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“Blue-bell,” it is commonly called, be cause its pretty blue flowers hang from the stem like so many little blue bells; and, side by side with this, grows a bright red flower called “Red Campion.”
Then there is a little blue flower which is often mistaken for a Forgetme-not. In some places it is called “Cat's Eye,” but it really belongs to the very large family of flowers called “ Speedwells :" this is the “German-der Speedwell,” whose blossom is divided into four little leaflets, the lower one being always narrower than the rest.
Besides these, there are the pretty pale lilac Cuckoo Flowers, and many others which I have not time to tell you about.
How beautiful the trees look at the time when these flowers are to be seen! They lift their leaf-crowned heads to the skies, and spread out their branches on all sides.
A tree is a very beautiful, grand thing; it is full of life and strength; even in the winter, when its leaves are gone, its strength remains, and we know that its beauty will return to it again.
METALS. THERE are different kinds of metals. The most common are gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, zinc, and tin.
Steel is made from iron ; brass is made of copper and zinc; and pewter is made of tin and lead.
Metals are dug out of the ground.
They are found there mixed with stone, or earth, and the mixture is called ore. The ore must be crushed and washed, and all the earthy parts taken away, before we can get the pure metal.
Gold, silver, iron, copper, lead, zinc, and tin are all heavy, heavier than most other bodies. The heaviest of them is gold. They are bright and shining when they are kept clean.
Gold and silver will not rust. Silver becomes dull, and soon tarnishes if it is not often rubbed; gold will tarnish, too, but not so much as silver. Lead and tin do not easily rust, but it is hard to keep iron and copper from rusting. The rust of copper is of a bright green colour, and is called verdigris. This rust is a poison, and a very little of it would be enough to kill a man.
Some metals are much harder than others. Copper is softer than iron, gold is softer than copper, but not quite so soft as lead.
All the metals which have been named may be rolled into sheets, or hammered
into plates, and some of them may be beaten into very thin leaves.
Tin is made into tin-foil, and lead into what is called lead-paper, in which tea is often wrapped. Gold may be beaten out so thin that a piece no bigger than a pin's head may be made to cover a sheet of note paper.
They can all be drawn into wire, but lead and tin are not tough enough to make wire that will be of any use. Gold, copper, and iron may be drawn into very fine wire. There is iron wire no thicker than a hair, and the gold of one sovereign could be stretched into a wire more than seven miles long.
They may all be melted in a furnace, but the fire must be very hot to melt iron or gold. Lead and tin are melted much more readily. Iron is often melted and poured into a mould, or “cast.” It is then left to cool, and this cast iron is very hard, but also very brittle, and a smart blow with the hammer will break it.
What have we learnt about these metals ? That some are soft, and some are hard; some rust, and some do not; some are tough, and some are brittle ; but all are bright and heavy. All inay be melted by the fire; all may be beaten into thin plates; all may be drawn into a wire, though they will not all make wire that is of any use.
METALS.- PART II.
We call gold and silver the precious metals because they are more rare than the rest, and are only found in very small quantities, except in a few parts of the earth, so that a small piece of them is worth a great deal of money.
This is why they are used for money. For one sovereign we could get more iron than we could carry.
Pieces of money are called coins. Gold would not be hard enough for coins, if it were not mixed with a little copper or silver As gold and silver are bright and beautiful, and do not rust, they are very fit for ornaments. Gold can be beaten out into very thin leaves. We cover wood and