Glimpses of nature beauty ART
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Glimpses of nature beauty ART Glimpses of nature beauty ART Document Transcript

  • UC-NRLF SM E72
  • THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESENTED BYPROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID
  • GLIMPSESNATURAL HISTORY. View slide
  • BERLIN W. View slide
  • FRONTISPIECE.
  • GHMPSES ^NAT iTf What prodigies can Power Divine perform, More grand than it produces year by year, And all in sight of inattentive man ! COWPER LONDON :HARVEY AND DARTON, GRACECHURCH-STREET.
  • LO.VDONJOSEPH RJCKERBY, PRINTER, SHBRBOURN-LANK.
  • Hfc PREFACE.THE intention of this simple little Work is so obvious,that it perhaps scarcely requires a preface. Written todirect the attention of one much-loved child to thegoodness and power of God, as displayed in all histvorks, it is now offered to many, in the hope that from "these Glimpses of Natural History" they may be ledto more extended views of so boundless a subject. LONDON, 1843. M348387
  • CONTENTS. ...... .......The Walrus and FlyGalls Page. 1 9SnailsThe Camel ....... . . . . . . . .16 26Charcoal .......The Sunflower . . . . . .35 40Sponge ... ......Rust Indian-rubber . . Lead . Pencils, &c. . . . .46 58Colours ...... ....A Traveller ... 67 73Rain ...... ......Fall of the Leaf . 80 87On ...... Rooks, &c.Insect ChangesVariety in Nature . . . . . . 96 104 .115Water-Pimpernel . . . . . .125
  • vi CONTENTS. Page.Evergreens 1 K/Leaf-insects . 158MossesHorsetail .Heaths, &c, .Mother-of-l>earl
  • THE WALRUS. Page 1.
  • GLIMPSES OF NATURAL HISTORY. THE WALRUS AND FLY. AUNT.Do you recollect the description I read to you theother morning of that icy region, Spitzbergen, and ofthe animals which inhabit it ? MARY. Oh, yes, perfectly. AUNT. Then you perhaps, be able to answer the ques- will,tion I am going to ask you. What resemblance isthere between a walrus and a fly ? MARY. Really, my dear aunt, you are proposing an enigma B
  • 2 THE WALRUS AND FLY.to me. How can I discover any likeness between thatlarge, inactive, disgusting creature, and the little alertinsect I often watch with so much pleasure ? AUNT. I do not refer to their appearance, for in that thereis, indeed, no similarity. But consider what I toldyou of the habits of the walrus of its manner of moving, ;for example. Are you not now struck with any pointof resemblance ? MARY. I remember you told me the walrus can climb per-pendicular masses of ice, and I see flies ascending ourglass windows, and I should think their surface some-thing like that of the smooth, polished ice, so perhaps Ihave found out your enigma. AUNT. You have. I did not, however, propose it merely to tryyour ingenuity, but in order that I may give you anexplanation of the means by which both these creaturesare able to surmount the law by which the motions of
  • THE WALRUS AND FLY. 3all others (with very few exceptions) are guided, andthus to sustain their bodies against gravity. Beforeattempting this I must recal to your mind a subject Ialluded to in our reading yesterday, and which I pro-mised to recur to : the pressure of the atmosphere. MARY. Oh ! I have been wishing for some explanation ofthat term, for I cannot understand how it can be appliedto a fluid, as you have told me the air is so thin andtransparent, that though we are surrounded by it we canneither feel nor see it. AUNT. Our being surrounded by it is the very reason whywe do not feel it. Our bodies are so equally supportedby it on all sides, that we do not perceive any partialpressure ; but if I could remove the portion of air fromone side of body, the weight and consequent pres- mysure would be so great that I should no longer be ableto bear it. And this is proved by a machine called anair-pump, by which a vessel may be deprived of the airit contains, and a vacuum formed. A familiar instance B -2
  • 4 THE WALRUS AND FLY.will serve to show how, by this means, we discover thepressure of air. If you were to put any body, yourhand, for instance, over a jar with an opening at bothends on an air-pump, as the pump was worked youwould find a gradually increasing weight on your hand,and at length, when the operation was completed, andthe air in the jar quite exhausted, you would find itimpossible, by any exertion of force, to lift your handfrom the jar. MARY. Then, I suppose, the air above the hand presses itdown, and it cannot be raised because there is no airbelow to offer resistance. AUNT. Exactly so ; for when air is pumped in again thehand is raised with the greatest ease. But now for theapplication of what I have said to our present subject,which, I fear, this long digression will almost have madeyou forget. MARY. No, indeed ; you said that a fly and a walrus haveboth the power of walking against gravity.
  • THE WALRUS AND FLY. 5 AUNT. Very well : now, the reason of their possessing thispower is, that they are furnished with an apparatus bywhich they can form a vacuum, and adhere to the verti-cal glass or ice by atmospheric pressure. The air isexpelled from the space below their feet, and the weightof the air above their feet causes them to adhere ; but, atthe same time, they are wisely provided with muscularforce sufficient to raise their feet with the greatest ease,so that their movements arenot impeded. If youremark the flies which congregate in our houses in theautumn, you will see that they are at first very livelyand active, but that as they grow torpid they move withdifficulty, as if fastened to the window. When they arewell and active theyeasily overcome the atmosphericpressure, but as the weather becomes colder, it makesthem sickly and weak, and then this resistance is toogreat an effort for their declining strength, and you maysee them toiling along, as if their feet were too heavy forthem, nay, sometimes even sticking to the glass till theydie. MARY. Who first discovered that flies had this singular power ?
  • 6 THE WALRUS AND FLY. AUNT. It is to Sir Everard Home that we are indebted forascertaining the fact. had been suspected by former Itnaturalists, but he proved it by examination. For sometime he was in doubt about two points with which the is provided, not being able to understandfoot of the flyfor what purpose they were there. It had been imaginedthat they were inserted in the cavities of the surfaceover which the insect was walking, and thus retained itin opposition to gravity ; in this opinion, however, SirEverard Home did not agree. On examining the footof the walrus he discovered their use there it was :evident that two toes (which answer to the points in theflys foot) are used for the purpose of bringing the webclosely down upon the surface traversed, so as to enablethe animal to form a more complete vacuum, and thatthe ah* is readmitted on their being lifted up. MARY. What a difference there must be in size between thetwo feet ! AUNT. Yes, that of the fly requires magnifying one hundred
  • THE WALRUS AND FLY. 7times to makethe apparatus i have described visible,while that of the walrus must be diminished four timesto bring it within the compass of a quarto plate. MARY. Thank you, my dear aunt, for your, explanation I :shall now never see flies on our windows without recol-lecting it, and I shall observe them more closely. AUNT. There are other familiar instances in which you mayremark this power of the atmosphere. You rememberthe difficulty we found the other morning in detachingthe limpets you wished from the rock to which theywere so firmly fixed ; if you examine them you will findthat they have no apparent means adequate to resist theforce you applied to them. The edge of the shell isnot furnished with any mechanism by which to hold thesubstance on which it is placed this is, indeed, so hard ;and smooth, that it would be difficult to conceive anythat would answer the purpose. It is retained in itssituation by the formation of a vacuum below the shell,and the consequent pressure of the air on its outer sur-
  • 8 THE WALRUS AND FLY.face.Sea-anemonies, again, are attached by the samemeans they are such soft, gelatinous bodies, that it :seems as if one had only to put ones hand to the rockto gain possession of them but we find a strong resist- ;ance. You must have remarked that when you touchan anemone it immediately shrinks by this movement ;it is, no doubt, putting itself on the defensive, andexpelling the air from between it and the rock. Snails,periwinkles, &c. &c. adhere by the same means. Inthe same situations as limpets and periwinkles you willfind, very frequently, clusters of muscles, which are alsoattached to the rocks, but here observe a difference inthe manner : the form of the muscle does not admit ofits forming a vacuum, but it has a beautiful provision ofits own ; it has the power of throwing out a cluster ofsilky filaments, which fix themselves to the rock, andby which it hangs securely.
  • GALLS. MARY.HERE one of those curious mossy tufts on this rose* isbranch which I have often thought of asking you about.They are very pretty, but yet one only sees them occa-sionally, therefore, I suppose, they are not a usual pro-duction of the rose-tree. Perhaps you can tell mesomething of them. AUNT. I am not surprised at your feeling curious respectingthese singular excrescences, and you will be astonished,I think, when I tell you what purpose they serve. Theyare the habitations of insects. MARY. The habitations of insects ! you really do surprise me.But how can that be, for I can see no opening ; not one
  • 10 GALLS.sufficient even for a very tiny insect to have entered by,and I should imagine, from the size of the tuft, that itsoccupant is not so diminutive, unless its house be verymuch too large for it. AUNT. Your wonder is very natural, for it has perplexed manywiser persons to account for the bodies called galls, andwhich originate from the same cause as the moss-likeappearance we are speaking of. The ancient philoso-phers, finding on opening these substances that theycontained grubs, conceived justly that these proceededfrom eggs, but they were embarrassed by the same cir-cumstance that perplexes you. They were at a loss toaccount for the conveyance of these eggs into themiddle of a substance in which they could find noexternal orifice. They imagined that they were theeggs of insects deposited in the earth which had beendrawn up by the roots of trees along with the sap, andafterpassing through different vessels had stopped, somein the leaves, others in the branches, and had therehatched and produced the excrescences. Modern phi-losophers, more close and accurate observers of nature,
  • GALLS. 11have accounted for their formation in a more rationalway. They find that they are the habitations of thegrubs of the genus cynips, (Gall-fly.) I cannot betterdescribe to you the mode of their formation than byusing the words of an elegant writer and distinguished "naturalist, who observes, They cannot with proprietybe said to be constructed by the mother-insect but she ;is provided with an instrument as potent as an enchanterswand, which has but to pierce the site of the foundation,and commodious apartments, as if by magic, spring upand surround the eggs of her future descendants."Have you not frequently observed the red, spongy-looking substances on the leaves of the oak ? MARY. You mean oak-apples. AUNT. So they are commonly called, but more properlygalls.There is a great variety of galls on differentplants. All owe their origin to the deposition of an eggin the substance out of which they grow. The parentinsect is furnished with a curious sting, with which she
  • 12 GALLS.makes a puncture, and then introduces her egg, and ina few hours it becomes surrounded by the fleshy cover-ing we see. All these bodies are generally more acidthan the rest of the plant that bears them, and they arealso greatly inclined to turn red. MARY. Pray, are they of any use to the young insect r Isuppose, of course, they must be. AUNT. The careful mother has provided not only for theshelter and defence of her offspring, but also for itsnourishment, the little enclosed creature feeding uponthe interior, and there undergoing its changes to the flystate. MARY. But still it seems me very extraordinary that the tomere piercing of a leaf by the sting of an insect shouldproduce galls. AUNT. How these protuberances are produced we do not
  • GALLS. 13comprehend, and it seems very wonderful even if, as issupposed, the egg is accompanied by a peculiar fluid,that it should cause their growth around it. It is ascer-tained that the gall, which, however large, attainsits full a day or two, is caused by the egg size inor some accompanying fluid, not by the grub, whichdoes not appear until the gall is fully formed. Nowthat I have made you acquainted, as far as I can, withthe mode of production of these singular vegetable ex-crescences, I must not drop the subject till I have spokenof the important use to which those formed by one speciesof cynips (called by some authors the scriptorum) areapplied. We are indebted to this little insect for thatuseful agent, ink, which is made from the galls it pro-duces. These galls found on a species of oak are(quercus infectorid) very common in Asia Minor. Theyare collected and exported from Smyrna, Aleppo, andother ports in the Levant. MARY. How extraordinary are both their formation and theuse to which they are applied We owe a great deal to !the insects that produce them, and whenever I find
  • 14 GALLS.any gaDs on oak-leaves I shall open them, that Imay make acquaintance with the useful little creatures.I should like to be so fortunate as to meet with onewhen it had changed to its perfect state, and was aboutto leave its house. But is ink composed entirely of aliquid from these substances ? AUNT. Not entirely, though in a great measure. It is aninfusion of galls, copperas, and gum-arabic, I believe ;but unless the quantity of the extract from the gallsgreatly preponderates, the ink is not of a good colour,nor, I think I have heard, is it durable. Galls have yetanother important application, though not one whichcontributes to our pleasure so much as ink they are :one of OUT dying materials most in use, being con-stantly employed in dying black. There is anotherexcrescence of this nature, also, much esteemed in theLevant. This is formed on some species of salvia,(sage.) In consequence of the attacks of a cynips theyoung shoots swell into large, juicy balls, very likeapples, and even crowned with imperfectly formedleaves, resembling the calyx of that fruit. They are
  • GALLS. 15eaten prepared with sugar, and have an aromatic, acidflavour, which is very refreshing and agreeable. MARY. But you have not told me whether the tufts on rose-trees are also of use. Are they caused by a similarinsect ? AUNT. Yes : it takes its specific name from resorting tothe rose for depositing eggs cynips rosa. Its mossyballs used to be considered to possess medicinal pro-perties, and were sold under the name of bedeguar, butmodern practitioners attribute no efficacy to them.
  • 16 SNAILS. MARY. How many snails there are crawling about this morning.I suppose the rain of the night set them in motion, forI have always remarked one sees a much greater numberafter wet. Can you tell me what becomes of themduring winter ? I have often wished to know. AUNT. They hibernate.
  • Page 16.
  • SNAILS. 17 MARY. Pray what does that mean ? I do not think I remem-ber to have heard the term before. AUNT. I am glad I used it, then, for understanding a newword is an addition to ones stock of knowledge, and I amalways happy to be the means of increasing your infor-mation on any subject. The verb to hibernate isderived from hybernacula, (winter- quarters,) and soapplied to those animals which remain in a state oftorpidity during the cold season. The manner in whichsnails defend themselves from cold is very curious. Anumber associate together, (generally about the begin-ning of October, or as soon as it becomes chilly,) in thebanks of ditches, or in thickets or hedges. They ceaseto eat, and conceal themselves under fallen leaves ormoss. Each then forms for itself a hole large enoughto contain its shell,expands the collar of the mantle overthe edge of the shell, and then inspires a quantity of air.The mantle soon secretes a large portion of very whitefluid over its whole surface, which sets like plaster-of-Paris, thus forming a solid covering. When this lid is
  • 18 SNAILS.hardened, the animal retires, expels a portion of air fromits lungs, and forms another partition of the same fluid ;and continuing this operation several times, it sometimesforms rive or six divisions, with the intermediate spacesor cells filled with About three days suffice for the air.protection of each individual. I knew that they hidthemselves during the winter, but I was not myselfaware of the curious circumstances connected with theirconcealment, till I met with an account of them in awork on natural history a short time ago. It is highlyinteresting to consider what a beautiful economy of itsown every creature has. How many curious operationsare continually going on around us, without our beingaware of them till they are pointed out by closer andbetter informed observers of nature than ourselves. Then,indeed, they cannot fail to fill us with delight and admi-ration, and incite us to more diligent pursuit in a studywhich offers so much that is new and engaging. MARY. And pray how long do snails continue torpid ? AUNT. They generally remain enclosed for six months in
  • SNAILS. 19their self-formed prisons, and do not reappear till thespring. It appears, from the chemical analyses to whichthe lids (or opercula, as they are called) have been sub-mitted, that they consist wholly of a substance calledcarbonate of lime. The animal obtains this calcareousfluid, not merely from its ordinary vegetable food, butfrom the earth, which it eats in great abundance. Thiscircumstance accounts for some species thriving betterin chalky districts. These animals eat nothing duringthe period of hibernation, and experiments have provedthat they exist without motion, nutrition, or respiration ;in short, that they are deprived of all their usual func-tions. In our climate, it is generally about the begin-ning of April that they leave their torpid state. Themode in which they make their way from their prison isnot only curious, but beautiful. The air which had been is again inspired, and each division forcedexpired, awayby the pressure of the enclosed animal, till it reaches thelid, which being harder, requires a greater effort toburst through.Having effected this, the animal comesforth,and immediately begins feeding with appetite.Experiments show, that the return of warmth is notalone sufficient to restore their animation; moisture is c 2
  • 20 SNAILS.also requisite. They feel, very sensibly, either extremesof heat or cold, for they frequently retire within theirshells during the height of summer, where they remaina day and night, tilla shower brings them out again.The effect of temperature on this class of animals hasbeen tried, by shutting up a few snails in a perforatedbox, and some others in a bottle, tightly corked, so as toexclude all communication with the air in neither situ- :ation were they supplied with either food or water.Those deprived of air did not live long, but those hithe perforated box retired into their shells, (closing themas I have described,) and remained to all appearancedead. This death, however, was only apparent, for bybeing dropped into a glass containing water of the tem-perature of 70 or 72, they may be reanimated in aboutfour or fire hours. A large garden-snail will sometimessupport this severe confinement for several years, appa-rently dead all the time, but it will revive upon beingput into milk-warm water, quite uninjured. MARY. I have one more question to ask you. Are the darkpoints at the ends of snails horns their eyes ?
  • SNAILS. 21 AUNT. That is a subject which has given rise to much dis-cussion among naturalists, and which seems still unde-termined ; but I believe the opinion of those who havedevoted most attention to it is, that these organs arenot organs of sight, but of feeling, answering a similarpurpose to the antenna of insects. These creatures,which rank so low in the scale of organized beings, giverise to much consideration. Their manner of moving isa matter of doubt, too. They are perfectly smooth, andthere are no appendages to do the office of feet. It is,therefore, imagined, that they are propelled forward bya discharge of slime, which is emitted from every part ofthe under surface. Dry air is observed to deprive themof the power of motion, which seems to give probabilityto this conjecture. MARY. They certainly seem never to move without a dischargeof slime, for one may always trace the way they havetaken by the shining path they have left behind. I sawa particularly large snail-shell in your cabinet the othermorning, about which I have always forgotten to ask you.
  • 22 SNAILS. AUNT. It is the helix pomatia, (edible snail,) said to be bene- ficial in consumptive cases.The specimen you remarked among my shells I prize, not for its beauty, but because I found it in Normandy , in the fosse of the Chateau dAr- ques, and it serves as amemento of a pleasant day passed among the remainsof that ancient pile. MARY. The Chateau dArques ! I did not know you hadever visited it. Will you tell me something of it ? AUNT. a fine specimen of a Norman fortress, erected, as It isis generally the case, on a lofty mound of earth, sur-rounded by a deep ditch, or moat. In this instance, themound being raised on a considerable eminence, ren-
  • CHATEAU DARQUES. Page 22.
  • SNAILS. 23ders the situation of this venerable ruin extremely im-posing. It is in the centre of a lovely valley, throughwhich winds a little stream that looks like asilver threadwhen its course is viewed from the heights. It is a de-lightful scene, one on which I dwell with peculiar plea-sure, perhaps, because I beheld it the first day I spentin France. To me, the gay costume of the female pea-sants, engaged in the labours of the harvest, added agreat charm, by marking the landscape as foreign. Imight have fancied myself still in the country I had solately left but the Canchoises, with their high white ;caps and showy Rouen handkerchiefs, as they continu-ally passed beforemy eye in all the activity of theirbusy occupation, did not for a moment allow me to for-get that I was not standing on English ground. Muchwas I amused by the expressions of a ragged little boy,who acted as our cicerone, and exclaimed, with all theanimation of his country, "Mais Monsieur, Madame "voyez la campagne, quelle est superbe ! Among the historical recollections which the castlesuggests, perhaps the most interesting is its gallant de-fence in 1589, by that hero of French story, Henry IV., against the army of the League, commanded by the Due
  • 24 SNAILS. de Mayenne. The result of this battle may be consi-dered as having been highly conducive to Henrysfuture success, for he had been reduced to such extre-mity before the walls of the adjacent town of Dieppe,that he had been on the point of relinquishing his enter-prise, and retiring into England, but was advised byBiron to make good his post at Arques. The issueproved the wisdom of the Marechals counsel. So des-perate was Henrys condition before the engagement,that he said of himself, he was " a king without a king-dom, a husband without a wife, and a warrior withoutmoney." The inequality of numbers was fearful the Duke ;de Mayenne had an army of 31,000 men, while that ofHenry only amounted to 3,000, part of which consistedofGerman and Swiss auxiliaries. But Henrys was oneof those master spirits, which elastic ally rise from thepressure of adversity. Far from being dismayed by un-favourable appearances, he immediately applied himselftomaking the most of his resources, by posting his littleband to the best advantage, and exerting all his energies ;he allowed himself no rest either by day or night.Sully describes him, at the moment of the enemys ap-proach, as acting and speaking with the greatest com-
  • SNAILS. 25posure, and not betraying, either by his countenance ormanner, the slightest perturbation ; and he mentions anoble reply he made at this juncture to a person ofrank, who expressed surprise to see his scanty numberof followers. You see not all," said Henry, " for you "reckon not God and my just cause, which assist me."For some time the League seemed to prevail. Thougheach station was long valorously defended by thedevoted adherents of the king, their ruin appeared in-evitable, from the superiority of numbers on the otherside, when the clearing off of a thick fog enabled thecannon to act, and by the volley discharged from thecastle, the fortune of the day was decided in Henrysfavour. Sixtus V. predicted Henrys success from his " He wasgreat activity, for he said, not longer in bed,than the Due de Mayenne was at table." MARY. Thus a poor sluggish snail has led us into the tumultof the battle of Arques ! I thank you very much for theaccount of it !
