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Miscellany: The Bushel Of Corn

Miscellany: The Bushel Of Corn image
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Farmer Gray had a neighbor, wlio was not tno best tompcred man in the world, tliouffh mninly kmdly and obliging. Ho was a shoemalvcr. 1]IS name was Barton. One dav, in harvcst-timer wlien every ünc on the 'farm was busy as a bee, thia man carne over to t armer Gray s, and said, in ratber a pctuJant tone of voice -f "Mr. Gray, I wisH you would sénd over and drive your geese home." Why so, Mr. Barton; what have my gecse been doing?" the farmer said, in a mild, cmi'ct tone. "Tiiey piek my pirg ears when they are eating, and go into my garden; and will not have it." the neighbor replied, in a stil! more petulant voice. '"I am really sorry for it, neighbor Barton: but what can I do?" "Why, yoke tliem, and thus keep tliem on your own premisos. It's no kind of way to Jet your gceee run all over evcry farm, and garen in the neighborhoot1 ." "But I cannot seo to it now. It is harvesttime. friend Barton, and every man, wonian aud diild on the farm? has as much as lic or¦ - - ; shc can do. Try and bear il fur a week or f o, and thenl will secifl can possibJv remedy the evil." "I can'tbearit, and I vvon't bear it, any longer, thc shocmaker snid. Soifyoudo not take care of them, friend Gray, I shall have to take care of them for you." "Well, neighbor Barton, yon can do as yo fnrmei Gray replied, in bis usual nuiet tone. I am sorry that they trouble vou. but I eannot attend to thcm now." "FU attend to thcm for yon, seo ifí don't," the shoemaker said, still more angrily than wben he first called upon farmer Gray; and then turned upon his heel, and strode offha=tily toward his own house, which was quite near to the oíd farmcr's. "Wliat upon eartb can be the matter with them geese?" Mrs. Gray said, about fifteen minutes afterwards. "I really eannot teil, unless neighbor Barton is taking care of them. He threatened Lo do so, if 1 didn't yokc them no-ht oíT." "Taking care of them! How takin care )fthem?" B'As to iliat, I am quite in the dark. Rilling Ihem, perhaps. He said thej pickcd at nis pigs1 eais,and drove tliem away wJien tliey were eating, nnd that thcy would not havo it. He vvanted me to yoke tlicm right off; but that I could not do novv, as all the hands are biu,y . He then said, that if I d id'nt takc care of them, he would. So I suppose he is engaged in the ncighborly business of taking care of our gcesc." "Jhn! William! run over and see wlmt Mr. Barton is doing with my geese," Mrs. Gray eaid, in a quick and anxious tone, to two little boys who vvere playing ncar. Tho urchins senmpered ofi well pleased to perform an errar.d. "Oh, if lie has dared to do anything to my gcesc.J will never forgive him!" the wife said, angnly."ll-u s-h, Sally, makcno rash speeches.- It is more than probable that he has killed some two or three of them. But nsver mind ïf he bas. He will get over his pet, and 1 e sorry for it." "Yes; but wbat good will his beinr sorry do me? Will it bring my gecsc to tifo?" "Ah, well, Sally, never mind. Let us wait until we learn wliat all this distarbance is about." Id about ten minutes, the children came home, hearing the bodies of three gcese, each without a head. "Oh, is'n'tthat too much for human endurance!' exclaimed Mrs. Gray. '-Where did yo find them?" "Wc founcl them lying out in the road," said the eldest of the two children. "And when wepicked them up, Mr. Bariou said- 'Teil your fathcr that I have yokcd his jcpsc Tor him, to save him the trouble, as his hands are all too busy to do it.' "Td sue him for itP said Mrs. Gray, in an indignant tone. "And whatgood vvould that do, Sally?" "Why, it vvould do a great dea] of good.