4. And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found I most wanted, particularly a chair and a table; for without these I was not able to enjoy the few comforts I had in the world. I could not write or eat, or do several things with so much pleasure without a table.
5. So I went to work. I had never handled a tool in my life; and yet in time by labor, application, and contrivance, I found that I wanted nothing but I could have made it, especially if I had had tools; however, I made abundance of things, even without tools, and some with no more tools than an adz and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way before, and that with infinite labor.
6. For example, if I wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it before me, and hew it flat on either side with my ax till I had brought it to be as thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adz.
7. It is true, by this method I could make but one board out of a whole tree; but this I had no remedy for but patience, any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time and labor which it took me to make a plank or board; but my time or labor was little worth, and so it was as well employed one way as another.
8. However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above; and this I did out of the short pieces of boards which I brought on my raft from the ship; but when I had wrought out some boards, as above, I made large shelves, of the breadth of a foot and a half, one over another, all along one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and ironwork on, and, in a word, to separate everything at large in their places, that I might come easily at them.
9. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my guns and all things that would hang up. So that, had my cave been seen, it would have looked like a general magazine of all necessary things; and I had everything so ready at my hand that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order, and especially to find my stock of all necessaries so great.
DEFINITIONS.—l. Hab-i-ta'tion, a dwelling place. Pale, a fence. Ca'bles, large ropes. Turf, sod. 3. For-ti-fi-ca'tion, a place built for defense against attack. E'gress, going out. Re'gress, coming back, return. Stow, to arrange compactly. 4. Ap-ply', to employ diligently. 6. Dub, to cut down or bring to an even surface. 7. Pro-di'gious, very great. Deal, part, amount. 9. Mag-a-zine', a storehouse,
EXERCISES.—How did Robinson Crusoe make a house? Of what did he make a chair and table? How did he obtain boards? What does this lesson teach us in regard to perseverance?
LIV. ROBINSON CRUSOE'S DRESS. (147)
1. But had any man in England met such a man as I was, it must either have frightened him or raised a great deal of laughter; and, as I frequently stood still to look at myself, I could not but smile at the notion of my traveling through Yorkshire in such a dress.
2. I had a great, high, shapeless cap, made of a goat's skin, with a flap hanging down behind, as well to keep the sun from me as to shoot the rain off from running into my neck; nothing being so hurtful in these climates as the rain upon the flesh under the clothes.
3. I had a short jacket of goatskin, the skirts coming down to about the middle of the thighs, and a pair of open-kneed breeches of the same; the breeches were made of the skin of an old goat, and the hair hung down such a length on either side that it reached to the middle of my legs like pantaloons.
4. Stockings and shoes I had none; but I made a pair of something, I scarce know what to call them, like buskins, to flap over my legs, and lace on either side like spatterdashes; but they were of a most barbarous shape, as indeed were all the rest of my clothes.
5. I had on a broad belt of goatskin dried, which I drew together with two thongs of the same, instead of buckles; and, in a kind of frog on each side of this, instead of a sword and dagger, hung a little saw and hatchet; one on one side, and one on the other. I had another belt not so broad, and fastened in the same manner, which hung over my shoulder; and at the end of it, under my left arm, hung two pouches, both made of goatskin, too; in one of which hung my powder, in the other my shot.
6. At my back I carried my basket, on my shoulder my gun, and over my head a great, clumsy, ugly, goatskin umbrella, but which, after all, was the most necessary thing I had about me, next to my gun.
7. As for my face, the color of it was really not so dark as one might expect from a man not at all careful of it, and living within nine or ten degrees of the equator. My beard I had once suffered to grow till it was about a quarter of a yard long; but, as I had both scissors and razors sufficient, I had cut it pretty short, except what grew on my upper lip, which I had trimmed into a large pair of Mahometan whiskers, such as I had seen worn by some Turks.
8. Of these mustaches or whiskers, I will not say that they were long enough to hang my hat upon them, but they were of a length and shape monstrous enough, and such as in England would have passed for frightful. But all this is by the bye; for, as to my figure, I had so few to observe me that it was of no manner of consequence; so I say no more on that part.
DEFINITIONS.—4. Bus'kins, coverings for the feet coming some distance up the leg, and fit for a defense against thorns, etc. Spat'-ter-dash-es, coverings for the legs to keep them clean from water and mud. Bar'ba-rous, uncouth, clumsy. 5. Thongs, strips of leather. Frog, a loop similar to that sometimes used in fastening a cloak or coat. Pouch'es bags. 8. Mon'strous, very large, enormous.
NOTES.—The novel, "Robinson Crusoe," was first published in 1719. It was founded on the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, a Scotch buccaneer, who was cast on the island of Juan Fernandez, west of South America, in 1704, and remained there for more than four years, before he was rescued.
1. Yorkshire. This was the district of England where, according to the story, Robinson Crusoe was born and passed his early life.
3. Open-kneed breeches. At this period knee breeches were worn almost altogether in England. Those referred to here appear to have been loose about the knee, and not close, as usual.
5. Instead of sword and dagger. It was then the fashion in England for gentlemen to wear such weapons.
8. Such as in England would have passed for frightful. It was not the custom in England, in DeFoe's time, to wear a full beard.
LV. SOMEBODY'S DARLING. (150)
1. Into a ward of the whitewashed halls, Where the dead and dying lay, Wounded by bayonets, shells, and balls, Somebody's darling was borne one day;
2. Somebody's darling, so young and brave, Wearing yet on his pale, sweet face, Soon to be hid by the dust of the grave, The lingering light of his boyhood's grace.
3. Matted and damp are the curls of gold, Kissing the snow of that fair young brow; Pale are the lips of delicate mold Somebody's darling is dying now.
4. Back from his beautiful, blue-veined brow, Brush all the wandering waves of gold; Cross his hands on his bosom now; Somebody's darling is still and cold.
5. Kiss him once for somebody's sake, Murmur a prayer soft and low; One bright curl from its fair mates take; They were somebody's pride, you know;
6. Somebody's hand has rested there; Was it a mother's, soft and white? And have the lips of a sister fair Been baptized in the waves of light?
7. God knows best! he was somebody's love: Somebody's heart enshrined him there; Somebody wafted his name above, Night and morn, on the wings of prayer.
8. Somebody wept when he marched away, Looking so handsome, brave, and grand; Somebody's kiss on his forehead lay; Somebody clung to his parting hand.
9. Somebody's watching and waiting for him, Yearning to hold him again to her heart; And there he lies, with his blue eyes dim, And the smiling, childlike lips apart.
10. Tenderly bury the fair young dead, Pausing too drop on his grave a tear; Carve on the wooden slab at his head, "Somebody's darling slumbers here."
DEFINITIONS.—1. Bay'o-net, a short, pointed iron weapon, fitted to the muzzle of a gun. Dar'ling, one dearly loved. 2. Lin'ger-ing, protracted. 3. Mat'ted, twisted together. Del'i-cate, soft and fair. Mold, shape. 4. Wan'der-ing, straying. 7. En-shrined', cherished. Waft'ed, caused to float. 9. Yearn'ing, being eager, longing. 10. Ten'der-ly, gently, kindly.
LVI. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. (151)
1. "What an excellent thing is knowledge," said a sharp-looking, hustling little man, to one who was much older than himself. "Knowledge is an excellent thing," repeated he. "My boys know more at six and seven years old than I did at twelve. They can read all sorts of books, and talk on all sorts of subjects. The world is a great deal wiser than it used to he. Everybody knows something of everything now. Do you not think, sir, that knowledge is all excellent thing?"
2. "Why, sir," replied the old man, looking grave, "that depends entirely upon the use to which it is applied. It may be a blessing or a curse. Knowledge is only an increase of power, and power may be a bad, as well as a good thing." "That is what I can not understand," said the bustling little man. "How can power he a bad thing?"
3. "I will tell you," meekly replied the old man; and thus he went on: "When the power of a horse is under restraint, the animal is useful in bearing burdens, drawing loads, and carrying his master; but when that power is unrestrained, the horse breaks his bridle, dashes to pieces the carriage that he draws, or throws his rider." "I see!" said the little man.
4. "When the water of a large pond is properly conducted by trenches, it renders the fields around fertile; but when it bursts through its banks, it sweeps everything before it and destroys the produce of the fields." "I see!" said the little man, "I see!"
5. "When the ship is steered aright, the sail that she hoists enables her sooner to get into port; but if steered wrong, the more sail she carries the further will she go out of her course." "I see!" said the little man, "I see clearly!"
6. "Well, then," continued the old man, "if you see these things so clearly, I hope you can see, too, that knowledge, to be a good thing, must be rightly applied. God's grace in the heart will render the knowledge of the head a blessing; but without this, it may prove to us no better than a curse." "I see! I see!" said the little man, "I see!"
