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wood. But it had to take in and retain another element without which the distillation and the shaping could never have taken place. It had to drink in the sunbeams, that mysterious and complex force which is for ever pouring from the sun and making itself partly palpable to our senses as heat and light. So the life of the plant seized the sunbeams and ab-` sorbed them-buried them in itself-no longer as light and heat, but as invisible chemical force, locked up for ages in that woody fibre.

5. So it is. Lord Lytton told us long ago, in a beautiful song, how "the Wind and the Beam loved the Rose." But nature's poetry was more beautiful than man's. The wind and the beam loved the rose so well that they made the rose, or rather the rose took the wind and the beam, and built up out of them, by her own inner life, her exquisite texture, hue and fragrance. What next? The rose dies, the timber tree dies, decays down into vegetable fibre, is buried and turned to coal, but the plant cannot altogether undo its own work. Even in death and decay it cannot set free the sunbeams imprisoned in its tissue. The sun-force must stay shut up, age after age, invisible, but strong, working at its own prison-cells, transmuting them, or making them capable of being transmuted by man, into the manifold products of coal-coke, petroleum, mineral pitch, gases, coal-tar, benzole, delicate aniline dyes and what-not-till its day of deliverance comes.

6. Man digs it, throws it on the fire, a black, dead-seeming lump. A corner, an atom of it, warms till it reaches the igniting point, the temperature at which it is able to combine with oxygen. And then, like a dormant live thing, awaking after ages to the sense of its own powers, its own needs, the whole lump is seized, atom after atom, with an infectious hunger for that oxygen which it lost, centuries since, in the bosom of the earth. It drinks the oxygen in at every pore, and burns. And so the spell of ages is broken. The sun-force bursts its prison-cells and blazes into the free atmosphere as light and heat once more, returning in a moment into the same forms in which it entered the growing leaf a thousand centuries since.

Strange it is, yet true. the old saying stands

But of nature, as of the heart of man, that truth is stranger than fiction.



SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Absorb: L. absor'beo; fr. ab and sor'beo, sorp'tum, to suck in; h., absorption, etc. . . . Aniline, a chemical base yielded by indigo and some other substances; fr. an'il, an Arabic name for the indigo plant. . . Anthracite fr. the Gr. an'thrakis, a burning coal. .. Bituminous: fr. the L. bitu'men, mineral pitch. . Carburet, carbon in combination with some other substance, the result not being an acid; fr. L. car'bo, a coal. . . . Chemist: fr. the Gr. chu'mos (ku’mos), juice.... Crystallization: fr. L. crystal'lum, rock-crystal; Gr. krustal'lõs, clear ice.




Distill: L. destil'lo, destilla'tum, to drop or trickle down; fr. de and stil'la, a drop; h., in-still, still (a vessel for distillation), etc.... Dormant : fr. L. dor'mio, dormi'tum, to sleep; h., dormitory, dor-mouse. Epoch : Gr. ĕp'o-che (ep'o-ke), a check, a pause in the reckoning of time; fr. ép'i and ěch'ō, I hold or have. . . . Fibre: L. fibra, a thread; h., fibrous.. Graphite, carbon in one of its conditions; fr. Gr. graph'ein, to write. ... Lignite, mineral coal retaining the texture of the wood from which it was formed; fr. L. lignum, wood; h., ligneous, lignum-vitæ (wood of life; fr. vi'ta, life, genitive villa), etc. Nitrogen, that elementary gas which forms the base of nitric acid, and composes four-fifths, by bulk, of our atmosphere; fr. Gr. ni'tròn, nitre, and gèn'naō, I produce. . . . Olefiant, forming or producing oil: applied to a certain gas; fr. ol'e-um, oil, and fa'cio, I make; h., oil, oleaginous. . . . Palpable, perceptible by touch: fr. L. pal'po, palpa'tum, to touch gently; h., im-palpable, palpitate.... Petroleum: fr. Gr. or L. pět'ra, rock, and ol'e-um, oil; h. (fr. pet'ra), Peter, petrify, sall-petre, etc. Pore: Gr. pŏr'Ŏs, a passage or way; fr. pei'rō, I pierce; h., em-porium, lit., a commercial thoroughfare (en and pòròs), imporous, porous, porosity. Retain: L. retin'eo, reten'tum, to hold back; fr. re and ten'eo, ten'tum, to hold; h., abs-tain, abs-tinence, ap-per-tain, appur-tenance, con-tain, con-tent, con-tinence, con-tinent, con-tinue, coun-tenance (lit., the contents of a body; h., of a face; coun = con), de-lain, detention, enter-tain (lit., to hold within), im-per-tinent, in-con-tinent, lieutenant (lieu, F., place), main-tain (main, F., hand; lit., to hold by hand), main-tenance, mal-con-tent (mal, F., evil; fr. L. mal'um, evil), ob-tain, pertain, per-tinacious, per-tinent, re-tain, re-tentive, re-tinue, sus-tain (sus=sub), sus-tenance, tenable, tenacious, tenacity, tenant, tenement, tenet (an opinion held), tennis, tenon, tenor, tenure, etc.



