Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The corners
 The new teacher
 The eagle aroused
 Beginning anew
 Robert May, and others of Mr. Dawson's...
 Mr. Dawson's last story
 Summer study, and the next winter...
 More of Liph Green
 Choosing a vocation
 Lizzy Parker, and her friend...
 The select school
 Commonplace incidents
 Disappointments the portion of...
 A scene at the capital

Title: Allen Lucas, or, youthful decision
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001708/00001
 Material Information
Title: Allen Lucas, or, youthful decision
Series Title: Allen Lucas, or, youthful decision
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Judson, Emily C.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001708
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA1758
ltuf - ALH0228
oclc - 15374673
alephbibnum - 002229888

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Half Title
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
    The corners
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The new teacher
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    The eagle aroused
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Beginning anew
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Robert May, and others of Mr. Dawson's pupils
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Mr. Dawson's last story
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Summer study, and the next winter school
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    More of Liph Green
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Choosing a vocation
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Lizzy Parker, and her friend Nannie
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
    The select school
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    Commonplace incidents
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    Disappointments the portion of all
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
    A scene at the capital
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
Full Text



oaut fIrr of I atl s fot tr t osnug,


o ,


(Mnr 0. a JueO.)

[a im cCT. a.


L The Corners, ... ... ... ... 7
IL The New Teacher, ... ... ... 16
IlL The Eagle Arosed, ... ... ... 28
IV. Beginning Anew, ... ... ... 89
V. Mr. Dawson's Pupill, ... ... ... 48
VL Mr. Dawnon's Last Story, ... ... 66
VIL Summer Study, and the next Winter School, 67
VIIL More of Lph Green, ... ... 81
IX. Choosing a Vocation, ...... ... 9
X. Lizy Parker and her friend Nannie, ... 111
I The Select School, ... ... ... In
XII. Commonplace Incddents, ... ... la
XIH. Dlsappolntmenta the Portion of All, ... 141
XV. A Scene at the Captl, ... ... 14


ABOUT two miles from the little village of
Smithville, the turnpike is crossed by a road
not much travelled, but of sufficient import-
ance to give that district the name of the
Corners. Upon two of the four corners, fine
farm-houses are situated, and far beyond,
stretch fields of waving grain and meadows
of tall, rich grass, or the still richer clover,
the perfume of which can not be surpassed
by the rarest green-house exotic.
The turnpike leads along to other farm-
houses of rather humbler pretensions than
those on the Corners, and now and then
scattered among them, are little, low build-
ings, seemingly of dimensions too contracted
to accommodate more than one individual,
but literally swarming with the white-
headed, bare-footed inhabitants, all uncon-

scious of needing room. As we proceed
onward, we shall find the turnpike tra-
versed by a little stream, over which is
thrown a log bridge, for the superabundance
of timber furnished by the hills beyond,
bristling with evergreens, interspersed with
other trees bending gracefully beneath their
wealth of summer foliage, makes the people
cling to the extravagant economy of their fa-
thers, and save the trouble of sawing, at the
expense of the valuable material. Here we
shall find the impression made by bare feet
upon the sand, on each side of the creek,
and very likely we may see a half-dozen
boys, their linen trowsers rolled up to the
knee, wading about in the clear water, quite
as happy as the sleeping cow, standing so
quietly in the stream below, that you very
seldom can catch a tinkle of the bell hung
to her neck. Farther down the stream,
grow the ash, and elm, with some birch
trees almost stripped of the bark by the
fore-mentioned knights of the linen trow-
sers, and a few tall maples on each side
lean towards each other, almost interlao-
ing their branches, and casting an ever-
quivering shadow upon the waters below,

ITHI 0011B 8. 0

which here grow broader and deeper, and
move quietly and lingeringly, as if in love
with the cool breezes wakened by the fan-
ning of the foliage. Nestled down in one
corner of a wood a few rods from this creek,
is the district school-house, with its large
uncurtained windows, and one small door
opening under a wood-house, which in win-
ter receives the drifting snow, and in sum-
mer cradles many a troublesome insect.
This school-house has been built for a great
many years, and is not so comfortable as
some of more modern date, but it has never-
theless been the nursery of talent and use-
fulness, as well as the scene of many an idle
freak of childish fancy, or the still more
idle plans and speculations of the book-
Upon that seat, far in the corner, once
sat Allen Lucas, and I believe those very
notches in the desk were made by his knife,
as he lolled upon his seat and wondered over
and over again if noon would ever come.
Allen Lucas was not the son of a poor
widow, who "had once seen better days,"
nor had he any of the other claims upon our
smypathy advanced by most heroes of story ;

he was only the third son of Reuben Lucas,
a plain, honest, simple farmer, who, by being
always watchful and industrious, contrived
at the end of the year to balance accounts,
without saving a penny. It made no differ-
ence with Mr. Lucas whether his crops were
plentiful or otherwise, whether ill luck or
good attended him in his family; increased
expenditures never made him poorer, nor
an increased income richer. In truth, Mr.
Lucas was, "an easy well-to-do man," who
cared only to be free from debt, with plenty
to eat and drink, and his expenses were
entirely regulated by his income without
a thought of the "rainy day" ahead. His
wife managed a small dairy, and sold butter
and cheese enough to keep herself and daugh-
ters in fineries, but this was so exclusively
pin-money, that it was never devoted to
anything but fineries. In short, Mr. Lucas
was only a farmer in a very small way, and
not considered a rich man even in his own
little neighbourhood, but his family lived
very comfortably, and were not accustomed
to deny themselves anything which hap.
penned to fall within the circle of their hum-
ble desires.

Allen Lucas had few peculiarities, and
although he was usually considered a bright
boy," evinced no superiority to the rest of
the family. He was somewhat taller and
stouter than boys of twelve generally are,
with broad shoulders and muscular limbs,
and on this he prided himself not a little:
then, he could wield the ball-club, skate,
run, leap, and wrestle as well as any of his
companions, and though not always at the
head of his class, he was very seldom, if ever,
at the foot. He had studied arithmetic for
three years, but never got beyond reduc-
tion, his success in geography was more
creditable to his talent, but grammar was
his detestation, and never would have been
attempted, but for the pleasure of attending
the evening grammar school Allen was
generally very well liked by his teachers
and companions, for he carried a cheerful,
good-humoured countenance, and was not
what is generally considered a rebellious or
very lazy scholar. True, his sister Mary,
though two years his junior, often excelled
him, but Mary had always been considered
a very bright little girl, and it was no un-
usual thing for the oldest members of the

school to yield to her. In spelling contests,
Mary Lucas was generally the victor, and
she was as familiar with every line of her
well-thumbed geography, as with the simple
furniture of her mother's kitchen. Every-
body expected great things of Mary, but
they did not expect them of her brother
Allen, and so he passed on, envied by many
a dull boy who was obliged to labour for the
little he learned, often commended for the
good lessons which had cost him scarce
fifteen minutes' study, and very seldom
censured. Allen never dreamed of anything
more than getting decently through with
the forms of the day, the final object to be
gained never once entered his mind, and
though his teachers often talked of the ad-
vantages of education, and the importance of
mental culture, this was all like Greek to him,
and he considered it the most favourable
time for planning some piece of amusement
to be broached to his comrades after school
Such was Allen Lucas at the age of twelve,
and such he seemed likely to be for years
to come, a harmless, not particularly dull,
but very common-place character. Of what
he was capable no one knew, himself least

TUN coOBnaZ. 13

of all, for he had never imagined himself
under any obligation to exert his powers
only when and where he liked. Allen had
never been told that his superior quickness,
instead of furnishing him with an excuse for
indolence, only rendered an indulgence in
it more criminal, and he would have thought
it the height of injustice to require more of
him than of others.
The school at the Corners had generally
been furnished with teachers, if not of the
first order, who at least enjoyed some repu-
tation, but they had been contented to pur-
sue the usual routine, measuring their duty
by what was expected of them, rather than
by what it was in their power to perform.
The teacher, who merely fulfills his con-
tract, may not suffer the upbraidings of
conscience for not doing more, and his sa-
lary is his reward. It is all he deserves.
But 0 how much richer the reward of him
who seeks a higher object, who labours to
accomplish what none but a teacher can
accomplish. When the man, who to-day
stands with a group of listening boys around
him, and marks the flushed cheek, the glis-
tening eye and the swelling bosom, has

grown old, when the warm blood which
now animates his frame and makes his
tongue eloquent has become sluggish, when
his eye grows dim, his hand tremulous, and
he feels that he must soon lie down and
teach his last, great lesson, this will be far
from being the least pleasing of the remem-
brances that cluster around the heart, to
soothe him whose grave lies between him
and his only future. Then, when he looks
upon the glorious fruit, though the dew
of the last life-breath were freezing upon
his lip, and his heart were subsiding into
its last stillness, a delicious thrill must needs
be awakened by the thought, the seed was
of my own hand's planting." To look around
upon a happy community, made happier by
the influence of the virtuous and gifted who
cement and make it strong; to see the phi-
lanthropist employed in disseminating noble
principles, enlightening heavy hearts, and
elevating debased spirits, and be able to look
back upon the time when his intellect and
heart received the first impulse, and remem-
ber with how much difficulty his nature was
moulded; even to mark the manly struggles
of the victim of misfortune, the self-sustain-

ing power which prevents his becoming a
vagabond, and remember that but for days
and days of unwearied effort, that man would
have been weak and helpless, is a priceless
reward which but one class of the many
devoted to doing good, can claim. It is of
more worth than all the yellow dust that
ever glittered before human eye, and ex-
haustless, because the sunshine that it casts
about the heart now, is only the shadow
of the treasure which is laid up in heaven.
Above all others, does the teacher need a
clean heart and active hand, but if that heart
be cold, or if but one finger of that hand pre-
fer self-service, let its owner stand aside, for
he is all unfitted for the holy work.


