OLD-TIME SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL-BOOKS - online book

An Illustrated history & description Of Schools in the 18th & 19th Centurys.

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Other Spellers                           205
a ferpent under a hedge, almoft dead with cold. He took it up and warmed it in his breaft; but it was fcarcely come to life when it ftung its benefactor, and the too charitable peafant died of the wound. This is aftonifhing faid the ferpent: How partial are your hiftorians ! Ours relate this hiftory in a different manner. Your charitable peafant be­lieved the ferpent dead : Its fkin was beautifully variegated with different colours; he took it up and was haftening home in order to flay it.
Now tell me whether the ferpent was ungrateful ?
Hold your tongue, replied the boy. Where is the ingrate who cannot find fome excufe.to juftify himfelf?
Well anfwered, interrupted the boy's father, who had lif-tened to the dialogue. Neverthelefs, my fon, if ever thou fhouldeft hear of an inftance of ingratitude bafer than or­dinary, forget not to examine every circumftance to the bottom, and be extremely backward in fixing fo foul a ftain on any man's character.
Comly's A New Spelling-book, Philadelphia, 1806, has on nearly every page a few short paragraphs of reading in addition to the columns of words. The first of this reading starts off lugubriously with — "All of us, my son, are to die," and the tone of the reading lessons right through the book is very serious. If there is a pause for a bit of natural his­tory about " The Wren," " The Camel," or some other creature, it is only momentary, and the text promptly reverts to its pedantic and melancholy moralizing, often with a touch of theology added. Here is one of the longer lessons : —
Joseph Harris, a child of eleven years old, during his last illness, gave the following advice to his sister, Dost
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