Parker's Second Reader
by Richard G. Parker
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"Understandest thou what thou readest?"—ACTS 6:30.

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year Eighteen Hundred and Fifty-one,


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.



In the preparation of this volume, I have kept fresh in my recollection the immature state of the minds which I have endeavored to enlighten; and while it has been my aim to present such a succession of reading lessons as are suitable for the younger classes in our common schools and academies, I have not forgotten that the first step to be taken, in making good readers, is to open the understanding wide enough to afford a sufficient entrance for the ideas which are to be communicated by reading. Words are but sounds, by which ideas should be conveyed; and written language is of little use, if it convey but sound alone. Great pains have therefore been taken to exclude from this volume what the young scholar cannot understand, while, at the same time, it has been the aim of the author to avoid a puerile style, by which the early intellect is kept down, and its exertions are repressed. In every step and stage of its progress, the maxim "Excelsior" should be the aim of the youthful mind; and the hand of the teacher should be extended, not to lift it up, but only to assist it in its endeavors to raise itself. All of the labor must not be done by the teacher, nor by books. They are of use only in exciting the mind to act for itself. They may, indeed, act as pioneers, but the pupil must not be carried in their arms; he must perform the march himself. And herein lies the great difficulty of the teacher's task: on the one hand, to avoid the evil of leaving too little to be done by the scholar; and, on the other, to be careful that he be not required to do too much. Real difficulties should be lightened, but some labor should be permitted to remain. To make such labor attractive, and easily endured without discouragement, is the task which best shows the tact and skill of the teacher. If this volume be found useful in aiding the teacher, by doing all that should be required from the book, the design of the author will be accomplished.


Kneeland Place, } May, 1851. }


[The Poetical Extracts are designated by Italic Letters]

Lesson Page Preface v 1. The Author's Address to the Pupil 9 2. Same subject, continued 13 3. " " " 17 4. The Discontented Pendulum, Jane Taylor 19 5. Address of the Author to the Pupil, continued 23 6. " " " " " " " concluded 26 7. How to find out the Meaning of Words, Original 29 8. Same subject, continued " 31 9. " " concluded " 34 10. Words " 38 11. Definitions " 42 12. Reading and Spelling " 48 13. Importance of Learning to Spell, Original Version 51 14. Demosthenes, Original 53 15. Hard Words, " 57 16. Fire: a Conversation, " 63 17. Same subject, continued " 67 18. " " concluded " 73 19. The Lark and her Young Ones, Altered from AEsop 79 20. Dogs, Original 82 21. Same subject, concluded " 85 22. Frogs and Toads, Bigland 87 23. Maida, the Scotch Greyhound, Altered from Bigland 90 24. Gelert, " 94 25. Knock again Child's Companion 96 26. Same subject, continued, " 98 27. " " concluded, " 100 28. Make Good Use of Time, Emma C. Embury 102 29. Same subject, continued, " 107 30. " " concluded, " 111 31. Verse, or Poetry, Original 116 32. A Morning Hymn, Anonymous 121 33. Evening Hymn, " 122 34. The Gardener and the Hog, Gay 123 35. The Hare and many Friends, " 125 36. Maxims, Selected 128 37. How to be Happy, Child at Home 129 38. Obedience and Disobedience, Child's Companion 133 39. Obstinacy, Lessons without Books 139 40. King Edward and his Bible, L.H. Sigourney 144 41. What does it Mean to be Tempted? Rose-bud 147 42. Same subject, continued, " 151 43. " " " " 154 44. " " concluded, " 157 45. Mary Dow, H.F. Gould 163 46. It Snows, " 165 47. The Dissatisfied Angler Boy, " 166 48. The Violet: a Fable, Children's Magazine 168 49. Captain John Smith, Juvenile Miscellany 170 50. Same subject, continued, " 173 51 " " " " 176 52. " " concluded, " 179 53. John Ledyard, " 180 54. Same subject, concluded, " 183 55. Learning to Work, Original 185 56. Same subject, continued, Abbott 187 57. " " concluded, " 189 58. The Comma, Parker's Rhetorical Reader 193 59. The Semicolon, " 199 60. The Colon, " 202



The Author's Address to the Pupil.

1. I present to you, my little friend, a new book, to assist you in learning to read. I do not intend that it shall be a book full of hard words, which you do not understand.

2. I do not think it proper to require children to read what they cannot understand. I shall, therefore, show you how you may understand what is in this book, and how you may be able, with very little assistance from your teacher, to read all the hard words, not only in this book, but also in any book which you may hereafter take up.

3. But first let me repeat to you a saying, which, when I was a little boy, and went to school, my teacher used to repeat to me. He said that any one might lead a horse to the water, but no one could make him drink. The horse must do that himself. He must open his own mouth, and draw in the water, and swallow it, himself.

4. And so it is with anything which I wish to teach you. I can tell you many things which it will be useful for you to know, but I cannot open your ears and make you hear me. I cannot turn your eyes so that they will look at me when I am talking to you, that you may listen to me. That, you must do yourself; and if you do not do it, nothing that I can say to you, or do for you, will do you any good.

5. Many little boys and girls, when their teacher is talking to them, are in the habit of staring about the school-room, or looking at their fellow-pupils, or, perhaps, slyly talking to them or laughing with them, when they ought to be listening to what their teacher is saying.

6. Others, perhaps, may appear to be looking at their teacher, while, at the same time, they are thinking about tops and marbles, or kites and dolls, and other play-things, and have no more idea of what their teacher is saying to them than if he were not in the room.

7. Now, here is a little picture, from which I wish to teach you a very important lesson. The picture represents a nest, with four little birds in it. The mother bird has just been out to get some food for them. The little birds, as soon as their mother returns, begin to open their mouths wide, and the mother drops some food from her bill into the mouth of each one; and in this manner they are all fed, until they are old enough to go abroad and find food for themselves.

8. Now, what would these little birds do, if, when their mother brings them their food, they should keep their mouths all shut, or, perhaps, be feeling of one another with their little bills, or crowding each other out of the nest?

9. You know that they would have to go without their food; for their mother would not open their mouths for them, nor could she swallow their food for them. They must do that for themselves, or they must starve.

10. Now, in the same manner that little birds open their mouths to receive the food which their mother brings to them, little boys and girls should have their ears open to hear what their teachers say to them.

11. The little birds, as you see in the picture, have very large mouths, and they keep them wide open to receive all the food that their mother drops; so that none of their food ever falls into the nest, but all goes into their mouths, and they swallow it, and it nourishes them, and makes them grow.

12. So, also, little boys and girls should try to catch, in their ears, everything that their teacher says to them, and keep it in their minds, and be able to recollect it, by often thinking about it; and thus they will grow wise and learned, and be able to teach other little boys and girls, of their own, when they themselves grow up.

13. Now, my little friend, please to open your eyes and see what I have put into this book for you, and open your ears to hear what your kind teacher has to say to you, that your minds may grow, and that you may become wise and good children.


The same subject, continued.

1. I told you, in the last lesson, that I would teach you how to understand what is in this book, and how to read the hard words that you may find in this or in any other book.

2. Now, before you can understand them, you must be able to read them; and in order that you may understand how to read them, you must take the words to pieces; that is, take a few of the letters at a time, and see whether you can read a part of the word first, and then another part, until you have read the whole of it in parts, and then you can put the parts together, and thus read the whole word.

3. Now, in order that you may understand what I mean, I will explain it to you by taking a long word to pieces, and letting you read a part of it at a time, until you have learned how to read the whole word.

4. In the next line, you may read the parts of the word all separated:

Ab ra ca dab ra.

Now you have read the parts of the word ab-ra-ca-dab-ra all separated, you can read them very easily together, so as to make one word, and the word will be Abracadabra.

5. This long and hard word was the name of a false god, that was worshiped many hundreds of years ago, by a people who did not know the true God, whom we worship; and they very foolishly supposed that by wearing this name, written on paper, in a certain manner, it would cure them of many diseases.

6. Here are a few more long and hard words, divided in the same manner, which you may first read by syllables, that is, one syllable at a time:

Val e tu di na' ri an. In de fat i ga bil' i ty. Hy po chon dri' a cal. Me temp sy cho' sis. Hal lu ci na' tion. Zo o no' mi a. Ses qui pe dal' i ty.

7. You may now read these long words as they are here presented, without a division of the syllables, as follows: valetudinarian, indefatigability, hypochondriacal, metempsychosis, hallucination, zoonomia, sesquipedality.

8. Now, you see that words which look hard, and which you find difficult to read, can be easily read, if you take the pains to divide them into parts or syllables, and not try to read the whole word at once.

9. I now propose to relate to you a little story which I read when I was a little boy, and which I think will make you remember what I have just told you about reading hard words, by first taking them to pieces, and reading a part of them at a time.

10. A father, who was dying, called his seven sons around his bed, and showed them a bundle of small sticks tied together, and asked each one to try to break all the sticks at once, without untying the bundle.

11. Each of the sons took the bundle of sticks, and putting it across his knee, tried with all his strength to break it; but not one of them could break the sticks, or even bend them, while they were tied together.

12. The father then directed his oldest son to untie the bundle, and to break each stick separately. As soon as the bundle was untied, each of the sons took the sticks separately, and found that they could easily break every one of them, and scatter them, in small pieces, all about the floor.

13. "Now," said the father, "I wish you, my dear sons, to learn a lesson from these sticks. So long as you are all united in love and friendship, you need fear little from any enemies; but, if you quarrel among yourselves, and do not keep together, you see by these little sticks how easily your enemies may put you down separately."

