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LESSON X X XI.
THE BASKET OF TOOLS ; OR, WE MUST ALL DO OUR PART.
A JOINER's boy', going to his work', carried with him a basket of tools'; and as he walked rather quick, it occasioned some litle commotion among the sharp-edged instruments. Che consequent accidental rubs which took place as they encountered each other' at length excited an irritation of spirit', and the inconvenience of this unavoidable jostling soon proceeded to raise a voluntary purpose to injure one another', under the pretence of retaliation for the knocks', and scratches, and cuts' which were inflicted from the deplorable circumstances in which they were placed.
Pray, brother', keep your teeth to yourself",” said a Hatchet to a Šaw'. At the same time bouncing up', he gave pretty sharp cut on the handle', which making him strike a File with some violence that lay under him', forced its rough side against the point of a Gimblet'; and whilst itself felt the hurt', it drove the handle into the box of a Planè, which it knocked out of its place and stuck fast therein.
“ What are you all about' ?" said the Planè ; “ do you see what a situation you have put me intó? What is to become now of your clumsy operations', if you are without the finishing touch of my ability'? What sort of work will you look like, do you think'?"
“I think',” said the Saw, “ that we can do perfectly well without your, insignificant help. What do you do towards the forming of the things we are employed in' s Whatever it be, I am the most importanto; the length and breadth of all things are determined by my power, and each part made to suit the other.”
“ You boast yourself too much', Mr. Saw," said the Hatchet. “ Who chopped down the tree in the forest, and lopped off the superfluous branches“, and prepared the trunk", before you could have a single plank' to saw' ? Such conceit' indeed! forgetting the one that goes before and provides all for your after works.”
“ Besides,” said the Filé,“ I think I have some right to talk about what fits the joints' and smoothes the edges."
“ You all forget ûs,” said the little Gimblet and Pricker; we are not to be despised", though we are littlè: we are necessary. What sort of work would you maké, do you
think', if you should begin to hammer or screw without ôur help to
you are idle
way ? Tell me now', you company of Nails', what splitting and tearing would happen', if you were driven in without preparation ?"
“ It is not wè,” answered the Nails', “who split“ and tear the wood'; it is that clumsy-headed Hammer' that comes without reason' or carè, and knocks us on the head', and drives us in', whether we will or not."
Thus they talked in confusion and anger', each assuming consequence to himself', or throwing blame on the other.
The Hammer made no reply', but snug down in the bottom of the baskeť, kept himself quiet and listened to the affray'.
At length the boy reached the workshop, where the master was waiting for him.
“What has made you so long in coming', boy'? Did I not tell you that you should make that box', and that
should come in timé? You know it is wanted this evening'; and if
will make bungling work of it. Herè, take that bit of rough wood'; it is a good tough bit of a tree which I chopped down with my own hands in the squire's park; I know it is a tough one', for if I had not had a good Hatchet', I should never have got it down.”
As the boy set down his basket to prepare for his work’, and all was still within', the company there had time to listen to what was going forward in the shop'; and the Hatchet felt no small degree of self-complacence when he heard himself thus unexpectedly acknowledged as a first instrument.
Now',” continued the master', “take your Hatchet, and Lirst chop off these knobby lumps here."
“Did I not tell you,” said the Hatchet', as the boy opened his basket to take him out', “ did I not tell you, that none of you
could do without mé?” “A clumsy bit of goods it must need bē',” said the Saw',
" to require yoûr help'."
Ay', indeed'," said the Plane'," as if I could not put all to rights' and smooth away all the lumps which the Hatchet leaves', as well as the ragged roughness yoû will leave, Mr. Sâw.”
By this time the Hatchet was in the boy's hand and applied to its usè; sharply it cut', to show what it coûld do.
Stay', stay',” said the master', “ take that knob* off closer', or else when you come to divide it ācross just thēre' you will give your Saw double work' and yourself toò; it is hard to saw through a knot: besides', as it must be planed on both,
* Knob, generally, but incorrectly pronounced in conversation as if spelled
sides', the Plane will jut against this knot^ and, it may be', snip the edge'; it will be almost as bad as a nail-head' !
“Do you hear now', you Sâw and Plâne? I will do my work as I shoûld do, not so much to do yoû good, as show you what I can do !”
The block of wood was now pretty well trimmed', and the boy', thinking that he might rest a littlé, threw down the Hatchet' and stood still.
What are you idling for’, boy'? Did I not tell you that there was no time to lose'? Will chopping with your
Hatch'et' make the box'? Quick'en your motions', and take
your Saw', and saw it into six' slices like bits of plank'."
In a tone of sarcastic contempt', the Saw said', as the boy took him out of the basket',—“ Čān cütting with your Hātchēt’ māke thé box' ?”
