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able sometimes when he reflected that the good little boys always died. He loved to live, you know, and this was the most unpleasant feature about being a Sunday school book boy. He knew it was more fatal than consumption to be so supernaturally good as the boys in the books were; he knew that none of them had ever been able to stand it long, and it pained him to think that if they put him in a book he wouldn't ever see it, or even if they did get the book out before he died, it wouldn't be popular without any picture of his funeral in the back part of it. It couldn't be much of a Sunday school book that couldn't tell about the advice he gave to the community when he was dying. So at last, of course, he had to make up his mind to do the best he could under the circumstances—to live right, and hang on as long as he could, and have his dying speech all ready when his time came.
But somehow nothing ever went right with this good little boy; nothing ever turned out with him the way it turned out with the good little boys. They always had a good time, and the bad boys had the broken legs; but in this case there was a screw loose somewhere, and it all happened just the other way. When he found Jim Blake stealing apples, and went under the tree to read to him about the bad little boy who fell out of a neighbor's apple tree and broke his arm, Jim fell out of the tree, too, but he fell on him, and broke hit arm, and Jim wasn't hurt at all; Jacob couldn't understand that. There wasn't anything in the books like it.
And once, when some bad boys pushed a blind man over in the mud, and Jacob ran out to help him up and receive his blessing, the blind man did not give him any blessing, but whacked him over the head with his stick, and said he would like to catch him shoving him again and then pretending to help him up. This was not in accordance with any of the books. Jacob looked them all over to see.
One thing that Jacob wanted to do was to find a lame dog that hadn't any place to stay, and was hungry and persecuted, and bring him home, and pet him, and have that dog's imperishable gratitude. And at last he found one, and was happy; and he brought him home and fed him, but when he was going to pet him the dog flew at hin- and tore all the clothes off him except those that were in front, and made a spectacle of him that was astonishing. He examined authorities, but could not understand the matter. It was the same breed of dogs that was in the books, but it acted very differently. Whatever this boy did, he got into trouble. The very things the boys in the books got rewarded for turned out to be the most unprofitable things he could invest in.
Once when he was on his way to Sunday school he saw some bad boys starting off pleasuring in a sail-boat. He was filled with consternation, because he knew from his reading that boys who went sailing on Sunday invariably got drowned. So he ran out on a raft to warn them, but a log turned with him and slid him into the river. A man got him out pretty soon, and the doctor pumped the water out of him and gave him a fresh start with his elbows, but he caught cold and lay sick nine weeks. But the most unaccountable thing about it was that the bad boys in the boat had a good time all day, and then reached home alive and well, in the most surprising manner. Jacob Blivens said there was nothing like these things in the books. He was perfectly dumfounded.
When he got well he was a little discouraged, but he resolved to keep on trying anyhow. He knew that so far his experience wouldn't do to get in a book; but he hadn't yet reached the allotted term of life for good little boys, and he hoped to be ablo to make a record yet, if he could hold on until his time was fully up. If every thing else failed, ho had his dying speech to fal> back on.
He examined his authorities, and found that it was now time to go to sea as a cabin boy. He called on a ship captain and made his application, and when the captain asked for his recommendation he proudly drew out a tract and pointed to the words: "To Jacob Blivens, from his affectionate teacher." But the captain was a coarse, vulgar man, and he said, Oh, that be blowed; that wasn't any proof that he knew how to wash dishes or handle a slush bucket, and he guessed that he didn't want him. This was altogether the most extraordinary thing that had ever happened to Jacob in all his life. A compliment from » teacher, on a tract, had never failed to move the tenderest emotions of ship captains and open the way to all offices of honor and profit in their gift—it never had in any book that ever he had read. He could hardly believe his senses.
This boy always had a hard time of it. Nothing ever came out according to the aut horities with him. At last, one day, when he was around hunting up bad little boys to admonish, he found a lot of them in the old iron foundry fixing up a little joke on fourteen or fifteen dogs, which they had tied together in a long procession and were going to ornament with empty nitro-glycerine cans made fast to their tails. Jacob's heart was touched. He sat down on one of those cans—for he never minded grease when duty was before him—and he took hold of the foremost dog by the collar, and turned his reproving eyes upon wicked Tom Jones. But just at that moment Alderman MeWelter, full of wrath, stepped in. All the bad boys ran away; but Jacob Blivens rose in conscious innocence, and began one of those stately little Sunday school book speeches, which always commence with, " Oh, sir!" in dead opposition to the fact that no boy good or bad ever starts a remark with " Oh, sir!" But the alderman never waited to hear the rest. He took Jacob Blivens by the ear, and turned him around, and hit him a whack in the rear with the flat of his hand; and in an instant that good little boy shot out through the roof and soared away toward the sun, with the fragments of those fifteen dogs stringing after him like the tail of a kite. And there wasn't a sign of that alderman or that old iron foundry left on the face of the earth; and as for young Jacob Blivens, he never got a chance to make his last dying speech after all his trouble fixing it up, unless he made it to the birds; because although the bulk of him came down all right in a tree-top in an adjoining county, the rest of him was apportioned around four townships, and so they had to hold five inquests on him to find out whether he was dead or not, and how it occurred. You never saw a boy scattered so.
Thus perished the good little boy who did the best he couhL, but didn't come out according to the books. Every boy wno ever did as he did prospered except him. His case is truly remarkable. It will probably never be accounted for. BETTER THAN GOLD.—mrs. J. M. Winton
Better than grandeur, better than gold,
Better than gold is a conscience clear.
Better than gold is the sweet repose
Of the sons of toil when their labors close;
Better than gold is the poor man's sleep,
And the balm that drops on his slumbers deep.
Bring sleeping draughts to the downy bed,
Where luxury pillows his aching head;
His simpler opiate labor deems
A shorter road to the land of dreams.
Better than gold is a thinking mind
Better than gold is a peaceful home,
Urge me no more—your prayers are vain,
And even the tears ye shed;
The bands that once he led;
To vengeance from the dead;
Accursed moment! when I woke
From faintness all but death,
Like venomed serpents wreathe
Inly I cursed my breath !— Wherefore, of all "that fought, was I The only wretch who could not die?
To darkness and to chains consigned,
The captive's blighting doom,
Or plunge the s<nd in gloom?
Then from that living tomb
But no—kind Heaven had yet in store
For me, a conquered slave,
Or feel but in the grave.
That he who once was brave—
They bade me to my country bear
Thev would have trained my lips to swear,
Silent their base commands I heard;
At length, I pledged a Roman's word
I go, prepared to meet the worst,
But I shall gall proud Carthage first I