Page images

6. While she was thus speaking, the warmth of her arms somewhat revived the lamb, which made a slight motion, and opening its eyes a little, cried in a very low tone, as if it were calling for its mother. It would be impossible to express little Matilda's joy on this occasion.

7. She covered the lamb in her apron, in order to make it warm, and took great pains to bring the poor little thing to life. By degrees it began to stir more freely, and every motion it made, conveyed joy to her little heart.

8. This success encouraged her to proceed; she crumbled some of her bread into her pan, and taking it up in her fingers, she, with no small difficulty, forced it between its teeth, which were very firmly closed together.

9. The lamb, whose only disorder was hunger and fatigue, began to feel the effects of this nourishment. It first began to stretch out its limbs, then to shake its head, and at last to raise up its ears.

10. In a little time, it was able to stand upon its legs, and then went of itself to Matilda's breakfast-pan, wbo was highly delighted to see it take such pleasing liberties; for she cared not about losing her own breakfast, since it saved the life of the little lamb. In a little time it recovered its usual strength, and began to skip and play about its kind deliverer.

11. It may naturally be supposed, that Matilda was greatly pleased at this unexpected success. She took it up into her arms, and ran with it to the house, to show it to her mother. Thus the little lamb became the first object of Matilda's care, and it constantly shared with her in the little allowance of bread and milk, which she received for her meals.

12. Indeed, so fond was she of it, that she would not have exchanged it for a whole flock. Nor was the lamb insensible of the fondness of its little mistress, since it would follow ber wherever she went, would come and eat out of her hand, skip and frisk around her, and would bleat inost piteously, whenever Matilda was obliged to leave it at home.

13. The lamb, however, repaid the services of its little mistress in a more substantial manner, than that of merely playing about her; for, in the space of a few years, the increase from this lamb furnished Matilda, and her whole family, with food and raiment. Such, my little readers, are the rewards which Providence bestows on acts of goodness, tenderness, and humanity.

The Little Boy and his Father. i. On one of those fine mornings which the month of June frequently affords us, a little boy was busily employed in preparing to set out with his father, on a party of pleasure, which, for several days before, had engrossed all his alten: tion. Though in general he found it very difficult to rise early, yet this morning he got up soon, without being called; so much was his mind fixed on this intended jaunt.

2. Itoften bappens, with young people in particular, that all on a sudden they lose the object of which they Batter themselves they are almost in possession. So it fared with this little boy; for just as they were ready to set out, the sky darkened all at once, the clouds grew thick, and a tempestuous wind bent down the trees, and raised a cloud of dust.

3. The little boy was running up and down in the garden every minute, to see how the sky looked, and then ran into the house, to examine the barometer ; but neither the sky nor the barometer seemed to forebode any thing in his favour.

4. Notwithstanding all this, he gave bis father the most Aattering hopes, that it would still be a fair day, and that these unfavourable appearances would soon be dispersed. He doubted not tbat it would be a very fine day, and therefore thought that the sooner they set out the better, as it would be a pity to lose a moment of their time.

5. His father, however, did not choose to be too has'y in giving credit to his son's predictions, and thought it more advisable to wait a little. While the little boy and his father were reasoning on this matter, the clouds burst, and down came a very heavy shower of rain. The little boy was nav doubly disappointed, and vented his grief in tears, refusing to listen to the voice of consolation.

6. The rain continued without intermission, till three o'clock in the afternoon, when the clouds began to disperse ; the sun resumed its splendour, and all nature breathed the odours of the spring. As the weather brightened, so did the countenance of the little boy, and by degrees he recovered bis good bumour.

7. His father now thought it necessary to indulge him with a little walk, and off they set. The calmness of the air, the music of the feathered songsters, the lively and enchanting verdure of the fields, and the sweet perfumes that breatheil all around them, completely quieted and composed the troubled heart of the disappointed little boy.

8.“ Do you not observe, said his father, how agreeable is the change of every thing before you? You cannot have yet forgotten how dull every thing appeared to us yesterday; the ground was parched up for want of rain ; the Áowers had lost their colour, and hung their heads in languor; and, in short, all nature seemed to be in a state of inaction. What can be the reason that nature has so suddenly put on such a different aspect ?” “ That is easily accounted for,” said the little boy ; "it undoubtedly is occasioned by the rain that has fallen to-day.”

9. The little boy had no sooner pronounced these words, than he saw his father's motive for asking him the question. He now plainly perceived the impropriety of his late conduct, in being so unhappy about what was evidently so universally serviceable.