Augx Lucas was in his twelfth year when
Mr. Thorn, who had taught the Corners
school for several winters, and gained a
little purse thereby, concluded that engag-
ing in business at Smithville would be more

profitable, and therefore a new teacher was
engaged in his stead. Mr. Thorn was a
great favourite, and so his successor was
naturally enough regarded with suspicion,
and when he ventured to engraft a few
improvements upon the old tread-mill sys-
tem, he was met on every hand by the most
strenuous opposition. Mr. Dawson was a
thorough scholar, and had been self-edu-
cated : thus he knew how much the human
mind is capable of accomplishing by its
own unassisted efforts, and he felt more
anxiety to arouse the dormant faculties of
his pupils, than to urge them forward in
their studies. He wished to fit them for
action, at least sufficient for them to appre-
ciate in some degree the labour before them,
lest the labour should be but ill-performed.
The accomplishment of this purpose requir-
ed such a thorough revolution, that many
persons, among whom Mr. Lucas was not
the least formidable, regarded him with a
suspicious eye. If Mr. Dawson had been a
selfish man, he would not have mortified
the pride of Mary Lucas by making her
conscious that all her attainments were
mere parrotry, nor would he have incurred


the hatred of John Smith, whose father
owned the largest, if not the best improved
Corner farm, by putting him in a class
more suited to his actual attainments than
his years. elfishness would have induced
an opposite course, but Mr. Dawson felt an
unfeigned interest in his work. Still Allen
Lucas lolled upon his desk, and watched the
shadow in the window and wondered if noon
would ever come, but he did not slide along so
easily as formerly, for his face often burned
beneath the glances of a reproving eye, and his
lessons failed to elicit oneword of praise. After
a few weeks Allen began to dislike Mr. Daw-
son, and Mary was decided in pronouncing
him a "poor teacher," proving her position,
by asserting that she did not know half so
much as when she attended Mr. Thorn's
school. Still Mr. Dawson went on as if
unconscious of the petty storm about his
ears and soon the suspicions of people were
laid, and their prejudices wore away, for
they found their children animated by a
new spirit, and were not long in discover-
ing that a richer vein was perceptible in the
young intellect than had before been touched.
Mr. Dawson had gone below the mere me-

chanical, and had put in operation the reason-
ing faculties. He had taught his pupils to
think, and they could not fail to remember.
Among those least benefited by this state of
things were Allen and Mary Lucas, for while
the former could skim over the surface and
avoid absolute disgrace, he was contented,
and Mary was too indignant at the thought
of relinquishing the honours she had worn
so long, and too anxious to mask her defi-
ciencies under a show of words, to set about
actual improvement. Mary supposed words
to be the actual substance, rather than the
vehicle for its exhibition; the mystery of
meaning beneath was to her an idle tale,
and she was positive that knowing anything
"by heart" was quite sufficient for all rea-
sonable purposes. Allen, however, did im-
prove a little, at least in outward seeming,
but it was only sufficient to escape the
charge of dullness, and maintain his former
standing in the school.
Mr. Dawson was very fond of visiting the
different families at the Corners, becoming
acquainted with the ordinary occupations of
the children, and mingling in their sports;
thus, his influence was everywhere felt, and

rTa saw TCaena. 19

he became familiar with the workings of
their hearts. His own feelings were yet
green within his bosom, and he did not affect
that coldness and distance of manner, nor
that indifference to innocent amusements,
which often passes for dignity, and rears
itself as the most formidable barrier to
improvement of any kind. He who loves
his fellow-men will sympathize in that
which interests them, however trivial, and
sympathy is the right hand of the philan-
thropist. One day, after skating for half an
hour upon the smooth surface of the mill-
pond, far up the creek, and getting up a
snow-balling party on the way back to the
school-house, for the sake of giving the little
fellows, who had been mere lookers-on, their
share of sport, Mr. Dawson sat down by his
desk, and, as usual on such occasions, his
pupils, one by one, gathered around him,
until not a loiterer remained without. Even
Allen Lucas was in this group, for Mr. Daw-
son's stories were more interesting to him
than his books, and when he had become
animated by exercise, he always told his
very best.
I shall not tell you a story to-day," said

the school-master, and as he spoke there was
an expression of quiet humour, which his
pupils had at first mistaken for ill-nature,
or "something bad," they could hardly
tell what, lurking in his fine, black eyes,
and playing about the corners of his
"No story!" "no story!" repeated the
younger scholars, in tones of disappointment,
until the outer one being far enough off to
venture on such a remark, whispered, I
think it's too bad." By what process of
reasoning it was decided to be too bad that
Mr. Dawson should withhold a gratification
he was by no means bound to grant, I cannot
say, so I will leave the matter to those
school-boys, who, from imagining that they
cannot do too little, come to the very natural
conclusion that their teachers cannot do too
much, and never dream of being grateful for
the most self-eacrificing favors. The older
scholars, however, knew Mr. Dawson too well
to believe that he would disappoint them, so
they winked knowingly at each other, and
remained silent.
"I will give you a fable," resumed Mr.
Dawson, "which, although it may not be so

THrnu N TIAeIn. 21

interesting a our Indian story, may aflbrd
some amusement"
A fable why, that is a story, Mr. Daw-
Right, Liph,-now can you tell me how
it differs from the stories I have told you
before 1"
Why, fables are big soriu."
They are wrong stori," said little Abby
They are fh torie," added Liph.
"No, animal toeri," aid Julia May,
"for Asop's fables are all about wolves and
lambs, and foxes, and other animals. Fables
are stories that are not true."
Are all stories that are not true, fables 1"
inquired Mr. Dawson.
"No, sir, not the kind of fable that you
mean," said Allen Lucas.
"AUll stories that are not true, of course
may in one sense be considered fables," said
a soft voice in low, measured tones, "but a
true fable always conveys a hidden moral."
Mr. Dawson smiled on the speaker, one of
the boys whispered, Robert May thinks he
knows everything," and the circle drew
closer together, and stood and sat in the atti-

tude of listeners. "I must forewarn you,"
said Mr. Dawson, to look out for the moral,
for I shall leave the application to you."
The boys looked at each other as though a
very little alarmed, for Mr. Dawson had his
own way of pointing out faults, and not an
individual who was conscious of doing wrong,
felt for a moment safe. Nor did his smiling
lip reassure them, for unless the fault were
of that class which requires a solemn and
pointed rebuke, he always wore that same
expression, as if utterly unconscious that
some poor offender was wincing beneath his
seeming playful touches, and choking in the
vain attempt to swallow his own blushes.
Mr. Dawson, however, did not seem to ob-
serve the looks of his auditors, but proceeded
with his fable.
"Down by a river's side, a careful goose
had made her nest among the sedges and
ferns, and there, one sunny day in spring, she
left her helpless family in their bright yel-
low livery, and went away in search of food.
On her return she found a stranger nestled
among her little ones, which were all stretch-
ing out their long necks towards him, and
joining their shrill voices in a concert of

sounds that nothing not belonging to the
goose family ever conjured up. As soon as
tho mother goose had an opportunity for
making observations, she found this stranger
had wings and a head and feet not altogether
unlike her own offspring, and was clothed in
a natural coat of feathers, which proved him,
beyond the shadow of a doubt, to belong to
the extensive race of birds. To be sure his
feathers were of an ugly gray, his beak was
hooked suspiciously, instead of extending
forward flat and honest, like the bills of her
own little ones, and his toes were divided
and furnished with long claws, instead of
being connected by that beautiful, fan-like
web, which would enable him to paddle
across the water, like a living fairy-boat.
Mrs. Goose did not at all like her visitor,
and she at once extended her curved neck in
a very snake-like manner, and hissed alto-
gether too powerfully for a snake, but just as
she was on the point of proceeding to ex-
tremities, she discovered that the poor
stranger, which was yet a nestling, had met
with some misfortune by which he had been
badly bruised, and in consequence was utterly
unable to move. Now the goose, notwith-

standing her noisy, bustling way, is really a
benevolent bird, and so she took the stranger
under her own wing, and fed him with her
own food, and made him so comfortable that
he felt quite at home in the family.
"The gray eaglet, when the eyry was bro-
ken up in which he had been lodged, was too
young to remember anything about it, and
not being at all aware that his destination
was the sky, he wandered around among the
green sedges, and through the tall meadow
grass, with his companions, trying his wing
only when he came to the clear stream on
which they floated, and then he would hover
about them, until they stepped upon the
sand, and were ready for another excursion.
True, when the fern was unusually tangled,
and his pathway became laborious, he would
show the admiring and curious goslings how
much more easily he could accomplish a short
journey than they, but otherwise he seemed
to be perfectly contented by equaling them.
The young eagle did not know what it was
to ly away in the pure, blue sky, as free as
the cloud that floated above his head, and
there was nothing to induce him to make the
attempt, so in time his nature became tame,


and he loved to crouch in the barn-yard, and
listen to the clamours of silly geese, and, al-
though conscious of being less earthly than
they, he had too long been accustomed to
groveling things, to feel that his natural
superiority only rendered his position the
more degrading. One day, after the eagle
had attained his growth, and become very
goose-like in his nature, as he was digging in
in the mud for worms, he was startled by
the whiz of a wing above his head, and, on
looking up, he discovered a bird above him,
so like himself, that he was obliged to look
back upon the ground to become assured that
it was not the reflection of his own form, as
he had often seen it on the water. Again he
looked at the bird, which wheeled and circled
above him for a moment, and then, as if dis-
daining such a near approach to earth, spread
out his wings and mounted upward-up, up,
clear away-plunging into the liquid ether.
until he became a mere speck upon the blas-
ing sun. Again he came a little nearer earth,
waved his wing in wild triumph, and went
careering through the air, now lost behind a
dark cloud that was hovering on the verge of
the horizon, and now far away in an opposite

direction, basking in the burning sun-beam,
and seemingly toting the drifted clouds like
snow-wreaths on his wings. The eye of the
poor eagle kindled at the sight, and he felt
every feather bristle, and every muscle stretch
itself to its utmost tension, as he watched the
gyrations of the noble bird, and when at last
he saw him hovering over a wild, craggy
height, and then plunging into its bosom, as
though its darkest recesses were all familiar,
he started, like a man awakened from a long,
night-mare dream. With a scream of joy he
expanded his wings and rose upward for a
little, but as a puff of wind came past him,
he veered from his course, and was nigh los-
ing his self-command; making a strong effort,
however, he preserved his balance, fluttered
his wings again, struggled with another cur-
rent of air, then sank back to earth exhaust-
ed, and hid his head under his useless wing.
Poor bird I he had been content to fold his
pinion, because his associates did not fly,
and now it was too weak to bear him up, and
though his eagle nature was so awakened that
he loathed the earth, and longed to track out
hiswayamong the clouds, he knew that hewas
doomed to crawl about likeacreeping reptile."

"I should think that he might have
learned to fly yet," interrupted one of the
"Perhaps he might," said Mr. Dawson;
"being a young bird, very likely he might."
"But an eagle coutd'nt be so kept down,"
said another; "you could'nt tame an eagle
and make such a goose of him."
Is man then inferior to a bird 1" said Mr.
Dawson, with one of his peculiar smiles, "that
his high spirit can be kept down, his aspira-
tions tamed, his whole nature degraded, and
he made the slave of circumstances 1"
The boys too, smiled, and glances of intel-
ligence were exchanged among them, but as
Mr. Dawson said no more, they dropped
away to their seats, one by one, and soon the
ringing of the bell announced the arrival of
the school-hour.


