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"A PEACEFUL PROGRESS O'ER THE UNPATHED SEA."
ye seas and floods, Bless
the Lord :
H! what beautiful weather," exclaimed George Wilton, as he
drew his chair nearer the fire. '“ These sort of evenings are so suitable for story-telling, that I regret, more than ever, the disagreeable necessity which has taken my godpapa to foreign countries, and broken up our delightful parties. But yet, there are enough of us remaining at home to form a society: we might manage without him. Do not you remember, papá, you said, when Julia Manvers was with us last summer, we were to examine into the particulars respecting the seas and oceans of the world; and not once was the subject mentioned while we were at Herne Bay, although the sea was continually before us to remind us of it. Are we ever to have any more of those conversations ? I liked them amazingly, and I am sure I learned a great deal more geography
by them than I ever did out of Goldsmith, or any other dry lessonbook, which compels one to learn by rule. I wish, dear papa, you would settle to have these meetings again; we could write down all the particulars, and enclose them in a letter to godpapa : I am sure he would be quite pleased."
“ I think he would, George,” replied Mr. Wilton," and I also think that we have been rather careless in this matter; but, at the same time, we must remember that the fault does not rest solely with us, for when we appointed certain times during our sojourn at Herne Bay for these same geographical discussions, on every occasion something occurred to prevent the meeting, and all our arrangements fell to the ground. Since then, the illness of your sister,—which, thank God! has terminated so happily;—the departure of Mr. Stanley, and the removal to our present abode; all these circumstances conspired to render ineffectual any attempt at regularity, and precluded the possibility of an occasional quiet chat on this really important subject. The past, present, and future, in the history of man, are so connected with the position of the great seas of the globe, and the navigation of them, that I do regard the study of geography as one of the most important branches of a Christian education; and, now that all impediments are removed, I think we may venture to propose the re-establishment of our little society; and as we are deprived of the valuable services of your godpapa, we must endeavour to supply his place by procuring the aid of another learned friend, who will not consider it derogatory to assist in our edifying amusement. And, in order to render these meetings more extensively beneficial and interesting, I further propose that we increase our number by admitting two new members, to be selected by you, my dear children, from amongst your juvenile acquaintances; but we must not admit any
except on the original terms, which were, that each member add his or her mite of information to the general fund.' What says mamma about it? Suppose we put it to the vote.”
“ Oh! dear papa," exclaimed Emma, “ I am quite sure that will be unnecessary. Grandy has often talked of the meetings held last year, and regretted that there seemed no disposition to renew them: therefore, we are sure of her vote. Mamma was so useful with her descriptions, that she is not likely to object. Then you know, dear papa, how very much I enjoyed those conversations; and, as far as any one else is concerned, I am convinced that
candidate will be glad to prepare a portion of the subject as her admission fee, and will be as much interested in the welfare of the society as we old members are, who have already felt the advantages arising from it. May we decide now, papa ?”
All hands were raised in reply, and the resolution carried unanimously.
“ I have a question to ask,” said George. May we have the meetings twice during the month, instead of once, as before ? It will induce us to be more industrious, as we shall be obliged to work to get up the information. I can share the labour with Emma now, because I can write easily, and quickly; besides, it will be such pleasant employment for the half-holidays."
“ Very well, my dear,” said Mr. Wilton; “then once a fortnight it shall be; and take care, as the time will be short, that you are thoroughly prepared : do not reckon on me, for I cannot assist you as Mr. Stanley did, so you must be, in a great measure, dependent on your own resources. My library is at your disposal, and I hope you will have sufficient perseverance to investigate each point carefully, before you come to a decision. Should you require assistance in the preparation of any particular part of the subject, of course, I shall have no objection to render it; but remember, I do not promise to be an active member, as I wish you to exert yourselves, and be in some degree independent. It will thus be more advantageous to you: it will not only impress all you learn effectually on your mind, but improve your reasoning faculties, and enable you to understand much that the most careful explanation might fail to render intelligible.”
“ And when shall we begin, papa ?” asked Emma.
MR. Wilton. “My engagements until the 7th of February are so numerous as to preclude the possibility of my presence at a meeting before that time; but after the 7th inst. I shall be more at liberty, and we will, if you please, commence our voyage, and (wind and weather permitting) travel on regularly and perseveringly until we have circumnavigated the globe.”
Agreed ! agreed !” merrily shouted the children. “I know which of my friends I shall ask,” said George; “and I fancy I can guess who will be Emma's new member.”
“I fancy you can not," returned Emma: “I do not intend to tell any one, either, until I hear whether or not she can come; therefore check your inquisitiveness, Master George, and wait patiently, for you will not know before the 7th, when I will introduce my friend.”
“Now,” said Grandy, “ having settled the most important part of the business, I have a few words to say. You must all be aware, that in the accounts of seas and oceans, there cannot possibly be so much time disposed of in descriptive facts as there was in our former conversations concerning the rivers of the world, which are so numerous, and require so many minute particulars in tracing their courses, that they positively (although occupying a smaller portion of the globe,) take more time to sail over in our