ページの画像
PDF
ePub

An army officer tells a story that shows courage and quick thinking and knowledge of what to do.

One of the cleverest things I ever saw was a cowboy stopping a cattle stampede. A herd of about six hundred had broken away pell-mell, with their tails in the air, and were heading straight for a high bluff, where they would tumble into the canon and be killed. -

You know that when a herd gets to going it can't stop. Those in the rear crowd those ahead, and away they go. I wouldn't have given a dollar a head for that herd, but the cowboy spurred up his mustang, galloped around, came in right in front of the herd, cut across their path at a right angle, and then galloped leisurely on the edge of that bluff, halted and looked around at that wild mass of beef coming right toward him. I expected to see him killed and was so excited I could not speak, but he was as cool as a cucumber.

Well, sir, when the leaders had got within about a quarter of a mile of him I saw them try to slack up, though they could not do it very quickly. But the whole herd Seemed to want to stop, and when the Cows and Steers in the rear got about where the cowboy had cut across their path, I was surprised to see them stop and commence to nibble at the grass. Then the whole herd stopped, wheeled, straggled back and went to fighting for a chance to eat where the rear-guard was.

You see that cowboy had opened a big bag of salt he had brought out from the ranch to give the cattle and as he was galloping in front of the herd he had scattered the salt across their path.

A certain shrewd Hebrew merchant, whom we shall call Lejee, built, a few years ago, a huge department store in one of our large cities. It was planned to occupy a whole block. But the corner lot, forty feet square, was owned by an Old German watchmaker named Weber, who refused to sell it. * ... “No, I will not give up my house,” he said. “I bought it when property here was cheap, and I have lived and worked here for fifty-two years. I will not sell it.” “But,” Lejee patiently reasoned, “you virtually gave up business years ago. You Inake or sell no watches now. Your sons have other pursuits. You don't live in the house, only sit in this office all day long, looking out of the window.” ...The office was a small corner room in the second story, with an open fireplace around which were set some old Dutch tiles. A battered walnut, desk was fitted into the wall, and before it stood an old chair with a sheepskin COver. . The old man's face grew red. “You are right,” he said. “I don't work here. I have enough to live on without work. But I am an old man, and want to live in this room. It is home to me. When my wife and I first came here we were poor. I worked in the shop below, but We lived here. Greta fried the cakes and wurst over that fire; the cradle stood in that corner, Little Jan was born here; his coffin was carried out of that door. Greta is dead for many a long year. But when I sit here and look out of the window, I think she is with me. For thirty years she and I looked out of that window and talked of the changes in the street below.” Lejee was silenced for the time, but began his arguments again, the next day, doubling his offer. “The lot is worth that to me,” he said, “as I own the block, but to nobody else. You are throwing away a large sum which would be a great help to your sons that you Hondulge a bit of sentiment. Have you the right to do à * Weber was hard pushed. His boys were struggling on with Small means; this money would set them on their feet, would enable them to marry. What right had he to spoil their lives that he might, sit and , dream, of old times. The next day he gave his consent and the sale was made. The old man lived in the suburbs; he never came to that part of the town while the building was in progress. When it was finished and the huge department store was thrown Open to the public, Lejee one day asked him to come in... He led him through the great, crowded salesrooms, piled one on top of another for nine stories, and . drew him into a narrow passage and flung open a OOI’. “There is your little office, just as you left it,” he said. “We have built around it, and beside it, and over it, but not a brick in it has been touched. There is your fire with the old tiles and your desk, and your chair was brought back today. . It is your office, Mr. Weber, and if you will sit here as long as you live and think of them that are gone, and watch the changes in the street below, I shall feel there is a blessing on the big house, because I have a friend in it.”

LESSON XXXV

Study the grouping in this address, and then read it with full and free expression.

SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS

Fellow Countrymen:=At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued seemed very fitting, and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avoid it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it with war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union by war, while the government claimed no right to do more than restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither an– ticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease when, or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange than any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayer of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the Offense cometh !” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern there any departure from these divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty Scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him, who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourSelves and with all nations. —Abraham Lincoln.

LESSON XXXVI

After working at the last few lessons the student will See that he cannot satisfactorily separate a passage into groups until he has decided which words are most important; which are the key words and which merely fill out the sentence. The key words assert the central thought of the sentence or clause, (the rest could be assumed); not the central thought from the grammatical point of view, but as it lies in the Speaker's mind; the thought, which at that moment, and for those hearers, seems to the speaker most needing attention. The assumed part does not need to be asserted; either it has been previously asserted or it is already in mind because familiar and obvious.

A soft answer turneth away wrath;
But a grievous word stirreth up anger.

In the first line you assert “soft” and “wrath”; in the Second line “grievous” is asserted because it brings out the contrast with “soft”; but “anger” is assumed and not asserted because it is the same idea that has already been given in “wrath”; so that, the asserted word in the second line is “stirreth up.” This may be tested by leaving out the word “anger” and putting a pronoun in its place.

A soft answer turneth away wrath;
But a grievous word stirreth it up.

And when he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was noised that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them—no, not even about the door; and he spoke the word unto them. And they come, bringing unto him a man sick of the palsy, borne by four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the crowd, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed whereon the sick of the palsy lay. And Jesus seeing their faith saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven. —Mark 2:1–5.

In line 2 “many” is the word that asserts the central thought. The fact that they gathered about the house may

« 前へ次へ »