New National Fourth Reader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about New National Fourth Reader.

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Directions for Reading.—­Point out four places in the lesson where words would likely be run together by a careless reader.

The word canon is pronounced can’yon.

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Language Lesson.—­Give rules for marks of punctuation and capital letters used in the first paragraph of the account of Niagara Falls.

Let pupils make out an analysis in five or six parts, treating some well-known scene.

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vo ra’cious, greedy; very hungry.

o ver whelmed’, overcome by force of numbers.

a bound’ing, existing in large numbers.

as cend’ing, going up.

her’ald ed, gave notice of.

im pet’u ous, furious; without care for what happens.

crim’i nals, those who have broken the law.

con’cen trate, gather in a large mass.

in tol’er a ble, not to be borne.

ir re sist’i ble, can not be opposed.

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A strange kind of ant is very abundant in the whole region I have traveled over in Africa, and is the most voracious creature I ever met.  It is the dread of all living animals, from the leopard to the smallest insect.

I do not think that these ants build nests or homes of any kind.  At any rate they carry nothing away, but eat all their prey on the spot.  It is their habit to march through the forests in a long, regular line—­a line about two inches broad and often several miles in length.  All along this line are larger ants, who act as officers, stand outside the ranks, and keep this singular army in order.

If they come to a place where there are no trees to shelter them from the sun, whose heat they can not bear, they immediately build underground tunnels, through which the whole army passes in columns to the forest beyond.  These tunnels are four or five feet underground, and are used only in the heat of the day, or during a storm.

When, they grow hungry the long file spreads itself through the forest in a front line, and attacks and devours all it overtakes with a fury which is quite irresistible.  The elephant and gorilla fly before this attack.  The black men run for their lives.  Every animal that lives in their line of march is chased.

They seem to understand and act upon the tactics of Napoleon, and concentrate with great speed their heaviest forces upon the point of attack.  In an incredibly short space of time the mouse, or dog, or leopard, or deer, is overwhelmed, killed, eaten, and the bare skeleton only remains.

They seem to travel night and day.  Many a time have I been awakened out of a sleep, and obliged to rush from the hut and into the water to save my life, and after all suffered intolerable agony from the bites of the advance-guard, that had got into my clothes.

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New National Fourth Reader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.