is." "Green," said the child. "Yes,"
said her mother ; " and grass is always
green in the summer." " So it is," said
the child ; " but I never thought of it be-
la the same way the little instruction
THE PAINTING SCHOOL. 55
which Mary gave the children about the
proper color of the various elements of the
landscape, were real lessons to them, that
advanced them in knowledge, and in the
cultivation of their minds. Before such
things are explained to them, little children,
if you give them colors and a brush, and a
picture to paint, will be as ready to paint
the chimneys green, or a horse purple, or a
cow blue, as in any other way.
In the same manner the children were
improved in respect to their skill in man-
aging their hands and fingers, by the exer-
cise which Mary gave them. It was only
a beginning, it is true, and the brushes often
went over the lines, and so put on the
color where it ought not to go, for their
hands and fingers had not been at all
trained to such minute and delicate opera-
tions. So they were continually going
over the boundary line, and making what
an ill-natured person might have called
daubs and blotches. Still as they tried to
keep within the line, and made some toler-
able approach toward doing it, Mary was
satisfied with them, and they were pretty
well satisfied with themselves and with
66 MABY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
She was right in being satisfied with
them. Of course when people are begin-
ning, all they can do is to begin.
.Mary allowed the children to paint for an
hour, and then she required them to put
their work away, and go to play. They
were very much pleased with what they
had done. During this time they had in-
terchanged the saucers several times ; for, as
fast as any two had painted all those parts
of their pictures which were to be done in
one color, they exchanged saucers and
brushes, and then both proceeded with a
new color. Of course they were continu-
ally corning to Mary at her seat, some-
times with questions for her to answer,
sometimes to ask her whether what they
had done was not done well, and some-
times to get a new supply of color. Be-
sides, they liked to jump up and down from
their seats, for the sake of the motion and
When the hour had expired, the pictures
were all put away, and the children went
to play with the swing and with the rock-
ing-boat ; and then, after a while, they went
away altogether, with an understanding
THE PAINTING-SCHOOL. 67
that there was to be another school the
next Saturday, to finish the panoramas.
The panoramas were, however, never
finished. The next Saturday there was a
great Sunday-school picnic in the woods,
and all the children went to it, and before
there was another opportunity for Mary to
resume her course of instruction in paint-
ing, Lucy Jane went home. Before she
went, however, Mary selected a number of
the prettiest pictures and made a long roll
of them for her, the first in the roll being
the one which Lucy Jane had painted at
Lucy Jane was much pleased with this
panorama. She took it with her when she
went away, intending to finish painting it
as soon as she got home.
68 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
PISTILS AND STAMENS.
ONE afternoon, John and Benny, with
Mary and Luly, went to see Lillie May.
They took the carriage with them, intend-
ing to give her a ride.
They had proposed to go while Lucy
Jane was at Mrs. Gay's making her visit,
and to take her with them. But when
they explained to her that Lillie could not
walk, but had to stay in a chair with
wheels to it, all the time, and be wheeled
about wherever she wished to go, Lucy
Jane said she did not \v\*h to go and
see her, and they could not persuade her
to change her mind by all that they could
Lucy Jane seemed to be afraid to go and
see her, as children are often afraid of per-
sons that are sick.
So they put off' going to make their visit
until after Lucy Jane had gone home, and
PISTILS AND STAMENS. 59
then they took the first opportunity to go
When they arrived at the house, they
went in by the little gate, and up through
the yard, and so round to the back piazza,
which was the place where Lillie was usu-
ally to be found on pleasant summer days.
As they expected, they found her there on
She was seated in her wheeled chair, and
had some flowers before her, which she
seemed to be pulling to pieces. She had
two or three thin books before her, upon
the tablet or leaf which was placed across
the arms of her chair, and which served
her for a table. These books were made
of sheets of newspaper folded to about the
size of note-paper, and sewed together.
On one corner of the tablet were two thin
boards, of the same size with the books.