Burona the bell had ceased ringing, Allen
Lucas was at his usual seat in the corner, but
his books were untouched, and he sat, tracing
one after another parallel lines on his slate,
as though his life had depended on bringing
the art to perfection. Slowly the lines were
drawn, and if they curved or crooked in the
least degree, as slowly obliterated, while one
class, and then another, and another went
through with their usual exercises, and sat
down to their respective duties. The hour
for the afternoon recess came, and still Allen
Lucas was working away as industriously as
ever. The noise made by his companions as
they went out, partially aroused him, and he
allowed the pencil to slide from his fingers,
and then his head drooped, and he sat in a
posture of deep musing until they returned.
"You are getting quite too goose-like,"
whispered a lively little fellow, making a very
unsuccessful effort to stumble over his feet,
which were by no means in the way. Al-


len's face coloured, but no smile came to an-
swer the quizzical grin of the boy, and he
again had recourse to the slate. The next
moment Mr. Dawson passed.
"I have no lesson, sir," said Allen, with-
out waiting to be questioned, and as if deter-
mined to cut short the business of conversa-
tion as much as possible. Mr. Dawson smiled.
and leaning over the desk so as not to be
heard, remarked cheerfully, You at least
are not too old to learn to fy." Again the
red blood mounted to Allen's temples, and
he leaned his head forward until it rested on
the desk, while hi thoughts came tumbling
on, one after another, disconnected and al-
most unintelligible even to himselL "I could
learn, yes, I know I could-a school-master
-no, I hate school-mastere-doctor-pah I
Lawyers are al a alike-all a pack of rascals,
so I've heard uncle Pete say-no, no, I
wouldn't be a lawyer, and as for standing
behind a counter all day as poor Jack Dean
has to do, and grow pale and hump-backed-
dear me I should tear those flimsy things
all to pieces. Then what's the use 1-fr-
mere don't want learning. A farm like
'Squire Smith's, level as the floor, and not a

stone nor a bush-but 'Squire Smith isn't
anybody-great, cross-John '11 get the
farm, but I wouldn't be John Smith, that I
wouldn't-just like one of our oxen. I'll go
out west, I'll clear the land-I'll-I'll-yes,
just like the oxen; trudge, trudge, all day
long, thinking of nothing but work, work-
then supper and bed-provender and stable
-eat, drink, and sleep, that's all-I don't
care about being an ox. But what's the use
of learning I I wonder what wise people
think about-I can learn, and if I can I
ought, may be-at any rate Mr. Dawson
thinks so, but I don't care for that. I can
-yes, I can, and why should'nt I ? I can
beat all the boys at ball, and I should be a
fool to throw like a girl-yes, I'll show them
what I can do, I'll go at it like Robert May
-to think of Bob May's beating me, and he
never skated a rod in his life I I'll show
them !" and Allen threw back his head, and
his eye sparkled, and his cheek glowed with
a new and strange excitement, but how long
he might have gloried in his untried powers
can never be known, for just then a reading-
class was called, and he was obliged to join
in the exercise. Never did Allen Lucas


make such blunder in reading before, never
did the boys laugh so heartily at mistakes,
for they sounded doubly grotesque from such
a source, and never were Mr. Dawson's black
eyes so very brightly black, and the curl at
the corners of his mouth such a very decided
curl; but above all, never, not even when
telling his best stories, was his voice more
entirely free from the severity of the school-
master than on this occasion. That day the
reading lesson was somehow very short, and
the class dismissed much sooner than usual,
and it so happened that Allen Lucas had all
the afternoon to make marks on his slate if
he had chosen that very simple mode of
spending time. But he did not choose it,
neither did he sit down to ruminate to little
or no purpose, but, picking up his arithmetic,
he turned to the very dry, comprehensive,
and I shall have all schoolboys on my side
of the question when I say incomprehensible
rule, heading the examples for practice in
reduction, and endeavoured to fix his atten-
tion upon it. Now everybody acquainted
with the book in question, the only system
of arithmetic used in common schools some
thirty years ago, knows that these rules, so

far from explaining the principles of the
science, seem placed there for the express
purpose of being explained by them, and
after the young student had managed by
his teacher's aid, to get through with the
examples for practice, if he could discover
any connection between these and the rule,
or could discover that the latter had the least
bearing on the former, the credit was un-
doubtedly to be given to his organ of associ-
ation. As for Allen Luca, he had never got
so far as that, though he had probably rattled
off the words of the rule as fast as his very
brisk tongue could move, more than a hun-
dred times. But why reduction ascending and
reduction descending required different pro-
ceases, was a question he would have con-
sidered utterly preposterous, for, had'nt he
tried the sums I and did't division bring the
answer when multiplication wouldn't I To
be sure, his father, who had never studied
arithmetic, and knew nothing of figures, but
what he had picked up in the transaction of
his very circumscribed business, often puzzled
him with hard questions, but he considered
that there was a difference between book-
knowledge, and the knowledge gained by


trading off beef and corn, and concluded that
notwithstanding these puzzlers, he must
know a great deal more than his father. As
for the rules before-mentioned, his teachers
had always told him they were of no particu-
lar practical importance, which he inter-
preted, of no use except to show how far he
had studied, and he was sure that as soon as
he could do all the sums," even if he was
obliged to look into his older brother's copy-
book for assistance, he should be a perfect
Mr. Dawson felt the disadvantage at which
he laboured for the want of simpler text-
books, but he had long ago learned how to
make do," and he succeeded in making these
do more than some men have been able to
accomplish with the help of our very excel-
lent improvements. Discovering it to be
impossible, in the state in which he found
his school, to form a class of arithmeticians,
and give his explanations verbally, he de-
voted his evenings to committing them to
paper, and each pupil was furnished with a
copy at the time of entering upon a new
rule. This simple plan saved much time,
which must otherwise have been devoted ta.

repetitions as innumerable as tiresome; but
it was not allowed to take the place of those
verbal instructions, which add weight to the
best written rules. Allen Lucas, whose par-
tiality for reduction seemed to be directly in
the way of his advancement, had one of these
copies in his pocket, but, though it was
written in a round, fair hand, that nobody
but a schoolmaster could write, he had
failed to decipher it, and had expended on
excuse-making twice the amount of inge-
nuity and labour, that, otherwise directed,
would have sufficed to make him acquainted
with a whole system of arithmetic. In
truth, Allen had somehow gained an un-
accountable dislike for this little scrap of
paper, and so he sat puzzling his brain over
the words that were intended more as a
definition than explanation, until his brain
fairly ached with the unusual effort. When
at last night came and school was dismissed,
Allen Lucas was among the first to find his
way to the door, for he dreaded meeting Mr.
Dawson, a fear, by the way, utterly ground-
less, as he was never officious, and had as
much consideration for the feelings of a boy
as those of a man. He could not, however,


withhold an encouraging smile, as Allen's eye
for a moment met his when he was passing
out the door, and there was something so
full of confidence and hope in the smile, and
earnest, unselfish interest in the whole ex-
pression of his face, that Allen's fingers
involuntarily crept towards the pocket that
contained the neglected paper.
That evening, when Mr. Lucas's family
had all gathered around the blazing fire,
Mr. Dawson's explanation was introduced
by Allen, as if accidentally, and duly can-
vassed. Allen read and re-read it, and John
and William and Mary all talked it over and
found it so simple and yet so important, so
"just the thing," as they said, that they
wondered they had never thought of these
things of their own accord. At last the old
farmer joined the group, who, slate and
pencil in hand, were rejoicing in their newly
acquired knowledge, and declaring that now
they could "see some sense in it." The old
man stood for a few minutes, looking over
their shoulders, then taking the paper con-
taining Mr. Dawson's explanations between
his thumb and finger, he adjusted his spec-
tacles with the other hand, and peered at it

very intently, his lips moving slowly all the
while, as if he were weighing the quantity
of the words, as well as scanning their
meaning. At last he seemed satisfied, for,
laying down the paper, he resumed his seat,
took a heavy draught of cider, lighted his
pipe, shook his head two or three times, as
if to assure himself of its safety, and was
ever after heard to declare that Mr. Dawson
was "a wonderful man-very wonderful,
smart enough to make an arithmetic." I
should think," said John Lucas, as he hung
his slate against the wall, that Mr. Dawson
was a good teacher."
"Yes, he must be," said William.
A very good teacher," chimed in Sophia,
a married daughter of Mr. Lucas, who was
home on a visit, and had been entertaining
her parents all day with the atrocities of the
schoolmaster at White's Mills."
Ay, ay !" said the father, "a wonderful
man-very wonderful man-could make a
'rithmetic-I know he could." Allen said
nothing, and the two little boys had gone to
bed, so their testimony was lost, and Mary
seemed not to hear the remarks, for it is
never pleasant to be in the minority, and she


felt that the array against her, backed by the
wonderful paper, was rather too powerful to
be fairly opposed by her single opinion.
Don't you think he is almost as good as
Mr. Thorn, Allen 1" inquired George.
Yes; ten times better."
"Why !" and "what !" and "dear me
Allen I" and "the boy is crazy!" were
among the exclamations that followed this
very decided opinion, for Mr. Thorn had
been considered the teacher par excellence
at the Corners, and others were called good
or bad, as they were like or unlike him.
Yes," repeated Allen in a low, thought-
ful tone, as if replying to some opposing
feeling within, rather than these exclama-
tions, "yes, I am sure he's a good teacher,
and a good man."
"He may be good enough," said Mary,
nodding her head and shrugging her shoul-
ders, but one thing I know, I haven't learned
anything this winter."
"Not to-night 1"
"0 that is nothing, just what is on that
little bit of papet; Mr. Thorn could have
told it all in three minutes."
But Mr. Thorn lever did tell it, Mary."

Well, he knew it, I know he did---t
any rate he was a good teacher, everybody
liked him."
"I suppose he was, but then you know
what made us like him so much better than
we do Mr. Dawson. Mr. Thorn didn't like
the trouble of looking into things, and he
made the best of everything we did. You
know what uncle Pete said about his wink-
ing faculty-he winked at pretty hard doings
sometimes; he always praised us too, whether
we deserved it or not, but Mr. Dawson don't
make his praises so cheap."
"No, he never praises those that deserve
it, but the real blunderheads, he coaxes up
to think they know everything. Yesterday
I never missed a word all day, and he looked
as cross at me-"
"Mr. Dawson never looks cross, Mary."
"Well, he didn't look very good-natured,
I can tell you. But when Julia May-
everybody knows Julia's a poor scholar-
when she got up next me, he seemed as glad
as though something wonderful had happened,
and praised her to the sky."
"And for a very good reason; he knew
Julia studied and you did'nt"


-All the better, I should think, to know
how to spell every word without studying."
All the easier for you, of course, but I
don't see as you deserve any praise for it. I
believe Mr. Dawson is half right in his notions
about that, and I mean to study one week as
hard asJohn Smith, just to seewhat I can do."
"John Smith has to study hard, or he
wouldn't learn anything."
I know that, but it will be just as easy
for me to study as for him, and if I learn
more I shall get better paid for it."


