Page images
PDF
EPUB

the room, that those nearest to the chimney are the first to feel the draught, and to obey it-they are drawn into the flame. The circle of inflowing air is gradually enlarged, until it is scarcely perceived in the remote parts of the room. Now, the land is the hearth; the rays of the sun, the fire; and the sea, with its cool and calm air, the room: and thus we have at our firesides the sea-breeze in miniature.

When the sun goes down, the fire ceases; then the dry land commences to give off its surplus heat by radiation, so that by dew-fall it and the air above it are cooled below the sea temperature. The atmosphere on the land thus becomes heavier than that on the sea, and, consequently, there is a wind seaward, which we call the land-breeze.

Lieur. M. F. MAURY.

Biography - Matthew Fontaine Maury was born in Virginia in 1806, and died in 1873.

Maury entered the U. S. navy in 1825, as a midshipman. In 1835, he published his “Treatise on Navigation.” In 1839 he was rendered incapable of active service, and devoted his time to literary work.

When the National Observatory at Washington was erected, Maury was placed in charge of it, and succeeded in obtaining for the institution the favorable attention of the leading astronomers of Europe.

Maury's “Wind and Current Charts” and book of “Sailing Directions” led to the adoption of a uniform plan of observations at sea by all the great maritime powers of the world.

Notes.- Extra-tropical countries means those lying outside of, cr beyond, the tropics.

Motes are very small particles of matter; they can be seen if we look through the rays of sunlight entering a room.

Language.-Explain the force of the suffir ward in the following words :-Seaward, homeward, upward, forward.

Give a sentence showing the meaning of homeward.

Composition.-Select six points for an analysis of the subject"A Visit to the Sea-side."

30.-THE FIRST NIGHT AT SCHOOL.

re spon'si ble, answerable; ac

countable. exăģ'ġer ät ed, increased; made

greater. dis' çi pline, order. jūn'ior (yŭr), younger. făgş, school boys who perform loro

services for boys in a higher class. dôr' mi to ry, a sleeping room.

prov'o că' tion, that which ex

cites anger. €or rúpt', changed from a good

to a worse state. vēr' ġer, an attendant. sůk'tle, sly; cunning. ab la'tions, washing, especially

of the body. těs' ti mo ny, witness; proof.

Directly after school-house prayers, Tom led Arthur up to the dormitory and showed him his bed. It was a huge, high, airy room, with two large windows looking on to the school close. There were twelve beds in the room. The one in the furthest corner by the fire-place was occupied by the sixthform N boy who was responsible for the discipline of the room, and the rest by boys in the lower-fifth and other junior forms, all fags; for the fifth-form boys slept in rooms by themselves. Being fags, the eldest of them was not more than sixteen years old, and they were all bound to be up and in bed by ten; the sixth-form boys went to bed from ten to a quarter past, at which time the old verger came round to put out the candles, except when the boys sat up to read.

Within a few minutes, therefore, of their entry, all the other boys who slept in No. 4 had come up. The little fellows went quietly to their own beds, and began undressing and talking to each other in whispers; while the elder, among whom was Tom, sat chatting about on one another's beds, with their jackets and waistcoats off,

Poor little Arthur was overwhelmed with the novelty of his position. The idea of sleeping in a room with strange boys had clearly never crossed his mind before, and was as painful as it was strange to him. He could hardly bear to take his jacket off; however, presently, with an effort, off it came, and then he paused and looked at Tom, who was sitting at the bottom of his bed, talking and laughing.

"Please, Brown," he whispered, “may I wash my face and hands?"

Of course, if you like," said Tom, staring; "that's your wash-stand under the window, second from your bed. You'll have to go down for more water in the morning if you use it all.” And on he went with his talk, while Arthur stole timidly from between the beds out to his wash-stand, and began his ablutions, thereby drawing for a moment on himself the attention of the room.

On went the talk and laughter. Arthur finished his washing and undressing, and put on his nightgown. He then looked round more nervously than ever. Two or three of the little boys were already in bed, sitting up with their chins on their knees. The light burned clear; the noise went on.

It was a trying moment for the poor, little, lonely boy; however, this time he didn't ask Tom what he might or might not do, but dropped on his knees by his bedside, as he had done every day from his childhood, to open his heart to Him who heareth the cry and beareth the sorrows of the tender child, and the strong man in agony.

Tom was sitting at the bottom of his bed un lacing his boots, so

boots, so that his back was toward Arthur, and he didn't see what had happened, and looked up in wonder at the sudden silence. Then two or three boys laughed and sneered; and a big, brutal fellow, who was standing in the middle of the room, picked up a slipper, and threw it at the kneeling boy, calling him a sniveling young shaver. Then Tom saw the whole, and the next moment the boot he had just pulled off flew straight at the head of the bully, who had just time to throw up his arm, and catch it on his elbow.

“Confound you, Brown, what's that for?” roared he, stamping with pain.

"Never mind what I mean," said Tom, stepping on to the floor, every drop of blood in his body tingling; "if any fellow wants the other boot, he knows how to get it.”

What would have been the result is doubtful, for at this moment the sixth-form boy came in, and not another word could be said. Tom and the rest rushed into bed and finished their disrobing there; and the old verger, as punctual as the clock, had put out the candle in another minute, and toddled on to the next room, shutting their door with his usual “Good-night, gen'l'm'n.”

There were many boys in that room by whom that little scene was taken to heart before they slept. But sleep seemed to have deserted the pillow of poor Tom. For some time his excitement, and the flood of memories which chased one another through his brain, kept him from thinking or resolving. His head throbbed, his heart leaped, and he could hardly keep himself from springing out of bed and rushing about the room.

Then the thought of his mother came

Own

across him, and the promise he had made at her knee, years ago, never to forget to kneel by his bedside, and give himself up to his father, before he laid his head on the pillow, from which it might never rise; and he lay down gently and cried as if his heart would break. He was only fourteen' years old.

It was no light act of courage in those days, my dear boys, for a little fellow to say his prayers publicly, even at Rugby. A few years later, when Arnold's manly piety had begun to leaven the school, the tables turned; before he died, in the school-house at least, and I believe in the other houses, the rule was the other way.

But poor Tom had come to school in other times. The first few nights after he came he did not kneel down because of the noise, but sat up in bed till the candle was out, and then stole out and said his prayers, in fear lest some one should find him out. So did many another poor little fellow.

Then he began to think he might just as well say his prayers in bed, and then that it didn't matter whether he was kneeling, or sitting, or lying down. And so it had come to pass with Tom as with all who will not confess their Lord before men; and for the last year he had probably not said his prayers in earnest a dozen times.

Poor Tonı! the first and bitterest feeling which was like to break his heart was the sense of his own cowardice. The vice of all others which he loathed, was brought in and burned in on his own soul. He had lied to his mother, to his conscience, to his God. How could he bear it? And then the poor, little, weak boy, whom he had pitied and

« EelmineJätka »