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LESSON X XI X.
A DESIRE TO PRAISE.
Iambic, with changes to the trochaic measure ;-four feet; and
three feet and a long syllable. PROPITIOUS Son of God', to theé With all my soul I bend
knee; My wish I send', my want impart,
And dedicate my mind and heart.
Whose second year has only run',
Sò, should my soul's eternal guide —
And sink in sin, or run to woe.
Before thy pleasures', rightly prized,
And let the Father's glory be'
Him' the God of love and truth;
Trochaic. 30. Who made the universal frame'
With me sing thy praises here.
Resting on the Father's breasť,
* Three feet and one additional long syllable.
ELM-TREE HALL ; OR, DO NOT MEDDLE WITH WHAT DOES NOT
BELONG TO YOU.
In happy-hearted moodo;
For it may do thee good! About twenty years ago there lived a singular gentleman in the old Hall among the Elm Trees. He was about threescore years of agè, very rich', and somewhat odd in many of his habits', but for generosity and benevolence he had no equal.
poor cottager stood in need of comforts which he was not ready to supply ; no sick man or woman languished for want of his assistance; and not even a beg'gar', unless a known impostor', went empty-handed from the Hall.
The sick he soothed', the hungry fed',
Bade care and sorrow fly,
Of friendless poverty. Now it happened that the old gentleman wanted a boy to wait upon
hii at tablé, and to attend him in different ways', for he was very fond of young people. But, much as he liked the society of the young’, he had a great aversion to that curiosity in which many young people are apt to indulge. He used to say', “ The boy who will peep into a drawer', will be tempted to take something out of it ; and he who will steal a penny in his youth' will steal a pound" in his manhood.”
This disposition to repress evil', as well as to encourage good conduct', formed a part of his character'; for though of a cheerful temper', and not given to severity',
would a fault till it was acknowledged and repented of.
No sooner was it known that the old gentleman was in want of a servant', than twenty applications were made for the situation'; but he determined not to engage any boy until he had in some way ascertained that he did not possess a curious', prying disposition. It was Monday morning that seven lads', dressed in their
Sunday clothes, with bright and happy faces', made their appearance at the Hall', each of them desirous to obtain the situation they applied for. Now the old gentleman, being of a singular disposition', had prepared a room in such a way that he might easiiy know if any of the young people who applied to be his servant were given to meddle unnecessarily with things around them', or to peep into cupboards and drawers. He took care that the lads', who were then at Elm-Tree Hall', should be shown into this room' one after another.
And first', James Turner was sent into the room', and told that he would have to wait a little ; so James sat down on a chair near the door. For some time he was very quiet', and looked about him ; but there seemed to be so many curious things in the room', that, at lasť, he got up to peep at them.
On the table was placed a dish cover', and James wanted sadly to know what was under it', but he felt afraid of lifting it up. Bad habits are strong things'; and as James was of a curious disposition', he could not withstand the temptation of taking ônè peep; so he lifted up the cover.
This turned out to be a sad affair"; for under the dish cover was a heap of very light feathers'; part of the feathers', drawn up by the current of air', flew about the room', and James', in his fright', putting down the cover hastily', puffed the rest of them off the table.
What was to be done' ? James began to pick up the feathers', one by one; but the old gentleman', who was in the adjoining room', hearing a scuffle', and guessing the cause of it', entered the room, to the consternation of James Turner', who was very soon dismissed', as a boy who had not principle enough to resist even a slight temptation.
When the room was once more arranged', Thomas Hawker was placed there until such time as he should be sent for. No sooner was he left to himself", than his attention was attracted by a plate of fine ripe cherries. Now Thomas was uncommon ly fond of cherries, and he thought that it would be impossible to miss õne cherry among so many. He looked' and longed", and longed and looked', for some time, and just as he had got off his seat to take one', he heard', as he thought', a foot coming to the door'; but nò, it was a false alarm. Taking fresh couragé, he went cautiously and took a vēry fine chērry', for he was determined to take but one', and put it into his mouth. It was excellento; and then he persuaded himself that he ran no risk in taking another'; this he did', and hastily popped it into his mouth.
