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LESSON XXX VIII.
Rule. In order to make your reading appear as much as possible like good speaking or conversation, it is necessary to look at the persons to whom you read, when you can do it without making mistakes.
THE LITTLE WOOL MERCHANT.
1. In a remote part of Ireland there lived an honest, but poor farmer, who had three sons, and three little daughters. The youngest of the sons
was named Nichols. He was very small in stature, and talked very little ; but he had a great deal of good sense, industry, and observation.
2. When he was very young he began to think that his father was too poor to keep him at home, and that it was his duty to go away and earn his living as soon as possible. One day, when he went to a store to do an errand, he heard some traders in wool speaking of a very beautiful kind, which they brought from a distant county in Ireland, and from which they made a great deal of money.
3. Nichols listened to their talk with great attention, and wished very much that he had a little money to buy some of this famous wool. He did not tell his wishes to his father ; but he thought a great deal of the conversation he had heard, and laid a great many plans to procure money.
4. He was scarcely twelve years old, when he first asked his father's permission to go from home and earn his own living. His father was very poor, and know
ing Nichols to be an honest, industrious boy, he told him he might go, and try to find something to do.
5. Dressed in a suit of strong, coarse clothes, with a great pair of wooden shoes, and a large, knotty cane in his hand to defend himself, the little man set out from home with no other provisions than a small cheese and a loaf of bread. In the county where the sheep were so remarkably fine, he had heard that there was
rich and very generous man, called the Baron of Baltimore.
6. Emboldened by what he had heard of this gen tleman's kindness, Nichols went to his house and asked if he could not employ him for a little while, that he might earn money to buy some wool. The boy seemed so intelligent, and so frank, and showed such a disposition to be industrious, that the Baron was very much pleased with him.
7. From his honest simplicity of manner, and the good sense and modesty of his answers, the gentleman rightly concluded that he was no idle vagabond, or artful knave. It was a strange thing for a boy of his age to undertake such an enterprise, but his appearance was so much in his favor, that the Baron was resolved to trust him with a hundred crowns.
8. Some of his friends laughed at him for taking such a fancy to the boy, and told him he would never see his money again : I think it doubtful whether I ever do,' replied Lord Baltimore; but I like the lad's enterprise--and if he be as good a boy as he seems, I am willing to give it to him.'
9. Nichols never dreamed of having such a large sum in his hands. His heart came up in his throat
with very joy, and it seemed as if he could not fir d words to express his gratitude to his benefactor.
10. He made his purchases with a great deal of dis cretion, and, with his wallet of wool on his shoulder, he travelled back to the counties where sheep were very scarce. Here the little merchant found such a demand for wool, that he sold it all immediately, for nearly double the money he had given for it.
11. This success gave him new courage ; and he resolved to travel back as quick as possible to buy some more; but first he resolved to visit his good friend the Baron, that he might tell him of his good fortune, and thank him again for his kindness.
12. "My Lord,' said he, that which you had the goodness to give me has nearly doubled. I have made is quite sufficient to carry on my little commerce ; therefore I beg of you to take back the hundred crowns, with my most sincere thanks ; and may my Heavenly Father bless you for your kindness to a poor boy like me.'
13. The Baron was so much charmed with the judicious way in which the money had been managed, and with the honest and prompt payment of the debt, that he insisted on making a present of it.
14. "No, no, my lord,' replied the young merchant; keep your money to lend somebody else, who needs it. You have helped me to take the first step ; and now, if I am prospered, I can get along very well myself. All the favor I ask, is, that you will allow me to consider you as a friend, and permit me now and then to give you an account of my little fortune.'
15. The Baron was charmed with this reply. Con
tinue to think and act as you now do, my good boy, said he, affectionately placing his hand on the lad's head, and I promise you I will always assist you with my advice, and my purse too, if you need it.
.' 16. Nichols could not refrain from tears. He pressed the hand of his benefactor, and kissing it respectfully, he thanked him with all the eloquence of gratitude.
17. As soon as he had bidden his friend farewell, he again set out on his journey. He did not, like a foolish child, spend his money for fine clothes ; he wore the same coarse coat, and wooden shoes, he had when he left his father's house.
18. This circumstance, together with his anxiety to pay his debts as quick as possible, made people willing to trust him ; and when he returned to the place, where he first bought wool, he found the farmers were willing to let him have more than he could
pay for, provided he would promise a speedy return. Nichols accepted their offer, telling them he certainly would come back and pay them if he were living.
19. Though he took a much larger quantity of wool than at first, he found no difficulty in disposing of it ; and very few weeks passed before he was able to go back to pay his debts, and purchase more. This honest industry soon gained friends; and far and near, people told the story of the enterprising little wool merchant.
20. He drove his trade so briskly, and was so popular in the county, that it became necessary for him to buy horses and wagons to transport his goods from one place to another. Sometimes, it is true, he met with
little difficulties. For instance, the people from whom he bought his wool, hearing how much money he made, refused to sell it as cheap as they had done ; and finding he always had ready money, they increased in their demands, until poor Nichols began to fear he should be obliged to give up his trade altogether.
21. His good friend, the Baron, encouraged hin under these little troubles, and advised him to go to some more distant counties, where excellent sheet were plenty. The little merchant followed his directions, and soon found that he made money faster
22. In the midst of success, however, he did not forget that there are some things more valuable than wealth. He set apart some time from business to be devoted to his studies; he hired the best masters in reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography; and bought many interesting and useful books, such as voyages and travels.
1. dahters for daughters; statter for stature. 2. heerd for heard. 5. jinrous for generous. 6. airn for earn. 7. pearance for appearance. 8. entuprise for enterprise. 9. spress for express. 13. makin for making. 14. fort'n for fortune. 19. diffikilty for difficulty. 20. poplar or poppe lar for popular.
QUESTIONS. What Rule is here given ? What is the Rule over Lesson 18?--over Lesson 19 ?