McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader
by William Holmes McGuffey
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8. "If you fire you must die for it," said Henry Knox, who was passing by. "I don't care," replied the sentry, "if they touch me, I'll fire." "Fire!" shouted the boys, for they were persuaded he could not do it without leave from a civil officer; and a young fellow spoke out, "We will knock him down for snapping," while they whistled through their fingers and huzzaed. "Stand off !" said the sentry, and shouted aloud, "Turn out, main guard!" "They are killing the sentinel," reported a servant from the customhouse, running to the main guard. "Turn out! why don't you turn cut?" cried Preston, who was captain of the day, to the guard.

9. A party of six, two of whom, Kilroi and Montgomery, had been worsted at the ropewalk, formed, with a corporal in front and Preston following. With bayonets fixed, they "rushed through the people" upon the trot, cursing them, and pushing them as they went along. They found about ten persons round the sentry, while about fifty or sixty came down with them. "For God's sake," said Knox! holding Preston by the coat, "take your men back again; if they fire, your life must answer for the consequences." "I know what I am about," said he hastily, and much agitated.

10. None pressed on them or provoked them till they began loading, when a party of about twelve in number, with sticks in their hands, moved from the middle of the street where they had been standing, gave three cheers, and passed along the front of the soldiers, whose muskets some of them struck as they went by. "You are cowardly rascals," they said, "for bringing arms against naked men." "Lay aside your guns, and we are ready for you." "Are the soldiers loaded?" inquired Palmes of Preston. "Yes," he answered, "with powder and ball." "Are they going to fire upon the inhabitants?" asked Theodore Bliss. "They can not, without my orders," replied Preston; while "the town-born" called out, "Come on, you rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, fire, if you dare. We know you dare not."

11. Just then, Montgomery received a blow from a stick which had hit his Musket; and the word "fire!" being given by Preston, he stepped a little to one side, and shot Attucks, who at the time was quietly leaning on a long stick. "Don't fire!" said Langford, the watchman, to Kilroi, looking him full in the face; but yet he did so, and Samuel Gray, who was standing next Langford, fell lifeless. The rest fired slowly and in succession on the people, who were dispersing. Three persons were killed, among them Attucks, the mulatto; eight were wounded, two of them mortally. Of all the eleven, not more than one had any share in the disturbance.

12. So infuriated were the soldiers that, when the men returned to take up the dead, they prepared to fire again, but were checked by Preston, while the Twenty-ninth Regiment appeared under arms in King Street. "This is our time," cried the soldiers of the Fourteenth; and dogs were never seen more greedy for their prey.

13. The bells rung in all the churches; the town drums beat. "To arms! to arms!" was the cry. "Our hearts," said Warren, "beat to arms, almost resolved by one stroke to avenge the death of our slaughtered brethren;" but they stood self-possessed, demanding justice according to the law. "Did you not know that you should not have fired without the order of a civil magistrate?" asked Hutchinson, on meeting Preston. "I did it," answered Preston, "to save my men."

14. The people would not be pacified or retire till the regiment was confined to the guardroom and the barracks; and Hutchinson himself gave assurances that instant inquiries should be made by the county magistrates. One hundred persons remained to keep watch on the examination, which lasted till three hours after midnight. A warrant was issued against Preston, who surrendered himself to the sheriff; and the soldiers of his party were delivered up and committed to prison.

DEFINITIONS.—1. In-dis-crim'i-nate-ly, without distinction. 2. En-sued', followed, resulted from. En'sign (pro. en'sin). an officer of low rank. Fire'lock, an old-style musket, with flintlock. 7. Bran'-dish-ing, waving, flourishing. 13. Self'-pos-sessed, undisturbed, calm in mind, manner, etc. 14. Pac'i-fied, calmed, quieted. War'rant, a writ authorizing an officer to seize an offender.

NOTES.—This massacre took place Monday, March 5, 1770.

5. Cornhill is the name of a street in Boston.

7. Lobster was the epithet applied to a British soldier by the Americans on account of his red coat.

8. Henry Knox (b. 1750, d. 1806) was then a bookseller in Boston. He afterwards became one of the American generals.

8. Ropewalk. The active trouble resulting in the massacre arose from a soldier's being thrashed the Friday before at Gray's ropewalk, where he had challenged one of the workmen to fight; other soldiers joined in the affray from time to time, but were always worsted.

13. Warren. This was Joseph Warren (b. 1741, d. 1775), the American patriot, killed shortly after at Bunker Hill.

Thomas Hutchinson was at this time lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. Although born in Boston, he sided with the British government in the troubles before the Revolution, and sailed for England in 1774.


Eliza Lee Fallen (b. 1787, d. 1859) was born in Boston, Mass. Her maiden name was Cabott. In 1828, she married Charles Follen, Professor of the German language and its literature in Harvard University. Her principal works are "Sketches of Married Life," "The Skeptic," "Twilight Stories," and "Little Songs." For several years Mrs. Follen was editor of the "Children's Friend."

1. The young, the lovely, pass away, Ne'er to be seen again; Earth's fairest flowers too soon decay, Its blasted trees remain.

2. Full oft, we see the brightest thing That lifts its head on high, Smile in the light, then droop its wing, And fade away and die.

3. And kindly is the lesson given; Then dry the falling tear: They came to raise our hearts to Heaven; They go to call us there.


John James Piatt (b. 1835,—) was born in Dearborn County, Ind., and is of French descent. He began to write verses at the age of fourteen, and has been connected editorially with several papers. Several editions of his poems have been issued from time to time, each edition usually containing some additional poems. Of these volumes we may mention: "Poems in Sunshine and Firelight," "Western Windows," "The Lost Farm," and "Poems of House and Home."

1. The wonderful snow is falling Over river and woodland and wold; The trees bear spectral blossom In the moonshine blurr'd and cold.

2. There's a beautiful garden in Heaven; And these are the banished flowers, Falling and driven and drifted Into this dark world of ours.

DEFINITIONS.—1. Wold, a plain or open country, a country without wood whether hilly or not. Spec'tral, ghostly. 2. Ban'ished, condemned to exile, driven away.


Charles Dickens (b. 1812, d. 1870). This celebrated novelist was born in Portsmouth, England. He began his active life as a lawyer's apprentice, in London; but soon became a reporter, and followed this occupation from 1831 to 1836. His first book was entitled "Sketches of London Society, by Boz." In 1837 he published the "Pickwick Papers," a work which established his reputation as a writer. His other works followed with great rapidity, and his last, "Edwin Drood," was unfinished when he died. He visited America in 1842 and in 1867. He is buried in Westminster Abbey. Mr. Dickens excelled in humor and pathos, and was particularly successful in delineating the joys and griefs of childhood. His writings have a tendency to prompt to deeds of kindness and benevolence. The following extract is taken from "Nicholas Nickleby," one of the best of his novels.

1. "Come," said Squeers, "let's go to the schoolroom; and lend me a hand with my school coat, will you?"

Nicholas assisted his master to put on an old fustian shooting jacket, which he took down from a peg in the passage; and Squeers, arming himself with his cane, led the way across a yard to a door in the rear of the house.

"There," said the schoolmaster, as they stepped in together; "this is our shop, Nickleby."

2. It was such a crowded scene, and there were so many objects to attract attention, that at first Nicholas stared about him, really without seeing anything at all. By degrees, however, the place resolved itself into a bare and dirty room with a couple of windows, whereof a tenth part might be of glass, the remainder being stopped up with old copy books and paper.

3. There were a couple of long, old, rickety desks, cut and notched, and inked and damaged in every possible way; two or three forms, a detached desk for Squeers, and another for his assistant. The ceiling was supported like that of a barn, by crossbeams and rafters, and the walls were so stained and discolored that it was impossible to tell whether they had ever been touched by paint or whitewash.

4. Pale and haggard faces, lank and bony figures, children with the countenances of old men, deformities with irons upon their limbs, boys of stunted growth, and others whose long, meager legs would hardly bear their stooping bodies, all crowded on the view together. There were little faces which should have been handsome, darkened with the scowl of sullen, dogged suffering; there was childhood with the light of its eye quenched, its beauty gone, and its helplessness alone remaining.

5. And yet this scene, painful as it was, had its grotesque features, which, in a less interested observer than Nicholas, might have provoked a smile. Mrs. Squeers stood at one of the desks, presiding over an immense basin of brimstone and treacle, of which delicious compound she administered a large installment to each boy in succession, using for the purpose a common wooden spoon, which might have been originally manufactured for some gigantic top, and which widened every young gentleman's mouth considerably, they being all obliged, under heavy corporeal penalties, to take in the whole bowl at a gasp.

6. "Now," said Squeers, giving the desk a great rap with his cane, which made half the little boys nearly jump out of their boots, "is that physicking over?"

"Just over," said Mrs. Squeers, choking the last boy in her hurry, and tapping the crown of his head with the wooden spoon to restore him. "Here, you Smike: take away now. Look sharp!"