DEFINITIONS.—l. Bus'tling, very active, stirring. Sub'ject, the thing treated of. 3. Meek'ly, mildly, quietly, gently. Re-straint', anything which hinders. Bur'dens, loads. 4. Con-duct'ed, led, guided. Trench'es, ditches. Fer'tile, producing much fruit, rich. Prod'uce, that which is yielded or produced. 5. Steered', guided, directed. Hoists, raises. 6. Ap-plied', directed, made use of.
EXERCISES—What is the subject of this lesson? Is knowledge always a power? Is it always blessing? Relate the several examples of power wrongly used. If we use the powers that God has given us for bad purposes, what will our knowledge prove to be?
LVII. GOOD WILL. (153) By J. T. Trowbridge.—(Adapted)
1. I suppose you all, my boys, are looking for some sort of success in life; it is right that you should; but what are your notions of success? To get rich as soon as possible, without regard to the means by which your wealth is acquired?
2. There is no true success in that: when you have gained millions, you may yet be poorer than when you had nothing; and it is that same reckless ambition which has brought many a bright and capable boy, not to great estate at last, but to miserable failure and disgrace; not to a palace, but to a prison.
3. Wealth rightly got and rightly used, rational enjoyment, power, fame,—these are all worthy objects of ambition; but they are not the highest objects, and you may acquire them all without achieving true success. But if, whatever you seek, you put good will into all your actions, you are sure of the best success at last; for whatever else you gain or miss, you are building up a noble and beautiful character, which is not only the best of possessions in this world, but also is about all you can expect to take with you into the next.
4. I say, good will in all your actions. You are not simply to be kind and helpful to others; but, whatever you do, give honest, earnest purpose to it. Thomas is put by his parents to learn a business. But Thomas does not like to apply himself very closely. "What's the use?" he says. "I'm not paid much, and I'm not going to work much. I'll get along just as easily as I can, and have as good times as I can."
5. So he shirks his tasks; and instead of thinking about his employer's interests, or his own self improvement, gives his mind to trifles,—often to evil things, which in their ruinous effects upon his life are not trifles. As soon as he is free from his daily duties, he is off with his companions, having what they call a good time; his heart is with them even while his hands are employed in the shop or store.
6. He does nothing thoroughly well,—not at all for want of talent, but solely for lack of good will. He is not preparing himself to be one of those efficient clerks or workmen who are always in demand, and who receive the highest wages.
7. There is a class of people who are the pest of every community, workmen who do not know their trade, men of business ignorant of the first principles of business. They can never be relied upon to do well anything they undertake. They are always making blunders which other people have to suffer for, and which react upon themselves. They are always getting out of employment, and failing in business.
8. To make up for what they lack in knowledge and thoroughness, they often resort to trick and fraud, and become not merely contemptible but criminal. Thomas is preparing himself to be one of this class. You can not, boys, expect to raise a good crop from evil seed.
9. By Thomas's side works another boy, whom we will call James,—a lad of only ordinary capacity, very likely. If Thomas and all the other boys did their best, there would be but small chance for James ever to become eminent. But he has something better than talent: he brings good will to his work. Whatever he learns, he learns so well that it becomes a part of himself.
10. His employers find that they can depend upon Jim. Customers soon learn to like and trust him. By diligence, self-culture, good habits, cheerful and kindly conduct, he is laying the foundation of a generous manhood and a genuine success.
11. In short, boys, by slighting your tasks you hurt yourself more than you wrong your employer. By honest service you benefit yourself more than you help him. If you were aiming at mere worldly advancement only, I should still say that good will was the very best investment you could make in business.
12. By cheating a customer, you gain only a temporary and unreal advantage. By serving him with right good will,—doing by him as you would be done by,—you not only secure his confidence but also his good will in return. But this is a sordid consideration compared with the inward satisfaction, the glow and expansion of soul which attend a good action done for itself alone. If I were to sum up all I have to say to you in one last word of love and counsel, that one word should be—Good will.
DEFINITIONS.—3. Char'ac-ter, the sum of qualities which distin-guish one person from another. 4. Purpose, intention, aim. 7. Prin'ci-ples, fixed rules. 9. Ca-pac'i-ty, ability, the power of re-ceiving ideas. 12. Sor'did, base, meanly avaricious.
EXERCISES.—What is meant by the phrase "to apply himself," in the fourth paragraph? What is meant by "a generous manhood," tenth paragraph? By "expansion of soul," twelfth paragraph? Tell what is meant by "good will," as taught by this lesson. How did Tom and James differ in character?
LVIII. A CHINESE STORY. (156)
By Christopher Pearse Cranch, who was born at Alexandria, Va. (then D. C.), in 1813. He has written some well-known children's stories, besides numerous poems; but his greatest literary work is "The AEneid of Vergil, translated into English blank verse." He died in Cambridge Mass., 1892.
1. Two young, near-sighted fellows, Chang and Ching, Over their chopsticks idly chattering, Fell to disputing which could see the best; At last, they agreed to put it to the test. Said Chang, "A marble tablet, so I hear, Is placed upon the Bo-hee temple near, With an inscription on it. Let us go And read it (since you boast your optics so), Standing together at a certain place In front, where we the letters just may trace; Then he who quickest reads the inscription there, The palm for keenest eyes henceforth shall bear." "Agreed," said Ching, "but let us try it soon: Suppose we say to-morrow afternoon."
2. "Nay, not so soon," said Chang; "I'm bound to go To-morrow a day's ride from Hoang-Ho, And sha'n't be ready till the following day: At ten A. M., on Thursday, let us say."
3. So 'twas arranged; but Ching was wide-awake: Time by the forelock he resolved to take; And to the temple went at once, and read, Upon the tablet, "To the illustrious dead, The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang." Scarce had he gone when stealthily came Chang, Who read the same; but peering closer, he Spied in a corner what Ching failed to see— The words, "This tablet is erected here By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear."
4. So on the appointed day—both innocent As babes, of course—these honest fellows went, And took their distant station; and Ching said, "I can read plainly, 'To the illustrious dead, The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang.'" "And is that all that you can spell?" said Chang; "I see what you have read, but furthermore, In smaller letters, toward the temple door, Quite plain, 'This tablet is erected here By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear.'"
5. "My sharp-eyed friend, there are no such words!" said Ching. "They're there," said Chang, "if I see anything, As clear as daylight." "Patent eyes, indeed, You have!" cried Ching; "do you think I can not read?" "Not at this distance as I can," Chang said, "If what you say you saw is all you read."
6. In fine, they quarreled, and their wrath increased, Till Chang said, "Let us leave it to the priest; Lo! here he comes to meet us," "It is well," Said honest Ching; "no falsehood he will tell."
7. The good man heard their artless story through, And said, "I think, dear sirs, there must be few Blest with such wondrous eyes as those you wear: There's no such tablet or inscription there! There was one, it is true; 't was moved away And placed within the temple yesterday."
DEFINITIONS.—1. Near-sight'ed, seeing at a short distance only. Chop'sticks, small sticks of wood, ivory, etc., used in pairs by Chinese to carry food to the mouth. Tab'let, a small, flat piece of anything on which to write or engrave. In-scrip'tion, something written or engraved on a solid substance. Op'tics, eyes. Palm, the reward of victory, prize. 2. A. M., an abbreviation for the Latin ante meridian, meaning before noon. 3. Man-da-rin', a Chinese public officer. 5. Pat'ent, secured from general use, peculiar to one person.
LXX. THE WAY TO BE HAPPY. (159)
1. Every child must observe how much more happy and beloved some children are than others. There are some children you always love to be with. They are happy themselves, and they make you happy.
2. There are others whom you always avoid. They seem to have no friends. No person can be happy without friends. The heart is formed for love, and can not be happy without it.
3. "'Tis not in titles nor in rank, 'Tis not in wealth like London bank, To make us truly blest. If happiness have not her seat And center in the breast, We may be wise, or rich, or great, But never can be blest."
4. But you can not receive affection unless you will also give it. You can not find others to love you unless you will also love them. Love is only to be obtained by giving love in return. Hence the importance of cultivating a good disposition. You can not be happy without it.
5. I have sometimes heard a girl say, "I know that I am very unpopular at school." Now, this plainly shows that she is not amiable.
6. If your companions do not love you, it is your own fault. They can not help loving you if you will be kind and friendly. If you are not loved, it is a good proof that you do not deserve to be loved. It is true that a sense of duty may, at times, render it necessary for you to do that which will displease your companions.
