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may be very easily killed with the harpoon ;
STORIES FOR THE YOUNG. in the common manner. The reason why this new method hath not been universally
FLOWERS. received is, because it requires a greater and much more expensive set of tackle 1. THE BIRTH OF THE SNOW-DROP. than common fishermen can afford.
Far away among the vine-clad hills of They enumerate six kinds of whales, sunny France, there lived a poor woman differing in name, form, and size. Of all with her only child. She was a soldier's these several kinds, nothing was thrown widow and gained a scanty subsistence by away by the Japanese as useless. They working in the vineyards. Little Renie boiled the fat or blubber into train oil; was only able to follow his mother in they pickled, boiled, roasted, or fried the her labours; but he loved to sit under the flesh and ate it; they even reduced the vines, and see the rich purple clusters of cartilaginous bones into food; they made grapes that hung among the green leaves cords, ropes, and strings for their musical like bunches of amethysts. instruments, out of the nerves and ten- The widow dearly loved her little son, dons; they made a great use of the fins; and often seating him upon her knee after and out of the jaw-bones, and other solid the labour of the day was over, she told bones, they manufactured numerous him of his father ; how he was a good articles, particularly their fine steelyards man and a brave soldier who had died for weighing their gold and silver.
fighting for his country; and then she The Japanese fishermen attribute to the would sob and press the child to her flesh of the whale, their favourite food, bosom, as she related how handsome the their strength and hardihood, and their | soldiers looked marching on to the sound extraordinary capability of enduring ex- of fife and drum, and how not one of posure to cold and foul weather.
that gallant band ever returned again. It was in pursuing the whale to the Renie was much too young to undercoasts of Japan that the American ships stand all this; but as he grew older he met with those disasters, and that inhos- learned that his mother had left her home pitable treatment, which first made the with a young soldier, and that her father government of the United States turn its never forgave the marriage, or saw his attention in this direction.
daughter again. The old man was living Turtles of enormous size are said to still in a distant province ; but though abound on the southern or eastern coasts. the heart of the lonely widow yearned for Salmo!), soles, turbot, a sort of cod, smelts, home, and with a mother's pride she and other delicious sea-fish, together with longed to show her boy, yet she knew the all sorts of lobsters, crabs, shrimps, stern nature of her father, and dared not oysters, muscles, &c., are taken in sur- seek him to plead again for the pardon so prising abundance; and there are other often denied. fish of species unknown to us, and of At last the poor widow fell ill, and which some are said to be delicious. It though it was the season when the rich is fortunate for the natives that their pre- hue of the grapes deepened into perfecjudices and superstitions allow them to tion beneath the warm sunbeams, she eat fish. In the larger islands every part | knew full well that she should not live to of the coast is thickly strewed with build- gather them. ings, and at every second or third mile The dying mother bade little Renie are populous villages, from which exten- come very near to her, and then, in faltersive fisheries are carried on. In fact, the ing tones, whispered that she must leave Japanese are essentially ichthyophagi. him, and perform a long dark journey Aided by a good growth of potatoes, or an alone. But the child, with violent sobs of adequate supply of rice, the sea alone grief, clasped his arms about his mother's would support a vast population.
neck, praying to go with her, and not to
be left behind. The proudest man on earth is but a Then the widow, whose strength was pauper, for he is fed and clothed by the failing fast, comforted her child murmurfamily of Heaven.
ing, “I will not leave you for ever, my son; we shall meet again—in my Father's white blossoms that seemed to bend house." She spoke no more,-and soon sorrowfully over the sod. The child knelt poor little Renie was an orphan.
