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deep down into the cups of the flowers, and stopping there, as if they had made up their minds to retire from business, and be manufacturers of honey no more. The day was made for laziness, and lying on one's back in green places, and staring at the sky, till it's brightness forced the gazer to shut his eyes and go to sleep. And was this a time to be poring over musty books in a dark room, slighted by the very sun itself ? Monstrous !
8. The lessons over, writing time began. This was a more quiet time; for the master would come and look over the writer's shoulder, and mildly tell him to observe how such a letter was turned up, in such a copy on the wall, which had been written by their sick companion, and bid him take it as a model. Then he would stop and tell them what the sick child had said last night, and how he had longed to be among them once again ; and such was the poor schoolmaster's gentle and affectionate manner, that the boys seemed quite * remorseful that they had worried him so much, and were absolutely quiet; eating no apples, cutting no names, and making no grimaces for full two minutes afterward.
9. “I think, boys," said the schoolmaster, when the clock struck twelve, “that I shall give you an extra half-holiday this afternoon." At this intelligence, the boys, led on and headed by the tall boy, raised a great shout, in the midst of which the master was seen to speak, but could not be heard. As he held up his hand, however, in token of his wish that they should be silent, they were + considerate enough to leave off, as soon as the longestwinded among them were quite out of breath. mise me, first,” said the schoolmaster, “ that you ’ll not be noisy, or, at least, if you are, that you'll go away first, out of the village, I mean: I'm sure you would n't disturb your old playmate and companion.”
10. There was a general murmur (and perhaps a very sincero one, for they were but boys,) in the negative; and the tall boy, perhaps as sincerely as any of them, called those about him to witness, that he had only shouted in a whisper. do n't forget, there's my dear scholars,” said the schoolmaster, “ what I have asked you, and do it as a favor to me. Be as happy as you can, and do n't be unmindful that you are blessed with health. Good-by, all."
11. “Thank 'ee, sir,” and “Good-by, sir,” were said a great many times in a great variety of voices, and the boys went out very slowly and softly. But there was the sun shining, and there were the birds singing, as the sun only shines, and the birds only sing, on holidays and half-holidays; there were the trees waving to all free boys to climb, and nestle among their leafy branches; the hay, entreating them to come and scatter it to the pure air ; the green
“ You must pro
" Then pray
corn, gently beckoning toward wood and stream; the smooth ground, rendered smoother still by blending lights and shadows, inviting to runs and leaps, and long walks, nobody knows whither. It was more than boy could bear, and with a joyous whoop, the whole cluster took to their heels, and spread themselves about, shouting and laughing as they went. “'T is natural, thank Heaven !" said the poor schoolmaster, looking after iliem: “I am very glad they did n't mind me."
12. Toward night, the schoolmaster walked over to the cottage where his little friend lay sick. Knocking gently at the cottage door, it was opened without loss of time. He entered a room where a group of women were gathered about one who was wringing her hands and crying bitterly. “Oh dame!” said the school
" master, drawing near her chair, “ is it so bad as this?” Without replying, she pointed to another room, which the schoolmaster immediately entered; and there lay his little friend, half-dressed, stretched upon a bed.
13. He was a very young boy ; quite a little child. His hair still hung in curls about his face, and his eyes were very bright; but their light was of heaven, not of earth. The schoolmaster took a seat beside him, and stooping over the pillow, whispered his name.
The boy sprung up, stroked his face with his hand, and threw his wasted arms around his neck, crying, that he was his dear, kind friend. “I hope I always was. I meant to be, God knows,” said the poor schoolmaster.
66 You remember my garden, Henry?” whispered the old man, anxious to rouse him, for a dullness seemed gathering upon the child," and how pleasant it used to be in the evening-time? You must make baste to visit it again, for I think the very flowers have missed you, and are less gay than they used to be. You will come soon, very soon now, won't you?”
14. The boy smiled faintly--so very, very faintly—and put his hand upon his friend's gray head. He moved his lips too, but no voice came from them, no, not a sound. , In the silence that +ensued, the hum of distant voices borne upon the evening air, came floating through the open window. "What's that ? " said the sick child, opening his eyes. “ The boys at play, upon the green.” He took a handkerchief from his pillow, and tried to wave it above his head. But the feeble arm dropped powerless down. “ Shall I do it?” said the schoolmaster.
« Please wave it at the window,” was the faint reply. “ Tie it to the lattice. Some of them may see it there. Perhaps they'll think of me, and look this way.”
15. He raised his head and glanced from the fluttering signal to his idle bat, that lay, with slate, and book, and other boyish
property, upon the table in the room. And then he laid him softly down once more; and again clasped his little arms around the old man's neck. The two old friends and companions—for such they were, though they were man and child-held each other in a long embrace, and then the little scholar turned his face to the wall and fell asleep.
16. The poor schoolmaster sat in the same place, holding the small, cold hand in his, and chafing it. It was but the hand of a dead child. He felt that; and yet he chafed it still, and could not lay it down.
LESSON LXXI.Y I
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
And, with his +sickle keen,
And the flowers that grow between.
Have naught but the bearded grain ?
I will give them all back again.”
He kiss’d their drooping leaves ;
He bound them in his sheaves.
The Reaper said, and smiled ;
Where he was once a child.
+Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear.”
The flowers she most did love;
In the fields of light above.
The Reaper came that day;
LESSON LXXII. Y 2
1. THE Spring-she is a blessed thing!
She is mother of the flowers;
Our star of hope through wintry hours. 2. The merry children, when they see
Her coming, by the budding thorn,
And run to meet her night and morn.
Peeping the withered leaves among,
Or catch the earliest wild-bird's song. 4. The little brooks run on in light,
As if they had a chase of mirth;
That sheds a beauty o'er the earth. 5. The aged man is in the field;
The maiden ’mong her garden flowers;
Of wants that fret, and care that +lowers. 6. She comes with more than present good,
With joys to store for future years,
May glean up hope with grateful tears. 7. Up! let us to the fields away,
And breathe the fresh and + balmy air;
In nature's greenest livery drest,
Thou merry month of May !
At dawn of dewy day!
With our + roundelay!
Thou merry month of May!
And birds upon their + spray,
All hold holiday,
Thou merry month of May!
LESSON LXXIV. 74
THE MOON AND STARS.
1. On the fourth day of creation, when the sun, after a glorious, but solitary course, went down in the evening, and darkness began to gather over the face of the uninhabited globe, already arrayed in the + cxuberance of vegetation, and prepared by the diversity of land and water, for the abode of uncreated animals and man,-a star, single and beautiful, stepped forth into the + firmament. Trembling with wonder and delight in new-found existence, she looked abroad, and beheld nothing in heaven or on earth resembling herself. But she was not long alone; now one, then another, here a third, and there a fourth + resplendent companion had joined her, till light after light stealing through the gloom, in the lapse of an hour the whole hemisphere was brilliantly bespangled.
2. The planets and stars, with a superb comet flaming in the zenith, for awhile contemplated themselves and each other; and every one from the largest to the least, was so perfectly well pleased with himself, that he imagined the rest only partakers of bis felicity; he being the central luminary of his own universe, and all the hosts of heaven beside, displayed around him, in +graddlated splendor. Nor were any undeceived in regard to themselves,