Puslapio vaizdai

the same gun, in the German brigade of artillery, during the whole peninsular war. One of them was killed, the survivor was picqueted as usual, and his food was brought to him. He refused to eat, and kept constantly turning his head round to look for his companion, and sometimes calling him by a neigh. Every care was taken, and all means that could be thought of were adopted, to make him eat, but without effect. Other horses surrounded him on all sides, but he paid no attention to them; his whole demeanour indicated the deepest sorrow, and he died from hunger, not having tasted a bit from the time his companion fell.

The horse, in a domestic state, seldom lives longer than twenty years; but we may suppose, in a wild state, that he might attain double this age; and it is melancholy to think that our bad treatment has shortened the days of so noble a creature.

I cannot leave this subject without expressing my abhorrence of the cruelty with which this admirable creature is often treated. Young men frequently overdrive a horse, and thus impair his strength during the remainder of his life; and all this, perhaps, only for display. I have often seen a horse brutally whipped and beaten by those who had better deserved the lash themselves. I cannot believe that such wanton wickedness will go unpunished. That God who made the brute for the service of man, will not permit him to make it the sport of his wanton or wicked passions with impunity.

1. Tell me what the horse willingly does for man.

2. Which countries produce the best proportioned horses?

3. What say you about the native country of the horse?

4. Describe the Arabian horse.

5. Why do the Arabs prefer mares in their excursions?

6. What sort of residence has the Arab? 7. On what terms are the children and the horse in the tent?

8. What was the ancient name of Saide? and who was Louis XIV?

9. Relate the beautiful anecdote of the poor Arabian and his courser.

11. Who first imported horses into America?

12. What did the native Americans think about the Spaniards on horseback?

13. Relate the story of the horse so cruelly used by the worthless baronet.

14. Who will tell me a story that shows that the horse is fond of company?

15. Have you any instance to give of strong affection in a horse?

16. What about the horse's age in a domestic and in a wild state?

17. What think you of the man that would cruelly use such a noble creature? 18. If we are cruel to others, even to dumb brutes, can we consistently ask for

10. What is the only animal that excels mercy to ourselves? the horse in intelligence?


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It is estimated that the number of distinct species of plants, already known and described, is 92,930. This includes all the flowering plants, trees, and shrubs, ferns, mosses, lichens, sea and river weeds, (Algo) mushrooms and their allies, (Fungi) in fact, every vegetable production. These are very variously distributed over our globe; light, heat, altitude, soil, situation, all contributing their influence in modifying the diffusion of species, and of these the first two are by far the most important. Near the equator, where light and heat are most intense, vegetation is most luxuriant and profuse; while at the poles, or at those high elevations which reach above the line of perpetual snow, or in the profounder recesses of the ocean, vegetable life seems to become entirely extinct, and not a plant even of the simplest form appears. Between these extreme limits, however, every gradation is seen, according to the increase of latitude or height. The species which inhabit each particular district of our globe are just those best suited to the physical condition of each, and to the requirements of its inhabitants, whether of the human species or of the brute creation. Thus, the water-melon, the banana, the breadfruit, and the rice-plant, are peculiar to tropical regions; while the vine, wheat, barley, and the common corn-plants, will not succeed in so high a temperature, but require a cooler climate. Many facts, which we shall have to notice, will exhibit to us the goodness of God in so arranging the vegetable productions of our globe, that not only (to a great extent) are the food-plants of the various countries exactly such as are best adapted to the wants of the inhabitants,

but also that a vast variety of the more useful plants are so distributed as to induce commercial intercourse; and thus, while they render nations mutually dependent on one another for many of the comforts and conveniences of life, they are an indirect means of promoting the advancement of civilization, and, above all, of the spread of the gospel. Why, however, a certain species should only be able to flourish in a certain soil, and under a certain amount of heat and moisture, is a problem we cannot as yet solve; it doubtless depends on special peculiarities in the internal structure, but in what those peculiarities consist, we are ignorant.

Some plants, too, are very widely distributed. The daisy, for example, is spread throughout Europe almost universally, in Australia, in Northern Asia, in some parts of Africa, and in South America. In India and North America, however, it is entirely absent, and can only be preserved as a choice exotic, tended with the most zealous care in botanic gardens. The cereals, that is, wheat, barley, oats, rye, etc., are endowed with a very great power of adaptation. Though their native country is scarcely known, and they are rarely found wild, yet they possess a power of enduring such a variety of temperature, that they have been introduced by cultivation over a large portion of our globe. They can withstand the cold of 62° N. lat., and though they will not in general bear the heat of the tropics, yet even in such places they are sometimes cultivated during the winter season. The potato, again, though only known wild as a native of the western coast of South America, is now cultivated almost universally, particularly in Europe and North America, and has become one of the most important articles of food, especially among the poor.