beside them, and a strange feeling of The peasants made the poor widow a peace crept into his heart. grave in a quiet spot, and gave the little “My mother has sent them from the boy a home among themselves ; but day land where she dwells," he thought, " to after day he threw himself upon his show that she has not forgotten me;" mother's grave and wept, refusing to be and a smile of hope beamed on his sad, consoled. Children gathered about and pale face, as he looked fondly on the pressed him to join their sports, kind women flowers. drew him to their bosoms and promised! But when the peasants beheld this to cherish him, strong-hearted men raised | mysterious little plant blossoming in the him up and bade him be of good cheer ;- midst of the snow, and of a kind they but Renie turned from them all to the had never seen before, they were filled cold, damp sod, exclaiming, “She will with astonishment and awe. not leave me for ever; my mother will . “It is sent from the spirit land,” they come back. I will wait for her here." whispered, “and born of Renie's tears;
When they saw all their comforting see how each snow-white drop quivers words were of no avail, they left him upon its stem like a tear about to fall; trusting that the natural joyousness of his mother knows his sorrow and would childhood would overcome his grief; but i console him thus.” when weeks passed on and brought no! Gradually the grief of the little boy change, they learned to respect the child's became more subdued, and hope and sorrow, and the grape-gatherers as they cheerfulness beamed upon his face once returned from the vineyards with baskets more; he loved to water and nurture the of the beautiful fruit, paused in their tender blossoms, and soon the grave was vintage song as they saw little Renie with covered with the delicate and graceful his arms clasped about the wooden cross flowers, gently bending towards the earth. upon his mother's grave.
The good curé, who dwelt among these The leaves at length dropped dry and simple peasants, loved the little mothersere, and the snow rested upon the hills; less boy, and spoke often to him, explainthen Renie himself fell ill, and for many ing how the child must one day join his weeks he could not rise from the little cot | mother, but she could no more come to him. where a kind peasant and his wife nursed him. Renie listened to the good old man with tenderly ; but during the tedious hours of interest; still the words of his mother illness his mother's image was ever before seemed ever present with him. him; and remembering her words, “We “We shall meet in my Father's house!" shall meet in my Father's house," he re- ! And so one day the boy filled a basket solved, when he grew strong again, to go with tufts of the spirit flowers, as the and seek her, as she did not return to him. peasants called them, and going to the
The snow had not yet melted in the curé, said, firmly, valleys, though the sun was shining “My mother has sent me many mes. warmly, when Renie feebly turned his sengers. See, I take some with me to steps once more toward the spot where i show the way, and I go to seek her his mother slept. He knelt down before in her Father's house, where she told me the little cross and his warm tears fell fast we should meet again.” upon the snow, when, lo! just where the Then the good curé drew little Renie tears had fallen, appeared a tiny blade towards him and told him of that heavenly struggling to pierce the crusted ground ; | Father's house where his mother awaited the boy tenderly scraped aside the snow his coming ; and as he dwelt upon the that the little plant might feel the sun, love and goodness of that all-wise Parent, and another warm shower of tears fell and the eternal happiness prepared for upon it as he did so, for he remembered his children, the boy was comforted, and his lost mother's love for the flowers. dared not wish his mother back to the
When Renie came again to the grave, home of that earthly father who had cast he saw with surprise a group of lovely her off.
As the kind teacher went on and spoke The poor old man was for a time beof the loneliness, and perhaps the remorse, wildered; but when he had hcard Renie's of the old man who had refused to forgive story and read the letter of the good Curé, his child, little Renie's heart swelled with he clasped ile child in his arms and shed tears, and as a sense of peace filled his over lim tears of mingled penitent sorown bosom, he longed to impart it to row and gratitude. others. Suddenly he looked up with a The weeds were uprooted, and the brightened countenance,
precious flowers planted in the garden, "I will seek my grandfather," he said, where they grew and flourished in luxuri" and carry these sweet flowers to him; ant beauty. When Renie with his grandthey are messengers sent to console us father went to visit his mother's grave, both ; and when I tell him my mother is tufts of the lovely blossoms met them at gone home to her heavenly Father's house, every turn, like the foot-prints of angels he will not be angry with her any more, leading them on, and each one to whom but will love me for her sake."
Renie had given the flowers came out to The good Curé blessed the little boy ;-, welcome them as they passed. the peasants gathered around with gifts When the next spring-time came, the and many kind wishes; and then Renie, hills were covered with the delicate blosafter a last visit to his mother's grave, soms, and for many years the peasants started on his journey, carrying with him named them, “Renie's consolation." the precious flowers.
