But Limby was not to be cheated in that way. He wished to feel the saddle under him, and accordingly forced himself down upon it; but feeling it rather warmer than was agreeable, started, and lost his balance, and fell down among the dishes, soused in melted butter, cauliflower, and gravy, floundering, and kicking, and screaming, to the detriment of glasses, jugs, dishes, and everything else on the table.
“My child! my child!” said his mother. “Oh, save my child!”
She snatched him up, and pressed his begreased garments close to the bosom of her best silk gown.
Neither father nor mother wanted any more dinner after this. As to Limby, he was as frisky afterwards as if nothing had happened, and about half an hour from the time of this disaster cried for his dinner.
THE SORE TONGUE
By JANE TAYLOR
There was a little girl called Fanny, who had the misfortune one day to bite her tongue as she was eating her breakfast. It hurt her so much that she could scarcely help crying; and even when the first smart was over, it continued so sore that whenever she spoke it pained her considerably. Finding this to be the case, she said very pitifully to her mother, “Mamma, you can’t think how it hurts me when I speak!” “Does it?” replied her mother; “then I’ll tell you what I would advise you to do. Resolve all this day to say nothing but what is either necessary or useful; this will give your tongue a fine holiday, and may answer more purposes than one.”
Fanny, knowing that she had the character of being somewhat loquacious, could not help laughing at this, and said, “Well, I will try for once; so, mum! I am going to begin now, mamma.”
Mother. Do so; and whenever you are beginning to speak, be sure you ask yourself whether what you were going to say was likely to be of any use, or whether it was necessary.
Fanny. Yes, yes, I will! but don’t talk to me, mamma, for fear. So saying, she screwed up her lips, and taking her work, sat for about five minutes as still as a mouse. She then looked up, smiled and nodded at her mother, as much as to say, “See how well I can hold my tongue,” still screwing her lips very tight for fear she should speak. Soon, however, she began to feel a great inclination to say something; and was glad to recollect that if she could but think of anything either useful or necessary, she might speak. Whereupon she endeavored to find something to say that would come “within the act.” To aid her invention, she looked all round the room.
Fanny. Mamma, don’t you think the fire wants stirring? (This question, she thought, savored of both qualifications.)
Mother. Not at present, my dear.