7. Smike shuffled out with the basin, and Mrs. Squeers hurried out after him into a species of washhouse, where there was a small fire, and a large kettle, together with a number of little wooden bowls which were arranged upon a board. Into these bowls Mrs. Squeers, assisted by the hungry servant, poured a brown composition which looked like diluted pincushions without the covers, and was called porridge. A minute wedge of brown bread was inserted in each bowl, and when they had eaten their porridge by means of the bread, the boys ate the bread itself, and had finished their breakfast, whereupon Mr. Squeers went away to his own.

8. After some half-hour's delay Mr. Squeers reappeared, and the boys took their places and their books, of which latter commodity the average might be about one to eight learners. A few minutes having elapsed, during which Mr. Squeers looked very profound, as if he had a perfect apprehension of what was inside all the books, and could say every word of their contents by heart, if he only chose to take the trouble, that gentleman called up the first class.

9. Obedient to this summons there ranged themselves in front of the schoolmaster's desk, half a dozen scarecrows, out at knees and elbows, one of whom placed a torn and filthy book beneath his learned eye.

"This is the first class in English spelling and philosophy, Nickleby," said Squeers, beckoning Nicholas to stand beside him. "We'll get up a Latin one, and hand that over to you. Now, then, where's the first boy?"

10. "Please, sir, he's cleaning the back parlor window," said the temporary head of the philosophical class.

"So he is, to be sure," rejoined Squeers. "We go upon the practical mode of teaching, Nickleby; the regular education system. C-l-e-a-n, clean, verb active, to make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder, a casement. When the boy knows this out of book, he goes and does it. It's just the same principle as the use of the globes. Where's the second boy?"

11. "Please, sir, he is weeding the garden," replied a small voice.

"To be sure," said Squeers, by no means disconcerted, "so he is. B-o-t, bot, t-i-n, tin, n-e-y, ney, bottinney, noun substantive, a knowledge of plants. When he has learned that bottinney means a knowledge of plants, he goes and knows 'em. That's our system, Nickleby: what do you think of it?"

"It's a very useful one, at any rate," answered Nicholas, significantly.

12. "I believe you," rejoined Squeers, not remarking the emphasis of his usher. "Third boy, what's a horse?"

"A beast, sir," replied the boy.

"So it is," said Squeers. "Ain't it, Nickleby?"

"I believe there is no doubt of that, sir," answered Nicholas.

"Of course there is n't," said Squeers. "A horse is a quadruped, and quadruped's Latin for beast, as everybody that's gone through the grammar knows, or else where's the use of having grammars at all?"

"Where, indeed!" said Nicholas, abstractedly.

13. "As you're perfect in that," resumed Squeers, turning to the boy, "go and look after my horse, and rub him down well, or I'll rub you down. The rest of the class go and draw water up till somebody tells you to leave off, for it's washing day to-morrow, and they want the coppers filled."

DEFINITIONS.—1. Fus'tian, a kind of cotton stuff, including corduroy, velveteen, etc. 2. Re-solved', made clear, disentangled. 4. De-form'i-ties, misshapen persons. Stunt'ed, checked in growth. Mea'ger, thin, lean. 5. Gro-tesque' (pro. gro-tesk'), fanciful, absurd. Ad-min'is-tered, gave, dispensed. In-stall'ment (literally, part of a debt), part, portion. Cor-po're-al, bodily. 6. Phys'ick-ing, doctoring, treating with medicine. 7. Di-lut'ed, weakened by the addition of water. 8. Com-mod'i-ty, article, wares. Pro-found', intellectually deep, wise. Ap-pre-hen'sion, comprehension, knowledge. 10. Tem'po-ra-ry, for the time being. 11. Dis-con-cert'ed, confused, abashed. Sig-nif 'i-cant-ly, with meaning. 12. Ab-stract'-ed-ly, in an absent-minded way.

NOTES.—1. Mr. Squeers is represented as an ignorant, brutal teacher, many of whom were to be found in Yorkshire, England, at the time of this story.

Nicholas Nickleby is a well-educated, refined young man, who has just obtained the position of assistant teacher, not knowing Squeers's true character.

6. Smike is a poor scholar, disowned by his parents, and made almost idiotic by harsh treatment.

The novel from which this story is abridged, aided greatly in a much-needed reform in the Yorkshire schools; and the character of Squeers was so true to life, that numerous suits were threatened against Mr. Dickens by those who thought themselves caricatured.


Mrs. S. M. B. Piatt (b, 1835,—) was born near Lexington, Ky. While still a young girl she began to write poetry, which was well received. In 1861 she was married to the poet John James Piatt. Mrs. Piatt's poetry is marked by tender pathos, thoughtfulness, and musical flow of rhythm. The following selection is from "That New World."

1. They were two princes doomed to death; Each loved his beauty and his breath: "Leave us our life and we will bring Fair gifts unto our lord, the king."

2. They went together. In the dew A charmed bird before them flew. Through sun and thorn one followed it; Upon the other's arm it lit.

3. A rose, whose faintest flush was worth All buds that ever blew on earth, One climbed the rocks to reach; ah, well, Into the other's breast it fell.

4. Weird jewels, such as fairies wear, When moons go out, to light their hair, One tried to touch on ghostly ground; Gems of quick fire the other found.

5. One with the dragon fought to gain The enchanted fruit, and fought in vain; The other breathed the garden's air And gathered precious apples there.

6. Backward to the imperial gate One took his fortune, one his fate: One showed sweet gifts from sweetest lands, The other, torn and empty hands.

7. At bird, and rose, and gem, and fruit, The king was sad, the king was mute; At last he slowly said: "My son, True treasure is not lightly won.

8. Your brother's hands, wherein you see Only these scars, show more to me Than if a kingdom's price I found In place of each forgotten wound."

DEFINITIONS.—1. Doomed, destined, condemned. 2. Charmed, bewitched, enchanted. 3. Blew, blossomed, bloomed. 4. Weird, tainted with witchcraft, supernatural. Quick, alive, living. 6. Im-pe'ri-al, royal. 7 Mute, silent.


1. We left the buffalo camp about eight o'clock, and had a toilsome and harassing march of two hours, over ridges of hills covered with a ragged forest of scrub oaks, and broken by deep gullies.

2. About ten o'clock in the morning we came to where this line of rugged hills swept down into a valley, through which flowed the north fork of Red River. A beautiful meadow, about half a mile wide, enameled with yellow, autumnal flowers, stretched for two or three miles along the foot of the hills, bordered on the opposite side by the river, whose banks were fringed with cottonwood trees, the bright foliage of which refreshed and delighted the eye, after being wearied by the contemplation of monotonous wastes of brown forest.

3. The meadow was finely diversified by groves and clumps of trees, so happily dispersed that they seemed as if set out by the hand of art. As we cast our eyes over this fresh and delightful valley, we beheld a troop of wild horses quietly grazing on a green lawn, about a mile distant, to our right, while to our left, at nearly the same distance, were several buffaloes; some feeding, others reposing, and ruminating among the high, rich herbage, under the shade of a clump of cottonwood trees. The whole had the appearance of a broad, beautiful tract of pasture land, on the highly ornamented estate of some gentleman farmer, with his cattle grazing about the lawns and meadows.

4. A council of war was now held, and it was determined to profit by the present favorable opportunity, and try our hand at the grand hunting maneuver which is called "ringing the wild horse." This requires a large party of horsemen, well mounted. They extend themselves in each direction, at a certain distance apart, and gradually form a ring of two or three miles in circumference, so as to surround the game. This must be done with extreme care, for the wild horse is the most readily alarmed inhabitant of the prairie, and can scent a hunter a great distance, if to windward.

5. The ring being formed, two or three ride toward the horses, which start off in an opposite direction. Whenever they approach the bounds of the ring, however, a huntsman presents himself, and turns them from their course. In this way they are checked, and driven back at every point, and kept galloping round and round this magic circle, until, being completely tired down, it is easy for hunters to ride up beside them and throw the lariat over their heads. The prime horses of the most speed, courage, and bottom, however, are apt to break through and escape, so that, in general, it is the second-rate horses that are taken.

6. Preparations were now made for a hunt of this kind. The pack horses were now taken into the woods and firmly tied to trees, lest in a rush of the wild horses they should break away. Twenty-five men were then sent under the command of a lieutenant to steal along the edge of the valley within the strip of wood that skirted the hills. They were to station themselves about fifty yards apart, within the edge of the woods, and not advance or show themselves until the horses dashed in that direction. Twenty-five men were sent across the valley to steal in like manner along the river bank that bordered the opposite side, and to station themselves among the trees.

7. A third party of about the same number was to form a line, stretching across the lower part of the valley, so as to connect the two wings. Beatte and our other half-breed, Antoine, together with the ever-officious Tonish, were to make a circuit through the woods so as to get to the upper part of the valley, in the rear of the horses, and drive them forward into the kind of sack that we had formed, while the two wings should join behind them and make a complete circle.

8. The flanking parties were quietly extending themselves out of sight, on each side of the valley, and the residue were stretching themselves like the links of a chain across it, when the wild horses gave signs that they scented an enemy; snuffing the air, snorting, and looking about. At length they pranced off slowly toward the river, and disappeared behind a green bank.

