GEO. A. LEAVITT.
THE SKATING PARTY.
One cold winter’s morning, Willie’s mother promised to take him to see
the skaters on the river. Willie was in great glee, and when they
arrived at the river, he wanted to go on the ice but his mother was
afraid to venture. The river was frozen very hard, and the merry skaters
seemed almost to fly, they went so fast over the glib ice. Now and then
one of them would fall down, causing a burst of laughter from the
others; but he would jump up and go it again. Skating is a pleasant and
healthful exercise, but sometimes dangerous, for should the ice break
many would probably be drowned. Little boys should be careful how they
venture, and not go near air holes.
As Harry Somers and his father were one day walking along the street,
they saw a policeman leading a poor ragged little boy, who seemed very
much frightened. Mr. Somers asked the policeman, what he had been doing.
The man told him, that the little boy had been caught in the act of
stealing cakes and apples, from the stand of a poor woman. Mr. Somers
told Harry, that it was very likely that miserable boy had drunken
parents who encouraged him to lie and steal, and that when he grew up,
he would be likely to turn out a bad man, and cautioned Harry not to
keep bad company.
Hark! What noise is that? I surely heard a drum. Look there is a company
of boys dressed up like soldiers. One playing the fife, another the
drum, while at the side of the company, stands a boy, with his drawn
sword over his shoulder, for all the world like a captain. And then
there is another, with the flag flying, as proudly as if he was in
reality bearing the colors of a real troop. Well, boys will be boys. And
this little company, have had their minds filled with brave thoughts
from infancy perhaps. It may be, that in that little company of
boy-soldiers, there is one whose name will be yet heard of in the
history of his country.
Here is a picture of a rail-road depot, and passengers awaiting the
arrival of the cars. There are many very handsome depots in the United
States furnished with every thing that will afford comfort for
travellers. The cars too are sometimes very beautiful. Accidents very
often happen on rail-roads, and lives are often lost by the the
carelessness of those having charge of the locomotive. They go very
fast; indeed so fast, that you cannot see the houses, or trees along
In olden times, in country towns, they had no post offices, as we now
have; but a man was appointed by the authorities, whose duty was to
travel on horseback from one village to another, with his bag of
deliver them to the persons to whom they are directed.
His arrival was always anxiously looked for, and men, women and
children, ran to meet him, all wanting letters, and feeling greatly
disappointed if he had not one for them. But now we have post offices
in almost every little town, where the mails arrive regularly.
See that slow and solemn procession. What does it mean? Ah! there is a
coffin, carried by four persons, called pall bearers. Some one has been
called upon to die; to return to the God who made him. See his friends
weeping, as slowly the coffin is born to the grave. Death is a very
solemn affair, children. We all have to die some time, and after
a-while, your turn will come, and you will be laid in the cold dark
earth to rise again at the day of judgment.
THE SCISSORS GRINDER.
Oh! here he comes, his little bell tinkling, and inviting those who have
knives or scissors that want sharpening to give him a call, as he won’t
charge them much, and will sharpen the ladies’ scissors, so that they
will cut like razors. See that little dog, how he watches the operation,
and then there is a little boy hastening with his mother’s scissors,
no doubt as well pleased with the importance of his errand, as if he was
a great man. Poor old man he has a hard time to make an honest penny and
yet he is as cheerful, as if he was wealthy.
After the grass is cut, it is spread out to dry and then put up in
heaps, called stacks. If it should happen to rain, it has again to be
spread out, and subjected to the heat of the sun, for if it was put into
the barn wet it would all rot, and be good for nothing. As soon as it is
thoroughly dried the farmers take their hay-wagons and go out into the
field and gather it up. This is anxiously waited for by the children,
who delight to ride home on the top of the loads of sweet hay, pleased
with the success of the farmers.
Harry Smith was a very mischievous little boy, and delighted to tease
his sister Sarah who had a very quick temper. This only made him worse,
and he was often punished for his rude behavior. One day he took his
sister’s doll, a present from her father, and was in the act of hiding
it in a drawer when the door opened, and in walked his sister. He was
caught in the very act; he ran and she after him, crying loudly, until
their mother who had been reading, interfered,
scolding Harry for his
mischievous tricks, and Sarah for her temper. The doll was restored, and
she was pacified.
This is a sport that most boys really love. Most of them are impatient
for the snow to fall, as then they anticipate enjoying themselves in a
game of snow-ball. For this purpose they go to some open lot, and form
parties. Oftentimes, however, they become excited, especially when one
of them is hit in the eye, and the sport becomes earnest and leads to
bad results. This should not be; the balls of snow, should be soft, so
that no one may be hurt; though we are sorry to say some little boys put
in their snow-balls, stones and pieces of ice, which is a very dangerous
Some boys are very venturesome, and will rush into danger, no matter how
often they read of accidents that happen to others, and constantly
disobey the commands of their parents. George Harris, was one of these.
His father had told him again and again, not to climb trees in search of
bird’s nests; but George thought there would be no danger. So one day he
got up a tree, after a bird’s nest, lost his balance, and fell into
the creek, and would have been drowned, had not one of his playmates
nobly rescued him from a watery grave. He never tried it ever again,
however; it was a lesson he never forgot.
BURIAL OF POOR KITTY.
Poor little Kitty died. Little Mary cried, as if her heart would break.
Kitty was her only pet, and one which she had loved very dearly. She
asked her brother George, if he would not make a coffin, and dig a grave
to bury it in. Her brother pitied her distress and readily promised to
do as she wished. At last the day came, on which it was to be put in
the cold damp earth, and all the children attended the funeral, sobbing,
and feeling very solemn, as the coffin was slowly lowered into the grave
prepared for its reception. All was over and with slow and reluctant
steps they departed for home, little Mary, weeping violently.
BLIND MAN’S BUFF.
This innocent amusement, is familiar to all children, and scarcely needs
a description. It causes a great deal of laughter, and as laughter is a
very healthy exercise, we can heartily recommend this play. One of a
number of children is blind folded, and led into the middle of the room,
while the rest softly go to distant parts of the room, and he tries to
find them. He cuts a funny figure, as with his arms out-stretched he
feels his way and very often stumbles against a chair, or over one of
the boys, who to add greater zest to the sport, stoops down on the
THE MAGNETIC SWAN.
As Willie had been a very good boy, and learned his lessons well, his
father bought him a magnet and swan. Willie was delighted, and procured
a large basin of water in which he put the swan, and taking the magnet
in his hand, the swan followed the magnet around the basin, to the
wonder and astonishment of his little sister, who could not understand
how it was. Her father tried to explain, but she could not understand.
THE STUDIOUS AND IDLE BOY.
As George was one day deeply engaged studying his lessons, his cousin
Charles came in and asked him why he sat there all day, and wanted to
know whether he would not join him in his sports. George told him, that
he could not, though he would like to very much; he had his lessons to
study, and if he did not learn them well, he would be punished for his
idleness. Charles laughed at him and called him a mope; but his
conscience told him that George was right, and that he ought to like
him; but he was too full of play to think much about his lessons.