« AnteriorContinuar »
little George Green, as he went whistling along, picked up a pear that had fallen into his father's garden; the instant he touched it he felt something on the back of his neck, like the sting of a wasp; it was Reuben Black's whip, followed by such a storm of angry words that the poor child rushed into the house in an agony of terror. But this experiment failed also. The boy was soothed by his mother, and told not to go near the pear-tree again ; and there the matter ended. This imperturbable goodnature vexed Reuben more than all the tricks and taunts he met from others. Evil efforts he could understand, and repay with compound interest, but he did not know what to make of this perpetual forbearance. It seemed to him there must be something contemptuous in it. He disliked Simeon more than all the rest of the people put together, because he made him feel so uncomfortably in the wrong, and did not afford him the slightest pretext for complaint. It was annoying to see every thing in his neighbour's domains looking so happy, and presenting such a bright contrast to the forlornness of his own. When their waggons passed each other on the road, it seemed as if Simeon's horse tossed his head higher and flung out his mane, as if he knew he was going by Reuben Black's old nag. He often said he supposed Green covered his house with roses and honey-suckles on purpose to shame his bare walls; but he did not carenot he! He was not going to be fool enough to rot his boards with such stuff. But no one resented his disparaging remarks, or sought to provoke him in any way. The rose smiled, the horse neighed, and the calf capered ; but none of them had the least idea that they were scorned by Reuben Black. Even the dog had no malice in his heart, though he did, one night, chase home his geese, and bark at them through the bars. Reuben told his master the next day, and said he would bring an action against him if he did not keep that dog at home. Simeon answered very quietly that he would try to take better care of him. For several days a strict watch was kept, in hopes Towzer would worry the geese again; but they paced home undisturbed, and not a solitary bow-wow furnished excuse
for a lawsuit. The new neighbours not only declined
quarrelling, but they occasionally made positive advances Il toward a friendly relation. Simeon's wife sent Mrs. Black
a large basket-full of very fine plums. Pleased with the unexpected attention, she cordially replied, “Tell your mother it was very kind of her, and I am very much obliged to
Reuben, who sat smoking in the chimney corner, listened to this message, for once, without any impatience, except whiffing the smoke through his pipe a little faster and fiercer than usual; but when the boy was going out of the door, and the friendly words were repeated, he exclaimed, "Don't make a fool of yourself, Peg. They want to give us a hint to send a basket of our pears, that's the upshot of the business. You may send them a basket when they are ripe ; for I scorn to be under obligation, especially to your smoothed-tongued folks.” Poor Peggy, whose heart had been for the moment refreshed by a little act of kindness, admitted distrust into her bosom, and all the pleasure she had felt on receiving her neighbour's present departed. Not long after this advance toward good neighbourhood, some labourers employed by Simeon Green, ! passing over a bit of marshy ground, with a heavy team,
stuck fast in a bog occasioned by long continued rain. 1: The poor oxen were unable to extricate themselves, and
Simeon ventured to ask assistance from his waspish neighbour, who was working at a short distance. Reuben replied grufiy, “I've got enough to do to attend to my own business.” The civil request that he might be allowed to use his oxen and chains for a few minutes, being answered in this surly tone, Simeon silently walked off, in search of a more obliging neighbour. The men who had been left waiting with the patient and suffering oxen scolded about Reuben's ill nature when Simeon came back to them, and said they hoped Reuben would get stuck in the same bog himself. Their employer rejoined, “If he should, we will do our duty, and help him out.” “ There is such a thing as being too good-natured,” said they. If Reuben Black takes the notion that people are afraid of him, it makes him trample on them worse than ever.” “0, wait a while," replied Green, smiling, “I will kill him before long; wait, and see if I do not kill him.”
(To be continued.)
THE FISHERMAN'S SONS AND THE THIEF.
Translated from the German, by Mrs. St. Simon. LYCAS, a rich fisherman, owned a pond, which was large, quite deep, and full of the finest fish. Low bushes encircled it, while reeds and rushes grew thickly around in the water near to the shore.
Phocian and Hylas, the fisherman's two sons, had, for three evenings in succession, let down their wicker baskets, furnished with bait, amid the reeds of the pond, and always at a spot where the fish were usually abundant; still on each succeeding morning they had drawn them up empty.
