The following sections of this BookRags Literature Study Guide is offprint from Gale's For Students Series: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Works: Introduction, Author Biography, Plot Summary, Characters, Themes, Style, Historical Context, Critical Overview, Criticism and Critical Essays, Media Adaptations, Topics for Further Study, Compare & Contrast, What Do I Read Next?, For Further Study, and Sources.
(c)1998-2002; (c)2002 by Gale. Gale is an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Gale and Design and Thomson Learning are trademarks used herein under license.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction: "Social Concerns", "Thematic Overview", "Techniques", "Literary Precedents", "Key Questions", "Related Titles", "Adaptations", "Related Web Sites". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults: "About the Author", "Overview", "Setting", "Literary Qualities", "Social Sensitivity", "Topics for Discussion", "Ideas for Reports and Papers". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
All other sections in this Literature Study Guide are owned and copyrighted by BookRags, Inc.
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|IMPROVEMENT OF TIME.||41|
|PRAYER FOR GOOD THOUGHTS.||57|
The Author’s Address to the Pupil.
1. I present to you, my little friend, a new book, to assist you in learning to read. I do not intend that it shall be a book full of hard words, which you do not understand.
2. I do not think it proper to require children to read what they cannot understand. I shall, therefore, show you how you may understand what is in this book, and how you may be able, with very little assistance from your teacher, to read all the hard words, not only in this book, but also in any book which you may hereafter take up.
3. But first let me repeat to you a saying, which, when I was a little boy, and went to school, my teacher used to repeat to me. He said that any one might lead a horse to the water, but no one could make him drink. The horse must do that himself. He must open his own mouth, and draw in the water, and swallow it, himself.
4. And so it is with anything which I wish to teach you. I can tell you many things which it will be useful for you to know, but I cannot open your ears and make you hear me. I cannot turn your eyes so that they will look at me when I am talking to you, that you may listen to me. That, you must do yourself; and if you do not do it, nothing that I can say to you, or do for you, will do you any good.
5. Many little boys and girls, when their teacher is talking to them, are in the habit of staring about the school-room, or looking at their fellow-pupils, or, perhaps, slyly talking to them or laughing with them, when they ought to be listening to what their teacher is saying.
6. Others, perhaps, may appear to be looking at their teacher, while, at the same time, they are thinking about tops and marbles, or kites and dolls, and other play-things, and have no more idea of what their teacher is saying to them than if he were not in the room.
7. Now, here is a little picture, from which I wish to teach you a very important lesson. The picture represents a nest, with four little birds in it. The mother bird has just been out to get some food for them. The little birds, as soon as their mother returns, begin to open their mouths wide, and the mother drops some food from her bill into the mouth of each one; and in this manner they are all fed, until they are old enough to go abroad and find food for themselves.
8. Now, what would these little birds do, if, when their mother brings them their food, they should keep their mouths all shut, or, perhaps, be feeling of one another with their little bills, or crowding each other out of the nest?
9. You know that they would have to go without their food; for their mother would not open their mouths for them, nor could she swallow their food for them. They must do that for themselves, or they must starve.
10. Now, in the same manner that little birds open their mouths to receive the food which their mother brings to them, little boys and girls should have their ears open to hear what their teachers say to them.
11. The little birds, as you see in the picture, have very large mouths, and they keep them wide open to receive all the food that their mother drops; so that none of their food ever falls into the nest, but all goes into their mouths, and they swallow it, and it nourishes them, and makes them grow.
12. So, also, little boys and girls should try to catch, in their ears, everything that their teacher says to them, and keep it in their minds, and be able to recollect it, by often thinking about it; and thus they will grow wise and learned, and be able to teach other little boys and girls, of their own, when they themselves grow up.
13. Now, my little friend, please to open your eyes and see what I have put into this book for you, and open your ears to hear what your kind teacher has to say to you, that your minds may grow, and that you may become wise and good children.
The same subject, continued.
1. I told you, in the last lesson, that I would teach you how to understand what is in this book, and how to read the hard words that you may find in this or in any other book.
2. Now, before you can understand them, you must be able to read them; and in order that you may understand how to read them, you must take the words to pieces; that is, take a few of the letters at a time, and see whether you can read a part of the word first, and then another part, until you have read the whole of it in parts, and then you can put the parts together, and thus read the whole word.
3. Now, in order that you may understand what I mean, I will explain it to you by taking a long word to pieces, and letting you read a part of it at a time, until you have learned how to read the whole word.
4. In the next line, you may read the parts of the word all separated:
Ab ra ca dab ra.
Now you have read the parts of the word ab-ra-ca-dab-ra all separated, you can read them very easily together, so as to make one word, and the word will be Abracadabra.
5. This long and hard word was the name of a false god, that was worshiped many hundreds of years ago, by a people who did not know the true God, whom we worship; and they very foolishly supposed that by wearing this name, written on paper, in a certain manner, it would cure them of many diseases.
6. Here are a few more long and hard words, divided in the same manner, which you may first read by syllables, that is, one syllable at a time:
Val e tu di na’ ri an.
In de fat i ga bil’ i ty.
Hy po chon dri’ a cal.
Me temp sy cho’ sis.
Hal lu ci na’ tion.
Zo o no’ mi a.
Ses qui pe dal’ i ty.
7. You may now read these long words as they are here presented, without a division of the syllables, as follows: valetudinarian, indefatigability, hypochondriacal, metempsychosis, hallucination, zoonomia, sesquipedality.
8. Now, you see that words which look hard, and which you find difficult to read, can be easily read, if you take the pains to divide them into parts or syllables, and not try to read the whole word at once.
9. I now propose to relate to you a little story which I read when I was a little boy, and which I think will make you remember what I have just told you about reading hard words, by first taking them to pieces, and reading a part of them at a time.
10. A father, who was dying, called his seven sons around his bed, and showed them a bundle of small sticks tied together, and asked each one to try to break all the sticks at once, without untying the bundle.
11. Each of the sons took the bundle of sticks, and putting it across his knee, tried with all his strength to break it; but not one of them could break the sticks, or even bend them, while they were tied together.
12. The father then directed his oldest son to untie the bundle, and to break each stick separately. As soon as the bundle was untied, each of the sons took the sticks separately, and found that they could easily break every one of them, and scatter them, in small pieces, all about the floor.
13. “Now,” said the father, “I wish you, my dear sons, to learn a lesson from these sticks. So long as you are all united in love and friendship, you need fear little from any enemies; but, if you quarrel among yourselves, and do not keep together, you see by these little sticks how easily your enemies may put you down separately.”
14. Now, this was a very wise father, and he taught his sons a very useful lesson with this bundle of sticks. I also wish to teach you, my little friend, whoever you are, that are reading this book, another useful lesson from the same story.
15. Hard words, especially long ones, will be difficult to you to read, unless, like the sons in the story, you untie the bundle; that is, until you take the long words apart, and read one part or syllable at a time. Thus you may learn what is meant by that wise saying, “Divide and conquer.”
The same subject, continued.
1. I have another lesson to teach you from the same story of the old man and the bundle of sticks, which I think will be very useful to you, and will make your lessons very much easier to you.
2. Whenever you have a lesson to learn, do not look at it all at once, and say, I cannot learn this long lesson; but divide it into small parts, and say to yourself, I will try to learn this first little part, and after I have learned that, I will rest two or three minutes, and then I will learn another little part, and then rest again a few minutes, and then I will learn another.
3. I think that in this way you will find study is not so hard a thing as it seemed to you at first, and you will have another explanation of that wise saying, Divide and conquer.
4. I will now tell you another story that I read when I was a little boy. It was called a fable. But before I tell you the story, I must tell you what a fable is.
5. A fable is a story which is not true. But, although it is not a true story, it is a very useful one, because it always teaches us a good lesson.
6. In many fables, birds and beasts are represented as speaking. Now, you know that birds and beasts cannot talk, and therefore the story, or fable, which tells us that birds and beasts, and other things, that are not alive, do talk, cannot be true.
7. But I have told you, that although fables are not true stories, they are very useful to us, because they teach us a useful lesson. This lesson that they teach is called the moral of the fable; and that is always the best fable that has the best moral to it, or, in other words, that teaches us the best lesson.
8. The story, or the fable, that I promised to tell you, is in the next lesson, and I wish you, when you read it, to see whether you can find out what the lesson, or moral, is which it teaches; and whether it is at all like the story of the father and the bundle of sticks, that I told you in the last lesson. While you read it, be very careful that you do not pass over any word the meaning of which you do not know.
The Discontented Pendulum.—JANE TAYLOR.
1. An old clock, that had stood for fifty years in a farmer’s kitchen, without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one summer’s morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped.
2. Upon this, the dial-plate (if we may credit the fable) changed countenance with alarm; the hands made a vain effort to continue their course; the wheels remained motionless with surprise; the weights hung speechless;—each member felt disposed to lay the blame on the others.
3. At length the dial instituted a formal inquiry as to the cause of the stagnation, when hands, wheels, weights, with one voice, protested their innocence.
4. But now a faint tick was heard below from the pendulum, who thus spoke:—“I confess myself to be the sole cause of the present stoppage; and I am willing, for the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. The truth is, that I am tired of ticking.”
5. Upon hearing this, the old clock became so enraged, that it was on the very point of striking. “Lazy wire!” exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its hands.
6. “Very good!” replied the pendulum; “it is vastly easy for you, Mistress Dial, who have always, as everybody knows, set yourself up above me,—it is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness! You, who have had nothing to do, all the days of your life, but to stare people in the face, and to amuse yourself with watching all that goes on in the kitchen!
7. “Think, I beseech you, how you would like to be shut up for life in this dark closet, and to wag backwards and forwards, year after year, as I do.”
8. “As to that,” said the dial, “is there not a window in your house, on purpose for you to look through?”—“For all that,” resumed the pendulum, “it is very dark here; and although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an instant, to look out at it.
9. “Besides, I am really tired of my way of life; and, if you wish, I’ll tell you how I took this disgust at my employment. I happened this morning to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in the course of only the next twenty-four hours; perhaps some of you, above there, can give me the exact sum.”
10. The minute-hand, being quick at figures, presently replied, “Eighty-six thousand four hundred times.”
11. “Exactly so,” replied the pendulum; “well, I appeal to you all, if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by those of months and years, really, it is no wonder if I felt discouraged at the prospect: so, after a great deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I’ll stop.”
12. The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this harangue; but, resuming its gravity, thus replied: “Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious person as yourself, should have been overcome by this sudden action.
13. “It is true, you have done a great deal of work in your time; so have we all, and are likely to do; which, although it may fatigue us to think of, the question is, whether it will fatigue us to do. Would you now do me the favor to give about half a dozen strokes, to illustrate my argument?”
14. The pendulum complied, and ticked six times in its usual pace. “Now,” resumed the dial, “may I be allowed to inquire if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you?”
15. “Not in the least,” replied the pendulum; “it is not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions.”
16. “Very good,” replied the dial; “but recollect, that though you may think of a million strokes in an instant, you are required to execute but one; and that, however often you may hereafter have to swing, a moment will always be given you to swing in.”
17. “That consideration staggers me, I confess,” said the pendulum.—“Then I hope,” resumed the dial-plate, “we shall all immediately return to our duty; for the maids will lie in bed, if we stand idling thus.”
18. Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, the pendulum began to swing, and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever; while a red beam of the rising sun, that streamed through a hole in the kitchen window, shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up, as if nothing had been the matter.
19. When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock, he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.
Address of the Author to the Pupil,—continued from Lesson 3d.
1. The fable of the old clock, which has just been read, is intended to teach us a lesson, or moral, and that is, that whenever we have anything to do, whether it be a long lesson or a piece of hard work, we must not think of it all at once, but divide the labor, and thus conquer the difficulty.
2. The pendulum was discouraged when it thought that it had to tick eighty-six thousand four hundred times in twenty-four hours; but when the dial asked it to tick half a dozen times only, the pendulum confessed that it was not fatiguing or disagreeable to do so.
3. It was only by thinking what a large number of times it had to tick in twenty-four hours, that it became fatigued.
4. Now, suppose that a little boy, or a little girl, has a hard lesson to learn, and, instead of sitting down quietly and trying to learn a little of it at a time, and after that a little more, until it is all learned, should begin to cry, and say I cannot learn all of this lesson, it is too long, or too hard, and I never can get it, that little boy, or girl, would act just as the pendulum did when it complained of the hard work it had to do.
5. But the teacher says to the little boy, Come, my dear, read over the first sentence of your lesson to me six times. The little boy reads the first sentence six times, and confesses to his teacher that it was not very hard work to do so.
6. The teacher then asks him to read it over six times more; and the little boy finds that, before he has read it to his teacher so often as the six times more, he can say it without his book before him.
7. In this way, that little boy will find, that it is not, after all, so hard work to get what he calls a hard lesson; because all that he has to do, is to read a small portion of the lesson at a time, and to repeat the reading of that small portion until he can repeat it without the book.
8. When he has done this, he can take another small portion of the lesson, and do the same with that, until, by degrees, he has learnt the whole lesson; and then he will feel happy, because he knows that his teacher, and his parents, will be pleased with him.
9. But some pupils say to themselves, when they have a lesson to learn, I do not want to study this lesson now; I will study it by and by, or to-morrow morning.
10. But, by and by, and when to-morrow comes, they feel no more disposed to study their lesson than they did when the lesson was first given to them.
11. Now, my little friend, if you wish your time at school to pass pleasantly, do not say to yourself, I will get my lesson by and by, or to-morrow, but set yourself about it immediately, learn it as quickly as you can, and I will assure you will not only make your teachers and your parents happier, but you will be much happier yourself.
The Author to the Pupil.
1. In the first lesson, I told you that I would show you how to understand what is in this book; and how you may, with very little assistance from your teacher, be able to read all the hard words that you find in any book.
2. Many little boys and girls are very fond of running out of their places in school, and going up to their teachers with a great many unnecessary questions. This always troubles the teacher, and prevents his going through with all his business in time to dismiss you at the usual hour.
3. Whenever you meet with any real difficulty, that you cannot overcome yourself without his assistance, you should watch for an opportunity when he is at leisure, and endeavor to attract his attention quietly, and without noise and bustle, so that your fellow-pupils may not be disturbed, and then respectfully and modestly ask him to assist you.
4. But if you are noisy and troublesome, and run up to him frequently with questions that, with a little thought, you could easily answer yourself, he will not be pleased with you, but will think that you wish to make trouble; and, perhaps, will appear unkind to you.
5. I will now endeavor to show you how you may understand what is in your book, so that you will have no need to be troublesome to your teacher.
6. In the first place, then, always endeavor to understand every line that you read; try to find out what it means, and, if there is any word that you have never seen or heard of before, look out the word in a dictionary, and see what the meaning of the word is; and then read the line over again, and see whether you can tell what the whole line means, when you have found out the meaning of the strange word.
7. Now, as you can understand everything best when you have an example, I will give you one, as follows. In the tenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, at the first verse, there are these words:
was a certain man in Cesarea, called
Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian
2. “A devout
man, and one that feared God with all his
house, and gave much alms to the people, and prayed to
8. I suppose you know what most of the words in these verses mean, except the word centurion in the first verse, and the word alms in the second.
9. Now, if you look for the word centurion in the dictionary, it will tell you that centurion means a military officer, who commanded a hundred men. Thus you find that Cornelius was a soldier; and not only that he was a soldier, but that he was an officer, that commanded soldiers.
10. Again, if you look for the word alms in your dictionary, you will find that it means money given to the poor; and thus you find that Cornelius was a very good man, and not only prayed to God, but also gave much money to assist the poor.
11. You see, then, how useful a book a dictionary is at school, and how important it is that you should have one. If your parents cannot give you a very good one, any one is better than none.
12. But if you have no dictionary, or if you cannot find the word you wish to find in the dictionary, you must then wait for a convenient time to ask your teacher, and he will always be pleased to find that you are trying to understand the words in your lesson.
13. If you have a dictionary, and do not know how to find out the words in it, ask your teacher to show you; and when he has showed you how to use it, be sure never to pass over a single word without knowing what it means.
How to find out the Meaning of Words.—ORIGINAL.
1. Many years ago, when I lived in a small town, near the Merrimac river, a little Spanish girl came to board in the same house.
2. She could speak very well in her own language; but the people in her country speak a language very different from ours: and when she first began to speak, she heard nothing but Spanish words; and she learned no other.
3. She could not speak a word of English, and did not understand a word that was spoken to her by any of the family.
4. Her parents were very rich, but they placed her in the family, that she might learn to speak English.
5. She had no dictionary to turn to, to look out the meaning of words; and if she was hungry, she could not ask for bread, and if she was thirsty, she could not ask for water, nor milk, nor tea, for she did not know the meaning of either of the words, water, tea, nor milk.
6. Perhaps you would be puzzled to tell how she could learn to speak English, if she had no one to teach her, and had no dictionary to inform her about the words.
7. But it was not many days before she could say “bread,” if she was hungry, and “water,” if she wanted to drink; and I was very much surprised to find how soon it was, at the dinner-table, she could ask for meat, or potato, or pudding; and, at tea-time, for tea, or milk, or sugar, or butter, or bread.
8. I have no doubt that you would like to know how this little Spanish girl learned to speak all of these words. I do not intend to tell you quite yet, but I think you will find out yourself, if you will read the next lesson.
The same subject, continued.
1. About twenty years ago, I was very ill, and, for a long time, my friends thought I never should recover.
2. By the very attentive care of my physician, and by the devoted attention of my wife, I unexpectedly grew better; and the doctor said that I must take a voyage for the recovery of my health.
3. A kind friend, who was going to the West Indies, in a vessel of his own, very generously offered to take me with him, and I gratefully accepted the offer.
4. We sailed from Boston early one morning, and were soon out of sight of the land. I was quite ill during the voyage; but fortunately the voyage was a short one, and we reached the place of our destination on the fourteenth day after we sailed.
5. The island, where we landed, was a beautiful spot; and lemons, oranges, pine-apples, and many other delicious fruits, were growing out in the open air.
6. The people who lived on this island did not speak the English language; and the family with whom I was to reside could speak only in French.
7. I observed, at dinner-time, that some of the persons at the table held out their tumblers to the servant, and said something which sounded to me like O.
8. I often heard this word; and every time it was spoken, water was brought, or poured out, or something was done with water.
9. I then made up my mind that this word that I thought was O meant water; and I found out afterwards that I was right, except that I did not spell it right.
10. This I discovered by means of the Bible, from which the family used to read.
11. It was a very large one, with very large letters; and as I was very fond of hearing them read, and of looking over the book while some one was reading aloud, I noticed that whenever the reader came to the letters e, a, u, he called them O; and thus I found out that water, in their language, was called O, but was spelt e, a, u.
12. In the same manner, I found out the words, or names, which they gave to bread, and sugar, and butter, and meat, and figs, and oranges, and lemons, and pine-apples.
13. And now, perhaps, you may be able to find out how the little Spanish girl, mentioned in the last lesson, learned the meaning of English words that she had never heard until she came to live in the family where nothing but English was spoken.
14. She was obliged to listen, when any one spoke, and watch to see what was wanted; and in the same manner in which I found out the meaning of O, and what to call bread, and sugar, and butter, and meat, and figs, and oranges, and other fruits, she learned to call things by their English names.
15. But, in order to do this, she was obliged to listen very attentively, to try to remember every new name that she learned; and, by so doing, in less than a year she could talk almost as plainly as any one in the house.
16. It was very easy for her to learn the names of things, because she heard them spoken very often. Such words as chair, table, water, sugar, cake, potato, pudding, and other words which are the names of things she could see, she learned very quickly.
