Abbildungen der Seite

with the exultant look of one who can afford to yield ground.

“The first mistake,” resumed the stranger, addressing himself especially to the risen men still standing, and pointing to Catou," the first mistake was in the kind of bargain you made.” He ceased, and passed his eyes around from one to another until they rested for an instant on the bewildered countenance of Chat-oué. Then he turned again upon the people, who had sat down, and began to speak with the exultation of a man that feels his subject lifting him above himself.

“I came out here to show up that man as a fraud. But what do I find ?-A poor, unpaid, half-starved man that loves his thankless work better than his life, teaching what not one schoolmaster in a thousand can teach: teaching his whole school four better things than were ever printed in any school-book-how to study, how to think, how to value knowledge, and to love one another and mankind. What you'd ought to have done was to agree that such a school should keep open, and such a teacher should stay, if jest one, one lone child should answer one single book-question right! But, as I said before, a bargain's a bargain— Hold


there! Sit down! You shan't interrupt me again!” Men were standing up on every side; there was a confusion and a loud buzz of voices. “The second mistake,” the stranger made haste to cry, was thinking the teacher gave out that last word right. He gave it wrong!

And the third mistake,” he shouted against the rising commotion,

was thinking it was spelt wrong. She spelt it right! And a bargain's a bargain !—the schoolmaster stays !”

He could say no more; the rumble of voices suddenly burst into a cheer. The women and children laughed and clapped their hands, - Toutou his feet also, -and Bonaventure, flirting the leaves of a spelling-book till he found the place, looked, cried “In-com-pre-hen-sibility !

[ocr errors]



wheeled and dashed upon Sidonie, seizing her hands in his as she turned to fly, and gazed speechlessly upon her, with the tears running down his face. Feeling a large hand upon his shoulder, he glanced around and saw 'Mian pointing him to his platform and desk. Thither he went . The stranger had partly restored order. Every one was in his place. But what a change ! What a gay futter throughout the old shed ! Bonaventure seemed to have bathed in the fountain of youth. Sidonie, once more the school's queen-flower, sat calm, with just a trace of tears adding a subtle something to her beauty.

“Chil'run, beloved chil'run," said Bonaventure, standing once more by his desk, “yo' school-teacher has the blame of the sole mistake ; and, sir, gladly, oh, gladly, sir, would he always have the blame rather than any of his beloved school-chil'run!”

George Washington Cable.




KNOW a girl with teeth of pearl,
And shoulders white as snow;
She lives,-ah! well,

I must not tell,
Wouldn't you

like to know?

Her sunny hair is wondrous fair,
And wavy in its flow;

Who made it less

One little tress,
Wouldn't you like to know?


Her eyes are blue (celestial hue !)
And dazzling in their glow;

On whom they beam

With melting gleam, — Wouldn't you

like to know?

Her lips are red and finely wed,
Like roses ere they blow;

What lover sips

Those dewy lips,Wouldn't you like to know?

Her fingers are like lilies fair,
When lilies fairest grow;

Whose hand they press

With fond caress, Wouldn't you like to know?

Her foot is small, and has a fall
Like snowflakes on the snow;

And where it goes

Beneath the rose, Wouldn't you like to know?

She has a name, the sweetest name
That language can bestow.

'Twould break the spell

If I should tell, Wouldn't you like to know?

John G. Saxe.

« ZurückWeiter »