Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Table of Contents
 The corner cupboard
 The story of the tea-cup
 How the tea-cup was finished
 The story of the tea
 The story of the sugar
 The story of the coffee
 The story of the salt
 The story of the currants
 The story of the rice
 The story of the honey
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: Favorite library
Title: Aunt Martha's corner cupboard, or, Stories about tea, coffee, sugar, rice, etc.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086576/00001
 Material Information
Title: Aunt Martha's corner cupboard, or, Stories about tea, coffee, sugar, rice, etc.
Series Title: Favorite library
Alternate Title: Stories about tea, coffee, sugar, rice, etc
Physical Description: 144 p., 4 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kirby, Mary, 1817-1893
Kirby, Elizabeth, 1823-1873 ( Author )
DeWolfe, Fiske & Co. (Boston, Mass.) ( Publisher )
Publisher: DeWolfe, Fiske & Co.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: [1898?]
Subject: Boys -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Laziness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Aunts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Storytelling -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Tea -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Coffee -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sugarcane -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Rice -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Salt -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Currants -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Honey -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1898   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby ; illustrated with thirty-six engravings, and with colored plates.
General Note: Date of publication from inscription.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086576
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002232537
notis - ALH2931
oclc - 245529746

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    List of Illustrations
        Page 5
    Table of Contents
        Page 6
    The corner cupboard
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
    The story of the tea-cup
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    How the tea-cup was finished
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    The story of the tea
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    The story of the sugar
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 64a
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    The story of the coffee
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 80a
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    The story of the salt
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
    The story of the currants
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    The story of the rice
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    The story of the honey
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Back Matter
        Page 145
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


The Baldwin Library
U nmivrmsity
Foi da







I- i'~":





Stories about Tea, Coffee, Sugar, Rice, etc.












Planting the Sugar-Canes.............................................................................Frontisiece
Interior of a Pottery..................................... ....... ... Vignette
Chinaman Baking His Cups................... .................................... 19
The Potter at His Lathe-Making a Vase..........................'................... 31
Palissy M making Fuel.......................................... .................... .... ... .......... 35
Saucers Packed for Baking........................... ....................... ................... 38
Tea-Plant in Flower..................................... .......... ... ....................... 49
Sowing-the Seeds of the Tea-Plant..................................... .. 51
Stripping off the Leaves............................. ........................................................... 53
The Tea being Dried..................... ........ ..................................... ...* 55
A Picture in Aunt Martha's Book........... ............. ............ ....... 59
The Sugar-Cane...................................................... ......... ............................... 63
A Sugar-M ill.................................. ........ .. ......................................... 64
Cutting the Canes................ ............ ... ...................................... 68
In the Sugar-M ill....... ............................ ....... ............. ................ .............. 69
Boiling the Sugar............................. ........ ................ .. ...- -.......-*....... 71
Sending the Sugar off to Europe .................... ................................ 73
A View of Mocha......... .... ..... ............ ..... ........... .............. 8o
A Coffee-Plantation..... .............................................. ...-........................... 83
The French Officer and the Coffee Plants ........................... ..................... 85
Coffee-Plant in Flower-and Fruit.................................................. ............... 86
A Salt-M ine............................ ........ ....... ... ...........................................
,.The Chapel of St. Antony ............................... .............. ............................. 102
Clusters of Grapes...................... ......... ........................ .................... 107
Ploughing the Rice-Field.................................................................................... 119
The Man in the Shed to Frighten the Birds...................... ........... ........ 121
The Chinaman's Terraces.................. .............. ................... 123
Chinamen Setting the Rice.................... ........... ..................................................... 24
The Rice-Plant.... ...................................... ............... ......................................... ...... 127
Bees at Work .................. ............. ............................. 131
The Bee's Tongue-The Bee's Leg................................................... ............. 133
Part of a H oney-Com b............................................................................................ 134
The Honey-Guide................. ..... .......... .................................. ............... 137


I. The Corner Cupboard................................. ........ .................................... 7

II. The Story of the Tea-Cup.............................. ................................. 17

III. How the Tea-Cup was Finished................................ ........... .... 3

IV. The Story of the Tea.......................... .............. ................ 46

V. The Story of the Sugar..................................... ............................ 62

VI. The Story of the Coffee................................ ........................... 77

VII. The Story of the Salt............................ .............................................. .... 93

VIII. The Story of the Currants........................................................................ o6

IX. The Story of the Rice......................................................... ......................... 117

X The Storyof the Honey.................................................................... ......... 130




I am afraid that Charley and Richard Knight
gave their master a great deal of trouble.
The school they went to had just broken up
for the Christmas holidays, and neither of them
had won a prize. Indeed, they were never likely
to do so, judging from the way in which they
went on.
.They were good-tempered lads, and favourites
with their playmates. If they had a cake sent
them from home, they always shared it with


the rest of the school. And they were first and
foremost at every game that was played. Their
blue eyes were always twinkling with fun;
and if they had been sent to Mr. Birch's Academy
merely to enjoy themselves, it would have been
all very well.
But it is of no use mincing the matter: they
were the most idle lads in the school. Nobody
could make them learn their lessons-not even
Mr. Birch, though he was very strict, and now
and then gave them a caning.
It was a pity they were so idle. Their papa
was a learned man, and wished them to follow in
his steps. It made him very unhappy when they
came home without a prize; and always by the
next post, a long letter from the schoolmaster to
complain that he could not make them work.


