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LESSON XX. SPELL AND DEFINE-1. Fagots, sticks of wood for fuel. 2. Compre. hension, the power of understanding. 3. Herring, a small fish. 4. Ap parently, in appearance. 5. Fare, food. 6. Manna, food furnished from heaven to the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness. The Righteous never Forsaken.--N. Y. SPECTATOR.
1. It was Saturday night, and the widow of the Pine Cot. tage sat by the blazing fagots, with her five tattered children at her side, endeavoring, by listening to the artlessness of their prattle, to dissipate the heavy gloom that pressed upon her mind. For a year, her own feeble hands had provided for her helpless family, for she had no supporter-she thought of no friend in all the wide, unfriendly world around.
2. But that mysterious Providence, the wisdom of whose ways is above human comprehension, had visited her with wasting sickness, and her little means had become exhausted. It was now, too, mid-winter, and the snow lay heavy and deep through all the surrounding forests, while storms still seemed gathering in the heavens, and the driving wind roared amidst the lofty pines, and rocked her puny mansion.
3. The last herring smoked upon the coals before her, it was the only article of food she possessed ; and no wonder her forlorn, desolate state brought up in her lone bosom all the anxieties of a mother, when she looked upon her children; and no wonder, destitute as she was, if she suffered the heart-swellings of despair to rise, even though she know that He whose promise is to the widow, and to the orphan, cannot forget His word.
4. Providence had many years before taken away her eldest son, who went from his forest home to try his fortune on the high seas, since which she had heard no note or tidings of him; and more recently, by the hand of death, Ile had deprived her of the companion and staff of her earthly pilgrimage, in the person of her husband. Yet to this hour she had been upborne ; she had not only been able to provide for her little flock, but had never lost an opportunity of ministering to the wants of the miserable and destitute.
5. The indolent may well bear with poverty, while the ability to gain sustenance remains. The individual who has but his own wants to supply, may suffer with fortitude the winter of want; his affections are not wounded, his heart is not wrung. The most desolate in populous cities may hope, for charity has not quite closed her hand and heart, and shut her eyes on misery. But the industrious mother of helpless and depending children,-far from the reach of human charity,-has none of these to console her. And such a one was the widow of the Pine Cottage; but as she bent over the fire, and took up the last scanty remnant of food to spread before her children, her spirits seemed to brighten up, as by some sudden impulse, and Cowper's beautiful lines came, uncalled, across her mind
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
He hides a smiling face. 6. The smoked herring was scarcely laid upon the table, when a gentle rap at the door, and loud barking of a dog, attracted the attention of the family. The children flew to open it, and a weary traveler, in tattered garments, and apparently indifferent health, entered, and begged a lodging, and a mouthful of food; saying that it was now twenty-four hours since he had tasted bread. The widow's heart bled anew as under a fresh complication of distresses; for her sympathies lingered not around her fireside. She hesitated not even now ; rest and share of all she had, she proffered to the stranger.
“ We shall not be forsaken,” said she, “or suffer deeper for an act of charity.”
7. The traveler drew near the board--but when he saw the scanty fare, he raised his eyes toward Heaven, with astonishment" and is this all your store ?” said he,—" and a share of this do you offer to one you know not ? then never saw I charity before! but madam," said he, continuing, “ do you not wrong your children, by giving a part of your last mouthful to a stranger ?" “Ah," said the poor widow, and the tear-drops gushed into her eyes as she said it, “I have a boy,—a darling son somewhere on the face of the wide world, unless he be dead, and I only act toward you, as I would that others should act toward him. God, who sent manna from heaven, can provide for us, as he did for Israel and how should I this night offend him, if my son should be a wanderer, destitute as you, and he should have provided for him a home, even poor as this—were I to turn you unrelieved away.”
8. The widow ended, and the stranger, springing from his seat, clasped her in his arms——“God indeed has provided your son a home--and has given him wealth to reward the goodness of his benefactress—my mother! Oh my mother !” It was her long lost son, returned to her bosom from the Indies. He had chosen that disguise, that he might the more completely surprise his family; and never was surprise more perfect, or followed by a sweeter cup of joy.
9. The humble residence in the forest was exchanged for one, comfortable, and indeed beautiful, in the valley; and the widow lived long with her dutiful son, in the enjoyment of worldly plenty, and in the delightful employment of virtue; and at this day the passer-by is pointed to the willow, that spreads its branches above her grave.
