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Oak wood. It is an ornament fit for the habitation of the first nobleman in the land,
Har. I wonder, then, that all rich gentlemen who have grounds enough, do not cover it with Oaks.
Tut. Many of them, especially of late years, have made great plantations of these trees. But all soils do not suit them: and then there is another circumstance which prevents many from being at this trouble and expense, which is the long time an oak takes in growing, so that no person can reasonably expect to profit by those of his own planting. An oak of fifty years is greatly short of its full growth, and they are scarcely arrived at perfection under a century. However, it is our duty to think of posterity as well as ourselves; and they who receive oaks from their ancestors, ought certainly to furnish others to their successors.
Har. Then I think that every one who cuts down an Oak should be obliged to plant another.
Tut. Very right--but he should plant two or three for one, for fear of accidents in their growing.
I will now repeat to you some verses describing the Oak in its state of full growth, or rather of beginning decay, with the various animals living upon it-and then we will walk.
See where yon Oak its awful structure rears, The massy growth of twice a hundred years ; Survey his rugged trunk with moss o'ergrown, His lusty arms in rude disorder thrown, His forking branches wide at distance spread, And dark’ning half the sky, bis lofty head. A mighty castle, built by nature's hands, Peopled by various living ribes, he stands. His airy top the clamorous rooks invest, And crowd the waving boughs with many a nest. Midway the nimble squirrel builds his bow'r; And sharp billid pies the insect tribes devour, That gnaw
beneath the bark their secret ways, While unperceived the stately pile decay
THE YOUNG MOUSE.
A YOUNG MOUSE lived in a cupboard where sweetmeats were kept: she dined every day upon biscuit, marmalade, or fine
little Mouse had lived so well. She had often ventured to peep at the family while they sat at supper; nay she had sometimes stolen down on the carpet, and picked up the crumbs, and nobody had ever hurt her. She would have been quite happy, but that she was sometimes frightened by the cat, and then she ran trembling to the hole behind the wainscot. One day she came running to her mother in great joy. Mother! said she, the good people of this family have built me a house to live in ; it is in the cupboard : I am sure it is for me, for it is just big enough : the bottom is of wood, and it is covered all over with wires ! and I dare say they have made it on purpose to screen me from that terrible cat, which ran after me so often; there is an entrance just big enough for me, but puss cannot follow; and they have been so good as to put in some toasted cheese, which smells so deliciously, that I should have run in directly and taken possession of my new house, but I thought I would tell you first, that we might go in together, and both lodge there to-night, for it will hold us both.
My dear child, said the old Mouse, it is most happy that you
did not go in, for this house is called a trap, and you would never have come out again, except to have been devoured, or put to death in some way or other. Though man has not so fierce a look as a cat, he is as much our enemy, and has still more cunning.
THE WASP AND BEE.
A Wasp met a Bee, and said to him, Pray can you tell me what is the reason that men are so ill-natured to me, while they are so fond of you? We are both very much alike, only that the broad golden rings about my body make me much handsomer than you are: we are both winged insects, we both love honey, and we both sting people when we are angry, yet men always hate me, and try to kill me, though I am much more familiar with them than you are, and pay them visits in their houses, and at their tea-table, and at all their meals: while you are very shy and hardly ever come near them: yet they build you curious houses, thatched with straw, and take care of and feed you in the