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afford each of you a plentiful meal, yet it will be sufficient to keep you from perishing with hunger.'
4. Sorrow and tears interrupted his words, and he could say no more, but lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven.
5. His children wept in silence, and young as they were, their little hearts seemed to feel more for their father than for themselves. Bertrand then divided the small portion of bread into seven equal shares, one of which he kept for himself, and gave to the rest each its lot.
6. But one of them, named Harry, refused his share, telling his father he could not eat, pretending to be sick. 'What is the matter with you, my son ?' said his father, taking him up in his arms. 'I am very sick,' replied he; 'very sick indeed, and should be glad to go to sleep.' His father then carried him to bed, and wished him a good night.
7. The next morning, the honest labourer, overwhelmed with sorrow, went to a neighbouring physician, and begged of him, as a charity, to come and see his son. Though the physician was sure of never being paid for his visit, yet such were his humanity and feelings, that he instantly went to the labourer's (house.
8. On his arrival there, he found no particular symptoms of illness, though the boy was evidently in a low and languishing state. The doctor told him he would send him a cordial draught; but Harry begged he would forbear sending him any thing, as he could do him no good. The doctor was a little angry at this behaviour, and insisted on knowing what his disorder was, threatening him, if he did not tell him immediately, he would go and acquaint his father with his obstinacy.
9. Harry begged the doctor would say nothing about it to his father, which still more increased the doctor's wish to get at the bottom of this mystery. At last, poor Harry, finding the doctor resolute, desired his brothers and sisters might leave the room, and he would acquaint him with every particular.
10. As soon as the physician had sent the children out of the room, 'Alas,' said little Harry, 'in this season of scarcity, my father cannot earn bread enough to feed us. What little he -an get, he divides equally amongst us, reserving to himself the smallest part. To see my brothers and sisters suffer hunger, is more than I can bear; and as I am the eldest, and stronger than they, I have therefore not eaten any myself, but have divided my share amongst them. It is on this account that 1 pretend to be sick, and unable to eat. I beseech you, however, to keep this a secret from my father.'
11. The physician, wiping away a tear which started involuntarily from his eye, asked poor Harry if he was not then hungry. He acknowledged, indeed, that he was; but said, that did not give him so much affliction as to see the distresses of his family. 'But, my good lad,' said the doctor, 'if you do not take some nourishment, you will die.' 'I am indifferent about that,' replied Harry, 'since my father will have then one less to feed, and I shall go to heaven, where I will pray to God to assist my dear father, and my little sisters and brothers.'
12. What heart but must melt with pity and admiration at the relation of such facts? The generous physician, taking Harry by the hand, 'No, my dear little boy,' said he, ' thou shalt not die for want of the necessaries of life. I will take care of your family, and return thanks to God for having sent me hither; I must leave you for the present, but I will soon return.'
13. The good physician returned home, and ordered one of his servants to load himself with refreshments of every kind. He then hastened to the relief of poor Harry, and his distressed brothers and sisters. He made them all sit down at the table, and eat till they were perfectly satisfied. What could be a more pleasing scene, than that which the good physician then beheld, six pretty little innocent creatures smiling over the bounty of' their generous and humane friend!
14. The doctor, on his departure, desired Harry to be under no uneasiness, as ,he should take care' to procure them a supply of whatever might be wanting. He faithfully performed his promise, and they had daily cause of rejoicing at his bounty and benevolence. The doctor's generosity was imitated by every good person, to whom he related the affecting story. From some they received provisions, from some money, and from others clothes and linen; so that in a short time, thi%little family, which was but lately in want of every thing, became possessed of plenty.
15. Bertrand's landlord, who was a gentleman of considerable fortune, wns so struck with the tender generosity of little Harry, that he sent for his father, and paying him many compliments on his happiness of having such a son, he offered to take Harry under his own inspection, and bring him up in his own house.
16. This being agreed on, Bertrand's landlord settled an an. nuity on him, promising, at the same time, to provide for his
other children as they grew up. Bertrand, transported with
joy, returned to his house, and falling on his knees, offered up his most grateful thanks to God, who had graciously condescended to bestow on him such a son!
17. Hence you may learn, my young readers, how much you have it in your power to prove a blessing to your parents, and a comfort to yourselves. It is not necessary, that in order to do so, you should be reduced to the necessity that poor Harry was : for, however exalted your station may be, you will always find opportunities enough to give proofs of your duty to your parents, your affection for your brothers and sisters, and your humanity and benevolence to the poor and needy.
18. Happy, indeed, are those poor children, who have found a friend and a protector while they were needful and helpless; but much happier those, who, without ever feeling the griping hand of penury and want themselves, have received the inexpressible delight that never fails to arise from the pleasing reflection of having raised honest poverty to happiness and plenty 1
Arthur, Adrian, and the Gardener.
