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covering from the first surprise, however, we entered boldly, and had not proceeded above twenty paces, when we saw the supposed statue of the giant.

“We quickly perceived that it was nothing more than a sparry 8 concretion, formed by the water dropping from the roof of the cave, and by degrees hardening into a figure, which the fears of the natives had formed into a monster.

“As we proceeded, new wonders presented themselves : the spars, taking the forms of trees and shrubs, appeared like 'petrified groves-some white, some green--and all receding in due 19 perspective.

“A hole was pointed out to us which seemed to lead to a place totally dark, and which one of the natives assured us contained nothing more than a 11 reservoir of water. In order, however, to be more certain, we sent in a 12 Levantine mariner, , who, by the promise of a good reward, ventured, with a 13 flambeau in his hand, into this narrow aperture.

“ After continuing within it for about a quarter of an hour, he returned, bearing in his hand some beautiful pieces of white spar, which art could neither equal nor imitate. Upon being informed by him that the place was full of these beautiful incrustations, I ventured in about fifty paces, anxiously and cautiously descending by a steep and dangerous way.

“Finding, however, that we came to a precipice which led into a spacious 14 amphitheatre (if I may so call it), still deeper than any other part, wę returned, and being provided with a ladder, flambeau, and other things, descended again, accompanied by the rest of the party.

“ Arriving in the amphitheatre, we lighted our candles, and the whole place being thus illuminated, the cavern presented a most glittering and magnificent scene ; the roof hung with 15 stalactites, transparent as glass, yet solid as marble.

“The eye could scarcely reach the lofty and noble ceiling ; the sides were regularly formed with spars ; and the whole presented the idea of a magnificent theatre, illuminated with a profusion of lights. The floor consisted of solid marble ; and, in several places, magnificent columns, thrones, altars, and other objects appeared, as if 16 Nature had designed to mock the curiosities of art.

“Our voices, upon speaking or singing, were redoubled, to an astonishing loudness; and upon the firing of a gun, the noise and 17 reverberations were almost deafening.

“ In the midst of this grand amphitheatre rose a concretion about fifteen feet high, that, in some measure, resembled an altar; noticing which, we caused 18 mass to be celebrated. The beautiful columns that shot up around the altar appeared like candlesticks ; and many other natural objects represented the customary ornaments of this 19 rite.

« Below even this spacious grotto, there seemed another cavern ; down which I ventured with my former mariner, descending by means of a rope.





The bottom of this was different from that of the amphitheatre, being composed of soft clay.

“In this, however, as above, numbers of the most beautiful %0 crystals were formed ; one of which

. resembled a table."

This account of so beautiful and striking a scene may serve to give us some idea of the subterraneous wonders of nature. subterraneous, under ground; subterranean. ?grotto, a cavern of an ornamental appearance. 3 Antiparos and Paros, two islands in the Archipelago, east of Turkey. *sparry, resembling or con. sisting of spar. A spar is any earthy mineral that breaks with regular surfaces, and has some degree of lustre. The grotto was remarkable in being incrusted or covered with spars.

5 explored, searched; looked into in all parts ; examined thoroughly. 6 gigantic, like a giant; huge ; of enormous size. ?

a repressed, overpowered ; subdued ; checked ; restrained. 8 concretion, a mass of matter which has become solid by the freezing or binding together of its parts. 'petrified, changed or converted into a stony substance. 10 perspective, is the art of representing on a plain surface, such as paper, objects as they appear to our eyes. Here it means that the groves appeared to get smaller and smaller, until in the distance they disappeared from view. "reservoir, a place where water is collected, and kept for use when wanted : here means a pond. 2 Levantine, one coming from the Levant, or that part of the Mediterranean which washes the shores of Syria. 's flam. beau, a flaming torch. Hamphitheatre, an oval or circular edifice, Laving rows of seats one above the other round an open space, called the arena, formerly used for combats of gladiators and wild beasts and other sports. Here means simply a spacious cavern, resembling in its general structure an amphitheatre, a building like a modern circus. stalactites, pendent (hanging) cones of carbonate of lime, resembling icicles in form.

16 Nature had designed, etc. : the structure of the columns, thrones, etc., was so magnificent and wonderful, as to throw quite into the shade all the curiosities or wonderful productions of our sculptors. 17 verberations, echoes. 18 mass, a religious service of the Church of Rome, 19 rite, a religious ceremony ; an ordinance.

20 crystals, substances hard as stone and clear as glass.




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com-par'-a-tive-ly cul'-ti-va-ted na’-tu-ral-ly wrenched wedge-shaped es-pec'-ial-ly saun'-tered ox'-y-gen As Cousin Tim sauntered into his uncle's yard one afternoon, he found Rufus and Ella ready to question him about what he had seen.

“Sit down in the shade here," said Cousin Tim, " and perhaps I can tell you something interesting.”

“Oh yes! about cork,” said Rufus. “What is it? I have heard that it is a kind of bark,the bark of the cork-tree ; but how do they get it ? Where does it grow?"

“The cork-tree is a kind of oak. This tree grows in the countries of Southern Europe and Northern Africa, especially in Spain, Portugal and · Algiers. It is a beautiful, large, spreading tree, and it is cultivated in parks for its beauty, and in forests for its bark. A tree is stripped in this way. A cut is made completely round it, through the bark, just above the roots. A second cut is made in the same way just below the branches. Then straight cuts, up and down, divide the bark into broad strips. It is then pounded, to loosen it from the trunk,—somewhat as you pound the bark of a stick of willow, to ring it for a whistle. In cutting, an axe is used that has a handle with a curved and2 wedge-shaped end, which is afterwards used to start the bark and lift it from the trunk. The strips are then 3 wrenched and pulled away, leaving the tree naked from its roots to its branches."

“ Does it kill the tree ?” Rufus inquired.

“Not when the work is carefully done. A tree completely deprived of its bark cannot live, of

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course ; nor can one that has been simply girdled, if the bark is quite cut through. The sap of the tree, which goes to the leaves, just as your blood goes to the lungs, to receive 4 oxygen from the air, returns to the roots through the cells of the bark ;

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