صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

tended with milk : he, therefore, called her to him, and, presenting the child to the teat, was overjoyed to find, that it sucked as naturally as if it had really found a mother. The goat too seemed to receive pleasure from the efforts of

பட

the child, and submitted without opposition to discharge the duties of a nurse. Contented with this experiment, the old man wrapped the child up as warmly as he could, and stretched himself out to rest, with the consciousness of having done an humane action. Early the next morning he was awakened by the cries of the child for food, which, with the assistance of his faithful Nan, he suckled as he had done the night before. And now the old man began to feel an intcrest in the child, which made him defer fome time longer the taking measures to be delivered from its care. Who knows, said he, but Providence, which has preserved this child in so wonderful a manner, may have destined it to fomething equally wonderful in his future life, and may bless me as the humble agent of his decrees? At least, as he grows bigger, he will be a pleasure and comfort to me in this lonely cabin, and will affist in cutting turf for fuel, and cultivating the garden. From this time he became more and more attached to the little foundling; who, in a short time, learned to consider the old man as a parent, and delighted him with its innocent careffes. Gentle Nanny too, the goat, seemed to adopt him with equal tenderness as her offspring : The would stretch herself out upon the ground, while he crawled upon his hands and knees towards her; and when he had

B 3

satisfied

satisfied his hunger by fucking, he would nestle between her legs and go to sleep in her bosom.

It was wonderful to see how this child, thus left to nature, increased in strength and vigour. Unfettered by bandages or restraints, his limbs acquired their due proportions and form ; his countenance was full and fiorid, and gave

indications of perfect health ; and, at an age when other children are scarcely able to support themfelves with the affiftance of a nurse, this little foundling could run alone. It was true that he sometimes failed in his attempts, and fell to the ground; but the ground was soft, and little Jack, for so the old man called him, was not tender or delicate ; he never minded thumps or bruises, but boldly scrambled up again and pursued his way.

In short time, little Trol, pletely mana

a

[ocr errors]

rom

mit of his legs; and as the summer : came on, he attended his mamma, the goat, ;

upon

upon the common, and used to play with her for hours together; sometimes rolling under her belly, now climbing upon her back, and frisking about as if he had really been a kid. As to his cloathing, Jack was not much incumbered with it: he had neither shoes, nor stockings, nor shirt; but the weather was warm, and Jack felt himself so much lighter for every kind of exercise. In a thort time after this, Jack began to imitate the sounds of his papa, the man, and his mamma, the goat; nor was it long before he learned to speak articulately. The old man, delighted with this firft dawn of reason, used to place him upon his knee, and converse with him for hours together, while his pottage was slowly boiling amid the embers of a turf fire. As he grew bigger, Jack became of confiderable use to his father; he could trust him to look after the gate, and open it during his absence; and, as to the cookery of the family, it was not long before Jack was a complete proficient, and could make broth almost as well as his daddy himself. During the winter nights, the old man used to entertain him with stories of what he had seen during his youth; the battles and fieges he had been witness to, and the hardships he had undergone; all this he related with so much vivacity, that Jack was never tired of liftening. But what de

lighted

!

B4

lighted him beyond measure was to see daddy shoulder his crutch, instead of a musquet, and give the word of command. To the right---to the left-present--fire--march-halt--all this was familiar to Jack's ear as soon as he could speak, and before he was six years old, he poized and presented a broom-stick, which his daddy gave him for that purpose, with as good a grace as any foldier of his age in Europe.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The old man too instructed him in such plain and simple morals and religion, as he was able to explain. “ Never teil an untruth, Jack,” said he, “ even though you were to be flayed alive ; a soldier never lies.” Jack held up his head, marched across the floor, and promised his daddy that he would always tell the truth like a foldier. But the old man, as he was something of

a scholar

997

« السابقةمتابعة »