He met with much kindness on his way; for all who listened to his simple
HISTORY OF COALS. story willingly aided the little orphan boy. At a late meeting of the historical secMany wished to purchase the strange and tion of the Archæological Institute of beautiful blossoms which he carried, but Great Britain, then sitting at Newcastle, Renie would not sell them; he regarded a paper on the history of the coal trade them with a love too holy to barter them was read by Mr. Thomas John Taylor. for money. But whoever did him a kind. He observed that the most ancient emness was rewarded by a little tuft; and if ployment of coal would be found to have he met any one in sorrow he offered his been among the Chinese. It was men. simple tribute, strong in the faith of its tioned, under the name of " lithanthrax," power to soothe.
by a single Greek author, as having been The twilight was fast fading into night | found at Elis, and used sometimes by when Renie entered a shaded lane, and smiths. The name of “ stone coal ” was softly opening a wicket gate, carried his natural enough from its hardness; and treasured flowers to the well to water them, Eneas Sylvius, in the fifteenth century. ere he sought a shelter for the night. I mentioned that he had seen, with much The little garden into which he had entered | surprise, what appeared to him to be was overgrown with weeds, and the low- lumps of black stone given as alms to the roofed cottage wore an air of desolation. I poor at the gates of the Scottish monas. In the porch sat an old man, who with teries. The Romans appeared to have thin, silvery hair floating on his shoulders, had no proper name for coal, yet it was leaned heavily upon a staff, and with used among them. Coal cinders formed mournful voice and shaking head con- part of the relics found at Roman stations, stantly murmured to himself,
yet the Romans did not seem ever to have "My child, my child! I have driven you worked it systematically ; and beds of from me, and now am broken-hearted. I coal were yet entire near some of their shall never see you more--my child, my stations. This was not from any want of child !"
mining skill. Wood at that time was so Little Renie heard these words; a gleam | abundant that nothing else was needed for of joy illumined his heart ; lifting his fuel. basket of flowers he stood before the old In the year 852, a payment in kind was man, saying as he offered them,
made to the Abbey of Peterborough, con.. “Grandfather, see, I bring you consola- sisting of ale, wood, and twelve vessels of tion !"
fossil or pit coal. Probably this was foz
smiths' use. The use of coal, however, teenth century, the first notice was found was long very limited; and in the Leges of duties laid upon coal. During the Burgorum, made about 1140, a particular wars of the Roses little respecting coalprivilege was granted to those who mining was recorded. The Northumberbrought fuel into boroughs, but coal was land “Household Book” mentions the not among the kinds mentioned. These price in 1512; at that time coal was burned laws were made in Newcastle, by David, with a mixture of wood, till the latter King of Scotland, then in possession of became too scarce. the town. Probably coals were used for In the latter part of the sixteenth cen. manufacturing purposes in Newcastle, tury, coal was in general use for manufacand exported also, before the grant of any turing and culinary purposes, but not for royal charter to work them; because pri domestic fires. vileges were not sought till their value In 1577, it is mentioned as having was known.
found its way into some of the great mer. In 1239, Henry III. granted a charter chants' parlours. to the freemen of Newcastle to dig coals In 1600, Queen Elizabeth incorporated in the Castle-field and the Forth. Six the society of hostmen, who had existed years afterwards, coal was called by as a guild in Newcastle from time imme Matthew Paris, “ carbo maris," sea-coal, morial; they were named in the charter from its being taken to London by sea. as being incorporated for the better The mines at Liege, the Newcastle of the loading and disposing of coals in the Continent, were discovered in 1189. In Tyne.binus aid of the fee-farm rent payable to king In 1619, a first attempt was made 10 John, the liberty to dig coals was granted smelt iron with pit-coal. Coke had been by his successor,
used for drying malt, and other purposes, In 1305, towards the end of the previously to 1640, but was not used sucreign of Edward I., artisans and others cessfully for coal till long after ; when, is used coal, other fuel becoming scarce in consequence, the iron trade, which had populous districts; but the Parliament literally been almost extinguished for declared it a noxious nuisance, corrupting want of fuel, revived, and progressed with the air by its smoke. A commission was extraordinary rapidity. If charcoal had therefore appointed to destroy these fur- now to be used, nearly half the surface of naces, and fine all who persisted in using our island must be devoted to the growth them. This, however, failed; and, a few of wood for our iron manufacture alone. years after, 10s. worth of coal was used in Having alluded to the unavoidable omis the king's palace, at the coronation. Coal sion of many interesting particulars, Mr. smoke had been complained of since, and Taylor concluded his paper (which took a it was to be hoped that some method of hour and a half in reading with the follow consuming it, sufficiently economical to ing estimate of the total present consump be brought into general use, would soon tion of coal in Great Britain :-In opere be discovered.
tions connected with the metallic ores In the beginning of the fourteenth cen- | 10,500,000 tons; for railways and gas tury, the coal trade was found to be pro- 3,400,000 tons; for domestic consumption gressing by the opening of new mines, and all other purposes, 22,000,000 tons while the old were still worked. The total, 35,900,000 tons; exported 3,500,00 term "stathes " was found in English in a tons; total 39,400,000 tons. lease in 1338; the word then included a store-house for the coal.
