CHILD TIRED OF PLAY.
1. Tired of play'! tired of play'! What hast thou done this livelong day'? The birds are silent', and so is the bee'; The sun is creeping up steeple and tree'; The doves have flown to the sheltering eaves', And the nests are dark with the drooping leaves'; Twilight gathers', and day is done',— How hast them spent it',—restless one'?
2. Playing'? But what hast thou done beside, To tell thy mother at eventide'? What promise of morn is left unbroken'? What kind word to thy playmates spoken'? Whom hast thou pitied, and whom forgiven'? How with thy faults has duty striven'? What hast thou learned by field and hill, By greenwood path, and by singing rill'?
3. There will come an eve to a longer day', That will find thee tired',—but not of play'! And thou wilt lean, as thou leanest now, With drooping limbs, and aching brow, And wish the shadows would faster creep, And long to go to thy quiet sleep. Well were it then, if thine aching brow Were as free from sin and shame as now! Well for thee, if thy lip could tell A tale like this, of a day spent well.
4. If thine open hand hath relieved distress',— If thy pity hath sprung to wretchedness',— If thou hast forgiven the sore offense', And humbled thy heart with penitence',— If Nature's voices have spoken to thee With her holy meanings eloquently',— If every creature hath won thy love', From the creeping worm to the brooding dove',— If never a sad, low-spoken word Hath pled with thy human heart unheard',— Then', when the night steals on, as now, It will bring relief to thine aching brow, And, with joy and peace at the thought of rest, Thou wilt sink to sleep on thy mother's breast.
QUESTIONS.—1. What had the child been doing? 2. What questions did the mother ask? 3. What did she tell the child would come? 4. What is meant by eve to a longer day, third verse? 5. What, by quiet sleep, same verse? 6. What ought we to do in life, in order to have a joyful and peaceful death? 7. What rule for the rising inflection on restless one, first verse? See page 32, Note I. 8. What rule for the falling inflection on playing, second verse? See page 29, Rule II. 9. What rule for the rising inflections in the fourth verse? Rule V., page 31.
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NORTH-EAST' ERS, north-east winds. EX HAUST' ED, (x like gz,) tired out. VIG' I LANT, watchful. DE TECT' ED, discovered. LEE' WARD, pertaining to the part toward which the wind blows. RE CED' ING, retiring; passing away. BRILL' IAN CY, brightness; luster. TILL' ER, bar used to turn the rudder. TORT' URE, anguish of spirit. DE SERT' ED, relinquished; abandoned. RA PID' I TY, speed; swiftness. EN VEL' OP ED, inclosed; covered. GEN' ER A TED, produced. LETH' AR GY, drowsiness; dullness. RES' CUE, deliverance. IN EV' I TA BLY, surely; certainly. ES PY' ING, seeing; discovering. CON' TACT, (CON, together; TAC, touch,) a touching together; close union.
BY A SEA CAPTAIN.
1. On a bright moonlight night, in the month of February, 1831, when it was intensely cold, the little brig which I commanded, lay quietly at her anchors, inside of Sandy Hook. We had had a hard time, beating about for eleven days off this coast, with cutting north-easters blowing, and snow and sleet falling for the most part of that time.
2. Forward, the vessel was thickly coated with ice, and it was hard work to handle her; as the rigging and sails were stiff, and yielded only when the strength of the men was exerted to the utmost. When we, at length, made the port, all hands were worn down and exhausted.
3. "A bitter cold night, Mr. Larkin," I said to my mate, as I tarried for a short time upon deck. The worthy down-easter buttoned his coat more tightly around him, and, looking up to the moon, replied, "It's a whistler, captain; and nothing can live comfortably out of blankets to-night."
4. "The tide is running out swift and strong, and it will be well to keep a sharp look-out for this floating ice, Mr. Larkin," said I, as I turned to go below. "Ay, ay, sir," responded the faithful mate.
5. About two hours afterward, I was aroused from a sound sleep by the vigilant officer. "Excuse me for disturbing you, captain," said he, as he detected an expression of vexation in my face, "but I wish you would turn out, and come on deck as soon as possible."
6. "What's the matter, Mr. Larkin," said I. "Why, sir, I have been watching a large cake of ice, which swept by at a distance, a moment ago; and I saw something black upon it, something that I thought moved. The moon is under a cloud, and I could not see distinctly; but I believe there is a child floating out to the sea, this freezing night, on that cake of ice."
7. We were on deck before either spoke another word. The mate pointed out, with no little difficulty, the cake of ice floating off to the leeward, with its white, glittering surface broken by a black spot. "Get the glass, Mr. Larkin," said I; "the moon will be out of that cloud in a moment, and then we can see distinctly."
8. I kept my eye upon the receding mass of ice, while the moon was slowly working her way through a heavy bank of clouds. The mate stood by me with the glass; and when the full light fell upon the water with a brilliancy only known in our northern latitudes, I put the glass to my eye. One glance was enough.
9. ('')"Forward, there!" I hailed at the top of my voice; and, with one bound, I reached the main hatch, and began to clear away the little cutter, which was stowed in the ship's yawl. Mr. Larkin had taken the glass to look for himself, "There are two children on that cake of ice!" he exclaimed, as he hastened to assist me in getting out the boat.
10. The men answered my hail, and walked quickly aft. In a short space of time, we launched the cutter, into which Mr. Larkin and myself jumped, followed by the two men, who took the oars. I rigged the tiller, and the mate sat beside me in the stern sheets.
11. "Do you see that cake of ice with something black upon it, my lads? Put me alongside of that, and I'll give you a month's extra wages when you are paid off," said I to the men.
12. They bent to their oars, but their strokes were uneven and feeble; for they were worn out by the hard duty of the preceding fortnight; and, though they did their best, the boat made little more headway than the tide. It was a losing chase, and Mr. Larkin, who was suffering torture as he saw how little we gained, cried out, "Pull, lads! I'll double the captain's prize: two months' extra pay: pull, lads! pull for life!"
13. A convulsive effort at the oars told how willing the men were to obey; but the strength of the strong man was gone. One of the poor fellows washed us twice in recovering his oar, and then gave out; and the other was nearly as far gone. Mr. Larkin sprang forward and seized the deserted oar. "Lie down in the bottom of the boat," said he to the man; "and, captain, take the other oar; we must row for ourselves."
14. I took the second man's place. Larkin had stripped off his coat, and, as he pulled the bow, I waited for the signal stroke. It came gently, but firm; and the next moment we were pulling a long, steady stroke; gradually increasing in rapidity, until the wood seemed to smoke in the row-locks. We kept time, each by the long, deep breathing of the other.
15. Such a pull! We bent forward until our faces almost touched our knees; and then throwing all our strength into the backward movement, drew on the oar until every inch covered by the sweep was gained. Thus we worked at the oars for fifteen minutes; and it seemed to me as many hours. The sweat rolled off in great drops, and I was enveloped in a steam generated from my own body.
16. "Are we almost up to it, Mr. Larkin?" I gasped out. "Almost, captain," said he: "and don't give up! for the love of our dear little ones at home: don't give up, captain!" The oars flashed as their blades turned up to the moonlight, for the men who plied them were fathers, and had fathers' hearts.
17. Suddenly Mr. Larkin ceased pulling; and my heart, for a moment, almost stopped its beating; for the terrible thought that he had given out, crossed my mind. But I was re-assured by his voice, (p) "Gently, captain, gently: a stroke or two more: there, that will do;" and the next moment Mr. Larkin sprang upon the ice. I started up, and, calling to the men to make fast the boat to the ice, followed him.
18. We ran to the dark spot in the center of the mass, and found two little boys. The head of the smaller was resting in the bosom of the larger; and both were fast asleep. The lethargy, which would have been fatal but for the timely rescue, had overcome them.
19. Mr. Larkin grasped one of the lads, cut off his shoes, tore off his jacket, and then, loosening his own garments to the skin, placed the cold child in contact with his own warm body, carefully wrapping his overcoat around him. I did the same with the other child, and we then returned to the boat.
20. The children, as we learned when we had the delight of restoring them to their parents, were playing on the cake of ice, which had jammed into a bend of the river, about ten miles above New York. A movement of the tide set the ice in motion, and the little fellows were borne away, that cold night, and would have inevitably perished, but for Mr. Larkin's espying them as they were sweeping out to sea.
21. "How do you feel, Mr. Larkin?" I said to the mate, the morning after this adventure. "A little stiff in the arms, captain," the noble fellow replied, while the big tears of grateful happiness gathered in his eyes,—"a little stiff in the arms, captain, but very easy here," laying his hand on the rough chest in which beat a true and manly heart. My quaint down-easter, He who lashes the seas into fury, and lets loose the tempest, will care for thee! The storms may rage without, but in thy bosom peace and sunshine abide always.
QUESTIONS.—1. Describe the condition of the vessel as she lay at anchor inside Sandy Hook. 2. What did the captain say to Mr. Larkin, as he retired to rest? 3. Why did Mr. Larkin wake up the captain? 4. What did they discover on a cake of ice, floating out to sea? 5. Who went to their rescue? 6. What did the captain say to the rowers of the boat? 7. What did Mr. Larkin say to them? 8. Did they finally succeed in rescuing the children? 9. How came the two boys to be on that cake of ice? 10. What did Mr. Larkin say, when the captain asked him how he felt?
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A DORN' ED, decorated; embellished. SPOILS, booty; prey. ANT' LERS, branching horns. SUS PEND' ED, hung; atatched. DIS TRACT' ED, disturbed; disordered. FU' GI TIVE, runaway; wanderer. BE SET', hemmen in; surrounded. TRAI' TORS, betrayers. HEATH, place overgrown with shrubs. LIEGE, lord; sovereign. LOY' AL, true; faithful. FE' AL TY, loyalty; fidelity. MA' TRON, married woman. REC OG NIZ' ED, knew; recollected. IN VAD' ERS, persons invading.
ROBERT BRUCE AND THE SCOTCH WOMAN.