10. He blushed, but his father took no notice of it, judg. ing that his own sense would sufficiently teach him another time, without reluctance, to sacrifice selfish pleasures to the general good of the community at large.

Alexis and Amanda. 1. An affectionate father, one fine summer's day, having promised his two children, Alexis and Amanda, to treat them with a walk in a fine garden a little way out of town, went up into his dressing room to prepare himself, leaving the two children in the parlour.

2. Alexis was so delighted with the thoughts of the plea: sure he should receive from his walk, that he jumped ahoui the room, without thinking of any evil consequence that could happen ; but unluckily the skirt of his coat brushed against a very valuable flower, which his father was rearing with great pains, and which he had unfortunately just removed from before the window, to screen it from the scorching heat of the sun.

3.“ O brother! brother!” said Amanda, taking up the flower, which was broken off from the stalk,“ what have you done?” The little girl was holding the flower in her hand, when her father came into the room. Amanda,” said her father, “how could you be so thought

6 Bless me,

less as to pluck a flower which you have seen me take so much care to rear in order to have seed from it!”

4. Amanda was in such a fright, that she could only beg her father not to be angry. Her father replied, that he was not angry, but reminded her, that as they were going to a garden where there was a variety of flowers, she might have waited till they arrived there to indulge her fancy. He therefore hoped she would not take it amiss, if he left her at home.

5. This was a terrible situation for Amanda, who held her head down, and said nothing. Little Alexis, however, was of too generous a temper to keep silence any longer.' He went up to his father, and told him that it was not his sister, but bimself, who had accidentally beaten off the head of the flower with the skirt of his coat. He therefore desired that his sister might go and take a walk, and he stay at home.

6. The father was so delighted with the generosity of his children, that he instantly forgave the accident, and tenderly caressed them both, being happy to see them have such an affection for each other. He told them that he loved them equally alike, and that they should both go with him.

7. They all three then walked to the garden, where they saw plants of the most valuable kinds. Amanda pressed her clothes on each side, and Alexis kept the skirts of his coat under his arms, for fear of doing any damage in their walk among the flowers.

8. The flower which their father had lost, would have given him some pain, had it happened from any other circumstance; but the pleasure he received from seeing such mutual affection and regard subsist between his two chile dren, amply repaid him for the loss of his flower

9. I cannot omit the opportunity that here presents itself, of reminding my young friends, not only how necessary, but how amiable and praiseworthy it is, for brothers and sisters to live together in harmony and love. It is not only their most important interest to do so, but what should be a still stronger argument with them, such are the commands of Him who made them.

The little Boy, his Sisters, and the Swallow's Nest. 1. A LITTLE boy having one day espied a swallow's nest under the eaves of the house, ran directly to inform his sis

ters of the important discovery, and they immediately fell into consultation concerning the manner in which they should take it. It was at last agreed, that they should wait till the young ones were fledged, that the little boy should then put a ladder up against the wall, and that his sisters should hold it fast below, while he mounted after the prize.

2. As soon as they thought these poor little creatures were properly Redged, preparations were made for the execution of their intended plan. The old birds flew backwards and forwards about the nest, and expressed as well as they were able, the sorrow and affliction they felt on being robbed of their young. The little boy and his two sisters, however, paid no regard to their pious moans ; for they took the nest with three young ones in it.

3. As the little innocent prisoners were now in their possession, the next thing to be considered was, what they should do with them. The youngest sister, being of a mild and tender-hearted disposition, proposed putting them into a cage, promising to look after them herself, and to see that they wanted nothing. She reminded her brother and sister, how pretty it would be to see and hear those birds chirp, when grown up:

4. The little boy, bowever, was of a very different opi. nion; for he insisted on it, that it would be better to pluck off their feathers, and then set them down in the middle of the room, as it would be very amusing to see them hop about without feathers. The elder sister was of the same way of thinking as the younger; but the little boy was determined to have the maiter entirely his own way.

5. The two little girls, finding they were not likely to have things as they wished, gave up the point without much hesitation ; for their brother had already begun to strip the poor helpless birds. As fast as he plucked them, he put them down on the floor; and it was not long before the little birds were stripped of all their tender feathers. The poor things cried, and complained in the most piteous accents; they shook their little wings, and shuddered with the cold.

6. The little boy, however, who had not the least kind of feeling for their sufferings, carried his persecutions still further, pushing them with his foot or hand to make them go on when they stopped, and laughing most heartily whenever they staggered or tumbled down through weakness.

« PreviousContinue »