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his mother and sisters were busy all the remaining time of his minority, "fixing off Sam ;" and when the day came for him to leave home, all were pleasant, and with a light heart he drove off,
Sam was happy. After he had driven over the hill, he pulled up his horse to have a talk to himself; said he, “ I'm
Sam, you 're a man, twenty-one yesterday ; old horse, you 're mine — Sam owns you ;
wagon, you, you ’re Sam's property. A cool hundred in your pocket, Sam - a chest full of clothes, (here he threw open the lid,) twenty pairs of socks, sixteen shirts, and lots of drawers; a suit of new clothes, bright buttons, six pairs of boots, and what is this ? two nice pies, some cheese, and a pound cake, - that 's the gals' work.
“ Į own the whole of this crowd horse, wagon, chest, contents, and driver, ha, hoa !” and Sam laughed long and loud, then he hallooed, shouted, laughed again, speechified to the old horse, talked to Sam, drummed on his chest, crowed, barked, cackled, imitated everything he could think of by turns. Sam Dana was a happy fellow, quite crazy with joy.
Sam drove on. An hour and a half after he left his father's house, he hitched his horse in front of the Melville pottery. With the proprietor he bargained for a little load of earthen-ware, such as milk-pans, bean-pots, jugs, &c., agreeing to settle for the load as soon as he could turn it into cash, and then take another on the same terms, and so continue as long as the arrangement should be agreeable to both parties. His load was soon selected, carefully packed in his wagon, and away he drove.
After proceeding a few miles over the country, Sam stopped his horse, and took a bird's-eye inventory of his load, calculating his probable profits if he had good luck, lunched off his mince-pies and cheese, and was just preparing to mount and drive on to market, when his horse took a sudden fright and started off like a deer. Sam pursued, yelling “ whoa” like a madman. The old horse sheered off the side of the road, and over went the wagon, down a steep, rugged bank; the body parted from the forward wheels- chest and earthenware went helter-skelter, in crashing, smashing confusion, down the precipice.
Sam stopped a moment, gave a prolonged whistle, and ished after his horse as fast as his legs could carry
him. the end of an hour and a half's chase he returned, and ser considerable trouble he succeeded in getting his wagon stiher, gathered up his clothing, which had been disturbed
the general smash, collected in a heap the fragments of is load, and took a parting look at it, with the consoling remark, that it was of no use to cry for spilt milk. He then mounted his cart and drove on to a neighboring tavern, where he put up for the night.
Next morning, in good season, Sam Dana hitched his horse in front of the Melville pottery, and made his way
into the counting-room.
Well, Mr. Dana,” said the proprietor, “have you turned it so quick ? "
“Yes, sir," said Sam, triumphantly; " I have turned it, and can turn fifty loads more."
Is it possible? Well, you shall have just as many loads as you want.”
"I guess I'll settle for the load I took along yesterday," said Sam.
The bill was produced, Sam paid the cash, and merely remarked that he did n't know as he should want any more ware ; wished the potter good day, mounted his chest, and drove in the direction of Bow.
On arriving at his homestead, he unharnessed his old horse, turned him out to feed, lugged his chest up stairs to its old place, rigged himself out in his working suit, shouldered his hoe, made for the corn-field, and went to work.
Sam Dana, junior, is entirely cured of his straying notions; he says he got cured for something less than fifty dollars,
and he intends in future to keep clear of all attacks of that troublesome complaint; in short, he means to spend his days in the land where he was brought up, free and happy, turning the soil for a sure return of profits and independent livelihood. Sam Dana is a sensible fellow, and there are others, who might as well profit by his experience and example.
1. A book is tenfold a book when read in the company of beloved friends, by the ruddy fire, on the wintry evening; and no commentaries, or notes Variorum, are comparable to the interrupted sayings of the wife and sister, or the merry ejaculations of the listening child. A good voice, a just intonation, and a quiet but animated delivery, secure far more of the soul of the great author, than any amount of closet study. It is delightful to feel that the delight is shared by so many.
2. There is frugality of time in reading good books aloud. The matron goes on with her stocking; the girls ply the nimble needle ; Jack and Tom work away at carving and joinery; the very child that rolls on the carpet, or plays with puss, is unimpeded in his pursuits : all the while the stream of knowledge and entertainment is gently flowing into the wakeful ear.
Glances from bright eyes, smiles and laughter, or perhaps the sigh and tear, bear witness to the stroke ot' wit, or the touch of pathos.
3. To make a pleasure, otherwise solitary, one of social love, is to exalt it; this takes place when some stirring old history is read aloud in the family-group. Ancient stories were made to be orally delivered ; among the Greeks, we know, they were pronounced before thousands; among the Romans, in crowded saloons of the great, - it is little enough if we do the like by our firesides,
4. Poetry, which, by its numbers, addresses itself directly to the ear, is robbed of half its charm if perused in silence. The taste for rhythmical composition is awakened and cultivated by social reading. The legend goes home to the imagination with accumulated force, when uttered by a beloved voice.
5. There is magic in the human organ, which the dead letter of the page can never rival, and which leaves deep traces on the memory. Though the great poet writes it of solitary lucubration, I would claim it also for the domestic circle, to rise on the wings of genius, when Tragedy
“In sceptred pall comes sweeping by,
6. Who does not remember some illumined evening, in which faces, now removed, shone more brightly at the recital of some great action, and where the thrill of exquisite awe ran through the entire assemblage of hearts in unison? For such enjoyments, we might be willing to sacrifice a few hours of recluse literature, which, but for these interruptions, might grow moody, selfish, and unfruitful. Let us bathe our intellectual pleasures in domestic affection.
7. So rich are the stores of written learning, that we may, on these sacred occasions, deal chiefly with master-piecesthe choice morsels of human wisdom. Selection is more apt to be guarded, and equivocal matter is more sure to be banished, where the wife and daughter are to be listeners. Method and persistency, in a line of direction, are encouraged. the volume which is begun in the parlor will commonly be finished - a result not always secured in these days of satiety by the solitary reader.
8. Among a thousand means of making home attractive, (a main point in ethics,) this stands high. What is more pleasing ? what more rational ? what more tributary to the fund of daily talk ? what more exclusive of scandal and chatter? He would be a benefactor indeed who should devise a plan for redeeming our evenings, and rallying the young men, who scatter to clubs and taverns and brawling assemblies.
9. Such a reformer and inventor would deserve a garland of heart's-ease, from the hands of slighted woman.
I venture a guess, that books will be among his philtres and incantations. Happy house, where the inmates long for the falling of the curtains, that they may mingle in the satisfactions of a common literature !
10. Could some Asmodeus unroof every house in our town, and reveal the employments of their respective occupants, I have no fear that those groups which should be found thus engaged, would be the vicious or the discordant. Consent in such entertainments presupposes a certain measure of harmony and tranquil ease.
11. Families which are in a state of mutual repulsion, have no evenings together over books or music. The master is at his bar-room; the boys are at some public room or place of amusement; the girls are abroad in full dress ; the mother sits at home, in spectacles; and the several parties straggle in, weary and sometimes surly, at such hours as suit their whim,- and then only because nature demands sleep. It is well if even this, at length, is not sought away from home.
12. There is a higher reason still in favor of the practice here recommended. Written language is the vehicle of a vast body of truth relating to our spiritual and immortal part; truth which we are prone to neglect, and truth which is never without a social reference.
13. Nowhere is the volume of holy wisdom more appropriate, than when read aloud in the household assembly,nowhere is religion more sweetly intermingled with the attachments of the heart. Heavenly counsels are not the