9. Here, had the regulations of the chase been observed, they would have been quietly checked and turned back by the advance of a hunter from among the trees. Unluckily, however, we had our wildfire, Jack-o'-lantern little Frenchman to deal with. Instead of keeping quietly up the right side of the valley, to get above the horses, the moment he saw them move toward the river he broke out of the covert of woods and dashed furiously across the plain in pursuit of them. This put an end to all system. The half-breeds, and half a score of rangers, joined in the chase.

10. A way they all went over the green bank. In a moment or two the wild horses reappeared, and came thundering down the valley, with Frenchman, half-breeds, and rangers galloping and bellowing behind them. It was in vain that the line drawn across the valley attempted to check and turn back the fugitives; they were too hotly pressed by their pursuers: in their panic they dashed through the line, and clattered down the plain.

11. The whole troop joined in the headlong chase, some of the rangers without hats or caps, their hair flying about their ears, and others with handkerchiefs tied round their heads. The buffaloes, which had been calmly ruminating among the herbage, heaved up their huge forms, gazed for a moment at the tempest that came scouring down the meadow, then turned and took to heavy, rolling flight. They were soon overtaken; the promiscuous throng were pressed together by the contracting sides of the valley, and away they went, pellmell, hurry-skurry, wild buffalo, wild horse, wild huntsman, with clang and clatter, and whoop and halloo, that made the forests ring.

12. At length the buffaloes turned into a green brake, on the river bank, while the horses dashed up a narrow defile of the hills, with their pursuers close to their heels. Beatte passed several of them, having fixed his eye upon a fine Pawnee horse that had his ears slit and saddle marks upon his back. He pressed him gallantly, but lost him in the woods.

13. Among the wild horses was a fine black mare, which in scrambling up the defile tripped and fell. A young ranger sprang from his horse and seized her by the mane and muzzle. Another ranger dismounted and came to his assistance. The mare struggled fiercely, kicking and biting, and striking with her fore feet, but a noose was slipped over her head, and her struggles were in vain.

14. It was some time, however, before she gave over rearing and plunging, and lashing out with her feet on every side. The two rangers then led her along the valley, by two strong lariats, which enabled them to keep at a sufficient distance on each side to be out of the reach of her hoofs, and whenever she struck out in one direction she was jerked in the other. In this way her spirit was gradually subdued.

15. As to Tonish, who had marred the whole scene by his precipitancy, he had been more successful than he deserved, having managed to catch a beautiful cream-colored colt about seven months old, that had not strength to keep up with its companions. The mercurial little Frenchman was beside himself with exultation. It was amusing to see him with his prize. The colt would rear and kick, and struggle to get free, when Tonish would take him about the neck, wrestle with him, jump on his back, and cut as many antics as a monkey with a kitten.

16. Nothing surprised me more, however, than to witness how soon these poor animals, thus taken from the unbounded freedom of the prairie, yielded to the dominion of man. In the course of two or three days the mare and colt went with the led horses and became quite docile. —Washington Irving.

DEFINITIONS.—1. Gul'lies, hollows in the earth worn by water. Di-ver'si-fied, distinguished by numerous aspects, varied. 3. Ru' mi-nat-ing, chewing over what has been slightly chewed before. Herb' age (pro. erb' aj), pasture, grass. 4. Prai'rie, an extensive, level tract without trees, but covered with tall grass. Wind'ward, the point from which the wind blows. 5. Lar'i-at, a long cord or thong of leather, with a noose, for catching wild horses. Bot'tom, power of endurance. 8. Flank'ing, overlooking or commanding on the side. 9. Jack-o'-lan'tern, a light seen in low, moist grounds, which disappears when approached. 9. Cov'ert, a covering place, a shelter. 10. Pan'ic, sudden fright (usually, causeless fright). 11. Pro-mis'cu-ous, mingled, confused. 15. Marred, interrupted, spoiled. Mer-cu'ri-al, sprightly, full of fire.


Adelaide Anne Procter (b. 1825, d. 1864) was the daughter of Bryan Waller Procter (better known as "Barry Cornwall "), a celebrated English poet, living in London. Miss Procter's first volume, "Legends and Lyrics," appeared in 1858, and met with great success; it was republished in this country. A second series, under the same name, was published in 1860; and in 1862 both series were republished with additional poems, and an introduction by Charles Dickens. In 1861 Miss Procter edited "Victoria Regia," a collection of poetical pieces, to which she contributed; and in 1862 "A Chaplet of Verses," composed of her own poems, was published. Besides these volumes, she contributed largely to various magazines and periodicals.

1. Sow with a generous hand; Pause not for toil and pain; Weary not through the heat of summer, Weary not through the cold spring rain; But wait till the autumn comes For the sheaves of golden grain.

2. Scatter the seed, and fear not, A table will be spread; What matter if you are too weary To eat your hard-earned bread; Sow, while the earth is broken, For the hungry must be fed.

3. Sow;—while the seeds are lying In the warm earth's bosom deep, And your warm tears fall upon it— They will stir in their quiet sleep, And the green blades rise the quicker, Perchance, for the tears you weep.

4. Then sow;—for the hours are fleeting, And the seed must fall to-day; And care not what hand shall reap it, Or if you shall have passed away Before the waving cornfields Shall gladden the sunny day.

5. Sow;—and look onward, upward, Where the starry light appears,— Where, in spite of the coward's doubting, Or your own heart's trembling fears, You shall reap in joy the harvest You have sown to-day in tears.


1. For the last few days, the fine weather has led me away from books and papers, and the close air of dwellings, into the open fields, and under the soft, warm sunshine, and the softer light of a full moon. The loveliest season of the whole year—that transient but delightful interval between the storms of the "wild equinox, with all their wet," and the dark, short, dismal days which precede the rigor of winter—is now with us. The sun rises through a soft and hazy atmosphere; the light mist clouds melt gradually before him; and his noontide light rests warm and clear on still woods, tranquil waters, and grasses green with the late autumnal rains.

2. One fine morning, not long ago, I strolled down the Merrimac, on the Tewksbury shore. I know of no walk in the vicinity of Lowell so inviting as that along the margin of the river, for nearly a mile from the village of Belvidere. The path winds, green and flower-skirted, among beeches and oaks, through whose boughs you catch glimpses of waters sparkling and dashing below. Rocks, huge and picturesque, jut out into the stream, affording beautiful views of the river and the distant city.

3. Half fatigued with my walk, I threw myself down upon a rocky slope of the bank, where the panorama of earth, sky, and water lay clear and distinct about me. Far above, silent and dim as a picture, was the city, with its huge mill masonry, confused chimney tops, and church spires; near it rose the height of Belvidere, with its deserted burial place and neglected gravestones sharply defined on its bleak, bare summit against the sky; before me the river went dashing down its rugged channel, sending up its everlasting murmur; above me the birch tree hung its tassels; and the last wild flowers of autumn profusely fringed the rocky rim of the water.

4. Right opposite, the Dracut woods stretched upwards from the shore, beautiful with the hues of frost, glowing with tints richer and deeper than those which Claude or Poussin mingled, as if the rainbows of a summer shower had fallen among them. At a little distance to the right, a group of cattle stood mid-leg deep in the river; and a troop of children, bright-eyed and mirthful, were casting pebbles at them from a projecting shelf of rock. Over all a warm but softened sunshine melted down from a slumberous autumnal sky.

5. My reverie was disagreeably broken. A low, grunting sound, half bestial, half human, attracted my attention. I was not alone. Close beside me, half hidden by a tuft of bushes, lay a human being, stretched out at full length, with his face literally rooted into the gravel. A little boy, five or six years of age, clean and healthful, with his fair brown locks and blue eyes, stood on the bank above, gazing down upon him with an expression of childhood's simple and unaffected pity.

6. "What ails you?" asked the boy at length. "What makes you lie there?"

The prostrate groveler struggled halfway up, exhibiting the bloated and filthy countenance of a drunkard. He made two or three efforts to get upon his feet, lost his balance, and tumbled forward upon his face.

"What are you doing there?" inquired the boy.

"I'm taking comfort," he muttered, with his mouth in the dirt.

7. Taking his comfort! There he lay,—squalid and loathsome under the bright heaven,—an imbruted man. The holy harmonies of Nature, the sounds of gushing waters, the rustle of the leaves above him, the wild flowers, the frost bloom of the woods,—what were they to him? Insensible, deaf, and blind, in the stupor of a living death, he lay there, literally realizing that most bitterly significant eastern malediction, "May you eat dirt." —Whittier.

DEFINITIONS.—l. Tran'sient (pro. tran'shent), of short duration. E'qui-nox, the time of year when the days and nights are of equal length, i.e., about September 23d or March 21st. Rigor, severity. 2. Pic-tur-esque' (pro. pik-tur-esk'), fitted to form a pleasing picture. 3. Pan-o-ra'ma, a complete or entire view in every direction. 5. Rev'er-ie, an irregular train of thoughts occurring in meditation. Bes'tial (pro. bes'chal), brutish. Lit'er-al-ly, according to the first and natural meaning of words. 6. Pros'trate, lying at length. Grov'el-er, a base wretch. Bloat'ed, puffed out. 7. Im-brut'ed, reduced to brutality. Har'mo-ny, the fitness of parts to each other in any combination of things. Re'al-iz-ing, making one's own in experience. Mal-e-dic'tion, a curse.

