Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

book, but committed to memory, and then written down. Still, the fact remains that the youth attempted to snatch a prize by sending us a composition wholly borrowed from another writer. We have been grievously imposed upon by being led to print a composition which we honestly believed to be the work of Edwin Waller, and which we afterwards found to be taken verbatim from “ Edwards's Summary of English History."

It will be a matter of satisfaction to our readers to know that Edwards's account of Alfred the Great did not get the prize in our last number. Owing to the kindness of correspondents, to whom we beg here to express our obligation, the matter was discovered before the prizes were sent. The boy's father says neither himself nor his son were hurt because the prize was not sent. We should think not. The boy had not earned the prize, and therefore might well not feel hurt at its being withheld from him.

We are the more annoyed at such a circumstance as this as we are convinced that, as a body, our essayists are honest boys and girls, who would scorn to stoop to dishonest means to get a prize. For their guidance and protection we will here say what they should do in answering the papers that are set them. If the subject is historical, read the accounts of it given in all the books within your reach. You may take notes, if you like, of important events, as you are passing, such as in the Life of Richard III. : “Son of Richard Duke of York; brother of Edward IV.; appointed Protector; Buckingham aids him in getting the crown ; progress through the kingdom, during which two princes are killed ; Buckingham's rebellion ; Battle of Bosworth Field ; character of Richard as a king and a man.” Such notes as these should be filled up in the language of the writer, and

any effort of memory in reproducing the language of a book will be accounted an act of dishonesty.

We have attempted to make the conditions of competition fairer by limiting the number of words in the essays, and of places in the maps. We may

here state that, owing to an error in our last number, Edwin Waller's name was inserted twice, instead of only in the second place, as it ought to have been. The boy who gained the first prize, for the map of Ireland, was A. W. Perry, of Sir W. C. Trevelyan's School, Seaton, Devon.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[graphic]

For who hath despised the day of small things ?-Zechariah

iv., 10.

OUNG people are especially liable to fall into this

habit of despising the day of small things. Boys and girls when they make up their minds to be good, think that they can change all their bad tempers and evil dispositions in an hour, and begin quite a new life.

They find they are utterly unable to do this, that the most they can do is to amend in some little thing or other; and so, despising “the day of small things,” they give up the attempt in despair.

It is the same with boys and girls at their studies : because they find that, with all their efforts, they make but slow progress, they despise “the day of small things," and lose interest in their work altogether. Whereas, if they had gone patiently on through these days of small things, they would have found at last a year of great things — the sum of the despised days in which apparently little was done. For, think, that if you only learn

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No. 17.-MAI, 1873.

one new fact every day—and that would make it “ a day of small things”—you will have added 365 facts to your stock of knowledge in a year !

But, besides, these days of small things are in another way verily golden days : they are days of bitter sowing, sowing in tears, and they lead to abundant reaping-reaping in joy. For in these days of small things our weaknesses are laid bare, and the difficulties we meet with oblige us to learn patience—and what a great thing patience is to gain! And, then, going on from one day to another, adding one little gain of knowledge to another, we acquire perseverance--and what a great thing perseverance is to gain! And when you see how weak we are, and that only by the help of God we can do anything that is right, we are brought into a lowly state of mind ; and we read in the “ Pilgrim's Progress” the shepherd boy was singing, “ He that is low need fear no fall.” So we see these days of small things are golden days.

We must be content with little gains, and make the most of those gains. At least we can make sure of them, small as they

One fact perfectly known is better than ten facts acquired in a hazy and cloudy manner. It is no use trying to do too much : the days of human life are days of small things. It is only by adding one day's work to another, and one year's work to another, that anything great or considerable has been done in the world. It is quite a mistake to think that great men acquire their greatness through years of idleness ; that the poetry written by poets, and the pictures painted by painters, are done without labour. Nay, these things require the highest and most strenuous of all labour. Many days of small things had to be endured before the great poems were written, or the great paintings were executed ; and if they had despised “the day of small things” the poems and the paintings would not have been great at all.

