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O tell me! Only ask your Master to save me, and I will be your servant for life. Do not be angry. I want to be saved. Save me from hell!”
The next day this boy was introduced to the little bamboo school-house in the character of "the wild Kareen boy;" and such a greedy seeker after truth and holiness had been seldom seen. Every day he came to the white teachers to learn something more concerning the Lord Jesus and the way of salvation; and every day his eagerness increased, and his face gradually lost its indescribable look of stupidity. He was at length baptized, and commemorated the love of that Saviour he had so earnestly sought. He lived awhile to testify his sincerity, and then died in joyful hope. He had "confessed," and had found a Deliverer from those sins from which he could not free himself. The lady also has since died, and she and the wild Kareen boy have met in the presence of their common Redeemer.-Moravian.
"THE ONE TALENT.”
N a napkin smooth and white, Hidden from all mortal sight, My one talent lies to-night.
Mine to hoard, or mine to use,
Help me, ere too late it be,
HIS class of reptiles is easily distinguished from all others by the total absence of feet, of which the most minute dissection fails to discover a trace. The motion of some species, notwithstanding this want of feet, is very rapid, and is effected by aid of the folds which they form with their bodies. When in a state of repose, they usually arrange themselves in coils, with the
very small, and are furnished with two teeth much longer than the rest, which contain a duct, or hollow, which serves for the passage of the poison. These fangs are thrown forward in the action of biting, but at other times are placed along the roof of the mouth in such a manner as to be hardly discoverable at first sight.
The jaws of serpents are united by ligaments in a way that allows of their being opened very widely, an arrangement which enables them to swallow animals of much greater bulk than would otherwise be possible. The tongue can be stretched out to a great distance, and ends in two long cartilaginous or gristly points. They have only one lung. The skin, in different classes, is ringed and smooth, or rough, or, most frequently, covered with scales. They feed on quadrupeds, reptiles, insects, or worms, and swallow their prey entire. They seldom drink, and their digestion is slow: one meal sometimes serves them for weeks, or even months; but when an opportunity offers, they devour an enormous quantity of food.
The ribs of serpents are very numerous, and surround a great portion of the trunk. The mus
cles, even in the smaller kinds, are endowed with an astonishing power of constriction, that is, of drawing themselves forcibly together; and the species which grow to the dimensions of thirty feet or more are enabled to destroy even large quadrupeds by enclosing them within their folds.
Creatures of the snake tribe inspire an instinctive horror in man and most animals. Their hissing, in some species, is truly startling; but, notwithstanding, the greater part of them are harmless. In northern climates, they pass the winter in a torpid state, changing their skin in the spring. The eggs are rounded, and stuck together in bead-like rows in the venomous species the young are born living. More than three hundred kinds of snakes have been named, most of which, including all the largest ones, inhabit tropical climates. South America abounds with them. The dangerous families number about one-fifth or one-sixth of the whole; and among these are some whose bite is fatal in a few hours, or even minutes. But few species, and these quite harmless, are found in cold climates; and towards the poles they seem to be entirely wanting.
The venom of the European viper preserves its power after the death of the animal that furnished it. Its strength varies in intensity according to the warmth of the climate and the season of the year, being much greater in summer than in winter; also according to the time that has passed since the creature's previous bite, and the degree of irritation with which the action of its fangs is performed.
Having given some account of serpents generally, we will now name a few of the chief species of this order of reptiles. Though they are so repulsive in their appearance, and we hastily shrink from coming into contact with them, yet they are works of God, and a study of their varieties, their structure, and their habits, will well repay attention.
Let us begin with the large snake represented in the Cut, the boa, or anaconda, an inhabitant of the hotter parts of America. Some of this class attain a gigantic size. They curl their tails about the trunks branches of trees, and in this position lie in wait for the larger animals which instinct teaches them to seize. The pythons equal them in size, and pursue the
same mode of life. They are found in the tropical regions of the Eastern Continent.
The species called hydrus, or water-snake, are small serpents that live in water, as their name indicates. The end of the tails of these is enlarged, and very much flattened; this formation gives them greater facility for moving in the water. They inhabit the parts of Asia that lie between the tropics, and also the neighbouring islands; in some situations they are very abundant.
The rattle-snake, which is only found in America, is well known for the virulence of its poison. This formidable creature is easily distinguished by its having a series of horny joints at the end of its tail, loosely inserted into each other, which make a rattling sound when it is excited. Hence its name. It is of a yellowish-brown colour. The banded rattle-snake grows to the length of four or five feet. It is found in the Northern and Middle States, from about latitude forty-six degrees; also in the Western States, and beyond the Mississippi. The diamond rattle-snake (so called from a row of diamondshaped figures placed along its back) grows to larger
dimensions, and inhabits the Southern States. The same, or a very similar, species is found in South America. The ground rattle - snake, infesting the Southern as well as the Western States, is much dreaded. It has but two or three rattles on its tail, and its small size, and the slight noise that its rattle makes, render it more liable to be overlooked. The copper-head is as dangerous as the rattle-snake, which it much resembles, but it is destitute of the horny joints at the extremity of the tail. The colour is brown, with clouded spots of a deeper hue. It is met with in many parts of the United States. Another kind of poisonous serpent is found in the Southern and South-western States, and is about two feet long, with a very short tail. It is marked with about twenty broad black rings, alternating with about as many yellow ones. The last are speckled with brown, and are whitish on the margin.
The following species are harmless :-The hog-nose snake. This is a remarkable reptile: its nose is slightly turned up, bearing a remote resemblance to the animal whose name it bears. It possesses the power of puffing out the head and
upper part of the neck, and in this state makes a formidable
appearance. It is widely scattered through the United States; but, like many others, is not found eastward of the Hudson river. The black snake is known throughout the United States. Its scales are smooth, and its motions are very rapid. It grows to the length of six feet. The coach-whip snake is a very long and slender species, rarely met with, and only in the more Southern States. The water snake is very common in the vicinity of Philadelphia. It attains to large dimensions, sometimes growing to the length of five feet, its body being remarkably thick. The borders of streams are its favourite resort, and when disturbed, it often takes refuge in the water, concealing itself at the bottom. Many other species besides these are found in America; one of them, the pine snake, reaching the length of eight feet, is of a gentle disposition, and is sometimes tamed and kept about houses. The so-called "glasssnake" of the Southern States belongs to the family of lizards.
The incantation, or charming of serpents, is one of the most curious subjects in Natural History. This art, which soothes