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There are two peculiar vowels which occur only before r, viz: â and ē (ī, ô, û, ). These two vowels are a little longer and closer than å and ů. The difference of the first pair is heard in Harry and hairy, and of the second in the two vowels in sulphur.
REMARK.—The tendency to turn all the vowels which are weakly articulated into ŭ is reprehensible. It is a careless, lazy habit of speech which should not be tolerated. This process would confound language and turn papa into рира.
Phonic Drill, No. 4. Pronounce the following words: Abaft, Cuba, separate, woman, Ireland, compass, fatal, parade.
Those evening clouds, that setting ray,
Their great Creator's praise ;
To Him his homage raise.
And tints so gay and bold,
SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832.)
XVII. RAVAGERS OF FOREST AND FIELD.
1. When the warm breath of spring drives away the rigor of winter and renews life in the fields, in the great cone-bearing woods of Germany groups of woodmen and foresters move about by hundreds and stretch away like columns of skirmishers. They constitute a complete army in the field, moving in order, each provided with a long weapon like a lance.
2. Against what formidable enemy has such an army of men been sent forth? Who are they going to attack with their rods which they brandish on all sides? This enemy is only a simple insect, which menaces everything with its destructive tooth. Men prefer destroying part of the forest to losing it entirely.
3. Lengthy trains of pioneers are regularly posted, all animated with feverish activity in making long trenches to isolate different districts of the forest from one another. One is really stupefied at seeing so many and such energetic efforts directed against the progeny of a simple butterfly. But its caterpillars multiply so rapidly that nothing but their extermination will preserve the forest from ruin.
4. In spite of so much labor, however, man is sometimes vanquished by the insect and his only resource is to set the forest on fire and burn the invaders. These enemies are night-moths (phalaena) and must be attacked in their three different stages; they are crushed as they climb the trees, they are stifled by earth as they fall into trenches, and the winged insects are consumed as they are attracted by the light of burning trees.
5. The Pine Bombyx is the worst enemy of these forests and attacks wood of from sixty to eighty years old, covering the leaves with numerous cocoons, from which the butterfly
emerges in Autumn so numerous that they appear like snowflakes drifting about.
6. The American Tent-caterpillar abounds in neglected orchards and nurseries and upon wild-cherry trees. The eggs from which they are hatched are placed in a cluster nearly surrounding the small branches towards their extremity and are covered with a sort of waterproof varnish. They hatch at the time of the unfolding of the leaves of the cherry and the apple tree.
7. These little caterpillars soon form a small tent between the forks of the branches, where they remain when not engaged in eating. In crawling from one twig to another, they spin a fine silken thread which serves to conduct them back to their tent. As they always rest in their webs at noon, or in stormy weather, this is the best time to destroy them.
8. The larves of Dart Moths are well known as Cut Worms. They do great damage in the fields and gardens by cutting off the leaves of plants, or by cutting down the tender plants close to the ground. They are destructive in early and middle summer, when they go into their pupa state in the ground and come forth in
three weeks as moths. Fires out doors on pleasant evenings will attract and destroy the Dart Moths.
9. Canker-worms are hatched from clusters of eggs about the time the leaves of the apple tree starts to bud. At first they pierce the leaves with small holes, but finally strip the leaf of all but the midrib and veins. In about four weeks they are grown and descend to the ground and, by repeated turnings, make a little cavity, from two to six inches deep, in which they pass into their chrysalis state and remain till after the first frost in autumn, when they come forth as moths. Whenever the weather is mild, they come forth; but they rise in greatest numbers in the spring. The females crawl up the near
trees and place their eggs in rows, forming clusters of from sixty to one hundred eggs. They are the most destructive of all insects.
10. There is another class of insects which attack the bark and living wood of trees. They are
of very small size, not more than a sixth of an inch long, with very slender