« ZurückWeiter »
orange out of Ned's hand, and he pushed him with all his force from the basket.
23. Ned, immediately returning, hit him a violent blow, which almost stunned him. Still, however, this good boy, without minding the pain, persevered in defending what was left in his care; he still held the bridle with one hand, and covered the basket with his other arm, as well as he could.
24. Ned struggled in vain, to get his hands into the basket again; he could not: and finding that he could not win by strength, he had recourse to cunning. So he pretended to be out of breath and to desist; but he meant, as soon as Charles looked away, to creep softly round to the basket, on the other side.
25. Cunning people, though they think themselves very wise, are almost always very silly.
26. Ned, intent upon one thing, the getting round to steal the oranges, forgot that if he went too close to the horse's heels, he should startle him. The horse indeed, disturbed by the bustle near him, had already left off eating his hay, and began to put down his ears; but when he felt something touch his hind legs, he gave a sudden kick, and Ned fell backwards just as he had seized the orange.
27. Ned screamed with the pain ; and at the scream all the people came out of the public house to see what was the matter;
orange-man. 28. Ned was now so much ashamed, that he almost forgot the pain, and wished to run away; but he was so much! hurt, that he was obliged to sit down again.
29. The truth of the matter was soon told by Charles, in and as soon believed by all the people present who knew him: for he had the character of being an honest boy; and Ned was known to be a thief and a liar.
30. So nobody pitied Ned for the pain he felt." He deserves it,” says one. Why did he meddle with what was not his own ?”—“O! he is not much hurt, I'll answer for it,” said another. “And if he was, it's a lucky kick for him, if it keeps him from the gallows,” says a third. Charles was the only person who said nothing; he helped Ned away to a bank; for brave boys are always good natured.
31. “Oh, come here,” said the orange-man, calling him; come here, my honest lad! what! you got that black eye in keeping my oranges, did you ?-that's a stout little fél
• He tool
rom your oranges; but I thank you as much as if I had them.” -ho ke orange; it was not worth while.” No: it is never worth
with a low," said he, taking him by the hand, and leading him into the midst of the people.
32. Men, women, and children, had gathered around, and s good's all the children fixed their eyes upon Charles, and wished ading : to be in his place.
33. In the mean time, the orange-man took Charles's hat well a off his head, and filled it with fine China oranges. “There,
my little friend," said he, “take them, and God bless you to this with them! If I could but afford it, you should have all that
basket.” 34. Then the people, and especially the children, shouted as se for joy; but as soon as there was silence, Charles said to the best the orange-man, “ I thank you ; but I can't take your
oranges, only that one I earned; take the rest back again : elres # as for a black eye, that's nothing! but I will not be paid for
it; no more than for doing what's honest. So I can't take Saying these words, Charles offered to pour the oranges back into the basket; but the man would not let him.
35. “Then,” said Charles, “if they are honestly mine, I wheil may give them away;" so he emptied the hat amongst the idene children his companions. “Divide them amongst you,”
said he; and without waiting for their thanks he pressed through the crowd, and ran towards home. The children all followed him, clapping their hands, and thanking him.
36. The little thief came limping after. Nobody praised mot him, nobody thanked him; he had no oranges to eat, nor
had he any to give away. People must be honest, before
they can be generous. Ned sighed, as he went towards Chak home; “And all this,” said he to himself," was for one
Orang scream what i
while to do wrong.
37. Little boys, who read this story, consider, which would you rather have been, the honest boy or the thief?
THE HISTORY OF SANDFORD AND MERTON."
SECTION I. Consequences of wrong education, &c. 1. In the western part of England lived a gentleman of great fortune, whose name was Merton. He had a large estate in the Island of Jamaica, where he had passed the greater part of his life, and was master of many servants, who cultivated sugar and other valuable things for his advantage.
2. He had only one son, of whom he was excessively fond; and to educate this child properly was the reason of his determining to stay some years in England. Thomas Merton, who at the time he came from Jamaica, was only six years old, was naturally a very good natured boy, but unfortunately had been spoiled by too much indulgence. While he lived at Jamaica, he had several black servants to wait upon him, who were forbidden upon any account to contradict him.
