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quired, and hoe and loosen the ground between them: the fresh turned up earth scattered among the plants will do them good. You may put in the runners now if you want fresh plants, but you must not expect them to bear much this season; but August is the best time, if the weather is moist. After nailing and pruning fruit trees; let the ground be dug and loosened where you have been treading; this is of use to the trees, as well as necessary for the sake of neatness. In open weather sow peas and beans; earth up the early ones that are above ground. You may sow, in the flower garden, hardy annuals towards the end of the month, and transplant flower roots.

NATURAL HISTORY.

The Clothes Moth.

Most of our young readers know that butterflies and moths lay eggs, and that when these eggs are hatched a little grub comes out,-then, after a time, this grub is turned into a hard dead-looking substance, called a chrysalis, and then, when the creature has remained in a sort of sleep sheltered and secured in its dry-looking case for a time, it comes out adorned with wings, and takes its flight into the air. These changes are truly wonderful; the form, the habits, the food of the animal, being totally different in its different stages.-And it adds to the wonder to think that the moth or butterfly does not generally lay its eggs in such places as would supply food for itself,—but in places which will furnish food for the young ones when they are hatched. Thus what is called the clothes moth contrives to lay its eggs among woollen cloth or fur, as if it seemed to know that the young grub would delight in these

Natural History

81 substances. We all know how destructive this little creature is to our woollen cloths or furs. The caterpillar, as soon as it quits the egg, begins to form for itself a nest; it spins a fine coating of silk round its body, then it cuts the wool or the fur close to the roots, and this is done by its little jaws, which are a sort of a little pair of scissors; it cuts the pieces which it has taken off into convenient lengths, and wraps them one by one in a curious manner on the outside of its little silk case. When it has formed this covering for itself, it does not attempt to leave it. This case is thickest in the middle, so that it can turn itself round, and put out its head at either end, when it wishes to feed. If it wishes to change its place, it puts out its head and six fore legs, and thus moves along, dragging, its case after it. When it grows too big for its case, it sets about making an addition to it, first at one end, then at the other, this creature in its case may be easily seen by those who are unlucky enough to have had their clothes attacked by them; and if, for the sake of curiosity, one of them should be removed to pieces of different coloured woollen cloth, there will be seen the rings of the different colours, red, green, black, yellow, &c. according to the different colours of the cloth. The creature has also a very curious and ingenious method of widening his abode by cutting slits lengthways, first filling up one, and then another, with wool on the outside, and silk in the inside. In this case it changes to a chrysalis, and then, after about three months, it comes out in the shape of a moth.

As these caterpillars are very destructive, several different methods have been tried to prevent their ravages. The oil of turpentine is said to be instant death to them. It is recommended therefore to put, the things affected by them into a close place along with a cup or saucer, containing oil of turpentine, and the warmth will raise the vapour, which immediately destroys them. Sometimes, if the caterpillars be old

and strong, it may be necessary to brush the clothes with a brush, the points of which have been dipped in the oil of turpentine. The smoke of tobacco is said to kill them, and cloth that has been steeped in a decoction of tobacco leaves will never afterwards be af. fected by them. These delight only in furs and woollen, and do not attack silk or linen; many ladies therefore preserve their muffs and tippets and woollen clothing during the summer, by sewing them up closely in pillow cases, or any sort of linen bags, before the moths have laid their eggs in them.

Chiefly from Bingley's Animal Biography.

NETTLES.

This common weed, like many

others which are generally considered as very troublesome, may be advantageously applied to several useful purposes. The nettle-tops in spring make a good and wholesome potherb. Loudon, in his Gardener's Magazine, says, that few plants force better or more rapidly, and that the tender shoots so produced make a delicate and high-flavoured pot-herb. He adds, that it is much valued in Holland. Its roots, boiled with alum, are used to die yarn a yellow colour. Its seeds, mixed with oats, are said to make horses brisk, and to give them a fine skin; and in that country considerable portions of fields are planted with it, and mown five or six times a year as green food. Haller says, that it has been cultivated advantageously in Sweden for feeding milch kine. Cows will not eat it green, but are very fond of it when a little withered.

In Arran and other Scottish islands a rennet is made of a strong decoction of nettles boiled with salt, which is used for coagulating milk. It was formerly valued as a medicine in several disorders; but now there is

8

"; Charity begins at Home.

83 little credit given to the accounts of the cures performed by it; though it is said to be of advantage in restoring paralytic limbs by stinging them with it.

In the North of England it is frequently used by the cottagers, when boiled, as food for pigs; for which purpose they also use another common and troublesome weed, the dock, and succeed, with scarcely any other food, in breeding very fine and fat animals.

The fibres of the stem may be dressed like flax or hemp, for making ropes, cloth, paper, &c. and from the seeds a useful lamp-oil may be obtained by pressure.

The stings of nettles are very curious objects for examining with a microscope : they consist of an exceedingly fine pointed hollow tube, with an opening at the point, and a bag at the base. When the sting is pressed upon it easily enters the skin, and by the same pressure a poison which is contained in the bag is forced up through the tube, and instantly entering the wound causes the pain which is felt.

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.

This is a good maxim, if properly understood. It is probably taken from what St. Paul says to Timothy* ** If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” St. Paul had been giving Timothy much good advice as to the way in which he should watch over his own conduct, and how he should carry on the affairs of the Church of Ephesus, over which he was appointed to preside.' St. Paul had been shewing, that persons in distress and affliction, like poor widows of good character, who had no friends or relations to assist them, (widows indeed !) should be furnished with suitable employment, and should have their necessities relieved by their fellow Christians : but that those who had friends and relations able to support them, should not be a burden on the Church. “And, in truth, if those who were able to support and assist their widowed mothers and relations, refused to do so, this was quite contrary to the disposition which belonged to a Christian; it was like denying the faith ; it was like being an unbeliever ; nay, it was worse : he that believes in the Gospel, and yet refuses to live according to its direction and spirit, * is worse than an infidel." A Christian, as we learn from all the teaching of the Gospel of Christ, is to be always ready to communicate assistance and relief to the wants of his fellow-creatures. St. Paul is particularly urgent on all those who are able, to be “ready to distribute, willing to communicate ;” and, in the part which we have been considering, he shews, that every one is particularly called upon to provide for “ his own," his own relations, and still more particularly for those who are of his own house,” those who are members of his own family. Now this does certainly point out a most important duty-the support of those whose wants are known to us, and who are connected with us by the ties of natural affection. The Apostle might very truly say, that a man who denied this obligation, was worse than an infidel; for even infidels, heathens who knew nothing of the Gospel, still felt that it was their duty to take care of their relations, especially their parents; and many of them did affectionately maintain them, when, through age or poverty, they were unable to support themselves. “A Christian need not go far for an opportunity of doing good; almost every man has some relations, some friends; he has a father, a mother, a brother, or a sister; he is a master, a servant, or in some way a member of a family. Let him shew charity at home. He may not perhaps be called upon to supply the wants

1. Tim. v. 8.

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