  • THE CAMEL. MARY. HAVE been thinking a great deal of the account of the camel we met with in the travels we are read- ing. How admirably their soft feet, and their power of abstaining from water, adapt them to the scorched and sandy de- serts through which they travel with their Arab masters ! AUNT. I am glad, my dear, that this subject has engagedyour attention, and that you have reflected so much
  • THE GIRAFFE. Page 27.
  • THE CAMEL. 27upon it. This useful creature is, indeed, a striking in-stance of the goodness and wisdom of God, who hasprepared all created beings for the circumstances underwhich they are to be placed. And you will be convincedof this pervading principle, the more minutely you exa-mine His beautiful works. There is another animal, aninhabitant of the same region as the camel ; but as itshabits differ, so do its provisions. I mean the giraffe,or camel-leopard. It is not furnished with the recep-tacle for water, because it feeds on succulent plants, andthereforethis would be unnecessary; nor has it thepadded hoof of the camel, because it does not confineitself to sand, but delights in rocky heights. To enableit to climb these without stumbling, it is provided with twotoes, defended with a horny covering, and as its tongueis very much exposed to the sun while collecting food,this organ is protected by a coating, which prevents itsbeing blistered by the heat. Though it will be digress-ing, I cannot help mentioning a singular fact with respectto the Arabian camel, (that with one hump,) lest Ishould forget to callyour attention to it at some futuretime. It is, that this camel is never found wild the ;whole race is in a state of subjection to man.
  • 28 THE CAMEL. MARY. That is, indeed, very extraordinary ! How can it beaccounted for ? AUNT. In order to discover the most probable reason, wemust go back as far as the history of the deluge. Weknow that all the animals of the antediluvian earthperished, except the two of each species, which werekept alive to continue their kind. Now, it is supposed,that when Noah and his family quitted the ark, theycarefully preserved these useful animals and their pro-geny, on account of the great services they derived fromthem, while they allowed the descendants of the otheranimals to roam abroad, and return to a state of nature.We may easily believe that the same consideration insucceeding generations of men has produced the sameresult, and that thus the Arabian camel has never reco-vered its liberty. But to return to our immediate sub-ject. We need not go to another quarter of the globeforexamples of this wise adaptation, we are surroundedby them, and to the observer of nature they are obvious,not only in animal, but in vegetable life. We find plants
  • THE CAMEL. 29which require little moisture, placed in dry situations ;and again, those to whose sustenance moisture is requi-site, we find growing in damp watery places. MARY. Yes, you know how much trouble I took with some I never could get anyplants I found in the bog, buttaken from it to live in the garden, till, as you advised, Ibrought a quantity of the earth in which they were awaygrowing. AUNT. The of the garden was not suited to them, and soilbesides, there is a chemical difference between earths,which causes plants to flourish better in those in whichthey are placed than in those to which we remove them,evidently proving that they are put in the soil bestadapted to their peculiar habits. Again, remark the pro-vision made for climbing-plants. Their stems are tooweak to sustain the weight of their leaves and flowers,but they do not sink under a load so disproportioned totheir slender structure. They are furnished with deli-cate threads, or fibres, called tendrils, which spring
  • 30 THE CAMEL.from their stem and branches, and twine themselvesround the neighbouring plants of firmer growth. Bythis means this elegant tribe of plants gain support fromtheir stronger neighbours. We do not see tendrils pro-ceeding from the branches of trees or shrubs which canstand erect without depending on others, which provesthat there is design in their appearing in those plants towhich they are so useful and essential. Rising a degreehigher in the scale of creation, let us consider the insectworld, the adaption of their powers and organs to thesituations in which they are placed, and the functionsthey have to perform. Do not the wings of our gaysummer visitors, moths and butterflies, so broad andlarge in comparison to their small bodies, show for whatelement they are intended ? How admirably are theysuited for bearing them along in their rapid flight, andhow much more easily does their being able to flyenable them to collect their food, which is honey, ob-tained from the nectaries of flowers. In the caterpillarstate they feed on the leaves of plants ; when arrived atthe last stage of their existence, the little nourishmentthey require is taken from the blossoms, and as theseare generally on the summits of plants, the winged
  • THE CAMEL. 31insects mode of travelling gives it great command overthem ; could it only crawl, it would be long in reachingthe object of its pursuit. Some insects are providedwith a covering, or case, for their wings, as the beetletribe. MARY. I suppose, because their wings are so much moredelicate and thin in texture than those of moths andbutterflies. AUNT. That, probably, may be one reason, but there are,also, others. They undergo the last change underground, (in some instances at a considerable depthbelow the surface,) and, therefore, elytra, or wing-cases,are extremely serviceable in protecting their fragile in-closures during the progress of the insect to its newelement. And you must have observed that beetles arenot, like our sportive butterflies, always on the wing ;their time of flight does not begin till the evening, andtheir strong, hard coverings prevent their being injuredas they crawl on the ground, for if you inadvertently
  • 32 THE CAMEL.tread on a beetle,you may see it as you pass on runningbriskly away, unhurt by a pressure which would havedestroyed so small a creature had it not been providedwith so good a defence. MARY. Before we go in will you tell me the peculiarity inthat chrysalis which you had not time to explain whenyou showed it me the other day. AUNT. I am glad you have recollected it, for its peculiarityis a remarkable instance of what I have been endea-vouring to impress on your mind to-day. It was thechrysalis of the great goat-moth, (bombyx cossus.) Thecaterpillar, when about to change, bores into livingtrees, and penetrates so far into the willow, (the tree itusually selects,) that if there were not some provisionfor its making its way out it would be a completeprisoner. But guarded against, and if this difficulty isyou will run and fetch the pupa I will show you how.Observe that the head is armed with points; theseenable it to pierce its cocoon. Observe further, that
  • THE CAMEL. 33 each joint or division of the pupa is beset with sharp, strong teeth, all turning one way, towards the head. These teeth are employed wood, and to lay hold of the when thus fastened it pushesitself a little further, at last, by repeated efforts, tillit arrives at the hole in the tree which it had madewhen a caterpillar, through which it emerges, andbecomes an inhabitant of the air. It is not usualfor pupae to be toothed in this manner; we do notfind it the case with those which attach themselves ;but if you were sawn across, and to find to see a willowa chrysalis in the middle of the wood, you would con-sider how it would be possible for the insect to liberateitself. The intention of the teeth as an assistance inthisprocess evident. is I hope I have made you under-stand the manner in which they are used. MARY. Yes, I think I do perfectly. I fancy the chrysalisemploying its teeth as that boy who is climbing up the
  • 34 THE CAMEL.tree before us does his hand holding by a projectiontill he draws his feet a little nearer the point, and thenagain extending his hand to seek for another place tohold by. AUNT. Well, I think your illustration shows that you have acorrect notion of the chrysaliss movements in its darkabode.
  • 35 THE SUNFLOWER. MARY.You have lately made me acquainted in our walks witha great many useful plants, and I cannot help thinkingwhat a pity it is that large, handsome sunflower cannotbe applied to some purpose. It certainly makes a greatdisplay in a garden, but it grows to such a size that itseems as if it ought to have some use beyond this. AUNT. And so it has. You know I have often told you, andI again repeat, that we should not conclude that any-thing is useless till we have made ourselves acquaintedwith its properties we shall then find that most of the ;productions of nature, beyond the gratification theyafford us by their beautiful forms and tints, may be em-ployed by the farmer, the manufacturer, or the chemist. Recollect that brilliant flower we examined the other D 2
  • 36 THE SUNFLOWER.day, the saintfoin, did you not know that the fields wesee sown of it were intended for the food of cattle, youwould, perhaps, have imagined that it was designed onlyto delight the eye. Nor would you have supposed thatpretty little plant, with its delicately pencilled petals,the flax, could be manufactured into such a texture aslinen, nor that the mignionette, when prepared by thechemist, would prove so serviceable from the dye ityields. And how many of our gay flowers possessmedicinal virtues, as the handsome fox-glove, the mea-dow-saffron, and many others which I will not now stopto enumerate.. Now the sunflower does not possesssuch striking and important properties as the plants Ihave named, yet it has uses which are not generallyknown, though it is so frequently cultivated as an orna-ment to the garden. The seed forms an excellent andconvenient food for poultry, and it is only necessary tocut off the thickly studded receptacles and tie them upin a dry situation. These seeds are said not only tofatten poultry, but greatly to increase the number ofeggs they lay. When cultivated to a considerable ex-tent, they are, also, good food for sheep, pigs,and phea-sants. The leaves, too, when dried, have their peculiar
  • THE SUNFLOWER. 37use they make a good powder for cattle. The dry stalks ;burn well, and yield an abundance of alkali, and youhave yourself remarked how busy our little friends thebees are, loading themselves from its blossoms, whichare particularly attractive to them, and must supply agreat deal of matter for the composition of their winterstores. MARY. Well, I have, indeed, done the sunflower injustice, forinstead of being of no value, it seems to have a greatmany uses, but one of them I do not understand. Yousaid the stalks produced alkali : pray what is alkali ? AUNT. To answer your inquiry I must enter into a little che-mical explanation, which I did not recollect the sun-flower would lead me into. MARY. Oh ! 1 am very glad of that, if you will not be tired of have always found our conversationsexplaining, for Iso amusing when you have referred to chemistry inthem.
  • 38 THE SUNFLOWER. AUNT. I am happy you have, for it is a subject on which, ata future time, I shall wish you to have much fullerknowledge than the slight allusions to it which I haveoccasionally made can give you. Alkalies are bodieswhich have an acrid, burning taste, a pungent smell,and a caustic effect on the skin and flesh ; another oftheir general properties is, that they turn blue vegetableinfusions green. There are three, but having given youthis general idea of their nature, I will now only speakof potash, the one which is left after the burning of theleaves and stalks of the sunflower. It forms a part inthe composition of many vegetables, but some containit in greater quantities than others. As the ashes of aburnt vegetable contain other substances besides pot-ash, it is not easy to obtain the potash from them in apure state. Indeed, it is only by a process much morecomplicated than combustion that it can be obtainedpure. But still the ashes are valuable for the alkalithey contain, and are used for some purposes withoutfm-ther preparation. A little purified, they make whatis called pearlash, which, mixed with oil or fat, makes awell-known and generally useful compound soap. A
  • THE SUNFLOWER. 39very remarkable property of potash is the formation ofglass by its fusion with silicious earth, the substance ofwhich sand and flint are chiefly composed. This,though infusible alone, when mixed with potash meltsby the heat of a furnace, and runs into glass. MARY. Then when I look at the window, I perhaps see whathas formed part of a sunflower. This is, indeed, sin-gular. Well, the sunflower has been of use to me, forit has taught me what and of what soap and alkalies are,glass are composed, neither of which I knew before.
  • 40 CHARCOAL. AUNT.GOOD morning, my dear. You need not have preparedfor walking, for it has just begun to rain, therefore wemust remain within. MARY. Oh, but I hope, though we cannot go out, you will notreturn, because if you have nothing particular to do youwill perhaps fulfil the promise you made me last week :you said you would tell me how charcoal was pre-pared. AUNT. Very true, and we cannot have a better opportunitythan the present. In the first place, then, I supposeyou know the substance from which it is obtained.
  • CHARCOAL. 41 MARY. No, indeed I do not ; but what I have seen lookedalmost like logs of wood. AUNT. It is commonly said that charcoal is made from wood,but this is not a correct way of speaking. In order fullyto make you understand the nature of charcoal, I mustdip a little into chemistry, MARY. What connexion can charcoal and chemistry have ? AUNT. Carbon is a very important chemical agent, and thisisnothing more than charcoal in its pure state, that is,unmixed with other ingredients it forms a great part of ;all organized bodies, and is particularly abundant invegetables. When the oil and water (the other compo-nent parts of vegetable matter) are evaporated, a black,brittlesubstance remains this is carbon, or charcoal.To obtain it in the purest state in which it has yet beenpossible, the vegetable matter is subjected to a more
  • 42 CHARCOAL.delicate operation than I am going to describe to you,as I shall confine myself to the common charcoal as itis prepared for culinary and other ordinary purposes.Logs of wood are closely piled, and covered with clay,in which holes are left to admit air, and a fire is lightedunder it.The holes in the clay are stopped up as soonas the wood has caught fire, that it may not be com-pletely burnt. Though the extinguished, suffi- fire iscient heat remains to deprive the wood of its oily andwatery particles, without reducing it to ashes. MARY. I have heard it is very unwholesome to be in a roomwith burning charcoal. Why is it so ? AUNT. The act of burning converts it into a gas, or vapour,which uniting with one of the principles of our atmo-sphere, (the oxygen,) forms a compound called carbonicacid gas, and this is irrespirable, and, therefore, thelungs do not obtain a supply of air, and you are awarethat any cause which deprives us of air must producedeath by suffocation.
  • CHARCOAL. 43 MARY. Then the fames of charcoal are this gas. AUNT. Yes and though so highly prejudicial in a room, or :any other close place into which there is no admissionof atmospheric air, yet, taken into the stomach, it is notonly harmless but beneficial. It is an ingredient inmany of the medicinal waters, in soda-water, for in-stance ; caused by the the effervescence of which iscarbonic acid, which, being lighter than the water inwhich it is condensed, flies off immediately the pressureof the cork is removed. MARY. 1 have seen beer and some wines effervesce as muchas soda-water, do they also contain carbonic acid ? AUNT. Yes, its escape causes the brisk, sparkling effect inall these liquors. MARY. It certainly does appear to me very extraordinary that
  • 44 CHARCOAL.what is so injurious to inhale should be wholesome todrink, and that the fumes of a charcoal fire and the fixedair from soda-water are of the same nature. AUNT. But there is another form under which carbon appearsin its solid state, which will, I suspect, surpriseyou morethan what I have already told you. That most brilliantof all gems, the diamond, is nothing more than carbonin a crystallized state. MARY. That does seem incredible ! How is it proved ? AUNT. By a process which discovers to us the analysis ;component parts of bodies by their decomposition.Thus, if we decompose a piece of carbon by combus-tion, we have told you, that carbonic acid is find, as Ithe product, and if a diamond be submitted to the sametrial the result is the same, which proves that their na-ture is similar.
  • CHARCOAL. 45 MARY. Surprising !that anything so black, heavy, and dull-looking should be composed of the same material as themost brilliant of all substances. AUNT. I could detain you much longer on the subject ofcarbon, for it enters into the composition of animals,vegetables, and minerals it is one of the ; componentsof all oils. But I must now take my leave.
  • 46 SPONGE. MARY.As was preparing to come out this morning, I was Iconsidering what sponge is, and wondered it had neveroccurred to me to ask you. I fancied it more like afungus than anything else I know : is it one ? AUNT. No ; but I am not surprised at your imagining that itis, for it certainly has very much the appearance ofsome kinds of fungus, and is attached to rocks in thesame manner that the fungus tribe are to wells, trees,&c. will you say when I tell you the various But whatspecies of sponge are either animals, or the habitationsof marine creatures. There have been various opinionswith regard to these curious productions. They wereformerly supposed to be vegetables, but their being ob-served to shrink when touched, soon led to an idea that
  • SPONGES. Page 46.
  • SPONGE. 47they possessed animal life. Then it was conjecturedthat each cell, or hole, contained a small worm but later ;observers not having (after the most accurate attentionand examination) ever been able to discover any wormin the cells, or to detect any coming out, have decidedthat the sponge is itself an animal, " whose mouths areso many holes, or ends of branched tubes opening onits surface, and that by these it receives its nourish-ment." MARY. You speakof various species of sponge. I was notaware that there was more than the one kind which is socommonly used. AUNT. That is, indeed, the most usual ; but 1 can show youengravings of several others of totally different form andappearance and in some cabinets of natural history ;there are a very great variety preserved. England alone,I think, affords ten sorts. MARY. Does England supply all we see used ?
  • 48 SPONGE. AUNT. On the contrary, I rather believe you will find that thatspecies (spongiaofficinalis) is notto be met withon the Englishcoast. At any rate,great quantitiesare imported. Itabounds on thecoast of AsiaMinor, and theislands of the Ar-chipelago. The inhabitants of many of these islandsgain a subsistence by diving for it to the low rocks inthe vicinity of their coasts. The water is extremelyclear, and the experienced divers are able to distinguishfrom the surface the points to which the animal is at-tached below, when an unpractised eye could scarcelydiscern the bottom. The divers go out in boats ; eachboat is furnished with a large stone fastened to a rope,which the diver seizes in his hand on plunging headforemost from the stern, in order to increase the velocity
  • SPONGE. 49of his descent through the water. By this means hesaves unnecessary expenditure of breath, and facilitates up by his companions when hehis ascent, being pulledcan no longer remain under water. They can rarelybear being below more than two minutes, and the pro-cess of detaching the sponge is, of course, very tedious ;three or four divers frequently descend in successionto secure a particularly fine specimen. In some of the islands there is a regulation, that noyoung man shall claim his bride till he can descend with depth of twenty fathoms ; and in afacility to the littleisland named Himia, a girl is not permitted by her rela-tions tomarry before she has brought up a certainquantity of sponges, and can give proof of her agility,by taking them from a certain depth, MARY. It must be very difficult, and require practice ! Ishould not like to be put to such a trial. AUNT. It would certainly be a severe one to a person un-practised in the art of diving. But I cannot dismiss this E
  • 50 SPONGE.subject without reverting to the important office per-formed by some tribes of marine insects or worms theformation of islands. MARY. The formation of islands ! You cannot be in earnest,my dear aunt. AUNT. I assure you, my dear niece, I never was more so. MARY. Then, pray explain to me how this can be accom-plished, for I can scarcely believe it possible. They mustbe enormous insects. AUNT. No, they are not but by the extent of their works ;we see what may be effected through the agency of verysmall creatures, when labouring diligently and in concert ;and from them you may learn a useful lesson, never torelax in industry, but to remember that continued appli-cation and perseverance will conquer difficulties, which
  • MADREPORE. Page 51.
  • SPONGE. 51at firstappear insurmountable. The active little ani-mals to which I allude are the worms that form thevarious species of coral. MARY. I saw some coral in Mr. B.s cabinet the other day.Is the coral of which these islands are formed similar tothat? AUNT. Yes, and you recollect you particularly admired a large white speci- men resembling a cauliflower, which I toldyou was called a madrepore, and was the work of one of the species of coral worms. Now it is principally of this that the islands I am about to de-scribe are composed. It is most common in the tropical E 2
  • 52 SPONGE.seas, and a mass of it (frequently so large as to endangerthe safety of vessels) is called a reef. As it is requisite forthe worms to be covered with water while they work,these reefs are renderedmore dangerous by not appear-ing above the surface. It was formerly imagined thatthey raised these immense structures from the bottom ofthe sea, but now the general opinion is, that submarinehills and mountains are the foundations on which theyraise them. The tiny architects work till they reach the beyond this point they cannotlevel of the highest tide,advance: those which began their operations lower,continue them till they reach the same height, and asthey work very rapidly, you may imagine what an exten-sive surface is thus produced. The navigation of thePacific Ocean requires the greatest caution, on accountof the number of reefs that now exist, and the new onesthat are constantly in progress. By day there is littledanger, because when these vast edifices are not suffi-ciently lofty to be seen above water, there is a ripplingover them, which marks the spot. I can scarcely ima-gine any object more splendidly beautiful than one ofthese reefs : the description navigators give of them isso enchanting, that one is quite inspired with a desire to
  • SPONGE* 53witness the scene they depict. Over many of them thewater is so clear that their whole structure, and everythingon them, is disclosed to view, the treasures of the mightydeep are discovered. Mixed with the beautiful coral itselfare sea-weeds and sponges of all forms and colours, andshells equally varied ; fishes of all sizes and tints, andenormous sea-snakes, increasing the splendour of theirlustrous skins by their undulating motions. In short, itisa new world of beauty rendered dazzlingly brilliantby the sparkling medium through which it is viewed.
