The lessons contained in this set of books are products of experience in the schoolroom. They go forth in the hope of rendering some service to teachers and to children alike.
Throughout the work, the children’s point of view has been kept in mind as well as the teacher’s; First of all, they should be a book which children like to read. Every lesson centers about something in which children are interested. All teachers know that the labor of teaching is lessened when the interest of the pupils is assured.
The name of the Series testifies to another aim of the book,-to lead to a love of literature. Many of the stories and poems herein contained will be found again and again by the children in the world’s best books. A taste for good things, developed now, will lead the pupils to demand good things when free to choose.
Reading enables us to see with the keenest eyes, and listen to the sweetest voices all time. The pupils are to be well-trained through reading these carefully selected readers.
This set of graded readers published in the beginning of 20th century was prescribed for use in the schools of Canada. Throughout the work， two main aims are considered. Firstly， every lesson centers about something in which children are interested. Secondly， the children are lead to a love of literature. Many of the stories and poems herein contained will be found again and again by the children in the world’s best books.
Exercises “For Study” indicate important varieties of individual work. Both study of word-forms and study of thought in the text are included.
The choice of selections aims to improve the taste， train the judgment， ennoble the ideas， and exercises the imagination of the pupils. So they can develop a good preference for good literature.
THE LARK’S NEST
THE BLIND MAN AND THE LAME MAN
A MAID WITH HER BASKET OF EGGS
THE OLD LOVE
THE FOX AND THE GRAPES
THE THREE BUGS
THE KID AND THE WOLF
THE FROG WHO TRIED TO BE AS BIG AS AN OX
THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER
THE BOY AND THE RIVER
THE BOYS AND THE FROGS
A CHILD’S PRAYER
THE FOX AND THE CROW
A CHILD’S THOUGHT
THE DOG AND HIS IMAGE
JACK AND JOE
THE WILD BIRD’S SONG
THE BOY AND THE NUTS
THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE
THE WOUNDED EAGLE
THE FIRST BIRTHDAY
SONG OF THE BROOK
THE THREE BEARS
THE HARE AND THE HOUND
THE CRANE AND THE CROWS
THE TOWN MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY MOUSE
THE WIND AND THE SUN
THE TWO BUCKETS
THE BRIGHT SIDE
GOD SAVE THE KING
THE BUNDLE OF STICKS
THE WATER DROPS
THE CHILDREN OF THE CLOUDS
THE BIRDS’ CHRISTMAS TREE
A SNOW SONG
THE MERCHANT AND HIS DONKEY
A BOY’S SONG
THE BOY AND THE SHEEP
THE LAMP AND THE SVN
THE BLACKSMITH SHOP
THE LION AND THE MOUSE
THE MICE IN COUNCIL
THE DONKEY AND THE GRASSHOPPER
TWO LITTLE GIRLS
THE USE OF FLOWERS
THE CHILDREN’S FRIENDS
A GOOD BOY
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
THE CROW AND THE PITCHER
LITTLE BROWN HANDS
THE GOAT AND THE BOY
THE FIR TREE AND THE BRAMBLE
THE WOLF AND THE CRANE
A FAITHFUL FRIEND
SEVEN TIMES ONE
I WAS sold to a corn dealer and baker whom Jerry knew, and with him he thought I should have good food and fair work. In the first he was quite right; and if my master had always been on the premises I do not think I should have been overloaded; but there was a foreman who was always hurrying and driving everyone, and frequently when I had quite a full load, he would order something else to be taken on. My carter, whose name was Jakes,often said it was more than I ought to take, but the other always overruled him: ” ‘Twas no use going twice when once would do, and he chose to get business forward.”
Jakes, like the other carters, always had the bearing rein up, which prevented me from drawing easily, and by the time I had been there three or four months, I found the work telling very much on my strength. One day, I was loaded more than usual, and part of the road was a steep uphill; I used all my strength, but I could not get on and was obliged continually to stop. This did not please my driver, and he laid his whip on badly. “Get on, you lazy fellow,” he said, “or I’ll make you.”
Again I started the heavy load, and struggled on a few yards; again the whip came down, and again I struggled forward. The pain of that great cartwhip was sharp, but my mind was hurt quite as much as my poor sides. To be punished and abused when I was doing my very best was so hard it took the heart out of me. A third time he was flogging me cruelly, when a lady stepped quickly up to him and said in a sweet, earnest voice: “Oh! pray do not whip your good horse any more; I am sure he is doing all he can, and the road is very steep; I am sure he is doing his best.”
“If doing his best won’t get this load up, he must do something more than his best; that’s all I know, ma’am,” said Jakes.
“But is it not a very heavy load?” she said.
“Yes, yes, too heavy,” he said, “but that’s not my fault; the foreman came just as we were starting and would have three hundredweight more put on to save him trouble, and I must get on with it as well as I can.”
He was raising the whip again when the lady said:
“Pray, stop, I think I can help you if you will let me.” The man laughed.
