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17. They had no sooner reached the old man's cottage than he brought out some milk, and the best bread he had, which, though coarse, was good. They all sat down upon the grass, and made a comfortable repast. · However, Charlotte began to be afraid her parents might come home, and be uneasy at her absence ; and the little boy was sorry to go, but was sadly afraid, should he stay, of being scolded by his mother. 18. Your mother,' said the old man, 'must he very cross to
She is not always so,' replied the little boy ; but though she loves me, she makes me fear her.' And where is your father ? said he. “Oh! I scarcely recollect him ; he has been dead these four years. • Dead these four years ! (interrupted the old man, fixing his eyes attentively on the little boy ;) is it possible that I have some recollection of your features ? Can it be little Francis ? Yes, yes, Francis is my name.
19. For a few minutes the old man stood motionless, and with an altered voice, his eyes swimming with tears, cried out, . My dear little Francis, do you not recollect your grandfather? Embrace me! You have the very features of my son! My dearest child, you were not thinking of me! My son affectionately loved me, and his son will love me also. My old age
will not be so miserable as I expected ; and the evening of
life will not pass away without some joy. I shall depart in peace! But I forgot, that by detaining you,
I may expose you to your mother's anger. Go, my dear child, for I do not wish that my joy should cost you tears. Go, love your mother, and obey her commands, and always speak the truth.'
20. He then turned to Charlotte, and said, though he then did not wish her to stay, for fear of offending her parents, yet he hoped she would come again. He then dismissed them, giving them a hearty blessing, and the two children walked away hand in hand. Charlotte arrived home before her parents, who were not long after her: she then told them every thing that had passed, which furnished an agreeable conversation for the evening.
21. The next day they all went to see the good old man, and afterwards frequently repeated their visits. Francis also came to see his grandfather, who was rejoicod to hear him speak, and to receive his affectionate caresses.
We destroy Pleasure by pursuing it too eagerly. 1. A BOY, smitten with the colours of a butterfly, pursued it from flower to flower with indefatigable pains. First he aimed
to surprise it among the leaves of a rose, then to cover it with his bat, as it was feeding on a daisy. At one time he hoped to sécure it as it revelled on a sprig of myrtle ; and, at another, grew sure of his prize, perceiving it to loiter on a bed of vio. lets. But the fickle fly still eluded his attempts. At last, observing it half buried in the cup of a tulip, he rushed forward, and snatching it with violence, crushed it to pieces. Thus, by his eagerness to enjoy, he lost the object of his pursuit.
2. From this instance, young persons may learn, that pleasure is bot a painted butterfly; which, if temperately pursued, may serve to amuse ; but which, when embraced with too much ardour, will perish in the grasp.
Disinterested Humanity. 1. The magnificent bridge over the river Loire, in France, having been broken down, a moving bridge was constructed in its stead.
2. A gentleman, with his wife, and child only four years old, were crossing this temporary bridge in a carriage ; whilst the people were turning the bridge round, the carriage was whirled off, and the father, mother and child fell into the water.
3. All the persons present, except one, believed the travellers were irretrievably lost. But John Baptist Murgot, a private dragoon in the regiment which was stationed there, thinking otherwise, plunged into the river in order to assist them. He first found the carriage empty. He knew not, afterwards, whereabouts to look for the people ; but the child at that moment rising above the water, he laid hold of it, and handed it up to the people on the bridge. He afterwards had the good fortune to save both the father and mother. He next drew the carriage out, having previously cut the traces, and freed it from the horses, which, by this time, were drowned.
The father, mother and child very soon recovered.
4. The gentleman, whose life and family were thus saved by the humanity and resolution of the dagroon, made him
a tender of his property, and requested he would help himself to what part of it he pleased. The generous soldier refused all pecuniary reward, saying that he was most nobly rewarded by the pleasure of having rescued so many fellow-creatures from death, and restored them to each other.
The Farmer and his two Sons." 1. A CERTAIN farmer, lying at the point of death, and being willing that bis sons should pursue the same honest course of
life which he had done, called them to his bed-side, and thus bespoke them : My dearest children,' said he, I have no other estate to leave you but my farm and my vineyard, of which I have made you joint heirs ; and I hope that you
will have so much respect for me when I am dead and gone,
and much regard to your own welfare, as not to part with what I have left you, upon any account. All the treasure I am master of lies buried somewhere in my vineyard, within a foot of the surface ; though it is not now in my power to go and show you the spot. Farewell then, my children; be honest in all your dealings, and kind and loving to each other, as children ought to be ; but be sure that you never forget my advice about the farm and the vineyard.'
