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Prepared in various ways; affords nourishment to man and other animals. More nutritious than wheaten flour. Every part useful ; e. g.:
1. Indian meal.- Principal food in the United States ; chief support of the Mexicans ; largely consumed in Africa. Exported from New York, New Orleans, and Baltimore, under the name of Indian meal. Supplies food to the greatest number of people next to rice.
2. Leaves.— Serve as forage for cattle ; they require soaking in water ; pigs, horses, and poultry very fond of them. When dried, used as stuffing for mattresses ; furnish cool elastic beds.
3. Ears. When young and tender, roasted and eaten with butter and salt, very delicious food ; when riper, boiled in their leaves and eaten.
4. Stalks.-Spirit expressed.
5. Husks. Manufactured into writing paper in Italy; in America used for stuffing beds.
LESSON XVII.- THE OAK.
I. Description of Appearance, &c. EXHIBIT a print of the tree, and question out the particulars. Tree of great beauty; of various heights and sizes; very noble in appearance ; “ king of the forest,” “ The builder oak, sole king of forests he.”
SPENSER. Wood, tough; hard; durable ; no insect can pierce its heart. Bark, strong.
“ Its heart is like the iron wood,
Its bark like plated mail."- Howitt. Large spreading branches ; beautiful green foliage ; fruit, an acorn in a small cup. Tree, exogenous (require meaning and etymology). Lives three or four hundred years ; trunk marked by circular rings-each shows a year's growth.
“ For centuries grows the oak-tree,
Nor doth its verdure fail." - HOWITT. Best age for felling, between fifty and seventy years; oak-apples caused by an insect. Botanical name of the tree, Quercus Robur.
II. Localities where cultivated, &c. Regions where found extend to sixty-three degrees N.lat. in Europe; in Asia, to fifty-two degrees. Many species—two, natives of great Britain. Cultivated from acorns in extensive forests and plantations (many planted by birds and squirrels; acorns buried by them for winter stores; those forgotten spring up into trees). Common in Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Prussia, Ireland, Scotland and Canada. English Forests-New Forest, Epping, Sherwood, and Dean.
“On earth the forests' honour'd king,
III. Uses to which applied. Notice the numerous uses to which the several portions are applied; e. g.:
1. Trunk.- Timber, for shipbuilding (called "father of ships"); four kinds chiefly used for this purpose, -Welsh, Sussex, Adriatic, and Baltic (last
two imported from Italy and Prussia). Why well adapted for this use? Used also for furniture, carvings in churches, roofs, floors, and fittings of public buildings; beautiful appearance when polished.
“ But prouder yet its glories shine,
When, in a nobler form
And breasts the bursting storm.” 2. Bark. - Used in tanning; afterwards as fuel and manure.
3. Saw-dust - in dyeing; gives a brown, drab, or fustian colour.
4. Acorns. - Food for swine, birds, and squirrels; formerly eaten by the inhabitants of this country ; at the present time made into bread in Asia Minor; peasantry in Spain eat a sweet species, which
5. Oak-apples, or galls. - Imported from warm climates; used in making ink.
IV. Historical Notices. Many oaks connected with public events in English history; notice a few,-€. g. :
a. Druids worshipped under its shade, as in the forests in the Isles of Man and Anglesea—mistletoe cut with golden sickles from it with great ceremony.
b. Oak in the New Forest, connected with the death of William Rufus.
c. Queen Elizabeth's at Huntingfield, Suffolk.
d. Damory's in Dorsetshire ; remarkable for its size circumference sixty-eight feet, interior cavity sixteen feet ; used during the Commonwealth as an ale-house; shattered in 1703.
e. Royal Oak, Boscobel ; escape of Charles II. ; notice 29th of May.
V. Lessons. Draw from the children : 1. The importance of firmness :“Let your courage be stout when the Truth you defend ;
Let its enemy break you before he can bend;
If he is the tempest, then you be the oak.”- NEALE. 2. And of little things :
“ Think how little was the acorn,
Whence the mighty tree is made.
Lessons in our childhood taught,
Whereby noblest deeds are wrought.
Use them gently, guard them well;
LESSON XVIII. - THE ORANGE:
I. Description of (a) Fruit and (6) Tree. (a) The fruit. — Name derived from the Latin aurum, and French or, “gold;" shape spherical ; colour, bright yellow, orange coloured; probably the origin of the “golden apples” of the ancients. Rind, strong ; lined with white; filled with little bags of oil, which, by means of the small pores, keep the fruit fresh ; contrast this with the covering of plums, peaches, &c. — the orange better adapted for transport. Inside, pulpy ; divided into cells or cloves ; each subdivided into little juicy vessels ; why ? Compare with honey-comb; in hot weather large quantities of honey ferment; never occurs in the comb, although the temperature of the hive may be very high ; prevented by the division into small cells, each containing but a little ; similar contrivance in this fruit; hence it is capable of being kept longer. Produced by
(6) A tree of great beauty ; straight stem ; rich, elegantly shaped, ever-green, polished leaves ; delicate white flowers--the “orange blossoms” so often admired by poets ; very sweet-scented
6 The full-blossomed trees Fill all the air with fragrance and with joy ;” from their beauty and sweetness, often given as bridal offerings in countries where they grow. Flowers succeeded by round, green fruit; changes colour as it ripens; a year reaching full maturity ; hence flowers and fruit are seen at the same time; “ its promise and performance are both visible together."
II. Localities of production. Native of China ; several varieties still cultivated there ; now grown in and near many tropical countries of both hemispheres ; in England under cover. Exported from the Canaries, Malta, Crete, Sardinia, Barbary, St. Michael's (a small island of the Azores, or Western Islands), South America, Spain and Portugal :
“ Where Portugal and haughty Spain
Display their orange groves.' Tangier supplies the fragrant little Mandarin (the Chinese make presents of it to their Mandarins ; even the rind may be eaten, and, when quite ripe, the pulp may be shaken like a ball within). Malta, the red-pulped or®“ blood orange,"