  • 54 SPONGE.But I must not allow the beauty of the reefs to draw mefrom the mode of their conversion into islands. Eachsuccessive colony of worms dies when their work iscompleted, and they are no longer washed by the water,and the interstices in their protruded abodes are, by degrees, filled with sand, shells, and other sub- stances, each tide adding some con- tribution, till at length an island is formed. The sea conveys the seeds of marineplants, and those of the trees of adjacent lands. Thebirds, too, which are its first visitors, bring seeds, andby other means prepare it for the occupation ofman. MARY. Then, I suppose, the birds are like the worms, verynumerous.
  • SPONGE. 55 AUNT. So much so, that if we had not the testimony of eye-witnesses,whose veracity is to be depended upon, theaccounts of their numbers would scarcely seem credible.Captain Flinders, a bold navigator of the Australianseas, (and who, by the bye, suffered shipwreck on acoral reef,) mentions a flight of petrels, which took anhour and a half in their passage over his vessel. Hedescribes them as forming a solid, compact mass, whichhe calculated at fifty yards deep, and three hundredbroad, and computing the space that each bird wouldoccupy in flying, he considered the whole number toamount to 151,500,000,and the quantity of ground theywould require to burrow in, to eighteen and a half squaremiles. This will give you some idea of the importanceof the winged preparers of the coral islands. MARY. What kind of birds are petrels ? AUNT. They are a tribe which frequent the sea-coast, and
  • 56 SPONGE*there form burrows for themselves, or, as in some in-stances on our shores, take possession of those of rabbits.During the day they are generally on the wing, seekingfor food ; this consists of the fat of whales or fish. Butthe most distinguishing characteristic of the genus is,that all the species have the power of spouting oil fromtheir bills to a considerable distance. This is a meansof defence ; they spirt it in the faces of those who at-tempt to take them. From the nature of their food,they abound so much in oil, that they actually, in somecountries, have wicks passed through them, and areused for candles. Does not forcibly impress us with the wonderful itpower of the Creator, when we consider the feeble in-struments he employs for such great and curious works ?We see visible traces of his mighty hand on every regionof his dominions ; the same beautiful adaptation to cir-cumstances, the same wisdom is evident, whether wecontemplate the starry firmament, the air, the earth, orthe ocean, all teem with His works, all declare Hisglory. exclaim with the Psalmist, " O Lord how We !manifold are thy works ; in wisdom hast thou madethem all : the earth is full of thy riches. So is the great
  • SPONGE. 57and wide sea also ; wherein are things, creeping thingsinnumerable, both small and great beasts."
  • 58RUST INDIAN-RUBBER LEAD PENCILS, &c. MARY.You have so frequently told me that I ought not to letcommon objects pass without learning all I can aboutthem, that I have kept a of some I wish to ask you listabout, and perhaps you will be so good as to give mesome information respecting two or three of them to-day, AUNT. I shall be very happy to do so. Let me hear whatquestions you have to propose. MARY. In the first place I want to know what causes steel torust in a damp place ? AUNT. The decomposition of water.
  • RUST ON STEEL. 59 MARY. do not understand your answer, for how can I reallythat be the reason of this rust on my penknife, whichhas not been near water? AUNT. But it has been in a damp room, and damp is waterin a state of vapour. I did not expect you to under-stand my answer without further explanation, which 1was going to give you. The components of water aretwo gases, oxygen and hydrogen; and the oxygenhaving a greater affinity for steel than for hydrogen, theformer obtains it from the and the brown coating latter,is formed, which is commonly called rust, but moreproperly an oxyd, from oxydation, a term used to ex-press the union of bodies with oxygen. MARY. Is not oxygen the gas you told me we inhale fromthe atmosphere when we breathe ? AUNT. Yes, and I also told you that it is absolutely requisite
  • 60 RUST ON STEEL,in combustion. This operation cannot go on without asupply of oxygen, and in fact oxydation is a slight com-bustion, for there is disengagement of light and heat,(the accompaniments of combustion,) though it is notsufficient to be perceptible when metals oxydate at thecommon temperature of the atmosphere. The attractionof metals for oxygen varies considerably ; some requireto be heated to combine with it. The precious metals,gold, silver, and platina, preserve their lustre so well,because they will not oxydate without being exposed tothe greatest heat the chemist can produce. There isone, manganese, which has so strong an affinity foroxygen, that itbecomes an oxyd immediately on its ex-posure to the air, and is seldom found in its purestate. The oxyds of metals may be restored totheir pure metallic state by a process which is calledreviving. For this purpose they are placed in con-tact with charcoal heated red hot, because it has a oxygen than metals. The oxygengreater attraction forquits the metal, and combines with the charcoal.Thus the oxyd is decomposed, or unburnt, and the metalrestored.
  • INDIAN-RUBBER. 61 MARY. Then rust is an oxyd, formed by the union of ametal with oxygen. Now you will, perhaps, think mynext question a very ignorant one, but I do not recollectever having heard what Indian-rubber is ; or, if I have, Ihave forgotten. AUNT. You probably never have. Of what nature should youimagine it to be ? MARY. It seems like a gum. AUNT. You are right, it is something of that nature, but par-takes more of the properties of a and its proper resin,name is caoutchouc. It is procured from two or threespecies of trees in the East Indies and South America,from which it flows as a white milky fluid. MARY. But we generally see it in the shape of bottles ; Isuppose it is made to assume that form by art.
  • 6*2 INDIAN-RUBBER. AUNT. Yes ; incisions are made in the trees, and the juice collected, into which little moulds of clay are dipped, and when dry, dipped in again; and this is conti- nued till the coating has acquired sufficient consistency ; the enclosed clay is then broken, aud shaken out. MARY. for the brown earthy appearance one That accounts always sees on cutting a bottle of Indian-rubber. But you said the juice was white ; is it then coloured, because we always have it black. AUNT. In a liquid state it is white, but it blackens in drying. You frequently see lines and figures on it; these are traced on the last coating before it is quite dry. It is obtained chiefly during rain, being observed to ooze more freely at that time. It is insoluble in water, of which property the Indians avail themselves by making boats of it, which are not penetrable by water. DO It may used as flambeaux, and is said to give a beautifully rilliant light,J^ori and not to emit any unpleasant odour.
  • OF LEAD IN PENCILS. 63It is very difficult of solution, for it resists the power ofall common solvents, and can only, I believe, be per-fectly dissolved in ether. MARY. subject of Indian-rubber reminds me of another Thequestion I have often thought of asking you. How is thelead in pencils made so much more shining and bril-liantthan lead generally is ? AUNT. You are not aware that you are speaking of two dif-ferent things ; of a mineral, not a metal. There is notany lead in the composition of your pencils, though fromcustom they are called black-lead pencils. MARY. Then, pray, dear aunt, do tell me of what they arecomposed. AUNT. Of carbon, (a substance you are already somewhacquainted with,) united with a small portion of iron ;
  • 64 OF LEAD IN PENCILS.these together form a compound, called in the languageof chemistry, carburet of iron. There is only one mineof it in England. MARY. And where is that ? AUNT. In Cumberland. MARY. From what you say, I suppose there is much morecarbon than iron in this compound. AUNT. Yes, the carbon greatly predominates indeed, it is;considered to approach as nearly as possible to the bestprepared charcoal, for there are only five parts of iron,and no other ingredient. MARY. From what kind of tree is gum arable obtained ?
  • GUMS AND RESINS. 65 AUNT. It is of the same genus as that beautiful shrub withits tufts of brilliant yellow flowers we were admiring theother day, and which you had been accustomed to calla mimosa, till I told you it was now classed as an acacia.The species in question grows in great abundance inAfrica generally, but the gum is chiefly obtained fromthose trees situated in the equatorial regions. Arabia,Barbary, and Egypt supply us with the greatest quan-tity. It exudes in the same manner as that from ourcherry and plum-trees. Now remark the distinctionbetween a gum and a resin. Indian-rubber (which Ihave just told you is of the latter nature) is insoluble inwater, and this is the general characteristic of resins,though they yield more easily to spirituous solventsthan caoutchouc. Gums, on the contrary, are solublein water. By recollecting this fact you will be possessedof a test by which you can yourself discover to which ofthese classes any particular body belongs. In appear-ance, there is a great resemblance between gums andresins, and therefore they may be easily mistaken till submitted to the proof of solubility in water. In Arabia gum-arabic is applied to a purpose we are not accus- F
  • ()6 GUM-ARABIC.tomed to see it used for in England, for sealing letters,and little vases filled with it, in a liquid state, are hungoutside the houses. Even such trifling differences ofcustom in foreign countries strike us as singular andcurious,and arrest our attention. Travellers in theEast remark, that the style of folding, directing, andsealing letters immediately indicates, to a person ac-quainted with the customs of Arabia, Syria, and Turkey,whence they come, for each country has its distinctmode. MARY. So that if I ever should receive a letter sealed withgum, I shall suspect it has travelled to me from Arabia,though I do not think it likely I shall ever have mydiscernment exercised on this point.
  • COLOURS. AUNT.As saw you drawing yesterday, it occurred to me that Iyou had very probably never considered whence yourcolours were obtained. Am I right ? Have you everinquired from what substances they were extracted ? MARY. Your conjecture is indeed correct, for this is a sub-ject that I have never thought on, and I am quite gladthat you have directed my attention to it. Let me seeI should imagine the colours were all made from vege-tables. Is this the case ? AUNT. Far from it. Some are obtained from vegetables,some from animals, but the greater number fromminerals. F -2
  • 68 COLOURS. MARY. So instead of the artist being indebted to one only ofthe kingdoms of nature, as I ignorantly supposed, he issupplied from the three. Will you tell me the coloursthat belong to each ? AUNT. I will enumerate a few of each class; but I shallmerely speak of the nature and origin of the colours,without attempting to explain how they are rendered fitfor the painters usea process which, in some instances, ;is very complicated. You may take it as a general rulewith respect to water-colours, that those prepared frommetals are always opaque, and those from animals andvegetables transparent. Prussian-blue, which is ametallic colour, is an exception, being always transpa-rent. Now comply with your request, and tell you I willthat carmine and lake are obtained from the cochinealinsect, seppiafrom a species of cuttle-fish. Ivory-blackisthe soot (or fixed product of combustion) of ivory orbones burnt in a close vessel.
  • COLOURS. 69 MARY. Then these may be called animal colours. AUNT. Certainly. The mineral and metallic colours arevery numerous indeed, nearly ; all the metallic oxyds areused as paints. Ultra-marine is an oxyd of lapis lazuli,and has this great advantage, that it never fades, evenwhen mixed with other substances ; it is therefore to beregretted that its high price prevents its being moreused. Smalt is, formed of an oxyd of in fact, a glasscobalt and potash. Vermilion results from a union ofsulphur and quicksilver. The ochres are earths, andowe their different shades to the degrees of oxydationin which the iron with which they are impregnated. isUmber, again, is an earth of an ochreous nature, calledfrom Ombria, the ancient name of the duchy of Spoleto,where it was first found. The basis of Prussian-blue isiron, which, mixed with a certain portion of alkali, andexposed to the action of heat, produces this usefulcolour. It takes its name from having been accident-ally discovered by a chemist of Berlin. Indigo is extracted from the leaves of a plant, the
  • 70 COLOURS.Indigofera tinctoria. Gamboge a vegetable exuda- istion, partaking of the properties both of a gum and aresin. The madders are obtained from the root of themadder, (rubia tine tor urn,) and so strong is the colour-ing matter of this plant, that the bones of animals whichfeed on it are tinged of a deep red. MARY. You have not mentioned either lamp-black or Indian-ink. What are they composed of? AUNT. The best lamp-black is, I believe, prepared from thesoot of burnt pine-wood; but I have known persons whohave made a very good black of this kind from the sootcollected from an oil-lamp, merely adding a little gum-arabic to give it consistency. Indian-ink is a mixtureof lamp-black and glue. MARY. I do not recollect that you spoke of any green.
  • PLANT-INDIGO. Page 70.
  • COLOURS. 71 AUNT. Green is generally a compound colour. I believe theonly simple green that is at all vivid is that procured fromvcrdigrease. The one you most commonly use, Prus-sian-green, consists of Prussian-blue and yellow-ochre.Purples and lilacs, too, are usually compound colours. I am aware that, in the few colours I have named, Iperhaps have not noticed half what you will find in yourown box but I did not promise to go through the ;whole, and shall leave you to discover y our self whetherthose I have omitted are to be referred to an animal,vegetable, or mineral origin. MARY. Thank you, my dear aunt, for having given me asmuch information as you have on this subject. I shallnot rest now till I have found out what each little occu-pant of my box is composed of, for I am surprised thatI could open it, day after day, without feeling such acuriosity. I am determined I will no longer remain inignorance. AUNT. It is very useful to know whence each colour is de-
  • 72 COLOURS. you may understand how to mix it properlyrived, thatwith another. Care must be taken not to mix themineral and vegetable colours, for they destroy eachother, and, in a short time, the effect of a drawing inwhich such an error has been committed is completelyaltered.
  • THE COTTON-TREE. Page 73.
  • 73 A TRAVELLER. AUNT.Now, my dear, I shall try if I can puzzle you this morn-ing,though I do not expect to succeed, for I dare sayyou will soon discover the adventurers I am going tointroduce to you. MARY. You rather alarm me ; for if you are about to speak ofany distinguished persons whose history I ought torecollect, and I should have forgotten it, you will thinkme very forgetful and ignorant AUNT. We shall see how your memory serves. Listen to mytale.
  • 74 A TRAVELLER. " In India, my native clime, I commenced my careeras the protector of a tender infant, and may truly say Inever left my care till I found myself torn the object offrom by a power which I was unable to resist, and we itparted never to meet again. Nothing could be moreviolent and painful than the mode of our separation.However wrong it may be, it is generally remarked thatthere is a feeling almost amounting to satisfaction whenwe find we are not greater sufferers than our neighbours ;a consolation which I certainly enjoyed, for numbers ofmine were obliged to submit to the same discipline asmyself,and to part from those with whom they had been,from their springing into life, most nearly connected. Isoon found that we were to be entirely at the disposal ofour captors, and that it was their intention shortly totransport us to a foreign country. For this purpose areceptacle was prepared for us, into which we were allunceremoniously hurried ; and though we seemed at firstto be quite as close together as was at all agreeable, itwas considered by those under whose direction wewere that we puffed ourselves out, and occupied toomuch space. We were soon obliged to contract our-
  • A TRAVELLER. 75selves nay, they did not even scruple to have recourse ;to main force to make us lie nearer together, which itmay be easily imagined was far from comfortable.After we had remained in this miserable state for sometime, we were removed from the position we had hith-erto occupied, and placed on board a large vessel,where we did not meet with more consideration than inour former situation : and there was this further disad-vantage, that we were kept longer in durance, for wewere nearly six months on our voyage, uncertain of ourdestination, and of what was to be our fate on reachingit. But, dull and uncomfortable as our life was duringthis half-years imprisonment, it was delightful comparedwith what we had to undergo afterwards. On the shipsarrival in port all was bustle and confusion ; but fromone language prevailing, which we had often heardspoken in our own dear India, we felt convinced wemust be in England, that happy land of liberty, and wewere certain that here, at any rate, we should meet withmore humanity, and be released from bondage. Wewere indeed let out of our confinement, but only to betreated still more cruelly. The passengers all landed,
  • 76 A TRAVELLER.and we anxiously expected to follow but our turn did ;not come we seemed to be forgotten. At last, how- ;ever, the anticipated moment arrived, and we foundourselves on English ground. I cannot enter into adetail of all our sufferings. One of the operations towhich we were obliged to submit I can only compare tobeing on the rack, which will give some idea of therigorous treatment we experienced. After suffering theinflictions of those into whose hands we had fallen, wewere completely altered, our very nature seemed changed,and we discovered that we were thus disguised in orderto serve the ends of our tormentors. We travelled tovarious parts of the country, and in several of the pro-vincial towns we were introduced into immense build-ings, in which were rooms of enormous length, where agreat number of persons were assembled, whose wholeattention, strange to say, seemed devoted to us. Heremany of us were united together. Each of us had hith-erto led much the same kind of life, but now OUT desti-nies were exceedingly different. Some of my compa-nions, leaving the great houses I have spoken of, wereallowed to revisit their native country, not to take up
  • A TRAVELLER. 77theirabode there, but to improve their appearance, (along way to go for such a purpose,) and after havingundergone what was deemed requisite to produce thisresult, they were again embarked for England, wherethey became great favourites, and were eagerly soughtfor by the female part of the community. The period Iam referring to is some few years ago, when such travel-lers were more esteemed than they are now. We stay-at-homes have since risen in reputation, and gained theplace in society they formerly monopolized. Numbersof us are now journeying on the continent of Europe,others in America; in English name has, short, thethrough our means, been carried to all the quarters ofthe globe. We are universally valued for our usefulproperties. we assume Proteus like, various forms, andmay be seen of every hue. The offices we fill areequally various. We are found about the persons ofthe monarch and the peasant of the fine lady and hermeanest attendant. We assist in the diffusion of light,and are not less frequently employed in its exclusion.But it would be vain to attempt an enumeration of all
  • 78 A TRAVELLER.our offices, and I have already told sufficient of the his-tory of myself and friends." MARY. I have listened very attentively, dear aunt, but I mustconfess myself so stupid as not to know of whom youhave been speaking. AUNT. My you like to call it) was sug- riddle (or whatevergested by a conversation we had a very short time ago,and therefore I fancied you would not be long in makingit out. Do not you remember how much interested youwere by hearing of the number of hands through whichcotton passes in its progress from the raw to the manu-factured state ? MARY. Ah now I ! understand ! The protectors of the tenderinfants are the soft envelopes of the seeds of the cotton-plant, that is, the cotton in its natural state ; and theimaginary sufferings you have described are the opera-
  • A TRAVELLER. 79tions to which it is submitted in its preparation forarticles of clothing, and the other uses to which it isapplied. COTTON-PLANT.
  • 80 RAIN. MARY.How much I regret this wet morning ; it will preventour taking our walk : and it is so particularly unfortunate,because you promised to take me to Wood, to seekfor insects, and I have prepared my net and boxesfor catching and bringing them home. AUNT. It is true, my dear, your expected pleasure is deferredby this rain but we must not, on such occasions, think ;only of ourselves and our own gratifications, but reflecton the general benefit that is received from the alterna-tion of rain and sunshine. Recollect how parched theground looked yesterday ; you know in some places weremarked that it had actually cracked from excessivedryness. This seasonable supply of moisture will revive
  • RAIN. 81the whole face of nature, by affording nourishment tovegetation. MARY. And all the poor plants that looked so drooping willhold up their heads again. Pray, aunt, what is thecause of rain ? AUNT. You know I told you the other day that there isalways a certain portion of moisture in the air. MARY. I recollectyou did, and you said, also, that it con-tained most when it appeared the driest. AUNT. The reason of which, though it appears paradoxicalwithout explanation, is, that when the air is the warmestit can dissolve the greatest quantity of water. Now forthe cause of rain. When a portion of this warm air,charged with moisture, meets a current of colder air, it-is deprived of some of its heat, and with its heat its G
  • 82 RAIN.power of retaining water in a state of solution is dimin-ished, and the particles (of water) approach each other,and fall in the form of rain. The refreshment andabundance produced by rain is one of the blessings forwhich, from their frequency and common occurrence,we are not sufficiently grateful. In our temperate cli-mate we seldom suffer from the want of it, and theverdure of our fields and trees the consequence. This isgrateful freshness is so familiar to our eye that wealmost cease to observe it, but it is remarkably strikingto those who come from, what we are apt to consider, morefavoured climes. An inhabitant of France or Italy, orof the "further East," is immediately struck by thegreenness of our country, and filled with admiration ofso great a beauty. This is a subject I like to dwellupon, for I think the advantage of having been placedin so temperate and healthful a climate as ours, is one ofthose every-day comforts of which we are too apt to beunmindful. MARY. I deserve to be censured for complaining as I didjust now ; it was, indeed, very selfish.
