Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Group Title: Tales worth telling, or, A traveller's adventures by sea and land : told to his young listeners, Frederic and Lucy
Title: Tales worth telling, or, A traveller's adventures by sea and land
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001938/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tales worth telling, or, A traveller's adventures by sea and land told to his young listeners, Frederic and Lucy ; illustrated with one hundred and thirty-three engravings
Alternate Title: Traveller's adventures by sea and land
Frederic and Lucy, or, Food for young minds
Physical Description: 264 p., <2> leaves of plates : ill., map ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Munroe & Francis ( Publisher )
C.S. Francis & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Munroe and Francis
C.S. Francis & Co.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1852
Subject: Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages around the world -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Vesuvius (Italy)   ( lcsh )
Travelogue storybooks -- 1852   ( local )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Travelogue storybooks   ( local )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- New York -- New York
General Note: Added engraved t.p.
General Note: Map on p. 46: Mount Vesuvius and surrounding area.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001938
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238307
oclc - 45891452
notis - ALH8804
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
        Front page 2
        Front page 3
        Front page 4
        Front page 5
    Half Title
        Front page 6
        Front page 7
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page 7
        Page 8
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    Back Cover
        Page 266
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Full Text

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Illustrated with one hundred and thirty-three engravings.



IT is the humble purpose of this little work
to convey to the rising generation a small col-
lection of facts more wonderful than fiction."
These compositions are a condensed series of
truths in travel, related in evening fireside con-
versation, connected by no chain but the que-
ries of children and a mother's replies. They
were thus related because the purchase of many
books was inconvenient, and because, if prac-
ticable, their formidable exhibition would have
frightened a fastidious little auditory; thus de-
feating the object in view. They were
briefly rehearsed in colloquial familiar speech,
as an incitement to juvenile curiosity, leaving
future gratification and filling up of the picture
to time and opportunity. The Editor's children
were anxious for information and entertain-
ment, and she endeavored to satisfy their wish-
es in a manner agreeable to themselves, but
not in a totally frivolous mode. She tried to
simplify anS suit to their capacities a few in-
teresting topics, brought to light by recent trav-
ellers or skilful and enterprising men, with a

modicum of amusing or playful recital. To a
numerous young family these brief chroni-
cles" appeared to afford pleasure and profit,
and perhaps at least created a relish for future
reading and proficiency, one of tle objects
dearest to a mother's heart.
In the hope that what was beneficial to a
solitary coterie of youthful inquisitors might be
of similar use in families similarly situated, and
at the kind solicitation of many esteemed
friends, she presents this little work to the pub-
lic, as an introduction or pioneer to more ex-
tensive observation and perusal of the records
of useful knowledge.
Boston, 1852.

Among the many answers to the children's questions are replies on the fol-
lowing subjects :

Arab and his Goat 41
Ancient Juvenile Games 74
African Moors 106
Arabian Camel and the Lover 164
American Prairie Bee Hunt 188
African Lion 102
American Fruits 20
African Sociable Bird 114
Anecdotes-Bengal sharks,&c. 233
Art of Printing 73
Banian tree and the Poet 248
Birds' Nests 50
Bees and Honey 184
Boston Tea Party 16
Black Hole of Calcutta 180
Bamboo Tree 178
Carpenter Spider 60
Cacao, or Chocolate-tree 135
Caravan entering Mecca 145
Catching Wild Ducks 241
Calcutta and the Ganges 168
Cormorant Fishers 241
Cinnamon Tree 245
Chinese Pagoda and Teapickers 14
Cocoa Nut tree 37
Duck Trap 24t
Date-tree of Arabia, Anecdotes 109
Eddystone Lighthouse 95
Elements-Fire, Air, &c. 233
Eve's Apple tree 254
Great Deserts of Arabia 130
Geese and the Gallic army 161
Hero's Ancient Toys 74
Happy Family 7
Hindoo Statues 77
Humming Birds 122
Indigo Plant 208
Inventions-James Watt 82
Inquisitive Boy and the Lady 68

Killing of Birds in sport 63
Looking-glass Tiger Trap 295
Lark's Nest 22
Lion Hunt I C
Mount Vesuvius 46
Monkey Tea-gatherers 19
Minot's Ledge Lighthouse 97
Mason Bee, Tapestry Bee,&c. 199
Mount Etna 31
Noss of Brassah 91
Nutmeg Tree 249
Native Combat with a shark 258
Orange tree 917
Orkney Island Bird Catching 94
Palm-tree Date 133
Pompeii and Herculaneum 47
Pensile Grosbeak I11
Pearl Fisheries of Ceylon 296
Rail-road to the Red Sea 147
Royal Bengal Tiger 909
Snake Charmers 168
Spider's Web 52
Shark Combat 958
St. Kilda Precipices 90
Summer Visit 150
Sugar Cane and Maple 900
Tempests of the Ocean 99
Tea Plant 8
Tree Tiger Hunting 2
Talipot tree 242
Tailor Bird 121
Visit to the Mill, Miller, &c. 152
Wild Duck Catching 941
Watt's Engine 86
Walter Scott and Mr. Watt 89
White Ants 112
Windmill 157
Wild Elephants 916
Wax Tree 193





MR. and Mrs. Johnson had three children, Fred-
eric, Lucy, and William. Frederic and Lucy could
read tolerably well when assisted by their kind pa-
rents. William was a very little fellow, and could
only read little words ; but he liked much to listen,
when his father and mother were explaining to his
brother and sister what they could not understand, in
the books they read, or the plants they saw. He took
much pains to learn, and used every day to say he
hoped soon to be able to read such great books as his
father and mother read, that he might know as many
useful and pleasant stories as they did.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had great pleasure in im-
parting to their children such information as was suit-
ed to their years ; because Frederic and Lucy took
great care to remember what they were told; and,
when they saw any lions, tigers, or other uncommon


animals, or any curious plants, would endeavor to rec-
ollect all they had been told about them.


One morning, when Mrs. Johnson was going to
make tea for breakfast, she accidentally let the tea-
canister slip from her hand, and a great quantity of
tea was scattered upon the table-cloth. All the chil-
dren were standing round the table, breakfasting on
bread and milk ; they eagerly offered to assist in
gathering up the scattered tea, and returning it to
the tea-canister ;-while so doing, Lucy observed
how very different tea in the canister appeared from
the leaves which were spread out by the hot water
in the tea-pot; and she requested that her mother
would be so good as to inform her how the tea was
made to look so dry;-' for I think, mother,' said she,
'you have told me that tea comes from a shrub; and,
if it is the leaves of a shrub, how is it made to look
so dry and twisted ?'
SI will tell you, my dear,' replied her mother: the
leaves of the tea-shrub are, when first gathered, (that I
is, picked off the shrub,) moistened by the vapor of
boiling water, then put into large flat iron pans, and
heated over a fire, until they become quite hot : they
are then thrown out upon clean mats; and people,
who stand ready for the purpose, roll the hot leaves


between the palms of their hands, until they become
quite dry and curled, as you see them.'
Mother,' said Frederic, does the tea-shrub grow
in our country ? I never saw one in our garden.'
No, my dear, tea does notgrow here : it grows
in China and Japan, countries very distant from ours,
and it is brought to us in ships. The gathering of
tea leaves forms a great part of the employment of
the poor people of those countries ; for the leaves
are taken from the shrubs four times in the year; and
these leaves must not be hastily pulled from the tree,,
but plucked off one by one, with much care. Chil-
dren learn to do this; and, had you been born in
China or Japan, instead of the United States, you,,
probably, would have been little tea-pickers.'
The children smiled at this idea, and little Williamim
asked what kind of a leaf a tea-leaf was.
'When the leaves are allowed to grow a long
ime, William, they very much resemble the leaves.
f a cherry-tree, and are called black or bohea tea;;
ut when they are pulled young, you can see their-
hape by a whole leaf taken from the tea-pot, which,
s called old hyson, one of the kinds of green tea, al-
h ough hyson-skin is also called black or bohea, be--
f ng the broken or poorer part of the hyson.'
I 'Is a tea-leaf like a cherry-leaf ? asked Willirm.
The tea-plant is an evergreen shrub, and grows
a height varying between three and six feet,,and
is 2


the flower, a drawing of which I will show you, is
shaped like the wild rose in our pasture.'

c The seeds are sown in holes drilled in the ground
at equal distances in regular rows. Whilst growing,
the plants are regularly watered. Among other sto-
ries relative to the tea-tree it is asserted that some of
the finest specimens grow wild on the precipitous
sides of rocky mountains, where it is too difficult for
human beings to gather them ; and that the Chinese,
in order to gather the tea, pelt a race of monkeys,
which inhabit these mountains, with stones, provo-
kingthem to return the compliment with a shower
of -tea;branches. China is a great and populous


empire, and the choicest tea grows in particular
provinces, and in some of these spots the emperor




and nobility cultivate favorite species at great ex-
pense, care, and cleanliness, for their own use. Hence
the names Imperial, Gunpowder, Ningyong, &c. In
some places tame monkeys are trained to climb the
heights, and strip the leaves from the bushes. The
leaves then either roll down the rocks, or the wind
blows them down, and the owners gather the tea,
and reward the monkeys with something of which
they are fond, and treat them with kindness for
their labor, fatigue, and mischances. This is one
way in which mankind turn the instinct and indus-
try of animals to their own advantage. The mon-
keys sometimes climb the rocks by means of ropes,
fastened at the summit of precipices, and sometimes
mount these without such secure footing, in which
last case, notwithstanding their activity, they once
in a while meet with an accidental tumble, as in the
monkey picture at the head of page 17.'
'Mother,' said William, are the hills so steep in
such an old country as China ?'
Hills are sometimes levelled, my dear, but rocky
precipices and mountains usually endure forever.'
Mr. Ellis, an English traveller, says, Our walk
lay through a valley, where we saw, for the first
time, a tea-plant. It is a beautiful shrub, resembling
a myrtle, with a yellow flower extremely fragrant;
we also saw the ginger in small patches, covered
with a frame-work to protect it from the birds. The
view from the top of the mountain repaid the labor


of our ascent. The scene was in the true mountain
style, rock above rock in endless and sublime variety.
This wildness was beautifully contrasted by the cul-
tivation of the valleys, speckled with white cottages.'
But, mother, is every leaf of tea in all the chests
at the tea-store,-marked all over with hieroglyphics,
or what we children call pot-hooks and trammels,
-are all these millions of millions of leaves rolled
in the hand, to make them curl, as Lucy. does her
hair in pieces of old newspaper, or crimp with a
pair of curling-tongs ?' said little William.



