« VorigeDoorgaan »
FOR PREPARATION.-I. You have read the story of "The Discontented Pendulum," ," "The Spider and the Fly," and now you come to "The Fox and the Cat." These stories are called fables, not because they tell merely what did not happen, but because they tell what never could happen. Franklin's story of "The Whistle," Wordsworth's "Kitten and the Falling Leaves," Miss Alcott's story of "Nat," etc., all may have happened—and similar things will happen. But a fable relates what could not possibly have happened. Its object is to bring out a moral.
II. Trăv'-eled, guide (ğid), thirst'-ing, shěp'-herd (-erd), sēized, wrětch'-ed, a-ghäst', herb'-age (ērb ́ej), pōul'-try, sur-veyed', perçeived', brutes. (How is u pronounced after r?)
III. Make a list of five name-words which express more than one object by the addition of s or es, or by some other change (discourses, brutes, etc.). Change ten name-words that express one object each, so as to make them express more than one (foxes, cats, days, ways, etc.).
IV. Proceeded, impatient, hunger, victim, bleat, mutton, astonished, repast, "fell beast," brutes, tyrant, moralized, "spite of morals," pullet, covert, secured, prey, regale.
V. Do we laugh at the idea of a cat and a fox making "moral discourses (like a preacher)? Why? What names are given to the cat besides Grimalkin? (See Lesson II.) Who is called Reynard? Difference between sheep and mutton?-between hens and poultry? Do the cat and the fox really like "herbage and roots and acorns" themselves? Were the poultry eating the chaff, or picking it over for the grain left in it? Difference between greedy and gluttonous? What is absurd in the words and actions of the spider? Are we not all more apt to see the evil deeds of others than we are to correct our own?
XI. THE LARK.
1. A little child went into the meadow just sprinkled with dew, and a thousand little suns glanced up at him, and a Lark arose, warbling her morning lay.
2. This Lark announced the joys of the coming season, and awakened endless hopes; while she herself soared
circling higher and higher, till her song was at last like the voice of an angel far up in the clear, blue sky.
3. The child had seen the earth-colored bird soar on high, and it seemed to him as if the earth had sent her forth to announce her joy and her gratitude to the sun above, because he had in friendliness and love turned his beaming face again toward her.
4. The Lark warbled her joyous and exultant lay above the hopeful fields; she sang of the loveliness of the morning, and of the earliest sunbeams playing in youthful freshness; of the gladsome springing of the flowers, and of the joyful sprouting of the fruit-stalks ; and the song pleased the child beyond measure.
5. But the Lark soared still higher in her circlings, and her song grew softer and fainter still; and she sang of pleasure-trips with a friend to free and sunny hill-tops, and of pleasing expectations that rise out of the blue and fragrant distance.
6. The child did not exactly understand what he heard, but would have been glad to understand it; for he was now in expectation of wonderfully glorious things. Eagerly he looked upward after the unwearied bird; but she was lost in the fragrance of spring.
7. Then the child bent his head, turning one ear to the sky, to learn whether the little messenger of spring was no longer singing. In her vanishing tones he heard how she sang of her longings after the pure and all-present light.
8. Much longer did he listen; for the notes of the song bore him away to regions which his thoughts had never before reached, and he felt himself happier than ever in that blissful, upward flight.
9. But now the Lark came quickly down again, because its little body was too heavy for the high air, and its wings were not strong nor large enough for the pure element.
10. Then the red Corn-Poppies laughed at the plain little bird, and cried out with a shrill voice to one another, and to the surrounding stalks of corn: "Now you see that nothing comes of flying so high, and striving for empty air, since one loses his time, and brings back nothing but weary limbs and an empty stomach.
11. "That ugly, ill-dressed little creature wished to exalt herself above us all, and kept up a mighty noise. It lies there now on the ground, and can scarcely breathe any longer. But we have kept our places at the feast, and have prudently stuck to the solid ground, and have grown a great deal fatter and stronger."
12. The other little Poppies loudly clapped applause, so that the child's ears tingled, and he was about to punish them for their malicious delight, when a sky-blue Flower, just in blossom, took the word, and with gentle voice thus addressed her younger companions: "Do not suffer yourselves, my dears, to be led astray by appearances, nor by talk based on outward show.
13. "True, the Lark is tired out, and it is but empty space into which she has soared; but it is not empty space that the Lark has sought, nor has she come empty home. She strove for freedom and light, and light and freedom has she praised in her song.
14. "Earth and its joys she left behind, but she drank instead the pure air of life, and learned that it is not the earth but the sun that is abiding. Her desire to sing and to soar to the sun will make men praise her name long
after these silly boasters shall have gone down into and been buried in the ground."
15. The Lark heard this kind-hearted speech, and, with strength renewed, she sprang again into the cheerful sky. The child clapped his little hands for joy that the bird had flown up again, and the Corn-Poppies were ,mute, and their red faces grew pale with shame.
Translated by J. C. Pickard from F. W. Carové.
FOR PREPARATION.-I. In what country is the lark found? What "little suns" glanced up at him? (shining dew-drops.)
II. Mead'-ōw, sea'-şon (sʊ'zn), a-wāk'-ened (-nd), ear'-li-est, list'-en (lis'n), rē'-gions (-junz), võl’-a-tile, stom'-aeh, erēat'-ūre (-yur), ex-tŏlled'.
III. Write out ten of the name-words in this piece, and change them so as to express possession (child's, meadow's, sun's, lark's, etc.).
IV. Warbling, lay, announced, soared, converse, gratitude, exultant, vanishing, presentiments, ether, exalt, prudently, applause, malicious, void, abiding, demanded, retain, mute.
V. Study out the meaning of the words in this piece, and then make short sentences, in your own words, describing what the Lark did: 1. The Lark warbled her morning song. 2. The Lark told of the joys of the coming summer. 3. The Lark made all who heard her hopeful. 4. The Lark soared higher and higher, in circles; etc.
XII. THE COMPLAINT OF THE WILD FLOWERS.
1. In the corner of a large field, and close to a swiftrunning brook, grew a great many wild flowers. The farmer had not driven his plow near them; and, as it was not a meadow, the cows and sheep had not cropped them off. They had a very pleasant time of it. The sun shone on them all day long, the soft wind played with them. Many, by reaching over a little, could see themselves in the water, and they could all hear the sweet
songs of the birds, who had built their nests in a tree close by.
"How gay we look, in our snug little corner!" said the Daisy one day; "that last shower has made us all so fresh!"
2. "It is all very well," said a Dandelion who grew close by, "but this place is too dull for me. I want to go and see the world."
"That is very foolish!" said a piece of Ivy, who had been busy for the last three years covering up some large stones that were lying in a heap beside the brook; "wandering about is not the way to get on."
"Well," said the Daisy, "I should be quite content if only the little children would come and see us, and clap their hands, and say how pretty we are!"
3. A Lark, whose nest was close by, heard what the Daisy said, and loved her for it; so he flew up in the air, and sang as he went :
"The Daisy has a gold eye set round with silver. She looks always up into the sky like a little star; but she does not shine at night. When the dew begins to fall, the Daisy shuts her eye and sleeps. But the birds sing on, for they love the little flower, she is so meek and fair."
The Daisy heard what the Lark said, and blushed quite red. If you look well among the daisies, you will find some of them always blushing.
4. "It is quite true," said the Buttercup, when the Lark had flown so high they could no longer hear him. "Little children once loved us very much, but now they go by to school, and do not even look at us! I am as bright a yellow as any flower can be so bright that they used to put me under their chins to see who loved butter. I made a little chin a bright yellow, and they laughed,