Their mamma tried to excuse them, and said
it was "time enough yet." But their papa was
of another opinion, now that Richard had turned
twelve; and he used to shake his head, and look
very sad.
This cold, snowy Christmas the boys were not
going home. It was a promise that they should
spend the holidays with their Aunt Martha; and
her old-fashioned carriage was at the door to take
They had not the least objection, for they were
very fond of Aunt Martha, as indeed was every-
body that had ever seen her.
She lived in a house with gable ends, just as
you turn into the- village. It was a very old
house, and was said to have been built in the
reign of King John. It was quite covered with


ivy; and there was a large garden, but the snow
had hidden everything in it.
The rooms were large, but very low. The
one Aunt Martha liked the best had the morning
sun upon it, and looked into the garden. And
here she had her work-table, and her basket of
knitting, for her eyes were not very good, now she
was getting old. And here she sat all the day
Close by was her corner cupboard, that she
kept locked up, and the key was on a bunch that
she carried in her pocket. She never left her
cupboard open, because it had so many things
in it.
The boys knew the cupboard by heart. Out
of it came sweet cakes, and honey and sugar;
and tops and marbles, and all the things they


liked. And there were no tiresome spelling-books,
or grammars, or anything of the kind, to plague
But you. must not suppose that Aunt Martha
was an ignorant lady. Far from it. She knew a
great many things indeed, and she did not like the
thought that her dear little nephews should grow
up to be dunces, which was most likely to be
the case.
Of course, she did not presume to think she
could teach them so well as Mr. Birch, who
understood Latin and Greek, and had kept a school
twenty years. But she had a scheme in her head
to teach them something.
Not that she intended them to learn lessons
in the holidays,-that would have been extremely
unkind. The knowledge she meant to give


them was not to be found in their lesson-
books, thumbed and dog-eared as they were;
for an idle boy can wear his book out
without using it. No; the lore she was think-
ing about was contained close by, in her corner
It seemed to Aunt Martha-for she was a lady
of a lively imagination-as if everything in that
cupboard,-her china, her tea, her coffee, her
sugar, even her needle,-had a story to tell, and a
most entertaining one too. Had not many of the
things been in foreign parts, where are great palm-
trees, and monkeys, and black men, and lions, and
tigers ?
And if they had not been abroad, they were
sure to have something to relate that the boys had
never heard of.


The boys loved to hear stories told them.
There was a time, just when it got dusk, before
the lamp was lighted, or the tea and plum-cake
brought in. Charley and Richard would have
played about all day long, and pelted each other
with snow-balls, and made slides on the pond,
and scampered up and down the lane, till their
legs, young as they were, began to feel tired.
And then it was nice to sit on the hearth-rug
before the fire, and hear Aunt Martha tell a
Now, Aunt Martha had prepared a great many
tales, and had them, so to say, at her finger-
ends. She had not to make them up as she
went on, or that would have spoilt everything.
Indeed, I almost think she had learned them by


She hoped that when her dear little boys had
heard all the curious things she was about to
relate, it would make them want to read for them-
Charley and Richard had no idea of. the trouble
their good aunt was taking on their account, and they
did just as they had always done. They trundled
their hoops, and threw snow-balls, and scampered
about to their heart's content. And when, at
last, their legs began to ache, good old Sally, who
had lived with Aunt Martha for nearly thirty years,
fetched them in, took off their wet boots and
put on dry ones, and brushed their hair, and
washed their faces, and sent them into the parlour
to their aunt.
"She'll have a story to tell, I warrant," said
old Sally, who was a little in the secret.



Now, everything happened just as it ought
to do.
The boys wanted a story as much as ever, but,
like the rest of the world, they wished for
something new.
They were thoroughly acquainted with "Jack
the Giant-killer," and entertaining as he had once
been, they were by this, time a little tired of
They knew "Cinderella" and "Little Red Rid-
ing Hood" by heart, and they did not want to
hear them over again., Not that they could get
really tired of such delightful stories, but they
"might lie by," Charley said, "for one Christmas,
and something else come out."
Aunt Martha was quite willing-indeed, this was
just what she had been planning for. Her dear


cld face brightened up, and looked as pleased as
could be, when Charley settled himself on the
rug, and Richard brought a stool and sat close
by, their merry blue eyes fixed intently upon
Then Aunt Martha began to relate her first
story-" The- Story of a Tea-Cup."


FIL'. 511




I-:1. i-



"Rome," as I daresay you have heard it said,
"was not built in a day."
People who use the expression, mean by it that
nothing of any value can be done without a great
deal of time and trouble.
The tea-cup seems a simple thing, and you
use and handle it very often, and drink your tea
out of it every afternoon. But perhaps you have
never been told its whole history "from begin-
ning to end," as the story-books say, and do


not know that it takes a vast, amount of labour,
and sets numbers of persons to work, before it
can become a cup at all.
I will speak' of the best china, that is kept on
the top shelf in the cupboard, and only comes out
on high days and holidays. It is very superior,
let me tell you, to the blue and white cups and
saucers in the kitchen, that have no gold rim
round them, and did not cost nearly so much
The word china will remind you of a country a
long way off, where the gentlemen have great
plaits of hair hanging down their backs, that look
like tails, and the ladies hobble about in little shoes
turned up at the toes.
The Chinaman drinks a great deal of tea, because
he likes it, and the tea grows in his country.


And the tea-cups are always being handed about
on little trays, that everybody may have some.
So the Chinaman has a great deal of practice

in making tea-cups, and- can do it remark-
ably well.


I am sorry .to say he is not of an open dis-

position, and likes to keep everything he knows
to himself.
He would not tell the people who lived in


other countries how he made his cups, though
they were very curious to know, and asked him
over and over again.
There is a town in China where a great many
potters lived, and made their beautiful cups. The
streets were quite crowded with the potters, and
boat-loads of rice came every day for them to
There was a river close by the town; and
when the cups and pots were finished, they were
packed and sent away in the boats. The pot-
ters' furnaces were always burning to bake the
cups, so that at night the town looked as if it
were on fire.
The potters would not let a stranger stay all
night in the place, for fear he should find out
the secret of cup-making. He was obliged either


to sleep in one of the boats, or to go away till
the next morning.
But it happened that two strangers had been
on the watch for a long time, and at last they
thought they had found out the secret.
One day they bought some great squares, or
bricks, that were being sold in the market and
carried off by the potters. They felt quite sure
this was the stuff the cups were going to be
made of. Now the bricks were sold on purpose
to be used in the potteries. They were made
of a kind of flint called petunse, that looks bright
and glittering, as if it had been sprinkled with
something to make it shine. And the Chinaman
collects it with great care, and grinds it to powder,
and makes the bricks of it.
The two strangers carried the bricks home


to their own country, and set to work to make
But, alas I they could do no kind of good. They
were like a workman who had left half his tools
behind him. For they wanted another substance
to mix with the petunse, and that was called
Now kaolin was dug by the Chinaman out of
some deep mines, that he knew very well, and
often went to.
It lay about in little lumps, and he picked it
out, and made it into bricks just as he had done
the other.
And he laughed very much, when he heard
what the "barbarians," as he called them, had
been trying to do. For he did not pity them
in the least.


