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The Stag in the Ox-stall: « Fable.
STAG, roused out of his thick covert in the midst of the forest, and driven hard by the hounds, made towards a farmhouse, and, seeing the door of an oxstall open, entered therein, and hid himself under a heap of straw. One of the oxen, turning his head about, asked him what he meant by venturing him
self in such a place as that was, where he was sure to meet with his doom. “Ah,” said the stag, “ if you will be but so good as to favour me by preserving my secret, I hope I shall do well enough. I intend to make off at the first opportunity.”
Well, he stayed there till toward night. In came the shepherd with a bundle of fodder, and never saw him. In short, all the servants of the farm came and went, and not one of them found out anything of the matter. Nay, the bailiff himself came, according to form, and looked in, but walked away no wiser than the rest. Upon this the stag, ready to jump out of his skin for joy, began to return thanks to the good-natured oxen, protesting that they were the most obliging people he had ever met with in his life. After he had ended his compliments, one of them answered him gravely, “Indeed, we desire nothing more than to have it in our power to contribute to your escape ; but there is a certain person you little think of, who has a hundred eyes—if he should happen to come, I would not give a straw for your life.”
In the interim, home comes the master himself from a neighbour's, where he had been invited to dinner; and, because he had observed the cattle to look but poorly of late, he went up to the rack, and asked why they did not give them more fodder ; then, casting his eyes downward, “Heyday!” says he, “why so sparing of your litter? Pray scatter a little more here. And these cobwebs—but I have spoken so often, that, unless I do it myself—” Thus, as he went on prying into everything, he chanced to look where the stag's horns were sticking out of the straw, upon which he raised a hue-and-cry, called all his people about him, killed the poor stag, and made a prize of him.
OW sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank !
Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music
The Ass and the Little Dog: a Fable.
HE ass, observing how great a favourite the little dog
was with his master, how much caressed and fondled, and fed with good bits at every meal — and for no other reason, as he could perceive, but skipping and frisking about, wagging his tail, and leaping up into his master's lap—he was resolved to imitate his con
duct, and see whether such a behaviour would not procure him the same favours. Accordingly his master was no sooner come home from walking about his fields and grounds, and was seated in his easy-chair, but the ass, who observed him, came gamboling and braying towards him in a very awkward manner. The master could not help laughing aloud at the odd sight. But his jest was soon turned into earnest when he felt the rough salute of the ass's forefeet, who, raising himself upon his hinder legs, pawed against his breast with a most loving air, and would fain have jumped into his lap. The good man, terrified at this outrageous behaviour, and unable to endure the weight of so heavy a beast, cried out, upon which, one of his servants running in with a good stick, and laying on heartily upon the bones of the poor ass, soon convinced him that every one who desires it is not qualified to be a favourite.
Answers should reach the Editor by the 10th instant. They should
be written on only one side of the paper, and should not contain a larger number of words than would fill one-half or three-quarters of a page of this Magazine. Each answer should be signed by the writer, and should state his age from his last birthday. Boys and girls who have completed their twelfth year are eligible to answer the first question ; boys and girls under twelve must confine themselves to the second question. The papers written by scholars of the same age will be examined together, and the writers of the two best in each division will receive a prize. All papers should contain a certificate from the teacher of the school that they have been honestly worked. Transcription is not composition.
SUBJECTS FOR THIS MONTH.
For Seniors.—(Boys and girls of the ages of 12, 13, 14, and 15.) The best description of a day's holiday.
For Juniors.—(Boys and girls of the ages of 9, 10, and 11.) The best map of the six northern counties of England, on the scale of the map in “John Heywood's National Atlas.” This map must not contain more than forty names.
The Publisher has much pleasure in giving PRIZES to the writers of the two best answers to each question in every number. The first prize will be a book of the value of FIVE SHILLINGS; the second, a book of the value of THREE SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE. Two books of each kind will be given-four in all; but a Scholar, after taking one prize, cannot obtain another until an interval of six months has elapsed. Should his paper during that time obtain the distinction which would otherwise entitle him to a prize, it will be printed in its proper position, but the prize will be awarded to the Scholar who has written the answer next in merit.
PRIZES FOR LAST MONTH'S SUBJECTS.
A three shillings and sixpenny prize to T. W. RIDLEY, aged 13, Allenheads School, certified by J. Bates, master; and WILLIAM HAYES, aged 11, Egerton Boys' School, Salford, certified by W. Hindshaw, head master.
The above-named Prize Essayists are desired to send to the Publisher, Mr. JOHN HEYWOOD, 141 and 143, Deansgate, Manchester, the name of any book or books, of the value referred to, which they would like to receive, and such will be forwarded, post free, within one week afterwards. The Publisher, of course, reserves to himself the right of refusing to forward any work the character of which he may think injurious ; but with that single exception Prize Essayists may select any work they please. They will, doubtless, avail themselves of the advice of their parents or teachers in their selection.
A catalogue of three thousand works will be sent by the Publisher on receipt of a pevny postage stamp for postage.
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR was born at Falaise in Normandy. He became Duke of Normandy, a province in the north of France. William said that Edward the Confessor had left him the crown, and he went over with an army, and killed Harold at Senlac Hill, near Hastings. He was crowned king on Christmas Day, and at first ruled justly, but there being many revolts he ruled harder. His eldest son, Robert, rebelled against him, and at one time nearly slew his father. He quarrelled with Philip I. of France, and he went and laid waste everything he came near. But his wickedness did not prosper, for he set fire to the town of Mantes, and his horse plunged and gave William a bruise, from which he died. He was buried at Caen, aged
CHARLES MILLNER, aged 11 years. Woodchurch National School.-I certify the above to be done by C. Millner.
D. S. BENNETT, Master.
WHEN Edward was dead, William, Duke of Normandy, thought that they might choose him for their king. But they chose Harold ; and William was very angry when he knew. He prepared a large army, and met Harold at Hastings, where Harold was killed. William was crowned king on Christmas Day. He took a great deal of land for himself, and the other he divided among six or seven hundred of his followers called barons or vassals. The King of France made a rude jest on him, at which he gathered an army, and was going to Paris, when he was badly hurt. He died on September 10th, 1087.
WILLIAM Hayes, aged 11. Egerton Boys' School, Tatton Street, Salford.— I certify that the above is the boy's own work.
W. HINDSHAW, Head Master.
Do nothing without advice, and when thou hast once done, repent not. —Ecclesiasticus xxxii., 19.
WO things generally go together—a hasty decision
and change of purpose. The first is the cause of the second. A boy or girl makes a sudden resolution, without advice, and a day or two afterwards it is just as suddenly given up. Now these hasty decisions and sudden changes of purpose weaken
our characters very much: they make people think we are flighty, and not to be depended upon. Besides, they make us lose our character with ourselves. A boy should not only be anxious to stand well with others, but to secure his own esteem. You may, perhaps, think it is easy to do that, but not so easy as you think. After a few hasty decisions, which are suddenly given up, a boy begins to lose faith in himself. He thinks he cannot be steady and firm of purpose ; that there must be some defect in his nature that makes him so unstable.
No. 18.-JUNE, 1873.