“Well, I hope you are convinced of the necessity of air in order to live. All animals, from the tiniest mite, hardly visible, to the giants of creation, are in the same condition as you: on air, first of all, their life depends. Even those that live in the water, fish and others, are no exception to this rule. They can live only in water into which air infiltrates and dissolves. When you are older you shall see a striking experiment which proves how indispensable to life is the presence of air. You put a bird under a glass dome, shut tight everywhere; then with a kind of pump the air is drawn out. As it is withdrawn from the inside of the glass cage, the bird staggers, struggles a moment in an anguish horrible to see, and falls dead.”“‘Supper finished, they left us. Our hosts slept below, we in the upper room where we had eaten. A loft seven or eight feet high, reached by a ladder, was the bed that awaited us—a kind of nest that one got into by crawling under joists laden with provisions for a year. My comrade climbed up alone and was soon asleep, his head on the precious valise; I determined to watch, so made a good fire and sat down by it. 加拿大28真实性 “Everywhere, my dear child; here, even in places where to-day are our most flourishing towns. Oh! how forlorn man was before attaining, by the help of iron, the well-being that we enjoy to-day; how forlorn was man and what a great present Providence made him in giving him this metal!”“Much older oaks are known. In 1824 a wood-cutter of Ardennes felled a gigantic oak in whose trunk were found sacrificial vases and antique coins. The old oak had had fifteen or sixteen centuries of existence.“Then the bundles are dried; after that they crush them between the jaws of an instrument called a brake, to crush the stems into small pieces and separate the tow. Finally, to purge the tow of all woody refuse and to divide it into the finest threads, they pass it between the iron teeth of a sort of big comb called a heckle. In this state, the fiber is spun either by hand or by machine. The thread obtained is ready for weaving.“By preference the viper inhabits warm and rocky hills; it keeps under stones and thickets of brush. It is brown or reddish in color. On the back it has a somber zigzag band, and on each side a row of spots. Its stomach is slate-gray. Its head is a little triangular, larger than the neck, obtuse and as if cut off in front. The viper is timid and fearful; it attacks man only in self-defense. Its movements are brusk, irregular, and sluggish. “Miserable creatures!” cried Jules. “Horrid rascals! Ah, if I had only been there!”“COPPER and tin are called metals,” continued Uncle Paul. “They are heavy, shining substances, which bear the blows of the hammer without breaking. They flatten, but do not break. There are still other substances which possess the considerable weight of copper and tin, as well as their brilliancy and resistance to blows. All these substances are called metals.” “If rain sometimes falls over great stretches of country, it is never general, absolutely. If it should rain at one time over a whole province, what is that compared with the earth? A clod compared with a large field. Chased by the wind, clouds run hither and thither in the vast spaces of the atmosphere. They travel, and on their way throw a shadow or precipitate rain. Where they pass there is rain; everywhere else, no. In the same place there can even be both rain and fine weather, according as one is below or above the clouds. You know that on a mountain-top the clouds are sometimes beneath one. The plain under the clouds may receive a hard shower, while on the summit the sun shines without a single drop of rain.”Uncle Paul, whom thunder never caused even to knit his brows, had tears in his eyes and his voice trembled. The good Simon, who had seen the two children in each other’s arms under the hedge, felt more moved than the others at this recollection. He pulled down the broad rim of his hat to hide the big tears that were rolling down his rough cheeks bronzed by the sun. After a few moments of silence Uncle Paul continued:Picking cotton by hand2. This was written before Peary’s and Amundsen’s achievements in polar exploration.—Translator.“Wherever education has not been introduced there are brutal natures that, in time of trouble, spring up, no one knows whence, and frighten the world with their atrocities. Another story will teach you more of the Calabrian peasants.” “Those little June bugs are of a different kind. They will always remain the same. Never will they grow and become common June bugs, any more than a cat would grow into a tiger, which it resembles so much.“Those mountains would come up above the surface of the water in the place you spoke of, and would form islands 850 meters in height.”