SSome kinds of tea are only exposed under a shed
to the sun's rays, and frequently turned. The pro-
cess in this picture is probably only used in green
teas. A drying-house, a section only of which is
given in the cut, will contain from ten to twenty fur-
naces, on the top of each of which is a flat-bottomed,
shallow iron pan ; there is also a long, low table,
covered with mats, on which the leaves are spread
and rolled. When the pans are rightly heated, a
few pounds of fresh and juicy leaves are spread on
them, and the operative or workman stirs them rap-


idly with his bare hands, until the heat is too hot
for the touch. At this moment he takes off the leaves
with a kind of shovel like a fan, and pours them on
the mats before other operatives, who, taking up a
few leaves, roll them in the palms of their hands in
one direction only, while other assistants with fans
rapidly cool the leaves by fanning them. This heat-
ing, each time more moderately, is sometimes repeat-
ed two or three times, till the moisture is evaporated.
It is afterwards sorted into several classes, packed in
chests with the name of the district, grower, and
inspector, and called, from a Chinese word, meaning
seal or measure, CHOPS.'
SMother, how far distant, is China said Lucy.
'Perhaps our ships have to sail 10,000 miles, in
a round-about way, to arrive at Canton in China.'
What a distance to send for breakfast, mother !'
But what is meant by the tea-act ?' said Frederic.
'Do tell us about this, mother.'
You are little Bostonians, and ought to know
what was done by your fathers and grandfathers.
England, you know, was the mother country of
the United States, and, when she undertook to en-
force 'taxation without representation,' the then col-
onies separated from Great-Britain. The tea-act,
stamp-act, and finally the Boston Port-bill, shut-
ting up the harbor, and stopping all navigation and
commerce, were the most obnoxious of these oppres-
sions, and, rather than receive tea and other articles



under such hard terms, they threw the tea overboard
at Griffin's (now called Russia-wharf,) got rid forever
of paying the tea and all other taxes, separated
from the mother country, fought our way to liberty
and freedom, and, under the administration of Wash-
ton, brought tea ourselves to Boston and other places.
Town-meetings and other peaceable measures had
been resorted to from the year 1769 to '73, and then
the inhabitants of Boston and vicinity held a town
meeting at Faneuil-hall, which was not large enough
to hold them, and they adjourned to the Old South
church, appointed Dr. Joseph Warren and seven oth-
ers to wait upon Gov. Gage at Milton, petitioning
him not to land three cargoes of tea. Upon his re-
fusal, sixty of the assembly, disguised as Indians,
marched from the church to Griffin's wharf, and made
tea for the fishes of half the water in the dock. Two
hundred and forty chests with one hundred half chests
were staved and emptied over the sides of the vessels
into the sea. The transaction was conducted with-
out noise or disturbance, and no injury was done to
any person or article except the tea, although these
ships were almost under the guns of the fort and near
the barracks of the English soldiery. The revolu-
tionary war and the battles of Lexington and Bunker
Hill soon followed, and independence was established.
Good, however, has come out of this consummation,
and both countries have been enriched, increased,
mutually benefited, and ennobled by the division.


I will now go on with my story, where I broke off.
Monkeys, as I told you before, in climbing, some-
times fall from the crumbling rocks.

'Tea was not introduced into England till 1710,
and, owing to its cost, not much used in America till
fifty years later. It is probably to this period that
we may refer the anecdote, if true, of the country
lidy, who receiving, as a present from a town ac-
quaintance, a small quantity of tea, in total igno-
rance of its real use, looked upon it as some outlan-
dish vegetable, boiled it till she thought it was ten-
der, and then, throwing away the water, endeavored
to eat the leaves.'
'But, mother,' said Lucy, I have seen you take



out a different kind of tea when you were going to
have company.'
Yes, my dear, that tea is finer-tasted, and more
expensive, than what I use daily, and is called gun-
powder. The younger the leaves, the finer or more
pleasant the tea; but then, you know, as there must
be a much smaller quantity of tea produced from se-
lected leaves not arrived at their full size, so this
tea is sold at a higher price. At seven years old, a
tea-shrub yields nothing but poor, hard, low-prized
leaves. Gunpowder and old hyson are the first and
best pickings, or 'first chop,' in Chinese terms. The
following picture is probably the method of gathering

bohea or black tea in pastures, and drying them un-
der sheds, as a cheap or less expensive kind, or chop.'
I once saw a China man in the street, mother,'
said Frederic, dressed strangely.'


The dress of the Chinese is almost as singu-
lar and curious as their productions, manners and
customs. The men wear a bell-looking hat without
rim, shaped nearly like a basin or dish-cover. Their
black hair is very long and braided, and hangs down
behind them, reaching more than half way to their
feet, and sometimes with an addition which looks
something like a whip-lash, ornamented with little
pieces of colored riband. They wear wooden shoes,
with the toes turned up, something like sleigh-run-
ners, long stockings, short pantaloons, sack coats, a

long robe with wide sleeves like a loose gown, a sort
of decorated apron, and flowing silk girdle; the
robe is sometimes of rich figured stuffaccording to the



caste or rank of the wearer; and the rich button
of coral, crystal, or gold, mounted in his funnel-shaped
hat, shows his rank, from the emperor and mandarins
down to the poor little fanner of tea-leaves, of the
lowest caste of Chinese supposed degradation.'
Do the ladies dress so strangely ?' asked Lucy.
Female fashions are sometimes very hurtful to
health in all nations. I will mention one Chinese
fashion which tortures or lames young females of the
higher castes, and is foolishly imitated by the mid-
dling classes, but it merely makes hobbling cripples of
them, and does not otherwise greatly injure them.
Some of the lowest classes, or castes, chiefly confined
to the mountains, or distant provinces, have not adop-
ted this unnatural fashion. You know, no doubt, that
I refer to a Chinese lady's shoe, which is formed of
silk and beautifully embroidered. The foot is confined


in infancy, except the great toe, and tortured in youth
into this stunted unnatural shape. You, Lucy, lately
saw a Chinese lady in Boston, wearing this little
shoe, but this fashion jeopardizes not the life of its
wearer, like our silly fashion of tight lacing. The
old English fashion of peaked-toed boots was carried
to such extravagant lengths that occasionally the
incommoded wearer tied the toe end of his boot above
his knee, and in battle cavaliers got rid of the nui-
sance by cutting off half a- yard of it.
We have no excuse for our fashions, and the
Chinese only a lame one for theirs. The fe-
males in China without small feet are held in con-
tempt, and employed only as servants. Even if two
sisters, otherwise equal in every respect of person or
mind, if the one has been thus maimed, and the other's
feet suffered to grow naturally, the latter sister is
considered unworthy to associate with the rest of the
family, a sort of banished Cinderella, who cannot put
on a little glass slipper, and therefore doomed to per-
petual obscurity, or the drudgery of the kitchen.'
'Do they live upon food like ours ?' said Frederic,
'and do the boys dress and play as we do ?'
'In many respects their modes and even their
sports are at antipodes, or directly contrary to ours.
For instance, the boys play shuttlecock with their
feet instead of their hands; and, what is more
strange, Frederic, they strike the bird or ball with
the sole of the foot; at which they are very expert.



Eif the pedlar, walking behind them, exhibits his
wares, consisting of toys, dolls, scaramouches, and
skipjacks, strung upon a long pole.
The wealthy sometimes treat their visitors with
hundreds of rich courses at a single dinner,eating from


-- ------ -------,r. ---

-- -- ---


diminutive plates and cups. The Hong merchant,
Mowqua, at Canton, lately invited an Englishman a-
mong his guests, and met him at the door along with
his son, a white knob upon his cap,betokening the fifth
rank of mandarins, and both their attires of the most
rich and splendid kinds. Young Mowqua wore, over
all his silk coats and vests, confined by a beautiful
sash, a cloak of the costliest furs, the badge of nobility.
Wealtiy nobles and merchants live in splendor. And
six long hours was the poor visitor kept eating,
drinking, and smoking.
But the Chinese people eat almost everything
that comes to hand. In the streets or squares, birds
are daily exposed for sale, which we have excluded
from our bills of fare, such as hawks, owls, eagles,
and storks; to us nothing would appear more laugh-
able than to see the Chinese arrive with a carrying-
pole supporting two bird-cages, which, instead of
birds, contain fat dogs and cats. The flesh of these
last, when of the best age and quality are admitted
upon tables of the nobles. Other Chinese marketers
bring upon their tall carrying-poles many dozens of
rats, nicely drawn and cleaned, suspended by means
of a cross-piece through the hind legs. These rows
of rats, tho' highly prized, are eaten only by the poor.
Mrs. Johnson now said she had letters to write, and
desired the children to go into the garden. They
obeyd her immediately.


WHEN Mrs. Johnson had finished writing, she
called her children to walk with her in the pastures.
They were very glad ; for they all delighted in see-
ing wild flowers ; and, when little William was not
of the party, (for he was too young to have long
walks without being tired,) Frederic and Lucy al-
ways brought him a nosegay of wild pinks or roses.
The morning was beautiful, the sun shone bright,
and the sprightly notes of the lark, as she ascended
high in the air, increased the lively gaiety of the
children. In the excess of their delight, they boun-
ded over the meadows ; and sometimes they stopped
to listen to the music of the lark, and admire the
height of her flight.