NOTES.—The localities named in this selection are in the vicinity of Haverhill, Mass., where the old Whittier homestead is situated.

4. Claude Lorrain (b. 1600, d. 1682), whose proper name was Claude Gelee, was a celebrated landscape painter, born in Champagne, Vosges, France.

Nicolas Poussin (b. 1594, d. 1665) was a French painter, who became one of the most remarkable artists of his age. His fame chiefly arises from his historical and mythological paintings.


1. "CORPORAL GREEN!" the orderly cried; "Here!" was the answer, loud and clear, From the lips of a soldier standing near; And "here!" was the word the next replied. "Cyrus Drew!" and a silence fell; This time no answer followed the call; Only his rear man saw him fall, Killed or wounded he could not tell.

2. There they stood in the fading light, These men of battle, with grave, dark looks, As plain to be read as open books, While slowly gathered the shades of night. The fern on the slope was splashed with blood, And down in the corn, where the poppies grew, Were redder stains than the poppies knew; And crimson-dyed was the river's flood.

3. For the foe had crossed from the other side That day, in the face of a murderous fire That swept them down in its terrible ire; And their lifeblood went to color the tide. "Herbert Cline!" At the call there came Two stalwart soldiers into the line, Bearing between them Herbert Cline, Wounded and bleeding, to answer his name.

4. "Ezra Kerr!" and a voice said "here!" "Hiram Kerr!" but no man replied: They were brothers, these two; the sad wind sighed, And a shudder crept through the cornfield near. "Ephraim Deane!"—then a soldier spoke: "Deane carried our regiment's colors," he said, "When our ensign was shot; I left him dead, Just after the enemy wavered and broke.

5. "Close to the roadside his body lies; I paused a moment and gave him to drink; He murmured his mother's name, I think; And death came with it and closed his eyes." 'T was a victory—yes; but it cost us dear; For that company's roll, when called at night, Of a hundred men who went into the fight, Numbered but twenty that answered "here!" —Shepherd.


Charles Frederick Briggs (b. 1804, d. 1877) was born on the island of Nantucket. When quite young, however, he became a resident of New York City. In 1845, in conjunction with Edgar A. Poe, he began the publication of the "Broadway Journal;" he was also connected with the "New York Times," and the "Evening Mirror;" also as editor from 1853 to 1856 with "Putnam's Magazine." Mr. Briggs wrote a few novels, some poetry, and numerous little humorous tales and sketches. The following selection is from "Working a Passage; or, Life on a Liner," one of his best stories.

1. Among the luxuries which the captain had provided for himself and passengers was a fine green turtle, which was not likely to suffer from exposure to salt water, so it was reserved until all the pigs, and sheep, and poultry had been eaten. A few days before we arrived, it was determined to kill the turtle and have a feast the next day.

2. Our cabin gentlemen had been long enough deprived of fresh meats to make them cast lickerish glances towards their hard-skinned friend, and there was a great smacking of lips the day before he was killed. As I walked aft occasionally, I heard them congratulating themselves on their prospective turtle soup and forcemeat balls; and one of them, to heighten the luxury of the feast, ate nothing but a dry biscuit for the twenty-four hours preceding, that he might be prepared to devour his full share of the unctuous compound.

3. It was to be a gala day with them; and though it was not champagne day, that falling on Saturday and this on Friday, they agreed to have champagne a day in advance, that nothing should be wanting to give a finish to their turtle. It happened to be a rougher day than usual when the turtle was cooked, but they had become too well used to the motion of the ship to mind that.

4. It happened to be my turn at the wheel the hour before dinner, and I had the tantalizing misery of hearing them laughing and talking about their turtle, while I was hungry from want of dry bread and salt meat. I had resolutely kept my thoughts from the cabin during all the passage but once, and now I found my ideas clustering round a tureen of turtle in spite of all my philosophy.

5. Confound them, if they had gone out of my hearing with their exulting smacks, I should not have envied their soup, but their hungry glee so excited my imagination that I could see nothing through the glazing of the binnacle but a white plate with a slice of lemon on the rim, a loaf of delicate bread, a silver spoon, a napkin, two or three wine glasses of different hues and shapes, and a water goblet clustering round it, and a stream of black, thick, and fragrant turtle pouring into the plate.

6. By and by it was four bells: they dined at three. And all the gentlemen, with the captain at their head, darted below into the cabin, where their mirth increased when they caught sight of the soup plates. "Hurry with the soup, steward," roared the captain. "Coming, sir," replied the steward. In a few moments the cook opened the door of his galley, and out came the delicious steam of the turtle.

7. Then came the steward with a large covered tureen in his hand, towards the cabin gangway. I forgot the ship for a moment in looking at this precious cargo, the wheel slipped from my hands, the ship broached to with a sudden jerk; the steward had got only one foot upon the stairs, when this unexpected motion threw him off his balance, and down he went by the run, the tureen slipped from his hands, and part of its contents flew into the lee scuppers, and the balance followed him in his fall.

8. I laughed outright. I enjoyed the turtle a thousand times more than I should have done if I had eaten the whole of it. But I was forced to restrain my mirth, for the next moment the steward ran upon deck, followed by the captain, in a furious rage, threatening if he caught him to throw him overboard. Not a spoonful of the soup had been left in the coppers, for the steward had taken it all away at once to keep it warm. In about an hour afterwards the passengers came upon deck, looking more sober than I had seen them since we left Liverpool. They had dined upon cold ham.

DEFINTIONS.—1. Re-served', kept back, retained. 2. Lick'er. ish, eager or greedy to swallow. Aft, toward the stern of a vessel. Pro-spec'tive, relating to the future. Force'meat, meat chopped fine and highly seasoned. Unc'tu-ous, fat. 5. Glaz'ing, glass or glass-like substance. Bin'na-cle, a box containing the compass of a ship. 6. Gal'ley, the kitchen of a ship. 7. Tu-reen', a large deep vessel for holding soup. Gang'way, a passageway. Lee, pertaining to the side opposite that against which the wind blows. Scup'pers, channels cut through the side of a ship for carrying off water from the deck. Cop'pers, large copper boilers.

NOTE.—6. Four bells; i.e., two o'clock.


1. Some years ago a warehouseman in Manchester, England, published a scurrilous pamphlet, in which he endeavored to hold up the house of Grant Brothers to ridicule. William Grant remarked upon the occurrence that the man would live to repent of what he had done; and this was conveyed by some talebearer to the libeler, who said, "Oh, I suppose he thinks I shall some time or other be in his debt; but I will take good care of that." It happens, however, that a man in business can not always choose who shall be his creditors. The pamphleteer became a bankrupt, and the brothers held an acceptance of his which had been indorsed to them by the drawer, who had also become a bankrupt.

2. The wantonly libeled men had thus become creditors of the libeler! They now had it in their power to make him repent of his audacity. He could not obtain his certificate without their signature, and without it he could not enter into business again. He had obtained the number of signatures required by the bankrupt law except one. It seemed folly to hope that the firm of "the brothers" would supply the deficiency. What! they who had cruelly been made the laughingstock of the public, forget the wrong and favor the wrongdoer? He despaired. But the claims of a wife and children forced him at last to make the application. Humbled by misery, he presented himself at the countinghouse of the wronged.

3. Mr. William Grant was there alone, and his first words to the delinquent were, "Shut the door, sir!" sternly uttered. The door was shut, and the libeler stood trembling before the libeled. He told his tale and produced his certificate, which was instantly clutched by the injured merchant. "You wrote a pamphlet against us once!" exclaimed Mr. Grant. The suppliant expected to see his parchment thrown into the fire. But this was not its destination. Mr. Grant took a pen, and writing something upon the document, handed it back to the bankrupt. He, poor wretch, expected to see "rogue, scoundrel, libeler," inscribed; but there was, in fair round characters, the signature of the firm.

4. "We make it a rule," said Mr. Grant, "never to refuse signing the certificate of an honest tradesman, and we have never heard that you were anything else." The tears started into the poor man's eyes. "Ah," said Mr. Grant, "my saying was true! I said you would live to repent writing that pamphlet. I did not mean it as a threat. I only meant that some day you would know us better, and be sorry you had tried to injure us. I see you repent of it now." "I do, I do!" said the grateful man; "I bitterly repent it." "Well, well, my dear fellow, you know us now. How do you get on? What are you going to do?" The poor man stated he had friends who could assist him when his certificate was obtained. "But how are you off in the meantime?"

5. And the answer was, that, having given up every farthing to his creditors, he had been compelled to stint his family of even common necessaries, that he might be enabled to pay the cost of his certificate. "My dear fellow, this will not do; your family must not suffer. Be kind enough to take this ten-pound note to your wife from me. There, there, my dear fellow! Nay, do not cry; it will all be well with you yet. Keep up your spirits, set to work like a man, and you will raise your head among us yet." The overpowered man endeavored in vain to express his thanks; the swelling in his throat forbade words. He put his handkerchief to his face and went out of the door, crying like a child.

