rous. Is he cowardly He will become brave. Above
all, he will learn to be manly ; every boy becomes manly
at school. But he has no habits of application, order, or
truth. No matter, he will learn them all when he goes
to school ; it is his master's business to teach him these.
He does not know, perhaps, how to write, or to read, or
to spell, or to speak his mother-tongue correctly. But it
is his schoolmaster's business to teach him ; why should
he be teased with these things at home 7 His parents
may indulge him and spoil him as much as they please;
it is the business of that devoted being, of that martyr, a
schoolmaster, to do and to suffer all that parents them-
selves cannot do or suffer. Without pleading in his
favor, (for who would undertake so unpopular a cause 7)
it may be prudent, on the part of parents, to consider
whether, if their sons afterwards should disappoint
their expectations, should turn out blockheads or spend-
thrifts, should throw away their fortunes at the gaming
table, or their lives in disgraceful connections or ill-as-
sorted marriages : should make their hearts ache for
many a long year, and bring their grey hairs with sor-
row to the grave, it would be a sufficient consolation,
or quieting to their consciences, to throw the blame upon
the negligence of the schoolmaster, and the vices of our
It is the object of the present little book, not only to
contribute to the amusement and advantage of children,
but to point out by what means every father, and, still
more, every mother, may, by care in the previous edu-
cation of their children at home, guard, in a great meas-
ure, against the danger which they fear at school, and
by what means they may give to their boys the greatest
chance of securing every advantage to be hoped from
The following volumes contain the History of Frank
from seven years old, where we left him, till between
ten and eleven. From the time his father determined
to send him to a public school, this preparatory educa-
tion appears to commence.
It is by no means presumed, that the course here fol-
lowed is the best, or the only course possible. A thou-
sand different roads may be taken that will lead to the
same end. Provided that the great object be kept
constantly in view, every one may please himself in the
choice of a path.
The great object is to give your son good principles,
and to teach him to abide by his resolutions. It is a
mistake to suppose that resolution can be exercised only
on great occasions, or in matters of consequence. The
habit of self-control can be formed by daily, gradual ex-
ercise in early childhood; and it is by attention to this,
that a fond and judicious mother may prepare her child
with resolution to resist all the new temptations which
may occur when he shall leave her guardian care. This
is to be done, not by teasing him with admonition upon
every slight occasion, but by inspiring, in his own mind
the wish to control himself.
Usually, the first ambition of a schoolboy is to become
manly. Manly! How many boys and men have been
destroyed by the false ideas annexed to this word! Folly,
frolic, extravagance, passion, violence, brutality, every
excess, every vice, seek shelter from infamy under this
imposing word. Thousands offine boys, the finest, of
the highest spirit, of the best talent, the most generous
disposition, have been ruined by their false conceptions
of this single word. The first danger a boy has to en-
counter at a public school is from this word manly. He
hears that it is manly to do whatever is done by boys
older and taller, not wiser, than himself. He is in the
first place laughed at for having been bred at home;
ridiculed for all that he has been taught to think right at
home; taught that it is manly to throw off home res-
traint, and to resist home influence. Even while his af-
fection for his friends remains undiminished, he is taught
to be ashamed to show it; and he is led to set at nought
the opinion and advice of fathers, mothers, brothers, and
sisters, because his schoolfellows call this being manly
and independent. This first step in error leads necessa-
rily to others more dangerous; first, he is afraid of being
thought a child; next, of being thought a milksop.
First, the influence of parents ; next, the control of mas-
ters, must be set at defiance then every sort of restraint,
moral and religious, must be conquered ; he must drink,
he must game ; he must get in debt, he must lie, to con-
ceal his debts from his parents ; he must practise every
species of falsehood and meanness, to do as others do,
who call themselves manly, independent, spirited.
Parents if you would prevent your sons from setting
at nought your influence; if you would save your sons
from destruction, moral and worldly, give them, before
you send them to a public school, just ideas of what is,
or ought to be, meant by a moral character. But can
this be done so early? Yes, it can. Mothers! when
first you see the infant ambition to be manly break forth
in your boys, smile upon it, encourage it, but mark that
you guide it well. Your boy first shows himself eager
to excel his companions in bodily strength and agility.
He is proud to be able to walk, to run, to wrestle, to ride,
better than boys a little older, or perhaps a little taller
than himself, and you praise him for being manly ; and
this is all well, provided it be not done in the mere spirit
of imitation ; but, if you once let that spirit rule, without
reference to what is good in itself, you will repent it as
sure as you and your children live. Teach your son the
truth, that manly exercises are useful in themselves, as
part of a manly character, but not the whole. Teach
him, that to be manly, strength of mind is still more es-
sential than strength of body. Teach him, that it is
only the weak who require the support of numbers to
prove to them that they are in the right. Teach your
son, that manly strength of character is shown in abi-
ding by his conviction, and his resolution; in defying
ridicule, and in resisting all that is wrong in every shape.
High-sounding words too high, it may perhaps be
thought, for children to feel or understand. No; try
them, and you will find that these sentiments are not
above their comprehension. When once the infant
thought has been touched with this noble feeling, this
generous ambition, the main point of education is secure.
Rest your hope, and his own hopes ofhimself, firmly, on
this desire and effort to improve. Do not wear out his
sensibility of conscience by teaching that slight devia-
tions are irreparable ; for by this you will either make
your boy despair of himself, or teach him to be an
Few can, or will, or ought, perhaps, to give up so
much of their time and attention as Frank's father and
mother did to their son. The details of what was done
by them are given, not as models of imitation, but as
modes of illustrating general principles; as hints, which
the understanding and affection of parents will easily
apply in varying circumstances. It is impossible to mark
the differences, without knowing each peculiar case. All
that can be done is to give the example of a child, who
probably resembles, in the principal points, a large pro-
portion of boys of his age.
It will be observed, by those who were formerly ac-
quainted with Frank, and who are kind enough to retain
any recollection of his early history, that he is become,
we will not say more conceited, that is a harsh word,
but more fond of praise, than when we parted from him
last. In this tendency to vanity he will he found, proba-
bly, to resemble most vivacious boys of his age, who have
been educated, as he unfortunately was, without any but
female companions at home.
Some other faults have likewise broken out in him,
which are likely to be the result of anxious private edu-
cation. There are two classes of parents to be consid-
ered, those who are too careless, and those who are too
anxious. To the careless we have said enough, we
hope, to arouse them to attention : but the fault of the
present day is too much anxiety concerning details. Pa-
rents and private tutors are not only too eager to adopt
every new receipt for teaching much in a short time, but
are also too easily alarmed by every deficiency which
they perceive in their pupils, and draw, too easily, evil
auguries from every trifle. They are so anxious to
make their pupils go on, and go right, and go straight,
every instant, that they deprive them of the power of
acting, thinking, feeling for themselves. Thus they turn
them either into helpless puppets, who must cease to
move, or fall when the guiding strings are no longer
pulled ; or, if they be not reduced to this automaton
state, they become restive, wilful creatures, who, the in-
stant they are at liberty, set off in a contrary direction
to that in which they have been forced.
Frank's father and mother are not wholly free from
this over-anxiety, inseparable, perhaps, from tender pa-
rental affection ; but it appears they are conscious of its
danger, and endeavor, as far as human nature will per-
mit, to counteract its effects.
Their errors may, perhaps, be more useful to parents
than all their sense or their exertions. In the chief
points they can scarcely lead astray those who may
most actively follow their example ; nor is that example
calculated to throw the most timid into despair. With-
out limiting to a particular course of lessons, they excite
their boy to acquire that knowledge which it is most
necessary for him to attain before he goes to school;
and as to the rest, they are content with inspiring him
with that general love of literature'which they know
will make him continue to read and improve himself
when he is left to his own guidance. Without too rigid
morality, they uniformly press the great principles of
right and wrong, and endeavor to educate a conscience
that shall neither be too tender nor too callous. They
try by all means to give Frank self-control and self-
command ; knowing, that if he obtain these he will have
the best chance of being able to resist temptation, in
whatever circumstances he may be placed ; and they
leave much to a large chapter, which has been forgotten
in most modern systems of education the chapter of
All this can surely be done by every parent who real-
ly wishes it, and without any pedantry of system, or ap-
pearance of discipline and masters: as the most clasi-
cally eloquent of modern moralists has observed in a
comprehensive essay on the question of What is
It is not necessary to devote to the education of one
child the talents and the time of a number of grown
men; to surround him with an artificial world, and to
counteract, by maxims, the natural tendencies of the
situation he is placed in, in society. Every one has
time to educate his child; the poor man. educates him
while working in his cottage, the man of business while
employed in his counting-house.
Do we see a father, who is diligent in his profession,
domestic in his habits, whose house is the resort of well-
informed, intelligent people; a mother, whose time is
usefully filled, whose attention to duty secures esteem,
and whose amiable manners attract affection Do not
be solicitous, respectable couple, about the moral educa-
tion of your offspring. Do not be uneasy because you
cannot surround them with the apparatus of books and
systems, or fancy you must retire from the world to de-
vote yourself to their improvement. In your world they
are brought up much better than they could be under
any plan of factitious education which they could pro-
vide for them : they will imbibe affection from your ca-
reses, taste from your conversation, urbanity from the
commerce of your society, and mutual love from your
* Mrs. Barbauld.
" Loox, my dear Mary, look what my father
has given me," cried Frank, as he came into
the room, carrying a basket, which was full
"What is in it ?" said Mary, eagerly taking
off the top of the basket. "Only little bricks!"
said she, disappointed.
Do not you like little bricks ?" said Frank.
I do; but from your great joy I expected
something else something new. You know
we have had little bricks ever since the month
after I first came here, and that is now above
a year ago."
But these are much better than what we
had before ; look, these are of wood, and they
will not break: the corners will not chip off
as our plaster of Paris bricks did; and these
will not whiten or dirty our clothes, or the car-
pet, or the furniture; besides, we can build a
great deal better with these than with our old
bricks, because these are heavier."
14 EARLY LESSONS.
What heavy bricks !" said she, taking one
in each hand; "of what wood are they made ?"
Frank told her, as his father told him, that
they were made of a wood called lignum vitae;
he showed her, that they were all exactly of
the same size ; and he told her, that his father
had made some of them himself, to show the
carpenter how to finish them carefully : they
were all made in the proportion of real bricks,
so that the house constructed with them might
be built in the same manner as real buildings
of real bricks.
"And now, Mary, what shall we do first ?
I have thought of a great many things. I
should like to build one of the London
bridges, of which we have a print; or West-
minster Abbey, or York, or Lichfield Cathe-
dral, or a Roman triumphal arch, or the
ruins of Kenilworth Castle."
"Kenilworth Castle, pray let us begin with,"
said Mary, who had seen the print of Kenil-
worth, at which every body in.the house had
lately been looking.
Mamma," said Frank, will you be so
good as to lend us the print and the plan of
Kenilworth, which you have in the great
portfolio ? We will take a great deal of care
of them ; and we can build our castle in the
bow-window, where we will be quite out of
the way, and how happy we shall be this rainy
morning, though we cannot go out !" His
mother lent the print and the plan to
Frank, desiring him at the same time to take
care and not to spoil them. She said that he
might consult them as they lay upon the table,
but that he must not have them upon the floor.
As soon as they looked at the plan, Mary
said it was too difficult, and advised him to
begin with something that would be easier to
imitate than these ruins. But he set to work
on the plan of Kenilworth. He built up and
he pulled down, and he measured and made
mistakes, and he set Mary to lay out one part
while he was busy at another ; but Mary did
not succeed in her part, and she said she did
not think Frank's tower looked like the tower
in the print. Frank proved, as well as rule,
and compass, and figures could prove it, that
all that he had done was quite right, and he
showed Mary where her's was wrong; how-
ever, as she found it too difficult, and as she
was tired of not succeeding, he good-natured-
ly swept away his tower, and said he would
do anything else, which Mary might like bet-
ter. Mary was pleased by his good-nature,
and he helped her to build her favourite trans-
parent round tower, which was easily con-
structed, merely by leaving the thickness of
one brick between each that is laid on. This
tower was raised to a height above that of any
edifice which these little architects had ever
before erected ; and" when it was accomplish-
ed, Frank's mother turned to look at it, and
admired it as much as could be reasonably
expected. Mary next assisted Frank in build-
ing his triumphal Roman arch, which he en-
deavored to form by making one brick pro-
ject beyond another till they met over the
open space, so that the inside of the curve or
arch resembled a flight of steps upside down;
but, before it could be finished, bricks were
wanting, and no resource remained but to pull
down Mary's tower. To this, with good hu-
mour, she consented, and supplied him with
bricks from its ruins so fast, that he said that
she was a good straw-man.
My dear Frank," said Mary, how happy
we always are now ; we play together with-
out the disputes we used to have. Do you
remember that melancholy month, when we
were separated every time we quarrelled '
Oh, that was a miserable time !"
It was, indeed," said Frank; but it was
well for us, because it cured us at last of dis-
putin'g ; and now, when you feel a little im-
patient, you stop yourself in time, Mary, my
Yes," said Mary ; and Frank, my dear,
whenever you are going to be angry you stop
yourself too. Now you give up a little, and
I give up a little."
Hush, my dear !" said Frank, for I am
just going to join together the two sides of my
arch, you see."
Very well indeed," said Mary, who had
remained quite still and silent until the last
brick was placed. And now, Frank, you will
acknowledge, that I have done more for you
than you did for me this morning : because,
when you bid me hush, I hushed; but when I
was in my great difficulties, trying to make
out that plan of Kenilworth Castle, you went
on talking so fast to me, that I could not mind
what I was about, and that was the cause of
all- no, I don't say all, but of a great many
of the mistakes that I made."
But why did not you ask me not to speak?"
said Frank. How could I imagine that
you did not like to hear me talk when you
did not tell me so ?"
