« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
time, and just as he had got off his seat to take one, he heard, as he thought, a foot coming to the door; but no, it was a false alarm.
11. Taking fresh courage, he went cautiously and took a very fine cherry, for he was determined to take but one, and put it into bis mouth. It was excellent; and then he persuaded himself that he ran no risk in taking another; this he did, and hastily popped it into his mouth.
12. Now, the old gentleman had placed a few artificial cherries at the top of the others, filled with Cayenne pepper; one of these Henry had unfortunately taken, and it made his mouth smart and burn most intolerably. The old gentleman heard him coughing, and knew very well what was the matter. The boy that would take what did not belong to him, if no more than a cherry, was not the boy for him. Henry Wilkins was sent about his business without delay, with his mouth almost as hot as if he had put a burning coal into it.
13. Rufus Wilson was next introduced into the room and left to himself; but he had not been there ten minutes before he began to move from one place to another. He was of a bold, resolute temper, but not overburdened with principle; for if he could have opened every cupboard, closet, and drawer in the house, without being found out, he would have done it directly.
14. Having looked around the room, he noticed a drawer to the table, and made up his mind to peep therein. But no sooner did he lay hold of the drawer knob than he set a large bell ringing, which was concealed under the table. The old gentleman immediately answered the summons, and entered the room.
15. Rufus was so startled by the sudden ringing of the bell, that all his impudence could not support him. He looked as though any one might knock him down with a feather. The old gentleman asked him if he had rung the bell because he wanted any thing. Rufus was much confused, and stammered, and tried to excuse himself, but all to no purpose, for it did not prevent him from being ordered off the premises.
16. George Jones was then shown into the room by an old steward; and being of a cautious disposition, he touched nothing, but only looked at the things about him. At last he saw that a closet door was a little open, and, thinking it would be impossible for any one to know that he had opened it a little more, he very cautiously opened it an inch farther, looking down at the bottom of the door, that it might not catch against any thing and make a noise.
17. Now had he looked at the top, instead of the bottom, it might have been better for him; for to the top of the door was fastened a plug, which filled up the hole of a small barrel of shot. He ventured to open the door another inch, and then another, till, the plug being pulled out of the barrel, the leaden shot began to pour out at a strange rate; at the bottom of the closet was placed a tin pan, and the shot falling upon this pan made such a clatter that George was frightened half out of his senses.
18. The old gentleman soon came into the room to inquire what was the matter, and there he found George nearly as pale as a sheet. George was soon dismissed.
19. It now came the turn of Albert Jenkins to be put into the room. The other boys had been sent to their homes by different ways, and no one knew what the experience of the other had been in the room of trial.
20. On the table stood a small round box, with a screw top to it, and Albert, thinking it contained something curious, could not be easy without unscrewing the top; but no sooner did he do this than out bounced an artificial snake, full a yard long, and fell upon his arm. He started back, and uttered a scream which brought the old gentleman to his elbow. There stood Albert, with the bottom of the box in one hand, the top in the other, and the snake on the floor.
21. “Come, come," said the old gentleman, “one snake is quite enough to have in the house at a time; therefore, the sooner you are gone the better.” With that he dismissed him, without waiting a moment for his reply.
22. William Smith next entered the room, and being left alone soon began to amuse himself in looking at the curiosities around him. William was not only curious and prying, but dishonest, too, and observing that the key was left in the drawer of a book-case, he stepped on tiptoe in that direction. The key had a wire fastened to it, which communicated with an electrical machine, and William received such a shock as he was not likely to forget. No sooner did he sufficiently recover himself to walk, than he was told to leave the house, and let other people lock and unlock their own drawers.
23. The other boy was Harry Gordon, and though he was left in the room full twenty minutes, he never during that time stirred from his chair. Harry had eyes in his head as well as the others, but he had more integrity in his heart; neither the dish cover, the cherries, the drawer knob, the closet door, the round box, nor the key tempted him to rise from his seat; and the consequence was that, in half an hour after, he was engaged in the service of the old gentleman at Elm-Tree Hall. He followed his good old master to his grave, and received a large legacy for his upright conduct in his service.
DEFINITIONS.—2. Lăn'guished, suffered, sank away. Im-pos'tor, a deceiver. 3. A-vēr'sion, dislike. In-důlge', to give way to. Pound, a British denomination of money equal in value to about $4.84. 4. Ap-pli-cā'tion, the act of making a request. 9. Conster-nā’tion, excessive terror, dismay. Prin'çi-ple, a right rule of conduct. 12. Ar-ti-fi'cial (pro. är-ti-fĩsh'al), made by art, not real. In-tõl'er-a-bly, in a manner not to be borne. 14. Súm'mons, a call to appear. 19. Ex-pē'ri-ençe, knowledge gained by actual trial. 23. In-těğ'ri-ty, honesty. Lěğ'a-çy, a gift, by will, of personal property.
Eliza Cook (6. 1817, d. 1889) was born at London. In 1837 she commenced contributing to periodicals. In 1840 the first collection of her poems was made. In 1849 she became editor of “ Eliza Cook's Journal."
1. WORK, work, my boy, be not afraid;
Look labor boldly in the face;
And blush not for your humble place.
2. There's glory in the shuttle's song;
There's triumph in the anvil's stroke;
Who dig the mine or fell the oak.
3. The wind disturbs the sleeping lake,
And bids it ripple pure and fresh;
Grand music in their leafy mesh.
4. And so the active breath of life
Should stir our dull and sluggard wills;
With health, that stagnant torpor kills ?
5. I doubt if he who lolls his head
Where idleness and plenty meet,
As those who earn the meals they eat.
6. And man is never half so blest
As when the busy day is spent
A holiday of glad content.
DEFINITIONS.—3. Měsh, net-work. 4. Rīfe, abounding. Stăğ'nant, inactive. Tôr/por, laziness, stupidity. 5. Löllş, reclines, leans.
IX. THE MANIAC.
1. A GENTLEMAN who had traveled in Europe, relates that he one day visited the hospital of Berlin, where he saw a man whose exterior was very striking. His figure, tall and commanding, was bending with age, but more with sorrow; the few scattered hairs which remained on his temples were white almost as the driven snow, and the deepest melancholy was depicted in his countenance.
2. On inquiring who he was and what brought him there, he started, as if from sleep, and, after looking around him, began with slow and measured steps to stride the hall, repeating in a low but audible voice, “Once one is two; once one is two."
3. Now and then he would stop, and remain with his arms folded on his breast as if in contemplation, for some minutes; then again resuming his walk, he continued to repeat, “Once one is two; once one is two." His story, as our traveler understood it, was as follows.
4. Conrad Lange, collector of the revenues of the city of Berlin, had long been known as a man whom nothing could divert from the paths of honesty. Scrupulously exact in all his dealings, and assiduous in the discharge of all his duties, he had acquired the good-will and esteem of all who knew him, and the confidence of the minister of finance, whose duty it is to inspect the accounts of all officers connected with the revenue.
5. On casting up his accounts at the close of a particular year, he found a deficit of ten thousand ducats. Alarmed at this discovery, he went to the minister, presented his accounts, and informed him that he did not know how it had arisen, and that he had been robbed by some person bent on his ruin.
6. The minister received his accounts, but thinking it a duty to secure a person who might probably be a defaulter,