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gigas, whose helmet-shaped leaves, when fully grown, are worn by the children of the Indians as hats.
The humble or sensitive plant must not be overlooked by us. It is a native of tropical climates, and flourishes in moist land. Its leaves are divided into leaflets. If the small. est of these leaflets be touched, the effect is soon seen over the whole plant. The first two opposite leaflets begin to close, then two more in regular order, until the whole are folded up. The impulse is then conveyed to the leaf-stalk, and next to the stem, until the whole plant is closed. It is supposed that the sensitive property resides in the juice contained in two little swellings or knots found at the joint of each leaf. The way in which this sensitive property is generally shown is by cutting off a tip of one of the leaflets ; but bringing the sun's rays upon it through a burning-glass, or even a knock on the ground at a short distance from the plant, is sufficient to produce the influence on the leaves. The scientific name of the hum. ble plant is mimosa sensitiva, to which a poet thus alludes :
“Weak with nice sense the chaste Mimosa stands,
And hails with freshen'd charms the rising light." There are other plants which have curious movements; as the stylidium, from New Holland, which has a tall column rising from the centre of the flower, and usually hangs over on one side ; but if it be touched ever so lightly it starts up with a jerk, and rapidly swings over on the opposite side, as though offended at the liberty taken with it.
The papyrus, a kind of tall rush from Egypt, claims notice on several accounts. Of it the ark of Moses is believed to have been formed ; and probably among it, as it grew on the banks of the Nile, he was laid. Its white pith was cut into thin slices and made into books--hence we have obtained the name paper for our writing material, though the nature of the thing is quite different. The people of Egypt used to chew it for the pleasant juice it contained, and its stalks were eaten as a table vegetable. The stems also afforded material for cables, while the leaves were employed, as they are still, for making canoes or small boats. The plant grows to the height of fifteen or eighteen feet, and its fibrous top has the appearance of a negro's head with the hair standing on end.
We will now walk into the fresh air, gaze on the flower beds, run over the sloping grass lawn, and then return to our home.
WHO IS THE COWARD? I was sitting (says an American gentleman) in the second story of one of the large boarding-houses at Saratoga Springs, thinking of absent friends, when I heard shouts of children from beneath me.
“Oh yes, that's capital! so we will! Come on now! there is William Hale! Come on,
William ; we are going to have a ride on the road. Come with us !"
“Yes, if my mother is willing. I will run and ask her,” replied William.
“Oh, oh! so you must run and ask your ma!
Great baby, run along and ask your ma ! Are you not ashamed? I didn't ask my mother, -"nor I,"_"nor I,” added half-a-dozen voices.
“Be a man, William," cried the first voice. “ Cone along with us, if you don't want to be called a coward as long as you live. Don't you see we're all waiting !"
I leaned forward to catch a view of the children, and saw William standing with one foot advanced, and his hand firmly clenched, in the midst of the group. He was a fine subject for a painter at that moment. His flushed brow, flashing eye, compressed lip, and changing cheek, all told how that word coward was rankling in his breast. " Will he prove himself indeed one, by yielding to them ?” thought I. It was with breathless interest I listened for his answer, for I feared that the evil principle in his heart would be stronger than the good. But no.
“I will not go without I ask my mother!”. said the noble boy, his voice trembling with emotion; "and I am no coward either. I promised her I would not go from the house withont permission; and I should be a base coward if I were to tell her a wicked lie.”
There was something commanding in his resolute tone. It was the power of a strong soul over the weak; and all at once quietly yielded him the tribute of respect.
FAMILY PRAYERS. "I WONDER why we have prayers every morning," said a little boy aloud to himself. His mother heard him, and sitting down she said, “Come here, George.” Little George ran to his mother, who taking him on her lap and putting her hand inside his jacket, so that she could feel his heart, exclaimed, Why, this little heart is now beating, just as it was beating last night, and as it has been beating for more than
Who kept the little heart beating
all night! George did not stay awake to do it, for when I looked at him before I went to bed he was sound asleep, and he did not wake till morning; and yet it has kept on beating all night. If it had lost one beat, little George would have died, and we should have had to put him in the cold ground, as they did little Arthur Green a few days ago." "I know who keeps my heart beating, mamma," said George ; “ it is God.” “Oh, it is God, is it?” replied his mother; "then will it not be worth while for us to kneel down for a few moments, and thank him for keeping our hearts beating all night; will it not, George P” George made no
“ And then, while we are busy with our work, and play, and studies, who is to keep our hearts in motion, and the blood running in our veins all day, George P" “God," answered the little boy “ Yes; no one but God can do this,” said his mother. “ Should we not, then, ask him to take care of us through the day p" George hung his head, and answered, “ Yes, mamma."
“ Then there are a thousand common blessings,” said his mother, 80 common that we forget that they are blessings, such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the clothes we wear. All these come to us from the hand of God; for though you may think that we provide some of these things for ourselves, yet without God our blessings would not continue a moment. The other day I passed a house, but it was such a sad looking place, I did not suppose it possible that any one could live there. The door was standing half