1. Many years ago, an old Scotch woman sat alone, spinning by the kitchen fire, in her little cottage. The room was adorned with the spoils of the chase, and many implements of war and hunting. There were spears, bows and arrows, swords, and shields; and, against the side of the room, hung a pair of huge antlers, once reared on the lordly brow of a "stag of ten," [Footnote: That is, a stag ten years old. The age of the animal is known by the number of prongs or tines, each year one new prong being added.] on which were suspended skins, plaids, bonnets, and one or two ponderous battle-axes.
2. The table, in the middle of the floor, was spread for supper, and some oatmeal cakes were baking before the fire. But the dame was not thinking of any of these things, nor of her two manly sons, who, in an adjoining room, were busily preparing for the next day's sport.
3. She was thinking of the distracted state of her native land, and of the good king, Robert Bruce, a fugitive in his own kingdom, beset, on every hand, by open enemies and secret traitors. "Alas!" thought she, "to-night I dwell here in peace, while to-morrow may see me driven out into the heath; and even now our king is a wanderer, with no shelter for his weary limbs."
4. A loud knock at the door broke in upon her musings. She rose, trembling with fear, to unbar the entrance, and beheld a man closely muffled in a cloak. "My good woman," said he, "will you grant a poor traveler the shelter of your roof to-night'?"
5. "Right willingly will I," said she; "for the love of one, for whose sake all travelers are welcome here." 6. "For whose sake is it that you make all wanderers welcome?" asked the stranger.
7. "For the sake of our good king, Robert Bruce, who, though he is now hunted like a wild beast, with horn and hound, I trust yet to see on the throne of Scotland!"
8. "Nay, then, my good woman," replied the man, "since you love him so well, know that you see him now I am Robert Bruce."
9. "You'!—are you our king'?" she inquired, sinking on her knees, and reverently kissing his hand; "where, then, are your followers, and why are you thus alone?"
10. "I have no followers now," replied Bruce, "and am, therefore, compelled to travel alone."
11. "Nay, my liege," exclaimed the loyal dame, "that you shall do no longer; for here are my two sons, whom I give to you, and may they long live to serve and defend your majesty!"
12. The Scottish youths bent their knees, and took the oath of fealty; and then, sitting beside the fire, the king entered into conversation with his new retainers, while their mother was busied in preparing the evening meal.
13. Suddenly, they were startled by the tramp of horses' hoofs, and the voices of men. "'Tis the English!" shouted the matron, "fight to the last, my sons, and defend your king!" But, at this moment, the king recognized the voices of Lord James, of Douglas, and of Edward Bruce, and bade them have no fear.
14. Bruce was overjoyed at meeting with his brother, and his faithful friend Douglas, who had with them a band of one hundred and fifty men. He bade farewell to the brave and loyal woman, and, taking with him her two sons, left the place.
15. The two young Scots served Bruce well and faithfully, and were high officers in his service when, at the head of a conquering army, he drove the English invaders from the soil of Scotland, and rendered her again a free and independent kingdom.
QUESTIONS.—1. Describe the room in which the Scotch woman resided. 2, What is meant by a "stag of ten?" 3. Who did the stranger prove to be? 4. Who joined Bruce? 5. What did Bruce and his men then do?
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PROS PER' ITY, success; good fortune. DIG' NI FIES, elevates; ennobles. SUS TAIN' ED, endured; suffered. AD VERS' I TY, calamity; misfortune. UN ERR' ING, sure; certain. FOR LORN', forsaken; wretched. CAN' O PY, covering overhead. EI DER DOWN, fine, soft feathers from the eider-duck. DE VOID', destitute. IM MERS' ED, inwrapped; sunk. GOS' SA MER Y, like gossamer; filmy. RE COIL' ED, started back. FOIL' ED, frustrated; defeated. RO MANCE', fiction. TRIV' I AL, small; trifling. CON FIDE', trust; believe. AD' VERSE, contrary; opposite. PALM, token of victory.
ROBERT BRUCE AND THE SPIDER.
1. Not in prosperity's broad light, Can reason justly scan The sterling worth which, viewed aright, Most dignifies the man. Favored at once by wind and tide, The skillful pilot well may guide The bark in safety on; Yet, when his harbor he has gained, He who no conflict hath sustained, No meed has fairly won.
2. But in adversity's dark hour Of peril and of fear, When clouds above the vessel lower, With scarce one star to cheer; When winds are loud, and waves are high, And ocean, to a timid eye, Appears the seaman's grave; Amid the conflict, calm, unmoved, By truth's unerring test is proved The skillful and the brave.
3. For Scotland and her freedom's right The Bruce his part had played; In five successive fields of fight Been conquered and dismayed. Once more, against the English host His band he led, and once more lost The meed for which he fought; And now, from battle faint and worn, The homeless fugitive forlorn A hut's lone shelter sought.
4. And cheerless was that resting-place For him who claimed a throne; His canopy, devoid of grace,— The rude, rough beams alone; The heather couch his only bed, Yet well I know had slumber fled From couch of eider down; Through darksome night to dawn of day, Immersed in wakeful thought he lay, Of Scotland and her crown.
5. The sun rose brightly, and its gleam Fell on that hapless bed, And tinged with light each shapeless beam Which roofed the lowly shed; When, looking up with wistful eye, The Bruce beheld a spider try His filmy thread to fling From beam to beam of that rude cot; And well the insect's toilsome lot Taught Scotland's future king.
6. Six times his gossamery thread The wary spider threw: In vain the filmy line was sped; For, powerless or untrue, Each aim appeared and back recoiled The patient insect, six times foiled, And yet unconquered still; And soon the Bruce, with eager eye, Saw him prepare once more to try His courage, strength, and skill.
7. One effort more, the seventh and last,— The hero hailed the sign! And on the wished-for beam hung fast The slender, silken line. Slight as it was, his spirit caught The more than omen; for his thought The lesson well could trace, Which even "he who runs may read," That perseverance gains its meed, And patience wins the race.
8. Is it a tale of mere romance'? Its moral is the same,— A light and trivial circumstance'? Some thought, it still may claim. Art thou a father'? teach thy son Never to deem that all is done, While aught remains untried; To hope, though every hope seems crossed, And when his bark is tempest-tossed Still calmly to confide.
9. Hast thou been long and often foiled (<) By adverse wind and seas'? And vainly struggled, vainly toiled, For what some win with ease'? Yet bear up heart, and hope, and will, Nobly resolved to struggle still, With patience persevere; Knowing, when darkest seems the night, The dawn of morning's glorious light Is swiftly drawing near.
10. Art thou a Christian? shall the frown Of fortune cause dismay'? The Bruce but won an earthly crown, Which long hath passed away; For thee a heavenly crown awaits; For thee are oped the pearly gates,— Prepared the deathless palm: But bear in mind that only those Who persevere unto the close, Can join in Victory's psalm.
QUESTIONS.—1. Will smooth seas and favoring gales make a skillful mariner? 2. What will make skillful and brave men? 3. In what respect is adversity better than prosperity? 4. What story illustrates this fact? 5. How many times did the spider try, before it succeeded? 6. In how many battles had Bruce been defeated? 7. What important lesson is taught youth? 8. What encouragement is given to the Christian?
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PA' TRI OT' IC, having love of country. OB SER VA' TION, remark, expression. POP' U LAR, well received; prevailing. E QUAL' I TY, sameness of social position. AUD' I BLE, that may be heard. DE TER' MIN ED, fully resolved. HES' I TATE, scruple. BRA' VO, well done. BROILS, wrangles; quarrels. RENOWN' ED, famed; celebrated. O' DI OUS, hateful; offensive. COUNT' ESS, wife of a count or earl. FAG-END', the meaner part. NO BIL' I TY, noble rank. BUR LESQUE', (burlesk',) ridicule. HE RED' I TA RY, coming by descent. CON' STI TUTES, forms; composes. APH' O RISMS, precepts; maxims. TEM' PO RA RY, continuing for a time. BECK, sign with the hand; nod.
[Headnote 1: LA VA' TER, (John Gaspar,) a celebrated physiognomist, that is, one skilled in the art of determining character by the external features, born in Zurich, in 1741.]
That part of this dialogue uttered by Caroline, should be read in a very earnest and spirited style,—that uttered by Horace in a more grave, deliberate, and candid manner.
WEALTH AND FASHION.
Caroline. What a pity it is that we are born under a Republican government!
Horace. Upon my word, Caroline, that is a patriotic observation for an American.
Caroline. Oh, I know that it is not a popular one! We must all join in the cry of liberty and equality, and bless our stars that we have neither kings nor emperors to rule over us, and that our very first audible squeak was republicanism. If we don't join in the shout, and hang our caps on liberty-poles, we are considered monsters. For my part, I am tired of it, and am determined to say what I think. I hate republicanism; I hate liberty and equality; and I don't hesitate to declare that I am for monarchy. You may laugh, but I would say it at the stake.
Horace. Bravo, Caroline! You have almost run yourself out of breath. You deserve to be prime minister to the king.
Caroline. You mistake; I have no wish to mingle in political broils, not even if I could be as renowned as Pitt or Fox; but I must say, I think our equality is odious. What do you think! To-day, the new chamber-maid put her head into the door, and said, "Caroline, your marm wants you!"
Horace. Excellent! I suppose if ours were a monarchical government, she would have bent to the ground, or saluted your little foot, before she spoke.
Caroline. No, Horace; you know there are no such forms in this country.
Horace. May I ask your highness what you would like to be?
Caroline. I should like to be a countess.
Horace. Oh, you are moderate in your ambition! A countess, now-a-days, is the fag-end of nobility.
Caroline. Oh! but it sounds so delightfully,—"The young Countess Caroline!"
Horace. If sound is all, you shall have that pleasure; we will call you the young countess.
Caroline. That would be mere burlesque, Horace, and would make one ridiculous.
Horace. Nothing can be more inconsistent in us, than aiming at titles.
Caroline. For us, I grant you; but, if they were hereditary, if we had been born to them, if they came to us through belted knights and high-born dames, then we might be proud to wear them. I never shall cease to regret that I was not born under a monarchy.
