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“Or, if I would delight my private hours
With music, or with poem, where so soon
I think I shall now have satisfied (as far as I can) your demand for an explanation of my original position about the Bible, when I have added the following sentences from a writer I have already quoted. Speaking of the inspired writers, he says, “ Their particular rules and prescripts flow directly and visibly from universal principles as from a fountain : they flow from principles and ideas that are not so properly said to be confirmed by reason as to be reason itself.
From the very nature of these principles, as taught in the Bible, they are understood -in exact proportion as they are believed and felt. This then is the prerogative of the Bible; this is the privilege of its believing students; with them the principle of knowledge is likewise a spring and principle of action. And as it is the only certain knowledge, so are the actions that flow from it the only ones on which a secure reliance can be placed. The understanding may suggest motives, may avail itself of motives, and make judicious conjectures respecting the probable consequences of actions. But the knowledge taught in the Scriptures produces the motives, involves the consequences; and its highest formula is still-as sure as God liveth, so will it be unto thee!”
I am, &c.,
E. D. W.
PRACTICAL HINTS FOR THE SCHOOLROOM.
VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The object of this paper is to furnish in a compact form some useful materials either for gallery lessons, or for general catechetical instruction on the vegetable productions in common use.
As they are professedly but hints, they will require to be moulded into shape for working by the teacher, who may also, from time to time, enlarge this stock of ideas by his own private reading. That children should know something of the vegetable world is surely reasonable enough. It is a portion of that marvellous book of Nature from which millions have learned and may still learn much of their duty. It forms so important a part in the economy of nature, is so essential to the very existence of the animal creation, and contributes in so many ways to the health, happiness, and comfort—to the instruction and education of man; that he must be wantonly negligent in his duty who fails to give it some little study and attention. How often does the Creator send us to the vegetable, as well as to the animal world to learn wisdom,
He not only supplies us with “ grass for the cattle and green herb for the service of men ; -with wine to gladden the heart, and oil to cheer the countenance,” but affords us also raiment and shelter-coals and kindling
-furniture and medicine, and a variety of luxuries and enjoyments. These are most interesting as well as most instructive subjects to discuss in a class—and, if duly considered beforehand by the teacher, they will alleviate much of the drudgery and labour of school-keeping. The grand object in teaching is to develope the mind—to teach children to think, and gradually to express or describe their thoughts in a simple, intelligible manner. This is composition, and of all subjects it is the most difficult and unpopular branch of school work. But it need not be, and would not be so, if children were not taken out of their depth. If some easy subject were given them upon which to exercise their understanding from the natural world---from homely arts and habitsfrom the animal and vegetable creation—they would think and write too, readily enough. The following may serve as specimens of the principles advocated. They were written on a black board as a firstclass exercise, and answered their end admirably.
(1.) In what respect do the following trees and their fruits differ from each other—the gooseberry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, mulberry, and elderberry ? (This will teach them to compare and classify. Then you may tell them something about-the cranberry, barberry, dewberry, bilberry, and whortleberry.)
(2.) Describe the seeds of the apple, walnut, chesnut, oak, plumb, grape, orange, and laburnum; and how they are protected from the rain and cold. (By pulps, shells, skins, husks, rinds, peel, and pods.)
(3.) Write down the names of all the British forest trees, fruit trees, and ornamental trees of the lawn and garden. (The forest trees are the oak, ash, elm, maple, lime, beech, poplar, sycamore, birch, mountain ash, Scotch fir, willow; which most of the children will remember, but it is a question whether they will spell them correctly.)
(4.) Try to find out in the course of the week what is said in the Old Testament about the two trees in Eden-the trees which made a king--the burning bush--the boat of bulrushes--the rod that budded--the juniper tree
Absalom's oak—Jonah's gourd; what was made with Cedar wood, with Gopher wood, with Shittim wood; and, as another lesson, what is said in the New Testament about the lilies of the field--the vine and branchesthe mustard-seed-the barren fig tree—the tares and wheat-the sycamore tree. (And while they are interested in the subject, tell them something of the oaks of Dodona and the old dryads and hamadryads--of the oak groves of the Druids and their sacred misletoe-of the lettuce-like woad and the case of wicker work—of the sacred lily, fleur de lis—the English rose--Irish shamrock-Scotch thistle-the first Plantagenet (Planta-genista)—the wars of the roses, and the sheltering oak of King Charles.)
This is useful knowledge, and children take pleasure in learning it. While they are storing their memories with these interesting facts, they may be learning something of natural history, and will improve in reading, writing, spelling and composition at the same time.