14. Now, this was a very wise father, and he taught his sons a very useful lesson with this bundle of sticks. I also wish to teach you, my little friend, whoever you are, that are reading this book, another useful lesson from the same story.

15. Hard words, especially long ones, will be difficult to you to read, unless, like the sons in the story, you untie the bundle; that is, until you take the long words apart, and read one part or syllable at a time. Thus you may learn what is meant by that wise saying, "Divide and conquer."


The same subject, continued.

1. I have another lesson to teach you from the same story of the old man and the bundle of sticks, which I think will be very useful to you, and will make your lessons very much easier to you.

2. Whenever you have a lesson to learn, do not look at it all at once, and say, I cannot learn this long lesson; but divide it into small parts, and say to yourself, I will try to learn this first little part, and after I have learned that, I will rest two or three minutes, and then I will learn another little part, and then rest again a few minutes, and then I will learn another.

3. I think that in this way you will find study is not so hard a thing as it seemed to you at first, and you will have another explanation of that wise saying, Divide and conquer.

4. I will now tell you another story that I read when I was a little boy. It was called a fable. But before I tell you the story, I must tell you what a fable is.

5. A fable is a story which is not true. But, although it is not a true story, it is a very useful one, because it always teaches us a good lesson.

6. In many fables, birds and beasts are represented as speaking. Now, you know that birds and beasts cannot talk, and therefore the story, or fable, which tells us that birds and beasts, and other things, that are not alive, do talk, cannot be true.

7. But I have told you, that although fables are not true stories, they are very useful to us, because they teach us a useful lesson. This lesson that they teach is called the moral of the fable; and that is always the best fable that has the best moral to it, or, in other words, that teaches us the best lesson.

8. The story, or the fable, that I promised to tell you, is in the next lesson, and I wish you, when you read it, to see whether you can find out what the lesson, or moral, is which it teaches; and whether it is at all like the story of the father and the bundle of sticks, that I told you in the last lesson. While you read it, be very careful that you do not pass over any word the meaning of which you do not know.


The Discontented Pendulum.—JANE TAYLOR.

1. An old clock, that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's kitchen, without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one summer's morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped.

2. Upon this, the dial-plate (if we may credit the fable) changed countenance with alarm; the hands made a vain effort to continue their course; the wheels remained motionless with surprise; the weights hung speechless;—each member felt disposed to lay the blame on the others.

3. At length the dial instituted a formal inquiry as to the cause of the stagnation, when hands, wheels, weights, with one voice, protested their innocence.

4. But now a faint tick was heard below from the pendulum, who thus spoke:—"I confess myself to be the sole cause of the present stoppage; and I am willing, for the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. The truth is, that I am tired of ticking."

5. Upon hearing this, the old clock became so enraged, that it was on the very point of striking. "Lazy wire!" exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its hands.

6. "Very good!" replied the pendulum; "it is vastly easy for you, Mistress Dial, who have always, as everybody knows, set yourself up above me,—it is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness! You, who have had nothing to do, all the days of your life, but to stare people in the face, and to amuse yourself with watching all that goes on in the kitchen!

7. "Think, I beseech you, how you would like to be shut up for life in this dark closet, and to wag backwards and forwards, year after year, as I do."

8. "As to that," said the dial, "is there not a window in your house, on purpose for you to look through?"—"For all that," resumed the pendulum, "it is very dark here; and although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an instant, to look out at it.

9. "Besides, I am really tired of my way of life; and, if you wish, I'll tell you how I took this disgust at my employment. I happened this morning to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in the course of only the next twenty-four hours; perhaps some of you, above there, can give me the exact sum."

10. The minute-hand, being quick at figures, presently replied, "Eighty-six thousand four hundred times."

11. "Exactly so," replied the pendulum; "well, I appeal to you all, if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by those of months and years, really, it is no wonder if I felt discouraged at the prospect: so, after a great deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I'll stop."

12. The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this harangue; but, resuming its gravity, thus replied: "Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious person as yourself, should have been overcome by this sudden action.

13. "It is true, you have done a great deal of work in your time; so have we all, and are likely to do; which, although it may fatigue us to think of, the question is, whether it will fatigue us to do. Would you now do me the favor to give about half a dozen strokes, to illustrate my argument?"

14. The pendulum complied, and ticked six times in its usual pace. "Now," resumed the dial, "may I be allowed to inquire if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you?"

15. "Not in the least," replied the pendulum; "it is not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions."

16. "Very good," replied the dial; "but recollect, that though you may think of a million strokes in an instant, you are required to execute but one; and that, however often you may hereafter have to swing, a moment will always be given you to swing in."

17. "That consideration staggers me, I confess," said the pendulum.—"Then I hope," resumed the dial-plate, "we shall all immediately return to our duty; for the maids will lie in bed, if we stand idling thus."

18. Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, the pendulum began to swing, and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever; while a red beam of the rising sun, that streamed through a hole in the kitchen window, shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up, as if nothing had been the matter.

19. When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock, he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.


Address of the Author to the Pupil,—continued from Lesson 3d.

1. The fable of the old clock, which has just been read, is intended to teach us a lesson, or moral, and that is, that whenever we have anything to do, whether it be a long lesson or a piece of hard work, we must not think of it all at once, but divide the labor, and thus conquer the difficulty.

2. The pendulum was discouraged when it thought that it had to tick eighty-six thousand four hundred times in twenty-four hours; but when the dial asked it to tick half a dozen times only, the pendulum confessed that it was not fatiguing or disagreeable to do so.

3. It was only by thinking what a large number of times it had to tick in twenty-four hours, that it became fatigued.

4. Now, suppose that a little boy, or a little girl, has a hard lesson to learn, and, instead of sitting down quietly and trying to learn a little of it at a time, and after that a little more, until it is all learned, should begin to cry, and say I cannot learn all of this lesson, it is too long, or too hard, and I never can get it, that little boy, or girl, would act just as the pendulum did when it complained of the hard work it had to do.

5. But the teacher says to the little boy, Come, my dear, read over the first sentence of your lesson to me six times. The little boy reads the first sentence six times, and confesses to his teacher that it was not very hard work to do so.

6. The teacher then asks him to read it over six times more; and the little boy finds that, before he has read it to his teacher so often as the six times more, he can say it without his book before him.

7. In this way, that little boy will find, that it is not, after all, so hard work to get what he calls a hard lesson; because all that he has to do, is to read a small portion of the lesson at a time, and to repeat the reading of that small portion until he can repeat it without the book.

8. When he has done this, he can take another small portion of the lesson, and do the same with that, until, by degrees, he has learnt the whole lesson; and then he will feel happy, because he knows that his teacher, and his parents, will be pleased with him.

9. But some pupils say to themselves, when they have a lesson to learn, I do not want to study this lesson now; I will study it by and by, or to-morrow morning.

10. But, by and by, and when to-morrow comes, they feel no more disposed to study their lesson than they did when the lesson was first given to them.

11. Now, my little friend, if you wish your time at school to pass pleasantly, do not say to yourself, I will get my lesson by and by, or to-morrow, but set yourself about it immediately, learn it as quickly as you can, and I will assure you will not only make your teachers and your parents happier, but you will be much happier yourself.


The Author to the Pupil.

1. In the first lesson, I told you that I would show you how to understand what is in this book; and how you may, with very little assistance from your teacher, be able to read all the hard words that you find in any book.

2. Many little boys and girls are very fond of running out of their places in school, and going up to their teachers with a great many unnecessary questions. This always troubles the teacher, and prevents his going through with all his business in time to dismiss you at the usual hour.

3. Whenever you meet with any real difficulty, that you cannot overcome yourself without his assistance, you should watch for an opportunity when he is at leisure, and endeavor to attract his attention quietly, and without noise and bustle, so that your fellow-pupils may not be disturbed, and then respectfully and modestly ask him to assist you.

4. But if you are noisy and troublesome, and run up to him frequently with questions that, with a little thought, you could easily answer yourself, he will not be pleased with you, but will think that you wish to make trouble; and, perhaps, will appear unkind to you.

5. I will now endeavor to show you how you may understand what is in your book, so that you will have no need to be troublesome to your teacher.

6. In the first place, then, always endeavor to understand every line that you read; try to find out what it means, and, if there is any word that you have never seen or heard of before, look out the word in a dictionary, and see what the meaning of the word is; and then read the line over again, and see whether you can tell what the whole line means, when you have found out the meaning of the strange word.

7. Now, as you can understand everything best when you have an example, I will give you one, as follows. In the tenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, at the first verse, there are these words:

1. "There was a certain man in Cesarea, called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

2. "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, and gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always."

8. I suppose you know what most of the words in these verses mean, except the word centurion in the first verse, and the word alms in the second.

9. Now, if you look for the word centurion in the dictionary, it will tell you that centurion means a military officer, who commanded a hundred men. Thus you find that Cornelius was a soldier; and not only that he was a soldier, but that he was an officer, that commanded soldiers.

10. Again, if you look for the word alms in your dictionary, you will find that it means money given to the poor; and thus you find that Cornelius was a very good man, and not only prayed to God, but also gave much money to assist the poor.

11. You see, then, how useful a book a dictionary is at school, and how important it is that you should have one. If your parents cannot give you a very good one, any one is better than none.

12. But if you have no dictionary, or if you cannot find the word you wish to find in the dictionary, you must then wait for a convenient time to ask your teacher, and he will always be pleased to find that you are trying to understand the words in your lesson.

