Page images

teachers of mankind-I have found, laboring conscientiously, though, perhaps, obscurely, in their blessed vocation, wherever I have gone. Their calling is high and holy; their renown will fill the earth in after ages.

Lord Brougham.

dismay, great fear.

adversary, enemy. renown, fame.




vocation, calling, business. advance, to go forward. obscurely, without fame.










HAT is the difference between a State Govern

Do not both make laws? Yes. Do not both have courts and an executive? Yes. The difference is this: The States and the United States make different laws.

2. When a boy goes to school he obeys his teacher; that is being under the teacher's laws. When he is at home he obeys his father; that is being under his father's laws. He has two sets of laws. So it is in our country. Every day we obey the laws of our State, and also the laws of the United States.

3. What is the reason for having State Governments and State laws? Because the General Government would have too much to do to attend to all

the affairs of every State; and it could not know all the wants of the people so well as a government nearer home.

4. The United States take care of the general interests of the country, "provide for the common defense and general welfare," and the individual States do all the rest. All the laws about buying and selling within the States, about the care of schools, against stealing and murder even, are State laws.



5. But suppose the State laws go contrary to the laws of the United States? Then they have no force at all, for the Constitution says: "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land." in pursuance, according to. | treaty, a written agreement supreme, highest. between two nations.









FTER Columbus discovered America, a great many voyages were made to this country, most of them in hope of getting gold and silver. The strangest stories were told in Europe about the wealth of the New World.

2. One was, that there was a kingdom here, called El Dorado, or the Gilded, where the king was covered with powdered gold, and the entrance to his palace was guarded by lions fastened by heavy chains of gold.

3. Inside the palace there was a fountain with four pipes of gold, from which streamed forth jets of liquid silver; and on every side vessels of gold and silver shone with dazzling brightness.

4. How could any one believe such foolish stories? Yet it was true that gold was found in America. Much was found in Mexico and South America; and daring adventurers were ready to risk their lives, and do any deeds of cruelty, in order to become rich and famous.

5. One of these adventurers was named De Soto, famous as the discoverer of the Mississippi River. He had become rich by being engaged in the conquest of Peru, one of the countries of South America; and now he offered to take possession of this whole country at his own expense.

6. The king of Spain gave him leave, and with six hundred men he set out to conquer Florida, as the whole country was then called by the Spaniards. It would be a sad tale of suffering and cruelty, if we should tell you the story of his march. Starting from the coast of Florida, he went across Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, until, in the year 1541, more than three hundred years ago, he discovered that greatest river of our country.

7. But he was not after rivers; he wanted gold.

He demanded of the Indians where the gold kingdom was; and if they told him there was no such place, he thought they lied to him. Some of them pretended to know where it was, and led him and his men astray into swamps and forests.

8. Many of the Indians he enslaved, and many of them he killed. Sometimes the Indians would fight for their lives and homes; but their weapons were only bows and arrows, and they could do but little against the Spaniards.

9. Did he find gold? No: he went up the Mississippi, and across what is now Arkansas and Louisiana; and, failing in every thing he sought, his proud spirit at last gave way. He sickened and died; and his followers, wrapping up his body, buried it secretly at midnight in the great river which he had discovered.



From the Bible.

ONOR thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.


2. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother; for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

3. My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: bind them con

tinually upon thy heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

4. The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

5. Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.



write sub-ject
proud cap-ture

[blocks in formation]



TREDERICK DOUGLASS was born in Talbot County, on the eastern shore of Maryland. His earliest memory is not of his mother, but of his grandmother "Grandmother Betty," as she was always called. He saw his mother but a few times. She was hired out to a man who lived twelve miles off, and she could come only once in a great while to see her boy, and then in the night.

2. She died when he was still young. He writes: “I learned after my mother's death that she could read, and that she was the only one of all the slaves and colored people in Tuckahoe who enjoyed that

« PreviousContinue »