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length, when I had been absent for several years and returned, the vine was dead! I felt an indescribable sadness when I saw its fate. It was gone, as other loved objects had done before, and just as many more shall do hereafter. Often had the children swung themselves upon its crooked swinging stem; often had they laid hold of it with their hands and swung around it after each other; and many a joint had they secretly cut from it, which they filled out with their pencil; but now it is withered over their head! When they were young it was alive and vigorous; as they grew older and left the school for the rougher walks of life, it faded with the feelings of their childhood. Though I am convinced that it died from the hard tramping of the earth round its roots, yet it seemed always to me as if its life stood in sympathy with those feelings of childhood over which its branches hung in school
On the west side was a long window, made by sawing out two logs and the introduction of low two-pane sliding windows. Along the inside of it was a long double desk sloped on both sides for the “large boys” that "read, wrote and cyphered.” Along the gable was a similar desk for the “big girls. The east side had a single desk sloping up to the wall for the smaller ones that “began to write.” As there were more of this grade than could be accommodated at one time they alternated, so that each one could have time, place and opportunity to make his or her “strokes and hooks.' At the north and only remaining end was the master's desk in the middle, the water bucket in one corner, and the wood pile in the other. In the centre stood the stove-a large, elephantlooking ten-plate, and ranged around it, on two rows of benches, were the A B C's and the a-b-abb’s, and those in one, two, three to six syllables. The benches were of a height to give a clear swing to the feet, which, though it added nothing to the comfort of sitting, was useful in the way of keeping “silence.” It required a good deal of the master's attention to arrange the sittings of the younger, and to decide differences as to who had a right "to sit on the bench next the stove."
Some matters of earnest interest used to cluster around that old school-house. At the opening of the school, and even before that time, when the trustees had been called upon by “the new master,” to get their consent to his employ, every boy eyed him askance, and there was close study of his physiognomy, and a thousand conjectures as to whether he will be “good” or whether he will be
cross. Then, at length came the “first day of school”- then the reading of “the rules.” Here every ear was open wide. Will the present administration follow in the footsteps of the last? Will skating on the pond be allowed at all? and if so, under what restrictions? What course will the “new master” take in reference to “pin-lotteries," "snow-balling,” “tagging” and “trading.” As the neighborhood varied in its staple productions the commercial interests of each boy were deeply affected by any prohibitions or restrictions in the interchange of commodities. There were the boys along the creek, whose fathers had geese, that dealt in “quills.' There was also the "calamus" district. There were the regions in which “apples" abounded. There, also, were the boys along the slate hills who furnished "pencils.” From elder bottom came the “pop-guns.' Thus, of course, all were in favor of the principles of “free trade;" and if the master was not in favor of this enlightened principle, it produced quite a stagnation in the conimerce of the neighborhood. Never did citizens of a nation await with more trembling anxiety the decisions of the authorities on questions affecting commerce and trade, than did the little subjects of the school the announcement of the policy to be pursued under “the new master.”
Memory still pictures all just as it was in and about that schoolhouse. How anxiously did every one watch whenever it went towards eleven o'clock, to hear from the master the inspiring words, “Get your spellings!” This was next in welcome to the word “dismissed," because it was known that it was the next important event after “spellings." There was one thing about the spellings that
very much enlivened the exercises of the school-it was this, that all were then permitted to "learn loud.” This gave real unction to the zeal of each. Once in a while, it is true, the buzz and roar rose so high that it was rather too much for delicate ears; but a single rap on the desk, accompanied with the word "silence, brought all down to the tune of a common bee-hive in summer. Soon came the order, “Spell, first class” —then, “Spell, second class''--then, “dismissed !" But who can describe the scene when the whole school made one grand bound toward the stack of baskets and small bundles behind the door.
Godinner!'' It was but a little time until each eldest sister had the dinner spread out before her on the bench, dividing it between the younger
Impatient for play, some took the whole allowance in one hand, and were in a moment away to “toss up for a match.” Others took it more deliberately. Dinner over, the house had to be cleared to give the “big girls” a chance to sweep.
Then the play-ground presented a busy and interesting scene. There are the larger boys at "corner-ball." A smaller size at "cat-ball." Away over there is a company at “long-ball.” There, also, is a company of six at “shinney. There are others at “marbles.” Yonder, by the side of the creek, there are several at “digging wells.” There is a company rolling “snow-balls” and making a “snow man." There is also a company of soldiers taking the field against the geese! The girls are at “ring. Some are promenading, and others are on "the swing.” Gaily, happily, and hastily the hour passes. What a pity that all this fulness
of joy should be broken up in a moment by that cruel sound of "books! books!” But let no one tbink that the master takes pleasure in interrupting this scene of play; for several times did he go to the window, and every time his heart failed him when he thought of calling "books!” Even now they are ten minutes over time. So it must be-duty before pleasure—"books! books!”
