Page images

with baskets of clay cups on their backs, and little hatchets to gash the trees. Where the white milk drips down from the gash they stick their cups on the trunk with daubs of clay, molded so as to catch the whole flow. If the tree is a large one, four or five gashes may be cut in a circle around the trunk.

On the next day other gashes are made a little below these, and so on until the rows reach the ground. By eleven o'clock the flow of milk has ceased, and the natives come to collect the contents of the cups in calabash jugs. A gill or so is the utmost yield from each tree, and a single gatherer may attend to a hundred and twenty trees or more, wading always through these dark marshes, and paying dearly for his profit in fever and weakness.

A day's gathering will be a calabash of white liquid, in appearance precisely like milk. If left in this condition it coagulates after a while, and forms an inferior whitish gum. To make the black rubber of commerce the milk must go through a peculiar process of manufacture. Over a smoldering fire, fed with the hard nuts of the tucuman palm, is placed a kind of clay chimney, like wide-mouthed, bottomless jug; through this chimney the thick smoke pours in a constant stream. Now the rubber gatherer takes his mold-in this

a wooden one, like a round-bladed paddlewashes it with the milk, and holds it over the smoke until the liquid coagulates.

Then another coat is added - only now, as the wood is heated, the milk coagulates faster. take the gatherings of two or three days to cover the mold thickly enough. Then the rubber is



It may

still dull white, but in a short time it turns brown, and finally almost black, as it is sent to the market. The mass is cut from the paddle and sold to traders in the village. Bottles are sometimes made by molding the rubber over a clay ball, which is then broken up and removed.

During the wet months, from February until June or July, this ground is under water, and the huts of the natives are wholly deserted. The floods would not entirely interrupt the gathering, were it not that the gum is then weak, and of comparatively little value. Besides, the trees need this period of rest to make up for the constant summer drain.

Rubber is almost the only product of these lowlands. The whole region is simply an endless succession of channels, small lakes, and swamps covered with forests, beautiful beyond thought from without, a dismal wilderness within.


Note.-The tucuma palm is from thirty to forty feet high, and its stem is encircled with narrow rings of black spines arranged with beautiful regularity. Its fruit is about an inch long, and almost globular in shape.

Language. – Nouns or pronouns used to complete the meaning of a verb or participle, or the relation indicated by a preposition, are said to be in the objective case; as, “In a few days' time after leaving the mouth of the Arkansas River, we saw New Orleans."

The noun New Orleans completes the meaning of what word ? mouth completes the meaning of what word ?- time and river complete the relations indicated by what words?

Select or compose a sentence illustrating the different uses of the objective case.

Composition. -Select six parts suitable for the treatment of the subject -“A Visit to the Amazon," using the narrative order, and introducing the description of such scenes or objects of interest as will make the composition attractive, as well as instructive.




in qui ty (in iko wị tỷ), cromg;

gross injustice. guin'eas (gin' eş), gold coins of

England, valued at about $5 each. at těst', affirm; prove. dis guized', concealed. €ăn'dor, fairness; sincerity.

plāint’iff, one who begins an ac

tion to obtain a remedy for an in

priv’i leģe, advantage.
ad duced', offered.
coun'sel orş, lawyers.
ne fā'ri Qús, wicked.

A gentleman, who possessed an estate in the eastern part of England, had two sons. The elder, being of a rambling disposition, went abroad. After several years his father died; when the younger son, destroying the will that had been made in his elder brother's favor, seized upon the estate. He gave out that his elder brother was dead, and bribed false witnesses to attest the truth of this report.

In the course of time the elder brother returned, but being in destitute circumstances, found it difficult to establish his claims. At length he met with a lawyer who interested himself in his cause so far as to consult the first judge of the age, Sir Matthew Hale, Lord Chief-Justice, in regard to it. The judge satisfied himself as to the justice of the claims of the elder brother, and then promised his assistance.

The cause was tried at Chelmsford, in Essex. On the appointed day, Sir Matthew Hale disguised himself in the clothes of an honest miller whom he had met on his way, and, thus equipped, entered the county hall where the cause was to be tried. Here he found out the plaintiff, and, entering into conversation with him, inquired what were his prospects; to which the plaintiff replied, “My cause is in a very precarious situation, and if I lose it I am ruined for life."

“Well, honest friend," replied the pretended miller, “will you take my advice? Every Englishman has the right and privilege to take exception to any one juryman through the whole twelve; now, do you insist upon your privilege, without giving a reason why, and, if possible, get me chosen in place of some one whom you shall challenge, and I will do you all the service in my power.”

The plaintiff shook the pretended miller by the hand, and promised to follow his advice; and so, when the clerk called over the names of the jurymen, he objected to one of them. The judge on the bench was much offended at this liberty. “ What do you mean,” he asked, “by taking exception to that gentleman ?"

“I mean, my lord,” said the plaintiff, “to assert my privilege as an Englishman, without giving a reason why."

The judge had been highly bribed, and in order to conceal it by a show of candor, and having confidence in the superiority of his party, he said: “Well, sir, whom do you wish to have in place of him you have challenged ?”

After a short time spent in looking round upon the audience, “My lord,” said the plaintiff, “I will choose yonder miller, if you please.” Accordingly the supposed miller was directed to take his place on the jury.

As soon as the clerk of the court had administered the usual oath to all, a little dexterous fellow came into the apartment and slipped ten golden guineas into the hand of every one of the jurymen except the miller, to whom he gave but five.

“How much have you obtained ?” whispered the miller to his next neighbor.

“Ten pieces," said the latter.

The miller said nothing further at that time. The cause was opened by the plaintiff's counsel, and all the scraps of evidence that could be adduced in his favor were brought forward.

The younger brother was provided with a great number of witnesses and pleaders, all plentifully bribed like the judge. The witnesses deposed that they were in the same country where the brother died, and had seen the burial of his mortal remains. The counselors pleaded upon this accumulated evidence, and every thing went with a full tide in favor of the younger brother. The judge summed up the evidence with great gravity and deliberation. “And now, gentlemen of the jury,said he, "lay your heads together, and bring in your verdict as you shall deem just."

They waited but a few minutes; and then supposing that all were determined in favor of the younger brother, the judge said, “Gentlemen, are you all agreed ? and who shall speak for you ?”

“We are, I believe, all agreed,” replied one, "our foreman shall speak for us.”

“Hold, my lord,” replied the miller, we are not all agreed !”

“Why," said the judge, in a very surly tone, “what's the matter with you? What reasons have you for disagreeing ?

“I have several reasons, my lord,” replied the miller. “The first is, they have given to all these

[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »