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that gravity is essential to obtain the wonderful
fern-seed, we learn, on further investigation,
that it is but a doubtful possession at last.

This we find in the case of a journeyman
weaver of Rotenburg. The great virtue of
the fern-seed is this, that it enables any workman
who possesses it to do the work of twenty
without inconvenience. Now, the weaver in
question amused himself with drinking and
such like pursuits for six days in the week;
but on the seventh, by virtue of the fern-seed,
he produced a longer web than was achieved
by any of the craft who worked the whole week
through. However, one day, unfortunately,
the journeyman's mistress, taking the cloth
home to a purchaser, stopped at a church to
pray: no sooner was the benediction
pronounced than the good woman found all her
cloth reduced to yarn.

Those who live in the practical life of the
nineteenth century, and moisten the path of
that life with coffee, need not be told that
chicory possesses miraculous properties.
In Suabia, chicory assumes a grave, solemn,
and awful character. It should only be
gathered on Saint James's day (July the
twenty-fifth), and then only between eleven
and twelve o'clock, and even then it should
not be picked off with a mere vulgar thumb
and finger, but should be daintily cut off with
the edge of a gold coin. Indeed, there is such
a high art in chicory cutting, that, according
to Doctor Ernst Meier (professor of oriental
languages in the University of T├╝bingen, and
our great authority in Suabian matters)
there is an old woman in Pfullingen who
devotes the whole energies of her life to this
one pursuit. The prudent man, who will not
rashly trust his own manipulative skill, no
sooner finds a sign of the presence of the root,
than he marks the spot with a stick, and
hastens to inform the sage old lady of the
discovery. She accepts the office of cutting,
but she does not descend from her lofty
artistical position. Great sculptors, as we know,
having completed their models, allow their
pupils to rough-hew the marble, while they
reserve to themselves the last finishing touch
of the chisel. So our old woman. When the
festival of Saint James arrivesfor even she
must wait until thenshe allows any ignorant
uninitiated wretch to make the first incision
with his miserable knife, but the final operation
with the gold coin is performed with her own
venerable hands.

The great quality required for cutting
chicory is the power of keeping silence; and
hence we can anticipate that a number of
those empty wits, who exult over woman's
alleged inability to keep a secret, and who
retail old epigrams that liken the movement of
the female tongue to a clock, a smoke-jack,
and so forth, will marvel that a person of
the fair sex is selected to perform the delicate
operation. It is indeed a very serious matter
to speak while cutting chicory, and all sorts of
temptations are employed to lure the operator
into danger. One unhappy man, when he
was just about to give the decisive slice,
saw a millstone in the air, floating directly
over his head. Being of a taciturn disposition,
even when under strong emotions, he ran
away without saying a word, and therefore
underwent no further punishment than
the negative one of taking all his trouble for
nothing. If however, say the wise, he had
uttered so much as a monosyllabic interjection,
the millstone would have been no longer
a vision in the air, like Macbeth's dagger, but
would have smashed him.

The explanation of the origin of chicory is
most satisfactory. The roots, we are informed
by the sages of Pfullingen, were once human
beings. When the flower is blue, bad men are
at the bottom of it; when the flower is
white, the root has been a very virtuous
individual. The fact that the blue flower is
much the commoner of the two, proves
that there is a good deal of satire mixed up
with the superstition. The statement that
two white flowers are usually found together,
is pleasantthe doctrine that sociality and
virtue go hand in hand being once more agreeably
illustrated.

But what is the use of the chicory after the
employment of these singular contrivances to
get it? Its chief utility seems to be that if
we take (exhibit internally) only so much as
a shaving, it will cause all thorns and
splinters which may have run into our flesh
to fly out with the greatest celerity.

When we reflect that a young English lady
with her needle can perform the same office
as the old German lady with her gold coin,
we will not run the risk of being crushed by
imaginary millstones in our endeavours to
gather chicory.

A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

CHAPTER XXX.

THE Duke of Northumberland was very
anxious to keep the young King's death a
secret, in order that he might get the two
Princesses into his power. But, the Princess Mary,
being informed of that event as she was on
her way to London to see her sick brother,
turned her horse's head, and rode away into
Norfolk. The Earl of Arundel was her friend,
and it was he who sent her warning of what
had happened.

As the secret could not be kept, the Duke
of Northumberland and the Council sent for
the Lord Mayor of London and some of the
aldermen and made a merit of telling it to
them. Then, they made it known to the
people, and set off to inform Lady Jane Grey
that she was to be Queen.

She was a pretty girl of only sixteen, and
was amiable, learned, and clever. When
the lords who came to her, fell on their knees
before her, and told her what tidings they
brought, she was so astonished that she
fainted. On recovering, she expressed her