In the middle of the fourteenth cen- FAULTS.-As there are some faults that tury, the working of coals extended on have been termed faults on the right side, the north, south, and west of Newcastle, so there are some errors that might be but only where it lay near the surface. denominated errors on the safe side. This Mr. Taylor described the mode of mining we seldom regret having been too wild, in those days, and remarked, that the too cautious, or too humble; but we often price of Newcastle coal in London was repent having been too violent, too prs relatively higher than now. In the four- cipitate, or too proud.
van water, as the salmon, utter certain sounds HABI
Do while depositing their spawn; but for Why does swimming resemble flying ? what purpose these sounds are uttered, or Because the organs which are employed by what organs they are produced, we are for both purposes, resemble the oars of a still ignorant.-Fleming. boat in their mode of action; and, in Why are fishes said to have "true" fins general, possess a considerable extent of and gills ? surface and freedom of motion. The Because these organs may be distinformer condition enables them to strike guished from others to a certain degree the surrounding fluid with an oar of suffi- analogous in young frogs, &c. The gills cient breadth, to give progressive motion are filled with innumerable very delicate to the body; and the latter permits the vessels, and are mostly divided on each same organ to be brought back to its | side into four layers, which somewhat former position for giving a second stroke, | resemble the beard of a quill, and which but in a different direction, and without are attached at their basis to a correspondoffering so great a resistance. The centre ing number of little bones.-Blumenbach. of gravity is so placed, that the body, Why are these fins essential to swimming ? when in action, shall rest on the oars or | Because they consist of jointed rays, swimmers, or be brought by certain means covered by the common integuments : to be of the same specific gravity with the these rays serve to support the fishes, and water,
approach or separate like the sticks of a Why do fishes die almost immediately in fan, and move upon some more solid body the air ?
as a fulcrum. Thus, in sharks, the rays Because asphyxia (or suspension of pul- of the fins behind the gill are connected sation) is occasioned by the sinking of by a cartilage to the spine. The motions the branchiæ, or gills, no longer sup. of fish are indeed performed by means of ported by the interposition of water be- their fins. The caudal, or tail fin, is the tween their laminæ (or layers ;) and this principle organ of progressive motion ; by idea has been confirmed in prolonging the means of its various flexures and extenlife of fishes, by artificially keeping the sions, it strikes the water in different laminæ in the state of separation which directions, but all having a tendency to the water produces. On the other hand, push the fish forward; the action resemby compressing the branchiæ under water, bling, in its manner and effects, the well. similarly to their condition in the air, known operation of the sailor termed death occurred as quickly as in the latter sculling. The ventral and pectoral fins fluid.
assist the fish in correcting the errors of Why do fishes, when dead, float on the its progressive motions, and in maintainsurface of the water, with the belly upper- ing the body steady in its position. Borelli most ?
cut off, with a pair of scissors, both the Because the body being no longer pectoral and ventral fins of fishes, and balanced by the fins of the belly, the found, in consequence, that all the motions broad muscular back preponderates by its were unsteady, and that they reeled from own gravity, and turns the belly upper right to left, and up and down, in a very most, as lighter, from its being a cavity, irregular manner. and because it contains the swimming Why have fishes gills ? bladders, which continue to render it Because they are calculated to separate buoyant.-- White's Natural History of Sel- | air from water, with which it is always
united, and bring it into contact with the Why have not fishes any voice?
blood. It is to be observed, however, that Because they have not lungs. Although many animals which reside in the water, fishes possess no voice by which they can breathe by means of lungs, and are obliged, communicate their sensations to others, at intervals, to come to the surface to some species utter sounds when raised respire, such as whales : but there are no above the water by expelling the air | animals which reside on the land, and are through the gill-opening when the flap is furnished with gills, which are obliged nearly closed; while others, even under to return to the water to respire.---Fleming: