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Spring and Fall. It has white blossoms; and its fruit is enclosed in a thin, oblong, pointed husk or hull. It resembles a small grain of oats, is solid, of a red color and bitter taste, and constitutes the lingua avis (bird's tongue) of apothecary shops. It flourishes best in damp localities,* but is also found in stony places. Its wood is tough, destitute of knots and light, and was anciently used for spear shafts, as we learn from Homer, who celebrates the “ashen shaft” of Achilles. † The antagonists of that hero used the same weapon, though of less elaborate finish.

“A lance of tough ground-ash the Trojan threw,

Rough in the rind and knotted as it grew.”
The Amazons of tradition or history also used Ashen spears

The leaves, seed, I wood, bark, and the oil obtained from the last two are of value in medicine. It is this tree that produces the “manna,” which appears in oblong pieces, of a whitish pale yellow color, and is much used by physicians. So great are the virtues of this tree, according to Pliny, that no serpent will cross (attingat, touch) even its very longest evening or morning shadow; indeed, it will rather fly far from it (Plin. 16 : 24). He also tells that when serpents are surrounded by its leaves and fire, they prefer to escape through the fire. He himself saw this. A German author, referring to this passage, humorously remarks; “Our German snakes won't

in war.

do it."

Before the invention of paper the inner bark of the Ash was often used by the ancients as a substitute for it. No wonder, therefore, that it is rich in classical associations, and enjoys its full meed of praise from the lips of ancient, as well as modern poets, who, far from the noise of the city, found it pleasant, at sultry noon, to

“Sit reclined beneath the spreading ash,

Hung o'er the steep.” The Wild Ash (ornus, from opeiros, mountainous), also called Fraxinus Ornus, and found chiefly on mountains,ş belongs to the botanical order Oleaceæ, and is a native of Mt. Lebanon, Sicily, Calabria and various parts of Southern Europe. It is an elegant tree, grows to a great height, and has a heavy trunk and spreading branches, with a smooth bark of pale yellow color. Cowper sings of the

Ash far stretching his umbrageous atm. Its leaves resemble those of the common Ash, just noticed, except that they are of less thickness and somewhat smaller, but like those pinnate, that is having a long leaf stalk, on which appear seven or eight pairs of serrated leaflets of a light green tint. The Ash is a deciduous tree, and when the hoar frosts come and the bleak winds of November blow over the

* Locis planis ac vallibus gaudeat. Celsii Hierob. fΔορυ μεελεινον. .

| Nascuntur steriles saxosis montibus orni.–Virg. Georg. 2: iii. Summis antiquam in montibus ornum.-Æn. 2: 626.—Why Virgil calls orni, Ash trees, barren, is not clear to us. It may be that they do not, in all localities bear fruit.

& The seed taken in wine is said to cure the bite of venomous reptiles.Fraxineum semen cum Bacchi rore bibendum est.

forests, it soon stands widowed of its leaves grieving for its departed glory.* Its blossoms are white, † appearing in large corymbs or umbelliferous clusters, and its fruit, a round berry, which ripens in Autumn, hangs in glowing clusters, and is of a red color, decorating the boughs, and adding much to the gayety of the scenery to which this tree belongs. These berries are gathered, laid on straw until they become mellow, when they form an article of food. The birds are very fond them, and while feeding on its showy bunches, fill the woods with the melody of their grateful songs.

The Ash evidently attained a great age; for the poets sing of “the ancient Ash upon the mountains," and of "the aged Ashes." It yielded a solid and

very durable wood. Hesiod, who flourished about 950 years before Christ, brings the third or brazen race of men from Ash trees, so hard is their wood. Among the Romans its leaves were esteemed for fodder. It is not extraordinary that ancient writers should extol it, when it served the soldier for bow and spear, the farmer for his implements of husbandry, the scholar for paper, and animals and even man for food. Even now “wheelwrights praise it for being all heart.” So charming was the music of Hesiod, the Ascrean sage, that the wild Ashes upon the mountains bowed their heads to listen to his song, I just as the oaks once bowed themselves to catch the enchanting strains of Orpheus. But a truce to the classics. Let us to the testimony of Isaiah.