  • RAIN. b3 AUNT. We are all too prone to do so, and lament the vari-ableness of our climate, without considering it is to thatcause we owe its healthfulness. Placed between theextremes of heat and cold, we avoid the inconveniencesconsequent on both. The seasons are, indeed, moreregular and changeable in other latitudes, but lesscomfort from being the result of this regularity. is farTowards the poles the year is divided between a long,dreary winter, and a very short summer. Between thetropics, the wet and dry seasons are more accuratelydivided than ours ; but you would not, I imagine, con-sider this an advantage, for during the dry season theair is so heated as to become scorching and insupport-able ; and when the wet season sets in, it is with suchviolence as to be often appalling, and hurricanes spreaddevastation, uprooting the largest trees, and sweepingaway the abodes of man in their course. MARY. We are indeed happy to be exempt from such ravages.You say all the various changes of weather are bene-
  • 84 RAIX.ficial, and we certainly see and know that rain is so, butof what use is wind ? AUNT. You must yourself have remarked how, after a heavyfall of rain, the ground is dried by this useful agent, towhich you do not seem able to assign an office if it ;were not for its influence, after a wet season, the waterwould remain so long on the ground as to become un-wholesome. Another important service is the purifica-tion of the atmosphere ; unwholesome exhalations aredispelled by it, and rendered harmless by the rushing inof a current of pure air. A remarkable instance of theinstrumentality of the agitation of the atmosphere indispelling noxious vapours, is mentioned by travellers asoccurring in the neighbourhood of Vera Cruz, wheregreat mortality is annually caused by a malignant fever,called the vomito, but this ceases as soon as the norte ya violent north wind, sets in. This wind is dreadfullytempestuous, but notwithstanding the great injuries doneby the fury with which it blows, the inhabitants of VeraCruz hail it with delight, from its being, though a rude,a certain remedy for the greater evil the malady which
  • FISHING-BOATS IN A GALE. Page 85.
  • RAIN. 85rages dining the portion of the year that the norte doesnot blow. Then, when enumerating the services ofwind we must not fail to mention the facilitation ofintercourse between distant countries, by impellingvessels from one shore to others so many hundred milesapart. There are particular winds which prevail at cer-tain seasons of the year between the tropics, a know-ledge of which greatly assists the mariner in his coursethrough the seas over which they blow. These arecalled trade-winds, &c., &c., and at some future time Iwill tell you more of them. MARY. But though wind is so essential for the progress ofvessels, how much it must make the poor sailors sufferwhen it is very high. I always pity the fishermen, par-ticularly when I see them pushing off their boats on awindy night. AUNT. They are, indeed, very much to be commiseratedduring severe gales ; but they rather rejoice in a degreeof wind which you would, I dare say, consider it very
  • 86 RAIN.sad that they should be exposed to, because there aresome kinds of fish the captures of which are so muchmore abundant during a gale. I was, last year, on theNorfolk coast, where are our principal stations for her-ring-fishing, and I felt as you do while I used to watchthe industrious, persevering fishermen preparing for when the wind raised the waves sothen* nightly task,high that their boats could scarcely make way againstthem ; but to any remark on the boisterous blowing of " It isthe wind, they always replied : good for fishing ;if we have no wind we catch no herrings." So wise arethe appointments of Providence, that to every stationand occupation he has allotted compensating advan-tages : the fishermans lot appears to us a hard one, buthis employment is peculiarly healthy, and he is rendered,by exposure hardy that what we should to weather, soconsider great inconveniences and difficulties, he thinksnothing of, and what we should deem one of the greatest he has to contend with, he regards with compla-evilscency and satisfaction, because it is the means of sup-plying him with abundance of that on which he dependsfor the support of his family.
  • 87 FALL OF THE LEAF. MARY.I AM sorry to see the leaves fallingour morning walks ;will soon be over, and the country looks so dismal whenthe trees are bare. AUNT. The naked branches certainly form a sad contrast tothe gay verdure with which they are clothed in springand summer ; and we always look with sorrow on thewithering leaves, because they remind us that thosecharming seasons are passed, and the less agreeabledivisions of the year are approaching. How great ablessing is this gradual change In our temperate !climate we do not pass from intense heat to suddencold, but are prepared for the frost and snow of winterby the chilly air of its precursor, autumn. And these
  • 88 FALL OF THE LEAF.falling leaves, of which you complain, how useful theyare ! When decomposed by moisture they make anexcellent manure, and contribute to the nourishment ofthe trees from which they drop. The economy of natureis a beautiful consideration. The care of God for allhis creatures is evinced by the provision that he hasmade for every individual ; the most insignificant plant,the most minute insect, is not overlooked, but findsitself placed in a situation where it meets with suste-nance suited for it. Nothing is lost, nothing useless.To how marly purposes are trees when felled applied,which, while living and covered with leaves, were so orna-mental, and afforded so grateful a shade ! The statelyoak, which in progress to maturity has been the itsadmiration of generations, converted into a vessel, nowbears the defenders of the land on which it grew or, ;guided by more peaceful hands, transports the discovererto the dreary regions of eternal ice, or the merchant tomore genial climes, in search of the various productionsthey yield. How grateful is the shade of this lime-walk,and how sweet the scent shed around when the treesare in blossom ! But the use of the lime does not endhere. Its wood is hard and tough, which properties
  • FALL OF THE LEAF. 89adapt making axle-trees, mill-wheels, &c. The it forbark, dried and ground to powder, and mixed withmeal, makes bread, and is thus used in Norway in timesof scarcity. The flowers are gathered by the Swiss as asubstitute for tea, and considered by them much morewholesome than that from the Chinese herb. Howvarious are the benefits we derive from the inferior ani-mal creation When an ox or a sheep is slain for our !food, those parts which are not suited for this purposeare not cast away as unavailable, but are convertibleinto articles for the service of man. By immersion inwater, spermaceti may be obtained from the bones ofhorses the horns of deer yield the essence which gives ;the agreeable pungency to hartshorn. But I cannotselect any animal that will more fully illustrate this sub-ject and prove the correctness of what I have said thanthat timid creature, the sheep. MARY. Is it so particularly useful ? I know how much it isused for food, but I was not aware that it was service-able in many other wavs.
  • 90 FALL OF THE LEAF. AUNT. A bring to your recollection one little reflection willgreat benefit we derive from it, almost as great as thenutritious and wholesome food it supplies us with. Ofwhat are our warm winter garments composed ? MARY. Oh ! very true. remember of wool. I I was cer-tainly extremely stupid and ungrateful to the poor sheep,to forget that it is to them we owe so much comfort. AUNT. And let us stop a moment to consider how many arethe benefits derived from this single product, which atfirstmight only appear as refuse. Sheep are shearedevery year, and each shearing gives employment tonumbers of persons. It is requisite for the wool to passthrough various processes before it is fit to be madeinto clothing ; and it goes through more hands than Ican enumerate before it is ready for the wearer, supply-ing a livelihood to the various artisans who are engagedin its preparation. When killed, we gain possession ofthe skin as well as the wool. This is made into parch-
  • FALL OF THE LEAF. 91ment, and what is not fit for this purpose is used formaking glue. MARY. What a valuable creature ! AUNT. But I hare not done yet candles are made of its fat, :which is also one of the ingredients in that useful article,soap. A healing oil is extracted from the feet, andeven their horns have their appropriation, being madeinto buttons and similar articles. MARY. Sheep were always favourites of mine, but now I shallregard them with still greater interest. AUNT. Every part of the animal has its peculiar useful pro-perties and so it is throughout creation, though our ;ignorance prevents the purpose to which all that webehold may be applied. The most disgusting objectsto our senses, as decaying bodies, &c., are an acceptable
  • 92 FALL OF THE LEAF.banquet to numbers of living creatures. Then we areapt to speak of certain things as consumed, and attachto the idea of any body that is decomposed either bycombustion or by putrefaction, a complete disappear-ance of the body, or a change to nothing; but thisnotion is false. I cannot too strongly impress uponyour mind, that in the wisely ordered economy of naturethere is nothing lost. When matter is decomposed it isresolved into its elements, and these disengaged ele-ments unite with other bodies and form new compounds.Thus, in combustion, when you look at a fire of coals,itappears as if the coals were destroyed by burning,but this is not the case ; no particle of matter in natureis destroyed. The coals are only decomposed by theaction of heat. MARY. Into what are they changed ? AUNT. Partly into substances which are visible, as soot andashes, (called the fixed products of combustion,) andpartly into an imperceptible gas, called the volatile pro-
  • FALL OF THE LEAF. 93duct. With the latter you are already in some degreeacquainted, for it is no other than carbonic acid gas. MARY. But how is that ? you told me it was produced byburning charcoal. AUNT. Carbon the principal ingredient in the composition isof coals, and, therefore, they likewise produce carbonicacid, and it likewise results from the breathing of ani-mals, and the decomposition of vegetables during putre-faction, and from these sources enters into the composi-tion of the atmosphere, whence it is imbibed by theleaves of plants. Here, again, is a beautiful arrange-ment. This gas, as you know, is highly prejudicialwhen inhaled into the human lungs, and were it allowedto accumulate would render the air totally unfit for res-piration; but the prejudicial principle, the carbon, isseized upon by vegetables for nourishment, and theoxygen, (which you will remember is the other compo-nent,) the gas which we inhale, is returned to supply andpurify the air. It is from there being no trees to absorb
  • 94 FALL OF THE LEAF.this noxious gas that many districts are rendered sounhealthy and pestilential it is considered that if the ;Pontine Marshes were planted, the malaria, which provesso fatal in its effects, would no longer prevail. But Icannot dismiss this gas without observing that it affordsa remarkable instance of the same agent possessing aproductive and destructive principle. Not only does itdestroy animal life, but it decomposes many of thehardest rocks. MARY. What ! as it floats in the air ? AUNT. Yes, by merely coming in contact with rocks of a cer-tain class it causes them to moulder. MARY. Howextraordinary that so hard and apparently im-penetrable a substance as rock should be thus actedupon ! AUNT. This gas abounds in hot springs, and is freely disen-
  • FALL OF THE LEAF. 95gaged from them. Travellers tell us that it escapes sorapidly and abundantly from the Lake of Solfaterra thatsome parts of its surface appear as if boiling. In vol-canic districts it rises from the soil, and its effect inincreasing the luxuriance of vegetation is very percep-tible ; for many trees, which would not otherwise thrivein the same soil and climate, by the abundance of grate-ful nourishment it imparts, attain to uncommon size andvigour.
  • 96 ON ROOKS, &c. MARY.I ALWAYS observe a number of rooks on a newlyploughed field, and they seem to follow and hover aboutthe plough as the ground is turning up. There mustbe something that attracts them. AUNT. They are seeking for the grubs of cockchafers. MARY. Do they look for them as food ? AUNT. Yes ; and the farmer derives great benefit from theirfreeing his fields from these insects, which are extremelydestructive, and so numerous that if they were not thuskept in check their ravages would be fearful.
  • Page 96.
  • ROOKS. 97 MARY. What injury do they do ? AUNT. They by eating the roots of corn destroy the cropsand grass, and as they remain four years in the grubstate, you may imagine how much food would be requiredfor the succeeding generation of each year. Nor dothey, like some Insects, cease to take the same quantityof nourishment when they have undergone their lastchange. The appetite of the cockchafer is undiminishedwhen it becomes a beetle, and it satisfies it by eatinglargely of the leaves of trees. It has sometimes beenthought that it would be advisable to exterminate allthe rooks in a neighbourhood, in order to prevent theirtaking a portion of the ripe grain, but those who havetried thisexperiment have invariably found that theywere pursuing a wrong plan. Their fields lost theirverdure, and the springing blade, withered and dry,gave the appearance of an arid plain to their green corn-lands, and they were glad to re-establish colonies oftheir friends the rooks, in order to stop the devastationsof the destructive insects. H
  • 98 ROOKS. MARY. I am pleased to find that these birds are so useful,for I like to watch them building their nests, and tolisten to their cawing but I was like the farmers who ;destroyed them, I always fancied they did harm. AUNT. The keeping in check of one class of creatures byothers which prey upon them is part of the wise schemeof Providence. By this means no order of createdbeings occupy too large a space on the earth, or isallowed to go beyond the bounds prescribed to it. Inwild and uninhabited countries we find carnivorousbeasts, which prey upon the gentler animals. Whenman takes up his abode in these regions he is allowedto exterminate the beasts of prey, because they are nolonger wanted, manhimself feeding on the creatureswhich they were before commissioned to remove. In awork I was reading a short time ago, I met with a remark-able instance of this restrictive power, not exercised byone order of animals on a different one, but by indivi-duals of the same species on each other. The plains ofSouth America abound in wild horses, which are usually
  • ROOKS. 99particularly mildand gentle in their nature, but whentheir supply of water becomes scanty, they are seizedwith a kind of madness. They rush into the ponds,trampling upon each other and the carcases of thou- ;sands have been found round a pool, destroyed in thismanner. Werenot for the mortality caused by this itcivil war, the plains would not supply food for thesehorses, so rapid is their increase. What variety do wesee in the means employed by Providence to accom-plish the same ends ! The feathered tribes, too, havetheir devourers; and they, again, feed on insects; so thatthroughout nature we observe this law in force. Indeed,were it not for this wise ordination, the earth would beoverrun with the immense numbers of creatures pro-duced on it, and would no longer be a fit abode for man.Even the increase of insects would be intolerable.Though these, from their rank among created things,and their diminutive size, may appear contemptible,their multiplication is in many, indeed, in most in-stances, so prodigious, that were they not kept withindue limits, our trees and fields would be bare of leavesand grass, and the earth would become loathsome fromthe presence of such multitudes of winged and creeping H 2
  • 100 ROOKS.things the air would be filled with them the groundcovered. But you know to how many casualties thesesmall creatures are exposed. Birds are constantlyseeking for them as food to convey to their youngbroods; and they have many enemies among them-selves, cannibal insects as they may be called. Ofthis class are the different varieties of ichneumon- flies,which attack their prey in the caterpillar, chrysalis, andperfect states. MARY. And did you not once tell me that the pretty littlelady -birds eat other insects ? AUNT. I did. Their office is to keep in check the plant- lice, ( aphides J and they are particularly useful in hop- grounds, which are much in- fested by aphides. It is always remarked that when the lady -birds appear in theenormous quantities they sometimes do, they are more
  • ROOKS. 101than usually required among the hops ; with the evil,the remedy is sent forth. MARY. I suppose a greater number of insects are destroyedby the effects of cold than by any other cause, andtherefore that this may be considered one of the greatpreventives of their too great increase. AUNT. It is generally believed that severe cold is a certaindestroyer of insects ; but this opinion is more generalthan just, for it is found, by experiments, that these littlecreatures (though apparently so fragile and delicate thatone would imagine a sudden frost would sweep awaythe whole race) are yet able to bear a very intensedegree of cold. Some of our common caterpillars areoften so completely frozen as to be converted intobrittle pieces of ice, that break on being dropped on ahard substance, and yet in this benumbed state, whenthe principle of life seems extinct, they feel the influenceof a milder temperature, revive with the return of spring,and resume their ordinary functions. The fact of their
  • 102 HOOKS.reanimation has been proved by the application of arti-ficial heat. You know I have told you that the gene-rality of insects pass the winter in the chrysalis state.Many of these, which could not sustain so great adegree of cold as those I have been speaking of, pene-tratedeep into the earth, beyond the reach of frost and ;others are taught to protect themselves from cold by thewarm clothing in which they envelope their little bodies.So that you see the influence of cold upon them is not sogreat as popular belief would lead one to conclude. Thewonderful preservation of these small creatures, and thevariousmeans of defence with which they are furnishedare most remarkable. Thus, though no order of crea-tion is permitted to exceed the bounds prescribed to it,so is no one allowed to become totally extinct. In bothinstances the wisdom of the Almighty, and his care foreverything that he has made, shine forth most conspicu-ously ; indeed, this is equally the case whichever waywe direct our contemplations, if they are occupied withhis works. In mere beauty of form and texture how fardo they surpass the productions of man; and thesequalities are the more striking the more minutely we areable to examine them. The microscope shows us the
  • ROOKS. 103wide difference that exists between the works of natureand art. In the one it discovers new perfections, in theother it renders defects visible. If you were to see theskeleton of a leaf and a piece of muslin of the mostdelicate fabric that the loom can produce exposed tothe influence of a powerful magnifier at the same time,you would be surprised to find how coarse and unevenits threads would appear when compared with the deli-cate and beautifully finished fibres of the leaf. I onlygive you this as one instance among thousands, fornothing that comes from the hand of man can standsuch a test.
  • 104 INSECT CHANGES. MARY.I WAS attracted yesterday, in the garden, by some littlecaterpillars, which seemed as they were hanging from ifthe trees, and when I put out my hand to touch them,they quickly returned to the branches. AUNT. They were no doubt some of the leaf-rollers, a tribewhich abounds in every wood and garden, and as theseason is approaching when they will form their leafytents, in order to retire into them to undergo their trans-formations, I advise you watch their operations. toThough the leaf-rollers of the oak, the lilac, and roseagree in enveloping their tiny bodies in a vegetablegarb, yet they all differ in their mode of preparing it.I refer you to the volume of the Library of Entertaining
  • INSECT CHANGES. 105Knowledge on Insect Architecture, where you will findsome nice figures descriptive of their work. MARY. It must be almost as curious to watch their proceed-ings as those of the leaf-cutter bees. Indeed, I thinkinsects must be most interesting little creatures, and Ishall hope to be able to observe the habits of manyduring the summer. In the meantime, dear aunt, you
  • 106 INSECT CHANGES.will, perhaps, kindly give me some information aboutany that you have remarked. AUNT. I will mention a few curious circumstances that havecome within my own observation. I was once lookingat a caterpillar, when, to my astonishment, I beheld itdraw off its skin completely but after a few minutes ;repose I was still more astonished to see it swallow theabstracted covering ! this to me seemed a most extra-ordinary proceeding, and I fancied whim of theit aindividual, but on referring to a work on entomology Ifound it was customary in certain genera. You remem-ber, I dare say, my pointing out to you the privetsphinx-moth at the Museum the other day. MARY. Oh, yes, perfectly. It had a thick body and longwings. AUNT. Well, this moth exhibits a most singular appearancewhen it first emerges from the chrysalis. Its wings do
  • INSECT CHANGES. 107not much exceed those of a bee in size, which makes itlook quite like a deformity. In the space of a quarterof an hour, however, the wings gain their fall dimen-sions. MARY. I suppose, then, they are folded up.
  • 108 INSECT CHANGES. AUNT. You might very naturally fancy so, but this is not thecase ; the expansion is caused by the impulsion of airand fluid into the vessels ; by this beautiful provision amuch smaller case required for the creature during its isimprisonment in the pupa. I will show you a drawingof a caterpillar, which afforded me much amusement bythe art displayed, in preparing its place of conceal- itment so as to secure itself from the attacks of birds, andother enemies, during its period of torpidity. In a pieceof dry wood hollowed a space sufficient to admit its itbody it then began to spin a thin veil over the open- ;ing, which it continued till there was. only room for it topass head through it then stretched from its little its ;hermitage, took up some of the particles of the wood,and glued them on the web, interspersed with some hairpicked from its own body the labour now concluded, :the ingenious worker drew in its head, closed the aper-ture, and retired to await its change. So completelyhad it accomplished its object, that though I had beenobserving it so closely, I could scarcely distinguish thenicely covered cell from the solid wood.
  • INSECT CHANGES. 109 MARY. How curious you must have been to see the butterflyissue forth ! AUNT. Indeed I was, but my expectations were disappointed,for the poor little creature became the prey of one ofthose destroyers of the hopes of entomologists, an ich-neumon-fly, and never appeared ; but I have since seenthe perfect insect in a collection. MARY. I do not remember ever to have heard of the kind offly you allude to. How did it prevent the appear-ance of the butterfly ? AUNT. There are various species of these flies, which may beregarded as insect cannibals. They lay their eggs inthe bodies of other insects, and when these eggs arehatched, the young brood of grubs feed on the devotedcreature thus, when one has been anxiously expecting ;from the long-kept chrysalis a beautiful moth or butter-fly, an insignificant fly is the only object one beholds.
