Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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•204
buli-ushes; in short, what I mean is the
country in which wild nature is most to be
found, and where squires are nature's gentle-
men, and do not stop up footpaths, and far-
mers do not whip women for turnip-top-
ping, and stiff pohcemen do not put poor
little watercress girls in the cage, and where
birds do make their nests without fear of
spohation, and will sing in spite of magis-
trates.
This is the sort of country that Sidney
and Horace Bedingfield were sighing foriu
a very hot school-room, amid the dust of
books, and hum of school-mates. They
sighed not in vain, for the next day was
the breaking up of the Wattlestone Gram-
mar School, when every one was to be free
as air, except the poor little orphan boy,
Ned Parvet, who had nowhere to go to
during the recess, and who used to stop in
the house, when all the boys as well as all
the family were away, to help the gar-
dener.
The next day, the IGth of June, did
come, and the boys were off — ay, before
the sun began to cast a shadow on the
lawn, for they had a drive of fifteen miles
from the good town of Sheffield, across the
country to another line of rail, before they
could be said to be off proper. But they
caught the early train at Swansford, dash-
ed along for some forty miles northward,
then on the dog-cart ten miles more, and
reached 'the hall of their ancestors,' as
Horace called it, just at pudding time.'
Bedingfield Hall was a truly sylvan spot.
H lay contiguous to the village church,
which had its rustic tower deeply imbed-
ded in trees, over which the sacred emblem
of our faith peered like the beacon of hope,
while lambkins, no less the emblems of
Christian meekness, grazed peacefully be-
low. The churchyard scarcely looked like
a region of death, but a place of sweet re-
pose and affection, for the tombs and the
graves were covered with spring or sum-
mer flowers, which nature or the hand of
affection had planted there; and there it
was that httle children came and gambol-
led, and played, and sang, and romped, and
gathered flowers to rob death of its terrors,
and add to life some of its sweetest charms.
And, as the boys drove towards their
long-loved home, they peeped over the
hedge to get a look at the old church; and
there, in the meadow close to it, were sis-
ter Susan and little Bridget, and their two
younger brothers, Alfred and Fred, making
daisy-chains. Horace blew his horn loudly
as he passed the churchyard gate, and Su-
san looked up; presently she heard der
brother's voice; all now made a bound and
a spring towards the hall doorway, and were
soon mingled together with father, mother,
brothers, sisters, and Cousin Charley.
It was a sweet picture. Nothing could
exceed the joy felt by every one. A plenti-
ful repast was soon smoking on the board,
and welcome to the holidays was heard here,
there, and everywhere, both in hall, kit-
chen, chamber, and farm-yard. The boys
and girls sallied forth in the evening to
look again at old haunts, and called back
old associations of fights with turkey-cocks,
of the capturing of foxes after their feast-
ing at the hen-roost, of blowing up hor-
nets' nests, of rabbit shooting, and a hun-
dred other freaks of their boyish days.
They leaped over old ditches, and vaulted
over old stiles, and swung on old gates,
and even went so far as to run up the old
church steeple and get a look out over the
country round about; and then peeping in
upon the hours of moonlight, and having
had a dance in front of the hall, all went
at last, weary but happy, to their beds.
The next morning all were down to break-
fast at an early hour, and all alert for the
business of the day.
'What shall it be?' cried one.
'Where shall we go?' cried another.
'There is archery, and ball,' said Ho-
race.
'There is riding and driving,' said Susan.
'There is boating on the river only two
miles off,' said Alfred.
'Is there not any good otter-hunting, or
rat-catching, or some good sport or other
of that sort?' cried Chariey. 'I like sport;
I do not see any good of being in the
country without sport.'
'There is good fishing in the Deben, close
by,' said Mr. Bedingfield.
'Hang fishing,' said Charley, 'if you mean
angling; that is such very slow work. I
want something a little bit fast; we have
enough slow work at school, when we get
hold of Master Herodotus, or Virgil, and
other slow coaches. I want something to
do that will excite me. Have you any bad-
gers or otters about here? I think it would
be a capital sport to go otter-hunting.*
don't know that I should be wilhng
for you to go otter-hunting, my young
gentlemen,' said Mr. Bedingfield, 'seeing
that I keep an otter in the slew yonder.'
The stew had been formerly a place for
the preserving of fish; but, as they had al-
ways been poached, the purpose for which
it had been originally intended was aban-
doned, and the worthy yeoman had turned
it into a preserve for otters.