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10. At night many leaves assume a drooping position, owing to the withdrawal of the stimulus11 of light. This folding of the leaves is commonly called the sleep of plants. It is especially noticed in those of clover, and in peas and other pod-bearing plants. Even the foliage of trees with compound leaves or leaflets, as the locust, manifests 15 this folding of the leaves in sleep. If kept in the dark all day, the sleeping leaves are not aroused, but they are sensitive to artificial light at night. Plants of different species assume different positions at night, but the position is constant for those of the same species.
11. All deciduous leaves change their color in autumn. The green color becomes of a golden or crimson tint, changing to a russet,16 and often presenting the most beautiful and gorgeous appearance. American forests, especially those in which the maple is abundant, are said to excel, in this respect, those of the Old World. An English lady-tourist is said to have been so delighted with the dazzling splendor of American forest leaves in autumn that she procured a supply to ornament a ball-dress, to
"Deck the gay halls Of her far distant home."
12. As swans are said to sing most sweetly just before they die; as some species of fish exhibit the richest colors as they expire; as soap-bubbles assume the brightest rainbow
which the leaflets are borne on the very tip of the leaf-stalk, as at 20. At 21 is a perfo'-li-ate leaf; and at 22 one that is connate-perfoliate. Eq'-ui-tant leaves, as at 23, are those which partly inclose or straddle over each other. At 24 the leaves are whorled, or arranged around the stem on the same level; and at 25 they are opposite each other.
Particular terms are also used to designate the forms of the a'-pex, or end of the leaf, as at a it is acuminate; b, acute; c, obtuse; d, truncate; e, emarginate, or notched; when deeply notched, it is ob-cord'-ate; g, sharp-pointed, is cusp'-i-dāte; h, short-pointed, is mu'-cro-nate.
21 x 2 !!!!!
30 31 32 33 34 35
At 26 is a three-lobed leaf; 27, three-cleft; 28, three-parted; 29, three-divided, or palmately-divided.
The various forms of the margins of leaves are also indicated by particular terms. When their general outline is completely filled out, they are said to be entire; 30 is ser'rate, or saw-toothed; 31, simply dent'-ate, or toothed; 32, cre'-nate, or scalloped; 33, revand', or wavy; 34, sin'-u-ate, having deeper curves than the repand; 35, in-cis'ed, which means cut, or jag'-ged.
tints the instant before they vanish in thin air, so leaves take on their most beautiful dyes17 in the cool autumn days, “the saddest of the year."
"Has it come'? the time to fade'?
13. This change is not necessarily effected by cold, for it often appears before the earliest frost, and is premonitory 18 of the fall of the leaf. One by one they fall, till, as Coleridge has so prettily sung, there is seen but
"The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
14. But, according to Byron, in his description of an English autumn,
"What is lost in green is gained in yellow;"
and Southey could see a pleasant sign of coming Christmas in
"These fading leaves,
"September strews the woodland o'er
Sad thoughts and sunny weather'!
1 ĂP'-ER-TŪRES, openings; holes.
2 RES-PI-RA'-TION, the act of breathing; taking in air.
3 EX-HA-LA'-TION, the act of sending forth fluids in the form of vapor.
|10 AB-SORP'-TION, the act of drinking in, or sucking up nourishment.
11 AD-HERE', stick together.
12 DE-COM-PO-SI"-TION, decay.
13 ALI-MENT, food; nutriment.
14 STIM'-U-LUS, something that rouses to ac tion.
4 MI-NUTE', very small.
5 Oc-CUR', exist; are found.
5 CLAS-SI-FI-CA-TION, arranging in classes. 15 MAN'-I-FESTS, shows plainly.
7 FU-GA'-CIOUS, flying away.
16 RUS'-SET, reddish-brown.
8 DE-CID'-U-Ous, falling in autumn.
17 DYES, colors; hues.
9 PER-SIST-ENT, continuing without wither-18 ing.
PRE-MON'-I-TO-RY, giving previous warr ing or notice.
THE ANGEL OF THE LEAVES: AN ALLEGORY.
[An allegory is a species of fable, in which one thing is described by something elso that resembles it. We have a fine example of an allegory in the eightieth Psalm, in which God's chosen people are represented by a vineyard. In the following allegory the desponding, sorrowing, and afflicted soul, mourning its desolation, but afterward cheered by the gracious promises of our heavenly Father, is described by the fable of the tree in autumn, stripped of its leaves, chilled by the cold, and pelted by the storm, but cheered by the angel of the leaves with the promise of a new robe when spring shall return again.]
