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company, with much warmth, addressed Franklin; told him plainly she thought herself imposed upon; and concluded by insisting on his leaving the house.
Franklin made a slight apology, quietly put on his great coat and hat, took a polite leave of the company, and approached the street door, lighted by the maid and attended by Mrs. Franklin.
In the meantime, a tremendous snow-storm had arisen and filled the streets knee-deep, and sooner had the maid lifted the latch, than a roaring wind forced open the door, extinguished the light, and almost filled the entry with drifting
As soon as the candle was relighted, Franklin cast a woful look toward the door, and thus addressed his mother: “My dear madam, can you turn me out of your house in this dreadful storm ? I am a stranger in your town, and shall certainly perish in the streets. You look like a charitable lady: I shouldn't think you could turn a dog from your door on this tempestuous night.”
“Don't speak to me of charity," said the offended lady; "charity begins at home. It is your own fault that you tarried so long. To be plain with you, sir, I do not like your looks or your conduct, and I fear you have some bad designs in thus introducing yourself to my family."
The warmth of this parley had drawn the company from the parlor, and by their united requests the stranger was permitted to lodge in the house; and as no bed could be had, he consented to repose on an easy chair before the parlor fire.
Although her boarders appeared to confide perfectly in the stranger's honesty, it was not so with
Mrs. Franklin; with suspicious caution she collected her silver spoons and pepper-box from her closet, and after securing the parlor door by sticking a fork over the latch, carried the silver to her chamber, charged the man-servant to sleep with his clothes on, and to arise and seize the vagrant at the first noise he made in attempting to plunder the house. Having thus taken every precaution, she retired to bed with her maid, whom she compelled to sleep in her room.
Mrs. Franklin rose before the sun, roused her servants, unfastened the parlor door with timid caution, and was agreeably surprised to find her guest quietly sleeping in the chair. A sudden transition from extreme mistrust to perfect confidence was natural.
She awakened him with a cheerful good-morning, inquired how he had rested, and invited him to partake of her breakfast, which was always served previous to that of her boarders. “And pray, sir," said the old lady, as she sipped her chocolate, “as you appear to be a stranger here, to what distant country do you belong ?”
“I, madam ? I belong to the city of Philadel
At the mention of Philadelphia, Franklin afterward declared he for the first time perceived any emotion in her.
“Philadelphia ?” said she, and all the motherN suffused her eye. “If you live in Philadelphia, perhaps you know our Ben.”
“Who, madam ?”
“Why, Ben Franklin ; my Ben. O he is the dearest child that ever blest a mother!”
“What!” said the Doctor. “Is Ben Franklin, the printer, your son? Why, he is my most intimate friend; he and I lodge in the same room."
"O God forgive me !” exclaimed the old lady, raising her watery eyes to heaven, “and have I suffered an acquaintance of my Benny to sleep
a hard chair, while I myself rested in a good bed !”
How Franklin discovered himself to his mother he has not informed us; but, from the above experiment, he was firmly convinced, and was often afterward heard to declare, that natural affection does not exist.
Biography. - For a biographical sketch of Freeman Hunt, see page 163,
Notes.- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), the great philosopher and patriot, was a native of Boston, and began life as a printer's apprentice. His wonderful success was due to industry, good sense, and a habit of observation that led him to understand men and the relations of objects at once. We all know the story of Franklin's kite and the discovery he made, that lightning and electricity are the same. He, with four others, was chosen by Congress to prepare the “Declaration of Independence."
All the mother suffused her eye means that her motherly feelings brought tears to her eyes.
Language. - Show the force of the prefix re in the following words: retold, returned, rebound, recovered.
A single word uttered as an exclamation is called an interjection; as, “What! Is Ben Franklin,” etc.
Name-words (nouns), action-words (verbs), pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions (connecting-words), and interjections are called Parts of Speech, because with them all sentences are constructed.
Adverbs and pronouns, when introducing sentences used as adverbs or adjectives, are connecting-words; as, "She eyed him with a look which most people assume when they imagine themselves insulted.” The pronoun which and the adverb when are used as connecting-words (conjunctions).
73.-THE WIDOW OF GLENCOE.
with threads of various colors. slogan, war-cry. eðr' a năch, a funeral song.
striek'en, struck ; hit.
Do not lift him from the bracken, leave him lying where he fellBetter bier ye can not fashion: none beseems him half so well As the bare and broken heather, and the hard and trampled sod, Whence his angry soul ascended to the judgment-seat of God! Winding-sheet we can not give him-seek no mantle for the dead, Save the cold and spotless covering showered from heaven upon
Leave his broadsword as we found it, bent and broken with the
blow, Which, before he died, avenged him on the foremost of the foe. Leave the blood upon his bosom – wash not off that sacred stain; Let it stiffen on the tartan, let his wounds unclosed remain, Till the day when he shall show them at the throne of God on
high, When the murderer and the murdered meet before their Judge's
Nay – ye shall not weep, my children! leave it to the faint and Let thy heart be hard as iron, and thy wrath as fierce as fire, Till the hour when vengeance cometh for the race that slew thy
weak; Sobs are but a woman's weapon - tears befit a maiden's cheek. Weep not, children of Macdonald 'N Weep not thou, his orphan
heirNot in shame, but stainless honor, lies thy slaughtered father
there. Weep not-but when years are over, and thine arm is strong
and sure, And thy foot is swift and steady on the mountain and the
sire! Till in deep and dark Glenlyon N rise a louder shriek of woe, Than at midnight from their aerie, scared the eagles of Glencoe : Louder than the screams that mingled with the howling of the
blast, When the murderer's steel was clashing, and the fires were ris
When thy noble father bounded to the rescue of his men,
glen! When the herd of frantic women stumbled through the midnight
show, With their fathers' houses blazing, and their dearest dead below! 0, the horror of the tempest as the flashing drift was blown, Crimsoned with the conflagration, and the roofs went thunder
O, the prayers - the prayers and curses that together winged
their flight From the maddened hearts of many through that long and wo
ful night! Till the fires began to dwindle, and the shots grew faint and few, And we heard the foeman's challenge only in a far halloo : Till the silence once more settled o'er the gorges of the glen, Broken only by the Conan plunging through its naked den.
Slowly from the mountain summit was the drifting veil with
drawn, And the ghastly valley glimmered in the gray December dawn. Better had the morning never dawned upon our dark despair! Black upon the common whiteness rose the spectral ruins there. But the sight of these was nothing more than wrings the wild
dove's breast, When she searches for her offspring round the relics of her nest.
For in many a spot the tartan peered above the wintry heap, Marking where a dead Macdonald lay within his frozen sleep.