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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
Though the March winds pipe18 to make our passage clear;
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,
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;
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.
8 LAB'-O-RA-TO-RY, a workshop; place for
FLOWERS, THE STARS OF EARTH.
1. Spake full well, in language quaint1 and oiden,
2. Stars they are, wherein we read our history,
3. Wondrous truths, and manifolds as wondrous,
4. Bright and glorious is that revelation, Writ all over this great world of oursMaking evident our own creation,
5. Every where about us are they glowing-
And in Summer's green-emblazoned1o field,
7. Not alone in meadows and green alleys,
On the mountain top, and by the brink
8. Not alone in her vast dome of glory,
Not on graves of bird and beast alone,
On the tombs of heroes carved in stone;
9. In the cottage of the rudest peasant;
In ancestral homes, whose crumbling towers,
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,
11. And with childlike, credulous13 affection,
We behold their tender buds expand-
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.
RED'-U-LOUS, easily believing.
14 EM'-BLEMS, pictures or representations.
DISPERSION OF SEEDS.
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,
In silent search, or through the forest, rank
Of Nature naught disdains; thoughtful to feed
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.
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.
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.