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north as Old Point Comfort, in Virginia. Other species, as water, black, willow, and shingle oaks, abound in various sections of the country. It is a common sentiment that the more the oak is rocked by winds, the more firmly knit are its branches, and that the storm which scatters its leaves only causes its roots to strike the deeper into the earth.
The graceful foliage storms may reave,
The noble stem they can not grieve.-Soort.
It struck its roots deeper, and flourish'd more fast.-SOUTHEY. In the following lines an anonymous writer has given to the subject a moral application. 7.
“Proud monarch of the forest'!
That once, a sapling bough,
Than at the tempest now',
Since first upon thy stem,
Her leafy diadem!. 8.
To thee but little recks it
What seasons come or go';
And bask in summer's glow';
Sweep by in awful mirth,
Thy roots more deep in carth.
Did thus with blessings come'!
Cause some new grace to bloom'!
Each earth-born hope abroad',
More firmly on my God!" 10. Oaks live to a great age. The famous Charter Oak of Hartford, Connecticut, which fell August 21st, 1856, must have been a goodly tree when William the Conqueror was planting the new forest in England. When the first settlers of the state were clearing the forests, the Indians begged that it might be spared. How appropriate to their entreaties seem the words of Morris :
“Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Now towering to the skies !" 11. “ It has been the guide of our ancestors for centuries," said they,
as to the time of planting our corn. When the leaves are the size of a mouse's ears, then is the time to put the seed into the ground.” And it was well they did “let the old oak stand," for it afterward became the faithful guard
ian of the chartered rights of the infant colony; and so highly was it venerated, that, at sunset on the day of its fall, the bells of the city were tolled, and a band of music played funeral dirges over its fallen ruins.
12. The chestnut, also one of the Oak family, is, like the oak, remarkable for its long life and great size, but is best known for its excellent fruit. As a noble shade-tree it is unsurpassed, and as such has been immortalized in the affections of our people by a popular poem beginning,
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands,
With large and sinewy hands;
Are strong as iron bands.-LONGFELLOW, This tree is not, however, the same as the well-known ornamental lawn-tree, the horse-chestnut, which belongs to another family.
13. The beech—“the spreading beech-tree”—also a member of the Oak family, is a tree of firm and hard wood, which is much used for making carpenters' tools. The botanical name of the tree, fagus, is supposed to be derived from a Greek word signifying to eat, indicating that its fruit served as food for man in ancient times. Our American Indians were so firmly persuaded that this tree was never struck by lightning, that, on the approach of a thunder-storm, they took refuge under its thick foliage with a full assurance of safety.
14. The bark of the beech is smooth, and of a silvery hue, and very well adapted to rude carving; and doubtless this is the chief reason of the poetic celebrity which this tree has attained. Virgil has given it immortal bloom in the opening of his first Eclogue:
“In beechen shades, you, Tityrus, stretched along,
Tune to your slender reed the sylvan song ;" and Shakspeare thus notices it in his comedy of “As You Like It:"
“ Oh Rosalind! these trees shall be my books,
Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where." 15. The poet Campbell has appropriated a distinct poem to “ The Beech-tree's Petition”--the last few lines of which will close our notice of this tree of poetic celebrity:
“Thrice twenty summers I have stood
And on my trunk's surviving frame,
Oh, by the vows of gentle sound
Spare, woodman, spare the beéchen-tree !"
LESSON XV.-THE OAK AND THE NOBLEMAN.
AND, on the rugged mountain brow exposed,
To courage in distress, exhorted loud. -POLLOK. There is an affinity between all natures, animate and inanimate. The oak, in the pride and lustihood of its growth, seems to me to take its range with the lion and the eagle, and to assimilate, in the
grandeur of its attributes, to heroic and intellectual man. With its lofty pillar rising straight and direct toward heaven, bearing up its leafy honors from the impurities of earth, and supporting them aloft in free air and glorious sunshine, it is an emblem of what a true nobleman should be: a refuge for the weak, a shelter for the oppressed, a defense for the defenseless; warding off from the peltings of the storm, or the scorching rays of arbitrary power. He who is this is an ornament and a blessing to his native land. He who is otherwise abuses his eminent advantagesabuses the grandeur and prosperity which he has drawn from the bosom of his country. Should tempests arise, and he be laid prostrate by the storm, who would mourn over his fall ? Should he be borne down by the oppressive hand of power, who would murmur at his fate ? “WHY CUMBERETH HE THE GROUND ?”—WASHINGTON IRVING.
