feathers about six inches long, is beneath,and may be seen when the train is raised. In the female the train is almost wanting, nor is she in other respects so gorgeously attired as her mate.

6. Although Nature has thus endowed this bird with such beauty, she has withheld from it that sweetness of voice with which she has so richly gifted many others of the feathered tribes. Its cry is harsh and discordant, and it is only when heard from a long distance that it is at all pleasing. Its food is principally corn and barley.

7. The pea-hen is rather smaller than the male. She seldom lays more than four or five eggs at a time, and always chooses some retired spot where she can protect them from danger. The eggs are white and spotted. The young birds do not acquire their perfect brilliancy till the third year.

domesticated, living gorgeous, splendid. tamely

attired, dressed. privilege, favour. endowed, enriched. sculptured, carved.

discordant, unmusical. conscious, aware. retired, out of the elevates, raises.



or-na-ments pre-cious gen-er-al-ly
man-sions ex-treme-ly re-al-i-ty
cu-ri-os-i-ty su-pe-ri-or prin-ci-pal-ly
stud-ded ad-van-tage bril-li-an-cy

Where may peacocks be seen in England? When was the peacock introduced into Greece? How did the Greeks show their desire to see it? Where are peacocks great favourites ? Describe the throne of the Shah of Persia. What use do the Chinese make of the feathers of the peacock! Where is the native home of the peacock! How does the peacock seem to show its vanity? Describe its tail. How does the female differ in appearance from the male? On what does the peacock chiefly feed! When do the young birds acquire their perfect brilliancy of plumage?

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1. Queen of fresh flowers,

Whom vernal stars obey,
Bring thy warm showers,

Bring thy genial ray.
In nature's greenest livery drest,
Descend on earth's expectant breast,
To earth and heaven a welcome guest,

Thou merry month of May.

2. Mark! how we meet thee

At dawn of dewy day!
Hark! how we greet thee,

With our roundelay!
While all the goodly things that be
In earth, and air, and ample sea,
Are waking up to welcome thee,

Thou merry month of May.


3. Flocks on the mountains,

And birds upon their spray, ,
Tree, turf, and fountains

All hold holiday;
And love, the life of living things,
Love waves his torch and claps his wings,
And loud and wide thy praises sings,

Thou merry month of May.

vernal, belonging to spring. welcome, well received. genial, cheerful.

roundelay, a part song. livery, showy clothes. ample, large.






1. Sugar is obtained from many vegetable substances, such as the maple tree, the beet root, and the sugar cane, but chiefly from the last.

2. The sugar cane is a native of the tropical parts of the world. It was first introduced into Europe by the Saracens, and cultivated in the islands of the Mediterranean Sea. It seems, however, to have been carefully cultivated in India and China from the earliest times.

3. The cane was introduced into the West India Islands shortly after their discovery by Columbus, and the manufacture of sugar has now become one of the chief employments of the people.

4. In preparing a field for planting with the cuttings of the cane, the ground is marked out in rows three or four feet apart, and in these, holes are dug from eight to twelve inches deep, with a space of two feet between them. The cuttings are carefully planted, and for some time the soil has to be hoed to keep them clear of weeds. The hoeing of a field of sugar canes is a most laborious operation, performed as it must be under the rays of a tropical sun.

5. The planting of the canes does not require to be renewed annually, as the crops are obtained for


some years from the shoots that spring up from the old roots.

6. The nature of the soil and the mode of culture have a considerable effect on the size of the plant.

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