The subjoined facts are hints for teachers on the vegetable productions in ordinary use.
GRAIN.—Wheat-staff of life-an ancient plant-cultivated in Egypt and Syria 3000 years ago—(see the History of Joseph and Ruth)-generally plucked up by hand-ground at home between portable stones.
Straw-there used, as hay here-formerly in brick making—now for bonnets, hats, and thatching.
Starch—from the refuse of wheat-first well soaked in water-dried in sun--fermented-put into bags-beaten well-husks then separated and the flour at the bottoin of the tub-this sediment dried is starch.
Barley in Palestine sown in autumn, reaped in spring contrary in England. Pearl and Scotch barley is barley prepared-husks removed by a mill. Malt made from barley-first steeped until swollen and soft—thrown into a heap and fermented-then it begins to grow, dried over a kiln-thirty million bushels made yearly.
Oats—the most hardy grain known-oat cakes--oatmeal-groats from ground oats.
GARDEN PRODUCT.-Potatoes-extensively cultivated-found in Iceland, Lapland, as well as in Africa and the East-brought here from Virginia (America, 1586, by Sir Walter Raleigh)—first cultivated by Gerrard, a botanist-sugar extracted from them-also- flour and starch-a dye from the leaves and tops.
Onions and leeks-very old plants--eaten by Israel in Egypt-(Numb. xi.)-yield abundantly–20,000 seeds from one root-anciently worshipped by the Egyptians-now, they say, grow in Paradise.
Beans came originally from Egypt-Windsor or broad beans brought here in the reign of William III.
Peas first planted in England in the reign of Henry VIII.
Cabbage called kale in Saxon times-modern cabbage-brought from Holland by Sir Anthony Ashley—cauliflower-brocoli-Brussels sprouts savoys, different species of cabbage-two former brought from Italy in the eighteenth century. Turnips-supposed to have been brought here by the Romans.
Carrots—thoroughly English-but brought to perfection by some Flemish peasants in reign of Elizabeth.
FOREIGN PRODUCT.-Rice-cultivated early-in plantations—in South Carolina-(United States)-China and India-Java, called the granary of the East from its immense supply, grows as far north as Piedmont(Europe) —sown in March-in rows--in frenches-thrice flooded during its growth-ripens in water-each grain on a little stalk like oats—has an awn like barley—cut with a knife-tied in bundles--threshed with a flail-husks
removed by a mill-hardened by beating-packed-exported. Two crops a year in India—from 30 to 60 bushels per acre.
Sugar~from a cane-like the reeds on our marshes with a bush of leaves at the top-but a hard skin--sweet pith-knotty stalk like wheat-about an inch in girth-cut with a knife-bruised at a mill to squeeze out the juicecollected-boiled--purified-casked-exported.
Sugar is extracted from other vegetables—as beet-root-mangelsparsnips.
Tea grows on hedges and on mountain sides—in China, Japan, Indiathe size of a rose bush-about six feet high-flowers like the wild rosesoil strong but gravelly--south aspect best—leaves long, narrow, indentedevergreen-seeds size of a pea-planted on little hills—not many grow. Leaves gathered when young-dried in sun or by charcoal fire-on metal plates--when dried they curl up-are packed in chests and exported-green and black from the same tree, but gathered at different periods-green gathered without stalks—not dried so much as black-dried on copper-not so wholesome. Tea brought to Europe 1610, by Dutch-sold in London 1666, at 30s. a pound.
Coffee.-Native of Arabia Felix-grows also in West Indies--height from eight to fifty feet-an evergreen-trained in artificial terraces and on hill sides-flowers white like jessamine--leaves like bay-tree-grow in pairsfruit like the cherry-first green, then red-each berry contains two seeds in little cells or husks-gathered in May-shaken on a cloth-laid in the sun to dry up the pulp-husks broken by rolling (Arabs eat the husks), then it is winnowed-afterwards roasted till brown—then ground and boiled. Brought to France by Thevenot-first used in London 1652.
SPICES. - Ginger, a root-plant like a reed-grows in East and West Indies-chiefly Jamaica-spreads wide but not deep—when first gathered is eaten by the Indians, sometimes peeled, candied, preserved. If for sale as a spice, it is scraped and dried in the sun.