LESSON XVI.—THE ELM, WILLOW, AND BIRCH FAMILIES.
1. The numerous species of trees of the Elm, Willow, and Birch families, as well as those of the Oak, Chestnut, Beech, and many others of our large forest trees, are classed by most botanists as apetalous, because, while they have all the essential organs which constitute a flower, such as stamens, pistils, and seed vessels, they are destitute of petals, or corolla. Many · of them have a colored calyx, but in some even the calyx itself is wanting.
2. The elms, of which sixty species have been described by botanists, are believed by many to have originated from only
[EXOGENOUS or DICOTYLEDONOUB; Angiosperms; A petalous.)
1. Ulmus campes' tris, English elm, now abundant in this country, v. 2, (ap.), 80 f., A.-My., Britain. 2. Sa'lix trian'dra, Long-leaved willow, xx. 2, (ap.), 30 f., My.-Au., Britain. 3. Sa'lix ru'bra, Green osier, xx. 2, (ap.), 8 f., A.-My., England. 4. Sa'lix rosmarinifoʻlia, Rosemary willow, xx. 2, (ap.), 3 f., A.-My., N. Am. 5. Pop'ulus alba, Abēle tree, xx. 8, (ap.), 40 f., M.-A. (introduced). 6. Populus nigra, Black poplar, xx. 8, (ap.), 30 f., M.-A., Britain. 7. Pop'ulus moniliflera, Canadian poplar, xx. 8, (ap.), 70 f., My., N. Am. 8. Pop'ulus trem'ula, Aspen, xx. 8, (ap.), 50 f., A.-Jn., Britain. 9. Be'tula alba, Common birch, xix. 12, (ar.), 40 f., A.-Jn., Britain. 10. Be'tula len'ta, Mountain mahogany, black birch, or sweet birch, xix. 12, (ap.), 50 f., My.-Jn., N. Am. 11. Sa'lix Babylonica, Weeping willow, xx. 2, (ap.), 40 f., My., Levant.
two distinct kinds, the lowland and the mountain elm. Certain it is that the elm, like the apple, has a remarkable tendency to produce new varieties from the seed ; and if a bed be sown with the seeds, some of the plants will have large leaves, and some small ones; some will be early, and others late; and some will have smooth bark, and others rough.
3. The ancient poets frequently mention
the elm. The Greeks and Romans considerElm in blossom. ed all as funeral trees which produced no fruit fit for the use of man. Homer alludes to this when he tells us, in the Iliad, that Achilles raised a monument to the father of Andromache in a grove of elms :
es Tove's sylvan daughters bade their elms bestow
A barren shade, and in his honor grow." 4. So generally, among the Romans, was the elm used as a prop to the vine, that the one was considered by the poets inseparable from the other.
" If that fair elm," he cried, " alone should stand,
'Twould creep, a poor neglected shrub, below."-OVID. And finally, the poet Cowper, in the “ Task,” very accurately sketches the varieties of form in the elm, alludes to the different sites where it is found, and describes an enchanting scene, where a lowly cot," perched upon the green hill-top,” is
“Environ'd with a ring of branching elms
That overhang the thatch." 5. The elm is the favorite shade-tree in the villages of New England. In the centre of the public square, in the beautiful village of Pittsfield, in Massachusetts, there stands alone, in all its majesty, encircled by a new generation of lesser trees, a venerable old elm, which measures one hundred and twentyeight feet in height, with a trunk thirteen feet and nine inches in circumfererence at a yard from the ground, and ninety feet to the lowermost limbs. Many interesting incidents in the history of the country are associated with this much-revered and ancient tenant of the soil. It was beneath its shade that the Berkshire troops were marshaled previous to their march to Bunker Hill; and the first agricultural fair in America was held under its boughs. It was somewhat injured by lightning in the year 1841.
Hail to the elm ! the brave old elm!
Our last lone forest tree,
For a brave old elm is he!
He has borne his leafy prime,
His tale of the olden time!
And long may his branches wave,
Of the times of the good and brave.--N. S. DODGE. 7. The willow and poplar, which are examples of the Willow family, are distinguished as being the largest members in a numerous class which have separate staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants. Willows generally grow on the banks of streams; and some of the smaller cultivated species, called osiers, are used for hoops, basket-work, and for thatching. Most of the species are easily recognized in the Aowering season by their long, pendulous, and frequently downy spikes or clusters of flowers, called catkins. The blossoms of some of the water-willows, with their little knots of golden down, present a very beautiful appearance.