Слике страница

returned home for the holidays, they were able to shake hands with him in their playground, and ask his forgiveness for the danger and trouble they had given him. Even the two donkeys came in for a share of their caresses. The next halfyear, a new cart was subscribed for and presented to blind Dick; and for many years after that generation of schoolboys was scattered abroad in the world, the old man's cheerful voice was heard in the playground, --" Come, boys, here's your nice golden pippins.” A lesson, however, had been taught, which was not soon forgotten by those boys-never to seek “good fun” without first thinking of its possible consequences.


ALBERT was, at once, the richest and the poorest of all my schoolfellows. That is, he was believed to have more money to spend than any three boys in the school besides; but, on the other hand, he had more fancied wants to be supplied than any six of them. The result was, that, like too many “ boys of larger growth,” he never could manage to live within his income.

Albert had two grandfathers, several uncles and aunts, and a good number of grown up cousins, all within visiting distance of his father's house; and as these relations were in easy circumstances, and as Albert

made a point of paying a farewell visit to each on the last day of the holidays, we need not be surprised that his purse was always well filled when he returned to school,—so much so as sometimes to excite the envious feeling, “I wish I were as well off as you.”

Albert was neither miserly to himself, nor niggardly towards others : on the contrary, he was profuse. So long as his money lasted, he was liberal enough with the dainties which it procured him; that is to say, when he had filled himself and was satisfied : and when called upon for a subscription for some expensive plaything, such as a cricket ball, or the materials for a gigantic kite, he made a point-supposing his money had not previously disappeared -of giving sixpence, where every other boy contributed only three-pence. There was nothing, however, very praiseworthy

in this generosity. It too frequently happens, whether in boys or in men, that such conduct proceeds as much from selfishness as from any other motive; for love of applause is selfishness.

The true test of generosity is self-denial. If any person can willingly and cheerfully, and without ostentation, forego his own pleasures and indulgences, that others may be benefited, we hold him to be truly liberal ; but not otherwise; and to this kind of liberality Albert could lay no claim.

Sam Brown was, in many respects, the reverse of his schoolfellow, Albert. The occasions were very rare on which he was known to spend a penny. Those who knew least of him were inclined to pity him, believing that he had nothing to spend: but his more immediate compan. ions were well aware that there was a

money box which he guarded with a jealous care;

but how well filled it might be, they could not pretend to guess. All knew, however, that it was useless either to wheedle or to shame Sam Brown into any service that required the expenditure of his darling treasure; and he was accordingly looked upon, and justly too, as a young miser.

There were times, notwithstanding, when this unamiable boy showed that he knew of one use to which money could be put; he would lend it, where he thought he could safely do so, “for a consideration.” True, there was a law in the school, entailing disgrace and punishment on both lenders and borrowers. But laws, even in a school, cannot always be so vigilantly guarded as to ensure entire obedience ; and this law was often broken.

It happened on one occasion, that,

« ПретходнаНастави »