QUESTIONS.-1. Describe the widow and her family. 2. What food had she? 3. What losses had she sustained? 4. What was her condition in comparison with that of other poor people ? 5. Who came in, and what did he request ? 6. Was his request granted ? 7. What reason did she give for granting it? 8. Who did the stranger prove to be? 9. Relate the history of the family afterward.
Is this piece of a narrative or descriptive character? Why the falling inflection on the word mother, when repeated, eighth verse ?
SPELL AND DEFINE-1. Recoil', start back. 2. Diameter, the measure through any body: 3. Obstructs, hinders; blocks up, as a path. 4. Symp'toms, signs. 5. Delir'ium, disorder or derangement of the mind. 6. Detestable, extremely hateful. 7. Par'oxysm, a fit of high excitement. 8. Ghastly, horrible; death-like. 9. Yore, olden time. 10. Fatal, causing death. 11. Coya, the name of a very poisonous serpent.
The Venomous Worm.-J. RUSSELL.
“Outvenoms all the worms of Nile."-Shakspeare. 1. Who has not heard of the rattle-snake or copper-head ? An unexpected sight of either of these reptiles, will make even the lords of creation recoil ; but there is a species of worm, found in various parts of the country, which conveys a poison of a nature so deadly, that, compared with it, even the venom of the rattle-snake is harmless. To guard our readers against this foe of human kind, is the object of this lesson.
2. This worm varies much in size. It is frequently an inch in diameter, but, as it is rarely seen, except when coiled, its length can hardly be conjectured. It is of a dull leaden color, and generally lives near a spring or small stream of water, and bites the unfortunate people, who are in the habit of going there to drink. The brute creation it never mo. lests. They avoid it with the same instinct that teaches the animals of Peru to shun the deadly coya.
3. Many of these reptiles have long infested our land, to the misery and destruction of many of our fellow citizens. I have, therefore, had frequent opportunities of being the melancholy spectator of the effects, produced by the subtle poison which this worm infuses.
4. The symptoms of its bite are terrible. The eyes of the patient become red and fiery, his tongue swells to an immod. erate size, and obstructs his utterance; and delirium, of the most horrid character, quickly follows. Sometimes, in his madness, he attempts the destruction of his nearest friends.
5. If the sufferer has a family, his weeping wife and helpless infants are not unfrequently the objects of his frantic fury. In a word, he exhibits, to the life, all the detestable passions that rankle in the bosom of a savage; and, such is the spell in which his senses are locked, that, no sooner has the unhappy patient recovered from the paroxysm of insanity, occasioned by the bite, than he seeks out the destroyer, for the sole purpose of being bitten again.
6. I have seen a good old father, his locks as white as snow, his steps slow and trembling, beg in vain of his only son to quit the lurking place of the worm. My heart bled when he turned away; for I knew the fond hope, that his son would be the “ staff of his declining years, ported him through many a sorrow. Youths of America, would
you know the name of this reptile? It is called the Worm of the Still.
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1. They tell me of the Egyptian asp,
The bite of which is death ;
His hot and hurried breath.
The reptile vile applied ;
2. They tell me that, in Italy,
There is a reptile dread,
And dooms the victim dead.
May soothe the poisoned part,
And save the sinking heart.
That crawl on Afric's shore,
Tell us of one of yore :-
More fatal than the whole,
Yea, it devours the soul.
Save Turkey's wide domains;
'Tis kept in mercy's chains.
In our own flowery fields;
Its thousands at its meals.
Blasts character and health;
And comfort, joy, and wealth.
And never fails to kill.
Milford Bard. QUESTIONS.-1. What is said to be more poisonous than the rattlesnake? 2. What is its size and color, and where is it found? 3. What are the symptoms of its bite? 4. What can you say of the Egyptian asp? 5. Of the reptile in Italy? 6. Of the serpents of Africa ? 7. What one more fatal than these? 8. Where is it found? 9. What are the effects of its poison ? 10. What is its name?
What emphatic sentences in this lesson? Is there any difference in the degree of emphasis which they require, and how is it signified ? (Les. VIII. Note I.) What do the apostrophes, found in the fourth verse of tho second part, denote? (See Spelling Book, page 158.)