Horace. You seem to forget that all are not lords and ladies in royal dominions. Suppose you should have drawn your first breath among the lower classes,—suppose it should have been your lot to crouch and bend, or be trodden under foot by some titled personage, whom in your heart you despised; what then?
Caroline. You may easily suppose that I did not mean to take those chances. No; I meant to be born among the higher ranks.
Horace. Your own reason must tell you, that all can not be born among the higher ranks; for then the lower ones would be wanting, which constitute the comparison. Now, Caroline, is it not better to be born under a government where there are no such ranks, and where the only nobility is talent and virtue'?
Caroline. Talent and virtue! I think wealth constitutes our nobility, and the right of abusing each other, our liberty.
Horace. You are as fond of aphorisms as Lavater[Headnote 1] was.
Caroline. Let me ask you if our rich men, who ride in their own carriages, who have fine houses, and who count by millions, are not our great men?
Horace. They have all the greatness that money can buy; but this is very limited.
Caroline. Well, in my opinion, money is power.
Horace. You mistake. Money may be temporary power, but talent is power itself; and, when united with virtue, is godlike power, before which the mere man of millions quails.
Caroline. Well, Horace, I really wish you the possession of talent, and principle, and wealth into the bargain. The latter, you think, will follow the two former, simply at your beck;—you smile; but I feel as determined in my way of thinking, as you do in yours.
QUESTIONS.—1. What is the subject of this dialogue? 2. What did Caroline regret? 3. What reply did Horace make? 4. What did Caroline wish to be? 5. What did Horace say constituted true nobility?
* * * * *
RE SERV'ING, keeping; retaining. AC CU' MU LA TED, collected. IN DIG NA' TION, angry feeling. RE SOURC' ES, means; funds. DIS SER TA' TION, discourse; essay. EX PAN' SION, enlargement. DE POS' IT ED, put; laid. EX ER' TION (egs er shun,) effort. JU DI' CIOUS, wise, prudent. VO CA' TION, business; employment. EU PHON' IC, agreeable; well-sounding. CO TEM' PO RA RIES, those living at the same time. DI GRES' SION, departure from the subject. PRE DIC' TIONS, prophecies. IM PELL' ED, driven forward.
AR IS TOC' RA CY, (ARISTO, the best; CRACY, government,) government by the best, or nobles. See SANDERS' ANALYSIS, page 200, Ex. 283.
[Headnote 1: SOC' RA TES, the most celebrated philosopher of antiquity, was born at Athens, 470 years before Christ. The purity of his doctrines, and his independence of character, rendered him popular with the most enlightened Athenians, though they created him many enemies. He was falsely accused, arraigned, and condemned to drink hemlock, the juice of a poisonous plant. When the hour to take the poison had come, the executioner handed him the cup, with tears in his eyes. Socrates received it with composure, drank it with unaltered countenance, and, in a few moments, expired.]
[Headnote 2: DE MOS' THE NES, a great Grecian orator, who, rather than fall into the hands of his enemies, destroyed himself by taking poison. It is said that, when a youth, he frequently declaimed on the sea-shore, while the waves were roaring around him, in order to secure a large compass of voice, and to accustom himself to the tumult of a popular assembly.]
[Headnote 3: KING DA' VID, the sweet singer and poet of Israel. For the interesting account of his triumph over Goliath, the great champion of the Philistines, see I Sam., chap. 17.]
MY FIRST JACK-KNIFE.
1. I remember it well! Its horn handle, so smooth and clear, glowing with the unmeaning, but magic word, "Bunkum;" and the blade significantly inviting you to the test, by the two monosyllables, "Try me."
2. I know not how it is, but I never could take half the comfort in any thing which I have since possessed, that I took in this jack-knife. I earned it myself; and, therefore, I had a feeling of independence; it was bought with my own money,—not teazed out of my uncle, or still kinder father,—money that I had silently earned on the afternoons of those days set apart for boys to amuse themselves.
3. Yes! with a spirit of persevering industry and self-denial, at which I now wonder, I went, every afternoon, during "berry-time," and picked the ripened fruit with eagerness; for my heart was in the task. I sold my berries, and, carefully reserving the proceeds, shortly accumulated enough to purchase the treasure, for which I so eagerly longed.
4. I went to one of the village-stores, and requested the clerk to show me his jack-knives; but he, seeing that I was only a boy, and thinking that I merely meant to amuse myself in looking at the nicest, and wishing it was mine, told me not to plague him, as he was otherwise engaged.
5. I turned with indignation; but I felt the inward comfort of a man who has confidence in his own resources, and knows he has the power in his own hands. I quietly jingled the money in my pockets, and went to the opposite store. I asked for jack-knives, and was shown a lot fresh from the city, which were temptingly laid down before me, and left for me to select one, while the trader went to another part of his store to wait upon an older customer. I looked over them, opened them, breathed upon the blades, and shut them again.
6. One was too hard to open, another had no spring; finally, after examining them with all the judgment which, in my opinion, the extent of the investment required, I selected one with a hole through the handle; and, after a dissertation with the owner upon jack-knives in general, and this one in particular,—upon hawk-bill, and dagger-blades,—and handles, iron, bone, and buck-horn,—I succeeded in closing a bargain.
7. I took the instrument I had purchased, and felt a sudden expansion of my boyish frame! It was my world! I deposited it in my pocket among other valuables,—twine, marbles, slate-pencils, &c. I went home to my father; I told him how long I had toiled for it, and how eagerly I had spent time, which others had allotted to play, to possess myself of my treasure.
8. My father gently chided me for not telling him of my wants; but I observed his glistening eye turn affectionately to my mother and then to me, and I thought that his manly form seemed to straighten up and to look prouder than I had ever before seen him. At any rate, he came to me, and, patting my curly head, told me there was no object in life, which was reasonably to be desired, that honesty, self-denial, well-directed industry, and perseverance would not place within my reach; and if, through life, I carried the spirit of independent exertion into practice, which I had displayed in the purchase of the jack-knife, I should become a "great man."
9. From that moment, I was a new being. I had discovered that I could rely upon myself. I took my jack-knife, and many a time, while cutting the walnut-saplings for my bow, or the straight pine for my arrow, or carving my mimic ship, did I muse upon these words of my father,—so deeply are the kind expressions of a judicious parent engraven on the heart and memory of boyhood.
10. My knife was my constant companion. It was my carpenter, my ship-builder, and my toy-manufacturer. It was out upon all occasions, never amiss, and always "handy;" and, as I valued it, I never let it part from me. I own my selfishness; I would divide my apples among my playmates, my whole store of marbles was at their service,—they might knock my bats, kick my foot-ball as they chose; but I had no partnership of enjoyments in my jack-knife. Its possession was connected in my mind with something so exclusive, that I could not permit another to take it for a moment. Oh! there is a wild and delicious luxury in one's boyish anticipations and youthful day-dreams!
11. If, however, the use of my jack-knife afforded me pleasure, the idea of its possession was no less a source of enjoyment. I was, for the time being, a little prince among my fellows,—a perfect monarch. Let no one exclaim against aristocracy; were we all perfectly equal to-day, there would be an aristocracy to-morrow. Talent, judgment, skill, tact, industry, perseverance, will place some on the top, while the contrary attributes will place others at the bottom of fortune's ever-revolving wheel!
12. The plowman is an aristocrat, if he excels in his vocation: he is an aristocrat, if he turns a better or a straighter furrow than his neighbor. The poorest poet is an aristocrat, if he writes more feelingly, in a purer language, or with more euphonic jingle than his cotemporaries. The fisherman is an aristocrat, if he wields his harpoon with more skill, and hurls it with a deadlier energy than his messmates, or has even learned to fix his bait more alluringly on his barbed hook.
13. All have had, and still have their foibles; all have some possession, upon which they pride themselves, and I was proud of my jack-knife! Spirit of Socrates, [Headnote 1] forgive me! was there no pride in dying like a philosopher'? Spirit of Demosthenes, [Headnote 2] forgive me! was there no pride in your addresses to the boundless and roaring ocean'? Spirit of David! [Headnote 3] was there no pride in the deadly hurling of the smooth pebble, which sank deep into the forehead of your enemy'?
14. But I must take my jack-knife and cut short this digression. Let no man say this or that occurrence "will make no difference fifty years hence,"—a common, but dangerous phrase. I am now a man of three-score years. I can point my finger here to my ships, there to my warehouse. My name is well known in two hemispheres. I have drank deeply of intellectual pleasures, have served my country in many important stations, have had my gains and my losses.
15. I have seen many, who started with fairer prospects, but with no compass, wrecked before me; but I have been impelled in my operations, no matter how extensive, by the same spirit which conceived and executed the purchase of the jack-knife. And I have found my reward in it; and, perhaps, in after years, there will be those who will say that the predictions of my father were fulfilled in their case; and that, from small beginnings, by "honesty, self-denial, well-directed industry, and perseverance," they also, BECAME TRULY "GREAT MEN."
QUESTIONS.—1. How did this boy obtain his first jack-knife? 2. What did his father say to him, when he told how he had earned it? 3. What use did he make of his knife? 4. What is said about aristocracy? 5. What is said of this boy when he came to be three-score years old?
* * * * *
COIN' ED, stamped. BAR' TER, trade; exchange. COM MOD' I TIES, goods; wares. BULL'ION, uncoined silver or gold. BUC' CA NEERS, pirates; freebooters. IM MENSE', very great; enormous. DAIN' TIES, delicacies. SMALL-CLOTHES, breeches. AT TIR' ED, dressed; arrayed. PE' ONY, plant and beautiful flower. PER' SON A BLE, handsome; graceful. ES PE' CIAL LY, mainly; chiefly. RE CEP' TA CLE, that which receives or holds. PON' DER OUS, heavy; bulky. RE SUM' ING, taking again.
THE PINE-TREE SHILLINGS.
1. Captain John Hull was the mint-master of Massachusetts, and coined all the money that was made there. This was a new line of business; for, in the earlier days of the colony, the current coinage consisted of gold and silver money of England, Portugal, and Spain.
