« AnteriorContinuar »
18. They are Mr. Penny and Arthur Camp talking with Mrs. Camp and Mary. They all look so pleased. That is Arthur's home, and he often says, “It all comes of NEVER GIVING
1. My little people, as I am to preach in the woods, I will take this twig (holding up a nice beechen rod) for my text.
And for once I beg you not to complain that the preacher does not stick to his text. Why should I not, when I have a stick for my text?
2. “As the twig is bent the tree's inclined.” You see how easily the twig is bent. The pressure of my thumb and finger, or a simple accident, will twist it into many shapes. Never was a twig so stout that it could not be bent.
3. Will a straight boy make a straight man? By no means. Some of the sweetest children
often make the worst of men and women. How easily one can spoil a twig! The one I have is graceful and pretty; but when I cut it, the worms had just begun to build a nest within its top.
4. They had wound a web about it. Quite soon they would have bent over its head and eaten off its leaves, and made it the shroud of dead flies and insects. 0, what a sight! A beautiful twig spoiled by a worm's nest ! And thus easily are little children spoiled by bad company and bad habits.
5. Swearing, and smoking, and mockery, and vulgarity, wind themselves over the good boy's heart, like a spider's web in the dark. Beauty is gone; virtue is
love and esThe sweet child, too, has gone, and a wicked, ugly one stands in his place. Woe to you, my children, when the straight boy makes a crooked man!
6. But again : will the crooked boy always make a crooked man ? Not by any means. Never was a boy so bad that he could not make a good man. The worst of children often make the best of people. “As the twig is bent the tree's inclined. But you must stoutly overcome the inclination, See the
teem are gone.
trees around you: almost every one is growing straighter and straighter.
7. When the woodman cuts a crooked tree, he finds a double thickness of timber laid upon the inside of the heart, as if nature would take out the crook, which she often does. And so the crooked boy and girl should rule the heart. Thicken it with virtue on the weakest side, and make its crooked places straight.
8. You have heard the story of the wicked boy who uttered so many falsehoods. His father told him to drive a nail into the door-post every time he told a lie. At last he filled the whole post full of nails, and then he sat down and cried because every body would know how many lies he had told.
9. “Well, then,” said his father, “we will pull out a nail every time you tell the truth.” By and by the nails were all out, but the boy sat down and cried again, because the scars were left. 10. But
should know, my little people, that a twig is not a door-post. Some twigs are knotty as well as crooked. But see how they grow straighter, and taller, and handsomer, till the homely little twig becomes a stately and beautiful tree!
11. And again : let us remember the composition of twigs, and what they become. Out of the little twigs these tall trees were made. And how unlike they are! Useful, ornamental, ugly, and beautiful : thus we classify the trees.
12. Here is a beech, there is a maple, yonder is a hemlock, and farther on is an appletree and a pear-tree. How delicious the fruit of the pear-tree! But there is an old and knotty hemlock, like a miser in his den.
13. He has done no good since he was born. He grows larger, taller, and thicker, and I may say richer and older and coarser, as the miser grows rougher and meaner, till he is dead; then somebody will use what he had abused. Let it not be so with you. ful every day. Be useful all your life.
LESSON LX XVI.
simplicity sweetening education acquiring confidence
retainer guinea hickory exertion crackling
president responsibility managing opportunities petitions advantages transferring consciousness nomination surrounded
1. Abraham Lincoln, when a boy, did not live in a nice brown-stone house in the city; nor did he live in a neat white cottage in the country, surrounded by fruit-trees and flowers and beautiful lawns, as many of my readers do.
2. There was no large brick school-building, with blackboards and charts and globes and plenty of nice books and good teachers, where he could go with hundreds of other boys, to acquire knowledge ; nor were there, near his home, any pretty little school-houses, such as now dot the country as stars dot the sky.
3. Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin. His youth was spent in a home of poverty. He earned his daily bread by the sweat of his face; the consciousness of honest industry sweetened his life of toil.
4. Though he was not taught to be indifferent to worldly prosperity and the advantages it gives, he early learned the simplicity of greatness, and that
“The rank is but the guinea's stamp-