Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

21. Ere hand could stir, with sudden shock,

He threw the infant o'er the rock,
Then followed with a desperate leap,
Down fifty fathoms to the deep.

22. They found their bodies in the tide;

And never till the day she died
Was that sad mother known to smile-
The Niobe of Mulla's isle.

23. They dragged false Evan from the sea,

And hanged him on a gallows-tree;
And ravens fattened on his brain,
To sate the vengeance of Maclaine.

MACKAY. COMPOSITION. Make a short prose story out of this poem, and give your thoughts about the incidents related in it.

66.

SCHOOL-MASTER JACOB'S SCRAP

BOOKS.

1. A well-known professional gentleman made to me, a short time ago, the following statement: I have been to visit the school-master who put me through the common English branches and the rudiments of Latin.

2. He was a genius in his way, very successful as a teacher, and peculiarly gifted in inciting the farmers' boys in the remote region where he established his school, to right thinking and right living. He had peculiar methods of conveying instruction, as well as a peculiar system of reward and punishment. He made very few rules, and in case one was broken in spirit or in letter, the delinquent was set up on a high stool behind a small, long-legged desk, facing the school, and made to read, for a longer or shorter time, as the case might be, from the bad boy's scrap-book.

3. This was a thick, heavy, leather-covered accountbook, in which had been pasted clippings from newspapers for the last twenty years, relating to the misadventures of boys;—not stories, usually, but items of news. There were all sorts of boys represented here; the boy who was drowned while bathing, or fishing, or gathering pond-lilies, against the will of his parents, or came to grief prowling around with his gun when they supposed him to be at school.

4. The boy who broke his leg while stealing his neighbor's cherries; the one who broke his back by falling from a hickory-tree that he was plundering; the boy who was content to remain at the foot of the class— all these were shown up, together with those who read bad books on the sly, and those who ran away from home. In fact, there was something to suit nearly every case of a boy whose head was so filled with mischief that he could not conform to the simple rules of Master Jacob's school.

5. These were real happenings,—there was no nonsense about them; the idle boy, the lazy boy, the mischievous boy, the wicked boy, the cruel boy, the profane boy, all came to the same inevitable bad end. An hour's reading of these newspaper paragraphs made a boy's heart sink within him, and caused a resolve to shoot up in it that would turn him right about and classify him in future with quite a different order of boys. On the last page of this scrap-book, written in a fair, bold hand, were the startling words: "How long before some item of your downward career shall go to help fill the pages of this book ?»

6. The other scrap-book was a gem in every way. It was a new, large, elegantly bound blank-book, in which, daintily pasted, were short lives of good men, chronicles of noble deeds, of beneficent acts, of all the sweet and kindly things that go to make this life beautiful, and to prepare for the enjoyment of a heaven to come. The book was rendered still more attractive by the insertion, at short intervals, of beautiful engravings and many lovely sketches in water-colors.

7. This book was used as a reward of merit. When you saw a lad with that book on the desk before him, you might be sure, without asking, that he had deserved the master's approval in some way. Such was the salutary effect of these two books that there was seldom a time that the good boy's book was not somewhere in demand among the twenty boys, while the bad boy's book was left upon its high desk for the dust to accumulate upon.

8. “I have been counted a successful teacher," my old master said to me on the occasion of my recent visit; "my boys always improved morally and spiritually, as well as mentally, under my charge; my boys have been heard from in the world always as men of integrity who have tried to find the best and truest in life. Oh! I must not forget to show you my good boy's scrap-book. I am constantly making additions to it;" and he brought forward the worn but familiar book, saying, as he pointed to many items penciled with their dates attached, on the margin: “Look there, and there, and there. That tells when they were with me.

Good boys, they were, all good boys."

9. “And the other book," I asked; "how many have

9 helped to fill that?”

“Not one, my boy; I speak with truth, not one," said the old man, with tears in his eyes now. “It is singular, but it goes to prove my theory, that if you can impress the consequences of wrong-doing upon a child, he is almost sure to prefer the right to the wrong. Then when emulation stirs the breast, a boy is bound to succeed, for competition and emulation have honor for their basis, and that was the spirit that the good boy's book was intended to inspire."

MRS. ANNIE A. PRESTON.

67. WHAT CONSTITUTES A STATE.

1

Require pupils to memorize this for recitation. 1. What constitutes a state? Not high-raised battlements or labored mound,

Thick wall or moated gate;

Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned; 2. Not bays and broad-arm ports,

Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;

Not starred and spangled courts,

Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride. 3. No:-men-high-minded men

With powers as far above dull brutes endued,

In forest, brake, or den,

As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude; 4. Men, who their duties know,

But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain,

Prevent the long-aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain:

5.

These constitute a state;
And sovereign law, that state's collected will,

O’er thrones and globes elate,
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.

1

SIR WILLIAM JONES.

68.

THE VOICES OF THE DEAD.

Require the boys of the class to memorize this extract for declamation.

1. The world | is filled with the voices of the dead.

1 They speak | not from the public records of the great world only, but from the private history | of our own

expérience. They speak to us | in a thousand remembrances, in a thousand incidents, events, and associations. They speak to us, not only from their silent gráves, but from the throng of làfe. Though they are invisible, yet life | is filled with their presence. They are with us by the silent fireside and in the secluded chàmber. They are with us | in the paths of society, and in the crowded assemblies of mèn.

2. They speak to us | from the lonely wày-side; and they speak to us | from the venerable walls | that echo to the steps of a multitude and to the voice of prayer. Go where we will, the dead | are with us. We live, we convèrse with those who once lived | and conversed | with us. Their well-remembered tone | mingles with the whispering breeze, with the sound of the falling léaf, with the jubilee shout of the spring-time. The earth | is filled with their shadowy train.

3. But there are more substàntial expressions of the presence of the dead with the living. The earth is 1

. filled with the làbors, the works, of the dead. Almost all the literature in the world, the discoveries of science, the glories of art, the ever-enduring témples, the dwelling-places of generations, the comforts and improvements of life, the languages, the máxims, the opinions of the líving, the very frame-work of society, the institutions of nátions, the fabrics of empires,—àll | are the works of the dead;—by these, they who are dead yet speak.

ORVILLE DEWEY.

16

WRITTEN SPELLING.-WORDS OFTEN MISSPELLED.

[blocks in formation]

crochet croquet charade chalice

judgment lodgment numskull welfare

« ForrigeFortsæt »