7. But if it is seen that you have a noble spirit, that you are above selfishness, that you are willing to make sacrifices to promote the happiness of others, you will never be in want of friends.
8. You must not regard it as your misfortune that others do not love you, but your fault. It is not beauty, it is not wealth, that will give you friends. Your heart must glow with kindness, if you would attract to yourself the esteem and affection of those around you.
9. You are little aware how much the happiness of your whole life depends upon the cultivation of a good disposition. If you will adopt the resolution that you will confer favors whenever you can, you will certainly be surrounded by ardent friends. Begin upon this principle in childhood, and act upon it through life, and you will make yourself happy, and promote the happiness of all within your influence.
10. You go to school on a cold winter morning. A bright fire is blazing in the stove, surrounded with boys struggling to get near it to warm themselves. After you are slightly warmed, a schoolmate comes in suffering with cold. "Here, James," you pleasantly call out to him, "I am almost warm; you may have my place."
11. As you slip aside to allow him to take your place at the fire, will he not feel that you are kind? The worst boy in the world can not help admiring such generosity; and, even though he be so ungrateful as not to return the favor, you may depend upon it that he will be your friend as far as he is capable of friendship. If you will always act upon this principle, you will never want for friends.
12. Suppose, some day, you are out with your companions playing ball. After you have been playing for some time, another boy comes along. He can not be chosen upon either side, for there is no one to match him. "Henry," you say, "you may take my place a little while, and I will rest."
13. You throw yourself down upon the grass, while Henry, fresh and vigorous, takes your bat and engages in the game. He knows that you give up to oblige him, and how can he help liking you for it? The fact is, that neither man nor child can cultivate such a spirit of generosity and kindness without attracting affection and esteem.
14. Look and see which of your companions have the most friends, and you will find that they are those who have this noble spirit; who are willing to deny themselves, that they may make others happy. There is but one way to make friends; and that is, by being friendly to others.
15. Perhaps some child who reads this feels conscious of being disliked, and yet desires to have the affection of his companions. You ask me what you shall do. I will tell you. I will give you an infallible rule: Do all in your power to make others happy. Be willing to make sacrifices, that you may promote the happiness of others.
16. This is the way to make friends, and the only way. When you are playing with your brothers and sisters at home, be always ready to give them more than their share of privileges. Manifest an obliging disposition, and they can not but regard you with affection. In all your intercourse with others, at home or abroad, let these feelings influence you, and you will receive a rich reward.
DEFINITIONS.—4. Cul'ti-vat-ing, cherishing, encouraging. 5. Un-pop'u-lar, not pleasing others. 6. Com-pan'ions, those who keep company with anyone. 7. Sac'ri-fic-es, things given up to oblige others. Pro-mote', advance, forward. 10. Suf'fer-ing, undergoing pain. 11. Gen-er-os'i-ty, kindness, nobleness of soul. 15. In-fal'li-ble, certain, that can not fail. 16. Man'i-fest, to show plainly. In'ter-course, communication, mutual dealings.
EXERCISES.—What is this lesson about? Can we be happy without friends? How can we win the love of those about us? Whose fault is it if we are not loved? What rule will surely gain us love and friendship if we always follow it?
LX. THE GIRAFFE, OR CAMELOPARD. (162)
1. The giraffe is a native of Africa. It is of singular shape and size, and bears some resemblance both to the camel and the deer. The mouth is small; the eyes are full and brilliant; the tongue is rough, very long, and ending in a point. The neck is long and slender, and, from the shoulder to the top of the head, it measures between seven and eight feet; from the ground to the top of the shoulder, it is commonly ten or eleven feet; so that the height of a full-grown giraffe is seventeen or eighteen feet.
2. The hair is of a deep brown color in the male, and of a light or yellowish brown in the female. The skin is beautifully diversified with white spots. They have short, blunt horns, and hoofs like those of the ox. In their wild state, they feed on the leaves of a gum-bearing tree peculiar to warm climates.
3. The giraffe, like the horse and other hoofed animals, defends itself by kicking; and its hinder limbs are so light, and its blows so rapid, that the eye can not follow them. They are sufficient for its defense against the lion. It never employs its horns in resisting the attack of an enemy. Its disposition is gentle, and it flees to its native forest upon the least alarm.
4. Le Vaillant (the celebrated French traveler and naturalist) was the first who gave us any exact account of the form and habits of the giraffe. While he was traveling in South Africa, he happened one day to discover a hut covered with the skin of one of those animals; and learned to his surprise that he was now in a part of the country where the creature was found. He could not rest contented until he had seen the animal alive, and had secured a specimen.
5. Having on several days obtained sight of some of them, he, with his attendants, on horseback and accompanied with dogs, gave chase; but they baffled all pursuit. After a chase of a whole day, which effected nothing but the fatigue of the party, he began to despair of success.
6. "The next day," says he, "by sunrise, I was in pursuit of game, in the hope of obtaining some provisions for my men. After several hours' fatigue, we saw, at the turn of a hill, seven giraffes, which my pack of dogs instantly pursued. Six of them went off together; but the seventh, cut off by my dogs, took another way.
7. "I followed the single one at full speed, but, in spite of the efforts of my horse, she got so much ahead of me, that, in turning a little hill, I lost sight of her altogether, and I gave up the pursuit. My dogs, however, were not so easily exhausted. They were soon so close upon her that she was obliged to stop and defend herself. From the noise they made, I conjectured that they had got the animal into a corner, and I again pushed forward.
8. "I had scarcely got round the hill, when I perceived her surrounded by the dogs, and endeavoring to drive them away by heavy kicks. In a moment I was on my feet, and a shot from my carbine brought her to the earth. I was delighted with my victory, which enabled me to add to the riches of natural history. I was now able, also, to destroy the romance which attached to this animal, and to establish the truth of its existence."
DEFINITIONS.—l. Bril'liant, sparkling, shining. 2. Di-ver'si-fied, made various. Pe-cul'iar, especially belonging to. 4. Le Vaillant (pro. leh va yon'). Nat'u-ral-ist, one who is acquainted with objects of nature. Spec'i-men, a sample. 5. Baf 'fled, defeated, escaped from. Fa-tigue', weariness. 7. Con-jec'tured, guessed. 8. Car'bine, a short gun. Ro-mance', a story without truth.
EXERCISES.—Of what country is the giraffe a native? To what height does it attain when full grown? On what does it live? How does it defend itself? Relate the story of Le Vaillant's giraffe hunt.
LXI. THE LOST CHILD. (165)
1. A few years since, a child was lost in the woods. He was out with his brothers and sisters gathering berries, and was accidentally separated from them, and lost. The children, after looking in vain for some time in search of the little wanderer, returned, just in the dusk of the evening, to inform their parents that their brother was lost and could not be found.
2. The woods, at that time, were full of bears. The darkness of a cloudy night was rapidly coming on, and the alarmed father, gathering a few of his neighbors, hastened in search of the lost child. The mother remained at home, almost distracted with suspense.
3. As the clouds gathered, and the darkness increased, the father and the neighbors, with highly excited fears, traversed the woods in all directions, and raised loud shouts to attract the attention of the child. But their search was in vain. They could find no trace of the wanderer; and, as they stood under the boughs of the lofty trees, and listened, that if possible they might hear his feeble voice, no sound was borne to their ears but the melancholy moaning of the wind as it swept through the thick branches of the forest.
4. The gathering clouds threatened an approaching storm, and the deep darkness of the night had already enveloped them. It is difficult to conceive what were the feelings of that father. And who could imagine how deep the distress which filled the bosom of that mother, as she heard the wind, and beheld the darkness in which her child was wandering!
5. The search was continued in vain till nine o'clock in the evening. Then, one of the party was sent back to the village, to collect the inhabitants for a more extensive search. The bell rung the alarm, and the cry of fire resounded through the streets. It was ascertained, however, that it was not fire which caused the alarm, but that the bell tolled the more solemn tidings of a lost child.
6. Every heart sympathized in the sorrows of the distracted parents. Soon, multitudes of the people were seen ascending the hill, upon the declivity of which the village stood, to aid in the search. Ere long, the rain began to fall, but no tidings came back to the village of the lost child. Hardly an eye was that night closed in sleep, and there was not a mother who did not feel for the parents.
7. The night passed away, and the morning dawned, and yet no tidings came. At last, those engaged in the search met together and held a consultation. They made arrangements for a more minute search, and agreed that, in case the child was found, a gun should be fired, to give a signal to the rest of the party.
8. As the sun arose, the clouds were scattered, and the whole landscape glittered in the rays of the bright morning. But that village was deserted and still. The stores were closed, and business was hushed. Mothers were walking the streets, with sympathizing countenances and anxious hearts. There was but one thought in every mind: "What has become of the lost child?"