"They think themselves very clever," he said,
"to make a body that shall be all flesh and no
He meant that the kaolin was hard, and could
not turn to powder when it was burnt as
the petunse did; so that it was lile bones to the
cup, and made jt firm. Indeed, without it
the cup was too soft, and did not hold together.
I should not have told you this long story if
it had nothing to do with the best china. But
people can get a kind of clay out of our own
county of Cornell that does quite as well as
the Chinaman's bricks, and the best china is
always made of it. People come a long way
to look for the "porcelain clay," as it is called;
and they dig it out of -the earth, and carry it to
a great building that is, in fact, a porcelain manu-

. -i : "~; ~ ` : ~.; --:r -- --- ~ i~-I. -.--


factory, where all kind of cups and saucers, and
jugs and basins are constantly being made.
And as soon as the clay got there, it was
thrust into a machine, where it ran upon a
number of sharp knives that work round and
round, and have been set there on purpose to
chop it to pieces. When it had been chopped long
enough, it was turned into a kind of churn, and
churned as though it were going to be made into
butter. Indeed, when the churning was over,
the person who had churned it called it "clay-
Other matters, such as flint and bone, were
now mixed with it. But, in order that they might
work in harmony one with the other, the flint
and the bone had each to be ground to a fine
powder, and then made like itself into "clay-cream."


The two creams, in two separate vessels, were
carried to a room called "the mixing-room," and
put into a pan of water and stirred well about.
They were stirred until they were quite smooth,
and without an atom of grit.
But as cups could not be made of the
clay-cream, it had to be made solid again. And
it was boiled over a fire until the moisture was
dried up, and it was very much like dough. A
man now began to slap and beat it, and cut it
in pieces, and to fling the pieces one on the
other with all his might. And when he had
slapped it long enough, he said it was quite
"ready for the potter."
The potter was called "a thrower,"-and a good
name for him.
He flung a ball of the clay on a little round


table before him, with such force that it .stuck
there quite fast.
The table was called a whirling table; and well
it might, for it began to whirl round and round
as fast as could be.
The reason why it whirled, was because a long
strap went from it to a wheel in the corner,
that a boy was turning. When the boy turned
his wheel, the table turned as well. And as the
table went round, the potter began to pinch, and
pat, and work the clay about with his fingers
and thumb, and give it what he called "a shape."
He could do just what he liked with the
clay, and could make it into any shape he
He had some tools to help him, such as little
pegs and bits of wood, with which he scraped it


on the outside and pressed it on the inside,
until he had brought it into the form of a cup.
And all the while the wheel kept going round
and round, until it was enough to make you giddy.
At last the wheel stopped, and so did the table.
And the clay was taken off, 1o all intents and pur-
poses a cup.
Aunt Martha had scarcely time to finish the
last sentence before there was a tap at the door,
and old Sally came in with the tea-things.,
Now, the best china had been taken down and
carefully dusted; for Christmas was looked upon
as a high day and a holiday, and Charley and
Richard were company, as a matter of course. As
their heads were still running upon cups and
saucers, they jumped up and began to look at
them, and talk about "flint," and ".clay," and


"kilns," in a very learned manner, and one that
made old Sally smile.

Aunt Martha was very much pleased, for she
saw that her story had been carefully listened to,
and had not gone in at one ear and out at the
other, as such instructive stories do sometimes.
And she was more pleased still, when her little
nephews asked her a great many questions, and
wanted to know more about "the tea-cup."
She did not tell them any more just then; for
she was a wise old lady, and she wished to
keep their curiosity awake, and not let them have
too much of the subject at once.
So she talked about something else all tea-
time, and then she had out puzzles and bagatelle,
and a great many. other games, to make the even-


ing pass pleasantly. But old Sally told her that
when the boys went to. bed, and she fetched
away their candle, they were talking very fast
about "the tea-cup."
And the next afternoon, when they had given
over running about, and their hair had been
brushed, and their faces washed, they ran into the
parlour where their aunt was sitting, and asked
her to go on with her story, for they wanted
to know a great deal more.
Now it was rather early, and Aunt Martha had
hardly finished her afternoon's nap. But she did
not like to keep the little boys waiting. So she
roused herself up, put a log of wood on the fire,
-for it was very cold,-and when Charley and
Richard had settled themselves, she began, or
rather went on with-"The Story of the Tea-Cup."



THE cup was, as I told you, taken off the
wheel. It was then- set aside to dry; and very
soon it reached what the potter called "the green
state"-though he had better have said the
"hard state," for it was getting gradually harder.
It was next taken to the turning-lathe, and. had all
its roughness smoothed away, and its appearance
very much improved. Still, the cup was by no
means so handsome as it is now; and it had no


The Chinaman makes his cup without a handle;
,and when tea-cups were first used in this country,
they had no handles, and were very much
smaller than they are now. People in those


days could not afford to drink much tea at a time,
it was so dear and so scarce.
But fashions are always changing, and in .our
days every cup must have a handle.



The handle was made separate from the cup,
and fitted on afterwards. It was nothing but
a strip of clay cut the proper length, and pressed
into a mould to make it the right shape. The
man who has to do it, takes a great deal of pains
to make it fit very neatly.
The parts where the handle was to join the
cup were wetted with a certain mixture of clay
and water, to make them stick; and they did so
at once.
The cup was now put into a square box, or case,
with sand at the bottom. Other cups were placed
in with it, though care was taken to prevent
them from touching each other. Another box, just
like it, and full of cups, was set over it, so that
the bottom of one box made a lid for the other.
All the boxes, piled up in this way, were put

_1__ _~_


into an oven, called "the potter's kiln." It was
in the shape of a cone, and with a hole at the
top to let the smoke out.
The Chinaman is at the trouble of putting each
cup into a separate box, in order, as he says,
that its delicate complexion may not be spoilt by
the fire
When the cup is taken from the box, it is
pure white, and nearly transparent. It is not yet
thought worthy of the name of porcelain, and is
merely called "biscuit china."
People were a long time before they found
out how to paint pictures on the cup, or to
give it its beautiful gloss.
The surface of the cup was not hard enough
to hold the colours, and wanted a coating upon
it that is called "enamel."


