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LITTLE MARLEY. THE tea table was just cleared, the curtains drawn, and the young folks seated around a good fire, enjoying the pleasant warmth, when little Elizabeth asked her kind minister to tell them a tale.
“A tale !" said Mr. V., “what is it to be about? I think my stories are too long to interest you."
Oh, please tell us something that happened when you were in Jamaica,” said another.
“Will one about the death of a little girl be too sad a tale?"
“Oh no; do tell us, if you please, sir, all about her,” said Lizzie, seating herself on a low stool at his feet.
“Well then, to begin : Marley was given, by
her mother, to a woman who was our servant, to teach her to read and sew, She was then about six years old. She was as black as a coal, with thick hair, not parted or smoothed like yours, but very like black wool. Marley wore nothing but a loose garment like your round pinafore.
“Oh, poor Marley ; how cold she must have been !"
“No, she was not cold; for in Jamaica it is very warm. This little black girl used to run about over the hills like a little wild thing, until we told her to come into the house and learn to read. We afterwards had a school for the little children. Here Marley learned to read the Bible and sing pretty hymns.
si One day, when she was about twelve years old, I was told she was very ill, so I went to see her. She was lying on a straw mat, covered with a blanket. I said, 'Well, Marley, are you in pain P' • Yes ; great pain, sir. 'Would you like God to take away your pain P'
Yes, sir; but I am going to die.' not afraid to die, my child' No, sir.' Why not? you know that after death you must either go to heaven or hell for ever: it is a solemn thing to die, Marley.' 'Yes, sir, I know it is ; but I can see my way clear.'
• What do you mean P have you had a vision P' 'No, sir,' she said, looking surprised that I should ask such a question; I have prayed to God to forgive my sins, and change my heart for Christ's sake.'
“How do you know he has heard your prayer?? Because he has promised to hear us in the Bible. Well, Marley, you have good ground for confidence if you rely on the promises of God through Jesus Christ; but how
• Are you
long have you felt these things ? before you were ill you were as wild a little girl as any in the school.' • It is since I have been ill, sir.' Her teacher asked her if any particular text had given her comfort. She repeated, 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'
“I was then obliged to leave her, having three miles to ride home. She said good-bye as calmly as if she were going a short journey. Before I got home little Marley died. I expect to meet her again one day, but not on earth; in heaven, where all meet}who have gone to Jesus for pardon. Will you not try to meet Marley there, dear children; and join with all that happy number who shall cast their crowns at the feet of Jesus, and ascribe all glory, honour, majesty, and power to him for ever and ever ?
Remember, too, that Marley would never have known of that precious Saviour who died for her without the missionary who opened the school. Will you not all try to help in this good work? You cannot do much ; but the kind Saviour who did not despise the widow's mite will accept yours, if given out of love to him, and pity for perishing souls."
THE HIVE AND ITS WONDERS.
No. 4. POLLEN-PROPOLIS-DIVISION OF LABOUR
AMONG THE BEES. ANOTHER part of the labour of the bee is to gather pollen from the flowers. Pollen is a fine powder found on the tops of the little stems which grow in the middle of a flower. While the bee is busy in lapping up the honey from the nectary, as we described in our last paper, its body becomes thickly covered with the fine dust from the little knobs or boxes, called anthers, supported by the filament in the centre of the flower: or, often, they roll their bodies in the flower-cup, on purpose to obtain its pollen. This dust the bee carefully wipes off with the brushes of her legs, and then kneads it into little balls. The pollen, when thus kneaded, is called bee-bread. Mixed with honey, it forms the food with which the young worms, or bees, are fed in their cells.
Let us look at another wonderful contrivance with which this little insect is furnished. In the middle of the hind pair of the bee's legs there is formed a kind of basket, surrounded by strong thickly - set hairs. Whatever the bee places in these baskets is prevented from falling out by the hairs or bristles around the edge. Into each of these she puts
the little balls of pollen, and Hind leg of the Bee. conveys them to the hive, as safely as the eggs bought at market are carried home in our baskets.
As the little bee returns with its load, it is sometimes met at the entrance of the hive by the nursing bees, who relieve her at once of a part, or of all that she has brought home; or she enters the hive, and walks about for a few mo. ments ; always, whether standing or walking, beating with her wings and making a noise, as if to call her companions around her. Three or four bees, or frequently many more, go to her, and begin to lighten her load, each taking small pieces in their mouths, and carrying them away.
Whatever is collected more than wanted for present use for food, they put into cells.
In the spring of the year, when the bees first begin their work, scarcely a single labourer will be seen returning to the hive without these balls of pollen in its baskets. The balls are always of the same colour as the anther-dust of the flowers from which it is collected, most commonly the various shades of yellow, pale greenish yellow, or deep orange. As the bee visits but one species of flower on each journey from the hive, the different kinds of pollen are never mixed, but the balls are of one colour.
There is a gummy substance, called propolis, of which the bees make much use: it is of a reddish-brown colour; it is soft, will pull out in a long thread, and has a fragrant smell. The bees obtain it from various trees, and carry it home in their baskets. The leaf-buds of the poplar, the pine, the birch, and the alder all yield a gluey gum-like juice of this description. The propolis is used by the bees to stop up every crack and crevice in the hive, through which cold, or wet, or any enemy might enter; and also to varnish the cell-work of their combs.
The bees do not confine themselves, in their excursions, to the gardens and fields immediately around the hive; but, if attracted by the