“You see,” she said, “you do not give him a fair chance; he cannot use all his power with his head held back as it is with that bearing rein; if you would take it off I am sure he would do better. Do try it,” she said persuasively; “I should be very glad if you would.”
“Well, well,” said Jakes with a short laugh, “anything to please a lady of course. How far would you wish it down, ma’am?”
“Quite down; give him his head altogether. ‘ The rein was taken off, and in a moment I put my head down to my very knees. What a comfort it was! Then I tossed it up and down several times to get the aching stiffness out of my neck.
“Poor fellow! that is what you wanted,” said she, patting and stroking me with her gentle hand, “and now if you will speak kindly to him and lead him on I believe he will be able to do better.”
Jakes took the rein, -“Come on, Blackie.” I put down my head and threw my whole weight against the collar; I spared no strength; the load moved on, and I pulled steadily up the hill and then stopped to take breath. The lady had walked along the footpath and now came across into the road. She stroked and patted my neck as I had not been patted for many a long day.
“You see he was quite willing when you gave him the chance; I am sure he is a fine-tempered creature, and I dare say has known better days. You will not put that rein on again, will you?” for he was just going to hitch it up on the old plan.
“Well, ma’am, I can’t deny that having his head has helped him up the hill, and I’ll remember it another time, and thank you, ma’am; but if he went without a bearing rein I should be the laughing-stock of all the carters; it’s the fashion, you see.”
“Is it not better,” she said, “to lead a good fashion than to follow a bad one? A great many gentlemen do not use bearing reins now; our carriage horses have not worn them for fifteen years and they work with much less fatigue than those who have them; besides,” she added in a very serious voice, “we have no right to distress any of God’s creatures without a very good reason. We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words. But I must not detain you now; I thank you for trying my plan with your good horse and I am sure you will find it far better than the whip. Good day,” and with another soft pat on my neck she stepped lightly across the path, and I saw her no more.
“That was a real lady, I’ll be bound for it,” said Jakes to himself; “she spoke just as polite as if I was a gentleman, and I’ll try her plan, uphill at any rate;” and I must do him the justice to say that he let my rein out several holes, and going uphill after that he always gave me my head; but the heavy loads went on.
– ANNA SEWELL
WE all might do good
Where we often do ill-
There is always the way
If there is but the will;
Though it be but a word
Kindly breathed or suppressed,
It may guard off some pain
Or give peace to some breast.
THE STOLEN PEACHES
CHARLIE was the son of good and kind parents. It was his birthday and beautiful autumn weather. His parents loaded him with presents and permitted him to bring some of his school-fellows to play with him.
They played about in the garden. There Charlie had a little plot of his own, rich with flowers and fruit. On the opposite wall there grew a peach-tree, which was not his but his father’s, and this he had been told he must not touch.
The peaches were ripe, and a ruddy bloom blushed through their downy skin. “What could be more delightful?” thought the boys.
“Why not just taste them?” said they to Charlie.
“There’s no harm in it. Besides, is this not your birthday? Surely you can do as you like once a year at least.”
“No!” said Charlie; “I am forbidden to touch those peaches; that’s enough for me; but take what you like from my own plot, and welcome.”
Then said the eldest of the boys: “Very likely Charlie is quite right; but let us pluck the peaches, and perhaps he will help us to eat them.”
So Charlie at last agreed to this, and he was by no means unwilling to share the feast.
When the peaches were all eaten, and the boys gone, Charlie began to feel he had done wrong; he stayed in the garden alone and wretched, and had never been so sad and miserable all his life long.
At last his father came into the garden, and called out, “Charlie! Charlie!”
Charlie stood at the end of the garden, a picture of misery. His father went to him, and in passing the peach-tree he saw what had been done. His face grew sad and angry.
Then said his father: “Is this your birthday, and is this the return you make us for all our care and kindness?” Charlie was dumb.
“Henceforth the garden is locked to you,” said his father. He then led Charlie into the house, and went away in displeasure.
Charlie went off to bed, but not to sleep. He turned and tossed this way and that, but the whole night long he could not sleep.
Next morning Charlie was so pale and sad that his mother had pity on him. So she said to her husband, “Charlie is sorry, but he thinks the ‘locked garden’ means that you have locked your heart against him.” “He is quite right,” was the reply; “I have locked my heart against him.”
“How sad, sighed the mother; “he has begun the new year of his life with sorrow.”
“That it may be more full of joy, let us hope,” said the father.
By-and-by the mother said: “I am afraid Charlie will doubt our love for him.”
“I hope not,” said her husband. “Although he feels he is guilty, I do not think he would wish to throw the blame on us. Till now he always had our love, and he will learn to prize it for the future by having to win it back again.”
The following morning Charlie came down to breakfast calmly and cheerfully. He carried a basket in his hand, full of all the toys and presents his parents had given him.
“What do you mean by this?” asked his father.
Charlie answered: “I give these back to you, for I do not deserve them.” Then the father unlocked his heart, and happiness came back to them all again.