2. These coins being scarce, the people were often forced to barter their commodities, instead of selling them. For instance, if a man wanted to buy a coat, he, perhaps, exchanged a bear-skin for it. If he wished for a barrel of molasses, he might purchase it with a pile of pine-boards. Musket-bullets were used instead of farthings.
3. The Indians had a sort of money, called wampum, which was made of clam-shells; and this strange sort of specie was, likewise, taken in payment of debts, by the English settlers. Bank-bills had never been heard of. There was not money enough of any kind, in many parts of the country, to pay the salaries of the ministers; so that they sometimes had to take quintals of fish, bushels of corn, or cords of wood, instead of silver or gold.
4. As the people grew more numerous, and their trade one with another increased, the want of current money was still more sensibly felt. To supply the demand, the general court passed a law for establishing a coinage of shillings, sixpences, and threepences. Captain John Hull was appointed to manufacture this money, and was to have one shilling, out of every twenty, to pay him for the trouble of making them.
5. Hereupon, all the old silver in the colony was handed over to Captain John Hull. The battered silver cans, and tankards, and silver-buckles, and broken spoons, and silver-buttons of worn-out coats, and silver hilts of swords that had figured at courts,—all such curious old articles were, doubtless, thrown into the melting-pot together. But by far the greater part of the silver consisted of bullion from the mines of South America, which the English buccaneers, (who were little better than pirates,) had taken from the Spaniards, and brought to Massachusetts.
6. All this old and new silver being melted down and coined, the result was an immense amount of splendid shillings, sixpences, and threepences. Each had the date, 1652, on the one side, and the figure of a pine-tree on the other. Hence, they were called pine-tree shillings. And, for every twenty shillings that he coined, you will remember, Captain John Hull was entitled to put one shilling into his own pocket.
7. The magistrates soon began to suspect that the mint-master would have the best of the bargain. They offered him a large sum of money, if he would but give up that twentieth shilling, which he was continually dropping into his own pocket. But Captain Hull declared himself perfectly satisfied with the shilling. And well he might be; for, so diligently did he labor, that, in a few years, his pockets, his money-bags, and his strong box, were overflowing with pine-tree shillings. This was probably the case when he came into possession of Grandfather's chair; and, as he had worked so hard at the mint, it was certainly proper that he should have a comfortable chair to rest himself in.
8. When the mint-master had grown very rich, a young man, Samuel Sewell by name, fell in love with his only daughter. His daughter, whom we will call Betsey, was a fine, hearty damsel, by no means so slender as some young ladies of our own days. As Samuel was a young man of good character, industrious in his business, and a member of the church, the mint-master very readily gave his consent.
9. "Yes; you may take her," said he, in his rough way; "and you'll find her a heavy burden enough!" On the wedding-day, we may suppose that honest John Hull dressed himself in a plum-colored coat, all the buttons of which were made of pine-tree shillings. The buttons of his waistcoat were sixpences; and the knees of his small-clothes were buttoned with silver threepences.
10. Thus attired, he sat with great dignity in Grandfather's chair; and, being a portly old gentleman, he completely filled it from elbow to elbow. On the opposite side of the room, between her bridemaids, sat Miss Betsey, blushing like a full-blown peony.
11. There, too, was the bridegroom, dressed in a fine purple coat, and gold-lace waistcoat, with as much other finery as the Puritan laws and customs would allow him to put on. His hair was cropped close to his head, because Governor Endicott had forbidden any man to wear it below the ears. But he was a very personable young man; and so thought the bridemaids and Miss Betsey herself.
12. The mint-master, also, was pleased with his new son-in-law; especially as he had courted Miss Betsey out of pure love, and had said nothing at all about her portion. So, when the marriage ceremony was over, Captain Hull whispered a word to two of his men-servants, who immediately went out, and soon returned, lugging in a large pair of scales. They were such a pair as wholesale merchants use for weighing bulky commodities; and quite a bulky commodity was now to be weighed in them.
13. "Daughter Betsey," said the mint-master, "get into one side of these scales." Miss Betsey, or Mrs. Sewell, as we must now call her, did as she was bid, like a dutiful child, without any question of the why and wherefore. But what her father could mean, unless to make her husband pay for her by the pound, (in which case she would have been a dear bargain,) she had not the least idea.
14. "And now," said honest John Hull to the servants, "bring that box hither." The box, to which the mint-master pointed, was a huge, square, iron-bound, oaken chest. The servants tugged with might and main; but could not lift this enormous receptacle, and were finally obliged to drag it across the floor.
15. Captain Hull then took a key from his girdle, unlocked the chest, and lifted its ponderous lid. Behold! it was full to the brim of bright pine-tree shillings, fresh from the mint; and Samuel Sewell began to think that his father-in-law had got possession of all the money in the Massachusetts' treasury. But it was only the mint-master's honest share of the coinage.
16. Then the servants, at Captain Hull's command, heaped double handfuls of shillings into one side of the scales, while Betsey remained in the other. Jingle, jingle, went the shillings, as handful after handful was thrown in, till, plump and ponderous as she was, they fairly weighed the young lady from the floor.
17. "There, son Samuel," said the honest mint-master, resuming his seat in Grandfather's chair, "take these shillings for my daughter's portion. Use her kindly, and thank Heaven for her. It is not every wife that's worth her weight in silver!"
QUESTIONS.—1. What was Captain John Hull's business? 2. What portion of the money coined, was he to receive? 3. How did he get silver to coin? 4. Describe the shillings he coined. 5. How did he become wealthy? 6. Describe his dress on his daughter's wedding-day. 7. What did he say to his son-in-law, after weighing her with shillings?
* * * * *
LODG' ES, dens; caves. MAR' VEL OUS, wonderful. TIP' PED, pointed. HERD, gather in herds. FA' MOUS, noted; remarkable. ROE' BUCK, small species of deer. STRAIGHT' WAY, immediately. E RECT', upright. FROL' IC, fun; play. FORD, place where water can be waded. FLECK' ED, spotted; striped. FLUT' TER ED, quivered. PAL' PI TA TED, beat; throbbed. WA' RY, watchful; cautious. FA' TAL, deadly; mortal. EX ULT' ED, (x like gz,) greatly rejoiced.
This lesson is taken from "The Song of Hiawatha," a poem, founded upon traditions current among some tribes of North American Indians, respecting an imaginary being of more than mortal powers and gifts, named Hiawatha. The scene of the poem is laid among the Ojibways, or Chippewas, a tribe of Indians, occupants, from the period of our earliest history, of the basin of Lake Superior.
1. Then the little Hiawatha Learned of every bird its language, Learned their names and all their secrets, How they built their nests in summer, Where they hid themselves in winter, Talked with them where'er he met them, Called them "Hiawatha's chickens."
2. Of all beasts he learned the language, Learned their names and all their secrets, How the beavers built their lodges, Where the squirrels hid their acorns, How the reindeer ran so swiftly, Why the rabbit was so timid, Talked with them whene'er he met them, Called them "Hiawatha's brothers."
3. Then Ia'goo, the great boaster, He, the marvelous story-teller, He, the traveler and the talker, Made a bow for Hiawatha; From a branch of ash he made it, From an oak-bough made the arrows, Tipped with flint, and winged with feathers, And the cord he made of deer-skin.
4. Then he said to Hiawatha, "Go, my son, into the forest, Where the red deer herd together, Kill for us a famous roebuck, Kill for us a deer with antlers." Forth into the forest straightway All alone walked Hiawatha Proudly with his bow and arrows.
5. And the birds sang round him, o'er him "Do not shoot us, Hiawatha." Sang the robin, sang the bluebird, "Do not shoot us, Hiawatha." Up the oak-tree, close beside him, Sprang the squirrel, lightly leaping In and out among the branches; Coughed and chattered from the oak-tree, Laughed, and said between his laughing, "Do not shoot me, Hiawatha."
6. And the rabbit from his pathway Leaped aside, and, at a distance, Sat erect upon his haunches, Half in fear, and half in frolic, Saying to the little hunter, "Do not shoot me, Hiawatha."
7. But he heeded not nor heard them, For his thoughts were with the red deer; On their tracks his eyes were fastened, Leading downward to the river, To the ford across the river, And as one in slumber walked he.
8. Hidden in the alder bushes, There he waited till the deer came, Till he saw too antlers lifted, Saw two eyes look from the thicket, Saw two nostrils point to windward, And the deer came down the pathway, Flecked with leafy light and shadow. And his heart within him fluttered, Trembled like the leaves above him, Like the birch leaf palpitated, As the deer came down the pathway.
9. Then, upon one knee uprising, Hiawatha aimed an arrow; Scarce a twig moved with his motion, Scarce a leaf was stirred or rustled, But the wary roebuck started, Stamped with all his hoofs together, Listened with one foot uplifted, Leaped as if to meet the arrow; Ah, the singing, fatal arrow, Like a wasp it buzzed and stung him.
10. Dead he lay there in the forest, By the ford across the river; Beat his timid heart no longer; But the heart of Hiawatha Throbbed, and shouted, and exulted, As he bore the red deer homeward.
* * * * *
TRAIL, track; footprints. IN' DICATED, pointed out; shown. MURK' Y, dark; gloomy. FLAM' BEAU, (flam' bo,) lighted torch. RE FLECT' ING, throwing back. LU' RID LY, gloomily; dismally. SUS PECT' ING, mistrusting. AS SAIL' ANTS, assaulters. ECH' O, (ek' o,) sound reverberated. RE LAPS' ED, fell back; returned. EN VEL' OPED, inwrapped. SUF FO CATED, smothered. BRAND' ISHING, flourishing; waving. RIG' ID, stiff. BIV' OUAC, (biv' wak,) pass the night without tents. PEER' ED, came in sight; appeared. DE CLIV' I TY, gradual descent. PRO LONG' ED, lengthened; continued. COM' RADE, companion; associate.
A DESPERATE ENCOUNTER WITH A PANTHER.
BOY'S BOOK OF ADVENTURES.