While running across a large field, they suddenly
stopped on observing a bird, which they supposed a
lark, rise from the ground, and presently fly so high


as scarcely to be discerned. Frederic advised Lucy
to tread very lightly, as it was probable the lark had
a nest on the ground. He had seen a lark's nest,

but Lucy had not; and, when her brother Fred-
eric told her that larks made their nests on the
ground, she was greatly surprised, for she had al-


ways imagined that every bird made its nest in a
tree or a hedge. She stepped softly, with her body i
-most double, so fearful was she of not finding the
nest. Presently she saw another bird fly from the
ground, just at her brother's foot, who at that mo-
ment cried out, 'I have found it, I have found it !
one,-two,-three,-four birds !' Lucy crept for.
ward, and then knelt down to the nest, and saw, as
Frederic had counted, four pretty little birds, covered
with yel down, and stretching up their little ga.
ping bills as though they expected food. Just at the
time they were kneeling at the nest, their mother
came up, and asked what excited their attention.
The children showed her the nest, and she joined
in their admiration of it and its pretty inhabitants.
Frederic proposed taking the nest home; 'and then,'
said he, Lucy and I can take care of the larks, and
then we shall hear their sweet singing every day-
even, you know, mother, when it rains, so that we
cannot go out.'
But, my dear little boy,' replied his mother, you
forget, that, while you are endeavoring to make the
young birds happy, you would make the old ones
very miserable. Even your kindness would be very
much misplaced ; for you would be doing the great-
est injury to these little birds, by taking them from
the care of their father and mother, who, no doubt,
were the birds you saw rise from the ground, and
who, most likely, are gone in search of food for their


young ones ; and think, Frederic, what they would
suffer when they returned with their store of provis-
ions, and found the nest they had taken so much
pains to form, and their little ones, all gone Think
what your father and I should feel, if, when we re-
turned, from a journey, we were to find you and your
brother and sister taken away : and, in proportion,
feel as much as we should do,-for God has given to
all animals a strong affection towards their young.'
Indeed, mother, I did not think it would have
been a cruel action to take the larks, or I would not
have offered to do so. I have often seen boys seek-
ing birds' nests; and I did not know it was wrong,
although one of these boys I was told finally fell from
a tree, where he was attacked by the old bird, and
broke both his anus.'

'I believe you, my dear; I know you would not
intentionally be cruel."
No indeed, mother, I would not be cruel,' said
Frederic, the tears starting from his eyes.



The best birds are recklessly destroyed for game
or sport, but all, except birds of prey, are of great
use. Seven-eighths of their food in summer is in-
sects; they feed their young almost wholly on them.
That little bird you see on the hedge, called a hair-
bird or sparrow, feeds her young 35 times an hour,
which, at 14 hours a day, is 3500 insects destroyed
in a week by a single bird. All other countries en-
courage their increase, whilst we persecute them.
As for those boys, said Mrs. Johnson, whom
you saw robbing birds' nests, perhaps they are more
to be pitied for their ignorance, than blamed for their
cruelty ; for probably nobody told them how cruel it
is to rob birds of their young or their eggs. You
see you were yourself just going to commit a cruel
action from want of consideration. I am always
grieved when I see children whose friends do not
take pains to teach them humanity. But now, my
dears, I tell you what we will do. Every fine morn-


ing we will walk to this field, and you shall bring p
crumbs of bread, and lay them by the nest. In time
the little birds will learn to know you ; probably the
parent birds will also< You can watch the growth
of the young ones, and, when they are old enough
to trust to their own strength, they will leave the
nest, and then you may take it up and carry it home
to examine how curiously and skilfully it is made ;
and perhaps some of your father's friends, when
they call upon us, may tell you something more.
Frederic and Lucy were delighted at this permis-
sion ; and Lucy said, she thought she had taken so
much notice of both the young and old birds, that
she believed she could draw a picture of them, when
she got home. Her mother approved Lucy's inten-
tion of endeavoring to delineate the birds, saying, she
was always pleased when her children tried to use
the pencil for themselves, and were not, like, some
silly children, constantly teasing their friends to
draw them pictures.


WHEN dinner was over, and the children went into
the dining-room, they found, with their parents, a
gentleman whom they had never seen before. Little
William hung down his head at the sight of a stran-
ger, which made him look very foolish, and Lucy



was rather inclined to look bashful; but when she]
saw her brother Frederic shaking hands with the
gentleman and answering his questions properly like
a child of sense, she followed his good example; and,
when the gentleman desired her to come to him, she
went directly ; and when he desired to know if she
could read, she spoke up and said, Yes, sir, I can
read a little, but not very well.' He then talked a
great deal more to her, because he saw she was not
a silly child ; but, if she had gone into a corner, or
a window, without speaking, and hung down her
head, put her fingers in her mouth, nipped her frock,
or any other foolish action awkward children are apt
to do, the gentleman would not have taken any no-
tice of her.
Little William soon forgot his diffidence, when he
found his brother and sister so kindly treated ; he
climbed up the gentleman's knee, and held up his
mouth to kiss him. 'That is a clever fellow, and a
kind one,' said the gentleman ; 'I perceive you and
I shall be good friends. If I find you so, I can tell
you many entertaining stories about several curious
things I have seen.' The children looked with de-
light at each other ; then at their father and mother;
and then with wonder at the stranger.
My dears,' said their father, this gentleman is
my particular friend, his name is Mr. Selby,-we
were playfellows when we were as young as you are.
The reason you have never seen him is, because he



has been many years travelling in foreign countries;
and, when you deserve the favor, I dare say he will
oblige you with recounting something of what he
has seen and heard.
Do, my dear sir, continue the account you were
just giving us of the volcano you visited in Sicily.'
Volcano volcano !" repeated Frederic and Lu-
cy, with astonishment. 'Pray, mother, what is a
volcano ?'
A volcano,' answered Mrs. Johnson, is a moun-
tain, with a large opening at the top, like that of
wells and coal-pits. This opening, you must re-
member, is called the crater ; and out of it issues
flames and smoke, for the mountain is on fire with-
in, and burns with great violence. Here is a pic-
ture of one in the night-time. Sometimes great
quantities of stones are thrown out of the mouth of
the volcano ; and melted stones, red hot, run down
the sides of the mountain, like streams of water, and
whatever is touched by them is destroyed : these
melted stones are called lava. You must remember,
the mouth, or opening of the mountain, is called
crater,-and the melted matter, which runs down its
sides, lava ; because Mr. Selby will have frequent
occasion to mention these names in giving his ac-
count, and, if you forget them, you will not under-
stand his strange narrative.'
The children were filled with amazement, for they
had never heard of anything so wonderful as a burn-


ing mountain. Mr. Selby, perceiving how muc
their attention was fixed, began to give them a d
cription of the mountain he had visited.


SI agreed with a party of friends,' said Mr. Sel
'to visit the summit of this extraordinary mou
tain ; but, as we were unacquainted with the roa
we were obliged to procure a guide. Etna is
mountain of such an immense size, that you ca
form no idea of it from any hill you have ever see
This mountain you must suppose to be divid
into three circles, or, as they are called, region
The first is named the Rural Region, because it is
beautiful, pleasant country of cornfields and gardens
vineyards and orchards; the second is called th<
Woody Region, from the magnificent trees which
adorn it like a vast green belt surrounding the moun-'
tain ; and the third, the Barren Region, from its be-
ing always covered with snow ;-but, the better to
enable you to understand these divisions I will show
you an outline of it,' added Mr. Selby, taking a
pencil out of his pocket.
Frederic and his sister both declared they could
now easily imagine how the mountain was divided
into three belts, the top one like a white cap ; but
they thought it very wonderful that the region next


he fire should be covered with snow. Lucy sup-
)osed the great heat of the flames would soon bave-
nelted the snow all away.'
'Sometimes, I believe, it does in part,' replied Mr..
Selby, for it has frequently happened that torrents;
bf hot water have rushed down the mountain. But-
I must proceed in telling you my journey. We soon
passed through the rural, and entered the woody,.
region, where our admiration was called forth by thea



immense size of the trees, especially some most ex-
traordinary chestnut-trees, one, in particular, our
guide pointed out, whose branches extended so wide,
that a hundred mounted horsemen could be sheltered
under its shade Its branches extended 200 feet in
circumference. It is called the Castago dei centi
cavali, or chestnut of a hundred horses.' It is
found marked in an old map of Sicily near 100 years
old ; hence its age must be considerable.
Do chestnuts, such as we eat, grow on such
great mountain trees ?' said little William.
Yes, my boy ; in a ball, like that of a sycamore,
horsechestnut, or shagbark.
But chestnuts are flat on one side.'
Yes, because two of them grow together in a round
ball or pod looking like a large bur, or prickly plant.
This chest or green covering is very bitter, but the
nuts themselves, you know by taste, when boiled,
are as sweet as any nut. The chestnut-tree is very
ornamental, whilst growing, and very durable for
timber and fences and posts. A gate-post or house-
rafter will remain sound for more than 50 years, and
the growth of the tree is very rapid.
If it is such a beautiful tree, why is it not planted
in our common ?' said Lucy.
Probably because it is a fruit-tree, and exposed to
injury from mischievous boys. But this species of
nut is sweeter and more nutritious in some countries
than others; in the south of France, Spain, and Cor-


sica, it constitutes, when boiled, the principal food of
the poorer people. Some of the French even make
their fine chestnuts, which are grafted, into cakes,
confectionery, puddings, and bread.

This is the shape of the twigs on which they
grow, with leaves, flowers, and fruit. The nuts



which fall to the ground fatten swine, and a squirrel
here and there gambols among the branches.

