Imágenes de páginas

And as

swarins of the insects Lurry to the spot, and run about over the damaged place, to see if they can find who has spoiled their work. And, as many of them have painful stings, it would not be pleasant to come in their way just then. But after a few seconds, they set to work to repair the damage. Some take up the eggs, and carry them off to a safer place. The eggs are about as large as the ants themselves, and it is amusing to see the insect moving along with its burden. Others take up morsels of earth and try to rebuild their house. all work heartily, it is not long before things are all snug again. Perhaps if they had been boys or girls, they would have been cross or sullen when their work was destroyed, and I dare say the ants are very angry, and would punish the offender well, if they could get him. But they set to work at once to repair damages, and soon work themselves into good temper again.

6. Sometimes we find ants larger than the common black and brown kinds. I remember seeing a large nest on a hill near Farnham, in Surrey. This nest was made up of the leaves of fir trees, and the ants were large brown insects.

7. But in some other countries, ants are very destructive. The white ants or termites build a nest sixteen or seventeen feet high.

They make it of clay, and it is so hard and strong that a bullock can stand on it without breaking through its walls. These insects make burrows in the ground, and in wood-work; they will eat the door posts, and floors of houses, but are always careful to keep out of sight while they work. So they will begin at the bottom and gnaw away the inside, leaving the outside untouched, and it often happens that the people who live in the house do not know of the mischief that has been done, till nothing but a thin shell of wood remains. I have read of a gentleman who went one day to sit in one of his chairs, and found that it crumbled to pieces as he laid hold of it. The chair had not been moved nor used for some time, and the white ants had eaten through the floor, and then had gnawed away all the inside of the legs and frame of the chair, but had not touched the outside. So that no one would have known what mischief had been done, till they tried to move the chair.

[ocr errors]


Emmets sunshiny within-doors forgiven concern manage foresaw

believe sluggard regular strength cottage These emmets, how little they are in our eyes ! We tread them to dust, and a troop of them dies

Without our regard or concern;
Yet, as wise as we are, if we went to their school,
There's many a sluggard and many a fool

Some lesson of wisdom might learn.
They wear not their time out in sleeping or play,
But gather up corn on a sunshiny day,

And for winter they lay up their stores :
They manage their work in such regular forms,
One would think they foresaw all the frosts and the storms,

And so brought their food within doors.
But I have less sense than a poor creeping ant,
If I take no due care for the things I shall want,

Nor provide against dangers in time;
When death or old age shall once stare in my face,
What a wretch shall I be at the end of my days,

If I trifle away all my prime !
Now, now, while my strength and my youth are in bloom,
Let me think what will serve me when sickness shall come,

And pray that my sins be forgiven; Let me read in good books, and believe and obey, That when death turns me out of this cottage of clay,

Ι may dwell in a palace in heaven.

LESSON 46.—THE COAL-MINE. Collieries travelling bucket accidents engine entrance colliers continue hindrance frightened amused neglecting

1. Have you ever thought where coals come from ? Perhaps not; so I will tell you. Coals

. are found in deep places of the earth, called mines, or pits, or collieries.

2. As we come near Newcastle, we see large engine houses, and great beams moving up and down, for the purpose of pumping the water out of the coal pits. For you know that when we dig to some depth in the ground, we come to water.

3. The water which was found in the coalmines was for some time a great hindrance to working in them; and until the steam-engine was brought into use, it took the hard labour and time of many men to do that which this useful engine does quickly and easily in a few days.

4. I have never been down a coal mine, but I think that you may like to hear of the visit which a little boy, called Harry, once paid to a coal mine, when he was travelling with his papa.

. 5. When Harry came to the entrance of the pit, he felt rather afraid, for on looking down the shaft, or entrance to the mine, it appeared to him like a dark deep well.


6. The gentleman who went with Harry and his papa, saw that Harry's face looked rather red and frightened, so he said, “I think you are afraid to go, Harry.”

7. But Harry said, No, not if papa goes.”

8. His papa then got into a sort of bucket, which was hooked to a rope, and let down the shaft by means of the steam-engine. Soon the bucket was out of sight; and, after having placed Harry's papa safely on the ground, appeared again, drawn up by the same useful, busy engine, that was always at work—“ Servant of all work,” Harry called it, and he was nearly right.

9. Now it was Harry's turn, and he boldly entered the bucket. One of the colliers (for so the workmen in the mine are called) went down in the bucket with him.

10. “Now, sir," said the collier to Harry, “keep quite still, and lay fast hold of the rope.”

11. Harry did as he was told, and before he had much time to feel afraid, or to think how dark it was, he was safe on his feet, and glad enough to take hold of his papa's hand.

12. They had to go still further in the same manner, and great was Harry's wonder to see this busy little little world underground. Men at work hewing down lumps of coal from the sides of the mine with large axes, and other men and some boys loading little waggons with

« AnteriorContinuar »