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drab and brown. Then, all the parts of the Oak, like all other astringent vegetables, produce a dark blue or black by the addition of any preparation of iron. The bark is sometimes used in this way for dying black. And did you ever see what the boys call an Oak-apple?
Geo. Yes I have gathered them myself. Tut. Do
know what they are ? Geo. I thought they were the fruit of the Oak.
Tut. No—I have told you that the acorns are the fruits.
These are excrescences formed by an insect.
Geo. An insect! how can they make such a thing?
Tut. It is a sort of a fly, that has a power of piercing the outer skin of the Oak' boughs, under which it lays its eggs. The part then swells into a kind
of ball, and the young insects, when hatched, eat their way out. Well, this ball or apple is a pretty strong astringent, and is sometimes used in dying black. But in the warm countries, there is a species of Oak which bears round excrescences of the same kind, called galls, which become hard, and are the strongest astringents known. They are the principal ingredients in the black dyes, and common ink is made with them, together with a sutstance called green vitriol, or copperas, which contains iron.
I have now told you the chief uses that I can recollect of the Oak; and these are so important, that whoever drops an acorn into the ground, and takes proper care of it when it comes up, may be said to be a benefactor to his country. Besides, no sight can be more beautiful and majestic than a fine
Oak wood. It is an ornament fit for the habitation of the first nobleman in the land,
Har. I wonder, then, that all rich gentlemen who have grounds enough, do not cover it with Oaks.
Tut. Many of them, especially of late years, have made great plantations of these trees. But all soils do not suit them: and then there is another circumstance which prevents many from being at this trouble and expense, which is the long time an oak takes in growing, so that no person can reasonably expect to profit by those of his own planting. An oak of fifty years is greatly short of its full growth, and they are scarcely arrived at perfection under a century. However, it is our duty to think of posterity as well as ourselves; and they who receive oaks from their ancestors, ought certainly to furnish others to their successors.
Har. Then I think that every one who cuts down an Oak should be obliged to plant another.
Tut. Very right--but he should plant two or three for one, for fear of accidents in their growing.
I will now repeat to you some verses describing the Oak in its state of full growth, or rather of beginning decay, with the various animals living upon it and then we will walk.
See where yon Oak its awful structure rears, The massy growth of twice a hundred years; Survey his rugged trunk with moss o'ergrown, His lusty arms in rude disorder thrown, His forking branches wide at distance spread, And dark'ning half the sky, bis lofty head. A mighty castle, built by nature's hands, Peopled by various living tribes, he stands. His airy top tie clamorous rooks invest, And crowd the waving boughs with many a nest. Midway the nimble squirrel builds his bowr; And sharp billid pies the insect tribes devour, That gnaw beneath the bark their secret ways, While unperceived the stately pile decay
THE YOUNG MOUSE.
A YOUNG MỌUSE lived in a cupboard where sweetmeats were kept: she dined every day upon biscuit, marmalade, or fine
Never Mouse had lived so well. She had often ventured to peep at the family while they sat at supper; nay she had sometimes stolen down on the carpet, and picked up the crumbs, and nobody had ever hurt her. She would have been quite happy, but that she was sometimes frightened by the cat, and then she ran trembling to the hole behind the wainscot. One day she came running to her mother in great joy. Mother! said she, the good people of this family have: built me a house to live in ; it is in the cupboard: I am sure it is for me, for itis just big enough: the bottom is of