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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 203 pages of information about New National Fourth Reader.

Instead of green country lanes, green canals stretch from field to barn, and from barn to garden; and the farms are merely great lakes pumped dry.  Some of the busiest streets are water, while many of the country roads are paved with brick.

The city boats, with their rounded sterns, gilded bows, and gayly-painted sides, are unlike any others under the sun; a Dutch wagon with its funny little crooked pole is a perfect mystery of mysteries.

One thing is clear, you may think that the inhabitants need never be thirsty.  But no, Odd-land is true to itself still.  With the sea pushing to get in, and the lakes struggling to get out, and the overflowing canals, rivers, and ditches, in many districts there is no water that is fit to swallow.

Our poor Hollanders must go dry, or send far inland for that precious fluid, older than Adam, yet young as the morning dew.

Sometimes, indeed, the inhabitants can swallow a shower, when they are provided with any means of catching it; but generally they are like the sailors told of in a famous poem, who saw

    “Water, water, every-where,
    Nor any drop to drink!”

Great flapping windmills all over the country make it look as if flocks of huge sea birds were just settling upon it.  Every-where one sees the funniest trees, bobbed into all sorts of odd shapes, with their trunks painted a dazzling’ white, yellow, or red.

Horses are often yoked three abreast.  Men, women, and children, go clattering about in wooden shoes with loose heels.

Husbands and wives lovingly harness themselves side by side on the bank of the canal and drag their produce to market.

* * * * *

Directions for Reading.—­Let pupils practice upon the inflections marked in the following

Model.—­Houses’, bridges’, churches’, and ships’, sprouting into masts’, steeples’, and trees’.

Which words take the falling inflection?

* * * * *

LESSON XL.

whisk’ing, pulling suddenly and with force.

lus’ti er, stronger; louder.

of fend’ed, made angry.

fa mil’iar, friendly; as of a friend.

ma’tron ly, elderly; motherly.

com mo’tion, noise; confusion.

pant’ed, breathed quickly.

sa lute’, greeting.

mute, silent; unable to speak.

stur’dy, strong; powerful.

ker’chiefs, pieces of cloth worn about the head.

a do’, trouble; delay.

in’mates, the persons in a house.

* * * * *

THE WIND IN A FROLIC.

  The wind one morning sprung up from sleep,
  Saying, “Now for a frolic!  Now for a leap! 
  Now for a madcap galloping chase! 
  I’ll make a commotion in every place!”

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