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ISTEN to me, children, I have a pro

posal to make.' So spoke papa : all

the children looked up; Horace, who was ten years old, and so, of course, knew how a gentleman ought to behave, laid down his fork and

spoon; Alice, who was eight, stood with her spoon in the air, and a piece of pudding in the spoon; while George, who was only seven, and therefore not quite finished in his manners, bolted a piece of pudding crust, which was a mouthful big enough for three, choked, got red in the face, and had to be slapped on the back by his mamma; and all this because papa had made a remark,

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when he had not even said what his proposal

was.

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"Well,' said papa, whose name was Mr. Lawley, 'if you get so excited before I tell you what it is, what will you do when I mention a pic-nic ?'

• I knew it; I guessed it,' said Horace ; ‘such a lot of cakes and tarts and chickens ain't for nothing. Hurrah !

· Hurrah !' said George, jumping off his chair and capering all over the room. Now George was a little boy who never knew when to stop. He thought himself a very funny and amusing boy ; and so he was for a little while; but he would go on so long making a buffoon of himself-buffoon means a man like the clown in a pantomime—that people turned quite sick with looking at him. So now he leapt about and wagged his head, and lolled his tongue out, and looked more like an idiot than anything else. Papa told him again and again to sit down and finish his pudding ; but still George went on like a Tomfool, in the hope that people would laugh, because they had laughed at first, until Mr. Lawley said to the maid, ' Jane, take away Master George's plate!' George ran back to his place quick enough, you may be sure ; ; but it was too late. Papa always meant what he said. Off went George's pudding, and the cat

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had it for her dinner. George was much vexed, for it was roley jam ; so he made up his mind he would pay attention to his papa next time.

Well, papa,' said Ally, ‘now about the pic-nic; where shall we go? whom shall we ask, and what shall we take with us?'

· Let's go to the top of Black Cap,' said George. 'No, to Fairy Dell,' said Horace.

No, no,' said Alice; much better go to the Rocks.'

I vote we ask the Dales,' said one.

* No; they are horrid; and don't let us have the Browns,' said another of the children.

• When you have quite finished, my dears,' said their mamma, ' perhaps you will let your papa say what he thinks best.'

So the three children looked rather red.

Then Mr. Lawley said, I think Black Cap will not do, because it is all up hill to get there, and you will be tired out before we arrive. Then

· Fairy Dell is too far off; and there is no shade at the Rocks from the sun, or shelter in case it should rain.'

Oh, papa, it won't rain,' said George.

Well, my dear, it may. I scarcely ever had a pic-nic when it did not.'

· Why, papa ?' asked Horace.

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when he had not even said what his proposal

was.

a

Well,' said papa, whose name was Mr. Lawley, “if you get so excited before I tell you what it is, what will you do when I mention a pic-nic ?'

• I knew it; I guessed it,' said Horace ; ‘such a lot of cakes and tarts and chickens ain't for nothing. Hurrah !'

· Hurrah !' said George, jumping off his chair and capering all over the room. Now George was a little boy who never knew when to stop. He thought himself a very funny and amusing boy ; and so he was for a little while; but he would go on so long making a buffoon of himself-buffoon means a man like the clown in a pantomime—that people turned quite sick with looking at him. So now he leapt about and wagged his head, and lolled his tongue out, and looked more like an idiot than anything else. Papa told him again and again to sit down and finish his pudding ; but still George went on like a Tomfool, in the hope that people would laugh, because they had laughed at first, until Mr. Lawley said to the maid, ' Jane, take away Master George's plate!' George ran back to his place quick enough, you may be sure; but it was too late. Papa always meant what he said. Off went George's pudding, and the cat

a

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