Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

“the wood was mine; I had a right to ask just what I pleased for it, and nobody has a right to call my conduct in question."

5. The landlord made no reply. When breakfast was over the peasant asked how much he was to pay. The landlord replied, “Ten shillings.”

“What!” said the peasant, "ten shillings for a cup of coffee and some slices of bread and butter!"

6. “Yes,” said the landlord with the utmost composure, “the coffee and bread and butter are mine; I have a right to ask just what I please for them. My bill is ten shillings, and I shall keep your horse and cart until you pay me. If you think I am charging you too much, you can go before the judge.”

7. The peasant, without saying anything more, went to the judge's office and made his complaint. The judge was surprised and indignant at the landlord's extortion, especially as he had always borne an excellent character.

8. He ordered him to be brought before him, and his reception of him was somewhat stern. But the landlord told him the whole story; how the peasant had taken advantage of the poor emigrant's ignorance to cheat him, what their conversation was, and how his own conduct was simply visiting upon the head of a dishonest man the wrong he had done to another.

9. Under such circumstances the judge decided that the landlord had done right, and that the peasant should pay the ten shillings.

The peasant, with a very ill grace, drew out his purse, and laid the money on the table.

10. “I do not want this money," said the landlord to the judge, “as your honour may well suppose. Will you have the goodness to take the ten shillings and give the peasant five shillings out of it-for that, as he confessed to me, is all that his wood was worth - and return the remainder to the poor Frenchman? For the breakfast I want nothing."

11. The judge was much moved at these words of the good innkeeper. He counted out the five shillings to the peasant, and dismissed him with a severe rebuke.

12. The rest was returned to the emigrant, who, on hearing the story, went to thank the kind innkeeper, and with great difficulty persuaded him to accept a small sum for the peasant's breakfast. peasant, country labourer. abate, lessen. emigrant, one who goes composure, calmness.

out from his own country. extortion, asking more indignant, very angry. for a thing than it is cbliged, compelled.

worth. economy, carefulness.

reception, receiving. perceiving, noticing. confessed, owned. entreated, begged.

dismissed, sent away. emp-ty bar-gain ex-cel-lent sur-pris-ed scorn-ful break-fast char-ac-ter es-pe-cial-ly ques-tion com-plaint per-suad-ed con-ver-sa-tion re-buke

ac-count for-eign-er cir-cum-stances charg-ing cheat-ed ig-no-rance dif-fi-cul-ty land-lord ad-van-tage in-dig-nant en-ter-tain-ed

Where was the poor emigrant passing the winter of 1794? Why was he obliged to live with the greatest

economy? From whom did he want to buy a load of wood? Why did the peasant ask more for it than it was worth? Why was the Frenchman obliged to buy it? Whom did the peasant tell that he had cheated the Frenchman? What did the innkeeper say to him? How did he reply? How much did the innkeeper charge for the peasant's breakfast? Why did he object to pay it? What was the reply? Why was the judge at first surprised to see the innkeeper before him ? When the case was explained, what did he then say? What was done with the money?

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

1. The tide comes up, and the tide goes down,

Over the rocks, so rugged and brown,
And the cruel sea with a hungry roar,
Dashes its breakers along the shore;

But steady and clear, with a constant ray,
The star of the light-house shines alway.

[graphic]

2. The ships come sailing across the main,

But the harbour mouth is hard to gain,
For the treacherous reef lies close beside,
And the rocks are bare at the ebbing tide.

And the blinding fog comes down at night,

Shrouding and hiding the harbour light. 3. The sailors, sailing their ships along,

Will tell you a tale of the light-house strong;
How once, when the keeper was far away,
A terrible storm swept down the bay,

And two little children were left to keep
Their awesome watch with the angry deep.

4. The fair little sister wept, dismayed,

But the brother said, “I am not afraid;
There's One who ruleth on sea and land,
And holds the waves in His mighty hand;

For mercy's sake I will watch to-night,
And feed, for the sailors, the beacon light.”

5. So the sailors heard through the murky shroud

The fog-bell sounding its warning loud!
While the children, up in the lonely tower,
Tended the lamp in the midnight hour,

And prayed for any whose souls might be
In deadly peril by land or sea.

6. Ghostly, and dim, when the storm was o'er,

The ships rode safely, far off the shore,
And a boat shot out from the town that lay
Dusk and purple, across the bay,

She touched her keel to the light-house strand,
And the eager keeper leaped to land.

7. And swiftly climbing the light-house stair,

He called to his children, young and fair; ;
But, worn with their toilsome watch, they slept,
While slowly o'er their foreheads crept

The golden light of the morning sun,
Like a victor's crown, when his palm is won.

8. “God bless you, children,” the keeper cried;

“God bless thee, father," the boy replied.
"I dreamed that there stood beside my bed
A beautiful angel, who smiled and said,

« ElőzőTovább »