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It will never do to be Idle . 9 Coral Islands


The Indolent Scholar

12 The Portuguese Man-of-War

Meaning of “Doing"

13 The Vinegar Polype


Of Occupation

14 Humming-Birds


A Piece of Legal Advice 15 The Bluebird


The Journey of Life


The Coast of Norway



19 The Elephant .


The English Drummer

20 The Horse


Gesler and William Tell

20 Chinese Encouragement of

Avarice Punished

22 Skill in the Arts


The Fiery Torch, or Ancient Magellan, the Portuguese Dis-


23 coverer


An Emperor turned Physician 24 Sir Francis Drake


True Blood


The Spanish Armada


A Spider's Web

27 Presence of Mind, and Naval

The Spider

29 Discipline


The Spider and the Bee 29 Murderer's Creek


The Whistle

32 Courage

The Humane and Courageous Duty



33 An Inquisitive Yankee 103

The Irishman and the Hare 34 Advice to Parishioners


A Chinese Clock .

35 Conceit



36 What a Ditch can do


The Man in the Fustian Jacket 37 Ready Money and Credit 111

The Rapids

40 Health of Houses


Give Wisely

41 Fallacies of Society

The Guerrilla Chief .

43 The White Ship


The Lost Lambkin

46 Massacre of Glencoe (prose). 127

The Little Dutch Hero .

49 Massacre of Glencoe (verse) 132

The Honey-Bird, or Bee-Cuckoo 51 Benjamin Franklin


A frisky Ass subdued

52 Franklin's Kite


The Tailor-Bird and its Nest 53 Coal


Honesty is Best

54 James Watt and the Steam-

The American Boy and the



European Boy

59 George Stephenson and the

Cautionary Verses to Youth 60 Locomotive.


Moral Courage

61 The Mail-Coach and the Rail , 146

Honor among Thicyes

63 The Railroad



65 The Steamboat


The Builders

66 i Monkeys

. 150

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SUPPLEMENT (consisting of Newspaper Paragraphs)

O'er wayward childhood would'st thou hold firm rulo,
And sun thee in the light of happy faces,
Love, Hope, and Patience, these must be thy graces,
And in tline own heart let them first keep school.
For as old Atlas on his broad neck places
Heaven's starry globe, and there sustains it; so
Do these upbear the little world below
Of Education. Patience, Love, and Hope,
Methinks I see them group'd in seemly show ;
The straiten'd arms upraised, the palms aslope,
And robes that, touching as adown they flow,
Distinctly blend, like snow emboss'd in snow.
O part them never ! If Hope prostrate lic,

Love, too, will sink and die.
But Love is subtle, and doth proof derive
From her own life that Hope is yet alive ;
And, bending o'er with soul-transfusing eyes,
And the soft murmurs of the mother dove,
Woos back the fleeting spirit, and half-supplies :-
Thus Love repays to Hope what Hope first gave to Love.
Yet haply there will come a weary day,

When overtask'd, at length
Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way;
Then, with a statue's smile, a statue's strength,
Stands the mute sister, Patience, nothing loth,
And, both supporting, docs the work of both.






ONE day I was driven to take shelter from a rain-storm in a little hovel by the road-side-a sort of cobbler's stall. The tenant and his son were at work. After the customary greetings, I entered familiarly into talk with them-as, indeed, I always do-seeing that your cobbler is often a man of thought as well as a man of action. Before I had been with them long, the old man found that he required something for the purpose of finishing a piece of work, and sent his son out for the article. The interval was short, but it was too long for his active in patience : he became uneasy, shuffled about the room, and at last took up a scrap or two of leather, and fell to work upon them—“For," said he, “it will never do, you know, sir, to be idle-not on any pretenceI should faint away.”

I happened just then to be in an impressible mood, without occupation myself, and weighed somewhat down by the want of it; accordingly the phrase, the oddness of it in the first place, and still more the sense, made a deep and lasting impression

upon me.

As soon as the rain had spent itself, I went my way homeward, ruminating and revolving what I had heard, like a curious man over a riddle. I could not have occupied my thoughts better: the subject concerned me nearly—it went to the very heart of my happiness. Some people are perpetual martyrs to idleness; other have only their turns and returns of it. I was of the latter classman impatient idler. Nevertheless, I was so far on the safe side of the mischief as to feel that the words ca

home to me. They stung my conscience severely; they were gall and wormwood to me. Nevertheless, I dwelt so long-though, perhaps, willingly—upon the expression, that it became as it were part of me. I was in a condition to feel and revere its efficacy. I determined to make much of it; to realise it in use; to act it out. I had heard and read repeatedly that idleness is a very great evil; but the censure did not now appear to me to come up to the real truth. I began to think that it was not only a very great evil, but the greatest evil.

No man is wretched in his energy. There can be no pain in a fit; a soldier, in the full height of his spirit, and in the heat of contest, is unconscious even of a wound; the orator, in the full flow of eloquence, is altogether exempt from the gout and rheumatism. To be occupied, in its first meaning, is to be possessed as by a tenant. When the occupation is once complete, there can be no entry for any evil spirit. But idleness is emptiness : where it is, there the doors are thrown open, and the devils troop in.

The words of the old cobbler were oracular to me. They were constantly in my thoughts, like the last voice of his victim in those of the murderer.

It is the odds and ends of our time, its orts and offals, laid up, as they usually are, in corners, to rot and stink there, instead of being used up as they should be—these, I say, are the occasions of our moral unsoundness and corruption. A dead fly, little thing as it is, will spoil a whole box of the most precious ointment; and idleness, if it be once suffered, though but for a brief while, is sure, by the communication of its listless quality, to clog and cumber the clockwork of the whole day. It is the ancient enemy-the old man of the Arabian Tales. Once take him upon your shoulders, and he is not to be shaken off so easily. I now gained an insight into these truths, and I framed my plans upon them. I resolved that every moment should be occupied by thought, word, or act, or, if none of these, by intention. Vacancy was my only outcast-the scapegoat of my future.

For this, my purpose, I required a certain energy of will; as, indeed, this same energy of will is requisite for every other good thing of whatever sort or kind: without it we are as powerless as grubs; noisome as ditch-water; vague, loose, and changeable as the clouds above urr heads. If I ever felt the approach, the

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