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It seemed as if he would be dashed against a jutting rock, over which the water flew in foam, and a whirlpool would drag him in, from whose grasp escape would appear impos
10. At times, the current bore him under, and he would be lost to sight; then, just as the spectators gave him him up, he would appear, though far from where he vanished, still buffeting amid the vortex. Oh, how that mother's straining eyes followed him in his perilous career! how her heart sunk when he went under, -and with what a gush of joy when she saw him emerge again from the waters, and, flinging the waves aside with his athletic arms, struggle on in pursuit of her boy!
11. But it seemed as if his generous efforts were not to avail; for, though the current was bearing off the boy before his eyes, scarcely ten feet distant, he could not, despite his gigantic efforts, overtake the drowning child. On flew the youth and child; and it was miraculous how each escaped being dashed in pieces against the rocks. Twice the boy went out of sight, and a suppressed shriek escaped the mother's lips; but twice he reäppeared, and then, with hands wrung wildly together, and breathless anxiety, she followed his progress, as his unresisting form was hurried with the onward current.
12. The youth now appeared to redouble his exertions, for they were approaching the most dangerous part of the river, where the rapids, contracting between the narrow shores, shot almost perpendicularly down a declivity of fifteen feet. The rush of the waters at this spot was tremendous, and no one ventured to approach its vicinity, even in a canoe, lest he should be dashed in pieces. What, then, would be the youth's fate, unless he soon overtook the child? He seemed fully sensible of the increasing peril, and now
urged his way through the foaming current with a desperate strength.
13. Three times he was on the point of grasping the child, when the waters whirled the prize from him. The third effort was made just as they were entering within the. influence of the current above the fall; and when it failed, the mother's heart sunk within her, and she groaned, fully expecting the youth to give up his task. But no'; he only pressed forward the more eagerly; and, as they breathlessly watched amid the boiling waters, they saw the form of the brave youth following close after that of the boy.
14. And now, like an arrow from the bow, pursuer and pursued shot to the brink of the precipice. An instant they hung there, distinctly visible amid the foaming waters./
brain grew dizzy at the sight. But a shout of fnvolved!
exultation burst from the spectators, when they saw the boy held aloft by the right arm of the youth,—a shout that was suddenly checked with horror, when they both vanished into the abyss below!
15. A moment elapsed before a word was spoken, or a breath drawn. The mother ran forward, and then stood gazing with fixed eyes at the foot of the cataract, as if her all depended upon what the next moment should reveal. Suddenly she gave the glad cry, (f) "There they are! See! they are safe!-Great God, I thank thee!" And, sure enough, there was the youth still unharmed, and still buffeting the waters. He had just emerged from the boiling vortex below the cataract. With one hand he held aloft the child, and with the other he was making for the shore.
16. They ran, they shouted, they scarcely knew what they did, until they reached his side, just as he was struggling to the bank. They drew him out almost exhausted. The boy was senseless; but his mother declared that he still
lived, as she pressed him frantically to her bosom. youth could scarcely stand, so faint was he from his exertions. 17. Who can describe the scene that
mother's calmness while she strove to resus--the
and her wild gratitude to his preserver, when the child was out of danger, and sweetly sleeping in her arms? Our pen shrinks at the task. But her words, pronounced then, were remembered afterwards by more than one who heard them. 18. God will reward you," said she, "as I can not. He will do great things for you in return for this day's work, and the blessings of thousands besides mine will attend you." And so it was; for, to the hero of that hour, were subsequently confided the destinies of a mighty nation. But, throughout his long career, what tended to make him more honored and respected beyond all men, was the self-sacrificing spirit, which, in the rescue of that mother's child, as in the more august events of his life, characterized OUR BELOVED WASHINGTON.
QUESTIONS.-1. Describe the scene where this accident took place. 2. What did the woman say to the young man? 3. Why would not the men release the woman? 4. What did the young man do? 5. Did he finally succeed in saving the child? 6. What did the mother say to him? 7. Who did this youth prove to be?
THE FOUR MISFORTUNES.
1. A PIOUS Rabbi, forced by heathen hate,
JOHN G. SAXE.
Through pathless woods and wastes of burning sand.
2. A patient ass, to hear him in his flight,
A dog, to guard him from the robber's stealth, A lamp, by which to read the law at night,Was all the pilgrim's store of worldly wealth.
3. At set of sun he reached a little town,
And asked for shelter and a crumb of food;
To send me fasting to this forest bed;
5. He lit his lamp to read the sacred law,
Before he spread his mantle for the night; But the wind rising with a sudden flaw,
He read no more, the gust put out the light.
6. ""Tis strange," he said, "'tis very strange, indeed, That ere I lay me down to take my rest,
A chapter of the law I may not read,—
But God is good, and all is for the best.”
8. "What new calamity is this?" he cried;
"My honest dog-a friend who stood the test When others failed-lies murdered at my side! Well,-God is good, and means it for the best." 9. Scarce had the Rabbi spoken, when, alas!— As if, at once, to crown his wretched lot, A hungry lion pounced upon the ass,
And killed the faithful donkey on the spot. 10. "Alas!--alas !" the weeping Rabbi said,
"Misfortune haunts me like a hateful guest; My dog is gone, and now my ass is dead,Well, God is good, and all is for the best." 11. At dawn of day, imploring heavenly grace,
Once more he sought the town, but all in vain;
12. "Now God be praised!" the grateful Rabbi cried,
I too, with these poor villagers had died,Sure, God is good, and all is for the best!" 13. "Had not the saucy wind put out my lamp,
By which the sacred law I would have read,
14. "Had not my faithful animals been slain,
Their noise, no doubt, had drawn the robbers near, And so their master, it is very plain,
Instead of them, had fallen murdered here. 15. "Full well I see that this hath happened so To put my faith and patience to the test; Thanks to His name! for now I surely know That God is good, and all is for the best!"