« VorigeDoorgaan »
5. The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple; there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"
6. Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly, Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes and green and purple hue,
Thinking only of her crested head. Poor, foolish thing! At last
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast;
7. He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor-but she ne'er came out again! And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you, ne'er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart and ear and eye, And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the
FOR PREPARATION.-I. Is the spider a "cunning" animal? Is the fly a vain animal, pleased with the attentions of others, or only a greedy animal, that likes sweet things to eat?
II. Walk, pär'-lor, pret'-ti-est (prit'-), stâir, eû'-ri-ous, wind'-ing, wea'-ry, sōar'-ing, eûr'-tains, a-while', heard, friend, prove, erēat'ūre (-yur), gauz'-y, brill'-iant, new (nu), pleased, sub'-tle (sŭt'l), pearl, pûr'-ple, di'-a-mond, buzz'-ing, fierçe'-ly, eoun'-sel-or.
III. What letters are omitted in ne'er, I'm, I'll, I've, that's, you're, what's, you'll, there's?
IV. Winding stair, curious, soaring, snugly, cunning, prove, pantry, welcome, "gauzy wings," behold, wove a subtle web," crest, wily, flitting, dismal, counselor, flattering.
V. Note what the Spider said to persuade the Fly, in the first stanza (a beautiful parlor; then, curious things to see up the winding stair). Second stanza (a bed, with pretty curtains and fine sheets; kind attentions promised by the Spider, who tries to show how anxious he is for the Fly's comfort). Third stanza (fine things to eat in his pantry-sugar and molasses, so tempting to flies, doubtless; but the Fly knows better). Fourth stanza (praises the wit and wisdom of the Fly; then her personal beauty, gauzy wings, brilliant eyes; has a looking-glass for her use. The Fly, who knew so well what was in the pantry, now concludes to believe that he has a looking-glass, and promises to call; thinks that it will be too sudden a change of mind to go in at once). Fifth stanza (the Spider has found the weak side of the vain Fly, and now sings about her beauty and his own plainness). Sixth stanza (flattery of her wings and eyes secures the Spider's victim).
1. When Nat went into school on Monday morning, he quaked inwardly, for now he thought he should have to display his ignorance before them all. But Mr. Bhaer
gave him a seat in the deep window, where he could turn his back on the others, and Franz heard him say his lessons there, so that no one could hear his blunders, or see how he blotted his copy-book. He was truly grateful for this, and toiled away so diligently that Mr. Bhaer said, smiling, when he saw his hot face and inky fingers:
2. "Don't work so hard, my boy; you will tire yourself out, and there is time enough."
"But I must work hard, or I can't catch up with the others. They know heaps, and I don't know anything,' said Nat, who had been reduced to a state of despair by hearing the boys recite their grammar, history, and geography with what he thought amazing ease and accuracy.
3. "You know a good many things which they don't," said Mr. Bhaer, sitting down beside him, while Franz led a class of small students through the intricacies of the multiplication-table.
"Do I?" and Nat looked utterly incredulous.
"Yes. For one thing, you can keep your temper, and Jack, who is quick at numbers, can not; that is an excellent lesson, and I think you have learned it well. Then, you can play the violin, and not one of the lads can, though they want to do it very much. But, best of all, Nat, you really care to learn something, and that is half the battle. It seems hard at first, and you will feel discouraged; but plod away, and things will get easier and easier as you go on."
4. Nat's face had brightened more and more as he listened, for, small as the list of his learning was, it cheered him immensely to feel that he had anything to fall back upon. "Yes, I can keep my temper-father's beating taught me that; and I can fiddle, though I don't know where the bay of Biscay is," he thought, with a
sense of comfort impossible to express. Then he said aloud, and so earnestly that Demi heard him :
5. "I do want to learn, and I will try. I never went to school, but I couldn't help it; and, if the fellows don't laugh at me, I guess I'll get on first-rate-you and the lady are so good to me."
"They sha'n't laugh at you. If they do, I'll-I'll— tell them not to," cried Demi, quite forgetting where he was.
The class stopped in the middle of 7 times 9, and every one looked up to see what was going on.
6. Thinking that a lesson in learning to help one another was better than arithmetic just then, Mr. Bhaer told them about Nat, making such an interesting and touching little story out of it, that the good-hearted lads all promised to lend him a hand, and felt quite honored to be called upon to impart their stores of wisdom to the chap who fiddled so capitally. This appeal established the right feeling among them, and Nat had few hindrances to struggle against, for every one was glad to give him a "boost" up the ladder of learning.
Louisa M. Alcott.
FOR PREPARATION.-I. Have you read Miss Alcott's "Little Men"? This extract from "Little Men" describes the kind manner in which a poor homeless boy was received into the private school at Plumfield. Nat Blake had been found in a damp cellar, sick and friendless, mourning for his dead father and his lost violin, with which he had earned his scanty living as a street musician.
II. Eas'-i-er, bright'-ened (bri'tnd), list'-ened (lis'nd), touch'-ing, hon'-ored (on'urd), Bhaer (pronounced like "bâre "), Franz (fränts).
III. Nat is a nickname (for Nathaniel). Easy, easier, easiest: what change in the meaning does the addition of er and est make? "Father's beating "—what does 's express? What is omitted in can't?-sha'n't (ll and o)?
IV. Ignorance, diligently, reduced, despair, accuracy, students, intrica cies, incredulous, discouraged, plod, immensely, established, appeal, hindrances.
V. "Quaked inwardly" (i. e., his heart beat bard with fear)? Notice the acts of kindness: having him say his lessons where the others could not hear his blunders (such an act shows what is called a "delicate consideration" for Nat's feelings; it is not sufficient to be kindly disposed toward others, but we should delicately consider their feelings); then, the gentle manner of encouraging the boy to self-respect, by giving him credit for what he already knew, such as playing the violin. Notice the expressions: "They know heaps," "get on first-rate," fiddle," sha'n't," "boost." (These expressions do not shock us when we hear them spoken by boys and uneducated people; but when we see them in print we mark them as slang, or “vulgarisms," because they are only "colloquial," and are avoided by refined people. The writer of a story is obliged to use these expressions in order to paint the characters of the persons of the story; but we should learn to avoid them in writing, and even in conversation.)
VII.—THE VOICE OF SPRING.
1. I come, I come! ye have called me long;
I come o'er the mountains, with light and song.
2. I have breathed on the South, and the chestnut-flowers
3. I have looked o'er the hills of the stormy North, And the larch has hung all his tassels forth;