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various games. We had our tea under a large booth-plenty of plum-cake and sweet tea! The tables were decorated with flowers. On one of them was a large vase full of flowers, with a fountain in the middle, which sprinkled water over them, to keep them alive. This was very beautiful to see. After tea the boys and girls ran races for prizes, such as handkerchiefs and toys. The lady and her son came out of the hall to hear us sing. We sang several tunes. Our schoolmaster began them for us, so that we sang them very well. Then the boys and girls were treated with nuts and biscuits. There was a Punch-and-Judy show, which pleased us very much.. About dusk a small balloon went up, which was eagerly watched by the crowd until it was out of sight. When it began to get dark the booth was lighted up, for the young men and girls to dance while the music was playing. Our master came round when it began to get late to tell us the wagons were ready for starting homeward. I and some of my companions, who had to go farther than the others, did not ride, but walked home a shorter way, and got home about ten o'clock,
JOHN HOWDALL, aged 13. Redness Endowed School, near Goole. - I certify that the above is the boy's own work.
SAMUEL CRUMP, Master.
A DAY AT RAMSEY, ISLE OF MAN. It was in Ramsey I spent the very pleasant day of which I am about to speak. Our first proceeding, when we had breakfasted, was to go out in small boats in the bay, where we rowed for about one hour and a-half. Then we set out for Ballure Glen by the shore way. When we had reached it we sat down to rest on the trunk of a fallen oak-tree, after which we clambered up the glen, stopping every now and then to examine some pretty flower or delicate fern, or to enlarge upon the beauty of the glen, whose pretty stream made a soft mur. muring sound as it fell in small cascades over broken rocks and stones. When we had dined—which we did very heartily under a large spreading tree, the green mogs serving us for seats, and a stone for a table—we had a game of “hide-and-seek" among the trees. Tiring of that, we began to think of proceeding on our walk. After passing over a slight slope we found a footpath between two cornfields, leading up to the top of Albert Hill, which we immediately began to ascend. Having arrived at the top, the scene that was stretched before us was too striking for me ever to forget it. Around us were the green hills of Mona's Isle, between which lay verdant valleys and villages, while around all, like a silver setting, lay the calm blue sea, its foam - tipped waves breaking on the gleaming sand, forming one of the most beautiful panoramas I have ever seen. While admiring the beauty of the landscape we tied the flowers we had gathered into bunches and wreaths. We then took the path on the other side of the hill, and descended quicker than we had come up. At the foot of the hill we spied a small white cottage, where we stopped to get some milk, as we were very thirsty. We were somewhat surprised to find a few cows and pigs walking about in such close proximity to the door of the house that I do not think any of us would have ventured near it had not the mistress of the house
come out, hearing our footsteps. We had to return home to tea, as
A. M. BROADFOOT, aged 15.
[The sentences in this piece were so very long that we bave had to put in five extra full stops. Otherwise it is very creditable to the writer.-ED. Y. S.]
A VISIT TO MATLOCK.
much crushed and jostled at the station, but at last got into the train. On approaching Matlock, I noticed that instead of hedges there were stone walls ; and the rocks through which the railway was cut were covered, in every hole and corner, with beautiful ferns. After having looked about the village of Matlock, we went into a cavern, each of us having a candle ; and when we came out again we had a row for a mile or two on the River Derwent, which runs by this place. When we were returning we had a race with a boat much smaller than ours, which was some yards ahead of us at the start. I wished very much that our boat would overtake it, but at the termination of the race we were as far off it as when we began. After having rested ourselves, we began to climb the mountain called the Heights of Abraham, which we succeeded in doing in about an hour. We could then see Matlock far below us, the people looking like Lilliputians, so small they appeared to be. When we came down we had tea; soon after which a heavy thunderstorm came on, the lightning being very vivid. Some of the bills were co with trees, the foliage of which, at a distance, gare them a very dark appearance, so that when the thunderstorm came on the hills thus covered looked as if they were part of the clouds. The train soon after coming up, we got in, and were soon hurried home, after having spent a very enjoyable day. WALTER HURST, aged 13.