- It vvould teach him better manners. It would purish him; and ho deserves punishment." "And punish us in ihe bargain. We have lost threo geese now, but we still have theü good íat bodies to eat. A lawsiut would cost us a good many geese, and not leave us even so mueh as Ihe feathers; besides giving us a vvorld of trouble and vexation. No, no, Sally, just let it rest, and he vvill bo sorry for it.I know.""Sorry for it, indeed! And what good wül his benig sorry for it do us. I should like to know ? Nest, he will kill a cow, and then we must bo satisfied with his soiry for it! Now, I can teil you tlmt I don't beiievö in tbat doctrine. Nor do I beliove withiog about lus hcmg sorry; the crabbed, ill-natured wretch-." "Don't cali hard names, Sally," farmer Uray suid, in a mild,soothing tone. "Jtfeighbor Barton was nol Iiimsoif when hc killed the geese. Likc evcry othcr angry person, he was a litlle insanc, and did what ho wouM nol have done had he been perfectiy in his right mind. Whon yon are a litt!e excited, you know, Sally, that even you do and say unreusonublc things. " "Mèdoanil say unreasonablo things!" exclannod Mrs, Gray, with a look and tone of iM'inrmuit .astonishment; "me say and do unreoiionuble ifiïh'ga wlien I am ariffry ! I don't onderstand you, Mr. Gray." "ATay be I can help you :i little. Don't v?UiirememllGr ll0w anSry yu wcrc when Mr. Mellon sold briridlc got inlo our rrarden, and trampled over your letttice bed? and how you Btfuck lier with the oven jjoJc, and knocked ofF one of her horns" "But í did'nt mean to do that, though," "No; but then you wcre ahgry, and struck old brindle with a right ffOod vvill. And if Mr. Mellon liad feit disposed, he might have prosecuted for damnges." tJBut she had no business thcre." "Of course npt. Neirher had our geese any business in neighbor Barton's yard. But, perhaps I can help you to another instance, that will be mere conclusivo in regard to your doing and sayiug unreasonable tbings when you are angry. Vou remember the patent churn.""Yes; but nevcr mind aboiit that." "So you havo not forgotten how unreasonable you were abotit your churn. It jyas'nt good for anything- you kncw it was'nt; and you'd never put jar of croam into t as long as you live- that.yóu woiild'nl. And yet, on triul, you found that churn the best you had cver-used; and now you would'nt part with it on any conslderation. So you see, Snllv, that even you can soy and do unreasonobíe things, when you are angry, just as well as Mr. Barton can. Let us then consider him a little, and give him time f o get over lus angry fit. It will be much better to do so. ' Mrs. Gray saw that her husband was right, and stilJ she feit indignant at the outrage committcd on her geese. She did not, however, say anything ubout sueing the shoemaker- or old brindle's hcad, from whicli the hom liad been knockcd off, was not yet entircly vvcll, and one prosecullon very naturally eiiffijested the idea of another. So she took her thiee fat geese, and after stripping off theif fëathers, liad them propared for the tablo. On ihcnext morning, as Mr. Grav was gong aloiiff the road, he met the shoemakor; and as they had to pass very ncar to each other. the farmer smiled,and bowed, and spoke kindly. Mr. Barton Ipok'ed nnd feit very un¦ ¦' easy, but farmer Gray did not seem to remem üer the unplcasant incident of the day before it was about eleven o'cbck of the same doy, that one of Parmer Gray 's litttle boys carne running to him, and cryintr- ; "Oh, father] father! Mr. Barton'a ho-rs are ui ourcornfieid." "Then I must go drive thera out," said Mr uray, m a quiet tone. "Drive them out!" ejaculated Mrs. Gray "Drive them out, indeed. Td shoot them' that s what I'd do. I'd serve them as he serv eu my geese yesterday." ''But that would'nt bring the geese to life again, Sally." "I don't care if it would'nt. It would be paying him in his own coin, and thafs all he dcíerves." "You know what the Bible says, Sally, about gnevous words, and they apply with stronger force to grievous actions. No- no- I wil] return neighbor Barton good for evil.- That is the best way. He faas done wrong, and I am sure is sorry for it. And as I wish him still to remain sorry for so unkind and unneighborly an nction, I intend making, use of the best means for keeping him sorry." "Then you will not be revenged on him, any how." "No, Sally- not revenged. I hope I have no such feeling. Por I am not angry with neighbor Barton, who has done himself a much greater wrong than he has done me. But I wish him tosee cleaily how wrong he hasacted, that he may do so no more. And then weshall not have any cause to complain of him, nor he any to be grieved, as I am sure he is, at his own hasty conduct. But while I am talking here, hiá hogs are destroyzng my corn."And so sa ving-, farmer Oray hurried offtowards his cornfield. When hc arrived there, he found four large hogs tèaring down the staJks, and puliing off, and eating up the