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LXXXI.- SONG OF HIAWATHA.
LE'GEND (lē'jend), n., a wild story. EY'RY (ā're), n., a place where birds PA'Thos, n., feeling ; passion.
of prey build and hatch. PAL-I-SADE', n., a fence or fortifica- TRA-Dīrion, n., oral account handed tion of sharpened stakes.
down from age to age. Pronounce Hiawatha, He-a-wa'tha (the second a as in fall); the au in haunt like a in far. Heed the long o in shad'ow, mead'ow.
1. YE who love the haunts of nature, love the sun. shine of the meadow, love the shadow of the forest, love the wind among the branches, and the rain shower and the snow-storm, and the rushing of great rivers through their palisades of pine-trees, and the thunder in the mountains, whose innūmerable echoes flap like eagles in their eyries, — listen to these wild traditions, to this Song of Hiawatha !
2. Ye who love a nation's lēgends, love the ballads of a people, that, like voices from afar off, call to us to pause and listen, speak in tones so plain and childlike, scarcely can the ear distinguish whether they are sung or spoken, - listen to this Indian legend, to this Song, of Hiawatha!
3. Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple, who have faith in God and nature, who believe that in all ages every human heart is human; that, in even savage bosoms, there are longings, yearnings, strivings, for the good they comprehend not; that the feeble hands and helpless, groping blindly in the darkness, touch His right hand in the darkness, and are lifted up and strengthened, — listen to this simple story, to this Song of Hiawatha !
4. Ye who sometimes in your rambles through the green lanes of the country, where the tangled barberry. bushes, hang their tuits of erimson berries over stone walls gray with mosses, – pause by some neglected graveyard, for a while to muse and wonder on a half
effaced inscription, writ with little skill of song-craft, homely phrases, but each letter full of hope and yet of heart-break, full of all the tender pathos of the Here and the Hereafter, — stay and read this rude inscription, read this Song of Hiawatha ! LONGFELLOW.
- THE CHAMPION SPELLER.
CE-LER'I-TY, n., swiftness.
TEM'PO-RA-RY, 2., lasting only for & PROD'I-GY (-jy), n., any thing aston- time. ishing; a monster.
OR-THOG'RA-PHY, n., art of spelling. THRESHOLD, n., the door-sill. SI-MUL-TAÔNE-OUS, a., being at the . Ex-TRAOR'DI-NA-RY (eks-tror'-), do,
same time. out of the usual order.
AC-QUI-SI'TION (ak-we-zish'un), n., the WIELD (weeld), 0. t., to use with act of gaining ; the thing gained. power.
PGN'E-TRATE, v. t., to pierce. The habit which the two boys, introduced in this story, had of clipping the sound of ng in such words as spelling, chopping, &c., is one which, we hope, every youth will avoid in serious delivery.
1. LET no one suppose that in the following story I would underrate the importance of learning to spell correctly. In these days the young person who hopes to attain to positions of trust and profit must be a good speller. What I would impress upon your minds is, that you must not only learn the orthography of a word but acquaint yourself with its meaning; not only know the outside form of a word, its letters and syllables, but penetrate to its inner spirit and life.
2. The most extraordinary spelling, and, indeed, reading machine, in our school, was a boy whom I shall call Mem'orus Wordwell. He was mighty and wonderful in the acquisition and remembrance of words, of signs without the ideas signified. The alphabet he acquired at home before he was two years old. What exultation of parents, what exclamation from admiring visitors! “ There was never any thing like it.”. He had almost accomplished his a-b abs before he was
thought old enough for school. At an earlier age than usual, however, he was sent; and then he went from Ache to Abomination in half the summers and winters it took the rest of us to go over the same space.
It was astonishing how quickly he mastered column after column, section after section, of obstinate orthographies.
3. Those martial terms I have just used, together with our hero's celerity, put me in mind of Cæsar; so I will quote him. Memorus might have said, in respect to the hosts of the spelling-book, “I came, I conquered." He generally stood at the head of a class every member of which was two years his elder. Poor creatures ! they studied hard, some of them, but it did no good: Memorus Wordwell was born to be above them, as some men are said to have been “born to command."