3. If he walked, there always went two negroes with him, one of whom carried a large umbrella to keep the sun from him, and the other was to carry him in his arms, whenever he was tired. His mother was so excessively fond of him, that she gave him every thing he cried for, and would never let him learn to read, because he complained that it made his headache.
iki 4. The consequence of this was, that though Thomas had every thing he wanted, he became very fretful and unhappy. Sometimes he eat sweetmeats till he made himself sick, and then he suffered a great deal of pain, because he would not take bitter physic to make him well. Sometimes he cried for things that it was impossible to give him, and then, as he had never been used to be contradicted, it was many hours before he could be pacified.
5. When any company came to dine at the house, he he was always to be helped first, and to have the most deli-16
. cate parts of the meat, otherwise he would make such a noise as disturbed the whole company. When his father and mother were sitting at the tea-table with their friends, instead of waiting till they were at leisure to attend him,
he would scramble upon the table, seize the cake, and bread, and butter, and frequently overset the tea-cups: by these pranks he not only made himself disagreeable to every body, but often met with very dangerous accidents.
6. Frequently has he cut himself with knives, at other times thrown heavy things upon his head, and once he narrowly escaped being scalded to death by a kettle of boiling
He was also so delicately brought up that he was perpetually ill! the least wind or rain gave him a cold, and us the least exposure to the sun was sure to throw him into a
fever. Instead of playing about, and jumping, and running like other children, he was taught to sit still for fear of spoiling his clothes, and to stay in the house for fear of injuring his complexion.
7. By this kind of education, when Thomas Merton came over to England, he could neither write, nor read, nor cilepher; he could use none of his limbs with ease, nor bear
any degree of fatigue; but he was very proud, fretful, and impatient.
8. Very near to Mr. Merton's seat lived a plain honest farmer, whose name was Sandford. This man had, like Mr. Merton, an only son, not much older than Thomas, whose name was Henry. Henry, as he had been always accustomed to run about in the fields, to follow the labourers while they were ploughing, and to drive the sheep to the pasture, was active, strong, hardy, and fresh-coloured.
9. He was neither so fair, nor so delicately shaped as Thomas; but he had an honest good-natured countenance, which made every body love him; was never out of hu
mour, and took the greatest pleasure in obliging every de
body. If Henry saw a poor person who wanted victuals, while he was eating his dinner, he was sure to give him half, and sometimes the whole: nay, so very good-natured was he to every thing, that he would never go into the fields to take the eggs of poor birds, or their young ones, nor practise any other kind of sport which gave pain to poor animals, who are as capable of feeling as we ourselves, though they have no words to express their sufferings.
10. Once, indeed, Henry was caught twirling a squirrel round, which he had fastened by a crooked pin to a long piece of thread, but then this was through ignorance and want of thought; for as soon as his father told him that
the poor helpless squirrel felt as much or more than he would do, were a knife thrust through his hand, he burst into tears, and took the poor animal home, where he fed him during a fortnight upon walnuts and chesnuts; and when he was perfectly recovered, turned him out to enjoy liberty and the fresh air.
11. Ever since that time, Henry was so careful and considerate, that he would step out of the way for fear of hurting a worm, and employed himself in doing kind offices to all the animals in the neighbourhood. He used to stroke the horses as they were at work, and fill his pockets with acorns, for the pigs : if he walked in the fields, he was sure to gather green boughs for the sheep, which were so fond of him, that they followed him wherever he went. In the winter time, when the ground was covered with frost and snow, and the poor little birds could get at no food, he would feed the robin red-breasts. Even toads, and frogs, and spiders, and such kind of disagreeable animals, which some people destroy wherever they find them, were perfectly safe with Henry: he used to say they had a right to live as well as we, and that it was cruel and unjust
17 to kill creatures only because we did not like them.
12. These sentiments made little Henry a great favourite with every body; particularly with the clergyman of the parish, who became so fond of him that he taught him to read and write, and had him almost always with him. Indeed, it was not surprising that Mr. Barlow showed so particular an affection for him; for besides learning every thing that he was taught with the greatest readiness, little Henry was one of the most honest, obliging creatures in the world.
13. He was never discontented, nor did he ever grum. ble, whatever he was desired to do. And then
you believe Henry in every thing he said; for though he could have gained a plum-cake by telling an untruth, and was sure that speaking the truth would expose him
to a severe whipping, he never hesitated in declaring it. Nor was he like many other children, who place their whole happiness in eating; for give him but a piece of bread with some milk, cheese, or butter for his dinner, and he would be u satisfied, though you placed sweetmeats and fruit, and every other nicety in his way.
14. He was never heard to curse or swear, or to make use of any vulgar and indecent language. Instead of wast