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set. At noon we have the sun over our heads, when the Antipodes have the stars over theirs; and at midnight the stars are over our heads, and the sun over theirs. So whither should they fall to more than we ?—to the stars or the sun ?
L. But we are up, and they are down.
P. What is up, but from the earth and toward the sky? Their feet touch the earth, and their heads point to the sky, as well as ours; and we are under their feet, as much as they are under ours. If a hole were dug quite through the earth, what would you see through it ?
L. Sky, with the sun or the stars ; and now I see the whole matter plainly. But pray what supports the earth in the air ?
P. Why, whither should it go?
there was most to draw it. I have heard that the sun is a great many times bigger than the earth. Would it not go to that ?
P. You have thought very justly on the matter, I perceive. But I shall take another opportunity of showing you how this is, and why the earth does not fall into the sun, of which, I confess, there seems to be some danger. Meanwhile think how far the falling of an apple has carried us !
L. To the Antipodes, and I know not where.
P. You may see thence what use may be made of the commonest fact by a thinking mind.
NATURE AND EDUCATION.
Nature and Education were one day walking together through a nursery
of trees. See, says Nature, how straight and fine those firs grow - that is my doing ! But as to those oaks, they are all crooked and stunted: that, my good sister, is your fault. You have planted them too close, and not pruned them properly. Nay, sister, said Education, I am sure I have taken all possible pains about them ; but you gave me bad acorns, so how should they ever make fine trees?
The dispute grew warm ; and at length, instead of blaming one another. for negligence, they began to boast of their own powers, and to challenge each other to a contest for the superiority.
It was agreed that each should adopt a favourite, and rear it up in spite of the ill offices of her opponent.
Nature fixed upon a vigorous young Weymouth Pine, the parent of which had grown to be the main-mast of a man of war. Do what you will to this plant, said she to her sister, I am resolved to push it up as straight as an arrow. Education took under her care a crab-tree. This, said she, I will rear to be at least as valuable as your pine.
Both went to work. While Nature was feeding her pine with plenty of wholesome juices, Education passed a strong rope round its top, and pulling it downwards with all her force, fastened it to the trunk of a neighbouring oak. The pine laboured to ascend, but not being able to surmount the obstacle, it pushed out to one side, and presently became bent like a bow. Still, such was its vigour, that its top, after descending as low as its branches, made a new shoot
upwards ; but its beauty and usefulness were quite destroyed.
The crab-tree cost Education a world of pains. She pruned and pruned, and endeavoured to bring it into shape, but in vain. Nature thrust out a bough this way, and a knot that way, and would not push a single leading shoot upwards. The trunk was, indeed, kept tolerably straight by constant efforts; but the head
grew awry and illfashioned, and made a scrubby figure. At length, Education, despairing of making a sightly plant of it, ingrafted the stock with an apple, and brought it to bear tolerable fruit.
At the end of the experiment, the sisters met to compare their respective
Ah, sister! (said Nature) I see it is in your power to spoil the best of
my works. Ah, sister! (said Education) it is a hard matter to contend against you-however, something may be done by taking pains enough.