1. I had left the hunting party more than an hour, when I came upon the track of my old friend Konwell, who was, with his dogs, on the bloody trail of a panther. The animal must have had one of his legs broken; this was indicated by the marks on the soft ground; and it was plain that the tracks were made by three feet instead of four, and accompanied by blood at every leap.
2. I determined to follow; and, after a tramp of nearly an hour, I overtook my friend at the entrance of a cavern, where he stood waiting for me. The wounded animal had taken refuge in this cave, leaving us to do whatever we thought best. The poor beast doubtless supposed that within this murky recess he was safe from pursuit; but he was mistaken. Konwell informed me that he had hidden a bundle of pine splinters in a gulley, about half a mile distant, and that if I would keep guard over the mouth of the cave, he would go and bring it.
3. I agreed to this measure; and, with ready gun and drawn knife, prepared for any attack that might be made. I lay down at the entrance of the panther's cave. My friend soon returned, bringing the pine, as he had promised. His next movement was to kindle a large fire at the mouth of the cave, at which we lighted our torches; and, having taken the flambeaus in our left hand, while we carried our guns in the right, we cautiously entered the cave. I crept on before; but the space within soon became so high and roomy, that we could stand upright, and keep close to each other.
4. Bending toward the left, the cavity extended a considerable distance within the hill. After we had advanced about two hundred steps, we saw the glaring eyes of the wounded beast, which gleamed forth like two fiery balls, reflecting most luridly the light of our torches. Konwell now took my flambeau and stepped behind me. I leveled my gun in the direction of those flaming eyes, and fired. After the report, we heard a bustle; but could not exactly make out what it meant.
5. I reloaded my gun, resumed my torch, and Konwell now took his place in front. But, as those flaming eyes were no longer to be seen, we felt obliged to go farther. Our guns ready loaded, we believed ourselves to be prepared for anything. We proceeded carefully, as men are likely to do when suspecting danger, when, instantly, the panther started up from a hollow, in which he was lying, quite close to our feet.
6. It was a fearful sight to look upon him as he stood with ears laid back, his white teeth set together, as if in intense anger, and those wide open eyes glowing and sparkling as they rested upon us, his assailants. I can never forget his appearance. In a moment our guns were discharged, and the cave returned the thundering echo. We had both fired so precisely at the same moment, that neither of us could believe the other had discharged his gun.
7. We were certain that our enemy had been struck, but we knew not whether killed or only disabled. Quick as thought, we dropped our guns and drew our knives from the sheath. And haste was necessary; for the echo had not relapsed into silence, before we felt the weight of the panther against us; and we began cutting at him with our knives, and, at the same moment, in consequence of our hurried movements, our torches died out, and we were left in utter darkness.
8. Deafened by the noise and utterly bewildered, I turned to fly from the now raging enemy, and only became perfectly aware of what I was doing, when I found myself standing beside Konwell outside the cave in the open air. I only know now, that, enveloped in thick darkness, and almost suffocated with the smoke of gunpowder, I groped about, not knowing what I wished or intended; and that Konwell, at last, drew me forcibly to the mouth of the cave.
9. There we stood, each one brandishing his hunting-knife in his right hand, and holding the extinguished torch in the left; as we looked on each other, we scarcely knew whether to laugh or to be frightened at the strange figures we made. We were black with powder-smoke, covered with sweat and blood, and our clothing torn to rags.
10. Konwell complained of a pain in his breast. I opened the bosom of his shirt, and found two deep gashes made by the panther's claws, extending from the left shoulder to the pit of the stomach. I also received a few scratches, but our stout hunting-shirts were torn to shreds.
11. Until this moment, neither of us had felt that he was wounded; and even now, before we began to think of dressing those wounds, we made a large fire at the mouth of the cavern, in order to prevent the panther from coming forth. This done, we sat down beside the genial blaze to wash and bind up our scratches, and consult on what plan it was now best to proceed.
12. That the panther was still in the cave we were certain; but, whether living or dead, we did not know; at all events, he was wounded; for our hunting-knives were covered with blood quite up to the hilt. But we had no choice left; we must return; for our guns and Konwell's powder-flask, which the animal dragged off with him, still lay within the cavern. We therefore plucked up new courage; and, having relighted our torches, we brandished our knives, and prepared, though not without some heart throbbings, once more to enter the panther's den.
13. With light and cautious steps, lest we might be as unpleasantly surprised as we had been when we made our hasty retreat, we advanced, holding our torches before us, to the spot where we had dropped our guns, and without meeting with any hinderance from our enemy. Once more in possession of our trusty weapons, we reloaded them, and stepped forward with lighter hearts, yet still with great caution, when Konwell exclaimed, as he raised the flaming pine high above his head, and pointed with it in a certain direction, "See! there he is!"
14. This was the first word that had been spoken since we reentered the cavern. I looked in the indicated direction, and there, indeed, lay the panther, stretched out at full length, but no longer dangerous. His eyes were set, his limbs were rigid,—the last agony was over. We skinned and cut him up as he lay. All three bullets had struck him, and both knives penetrated his body; and it must have been in the death-struggle that he leaped upon us.
15. When our work was ended, and we again came to the open air, the sun was low in the horizon, and all haste was necessary that we should set out on our forest-path without further delay. Our wounds smarted not a little, and, although we took time once more to wash them, they became so stiff that our progress was both toilsome and tedious. We soon became convinced that we should not succeed in reaching our companions while daylight remained, and we determined to bivouac for the night, at the foot of a rocky declivity, which promised a good shelter from the cutting wind.
16. To add to our discomfort, hunger began to make itself painfully felt; but this was soon overpowered by weariness, and, having gathered up the dry pine branches, we kindled up a good fire, and, without troubling ourselves to prepare any thing for supper, we stretched ourselves on the grass before it, and found the warmth most grateful.
17. Worn out by the toils of the day, in a few minutes Konwell was fast asleep; but, although much inclined to follow his example, I was prevented by the restlessness of my dog, which seemed to wish to warn me of the presence of danger. The faithful animal, cringing closely to me, laid his nose on my shoulder, raising his head from time to time, and whined, as though he wished to communicate something, and then, for a few moments, would remain quiet. Then, suddenly, he would rise up as in the attitude of listening, occasionally uttering a low growl.
18. Completely awakened by this strange behavior on the part of my faithful dog, it seemed to me as if I heard a slight rustling among the dry bushes; and, rising up to a half-sitting posture, I looked toward the rock behind me, and, to my great astonishment, became aware of a pair of glaring eyes fastened upon me. As my head was between the fire and those fearful eyes, I could plainly distinguish the fiery balls as, reflected on by the red light, they peered above the naked rocks.
19. It was a panther, and evidently, from the position in which I saw it, was ready for a spring. Happily on this, as on every other night, my trusty gun lay close beside me. I seized it, and, half-rising, so that the fire behind me afforded light for a steady aim, I leveled it exactly between the eyes. I fired, the bullet sped on its deadly errand, and the crack of the noble rifle, thundering against the steep rocks, returned with loud and prolonged echo.
20. Konwell, to whom the report of a gun was ever the sweetest music, now started up, as if roused by an electric shock, and grasped his gun. The dog continued his barking, smelling all around, and looking in my face as if to inquire in what direction he should go. There was no rustling movement on the rock, and the bullet must have taken effect.
21. Konwell shook his head as he inquired, "Why I had shot?" Without answering, I began to reload my gun: this finished, I took up a blazing pine brand from the fire, and proceeded to climb the steep wall of rock, that raised itself like a barrier, about twenty steps distant from the spot upon which we rested. Here I found an old panther, the largest I had ever seen, lying dead—my well-directed bullet had finished him. I flung the body over the rock, and my old comrade dragged him to the fire.
22. The ball had struck him directly in the right eye, passing through the brain. He was a fearful-looking animal, with terrible teeth and claws, and the more to be dreaded, as, when we cut him up, his stomach was found entirely empty. I believed that hunger had driven him so close to the fire; but Konwell thought he had scented the fresh venison we had with us. Be that as it may, there was little doubt but that he would have made a leap, as soon as the intervening fire had burned down; to its friendly presence, therefore, on this occasion, as a means of Providence, we owed our lives.
QUESTIONS.—1. What had Konwell driven into a den? 2. What preparation did he make, before entering into the cavern? 3. How far had the men proceeded before they saw the panther? 4. Describe the appearance of the panther, as they came near him after the first shot? 5. What did the panther do after the men both fired at him? 6. Did they finally succeed in killing the panther? 7. Describe the manner in which they killed another panther.
* * * * *
RAP' IDs, part of a river where the current is swift. TUR' BU LENCE, violent agitation. HELM, instrument for steering a vessel. EX CUR' SION, tour; ramble. A HOY', sea term used in hailing a vessel. QUAFF, drink largely. HOIST, raise; lift up. BLAS PHEM' ING, uttering impious language. SHRIEK' ING, screaming; crying out.
THE POWER OF HABIT.
JOHN B. GOUGH.
1. I remember once riding from Buffalo to the Niagara Palls. I said to a gentleman, "What river is that, sir?" "That," said he, "is Niagara river."
2. "Well, it is a beautiful stream," said I; "bright, and fair, and glassy. How far off are the rapids?" "Only a mile or two," was the reply.
3. "Is it possible that only a mile from us, we shall find the water in the turbulence which it must show near the Falls'?"
"You will find it so, sir." And so I found it; and the first sight of Niagara I shall never forget.
4. Now, launch your bark on that Niagara river; it is bright, smooth, beautiful, and glassy. There is a ripple at the bow; the silver wake you leave behind, adds to your enjoyment. Down the stream you glide, oars, sails, and helm in proper trim, and you set out on your pleasure excursion.
5. Suddenly, some one cries out from the bank, "Young men, ahoy!"
"What is it?"
"The rapids are below you!"
6. "Ha! ha! we have heard of the rapids; but we are not such fools as to get there. If we go too fast, then we shall up with the helm, and steer to the shore; we will set the mast in the socket, hoist the sail, and speed to the land. Then on, boys; don't be alarmed,—there is no danger."
7. "Young men, ahoy there!"
"What is it?"
