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George Green was found lying at its foot. Those who witnessed where the catastrophc had occurred thought that the liusband, after wrapping his great coat round his wife, had left her, in order that he might ascertain the direction of their wanderings, and try to find out, by some sign, whether they were in the right track, but that he had been blinded by the snow, so that he had not seen the precipice down which he had fallen, for it was but a short distance from the spot on which his wife was discovered.
“The dying husband's groans probably never reached the ear of the desolate wife, for the fury of the driving storm would be so great at that height as to prevent any
human sounds from being heard. She possibly divined her loss from his continued absence, and those wild shrieks, which some declared they heard on the night of the sale, might have been
from her in that dark hour of anguish and despair.
“ The Greens had strayed many a weary mile from the right mountain track, and to this circumstance the difficulty of their discovery was justly attributed. The exhaustion of both body and mind to which the pair were exposed must have been overwhelming. On that last night of sorrow and suffering, how the affectionate heart of Sarah Green must have yearned towards her children ; their desolate situation must have given her the most acute agony; but He,“ who out of darkness called forth light," appointed the helplessness and desolation of these children as means of exciting an extreme degree of interest for them, which never flagged until all were educated and respectably settled.
" The anxiety about George and Sarah Green had been so great, and the excitement so intense, that the attendance was most numerous at the funeral. The day on which their remains were conveyed to the grave was calm and beautiful, the earth being lightly covered with snow, and the sky cloudless ; no sound disturbed the repose of this fairy scene as this ill-fated but much lamented pair were taken to their last home in the churchyard of Grasmere.
Many were the families who offered to take charge of one of the Greens; fortunately for them, a judicious choice was made by their friends in disposing of them, and the children were dispersed in the valleys of Rydal and Grasmere, amongst those families who seemed the most likely to discharge well their self-imposed responsibilities.
“Could Sarah Green have foreseen the unvarying kindness of both rich and poor which was unceasingly bestowed upon her helpless offspring, death would have lost much of its sting, and she would have welcomed that danger which was productive of so much lasting benefit to her children."
A NATURAL GARDEN IN MAY.
O, God of Nature! bounteous and kind Thou art,
And they were there, a Sussex sisterhood
The early purple orchis proudly stands ;
As there I gazing stood, Father ! I felt
ON PL AN TS.
The stems of plants are either soft and herbaceous, like that of the cowslip; fibrous, like that of the hollyhock ; or woody, like that of the rose; but, in all cases, it is the stem which lifts the plant into the air and sunshine, and which conveys the nourishment, drawn in by the roots, to the leaves and flowers.
In Spring this food, or sap, as it is called, rises from one little cell to another, within the stem, till it reaches the leaves, which serve the same office to the plant that our lungs do to us. If you look through a magnifying-glass at the upper surface of a leaf, you will see that it is covered with a great number of small holes or pores. Through these the plant gives out, during the day-time, a gas called oxygen, which is not then needful to it, but which is necessary to the life of man. During the night, however, plants retain this gas, and give out another, which is poisonous for us to breathe. This fact explains why plants should never be kept in a bedroom, as during sleep you would be inhaling, or drawing into your lungs, the unwholesome gas their leaves give out during the hours of darkness.
What a wise and kind arrangement this is, and how much pleasure we should have lost if God had not so formed the plants and trees around us ! Supposing that the grass
and Howers had been created so as to give out this unwholesome gas during the day, we should have feared to walk in the green fields, or sit in the shade of the trees, or gather the lovely flowers ; but now our Heavenly Father has made it one of the healthiest as well as purest of our pleasures, to wander in the bright sunshine amongst the green fields and waving woods, and admire the beauty with which He has decked the earth.
In numerous ways, also, do the stems of plants contribute to our use, from the grassy carpet of the fields, which springs up afresh each year, giving food for our cattle, to the trunk of the stately oak, which is hundreds of years in attaining its full growth, and which gives its bark for tanning our leather, and its strong and enduring wood for building the ships that defend our shores, and carry our manufactures over the wide ocean to many a distant land. The wood of the elm and of the birch is also much used. That of the fir tree, called deal, forms the flooring of our houses, whilst from the bark of the Scotch fir, the thick white gum called turpentine is obtained.*
The curious black substance termed india-rubber is also a juice which flows from the bark of a tree growing in South
* How do you distinguish these trees from one another?
America, and was first brought to Europe about one hundred years ago.
A great deal of sugar is made in America from the sweet juice that flows from cutting the bark of a tree called the sugar-maple, but all that we use in this country is obtained from a species of reed called the sugar-cane. This plant is supposed to be a native of China, where it was cultivated for hundreds of years before it was known to the rest of the world. Even after sugar was first brought into Europe, people were quite ignorant how it was procured, for the Chinese never allowed any strangers to be admitted into their country, and were most careful in keeping their manufactures and their knowledge entirely secret from other nations. The sugar-cane was, however, brought from Asia into Europe about the year 1412. After the discovery of the West Indian Islands by Columbus, it was conveyed there, and was found to flourish far better in that hot climate. Thence it spread to Brazil, in South America, which is now one of the largest sugar-growing countries in the world.
The stem of the sugar-cane is knotted, and from each knot springs out a long and narrow leaf. In favourable situations it sometimes grows to the height of twenty feet.
The upper joints of the stem are taken off for cuttings, to form the next year's plants, and they are set in rows two or three feet apart. The hoeing of the large fields, under the burning sun of the tropics, in order to keep the young canes free from weeds, is hardly to be borne by Europeans, and is therefore doue by the negroes. In our English colonies these are now happily all set free, and receive wages for their work, instead of being driven to labour by the whip of the slave-driver, as is still the case in North and South America. The sugar-canes are ripe for cutting at the end of ten or twelve months, when they are tied in bundles, and conveyed to the mill.
Here they are pressed between heavy rollers until all the juice is forced out into a cistern beneath. A small quantity of lime is mixed with the juice, and it is boiled as quickly as possible, that the watery part of the liquor may pass off in steam, and the thick syrup form, as it cools, into those bright crystals of which sugar is composed. When sufficiently cool, it is packed into large casks pierced with holes at