I was afraid you would be angry if I said
Hush," replied Mary.
But that was foolish of you; I am sureI
am never angry now, am I '" said Frank.
"Not often," replied Mary ; "but I cannot
say that you are never angry, my dear Frank."
"When was I angry last? I do not remem-
ber," said Frank.
I do," said Mary ; but I do not like to
put you in mind of it."
I recollect, Mary, the last time when you
were angry, and that was yesterday," said
Oh no, I was not angry, I was only a
little, a very little impatient," said Mary.
'! Well, but, if I allow that for you, Mary,"
said Frank, you must allow the same for
me. You must not say that I was angry."
"Perhaps I should not say angry quite, but
very near being angry," replied Mary.
"'That is quite a different affair," said Frank.
" No matter how near I am; if I command
myself I have the greater merit."
May be so," said Mary ; but I do not
know what good, or merit, as you call it
there is in being very nearly angry. Now
let us ask mother."
"Mother, which do you think is most apt
to be angry ?" cried they both together, going
before the table where she was writing : their
eyes sparkling and their cheeks crimson.
My dear children." said Frank's mother,
"I have heard the word angry too often with-
in these last five minutes. Compare yourselves
with what you have been, and observe as
much as you please whether you improve or
not; that will be better than disputing about
which is the most or the least apt to be impa-
tient-a point which neither of you can de-
cide, because you cannot see into each other's
minds; but you may both observe what passes
in your own."
Yes, and I can govern my own too," said
"And so can I," said Mary. "Well, what
shall we do next, Frank ?"
Frank proposed building, with what re-
mained of the bricks of Mary's tower, a flight
of winding stairs, like one of which they had
a print. At this they worked very happily;
but before they had finished it, a carriage
drove to the door.
Who is it ?" said Frank and Mary, look-
ing out of the window.
It was a lady whom they had never before
seen, who had but lately come to live in the
neighborhood. Upon the barouche seat of
the carriage, by the side of the coachman,
there was a little boy, who looked rather taller
and older than Frank. This boy did not get
down, though it rained. He sat still, kicking
his heels against the foreboard, and playing
with the coachman's whip, while the coach-
man held an umbrella over his head.
After the lady had been a little while in the
room, Frank, watching for a time when nei-
ther she nor his mother was talking, went to
his mother, and whispered, There is a little
boy sitting on the barouche seat of that car-
riage ; it is raining very hard, mother, "shall
I go and ask him to come in ?"
The lady heard what Frank whispered and
she thanked him ; but said her son was so
shy, that she often could not prevail upon
him to come into a room where he expected
to see strangers.
And besides," said she, Tom is so fond
of being with the coachman and the horses,
and of having a whip in his hand, making
believe to drive, that I assure you he would
rather sit there in the rain, from morning till
night, than do anything else in the world; and,
as these are his holidays, I let him have his
own way, and do what he pleases. You know
boys, ma'am, are kept strictly enough at
school with their lessons and their masters."
Soon afterwards the boy touched the horses
with the coachman's whip, which made one
of them rear; upon which the lady, alarmed,
ran to the window, beckoned to her son, and
desired him to get down, and come in imme-
diately. Very unwillingly he obeyed. He
then came into the room, looking ashamed or
sulky, and setting his back against one side
of the chimney-piece, he scarcely answered
any thing that was said to him.
However, when something to eat was
brought into the room, he recovered a little.
Frank's mother desired him to help the stran-
ger to what he liked, and Frank did so, with-
out giving him the trouble to say more than
"yes" or "no." After they had finished eat-
ing, the boy let Frank lead him away to the
bow-window where Mary and he had been
playing; and Frank, pointing to his little
bricks, asked if he had any such as those ?"
Not 1," answered Tom; at school we
have other fish to fry."
Fish to fry !" thought Mary, what can
that mean '?
"But in the holidays," said Frank, "should
you not like such bricks ?"
Not I," said Tom, they're baby bricks,
fit for girls' play."
Frank, coloring a little, said, his father
thought they were very useful, and he began
to explain the uses that could be made of
them. But the boy, knotting a whip which
he held in his hand, said he knew nothing of
such things, and he did not like them.
Perhaps you like prints," said Mary:
" here are some very pretty prints in this
portfolio; will you look at them ?"
No." Tom said he thought prints were
Great bores !" repeated Mary.
"Yes, especially in the holidays," said
Tom, horrid bores."
"What can he mean by horrid bores ?" said
Mary to Frank.
Hush my dear," said Frank.
Not know what a bore means! Why what
quizzes you would be thought at school !"
Mary, ashamed to ask what was meant by
quizzes, or to confess that she did not know,
was silent for some moments, but then said,
" I shall never go to school, I believe, but
Frank will, some time or other."
Do you like going to school said Frank
to the boy.
No," said Tom : who does ?"
Why don't you like it ?" said Frank.
I don't know," said Tom, turning half
away ; because I don't."
Another silence : but Mary, who was curi-
ous to hear more, asked Tom how old he was
when he first went to school ?
About nine years old," said Tom.
And how old are you now ?"
I shall be eleven next October," said Tom.
"And Frank will be ten nextJuly," said Ma-
ry; and I suppose he will go to school then."
Then let him take care he gets the Latin
grammar well first, or he'll get finely flogged."
Mary and Frank looked at each other.
Frank looked very serious, and Mary rather
How glad you must be when you come
home at the holidays !" said Frank.
Only I have no horse yet," said Tom.
22 EARLY LESSONS.
Have you books at your home 7" said
No," replied Tom, looking very grave in
Then," said Mary, we can lend you
some of ours."
She and Frank ran to their little bookcase,
beckoning to him to follow; but, as he did not
stir, they brought several of what they thought
their most entertaining books, and spread
them on the table before him, asking him if
he had read this, or that, and expressing some
surprise when he answered No to every
book they showed him, or of which they read
the title. After every No," Mary repeated
- Not read that Frank has read that."
And Frank always added, We will lend it
to you if you wish for it." To which Tom
made no answer, till a pile of these offered
volumes was built up opposite to him, and
Mary prepared to wrap them up for him, in
brown paper. He then looked frightened,
and, pushing them from him, muttered,
" Thank you for nothing, said the gallipot."
Mary, with the brown paper half unrolled,
and Frank, with the packthread in his hand,
stood petrified and puzzled. Mary at last rp-
peated the words said the gallipot !"
There's no talking to you -you don't
understand a word one says," said Tom; but
that's not surprising for a girl; and boys that
have never been at school know no better."
Do you mean that you do not like to have
these books ?" said Frank.
No ; I have enough of books at school,"
Then we will put ours by again," said
Mary ; and she did so.
What do you read at school ?" said Frank.
Latin," said Tom.
What Latin books ?" said Frank.
I am in Virgil," said Tom.
Frank looked up at him with a respectful
air. And what else ?" said he, timidly.
Virgil's enough," replied Tom. I read
but one book at a time."
But what English books do you read ?"
English !-Our class don't read English.
We read nothing but Latin."
Do you read nothing but Latin ?" said
Frank and Mary, looking at him with a mix-
ture of astonishment and admiration; -
nothing but Latin 7"
And enough, and too much, too," said
Tom, "as you'll know," added he, nodding to
Frank, next year, when you go to school."
Frank and Mary continued silent, ponder-
ing upon this for some minutes. Frank began
to think again very seriously about school and
Latin grammar, and about reading nothing
but Latin. Mary was tired of the silence of
her two companions, and began to listen to
what the lady and Frank's mother were say-
ing. They were talking of some new book,
or story, called The Vampyre."
After all, ma'am," said the lady, what
shocking stories they do tell of those vampyre
bats, sucking the blood of people when they
are asleep! But," added she, looking at
Mary, and observing that she was listening,
" littte pitchers have long ears : one should
not mention such things before children. But
that little lady of yours need not be frightened
about the vampyre, as so many silly children
have been by this tale; because I am clear,
you know, ma'am, there's not any truth in
Yes, so I think," said Mary, looking and
speaking so composedly, that the lady could-
not help smiling at her quiet decision," as
she called it, and added, "One would imagine
she knew a good deal about vampyre bats.
What do you know about them, my dear 7"
I only know I know only what Frank
told me;-what you read to me, Frank, in this
book," said Mary, taking up one of the little
volumes which lay upon the table. Here it
is-I know the place-I have it. Frank, will
you read ?" said she, putting the book into
his hand, and pointing to the passage. Frank
looked as if he wished to know whether the
lady wished to hear or not.
O yes, pray do read it, master Frank,"
said the lady; I am sure I shall like to hear
it of all things."
Frank began with the description of this
bat, and then read as follows :-
In the autumn of 1810, I had, for a short
time, a living vampyre bat, of a large size, from
the East Indies ; and, contrary to what has
been asserted, found it a most inoffensive,
harmless, entertaining creature : it refused
animal food, but fed plentifully on succulent
(or nourishing) fruits, preferring figs and
pears : it licked the hand that presented them,
seeming delighted with the caresses of the per-
sons who fed it, playing with them in the
manner of a young kitten : it was fond of
white wine, of which it took half a glass at a
time, lapping it like a cat. This had an evi-
dent effect on its spirits. It then became ex-
tremely frolicsome and diverting, but never
once attempted to bite. It slept suspended,
with its head downwards, wrapping its satin-
like wings round its body, in the form of a
mantle. 1 several times permitted it to enclose-
the end of my finger in its mouth, for the pur-
pose of observing if it would attempt to draw
blood, but not the slightest inclination (or
sign) of such intention appeared ; and I have
strong reason to doubt the stories related so
greatly to its disadvantage.'
Thank you, sir," said the lady, when
Frank finished reading. A charming anec-
dote, and charmingly read !"
Mary looked delighted as the lady said
these words, but Frank looked down, and
seemed ashamed: perhaps he had some recol-
lection of the flattering lady, who, when he was
a very little boy, had first praised him for his
reading, and laughed at him afterwards.
I am sure," continued the lady, I wish
my Tom, there, could read half a quarter as
well; and he is, I dare say, a year older than
master Frank. Tom stumbles at every word
of four syllables, even in the common news-
paper. Really, ma'am, English reading, and
writing, and spelling, altogether, are shame-
fully neglected at his school here in the
.country : I must speak about it."
If you speak ever so much, mother," cri-
.ed Tom, suddenly bursting out with a loud
voice, the masters cannot do it now, because
-of getting me on with Latin. English and
them things should be taught at home, they
say, before one goes to school, for there's no
time after, when one gets from form to form,
and fitting for Westminster or Eton and then
we must get to Oxford or Cambridge," added
he, nodding his head and slashing his whip.
Frank and Mary held their breath from
astonishment at this speech, and at the man-
ner in which it was spoken. Tom's mother
seemed a little ashamed of the manner, and,
perhaps to turn off attention from her son, she
addressed herself to Mary. Pray, my dear
little lady," said she, what is that entertain-
ing book, in which you found that charming
;vampyre bat ?"
Mary said she believed it was an account of
-the curiosities in a museum. The little book
.had a long title, but Frank could write it.
Frank wrote it, and took care to spell every
word right, and some were rather difficult.
The catalogue of Bullock's Museum,"
said the lady, reading the title. Tom, you
have seen Bullock's Museum ?"
"Yes," said Tor, "and might have got
the catalogue at the door if I'd wanted it."
Oh, Frank !" cried Mary, he has seen
Bullock's Museum Do you think he has
seen the bird of Paradise, and the beautiful
little humming-bird, which feeds its young
with honey from its own tongue ?"
And the great snake, the boa," said Frank,
"did you see the boa ?"
To these and many other questions, which
Frank and Mary asked, as it must be owned,
very rapidly. Tom made no answer. He
was quite dumb, not even vouchsafing his
usual monosyllables, yes or no. Frank and
Mary began to describe the animals for which
they inquired, but he turned away abruptly.
"I don't remember any thing about it, but
that we paid a shilling at the door,".said he;
and he added, muttering, as he went off to
the window, I went to Bullock's for my di-
version, and not to get them by heart. I
wonder when they'll bring the carriage to the
"Oh, Tom! this is very silly-this is
quite rude," said his mother; "but school-
boys do grow such shy, strange creatures
sometimes: the masters at these schools should
pay more attention to the manners."
The lady endeavored to make amends for
her son's rudeness, by her admiration of
Frank and Mary. Frank at first had been
ashamed of her praises of his reading: but
when he heard her regret so bitterly that her
son could not read half a quarter so well, he
pitied her, and believed in her sincerity; and
and when she now rose, and came to admire
his triumphal arch, he could not help bqing
pleased with her and with himself, and he
could not refrain from showing her a little
more of his knowledge. He asked if she knew
which was the key-stone, and which were
the abutments of the arch.
How glad I should be," said she, to
know all these things, and to be able to teach
them to my poor Tom !"
Ma'am," cried little Mary, Frank could
tell them all to him, as he told them to me,
and a great deal more, Frank knows-"
My dear Mary," said Frank, don't tell
all I know."
0, pray let her, pray do," said the lady.
Mary," said her mother, put by these
prints." Yes, mother; but first,in this print,
ma'am," persisted Mary, returning to the lady,
who seemed to desire so much to be taught,
" here are a great number of things you would
like to see, and that Frank knows; here are all
these pillars-all the orders of architecture."
Frank could resist no longer, and, quite for-
getting his modesty and his fear of flattery,
and without observing his mother's gravelook,
he went on with Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corin-
thian, Composite. Encouraged by Mary's
sympathy, and by the lady's exclamations of
delight, he showed off his whole stock of learn-
ing between the time when the bell had been
rung for the carriage, and when it arrived at
the door. Here's Jack, mother : here's our
carriage, ma'am," cried Tom; and, as he
passed, whether on purpose or by accident
cannot be known, he threw down,by one stroke
of his whip, Frank's triumphal arch.
