Слике страница
PDF
ePub

of the load. Mr. Trill had to let his end go too, and the straw fluttered down again. But what matter? There was no scolding nor fretting, and with good-natured perseverance they took hold again.

7. Though the way was long, and their building blocks hard to manage, they worked on patiently and gladly till into their voices there came a tone that made people look up and say, “Why, I never heard such music from English sparrows before. There is something truly sweet in the ring of that constant, cheery chirp."

8. In time, they built for themselves a snug, sound home, strong and serviceable and full of softness within, and the attractive beauty of a rustic summer-house outside.

9. Constant travelers over the ferry stepped out of their way to see how the birdies were getting on. Anà here is just one little corner of the many into which the echoes of their glad, helpful songs entered.

10. Had you stopped that busy little man on a certain morning, he would have said, “Can't wait now; bless you, I haven't a single minute to spare !” in such a jerky, good-natured way, that you would not have attempted to keep him. But, though he is truthful, he actually lost a boat in his anxiety to watch the lifting of that hay wisp.

11. All that building time he carried home nightly accounts of the birds, and their bright good nature always made such a gleam in his story, that, somehow, a spirit of forbearance seemed to shine and lighten up his own girls and boys in their intercourse with each other the next day.

12. In the hurry of business during the week, the memory of the birds' helpfulness and patience jogged his conscience so that he found himself at the desk of his new boy clerk, helping him along with his burden of puzzling figures.

[graphic]

13. How far the music of those little werkers has gone, we can never know; but if we work on earnestly, we shall some day know that the grandest and best, way to “help the world along," is to turn to the first work at hand, which is often just the very hardest to do, because it seems so simple and common-place.

JENNETH HOLME.

LXXXIX.-DO THE DUTY THAT LIETH

NEAREST THY HAND.

1. Do the duty that lieth nearest thy hand,

And seek not thy mission o'er all the wide land;
Thy field lies before thee, around thee, and thine
Is the hand that should open that field's precious mine.
Whether country or city, green fields or grand hall,

Shall claim thee, that claim is thy mission's loud call. 2. O that I could tell thee, in words that would burn,

Of chances now lost that will never return !
And lost while thou’rt searching, with sad, anxious

mind,
In some distant vineyard thy lifework to find.
Do the duty that lieth the nearest thy hand :
'Tis the faithful in little that much shall command.

3. Where now thou’rt abiding, seek work for the Lord, While thy heart and thy hands move in cheerful

accord;
Give the kind word that's needed, the smile that

will cheer,
And a hand to relieve the tired laborer, near.
In the mart, in the field, in the dearer home band,
Do the duty that lieth the nearest thy hand.

[graphic]

XC.-TURNING THE GRINDSTONE.

1. When I was a little boy, I remember, one cold winter's morning, I was accosted by a smiling man with an ax on his shoulder.

2. “My pretty boy,” said he, “ has your father a grindstone?”

3. “Yes, sir," said I.

4. “You are a fine little fellow,” said he; “will you let me grind my ax on it ?”

5. Pleased with the compliment of “fine little fellow," "O) yes, sir,” I answered. “It is down in the shop.”

6. “And will you, my man,” said he, patting me on the head, "get me a little hot water?”

7. How could I refuse? I ran and soon brought a kettleful. 8. “How old are you, and what's your

name?” continued he, without waiting for a reply; “ I am sure you are one of the finest lads that I have ever seen; will

you just turn a few minutes for me?

9. Tickled with the flatuery, like a little fool, I went to work, and bitterly did I rue the day. It was a new ax, and I toiled and tugged till I was almost tired to death. The school-bell rang, and I could not get away; my hands were blistered, and the ax

was not half ground.

10. At length, however, it was sharpened; and the man turned to me with, “Now, you little rascal, you've played truant; scud to the school, or you'll rue it.”

11. "Alas!” thought I, "it was hard enough to turn a grindstone this cold day, but now to be called a little rascal is too much.” It sunk deep into my mind, and often have I thought of it since.

12. When I see a merchant over polite to his customers, I think, “That man has an ax to grind.'

13. When I see a man flattering the people, making great professions of attachment to liberty, who is in private life a tyrant, methinks, “ Look out, good people! that fellow would set you turning grindstones!”

14. When I see a man hoisted into office by party spirit, without a single qualification to render him either respectable or useful, “Alas!” methinks, "deluded people, you are doomed for a season to turn the grindstone for a booby!”

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

X01.—THE ATLANTIC CABLE.

1. The application of electricity as a means of con veying thought, is of recent date. In 1816 John R. Coxe, of Philadelphia, suggested that such a result might be accomplished by the aid of the “Galvanic Battery,” discovered and constructed by Volta, an Italian, in 1801.

2. But the electro-magnetic agency was first fully developed and applied by Professor Morse, an American, in 1832. The first telegraph line was constructed in 1844 between Baltimore and Washington, and the first message sent over the wires was in these words: “What hath God wrought!”

3. The Atlantic cable is the most wonderful application of Professor Morse's discovery yet made. Cyrus W. Field, of New York, was the moving spirit in its conception and construction. Five attempts to lay it were made before complete success was attained, as will be seen by the following history.

4. First attempt, 1857. The American frigate Niagara and the English Agamemnon, each bearing half of the cable, sailed from Valentia Bay on the 7th of August. The former vessel was to lay the Irish half and the latter the American.

[graphic]

5. On the 11th of August the Niagara, having laid three hundred and thirty-four miles, parted the cable in a swell of the ocean, leaving but seven hundred and fifty-nine miles on board. The aggregate surplus on board the two vessels being but two hundred and seven miles greater than the distance between Ireland and Newfoundland, the attempt was abandoned.

6. Second attempt, 1858. The same vessels, laden as before, sailed from Valentia on the 10th of June. On the 26th the cable was spliced in mid-ocean. At the end of five days, the cable having parted three times with a loss of over one hundred miles of its length, the expedition was temporarily abandoned and both vessels were headed for Ireland.

7. Third attempt, 1858. The same vessels, laden as in former attempts, spliced the cable ends on the 29th of July, in mid-ocean, and on the 4th of August the Niagara, in Trinity Bay, received a dispatch from the Agamemnon that she had laid over eleven hundred miles of the cable.

8. On the 5th of August the two countries were wild with enthusiasm over the announcement of success. Bells were rung, men shouted, bonfires blazed, cannon thundered, processions were marched, and the world received this as an unprecedented piece of secular news.

9. Among the public dispatches transmitted were the news of peace in China, a neat congratulation from Queen Victoria to President Buchanan, the President's response to the same, exchange of congratulations between the mayors of New York and London, and, on the 31st of August, an order from England to Halifax for the 62d regiment not to return to England.

10. The whole number of words thus sent to Valentia was two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five, and to Newfoundland one thousand four hundred and seventy

« ПретходнаНастави »