Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

and self-respect, keep the proprieties, and, if possible, avoid a scene; but the sorrow of childhood, unreasoning and allabsorbing, is a complete abandonment to the passion. The doll's nose is broken, and the world breaks up with it; the marble rolls out of sight, and the solid globe rolls off with the marble.

7. So, overcome with my great and bitter disappointment, I sat down on the nearest hassock, and for a time refused to be comforted, even by my uncle's assurance that there were more fish in the brook. He refitted my bait, and, putting the pole again in my hands, told me to try my luck once more.

8. But remember, boy,” he said, with his shrewd smile, “never brag of catching a fish until he is on dry ground. I've seen older folks doing that in more ways than

one, and so making fools of themselves. It's no use to boast of any thing until it's done, nor then, either, for it speaks for itself.”

9. How often since I have been reminded of the fish that I did not catch. When I hear people boasting of a work as yet undone, and trying to anticipate the credit which belongs only to actual achievement, I call to mind that scene by the brookside, and the wise caution of my uncle in that particular mistance takes the form of a proverb of universal application: “NEVER BRAG OF YOUR FISH BEFORE YOU CATCH HIM.”

DEFINITIONS.—1. Gē'ni-al, cheerful. 3. Häunts, places frequently visited. Con-sìd'er-ate-ly, with due regard to others, kindly thoughtful. 4. Ap-pēal'ing-ly, as though asking for aid. 6. Mod'i-fied, qualified, lessened. Pro-prī'e-ties, fixed customs or rules of conduct. Ab-sôrb'ing, engaging the attention entirely. 7. Hăs'sock, a raised mound of turf. 9. An-tìç'i-pāte, to take before the proper time. A-chiēvement, verformance. deed.

XII. IT SNOWS.

Sarah Josepha Hale (b. 1795, d. 1879) was born in Newport, N. H. Her maiden name was Buell. In 1814 she married David Hale, an eminent lawyer, who died in 1822. Left with five children to support, she turned her attention to literature. In 1828 she became editor of the “Ladies' Magazine.” In 1837 this periodical was united with “Godey's Lady's Book," of which Mrs. Hale was literary editor for more than forty years.

1. “IT snows!” cries the School-boy, “Hurrah !” and his

shout
Is ringing through parlor and hall,
While swift as the wing of a swallow, he's out,

And his playmates have answered his call;
It makes the heart leap but to witness their joy ;

Proud wealth has no pleasures, I trow,
Like the rapture that throbs in the pulse of the boy,

As he gathers his treasures of snow;
Then lay not the trappings of gold on thine heire,
While healtlr, and the riches of nature, are theirs.

2. “It snows!” sighs the Imbenile, “Ah!” and his breath

Comes heavy, as clogged with a weight;
While, from the pale aspect of nature in death,

He turns to the blaze of his crate;
And nearer and nearer, his soft-cushioned chair

Is wheeled toward the life-giving flame;
He dreads a chill puff of the snow-burdened air,

Lest it wither his delicate frame;
Oh! small is the pleasure existence can give,
When the fear we shall die only proves that we live!

3. “It snows!” cries the Traveler, “Ho!” and the word

Has quickened his steed's lagging pace;
The wind Tushes by, but its howl is unheard,

Unfelt the sharp drift in his face;
For bright through the tempest his own home appeared,

Ay, though leagues intervened, he can see:

There's the clear, glowing hearth, and the table prepared,

And his wife with her babes at her knee;
Blest thought! how it lightens the grief-laden hour,
That those we love dearest are safe from its power!

4. “It snows!” cries the Belle, “Dear, how lucky!” and

turns From her mirror to watch the flakes fall, Like the first rose of summer, her dimpled cheek burns,

While musing on sleigh-ride and ball:
There are visions of conquests, of splendor, and mirth,

Floating over each drear winter's day;
But the tintings of Hope, on this storm-beaten earth,

Will melt like the snowflakes away
Turn, turn thee to Heaven, fair maiden, for bliss ;
That world has a pure fount ne'er opened in this.