13. If you have a dictionary, and do not know how to find out the words in it, ask your teacher to show you; and when he has showed you how to use it, be sure never to pass over a single word without knowing what it means.


How to find out the Meaning of Words.—ORIGINAL.

1. Many years ago, when I lived in a small town, near the Merrimac river, a little Spanish girl came to board in the same house.

2. She could speak very well in her own language; but the people in her country speak a language very different from ours: and when she first began to speak, she heard nothing but Spanish words; and she learned no other.

3. She could not speak a word of English, and did not understand a word that was spoken to her by any of the family.

4. Her parents were very rich, but they placed her in the family, that she might learn to speak English.

5. She had no dictionary to turn to, to look out the meaning of words; and if she was hungry, she could not ask for bread, and if she was thirsty, she could not ask for water, nor milk, nor tea, for she did not know the meaning of either of the words, water, tea, nor milk.

6. Perhaps you would be puzzled to tell how she could learn to speak English, if she had no one to teach her, and had no dictionary to inform her about the words.

7. But it was not many days before she could say "bread," if she was hungry, and "water," if she wanted to drink; and I was very much surprised to find how soon it was, at the dinner-table, she could ask for meat, or potato, or pudding; and, at tea-time, for tea, or milk, or sugar, or butter, or bread.

8. I have no doubt that you would like to know how this little Spanish girl learned to speak all of these words. I do not intend to tell you quite yet, but I think you will find out yourself, if you will read the next lesson.


The same subject, continued.

1. About twenty years ago, I was very ill, and, for a long time, my friends thought I never should recover.

2. By the very attentive care of my physician, and by the devoted attention of my wife, I unexpectedly grew better; and the doctor said that I must take a voyage for the recovery of my health.

3. A kind friend, who was going to the West Indies, in a vessel of his own, very generously offered to take me with him, and I gratefully accepted the offer.

4. We sailed from Boston early one morning, and were soon out of sight of the land. I was quite ill during the voyage; but fortunately the voyage was a short one, and we reached the place of our destination on the fourteenth day after we sailed.

5. The island, where we landed, was a beautiful spot; and lemons, oranges, pine-apples, and many other delicious fruits, were growing out in the open air.

6. The people who lived on this island did not speak the English language; and the family with whom I was to reside could speak only in French.

7. I observed, at dinner-time, that some of the persons at the table held out their tumblers to the servant, and said something which sounded to me like O.

8. I often heard this word; and every time it was spoken, water was brought, or poured out, or something was done with water.

9. I then made up my mind that this word that I thought was O meant water; and I found out afterwards that I was right, except that I did not spell it right.

10. This I discovered by means of the Bible, from which the family used to read.

11. It was a very large one, with very large letters; and as I was very fond of hearing them read, and of looking over the book while some one was reading aloud, I noticed that whenever the reader came to the letters e, a, u, he called them O; and thus I found out that water, in their language, was called O, but was spelt e, a, u.

12. In the same manner, I found out the words, or names, which they gave to bread, and sugar, and butter, and meat, and figs, and oranges, and lemons, and pine-apples.

13. And now, perhaps, you may be able to find out how the little Spanish girl, mentioned in the last lesson, learned the meaning of English words that she had never heard until she came to live in the family where nothing but English was spoken.

14. She was obliged to listen, when any one spoke, and watch to see what was wanted; and in the same manner in which I found out the meaning of O, and what to call bread, and sugar, and butter, and meat, and figs, and oranges, and other fruits, she learned to call things by their English names.

15. But, in order to do this, she was obliged to listen very attentively, to try to remember every new name that she learned; and, by so doing, in less than a year she could talk almost as plainly as any one in the house.

16. It was very easy for her to learn the names of things, because she heard them spoken very often. Such words as chair, table, water, sugar, cake, potato, pudding, and other words which are the names of things she could see, she learned very quickly.

17. But such words as come and go, or run and walk, and the little words to and from, and over and under, or such words as quickly and slowly, and many other words of the same kind, she could not learn so easily.

18. In the next lesson perhaps you will find out how she learned the meaning of these words.


The same subject, continued.

1. There was a small family living very near to your residence, my young friends who are reading this lesson, consisting of the father, the mother, and four young children.

2. The oldest was a boy of twelve years old, the next was a little girl of about eight, the third was another pretty little girl of six, and the youngest was an infant boy, only nine months old.

3. As you may well suppose, the baby, as he was called, was the delight, not only of the father and the mother, but also of his elder brother and his two sisters.

4. The oldest brother had a dog whose name was Guido,—an Italian name, which is pronounced as if it were spelt Gwe'do.

5. The dog had learned to love the dear little baby as much as the rest of the family; and very often, when he was lying on the floor, the baby would pull his tail, or his ears, or put his little hand into the creature's mouth, and Guido would play as gently with him as if he knew that the baby was a very tender little thing, and could not bear any rough treatment.

6. Nothing pleased the whole family, and Guido among the rest, so much, as to hear the baby try to say papa, and mamma, and bub, and sis; for he could not say brother, nor sister, nor pronounce any other words plainly.

7. The youngest sister was very fond of making him say these words; and every time the little creature repeated them to her, she would throw her arms around his little neck, and hug and kiss him with all the affectionate love her little heart could express.

8. She often used to dress her little doll as prettily as she knew how; tying its frock on one day with a pretty blue ribbon, and on another with a red one; for she had noticed, that whenever the doll was newly dressed, the dear little baby would look very steadily at it, and hold out its little arms towards it; and then she would carry it to her little brother, and say to him, "Dolly,—pretty dolly,—bub want to see dolly?"

9. One day she had dressed her doll in a very bright new dress, with very gay ribbons, and was carrying it towards her father to show it to him, when suddenly she heard the baby cry out, "Dolly!"

10. She immediately ran with delight to her little brother, holding up the doll in its new shining dress, and repeated her usual words, "Dolly,—bub want dolly?"

11. The baby, delighted, looked up in its mother's face, and laughed, and crowed, and giggled, and in its delight again repeated the word "Dolly!"

12. Pleased with her success, the little sister was unwearied in her efforts to make her little brother repeat other words; and day by day she was gratified to find the list of words which he lisped was growing in length.

13. By the unwearied endeavors of father, mother, brother and sisters, this pretty little baby, by the time that it was three years old, could speak plainly anything that was repeated to him, and had learned the names of almost everything that he saw about the house, the yard, and the street.

14. But it was observed that Guido, the dog, although he could not speak a word, had also learned the names of many things; and when George, the oldest son, told him to go and bring his ball to him, Guido would wag his tail, and go up into George's chamber, and look about the room until he had found the ball; and then he would run down the stairs, and dropping the ball at his young master's feet, look up in his face, expecting that George would throw it down for him to catch again.

15. The baby, however, learnt words and names much faster than Guido; for although Guido knew as much as any dog knows, yet dogs are different creatures from children, and cannot learn so much nor so fast as children can, because it has not pleased God to give them the same powers.

16. Now, perhaps you may wish to know who this interesting family were of whom I have been speaking; and you will probably be surprised to learn, that all I have told you about this little baby is true of every little baby, and that the manner that every infant is taught to speak is the same.

17. It is the same manner as that in which the little Spanish girl, mentioned in the seventh lesson, was taught to speak the English language.



1. I told you, in the last lesson, how an infant child first learned to speak, when it was taught by its father and mother, and brother and sisters.

2. I intend to show you, in this lesson, how the little child learned the meaning of a great many words himself, without the assistance of any one else.

3. He was very fond of Guido, the dog, and watched everything he did, especially when his brother George was playing with him.

4. When George called Guido, and said to the dog, "Come here, Guido," the little boy could not help noticing that Guido went to George.

5. When George's father or mother called George, and said, "Come here, George," the little child saw that George went to his father, or his mother.

6. Now, nobody told the little child what George, or his father, or his mother, meant by the word come; but he always saw, that when any one said to another, "Come," that the one who was spoken to always moved towards the person who called him, and in this way the little child found out what his father or his mother meant by the word come.

7. It was in this way, my young friend who are reading this lesson, that you, yourself, learned the meaning of most of the words that you know.

8. When you were a little child, like the infant of whom I have been speaking, you knew no more about words, or about speaking, than he did.

9. But, by hearing others speak and use words, you learned to use them yourself; and there is no word ever used, either in books or anywhere else, that you cannot find out its meaning, provided that you hear it used frequently, and by different persons.

10. I will now give you an example, to show you what I mean. I will give you a word that you probably never heard of before; and although I shall not tell you what the word means, I think you will find it out yourself, before you have read many more lines of this lesson.

11. The word hippoi is the word that I shall choose, because I know that you do not know the meaning of it; but I wish you to read the following sentences in which the word is used, and I think that you will find out what hippoi means, before you have read them all.

12. In California, and in Mexico, and in most parts of South America, there are many wild hippoi, which feed on the grass that grows wild there.

13. The Indians hunt the hippoi; and when they catch them, they tame them, and put bridles on their heads, and bits in their mouths, and saddles on their backs, and ride on them.

14. A carriage, with four white hippoi, has just passed by the window, and one of the hippoi has dropped his shoe. The coachman must take him to the blacksmith, to have the shoe put on.

15. The noise which hippoi make is a very strange noise, and when they make it they are said to neigh (pronounced na).

16. The hoofs of cows and goats and sheep and deer are cloven; that is, they are split into two parts; but the hoofs of hippoi are not split or cloven, and for that reason they are called whole-hoofed animals.

