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"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?"
And, wondering, looked at me.
"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, " Seven are we: And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
"Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
Dwell near them with my mother.'
"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea;
Sweet maid, how this may be."
Then did the little maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we: Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree."
"You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then you are only five."
"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little maid replied, "Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.
"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
I sit and sing to them.
"And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair, I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
"The first that died was little Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
And then she went away.
"So in the church-yard she was laid:
And all the summer dry,
My brother John and I.
"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
And he lies by her side."
"How many are you then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?" The little maiden did reply,
"O master! we are seven."
"But they are dead; those two are dead;
Their spirits are in heaven!" 'Twas throwing words away; for still The little maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven."
LESSON XLTX. THE OCEAN.
The principal part of the water on the globe occupies large depressions on the solid surface, known under the name of oceans. These are connected together by comparatively narrow passages, and are therefore really united, forming one wide and continuous expanse of sea. The different parts are, notwithstanding, known by distinct names; the most important being the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans. There are also some internal seas, or lakes, of considerable extent, as the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and others, which are almost entirely enclosed by land, and are filled with salt water, besides the great gulfs and bays of North America, and others better known, but far less extensive, in Europe.
The depth of the ocean varies exceedingly, and its bed is broken, like the surface of the land, into plateaux, forming shoals, and ranges of mountains as well as isolated mountains, appearing above the surface in islands and groups of islands. Many parts of the ocean have been fathomed; but in some places a line, whose length nearly equals the elevation of the loftiest peaks of the Himalayan chain, has failed to reach the bottom. Around our own coast the depth is very variable, not amounting to one hundred feet over a great part of the German Ocean, while towards Norway, where the shore is bold, the depth is more than five thousand feet at a very short distance from the coast. The deep water commences also at a short distance from the shores of Ireland.
The ocean over all parts of the earth contains a certain proportion of salt, which is not quite the same, however, for different seas, and even varies in different seasons and at various depths. The proportion is between three and four per cent., or half an ounce to the pound, but is larger in the southern than in the northern hemisphere, and in the Atlantic than the Pacific. The surface is often less salt than the deeper parts of the sea, owing to the flowing into the ocean of large quantities of fresh water from rivers. In this case the fresh water, being lighter, floats on the surface for a long distance before becoming thoroughly mixed. Deep seas are generally more saline than those that are shallow, and inland seas than the open ocean; but this is not invariably the case, as it depends on the proportion that the river water flowing into the sea bears to the evaporation from its surface, and also partly to the influx of salt water. Thus the Mediterranean, especially in the deeper parts, is much more salt than the open sea, but the Baltic is much less so.
The temperature of the water is generally different from that of the atmosphere above it, and is greatly affected by depth and local circumstances. The temperature of deep water is constant (40 Fahr.), and in most parts of the ocean within the temperate and torrid zones is much lower than that of the surface. The temperature diminishes in descending, at different rates, however, in different seas, being so unequal that a decrease of one degree of the thermometer (Fahrenheit) answers sometimes to forty and at others to eighty feet of depth, and even more. Still it has been considered, that in general the temperature decreases six times as rapidly downwards in the sea as it diminishes upwards in the atmosphere, and that we much sooner arrive at the stratum of invariable temperature.—Ansted.
LESSON" L. DUTIES TO PLATMATES.
One of the most important duties which boys and girls ought to perform, in respect to their playmates, is to avoid the company of the vicious.
Use your influence always to encourage doing right, and to discourage doing wrong, among your playmates, by every means in your power. Boys are very often led to do what is wrong, by the influence of other boys looking on and approving what they do.
Endeavour to protect the weak and defenceless, and to help all who are in any difficulty or trouble. We might suppose that no one would degrade himself so much as to be guilty of cruelty and oppression to those who are younger and smaller than he is, and thus unable to defend their rights. Still, there are boys who will do this. Their consciences, however, condemn them while they do it; and the influence of the opinion of others, coming in to the aid of conscience, will sometimes deter them. They know that it is wrong; and if they see that other boys think it is wrong, they sometimes will not do it. By kindly taking part with the oppressed, it is often possible very much to diminish the oppression: and there are many other ways by which a just and conscientious boy or girl may help to protect their playmates from injury.
Promote peace and good-will among your playmates. A boy may do a great deal to promote harmony among his companions, by explaining misunderstandings, representing things that occur in a favourable light, and, in all his conversation and conduct, setting an example of kindness and good-nature. On the other hand, he may do a great deal to foment discord and ill-will, by