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that I may be able to sing pretty songs to the travellers who pass by.” And off he flew.
All at once there was a rustling amongst the bushes. The children were afraid and peeped in, but they saw nothing. They had for some time felt very tired of being in the wood, and one of them said, “If even a squirrel came and played with us !” Thereupon one ran out of the bushes and climbed up a tree. It tittered and moved quickly about, and said, “I am seeking the young buds of the trees, and nuts." The children begged, “Dear little squirrel, come and bring us some good nuts." But the squirrel growled and hissed so crossly, that the children were quite afraid. Very soon after, they heard a little stream flowing, and now they cried joyfully, “Oh, we will play with the little brook, come! come!”
They ran very quickly to it, but the brook said, “Now, just look there, you lazy children. You think I have nothing to do. I am forced to work day and night. I moisten the fields and the meadows, and give water to thirsty animals. When I am great and strong—then I turn mills and carry ships—so go away, you idle children, or else you will never get to your home again !"
Then the children were really uneasy: they went away much ashamed ; and the cuckoo mocked at them all the way as they went.
From the German of Münkel.
62.-ADDRESSED TO A CHILD DURING A
BOISTEROUS WINTER EVENING.
What way does the wind come? What way does he
He rides over the water, and over the snow,
height, Which the goat cannot climb, takes his sounding
He will suddenly stop in a cunning nook,
-Yet seek him,-and what shall you find in the
As soon as 'tis daylight, to-morrow with me
Hark! over the roof he makes a pause,
warm ; Untouched by his breath see the candle shines bright, And burns with a clear and steady light; Books have we to read, but that half-stifled knell, Alas ! 'tis the sound of the eight o'clock, bell.
-Come now we 'll to bed ! and when we are there He may work his own will, and what shall we care ? He may knock at the door, we 'll not let him in; May drive at the windows-we 'll laugh at his din;
Let him seek his own home wherever it may
63.-TRIFLES MAKE THE SUM OF
post-pon-ing proverb sepe-ti-tion
Attention, application, accuracy, method, punctuality, and despatch, are the principal qualities required for the efficient conduct of business of any sort. These, at first sight, may appear to be small matters; and yet they are of essential importance to human happiness, well-being, and usefulness. They are little things, it is true; but human life is made up of trifles. It is the repetition of little acts which constitute not only the sum of human character, but which determine the character of nations. And where men or nations have broken down, it will almost always be found that neglect of little things was the rock on which they split. What is done in business must be well done; for it is better to accomplish perfectly a small amount of work, than to
half-do ten times as much. A wise man used to say, “Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner.”
Method is like packing things in a box ; a good packer will get in half as much again as a bad one. Cecil's despatch of business was extraordinary, his maxim being, “The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.”
A French minister who was alike remarkable for his despatch of business, and his constant attendance at places of amusement, being asked how he managed to combine both objects, replied, “ Simply by never postponing till to-morrow what should be done to-day." Important affairs must be attended to in person. “If you want your business done," says the proverb, "go and do it; if you don't want it done, send some one else.”
An indolent country gentleman had a freehold estate producing about five hundred a-year. Becoming involved in debt, he sold half the estate, and let the remainder to an industrious farmer for twenty years. About the end of the term, the farmer called to pay his rent, and asked the owner whether he would sell the farm. “Will you buy it ? ” asked the owner, surprised. “Yes, if we can agree about the price.” “That is exceedingly strange,” observed the gentleman. “Pray tell me how it happens that, while I could not live upon twice as much land for which I pay no rent, you are regularly paying me two hundred a-year for your farm, and are able, in a few years, to purchase it.” “ The reason is plain,” was the reply.
“ You sat still and said “Go;" I got up and said “Come ;