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provements made in the roads, and the first coach with four horses coming into our town, and the running there was to see it-almost as much as if the king had come. a noble stone bridge spans the river near where the old ferry boat crossed over; and more than this, there is now another bridge, only about a mile higher up, over which the railway trains pass in less than a minute.
But about the old canal boat. First let me tell you that before canals were made, all heavy goods had to be carried either on the backs of horses or in clumsy lumbering wagons, which sometimes were stopped by the flooded brooks, or stuck fast in deep holes, and always went very slow. So that all kinds of heavy goods were a long time on the way.
When it was first proposed to make canals, it was thought a strange thing, and many opposed the attempt-it would ruin the men who got their living in the old way of carrying, and it would spoil a great deal of land. Well: they went on and made them, and the advantages were soon found to be very great; though the movement of the boats, being dragged by horses, was only slow.
Perhaps some of you will be ready to ask whether, as the railways now take such vast loads of all kinds of heavy goods, the canals and their boats have not suffered loss by them. Perhaps they have a little in some places; but generally, I am told, they have not. For, besides the great quantities of goods sent by rails now, the boats continue to be employed on the canals, and I have been told carry, in some parts of the country, as much as ever they did. If you ask how this is—I suppose it is because many things, like coal, and
lime, and iron, are now sent where they never were before ; and as our population and manufactures increase more things are required, and both canals and railroads have plenty to do.
And so the world in which we live goes on making its improvements, which are all very good and very useful. But we must not forget one thing, and that is that let the world be improved as inuch as it can be, we cannot stay long in it. There is a world in which we must live for ever. Nay, there are two worlds before us, the one all happiness, the other all misery. To which of these worlds you would like to go I need not ask you.
But to which are you going? That is the great question. You know the way to the world of happiness. Be sure you walk therein, or you
had better never have lived in this.
HAIL TO THE RAINBOW!
A. M. E.
frequently in fruit trees, a nest most exquisitely constructed :
“With equal art externally disguised,
Of climbing vetch or honeysuckle wild." The notes of the goldfinch are not loud, but sweet in an uncommon degree. It is extremely mild and docile in its disposition, and can be easily taught a number of most amusing tricks; even though taken when old, if well attended to and gently treated, it will become in a few weeks as familiar with its keeper as if it had been brought up by him from its youth. As if conscious of its beauty, it delights, when in captivity, to view itself in a mirror, which, to gratify this propensity, is sometimes fixed in its cage. Its food consists of the seeds of thistles and other plants.
Miller in his “Country Year Book,” says of the nest of this interesting British bird :-“Goldfinches can, from the peculiar neatness of their nests, easily detect the slightest disarrangement. They are called felt-makers through the texture of their nests resembling that of a hat, or a piece of woollen cloth; for so are the materials interwoven together, each minute thread or hair being worked or bedded in, even as a hatter would commence forming the woollen body of his work. Wool, moss, lichen, tufts of cotton, and the barked scales of trees, and spider-webs, are all massed and matted together in beautiful uniformity by these wonderful birds; and so particular is the goldfinch in putting a high and smooth finish to her work, that she will scarcely leave one single fibre of moss projecting beyond another, so neatly and smoothly is the material fitted together. All boys know, who have examined fur, wool, or hair, through a microscope, that they present a very different appearance to what they do to the naked eye; being full of fibres and rugged projections, all admirably adapted for bedding together, when they are once pressed down and rolled in. Hence the firm adherence and beautiful appearance which the felt-making birds are enabled to give to the smooth and finished linings of their nests."
What beautiful creatures the blessed God has made for us to admire and love!
THE BLIND PHILOSOPHER.
NICHOLAS SAUNDERSON was born at the village of Thurston, in Yorkshire, in 1682. He was only a year old when he was deprived, by small-pox, not only of his sight, but even of his cyes themselves, which were destroyed by abscess. Yet it was probably to this apparent misfortune that Saunderson chiefly owed both a good education, and the leisure he enjoyed, from his earliest years, for the cultivation of his