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said no more to them. But the little boy still persisted in his opinion that he did the birds no harm; on the contrary, he said they showed their pleasure by clapping their wings and chirping.
15. They clapped their wings,' said the tutor, from the pain you put them to ; and what you call singing, were cries and lamentations. Could those birds have expressed themselves in your speech, you would have heard them cry, 'Oh, father and mother, save us, for we have fallen into the hands of cruel children, who have robbed us of all our feathers! We are cold and in pain. Come warm us and cure us, or we shall soon die !'
16. The little girls could no longer conceal their grief, and accused their brother of leading them into this act of cruelty. The little boy was himself become sensible of his faults, and had already felt the smart of having a few hairs plucked from his head; but the reproaches of his own heart were now visible on his countenance
17. It appeared to the tutor that there was no need of carrying the punishment any further: for the errour the little boy had committed did not arise from a natural love of cruelty, but merely from want of thought and reflection. From this moment the little boy, instead of punishing and tormenting dumb creatures, always felt for their distresses, and did what he could to relieve them.
Little Junius and the fruitful Vine. 1. In the beginning of the spring, a gentleman went to his country house, and took with him his little son Junius, in order to treat him with a walk in the garden. The primroses and violets were then all displaying their beauties, and many trees had begun to show what livery they were soon to wear.
2. After walking some time about the garden, they happened to go into the summer house, at the foot of which grew the stump of a vine, which twisted wildly, and extended its naked branches in a rude and irregular manner.
3. As soon as little Junius saw this tree, he exclaimed sadly against the ugly appearance it made, and began to exert all his strength to pull it up; but he found his efforts in vain, it being too well rooted to yield to his weak arm. He begged his father to call the gardener to dig it up, and make fire wood of it; but the gentleman desired his son to let the tree alone, telling him that he would, in a few months, give him his reasons for not complying with his request.
4. This did not satisfy Junius, who desired his father to look at those lively crocusses and snowdrops, saying, he could not see why that barren stump should be kept, which did not produce a single green leaf. "He thought it spoiled and disfigured the garden, and therefore begged his father would permit him to fetch the gardener to pluck it up.
5. The gentleman, who could not think of granting his request, told him, that it must stand as it then was, at least for some time to come. Little Junius still persisted in his entreaties, urging how disgraceful it was to the garden; but his father diverted his attention from the vine, by turning the conversation.
6. It so happened, that the gentleman's affairs called him to a different part of the country, whence he did not return till the middle of autumn. He no sooner came home than he paid a visit to his country house, taking little Junius with him. As the day happened to be warm, they retired to enjoy the benefit of the shade, and entered the arbour, in which the vine stump had so much before offended his son Junius.
7. O! father,' said the young gentleman, 'how charming and delightful is this green shade! I am much obliged to you for having that dry and ugly stump plucked up, which I found so nuch fault with when we were here last, and for putting in its place this beautiful plant; I suppose you did it in order to give me an agreeable surprise. How delightful and tempting the fruit looks! What fine grapes! Some purple, and others almost black. I see no tree in the garden that looks in so blooming a state. All have lost their fruit; but this fine one seems in the highest perfection. See how it is loaded. See those wide spreading leaves that hide the clusters. If the fruit be as good as it appears beautiful, it must be delicious.'
8. Little Junius was in raptures when he tasted one of the grapes, which his father gave him ; and still more so, when he informed him, that from such fruit was made that delicious liquor, which he sometimes tasted after dinner. The little boy was quite astonished on hearing his father talk thus ; but he was far more surprised when his father told him, that all those fine leaves, and delicious fruit, grew from that very crooked and misshapen stump, with which he had been so angry in the spring.
9. His father then asked him, if he should now order the gardener to pluck it up, and make fire wood of it.
Junius was much confused; but, after a short silence, told his father, that be would rather see every other tree in the garden cat
down than that, so beautiful were its leaves, and so delicious its fruit.
10. As his father was a man of good sense, he thus moralized on this occasion : You see then, my son,' said he, 'how imprudently I should have acted, had I followed your advice, and cut down this tree. Daily experience convinces us, that the same thing happens frequently in the commerce of this world, which has in this instance misled you. When we see a child badly clothed, and of an unpleasing external appearance, we are too apt to despise him, and grow conceited on comparing ourselves with him; and sometimes even go so far, as cruelly to address him in haughty and insulting language. But beware, my son, how you run into errours by forming a too hasty judgment. It is possible, that in a person so little favoured by nature, may dwell an exalted soul, which may one day astonish the world with the greatness of its virtues, or enlighten it with knowledge. The most rugged stem may produce the most delicious fruit, while the straight and stately plant may be worthless and barren.'
