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smallest surface is enough for them to stand on. They may be seen loaded with their booty crawling on hands and knees, and treading on the narrowest ledges and on the least possible projecting points. The strength of the man who holds the cord is such that if the bird-nester make a false step, and fall into the air, he is able to bear the shock and save his companion. In the Hebrides7 it is calculated that" more than 20,000 gannete8 are killed annually, and in Greenland 200,000 eggs of aquatic birds are consumed in the year.
THE PAUPEE'S DEATH-BED.—Mrs. Southey.
OABOLniB Southey was the second wife of Robert Southey, the poet. She was bor n in 1787, and was married in 1S3!>, at the ago of 52, Southey being then 05. She was herself a tender, graceful poetess, ncr death took place in 1854.
Tread softly—bow the head,
In reverent silence bow;
Is passing now.
Stranger! however great,
With lowly reverence bow;
@renter than thou,
Beneath that beggar's roof,
Enter—no crowds attend—
Enter—no guards defend
That pavement damp and cold
One silent woman stands,
Lifting with meagre hands
No mingling voices sound—
An infant wail alone;
The parting groan.
Oh! change—oh! wondrous change—
This moment there, so low,
Bo agonized, and now
Oh! change—stupendous change!
The sun eternal breaks,—>
The new immortal wakes-
1. Farming in Norway is a much more cheerful affair, in tolerably good years, than might have been expected. It is not cold winters but wet summers which the farmer has to dread. If there is upon the open country a surface of boulders, and glacier, and snow-field, still the sheltered valleys are most luxuriant, and even the upland pastures are wonderfully rich. The cows, stallfed through the winter, are very weak when they go up to the pastures in June. They stay there till the middle of September;
* The places mentioned in this and other lessons, and also the degrees of latitude, ehou'd be carefully traced out on a map.
they then come down to the valleys, and eat the aftermath, and then go up again, remaining till all the hay made in the uplands while they were below is eaten. The work of the pastures is done by girls. Women work hard all over Norway; in some parts they do everything that is done.
2. It seems wonderful that so much is done in the way of raising corn and fruits, in a country so much of which lies above the snow-line, and in which throughout, the valleys are so limited, compared to the great mass of mountain and table land. Scarcely a thirtieth of the whole area is tillable. There are a few morasses which may be drained, but most of these lie above the limit of corn. In fact, every traveller is struck with the way in which each little fertile spot, even if only a few yards square, is turned to account. Not a tuft of grass in an out-of-the-way cranny of rock but is sure to be cut and put to dry. The Norway farmer's life is emphatically a struggle against nature. Rainy weather is sure to cause much misery. In 1860, high floods washed off the top soil, leaving nothing but slime and grit. Small farmers were utterly ruined; and it is said that nearly 7,000 people emigrated in 1861. In old times the Norsemen1 were not so patient; they had an unpleasant way of sacrificing the king to propitiate the rain god; thus, after two successive bad years, King Donald was offered in Upsala.2
3. There is no spring in Norway, and the summer heat, away from the coast, is oppressive. Three or four frosty nights at the end of August separate summer and autumn, which then goes on with summer heat till October. This absence of spring, a time so often fatal to our early fruits, is one of the reasons why vegetation, when it once begins, goes on with marvellous rapidity. Besides, in summer there is no night, and plants can probably do with little sleep, so they can go on growing all the four-andtwenty hours; anyhow, barley has ripened in fifty-five days from the time of sowing, ninety days being its period in Egypt.
4. In latitude 70 deg. barley has been found to grow 2J inches for several successive days, and peas have grown three inches in the day. Barley can be grown higher up, and further north than any other cereal. Fruits, too, ripen quicker, and Norway fruittrees do not lose this peculiarity when transplanted south. It is another curious fact that so long as a plant is not cultivated further north than is compatible with its attaining its full development, the seed increases both in weight and size for the first three years; but it diminishes as the plant is taken south. wards. Flowers assume an intenser colour as they are moved northward, and trees a brighter green; while in aromatic plants the fragrance is surprisingly developed. Oats will ripen up to latitude 69, rye somewhat further, while bailey answers even up beyond 70 deg.; so that the Norse peasant sees his harvests ripen in the latitude of Boothia Felix, and such like ice-bound desolations.
5. This comparative warmth is, of course, mainly due to the Gulf Stream, which runs along the whole coast and round to the White Sea, crossing thence to Spitzbergen, which but for it, would be a far drearier place than it is. Hence all round the north and west coasts the sea never freezes; winter, in fact, is the chief fishing-time. Iceland is colder; but Christiania and North Cape, which is 12 deg. above it, have the same winter temperature. We arc astonished to read of birch trees 70 or 80 feet high, and from 9 to 18 feet in girth. Large old trees are looked on with great reverence, and offerings of beer or mead are still made at their roots on Christmas Eve. The oak is generally small, yet one is mentioned 125 feet high, and 28 feet round. The mistletoe enters into most mythologies; and we all know that of it was made the arrow wherewith Baldur was slain, Freya having made all plants on the earth vow not to hurt him.
6. Potatoes, of course, grow everywhere, even further north, and at a higher level than barley. The plant was only imported from England in the middle of the last century. The disease has never appeared north of 64 deg. The turnip is the most popular and universal root, and it grows up to the Russian frontier; in the Dovre-fjeld it is found at 3,000 feet above the sea, and yields 8J tons to the acre, even in latitude 70 deg., exposed to fierce storms from the Arctic Sea. Over 20 tons per acre is not uncommon in the south, and sometimes the yield more than doubles that quantity.
7. Of plants, we may notice the beautiful lee ranunculus, with white or rose-coloured flowers, growing on the edges of glaciers, like the advanced guard of the flower world towards the snow solitudes. Reindeer are very fond of it. The willows go up far beyond any other bushes; indeed, one variety first shows itself above the fcircTt-limit, and mounts quite up to the permanent snow line. Of ferns there are many kinds, some very rare with us, others peculiar to Norway.
1 Norse men. The old inhabitants of 2 Upsa'la. A town of Sweden, forNorway, Sweden, and Denmark. merly the capital.
aftermath, the second crop of grass, which springs after haymaking.
snow-line, the line of perpetnal snow.
till'able, capable of cultivation.
emphatically, distinctly, with emphasis or force.
SPELL AND PRONOUNCE—
emigrate, to leave one's
propi tiate, to make
ce'real, belonging to the
peculiarity, a special
compat ible, suitable,
legends of heathen gods. Baldur and Freya.
Two Norse Gods.
THE POOR AND THE POOR HOUSE.—George Crabbe.
The Rev. Georoe Cbabbe, M.A., was born at Aldboro', in Suffolk, in 1754, of humble parents. Having been educated, in part, as a surgeon, he went to London in 1780, but was reduced to great misery, till, in a fortunate hour, he wrote to Burke, who at once showed him great kindness. Having induced him to enter the Church, he was ordained in 1781, and was appointed to two small livings in Dorsetshire in 1783. In 1818 he was promoted to the living of Trowbridge, and lived there till he died, in 1832. Orabbe's poetry is marked by simplicity, pathos, force, and truth in describing character. This description of the Poor is drawn in very dark colours, and while true of special cases, is, happily, not a picture, it is to be hoped, of many. Since Crabbe's day, moreover, the Poor Houses have been greatly improved, and are now often wonderful examples of humble comfort.
Yondeb see that hoary swain, whose age
He once was chief in all the rustic trade,
* A pauper who, being nearly past his labour, is employed by different masters for a length of time proportioned to their occupations.