9. All the affections and interest of the neighborhood were flowing in one deep and broad channel toward the little wanderer. About nine in the morning, the signal gun was fired, which announced that the child was found; and, for a moment, how dreadful was the suspense! Was it found a mangled corpse? or was it alive and well?
10. Soon, a joyful shout proclaimed the safety of the child. The shout was borne from tongue to tongue, till the whole forest rang again with the joyful sound. A messenger rapidly bore the tidings to the distracted mother. A procession was immediately formed by those engaged in the search. The child was placed upon a platform, hastily formed from the boughs of trees, and borne in triumph at the head of the procession. When they arrived at the brow of the hill, they rested for a moment, and proclaimed their success with three loud and animated cheers.
11. The procession then moved on till they arrived in front of the dwelling where the parents of the child resided. The mother, who stood at the door, with streaming eyes and throbbing heart, could no longer restrain herself or her feelings.
12. She rushed into the street, clasped her child to her bosom, and wept aloud. Every eye was filled with tears, and, for a moment, all were silent. But suddenly some one gave a signal for a shout. One loud, and long, and happy note of joy rose from the assembled multitude, and they went to their business and their homes.
13. There was more joy over the one child that was found than over the ninety and nine that went not astray. Likewise, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. But still, this is a feeble representation of the love of our Father in heaven for us, and of the joy with which the angels welcome the returning wanderer.
14. The mother can not feel for her child that is lost as God feels for the unhappy wanderer in the paths of sin. If a mother can feel so much, what must be the feelings of our Father in heaven for those who have strayed from his love? If man can feel so deep a sympathy, what must be the emotions which glow in the bosom of angels?
DEFINITIONS.—l. Sep'a-rat-ed, parted. 2. Dis-tract'ed, made crazy. Sus-pense', doubt, uncertainty. 3. Trav'ersed, passed over and examined. 5. As-cer-tained', made certain. 6. Sym'pa-thized, felt for. De-cliv'i-ty, descent of land. 7. Con-sul-ta'tion, a meeting of persons to advise together. 8. Land'scape, a portion of territory which the eye can see in a single view. 10. Pro-claimed', made known publicly. 11. Pro-ces'sion, a train of persons walking or riding. l3. Rep-re-sen-ta'tion, the act of describing or showing.
LXII. WHICH? (168) By MRS. E. L. BEERS.
1. Which shall it be? Which shall it be? I looked at John—John looked at me; Dear, patient John, who loves me yet As well as though my locks were jet. And when I found that I must speak, My voice seemed strangely low and weak: "Tell me again what Robert said!" And then I, listening, bent my head. "This is his letter:"
2. "'I will give A house and land while you shall live, If, in return, from out your seven, One child to me for aye is given.'" I looked at John's old garments worn, I thought of all that John had borne Of poverty, and work, and care, Which I, though willing, could not share; I thought of seven mouths to feed, Of seven little children's need, And then of this.
3. "Come, John," said I, "We'll choose among them as they lie Asleep;" so, walking hand in hand, Dear John and I surveyed our band. First to the cradle light we stepped, Where Lilian the baby slept, A glory 'gainst the pillow white. Softly the father stooped to lay His rough hand down in loving way, When dream or whisper made her stir, And huskily he said: "Not her!"
4. We stooped beside the trundle-bed, And one long ray of lamplight shed Athwart the boyish faces there, In sleep so pitiful and fair; I saw on Jamie's rough, red cheek, A tear undried. Ere John could speak, "He's but a baby, too," said I, And kissed him as we hurried by.
5. Pale, patient Robbie's angel face Still in his sleep bore suffering's trace: "No, for a thousand crowns, not him," He whispered, while our eyes were dim.
6. Poor Dick! bad Dick! our wayward son, Turbulent, reckless, idle one— Could he be spared? "Nay, He who gave, Bade us befriend him to the grave; Only a mother's heart can be Patient enough for such as he; And so," said John, "I would not dare To send him from her bedside prayer."
7. Then stole we softly up above And knelt by Mary, child of love. "Perhaps for her 't would better be," I said to John. Quite silently He lifted up a curl that lay Across her cheek in willful way, And shook his head. "Nay, love, not thee," The while my heart beat audibly.
8. Only one more, our eldest lad, Trusty and truthful, good and glad So like his father. "No, John, no— I can not, will not let him go."
9. And so we wrote in courteous way, We could not drive one child away. And afterward, toil lighter seemed, Thinking of that of which we dreamed; Happy, in truth, that not one face We missed from its accustomed place; Thankful to work for all the seven, Trusting the rest to One in heaven!
DEFINITIONS.—2. Aye, always, 3. Sur-veyed', took a view of. 5. Crown, an English silver coin worth about $1.20. 6. Way-ward, willful. Tur'bu-lent, disposed to disorder. 9. Cour'te-ous, polite. Ac-cus'tomed, usual.
LXIII. THE PET FAWN. (172)
1. A pretty little fawn had been brought in from the woods, when very young, and nursed and petted by a lady in the village until it had become as tame as possible. It was graceful, as those little creatures always are, and so gentle and playful that it became a great favorite, following the different members of the family about, being caressed by the neighbors, and welcome everywhere.
2. One morning, after playing about as usual until weary, it lay down in the sunshine, at the feet of one of its friends, upon the steps of a store. There came along a countryman, who for several years had been a hunter by pursuit, and who still kept several hounds, one of which was now with him.
3. The dog, as it approached the spot where the fawn lay, suddenly stopped. The little animal saw him, and started to its feet. It had lived more than half its life among the dogs of the village, and had apparently lost all fear of them; but it seemed now to know that an enemy was near. In an instant, its whole nature seemed changed; all its past habits were forgotten; every wild impulse was awake; its head erect, its nostrils dilated, its eyes flashing.
4. In another instant, before the spectators had thought of the danger, and before its friends could secure it, the fawn was bounding away through the street, and the hound in full chase. The bystanders were eager to save it; several persons immediately followed its track; the friends who had long fed and fondled it, calling the name it had hitherto known, in vain.
5. The hunter endeavored to whistle back his dog, but with no success. In half a minute the fawn had turned the first corner, dashed onward toward the lake, and thrown itself into the water. But if for a moment the startled creature believed itself safe in the cool bosom of the lake, it was soon undeceived; for the hound followed in hot and eager chase, while a dozen village dogs joined blindly in the pursuit.
6. A large crowd collected on the bank—men, women, and children—anxious for the fate of the little animal so well known to them all. Some threw themselves into boats, hoping to intercept the hound before he reached his prey. The plashing of the oars, the eager voices of men and boys, and the barking of the dogs, must have filled the heart of the poor fawn with terror and anguish,—as though every creature on the spot where it had once been caressed and fondled, had suddenly turned into a deadly foe.
7. It was soon seen that the little animal was directing its course across a bay toward the nearest borders of the forest. Immediately the owner of the hound crossed the bridge, and ran at full speed, hoping to stop his dog as he landed. On swam the fawn, as it never swam before; its delicate head scarcely seen above the water, but leaving a disturbed track, which betrayed its course alike to its friends and foes.
8. As it approached the land, the interest became intense. The hunter was already on the same side of the lake, calling loudly and angrily to his dog; but the hound seemed to have quite forgotten his master's voice in the pitiless pursuit. The fawn reached the shore. With a leap it had crossed the narrow strip of beach, and in another instant it would reach the cover of the woods.
9. The hound followed true to the scent, pointing to the same spot on the shore; his master, anxious to meet him, had run at full speed, and was now coming up at the same critical moment. Will the dog listen to his voice? or can the hunter reach him in time to seize and control him? A shout from the bank told that the fawn had passed out of sight into the forest. At the same instant, the hound, as he touched the land, felt the hunter's strong arm clutching his neck. The worst was believed to be over; the fawn was leaping up the mountain side, and its enemy was restrained. The other dogs, seeing their leader cowed, were easily managed.
10. A number of persons, men and boys, dispersed themselves through the woods in search of the little creature, but without success; they all returned to the village, reporting that the fawn had not been seen. Some thought that after its fright had passed it would return of its own accord. It wore a pretty collar with its owner's name engraved upon it, so that it could be easily known from any other fawn that might be straying about the woods.
11. Before many hours had passed, a hunter presented himself to the lady whose pet the little creature had been, and showed a collar with her name upon it. He said that he was out hunting in the morning, and saw a fawn in the distance. The little pet, instead of bounding away, as he expected, moved toward him; he took aim, fired, and shot it through the heart.
