Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

pure air, the free fields and woods. God has not made him or anything in vain; the woodchuck has as much right to live as any other living thing. He was not a destructive animal, as the wolf and the fox; he simply ate a few common vegetables, of which they had plenty, and could well spare a part; he destroyed nothing, except the little food he needed to sustain his humble life; and that little food was as sweet to him, and as necessary to his existence, as was the food on their mother's table to them.

8. God furnished their own food; he gave them all they possessed; and would they not spare a little for the dumb creature that really had as much right to his small share of God's bounty as they themselves had to their portion? Yea, more, the animal had never violated the laws of his nature or the laws of God, as man often did; but strictly followed the simple instincts he had received from the hands of the Creator of all things. Created by God's hand, he had a right from God to life, to food, to liberty; and they had no right to deprive him of either.

9. He alluded to the mute but earnest pleadings of the animal for that life, as sweet, as dear to him as their own was to them; and the just judgment they might expect, if, in selfish cruelty and coldheartedness, they took the life they could not restore, the life that God alone had given.

10. During this appeal tears had started to the old man's eyes, and were fast running down his sunburnt cheeks. Every feeling of a father's heart was

stirred within him; he saw the future greatness of his son before his eyes, and he felt that God had blessed him and his children beyond the lot of com

mon men.

11. His pity and sympathy were awakened by the eloquent words of compassion, and the strong appeal for mercy, and, forgetting the judge in the man and father, he sprang from his chair (while Daniel was in the midst of his argument, without thinking he had already won his case), and turning to his elder son, dashing the tears from his eyes, he exclaimedZeke, Zeke, let that woodchuck go!woodchuck, an American mischievous, harmful.

animal of the rabbit kind. depredations, robberies. celebrated, famous. relating, telling. ravages, destruction.

jurist, one versed in law. captive, prisoner. brilliant, very bright. wood-chuck

tres-pass-er mis-chievous re-lat-ing cel-e-bra-ted pro-pos-ed de-pre-da-tions sen-si-bly suf-fer-ed pris-on-er ar-gu-ment ex-pres-sion

What was Daniel Webster? Where did he live? How old was he at this time? What had the woodchuck done? Who wanted to kill it? What did their father say? Who began the pleadings before him? How was the judge affected? Who did Daniel say made the woodchuck? What did the woodchuck eat? How was the judge affected by Daniel's pleadings? What did he say at last?

A STORM AT SEA.

1. A terrible storm is sweeping along the coast of Devonshire. The Teignmouth life-boat is preparing to make its way to a foreign vessel which, at some short distance from the land, is showing signs of dire distress.

2. The life-boat crew is complete with the exception of one man. Young Ned Carey, a Teignmouth fisher lad and an expert sailor, is offering to fill the vacant place. But first he bends down gently to a woman who stands beside him, and says to her in a clear, brave voice, “Mother, you will let me go ?”

3. The mother had been a widow only six months. Her husband was a fisherman. He put out one bright day last spring for the last time in a fishingboat upon a calm sea. A sudden squall came on; broken fragments of the boat were seen next morning, but the fisherman returned no more.

4. A fierce refusal rises to the woman's lips. But her sad eyes move slowly towards the distressed vessel. She thinks of the many loved lives in danger within it, and of many distant homes in peril of bereavement. She turns to her boy, and in a voice calm and courageous as his own, “Go, my son,” said she, “and may God bring you safe back to your mother's heart.”

5. Hurriedly she leaves the beach, and seeks her desolate home; and alone she thinks of her old sorrow and of her new fear.

6. Morning dawns again. The storm has spent itself. The waves are tossing their heads, but the worst fury of the sea is over. A fine vessel has gone down upon the waters, but the Teignmouth life-boat

[graphic]

has nobly fulfilled its noble task, and all hands on board the vessel have been saved.

7. Why does Ned Carey linger in hesitation outside his mother's door? He has shown himself the bravest of the brave throughout the night. Why does he shrink from the proud welcome that awaits him from the heart nearest to his own?

8. Beside him stands a tall worn man; a man whom he has rescued from a watery grave; a man whose eyes, full of tenderness, never leave his own. Around the two, throng Teignmouth villagers. Many hands are thrust towards the man in happy recognition. "Who will dare to tell her?” So speaks a voice well nigh choked with emotion. “I

will.” And Ned Carey in another moment is in his mother's arms.

9. "Mother, listen. I have a tale for your ears. One of the men saved last night is a Teignmouth fisherman. A fearful storm had overtaken him upon

the sea several months ago. He was observed and saved by a foreign vessel. The vessel was outward bound. Away from home, from wife, from friends, the man was forced to sail. By his wife and friends he was mourned as dead.

10. "He arrived at the vessel's destined port only to set sail again with the first ship bound for England. Last night he found himself within sight of home; but a storm was raging on sea and land, and once more the man stood face to face with a terrible death. Help came in his need. Mother, try to bear the happy truth.

11. "When your brave heart-a heart which in the midst of its own sorrow could feel for the sorrows of others, sent me forth last night, you knew nothow should you know—that you sent me to the rescue of

my

dear father's life.” Not another word is spoken. A step is heard; the rescued man stands by his own fireside. With a cry of wild joy the mother rushes forward and falls into his arms. dire, fearful.

dawns, breaks. expert, clever.

hesitation, doubt. fragment, pieces.

rescued, saved. refusal, denial.

recognition, knowing bereavement, being de

again. prived of friends by death. observed, noticed. desolate, lonely.

mourned, grieved for.

« ElőzőTovább »