Soon was the Saw put to its usè, and slice after slice of the plank was cut and laid in readiness. And the boy', now forward to go on with his job', was beginning to see how he would put it together. “ What are you doing', you jumbling lad'? What sort of a now,
in this rough' form'? Do you see how the Saw has torn and jagged the board'? Where is your Plane' ? Go to work' and plane it as smooth as a looking-glass.”
The Plane was then taken', and as it began to pass over the Saw's rough work', it seemed to whistle with delight“, and to repeat', " Make it as smooth as a looking-glass.”
Thēre,” said the master', sliding his hand over the boards', " that' is something like—now you inay go on'. Measure your boards for bottom', top', sides', and ends', and then divide them with your Saw.”
Ah', ah," said the Saw', “ will plâning make the box' ?” The parts were then divided', and the boy thinking that all must be ready', expected to put it together.
Seè, seè, what is to become of these ragged edges' ? Do you see how rough the Saw has left them' ? will it suit the smooth inside and outside to leave them so'? Take your File and smooth these top edges well.”
Th File now rose into self consequence', as he was taken to put on the finishing smoothing.
“ Now then', boy', begin to put together.”
The boy began', and taking a long Nail and the Hammer', was about to drive it in', when the master seized his arm to
Ott' ott', fellow'! * A pretty job you will make at last! do you not know that you will split the board all to pieces', if you drive
your Nails without making a way first with the Pricker'! Herè," he continued', taking out the Pricker', “ make a hole herè; feel that it goes through to the board which it is to join', and then' drive the Nail.” The boy did so', and all the nails went in smoothly and easily'; and he drove them to the head without injuring the boards.
“ Now then', how will you put on the lid“? Herè, take this pair of hinges and screw them to it'.” The boy began to do as he was bid.
“ What are you doing now'; will you split that board with Screws'? Take the Gimblet' and
with it'; then put in the Screws', and take the Screw-driver and screw them in to the very hēad.” The boy obeyed', and the master said',
“ There now', thēre is a box at last'! A rough-made one after all', though you' will think much of it, I suppose. Learn the use of your Tools'; what one cannot do, another can. What good do they do you', if they only lie in your basket'? And remember', they cannot make a box' unless you make use' of them.
There they are all together'; you wanted them all'; and when you get a little more experience, you will find out before you can make a thing as it should be', that
will want many more instruments', and many years' practice.”
The Hammer', which was a sensible downright' honest fellow', had not listened to the first quarrel in the basket', nor to the master's words', without application'; and he thus addressed the Tools :
“ Brethren', for we must all call ourselves brethren', you see that none of us have any reason to boast ourselves one' against another', and also of how little use we are alone. We must all do our part', or there will be no work for us to share. And we must also have some one who', like another instrument“, will put us all to our uses. Hè, too, without the master's teaching'. seems but a bungler. Where, or what, would have been the box', without õne' who knew how to use both boys and tools ?”
* Not feller.
ose. La nother :
LESSON X X XII.
WARE. "EDWARD',” said a prudent father to his son', who in the pride of over-strained politeness was tripping conceitedly along with a cane in one hand', and his hat borne up in the other', return', and for a few moments lend a listening ear to my words.
" Whatever may be our natural' or acquired' accomplishments', conceit spoils them all. It disgusts the sensible, and exposes its possessor to the derision' even of fools. It throws a shade over talents not contemptible in themselves'; it checks
the progress of improvement'; it shuts up the avenues of humate knowledge, and is an eternal bar to social regard' and solid
He who is very vain of his own acquirements at an early period of life', may certainly be pronounced very shallow'; for he either betrays his ignorance or his folly. He feels himself incapable of ascending the hill of knowledge by his own address', or he grovels at the bottom', and in his limited sphere of vision', sees nothing he cannot reach', or does not already possess. The more enlarged our conceptions', and the higher our views are carried', the more sensible we become of our wants and imperfections', and the less we presume on our present attainments in virtue or learning': Conceit', however', is all-sufficient'; and as it blinds the mind to a sense of defects', so it obstructs the possibility of their removal.
But let a talè instruct, if reasoning' should fail. “A mender of cracked earthen-ware had many years been settled in a certain capital town', and had just gained celebrity for his ingenuity', industry', and success. He could alter the spout of a bad-pouring tea-pot', cement a delicate tea-cup', or a glass tumbler', and sometimes he could line a crazy pitcher with such art and effect', that it was rendered almost as good
e all e must
Ander ent, eachin been ***
“ Business flowed in upon him apacè ; he was never idle; and as accidents will often happen to brittle materials', he was never unemployed. He became respectable, and began to grow rich.
“ He had a favorite son' whom he wished to bring up to the same business. He early taught him the whole history of cements' and rivets', of simple and compound' fractures in