5. “It snows!” cries the Widow, “O God!” and her sighs

Have stifled the voice of her prayer;
Its burden ye'll read in her tear-swollen eyes,

On her cheek sunk with fasting and care.
'Tis night, and her fatherless ask her for bread,

But “He gives the young ravens their food,” And she trusts till her dark hearth adds horror to dread,

And she lays on her last chip of wood. Poor sufferer! that sorrow thy God only knows; 'Tis a most bitter lot to be poor, when it snows!

DEFINITIONS.—1. Trow, to think, to believe. Trăp'pings, ornaments. 2. Im'be-çile, one who is feeble either in body or mind. 3. In-ter-vēned', were situated between. 4. Mūş'ing, thinking in an absent-minded way. Con quests, triumphs, successes. Tintings, slight colorings. 5. Sti'fled, choked, suppressed.

REMARK.—Avoid reading this piece in a monotonous style. Try to express the actual feeling of each quotation; and enter into the descriptions with spirit.

XIII, RESPECT FOR THE SABBATH REWARDED.

1. In the city of Bath, not many years since, lived a bar ber who made a practice of following his ordinary 'occupation on the Lord's day. As he was on the way to his morning's employment, he happened to look into some place of worship just as the minister was giving out his text —“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” He listened long enough to be convinced that he was constantly breaking the laws of God and man by shaving and dressing his customers on the Lord's day. He became uneasy, and went with a heavy heart to his Sabbath task.

2. At length he took courage, and opened his mind to his minister, who advised him to give up Sabbath work, and worship God. He replied that beggary would be the consequence. He had a flourishing trade, but it would almost all be lost. At length, after many a sleepless night spent in weeping and praying, he was determined to cast all his care upon God, as the more he reflected the more his duty became apparent.

3. He discontinued his Sabbath work, went constantly and early to the public services of religion, and soon enjoyed that satisfaction of mind which is one of the rewards of doing our duty, and that peace which the world can neither give nor take away. The consequences he foresaw actually followed. His genteel customers left him, and he was nicknamed “Puritan” “Methodist.” He was obliged to give up his fashionable shop, and, in the course of years, became so reduced as to take a cellar under the old markethouse and shave the poorer people.

4. One Saturday evening, between light and dark, a stranger from one of the coaches, asking for a barber, was directed by the hostler to the cellar opposite. Coming in hastily, he requested to be shaved quickly, while they changed horses, as he did not like to violate the Sabbath.

or

[graphic]

This was touching the barber on a tender chord. He burst into tears; asked the stranger to lend him a half-penny to buy a candle, as it was not light enough to shave him with safety. He did so, revolving in his mind the extreme poverty to which the poor man must be reduced.

5. When shaved, he said, “ There must be something extraordinary in your history, which I have not now time to hear." Here is half a crown for you. When I return, I will call and investigate your case. What is your name?” “ William Reed,” said the astonished barber. “William Reed ?" echoed the stranger: “William Reed? by your dialect you are from the West.” “Yes, sir, from Kingston, near Taunton.”

“ William Reed, from Kingston, near Taunton? What was your father's name?” “Thomas.” “Had he any brother?” “Yes, sir, one, after whom I was named; but he went to the Indies, and, as we never heard from him, we supposed him to be dead.”

6. “Come along, follow me,” said the stranger, “I am going to see a person who says his name is William Reed, of Kingston, near Taunton. Come and confront him. If you prove to be indeed he who you say you are, I have glorious news for you. Your uncle is dead, and has left an immense fortune, which I will put you in possession of when all legal doubts are removed.”

7. They went by the coach; saw the pretended William Reed, and proved him to be an impostor. The stranger, who was a pious attorney, was soon legally satisfied of the barber's identity, and told him that he had advertised him in vain. Providence had now thrown him in his way in a most extraordinary manner, and he had great pleasure in transferring a great many thousand pounds to a worthy man, the rightful heir of the property. Thus was man's extremity God's opportunity. Had the poor barber possessed one half-penny, or even had credit for a candle, he might have remained unknown for years; but he trusted God, who never said, “Seek ye my face,” in vain.

« ElőzőTovább »