DEFINITIONS.—l. Fawn, a young deer. Ca-ressed', fondled, petted. 3. Di-lat'ed, extended, spread out. 4. Spec-ta'tors, those who look on. 6. In-ter-cept', to stop, to seize. 7. Be-trayed', showed. 8. In-tense', extreme. 9. Scent, track followed by the sense of smell. Cowed, made afraid.
LXIV. ANNIE'S DREAM. (175)
1. It was a clear, cold, winter evening, and all the Sinclairs but Annie had gone out for a neighborly visit. She had resolved to stay at home and study a long, difficult lesson in Natural Philosophy.
2. Left to herself, the evening passed quickly, but the lesson was learned a full half hour before the time set for the family to come home.
3. Closing her book, she leaned back in the soft armchair in which she was sitting, soon fell asleep, and began to dream. She dreamed that it was a very cold morning, and that she was standing by the dining-room stove, looking into the glass basin which was every day filled with water for evaporation.
4. "Oh, dear," she sighed, "it is nearly school time. I don't want to go out in the cold this morning. Then there is that long lesson. I wonder if I can say it. Let me see—it takes two hundred and twelve degrees of heat, I believe, for water to evaporate—"
5. "Nonsense!" "Ridiculous!" shouted a chorus of strange little voices near by; "Look here! is this water boiling? What an idea; two hundred and twelve degrees before we can fly, ha, ha!"
6. "Who are you?" asked Annie, in amazement. "Where must I look?" "In the basin, of course." 7. Annie looked, and saw a multitude of tiny forms moving swiftly around, their numbers increasing as the heat of the fire increased. "Why you dear little things!" said she, "what are you doing down there?"
8. "We are water sprites," answered one, in the clearest voice that can be imagined, "and when this delightful warmth comes all about us, we become so light that we fly off, as you see."
9. In another moment he had joined a crowd of his companions that were spreading their wings and flying off in curling, white clouds over Annie's head. But they were so light and thin that they soon disappeared in the air.
10. She could not see where they went, so she again turned to the basin. "Does n't it hurt you," she asked one, "to be heated—?" "Not always to two hundred and twelve," said the sprite, mischievously.
11. "No, no," replied Annie, half-vexed; "I remember, that is boiling point—but I mean, to be heated as you all are, and then to fly off in the cold?"
12. "Oh, no," laughed the little sprite; "we like it. We are made to change by God's wise laws, and so it can't hurt us. We are all the time at work, in our way, taking different shapes. It is good for us. If you will go to the window, you will find some of my brothers and sisters on the glass."
13. Annie went to the window, and at first could see nothing but some beautiful frostwork on it. Soon, however, the panes seemed to swarm with little folks. Their wings were as white as snow, and sparkled with ice jewels.
14. "Oh," cried Annie, "this is the prettiest sight I ever saw. What is your name, darling?" she asked one that wore a crown of snow roses. The little voice that replied was so sharp and fine that Annie thought it seemed like a needle point of sound, and she began to laugh.
15. "Fine Frost is our family name," it said. "I have a first name of my own, but I shall not tell you what it is, for you are so impolite as to laugh at me."
16. "I beg your pardon, dear," said Annie; "I could not help it. I will not laugh at you any more if you will tell me how you came here. I have been talking with one of your brothers over there in the basin."
17. The little sprite then folded her wings in a dignified manner, and said, "I will tell you all I know about it, since you promise to be polite. It is a very short story, however.
18. "Last evening we all escaped from the glass basin, as you have seen our companions do this morning. Oh, how light and free we felt! But we were so very delicate and thin that no one saw us as we flew about in the air of the room.
19. "After a while I flew with these others to this window, and, as we alighted on the glass, the cold changed us from water sprites into sprites of the Fine Frost family." "It is very wonderful," said Annie. "Is it nice to be a sprite?"
20. "Oh, yes, we are very gay. All last night we had a fine time sparkling in the moonlight. I wore a long wreath full of ice pearls and diamonds. Here is a piece of it. Before long we shall be water sprites again. I see the sun is coming this way."
21. "Shall you dread to be melted?" inquired Annie. "No, indeed," answered the sprite. "I like to change my form now and then."
22. A thought flashed across Annie's brain. What if she should breathe on the frost and not wait for the sun to melt it. In a moment more she had done so. Down fell a great number of the tiny mountains and castles, carrying with them a multitude of frost sprites, and all that could be seen was a drop of water on the window sill.
23. "Oh, dear! have I hurt them?" she exclaimed. "No, no," replied a chorus of many small voices from the drop of water, "we are only water sprites again. Nothing hurts us; we merely change." "But you are always pretty little things," said Annie. "I wish—"
24. Here a ring at the doorbell woke Annie. She started up to find the family had returned from their visit, which all declared was a delightful one. But Annie said she did not believe they had enjoyed their visit better than she had her half hour's dream.
DEFINITIONS.—1. Nat'u-ral Phi-los'o-phy, the study which teaches about the laws of matter in nature. 3. E-vap-o-ra'tion, the act of turning into vapor. 4. De-gree', a division of space marked on an instrument such as a thermometer. 8. Wa'ter sprite, a spirit or fairy living in the water. 10. Mis'chie-vous-ly, in a teasing manner. 13. Swarm, to be crowded. 18, Es-caped', got away, fled.
LXV. MY GHOST. (178)
By Mrs. S. M. B. Piatt, who was born near Lexington, Ky., in 1836. Among her published works may be mentioned "The Nests at Washington, and Other Poems," and "A Woman's Poems."
1. Yes, Katie, I think you are very sweet, Now that the tangles are out of your hair, And you sing as well as the birds you meet, That are playing, like you, in the blossoms there. But now you are coming to kiss me, you say: Well, what is it for? Shall I tie your shoe? Or loop up your sleeve in a prettier way? "Do I know about ghosts?" Indeed I do.
2. "Have I seen one?" Yes; last evening, you know, We were taking a walk that you had to miss, (I think you were naughty, and cried to go, But, surely, you'll stay at home after this!) And, away in the twilight, lonesomely, ("What is the twilight?" It's—getting late!) I was thinking of things that were sad to me!— There, hush! you know nothing about them, Kate.
3. Well, we had to go through the rocky lane, Close to that bridge where the water roars, By a still, red house, where the dark and rain Go in when they will at the open doors. And the moon, that had just waked up, looked through The broken old windows, and seemed afraid, And the wild bats flew, and the thistles grew Where once in the roses the children played.
4. Just across the road by the cherry trees Some fallen white stones had been lying so long, Half hid in the grass, and under these There were people dead. I could hear the song Of a very sleepy dove as I passed The graveyard near, and the cricket that cried; And I look'd (ah! the Ghost is coming at last!) And something was walking at my side.
5. It seemed to be wrapped in a great dark shawl (For the night was a little cold, you know,); It would not speak. It was black and tall; And it walked so proudly and very slow. Then it mocked me everything I could do: Now it caught at the lightning flies like me; Now it stopped where the elder blossoms grew; Now it tore the thorns from a gray bent tree.
6. Still it followed me under the yellow moon, Looking back to the graveyard now and then, Where the winds were playing the night a tune— But, Kate, a Ghost doesn't care for men, And your papa could n't have done it harm. Ah! dark-eyed darling, what is it you see? There, you needn't hide in your dimpled arm— It was only my shadow that walk'd with me!
LXVI. THE ELEPHANT. (180)
1. The elephant is the largest of quadrupeds; his height is from eight to fourteen feet, and his length, from ten to fifteen feet. His form is that of a hog; his eyes are small and lively; his ears are long, broad and pendulous. He has two large tusks, which form the ivory of commerce, and a trunk, or proboscis, at the end of the nose, which he uses to take his food with, and for attack or defense. His color is a dark ash-brown.
2. Elephants often assemble in large troops; and, as they march in search of food, the forests seem to tremble under them. They eat the branches of trees, together with roots, herbs, leaves, grain, and fruit, but will not touch fish nor flesh. In a state of nature, they are peaceable, mild, and brave; exerting their power only for their own protection or in defense of their own species.
3. Elephants are found both in Asia and Africa, but they are of different species, the Asiatic elephant having five toes, and the African, three. These animals are caught by stratagem, and, when tamed, they are the most gentle, obedient, and patient, as well as the most docile and sagacious of all quadrupeds. They are used to carry burdens, and for traveling. Their attachment to their masters is remarkable; and they seem to live but to serve and obey them. They always kneel to receive their riders; or the loads they have to carry.
4. The anecdotes illustrating the character of the elephant are numerous. An elephant which was kept for exhibition at London, was often required, as is usual in such exhibitions, to pick up with his trunk a piece of money thrown upon the floor for this purpose. On one occasion a sixpence was thrown, which happened to roll a little out of his reach, not far from the wall. Being desired to pick it up, he stretched out his proboscis several times to reach it; failing in this, he stood motionless a few seconds, evidently considering how to act.
