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wolf. He was so cunningly dressed up in sheep's clothing that the very lambs did not know Master Wolf; nay, one of them, whose dam the wolf had just eaten, after which he had thrown her skin over his shoulders, ran up innocently towards the devouring monster, mistaking him for her mamma.
"He! he!" says a fox, sneaking round the hedge paling, over which the tree grew, whereupon the crow was perched looking down on the frog, who was staring with his goggle eyes fit to burst with envy, and croaking abuse at the ox. "How absurd those lambs are! Yonder silly little knockknee'd baah-ling does not know the old wolf dressed in the sheep's fleece. He is the same old rogue who gobbled up little Red Riding Hood's grandmother for lunch, and swallowed little Red Riding Hood for supper. He he!"
An owl that was hidden in the hollow of the tree, woke up. "Oho, Master Fox," says she, "I cannot see you, but I smell you! If some folks like lambs, other folks like geese," says the owl.
"And your ladyship is fond of mice," says the fox.
"The Chinese eat them," says the owl, "and I have read that they are very fond of dogs," continued the old lady.
"I wish they would exterminate every cur of them off the face of the earth," said the fox.
"And I have also read, in works of travel, that the French eat frogs," continued the owl. "Aha, my friend Crapaud! are you there? That was a very pretty concert we sang together last night!"
"If the French devour my brethren, the English eat beef," croaked out the frog,—" great, big, brutal, bellowing oxen."
"Ho, whoo !" says the owl, "I have heard that the English are toad-eaters, too!"
"But whoever heard of them eating an owl or a fox, madam?" says Reynard; "or their sitting down and taking a crow to pick?" adds the polite rogue, with a bow to the old crow who was perched above them with the cheese in his mouth. "We are privileged animals, all of us; at least, we never furnish dishes for the odious orgies of man."
"I am the bird of wisdom," says the owl; "I was the companion of Pallas Minerva; I am frequently represented in the Egyptian monuments."
"I have seen you over the British barn-doors," said the fox, with a grin. "You have a deal of scholarship, Mrs. Owl. I know a thing or two myself; but am, I confess it, no scholar—a mere man of the world—a fellow that lives by his wits—a mere country gentleman."
"You sneer at scholarship," continues the owl, with a sneer on her venerable face.
"I read a good deal of a night."
"When I am engaged deciphering the cocks and hens at roost," says the fox.
"It's a pity for all that you can't read; that board nailed over my head would give you some information."
"What does it say?" says the fox.
"I can't spell in the daylight," answered the owl; and, giving a yawn, went back to sleep till evening in the hollow of her tree.
"A fig for her hieroglyphics!" said the fox, looking up at the crow in the tree.
"What airs our slow neighbour gives herself! She pretends to all the wisdom; whereas your reverences, the crows, are endowed with gifts far superior to those benighted old big-wigs of owls, who blink in the darkness, and call their hooting singing. How noble it is to hear a chorus of crows! There are twenty-four brethren of the order of St. Corvinus, who have builded themselves a convent near a wood which I frequent; what a droning and a chanting they keep up! I protest their reverences' singing is nothing to yours! You sing so deliriously in parts, do for the love of harmony favour me with a solo!"
While this conversation was going on, the ox was chumping the grass; the frog was eyeing him in such a rage at his superior proportions, that he would have spurted venom at him if he could, and that he would have burst, only that is impossible, from sheer envy; the little lambkin was lying unsuspiciously at the side of the wolf in fleecy hosiery, who did not as yet molest her, being replenished with the mutton of her mamma. But now the wolfs eyes began to glare, and his sharp white teeth to show, and he rose up with a growl, and began to think he should like lamb for supper.
"What large eyes you have got!" bleated out the lamb, with rather a timid look.
"The better to see you with my dear."
"What large teeth you have got!"
"The better to"
At this moment such a terrific yell filled the field, that all its inhabitants started with terror. It was from a donkey, who had somehow got a lion's skin, and now came in at the hedge, pursued by some men and boys with sticks and guns.
