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proceed, “leaving the districts of Red Sandstone, and Red Marle, we observe a change in the general aspect of the country. There are no steep or abrupt precipices; the hills assume a more picturesque and luxuriant character, and the rugged features of Primary country, are here softened down into gentle slopes, and verdant plains. The rocks which now occur, are chiefly varieties of Limestone and Sandstone, particularly prolific in organic remains; among which we discern a number of species, of which no living semblance is now in existence. Corals, Zoophites, Ammonites, Belemites, Nautili, and a variety of other fossil remains, are found in the Argillaceous Limestones, which succeed in position to the Red Sandstone, and which are often called White and Blue Lias Limestone. The coast of Dorsetshire, between Weymouth and Lyme, presents a very interesting section of these Strata; and their continuation through the country, is well entitled to the notice of the Geologist. They decompose into Marl, and furnish an ingredient in the best water cements. Sometimes they are are of a peculiar colour, and contain Magnesia, when the fossil remains are less frequent."

MAT.--I am disposed to stop you for an explanation of all these new terms.

MRS. L.-The Ammonites I have shown you-Corals you know_Zoophites are of the Sponge tribe-Fig. 6, is a Spirifer-Fig. 7, a Belemnite.

a

DESCRIPTION OF BRITISH TREES.

No. XVI.

Ash Tree-Fraxinus. The Common Ash Tree, Fraxinus Excelsior, grows naturally in most parts of England, and is of great value as timber.

“ The timber of the Ash (the Oak only excepted) serves for the greater variety of uses of any tree in the forest. Though a handsome tree, it ought not to be planted for ornament in places designed to be kept neat, because the leaves fall off, with their long stalks, very early in the autumn, and by their litter destroy the beauty of such places. It should never be planted on the borders of tillage lands, because the dripping of the leaves is extremely injurious to corn, and the roots have a powerful tendency to draw the nourishment from the soil. Neither should it be planted near pasture ground, for if the cows eat the leaves or shoots, the butter will have a disagreeable taste.”-HUNTER.

« The use of the Ash is, next to the Oak itself, one of the most universal. It serves the soldier

• From Pelion's cloudy top, an Ash entire

Old Chiron fell’d, and shaped it for his sire.'-HOMER and heretofore the scholar, who made use of the inner bark to write on, before the invention of paper.”—EVELYN.

The knots and joints of the wood are often curiously marked, so as to be very valuable for tables, &c. In this are many reputed wonders.

Upon which is mentioned that of Jacobus Gafferellus, in his book of Unheard of Curiosities:" namely, of a tree found in Holland, which, being cleft, had in several shivers, the figures of a chalice, a priests alb, his stole, and his several other pontifical vestments."

EVELYN. “ The Manna-Tree, commonly called Ornus by botanists, is a kind of Ash, and is to be found under the name of Fraxinus Ornus in Lin

In all the woods near Naples, the Manna-tree is to be found very often, but for want of cultivation, it never produces any Manda, and is rather a shrub than a tree. The Manna is generally of two kinds, not on account of the intrinsic quality of them being different, but because they are got in a different manner. In order to have the Manna, those who have the management of the woods of the Orni, in the months of July and August, when the weather is very dry and warm, make an oblong incision, and take off the bark of the tree, about three inches in length and two in breadth; they leave the wound open, and by degrees the Manna runs out, and is almost suddenly thickened to its proper consistence, and is found adhering to the bark of the tree. This Manna is collected in baskets, and goes under the name of Manna Grassa. When the people want to have a very fine Manna, they apply to the incision of the bark thin straw, or small bits of shrubs, so that the Manna, in coming out, runs upon these bodies, and is collected in a sort of regular tubes, which give it the name of Manna in Cannolis, Manna in tubes."-D. CIRILLI.

“The ashes of the wood afford very good pot-ash-the bark is used for tanning calf-skins."-WITHERING.

næus.

217

SERIES OF FAMILIAR CONVERSATIONS

ON THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.

CONVERSATION XIV.

CLASS ARTICULATA-SUB-CLASS ARACHNIDA.

Spiders, Scorpions. HENRY.-Anna and I have had a little dispute on the qualities of spiders, father. She says they are poisonous; but I maintain that I never heard of any one being poisoned by them.

PAPA.-There is a vulgar prejudice against spiders, which, I am sorry to say, is very prevalent even among well-informed people. I remember once to have seen a party of ladies, very sensible and intelligent women too, upon the whole, thrown into the utmost confusion and alarm by the appearance of a poor little spider on the hearth-rug. I could scarcely help smiling at the ridiculous appearance they made, all mounted on Chairs to be out of the way, while I was left to encounter the redoubtable object of their terror alone.

The spiders in our country certainly possess no power to do us harm, and it would be well for young people, if, instead of shunning them, they would accustom themselves to observe and to imitate their diligence and patient perseverance. Solomon, you know, speaks of the spider among the “four things, which, though little upon earth, are exceeding wise.” “She layeth bold with her hands,” he says, "and is in kings' palaces.”

ANNA.But are there none poisonous, papa?

PAPA. I do not mean to affirm that none possess venomous properties. There is a species in Italy, the bite of which is said to be very dangerous, and even mortal: the bite of the tarantula, another species found in Italy, Barbary, and the East Indies, produces swelling VOL. VII,

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