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Toni Shepherd.

135 that he might bave learned, but only to make a noise and disturbance; and if there was any thing going forward, such as a fight, or a bull-baiting, or any thing that brought the worst people in the country together, Tom was sure to be amongst them. In such scenes, there is always something bad to be learned, and Tom seemed to be learning it all very fast; and he then began to be a great trouble to his parents, who were, indeed, greatly in fault themselves, for they had never attempted to warn him of what was bad, or to lead him to what was good. But the mischiefs and the scrapes that he got into, brought them into a good deal of trouble ; and they then began to wish they could do something to ease themselves of the plague which this boy brought apon them. Just at this time, the Clergyman of the parisb, and the rest of the respectable inhabitants, consulted together, and they thought, that if a National School were to be built, it would be an ex. cellent thing for the parish, and would be the means of bringing up many a poor child in the knowledge of those great truths on which the present and eternal happiness of us all depends.

It is a great expense to build a school room ; but the inhabitants of the parish subscribed their money, and they got assisted by tbe good people in London, who have inade a society, and who give their money for the purpose of building schools, that poor children may be taught what is right, and what will make them happy in this world, and lead them to seek for the happiness of the next.

As soon as the village school was built, and Tom's father and mother saw that they could send their boy to school for little or nothing, they let him go directly; and then, instead of wandering about the streets, and doing nothing, Tom mixed with all the industrious boys of the village, and was set to regular work in the school; and he soon found that there was no

thing but what he could manage very well, and be seemed to take a great delight in learning to read and write. Tom was not a dull boy, and be got on very fast. His master was much pleased to see the progress be made, and took a great pleasure in teaching him, because he said the boy seemed desirous of learning. Tom was not an ill-tempered boy, and he was thankful to the master for what be taught him; and thus he found great pleasure, as well as profit, in going to school. Tom's behaviour and appearance were so changed since he began to go to school, that many of the people of the village hardly knew him. There was not a boy in the school that looked more neat or more tidy than Thomas. He took a pleasure in having his hands and face well washed; and his hair was cut short, and looked always well brushed and clean. Instead of being a ragged dirty boy, and looking as if he belonged to nobody, he had such a creditable appearance, that his mother had quite a pleasure in looking at him, and she took great pains to have his clothes as whole and as creditable as any boy in his station of life. The father was as glad to see Tom's improvement as the mother was, and he took good care of the money that he earned that he might be able to buy a new hat for his boy, or a pair of shoes, or any thing that might make him comfortable, and enable bim to go to school in as creditable manner as the rest of his school-fellows. There seems, indeed, now to be a great difference in the appearance, and in the ways of Tom's father and mother; and they take a great pleasure in having their boy read to them in an evening after school hours, and they bave learned a great deal of good from what Tom has read to them out of his books. They are both trying to learn to read, themselves, and they are getting on very well. As the father has grown so steady and industrious, he has always plenty of work, and when he has earned

The Noble Peasant.

137

bis money, he never thinks of being so foolish as to throw any of it away at the ale-house ; and his wife now has the house so clean and comfortable, that he says “there's no place like home." Tom often gets a few pence by errands, or any other little jobs that he can do; and he does these things so carefully and well, that the people have a pleasure in employing him.

The father and mother never miss church now, and they give great attention to what they hear there; and they are brought to see how wrong they were in ever neglecting those things which every good Christian knows to be right. Tom now knows bis duty, and he is anxious to perform it, and he de. lights in reading of all the great blessings which the Bible contains. When so much good is learned, we cannot wonder to see that the character is so changed. Every boy and every girl that have those great advantages in their power, should try to imitate the diligence of Thomas Shepherd, and they will very soon see that it will be for their real benefit, and that it is the best way to make them happy, and to lead them to what is truly for their good.

V.

THE NOBLE PEASANT.

ISAAC ASHFORD.

Noble he was, contemning all things mean,
His truth unquestion'd and his soul serene;
Of no man's presence Isaac felt afraid;
At no maii's question Isaac look'd dismayd:
Shame knew him not, he dreaded no disgrace;
Truth, simple truth, was written in bis face :
Yet while the serious thought his soul approv'd,
Cheerful he seem'd and gentleness he lov'di.

To bliss domestic he his heart resign'd,
And with the firmest had the fondest mind :
Good he refus'd with future ill to buy,
Nor knew a joy that caus'd reflection's sigh ;
A friend to virtuo, his unclouded breast
No envy stupg, no jealousy distress’d.
Yet far was he from stoic pride remov'd ;
He felt humanely and he warmly lov'd :
I mark'd his action, when his infant died,

And his old neighbour for offence was tried :
- The still tears stealing down that furrow'd cheek,
Spoke pity plainer than the tongue can speak.

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I feel bis absence in the house of pray'r,
And view his seat and sigh for Isaac there;
I see no more those wbite locks thinly spread
Round the bald polish of that honour'd head.

No more that awful glance on playful wight
Git Compell’d. to kneel and tremble at the sight.

To fold his finger, all in dread the while,
Till Mister Ashford soften'd to a smile;
No more that meek and suppliant look in pray'r,
Nor the pure faith (to give it force) are there ;

But he is bless'd, and I lament no more, ... A wise good man contented to be poor.

From Crabbe's Parish Register.

MANAGEMENT OF FIRES.-CHIMNEYSWEEPERS. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.

SIR, You have given us some rules for the management of our fires in your last January Number, as well as in your third volume. Perhaps it may be worth while to say,

rules are for fires made of what is called sea-coal; as we people in the midland counties, who use pit-coal, are not in the habit of throwing on dust, we are more apt to hinder our fires from lighting, by putting on large blocks of coal, instead of small ones. However, your general hints as to the lighting a fire will

that your

Management of Fires-Chimney Sweepers. 139 apply to us also. It is want of air that chokes our fires. By the way, Sir, it may be as well to mention, that the coal in London, and along the coast, comes out of pits as well as ours, but it gets the name of sea-coal, because it comes by sea from the neighbourhood of Newcastle, and the quality of the Newcastle coal is indeed very different from the coals, that we get in Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire or Derbyshire.

I have often observed that there is a great waste of coals, from a notion that the cinders underneath are good for nothing. These need not, however, any of them be wasted. When the fire is good the cinders may be thrown on the back of it, and be entirely used up; and if a very little small fresh coal be thrown over them, it will help to give a briskness to the fire, and make it look lively and cheerful. Nothing need be wasted. A little water on the cinders is of use. Constant poking the fire is a very extravagant plan.

Many houses have been lately burned down by chimnies taking fire, particularly a large bouse near London, which bad a wooden beam in the chimney work,ma thing particularly dangerous.

When a chimney takes fire, it begins first with the soot which is at the lower part. A great deal of danger might be avoided if the person who lights the fire would every day sweep the lower part of the chimney with the common brush. This would prevent the accumulation of the sout at the bottom, and the chimney would continue clean much

I am pleased with your directing our attention to the poor climbing boys. I saw one, as I was walking in the street, a short time ago, squeezing his little body through a narrow chimney pot, at the top of a chimney. These pots are often loose, so much so, that a high wind generally blows some of them down. If this pot had been loose, it must

longer.

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