The passage of Scripture, wherein alone the Ash occcurs, is apart of that forcible description, by which God exposes and censures the sin and folly of idolatry and the stupidity of idol makers—"a passage that contains the most keen reproof of idolatry, and even invective against it, that is any where extant.” In the making of their idols the mechanics were so fully taken

up with their work, that they forgot to eat or drink until hunger and thirst overpowered them with faintness. Yea, the smith is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. He planteth an Ash, and the rain doth nourish it; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh a graven image and falleth down thereto.—Isai. xliv. 12-15. The Ash being a rapid grower, yields a fine wood, which can be wrought or carved into any shape. It is probable, that the “ carpenter” above spoken of, made most of his “work” of this kind of wood. To keep sufficient material on hand, he depends not on the supply from the mountain forests. His large custom demands that he should have timber at hand or within convenient reach, and hence he planteth the Ash. It is probable, that, by planting a grove of Ash trees in a

* The leaf, like the flower, is a fit emblem of human life.

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
Another race the following Spring supplies,
They fall successive, and successive rise:
So generations in their course decay,

So flourish these when those have passed away.—Pope's Homer. † Virgil sings of the wild Ash hoary with the white flowers of the pear tree.”—Georg. 2.

| Virg. Ecl. 6: 71.

cultivated region, this “cunning workman" would obtain a superior article of wood for the manufacture of his idol-gods.

Where now are the gods made of the Ash trees, which the carpenter" in Isaiah's time planted ? He, his trees, and the images he made of them, have long since returned to dust. Let us shun the folly of ancient idolators. If heathen then worshipped the stock of an Ash tree, let Christians not now fall down to a god of gold, for which so many, in this materialistic age, barter away a good conscience, respect for themselves, and their peace forever. Their thoughts and desires rise not above it; they dream dreams concerning it, their wild ravings on the dying bed are occupied with it, they clutch the air for it, and when their insatiate thirst for gold runs highest, they are at once cut off from it forever. Better far, to “visit” with aid “the fatherless and widows in their affliction,” and thus“ laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”—James i. 27,; 1 Tim. vi. 19.


A young mother, worn and weary with the care of her infant boy–her first born-till she was nearly discouraged, because she thought her time was frittered away by the ceaseless and humble round of household duties, went to hear Professor S- -preach. Professor S. was then in the prime of his glorious power as a preacher. While listening to him with deep interest, it occurred to the mother, that this great man was an infant in the arms of his mother, whom she chanced to know; and perhaps his mother had been as weary and desponding as she herself was.

Again she thought: This man's mother did not lose her time, and has lived to see in her son a blessed reward of her labor : if I am equally faithful, who can tell that my son may not reward me as well ? So she went home, cheered and strengthened.

It is now several years since that mother was called to her home in heaven. Recently one of her sons suddenly died, in the midst of great usefulness, and abundant honors. A large company of honorable and devout men followed in his funeral train. Among them the chief magistrate of his adopted state. His character and success were largely owing, under God, to his mother's influence and prayers.

What that influence was is thus vividly set forth by a surviving sister: conscientious mothers may be encouraged by it. "The memory of my own and my dear brother's early days, in a life almost exclusively ours, was watched, sympathized with, and encouraged by our precious mother

. Unconscious of that latent force and power to will and to do, which has revealed itself through providential leadings since he entered the stern conflict of life, he simply sought with unpretending faithfulness and aim, to satisfy the wishes of our dearest mother whether at home or at school.

That aim was enough; for her discerning heart discovered more of the depths of her boy's nature than any other comprehended, and she lifted up his timid hope higher and higher as he grew older. There was no hindance so great in the way of his early progress, but her hope could see beyond it, and so begot in him a determination to accomplish all his mother believed could be accomplished. Thus were early sown the seeds of a heroic purpose to conquer, not to despair. Longing for opportunities to become wiser and better, he surely but quiet..y seized them as they came, making every addition a treasure in store for future service.