  • 110 INSECT CHANGES.The first time such a circumstance happened to me 1imagined the intruder had found its way through someaperture in the gauze which covered the glass contain-ing my chrysalis, but experience soon taught me thetruth. MARY. Oh, how mortifying it must have been ! AUNT. Time will only allow me to relate the deeds of onemore caterpillar this morning. To attain the sameobject, security, it proceeded in a different manner.After hollowing out some wood, as the other had done,it formed a kind of mortar from some earth which I hadput in its glass, kneading it, if I may so express myself,till sufficiently tenacious to cement the minute strips ofwood it had sawn out, and these strips it laid across asrafters for its more solid tenement. In this instanceno ichneumon interfered with me the winged insect ;broke through its wall, and left its abode free for myexamination. I found the earth was moulded with thegreatest nicety, instinct having taught the inexperienced
  • INSECT CHANGES. Illworker to execute its attempt with the dexterity firstand precision which is only the consequence of practice,in the constructors of our habitations. MARY. I should think the eggs of insects must be oftendestroyed from their small size. AUNT. No doubt this is often the case, but the care whichthe parent takes in selecting a fit place for depositingthem, is as remarkable as that with which it has pre-pared for its own change. In the instance of the ich-neumon, you observe, the safety of the eggs was pro-vided for, and a supply of nourishment furnished for thenewly-hatched grubs ; and let me call your attention tothe fact, that the caterpillar is always pierced deepenough to allow of its casting its coat without endanger-ing the deposited eggs. One kind of moth glues itseggs very securely round the twigs of trees. The firsttime I noticed one of these little bracelet-like deposi-tories I cut off the branch, and took it in to examine,not at all suspecting what it really was. I laid it in a
  • 112 INSECT CHANGES.book-case to keep till I should meet with some one ofwhom I could inquire. To my surprise, on going for abook a few mornings after, I saw a multitude of minutecaterpillars protruding themselves. The temperature ofthe drawing-room had had the effect of a prematurespring, and drawn them forth but as no such impulse ;had been received out of doors, there were no leaves togive the untimely brood, and they consequentlyperished. MARY. Then the heat proved as inimical to your observationsas the ichneumon on a former occasion. AUNT. It did, indeed, and you to profit from my ex- I adviseperience, and if you meet with any doubtful subjects,avoid putting them in too warm a place. The eggs ofthe pretty lace-winged fly (which we have so often ad-mired) are curiously placed to preserve them from thegrubs of other insects at the point of thin threads,which are attached to the twigs or leaves of trees.
  • INSECT CHANGES. 113 MARY. Thank you, my dear aunt, I have been much inte-rested. AUNT. I am 7 very glad you have, and that you feel a desireto know something of this beautiful portion of creation,for it eminently displays the power of the almightyCreator ; and the changes which insects are appointed topass through are so strikingly emblematical of mansabode on earth, his descent to the grave, and the ascentof his purified spirit to the mansions of bliss, that Ishould really think no one whose mind has been pro-perly directed, could be an attentive observer of thesewonderful phenomena, without reflecting seriously onthis obvious analogy, and deriving profit from the les-sons itteach us, if studied aright. may When we arewatching the metamorphoses of an insect, and see itexactly fulfilling all the purposes for which its ephemeralexistence was granted, often overcoming great difficul-ties to accomplish it, should we not ask ourselves howwe have performed the part assigned us whether wehave kept in mind the great end of our merciful Creator i
  • 114 INSECT CHANGES.in placing us here. As certainly as the crawling cater-pillarbecomes a different creature, endued with newpowers and propensities, so certainly will our souls leavethis tenement of clay, and appear in another state ofexistence. Let it be our earnest aim to prepare themfor one of purity and glory !
  • 115 VARIETY IN NATURE. MARY.I HAVE been employing myself this fine morning ingathering some seeds, which I think are ripe unusuallyearly this season, and as I went from plant to plant Iwas much struck by the great variety observable in theirseeds. AUNT. Variety seems, indeed, to be one of the agents em-ployed by the great Creator for the gratification of hiscreatures. It was beautifully remarked by a heathenauthor, that "this world is a most holy temple, and "highly worthy of God. Into this," says he, man entersat his birth, not to gaze at motionless statues, or thingsmade with hands, but to contemplate those objectswhich the Divine mind itself has made sensible to our I 2
  • 116 VARIETY IN NATURE.understanding." The of every Christian must heartrespond to such sentiments, and, as he is allowed anearer approach to the almighty Former of all thesewonders than was granted to the heathen, so his delightwill be proportionally increased on sun eying the endlessbeauties that surround him, because he can exclaim, with " "our own sweet poet Father made them all My As !the same purposes might, no doubt, have been answeredwithout the rich variety with which all created thingsabound, the consideration of the relief that this diversityaffords us ought to excite feelings of thankfulness aswell as admiration. I often think that we are not suffi-ciently alive to this. MARY. I am sure I never am, except, perhaps, in spring,when, sombre tint of winter, the change that after theeach day exhibits produces a constantly renewing de-light but, by the middle of summer, I am become so ;accustomed gay beauty of the fields and garden, to thethat the vivid and thankful emotions which burst forthat the sight of the first snowdrop and crocus seem to beforgotten. But I hope the remarks you have just made,
  • VARIETY IN NATURE. 117as well as many others I have heard from you, my dearaunt, will render me in future more observant and moreconsistently grateful. AUNT. It should be our aim to establish such a frame ofmind. But to return to the little basket of seeds, whichled us to these reflections. Here you have seeds con-tained in pods, others, as in this strawberry-bearingspinach, embedded in a soft, pulpy substance, someretained in the dried calyx, others closely set on thereceptacle in short, each tribe has its distinct mode ofarrangement, so that in this respect there is infinitediversity. Then look, after considering their cases, atthe individual seeds from each. How different they are.The sweet-pea and lupin, the sunflower and hawk weed, each is immediately distinguishable. MARY. How beautifully marked and polished some seeds are !The generality, I think, are smooth.
  • 118 VARIETY IN NATURE. AUNT. Perhaps so, for their smoothness causes them to slipeasily into the earth. But there are many exceptionsto this. Those of the umbelliferous tribe, for instance,are usually ribbed, or beset with minute spines. MARY. I admire the seeds of the compound flowers morethan any. The down that carries them is so delicateand light. AUNT. Now you introduce a new instance of variety: themode of distributing seeds with a view to the dissemi-nation of vegetable life. The feathery appendages youadmire transport some through the air; others, whenfully ripe, are scattered to a distance by a sudden jerkof the vessel that contains them. To attempt enumera-tion, however, would be endless. Remark all this beau-tiful mechanism yourself, and then, next spring, as youare distributing the seeds you have collected, you willbe able to tell me by what means, if self-sown, theywould have been spread to a distance from the parentplant.
  • VARIETY IN NATURE. 119 MARY. I have often taken up seeds after having sown them ashort time, and have observed the parts of the seedsplit asunder, and the little root and stem making theirway between them. AUNT. Yes, their germination has then commenced. Inorder to promote this there are three essentials requisite moisture, air, and a certain degree of heat. MARY. Is air requisite ? Why, I fancied it was necessary toexclude it, and therefore always carefully cover anyseeds I sow with earth. In future I may save myselfthe trouble, and merely scatter them on the ground in-stead of covering them. AUNT. You would not find that plan succeed, and had there-fore better follow your former method. While youwere affording a larger supply you would at the sametime cause exposure to light, which is inimical to germi-
  • 120 VARIETY IN NATURE.nation, and its absence is as essential as the presenceof air. A sufficient portion of the latter penetratesthrough the small quantity of earth you place overseeds. MARY. How must take place in the nature of great a changethe plant whenhas escaped from the earth, for you ithave often told me that the flowers and fruit could notbe brought to perfection in darkness. AUNT. The genial influence of light is absolutely requisitefor their developement ; so essential is it, that a Germanbotanist remarked, after along removal of light, a shakingof the plant, as if it had been agitated by the shiveringof a fever and I think if you recal what I told you was. ;the effect of light on these organs, you will the betterunderstand why it would be injurious to seeds, whengerminating, I mean, for when ripening it is highly ser-viceable.
  • VARIETY IN NATURE. 121 MARY. I remember you said that light made the leaves partwith oxygen. Is that the effect you allude to ? AUNT. Yes. Now let us apply your answer to the point.Seeds are overcharged with carbon, (for the purpose ofpreserving them,) and therefore it is proper to excludelight, which would supply them with it, and to givethem and moisture, which enable them to part with aira portion of what they have. MARY. I recollect you told me it was the deposition of car-bon that caused the hardness of wood. I suppose thequantity seeds contain accounts for their being so hard.Those of many of our most slender annuals are exces-sively so. AUNT. There is such a collecting of carbon during theripening of seeds, that the ground becomes quite ex-hausted by it, Carbon gives solidity to the vegetable
  • 122 VARIETY IN NATURE.creation, lime to the animal : recollect this distinction ;and let me here mention a remarkable fact, that thequantity of lime contained in plants which grow in puresand, or amidst granite, is not less than the quantitycontained in those which grow in a calcareous soil. Itis even found in those that have been reared in porce-lain vases, and nourished only by carbonic acid water.This proves that the ingredients of organized bodies areformed by themselves from the elementary materialsthat surround them. Lime is supposed to be a com-pound of azote and carbon. MARY. Another question, dear aunt. I saw the gardener trysome seeds the other day by throwing them into water ;those that sank he kept for sowing, those that swam herejected. Why was this ? Vhy did he not put all intothe ground ? AUNT. Because he knew by experience the lighter would notgerminate.
  • VARIETY IN NATURE. 123 MARY. Is the reason why they would not, known ? AUNT. Deficiency of carbon prevents them. The seedswhich have (from some accidental circumstance) beenimpeded in the collection of this supporting principle life are dead, and incapable of producingof vegetableplants. This imperfection is in most cases amply com-pensated by the abundant provision of seeds yielded.Grew, speaking of the immense quantity produced,gives a calculation of the number contained in the cap- He usules of a single white poppy. says The white :poppy commonly bears four mature heads, in each ofwhich there are at least ten partitions, on the sideswhereof the seeds grow, and upon the fourth part of oneside there are about one hundred seeds, that is, eighthundred on one partition, which being multiplied byten, (the number of partitions,) makes eight thousand,and eight thousand again by four, (the number of heads,)makes thirty-two thousand seeds the yearly product ofthe plant.
  • 124 VARIETY IN NATURE. MARY. That is immense, indeed ! AUNT. Before we go to the breakfast-room I will read you apassage from a favourite little work of mine, (BotanicalTheology,) apposite to the subject which has engaged "us this morning. But nothing," says the amiable " canauthor, more clearly, simply, and obviously dis-play the unlimited extent of that mysteriously operatingPower which has pervaded and modified, and or Spiritstill pervades and sustains every part of creation, fromthe bright centre of celestial systems, from the ellipsesof the planets and the comets to the nervous ganglionof a worm, or the calyptra of a moss, than the infinitediversity of forms and modifications of the most familiarobject. It seems asan angels voice were heard from ifevery leaf, exclaiming, Look at the leaves of a hundred (thousand species In every species they are different ! ;among myriads of myriads of leaves no two exactlyresemble each other."
  • 125 WATER-PIMPERNEL. MARY.I SEE a little plant with a white flower, that I do notknow, but I am almost afraid it is beyond my reach. AUNT. Point it out to me, and I will try to assist you. MARY. It is on the other side of the brook, a very few stepsfurther on. AUNT. 1 see perfectly where you mean, and with my parasolI can easily get it for you there, seize your prize, lest :it should fall into the water. It is the water-pimpernel,(samolus mlerandi.)
  • 1 26 WATER-PIMPERNEL. MARY. I am very much obliged to you for aiding me toobtain it. It is quite new to me. AUNT. Had you been a more experienced botanist you wouldhave met with this little plant before, which, though soinsignificant appearance, and though not distin- inguished for any remarkable virtue or property, is, never-theless, one of the most widely distributed. Linnaeusremarked that it was to be met with in almost everypart of the globe, and the observations of succeedingbotanists confirm this singular fact. MARY. It looks a very delicate plant, but it must, no doubt,have a very strong constitution if it can live and flourishin such various climates. AUNT. It isvery unusual to find the same plants underwidely differing latitudes, but it is more frequently thecase with aquatics than any others. The geography ofplants is an exceedingly interesting branch of botany,
  • WATER-PIMPERNEL. 127leading one to remark how wisely the vegetable produc-tions of each country are suited to the climates in whichthey grow, and to the requirements of the animals whichinhabit them. Every climate has its appropriate vege-tation, even the inhospitable polar regions, where onemight imagine that the intense cold would extinguishthe vital principle, even these remote climes have theirflora, consisting of stunted species of poppy, saxifrage,and a few other hardy plants, mosses and lichens, which,though I mention them last, are the most abundant, and,indeed, lichens are to be met with where none of theother plants I have named will grow, that is, in a higherlatitude. MARY. Lichens again ! they seem, indeed, to require but asmall portion of warmth and nourishment. When youlastspoke of them you told me of their flourishing onthe most barren rocks, and now I hear of their beingable to support the most intense cold. AUNT. Even the surface of perpetual snow bears a minuteplant of this nature.
  • 128 WATER PIMPERNEL. MARY. That is, indeed:, extraordinary ! AUNT. Yon have, I dare say, heard of red snow. MARY. Oh, yes, I remember hearing- that Captain Parry sawa good deal. What gives it this colour ? AUNT. This was for some time a matter of doubt. Thosewho first observed it were unable to account for so newand remarkable an appearance, but attentive investiga-tion has since discovered this red substance to be alichen, to which the name of protococcushsis been given,from its bearing a resemblance to the insects of thegenus coccus. Advancing from the poles towards theequator, vegetation becomes gradually more prolific,plants increase in number of species and in luxurianceof growth, and, in the equatorial regions, attain to thegreatest magnificence of size, and the most exquisitevividness of colour. The variety of natural beauty in
  • WATER-PIMPERNEL. 1 29these sunny climes must be most enchanting, the plants,the insects, the birds,all are brilliant and gay ; eventhe products of the ocean are more beautiful in colourand form, for it is from the tropical seas that the con-chologist obtains the choicest ornaments of his cabinet. MARY. I should have imagined that the great heat of thetorrid zone would have prevented the growth of plantsas much as the cold of the polar regions. AUNT. But you find this is not the case, and that, on thecontrary, contributes to the development of the great- itest variety and grandeur of size and colour. due Aportion of humidity seems the great essential for thepromotion of vegetation, and without this it cannot besupported. A Danish botanist has published a very curious setof charts, in which he shows the general distribution ofplants. He calls it a Planteographish Atlas, and oneach map the various tribes of plants each regionaffords are indicated by certain colours. K
  • 1 30 WATER- PIMPERNEL. MARY. Then by knowing what the colours stand for, a glanceat the map what plants the country produces. will tellWhat plants are the most numerous ? AUNT. Those of the compound order are found to be mostwidely spread over the globe, the siliquous next. MARY. Which I consider of all the orders (at least such as Iknow) the least pleasing. Most of the English plantsbelonging to it are so disagreeable in scent, and so uglyin growth. AUNT. Yet they have properties more valuable than sweet-ness, or perfume, or beauty of appearance : they are avery useful tribe. Remember how many of our vege-tables in daily use rank under this order. Our turnips,cabbages, radishes, &c. Many of the plants of thisorder are very pungent, and particularly serviceable asantiscorbutics. To this medicinal virtue of a family
  • WATER-PIMPERNEL. 131you seem to regard with so much dislike, I would parti-cularly direct your attention, because it leads us to re-mark a striking instance of the merciful care of God for "all providing food convenient his creatures, not onlyfor them," but causing that food to be found where itmay be most convenient and acceptable. If I tell youthat sailors, after long voyages, are very apt to sufferfrom the complaints for which siliquous plants are bene-ficial, you will perhaps be able to form an idea of the which they are usually met with. Wheresituations inshould you say they would grow most advantageously ? MARY. Why, as when people they are glad to have are illrelief as speedily as possible, I should say the bestsituations would be those near the sea, that sailors couldsoon reach after landing. AUNT. Certainly, on the coasts ; and thus travellers have re-marked that these plants are disposed. A view of themaps I mentioned will show a line along the shore,marking the station of these useful plants. As soon as K 2
  • 132 WATER-PIMPERNEL.a ships crew put their feet on land, they may generallyfind, within their reach, the very thingof which theystand most in need, after having been fed (perhaps formany months) on salt provisions. It is a medicineready prepared, needing not the assistance of art. MARY. Do all the plants ranking under the same naturalorder invariably possess similar properties ? AUNT. Far from it. A remarkable instance to the contraryoccurs to me at this moment. The fig, the bread-fruit,the mulberry, the cow-tree, are all classed under thenatural order Artocarpece. You are sufficiently ac-quainted with the four former, to know that their pro-duce varies greatly, and that they are widely separatedin property from the poisonous upas, to which suchdeleterious effects are attributed by those who haregiven us accounts of it. MARY. You give me credit, my dear aunt, for more know-
  • Page 133.
  • WATER-PIMPERNEL. 133ledge than I possess. Of the difference between thefig and the mulberry I can judge, from having eaten ofthe fruit of both, and the bread-fruit I seem to knowalmost as well, from having read and heard so much ofit; but the cow-tree I cannot compare or contrast witheither, for I do not remember ever to have heard itmentioned before. What an extraordinary name. Ofwhat country is it a native ? AUNT. Of South America, and it derives this name, which somuch amuses you, from producing milk. MARY. Milk from a tree ! AUNT. Many plants form secretions of a milky nature, (in-deed, this is the case both with the fig and the mulberry,)but the milk which flows from the tree of which we arenow speaking, really resembles that of the animal fromwhich we are supplied. It is a great blessing to thedistricts in which it grows, for it thrives in barren, rockysituations, not suited for pasturage, and therefore the
  • 1 34 WATER-PIMPERNEL.inhabitants are happy to resort to this vegetablereservoir, which they generally do about sun-rise, whenthe largest quantity may be procured. MARY. How singular it is, that a tree producing so great aquantity of liquid should be met with in so warm acountry, and in such barren places ! AUNT. It is in the warmest climates that the most juicyfruits areproduced, the refreshing orange, lemon,shaddock, &c. ; and the same bountiful Providence hasplaced the cow-tree just in the situation where its cool-ing and wholesome liquor is most grateful. MARY. I think I remember hearing that plants with thick,succulent leaves can bear a great deal of heat, and alsothat they do not require much moisture. AUNT. You are quite right; they are generally found in-
  • WATER-PIMPERNEL. 1 35habiting sunny rocks, or sandy deserts, for which theyare fitted by being endued with the power of imbibingmoisture with the greatest readiness, and retaining itwhen imbibed, for they perspire very sparingly. MARY. Then they keep a store of nourishment within them-selves. Your speaking of the vegetable productions ofthe Polar regions reminded me of some specimens Isaw some time ago from Melville Island, and which I re-marked were almost all very downy. Why are theythus provided ? AUNT. For the same reason, I should imagine, as we envelopeourselves in a flannel dressing gown, or a cloth pelisse,on a cold frosty day. MARY. To keep out cold ? AUNT. Or rather to keep in warmth. The materials of our
  • 1 36 WATER-PIMPERNEL.winter clothing are what are called bad conductors ofheat, that they do not readily part with heat, and is,consequently prevent its escape from the bodies theyenvelope. The down of plants is of a cottony nature. Ibelieve I told you, when speaking of carbon, that cottonis chiefly composed of it, and carbon is a bad conduc-tor. MARY. And therefore the warmth of these little plants iskept in by their cottony covering. May I detain youa few minutes longer, my dear aunt ? AUNT. Certainly ; if you have any remark to make, I shallbe happy to listen to you. MARY. I do not remember ever to have heard of the genusof insects from which you said the little fungus that isfound in snow takes its name. AUNT. Though not known to you by the name I used, you
  • WATER-PIMPERNEL. 137are yet familiar with many species of this genus, some ofwhich are noxious, others exceedingly useful to us.In speaking of the former class, I should, perhaps,rather have said, that you are more familiar with theirravages than with the insects themselves, for very pro-bably you may never have observed them in their per-fect state ; but you have only to examine the apple-trees in the garden, and you will soon make acquaintancewith them. You have, no doubt, remarked little whitetufts on the branches and stems of these trees. MARY. Which look, and feel like cotton ? AUNT. The same. MARY. Oh, yes, I have indeed! I remember particularlylast year the trees were so covered with them, that thegardener was obliged to wash the branches with a poi-sonous mixture, in order to clear the bark.
