« AnteriorContinuar »
and milk he again trudged cheerily onward. He had heard wonderful accounts of the great city of Paris, and thither he resolved to go. It would take me far too long to tell you all that befell him on the way. Sometimes he met with kindness and sunshine, at other times harsh words and stormy weather; but soon he began to get a little used to the troubles and difficulties of the way. Many were the pleasant walks he had along lanes, past orchards and farm houses; sometimes climbing steep mountains, at others wending his way along beautiful valleys, while on either side rose lofty hills crowned with verdure. Sometimes he got a comfortable resting-place, at others he had to pass the night under a hedge, with the sky for his canopy, and his bundle for his pillow, and his faithful companion the marmot by his side. All the money he got was carefully saved, and he lived on the victuals given him, which he shared with his mouse; but sometimes they went to bed supperless when he had not met with success.
“Ah! Willie, you dont know how sweet and nice a bit of dry bread is till you are hungry; and it is very seldom we set much value on any of God's gifts till we lose them. Many a boy would give anything to have a dead mother alive again, that he might treat her more lovingly and kindly than he did when she was alive. Never forget your dependence upon God for food, health, parents, and every blessing you have, and dont forget to thank him for them all.
“Days and weeks passed on, and at last, weary and footsore, at the close of a hot summer's day, little Jacquot arrived at the great city of Paris, and made his way to the
lodging-place he had been told of. Going down a court he came to the house which he intended to make his home. Passing along a narrow dark passage, and up a flight of old wooden stairs, he opened a door at the top and found himself in a large garret with a stove in the middle, an oil lamp hanging down from the ceiling, and about thirty men and boys of all ages; some were sitting on benches around a long table, others cooking, and some reckoning up their earnings during the day. Along one side of the room stood a row of hurdygurdies, barrel organs, and a variety of cages containing white mice, porcupines, guinea pigs, squirrels, and monkeys; on the other side was a row of mattrasses intended for beds. Jacquot found a great deal of simplicity and kindly feeling among his fellow wanderers from their native land. The youngest boys seemed very cheerful, and played and chattered together merrily. He was soon at home, and, to his great joy, found amongst the company a boy from his own native village, who eagerly asked about his mother and brothers, and a great many other questions. Pierre, for that was his name, and Jacquot soon became great friends, and after supper lay down side by side and talked of home and all its pleasures for a long time before they went to sleep. The next day they roamed over the city together; and thus the time passed very pleasantly with Jacquot, and his little stock of money gradually got larger. A trouble was, however, in store for him. His little marmot, which had formed a strong attachment for him, fell ill one day. Jacquot bought it a bit of sweet cake as he returned to his lodgings, but it would not eat; and when he got home it lay on its side in the cage panting and gasping for breath. He hung over it, and nursed it very gently and carefully, and put a few crumbs on its lips, but its strength was gone though it looked thankful for its master's kindness. He put it to his face, and the affectionate little creature tried to lick his lips as it had been used to do, and then looking in Jacquot's face, a look of thanks, it closed its eyes and died. Poor boy! the tears had been gently creeping down his face unheeded before, but now he burst into a passionate fit of weeping which the efforts of Pierre could not check. Those in the room gathered around and sympathized with him in his grief, and it was touching to hear their expressions of sorrow, and to see tears falling from many an eye. In a few minutes they had collected as much as would buy Jacquot two mice; but none of them could ever restore to life again the loved companion of his wanderings, the sharer of many a scanty meal, and, till lately, his only friend. He looked the thanks he could not express, and taking his little friend to bed lay sighing and sobbing, till at length, overcome by fatigue and weariness, he fell asleep. When asleep he began to dream that he was again at home sitting on his little stool by the fire. At his side sat his mother, with little Francois fast asleep in her lap, and opposite him sat his father. Again he heard his father say, 'Jacquot, it is time you went out to seek your living'-he began to weep to think of leaving his happy home, and awaking with his sorrow found his cheeks still wet with tears."
Here James was stopped by Lucy's mother saying, “Well: I declare, it is half-past ten o'clock, and you children are not
gone to bed yet; come, Lucy, undress Ada, and Willie pull your shoes off and get ready for bed.” “Oh! James,' Emma, “when shall you come again and tell us the rest ?" “As soon as I can,” said James; "and now let me see who is ready to climb the wooden hill first." After a good night from all, and a promise to come again soon, James returned home hoping that he and his little hearers and readers will meet again before long.
THE PIEDMONTESE BOY AND HIS MARMOT.
FROM my dear native moorlands, for many a day,
This pretty marmot, in a mountain's steep side,
They carelessly slept till the cold winter blast,
Then I caught this poor fellow, and taught him to dance,
THE AMERICAN EAGLE AND THE WHITE SWAN.
OF this powerful and voracious bird, Audubon, the American Ornithologist, gives the following sketch :
“ To give you,” says he, “some idea of the nature of this bird, permit me to place you on the Mississippi, on which you may float gently along, while approaching winter brings millions of water-fowl, on whistling wings, from the countries of the north, to
seek a milder climate in which to sojourn for a season. The Eagle is seen perched in an erect attitude on the top of some high rock, or on the highest summit of the tallest tree, by the margin of the broad stream. His glistening but stern eye looks over the vast expanse; he listens attentively to every sound that comes to his quick ear from afar, glancing now and then on the earth beneath, lest even the light tread of the fawn may pass unheard. His mate is perched on the opposite side,