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went to the nursery, and chose the most flourishing apple tree he could there meet with.
13. When the proper season came, his brother assisted him in transplanting it, and informed him in what manner to proceed in the cultivation of it ; and William now made the best use of his time and of the instructions which he received from his brother.
14. He left off all his mischievous tricks, forsook the company of idle boys, applied himself cheerfully to work, and in a few years he received the reward of his labours, his tree then being loaded with fruit.
15. From this happy change in his conduct he derived the advantage, not only of enriching himself with a plentiful crop of fruit, but also of getting rid of bad and pernicious habits. His father was so perfectly satisfied with his reformation, thạt the following season he gave him and his brother both trees and ground sufficient for a small orchard, the profits of which they shared equally between them.
MISCHIEF ITS OWN PUNISHMENT.
1. Mr. Stevenson and his little son Richard, as they were one fine day walking in the fields together, passed by the side of a garden, in which they saw a beautiful pear tree loaded with fruit.
2. Richard cast a longing eye at it, and complained to his papa, that he was very dry.
Mr. Stevenson's saying that he was very dry also, but that they must bear it with patience till they got home, Richard pointed to the pear tree, and begged his papa to let him go and get one; for as the hedge was not very thick, he said he could easily get through without being seen by any one.
3. Richard's father reminded him that the garden and fruit were private property, and to take any thing from thence, without permission was no better than robbery.
4. He allowed, that there might be a possibility of getting into the garden, without being seen by the owner of it; but such a wicked deed could not be concealed from him, who . sees every action of our lives, and who penetrates into the very secrets of our hearts ; and that is God.
5. His son shook his head, and said he was sensible of his error, and would no more think of committing a robbery. He recollected that he had been told the same thing before, but he had then forgotten it.
6. At this instant a man started up from behind the hedge, which had before concealed him from their sight. This was an old man, the owner of the garden, who had heard every thing which had passed between Mr. Stevenson and his son.
7. “ Be thankful to God my child, (said the old man) that your father prevented your getting into my garden, with a view to take away
You little thought, that at the foot of each tree is placed a trap to catch thieves
which you could not have escaped, and which might have lamed you for the rest of your
life.' I am, however, happy to find that you so readily listened to the first admonition of your
father and showed such a fear of offending God. 8.
have behaved in so just and sensible a manner, you shall now, without
danger of trouble, partake of the fruit of my garden.” He then went to the finest pear tree, gave it a shake, and br ght down near a hatful of fruit, which he immediately gave to Richard.
9. This civil old man could not be prevailed on to accept of any thing in return, though Mr. Stevenson pulled out his purse for that purpose. “I am sufficiently satisfied, Sir, said he) in thus obliging your son; and were I to accept any thing, that satisfaction would be
10. Mr. Stevenson thanked him very kindly, and having shaken hands over the hedge, they parted, Richard, at the same time taking leave of the old man very politely.
11. Little Richard, having finished several of the pears, began to find himself at leisure to talk to his papa. " This is a very good old man, (said he :) but would God have punished me, if I had taken these pears without his leave ?”
12. “ He certainly would, (replied Mr. Stevenson,) for he never fails, either in this world, or the next, to reward good actions, and to chastise those who commit evil.
13. “ The good old man fully explained to you this matter, in telling you of the traps laid for thieves, into which you must inevitably have fallen, had you entered his garden in a clandestine manner.
14. - God orders every thing that passes upon earth, and directs events so as frequently to reward good people for virtuous actions, and to punish the wicked for their crimes in the present state.
15. “ In order to make this more clear to you, I will relate an affair, which happened when I was a boy, and which I shall never forget." Richard seemed very attentive to his father, and having said that he should be very glad to hear his story, Mr. Stevenson thus proceeded :
16. When I lived with my father, and was about your age, we had two neighbors, one on each side of us, and their names were Davis and Johnson.
17. Mr. Davis had a son named William, and Mr. Johnson had one of the name of Harry Our gardens were at that time, separated only by quickset hedges, so that it was easy to see into each other's grounds.
18. It was too often the practice with William when he found himself alone in his father's garden, to take a pleasure in throwing stones over the hedges, without paying the least regard to the mişchief they might do.
19. Mr. Davis had frequently caught him at this dangerouş sport, and never failed severely to reprimand him for it, and to threaten him with severe punishment if he did not desist.
ed to you.
20. But this child, unhappily, either knew not, or would not take the trouble to reflect, that we should not do amiss, even when we are alone, for reasons which I have already mention
His father being one day gone out, and therefore thinking that nobody could see him, or bring him to punishment, he filled his pockets with stones, and then began to fling them about at random.
21. Mr. Johnson, happened to be in his garden, at the same time, and his son Harry with him, This boy was of much the same disposition as William, thinking there was no crime in doing mischief, provided he was not discovered.
22. His father had a gun charged, which he brought into the garden in order to shoot the birds, that made sad havoc among his cherries, and was sitting in the summer-house to watch them. At this instant. a servant came to acquaint him, that a strange gentleman desired to speak with him, and was waiting in the parlour.
23. He therefore put down the gun into the summer-house, and strictly ordered Harry by no means to touch it; but he was no sooner gone, than this naughty boy said to himself, that he could see no harm in playing a little with the gun, and therefore took it up, put it on his shoulder, and endeavoured to act the part of a soldier.
24. The muzzle of the gun lappened to be pointed towards Mr. Davis's garden, and just as he was in the midst of his military exercises,