DEFINITIONS.—1. Ware'house-man (English usage), one who keeps a wholesale store for woolen goods. Scur'ril-ous, low, mean. Li'bel-er, one who defames another maliciously by a writing, etc 2. Au-dac'i-ty, bold impudence. Sig'na-ture, the name of a person written with his own hand, the name of a firm signed officially. De—fi'cien-cy, want. 3. De-lin'quent, an offender. Parch'ment, sheep or goat skin prepared for writing upon. 5. Stint, to limit.

NOTE.—l. Acceptance. When a person upon whom a draft has been made, writes his name across the face of it, the draft then becomes "an acceptance." The person who makes the draft is called "the drawer;" the person to whom the money is ordered paid writes his name on the back of the draft and is called "an indorser." Paper of this kind frequently passes from hand to hand, so that there are several indorsers.


Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (b. 1808, d. 1877) was the grand-daughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. She wrote verses and plays at a very early age. "The Sorrows of Rosalie," published in 1829, was written before she was seventeen years old. In 1827 she was married to the Hon. George Chapple Norton. The marriage was an unhappy one, and they were divorced in 1836. Her principal works are "The Undying One," "The Dream, and Other Poems," "The Child of the Islands," "Stuart of Dunleith, a Romance," and "English Laws for English Women of the 19th Century." She contributed extensively to the magazines and other periodicals.

1. A soldier of the Legion lay dying in Algiers, There was lack of woman's nursing, there was dearth of woman's tears; But a comrade stood beside him, while his lifeblood ebbed away, And bent, with pitying glances, to hear what he might say. The dying soldier faltered, as he took that comrade's hand, And he said: "I nevermore shall see my own, my native land; Take a message and a token to some distant friends of mine, For I was born at Bingen,—at Bingen on the Rhine.

2. "Tell my brothers and companions, when they meet and crowd around To hear my mournful story in the pleasant vineyard ground, That we fought the battle bravely, and when the day was done, Full many a corse lay ghastly pale beneath the setting sun; And, 'mid the dead and dying, were some grown old in wars,— The death wound on their gallant breasts, the last of many scars; But some were young, and suddenly beheld life's morn decline,— And one had come from Bingen,—fair Bingen on the Rhine.

3. "Tell my mother that her other sons shall comfort her old age, For I was aye a truant bird, that thought his home a cage. For my father was a soldier, and, even when a child, My heart leaped forth to hear him tell of struggles fierce and wild; And when he died, and left us to divide his scanty hoard, I let them take whate'er they would, but kept my father's sword; And with boyish love I hung it where the bright light used to shine, On the cottage wall at Bingen,—calm Bingen on the Rhine.

4. "Tell my sister not to weep for me, and sob with drooping head, When the troops come marching home again, with glad and gallant tread, But to look upon them proudly, with a calm and steadfast eye, For her brother was a soldier, too, and not afraid to die; And if a comrade seek her love, I ask her in my name To listen to him kindly, without regret or shame, And to hang the old sword in its place (my father's sword and mine), For the honor of old Bingen,—dear Bingen on the Rhine.

5. "There's another,—not a sister; in the happy days gone by, You'd have known her by the merriment that sparkled in her eye; Too innocent for coquetry,—too fond for idle scorning,— O friend! I fear the lightest heart makes sometimes heaviest mourning! Tell her the last night of my life—(for, ere the moon be risen, My body will be out of pain, my soul be out of prison), I dreamed I stood with her, and saw the yellow sunlight shine On the vine-clad hills of Bingen,—fair Bingen on the Rhine.

6. "I saw the blue Rhine sweep along: I heard, or seemed to hear, The German songs we used to sing, in chorus sweet and clear; And down the pleasant river, and up the slanting hill, The echoing chorus sounded, through the evening calm and still; And her glad blue eyes were on me, as we passed, with friendly talk, Down many a path beloved of yore, and well-remembered walk; And her little hand lay lightly, confidingly in mine,— But we'll meet no more at Bingen,—loved Bingen all the Rhine."

7. His trembling voice grew faint and hoarse; his grasp was childish weak, His eyes put on a dying look,—he sighed and ceased to speak. His comrade bent to lift him, but the spark of life had fled,— The soldier of the Legion in a foreign land was dead! And the soft moon rose up slowly, and calmly she looked down On the red sand of the battlefield, with bloody corses strewn; Yes, calmly on that dreadful scene, her pale light seemed to shine, As it shone on distant Bingen,—fair Bingen on the Rhine.

DEFINITIONS.—1. Le'gion (pro. le'jun), division of an army. Dearth (pro. derth), scarcity. Ebbed, flowed out. 2. Corse, a dead body. 4. Stead'fast, firm, resolute. 5. Co-quet'ry, trifling in love. 6. Cho'rus, music in which all join. Yore, old times.

NOTE.—l. Bingen is pronounced Bing'en, not Bin'gen, nor Bin'jen.


Charles Sprague (b. 1791, d. 1875) was born in Boston, Mass. He engaged in mercantile business when quite young, leaving school for that purpose. In 1825, he was elected cashier of the Globe Bank of Boston, which position he held until 1864. Mr. Sprague has not been a prolific writer; but his poems, though few in number, are deservedly classed among the best productions of American poets. His chief poem is entitled "Curiosity."

1. Gay, guiltless pair, What seek ye from the fields of heaven? Ye have no need of prayer, Ye have no sins to be forgiven.


2. Why perch ye here, Where mortals to their Maker bend? Can your pure spirits fear The God ye never could offend?

3. Ye never knew The crimes for which we come to weep; Penance is not for you, Blessed wanderers of the upper deep.

4. To you 't is given To wake sweet Nature's untaught lays; Beneath the arch of heaven To chirp away a life of praise.

5. Then spread each wing, Far, far above, o'er lakes and lands, And join the choirs that sing In yon blue dome not reared with hands.

6. Or, if ye stay To note the consecrated hour, Teach me the airy way, And let me try your envied power.

7. Above the crowd, On upward wings could I but fly, I'd bathe in yon bright cloud, And seek the stars that gem the sky.

8. 'T were Heaven indeed, Through fields of trackless light to soar, On Nature's charms to feed, And Nature's own great God adore.

DEFINITIONS.—2. Perch, to light or settle on anything. 3. Pen'-ance, suffering for sin. 4. Lays, songs. 5. Choir (pro. kwir), a collection of singers. Dome, an arched structure above a roof; hence, figuratively, the heavens. 6. Con'se-crat-ed, set apart for the service of God. 8. Track'less, having no path.

NOTE.—This little poem was addressed to two swallows that flew into church during service.


Maria Edgeworth (b. 1767, d. 1849) was born near Reading. Berkshire, England. In 1782 her father removed with his family to Edgeworthtown, Ireland, to reside on his estate. She lived here during the remainder of her life, with the exception of occasional short visits to England, Scotland, and France. She was educated principally by her father, and they were colaborers in literary productions, among which were "Essays on Practical Education," and the "Parent's Assistant." Her novels and tales were written without assistance, and her fame as a writer rests on them. The best known of these are "Castle Rackrent," "Moral Tales," "Tales of Fashionable Life," "Frank," "The Modern Griselda," and "Helen." Miss Edgeworth excels in the truthful delineation of character, and her works are full of practical good sense and genuine humor.

Mrs. Bollingbroke. I wish I knew what was the matter with me this morning. Why do you keep the newspaper all to yourself, my dear?

Mr. Bolingbroke. Here it is for you, my dear; I have finished it. Mrs. B. I humbly thank you for giving it to me when you have done with it. I hate stale news. Is there anything in the paper? for I can not be at the trouble of hunting it.

Mr. B. Yes, my dear; there are the marriages of two of our friends.

Mrs.B. Who? Who?

Mr. B. Your friend, the widow Nettleby, to her cousin John Nettleby.

Mrs. B. Mrs. Nettleby? Dear! But why did you tell me?

Mr. B. Because you asked me, my dear.

Mrs. B. Oh, but it is a hundred times pleasanter to read the paragraph one's self. One loses all the pleasure of the surprise by being told. Well, whose was the other marriage?

Mr. B. Oh, my dear, I will not tell you; I will leave you the pleasure of the surprise.

Mrs. B. But you see I can not find it. How provoking you are, my dear! Do pray tell me.

Mr. B. Our friend Mr. Granby.

Mrs. B. Mr. Granby? Dear! Why did you not make me guess? I should have guessed him directly. But why do you call him our friend? I am sure he is no friend of mine, nor ever was. I took an aversion to him, as you remember, the very first day I saw him. I am sure he is no friend of mine.

Mr. B. I am sorry for it, my dear; but I hope you will go and see Mrs. Granby.

Mrs. B. Not I, indeed, my dear. Who was she?

Mr. B. Miss Cooke.

Mrs. B. Cooke? But, there are so many Cookes. Can't you distinguish her any way? Has she no Christian name?

Mr. B. Emma, I think. Yes, Emma.

Mrs. B. Emma Cooke? No; it can not be my friend Emma Cooke; for I am sure she was cut out for an old maid.

Mr. B. This lady seems to me to be cut out for a good wife.

Mrs. B. Maybe so. I am sure I'll never go to see her. Pray, my dear, how came you to see so much of her?

Mr. B. I have seen very little of her, my dear. I only saw her two or three times before she was married.

Mrs. B. Then, my dear, how could you decide that she was cut out for a good wife? I am sure you could not judge of her by seeing her only two or three times, and before she was married.

Mr. B. Indeed, my love, that is a very just observation.

Mrs. B. I understand that compliment perfectly, and thank you for it, my dear. I must own I can bear anything better than irony.

Mr. B. Irony? my dear, I was perfectly in earnest.

Mrs. B. Yes, yes; in earnest; so I perceive; I may naturally be dull of apprehension, but my feelings are quick enough; I comprehend too well. Yes, it is impossible to judge of a woman before marriage, or to guess what sort of a wife she will make. I presume you speak from experience; you have been disappointed yourself, and repent your choice.

Mr. B. My dear, what did I say that was like this? Upon my word, I meant no such thing. I really was not thinking of you in the least.

Mrs. B. No, you never think of me now. I can easily believe that you were not thinking of me in the least.

Mr. B. But I said that only to prove to you that I could not be thinking ill of you, my dear.

Mrs. B. But I would rather that you thought ill of me than that you should not think of me at all.

Mr. B. Well, my dear, I will even think ill of you if that will please you.

Mrs. B. Do you laugh at me? When it comes to this I am wretched indeed. Never man laughed at the woman he loved. As long as you had the slightest remains of love for me you could not make me an object of derision; ridicule and love are incompatible, absolutely incompatible. Well, I have done my best, my very best, to make you happy, but in vain. I see I am not cut out to be a good wife. Happy, happy Mrs. Granby!

Mr. B. Happy, I hope sincerely, that she will be with my friend; but my happiness must depend on you, my love; so, for my sake, if not for your own, be composed, and do not torment yourself with such fancies.

Mrs. B. I do wonder whether this Mrs. Granby is really that Miss Emma Cooke. I'll go and see her directly; see her I must.

Mr. B. I am heartily glad of it, my dear; for I am sure a visit to his wife will give my friend Granby real pleasure.

Mrs. B. I promise you, my dear, I do not go to give him pleasure, or you either, but to satisfy my own curiosity.

DEFINITIONS.—I'ron-y, language intended to convey a meaning contrary to its literal signification. De-ri'sion, the act of laughing at in contempt. In-com-pat'i-ble, that can not exist together.


1. The day is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary; The vine still clings to the moldering wall, But at every gust the dead leaves fall. And the day is dark and dreary.

2. My life is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary; My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past, But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast, And the days are dark and dreary.

3. Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary. —Longfellow.


Alfred Tennyson (b. 1809, d. 1892) was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England. He graduated at Trinity College, Cambridge. His first volume of poems was published in 1830, but it made little impression and was severely criticised. On the publication of his third series in 1842, his poetic genius began to receive general recognition. Mr. Tennyson was made poet laureate in 1850, and was regarded as the foremost living poet of England. For several years his residence was on the Isle of Wight. In 1884, he was raised to the peerage.

1. Break, break, break, On thy cold gray stones, O sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me.

2. Oh, well for the fisherman's boy, That he shouts with his sister at play! Oh, well for the sailor lad, That he sings in his boat on the bay!

3. And the stately ships go on To their haven under the hill; But oh for the touch of a vanished hand, And the sound of a voice that is still!

4. Break, break, break, At the foot of thy crags, O sea! But the tender grace of a day that is dead Will never come back to me.


Henry David Thoreau (b. 1817, d. 1862). This eccentric American author and naturalist was born at Concord, Mass. He graduated at Harvard University in 1837. He was a good English and classical scholar, and was well acquainted with the literature of the East. His father was a maker of lead pencils, and he followed the business for a time, but afterwards supported himself mainly by teaching, lecturing, land surveying, and carpentering. In 1845 he built himself a small wooden house near Concord, on the shore of Walden Pond, where he lived about two years. He was intimate with Hawthorne, Emerson, and other literary celebrities. His principal works are "Walden, or Life in the Woods," "A Week on Concord and Merrimac Rivers," "Excursions," "Maine Woods," "Cape Cod," "A Yankee in Canada," and "Letters to Various Persons." In descriptive power Mr. Thoreau has few, if any, superiors.

1. In all the pines a very thin membrane, in appearance much like an insect's wing, grows over and around the seed, and independent of it, while the latter is being developed within its base. In other words, a beautiful thin sack is woven around the seed, with a handle to it such as the wind can take hold of, and it is then committed to the wind, expressly that it may transport the seed and extend the range of the species; and this it does as effectually as when seeds are sent by mail, in a different kind of sack, from the patent office.

2. There is, then, no necessity for supposing that the pines have sprung up from nothing, and I am aware that I am not at all peculiar in asserting that they come from seeds, though the mode of their propagation by Nature has been but little attended to. They are very extensively raised from the seed in Europe, and are beginning to be here.

3. When you cut down an oak wood, a pine wood will not at once spring up there unless there are, or have been quite recently, seed-bearing pines near enough for the seeds to be blown from them. But, adjacent to a forest of pines, if you prevent other crops from growing there, you will surely have an extension of your pine forest, provided the soil is suitable.

4. As I walk amid hickories, even in August, I hear the sound of green pignuts falling from time to time, cut off by the chickaree over my head. In the fall I notice on the ground, either within or in the neighborhood of oak woods, on all sides of the town, stout oak twigs three or four inches long, bearing half a dozen empty acorn cups, which twigs have been gnawed off by squirrels, on both sides of the nuts, in order to make them more portable. The jays scream and the red squirrels scold while you are clubbing and shaking the chestnut trees, for they are there on the same errand, and two of a trade never agree.

5. I frequently see a red or a gray squirrel cast down a green chestnut burr, as I am going through the woods, and I used to think, sometimes, that they were cast at me. In fact, they are so busy about it, in the midst of the chestnut season, that you can not stand long in the woods without hearing one fall.

6. A sportsman told me that he had, the day before—that was in the middle of October—seen a green chestnut burr dropped on our great river meadow, fifty rods from the nearest wood, and much farther from the nearest chestnut tree, and he could not tell how it came there. Occasionally, when chestnutting in midwinter, I find thirty or forty nuts in a pile, left in its gallery just under the leaves, by the common wood mouse.

7. But especially, in the winter, the extent to which this transportation and planting of nuts is carried on, is made apparent by the snow. In almost every wood you will see where the red or gray squirrels have pawed down through the snow in a hundred places, sometimes two feet deep, and almost always directly to a nut or a pine cone, as directly as if they had started from it and bored upward,—which you and I could not have done. It would be difficult for us to find one before the snow falls. Commonly, no doubt, they had deposited them there in the fall. You wonder if they remember the localities or discover them by the scent.

8. The red squirrel commonly has its winter abode in the earth under a thicket of evergreens, frequently under a small clump of evergreens in the midst of a deciduous wood. If there are any nut trees, which still retain their nuts, standing at a distance without the wood, their paths often lead directly to and from them. We, therefore, need not suppose an oak standing here and there in the wood in order to seed it, but if a few stand within twenty or thirty rods of it, it is sufficient.

9. I think that I may venture to say that every white-pine cone that falls to the earth naturally in this town, before opening and losing its seeds, and almost every pitch-pine one that falls at all, is cut off by a squirrel; and they begin to pluck them long before they are ripe, so that when the crop of white-pine cones is a small one, as it commonly is, they cut off thus almost everyone of these before it fairly ripens.

10. I think, moreover, that their design, if I may so speak, in cutting them off green, is partly to prevent their opening and losing their seeds, for these are the ones for which they dig through the snow, and the only white-pine cones which contain anything then. I have counted in one heap the cores of two hundred and thirty-nine pitch-pine cones which had been cut off and stripped by the red squirrel the previous winter.

11. The nuts thus left on the surface, or buried just beneath it, are placed in the most favorable circumstances for germinating. I have sometimes wondered how those which merely fell on the surface of the earth got planted; but, by the end of December, I find the chestnut of the same year partially mixed with the mold, as it were, under the decaying and moldy leaves, where there is all the moisture and manure they want, for the nuts fall fast. In a plentiful year a large proportion of the nuts are thus covered loosely an inch deep, and are, of course, somewhat concealed from squirrels.

12. One winter, when the crop had been abundant, I got, with the aid of a rake, many quarts of these nuts as late as the tenth of January; and though some bought at the store the same day were more than half of them moldy, I did not find a single moldy one among those which I picked from under the wet and moldy leaves, where they had been snowed on once or twice. Nature knew how to pack them best. They were still plump and tender. Apparently they do not heat there, though wet. In the spring they are all sprouting.

13. Occasionally, when threading the woods in the fall, you will hear a sound as if some one had broken a twig, and, looking up, see a jay pecking at an acorn, or you will see a flock of them at once about it, in the top of an oak, and hear them break it off. They then fly to a suitable limb, and placing the acorn under one foot, hammer away at it busily, making a sound like a woodpecker's tapping, looking round from time to time to see if any foe is approaching, and soon reach the meat, and nibble at it, holding up their heads to swallow while they hold the remainder very firmly with their claws. Nevertheless, it often drops to the ground before the bird has done with it.