Chestnuts do not grow in our wood-lot,' said
William, but walnuts and hazel-nuts do, and pigs
root round the trees with their noses.'
Walnuts and hazel-nuts grow in oval or round
bitter-tasting pods ; but I will show you the differ-
ence between the three fruits. The walnuts are seen
under the letter a in the picture, and, on account of
the great quantity of oil in them, are hard of diges-
tion ; they are eaten in desserts along with apples,
the cider in the apples qualifying the oil, otherwise
it is best to leave them to the squirrels. Two chest-


nuts, and the prickly pod, holding two more, are seen
above the letter b in the picture. Chestnuts are in-
digestible, unless boiled or otherwise cooked, when
they become very nutritious. The hazel-nut or
filbert is above the c in the drawing. Farmers would
reap much advantage by planting butter-nuts, chest-
nuts and walnuts, the wood being very valuable,and
the fruit commanding a great price.
But I must resume my journey. Our attention was
attracted by the beautiful plants, whose sweet flow-
ers perfumed the air. Slowly we wandered through
this party-colored, fragrant, delightful forest, unwil-
ling to quit the examination of its beauties ; but the
setting sun reminded us to seek a habitation or
shelter for the night.
No human dwelling being nigh, we were glad
to make our abode in a large cave, which our guide


told us was called Goats' Cave, because these ani-
mals frequented it in bad weather. We had seen
several goats skipping from point to point as we pas-
sed, or lying down in the shade. We broke off some
branches of oak to make a fire, and, after rubbing
two dry pieces together very hard, sparks of fire were
at length produced, and we soon had a comfortable
blaze. We had brought with us a tea-kettle, sugar,
tea, and bread ; but in vain we looked for water, and
were beginning to fear we should not be able to make
tea, when we fortunately espied a large quantity of
snow, heaped up in the corner of the cave ; with this
we filled our tea-kettle, and made a comfortable sup-
per. We then gathered the dry leaves of the oaks,
strewed in front of our cave, to make our bed, and,
being greatly fatigued, we gladly laid down to rest.
But our sleep was much interrupted by the terrific
noises which issued from the crater of the burning
mountain, resembling loud thunder.
Next morning we again melted snow, and made
our breakfast as we had done our supper. We had
risen very early, and, when we left the cavern, the
sun had not risen : the gloomy shades of the forest,
the sullen noise from the mountain, (which was not
so loud as at night,) and the dim view of the sea at a
great distance below, made the scene awful and
grand. Every one's mind was employed by his own
thoughts, reflecting on the almighty power of the
Creator, and we proceeded in silence.


When we entered the highest region, which, as
I before told you, was covered with snow, we were
desired by our guide to step with great caution, as
the melted snow frequently settled in pools, which
were difficult to discover, because the surface of the
water, as well as the snow, was often covered with
black ashes. The ascent over the ice and snow was
steep and fatiguing, but we were not discouraged,
and finally arrived at an ancient ruin,where we rested.
Owing to the beautiful clearness of the air, we
observed the stars, which were yet shining, and ap-
peared much larger than they did when we were at
the foot of the mountain. We went yet a little
higher, until we felt the warm air from the crater;
but we did not approach the crater itself, for that is
extremely dangerous, and many people have lost
their lives by venturing too far. We were fully re-
compensed for the labor of ascending this high moun-
tain, by the exceeding fine prospect which the height
enabled us to view. So much were we delighted,
we scarcely could prevail upon ourselves to leave the
enchanting spot.
We had not descended far on our return, before
I suffered greatly from my own heedlessness ; for,
without considering the ice on which we were tread-
ing, I thoughtlessly turned to speak to one of my
friends, when my foot slipped, and I fell with great
violence. For some time I was in much agony, from
the extreme pain in my ankle ; but, as it was im-



possible to procure assistance, I was obliged to rise
and limp on as well as I could, my friends kindly
supporting me under each arm.
At length we arrived at the cave where we had
slept the previous night. We were somewhat star-
tled and surprised to find our bed of leaves occupied,
as far as the darkness of the cave would permit us
to observe, by'a venerable patriarch of the goat kind,
with a long white beard, and piebald, or black-white-
chocolate-colored hide, and a formidable butting pair
of horns ; at his feet lay a kid, fast asleep. The old
goat seemed in no hurry to retreat, and the guide told
us he had formerly been tamed.

Do goats live on chestnuts ?' said little William.
Mr. Selby said he believed they subsisted princi-
pally on green leaves, twigs and buds of all kinds.


Whilst they are skipping from rock to rock, why
don't they fall as you did, and sprain their ankles ?'
added William.
They climb mountains to secure themselves from
wild beasts, and to procure delicate food, and their
legs and hoofs are shaped for these purposes. Dr.
Clarke says in his travels : Upon our road from
Jerusalem to Bethlehem, we met an Arab with a
goat, which he led about the country for exhibition,
in order to gain a livelihood for itself and owner. He
had taught this animal, while he accompanied its
movements with a song, to move upon little cylindri-
cal pieces of wood, placed successively one above an-



other, and in shape resembling the dice-boxes be-
longing to a backgammon table. In this manner the
goat stood, first upon the top of one cylinder, then
upon the top of two, and afterwards of three, four,
five, and six, until he remained balanced upon the
top of them all, elevated several feet from the ground,
and with his four feet collected upon a single point,
without throwing down the disjointed fabric upon
which he stood. The practice is very ancient. No-
thing can show more strikingly the tenacious footing
possessed by this quadruped upon the jutty points
and crags of rocks and the circumstance of its a-
bility to remain thus poised may render its appear-
ance less surprising, as it is sometimes seen in the
Alps, and in all mountainous countries, with hardly
any place for the feet, upon the sides and by the
brink of most tremendous precipices. The diameter
of the upper cylinder, on which its feet ultimately
remained, until the Arab had ended his ditty, was
only two inches, and the length of each cylinder
was six inches.'
Goats appear to court danger in climbing, reckless
of consequences. 1 heard once of some of them who
found out a short cut from one mountain to another
by a precipice across the valley 150 feet high. The
road for a considerable distance was but about two or
3 inches wide, consisting of a little jagged cornice or
shelf, with perpendicular rock above and below. This
did very well whilst all passed one way ; unfortu-


nately however, one day two goats, when in the mid-
dle of the passage, met face to face. Their loud bleat-
ing collected hundreds of people in the valley, but no
assistance could be given to these poor animals,
perched 150 feet in the air, where human foot had
never trod. At this moment, one of the goats kneel-
ed down and the other carefully walked across his
back, and both were'safe. There is a special prov-
idence in the fall of a sparrow," and what was not
in the heart of man to conceive was happily thought
of by the native instinct, experience, or sagacity of a
couple of brute nanny goats.
One species of goat or antelope, which inhabit the
Alps and Pyrenees, and called Chamois, have longer
hind legs than front ones, and make incredible leaps,
sometimes ten or twenty feet. They browse on
seemingly inaccessible heights, but are followed by
daring hunters. When alarmed, they warn the flock
by a loud hiss, which re-echoes through rocks and
forests as forcibly as a rail-road whistle, although this
noise proceeds only from the nose of the Chamois.



Your mother no doubt has told you the true story
of Selkirk or Crusoe and his goats, whom, for their
amusement and his own, he taught to dance.
But to resume my journey. My friends prepared
a bed of leaves, and, when I had lain down on it, it
was such a relief, I thought I had never lain on a bed
so delightful. After a comfortable cup of tea, I fell
into a sound sleep, and, when I awoke, I was much
refreshed, but incapable of walking. Our guide
soon procured me a sure-footed horse, and we safely
descended through the woody region to the bottom
of the mountain. I had great reason to lament my
carelessness, for my ankle became so painful and


swelled, it prevented me from making any more ex-
cursions for a long time.
Does lava run from the crater ?" said Lucy.
It does commonly ; but the terrific element some-
times bursts the sides of the mountain, taking a
new, unexpected, and destructive track across cities
and villages to the ocean.
The kingdom of Naples has two, volcanoes, one of
them on the island of Sicily, and the other near the
great and beautiful city of Naples. In eruptions of
this last volcano, called Vesuvius, nearly 2000 years
ago, the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were
destroyed by the fire bursting the top of the moun-
tain. Pompeii was covered 50 feet deep with ashes,
mud, pummice stones, and cinders ; but a stream
or river of sulphurous lava ran a great distance and
overflowed Herculaneum with a sea of fire ; and this
last substance, lava, when cool, is almost as hard as
rock. Here is a drawing of the position of these cities.
Both cities remained buried till a few years #go,
when an excavation of Pompeii was begun.
What are the lines on the map, sir ?' said Lucy.
The dotted line shows the present outline of the
coast,-the first black line that of the coast at the
time of the eruption, A. D. 79. The other lines
show the roads leading to Pompeii. In the year of our
Lord 79, when the first eruption happened, the beau-
tiful heights of Vesuvius, like those now round Bos-
ton, were covered with villas, country seats, palaces,



gardens, and vineyards. Most of the vast populace
of the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were sit-
ting in their large amphitheatres, seeing combats be-
tween wild beasts, the cruel sports of the ancient Ro-
mans, when the bursting of the mountain happened.



Dense clouds of smoke, dust, and cinders turned
day into night for three days, during which profound
darkness continued, lighted only by fresh floods of
flame from the mountain. The dust or ashes was
so abundant in the air that it reached Africa, Syria,
and Egypt. It not only destroyed fields and towns,
but such sulphurous quantities of it filled the air or
fell into the sea, that the birds and fish of all the
neighboring coasts were killed.
So completely was Pompeii buried that the articles
of use or luxury, houses, streets, and utensils, have
been preserved nearly 1800 years.

,-- ---\ /---

The above drawing is a portion of Pompeii, re*
stored to light after a lapse of seventeen centuries,
during all which time new eruptions have occurred,
at intervals of three or four years. At the latest
eruption, the stream of lava was a mile and a half
broad and injured or destroyed 800 houses.