No one in England knew how to make the
enamel, though the Chinaman did. But a potter
named Bernard Palissy tried again and again to
make it. Indeed, he spent all his time in try-
ing first one thing and then another.
He made cup after cup, and coated them over
with what he thought was the right thing;, but
not one of them would do. And at last he
became so poor that he had no wood left to heat
his furnace-just at the time, too, when more
cups were .ready to go into it.

He wanted wood to such a degree that he
became quite frantic, and felt that he must put
something into his furnace, he did not care what.
And he ran into the room where his wife was
sitting, and snatched up the chairs and tables as


if he had been crazy and ran with them to

his furnace.


Poor Madame Palissy wrote a book about her

troubles, at which I do not wonder. It is a com-


fort to know that he succeeded at last, and
earned a great deal of money. But many im-
provements have been made in tea-cups since his

Before the pictures are painted on the cup, it
it is nicely cleaned, to remove any atom of dust;
and then it has to be glossed, or, as it is called,
"glazed." The stuff that gives it its gloss, and
makes it shine, looks like thick cream, and is
kept in wooden troughs in a room called "the

A man dips the cup into the trough, and turns
it about in such a way that every part shall be
coated, and yet every drop drained out.
It is now put on a board, and, with other
cups, again baked, but in a cooler oven than


before. When it comes out of the oven it shines
with the beautiful gloss you see.
But it is not finished; for it is a bare cup,
without any pictures of flowers or fruit, or figures
like those on the best china.
It is taken to a room where there are long
tables, and a great many windows to let in the light.
People sit at the tables, with brushes and colours
before them, and are busy painting the cups.
In China one man paints nothing but red,
another nothing but blue; and so on. But here,
in the painting-room, there is a little difference.
One man paints flowers, another leaves, another
fruit, and another figures.
The colours they use are obliged to be made of
metals-such as gold, iron, and tin-for nothing
else can stand the heat of the furnace, in which


the cups have once more to be baked. Indeed,
the painter now and then pops his cup or his
saucer into the kiln to see how the colours will
stand, before it is quite finished.
When the cup has been


Each girl sits with her face to the light, and
takes a cup in one hand, and a stone called an

that are intended to look like gold with the stone
until they become of a brilliant gross, and shine
as if they were gold.
as if they were gold.


There is a place in Staffordshire called "the
Potteries," where cups and pots have always been
In old time they were very rough-looking things,
and had neither gilding nor gloss. But the people
who used them were just as rough, and so was
the country round.
The roads were very bad indeed, and' full of
deep ruts, so that no carriage could go over them.
There were no towns or factories, and the potter
lived, in a little thatched cottage like a hovel.
He had a shed where he worked at his wheel
and baked his pots. He dug the clay out himself,
and his boys helped him to "throw" and "press,"
and do all that was wanted to be done.
When he had finished making his pots, his wife
used to bring up the asses from the common,


where they were grazing, and get them ready for
a journey. She put panniers on their backs, filled
with her husbands pots; and then she set off,
over the bad, rutty roads, to the towns and vil-
lages to sell them.
That part of Staffordshire is still called "the
Potteries;" but it is very much improved-and has
great towns, and factories, and good roads, and is
not at all what it used to be.
One of the towns is called Burslem; and a
potter named Mr. Wedgwood lived there. He spent
all his life in making the cups of a more beautiful
kind than had ever been made before. They were
of a cream colour; and instead of the ugly figures
that were in fashion then, he painted them with
flowers and fruit, as we see them now.
One reason why he got on so well, was be-


cause he took so much pains, and would not let
anything pass unless it was perfect. If a cup
came off the wheel with the slightest fault in it,
he would break it to pieces with his stick, and
say, "This will not do for me."

Charley and Richard were so interested in what
Aunt Martha had been telling them, that old Sally
tapped at the door twice before they heard her.
And then, when she had brought in the tea, and
the muffins hot out of the oven, they could
neither eat nor drink for talking about "the tea-
cups.". And Richard began to wonder what Aunt
Martha's next story would be about, and tried to
make her tell him. But she did not think this
would be wise; and all he could ascertain was
that the subject of it would come out of. her
corner cupboard.


It' was clear, however, that the story had done
them good; for the next morning, Charley and
Richard, instead of spending every moment in play,
walked up and down the garden-walk, talking
about the clay, and the glaze, and the enamel
-things they had known nothing about before.
But their greatest pleasure was to come; for
strolling out by the gate into the lane, they
spied, all at once, some bits of broken pot. You
would have thought they had found something
very precious indeed, they were so pleased. They

picked them up, and carried them off in triumph
into the old tool-house, where Cliarley at once
set to work with a great stone to pound them to
powder. He had nearly broken them up, to mix
with some clay that Richard brought out of the
ditch, when the thought struck him that these

17" ,


blue and white pieces of pot were not like Aunt
Martha's best china. He would go in and ask
her if they were.
Aunt Martha was seated at her work-table, in
the parlour, when the boys, with dirty hands,
came running in. She sent them out again to
wash their hands, and then told them that Charley
was right. Her best cups.and saucers had the pat-
terns painted on them, and required a deal more
skill to make than these.
Common blue and white cups-such as Charley
had a bit of in his hand -were managed in quite
another way. A paper, with the pattern printed on
it, was wrapped round each cup. The cup was
rubbed for a long time, and then set in water.
The paper soon peeled off, but the blue marks
were left behind.


Richard and Charley wanted to know a great
deal more; but Aunt Martha would not answer
any of their questions. So they. went back to the
tool-house again, to play at potters. What delight-
ful work it was! so delightful, that Charley made
up his mind to be a potter as soon as he was old
enough,-and if his papa would let him.
Richard said, if he was a potter he ought to
go to China; and then he remembered his dog's-
eared geography in his desk at school, and
thought when he got back he would look into it,
and see if it said anything about China. He
should like to know a little more than Aunt
Martha had told them.
That afternoon old Sally had to keep the boys
from going -into the parlour too soon; for their
faces were washed and their hair brushed half an
hour before the usual time.


