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invariably there sprung up a new set of plants, before unknown in that locality. It is well known, also, that in many parts of this country, when recent forest clearings are burned over, there soon springs up a peculiar grass not previously found in the vicinity. How came the seeds there? where did they dwell before the clearing? That the embryo1 plant should survive so long as well-authenticated facts establish, is truly wonderful, though perhaps it is no more wonderful than that it should exist at all. The following lines beautifully express the mysteries of seed life.


"Mark our ways, how noiseless
All, and sweetly voiceless,

Though the March winds pipe18 to make our passage clear;
Not a whisper tells

Where our small seed dwells,

Nor is known the moment green when our tips appear.

We thread the earth in silence,

In silence build our bowers,

And leaf by leaf in silence show, till we laugh atop sweet flowers."

15. The same writer, in comparing flowers with fables, which are instructive and amusing stories, gives the preference to the former, as they are not only more true, and equally loved, but they spring up by every old pathway, and are "marvels sweet forever."

"O! true things are fables,
Fit for sagest tables,

And the flowers are true things, yet no fables they;

Fables were not more

Bright, nor loved of yore;

Yet they grew not, like the flowers, by every old pathway;
Grossest hand can test us,
Fools may prize us never,

Yet we rise, and rise, and rise-marvels sweet forever."

1 A-NAL'-O-GOUS, similar to; like. ? IL-LUS-TRA'-TION, explanation.

3 DE-VEL'-OP-MENT, opening; unfolding; growth.

4 COM-MU-NI-CATES WITH," has the means of passing to.

5 "MUL'-TI-PLE FORM," in series of uniform

6 RES-ER-VOIR', store-house; receptacle.
7 HER-BA'-RI-UM, a collection of dried plants.

8 LAB'-O-RA-TO-RY, a workshop; place for
chemical operations.

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1. Spake full well, in language quaint1 and oiden,
One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine,
When he called the flowers', so blue and golden',
Stars', that in earth's firmament do shine.

2. Stars they are, wherein we read our history,
As astrologers2 and seers3 of eld;4
Yet not wrapped about with awful mystery,
Like the burning stars which they beheld'.

3. Wondrous truths, and manifolds as wondrous,
God hath written in those stars above;
But not less in the bright flowerets under us
Stands the revelation of his love.

4. Bright and glorious is that revelation, Writ all over this great world of oursMaking evident our own creation,

In these stars of earth, these golden flowers.

5. Every where about us are they glowing-
Some, like stars, to tell us spring is born;
Others, their blue eyes with tears o'erflowing,
Stand, like Ruth, amid the golden corn.
6. Not alone in Spring's armorial bearing,9

And in Summer's green-emblazoned1o field,
But in arms of brave old Autumn's wearing,
In the centre of his brazen shield;

7. Not alone in meadows and green alleys,

On the mountain top, and by the brink
Of sequestered11 pools in woodland valleys,
Where the slaves of Nature stoop to drink;

8. Not alone in her vast dome of glory,

Not on graves of bird and beast alone,
But in old cathedrals, high and hoary,

On the tombs of heroes carved in stone;

9. In the cottage of the rudest peasant;

In ancestral homes, whose crumbling towers,
Speaking of the Past unto the Present,

Tell us of the ancient Games of Flowers.

10. In all places, then, and in all seasons,

Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings,
Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
How akin12 they are to human things.

11. And with childlike, credulous13 affection,

We behold their tender buds expand-
Emblems14 of our own great resurrection,
Emblems of the bright and better land.

QUAINT, odd; strange.

2 AS-TROL'-O-GER, one who pretends to foretell events by the appearances of the stars. 3 SEERS, prophets.

4ELD, olden times.

5 MAN'-I-FOLD, various; many in number. 6 FLOW'-ER-ETS, little flowers.

7 REV-E-LA-TION, the act of making known to others what was unknown to them.


8 AR-MO'-RI-AL, belonging to or having the appearance of armor.

9 BEAR'-INGS, the figures on armor, or on coats of arms.

10 EM-BLAZ'-ONED, adorned with armorial

11 SE-QUES'-TERED, secluded; retired.
12 A-KIN', like; related.


RED'-U-LOUS, easily believing.