THE next morning the children went with their
mother to visit the lark's nest. Little William made
one of the party ; and highly delighted was he to
go, for much he wished to see the nest and all the
little nestlings.
The children jumped, and skipped, and sung,
through the fields, until they came to that in which
was the nest ; when they arrived within a few yards
of it, each was careful to tread quite softly, and not
to make the least noise, lest they should disturb and
frighten the poor little birds ; but, notwithstanding,
the old birds, ever watchful for the safety of their
young ones, were alarmed, and flew up. The children
slowly approached, and, peeping into the nest, saw
all the little family well, and as brisk as ever.
They strewed the crumbs they had brought around
the nest, pleasing themselves with imagining how
the parent birds would rejoice to find so much good
food so near home ; and then they left the nest, in
order to gather some beautiful flowers, that grew in
this and the neighboring pasture. In doing this, Lucy
saw another bird fly from the hedge, which Mrs.
Johnson told her was a goldfinch. They soon found
the nest, which contained five very pretty speckled
eggs, their main color being white, gently tinged
with blue, but the delicate spots upon them were of


a dark purple hue. The groundwork of the nest was
made of moss and fine grass, so curiously put togeth-
er as not to have a single leaf of the grass or moss
project, and lined or felted with wool. No weaver
could have better knotted and woven and put on the
map or soft covering over the inside surface, than
these little feathered mechanics. Frederic asked his
mother to tell them more about the mother birds.
I will tell you,' said Mrs. Johnson, what our
neighbor, Mr. Bolton, told me, On the 10th of May



I observed a pair of goldfinches beginning to make
their nest in my garden. They had formed the
groundwork with moss. grass, &c. as usual; but, on
my scattering small parcels of wool in different parts
of the garden, they in a great measure left off the
use of their own stuff, and employed the wool. Af-
terwards I gave them cotton ; on which they reject-
ed the wool, and used the cotton. The third day I
supplied them with fine down, on which they forsook
both the others, and finished their work with this
last article. This nest was beautifully tied and wove.
Are birds ever so very tame ?' said Lucy.
Birds, although seemingly shy, have a friendship
for men or boys who leave them unmolested. They
build near them to avoid birds of prey. A shed in our
neighborhood, which long had a wren's nest under
its eves, was taken down in spring. The owner, ob-
serving the old birds fidgeting about, stuck the skel-


eton of a horse's head on the top of a pole, and the
birds within an hour took legal possession, by filling
the cavity of the brain with sticks, hay, hair, and wool,
and, in a few days, nine little black and white speck-
led eggs were in this strange-looking wren-house,
which continued their domicil for many years, till
the tall pole was violently blown down in an October
gale, and the old horse's head broken to pieces.'
Each of the children now gathered a large bunch
of wild flowers, for there were a great many differ-
ent kinds in this field, and about the hedge-side; and,
when their mother saw they had sufficient, she pro-
posed going to a green bank, which they saw at a
little distance, to rest themselves, and examine the
beauty of the flowers. They all were willing to do
this, for, with running and jumping they had nearly
tired themselves.
When they were seated, they began to open their
nosegays, and Lucy showed them some wood-wort,
which she had at first greatly admired for its dark
purple flowers, curiously dotted with very small white
spots ; but she found it had so disagreeable a smell,
that she thought it was better to throw it away ; and
she was going to do so, when she observed two of
the leaves were curiously folded together ; and, on
opening one, exclaimed, O, mother O, Frederic !
look, what a beautiful, beautiful spider !' It was,
indeed, an extremely beautiful insect, having a pink
back, lightly striped with brown, and a yellow belly;


and its legs were so fine, that the whole party wish-
ed for a microscope, to enable them the better to
discern their delicate form.
Lucy saw that the leaf of the woodwort had been
closed by the spider's threads, which were joined to
each side of the leaf, and then drawn together, so as
to make the leaf into a three-cornered shape. There
was a little round ball woven also by the spider ;
and, when Lucy gently opened it with a pin, several
very small balls rolled out ; these, Mrs. Johnson in-
formed them, were the spider's eggs, which she had
thus enclosed in a bag of her own spinning, and that
these eggs would all in time become insects.
'Does an old spider learn her daughters,-all her
two or three hundred young ones, to spin, reel, twist
and weave, mother ?' asked little William.
'They are born with an instinct to do all that is
necessary for their existence.
( You, Lucy, have been at Lowell, and seen 70
spindles turning, and 70 threads spun by one person
as easily as your grandmother used to spin a


single thread on the old spinning-wheel in our attic.
What 70 persons could hardly accomplish, in a day a
few years ago, is now done by a Lowell girl, and ad-
mirably done, by means of a single Spinning
Jenny. But art is only an imitation of nature ; and
in this particular case, and perhaps in all cases, is in-
ferior to nature. This little pink spider is now sus-
pended fiom a twig, seemingly spinning one thread;
what if I tell you, that, seen through a microscope,

she is absolutely seen spinning 5000 threads, and
twisting them by some inconceivable means into



the single thread by which she is lowering herself to
the ground ? This despised spider is doing the work
of 70 Lowell girls, operating each of them with 70
spindles ; or of 5000 old spinning-wheels, laboriously

twirled by 5000 females of years gone by-the spider
braiding or gluing all these threads into a single tiny
rope, at the same time, with mathematical precision.
And perhaps there are a thousand other spiders in
this field as busily employed in the manufacture of
nets and fly-traps, of such gossamer fineness that sil-
ly gnats and musquitos are entangled before they
are aware. You have read the fable of Gulliver, tied
down in a similar manner by pigmies with needlefuls
of thread. The little spider, no doubt, has no other
means of providing a dinner for her somewhat nu-
merous family. The works of nature are, however,
too wonderful to be spoken of with levity. We feed
upon useful animals, spiders upon noxious insects.
How does the little spider spin at once these in-
numerable threads ?' said Lucy.
You see five little dots in the insect's back. Natu-


ralists call them spinnerets, these may be seen, in large
spiders, by the naked eye. When we look at these
spinnerets with a strong magnifying glass, we see
that they are divided into regular rows of minute
points, about a thousand to each spinneret,-making
5,000. These little points are called spinnerules.
Each of them may be regarded as a little tube, from
which the spider spins a thread of amazing fineness,
and, within the distance of a single inch, weaves and
warps it into a rope of 5000 strands or threads.

SHere is a drawing of the five dots or spinnerets
greatly magnified ; but, as it would be impossible to
show you 6000 threads in so small a space, only 50


are represented. Each thread in the picture, there-
fore, stands for 100. It is most wonderful that a sin-
gle thread of spider's web should be formed of 5,000
smaller threads. But so naturalists say it is. One of
them estimates four millions of these little threadlets,
in a small spider, to be only equal in size when uni-
ted to a hair in a man's whisker.
'What was the necessity, mother, for having them
in this manner ? and why did not the great and good
Creator have one thread spun out from a little spi-
der, instead of 5000 ?' said Frederic.
The only reply I can give, my dear, is, that the
present plan makes the thread stronger than it would
otherwise be; for every ropemaker knows that the
finer the threads are, of which his rope is composed,
the stronger it is. The more we examine the works
of the Great Architect, the more we are convinced of
the wisdom and beauty'of the design. Look at the
endless varieties of spiders, plants, and all created
things, and you find them skilfully fufilling their ends
of creation. In wisdom has he made them all."
Look at the beautiful flowers in your.hand ; they
neither toiled nor spun, yet Solomon in all his glo-
ry" was not so richly or wonderfully arrayed as one
of these lilies-of-the-valley, or as this skilful little
pink spider. This despised insect and this nosegay,
'born to blush unseen,' show new beauties under the
microscope, whilst human skill looks bungling in the
comparison, under this severe magnifier of defects
0 0


invisible to the naked eye. New reasons for the.
wisdom visible around us are daily discovered in all'
things, though many have escaped human scrutiny
for 6000 years till the present time, and millions on-
millions will remain for future discovery.


The beautiful pink spider had, all the time, been
running about in the greatest uneasiness, from one
leaf to another ; but they observed she never attemp-
ted to enter the opposite closed leaf, in which was an-
other spider, like herself; all the children pitied her
distress, and, to relieve it, Lucy laid the piece of
wood-wort upon the stump of a tree, near which they
were standing. When the poor spider found herself
at liberty, she soon began to unite the two torn sides
of the bag in which her eggs had been wrapped. This
she accomplished with much dexterity, and, when it
was completely restored to its former shape, she be-
gan to fasten up the leaf, by spinning a thread from
one edge of the leaf to the other, and then draw-
ing these threads tight, until they brought both edges
of the leaf close together, over herself and the bag.
When the children had fully gratified their curi-
osity, Lucy said she would run to the hedge-side,
and lay the piece of wood in it, that the pretty spi-
ders might enjoy themselves at full liberty. Fred-
eric and William said, they also would like to run
to the hedge-side ; and their mother gave them leave
to go, saying she would sit on the green bank until
they came back.
When they returned, they asked their mother
many questions, more indeed than she could answer,
but she told them, when they could read alone, she
would give them a book containing accounts of in-
sects, from which they might learn a great deal ; at


the same time, she was perfectly willing to tell them
what she knew. 0, pray do, mother !' cried Lucy;
' I have often seen spiders running about the walls
of the house, and have seen Betty brushing away
cobwebs as she called them, complaining that spiders
were constantly making them, but I used not to mind
them. I only thought that spiders were ugly crea-
tures, but, if you tell me anything curious about
them, I will notice them when I go home.'
'Indeed, my dear, they are well worth observation;
and, if you had allowed a spider to run upon your
hand, and had examined it narrowly, you would have
seen it was far from ugly ; and the cobwebs, which I
suppose Betty thought it a trouble to dust away so
frequently, are really very curious things.

'When the house-spider begins to former her web,
she usually chooses the corner of a room or a
staircase or an elbow or twig of a tree, because
she can then more easily fix the thread across from
one wall to the other.; and, when she has got a suf-
ficient number of threads laid one way, she begins to
cross them the other way, until it is completely wove,
rivetted, and knotted : when it is done, she conceals
herself in a small hole, or cell, previously made in
the corner of the nest. She is so diligent a weaver,
laboring in her vocation, or for the support of her chil-
dren, increasing faster than those of William's 'old
lady that lived in a shoe,' she works all night, whilst



her victims the flies are asleep, not dreaming that the
spider is mending her nets, or weaving new coils.
There is a kind of spider, who can make a cell
with a door to it, which she can shut or open at
pleasure, and which perfectly secures her when she
is likely to be disturbed by any larger insect. The
spider weaves her web as symmetrically and as
mechanically as our wire mouse-trap, to catch flies
or small insects, which are her food. When they
alight upon the web, their slender legs are soon en-
tangled in the crossed threads or meshes, and, while
they are struggling to get loose, the spider darts
from her concealment, throws new diminutive ropes
across the wings, head, or body of her victim, draws
the cords tight, and, with thread upon thread in all
directions, much the same as the Lilliputians bound
Mr. Lemuel Gulliver, secures the unfortunate fly,
and then greedily devours her prey.