Though there are many terms from the Latin and French which we could not well do without, we still prefer, in familiar language, the good old Saxon terms. Thus we say rather like than similar, give than present, beg than solicit, kinsman than relation, neighborhood than vicinity, and praise than encomium. Our English is neither Anglo-Saxon in a new garb, nor the offspring of a union between Saxon and Norman-French. Both these languages were inflected, and had their rigidly fixed syntax dependent on inflections. The essentials of their substance the new idiom, English, has freed from all inflections and subjected to entirely new laws of syntax, which now make up its striking and exclusive character among the languages of Europe.-DE VERE (abridged).


1. THE Esquimaux inhabit a vast territory, extending from Greenland to the shores of the Pacific, and yet the whole race is supposed to number only about fifty thousand, or not much more than the population of such a city as Lowell. The average stature of the Esquimaux is far below that of European nations. The common height is little more than five feet, and a native of six feet would be a giant among his people. They have no intercourse with other nations except as they may be occasionally visited, and hence their language and customs are preserved almost free from change.

2. Uninfluenced by the demands of fashion, the dress of the Esquimaux never alters. Their garments are composed of the skins of the reindeer, seals and birds, and rare skill is shown in their construction and arrangement. The fine sewing which they perform on skin is done with the bones of birds instead of needles, and for thread they use the sinews of reindeer, seals or whales, split very thin and twisted together double or threefold with their fingers.

3. The Northern Esquimaux live in houses of snow or ice, but the huts in the south of Greenland are made of stone or wood, and covered with brush, turf and earth. In the summer they live in tents made of skins. It is not uncommon to find several families crowded together in the smallest possible space, where they eat, drink and sleep, with fish and flesh lying all around and dogs reposing on every side.

4. The food of the Esquimaux consists of almost every animal found within their region, but the seal and the walrus are their principal support for nine months of the year. Their improvidence often reduces them to terrible straits. Captain Parry speaks of meeting with some who had no food, and who were devouring the very skins which composed their clothes to keep them from starvation.

5. The children are carried about by the mother very carefully on her back, in a fur hood, until they are two or three years of age, and then they take care of themselves, being

expected to imitate what they see others do. A boy very early has a bow and arrow put into his hands that he may practice shooting at a mark. He also throws stones at some particular object at a little distance to determine the correctness of his aim. Toward his tenth year his father provides him with a kayak that he may initiate him in the acts of rowing, rising, oversetting and coming up again, fowling, fishing, and all those dexterous feats in which he is himself skilled. In his sixteenth year the boy is expected to accompany his father in seal-catching, and the capture of his first seal is made the occasion of great felicitation and festivity. The girls at fourteen years of age are required to sew, cook and dress leather, and two or three years later they must learn to row the woman's boat and build houses.

6. The perfection to which the Esquimaux carry such work as they attempt is quite wonderful when we consider the scarcity of material and the want of emulation and of any division of labor among them. Their arts are handed down from father to son, and remain with no perceptible change from generation to generation. Their houses are built with mathematical regularity, and are well adapted for securing warmth and protection against the encroachments of the weather. But still greater skill is shown, perhaps, in the construction of their boats, the kayak or man's boat, and the oomiak or woman's boat.

7. It is acknowledged that the intelligence of the civilized artisan could not produce a result of greater symmetry and finish than the kayak of the Greenlander, and the same vessel which William Baffin mentioned with so much admiration in 1607 is described by Dr. Kane as "beautiful in model and graceful as the nautilus." With the exception of a hole in the centre, it is perfectly water and air-tight, and is propelled by a double-bladed oar grasped in the middle. The rapidity, ease and lightness with which it follows the motion of the wave are wonderful, and the man and his boat seem to be one creature passing like a sea-bird over the waters.

8. The kayak, or man's boat, has a canoe-shaped frame

work from eighteen to twenty feet in length, tapering to a point at the head and stern, so that it is shaped like a weaver's shuttle. The breadth at the centre is from one foot and a half to two feet, and the depth about one foot. The under surface of the vessel is rounded just enough to allow a person to sit with his feet extended on the bottom, and as each man is his own boat-builder, it is always constructed with a nice adaptation to his particular size and weight. When completed, the whole weight of the vessel is not more than sixty pounds, and can be easily carried on the head without the assistance of the hands.

9. In front of the kayaker lies his line, rolled up on a little raised seat made for it, and behind him rests his seal-skin bladder, an air-tight sack which is always kept inflated and fastened to the sealing-line. This is said to answer the double purpose of a buoy and a break or drag to retard the motion of the prey after it has been struck. The double-bladed oar is about seven feet in length. It is made of solid red deal, if that can be procured, with inlaid bones at the sides. The navigator takes it with both hands in the middle, striking the water on both sides with great rapidity and regularity, as if he were beating time.

10. As already stated, the speed which the kayakers make in their shell-like vessels is very great. One has been known to go at the rate of from sixty to seventy miles a day. These men become so habituated to the changes of the sea that they glide with celerity over the roughest billows. If a formidable wave threatens to upset them, they counteract it by their oar and maintain an upright position; or if overturned, they swing round and retrieve themselves at once, coming up again to the surface as they have taught themselves by long practice to do. It is only when they lose their oar, or when the ice or driftwood drives furiously against them, that they succumb to the elements. The kayak is covered with new seal-skin once a year, and is so expeditious and convenient that the Danish authorities of Greenland use this kind of boat as an express for communication between different posts.

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