17. My father has in his barn four hippoi. One of them is red, and has a short tail; another is white, with a few dark hairs in his mane, or long hair on the top of his neck; the third is gray, with dark spots on his body; and the fourth is perfectly black, and has a very long tail, which reaches almost to the ground.

18. Now, from these sentences, I think you will see that hippoi does not mean cows, or goats, or sheep, or deer; and I do not think it necessary to tell you anything more about it, except that it is a word that was spoken by the Corinthians and the Colossians and the Ephesians, the people to whom St. Paul addressed those epistles or letters in the Bible called by their names.

19. When you have read this lesson, your teacher will probably ask you what the word hippoi means; and I hope you will be able to tell him that hippoi means——[here put in the English word for hippoi.]



1. In the last lesson, I gave you a word which you had not seen before, to find out the meaning of it, without looking in a dictionary.

2. I told you, in a former lesson, how the little Spanish girl found out the meaning of words which she did not know; and afterwards informed you how the infant child was taught to speak.

3. Now, I doubt not that you can speak a great many words, and know what they mean when you use them; but I do not think that you ever thought much about the way in which you learned them.

4. Perhaps you will be surprised to hear that everybody learns to talk and to use words in the same way that the little Spanish girl and the little infant learned them; that is, by hearing others use them in different ways, just as the word hippoi was used in the last lesson.

5. Nobody ever told you, probably, the meaning of a great many words that you know; and yet you know them full as well, and perhaps better, than if any one had told you about them.

6. Perhaps you have a brother whose name is John, or George, or James, or a sister whose name is Mary, or Jane, or Ann, or Lucy. You have always heard them called by these names, ever since you, or they, were quite young; and have noticed that when John was called, that the one whose name is John would answer; and as each one answered when spoken to, you learnt which was John, and which was Mary, and which was Lucy.

7. So also, when a certain animal, having two large horns and a long tail, and which is milked every night and morning, passed by, you heard some one say cow; and in this way you learned what the word cow means.

8. So also, when water falls from the sky in drops, little children hear people say it rains; and thus they find out what rain, means.

9. Now, when anybody asks you what any word means, although you know it very well, yet it is a very hard thing to tell what it means,—that is, to give a definition of it,—as you will see by the little story I am about to tell you.

10. A teacher, who was very anxious to make his scholars understand their lessons, once told them he had a very hard question he wished to ask them, and that he would let the one who answered the question best take the head of the class.

11. This teacher never allowed any of his pupils to speak to him without first raising his right hand above his head, to signify that the child had something to say; and when any child raised his hand in this way, if he was not busy, he called upon the child to say what he wished.

12. In this way he prevented the children from troubling him when he was busy; and in this way he also prevented them from interrupting each other, as would be the case if several of them should speak at once.

13. On the day of which I am about to speak, he said to them, Now, children, I have a very hard question to ask you, that does not require you to study, but only to think about it, in order to answer it well; and the one who gives me the best answer shall go to the head of the class. The question is this: What is a bird?

14. Before they heard the question, they looked very sober, and thought their master intended to puzzle them, or to give them a long sentence to commit to memory. But as soon as they heard the question, they began to smile among themselves, and wonder how their teacher should call that a hard question.

15. A dozen hands were immediately raised, to signify that so many of the children were ready to answer it.

16. Well, John, said the teacher, your hand is up; can you tell me what a bird is?

17. John immediately rose, and standing on the right-hand side of his seat, said, A bird is a thing that has two legs.

18. Well, said the teacher, suppose some one should saw off two of the legs of my chair; it would then be a thing that has two legs; but it would not be a bird, would it? You see, then, that your answer is not correct.

19. I will not mention the names of the other children who raised their hands; but I will tell you what the answers were which some of them made to the questions, and what the teacher said about each of their answers.

20. One of the children said that a bird is an animal with two legs. But, said the teacher, all little boys and girls, and all men and women, are animals with two legs; but they are not birds.

21. Another child said that a bird is an animal that has wings. But the teacher said there are some fishes that have wings, and that fishes are not birds.

22. A bright little girl then modestly rose and said, A bird is an animal that has legs and wings, and that flies. The teacher smiled upon her very kindly, and told her that it is true that a bird has legs and wings, and that it flies; but, said he, there is another animal, also, that has legs and wings, and that flies very fast in the air. It is called a bat. It flies only in the night; but it has no feathers, and therefore is not a bird.

23. Upon hearing this, another bright-eyed child very timidly rose and said, A bird is an animal that has legs, wings and feathers. Very well, said the teacher; but can you not think of anything else that a bird has, which other creatures have not?

24. The children looked at one another, wondering what their teacher could mean; and no one could think what to say, until the teacher said to them, Think a moment, and try to tell me how a bird's mouth looks. Look first at my mouth. You see I have two lips, and these two lips form my mouth. Now, tell me whether a bird has two lips; and if he has not, what he has instead of lips.

25. One of the children immediately arose and said, that a bird has no lips, but he has a bill; and that bill opens as the lips of a man do, and forms the mouth of the bird.

26. Yes, said the teacher; and now listen to me while I tell you the things you should always mention, when you are asked what a bird is,—

First, A bird is an animal. Secondly, It has two legs. Thirdly, It has two wings. Fourthly, It has feathers. Fifthly, It has a hard, glossy bill.

27. And now, said the teacher, you see that I was right when I told you that I had a hard question to ask you, when I asked What is a bird?

28. Now, if you will join all of these things which belong to a bird in the description which you give in answer to my question, What is a bird, you will then give a correct definition of a bird,—that is, you will tell exactly what a bird is, and no more, and no less.

29. A bird is an animal covered with feathers, having two legs, two wings, and a hard, glossy bill.

30. When you are asked what anything is, recollect what I have told you about a bird, and try to recall everything that you ever knew about the thing, and in this way you will be able to give a satisfactory answer.

31. This will also teach you to think, and that is one of the most important objects for which you go to school. It will enable you also to understand what you read; and you can always read those things best which you understand well.


Reading and Spelling.

1. Another important thing for which you go to school is to learn how to spell. It is not always very easy to spell, because there are so many different ways in which the same letters are pronounced in different words.

2. That you may understand what I mean, I shall give an example, to show you how many different ways the same letters are pronounced in different words; and also another example, to show you how many different ways there are of spelling the same syllable.

3. To show you, first, in how many different ways the same letters are pronounced in different words, I shall take the letters o, u, g, h.

4. The letters o, u, g, h, are sounded or pronounced like the letter o alone, in the word though. The letters o, u, g, h, are pronounced like uf, in the word tough.

5. In the word cough, the letters o, u, g, h, are pronounced like off. In the words slough and plough, the letters o, u, g, h, are pronounced like ow; and in the word through, they are pronounced like ew, or like u.

6. In the word hiccough the letters ough are pronounced like up—and in the word lough, the letters are pronounced like lok.

7. There are many words which end with a sound like shun; and this syllable is spelled in many different ways, as you will see in the following example.

8. In the words ocean, motion, mansion, physician, halcyon, Parnassian, Christian, and many other such words, the last syllable is pronounced as if it were spelled shun.

9. You see, then, that in some words a syllable sounding very much like shun is spelled

cean, as in ocean; in some it is spelled tion, as in nation; in some it is spelled sion, as in mansion; in some it is spelled cian, as in physician; in some it is spelled cyon, as in halcyon; in some it is spelled sian, as in Parnassian.

10. It is such things as these which make both reading and spelling very hard lessons for young children. If they think of them all at once, as the pendulum did of the eighty-six thousand times that it had to swing in twenty-four hours, it is no wonder if they feel discouraged, and say, I can't get these hard lessons.

11. But you must recollect that, as the pendulum, every time it had to swing, had a moment given it to swing in, so you also have a moment given you to learn everything in; and if you get a little at a time, you will, in the end, finish it all, if it be ever so large.

12. You have seen the workman engaged in building a brick house. He takes one brick at a time, and lays it on the mortar, smoothing the mortar with his trowel; and then he takes another brick, and another, until he has made a long row for the side of the house.

13. He then takes another brick, and lays that on the first row; and continues laying brick after brick, until the house gradually rises to its proper height.

14. Now, if the workman had said that he could never lay so many bricks, the house would never have been built; but he knew that, although he could lay but one brick at a time, yet, by continuing to lay them, one by one, the house would at last be finished.

15. There are some children, who live as much as a mile, or a half of a mile, from the school-house. If these children were told that they must step forward with first one foot and then the other, and must take three or four thousand steps, before they could reach the school-house, they would probably be very much discouraged, every morning, before they set out, and would say to their mothers, Mother, I can't go to school,—it is so far; I must put out one foot, and drag the other after it, three thousand times, before I can get there.

16. You see, then, that although it may appear to be a very hard thing to learn to read and to spell so many words as there are in large books, yet you are required to learn but a few of them at a time; and if there were twice as many as there are, you will learn them all, in time.

17. I shall tell you a story, in the next lesson, to show you how important it is to know how to spell.


Importance of Learning to Spell.—ORIGINAL VERSION.

1. A rich man, whose education had been neglected in early life, and who was, of course, very ignorant of many things which even little boys and girls among us now-a-days know very well, lived in a large house, with very handsome furniture in it.

2. He kept a carriage, and many servants, some of whom were very much better educated than he was himself.

3. This rich man had been invited out many times to dine with his neighbors; and he observed that at the dinners to which he was invited there were turkeys, and ducks, and chickens, as well as partridges, and quails, and woodcocks, together with salmon, and trout, and pickerel,—with roasted beef, and lamb, and mutton, and pork.

4. But he noticed that every one seemed to be more fond of chickens than anything else, but that they also ate of the ducks and the turkeys.