There are other spiders which inhabit fields and
gardens. I dare say you have observed the beauty
of their webs, when they are covered early in the mor-
ning with dew, sparkling in the sun's rays. They are
quite differently formed from the housespider's.
Yes,indeed, both Lucy and I,' answered Fred-
eric, have often admired those beautiful webs, and
we have often seen long threads hanging from one
tree to another, at great distances; were these also
woven by the spiders ?'
Yes, my dear ; on those long threads, which the
spiders weave, they transport themselves from one
tree to another.
You and your father, Frederic, were admiring
a spider's web on the door of our wood-house. Do


you know that, like Jonah's gourd, it was the silent
work of a single short summer's night ? and that
millions of silken beams formed its rafters ? Yet a
spider is called one of the most disgusting objects in
nature. Scavengers generally look disgusting,but they
make clean work. (There is a purpose to everything



under the sun,' and this insect is, as it were, a high
constable in the fields, and takes the body' of all
the loafing noisy insects on whose shoulders he can
fasten his brierean claws; even an intruding horsefly,
bee, or diamond beetle, are ejected' by him, or eaten
sans ceremonies. Here is a pretty daisy, fresh, fra-
grant, and beautifully colored. Were it not for the
little pink spiders, a sort of police on duty,' it would
have been eaten up by thousands of may-bugs.
Cruel sportsmen murder the birds, the beautiful
guardians of the fields, and, in the economy of na-
ture, spiders are perfect sheriff-substitutes,' and
enforce stringent or biting laws on trespassing insects.
But, mother,' said Lucy, 'you said, the house-
spider's threads crossed over one another; but I do not
remember seeing any threads in any of these webs.'
That was, because they are so very fine, replied
her mother, and spun so close to each other. A
spider's thread, as I have already told you, is much
finer than a hair of your head ; but in some countries
there are spiders of much larger size, whose threads
are a great deal stronger. A Frenchman once un-
dertook to manufacture, that is, to prepare and spin,
the webs into threads strong enough to be woven in-
to stockings; and he actually did weave one pair of
stockings, which were very beautiful, and were kept
as a great curiosity ; but the thread, made from
the web of the spider, was not near so strong as that
made from the web of the silk-worm.



0, silk-worms, mother !' exclaimed Frederic;
I want to know a great deal about them.'
But, my dear, you must at present be satisfied
with what I have told you about spiders, for we
have been a long time from home, and must hasten
our return, for I have several things to do before
dinner. You now see what an advantage it would
be, if you read without assistance. I should then
give you proper books, and you might read to your
sister all you want te know ; at present you are
entirely dependent on me for information, and, if
business, sickness, or company, prevents my in-
tructing you, you must remain ignorant of much
useful and pleasant knowledge.
They walked quietly home, Frederic and Lucy
declaring that they would take great pains to im-
prove themselves, that they might soon be able to
read all the pleasing books their mother promised


A FEw days after, Mr. Selby paid his friend a
second visit. The children were rejoiced to see him,
and, as they went out to meet him, he inquired if
they had all been very good. On their father and
mother assuring him they had, Mr. Selby told them
he had not forgotten his promise of gratifying them
with accounts of his travels in different parts of the



world ; and, if it was agreeable to Mr. and Mrs.
Johnson, he would stay that afternoon, and relate
his journey to Glasgow.
I had been in Scotland when I was a boy, but, in
my first journey, I was as many days on the road, in
order to travel the same number of miles, as I now
quietly rode in the same number of hours ; such has
been the rapidity of improvements in journeying
in the course of my short life.
The children anxiously asked Mr. Selby to tell
them why this great change had happened. 'There
are only 60 minutes in an hour, and 1440 in a day,'
said Frederic; and little William added, that he
had been thinking whether Hop-o'-my-Thumb, with
his seven-league boots, could have done it in so
short a time.'
I like to hear your doubts, that I may remove them,
said Mr. Selby. The story of the boots, William,
was a fiction ; but reality, in our day, outruns fiction


with regard to rail-roads and electric telegraphs.
Shakespeare's wildest imaginings only put a girdle
round the earth in 40 minutes,' whereas the telegraph
might do it in two seconds of time. That is, taking
the Boston and New York wires as a criterion, a mes-
sage could absolutely be expedited 200 times more
rapidly by them than by the poet's Queen Mab and
Robin Goodfellow, or fairy-line ancient conveyance.
'Do please tell us, then, about your last journey,'
said Lucy.
Mr. Selby said, in order to do this, he must first
tell them about a poor little sick boy, and about
some ancient toys for children, moved by steam pow-
er, more than 2000 years ago, yet in some degree
connected with my true story. Useful subjects must
be carefully explained in order to be understood.
When I reached Glasgow, I was introduced to an
elderly gentleman, whose name was


Watt was born at Greenock, in Scotland,Jan. 1736.
He was the son of a ship-chandler. From the ex-
treme delicacy of young Watt's health when a child,
he was unable regularly to attend the public school,
so that much of his instruction was received at home.
His mother taught him reading, and his father wri-
ting and arithmetic ; he thus acquired those habits
of inquisitive and precocious reflection, so often ob-


served in feeble-bodied children, when taught by their
kind parents. A gentleman one day calling upon his
father, observed the child bending over the marble
hearth and wainscoating, with chalk in his hand.


' Mr.Watt,' said he, you ought to send that boy to
school, and not let him trifle away his time at home.'
Look how my child is employed, before you con-
demn him,' replied the father. The gentleman then
approached the child, and found that he was trying
to solve a problem in geometry. He put some ques-
tions to him, and was astonished with the mixture of
intelligence, quickness, and simplicity in his answers.
In this way, confined by ill-health, young Watt,
always busy in early years, acquired at his father's
fireside that general information for which he was in
after-life remarkable. His father for his amusement
presented him with a number of tools, such as are
used in cabinet-work, with which young Watt began
to exhibit his mechanical taste in the fabrication of
numerous toys, and among the rest a small electri-
cal machine.
One day, having accompanieA his mother on a
visit to a lady in Glasgow, the boy, at the request of
the lady, was left behind. The next time Mrs.Watt
went to Glasgow, her friend said to her, You must
take your son James home ; I cannot stand the de-
gree of excitement he keeps me in ; I am worn out
for want of sleep. Every evening before ten o'clock,
our usual hour of retiring to rest, he contrives to en-
gage me in conversation, then begins some striking
tale ; and, whether humorous or pathetic, the inter-
est is so overpowering, that the family all listen to
him with breathless attention, and hour after hour


strikes unheeded.' This wonderful faculty of story-
telling, which robbed the Glasgow lady of her sleep,
Watt preserved through life to his dying day, to a
degree unparalleled perhaps, except in his cotempo-
rary, and fellow-countryman, Sir Walter Scott.
Young Watt returned home to occupy himself with
the sciences. The whole range of physics had at-
tractions for him. In excursions to the banks of
Loch Lomond, he studied botany, entered into geo-
logical observations among the rocks and secondary
formations, and collected traditions and ballads a-
mong the clansmen and highlanders. At home, du-
ring his frequent hours of ill-health, he devoured
books on chemistry and general science, natural phi-
losophy, medicine, and surgery ; the detailed des-
cription of diseases was familiar to him. In short,
by incessant reading and mental activity, he acquired
and digested a vast mass of miscellaneous and scien-
tific information.
The profession, to which young Watt was put ap-
prentice, was that of mathematical and nautical in-
strument making, for the acquisition of which he went
to London. Thus,' says M. Arago, the man who
was about to cover England with engines, in com-
parison with which the antique and colossal machine
of Marly is but a pigmy, commenced his career by
constructing, with his own hands, instruments, which
were fine, delicate, and fragile, those small but
admirable reflecting sextants used in navigation.'



In 1757, at the age of 21, he commenced business
as a mathematical instrument maker in Glasgow.
At first he experienced great opposition-one of the
privileged corporations regarding him as an intruder,
and refusing the young mechanic the privilege of
setting up a workshop. In this dilemma, the univer-
sity gave him a room, and conferred on him the title
of' mathematical instrument maker to the College
of Glasgow.' In this university was a cluster of em-
inent men. Adam Smith, Robert Simson, Drs.Black
and Robinson, were the professors. They saw his
worth, and Watt's new position brought him into
contact with these great men. I had always,' says
professor Robinson, 'a great relish for mathematical
and mechanical philosophy. When I was introduced
to young Watt, I saw a workman, and expected no
more; but was surprised to find a philosopher,


younger than myself, and I was rather mortified at
finding Watt so much my superior. Whenever any
puzzle came in the way of us students, we sent to
Watt.' This and similar records figure his early life
-a young, amiable, and ingenious man, a great fa-
vorite with professors and students, occupied a great
part of the day in his workshop, but constantly en-
gaged in the evening in some profound or curious
question in mathematical or physical science; aware
at the same time of all that was going on in the arts.
Did young Watt still continue sick ?' said Lucy.
Yes, so much so, that it was the cause of his re-
turn home from London. In 1763 he enlarged his
business by including engineering ; and began to be
consulted in the construction of canals, bridges, &c.

and in the following winter, professor Anderson, find-
Sing that a small steam-engine would not work, sent



it to young Watt for repair ; it was this model of
Newcomen's engine that begot in Watt's mind the
germ of those ideas which led to such gigantic eJt.
sequences. The little black model on the young
mathematical-instrument-maker's table was the con-
densed epitome, as it were, of all that the world then
knew of steam-power. In the brain of young Watt,
bending by candle-light over the broken model, lay,
as yet undeveloped, all that the steam-engine has
since become. This accident to an imperfect model
was the cause of as great a revolution in mechanics
as had been produced by the art of printing.
But I thought,' said Frederic, that steam power
began to be applied to mechanical purposes about
the years 1778 or '80.'
Yes, said Mr. Selby ; the delay, for 14 years, was
owing to the poverty of young Watt.


