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remotest corner, and we as naturally followed them. A double ring was formed around them, from which they could not hope to escape, and the question “What did you run away for ?” was poured into their ears from all quarters. For a long time they stood sullen and silent; but Charles Murphy having sarcastically taxed them with being “mammy sick," they stoutly denied it, and declared they would not tell.

While thus situated I was proceeding to remind my companions of the infallible opinion I had expressed in the morning, and to assert that the trio themselves could not deny it, since it had been confirmed by our master, when we were summoned to the summer-house to hear the letter read. When we reached it, our master desired the trio to stand forward, remarking that what he was about to read was a copy of the letter he intended to send to each of their mothers. It read thus :


“ DEAR MADAM,—It gives me unfeigned grief to inform you of an event which will cause you

Being a parent myself, I can enter into the feelings you will endure when you read the following paragraph.

“On assembling my scholars this morning I discovered that your son with two others—both the sons of widows like yourself—had risen early in the morning, and had escaped from my paternal roof. Feeling the deepest anxiety for those youths placed under my care, I immediately set out in pursuit of them, and it was only by hiring a post-chaise that I was enabled to overtake them. When I did, they had already reached the vicinity of your dwelling, and had it not been for the shock, which I conceived the circumstance would have given to your feelings, I should at once have taken them to their houses, and seeing them safe under your roof, resigned my charge. As it is, I am under the painful necessity of requesting you to recall them, that they may be saved from the shame and odium of expulsion from school, which is the usual consequence of such misconduct.

“Condoling with you in your griefs, and hoping that the God of all grace may support the widow in her troubles, according to his sure promise,

“I remain, etc.

“ Such is the letter,”, continued Mr. White, “ which I shall post to each of your parents this evening, and till I receive an answer I shall consider you as part of my charge. Only remember, that if you run away again, I shall not take the trouble to follow you. A boy who runs away twice from school forfeits all claim for such attention. He must be cast into society unwatched and unpitied." Then, addressing himself to us, he added, “I expect, as you value your honour and my friendship, that, till answers to these letters arrive, you will not once refer the subject of this morning's adventure. Go, and be happy."

I believe we all obeyed Mr. White's injunctions, but there was not an eye which did not strictly observe the conduct of the trio during the time that elapsed before the return of the post. As it grew near it was evident that they became restless ; and as for play, if they joined in it, it was but performed mechanically. It was a golden harvest for me, for, playing with Martin, I fairly won most of his marbles through his abstraction. Charles Murphy, also, thus triumphed over Limbert, and I remember that we chuckled over the feat secretly with much glee. Both Charles and myself ought to have known better, than to have played with them under such disadvantageous circumstances, or at least to have given up the spoil to them again. But though I had gained the name of a philosopher, I was still an unthinking boy, and so was Charles Murphy. Some time after, however, I offered Martin reparation, which he politely refused.

At length the hour for the return of the post arrived, and as the postman always came when we were at liberty, we looked for him with more than our wonted anxiety. His well-known ring, which like his knock, never sounded but twice, was soon heard, and instead of the usual question—"Any letter for me, posty ?” we instinctively inquired, “ Any letter for master, posty ?”

“What's the meaning of all this ? " said posty. “ Don't you want to hear from your mothers, this fine morning ?"

“Oh, never mind, posty," we all exclaimed ; any letter for master, posty ?-tell us."

“ Three !” said posty, laconically, and “ three letters for master, was vociferated aloud, until we heard the reproving voice of our master, while posty stood staring and wondering at the cause of the scene before him. He little knew what tidings of mighty import he had brought to our circle in his bag that morning. Nor did he much care, for, as was his wont, when he had delivered his letters, he turned upon his heels, and whistled the well-known tune of “ Away dull care :” a tune suggested to him, I

presume, that he might not reflect upon the fact that he was the perpetual bearer of the tidings of sorrow, and of joy too, to the human race.

As soon as our master had received his three letters, he repaired to the summer-house, and although he had reproved us for the unseemly exhibition of feeling we had displayed, and from his known character, we might yet expect a grave lecture on the subject, we all lingered around and watched his movements : the trio alone excepted. He opened the first letter, and he had not read long before he laid it down to wipe away the rising tear. He then resumed, and finished reading it, and, as he laid it down, he was heard to ejaculate :-“ Affecting, indeed! May the Almighty be the support of the widow, and the guide of the fatherless !” Similar feelings were exhibited as he read the other two, and similar ejaculations followed their reading, as he laid them down. After he had read them all, he folded his legs and covered his face with his hands, that he might hide his not from his pupils, and meditate upon the manner in which he should act. He continued in this posture for some time, when, having recovered his fortitude, he again summoned us all before him; the trio again taking the prominent place in the group.

my hands.

After a brief pause, he observed—“If you had known, boys, what sentiments these letters contain, you would not have shown such a feeling as you did when the postman delivered them into

When shall I be able to teach you how to behave aright at all times and seasons ? I fear, never. I fear I shall always be compelled to sigh over your wayward dispositions.”

All hung down their heads, and some few expressed regret.

Well,” resumed he, “I will pass that over ; be more watchful for the future.”. Then, addressing himself to the trio, he continued :-“I have received a letter from each of

your mothers, on the subject of your recent misconduct, which fills my heart with sorrow. I cannot tell you which is the most affecting, nor read them all to you, but I will take the one respecting Martin as a specimen of the whole. Indeed, they are all much alike, which is natural, since they were all indited by the same feeling—that of heartfelt grief. This letter reads thus :

“Dear Sir,—You rightly judged that the contents of your letter would cause me great grief of heart. My tears flow fast as I take up my pen to reply.

“How much I regret that a child of mine could act so basely as to run away from a kind friend, and to cause that friend such trouble and anxiety, words cannot express. I regret it on your account ; but pardon me if I say that I should regret it more on my own and my dear child's account-for dear he is still, though he

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