"The rapids are below you!"
8. "Ha! ha! we will laugh and quaff; all things delight us. What care we for the future! No man ever saw it. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. We will enjoy life while we may,—will catch pleasure as it flies. This is enjoyment; time enough to steer out of danger when we are sailing swiftly with the current."
9 (ff.) "YOUNG MEN, AHOY!"
"What is it?"
"BEWARE! BEWARE! THE RAPIDS ARE BELOW YOU!"
10. "Now you see the water foaming all around. See how fast you pass that point! Up with the helm! Now turn! Pull hard! (=) Quick! quick! quick! pull for your lives! pull till the blood starts from your nostrils, and the veins stand like whip-cords upon your brow! Set the mast in the socket! hoist the sail! (sl.) Ah! ah! it is too late! Shrieking, howling, blaspheming; over they go."
11. Thousands go over the rapids of intemperance every year, through the power of habit, crying all the while, "When I find out that it [Footnote: Temperate drinking.] is injuring me, I will give it up!"
QUESTIONS.—1. Where are the Niagara Falls? 2. How does the water appear just above the Falls? 3. How does it appear farther up? 4. What reply are the young men represented as making, when first told the rapids were below them? 5. What, when told the second time? 6. What must they do, to escape destruction? 7. What is said of the power of habit?
* * * * *
BE SOT' TED, stupefied. BUR LESQU' ED, mocked; derided. DE FI' ED, set at defiance. CHER' ISH ED, fostered; encouraged. STREW' ED, scattered; spread. LIV' ID, discolored; black and blue. MIR' ROR ED, reflected, as in a glass. RE VEAL' INGS, disclosures. PLIGHT' ED, pledged. FOR SWORN', perjured. STAMP' ED, impressed; fixed deeply. BLIGHT, blasting disease. A TONE', make reparation. PRO CLAIM' ED, openly declared. LOATHE, detest; abhor. BEV' ER AGE, drink.
These verses should be read in a firm, half-indignant, yet imploring tone of voice,—except the last verse, which should be expressed in a very decided and impassioned manner.
THE DRUNKARD'S DAUGHTER.
[Footnote: These beautiful and touching verses were written by a young lady, in reply to a friend who had called her a monomaniac on the subject of temperance.]
1. Go, feel what I have felt, Go, bear what I have borne; Sink 'neath a blow a father dealt, And the cold, proud world's scorn; Thus struggle on from year to year, Thy sole relief,—the scalding tear.
2. Go, weep as I have wept, O'er a loved father's fall, See every cherished promise swept,— Youth's sweetness turned to gall; Hope's faded flowers strewed all the way That led me up to woman's day.
3. Go, kneel as I have knelt; Implore, beseech, and pray, Strive the besotted heart to melt, The downward course to stay; Be cast with bitter curse aside,— Thy prayers burlesqued, thy tears defied.
4. Go, stand where I have stood, And see the strong man bow; With gnashing teeth, lips bathed in blood, And cold and livid brow; Go, catch his wandering glance, and see There mirrored, his soul's misery.
5. Go, hear what I have heard,— The sobs of sad despair, As memory's feeling fount hath stirred, And its revealings there Have told him what he might have been, Had he the drunkard's fate foreseen.
6. Go to my mother's side, And her crushed spirit cheer; Thine own deep anguish hide, Wipe from her cheek the tear; Mark her dimmed eye,—her furrowed brow, The gray that streaks her dark hair now; Her toil-worn frame, her trembling limb, And trace the ruin back to him Whose plighted faith, in early youth, Promised eternal love and truth; But who, forsworn, hath yielded up That promise to the deadly cup, And led her down from love and light, From all that made her pathway bright, And chained her there 'mid want and strife, That lowly thing,—a drunkard's wife! And stamped on childhood's brow so mild, That withering blight, a drunkard's child!
7. Go, hear, and see, and feel, and know, All that my soul hath felt and known, Then look upon the wine-cup's glow; See if its brightness can atone; Think if its flavor you will try, If all proclaimed, "'Tis drink and die!"
8. Tell me I hate the bowl; Hate is a feeble word: (f.) I loathe, ABHOR,—my very soul With strong disgust is stirred, Whene'er I see, or hear, or tell, Of the DARK BEVERAGE OF HELL!!
QUESTIONS.—1. By whom was this poetry written? 2. What circumstance induced her to write it? 3. What is the meaning of monomaniac? Ans. One who is deranged in a single faculty of the mind, or with regard to a particular subject, the other faculties being in regular exercise. 4. What reasons does she assign for her hatred of alcoholic drink? 5. What does she say of her mother? 6. With what tone of voice should the last verse be read? See page 40, Rule 4. 7. Why are some words and sentences printed in Italics and Capitals? See page 22, Note III.
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REC' ORDS, accounts; minutes. AD VENT' URES, doings; strange occurences. EN CUM' BER, load; clog. GRAT I FI CA' TION, indulgence. SCHEME, plan; progress. DE LIB ER A' TION, thought; consideration. LUX U RI OUS, pleasure-loving. EX PE DI' TION, tour; enterprise. MO ROSE', sour; ill-humored. RE VOLT' ING, disgusting; abhorrent. CON TEM' PLATE, consider; think upon. REL' IC, remains. IN VES' TI GATE, examine; look into. AC COM' PLISH ED, effected. PIC TUR ESQUE', (pikt yur esk')grand; beautiful; picture-like.
THE TWO YOUNG TRAVELERS.
1. Horace and Herman, two young men who were friends, set out to travel in distant countries. Before they departed, each had formed a plan of proceeding. Horace determined to give himself up entirely to pleasure,—to go wherever his humor might dictate,—and to keep no records of his adventures. In short, he resolved to enjoy himself as much as possible, and, by no means, to encumber his mind with cares, duties, or troubles of any kind.
2. Herman was as fond of amusement as Horace; but the mode he adopted for the gratification of his wishes, was quite different. In the first place, he made out a scheme of his travels: he procured maps, read books, and, after mature deliberation, adopted a certain route, as most likely to afford him pleasure as well as instruction.
3. In the formation of this plan, he spent several weeks; and, in this occupation, he found quite as much satisfaction as he afterwards did in traveling. Thus he obtained one great advantage over his idle and luxurious friend, who foolishly thought that the essence of enjoyment lay in freedom from thought, restraint, and toil. Even before they set out on their journey, Herman had actually found nearly as much pleasure as Horace received in the whole course of his expedition.
4. The two young men started together; and, as there were then no canals or railroads, they both set out on foot. They had not proceeded far before they separated,—Horace taking one road and Herman another.
5. After the lapse of three years, they both returned; but what a difference between them! Horace was morose and dissatisfied; he had seen a good deal of the world, but, as he had traveled with no other design than to gratify himself from hour to hour, he had soon exhausted the cup of pleasure, and found nothing at the bottom but the bitter dregs of discontent.
6. He pursued pleasure, till, at last, he found the pursuit to be distasteful and revolting. He grew tired even of amusement. He indulged his tastes, humors, and passions, until indulgence itself was disgusting. When he returned to his friends, he had laid up nothing in his memory, by the relation of which he could amuse them; he had kept no record of things he had seen; he brought back no store of pleasing and useful recollections for himself, or others. Such was the result of three years' travel for pleasure.
7. It was quite otherwise with Herman. Adhering to his plans, he visited a great many places, and, each day, he recorded in his journal what he had seen. Whenever he met with an interesting object, he stopped to contemplate it. If it was some aged relic, famous in history, he took pains to investigate its story, and to write it down. If it was an object of interest to the eye, he made a sketch of it in a book which he kept for that purpose.
8. In this way, Herman accomplished three good objects. In the first place, by taking pleasure in a moderate way, and mixing with it a little toil and industry, he prevented that cloying surfeit which, at last, sickened and disgusted Horace.
9. In the second place, he greatly increased his enjoyments by the plan he adopted. Merely executing a plan is agreeable, and a source of great pleasure. It is natural to derive happiness from following out a design,—from seeing, hour by hour, day by day, how results come about, in conformity to our intentions.
10. But this was not the only advantage which Herman received from his system. The very toil he bestowed; the investigations he made; the pleasant thoughts and curious knowledge that were unfolded to his mind; the excitement he found in his exertions; the pleasure he took in drawing picturesque scenes; all constituted a rich harvest of pleasure, which was wholly denied to Horace.
11. Thus it was that labor and industry, exerted in carrying out a plan, afforded the young traveler a vast deal of gratification. The very things that Horace looked upon as hateful, were, in fact, the sources of his friend's most permanent enjoyment.
12. In the third place, Herman had come back laden with rich stores of knowledge, observation, and experience. Not only was his journal rich in tales, legends, scenes, incidents, and historical records, but in putting these things down on paper, his memory had been improved, and he had acquired the habit of observing and remembering. His mind was full of pleasant things, and nothing could be more interesting than to hear him tell of his travels, and of what he had seen.
13. While Horace was dull, silent, and sour, Herman was full of conversation, life, and interest. The one was happy', the other unhappy'; one was agreeable', the other disagreeable'; one had exhausted the cup of pleasure', the other seemed always to have the cup full and sparkling before him'. It was agreed on all hands that Horace was a disagreeable person, and everybody shunned him; while Herman was considered by all a most agreeable companion, and everybody sought his society.
14. So much for the two travelers; one, a luxurious lover of pleasure, who thought only of the passing moment, and, in his folly, abused and threw away his powers of enjoyment; the other, a lover of pleasure also; but who pursued it moderately, with a wise regard to the future, and careful attention, every day, to the rules of duty; and who thus secured his true happiness.
QUESTIONS.—1. What plan had Horace determined to pursue while traveling? 2. What was Herman's plan? 3. What is said of Horace, after his return? 4. How was it with Herman? 5. What is said of the two in contrast? 6. What effect has the emphasis on the place of the accent in the words unhappy and disagreeable, 13th paragraph? See page 22, note V.