THE two greatest inventions yet found out, said
Mr. Selby, namely, printing and steam power, were
originally contrived for children's toys, so you see,
my young friends, there is philosophy, ingenuity,
and utility even in making a plaything. A citizen of
Harlaem, named Coster, whilst walking in a wood,
began to cut letters and pictures on the bark of the
beech ; with these letters he enstamped marks upon


paper in a contrary direction, in the manner of a seal,
uni at length he formed a little primer or picture-
i for the amusement of his grandchildren, or of his
sister's children. Such was the discovery of the art

of printing, which will make readers of all mankind,
and without the aid of which the reformation of Lu-
ther could not have been established.
Seals, which are a miniature in little' of the art o1
printing, were used in the times of Darius and A-
hasuerus, several hundred years before the Christian
era, and perhaps the Chinese stamped the letters
now used on tea-chests, in the same manner, some



thousands of years ago ; yet, so prone are mankind
to do as grandfather did,' that no advance was
made in improvement till the times of Coster and
The origin of the other invention I will endeavor
briefly to relate to you.
STEAM, said Mr. Selby, or, as it was anciently
called, water transformed into air by the action of
fire,' was described in the writings of Hero, a Greek,
120 years before Christ, in an account of a toy for
children, as made to produce a rotatory motion ; so
you see, my dears, ancient philosophers fabricated
toys to go by steam 2000 years ago, in much the
same manner as described in your Boy's Own Book,
or in Parlor Magic, with this difference only that
his toy acquired perpetual motion by steam, whilst
your Prancing Dragoon and Bowing Beau were se-


cretly kept nodding or galloping by unseen magical
weights underneath the table or statue.
The principle of Hero's toy, however, was inferior
and different from that of steam-engines, in which
the power consists not in the mere re-action caused
by steam, but in the prodigious expansive force of
steam itself. An inch of water is, on its conversion
into steam, expanded so as to fill the space of a foot.
You, Frederic, have seen gunpowder explode, but
this is nearly 8 times as great as the expansive power
of gunpowder. If by any means we could catch wa-
ter in the act, as it were, of passing into steam, so
as to obtain the use of this enormous expansive force
for our own purposes, young Watt thought it was
evident that we could produce most powerful effects
by it. To do this-to catch the water in the act of
passing into steam, and to turn the expansive power
to account-is the whole purpose of steam-engines.
Was this power known formerly ?' asked Lucy.
Even this expansive force was in some degree
known to the ancients. Often, in casting fine metal
statues, when a drop of water was left in the clay or
plaster moulds, an explosion, attended with disas-
trous accidents, resulted. Arguing from such instan-
ces, ancient naturalists accounted for earthquakes
and submarine explosions, by supposing the sudden
turning into vapor of a mass of water by volcanic heat.
Such as that of Etna and Vesuvius,' said Lucy.
Nor were the ancients afraid of handling this po-


ent power. In the images of the ancient gods,'as in
Hero's toy, were concealed crevices, containing wa-
ter with the means of heating it ; and tubes, pro.
ceeding from these crevices, conducted the steam, so
as to make it blow out plugs from the mouths and
foreheads of the hollow images, with loud noise, and
seeming clouds of smoke.
Please tell me, sir, more about Hero's toy,' said
William ; what is a hollow image ?'
All images are not hollow; but cast ones, of the size
of men or boys, sometimes are hollow likeLucy's doll.
Whilst in India, I visited a huge statue of solid granite,
30 miles from Seringapatam, and, as measured by
Rev. Dr. Buchanan, nearly 70 feet high. It rep-
resents Gomuta Raya, a celebrated Hindoo saint. It
stands on the summit of a conic granite hill about
200 feet high, which serves for a pedestal. The
statue still constitutes a part of the solid rock, which
originally may have been 300 feet high ; the stone,
which anciently formed a part of the mountain, hav-
ing been chipped or carved away. The hill proba-
bly was anciently a steep cone, or peak, of which
some bold sculptor, or succession of sculptors, have
taken such magnificent advantage. It stands boldly
up against the sky, and I certainly never saw, in all
my travels, any work of man, which gave me so
complete an idea of a giant, or colossal image.
An image or monster statue in Egypt, it is true,
with the head of a virgin and the body of a lion, is


said to be 163 feet high ; but it stands on a plain,
and is half buried in moving sands.
Hero describes one of the pagan impositions by
smoke and fire through hollow molten images.
To accomplish this trick, he recommends vessels half
full of strong wine, or other combustible liquids, to
be concealed in two images of men, standing on
each side of the altar. From these vessels, tubes in
the form of bent syphons proceed along the arms of
the images to the tips of their fingers, which were
held over the flame of pagan sacrifice. Other tubes


-~- -



from the same vessels proceeded downwards through
the feet of the images, communicating through the
floor with the altar and the fire.
In Asia are mauy heathen gods, carved from hills,
and the pagans worship the work of their own hands,
but, with all their superstition, they prefer making
gigantic monsters.

Hero wrote 2000 years ago; yet, from his time
to the 17th century, no advance appears to have
been made in the application of steam. The very re-
membrance of it, like that of the Greek fire, seemed
lost, till Charles I. of England employed De Laus in
designing fountains, grottoes,&c. who revived in sub-


stance the artifice mentioned by Hero, in the shape
of a steam-toy ; so that, my dears, toys are often the
harbingers of the greatest inventions. Men try new
experiments to please their little ones, and stumble,
as it were, upon important discoveries, which have
escaped the most profound research. Even the
beautiful Roman aqueducts were built on a level a-

cross allies by arches and viaducts, like the Erie ca-
nal, because they were ignorant of the improved me-
thod by pipes, as in the Cochituate, Croton, and
Fairmount water-works. But the skill of the engineer
de Laus was eclipsed by that of the marquis of
Bridgewater, in 1663, who describes among other
things a mode of raising water 100 feet, and which
will drain all sorts of mines, and furnish cities with
water, though never so high-seated.
It is necessary, my young friends, in describing
inventions, to follow their progress step by step. In
1699 Mr. Savary exhibited a model for draining



mines ; succeeded by one from Dennis Papin, who
did not work out his own conceptions,-did not per-
ceive all their conveniences. The next was by T.
Newcomen, an ironmonger, in the year 1705. Soon
after, the celebrated Smeaton employed his skill, but
no progress was made till in the hands of Watt.
Young Watt was a man with whom everything be-
came the beginning of a new and serious study ; ac-
cordingly, not content with repairing professor An-
derson's model, he devoted himself to a thorough in-
vestigation of the machine. Directing his attention
first with all his profound physical and mathematical
knowledge to its working, he determined the extent
to which the water dilated in passing from its liquid
state into steam the quantity of water which a
given weight of coal would vaporise-the quantity of
steam in weight, which each stroke of one of the
machines of known dimensions expended-the quan-
tity of cold water which required to be injected into
the spindles, to give the descending stroke of the
piston a certain force-and finally the elasticity of
steam at different temperatures.
But I am certain, said Mr. Selby, that my patient
little friend William ought to have a moment to ask
questions about hard words, which I necessarily use,
and it is time he should have some relaxation, in
skip-jack affairs, and hop-step-and-jump exercises.
And Frederic will wonder how an invalid boy could
enjoy himself apart from society, without amusement


and exercise. But young Watt in childhood posses-
sed all he wished ; his scientific pleasures of read-
ing, sketching, and experimenting in Euclid, Newton,
and other mathematicians, made these philosophers
his playnfates,with whom he enjoyed himself in books.
As to exercise, the machinery made by means of his
cabinet-maker's tools, at intervals, engrossed his at-
tention. They were his toys and gymnastics.

MR. Selby called the next day. After dinner,
the children were impatient ; and he said :
My young friends, you will think that all these in-
vestigations would have occupied the lifetime of ao
laborious philosopher ; but young Watt brought all
his numerous and difficult researches to a conclusion,
without allowing them to interfere with the labors of
his workshop, or with his evening amusements with
his friends. The evils of Newcomen's old machine
Watt remedied by a simple but beautiful contrivance
-his separate condenser-a metallic vessel in which
water or air are condensed by heat. The cylinder was
thus left a vacuum, without having lost any of its heat
by the process ; the piston now descended with full
force ; and, when the steam rushed in from the boil-
er, no portion of it was wasted in re-heating it. The
iA H


old evils were thus happily overcome ; but another
contrivance was needed, to withdraw the accumula-
ted water, air, and vapor ; and this young Watt ac-
complished by his condenser pump. The power of
the machine was diminished by this invention, but
the total gain was enormous,-equivalent to making
one pound of coal do as much work as had formerly
been done by five pounds in the old engine ; and,
since the year 1780, improvements have continued
till one pound of coal does the work of the 20 pounds
inNewcomen's machine. Numerous other improve-
meirts were made by Watt within two years of his
first inspecting the old model.
One would suppose that, when the fact of the con-
struction of this engine, which has since revolution-
ized mechanical skill throughout the world,-which
may, by facility of transit by sea and land, form all
mankind into one family, turning their swords into
pruning-hooks,-when this fact was generally known,
that it would at least have displaced the expensive
process of draining mines by the old tedious engines.
This, however, was not the case. Watt himself was
poor ; but in 1769 Dr. Roebuck became a partner.
He soon became embarrassed; and young Watt,
till 1774, was employed in engineering, canals, &c.,
allowing the steam-engine to lie, like lumber, in an
old factory of delft ware-the same engine, that is
now applied to all purposes, and saving the labor of
millions of people and horses, was stowed in an attic.