1. Adrian had frequently heard his father say, that children had but little knowledge with respect to what was the most proper for them; and that the greatest proof they could give of their wisdom, consisted in following the advice of people who had more age and experience. This was a kind of doctrine Adrian did not understand, or at least would not, and therefore it is no wonder he forgot it. ♦
2. This wise and good father had allotted him and his brother Arthur a convenient piece of ground, in order that each might be possessed of a little garden, and display his knowledge an4 industry in the cultivation of it. They had also permission to sow whatever seed they should think proper, and to transplant any tree they liked out of their father's garden into their own.
3. Arthur remembered those words of his father, which his brother Adrian had forgotten, and therefore went to consult their gardener. 'Pray tell me,' said he, ' what is now in season to sow in my garden, and in what manner am I to set about my business?" The gardener hereupon gave him several roots and seeds, such as were most proper for the season. Arthur instantly ran and put them into the ground, and the gardener very kindly,not only assisted him in the work, but made him acquainted with many things necessary to be known.
4. Adrian, on the other hand, appeared not to be pleased with his brother's industry, thinking he was taking much more pains than was necessary. The gardener not observing this indifferent treatment, offered him likewise his assistance and instruction; but he refused it in a manner that sufficiently betrayed his vanity and ignorance. He then went into his father's garden, and took thence a quantity of flowers, whidi he transplanted into his own. The gardener took no notice of him, but left him to do as he liked.
5. When Adrian visited his garden the next morning, all the flowers he had planted hung down their heads like so many mourners at a funeral, and, as he plainly saw, were in a dying state. He replaced them with others from his father's garden; but, on visiting them the next morning, he found them perished like the former, *
6. This was a matter of great vexation to Adrian, who consequently became soon disgusted with this kind of business. He had no idea of taking so much pains for the possession of a few flowers, and therefore gave it up as unprofitable. Hence his piece of ground soon became a wilderness of weeds and thistles.
7. As he was looking into his brother's garden about the beginning of summer, he saw something of a red colour hanging near the ground, which, on examination, he found to be strawberries of a delicious flavour. 'Ah!' said he, 'I should have planted strawberries in my garden.'
8. Some time afterwards, walking again in his brother's garden, he saw little berriet^f a red colour, which hung down m clusters from the branches of a bush. Upon examination, he found they were currants, which even the sight of was a feast. 'Ah!' said he, 'I should have planted currants in my garden.'
9. The gardener then observed to him, that it was his own fault that his garden was not as productive as his brother's. 'Never for the future,' said he, 'despise the instruction and assistance of any one, since you will find by experience, that two heads are better than one.'
The little Girl's journey to Market.
1. Nothing can be more natural and pleasing than to see young children fond of their parents. The birds of the air, and even the wild inhabitants of the forest, love and,are beloved by their young progeny. J
2. A little girl, who was about six years old, was very fond of her mother, and delighted in following her every where.
Her mother being one day obliged to go to market, wished to leave her little daughter at home, thinking it would be too fatiguing for her and troublesome to herself; but the child's entreaties to go were so earnest and pressing, that ber mother could not withstand them, and at last consented to her request. 3. The eloak and bonnet were soon on, and the little maid set off with her mother in high spirits. Such was the badness of the paths in some places, that it was impossible for them to walk hand in hand, so that the little girl was sometimes obliged to walk on by herself behind her mother; but these were such kind of hardships as her little spirit was above complaining of.
; 4. The town now appeared in sight, and the nearer they approached it, the more the paths were» thronged with people The little girl was often separated from her mother; but this i did not at present much disturb her, as by skipping over a rut, or slipping between people as they passed, she soon got up again to her mother. However, the nearer they approached the market, the crowd of course increased, which kept her eyes in full employment to see which way her mother went; but a little chaise drawn by six dogs having attracted her attention, she stopped to look at them, and by that means lost sight of her mother, which soon became the cause of much uneasiness to her.
5. Here, my little readers, let me pause for a moment to give you this necessary advice. When you walk abroad with your parents or servants, never look much about you, unless you have hold of their hand, or some part of their apparel.— And I hope it will not be deemed impertinent to give similar
. advice to parents and servants, to take care that children do not wander from them, since, from such neglect, many fatal accidents have happened. But to proceed—
6. The little girl had not gazed on this object of novelty for more than a minute, before she recollected her mother, and turned about to look for her; but no mother was there, and now the afflictions of her heart began. She called aloud, ' Mother, mother;' but no mother answered. She then walked up a bank, which afforded her a view of all around; but no mother was to be seen. She now burst into a flood, of tears, and sat herself down at the foot of the bank, by which people were passing and re-passing in great numbers.
7. Almost every body that passed said somethingto her, but none ofiered to help her to find her mother. 'What is the matter with you, my little dear, said one, that you cry so sadly ?*