The Tree stripped of its leaves in Autumn.
1. "ALAS! alas!" said the sorrowful tree, "my beautiful robe is gone! It has been torn from me. Its faded pieces whirl upon the wind; they rustle beneath the squirrel's foot as he searches for his nut. They float upon the passing stream and the quivering lake. Woe is me! for my fair, green vesture1 is gone. It was the gift of the angel of the leaves! I have lost it, and my glory has vanished; my beauty has disappeared. My summer hours have passed away. My bright and comely2 garment, alas! it is rent in a 'thousand parts.
2. "Who will weave me such another? Piece by piece it has been stripped from me. Scarcely did I sigh for the loss of one ere another wandered off on the air. The sound of music cheers me no more. The birds that sang in my
bosom were dismayed at my desolation. They have flown away with their songs.
3. “I stood in my pride. The sun brightened my robe with his smile. The zephyrs3 breathed softly through its glossy folds; the clouds strewed pearls among them. My shadow was wide upon the earth. My arms spread far on the gentle air, my head was lifted high; my forehead was fair to the heavens. But now how changed! Sadness is upon me; my head is shorn, my arms are stripped; I can not now throw a shadow on the ground. Beauty has departed; gladness is gone out of my bosom; the blood has retired from my heart-it has sunk into the earth.
4. "I am thirsty, I am cold. My naked limbs shiver in the chilly air. The keen blast comes pitiless among them. The winter is coming; I am destitute. Sorrow is my portion. Mourning must wear me away. to the angel who clothed me for the loss
How shall I account of his beautiful gift?" 5. The angel had been listening. In soothing accents he answered the lamentation. "My beloved tree," said he, "be comforted. I am with thee still, though every leaf has forsaken thee. The voice of gladness is hushed among thy boughs, but let my whisper console thee. Thy sorrow is but for a season. Trust in me; keep my promise in thy heart. Be patient and full of hope. Let the words I leave with thee abide and cheer thee through the coming winter. Then I will return and clothe thee anew.
6. "The storm will drive over thee; the snow will sift through thy naked limbs. But these will be light and passing afflictions. The ice will weigh heavily on thy helpless arms, but it shall soon dissolve into tears. It shall pass into the ground, and be drunken by thy roots. Then it will creep up in secret beneath thy bark. It will spread into the branches it has oppressed, and help me to adorn them; for I shall be here to use it.
7. "Thy blood has now only retired for safety. The frost would chill and destroy it. It has gone into thy mother's bosom for her to keep it warm. Earth will not rob her offspring. She is a careful parent. She knows the wants of all her children, and forgets not to provide for the least of them.
8. 66 The sap, that has for a while gone down, will make thy roots strike deeper and spread wider. It will then return to nourish thy heart. It will be renewed and strengthened. Then, if thou shalt have remembered and trusted in my promise, I will fulfill it. Buds shall shoot forth on every side of thy boughs. I will unfold for thee another robe. I will paint it and fit it in every part. It shall be a comely raiment. Thou shalt forget thy present sorrow. Sadness shall be swallowed up in joy. Now, my beloved tree, fare thee well for a season."
9. The angel was gone. The muttering winter drew near.
The wild blast whistled for the storm. The storm came and howied around the tree. But the word of the angel was hidden in her heart; it soothed her amid the threatenings of the tempest. The ice-cakes rattled upon her limbs; they loaded and weighed them down.
10. "My slender branches," said she, "let not this burden overcome you. Break not beneath this heavy affliction; break not, but bend, till you can spring back to your places. Let not a twig of you be lost. Hope must prop you for a while, and the angel will reward your patience. You will move upon a softer air. Grace shall again be in your motion, and beauty hanging around you."
11. The scowling face of winter began to lose its features. The raging storm grew faint, and breathed its last. The restless clouds fretted themselves to atoms; they scattered upon the sky and were brushed away. The sun threw down a bundle of golden arrows. They fell upon the tree; the icecakes glittered as they came. Every one was shattered by a shaft. They were melted and gone.
12. The reign of spring had come. Her blessed ministers were abroad in the earth; they hovered in the air; they blended their beautiful tints, and cast a new-created glory on the face of the heavens.
13. The tree was rewarded for her trust. The angel was true to the object of his love. He returned; he bestowed on her another robe. It was bright, glossy, and unsullied. The dust of summer had never lit upon it; the scorching heat had not faded it; the moth had not profaned it.