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The smallest and most beautiful birds in the world are found in South America ; they are called Humming-birds : and some of them are no bigger than a large bee.
AUSTRALIA. WHEN men had found out the way to America, they began to sail round the south of it into the very wide sea which is between America and Asia. They found a great many islands in this sea; and at last they found out Australia, that very large island, which is to the south-east of Asia.
They were surprised to find that the trees, the flowers, and the beasts which they saw there, were quite different from any that had been seen in the other parts of the world.
They found no fruits which were good to eat, though there were some which looked like cherries, with the stone growing outside ; and others looked like pears, but they were as hard as wood.
Many Englishmen now live in Australia, and they have planted many of the fruits and vegetables which we have in England. They have also built towns in several places in Australia ; but all these towns are near the sea : no one has yet gone very far into the middle of the country, for they do not find much water there.
Even in those parts where Englishmen are living, most of the rivers partly dry up during some months in the year : then they look like a number of ponds, with dry places between them: but a few
a large rivers have always water in them.
You will see on the map, to the east of Australia, two islands close together, which are called New Zealand. Englishmen have gone there also to live; it is a very fine country. The people whom the English found there are strong and clever; but they were sadly fierce and cruel : they were fond of fighting, and after a battle they used to eat their prisoners.
Since the English have gone to live in the country, the men of New Zealand have been learning better things : many of them can read the Bible, and have learned to live in a happy, peaceable manner.
Australia has become quite famous lately for the great quantity of gold which has been found there.
LOOK at that sheet of paper so white and thin, and yet so strong, upon which your pen makes those marks which we call “writing.” How do you think it is made ?
You would never guess how ! That sheet of paper is made of rags.
Old rags are taken to the paper-mill and sorted into five or six qualities to make the different kinds of paper. Women do this work.
After the rags have been well washed and cleaned, to take away the grease, they must be unravelled, or pulled to threads. This is done in the following way.
They are soaked for a long time, and are afterwards mashed up by violent blows from heavy hammers, which are worked by a water-mill or a steam engine.
In new paper mills, they use upright hollow cylinders, with steel blades sticking out all over the inside. In the middle of the inside of the cylinder there is fixed a post, also covered with steel blades.
This machine is called a “washer.” The rags are put into the cylinder with plenty of water, and as the cylinder turns round, they are tossed about between the two sets of teeth and torn to threads.
The rags are then put into another machine, in which the blades are much closer together, and this tears and beats them into a kind of paste, which is called “pulp.”
Into this pulp the paper-maker throws
a certain salt called chloride of lime. At the end of an hour or two, the paste is quite white.
It is next placed in a wooden vat, containing copper pipes, which are heated by passing steam through them, and a certain quantity of water is added, to make the mixture thinner. Care is taken that it shall be free from any flakes or lumps.
The workman now takes a sort of deep tray, made of brass-wire crossed very closely, and forming a kind of sieve. Å A thin frame, something like a slate frame without a slate in it, is laid upon the bottom of the tray, which is then dipped into the pulp.
As much pulp as will rest on the wires within the four sides of the frame is taken out of the vat; the water drips through, and the pulp becomes nearly dry. We have now, in a very imperfect state, a sheet of paper.
The frames which are used are not all of the same size; the size of them depends on how large or small the sheet of paper is to be.