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IM' PORT, meaning. GROV' EL ING, mean; creeping. A CHIEVE' MENT, performance. AS PI RA' TION, wish; ardent desire. SAN' GUINE, ardent; hopeful. RE' AL IZ ED, attained. IN SPI RA' TION, natural impulse. STATE' LI NESS, dignity: majesty. AD VENT' TUR OUS, daring; enterprising. EX UL TA' TION, (x like gz,) triumph. RI' VALS, competitors. DIG' NI TY, elevation; majesty. OR' A CLES, wise words or sentences. A' PEX, hight; summit. TEN' E MENT, dwelling; here means, the body. AD MON' ISH. warn. RAPT' UR OUS, joyous; ecstatic. AN TIC I PA' TION, foretaste.
PHI LOS' O PHY, (PHILO, love; SOPHY, wisdom,) love of wisdom; reason of things. See SANDERS & McELLIGOTT'S ANALYSIS, page 236, Ex. 334
1. HIGHER! It is a word of noble import. It lifts the soul of man from low and groveling pursuits, to the achievement of great and noble deeds, and ever keeps the object of his aspiration in view, till his most sanguine expectations are fully realized.
2. HIGHER! lisps the infant that clasps its parent's knee, and makes its feeble effort to rise from the floor. It is the first inspiration of childhood to burst the narrow confines of the cradle, and to exercise those feeble, tottering limbs, which are to walk forth in the stateliness of manhood.
3. HIGHER! echoes the proud school-boy in his swing; or, as he climbs the tallest tree of the forest, that he may look down upon his less adventurous comrades with a flush of exultation,—and abroad over the fields, the meadows, and his native village.
4. HIGHER! earnestly breathes the student of philosophy and nature. He has a host of rivals; but he must excel them all. The midnight oil burns dim; but he finds light and knowledge in the lamps of heaven, and his soul is never weary, when the last of them is hid by the splendors of the morning.
5. And HIGHER! his voice thunders forth, when the dignity of manhood has mantled his form, and the multitude is listening with delight to his oracles, burning with eloquence, and ringing like true steel in the cause of Freedom and Right. And when time has changed his locks to silver,—when the young and the old unite to do him honor, he still breathes forth from his generous heart fond wishes for their welfare.
6. HIGHER YET! He has reached the apex of earthly honor; yet his spirit burns as warm as in youth, though with a steadier and purer light. And even now, while his frail tenement begins to admonish him, that "the time of his departure is at hand," he looks forward, with rapturous anticipation, to the never-fading glory, attainable only in the presence of the Most High.
QUESTIONS.—1. What is said of the word Higher, first paragraph? 2. When does the school-boy say Higher? 3. What is said of the student? 4. What, when he arrives at manhood? 5. What, when he becomes old? 6. Where is the passage within the quotation to be found? Ans. 2 Timothy, 4th chapter, 6th verse.
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IN TENS' ER, more fervent. STUB' BORN, unyielding; rugged. DEEM, think; imagine. OLD' EN, old; ancient. CLINGS, sticks; adheres closely. GAL' LANT, fine; noble. YAWN' ING, wide-opening. FU' RY, rage; madness. RAVE, rage; become furious. HEC' TIC, habitual; continuous. MEN' TAL, intellectual. WIELD, sway; exert. PRIV' I LEGE, right; opportunity. DOW' ER, gift; portion.
[Footnote: These lines were suggested by the simple incident of an industrious wood-sawyer's reply to a man who told him that his was a hard work. "Yes, it is hard, to be sure; but it is harder to do nothing," was his answer.]
CAROLINE F. ORNE.
1. Ho, ye who at the anvil toil, And strike the sounding blow, Where, from the burning iron's breast, The sparks fly to and fro, While answering to the hammer's ring, And fire's intenser glow!—Oh, while ye feel 'tis hard to toil And sweat the long day through, Remember, it is harder still To have no work to do!
2. Ho, ye who till the stubborn soil, Whose hard hands guide the plow, Who bend beneath the summer sun, With burning cheek and brow!—Ye deem the curse still clings to earth From olden time till now; But, while ye feel 'tis hard to toil And labor all day through, Remember, it is harder still To have no work to do!
3. Ho, ye who plow the sea's blue field, Who ride the restless wave, Beneath whose gallant vessel's keel There lies a yawning grave, Around whose bark the wint'ry winds Like fiends of fury rave!—Oh, while ye feel 'tis hard to toil And labor long hours through, Remember, it is harder still To have no work to do! 4 Ho, ye upon whose fevered cheeks The hectic glow is bright, Whose mental toil wears out the day, And half the weary night, Who labor for the souls of men, Champions of truth and right!—Although ye feel your toil is hard, Even with this glorious view, Remember, it is harder still To have no work to do! 5. Ho, all who labor,—all who strive Ye wield a lofty power; Do with your might, do with your strength, Fill every golden hour! The glorious privilege to do Is man's most noble dower. Oh, to your birthright and yourselves To your own souls be true! A weary, wretched life is theirs, Who have no work to do!
QUESTIONS.—1. What incident suggested these thoughts to the writer? 2. Who toil at the anvil? 3. Who till the stubborn soil? 4. Who plow the sea's blue wave? 5. Who toil mentally? 6. Who labor for the souls of men? 7. What is man's most noble dower? 8. What is said to all these different laborers? 9. What is the meaning of the suffix less in the word restless? See SANDERS & McELLIGOTT'S ANALYSIS, page 140, Ex. 187.
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E LIC' IT, draw forth. IN TEL' LI GENT, knowing; well-informed. RE FRAIN, hold in, or keep back. IG NO RA' MUS, ignorant person. RE TORT', reply; answer back. IN DEL' I BLY, in a way not to be effaced. MYS' TE RIES, profound secrets. AB SORB' ED, engrossed; occupied. MOR TI FI CA' TION, deep disappointment. OB STA CLE, hinderance; impediment. RE VOLT ED, shrank back. POR' ING, earnestly perusing. EM I NENCE, distinction. IN FOR MA' TION, knowledge. IL LIT' ER ATE, ignorant; unlearned. PRO FES' SION, business; employment. DIS' CI PLIN ED trained; instructed. CON TEMPT' U OUS, scornful; hateful. AN TAG' O NIST, opponent; adversary.
THE AMBITIOUS APPRENTICE.
1. "How far is it from here to the sun?" asked Harmon Lee of his father's apprentice, James Wallace, intending by the question to elicit some reply that would exhibit the boy's ignorance.
2. James Wallace, a boy of fourteen, turned his bright, intelligent eyes upon the son of his employer, and replied, "I don't know, Harmon. How far is it?"
3. There was something so honest and earnest in the tone of the boy, that, much as Harmon had felt disposed, at first, to sport with his ignorance, he could not refrain from giving him a true answer. Still, his contempt for the ignorant apprentice was not to be concealed, and he replied, "Ninety-five millions of miles, you ignoramus!" James did not retort; but, repeating over in his mind the distance named, fixed it indelibly upon his memory.
4. On the same evening, after he had finished his day's work, he obtained a small text-book on astronomy, which belonged to Harmon Lee, and went up into his garret with a candle, and there, alone, attempted to dive into the mysteries of that sublime science. As he read, the earnestness of his attention fixed nearly every fact upon his mind. So intent was he, that he perceived not the flight of time, until the town-clock struck ten.
5. He lay down upon his hard bed, and gave full scope to his thoughts. Hour after hour passed away, but he could not sleep, so absorbed was he in reviewing the new and wonderful things he had read. At last, wearied nature gave way, and he fell into a slumber, filled with dreams of planets, moons, comets, and fixed stars.
6. The next morning the apprentice boy resumed his place at the work-bench with a new feeling; and, with this feeling, was mingled one of regret, that he could not go to school as well as Harmon.
"But I can study at night, while he is asleep," he said to himself.
7. Just then Harmon Lee came into the shop, and, approaching James, said, for the purpose of teasing him, "How big round is the earth, James?"
"Twenty-five thousand miles," was the quick reply.
8. Harmon looked surprised, for a moment, and then responded, with a sneer,—for he was not a kind-hearted boy, but, on the contrary, very selfish, and disposed to injure rather than do good to others,—"Oh! how wonderfully wise you are all at once! And no doubt you can tell how many moons Jupiter has? Come, let us hear."
9. "Jupiter has four moons," James answered, with something of exultation in his tone.
"And, no doubt, you can tell how many rings it has?"
"Jupiter has no rings. Saturn has rings, and Jupiter belts," James replied, in a decisive tone.
10. For a moment or two Harmon was silent with surprise and mortification, to think that his father's apprentice, whom he esteemed so far below him, should be possessed of knowledge equal to his, and on the points in reference to which he had chosen to question him,—and that he should be able to convict him of an error, into which he had purposely fallen.
11. "I should like to know how long it is since you became so wonderfully wise," said Harmon, with a sneer.
"Not very long," James replied calmly. "I have been reading one of your books on astronomy."
12. "I should like to know what business you have to touch one of my books! You had better be minding your work."
"I did not neglect it, Harmon; I read at night, after I was done with my work; and I did not hurt your book."
"I don't care if you didn't hurt it. You are not going to have my books, I can tell you. So, you just let them alone."
13. Poor James's heart sank within him at this unexpected obstacle, so suddenly thrown in his way. He had no money of his own to buy, and knew of no one from whom he could borrow the book, that had become so necessary to his happiness. "Do, Harmon," he said, "lend me the book; I will take good care of it."
"No; I will not. And don't you dare to touch it," was the angry reply.
14. James Wallace knew well enough the selfish disposition of Harmon, to be convinced that there was now but little hope of his having the use of his books, except by stealth; and from that his naturally open and honest principles revolted. All day he thought earnestly of the means whereby he should be able to obtain a book on astronomy, to quench the ardent thirst he had created in his own mind.
15. He was learning the trade of a blind-maker. Having been already an apprentice for two years, and being industrious and intelligent, he had acquired a readiness with tools, and much skill in some parts of his trade. While sitting alone, after he had finished his work for the day, it occurred to him that he might, by working in the evening, earn some money, and with it buy such books as he wanted.
