« PreviousContinue »
are always growing wiser, and because they are beloved by all who know them. The idle are the miserable; they are tired with every thing, and every body is tired of them.
EVENINGS AT HOME.
THE LITTLE PHILOSOPHER.
MR. LENOX was one morning riding by himself; he alighted from his horse to look at something on the road side; the horse got loose, and ran fast away from him. Mr. Lenox ran after but could not overtake the horse.
A little boy at work in a field heard the horse; and as soon as he saw him running from his master, ran very quickly to the middle of the road, and catching him by the bridle, stopped him till Mr. Lenox came up.
"Thank you, my good boy," said Mr. Lenox, you have caught my horse very cleverly. What shall I give you for your trouble?"
Saying this, he put his hand into his pocket. "I want nothing, Sir," said the boy.
Mr. L. Do you want nothing? So much the better for you. But what were you doing in the field?
Boy. I was rooting up weeds, and tending the sheep that were feeding on the turnips. Mr. L. Do you like to work? B. Very well, this fine weather. Mr. L. But had you not rather play? B. This is not hard work; it is almost as good as play.
Mr. L. Who set you to work?
B. My father, Sir.
Mr. L. What is your father's name?
B. Thomas Hurdle.
Mr. L. Where does he live?
B. Just among the trees, there.
Mr. L. How old are you?
B. Eight years next June.
Mr. L. How long have you been out in this field?
B. Ever since six o'clock this morning.
B. Yes-but I shall go to my dinner soon. Mr. L. If you had sixpence now what would you do with it?
B. I do not know. I never had so much in my life.
Mr. L. Have you no play things?
B. Play things? what are they? Mr. L. Such as nine pins, marbles, tops, and wooden horses.
B. No, Sir. Tom and I play at ball in winter, and I have a jumping rope. I had a hoop,
but it is broken.
Mr. L. Do you want nothing else?
B. No. I have hardly time to play with what I have. I have to drive the cows and to run of errands.
Mr. L. You could get apples and cakes, if you had money, you know.
B. I can have apples at home. As for cake, I do not want that; my mother makes me a pie, now and then, which is as good.
Mr. L. Would you not like a knife to cut sticks?
B. I have one-here it is-brother Tom gave it to me.
Mr. L. Your shoes are full of holes-do you want a new pair?
B. I have a better pair for Sundays.
Mr. L. Your hat is all torn, too
B. I have a better hat at home.
Mr. L. What do you do when it rains?
B. If it rains very hard when I am in the field I get under a tree for shelter.
Mr. L. What do you, if you are hungry before it is time to go home?
B. I sometimes eat a raw turnip.
Mr. L. But if there are none ?
B. Then I do as well as I can without. I work on and never think of it.
Mr. L. Why, my little fellow, you are quite a philosopher, but I am sure you do not know what that means.
B. No, Sir. I hope it means no harm.
Mr. L. No, no! Were you ever at school? B. No, sir; but father means to send me next winter.
Mr. L. You will want books then.
B. Yes, the boys have all a spelling book, and
Mr. L. Then I will give them to you―tell your father so, and that it is because you are an obliging, contented little boy. Now go to work again.
B. I will, Sir.. Thank you.
Mr. L. Good by, Peter.
Which was the happiest boy-idle Edward,
or Peter Hurdle ?
EVENINGS AT HOME.
THERE is a fine country in Europe in which there lived, many centuries ago, some philosophers who taught the people. Then, people had no books to read; the art of printing was not known; only a few people could read; there was no paper then; people did not know how to make it. Those who wrote, wrote upon parchment. Parchment is the skin of sheep or goats made white, stiff, thin, and smooth. The drum head is made of parchment. That kind is prepared from the skin of asses. The books written on parchment were kept in rolls as some maps are kept now.
In the country of Greece, a man named Hecademus, left a piece of ground on purpose for a school; upon this spot very beautiful trees were planted, and the philosopher Plato taught his scholars. They walked under the shade of the trees, and listened to Plato's instructions.
The name Academy is taken from Hecademus, the name of the person who gave the land, where Plato's school was. At the same time that Plato lived, lived Diogeness. Diogenes was ill-natured, and lived very meanly. He lived in
a tub, instead of a house. Plato lived very dif ferently, and was a very good tempered as well as a very wise man.
Printing was invented in 1444. These lessons for children were written in 1819—not quite four hundred years after printing was invented. Children who think a little will be glad that they live now; when they can have books to read, and can be taught to read them. If they had lived only five centuries ago, they could not have been taught to read, except a very few children, whose parents should have happened to be rich.
Instrument—a tool. A knife is an instrument. When God made living creatures, he gave them particular parts for certain uses. He gave them legs to move with; eyes to see with; these are called organs.
Organ-is an instrument fitted by God for the use of his creatures. The ear is the organ of hearing. Plants have organs. The root is fixed in the ground that it may draw food for the plant from the ground. If a child is kept a few days without food, he dies. If a plant be pulled from the ground by the root, it withers and dies also. The root is the organ which conveys food to the whole plant; as our mouths convey food to our bodies.
Take a stone; look at every part of it; all its parts are alike; it has no organs, no eyes, or root; it is not an organized being.