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Forests of Maine
Marco Paul's Adventures in Pursuit of Knowledge

written by "Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879"
...the cracks all open." "And you made the carpenter an ebony wedge?" said Marco. "Yes," said Forester. "He had had wedges made of the hardest wood that he could get, but they would soon become bruised, and battered, and worn out, with their hard rubbing against the sides of the cracks. At last, I told him I had a very hard kind of wood, and I gave him a piece of ebony. He made it into a wedge, and, after that, he had no more difficulty. He said his ebony wedge was just like iron." "Was it really as hard as iron?" asked Marco. [Pg 71]"Oh, no," said Forester,—"but it was much harder than any wood which he could get. He thought it was a very curious wood. He had never seen any like it before." "I should like some ebony," said Marco. "Ebony would be an excellent wood to make a top of," said Forester, "it is so hard and heavy." "I should like to have a top hard," said Marco, "but I don't think it would be any better for being heavy." "Yes," said Forester; "the top would spin longer. The heavier a top is, the longer it will spin." "Then I should like a top made of lead," said Marco. "It would spin very long," said Forester, "if it was well made, though it would require more strength to set it a-going well. But lead would be soft, and thus would easily get bruised and indented. Besides, black would be a prettier color for a top than lead color. A jet black top, well polished, would be very handsome." "Is black a color?" asked Marco. "I read in a book once that black and white were not colors." "There are two meanings to the word color," said Forester. "In one sense, black is a color, and in another sense, it is not. For instance, if a lady were to go into a shop, and ask for some morocco shoes for a little child, and they were to show her some black ones, she might say she did not want [Pg 72]black ones; she wanted colored ones. In that sense, black would not be a color. "On the other hand," continued Forester,...

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