5. He, one day, determined to invite his friends to dine with him, in return for their civilities in inviting him; and he made up his mind to have an abundance of those things, in particular, of which he had observed his friends to be most fond.

6. He accordingly sent his servant to market, to buy his dinner; and, for fear the servant should make any mistake, he wrote his directions on paper, and, giving the paper, with some money, to the servant, he sent him to the market.

7. The servant took the paper and the money, and set off. Just before he reached the market, he opened the paper, to see what his master had written.

8. But his master wrote so very badly, it took him a long time to find out what was written on the paper; but, at last, he contrived to make it out, as follows:

9. "Dukes would be preferred to Turks; but Chittens would be better than either."

10. What his master meant by dukes, and turks, and chittens, he could not guess. No such things were for sale at the market, and he did not dare to return home without buying something.

11. As he could find nothing like dukes nor turks, he happened to see a poor woman carrying home a basket full of kittens. This was the most like chittens of anything he could find; and not being able to get what his master had written for, he thought his master meant kittens. He therefore bought the basket of kittens, and carried them home for his master's dinner.



1. There lived, a great many years ago, in Athens, one of the most renowned cities of Greece, a very celebrated orator, whose name was Demos'thenes.

2. But you will not understand what an orator is, until you are told that it means a person who speaks before a large number of people, to persuade them what to do, or to give them information, or good advice.

3. Thus, when a minister or clergyman preaches a good sermon, and speaks in such a manner as to please all who hear him, convincing them of their duty, and persuading them to do it, he is called an orator.

4. Demos'thenes was not a clergyman, or minister, but he spoke before large assemblies of the Athenians, and they were very much delighted to hear him. Whenever it was known that he intended to speak in public, every one was anxious to hear him.

5. Now, I wish to show you how hard he worked, and what he did, to become a great orator.

6. In the first place, then, he had a very weak voice, and could not speak loud enough to be heard by a large assembly; and, besides this, he was very much troubled with shortness of breath. These were very great discouragements, and had he not labored very hard to overcome them, he never could have succeeded.

7. To cure his shortness of breath, he used to go up and down stairs very frequently, and run up steep and uneven places; and to strengthen his voice, he often went to the sea-shore, when the waves were very noisy and violent, and talked aloud to them, so that he could hear his own voice above the noise of the waters.

8. He could not speak the letter r plainly, but pronounced it very much as you have heard some little boys and girls pronounce it, when they say a wed wose for a red rose, or a wipe cherwy instead of a ripe cherry.

9. Besides this, he stammered, or stuttered, very badly. To cure himself of these faults in speaking, he used to fill his mouth full of pebbles, and try to speak with them in his mouth.

10. He had a habit, also, of making up faces, when he was trying to speak hard words; and, in order to cure himself of this, he used to practice speaking before a looking-glass, that he might see himself, and try to correct the habit.

11. To break himself of a habit he had of shrugging up his shoulders, and making himself appear hump-backed, he hung up a sword over his back, so that it might prick him, with its sharp point, whenever he did so.

12. He shut himself up in a cave under ground, and, in order to confine himself there to his studies, he shaved the hair off of one half of his head, so that he might be ashamed to go out among men.

13. It was in this way that this great man overcame all of his difficulties, and, at last, became one of the greatest orators that have ever lived.

14. Now, whenever you have a hard lesson to read, or to study, think of Demos'thenes, and recollect how he overcame all his difficulties, and I think you will find that you have few things to do so hard as these things which he did.

15. When your teacher requests you to put out your voice and speak loud, remember what Demos'thenes used to do to strengthen his voice, and you will find very little trouble in speaking loudly enough to be heard, if you will only try.


Hard Words.

1. In one of the former lessons, you were taught how to read long and hard words, by taking them to pieces, and reading a part of a word at a time.

2. I promised you also that this book should not be filled with hard words; but I did not promise that there should be no hard words in it.

3. Having taught you how to read hard words, I propose, in this lesson, to give you a few long words to read,—not for the purpose of understanding what they mean, but only to make you able to read such words, when you find them in any other book.

4. The best way of getting rid of all difficulties, is to learn how to overcome them, and master them; for they cease to be difficulties, when you have overcome them.

5. Demos'thenes, as I told you in the last lesson, had a very hard task to perform, before he became a great orator. You, also, can become a good scholar, if you will take pains to study your lessons, and learn them well.

6. Before you read any lesson to your teacher from this book, it is expected that you will study it over, and find out all the most difficult words, so that you may read them right off to him, without stopping to find them out, while he is waiting to hear you read them.

7. Now, here I shall place a few hard words for you to study over, to read to your teacher when you read this lesson to him; and he will probably require every one in your class to read them all aloud to him.

8. I wish you not to go up to your teacher to ask him to assist you, until you have tried yourself to read them, and find that you cannot.

9. There are some words that are not pronounced as they are spelt, as I have taught you in a former lesson.

10. Such a word as phthisic, which is pronounced as if it were spelled tis'ic, I dare say would puzzle you, if you had never seen it before; but before you go up to your teacher, to ask him any questions, you should read over the whole of your lesson, and perhaps you will find, in the lesson itself, something that will explain what puzzled you; and thus you could find it out from your book, without troubling your teacher.

11. Here are some of the long words I wish you to read.

12. Organization, Theoretical, Metaphysical, Metempsychosis, Multitudinous, Arithmetician, Metaphysician, Hyperbolical.

13. Apotheosis, Indefeasible, Feasibility, Supersaturated, Prolongation, Meridional, Ferruginous, Fastidiousness.

14. Haberdashery, Fuliginous, Exhalation, Prematurely, Depreciation, Appreciability, Resuscitate, Surreptitious, Interlocutory.

15. Sometimes the letters a e, and o e, are printed together, like one letter, as in the words Caesar, Coelebs, and then the syllable is pronounced as if it were spelled with e alone, as in the following words:

16. Diaeresis, Aphaeresis, OEcumenical, AEthiop, Subpoena, Encyclopaedia, Phoenix, Phoebus, AEolus.

17. When there are two little dots over one of the letters, they are both to be sounded, as in the word Aerial, which is pronounced a-e-ri-al.

18. The letter c is one which puzzles many young persons who are learning to read, because it is sometimes pronounced like k, as in the word can, and sometimes like s, as in the word cent; and they do not know when to pronounce it like k, and when to sound it like s.

19. But if you will recollect that c is sounded like k when it stands before the letters a, o, or u, and that it is sounded like s before the letters e, i, and y, you will have very little trouble in reading words that have the letter c in them.

20. So also the letter g has two sounds, called the hard sound, and the soft sound. The hard sound is the sound given to it in the word gone; the soft sound is that which is heard in the word gentle.

21. The same rule which you have just learnt with regard to the letter c applies to the letter g. It has its hard sound before a, o, and u, and its soft sound before e, i, and y.

22. There are, it is true, some words where this rule is not applied; but these words are very few, so that you may safely follow this rule in most words.

23. The letters ph are sounded like f. The letters ch are sounded sometimes like k, as in the words loch and monarch, and sometimes like sh, as in the words chaise and charade; and they have sometimes a sound which cannot be represented by any other letters, as in the words charm and chance.

24. I suppose that you have probably learned most of these things which I have now told you in your spelling-book; but I have repeated them in this book, because I have so often found that little boys and girls are very apt to forget what they have learned.

25. If you recollect them all, it will do you no harm to read them again, but it will impress them more deeply on your memory. But if you have forgotten them, this little book will recall them to your mind, so that you will never forget them.

26. I recollect, when I was a little boy, that the letter y used to trouble me very much when it began a word, and was not followed by one of the letters which are called vowels, namely, a, e, i, o, u. I knew how to pronounce ya, ye, yi, yo, yu; but one day, when I was studying a lesson in geography, I saw a word which was spelt Y, p, r, e, s, which puzzled me very much.

27. I knew that the letters p, r, e, s, would spell pres, but I did not know what to call the y. After studying it a long time, I found that the letter y, in that word and some others, was to be pronounced like the long e, and that the word was pronounced Epres, though it was spelled Y, p, r, e, s.

28. Perhaps you will be able, when you grow up, to write a book; and to tell little boys and girls who go to school, when you have grown up, how to read hard words, better than I have told you.

29. If you wish to do so, you must try to recollect what puzzles you most now, and then you will be able to inform them how to get over their difficulties and troubles at school; and when they grow up, I have no doubt that they will feel very grateful to you for the assistance you have given them.


Fire,[A]—a Conversation between a Mother and her little Daughter.

Daughter. Mother dear, you told me, the other day, that nobody knows what light is, except the Great Creator. Now, can you tell me what fire is?

Mother. I fear, my child, that you have asked another question which I cannot directly answer. What fire is, is known only by its effects.

Daughter. And what are its effects, mother?

Mother. Some of its effects are as well known to you, my dear, as they are to me; and I shall, in the first place, call to your recollection what you yourself know about fire, before I attempt to give you any further information in relation to it.

Daughter. Why, mother, I am sure I do not know what fire is.

Mother. No, Caroline, I know that you do not know what fire is; neither do I, nor does any one, except the Great Creator himself. This is one of his secrets, which, in his wisdom, he reserves for himself.

But you certainly know some of the effects of fire. For instance, you know that when you have been out into the cold, you wish, on your return, to go to the fire. Now, can you tell me what you go to the fire for?

Daughter. Why, certainly, mother; I go to the fire to warm myself.

Mother. And how does the fire warm you, my dear?

