Слике страница
PDF
ePub

6. Saturday afternoon Leo made his appearance, to the astonishment of the whole family. He was caressed and fed and petted, but in the evening he was missing; and the week passed, with occasional expressions of wonder as to what could have become of the dog. For weeks, every Saturday afternoon brought Leo to his old home. Curiosity at last led one of the children to follow him as he left the house,- it was found that he turned in at the poor-house yard.

7. My uncle called the next day at the poor-house, and there learned that, several weeks before, Leo came to the place and attached himself to the assistant, and followed him about in his various duties, and no person calling for him, they had allowed him to remain. Remembering the soliloquy on the day that Leo first left his old home, my uncle was deeply moved, and resolved to take the dog home and have him well cared for; but no coaxing or persuasion or petting could induce him to remain there.

8. It was a custom to permit the inmates of the poorhouse on Saturday afternoons to visit their friends and to return again at a certain hour before dark; and it would appear that Leo took upon himself the privilege granted

to the human inmates, and visited his friends at his old • home, returning at the regular hour — a practice which

he continued, never missing a day so long as he lived.

[ocr errors]

XLII.-A DEED AND A WORD.

1. A little spring had lost its way

Amid the grass and fern;
A passing stranger scooped a well,

Where weary men might turn.

2. He walled it in, and hung with care

A ladle at the brink;
He thought not of the deed he did,

But judged that toil might drink.
3. He passed again, and lo! the well,

By summer never dried,
Had cooled ten thousand parching tongues,

And saved a life beside.

4. A nameless man,

amid a crowd That thronged the daily mart, Let fall a word of hope and love,

Unstudied from the heart;

5. A whisper on the tumult thrown,

A transitory breath -
It raised a brother from the dust,

It saved a soul from death.

6. O germ! O fount! 0 word of love!

O thought at random cast !
Ye were but little at the first,
But mighty at the last !

CHARLES MACKAY.

XLIII.-RICE.

1. Rice is cultivated in most of the warmer portions of the world. Indeed, it can be profitably cultivated only in warm climates. The yield per acre is about six times as much as it is of wheat. Rice was first raised in the United States in the year 1697.

2. In China the rice crop is of great importance. It forms the principal part of the food of the inhabitants; and, as much of the land lies flat and low, and the country is plentifully intersected by canals, there is an excellent opportunity for irrigation. From the time the seed is sown till it is almost ripe the field must be covered with one entire sheet of water.

3. The rivers of China annually overflow these low grounds, bringing with them a rich manure of mud; and when the mud has lain a few days, the Chinese prepare to plant the rice. They inclose a piece of ground with a clay-bank, then plow and harrow it.

4. The grain is sprinkled rather thickly over the field and immediately water is let in till the whole field is covered to the depth of several inches. Channels are cut from the rivers and canals to effect this.

5. Where the grounds lie too high for the rivers to overflow them, the water is raised by pumps and other hydraulic machines. Sometimes a chain of pumps is constructed, each one raising the water a little till the proper height is gained.

6. This is, however, only a preparatory seed-bed. The ground is next prepared for the main crop, by plowing, harrowing, and laying it level. As soon as the plants in the seed-plot are about seven inches high, they are plucked up by the roots and planted separately in rows, either in furrows or in holes about six inches apart.

7. Water is again brought over the whole field, which is divided by low clay.banks into smaller plots, to which the water is conveyed by channels, at pleasure. As the rice grows and ripens, the water is allowed to dry away, so that the crop, when ripe, covers dry ground. The rice is reaped with a small-toothed sickle. The first crop ripens in May. The ground is immediately prepared for a second, which is reaped about October.

8. Neither carts nor cattle are used to carry away the crop. The sheaves are laid upon frames, which are carried (one hanging at each end of a pole or bamboo) on the men's shoulders. Sometimes these sheaves are thrashed out with a flail; sometimes the ends are beaten against a board set up on its edge, or against the sides of a tub; or, more frequently, the sheaves are laid on the ground in a circle and oxen are driven over them to tread out the grain.

9. The grain is separated from the husk, frequently, by pounding in a sort of mortar. A heavy stone fastened to a lever is raised by a man treading on the other end. In some cases mills are built, which lift up these levers perhaps twenty at a time. Sometimes the rice is ground between two flat stones, kept so far asunder as not to crack the grain itself.

10. Half the people of Asia live upon rice. It is almost the only food in many parts of Africa, especially among the Moors, in the northern provinces. Great quantities are sent to Europe and America. Rice is prepared for the table in various ways, and is highly esteemed as an article of food.

XLIV. SUCCESS IN LIFE.

1. This true story inculcates the principle of action on which success in life must always depend. It shows what may be accomplished by perseverance — by resolving to go straight ahead without delay, by overleaping petty obstacles in efforts to do what is right and desirable to be done — through storms as well as sunshine.

2. It was the third year of my residence with Mr. Simpson, who had engaged to do a large amount of work for a publishing house in the city. Sufficient time had been given to accomplish it without an extra effort. But one evening, towards the close of the job, the publisher suddenly appeared in the office.

3. He and Mr. Simpson were alone together some time. When the office was closed for the evening, Mr. Simpson told us (Thomas and me) that the work must be finished in three days at the furthest, and that we must bestir onrselves early in the morning. It was my duty to open the office and prepare it for work.

4. “ Thomas,” said Mr. Simpson, “I want you to get up and do Robert's work to-morrow morning. He looks nearly sick to-night, and must not come into the office till after breakfast.” I had taken a severe cold. The stranger saw and marked us both, and heard Mr. Simpson's directions.

5. “Robert, do you lie in bed in the morning; and, Thomas, by all means be up by four. Here, take my alarm watch and hang it up by your bed-side. Be up, sir, in good season."

6. “Yes, sir,” answered Tom, though in no willing tone.

7. When we went to bed a severe snow-storm was beginning to rage and howl without. The cold was extreme, and the wind a furious northeaster. sank into a peaceful slumber, with the agreeable expectation of lying as long as I chose in the morning. In an incredibly short time, as it seemed — so profound were our slumbers - Thomas and I were aroused by the alarm watch: one — two — three — four! Could it be morning?

8. “It's time to get up, Tom,” said I, shaking his arm. 9. “Get up, then,” he growled roughly.

10. “But I am sick, and you remember what Mr. Simpson said."

11. But Thomas was not to be roused. He was not going to get up so early on such a stormy morning, not he! He was not going to do it for Mr. Simpson, nor for me, nor for any body else — not he! He was not going to get up, if he never did any more work!

I soon

« ПретходнаНастави »