« ПретходнаНастави »
offers them to us again in the form of milk, and we do not think of refusing; the butcher offers them to us in the form of beef, and we do not say “No.”
9. Alice wants some india-rubber shoes. think the kingdoms of air and water can send her a pair? The india-rubber tree in South America takes up water and separates from it hydrogen, of which india-rubber is partly composed, and, adding to it carbon from the air, it makes a gun which we can work into shoes and balls, buttons, tubes, cups, cloth, and a hundred other useful articles.
10. Then again, you and I, and every body else, must go to the world of gases for nitrogen to help build our bodies, to make muscle and blood and skin and hair; and so the peas and beans load their boat-shaped seeds full of nitrogen, and bring it to us so fresh and excellent that we enjoy eating it.
11. This useful carrying trade has also another branch well worth looking at. You remember hearing how many soldiers were sick in war-time at the South ; but perhaps you do not know that their best medicine was brought to them by a South American tree that gathered up from the earth and air bitter juices to make what we call quinine.
12. Then there is camphor, which I am sure you have all seen, sent by the East Indian camphor-tree to cure you when you are sick; and gum-arabic and all the other gums, and castor-oil, and most of the other medicines that you do not at all like,- all brought to us by the plants.
13. I might say a great deal more about this, but I will stop to tell you only a little of what we give back in payment for all that is brought us.
14. When England sends us hardware and woolen goods she expects us to repay her with cotton and sugar, that are just as valuable to us as hardware and woolens are to her; but see how differently we treat the kingdoms from which the plant-ships are all the time bringing us food and clothes and medicines.
15. All that we return to them is just what we can make no use of ourselves. We take in good fresh air, and breathe out impure and bad air. We throw back to the earth whatever will not nourish and strengthen us; and yet no complaint comes from the faithful plants. Do you wonder? I will let you into the secret of this.
16. The truth is, what is worthless to us is really just the food they need; and they do not at all know how little we value it ourselves. It is like the Chinese, of whom we might buy rice or silk or tea, and pay them in rats, which we are glad to be rid of, while they consider them good food.
17. Now I have given you only a peep into this carrying trade, but it is enough to show you how to learn more about it by using your eyes and ears.
To the Men and Boys of the United States :
1. We, the blue-birds, robins, wrens, larks, jays, bobolinks, and other songsters, having come to give you a concert, do most humbly pray that you will not drive us away with guns and stones, nor destroy our nests, take our eggs, or kill our little ones.
2. We will not tax you for our songs. The few cherries that we take we will pay well for in destroying worms and insects that, if left alone, would not allow you to raise any fruit at all. Would you not rather spare us a little than to have none yourselves?
XXXVII.-THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED
A LIGHT HEART.
A light heart makes nimble feet and keeps the body healthy.
DON'T DO IT. Don't speak a harsh, unkind word, and thus make sad the heart of another. Don't add a straw to another's burden; it is heavy enough now.
Don't live for your own enjoyment and comfort alone. Such a life would drive them away.
THY VALUE. Only what thou art, and not what thou hast, determines thy value.
LIFE'S AIM. The aim of life should not be joy or repose, but work. Work and love; these are the body and soul of human life. Happy is he in whom they are united.
LIFE'S JOURNEY GLADDENED. To believe that God's eye follows every sparrow, that His taste unrolls every flower, that His thoughts and feelings give expression in all natural forms and colors and harmonies, gladdens life's journey with a Father's conscious presence and care.
GOD'S CARE. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them.—Bible.
THE BEST PORTION.
The best portion of a good man's life is his little nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.— Wordsworth.
Over our hearts and into our lives
Shadows will sometimes fall;
1. Labor, labor — honest labor;
Labor keeps me well and strong;
Labor, too, inspires my song.
2. Labor keeps me ever merry ;
Cheerful labor is but play:
Labor driveth tears away.
3. Labor brings an eve of solace,
When my hands their toil forego,
Cherished streams of memory flow.
4. Labor curtains night with gladness,
Giveth rest and happy dreams;
With a mystic pleasure teems.
5. Labor ever freely giveth
Lustrous vigor to the mind;
New ideas from it I find.