« EelmineJätka »
almost scorned for his weakness, had done that which he, braggart as he was, dared not do.
The first dawn of comfort came to him in swearing to himself that he would stand by that boy through thick and thin, and cheer him and help him, and bear his burdens, for the good deed done that night. Then he resolved to write home next day and tell his mother all, and what a coward her son had been. And then peace came to him, as he resolved, lastly, to bear his testimony next morning
The morning would be harder than the night to begin with, but he felt that he could not afford to let one chance slip. Several times he faltered, for the devil showed him, first, all his old friends calling him “saint” and “square-toes," and a dozen other hard names, and whispered to him that his motives would be misunderstood and he would only be left alone with the new boy; whereas it was his duty to keep all means of influence, that he might do good to the greatest number.
And then came the more subtle temptation. “Shall I not be showing myself braver than others by doing this? Have I any right to begin it now? Ought I not rather to pray in my own study, letting other boys know that I do so, and trying to lead them to it, while in public at least I should go on as I ha done? However, his good angel was too strong that night, and he turned on his side and slept, tired of trying to reason, but resolved to follow the impulse which had been so strong, and in which he had found peace.
Next morning he was up and washed and dressed, all but his jacket and waistcoat, just as the ten minutes' bell began to ring, and then, in the face of the whole room, he knelt down to pray. Not five words could he say,– the bell mocked him; he was listening for every whisper in the room,– what were they all thinking of him? He was ashamed to go on kneeling, ashamed to rise from his knees.
At last, as it were from his inmost heart, a still small voice seemed to breathe forth the words of the publican, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” He repeated them over and over, clinging to them as for his life, and rose from his knees comforted and humbled, and ready to face the whole world.
It was not needed; two other boys besides Arthur had already followed his example, and he went down to the great school with a glimmering of another great lesson in his heart,—the lesson that he who has conquered his own coward spirit has conquered the whole outward world; and that other one which the old prophet learned in the cave in Mount Horeb, when he hid his face, and the still small voice asked, “What doest thou here, Elijah ?” – that however we may fancy ourselves alone on the side of good, the King and Lord of men is nowhere without His witnesses; for in every society, however seemingly corrupt and godless, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal.
He found too, how greatly he had exaggerated the effect to be produced by his act. For a few nights there was a sneer or a laugh when he knelt down, but this passed off soon, and one by one all the other boys but three or four followed the lead. I fear that this was in some measure owing to the fact that Tom could probably have thrashed any boy in the room; at any rate, every boy knew that
he would try upon very slight provocation, and didn't choose to run the risk of a hard fight because Tom Brown had taken a fancy to say his prayers.
Some of the small boys of No. 4 communicated the new state of things to their chums, and in several other rooms the poor little fellows tried to follow the example set by Tom and Arthur-in one instance SO,
where one of the teachers heard of it and interfered very decidedly, with partial success; but in the rest, after a short struggle, the confessors were bullied or laughed down, and the old state of things went on for some time longer.
Before either Tom Brown or Arthur left the school-house, there was no room in which it had not become the regular custom. I trust it is so still, and that the old heathen state of things has gone out forever.
Biography.-Thomas Hughes (hūz) was born in Berkshire, England, in 1823, and was educated at Rugby School and at Oxford University.
Hughes has gained popularity on both sides of the Atlantic as author of the two books, “School-days at Rugby” and “Tom Brown at Oxford.”
Notes.- A close is a small piece of ground inclosed by a hedge or fence.
Form is the word used in England for class. There are in the public Grammar Schools six forms or classes, and Sixth-Form boys, being the oldest, are in part selected as monitors and assist in keeping up the discipline of the school.
Chums usually means persons who occupy the same room; but in this lesson, the word means intimate friends.
Elocution.- Point out the emphatic words in the last paragraph.
Should the last sentence be read more slowly than the rest of the lesson? What effect is produced by the slow reading ?
Select two other sentences which may be rendered more om. phatio by slow reading.
dis sěm'bles, conceals.
girdş, makes fast.
The maid who binds her warrior's sash,N
With smile that well her pain dissembles, The while beneath her drooping lash
One starry tear-drop hangs and trembles,
And fame shall never know the story,
As e'er bedewed the field of glory.
The wife who girds her husband's sword,
'Mid little ones who weep or wonder, And bravely speaks the cheering word,
What though her heart be rent asunder!
The bolts of deatharound him rattle,
Was poured upon a field of battle.
The mother who conceals her grief,
While to her breast her son she presses,
Kissing the patriot brow she blesses,
To know the pain that weighs upon her,
Received on Freedom's field of honor.
T. BUCHANAN READ,
Biography. - Thomas Buchanan Read
born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1822, and died in New York City in 1872.
In 1839, Read decided upon art a profession, and soon gained distinction as a portrait painter. He resided at various times in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Cincinnati; and the last years of his life were passed in Rome, Italy. He was the author of several volumes of poems, which have been much admired.
Among his other poems are the following: “The New Pastoral,” “The Home by the Sea," and " The Wagoner of the Alleghanies.”
Notes. - A sash, as used in the lesson, means a band worn about the waist or over the shoulder: it is a badge of distinction among certain military officers. What other well-known meaning has the word ?
Bolts of death means any missiles of destruction used in battle, as bullets, cannon-balls, arrows, or javelins.
Language. – Use the following pairs of words in sentences, and show the difference in their meaning :-Girds, binds; shed, pour.
32.-THE SAGACITY OF THE SPIDER. sa găç'i ty, state of being wise. sŭs'te nançe, food. in trụdes', thrusts one's self in. glū’ti ngůs, resembling glue. năt'ū ral Ysts, those who study păr'al lel, running in the same
the history of animals and plants. direction, im pēdē', place any difficulty in an tăg'o nyst, one who fights the way of.
against another; an enemy. sol'i tūde, a state of being alone. sub sist'ed, fed ; lived. fôr' çeps, pair of pincers. să€'ri fīced (fizd), destroyed by.
Animals in general are sagacious in proportion as they cultivate society. Elephants and beavers show the greatest signs of this sagacity when they are together in large numbers; but when man intrudes himself into their communities, they lose all their spirit of industry, and indicate but a very small share of that trait for which, when in a social state, they are so remarkable.