Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 356

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
LITTLE DAFFYDOWNDILLY

Daffydowndilly was so called because in his nature he resembled a flower, and loved to do only what was beautiful and agreeable and took no delight in labor of any kind. But while Daffydowndilly was yet a little boy, his mother sent him away from his pleasant home and put him under the care of a very strict schoolmaster, who went by the name of Mr. Toil. Those 'Who knew him best affirmed that this Mr. Toil was a very worthy character; and that he had done more good, both to children and grown people, than anybody else in the world. Certainly he had lived long enough to do a great deal of good; for, if all stories be true, he had dwelt upon earth ever since Adam was driven from the garden of Eden.
Nevertheless, Mr. Toil had a, severe and ugly countenance, especially for such little boys or big men as were inclined to be idle; his voice, too, was harsh; and all his ways and customs seemed very disagreeable to our friend Daffydowndilly. The whole day long, this terrible old schoolmaster sat at his desk overlooking the scholars, or stalked about the schoolroom with a certain awful birch rod in his hand. Now came a rap over the shoulders of a boy whom Mr. Toil had caught at play; now he punished a whole class who were behindhand with their lessons; and, in short, unless a lad chose to attend quietly and constantly to his book, he had no chance of enjoying a quiet moment in the schoolroom of Mr. Toil.
" This will never do for me," thought Daffydowndilly. Now, the whole of Daffydowndilly's life had hitherto

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