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"And I peep'd into the widow's field,
And, sure enough, were seen

The yellow ears of the mildewed corn
All standing stiff and green.

"And down by the weaver's croft I stole,
To see if the flax were high;
But I saw the weaver at his gate,
With the good news in his eye.

"Now, this is all I heard, mother,
And all that I did see;

So, prythee, make my bed, mother,
For I am tired as I can be."




[In the following lesson, and some others, ellipses are left to be filled up by the pupil. Let the reader supply the words which are omitted. In this lesson the rhyme will assist in suggesting the proper word. Such an exercise will be found interesting and very useful. It will give to the learner a ready command of language, and thus promote fluency in conversation, a very important and desirable accomplishment, and will contribute to the formation of a habit of ease and readiness in composition. The memory, the imagination, and the judgment are called into exercise, while at the same time all the more immediate objects of a reading lesson are equally well secured. The proper word can be written with a pencil in the vacant place within the brackets, or can be supplied by the pupil at the time of reading.]


THERE is a land, of every land the pride,
Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world (
Where brighter suns dispense serener light,

And milder moons mparadise the (
A land of beauty, virtue, valor, truth,
Time-tutored age, and love-exalted (
The wandering mariner, whose eye explores
The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting (
Views not a realm so beautiful and fair, 1
Nor breathes the spirit of a purer (

In every clime the magnet of his soul,

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Touched by remembrance, trembles to that (-);



For in this land of Heaven's peculiar grace,
The heritage of Nature's noblest (.
There is a spot of earth supremely blessed,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the (.
Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside
His sword and scepter, pageantry and (
While in his softened looks benignly blend
The sire, the son, the husband, brother, (.
Here woman reigns; the mother, daughter, wife,
Strews with fresh flowers the narrow path of (
In the clear heaven of her delightful eye,
An angel-guard of loves and graces (
Around her knees domestic duties meet,
And fireside pleasures gambol at her (

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"Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found ?”
Art thou a man? a patriot? look (. . . );
Oh, thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam,
That land thy country, and that spot thy (

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This is my own, my native land?
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath (

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CLOUDS are collections of vapor in the air, rendered visible by condensation. They seldom rise very high. Sometimes they rest upon the earth's surface, constituting what is termed fog. Sometimes they are a mile above the surface of the earth, sometimes more; but they seldom rise higher than two or three miles. Very thin, fleecy clouds, however, sometimes rise to the hight of four or five miles. But why do they not rise to the surface of the atmosphere? atmosphere rapidly diminishes upward. quantity of air is within about three miles of the earth. Above this hight, the air is unable to support any considerable quantities of vapor. Hence we see the reason why clouds rise no higher, and why the thinnest and lightest rise highest.

The density of the One half of the whole

To an attentive observer, the clouds present many interesting subjects of contemplation. Their ever-varying forms, their beautiful and richly variegated colors, and their silent motion, varying often in velocity and direction, while they furnish the poet with a field in which his fancy may rove delighted, also afford to the student of nature many an interesting theme for reflection. At one time, dark and portentous fancy might easily imagine them the ruins of some ancient castle, or timeworn tower; at another, they gather in beautiful and glorious forms around the path of the descending sun, and seem to vie with that luminary itself in splendor. Sometimes they move swiftly over the face of the heaven, and soon recede from our view; sometimes they seem to meet each other, and soon, like hasty travelers, pass each other by, without a sign of recognition. At one time, while we gaze upon them, they vanish; at another, they gather into darker and heavier masses of settled gloom.

The principal circumstances which influence the form of clouds are, the motion of the air, and the formation and condensation of vapor. Substances so light as clouds, readily change form, when subjected to greater atmospheric pressure on one side than on the other. Different portions of the air move with different degrees of velocity. Hence, clouds situ

ated in these portions of air, divide, collect, and change form, according to the force acting upon them. Water-spouts are usually attended by a thick, black cloud, formed, probably, by the vapor condensed by opposite currents of air meeting. New accessions of vapor often change the form of clouds; also, the dissolving of vapor, or a diminution of their density. Sometimes, probably, a cloud meets with a stratum of air sufficiently warm to dissolve it. In this case, it will vanish by degrees. Different parts of a cloud may be in strata of air of different warmth or density. The cloud will then partly dissolve, and the part dissolved will, perhaps, rise, and become visible in a higher portion of the air, where the heat is not sufficient to render it visible. In the spring, it is often cloudy in the morning, and clear toward noon. The heat of the sun dissolves the moisture, which arose in great quantities from the damp earth of the morning.

Clouds often move in opposite directions. Different portions of air often move in different directions above one another, on account of their being unequally rarefied by heat. They, of course, carry the clouds with them. This may be readily illustrated. If, in cold weather, the door of a warm room be opened a little, and a candle be held near the bottom of the opening, and another near the top, the flame will often be blown in opposite directions. The cold rushes in at the bottom, and the warm air, being lighter, goes out at the top.

The color of clouds depends on the rays of light which they reflect. Dark clouds often precede wind. But, although they are seen before the wind is felt, they are not the cause, but the effect, of the wind. As the wind moves on, it presses upon that portion of the air which has a velocity less than its own, and by this pressure, and, perhaps, by its greater coldness, condenses the vapor contained in it, and thus forms a cloud. This cloud, being so dense that little or no light can pass through it, appears black. And the degree of darkness depends on the density of the vapor, or, in other words, on the velocity of the wind, and the quantity of water in the portion of air compressed.

The beautiful colors that often adorn the sky at sunset, are caused by the clouds reflecting the sun's light. That redness of the sky in the morning, which is often regarded as the

precursor of a storm, probably results from the red rays of the sun passing through the vapor collected in the air. Light is composed of seven different-colored rays, possessing different degrees of force. These may be seen, separate from each other, in the rainbow. force or momentum.

Of these, the red rays have the greatest Hence, when the air is very full of vapor, the red rays have sufficient power to penetrate it, while the others have not. Many of the red rays, however, do not come directly from the sun, but are scattered in various directions on striking the vapor, and thus the redness is diffused over a considerable space.

Thunder clouds exhibit an appearance peculiarly striking. To many they are objects of terror. In a greater or less degree, they arrest the attention of almost every one. These clouds are collections of vapor strongly electrified. They are generally very dense, and very near the earth. Frequently two clouds rise in different parts of the horizon, and move toward each other till they meet, at the same time rising up toward the zenith. When clouds in different electrical states approach each other, or when a strongly electrified cloud approaches near to the earth, the electricity is discharged in vast quantities, and with tremendous violence, thus constituting what is called lightning; while the concussion given to the surrounding air by its force, and the rushing together of the portions of air separated by its motion, causes thunder. This sound, reflected and reverberated among the clouds, produces the long-continued and solemn roll, which forms one of the sublimest characteristics of a thunder-storm.

It is often imagined that lightning always moves toward the earth. But there is reason to suppose that discharges are sometimes made from the earth to the clouds, as well as from the clouds to the earth. It is not difficult to measure the distance of thunder-clouds from the earth. Sound moves at the rate of eleven hundred and forty-two feet in a second; light at the rate of about two hundred thousand miles in a second. The time in which light traverses so small a space as that between a thunder-cloud and any place from which the thunder can be heard, is so short that it need not be estimated. If, then, we multiply the number of seconds between the flash and the thunder by eleven hundred and forty-two, we have the distance

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