14. I can confirm what William Barton wrote to Wilson, the ornithologist, that "The jay is one of the most useful agents in the economy of nature for disseminating forest trees and other nuciferous and hard-seeded vegetables on which they feed. In performing this necessary duty they drop abundance of seed in their flight over fields, hedges, and by fences, where they alight to deposit them in the post holes, etc. It is remarkable what numbers of young trees rise up in fields and pastures after a wet winter and spring. These birds alone are capable in a few years' time to replant all the cleared lands."

15. I have noticed that squirrels also frequently drop nuts in open land, which will still further account for the oaks and walnuts which spring up in pastures; for, depend on it, every new tree comes from a seed. When I examine the little oaks, one or two years old, in such places, I invariably find the empty acorn from which they sprung.

DEFINITIONS.—1. Mem'brane, a thin, soft tissue of interwoven fibers. 2. Prop-a-ga'tion, the continuance of a kind by successive production. 4. Port'a-ble, capable of being carried. 7. Trans-por-ta'tion, the act of conveying from one place to another. 8. De—cid'u-ous, said of trees whose leaves fall in autumn. 11. Ger'mi-nat-ing, sprouting, beginning to grow. 14. Or-ni-thol'o-gist, one skilled in the science which treats of birds. E-con'o-my, orderly system, Dis-sem'i-nat-ing, scattering for growth and propagation. Nu-cif 'er-ous, bearing nuts.


Celia Thaxter (b. 1836, d. 1894), whose maiden name was Laighton, was born in Portsmouth, N.H. Much of her early life was passed on White Island, one of a group of small islands, called the Isles of Shoals, about ten miles from the shore, where she lived in the lighthouse cottage. In 1867-68, she published, in the "Atlantic Monthly," a number of papers on these islands, which were afterwards bound in a separate volume. Mrs. Thaxter was a contributor to several periodicals, and in strength and beauty of style has few equals among American writers. The following selection is from a volume of her poems entitled "Drift Weed."

1. I stood on the height in the stillness And the planet's outline scanned, And half was drawn with the line of sea And half with the far blue land.

2. With wings that caught the sunshine In the crystal deeps of the sky, Like shapes of dreams, the gleaming gulls Went slowly floating by.

3. Below me the boats in the harbor Lay still, with their white sails furled; Sighing away into silence, The breeze died off the world.

4. On the weather-worn, ancient ledges Peaceful the calm light slept; And the chilly shadows, lengthening, Slow to the eastward crept.

5. The snow still lay in the hollows, And where the salt waves met The iron rock, all ghastly white The thick ice glimmered yet.

6. But the smile of the sun was kinder, The touch of the air was sweet; The pulse of the cruel ocean seemed Like a human heart to beat.

7. Frost-locked, storm-beaten, and lonely, In the midst of the wintry main, Our bleak rock yet the tidings heard: "There shall be spring again!"

8. Worth all the waiting and watching, The woe that the winter wrought, Was the passion of gratitude that shook My soul at the blissful thought!

9. Soft rain and flowers and sunshine, Sweet winds and brooding skies, Quick-flitting birds to fill the air With clear delicious cries;

10. And the warm sea's mellow murmur Resounding day and night; A thousand shapes and tints and tones Of manifold delight,

11. Nearer and ever nearer Drawing with every day! But a little longer to wait and watch 'Neath skies so cold and gray;

12. And hushed is the roar of the bitter north Before the might of the spring, And up the frozen slope of the world Climbs summer, triumphing.


William Ellery Channing (b. 1780, d. 1842), an eminent divine and orator, was born at Newport, R.I. He graduated from Harvard with the highest honors in 1798, and, in 1803, he was made pastor of the Federal Street Church, Boston, with which he maintained his connection until his death. Towards the close of his life, being much enfeebled, he withdrew almost entirely from his pastoral duties, and devoted himself to literature. Dr. Channing's writings are published in six volumes, and are mainly devoted to theology.

1. Religion is a social concern; for it operates powerfully on society, contributing in various ways to its stability and prosperity. Religion is not merely a private affair; the community is deeply interested in its diffusion; for it is the best support of the virtues and principles, on which the social order rests. Pure and undefiled religion is to do good; and it follows, very plainly, that if God be the Author and Friend of society, then, the recognition of him must enforce all social duty, and enlightened piety must give its whole strength to public order.

2. Few men suspect, perhaps no man comprehends, the extent of the support given by religion to every virtue. No man, perhaps, is aware how much our moral and social sentiments are fed from this fountain; how powerless conscience would become without the belief of a God; how palsied would be human benevolence, were there not the sense of a higher benevolence to quicken and sustain it; how suddenly the whole social fabric would quake, and with what a fearful crash it would sink into hopeless ruin, were the ideas of a Supreme Being, of accountableness and of a future life to be utterly erased from every mind.

3. And, let men thoroughly believe that they are the work and sport of chance; that no superior intelligence concerns itself with human affairs; that all their improvements perish forever at death; that the weak have no guardian, and the injured no avenger; that there is no recompense for sacrifices to uprightness and the public good; that an oath is unheard in heaven; that secret crimes have no witness but the perpetrator; that human existence has no purpose, and human virtue no unfailing friend; that this brief life is everything to us, and death is total, everlasting extinction; once let them thoroughly abandon religion, and who can conceive or describe the extent of the desolation which would follow?

4. We hope, perhaps, that human laws and natural sympathy would hold society together. As reasonably might we believe that were the sun quenched in the heavens, our torches would illuminate, and our fires quicken and fertilize the creation. What is there in human nature to awaken respect and tenderness, if man is the unprotected insect of a day? And what is he more, if atheism be true?

5. Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite, knowing no restraint, and suffering, having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked and spurned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every feeling; and man would become, in fact, what the theory in atheism declares him to be,—a companion for brutes.

DEFINITIONS.—1. Com-mu'ni-ty, society at large, the public. Dif-fu'sion, extension, spread. En-light'ened, elevated by knowledge and religion. 2. Fab'ric, any system composed of connected parts. Erased', blotted out. 3. Per'pe-tra-tor, one who commits a crime. Ex-tinc'tion, a putting an end to. 4. Fer'ti-lize, to make fruitful. A'the-ism, disbelief in God. Sen-su-al'i-ty, indulgence in animal pleasure.


Elizabeth Akers Allen (b. 1832,—) was born at Strong, Maine, and passed her childhood amidst the picturesque scenery of that neighborhood. She lost her mother when very young, but inherited her grace and delicacy of thought. Shortly after her mother's death, her father removed to Farmington, Maine, a town noted for its literary people. Mrs. Allen's early pieces appeared over the pseudonym of "Florence Percy." Her first verses appeared when she was twelve years old; and her first volume, entitled "Forest Buds from the Woods of Maine," was Published in 1856. For some years she was assistant editor of the "Portland Transcript." The following selection was claimed by five different persons, who attempted to steal the honor of its composition.

1. Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, Make me a child again, just for to-night! Mother, come back from the echoless shore, Take me again to your heart as of yore; Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care, Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair; Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;— Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

2. Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years! I am so weary of toil and of tears; Toil without recompense, tears all in vain; Take them, and give me my childhood again! I have grown weary of dust and decay,— Weary of flinging my soul wealth away; Weary of sowing for others to reap;— Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

3. Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue, Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you! Many a summer the grass has grown green, Blossomed and faded, our faces between: Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain, Long I to-night for your presence again. Come from the silence so long and so deep;— Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

4. Over my heart in the days that are flown, No love like mother love ever has shone; No other worship abides and endures, Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours: None like a mother can charm away pain From the sick soul, and the world-weary brain. Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep;— Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

5. Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold, Fall on your shoulders again, as of old; Let it drop over my forehead to-night, Shading my faint eyes away from the light; For with its sunny-edged shadows once more, Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore; Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;— Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

6. Mother, dear mother, the years have been long Since I last listened your lullaby song; Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem Womanhood's years have been only a dream! Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace, With your light lashes just sweeping my face, Never hereafter to wake or to weep:— Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!


1. The chief difference between man and the other animals consists in this, that the former has reason, whereas the latter have only instinct; but, in order to understand what we mean by the terms reason and instinct, it will be necessary to mention three things in which the difference very distinctly appears.

2. Let us first, to bring the parties as nearly on a level as possible, consider man in a savage state, wholly occupied, like the beasts of the field, in providing for the wants of his animal nature; and here the first distinction that appears between them is the use of implements. When the savage provides himself with a hut or a wigwam for shelter, or that he may store up his provisions, he does no more than is done by the rabbit, the beaver, the bee, and birds of every species.

3. But the man can not make any progress in this work without tools; he must provide himself with an ax even before he can cut down a tree for its timber; whereas these animals form their burrows, their cells, or their nests, with no other tools than those with which nature has provided them. In cultivating the ground, also, man can do nothing without a spade or a plow; nor can he reap what he has sown till he has shaped an implement with which to cut clown his harvest. But the inferior animals provide for themselves and their young without any of these things.

4. Now for the second distinction. Man, in all his operations, makes mistakes; animals make none. Did you ever hear of such a thing as a bird sitting on a twig lamenting over her half-finished nest and puzzling her little head to know how to complete it? Or did you ever see the cells of a beehive in clumsy, irregular shapes, or observe anything like a discussion in the little community, as if there were a difference of opinion among the architects?

