The Bobbin Boy - or,  How Nat Got His learning
156 Pages
English
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The Bobbin Boy - or, How Nat Got His learning

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156 Pages
English

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Bobbin Boy, by William M. Thayer
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Bobbin Boy  or, How Nat Got His learning
Author: William M. Thayer
Release Date: November 20, 2006 [EBook #19875]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BOBBIN BOY ***
Produced by Ted Garvin, Janet Blenkinship and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
THE
BOBBIN BOY;
OR,
HOW NAT GOT HIS LEARNING.
AN EXAMPLE FOR YOUTH.
BY
WILLIAM M. THAYER,
AUTHOR OF "THE POOR BOY AND MERCHANT PRINCE," "THE POOR GIRL AND TRUE WOMAN," "FROM POOR-HOUSE TO PULPIT," "TALES FROM THE BIBLE," ETC., ETC.
BOSTON:
J. E. TILTON AND COMPANY. 1862.
Entered according to Act of Congress; in the year 1860, by J. E. TILTON AND COMPANY,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
University Press, Cambridge: Printed by Welch, Bigelow, and Company.
PREFACE.
The design of this volume is to show the young how "odd moments" and small opportunities may be used in the acquisit ion of knowledge. The hero of the tale—NAT—is a living character, whose actual boyhood and youth are here delineated—an unu sual example of energy, industry, perseverance, application, and enthusiasm in prosecuting a life purpose.
The conclusion of the story will convince the reader, that the group of characters which surround Nat are not creations of the fancy, and that each is the bearer of one or more important le ssons to the young. While some of them forcibly illustrate the consequences of idleness, disobedience, tippling, and kindred vices, in youth, others are bright examples of the manly virtues, that alwa ys command respect, and achieve success.
CONTENTS.
W. M. T.
CHAPTER I. A GOOD BEGINNING. The patch of squashes—counting chickens before they are hatched—ifs—ducks, and the bright side—explanation —hopeful Nat—Nathaniel Bowditch—Sir Humphrey Davy
—Buxton—benefit of hopefulness—the squashes coming up—Frank Martin—"all play and no work"—Ben Drake—scene when Nat was four years old—"thinking on his own hook"—men of mark think for themselves—"niggers' work"—great men not ashamed of useful work—the harvest-day—Frank's surprise—Nat as a peddler—his sister—his drawings—Samuel Budgett, Dr. Kitto, and the rich merchant peddling—"creep before you can walk"—the errand-boy and his success—what his culture of squashes shows1-17 CHAPTER II. UPWARD AND ONWARD. Winter—in school—proposition to declaim—the dialogue, "Alexander the Great and a Robber"—Nat is the robber—his reason —sympathy for the poor and unfortunate—the dialogue learned and spoken—Nat's eloquence—some boys who declaim poorly at first make orators at last—Demosthenes—Daniel Webster—Nat declaiming before visitors—the petition for shorter lessons—Nat won't sign it—Sam Drake's predicament—the teacher hears of the movement—his remarks about dull scholars —Newton, Dr. Barrows, Adam Clarke, Chatterton, Napoleon, etc. —necessity of application17-27 CHAPTER III.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON. The bright summer-time—sport at Frank's—the dog "Trip" playing hy-spy—the boys hiding—Trip finding them —the result of the first game—the second game—the court scene —talk about it with Sylvester Jones—Nat goes to court—the prisoners are two of his schoolmates—his sympathy for them —examination of witnesses—the remarks of the justice—Nat proposes to plead their case—the sensation and result—what was said of it—another instance of Nat's sympathy—what it foreshadowed—Howard—Wilberforce—Buxton28-37 CHAPTER IV. THE WILD CHERRIES. The excursion—John's proposition—decision to go —the cherry-tree—is it wild?—a discussion—filling their caps—surprised by the owner—their escape—Nat's and Frank's caps left behind—the owner carries them to the house—Nat's resolve to go to his house—rapping at the door—his explanation and confession—the caps restored with a plenty of cherries—the end thereof38-47 CHAPTER V. ATHLETIC SPORTS. Bathing—a passion for it—a particular swim—Nat the best swimmer—swimming under water—a trial—a game of ball—Nat
the best player—the result of the game—remarks of spectators—the fastest runner—a principle to be best—excelled in athletic sports through same elements of character that made him excel in school—the best shoe-black—Reynolds made every picture best—Buxton's sports in boyhood, and Sir Walter Scott's—Wellington's remark—Nat's remark twenty-five years after—Nat saving a boy from drowning—his picture of the scene—how he used his experience in athletic games CHAPTER VI. A MISTAKE. Winter school again—the skating proposition—the proposed grammar class—Nat does not accede—discussion on the way to the pond—Nat the best skater—the palm yielded to him —home to supper—teacher's remarks next day about grammar —advice to Nat and Charlie—his reference to Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry—Nat and Charlie join the class—conversation among the boys, and with Nat in particular—Sam put into the objective case, and his mischief-making propensity —tying a tin-pail to a dog's tail—the delight of Sam—the sorrow of Nat, and verdict of the boys—Sam animproper noun—the end of school CHAPTER VII. PROSPECT HILL.