The moment they were out of the room,
scarcely was the door shut, when Mary and
Frank, both at once, began to express their
opinions in no gentle terms of Master Tom.
What a very disagreeable creature! what
a shockingly stupid,ignorant boy," said Frank.
"'What a very ill-humored, horribly ill-
mannered boy," said Mary.
Gently, gently," said her mother, lest I
should think you horribly ill-natured."
But, mother, can you like a boy," said
Mary, who is neither sensible, nor well-bred,
nor good-natured, nor good-tempered ?"
"No, my dear. Did I say that I liked him ?"
Then I do not understand you, mother.
You are just of the same opinion as we are,
And yet I do not express it so violently."
I acknowledge I was wrong to say he
was horribly ill-natured. But 1 cannot help
thinking he is shockingly stupid. My dear
mother, only think of his not remembering the
humming-bird, or the vampyre bat, or any one
thing he saw at the Museum," said Mary.
"And think of his not having read any one
of all the books we have read," said Frank ;
" and not wishing for any of them when we
offered to lend them."
Yes, mother, only consider that he is a
year older than Frank."
Almost," said Frank.
"And half a head taller," said Mary; "yet
Frank knows so much more than he does,
and reads so much better : even his mother
said so, indeed, mother."
I do not doubt it, Mary."
But you do not seem glad of it, mother;
I do not quite understand why."
My dear, I am glad that Frank knows
how to read, and to read well for a boy of his
age ; but I need not be glad to find that an-
other boy reads ill."
No," said Frank, that would be ill-na-
tured ; besides, his poor mother is so sorry
There was some truth, was not there,
mother," continued Mary, in what the boy
said, though he said it very disagreeably, that
his mother ought to have taught him to read
well, and write, and spell before this time ?"
"I am much obliged to you, my dear moth-
er," said Frank, for having taught me all
these things ; particularly if what that boy
said be true, that there is no time at school
for learning such things afterwards. Is this
true, mother V"
It may be true in this instance ; but we
must not judge of all schools by one; nor of
any school by what one boy says of it."
Whenever Frank goes to school, mother,
his school-fellows and everybody will see that
he has been taught something a great deal
too," said Mary.
"Something, but not a great deal," said
his mother. What appears to you a great
deal, compared with an unfortunate boy, who
has not been taught any thing, will appear
very little, compared with others, who have
learnt a great deal."
That is true, I suppose," said Mary.
That is true, certainly," said Frank.
But, mother, do not you think," resumed
he, that Tom's mother will directly set
about, and try to teach him all these things
which I taught her-I mean all the things she
said I knew so much better than her son, and
that she would give the world if he knew as
well as I do ?-Why do you smile, mother 2"
A sudden thought, a sudden light, seemed
to come across Frank's mind at this moment;
his countenance changed ; his look of self-
satisfaction vanished; and, in a tone of mor-
tification and vexation, he exclaimed : Per-
haps that woman was laughing at me all the
while! 0 mother, 0 Mary! what a footI have
been !" Frank hid his face in his hands.
My dear, dear Frank," said Mary, going
to comfort him, "I am very sorry I asked you
to tell her all you knew. But, mother, it is
that foolish mother's fault if she laughs at
Frank. Why should he blame himself' Was
not he very good to tell her what would be of
so much use to her stupid Tom Was not
Frank good-natured, mother ?"
No, no," said Frank; "I did not do it
from good-nature to the boy, I forgot him ; I
wanted to show his mother how much I knew.
Now, I am sure that woman is laughing at
me. and that boy too is, I dare say, laughing
at me at this instant; that is the worst of it."
No," said his mother, I do not think that
is the worst of it. It is of little consequence
to you what that lady or that boy think of you,
since she is, as you say, but a foolish woman,
and the boy but a stupid boy ; and you may
perhaps never see them again in your life."
I hope that I never may," said Frank.
"Mother, I am provoked with myself. I
thought, after what happened about the flat-
tering lady, long ago, I was cured for life of
My dear boy," said his mother, that was
too much to expect from one lesson. You will
find this love of flattery returning upon you,
as long as you have any vanity."
And how long shall I have any vanity,
do you think, mother ?"
As long as you are a human creature, I am
afraid, my dear, you will have some vanity;
but watch over it, and you will conquer it, so
far as to prevent it from making a fool of you."
"I will try to conquer it," said Frank. "But,
mother," continued he, after a pause, during
which he seemed to be thinking very deeply,
"if I really see that I am better, or know more
than other people-I mean than other boys of
my age how can I help being pleased with
myself ? And is this to be called vanity ?"
That depends upon whether you are, or
are not, too much pleased with yourself, and
whether you do, or do not, overvalue yourself.
Even that boy, Mary, whom you think shock-
ingly stupid, may be superior to Frank in
'* Perhaps so," said Mary, doubtingly.
"Certainly, in Latin," said Frank; "for he
said he was reading Virgil, and you know
that I have not yet learnt the Latin grammar.
I will try to improve myself in Latin before I
go to school; because, even if this boy knows
so much more than I do, I suppose I shall
find almost every boy at school knows more
of Latin than I do."
That is very likely, my dear," said his
"Well then," said Frank, there is no dan-
ger of my being vain, mother, when I go to
school, and see other boys cleverer than
"True, my dear ; that is one great advan-
tage of going to a public school; you will live
with a number of boys of your own age; you
will be compared with them, and you will then
find what you really do know, and what you
do not know. We are never so vain of that
which we are certain we know well, as that
of which we are doubtful."
I have observed that of myself, mother,"
said Frank. Even this morning I did not
feel vain of my reading, because I was quite
sure I could read, and I did not want to show
"When you go to school," said Mary, "take
care to talk always of the things you know
quite well, and of those things only, that you
may not be laughed at."
And if you will take my advice, Frank,"
said his mother, even of the things you
know, talk only to those who want to hear of
them,and then your companions will like you."
I should be very sorry to be disliked by
my school-fellows," said Frank.
Disliked Oh, it is impossible that they
should dislike Frank, he is so good-natured,"
said Mary. Mother, I hope he will not go
to school this great while. When will he go,
"In about a year and a half," said his mother.
Then we need not think about it now,"
said Mary; a year and a half is such an
immense time !"
In that year and a half I shall have plenty
of time," said Frank, to learn the Latin
grammar, that I may not be finely flogged, as
the boy said, when I go to school; and in a
year and a half, I shall have time enough to
cure myself of my vanity, mother, and of all
Mother, except vanity, what are Frank's
faults 7" said Mary. I did not know he
Oh, my dear, I must have some; but,
except vanity, what faults have I, mother ?
Will you tell them to me all ?"
Cure that one first, my dear," said his
mother, and then I will try and find another
If you can, mother," said Mary; in the
mean time, I will put by his triumphal arch;
and let us go out, now it has done raining,
and let us have a good run."
Ay," said Frank, for do you remember,
that boy asked if I could run, mother ? He
said, that he never knew a boy, bred up at
home, that could run. Now, I dare to say
that I can run as well as he can, and- "
better he would have said, but checking him-
self, he added, "I will not say what I was going
to say, lest some people should call it vanity,
but it is very true, notwithstanding."
IN puruance of his good resolution to learn the
Latin grammar, before he went to school,
Frank said he would get up at six o'clock the
next morning to learn his lesson. Unluckily,
he overslept himself, and dreamed that he was
getting up and dressing, till he was awakened
by his cuckoo clock striking nine. It was now,
as he thought, too late to do much, buithe dres-
sed himself as fast as he could, and he learned
the first declension, and said it that day to his
father, without missing one word. The next
day and many succeeding days, he learned an
example of one of the declensions, which he
said with equal success; and his father having
explained to him the three degrees of compari-
son, he went through them superlatively well.
"But O, Mary," said Frank, what comes
next? All these verbs! And," said he, sigh-
ing, when I come to this, what shall I do ?
I will read it to you, Mary, and understand
it if you can."
The subjunctive mood differs not in form
from the potential, but is always rendered into
English as if it were the indicative; it is sub-
joined to another verb going before it in the
sentence, and has therefore some conjunction
or definite word joined to-it ; as. eram miser
cum amarem, I was a wretch when I loved.'
"No," said Frank, interrupting himself, "he
should say, I was a wretch when I learned
the Latin grammar.'
I do not understand this grammar at all,"
It is very hard to understand, indeed,"
I did not know that Latin grammar was
so difficult," said Mary. Very different
from English grammar, at least as father
taught it to us."
That was easy work, indeed," said Frank.
"After my father had once explained to us
what was meant by a verb, and a noun, and
a pronoun, and a noun adjective, I remember
that I understood them all, and found out the
verb, noun, and adjective in the first sentence
His father assured him, that at the school
to which he went, flogging had been the con-
stant punishment for those who did not know
their Latin lessons; and he believed, he said,
that this continued to be the case at most
schools in England.
In most schools, father, but not in all;
then I hope you will be kind enough to send me
to a school where I shall not be flogged."
But, even if you are not flogged, you will
be punished in some other way, if you do not
learn the Latin language."
Father," said Frank, in general I un-
derstand the use of things you desire me to
learn, but I do not know the use of this Latin
Nor can I explain it to you till you have
learnt more of the language," answered his
father. But I assure you, it is necessary to
know it, that you may understand Latin."
"And why must Iunderstand Latin, father?"
You do not know enough yet, my dear
Frank," answered his father, to understand
all the reasons; but some of them I can ex-
plain to you-many entertaining and instruc-
tive books are written in that language."
But, father," interrupted Frank, are not
there translations of those books ?"
Of some there are, but there is greater
pleasure in reading them in the original lan-
guage in which they were written."
But suppose I could live without that
pleasure, father," said Frank ; many men
do, do not they? and almost all women. I think
I could go on without it, though I am a man."
Perhaps, though you are a man, as you
say, Frank, that you could, if you were not a
gentleman : but it is thought a necessary part
of a gentleman's education, that he should
And Greek too in these countries," con-
tinued his father.
Frank sighed again. Cannot that be al-
tered, father ?"
Certainly not by you, nor by your sighs,
Frank," said his father. In our country a
man cannot be of any of what are called the
liberal professions-he cannot be a lawyer, or
a physician, or a clergyman, -and now in-
deed he cannot well be an officer, either in
the army or navy, without understanding
Latin. The thing is so, my boy : make the
best of your time now, and when you grow
up to be a man you will feel the advantage
of what you now learn."
But it will be a great while before I shall
be a man," said Frank ; I need not learn
the Latin grammar yet."
You will very soon be a schoolboy, and
then you will feel the advantage of having
Remember Remember !" said Mary,
in a tone of warning.
Yes, I remember ; but it is very disagree-
able, Mary, to learn any thing only to avoid a
And very disagreeable the other way,"
said Mary ; very disagreeable, I should
think, to have a flogging."
Father," said Frank, there is one other
question I should like to ask, if it would not
It cannot be wrong for you, Frank, to
ask me any question; if I do not think prop-
er to answer it, I shall tell you so; only make
haste, because I cannot stand here talking or
listening to you, my dear, all day."
Only one minute more, father. Why
cannot you be so very good, father, as to teach
me Latin yourself; if you would, I should
work hard at the Latin grammar, and I should
take more pains than I would to avoid a flog-
ging. You need not smile and shake your
head, father ; only try me, you will see that
I shall keep my promise."
I do not doubt that you would endeavor
to keep it, Frank," said his father ; but I
must send you to school. I cannot tell you all
my reasons, but one of them you shall know.
I am obliged, next year, to leave England, on
some public business."
How very unlucky for me that public
business is !" said Frank.
"Perhaps not unlucky for you, Frank. Even
ifI were not engaged in this business, I think
I should send you to school. You have no
brother at home, no companion of your own
Mary looked up earnestly. Oh, father, I
am only a very little younger."
But you are a girl, my dear," said he,
and a very obliging gentle, little girl; he
would grow effeminate if he lived only with
gentle girls and women. He must be roughed
about among boys, or he will never be a man,
and able to live among men. He is too much
an object of our constant attention at home,
and he would learn to think himself of too
Frank said he would not think himself of
too much consequence. He assured his father
he would cure himself of vanity, if he would
but be so kind as not to send him to school,
or at least to send him only during the time
he was obliged to be absent from England.
Frank could not conceive, he said, what harm
it could do him to be an object of his father's
and mother's constant attention. He observ-
ed, that he had heard every body say (even
that foolish mother) how fortunate it was for
him, that he had parents who had taught
him so much, and who had given so much
attention to him.
His father replied, that it was impossible
that Frank could judge upon this point, what
was best for himself; therefore, after having
given his reasons, as far as Frank could un-
derstand them, he said he must submit to the
decision of his parents. Frank was sorry for
it; but he resolved to make the best of it, and
Frank thanked his father for having stayed to
talk to him, and to explain his reasons.
Now that I am convinced that it is neces-
sary that I should learn Latin, I will set about
it in earnest ; and I am sure that I shall do
it," said Frank.
His father, who was going out of the room,
as Frank said this, looked back, and observ-
ed, that even when boys are convinced that a
thing is necessary to be done, they have not
always resolution to do it when it is disagree-
able. Frank thought that he was an excep-
tion to this general rule.
Upon the strength of his desire to show that
he had sufficient resolution, Frank got through
the pronouns, and their declensions; also,
with the assistance of his mother's repeatedly
hearing him, he accomplished learning an ex-
ample of the first conjugation of verbs active
in o. In the second conjugation he found
some tenses so easy, that he thought he could
say them without taking pains to learn them.
The consequence of his not taking pains was,
that when he went to his father to say this
lesson, the book was returned to him three
times. His resolution weakened by degrees.
Though convinced that he must at some time
learn the Latin grammar, he did not see why
he should learn it before he went to school.