ALLEN LucAs had not been accustomed to
making resolutions and breaking them, until,
like many young persons, he considered it
the merest trifle, so he did not fail to put
in execution his hastily formed purpose. If
we should set about examining Allen's mo-
tive in forming this purpose, we might find
it difficult to fix upon one of sufficient im-
portance but we must remember that trifles

light as air" decide the destinies of millions.
It was not the love of knowledge, nor the
desire to be useful, nor was it altogether the
wish to excel, that influenced him. He had
always suspected that he was 'uite as well
endowed by nature as other boys, but now
the consciousness of possessing faculties that
had never been but slightly exercised, came
over him like a gleam of sunlight, and the
mere desire to employ those faculties, the
love of action, which had hitherto exhaust-
ed itself in a display of physical strength,
induced him to make a mental effort. As he
expressed it to Mary, he studied "just to
see what he could do." The bird finds plea-
sure in the mere act of flying, independent
of any advantage to be gained by it, the boy
in the thousand feats of agility that he per-
forms even when alone, the man delights to
curb the steed, and, when not withheld by a
monitor within, to brandish the steel, and
the student exults in the free use of his
noble faculties, even when the end to be
attained is not in view. The love of using
our powers is almost inseparable from the
possession of them, and this is a kind provi-
sion, making every effort its own immediate


reward, and reserving the greater reward
for moments of calm thought, when we are
more capable of appreciating it.
Allen Lucas turned the leaves of his arith-
metic over, again and again, and fluttered
them between his fingers, and made a great
many more parallel lines on his slate, be-
fore he could conclude to go back and com-
mence with Simple Addition, and then he
sat a long time over the rule, which he could
repeat word for word, dreading to ask Mr.
Dawson for his explanation. Finally he
read it over, slowly and carefully, pausing
between the words to weigh well their
meaning, and as he proceeded, a smile stole
to his lip, and a look of intelligence shone
from his eye, for he saw nothing there be-
yond his own comprehension. All this time
Mr. Dawson had been watching his motions,
but he would not appear to do so, for he
knew that there was no surer way of effacing
a good impression, than by showing an offi-
cious triumph, or even in some cases, gratifi-
cation. Very humble indeed must be the
man, who can bear being told, particularly
when the mind is in a course of revolution,
" I have succeeded in doing you the good I

intended-to me you are indebted for these
thoughts and feelings." The boy is a man
in miniature, with as much pride, as much
sensitiveness, as much jealousy, and less
judgment to balance these qualities, and
therefore is there the more danger in en-
deavouring to play upon the delicate chords
of his mind, lest, by touching a wrong
one, the whole should be deranged. Some
teachers, thinking self-love a reprehensible
quality, never hesitate to mortify it; but
this is not a quality that can be crushed by
being trampled upon ; it grows the ranker
beneath the foot that would break it down,
and loses its poison only when hedged in by
virtuous feelings and principles. I would
not pretend to vindicate all the petty feel-
ings that find a resting-place in the bosom
of childhood, but he who does not respect
them, despite their whimsicalities, and sym-
pathize with them, even in their foolishness,
never can gain the key to their hearts, to do
them good. Even a child's nature is a deep,
deep study, and he, who but partially under-
stands it, is liable to neglect the good, and to
make sad blunders in curing the evil. A
bad habit is not broken up by one lecture, or


one whipping, or one hour of calm reasoning
and kind expostulation. A diseased moral
nature can not be cured by outward means,
without corresponding action within. A fault
is cured, plucked up by the roots, when the
child's own hand undertakes its extermina-
tion, but the teacher, unassisted, only lops
away the green, leaving it to spring up at
some future day, stronger than ever. The
best lesson a child can learn, is to examine
his own heart, and rely upon his own power
of self-control, assisted only by Him who
furnishes that power. He who would prop
up a character by other means than its own
internal strength, only weakens it, and sad
are the consequences, when these props are
taken away. I would not dwell so long on
this point, but for the fatal mistake com-
mitted, both by parents and teachers. Be-
cause children are capricious, impulsive,
always arriving at wrong conclusions, and
at the mercy of every one who chooses to
play upon their tender feelings, they are
often supposed to be utterly incapable of
self-government, and are forbidden to do one
thing, and commanded to do another, because
their elders know what will injure or benefit

them, better than they do themselves. The
child is set down to the study of dead lan-
guages, and is expected to comprehend, or
at least to remember difficult sciences at a
very early age, but when capable of this,
moral teaching is made mere baby-talk,
and no wonder that he turns disgusted from
these lessons, loses his regard for truth and
virtue, and is restrained only by the strong
arm. It is the duty of parents and teachers
to make children know and feel their faults,
to watch carefully, and discover if reforma-
tion is attempted, to encourage and sustain
by delicate and cautious means, to show the
beauty of moral greatness in its true light,
and to point out the effects of the most
trivial incident upon the character, but the
child must be made to feel that the mighty
work is his own, and fully worthy of his
greatest exertions.
Mr. Dawson had studied the construction
of the human mind attentively, and he had
not one set of rules for the man and another
for the boy, for he knew that the same
springs of action are in both. Yet he was far
from bringing all down to the same standard,
as if every mind was cast in the same mould,

and differences were faults. When Allen
Lucas asked hesitatingly, and with evident
trepidation, if he might be allowed to review
his studies before proceeding any farther,
Mr. Dawson did not inquire why, nor raise
objections "for the sake of trying him," nor
congratulate him upon discovering his defi-
ciencies, he merely gave his assent kindly,
made a few remarks upon the necessity of
being well grounded in the fundamental
principles of a science, offered his assistance
whether in school or out, in explaining diffi-
culties, and passed on. Yet Allen felt that
his new resolutions were understood and all
his efforts appreciated, and from that mo-
ment there was the most perfect confidence
established between the teacher and his
pupil. But this could not have been, if
Mr. Dawson had injudiciously interfered, for
Allen knew that the struggle had been in his
own bosom, the effort and triumph his own,
and however much credit he was afterward
inclined to give his teacher, the least appear-
ance of claiming it at this time-would have
alarmed his jealous self-love, and very likely
induced him to show that he was not so tame
and easily influenced as might be supposed.

That day Allen went through with his reci-
tations admirably, surprising even himself
by the wonders he performed: he asked ques-
tions and expressed opinions, not always
correct, but yet worthy of correction, and
exhibited so much real interest in the sub-
jects discussed, that Liph Green, the lively
little fellow before mentioned, very demurely
gave him to John Smith as an example of
a passive verb changed into an active one.
The week of trial passed away, and seve-
ral others followed it, and Allen Lucas began
to discover that though learning was a very
pleasant thing, nothing worth the posses-
sion could be gained without severe labour;
that none who would obtain the real ore is
exempt from the drudgery of digging for it,
and sometimes he would grow tired, and feel
a strong temptation to relapse into his former
idleness. Mr. Dawson knew that such mo-
ments would come, and he watched carefully
for them, but not believing in the modern
mode of turning study into a mere amuse-
ment, he did not always present something
new, thus humoring the intellectual nature,
as some parents do the caprices of a petted
child. Sometimes he saw that a change of


employment was necessary, to prevent actual
disgust, but he always took every occasion to
deprecate this mode of treatment in general,
and Allen soon learned the danger of yield-
ing to feelings of wearinees, as well as to
other difficulties. As he proceeded rapidly
and surely in his studies, it was plain to Mr.
Dawson, and others who took the trouble to
observe, that his whole character was under-
going a change, his perceptions were clearer,
his notions more correct, and his principles
firmer. Yet this natural result of the dis-
cipline to which he subjected himself (it was
not the mere love of action that led him to
study now,) was only commenced, and Mr.
Dawson often laboured to show him, that
this winter did not close his efforts, and
that nothing less than a steady advance
through life, ought to satisfy an immortal



AMONO the boys who attended school at the
Corners, was a black-eyed, pale-faced strip-
ling of about the age of Allen Lucas, but
much smaller, and yet, from a certain sedate,
thoughtful expression of countenance, appa-
rently much older. Robert May was the
only son of a farmer in rather humbler cir-
cumstances than Mr. Lucas, but he was very
far from being the only child; a fact well
known to all the gallant beaux and envious
belles in the neighbourhood. His six sisters
were all round, rosy-cheeked damsels, full of
fun and frolic, and not particularly noted for
talent or in any way ambitious of deserving
such notoriety. They were vain of their
personal appearance, and the ready inge-
nuity, the talent for invention, the activity
and resoluteness which characterized them,
was dissipated on vulgar or trivial pursuits.
They had early imbibed a fondness for dis-
play, and they exhibited it in decorating the
house, in their dress, and in all their actions,

but it was a petty kind of vanity, and seldom
spoiled the smile on their lips, or the good
feeling in their hearts. To be sure, they
pouted to display their red, ripe lips, and
frowned just a little, to intimate how their
eyes might sparkle, if they should happen to
got angry; but the cloud never lasted above
five minutes, and they were really generous
and obliging. As for taste and good sense,
people did not look for them in the May's, but
they expected gaiety and mirth, and were
not disappointed. Robert had three sisters
older than himself to pet him, and his pa-
rents, like parents in general, who have but
one son, set them the example, meanwhile
wondering why the little fellow should be so
pale and puny. The sisters cared little for
wintry winds or deep snows on their own
account, but Robert was carefully guarded
against them, until he became old enough
to be ashamed of his girlishness, and throw
aside the cloak and muffler; but even then
he preserved a settled disrelish for active
sports. Perhaps it was this peculiarity, com-
bined with a desire to distinguish himself in
some way among his companions, that led
him to set a higher value on mental attain-

ments, for he had always disputed with Mary
Lucas the title of "best scholar." Robert
May was considered a prodigy of learning by
his parents and sisters, and they had talked
so much to him about being "a great man,"
that he was early convinced his destiny was
a high one. Quiet and studious, none dream-
ed of the ambitious feelings that lay beneath
this modest demeanor, and Mr. Dawson, ob-
serving as he was, suspected them least of any,
and took a peculiar interest in one who was
himself so easily interested. Robert was by
far the most promising of Mr. Dawson's
pupils; for he not only studied, but seemed
to understand and love his studies, and from
the books, which his kind teacher lent him
for perusal in the evening, he gained enlarged
views of life, and much useful information.
Yet he never became sufficiently interested
to forget himself, and never, in moments of
his greatest enthusiasm, did he lose sight
of that future elevation towards which he
believed himself surely advancing. It was
early decided by Mr. May, that Robert
should be a scholar, and so he was allowed
every advantage within their limited means,
and encouraged by praises, and the most


flattering pictures of the proud future. Allen
Lucas had always been rather fond of quiz-
zing Robert, for what he considered his mop-
ishness, and on the other hand, the proud
student regarded with something very like
contempt the careless idler, who thought
more of being able to ride an unbroken colt,
than he would of being qualified to sit in the
presidential chair. They had never quarrelled,
but, the one shy, artful, and selfish, the other
bold, frank, and generous, they were too ut-
terly unlike in character, to be on terms of
intimacy. Even after Allen had overcome
his indolent habits, there were so many points
of difference between them, that, but for Mr.
Dawson's interference, they would never have
been friends. Mr. Dawson was a great pro-
moter of social happiness, and he always en-
deavoured to make his pupils feel how empty,
cold, and unsatisfying, is that heartless enjoy-
ment which results from mere selfish grati-
fication, unattended by kind acts and gener-
ous feelings.
Mary Lucas had no right to the name of
'best scholar;" indeed, her memory was the
only quality that brought her in competition
with Robert, but this often gave her a tem-