17. But such words as come and go, or run and walk, and the little words to and from, and over and under, or such words as quickly and slowly, and many other words of the same kind, she could not learn so easily.
18. In the next lesson perhaps you will find out how she learned the meaning of these words.
The same subject, continued.
1. There was a small family living very near to your residence, my young friends who are reading this lesson, consisting of the father, the mother, and four young children.
2. The oldest was a boy of twelve years old, the next was a little girl of about eight, the third was another pretty little girl of six, and the youngest was an infant boy, only nine months old.
3. As you may well suppose, the baby, as he was called, was the delight, not only of the father and the mother, but also of his elder brother and his two sisters.
4. The oldest brother had a dog whose name was Guido,—an Italian name, which is pronounced as if it were spelt Gwe’do.
5. The dog had learned to love the dear little baby as much as the rest of the family; and very often, when he was lying on the floor, the baby would pull his tail, or his ears, or put his little hand into the creature’s mouth, and Guido would play as gently with him as if he knew that the baby was a very tender little thing, and could not bear any rough treatment.
6. Nothing pleased the whole family, and Guido among the rest, so much, as to hear the baby try to say papa, and mamma, and bub, and sis; for he could not say brother, nor sister, nor pronounce any other words plainly.
7. The youngest sister was very fond of making him say these words; and every time the little creature repeated them to her, she would throw her arms around his little neck, and hug and kiss him with all the affectionate love her little heart could express.
8. She often used to dress her little doll as prettily as she knew how; tying its frock on one day with a pretty blue ribbon, and on another with a red one; for she had noticed, that whenever the doll was newly dressed, the dear little baby would look very steadily at it, and hold out its little arms towards it; and then she would carry it to her little brother, and say to him, “Dolly,—pretty dolly,—bub want to see dolly?”
9. One day she had dressed her doll in a very bright new dress, with very gay ribbons, and was carrying it towards her father to show it to him, when suddenly she heard the baby cry out, “Dolly!”
10. She immediately ran with delight to her little brother, holding up the doll in its new shining dress, and repeated her usual words, “Dolly,—bub want dolly?”
11. The baby, delighted, looked up in its mother’s face, and laughed, and crowed, and giggled, and in its delight again repeated the word “Dolly!”
12. Pleased with her success, the little sister was unwearied in her efforts to make her little brother repeat other words; and day by day she was gratified to find the list of words which he lisped was growing in length.
13. By the unwearied endeavors of father, mother, brother and sisters, this pretty little baby, by the time that it was three years old, could speak plainly anything that was repeated to him, and had learned the names of almost everything that he saw about the house, the yard, and the street.
14. But it was observed that Guido, the dog, although he could not speak a word, had also learned the names of many things; and when George, the oldest son, told him to go and bring his ball to him, Guido would wag his tail, and go up into George’s chamber, and look about the room until he had found the ball; and then he would run down the stairs, and dropping the ball at his young master’s feet, look up in his face, expecting that George would throw it down for him to catch again.
15. The baby, however, learnt words and names much faster than Guido; for although Guido knew as much as any dog knows, yet dogs are different creatures from children, and cannot learn so much nor so fast as children can, because it has not pleased God to give them the same powers.
16. Now, perhaps you may wish to know who this interesting family were of whom I have been speaking; and you will probably be surprised to learn, that all I have told you about this little baby is true of every little baby, and that the manner that every infant is taught to speak is the same.
17. It is the same manner as that in which the little Spanish girl, mentioned in the seventh lesson, was taught to speak the English language.
1. I told you, in the last lesson, how an infant child first learned to speak, when it was taught by its father and mother, and brother and sisters.
2. I intend to show you, in this lesson, how the little child learned the meaning of a great many words himself, without the assistance of any one else.
3. He was very fond of Guido, the dog, and watched everything he did, especially when his brother George was playing with him.
4. When George called Guido, and said to the dog, “Come here, Guido,” the little boy could not help noticing that Guido went to George.
5. When George’s father or mother called George, and said, “Come here, George,” the little child saw that George went to his father, or his mother.
6. Now, nobody told the little child what George, or his father, or his mother, meant by the word come; but he always saw, that when any one said to another, “Come,” that the one who was spoken to always moved towards the person who called him, and in this way the little child found out what his father or his mother meant by the word come.
7. It was in this way, my young friend who are reading this lesson, that you, yourself, learned the meaning of most of the words that you know.
8. When you were a little child, like the infant of whom I have been speaking, you knew no more about words, or about speaking, than he did.
9. But, by hearing others speak and use words, you learned to use them yourself; and there is no word ever used, either in books or anywhere else, that you cannot find out its meaning, provided that you hear it used frequently, and by different persons.
10. I will now give you an example, to show you what I mean. I will give you a word that you probably never heard of before; and although I shall not tell you what the word means, I think you will find it out yourself, before you have read many more lines of this lesson.
11. The word hippoi is the word that I shall choose, because I know that you do not know the meaning of it; but I wish you to read the following sentences in which the word is used, and I think that you will find out what hippoi means, before you have read them all.
12. In California, and in Mexico, and in most parts of South America, there are many wild hippoi, which feed on the grass that grows wild there.
13. The Indians hunt the hippoi; and when they catch them, they tame them, and put bridles on their heads, and bits in their mouths, and saddles on their backs, and ride on them.
14. A carriage, with four white hippoi, has just passed by the window, and one of the hippoi has dropped his shoe. The coachman must take him to the blacksmith, to have the shoe put on.
15. The noise which hippoi make is a very strange noise, and when they make it they are said to neigh (pronounced na).
16. The hoofs of cows and goats and sheep and deer are cloven; that is, they are split into two parts; but the hoofs of hippoi are not split or cloven, and for that reason they are called whole-hoofed animals.
17. My father has in his barn four hippoi. One of them is red, and has a short tail; another is white, with a few dark hairs in his mane, or long hair on the top of his neck; the third is gray, with dark spots on his body; and the fourth is perfectly black, and has a very long tail, which reaches almost to the ground.
18. Now, from these sentences, I think you will see that hippoi does not mean cows, or goats, or sheep, or deer; and I do not think it necessary to tell you anything more about it, except that it is a word that was spoken by the Corinthians and the Colossians and the Ephesians, the people to whom St. Paul addressed those epistles or letters in the Bible called by their names.
19. When you have read this lesson, your teacher will probably ask you what the word hippoi means; and I hope you will be able to tell him that hippoi means——[here put in the English word for hippoi.]
1. In the last lesson, I gave you a word which you had not seen before, to find out the meaning of it, without looking in a dictionary.
2. I told you, in a former lesson, how the little Spanish girl found out the meaning of words which she did not know; and afterwards informed you how the infant child was taught to speak.
3. Now, I doubt not that you can speak a great many words, and know what they mean when you use them; but I do not think that you ever thought much about the way in which you learned them.
4. Perhaps you will be surprised to hear that everybody learns to talk and to use words in the same way that the little Spanish girl and the little infant learned them; that is, by hearing others use them in different ways, just as the word hippoi was used in the last lesson.
5. Nobody ever told you, probably, the meaning of a great many words that you know; and yet you know them full as well, and perhaps better, than if any one had told you about them.
6. Perhaps you have a brother whose name is John, or George, or James, or a sister whose name is Mary, or Jane, or Ann, or Lucy. You have always heard them called by these names, ever since you, or they, were quite young; and have noticed that when John was called, that the one whose name is John would answer; and as each one answered when spoken to, you learnt which was John, and which was Mary, and which was Lucy.
7. So also, when a certain animal, having two large horns and a long tail, and which is milked every night and morning, passed by, you heard some one say cow; and in this way you learned what the word cow means.
8. So also, when water falls from the sky in drops, little children hear people say it rains; and thus they find out what rain, means.
9. Now, when anybody asks you what any word means, although you know it very well, yet it is a very hard thing to tell what it means,—that is, to give a definition of it,—as you will see by the little story I am about to tell you.
10. A teacher, who was very anxious to make his scholars understand their lessons, once told them he had a very hard question he wished to ask them, and that he would let the one who answered the question best take the head of the class.
11. This teacher never allowed any of his pupils to speak to him without first raising his right hand above his head, to signify that the child had something to say; and when any child raised his hand in this way, if he was not busy, he called upon the child to say what he wished.
12. In this way he prevented the children from troubling him when he was busy; and in this way he also prevented them from interrupting each other, as would be the case if several of them should speak at once.
13. On the day of which I am about to speak, he said to them, Now, children, I have a very hard question to ask you, that does not require you to study, but only to think about it, in order to answer it well; and the one who gives me the best answer shall go to the head of the class. The question is this: What is a bird?
14. Before they heard the question, they looked very sober, and thought their master intended to puzzle them, or to give them a long sentence to commit to memory. But as soon as they heard the question, they began to smile among themselves, and wonder how their teacher should call that a hard question.
15. A dozen hands were immediately raised, to signify that so many of the children were ready to answer it.
16. Well, John, said the teacher, your hand is up; can you tell me what a bird is?
17. John immediately rose, and standing on the right-hand side of his seat, said, A bird is a thing that has two legs.
18. Well, said the teacher, suppose some one should saw off two of the legs of my chair; it would then be a thing that has two legs; but it would not be a bird, would it? You see, then, that your answer is not correct.
19. I will not mention the names of the other children who raised their hands; but I will tell you what the answers were which some of them made to the questions, and what the teacher said about each of their answers.
20. One of the children said that a bird is an animal with two legs. But, said the teacher, all little boys and girls, and all men and women, are animals with two legs; but they are not birds.
21. Another child said that a bird is an animal that has wings. But the teacher said there are some fishes that have wings, and that fishes are not birds.
22. A bright little girl then modestly rose and said, A bird is an animal that has legs and wings, and that flies. The teacher smiled upon her very kindly, and told her that it is true that a bird has legs and wings, and that it flies; but, said he, there is another animal, also, that has legs and wings, and that flies very fast in the air. It is called a bat. It flies only in the night; but it has no feathers, and therefore is not a bird.
23. Upon hearing this, another bright-eyed child very timidly rose and said, A bird is an animal that has legs, wings and feathers. Very well, said the teacher; but can you not think of anything else that a bird has, which other creatures have not?
24. The children looked at one another, wondering what their teacher could mean; and no one could think what to say, until the teacher said to them, Think a moment, and try to tell me how a bird’s mouth looks. Look first at my mouth. You see I have two lips, and these two lips form my mouth. Now, tell me whether a bird has two lips; and if he has not, what he has instead of lips.
25. One of the children immediately arose and said, that a bird has no lips, but he has a bill; and that bill opens as the lips of a man do, and forms the mouth of the bird.
26. Yes, said the teacher; and now listen to me while I tell you the things you should always mention, when you are asked what a bird is,—
First, A bird is an animal.
Secondly, It has two legs.
Thirdly, It has two wings.
Fourthly, It has feathers.
Fifthly, It has a hard, glossy bill.
27. And now, said the teacher, you see that I was right when I told you that I had a hard question to ask you, when I asked What is a bird?
28. Now, if you will join all of these things which belong to a bird in the description which you give in answer to my question, What is a bird, you will then give a correct definition of a bird,—that is, you will tell exactly what a bird is, and no more, and no less.
29. A bird is an animal covered with feathers, having two legs, two wings, and a hard, glossy bill.
30. When you are asked what anything is, recollect what I have told you about a bird, and try to recall everything that you ever knew about the thing, and in this way you will be able to give a satisfactory answer.
31. This will also teach you to think, and that is one of the most important objects for which you go to school. It will enable you also to understand what you read; and you can always read those things best which you understand well.
Reading and Spelling.
1. Another important thing for which you go to school is to learn how to spell. It is not always very easy to spell, because there are so many different ways in which the same letters are pronounced in different words.
2. That you may understand what I mean, I shall give an example, to show you how many different ways the same letters are pronounced in different words; and also another example, to show you how many different ways there are of spelling the same syllable.
3. To show you, first, in how many different ways the same letters are pronounced in different words, I shall take the letters o, u, g, h.
4. The letters o, u, g, h, are sounded or pronounced like the letter o alone, in the word though. The letters o, u, g, h, are pronounced like uf, in the word tough.
5. In the word cough, the letters o, u, g, h, are pronounced like off. In the words slough and plough, the letters o, u, g, h, are pronounced like ow; and in the word through, they are pronounced like ew, or like u.
6. In the word hiccough the letters ough are pronounced like up—and in the word lough, the letters are pronounced like lok.
7. There are many words which end with a sound like shun; and this syllable is spelled in many different ways, as you will see in the following example.
8. In the words ocean, motion, mansion, physician, halcyon, Parnassian, Christian, and many other such words, the last syllable is pronounced as if it were spelled shun.
9. You see, then, that in some words a syllable sounding very much like shun is spelled
as in ocean;
in some it is spelled tion, as in nation;
in some it is spelled sion, as in mansion;
in some it is spelled cian, as in physician;
in some it is spelled cyon, as in halcyon;
in some it is spelled sian, as in Parnassian.
10. It is such things as these which make both reading and spelling very hard lessons for young children. If they think of them all at once, as the pendulum did of the eighty-six thousand times that it had to swing in twenty-four hours, it is no wonder if they feel discouraged, and say, I can’t get these hard lessons.
11. But you must recollect that, as the pendulum, every time it had to swing, had a moment given it to swing in, so you also have a moment given you to learn everything in; and if you get a little at a time, you will, in the end, finish it all, if it be ever so large.
12. You have seen the workman engaged in building a brick house. He takes one brick at a time, and lays it on the mortar, smoothing the mortar with his trowel; and then he takes another brick, and another, until he has made a long row for the side of the house.
13. He then takes another brick, and lays that on the first row; and continues laying brick after brick, until the house gradually rises to its proper height.
14. Now, if the workman had said that he could never lay so many bricks, the house would never have been built; but he knew that, although he could lay but one brick at a time, yet, by continuing to lay them, one by one, the house would at last be finished.
15. There are some children, who live as much as a mile, or a half of a mile, from the school-house. If these children were told that they must step forward with first one foot and then the other, and must take three or four thousand steps, before they could reach the school-house, they would probably be very much discouraged, every morning, before they set out, and would say to their mothers, Mother, I can’t go to school,—it is so far; I must put out one foot, and drag the other after it, three thousand times, before I can get there.
16. You see, then, that although it may appear to be a very hard thing to learn to read and to spell so many words as there are in large books, yet you are required to learn but a few of them at a time; and if there were twice as many as there are, you will learn them all, in time.
17. I shall tell you a story, in the next lesson, to show you how important it is to know how to spell.
Importance of Learning to Spell.—ORIGINAL VERSION.
1. A rich man, whose education had been neglected in early life, and who was, of course, very ignorant of many things which even little boys and girls among us now-a-days know very well, lived in a large house, with very handsome furniture in it.
2. He kept a carriage, and many servants, some of whom were very much better educated than he was himself.
3. This rich man had been invited out many times to dine with his neighbors; and he observed that at the dinners to which he was invited there were turkeys, and ducks, and chickens, as well as partridges, and quails, and woodcocks, together with salmon, and trout, and pickerel,—with roasted beef, and lamb, and mutton, and pork.
4. But he noticed that every one seemed to be more fond of chickens than anything else, but that they also ate of the ducks and the turkeys.
5. He, one day, determined to invite his friends to dine with him, in return for their civilities in inviting him; and he made up his mind to have an abundance of those things, in particular, of which he had observed his friends to be most fond.
6. He accordingly sent his servant to market, to buy his dinner; and, for fear the servant should make any mistake, he wrote his directions on paper, and, giving the paper, with some money, to the servant, he sent him to the market.
7. The servant took the paper and the money, and set off. Just before he reached the market, he opened the paper, to see what his master had written.
8. But his master wrote so very badly, it took him a long time to find out what was written on the paper; but, at last, he contrived to make it out, as follows:
9. “Dukes would be preferred to Turks; but Chittens would be better than either.”
10. What his master meant by dukes, and turks, and chittens, he could not guess. No such things were for sale at the market, and he did not dare to return home without buying something.
11. As he could find nothing like dukes nor turks, he happened to see a poor woman carrying home a basket full of kittens. This was the most like chittens of anything he could find; and not being able to get what his master had written for, he thought his master meant kittens. He therefore bought the basket of kittens, and carried them home for his master’s dinner.
1. There lived, a great many years ago, in Athens, one of the most renowned cities of Greece, a very celebrated orator, whose name was Demos’thenes.
2. But you will not understand what an orator is, until you are told that it means a person who speaks before a large number of people, to persuade them what to do, or to give them information, or good advice.
3. Thus, when a minister or clergyman preaches a good sermon, and speaks in such a manner as to please all who hear him, convincing them of their duty, and persuading them to do it, he is called an orator.
4. Demos’thenes was not a clergyman, or minister, but he spoke before large assemblies of the Athenians, and they were very much delighted to hear him. Whenever it was known that he intended to speak in public, every one was anxious to hear him.
5. Now, I wish to show you how hard he worked, and what he did, to become a great orator.
6. In the first place, then, he had a very weak voice, and could not speak loud enough to be heard by a large assembly; and, besides this, he was very much troubled with shortness of breath. These were very great discouragements, and had he not labored very hard to overcome them, he never could have succeeded.
7. To cure his shortness of breath, he used to go up and down stairs very frequently, and run up steep and uneven places; and to strengthen his voice, he often went to the sea-shore, when the waves were very noisy and violent, and talked aloud to them, so that he could hear his own voice above the noise of the waters.
8. He could not speak the letter r plainly, but pronounced it very much as you have heard some little boys and girls pronounce it, when they say a wed wose for a red rose, or a wipe cherwy instead of a ripe cherry.
9. Besides this, he stammered, or stuttered, very badly. To cure himself of these faults in speaking, he used to fill his mouth full of pebbles, and try to speak with them in his mouth.
10. He had a habit, also, of making up faces, when he was trying to speak hard words; and, in order to cure himself of this, he used to practice speaking before a looking-glass, that he might see himself, and try to correct the habit.
11. To break himself of a habit he had of shrugging up his shoulders, and making himself appear hump-backed, he hung up a sword over his back, so that it might prick him, with its sharp point, whenever he did so.
12. He shut himself up in a cave under ground, and, in order to confine himself there to his studies, he shaved the hair off of one half of his head, so that he might be ashamed to go out among men.
13. It was in this way that this great man overcame all of his difficulties, and, at last, became one of the greatest orators that have ever lived.
14. Now, whenever you have a hard lesson to read, or to study, think of Demos’thenes, and recollect how he overcame all his difficulties, and I think you will find that you have few things to do so hard as these things which he did.
15. When your teacher requests you to put out your voice and speak loud, remember what Demos’thenes used to do to strengthen his voice, and you will find very little trouble in speaking loudly enough to be heard, if you will only try.
1. In one of the former lessons, you were taught how to read long and hard words, by taking them to pieces, and reading a part of a word at a time.
2. I promised you also that this book should not be filled with hard words; but I did not promise that there should be no hard words in it.
3. Having taught you how to read hard words, I propose, in this lesson, to give you a few long words to read,—not for the purpose of understanding what they mean, but only to make you able to read such words, when you find them in any other book.
4. The best way of getting rid of all difficulties, is to learn how to overcome them, and master them; for they cease to be difficulties, when you have overcome them.
5. Demos’thenes, as I told you in the last lesson, had a very hard task to perform, before he became a great orator. You, also, can become a good scholar, if you will take pains to study your lessons, and learn them well.
6. Before you read any lesson to your teacher from this book, it is expected that you will study it over, and find out all the most difficult words, so that you may read them right off to him, without stopping to find them out, while he is waiting to hear you read them.
7. Now, here I shall place a few hard words for you to study over, to read to your teacher when you read this lesson to him; and he will probably require every one in your class to read them all aloud to him.
