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of the hazel-nut, except that it is not so much notched and fringed at the top, it being only a little indented in some parts.

All this is common to both species of the large wadding-tree. As to the fruit, or more properly speaking, the case which contains the wadding, it is of an oblong shape, like that of the banana fig.

The second, or rather the third species of wadding-tree, is much less in size than the two already described. Its leaves are covered on both sides with short and very soft down. The pod, which encloses the wadding, is composed of two tubes, terminating in a point at either extremity, and joined together. They are usually of the length of nine or ten, and sometimes even twelve inches, and of the thickness of the little finger. If opened while they are green, a very white and adhesive milk issues forth, and the wadding is found within, pressed close, with many yellowish grains, of an oblong form.

A species of wadding is cultivated in the West Indies, and there called, the cotton of Siam, because the grain or seed was brought from that country. It is of an extraordinary fineness, even surpassing silk in softness. It is sometimes made into hose, which, for lustre and beauty, are preferred to silk ones. They sell at from ten to fifteen crowns a pair, but there are very few made unless for curiosity.

LETTRES EDIFIANTES.

LESSON XXIII.

VISION OF BALTASSAR.

The king was on his throne, The satraps throng'd the hall;

A thousand bright lamps shone O'er that high festival.

A thousand cups of gold, In Judah deem'd divine

Jehovah's vessels hold The godless heathen's wine!

In that same hour and hall, The fingers of a hand

Came forth against the wall, And wrote as if on sand :

The fingers of a man ;-
A solitary hand

Along the letters ran,
And traced them like a wand..

The monarch saw, and shook, And bade no more rejoice;

All bloodless wax'd his look, And tremulous his voice.

66 Ye men of lore appear, The wisest of the earth,

Expound the words of fear, Which mar our royal mirth.”

Chaldea's seers are good, But here they have no skill;

The mystic letters stood Untold and awful still.

And Babel's men of age Are wise and deep in lore ;

But now they were not sage, They saw—but knew no more.

A captive in the land, A stranger and a youth,

He heard the king's command, He saw that writing's truth.

The lamps around were bright, The prophecy in view;

He read it on that night, The morrow proved it true.

“Baltassar's grave is made, His kingdom pass'd away,

He, in the balance weigh'd, Is light and worthless clay.

The shroud, his robe of state, His canopy the stone;

The Mede is at his gate! The Persian on his throne !"

BYRON. SECTION III.

LESSON I.

THE BOA-CONSTRICTOR.

venomous

India

distributed voluminous Java

variations entwined Ceylon

malefactor enormous buffalo

saliva compressed expectation dilated

undivided affrighted gluttony The Boa-constrictor, a native of India, the larger Indian islands, and South America, attains the enormous length of thirty or forty feet. It has a compressed body, thickest in the middle, a prehensile tail, small scales on the head, scuta or undivided plates on the belly and under the tail. The ground colour of its skin is yellowish grey, on which is distributed along the back, a series of large chainlike reddish brown, and sometimes perfectly red variations, with other small and more irregular marks and spots. It is not venomous, and overcomes its prey by mere force. It preys on dogs, deer, and oxen, which it swallows entire

In the Island of Java, one of these monsters has been known to kill and devour a buffalo. The serpent had for some time been waiting near the brink of a pool, in expectation of its prey, when a buffalo was the first that offered. Having darted upon the affrighted animal, it instantly began to wrap it round with its voluminous twistings, and, at every twist, the bones of the buffalo were heard to crack, almost as loud as the report of a cannon. It was in vain that the poor animal struggled hard and bellowed; its enormous enemy entwined it too fast to get free ; till at length its bones, being smashed to pieces, like those of a malefactor on the wheel, and the whole body reduced to one uniform mass, the serpent untwined its folds, to swallow its prey at leisure. To prepare for this, and in order to make the body slip down the throat more freely, it licked the whole body over, and thus covered it with saliva. It then began to swallow it, at that end, which offered least resistance, while its length of body was dilated to receive its prey, and thus took in at once, a morsel that was three times its own thickness. A more extraordinary feat was witnessed in the Island of Ceylon, in which a boa, with equal ease, in presence of one of the British outposts, destroyed and gorged a tiger; but its gluttony caused its death, for after it had swallowed the animal, it became incapable of motion, and was killed without resistance.

AIKMAN'S ANIMAL KINGDOM.

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