In short, the idea of the flogging at some
months' distance, or the shame that he might
be made to feel, was not sufficient to make
him resist the present pleasure of running out
to play with Mary. Every morning he was
in a hurry to get away from his Latin gram-
mar, yet his haste seemed to make him slow.
He did not fix his attention upon what he was
doing; so that he was much longer about it
than was necessary.
What he could have learned perfectly well
by heart in ten minutes, he seldom knew tol-
erably at the end of an hour. Even though
his poor mother, during that hour, complied
at least ten times with his request of-
Will you let me say it now, mother," or,
" This once more, mother :" or, I am sure
I know it now ; this time I am quite certain
I have it, mother."
No human patience, not even the patience
of a mother, could bear this every day. She
made a rule, that, in future, she would not
hear him repeat his lesson to her more than
three times any one morning. Then he went
to Mary to beg her to hear him. She held
the book in her hand as often as he pleased,
but she was not exact enough to be of much
use. She did not attend to the ending of the
verbs while he said them; and indeed, he
gabbled them sometimes so fast, that a more
experienced ear than Mary's might have been
puzzled. He became very careless. Mary
one day said to him -
My dear Frank, I know you will come to
disgrace, if you do not take care."
Mary was right ; Frank's day of disgrace
came at last.
It was May-day ; it was a fine morning.
Frank ran out early to his garden with Mary,
to gather branches and flowers to ornament a
bower, in which they intended to ask their
father and mother to drink tea in the evening.
But Frank, be sure that you have your
Yes, yes," said Frank, "I learned it last
night, and I shall have time to look it over
before I say it to father this morning."
When will you look it over V" said Mary.
When we go in," said Frank : it is not
seven o'clock yet."
But time passed quickly, while they were
gathering flowers, aud dressing their arbor.
It was nine o'clock, and the breakfast bell
rang, before they went in. Frank had not a
moment's time to look over his verb.
It was esse, to be, indicative mode, present
tense. Frank said over to himself, as he went
along the passage to his father's room, Sing.
sum, es, est : plur. sumus, estis; but for sunt
he was obliged to look in the book.
He felt sure that he had not his lesson per-
fectly well, and he was unwilling to open the
door of his father's room. He was glad when
he found that his father was gone down stairs.
A gentleman had come to breakfast with him.
" How lucky," thought Frank. No, it was
most unfortunate in the end for him; because
this sense of escape made him more careless.
After breakfast, his father went out to ride
with the friend who had breakfasted with him,
and his last words to Frank, as he left the
breakfast room, were, Frank, I shall have
time to hear you say your Latin verb when
we return-when I am dressing before dinner.
Take care that you learn it perfectly."
Yes, father:" he replied, and he intended
to go and learn it directly; he only just staid
to look at his father and the gentleman
mounting their horses, and to see them through
the gate. Then he went to his mother's
room, where Mary was soon settled at her
work; and he stood with his Latin grammar
in his hand. But though his eyes were upon
the book, and though his lips pronounced
Imperfect : eram, eras, erat ; eramus, eratis,
erant, his thoughts were upon a little horse,
with a long tail, which he hoped his father
would buy for him. Then recollecting him-
self, he went on to-
Perfect : fui, fuisti, fuit ; fuimus, fuis-
tis, fuerunt, vel fuere.
But between this and the pluperfect came
a vision of a saddle and bridle. The idea
of various pleasant rides he might take with
his father disturbed him many times in his
progress through the subjunctive mode.
Mary had completely finished all her morn-
ing lessons before he came to the participle
future in rus.
His mother was going out to plant some
flowers in her garden. Before she went, she
offered to hear Frank recite his lesson. He
tried to say it, but he made half a dozen mis-
takes; he was sure he should have it, how-
ever, before she returned.
Mary would not go out without him, and
took up a book to amuse herself till he should
He went on, dividing his attention between
his grammar, which lay upon a table, and
Mary, who sat at a table at some distance.
Imperative mode, present tense: es, esto;
este, estate. I cannot conceive what is the
matter with me this morning that I cannot
get this by heart. Mary, what's that beauti-
ful book you have there ?"
Cowper's Poems," said Mary. I am
looking at the prints."
Plural, simus, sitis, cste, estate. What is
this ?" said he, looking over her. Verses,
supposed to have been written by Alexander
Selkirk,during his solitary abode in the island.'
How very extraordinary Do you know, my
dear Mary, I was just thinking I would play
at Robinson Crusoe when I went out ?"
Well, make haste, then, and come out,"
Simus, sitis, este, estate, sint, sunto. But
let me look at Robinson Crusoe's verses," said
Frank; and he read them.
I'm the monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute ;
From the centre, all round to the sea,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute."
My dear Frank, do get your lesson," in-
Well, I am getting it," said Frank, run-
ning back to his book.
Subjunetive mode : sim, sis, sit ; simus,
sitis, sint." Then again to the verses :-
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone ;
Never hear the sweet music of speech ;
I start at the sound of my own."
Imperfect : essem, esses, esset ; essemus,
essetis, essent. What is that, Mary, about the
death of a bullfinch, killed by a rat ?"
And Bully's cage, supported, stood,
On props of smoothest shaven wood,
Large built, and latticed well."
As Mary was curious to know what hap-
pened to Bully, she let him read on. And
full a quarter of an hour was spent upon the
dream that disturbed poor Bully's rest. Nor
was it till he came to something about the
bacchanalians, which they neither of them
understood, that she begged him again to go
to his lesson.
Pluperfect," said he, running back to
the chair, and glancing his eye upon the
book: fuissem, fuisses, fuisset; fuissemus,
He did not look enough to see that he
he should have said fuissent.
Now I have it really quite perfect," con-
cluded he, and I will say it the moment my
mother comes in. What is this about a parrot?"
He turned over the book from one thing to
another, reading bits here and there. Oh,
Mary, look at these lines On the Receipt of
my Mother's Picture."
"But what is this in prose ?" said Mary,
peeping between the leaves in another place,
while Frank read on about My Mother's
What is this, Frank, about three hares;
Puss, Tiney, and Bess ?"
Frank turned to it, and began to read it
with great delight. He had just come to the
introduction of a hare to a spaniel that had
never seen a hare, and of a spaniel to a hare
that had never seen a spaniel, when his mother
returned. She had come in on purpose to hear
his lesson. But his head was so full of the
hares, the parrot, the bullfinch, and My
Mother's Picture," that he could not get be-
yond the imperative mode. Ashamed, he took
back the book which his mother returned to
What can you have been doing, Frank,
all this time ?" said she.
He told her what they had been reading;
and indeed had a great mind to read the lines
about My Mother over again to her. He
assured her that if she would only just let
him read them, it would put them out of his
head, and then he should be able to mind
better his verb. She refused, however, to lis-
ten to his reading, and advised him to go away
from these books and from Mary, and to learn
his verb in his own room, where there was
nothing to distract his attention.
No, mother, I think I had better learn it
in the room with you, because you know it is
right to be able to do things in the room with
other people." -
If you can, Frank," said his mother. She
desired Mary to go out. Mary went out; and
his mother sat down to write a letter, telling
Frank, that, when she had finished it, she
would hear his lesson again. He looked it
over, and, in a few minutes, his book came
across the paper she was writing.
Be so good, mother, as to hear me now."
Frank, you cannot have learned it well
in this time. Look it over again; remember,
this is the third and last time of my hearing
it for you."
Yes, mother, but I am sure I have it
No such thing : he could not recollect the
future tense. He grew red; he was much
provoked with himself and his grammar. He
looked out of the window, to see what Mary
was doing. She was lingering, near the house,
waiting for him. Soon he knocked at the
window, and beckoned to her, and begged her
to come in and hear him his' verb once more.
The future tense was right this time; but he
could not get through the imperative mode
without many mistakes.
"Well, well, Mary," cried he, that does
not signify; I have it perfect all but that, and
I shall remember it, I am sure, when I have
been out and refreshed my memory."
You had better look it over once more,"
His mother gave him the same advice.
And I will stay, and hear you again,"
No : Frank now declared he was sure that
saying it over and over so often to his mother
and Mary only puzzled him, and that he
could not learn it any better till after he had
been out. As Mary was also eager to finish
their bower, she did not urge her good advice
farther, and out they went.
"Now, my dear," said Frank, I will tell
you my grand scheme, which has been run-
ning in my head all the morning We must
remove your bower to my Robinson Crusoe's
Mary in vain objected, that it would take a
great deal of time to remove the bower, and
that she thought it was better where it was,
in her garden, than in a desert island. Frank's
heart was set upon this scheme. He assured
her that it would soon be accomplished, if she
would help him, and work hard. She helped
him, and they worked hard; and in two
hours' time, the branches of hawthorn were
dragged to Robinson Crusoe's island. The
new bower was completed. Frank then re-
turned to the house, intending to look over his.
verb again. But a new project occurred; he,
must have Robinson Crusoe's parrot in Rob-
inson Crusoe's bower.
With some difficulty, and after a quarter of
an hour spent in entreaty, he prevailed on the
housekeeper to lend him her parrot, and to let
him carry Poll, in its cage, out to his desert
island. And when, after many times chang-
ing its place, Poll was fixed in the best situa-
tion in the bower, Frank wanted to teach her
to cry Robinson Crusoe, while Poll could say
nothing but, Good boy, Frank;" a phrase
which Frank had formerly taught her, with
the help of many lumps of sugar. Many
more were now spent in trying to make her
change Good boy, Frank," into Robinson
Crusoe" in vain.
"Poll will say it to-morrow, perhaps," said
Mary. But Frank persisted, that she must
say it to-day, because it would surprise father
and mother, and delight them so much when
they came to drink tea here, in Robinson
There there exclaimed Mary, did
you hear that ?"
What ?" said Frank.
The dressing bell."
Impossible, my dear ; it was only a bell
iin your ears."
Mary ran home to inquire whether sJe was
-right or wrong, and presently returned, with
the assurance that she was quite right. It
was the dressing bell; and she earnestly beg-
ged Frank would come in now, and look over
This instant; only let me stay till Poll
has said her lesson. She is just going to say it,
I know, by the look of her head, all on one
Poll sat mute ; Frank presented his last bit
of sugar, and commanded her to say Robinson
Crusoe: she answered with her tiresome
Good boy, Frank." He suddenly withdrew
the sugar, and she, pursuing it with her beak,
.sharply bit his finger. Provoked with the
parrot, and not well pleased with himself, he
:slowly followed Mary homewards. He was
longer than usual dressing, because the finger
which Poll had bitten was disabled, so that
he could hardly button his clothes; and when
.he came to look over his verb, the pain distrac-
ted his attention at least so Mary supposed,
for he could not say it when she heard him.
"You always make the same mistake," said
she. You say essunt, instead of essent."
"Well, let me go on; you put me out, Mary.
Don't tell me next time-don't tell me."
She did not tell him, and he could not go on.
He desired to be told. And--Oh, how hard
it is to satisfy a person, who is not satisfied
with himself !- he then declared he was just
going to have said it, if she had not told him;
and the next time she corrected a mistake that
he made in the participles, he was sure she
was wrong, and told her so rather roughly.
Nay, Frank, when I have the book before
my eyes : do you think I cannot read ?" said
He snatched the book from her hand, and
saw that he was wrong. He could not go on :
in a passion, he threw himself on the ground;
and rolled on the carpet, declaring he could not
and would not learn this horribly difficult verb.
But at this instant, the sound of horses' feet
was heard. Frank started up, forgot his pas-
sion and the parrot's bite, seized the grammar,
which he had thrown far from him, and would
have given up parrot, and arbor, and island,
and all, for five minutes more time.
Perhaps," thought he, my father may
not hear me before dinner ;" but his father's
voice called- Frank !" He went into his
father's room, and Mary waited in the pas-
sage; she was afraid for him.
He stayed much longer than usual.
At last, when he came out, Mary saw by his
face that something was very much the matter.
Oh," said she, I knew the day of dis-
grace would come."
He passed by her quickly, and, sitting down
upon the stairs, burst out crying-
"Day of disgrace, indeed! Oh,Mary! Mary!
my father is'very-very-very much-
Displeased was the word he could not say,
but Mary understood it too well.
What did he say, Frank, my dear T"
He said, that I am spoilt that I am
grown idle and good for nothing; and it is
very true ;-and he will not teach me any
more. I am to go to school directly, on Mon-
day. Oh, Mary, to leave home in disgrace !"
Frank sobbed, as if his heart would break,
*and Mary stood quite silent. The dinner bell
rang, and it was necessary to go to dinner,
and there was to be that stranger gentleman.
Frank suddenly rubbed away his tears, and
Mary, standing on the steps above him,
smoothed down his hair on his forehead.
Frank took his place at table, and, as he hap-
pened to sit with his back to the light, his red
eye-brows were not much seen, and the stran-
ger did not immediately perceive that he was
in woe or disgrace.
Young gentleman," said he, you short-
ened our ride this morning; and I can tell
you, there are few fathers who would shorten
their morning's ride for the sake of hearing
their son's Latin lesson."
Frank, in much confusion, eat his bread as
fast as he could, without attempting to speak.
-" It is very well for boys," continued the
gentleman, who was helping the soup, and
had not yet attended to Frank's countenance,
"very happy for boys who can be got through
the Latin grammar without any assistance.
Perhaps you do not know that my name is
Still there was silence. Frank could not
speak, but Mary answered for him, "No, sir."
And perhaps," continued he, "you are
such happy children, that you do not even
know why the name of Birch should make
The gentleman paused, for now for the first
time he observed Frank's countenance, and
he saw that he was struggling hard to prevent
himself from crying. He was a good-natured
man, and immediately changed the subject of
his conversation; and, no longer adverting to
Frank, talked to his father and mother.
