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an article as glass, could be made out of so gross a substance as sand ? Yet it is the fact, that glass is made by mixing sand with the ashes of certain burnt plants, and ex-poʻsing them to a strong fire:
It is said, that this important discovery was made · by ac'ci-dent. The crew of a vessel, which had
been driven upon the coast of Asia, lighted a fire upon the strand, using a par-tic'u-lar plant as fuel. The ashes of this plant, mixing with the sand, were turned by the heat into glass; and the natives; availing themselves of the hint, which they had thus received by accident, furnished other parts of the world with this com-mod'i-ty, which was immediately sought after with great eagerness.
When the sand and ashes have been properly mixed and melted, the glass-blower can give any shape he pleases to this mass, which may then even be cut with a pair of scissars. The uses, to which this beautiful invention has been applied, are manifold. It is particularly adapted for wine glasses and decanters, on account of its cleanliness, as well as its elegance; for mirrors and ornamental lamps, and other articles of domestic furniture. How admirably contrived are glass windows for the introduction of light, while at the same time perfect shelter is afforded from cold and rain. Before that invention, people were obliged to employ canvass for that purpose, and even for some time after the in: troduction of glass windows, their use was confined as a luxury to the rich. I shall only mention farther the inestimable value of spectacles to the aged and near-sighted, and of telescopes and microscopes to philosophers, for enabling them to behold those objects, which are too remote or minute for the naked eye.
How is glass made ? How is the making of glass said to have been discovered? Where and by whom was it discovered? What can the glass-blower do to glass? Can you state any of the uses to which glass is applied ? What benetit do we derive from glass windows ? What was used in. stead of glass before its invention? Can you mention any other important articles that are made of glass ?
THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT.
The days are cold, the nights are long,
Save thee, my pretty love!
The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
Then why so busy thou?
Nay! start not at that sparkling light;
On the window-frame be-dropped with rain ;
And wake when it is day.
PRESERVATION OF PLANTS.
It is wonderful to observe the va’ri-ous meth'ods which Divine Providence has adopted for preserving and multiplying plants. The root goes down into the earth, to draw nourishment from it, and te give sta- bil’i-ty to the plant. The fibres convey the sap. The leaves imbibe moisture from the air, and afford shelter from the heat of the sun, and give protection to the flower-bud when it is beginning to open. The flowers serve to guard the seed, and assist in keeping it warm so as to ripen it : the seed itself, after it is sep’a-ra-ted from the plant, is guarded in various ways, till it shall have an opportunity of springing again from the ground. Sometimes it is enclosed in a stone surrounded with a pulp, as in cherries and plums. Sometimes it is covered with a husk; and sometimes, as in rape and mustard seed, it has in it an oily juice, which prevents it from being soon injured by cold or wet.
There are many different ways by which plants are multiplied, so as always to afford a suf-fici'ent supply for covering the surface of the earth. Grass and strawberries, besides producing seed, send out shoots along the ground, which take root and spread. Thistles and dandelions have their seeds surround
SO spring sough them
ed with a light down, by which means, in a windy day, they are seen flying off, sometimes to a great distance. Burs have hooked beards, which adhere to sheep and other animals, and are by that means sown in different places. Other seeds are picked up by birds, and pass through them without being digested, and so spring up where they happen to be dropped. Others again, such as walnuts and co'coa nuts, swim upon the water, and are conveyed by streams or by seas, often to places far remote. And it is worthy of observation, that the form of the seed usually corresponds with the soil on which the plant to which it belongs is likely to grow best. The thistles and other plants, which grow best on light and somewhat elevated grounds, are provided with the downy seeds for flying about. Plants which grow well in moist soils, near pools or streams, generally have seeds fitted for floating. The red berry of the yew, for example, whose favourite residence is in the cold and humid mountain, by the side of the lake, is hollowed into a little bell. This berry, on dropping from the tree, is at. first carried down by its fall to the bottom of the water ; but it returns instantly to the surface, by means of the little hole in the berry above the seed. In this little hole is lodged an air bubble, which brings it back to the surface of the water, and thus it floats, till it be carried to some place of the bank, from which it springs again, to throw its dusky shade over the lake,
How wonderful are the works of God! Through the whole of nature we discover the most striking illustrations of his wisdom and power. Let our study of these serve to increase our adoration and our reverence of the great Being, whose infinita skill pervades every object that we see.
QUESTIONS. For what has Divine Providence adopted various methods ? What does the root do? What end do the fibres serve ? What do the leaves do? What end do the flowers serve ? In what manner is the seed protected ? How are grass and strawberries multiplied ? How thistles and dandelions? How are burs dispersed ? How are some seeds propagated ? In what manner are walnuts and cocoa nuts conveyed to remote places? What in the seeds of plants is worthy of observation? Can you give an example of this ? What is peculiar in the red berry of the yew? In what manner is it enabled to rise to the surface of the water? What do we discover through the whole of nature ?
ON THE WOOLLEN MANUFACTURE,
The coat, which you wear on your back, is, you know, made of the wool of a sheep: but, before it can be brought into that form, it has to undergo a variety of operations. The skin with the wool growing upon it, is the dress only of sav'ages. In all civ'i-lized countries, the wool, in order to render it fit to become an article of clothing, is, in the first place, shorn from the skin. You must not i-mag'ine, that this is only done after the death of the animal, when the skin itself is also to be converted to use. On the contrary, is is clipped from the liv.