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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 203 pages of information about New National Fourth Reader.

Do you wish to walk?  Yes, I do.

Do you wish to walk?  No, I do not wish to walk; but suppose I must.

Do you wish to walk? No, I would rather ride.

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Language Lesson.—­Let pupils write a letter to some friend, using the last paragraph of the lesson as a subject.

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LESSON LVI.

persist’ed, continued.

crip’ples, those who have lost the use of a limb.

merged, united; joined.

stal’wart, strong; powerful.

in’nocent, harmless.

pass’port, what enables one to go in safety.

gal’lant, brave; noble.

riv’en, taken away; deprived.

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UNITED AT LAST.

  “O mother!  What do they mean by blue? 
    And what do they mean by gray?”
  Was heard from the lips of a little child
    As she bounded in from play. 
  The mother’s eyes filled up with tears;
    She turned to her darling fair,
  And smoothed away from the sunny brow
    Its treasure of golden hair.

  “Why, mother’s eyes are blue, my sweet,
    And grandpa’s hair is gray,
  And the love we bear our darling child
    Grows stronger every day.” 
  “But what did they mean?” persisted the child;
    “For I saw two cripples to-day,
  And one of them said he fought for the blue,
    The other, he fought for the gray.

  “Now he of the blue had lost a leg,
    And the other had but one arm,
  And both seemed worn and weary and sad,
    Yet their greeting was kind and warm. 
  They told of the battles in days gone by,
    Till it made my young blood thrill;
  The leg was lost in the Wilderness fight,
    And the arm on Malvern Hill.

  “They sat on the stone by the farm-yard gate,
    And talked for an hour or more,
  Till their eyes grew bright and their hearts seemed warm
    With fighting their battles o’er;
  And they parted at last with a friendly grasp,
    In a kindly, brotherly way,
  Each calling on God to speed the time
    Uniting the blue and the gray.”

  Then the mother thought of other days—­
    Two stalwart boys from her riven;
  How they knelt at her side and lispingly prayed,
    “Our Father which art in heaven;”
  How one wore the gray and the other the blue;
    How they passed away from sight,
  And had gone to the land where gray and blue
    Are merged in colors of light.

  And she answered her darling with golden hair,
    While her heart was sadly wrung
  With the thoughts awakened in that sad hour
    By her innocent, prattling tongue: 
  “The blue and the gray are the colors of God,
    They are seen in the sky at even,
  And many a noble, gallant soul
    Has found them a passport to heaven.”

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