5. He then stretched his proboscis in a straight line as far as he could, a little distance above the coin, and blew with great force against the wall. The angle produced by the opposition of the wall, made the current of air act under the coin, as he evidently supposed it would, and it was curious to observe the sixpence traveling toward the animal till it came within his reach, when he picked it up.
6. A soldier in India, who had frequently carried an elephant some arrack, being one day intoxicated, and seeing himself pursued by the guard whose orders were to conduct him to prison, took refuge under the elephant. The guard soon finding his retreat, attempted in vain to take him from his asylum; for the elephant vigorously defended him with his trunk.
7. As soon as the soldier became sober, and saw himself placed under such an unwieldy animal, he was so terrified that he scarcely durst move either hand or foot; but the elephant soon caused his fears to subside by caressing him with his trunk, and thus tacitly saying, "Depart in peace."
8. A pleasing anecdote is related of an elephant which was the property of the nabob of Lucknow. There was in that city an epidemic disorder, making dreadful havoc among the inhabitants. The road to the palace gate was covered with the sick and dying, lying on the ground at the moment the nabob was about to pass.
9. Regardless of the suffering he must cause, the nabob held on his way, not caring whether his beast trod upon the poor helpless creatures or not. But the animal, more kind-hearted than his master, carefully cleared the path of the poor, helpless wretches as he went along. Some he lifted with his trunk, entirely out of the road. Some he set upon their feet, and among the others he stepped so carefully that not an individual was injured.
DEFINITIONS.—l. Quad'ru-ped, an animal having four feet. Pen'du-lous, hanging down. Com'merce, trade, Pro-bos'cis, snout, trunk. 3. Strat'a-gem, artifice. Doc'ile, teachable. 6. Ar'rack, a spirituous liquor made from the juice of the cocoanut. A-sy'lum, a refuge. 7. Un-wield'y, heavy, unmanageable. Tac'-it-ly, silently. 8. Ep-i-dm'ic, affecting many people. Na'bob, a prince in India.
LXVII. DARE TO DO RIGHT. (183)
Adapted from "School Days at Rugby," by Thomas Hughes, an English writer well known through this book, and its sequel, "Tom Brown at Oxford." The author was born in 1823, and died in 1896.
1. The little schoolboys went quietly to their own beds, and began undressing and talking to one another in whispers: while the elder, amongst whom was Tom, sat chatting about on one another's beds, with their jackets and waistcoats off.
2. Poor little Arthur was overwhelmed with the novelty of his position. The idea of sleeping in the room with strange boys had clearly never crossed his mind before, and was as painful as it was strange to him. He could hardly bear to take his jacket off; however, presently, with an effort, off it came, and then he paused and looked at Tom, who was sitting at the bottom of his bed, talking and laughing.
3. "Please, Brown," he whispered, "may I wash my face and hands?" "Of course, if you like," said Tom, staring: "that's your wash-hand stand under the window, second from your bed. You'll have to go down for more water in the morning if you use it all."
4. And on he went with his talk, while Arthur stole timidly from between the beds out to his wash-hand stand, and began his ablutions, thereby drawing for a moment on himself the attention of the room.
5. On went the talk and laughter. Arthur finished his washing and undressing, and put on his nightgown. He then looked round more nervously than ever. Two or three of the little boys were already in bed, sitting up with their chins on their knees. The light burned clear, the noise went on.
6. It was a trying moment for the poor, little, lonely boy; however, this time he did not ask Tom what he might or might not do, but dropped all his knees by his bedside, as he had done every day from his childhood, to open his heart to Him who heareth the cry and beareth the sorrows of the tender child, and the strong man in agony.
7. Tom was sitting at the bottom of his bed unlacing his boots, so that his back was towards Arthur, and he did not see what had happened, and looked up in wonder at the sudden silence. Then two or three boys laughed and sneered, and a big, brutal fellow, who was standing in the middle of the room, picked up a slipper and shied it at the kneeling boy, calling him a sniveling young shaver.
8. Then Tom saw the whole, and the next moment the boot he had just pulled off flew straight at the head of the bully, who had just time to throw up his arm and catch it on his elbow. "Confound you, Brown; what's that for?" roared he, stamping with pain. "Never mind what I mean," said Tom, stepping on to the floor, every drop of blood in his body tingling: "if any fellow wants the other boot, he knows how to get it."
9. What would have been the result is doubtful, for at this moment the sixth-form boy came in, and not another word could be said. Tom and the rest rushed into bed and finished their unrobing there, and the old janitor had put out the candle in another minute, and toddled on to the next room, shutting the door with his usual, "Good night, gen'l'm'n."
10. There were many boys in the room by whom that little scene was taken to heart before they slept. But sleep seemed to have deserted the pillow of poor Tom. For some time his excitement and the flood of memories which chased one another though his brain, kept him from thinking or resolving. His head throbbed, his heart leapt, and he could hardly keep himself from springing out of bed and rushing about the room.
11. Then the thought of his own mother came across him, and the promise he had made at her knee, years ago, never to forget to kneel by his bedside and give himself up to his Father before he laid his head on the pillow, from which it might never rise; and he lay down gently, and cried as if his heart would break. He was only fourteen years old.
DEFINITIONS.—l. Waist'coat, a vest. 2. O-ver-whelmed', over-come, cast down. 3. Nov'el-ty, newness. 4. Ab-lu'tion, the act of washing. 7. Sneered, showed contempt. 8. Bul'ly, a noisy, blustering fellow, more insolent than courageous. Tin'gling, having a thrilling feeling.
NOTES.—"Rugby," the scene of this story, is a celebrated grammar school which was established at the town of Rugby, England, in 1567.
9. Sixth-form boy. The school was graded into six classes or "forms," and the boys of the highest, or sixth, form were expected to keep the smaller boys under them in order. EXERCISES.—What were Arthur's feelings the first night at Rugby? Relate what happened when he said his prayers. What do you think of the boy who threw the slipper? Was Tom right in defending Arthur from insult?
LXVIII. DARE TO DO RIGHT. (Concluded.) (186)
1. It was no light act of courage in those days for a little fellow to say his prayers publicly, even at Rugby. A few years later, when Arnold's manly piety had begun to leaven the school, the tables turned: before he died, in the Schoolhouse at least, and I believe in the other houses, the rule was the other way.
2. But poor Tom had come to school in other times. The first few nights after he came he did not kneel down because of the noise, but sat up in bed till the candle was out, and then stole out and said his prayers, in fear lest some one should find him out. So did many another poor little fellow.
3. Then he began to think that he might just as well say his prayers in bed, and then that it did not matter whether he was kneeling, or sitting, or lying down. And so it had come to pass with Tom, as with all who will not confess their Lord before men; and for the last year he had probably not said his prayers in earnest a dozen times.
4. Poor Tom! the first and bitterest feeling, which was like to break his heart, was the sense of his own cowardice. The vice of all others which he loathed was brought in and burned in on his own soul. He had lied to his mother, to his conscience, to his God. How could he bear it? And then the poor, little, weak boy, whom he had pitied and almost scorned for his weakness, had done that which he, braggart as he was, dared not do.
5. The first dawn of comfort came to him in vowing to himself that he would stand by that boy through thick and thin, and cheer him, and help him, and bear his burdens, for the good deed done that night. Then he resolved to write home next day and tell his mother all, and what a coward her son had been. And then peace came to him as he resolved, lastly, to bear his testimony next morning.
6. The morning would be harder than the night to begin with, but he felt that he could not afford to let one chance slip. Several times he faltered, for the Devil showed him, first, all his old friends calling him "Saint," and "Squaretoes" and a dozen hard names, and whispered to him that his motives would be misunderstood, and he would be left alone with the new boy; whereas, it was his duty to keep all means of influence, that he might do good to the largest number.
7. And then came the more subtle temptation, "shall I not be showing myself braver than others by doing this? Have I any right to begin it now? Ought I not rather to pray in my own study, letting other boys know that I do so, and trying to lead them to it, while in public, at least, I should go on as I have done?" However, his good angel was too strong that night, and he turned on his side and slept, tired of trying to reason, but resolved to follow the impulse which had been so strong, and in which he had found peace.
8. Next morning he was up and washed and dressed, all but his jacket and waistcoat, just as the ten minutes' bell began to ring, and then in the face of the whole room he knelt down to pray. Not five words could he say,—the bell mocked him; he was listening for every whisper in the room,—what were they all thinking of him?
9. He was ashamed to go on kneeling, ashamed to rise from his knees. At last, as it were from his inmost heart, a still, small voice seemed to breathe forth the words of the publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" He repeated them over and over, clinging to them as for his life, and rose from his knees comforted and humbled, and ready to face the whole world.
10. It was not needed: two other boys besides Arthur had already followed his example, and he went down to the great school with a glimmering of another lesson in his heart,—the lesson that he who has conquered his own coward spirit has conquered the whole outward world; and that other one which the old prophet learned in the cave at Mount Horeb, when he hid his face, and the still, small voice asked, "What doest thou here, Elijah?"—that however we may fancy ourselves alone on the side of good, the King and Lord of men is nowhere without his witnesses; for in every society, however seemingly corrupt and godless, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal.
[Transcriber's Footnote: Baal—Various fertility and nature gods of the ancient Semitic peoples considered to be false gods by the Hebrews.]
11. He found, too, how greatly he had exaggerated the effect to be produced by his act. For a few nights there was a sneer or a laugh when he knelt down, but this passed off soon, and one by one all the other boys but three or four followed the lead.
DEFINITIONS.—l. Leav'en, to make a general change, to imbue. 4. Loathed, hated, detested. Brag'gart, a boaster. 5. Vow'ing, making a solemn promise to God. Tes'ti-mo-ny, open declaration. 6. Fal'tered, hesitated. Mo'tive, that which causes action, cause, reason. 7. Sub'tle (pro. sut'l), artful, cunning. Stud'y, a private room devoted to study. 10. Glim'mer-ing, a faint view.
NOTES.—1. Arnold's. Dr. Thomas Arnold was head master at Rugby nearly fifteen years. His influence on the character of the boys was very marked, and soon made the school celebrated throughout England. The Schoolhouse was the name of one of the numerous buildings belonging to Rugby.
EXERCISES.—Relate Tom's early experience at Rugby. Was it courageous in him to stop saying his prayers? How did he feel over it? What did he resolve to do? Did he carry out his resolve? What two lessons was he taught?
LXIX. THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS. (190)
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of the greatest of American poets. He was born in Portland, Me., in 1807. For some years he held the professorship of Modern Languages in Bowdoin College, and later a similar professorship in Harvard College. He died March 21th, 1882.
1. It was the schooner Hesperus, That sailed the wintry sea; And the skipper had taken his little daughter, To bear him company.
2. Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax, Her checks like the dawn of day, And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds, That ope in the month of May.
3. The skipper, he stood beside the helm, His pipe was in his mouth, And he watched how the veering flaw did blow The smoke now west, now south.
4. Then up and spake an old sailor, Had sailed to the Spanish Main, "I pray thee, put into yonder port, For I fear the hurricane.
5. "Last night, the moon had a golden ring, And to-night no moon we see!" The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe, And a scornful laugh laughed he.
6. Colder and louder blew the wind, A gale from the northeast; The snow fell hissing in the brine, And the billows frothed like yeast.
7. Down came the storm, and smote amain The vessel in its strength; She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed, Then leaped her cable's length.
8. "Come hither! come hither! my little daughter, And do not tremble so; For I can weather the roughest gale That ever wind did blow."
9. He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat, Against the stinging blast: He cut a rope from a broken spar, And bound her to the mast.
10. "O father! I hear the church bells ring, Oh say, what may it be?" "'Tis a fog bell on a rock-bound coast!" And he steered for the open sea.
11. "O father! I hear the sound of guns, Oh say, what may it be?" "Some ship in distress, that can not live In such an angry sea!"
12. "O father! I see a gleaming light, Oh say, what may it be?" But the father answered never a word, A frozen corpse was he.
13. Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark, With his face turned to the skies, The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow On his fixed and glassy eyes.
14. Then the maiden clasped her hands, and prayed That saved she might be; And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave On the lake of Galilee.
15. And fast through the midnight dark and drear, Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept Tow'rds the reef of Norman's Woe.
16. And ever the fitful gusts between A sound came from the land: It was the sound of the trampling surf On the rocks and the hard sea sand.
17. The breakers were right beneath her bows, She drifted a dreary wreck, And a whooping billow swept the crew Like icicles from her deck.
18. She struck where the white and fleecy waves Looked soft as carded wool, But the cruel rocks, they gored her side Like the horns of an angry bull.
19. Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice, With the masts, went by the board; Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank, Ho! ho! the breakers roared!
20. At day break, on the bleak seabeach, A fisherman stood aghast, To see the form of a maiden fair Lashed close to a drifting mast.
21. The salt sea was frozen on her breast, The salt tears in her eyes; And he saw her hair, like the brown seaweed, On the billows fall and rise.
22. Such was the wreck of the Hesperus In the midnight and the snow: Heav'n save us all from a death like this On the reef of Norman's Woe!
DEFINITIONS.—l. Skip'per, the master of a small merchant ves-sel. 3. Veer'ing, changing. Flaw, a sudden gust of wind. 4. Port, harbor. 6. Brine, the sea. 7. A-main', with sudden force. 8. Weath'er, to endure, to resist. 9. Spar, a long beam. 13. Helm, the instrument by which a ship is steered. 18. Card'ed, cleaned by combing. 19. Shrouds, sets of ropes reaching from the mastheads to the sides of a vessel to support the masts. Stove, broke in.
NOTES.—This piece is written in the style of the old English ballads. The syllables marked (') have a peculiar accent not usually allowed.
4. The Spanish Main was the name formerly applied to the northern coast of South America from the Mosquito Territory to the Leeward Islands.
15. The reef of Norman's Woe. A dangerous ledge of rocks on the Massachusetts coast, near Gloucester harbor.
19. Went by the board. A sailor's expression, meaning "fell over the side of the vessel."
LXX. ANECDOTES OF BIRDS. (193)
1. I had once a favorite black hen, "a great beauty," as she was called by everyone, and so I thought her; her feathers were so jetty, and her topping so white and full! She knew my voice as well as any dog, and used to run cackling and bustling to my hand to receive the fragments that I never failed to collect from the breakfast table for "Yarico," as she was called.
2. Yarico, by the time she was a year old, hatched a respectable family of chickens; little, cowering, timid things at first, but, in due time, they became fine chubby ones; and old Norah said, "If I could only keep Yarico out of the copse, it would do; but the copse is full of weasels and of foxes.
3. "I have driven her back twenty times; but she watches till some one goes out of the gate, and then she's off again. It is always the case with young hens, Miss; they think they know better than their keepers; and nothing cures them but losing a brood or two of chickens." I have often thought since that young people, as well as young hens, buy their experience equally dear.
4. One morning; after breakfast, I went to seek my favorite in the poultry yard; plenty of hens were there, but no Yarico. The gate was open, and, as I concluded she had sought the forbidden copse, I proceeded there, accompanied by the yard mastiff; a noble fellow, steady and sagacious as a judge.
5. At the end of a lane, flanked on one side by a quickset hedge, on the other by a wild common, what was called the copse commenced; but before I arrived near the spot I heard a loud and tremendous cackling, and met two young, long-legged pullets, running with both wings and feet toward home. Jock pricked up his sharp ears, and would have set off at full gallop to the copse; but I restrained him, hastening onward, however, at the top of my speed, thinking I had as good a right to see what was the matter as Jock.
6. Poor Yarico! An impertinent fox cub had attempted to carry off one of her children; but she had managed to get them behind her in the hedge, and venturing boldly forth had placed herself in front, and positively kept the impudent animal at bay. His desire for plunder had prevented his noticing our approach, and Jock soon made him feel the superiority of an English mastiff over a cub fox.
7. The most interesting portion of my tale is to come. Yarico not only never afterward ventured to the copse, but formed a strong friendship for the dog which had preserved her family. Whenever he appeared in the yard, she would run to meet him, prating and clucking all the time, and impeding his progress by walking between his legs, to his no small annoyance. If any other dog entered the yard, she would fly at him most furiously, thinking, perhaps, that he would injure her chickens; but she evidently considered Jock her especial protector, and treated him accordingly.
8. It was very droll to see the peculiar look with which he regarded his feathered friend; not knowing exactly what to make of her civilities, and doubting how they should be received. When her family were educated, and able to do without her care, she was a frequent visitor at Jock's kennel, and would, if permitted, roost there at night, instead of returning with the rest of the poultry to the henhouse. Yarico certainly was a most grateful and interesting bird. * *
9. One could almost believe a parrot had intellect, when he keeps up a conversation so spiritedly; and it is certainly singular to observe how accurately a well-trained bird will apply his knowledge. A friend of mine knew one that had been taught many sentences; thus, "Sally, Poll wants her breakfast!" "Sally, Poll wants her tea!" but she never mistook the one for the other; breakfast was invariably demanded in the morning, and tea in the afternoon; and she always hailed her master, but no one else, by "How do you do, Mr. A?"