Emily and Edwin. 1. A widow had two children, Emily and Edwin, both equally deserving the affections of a parent, which, however, were unequally shared. Edwin was the favourite, which Emily very early began to discover, and consequently, felt no small share of uneasiness on the occasion, but she was prudent enough to conceal her sorrow.
2. Emily, though not remarkably handsome, had a mind that made ample amends for the want of beauty ; but her brother was a little Cupid, on whom his mother lavished all her favours and caresses.
3. It is no wonder that the servants, to gain the favour of their mistress, were very attentive to humour him in all his wishes. Emily, on the other hand, was consequently slighted by every one in the house ; and, so far from wishing to study her humour, they scarcely treated her with common civility.
4. Finding herself frequently alone and neglected, and taken little notice of by any one, she would privately shed tears; but she always took care that not the least mark of discontent should escape her in the presence of any ohe.
5. Her constant attention to the observance of her duty, her mildness, and endeavours to convince her mother that her mind was superiour to her face, had no effect; for beauty alone attracts
the attention of those who examine no further than external appearances.
6. The mother, who was continually chiding Emily, and expecting from her perfections far beyond the reach of those more advanced in years, at last fell sick.
7. Edwin seemed very sorry for his mother's illness; but Emily, with the softest looks and most languishing countenance, fancied she perceived in her mother an abatement of her accuscomed rigour towards her, and far surpassed her brother in her attention to her parent.
8. She endeavoured to supply her slightest wants, exerted all her penetration to discover them, that she might even spare her the pain of asking for any thing. So long as her mother's illness had the least appearance of danger, she never quitted her pillow, and neither threats nor commands could prevail on her to take the least repose.
9. Their mother, however, at length recovered, which afforded inexpressible pleasure to the amiable Emily ; but she soon experienced a renewal of her misfortunes, as her mother began to treat her with her usual severity and indifference.
10. As her mother was one day talking to her children on the pain she had suffered during her illness, and was praising them for the anxiety they had shown on her account, she desired them to ask of her whatever they thought would be the most pleasing to them, and they should certainly be indulged in it, provided their demands were not unreasonable.
11. First addressing herself to Edwin, she desired to know what he would choose ; and his desire was to have a cane and a watch, which his mother promised he should have the next morning. And pray, Emily,' said her mother, what is your wish ? If you do but love me, answered Emily, I have nothing else to wish for! • That is not an answer ' replied her mother, 'you shall have your recompense likewise ; tnerefore speak your wish instantly.
12. However accustomed Emily might have been to this severe tone, yet she felt it on this occasion more sensibly than ever she had before. She threw herself at her mother's feet, looked up to her with eyes swimming in tears, and instantly hiding her face with both her hands, lisped out these words: Only speak as kindly to me as you do to my brother.'
13. What heart could fail to relent at these words! Her mother felt all the tender sentiments of a parent arise in her heart, and, taking her up in her arms, said she loved her better than ever she did before. The little Emily, who now, for the
first time, received her mother's caresses, gave way to the effusion of her joy and love. She took hold of her mother's hands ; and Edwin, who loved his sister, mixed his embraces with hers. Thus, all had a share in this scene of unexpected happiness.
14. The affection which the mother had so long withheld from Emily, she now repaid with interest, and her daughter returned it with the most dutiful attention. Edwin, so far from being jealous at this change of his mother's affection for his sister, showed every mark of pleasure on the occasion, and he afterwards reaped a reward of so generous a conduct; for his natural disposition having been, in some measure, injured by the too great indulgence of his mother, he gave way in his early days to those little indiscretions, which would have lost him the heart of his parent, had not his sister stepped in between them.
15. It was to the advice of this amiable girl that Edwin at last owed his entire reformation of manners. They all three then experienced, that true happiness cannot exist in a family, unless the most perfect union between brothers and sisters, and the most lively and equal affection between parents and children, are constantly and strictly adhered to.
The story of Bertrand. 1. Think yourselves happy, my little readers, since none of you, perhaps, know what it is to endure hunger day after day, without being able to enjoy one plentiful meal. Confident I am, that the following relation will not fail to make an impression on your tender hearts :
2. Bertrand was a poor labourer, who had six young children, whom he maintained with the utmost difficulty. To add to his distresses, an unfavourable season much increased the price of bread. This honest labourer worked day and night to procure subsistence for his family, and though their food was of the coarsest kind, yet even of that he could not procure a sufficiency
3. Finding himself reduced to extremity, he one day called his little family together, and with tears in his eyes,
and a heart overflowing with grief, “My little children,' said he, bread is now so extravagantly dear, that I find all my efforts to support you ineffectual. My whole day's labour is barely sufficient to purchase this piece of bread which you see in my hand; it must therefore be divided among you, and you must be contented with the little my labour can procure you. Though it will not