8. I wish you not to go up to your teacher to ask him to assist you, until you have tried yourself to read them, and find that you cannot.
9. There are some words that are not pronounced as they are spelt, as I have taught you in a former lesson.
10. Such a word as phthisic, which is pronounced as if it were spelled tis’ic, I dare say would puzzle you, if you had never seen it before; but before you go up to your teacher, to ask him any questions, you should read over the whole of your lesson, and perhaps you will find, in the lesson itself, something that will explain what puzzled you; and thus you could find it out from your book, without troubling your teacher.
11. Here are some of the long words I wish you to read.
12. Organization, Theoretical, Metaphysical, Metempsychosis, Multitudinous, Arithmetician, Metaphysician, Hyperbolical.
13. Apotheosis, Indefeasible, Feasibility, Supersaturated, Prolongation, Meridional, Ferruginous, Fastidiousness.
14. Haberdashery, Fuliginous, Exhalation, Prematurely, Depreciation, Appreciability, Resuscitate, Surreptitious, Interlocutory.
15. Sometimes the letters a e, and o e, are printed together, like one letter, as in the words Caesar, Coelebs, and then the syllable is pronounced as if it were spelled with e alone, as in the following words:
16. Diaeresis, Aphaeresis, OEcumenical, AEthiop, Subpoena, Encyclopaedia, Phoenix, Phoebus, AEolus.
17. When there are two little dots over one of the letters, they are both to be sounded, as in the word Aerial, which is pronounced a-e-ri-al.
18. The letter c is one which puzzles many young persons who are learning to read, because it is sometimes pronounced like k, as in the word can, and sometimes like s, as in the word cent; and they do not know when to pronounce it like k, and when to sound it like s.
19. But if you will recollect that c is sounded like k when it stands before the letters a, o, or u, and that it is sounded like s before the letters e, i, and y, you will have very little trouble in reading words that have the letter c in them.
20. So also the letter g has two sounds, called the hard sound, and the soft sound. The hard sound is the sound given to it in the word gone; the soft sound is that which is heard in the word gentle.
21. The same rule which you have just learnt with regard to the letter c applies to the letter g. It has its hard sound before a, o, and u, and its soft sound before e, i, and y.
22. There are, it is true, some words where this rule is not applied; but these words are very few, so that you may safely follow this rule in most words.
23. The letters ph are sounded like f. The letters ch are sounded sometimes like k, as in the words loch and monarch, and sometimes like sh, as in the words chaise and charade; and they have sometimes a sound which cannot be represented by any other letters, as in the words charm and chance.
24. I suppose that you have probably learned most of these things which I have now told you in your spelling-book; but I have repeated them in this book, because I have so often found that little boys and girls are very apt to forget what they have learned.
25. If you recollect them all, it will do you no harm to read them again, but it will impress them more deeply on your memory. But if you have forgotten them, this little book will recall them to your mind, so that you will never forget them.
26. I recollect, when I was a little boy, that the letter y used to trouble me very much when it began a word, and was not followed by one of the letters which are called vowels, namely, a, e, i, o, u. I knew how to pronounce ya, ye, yi, yo, yu; but one day, when I was studying a lesson in geography, I saw a word which was spelt Y, p, r, e, s, which puzzled me very much.
27. I knew that the letters p, r, e, s, would spell pres, but I did not know what to call the y. After studying it a long time, I found that the letter y, in that word and some others, was to be pronounced like the long e, and that the word was pronounced Epres, though it was spelled Y, p, r, e, s.
28. Perhaps you will be able, when you grow up, to write a book; and to tell little boys and girls who go to school, when you have grown up, how to read hard words, better than I have told you.
29. If you wish to do so, you must try to recollect what puzzles you most now, and then you will be able to inform them how to get over their difficulties and troubles at school; and when they grow up, I have no doubt that they will feel very grateful to you for the assistance you have given them.
Fire,[A]—a Conversation between a Mother and her little Daughter.
Daughter. Mother dear, you told me, the other day, that nobody knows what light is, except the Great Creator. Now, can you tell me what fire is?
Mother. I fear, my child, that you have asked another question which I cannot directly answer. What fire is, is known only by its effects.
Daughter. And what are its effects, mother?
Mother. Some of its effects are as well known to you, my dear, as they are to me; and I shall, in the first place, call to your recollection what you yourself know about fire, before I attempt to give you any further information in relation to it.
Daughter. Why, mother, I am sure I do not know what fire is.
Mother. No, Caroline, I know that you do not know what fire is; neither do I, nor does any one, except the Great Creator himself. This is one of his secrets, which, in his wisdom, he reserves for himself.
But you certainly know some of the effects of fire. For instance, you know that when you have been out into the cold, you wish, on your return, to go to the fire. Now, can you tell me what you go to the fire for?
Daughter. Why, certainly, mother; I go to the fire to warm myself.
Mother. And how does the fire warm you, my dear?
Daughter. Why, it sends out its heat, mother; and I hold out my hands to it, and feel the heat.
Mother. And where does the heat come from, Caroline?
Daughter. Why, the heat comes from the fire, mother.
Mother. Then, my dear, you know at least one of the effects of fire. It produces, or rather sends out, heat.
Daughter. But does not the fire make the heat, mother?
Mother. If you had a little bird, or a mouse, in a cage, and should open the door and let it out, should you say that you made the little bird, or the mouse?
Daughter. Say that I made them, mother?—why, no; certainly not. I only let them go free. God made them. You told me that God made all things.
Mother. Neither did the fire make the heat. It only made it free, somewhat in the same manner that you would make the bird or the mouse free, by opening the door of the cage.
Daughter. Why, mother, is heat kept in cages, like birds or mice?
Mother. No, my dear, not exactly in cages, like birds or mice; but a great deal closer, in a different kind of cage.
Daughter Why, mother, what sort of a cage can heat be kept in?
Mother. I must answer your question, Caroline, by asking you another. When Alice makes her fire in the kitchen, how does she make it?
Daughter. She takes some wood, or some coal, and puts under it some pine wood, which she calls kindling, and some shavings, and then takes a match and sets the shavings on fire, and very soon the fire is made.
Mother. But does she not first do something to the match?
Daughter. O, yes; I forgot to say that she lights the match first, and then sets fire to the shavings with the lighted match.
Mother. But how does she light the match, my dear?
Daughter. Why, mother, have you never seen her? She rubs one end of the match on the box, where there is a little piece of sand-paper, and that sets the match on fire.
Mother. Is there any fire in the sand-paper, Caroline?
Daughter. Why, no, mother; certainly not.
Mother. Was there any fire in the match, before she lighted it?
Daughter. Why, no, mother; if there had been, she would have had no need to light it.
Mother. You see, then, that fire came when she rubbed the match against the sand-paper; and that the fire was not in the sand-paper, nor in the match.
Daughter. Yes, mother, but I did not see where it came from.
Mother. I am going to explain that to you, my dear, in the next lesson.
[A] This lesson, together with the two following lessons, is taken from a little book, called “Juvenile Philosophy,” published by Messrs. A.S. Barnes & Co., 51 John-street, New York. It consists of nine conversations, between a little girl and her mother, on the subjects, Rain, Color, Vision or Sight, the Eye, Light, Fire, Heat and Wind.
The same subject, continued.
Mother. Did you ever see a person rub his hands together, when he was cold?
Daughter. O yes, mother, a great many times. I have seen father come in from the cold, and rub his hands together, and afterwards hold them to the fire and rub them again, and then they get warm.
Mother. And now, Caroline, take your hand and rub it quickly backwards and forwards, over that woolen table-cloth, on the table in the corner of the room, and tell me whether that will make your hand warm.
Daughter. O, yes, dear mother; I feel it grow warmer, the faster I rub it.
Mother. Here are two small pieces of wood. Touch them to your cheek, and tell me whether they feel warm now.
Daughter. They do not feel warm, nor cold, mother.
Mother. Now rub them together quickly a little while, and then touch them to your cheek.
Daughter. O, dear, mother! they are so hot that they almost burnt my cheek.
Mother. Yes, Caroline; and do you not recollect, when you read Robinson Crusoe, that his man Friday made a fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together?
Daughter. O, yes, dear mother; and I have often wondered why Alice could not light her lire and the lamp in the same manner, without those matches, which have so offensive a smell.
Mother. It is very hard work, my dear, to obtain fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together; and it would take too long a time to do it. The two pieces of wood would grow warm by a very little rubbing; but in order to make them take fire, they must be rubbed together a great while.
Daughter. But, mother, if it takes so long a time to get fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together, why can Alice set the match on fire so easily by rubbing it once on the sand-paper?
Mother. That is what I am about to explain to you, my dear. Here, take this piece of paper and hold it up to the lamp.
Daughter. It has taken fire, mother.
Mother. Now take this piece of pine wood, and hold that up to the lamp in the same manner, and see whether that will take fire too.
Daughter. Yes, mother, it has taken fire; but I had to hold it up to the lamp much longer than I did the paper.
Mother. Now take this piece of hard wood, and do the same with that.
Daughter. The hard wood takes longer still to catch fire, mother.
Mother. Yes, my child. And now I am going to make the hard wood take fire more quickly than the paper did.
Daughter. Dear mother, how can you do it?
Mother. I am going to show you, my dear. Here is a small phial, which contains something that looks like water. It is spirits of turpentine. I shall dip the point of the piece of hard wood into the phial, and take up a little of the spirits of turpentine. Now, Caroline, touch the point of the hard wood with the turpentine on it to the flame.
Daughter. Why, mother, it caught fire as soon as I touched the flame with it!
Mother. Yes, certainly; and you now see that some things, like the spirits of turpentine and the paper, take fire very readily, and others take fire with more difficulty.
Daughter. Yes, mother; but when Alice drew the match across the sand-paper, there was no flame nor fire to touch it to. How, then, could it take fire?
Mother. Hold this piece of paper up to the blaze of the lamp, my dear, but be careful not to touch the fire or flame of the lamp; only hold it close to the blaze.
Daughter. Why, mother, it has taken fire!
Mother. You see, then, that a thing will sometimes take fire when it does not touch the fire.
Daughter. Yes, mother; but I do not understand where the fire comes from.
Mother. The fire comes from the heat, my dear. Now, you know that heat is produced by rubbing two things together; and that some things, like the spirits of turpentine, take fire very easily, or with very little heat; and others, like the hard wood, require to be heated some time,—or, in other words, require much heat,—to make them take fire, or to burn. Some things require only as much heat to make them take fire as can be obtained by rubbing them together very quickly, like the wood which Robinson Crusoe’s man Friday used.
Daughter. But, mother, the match is made of wood,—why does that take fire so easily?
Mother. It is true, Caroline, that the match is made of wood; but it has something at the end of it, which takes fire much more easily than the spirits of turpentine. Indeed, so easily does it take fire, that it requires only so much heat to set it on fire as can be obtained by drawing the match once across the sand-paper.
Daughter. But, mother, matches do not always take fire. I have seen Alice rub several across the sand-paper, before she could set one on fire.
Mother. That is true, and the reason of this is, that the matches are not all well made. Now, if I should take several pieces of hard wood and tie them together, and dip their ends into the spirits of turpentine, what would happen, if the ends of some of the pieces did not touch the spirits of turpentine, because I had not tied them together with their points all even?
Daughter. Why, mother, some of them would take fire easily, because the points had the spirits of turpentine on them; while those which did not touch the spirits could not be lighted so easily.
Mother. So it is, my dear, with the matches. They are all dipped into the substance which takes fire so easily; but some of the ends do not reach the substance, and do not become coated with it, and therefore they will not light more easily than the pine wood of which they are made.
The same subject, concluded.
Daughter. Well, mother, I understand, now, how the match is set on fire. It is rubbed on the sand-paper, and that produces heat, and the heat sets the match on fire. But I always thought that fire makes heat, and not that heat makes fire.
Mother. Heat does not always make fire, Caroline; for, if it did, everything would be on fire.
Daughter. Everything on fire, mother! why, what do you mean?
Mother. I mean, my dear, that everything contains heat.
Daughter. Everything contains heat, mother, did you say? Why, then, is not everything warm? Some things, mother, are very cold; as ice, and snow, and that marble slab.
Mother. Yes, my child, everything contains heat, as I shall presently show you. When Alice goes to make a fire in a cold day, she does not carry the heat with her, and put it into the fire, nor into the wood, nor the coal, does she?
Daughter. Why, no, to be sure not, mother.
Mother. And the heat that comes from the fire, after it is made, does not come in at the windows, nor down the chimney, does it?
Daughter. Why, no, mother; it feels cold at the windows, and cold air comes down the chimney.
Mother. But, after the fire is made, we feel much heat coming from the fire, do we not?
Daughter. Why, yes, mother; that is what the fire is made for. We feel cold, and we want a fire to make us warm; and when the fire is made, it sends out heat, and makes us warm.
Mother. Well, now, where can the heat come from? You know what fire is made from, do you not?
Daughter. Certainly, mother; the fire is made of wood, or of coal.
Mother. But is the wood or the coal warm before the fire is made?
Daughter. No, mother, the wood and the coal come from the cold wood-house, or the cellar, and they are both very cold.
Mother. And yet, the wood and the coal become very hot when they are on fire.
Daughter. O yes, mother, so hot that we cannot touch them with our hands, and we have to take the shovel or the tongs to move them.
Mother. And do they burn the shovel and the tongs, my dear?
Daughter. Why, no, mother; if they did, the shovel and the tongs would be of little use in stirring the fire.
Mother. Can you think of any reason why they do not burn the shovel and the tongs?
Daughter. You told me, mother, that some things require a very little heat to set them on fire, and that other things require a great deal. I suppose that there was not heat enough to set them on fire; and if there had been, they would not burn, because they are made of iron.
Mother. You are partly right, my dear, and partly wrong. They would not burn, because there was not heat enough in the fire to burn them. But there are very few things, and in fact it may be doubted whether there is anything, which will not burn, when sufficient heat is applied. But let us return to the fire: you say the heat does not come from the windows nor from the chimney, and you say, also, that the wood and the coal are both cold. Now, where can the heat come from?
Daughter. I am sure I cannot tell, mother; will you please to tell me?
Mother. You recollect that I told you that the rubbing of the match on the sand-paper produces a little heat, which caused the match to burn. The match was then applied to the shavings, and, as it was burning, gave out heat enough to set the shavings on fire; the shavings produced heat enough to set the pine wood, or kindling, on fire, and then the pine wood, or kindling, produced more heat, and set the wood and coal on fire. Now, there was nothing to produce the heat but the match, the shavings, the wood and the coal; and the heat must have been in them. The fire only served to set it free, and let it come out of the match, the wood, and the coal.
Daughter. But, mother, how did the heat get into the wood and coal?
Mother. It is not known, my dear, how the heat got into the wood and coal, any more than how the fruit gets on to a tree. We say that it grows on the tree; but what growing is, and how it is caused, are among the secrets of God.
Daughter. If the heat is in the wood and the coal, mother, why do we not feel it in them? They both feel cold. I cannot perceive any heat in them.
Mother. The heat is in the wood and the coal, although you do not see it. Do you see any smoke in the wood and the coal, my dear?
Daughter. No, mother, I do not.
Mother. Did you never see a stick of wood fall on the hearth from the kitchen fire, and see the smoke coming from it?
Daughter. O yes, mother, very often; and the smoke goes all over the room, and into my eyes, and makes the tears come into my eyes.
Mother. And can you see the smoke in the wood before the wood is put on the fire?
Daughter. No, mother, I am sure I cannot.
Mother. But you are sure that the smoke comes from the wood, are you not?
Daughter. O yes, mother; I see it coming right out of the wood.
Mother. Then, my dear, I suppose you know that if there is something in the wood and coal, which you call smoke, although you cannot see it until it comes out, you can easily conceive how another thing, which we call heat, can be in the wood and coal, which we cannot perceive until it is made to come out.
Daughter. O yes, mother; how wonderful it is!
Mother. Yes, my dear, all the works of God are wonderful; and what is very surprising is, that many of his most wonderful works are so common, so continually before our eyes, that we do not deem them wonderful until we have been made to think much about them, by talking about them, as you and I have talked about the rain, and the clouds, and light, and its colors.
Daughter. I have been thinking, mother, about Alice and the fire. You told me that the fire did not make the heat, any more than I make the little mouse or the bird when I open the cage door and let them out. I see now how it is. Alice brings the wood and the coal into the kitchen fireplace, and the match lets the heat out of the shavings, and the shavings let it out of the wood and the coal, until we get heat enough to make us warm.
Mother. Yes, my dear; and there is no more heat in the room after the fire is made than there was before,—only, before the fire was made, the heat was hid, and we could not perceive it; but when the fire is made, it makes the heat come out, and makes it free, just as I make the little bird free, by opening his cage door.
The Lark and her Young Ones.—Altered from AESOP.
1. A lark having built her nest in a corn-field, the corn grew ripe before the young ones were able to fly. Fearing that the reapers would come to cut down the corn before she had provided a safe place for her little ones, she directed them every day, when she went out to obtain their food, to listen to what the farmers should say about reaping the corn.
2. The little birds promised their mother that they would listen very attentively, and inform her of every word they should hear.
3. She then went abroad; and on her return, the little birds said to their mother, Mother, you must take us away from here; for while you were gone we heard the farmer tell his sons to go and ask some of his neighbors to come to-morrow morning early, and help them cut down the corn.
4. Is that what he said? asked their mother. Yes, mother, said the little birds; and we are very much afraid that you cannot find a safe place for us before the farmer and his neighbors begin to cut down the corn.
5. Do not be afraid, my children, said the lark; if the former depends on his neighbors to do his work for him, we shall be safe where we are. So lie down in the nest, and give yourselves no uneasiness.
6. The next day, when the mother went out for food, she directed the little ones again to listen, and to tell her all that they should hear.
7. In the evening, when she returned, the little ones told her that the farmer’s neighbors did not come to assist him on that day; and that the farmer had told his sons to go and request his friends and relations to come and assist him to cut down the corn, early in the next day morning.
8. I think, my children, said the lark, we shall still be safe here; and we will, therefore, feel no anxiety or concern to-night.
9. On the third day, the mother again charged the young larks to give her a faithful report of what was done and said, while she was absent.
10. When the old lark returned that evening, the little larks told her that the farmer had been there, with his sons, early in the morning; but, as his friends and relations had not come to assist him, he had directed his sons to bring some sharp sickles early in the next morning, and that, with their assistance, he should reap the corn himself.
11. Ah! said the mother, did he say so? Then it is time for us to prepare to be gone; for when a man begins to think seriously of doing his work himself, there is some prospect that it will be done; but if he depends on his friends, his neighbors, or his relations, no one can tell when his work will be done.
12. Now, this little story is called a Fable. It cannot be true, because birds do not and cannot speak.
13. But, although it is not true, it is a very useful little story, because it teaches us a valuable lesson: and that is, that it is best to do our own work ourselves, rather than to depend upon others to do it for us; for, if we depend upon them, they may disappoint us, but whatever we determine to do for ourselves, we can easily accomplish, if we go right to work about it.
1. I never knew a little boy that was not fond of a dog, and I have never seen many dogs which were not fond of little children.
2. It is not safe for little children to touch every strange dog that they see, because some dogs are naturally rather cross, and may possibly bite any one who touches them, when they do not know the persons.
3. But when a dog knows any one, and sees that his master is fond of that person, he will let such a person play with him. He is always pleased with any attentions that his master’s friends bestow on him.
4. Large dogs are generally more gentle than small ones, and seldom bark so much as the little ones do. They are also more easily taught to carry bundles and baskets, and draw little carriages for children to ride in.
5. Some people are very much afraid of dogs, because they sometimes run mad. The bite of a mad dog produces a very dreadful disease, called Hydropho’bia.