Col.Birch, for that was the gentleman's name,
was an old friend of his father ; he had just
returned from the army on the Continent, and
he told many entertaining stories of the siege
of Badajos, and of the battle of Waterloo; but
nothing could entertain Frank. He watched
his father's countenance, and scarcely heard
or understood any thing that was said, till
Colonel Birch related an anecdote of a dog he
had with him, who had saved his master's
life when he had been left wounded and help-
less, lying among the dead, after a battle.
Frank remembered just such another story,
and he began to tell it.
Oh, father, you know the dog" But
his father did not listen to him ; and Frank,
recollecting that he was in disgrace, stopped
short, and, to hide his confusion, leaned down
upon the Colonel's dog. The good creature
stood quite still, though Frank's arm round
his neck was rather inconvenient to him, and
though he felt Frank's tears falling upon his
Frank, as soon as he could recover himself
again, sufficiently to let his face appear above
the table-cloth, began to feed the dog with all
that remained on his plate. This, with good
management, was an employment that lasted
till dinner ended, and, the very moment after
grace was said, Frank slid down from his
chair, and made his escape out of the room,
Mary following him quickly.
She sat quite silent beside him for a little
while ; but then, starting up, she ran for his
Latin grammar, and brought it to him, as he
sat with his hands covering his face, and
with his elbows leaning on his knees.
Frank my dear Frank, sitting this way
will do no good," said Mary, "Look up, had
you not better learn it now ?"
No, my dear Mary, even that will do no
good now. Father will never hear it again
-he said so."
Did he say so ? You must have made a
No, Mary, it is too true."
Tell me the very words he said."
He said, Frank, I will never hear that
verb again. Frank, I warned you, and now-'
it is all over !" Here Frank's voice failed.
Well, do not tell me any more. I am
sorry I asked you," said Mary. "What shall
we do ? What can we do ?"
"Nothing can be done now," replied Frank,
resuming his former posture.
"Oh, miserable May-day !" said Mary.
"So happy too as we expected to be this even-
ing. And our arbor, Frank !- There,"
continued she, looking out of the window,
"there I see father and mother, and the good-
natured man, and the dog and all, going out
to walk; and the birds singing so happily,
and the flowers so sweet and gay; every body
and every thing happy but ourselves !"
"And I keep you here, poor Mary! 0 go
out -run after them, and leave me," said
But Mary would not leave him in his day
At sun-set they went out to their island, and
to their bower, to bring home poor Poll, who,
as Frank recollected, must be hungry, and
should not be left there to suffer for a fault of
his. Poll was sitting silent and moping, but
the moment she saw Frank, she screamed out
something like Robinson! Robinson Crusoe !'
Ah all in vain now !"
The cage was lifted down from its happy
place, and the garlands in the bower were left
to fade unseen. Poll was carried home and
restored to the housekeeper.
So soon how is this, my dear master
Frank ?" the good old housekeeper began.-
" What! running away from me without a
word What is the reason of this ?"
Mary, turning back, shook her head sorrow-
fully, and put her finger on her lip. The
good housekeeper was too discreet to inquire
farther ; but, without speaking, she made with
her tongue against the roof of her mouth cer-
tain well-known sounds of sorrow, surprise,
and commiseration. Then following Frank
and Mary, she called after them to tell them
that tea was ready, and that their mother had
asked where they were.
It was dusk when they went into the draw-
ing-room, and Frank's father and mother and
Colonel Birch were so earnestly engaged in
conversation, that their entrance at the green
door was unnoticed. They sat down at their
own little table, at the farthest end of the
room, and began to eat their bread and milk,
making no noise with jug, cup, or plate. And
in this their unusual silence at their end of the
room, Frank and Mary heard all that was
said at the other end. The conversation, as
it was about themselves, was interesting,
though they did not understand it all.
Colonel Birch was speaking when they first
came in, but what he said was never known
clearly. It was lost during the getting upon
their chairs, and pouring out the milk. Their
mother's voice they heard distinctly, though
she sat with her back towards them, and spoke
in a very gentle tone.
I am convinced," said she, that going
to a public school will be of use to him ; but
I wish only that he should be better prepared
before he leaves home."
My dear madam," replied Colonel Birch,
" take my word for it, he will never learn the
Latin grammar till he goes to school, and, if
he do not learn it early, he never will know
it well. I am, or at least I have been, half my
life a sad example of this truth. From mista-
ken kindness of my poor mother, God bless
and forgive her I was allowed to be idle at
home when I ought to have been working at
school ; the end of it was, that I never learn-
ed Latin at home, was disgraced at college,
lost many opportunities of getting forward in
life, went into the army, because it was the
only profession I could go into ; thought I
could do without Latin and Greek; found I
was mistaken; was obliged to learn late what
I would not learn early-in short, I cannot
tell you how much I have suffered, nor what
difficulty and toil it has been to me, since I
became a man, to make up for what I might
have been made to learn with ease in the first
ten or twelve years of my life. 0, how often
have I wished that my Latin grammar had
been well flogged into me !"
But why flogged into you ?" said Frank's
Because, my dear madam, nothing else
you see will do. I was willing to make an
58 EARLY LESSONS.
exception in favor of home teaching, in the
hands of my friend here; but when he, even
he, a father come il y en a peu, with a son
come il n'y en a point, confesses that he can-
not get through the conjugation of the verb
to be, without the aid of Birch, I say the
sooner you send the boy to school the better."
Frank and Mary were very sorry they could
not make out the meaning of the French
words in whatColonel Birch had just said, but
they went on listening to what their father
As to the Latin verb, that is but a trifle in
itself, and it appears to me of little conse-
quence whether Frank learn the Latin gram-
mar this year or next ; but it is of the greatest
consequence to my boy, that he should early
learn habits of attention and application. If
he have not resolution enough to apply to
what is disagreeable as well as to what is en-
tertaining to him, he will never be a great
or good man."
True," said Colonel Birch; "and many
clever boys are spoiled for want of their pa-
rents knowing this truth. A man must work
hard to be anything in this world. If a boy
is fondled and praised at home, and cried up *
for every pretty thing he says and does, he
will never be able to go through the rough of
life afterwards, amongst his fellows, either at
school or in the world. However, your boy
certainly is not spoiled yet; he does not seem
to me at all conceited."
"I am afraid, thatFrank," said his mother,
"has lately become a little vain."
"Not a little vain,not a little,"said his father.
Mary," said Frank, in a low voice across
their supper table, father does not know that
I am here. Do you think that I ought to go
out of the room ?"
No, my dear, why should you Father
would say the same if he knew you were here."
During this interruption part of the conver-
sation at the tea-table was lost; but when
Frank's conscience again permitted him to at-
tend, he heard his father say -
It was very well while Frank was a little
child to indulge him in reading only entertain-
ing things, to give him a taste for literature.
This point is gained; Frank has more knowl-
edge than boys usually have at his age, and
is, I confess, a very promising, clever boy."
Father," cried Frank, coming forward,
"I believe you do not know that I am here."
An honest boy is here," said his father,
putting his hand upon Frank's head; and
we will not spoil him."
No, it would be a sin such a boy should
be spoiled," said Colonel Birch, stroking
Frank slipped from under his hand, and
ran out of the room. Mary would have fol-
lowed him, but he shut the green door too
quickly, and bolted it on the other side.
In a quarter of an hour he reappeared, with
his Latin grammar in one hand, and a lighted
bougie in the other, and marching up toColonal
Birch, with a firm step, and head erect -
" Colonel Birch," said he, "will you be so
good as to hear me say this lesson ? and will
you be so kind as to come with me into an-
other room, because my father said that he
would never hear me say this verb again ?"
Colonel Birch complied with his request,
and returning presently reported, that Frank
had gone through the verb without missing
one word. Mary clapped her hands; and
Frank's father was pleased at seeing that he
had conquered this the first difficulty that he
I think, father," resumed Frank, who now
felt that he might again join in the couversa-
tion, "I think, father, that a great deal of what
you said about me is quite true, especially
what you said about idleness; and I dare say
it will be best that I should go to school; but,
father, do not send me away from home in
disgrace. Let me try a little longer at home,
as mother said, till I am better prepared. You
shall see, that now I can do what is ever so
disagreeable to me ; and I will get through
the Latin grammar, now I am convinced it is
I thought, Frank, that you were convin-
ced before. How shall I be secure," said his
father, that you have more resolution now
than you had the last time I made the trial 1"
"I was thinkingof that, father," said Frank,
" and I will tell you how I will make sure of
myself. Mary, here is the key of our book-
case; I have put all our entertaining books
in it; and I will never read any of them, I
will never open that book-case till I have said
my lesson for the day, and learned the next
day's lesson, till mother says I have it perfect-
ly: and if I should afterwards miss saying it
well to you, father, I will not read any enter-
taining book that day; not even Robinson
Crusoe, which I long to finish ; and I will
never go out to play with Mary till I have
my lesson; and I will never speak to her
while I am learning it. Now, father, you shall
see that I know how to punish myself, and how
to manage myself, if you will but let me try."
His father consented.
You shall make a trial of yourself, Frank,
for one week longer," said he, and, if you
keep your resolution,and say your lesson right-
ly every day that week, I will allow you an-
other week's trial, and so on till the time
comes, which I had originally fixed for send-
ing you to school."
Frank joyfully thanked his father. And
we have the pleasure to assure all those, who
are interested about him, that during this week
and the next, and the next, and the next, he
steadily kept his resolution ; and at the end
of a month he was so well satisfied, that he
said, He had no longer any fear that his
son should be sent to school in disgrace. He
rejoiced that Frank had so far acquired the
habit of application, and the power of do-
ing that which is necessary to be done, even
though it be a little difficult or disagreeable."
Colonel Birch, who spent this summer in
62 EARLY LESSONS.
the neighborhood, was pleased with Frank's
resolution. I acknowledge," said he, one
day, that it is better, madam, than having
the Latin grammar flogged into him. A boy,
who had acquired this power over himself,
may turn it to whatever he pleases to learn :
and he will, I do believe, get on without Dr.
I hope you see," said Frank, turning to
his mother, that you did not quite spoil me,
"After all," said Mary, that one day's dis-
grace of ours has turned out happily for us.
Oh my dear Frank," cried she, changing
her tone, look what comes here."
It was a bright black horse,with a long tail,
just such a horse as Frank had wished to pos-
sess. "Now, Frank," said his father, that I
see you can apply to what is disagreeable to
you to do, I will assist you in what I know will
be agreeable to you. Iwill teach you to ride."
Frank clapped his hands. Happy hap-
py !" cried he.
Every day that your Latin lesson is well
said," continued his father, I will give you
a lesson in riding."
Thank you, thank you, father, and I will
call my horse Felix."
Gently, Frank, I am not yet sure that I
shall buy this horse for you ; he is to be left
with me for a month on trial, and we shall
see whether he is too spirited for you, or you
too spirited for him."
"What a pretty creature he is !" said Mary.
"I hope he will not be too spirited for Frank."
"I hope I shall be too spirited for him," said
Frank. "May I get upon him now, father ?"
No, my dear ; you must begin with the
old pony your brothers used to ride."
His mother observed, "that Frank was, she
thought, so young, that he was scarcely yet
strong enough to manage even the old pony ;
or, as Frank would call it, the tame pony."
But it is not strength that always wins,
mother," said Frank, as our copybook says,
'Wisdom doth strength excel.' "
You are wisdom itself, no doubt," an-
swered his mother, smiling. "But," continu-
ed she, addressing herself to his father, I re-
member that my brother, who rides very well
now he is a man, never was on a horse till he
was almost twice as old as Frank. My father
used to be afraid of his acquiring too strong a
taste for riding, and of his wanting to go out
scampering, as he said, and fox-hunting, with
all the young and old idlers of the country.
He thought that teaching a boy to ride, when
he is very young, usually leads him into mis-
chief. Is it necessary that Frank should ride
so very early ?"
It is not necessary-not essential," repli-
ed his father ; but I think it will be useful
to Frank, who has not now the advantage of
being with his brothers, or with any other
boys with whom he might learn those exerci-
ses that make boys active and courageous;
when he goes to school and mixes with com-
panions of his own age, he should be equal to
them in body as well as in mind. Boys, who
have been brought up at home, have often
something effeminate or precise about them;
perhaps they do not know how to leap, or to
ride ; for this they are laughed at by their
schoolfellows, and they often get into mischief,
merely to show that they are manly. Many
a one has turned out a mere fox-hunter, be-
cause he was not allowed to ride when he
was a boy, and because he was laughed at by
his companions for being subject to some pro-
hibition against horses. Frank's first pleasure
in riding shall be with his father, and not with
some vulgar groom or gamekeeper. Then as
he grows older, he will feel the advantage of
having acquired a good seat early upon a
horse. And he will not be liable to be either
ridiculed or flattered about his riding. He
will enjoy the real pleasure, I hope, as much
as I do ; but he will not undervalue the ac-
complishment, or think it necessary to leap
seven-barred gates every day of his life, to
prove that he is a man, or that he is what boys
Frank, who had been patting and stroking
the black horse all the time his father had
been speaking, looked anxiously at his mother,
to see whether she was convinced; and though
he did not hear what she answered, he knew
by her countenance that she was quite satis-
fied, and so was he."
The old pony was now ordered out, and
Frank was mounted upon him, and the reins
were put into his hands. Frank's father led
him about, and he liked it very much; but
the next day he was to go by himself; and,
before he had gone an hundred yards, he was
thrown off, or rather he slipped off. He was
not hurt, but he was frightened, and seemed
rather unwilling to mount the pony again.
Up again, my boy," said his father.
Frank scrambled up again upon the pony,
and rode two or three times round the field
with his father, much to his own delight and
to Mary's, who stood watching him. After
he had learned to sit tolerably well in walk,
trot, and canter, his father put him upon the
pony without a saddle, with only a piece of
cloth tied round the horse, and without stir-
rups. And now he was to sit him while the
horse was rung.
