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LESSON V.

FOUNDATIONS OF KNOWLEDGE.

Recognised understands chemistry resemblances perception physiology relations

physical arithmetic conceptions gravity

geometry mineral inertia

arbitrary vegetable phenomena methodical Every man may be said to begin his education, or acquisition of knowledge, on the day of his birth. Certain objects, repeatedly presented to the infant, are after a time recognised and distinguished. The number of objects thus known, gradually increases, and, from the constitution of the mind, they are soon associated in the recollection, according to their resemblances, or obvious relations. Thus sweetmeats, toys, articles of dress, &c., soon form distinct classes in the

memory

and conception. At a later age, but still very early, the child distinguishes readily between a mineral mass, a vegetable, and an animal ; and thus his mind has already noted the three great classes of natural bodies, and has acquired a certain degree of acquaintance with natural history. He also soon understands the phrases, “a falling body," “ the force of a moving body,” and has therefore a perception of the great physical laws of gravity and inertia. Having seen sugar dissolved in water, and wax melted round the wick of a burn

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ing candle, he has learned some phenomena of chemistry. And having observed the conduct of the domestic animals, and of the persons about him, he has begun his acquaintance with physiology and the science of mind. Lastly, when he has learned to count his fingers and his sugar plums, and to judge of the fairness of the division of cake between himself and his brothers, he has advanced into arithmetic and geometry. Thus, within a year or two, a child of common sense has made a degree of progress in all the great departments of human science, and, in addition, has learned to name objects, and to express feelings, by the arbitrary sounds of language. Such, then, are the beginnings or foundations of knowledge, on which future years of experience, or methodical education, must rear the superstructure of the more considerable attainments, which befit the various conditions of men in a civilised community.

The most complete education, as regards the mind, can only consist of a knowledge of natural history, and of science, and a familiarity with language. As regards the body, it consists of the formation of various habits of muscular action, performance on musical instruments, drawing and painting, and other exercises of utility or amusement. By reviewing a complete table of such matters, each man may see at

what he can know, and what it may suit his particular condition to study.

ARNOTT.

LESSON VI.

THE CASSIQUE.
Demerara woodpecker chorister
Guinea

distinctly pendulous actuated

gregarious suspicions neighbouring imitates

proportions aërial

exactness symmetry succession colonists

ornithology ONE bird, however, in Demerara is not actuated by selfish motives : that is the cassique ; in size, he is larger than the starling; he courts the society of man, but disdains to live by his labours. When nature calls for support, he repairs to the neighbouring forest, and there partakes of the store of fruits and seeds, which she has produced in abundance for her aërial tribes. When his repast is over, he returns to man, and

the little tribute which he owes him for his protection. He takes his station on a tree close to his house, and there, for hours together, pours forth a succession of imitative notes. His own song is sweet, but very short. If a toucan be yelping in the neighbourhood, the cassique drops his song and imitates him; then he will amuse his protector with the cries of the different species of the woodpecker; and when the sheep bleat, he will distinctly answer them; then comes his own song again; and if a puppy dog or a Guinea-fowl interrupt him, he takes it off admirably, and by his different gestures during the time, you would conclude that he enjoys The cassique is gregarious, and imitates any sound he hears, with such exactness, that he goes by no other name than that of mocking-bird among the colonists. At breeding time, a number of these pretty choristers resort to a tree near the planter's house, and from its outside branches weave their pendulous nests. So conscious do they seem, that they never give offence, and so little suspicious are they of receiving any injury from man, that they will choose a tree within forty yards from his house, and occupy the branches so low down, that he may peep into their nests. A tree in Warratilla creeks affords a proof of this.

pays

the sport.

The proportions of the cassique are so fine, that he may be said to be a model of symmetry in ornithology. On each wing he has a bright yellow spot; his belly and half the tail are of the same colour; all the rest of the body is black; his beak is the colour of sulphur, but it fades in death, and requires the same operation as the bill of the toucan to make it keep its colour.

The ease, elegance, and rapidity of his movements, the animation of his eye, and the intelligence he displays in listening and laying up lessons from almost every species of the feathered creation within his hearing, are really surprising, and mark the peculiarity of his genius. This bird is easily domesticated and taught artificial tunes.

WATERTON.

LESSON VII.

RESPECT FOR OLD AGE.

Athens

gentleman accommodate Athenians suitable invited Lacedemonians quality embarrassment happened observed audience representation difficulty instructed

exhibited confusion misconduct It happened at Athens, during a public representation of some play, exhibited in honour of the state, that an old gentleman came too late for a place suitable to his age and quality. A number of young men, who observed the difficulty and confusion the poor old gentleman was in, made signs to him, that they would accommodate him, if he came where they sat. The good man bustled through the crowd accordingly; but when he came to the seats to which he was invited, the jest among the young fellows was, to sit close, and expose the confusion and embarrassment of the old man to the gaze of the whole audience. This frolic went round all the benches reserved for the Athenians. But, on those occasions, there were also particular places set apart for strangers. When the good man, covered with confusion, came towards the boxes appointed for the Lacedemonians, these honest, though less instructed people, rose from their seats, and, with the greatest respect, received the old gentleman among them. The Athenians, being suddenly touched with a sense

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