of which, after spreading in a close network over the whole back of the eye, collect together in one spot, and pass out thence to the brain, as a slender bundle, called 'the Optic Nerve.'
Upon the retina are depicted all objects before the eye, solid enough and bright enough to become visible. The optic nerve, which passes from the retina to the brain-and of which, indeed, the retina is made-has been said to actually feel these evanescent images or pictures, much as the nerves of touch in our fingers feel irregularities on a roughened surface. It then conveys to the brain an idea of the image which it has felt; and the · brain, through long use from babyhood, has learnt the meaning of the various shapes presented, so as more or less correctly to localise the things represented in their true distant positions.
A man, blind from infancy, suddenly gaining sight, has not this experience; and such a man has been known to complain that everything seemed to press upon his eyeballs. In time he would learn to make the needful mental effort, and to project to a distance the object which has sent its picture to his brain.
Does it not look, strangely, as if we ourselves--the true EGO of each one of us--were for the time literally imprisoned in the body, with only five outlets ? Close utterly those five outlets and no means whatever remain of communication for the imprisoned spirit with the outside world!
One can well understand how any serious injury to the optic nerve, or to the retina, may easily be fatal to sight.
(Questions for May on page 558.)
THE PASSÉ DÉFINI GIRL.
BY THE HON. EVA KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN.
The old Park gardens are not what they used to be, and they never will be again. It is not only that the authorities have done what they could to spoil them, by cutting off one corner here and another there, and, finally, by putting a great uninteresting statue of a melancholy poet just in the very middle of one of our best play places, but the children who go there are very different from those of our day, and the whole spirit of the place has changed. You may say that I don't know much about it, when I confess that I no longer have a garden key, and that I never go into the gardens now; but any one, you know, can look through those grim, grey spiked railings as he or she takes a walk into the Park, and a casual glance can tell one a great deal. I say, then, that the children whom I see there walking about with their governesses, or sometimes indulging in a game of lawn-tennis-these children conduct themselves in quite a different way from what we did.
be a much better way, and I daresay, when I have finished my story, you will say that it is,-all I maintain is that it is different. Nowadays the frequenters of the gardens go there for pleasure, or for a change after their lessons; we went there for business and for hard work. Lessons were business, too, of course, but not a bit more so than the games of flags,' wolf-and-lamb,' and I spy' that were to follow. From nine to twelve we studied history, geography, music, and so on, with varying degrees of attention ; from twelve to two we studied the arts of running, racing, 'I spy,' and ' pulling French and English,' with the whole might of mind and body. It is very easy to be idle over one's lessons, but anybody who knows anything about it will admit that one feels much more comfortable when one has done them well, and the thing about us who used to play in the gardens was that we had just
the same kind of uncomfortable feeling about our morning's play if it had not been good and thorough, as we had about our morning's lessons if we had taken no trouble about them at all. Not quite the same, because of course there is a difference, which any one can see for himself, but very like. It did seem such a 'waste,' as we used to say, if we did not collect our forces the very instant we got to the gardens, and play hard until the moment we were called to go home. There was real excitement every day in the conjectures as to who would be there, and what the sides' would be, and there was elation in the prospect of the coming struggle, and chance of distinction. And when, like Meg Dacre, you had the reputation of being the fastest runner in the gardens, there was of course the additional anxiety of wondering whether you would be able to keep it up, or whether you might not find a successful rival in some new comer,
Great was the excitement and curiosity whenever it was announced that some 'new children’ had come. They would hardly have time to look round before some boy or girl would break off from the group engaged in forming sides, and come up to them with a Will you play with us?' We were always very sorry and rather scornful when the answer was, “We mayn't play with any one we don't know ;' but it was not often given. Generally there was a delighted consent, followed, on one side or the other, by the questions which were invariably the first stage in the process of making friends. “What's your name?' “How old are you?' “How many lessons do you do?' These were often followed in the case of quite small children by the boast, 'I expect I can lift you,' and the attempt to make it good. But bigger ones usually went on to, ‘I wonder which can run the faster, you or me?' or perhaps, “What is your father?' or When is your next birthday?