But good Aunt Martha was ready; and when
she heard their feet pattering along the hall,
she got up and opened the door. Then Charley
settled himself on the hearth-rug, and Richard
fetched a stool; and the boys were as still as mice
while Aunt Martha told them-" The Story of the



A tea-cup is not of much use, if it is kept
only to look at. It wants to be filled with good
strong tea.
I wonder what people did before tea was
brought to England; for it is not, as everybody
knows, a native of this climate. It grows in China,
where the beautiful cups are made on purpose
to hold it. And it was sipped by emperors on
their, thrones, and by their grand mandarins, many
years before we knew anything about it. And

* -


even now, the best of the tea is kept at home for
the benefit of the Court, and it is only the next
best that finds its way into our tea-pots.
About two hundred and fifty years ago, there
was no tea in England except what people made
of their herbs that grew in their gardens, such as
mint, and thyme, and sage; no one, not even
their majesties the kings and queens, had ever
tasted a cup of real Chinese tea.
But it happened that in the year 16Io-for I
daresay you would like to know the date-some
Dutch ships brought a little tea to Holland; and
then a little more was brought home to England,
and people talked about it as "a new drink that
came from China."

Everybody would have liked to taste some of it,
but it was very difficult to get; and when a


present of two pounds of tea was made to the
king, he thought it a very handsome gift indeed.

Not many people could buy'tea in those days;
and even when they did get it, they hardly knew
whether it was to be eaten or drunk.

There is a funny story of two old people, who
had an ounce of tea sent to them, and who were
quite at a loss what to do with it. At last, the
old lady proposed to her husband that they
should sprinkle it on their bacon, and eat it; which
they accordingly did-and very nasty it must
have been.

By slow degrees, however, tea found its way to
every home in England: and in these days every
one can afford to buy it. It is welcomed in the
palace of our royal lady the Queen, and it affords



refreshment to the poorest cottager. A cup of
tea is equally grateful to all.
It must be confessed
that tea makes its appear-
ance under great disad-
vantages. No one who
has seen it growing in
the Flowery Land of its
birth, can suppose it to
be the same thing. And
it is rather whimsical as
to where it does grow.
The north is too cold,
and the south is too
hot; but there is a mid- TEA-PLANT IN FLOWER.
dle tract of country neither too hot nor too cold,
that suits it the best.


It is called by the Chinaman Teha or Tha,
and from this word comes our English name of tea.
It has white flowers, a little like the wild rose;
and when the flowers are over, there come some
green pods, that contain the seed.
The Chinaman is very careful how he sows
his seeds, because his next crop is to come from
them. And he sows six or seven seeds in one
hole, to be quite sure that some of them will
come up.
The leaves are, as you may suppose, the most
important part of the plant. They are very hand-
some and glossy, like the leaves of the camelia
that lives in the hothouse. But it is not on
account of their beauty they are so much valued;
they have some good qualities that no other leaves



When a person drinks a cup of tea, how
refreshed he feels That is because of the revi-
ving and strengthening quality in the leaf. The
leaf also has in it a bitter substance called Thei
-or, as it might be styled, pure extract of tea;
and this has a great effect in taking away the
feeling of being wearied.

The Chinaman has his tea-plantation, just as

we have our vegetable-garden, or the Irshman
has his potato-ground. It is called "tea-farm;"
and the farmer lives close by, in a, funny little
house, like a pagoda, with long pointed eaves
to it.
He and his wife are always busy in the plan-
tation, for she helps him to weed and water, and
her feet have no little shoes to pinch them. She



could not afford to hobble about as the fine
ladies do, or to be carried in a sedan..
In the early spring, when the young leaves
were newly put forth, and had a delicious flavour,
the family began to be very busy. The children
came into the plantation and stripped them off,
until the branches were nearly bare. But they
left enough for another gathering by-and-by.
Of course the young tender leaves were the
best, and made the nicest tea. The Chinaman
called it Souchong. When the leaves that are left
get older, they are gathered; but they are not so
delicate, and people do not like them so well.
There is still a third gathering, but this is worse
than the last, and makes very poor tea.
When the leaves are stripped off, they are
thrown into some shallow baskets, and set in the



sun, where the wind can blow on them to dry
them. They are then put in a pan, and placed on
a stove with a fire under it, to be dried still
more. While they, are over the fire, they are
stirred about with a brush until they are quite dry.
You may see that the tea-leaf is rolled up and
crumpled, and that it comes straight when it is put
into the water. The Chinaman takes the trouble
to roll it in this way.. He does it at a board, and
rolls the leaf between his fingers. After this has
been done, he again dries the leaves over the fire.
He takes a good- deal of pains to pick out all
the bad leaves and throw them away. He knows,
his tea will be looked at, before it -can be sold
to a person who knows good tea from bad.
This person is a tea-merchant, and lives at the
next town. All day long, the farmers keep com-


ing into the office where he sits, with chests of
tea slung over their shoulders. They want him to
buy, and he is quite willing. Indeed, the more
he can get the better, .for he wants to send it
in a ship to Europe.
But he always make the farmer open his chest
and spread his tea out before him. He looks at
it very sharply, and takes it in his hand and
smells it; and' he would find out in a minute if
any bad leaves were left in it. But if it is really
good tea, he gives the farmer some money, and
sends him away, leaving his tea-chest behind him.
The farmer goes to the market and lays out
some of his money,-though. he is very saving
and thrifty, or he would not be a Chinaman.
It was a good thing that old Sally just then came
in with the tea, for that was what Charley and