porary advantage, which was the basis of her
reputation in school, and made her appear in
his eyes something very like a rival. This
winter, however, changed the face of things,
Mary took a retrograde motion, and the
whilom rivals were the best friends in the
world, at least when a third party was ab-
sent. Mary was much given to low conver-
sations with the grave student in the corner
opposite Allen's, but she sometimes turned
off very suddenly at the sound of a certain
merry voice, for Liph Green (who would
think of calling such a complete embodiment
of mischief Eliphalet 1) had got a new hand-
sled, and a "brand-new" penknife, that would
cut up a quill admirably, and above all, could
write just the most comical three-cornered
notes, that no one but herself had the ingenu-
ity to open. Liph Green was never idle,
every moment was employed, for if nothing
better offered, he could make pewter six-
pences, and wooden jack-knives, but his
lesson was usually the farthest of anything
from his thoughts. No one bent over his
book more assiduously, and no one's lips
moved faster, but there were no words upon
them, and the roguish little eye, over which


the lid drooped so demurely, instead of rest-
ing on the book, stole just a hair's breadth
below it, and watched the motions of the
truant fingers. The employment of those
fingers depended upon the materials with
which their owner supplied himself in the
morning, and never was a pocket so loaded
down with inventions of every kind as his.
For Liph, Robert had the greatest dislike,
even hatred; for he was, like all shy per-
sons, peculiarly susceptible to ridicule, and
the irresistible drollery of the young jester's
manner, and the good humour that was
always evident, even in his practical jokes,
could not atone for the impudence of making
our student the subject of them.
Such were some of the young minds over
which Mr. Dawson exercised control, and
whose whole after course might depend upon
his slightest word or action. To say that
Mr. Dawson was fully conscious of his re-
sponsibilities, with our knowledge of his
character, tells at once a tale of ceaseless and
untiring effort; and to say that he was
amply rewarded by success, proves the ac-
complishment of a vast amount of gold.
Yet he could not lay the spirit of mirth tiat

was bounding in every pulse of Liph Green;
he could not create in Mary Lucas a love for
the labour of thinking; he could not pre-
vent Julia May's eyes wandering from her
book to the showy ribbon about her neck;
and he could not add life to the snail-like
patience of John Smith, who would sit his
six long hours over a lesson in geography,
and then remember but a single fact. There
were Lizzy Parker, as sweet a creature as
ever breathed, and very teachable withal ;
and Fanny Blair, a notable devourer of
books; and Richard Lucas, who, although it
was his first winter at school, evinced sur-
prising quickness; and the amiable Joseph
Warren, so strictly conscientious, and loving
his books, because Mr. Dawson said he ought
to love them, and these relieved the shadow
that his want of success in other cases some-
times cast upon his spirits. Yet of all his
pupils, there was not one in whom he had
such perfect confidence, as Robert May. Per-
haps he loved Allen Lucas better, for there
was a tie between them, that no one who
has never given its first impulse to an im-
mortal nature, and no one who has not been
thus acted upon, can comprehend; yet he


trembled for him, and dreaded to go away,
lest with him should depart his influence
also. But he had no need to fear! Allen
had tried his powers, and he never could
grow weary of exercising them; he had
taken one draught of the waters of know-
ledge, and it had created a life-long thirst;
he had given a little glance to the field
spread out before him, and his heart swelled,
and his hand even now longed to busy it-
self in doing.


TsH winter passed rapidly, and the day
before the school closed, Mr. Dawson sat
down to his desk to tell his last story ; for
the next day's leisure was to be devoted to
advice and leave-taking. Allen Lucas, with
the hair flung back from his full, high fore-
head, his mild, but unshrinking eye fixed
upon the speaker, and his lips parted in the
attitude of a listener, was the most strik-
ing figure of the group; but next him, a

stranger would have turned to Liph Green,
perched high upon a writing desk, the very
position of his foot and curve of his fingers,
to say nothing of the rogue, twinkling in the
corner of either bright eye, and lurking in
every dimple of his face, indicating the
spirit within, and contrasting somewhat
oddly with the stolid figure of John Smith
below. Then there was Julia May, playing
with the soft, flaxen ringlets of Lizzy Parker,
and Joseph Warren, setting a fine example
of attention to the younger boys, who loved
him for his kindness and generosity, and
little Abby Stillman, sitting at Lizzy's feet,
and looking up at her, instead of Mr. Daw-
son, and still beyond and around, rows of
faces of more or less intelligence and beauty.
But there was one, with little about him to
attract attention, who did not lose one word
of the interesting story. A little aside from
the others, with his elbow resting upon the
desk, making the stoop in his shoulders very
conspicuous, and his small, black eye some-
times raised to Mr. Dawson's face, and some-
times falling, as if from sheer habit, upon
a large volume which lay open before him,
tat Robert May, his face growing every mo-


meant more thoughtful, and the pale red spot
in the centre of his cheek deepening, but
with nothing else to betray the ambitious
hopes that were swelling in his bosom. Mr
Dawson observed these tokens of interest,
but he mistook their source, or he would not
have added fuel to the fame that already
burned but too high.
"Of my first teacher," said he, "I have no
recollection, except that he used to pat me
on the head, when I had been good, but
some of my schoolmates I can remember
distinctly. Among these, William Edwards
was my favourite, because he was almost as
big as a man, and always took good care that
none of the little boys should be hurt. He
did not belong to the district, but had come
a weary way for the privilege of attending a
good school, and he found one of a first-rate
order. It was on one of the stormiest days
in January, that a lad, about sixteen years
of age, called at the house of a farmer in the
neighbourhood, and first making particular
inquiries respecting the school, the qualifica-
tions of the teacher, &c., asked to be directed
to a family where he might work for his
board. The stranger ciuld not boast a robust

frame, but he spoke very confidently of his
strength, and so Mr. Gilbert, the old farmer,
concluded to give him a trial. I have some
slight recollection of William Edwards' first
entrance into school, and can distinctly re-
member his calm, manly bearing, when some
thoughtless boys ridiculed his patched and
thread-bare coat. Indeed, I am sorry to say
that he met with more ridicule at first, than
kind consideration for his circumstances. He
heeded it but little, however, and pursued
his studies night and day, with an assi-
duity which would have worn out any one,
not finding variety in active employment.
The fresh morning air cooled the fever of
night study, and the care that he was re-
quired to bestow upon the sheep and cattle,
relieved his mind, and exercised his limbs.
He never spoke of his friends, and when a
little boy once asked where his mother lived,
he pointed one hand upward, and with the
other, dashed off the tear that sprang to his
eye. Questions about his father, he seemed
loath to answer, but the flush on his cheek,
and the drooping of the eye-lid, as if in
shame, when Mr. Gilbert produced the cider
mug, and urged him to drink, sufficiently

betrayed his secret. He said that he had no
home, but when Mr. Gilbert offered him a
place at his table and fireside, he gently re-
fused; and when urged, he proudly answered
that he was no beggar, he would work for
his bread where he could do so, in pursuance
of the plan of life he had marked out for
himself, but he would accept of nothing that
his own hands had not earned. William
Edwards could not have found an individual
better calculated to further his plans than
our teacher, who lent him books, and de-
voted much of his leisure time to him, and
finally recommended him to an academy,
where he might soon be prepared for enter-
ing college. Here he remained about a year,
working his way day by day, and then he
slung his little bundle over his shoulders,
and again went out upon the world a stran-
ger. For years he struggled hard with for-
tune, now within the college walls, engaged
for a term or two in severe study, and now
teaching in some retired place, where his
services were far from being appreciated, and
bending over his books at midnight, striving
to keep up with his class. But his health at
last failed, and for many months he was

confined to a darkened room, and denied the
use of books, and the society of friends.
Then, when he slowly recovered, came a
heavy bill, for the homeless cannot be at-
tended in sickness without money; and so he
taught, and studied, and struggled on, year
after year, and finally the goal was reached :
he graduated, crowned with honours. Dur-
ing all this time, William Edwards had not
been alone; he had found a friend in every
acquaintance, and many, among whom were
the officers of the institution of which he was
a member, regarded his career admiringly.
It was by this means that he easily obtained
a situation in a boy's seminary, but upon
the first vacancy, he gained the offie of
tutor in the college where he was educated,
and was afterwards endowed with a professor-
ship. Since then, his love of active pursuits
has induced him to engage in public affairs,
and," added Mr. Dawson, a smile lighting up
his whole face, there are now but few men
in our country, that can boast a higher
station or prouder honours, than he whose
real name in my little sketch I have thought
proper to conceal under that of William

"He must have had an unusual share of
perseverance," said Allen Lucas, drawing in
his breath, as if fatigued by the mere act ot
listening, I can't see how a man could keep
up his courage so long."
"Perseverance will accomplish wonders,"
said Mr. Dawson; "William Edwards arose
by a constant succession of efforts, some of
them no greater than several of you have
made this winter; decision is necessary in
such cases, for you will always find that it
requires a much greater effort to decide on
the performance of a difficult duty, than
really to perform it; I don't mean by this,
that it is more common to persevere than
resolve, for facts show directly the reverse,
but mountains diminish to mole-hills before
us when, spade in hand, we stand up deter-
mined to level them."
"Then Robert May will have a pretty
easy job of it," whispered Liph Green, loud
enough to be heard perfectly well by every-
body present, and yet with his forefinger
pressed mysteriously to his lips; he decid-
ed on being governor long ago."
Robert May bit his lips, and turned his
back upon the group, muttering, as he took

up one book after another and examined the
title-pages, "he may be more than any ot
you dream." Liph Green, with all his light-
ness and folly, seemed to be endowed with
the gift of second sight, as far as character
was concerned, and it was the consciousness
of being too well known, that made Robert
so exceedingly uncomfortable in his presence,
and added bitterness to his hatred.
"And what is your decision 1" inquired
Mr. Dawson, laughingly.
Mine! 01 hate' great efforts,' and always
look out for the easiest part; so I do diffi-
cult things without deciding."
I am afraid it is the only way you will
ever do anything," Mr. Dawson thought, but
he did not say so, and merely answered,
"Frankly acknowledged, my boy, but this
looking out for the easiest part, never makes
sterling men."
I don't see," said Allen Lucas, how we
boys can decide on what we will be, till we
find out for what we are fit."
You can not," replied Mr. Dawson ; "you
can decide now upon fitting yourselves for
taking a part in the world, and for this every
faculty of body, mind, and heart, requires the


highest cultivation; you can decide that your
lives shall be virtuous, that you will always
support good principles, and make yourselves
useful to your fellow-men; then in a few
years you will decide upon a vocation; but
not until you are old enough to discover what
is best adapted to your characters, tastes, and
circumstances. Nothing so injures a man's
stability and firmness of character, as decid-
ing this matter when too young, and making
a mistake."
Well, I shall be a farmer," said a hale,
stout, square-shouldered fellow, who looked
as though the flail and sythe would be mere
toys in his hands.
"I think-I should like-to be a-a school-
master," remarked Joseph Warren, with
much timidity, and casting a furtive glance
at Mr. Dawson, as if to discover whether
such a predilection was considered too great
I mean to be a circus-rider," said Liph
Green, springing from the desk like a
monkey, and vaulting on the one oppo-
"Liph!" "Why Liph Green!" were the
iinultaneous exclamations.