These boards were placed together, and
had a strong cord wound several times
When the children came, Lillie seemed
to be employed in pulling her flowers to
pieces, and spreading out all the parta
carefully on one of the pages of her book.
60 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
She looked up from her work when she
saw the children coming, and greeted them
with an appearance of great delight.
" Ah ! " said she, " how glad I am that
you have come."
" What are you doing with the flowers ? "
a>kcd Mary. " You seem to be pulling
them all to pieces."
" Yes," said Lillie. " I am getting out
the pistils and stamens."
" The pistils and stamens ? " repeated
" Yes," said Lillie ; " these little things
that grow inside the flowers."
" What are you doing that for ? " asked
" So as to learn botany one of these
days," said Lillie. " I want to learn bot-
any to teach my scholars."
" Your scholars ? " repeated Mary, sur-
prised. u I did not know that you had
" No," replied Lillie, " I have not got
any now ; but when I grow up I mean
to have a little school, that is if I can
get any scholars, and I shall want to
teach them botany, and so I am going to
PISTILS AND STAMENS. 61
leam now, myself, if I can. And I am
doing this so as to have the flowers all
ready whenever I can find anybody to
" But you are pulling the flowers all
to pieces," said Luly. " That spoils
" No," said Lillie, " not for botany. I
am getting out the pistils and stamens.
All depends upon the pistils and stamens."
" What are the pistils and stamens ? "
asked Luly. " Let me see."
So Luly and the others gathered close
around Lillie's tablet, and she showed
them what the pistils and stamens were.
But Luly and Benny did not understand
" How did you know about them ? "
" The minister told me," said she. " He
was here yesterday, and I told him that I
wanted to study botany, and asked him
how I should do it. He said that he did
not know botany himself; if he did he
would teach me. But he said he could
tell me something about it, and so he
62 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER,
" What did he tell you ? " asked Mary.
" He said it all depended upon the pis-
tils and stamens in some way; and that to
begin I must get as many flowers as I
could, and pull them to pieces very care-
fully, and get out the pistils and stamens,
and press them, and arrange them in order,
and then they would be all ready when I
found somebody that knew botany to ex-
plain to me what it all meant. And that
is what I am doing."
This account given by Lillie of what the
minister had explained to her was not very
clear, for Lillie was not accustomed to re-
peat long explanations. I can perhaps
make it somewhat more full.
There is something very curious about
the way in which plants grow, and what
they grow for. A lily, for instance, grows
to make the flower, and the flower grows
to make the seeds, and the seeds grow to
make another lily, which in its turn makes
more flowers, and they in their turn make
more seeds, in order that they in their turn
may make more lilies, and so on in an
It is so with the rose. The rose-bush
PISTILS AND STAMENS. 63
grows to make more roses. The roses
grow to make more rose-seeds, and the
rose-seeds grow to make more rose-bushes
again, and so on forever and ever.
Now there are a great many parts pro-
duced in all this process. Take the rose
for example. There are rootlets that spread
out beneath the ground to draw in the
nourishment, and there are stems and
branches to support the leaves and flow-
ers, and there are bush-leaves to gather
nourishment from the air and light and
warmth from the beams of the sun, and
flower-leaves to form the flower, and pis-
tils and stamens inside of it to form the
Now it is found that all these things vary
infinitely except the pistils and stamens,
and they in the same plants remain always
If you had in a flower-garden twenty
flowers of the same kind, such as pinks,
or balsams, or morning-glories, and were
to dig up several plants of any one kind
and try to count the roots, you would find
that there was a different number for each
one ; and so if you were to count the
64 MARY GAY'S WOKK IN SUMMER.
branches above-ground, you would find
them infinitely varied in number and ar-
It would be the same with the number
and position of the flowers. There might
be fifty flowers upon one morning-glory
root, and twenty upon another, and per-
haps two hundred on another, according to
the thriftiness of the plant that they grew
upon, or the richness of the soil.
But when you come to the pistils and
stamens, the case is different. These in
every plant of the same kind are alike.