  • 1 38 WATER-PIMPERNEL. AUNT. Then you know this species of coccus in its first state,for this cotton is the envelope of its eggs. Vines arefrequently attacked in the same manner. MARY. I have often seen the vines in the grapery with theirbranches quite cottony, but I do not remember that Iever remarked those in the open air with this appear-ance. AUNT. The reason of which is, that this species (coccusmils) finds our climate too cold, and therefore confinesitself to the vines in houses. MARY. But itseems very extraordinary, that merely forminga little cotton on a plant should be so hurtful to it. AUNT. This is not all, though. The little creature is notsatisfied with merely taking up its abode on the vine, it
  • WATER-PIMPERNEL. 139pierces the bark, and extracts sap, and then it is thatthe plant is injured. Now you discover that you knowsomething of the injurious cocci ; consider whether youhave not some knowledge of the useful kinds also. MARY. I am not aware that I have. AUNT. Do you know what yields the dye called scarlet ? MARY. Cochineal, I believe. AUNT. Cochineal is the name commonly bears, but it it is infact a species of the genus we are speaking of, and its cor-rect name is coccus cacti. This insect is found abundantlyin Mexico, upon a kind of Indian fig. The collectionof it gives employment to vast numbers of persons, (forthe operation is tedious,) and it forms a considerablearticle of trade. Coccus illicis yields a deep, or crim-son dye, and the substance called lac (of which sealing-
  • 140 WATER-PIMPERNEL.wax is made,) is the produce of another species ofcoccus. MARY. These are indeed very serviceable ; they more thancompensate for the mischievous properties of some ofthe family. WATER-PIMPERNEL.
  • 141 EVERGREENS. MARY.I USEDto imagine that evergreens never changed theirleaves, but I have observed the last two or three springs,that some of the leaves do become brown, and fall off.How many years do they retain the same foliage ? AUNT. It is like that of other shrubs and trees, renewedevery year. MARY. But yet we never see a laurel or a holly deprived ofits leaves. AUNT. No, there would be a contradiction in terms ; for
  • 142 EVERGREENS.were they ever seen in that state, they would cease tobe evergreens. All the leaves are cast, but the youngones sprout before the old ones fall, and hence theplant never loses its verdure. MARY. As have watched the leaves dropping from the trees Iin autumn, I have often wished to know the reason whythey fall. Can you tell it me ? AUNT. Because they no longer receive nourishment. MARY. But how is it that they do not, because I rememberyour telling me, that the sap was conveyed generallythroughout the plant, and that it was prepared in theleaves for nourishing the other parts. It seems strange,therefore, that these useful organs,which are the pre-parers of food, should themselves perish from want. AUNT. A little reflection will lessen your surprise. Do you
  • EVERGREENS. 143remember at what season I told you the flow of sapwas most abundant ? MARY. I think you said it ascended most copiously in thespring, and that the supply decreased towards theautumn. AUNT. That is the very point I wished you to come to. Atthis season autumn) the vessels of the leaf-stalk (thebecome stopped up by hard particles, and no sap pass-ing to moisten them, the leaves dry up, and fall off. MARY. One more question connected with the fall of the leafoccurs to me. What is the cause of the various huesobservable in leaves in autumn ? AUNT. Numerous experiments have been made to elucidatethis subject, the result of which seems to be, that as theweather becomes chilly, leaves continue to absorb
  • 144 EVERGREENS.oxygen during the day, but lose the power of expiringit during the night. MARY. Ah, I think how it is I see You told me, I remem- !ber, thatoxygen was the acidifying principle, and weknow acids change colour this must be the influence :going on in the leaf. AUNT. Yes, the preponderance of oxygen destroys the greencolour, produces the infinite variety we so much admirein autumnal leaves, and causes so complete a change,that the whole face of nature assumes a new garb, andwhich, though differing so widely from its spring attire,is not less beautiful. MARY. The change is indeed extraordinary What a con- !trast there is between a wood in spring and in autumn !in the former, one colour pervades the whole in the ;latter, there is every variety of hue, from sober brown tobriEiant red. Yet even in spring, though green is the
  • EVERGREENS. 145universal colour, it is of different shades. How do youaccount for the avoidance of sameness ? AUNT. You recollect I have told you that carbon is a prin-cipal ingredient in the composition of vegetables. It isof a dark blue colour, and the outer covering of plants(a thin transparent membrane) is of a yellowish white ;the mixture of these two colours produces green. Youcan easily understand that the shade of green inclinesmore to yellow or blue, according to that which prepon-derates. MARY. And may not this account for the tender tint of leaveswhen they first burst from the bud ? AUNT. Undoubtedly. They are then of a much lightergreen than later in the year, and the reason is, that theycontain less carbon. As they advance in age, the quan-tity becomes greater, and they lose their youthfulbeauty.
  • 146 EVERGREENS. MARY. Has oxygen anything to do with the colour of theblossoms of plants ? AUNT. It is the opinion of some naturalists that the tran-sition from the green of the leaves to the varied tints ofthe corolla, is caused by a change in the degree ofoxydation. Thegreen- colouring matter, as it passesinto the corolla, frees itself from superfluous hydrogenand azote, and thus becomes more oxydised. The lightof the sun has a powerful effect on this process. Thuswe see that tropical flowers display great splendour ofcolour. It has also been remarked, that some of theplants of the polar regions have very warm tints. Canyou account for this ? MARY. You have proposed a difficult question. What simi-larity ofcircumstances can possibly exist between suchdifferent latitudes ? Between the tropics the sun dartshis rays vertically, exciting vegetation by profuse lightand heat ; but near the poles he withdraws his cheering
  • EVERGREENS. 147influence for weeks : to be sure, this may be compen-sated by his remaining above the horizon for an equallength of time. AUNT. When he shines so long without he must, no setting,doubt, exert a very powerful influence, and, that hedoes so, is proved by the summer crop in these regionsripening with great rapidity. That delightful propertyof flowers, scent, is to be accounted for on the sameprinciple as their other fascinating attribute, colourthe disengagement of hydrogen, with which portions ofthe peculiar juices of plants are drawn out, and thus thevarious perfiimes are diffused. Chemists find thathydrogen abounds in all odorous matters, and experi-ments have proved the inflammability of the atmo-sphere of certain plants, caused, no doubt, by the ex-halation of this gas. MARY. Why is rain-water more desirable for plants than thatyielded by springs ? AUNT. Because it contains more carbonic acid, which I have L 2
  • 148 EVERGREENS.toldyou is eagerly sought by vegetables, and may, in-deed, be considered their proper nourishment. Vol-canic districts give out a large quantity of carbonicacid, hence their extreme fertility, hence also the advan-tage of strewing the earth with calcareous matter, (chalk,lime, &c.,) because the attraction of these substances forcarbonic acid is very powerful. This also accounts forthe luxuriant vegetation formed on the coral reefs of theSouth Sea. Reverting to the change in foliage inautumn, I will give you the description of a traveller in " InAmerica, Mr. Mac Gregor Europe, in Asia, in :Africa, and even in South America, the primeval trees,how much soever their magnitude may arrest admira-tion, do not grow in the promiscuous style that prevailsin the great general character of the North Americanwoods. Many varieties of the pine, intermingled withbirch, maple, beech, oak, and numerous other tribes,branch luxuriantly over the banks of lakes and rivers,extend in stately grandeur along the plains, and stretchproudly up to the very summits of the mountains. Itis impossible to exaggerate the autumnal beauty ofthese forests : nothing can be compared to its effulgentgrandeur. Two or three frosty nights in the decline of
  • EVERGREENS. 149autumn, transform the boundless verdure of a wholeempire into every possible tint of brilliant scarlet, richviolet, every shade of blue and brown, vivid crimson,and glittering yellow. The stern, inexorable fir tribesalone maintain their eternal sombre green. All others, most gloriousin mountains or in valleys, burst into thevegetable beauty, and exhibit the most splendid andmost enchanting panorama on earth."
  • 150 LEAF-INSECTS. MARY.I WAS amusing myself yesterday by reading the travelsin South America you were so kind as to lend me, andwas much interested by the description of natural pro-ductions they give. Trees, birds, insects, all seem tobe on a grand scale !How much I should like to visita region of such variety and beauty ! AUNT. As I do not think there is any probability of your ex-tending your travels so far, you must content yourselfwith the information collected by others. There is nowso pervading a taste for travelling among our country-men, so many of whom have given their observations onwhat they have learnt and seen, that we may form apretty fair idea of countries the most remote ; and much
  • LEAF-INSECTS. 151are we indebted to the industry and perseverance oftravellers, who enable us to do so, without removingfrom our own fire-sides. MARY. I was much struck by the account of an insect, which,though not so brilliant as many others found in theBrazils, must, I think, be one of the most curious. Imean the mantis, which is spoken of as so much resem-bling a dry leaf, that it is scarcely possible to distin-guish it from one. AUNT. There are a great many insects that bear the appear-ance of leaves. In this we see a remarkable proof ofthe watchful care of God for every creature he hasformed. We are told "that the very hairs of our headare all numbered;" and we find that such minute crea-tures as the insect world presents are also numberedand cared for. This similitude to vegetables is a veryeffectual means of preservation, for, as they resemblethe plant on which they feed, they are so completelyidentified with it, as to deceive the eye of the passing
  • T52 LEAF-INSECTS.bird. There is a very singular circumstance attending these leaf-insects as they are called. Not only do the perfect insects re- semble vegetable productions, but the analogy likewise runs through each state ; the eggs and . pupae appearing like the seeds and pods of plants. This kind of insect aboundsvery much in Ceylon. Mrs. Heber, speaking of thegreat variety of winged creatures found in that island, "says, The most curious of these are the leaf-insects,which assume the shape, size, and general appearanceof the leaf on which they feed so exactly, that it is onlyon minute examination one becomes aware of their realcharacter. I saw several, but the most extraordinarywas one which lived on a thorny plant, the body ofwhich resembled a stick, and was covered with thorns
  • LEAF-INSECTS. 153like the shrub." Many of these fantastic creatures arementioned by Kirby and Spence, in their delightfulwork on entomology, as affording instances of thevarious modes of defence which have been bestowed onthe insect world. Another of these is being of the samecolour as the plant frequented. This you may observeexemplified in the caterpillar of the privet-sphinx moth.The upper part of the body is striped, and would bemore easily distinguished than the lower, which is of atender green : the creature therefore invariably feeds onthe under-side of the branch, so that its back is con-cealed. I have remarked when I have kept this cater-pillar, that it never commences feeding till it has placeditself in this position. MARY. I owe you many thanks, dear aunt, for the informa-tion you have given me on natural history it has re- ;doubled the pleasure of every walk, by leading me toremark the objects that surround me. To-day I wasquite struck by the appearance of the rose-trees, and amquite at a loss to imagine what has happened to them.Most of the leaves have little pieces hollowed out all
  • 154 LEAF-INSECTS.round their edges, as I should have concluded by in-sects, did they not appear too regular. AUNT. You are quite correct in your conjecture. I observed,the last time I was in the garden, that the leaf-cutterbees had visited the rose-leaves. MARY. But how is it possible that bees can cut them so evenly ?
  • LEAF-INSECTS. 155 AUNT. God has bestowed on these little artificers implementswith which they work as exactly as we should with com-pass and scissors, and much more expeditiously. It ishighly interesting and curious to watch them. Theyfly to a leaf, survey it to ascertain whether it be fit fortheir purpose, then cut a section so quickly, that it isscarcely possible to follow them with the eye. Theypoise themselves in the air while severing the last fibre,and then they roll up their little treasure, and fly away. MARY. For what purpose do they take all this trouble ?What do they do with the stolen bits of leaf? AUNT. They form elegant nests with them, which you maysee figured inmany works on entomology. I havenever been so fortunate as to find one of these ingeniousconstructions. I have always remarked that the beesfly to a distance after having secured their prize, pro-bably to conceal their nests. In the garden where Ifirst saw these busy creatures, I observed that they in-
  • 156 LEAF-INSECTS.variably rested on a wall as if fatigued with their burden.I at first fancied that they deposited it in some part ofthe wall ; but on further examination, I found this wasnot the case, and that they carried it out of sight. MARY. I shall like much to see them at work, but yet I shallnot be satisfied till I discover their hiding-place. Asyou have not succeeded in doing so, I must not ask fordirections. I wish it were possible to mark an indivi-dual bee, and then I might, perhaps, trace it to itsnest. AUNT. You have proposed a plan which, strange, as it mayseem, is in fact adopted by the Australasians for findingthe sweet treasure of their wild bees. In Sir J.Mitchells amusing work on Australia, he says, "We are in a land flowing with honey, for the natives withtheir new tomahawks extracted it in abundance fromthe hollow branches of the trees ; and it seemed that, inthe season, they could find it almost anywhere. Tosuch inexpert clowns as they probably thought us, thehoney and the bees were inaccessible, and, indeed, in-
  • LEAF-INSECTS. 157visible, save only when the natives cut it out, andbrought it to us in little sheets of bark, thus displayinga degree of ingenuity and skill in supplying our wants,which we, with all our science, could not hope to attain.They would catch one of the bees, and attach to it withsome resin or gum, the light down of the swan or owl ;thus laden, the bee would make for the branch of some and so betray its home of sweets to its keen-lofty tree,eyed pursuers, whose fee-chase presented, indeed, alaughable scene." MARY. That is ingenious, indeed ! But you do not mean torecommend this method to me. I should neither haveexpertness, nor courage to try it. Pray, do the leaf-cutter bees make any honey ? AUNT. Yes ; each cell has its provision, which is said to beof a lovely rose colour, contents worthy of their elegantreceptacle the whole must be so pretty, that I wish :you success in your researches, and hope we may havethe gratification of admiring together the leafy tentsof these skilful architects.
  • 158 MOSSES. u cannot think, my Mear aunt, how much I feel obliged to you for pleasure you have added to my the walks by teaching me not to pass anything ^without notice. I was so delighted yester- day by observing the various kinds of moss 1 on the heath How numerous and beauti- ! , tiful they are ! I can scarcely believe it possible that I should so frequently have trod the same ground without paying moreattention to its elegant covering.
  • MOSSES. 159 AUNT. You must, indeed, have been wanting in observationif you never remarked before that there were mosses inyour neighbourhood ! MARY. Oh ! I do not mean to say that. I must, indeed,have walked with my eyes shut, had I not, on the con-trary, been aware that they abounded, but I passed themwithout distinction. I saw there was moss on theground, but I fancied it all of the same sort. AUNT. But you have now discovered there is some little dif-ference. MARY. Indeed I have, and I am astonished and vexed at myformer stupidity. I have gathered a piece of eachkind, and shall be very much obliged to you if you cantell me something of them. I should like extremelyto be able to examine them, as you have kindly taught
  • 160 MOSSES.me to do other plants ; but I think you say they belongto the class cryptogamia, and therefore, I fear, I shallfind them too difficult. AUNT. Never be discouraged in the acquisition of informa-tion, or in any other laudable pursuit, by apprehensionof the obstacles that may occur in your progress. It
  • MOSSES. 161has been well said, "that difficulties, like nettles, ifseized by a firm and courageous hand, lose their powerof annoying." Always bear this in mind. With respect to the examination of mosses, I believe till you have become more versed in theyou must waitother classesbut as then* season of perfection com- ;mences when that of our gayer tribes has passed away,and when the employment these give you will haveceased for the present year, you might find it a goodpreparation for understanding these curious plants, wereyou to collect and dry specimens of all you meet with.Thus by taking notice of what seem to you the cha-racteristics of each, you would become in some measureacquainted with their singular structure, and preparedto study them at some future time. You will find thatI have provided you with an interesting object for yourwinter walks, and one which will, I imagine, give youmuch more occupation than you expect. While seek-ing for mosses, you must also look for lichens; theybelong to the same class, come to maturity at the sameseason, and are to be met with in the same situations.These will often excite your astonishment by the pecu-liarity of their appearance, and still more by their greatnumbers. M
  • 162 MOSSES, MAKY. If they are so numerous, I really shall be surprised,for I only know two or three which you have pointedout to me. But do you mean that I shall be able tofind many within our usual walks ? AUNT. Even within such confined limits I can answer foryour making many discoveries, and this you will readilybelieve, when I tell you that you can scarcely pass atree that will not afford you a variety ; nay, scarcely a
  • Page 163.
  • MOSSES. 163stick or a stone that will not yield some productions ofthis nature. They attach themselves to all decayingsubstances ; dead wood, &c. &c. Every fence or wall istesselated, as it were, with their various shades of grey.yellow, green, and brown. To the unobservant, or un-informed, vegetation seems to stop completely with thefall of the year, but it then begins to be in full activityin these all-pervading tribes, the mosses and lichens. MARY. I remember, last autumn, you told me some marks ona rose-leaf were lichens, an appearance which, till M 2
  • 164 MOSSES.then, I had always fancied to be caused by small in-sects. AUNT. The leaf of almost every tree has its peculiar lichen.This redundancy of vegetation is exceedingly strikingto a reflective mind it is so wonderful thus to find life ;upon life ! If you are desirous, you may make acquaintance withmany of these leaf-lichens in the autumn. They are tome a particularly interesting division of the tribe. There is one so com- mon, that I am sure you will re- collect it directly I mention it. It is on the leaves of the sycamore and maple, to which it gives the appearance of having beensinged or burnt.
  • MOSSES. 165 MARY. You mean those large dark brown blotches, surroundedwith an edge of lighter brown ; these I have frequentlyremarked. It seems so strange to me, that what I havealways ignorantly regarded as merely a defect in theleaf, should, in fact, be another species of vegetationgrowing in it. Pray, can these new acquaintances ofmine be distinguished to admit of their sufficientlybeing arranged as the plants of the other classes are ;shall I find that each has its appropriate name assignedit? AUNT. They are divided, like other plants, into genera andspecies ; the lichen of the sycamore-leaf, of which wehave been speaking, of the genus Xyloma, and takes isits specific distinction (acerinum) from the tree it loves.Another species of xyloma, (salicinum,) similar in ap-pearance to the acerinum, but not nearly so common,stains the upper side of the leaves of Salix caprea withits dark marks. Another, more common, is found inautumn, on the leaves of Populus nigra.
  • 166 MOSSES. MARY. I remember, much puzzled in the spring, being veryby a dotted appearance on some dead umbelliferousplants. The spots were black, and had so pretty aneffect on the straw-coloured glossy stems, that I usedoften to pull up the plants that I might examine themnearer, and how they came to be discover, if I could,thus marked ; but I could never satisfy myself on thesubject, and remained quite at a loss to imagine bywhat they were caused. I remarked them so early inthe year, that I thought no crawling or winged creaturecould be abroad and yet I fancied they must proceed ;from the punctures of insects, (as you remember youtold me galls do,) but now I feel quite sure they must besomething of the kind you have been describing. Howmuch I wish I had a branch to show you ! AUNT. I understand perfectly to what you allude. Severalminute lichens attach themselves to decaying umbelli-ferae, and other herbaceous plants. Sphceria doliolum,and Heterosph&ria Patella, are two that occur to me atthe moment, as agreeing with your description; the
  • MOSSES. 167former may be seen as early as January ; its spots areof a darker hue, and nearer together than those of thelatter. MARY. Then I think I may conclude it was the one I used toadmire so much, for the spots certainly were very closetogether, and it was very early in the spring, that it firstattracted my attention. AUNT. The only way to determine this point will be, to keepthe next specimen you find. Do not pass over thecommon nettle when you are seeking for cryptogamicspecimens ; it will afford several varieties, one of which,though very common, always pleases me by its delicacyand elegance Fmarium tremelloides. It appears inthe form of small orange-coloured dots. MARY. Are these dots on the leaves ? AUNT. No, on the stems.