What Johnson says of Goldsmith might be said
of Watt-' he touched not that which he did not a-
dorn.' In the course of his busy surveys, he impro-
ved all the instruments he used, and invented among
other things the chronometers for measuring arms of
the sea, and many scientific articles. He was never


idle. At length in 1774 Watt entered into part-
nership with Mr. Bolton, a man of science and en-
terprise. Bolton & Watt's first business was to pro-
cure a prolongation of Watt's patent-right, which
had been procured in 1760, and was nearly run out.
The value of the invention began to be appreciated
only when the enterprizing and wealthy Bolton pa-
tronized it. A strong opposition was made in parlia-
ment, and out of it, by engineers and coal-miners,
who wished to pirate the invention. But the patent
was renewed; and Bolton & Watt agreed with the



interested miners that the patentees should receive
from those who used the machine one third part of
the value of the coal saved by Watt's engine. This
seemed a trifle; yet, in a single year, Bolton & Watt
received from the single coal-mine of Chasewater,
2500 (about $100,000), for each engine, instead of
the value of a third part of coal saved, which would
have nearly doubled that sum. Mr. Watt knew the
quantity of coal consumed by the invention of a me-
ter, kept double-locked in an iron box, ingeniously
registering every stroke of the machine. Attempts
were continually made to plagiarise the engine
or its principle of action ; but Bolton & Watt, by in-
vention or otherwise, successfully protected the right.
Wttt's steam-engine now gave an impetus to mi-
ning. 'le wished to apply it to many other purpo-
ses, especfltly navigation, but had enough to do in
introducing it gradually into pits. New mines were
opened ; old ones, full of water, rubbish, and closed,
were again put in operation. But the active mind
of Watt was not content with applying the engine
merely as a pump for draining mines, he restlessly
wished to make it subservient to other purposes. He
effected this by that most graceful and beautiful in-
vention, the sight of which in operation produces a
feeling of pleasure, like that derived from contem-
plating a fine work of art,-the parallel motion. At
the end of the beam of a steam-engine may be seen
a curious contrivance or parallelogram, with the pis-

ton-rod attrched to one of its angles or elbows. When
the engine is in action, it will be observed that,
while three of the angles move in small circular arcs.
the fourth is so pulled upon by opposite forces, that,
although tending to move in a curve, it strangely
moves in a straight line. This result, though sim-
ple, depends upon a curious mathematical principle.
Mr. Watt's next improvement was the double-acting
engine ; and, afterwards the means of shutting of
the steam from the boiler. This he did not fully
complete, but it has been since tone by other artists,
by which a bushel of coal has been made to perform -
the labor of 20 men, equivalent to performing 9W
man's daily labor at the cost of a halfpenny -
Watt had thus increased power. Power, howev-
er, is not the only element of success in the. 4bors
of industry. Regularity of action is of no less im-
portance. The coal is of unequal quality; the work-
men are often far from intelligent, and frequently
inattentive. Of course the propelling steam would
be sometimes superabundant, sometimes sparse, and
rush sometimes with less and sometimes with more
rapidity into the cylinder, occasioning great irregu-
larities of movement. Watt's genius provided a rem-
edy for this remissness of operatives, by an inge-
nious application of an apparatus called the governor,
or revolving bells. You, Frederic, no doubt, when
looking at an engine, considered them only at first as
a pretty toy ; but such is the efficacy of this ap-


paratus, that, by its means, a steam-engine may be
made to give motion to a clock which shall keep good
time. It is this regulator which confers on Watt's
steam-engine, applied to any purpose or art, a work-
ing movement that is wholly free from irregularity,
and by which it can weave the most delicate fabrics,
as well as communicate a gigantic movement to the
ponderous stones of a mill, however massive.
If I undertook to describe all the other inven-
tions of a minor kind, which came from the prolific
genius of Watt, it would require weeks instead of an
evening. I intended to tell you about his youth and
his steam-engine in brief terms. He invented it, and
took his patent in 1760, before he was 24 years old ;
if his pursuits were uncommon, and such as are not
usually followed by boys, yet boys like variety, and
his acquisitions command universal admiration for
their novelty. Young Watt played as joyfully with
syllogisms as other boys at fives or cricket. All juve-
nile sports originated from ancient martial exercises,
games, races, popular speaking, and skill of the head
as well as the hand ; and young Watt was pleas-
antly engaged in the last named sports. For want of
funds and popularity, his engine, which now gives
almost perpetual motion to all labor, and as it were
a half-miraculous power to man,-stood idle for 14
years. It does not follow that his fruitful brain was
all this time idle. His whole life was prolific of inven-
tions, as well as in labor as an engineer and surveyor.


Steam navigation, railway travelling, automaton
factory labor, steam printing, mining, and hundreds
or thousands of other arts have been brought to their
present state only by means of Watt's discoveries.
Steamboats were perfected on the Hudson river, New
York, by R. Fulton, a native of Pennsylvania, in 107.
The steam-power, employed in 184 in England
alone, was equal to eight millions of men's power,
or 1,600,000 of horse-power. Itrqoires eight times
the quantity of soil for producing food for a horse
that it does for a man ; 1,'00,000 horses, therefore,
require as much soil or food as 12,000,000 of men.
The United States in 1851 have an equal quantity
of Watt's steam-power in operation for manufactures
and railways ; all the countries of the world have a-
dopted or will soon use them. Almost all the luxu-
ries and comforts of life, all the refinements of social
existence, may be traced to machinery, aided direct-
ly or indirectly by steam. Machinery is the result
of experiment, experience, and a study of the
working principles of nature, which are hidden from
superficial observers. Every day some new applica-
tion of steam is diminishing the amount of human
drudgery. This study of nature forms a never-failing
source of intellectual enjoyment, and proves by its
effects that knowledge is power.'
Watt was the inventor of machines for copying
letters ; the plan for heating houses by steam ; the
instrument for multiplying copies of busts and sculp.



ture; and was connected, more than any other per-
son, with that grand chemical discovery, the compo-
sition of water, which was formerly supposed to be
a simple element, but is a compound of two gases, or
airy fluids, formerly unknown.
Mr. Watt withdrew from business in the year
1800, but lived 20 years longer among his friends-
and died in 1819. Sir Walter Scott says of him,
It was only once my fortune to meet Watt, when
there were assembled about a half a score of our
northern lights. Amidst this company stood Mr.
Watt, the man whose genius discovered the means
of multiplying our national resources to a degree per-
haps even beyond his own stupendous powers of cal-
culation and combination ; bringing the treasures of
the abyss to the summit of the earth- giving to the
feeble arm of man the momentum of an Afrite-co -
manding manufactures to arise-affording meanp o
dispensing with that time and tide which wait for no
man-and of sailing without that wind which defied
the commands and threats of Xerxes himself. This
potent commander of the elements-this abridger of
time and space-this magician whose cloudy machi-
nery has produced a change in the world, the effects
of which, extraordinary as they are, are perhaps only
beginningg to be felt-was not only the most profound
mnan of science, the most successful combiner of pow-
ers, and calculator of numbers, as adapted to practi-
cal purposes-was not only one of the most general-



ly well-informed, but one of the best and kindest of
human beings. There he stood, surrounded by the
little band of northern literati. In his 81st year, the
alert, the kind, benevolent old man, had his attention
at every-one's question, his information at every-
one's command. His talents and fancy overflowed
on every subject. One gentleman was a deep phi-
lologist-he talked with him on the origin of the
alphabet, as if he had been coeval with Cadmus;
another, a celebrated critic you would have said
that the old man had studied political economy and
belles-lettres all his life ; of science it is only neces-
sary to speak-it was his own distinguished walk.'


WHILST I was in Scotland, said Mr. Selby, I had
an opportunity of visiting some of the rugged neigh-
boring islands of Orkney and the still more distant
Shetland isles, 86 in number, part of which are in-
habited. On some of these coasts, the people sub-
sist on sea-fowl and their eggs, whilst the down and
feathers are a source of great profit. In some places
wide fragments of rocks have been cut off from the
main land by convulsions of nature or the washing
of the sea. On these spots immense flocks of sea-
birds securely built their nests, till some bold inva-
ders found means of crossing these dreadful abysses


by cradles passing on ropes. One of these is at the
Noss of Brassah, which is 100 feet from the adjacent
land and 300 feet of perpendicular rock above the
sea. The tops of the rocks on each side of the cleft
ot fissure have two stakes festened in each of them;
to these are ropes tied, and upon them is hung an



article which they call a cradle ; in this a man
moves himself from the higher rock on the main
land to the lesser rock opposite, where he secures as
many fowl or eggs as he wishes. To return, how-
ever, is a more difficult task, because it is an ascen-
ding or up-hill course, and his cradle is loaded with
game ; but this difficulty is overcome by a spare
rope attached to the cradle and held by people on the
main land, who drag him back. To reach the clefts
between these precipices and the sea, a more dan-
gerous method is resorted to, of tying a rope round
a man's middle, and lowering him in a basket, which
he fills with eggs and birds, and is then drawn up
from the abyss.
At St Kilda, another small island, the inhabitants
trust more to their own steadiness of head, strength
of muscle, and daring spirit, to ensure success. They
are accustomed from infancy to climbing, and drop
from crag to crag almost as sure-footed as so many
goats, or the birds themselves. Practice makes per-
fect, and they have been so long habituated to bird-
catching as a means of livelihood and profit, that
they follow their vocation to frightful lengths. They
depend upon ropes of two kinds, one made of hides,
and the other of cows' tails, all of the same thick-
ness. The former are the strongest, and are less
liable to wear away, or be cut, by rubbing against
the sharp edges of rocks. These ropes are from 90
to 200 feet in length, and about three inches in cir-


cumference. Those of hide are made of cows and
sheep's hide mixed together. The sheep's hide, after
being cut into narrow strips, is plaited over with wi-
der slips of cow's hide. Two of these are then twis-
ted together. So valued are these ropes, when right-
ly made, that one of them forms a marriage-portion
of a St. Kilda girl; and, to this secluded people,
whose lives and all their comforts often depend on
the strength of this article, it is of more value than
gold and jewels. The favorite resort for birds is the
tremendous precipice of Fulmars, 1300 feet in height,
supposed to be the loftiest face of precipitous rock in
Britain. To these precipices, to look down which
produces giddiness and fainting with strangers, men
and boys resort for birds' eggs, gulls and other fowl.
Many of these bird-catchers go on these expedi-
tions alone, without any one to hold the rope or assist
them ; an instance is related by Mr. Stanley. It
was on such a solitary excursion, that a man, having
fastened his rope to a stake on the top, let himself
down far below ; and in his ardor for collecting
birds and eggs, followed the course of a ledge, be-
neath a mass of overhanging rock. Unfortunately
he had omitted to take the usual precaution of tying
the rope round his body, but held it carelessly in his
hand; when, in a luckless moment, whilst he was
busily engaged in pillaging a bird's nest, it fell from
his grasp, and, after swinging backwards and for-
wards three or four times, without coming within


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