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and ran with it to the house to show it to her mother. Thos the little lamb became the first object of Matilda's care, and it constantly shared with her in the little allowance of bread and milk, which she received for her meals.
12. Indeed, so fond was she of it, that she would not have ex. changed it for a whole flock. Nor was the lamb insensible of the fondness of its little mistress, since it would follow her wherever she went, would come and eat out of her hand, skip and frisk around her, and would bleat most piteously, whenever Matilda was obliged to leave it at home.
13. The lamb, however, repaid the services of its little mistress in a more substantial manner, than that of merely playing about her; for in the space of a few years the increase from this lamb furnished Matilda, and her whole family, with food and raiment. Such, my little readers, are the rewards which Provi. dence bestows on acts of goodness, tenderness and humanity.
The Little Boy and his Father. 1. On one of those fine mornings which the month of June frequently affords us, a little boy was busily employed in preparing to set out with his father on a party of pleasure, which, for several days before, had engrossed all his attention. Though, in general, he found it very difficult to rise early, yet this morning he got up soon, without being called ; so much was his mind fixed on this intended jaunt.
2. It often happens, with young people in particular, that all on a sudden they lose the object of which they flatter themselves they are almost in possession. So it fared with this little boy ; for just as they were ready to set out, the sky darkened all at once, the clouds
grew thick, and a tempestuous wind bent down the trees, and raised a cloud of dust.
3. The little boy was running up and down in the garden every minute to see how the sky looked, and then ran into the house to examine the barometer ; but neither the sky nor the barometer seemed to forbode any thing in his favour.
4. Notwithstanding all this, he gave his father the most flattering hopes that it would still be a fair day, and that these unfavourable appearances would soon be dispersed. He doubted not but it would be a very fine day, and therefore, thought that the sooner they set out the better, as it would be a pity to lose a moment of their time.
5. His father, however, did not choose to be too hasty in giving credit to his son's predictions, and thought it more advisable to wait a little. While the little boy and his father were reason
ing on this matter, the clouds burst, and down came a very heavy shower of rain. The little boy was now doubly disappointed, and vented his grief in tears, refusing to listen to the voice of consolation.
6. The rain continued without intermission, till three o'clock in the afternoon, when the clouds began to disperse, the sun resumed its splendour, and all nature breathed the odours of the spring.
As the weather brightened, so did the countenance of the little boy, and by degrees he recovered his good humour.
7. His father now thought it necessary to indulge him with a little walk, and off they set. The calmness of the air, the music of the feathered songsters, the lively and enchanting verdure of the fields, and the sweet perfumes that breathed all around them, completely quieted and composed the troubled heart of the disappointed little boy.
8. •Do you not observe, said his father, how agreeable is the change of every thing before you? You cannot have yet forgotten how dull every thing appeared to us yesterday; the ground was parched up for want of rain ; the flowers had lost their colour, and hung their heads in langour; and, in short, all nature seemed to be in a state of inaction. What can be the reason that nature has so suddenly put on such a different aspect? That is easily accounted for, said the little boy ; it undoubtedly is occasioned by the rain that has fallen to-day.'
9. The little boy had no sooner pronounced these words, than he saw his father's motive for asking him the question. He now plainly perceived the impropriety of his late conduct, in being so unhappy about what was evidently, so universally serviceable.
10. He blushed, but his father took no notice of it, judging that his own sense would sufficiently teach him another time, without reluctance, to sacrifice selfish pleasures to the general good of the community at large.
Alexis and Amanda. 1. An affectionate father, one fine summer's day, having promised his two children, Alexis and Amanda, to treat them with a walk in a fine garden a little way out of town, went up into his dressing room to prepare himself, leaving the two children in the parlour.
2. Alexis was so delighted with the thoughts of the pleasure he should receive from his walk, that he jumped about the room, without thinking of any evil consequence that could hap.
pen; but unluckily the skirt of his coat brushed against a very valuable flower, which his father was rearing with great pains, and which he had unfortunately just removed from before the window, to screen it from the scorching heat of the sun.
3. O brother! brother!' said Amanda, taking up the flower, which was broken off from the stalk, 'what have you done ? The little girl was holding the flower in her hand when her father came into the room. • Bless me, Amanda,' said her father, how could you be so thoughtless as to pluck a flower, which you have seen me take so much care to rear, in order to have seed from it!'
4. Amanda was in such a fright, that she could only beg her father not to be angry. Her father replied that he was not angry, but reminded her, that as they were going to a garden where there was a variety of flowers, she might have waited till they arrived there to indulge her fancy. He therefore hoped she would not take it amiss if he left her at home.
