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112   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

if that is any reason for supposing that it has any curative properties. However, the world is " more fair and sweet " by its dainty charms above ground, and we will not dig for its hidden virtues.

Within a few feet of the flags, a gravelly, dry bank comes abruptly to the stream, grows a shrub worthy a longer notice than can be given it here. I refer to the bayberry, Myrica cerifera. It is pleasant to the eye, with its cool gray steins and branches and its glossy green leaves. It is grateful to the sense of smell ; so clean and aromatic that pillows filled with the leaves are delicious soothers of tired nerves and weary cares. The flowers are very small, and only to be seen by looking for then, but the seeds, which are hard-shelled, are covered with a vegetable wax. They are gathered in bunches close to the branches and well hidden by the clustering leaves. Our older settlers here, and in New England often gathered these " wax berries," or bayberries, and boiled them till the wax floated, when it was cooled, and made into candles. Four pounds of berries would yield about one pound of wax of a greenish tinge and a pleasant odor. This was also made into soap. It is still used, and may be purchased at well-furnished drug stores.


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