Richard wanted. Not that they were either hungry
or thirsty; but it was delightful to jump up and
look at the tea in the caddy, as Aunt Martha took
it out with a scoop.
It was better still to watch the water being
poured on it, and to see the tea-leaves begin to
unroll themselves and to get quite flat. Charley
clapped his hands with glee, and they both skipped
round the room, saying they had never enjoyed
a cup of tea so much as now they knew some-
thing about it.
For I am afraid they were sad little dunces;
and if they knew that 'the tea was a plant at all,
it is more than could be expected.
But it is never too late to mend; and the very
next afternoon Charley and Richard found their
way to a room they had never much cared about be-



fore. This room was called the library, and had rows
and rows of shelves, with many books upon them.
But besides the books upon the shelves, there
were others on the table. And Charley, who was
thinking very much about foreign countries, was
glad to find a book lying open on. Aunt Martha's
desk, telling all about India and China. It was full
of pictures; among them were some of potters
making cups and other vessels, and of people
picking off the leaves of the tea-plant.
How quickly the time passed in looking at them I
Instead of being tired of doing nothing, as Charley
very often was when it rained and he could not
play out of doors, the time seemed to fly; and
Aunt Martha had finished her nap and taken her
knitting, and was ready to tell her story, almost
before they were ready to hear it.


Not that they were a moment too late; oh no
-they wanted very much to know more about the
contents of Aunt Martha's corner cupboard, and
were. very glad when, without any delay, she
began-" The Story of tne Sugar."



Everybody likes sugar. The Christmas pudding
would be nothing without it; and the plum-cake,
and the tarts, and the custards, and all the nice
things that little boys are so fond of, would have no
sweet taste in them if it were not for the sugar.
But its range is much wider than this. It is
found in the ripe peach on the wall, and in the
juicy nectarine. The bee knows the taste of it
right well, and finds it hidden deep in the bell of
the flower. It lurks in the grape, and the orange,
and fruits too many for me to name.


And it finds its way into the stems of plants,
and makes their juices sweet and delicious. There
is a tall, reed-like plant, with a yellow stem. It is
called the sugar-cane, be-
cause there is so much
sugar in it.
In some places, people
are always chewing it.
They cut it with their
knives to make the juice
come out, and go on cutting
and chewing all day long.
The sugar-cane grows
in very hot countries, THE SUGARCANE.
where black people live and monkeys run about
on the trees. The burning sun pours its rays full
upon it; but this is what it likes, and what makes
its juice so sweet. There is an island that belongs



to England, and is called Jamaica; and the sugar-

cane grows there, and we get a great deal of sugar



A." i"



- k .


from it. At one time the.black people who made
the sugar and took care of the canes were slaves,
and were bought and sold in the market; but one
,happy morning they were all set free.
A great giant called Steam helps to make the
sugar now, and does more than all the black
people put together. People did not all at once
find out how helpful he was, and that he could
turn mills, and push carriages, and do all kinds
of things. But they were very glad when they
did know it; and when he began to help them
to make the sugar. For weights, and rollers, and
Heavy wheels are nothing to him.
A sugar-plantation is a very pretty sight. The
tall yellow .canes rustle in the wind; and at the
top is a tuft of flowers, that looks like a silvery
plume. And here and there black people are busy
at work, hoeing and weeding. The women have


blue and scarlet handkerchiefs tied round their
heads, for they dearly love a bit of finery.
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when all
is still and cool, and the moon is shining, a troop
of monkeys come racing down from some moun-
tains near. Then woe betide the sugar-canes!
The monkeys love the taste of sugar; and they
clutch at the canes with their long fingers, and
pull them up, and bite them, and do. a great
deal of mischief.
Happily, the black man has a fancy for roasted
monkey,-a dish we never see in England; and
he thinks it no trouble to sit watching hour after
hour, with his gun in his hand, waiting for the
Down they come on the full run, and do'not
all at once see him. But pop goes the gun, and
one or other is sure to be shot.


It is time that I told you of a fact connected
with the history of the sugar-cane. The stem is
not hollow like the grass or the reed, but it is
solid, and. filled with the sweet juice we have
been talking about, and that makes the sugar.
But the juice, before anything is done to it, is
very wholesome, and people who suck it are sure
to be strong and healthy. Even the horses that
work in the sugar-mill get as fat as can be, for
they are always chewing the canes. And nothing
fattens poultry half so well,-and there are plenty
of fowls pecking about in the negro's little garden.
But the juice is too good -to be wasted. It
forms the material of that vast supply of sugar
met with everywhere, in every town, and village,
and household. And it has to go through a great
many stages, and pass through a great many
hands, like the tea-cup.


SIn the first place,
cut down close to

the beautiful yellow canes are
the ground, and tied up in


big giant
to work,

Then they are carried to a mill, and the
Steam, in places where he has been set
sends great iron rollers over them,- and
out every drop of juice.

- .--, p.. U 'Ij-r


The juice runs into a cistern, and is made hot,
lest it should turn sour; and a little lime is put


in with it, to make it clear, and then the liquor
is boiled very fast indeed.
When it has left off boiling, and is set to
cool, there will be a great many 'sparkling crys-


tals in it, which are the real sugar. But the
crystals are mixed up with a, thick stuff that is
called molasses, and which has to be got away.
This used to be a very tiresome process indeed,
in the old days when the poor slaves made the
They poured the liquor into a great many tubs
with little holes at the bottom of them; and it
was left to stand a long time-till the thick
stuff or molasses had slowly drained through, and
had left the sugar behind.
But now the giant Steam is set to work, all
this is done as quickly as can be. The liquor
is poured into a large square box made of iron,
and divided into two chambers, an upper and a
lower. The liquor is poured ihto the upper cham-
ber, on a floor made of wire like a sieve. Then
the good-natured giant, begins, to pump the-


i, I



S air out of the lower chamber. Nowi nature abhors.
a vacuum, and always, finds something to fill it.
So the liquid molasses comes .pouring down,
Through the sieve, into the lower part of the
box. The sugar that has 'become crystallized
cannot run through the sieve, for the holes are
too fine for it to ,get through; so it is left be-
hind, and that is just what the sugar-maker
All this is done in two hours, while in the
': old-fashioned way it used to take eight days.
The food with which the giant fills his capacious
. maw is the raw sugar-cane, after all the juice has
been squeezed out. It burns well, and there is
plenty to be had, and it does not cost a penny.
When the sugar is made, it is packed in great
Scasks, and sent to Europe.
After it gets here, some of it goes through

, jil



another process, and is made quite white, and into
tall cone-shaped loaves. This is called "lump-
sugar;" and the other goes by the name of
Aunt Martha had hardly finished speaking when
Charley, who was seated before the fire with his
elbows on his knees and his chin between his
Hands, observed that monkeys had a better time
of it than boys had. If he had been a monkey,
he should not have minded. Just think how
pleasant it would be to pop down among those
Richard said he did not think so. Charley might
like the chances of being shot, and roasted for a
black man's dinner; but he preferred less sugar
and a safe life. Not that he pitied the monkeys
for being shot; it served them right for being so
greedy as to pull down the canes.


