258 Old-time Schools and School-books
must have been sorely disappointing to the child who believed these character-myths. Here is another typical reading-book story from The Child's Guide. It is called —
THE IDLE SCHOOL BOY.
I will tell you about the laziest boy you ever heard of. He was indolent about every thing. When he had spelled a word, he drawled out one syllable after another, as if he were afraid the syllables would quarrel, if he did not keep them a great ways apart. Once, when he was saying a lesson in Geography, his Master asked him, "What is said of Hartford?" He answered, "Hartford is a flourishing comical town."
He meant it was a " flourishing, commercial town " ; but he was such a dunce, that he never knew what he was about.
Another day, when his class were reciting a lesson from the Dictionary, he made a mistake, worse than all the rest. The word, A-ceph-a-lous, was printed with syllables divided as you see; the definition of the word was, "without a head."
The idle boy had often been laughed at for being so very slow in saying his lesson; this time he thought he would be very quick and smart; so he spelled the word before the Master had a chance to put it out. And how do you think he spelled it ?
" A-c-e-p-h, Aceph," said he ; " A louse without a head." The boys laughed at him so much about this, that he was obliged to leave school.
You can easily guess what luck this idle boy had. His father tried to give him a good education, but he would be a dunce; not because he was a fool, but because he was