On the other hand, many species (and probably the great majority of plants) are very limited in their abodes. Cactus tribe, so generally cultivated in our green-houses, and so remarkable for the singularity of their growth, the absence of leaves, and the splendour of their flowers, contains 800 species, all of which are peculiar to America, and not a single species is a native of Europe, Asia, or Africa. 533 species of the beautiful genus Erica, or heath, are found at or near the Cape of Good Hope, and nowhere else in the world. The species of Cinchona, too, which yield the Peruvian bark,

grow only on the eastern declivity of the Andes, as far as 18 s. lat; and the cedar of Lebanon is indigenous to that mountain alone. It would be easy to multiply instances, but this is needless.

These facts will enable us readily to understand, that there are numerous botanical districts on the surface of our globe, each of which has its own vegetation, a considerable number, perhaps the majority of the species, being peculiar to the particular district, while others are found in common with other localities. Thus, the Flora of the United States of North America is totally different from that of Europe, even in places where the annual temperature is the same. Of 2,891 species of flowering plants found in the United States, only 385 are common to them and the corresponding latitudes of Europe. In St. Helena, of thirty flowering plants, only one or two are native elsewhere. In the Galapagos1 islands, out of 180 plants which have been collected, 100 are found nowhere else; and of twenty-one species of composite plants, all but one are peculiar to that group. Some few species make the most remarkable leaps, being common to countries at a great distance from each other, while absent, or nearly so, from the intervening ones. Thus in the Falkland2 islands, more than thirty plants, natives of Britain, are found wild. The common quaking-grass has been found in the interior of the country at the Cape of Good Hope; and almost all the lichens brought from the southern hemisphere by Sir James Ross, amounting to 200 species, are found in the northern hemisphere, and chiefly in Europe. Several of our commonest plants, as the bull-rush, the reed, the marsh-mallow, the bird's-foot trefoil, the knot-grass, with several others, are found again in Australia. For this various distribution of plants it is difficult to account, but we are inclined to say with Milton,——

"Jehovah spake—

And Earth, an infant, naked as she came
Out of the womb of Chaos, straight put on
Her beautiful attire, and deck'd her robe

Of verdure with ten thousand glorious flowers,

1 Galapagos; a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Colombia, and immediately under the Equator.

2 Falkland Islands; a group in the S. Atlantic Ocean, to the E. of the straits of Magellan, consisting of two large and a number of small islands. They are rocky, but abound with seals, and contain large and safe harbours. A British settlement has been formed there.

Exhaling incense; crown'd her mountain-heads
With cedars, train'd her vines around their girdles,
And pour'd spontaneous harvests at their feet."

1. State the number of distinct species of plants known.

2. What are included in this number? 3. What modifies greatly the diffusion of plants?

4. Where is vegetation most luxuriant? 5. Where does vegetable life become extinct?

6. In tropical regions, is man able to work very laboriously?

7. Name some vegetable productions found there.

8. Where do the corn-plants succeed best?

9. Mention various wise ends served by this arrangement of the vegetable productions of our globe.

The Geography of Plants.

10. Say where the daisy is found, and where not.

11. What mean you by cereals? 12. Up to what degree of latitude will they grow?

13. Name the native country of the po. tato.

14. What tribe of plants belongs exclusively to America?

15. What about the plant that yields Peruvian bark?

16. What about the flowering plants in the United States?

17. What about those in St. Helena, the Galapagos, and the Falkland Islands? 18. Repeat the lines of Milton about the first production of plants.

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George. There are a good many sorts of metals,' are there not?

Tutor. Yes, several; and if you have a mind I will tell you about them, and their uses.

G. Pray do, Sir.

Harry. Yes; I should like to hear it of all things.

T. Well, then. First let us consider what a metal is. Do you think you should know one from a stone?

1 There are forty-three metals now known; some of them, however, are more curious than useful. We shall give you the names of the twelve malleable metals, viz., platinum (or, as it is frequently called, platina), gold, silver, mercury, lead, copper, tin, iron, zinc, palladium, nickel, and cadmium.

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