* Brother,” said Hylas, “all is not right in this business. We have always found fish enough here, and now, for these three days, we have not caught a single one. I suspect that some person snaps them away from us before we come, as the fox snaps away the bird that is caught in the trap of the hunter."
"I think so likewise, dear Hylas," replied Phocian. “But what can we do to prevent it? We do not know who is the thief.”
“ Ah, we will find him out!” said Hylas. “We will sink our wicker baskets in the reeds this evening, as usual; but about midnight we will steal quietly out to the pond, conceal ourselves in the bushes, and wait for the thief's approach. Only let him come! he will never desire to get our fish again!”
“ Excellent, my brother!” said Phocian. “That will be the way!”
At evening they sank their baskets amid the reeds, drew their skiff, as usual, on land, concealed it behind the bushes, and returned homeward. About midnight they
stole silently to the pond, hid themselves amid the adjacent bushes, and watched. Toward morning, as the stars began to fade away, Androgenes, a poor fisherman, crept softly toward the pond. Out of love for his sick wife he had sold all his goods, his boat and nets, in order to pay an avaricious old woman, who was esteemed very skilful in the use of herbs, for the medicines which she had prepared for her-and he could now scarcely find bread. Impelled by want, he watched at evening, and saw where the young men let down their wicker baskets into the pond, and at early cock-crow robbed them of their contents, and sold the fish in the city, in order to procure for his wife and himself their daily food.
"Ah, I pity the man!” whispered Hylas, in his brother's ear. “He is so very poor, we will spare him."
Yes, Hylas, we will spare him," answered Phocian, in a low voice. “I too am sorry for him ; but let us only watch how he manages."
Androgenes, with a basket upon his back, approached the edge of the pond, where the boat lay. He looked timidly around, unfastened it from the post to which it was tied, stepped into it, and endeavoured to row through the thickly-grown reeds and rushes, out to the spot where the wicker baskets lay beneath the water. He laboured and tailed until the sweat rolled in big drops from his brow. But he was too feeble: he was obliged to pause. After awhile he renewed his efforts, pushing violently with the car, to force the boat through the reeds, when suddenly the car slipped, and he fell backward into the water.
On seeing this, the young men hastened to him. Androgenes lay struggling in the pond, and at last with great difficulty, extricated his feet and limbs, from the meshes of reeds and rushes, which entangled them. Covered from head to foot with yellow mud, his face scratched by the sharp rushes, he was on the point of swinging himself into the boat, when he suddenly perceived the fishermen upon the shore. Who can describe his terror? The oar and his hat, which had fallen from his head, and which he now held in his hand, he dropped in affright.
“ Fcar nothing, my good man!” said the brothers kindly _" fear nothing from us. Be at ease. Cast your hat and the oar that lies near you, among the rushes, into the boat, and draw it to land. Trust to our promises ; wade stoutly along."
"Do you in truth and in earnest forgive me, young men?" stammered the terrified Androgenes, after long hesitation. “O, spare me! for alas! bitter porerty and need compel me to resort to this disgraceful means.”
“ Fisherman," they replied with one voice, "you have nothing to fear."
He at last suffered himself to be persuaded, and wading onward, drew the boat to the shore.
“Wait here, my friend,” said the two brothers. “Since you need them, you shall have fish enough.” They now stepped into the boat, and with united strength forced it stoutly onward through the tangled rushes, and raised their baskets from the pond. The poor fisherman's basket was soon filled with fish.
“Here, fisherman, is relief to your wants," they said, smiling, as they reached him the basket, while tears bedewed his pale cheeks, and a blush of shame covered his face; “ but in future, come to us, and help us at our task, and you shall always receive your due share."- Mother's Magazine.
MEMOIR OF HILLAH BOOTH. HILLAH became a scholar in the Sabbath-school, at Wesley Chapel, College Place, Chelsea, about two years since. She was then about six years old. She was remarkably kind to her fellow scholars, but restless and inattentive during school and service times. Latterly, however, her conduct in the school and in chapel became very much improved. She had every appearance of health and long life; but how very deceptive are appearances ! Sickness seized her frame, and in a short time her immortal spirit winged its flight into another world. Now an im