ripe ears of corn. Thoy had already destroyed a good deal. But he drove them out very calmly, and put up the bars through which they liad entered, and then commenced gathering up the half-caten cars of corn, and throwing thom out into the lane, for the hogs that had been so suddenly disturbed m the process of obtaining a libera] mea!. As he was thus engaged, Mr. Barton, who had, frotn his own house, seen the farmer turn the hogs out of his cornfield, came hurriedly up, andsaid. "I am very sorry, Mr. Gray, indeed I am, that my hogs have done this. I will most cheerfully pay you for what they have destroyed." "Oh, never mind, friend Barton - never rmnd. Such things will happen occasionally. My geese, you know, annoy you very much sometimes.." "Don't speak of it, Mr. Gray. They did'nt annoy me half as much as I imagined the did. But how much corn do you think m; hogs have destroyed? One bushei or tw bushels? Or how much? Let it be estima ted, and I will pay you for t most cheerfu] ly.""Oh no. Not for the world, friend Barton Such things will happen somelimes. An( besides, some of my men must have left the bars down, or your hogs could never have gone in. So don't think any more about it tí would be dreadful if one neighbor could no bear a little with another" All this cut poor Mr. Barton to the heart His own ill-natured language, and conf]uct,a a much smaller trespass on his rights, pre scnted itself to his mind, and deeply mortifiec him. After a few moment's silence, he said - "The fnct is, Mr. Gray, I shall feel better i you will let me pay for tliia corn. My hogs should not bc fattened at your expense, and '. will not consent to its being done. So I shal insist ou pay ing you for at least one bushei o corn', for I am sure thöy have destroyed tha much, if not more." But Mr. Gray shook his head, and smiled pleasantly, as he replied - "Don't think anything more about it, neighbor Barton. It is a matter deserving no consideratioD. No doubt my cattlc havo often trespassed oh you, and will trespass on you again. Let us then bear and forbear." AU this cut the shoemaker still dceper, and lic feit still less at ease in mind after he pnrtcd from the farmer, than he did before. But on one thing he resolved, and that was, to pay Mr. Gray for the Corn which lus hogs had ealen."You told liim your mind pretty plainly, I hope," Mrs. Gray said, as hor busbond camp in. "I certainly dit],' was the qniet roply. "And I am glad yon had spirit enough to do it. I reckon he will think twice, beforo he kills any more of my gcese." 'I expcct you are right. Sally. I don't tliink weshall be troublöd again." "Whdt did you say to him? And what did hc say for himsclf?" 'Why, he wanted very much to pay me for the corn his hogs had öaten; but T wouldt hear to it. I told him that it made no diflereiicc in the worid. Thatsuch accidcius vvould happen sometimes," "And tbat'sthe way you spoke your mincl to him?" "Precisely; and it had the desired efièct. - It made him feel ten times worse thnn it' I had spoken angrily to him. He is exceedingly pained at what he has'done, and snys he will never rest uittil he has paid for that corn. - But I am resolved never to talco a cent forit. It will bo the best possible guaranty I can have for his kind and neighborly conduct hereafter." "Well, perhaps you are right," Mrs. Gray said, after a few minutes of thougutful silence. "I like Mrs. Barton very much - and now I come to think of it, I should not wieh to have any differencc between our families." ' 'And so do I like Mr. Barton. Hc iias read a good deal, and I find it very pleasant to sit with him occastonnlly, during the long winter evenings. His only fault is his quick temper -but 1 am sure it is much better for us to bear with, and soothe that, thnn to oppot-e and excile it, and thus keep both hia faniüy ahd our own in hot water." 'You certainly are right," Mrs. Gray said, "an.l I only wish that I could ahvays think and feel as you do. But I am a little quick, as they say." "And so is Mr. Barton. Now, just the same consideration that you would desirc oliicrs to have for you, should you exercipo toward.i Air.Barton; or any one clse vvhose Imsiy temper lfiods him into words or actions that in calrncr and more thoughtful moments, are subjects of regret." (Cnnclutlcd ??; n?ir next. )


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