That is, while a man held the horse by a
long bridle, and made him go round in a circle,
at first slow, then faster and faster, then as
fast as he could go.
The first day, at the ring, Frank was off
and up again continually; but, by degrees, he
conquered this difficulty ; and he soon sat so
well in the ring, that he allowed Mary to
come and look at him.
At first she used to hide her face in her
hands, and would call to the man to beg of
him not to make the horse go so fast. But
Frank laughed, for he could now laugh on
horseback, and he felt that habit had made
that easy to him, which had appeared alarm-
ing at first.
And now he was ambitious to mount the
little black horse.
Mary, now you may run to the window;
Felix is brought out: I am just going to try
him," said Frank.
Frank got up, but scarcely was he in his
saddle set, when Mary too hastily opening the
window, the horse gave a little start. Frank,
frightened, pulled, by mistake, the curb rein
very tight: immediately the horse reared,
and Frank slipped,off behind. Mary foolish
ly screamed, and the horse set out, on full
gallop, across the lawn.
Frank stood upon his legs again unhurt,
but looking rather embarrassed.
Mary was extremely sorry for what she had
done. She was warned that she must never
open a window suddenly when anybody on
horseback is near it. And she was blamed for
her want of presence of mind in screaming,
which Frank's father told her was the most
foolish thing she could possibly do in any
danger. His father observed, that if Frank
had waited a minute to listen to his instruc-
tions about the bridles, when first he mounted
the horse, he would probably not have made
the mistake which caused the accident.
"But," said he, "upon the whole I am glad
it has happened, because I now see that the
horse did not kick when you were upon the
ground, and I shall have confidence in him
for the future."
Frank's confidence in Felix, however, seem-
ed a little diminished: and when the servant,
who had now caught the horse, brought him
to the door, Frank looked doubtfully at him.
Mary, who was standing on the steps, ex-
0, father, do not let Frank get upon that
horse again, pray pray father! Pray do
not, I am sure he will run away with him."
"Mary, go in; you must not make a coward
of Frank," said his father in a commanding
voice. I must forbid you, Mary, ever to
come to these steps or to that window to see
him mount on horseback."
No, no, pray do not forbid her, father; she
will not make a coward of me. Look, I am up."
And, as he spoke, he seated himself with
such decision that his father saw he had com-
pletely conquered his fear.
Now master of the reins and of himself, he
rode off with his father; and, if any further
apprehensions arose again in the course of this
day's ride, from the unusual pulling of the
horse, these fears were at least well subdued.
Mary's face was at the window when he re-
turned, but she took care not to open it. He
came home quite safely, and proudly patted
his horse as he alighted. Then he took off
his glove, and showed Mary the palm of his
left hand, which was in one place quite raw,
and bleeding, his hand having been cut by a
stone when he fell from the horse on the
gravel-walk. Mother, look: was not he
courageous," cried Mary, to ride that pulling
horse with the reins in his bleeding hand ?"
Frank observed, that he believed bearing
pain was called only fortitude, not courage.
But his father allowed that he had shown
some of that best sort of courage which comes
from the mind.
In an hour's time his hand swelled and
grew very painful; and his father desired,
that, for some days, till it should be quite re-
covered, he should ride the old pony, and hold
the reins in his right hand.
Frank was impatient for his hand to be
well, that he might again ride the black horse.
He felt pleasure in the hope of conquering the
difficulty, and was eager to risk a little danger
to prove that he was not a coward. But the
hand festered, and a week passed before it
One morning his mother was so kind as to
stop, even in the midst of reading some letters
she had just received, to dress his hand.
He was surprised by Mary's not coming to
look at the dressing of his wounds, as it was
her usual custom. She was intent upon an-
Mother," said she, have you finished
with Frank's hand ?"
Yes, my dear, and it is almost entirely
well," said she.
Then I may ask a question-you were
reading a letter just now, mother. Whom was
it from ? And what was it about, mother ?"
My dear Mary, it is not proper to ask peo-
ple whom their letters are from, or what they
"I did not know that, mother; I will not do
it again," saidMary. I only asked, because
I thought it was something about Frank, for
you looked as if you were considering."
I was considering ; but it was nothing
about Frank. I was considering about the
affairs of a man in Jamaica."
O, if it is nothing about Frank," said
Mary, I do not care. I did not guess right
by your face, mother, this time."
No; but I must tell you another thing,
Mary, which you do not yet know."
What, mother ?"
That you should not try to guess by my
countenance what my letters are about."
No ; because they might be about some-
thing which I do not choose to tell you."
But I cannot help guessing whether it is
good or bad, when I look at you or anybody
reading a letter, mother ; therefore, I suppose,
the best way would be-indeed, the only good
way must be-not to look at you at all. So,
mother, while you are reading the rest of those
letters or notes, I will turn my back to you,
and go on with my own affairs, pasting my
pocket book : though there is, amongst those,
a note, with very pretty-colored edged paper;
but, I believe, I should not have seen it, and I
will not ask any thing about it, mother."
Mary and Frank went on minding their own
affairs, till his mother called to them, and read
the note with the pretty-edged paper.
Mrs J-'s compliments."
"And who is Mrs.J-- ?" interrupted Mary.
0, my dear, the silly mother, that's her
name, don't you remember ?" cried Frank.
Call her Mrs. J-, Frank, I desire,"
said his mother. This note is to invite us to
dinner onThursday,and you and Mary are par-
ticularly asked to meet some young people."
Thursday is the last day of master Tom's
holidays," cried Frank; he told me so the
morning we went there, mother. But I do not
want to see him again, for I do not like him
But you cannot, in this world, see only the
people you like, Frank; besides, you have not
seen enough to know, whether you ought to
like him or not; and, at all events, it will
be good for you to see boys of different sorts
before you go to school.."
Frank and Mary went with their mother
to dine with Mrs. J-. The young people,
who had been expected, did not come. Mrs.
J- made many apologies; she had been
disappointed by every one, she had no com-
pany but themselves.
Before Frank had been in the room with
Master Tommy many minutes, Tom pulled
him by the sleeve, as a sign that he wanted
to speak to him, without being heard by his
This was to have been my hanging day,"
said Tom, but I have got off."
Hanging day," said Frank ; what can
you mean "'
Why you, that have never been at our
school, there is no talking to you," replied
Tom; you cannot understand trap."
Frank did not yet understand even what
was meant by trap.
In plain English then, since nothing else
will do for you, we call hanging day the day
before we go to school; but I have got off; I
am not to go to school again-to that school,
Tom could explain no farther, for dinner
The fact was, that Mrs. J- had been
made ashamed of her son's vulgar manner of
speaking and behaving, especially that morn-
ing, when she paid her first visit to Frank's
mother ; and Tom, taking advantage of this,
persuaded her, that it was all the fault of
the school," and prevailed upon his mother
not to send him there again.
She said, she was now determined to put
Tom to a school where manners should be the
prime consideration-she would spare no ex-
pense to make him quite a gentleman.
In the mean time, he was suffered to behave
like what his mother continually told him that
he was, quite a little bear."
At dinner he paid no attention to anything
that passed in conversation; he was thinking
of nothing but getting what he liked best to
eat, which he devoured as fast as possible, he
then fidgeted, called all the servants, and
looked sulky and injured till he had something
He had a number of dislikes : he told his
mother he could not bear-could not touch-
several things, which she offered to put on
his plate. During dinner his mother talked
to him, and of him, at different times, nearly
in the following manner :-
My dear Tom, how you do eat; you are
positively a little epicure -absolutely a little
But," turning toFrank's father and mother,
"they do make children so fond of eating at
those schools, by not giving them good things
constantly. I cannot bear to see children gor-
mandize; but for the little time poor Tom is
to be at home with me, it cannot signify, you
So, Tom, you are very fond, are you, of
being at home with your mother ?"
Not a word in answer from Tom, but a
large piece put into his mouth.
Well, but sit up, my dear; you are quite
a bear.-Ma'am, you must know, he has whee-
dled me into letting him stay a little longer at
home-indeed !" added she in a whisper, "he
is the most affectionate creature, though his
manner is so shy.-But put down your knife,
my dear, do pray.-Excuse him, sir, he is in
such spirits to-day, he does not mind what
any body says to him.-But, Tom! Tom! you
forget Miss Mary and Master Frank. Pray let
me see you think of your young friends.-But
indeed, ma'am, these schools do make such
terrible great bears of one's boys-worse than
they naturally are. All boys are naturally
little bears, you know. Master Frank indeed
is an exception; for he looks as if be had never
been a little hear, and I am sure he never was,
and never will be one. But he has a very
small appetite, ma'am.-Won't you take some-
thing more, my dear ? do.-Before he goes to
school, you should indulge him in geUing
what he likes, and as much as he pleases ;
for, as Tom can tell him, he won't find any of
these good things at school.-Hey, Tom I"
Frank had eaten what he liked, and as mueh
as he liked, which he was usually allowed to.
do ; and he was fond of sweet things, as chil-
dren naturally are; but they had not been
made rewards to him as proofs of kindness;
and he had not been made to think eating, a
matter of such great consequence, as it appear-
ed to Mrs. J- and to Master Tom.
After dinner, Tom was at his mother's el-
bow for his glass of wine." This day it was
to be a bumper, because there was company.
True, my dear, because you must drink
all the company's health, and Master Frank's
0, mother, that's not a fair bumper yet,"
Well now, my dear, there's a fair bumper
for you-quite a man's bumper. I will treat
you like a man and a gentleman to-day, be-
cause, Tom, you were very good to-day, in
not swinging on my Chinese gate, which is
the only thing, you know, I forbid.-Ay, you
remember you lost your wine once by that.
-Oh, I am very strict, ma'am, sometimes;
pray give me credit. But, Tom how you
toss it down, without recollecting all the
healths-I'm quite ashamed."
Tom, with his head back as far as it could
be thrown, was, in spite of his mother's shame,
trying if a drop more could not be had from
;the bottom of the glass.
His mother observed, that it was very odd
Tom had learned to love wine so, for she could
remember the time when he could not bear
;the taste of it. But, my dear Master Frank, you
;must get your bumper too-Mother will allow
,you a bumper this once- to-day, I am sure."
But Frank happened not to like the taste
.of wine, and he had not been made to like it
'by its being given to him as a reward, or an
indulgence, or a proof of his being treated as
;a man and a gentleman.
He thanked Mrs. J-, but he drew back
his glass as she was going to fill it: he said,
'he would rather not have any wine.
O, but you must drink your friend Tom's
Tom's friend he is not Tom's friend,
So Frank thought; and, besides, he did not
know what good it would do him to drink his
,health, even if he were his friend.
Oh, if you don't like it, my dear, I won't
insist; because it might make you sick, if you
.are not used to it, to be sure," said Mrs.J- .
Mother, do help the strawberries," said
Tom, and give me plenty, mother-and that
big one," whispered he, kissing her.
When it comes to your turn, my darling;
but we must not think only of number one-
when there's company, Tom."
Mother, where is your ear," said Tom,
putting his mouth close to it, and whispering,
" That's the reason I hate company."
This observation made his mother laugh,
and she seemed to think it very witty ; but she
said it was a secret, and she would keep his
secret. She heaped up a plate of fruit for him,
and bid him eat it, and hold his dear little
tongue. But Tom, having swallowed his
man's bumper, became as talkative as he had
before been silent. And Frank and Mary felt
ashamed for him, he now talked so loud and
such nonsense And it was all about him-
self, or his schoolmaster, and how glad he was
he had done with him, and he would never go
to any school again if he could help it.
Now, Tom, you are getting vastly too
loud, and we can't bear it; and you must go
out. No, my sweet love, no more of any thing;
and you are dragging my head off with your
kisses. Go, now, go out and play, I insist.
Take Master Frank and Miss Mary out, and
show them the place-there's a dear boy."
Then turning to Frank's father and mother,
she added, He is so fond of me, there's no
getting him out of the room."
But she put him out at last, because, as she
truly said, ".there was no bearing him any
longer." Frank and Mary followed, because
they were desired to do so. They did not
much like to go with Tom: however, they
were glad to be in the fresh air, and to run
about in the pretty shrubbery. Mary liked
to look at some white rabbits, which Tom
said were his mother's great pets ; but Mary
could not bear to see the manner in which
Tom teased and frightened them; he called
it good fun. When she turned away, he
dragged Frank on, and said, You will be
laughed at finely at school, if you play with
girls. Come, come on, and leave her behind
-let her find her own way."
No," said Frank, stopping short; "I will
wait for Mary."
Tom could not pull him on, till Mary came
up. They were now within sight of a gate
that opened into a new part of the pleasure
ground. That's the Chinese gate," said
Tom, and I will have a swing upon it."
Frank asked,if this was not the gate his mother
desired, that he would not swing upon.
Yes ; but what signifies," said he, "I
shan't break it."
Frank tried to hold him back, saying, "0,
do not, do not."
But Tom jumped upon the gate, crying,
" What a coward you are Did you never
swing upon a gate in your life-it's the best
fun ; but you don't know what fun is, never
having been at school, and only with girls,
you are afraid of every thing."
No," said Frank, I am not afraid of every
thing, I am only afraid of doing wrong."
A fine come off; but I tell you what you
are afraid of-you are afraid of hurting your
sore hand there, after your tumble off the
0 no, no," said Mary.
Tom set the gate swinging : Now," said
he, are you really such a quiz, then, as to
think there's any harm in swinging on a gate,?"
No," said Frank, I do not think there is
any harm in swinging on a gate ; but I think
it is wrong for you to swing on that gate, be-
cause your mother desired you not to do it."
Come, Frank," said Mary, let us go
back to the house ; I know the way."
"You'll tell of me, I suppose."
"I shall not say any thing about you,"
said Frank, unless I am asked."