In they come, with cheeks red and warm, bright and glowing countenances, and clear minds. The operations of the school go on again until the evening. If any cases of complaint, or any "trials” growing out of difficulties that took place in intermission on the play-ground are to come before “the master,” it is now attended to, while the first class is getting ready “to read.” But if there are any trials of general interest I wean there is not much studying throughout the school; for that every one looks on his book and makes his fingers go over the slate is not proof positive that his mind is in the matter. It is but an easy task for “the master” to find the witnesses in the case; they are examined; the trial is ended; the penalty is applied, and, with a dogmatic “get your lessons,” the school resumes the even tenor of its way.
The letting out of school in the evening has nothing peculiar to it, except that it is a little less spirited and tumultuous. This is not owing alone to the "rule” of going out, when some time is required for each one to get the position, turn round, scrape the floor with one foot, and say, “Good evening, sir;” but it is owing to the fact, that the boys, instead of going out to the play-ground, as at dinner, are now going home to feed, to carry in wood, and to do the chores about the house. If "tagging” is forbidden it is still secretly and quietly done. Groups divide at the door into the various general directions, and these again into smaller companies until at length, as quiet evening comes on apace, two and two, one by one, they are seen moving along distant fences and over distant fields, not forgetting the rule to make their manners” to every one they meet-the honor of the school, and the reputation of the master, greatly depend upon it.
Years now lie between me and that school-house, and yet all its scenes are yet in my mind as fresh as the morning. I return to the spot now and people it, in imagination, as it was years agone. But all is changed. The play-ground is covered with waving grain; the stream has worn a deeper channel; the grape-tree itself is bald with age! The school-house looks forsaken. It was midsummer when I saw it last. The door stood ajar. I entered; inside stood flax-breaks and switching blocks, with piles of off-falls and waste of filax. Empty cider-barrels were piled upon the long desk. The windows are all broken out, and tall weeds grew up before them, on the tops of which buzzed a hundred bees. A feeling of awe came over me, as if I were in an old castle, in which might float the shades of departed generations. I stepped cautiously forward to read some names and dates that are still legible upon the wall. Some of them I recognized as having been placed there by those who have gone far away, and some are asleep!
Though my tread was easy, yet I soon discovered that several kingdoms of humble-bees had taken possession of the place, and they were disposed to question my right to be there, regarding me, perhaps, as an heir returning with titles to the place. I gave way to the powers that be and left the house, thinking it a happy arrangement of Providence that there are creatures to whom ruins are a congenial abode, and thankful at the same time that there are no recollections connected with the place that give a deeper sting than these creatures seem disposed to do. All that I can remember is so connected with the innocence of childhood, that memory attaches no sorrow to it. Though tinged with the mellow-mournful, yet pleasant as the music of Ossian, are all the reminiscences associated with that old school-house.
I turned away; but looking back once more from a little distance I said, with the pilgrim
at the tomb of the patriarchs, How many pleasant memories
Glide o'er my spirit now." I found that my fingers were wet as I drew my hand down from the eye over my cheek! Only the softest words escaped my lips; it was something like, “Farewell, old school-house!" " I was back in the world again.
RIGHT KIND OF PREACHING. It was a beautiful criticism made by Longinus upon the effect of the speaking of Cicero and Demosthenes. He says the people would go from one of Cicero's orations exclaiming, "What a beautiful speaker! what a rich, fine voice! what an eloquent man Cicero is!” They talked of Cicero; but when they left Demosthenes, they said, “Let us fight Philip!" Losing sight of the speaker, they were all absorbed in the subject; they thought not of Demosthenes, but of their country. So, my brethren, let us endeavor to send away from our ministrations the Christian, with his mouth full of the praises-not of “our preacher," but of God; and the sinner, not descanting upon the beautiful figures and well-turned periods of the discourse, but inquiring, with the brokenness of a penitent, 6. What shall I do to be saved?" So shall we be blessed in our work; and when called to leave the watch-towers of our spiritual Jerusalem, through the vast serene, like the deep melody of an angel's song, heaven's approving voice shall be heard
"Servant of God well done!
Thy glorious warfare's past;
And thou art crowned at last."
MY NATIVE STREAM, MIAMI.
My native stream fow on :
O'er bill ascending;
Flow on, flow on :
My native stream, flow on :
Nor wood resounding
Flow on, flow on,
My native stream flow on :
Nor aught is fearing,
Flow on, ilow on,
My native stream, Miami.
The trees o’erhanging
Flow on, flow on,
My native stream, Miami.
A LITTLE GIRL TURNED TEACHER. A little daughter of heathen parents, on becoming a pupil in one of the mission schools at Ceylon, attended some good little meetings held by the teacher's wife to instruct the children in the knowledge of the true and living God. They deeply interested her tender mind, and she went home one day, and calling her mother and brother and sisters around her, she said, “Mother, why do you worship the idols, and make the offering of rice and plantains ? Can they speak? No. Can they hear? No; they are deaf and dumb." And then closing her eyes, and putting her little hand on her bosom, she exclaimed, “With this heart we must worship God. Thus our teacher's wife closes her eyes, and prays to God, and so we must all do."