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engaged in turning over-being then busied in arranging our specimens—when, to our astonishment, he named every one of them as fast as they appeared, giving to each of them, with great accuracy, its Linnean appellation. This extraordinary youth, with whom we soon became better acquainted, was the dutiful son of a poor widow, named Pyppon, living at Uleabag, who, having bestowed upon her child the best education her circumstances could afford, had placed him as an apprentice to this apothecary. The apothecary had himself a turn for natural history, but did not choose that his little pupil should quit the pestle and mortar for the pursuits of botany and entomology ; It interrupted,' as he said, and perhaps very truly, “the business of his shop. The consequence was, that this young Linnæus carried on his studies unknown to his master, concealing his books and plants, and rising every morning before three o'clock, that he might snatch a few stolen hours from the duties of his profession, and dedicate them to inquiries which had already qualified him to become his master's instructor. If he found, in his barefooted rambles, a new plant or a new insect, he was compelled to hide it in his hat, and thus bear it to his hidden museum. It fell out, however, that his master discovered his boxes of insects; and these he afterwards allowed him to place in his shop, because they attracted the notice of customers, and gratified the master's vanity, who always exhibited them as of his own collecting. They had been thus exhibited to us. This curious example of the power of genius rising superior to all circumstances, and overwhelming every obstacle, in one so young and friendless, induced us to take some pains in prevailing upon his master to allow full scope to the bent of his inclination; and many were
the pretences upon which we sent to the shop, that our young philosopher might be made happy, by bringing what was required. Upon one of these occasions we told him that a plant rather rare, the sonchus sibiricus, was said to grow in the neighbourhood of Tornea, but that we had failed in our endeavours to find it. The words were scarcely uttered, when he ran off, as fast as his legs could carry him, and soon returned, having in his hand two or three specimens of the plant."
LESSON XXXII.--NESTS OF BRITISH BIRDS. The hemispherical cups of mud, formed by the common House Martin in the corners of windows, and under the eaves and ledges of houses, are well known to every one. Soft mud from the edges of pools, or ruts in the high road, is collected by the bird in little pellets, carried in her mouth to the selected spot, and there plastered against the wall, pellet after pellet, until the lowest layer is formed. As each is deposited, the tenacity of the material is increased by an admixture with glutinous saliva secreted by the bird, and minute bits of broken straw help to render it more compact. Lest the weight of the work, while it is yet soft, should pull it down, the little architect does not work too fast; but making only a shallow layer every morning, she devotes the rest of the day to amusement: thus the work progressively hardens. She works by clinging to the irregularities of the wall, with her strong feet in a perpendicular position, the tail strongly thrown in, and serving as an additional support; and as she lays on each pellet of mud, she plasters it about with her chin, moving her head rapidly from side to side. Thus, in the course of ten days or a fortnight, a snug and tight
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Learn to labour and to wait.—Lonqfellow.
LESSON XXXIV. PLAINS.
Plains of greater or less extent, presenting comparatively small inequalities, occur in all parts of the globe. A vast plain of this description occupies a considerable portion of Northern Europe, commencing on the German Ocean, comprising the Netherlands, Denmark, the northern districts of France and Germany, a considerable portion of Poland, and nearly the whole of European Russia, and terminating only at the base of the Uralian Mountains.
This vast plain is separated by the Uralian range from another of yet greater extent, the Siberian lowland, which occupies nearly the whole of Northern Asia. The depression in the region of the Caspian Sea may be considered a continuation of the great European lowland.
A vast plain, or lowland, extends across the northern part of Africa, stretching from the shores of the Atlantic to the valley of the Nile, partially bounded on the north by the Atlas range, and terminated on the south by the elevated land which extends across from Cape Verde to Abyssinia.
In the New World, the great valley of the Mississippi presents a vast and magnificent plain. A largo portion of this great lowland is remarkably level, and consequently subject to periodical inundations from the mighty rivers by which it is traversed. The more elevated parts consist of an alternation of forests, and prairies (or natural meadows), abounding in wild animals. The lowlands of South America, called llanos, or pampas, and savannahs, are of equal extent.
The plains to which we have hitherto directed our attention are for the most part little elevated above the level of the sea; but there is another class of plains which claims some notice, plateaux, or table-lands, an appellation which has been given them on account of their elevation above the other plains, and occasiouiil table-like form, rising abruptly, with steep acclivities on every side. Some of these table-lands are of great extent, and retain a general elevation of several thousand feet above the sea, though in many instances their surfaces are much undulated.
The most extensive table-land in Europe is that of Central Spain, embracing the two Castiles, which has a general elevation of 2,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Asia presents some of the most extensive table-lands on the face of the globe. The most remarkable of these are the vast regions of Central Asia, including Thibet, and the desert of Gobi or Shamo.
A table-land of considerable extent has been observed in South Africa. It is situated between the Orange River and the Kuisip, and is flanked by the Unuma, or Bulb Mountains.
The New World affords examples of some very considerable plateaux. That of Mexico has a general elevation of 7,000 feet above the sea. Several less extensive but very elevated table-lands are included between the two lofty parallel ranges which constitute the Andes of Peru a id Colombia: such is the table-land of Quito, 8,000 feet, and that of Riobomba, more than 10,000 feet, above the level of the sea.—Zornlin.
LESSON XXXV. OBEDIENCE.
Obedience is doing something that is required, or refraining from something that is forbidden, because it is required or forbidden by one who has power to command. And in all those cases where other persons have i ightful authority to command or direct us, we ought to obey with promptness, cheerfulness, and strict fidelity.
Obedience ought to be prompt; that is, the command must be obeyed as soon as it is given, if it is one that is intended to be immediately obeyed. Sometimes children delay, to ask the reason for the command,—sometimes to make objections,—sometimes because they are doing something else which they do not wish to leave; and sometimes, when the duty assigned is not very pleasant, they move so slowly and reluctantly in doing it, as to consume a great deal more time than is necessary in accomplishing the object. Prompt obedience is worth a great deal more than that which is reluctant and slow. He who obeys tardily does not more than half obey. Then, prompt obedience is much the most pleasant. If an unpleasant duty is to be performed, the easiest way to get through it is to despatch it at once.
Obedience ought to be cheerful. It must of course necessarily happen, that a great many commands which children have to obey are disagreeable. Still they must be obeyed; and they are made much more disagreeable to all concerned by being obeyed in a sullen and illnatured manner.