Слике страница
PDF
ePub

4. “Well, that is correct. Can you tell me the characteristics of these buds ?”

5. “I do not know that I can. I see a difference in the size, but can not account for it.”

6. “I think I understand the difference,” said Minnie. “The large, round buds will come out blossoms, but the sharp-pointed ones produce the leaves."

7. “That is right, Minnie. These two classes of buds are found on fruit trees after they come into bearing, and are easily distinguished by a practiced eye. The fruit buds are always on the older branches of the tree, while leaf buds appear on all parts, and exclusively so on the new shoots.

8. “It is a fact of peculiar interest that rank growth is always inimical to fruitfulness; hence young and vigorous

trees are seldom productive. It is only when they become feebler in growth that fruit is produced.

9. “In this sprig of pear, the contrast of the buds is more marked. The one-leaf bud toward the end is small and sharp, while the fruitbuds are very large and plump.

10. "A closer look at these buds will show that they are wrapped up in cerements alike impervious to wind and weather. These are the

cradles in which the infant leaf and flower are safely rocked through the winter's storm for the genial influences of spring to warm into life and beauty. This preservation is very wonderful.

11. “Let the leaf or flower be ever so little exposed to the touch of the frost, and its death ensues at once;

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

but here the tender germ lies snugly enveloped in these thin folds of nature's providing, capable of enduring all the rigors of the severest winter.

12. “God's protectors are sure. These invulnerable bud-shields are quite thick, and are glued together by a gummy substance that effectually shuts out all the rains and cold until the sunshine is ready for the little nursling within, and then they open gently to let it grow. 13. “In this bud of horse-chestnut this arrangement is

beautifully seen. As the only object of this casing is to protect the dormant bud during the winter, it is cast off as soon as the leaf begins its expansion in the spring, and will be seen scattered profusely beneath the tree.

14. “Pick up one of these cast-off scales, and you will have a still more impressive conception of this special provision of God. The outside is a flinty shell, but within you will find a lining of the softest velvet, the dainty and downy swaddling-clothes of the coming

generations of leaves and flowers. 15. “You wonder at these special adaptations of God's handiwork — a feeling which will certainly be increased when you learn that buds in warm climates do not have this winter covering, as you will see in the orange and lemon trees grown in hot-houses.

16. “0, how wonderful and minute is God's care for all the works of his hands! It is only by such clear conceptions of His presence every-where, that we can understand the sublime and gracious lessons of the God with us.' 'If God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe

0

ye of little faith? 17. “Let us take our place as sentinel at the gateway leading to one of these little fruit-buds, and if we could only see all the beautiful messengers passing through it, carrying into its store-house the treasures which God has provided to enrich it, our wonder and admiration would be beyond expression.

18. “And why should our conceptions be measured by a lower scale, when we can be fully cognizant of the facts, though we may not clearly understand all the processes by which they are established? Through that little neck connecting the bud with the branch, how many different and brilliant dyes are passed to pencil the petals of the flower and blush in the cheek of the fruit!

19. “What a commingling of odors and infusion of acids, bitters and sweets! What skillful little architects are at work there, shaping dome and column, scooping out seed-chambers and wrapping up the little embryo, with its store of infant food !

20. “ Could we see all these crowding through the same narrow entrance, with their loads of treasure, jostling each other on the way, we should say, What a confusion is here!' and tremble for the impending fate of our

bud. But our anxiety would be uncalled for. 21. “Guided by unerring skill, each tint blushes in its appropriate leaf-fringe, or dots itself on the petal — the drop of nectar distills in the bosom of the flower, and exhales in sweetness on the air; while bitter and sweet, seed and pulp, assimilate and perfect the fruit by the great law stamped upon them when God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so.'

22. "And so it will ever be while time endures; and he is little above the swine, that eats of the acorn and looks not up to see from whence it comes, who can pluck flower or fruit and not adore the God who gives them for his enjoyment by such a marvelous process.”

poor bud.

[graphic]

CI. GIVING.

1. The sun gives ever; so the earth

What it can give, so much 'tis worth;
The ocean gives in many ways —
Gives paths, gives fishes, rivers, bays:
So, too, the air — it gives us breath;
When it stops giving, comes in death.

Give, give, be always giving;
Who gives not, is not living.

The more you give,

The more you live.
2. God's love hath in us wealth unheap'd;

Only by giving is it reap'd:
The body withers, and the mind,
If pent in by a selfish rind.
Give strength, give thought, give deed, give pelf,
Give love, give tears, and give thyself.

Give, give, be always giving;
Who gives not, is not living.

The more we give,
The more we live.

CII.—THE TOWN PUMP. 1. Noon, by the north clock! Noon, by the east ! High noon, too, by those hot sunbeams which fall, scarcely aslope, upon my head, and almost make the water bubble and smoke in the trough under my nose.

2. Truly we public characters have a tough time of it! Among all the town officers, chosen at the yearly meeting, where is he that sustains, for a single year, the burden of such manifold duties as are imposed, in perpetuity, upon the Town Pump?

[ocr errors]

3. The title of town treasurer is rightfully mine, as guardian of the best treasure the town has. The overseers of the poor ought to make me their chairman, since I provide bountifully for the pauper, without expense to him that pays taxes.

4. I am at the head of the fire department, and one of the physicians of the board of health. As a keeper of the peace, all water drinkers confess me equal to the constable. I perform some of the duties of the town clerk, by promulgating public notices, when they are pasted on my front.

5. To speak within bounds, I am chief person of the municipality, and exhibit, moreover, an admirable pattern to my brother officers, by the cool, steady, upright, downright, and impartial discharge of my business, and the constancy with which I stand to my post.

6. Summer or winter, nobody seeks me in vain; for all day long I am seen at the busiest corner, just above the market, stretching out my arms to rich and poor alike; and at night I hold a lantern over my head, both to show where I am, and to keep people out of the gutters.

7. At this sultry noontide, I am cup-bearer to the parched populace, for whose benefit an iron goblet is chained to my waist. I cry aloud to all, and in my plainest accents, and at the very top of my voice, “Here it is, gentlemen! Here is the good liquor! Walk up, walk up, gentlemen! Walk up, walk up!”

8. It were a pity if this outcry should draw no customers. Here they come. A hot day, gentlemen! Quaff, and away again, so as to keep yourselves in a nice cool sweat.

9. Who next? O, my little friend, you are just let loose from school, and come hither to scrub your blooming face, and drown the memory of school-boy troubles,

« ПретходнаНастави »