MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived.  He now saw that he had been imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his figure, had marked him for an easy prey.  I therefore asked the circumstances of his deception.  He sold the horse, it seems, and walked the fair in search of another.  A reverend-looking man brought him to a tent, under pretence of having one to sell.  “Here,” continued Moses, “we met another man, very well dressed, who desired to borrow twenty pounds upon these, saying that he wanted money, and would dispose of them for a third of the value.  The first gentleman, who pretended to be my friend, whispered me to buy them, and cautioned me not to let so good an offer pass.  I sent for Mr. Flamborough, and they talked him up as finely as they did me; and so at last we were persuaded to buy the two gross between us.”


[Note:  Moses at the fair.  This is an incident taken from Goldsmith’s novel, ‘The Vicar of Wakefield.’  The narrator throughout is the Vicar himself, who tells us the simple joys and sorrows of his family, and the foibles of each member of it.]

* * * * *


Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter, fire.

Blest who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years, glide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixed; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.


[Notes:  Alexander Pope, born 1688, died 1744.  The author of numerous poems and translations, all of them marked by the same lucid thought and polished versification.  The Essay on Man, the Satires and Epistles, and the translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, are amongst the most important.

Write a paraphrase of the first two stanzas.]

* * * * *


Whang, the miller, was naturally avaricious; nobody loved money better than he, or more respected those that had it.  When people would talk of a rich man in company, Whang would say, “I know him very well; he and I are intimate; he stood for a child of mine.”  But if ever a poor man was mentioned, he had not the least knowledge of the man; he might be very well for aught he knew; but he was not fond of many acquaintances, and loved to choose his company.

Project Gutenberg
MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook