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ous kinds of gum-tree and logwood, form the staple of the community. The cinchona tree, from the bark of which quininen is drawn, heads a division of no mean strength, while every variety of palm and cocoa-nut rear their graceful and gigantic stems in every spot where they can find an opening.
So thickly are these trees planted, so innumerable are their allies, so closely are the interlacing branches bound together, that the sky is visible in only a few places.
No words can convey any idea either of the height or girth of the great trees. Twelve, eighteen, twenty, and twenty-five feet, do some of the monsters measure around the base, while for height they have seventy, and even a hundred feet of clear stem, without a branch.
Among the gorgeous blossoms of the hundreds of wild flowers that embrace the trees, perhaps a scarlet snake or a whip-snake may be seen hanging from some branch, deceiving the traveler by its blossom or tendril-like appearance, ready to deal him a death-blow in the event of his coming within reach.
Animal life swarms in these forests with amazing abundance. Parrots of various species and brilliant plumage; birds innumerable, from the scarlet flamingo to the tiny humming-bird, nestle in every branch; while the thickets swarm with wild animals in such prodigious numbers, that it appears hardly conceivable how they can all find subsistence.
Tigers, jaguars, tapirs, monkeys, wild boars, deer, besides smaller quadrupeds, abound in every direction; and by a peculiarity very remarkable, and unknown elsewhere, they all begin at the same hour of
the night to raise their respective cries, and fill the forest with a chorus so loud and dissonant that sleep is for hours impossible to the wearied traveler.
Biography.- Rev. Charles Kingsley was born in Devonshire, England, in 1819, and died in 1875.
After graduating from Cambridge University, he devoted himself to theological work. But his name is best known by his endeavor to better the condition of the working classes. The origin of the co-operative associations in which the workmen are also the masters, was mainly due to his influence.
Kingsley's insight into human nature and his descriptivo powers were alike remarkable. The truth of his pictures of South American forests has excited the admiration of travelers who have seen what he described through the gift of imagination. His principal works are: “Westward Ho!” “Hypatia,”
“Alton Locke," “Hereward,” and “At Last.”
Notes. - Quinine (kwi'nin) is an important remedial agent, and is extensively used as a tonic and in the treatment of fevers.
Composition. – Take as a subject -“A Visit to Niagara," and treat it in the form of a narrative.
172.-FRANKLIN'S VISIT TO HIS MOTHER.
In'stinet, natural impulse.
În' com mode', disturb.
Benjamin Franklin, after the death of his father, returned to Boston, in order to pay his respects to his mother, who resided in that city. He had been absent some years, and at that period of life when the greatest and most rapid alteration is made in the human appearance; at a time when the shrill voice of the youth assumes the commanding tones of the man, and the smiling features of boyhood are succeeded by the strong lines of the adult.
Franklin was sensible that the change in his looks was such that his mother could not know him, except by that instinct, which it is believed can cause a mother's heart to beat violently in the presence of her child, and point the maternal eye, with quick and sudden glance, to a beloved son.
To ascertain by actual experience whether or not this instinct exists, he resolved to introduce himself as
a stranger to his mother, and to watch narrowly for the moment in which she should discover her son.
On a cold, chilly day, in the month of January, in the afternoon, he knocked at his mother's door, and asked to speak with Mrs. Franklin, He found the old lady knitting before the parlor fire, introduced himself, by remarking that he had been informed she entertained travelers, and requested a night's lodging.
She eyed him with that cold look which most people assume when they imagine themselves insulted; assured him that he had been misinformedthat she did not keep a tavern; but that it was true, to oblige some members of the legislature, she took a number of them into her family during the session; that she then had four members of the council, who boarded with her-that all the beds were full; and then she betook herself to her knitting with that intense application which expressed, as forcibly as action could do, “If you have concluded your business, the sooner you leave the house the better."
But upon Franklin's wrapping his coat around him, affecting to shiver with cold, and remarking that it was very chilly weather, she pointed to a chair, and gave him leave to warm himself.
The entrance of her boarders precluded all further conversation-coffee was soon served, and Benjamin partook with
partook with the family. To the coffee, according to the good old fashion of the times, succeeded a plate of pippins and then pipes, when the whole family formed a cheerful, smoking semicircle before the fire.
Perhaps no ever possessed conversational powers to a more fascinating degree than Franklin; and never was there an occasion when he displayed those powers to greater advantage, than at this time. He drew the attention of the company by the solidity of his modest remarks, instructed them by the varied, new, and striking lights in which he placed his subjects, and delighted them with apt and amusing anecdotes.
Thus employed, the hours passed merrily along until eight o'clock, when, punctual to the moment, Mrs. Franklin announced supper. Busied with her household affairs, she fancied the intruding stranger had left the house immediately after coffee, and it was with difficulty she could restrain her resentment when she saw him seat himself at the table with the freedom of a member of the family.
Immediately after supper she called aside one of her boarders, an elderly gentleman, and complained bitterly of the rudeness of the strangertold the manner of his introduction to the houseobserved that she thought there was something very suspicious in his appearance, and asked her friend's advice with respect to the way in which she could most easily rid herself of his presence.
The old gentleman assured her that the stranger was certainly a young man of education, and to all appearance a gentleman; that perhaps, being in agreeable company, he had paid no attention to the lateness of the hour; and advised her to call him aside, and repeat to him her inability to lodge him.
She accordingly sent her maid to him, and then, with as much calmness as she could command, again related the situation of her family; observed that it grew late, and mildly intimated that he would do well to seek a lodging elsewhere. Franklin replied that he would by no means incommode her family; but that, with her leave, he would smoke one pipe more with her boarders, and then retire.
He returned to his company, filled his pipe, and with the first whiff, his powers of converse returned with double force. A gentleman present mentioned the subject of the day's debate-a bill had been introduced to extend the powers of the royal goy
Franklin immediately entered upon the subjectsupported the colonial rights with new and forcible arguments, was familiar with the names of the influential men in the House-recited their speeches, and applauded their noble defense.
During a discourse so interesting to the company, no wonder the clock struck eleven, unnoticed by the delighted circle: nor was it wonderful that the patience of Mrs. Franklin grew quite exhausted. She now entered the room, and, before the whole