When the wolf in sheep's clothing heard the bellow of the ass in the lion's skin, fancying that the monarch of the forest was near, he ran away as fast as his disguise would let him. When the ox heard the noise, he dashed round the meadow-ditch, and, with one trample of his hoof, squashed the frog who had been abusing him. When the crow saw the people with guns coming, he instantly dropped the cheese out of his mouth, and took to wing. When the fox saw the cheese drop, he immediately made a jump at it (for he knew the donkey's voice, and that his asinine bray was not a bit like his royal master's roar), and making for the cheese, fell into a steel trap, which snapped off his tail; without which he was obliged to go into the world, pretending, forsooth, that it was the fashion not to wear tails any more; and that the fox party were better without 'em.
Meanwhile, a boy with a stick came up, and belaboured Master Donkey until he roared louder than ever. The wolf, with the sheep's clothing draggling about his legs, could not run fast, and was detected and shot by one of the men. The blind old owl, whirring out of the hollow tree quite amazed at the disturbance, flounced into the face of a ploughboy, who knocked her down with a pitch-fork. The butcher came and quietly led off the ox and the lamb; and the farmer, finding the fox's brush in the trap, hung it up over his mantelpiece, and always bragged that he had been in at his death.
Composition.—Write out as many synonyms as you can of the verbs and adjectives in the last two paragraphs.
LESSONS ON SPECIFIC SUBJECTS.
THE CAMERA OBSCURA.
1. The Camera Obscura* was invented by John Baptista Porter, of Naples, about three hundred years ago, the idea of it having been taken from the pictures of external objects which, after passing through the eye, are painted on the retina at the back of it.
When the sun is shining through a small hole, a round bright spot will be seen on anything held up as a screen behind it, and this spot will increase in size the farther the screen is held from the hole. This bright spot is, in fact, an image of the face of the sun painted on the screen by pencils of light proceeding from every point of its surface, and, by their concentration into a whole, forming an exact picture of it on the screen,— just as the pencils of light from any object, when they enter the eye, paint an exact image of it on the retina, f
In the same way, if a pinhole be made in a card and held between a candle and a piece of white paper in a dark room, an exact image of the flame of the candle will be thrown on the paper, the image showing the flame upside down, '.however. If the paper be removed farther from the light, the image will increase in proportion.
2. This principle of the power of light, under certain conditions, to paint images of external objects on any screen held up in a darkened chamber, is that on which the camera obscura is based. A striking illustration of
. • Literally "dark chamber" (Latin).
+ From rete (Latin), a net. A very fine network of branches of the optic nerve spread out at the back of theeye. See " Physiology and Health," by Dr. Cunningham Geikie.
it'is seen (Fig. 31) if a white screen be put up a few feet from a small round hole in the shutter of a darkened room. An exact picture, upside down, of all objects outside, in their natural colours and forms, will be seen, objects in motion moving on it as in actual life. 3. Acting on the principle involved in this phenomenon, if we make a
small hole c in the front of a box A B m n, and put the arrow M N before it, the rays from the end M will pass straight through the hole c, and illuminate the point m of the back of the box with their own colour; the rays from N will do the same at n ; and all other points of M N will in like manner throw their rays on points directly opposite them, between m and n. The smaller the aperture c is made, the more distinct will be the picture, m n, of the object M Jt; but it will still be faint, as the hole c admits but a small number of the rays which emanate from every point of the object M N. If we enlarge the hole c,
,w and substitute a lens i. L, as in Fig. 33, we shall have an image or picture, n m, every way similar to that formed by the hole, but brighter and more distinct. Since all the rays that flow from M, such as M L, M L, and fall upon the lens L l, will be refracted to a focus at m, and all the rays from N to a focus at n, they will there paint a distinct picture of the points from which they come, and in like manner pictures of all intermediate points between M and x will be painted between m and p.
i. It is evident from Fig. 33 that this picture or image, m n, formed by a convex lens, must be inverted, for it is impossible that rays from the upper end M of the object can be refracted to the upper end of the image at n.
"We can form an image of an object at any distance behind the lens, greater than its principal focus, and so make this image as large as we please, and in any proportion to the object. If we wish to have the image large we must bring the object near the lens, and if we wish to have it small we must remove the object farther from the lens, and these effects We can vary still more by using lenses of different focal distances.
5. The brightness of the image may be increased by increasing the size of the lens or the area of its surface. If a lens has a superficial area of eight square inches, it will intercept twice as many rays proceeding from every point of an object as if its area were only four square inches, so that when it is impracticable to increase the brightness of the object by illuminating it, we may increase the brightness of the image by using a larger lens.