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INDEX TO EDITIONS.
THE figures refer to the pages where the same lessons may be found
THE old chroniclers' made the year begin in the season of
frosts; and they have launched' us upon the cŭrrent* of the months, from the snowy banks of Jănuary. I love better to count time from spring to spring : it seems to me far more cheerful, to reckon the year by blossoms, than by blight.
2. Bernardin de St. Pierre, in his sweet story of Virginiä, makes the bloom of the co'coa-tree, or the growth of the banana,' ă' yearly and a loved monitor of the passage of her life. How cold and cheerless in the comparison, would be the icy chronology of the North ;
-So many years have I seen the lakes locked, and the foliäge die!
3. The budding and blooming of spring seem to belong properly to thē opening of the months. It is the season of the quickest expansion," of the warmèst blood, of the readiëst growth; it is the boy-age of the year. The birds sing in chorus in the spring—just as children prattle ; the brooks run full—like the overflow of young hearts; the showers drop easily-as young tears flow; and the whole sky is as capricious as the mind of a boy.
1 Chron' i clers, those who write 6 Banana, (bа nå nå). an account of facts or events arrang- * A, (ă), see Rule 2, p. 24. ed in the order of time"; historians. 8 Mon’i tor, one who, or that
The, (fhů), see Rule 3, p. 24. which, warns of faults, or informs 3 Launched, (låncht), caused to of duty. slide from the land into the water; • Chro nol'o gy, the method of dispatched or sent forth.
computing time, and ascertaining * Căr rent, a regular flow, or on the dates of events. ward movement.
10 Fö' li age, leaves; a cluster of • James H. Bernardin de St. leaves, flowers, and branches. Pierre, the celebrated author of " Ex păn' sion, a spreading out, “Paul and Virginia,” lived between like the opening of the leaves of a 1737 and 1813.
4. Between tears and smiles, the year, like the child, strug. gles into the warmth of life. The old year,-say what the chronologists will, -lingers upon the věry lap of spring; and is only fairly gone, when the blossoms of April have strewn their pall' of glory upon his tomb, and the blue-birds have chanted his requiem.
5. It always seems to me as if an accěss of life came with the melting of the winter's snows; and as if every rootlet of grass, that lifted its first green blade from the matted debris' of the old year's decay, bore my spirit upon it nearer to the largess' of Heaven.
6. I love to trace the break of spring, step by step : I love even those long rain-storms that sap the icy fortresses of the lingering winter,—that melt the snows upon the hills, and swell the mountain brooks,-that make the pools heave up their glassy cēre'ments of ice, and hărry down the crashing fragmènts into the wastes of ocean. I love the gentle thaws that you can trace, day by day, by the stained snow-banks, shrinking from the grass ; and by the gentle drip of the cottage-eaves.
7. I love to search out the sunny slopes by a southern wall, where the reflected sun does double duty to the earth, and where the frail aněm'onè, or the faint blush of the ar'bute," in the midst of the bleak March atmosphere, will touch your heart, like a hope of Heaven in a field of graves! Later come those soft, smoky days, when the patches of winter grain show green under the shelter of leaflèss woods, and the last snow-drifts,
i Capricious, (ka prish' us), apt to Debris, (då brè'), ruins; frag change one's mind often and sud- ments; pieces broken off. denly; changeable.
Largess, (lår' jès), a present; a Strewn, (strồn), scattered.
free gift. Pall, a large, black cloth thrown * Cere' ments, cloths dipped in over a coffin at a funeral; an outer wax, in which dead bodies were garment; a covering.
buried , coverings. · Rē' qui em, a hymn or song • A nem' o ne, the wind-flower. sung for the dead.
10 Ar būte, the strawberry-tree, a 6 Ac cèss', a near approach or kind of evergreen shrub. It has a coming to; increase.
berry resembling the strawberry.
reduced to shrunken skeletons' of ice, lie upon the slope of northern hills, leaking away their life.
8. Then, the grass at your door grows into the color of the sprouting grain, and the buds upon the lilacs swell and burst. The peaches bloom upon the wall, and the plums wear bodices? of white. The sparkling briole · picks string for his hammock on the sycamore, and the spărrows twitter in pairs. The old elms throw down their dingy flowers, and color their spray with green ; and the brooks, where you throw your worm or the minnow; float down whole fleets of the crimson blossoms of the maple.
9. Finally, thē oaks step into thē opening quadrille' of spring, with grayish tufts of ă modèst verdure,' which, by and by, will be long and glossy leaves. The dog-wood pitches his broad white tent, in the edge of the forest; the dandelions lie along the hillocks, like stars in a sky of green ; and the wild cherry, growing in all the hedge-rows, without other culture than God's, lifts up to Him, thankfully, its tremulous white fingers.
10. Amid all this, come the rich rains of spring. The affections of a boy grow up with tears to water them; and the year blooms with showers. But the clouds hover over an April sky, timidly-like shădows upon innocence. The showers come gently, and drop daintily to the earth-with now and then a glimpse of sunshine to make the drops bright-like so many tears of joy. The rain of winter is cold, and it comes in bitter scuds that blind you ; but the rain of April steals upon you coyly,' half reluctantly-yet lovingly-like the steps of a bride to the altar.
11. It does not găther like the storm-clouds of winter, gray and
Skěl'e tons, frames, or parts of a • Sýc' a more, in America, the thing that support the rest; bones plane-tree, or buttonwood. without flesh.
* Min' now, a very small fresh2 Bód i ces, corsets; stays.
water fish, used for bait. 3 O'ri ole, a kind of bird related Quadrille, (ka dril'), a kind of to the thrushes, of a golden-yellow dance made up of sets of four dan. color, mixed with black ; the golden- cers in each set. robin; the hang-bird.
8 Verdure, (verd' y8r), green ; * Hăm' mock, a kind of hanging greenness ; freshness of vegetation. bed; nest.
Coy' ly, with reserve.