6. This is a long and hard word, and means a fear of water. It is called by that name because the person who has the disease cannot bear to touch or to see water.
7. Dogs that are mad cannot bear to see water. They run from it with dreadful cries, and seem to be in very great distress.
8. Whenever, therefore, a dog will drink water, it is a pretty sure sign that he is not mad.
9. This dreadful disease very seldom affects dogs that are properly supplied with water.
10. Dogs require a great deal of water. They do not always want much at a time, and it is seldom that they drink much. But whoever keeps a dog ought always to keep water in such a place that the dog may go to it to drink, whenever he requires it.
11. A dog is a very affectionate animal, and he will permit his master, and his master’s children and friends, to do a great many things to him, which he would perhaps bite others for doing.
12. There are many very interesting stories told of dogs, which show their love and fidelity to their masters, which you can read in a book called “Anecdotes of Dogs.”
13. But there are a few little stories about dogs that I know, which I will tell you, that are not contained in that book. I know these stories to be true.
14. My son had a dog, whose name was Guido. He was very fond of playing in the street with the boys, early in the morning, before they went to school.
15. Guido was always very impatient to get out into the street in the morning, to join the boys in their sports; and all the boys in the street were very fond of him.
16. He used to wake very early, and go into the parlor, and seat himself in a chair by the window, to look out for the boys; and as soon as he saw a boy in the street, he would cry and whine until the servant opened the door for him to go out.
17. One very cold morning, when the frost was on the glass, so that he could not see out into the street, he applied his warm tongue to the glass, and licking from it the frost, attempted to look out.
18. But the spot which he had made clear being only large enough to admit one of his eyes, he immediately made another, just like it, in the same manner, for the other eye, by which he was enabled to enjoy the sight as usual. In the next lesson, I will tell you some other little stories of Guido, and another dog, whose name was Don, that belonged to my daughter.
The same subject, concluded.
1. One day I went to take a walk, with a friend of mine, in the country; and Don, the dog I mentioned in the last lesson, followed us.
2. We walked to a little grove about a mile from my house, to see the grave of a beautiful little child, that was buried on the summit of a little hill, covered with pines, spruce and other evergreens.
3. While we were admiring the beauty of the spot, Don was running about the grove; and I completely lost sight of him, and supposed that he had returned home.
4. But presently I saw him at a distance, barking up a tree at a squirrel that had escaped from him.
5. As I turned to go home, I said to my friend, You see Don is away, and does not see me. I am going to drop my handkerchief here, and send him after it.
6. We had got half way home, when presently Don came bounding along, and very shortly came up to us.
7. As soon as he came up to me, I stopped, and feeling in my coat-pocket, said to him,—Don, I have lost my pocket-handkerchief,—go find it.
8. I had scarcely uttered the words before he was off. He was gone only two or three minutes, and then, returning with my handkerchief in his mouth, he dropped it at my feet.
9. Guido, the other dog, was very fond of going into the water himself; but he never would allow any one else to go in.
10. The reason was this. My little son George was one day looking over into the water, to watch the eels that were gliding through the water below, and losing his balance, he fell into the water.
11. No one was near except Guido, and he immediately jumped in after George, and, with great labor, brought him on shore, and saved him from drowning.
12. Ever since that time, Guido has been very unwilling to let any one go near the water. It seemed as if he had reasoned about it, and said to himself, It is hard work to drag a boy out of the water, but it is much easier to keep him from going in.
13. Guido was not a very large dog. He was of the breed, or kind, named Spaniel; so called because that kind of dog originally came from Hispaniola. He had long ears, curling hair, a long bushy tail, and webbed feet, like all dogs that are fond of the water.
14. Webbed feet are those in which the toes are not separated, but seem to be joined together by a thin substance, like thick skin, which enables them to swim more easily.
15. Don was a very large dog, of the Newfoundland species, a kind which is remarkable for its beauty and intelligence.
Frogs and Toads.—BIGLAND.
1. Frogs and toads resemble one another in figure, but custom and prejudice have taught us to make a very different estimate of their properties: the first is considered as perfectly harmless, while the latter is supposed to be poisonous.
2. In this respect, the toad has been treated with great injustice: it is a torpid, harmless animal, that passes the greatest part of the winter in sleep.
3. Astonishing stories have been told of toads found in the center of solid blocks of stone, and other similar situations, without the least trace of the way by which they entered, and without any possibility of their finding any kind of nutriment.
4. Toads, as well as frogs, are of a variety of species; and in the tropical climates they grow to an enormous size. It is very probable that they contribute to clear both the land and the water of many noxious reptiles of a diminutive size, which might prove exceedingly hurtful to man.
5. The toad, however, is one of the most inoffensive of all animals. We have even heard that it has sometimes been successfully applied for the cure of the cancer, the most dreadful, and one of the most fatal, of human evils.
6. Mr. Pennant has related some interesting particulars respecting a toad which was perfectly domesticated, and continued in the same spot for upwards of thirty-six years.
7. It frequented the steps before the hall-door of a gentleman’s house in Devonshire; and, from receiving a regular supply of food, it became so tame as always to crawl out of its hole in an evening, when a candle was brought, and look up, as if expecting to be carried into the house.
8. A reptile so generally detested being taken into favor, excited the curiosity of every visitant; and even ladies so far conquered their natural horror and disgust as to request to see it fed. It seemed particularly fond of flesh maggots, which were kept for it in bran.
9. When these were laid upon a table, it would follow them, and, at a certain distance, would fix its eyes and remain motionless for a little while, as if preparing for the stroke, which was always instantaneous.
10. It threw out its tongue to a great distance, when the insect stuck by the glutinous matter to its lip, and was swallowed with inconceivable quickness.
11. After living under the protection of its benefactor upwards of thirty-six years, it was one day attacked by a tame raven, which wounded it so severely that it died shortly afterward.
12. The erroneous opinion of toads containing and ejecting poison has caused many cruelties to be exercised upon this harmless, and undoubtedly useful tribe. Toads have been inhumanly treated, merely because they are ugly; and frogs have been abused, because they are like them.
13. But, we are to observe, that our ideas of beauty and deformity, of which some arise from natural antipathies implanted in us for wise and good purposes, and others from custom and caprice, are of a relative nature, and peculiar to ourselves.
14. None of these relative distinctions, of great and small, beautiful or ugly, exist in the all-comprising view of the Creator of the universe: in his eyes, the toad is as pleasing an object as the canary-bird, or the bulfinch.
Maida, the Scotch Greyhound.—Altered from BINGLEY.
1. A hound is a dog with long, smooth, hanging ears, and long limbs, that enable him to run very swiftly. The greyhound is not so called on account of his color, but from a word which denotes his Grecian origin.
2. The Scotch greyhound is a larger and more powerful animal than the common greyhound; and its hair, instead of being sleek and smooth, is long, stiff and bristly. It can endure great fatigue.
3. It was this dog that the Highland chieftains, in Scotland, used in former times, in their grand hunting-parties.
4. Sir Walter Scott had a very fine dog of this kind, which was given to him by his friend Macdonnel of Glengarry, the chief of one of the Highland clans. His name was Maida.
5. He was one of the finest dogs of the kind ever seen in Scotland, not only on account of his beauty and dignified appearance, but also from his extraordinary size and strength.
6. He was so remarkable in his appearance, that whenever his master brought him to the city of Edinburgh, great crowds of people collected together to see him.
7. When Sir Walter happened to travel through a strange town, Maida was usually surrounded by crowds of people, whose curiosity he indulged with great patience, until it began to be troublesome, and then he gave a single short bark, as a signal that they must trouble him no more.
8. Nothing could exceed the fidelity, obedience and attachment, of this dog to his master, whom he seldom quitted, and on whom he was a constant attendant, when traveling.
9. Maida was a remarkably high-spirited and beautiful dog, with long black ears, cheeks, back, and sides. The tip of his tail was white. His muzzle, neck, throat, breast, belly and legs, were also white.
10. The hair on his whole body and limbs was rough and shaggy, and particularly so on the neck, throat, and breast: that on the ridge of the neck he used to raise, like a lion’s mane, when excited to anger.
11. His disposition was gentle and peaceable, both to men and animals; but he showed marked symptoms of anger to ill-dressed or blackguard-looking people, whom he always regarded with a suspicious eye, and whose motions he watched with the most scrupulous jealousy.
12. This fine dog probably brought on himself premature old age, by the excessive fatigue and exercise to which his natural ardor incited him; for he had the greatest pleasure in accompanying the common greyhounds; and although, from his great size and strength, he was not at all adapted for coursing, he not unfrequently turned and even ran down hares.
13. Sir Walter used to give an amusing account of an incident which befell Maida in one of his chases. “I was once riding over a field on which the reapers were at work, the stooks, or bundles of grain, being placed behind them, as is usual.
14. “Maida, having found a hare, began to chase her, to the great amusement of the spectators, as the hare turned very often and very swiftly among the stooks. At length, being hard pressed, she fairly bolted into one of them.
15. “Maida went in headlong after her, and the stook began to be much agitated in various directions; at length the sheaves tumbled down, and the hare and the dog, terrified alike at their overthrow, ran different ways, to the great amusement of the spectators.”
16. Among several peculiarities which Maida possessed, one was a strong aversion to artists, arising from the frequent restraints he was subjected to in having his portrait taken, on account of his majestic appearance.
17. The instant he saw a pencil and paper produced, he prepared to beat a retreat; and, if forced to remain, he exhibited the strongest marks of displeasure.
18. Maida’s bark was deep and hollow. Sometimes he amused himself with howling in a very tiresome way. When he was very fond of his friends, he used to grin, tucking up his whole lips and showing all his teeth; but this was only when he was particularly disposed to recommend himself.
19. Maida lies buried at the gate of Abbotsford, Sir Walter’s country seat, which he long protected; a grave-stone is placed over him, on which is carved the figure of a dog. It bears the following inscription, as it was translated by Sir Walter:
“Beneath the sculptured
form which late you wore,
Sleep soundly, Maida, at your master’s door.”
1. I have one more story to tell you about the Highland greyhound. It is an old Welsh story, and shows how extremely dangerous it is to indulge in anger and resentment.
2. In a village at the foot of Snowden, a mountain in Wales, there is a tradition that Llewellyn (pronounced Lewel’lin), son-in-law to King John, had a residence in that neighborhood.
3. The king, it is said, had presented him with one of the finest greyhounds in England, named Gelert. In the year 1205, Llewellyn, one day, on going out to hunt, called all his dogs together; but his favorite greyhound was missing, and nowhere to be found.
4. He blew his horn as a signal for the chase, and still Gelert came not. Llewellyn was much disconcerted at the heedlessness of his favorite, but at length pursued the chase without him. For want of Gelert, the sport was limited; and getting tired, Llewellyn returned home at an early hour, when the first object that presented itself to him, at his castle gate, was Gelert, who bounded, with his usual transport, to meet his master, having his lips besmeared with blood.
5. Llewellyn gazed with surprise at the unusual appearance of his dog. On going into the apartment where he had left his infant son and heir asleep, he found the bed-clothes all in confusion, the cover rent, and stained with blood.
6. He called on his child, but no answer was made, from which he hastily concluded that the dog must have devoured him; and, giving vent to his rage, plunged his sword to the hilt in Gelert’s side.
7. The noble animal fell at his feet, uttering a dying yell, which awoke the infant, who was sleeping beneath a mingled heap of the bed-clothes, while beneath the bed lay a great wolf covered with gore, which the faithful and gallant hound had destroyed.
8. Llewellyn, smitten with sorrow and remorse for the rash and frantic deed which had deprived him of so faithful an animal, caused an elegant marble monument, with an appropriate inscription, to be erected over the spot where Gelert was buried, to commemorate his fidelity and unhappy fate. The place, to this day, is called Beth-Gelert, or The Grave of the Greyhound.
Knock Again.—CHILD’S COMPANION.
1. I remember having been sent, when I was a very little boy, with a message from my father to a particular friend of his, who resided in the suburbs of the town in which my parents then lived.
2. This gentleman occupied an old-fashioned house, the door of which was approached by a broad flight of stone steps of a semi-circular form. The brass knocker was an object of much interest to me, in those days; for the whim of the maker had led him to give it the shape of an elephant’s head, the trunk of the animal being the movable portion.
3. Away, then, I scampered, in great haste; and having reached the house, ran up the stone steps as usual; and, seizing the elephant’s trunk, made the house reecho to my knocking. No answer was returned.
4. At this my astonishment was considerable, as the servants, in the times I write of, were more alert and attentive than they are at present. However, I knocked a second time. Still no one came.
5. At this I was much more surprised. I looked at the house. It presented no appearance of a desertion. Some of the windows were open to admit the fresh air, for it was summer; others of them were closed. But all had the aspect of an inhabited dwelling.
6. I was greatly perplexed; and looked around, to see if any one was near who could advise me how to act. Immediately a venerable old gentleman, whom I had never seen before, came across the way, and, looking kindly in my face, advised me to knock again.
7. I did so without a moment’s hesitation, and presently the door was opened, so that I had an opportunity of delivering my message. I afterward learned that the servants had been engaged in removing a heavy piece of furniture from one part of the house to the other; an operation which required their united strength, and prevented them from opening the door.
The same subject, continued.
1. As I was tripping lightly homeward, I passed the kind old gentleman, about half way down the street. He took me gently by the arm; and, retaining his hold, began to address me thus, as we walked on together:
2. “The incident, my little friend, which has just occurred, may be of some use to you in after life, if it be suitably improved. Young people are usually very enthusiastic in all their undertakings, and in the same proportion are very easily discouraged.
3. “Learn, then, from what has taken place this morning, to persevere in the business which you have commenced, provided it be laudable in itself; and, ten to one, you will succeed. If you do not at first obtain what you aim at, knock again. A door may be opened when you least expect it.
4. “In entering on the practice of a profession, engaging in trade, or what is usually called settling in the world, young people often meet with great disappointments.
5. “Friends, whom they naturally expected to employ them, not unfrequently prefer others in the same line; and even professors of religion do not seem to consider it a duty to promote the temporal interest of their brethren in the Lord.
6. “Nevertheless, industry, sobriety, and patience, are usually accompanied by the Divine blessing. Should you therefore, my little friend, ever experience disappointments of this kind, think of the brass knocker; knock again; be sober, be diligent, and your labors will be blessed.
7. “In the pursuit of philosophy many difficulties are encountered. These the student must expect to meet; but he must not relinquish the investigation of truth, because it seems to elude his search. He may knock at the gate of science, and apparently without being heard. But let him knock again, and he will find an entrance.”
The same subject, concluded.
1. “Do you ever pray to God? I hope and trust you do. God commands and encourages us to pray to him. But he does not always answer our prayers at the time, or in the way, we expect.
2. “What then? We know that he hears them. We know that he is a gracious God, a reconciled Father in Christ. Let us knock again. Let us ask in faith, and, if what we ask be pleasing in his sight, he will grant it in his own good time.
3. “You know who it was that said, ’Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.’
4. “Once more: our progress in the Divine life, even after we have wholly given ourselves to the Lord, does not always equal our wishes or expectations. We find much indwelling sin, much remaining corruption, to struggle with.
5. “But let us not despond. The grace of our Lord is sufficient for us, and his strength is made perfect in our weakness. Let us knock again.
6. “Let us continue, with humble confidence, to do what we know to be pleasing in our Master’s sight. Let us work out our own salvation, with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
7. We had now reached the gate of my father’s garden; and the good old gentleman, taking me kindly by the hand, bid me try to remember what he had said. He then went his way, and I saw him no more.
8. I afterward endeavored to find out who he was; but I did not succeed. His advice, however, sunk deep into my mind, and has often been of singular value to me since.
9. My disposition is naturally sanguine, and my disappointments proportionably acute. But, upon calling to mind the old mansion, the brass knocker, and my venerable counselor, I have frequently been led to knock again, when I might otherwise have sat down in despondency.
10. I hope that many of my readers will derive similar benefit from the perusal of this little history; for the sole end of its publication will be answered, if the young persons under whose eyes it may come be induced, at every season of doubt and perplexity, in the exercise of simple confidence in God, to knock again.
Make Good Use of your Time.—EMMA C. EMBURY.
[Illustration: “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”]
1. “My dear Anna,” said Mrs. Elmore, as she bade her little girl farewell, “I shall be absent ten days; and as you have already had so many lessons from me respecting the manner of distributing your hours of amusement and study, I will only say to you, now, ’Make good use of your time.’”
2. Anna’s eyes filled with tears as the carriage drove off, and she felt very lonely when she returned to the parlor without her mother. She thought over her mother’s parting words, until she felt quite proud of the confidence reposed in her, and resolved not to abuse it by neglect.
3. She accordingly took her books and sat down to her studies, as attentively as if her mother had been waiting to hear her recitation.
4. Anna was an affectionate, intelligent child. She would have made any sacrifices to please her mother, and she really loved her studies; but her one great fault was a disposition to loiter away time.
5. This her mother well knew; and after trying admonition, until she almost feared she was increasing the evil by allowing Anna to depend too much upon her guidance, she determined to test the effect of leaving her to her own responsibility.
6. For an hour after her mother’s departure, Anna sat in close attention to her studies. All at once, she started up. “I am so hungry,” said she, “I must go to Betty for some luncheon;—but stop—I will finish my exercise first.”
7. She wrote a line or two; then throwing down her pen, petulantly exclaimed, “There! I have made two mistakes, because I was in such a hurry;—I will not finish it till I come back.”
8. So away ran the little girl to her old nurse, and the next half-hour was spent in satisfying her hunger. As she was returning, with laggard step, she happened to spy, from the window, a beautiful butterfly fluttering about the rose-bushes in the garden; and, quite forgetting her unfinished exercise, away she flew in chase of the butterfly.
9. But, agile as were her movements, the insect was too nimble for her; and after an hour’s race beneath the burning sun, she returned, flushed and overheated, without having succeeded in its capture.
10. Again she applied herself to her books; but study was not so easy now as it would have been a little earlier. Anna was too tired to apply her mind to her lessons; and after loitering a while over her desk, she threw herself on the sofa, and fell into a sound sleep, from which she was only awakened by a summons to dinner.
11. After dinner, Betty proposed taking her out to walk; and though conscious that she had not performed half her duties, she had not resolution enough to refuse to go. Tying on her bonnet, she took a little basket on her arm, and set out with Betty to gather wild-flowers.
12. When they reached the woods, Betty sought out a mossy seat under an old tree, and, taking her work from her pocket, began to sew as industriously as if she had been at home.
13. “O Betty!” exclaimed Anna, “how can you sit and sew, when there are so many pleasant sights and sounds around you?”
14. “I can hear the pleasant sounds, my child, without looking round to see where they come from,” replied Betty; “and as for the pretty sights, though I can enjoy them as much as any one, I cannot neglect my work for them.
15. “I promised your mother to have these shirts finished when she came home, and I mean to do so.”—“Dear me!” said the little girl, “I wish I had brought my book, and I might have studied my lesson here.”
16. “No, no, Anna,” said the old woman; “little girls can’t study in the woods, with the birds singing and the grasshoppers chirping around them. Better attend to your books in-doors.”
17. Betty continued her sewing; and towards sunset, when they arose to return, she had stitched a collar and a pair of wristbands, while Anna had filled her basket with flowers.
18. As they approached the village, Betty called at a poor cottage, to inquire after a sick child, and Anna was shocked at the poverty and wretchedness of the inmates. The little children were only half clothed, their faces were covered with dirt, and their rough locks seemed to bid defiance to the comb.
19. Pitying the condition of the poor little girls, Anna determined to provide them with some better clothing; and she returned home full of benevolent projects.
