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upon him ?
Dob. Very true, he did so; but it was afterwards found that old Scrouge, the usurer, had a lien upon them for fifty pounds, and he has taken possession. Sir Rob. What! has that old harpy got his fangs
Well, I will see to that. I must relieve the poor fellow's distress. Read on.
Dob. The curate's horse is dead.
Dob. Yes there is to a man who must go thirty miles, every Sunday, to preach three sermons for thirty pounds a year.
Sir Rob. What is the name of that black pad that I purchased last Tuesday, at Tunbridge ?
Sir Rob. Send Ethiope to the curate, and tell him to work the nag as long as he lives. Send a good saddle and bridle too. Read on. What else?
Dob. Somewhat out of the common. There is one Lieutenant Worthington, a disabled officer, come to lodge at Farmer Harrowby's, in the village. He is poor, it seems, but more proud than poor, and more honest than proud.
Fred. That sounds like a noble character.
Dob. He would see you hanged first! Harrowby says, the lieutenant would sooner die than ask any man for a shilling. There are his daughter, and his dead wife's aunt, and an old corporal. He keeps them all on half pay.
Sir Rob. Starves them all, I am afraid, Humphrey.
Fred. Good morning, uncle.
Sir Rob. And what may you be going to say to him ?
Fred. I can't tell till I encounter him; and then, uncle, when I have by the hand one who is disabled in his country's service, and struggling to support his motherless child, and a poor relation, and a faithful servant, in honorable indigence, impulse will supply me with words to express my sentiments.
Sir Rob. Stop, you rogue. I must be before you in this business.
Fred. That depends upon who can fastest. .
So, start fair, uncle. Here goes! Sir Rob. Stop! Why, Frederic !
A jackanapes, to take my department out of my hands! I'll disinherit the dog for his assurance.
Dob. No, you won't.
Sir Rob. Won't I? But I— we will argue that point as we go.
Come along, Humphrey.
ONCE a white rosebud reared her head,
Take that which better suits thy mind,
THE CRICKET A MUSICIAN.
1. With the cricket, I suppose all my young readers are well acquainted. He is a citizen of almost every place, and is well spoken of and respected by almost every body. Indeed, he is a general favorite, both in summer and winter, among the old and the young.
2. In summer, he takes to the fields, and amuses himself with a country life. Then beneath hedges, in stone walls, and under stumps, he is as happy as the day is long. In winter, he betakes himself to more secure and warmer quarters.
3. In this inclement season, he loves to creep in about fireplaces and under hearth stones; and in the long winter evenings, when the storm is raging without, or the cold is so severe as almost to nip your nose and fingers off, he will keep up his music by the hour together. He then “takes no note of time," and sometimes sits up all night "as merry as a cricket.”
4. But though my young readers have seen the cricket, and listened to his music so often, I very much doubt whether half of them can tell how he makes it. People generally speak of the cricket's singing; though I should prefer to use the word chirping
5. It is not commonly known whether his music is vocal or instrumental, and though the matter is not very important, it is still pleasant and interest
ing to be acquainted with the facts in the case. So if there be no objection, I will give you a little narrative, which will illustrate the subject.
6. Many years ago, when I was not larger than some of the little boys now reading this article, my attention was one day attracted, in crossing a field, by the loud, shrill music of a cricket, at no great distance from me. There were many others as merry as he, around me; but the music of the one of which I speak, surpassed all the rest.
7. He obviously stood preëminent in his art, and I thought him a professor. I was delighted to hear him, but was at the same time seized with an unaccountable desire to him perform. I was curious to know how a little cricket could make so much noise, and make it so constantly.
8. I resolved, therefore, if the thing were possible, to have a sight of him, and get at his secret. In carrying this resolution into effect, I took two or three steps towards the place, where I judged him to be, in the immediate vicinity of a half-rotted stump. But
my musician was not fond of human auditors, and ceased at once.
9. This showed me that, with all his skill and excellence, he was also modest. He was not a public professor, but only an amateur, who played or sung (for this matter was not yet decided) for the gratification of private circles, and did not wish to appear in public.
10. I waited patiently for several minutes, without stirring a foot, or even breathing aloud. At last my musician commenced again. This time I was more cautious, and succeeded in getting two or three yards nearer to him, when suddenly he stopped again. But I was not to be overcome by difficulties, or worn out by delays.
11. I had the whole afternoon before me, and deterinined to gratify my curiosity. I therefore
waited again, and, this time, longer than before. Finally, however, my amateur struck up again, though at first very faintly, with two or three chirps, and, after intermitting them for a moment, he be
12. But presently his fear fled, and his music was as loud and cheery as ever. Lest I should disturb him too much, and defeat my object, I now carefully placed myself upon my hands and knees, and crept along with the stealthiness of a cat.
13. But with all my care, Master Cricket seemed to be aware of my approach, and occasioned me no little delay. It was the work of half an hour or more, to reach his princely hall — the old stump before named. By this time I was lying flat upon the ground, peering about under this root and that, to see my musician.
14. He was still; but I felt that I should know him, if my eye could but rest upon him. At last, I spied him. He was sitting under a broad root, where neither wind nor rain was likely to annoy him, and seemed to be the very impersonation of good livers. He was fat as an alderman.
15. His coat was black and sleek, and he wore an air of content and self-satisfaction. O, he was a beauty of a cricket-- a real gentleman in his way. Whether he felt any interest in me or not, I am unable to say.
1. I was but a poor boy, in a tow shirt and trousers, with a sunburnt face, and nothing that deserved attention about me, but a pair of rather large and good-natured gray eyes, which, at that moment, were particularly engaged in examining his honor my amateur cricket.