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1. It was the close of the half year at midsummer; the boys had been striving hard to gain the first prize, and none more so than Harry Vernon. Harry was first so far, and to-morrow would decide who was victor. After the examination was over, of Harry's companions were to spend the afternoon and evening with him.

2. In the afternoon they were to fly a new kite they had been making, to which Harry was to add the wings and tail. In the evening, they intended to act a little play which they had been learning for the occasion.

Harry's father and mother and some of their friends were to be the audience. The boys were very busy and anxious and happy, for the twentieth would be an important day for them.

3. On the afternoon before the examination, Harry took his books into the play-room, which was also the temporary theatre and workroom; here were the half-finished kite and the scenes for their acting. Harry was intending to complete them both after having prepared these, his last lessons for the halfyear. He sat down and began to puzzle over his Latin; but though Harry was a good boy, and very industrious in a general way, it was such a lovely afternoon that he longed to join his younger brothers, who were having a capital game of football on the lawn.

4. “Oh, dear,” sighed he, “I wish I lived in the time of the fairies, and that some kind fairy would do all I wanted her to do; I should ask her to make me know my lessons without the trouble of learning them, that I might have plenty of time for play!”

5. While he was thus dreamily musing, his head nodded over his book, and he thought he felt a light tap on his shoulder. Turning round, he saw a beautiful little lady, with a wand in her hand, standing near him.

She spoke :—“Harry, I am a fairy. I have heard your wish, and am able to grant it; read your lessons over, and you will find that you know them; and if you wish it, your kite and scenes shall also be finished.”

6. Harry was, as you may think, exceedingly surprised, but recovering himself a little he said: “Oh, thank you; that will be delightful. I should like my kite and scenes to be finished too.” The fairy waved

her wand, bade him read his lessons, and immediately disappeared. Harry did as he was desired, and found he had never known his lessons better.

7. He laid aside his books, put his kite ready for to-morrow, and after hastily arranging his scenes, took his hat and ran out to his brothers. They had a famous afternoon's play, and Harry felt confident of his prize, so perfectly did he know his lessons.

8. The next morning he set off in high spirits for school, where he did his duties well till it was his turn to say his lessons, but to his dismay found that he had altogether forgotten them. The fairy's power lasted only for a day. Poor Harry! all hope of his obtaining the prize was at an end. The master, who was very fond of him, and expected him to take the prize, looked surprised and vexed, not understanding such unusual carelessness and indifference.

9. On his return home he tried to entertain his friends, though self-reproach prevented his really feeling happy. They proceeded to the play-room for the kite, but on taking it up the wings fell to pieces. This looked like bad workmanship, but the lads said nothing to blame Harry, and very goodnaturedly set to work to repair it. They were soon all out and in high glee, for the kite sailed beautifully. After tea they proceeded to the little theatre, but as they stepped on the stage the scenes fell down and could not be made to stand, for the charm of the fairy's work was broken. There was not time to set them right, and they had to be put aside.

10. The players were vexed at the loss, but tried to make up for it by good acting, and gained much applause. Yet Harry was not happy; he felt that by his want of determination he had disgraced himself, and disappointed his friends. He was thoroughly miserable, and could no longer bear up against his feelings of self-reproach, and fell into a long and bitter fit of crying. But while he was resolving that for the future he would depend upon his own exertions, since they alone were to be depended upon

11. HE AWOKE, and found himself in the playroom, his book fallen on the floor, his brothers still playing on the lawn, and the kite and scenes in their unfinished state around him. He rubbed his eyes. Tired with his morning's work and excitement, he had gradually sunk to sleep, and dreamt of the fairy, her gift and its sad results.

12. This dream proved a useful one, and often in after life, when tempted to give way to a lazy feeling or to shirk a duty, he thought of it, and remembered that he should never have carried off that first prize with so much honour and happiness, nor have seen such merry faces, nor have had such capital acting, nor would the scenes have received so much admiration, had he given way to his feelings, instead of rousing up with a determination to go through with his duties on that eventful afternoon. exertions, efforts. confident, certain. victor, one who wins. dismay, fright or terror. audience, company.

proceeded, went wand, rod.

self-reproach, blaming temporary, for a short himself. time.

resolving, determining.

exceedingly, very much. admiration, praise. desired, told.

shirk, neglect. learn-ing in-tended mis-er-a-ble ex-am-i-na-tion com-plete dream-i-ly ex-cite-ment re-cov-er-ing puz-zle sur-pris-ed hap-pi-ness im-me-di-ate-ly foot-ball ar-rang-ing beau-ti-ful al-to-geth-er real-ly care-less-ness com-pan-i-ons not-with-stand-ing ap-plause pre-vent-ed in-dus-tri-ous grad-u-al-ly

What was the name of the boy who was striving hard to carry off the first prize? Who were coming to spend the afternoon and evening with Harry after the examination? How did he intend they should pass away the time? Where did Harry go to learn his lessons the day before the examination? Who were playing on the lawn near? What wish did Harry express? While Harry was musing what happened? Who did he think touched him on his shoulders ? What did she say? Describe what followed. Why did this not really happen? What caused Harry to fall asleep? What effect had this dream

upon him?


1. I love to look on a scene like this,

Of wild and careless play,
And persuade myself that I am not old,

And my locks are not yet gray;
For it stirs the blood in an old man's heart,

And makes his pulses fly,
To catch the thrill of a happy voice,

And the light of a pleasant eye.

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