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making motions which attracted the attention of the great birds. They tacked, and came sailing on slowly, like majestic white ships.
At this moment a sudden breath of wind brought up a fresh alarm of shouting and discharges of musketry.
The father seized the son's hand, crying :
“Come, let us go home! the alarms are coming this way,
and the streets may be unsafe. Come, make haste.”
“ I should like to see the swans eat the cake,” said the boy.
“It would be imprudent,” answered the father. And he led his son hastily away.
The moment they disappeared, our two little vagabonds crept toward the edge of the basin, where the cake was floating, at the same time that the swans came sailing up. Adolphe hurriedly lay down on the edge of the basin, and, stretching over the water till he almost fell in, he tried to reach the cake with the stick which he held in his hand. The swans, seeing an enemy about to seize their prey, hastened their stately movements; but their haste was useful to the little fisher.
The water flowed back in front of their broad white breasts, and gently impelled the cake within reach of his rod. The swans were within a few feet, but the boy gave a quick blow, frightened the swans, seized the cake, and got up. The cake was soaking, but
they were both hungry and thirsty. Adolphe divided the cake into two unequal parts, kept the smaller part for himself, and gave the larger to little Gustav.
After a glance around, which showed them nobody in sight, the two little wanderers sat down on the grass to eat their morsels of wet cake. The summer sun warmed them, the soft breeze brought pleasant freshness, and nature gave to the poor little friendless ones a rare feeling of physical content.
“It is nice here," murmured little Gustav. “It is so quiet, and nobody to frighten us.'
Yes,” said the elder brother. " I wish we were swans and lived here all the time, and had a house to sleep in, as they have."
“And the keeper to come and feed us every day,” added the younger.
“ But you are not very hungry now, are you, Gustav?” asked Adolphe.
Oh, no, not much now," said the little fellow, patiently. “But you did not keep enough for yourself, Dolphy.”
“Oh, I am so big, you know, it would be a shame for me to be greedy. Gavroche said so many a time, I know.”
“Oh, he knew everything we ought to do; and he was so brave. Do you think, Dolphe, he will come to us again sometime ?”
Before the elder brother could answer, a strange event stopped the speech and almost the breathing of
“I offer you
both. A large cake was gently lowered and held before their eyes by some unknown hand. Trembling and fearful, they turned and saw a man behind them; an old man, by his white hair, who leant upon a cane with one hand, while with the other he extended the cake to the children, smiling upon them, meanwhile, with a gentle but sorrowful look of pity. ...
“Do not be frightened, little ones," said the old man, in a voice as kind as his looks. “I offer your supper, do you not see? Take it.”
Adolphe slowly took the offered cake, but remained immovable, staring in the face of the person who had appeared so suddenly.
“Is this your little brother?” asked the old man. “ Yes, sir.” “And your parents ?”
“We have none, sir; or at least we don't know where they are.”
“Where do you live, then?”
The old man slightly struck his stick upon the ground and shook his head as he heard this answer. Then he seated himself upon the bank beside them.
“Come,” he said, “eat your cake, and tell me all about it, while I rest here. How comes it that you do not know where your father and mother are ?”
The children, reassured by the kindness of the old man, and especially by the delicious taste of the large and solid cake which he had bestowed upon them, now breathed freely again. And Adolphe, in answer to his questions, readily told him the little story of their losing friends and home so suddenly, and of the strange boy, their hero, who had sheltered and helped them in their worst time of need.
“ And when we find Gavroche again, sir,” concluded Adolphe, “we shall do very well. He promised to show us so many things in the warm-weather time. And when we were the very hungriest, he always managed to find something good for supper.”
6 Gavroche !” murmured the old man, who had listened with deep attention and even emotion; “it is that strange boy, then, who has saved these little lives, as he saved an older one than theirs. Surely, in meeting them, Providence gives me a sign that I shall find the lad I have sought for in vain thus far, and pay the debt I owe him.”
He spoke to himself, and remained sunk in thought a little while. Then he turned to the children, stretched his hand to them, and said gently, “Come with me, my children; I, too, know Gavroche and wish to find him. We will look for him, all of us; and to-night I will do as he did, by showing you a roof under which to shelter your heads.”
Adolphe looked up again into the old man's face; then, without a word, placed a thin little hand in his, and leading his brother with the other, the three left the Luxembourg gardens in company.
RULES OF BEHAVIOR.
GEORGE WASHINGTON was born at Bridges Creek, Virginia, Feb. 22, 1732. His parents were persons of sterling integrity. The boy was frank and healthy, somewhat grave in manner, and possessed unusual self-control. He grew to be a stalwart young man, tall and well-formed. His early occupation as a surveyor took him upon adventurous excursions in the forests. Among the earliest-known examples of his writing is a set of " Rules of Conduct” which he prepared for his own guidance. A number of these rules are here presented. His public addresses and his official papers are excellent examples of clearness and simplicity. The high nobility of his character, his greatness as a general, and his eminent services as the first president of the United States are universally known.
He died in his home, Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, Virginia, Dec. 14, 1799.
Every action in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those present.
In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming noise, nor drum with your fingers or feet.
Listen when others speak; sit not when others stand ; speak not when you should hold your peace.
Turn not your back to others, especially in speaking; jog not the table or desk on which another reads or writes; lean not on any one.
Be no flatterer; neither play with any one that delights not to be played with.