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the coal already hewn down, and about to be taken up the shaft.
13. Harry was much amused with watching the trains of waggons running along a kind of railroad, and drawn up the shaft by the engine.
14. Happy and busy as the colliers seemed, Harry was sorry to hear that sometimes sad accidents occurred to the men. Now and then the mine falls in, owing to the workmen having hewn away too much coal, large pillars of which should be left for the support of the roof.
15. Sometimes, in opening a new part of a mine, they meet with bad air, which, if a lighted torch or candle is brought near, takes fire and explodes, and the loss of life is great. This bad air is called fire-damp.
16. Some accidents also occur from the effects of a vapour called choke-damp; and although
there have been great precautions taken, and some clever inventions made to prevent them, they continue to occur, though not so frequently as in former years.
17. A very clever man, who was called Sir Humphrey Davy, invented a lamp, by which the mines are lighted. It is called a Safety Lamp, and is a kind of lantern covered with fine gauze wire, through which the flame will not pass; and thus one cause of explosion in mines is greatly prevented.
17. Accidents, however, still take place at times from carelessness, either in allowing the lamp to get out of order, or in neglecting to observe the way in which it burns when danger is at hand.
LESSON 47.-THE LION.
neglected hyenas leisure civilised neighbourhood vultures appearance uncultivated jackals antelopes
1. In England we have no wild animals that are dangerous to man. Stoats and weasels may do harm by killing our fowls, or by eating their eggs, and rabbits and hares may damage the
The otter eats fish, and the fox steals a goose now and then. But we have no large wild animals in our country, and we are not afraid to go along the roads and into the fields
and woods, for we are sure there are no fierce beasts to harm us.
2. But in some countries it is very different. Either there are no regular roads, and travellers must make their way as well as they can, or the roads are very poor, and only serve to show people which way they are to go. And the country is often covered with bushes and clumps of trees, and fierce wild animals lurk in these hiding places.
3. The most noble-looking of all wild beasts is the lion. He is very strong and very fierce, and has dreadful teeth and claws. His neck is covered with a shaggy mane, and he lashes his tawny sides with his long tail, when he is
angry. So noble and commanding is his appearance, that we call him the “ King of Beasts.
4. He is found in most parts of Africa. The people in this large continent are not civilized as we are, and by far the greater part of the country is left uncultivated. Tall grass and thick shrubs and large trees grow in the neglected spots, and lions hide themselves in such places during the day, and at night they come forth to get their food.
5. All people who are able, are very careful to remain in their houses and in the towns during the night. It would not be safe to take walks in the cool evening, or in the night, in the neighbourhood of the lions. People who are
far from towns or houses, make a large fire, and fasten the oxen that draw their waggons, to stakes driven into the ground. The lion is afraid of the fire, and though he will sometimes prowl round the place, he will not often make an attack. Sometimes, however, he will put his head close to the ground, and give a loud long roar, and the oxen in their alarm will break away from their fastenings, and scamper off in all directions. If this take place, the lion often manages to get one for his supper. He lies hidden in the long grass, or in the bushes, till the animal comes near enough, then he bounds out, and knocks his prey down with a blow of his paw. He will often kill a bullock at one stroke, and will then take it up in his teeth, and trot off with it to some place where he can devour it at leisure. He will eat till he can eat no longer, and then he lies down and sleeps. Bye-and-bye he wakes up, and if the jackals and hyenas and vultures have not found out the lion's prey, he will perhaps finish the remainder. He goes
to sleep again till he feels hungry, and then he goes out hunting once more.
6. Sometimes a lion will frequent the neighbourhood of a town, and will carry off any man who comes within his reach. But more often he dwells far away from the homes of men, and lives on the antelopes and other wild animals that are so plentiful in Africa.
7. The lion seems to know that it is dangerous for him to stay near a settlement of white men. Yet he will often linger in a sort of sullen way on the outskirts of the settlement, till he is shot. And the white men are not satisfied to leave a lion near them. They go out armed with guns and accompanied by a troop of dogs, and either kill the lion or drive him away. But this is dangerous work, for the fierce beast will often turn on his foes, and sometimes manages to kill the hunter.
LESSON 48.- WE ARE SEVEN.
A SIMPLE child,
What should it know of death ?