Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

1. IN the hard winter of 1783 and 1784 there were many sudden and heavy storms of rain. The streams and rivers overflowed their banks, and swept along` large pieces of broken ice in their course.

2. In the city of Verona, in Italy, there was a large

bridge over the river Adige. This river rises in the snowy mountains of Tyrol,† and runs with a rapid cur rent. Upon the bridge there was a house in which the toll-gatherer' lived with his family.


3. By a sudden increase of the river, this house became entirely surrounded by water; and many of the arches of the bridge were carried away by the huge blocks of ice which floated down the current. The part of the bridge on which the house was built stood the longest, because it was the most strongly made. But it looked as if it must soon go with the rest.


4. The poor man, and his wife and children, uttered loud cries for help, which were heard by a great number of persons who stood on the banks. Every body pitied them, but no one could do any thing for them, because it seemed impossible that a boat could live in a river running with such force, and so filled with blocks of ice.

5. A nobleman on horseback rode down to the banks of the river; and when he saw the dangerous position of the family, he held up a purse containing two hundred ducats' of gold, and said he would give it to any one who would save them.


6. But the fear of death kept every bodysome sailors who were present from making the attempt. In the mean time the water rose higher around the house every moment.

7. At last an Austrian peasant felt his heart filled with pity for the poor people, and resolved to save them if he could. He sprang into a boat, pushed off from the shore, and, by his strength and skill, reached

* Adige (Ad'ège or X'dē-jā.)

+ Tyr'ol.

[ocr errors]

the house at last. But the family was numerous, and the boat was small; so that he could not bring them all at once.

8. He first took three persons, and conducted them safely to land, and then went back for the rest, and brought them away also. Hardly was this done, when the house, and the part of the bridge on which it stood, were carried away.

9. The brave peasant was hailed' with shouts of joy and admiration." The nobleman offered him the purse of gold, and said that he well deserved it. But the peasant declined to take it, saying, "I did not do this for money; I am not rich, but I have enough for my wants give it to the poor toll-gatherer, who has lost his all." And then he went away without telling the people his name, or where he lived.

[blocks in formation]

1. SPEAK gently; it is better far

To rule by love than fear:

Speak gently; let no harsh words mar1

The good we might do here.

2. Speak gently to the little child;
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents' soft and mild:
It may not long remain."

8. Speak gently to the aged one;

Grieve not the care-worn' heart;
The sands of life are nearly run:
Let such in peace depart."

4. Speak gently, kindly to the poor;
Let no harsh tone be heard:
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word.

5. Speak gently to the erring; know
They must have toiled' in vain ;
Perchance unkindness made them so:
O, win them back again.


6. Speak gently; Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind,
And gently Friendship's" accents flow,
Affection's" voice is kind.

1 MAR. Hurt, injure.

ACCENT. Manner of speaking.
REMAIN. Stay, be present.
CARE-WORN. Worn or vexed with

carc, troubled.

DEPART. Go away, leave.
ENDURE. Bear, suffer.

TOILED. Labored, worked hard. 8 PERCHANCE. Perhaps, mayne. 9 Vows. Solemn promises.

10 FRIENDSHIP. The state or feeling
of those who are friends.
11 AFFECTION. Warm regard, attach
ment, love.

of-fençe' jus'tiçe



at-tor'ney (at-tür'ne) cöûn'sel

[blocks in formation]

1. WHEN a person commits an offence against the law, such as murder, rob'bery, or setting fire to a house, he is tried for it before a court of justice, and punished if found guilty. A magistrate, called a judge, presides at the trial. The person to be tried is called the prisoner, or the defendant. A jury of twelve men hear the case, and decide whether he is guilty or not.

2. The case is managed on behalf of the government by a lawyer, who is called the attorney-general, or the prosecuting attorney, or sometimes the district attorney. The prisoner is defended by another lawyer, who is called his counsel. In important cases, two or more lawyers are sometimes employed on each side.

3. Witnesses are examined on both sides at a trial They testify under oath; that is, before they tell what they saw or know, they are obliged to take an oath that they will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If a witness states what is not true, his offence is called perjury, and it is severely punished. It is also a sin against God.

4. Very young children cannot be witnesses, because they cannot understand what an oath means. Some times a child is offered as a witness, who is of such an

« AnteriorContinuar »