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all we are little worse off than the fishes, who bathe their eyes every moment.

9. Behind this ever clean window, and at some distance from it, hangs that beautiful circular curtain which forms the colored part of the eye, and in the center of which is the pupil. It is named the iris, which is only another name for rainbow; for though we speak of eyes as simply blue, or gray, or black, because they have one prevailing tint, we can not fail to notice that the ring of the eye is always mottled, and flecked or streaked with colors as the rainbow is.

10. This rainbow curtain, or iris, answers the same purpose that a Venetian blind does. Like it, it can be opened and closed at intervals, and it is never closed altogether; but it is a far more wonderful piece of work than a Venetian blind, and it opens and closes in a different way. The iris opens widest in utter darkness, and closes so as to make the pupil a mere black point when sunshine falls upon it.

11. If we wish to observe this in our own eyes, we need only close them for a little while before a lookingglass, so that the dropped eyelids may shut out the day, when, like shy night birds, the living circles will stretch outwards; and the pupil of the eye, like a hole which the sun is melting in the ice, will quickly widen into a deep, clear pool. If now we open our eyes, we see the rainbow rings contract as the light falls upon them, and the dark pupil rapidly narrow

12. But probably all have seen the movement I am


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describing in the eyes of a cat, where the change is more visible than in our own eyes; and have noticed the broad iris spread out in twilight, till the look is softened into a mild glance; whilst when pussy is basking in the sun, as she dearly loves to do, she shows between her frequent winkings only a narrow slit for a pupil, like the chink of a shutter.

13. The endless motions of this living curtain, which, like the restless sea, is ever changing its aspect, have for their object the regulation of the flow of light into the eye. When the permitted number of rays have passed through the guarded entrance or pupil, they traverse certain crystal-like structures, which are now to be described.

14. Behind the iris is a lens or magnifying glass. We are most familiar with this portion of the eye as it occurs in fishes, looking in the recently-caught creature like a small ball of glass, and changing into what resembles a ball of chalk when the fish is boiled. This lens is enclosed in a transparent covering, which is so united at its edges to the walls of the eye, that it stretches like a piece of crystal between them; and in front of it, filling the space dividing the lens from the watchglass-like window, is a clear transparent liquid like water, in which the iris floats.

15. The lens is set like the jewel stone of a ring, in what looks like a larger sphere of crystal, but which in reality is a clear liquid contained in an equally clear membrane: so that the greater part of the eye is


occupied with liquid; and the chamber, after all, which it most resembles, is that of a diving bell full of water.

16. Lastly, all the back part of the eye has, spread over its inside surface, a fine white membrane resembling cambric or tissue paper, and behind that a dark curtain; so that it resembles a room with black cloth hung next the wall, and a white muslin curtain spread over the cloth. This curtain, seen alone, is like a flower cup, such as that of a white lily, and ends like it in a stem, which is called the optic nerve; the stem in its turn, after passing through the black curtain, is planted in the brain, and is in living connection with it.

17. Altogether, then, our eye is a chamber shaped like a globe, having one large window provided with shutters outside, and with a self-adjusting blind within. It is filled with a glassy liquid, and has two wall papers or curtains, one white and the other black.


LANGUAGE STUDY. 1. Write the analysis of: expression (premere); construction (struere); include (cludere); transparent (parere); project (jacere); object (jacere); contract (trahere).

Select adjectives formed by adding to nouns less; y.

II. In paragraph 14 are a simple, a complex, and a compound sentence: select each. Change the mode of expression by using the passive instead of the active voice: “A careful shopkeeper cleans his windows every morning.”

III. To what class of composition does this piece belong? (See Definition 17.) In paragraph 3 notice instances of minute and vivid description. Tell what you can about the appropriateness of the describing words used in connection with the various "eyes.” “The eyes of Aies are hard horny lanterns : " what is the figure? (See Definition 3.) Point out similes (see Definition 2) in paragraphs 9, 11, and 15.

24.- The Imaginary Banquet.

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ăe-çess', admittance.

ex-alt'ed, lofty, sublime. ad-drėss', skill, adroitness. in-hāle', breathe in. ap-pre-çi-ä'tion, well-founded märk, appearance. liking.

re-gāled', refreshed. . búm'per, a brimful glass. vī'andş, rich and dainty food.


This amusing story is from the “ Arabian Nights." A Barmacide was one of the princes of the Barmac family, which flourished at Bagdad just before Haroun al-Raschid. The story has given rise to the use of the word Barmacide as an adjective, meaning imaginary, or pretended.

1. It is related that one Shacabac was reduced, by reverse of fortune, to the necessity of begging his bread. In this occupation he acquitted himself with great address; his chief aim being to procure admission, by bribing the officers and domestics, into the houses of the great, and, by having access to their persons, to excite their compassion.

2. By this means he one day gained admission to a magnificent building, in which, luxuriously reclining on a sofa, in a room richly furnished, he found the master, a Barmacide, who, in the most obliging manner, thus addressed him:

“Welcome to my house. What dost thou wish, my friend?"

SHACABAC. “I am in great want. I suffer from hunger, and have nothing to eat.”


3. The Barmacide was much astonished at this an

“ “What!” he cried. “What! Nothing to eat! Am I in the city, and thou in it hungry? It is a thing I can not endure. Thou shalt be happy as heart can wish. Thou must stay and partake of my salt. Whatever I have is thine.

SHAC. “O my master! I have not patience to wait, for I am in a state of extreme hunger. I have eaten nothing this day.”

BARMACIDE. “What! is it true that even at this late hour thou hast not broken thy fast? Alas! poor man, he will die with hunger. — Halloo, there, boy! bring us instantly a basin of water, that we may wash our hands."

4. Although no boy appeared, and Shacabac observed neither basin nor water, the Barmacide nevertheless began to rub his hands, as if some one held the water for him; and while he was doing this he urged Shacabac to do the same. Shacabac by this supposed that the Barmacide was fond of fun; and, as he liked a jest himself, he approached, and pretended to wash his hands, and afterwards to wipe them with a napkin held by the attendant.

BARM. “Now bring us something to eat, and take care not to keep us waiting. Set the table here. Now lay the dishes on it. — Come, friend, sit down at the table here. Eat, and be not ashamed; for thou art hungry, and I know how thou art suffering from the violence of thy hunger.'

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