Now the old gentleman had placed a few artifici:l' cherries
at the top of the others', filled with cayenne pepper'; one of these Thomas had unfortunately taken', and it made his mouth smart and burn most intolerably. The old gentleman heard him cough'ing' and knew very well what was the matter. The boy who would take what did not belong to him', if no more than a chèrry', was not the boy for him". Thomas Hawker was sent about his business without delay', with his mouth almost as hot as if he had put a burning coal into it.
William Parkes was next introduced into the room', and left to himself"; but he had not been there two minutes', before he began to move from one place to another. He was of a bold', resolute temper', but not overburdened with principlè, for if he could have opened every cupboard', closet', and drawer in the house, without being found ouť, he would have done it directly. Having looked round the room', he noticed a drawer to the table', and made up his mind to peep therein'; but no sooner did he lay hold of the drawer knob than he set a large bell a ringing', which was concealed under the table. The old gentleman immediately answered the summons', and entered
William was so startled by the sudden ringing of the bell’, that all his impudence could not support him”; he looked as though any one might knock him down with a feath
The old gentleman asked him if he had rung the bell because he wanted any thing'? William was much confused', and stammered, and tried to excuse himself", but all to no purposé, for it did not prevent him from being ordered off the premises.
Samuel Jones was then shown into the room by an old steward"; and being of a cautious disposition', he touched nothing, but only looked at the things about him. At last' he saw that a closet door was a little open', and thinking it would be impossible for any one to know that he had opened it a little môre, he very cautiously opened it an inch farther, looking down at the bottom of the door that it might not catch against any thing and make a noise. Now, had he looked at the top', instead of the bottom", it might have been better for him", for to the top of the door was fastened a plug which filled up the hole of a small barrel of shot. He ventured to open the door another inch', and then anoth'er, till the plug being pulled out of the barrel', the leaden shot began to pour out at a strange ratè; at the bottom of the closet was placed a tin pan', and the shot falling upon this pan' made such a clatter that Samuel was half frightened out of his senses.
The old gentleman soon came into the room to inquire what
was the matter', and there he found Samuel nearly as pale as a sheet. Samuel was soon dismissed.
It now came to the turn of Harry Roberts to be put into the room. The other boys had been sent to their homes by different ways', and no one knew what the experience of the others had been in the room of trial.
On the table stood a smāll round box with a screw top' to it', and Harry thinking that it contained something curious”, could not be easy without unscrewing the top'; but no sooner did he do this, than out bounced an artificial snake, full a yard long, and fell upon his arm. He started back and uttered a scream', which brought the old gentleman to his elbow. There stood Hārry with the bottom of the box in one hand', the top in the other, and the snake on the ground. “Comè, comè,” said the old gentleman', handing him out of the room', “õne' snake is quite enough to have in the house at a timè; therefore the sooner you are gone' the better';" with that he dismissed him' without waiting a moment for his reply.
Roger Ball next entered the room", and being left aloné, soon began to amuse himself in looking at the curiosities around him.
Roger was not only curious and prying', but dishonest too, and observing that the key was left in the drawer of a bookcasé, he stepped on tiptoe in that direction"; but the moment he touched the key' he fell flat on the floor. The key had a wire fastened to it which communicated with an electrical machine", and Harry received such a shock' as he was not likely to forget. No sooner did he sufficiently recover himself to walk', than he was told to leave the house', and leave other people to lock' and unlock their own drawers.
The last boy was John Grovè, and though he was left in the room full twenty minutes', he never, during that time', stirred from his chair. John had eyes in his head as well as the others', but he had more integrity in his hearto; neither the dish cover', the cherries', the drawer knob', the closet door', the round box', nor the key', tempted him to rise from his seat'; and the consequence was', that, in half an hour after', he was engaged in the service of the old gentleman at Elm-Tree Hall.
John Grove followed his good old master to his gravé, and received a large legacy for his upright conduct in his service. Read this', ye busy', meddling, peeping", pilfering young people', and imitate the example of John Grove.