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to work picking the tip-toppers from among them, taking as many as I chose, and dropping a sixpence among them by way of compensation.
"But why have you put those two sprays * in your basket?" said I; "why do you not pull the berries off them?"
"They are for my wife, sir," said he. "I never go blackberrying without getting a spray or two of the best I can find for her; she is so uncommonly fond of them. You can't think, sir, how she likes the sprays."
"That is right," said I; "I hope you will never give up so excellent a custom. That is the way to make a wife love you, for kindness begets kindness all the world over. Those two sprays are worth a whole basketful of blackberries. Of the pudding you will most likely have your share, but the sprays will be your wife's, and hers alone."
For some time the poor fisherman kept shaking up his basket that I might pick out the best of its contents; while I kept talking to him, not knowing which was the better pleased of the two. To me it was a double feast; much did I enjoy the blackberries, but still more the man's proof of affection for his wife.
*Sprays, shoots, sprigs, small branches.
MUNGO PARK AND THE NEGRO WOMAN.
MUNGO PARK was a traveller, who, a number of years ago, went into Africa to discover the source of a great river called the Niger. His journey was long and painful, across wide desert countries, where there are many wild beasts, and where there are tribes of black men that are constantly at war with each other. After much toil, the traveller reached the banks of the Niger, which he saw was a fine broad river. He now wished to cross to the opposite side, but as he could not find a boat he resolved to wait at a village close at hand till next day.
Mr. Park, accordingly, went to the village to seek for lodging and food; but the people had never seen a white man before, and they, being afraid of him, would not admit him into their houses. This made him sad, and he was obliged to sit all day, without food, under the shade of a tree. Night came on, and threatened to be very uncomfortable, for the wind rose, with the appearance of a heavy storm of rain; and there were so many wild beasts in the neighbourhood, that Mr. Park thought he should have to climb up the tree to rest all night among its branches. "About sunset, however," says he, (6 as I was preparing pass the night in this manner, and had turned my horse loose that he might graze at liberty, a woman stopped to look at me. Seeing that I was weary and sorrowful, she, with looks of great compassion, took up my saddle and bridle, and told me to follow her. Having led me into her hut, she lighted a lamp, spread a mat on the floor, and told me that I might remain there for the night.
"Finding that I was very hungry, she said she would get me something to eat. She accordingly went out, and
returned in a short time with a very fine fish, which she broiled on some hot ashes and gave me for supper. The kind-hearted negro woman then pointed to the mat, and told me I might sleep there without any fear of danger. She now called to the female part of her family, who had been gazing on me with wonder, to begin spinning cotton, and in this they employed themselves the greater part of the night.
They lightened their labor by songs, one of which they made on the subject of my visit. The air was sweet and mournful, and the words were these:-'The winds roared, and the rain fell. The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree. He has no mother to bring him milk-no wife to grind his corn. Let us pity the poor white man that came and sat under our tree.'"
THE DISHONEST BUTLER.
SOME time ago, a noble duke, in one of his walks, bought a cow, and left orders to have it sent to his house the following morning. According to agreement the cow was sent, and the duke, who happened to be walking in the grounds, saw a little fellow trying in vain to drive the animal to its destination.* The boy, not knowing his Grace, sung out to him, "Come here, and lend us a hand wi' this beast."
The duke saw the mistake, and determined on having a joke with the little fellow. Pretending therefore not to understand him, he walked on slowly, the boy still craving his assistance. At last the boy cried out in a tone of
* Destination, the place for which it was destined or designed to go.
apparent distress: "Come here, man, and help us; and as sure as I'm a man, I'll give you half I get!" This last appeal had the desired effect.
The duke went and lent a helping hand. "And now," said he, as they trudged along, "how much do you think you'll get for this job?" "Oh, I don't know," said the boy; "but I'm sure o' something, for the folk up at the house are good to everybody." As they approached the house, the duke darted from the boy and entered by a different way. He called a servant, and put a sovereign into his hand, saying: "Give that to the boy who has brought the cow." He returned to the walk, and was soon rejoined by the boy. "Well, how much did you get?" said the former. "A shilling, and there's the half o' it to ye." "But you surely got more than a shilling! No," said the boy, with the utmost earnestness, "that's all I got - d'ye not think it's plenty !" "I do not; there must be some mistake, and, if you return I fancy I can get you more." The boy consented; so back they went.
The duke rang the bell, and ordered all the servants to be assembled. "Now" said his Grace to the boy, point me out the person that gave you the shilling." "It was that man there," pointing to the butler. The guilty man confessed his crime, and attempted an excuse; but his Grace stopped him; ordered him to give the boy the sovereign, and to quit his service instantly. "You have lost," said he, "your money, your situation, and your character, by your covetousness: learn, henceforth, to be honest."
THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPERS' FEAST, OR THE LOST CHILD FOUND.
THERE was formerly at London, on the first of May of every year, a splendid feast given to the chimney-sweepers of the metropolis, at Montagu House, Cavendish Square, the town residence of the Montagu family. The custom is said to have taken its origin from the following circumstance :—
Lady Montagu, being at her country seat as usual in the summer, used to send her little boy Edward walking every day with the footman, who had strict orders never to lose sight of him. One day however, the servant meeting an old acquaintance, went into an ale-house to drink, and left the little boy running about by himself. After staying some time drinking, the footman came out to look for the child to take him home to dinner, but he could not find him. He wandered about till night, inquiring at every cottage and every house, but in vain.
The poor mother, as may well be imagined, was in the greatest anxiety about the absence of her dear boy; but it would be impossible to describe her grief and despair when the footman returned, and told her that he did not know what had become of him. People were sent to seek him in all directions; advertisements were put in all the newspapers; bills were stuck up in London, and in most of the great towns of England, offering a large reward to any person who would bring him or give any news of him. All endeavours were however unsuccessful, and it was concluded that the poor child had fallen into some pond, or that he had been stolen by gipsies, who would not bring him back for fear of being punished.
Lady Montagu passed two long years in this miserable