Circu-riders are very bad men," re-
marked Mr. Dawson, seriously.
No, a sailor-I would rather be a sailor,
after all-now see me climb the shrouds,"
and much more to hide his confusion than
display his activity, he caught hold of the
bell-rope and disappeared in the loft.
Poor boy I" sighed Mr. Dawson involun-
He don't mean it, sir," said Allen Lucas,
in a low tone; it is all fun, and he is one
of the best hearted boys in the world. He'll
be steadier when he gets older."
Mr. Dawson looked up with a pleased
smile, but he was more encouraged for the
pleader, than him for whom he pled; for
Allen observed that the next moment he
shook his head sorrowfully. Our young
student had looked sufficiently into the
future, to understand the source of this sor-
row; and from that time forth, as if to re-
pay the kindness that the school-master had
shown to him, he exercised the care of an
elder brother over his wild and reckless
The last day of school is usually made up
of smiles and tears. Even those who have

anticipated it with the greatest pleasure, are
the first to weep at the reality; for then
comes a full realization of past enjoyments-
all past-little associations broken up-the
connecting links between young hearts
marred, if not dissevered. The school-boy
does not say all this, but he feels it, and
hence his sadness; yet he knows little of
disappointment, he thinks upon the change,
and hence the counteracting joy. He would
not tell you so, but he feels that the brother-
ly tie between him and his school-mates, is
a brotherly one no longer, and during the
summer, when they meet in the field, or by
the road-side, there will be an awkward shy-
ness between them, for the summer school,
being for the little ones, does not gather
them all into one family again. But sadder
than usual, and much more quiet, was the
last day of the school at the Corners this
winter. Mr. Dawson was loved and respect-
ed by his pupils; he was not above the
weakness of feeling himself, and feeling is
very infectious. Some of the older boys,
who thought it beneath their dignity to show
anything like softness of heart, put a bold
face upon the matter, and although almost

choked with the effort of keeping down a
something, that felt very much like a nut-
meg grater in the throat, they did keep it
down, until Mr. Dawson's voice showed that
he too was suffering under the same inflic-
tion, and even then they did not wholly
yield, till his face was entirely lost in the
folds of his pocket-handkerchief. Then there
was such a time! Oh, you never saw the
like and poor Lizy Parker-how she sobbed,
until it seemed as though her little heart
would break, and how Allen Lucas, with a
self-control quite new to him, comforted her,
telling her that Mr. Dawaon had promised to
write him letters, and she should see every
one of them. And then how gentle and
sorrowful Mr. Daween's face looked, when
the handkerchief was taken away; how soft
and low was his voice, and how affectionate
the very touch of his hand, as he bade them all
good-bye. Then each, without a whisper, pass-
ed slowly out the door, and the faithful teacher
was left alone, to review the past, and to feel
that the book was sealed, that notone line could
be dashed out or added to its pages. Thrilling
thought to him, who is acquitted by conscience,
but to the self-condemned how awful I



THS spring is a busy time with farmers, and
Allen Lucas found but little leisure to devote
to his books, after leaving school. He arose
early in the morning, as he had always been
taught, but the whole family were up as
early, and this was no time for study. As
soon as breakfast was dispatched, each re-
paired to his station in the field, from whence
he was called only by the dinner horn, and
then he again returned, and continued his
labour till sunset. Guiding the plough, or
laying fence all the day long, meanwhile
breathing the cool, pure air of spring, is
doubtless healthful employment, but one
who has been thus employed, until every
limb and muscle feels the consequent fatigue,
is ill fitted for mental labour; and it must
be a high purpose that will prevent his seek-
ing that rest, which to the labouring man is
so sweet. When Allen sat down in the
house at night, he felt a drowsiness creeping
over him, and then it required his strongest

effort to turn to his school-books. Every
Saturday night he trudged off to the village,
to look for letters from Mr. Dawson, and it
was a proud moment to the whole family
when one of these arrived. After the first
letter, came a pamphlet, treating of different
soils, and a variety of other things connected
with farming, and this aroused Allen's in-
terest, which had begun to flag, giving new
employment to his evenings, and supplying
him with subjects of thought during the day.
He compared his own observations with
what he read, and talked over these subjects
with his father and brothers, and often asked
the old men of the neighbourhood questions,
gathering from their conversation much
practical knowledge. Next, Mr. Dawson
sent a small treatise on geology; it con-
tained only the first rudiments of the science,
but it was very useful to Allen, for he carried
out the subject beyond the information given
in the book, raising the cover of the green
sod upon the hill-side, and reading the lesson
as God stamped it there. That summer,
Allen felt that a new world was around, and
a new sky above him; his soul was animated
by new emotions, his mind was unshackled,


and his eye unsealed. He discovered that
earth is one vast book, and every page of it
presents a lesson rich in its simplicity, yet
reading on, on, to infinity ; its simplest thesis
limitless and incomprehensible. Allen had
been awakened to the study of this vast book
by looking into those made by men ; and he
knew that he needed all the aid which they
could give in comprehending it, yet he loved
to study this the best.
When the next winter came, Allen was
better prepared to appreciate the blessings
which it brought, and he entered upon his
studies with a high relish. Mr. Dawson's
successor was well versed in all he professed
to understand, and fully qualified to teach,
not only the branches required in a district
school, but many higher ones. With the
whole theory of teaching he was familiar,
and having an agreeable address, and a
polished exterior, he promised to equal, if
not excel, his predecessor. In childhood, he
had attended a school much like that at the
Corners, but afterwards, his parents remov-
ing to town, he had received instruction in
an academy, designed expressly for boys.
Here he had made no mean use of his time

and opportunities; and in consequence, had
gained an education superior to the gener-
ality of young men in his circumstances.
Emerging from this school, and without a
definite object in view, he had turned to
teaching, as the most respectable and lucra-
tive manner of filling up this niche of time,
and had found his way to the Corners,
where, by under-bidding Mr. Dawson, he
obtained his situation.
Mr. Leonard did not conceal his object in
teaching, and professed to believe no man
would pursue such a calling but for money,
pronouncing all who professed a higher mo-
tive, hypocrites. He was not idle, during
the six hours a day which he had engaged to
devote to his school, but when they were
over, he felt like a freed prisoner, and, turn-
ing as soon as possible to other subjects, did
not allow the duties of the day to trouble his
thoughts till nine the next morning. The
difference between the two teachers was felt
by the whole school: it was evident, even to
the dullest, that Mr. Leonard did not care for
their actual advancement, that he was more
pleased to see the hand of his watch pointing
at four, than to hear the best lesson that ever


was learned; and soon, the most of the chil-
dren grew listless and idle. Mr. Leonard
was, however, strictr in some respects than
Mr. Dawson; for it is much less trouble to
flog a boy than to reason with him ; and the
latter mode of treatment is generally of suf-
ficient efficacy to exact obedience. Physical
strength should be the last resort in govern-
ment, for although a very convincing mode
of argument to the weak, the truths thus
inculcated are strangely evanescent Mr.
Leonard would have been the gainer, as well
as his pupils, if he had chosen to exert his
moral power instead, but he adopted the
course that seemed easiest for himself, and
poor Liph Green was not the only sufferer.
Mr. Dawson had always made a wide dis-
tinction between errors resulting from acci-
dent or carelessness, and those which evinced
a lack of principle; but Mr. Leonard had no
severer punishment for a deliberate falsehood,
than for an involuntary laugh. Poor Lizzy
Parker, whom nobody had ever found guilty
of intentional offence, was one day convicted
of whispering, and obliged to sit one whole
hour on a block of wood, like a criminal in
the stocks, because she had ventured to take

the head of a little girl, crying from home-
sickness, upon her lap, and attempt to soothe
her. How her face glowed with shame, and
drooped upon her bosom, as she found her-
self subjected to the same punishment, and
seated beside a rude, coarse girl, who in a fit
of passion, had struck a little sister in the
face. Lizzy never broke a rule again; yet
her loving heart had received a check that
frightened, though it could not chill it.
Simple and guileless, she trembled at her
own kind feelings, supposing there must be
something wrong in exercising them, and yet
impelled to do so by their irresistible strength.
But the influence, which on the gentle Lizzy
was only temporary, was differently felt by
others. The older scholars were indignant;
for the sweet child, who never thought of
herself while anything remained to be done
for others, was under the particular care and
protection of each member of the school;
and no one could be injured half so easily in
person as through Lizzy Parker. The older
scholars lost confidence in Mr. Leonard,
and the younger ones confounded the two
offences, and lost the distinction between
actual wrong done from a bad motive, and a


trivial error, made error by circumstances
and the result of mere thoughtlessness. Yet
Mr. Leonard was not a cruel man, he never
punished unmercifully, and he would have
been shocked at the idea of breaking down
the distinction between right and wrong, or
between pardonable folly and actual crime.
Liph Green improved but little this winter
in knowledge, and still less in moral strength.
His volatile spirits continually carried him to
extremes, and between rejoicing over a new
resolution, and breaking an old one, he re-
ceived floggings enough to tame any nature
that was tameable. Though his feelings, ex-
citable as the mercury of the thermometer,
indicated the state of the moral atmosphere
about him, yet the wild partridge is not more
free and tameless, than was the boy, who,
even while suffering for one of his ridiculous
freaks, could not resist the opportunity to
perform another. Under Mr. Leonard's in-
structions, Mary Lucas regained some of her
lost reputation, and Robert May made rapid
progress, for he needed books more than an
instructor, and the opportunity to study more
than assistance in his studies. This was very
much the case with Allen Lucas, also; yet

he often felt the need of that sympathy for
the pleasures as well as difficulties of his pur-
suits, which, as it was no part of his contract,
Mr. Leonard did not feel himself bound to
accord. Perhaps the self-dependence which
Allen was obliged to exercise this winter,
strengthened his character; but Robert May
did not need it, for he had already too little
sympathy with others. Mr. Leonard, how-
ever, was a competent teacher, as far as in-
struction was concerned; and as Allen had
imbibed a fondness for mathematical sciences,
he made such a beginning as enabled him
afterwards to pursue them without assist-
How I wish Mr. Dawson was here to tell
us a story !" said Liph Green, one day after
the morning school had closed.
Mr. Leonard would tell one, I dare say,
if he didn't go home to dinner," replied
Mary Lucas.
It is lucky for us that he does go," an-
swered Liph ; if he was here, we shouldn't
have the privilege of speaking a loud word."
"Well, I wish Mr. Dawson was here all
the time," said Julia May, pouting her rosy
lip, he always let me make figures on Ro-


bert's slate after I'd learned my leson, and
used to tell me sometimes that they were
almost as handsome as Robert's."
"And he didn't ca~ you up, did he, Julia 1"
said little Abby Stillman, looking coaxingly
into her face, as if to say, see how sorry I
am that Mr. Leonard did."
"No, indeed, he didn't call me up for such
a little thing as marking on a slate-Mr.
Dawson wouldn't do that."
He would, if marking on a slate was
against the rule," said Mary.
But he wouldn't make such a silly rule,"
was the reply.
"For my part I think it is a very good
rule," said Mary, who was freed from the
observance of it by studying arithmetic; I
don't see what all the little girls want of
I am almost as old as you are," said
Julia, drawing up her shoulders with a
wonderful attempt at dignity; but before
she could proceed farther, she was inter-
rupted by Allen Lucas.
I think they are of a great deal of use,
Mary, and I wish all the younger children in
school had them. It is a good way of em-

playing their time ; for they cannot study to
much advantage, and they get very tired and
forget almost as much as they learn, when
confined to their books constantly. Then
they make by this means a good beginning
in writing."
"Then you would have them all scribble
on a slate, I suppose," interrupted Mary,
"whether Mr. Leonard allows it or not.'
"Oh no, Mr. Leonard sees both sides of
the question, and we only one, so we cannot
tell how many good reasons he has for act-
ing as he does. At any rate, he has a right
to make as many rules of that kind as he
chooses, and we ought to obey them."
Of course you'll say so," said Julia, pet-
tishly, "for you can make as many figures
as you please."
And sometimes more," said Allen laugh-
ing. "But it is of no use, Julia, to complain
of Mr. Leonard, and find fault with his rules,
and it only makes us unhappy. We couldn't
expect to find another Mr. Dawson, and
whoever comes to teach, or whatever he
does, we must take care that our part is well
done, and then we shall never suffer much