Charley could not agree, with this. "Sugar,"
he said, "was so tempting-nobody knew how
tempting," added he, rising and looking wistfully
at the old-fashioned sugar-basin heaped up with
lumps of sugar, which old Sally was taking out
of the corner cupboard. That basin was very
full-too full; he feared that top lump would
topple over. A remark which made Aunt Martha
smile, and say that if he could find a safer place
for it, he might.
Charley said he knew of one much safer: and,
opening his mouth, waited for old Sally to pop
it in. Then he thanked his aunt by an embrace,
and they sat down to tea.
The next morning the two boys were early, and
went into the kitchen just as old Sally was putting
the coffee-berries into the mill to grind for break-
fast. Charley asked where they came from, and


what they were. Old Sally said' she was not
book-learned; if they wanted to know, they had
better ask their aunt.
The boys said they must; but that when they
got back to school they would try to learn a
few things for themselves.
Sally thought they had better be quick about
it; for if they did not learn while they were
young, they were not likely to know anything when
they were old. And there were not many Aunt
Marthas in the world. What a long tale she had
told them last night l-too long, said she slyly.
Charley said, Not a bit. He meant to ask for a
longer one to-night. He wanted to know all about
the coffee.
So when Aunt Martha came down, it was
agreed that her next tale should be-"The Story
of the Coffee."



When the morning sun shines cheerily on the
window, and the snow-white cloth is spread on
the table, coffee is -always present. There are few
breakfast-tables in the kingdom where it is not to
be found.
You may know it is there by the pleasant odour
it spreads around. It is as nice to drink as tea,
and a great deal more strengthening. Many a
poor man can work hard from morning till night,
and not drink anything stronger than coffee.
It was a long time before coffee was brought
to England; but in the reign of Oliver Cromwell,


a merchant who used to go backwards and for-
wards to Turkey, to trade there, brought home
with him a Greek servant. This man had tasted
coffee-for the Turks drink a great deal of it, just
as the Chinese drink a great deal of tea-and he
knew how nice it was.
He brought some berries home with him, and
used to make coffee, and let people in London
have some. of it. Indeed, at last he got so
famous for his coffee, and so much talked about,
that he set up a coffee-house; that is, a house
where coffee is sold instead of beer.
Perhaps you would like to know where this
first coffee-house was, for there are plenty of
them now in every town in England. It was in
George's Yard, Lombard Street. This Lombard
Street is in the very heart of the business world;
and it gets its name because some Jews from


Lombardy once came to live there,-who used to
lend money, for which they made people pay a.
great deal.
Bankers now live in Lombard Street, and their
name comes from the Jews. The Jews had
benches with their bags of gold upon them, and
there they used to stand and carry on their
trade. Now, banco in Italian means bench; and
this became corrupted into banker, a man who
lends money as the Jews did, only in a more
honest manner.-But all this has nothing to do
with coffee.
From the little coffee-house in Lombard Street, the
habit of drinking coffee spread all over the country.
At first, like tea, it cost a good deal of money;
and it was brought from only one small province
in Arabia, called Yemen.
I should tell you that Arabia is divided into


three parts. One is all stones and rocks; and
another all sand and desert. But there is a third
region, called "Happy Arabia," that is full of


gardens and vineyards, and olive-trees. And here
is the province of Yemen.
Mocha is the chief town, and the place where
the coffee came from. It stands close to the


4LH. .-,,. '
: : :.-? .



sea-shore, on a very sandy plain, and at the
entrance to the Red Sea.
The entrance to the Red Sea is through some
dangerous straits called Bab-el-mandeb," or "the
Gate of Tears," because so many ships are
wrecked there. Indeed, the Arab, who is very
fanciful, says that the spirit of the storm is always
perched on a rock that overlooks the straits.
Any lady in Mocha, when she goes out for
an evening visit, carries on her arm a little bag of
coffee, and has it boiled when she gets there.
And all over the town people are to be seen lying
on the ground, under awrfings spread to screen
them' from the. sun. These are their coffee-
houses; and there they do nothing all day- but
sip coffee and smoke -their pipes.
The P"le at ,Aocha pretend that they like
coffee best when it is made of the husk of the,
coffee-berry, and not of the berry itself.


But all the coffee that Mocha and the province
round could supply was very little, compared to
what comes to England now; and of course the
price of coffee was extremely high. So, when it
began to be so much liked, the kings and queens
in the different countries of Europe set about hav-
ing coffee planted in all places where it would grow.
The French sent some coffee-plants to one of
their islands in the West Indies, in order to have
a plantation there. An officer had the care of the
plants, and he sailed in a ship from Amsterdam.
He had a long and very stormy passage, and the
wind prevented the ship from getting on.
It might be said of the people on board as it
is in the poem,-
"Water, water everywhere,
And not a drop to drink!"

In fact, the water on board was nearly all used



up, and no more was to be had until they came
to their journey's end. Each man was allowed
only a very small quantity a day, and they had
often to suffer. from thirst.
The French officer had no more given to him
than the rest, and he would gladly have
quenched his thirst. But, alas! the tender plants
he was cherishing with such care began to droop.
They too wanted water; and rather than let them
die, he went without himself, and poured the
scanty supply given him on their roots.
The crew laughed at him, and he had to bear
a great many rude speeches. But, thanks to this
act of self-denial, the plants were able to live
until the vessel came at last to land. Then the
brave officer received his reward. The plants
grew and multiplied, and became great plantations,
that supplied other countries and islands.