Just as many pistils and stamens as there
are in one lily, just so many there are in
all lilies of the same kind on every plant
and in every garden in the world ; and so
with every other plant or flower.
It is true that sometimes the number of
stamens is very large ; as, for instance, in
the rose, or in the apple-blossom, so large
in fact that they cannot be easily counted ;
and in such flowers as these the number is
not always the same. But in such cases
there is always something in the arrange-
ment of them, in relation to the flower, or
to the pistils, which is the same in every
PISTILS AND STAMENS. 65
As soon as the people who were study-
ing plants and flowers found this out, they
concluded that it would be a good plan to
classify them all according to the number
and arrangement of the pistils and sta-
mens. And this is the reason why the
first thing you have to do in studying bot-
any, is to examine the pistils and stamens
of the plants, and count them if they can
be easily counted, and if not, see how they
This is what Lillie was doing. She was
pulling the flowers to pieces and getting
out the pistils and stamens, and pressing
them by themselves. Then when they
were dry she would gum them very deli-
cately upon a sheet of white paper, and
also gum some of the flower-leaves by the
side of them, and the little green cup called
the calyx that grows under the flower in
most cases, and then she would write the
number underneath, two stamens, or six
stamens ; and one pistil, or four pistils, as
the case might be.
She had prepared nearly all the flowers
that grew in the garden in this way, and
now she wished to find some more.
66 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
" The next time you go to take me to
ride," said she, " I want to go into the
fields and woods where I can find some
We will go this very day/' said John.
LILLIE was very much pleased with this
proposal, and she immediately proceeded
to put the flower that she was at work
upon into her press.
The press, as she called it, consisted of
the two thin boards which have already been
mentioned, and the cord by which they
were to be bound together. There were
also two wedges that were to be crowded
in, one on each side, between the cord and
the boards, when they were tied together.
This of course had the effect of pressing
the boards together, not with very great
force, it is true, but flowers do not require
anything but a gentle pressure.
Lillie had arranged the pistils and sta-
mens, and all the other parts of the flower
which she had been dissecting, upon a
sheet of white printing-paper, printing-
paper being better than writing-paper foi
68 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
such purposes, as it absorbs the moisture
better. This sheet was double, that is, it
was folded so as to form two leaves like a
sheet of note-paper. Lillie had distributed
the parts of the plant over the inner page
of this paper, and then having folded down
the other leaf over it, she slipped the sheet
in between the leaves of one of her news-
paper books, and then putting that, together
with several other newspaper books which
she had prepared beforehand, between the
two thin boards, she wound the cord round
them several times, and tied it, and then
crowded the wedges in, one on one side
and the other on the other.
Then she trundled her cfoair along to her
little cupboard, and put the press upon a
" There," said she, " now I am ready.
" Or at least I will be in a minute," she
added, " as soon as I have put on my bon-
net and shawl."
So saying, she trundled her chair along
to a closet. She opened the door of the
closet, lifting up the latch by means of a
ring attached to the end of a stick like a
cane, which she always kept in her chair.
When the door was open, she brought her
chair up so near that she could reach in and
take down her bonnet and shawl.
She could do this without any difficulty,
for the closet was very shallow, only deep
enough for shelves above, and a space be-
low where Lillie hung the articles-of-dress
she wore when she went out-of-doors.
Mrs. May, Lillie's mother, helped her in
getting ready, and then said,
" If you are going into the woods, chil-
dren, you will need some luncheon, and I
will put some up for you."
" We have got plenty of luncheon," said
John. " We brought it with us."
" And have you got anything to drink ? "
asked Mrs. May.
John said that they had not brought any-
thing for drink. They were going to find
a spring in the woods, he said, and drink
So the children pushed Lillie in her
chair out to the front door, and so down
the inclined planes which her brother Ca-
leb had fitted at the door and at the mar-
gin of the platform of the piazza, to ena
ble the wheels to go down.
