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skin ; the dwarf palm, the most northern in growth of all the tribe; and the long-leafed palm, whose leaves, when fully grown, are so long as to need support; and this they obtain, for at the end of each leaf is a strong hook which takes hold of the branches of other trees, and thus gains aid in upholding its own weight.

Strange as it may seem to a careless observer, a large class of canes belongs to the tribe. These are the rattans, or calamus palms. They grow in a long, rope-like, elegant manner, and entwine round the trunks of smaller trees, hanging in festoons from bough to bough. To enable them to do this, they are furnished with strong hooks, which take a firm hold of every object near them. These plants are the more graceful from their lovely foliage. Sometimes they bind together, like so many strong cables, a whole forest, and make it impassable to man. A single stem has been known to reach to the extent of 1800 feet, or one-third of a mile in length. One kind is used for the bottom of chairs and to thatch the roofs of houses; others are of value for various purposes.

Another specimen at Kew, allied to the palms, which claims our notice, is the double cocoa-nut tree. This tree grows in a group of islands called the Seychelles, near the coast of Africa. Many years before these islands were discovered, double cocoa nuts were carried by the current of the ocean to the shores of other lands; and, as no tree was then known that bore such strange fruit, it was believed that they grew at the bottom of the sea.

The largest leaves, including the stalk, are about thirty

feet long, and ten or twelve feet broad. When the wind is strong, these mighty leaves clash together with a noise that may be heard at a great distance. We may imagine the alarm of a lonely traveller, when he hears at midnight a whole forest of these trees striking their thousands of thirty-feet leaves with the greatest violence. The tree produces only one leaf each year, and in most cases only a single flower appears at a time. This is another of the trees which are of the highest value to the people on whose lands they thrive. Food, oil, medicine, bowls, pots, posts, thatch for houses, hats, bonnets, and numerous other things are obtained from its different parts. The leaves are so firmly attached to the trunk, and are so strong in themselves, that a man may be seated at the end of one of them and rock to and fro in perfect safety.

Our attention must now be given to two or three remarkable productions in the Palm House. Here is the calathea zebrina, or zebra plant, which appears to grow out of a large earthen pot in separate stems. Its large, broad, oval leaves are very curious. It may be well called zebra, for the stripes on the leaves remind us of the skin of that animal. They are of various shades of green, and look as smooth as velvet. The plant produces clusters of purple flowers, but they are mostly hidden by the foliage.

Not far from this plant is the Strelitzia regina, from the Cape of Good Hope. The “Strelitz queen

” is so called in honour of the queen of king George the Third, who was a princess of Mecklenburg Strelitz, in Germany, and who

took a lively interest in these gardens when they were much smaller than they are now. This plant grows up in bunches in a similar manner to flags, separating into stems with a leaf at the end. The flower is of a brilliant amber or dark orange colour. The Strelitzia augusta, however, is a finer-looking plant, and has brilliant coloured petals. Its leaf certainly makes a fine appearance, and for size there is none like it in the Palm House.

A plant called the heliconia augustifolia is from the Brazils, in South America. It throws up a number of stems, which bear long leaves, and red and white flowers of a beautiful kind. We must also just look at the sagittaria longi. folia, the “long-leafed archer,” from the West 'Indies. It has a dark green, velvet-looking, arrow-headed shaped leaf, which has suggested its name. In hot countries it is a water plant, and is remarkable for the beauty of its flowers. One species of this plant grows in eastern Europe, and its fruit is eaten by the Calmuc Tartars.

The papaw tree, brought from South America, is an interesting object. It is said that a seed, when planted, will produce in three years a tree, whose trunk is twenty feet high, with its upper part laden with ripe fruit. It is for the sake of this fruit the tree is cultivated ; if gathered before it is ripe, it is soaked in water, boiled, and then eaten as turnips, or baked as apples; the juice of the ripe pulp is a powerful medicine ; and the negroes employ the leaves in washing their linen instead of soap. But the most singular use of the papaw tree is to make tough meat tender. In Jamaica, the

milky juice of the tree is cast into water, in which meat is steeped, for a few minutes ; when it is said to be so soft as to drop in pieces while roasting. Hogg and old poultry are fed on the fruit, for the purpose of making their flesh soft and agreeable.

In taking our leave of the palms and other trees we have been surveying, let us not forget the benefits we derive from them. The palms have been well said to “combine the highest possible beauty with the utmost imaginable utility.” And, while they promote the comfort of many, let us not forget to thank our gracious God, who has given us all things richly to enjoy, and whose wisdom, goodness, and power may be seen in every plant that adorns the earth.

THE SETTING SUN. It is a quiet sabbath evening, and the sun is slowly sinking in the western sky, and casting his parting rays upon many a cottage casement, and through the lofty windows of ancient halls, and over the sloping meadows, and along banks where the wild flowers grow. Did you ever think of the different scenes that are lighted up with the glow of a summer sunset ! Did you ever try to look beyond the little world ot your own home, and to picture to yourself what may be passing in other houses : how the day may be closing to some with joy and glad. ness; while others may be watching, with tearful eyes and aching hearts, the setting sun which has brought neither comfort nor hope to them ? Such thoughts are good for us sometimes ;

and the more so if they cause us to feel thankful for our own mercies, and pity for the sorrows of others. We shall find a blessing in our own souls, when we try to “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and to weep with them that weep."


The setting sun looks into a poor, and as it seems a comfortless, dwelling at the corner of the village street. It is a poor abode, but not comfortless, for joy and peace are found under that humble roof. Just where the cheerfull sunbeam falls on the sanded floor sits old

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