20. The next morning, as soon as she rose, she began to look over her wardrobe; and selecting three frocks which she had outgrown, she carried them to Betty, to alter for Mrs. Wilson’s children.
21. “I shall do no such thing,” said Betty; “Mrs. Wilson’s children are not suffering for clothes; the weather is warm, and they are as well clad as they will be the day after they are dressed up in your finery.
22. “Mrs. Wilson is an untidy, slovenly woman; and though your mother charged me to look after her sick baby, she did not tell me to furnish new clothes for the other dirty little brats!”
23. “Well, Betty, if you don’t choose to do it, I’ll try it myself.”—“Pretty work you’ll make of it, to be sure! you will just cut the frocks to pieces, and then they will fit nobody.”
24. “Well, I am determined to fix them for those poor little ragged children,” said Anna; “and if you will not help me, I will get Kitty the chambermaid to do it.”
The same subject, continued.
1. Anna found a very good assistant in the warm-hearted, thoughtless Irish girl. Kitty cut out the frocks, and Anna sat herself down to make them.
2. She found it rather tedious work, and, if she had not been afraid of Betty’s ridicule, she would have been tempted to throw her task aside; but as Kitty promised to help her, as soon as her household duties were completed, Anna determined to persevere.
3. When night came, she had finished one frock, and begun another; so she went to bed quite happy, forgetting that, in her benevolent zeal, she had neglected her studies and her music, as well as her mother’s plants and her own Canary-bird.
4. The next day, she again went to work at the frocks, and, with Kitty’s assistance, they were completed before tea-time. Never was a child happier than Anna, when she saw the three little frocks spread out upon the bed.
5. A degree of self-satisfaction was mingled with her benevolence, and she began to think how pleased her mother would be to learn how hard she had worked in the cause of charity. She ran off for Betty to take her down to Mrs. Wilson’s cottage; but she found Betty in no humor to gratify her.
6. “I’ll have nothing to do with it!” said the old woman. “Kitty helped you to spoil your pretty frocks, and she may help you dress the dirty children;—they will look fine, to be sure, in your French calico dresses!”
7. Anna was too happy to mind Betty’s scolding; so away she flew to find Kitty, and they set off together for Mrs. Wilson’s cottage. When they arrived there, they found the children by the edge of the pond making dirt pies, while their faces and hands bore testimony to their industry.
8. Kitty stripped and washed them, though nothing but the bribe of a new frock could have induced them to submit to so unusual an operation. Anna almost danced with pleasure, when she beheld their clean faces, well-combed locks, and new dresses.
9. Her mother had now been three days gone, and Anna felt that she had not quite fulfilled her trust. But she satisfied herself with the thought that two days had been devoted to a charitable purpose, and she was sure her mother would think that she had made good use of that portion of her time.
10. The fourth day, she determined to make amends for past neglect, by studying double lessons. She went to her room and locked the door, resolving to perform all her duties on that day, at least.
11. She had scarcely commenced her studies, however, when she recollected that she had not watered her mother’s plants since she had been gone. She threw down her books, and running into the garden, sought her little watering-pot; but it was not to be found.
12. She was sure she had put it either in the summer-house, or the tool-house, or under the piazza, or somewhere. After spending half an hour in search of it, she remembered that she had left it under the great elm-tree, in the field.
13. By this time, the sun was shining with full vigor upon the delicate plants; and, forgetting her mother’s caution to water them only in the shade, she overwhelmed the parched leaves with a deluge of water, and went off quite content.
14. She then thought of her bird; and on examining his cage, found that he could reach neither the seed nor the water. So she replenished his cups, decorated his cage with fresh chickweed, treated him to a lump of sugar, and played with him until she had loitered away the best part of the morning.
15. Immediately after dinner, a little friend came to see her, and the rest of the day was consumed in dressing dolls, or arranging her baby-house.
The same subject, concluded.
1. On the fifth day, she summoned courage enough to persevere, and actually performed every task with attention.
2. In the afternoon, Betty took her out to walk, and Anna coaxed her into a visit to Mrs. Wilson’s cottage. What was her indignation, as she approached the house, to see the children again playing on the margin of the duck-pond!
3. As soon as they saw her, they ran to hide themselves, but not until she had observed that their new frocks were as dirty, and almost as ragged, as the old ones. Betty did not fail to make Anna fully sensible of her own superior wisdom.
4. “I told you so, child,” said she; “I told you it was all nonsense to try to dress up those dirty creatures; much good you have done, to be sure!” Anna almost cried with vexation, as she thought of all the time and labor she had wasted upon her benevolent task, and she walked home with a heavy heart.
5. The next morning, she had scarcely risen from the breakfast-table, when Kitty came to show her a beautiful little ship, which, her brother, who was a sailor, had made for her, as a token of remembrance.
6. Anna was delighted with it; nothing could be more beautiful than its graceful form, its delicate rigging and snowy sails. She begged to have it set on her table, that she might see it while she was studying, and the good-natured Kitty left it with her.
7. But in vain the heedless child tried to study; her eyes and thoughts wandered perpetually to the pretty toy before her. “How I should like to see it sail!” said she to herself. The more she looked at it, the more anxious she became to see it in the water.
8. At length, taking it carefully up, she stole down stairs, and hurried across the garden to a little brook in the adjacent field. Here she launched her tiny bark; but it had scarcely touched the water, when it turned over on its side. She then recollected that she had once heard her father speak of the manner of ballasting a ship; so she hastened to gather a quantity of small stones, with which she filled the little cabin.
9. Again she intrusted her ship to the crystal streamlet; but, alas! the weight of the stones carried it straight to the bottom. There it lay in the pebbly channel, with the clear waters rippling above it, and the little girl stood aghast upon the brink.
10. She bared her arm, and attempted to reach it, but without success. At length, while making a desperate effort to regain it, she lost her balance, and fell into the water.
11. Fortunately, the water was not deep, and she soon scrambled out again; but she was thoroughly wet, and, having been very warm before the accident, she was now chilled to the heart.
12. Grasping the little ship, the cause of all the mischief, she hurried home, and creeping softly into the kitchen, sought her friend Kitty, to screen her from Betty’s anger. By this time she was shivering with a violent ague, and Kitty carried her immediately to Betty.
13. Poor Anna! she was now obliged to be put to bed, and to take some of Betty’s bitter herb tea, seasoned too with scolding, and all kinds of evil predictions. She felt very unhappy, and cried sadly; but repentance, in this case, came too late.
14. Her head began to ache dreadfully; her skin was parched with fever, and before the next morning she was very ill. She had taken a violent cold, which brought on an attack of scarlet fever; and when Mrs. Elmore returned, she found her little daughter stretched on a bed of sickness.
15. How did that fond mother tremble, as she watched by the bedside of her darling child, uncertain whether she would ever again lift up her head from her uneasy pillow!
16. Anna did not know her mother in the delirium of fever, and her melancholy cry of “Mother! mother! come back!—I will never be so bad again!” wrung Mrs. Elmore’s heart.
17. For three weeks Anna lay between life and death; and when she was at length pronounced out of danger, she was as helpless as an infant.
18. One day, as she sat propped up by pillows, she told her mother all that had passed during her absence, and awaited her decision respecting the use she had made of her time.
19. “My dear child,” said Mrs. Elinore, “I trust the past will afford a lesson you will never forget. So far from having made good use of your time, you have done harm in everything you have undertaken.
20. “Your attempts at study, instead of affording you any real instruction, have only given you habits of inattention, which you will find very difficult to overcome; for your eyes have wandered over the page, while your thoughts have been with the fool’s, to the ends of the earth.
21. “Your irregular care of my plants, which you thought would serve instead of habitual attention, has been the means of destroying them as effectually as if you had allowed them to perish from total neglect.
22. “Your injudicious benevolence to the Wilsons served only to make the children envious of each other, without giving them habits of neatness, which are essential to the well-being of such a family; while it had a worse effect upon yourself, because it not only wasted your precious time, but excited in you a feeling of vanity, on account of what you considered a good action.
23. “If, instead of trusting so boldly to your good resolutions, you had entered upon your duties with an humble mind, and resolved to try to do right,—if you had apportioned your time with some degree of regularity,—you might have performed all that was required of you, enjoyed all your amusements, and gratified every kindly feeling, without a single self-reproach.
24. “As it is, you feel sensible of having failed in everything,—of having exposed yourself to great peril, and subjected your mother to great anxiety, simply from your disposition to loiter, when you should labor.
25. “I trust that, in the solitude of your sick chamber, ’the still small voice’ of your many wasted hours has made itself heard, and that hereafter you will not so utterly fail to make good use of your time.”
Verse, or Poetry.
1. All the lessons in this book which you have thus far read have been in prose. I intend to give you some lessons in verse, or, as it is sometimes, but improperly called, poetry.
2. There is a great deal of difference between verse and poetry; but as this book is intended for those who are not quite old enough to understand all these differences, I shall not attempt at present to point them out to you.
3. But I wish you first to understand the difference, which you can see with your eye, between prose and verse. The lines of verse often end in what are called rhymes. Thus, if one line ends with the word found, the next line ends with a word which sounds very much like it, as ground, round, bound, sound, hound, wound.
4. These are called rhymes. Here are a few such lines.
“Defer not till to-morrow
to be wise;
To-morrow’s sun to thee may never rise.”
BEST USE OF MONEY.
“When wealth to virtuous
hands is given,
It blesses like the dew of Heaven;
Like Heaven, it hears the orphan’s cries,
And wipes the tears from widow’s eyes.”
5. Sometimes the rhymes occur in alternate lines; that is, two lines come together which are not rhymes, and are followed by two lines to make rhymes to both, as follows:
“Let the sweet work
of prayer and praise
Employ our youngest breath;
Thus we’re prepared for longer days,
Or fit for early death.”
6. There are some kinds of verses that do not rhyme. These are called blank verse. Here is an example of blank verse:
well, my child, he said; this little stream
Shall teach thee charity. It is a source
I never knew to fail: directed thus
Be that soft stream, the fountain of thy heart.
For, oh! my much-loved child, I trust thy heart
Has those affections that shall bless thyself;
And, flowing softly like this little rill,
Cheer all that droop. The good man did not err.”
7. Now, there are several things that I wish you to notice in these lines. In the first place, if you will count the syllables, you will find that there are exactly ten syllables in each line; and it is always the case, that in verse it is necessary that there should be a certain number of syllables of a certain kind.
8. What that number is, I cannot now explain to you; but you will be able to understand from a book called a grammar, which you will probably study at some future time, if you do not study it now. It is contained in that part of grammar called Prosody.
9. The next thing I wish you to notice is, that every line of verse always begins with a capital letter.
10. And thirdly you will notice, that the lines of verse are more regular in their sound than lines of prose. They have a kind of musical sound about them, which you very rarely hear, except in verse.
11. And fourthly you will notice, that some of the words are shortened by leaving out a letter, and putting in its place a mark called an apostrophe, which looks just like a comma, only it is placed higher up in the line, as in the following line:
“Thus we’re prepared for longer days.”
12. In this line, if the words were written out at full length, with all their letters in them, the line would stand as follows:
“Thus we are prepared for longer days.”
13. But this would destroy what is called the measure of the line, by putting too many syllables into it; and therefore the words we are are shortened, so as to be read as one syllable, and the line is to be read as follows:
“Thus weer prepared for longer days.”
14. The next difference I shall point out to you between prose and verse, is that in verse the words are placed in a different order from what they would be in prose; as you will notice in the following lines:
“When all thy mercies,
oh my God!
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.”
15. Now, if these lines were written in prose, the words would stand in the following order: “O my God! when my rising soul surveys all thy mercies, I’m transported with the view of them, and lost in wonder, love and praise.”
16. And now that I have explained to you a few of the points in which verse differs from prose, I will only add, that when you read verse, you must not stop at the end of every line, unless there is a pause or mark there; and that you must avoid reading it as if you were singing it to a tune.
God Present Everywhere.
1. Thou, Lord, by strictest search hast known My rising up and lying down; My secret thoughts are known to thee, Known long before conceived by me.
2. Surrounded by thy power I stand, On every side I find thy hand: O skill for human reach too high! Too dazzling bright for mortal eye!
3. From thy all-seeing Spirit, Lord, What hiding-place does earth afford? O where can I thy influence shun, Or whither from thy presence run?
4. If up to heaven I take my flight, ’Tis there thou dwell’st enthroned in light; If to the world unseen, my God, There also hast thou thine abode.
5. If I the morning’s wings could gain, And fly beyond the western main; E’en there, in earth’s remotest land, I still should find thy guiding hand.
6. Or, should I try to shun thy sight Beneath the sable wings of night; One glance from thee, one piercing ray, Would kindle darkness into day.
7. The veil of night is no disguise, No screen from thy all-searching eyes; Through midnight shades thou find’st thy way, As in the blazing noon, of day.
8. Thou know’st the texture of my heart, My reins, and every vital part: I’ll praise thee, from whose hands I came A work of such a wondrous frame.
9. Let me acknowledge too, O God, That since this maze of life I trod, Thy thoughts of love to me surmount The power of numbers to recount.
10. Search, try, O God, my thoughts and heart, If mischief lurk in any part; Correct me where I go astray, And guide me in thy perfect way.
1. While thee I seek, protecting Power, Be my vain wishes stilled; And may this consecrated hour With better hopes be filled.
2. Thy love the power of thought stowed, To thee my thoughts would soar: Thy mercy o’er my life has flowed, That mercy I adore.
3. In each event of life, how clear Thy ruling hand I see! Each blessing to my soul more dear, Because conferred by thee.
4. In every joy that crowns my days, In every pain I bear, My heart shall find delight in praise, Or seek relief in prayer.
5. When gladness wings my favored hour, Thy love my thoughts shall fill; Resigned, when storms of sorrow lower, My soul shall meet thy will.
6. My lifted eye, without a tear, The gathering storm shall see; My steadfast heart shall know no fear— That heart will rest on thee.
The Gardener and the Hog.—GAY.
1. A gardener, of peculiar taste, On a young hog his favor placed, Who fed not with the common herd,— His tray was to the hall preferred; He wallowed underneath the board, Or in his master’s chamber snored, Who fondly stroked him every day, And taught him all the puppy’s play.
2. Where’er he went, the grunting friend Ne’er failed his pleasure to attend. As on a time the loving pair Walked forth to tend the garden’s care, The master thus addressed the swine:
3. “My house, my garden, all is thine: On turnips feast whene’er you please, And riot in my beans and peas; If the potato’s taste delights, Or the red carrot’s sweet invites, Indulge thy morn and evening hours, But let due care regard my flowers; My tulips are my garden’s pride— What vast expense these beds supplied!”
4. The hog, by chance, one morning roamed Where with new ale the vessels foamed; He munches now the steaming grains, Now with full swill the liquor drains; Intoxicating fumes arise, He reels, he rolls his winking eyes; Then, staggering, through the garden scours, And treads down painted ranks of flowers; With delving snout he turns the soil, And cools his palate with the spoil.
5. The master came,—the ruin spied. “Villain, suspend thy rage!” he cried: “Hast then, thou most ungrateful sot, My charge, my only charge, forgot? What, all my flowers?” No more he said; But gazed, and sighed, and hung his head.
6. The hog, with stuttering speech, returns:— “Explain, sir, why your anger burns; See there, untouched, your tulips strown, For I devoured the roots alone!”
7. At this the gardener’s passion grows; From oaths and threats he fell to blows; The stubborn brute the blows sustains, Assaults his leg, and tears the veins. Ah! foolish swain, too late you find That sties were for such friends designed!
8. Homeward he limps with painful pace, Reflecting thus on past disgrace: Who cherishes a brutal mate, Shall mourn the folly soon or late.
The Hare and many Friends.—GAY.
1. A hare, who, in a civil way, Complied with everything, like Gay, Was known by all the bestial train Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain. Her care was never to offend, And every creature was her friend.
2. As forth she went, at early dawn, To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn, Behind she hears the hunter’s cries, And from the deep-mouthed thunder flies.
3. She starts, she stops, she pants for breath; She hears the near advance of death; She doubles to mislead the hound, And measures back her mazy round; Till, fainting in the public way, Half dead with fear, she gasping lay.
4. What transport in her bosom grew, When first the horse appeared in view! “Let me,” says she, “your back ascend, And owe my safety to a friend. You know my feet betray my flight,— To friendship every burden’s light.”
5. The horse replied:—“Poor honest puss, It grieves my heart to see thee thus. Be comforted,—relief is near; For all your friends are in the rear.”
6. She next the stately bull implored; And thus replied the mighty lord:— “Since every beast alive can tell That I sincerely wish you well, I may, without offense, pretend To take the freedom of a friend. Love calls me hence; a favorite cow Expects me near yon barley-mow; And when a lady’s in the case, You know all other things give place. To leave you thus might seem unkind; But see,—the goat is just behind.”
7. The goat remarked her pulse was high, Her languid head, her heavy eye,— “My back,” says he, “may do you harm; The sheep’s at hand, and wool is warm.”
8. The sheep was feeble, and complained His sides a load of wool sustained: Said he was slow, confessed his fears; For hounds eat sheep, as well as hares.
9. She now the trotting calf addressed, To save from death a friend distressed. “Shall I,” says he, “of tender age, In this important care engage? Older and abler passed you by; How strong are those! how weak am I!
10. “Should I presume to bear you hence, Those friends of mine may take offense. Excuse me, then,—you know my heart; But dearest friends, alas! must part. How shall we all lament! Adieu! For see,—the hounds are just in view.”
11. ’Tis thus in
friendships; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
Never delay until to-morrow what you can do to-day.
Never trouble others for what you can do yourself.
Never spend your money before you have it.
Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap.
Pride costs more than hunger, thirst, or cold.
We never repent of having eaten too little.
Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
How much pains have those evils cost us which never happened!
Take things always by their smooth handle.
When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
Hear as little as possible spoken against others; and believe nothing of the kind, until you are absolutely forced to believe it.
Always believe that if you heard what may be said on the other side of the question, a very different account of the matter might be given.
Do to others what you would have them do to you.
How to be Happy.—CHILD AT HOME.
1. Every child must have observed how much happier and more beloved some children are than others. There are some children whom you always love to be with. They are happy themselves, and they make you happy.
2. There are others, whose society you always avoid. The very expression of their countenances produces unpleasant feelings. They seem to have no friends.
3. No person can be happy without friends. The heart is formed for love, and cannot be happy without the opportunity of giving and receiving affection.
4. But you cannot receive affection, unless you will also give it. You cannot find others to love you, unless you will also love them. Love is only to be obtained by giving love in return. Hence the importance of cultivating a cheerful and obliging disposition. You cannot be happy without it.
5. I have sometimes heard a girl say, “I know that I am very unpopular at school.” Now, this is a plain confession that she is very disobliging and unamiable in her disposition.
6. If your companions do not love you, it is your own fault. They cannot help loving you, if you will be kind and friendly. If you are not loved, it is a good evidence that you do not deserve to be loved. It is true, that a sense of duty may, at times, render it necessary for you to do that which will be displeasing to your companions.
7. But, if it is seen that you have a noble spirit, that you are above selfishness, that you are willing to make sacrifices of your own personal convenience to promote the happiness of your associates, you will never be in want of friends.
8. You must not regard it as your misfortune that others do not love you, but your fault. It is not beauty, it is not wealth, that will give you friends. Your heart must glow with kindness, if you would attract to yourself the esteem and affection of those by whom you are surrounded.
9. You are little aware how much the happiness of your whole life depends upon the cultivation of an affectionate and obliging disposition. If you will adopt the resolution that you will confer favors whenever you have an opportunity, you will certainly be surrounded by ardent friends.
