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(3) Vergil: a famous Roman poet, who flourished in the first century of the Christian era; author of the Æneid.—(9) Peggy Mel (Latin mel, honey): a fanciful proper name assigned by the author to this particular bee.
1. If you would know the delights of bee hunting, and how many sweets such a trip yields beside honey, come with me some bright, warm, late September or early October day.
2. Armed with a compass, a hatchet, a pail, and a box with a piece of comb-honey neatly fitted into it, we sally forth. After a refreshing walk of a couple of miles we reach a point where we will make our first trial - a high stone wall that runs parallel with a wooded ridge, and separated from it by a broad field.
3. There are bees at work there on that golden-rod, and it requires but little maneuvering to sweep one into our box. The bee is alarmed for a moment; but the bee has a passion stronger than its love of life or fear of death, namely, desire for honey, not simply to eat, but to carry home as booty. “Such rage of honey in their bosoms beats,” says Vergil. It is quick to catch the scent of honey in the box, and as quick to fall to filling itself.
4. We now set the box down upon the wall, and gently remove the cover. The bee is head and shoul
. ders in one of the half-filled cells, and is oblivious to everything else about it. Come rack, come ruin, it will die at work. We step back a few paces, and sit down upon the ground so as to bring the box against the blue sky as a background.
5. In two or three minutes the bee is seen rising slowly and heavily from the box. It seems loath to leave so much honey behind, and it marks the place well. It mounts aloft in a rapidly increasing spiral, surveying the near and minute objects first, then the larger and more distant, till having circled above the spot five or six times, and taken all its bearings, it darts away for home. It is a good eye that holds fast to the bee till it is fairly off. Sometimes one's head swims following it, and often one's eyes are “put out” by the sun.
6. This bee gradually drifts down the hill, then strikes off towards a farmhouse half a mile away where bees are kept. Then we try another, and another; and the third bee, to our delight, goes straight toward the woods. We can see the brown speck against the darker background for many yards.
7. Our bees are all soon back; and more with them, for we have touched the box here and there with the cork of a bottle of anise, and this fragrant and pungent oil will attract bees half a mile or more. When no flowers can be found, this is the quickest way to obtain a bee.
8. A bee will usually make three or four trips from the hunter's box before it brings back a companion. I suspect the bee does not tell its fellows what it has found, but that they smell out the secret: it doubtless bears some evidence with it upon its feet or proboscis that it has been upon honeycomb and not upon flowers, and its companions take the hint and follow.
9. No doubt there are plenty of gossips about a hive that note and tell everything. “0, did you see that? Peggy Mel came in, a few moments ago, in great haste; and one of the upstairs packers says she was loaded down with apple-blossom honey, which she deposited, and then rushed off again like mad. Apple-blossom honey in October! Fee, fi, fo, fum! Let's after ! ”
10. In about half an hour we have three well defined lines of bees established, - two to farmhouses and one to the woods, -and our box is being rapidly depleted of its honey. About every fourth bee goes to the woods, which are rough and dense; and we do not like to follow the line of bees until we have settled the problem as to the distance they go into the woods, — whether the tree is on this side of the ridge, or in the depth of the forest on the other side. So we shut up the box when it is full of bees, and carry it about three hundred yards along the wall.
11. It is not many minutes before a second line to the woods is established. This is called cross-lining the bees. The new line makes a sharp angle with the other line, and we know at once that the tree is only a few rods into the woods. The two lines we have established form two sides of a triangle, of which the wall is the base; at the apex of the triangle, or where the two lines meet in the woods, we are sure to find the tree. We quickly follow up these lines, and where they cross each other on the side of the hill we scan every tree closely.
12. But not a bee is seen or heard; we do not seem as near the tree as we were in the fields; yet, if some divinity would only whisper the fact to us, we are within a few rods of the coveted prize, which is not in one of the large hemlocks or oaks that absorb our attention, but in an old stump not six feet high, and which we have seen and passed several times without giving it a thought.
13. After much searching, and after the mystery seems rather to deepen than to clear up, we chance to pause beside this old stump. A bee comes out of a small opening like that made by ants in decayed wood, rubs its eyes and examines its antennæ, as bees always do before leaving their hive, then takes flight. At the same instant several bees come by us loaded with our honey, and settle home with that peculiar low complacent buzz of the well-filled insect.
14. Here, then, is our treasure, in the decayed stump of a hemlock tree. We could' tear it open with our hands, and a bear would find it an easy prize; and a rich one too, for we take from it fifty pounds of excellent honey.
I. Write the analysis of: distant (stare); distance (stare); instant (stare); objects (jacere); insect (secare); evidence (videre).
II. Write the principal parts of the following verbs : refresh, maneuver, fall, remove, increase, establish, tell, hold.
Write the comparative and superlative degrees of the following adjectives : late, strong, few, minute, easy.
W. Is the first sentence a period, or a loose sentence? Select a period in paragraph 2.
17.- The Moon-Maiden.
ăp-pa-rition, vision, appearance. ( lăpsed, broke, glided.
This pleasing piece of fancy is a translation of a Japanese legend.
(1) Sų-ry'ga, province in Japan. — (4) Fụ'sï mountain, or Fusiyama, a volcanic mountain in Japan, held as sacred by the Japanese, in whose art it figures largely. — (4) Mi-kä'do, the emperor of Japan.
1. Pearly and lustrous white, like a cloud in the faroff blue sky, seemed the floating figure of the moon