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woman who owned the island, was also thronged with ducks. The base of the wall that surrounded it, and that of the building itself, was fringed with ducks sitting upon their nests. The window seats were occupied by ducks; on the turf slopes of the roofs were ducks, and a duck was sitting in the scraper at the door. 12. A grassy bank near by had been cut into

squares of about eight or ten inches, and a hollow made in each. These were all filled with ducks, as were the outbuildings, mounds rocks and crevices. Many of them were so tame as to allow themselves to be handled on their nests.

13. “The woman who had charge of thein said that there was scarcely a duck on the island that would not allow her to take the eggs without fear or flight.” These birds are about twice the size of the common ducks. The drake is nearly white, or much lighter colored than the duck. The down is used largely for making coverlets, the warmth and lightness of which are unequaled.

Manual of Commerce.

LXXXIV. FARMER JOHN.

1. Home from his journey Farmer John

Arrived this morning safe and sound.
His black coat off and his old clothes on,
“Now I'm myself,” says Farmer John;

And he thinks, “I'll look around.”
Up leaps the dog; “Get down you pup!
Are you so glad you would eat me up?"
The old cow lows at the gate to greet him;
The horses prick up their ears to meet him;

“Well, well, old Bay!

Ha, ha, old Gray !
Do you not get good food when I'm away?"

2. “You haven't a rib!” says Farmer John;

“ The cattle are looking round and sleek :
The colt is going to be a roan,
And a beauty, too; how he has grown!

We'll wean the calf next week.”
Says Farmer John, “When I've been off,
To call you again about the trough,
And watch you, and pet you, while you drink,
Is a greater comfort than you can think !”

And he pats old Bay,

And he slaps old Gray;
“Ah, this is the comfort of going away!”

3. “For after all,” says Farmer John,

“ The best of a journey is getting home!
I've seen great sights,— but would I give
This spot, and the peaceful life I live,

For all their Paris and Rome?
These hills for the city's stifled air,
And big hotels, all bustle and glare,
Lands all houses, and roads all stones,
That deafen your ears and batter your bones ?

Would you, old Bay?

Would you, old Gray?
That's what one gets by going away!”

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4. "I've found out this," says Farmer John,

“ That happiness is not bought and sold,
And clutched in a life of waste and hurry,
In nights of pleasure and days of worry;

And wealth isn't all in gold,
Mortgage and stocks and ten per cent.,
But in simple ways, and sweet content,

Few wants, pure hopes, and noble ends,
Some land to till and a few good friends,

Like you, old Bay,

And you, old Gray!
That's what I've learned by going away.'

5. And a happy man is Farmer John,

0, a rich and happy man is he!
He sees the peas and pumpkins growing,
The corn in tassel and buckwheat blowing,

And fruit on vine and tree;
The large kind oxen look their thanks
As he rubs their forehead and strokes their flanks;
The doves light round him and strut and coo;
Says Farmer John, I'll take you, too,-

And you, old Bay,
And you, old Gray,

,
The next time I travel so far away!”

J. T. TROWBRIDGE.

LXXXV. RAILROADS.

1. The history of railroads is truly marvelous. George Stephenson,* the inventor (if it can be said that railroads were invented), when eighteen years old had never

) been to school. He could not write nor even read. His father was very poor, and he was compelled to work incessantly to aid in supporting a large family.

2. At that age he was fired with an ambition to learn, and for this purpose secured admission to an evening school, working during the day. He was indefatigable in his efforts to learn, and soon developed a passion for mathematics, the acquisition of which proved of great use to him in after-life.

*An Englishman, born June 9, 1781 ; died August 12, 1848.

3. When twenty years old he was made brakeman on a colliery engine, and soon after began to think about improving it himself. He kept on working and thinking and reading until, at thirty-two years of age, he made an engine, which he named “My Lord,” in honor of Lord Ravensworth, who had furnished the money with which to build it. This was in 1813, and it was the first locomotive engine ever built. It was used to draw coal-cars on a tramway.

4. The construction of this engine was a great achievement, but Mr. Stephenson was not satisfied. He was sure that one could be built that would run much faster, and he ventured to predict that a speed of twelve miles an hour would be attained, and that passengers would yet travel by steam.

5. He was laughed at for his folly; and one gravelooking gentleman, thinking to put him down by ridicule, said, “Suppose one of these engines to be going at the rate of nine or ten miles an hour, and that a cow were to stray upon the line, would not that be a very awkward circumstance?” “Yes,” replied Mr. Stephenson, “very

“ awkward, indeed - for the cow."

– 6. A few quaker gentlemen, influenced by one Edward Pease, himself a quaker, who, it was said, could see a hundred years ahead, and who had become interested in what George Stephenson was doing, formed a railroad company, and their first line of rail was laid from Wilton colliery (near Darlington, England,) to Stockton, in September, 1825. This line was called in derision “the Quaker-Line.” Five years afterwards it was extended to Middlesborough, a distance of four or five miles. This extension was opened on the 27th of December, 1830.

7. There was, of course, plenty of laughter in connection with the idea of railroads, and a good deal of opposition to them. People used the word “ridiculous” very freely. Some noblemen would not have their foxcovers disturbed; others ordered their people to drive off any person making surveys, as trespassers, or to sunmarily duck them in a neighboring horse pond; and painphlets were written to aların the public.

8. It was gravely stated that if railroads were laid it would prevent the cows from grazing, hens from laying, and that the poisoned air from the locomotives would kill the birds as they flew, and render the preserving of game impossible; while householders near the line were told that their houses would be burned, vegetation destroyed, innkeepers ruined, and passengers massacred. And when it was known that Mr. Stephenson had said travelers could journey at a speed of twelve miles an hour, there was one general expression of derision.

9. The first railroad in the United States was built in 1827, for the purpose of transporting granite for the Bunker Hill monument, from the quarry at Quincy, Massachusetts, to the river Neponset, which flows into Boston harbor. The distance was three miles, and the cars were drawn by horses.

10. The engine which drew its first train over “ the Quaker Line” in England, in September, 1825, opened a new era to the world. In the half-century just completed, greater progress and improvements in the arts generally have been made than in any corresponding period before in the world's history.

11. The few miles of track between the out-of-the-way little English towns have grown and ramified until their iron net-work, already pushing its way into the wildernesses of Siberia and the burning sands of the African deserts, will soon have encompassed the world.

12. For the old stage-coach bodies, deprived of their

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