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I will be a gentleman! Why? because you whisk about a little dandy cane, smoke cigars, and toss your hat on one side of
head? Is that the way to be a gentleman ?
One afternoon, last spring, there had been a sudden gust of wind and a slight shower of rain. It soon passed over, the sun shone out brightly, and the rain-drops sparkled like diamonds upon the trees of Boston Common.
The Boston boys love the Common, and well they may, for where could they find a more glorious play-ground? During the shower the boys had taken shelter under the trees; as soon as it had passed they resumed their amusements.
On one of the crossings, or walks, appeared a small, plainly-dressed old woman, with a cane in one hand and a large green umbrella in the other. She was bent with age and infirmity, and walked slowly. The green umbrella
in the most comical manner. The wind had suddenly reversed it, without the knowledge or consent of the old lady, and she now held it in one hand, like a huge flower with a long stalk.
“ Hurrah! hurrah!” cried one of the boys, pointing to the umbrella, “ mammoth cabbages for sale! mammoth cabbages !"
The whole rabble of boys joined in the cry, and ran hooting after the poor
She looked around at them with grave wonder, and endeavoured to hasten her tottering footsteps.
They still pursued her, and at length began pelting with pebbles the up-standing umbrella ; some crying " Mammoth cabbages !” and others, “New-fashioned sun-shades ! !”
She turned again, and said, with tears in her eyes, " What have I done, my little lads, that you should thus trouble me?"
“It is a shame," said a neatly dressed, fine looking boy, who rushed through the crowd to the rescue of the
woman. “Madam,” said he, “your umbrella has turned in the wind; will you allow me to close it for
“ Thank you," she replied. " Then that is what those boys are hooting at. Well, it does look funny,” added she, as she looked at the cause of their merriment. The kind-hearted boy endeavoured to turn it down, but it was no easy task ; the whalebones seemed obstinately bent upon standing upright.
The boys now changed the object of their attack, and the pebbles rattled like hail upon
the manly fellow who was struggling to relieve the poor woman from her awkward predicament.
“ You are a mean fellow, to spoil our fun,” said they ; “but you can't come it; you can't come it ; cabbage leaves will grow upward."
He however at length succeeded, and, closing the troublesome umbrella, handed it to the old woman with a polite bow. - Thank
you, thank you, a thousand times, Sir," said she, “and I should like to know your name, that I may repay you whenever I can find an opportunity."
“By no means," replied he, “ I am happy to have rendered you this trifling service ;” and he
,” said she, “ whoever you are, your father and mother have reason to be proud of you, for you are a gentleman,-a perfect gentleman." And so he will be ; and I wish I could tell
you his name,
you may see if my prophecy does not prove true.
“ Manners make the man,” you may often have written in very legible characters in your copybook ; they certainly do go very far towards making the gentleman.
I knew a boy once who thought a “ long coat," as he called it, would make him a gentleman. Christopher, (for so I shall take the liberty to call him, though that was not his real name,) Christopher lived in the country, and was going to New York, on his first visit. His father was very indulgent, and, yielding to his entreaty, allowed the country tailor to make Christopher a blue broadcloth dress-coat, with bright gilt buttons. Silly boy! he was mightily pleased with his beautiful coat, and tried it on again and again, and almost wrung his neck to see how it fitted him in the back and about the shoulders. He did not wear it, for fear of taking off the gloss, till he got to New York. No sooner had he step