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a cow, he was assailed with laughter and ridicule. His cow-hide boots, in particular, were made a matter of mirth. But he kept on cheerfully and bravely, never shunning observation, and day after day driving the widow's cow and wearing his thick boots, contented in the thought that he was doing right, and not caring for all the jeers and sneers that could be uttered.

8. He never undertook to explain why he drove a cow; for he was not inclined to display his charitable motives, and, furthermore, in his heart he had no sympathy with the false pride that looks with ridicule on any useful employment. It was by mere accident that his course of kindness and self-denial was yesterday discovered by his teacher.

9. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I appeal to you: was there not true heroism in this boy's conduct ? Nay, Master Hartly, do not steal out of sight behind the blackboard! You were not afraid of ridicule — you must not be afraid of praise. Come forth, come forth, Master Edward James Hartly, and let us see your honest face!

10. As Hartly, with blushing cheeks, made his appearance, a round of applause, in which the whole company joined, spoke the general approbation of his conduct, The ladies stood upon benches and waved their handkerchiefs. The old men wiped the gathering moisture from the corners of their eyes and clapped their hands. Those clumsy boots on Hartly's feet seemed prouder ornaments than a crown would have been on his head. The medal was bestowed on him amid general acclamation.

11. Let me tell a good thing of Jemson before I conclude. He was heartily ashamed of his ill-natured raillery, and after we were dismissed he went, with tears in his eyes, and tendered his hand to Hartly, making a

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Dare forsake what you deem wrong;

Dare to walk in wisdom's way;
Dare to give where gifts belong;

Dare God's precepts to obey.
Do what conscience says is right;

Do what reason says is best;
Do with willing mind and heart;

Do your duty and be blest.

XLVIII.—CORK.

1. That most useful substance called cork is the thick, spongy, external bark of a species of oak. The tree grows to the height of upwards of thirty feet, and is a native of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Barbary, and some of the southern parts of France.

2. It bears a strong resemblance to the evergreen oak, and attains to a great age. When arrived at a certain state of maturity it sheds its bark, but the quality of the bark so separated is inferior to that which is obtained by removing it at a proper time.

3. When the outer bark is removed the inner bark appears below it, and from this the cork is reproduced in the course of a few years. The trees are generally peeled once in ten years.

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4. The best cork is obtained from the oldest trees, the bark of the young trees being too porous for use. They are, nevertheless, stripped of their bark before they are twenty years old, it having been found that after every stripping the bark increases in value.

5. After the pieces of bark are detached they are soaked in water, and when nearly dry are placed over a fire of coals, which blackens their surface, but makes them more smooth. They are next loaded with weights to make them even, and are afterwards dried and stacked, or packed in bales for exportation.

6. The spongy nature of cork makes it serve well for the stopping of bottles and other vessels, and thus preventing liquids from running out, or the air from getting in. In the cutting of corks for this use, the only tool employed is a very broad, thin and sharp knife.

7. The corks for bottles are cut lengthwise of the bark, and consequently the pores lie across. Bungs, and corks of large size, are cut in a contrary direction; the pores in these are therefore downward, which renders them much more defective than the others in stopping out the air.

XLIX.—THE SPARROWS' CHRISTMAS FEAST.

1. In the far-off land of Norway,

Where the winter lingers late,
And long for the singing-birds and flowers

The little children wait.

2. When at last the summer ripens,

And the harvest is gathered in,
And food for the bleak, drear days to come

The toiling people win,

3. Through all the land the children

In the golden fields remain
Till their busy little hands have gleaned

A generous sheaf of grain.
4. All the stalks by the reapers forgotten

They glean to the very least,
To save till the cold December,

For the sparrows' Christmas feast.
5. And then through the frost-locked country

There happens a wonderful thing:
The sparrows flock north, south, east, west,

For the children's offering.
6. Of a sudden, the day before Christmas,

The twittering crowds arrive,
And the bitter, wintry air at once

With their chirping is all alive. 7. They perch upon roof and gable,

On porch and fence and tree;
They flutter about the windows

And peer in curiously;
8. They meet the eyes of the children,

Who eagerly look out
(With cheeks that bloom like roses red)

And greet them with welcoming shout. 9. On the joyous Christmas morning,

In front of every door
A tall pole, crowned with clustering grain,

Is set the birds before.
10. And which are the happiest, truly

It would be hard to tell;
The sparrows who share in the Christmas cheer

Or the children who love them well!

11. How sweet that birds should remember,

With faith so full and sure,
That the children's bounty awaited them

The whole wide country o'er!

12. When this pretty story was told me,

By one who had helped to rear
The rustling grain for the merry birds

In Norway, many a year,

13. I thought that our little children

Would like to know it too.
It seems to me so beautiful,

So blessed a thing to do,

14. To make God's innocent creatures see

In every child a friend,
And on their faithful kindness
So fearlessly depend.

CELIA THAXTER.

L.-MY FIRST FISHING.

1. I remember my first fishing excursion as if it were but yesterday. I have been happy many times in my life, but never more intensely so than when I received that first fishing-pole from my uncle's hand, and trudged off with him through the woods and meadows.

2. It was a still, sweet day of early summer; the long afternoon shadows of the trees lay cool across our path; the leaves seemed greener, the flowers brighter, the birds merrier, than ever before. My uncle, who knew by long experience where were the best haunts of pickerel, considerately placed me at the most favorable point.

3. I threw out my line as I had so often seen others,

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