10. Begin upon this principle in childhood, and act upon it through life, and you will make yourself happy, and promote the happiness of all within your influence.
11. You go to school on a cold winter morning. A bright fire is blazing upon the hearth, surrounded with boys struggling to get near it to warm themselves. After you get slightly warmed, another school-mate comes in, suffering with cold. “Here, James,” you pleasantly call out to him, “I am almost warm; you may have my place.”
12. As you slip aside to allow him to take your place at the fire, will he not feel that you are kind? The worst dispositioned boy in the world cannot help admiring such generosity.
13. And even though he be so ungrateful as to be unwilling to return the favor, you may depend upon it that he will be your friend as far as he is capable of friendship. If you will habitually act upon this principle, you will never want friends.
14. Suppose, some day, you were out with your companions, playing ball. After you had been playing for some time, another boy comes along. He cannot be chosen upon either side, for there is no one to match him. “Henry,” you say, “you may take my place a little while, and I will rest.”
15. You throw yourself down upon the grass, while Henry, fresh and vigorous, takes your bat and engages in the game. He knows that you gave up to accommodate him; and how can he help liking you for it?
16. The fact is, that neither man nor child can cultivate such a spirit of generosity and kindness, without attracting affection and esteem.
17. Look and see which of your companions have the most friends, and you will find that they are those who have this noble spirit,—who are willing to deny themselves, that they may make their associates happy.
18. This is not peculiar to childhood. It is the same in all periods of life. There is but one way to make friends; and that is, by being friendly to others.
19. Perhaps some child, who reads this, feels conscious of being disliked, and yet desires to have the affection of his companions. You ask me what you shall do. I will tell you.
20. I will give you an infallible rule. Do all in your power to make others happy. Be willing to make sacrifices of your own convenience, that you may promote the happiness of others.
21. This is the way to make friends, and the only way. When you are playing with your brothers and sisters at home, be always ready to give them more than their share of privileges.
22. Manifest an obliging disposition, and they cannot but regard you with affection. In all your intercourse with others, at home or abroad, let these feelings influence you, and you will receive a rich reward.
Obedience and Disobedience.—CHILD’S COMPANION.
1. You have never disobeyed your parents, or your teachers, or any who have been placed in authority over you, without being uncomfortable and unhappy! Obedience, in a child, is one of the most necessary qualities; for it protects him from all the evils of his want of experience, and gives him the benefit of the experience of others.
2. One fine summer’s day, I went to spend an afternoon at a house in the country, where some young people were enjoying a holiday.
3. They were running cheerfully up and down a meadow, covered over with yellow crocuses, and other flowers; and I looked on them with delight, while they gamboled and made posies, as they felt disposed.
“Here sister with sister
roamed over the mead,
And brother plucked flow’rets with brother;
And playmates with playmates ran on with such speed
That the one tumbled over the other.”
4. Now, they all had been told to keep away from the ditch at the bottom of the field; but, notwithstanding this injunction, one little urchin, of the name of Jarvis, seeing a flower in the hedge on the opposite bank, which he wished to gather, crept nearer and nearer to the ditch.
5. The closer he got to the flower, the more beautiful it appeared to be, and the stronger the temptation became to pluck it.
6. Now, what right had he to put himself in the way of temptation? The field, as I said before, was covered over with flowers; and that in the hedge was no better than the rest, only it was a forbidden flower, and when anything is forbidden it becomes, on that very account, a greater temptation to a disobedient heart.
7. Jarvis had gathered a whole handful of flowers before he saw the one growing in the hedge; but he threw all these away, so much was his mind set on getting the one which he wanted.
8. Unluckily for him, in getting down the bank, his foot slipped, and down he rolled into a bed of stinging nettles, at the bottom of the ditch, which fortunately happened to have in it but little water.
9. Jarvis screamed out with might and main, as he lay on his back; for, whichever way he turned, his cheeks and his fingers brushed against the nettles.
10. His cries soon brought his companions around him; but, as they were all young, they knew not how to render him assistance, on account of the stinging nettles, and the depth of the ditch.
11. I ran to the spot, and pulled up Master Jarvis in a pretty pickle, his jacket and trowsers plastered with mud, and his hands and face covered with blotches.
12. Here was the fruit of disobedience! And as it was with Jarvis, so will it be with every one who acts disobediently.
13. Whenever you feel a temptation to disobey God; to disobey his holy word; to disobey the admonitions of your own conscience; to disobey your parents, your teachers, or any in authority over you,—be sure that a punishment awaits you, if you do not resist it.
14. As you are not able to resist it in your own strength, ask God’s assistance for Christ’s sake, and it will not be withheld. Now, remember Jarvis, and the bed of stinging nettles!
15. The Bible tells us very plainly how much God sets his face against disobedience. “The children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord.”
16. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for, because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Nor is it disobedience to God that is alone hateful in his sight; for disobedience to parents is spoken of as an evil thing, too.
17. “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pluck it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.”
18. But I cannot bear to think that you are disobedient! I would rather consider you obedient in all things, and encourage you in holding on your way, obeying the will of God, and the word of all in authority over you.
“The Lord rules over
sea and land,
And blest indeed are they
Who all his counsels understand,
And his commands obey.”
19. I have often been struck with the simplicity with which some children obey their parents. This tractable disposition is very amiable in a child.
20. It was no longer ago than last week, that, in crossing a field, I overtook three children: one, a little girl of about five years old, was on the foot-path, and, just as I came up, her brother called her to him, where he was in the field.
21. “No, William,” said the little maid; “my mother told me not to go off the foot-path, and it would be very wicked to disobey my mother.”
22. I caught the little creature up in my arms; and having a small neat book in my pocket, suitable for a child, I gave it to her, and told her to remember that the reason why I gave it was, that she had been obedient to her mother.
“Though cares on cares
in parent hearts be piled,
Great is that blessing—an obedient child!”
23. Without obedience there can be no order. The man must obey his master, the maid her mistress, and the scholar his teacher. If you attend a Sunday-school, whatever class you are in, be obedient to your instructors, or you will make but little progress. By obedience you will learn faster, secure the respect of those about you, and set a proper example to those younger than yourself.
24. If you are in a place of work, be obedient to your employer. Those make the best masters and mistresses who have been the most obedient servants; for the discharge of one duty disposes us to perform another.
25. The best way to qualify yourselves to act well when grown up, is to act well while you are children.
Obstinacy.—LESSONS WITHOUT BOOKS.
1. There is a certain fault which almost all children have in a greater or less degree. It is called by different names; sometimes it is termed wilfulness, sometimes pertinacity, and sometimes it receives the still harsher name of obstinacy.
2. Almost all our faults are owing to the perversion or abuse of propensities originally good; and perseverance, when carried too far, or expended upon unworthy objects, becomes a troublesome infirmity.
3. Louisa and Emily had both something of this infirmity, but differing both in degree and in its mode of operation.
4. What are called little things did not trouble Emily at all; and, on the contrary, they troubled Louisa very much.
5. But, when anything did seem peculiarly desirable to Emily,—when she set her heart upon having her own way,—she carried her perseverance to a degree which deserved to be called obstinacy.
6. She could give up, as children term it, with less effort, and more grace, than most others; but if anything determined her not to give up, she was immovable.
7. “You are almost always in the right,” my daughter, her father once said to her, “and Heaven preserve you from error; for when you once fall into it, you will be too apt to persevere.”
8. It happened, at one time, that she and Louisa were having some nice sun-bonnets made. Emily went for them at the time when they were to be finished, and finding only one completed, immediately appropriated it to herself, because she was really in greater need of it than Louisa, who had one that answered her purpose very well.
9. Louisa resented this, because that, being the eldest, she considered herself as having the first right; but Emily could not be persuaded to give up, although Louisa’s equanimity was very much disturbed on that account.
10. If it had been proposed to her beforehand to let Louisa have the bonnet voluntarily, she would not have hesitated, for she was not selfish; but when Louisa claimed it as a right, she resisted.
11. Her mother afterwards told her that she should always avoid irritating the peculiar humors of her companions. “You,” said she, “would not have minded waiting for the other bonnet a day or two, but to Louisa it was quite a serious evil.”
12. And here let me remark upon the proneness which all children have to magnify the importance of little things. A strife often arises among them, about just nothing at all, from a mere spirit of competition.
13. One says, “This is my seat.” Another, who would not else have thought of desiring that particular seat, immediately regards it in the light of a prize, and exclaims, “No, I meant to have that seat; and I had it just before you took it.”
14. Half a dozen claimants will appear directly, and perhaps get into a serious quarrel; whereas, had the reply been, in the first instance, “Very well, let it be your seat,” there would have been an end to the matter.
15. But to return to Louisa. She magnified a thousand little things, of every day occurrence, in such a manner as proved a very serious inconvenience to herself.
16. She wished to have her potato sliced, but never mashed. She could not bear to see a door open a single moment; and, even if she were at her meals, and the closet door happened to stand ajar, she would jump up and fly to shut it, with the speed of lightning.
17. She could not endure the feeling of gloves; nor could she any better endure to have her hat tied. Her aunt bore with all these follies a while, and then deliberately resolved to counteract them.
18. Louisa at first thought this was very hard and unreasonable. “Why can’t I have my potato sliced, Aunt Cleaveland?” said she; “what hurt can it do? And why can’t I shut the door when it is open? is there any harm in that?”
19. “Not at all, my dear, in the thing itself,” Mrs. Cleaveland replied; “but there is a great deal of evil in having your tranquillity disturbed by things of such small moment.
20. “If you allow yourself to be distressed by trifles now, how will you bear the real trials of life, which you must inevitably sustain, sooner or later?
21. “By and by, you will find out that your suffering from these sources is all imaginary, and then you will thank me for having restrained you.
22. “Now, here is this nice dish of mashed potatoes, which we have every day. If such a little hungry girl as you are, since you have breathed our healthy mountain air, cannot eat it, and with relish too, I am greatly mistaken; and, in process of time, I have no doubt you will cease to observe whether the door is open or shut.”
23. On the first day of trial, Louisa just tasted the potato, and left the whole of it upon her plate. Her aunt took no notice of this. The next day, Louisa came in to dinner after a long walk, and was very hungry.
24. There was but one dish of meat upon the table, and it was of a kind which she did not much like; so, forgetting all her repugnance to mashed potato, she ate it very heartily.
25. Mrs. Cleaveland, however, forbore to take any notice of this change; and it was not until after several weeks had elapsed, and Louisa had ceased to think of the distinction between sliced potato and mashed potato, that her aunt reminded her of the importance which she had formerly attached to the former.
26. “Now, my dear Louisa,” said Mrs. Cleaveland, “since you find the task is not so very difficult as you apprehended, promise me that you will try to cure yourself of all these little infirmities; for such I must term them.
27. “There is so much real suffering in life, that it is a pity to have any which is merely imaginary; and though, while you are a little girl, living with indulgent friends, your whims might all be gratified, a constant and uniform regard to them will be impossible by and by, when you are old enough to mingle with the world.”
King Edward and his Bible.—MRS. L.H. SIGOURNEY.
1. I will tell you a little story about a young and good king. He was king of England more than two hundred and eighty years ago. His name was Edward, and, because there had been five kings before him of the name of Edward, he was called Edward the Sixth.
2. He was only nine years old when he began to reign. He was early taught to be good, by pious teachers, and he loved to do what they told him would please God. He had a great reverence for the Bible, which he knew contained the words of his Father in heaven.
3. Once, when he was quite a young child, he was playing with some children about his own age. He wished much to reach something which was above his head. To assist him, they laid a large, thick book in a chair, for him to step on. Just as he was putting his foot upon it, he discovered it to be the Bible.
4. Drawing back, he took it in his arms, kissed it, and returned it to its place. Turning to his little playmates, he said, with a serious face,—“Shall I dare to tread under my feet that which God has commanded me to keep in my heart?”
5. This pious king never forgot his prayers. Though the people with whom he lived were continually anxious to amuse him, and show him some new thing, they never could induce him to omit his daily devotions.
6. One day he heard that one of his teachers was sick. Immediately, he retired to pray for him. Coming from his prayers, he said, with a cheerful countenance, “I think there is hope that he will recover. I have this morning earnestly begged of God to spare him to us.”
7. After his teacher became well, he was told of this; and he very much loved the young king for remembering him in his prayers.
8. Edward the Sixth died when he was sixteen years old. He was beloved by all, for his goodness and piety. His mind was calm and serene in his sickness.
9. If you are not tired of my story, I will tell you part of a prayer which he used often to say, when on his dying bed.
10. “My Lord God, if thou wilt deliver me from this miserable life, take me among thy chosen. Yet not my will, but thy will, be done. Lord, I commit my spirit unto thee. Thou knowest how happy it were for me to be with thee. Yet, if thou shouldst send me life and health, grant that I may truly serve thee.”
11. Children, you should do like King Edward, reverence your Bible, and love to pray to God.
What does it Mean to be Tempted.—M.H., IN THE ROSE-BUD.
1. “Mother,” said little Frank, “I wish you would tell me what it means to be tempted. I heard you say, the other day, that people are tempted to do many wicked things;—pray tell me, mother, if such a little boy as I am is ever tempted?”
2. “Yes, my child, every day you live; and when I have told you what temptation is, I think you will confess that you have not only been tempted, but often yielded to temptation.
3. “To be tempted, means to be drawn by the offer of present pleasure to do what is wrong. There are many kinds of temptation, and I think you will understand me better if I give you an instance.
4. “You know, my dear Frank, that both your father and I have forbidden your going to the pond where your cousin Henry was drowned, because we think it very dangerous for you to venture there. But you also know that the other day you went, and suffered severely afterward for your disobedience.”
5. “Yes, mother,” said Frank; “but then I should not have gone, if William Brown had not showed me his pretty ship, just as I was coming out of school, and asked me to go see him launch it; and oh, mother, if you had only seen it!
6. “It had masts and sails, just like a real ship; and on the deck a little man, which William called the captain. And then, when it was on the water, it sailed along so sweetly!—the pond was as smooth as a looking-glass, so that we could see two little ships all the time.
7. “I didn’t think of disobeying you, mother; I only thought of the pretty ship, and that there could be no harm in seeing William sail it.”—“The harm, my dear son (as you call it),” said his mother, “was not in sailing the boat,—this is an innocent pleasure in itself; but it was doing it after it had been forbidden by your parents, that made it wrong.
8. “The temptation to disobedience came in the form of a little ship. You were drawn by it to the pond, the forbidden spot. You saw it sail gayly off, and stood on the bank delighted.”
9. “But, mother,” interrupted Frank, “I shouldn’t have got into the water and muddied my clothes, if the little ship hadn’t got tangled in the weeds; and the boys all shouted, Clear her! Clear her! and I couldn’t help stepping in, I was so near; and my foot slipped, and I fell in.”
10. “Yes,” said his mother, “and but for assistance of your play-fellows, you might have been drowned. But God, whose eye was upon you all the while, saw fit to spare you; and how thankful you ought to be that he did not take you away in your disobedience!
11. “You now see how you were tempted, first to go with William Brown to the pond, and then to step into the water; which shows how one temptation leads to another. But did not something within you, my son, tell you, while there, that you were doing wrong to disobey your parents?”
12. “No, mother; I do not recollect that it did. I’m sure I did not think a word about it till I was alone in bed, and was asking my heavenly Father to take care of me. Then something seemed to say, ‘Frank, you have done wrong to-day.’
13. “And I felt how wicked I had been, and could not ask God to forgive me till I had confessed all to you. I knew you were away when I came home, and I thought you hadn’t returned.
14. “I was so unhappy that I called Betsy, and told her how I felt. She told me it was an accident, and no matter at all; that she had taken care of my clothes, and she believed you would never know anything about it.
15. “But all this was no comfort to me; the something within would not be quiet. If it had spoken to me in the same way when I first saw the little ship, I think I should not have gone to the pond.”
16. “Frank,” said his mother, “this something within, which is conscience, did then speak, but you did not listen to its voice. The voice of temptation was louder, and you obeyed it, just as you followed some noisy boys, the other day, though I was calling to you, ’Frank, come back.’
17. “I spoke louder than usual, and at any other time you would have heard my voice; but you were too much attracted by the boys to listen to me.
18. “Temptation makes us deaf to the voice within; and yielding to temptation, as you see, my son, leads us into sin; and this is why we pray, in the Lord’s prayer, ’Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,’ which is sin, for there is no greater evil than sin.
19. “It is to keep us from this great evil that God has given us this voice within, to warn us not to follow temptation, though the sin appear but a trifling one, and though it hold out the promise of pleasure, as the little ship did.”
The same subject, continued.
1. “I will name some of the temptations to which little boys are a good deal exposed, and yield to without thinking, and sometimes without knowing to what they may lead.
2. “Sometimes the temptation to steal comes in the form of some beautiful fruit; perhaps in his father’s garden, which he has been forbidden to touch; or perhaps in an orchard far from the eye of the owner, where he might take it without fear of being seen; and he says to himself, ‘No one will ever know it; I will take only a few.’
3. “But does he forget that the eye of God is upon him, and does he not hear the voice of conscience saying, ‘Thou shalt not steal!’ He would shudder to be called a thief; but taking what does not belong to us, be it ever so small a thing, is stealing.
4. “And when detected, he is tempted to lie, to conceal his fault and avoid punishment; and here again we see how one sin leads to another. The temptations to cruelty are many. Sometimes they appear in the form of a bird’s nest, placed by a fond and loving mother on the high bough of a tree, to secure her young brood from danger.
5. “The boy, in his rambles in the woods, sees the nest, climbs the tree, and, though the little birds are too feeble to fly, and the anxious mother flutters round, as if to entreat the cruel boy to spare her little ones, he is unmindful of her tenderness, and, thinking only of his prize, bears it off to his companions, who enjoy it with him.
6. “Here is a sinful feeling indulged, which, if not subdued, may lead to murder. I wish you to remember, my dear boy, that it is by allowing ourselves to commit little sins that we become great sinners.
7. “You would be frightened if you could have placed before you a picture of the course of sin. You would exclaim, What a monster!—he must never come near me,—it is dangerous even to look on him! Let me entreat you, then, my son, to guard against temptation.
8. “If you say to temptation, as you would to a wicked companion, who had often led you into mischief, ‘Go away; I do not like your company,’ temptation, though for a while it may plead to be indulged, will soon do as the wicked companion would, if often sent away with such a reproof, discontinue to come; or, if found in your company, will not harm you; for conscience, like a good friend, will be ever near; and your blessed Saviour, who has promised to help those who are tempted, will assist you to overcome temptation.
9. “I hope now you understand what it means to be tempted.”—“I think I do, mother,” said Frank, “and I thank you for telling me so much about temptation. I shall never again repeat the Lord’s prayer without thinking what it means, and I hope God will keep me from the great evil of sin.” He then kissed his mother, and she promised to tell him, some other time, how we are tempted by sinful thoughts.
The same, subject, continued.
1. It was not long after Frank had the conversation with his mother upon the temptation to sinful actions, that he claimed her promise to tell him how we may be tempted to sinful thoughts.
2. It was Sunday evening. Frank and his mother were sitting alone together at a window which opened upon a flower-garden, rich in the hues with which God has seen fit to adorn this beautiful part of creation.
3. “You have been at church to-day, my son,” said his mother; “and to my eye you did nothing offensive, for you sat still during the sermon, and appeared engaged with your book during the prayers.
4. “I saw only the outward part; but remember there was an eye of infinite purity looking upon your heart, and seeing the thoughts that were passing there. You only can tell if they were fit to meet that eye.”
5. Frank looked down; for, like most children, he was not apt to examine either his thoughts or motives, but was well satisfied if he gained the approbation of his parents.
