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so a complete separation of the bark kills the tree. But as the bark grows from the inside, the outer growths are constantly dying, while the new growth is forming under it. If you cut into the bark of any common oak, you will fine that the outward portion of it is comparatively dry and lifeless, while the inner layer is full of life and sap.”

“I see !” cried Rufus. “In peeling the corktree, men take care not to cut clear through the wood, but leave the living layer of bark, while they take off the dead outside." “Precisely. The tree sheds that part naturally,

5 in the course of time ; but then the cork is so full of cracks that it is good for nothing. So the bark is taken off while it is in its best condition.”



Algiers, a country in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. 2 wedge-shaped, shaped like a wedge, which is a piece of metal or other hard material, thick at one end, and sloping to a thin edge at the other. 3 wrenched, forced off by violence ; torn ; pulled ; twisted. * oxygen, a gaseous element of the air, serving to support life. It forms about 22 per cent. (or 22 parts in a hundred) of the atmosphere. By composition with hydrogen it forms water. 5 sheds, throws off.




moun'-tain-ous as-ton'-ished ar-ti-fi'-cial

dis-guised' suf-fic'-ient-ly flat-ten-ing ma-te'-ri-al qual'.i-ty “ And can they get more than one crop of bark from the same tree ? " asked Rufus.

“ Certainly. The tree is first stripped when it is

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about fifteen years old, and every eighth or tenth year afterwards. As the cork-tree lives to be very old, it sometimes yields many crops,-fifteen to twenty, or even more. The first crop is the poorest; the quality of the cork improves until the tree is forty or fifty years old, and then continues at its best as long as the tree retains its vigour. In peeling large trees, the bark is cut in rings, about three and a half feet broad, before it is divided and taken from the trunk. This work is done in the summer months. The wood of the tree is the poorest of all the oaks,-as if nature in this case had put her best forces into the growth of the bark.

“ The pieces of bark, or tables, as they are called, when first cut, are curved, just as they grow upon the round trunk. The next thing is to flatten them. They are piled in narrow vaults, or trenches, one upon another, with the hollow or concave side downward, and pressed beneath heavy weights. After they have been sufficiently pressed, they are dried in the curing house, by being constantly turned before hot fires. One way of flattening is by the burning process. They are placed, the 'convex sides down, over fires which ? warp them into shape.

“They have then to be dressed and trimmed ; and here dishonest dealers find a chance to cheat. Holes and cracks in the poor kinds of cork are filled with clay or chalk, and blacked over. Tables that have been through the burning process are most


easily disguised in this way ; and for this reason, though the burning does not injure the cork, they bring less in the market than the other sort.

“ After it has been dressed, the cork is packed in bales, and stacked ready for shipping. You, who have seen cork only in stoppers or small pieces, would be astonished if you could look at, and perhaps climb, one of those mountainous heaps. You would fancy it contained material enough to stop all the bottles in the world. But this bark is used for other things than stoppers. Cork soles are made of it,-cork hats, life-preservers, wads for small cannon, floats for fish-nets, bungs for barrels and hogsheads, artificial legs, etc. In the countries where cork is grown, it is used for the roofs of cottages, for tubs and buckets, beehives, shoes, saddles, boats, pillows, and even for coffins."

convex, rounded, as the outside of a circle. ? warp, to turn or twist a thing out of one shape or direction into another ; the sides were drawn to the fire and so brought level with the middle.



res-pon-si-bil'-i-ty ia-hab'-i-tants fore-bod'-ing cav'-al-ry a-ban'-don-ment an'-swer-a-ble en-vel'-oped fa-tigue thought'-ful-ly ex-tin'-guish in-ces'-sant pil'-lage At length Moscow, with its domes and towers ind palaces, appeared in sight; and Napoleon, who had joined the advanced guard, gazed long and thoughtfully on thạt goal of his wishes, Murat


went forward, and entered the gates with his splendid ? cavalry ; but as he passed through the streets he was struck by the solitude that surrounded him. As night drew its curtain over the splendid capital, Napoleon entered the gates, and immediately appointed Mortier governor. In his directions he commanded him to abstain from all 3 pillage.

“For this," said he, "you shall be answerable with your life. Defend Moscow against all, whether friend or foe.”

The bright moon rose over the mighty city, tipping with silver the domes of more than two hundred churches, and pouring a flood of light over a thousand palaces and the dwellings of three hundred thousand inhabitants. The weary soldiers sank to rest, but there was no sleep for Mortier. Not the grandeur of the scene kept him wakeful, but the foreboding that some 5 dire calamity was hanging over the silent capital. When he entered it, not one inhabitant was to be seen, and when he broke open the buildings, he found parlours and bedrooms and chambers all furnished, but no occupants. This sudden abandonment of the city betokened some secret purpose of the inhabitants yet to be fulfilled.

The midnight moon was settling over the city, when the cry of “Fire !” reached the ears of Mortier, who immediately issued his orders, and was putting forth every exertion to extinguish the fire, when Napoleon hastened to him. Affecting to disbelieve the reports that the inhabitants were


firing their own city, he put more rigid commands on Mortier to keep the soldiers from the work of

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destruction. The Marshal simply pointed to some iron-covered houses that had not yet been opened,

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