I remember once being much impressed when, at about this stage of our first conversation, a little girl asked me how far I had got in Noël et Chapsal's French grammar. It was rather difficult for me to answer accurately, because, whenever I had got beyond the first few pages, it used to be discovered that I had forgotten the beginning, and I had to go back to it again ; but what most perplexed me was that any one should take interest enough in grammar to talk about it willingly, and in the gardens. I am afraid we were an idle set at our books, and I am sure I hope that our successors are much better in that way than we
were ; also that they are not so bellicose, and do not talk quite so much slang. I remember Etta all but coming to blows with another little girl on the Oxford and Cambridge Race day, only because Etta "wanted Oxford to win,' and the other child Cambridge. As for Meg, she was a great deal more like a boy than a girl, and her highest expression of approval of either the one or the other used to be, 'Well, you are a brick!' Meg's expressions of approval were eagerly coveted by every one in the gardens, as she knew very well. It came naturally to her to
. be a leader, and an excellent one she was.
'Has Meg come yet?' used to be one of the first questions asked by early arrivals, and no one thought of beginning to play until she appeared, followed by her faithful attendant brothers, all in Highland dress. She was about twelve at the time when I remember her best, and the boys of all ages between ten and six. What, not begun yet?' she would say, as she joined the expectant group of children. Well, we'd better not lose any more time.
Somebody go and bag the good flag ground. What sides shall we have ? Leonard Moss, you and I will pick up. I'll begin. Aline West, I'll have you. Now then, Leonard. No, you'd better not have David; you and he oughtn't to be on the same side. David, you come here, and Etta, you be on Leonard's side to-day.' And so on, and so on, until she had arranged everything according to her own views of what was fitting. No, I never shall believe that as much fun can be got out of lawn-tennis as out of flags. For one thing, only four can play at tennis, and there is no talking, no daring one another to run the fearful risk of being caught, no sudden venturesome dashes, no taking of prisoners, no gallant rescues, no crowning glory of captured flags. Oh, there is no game like flags, and I am sure you would have said so if you had been with us in those days, and had had Meg on your side. Another thing is, that you must have a smooth bit of ground for tennis, and there is all the trouble of getting the courts marked out, and then the net belongs to somebody, and you have to get leave to play. Now, with flags, it does not matter what the ground is like, so long as there is a good big bit of it, with a path in the middle to divide it into two grounds, and a tree each side on which to hang the two handkerchiefs, which are all the implements wanted. There is no need to ask anybody's leave to use his courts—a good flag-ground is open to all ; it is only a case of * first come, first served ;' that, at least, used to be our rule, only,
somehow or other, it had come to be an understood thing that Meg and her party should have what was universally considered the best ground. Her party did, indeed, include most of the children who came to the gardens, but sometimes there would be a certain number of the very little ones who did not care to play quite so hard as we did, or else some family who were not allowed to play with strangers ; and, in either case, it was what we called the * little flag-ground 'that usually fell to their share. After Meg left off coming to the gardens, the rule of first come, first served' was much more strictly observed, and, indeed, it was Meg's own wish that it should be. This was how it all came about. It was a hot summer's evening, one of the last that there would be before we children were packed away into the country, away from the burning London pavement to the cool Kentish turf, away from our beloved gardens, to gardens and hay-fields yet more dearly beloved. We had done our lessons, had an early tea, and come out to play. So had the Dacres, who were standing with their governess at the iron gate of the gardens as we came up.
*That's capital !' exclaimed Meg when she saw us—I can see her now, dear Meg, in a blue cotton frock, and a sailor hat on her yellow curly head—'that's capital. It's so fine; everybody will be here, and we'll have a real good game.' 'Everybody'did seem to be there, and it was a large party which assembled on the big flag-ground for the business of choosing sides. There were several new comers--I remember that—and this delayed us rather, so that we were not ready to begin the game, and the flags had not been hung up, though they had been taken from their owners' pockets, and lay ready on the grass, when there was a sudden rush on the part of some small children who were under the trees with their nurses, and a cry of. The Queen ! the Queen ! come and see the Queen go by!' Now that was a summons which was never disregarded. We were very loyal in the gardens, and though from their situation we probably had as many chances of seeing Her Majesty as almost any of her subjects, yet we were never tired of doing so, and we would leave the most exciting games for such a chance. A certain rivalry existed among the girls as to the way in which their small brothers took off their hats, and it was not uncommon to hear such boasts as The Queen must have seen Charlie that time,' •She bowed to Willie-straight at him. This occasion was no exception to the general rule. There was a stampede to the railings, and for five