Daughter. Why, it sends out its heat, mother; and I hold out my hands to it, and feel the heat.

Mother. And where does the heat come from, Caroline?

Daughter. Why, the heat comes from the fire, mother.

Mother. Then, my dear, you know at least one of the effects of fire. It produces, or rather sends out, heat.

Daughter. But does not the fire make the heat, mother?

Mother. If you had a little bird, or a mouse, in a cage, and should open the door and let it out, should you say that you made the little bird, or the mouse?

Daughter. Say that I made them, mother?—why, no; certainly not. I only let them go free. God made them. You told me that God made all things.

Mother. Neither did the fire make the heat. It only made it free, somewhat in the same manner that you would make the bird or the mouse free, by opening the door of the cage.

Daughter. Why, mother, is heat kept in cages, like birds or mice?

Mother. No, my dear, not exactly in cages, like birds or mice; but a great deal closer, in a different kind of cage.

Daughter Why, mother, what sort of a cage can heat be kept in?

Mother. I must answer your question, Caroline, by asking you another. When Alice makes her fire in the kitchen, how does she make it?

Daughter. She takes some wood, or some coal, and puts under it some pine wood, which she calls kindling, and some shavings, and then takes a match and sets the shavings on fire, and very soon the fire is made.

Mother. But does she not first do something to the match?

Daughter. O, yes; I forgot to say that she lights the match first, and then sets fire to the shavings with the lighted match.

Mother. But how does she light the match, my dear?

Daughter. Why, mother, have you never seen her? She rubs one end of the match on the box, where there is a little piece of sand-paper, and that sets the match on fire.

Mother. Is there any fire in the sand-paper, Caroline?

Daughter. Why, no, mother; certainly not.

Mother. Was there any fire in the match, before she lighted it?

Daughter. Why, no, mother; if there had been, she would have had no need to light it.

Mother. You see, then, that fire came when she rubbed the match against the sand-paper; and that the fire was not in the sand-paper, nor in the match.

Daughter. Yes, mother, but I did not see where it came from.

Mother. I am going to explain that to you, my dear, in the next lesson.


[A] This lesson, together with the two following lessons, is taken from a little book, called "Juvenile Philosophy," published by Messrs. A.S. Barnes & Co., 51 John-street, New York. It consists of nine conversations, between a little girl and her mother, on the subjects, Rain, Color, Vision or Sight, the Eye, Light, Fire, Heat and Wind.


The same subject, continued.

Mother. Did you ever see a person rub his hands together, when he was cold?

Daughter. O yes, mother, a great many times. I have seen father come in from the cold, and rub his hands together, and afterwards hold them to the fire and rub them again, and then they get warm.

Mother. And now, Caroline, take your hand and rub it quickly backwards and forwards, over that woolen table-cloth, on the table in the corner of the room, and tell me whether that will make your hand warm.

Daughter. O, yes, dear mother; I feel it grow warmer, the faster I rub it.

Mother. Here are two small pieces of wood. Touch them to your cheek, and tell me whether they feel warm now.

Daughter. They do not feel warm, nor cold, mother.

Mother. Now rub them together quickly a little while, and then touch them to your cheek.

Daughter. O, dear, mother! they are so hot that they almost burnt my cheek.

Mother. Yes, Caroline; and do you not recollect, when you read Robinson Crusoe, that his man Friday made a fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together?

Daughter. O, yes, dear mother; and I have often wondered why Alice could not light her lire and the lamp in the same manner, without those matches, which have so offensive a smell.

Mother. It is very hard work, my dear, to obtain fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together; and it would take too long a time to do it. The two pieces of wood would grow warm by a very little rubbing; but in order to make them take fire, they must be rubbed together a great while.

Daughter. But, mother, if it takes so long a time to get fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together, why can Alice set the match on fire so easily by rubbing it once on the sand-paper?

Mother. That is what I am about to explain to you, my dear. Here, take this piece of paper and hold it up to the lamp.

Daughter. It has taken fire, mother.

Mother. Now take this piece of pine wood, and hold that up to the lamp in the same manner, and see whether that will take fire too.

Daughter. Yes, mother, it has taken fire; but I had to hold it up to the lamp much longer than I did the paper.

Mother. Now take this piece of hard wood, and do the same with that.

Daughter. The hard wood takes longer still to catch fire, mother.

Mother. Yes, my child. And now I am going to make the hard wood take fire more quickly than the paper did.

Daughter. Dear mother, how can you do it?

Mother. I am going to show you, my dear. Here is a small phial, which contains something that looks like water. It is spirits of turpentine. I shall dip the point of the piece of hard wood into the phial, and take up a little of the spirits of turpentine. Now, Caroline, touch the point of the hard wood with the turpentine on it to the flame.

Daughter. Why, mother, it caught fire as soon as I touched the flame with it!

Mother. Yes, certainly; and you now see that some things, like the spirits of turpentine and the paper, take fire very readily, and others take fire with more difficulty.

Daughter. Yes, mother; but when Alice drew the match across the sand-paper, there was no flame nor fire to touch it to. How, then, could it take fire?

Mother. Hold this piece of paper up to the blaze of the lamp, my dear, but be careful not to touch the fire or flame of the lamp; only hold it close to the blaze.

Daughter. Why, mother, it has taken fire!

Mother. You see, then, that a thing will sometimes take fire when it does not touch the fire.

Daughter. Yes, mother; but I do not understand where the fire comes from.

Mother. The fire comes from the heat, my dear. Now, you know that heat is produced by rubbing two things together; and that some things, like the spirits of turpentine, take fire very easily, or with very little heat; and others, like the hard wood, require to be heated some time,—or, in other words, require much heat,—to make them take fire, or to burn. Some things require only as much heat to make them take fire as can be obtained by rubbing them together very quickly, like the wood which Robinson Crusoe's man Friday used.

Daughter. But, mother, the match is made of wood,—why does that take fire so easily?

Mother. It is true, Caroline, that the match is made of wood; but it has something at the end of it, which takes fire much more easily than the spirits of turpentine. Indeed, so easily does it take fire, that it requires only so much heat to set it on fire as can be obtained by drawing the match once across the sand-paper.

Daughter. But, mother, matches do not always take fire. I have seen Alice rub several across the sand-paper, before she could set one on fire.

Mother. That is true, and the reason of this is, that the matches are not all well made. Now, if I should take several pieces of hard wood and tie them together, and dip their ends into the spirits of turpentine, what would happen, if the ends of some of the pieces did not touch the spirits of turpentine, because I had not tied them together with their points all even?

Daughter. Why, mother, some of them would take fire easily, because the points had the spirits of turpentine on them; while those which did not touch the spirits could not be lighted so easily.

Mother. So it is, my dear, with the matches. They are all dipped into the substance which takes fire so easily; but some of the ends do not reach the substance, and do not become coated with it, and therefore they will not light more easily than the pine wood of which they are made.


The same subject, concluded.

Daughter. Well, mother, I understand, now, how the match is set on fire. It is rubbed on the sand-paper, and that produces heat, and the heat sets the match on fire. But I always thought that fire makes heat, and not that heat makes fire.

Mother. Heat does not always make fire, Caroline; for, if it did, everything would be on fire.

Daughter. Everything on fire, mother! why, what do you mean?

Mother. I mean, my dear, that everything contains heat.

Daughter. Everything contains heat, mother, did you say? Why, then, is not everything warm? Some things, mother, are very cold; as ice, and snow, and that marble slab.

Mother. Yes, my child, everything contains heat, as I shall presently show you. When Alice goes to make a fire in a cold day, she does not carry the heat with her, and put it into the fire, nor into the wood, nor the coal, does she?

Daughter. Why, no, to be sure not, mother.

Mother. And the heat that comes from the fire, after it is made, does not come in at the windows, nor down the chimney, does it?

Daughter. Why, no, mother; it feels cold at the windows, and cold air comes down the chimney.

Mother. But, after the fire is made, we feel much heat coming from the fire, do we not?

Daughter. Why, yes, mother; that is what the fire is made for. We feel cold, and we want a fire to make us warm; and when the fire is made, it sends out heat, and makes us warm.

Mother. Well, now, where can the heat come from? You know what fire is made from, do you not?

Daughter. Certainly, mother; the fire is made of wood, or of coal.

Mother. But is the wood or the coal warm before the fire is made?

Daughter. No, mother, the wood and the coal come from the cold wood-house, or the cellar, and they are both very cold.

Mother. And yet, the wood and the coal become very hot when they are on fire.

Daughter. O yes, mother, so hot that we cannot touch them with our hands, and we have to take the shovel or the tongs to move them.

Mother. And do they burn the shovel and the tongs, my dear?

Daughter. Why, no, mother; if they did, the shovel and the tongs would be of little use in stirring the fire.

Mother. Can you think of any reason why they do not burn the shovel and the tongs?

Daughter. You told me, mother, that some things require a very little heat to set them on fire, and that other things require a great deal. I suppose that there was not heat enough to set them on fire; and if there had been, they would not burn, because they are made of iron.

Mother. You are partly right, my dear, and partly wrong. They would not burn, because there was not heat enough in the fire to burn them. But there are very few things, and in fact it may be doubted whether there is anything, which will not burn, when sufficient heat is applied. But let us return to the fire: you say the heat does not come from the windows nor from the chimney, and you say, also, that the wood and the coal are both cold. Now, where can the heat come from?

Daughter. I am sure I cannot tell, mother; will you please to tell me?

