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carriage without springs. Every little inequality makes a bump.
4. But while fun is in itself a good thing, it may, like almost anything else that is good, be made a very bad thing
While it is not well to take all things seriously, it is worse to take nothing seriously; the great business of life is serious, and one who finds only fun in everything keeps himself outside the reality of life. He is like a bit of thistledown which floats about in the wind, while it has no real connection with anything.
5. In the second place, fun may become a bad thing because it is not of the right kind. A person may
be judged pretty fairly by what he finds funny. There is hardly anything so painful or unfortunate that some one will not be found to laugh at it. The savages were sometimes in the habit of tormenting their captives. The tortures that these underwent were to them an occasion of mirth. Boys sometimes torment insects or animals because their struggles seem funny.
In all such cases a feeling of sympathy would change the mirth into pity, or a friendly and helpful interest.
6. The same kindly feeling would forbid jests that would give pain to others. The idea of wit which some people have is to say sharp things. A person of good feeling would never find sport in what would give another pain.
A youth while walking with his tutor saw a pair of shoes that a poor laborer had left under a hedge while he was busied with his work. 6 What fun it would be,”
exclaimed the young man,“ to hide these shoes, and then conceal ourselves behind the hedge, and see the man's surprise and excitement when he cannot find them.”
“I will tell you what would be better sport,” said the tutor, “put a piece of money into one of the shoes, and then hide and watch his surprise when he finds it.” This the young man did, and the joy and wonder of the poor laborer when he found the money in his shoe was as good fun as he wanted.
7. We should, on the other hand, not be too sensitive at jokes that are played on us. We all laugh at one another sometimes, in a friendly way, and one who is never willing to be the object of such kindly mirth may interrupt the pleasures of his companions.
“One must take as well as give,” is a good motto for the rough and tumble sport and business of the world.
8. The play of wit and humor is very much like other play. It is one of the pleasant and helpful things in life. Like other play it must be kindly, good-tempered and pure. Like other play it must not make up the whole of life. Rightly used it may be one of the best helps in bearing and doing the work of the world.
C. C. EVERETT.
XXIX. - TRUE WISDOM.
Surely there is a mine for silver,
As for the earth out of it cometh bread;
Where shall wisdom be found ?
It cannot be gotten for gold,
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls:
Destruction and Death say,
And He knoweth the place thereof.
When He made a decree for the rain,
The Bible (Job xxviii. 12-28).
XXX. — BOB CRATCHIT'S CHRISTMAS DINNER.
1. Up rose Mrs. Cratchit, Cratchit's wife, dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribands, which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence; and she laid the cloth, assisted by Belinda Cratchit, second of her daughters, also brave in ribands; while Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes, and, getting the corners of his monstrous shirt-collar into his mouth, rejoiced to find himself so gallantly attired.
And now two smaller Cratchits, boy and girl, came tearing in, screaming that outside the baker's they had
smelt the goose, and known it for their own; and, basking in luxurious thoughts of sage-and-onions, these young Cratchits danced about the table, and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies, while he (not proud, although his collar nearly choked him) blew the fire, until the slow potatoes, bubbling up, knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid, to be let out and peeled.
2. “What has ever kept your precious father, then ?” said Mrs. Cratchit. “And your brother, Tiny Tim ? and Martha wasn't as late last Christmas Day, by half an hour!”
“Here's Martha, mother!” said a girl, appearing as she spoke.
“Here's Martha, mother!” cried the two young Cratchits. “Hurrah! There's such a goose, Martha !”
3. “Why, bless your heart alive, my dear, how late you are!” said Mrs. Cratchit, kissing her a dozen times, and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her, with officious zeal.
“We'd a deal of work to finish up last night,” replied the girl, “ and had to clear away this morning, mother.”
“Well, never mind, so long as you are come,” said Mrs. Cratchit. “Sit down before the fire, my dear, and warm yourself, Lord bless you!”
“No, no! There's father coming,” cried the two young Cratchits, who were everywhere at once. “Hide, Martha, hide!”
4. So Martha hid herself, and in came little Bob, the father, with at least three feet of comforter, exclusive of the fringe, hanging down before him; and his thread