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THERE was once a poor lame old man
T that lived in the midst of a wide uncultivated moor, in the north of England. He had formerly been a soldier, and had almost lost the use of one leg by a wound he had received in battle, when he was fighting against the enemies of his country. This poor man, when he found himself thus disabled, built a little hut of clay, which he covered with turf dug from the common. He had a little bit of ground which he made a shift to cultivate with his own hands, and which supplied him with potatoes and vegetables ; besides this, he sometimes gained a few halfpence by opening a gate for travellers, which stood near his house. He did not indeed get much, because few people passed that way. What he earned was, however, enough to purchase cloaths, and the few necessaries he wanted. But though poor, he was strictly honest, and never failed night and morning to address his prayers to God; by which means he was respected by all who knew him, much more than
many who were superior to him in rank and fortune. This old man had one domestic. In his walks over the common, he one day found a little kid that had lost its mother, and was almost famished with hunger: he took it home to his cottage, fed it with the produce of his garden, and nursed it till it grew strong and vigorous. Little Nan, (for that was the name he gave it) returned his cares with gratitude, and became as much attached to him as a dog. All day she browzed upon the herbage that grew around his hut, and at night reposed upon the same bed of straw with her master. Frequently did she divert him with her innocent tricks and gambols. She would nestle her little head in his bosom, and eat out of his hand part of his scanty allowance of bread, which he never failed to divide with his favourite. The old man often beheld her with filent joy, and, in the innocent effusions of his heart, would lift his hands to heaven, and thank the Deity, that, even in the midst of poverty and distress, had raised him up one faithful friend.
One night, in the beginning of winter, the old man thought he heard the feeble cries and lamentations of a child. As he was naturally charitable, he arose and struck a light, and, going out of his cottage, examined on every side. It
was not long before he discerned an infant, which had probably been dropped by some strolling beggar or gypsy. The old man stood amazed at the fight, and knew not what to do. Shall I, said he, who find it so difficult to live at present, incumbéř myself with the care of an helpless infant, that will not for many years be capable of contributing to its own subsistence ? And yet, added he, softening with pity, can I deny assistance to an human being still more miserable than myself?--Will not that Providence which feeds the birds of the wood and the beasts of the field, and which has promised to bless all those that are kind and charitable, affist my feeble endeavours ?- At least, let me give it food and lodging for this night; for without I receive it into my cottage, the poor abandoned wretch niuft perish with cold before the morning. Say- 1 ing this, he took it up in his arms, and perceived it was a fine healthy boy, though covered with rags; the little foundling too seemed to be fensible of his kindness, and smiling in his face, stretched out his little arms, as if to embrace his benefactor.
When he had brought it into his hut, he began to be extremely embarraíled how to procure it food: but looking at Nan, he recollected that The had just lost her kid, and saw her udder dif
tended with milk : he, therefore, called her to him, and, presenting the child to the teat, was overjoyed to find, that it fucked as naturally as if it had really found a mother. The goat too seemed to receive pleasure from the efforts of
the child, and submitted without opposition to discharge the duties of a nurse. Contented with
this experiment, the old man wrapped the child up as warmly as he could, and stretched himself out to reft, with the consciousness of having done an humane action. Early the next morning he, was awakened by the cries of the child for food, which, with the assistance of his faithful Nan, he fuckled as he had done the night before. And now the old man began to feel an interest in the child, which made him defer some time longer the taking measures to be delivered from its care. Who knows, said he, but Providence, which has preserved this child in so wonderful a manner, may have' destined it to fumething equally wonderful in his future life, and may bless me as the humble agent of his decrees? At least, as he grows bigger, he will be a pleasure and comfort to me in this lonely cabin, and will assist in cutting turf for fuel, and cultivating the garden. From this time he became more and more attached to the little foundling; who, in a short time, learned to consider the old man as a parent, and delighted him with its innocent careffes. Gentle Nanny too, the goat, seemed to adopt him with equal tenderness as her offspring : The would stretch herself out upon the ground, while he crawled upon his hands and knees towards her; and when he had
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