Mother. You recollect that I told you that the rubbing of the match on the sand-paper produces a little heat, which caused the match to burn. The match was then applied to the shavings, and, as it was burning, gave out heat enough to set the shavings on fire; the shavings produced heat enough to set the pine wood, or kindling, on fire, and then the pine wood, or kindling, produced more heat, and set the wood and coal on fire. Now, there was nothing to produce the heat but the match, the shavings, the wood and the coal; and the heat must have been in them. The fire only served to set it free, and let it come out of the match, the wood, and the coal.

Daughter. But, mother, how did the heat get into the wood and coal?

Mother. It is not known, my dear, how the heat got into the wood and coal, any more than how the fruit gets on to a tree. We say that it grows on the tree; but what growing is, and how it is caused, are among the secrets of God.

Daughter. If the heat is in the wood and the coal, mother, why do we not feel it in them? They both feel cold. I cannot perceive any heat in them.

Mother. The heat is in the wood and the coal, although you do not see it. Do you see any smoke in the wood and the coal, my dear?

Daughter. No, mother, I do not.

Mother. Did you never see a stick of wood fall on the hearth from the kitchen fire, and see the smoke coming from it?

Daughter. O yes, mother, very often; and the smoke goes all over the room, and into my eyes, and makes the tears come into my eyes.

Mother. And can you see the smoke in the wood before the wood is put on the fire?

Daughter. No, mother, I am sure I cannot.

Mother. But you are sure that the smoke comes from the wood, are you not?

Daughter. O yes, mother; I see it coming right out of the wood.

Mother. Then, my dear, I suppose you know that if there is something in the wood and coal, which you call smoke, although you cannot see it until it comes out, you can easily conceive how another thing, which we call heat, can be in the wood and coal, which we cannot perceive until it is made to come out.

Daughter. O yes, mother; how wonderful it is!

Mother. Yes, my dear, all the works of God are wonderful; and what is very surprising is, that many of his most wonderful works are so common, so continually before our eyes, that we do not deem them wonderful until we have been made to think much about them, by talking about them, as you and I have talked about the rain, and the clouds, and light, and its colors.

Daughter. I have been thinking, mother, about Alice and the fire. You told me that the fire did not make the heat, any more than I make the little mouse or the bird when I open the cage door and let them out. I see now how it is. Alice brings the wood and the coal into the kitchen fireplace, and the match lets the heat out of the shavings, and the shavings let it out of the wood and the coal, until we get heat enough to make us warm.

Mother. Yes, my dear; and there is no more heat in the room after the fire is made than there was before,—only, before the fire was made, the heat was hid, and we could not perceive it; but when the fire is made, it makes the heat come out, and makes it free, just as I make the little bird free, by opening his cage door.


The Lark and her Young Ones.—Altered from AESOP.

1. A lark having built her nest in a corn-field, the corn grew ripe before the young ones were able to fly. Fearing that the reapers would come to cut down the corn before she had provided a safe place for her little ones, she directed them every day, when she went out to obtain their food, to listen to what the farmers should say about reaping the corn.

2. The little birds promised their mother that they would listen very attentively, and inform her of every word they should hear.

3. She then went abroad; and on her return, the little birds said to their mother, Mother, you must take us away from here; for while you were gone we heard the farmer tell his sons to go and ask some of his neighbors to come to-morrow morning early, and help them cut down the corn.

4. Is that what he said? asked their mother. Yes, mother, said the little birds; and we are very much afraid that you cannot find a safe place for us before the farmer and his neighbors begin to cut down the corn.

5. Do not be afraid, my children, said the lark; if the former depends on his neighbors to do his work for him, we shall be safe where we are. So lie down in the nest, and give yourselves no uneasiness.

6. The next day, when the mother went out for food, she directed the little ones again to listen, and to tell her all that they should hear.

7. In the evening, when she returned, the little ones told her that the farmer's neighbors did not come to assist him on that day; and that the farmer had told his sons to go and request his friends and relations to come and assist him to cut down the corn, early in the next day morning.

8. I think, my children, said the lark, we shall still be safe here; and we will, therefore, feel no anxiety or concern to-night.

9. On the third day, the mother again charged the young larks to give her a faithful report of what was done and said, while she was absent.

10. When the old lark returned that evening, the little larks told her that the farmer had been there, with his sons, early in the morning; but, as his friends and relations had not come to assist him, he had directed his sons to bring some sharp sickles early in the next morning, and that, with their assistance, he should reap the corn himself.

11. Ah! said the mother, did he say so? Then it is time for us to prepare to be gone; for when a man begins to think seriously of doing his work himself, there is some prospect that it will be done; but if he depends on his friends, his neighbors, or his relations, no one can tell when his work will be done.

12. Now, this little story is called a Fable. It cannot be true, because birds do not and cannot speak.

13. But, although it is not true, it is a very useful little story, because it teaches us a valuable lesson: and that is, that it is best to do our own work ourselves, rather than to depend upon others to do it for us; for, if we depend upon them, they may disappoint us, but whatever we determine to do for ourselves, we can easily accomplish, if we go right to work about it.



1. I never knew a little boy that was not fond of a dog, and I have never seen many dogs which were not fond of little children.

2. It is not safe for little children to touch every strange dog that they see, because some dogs are naturally rather cross, and may possibly bite any one who touches them, when they do not know the persons.

3. But when a dog knows any one, and sees that his master is fond of that person, he will let such a person play with him. He is always pleased with any attentions that his master's friends bestow on him.

4. Large dogs are generally more gentle than small ones, and seldom bark so much as the little ones do. They are also more easily taught to carry bundles and baskets, and draw little carriages for children to ride in.

5. Some people are very much afraid of dogs, because they sometimes run mad. The bite of a mad dog produces a very dreadful disease, called Hydropho'bia.

6. This is a long and hard word, and means a fear of water. It is called by that name because the person who has the disease cannot bear to touch or to see water.

7. Dogs that are mad cannot bear to see water. They run from it with dreadful cries, and seem to be in very great distress.

8. Whenever, therefore, a dog will drink water, it is a pretty sure sign that he is not mad.

9. This dreadful disease very seldom affects dogs that are properly supplied with water.

10. Dogs require a great deal of water. They do not always want much at a time, and it is seldom that they drink much. But whoever keeps a dog ought always to keep water in such a place that the dog may go to it to drink, whenever he requires it.

11. A dog is a very affectionate animal, and he will permit his master, and his master's children and friends, to do a great many things to him, which he would perhaps bite others for doing.

12. There are many very interesting stories told of dogs, which show their love and fidelity to their masters, which you can read in a book called "Anecdotes of Dogs."

13. But there are a few little stories about dogs that I know, which I will tell you, that are not contained in that book. I know these stories to be true.

14. My son had a dog, whose name was Guido. He was very fond of playing in the street with the boys, early in the morning, before they went to school.

15. Guido was always very impatient to get out into the street in the morning, to join the boys in their sports; and all the boys in the street were very fond of him.

16. He used to wake very early, and go into the parlor, and seat himself in a chair by the window, to look out for the boys; and as soon as he saw a boy in the street, he would cry and whine until the servant opened the door for him to go out.

17. One very cold morning, when the frost was on the glass, so that he could not see out into the street, he applied his warm tongue to the glass, and licking from it the frost, attempted to look out.

18. But the spot which he had made clear being only large enough to admit one of his eyes, he immediately made another, just like it, in the same manner, for the other eye, by which he was enabled to enjoy the sight as usual. In the next lesson, I will tell you some other little stories of Guido, and another dog, whose name was Don, that belonged to my daughter.


The same subject, concluded.

1. One day I went to take a walk, with a friend of mine, in the country; and Don, the dog I mentioned in the last lesson, followed us.

2. We walked to a little grove about a mile from my house, to see the grave of a beautiful little child, that was buried on the summit of a little hill, covered with pines, spruce and other evergreens.

3. While we were admiring the beauty of the spot, Don was running about the grove; and I completely lost sight of him, and supposed that he had returned home.

4. But presently I saw him at a distance, barking up a tree at a squirrel that had escaped from him.

5. As I turned to go home, I said to my friend, You see Don is away, and does not see me. I am going to drop my handkerchief here, and send him after it.

6. We had got half way home, when presently Don came bounding along, and very shortly came up to us.

7. As soon as he came up to me, I stopped, and feeling in my coat-pocket, said to him,—Don, I have lost my pocket-handkerchief,—go find it.

8. I had scarcely uttered the words before he was off. He was gone only two or three minutes, and then, returning with my handkerchief in his mouth, he dropped it at my feet.

9. Guido, the other dog, was very fond of going into the water himself; but he never would allow any one else to go in.

10. The reason was this. My little son George was one day looking over into the water, to watch the eels that were gliding through the water below, and losing his balance, he fell into the water.

11. No one was near except Guido, and he immediately jumped in after George, and, with great labor, brought him on shore, and saved him from drowning.

12. Ever since that time, Guido has been very unwilling to let any one go near the water. It seemed as if he had reasoned about it, and said to himself, It is hard work to drag a boy out of the water, but it is much easier to keep him from going in.

13. Guido was not a very large dog. He was of the breed, or kind, named Spaniel; so called because that kind of dog originally came from Hispaniola. He had long ears, curling hair, a long bushy tail, and webbed feet, like all dogs that are fond of the water.

14. Webbed feet are those in which the toes are not separated, but seem to be joined together by a thin substance, like thick skin, which enables them to swim more easily.

15. Don was a very large dog, of the Newfoundland species, a kind which is remarkable for its beauty and intelligence.


Frogs and Toads.—BIGLAND.