Many places now furnish coffee in the greatest
abundance. Brazil sends out enough almost to
supply the world.
The plant had
grown wild in the
-island of Ceylon
from the earliest
Times; and the na-
Stives used to pluck
the leaves and mix
them with their
.food to give it a
flavour; they also
made garlands of
COFFEE-PLANT IN FLOWER-AND FRUIT. its flowers to deco-

rate their temples; but it was a very long time
before they made any use of the berries.
When the coffee-plant is left to nature it grows


rather tall. But, as a rule, its top is cut off to
make it throw out more branches. The leaves
are ever-green; and the flowers are white, and a
little like those of the jessamine.
When the berry is ripe it is red, and like a
great cherry. There are two hard seeds in it,
like beans, that are known to every one, for they
are ground into coffee. In many plantations they
fall to the ground, and lie under' the tree until
they are picked up. But in Arabia this is not
allowed to be.
The planter, as he is called, spreads a cloth on
the ground, and then shakes the tree, so that
the ripe berries drop off. He then puts them on
mats, and lets them lie in the sun till they are
dry. And then the husk is broken by a roller, and
the berries got out.
All his trouble is amply repaid, for this Arabian
coffee is the best in the world.


The coffee-berries have still to be roasted, and
then ground to powder. They are brought to
England, however, before they are ground. Many
people have little coffee-mills in their houses, into
which the berries are put, to be ground for
breakfast. By this means they can obtain the
coffee in a state of purity. For it is the custom
in these days to mix the ground coffee with the
roots of a plant called chicory, to make it go
further. This is done to such an extent, that a law
has been made obliging the person who sells
the coffee to declare whether it is pure or not.
And if it is mixed, he is obliged to print on the
packet the works, "Coffee and Chicory."
The coffee-plant has a great many enemies.
Wild cats climb up the stem and run along the
branches to get at the berries; and the squirrel
nibbles them as he does nuts; to say nothing


of. the monkeys, who are always ready for a
In Ceylon, there is a kind of rat that lives in
the forest, and makes its nest in the roots of the
trees. It comes into the plantation in swarms to
feed on the berries. Its teeth are as sharp as a
pair of scissors; and it gnaws through the branch
that has the fruit upon it, and lets it fall to the
ground, where it can feast at its leisure. It is
very provoking to the planter to find all the deli-
cate twigs and branches cut off, and he wages war
against the rats.
The natives of the opposite coast of India
think the flesh of the rat, fed as it is on such
delicate fare, very nice, and they come and work
in the plantations on purpose to get as many of
them as they can. They fry them in oil, and make
a dish of them with hot spices and call it "currie."


The little boys were sorry when Aunt Martha
came to the end of her "story of the coffee,"
and wanted to know a great many things about
the brave man who went without drinking, in order
to water the plants, and get them safe to their
journey's end.
Aunt Martha could not answer all their questions,
for she was tired of talking, and wanted her tea.
But she made a promise that the next time she
went to London, if Charley and Richard were there,
she would take them into a coffee-house and
give them each a cup.
Charley said it was a long time to wait for
that treat; but if their aunt would let them, they
should like to get up a little sooner each morning,
and grind the coffee for breakfast. And then they
remembered old Sally's ignorance, and how they must
tell her where the coffee came from, and all about it.


Yes, it was very pleasant indeed to know a
few things, and to be able to teach other people.
And Richard thought of a little schoolfelloww of
his, and of how much he should have to tell him
when he got back to school.
When old Sally brought in the tea, she set a dish
of new-laid eggs upon the table, and Aunt Martha
gave one to each of her guests. Charley was
talking away, and not thinking of what he was
doing, so he upset the salt-cellar, and spilt all the
salt on the tablecloth. Aunt Martha asked him if
he knew where salt came from. He answered
very quickly, From the shop." But then Richard
wanted to know where the shopman got it from.
Instead of telling them, Aunt Martha said it
was well for Charley that he did not live in
olden times, when salt was very scarce, or he
would have got into disgrace for wasting it. For


in those days it was dear, and people took much
more care of it than they do now. One large
salt-cellar used to be set in the middle of the
dinner-table, and everybody helped'themselves to
a little. It was the custom for the master and
mistress to sit above the salt-cellar, and all the
servants to take their places below it.
Yes, indeed, he would have got into trouble
then, if he had spilt* the salt. And Aunt Martha
promised that to-morrow night she should tell
them-" The Story of the Salt."



There is something on the lower shelf of the
corner cupboard, that is of more importance than
many of its neighbours.
You might contrive to live without either tea or
coffee, as people were obliged to do in years gone
by, when they drank stout ale for breakfast,
and had dinner at twelve o'clock. But what
would you do without salt? What would become
of your nice relishing dishes, if salt did not
season them ? They would taste no better than
white of egg.
Nay, you would not have those rosy cheeks, nor


be able to scamper about from morning till night
as you do now. You would be pale and sickly;
and I hardly think you could live, without the
little harmless doses of salt you are always taking
in some form or other.
In a part of the world called North America,
the cattle and the deer come a long way to get
a taste of salt. The salt is in some well or spring
that bubbles up among the grass; and the water
leaves it behind like a crust on the stones that
may chance to be lying about; and the grass all
round tastes very much of salt.
The place is called a "salt-lick," because the
cattle keep licking at the stones. They are sure
to find their way to the salt-lick, even though they
live miles away. And they keep cropping the
grass, and licking the salt, till they have had
enough, and then they go home again. They


make a path on the grass with their hoofs, and
quite tread it down. The hunter knows what the
path neans the moment he sees it, and he lies
in wait with his gun. The poor deer is sure to
come before long, or the buffalo with his great
horns, and then the hunter shoots at them.
The man who owns the salt-lick very often
begins to bore down into the ground. He thinks
he may find a salt-mine, or, at least, a way under-
ground that leads to one, and then he can get
quite rich and become a person of importance.
A man once came to a salt-lick and tasted the
water. He found it was all right, and that when
he boiled some in a kettle and let it get cold
there was a crust of salt at the bottom. He was
highly delighted, and bought the land, and set
people on to bore. But, alas I there was no salt
to be found anywhere. A cunning hunter had

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