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winter very often :-I wonder what is the reason.
The Bee said, because you never do them any good, but, on the contrary, are very troublesome and mischievous; - therefore they do not like to see you; but they know that I am busy all day long in making them honey, You had better pay them fewer visits, and try to be useful.
One winter's evening as Captain Compass was sitting by the fire-side with his children all round him, little Jack said to him, Papa, pray tell us some stories about what you have seen in your voyages. I have been vastly entertained whilst you were abroad, with Gulliver's Travels, and the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor ; and I think, as you have gone round and round the world, you must have met with things as wonderful as they did.-No, my dear, said the Captain, I never met with Lilliputians of Brobdingnagians, I assure you, nor ever saw the black loadstone mountain, or the valley of diamonds; buts to be süre, I have seen a great variety of people, and their different manners and ways of living; and if it will be any entertainment to you, I will tell
you some curious particulars of what I observed.-Pray do, Papa, cried Jack and all his brothers and sisters : SO they drew close round him, and he began as follows.
Well then I was once, about this time of the year, in a country where it was very cold, and the poor inhabitants had much ado to keep themselves from starving. They were clad partly in the skins of beasts, made smooth and soft by a particular art, but chiefly in garments made from the outer covering of a middle-sized quadruped, which they were so cruel as to strip off his back while he was alive. They dwelt in habitations, part of which was sunk under ground. The materials were either stones, or earth hardened by fire; and so violent in that country were the storms of wind and rain, that
of them covered their roofs all over with stones. The walls of their houses had holes to let in the light: but to prevent the cold air and wet from coming in, they were covered by a sort of transparent stone, made artificially of melted sand or flints. As wood was rather scarce, I know not what they would have done for firing, had they not discovered in the bowels of the earth a very extraordinary kind of stone, which when put among burning wood, caught fire and flamed like a torch.
Dear me, said Jack, what a wonderful stone! I suppose it was somewhat
like what we call fire-stones, that shine so when we rub them together.-I don't think they would burn, replied the Captain; besides, these are of a darker colour.
Well-but their diet too was remarkable. Some of them ate fish that had been hung up in the smoke till they were quite dryand hard; and along with it they ate either the roots of plants, or a sort of coarse black cake made of powdered seeds. These were the poorer class; the richer had a whiter kind of cake, which they were fond of daubing over with a greasy matter that was the product of a large animal among them. This grease they used, too, in almost all their dishes, and when fresh, it really was not unpalatable. They likewise devoured the flesh of many birds and beasts when they could get it; and ate the leaves and other parts of a variety of vegetables growing in the country,
some absolutely raw,, others variously prepared by the aid of fire. Another great article of food was the curd of milk, pressed into a hard mass and salted. This had so rank a smell, that persons of weak stomachs often could not bear to come near it. For drink,
, they made great use of the water in which certain dry leaves had been steeped. These leaves, I was told, came from a great distance. They had likewise a method of preparing a liquor of the seeds of a grass-like plant steeped in water, with the addition of a bitter herb, and then set to work or ferment. I was prevailed upon to taste it, and thought it at first nauseous enough, but in time I liked it pretty well. When a large quantity of the ingredients is used, it becomes perfectly intoxicating. But whát astonished me most, was their use of a liquor so excessively hot and pungent, that it seems like liquid fire. I