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And, would the noble Duchess deign
To listen to an old man's strain,
Though stiff his hand, his voice though weak,
He thought e'en yet, the sooth to speak,
That, if she loved the harp to hear,
He could make music to her ear.

The humble boon was soon obtained ;
The aged Minstrel audience gained.
But, when he reached the room of state,
Where she, with all her ladies, sate,
Perchance he wished his boon denied :
For, when to tune his harp he tried,
His trembling hand had lost the ease,
Which marks security to please ;
And scenes, long past, of joy and pain,
Came wildering o'er his aged brain-
He tried to tune bis harp in vain.
The pitying Duchess praised its chime,
And gave him heart, and gave him time,
Till every string's according glee
Was blended into barmony.
And then, he said, he would full fain
He could recall an ancient strain,
He never thought to sing again.
It was not framed for village churls,
But for high dames and mighty earls ;
He had played it to King Charles the Good,*
When he kept court at Holyrood ;
And much he wished, yet feared, to try
The long-forgotten melody.

Amid the strings his fingers strayed,
And an uncertain warbling made-
And oft he shook his hoary head:
But when he caught the measure wild,
The old man raised his face, and smiled;
And lightened up his faded eye,
With all a poet's ecstasy !
In varying cadence, soft or strong,
He swept the sounding chords along:

* King Charles I.

The present scene, the future lot,
His toils, his wants, were all forgot:
Cold diffidence, and age's frost,
In the full tide of song were lost:
Each blank, in faithless memory void,
The poet's glowing thought supplied ;
And, while his harp responsive rung,
'Twas thus the Latest Minstrel sung.–Sir W. Scott.

Lesson 59.-ECONOMY. [N.B.—Most of the difficult words in the following lessons are

explained in the context.] A man's share of the conforts of life does not depend only on his wage, though many people think it does, and that nothing, besides a good wage, is necessary to make him comfortable. But this is a mistake; for many men are to be found, who, with good wages, and very few to keep, are not as comfortable as some others with smaller wages, and more to maintain. Let us see how this is.

John Dobbs is an industrions and skilful man, who gets thirty shillings a week, but spends five on beer and tobacco; which leaves only five-and-twenty for housekeeping. During the first part of the week, while his money lasts, he and his family eat and drink as much as they can, of the best of everything they can buy. They spend without care, and eat and drink without restraint; they live extravagantly. By living in this way, all Dobbs's money is spent within a few days, and then he and his family have to live through the remainder of the week upon very poor food, which they have to buy on trust or credit, from small shops, where people generally have to pay a high price for everything, and still more for all they buy on credit. While John Dobbs lives on so, spending his money on beer, tobacco, and what he calls “good living,” and having to pay for credit, he cannot have any money to spare for good

clothes, books, and a nice house and furniture; nor can he have any money saved up, to keep him when he is ill, or thrown out of work by the badness of trade. Such a man can have but few of the comforts of life, not because he has not money enough to buy them, but because he does not manage well with what he has ;he is a bad manager, and bad management is the cause of his poverty and discomfort.

Another man, George Smith, works in the same shop as John Dobbs, and gets the same wage. He spends nothing on beer or tobacco, and so has the whole of his thirty shillings to go to market with. What he spends there, he spends carefully, buying everything of the proper quality and quantity. He and his wife and family, instead of cramming themselves on the first few days of the week, eat and drink moderately, and so manage to get good, comfortable meals all through the week. And Smith is able to do this at less cost than Dobbs, because, having his money by him, instead of spending it all within a few days, he is able to go to the best shops, and by paying ready money, to get things cheaper. As George Smith spends carefully and lives moderately, that is, because he manages well, he has money


spare for other things; and so he has a comfortable, well-furnished home, good clothes, and it may be, a little money put by till he wants it. He is a good manager, and good management is the cause of his comforts.

Now Dobbs has his pleasure, as well as Smith, but it lasts only for a few days, and is followed by wretchedness; whereas Smith's pleasure lasts all the week. Dobbs has a home, and some clothes and furniture, but they are not nearly as comfortable as Smith's. There is a great difference between the conditions of these men; one has many more of the comforts of life than the other, although each of them has the same wage. The difference, as we have seen, is owing to the way in which each spends it ;-it is owing to his management;


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if each managed well, the one would be as comfortable as the other. This shows us that a working-man's share of the comforts of life, depends not only upon his wage, but also upon the way in which it is spent. To live comfortably, he must not only possess the knowledge, skill, and industry, that are necessary to get a good wage, but he must be a good manager. Good management is called economy; and a person who is a good manager, who practises economy, is said to be an economical person.

An economical man always spends as much as he can afford on furniture, food, clothes, and all else that he wants, and as much as will make them equally comfortable. He does not go without decent clothes for the sake of eating and drinking; nor does he go

without proper food for the sake of wearing smart clothes or having a fine house; but he tries to make all these things match. He always buys with ready money, at the best places, and so has the pleasure not only of having things nice, but of being out of debt.

We now see how important economy is to the working-man, since his comfort depends upon that, almost as much as upon his wage. Many workmen, with their families, lead very wretched, miserable lives, only because they are not economical : while others, as we have said, are comfortable and happy, with less money, because they practise economy. The chief reason why some people are economical, while others are not, is because when they were young, they were taught the need of economy, and made to practise it. If all who read this book, were to be economical while young, it is very likely they would continue to be


when and women; and if so, they would be better off all their lives.

But how can boys and girls be economical ? Why by practising economy directly they go to work. Most parents give their children a part of their weekly wages, and with this, they can practise economy, by saving it


till they have enough to buy some useful thing with, and then spending it wisely. If a boy were to save threepence a week out of his earnings, he would have thirteen shillings at the year's end. But the money saved, would not be the only thing gained; he would gain something worth more to him than the money, and that is, the habit of saving. If he grew up in this good habit, he would soon find it very easy, and when he became a man, he would continue to save, and then, not only he, but all depending upon him for their living, would be far happier than they could otherwise be.

This shows us how important it is for people’s welfare, that they should learn to be economical when young, and that they cannot begin to practise economy too

It is particularly important that girls should do this, because when they are women, they will have most to do with money matters, and the comfort of their homes will depend upon their good management, just as their own comfort now depends upon the good management of their mothers.

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LESSON 60.-VALUE. A Boy with a shilling, can get many things in exchange for it; he can get a knife, a book, or a drum; or he can exchange it for two sixpences, or for some coppers. In either case he would get the worth or the value of his shilling; the value of a shilling being what can be got in exchange for it. This is what is meant by the value of anything; so that if a boy can exchange his ball for another’s top, the top is the value of his ball; and if a workman can get a sovereign for his week's work, the sovereign is the value of his work. Everything that can be exchanged for anything else, is said to have value, and to be valuable; whereas everything that nobody will give anything in exchange for, is said to have no value, and to be valueless. In this sense of

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