Page images
[ocr errors]

were at the eve of the revolution, and what, in point of influence, they must ever be in a country like ours, let this suffice: Of a committee of five, appointed to draw up the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, two were mechanics.

11. He, who was the first choice of his country, as her representative at imperial courts; who, sent to baffle the arts of practised diplomatists, and face the menaces of exasperated power, did it all, and did it triumphantly, was a MECHANIC.

12. Who, then, having such models of excellence, will say that manual labor and study are incompatible ; that it is not practicable for a young man to be cultivating the highest talents, nursing the noblest purposes, drinking deeply from the purest springs of knowledge, while he pursues his daily task at the forge or at the work bench?


man came

1. FARMER GRAY had a neighbor who was not the best-tempered man in the world, though mainly kind and obliging. He was a shoemaker. His name was Barton. One day in harvest time, when every man on the farm was as busy as a bee, this

over to Farmer Gray's, and said, in rather a petulant tone of voice,

2. “Mr. Gray, I wish you would yoke your geese, and thus keep them on your own premises. It is no kind of a way, to let your geese run all over every farm and garden in the neighborhood.”

3. « But I cannot see to it now. It is harvest time, friend Barton, and every man, woman, and child on the farm have as much as they can do. Try and bear it for a week or so, and then I will see if I can possibly remedy the evil.”

4. “I can't bear it, and I won't bear it any longer!” the shoemaker said. “So, if you do not take care of them, friend Gray, I shall have to take care of them for you.”

5. “ What upon earth can be the matter with the geese? John William! run and see,Mrs. Gray said, about fifteen minutes afterwards, in a quick and anxious tone, to two little boys who were playing near.

6. The urchins scampered off, well pleased to perform any errand, and soon returned, bearing the bodies of three geese, each without a head.

7. “ We found them lying out in the road,” said the oldest of the two children ; and when we picked them up, Mr. Barton said, “Tell your father that I have yoked his geese for him, to save him the trouble, as his hands are all too busy to do it.'”

8. “I would sue him for it!”, said Mrs. Gray, in an indignant tone. “ It would teach him better manners. It would punish him; and he deserves punishment.”

9. “ And punish us, into the bargain,” said Mr. Gray. "A lawsuit would cost us a good many geese, and not leave us so much as the feathers, besides giving us a world of trouble. No, no, Sally; just let it rest, and he will be sorry for it.”

10. "Sorry for it, indeed! And what good will his being sorry for it do us, I should like to know? Next he will kill a cow, and then we must be satisfied with his being sorry for it! Now, I don't believe in that doctrine."

11. “Neighbor Barton," said Farmer Gray, in a mild, soothing tone, “was not himself when be killed the geese. Like every other angry person, he was a little insane, and did what he would not have done, had he been perfectly in his right mind. When you are a little excited, you know, Sally, that even you do and say unreasonable things."

Don't you

12. “1 do and say unreasonable things!” exclaimed Mrs. Gray, with a look and tone of indignant astonishment; “I do and say unreasonable things, when I am angry! I don't understand you, Mr. Gray."

13. May be I can help you a little. Don't remember how angry you were when Mr. Mellon's old brindle got into our garden, and trampled over your lettuce bed, and how you struck her with the oven pole, and knocked off one of her horns?"

14. " But she had no business there."

"Neither had our geese any business in neighbor Barton's yard. But perhaps I can help you to another instance. You remember the patent churn ?"

Yes; but never mind about that." 15. “ So you have not forgotten how unreasonable you were about the churn? It was’nt good for any thing, you knew it wasn't ; and you would never put a jar of cream into it as long as you lived -- that you would'nt; and yet, on trial, you found that churn the best you had ever used, and now would'nt part with it on any consideration. Thus, even you can say and do unreasonable things when you are angry, just as well as Mr. Barton

Let us give him time to get over his angry fit."

16. The next morning, as Farmer Gray was going along the road, he met the shoemaker; and as they had to pass very near each other, the farmer smiled, and bowed, and spoke kindly. Mr. Barton looked and felt very uneasy; but Farmer Gray lid not seem to remember the unpleasant incident of the day before.

17. The same day, one of Mr. Gray's little boys came running to him, and crying,

“O, father, father! Mr. Barton's hogs are in our cornfield.”


“ Then I must go and drive them out,” said Farmer Gray, in a quiet tone.

18. “ Drive them out!" ejaculated Mrs. Gray, “ drive them out, indeed! I would shoot them ; that is what I would do. Remember how he served my geese yesterday.” 19. 66 You know what the Bible


about grievous words, and they apply with stronger force to grievous actions. No, no; I will return neighbor Barton good for evil. That is the best way. He has done wrong, and I am sure he is sorry for it."

20. So saying, Farmer Gray hurried off towards his cornfield. He drove out the hogs very calmly, and put up the bars through which they had entered. He then gathered up the half-eaten ears of corn, and threw them out into the lane for the hogs.

21. As he was thus engaged, Mr. Barton, who had from his own house seen the farmer turn the hogs out of the cornfield, came hurriedly up and said,

“I am very sorry, Mr. Gray, indeed I am, that my hogs have done this. I will most cheerfully pay you for what they have destroyed."

22.“ O, never mind, friend Barton, never mind. Such things will happen occasionally. My geese, you know, annoy you very much sometimes.”

23. “ Don't speak of it, Mr. Gray. They did not annoy me half as much as I imagined they did. But let the damage be estimated, and I will pay you for it most cheerfully."

24. “ O, no, not for the world, friend Barton. No doubt my cattle have often trespassed on you, and will trespass on you again. Let us then bear and forbear.'

25. All this cut poor Mr. Barton to the heart. His own ill-natured language and conduct at a much smaller trespass on his rights, presented itself to his mind, and deeply mortified him.

[blocks in formation]

1. “ You told him your mind pretty plainly, I hope,” Mrs. Gray said, as her husband came in.

56 I certainly did," was the quiet reply.

“ I am glad you had spirit enough to do it. And what did he say for himself ? " 2. 56

Why, he wanted very much to pay me for the corn his pigs had eaten; but I would not hear of it. I told him that it made no difference in the world; that such accidents would happen sometimes.'

6. You did!
“ Certainly I did."

3. “And that is the way you spoke your mind to him?"

Precisely; and it had the desired effect. It made him feel ten times worse, than if I had spoken angrily to him. His only fault is his quick temper; but I am sure, it is much better to bear with it than to oppose and excite it.”

4. “ You are right,” Mrs. Gray said, “and I wish that I could think and feel as you do. But I am a little quick, as they say."

“ And so is Mr. Barton. Now, just the same consideration that you would desire others to have for you, should you exercise towards Mr. Barton, or any one else whose hasty. temper leads him into words or actions, that in calmer or more thoughtful moments are subjects of regret.”.

5.“ Admirable!” ejaculated Farmer Gray, the next day.

« PreviousContinue »