264 Old-time Schools and School-books
Two boys went out in-to the snow, with a lit-tle sled. One was na-med James, the oth-er was na-med Sam-u-el. James said to Sam-u-el, M You dare not go on that pond with your sled." Sam-u-el said, "Yes, I dare, but it is wrong; be-cause fa-ther said we must not do it." Then James laugh-ed and said, u What of that ? Fa-ther cannot see us; for he is at work in the shop."
Was not James a wick-ed boy ? He was. He for-got that God saw him all the time.
Sam-u-el beg-ged him not to take the sled on the pond, be-cause the ice was thin. But James was ob-stin-ate, and went on the thin ice a great way. Then Sam-u-el went back to the house and read in his Sun-day-school book.
After Sam-u-el had read a lit-tle while, he heard a noise out of doors. It was James's voice. Sam-u-el was fright-en-ed, and ran out, and there saw James in the wa-ter. The ice was bro-ken, and James was up to his neck in the pond. The poor boy was scream-ing for some-bod-y to come and take him out. Sam-u-el took a long pole, and held the end of it, and James caught hold of the oth-er end and crawl-ed out. His moth-er was ver-y sor-ry. She was a-fraid James would be sick; and he was sick a long time. But there was an-oth-er thing which made her more sor-ry still. It was his be-ing so wick-ed.
The selections I have made show certain salient and picturesque features of the old-time readers, but leave many books entirely unmentioned. I have said nothing of the readers edited by Lyman Cobb, who was the first to compile a thoroughly complete and well-graded series. Worcester's books soon followed, and Sanders's came a little later, and by 1850 Town, McGuffy, Russell, Swan, and others were in the field and the series idea.was firmly established.