“This hare evidently exaggerated things. Its ears have remained ears, to all observers. We do not know whether the snail exiled himself in these circumstances; man is almost unanimous in regarding as horns what the snail bears on its forehead. ‘You call those horns!’ the cricket would have exclaimed, being better advised than man; ‘you must take me for a fool.’”“When two differently electrified clouds come near together, immediately their contrary electricities run toward each other to recombine, and with a loud report there is a burst of flame that throws a bright and sudden light. This light is lightning; this burst of flame is a thunderbolt; the noise of the explosion is thunder. Finally, the electric spark can dart from a cloud electrified in one way to a spot on the ground electrified in the other.“What is poisonous in mushrooms is not the flesh, but the juice with which it is impregnated. Get rid of that juice, and the injurious properties will disappear immediately. This is accomplished by slicing and cooking the mushrooms, either dried or fresh, in boiling water with a handful of salt. They are then drained in a colander and washed two or three times in cold water. That done, they are prepared in any way one chooses. 加拿大28真实性 “WHEN the snail crawls, it bears aloft, as you know, four horns.”“A thousand years! If Uncle had not said it, I should not believe it.” This from Jules.“I wanted to see how high the liquid would go, but I had not patience to wait till the end.” Could hardly help believing“All is not over yet,” his uncle proceeded. “The stream, I told you, was going toward the sea. There was, then, a formidable battle between the water and the fire. The lava presented a perpendicular front of 1500 meters in extent and a dozen meters high. At the touch of that burning wall, which continued plunging further and further into the waves, enormous masses of vapor rose with horrible hissings, darkened the sky with their thick clouds, and fell in a salt rain over all the region. In a few days the lava had made the limits of the shore recede three hundred meters.“Very willingly; but when we are all together, so that each one may profit by it. No one ought to ignore the danger one runs in taking shelter under a tree during a storm.”“With the inhabitants?” inquired Jules. “DO all those beautiful shells you have in the drawer come from the sea?” asked Emile.“In the religions of the East they call by that name those who renounce the world to give themselves up to prayer and contemplation.” “Exactly: the water would disappear, evaporated by the sun, and the salt would remain in the plate.”“The pretty round spots that a great many butterflies have on their wings are not really eyes, although they are called by that name; they are ornaments, nothing more. Real eyes, eyes for seeing, are in the head. The Argus has two, neither more nor fewer than the other butterflies.”“That is the point I wished to make. Calabria, like all countries, has its good and its bad people.”Queen Bee 加拿大28真实性 “I have seen some in the water resembling large, pointed, spiral snails,” said Jules. “They have a sort of cap to close the opening.”“You say the king made him prime vizier. Is that a high office?” “I know: in your eyes all animals, however hideous they may be, have excellent excuses to plead: all merit consideration; all play a part ordained by Providence; all are interesting to observe and to study. You are the advocate of the good God’s creatures; you would plead for the toad. But permit your niece to see there only an impulse of your kind heart, and not the real truth. What could you say in praise of the spider, horrid beast, which is poisonous and disfigures the ceiling with its webs?”“Prime vizier means prime minister. The dervish then became the greatest dignitary of the State, after the king.”“Those charcoal-burners were not at all such bad people as I thought at first,” said Jules.“Don’t dream of such a thing. It is too far away, and, besides, they are not to be gathered by every one that wants them. To get the meleagrina men have to dive to the bottom of the sea, and some of them never come up again.”“The larv? of the June bug, capricorn, stag-beetle, and other beetles pass through a similar state, but with more accentuated forms. The different parts of the head, wings, legs delicately folded at their sides, are very recognizable. But all is immobile, soft, white, or even transparent as crystal. This insect in outline is called a nymph. The name of chrysalis used for butterflies and that of nymph used for the other insects signify the same thing under somewhat different appearances. Both the chrysalis and the nymph are insects in process of formation—insects closely wrapped in swaddling-clothes, under which is finished the mysterious operation that will change their first structure from top to bottom.