« ПретходнаНастави »
3. One day, when his temper was sorely riled Over sacks fresh gnawed and bins laid waste, A hoary old rat fell into the snare
Which under some toasted cheese was placed.
4. "Ha! now I have got you, old villain," he cried, "No doubt you're the leader of all the clan; I'll teach you a lesson you'll never forget. Here, Josephine, bring me the kerosene can!" 5. Then his wife ran out in a vague alarm,
And the children shuddered and left their play; "O, husband, what are you agoing to do? Don't torture the wretched creature, pray!" 6. "I'll run for old Tabby," said Josephine, "And I for the terrier Snap," says Ned; John Jobson glared upon one and all,
And roared like a lion, "Do as I said!" 7. He drenched with the fluid the writhing rat, And fired a match on his gray-wool sleeve, Applied it, and laughed like a fiend the while. "So now I give you 'ticket of leave!""
8. Away flew the creature, entirely ablaze,
With a shriek so human that Jobson stared.
To the fine new barn like a streak of light,
10. And still he fled in his mortal pain,
Burning and broiling beneath the floor
11. And behold! John Jobson's house and barn, That had cost him ten thousand dollars and more, In a dozen places burst out into flame,
'Twixt the grand French roof and the basement floor!
12. And the whole went down! Not a stick remained; For the timber was sound and seasoned well, And the bright fresh paint fed the roaring flames, "Till, charred and blackened, the structure fell.
S. H. BROWNE.
LXXVIII.—A SINGULAR ADVENTURE.
1. In the midst of the village of Sandwich stood a small white house, whose nicely whitewashed fences, well cultivated gardens, and vines of honeysuckle and jessamine, twined around the doors and windows, all showed the industry and neatness of the occupants.
2. This pretty little place was owned by Mr. Brown, a poor, but honest and industrious man, who gained a support for himself, his wife and two children by day labor on the farms of his more wealthy neighbors.
3. He employed his leisure hours, after return from work, in embellishing this little cottage, which, to a person of his few simple desires, seemed quite a palace. In this pleasant task he was assisted by his two little sons, Edward and Henry, who always waited with impatience for the time of their father's arrival, and were ever ready with their little hoes and spades to render their assistance in the garden.
4. While they were thus waiting one afternoon, after their return from school, their mother told them that they might go down to the sea-shore and dig some clams
for their father's supper. To this the little boys consented with alacrity, and immediately set out on their errand; for they were always glad to do any thing for those parents who were so kind to them.
5. After they had quite filled their basket with clams. they observed a small boat tied near the shore, in which they both seated themselves. Finding that the sun was still far above the horizon, and remembering that their father never returned home till the sun had set, they agreed to untie the boat and sail about for a short time.
6. This they ought not to have done, for their mother had often told them never to get into a boat; but these little boys, though generally very obedient, had yet to learn that children will always, sooner or later, find that their parents have good reasons for what they tell them to do, or not to do.
7. They glided along for some time very smoothly; and Edward, the elder, kept the oar in his hand to be in readiness to row back whenever they should wish to return. The sun was just sinking behind the western mountains, leaving in that part of the heavens a vast expanse of purple and gold, when little Henry, beginning to be weary of the sport, begged his brother to
8. The oar was accordingly lifted out and Edward used all his strength to change the course of the boat, but in vain. The tide was going out; and his little strength was nothing against the mass of water. The boat still drifted on in spite of all his efforts; and he was obliged to lay down his oar in fatigue and despair.
9. Then sadly did they regret their folly in disobeying their good mother's advice; and little Henry, in the midst of his tears, declared that were he once on land again, he would always remember to do what she told him. After some time this poor little boy, overcome by fatigue, fell asleep.
LXXIX.-A SINGULAR ADVENTURE.
1. Edward was left alone to his bitter reflections. "Ah! my poor brother!" said he, "it is my fault that we are now in this danger; for I am the elder and should have dissuaded you from this." Then he thought of his father, returning from his labors and finding neither of his darling sons to greet his coming.
2. He thought of the snow-white cloth spread on the supper-table; of his mother preparing their refreshment and wondering where her boys could be; of the prayer at night; of the blessing and kiss before they laid their head on the pillow; - all these came to his mind, and bitterly did he lament his folly.
3. To the uncertain future he dared not look, for the boat, borne on by the current, had passed the last point of land in the harbor, and beyond that what could they expect? He dared not trust himself even to think of it.
4. The deepening twilight was now dissipated by the appearance of the moon, which cast a broad sheet of silver light over the body of waters. Edward, as he sat motionless and in despair, thought he perceived something in the distance moving on the water.
5. Hope was suddenly kindled in his bosom, and, straining his eyes to keep the object in view, he discovered that it was a vessel which was approaching him. He raised his voice and tried to make himself heard, but his voice was not strong enough to reach them, though the waters were as calm as the sleep of the unconscious child who lay at his feet.
6. Fortunately, however, the man at the helm of the vessel perceived the boat, and, using the glass, discovered that it contained only two children. The captain was informed and immediately ordered the ship's boat to be lowered, and sent a man to their relief.
7. They were taken on board the vessel, which was bound to Duxbury, carried there, and having told their little story, were very kindly treated during their stay, and the next day sent in a wagon to Sandwich.
8. The anguish of the parents at the loss of their children was indescribable. Finding they did not return at twilight, Mr. Brown went to the shore and saw there the basket filled with clams, but the children were not to be seen.
9. The people from the village collected, and the names of Edward and Henry resounded in a hundred different places,- but no answer was returned. The parents were obliged to return at night to their dwelling, late the abode of health and pleasure, but now cheerless and gloomy.
10. The night was spent in watching and anxiety, and at the break of day the search was recommenced. The father walked twenty miles along the coast, hoping to hear something of them; but all his inquiries were answered in the same manner,- "that no such children had been seen and that no boat had drifted that way."
11. He was returning home the next day, with a desponding heart and a sad countenance, when the first objects that met his eye as he approached his own house were his two darlings bounding over the grass to meet him. He could scarcely believe the evidence of his own eyes till he felt them clinging to him and heard their loud shouts of joy.
12. Come in, come in, my children," said he, "and let us hear all about it;" and all fatigue was soon forgotten in the joy of meeting and the relation of their adventure. Edward concluded his narrative with the firm resolve never to do any thing which he knew his parents would disapprove, in which he was heartily joined by little Henry.