Pepper—from the same islands—plant like the vine-called pepper vine -entwines like ivy-berries, first green then black, grows in bunches like garden currants— each corn on a separate stalk-half a dozen (pounds on a tree-black pepper gathered green-dried by sun until shrivelled, then rubbed by hand—white pepper hangs till ripe, then dried and rubbed-black, stripped of its outer coat becomes white-best from Malabar-King of Banda sells it at 25d. per lb.
Allspice, or pimento, the berry of a kind of myrtle--grows in West Indies—in plantations-chiefly in Jamaica-hence called Jamaica pepper emits a delicious odour--flowers white-berries in bunches and numerousgathered green-dried in sun, till brown and seeds shake—then packed and exported.
Cinnamon, inner bark of a beautiful tree, like the laurel-leaves flamecoloured-grows in Ceylon and Malabar-extensive plantations-young branches produce best cinnamon-outer bark first scraped off-then inner bark slit up with a knife and carefully removed-dried in the sun--curls up into quills or pipes. Cassia made from the buds-oil from the leaves and chips.
Cloves-native of the Moluccas-flower buds of a kind of laurel-size of a pea-grow wild in the Moluccas and West Indies-great height and noble in appearance-scent the air around-flowers abundant-in clusters--beaten or shaken before they expand or open fully-dried-contain much oil.
Nutmegs and Mace--native soil island of Banda—both from the same tree-like the English cherry-tree in size-it grows also in the East and West Indies—always loaded with blossom and fruit--leaf deep green, and branches spreading. The fruit has three coverings ; first, cream-coloured like a peach ; second, a scarlet membrane, which is the mace; the third, a hard shell, con
taining the nutmegs. This is dried in the sun, then over a fire till the kernels rattle, afterwards broken and taken out.
FRUITS.- Oranges, chiefly from St. Michael's (one of the Azores), Malta, Spain, and Portugal-tree evergreen and long-lived—will flourish 400 years
- flowers profuse--in February or March-fruit ripens in spring-gathered before ripe for exportation--very productive-29,000 once gathered from one tree—the trees present a beautiful appearance-old leaves deep green-light tints of the new-yellow fruit—and white flowers all seen together. Seville oranges from Seville in Spain--very bitter but wholesome. Marmalade and wine made from them.
Lemons, from South Europe-peel candied and preserved.
Figs, from Turkey, eaten as food in the East-very nourishing.
Olives-emblems of peace-noticed in the Bible--from Greece, Italy, and France-like a plum-violet colour-gathered before ripe-preserved in brine-ground and pressed for the oil used in salads and wine, &c.
Currants, small grapes from the Ionian Isles (West of Greece)-formerly from Corinth—hence the name currants or Corinths (grapes of Corinth) prepared without trouble-picked-dried-casked-exported.
WINEs, from the juice of the grape. Port from Portugal. Sherry from Xeres in Spain. Champagne, Burgundy, and Claret from France. Vines are grape trees—vineyard the place where they grow-vintage the time for gathering them—when gathered the grapes are put into a wine press, and are trodden or pressed-the juice is collected—left to ferment awhile—then casked-the first pressing is the best.
Brandy is sometimes distilled from wine, sometimes from grapes.
CLOTHING.—Cotton from a plant and tree-grows in warm countries in America, Asia, and Africa—common cotton from East Indies—plant three feet high-when young sweet scented-flower pale yellow-fruit, a pod size of a walnut-ripens in September-bursts and discloses a downy 'fibrous substance, which is the cotton-the seeds and husks are cleared away by hand or a machine--it is then bagged, sewn up, and exported. When it reaches England it is again cleansed, beaten, carded, roved, wound on reels, and woven into cloth. Some cotton is sown and reaped like corn, and yields two crops a year,
Linen, from flax-a slender plant with hollow and fibrous rind-grows about three feet high-is sown in March—blossoms in June-pulled in August–common in Britain and Ireland-seeds from Russia and Holland when pulled first cleansed from seeds, &c.-tied in bundles-soaked until the rind separates from the stalk-then dried, pressed, cleaned-combed into smooth fibres and sent to spinster. Best seeds are kept—the rest is linseed -oil is pressed from it.
Humboldt mentions flowers which serve children for hats on the river Magdalena.
OTHER VALUABLE USES OF VEGETABLES.
Grass, used in Holland and other low countries as an embankment to keep out the sea.
Tar, from roots of fir-trees--put into a hole with charcoal-covered ovei with turf-burned and distilled.
Soda, from burnt sea-weeds and other useless vegetables.
Kelp, used in soap making--from ashes of sea-weeds-great quantities found on Scotch coasts.
Potash and Pearlash, from weeds and old trees--burnt-mixed with