"And if you are asked, what will you say?"
The truth to be sure," said Frank.
Then you will be a tell-tale," said Tom.
" 0, if I had known what sort of a fellow
you were, I never would have trusted you," ad-
ded Tom, getting off the gate. You'll never
do at school-you'll be sent to Coventry."
I don't know what that means," said
Frank, "but I hope I shall be able to bear it,
whatever it is."
Mighty grand !" said Tom, and all
about a gate What signifies talking any
more about such a thing."
I don't mean to talk any more about it,"
Therefore come away," said Mary ; and
Frank and Mary went toward the house.
Very civil, indeed," cried Tom, running
after them, and overtaking them, "very civil,
indeed, to go off and leave me alone ; you,
who are so polite too, which mother's always
twitting me with."
Mary and Frank were summoned to the tea-
table the moment after they went in, and
Tom's mouth was soon full of plum cake.
But while his mother was setting before
him all that he wanted, and more than he could
want, she suddenly changed countenance.
So, Tom, you have actually been on my
gate again, in spite of all You are very un-
grateful, Tom, after all."
But who told you so, mother ?" said Tom.
My own eyes, sir. What's this ?" said
his mother angrily, as she held up and brought
opposite to his eyes the flap of his coat, which
was streaked with white paint from the freshly
painted gate. What's this, Tom ?"
Ask me no questions, and I will tell you
no lies!" said Tom, turning off abruptly ; and
snatching the coat from his mother's hands,
he got away, and ran out of the room, clap-
ping the door after him.
He's off: that's the way he always gets
off," said his mother ; and glancing her eye
at Frank's coat, she added, I hope, Master
Frank, you have not been ruining your coat
Frank stood quite still and said nothing,
while she examined him from head to foot.
You have escaped wonderfully," said she.
He never touched the gate, ma'am," said
No !" said Mrs. J- ; was not he
No, ma'am," said Mary, he was not."
"Say no more, Mary," said Frank; "father
and mother never thought I was, I am sure."
His mother smiled, and assured him that
she had never suspected him.
"Then he is really a wonderful good boy,"
said Mrs. J-.
Nothing so very wonderful, thought Frank.
Now, really he is an admirable creature.
-Does the cake make you sick, love ? I'm
sure there's something in it you don't like.
Don't eat it, put it away, my pet, if you don't
There was certainly something Frank did
not like ; but it was not the cake, for that he
But now pray, my dear master Frank,
how was it that Tom got on the gate after all
I said-or did he get upon it : for perhaps I
have done him great injustice, and he has a
high spirit-how was it ?"
Frank said that if he had done any thing
wrong himself he would tell it: but that he beg-
ged she would not ask him any more questions.
Their carriage came to the door, they took
leave, drove away, and what happened after-
wards they never knew.
Frank's mother said that they had now seen
enough of MasterTom to be convinced that he
could never be a fit friend or desirable com-
panion forFrank. His father was of the same
opinion, and Frank and Mary were glad.
This shows," added his father, how
disagreeable and good-for-nothing, a little boy
may be early made, by a vulgar school, and
by being spoiled at home. Tom is an exam-
ple, such as you never saw before, and, I
hope, will seldom see again, of a disagreeable,
selfish, vulgar, spoiled schoolboy. But you
must not think that all schoolboys are like
him. As soon as we have opportunities, you
shall see others."
It happened, the first day when Frank's
hand was recovered, and when he was mount-
ed on Felix -his reins right, his feet well in
the stirrups, his seat firm, the sun shining,
and all promising a pleasant ride-just as they
were going to set out, that his father saw three
persons on horseback coming up the approach.
"0, it is all over with our ride, I am afraid,"
said Frank : "who are these people ? One is
a little boy-master Tom, father. His visit
will be no great pleasure to you, father. Nor
to me, if I. am to lose my ride."
Nor to me," said Mary, who was standing
with her weed-basket in her hand on the grass
plot beside them, excepting for one reason,
mother. I am glad he should see Frank on
horseback, because he seemed to think that
Frank could not run, or ride, or do any of those
sort of things. Now Frank can show him."
Mary Mary do not make me show off
again," said Frank. "But who are those men
along with him 7"
One was a groom belonging to master Tom's
mother ; the other was the horsedealer, who
had left the black horse with Frank's father
for a month's trial, and who had engaged to
sell the horse to him at the end of that time,
if he should be approved of. But, in the mean
while, this man had been applied to by master
Tom's mother, for a horse for Tom ; and he
found that he could have gained from that
lady some guineas more than he had engaged
to sell it toFrank's father ; he was, therefore,
in hopes that it would be found too spirited
for Frank, and that it would be returned to
him this day, which was the last of the month's
trial. Master Tom was exceedingly anxious
to have the horse, and he was in great hopes
of it ; because his friend, the groom, had told
him he had seen Frank riding the old pony
several days. Tom was rather surprised
when he saw Frank upon the black horse,
and as it appeared, sitting at his ease.
What, are you got upon' Blacky ?" said
Tom, beginning to talk to Frank, while the
horsedealer was speaking to Frank's father;
I thought you told me you did not know
how to ride, when I was here before."
I did not then, but my father has been
teaching me since that time," said Frank.
Your father What a bore, to be taught
to ride by one's father; I had much better
fun. The groom here, Jack, taught me."
"Ay, that I did, sir," said the groom, riding
up close to his young master; "and, for a rider
of his inches, I'd pit him against any young
gentleman in England, or the 'varsal world, I
say. Master Frank, sir, your reins is too
long ; give me leave to put 'em right," added
the groom, alighting-" I'll show you."
No, thank you," said Frank, "my father
will put them right if they are wrong-my
father teaches me."
And so saying, Frank went to the other
side of his father; Tom followed-him ; and,
while his father continued listening to the
horsedealer, Tom went on talking to Frank;
telling him, that he had heard Blacky, as he
called the black horse, was much too spirited
for one who was not used to riding; he won-
dered, he said, that he was trusted upon such
a creature ; he was sure that he would not, if
he knew as much of it as some people could
Frank anxiously asked what ?
Tom, who was meanly cunning, as stupid
boys and stupid'men often are, began to try to
frighten him with stories of Blacky's having
reared, and run away, and kicked; and when
he saw Frank look a little alarmed, advised
him, if it was left to his choice, not to have
this horse, but to stick to the tame pony, and
to wait till the horsedealer could find him
something that would suit him. Or," said
he, I could let you have this which I am ri-
ding, which is as gentle as a lamb, and I could
take Blacky, because I am used to riding, and
don't mind its tricks."
Frank's father, having heard all that the
horsedealer had to say, now turned to Frank,
and told him, that he might decide for himself,
whether he wished to keep the horse or not.
Thank you, father," said Frank, "but I
do not know any thing about horses, and I
would rather that you would decide for me."
Then Frank repeated what Master Tom
had just told of Felix's tricks, and asked
whether his father had heard of these.
"No," his father answered, the horsedealer
had formerly assured him that he had no tricks,
and he had, during the month's trial found Fe-
lix perfectly good-tempered, though spirited.
So, Frank," said his father, "the question
is, whether you are or are not afraid to ride
it ? I am not afraid for you."
And I am not afraid for myself," said
Frank ; I wish to keep Felix."
Then you shall have him. Felix is
Frank thanked his father and patted Felix.
He is too cheap, that is certain," said the
horsedealer; "for he is as fine a leaper as any
in the country. Take care, master Frank, if
you are not used to leaping; take care that he
does not throw you clean over his head."
Frank did not like the idea of being thrown
clean over the horse's head. Tom saw this,
and said, sneeringly, in a low voice,
Did you see how pale he grew ?"
Just at this time Felix, from some fancy,
the causeof which was not perceived byFrank,
suddenly gathered himself up, and leaped over
a sunk fence, which there was in the lawn,
near the place where they were standing.
Frank was thrown clean over his head,"
but, falling on the new-mown grass, was not
hurt. Tom burst into a stupid brutal laugh.
The horsedealer pretended to be much con-
cerned, and repeated, that he was afraid
Blacky would be too much for master Frank
and went to help him up : but Frank was
on his legs again without his assistance.
It was unfair not to give you notice, my
boy," said his father : but never mind, you
will do better the next time. Have you a
mind to try again ?"
That I have," said Frank, if you will
show me how to do better."
Mount him again, then."
Frank was in the saddle in an instant; his
father told him how he should sit when the
horse should begin and end his leap. Then,
turning to the horsedealer, who, as he perceiv-
ed, had before made a secret signal to the
horse, by which he had given it notice to leap,
said, If you will now repeat your signal, sir,
Frank is better prepared, and, perhaps, may
sit the horse better ; or, if not, I am much
mistaken in my boy if he does not persevere
till he succeeds."
Thank you, father," said Frank.
The horsedealer protested, that, if he had
made any noise, it was not any signal, and
quite by accident; and good little Frank be-
lieved him. Felixeleaped again, and this time
Frank sat him. The leaps were repeated by
his own desire, to prove to himself that he
Felix is not too spirited for me, you see,
father; I may keep him, may not I?" said he.
You may, my dear," said his father.
Tom sullenly wished them a good morning,
and rode away with his groom companion.
Frank's father was now to pay for Felix, and
while he was counting the money, master Tom
being out of hearing, the horsedealer began to
flatter Frank, declaring, that he had a much
better seat on horseback than master Tom ;
that it was wonderful to see how spirited
master Frank was; that he deserved, indeed,
to have a spirited horse; and that he would
not, for a guinea, that any young gentleman,
but himself, should have had Blacky, he look-
ed so well on him ; that a fine young gentle-
man should always have a fine young horse;
that he was certain master Frank would, in
time, make the finest young gentleman-rider
in the whole county, or the next, or in the
three Ridings of Yorkshire."
And a great deal more he would have said,
but that Frank abruptly exclaimed-
Pray don't flatter me so; I cannot bear it!"
Frank's father put the money for the price
of the horse into the man's hand, who, after
counting it, walked away discontented, and
never attempted to flatter Frank any more.
They had been so much delayed by this
business, that Frank lost his ride for this day;
but the next morning Frankfhad a very pleas-
ant ride with his father : trotting through
pretty lanes, and cantering across a common,
they came to Copsley Farm ; a farm which
had been lately purchased by farmer Lee, at
whose house Frank, when he was a very little
boy, saw a thatcher at work-the day when
he had his first successful battle with a turkey-
cock. Farmer Lee welcomed them cordially
and invited Frank to rest himself in the house,
and eat something, while his father should
ride round the farm : but Frank said, that he
was neither tired nor hungry, and that he
liked to go with his father, and to see and
hear all that was to be seen and heard.
Thefarmer, happy in showing all his little
comforts and conveniences to one who so
kindly felt an interest in them, took Frank's
father what he called the grand tour, finishing
by the back yard; and here, unwilling to part
with him, had more and more last words to say.
But, while he was thus detaining them, the
gobbling of a turkey-cock was heard in the
poultry yard, which was divided from the
farm yard by a slight wall. From the mo-
ment Felix heard this noise, he began to grow
uneasy : Frank, while the farmer was talk-
ing loud and eagerly about his own affairs,
went on patting his horse, and reasoning with
him in a low voice :-
"My dear Felix, don't be foolish-it's only
the turkey-cock. Stand still, Felix-stand
still. 0, Felix! Felix! for shame, Felix : you
are a greater coward than I was, when I was
--0, Felix, fie! you'll throw me on the dung-
hill if you don't take care-do stand still. Do
hush, turkey-cock What a horrible hobble-
gobbling you are making-stand still, I say,
sir stand still !"
No; Felix could not or would not stand
still, while this horrible hobble-gobbling went
on; but was continually sideling from the
wall of the chicken yard toward the dunghill,
which was on the opposite side.
How I wish my father would turn, and
look how Felix is going on !" thought Frank;
but still he would not call upon him for assis-
tance. His father knew well what was going
on, but on purpose left Frank to manage with
Felix as he could.
Will that farmer never have done talk-
ing ? I wish his mouth and the turkey-cock's
were both stopped !" thought Frank.
When he hoped it was ended, it began again
on each side. At last, they came to A good
morning to you, sir, kindly a very good
Frank's father returned the "good morning"
and was, to Frank's joy, setting off, when
the farmer, striding before him, called out-
" Pray, sir, come and see the new back road, it
is not a yard out of your way. This way if
you please, sir. This way, master Frank, if
But this way did not at all please master
Frank, for it was through the chicken yard;
and, the moment the door was opened, a gob-
bling and cackling was heard, which very
much displeased Felix. However, Frank
knew that he must follow his leader. His
father stooped his head as he went through
the door-way, and called to Frank, bidding
him do the same.
Yes, father, yes ; but Felix will not go
through, I am afraid."
"No, no, not afraid myself, father, only afraid
ihat Felix is afraid of the turkey-cock, sir."
Is that all T" said his father, and he rode
on through the opposite gate.
At this moment, his ancient enemy stood
insolently in the door-way, filling it up with
his huge semicircle of feathers fanned out be-
hind, his red and blue pouch swelling out in
front, and screeching defiance with all his
might. Frank knew him of old to be a bully
and a coward; but Felix, not suspecting this,
backed in spite of all efforts to make him ad-
vance. The turkey-cock swelled and gobbled
O," thought Frank, if I were but on the
ground on my own legs, with a good stick in
my hand !"
