Графични страници
PDF файл

or ling, with which they are covered, so as to spread a rich purple hue over the whole ground.

Several sorts of the numerous tribe of ferns begin now to flower. The uses of this numerous tribe of plants are many and important, growing in places where few other vegetables will flourish, as heaths, commons, marshes, and woods. They afford, by their broad-spreading leaves, a very acceptable shelter to various birds and small quadrupeds, as well as to the more lowly and tender plants. The sweet slime or pulp with which their roots abound, gives nourishment to many insects, and contributes to the sustenance of the human species in the northern and most barren parts of the globe: in this country the common brakes are made use of for littering cattle, and thatching; and when green, are burnt in great quantities for the kelp that they contain.-Some of the choicest wall-fruits are now coming into season.

Presents the downy peach, the shining plum,
The ruddy fragrant nectarine, and dark

Beneath his ample leaf, the luscious fig. The insects that make their appearance during this month, are, one of the kinds of solitary bees; some of the latest butterflies; and the white moth. Flies also abound in windows at this period. Bulls begin their shrill autumnal bellowing.

About the 12th of August, the largest the swallow tribe, the swift, or long-wing, disappears. As the weather is still warm, they cannot be supposed to retire to holes and caverns, and become torpid during the winter,; and being so admirably formed for flight, it can scarcely be doubted that they now migrate to some of the southern regions. Nearly at the same time, rooks no longer pass the night from home, but roost in their nest-trees.

sunny wall

Young broods of goldfinches are still seen; lapwings and linnets begin to collect; and the redbreast, one of our finest, though commonest songsters, renews his music about the end of the month.

Picture of the Seasons.

The Three Homes.

Where is thy home, I asked a child

Who in the morning air
Was twining flowers, most wild and sweet,

In garlands for her hair.
My home, the happy heart replied,

And smiled in childish glee,
Is on the cheerful mountain's side,

Where soft winds wander free.

Oh ! blessings fall on artless youth

And all its rosy hours,
When every word is joy and truth,

And treasures live in flowers.

Where is thy home, I asked of one

Who bent, with flushing face,
To hear a warrior's tender tone,

In the wild wood's secret place;
She spoke not, but her varying cheek

The tale might well impart.
The home of her young spirit meek

Was in a kindred heart.

Ah! souls that well might soar above,

To earth will fondly eling,
And build their hopes on human love,

That light and fragile thing.

[ocr errors]

“ Where is thy home, thou lonely man,”

I asked a pilgrim grey,
Who came with furrowed brow and wan,

Slow musing on his way;
He paused,—and with a solemn mien

Upturned his holy eyes,
The land I seek thou ne'er hast seen,

My home is in the skies !”
O blest! thrice blest! the heart must be

To whom such thoughts are given,
That walks from worldly fetters free

Its only home in heaven.-Bianca.

22. Anecdotes. In'teresting ; engaging. An'ecdotes ; incidents. Illustra'tion; example. Priva'tions; wants, inconveniences. Trus'ty ; faithful. Seclu'sion ; retirement. Endeav'our; attempt, try. Procure' ; obtain, get. Activity ; diligence. Trav'ersing ; travelling over. Unea'siness ; disquiet. Proceed'ed; went on. Suited; fitted. Compo'sure ; calmness, coolness. Replied'; answered. Rencounter ; combat. Ensued'; followed. Crit'ical ; important. Sov'ereign; king.

1. KING ALFRED. THE life of Alfred is full of the most interesting events. From numerous anecdotes related of him by the old English historians, the following is extracted, as it affords a striking illustration of his benevolence, and is a proof of the privations which he, in common with his trusty adherents, underwent during their seclusion in Somersetshire:-“ It happened one day during the winter, which proved uncommonly severe, that he had sent all his attendants out to endeavour to procure some fish, or other provisions; so difficult


was the enterprise considered, that the king and queen only were exempted from the employment. When they were gone, the king, as was his custom whenever he had an opportunity, took a book and began reading, whilst Elswitha was engaged in her domestic concerns : he had not long continued thus engaged, before a poor pilgrim, accidentally passing that way, knocked at the gate, and begged for something to eat. The humane king called Elswitha, and desired her to give the poor man part of what provision there was in the fort: the queen finding only one loaf, brought it to Alfred to show how slender their store was, at the same time representing the distresses the party would suffer, should they return from their foraging unsuccessful. The king, not deterred by this scanty view from his charitable purpose, but rather internally rejoicing at this trial of his humanity, cheerfully gave the poor Christian one-half of the loaf, consoling the queen with this religious reflection, that he who could feed five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, could make, if it pleased bim, that half of the loaf suffice for more than their necessities.' When the traveller departed, the king returned to his reading, and felt that satisfaction which most surely results from a beneficent action.' Nor was it long unrewarded, for his companions returned with so great a quantity of provisions that they were not exposed to any similar inconveniences during their seclusion.-Mirror.

2. CHARLES XII. The extreme activity of Charles XII. of Sweden is

well known. He was sometimes on horseback four-and-twenty hours together, traversing his kingdom alone. In one of these excursions his horse fell down dead under him. This circumstance, however, produced no sort of uneasiness in the breast of Charles : sure of finding another horse, though not equally so of meeting with a good saddle and pistols, he ungirt the dead animal, took the whole furniture on his back, and proceeded to the nearest inn. On entering the stables, he soon found a horse perfectly suited to his wishes; and placing his saddle and housings on the animal with very great composure, was about to mount him, and ride off; when the owner, being informed of what was transacting, made his appearance, and bluntly demanded the reason of such a proceeding. Charles squeezing in his lips, as was his usual way, coolly replied, that he took the horse because he wanted

“ For you see,” continued be, “ if I could not have got one, I must have still carried my saddle myself.” This answer not satisfying the gentleman, he instantly drew his sword; and, the king following his example, a rencounter ensued. Some noblemen arriving at this critical juncture, expressed their astonishment at seeing a subject in arms against his lawful sovereign, and soon terminated the contest. The gentleman, as may be easily conceived, was greatly shocked at such an explanation : his confusion, however, was presently dissipated by the king, who, taking him by the hand, called him a brave fellow, and assured him that he should be handsomely provided for. He was not worse than his word; for the gentleman was soon after promoted to a considerable post in the army-Mirror of Wit.


« ПредишнаНапред »