« AnteriorContinuar »
SPRING, that she turned to smile upon her favourite tree, and so warm and radiant was that smile, that seemed to penetrate the earth, and to clear and brighten the atmosphere for miles around : so that the bees came forth from their hives, and hollow trees, and holes in the sandy banks, and the early butterflies began to flirt about, and
“The little flies did crawl,
Along the southern wall,
Wings scarce strong enough for lifting;" and every where the birds and the blossoms unfolded them. selves, and the leaves grew, and the blades of grass sprung up thicker and thicker, and who can tell what a countless multitude of primroses came out clustering by the roots of the hazel trees, as she peeped through the copse where the nightingales sung so sweetly, and so loudly, that the child thought he was listening to the voices of angels, and was quite astonished, when his guide, having led him cautiously into the thickest part of the copse, pointed out a little sober-coloured bird, which just showed itself, and then flew away to a more secure covert, as one of those from whose tiny throats the delightful melody proceeded. “Judge not,” said SPRING, turning and looking earnestly and benignly on her young companion :
“Judge not, as on through life you go,
And that in richest colours drest,
As the last words died upon the listening air, the child observed with surprise, that a change came over the speaker's countenance; the sweet smile, which had hitherto played about her rosy lips, and shone in her soft blue eyes, gradually died away, as the sunshine fades from the landscape when the shadows of evening steal on. “ Listen!” she exclaimed, placing herself in an attitude of earnest atten. tion, “ Listen !” and the colour continued to fade from her cheeks, and as she spoke, her voice grew faint and mournful, and the apple and other fruit blossoms, which she wore sprinkled amid her golden hair, dropped one by one to the earth, or were taken, and carried gently off by the wind, which had hitherto been fresh and bracing, but now seemed gradually sinking and dying away; while a sultry air, laden with richer scents, and filled with a sound as of myriads of buzzing and humming insects, seemed to take its place; and it weighed down the eyelids, and pressed upon the senses of the child, so that all things became dim and indistinct, and he sank down, overcome by the feeling of languor which pervaded his whole frame, and wrapped his faculties in a deep sleep. Before this occurred, however, he could note that the green robe of SPRING, all pearled with dew-drops, and glistening with moisture, was assuming a deeper tint, while golden buttercups began to be intermingled with the
daisies which were before, as it were, embroidered all over it; and the child could hear, too, these words, uttered in a voice which grew fainter and fainter, till it died away, like a mere echo :-“ Listen ! instead of the bleating of lambs, I hear the ringing of scythes in the far-off meadows; the perfume of the honeysuckle and the woodbine are floating around me, and I know by the frequent call of the pheasant, that my sister Summer is near at hand; now I feel her hot breath; now I resign my charge to her care. Farewell— Farewell !”
Chapters on Manufartures.
SUGAR. ose QOW many of my little friends are there who do
not like sugar? not many, I feel assured. I
& have, therefore, chosen this article to comSooses mence a series of little lessons on Arts and
Manufactures. Sugar is extracted from a plant called the sugar-cane, which is principally cultivated in the West India Islands ; although it has been seen in Africa, Japan, and the South Sea Islands.
As you will see by the sketch, it generally resembles weeds which grow on the edges of the lakes, except that the skin of the sugar-cane is soft and very juicy. It is topped by a bunch of leaves or blades, sharply notched at the edges, like a saw. The joints of the cane are generally from one to three inches in length, and about an inch in diameter; they shoot up sometimes as high as seven feet. This plant is in full blossom in November, and a field of them is a beautiful sight. When ripe, their colour is of a bright yellow, and in parts streaked with red when exposed to the sun. The top is at first dark-green, but afterwards becomes a brownish yellow. From the centre of the leaves shoot up an arrow like a wand, from two to six feet in height, producing from its summet a plume of delicate white feathers, which are fringed with yellow. When the cane is ripe it is cut down, the leaves are thrown aside as of no use in the manfacture of sugar, and the stems or canes are divided into small pieces; these are tied in bundles, and bruised in the sugar-mill between upright wooden-rollers covered with iron. A large vessel is formed for the purpose of receiving the juice thus extracted, into which it flows through canals. Upwards of 10,000 gallons of juice in a day are prepared by some mills in the West Indies. The
THE SUGAR CANE. next operation is clarifying. In order to do this, the juice is conducted along a wooden gutter, lined with lead, to a place called the boiling-house, when it is received into cop. per-pans, each placed on a slow fire. A quantity of pow. dered lime is then added to it, in order to remove any acid which the juice may happen to contain.