« ElőzőTovább »
in with the elements of his character, until his goodness became greatness, and his greatness goodness. Is there anything in these three precepts of obedience, diligence, and truth which those who read this are unwilling or careless to observe?
4. Washington, when a boy, was taught to be accurate in all his statements. He told things exactly as they were, and repeated words just as they had been spoken. If he had committed a fault, he did not try to conceal it, or lay the blame upon others.
5. Whatever his errors were—and the best child in the world sometimes does wrong-he always spoke of them to his mother without disguise and without delay. This was the foundation of that noble frankness and contempt of deceit which distinguished him through life, and made him revered
6. Once, from an indiscretion of his boyhood, a considerable loss was incurred. He knew that it would interfere with some favourite plans of his mother, give pain to her feelings, and perhaps awaken her severe displeasure. But he did not hesitate in his duty. He went immediately to her, and made a full acknowledgment; and she said, “I had rather this should have taken place than my son should be guilty of a falsehood."
7. She was careful not to injure him by indulgence or luxurious food. She required him to rise early, and never permitted him to be idle.
Labours were sometimes assigned him which the children of wealthy parents might have accounted severe. Thus he acquired strength, firmness of frame, and disregard of hardship.
8. He was taught to have certain hours for certain employments, and to be punctual. The systematic improvement of time thus early taught, was of immense service when the mighty concerns of a nation devolved on him. Then he found leisure for the transaction of the smallest affairs in the midst of the most important and conflicting duties.
9. It was observed by those who surrounded his person, that he neglected nothing, and was never known to be in a hurry. He was remarkable for neatness, yet spent but little time in arranging his dress.
10. His habits of early rising and strict attention to order, gave him time for everything; so that the pressure of public business never rendered him inattentive to private duty, domestic courtesy, or kind hospitality. In winter he rose two hours before day, and in summer was ready to enjoy the freshness and beauty of the dawn.
11. Such benefits did a man, whom the world beheld with admiration, derive from the counsels of a mother, who accustomed him to habits of early rising, order, and industry. His obedience to her was cheerful and unvarying. Even after he attained mature years, and a nation regarded him as its deliverer and ruler, the expression of her slightest wish was law.
12. From childhood he repaid her care with the deepest affection, and yielded his will to hers without a murmur. At the age of fourteen, having read
many voyages, he conceived a desire to go to sea. The office of a midshipman had been obtained for him, and everything was in readiness for his departure.
13. Preparing to take leave of his mother, he found her more distressed than he had ever seen her, and discovered that she had not fully stated to him her objections to this mode of life. He threw himself into her arms, and offered to relinquish his favourite purpose, if she desired.
She accepted the noble sacrifice.
14. He watched from the window the boat which was conveying the officers to the ship, and in which his own baggage was placed. The bright anticipations which he had long cherished faded away. His mother inquired if he regretted his resolution to remain. “Indeed,” said he, “I wished to go; but I cannot make you unhappy.” God will reward your filial affection, my son," was the answer.
15. When a grateful nation, by electing him its first President, conferred on him the highest gift in its power to bestow, he waited on his mother, at her residence in Fredericksburg, to inform her of his appointment. He was now illustrious, and applauded both by the Old and New World. He had lived more than half a century without a stain upon his fame.
16. Yet he bowed down with the same deep reverence to his maternal guide, as when in childhood he learned his lessons at her knee, or repeated from the Bible, “My son, forsake not the law of thy mother."
anecdotes, stories. . narrations, accounts. eminently, in a great | illustrious, celebrated. degree.
frankness, openness. accurate, strictly correct. relinquish, give up. luxurious, rich.
maternal, motherly. applauded, praised. assigned, given. indiscretion, foolish act. dignified, of noble bearincurred, received.
Describe Washington's mother. What did she require from her son? What was Washington's character when a boy? How did he repay his mother's care? What did he want to do when he was fourteen? What office was obtained for him? Why did he give it up? To what great office was he afterwards appointed ?
THE COCOA NUT PALM.
1. The family of palms forms one of the most magnificent in the vegetable kingdom. The palms are natives of tropical regions, and are generally large trees with leafless stems, each having a bunch of very large leaves at its summit. These trees are not only remarkable for the elegance of their form and the great height to which several of them attain, but are also of the greatest importance on account of the numerous services which they render to the inhabitants of the countries in which they naturally grow. There are upwards of 450 known species of palms.
2. One of the most interesting of the palm tribe is the cocoa nut tree, as regards both the variety and utility of its products. This tree grows to a height of from 50 to 70 feet. Its trunk is straight, naked,
and marked with the scars of the fallen leaves, and is crowned with a bunch of from twelve to fifteen feather-like fronds (palm leaves), each 12 to 14 feet long. The upper leaves are erect, the middle horizontal, and the lower ones rather drooping. A