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Your robes are green and
purple—there's a crest
upon your head; Your eyes are like the dia
mond bright, but mine
are dull as lead!” Alas, alas! how very soon this
silly little Fly, Hearing his wily, flattering
words, came slowly flitting by; With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then
near and nearer drew, Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hueThinking only of her crested head |-- poor foolish thing! At
last, Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast. He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den, Within his little parlor—but she ne'er came out again!
And now, dear little children, who may this story read, To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er give
heed; Unto an evil counselor, close heart, and ear, and eye, And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.
Gau'zy (gôz'i), very thin; brilliant, sparkling; sub'lle (sūt''l), cunningly made; wi'ly, full of tricks; flăt'tèr ing, appealing to one's vanity; dis'mal, gloomy; coun'sel or (koun'se ler), one who gives advice.
What did the spider tell about his house to attract the fly?
THE LITTLE PHILOSOPHER
JOHN AIKIN AND MRS. BARBAULD
Mr. L. was one morning riding by himself, when dismounting to gather a plant in the hedge, his horse got loose and galloped away before him. He followed, calling the horse by its name, which stopped, but on his approach set off again. At length a little boy in the neighboring field, seeing the affair, ran across where the road made a turn, and getting before the horse, took him by the bridle, and held him until his owner came up. Mr. L. looked at the child and admired his ruddy, cheerful countenance. “Thank you, my good lad!” said he; “you have caught my horse very cleverly. What shall I give you for your trouble?” (Putting his hand into his pocket). “I want nothing, sir," said the boy.
"What 'shall I give you for your trouble?" MR. L. Don't you? So much the better for you. Few men can say so much. But, pray, what were you doing in the field?
Boy. I was rooting up weeds, and tending the sheep that are feeding on turnips.
MR. L. And do you like this kind of employment?
Boy. This is not hard work; it is almost as good as play.
MR. L. Who set you at work?
MR. L. If you had sixpence, what would you do with it?
Boy. I don't know. I never had so much in my life.
MR. L. Such as balls, ninepins, marbles, tops, and wooden horses.
Boy. No, sir; but our Tom makes footballs to kick in the cold weather, and we set traps for birds; and then I have a jumping pole and a pair of stilts to walk through the dirt with; and I had a hoop, but it broke.
MR. L. And do you want nothing else?
Boy. I have hardly time for those; for I always ride the horses to field, and bring up the cows, and run to the town of errands, and that is as good as play, you know.
MR. L. Well, but you could buy apples or gingerbread at the town, I suppose, if you had money?
Boy. Oh! I can get apples at home; and as for gingerbread, I don't mind it much, for my mother gives me a pie now and then, and that is as good.
MR. L. Would you not like a knife to cut sticks?
Boy. I have one-here it is-brother Tom gave it to me.
MR. L. Your shoes are full of holes --don't you want a better pair?
Boy. I have a better pair for Sundays.
Boy. I have a better at home, but I had as lieve have none at all, for it hurts my head.
MR. L. What do you do when it rains?
Boy. If it rains very hard, I get under the hedge till it is over.
MR. L. What do you do when you are hungry before it is time to go home?
Boy. I sometimes eat a raw turnip.
Boy. Then I do as well as I can; I work on, and never think of it.
MR. L. Are you not dry sometimes this hot weather?
MR. L. Why, my little fellow, you are quite a philosopher!