292 Old-time Schools and School-books
citizens. I have, therefore, had frequent opportunities of being the melancholy spectator of the effects produced by the subtle poison which the worm infuses.
The symptoms of its bite are terrible. The eyes of the patient become red and fiery, his tongue swells to an immoderate size, and obstructs his utterance ; and delirium of the most horrid character, quickly follows. Sometimes, in his madness, he attempts the destruction of his nearest friends.
If the sufFerer has a family, his weeping wife and helpless infants are not unfrequently the objects of his frantic fury. In a word, he exhibits all the detestable passions that rankle in the bosom of a savage ; and such is the spell in which his senses are locked, that, no sooner has the unhappy patient recovered from the paroxysm of insanity, occasioned by the bite, than he seeks out the destroyer, for the sole purpose of being bitten again.
I have seen a good old father, his locks as white as snow, his steps slow and trembling, beg in vain his only son to quit the lurking place of the worm. My heart bled when he turned away; for I knew the fond hope, that his son would be the " staff" of his declining years," had supported him through many a sorrow.
Youths of Missouri, would you know the name of this reptile ? It is called the Worm of the Still.
The next selection is from The General Class-Book, Greenfield, Massachusetts, 1828.
Dialogue between Mrs. Lackwit, Mrs. Goodsense, etc.
Mrs. Lackwit. Scat you little beast! See that kitten. She has been patting my ball of yarn, and rolling it all over the floor, till it is half unwound. There, take that box in the ear, and learn better manners.