"I don't think that Lizzy Parker was a
bit to blame, when Mr. Leonard made her
sit on the dunce-block," interrupted one of
the older girls. Allen hesitated, for he did
not like to condemn Lizzy Parker, but he
soon cleared his voice and proceeded. "Lizzy
was not to blame, for she didn't think any-
thing about the rule, but her whispering was
a violation of it, and Mr. Leonard was bound
by his word to punish her."
But," continued the girl, what use was
there in making such a promise I Mr. Daw-
son never did."
"No, Mr. Dawson made the punishment
discretionary, and that was doubtless the
best way ; but it caused him a great deal of
"Why, I am sure he kept as orderly a
school as we have now."
"Yes, but he used to inquire into every-
thing that was wrong, and find out all about
it; and that must have been a very difficult
task, and taken up a great deal of time."
"Mr. Dawson never was afraid of his
time," said another of the boys, and would
have staid in the school-house all night, if he
could have helped anybody by the means.

But Mr. Leonard must clear the house at
four o'clock, and the minute the last boy
gets out he follows and locks the door."
"Well, one thing I know," said Liph
Green; I can cheat Mr. Leonard, and will,
every time I can get a chancee"
"Cheat him 1 how 1"
"Why, he don't believe a word I say, so
there is no use in telling him whether I did
a thing or not. If he catches me at it, he
will whip me, and if he don't I will have the
fun of cheating him."
How do you know he don't believe
you 1"
"Why he don't believe any of us; he
asks questions, and tries to make us cross
ourselves, and yesterday when I got so
sleepy, and promised I wouldn't step my foot
out of the shed if he would let me go and
cut wood, I could see him peeping out the
window every time I stopped for breath, as
though he thought I would be gone. I de-
clare I'd a great mind to run with all my
Why didn't you 1" asked Julia May.
"And so prove him in the right," said


I did scare him somo, making motions,
and I stopped so often to make him come to
the window, that at last he called me in."
So you gained vastly by searing him, as
you tell about," sid Allen.
Yes, but I'll make up another time. I
can look on my book and whisper, and he
never would find me out in the world. I
didn't dare do that when Mr. Dawson was
here, for you know he always asked at night,
and denying it would be a downright lie;
but Mr. Leonard never thinks of asking, be-
cause he says boys are not to be believed.
Oh, I can cheat him in a thousand ways."
Well, what good will it do you 1" asked
Lizzy Parker.
"It will be serving him right"
"But it will do you no good," said Allen
seriously, and, even if you wished it, which
I am sure you do not, him no harm. I own
that it is not pleasant to be watched every
minute as though we couldn't be trusted, but
that is no reason why we should make our-
selves unworthy of trust. Let us remember
what Mr. Dawson used to tell us so often,
that our actions here will have an influence
which we shall carry out into the world with

us; and when we act we should not merely
decide what will serve our present purpose,
annoy this person or please that one, but
what is right, and will help to fit us for the
part we shall have to act in the world. Just
think of it, Liph-you must neglect your
books to deceive Mr. Leonard, act against
your conscience, and in the end gain nothing
but evil; for such a course would make you
sly, artful, and false, and neither you nor I
can tell where it would end."
How well you remember what Mr. Daw-
son said !" answered Liph, "now I had for-
gotten every word about it ; but you are
right, I know, and I wish I could be so good
and sober. It is such fun to plague Mr.
Leonard though!"
Conversations like the foregoing were very
common in school this winter, and they were
not without a good tendency, for the influence
of Mr. Dawson's precepts was not lost, and
there was a self-rectifying principle at work
in some minds, that communicated itself to
others, and if it could not reform, did much
to check the dangerous feelings and princi-
ples, that otherwise would have gained the



TRE ensuing summer, as Allen was older
and more trustworthy, he was allowed many
privileges that he had not before enjoyed;
and he found that by laying out his work
regularly, and paying great regard to punctu-
ality and order, he could gain a great deal of
time for study. This time, as may well be
supposed, was not wasted. He now read a
great many books, particularly those recom-
mended by Mr. Dawson, with whom he still
kept up a correspondence, and whose hints
were invaluable. Robert May, much to the
expense of his sisters' ribbons and laces, was
sent away to a seminary of learning, and
poor Liph Green, light as his spirit had ever
been, was well nigh sunken in troubles.
Close by the creek, or rivers it was usu-
ally designated, and nearly a quarter of a
mile from the road-side, was a pile of logs,
flung together something in the shape of a
house, with a little enclosure on one side,
bounded by a zigzag fence, closely resem-

bling an old fashioned mammoth bow, round-
ing out from the crown of a bonnet. There
was but one window in the house, and that
had no glass in it, but was covered with a
white muslin cloth during the day, and
boarded up at night, if the weather was cold,
but if not, it was left open. The floor was
made of loose boards, that rattled at every step
in summer, but in winter they were carefully
corked with old rags. The door was low and
narrow and everything about the premises
had such a diminutive appearance, that this
might have been mistaken for a residence
belonging to the famous Lilliputians. In the
enclosure before mentioned, were, at the
proper season for them, a few hills of beans,
a few more of potatoes, a little bed contain-
ing beets and carrots, then beyond these
some young cabbage plants, and mingling
here and there, might have been discovered
the whitish green leaves of the poppy, and
now and then a bursting bud arose or a crim-
son blossom flaunted in the morning sun, and
cast its honours to the earth at evening.
Close by the door, a thrifty bean vine had
been trained upward, till it had reached the
eaves, and on the other side was a cluster of


hollyhocks; and still further along, arose
some giant sunflowers, towering high, and
wagging their heads to every breeze, as if in
mockery of the seeming toys around them.
A little while before this rude dwelling-
place was constructed, a poor creature had
come to the Corners, with a baby in her arms,
and leading by the hand a little boy, who
clung to her side and hid his face in her
gown when strangers were near, but bounded
before her like a playful kitten, turning back
now and then to laugh and clap his hands in
the face of the baby, as soon as they were
out again in the free streets. She told a sad
story. She spoke of plenty and happiness
in a far-of land, of the restless spirit which
had made this seem not enough, then of a
dreary voyage across the seas to a goal that
to her unenlightened imagination was an
earthly paradise, of folding him who had
guided her thither in his shroud, and laying
him in a stranger's grave, and then of an-
guish, followed by want and loneliness, by
sickness and anxiety, until the bitterness of
death was passed, and nothing but thoughts
of her children prevented her from lying
down beside her husband and ending her

sufferings there. But these kept the moth-
er's heart from breaking, and she had toiled
along from door to door, bearing her infant
on her bosom, until at last she had penetrat-
ed into the heart of the country. She did
not beg for anything but work, and though
the people at the Corners were little accus-
tomed to having their labour performed by
others, they could not resist the eloquence of
real sorrow, and poor Mrs. Green went from
house to house washing and ironing, and per-
forming many other services in which the
wives and daughters of the farmers were by
no means ashamed to join. But sometimes
she had nothing do, and then of necessity she
had nowhere to stay, so some kind-hearted
men of the neighbourhood concluded to roll
together some logs from the hills, and give
the stranger a home. The spot by the river's
side was selected because the materials might
be more easily conveyed thither, and as it
was much more picturesque than a place by
the dusty road, the poor widow gained in
tastefulness what she lost in convenience.
But once settled in her humble abode she
cared little for inconveniences, and soon her
cheerful temper triumphed over all her sor-

rows, and merry as the lark that she always
saw rise from his nest in the morning, she
caroled her songs all through the day, and
at night lay down beside her two children,
contented and happy. She did not suffer
from cold nor hunger, for the broken wood
from the neighboring forests kept her fire
blazing brightly, and she earned enough by
her labour to obtain decent support for her-
self and children. The eldest of these chil-
dren, the fun-loving Liph Green, was old
enough to be useful in a variety of ways ;
and little Nannie in one, at least, for the
pretty lisper drew the neighboring children
to the hut by the river-side, and their mirth
served to beguile its mistress of many a weari-
some hour. Thus passed almost two happy
years, happy enough to be envied by some of
the most favoured children of fortune, but
before the last was completed, there opened
upon the earth a beautiful spring ; the trees
budded, the birds came back- to their old
haunts, and the strong winds died away into
gentle breezes, but these were all unnoticed
by poor Liph Green. Alas! that childhood
should not be exempt from sorrows I Heavy
indeed must have been the burden that could

make a young heart unmindful of the beauti-
ful things of this bright earth, and benumb-
ing the influence that could quiet the pulses,
in which the tide, bursting from the foun-
tain of a joyous heart, coursed but too ra-
Mrs. Green had gone out one warm spring
morning thinly clad, and before night, the
the sun was hidden, a slow, drizzling rain de-
scended, and the wind grew cold and piero-
ing, but she was unconscious of the change,
until made aware of it by the chill that made
her whole frame shiver, on emerging from
Mr. Smith's heated kitchen. She, however,
hurried home as fast as possible, thinking all
the time of the blazing fire upon her humble
hearth ; but this time Liph had neglected his
duty, and not a fragment of the broken wood,
which he usually obtained from the adjoining
fields had been gathered. Covering his sleep-
ing sister with a rug, he had seated himself
on the hearth beside her, and was straining
his eyes over the few glowing embers, to
shape the arms of a miniature wind-mill,
with which he intended to astonish his mother
the next morning.
Are you cold mother 1" he inquired as


