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The Jackdaw and the Pigeons: * Fable.
JACKDAW, noticing that the pigeons in a certain dovecote lived well and wanted for nothing, whitewashed his feathers, and, trying to look as much like a pigeon as he could, went and lived among them. The pigeons, not finding him out as long as he kept silent, did not give him any disturbance. But at last he forgot his character, and began to chatter; by which, the pigeons, discovering what he was, flew upon him, and beat him away from the meat, so that he was obliged to fly back to the jackdaws again. They, not knowing him in his discoloured feathers, drove him away likewise. So that he who had tried to be more than he had a right to, was not permitted to be anything at all.
The Lion and the Four Bulls: a Fable.
OUR bulls, which had entered into a very strict
alliance, knowing they would have been too strong for him, and therefore contented himself, for the present, with keeping at a distance. At last, seeing it was impossible to overcome them as long as they held together, he took occasion, by whispers and hints, to stir up jealousies, and raise divisions among them. This stratagem succeeded so well that the bulls grew cold and reserved to one another, which soon ripened into downright hatred and aversion, and at last ended in a total separation. The lion had now obtained his ends; and while it was impossible for him to hurt them while they were united, he found no difficulty, now they were parted, to seize every bull of them, one after another.
The Green Linnet.
PON yon tuft of hazel trees,
That twinkle to the gusty breeze,
There where the flutter of his wings
While thus before my eyes he gleams,
As if it pleased him to disdain
Ir may, perhaps, be worth while to remark, that, if we except the poets, and a few orators, and a few historians, the far greater part of the other eminent men of letters, both of Greece and Rome, appear to have been either public or private teachers, generally either of philosophy or rhetoric.-Adam Smith.
Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a progeny of life in them, to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are. Nay, they do preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively and as vigorously productive as those fabulous dragons' teeth, and, being sown up and down, may chance to bring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature-God's image-but he who destroys a good book, destroys reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on 'purpose to a life beyond life.-John Milton.
Young Scholars' Compositions.
A VISIT TO MANCHESTER.
ABOUT three years ago-I don't know exactly the date-I and a friend of mine went to Manchester one Saturday afternoon. After we had got a little way past Longsight station we had a fine view of Belle Vue prison. When we got off the train at London Road station, we went down London Road to the Infirmary, where we saw the monuments of Lord Wellington and Sir Robert Peel. We then went down Oldham-street into Shude Hill Market, where we saw a great many fish of all kinds, pot work of all kinds, clothes, and toys. We next went into Market-street, and got on an omnibus, and went to Droylsden (about four miles from Manchester), where my aunt lives, and stayed there until Monday morning. We then got on an omnibus, and came to Manchester again, and went down Oldham-street, and had a look at Heaps and Harrison's furniture shop. We then went to Deansgate, and inspected the Cathedral, which I thought was a splendid building. After we had inspected the Cathedral, we went into Bridge-street, and saw the Old Bailey prison. We next went to Peel Park, where we saw several monuments of eminent men; and we went also into the Museum, where we saw a great many paintings, and birds, and their eggs. We then returned home, which we reached at about half-past six. We were highly delighted with our trip. THOMAS JOHNSON, aged 12.
Sandbach National School.-I hereby certify this to be the exclusive composition of Thomas Johnson. P. ALLEN, Master.
A DAY'S HOLIDAY.
A DAY'S holiday is always hailed with joy by schoolboys. So it was by me when our master told us he intended to go to Haweswater Lake, and would like some of us to accompany him. I, for one, who had never seen a lake, readily accepted his invitation. It was a fine morning in spring, when I, with about a dozen of my schoolfellows, and our master, set out on our excursion. We had gone about seven miles, when we began to feel very thirsty, and therefore purchased a bowl of milk at a farm near the roadside, which, along with our sandwiches, we soon despatched. Leaving this place, we hurried along over wild moors, till we came to Swinedale, a village situated in a very deep dell. In this village we saw a building which answered the purposes of church and school. We were told that they never had more than twenty scholars here, and seldom that number. After half-an-hour's more travelling, we expected to see the lake at the bottom of every hill we ascended, and therefore had races to see who could get the first glimpse. Being disappointed every time, we went our ordinary pace again, till we came to a small stream, which we thought would flow into the lake. Following this stream down a rugged steep, we at length came to the long-expected lake, which was worth all our trouble coming to see. On either side it was bordered by high peaks almost perpendicular, with here and there a few
cottages and farmhouses, which constitute the village called Mardale. After crossing to the other side of the lake, we met Mr. Holme, a kind old gentleman, who conducted us to the vicarage, where we were supplied with cake and each a glass of water. When we left the vicarage we set off home, but did not go back the same way we came. Walking at a quick pace, we soon passed Haweswater, which is about three miles long, and not quite a half broad. Being very footsore, we had a wade in the river Lowther, which rises in the lake, and is a tributary of the Eden. We reached home at a late hour in the night, very tired, but I think, with what we saw, it was worth getting tired. JOHN HODGSON, aged 15, Standard V. British School, Appleby.-I hereby certify that this composition is honestly worked by the boy whose name it bears.