16. By consent of his employer, he succeeded in getting a small job, from one of his neighbors; and, in a short time, by working evenings, he obtained sufficient money to purchase a book of his own, and had a half dollar left, with which he bought a second-hand dictionary. Every night found him poring over his books; and, as soon as it was light enough in the morning to see, he was up and reading. During the day, his mind was pondering over the things he had read, while his hands were diligently employed in the labor assigned him.
17. It occurred, just at this time, that a number of benevolent individuals established, in the town where James lived, one of those excellent institutions, an Apprentices' Library. To this he applied, and obtained the books he needed. And thus, did this poor apprentice boy lay the foundation of future eminence and usefulness. At the age of twenty-one, he was master of his trade; and, what was more, had laid up a vast amount of general and scientific information.
18. Let us now turn to mark the progress of the young student, Harmon Lee, in one of the best seminaries in his native city, and afterwards at college. The idea that he was to be a lawyer, soon took possession of his mind, and this caused him to feel contempt for other boys, who were merely designed for trades or store-keeping.
19. Like too many others, he had no love for learning. To be a lawyer he thought would be much more honorable than to be a mere mechanic; and, for this reason alone, he desired to be one. As for James Wallace, the poor illiterate apprentice, he was most heartily despised, and never treated by Harmon with the least degree of kind consideration.
20. At the age of eighteen, Harmon was sent away to one of the eastern universities, and there remained until he was twenty years of age, when he graduated, and came home with the honorary title of Bachelor of Arts. On the very day that James completed his term of apprenticeship, Harmon was admitted to the bar.
21. From some cause, James determined he would make law his profession. To the acquirement of a knowledge of legal matters, therefore, he bent all the energies of a well disciplined mind. Two years passed away in an untiring devotion to the studies he had assigned himself, and he then made application for admission to the bar.
22. Young Wallace passed his examinations with some applause, and the first case on which he was employed, chanced to be one of great difficulty, which required all his skill; the lawyer on the opposite side was Harmon Lee, who entertained for his father's apprentice the utmost contempt.
23. The cause came on. There was a profound silence and a marked attention and interest, when the young stranger arose in the court-room to open the case. A smile of contempt curled the lip of Harmon Lee, but Wallace saw it not. The prominent points of the case were presented in plain, but concise language to the court; and a few remarks bearing upon its merits being made, the young lawyer took his seat, and gave room for the defense.
24. Instantly Harmon Lee was on his feet, and began referring to the points presented by his "very learned brother," in a very flippant manner. There were those present who marked the light that kindled in the eye of Wallace, and the flash that passed over his countenance at the first contemptuous word and tone that were uttered by his antagonist at the bar. These soon gave place to attention, and an air of conscious power. Nearly an hour had passed when Harmon resumed his seat with a look of exultation, which was followed by a pitying and contemptuous smile, as Wallace again slowly rose.
25. Ten minutes, however, had not passed when that smile had changed to a look of surprise, mortification, and alarm. The young lawyer's first speech showed him to be a man of calm, deep, systematic thought,—well skilled in points of law and in authorities,—and, more than all, a lawyer of practical and comprehensive views. When he sat down, no important point in the case had been left untouched, and none that had been touched, required further elucidation.
20. Lee followed briefly, in a vain attempt to torture his language and break down his positions. But he felt that he was contending with weapons whose edges were turned at every blow. When he took his seat again, Wallace merely remarked that he was prepared, without further argument, to submit the case to the court.
27. The case was accordingly submitted, and a decision unhesitatingly made in favor of the plaintiff, or Wallace's client. From that hour James Wallace took his true position. The despised apprentice became the able and profound lawyer, and was esteemed for real talent and real moral worth, which, when combined, ever place their possessor in his true position. Ten years from that day, Wallace was elevated to the bench, while Lee, a second-rate lawyer, never rose above that position.
QUESTIONS.—1. What profession did James study, after he had learned his trade? 2. Who was his opponent in the first cause he tried? 3. Which won the case? 4. What did James finally become?
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TAUNT' ING LY, insultingly. DIG' NI FI ED, noble. DIS PU' TANTS, persons disputing. RES O LU' TION, decision. IM AG' IN ED, fancied. RE FLEC' TION, thought; consideration. SU PE RI OR' I TY, preeminence. SUB OR DI NATE, one inferior in position. BUF' FET ED, struggled against. THRALLS, bondage. DES POT' IC, tyrannical. OP PRES' SION, tyranny. PEN' U RY, poverty; destitution. PRED E CES' SORS, those who have gone before. DIS PEN SA' TIONS, dealings. CRI TE' RI ON, standard; measure.
"SO WAS FRANKLIN."
1. "Oh, you're a 'prentice!" said a little boy, the other day, tauntingly, to his companion. The boy addressed turned proudly round, and, while the fire of injured pride, and the look of pity were strangely blended in his countenance, coolly answered, "So was Franklin!"
2. This dignified reply struck me forcibly, and I turned to mark the disputants more closely. The former, I perceived by his dress, was of a higher class in society than his humble, yet more dignified companion. The latter was a sprightly, active lad, scarce twelve years old, and coarsely, but neatly attired. But, young as he was, there was visible in his countenance much of genius, manly dignity, and determinate resolution; while that of the former showed only fostered pride, and the imagined superiority of riches.
3. That little fellow, thought we, gazing at our young hero, displays already much of the man, though his calling be a humble one; and, though poverty extends to him her dreary, cheerless reality, still he looks on the brightest side of the scene, and already rises in anticipation from poverty and wretchedness! Once, "so was Franklin" and the world may one day witness in our little "'prentice" as great a philosopher as they have already seen in his noble pattern! And we passed on, buried in meditation.
4. The motto of our infantile philosopher contains much,—too much to be forgotten, and should be engraven on the minds of all. What can better cheer man in a humble calling, than the reflection that the greatest and the best of earth—the greatest statesmen, the brightest philosophers, and the proudest warriors—have once graced the same profession?
5. "Look at Franklin! He who With the thunder talked, as friend to friend, And wove his garland of the lightning's wing, In sportive twist."
What was he? A printer! once a subordinate in a printing office! Poverty stared him in the face; but her blank, hollow look, could nothing daunt him. He struggled against a harder current than most are called to encounter; but he did not yield. He pressed manfully onward; bravely buffeted misfortune's billows, and gained the desired haven!
6. Look at Cincinnatus! At the call of his country he laid aside the plow and seized the sword. But having wielded it with success, when his country was no longer endangered, and public affairs needed not his longer stay, "he beat his sword Into a ploughshare," and returned with honest delight to his little farm.
7. Look at Washington! What was his course of life? He was first a farmer; next a Commander in Chief of the hosts of freedom, fighting for the liberation of his country from the thralls of despotic oppression; next, called to the highest seat of government by his ransomed brethren, a President of the largest Republic on earth, and lastly, a farmer again.
8. What was the famous Ben Jonson? He was first a brick-layer, or mason! What was he in after years? 'Tis needless to answer.
What was Burns? An Ayrshire plowman! What was he in after life, in the estimation of his countrymen, and the world? Your library gives the answer!
9. But shall we go on, and call up, in proud array, all the mighty host of worthies that have lived and died, who were cradled in the lap of penury, and received their first lessons in the school of affliction'? Nay'; we have cited instances enough already,—yea, more than enough to prove the point in question—namely, that there is no profession, however low in the opinion of the world, but has been honored with earth's greatest and worthiest.
10. Young man! Does the iron hand of misfortune press hard upon you, and disappointments well-nigh sink your despairing soul'? Have courage! Mighty ones have been your predecessors, and have withstood the current of opposition that threatened to overwhelm their fragile bark.
11. Do you despise your humble station, and repine that Providence has not placed you in some nobler sphere'? Murmur not against the dispensations of an All-wise Creator! Remember that wealth is no criterion of moral rectitude or intellectual worth,—that riches dishonestly gained, are a lasting curse,—that virtue and uprightness work out a rich reward,—and that
"An honest man's the noblest work of God."
12. And when dark Disappointment comes, do not wither at her stare; but press forward, and the prize is yours! It was thus with Franklin,—it can be thus with you. He strove for the prize, and he won it! So may you! 'Tis well worth contending for; and may success attend you, and the "stars" grow brighter, as the "stripes" wear deeper!
QUESTIONS.—1. What did the rich boy say of the poor boy? 2. What reply did the poor boy make? 3. What other examples are cited of eminent men who were once poor? 4. What is said of Cincinnatus? 5. Of Washington? 6. Of Ben Jonson? 7. Of Burns? 8. What do all these examples prove? 9. What encouragement is given to young men? 10. What are the full forms of the words you're, 'prentice?
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MAG'IC, power of enchantment. CONTEN'TION, strife; controversy. TRA DI'TION, facts or events handed down from age to age. SUB TILE, thin; slight; slender. IN VEST'ED, clothed. CREST'ED, adorned with a plume or crest. AZ'URE, light-blue; sky-colored. PER SPECT' IVE, (PER, through; SPECT, to see; IVE, having the power,) having the power to see through; a view through. UN DI VERT' ED, (UN, not; DI, aside; VERTED, turned,) not turned aside; unheeded. VEST'URE, garment. SE DATE', calm; quiet. FAN TAS'TIC, fanciful; visionary. RA DI ANCE, brightness; luster. IN VEC'TIVE, railing speech. I DE'AL, imaginary. FA TIGU ING, wearisome, toilsome. AS PIR'ING, aiming; seeking to rise.
NOW AND THEN.
1. In distant days,—of wild romance, Of magic, mist, and fable,— When stones could argue, trees advance,[Footnote 1] And brutes to talk were able,— When shrubs and flowers were said to preach, And manage all the parts of speech,—
2. 'Twas then, no doubt, if 'twas at all, (But doubts we need not mention,) That Then and Now, two adverbs small, Engaged in sharp contention; But how they made each other hear, Tradition doth not make appear.
3. Then was a sprite of subtile frame, With rainbow tints invested.— On clouds of dazzling light she came, And stars her forehead crested; Her sparkling eyes of azure hue, Seemed borrowed from the distant blue.