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before breakfast. Then I shall have the day for work, and nobody can interrupt that. I shall then be a man of leisure for my work," he added, while he moved away from the table and began to romp with his children, as Walter Scott was for his friends, after having done up his chapter before any body was stirring."
So this change of plan was settled; and after a hearty frolic with the little ones, the happy father composed himself to study, with a readiness of attention, and avarice of time, that even Bowditch hardly surpassed. The children were then quietly put to rest, and the cottage set in order, and the wife at length placed herself by his side, and he read to her aloud, and they talked of what they read, until the hour came for retiring. Then the day, which began in praise, was ended in prayer, and night and sleep sank down together, with a benediction of repose, on the simple-hearted, unambitious, and devoted pair.
THERE are a great many boys who stand at the Boston market, with baskets in their hands, to carry home meat for gentlemen who come to buy. Many of them are dirty and ragged. Some of them are bad boys, who spend much of their time in wicked play, and use wicked language. They sometimes steal and lie; and they are so noisy as to be very troublesome to the people in the market.
One day Mr. Jones came to buy some beef; and a crowd of these boys ran up to him, crying out, "Shall I carry for you, sir?" "Do let me take it, sir." "I spoke first, sir." Mr. Jones told them that he did not want them; and then said to the market-man, that he would send for the meat presently. He was just turning away, when a little boy said to him, "Please let me carry it home for you, sir." He spoke so modestly and softly, that Mr. Jones stopped to look at him. He was not, like most of the other boys, ragged and dirty; but his clothes were all whole, and his face and hands were clean. He had no hat on, and no shoes; so that he seemed to be very poor, though he was so very neat.
Mr. Jones was pleased to see this, for he thought that he must be a good boy, and that his mother must be a good woman. He asked the market-man if he knew him.
"No, sir," he answered, "I never saw him before in my life."