5. The lower animals are even better physicians than we are; for when they are ill, they will, many of them, seek out some particular herb, which they do not, use as food, and which possesses a medicinal quality exactly suited to the complaint; whereas, the whole college of physicians will dispute for a century about the virtues of a single drug.

6. Man undertakes nothing in which he is not more or less puzzled; and must try numberless experiments before he can bring his undertakings to anything like perfection; even the simplest operations of domestic life are not well performed without some experience; and the term of man's life is half wasted before he has done with his mistakes and begins to profit by his lessons.

7. The third distinction is that animals make no improvements; while the knowledge, and skill, and the success of man are perpetually on the increase. Animals, in all their operations, follow the first impulse of nature or that instinct which God has implanted in them. In all they do undertake, therefore, their works are more perfect and regular than those of man.

8. But man, having been endowed with the faculty of thinking or reasoning about what he does, is enabled by patience and industry to correct the mistakes into which he at first falls, and to go on constantly improving. A bird's nest is, indeed, a perfect structure; yet the nest of a swallow of the nineteenth century is not at all more commodious or elegant than those that were built amid the rafters of Noah's ark. But if we compare the wigwam of the savage with the temples and palaces of ancient Greece and Rome, we then shall see to what man's mistakes, rectified and improved upon, conduct him.

9. "When the vast sun shall veil his golden light Deep in the gloom of everlasting night; When wild, destructive flames shall wrap the skies, When ruin triumphs, and when nature dies; Man shall alone the wreck of worlds survive; 'Mid falling spheres, immortal man shall live." —Jane Taylor.

DEFINITIONS.—2. Dis-tinc'tion, a point of difference. Im'ple-ments, utensils, tools. Wigwam, an Indian hut. 3. Bur'rows, holes in the earth where animals lodge. 4. Dis-cus'sion, the act of arguing a point, debate. 5. Me-dic'i-nal, healing. 8. En-dowed', furnished with any gift, quality, etc. Fac'ul-ty, ability to act or perform. Rec'ti-fied, corrected.


John Godfrey Saxe (b. 1816, d.1887), an American humorist, lawyer, and journalist, was born at Highgate, Vt. He graduated at Middlebury College in 1839; was admitted to the bar in 1843; and practiced law until 1850, when he became editor of the "Burlington Sentinel." In 1851, he was elected State's attorney. "Progress, a Satire, and Other Poems," his first volume, was published in 1849, and several other volumes of great merit attest his originality. For genial humor and good-natured satire, Saxe's writings rank among the best of their kind, and are very popular.

1. It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the elephant, (Though all of them were blind,) That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.

2. The first approached the elephant, And, happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side, At once began to bawl: "God bless me! but the elephant Is very like a wall!"

3. The second, feeling of the tusk, Cried: "Ha! what have we here, So very round, and smooth, and sharp? To me 't is very clear, This wonder of an elephant Is very like a spear!"

4. The third approached the animal, And, happening to take The squirming trunk within his hands, Thus boldly up he spake: "I see," quoth he, "the elephant Is very like a snake!"

5. The fourth reached out his eager hand, And fell about the knee: "What most this wondrous beast is like, Is very plain," quoth he; " 'T is clear enough the elephant Is very like a tree!"

6. The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said: "E'en the blindest man Can tell what this resembles most: Deny the fact who can, This marvel of an elephant Is very like a fan!"

7. The sixth no sooner had begun About the beast to grope, Than, seizing on the swinging tail That fell within his scope, "I see," quoth he, "the elephant Is very like a rope!"

8. And so these men of Indostan Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong!


Donald Grant Mitchell (b. 1822,—). This popular American writer was born in Norwich, Conn. He graduated at Yale in 1841. In 1844 he went to England, and, after traveling through that country on foot, spent some time on the continent. His first volume, "Fresh Gleanings, or a New Sheaf from the Old Fields of Continental Europe, by Ik Marvel," was published in 1847, soon after his return home. He revisited Europe in 1848. On his return, he published "The Battle Summer." Mr. Mitchell has contributed to the "Knickerbocker Magazine," the "Atlantic Monthly," and several agricultural journals. His most popular works are "The Reveries of a Bachelor," 1850, and "Dream Life," 1851. Besides these, he has written "My Farm of Edgewood," "Wet Days at Edgewood," "Doctor Johns," a novel "Rural Studies," and other works. He is a charming writer. In 1853 he was appointed United States consul at Venice. In 1855 he settled on a farm near New Haven, Conn., where he now resides. The following selection is from "Dream Life."

1. Little does the boy know, as the tide of years drifts by, floating him out insensibly from the harbor of his home, upon the great sea of life,—what joys, what opportunities, what affections, are slipping from him into the shades of that inexorable Past, where no man can go, save on the wings of his dreams.

2. Little does he think, as he leans upon the lap of his mother, with his eye turned to her, in some earnest pleading for a fancied pleasure of the hour, or in some important story of his griefs, that such sharing of his sorrows, and such sympathy with his wishes, he will find nowhere again.

3. Little does he imagine that the fond sister Nelly, ever thoughtful of his pleasures, ever smiling away his griefs, will soon be beyond the reach of either; and that the waves of the years which come rocking so gently under him will soon toss her far away, upon the great swell of life.

4. But now, you are there. The fire light glimmers upon the walls of your cherished home. The big chair of your father is drawn to its wonted corner by the chimney side; his head, just touched with gray, lies back upon its oaken top. Opposite sits your mother: her figure is thin, her look cheerful, yet subdued;—her arm perhaps resting on your shoulder, as she talks to you in tones of tender admonition, of the days that are to come.

5. The cat is purring on the hearth; the clock that ticked so plainly when Charlie died is ticking on the mantel still. The great table in the middle of the room, with its books and work, waits only for the lighting of the evening lamp, to see a return to its stores of embroidery and of story.

6. Upon a little stand under the mirror, which catches now and then a flicker of the fire light, and makes it play, as if in wanton, upon the ceiling, lies that big book, reverenced of your New England parents—the Family Bible. It is a ponderous, square volume, with heavy silver clasps, that you have often pressed open for a look at its quaint, old pictures, for a study of those prettily bordered pages, which lie between the Testaments, and which hold the Family Record.

7. There are the Births;—your father's and your mother's; it seems as if they were born a long time ago; and even your own date of birth appears an almost incredible distance back. Then there are the Marriages;—only one as yet; and your mother's name looks oddly to you: it is hard to think of her as anyone else than your doting parent.

8. Last of all come the Deaths;—only one. Poor Charlie! How it looks!—" Died, 12 September, 18—, Charles Henry, aged four years." You know just how it looks. You have turned to it often; there you seem to be joined to him, though only by the turning of a leaf.

9. And over your thoughts, as you look at that page of the Record, there sometimes wanders a vague, shadowy fear, which will come,—that your own name may soon be there. You try to drop the notion, as if it were not fairly your own; you affect to slight it, as you would slight a boy who presumed on your acquaintance, but whom you have no desire to know.

10. Yet your mother—how strange it is!—has no fears of such dark fancies. Even now, as you stand beside her, and as the twilight deepens in the room, her low, silvery voice is stealing upon your ear, telling you that she can not be long with you;—that the time is coming, when you must be guided by your own judgment, and struggle with the world unaided by the friends of your boyhood.

11. There is a little pride, and a great deal more of anxiety, in your thoughts now, as you look steadfastly into the home blaze, while those delicate fingers, so tender of your happiness, play with the locks upon your brow. To struggle with the world,—that is a proud thing; to struggle alone,—there lies the doubt! Then crowds in swift upon the calm of boyhood the first anxious thought of youth.

12. The hands of the old clock upon the mantel that ticked off the hours when Charlie sighed and when Charlie died, draw on toward midnight. The shadows that the fireflame makes grow dimmer and dimmer. And thus it is, that Home,—boy home, passes away forever,—like the swaying of a pendulum,—like the fading of a shadow on the floor.

DEFINITIONS.—l. In-ex'or-a-ble, not to be changed. 4. Wont'ed, accustomed. Ad-mo-ni'tion (pro. ad-mo'nish'un), counseling against fault or error. 13. Pon'der-ous, very heavy. Quaint (pro. kwant), odd and antique. 7. In-cred'i-ble, impossible to be believed. Dot'-ing, loving to excess. 9. Vague (pro. vag), indefinite. Pre-sumed', pushed upon or intruded in an impudent manner.


Thomas Moore (b. 1779. d. 1852) was born in Dublin, Ireland, and he was educated at Trinity College in that city. In 1799, he entered the Middle Temple, London, as a student of law. Soon after the publication of his first poetical productions, he was sent to Bermuda in an official capacity. He subsequently visited the United States. Moore's most famous works are: "Lalla Rookh," an Oriental romance, 1817; "The Loves of the Angels," 1823; and "Irish Melodies," 1834; a "Life of Lord Byron," and "The Epicurean, an Eastern Tale." "Moore's excellencies," says Dr. Angus, "consist in the gracefulness of his thoughts, the wit and fancy of his allusions and imagery, and the music and refinement of his versification."

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