2. Soon after the old man was in his grave, his two sons set about searching for the treasure, which they supposed to have been hidden in the ground. • When it is found,' said they, 'we · shall have enough and to spare, and may live at our ease. So to work they both went as briskly as possible ; and though they missed of the golden treasure which they thought to have found, yet, by their joint labour, the vineyard was so well digged and turned up, that it yielded noble crops of fruit, which proved a treasure indeed. This success had such a happy effect upon them, that it gave an entire turn to each of their tempers, and made them both as active as they had before been idle and slothful.
Erskine and Freeport. 1. TAERE were two boys at Westminster-school, whose names were Erskine and Freeport. Erskine was of a soft and timorous, but Freeport of a bold and hardy disposition. It happened one day that Erskine, by some accident, tore a piece of a curtain, which divided one part of the school from the other. The poor boy, well knowing what would be the consequence of such a transgression, was seized with a sudden panic, and fell crying and trembling. He was observed by his companions, and particularly by Freeport, who immediately came up to him, desired him not to be concerned, and generously promised to take the blame upon himself. As he promised, so he performed, and was punished for the fault accordingly.
2. When these two boys became men, in the reign of king Charles I. of England, the civil war between the king and parliament broke out, in which they were on opposite sides. Free
port was a captain in the king's army, and Erskine a judge appointed by the parliament.
3. In an action between the king's and parliament's army, the king's army was defeated, and captain Freeport taken prisoner.
4. The parliament sent judge Erskine to take trial of the prisoners, among whom was his once generous school-fellow Freeport. They had been so long separated, that they did not know one another's faces. Judge Erskine, therefore, was or the point of condemning all the prisoners, without distinction But, when their names werc read over, before pronouncing sentence, he heard his friend Freeport named ; and looking attentively in his face, asked him if ever he had been at West minster school? He answered, he had. Erskine said no more. but immediately stopt proceeding, rode up to London, and in a few days returned with a signed pardon in his pocket for captain Freeport.
The Young Recruit. 1. A FEw years since, an officer being on a recruiting party, made a short stay at a village, where he enlisted several recruits. The evening preceding his departure, a tall, genteel youth offered himself. The captain, at first, wished to have this young fellow in his company ; but seeing him tremble, and attributing this emotion to timidity, he mentioned his suspicions on that head, and endeavoured to encourage him.
• Ah! sir,' exclaimed the youth with tears, 'my confusion arises only from the dread of being refused. You perhaps will not accept me, in which case how dreadful is my misfortune.'
2. The captain assured him that he was ready to enlist him, and demanded his terms. I cannot propose them without trembling,' answered the youth : I am young, able, and willing to serve my country ; but an unfortunate circumstance constrains me to demand conditions, which, no doubt, you will think exorbitant: be assured, however, I should not sell my liberty, unless compelled by pressing necessity. I cannot enlist under fifty dollars ; and you will break my heart if you reject me.'
The sum is considerable,' replied the captain, but I like you ; there is the money ; keep yourself ready to march at an hour's aotice.'
3. The young man joyfully accepted the bounty ; he then begged leave to fulfil a sacred obligation, and promised to return instantly to his quarters. The captain remarking something
extraordinary in his behaviour, determined to watch him, and observed him to run to the county gaol ; and the moment it was opened, heard him call out, . Here are the debts and costs for which my father is imprisoned: conduct me to him, that I may have the pleasure of setting him free.'
4. The captain stops, to give him time to reach his father alone, and then enters the prison. He sees him clasped in the arms of an old man, whose liberty he had purchased at the price of his own. The captain, sensibly affected, advanced to the old man : - Comfort yourself,' said he, “I will not deprive your
he is free as well as you : here is your dis. charge.
5. The father and son threw themselves at his feet; the last declines the generous offer of his liberty, and conjures the captain to permit him to join his regiment, saying, that he should only be burdensome to his aged parent, who had no farther need of him. The captain complies with his request. The youth served the usual time, always saving something from his pay, which he constantly remitted to his father; and when he procured his discharge, he returned home, and ever afterwards maintained the old man by his own industry.
Lucretia and Virginia. 1. THESE two young ladies were the pride of the village where they dwelt." Both of them were handsome to perfection. but of dispositions exceedingly different. The unaffected Vir ginia was attentive to assist the infirmities of an aged parent, whom decrepitude confined to his cottage. She carefully at.. tended his flock, or was employed in some useful and necessary work.
2. While knitting or spinning to procure him a more com fortable subsistence, her cheerful songs expressed a contented heart. Her dress, though plain, was neat and clean ; she studied no vain or fantastic ornament; and whenever her person was complimented, she lent no attention.
3. Lucretia had been bred up under a careless mother. She was extremely conscious of being pretty. On holidays nobody was so spruce, Wreaths of flowers and ribands bedecked her hat ; every fountain had been explored for her dress, and every meadow ransacked to adorn it. From morn to night she danced or sported on the
green. 4. The shepherds admired or flattered her, and she believed every word they said. Yet she felt many a discontent. Sometimes her garland was not sufficiently becoming ; some