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a man look out of his cottage door, who, gathering up a bit of dry dirt from the ground, threw it after the boys, saying, in a tone something like what is used to dogs,
Get away, you idle dogs, get away to school.
They moved a degree quicker, without looking back, but as soon as they came to a corner they turned to see if their father was watching them ; and finding themselves unobserved, instead of turning to the right, which would have led to the school, they crossed quickly to the left and went into the fields.
I was impelled to follow them; they ran quickly along the field, and getting through a gap in the hedge, with which they seemed well acquainted, I lost sight of them. It was not long, however, before I came up with them, for they had seated themselves under a tree and were sitting in silence. One was pulling up the grass by the roots, and the other with a little pocket knife was chipping out pieces of the bark of the tree.
You are hard at work, my boys, I said ; who set you to these jobs ?
They made no reply, but proceeded in their employment, as if rather ashamed, and yet unwilling to be constrained to cease.
I'll tell you what, lads ; You see this field be
longs to me, and I may as well set you your work. Now do you go on and clear all this spot round the root of the tree of every bit of grass that is growing there; and you, cut out this bark half way round the tree a yard high, and dress off all these small branches which are growing in the way.
No sooner had I said it, than they both changed their employment; the one began to cut the skin off his hand, and the other to twist the piece of grass he held as though he were intendig to form it into some useful thing.
Why do you stop ? Go on.
? They looked to the right and to the left, as if they longed for an escape.
I believe it is one reason, but I can tell you another,- because you did not like to do any thing called work. And I can tell you something else, -it was for these two reasons you did not go to school. You thought your father did not mean what he said, and you do not like work. This is both folly and wickedness. That employment was no hardship so long as you were doing it to please yourselves; and what would your father say if he knew you were playing truant ?
He wouldn't say aught, he only wanted us out of the way because uncle Tom was come.
But what would he have said after, when you went home ?
Nought, he wouldn't ha' asked where we'd been.
Suppose I tell him ?
I was struck by this reasoning, so without rule or principle, and betraying such an inconsistent and careless bringing up.
Now answer me three questions. You ought to love work ?
Yes,-they unwillingly said.
You ought to think your father meant what he said ?
Let us try if you cannot mend your ways. Come along with me and I will take you to school. I took hold of their hands, but they stiffened their elbows so strongly that I could not raise them easily.
Come, boys, if your ideas were but changed to think that it was meant you should
and to like work, you would be much happier there than under the tree in school-time.
One point I gained ; they found I did mean what I said, and though they would not give their hand, I took them by the shoulder, and thus constrained them to move on the way they should go ; and I could not help thinking of the necessity for parents to exert this kind of constraint to overcome the perverseness of disobedience, and the proneness to discredit the purposes of their commands.
Just at that moment my friend Mr. Conway, with his daughter Mary, joined me; they were on their way to my house, but, seeing my engagement, they accompanied me.
We were soon at the school door, and I felt the shoulder of my boys shrink from under my hand, as if very desirous to quit the grasp, which they were convinced, however, by the trial, could not be effected ; therefore we were soon in the presence of the schoolmaster, and within the half circle formed by the school boys, who were at that moment rehearsing the Church Catechism.
The master, who was a sensible man and accustomed to my occasional visits, with a respectful bow, put the book, from which he was questioning the boys, into my hand, signifying his desire that I should take his place; and a bow of the head from all the boys expressed their respectful readiness to acknowledge the authority deputed to me. Before I commence, let me see these two boys
Ι put in the place which belongs to them in the class.
I wish, Sir, the master said, that they had a place they could call their own; but they are in the habit of neglecting school, and they always contrive to be absent upon some lame excuse on the day for the catechism : I do not think they know a word.
Then, as they have no place in the general class, we must leave them to their own particular distinction, of standing alone. And very awkward and ashamed did they look when they found themselves separated from the little flock, and made so conspicuous for their fault. Will you
allow me, I said to the master, to neglect the usual order of the questions, and to select a few for the presenti occasion ?
By all means, Sir.
Turning to the class, I asked, what is your duty to your neighbor ?
They answered in the manner in which they were taught, not by one taking the whole, but by severally taking up by turn as they stood the different members of the answer, thus, My duty towards my neighbor is-To love him as myself—To do unto all men as I would they should do unto me-To love, honor, and succor my father and my mother-To honor and obey the king and all that are put in authority under him-To submit myself to all my governors, teachers, spiritual pastors, and masters-To order myself lowly and reverently to all my betterg—
Stop there, and I will ask you some questions.
Do you know to what commandment this explanation of duty belongs ? Yes ; to the fifth, "Honor thy father and thy
Observe, it is called your duty to your neighbor, because every relative human connexion is