she crouched beside him on the hearth, and
then, without waiting for an answer, he drew
the few coals together, and, crossing the pine
sticks upon which he had bestowed so much
labour, over them, he ran out the door, and
soon returned with a heavy armful of wood.
But the rain that had fallen, had made every-
thing too wet to burn; so poor Mrs. Green
was obliged to go to bed wet and cold, with
no unusual share of covering to atone for lack
of fire. In the morning when she attempted
to rise her flushed face and blood-shot eye
alarmed poor Liph, and when he saw her fall
across the foot of the bed, and laugh, and shriek,
and jabbar unintelligible things, and sing
wild snaches of songs, that he had never heard
her sing before, he took little Nannie in his
arms, and without daring to look behind him,
ran with all his might to the nearest dwell-
ing, screaming at every step, that his mother
was going to die, and he had killed her.
Mrs. Green was sick only two days, but dur-
ing that time she had the kindest of treat-
ment, and as much attention as the wealth-
iest in the neighbourhood could have com-
manded; for her cheerfulness, her good-hum-
our and faithfulness, had gained her many

friends, and even if it had not been so, this
was not a place where the poor were left to
suffer. But no care can stay the failing breath,
when the spirit has been called away, and
soon the mother of poor Liph Green was
stretched cold and still upon the bed, with
her icy hands folded on her breast, her white
lips moveless, and her eyelids pressed down
by weights under the glazed lid beneath.
Little Nannie clambered up by the old chair
that stood beside the bed, to kiss her, and
went whimpering away because her kiss was
not returned ; and the passionate Liph, be-
side himself with grief, sobbed and shrieked
aloud, telling every one that spoke to him, it
was his own work, he had done it all. Liph
Green never thought of his own fate, or little
Nannie's, when he saw his mother laid in the
grave, and all that night and the succeeding
day, some one of the kind neighbours staid at
the hut and took care of them, but finally,
they began to talk of removing the children,
and spoke to each other in whispers, of which
poor Liph could only guess the meaning.
He soon, however, found that they talked of
removing him and his little sister to the
county poor-house, and he told them he


would not go, be would not be shut up in
that dreary building, when he could work
for his bread, and he would go hungry and
cold, and take his earnings to support little
Nannie, before he would part from her ; at
any rate, he would try, and if he failed, they
would starve together. Allen Lucas encour-
aged Liph in this determination, and went
all over the neighbourhood in search of some-
body to take charge of the helpless little one,
who laughed and prattled, all unconscious of
her lot. It was towards evening that the
two boys, each holding a hand of Nannie,
ventured to stop under the trees that shaded
the door of Mr. Moreton, an English gentle-
man, who had within a few weeks purchased
the corner farm opposite Mr. Smith'a They
knew little of Mr. Moreton, except the name
and the few other unimportant particulars
that country neighbours will always glean;
but they had seen no little children on the
premises, and so concluded that he could not
make the objection urged by others to receiv-
ing poor Nannie. While they were hesitating
whether to make the application, they were
accosted by a fine, intelligent looking man,
and Liph entered at once upon his sad story.

He spoke with the simple pathos of true feel
ing while the unconscious Nannie put out her
dimpled hands to catch the tears that rolled
from his cheek, or played with the crape
about her own neck, and, before he had finish-
ed, the gentleman had drawn nearer, and
placed his hand upon her curly head, holding
with the other the head of his cane for her
inspection. It needed only a few words from
Allen Lucas to make Liph's account intelli-
gible, and Mr. Moreton, who seemed to feel
a deep interest in the orphans, perhaps more
so for being their countryman, promised Liph
that while he made himself useful, neither of
them should want a home. Oh how grateful
was poor Liph Green for such a promise!
and how he hugged little Nannie, and laugh-
ed and wept at the same moment, and talked
of his mother and of the poor-house, and then
threw up his arms and boasted of his strength,
and declared he would work as long as he
lived, for whoever took care of Nannie. The
family of Mr. Moreton consisted only of him-
self, his wife, and a widowed sister, and so
the pretty child was a welcome inmate, and
would have been spoiled by the two ladies,
if she had not possessed that happy elasticity


of temperament, that makes all dangerous
influences rebound perfectly harmless. As
for Liph, he could not carry a clouded heart
in the midst of so much sunshine ; so though
he went often to his mother's grave and wept
over it, yet he was usually as joyous as ever,
and often made the walls of the farm-house
ring with his merry shout. Allen Lucas
loved Liph Green as a brother, and went
often to his new home to see him, and Liph
told so much of the wondrous knowledge of
lih. young friend, and Allen was always so
modest and sensible, that Mr. Moreton re-
garded him with no small degree of interest,
and often joined in the discussions of the two
boys for the mere purpose of drawing out
his talents. He soon discovered the bent of
Allen's mind, and brought him books from
his own library, the contents of which were
eagerly devoured ; and after awhile, the li-
brary door was thrown open, and Allen pass-
ed in and out, as though it had been his own.
Mr. Moreton's library contained a choice
selection of books, and Allen. after touching
upon a few lighter things, turned to the Eng-
lish classics, and entered at once upon a new
and a glorious field. By slow degrees, his

mind had been prepared for just such works
as these, and it is no strange thing, if the
plough and hoe were a very little neglected,
and the pillow sometimes untouched, as his
whole soul was absorbed in his new pursuits.
But after awhile he received a letter from
Mr. Dawson, warning him against the state
of feverish excitement which his mind be-
trayed, and with a strong effort, he calmed
himself, read less and thought more, and
finally became as orderly and industrious as
he had ever been. The winter following,
Allen Lucas did not attend school, for he
found that he could learn more in Mr. More-
ton's library; and as that gentleman had dis-
covered Liph Green's peculiarities, he was
glad of the opportunity thus offered to carry
on his education without exposing him to
temptation. At first Allen overlooked Liph's
lessons, and studied with him, but every day
he became more and more interested in his
task, and before another spring, he was duly
installed in the office of private tutor to his
heedless friend, and little Nannie.



"Seventeen years old to-day I" said Allen
Lucas, as he seated himself on a large stone,
half embedded in the thick golden moss, and
the other half extending out into the water.
For nearly three years he had spent most of
his time in Mr. Moreton's family, devoting
only the early morning to labour on his fa-
ther's farm, and an hour each evening to the
instruction of his little brothers, but now,
Liph was to throw aside the books which he
did not love, and Nannie was old enough to
require other teachers. Allen sat for a long
time, resting his forehead on his folded hands;
then breaking a fragment from the stone, he
threw it into the stream, and gazed intently
on the bubbles that rose to the surface and
disappeared." "Very like, very like !" he
muttered, rising with a half impatient ges-
ture, then slowly shaking his head and com-
pressing his lips, he stood gazing down upon
the waters, as they glided smoothly over the
white sand, or leaped, and foamed, and spar.

kled in miniature anger, when they met with
an obstruction. "Seventeen years !" he re-
peated musingly, "and in seventeen more I
shall be a man, my character formed, my
habits fixed, my destiny in this world de-
cided-a busy man in this busy world in-
dependent of control or guidance, doing what-
ever I list, and answerable for everything.
Thirty-four years the very meridian of life,
the time when men most glory in their
strength and power! as many more years
will bring me to this, or-" Allen's tongue
faltered with the alternative, but his eye
wandered across the adjoining field to a green
spot of earth newly encircled by its simple
white fence, and already pillowing two or
three who but a year since walked forth
among the living. The face of the youth
grew solemn, but not sad, as his thoughts
took a different course, and dwelt for a mo-
ment on his own dissolution. But the being
whose foot is just pressing upon the verge
of proud manhood, whose every pulse bounds
with a consciousness of strength, and whose
veins thrill with the rushing of the red
life-current within, can not long listen to
thoughts of death and the grave ; he knows,

but he can not fed, that the strong arm and
the true foot will ere long fail him, and that
the thoughts and feelings, which raise him
above the other living things he sees around,
will go away, and leave the form in which
he nowglories,lessthan the idiot, less than the
reptile crawling at his foot, in no wise supe-
rior to the coffin which contains it, and the
mould with which it shortly mingles. Allen's
eye rested for a moment upon the humble
church-yard, and his thoughts upon the
grave, and his own dissolution, but it was
only for a moment, and he again repeated,
"a man I a busy man !--ay, I will be a
busy and a useful one."
So wrapt had the youth been in his mus-
ings that he did not hear a quiet step, nor
know that any one was near, until a light
hand was laid upon his shoulder, and a voice
low and melodious, but strangely cold, said,
I have been at your house looking for you
-whete have you been hiding all day ?"
The speaker was a tall stripling, with a
frame very unlike the muscular one beside
him, a step light and undecided, a small,
white hand, and stooping shoulders. His
face, but for its extreme pallor, would have

been handsome; his forehead was broad
and already marked with scarce perceptible
lines that a few years would in all proba-
bility cut into deep wrinkles, his eyes were
deep-set, bright, black, and piercing, his
mouth small and feminine, and his thin lips,
when not speaking, were always drawn close
together with an expression particularly un-
I have been very idle to-day," was Allen's
reply, as he again seated himself upon the
stone. Come sit down, Robert, and I will tell
you what I have been thinking about. A
fine seat this, and handsomely cushioned," he
added, pressing his hand on the soft moss.
I suppose you have been thinking of the
one grand subject," said Robert May; "it
wouldn't require a magician to read either of
our thoughts at present."
S"Do you know that this is my birth-
day 1" asked Allen.
"No, I leave such matters to Aunt Biddy,"
said Robert, sneeringly.
"But our ages are so near the same that
we can always tell each other's by our own
-three weeks ago yesterday, you were se-


Shall you be ready to enter college with
me 1" asked Robert impatiently.
Then you have decided on going 1"
"Yes, that was a settled point long ago,
but I have been fretted to death in making
the arrangements-no books, no money, no
nothing. I declare it makes me angry when
I see rich people wasting their thousands-
what under the sun is Mr. Moreton to do
with that Liph Green 1"
"Liph is a pretty good scholar for such
a happy, don't-care sort of a fellow as he
is, but he lacks application, and Mr. More-
ton thinks it is best to cast him on his
own resources for a while. He has pur-
chased a large tract of western land, and
Liph is to earn his title to it by cultivat-
ing it."
Cultivating land I but no matter, it will
be all one to him. Cobbler or statesman-^
he never would know the difference."
"You do Liph injustice," said Allen, warm-
ly, "he lacks strength and stability of cha-
racter, but he has correct views of life-at
least Mr. Moreton thinks so-and there is so
much romance in his disposition, that he will
always move in a sunny little world of his

own, and find beauty in what to others is
stale and common-place."
"Very likely," said Robert, sarcastically,
"and for that reason, I would advise him to
be a cobbler. He could sing at his stall all
day long, happy as cobblers always are, and
make himself very useful too, undoubtedly."
Far more useful than those who despise
him !" said Allen indignantly.
Robert was about to retort, when there
came a short, musical laugh, from the wild
cherry-tree above their heads, the leaves
rustled, and a shower of white blossoms
descended upon the ground and stream, and
then an agile figure came swinging down
upon one of the branches, and dropped him-
selfat Allen's feet. Both of the conversa-
tionists were startled a little by the unex-
expected vision, both attempted to speak,
stammered, coloured, and were silent.
"Oh, go on," said the new comer, "don't
let me interrupt any sport-pick up the
glove, Bob. Ha, ha! an interesting subject
for young gentlemen to fall out and quarrel
"Not a very important one, Liph, to be
sure," said Allen Lucas, smiling, and laying

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