6. His mother, seeing he was struggling to disclose something, said, “You are an honest boy, Frank, and do not, I trust, wish to conceal the truth from your mother. If you have received my approbation for correct conduct, you certainly cannot enjoy it, if you feel that it is not deserved.”
7. “That is what troubles me, mother,” said Frank; “for, while I was sitting so still, and you thought I was attending to the sermon, I was all the while watching a pretty little dog, that was running from pew to pew, trying to find his master; and when he got on the pulpit step, and rolled off, I came so near laughing that I was obliged to put my handkerchief to my mouth, and make believe to cough.
8. “I kept my eye upon him till church was done, and thought, if I could see him at the door, I would try to make him follow me home, and keep him.
9. “I feel now, mother, that all this was very wrong, and that these naughty thoughts tempted me to break God’s holy Sabbath.”
10. “I am glad you feel this, my son; for, besides being sinful to desire to have the little dog, which was coveting what belonged to another, the time and place in which you indulged the thought was the breaking of that commandment which says, ’Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’”
11. “But, mother,” asked Frank, impatiently, “how shall I keep these thoughts out? They come before I know it. Sometimes a boy has a new suit of clothes on, and I cannot help looking at him; and sometimes the girls will play with their gloves, and tie and untie their bonnets; and sometimes the little children get to sleep, and I can’t help watching them, to see if they will not slip off the seat.
12. “I think, mother, if we did not sit in the gallery, I shouldn’t see so many things to tempt me to wicked thoughts in church.”
13. “If I really believed this myself, Frank, I should think it important to change our seat: but the mischief does not lie here; it is in your heart.
14. “If this were right, and you really loved God and his service, the thought of his presence would keep out these troublesome intruders; not altogether, my son, for the best of people are sometimes subject to wandering thoughts; but it is a temptation which they overcome, by turning their attention immediately to the services, and by taking their eyes from the object that drew away their thoughts from God.”
The same subject, concluded.
1. “If some great king, who loved his people, and was continually giving them some good things, should appoint a day when he would meet his subjects, rich and poor, young and old, and should declare to them how they may best please him; and a person should be appointed to read to them, from a book he had himself written, directions for their conduct; and that, as a reward for obedience, should promise they should be admitted to his palace, where nothing that could trouble them should ever be allowed to enter—”
2. “Why, mother,” exclaimed Frank, “I should so admire to see a king, that I should be willing to do everything he required; and should be afraid, all the time, of doing something he did not like, while in his presence. I should keep looking at him all the time, to see if he were pleased;—but go on, mother.”
3. “Well, my son, suppose this great person, who is also good, should keep a book in which he noted down all your actions, and even looks; and, on a certain day which he had appointed, and which was known to himself, should call together a great multitude of people, his friends and yours, and should read to them all that he had written there,—do you think you would be careless or indifferent what was written against your name?”
4. “O no, mother! I should be so anxious that I should want to hide myself, for fear something should be read that I should be ashamed of,—something very bad. But, mother, no king ever did this, that you know of. If he did, pray tell me more about him; and if his subjects were not all good and obedient.”
5. “I have heard of a king, my son, who has done more than this; but not an earthly king. Earthly kings are limited in their power; for they are but men. But the king of whom I speak is the Lord of the whole earth.”
6. “Do you mean God, mother?”—“I do, my son. You have told me how you should behave in the presence of an earthly king on the day he should appoint to meet his people; and would you treat with less reverence and respect him who is the King of kings and Lord of lords?
7. “Can you, on entering his house, say, ’The Lord is in his holy temple,’ and feel no desire to meet him there; but allow any trifle that meets your eye to carry your thoughts away? Do you, when his holy book is read, feel no desire to hear the directions he has given to lead you to your heavenly home?
8. “And when the petitions are sent up imploring his blessings, and asking his forgiveness, have you none to offer? Are you so blest as to have nothing to ask, and so good as to need no forgiveness?
9. “O my son, be careful how you neglect these gracious privileges! And when his ministers, whom he has appointed to declare his will,—to instruct you out of his word,—preach to you from the sacred pulpit, will you turn a deaf ear, and lose their instructions, and at the same time displease your heavenly Father?
10. “This great and powerful king is also your father and friend. He loves you more than any earthly friend. He is willing to hear all your petitions, and is even more ready to give than we are to ask. He has appointed one day in seven in which to meet us, and this is the Sabbath, about the keeping of which we are now talking.
11. “And he has also appointed a day in which he will judge the world, from the book which he has kept of our accounts.
12. “On that day there will be assembled a great multitude, which no man can number, out of every kindred and tongue; great and small, good and bad. You and I will be there, my son.
13. “There will be the minister and his people, the Sunday-school teacher and his scholars, all to receive either the sentence, ’Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,’ or, ’Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting punishment.’”
14. Frank was moved by this representation of the consequences of his neglect of the duties he owed his heavenly Father, and said, “O, how sad it would be, how dreadful, if, on that day I should be sent to dwell forever where God is not, and where you and father are not!”
15. “Dreadful, indeed, my son, would be such a separation; and when you think of this, let it make you more earnest to serve and please God; for Jesus Christ, who came upon earth once to die for us all, and will come again to judge the earth, has gone to prepare mansions in heaven for those who love him, that they may dwell with him forever in perfect happiness.
16. “Let us now, my son, pray to our heavenly Father to prepare us for this blessedness, that where he is, there we may be also.” Frank and his mother knelt together, and offered up the following prayer:—
17. Almighty and most merciful Father! teach us thy will, that we may know how to please thee. Put good thoughts into our hearts, and right words into our lips, that our services may be such as thou wilt please to accept.
18. Forgive, we pray thee, the sins we have committed this day, in thought, word, or deed, and make us truly sorry on account of them. Help us to love thee more, and serve thee better, for the time to come.
19. Bless all our friends, and make them thy friends. Make us a household serving thee, that after this life is over, we may all meet in heaven.
20. O then, great Shepherd, who neither slumberest nor sleepest, take us under thy protection this night; and when the cheerful light of day again returns, lead us forth in thy fold, and keep us from every temptation that will draw us away from thee.
21. May our peaceful slumbers remind us of the sleep of death; and, on the morning of the resurrection, wilt thou clothe us in the righteousness of Christ, and receive us to dwell with him in life everlasting! Amen.
Mary Dow.—H.F. GOULD.
1. “Come in, little stranger,” I said, As she tapped at my half-opened door, While the blanket pinned over her head Just reached to the basket she bore.
2. A look full of innocence fell From her modest and pretty blue eye, As she said, “I have matches to sell, And hope you are willing to buy.
3. “A penny a bunch is the price; I think you’ll not find it too much; They’re tied up so even and nice, And ready to light with a touch.”
4. I asked, “What’s your name, little girl?” “’Tis Mary,” said she,—“Mary Dow,” And carelessly tossed off a curl, That played o’er her delicate brow.
5. “My father was lost in the deep,— The ship never got to the shore; And mother is sad, and will weep, When she hears the wind blow and sea roar.
6. “She sits there at home, without food, Beside our poor sick Willie’s bed; She paid all her money for wood, And so I sell matches for bread.
7. “For every time that she tries Some things she’d be paid for to make, And lays down the baby, it cries, And that makes my sick brother wake.
8. “I’d go to the yard and get chips, But, then, it would make me too sad, To see men there building the ships, And think they had made one so bad.
9. “I’ve one other gown, and, with care, We think it may decently
Page 58pass, With my bonnet that’s put by to wear To meeting and Sunday-school class.
10. “I love to go there, where I’m taught, Of One who’s so wise and so good, He knows every action and thought, And gives e’en the raven his food.
11. “For He, I am sure, who can take Such fatherly care of a bird, Will never forget or forsake The children who trust to his word.
12. “And now, if I only can sell The matches I brought out to-day, I think I shall do very well, And mother’ll rejoice at the pay.”
13. “Fly home, little bird,” then I thought, “Fly home, full of joy, to your nest!” For I took all the matches she brought, And Mary may tell you the rest.
It Snows.—H.F. GOULD.
1. It snows! it snows! from out the sky, The feathered flakes, how fast they fly! Like little birds, that don’t know why They’re on the chase, from place to place, While neither can the other trace. It snows! it snows! a merry play Is o’er us, on this heavy day!
2. As dancers in an airy hall, That hasn’t room to hold them all, While some keep up and others fall, The atoms shift; then, thick and swift, They drive along to form the drift, That, weaving up, so dazzling white, Is rising like a wall of light.
3. But now the wind comes whistling loud, To snatch and waft it, as a cloud, Or giant phantom in a shroud; It spreads, it curls, it mounts and whirls, At length a mighty wing unfurls, And then, away! but where, none knows, Or ever will.—It snows! it snows!
4. To-morrow will the storm be done; Then out will come the golden sun, And we shall see, upon the run Before his beams, in sparkling streams, What now a curtain o’er him seems. And thus with life it ever goes, ’Tis shade and shine!—It snows! it snows!
The Dissatisfied Angler Boy.—H.F. GOULD.
1. I’m sorry they let me go down to the brook, I’m sorry they gave me the line and the hook, And I wish I had stayed at home with my book. I’m sure ’twas no pleasure to see That poor, little, harmless, suffering thing, Silently writhe at the end of the string; Or to hold the pole, while I felt him swing In torture, and all for me!
2. ’Twas a beautiful speckled and glossy trout, And when from the water I drew him out On the grassy bank, as he floundered about, It made me shivering cold, To think I had caused so much needless pain; And I tried to relieve him, but all in vain; O! never, as long as I live, again May I such a sight behold!
3. O, what would I give once more to see The brisk little swimmer alive and free, And darting about, as he used to be, Unhurt, in his native brook! ’Tis strange how people can love to play, By taking innocent lives away; I wish I had stayed at home to-day, With sister, and read my book.
The Violet: a Fable.—CHILDREN’S MAGAZINE.
1. Down in a humble dell A modest violet chanced to dwell Remote from gayer flowers; Its days were passed in simple ease, It sipped the dew and kissed the breeze, Nor thought of happier hours.
2. Long lived it in this quiet way, Till, on a hot and sultry day About the midst of June, It chanced to spy a lady fair, All dressed in satins rich and rare, Come walking by, at noon.
3. And thus the silly flower began:— “I much should like to live with man, And other flowers to see;— Why is it (for I cannot tell) That I forever here should dwell, Where there is none but me?”
4. While thus it spoke, the lady stopped To pick up something she had dropped, And there the flower she spied; And soon she plucked it from its bed, Just shook the dew-drop from its head, And placed it at her side.
5. Soon at the lady’s splendid home The violet found that she was come, For all was bright and gay: And then upon the mantel-shelf, With many a flower beside herself, Was placed, without delay.
6. And oh, how glad and proud was she In such a splendid place to be!— But short was her delight; For rose and lily turned away, And would not deign a word to say To such a country wight.
7. She passed the day in much disgrace, And wished that she might change her place, And be at home again: She sighed for her own mossy bed, Where she might rest her aching head; But now to wish were vain.
8. Next morn, the housemaid, passing by, Just chanced the little flower to spy, And then, without delay, She rudely seized its tender stalk, And threw it in the gravel walk, And left it to decay.
9. And thus it mourned,—“O silly flower, To wish to leave its native bower! Was it for this I sighed? O, had I more contented been, And lived unnoticed and unseen, I might not thus have died!”
10. Nor let this lesson be forgot: Remain contented with the lot That Providence decrees. Contentment is a richer gem Than sparkles in a diadem, And gives us greater ease.
Captain John Smith.—JUVENILE MISCELLANY.
1. The adventures of this singular man are so various, and so very extraordinary, that the detail of them seems more like romance than true history. He was born in Lincolnshire, England, and was left an orphan at an early age.
2. His love of adventure displayed itself while he was yet a school-boy. He sold his satchel, books and clothes, and went over to France, without the knowledge of his guardians.
3. Afterward, he served as a soldier in the Netherlands for several years. At the end of his campaign, he returned to England, where he recovered a small portion of the estate left him by his deceased father.
4. This money enabled him to resume his travels under more favorable auspices, at the age of seventeen. He again went to France, and embarked at Marseilles (pronounced Mar-sales’), with some pious pilgrims, bound to Italy.
5. During this voyage a violent tempest threatened destruction to the vessel; and poor Smith being the suspected cause of the impending danger was thrown, without mercy, into the sea.
6. He saved himself by his great expertness in swimming; and soon after went on board another vessel, bound to Alexandria, where he entered into the service of the Emperor of Austria, against the Turks.
7. His bravery, and great ingenuity in all the stratagems of war, soon made him famous, and obtained for him the command of two hundred and fifty horsemen.
8. At the siege of Regal, the Ottomans sent a challenge, purporting that Lord Turbisha, to amuse the ladies, would fight with any captain among the Austrian troops. Smith accepted the challenge.
9. Flags of truce were exchanged between the two armies, and crowds of fair dames and fearless men assembled to witness the combat. Lord Turbisha entered the field well mounted and armed.
10. On his shoulders were fixed two large wings made of eagles’ feathers, set in silver, and richly ornamented with gold and precious stones. A janizary, or Turkish soldier, bore his lance before him, and another followed, leading a horse superbly caparisoned.
11. Smith came upon the ground with less parade. A flourish of trumpets preceded him, and his lance was supported by a single page.
12. The Turk fell at the first charge, and Smith returned to his army in triumph. This so enraged one of the friends of the slain that he sent a challenge to Smith, offering him his head, his horse and his armor, if he dared come and take them.
13. The challenge was accepted, and the combatants came upon the ground with nearly the same ceremony and splendor. Their lances broke at the first charge, without doing injury to either; but, at the second onset, the Turk was wounded, thrown from his horse, and killed.
The same subject, continued.
1. The Christian army were at this time anxious to finish erecting some fortifications, and were very willing to amuse their enemies in this way. They therefore persuaded Captain Smith to send a challenge in his turn, offering his head, in payment for the two he had won, to any one who had skill and strength enough to take it.
2. The offer was accepted; and a third Turk tried his fortune with the bold adventurer. This time Captain Smith was nearly unhorsed; but, by his dexterity and judgment, he recovered himself, and soon returned to the camp victorious.
3. These warlike deeds met with much applause; and the prince gave him a coat of arms, signed with the royal seal, representing three Turk’s heads on a white field.
4. Not long after this, Captain Smith was left wounded on the field of battle,—was taken prisoner by the Turks,—and sent as a slave to a noble lady in the interior of the country.
5. He could speak Italian well, and his fair mistress was very fond of that language. She listened to accounts of his bravery, his adventures, and his misfortunes, with deepening interest; and finally sent him to her brother, a powerful bashaw, with a request that he should be treated with much kindness.
6. The proud officer was angry that his sister should trouble herself about a vile European slave; and, instead of attending to her request, he caused him to be loaded with irons, and abused in the most shameful manner.
7. During the long and tedious period of his slavery, he suffered as much as it is possible for man to endure; but at length he killed his tyrannical master, and, with great peril, escaped through the deserts into Russia.
8. His romantic genius would not long allow him to remain easy. He could not be happy unless he was engaged in daring and adventurous actions. He no sooner heard of an expedition to Virginia, under the command of Christopher Newport, than he resolved to join it.
9. He arrived in this country with the first emigrants, who settled in Jamestown, April 26, 1607. It is said this infant settlement must have perished, had it not been for the courage and ingenuity of Captain Smith.
10. Once they were all nearly dying with hunger, and the savages utterly refused to sell them any food. In this extremity, Smith stole the Indian idol, Okee, which was made of skins stuffed with moss, and would not return it until the Indians sold them as much corn as they wanted.
The same subject, continued.
1. The colony were once in imminent danger of losing their brave and intelligent friend. While exploring the source of the Chickahominy river, he imprudently left his companions, and, while alone, was seen and pursued by a party of savages. He retreated fighting, killed three Indians with his own hand, and probably would have regained his boat in safety, had he not accidentally plunged into a miry hole, from which he could not extricate himself.
2. By this accident, he was taken prisoner; and the Indians would have tortured him, and put him to death, according to their cruel customs, had not his ever-ready wit come to his aid.
3. He showed them a small ivory compass, which he had with him, and, by signs, explained many wonderful things to them, till his enemies were inspired with a most profound respect, and resolved not to kill the extraordinary man without consulting their chief.
4. He was, accordingly, brought into the presence of the king, Powhatan, who received him in a robe of raccoon skins, and seated on a kind of throne, with two beautiful young daughters at his side. After a long consultation, he was condemned to die.
5. Two large stones were brought, his head laid upon one of them, and the war-clubs raised to strike the deadly blow. At this moment, Pocahontas, the king’s favorite daughter, sprang forward, threw herself between him and the executioners, and by her entreaties saved his life.
6. Powhatan promised him that he should return to Jamestown, if the English would give him a certain quantity of ammunition and trinkets. Smith agreed to obtain them, provided a messenger would carry a leaf to his companions. On this leaf he briefly stated what must be sent.
7. Powhatan had never heard of writing;—he laughed at the idea that a leaf could speak, and regarded the whole as an imposition on the part of the prisoner.
8. When, however, the messenger returned with the promised ransom, he regarded Smith as nothing less than a wizard, and gladly allowed him to depart. It seemed to be the fate of this singular man to excite a powerful interest wherever he went.
9. Pocahontas had such a deep attachment for him, that, in 1609, when only fourteen years old, she stole away from her tribe, and, during a most dreary night, walked to Jamestown, to tell him that her father had formed the design of cutting off the whole English settlement.
10. Thus she a second time saved his life, at the hazard of her own. This charming Indian girl did not meet with all the gratitude she deserved.
11. Before 1612, Captain Smith received a wound, which made it necessary for him to go to England, for surgical aid; and after his departure a copper kettle was offered to any Indian who would bring Pocahontas to the English settlement.
12. She was, accordingly, stolen from her father, and carried prisoner to Jamestown. Powhatan offered five hundred bushels of corn as a ransom for his darling child.
13. Before the negotiation was finished, an Englishman of good character, by the name of Thomas Rolfe, became attached to Pocahontas, and they were soon after married, with the king’s consent.
14. This event secured peace to the English for many years. The Indian bride became a Christian, and was baptized.
The same subject, concluded.
1. In 1616, Pocahontas went to England with her husband,—was introduced at court, and received great attention.
2. King James is said to have been very indignant that any of his subjects should have dared to marry a princess; but Captain Smith has been accused, perhaps falsely, of being sufficiently cold and selfish to blush for his acquaintance with the generous North American savage.
3. Pocahontas never returned to her native country. She died at Gravesend, in 1617, just as she was about to embark for America.
4. She left one son, Thomas Rolfe; and from his daughter are descended several people of high rank in Virginia, among whom was the celebrated John Randolph of Roanoke.
5. Smith had many adventures, after his wound obliged him to leave Jamestown. He visited this country again; made a voyage to the Summer Isles; fought with pirates; joined the French against the Spaniards; and was adrift, in a little boat, alone, on the stormy sea, during a night so tempestuous that thirteen French ships were wrecked, near the Isle of Re; yet he was saved.
6. He died in London, in 1631, in the fifty-second year of his age, after having published his singular adventures in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.
John Ledyard.—JUVENILE MISCELLANY.
1. Few men have done so much, in a short life, as John Ledyard. When he was a mere boy, he built a canoe with his own hands, and descended Connecticut river alone and unassisted.
2. He enlisted as a soldier, at Gibraltar; and afterwards, in the humble character of corporal of the marines, he sailed round the world with the celebrated Captain Cook.
3. After his return to England, he formed the bold design of traversing the northern parts of Europe and Asia, crossing Behring’s Straits, and examining the whole of North America, from east to west.
4. Sir Joseph Banks, famous for his generosity to men of enterprise, furnished him with money for the undertaking. He expended nearly all of it in purchasing sea stores; and these, most unluckily, were all seized by a custom-house officer, on account of some articles which the English law forbade to be exported.