5. This was a terrible situation for Amanda, who held her head down, and said nothing. Little Alexis, however, was of too generous a temper to keep silence any longer. He went up to his father, and told him that it was not his sister, but himself, who had accidentally beaten off the head of the flower with the skirt of his coat. He therefore desired that his sister might go and take a walk, and he stay at home.
6. The father was so delighted with the generosity of his chil. dren, that he instantly forgave the accident, and tenderly caressed them both, being happy to see them have such an affection for each other. He told them that he loved them equally alike, and that they should both go with him.
7. They all three then walked to the garden, where they saw plants of the most valuable kinds. Amanda pressed her clothes on each side, and Alexis kept the skirts of his coat under his arms, for fear of doing any damage in their walk among the flowers.
8. The flower which their father had lost would have given him some pain, had it happened from any
other circumstance ; but the pleasure he received from seeing such mutual affection and regard subsist between his two children, amply repaid him for the loss of his flower.
9. I cannot omit the opportunity that here presents itself, of reminding my young friends, not only how necessary, but how amiable and praiseworthy it is for brothers and sisters to live together in harmony and love. It is not only their most important interest to do so, but what should be a still stronger argument with them, such are the commands of Him who made them.
The little Boy, his Sisters, and the Swallow's Nest. 1. A LITTLE boy having one day espied a swallow's nest under the eaves of the house, ran directly to inform his sisters of the important discovery, and they immediately fell into consultation concerning the manner in which they should take it. It was at last agreed, that they should wait till the young ones were fledged, that the little boy should then put a ladder up against the wall, and that his sisters should hold it fast below. while he mounted after the prize.
2. As soon as they thought these poor little creatures were properly fledged, preparations were made for the execution of their intended plan. The old birds flew backwards and forwards about the nest, and expressed as well as they were able, the sorrow and affliction they felt on being robbed of their young. The little boy and his two sisters, however, paid no regard to their pious inoans ; for they took the nest with three young ones in it.
3. As the little innocent prisoners were now in their possession, the next thing to be considered was, what they should do with them. The youngest sister, being of a mild and tender-hearted disposition, proposed putting them into a cage, promising to look after them herself, and to see that they wanted for nothing. She reminded her brother and sister how pretty it would be to see and hear those birds chirp when grown up.
4. The little boy, however, was of a very different opinion ; for he insisted on it, that it would be better to pluck off their feathers, and then set them down in the middle of the room, as it would be very amusing to see them hop about without feathers. The elder sister was of the same way of thinking as the younger; but the little boy was determined to have the matter entirely his own way.
5. The two little girls finding they were not likely to have things as they wished, gave up the point without much hesitation ; for their brother had already begun to strip the
poor help less birds. As fast as he plucked them, he put them down on the floor, and it was not long before the little birds were stripped of all their tender feathers. The poor things cried, and complained in the most piteous accents; they shook their little wings, and shuddered with the cold.
6. The little boy, however, who had not the least kind of
feeling for their sufferings, carried his persecutions still further, pushing them with his foot or hand to make them go on when They stopped, and laughing most heartily whenever they staggered or tumbled down through weakness.
7. Though his two sisters at first had pleaded against this cruel kind of sport, yet, seeing their brother so merry on the occasion, they forgot their former dictates of humanity, and joined in the cruel sport with him.
8. In the midst of this cruel kind of enjoyment, at a distance they saw their tutor approaching. This put them into a flurry, and each pocketed a bird. They would have avoided their tutor, but he called to them, and asked their reason for wishing to shun him. They approached him very slowly, with their eyes cast down, which convinced him that something amiss was going forwards.
9. On their answering that they were only playing, their tutor observed to them, that they very well knew, he never denied them innocent amusement; but, on the contrary, was always glad to see them cheerful and happy.
10. He took notice that they each held one of their hands behind them, upon which he insisted on their showing them, and letting him see, what it was they endeavoured to conceal.
11. They were obliged to comply, much against their will, when each produced a bird that had been stripped of its feathers. The tutor was filled with pity and indignation, and gave each of them a look that was more dreadful than any words he could have spoken. After some silence, the little boy attempted to justify himself, by saying that it was a curious sight to see swallows hopping about without feathers, and he could see no harm in it.
12. Can you then,' said the tutor, 'take pleasure in seeing innocent creatures suffer, and hear their cries without pity ? The little boy said, “ he did not see how they could suffer from having a few feathers pulled off.' The tutor, to convince him of his errour, pulled a few hairs from his head, when he cried out loudly, that he hurt him.
13. •What would your pain be, then,' said the tutor, 'were I thus to pluck all the hair off your head? You are sensible of the pain you now feel, but you were insensible of the torment to which you put those innocent creatures, that never offended you. But that you, little girls, should join in such an act of cruelty, very much surprises me.'
14. The little girls stood motionless, and appeared to be very sorry for what they had done, which their tutor observing, he