Imágenes de páginas

THE VILLAGE SCHOOL. Do you know the village of Beechfield, at the foot of the Broomy Hills ? It is a pretty place, and as quiet and retired as it is pretty. We have often walked by the side of the brook, and stood beside the water-wheel of the old mill, to look at the falling flood and the snowwhite foam.

There is a spring at one end of the village in Sheepcote-lane. It lies in the bank under the hedge, and the sprays of the nut-bushes hang

No. 91. JULY, 1852.


over it. The water is clear and cold. A frog. leaped into it the last time we were there, stretching out its long, yellow legs, and diving to the bottom. There is a fairer fountain than this at the upper end of the village, opposite the four elm-trees.

At no great distance from the spring in Sheepcote-lane is a nursery ground, full of young plants and trees. In one place is a grove of little firs, all sharp and spiky at the top; in another a cluster of oaklings spreading out right and left; and further on patches of ground covered with laurels, myrtles, and many other kinds of plants. As we stopped a moment by the gate, a little while ago, we saw a spider weaving her web at the top of an oakling, while a woolly-bear caterpillar ran along the ground at the bottom of it.

We like this pursery, ground very much; but there is a nursery ground that we like much better at the upper end of the village, opposite the four elm-trees,

The fountain and the nursery ground at the upper end of the village, of which we spoke, is the village school. The school is a fountain of instruction for the benefit of young people, and a nursery of youthful plants that may yet bloom in the paradise of God.

One day, when we called in at the village schools, the girls were giving in the texts they had been looking out, about the fountains men. tioned in Holy Scriptures. Mary Brian's text was, “ The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,” Prov. xiv. 27 ; Ann Turner's was, “ In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness,” Zech, xiii. 1; and Sarah Bingley's


was, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely," Rev. xxi. 6.

Oh,” said we to ourselves, “if they commit to memory such texts as these, the school will prove a fountain of instruction to them.”

Another day, when we called, they were repeating the texts they had found about planting. Susan Webb's text was, “ So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase, 1 Cor. iii. 7; Esther Collet's was, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up,” Matt. xv. 13; and Fanny Pye's was, “ Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God,” Psa. xcii. 13. Oh," said we to ourselves, if they get such texts as these in their hearts, the school cannot fail to be a nursery of young plants for heaven.”

Many years ago, Beechfield was not the place it now is; the children at the cottages were rude and wilful; the sabbath was a day of riotous pleasure, and a good, sober, steady housemaid or cook was not to be had for love or money.

“ A3 bad as Beechfield,” was a common saying; but you never hear it fall from anybody's lips now. What has brought about the change? Why, more than anything else, the village school.

It was set going by those who had wise heads and warm hearts. They feared the Lord, and were desirous of doing good. They looked to him for his blessing, and ever since the school has prospered. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” Eccl. xii. 1, is a text which has been made profitable to many; and those kind words of the Saviour, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me,” Prov. viii. 17, have been proved to be true over and over again, times without number. The school has been a blessing to the village of Beechfield.

Farmer Bromley set his face against the vil. lage school. “Don't talk to me about learning,' said he: “it's all very well to see written in a copy-book, at a boarding school,

• When house and land are gone and spent,
Then learning is most excellent;'

but what have ploughboys and dairymaids to do with learning? I'll have no lazy drones about me, poring over their books when they should be at their labour.” But farmer Bromley has lived to see young people brought up at the school turn out much better servants than ever he had before, and now he talks as long and as loudly in praise of the village school as any man in the parish.

Taking all things into consideration, the change in the village, the way in which the sabbath is kept, the number of upright, diligent servants in the place, and the high character given of it by farmer Bromley, we could not be far from the truth when we said the village school was a fountain of instruction for the benefit of young people, and a nursery of youthful plants that may bloom in the paradise of God.

The plants of grace must ever live;
Nature decays, but grace must thrive:
Time, that does all things else impair,
Still makes them flourish strong and fair.


No. 7.

THE QUEEN-CARE OF THE YOUNG. The attention of the bees to the queen of the hive is very singular. As she moves about the hive, with a slow and dignified step, a guard of workers walk by her side. They take this duty by turns. Wherever she goes, they clear her path. When she rests from her labours, they approach her with respect, lick her face, offer her honey, and render lier every mark of obedience.

When a queen dies, or when she is removed from the hive, the bees do not at first seen to perceive it, and continue their labours as usual. But in a few hours they become disturbed near the spot which the queen had occupied : the movement soon spreads, and many of the bees leave their work, forsake the young, and run here and there in great alarm. As the bees meet each other in the hive, they stop and cross their antennæ, or horns; those who first heard the sad story of their loss seem telling the other bees, by gently tapping them with these slender, but wondrous parts of their bodies.

Thus the tidings circulate till the whole hive is in confusion. The workers run over the combs, and against each other in hurry and disorder, rush to the entrance of the hive, return and spread themselves around, then go out again, and again return. The hum within the hive becomes mournful and sad, and thus

« AnteriorContinuar »