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3. But men soon found out that this was very inconvenient, for they had to go to their books, instead of being able to carry them about as we do. So they began to ponder over some improved way of doing things. The result was that they prepared thin slips of wood, or the bark of trees. After a long time they began to use the skins of animals, but these skin books were very costly. You know that parchment is made from the skin of sheep, and this is used even now for some particular sorts of writing, which must be preserved for a long time. The skins were formerly kept in rolls, and were called volumes.
4. But the most important material which was used for writing upon in past ages was the papyrus, a reed that grows on the banks of the Nile and other rivers. The Egyptians used to cut the delicate coats of this reed into pieces of equal length, and when they had been pressed together and dried in the sun they were fit for use. Our word paper is derived from the word papyrus, and in the same way we still speak of the leaves of a book.
5. The Greeks and Romans used wooden tablets covered with wax, on which they wrote with a kind of iron bodkin called a style. It was pointed at one end, and flat at the other, for smoothing the wax and making alterations.
6. The first people who found out how to make paper were the Chinese. At first they beat the fibres or stringy part of vegetables into a pulp, and spread this out in thin sheets; but after a time
they found out that hemp, silk, and cotton rags could be treated in the same way. To this day they make a soft, brittle kind of paper from the pith of a large tree. You may have seen some of this rice paper, as it is called, with butterflies and flowers painted on it.
I. HERE a sheer hulk lies poor Tom Bowling,
No more he'll hear the tempest howling,
His form was of the manliest beauty,
2. Tom never from his word departed,
His friends were many and true-hearted,
And then he'd sing so blithe and jolly;
But mirth has turned to melancholy,
3. Yet shall poor Tom find pleasant weather
Shall give, to call life's crew together,
Thus Death, who kings and tars dispatches,
In vain Tom's life has doffed;
For tho' his body's under hatches,
1 Broached, broken into, broken up.
2 Doffed, to doff is to do off, to remove, take away; as to don is
to do on, replace.
TWO INCIDENTS OF THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.
1. THE history of England is full of wars with France, for hardly a century has passed, since the English became a nation, without some quarrel between us and our neighbours on the opposite side of the Channel.
2. The two nations have now been good friends (as they ought always to have been) for about sixty years, and they in the Crimea fought side by side against the Russians. The last time England and France met in anger was at the Battle of Waterloo, in Belgium-when the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon Bonaparte on Sunday evening, June 18, 1815.
3. The story goes that the great Duke was once asked, who was in his opinion the bravest man at Waterloo. I can't tell you that,' he said, 'but I can tell you of one than whom I am sure there was no braver: he was only a private in the Artillery, but had he survived the day he would have been an officer.'
4. The incident on which the Duke founded his opinion was as follows. There was a farmhouse with an orchard surrounded by a thick hedge, forming a most important point in the British position, and which was ordered to be held against
the enemy at any hazard and at any sacrifice. The hottest of the battle raged round this point, but our fellows behaved well, and beat back the French, though they attacked the place again and again with great fury, and once even gained a footing inside.
5. At last the powder and ball were found to be running short, and at the same time the timber in the hedges and the rubbish piled about it took fire, and the orchard was soon surrounded with a ring of flame. A messenger had, however, been sent to the rear for more powder and ball, and in a very short time two loaded waggons came galloping down to the farmhouse, the gallant defenders of which were keeping up a thin and scanty fire through the flames which surrounded their post.
6. The driver of the first waggon, with the reckless daring of an English boy, spurred his struggling and terrified horses through the burning heap; but the flames rose fiercely round and caught the powder, which exploded in an instant, sending waggon, horses, and rider in fragments into the air.
7. For one instant the driver of the second waggon paused, appalled by his comrade's fate; the next observing that the flames, beaten back for the moment by the explosion, afforded him one desperate chance, he sent his horses at the smouldering breach, and, amid the deafening cheers of the garrison, landed his terrible cargo safe within ; while behind him the flames closed up and raged more fiercely than before,