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The Snuff-Boxes

A VILLAGE pedagogue announced one day

Unto his pupils, that Inspector A.
Was coming to examine them. Quoth he:
“If he should try you in Geography,
Most likely he will ask—'What's the Earth's shape?'
Then, if you feel as stupid as an ape,
Just look at me: my snuff-box I will show,
Which will remind you it is round, you know.”

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Now, the sagacious master, I declare,
Had two snuff-boxes-one round, t'other square;
The square he carried through the week, the round
On Sundays only.

Hark! a footstep's sound: 'Tis the Inspector. “What's the Earth's shape, lad?” Addressing one by name. The latter, glad To have his memory helped, looked at the master; When, piteous to relate, O, sad disaster ! The pupil without hesitation says: “Round, sir, on Sundays, square on other days."


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“WHERE have you been, Lysander Pratt ?"

“In Greedy Land, Philander Sprat.” “What did you there to grow so fat?”

"I built myself a little house
In which I lived snug as a mouse."

“Well, very, very good was that !”
“Not wholly good, Philander Sprat."
“Now, wherefore not, Lysander Pratt ?"

“A bear came raging from the wood, And tumbled down my cottage good.”

“ Alas! how very bad was that !”
“Not wholly bad, Philander Sprat."
“Not bad? Why not, Lysander Pratt ?”

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“Well done! Now surely good was that !” “Yet not so good, Philander Sprat.” "Now, why not good, Lysander Pratt?

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“Ah, what an evil thing was that !” “Not wholly bad, Philander Sprat.” “What good was there, Lysander Pratt ? ”

“He caught for me a great wild boar, That made me sausages good store.”

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“What luck! How very good was that !” “Good ? Not all good, Philander Sprat." “Why not all good, Lysander Pratt ? ”

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"A cat stole in on velvet paw,
And ate them all with greedy maw.”

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“Now surely wholly bad was that !”

Not wholly bad, Philander Sprat. “Then tell me why, Lysander Pratt."

“Of Pussy's fur with silken hair, I made of gloves a noble pair.”

“Trust you! No wonder you are fat! You found your good account in that, As in all else, Lysander Pratt."

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“Yes, in the closet hang they now, Yet they are full of holes, I vow,

Gnawed by some thievish long-tailed rat;
And so, you see, Philander Sprat,
Not wholly good was even that !”

Arlo Bates.

The Wreck of the Steamship "Puffin "



? TELL you a story, children? Well

, gather around my knee, And I'll see if I cannot thrill you (though you're torpid

after your tea), With a moving tale of a shipwreck; and should you refrain

from sleep, For the cake was a trifle heavy-I flatter myself you'll weep!

You all know Kensington Gardens, and some of you, I'll

be bound, Have stood by the level margin of the Pond that's entitled

"Round”; 'Tis a pleasant spot on a summer day, when the air is laden

with balm, And the snowy sails are reflected clear in a mirror of flaw

less calm!


Well, it isn't like that in the winter, when the gardens are

shut at four, And a wind is lashing the water, and driving the ducks

ashore. Ah! the Pond can be black and cruel then, with its waves

running inches high, And a peril lurks for the tautest yacht that pocket-money

can buy!

Yet, in weather like this, with a howling blast and a sky of

ominous gloom, Did the good ship Puffin put out to sea, as if trying to

tempt her doom ! She was a model steamer, on the latest approved design, And her powerful 10-slug engines were driven by spirits of


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And a smarter crew (they were sixpence each !) never

shipped on a model bark, While her Captain, “Nuremberg Noah,” had once com

manded an ark; Like a fine old salt of the olden school, he had stuck to his

wooden ship, But lately, he'd been promoted—and this was his trial trip.


Off went the Puffin when steam was up, with her crew and

commander brave ! And her screw was whizzing behind her as she breasted

the foaming wave; Danger? each sixpenny seaman smil at the notion of that! But the face of the skipper looked thoughtful from under

his broad-brimmed hat.

Was he thinking of his children three-of Japheth, and

Ham, and Shem ? Or his elephants (both with a trunk unglued !), was he sad

at the thought of them? Or the door at the end of his own old ark-did it give him

a passing pain To reflect that its unreal knocker might never deceive him


Nay, children, I cannot answer— he had passed inquiry

beyond: He was far away on the billowy waste of the wild and heav

ing Pond, Battling hard with the angry crests of the waves, that were

rolling in And seeking to overwhelm and swamp his staggering

vessel of tin !

Suddenly, speed she slackened, and seemed of her task to

tire . . Aye ! for the seas she had shipped of late had extinguished

her engine fire ! And the park-keeper, watching her, shook his head and in

manner unfeeling cried : " 'Twill be nothing short of a miracle now if she makes the

opposite side !"

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