  • 168 MOSSES. MARY. How pleasant it is to hear, that the plants which, intheir vigour, afforded us pleasure by their examination,in decay, supply us with a new source of interest. Yousaid that the leaf of almost every tree has its peculiarlichen. Does the same kind of leaf ever produce morethan one species? AUNT. Oh, yes, very frequently. You will think I am in-troducing you to an inexhaustible family, when I tellyou that the leaves of the same plant often bear severalmembers of it. For instance, if you examine the underside of the leaves of your little favourite, the woodanemone, (Anemone nemerosa) in the spring, you willfind many marked like ferns, some with green, otherswith brown spots. Now these may be met with in thesame wood, and at the same season of the year, and yetthey belong to different genera. At the first glance, thelatter are often supposed to be the former in a more ad-vanced state, but a closer investigation shows that thereisa difference in the form of the spots, and also that thoseof a green colour are punctured in the centre, which is
  • MOSSES. 169not the case with the brown. The leaves of the sloe(Primus spinosa) bear several, so do many speciesof willows and poplars. Some of these parasites areinvariably found on the upper surface of the leaf towhich they adhere, and others are as constant to theunder side. Thus while Xyloma acerinum fixes itselfto the upper side of the sycamore-leaf, Erineum aceri-num chooses the lower side. I will not multiply ex-amples, because, till you know more of the tribe, a mererepetition of names will only be tedious ; but we mustnot dismiss mosses and lichens without adverting to animportant office they perform, covering the most barrenspots with verdure, and causing trees to rear their heads,where none ever stood before. MARY. I do not understand how such a change can bewrought by means apparently so inadequate to the end. AUNT. You look astonished, as if you expected I were goingto tell you of a desert suddenly transformed ; but thereare many concurring causes for the changes I am about
  • 170 MOSSES.to relate, and a considerable time is requisite for itscompletion. When the decomposition of rocks commences, theminute seeds of lichens lodge, and germinate among thefinely-divided particles ; by the decay of this humblerace, sufficient support is afforded for mosses and otherplants, whose roots do not penetrate far below the sur-face ; these continue to vegetate, and die till an earth isformed capable of nourishing plants of larger size, andultimately a sufficient depth of soil is produced tosustain trees ; and not only those of inferior growth, butthe stately lords of the forest ! The great work of de-struction and reproduction which is constantly goingon, is to me a wonderful contemplation, and a strikingproof of the all-pervading care and mighty power of thegreat Creator, who sustains this earth with the samewisdom with which he formed it, keeping all thingswithin due bounds and limits. Do we see a destructiveagent employed, we are sure to discover some counter-balancing reproductive power at work. We often findthe same agent endued with different powers, accordingto circumstances. Thus water when we watch a moun-tain torrent rushing impetuously towards the sea, dis-
  • MOSSES. 171placing everything that opposes its course, we thinkonly of the devastation it has occasioned in the districtthrough which we have observed its passage, withoutrecollecting that if we had followed it to its destination,we should perhaps find the materials it has collecteddeposited at its mouth, and there forming an extensionof land. Several coasts have gained considerably bythe additions conveyed to them by the transportingpower of water.
  • 172 HORSETAIL. MARY.WHAT is the name of that straggling, odd-looking plant,of which there is such a quantity on the other side ofthe ditch. How wildly and rankly it grows I have !heard it called horsetail, but I suppose that cannot beits right and proper name. AUNT. Though it may sound ridiculous to you, it is the oneby which commonly known. It belongs to this plant isa genus, remarkable both for singularity of appearance,and peculiarity of properties. MARY. And the name of this genus ?
  • PLANT ROUGH HORSE TAIL. Page 172.
  • HORSETAIL. 173 AUNT. Is Equisetum ; and youwill, I am sure, be surprisedwhen I tell you the purpose to which one species maybe applied. The rough horsetail, or Equisetum hyemale,operates as a powerful file, and is found exceedinglyuseful in manufactures. MARY. A file ! that is can scarcely extraordinary ! and Iimagine in what manufacture such a one can be ser-viceable but I suppose the substances to which it is :applied are of a very delicate nature. AUNT. On the contrary, they are a kind on which it is verydifficult to make impression. What think you of brassnot being able to resist the action of this plant ? MARY. That it seems almost incredible. Pray where is thisvegetable operation to be met with ? It is a foreignspecies of equisetum, I suppose.
  • 174 HOESETAIL. AUNT. No, it grows in England (though not very abundantly,being rather local,) and I believe is found principally inNorfolk and Suffolk. MARY. And will you, if you can, account for the strengthand power this plant possesses ? AUNT. They result from its containing a large portion of a substance which, I dare say, you would neverflint,have expected to have found in any vegetable produc-tion, yet it enters into the composition of many. MARY. But how does it get there ? AUNT* Perhaps this may require a little explanation. I havealready told you^ that the general nourishing fluid ofall vegetables is called sap. From this various secre-tions are formed, which give the distinguishing scents,
  • HORSETAIL. 175tastes, and pure flint is the and properties of plants ;remarkable secretion of the one of which we have beenspeaking, and it contains it in so large a proportion, thatafter chemists have removed the vegetable matter, theform of the plant has been retained by the remainingflint. MARY. What a wonderful change a fluid like sap must un-dergo to be converted into a material so hard and solidas flint ! I suppose it is deposited by the sap as itascends. AUNT. No ; the rising sap is always first propelled to theleaves in the state in which it is drawn from the earthby roots. In the leaves it is elaborated, or prepared bythe action of the air and light, and returned thence toafford nourishment to the various parts of the plant, toswell the bud, to feed the flower and fruit. MARY. Then how is it if the sap be thus returned from the
  • *176 HORSETAIL.leaves in a state of preparation, that the taste and smellof the leaves, and other parts of the same plant, oftendiffers so much. Agreeable and wholesome as the fruitof the peach is, you told me the other day that the leavesare of a poisonous nature, and, I am sure, they are verybitter and unpleasant in taste; yet it seems the sap isthe same both in the leaves and fruit. AUNT. Originally it is so, but becomes very different fromthe alteration it has undergone in the subsequentfruit. In some plants it would appear that the sap re- little change after its passage from the leaves,quiresthe same flavour and scent pervading every part, as inthe common garden nasturtium and syringa. But inmany there is a remarkable dissimilarity, occasioned, asI have told you, by the sap being differently modifiedin each organ. The bitter deleterious secretion aboundsnot only in the leaves and bark of the peach-tree, buteven in the flower, the origin of its delicious fruit. MARY. It is very wonderful that such different properties
  • HORSETAIL. 177 should approach so near, and yet be kept so completely distinct. AUNT. I met with some remarks in a work I was readingyesterday, which are so apposite to our present subject,that I will repeat them to you. " What a natural kindof prodigy is it," says the author, "that chilling andburning vegetables should arise out of the same spot,that the feverand frenzy should start up from the samebed, where the palsy and the lethargy lie dormant intheir seeds ! not exceeding strange that healthful Is itand poisonous juices should rise up in their properplants out of the common glebe, and thrive within aninch of each other? What wondrous and inimitableskill must be attributed to the Supreme Power, that FirstCause, who can so .infinitely diversify the effects wherethe servile second cause is so unifonn !" Here surprise is expressed at noxious and wholesomeplants growing even in near neighbourhood but our ;wonder and admiration are indeed greatly heightened,when we find principles so opposite conspicuously de-veloped in the same plant. N,
  • 178 HORSETAIL. MARY. How very useful the leaves of trees are, for you havebefore told me how beneficially they act on the atmo-sphere, by absorbing carbonic, and emitting oxygen gas;and now I find they are the medium through which allthe nourishment of plants is conveyed. AUNT. Before so much progress had been made inphy-siological botany, it was imagined that leaves weremerely a clothing to plants, and the important functionswhich advancement in this science have discovered, werequite overlooked. It is now known that they are thelungs of the plant, the laboratory for the preparation ofits food, and the medium by which it imbibes moisture,or rids itself of that which is superfluous, and wouldtherefore prove injurious. MARY. Then it isthrough the leaves that the insensible per-spiration of plants (which I heard spoken of the otherday, and thought so extraordinary) takes place.
  • HORSETAIL. 179 AUNT. Extraordinaiy as it might appear to you, it has beenproved by experiments, that this evaporation certainlytakes place, and in some instances to a considerabledegree. It becomes sensible in the gramineous family,and in some others, and may be seen in the form of adrop of water at the point of the leaves; but the observermust be an early riser ; he must be up, even before the sun ;for as soon as its these minute drops disap- rays are felt,pear they are dissipated in vapour. In some plants theevaporation much more abundant than in others, and isin all, it depends very much on the state of the atmo-sphere. When the air is most dry, of course it is in astate to receive most moisture, and consequently theevaporation increases on a warm dry day. It is to pre-vent the air depriving our plants of moisture, that wetake a tin case with us to preserve our specimens onbotanizing expeditions. MARY. Yet remember your once telling me, when I had Ialmost killed a plant by carrying it in my hand exposedto the sun, that if I then put it into my case it would berefreshed. N 2
  • 180 HORSETAIL. AUNT. Very true ; but you have forgotten that I desired youto moisten your case previously. Now, a momentsreflection willshow that the principle is the same inboth instances. It was by giving out moisture thatyour specimen had become exhausted, and by imbibingit, that it revived. MARY. You said that some plants perspire more copiouslythan others. Which are they ? AUNT. should say that aquatic plants part with their Imoisture more abundantly and rapidly than any others ;for the leaves become shrivelled and dry almost as soonas gathered. You remember the other day, when wewere going in quest of the pretty water milfoil, (Myri-ophyllum spicatum) I advised you to take a book outwith you, to lay it down immediately, aware that its delicate feathery leaves would wither before you could get it home. These ^plants (aquatics) imbibe water by
  • HORSETAIL. 181the under side of their leaves, and give it out by theupper. MARY. I have often remarked a great deal of water standingin ruts under trees when the rest of the road has beenquite dry. Is this in consequence of the perspirationof the leaves ?
  • 182 HORSETAIL. AUNT. It may, in some measure, be attributed to this cause,but principally to the power of condensation whichsome trees possess. They deprive the dew which restson them of the portion of caloric (heat) which main-tains it in the form of vapour, and it is condensed ttyeninto water, and whatnot absorbed by the leaves, runs isoff, and waters the earth. Sir J. Herschel mentions astriking illustration of this, which he observed duringhis residence at the Cape. The south-east winds pre-valent there bring up the vapours of the sea, whichfrequently remain in low clouds, without producingrain. But Sir J. found, that, as he walked undersome tall fir-trees in the neighbourhood, while theseclouds were overhead, he was exposed to a heavyshower, which ceased on emerging from their shade.On inquiring into the cause of this, he found that thevapour was condensed on the tops of the trees, andconsequently surprised the unwary traveller by a naturalshower-bath. MARY. Oh! I have often, after a hazy morning, seen the
  • HORSETAIL. 183moisture dropping like a shower of rain from thetrees. AUNT. Trees, by this means, contribute much to the increaseof ponds and streams ; and it has been remarked, insome parts of America, where, to make room for thehabitations and cultivation of man, forests have beencut down, that bodies of water in their neighbourhoodare much diminished, and in some instances almostdried up. MARY. Onequestion I meant to ask you about the equi-setum, which I had almost forgotten. Are any of thespecies ever eaten by animals ? I should imagine not. AUNT. You are mistaken. Though one would naturally fancyit unpalatable from its harshness, and injurious fromits flinty nature, to horses it is both acceptable andbeneficial.
  • 184 HEATHS, &c, MARY.WILL you tell me the botanical name ofthis new heath which has just come intoflower in the green-house ? AUNT. It is not, as you suppose, a heath, butthe " Epacris grandiftora" MARY. It certainly bears a very strong resem-blance to many of the foreign heaths Ihave seen. AUNT. That I admit ; but, if you examine itsparts, you will find they do not agree
  • HEATHS. 185with those of the genus Erica, (heath,) which has eightstamens, while the epacris has only five. I think youwere not present the other evening when I was readinga good deal about heaths, and the remarks on theirtotal absence in America. MARY. Do you mean then that America does not produce anyheaths ? AUNT. Not a single species has hitherto been discoveredthere. Africa is the region where the genus displays itsgreatest beauty and variety. It abounds especially atthe Cape, whence the elegant ornaments of our conserva-tories are procured. To the Cape also we owe thatlovely Protean tribe, the geraniums ; for, though thereare European species of both these genera, they cannotvie with their African congeners. The geographicaldistribution of plants is a very interesting subject.Some tribes are found taking a wide range, others con-fined within comparatively narrow limits. When wecast our eyes over the globe, and observe how each por-
  • 186 HEATHS.tion of it is gifted, we are at once struck with admirationand gratitude. Let us, for instance, direct our attentionto the vegetable productions of each, and amid the magni-ficence of colour and form that such a view presents, letus confine ourselves to the consideration of one usefulclass, provided for the support of man, and we shall per-ceive, in the manner in which this is accomplished, a unityof design, through a diversity of means, which causes usgratefully to acknowledge the wisdom and goodness ofGod. It seems requisite that a certain proportion ofhuman food should be of an insipid, farinaceous nature.In Europe, this is supplied by the various kinds ofcerealia, (or grasses bearing seeds convertible intofood.) In the south of Europe two plants begin toappear, which in Asia and America take the place ofour corn, rice and maize. MARY. I well remember how much was said of the usefulnessof maize in Wards Travels in Mexico. He gives ananecdote of a general, who, deserted by his followers,and pursued by a body of a thousand men, was forcedto seek concealment in the woods, where one faithful
  • THE RICE-PLANT. Page 186.
  • DATK-PALM. Page 187
  • HEATHS. 187adherent devised an expedient for intimating that hehad not been false. He hung a tortilla (a peculiarkind of cake made from maize) on a tree ; this at-tracted the attention of his beloved commander, andinformed him that his necessities dining his concealmentshould be provided for. I could not forbear relatingthis incident, which the mention of maize brought tomy recollection but pray, my dear aunt, continue, and ;let me hear what provision is made for Africa. AUNT. There we have the date-palm, whose fruit forms aprincipal [article of food. It is so prolific, that twelvethousand flowers have been counted in one sheath. Itis said, that a skilful housewife will provide her husbandwith a dinner of dates for a month, dressed in a differ-ent manner every day. Though so abundant to thesouth of the Mediterranean, (in Africa and Arabia,)this fruit doth not ripen north of that sea. In additionto these plants, there are numerous others which yieldsimilar food, as our useful potatoe, the arrow-root, andyam of the West, and the sago-palm of the East IndiaIslands ; the banana, or bread-fruit, and many more.
  • 188 HEATHS.There is a provident supply afforded of necessary nou-rishment in almost all countries; while for luxuries,many are dependent on other, and distant regions.The extended commerce of England has given suchopportunities of importing foreign productions, thateach year makes additions to our flower and fruit-gar-dens. Amid the rich profusion which is now within thereach of the peasant, we can scarcely persuade our-selves that a land abounding with the choicest giftsof Flora and Pomona, can claim nothing better thanblackberries, sloes, and crabs as native fruits. MARY. I always fancied that cherries were indigenous inEngland. AUNT. Their being so common and abundant might verynaturally lead you to suppose so ; but they are not evena European production, tracing their origin to moresunny climes, though they now flourish so well in ourfar western isle. The cherry-tree was brought intoItaly from Pontus, by the Roman general Lucullus,
  • HEATHS. 189after the war with Mithridates ; and Pliny says, it passedinto Britain twenty-six years after : I leave you to affixthe date. "Thus," as it is remarked in an amusing "awork, victory obtained by a Roman consul over aking of Pontus, with which it would seem that Britaincould not have the remotest interest, was the real occa-sion ofour countrymen possessing cherry-orchards.Yet to our shame must it be told, that these cherriesfrom the king of Pontus city of Cerasuntis are not thechenies we are now eating for the whole race of ;cherry-trees was lost in the Saxon period, and was onlyrestored by the gardener of Henry who brought VIII.,them from Flanders, and planted orchards in theneighbourhood of Sittingbourne." I will now turnto a pacific mode of interchange. A delightful authorthus beautifully expresses himself, on considering thefacilities of intercourse which man has been able tocreate by hydrostatic knowledge, which has taught him "to cut canals. If the Red Sea and Mediterraneanwere joined, as has been proposed, the operation would,in effect, bring India nearer to Europe, and would moreand more strengthen the bonds of mutual amity andbrotherhood among the nations of the earth. Then, in-
  • 190 HEATHS.deed, might it be said with truth, that the world is avast garden, given to man for his abode, of which eachspot has its peculiar sweets and treasures ; but, becausethe cultivation of each may exchange a share of hisproduce for shares in return, the same general resultfollows as if every field or farm contained within itselfthe climates, and soils, and capabilities of the whole."While I have the book in my hand, I will read you ano-ther passage, which may tend to render us more thank-ful forone of those blessings which we are too apt tooverlook, because so constantly enjoyed. Those whohave had all the luxuries of the East at command tellus,they would willingly have exchanged all for a glass " "of cold water. Kings," says Dr. Arnott, have receivedalmost divine honours for constructing aqueducts tolead the pure streams from the mountains into thepeopled towns. In the present day, it is he who hastravelled on the sandy plains of Asia or Africa, where awell more prized than mines of gold; or who has isspent months on ship-board, where the fresh water isoften doled out with more caution than the most pre-cious product of the ; or who, in reading history, has stillvividly sympathised with the victims of siege, or ship-
  • HEATHS. 191wreck, spreading out their garments to catch the rainfrom heaven, and then, with mad eagerness, sucking thedelicious moisture, it is he who can appreciate fullythe blessing of that abundant supply, which most of usnow so thoughtlessly enjoy. The author will long re-member the intense momentary regret with which, ononce approaching a beautiful land, after months spentat sea, he saw a stream of fresh water gliding overa rock into the salt waves, it appeared to him asif a most precious essence, by some accident, werepouring out to waste." When speaking of the intro-duction of plants into various countries, I was going totell you a fiction regarding the apple, which I can dostill, if you would like another turn round the garden. MARY. Indeed I should ! I so much enjoy our morningconversations, that I am always glad to have themlengthened, though I am sometimes fearful of express-ing such a wish, lest you should be tired. AUNT. I thank you for your consideration; it always affords
  • 192 HEATHS.me pleasure to find you sacrifice self- gratification, fromregard to the feelings or convenience of others. Thismorning I am quite equal to walking and talking, andwill therefore proceed, premising that my story refersto the first appearance of the apple-tree in Normandy." Venus having earned It is said that Thetis, jealous ofoff the prize of beauty, determined to avenge herself.Venus descended one day on the coast of Normandy, tosearch for pearls wherewith to decorate herself, and,while thus engaged, laid her apple on a rock. triton Astole it, and conveyed it to Thetis, who immediatelyscattered its seeds in the neighbouring country, to per-petuate the remembrance of her vengeance and hertriumph." The more credible account of the intro-duction of the apple into this province is, that it wasbrought from Spain, and its being still called biscait insome parts of the province, seems to corroborate this.Tradition says, that the Normans were deprived of thevine,which they formerly possessed, and condemned todrink cider, as a punishment for the ravages which theywere in the habit of committing on the rest of France !During warm weather, the traveller is far from lookingupon this as a very severe infliction, when he is revived by
  • HEATHS. 193a cool glass of this refreshing beverage. It is a substi-tute for the beer of England, and caraffes of it arealways placed on the dinner-table. MARY. Then, I suppose, you travelled among orchards.When you were making the tour in Normandy, of whichI have heard you speak, they must have given quite ahome air to the landscape. AUNT. Yes, we thought Normandy resembled England morethan any part of France we visited. The mention ofcider recalls a little trait of vanity, which I think willamuse you. A discussion arose in a company whereLemierre was, as to the effect of different beverages onpoetical genius. Beer and cider were said to be in-jurious to the intellectual powers. He remarked," Corneille buvait du cidre, Racine buvait du vin, moije bois de Feaii, et vous voyez /"
  • 194 MOTHER-OF-PEARL. MARY.As I was using the pretty work-box you were so goodas to give me yesterday, I was ashamed to find I hadforgotten of what fish the mother-of-pearl with which itis inlaid is the shell. AUNT. Of a species of muscle found in tropical seas. MARY. One would never have expected to see the shell of afish applied to such a purpose ! AUNT. The consideration of the great distance from whichmany of the commonest articles we use are brought, and
  • MOTHER-OF-PEARL. 1 95the various sources from which they are obtained, isoften very curious. On our work-tables are boxesformed from the tooth of a quadruped, others orna-mented with the shell of a fish; one of our workingmaterials is procured from the soft coating of a seed,(spun to a thread of hundreds of yards in length,) ano-ther from the cocoon of an insect,and a third is drawnfrom the bowels of the earth. And these various pro-ductions are so changed by the art of the manufacturerwho adapts them to our use, that an uninformed personwould never divine to which of the three kingdoms ofnature each in its original state belonged. We may, inthe same manner, go through everything with which ourhouses and our wardrobes are furnished. Who thatdid not know the fact, would suspect that the most deli-cate porcelain is made of clay, or that the hide of acalf, as we see it before it has been submitted to theoperations of the tanner, could be converted into thesmooth elegant covering of our books ? are some-Wetimes clothed, at the same moment, in the skins ofbeasts, the stalks of plants, the down of one bird, thefeathers of another: vegetables, minerals, and insectshave been employed to colour the various parts of ourdress.