70 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
When the chair had been thus carefully
trundled down into the yard, John and
Mary lifted Lillie out of her chair and
placed her in the little carriage.
Just before they were ready to set off
Mrs. May came out with two bottles in her
hand. She said that they were bottles of
milk, and told the children that she thought
she would put them in the carriage, so that
they might have something to drink even
if they should not find any spring.
" Yes," said Luly, " that will be very
nice ; and now that we have got some
milk, I would rather not find any spring."
The truth is, that Luly was particularly
fond of Mrs. May's milk, which she thought
was better than any other milk that she
Indeed it was not at all surprising that
Luly should entertain this opinion, for Mrs.
May was so much pleased to have the chil-
dren come and see Lillie, and do so much
to amuse and entertain her, that she wished
to gratify them in return by every means
in her power ; and whenever she gave them
any milk, she always took the freshest and
newest that she had, and also put into it a
good supply of cream taken off from some
of the other pans.
When all was ready, the party bade Mrs.
May good-bye, and set off on their expedi-
" And now, Lillie," said John, " which
way shall we go ? "
" Whichever way you please," said Lillie,
" if it is only to some place where there
are plenty of flowers."
" Then," said Mary, " we will go to my
mother's wood lot. There are plenty of
flowers there, and we can do anything we
please on our own land."
The usual way by which Mary and Luly
went to the wood lot, as they called it, was
by the lane which led along by the garden-
fence behind their mother's house ; but
there was a way of going to it from the
other side, which was the side toward the
house where Lillie lived.
There were, however, originally two dif-
ficulties in the way of getting into the
wood lot in this direction, one was, there
was a fence in the way, and the other, that,
after passing the fence and going on a little
distance down a descending path, there
72 MAR? GAY'S WORK IN SUMMKK.
was a brook to cross. John had however,
before this time, contrived plans for sur-
mounting both these difficulties.
As to the fence, he found a place where
the lower board was very wide, and this
board he contrived, by hewing off a little
at each end, to arrange in such a manner
that it could be slipped out #nd put in
again, so as to allow of a passage through
for the carriage. It is true that, when the
carriage was passing through, Lillie was
obliged to hold her head down very low,
but she did not care anything about that.
As for the brook, John chose a place
where it was quite narrow and ran be-
tween rather high banks, and then, one day
when he was at Mary's house and Jotham
was going to the wood lot with his cart,
he put five boards upon the cart, in order
to make a bridge. Two of the boards
were wide, and three were rather narrow.
The difference was such that when the two
wide boards were placed side by side, they
made together very nearly the same breadth
as the three narrow ones did, when they
were placed side by side.
That is to say, the narrow boards were
each two thirds as wide as the wide ones,
that being the proper proportion to make
the united breadth of the three narrow
boards equal to that of the two wide ones.
You can make the calculation yourself.
Each of the three narrow boards were
two thirds the width of the wide ones, and
that makes six thirds in all. Now six
thirds being exactly two, that is, each of
the two wide boards having three thirds in
it, the space would be the same.
The reason why John chose boards of
these dimensions will appear very soon.
Jotharn hauled the boards upon his cart
down into the wood lot, to the place where
he was at work, and then John took them
and carried them, one at a time, to the
place where he was going to make his
The bridge was made very soon when
all the boards were brought to the ground.
First John laid down the two wide boards,
side by side. Then he placed the three
narrow ones over them, and they exactly
covered them, as it has been shown that
they would do ; but the crevices between the
boards of the two sets did not come under
74 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
each other. By having two below and
three above, the two tiers were laid so as
to " break joints," as the masons say, which
made the bridge much stronger and stiffer.