J. F. TIMPANY, Master.
A VISIT TO ASTON HALL, BIRMINGHAM.
LAST Summer, my brother and I got a holiday and went to Aston Hall. We saw many very interesting things there, some of which I will tell you about. When we first entered we went up an old staircase on which there is a mark made by a cannon ball, which is said to have been fired through the wall by Oliver Cromwell at King Charles. The cannon ball lies there still, and. there are marks in the wall also. We went into a room where there was a very pretty collection of moths and butterflies, and also a mummy's hand, which was quite black, and the nails were sunk into the flesh. In another room we saw several figures in wax-work, one of which represented a barber's shop in China, with the barber cutting a man's hair; and another the private residence of a gentleman in China, who is made sitting down with his wife and children near him. In another room we saw some very pretty sculptured figures, one of which represented Solomon giving judgment between the two women.* He is made in the act of killing the child, and the woman is kneeling at his feet as if imploring for the child's life. We saw many other interesting things, and returned home very tired, after having spent a very happy day. ALFRED S. CHOVIL, aged 12 years. Harborne National Schools.-I certify that the above is A. S. Chovil's own work. E. G. PRICE, Master.
* I. Kings, chap. iii., 16th and 28th verses.
A DAY AT PEEL, ISLE OF MAN.
IN August, 1871, we paid a visit to the Isle of Man. We visited the principal places all through, as we were visiting every day. One of the most important places was Peel, a town situated on the west of the island. Its population exceeds 1,500. One of my friends, about the same age as myself, accompanied us in our visit to it. We started about ten o'clock in the morning, and arrived about one. As we were passing Kirk Braddan, we thought we would step into the churchyard, and look at the scenery, which was magnificent. It is situated between Douglas and Peel, and the Dukes of Athol are
buried there. But we had no time to lose, so we returned to the conveyance, and accomplished our journey. We were very hungry when we arrived, so we went to an hotel and had refreshments. Our next step was to go to the castle that stood across the water, so we hired a boat and crossed. There we had an excellent view of the island. The guide showed us where an ancient queen was imprisoned, and where she made her escape. He also showed us where a ghost, or mauthado, as the Manx people call it, has been seen; and some people say that a soldier, rather intoxicated with drink, was killed by it, but not many people believe it. Superstitious fears grew dark about there after this occurrence. We were also shown a great stone which was thrown at the Scots in time of the war: it is said it did great harm. By this time we prepared to return, as it was five o'clock; so we set off, reached the conveyance about halfpast five, and started on our journey. However, half-past seven saw us safe in Mr. Elliott's boarding-house, after a day of the utmost pleasure and enjoyment. WILLIAM GRAHAM, aged 13 years.
Levenshulme Commercial School.—Entirely the work of this boy. WM. HIGGINSON, Head Master.
Answers should reach the Editor by the 10th instant. They should be written on only one side of the paper, and should not contain a larger number of words than would fill one-half or three-quarters of a page of this Magazine. Each answer should be signed by the writer, and should state his age from his last birthday. Boys and girls who have completed their twelfth year are eligible to answer the first question; boys and girls under twelve must confine themselves to the second question. The papers written by scholars of the same age will be examined together, and the writers of the two best in each division will receive a prize. All papers should contain a certificate from the teacher of the school that they have been honestly worked. Transcription is not composition.
SUBJECTS FOR THIS MONTH.
For Seniors.-(Boys and girls of the ages of 12, 13, 14, and 15.) The Life of Edward III. (limited to 250 words).
For Juniors.-(Boys and girls of the ages of 9, 10, and 11.) The best drawing of a cat from copy.
The Publisher has much pleasure in giving PRIZES to the writers of the two best answers to each question in every number. The first prize will be a book of the value of FIVE SHILLINGS; the second, a book of the value of THREE SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE. Two books of each kind will be given-four in all; but a Scholar, after taking one prize, cannot obtain