1. Frogs and toads resemble one another in figure, but custom and prejudice have taught us to make a very different estimate of their properties: the first is considered as perfectly harmless, while the latter is supposed to be poisonous.

2. In this respect, the toad has been treated with great injustice: it is a torpid, harmless animal, that passes the greatest part of the winter in sleep.

3. Astonishing stories have been told of toads found in the center of solid blocks of stone, and other similar situations, without the least trace of the way by which they entered, and without any possibility of their finding any kind of nutriment.

4. Toads, as well as frogs, are of a variety of species; and in the tropical climates they grow to an enormous size. It is very probable that they contribute to clear both the land and the water of many noxious reptiles of a diminutive size, which might prove exceedingly hurtful to man.

5. The toad, however, is one of the most inoffensive of all animals. We have even heard that it has sometimes been successfully applied for the cure of the cancer, the most dreadful, and one of the most fatal, of human evils.

6. Mr. Pennant has related some interesting particulars respecting a toad which was perfectly domesticated, and continued in the same spot for upwards of thirty-six years.

7. It frequented the steps before the hall-door of a gentleman's house in Devonshire; and, from receiving a regular supply of food, it became so tame as always to crawl out of its hole in an evening, when a candle was brought, and look up, as if expecting to be carried into the house.

8. A reptile so generally detested being taken into favor, excited the curiosity of every visitant; and even ladies so far conquered their natural horror and disgust as to request to see it fed. It seemed particularly fond of flesh maggots, which were kept for it in bran.

9. When these were laid upon a table, it would follow them, and, at a certain distance, would fix its eyes and remain motionless for a little while, as if preparing for the stroke, which was always instantaneous.

10. It threw out its tongue to a great distance, when the insect stuck by the glutinous matter to its lip, and was swallowed with inconceivable quickness.

11. After living under the protection of its benefactor upwards of thirty-six years, it was one day attacked by a tame raven, which wounded it so severely that it died shortly afterward.

12. The erroneous opinion of toads containing and ejecting poison has caused many cruelties to be exercised upon this harmless, and undoubtedly useful tribe. Toads have been inhumanly treated, merely because they are ugly; and frogs have been abused, because they are like them.

13. But, we are to observe, that our ideas of beauty and deformity, of which some arise from natural antipathies implanted in us for wise and good purposes, and others from custom and caprice, are of a relative nature, and peculiar to ourselves.

14. None of these relative distinctions, of great and small, beautiful or ugly, exist in the all-comprising view of the Creator of the universe: in his eyes, the toad is as pleasing an object as the canary-bird, or the bulfinch.


Maida, the Scotch Greyhound.—Altered from BINGLEY.

1. A hound is a dog with long, smooth, hanging ears, and long limbs, that enable him to run very swiftly. The greyhound is not so called on account of his color, but from a word which denotes his Grecian origin.

2. The Scotch greyhound is a larger and more powerful animal than the common greyhound; and its hair, instead of being sleek and smooth, is long, stiff and bristly. It can endure great fatigue.

3. It was this dog that the Highland chieftains, in Scotland, used in former times, in their grand hunting-parties.

4. Sir Walter Scott had a very fine dog of this kind, which was given to him by his friend Macdonnel of Glengarry, the chief of one of the Highland clans. His name was Maida.

5. He was one of the finest dogs of the kind ever seen in Scotland, not only on account of his beauty and dignified appearance, but also from his extraordinary size and strength.

6. He was so remarkable in his appearance, that whenever his master brought him to the city of Edinburgh, great crowds of people collected together to see him.

7. When Sir Walter happened to travel through a strange town, Maida was usually surrounded by crowds of people, whose curiosity he indulged with great patience, until it began to be troublesome, and then he gave a single short bark, as a signal that they must trouble him no more.

8. Nothing could exceed the fidelity, obedience and attachment, of this dog to his master, whom he seldom quitted, and on whom he was a constant attendant, when traveling.

9. Maida was a remarkably high-spirited and beautiful dog, with long black ears, cheeks, back, and sides. The tip of his tail was white. His muzzle, neck, throat, breast, belly and legs, were also white.

10. The hair on his whole body and limbs was rough and shaggy, and particularly so on the neck, throat, and breast: that on the ridge of the neck he used to raise, like a lion's mane, when excited to anger.

11. His disposition was gentle and peaceable, both to men and animals; but he showed marked symptoms of anger to ill-dressed or blackguard-looking people, whom he always regarded with a suspicious eye, and whose motions he watched with the most scrupulous jealousy.

12. This fine dog probably brought on himself premature old age, by the excessive fatigue and exercise to which his natural ardor incited him; for he had the greatest pleasure in accompanying the common greyhounds; and although, from his great size and strength, he was not at all adapted for coursing, he not unfrequently turned and even ran down hares.

13. Sir Walter used to give an amusing account of an incident which befell Maida in one of his chases. "I was once riding over a field on which the reapers were at work, the stooks, or bundles of grain, being placed behind them, as is usual.

14. "Maida, having found a hare, began to chase her, to the great amusement of the spectators, as the hare turned very often and very swiftly among the stooks. At length, being hard pressed, she fairly bolted into one of them.

15. "Maida went in headlong after her, and the stook began to be much agitated in various directions; at length the sheaves tumbled down, and the hare and the dog, terrified alike at their overthrow, ran different ways, to the great amusement of the spectators."

16. Among several peculiarities which Maida possessed, one was a strong aversion to artists, arising from the frequent restraints he was subjected to in having his portrait taken, on account of his majestic appearance.

17. The instant he saw a pencil and paper produced, he prepared to beat a retreat; and, if forced to remain, he exhibited the strongest marks of displeasure.

18. Maida's bark was deep and hollow. Sometimes he amused himself with howling in a very tiresome way. When he was very fond of his friends, he used to grin, tucking up his whole lips and showing all his teeth; but this was only when he was particularly disposed to recommend himself.

19. Maida lies buried at the gate of Abbotsford, Sir Walter's country seat, which he long protected; a grave-stone is placed over him, on which is carved the figure of a dog. It bears the following inscription, as it was translated by Sir Walter:

"Beneath the sculptured form which late you wore, Sleep soundly, Maida, at your master's door."


Gelert.—BINGLEY, altered.

1. I have one more story to tell you about the Highland greyhound. It is an old Welsh story, and shows how extremely dangerous it is to indulge in anger and resentment.

2. In a village at the foot of Snowden, a mountain in Wales, there is a tradition that Llewellyn (pronounced Lewel'lin), son-in-law to King John, had a residence in that neighborhood.

3. The king, it is said, had presented him with one of the finest greyhounds in England, named Gelert. In the year 1205, Llewellyn, one day, on going out to hunt, called all his dogs together; but his favorite greyhound was missing, and nowhere to be found.

4. He blew his horn as a signal for the chase, and still Gelert came not. Llewellyn was much disconcerted at the heedlessness of his favorite, but at length pursued the chase without him. For want of Gelert, the sport was limited; and getting tired, Llewellyn returned home at an early hour, when the first object that presented itself to him, at his castle gate, was Gelert, who bounded, with his usual transport, to meet his master, having his lips besmeared with blood.

5. Llewellyn gazed with surprise at the unusual appearance of his dog. On going into the apartment where he had left his infant son and heir asleep, he found the bed-clothes all in confusion, the cover rent, and stained with blood.

6. He called on his child, but no answer was made, from which he hastily concluded that the dog must have devoured him; and, giving vent to his rage, plunged his sword to the hilt in Gelert's side.

7. The noble animal fell at his feet, uttering a dying yell, which awoke the infant, who was sleeping beneath a mingled heap of the bed-clothes, while beneath the bed lay a great wolf covered with gore, which the faithful and gallant hound had destroyed.

8. Llewellyn, smitten with sorrow and remorse for the rash and frantic deed which had deprived him of so faithful an animal, caused an elegant marble monument, with an appropriate inscription, to be erected over the spot where Gelert was buried, to commemorate his fidelity and unhappy fate. The place, to this day, is called Beth-Gelert, or The Grave of the Greyhound.



1. I remember having been sent, when I was a very little boy, with a message from my father to a particular friend of his, who resided in the suburbs of the town in which my parents then lived.

2. This gentleman occupied an old-fashioned house, the door of which was approached by a broad flight of stone steps of a semi-circular form. The brass knocker was an object of much interest to me, in those days; for the whim of the maker had led him to give it the shape of an elephant's head, the trunk of the animal being the movable portion.

3. Away, then, I scampered, in great haste; and having reached the house, ran up the stone steps as usual; and, seizing the elephant's trunk, made the house reecho to my knocking. No answer was returned.

4. At this my astonishment was considerable, as the servants, in the times I write of, were more alert and attentive than they are at present. However, I knocked a second time. Still no one came.

5. At this I was much more surprised. I looked at the house. It presented no appearance of a desertion. Some of the windows were open to admit the fresh air, for it was summer; others of them were closed. But all had the aspect of an inhabited dwelling.

6. I was greatly perplexed; and looked around, to see if any one was near who could advise me how to act. Immediately a venerable old gentleman, whom I had never seen before, came across the way, and, looking kindly in my face, advised me to knock again.

7. I did so without a moment's hesitation, and presently the door was opened, so that I had an opportunity of delivering my message. I afterward learned that the servants had been engaged in removing a heavy piece of furniture from one part of the house to the other; an operation which required their united strength, and prevented them from opening the door.


The same subject, continued.

1. As I was tripping lightly homeward, I passed the kind old gentleman, about half way down the street. He took me gently by the arm; and, retaining his hold, began to address me thus, as we walked on together:

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