The reason was that the middle board
of the upper tier, which was the one that
any person going over the bridge would
usually walk upon, came over the seam be-
tween the two boards below, so that half
of it rested on one board and half on the
other. Thus the board walked upon had
both boards below to support it, instead of
John walked over his bridge and stood
upon it in the middle, and jumped up and
down upon it a little to see how firm it
" Yes," said he, " Lillie won't be at all
afraid to go over here now. If I only had
a hammer and nails, so that I could nail
the boards together, it would be quite a
John resolved that he would bring down
some nails the next time he came, and nail
the boards together. In the mean time,
however, before he had an opportunity to
do this, he came one day with Lillie and
the other children, and found that Lillie
was not in the least afraid to be drawn
over the bridge. It proved also, on trial,
that the carriage went over very smoothly
So he did not consider the nails essen-
tial after all. Still he determined to bring
them some day.
He however entirely forgot one thing,
which is quite essential for such a bridge
when built across a brook that is liable to
be swollen by rains, and that is to anchor
it, in order to prevent its being carried
away by freshets.
Sometimes they anchor such a bridge
by placing heavy stones upon it along the
sides. Of course, in such a case, the
bridge must be wide enough to have room
for a roadway between the rows of stones.
John's bridge was hardly wide enough for
The best way for John to have anchored
his bridge would have been to have nailed
the boards together, and then to have driven
down four stakes into the bank at the four
corners of the bridge, with a fork project-
ing from each stake over the edge of the
76 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER,
board, to pin it down. Stakes of this
kind can easily be made by cutting down
small trees, or stout bushes, in the woods,
choosing such as have a branch growing
out near the ground, to form the fork.
This branch must be cut off at the right
length, and all the other branches trimmed
off entirely ; and the stem itself must
be cut off of the right length to form the
stake. This must, then be turned over and
driven into the ground, upper end down,
and in such a position that the fork shall
come down at length upon the corner of
the bridge, and serve to pin it.
John might have done all this, just as
well as not, if he had only thought of it.
But the danger of his bridge being carried
away by the freshets did not come into his
At the place where John built his bridge
the brook was narrow, and the banks
mossy and rather high, that is, about one
or two feet above the water. A little way
above there was a broad and shallow place
where the path went through the brook.
For the brook was so small that the oxen
could walk directly through it, and so could
BRIDGE -BUILDING. 77
the cows and the horses whenever they
wished to go across. Whenever there
were men or boys to go over they could do
it by jumping along by the stones.
But neither of these plans would an-
swer for Lillie in the carriage, and so John
built the bridge, choosing a place a little
below, where the banks were of such a form
as to answer the purpose of abutments, to
support the ends of the boards.
He had to smooth the way a little, from
the path on each side to the two ends of
the bridge, so as to be able to draw the car-
riage to it and from it, without too much
jolting; but this work was accomplished
very easily, and then except the railing,
which John postponed, and the anchoring,
which he did not think of everything
78 MARY GAY'S WORK IN SUMMER.
CAUGHT IN A SHOWER.
AND now we return to the children going
out into the woods to find some flowers.
They went on together, talking very mer-
rily by the way, along the high road, until
they came to the place where they were to
go through the fence.. John took the board
away, and immediately Luly and Benny
crept under. Then he and Mary drew
Lillie through, she bending her head
over to one side, and crouching down as
low as she could into the carriage.
John and Mary drew the carriage along
very gently too, watching Lillie's head all
the time, so as to be sure not to touch it
to the board above.
When all were through, John replaced
the board, and then they went on.
They had to go more slowly and care-
fully now, for the way was not so smooth
over the grass and upon the pasture-paths,
CAUGHT IN A SHOWER. 79
as it was in the high road- So they ad-
vanced very carefully, Lillie keeping a
watch all the time on each side of the way
for flowers. When she saw any that she
thought she would like, Luly and Benny
gathered them for her.
From those which they brought her she
selected a number of the best specimens,
and threw the rest away. Those that she
retained she laid carefully in a basket which
she had brought with her for the purpose.
" / mean to study botany too," said
" And I," said Benny.
" Yes," rejoined Lillie, " you and Luly
might begin with studying the leaves.
See how many different kinds of leaves
you can find, and press them, and when
they are all dry you can gum them into a
book, as*"I do my stamens and pistils."
" Are leaves botany? " asked Benny.