"I WANT the spirit that will  look    

temptation in  the face,  and say,  'Be gone,' " 

said  a boy to his sister.

"And one thing more; you want Bible 

spectacles  to  know  temptation  when  he 

comes," answered  his  sister,  "for  he does 

not always show his  colors.'"

Black  Knot.

As I walked in a gentleman's garden  last 

summer, I was struck with  a strange  look  of 

a fine  plum tree.  "What is the matter with 

that  plum tree?" I asked, for it was covered 

with  ugly  looking  black  knots.  "We do 

not  know," said the  lady;  "but it is killing 

the  tree.  Some say," she added,  "that it is 

caused by flies  puncturing the bark,  and laying 

their  eggs  inside;  but  I  hardly  think 

it is that."

No, it is not  that,  as  I  have  since  seen. 

It is  a plant, a black plant of the fungus family, 

preying on the  tree  and  sucking  its  life 

out of it.  What smut is on our corn, rust in 

our  wheat  field,  black  knot  is  on  our  plum 

trees.  And  it  kills  great  numbers.  The 

seeds  of  it  float  in  the  air.  When a good 

chance  offers,  they  lodge  on  the  limbs  of 

some favorite fruit tree, stick to it, take root, 

spread and  grow, and  grow and spread, until 

they come to the  unsightly thing,  called  the 

"black knot."  I dare say you have seen 

some  on  the  trees  of  your garden.  People 

try to  cut it off with  a  knife,  but  it  is  of  no 

use.  It will kill the tree  and  nothing  will 

stop its ruin.

I looked  at  the  poor  plum tree with  real 

sorrow.  "It is then a gone case," said  I. 

The leaves still look green and pretty, waving 

in  the beautiful sunshine;  but,  oh, those 

black knots  all  over it!  It was an ugly 

sight, for they would stick there till the  tree 


It made me think of the ugly seeds of evil 

which  are  everywhere floating in the air, and 

everywhere seeking  some  fine  character  to 

fasten  on  and  blacken.  I know  boys  and 

girls  who,  I  am  afraid,  have  the  "black 

knot" fastened  on  them;  they have  at least 

ugly black spots, which look  very  alarming.

What a "black knot"  lying is.  What  a 

"black knot" bad words are.  What a "black 

knot"  ugliness  is.  What a  "black knot" 

self-will  is.  What a "black knot" pride is. 

The  "black-knot" disease is as bad for 

people  as for trees.  It deforms and defaces. 

It blackens.  It ruins at last.

Is there  no  cure  for the  "black  knot"? 

There is prevention, and an ounce of prevention 

is  worth  a  pound  of  cure.  Potash in 

the  soil  will  help  make  a  glassy coating  on

straw  of wheat,  and  on  the  stems  of  trees, 

which  hardens  them  against  the  attacks  of 

fungi.  It as much as says to the bad seed 

floating around  and trying to find  a  place to 

stop, "We don't allow any soft or weak spots 

for  you to get hold of."

That is  precisely the way you  should  act 

toward the seeds of evil  hovering in  the  air. 

Harden  yourself  against  them.  On no   

account  let  them  get  a  lodging  on  you.  Be

well fortified. 

 Child's  Paper.