  • 1 96 MOTHER-OF-PEARL. MARY. So that, however disguised, we may, by inquiry, traceeverything we use or wear to some production of nature. AUNT. Certainly. Man has not the power of creating newsubstances, he can only (by different operations andcombinations) alter the materials with which he is sup-plied, and by ingenuity and industry appropriate themto the artificial wantswhich a civilized state of societyinduces. MARY. But was going to ask you something more about Imother-of-pearl. Why do its beautiful colours seem tochange from place to place, without being fixed to a ?particular spot AUNT. The various tints you see, do not in fact exist in themother-of-pearl; they are produced by the irregularsurface from which the rays of light are reflected.
  • MOTHER-OF-PEARL. 1 97 MARY. Do you mean that the surface is naturally irregular,or that it is rendered so by art to produce this effect. AUNT. It is the natural and peculiar conformation of thiscurious body, which art cannot change, for it is foundthat if mother-of-pearl is ground and polished to theutmost, it never loses that waved, wrinkled appearance,which produces the colours. There is another remarkable fact connected with it.The same prismatic colours are perceptible in any ob-ject impressed by it. This is a simple experiment,which can show you, when we go in, by heating some Isealing-wax, and imprinting it with a piece of mother-of-pearl. MARY. That is extraordinary ! How is this communicationof colour accounted for ? AUNT. It is not colour that is communicated, but form ; for,
  • 1 98 MOTHER-OF-PEARL.as I told you before, the colours result from the struc-ture, and our seeing the same in objects stamped withit proves this. The surface from which they are re-turned is similar, though the substance is different.Our discussion on mother-of-pearl must close our morn-ing conversations, for I return home to-morrow and as ;I shall set off early, I shall not have time for a walkbefore 1 go. MARY. Are you going to leave us so soon ? How sorry Iam ! How much I shall miss our early walks ! AUNT. But you will not discontinue them, though I I trustshall notbe your companion and I hope I shall have ;increased the pleasure and improvement of your futurerambles, by my endeavours to direct your attention tothe works of God, which are so impressed with theimage of their Maker ; and you admire all these that, asbeautiful objects, you will consider for what wise and goodends every thing was made, from the largest to thesmallest creature. Observe their habits and economy
  • MOTHER-OF-PEARL. 1 99yourself; for this is a study from which (as I have oftentold you,) much may be learnt, an insect may showyou the excellence of a virtue. always appears to It methat even inanimate nature speaks to our hearts. Wecannot, on such a lovely morning as this, stray amongstthe profusion of beauty which greets us on every bank,without emotions of gratitude towards the All-wise Cre-ator, who, though in his infinite wisdom he has judgedfit to make this world a place of trial, has yet bestowedso sources of enjoyment to solace us during our manyabode here, and to prepare us for that world which is tosucceed it, by raising our minds to the mighty Author ofall we so much admire. THE END. Rickeibf, Printer, Sherboum Lane.
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  • 10 Works Published by Harvey and Darton. AN IMPROVED METHOD OF PERFORMING COMMERCIAL CALCULATIONS ; REPRESENTING THE SCIENCE OF ARITHMETIC IN A NEW LIGHT. A BOOK OF GENERAL UTILITY. Containing, among other matter, a full Illustration of the Theory of Proportion and the German Chain Rule. BY J. FELTON. 12mo. bound and lettered. Price 2s. Also, by the same Author, and adapted to the above, THE TEACHERS MANUAL OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC; DISPLAYING A SIMPLE METHOD OF SUCCESSFULLY COMMUNICATING INSTRUCTION IN THAT MOST USEFUL SCIENCE. TOGETHER WITH A KEY TO THE CALCULATIONS. 12mo. cloth lettered. Price 2s. " An extremely valuable little work. The rules which it gives for solving all questions inArithmetic are so simple, and the mode of operation so brief and plain, that to every one anxious tacquire a ready method of performing calculations, it must be a most desirable hand-book." Atlas . HELP TO THE SCHOOLMISTRESS, OR, VILLAGE TEACHING. BY EMILY TAYLOR. Author of " Tales of the Saxons," " Tales of the English," &c. 18mo. cloth lettered. Price Is. Gd. THE PICTORIAL ENGLISH GRAMMAR. With One Hundred and Fifty Illustrations by ALFRED CitowQUlLL. 16mo. cloth lettered. Price 3s. Gd.
  • Works Published by Harvey and Darton. 11 THE ENGLISH VOCABULARY, OR SPELLING-BOOK;WITH THE MEANING ATTACHED TO EACH WORD. COMPILED FOR THE USE OF ACKWORTH SCHOOL. A new Edition. 18mo. Cloth lettered. Price Is. 6d. LECONS POUR DES ENFANS,DEPUIS LAGE DE DEUX AN.S JUSQUA CINQ. TRADUIT DE L ANGLAIS DE MADAME BARBAULD. AVEC UNE INTERPRETATION ANGLAISE. 18mo. cloth lettered. Price 2s. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF BOOK-KEEPING. BY R. ROE. 8vo. half-bound. Price 3s. 6d. A Set of Ruled Books, to aocompany the above, Price 3s. LECTURES ELEMENTAIRES. PAR LE COMTE BARDI.WITH AN INTERLINEARY ENGLISH TRANSLATION, ON THE HAMILTONIAN SYSTEM. 12mo. Price 3s. ENGLISH PARSING LESSONS. BY JAMES GILES. 12mo. Price 2s. Gd.
  • 12 Works Published by Harvey and Darton. MISCELLANEOUS, THE OLD OAK-CHEST; OB, A BOOK A GREAT TREASURE. " BY THE AUTHOR OF CHARLIES DISCOVERIES," &C. With Cuts, 16mo. cloth gilt. Price 3s. 6d. "A amusing, and instructive book, adapted as a parlour-book pretty, "for little .children."Sunday-School Teachers Magazine. By the Authors of " Original Poems." RHYMES FOR THE NURSERY. 18mo. cloth lettered. Price Is. 6d. ALSO AN ILLUSTRATED EDITION, IN LARGE TYPE. With Sixteen fine Cuts, by WRIGHT, from Designs by GILBERT, 16mo. cloth, gilt edges. Price 3s. 6d. " An old friend with a new face, and an open and a gay one too. The large, clear type invitesthe young reader to learn the story of the nice little pictures. These verses for children havenever been surpassed, scarcely equalled indeed for the happy union of fancy and precept, thesimplicity and intelligibility of the ide s and words, and the fluency and conciseness of theRhymes. The Miss Taylors are the best nursery lyrists, after all." Spectator. TRIALS OF STRENGTH, MORAL AND PHYSICAL. BY MRS. BARWELL. Foolscap 8vo. cloth lettered. Price 5s. " In language, and in everything else, this is a model for juvenile story-books. What the ablewriter more especially demonstrates is the difference between moral undphysical courage." Metro-politan. ROBINSON CRUSOE. With Illustrations. 12mo. cloth lettered. Price Ts. An 18mo. edition of the same. Price 2s. 6d. CHILDRENS MISSION ; OR, GREAT WORKS WROUGHT BY WEAK HANDS.; BY G. WARING. WITH Six ILLUSTRATIONS BY J. GILBERT. Foolscap 8vo. cloth lettered, price 4s. 6d.
  • Works Published by Harvey and Darton. 13 WITH ENGRAVINGS AND WOOD-CUT ILLUSTRATIONS. TALES OF MANY LANDS, BY MISS M. FRASER TYTLER, AUTHOR OF "TALES OF THE GKKAT AND BRAVE." Foolscap 8vo. cloth lettered. Price 7s. 6d. " Sketches of common life, and traits of childish character, intermingled skilfully with pic-tares of foreign scenery and national characteristics ; and pathetic stories, written with talent andin a manner to interest youthful readers. Each tale is illustrated by a clever wood engraving. "Spectator. MY BOY S FIRST BOOK. BY THE AUTHOR OF " TALES OF THE GREAT AND BRAVE." With fine Cuts. 16mo. cloth. Price 3s. 6d. " A pretty little one for very young children, consisting of a number of tales full of interestyet all tending to improve the morals of the youthful reader. We recommend both theseworks as presents to all good boys and girls." Metropolitan Magazine. BY THE SAME AUTHOR. MY BOYS SECOND BOOK. With fine Cuts. IGmo. cloth, price 3s. 6d. BY THE SAME AUTHOR. HYMNS AND SKETCHES IN VERSE. With fine Cuts. 16mo. cloth gilt. Price 4s. 6d. " These are childrens books of a yerv superior character; and especially the first, some of theshort poems in which are very beautiful. The wood-cuts by which they are emblished are reallygems, such as but a few years ago would have astonished the public in works of far higher preten-sions." Argus. SETMA, THE TURKISH GIRL, AND WOODROOF, THE SWEDISH BOY. TRUE TALES. BY THE REV. C. G. EARTH. Foolscap 8vo. Cloth gilt. Price 3s. with Frontispiece. " The spiritual piety of these tales is above all praise. M uch may be learned by the estimation inwhich Christianity and her holy ordinances are held by the Turkish Girl; while from theSwedish Hoy we have a clear view of the fundamental truths of Christianity, which will put toconfusion many of the crude imaginings that but too often take the place of true religion. Thelittle volume is admirably calculated for the perusal of the youth of both sexes." Cambridge Ad-
  • j4 Works Published by Harvey and Darton. STRAIGHTF O R WAR D N E S S ESSENTIAL TO THE CHRISTIAN. BY MARY ANN KELTY. 12mo. cloth letteied. Price Is. 6d. FIVE YEARS OF YOUTH ; OR, SENSE AND SENTIMENT. BY HARRIET MARTINEAU, AUTHOR OF "ILLUSTRATIONS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY," &C. &C. 12mo. cloth lettered. Price 6s. SELF-DEPENDENCE A TALE. : BY THE AUTHOR OF "ROSE TALBOT ;" "THE ORPHANS CHOICE," &C. " Confidence then bore thee on ; secure Either to meet no danger or to find Matter of glorious trial." Foolscap 8vo. Cloth gilt. Price 4s. Gd. * Awell-written story, inculcating those moral feelings which every parent must wish to seehis children possess. The volume is a very suitable present for youth, being both informing andamusing." Plymouth Herald. VARIETY:A SELECTION OF ANECDOTES, HISTORICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL, AND MISCELLANEOUS. BY PRISCILLA WAKEFIELD. With Plates. 12mo. cloth lettered. Price 5s. THE CHILDS BOOK OF OBJECTS. With coloured Illustrations. Cloth lettered. Price 3s. 6d. A BLUE-COAT BOYS RECOLLECTIONS OF HERTFORD SCHOOL. WITH AN APPENDIX CONTAINING THE RULES, REGULATIONS, &C. BY GEORGE WICKHAM. Foolscap 8 o. cloth. Price 4s. 6d.
  • Works Published ly Harvey and Darton. lo A NEW DESCRIPTION OF THE EARTH, CONSIDERED CHIEFLY AS A RESIDENCE FOR MAN. BY JEFFREYS TAYLOR. With Plates. 12mo. Price 4s. By the same Author, A MONTH IN LONDON ; OR SOME OF ITS MODERN WONDERS DESCRIBED. With Plates. 12mo. cloth lettered. Price 4s. "A description of some of the modern wonders to be seen in the great Metropolis. The princi-pal objects of which an account is given are the Thames, the Tunnel, St. Katharines Docks,Bridges, Gas Lights, Diorama, Colosseum, Regen s Park, Zoological Gardens, British Museum,National Repository, the Hazaars&c., &c. all of which must be interesting, more particulaily to thelittle folks in the country." Edinburgh Advei-tiser. FIRESIDE STORIES; OR, RECOLLECTIONS OF MY SCHOOLFELLOWS. With Plates. 16mo. cloth lettered. Price 3s. 6d. RURAL SCENES; OR, A PEEP INTO THE COUNTRY.A new and revised Edition, with Eighty-eight Cuts. Foolscap 8vo. cloth lettered. Price 2s. Gd. PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERSATIONS : IN WHICH ARE FAMILIARLY EXPLAINED THE CAUSES OF NUMEROUS DAILY OCCURRING NATURAL PHENOMENA. BY FREDERICK C. BAKEWELL, AUTHOR OF "NATURAL EVIDENCE OF A FUTURE LIFE," &C. Foolscap 8vo. cloth lettered. Price 5s. 6d.
  • 16 Works Published by Harvey and Darton. CITY SCENES; OR, A PEEP INTO LONDON. With many Plates, 12mo. cloth lettered. Price 3s. 6d. Or coloured, Price 4s. 6d. FRUITS AND FLOWERS. ( The proper culture of thy mind will yield thee more than summer fruits and flowers." Price 3s. 6d. THE WHEATSHEAF. Price 2s. 6d. FAMILIAR ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY. BY MARIA HACK. 18mo. cloth lettered. Price: 3s. CHILDHOOD, ILLUSTRATED IN A SELECTION FROM THt POETS. BY H. M. RATHBONE. Foolscap 8vb. cloth lettered. Price 5s. HYMNS, SELECTED FROM VARIOUS AUTHORS, FOR YOUNG PKRSONS. BY PRISCILLA GURN^Y. 32mo. cloth, gilt edges. Price 2s. Gd
  • Works Published by Harvey and Darton. 17 A MEMOIR OK EDWARD FOSTER BRADY, LATE SUPERINTENDENT OF CROYDON SCHOOL. CONSISTING CHIEFLY OF EXTRACTS FROM HIS LETTERS AND JOURNAL. Foolscap 8vo. cloth lettered. Price 2s. 6d. THE ORGANS OF THE SENSES, FAMILIARLY EXPLAINED. WITH COLOURED PLATES. BY CHARLES AMY BELL. Roan lettered. Price 6s. ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE FEMALE FIGURE ; WITH A NEW MODE OF TREATMENT OF LATERAL CURVATURE OF THE SPINE. BY G. B. CHILDS. With Illustrative Plates. Cloth lettered. Price 5s. A CLASSICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THEMANNERS, CUSTOMS, LAWS, &C., OF THE CELEBRATED NATIONS OF ANTIQUITY AND THE MIDDLE AGES. BY DR. NUTTALL. 8vo. cloth, Price 16s. B
  • 18 Works Published by Harvey and Darton. FACTS AND FEELINGS, ILLUSTRATIVE OF INTERIOR RELIGION J ACCOMPANIED BY MEMORIALS OF MADAME GUYON, FENELON, AND OTHER SPIRITUAL PERSONS, WITH EXTRACTS FROM THEIR WORKS. BY MARY ANN KELTY. Foolscap 8vo. cloth lettered. Price 4s. EARLY DAYS IN THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS. BY MARY ANN KELTY. 12mo. cloth. Price 7s. 6d. I would recommend you, says Charles Lamb, whose relish for all that was individual andunworldly was strong to the last hour of his life, above all church narratives, to read Sewels History of the Quakers ; here is nothing to stagger you, nothing to make you mistrust no sus- ;picion of alloy, no drop or dreg of the worldly or ambitious spirit. Mary Ann K citys book sabridged from Sewel, and may, we think, be perused with interest, as a record of the earlystruggles of a body of conscientious men, apart from the peculiar doctrines it is intended to enforceand illustrate." Athenaeum. A GENERAL ATLAS, FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS. WITH A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHY. BY JOHN ADAMS. Twenty-aeven Maps, coloured. Price 10s. 6d. 8vo. cloth lettered. Another by ISAAC PA YNK. Price 5s. coloured. ECONOMICAL COOKERY FOR YOUNG HOUSEKEEPERS. A new Edition. 12mo. Cloth lettered. Price 2s. "This is another of thoseuseful volumes, the success of which affords the very best pledge of itsintrinsic value. Good and palatable dishes being commonly regarded as forming some of thechief material elements of human happiness, the art of providing them without extravaganceought to be encouraged by all who feel an interest in the subject." Atlas.
  • Works Published ly Harvey and Darton. 19 CHILDRENS BOOKS. jurpence colouredThe People of Europe. Easy Chat for very little People.The Nations of Asia. London Scenes.The African Race. Nursery Lessons.The Tribes of America and Poly- Sports of Childhood. nesia. The Cries of London.Country Scenes. The Nursery Present, or Alpha-Simple Stories, a very easy Read- bet of Pictures. ing Book. The Rhyming Alphabet.Simple Rhymes on Birds and The Workshop, or Useful Trades. Beasts. The Busy Bees.Emma and the Little Silk-Makers. plain,Book of Nouns, 64 plates. People of all Nations, 64 plates.Easy Steps to Learning, 2 parts. Pictures for the Nursery.Franklins Art of Making Money Robinson Crusoe. Plenty, with hieroglyphic Plates. Strangers Offering for Infants.Honesty Rewarded. Tales for Infant Minds.Infants Cabinet of Birds and The Birthday Present. Beasts. The Picture Shop.Lessons and Tales for the Nursery. The Universal Primer.Mammas Present of Pictures. The Infants Catechism. One , plates colouredCowpers Negros Complaint. Opies Negros Lament, or theEasy Lessons for Infants. Process of making Sugar.Let Me look, Papa; or Pictures The Childs Book of Objects. of Animals. The Childs Picture Book. The Little Book of Prints.
  • 20 Works Published ly Harvey and Darton. Stalling cad), plates plant.Ann and Jane, with plates. Precept and Example, plates.A Peep into Nature, ditto. Poems for Children. By a Lady.Bible Stories, ditto. Prejudice Reproved, plates.Easy Lessons in English History. Present for a Little Boy, ditto.Hy nines en Prose, par M. Bar- Present for a Little Girl, ditto. bauld. Select Rhymes for the Nursery,Individual Influence, by M. A. ditto. Kelty. The Little Enquirers.Little Anecdotes, by Mary Mister. The Decoy, or an Agreeable Me-Little Truths, 2 vols., ditto. thod of Teaching Children theMamma and Mary, by M. A. elementary parts of English Kelty. Grammar.Martin and James. The Rational Exhibition. Illustrations, anfc ueatlg ISounli auto 2iettcrcD, j&jnUtng; ant) j&isptuccAgnes Merton; or, how to lay Original Poems for Infant Minds. out Half a Sovereign. By Mrs. A new and revised Edition, in Loudon. 2 vols.Alice Grant: the Two Cousins; Presence of Mind and Pride. Two and Fair Day. Tales. By Phoebe Blythe. Au-Dont give up the Ship or, the ; thor of " Alice Grant," &c. Good Son. Rhymes for the Nursery. By theElementary Instruction for Junior Authors of " Original Poems." Students. Simple Hymns for Young Chil-Fanny and her Mother. A Story. dren. " By the Author of theInfant Stories, intended to show Parting Gift," &c. that to be Good is to be Happy. The Orphans Choice. Tale. ALimed Twigs toCatch young By Eliza Wright. Author of " Self Birds. " By the Authors of " -Dependence," &c. Original Poems," Nursery The Truant Scholars; Kate Ri- Rhymes," &c. vers; and the Blind Girl andLittle Lucy, the Invalid ; or, Nur- her Teacher. sery Dialogues. Village School Girls. Tale. ALittleFrank and other Tales. In By Eliza Wright. Words of one Syllable. Walter ONiel or, the Pleasure ;Lucy Unwin; or Prejudice Re- of doing Good. proved, and other Tales.
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