But he was on horseback, with a good whip
in his hand : resolved, that the adversary,
whom he had vanquished on foot three years
ago, should not now conquer him on horse-
back, he, with a stroke of the whip, that told
Felix he must obey, stuck his heels into him,
and pressed him forward. Felix obeyed:
cleared the doorway of the cowardly bully,
and Frank, bending his head low, entered
Felix went on, made his way through the
hissing and the screaming geese, dispersed
the inferior crowd of cacklers, and carried
Frank from the yard triumphant. The farmer
shut the outer door behind him, and bidding
Frank look back, through the rails, in the
upper part of the door, desired him to choose
any two from'among his enemies, of whom,
he said, he would with pleasure make him a
present, in honor of his victory. The farmer,
without any insulting air of protection, held
the bridle of Frank's horse, to keep him quite
still, whilst Frank looked in at the noisy
crowd, to make his choice : he chose a Bantam
cock, and a game chicken, and thanked the
farmer, who promised to send them home for
him in the morning.
As they rode away, his father asked Frank
why he had chosen these, preferably to all
others, and Frank answered, that he wanted
them to explain to Mary what was meant by
the Bantam's vile pantaloons," and by the
spurs of the game chicken, which were men-
tioned in the description of these birds, in some
lines in The Peacock at Home," which she
had not understood, because she had never
seen either of the birds described.
His father asked Frank if he could remem-
ber the lines : Frank, after a few moments'
They censured the Bantam for strutting and crowing
In those vile pantaloons, which he fancied looked knowing;
And a want of decorum caused many demurs
Against the game chicken, for coming in spurs."
Father, you see," said Frank, that I am
able to recollect verses on horseback now,
though the first day I could think of nothing
but managing the horse and myself."
And," said his father, if I mistake not,
you had some little difficulty in managing the
horse and yourself just now in the chicken
yard, against your old enemy, the turkey-
cock; but I am glad to see you come off vic-
torious; and I am glad to perceive that you
can turn your mind quickly from yourself to
Frank, a little elated by his father's praise,
now began to fight his battles o'er again,"
and to ridicule his old enemy, the turkey-
cock, for his extreme cowardice.
"I observe," said he, that when lam not
frightened, Felix seems to be less afraid."
Yes," said his father, a horse soon learns
to know whether his rider be afraid of him or
not ; he is unwilling to obey a cowardly rider."
How does the horse find out when the
rider is cowardly 7" asked Frank.
Probably, when the man or boy is afraid,
he teazes the horse, by continually moving
the bridle; or the horse perceives the rider's
alarm by some awkwardness in his manner
of sitting, and by some motions of tremor, un-
easy to the animaL"
Frank took out his handkerchief to blow
his nose, an operation which he performed so
as to show that he was quite at ease, concern-
ing the effect the noise or fluttering of the
handkerchief might have upon Felix.
Father," said he, the first day I was
upon Felix he would not let me blow my nose.
That is, I could not blow it in comfort; be-
cause he could not bear the rustling of my
handkerchief, nor the sight of it; but now he
is used to it."
Yes, and you are used to him."
Father, did you hear me talking to Felix
in the' farm yard ?"
Yes, I did, but you need not be ashamed
of it; for the greatest heroes, in the greatest
dangers, have always been in the habit of
talking to their horses, as if they could com-
prehend all their arguments. By and by, in
Homer's Iliad, you will read Achilles' and
Hector's fine speeches to their horses, and
many others, especially one of a young gentle-
man, called Archilochus; who will, if I am not
mistaken, very much please you, Frank."
Will he, sir ? But it will be a great while
before I shall be able to read Homer. I was
going to say another thing about me and
Say it, then."
In being a man, father, besides being a
reasonable creature, I have another great ad-
vantage over Felix; he must be beaten or
spurred, to make him go on in danger; but we
have the feeling of honor, and the fear of dis-
grace, which sort of fear cures the other sort
of fear. I do not express it well, but you
know what I mean, father."
"Yes, my dear, I do; but it is said that
horses feel shame and emulation. Don't you
recollect some anecdotes, which Colonel Birch
told us, about horses in battle ?"
No, sir," said Frank, I did not hear
much that Colonel Birch said that day, be-
cause it was my day of -"
Frank paused, and, after a short silence on
both sides, his father resumed.'
Perhaps horses may feel shame and emu-
lation, and something like what we call pride,
or a sense of glory, and some are so obedi-
ent, that they seem almost to act from a sense
of duty : but I never heard of a horse, Frank,
who had formed and kept a resolution to cure
himself of his faults, or to conquer his fears."
And now, father," said he, patting Felix,
"may I give him a good canter along this
pretty lane ?"
Yes, away with you," said his father;
and away they cantered along the lane, till
they saw, at some distance, a fire on the road,
at the bottom of a hill, which they were go-
ing to descend.
Father, do you see those flames 7" cried
Frank. Let us ride on, and inquire what is
the matter. Perhaps some house is on fire."
No," said his father, I think it is only
a fire made by gipsies : I see some brown
rags fluttering by the side of the bank, which
looks like the hut of gipsies."
But look, look! how high the flames rise!"
said Frank. They are throwing something
out of the hut upon the fire."
Straw, probably," said his father ; "they
are burning their straw bedding. It is very
dangerous to make such a fire in the middle
of the road."
"And such a narrow road, too!" said Frank,
" there is no room to pass, father. The wind
is blowing the flames all on my side, and the
whole passage, on your side, between the fire
and the hut, is filled with kettles and stools.
It is impossible to pass ; and horses do not
like fire : Felix does not, I am sure; look at
his ears !"
Stop, Frank," said his father ; this fire
is enough to frighten any horse; stop !"
Frank would willingly have obeyed; but
just then, a man drove a cart through the
gate from a field behind them, and came down
the hill, making a jingling noise, which alarm-
ed Felix. A fresh blaze rose. Felix reared.
Frank! keep your seat! that's well Now
to the right, turn him follow me leap !"
Frank followed his father, and leaped over
a low wall, which divided the lane from a
field, and found himself safe on his horse's
back, in the field, out of sight of the fire, and
out of hearing of the cart. Felix stood as quiet
as a lamb, trembling a little. Frank did not
tremble, and enjoyed his successful leap.
How lucky it was, father, that you saw
that wall, and thought of leaping over it I
never thought of it I never saw it I saw
nothing but the fire, and heard nothing but
the cart; but I hope, father, I behaved tol-
erably well, and sat Felix when he reared,
and when he leaped. Is not this a pretty
good leap for me, father ?"
Frank was so well pleased with himself,
that he required not even his father's answers.
He exercised himself in leaping over every
little mound in his way; and even went out
of his way to practise leaping over any which
he could see on the common ; till, at last, his
father reminded him that they must make the
best of their way home.
Well then, father," said Frank, ranging
himself beside his father, now we can talk
a little. There is a great pleasure in con-
quering difficulties, and in conquering- "
Fear, do you mean ?"
Yes, father, just the word, only I did not
like to say it.-But do you think, father, that
grown-up men, and really brave men, began
by being afraid when they were little boys ?"
"Yes ; but they must have learned to con-
quer their fears when they were boys, or they
would never have been able to conquer them
when they became men."
But, father, do you mean, that, after they
grow up to be brave men, they feel afraid
sometimes, and must conquer their fears 7"
Yes; our friend Colonel Birch will tell
you, that, the first time he went into battle,
he felt very differently from what he did after
he had been in two or three battles; all who
have sufficient courage to speak the truth
would say the same. One of the bravest of
our English generals, whose history you will
some time or other read, said that every man
would be a coward, if he dared.. But a man
of honor feels what you expressed a little while
ago, that the greater fear conquers the lesser;
that the fear of danger or of death is less than
the fear of disgrace."
Disgrace !" repeated Frank. Father,
I remember the first terrible idea I ever had
of disgrace was from hearing you say of some
general, who had run away, and behaved
like a coward--What a disgrace! I hope,"
continued Frank, I shall be a very brave
man, when I grow up; at any rate, father, I
do not think I shall be cowardly on horse-
back; because, before that time, I shall be well
used to riding. But, father, by the by, one
day last summer, when we were out in the
boat, I was surprised to see that Mr.- you
know who, was frightened when he was in
the boat, and he is never frightened on horse-
back. And when we came to land,that captain
of the ship, who had been with us, and who
had laughed at the poor man for looking a-
larmed whenever the boat moved, was himself
frightened when he was on horseback."
Very true, Frank," said his father. It
seems, that being accustomed to one kind of
danger, does not prevent a person from being
afraid in any danger that is new, and does
not always even prevent him from fancying
that there is danger, when there is none."
"That is what observed,when I was a very
little boy, father, though I could not then ex-
press it rightly in words. It was the same
thing that I observed the evening when I was
afraid of going over the narrow bridge, be-
cause I had never done it before ; though not
afraid of going up the ladder; and when I
was surprised to see the poor woman, who had
been frightened about the ladder, go bravely
over the bridge. Father, I think I ought to
be accustomed to all sorts of dangers before I
grow up to be a man."
All sorts ? that would be difficult, if not
impossible, Frank. Consider all the varieties
of dangers there are in the world by sea and
by land. Would you have me ride, run, and
sail about with you ? be shipwrecked, and go
into battle, &c., to accustom you to all sorts
of dangers ?"
No," said Frank, laughing, that would
be impossible ; and foolish, if it were possi-
ble. But, father, I ought to be accustomed to
all the common dangers, that boys or men are
likely to meet with."
There is some sense in that, Frank."
But, after all, I should never even then be
secure of not being afraid, in any uncommon
danger, or in any that was new to me."
Being accustomed to danger of different
kinds, though a great advantage, is not abso-
lutely necessary to make human creatures
brave. Fear may be conquered, not only by
being accustomed to danger, but by any affec-
tion or motive, which is stronger than the fear.
On some occasions, the most timid women be-
come brave; for instance, mothers, when their
children are in danger."
And father-I think, I hope, that, though
I am but a little boy, if I saw my mother in
any danger, 1 should quite forget myself."
I think you would, Frank. Then you
feel, already, that strong affection can conquer
fear, even in a boy as young as you are."
While Frank's mind was still intent uporr
the conversation he had had with his father
about courage, he listened to every anecdote
upon this subject which he heard related in
conversation, or read from books.
One evening when his father was reading
to his mother some new book of travels in Ita-
ly, his attention was caught, in a description
of St. Peter's Church in Rome, by an account
of some young Englishmen of the party who!
went to see it, who determined to see more of
it than any one had seen before; and who,
when their female companions stopped, after
having reached the top of the cupola, deter-
mined to scramble up the outside of the gilt
ball, and to stand on its summit. This, with
much difficulty and danger, they accomplish-
ed. Their return and descent was still more
hazardous ; for, at the under parts of the ball,
they were obliged to crawl on their hands and
feet, with their faces upwards, much in the
manner that a fly crawls upon the ceiling.
Frank and Mary listened to this description
with breathless anxiety.
They are down and safe," saidFrank; "I
am glad of it; how very brave they were !"
I am very glad they are safe down," said
Mary; but think they were very foolish to
Not at all foolish, my dear; consider they
-were men," said Frank ; it is the business
of men to be courageous-is it not, father ?"
Yes, to be courageous, but not to be rash,"
:said his father; or to hazard their lives
without any sufficient or useful object."
That is exactly what I think, father,"
:said Mary ; and if I had been there, I should
have been so afraid that Frank would have
:gone up !"
Frank said he should certainly have liked
to go up; that he should not have liked to
have been left behind, even if there had been
nothing much worth seeing ; he should have
been afraid that the other people would have
thought him cowardly, if he had refused to go.
Besides, he should like to have it to say, that
he had been as high as they had been, and
higher than any body else had been before.
And that, after all, whether the thing was fool-
ish or not, it was certainly a proof of courage.
This his father allowed, and said, that all
Frank's feelings were very natural ; but that
he admired courage more, when it was shown
for some useful purpose.
For instance," said he, laying aside the
book he was reading, and taking up the news-
paper, in this day's paper here is an account
of a fire, and of a man who saved the lives
of two children, by putting himself in a most
perilous situation. The children had been
left in an upper room, the staircase had been
burnt down, there was no passage to the room,
but by a single rafter ; across which, through
flames and smoke, this brave man ventured
-snatched up the screaming children, and,
carrying one under each arm, crossed again
the narrow path, and brought them down in
safety to their mother."
Frank exclaimed,that he would much rather
have been this man, than he that went to the
top of the gilt ball.
0 yes," said Mary, and though it was
so very dangerous, I should be glad you had
done this, Frank. I hope you will do some
such thing when you grow up, if ever you are
at a fire. I should not like to be by to see;
but I should like very much to hear of it."
The next day Frank amused himself by
practising walking on the narrowest planks
he could find, which he supported by a stool
at each end ; and, when he could walk steadi-
ly on this narrow path, he exchanged the stools
for high trestles, which had been used by a
man who had been papering one of the rooms;
and, after fastening the ends of his plank
down firm to the trestles, Mary spread cloaks
and sofa cushions underneath, to represent
the feather beds and blankets the people drag-
ged under the passage to save the man, if pos-
sible, if he should fall. And Frank then act-
ed the man saving the life of the two children,
which he performed with two of Mary's dolls,
with great applause.
Some days afterwards, Frank heard a new
and true anecdote of the courage of a boy. It
was told to him by the mother of the boy, and
it had lately happened, so that every particu-
lar was fresh in her recollection. His father
was one day walking in a field, where a bull
was grazing ; the bull, he thought, was quite
tame, and he had often been accustomed to
caress him. This day, the gentleman saw
the bull following him, as he thought, in play;
but as he was in haste home, he took up a
clod of grass, and threw it at the bull to drive
him away ; still the bull followed : the gen-
tleman threw another and a larger sod, but
still the bull followed, and came quite close
behind him. The gentleman took hold of his
horn to turn him aside ; but the bull, instead
of giving way, tried to toss him up in the air.
The gentleman, however, who was a very
strong, large man, kept firm hold of the horn,
and walked on some yards in this manner, the
bull, every now and then, trying to throw
him up; and he keeping down the horn, and
calling his men to his assistance, and whistling
for the dogs, who guarded the cattle ; but
neither dogs nor men heard him. He was
seen only by a maid-servant, who was stand-