48-56
57-68
Proposed visit to Prospect Hill—a hundred churches —situation and description of the hill—view from the top—Trip accompanies them—meeting with Sam and Ben Drake—Sam's assault upon Trip—Frank's feelings—Nat's love of nature—this characterizes youth generally who become renowned —Sir Francis Chantrey—Robert Burns—Hugh Miller—more hope of boys who love the beautiful of nature and art—reaching the summit—a fire in the city—Sam's anger—counting the churches —Sam kicks Trip down the precipice—Frank and Nat crying —Sam's ridicule—Sam and Ben leave—Nat tells a story —carrying dead Trip home69-82 CHAPTER VIII. THE END OF SCHOOL-DAYS. The agent of the factory wants Nat—picker-boy in Lowell a short time—his home-sickness—a good sign for boys to love home, and why—bad boys do not love home—the young man in prison—such lads sneer at home-sickness—interview of Nat's father and mother on the subject—their conclusion to put him into the factory—end of school-days83-89 CHAPTER IX. OPENING THE SUBJECT. Nat cominghome—tellingthe sad news to his mother
—sifting Sam Drake's character—going to Frank's to bury Trip —asking permission of parents—how some take advantage —Frank's arrangement for the burial—Trip's coffin—buried in the garden—Nat's funeral oration—going to supper —the difficult lesson in arithmetic—stunned by the announcement—his objection—his mother suggested that the operatives had a library—the result, and Nat's last thoughts at night90-99 CHAPTER X. THE NEW CALL. Monday morning—prompt boys—not a lazy bone in Nat —how the bell called him—his first appearance at the factory —remark of the overseer—meeting with Charlie Stone there —Charlie's character—making use of knowledge acquired and difference in boys—talk with the agent about the library—his advice about spare moments—William Cobbett's account of his own privations in early life—Nat's first noon-time—his work as bobbin boy—takes the life of Dr. Franklin out of the library—meets with David Sears—punctuality a cardinal virtue—how the factory bell cultivates punctuality—here the beginning of his student life—read
through life of Franklin before Saturday night
CHAPTER XI. THE LOFTY STUDY.
100-112
Nat's proposition for systematic study—Charlie goes to his house—his study in the attic—Dr. Kitto's study not so good—nor St. Pierre's—they read and discuss Franklin and Patrick Henry—copy of Franklin's rules—Patrick Henry's faculty of observation—Nat like him—studying men and things—the case of Shakspeare—Nat the best penman in the mill—choice between study and the party—obliged to deny himself for the sake of study—some disarrangements—thinks he can never know much—the poor not so good a chance as the rich—wealth of character CHAPTER XII. THE DEDICATION. A hall to be dedicated—Nat's conversation with Frank about it, and removal of the library—going to the dedication—the address on Count Rumford—a sketch of the address to show why Nat was so deeply interested—Count Rumford's origin, boyhood, rise, learning, benevolence, and fame—conversation with his mother about it—conversation with Charlie at the factory —a
life-long impression made on his mind by it
CHAPTER XIII. A SCHOOL SCENE. A difficulty with Sam Drake in school—Nat hears of it—a true
113-123
124-133
account—Sam writes a letter about the teacher—the teacher discovers it—many words spelled incorrectly—a copy of the letter—Sam called into the floor—made to spell the words he has spelled wrong—spells Alpheus, Coombs, knife, bargain, spectacles—merriment it occasioned in school—Sam refuses to spell more—he is punished and conquered—spells again —then he is ferruled—sent to his seat—advice to the school—a good teacher—his case before the committee—expelled—what the incident
teaches
CHAPTER XIV. TAKING SIDES. The Federalist—Jefferson and the Democrat—the four votes—studied with all his soul—Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence—reading it—difference between Jefferson and Adams —Jefferson's views of slavery—extract from his writings —another extract—why Nat adopted these principles—his early sympathies—the life of Jefferson made lasting impression on his mind—case of Guido—Cotton Mather's "Essays to do Good"—Dr. Franklin—Jeremy Bentham and greatest good to greatest number—Alfieri and "Plutarch's Lives"—Loyola and "Lives
of the Saints"—a picture made—Dr. Guthrie
CHAPTER XV.
134-141
142-155
THREE IMPORTANT EVENTS. Frank in the factory—bad to be poor—worse to be mean —great men generally poor—dispute with Dr. Franklin—intimate friendship with Frank—the poor sympathize with each other—so with the rich—influence of kindred occupation—the new comer—his poverty—who Marcus was—the kind letter that brought trial—proposition to leave home—talk with his mother—reminded of Marcus—decision to leave home—departure and
new field—gone three years—his return
CHAPTER XVI. FINDING A LOST OPPORTUNITY. Odd moments at grammar—making up for a lost opportunity—confession of an error—inquiry after Sam Drake—his bad character—Ben Drake—mastering grammar alone —nothing dry in which we are interested—Nat's literary pocket —Roger Sherman's pocket—Napoleon's pocket—Hugh Miller's pocket—Elihu Burritt's pocket—many boys carry only a jack-knife in their pocket—value of one hour a day—ten years of study in half a century—lost opportunities not found—the proposed debating
club—Marcus again
CHAPTER XVII. THE PURCHASE. A spare day—visit to Boston bookstores—shoe-leather
156-164
165-173
cheap and the proposed walk—conversation with Charlie and Frank—the walk to Boston—what would attract some boys there —the book-stores drew Nat—conversation with a bookseller—purchase of "Locke's Essay on the Understanding"—his examination of books—bits of knowledge—Dr. Kitto and the book-stall —homeward bound—Monday morning with Charlie—influence of Locke's Essay on him—its influence was such on Robert Burns, Samuel Drew, and Mendelssohn—it aids the speaker to understand
the laws of human nature—more visits to Boston
CHAPTER XVIII. THE DEBATING SOCIETY. Plans carried out—its object—how it must be conducted —the organization—rule to make it respectable—his desire to make all things respectable—the fire company reformed—the first discussion—the question—an evening without a question—how they got over it—Nat's speech—curiosity to hear —tremendous compliments—Nat wards them off—contends that a man may become what he wants to be—this the view of Buxton and others—influence of the debating society on Nat—a similar society influenced Curran, the Irish orator—and a living American statesman—Canning, the English statesman—and Henry
Clay—interesting account of a similar society in Boston
174-182
183-195