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


Page 363

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
LITTLE DAFFYDOWNDILLY

But, even while he spoke, Daffydowndilly's eyes fell upon a person who seemed the laziest, and heaviest, and most torpid of all those lazy and heavy and torpid people who had lain down to sleep in the shade. Who should it be, again, but the very image of Mr. Toil!
" There is a large family of these Toils," remarked the stranger. "This is another of the old schoolmaster's brothers, who was bred in Italy, where he acquired very idle habits, and goes by the name of Signor Far Niente. He pretends to lead an easy life, but is really the most miserable fellow in the family."
" Oh, take me back!-take me back!" cried poor little Daffydowndilly, bursting into tears. "If there is nothing but Toil all the world over, I may just as well go back to the schoolhouse!"
" Yonder it is-there is the schoolhouse!" said the stranger; for though he and little Daffydowndilly had taken a great many steps, they had traveled in a circle instead of a straight line. "Come; we will go back to school together."
There was something in his companion's voice that little Daffydowndilly now remembered, and it is strange that he had not remembered it sooner. Looking up into his face, behold! there again was the likeness of old Mr. Toil; so that the poor child had been in company with Toil all day,
even while he was doing his best to run away from him. Some people, to whom I have told little Daffydowndilly's story, are of the opinion that old Mr. Toil was a magician, and possessed the power of multiplying himself into as many shapes as he saw fit.
Be this as it may, little Da.ffydowndilly had learned a good lesson, and from that time forward was diligent at his task, because he knew that diligence is not a whit more toilsome than sport or idleness. And when he became better

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