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54. Peter. They are round and smooth. Catnip is frizzy a little, and the stems are straight.

55. U.J. Any thing more?

56. Peter. The leaves of catnip are larger than purslane leaves, and thinner and softer.

57. U.J. Can you tell me any thing more about it the stem of the catnip ? 58. Peter. No, sir; I have told all I know of it. 59. U. J. How about the color? 60. Peter. It is green. . 61. U. J. Is the purslane stem green?

62. Peter. Some of it, and some of it is almost white, and some is almost red ; queer, isn't it? The under side of the stem is pale, and the upper side is red — tanned, I guess,

in the sun. 63. U. J. It looks like it. Can you break it? 64. Peter. May I try? 65. U.J. Certainly.

66. Peter. O, how brittle it is! I did not think it would break so easy.

67. U.J. Now try the catnip stém.
68. Peter. How tough it is. It will not break.
69. U. J. Cut it with my knife.

70. Peter. Why, it is hollow. The stalk is square, but the hole in it is round.

71. U. J. Now I will take the knife and cut the stem across at a joint. There is no hole here. You see that the hollow is closed up at the joints where the branches begin.

72. Peter. I should not have thought of that. How many things there are to learn about one stem.

73. U. J. We have scarcely made a beginning yet. But before we go further, you may tell me what you have already learned.

74. Peter. The catnip stalk is square, stands up straight, has a strong odor, is slightly frizzy, is green, is rough and woody, will not break easily, is hollow except at the joints, and — that is all I can think of.

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75. U.J. And what about the purslane stem?

76. Peter. That is round, lies flat on the ground, is smooth, brittle, pale green below and red on top, solid.

77. U.J. Are you sure of that?

78. Peter. Yes; I split a stem the whole length and there was no sign of a hole. It takes a great deal of study to find out all about a plant, if it is a weed, does it not?

79. U. J. A great deal.
80. Peter. I think I know all about these now.

81. U. J. O no, Peter; you have learned only a little about them; you have not learned any thing about the roots yet, nor about the branches, nor about the flowers, nor about the seeds; nor when they come up in the spring, nor how they grow in the summer, nor when they die in the fall; nor what things eat them, nor what they are good for, nor what their relations are, nor

82. Peter. O, I will never be able to learn all of that! And then there are so many plants, too, to learn about.

83. U.J. It would be a great task, indeed, if you had to learn it all at once; but you have not. Just keep your eyes open, and take notice of all the plants you see, and you will learn something about them every day. In a little while it will be pleasanter for you to study plants than to play. If you do this, it will not be many years before

you

will be a wise boy.

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XLI.—HOW LEO BECAME A PAUPER.

1. Here is the account of my uncle's dog Leo, as told me while I was a child, and verified by my uncle after I had grown into manhood — for it was so wonderful that I thought my early imagination might have idealized the story.

2. Leo had been the pet of the family and the playmate of the children; but when old he had ceased to be useful, and some of the family had concluded that he should be put out of the way.

3. Observing the dog looking at him intently one morning, my uncle began to talk to him.

“Leo, they say I must have you shot or drowned; that you are getting old and offensive — troublesome about the house, and past all usefulness. This is pretty hard, Leo; I can not shoot you, neither can I employ any one to take your life.

4. “You have been a good and faithful dog, and I have loved you, and I now love you for the comfort you have been to me.

What am I to do? Who knows but when I get to be old, and am considered to be beyond usefulness, they may want me put out of the way?” Having ended this soliloquy, he left the house and went to his business.

5. In the evening, as Leo did not make his appearance, all thought he had been killed, and none of them cared to allude to it. Several evenings after, one of them ventured to ask their father if Leo had been shot, and who shot him. He replied that he had done nothing about it, and supposed that the family had employed some person to kill him, knowing how painful it would be for him to attend to it. Each and every one put in their disclaimer as to any knowledge of what had become of “poor Leo.”

6. Saturday afternoon Leo made his appearance, to the astonishment of the whole family. He was caressed and fed and petted, but in the evening he was missing; and the week passed, with occasional expressions of wonder as to what could have become of the dog. For weeks, every Saturday afternoon brought Leo to his old home. Curiosity at last led one of the children to follow him as he left the house,- it was found that he turned in at the poor-house yard.

7. My uncle called the next day at the poor-house, and there learned that, several weeks before, Leo came to the place and attached himself to the assistant, and followed him about in his various duties, and no person calling for him, they had allowed him to remain. Remembering the soliloquy on the day that Leo first left his old home, my uncle was deeply moved, and resolved to take the dog home and have him well cared for; but no coaxing or persuasion or petting could induce him to remain there.

8. It was a custom to permit the inmates of the poorhouse on Saturday afternoons to visit their friends and to return again at a certain hour before dark; and it would appear that Leo took upon himself the privilege granted to the human inmates, and visited his friends at his old home, returning at the regular hour — a practice which he continued, never missing a day so long as he lived.

XLII.-A DEED AND A WORD.

1. A little spring had lost its way

Amid the grass and fern;
A passing stranger scooped a well,

Where weary men might turn.

2. He walled it in, and hung with care

A ladle at the brink;
He thought not of the deed he did,

But judged that toil might drink.
3. He passed again, and lo! the well,

By summer never dried,
Had cooled ten thousand parching tongues,

And saved a life beside.

4. A nameless man, amid a crowd

That thronged the daily mart,
Let fall a word of hope and love,

Unstudied from the heart;

5. A whisper on the tumult thrown,

A transitory breath -
It raised a brother from the dust,

It saved a soul from death.

6. O germ! O fount! 0 word of love!

O thought at random cast !
Ye were but little at the first,
But mighty at the last !

CHARLES MACKAY.

XLIII.-RICE.

1. Rice is cultivated in most of the warmer portions of the world. Indeed, it can be profitably cultivated only in warm climates. The yield per acre is about six times as much as it is of wheat. Rice was first raised in the United States in the year 1697.

2. In China the rice crop is of great importance. It forms the principal part of the food of the inhabitants; and, as much of the land lies flat and low, and the country

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