« 上一页继续 »
President: Then he did not throw it away, or give it to anybody?
Loiter: No, he put it in his pocket, and we saw no more of it.
President: Do you know of any quarrel he had with Widow Careful?
Frisk: Yes; a day or two before the window was broken, he went to her shop for gingerbread; but as he already owed her sixpence, she would not let him have any till he had paid his debts.
President: How did he take this act of the widow's?
Frisk: He said he would have his revenge upon her.
President: Are you sure he used those words? Frisk: Yes; Loiter heard him as well as myself.
Loiter: I did, sir.
President: Do either of you know any more of this affair?
Both: No, sir.
President: You may go.
The widow's son Jack now appeared, and said, Sir, as I was looking about this morning for sticks in the hedge over against our house, I found this button; so I thought to myself, this must have belonged to the rascal that broke our window; and I have brought it to see if anybody in the school would own it."
President: On which side of the hedge did you find it?
Jack On the other side from our house in the close
President: Let us see it. Gentlemen, this is so smart a button, that I am sure I remember it at once, and I dare say you all do.
All It is Riot's.
President: Has anyone noticed Riot's coat to-day?
One Boy: Yes; he has got one of the buttons off.
President: Very well, gentlemen; we have nothing more to do than draw up an account of the evidence we have heard, and lay it before his worship. Jack, you may go home.
Jack: Pray, sir, let somebody go with me, for I am afraid of Riot, who has just been threatening me at the door.
President: Master Bold, will you kindly see Jack safe to his home.
The president having reported the evidence to the judge, a warrant was issued against Riot, and he was brought before the court charged with having broken the window of Widow Careful. Riot appeared to treat the matter very lightly, and even to make a jest of it. The next morning he sent the judge a shilling, saying he would pay the widow a shilling, with which she would be able to mend her window.
The judge was very angry with Riot for sending this message, and sent two officers with staves to bring him before the court, and to use force if he should resist. The culprit, thinking it best to submit, was led in between the officers, and thus addressed by the judge.
"I am sorry, Peter Riot, that you should have been so mean as to do the widow this injury, and to allow another boy to be charged with the offence. If you had broken the window by accident, you would have had to pay for it; a sterner punishment must be dealt you now you have done it wilfully. The judgment of the court is, that you pay half-a-crown to the public chest, and make an apology to the Widow Careful for the trouble you have caused her."
Riot made his apology to the widow in the afternoon, and she forgave him for his misconduct.
THE RAINY DAY.
The day is cold and dark and dreary,
My life is cold and dark and dreary,
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining-
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
H. W. Longfellow.
BY THEIR RIGHT NAMES.
Charles: Papa, you grow very lazy. winter you used to tell us stories, and now you never tell us any; and we have all got round the fire ready to hear you. Pray, dear papa, let us have a good one.
Father: With all my heart-what shall it be?
C. A bloody murder, papa.
F. A bloody murder! Well then-Once upon a time, some men dressed all alike—
C. With black crape over their faces?
F. No: they had steel caps on; these men having crossed a dark heath, wound cautiously along the skirts of a deep forest—
C. They were ill-looking fellows, I dare say?
F. I cannot say so. On the contrary, they were as tall, fine-looking men, as you have ever seen Leaving on their right hand an old ruined tower on the hill
C. At midnight, just as the clock struck twelve, was it not, papa?
F. No, really; it was on a fine summer's morning;- they moved forward one behind
C. I suppose they walked very quietly, and crept under the hedges?
F. On the contrary, they walked remarkably upright-and so far from trying to be quiet and still, they made a loud noise as they came along with several kinds of instruments.
C. But, papa, they would be found out immediately.
F. They did not seem to wish to hide themselves; on the contrary, they gloried in what they were about. They moved forward, I say, to a plain, where stood a neat, pretty village, which they set on fire.
Č. Set a village on fire! Oh, the wicked
F. And while it was burning, they murdered twenty thousand men.
C. Oh, fie! papa! you don't intend that I should believe this. What! did the twenty thousand men lay still, and let them cut their throats?
F. No, certainly; they resisted as long as they could.
C. How, then, should these men kill twenty thousand people?
F. Why not? the murderers were thirty thousand.
C. Oh! now I have found you out. You are talking about a BATTLE.
F. Of course I am. I do not know of a murder half so bloody. All battles are murders, by whatever fine names we may call them.