10. She was a most amusing bird, and could whistle dogs, which she had great pleasure in doing. She would drop bread out of her cage as she hung at the street door, and whistle a number about her, and then, just as they were going to possess themselves of her bounty, utter a shrill scream of "Get out, dogs!" with such vehemence and authority as dispersed the assembled company without a morsel, to her infinite delight. * * *
11. How wonderful is that instinct by which the bird of passage performs its annual migration! But how still more wonderful is it when the bird, after its voyage of thousands of miles has been performed, and new lands visited, returns to the precise window or eaves where, the summer before, it first enjoyed existence! And yet, such is unquestionably the fact.
12. Four brothers had watched with indignation the felonious attempts of a sparrow to possess himself of the nest of a house martin, in which lay its young brood of four unfledged birds.
13. The little fellows considered themselves as champions for the bird which had come over land and sea, and chosen its shelter under their mother's roof. They therefore marshaled themselves with blowguns, to execute summary vengeance; but their well-meant endeavors brought destruction upon the mud-built domicile they wished to defend. Their artillery loosened the foundations, and down it came, precipitating its four little inmates to the ground. The mother of the children, Good Samaritan-like, replaced the little outcasts in their nest, and set it in the open window of an unoccupied chamber.
14. The parent birds, after the first terror was over, did not appear disconcerted by the change of situation, but hourly fed their young as usual, and testified, by their unwearied twitter of pleasure, the satisfaction and confidence they felt. There the young birds were duly fledged, and from that window they began their flight, and entered upon life.
15. The next spring, with the reappearance of the martins, came four, which familiarly flew into the chamber, visited all the walls, and expressed their recognition by the most clamorous twitterings of joy. They were, without question, the very birds that had been bred there the preceding year.
DEFINITIONS.—2. Copse, a grove of small trees or bushes. 4. Sa-ga'cious, quick in discernment. 6. Im-per'ti-nent, rude, intru-sive. 8. Ken'nel, a place for dogs. 10. Ve'he-mence, force. 11. Mi-gra'tion, change of place, removal. 12. Fe-lo'ni-ous, criminal. 13. Dom'i-cile, the home or residence of anyone. Ar-til'er-y, weapons of warfare. 14. Dis-con-cert'ed, interrupted, confused. 15. Rec-og-ni'tion, recollection of a former acquaintance.
LXXI. THE RAINBOW PILGRIMAGE. (197)
By Sara J. Lippincott, born at Onondaga, N. Y., in 1823, of New England parentage. Under the name of "Grace Greenwood" she has written many charming stories for children. Some of her best sketches are in "Records of Five Years."
1. One summer afternoon, when I was about eight years of age, I was standing at an eastern window, looking at a beautiful rainbow that, bending from the sky, seemed to be losing itself in a thick, swampy wood about a quarter of a mile distant.
2. It happened that no one was in the room with me then but my brother Rufus, who was just recovering from a severe illness, and was sitting, propped up with pillows, in an easy-chair, looking out, with me, at the rainbow.
3. "See, brother," I said, "it drops right down among the cedars, where we go in the spring to find wintergreens!"
4. "Do you know, Gracie," said my brother, with a very serious face, "that if you should go to the end of the rain how, you would find there purses filled with money, and great pots of gold and silver?"
5. "Is it truly so?" I asked.
6. "Truly so," answered my brother, with a smile. Now, I was a simple-hearted child who believed everything that was told me, although I was again and again imposed upon; so, without another word, I darted out of the door, and set forth toward the wood. My brother called after me as loudly as he was able, but I did not heed him.
7. I cared nothing for the wet grass, which was sadly drabbling my clean frock,—on and on I ran: I was so sure that I knew just where that rainbow ended. I remember how glad and proud I was in my thoughts, and what fine presents I promised to all my friends out of my great riches.
8. So thinking, and laying delightful plans, almost before I knew it I had reached the cedar grove, and the end of the rainbow was not there! But I saw it shining down among the trees a little farther off; so on and on I struggled, through the thick bushes and over logs, till I came within the sound of a stream which ran through the swamp. Then I thought, "What if the rainbow should come down right in the middle of that deep, muddy brook!"
9. Ah! but I was frightened for my heavy pots of gold and silver, and my purses of money. How should I ever find them there? and what a time I should have getting them out! I reached the bank of the stream, and "the end was not yet." But I could see it a little way off on the other side. I crossed the creek on a fallen tree, and still ran on, though my limbs seemed to give way, and my side ached with fatigue.
10. The woods grew thicker and darker, the ground more wet and swampy, and I found, as many grown people had found before me, that there was rather hard traveling in a journey after, riches. Suddenly I met in my way a large porcupine, who made himself still larger when he saw me, as a cross cat raises its back and makes tails at a dog. Fearing that he would shoot his sharp quills at me, I ran from him as fast as my tired feet would carry me.
11. In my fright and hurry I forgot to keep my eye on the rainbow, as I had done before; and when, at last, I remembered and looked for it, it was nowhere in sight! It had quite faded away. When I saw that it was indeed gone, I burst into tears; for I had lost all my treasures, and had nothing to show for my pilgrimage but muddy feet and a wet and torn frock. So I set out for home.
12. But I soon found that my troubles had only begun; I could not find my way: I was lost! I could not tell which was east or west, north or south, but wandered about here and there, crying and calling, though I knew that no one could hear me.
13. All at once I heard voices shouting and hallooing; but, instead of being rejoiced at this, I was frightened, fearing that the Indians were upon me! I crawled under some bushes, by the side of a large log, and lay perfectly still. I was wet, cold, scared, altogether very miserable indeed; yet, when the voices came near, I did not start up and show myself.
14. At last I heard my own name called; but I remembered that Indians were very cunning, and thought they might have found it out some way, so I did not answer. Then came a voice near me, that sounded like that of my eldest brother, who lived away from home, and whom I had not seen for many months; but I dared not believe that the voice was his.
15. Soon some one sprang up on the log by which I lay, and stood there calling. I could not see his face; I could only see the tips of his toes, but by them I saw that he wore a nice pair of boots, and not moccasins. Yet I remembered that some Indians dressed like white folks; so I still kept quiet, till I heard shouted over me a pet name, which this brother had given me. It was the funniest name in the world.
16. I knew that no Indian knew of the name, as it was a little family secret; so I sprang up, and caught my brother about the ankles. I hardly think that an Indian could have given a louder yell than he gave then; and he jumped so that he fell off the log down by my side. But nobody was hurt; and, after kissing me till he had kissed away all my tears, he hoisted me on to his shoulder, called my other brothers, who were hunting in different directions, and we all set out for home.
17. I had been gone nearly three hours, and had wandered a number of miles. My brother Joseph's coming and asking for me, had first set them to inquiring and searching me out. When I went into the room where my brother Rufus sat, he said, "Why, my poor little sister! I did not mean to send you off on such a wild-goose chase to the end of the rainbow. I thought you would know I was only quizzing you."
18. Then my eldest brother took me on his knee, and told me what the rainbow really is: that it is only painted air, and does not rest on the earth, so nobody could ever find the end; and that God has set it in the cloud to remind him and us of his promise never again to drown the world with a flood. "Oh, I think God's Promise would be a beautiful name for the rainbow!" I said.
19. "Yes," replied my mother, "but it tells us something more than that he will not send great floods upon the earth,—it tells us of his beautiful love always bending over us from the skies. And I trust that when my little girl sets forth on a pilgrimage to find God's love, she will be led by the rainbow of his promise through all the dark places of this world to 'treasures laid up in heaven,' better, far better, than silver or gold."
DEFINITIONS.—2. Re-cov'er-ing, growing well. 3. Win'ter—green, a creeping evergreen plant with bright red berries. 6. Im—posed', (used with on or upon), deceived, misled. 7. Drab'-bling, making dirty by drawing in mud and water. 10. Por'cu—pine, a small quadruped whose body is covered with sharp quills. 11. Pil'grim-age, journey. 15. Moc'ca-sins, shoes of deerskin without soles, such as are usually worn by Indians. 17. Quiz'zing, making sport of.
LXXII. THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET. (202)
By Samuel Woodworth, who was born in Massachusetts in 1785. He was both author and editor. This is his best known poem. He died in 1842.
1. How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood, When fond recollection presents them to view! The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood, And every loved spot which my infancy knew; The wide-spreading pond, and the mill that stood by it: The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell: The cot of my father, the dairy house nigh it, And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the well: The old oaken bucket, the ironbound bucket, The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.