National School, Great Wigston.-- The above is entirely Walter Hurst's composition.
E. J. ANDREWS, Master.
A VISIT TO PORTSMOUTH. We started from Alton at six o'clock in the morning, and went by van to Liss. In going, we passed through the pretty little village of Selborne, pow so famous through Gilbert White's “Natural History.” We had a very pleasant ride. Then we proceeded by train to Portsmouth. We at once made our way to Southsea Beach, and bathed in the sea. After that we ate our luncheon and ran about on the beach making ducksand-drakes, enjoying much the sea breezes. We then had our photographs taken in a group (about forty in number). We then made for the Dockyards, where we saw some of the wooden walls of old England and some of her new iron ones. Then we went to the Arsenal, in which are some guns and dresses like those in the Tower of London.
We saw 22,000 stand of arms, and some beautiful devices on the walls and ceilings made with swords, bayonets, &c. Then we hired boats and went on board the Victory, where England's great naval hero fell, off Trafalgar, in 1805. We saw the spot where he stood when he was shot and the cockpit in which he died, and we saw a beautiful painting of the death scene. We then came back to Southsea Common. Some had donkey-rides, others went on the Pier; some played about on the Esplanade, and some went out in boats. We then returned to Portsmouth station, and, after reclaiming one or two stray sheep, we started on our way to Liss; there we mounted our van, and sung all the way home. We arrived home about nine o'clock, after a very tiring but a merry and instructive day
John VARNDELL, aged 13 years. Alton Commercial School.- I certify this as honestly the work of John Varndell.
W. MORRIS, Master.
A DAY'S HOLIDAY. THE 24th of April being Sir W. C. Trevelyan's court day, our master kin gave us a holiday. The weather was fine and warm, so a few of us went on the rocks in the morning and picked up some pretty shells. I gave mine to my little cousin, and he was much pleased with them. We saw a large dog very high up on the cliffs hunting for rabbits. It was very amusing to see him climb with so much dexterity. Returning homewards, we ascended the path into the road, and there we saw a thrush's nest with four eggs in it. So we went home, and I took the wheelbarrow and went for some gravel, and when I had spread it about it looked very neat. Then I picked out all the large stones that were in the garden, and afterwards sat down to play my concertina. After dinner we had a game at cricket, and my side won two games. Afterwards we tried to catch an owl, but it flew too far for us. We next went on the top of a house, from which we had a beautiful view.
ARTHUR SNELL, aged 13 years. Sir W. (. Trevelyan': School, Seaton, Devon.
Answers should reach the Editor by the 10th instant. They should
be written on only one side of the paper, and should not contain a larger number of words than would fill one-half or three-quarters of a page of this Magazine. Each answer should be signed by the writer, and should state his age from his last birthday. Boys and girls who have completed their thirteenth year are eligible to answer the first question ; boys and girls under thirteen must confine themselves to the second question. The papers written by scholars of the same age will be examined together, and the writers of the two best in each division will receive a prize. All papers should contain a certificate from the teacher of the school that they have been honestly worked. Transcription is not composition.
SUBJECTS FOR THIS MONTH. For Seniors.—(Boys and girls of the ages of 13, 14, 15, and 16.) Write out, in your best handwriting, Bishop Ken's Evening Hymn, commencing “Glory to Thee, my God, this night.”
For Juniors.—(Boys and girls of the ages of 9, 10, 11, and 12.) Write out, in your best handwriting, the National Anthem.
The Publisher has much pleasure in giving PRIZES to the writers of the two best answers to each question in every number. The first prize will be a book of the value of FIVE SHILLINGS; the second, a book of the value of THREE SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE. Two books of each kind will be given-four in all; but a Scholar, after taking one prize, cannot obtain another until an interval of six months has elapsed. Should his paper during that time obtain the distinction which would otherwise entitle him to a prize, it will be printed in its proper position, but the prize will be awarded to the Scholar who has written the answer next in merit.