5. Poor Ledyard was now left in utter poverty; but he was a resolute man, and he would not be discouraged. With only ten guineas in his purse, he attempted to walk over the greater part of three continents.
6. He walked through Denmark and Sweden, and attempted to cross the great Gulf of Bothnia, on his way to Siberia; but when he reached the middle of that inland sea, he found the water was not frozen, and he was obliged to foot it back to Stockholm.
7. He then traveled round the head of the gulf, and descended to St. Petersburg. Here he was soon discovered to be a man of talents and activity; and though he was without money, and absolutely destitute of stockings and shoes, he was treated with great attention.
8. The Portuguese ambassador invited him to dine, and was so much pleased with him, that he used his influence to obtain for him a free passage in the government wagons, then going to Irkutsk, in Siberia, at the command of the Empress Katharine.
9. He went from this place to Yakutz, and there awaited the opening of the spring, full of the animating hope of soon completing his wearisome journey. But misfortune seemed to follow him wherever he went.
10. The empress could not believe that any man in his senses was traveling through the ice and snows of uncivilized Siberia, merely for the sake of seeing the country and the people.
11. She imagined that he was an English spy, sent there merely for the purpose of prying into the state of her empire and her government. She therefore employed two Russian soldiers to seize him, and convey him out of her dominions.
12. Taken, he knew not why, and obliged to go off without his clothes, his money, or his papers, he was seated in one of the strange-looking sledges used in those northern deserts, and carried through Tartary and White Russia, to the frontiers of Poland.
13. Covered with dirty rags, worn out with hardships, sick almost unto death, without friends and without money, he begged his way to Konigsberg, in Prussia.
The same subject, concluded.
1. In this hour of deep distress, he found a person willing to take his draft for five guineas on the Royal Society of England. With this assistance, he arrived in the land of our forefathers.
2. He immediately applied to his ever-ready friend, Sir Joseph Banks, for employment. Sir Joseph, knowing that nothing suited him better than perilous adventures, told him that a company had just been formed, for the purpose of penetrating into the interior of Africa, and discovering the source of the river Niger.
3. Burning sands, savage negroes, venomous serpents, all the frightful animals of the torrid zone, could not alarm the intrepid soul of Ledyard. He immediately expressed his desire to go.
4. When the map was spread before him, and his dangerous journey pointed out, he promptly exclaimed, “I will go to-morrow morning.”
5. The gentleman smiled at his eagerness, and gladly intrusted him with an expedition in which suffering and peril were certain, and success extremely doubtful. He left London on the 30th of June, 1788, and arrived in Grand Cairo on the 19th of August.
6. There he spent his time to great advantage, in searching for and deciphering the various wonders of that ancient and once learned land.
7. His letters from Egypt were delightful. They showed much enthusiasm, united with the most patient and laborious exertion. The company formed great hopes concerning his discoveries in Senaar, and awaited letters from that country with much anxiety.
8. But, alas! he never reached there. He was seized with a violent illness at Cairo; died, and was decently buried beside the English who had ended their days in that celebrated city.
9. We should never read accounts of great or good men without learning some profitable lesson. If we cannot, like Ledyard, defend Gibraltar, sail round the world with Captain Cook, project trading voyages to the north-west coast, study Egyptian hieroglyph’ics, and traverse the dreary northern zone on foot,—we can, at least, learn from him the important lesson of perseverance.
10. The boy who perseveringly pores over a hard lesson, and who will not give up an intricate problem until he has studied it out, forms a habit, which, in after life, will make him a great man; and he who resolutely struggles against his own indolence, violent temper, or any other bad propensity, will most assuredly be a good one.
Learning to Work.—ORIGINAL.
1. A few years ago, several little volumes were published, called “The Rollo Books,” which are full of interesting stories about a little boy of that name. They were written by a gentleman whose name is Abbott.
2. They are not only interesting, but also very instructive books; and no little boy or girl can read them, without learning many very useful lessons from them. They are not only useful to young persons, but their parents, also, have derived many useful hints from them, in the management of their children.
3. The following little story is taken from one of them, called “Rollo at Work;” and I hope that my little friends who read this story at school will also read it at home to their parents, because it will be both interesting and useful to them.
4. The story begins, by telling us that Rollo’s father had set him at work in the barn, with a box full of nails, directing him to pick them all over, and to put all those that were alike by themselves.
5. Rollo began very willingly at first, but soon grew tired of the work, and left it unfinished. The remainder of the story will be found in the following lessons, in Mr. Abbott’s own words.
The same subject, continued.—ABBOTT.
1. That evening, when Rollo was just going to bed, his father took him up in his lap, and told him he had concluded what to do.
2. “You see it is very necessary,” said he, “that you should have the power of confining yourself steadily and patiently to a single employment, even if it does not amuse you.
3. “I have to do that, and all people have to do it; and you must learn to do it, or you will grow up indolent and useless. You cannot do it now, it is very plain.
4. “If I set you to doing anything, you go on as long as the novelty and the amusement last; and then your patience is gone, and you contrive every possible excuse for getting away from your task.
5. “Now, I am going to give you one hour’s work to do, every forenoon and afternoon. I shall give you such things to do as are perfectly plain and easy, so that you will have no excuse for neglecting your work, or leaving it.
6. “But yet I shall choose such things as will afford you no amusement; for my wish is that you should learn to work, not play.”
7. “But, father,” said Rollo, “you told me there was pleasure in work, the other day. But how can there be any pleasure in it, if you choose such things as have no amusement in them, at all?”
8. “The pleasure of working,” said his father, “is not the fun of doing amusing things, but the satisfaction and solid happiness of being faithful in duty, and accomplishing some useful purpose.
9. “For example, if I were to lose my pocket-book on the road, and should tell you to walk back a mile, and look carefully all the way, until you found it, and if you did it faithfully and carefully, you would find a kind of satisfaction in doing it; and when you found the pocket-book, and brought it back to me, you would enjoy a high degree of happiness. Should not you?”
10. “Why, yes, sir, I should,” said Rollo.—“And, yet, there would be no amusement in it. You might, perhaps, the next day, go over the same road, catching butterflies; that would be amusement. Now, the pleasure you would enjoy in looking for the pocket-book would be the solid satisfaction of useful work.
11. “The pleasure of catching butterflies would be the amusement of play. Now, the difficulty is, with you, that you have scarcely any idea, yet, of the first.
12. “You are all the time looking for the other; that is, the amusement. You begin to work, when I give you anything to do; but if you do not find amusement in it, you soon give it up. But if you would only persevere, you would find, at length, a solid satisfaction, that would be worth a great deal more.”
13. Rollo sat still, and listened; but his father saw, from his looks, that he was not much interested in what he was saying; and he perceived that it was not at all probable that so small a boy could be reasoned into liking work.
14. In fact, it was rather hard for Rollo to understand all that his father said; and still harder for him to feel the force of it. He began to grow sleepy, and so his father let him go to bed.
The same subject, concluded.
1. The next day, his father gave him his work. He was to begin at ten o’clock, and work till eleven, gathering beans in the garden.
2. His father went out with him, and waited to see how long it took him to gather half a pint, and then calculated how many he could gather in an hour, if he was industrious. Rollo knew that if he failed now he should be punished in some way, although his father did not say anything about punishment.
3. When he was set at work, the day before, about the nails, he was making an experiment, as it were, and he did not expect to be actually punished, if he failed; but now he knew that he was under orders, and must obey.
4. So he worked very diligently, and when his father came out, at the end of the hour, he found that Rollo had got rather more beans than he had expected. Rollo was much gratified to see his father pleased; and he carried in his large basket full of beans to show his mother, with great pleasure.
5. Then he went to play, and enjoyed himself very highly. The next morning, his father said to him,—“Well, Rollo, you did very well yesterday; but doing right once is a very different thing from forming a habit of doing right. I can hardly expect you will succeed as well to-day; or, if you should to-day, that you will to-morrow.”
6. Rollo thought he should. His work was to pick up all the loose stones in the road, and carry them, in a basket, to a great heap of stones behind the barn.
7. But he was not quite faithful. His father observed him playing several times. He did not speak to him, however, until the hour was over; and then he called him in.
8. “Rollo,” said he, “you have failed to-day. You have not been very idle, but have not been industrious; and the punishment which I have concluded to try first is, to give you only bread and water for dinner.”
9. So, when dinner-time came, and the family sat down to the good beef-steak and apple-pie which was upon the table, Rollo knew that he was not to come. He felt very unhappy, but he did not cry.
10. His father called him, and cut off a good slice of bread, and put into his hands, and told him he might go and eat it on the steps of the back door. “If you should be thirsty,” he added, “you may ask Mary to give you some water.”
11. Rollo took the bread, and went out, and took his solitary seat on the stone step leading into the back yard; and, in spite of all his efforts to prevent it, the tears would come into his eyes.
12. He thought of his guilt in disobeying his father, and he felt unhappy to think that his father and mother were seated together at their pleasant table, and that he could not come, because he had been an undutiful son. He determined that he would never be unfaithful in his work again.
13. He went on, after this, several days, very well. His father gave him various kinds of work to do, and he began, at last, to find a considerable degree of satisfaction in doing it.
14. He found, particularly, that he enjoyed himself a great deal more after his work than before; and, whenever he saw what he had done, it gave him pleasure.
15. After he had picked up the loose stones before the house, for instance, he drove his hoop about there with unusual satisfaction; enjoying the neat and tidy appearance of the road much more than he would have done, if Jonas had cleared it. In fact, in the course of a month, Rollo became quite a faithful and efficient little workman.
THE COMMA is a mark like this =,=
When you come to a comma in reading, you must generally make a short pause. Sometimes you must use the falling inflection of the voice, when you come to a comma; and sometimes you must keep your voice suspended, as if some one had stopped you before you had read all that you intended. The general rule, when you come to a comma, is, to stop just long enough to count one.
Diligence, industry, and proper improvement of time, are material duties of the young.
He is generous, just, charitable, and humane.
By wisdom, by art, by the united strength of a civil community, men have been enabled to subdue the whole race of lions, bears, and serpents.
[Sometimes a comma must be read like a question.]
Do you pretend to sit as high in school as Anthony? Did you read as correctly, articulate as distinctly, speak as loudly, or behave as well, as he?
Did he recite his lesson correctly, read audibly, and appear to understand what he read?
Was his copy written neatly, his letters made handsomely, and did no blot appear on his book?
Was his wealth stored fraudfully, the spoil of orphans wronged, and widows who had none to plead their rights?
Have not you, too, gone about the earth like an evil genius, blasting the fair fruits of peace and industry?
Is that a map which you have before you, with the leaves blotted with ink?
Will you say that your time is your own, and that you have a right to employ it in the manner you please?
[Sometimes a comma is
to be read like a period, with
the falling inflection of the voice.]
The teacher directed him to take his seat, to study his lesson, and to pass no more time in idleness.
It is said by unbelievers that religion is dull, unsocial, uncharitable, enthusiastic, a damper of human joy, a morose intruder upon human pleasure.
Charles has brought his pen instead of his pencil, his paper instead of his slate, his grammar instead of his arithmetic.
Perhaps you have mistaken sobriety for dullness, equanimity for moroseness, disinclination to bad company for aversion to society, abhorrence of vice for uncharitableness, and piety for enthusiasm.
Henry was careless, thoughtless, heedless, and inattentive.
[Sometimes the comma
is to be read like an
O, how can you destroy those beautiful things which your father procured for you! that beautiful top, those polished marbles, that excellent ball, and that beautiful painted kite,—oh, how can you destroy them, and expect that he will buy you new ones!
O, how canst thou renounce the boundless store of charms that Nature to her votary yields! the warbling woodland, the resounding shore, the pomp of groves, the garniture of fields, all that the genial ray of morning gilds, and all that echoes to the song of even, all that the mountain’s sheltering bosom shields, and all the dread magnificence of heaven, oh, how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven!
[Sometimes the comma,
and other marks, are to be read
without any pause or inflection of the voice.]
You see, boys, what a fine school-room we have, in which you can pursue your studies.
You see, my son, this wide and large firmament over our heads, where the sun and moon, and all the stars, appear in their turns.
Therefore, my child, fear, and worship, and love God.
He that can read as well as you can, James, need not be ashamed to read aloud.
He that can make the multitude laugh and weep as you can, Mr. Shakspeare, need not fear scholars.
[Sometimes the pause
of a comma must be made where
there is no pause in your book. Spaces are left, in the
following sentences, where the pause is proper.]
James was very much delighted
the picture which he saw.
The Europeans were hardly
at the scene now before them.
The inhabitants were entirely
Their black hair, long and curled, floated
upon their shoulders, or was bound in tresses
around their head.
Persons of reflection and
contemplate with interest the scenes of
The succession and contrast
of the seasons
give scope to that care and foresight,
diligence and industry, which are
essential to the dignity and enjoyment
of human beings.
[The pupil may read the following sentences; but before reading them, he may tell after what word the pause should be made. The pause is not printed in the sentences, but it must be made when reading them. And here it may be observed, that the comma is more frequently used to point out the grammatical divisions of a sentence than to indicate a rest or cessation of the voice. Good reading depends much upon skill and judgment in making those pauses which the sense of the sentence dictates, but which are not noted in the book; and the sooner the pupil is taught to make them, with proper discrimination, the surer and the more rapid will be his progress in the art of reading.]
While they were at their silent meal a horseman came galloping to the door, and, with a loud voice, called out that he had been sent express with a letter to Gilbert Ainslee.
The golden head that was wont to rise at that part of the table was now wanting.
For even though absent from school I shall get the lesson.
For even though dead I will control the trophies of the capitol.
It is now two hundred years since attempts have been made to civilize the North American savage.
Doing well has something more in it than the fulfilling of a duty.
You will expect me to say something of the lonely records of the former races that inhabited this country.
There is no virtue without a characteristic beauty to make it particularly loved by the good, and to make the bad ashamed of their neglect of it.
A sacrifice was never yet offered to a principle, that was not made up to us by self-approval, and the consideration of what our degradation would have been had we done otherwise.
The following story has been handed down by family tradition for more than a century.
The succession and contrast of the seasons give scope to that care and foresight, diligence and industry, which are essential to the dignity and enjoyment of human beings, whose happiness is connected with the exertion of their faculties.
A lion of the largest size measures from eight to nine feet from the muzzle to the origin of the tail, which last is of itself about four feet long. The height of the larger specimens is four or five feet.
The following anecdote will show with what obstinate perseverance pack-horses have been known to preserve the line of their order.
Good-morning to you, Charles! Whose book is that which you have under your arm?
A benison upon thee, gentle huntsman! Whose towers are these that overlook the wood?
The incidents of the last few days have been such as will probably never again be witnessed by the people of America, and such as were never before witnessed by any nation under heaven.
To the memory of Andre his country has erected the most magnificent monuments, and bestowed on his family the highest honors and most liberal rewards. To the memory of Hale not a stone has been erected, and the traveler asks in vain for the place of his long sleep.
THE SEMICOLON is made by a comma placed under a period, thus =;=
When you come to a semicolon, you must generally make a pause twice as long as you would make at a comma.
Sometimes you must keep the voice suspended when you come to a semicolon, as in the following:
That God whom you see me daily worship; whom I daily call upon to bless both you and me, and all mankind; whose wondrous acts are recorded in those Scriptures which you constantly read; that God who created the heaven and the earth is your Father and Friend.
My son, as you have been used to look to me in all your actions, and have been afraid to do anything unless you first knew my will; so let it now be a rule of your life to look up to God in all your actions.
[Sometimes you must
use the falling inflection of the
voice when you come to a semicolon, as in the
Let your dress be sober, clean, and modest; not to set off the beauty of your person, but to declare the sobriety of your mind; that your outward garb may resemble the inward plainness and simplicity of your heart.
In meat and drink, observe the rules of Christian temperance and sobriety; consider your body only as the servant and minister of your soul; and only so nourish it, as it may best perform an humble and obedient service.
Condescend to all the weakness and infirmities of your fellow-creatures; cover their frailties; love their excellences; encourage their virtues; relieve their wants; rejoice in their prosperity; compassionate their distress; receive their friendship; overlook their unkindness; forgive their malice; be a servant of servants; and condescend to do the lowest offices for the lowest of mankind.
[The semicolon is sometimes
used for a question, and
sometimes as an exclamation.]
Hast thou not set at defiance my authority; violated the public peace, and passed thy life in injuring the persons and properties of thy fellow-subjects?
O, it was impious; it was unmanly; it was poor and pitiful!
Have not you too gone about the earth like an evil genius; blasting the fair fruits of peace and industry; plundering, ravaging, killing, without law, without justice, merely to gratify an insatiable lust for dominion?
What a glorious monument of human invention, that has thus triumphed over wind and wave; has brought the ends of the earth in communion; has established an interchange of blessings, pouring into the sterile regions of the north all the luxuries of the south; diffused the light of knowledge and the charities of cultivated life; and has thus bound together those scattered portions of the human race, between which Nature seemed to have thrown an insurmountable barrier!
THE COLON consists of two periods placed one above the other, thus =:=
Sometimes the passage ending with a colon is to be read with the voice suspended; but it should generally be read with the falling inflection of the voice.
The general rule, when you come to a colon, is to stop just long enough to count three; or three times as long as you are directed to pause at a comma.
Law and order are forgotten: violence and rapine are abroad: the golden cords of society are loosed.
The temples are profaned: the soldier’s curse resounds in the house of God: the marble pavement is trampled by iron hoofs: horses neigh beside the altar.
Blue wreaths of smoke ascend through the trees, and betray the half-hidden cottage: the eye contemplates well-thatched ricks, and barns bursting with plenty: the peasant laughs at the approach of winter.
[The following passages
ending with a colon are to be
read with the voice suspended:]
Do not flatter yourselves with the hope of perfect happiness: there is no such thing in the world.
A boy at school is by no means at liberty to read what books he pleases: he must give attention to those which contain his lessons; so that, when he is called upon to recite, he may be ready, fluent, and accurate, in repeating the portion assigned him.
As we perceive the shadow to have moved along the dial, but did not perceive its moving; and it appears that the grass has grown, though nobody ever saw it grow: so the advances we make in knowledge, as they consist of such minute steps, are perceivable only by the distance gone over.
When the proud steed shall know why man restrains his fiery course, or drives him o’er the plains; when the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod, is now a victim, and now Egypt’s god: then shall man’s pride and dullness comprehend his actions’, passions’, being’s use and end.
Jehovah, God of hosts, hath sworn, saying: Surely, as I have devised, so shall it be; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.
George, you must not laugh at me; I will not bear it. You forget what you are about when you ridicule me: I know more than you do about the lessons.
I never heard a word about it before, said George, yesterday: who told you about it, Charles?
I never heard one word of it before, said my uncle Toby, hastily: how came he there, Trim?
Thou shalt pronounce this parable upon the King of Babylon; and shalt say: How hath the oppressor ceased?
It is not only in the sacred fane that homage should be paid to the Most High: there is a temple, one not made with hands; the vaulted firmament: far in the woods, almost beyond the sound of city-chime, at intervals heard through the breezeless air.
[Illustration: List of textbooks]
To retain the flavor of this schoolbook, the Transcriber has left all grammar errors in tact. Any exceptions are noted below.
Page vii: Opening bracket added to first sentence. [The Poetical Extracts
Page 131: Period added: generosity.
Page 139: Period added: she was immovable.
Page 150: Period added: 18.
Page 154: Period added: The same, subject, continued.
Page 165: Word “might” changed to “mighty” due to space in poem and poem’s scheme.
Page 202: Word “curse” is presumed: “...curse resounds in the ...”