Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

captain, who was not an admirer of John, “and well filled, too,” he added, with dignity.

6. John then wished to join it as a private, but was told that no “raw l'ecruit” could be received on parade-day ; that on certain named days he might be permitted to enlist, on signing the articles of the company.

7. John was greatly humiliated by this cool treatment, and still more when, after enlisting, he was obliged to take his place in the rear rank.

8. A giant snow-man was to be built by the boys of the school where John went, and all hands were hard at work building him, rolling little balls into larger ones, and piling large ones above each other. All were at work but John.

9. “Why don't you take hold and help, John ?” asked one and another.

10. “I don't like piling snow, but I'll be the spirit, when the old fellow's finished,” said John.

11. “0, will you! how obliging! perhaps you will !” answered some of the indignant boys, in a tone of irony.

12. The man of snow was made hollow, and so large that a boy could stand within him and speak for him, answering questions put to him, telling fortunes, reciting verses, or declaiming speeches. The boy who occupied and animated the snow-man was called his “spirit.”

13. When his snow-excellency was finished, even to his red flannel lips, inked paper eyes and eyelids, and a pasteboard crown on his immense head, the boys loudly summoned the “spirit” to do its duty.

14. John ventured to consult him as to his fortune and fate. There was something in the deep, sepulchral voice, which reminded one of the precocious captain, as the prophet slowly and solemnly pronounced this doom, making John turn pale and tremble :

15. “Art thou selfish ? thou shalt be hated in life, neglected in death, and despised in thy grave.”

16. The snow-prophet spoke the truth. Though he could not look into the future, he knew something of it from the past. John felt that he spoke the truth, for he was already hated by some and shunned by many.

17. Poor John! It is so hard to overcome selfishness. It requires such close watching, hard, inward struggling, and earnest prayer for help from God. But how brave, how

worthy is he who overcomes it! “Better is he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.”

[blocks in formation]

1. “Will you come with me, my pretty one?”

I asked a little child-
Will

you come with me and gather flowers ?
She looked on me and smiled.
Then, in a low, sweet, gentle voice,

She said, “I can not come;
I must not leave this narrow path,

For I am going home.”
2. “But will you not ?" I asked again;

“ The sun is shining bright,
And you might twine a lily-wreath

To carry home at night;
And I could show you pleasant things

If you would only come.”
But still she answered as before,

“No; I am going home.”
3. “But look, my child: the fields are green,

And 'neath the leafy trees
Children are playing merrily,

Or resting at their ease.

[ocr errors]

Does it not hurt your tender feet

This stony path to tread ?” “Sometimes; but I am going home!”

Once more she sweetly said.

4. “ My father bade me keep this path,

Nor ever turn aside;
The road which leads away from him

Is very smooth and wide;
The fields are fresh and cool and

green;
Pleasant the shady trees;
But those around my own dear home

Are lovelier far than these.

5. “I must not loiter on the road,

For I have far to go;
And I should like to reach the door

Before the sun is low.
I must not stay; but will you not

Oh, will not you come too?
My home is very beantiful,

And there is room for

you.”

6. I took her little hand in mine;

Together we went on;
Brighter and brighter o'er pur path

The blessed sunbeams shone.

7.

At length we saw the distant towers ;

But ere we reached the gate,
The child outstripped my lingering feet,

Too overjoyed to wait.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

1. “I can not! I can not! I am sure I never can learn this hard lesson,” said Arthur, as he came into his mother's room; and he threw down his book and began to cry.

2. " Arthur, my son, do not cry so. I know it is hard for you, but do not give up. Try once more. Nothing of value is gained without effort.

3. “But, mother, I have tried, and there is no use in my trying any more. I never can learn this lesson; no, never." 4. “You must not give it up, my son.

Do you wish to grow up an ignorant man ? Other

« AnteriorContinuar »