« PreviousContinue »
TALES ON TEXTS.
• Oh, the pen dipped in too far; see, the
holder is all over, too.' THE HEDGE OF THORNS.
• And couldn't you bave wiped it ?• The way of the slothful ... is as an hedge of thorns.' bere's the pen-wiper close at your elbow.
Prov, xv, 19.
What a sad lazy boy you are, Clement ! CHAPTER I.
Your idleness will lead you into all kinds T is quite impossible, I can- of faults, if you don't mind.
It is already not write such an exercise; beginning to make a sloven of you : why, it is a great deal too difficult you haven't washed your face, I'm sure, for me,' grumbled Clement since you came in from school.' Harley, pushing his book I thought I'd do that just before tea, from him in disgust, and lazily and get on with my exercise first.'
scribbling over a sheet of blot- * And you haven't even begun it. Oh, ting-paper. Gradually even this profitless Clement ! Clement ! you will never do any employment became too fatiguing for him; good all your life if you go on like this.' and, resting his elbows on the table and * But it's so hard, mother.' his chin upon his hands, he stared vacantly * Everything is hard to an indolent out of the window. If he had been asked person. Solomon says that “the way of at the end of a quarter of an hour what the slothful is as an hedge of thorns." he had been thinking of all this time, he Energy and trying soon get over difficulties; would probably have answered—“Nothing.' dawdling never yet did anything. If the And though that perhaps was impossible, if exercise is hard, all the more reason for we may dignify with the name of thinking working steadily at it. You have quite as the mere suffrance of ideas as they float good abilities as Harry, and see how much idly through the brain, still it is certain better he gets on than you.' that no idea was retained, and that Clement, Clement drew his books towards him if questioned, could have given no rational once more, and read over carefully the rule account of his musings.
he had to write upon: really it seemed The entrance of his mother into the
pretty easy after all; and he took
his room roused him.
pen and wrote a word or two, but no more. What are you doing, Clement ?' she in- At this early stage of the proceedings, quired. Learning your lessons, I hope?' * Tartar,' a favourite dog, came bounding
• I've got my exercise ready to begin, in at the open window, and this was a mother; but it's too hard, I can't manage it. temptation Clement had no force to resist. 'Have you tried ?'
Soon the two were playing on the floor 'I've been looking at it, but I can't together, and the exercise was altogether make it out at all.'
forgotten. Presently it suited Tartar to “But I suppose you will have to write gallop off into the garden; so off Clement it, so you had better set about it at once. galloped after him, only coming in again Dr. Green or Mr. Jones—whoever gave you when the tea-bell rang. the exercise-must know pretty well by this Still not washed !' said his mother at what you are capable of. You ought to the first sight of him, and he was dismissed have written a good deal by the look of to make himself neat before sitting down your fingers, they are covered with ink.' to table.
* And your exercise—that is finished, I morning, I will indeed, if you'll only let hope ?" said Mrs. Harley when the meal
You will, won't you?—there's a was nearly over.
dear mother;' and his arms were round Mrs. Oh, dear! I forgot all about it,' an- Harley's neck and his rosy cheek pressed swered the young idler in dismay. Then close to hers. more cheerfully, ‘But there's plenty of The lad's coaxing ways overcame her time-there's all the evening.'
better judgment, and she yielded a reluc• But there are your other lessons.'
tant consent. So Harry and Clement set * And you know we fixed to go and speak off and made their arrangements with their to James Barlow after tea,' said Harry. friend, and when they came back their fa
'So we did; that was why I set to my ther was at home and kept them with him work directly I got in. And I'll go; I can till their bedtime. manage all I've to do very well afterwards, Remember to ask Ann to call you early or in the morning.'
to-morrow,' said Mrs. Harley, as Clement 'I thought your exercise was so difficult, bid her good-night. said Mrs. Harley.
So Ann received strict injunctions in the "Oh! I've looked well at the rule, and matter, which she punctually carried out. it won't be so bad, I think.'
“Half-past six, Master Clement,' she * And you are all ready for to-morrow, called out the next morning, rapping sharply Harry ?'
at the door of the boys' room. Repeated 'Yes, mother; I worked up in my bed- knocks bringing no answer, she went in and room because'-he stopped, not liking to shook the little sleeper, till the lazy eyes give the reason that if he had come down opened, and the drowsy brain took in the into the breakfast-room, usually given up unpleasant fact that it was time to get to the boys of an evening for the prepa- up. ration of their lessons, he knew he should · Don't go to sleep again,' advised Ann, have been perpetually interrupted by with a parting shake. “You'd better jump Clement, who, like any other idle per- out of bed at once.' son, not only loitered himself, but was a That at once was an expression so often great hindrance to those about him. used to Clement, that perhaps he had grown
* Then I think you had better go alone callous to its force; at any rate it had no and see James,' said Mrs. Harley to Harry. effect in the present case: he turned round * Clement must stay in and write his ex- on his pillow for one more little nap, and ercise.'
of course he did not wake again until "Oh, mother!' cried Clement, please Clement, Clement ! you'd better be quick; let me go; we want to fix about Saturday, here's Ann calling us, and you were to have whether we shall go fishing, or bird-nesting, got up long before: but make haste, and or what. I particularly want to see James, you'll have time now for your lessons.' ' and he goes to his aunt's to-morrow.'
Harry was already up and beginning to ‘You should have thought of that before. dress. Clement yawned and grumbled :Dr. Green complains that you make no How provoking! You see I fell asleep progress at all, that you never know your again; I wish I hadn't gone with you to see lessons.
James last night. How tiresome of Ann not • I'll get up early and learn them in the to make me get up! but it's no use now, I
must just write my exercise anyhow, and MARTIN BLACK'S CHILDREN. one's lessons are easily skimmed:'—and he
(Concluded from p. 107.) lay still, watching Harry brush his hair. One fault leads to another. Already, as
ARMER WELLAND, one sunny Mrs. Harley said, Clement's idleness was morning in July, fell off one of his making him negligent of his dress and own hay-waggons, and seriously injured person, it was to lead him into a worse
himself. Martin was passing by and helped fault this day. The way of the slothful to carry the poor fellow to the side of the is' verily as an hedge of thorns. The road; he was insensible at first, but soon thorns and briers had long hindered his came round, and said he felt no pain, though progress, and made each forward step hard
he was unable to move or stand. The kind and painful. Were they now to entangle landlady of “The Oak, close to which the him in the snares of deceit, and drag him accident happened, came out with offers of down into the miry ways of actual wrong- help, and sheltered the poor man from the doing?
hot sun, while Martin arranged with a (To be continued.)
crusty flyman who was taking a little boy