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Being A Boy

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If I was obliged tobe a boy, and a boy in the country - the best kind of boy to be, in the summer - -I would be about ten years of age. As soon as I got any older, I would quit it. The trouble with a boy is that just as he beginR to enjoy himself he is too oíd, and has to be set to doing somtthing else. If a country boy were wise he would stay at just that age when he could enjoy himself most, and have the least expected of him in the way of work. Of course the perfectly good boy will alvvays prefer to work and to do " choros" for his father and errands for his inother and sisters, rather than enjoy himsulf in his own way. I never saw but one such boy. He lived in the town of Goshen - not the place where the butter is made, but a much better Goshen than that. And I never saw him, but I heard of him ; and being about the same age, as I supposed, I was taken once froto Zoah, where I lived, to Goshen to see hiiu. But he was dèad. He had beendead aluiost a year, so that it was impossible to see him. He died of the most singular disease : it was from not eating green apples in the season of thena. This boy, whose name was Solomon, before he died, would rather split up kindling-wood for his inother than go a-fishing - the eonsequence was that he was kept at splitting kindling-wood and such work most of the time, and grew a better and more ueeful boy day by day.' Solomon would not disobey and eat green apples - not even wheu they were ripe enough to knock off with a stick - but he had such a longing for them, that he pined, and passed a way. If he had eaten the green apples he would have died of them, probably ; so that his example is a dim'cult one to follow. In fact a boy is a hard subject to get a moral from, anyway. All his little playmates who ate green apples carne to Solomon's funeral, and were very sorry for what they had done. John was a very different boy from Solomon, not half so good, nor half so dead. He was a farmer's boy, as Solomon was, but he did not take so much interest in th farm. If John could have had his way he would dave discovered a cave full of diamonds, and lots of nailkegs full of gold pieces and Spanish dollars, with a pretty little girl living at the cave, and two beautifully caparisoned horses, upon which, taking the jewels and money, they would have ridden offtogether, he did not know where. Jhon had got this far in his studies, which were apparently arithmetic and geography, but were in re'ality the "Arabian Nights," and other books of high and mighty adventure. He was a simple country boy, and did not know much about the world as it is, but he had one of his own imagination, in which he lived a good deal. I dare say he found out soon enough what the world is, and he had a lesson or two when he was quite young, in two incidents which I may as well relate. If you had seen John at this time you might have thought he was only a shabbily dressed country lad, and you never would have guessed what beautilul thoughts he sometióles had as he went stubbing his toes along the dusty road, nor what a chivalrous little fellow he was. You would have seen a short boy, barefooted, with trowsers at once too big and too short, held up perhaps by one suspender only, a checked cottou shirt, and a hat of braided palmleaf, frayed at the edges and bulged up in the erown. It is impossible to keep a hat neat if you use it to catch bumble bees and whisk 'em ; to baU the water from a leaky boat ; to catch ïninnows in ; to put over houey bees' nests, aud to transport pebbles, strawberries, and hens' eggs. John usu ally carritd a sling in his hand, or a bow, or a limber stick, sharp at one end, from which he could throw apples a great distance. If he walked in the road, he walked in the middle of it, scuffing up the dusfc ; or if he was walking elsewhere. he was likely to be running on the top ol the fence or the stone wall, and chaüing chipni unks. John knew the best place to dig swectflag in all the farm ; it was in a uieadow by the river, where the boboünks sang so gaily. He never liked to h ar the bobolink sing, however, for he said it always reminded him of the whettingof a scytne, and that reminded him of spreading hay ; and if thcre was anything he huted it was spreading hay after the mowers. " I guess you wouldn't like it yourself," said John, " with the stubbs getting into your feet, and the hot sun, and the men gettiug ahead of you, all you could do." Towards evening, once, John was coming along the road home with some stalks of the sweet-flig in nis hand ; there is a succulent pith in the end ot' the stalk which is very good to eat, tender, and not ao strong as the root; and John liked to pull it, and carry home what he did not eat on the way. Ar he was walking along he met a oarriage, which stopped opposite to him ; he also stopped and bowed, as country boys used to do in John's day. A lady leaned trom the carriage. and said : " What have you got, little boy?" She seemed to be the most beautiful woman John had ever seen ; with light hair, dark, tender yes, and the sweetest smile. There waa that in her mein and in her dress whifh reminded John of the beautiful oastle ladiea, with whom he was well acquainted in books. He feit that he kDew her at once, and hé also seemed to be a sort of young prince himself. I ftmcy he didn't look much like one. But of his own appearance he thought not at all, as he replied to the lady's question without the least embarassment : " It's swoet-flag talk ; would you like some '(" " Indeed, I should like to taste of it," ■ I used to be over 80 fond of it when I was a littlo girl." John was deliphted that the lady should liko sweet-fla":, and that she was lileaaed to accept it from him. Ile thought hiraself that it was about tho best thing to oat hé knew. Ho handad up a large bunch of it. The lady took two or three stalks, and was about to roturn the rust, when John said : " Pleaso keep it all ma'ain. I can get lots more. I know where it's ever so thick " " Thank you, thank you," said tho lady; and as tho carriage started she reached out her hand to John. He did not undsrstand the motion, until he saw a cent drop in tho roud at bis feet. Instantly all his illusion and his pluasure vanished. Sonicthing liko tears were in his eyos as he shouted : "Idon't viant your oent. I don't sell flap; I" John was intensely mortifiod. "I suppose," ho said, " she thought I was a sort of befrgar-boy. To think of selliDg flag !" At any rate, he walkpd avvay and left the cent in the road, a huiuiliated boy. The next day he told Jim Gates about it. Jim said he was green not to take the inoney ; he'd go and look tor it now, if he would teil him about, whete it dropped. And Jim did spend an hour pokiut; about in the dirt, but did not find the cent. Jiin, however, had an idea ; he said he was going to dig sweet-flag, and see if anotker carriage wouldu't come along. John's next rebuff and knowledge of the world was ut' another sort. He was again walking the road at twilight, when he was overtaken by a wagon with one Beat, upon whieh were two pretty girls, and a young gentleman sat between theui, driving. It was a merry party, and John could hear them laughing and singing as tbey approached him. The wagon stopped when it overtook him, and one of the sweet-faced girls lcaned trom the sat and said, quilo seriously and pleasantly : "Little boy, how's your marP" John was surprised and puzzled for a moment. He had never seen the young lady, but he thought that she perhap-s knew his mother; at any rate hisiustiuot uf politeness made him siy: 'Slie's pretty Wall, I thank you." " Does she kuow you are out f" And tbereupou all three in the wagon burst ïnio a rour of laughter, and dashed on. It flashiid upon John in a moment that he had beeu imposed on, and it hurt him dreadfully. His selt-respect was in jured somehow, and he feit as if his lovely, gentle muther had been insuited. He would like to have throwii a stoue at the wagon, and in a rage, he cried : "You're aniee" - tuit hecouldn't think of any hard, bitter words quick enough Probabiy the young lady, who might have been almost any young lady, never knew what a cruel thing sho liad done


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