And as the boy grew, his lips were undefiled by falsehood, profanity or vulgarity. In truth, he was a special pride, comfort and companion, and all the world else was not to me, like my adored mother, and teasing, loving, mirthful brother.”

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A lean, awkward boy came one morning to the door of the principal of a celebrated school, and asked to see him. The servant eyed his mean clothes, and thinking he looked more like a beggar than any thing else, told him to go around to the kitchen. The boy did as he was bidden, and soon appeared at the back door.

“ You want a breakfast more like,” said the servant girl, “and I can give you that without troubling him."

"Thank you,” said the boy, "I should have no objection to a bite, but I should like to see Mr.

if he can see me.” • Some old clothes


be you want,” remarked the servant, again eyeing the boy's patched clothes. I guess he has none to spare. He gives away a sight," and without minding the boy's request, she went away about her work.

- Can I see Mr. ?" again asked the boy, after finishing the bread and butter.

“Well, he is in the library. If he must be disturbed, he must; but he does like to be alone sometimes,” said the girl in a peevish tone. She seemed to think it very foolish to admit such an ill-looking fellow into her master's presence. However, she wiped her hands and bade him follow. Opening the library door, she said:

" Here is somebody, sir, who is dreadful anxious to see you, and so I let him in.

I don't know how the boy introduced himself, or how he opened his business; but I know that, after talking awhile, the principal put aside the volume he was studying, and took up some Greek books and began to examine the new comer. The examination lasted some time. Every question which the principal asked the boy, was answered readily.

Upon my word,” exclaimed the principal, “you certainly do well,” looking at the boy from head to foot, over his spectacles. “Why, my boy, where did you pick up so much?”

“In my spare moments,” answered the boy.

Here he was, poor, hard-working, with but a few opportunities for schooling, yet almost fitted for College, by simply improving his “ spare moments.” Truly are not spare moments the “gold dust of time?” How precious they should be? Look and see. This boy can tell you how very much can be laid up by improving them, and there are many other boys, I am afraid, in jail, in the house of correction, in the forecastle of a whale ship, in the tippling shop, who if you should ask them when they began their sinful courses, might answer, “In my spare moments.'

“In my spare moments I gambled for marbles. In my spare moments I began to smoke and drink. It was in my spare moments that I gathered wicked associates."

Oh, be careful how you spend your spare moments ? Temptation always hunts you out in seasons like these. When you are not busy, he gets into your hearts, if he possibly can, in just such gaps. There he hides himself

, planning all sorts of mischief. Take care of your "spare moments.”


BY A. C. W.

“A rock in the wilderness welcomed our sires,

From bondage far over the dark rolling sea;
On that holy altar they kindled their fires,

Jehovah, which glow in our bosoms for thee.” If any one should critically say that we are talking slowly, we would remind him that we are walking slowly. Railroad and steam cars are very good for business men; but let us take nature's appliances when we wish to see a country thoroughly. Shoulder a knapsack of some kind, filled half with clothing and half with provisions, take a home-made guide-book, a congenial companion, and money enough to pay your lodging and an occasional hotel dinner, travel late and early, resting long at noon, keep your eye and ear open as you pass along, ask all the sensible questions that suggest themselves—and you can have a pleasant, profitable and cheap tour. There is something very delightful in this wild, irregular way of living; something so different from the old routine of home life, this living from one's knapsack. A supper in your room, of brown bread, with a slice of Bologna, a stroll about town, or reading news, an early start followed by breakfast on a way-side log, stone or fence, with a dinner of solid, substantial food by some cool spring or dashing water-fall, —oh, no one who has never tried it can know what a luxury such travel is !

In this way, then, we journeyed through eastern New England, mostly along the hilly, bleak, and barren sea-coast, down to Marshfield, the homestead of Webster. The farm lies about thirty miles south of Boston, and contains perhaps a thousand acres, much of it sandy coast land. You reach it by travelling through long stretches of wild country, covered with huckleberry bushes and brushwood. The mansion stands some distance inward from the road, and is approached by a winding avenue formed of green hedge-rows. It is a frame building of large proportions, but is not stylish. The first thing that you learn, and very unexpectedly too, is that you can

VOL. XVI.-20

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