14 EM'-BLEMS, pictures or representations.



1. THERE are many curious provisions1 for the dispersion of seeds, the evident design of which is that no portion of the earth shall be destitute of vegetation. Many seeds, like those of the maple, are winged, or furnished with lateral2 expansions3 to catch the wind, and thus are blown to places remote from where they grew. The small seed of the dandelion is carried by a long and light stem, at one end of which numerous feathery fibres spread out like an umbrella. The down of thistles, which floats so easily in the air, carries the seed to great distances.


Seed of the Dan


2. Some seeds, having a shelly or an oily covering that can resist the action of water, are borne by the waves to the distant islands of the sea. Many seeds are destroyed, but the number produced is beyond conjecture. A single stalk of tobacco may produce one hundred and sixty thousand seeds; and an elm-tree has been estimated to have more than six hundred thousand.

3. There is, apparently, a prodigality of flowers and seeds. It is believed by physiologists that those parts of the fungi or flowerless plants, such as rust, mildew, and mushrooms, which answer to the seeds of other plants, are universally dif fused through the atmosphere, ready to vegetates whenever an opportunity presents itself, and that every fungus plant may produce not less than ten million germs. The vast ex tent of vegetable life, and the care which Nature has taken for its preservation, are thus happily described by an English poet:


"Then spring the living herbs, profusely wild,
O'er all the deep green earth, beyond the power
Of botanist to number up their tribes,
Whether he steals along the lonely dale,"


In silent search, or through the forest, rank
With what the dull incurious10 weeds account,
Bursts his blind way; or climbs the mountain rock,
Fired12 by the nodding verdure of its brow.
With such a liberal hand has Nature flung
Their seeds abroad, blown them about in winds,
Innumerous13 mixed them with the nursing mould,
The moistening current, and prolific11 rain.
The kind, impartial care

Of Nature naught disdains; thoughtful to feed
Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year,
From field to field, the feathered seeds she wings."


6. Birds, beasts, and insects aid in the dispersion of seeds, so that whether a Delos15 rises in a night from beneath the waters, or the coral terraces16 "spring up to the crested wave," it is but a short time before

"The turf looks green where the breakers1 rolled," and the recent island is fitted for the habitation of man.


"Seeds to our eyes invisible, will find

On the rude rock the bed that fits their kind.
There in the rugged soil they safely dwell,
Till showers and snows the subtle18 atoms swell,
"And spread th' enduring foliage; then we trace
The freckled flower upon the flinty base;
These all increase, till in unnoted years
The stony tower as gray with age appears,
With coats of vegetation thinly spread,
Coat above coat, the living on the dead.
These then dissolve to dust, and make a way
For bolder foliage, nursed by their decay:
The long-enduring ferns in time will all
Die and depose their dust upon the wall;
Where the wing'd seed may rest, till many a flower
Shows Flora's1 triumph o'er the falling tower."

1 PRO-VI"-SIONS, things provided.

2 LAT-ER-AL, proceeding from the side, as the wings of the maple seed.

3 EX-PAN'-SIONS, parts that spread out. 4 RE-MOTE', distant.


5 PROD-I-GAL-I-TY, needless abundance.
6 PHYS-I-ŎI.'-O-GIST, one acquainted with
the science of plants and animals.

7 FUN'-GI, the plural of fun'-gus.

8 VEG -E-TATE, to sprout; grow like a plant. 9 DALE, a vale; place between hills.

10 IN-CU-RI-OUS, inattentive; not having curiosity.

11 AC-COUNT', think; consider; regard. 12 FIRED, animated; encouraged.

13 IN-NU-MER-OUS, too many to be counted. 14 PRO-LIF'-Ic, fertilizing; causing to grow. 15 DE-LOS', an island that was fabled to have arisen unexpectedly out of the sea. 16 "COR ́-AL TER ́-RA-CES," islands built by coral insects.

17 BREAK'-ERS, waves broken by rocks or shoals.

18 SUBT-LE (sut'tl), very small; difficult of detection.

19 FLO'-RA, the goddess of flowers.

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