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methods of getting over the ground quickly. He would willingly go an errand any distance if he could leap-frog it with a few other boys.
6. He has a natural genius for combining pleasure with business. This is the reason why, when he is sent to the spring for a pitcher of water, he is absent so long; for he stops to poke the frog that sits on the stone, or, if there is a pen-stock, to put his hand over the spout, and squirt the water a little while.
7. He is the one who spreads the grass when the men have cut it; he mows it away in the barn; he rides the horse, to cultivate the corn, up and down the hot, weary rows; he picks up the potatoes when they are dug; he drives the cows night and morning; he brings wood and water, and splits kindling; he gets up the horse, and puts out the horse; whether he is in the house or out of it, there is always something for him to do.
8. Just before the school in winter he shovels paths; in summer he turns the grindstone. He knows where there are lots of wintergreens and sweet-flags, but, instead of going for them, he is to stay in-doors and pare apples, and stone raisins, and pound something in a mortar. And yet, with his mind full of schemes of what he would like to do, and his hands full of occupations, he is an idle boy, who has nothing to busy himself with but school and chores !
9. He would gladly do all the work if somebody else would do the chores, he thinks; and yet I doubt if any boy ever amounted to any thing in the world, or was of much use as a man, who did not enjoy the advantages of a liberal education in the way of chores.
DEFINITIONS.—1. Fae-to'tum, a person employed to do all kinds of work. In-dis-pěn'sa-ble, absolutely necessary. 2. Per-pět’ū-al-ly, continually. 3. Cěn'ti-pēd, an insect with a great number of feet. 4. E-eðn'o-mize, to save. Dis-pătch', diligence, haste. 6. Pěn'. stock, a wooden tube for conducting water. 8. Chores, the light work of the household either within or without doors,
VI. THE SINGING LESSON.
Jean Ingelow (b. 1830, was born at Boston, Lincolnshire, England. Her fame as a poetess was at once established upon the publication of her “Poems” in 1863; since which time several other volumes have appeared. The most generally admired of her poems are “Songs of Seven” and “The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire.” She has also written several successful novels, of which “Off the Skelligs” is the most popular. “Stories Told to a Child," “ The Cumberers,” “Poor Mat,” “Studies for Stories,” and “Mopsa, the Fairy" are also well known. Miss Ingelow now resides in London, England, and spends much of her time in deeds of charity.
1. A NIGHTINGALE made a mistake;
She sang a few notes out of tune:
And she hid away from the moon.
But was far too proud to weep;
And pretended to be asleep.
2. A lark, arm in arm with a thrush,
Came sauntering up to the place;
Though feathers hid her face;
She felt them snicker and sneer;
And wished she could skip a year.
3. “O nightingale!” cooed a dove;
“O nightingale! what's the use ?
Why behave like a goose ?
Like a common, contemptible fowl;
Why behave like an owl?
4. “Only think of all you have done;
Only think of all you can do;
From such a bird as you !
Open your musical beak;
You need only to speak!”
5. The nightingale shyly took
Her head from under her wing,
Straightway began to sing.
The night was divinely calm;
To hear that wonderful psalm.
6. The nightingale did not care,
She only sang to the skies;
And there she fixed her eyes.
She knew but little about;
you'll try and find it out.
DEFINITIONS.—2. Säun'ter-ing, wandering idly, strolling. Snyck’er, to laugh in a half suppressed manner. 4. Crest, a tuft growing on an animal's head. 5. Di-vīne'ly, in a supreme degree. 6. Mör’al, the practical lesson which any thing is fitted to teach.
NOTE. —The nightingale is a small bird, about six inches in length, with a coat of dark-brown feathers above and of grayishwhite beneath. Its voice is astonishingly strong and sweet, and, when wild, it usually sings throughout the evening and night from April to the middle of summer.
The bird is common in Europe, but is not found in America.
VII. DO NOT MEDDLE.
1. ABOUT twenty years ago there lived a singular gentleman in the Old Hall among the elm-trees. He was about three-score years of age, very rich, and somewhat odd in many of his habits, but for generosity and benevolence he had no equal.
2. No poor cottager stood in need of comforts, which he was not ready to supply; no sick man or woman languished for want of his assistance; and not even a beggar, unless a known impostor, went empty-handed from the Hall. Like the village pastor described in Goldsmith's poem of the Deserted Village,
“His house was known to all the vagrant train;
3. Now it happened that the old gentleman wanted a boy to wait upon him at table, and to attend him in different ways, for he was very fond of young people. But much as he liked the society of the young, he had a great aversion to that curiosity in which many young people are apt to indulge. He used to say, “The boy who will peep into a drawer will be tempted to take something out of it; and he who will steal a penny in his youth will steal a pound in his manhood.”
4. No sooner was it known that the old gentleman was in want of a boy, than twenty applications were made for the situation; but he determined not to engage any one until he had in some way ascertained that he did not possess a curious, prying disposition.
5. On Monday morning seven lads, dressed in their Sunday clothes, with bright and happy faces, made their appearance at the Hall, each of them desiring to obtain the situation. Now the old gentleman, being of a singular disposition, had prepared a room in such a way that he might easily know if any of the young people who applied were given to meddle unnecessarily with things around them, or to peep into cupboards and drawers. He took care that the lads who were then at Elm-Tree Hall should be shown into this room one after another.
6. And first, Charles Brown was sent into the room, and told that he would have to wait a little. So Charles sat down on a chair near the door. For some time he was very quiet, and looked about him; but there seemed to be so many curious things in the room that at last he got up to peep at them.
7. On the table was placed a dish cover, and Charles wanted sadly to know what was under it, but he felt afraid of lifting it up. Bad habits are strong things; and, as Charles was of a curious disposition, he could not withstand the temptation of taking one peep. So he lifted up the
8. This turned out to be a sad affair; for under the dish cover was a heap of very light feathers; part of the feathers, drawn up by a current of air, flew about the room, and Charles, in his fright, putting the cover down hastily, puffed the rest of them off the table.
9. What was to be done? Charles began to pick up the feathers one by one; but the old gentleman, who was in an adjoining room, hearing a scufile, and guessing the cause of it, entered the room, to the consternation of Charles Brown, who was very soon dismissed as a boy who had not principle enough to resist even a slight temptation. 10. When the room
more arranged, Henry Wilkins was placed there until such time as he should be sent for. No sooner was he left to himself than his attention was attracted by a plate of fine, ripe cherries. Now Henry was uncommonly fond of cherries, and he thought it would be impossible to miss one cherry among so many. He looked and longed, and longed and looked, for some