Neither do you, young scholars, therefore, despise “the day of small things.” Work hard ; don't aim at doing too much; be content with perfectly mastering a little. So will these early days of your life-days of small things—be days of good sowing; and they will bring forth in your youth and manhood abundant fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty fold, and some an hundred fold.

are.

Gulliver in Brobdinguag.

[graphic]

CHAPTER V.

<HE queen became so fond of my company that she

could not dine without me. I had a table placed upon the same table at which her majesty sat just at her left elbow, and a chair to sit on.

I had an entire set of silver dishes and plates, and other

necessaries, which, in proportion to those of the queen, were not much bigger than I have seen in a London toy-shop for the furniture of a baby-house. These my little nurse kept in her pocket, in a silver box, and gave me at meals as I wanted them, always cleaning them herself.

Her majesty used to put a bit of meat upon one of my dishes, out of which I carved for myself; and her diversion was to see me eat in miniature : for the queen (who had, indeed, but a weak stomach) took up at one mouthful as much as a dozen farmers could eat at a meal; which to me was for some time a very nauseous sight. She drank, out of a golden cup, (above a hogshead at a draught. Her knives were twice as long as a scythe, set straight upon the handle. The spoons, forks, and other instruments were all in the same proportion.

Nothing angered and mortified me so much as the queen's dwarf, who, being of the lowest stature that was ever born in that country (for I verily think he was not full thirty feet high), became so insolent at seeing a creature so much beneath him, that he would always affect to swagger and look big as he passed by me in the queen's antechamber, while I was standing on some table talking with the lords or ladies of the court, and he seldom failed of a smart word or two upon my littleness; against which I could only revenge myself by calling him brother, challenging him to wrestle, and such repartees as are usually in the mouths

of court pages.

One day at dinner this malicious little cub was so nettled with something I had said to him, that, raising himself upon the frame of her majesty's chair, he took me up by the middle,

as

I was walking down not thinking any harm, and let me drop into a large silver bowl of cream, and then ran away as fast as he could. & I fell over head and ears, and if I had not been a good swimmer it might have gone very hard with me, for Glumdalditch at that instant happened to be at the other end of the room, and the queen was in such a fright that she wanted presence of mind to assist me. But my little nurse ran to my assistance, and took me out, after I had swallowed above a quart of cream. I was put to bed. However, I received no other damage than the loss of a suit of clothes, which was utterly spoiled. The dwarf was soundly whipped, and, as a further punishment, forced to drink up the bowl of cream into which he had thrown me. Neither was he ever restored to favour; for soon after the queen bestowed him upon a lady of high quality, so that I saw him no more—to my very great satisfaction ; for I could not tell to what extremity such a malicious urchin might have carried his resentment.

He had before served me a scurvy trick, which set the queen a laughing, although at the same time she was heartily vexed, and would have immediately cashiered him if I had not been

so generous as to intercede. Her majesty had taken a marrowbone upon her plate, and, after knocking out the marrow, placed the bone again in the dish erect as it stood before me. The dwarf, watching his opportunity while Glumdalditch was gone to the sideboard, mounted the stool that she stood on to take care of me at meals, took me up in both hands, and, squeezing my legs together, wedged them into the marrow-bone above my waist, where I stuck for some time, and made a very ridiculous figure. I believe it was nearly a minute before anyone knew what was become of me; for I thought it below me to cry out. But, as princes seldom get their meat hot, my legs were not scalded, only my stockings and breeches were in a sad condition. The dwarf, at my entreaty, had no other punishment than a sound whipping.

I was frequently rallied by the queen on account of my timidity; and she used to ask me whether the people of my country were as great cowards as myself. The oceasion was this : the - kingdom is mucho pestered with flies in summer ;- and these odious insects, each of them as big as a Dunstable lark, hardly

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »