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duction of some other planet, perhaps the moon. A. Sup. pose I should give it to you, what would you do with it ? R. I should probably throw it away as a very useless gift. A. Then I certainly shall not expose my little puzzle to such unmerited contempt. Suppose we take a walk in that grove, just across the road. Here we are; what a delightful shade see, these are oaks; what mighty columns Nature rears, all from a little brown cup, not larger than a thimble !
R. What! Let me see that mis-mis- A. Mistletoe; do not express your gratitude for favors as you proposed to do. R. It is the same, the very same.
A. What is the same your intention? R. No, no, but look up on the lowest branch of that tall tree; there is surely a Mistletoe clinging to it: the same white, nodding flowers, and spear-shaped leather leaves. Now I can unravel the mysteny; it doesn't grow on the earth or in the water, as other plants do, which have roots, but it lives on trees, lazy thing! It reminds me of some one I know, who idle himself, lives upon the hard earnings of others. A. Rather let it remind us of our dependence which we should feel and gratefully acknowledge, upon that great and good Being, to whom we are indebted for existence and every bles. sing which we now enjoy, or for which we hope.
Yes, reader, for I have clothed you with all this ignorance for the sake of the dialogue, take the language of the Mistle. toe for your motto; not like it however, to depend upon the exertions of others, but upon your own energies, and though success may be as much of an enigma as I supposed it was, how a plant could grow, if neither on land nor ck, nor in water, you will find a sphere of usefulness and consequent happiness. “Determine then,” says the Mistletoe, "to surmount all obstacles”-engage in a good cause, say I.
From the short list which I have given you, many a good thought may be culled; unite the Bramble and the Beech; it would be an ugly nosegay, and it would tell an ugly truth: "envy attends prosperity.”
Would you express this sentiment, affection for false riches is misplaced? Wind the Ivy about the Sunflower, and you have it; but would you speak of innocence and beauty, there is the Lily.
Some of these flowers never told me a thought you say. Shall I tell you why ? For the same reason that you do not understand a book that you have never read carefully. I presume that
have read the account of the early settlement of America; of a time when the Indians were not as now, a hunted few, but a mighty people; 'when our forefathers, a fe ble band, sought liberty and a home in the wilderness of a new world.
In their intercourse with the natives, the whites were frequently obliged to send Indian-messengers to the settlements, for beads and blankets, rum and rattleboxes, looking-glasses, lead, bits of iron, and all that odd assemblage of the useful, worthless and ridiculous, that renders Indian traffic peculiar.
You will easily imagine that the traders could not be supplied like a modern secretary of Legation, with gilt-edged paper, Gillott's pens and rosewood desks; but with a broad green leaf for paper, a stone table of nature's hewing, and an old nail, they would trace what they wished to communicate, and send it by a native.
You can form no adequate idea of the reverence with which they regarded this wonderful leaf; one old chief put it to his ear, and after patiently listening for a while, shook his head with a disappointed air. Another addresed it in a very pom. pous speech of considerable length, and a third viewed it in speechless amazement.
Ignorant of writing, they could not comprehend the myste. ry, and the story of the "talking leaf,” mingled with just enough of fiction to render it pleasant to an Indian's ear, forined one of their numerous traditions.
In the view which we have taken, talking leaves are no mysteries; though human hand has touched them not, they all have language; all are talking leaves. Read, yes, study this living page of God's volume, and though perhaps you cannot assign to each bud,
“A sentiment and speech," yet commune with them, for they will make you wiser and better.
Talk with the "flower-people;" they are the inspired of God, *and will tell you nothing but truth. However varied may be their language upon some subjects, they have a common commission, a commission received from Him,
“Who flung them with a hand so free,
O’er hill and dale'arid desert sod," It is implied in the remaining lines:
"That man where'er he walks may sce
In every step, the siamp of God.” Thus, though Milton's Eve, exclaimed in her farewell lament, as she hung over the flowers of Paradise,
“Oh flowers, That never will in other climate grow," yet, wherever the outcast man has wandered, amid Alpine snows or burning sands, these beautiful inmates of Eden have gone out before him every where, fair and bright as ever, to bless him.
Wearied with the inconsistencies, and sickened at the ab. surdities of man's productions you may be, but you can ever
turn with confidence and delight to the pages of nature so diversified, yet so consistent, so beautiful, yet true.
Poverty may deprive you of books and papers, but you may have occasion to bless that poverty, as it compels you to read nature, if you read at all.
The splendid volumes of a princely library might assist you to find this or that in the great book of nature, for after all, they are nothing but its tables of contents, and who would reject a volume which cost them nothing, and such a volume ! In conclusion, are you not ready to exclaim with the poet?
“There is a language in each flower
That opens to the eye;
Doth in earth's blossoms lie,"
What we have done-Chat with the reader--Anecdote-Learn
ing and knowing are two things-Language of the night Distant lands-Morning on the Alps-- What is nobler than mountain scenery.
Well, reader, we have had a short chat with the flowers; we put our ear to the earth, and caught the Violet's modest whisper, 'trust in Providence," and the frost-chained prisoner's
song of hope; we looked up and heard the Mistletoe's stirring exhortation, and the Aspen's thrilling words; we crushed the Camomile, and it blessed us.
Short as was our talk, it was long enough, I hope, to remind you what a vast treasure-house, Nature is, and more than this, that it is all your own.
That you thought of a hundred things that were omitted, I can easily believe; that you glanced at a hundred objects, which you would have gladly tarried to gaze upon, and wondered that I did not feel so too, is not strange.
In a theme, for which the field, the forest and the wayside furnish materials in almost boundless profusion, my duty is the pleasing but arduous one of selection rather than collection.
Are you so dissatisfied with me that you feel resolved to do your own selecting for the future? Have I discharged the duty so imperfectly, that you are more than half inclined to review the ground, with some better guide than I am; to be. come better acquainted, not with distant nations and far-off lands, but with the rainbow-painted tribes that inhabit the pas. tures, and whose forms are mirrored in the reed-hidden brooks? Then, indeed, have I been eminently successful, and can in sincerity bid you God-speed.