PRIZES FOR LAST MONTH'S SUBJECTS. A five shillings prize to WM. WILLIS, aged 13, National School, Adwick-le-Street, Doncaster ; and HARRY CARTER, aged 11, Kennington National School, Kent.
A three shillings and sixpenny prize to W. B. WORTON, aged 13, Old Church Schools, Handsworth, near Birmingham; and J. P. SHAWCROSS, aged 10, Paddock Street Academy, Hanley.
The above-named Prize Essayists are desired to send to the Publisher, Mr. JOHN HEYWOOD, 141 and 143, Deansgate, Manchester, the name of any book or books, of the value referred to, which they would like to receive, and such will be forwarded, post free, within one week afterwards. The Publisher, of course, reserves to himself the right of refusing to forward any work the character of which he may think injurious; but with that single exception Prize Essayists may select any work they please. They will, doubtless, avail themselves of the advice of their parents or teachers in their selection.
A catalogue of three thousand works will be sent by the Publisher on receipt of a penny postage stamp for postage.
THE PRECIOUS METALS. The most precious metals are gold, platinum, and silver. Gold is the most valuable. It is found in the countries of Columbia, California, Australia, New Zealand, India, Siberia, Western Africa, Brazil, and Peru ; and it is sometimes found, in small metallic particles, in the gravels and sands of some rivers in Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall. It is used for coining, plate, jewellery, gilding, lace, and various ornamental work. On account of its softness, it requires to be mixed with silver or copper, for general use. This metal is so extremely ductile that a single grain can be drawn into a wire several hundred feet
long. It is found in various conditions, but in the largest quantities in the sands of certain rocks, which are called gold-bearing rocks.
PLATINUM ranks next to gold in value. It is found in the countries of South America, and in some parts of the Ural Mountains. The stills which are used in the manufactories are made of platinum. The reason why is that it has the power of resisting acids. It is very valuable to the chemist and watchmaker, as well as to the optician. It is coined into money by the Russians, but it is found no easy matter to
It is much used for vessels of every kind exposed to intense heat. The strongest fire does not affect it.
SILVER is found in the countries of Saxony, Mexico, and Peru, and to a small extent in the lead ores of Cornwall and Devon. The silver mines of Mexico and Peru have been noted for centuries. It is much used for coining, and for ornamental work of every description. Our silver coin is always mixed with copper, to make it hard. The photographer makes very great use of the compounds of silver.
FREDERICK RANDALL, aged 13. Board School, Saltash.—The accompanying essay is honestly Frederick Randall's own work.
FRANCIS T. READ, Master. (The writer of the above paper, having obtained a prize in the July competition, we print, according to our rule, his paper in its proper position, but do not award him a prize.)
Gold is found in many countries of the globe, but often in such small quantities that it cannot be profitably collected or extracted. The chief supply is obtained from Australia, California, Russia, and New Zealand. Gold is found either in small grains in the sand of rivers, in lumps in the earth, mixed with rocks and earths, or in nuggets often of native or pure gold. Being limited in supply, difficult to get, and of great beauty and durability, it is used for coinage by most nations. It is rather soft, and requires alloying with a little silver or copper before coining. It can be beaten into very thin leaves, and is then much used for gilding. It remains unchanged by air and water. It is about 19 times as heavy as water.
SILVER.- This metal is next in value to gold. It is much more abundant, being found in most countries of the globe. The richest silver mines are in the mountains of the New World, especially those in Mexico and Peru. A quantity of silver is also got from lead ore, from which it is extracted by the aid of mercury. It is nearly ten and a-half times heavier than water. It has no taste nor smell. It can be drawn into very fine threads—finer than a hair. Pure silver is rather soft. For making coins it is rendered harder by mixing with it about one-twelfth part of copper. It is used for plating—that is, covering other metals with a thin coat of silver. WILLIAM WILLIS, aged 13.
National School, Adwick-le-Street, Doncaster.— I certify that the accompanying paper is the sole work of the boy whose name it bears.
WILLIAM WILLIS, Master.