4. Master Wordwell was a remarkable reader, too. When but five years old he could rattle off a word as extensive as the name of a Russian noble, as easily as the schoolmaster himself. “He can read in the hardest chapters of the Testament as fast ag'in as I can," said his mother. -“I never did see any thing beat it!” ex. claimed his father; " he speaks up as loud as a minister.” But I have said enough about this prodigy. I have said thus much because, although he was thought so surpassingly bright, he was the most decided ninny in the school. The fact is, he did not know what the sounds he uttered meant. It never entered his head, nor the heads of his parents and most of his teachers, that words and sentences were written, and should be read, only to be understood.
5. One little anecdote about Memorus Wordwell before we let him go. It happened one day that the “cut and split” wood for the fire fell short, and Jonas Patch was out wielding the ax in school-time. He had
been at work about half an hour, when Memorus, who was perceived to have less to do than the rest, was sent out to take his place. He was about ten years old, and four years younger than Jonas. “Memorus," said the teacher, “ you may go out and spell Jonas.” Our hero did not think of the Yankee sense in which the master used the word spell. Indeed, Memorus had never attached but one meaning to it whenever it was used with reference to himself. He supposed the master was granting him a ride extraordinary on his favorite hobby. So he put his spelling-book under his arm, and was out at the wood-pile with the speed of a boy rushing to play.
6. “Have you learnt your spellin'-lesson, Jonas ?” was his first salutation. — “I have n't looked at it yit," was the reply. “I mean to cut up this plaguy great log, spellin' or no spellin', before I go in. I had as lief keep warm here choppin' wood, as freeze up there in that cold back seat." — "Well, the master sent me out to hear you spell.” — "Did he? Well, put out the words, and I'll spell.” Memorus being so distinguished a speller, Jonas did not doubt but that he was really sent out on this errand. So our deputy spelling-master mounted the top of the wood-pile, just in front of Jonas, to put out words to his temporary pupil, who still kept on cutting out chips.
7. “Do you know where the lesson begins, Jonas ?" “No, I don't; but I s'pose I shall find out now."
Well, here 't is.” (They both belonged to the same class.) “Spell A-bom-i-na'tion.” Jonas spells: A b-o-m bom a-bom—in the mean time up goes the ax high in air Mi a-bom-i — down it goes again into the wood — n-a na a-bom-i-na — up it goes again — t-i-o-n tion, a-bom-i-na-tion. Chuck goes the ax again, and at the same time out flies a furious chip, and hits Memorus on the nose. At this moment the master appeared
just at the corner of the school-house, with one foot still on the threshold. “Jonas, why don't you come in ? Did n't I send Memorus out to spell you ?” “Yes, sir; and he has been spelling me. How could I come in, if he spelt me here?”
8. At this the master's eye caught Memorus perched up on the top stick, with his book open upon his lap, rubbing his nose, and just in the act of putting out the next word of the column. "Ac-com-mo-da'tion," pronounced Memorus, in a broken but louder voice than before; for he had caught a glimpse of the master, and he wished to let him know that he was doing his duty. This was too much for the master's gravity. He perceived the mistake, and, without saying more, wheeled back into the school-room, almost bursting with the most tumultuous laugh he ever tried to suppress. The scholars wondered at his looks, and grinned in sympathy.
' 9. In a few moments Jonas came in, followed by Memorus with his spelling-book, who exclaimed, “I have heard him spell clean through the whole lesson, and he did n't spell one quarter of 'em right.” The master could hold in no longer. The scholars, too, perceived the blunder, and there was one simulta'neous roar from teacher and pupils; the scholars laughing twice as loud and uproariously in consequence of being permitted to laugh in school-time, and to do it with the accompaniment of the master.
10. It was some time before Memorus could be made to see where the joke lay. At last the teacher told him - to look out the word spell in the dictionary. He did so, and found among the definitions under spell, when a transitive verb, the following: “to take the turn or place of.” Light began to dawn on the mind of the champion.