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in to feed the flame; in a little time, the steam arising from the wet blanket will put out the fire.
M. But suppose we could not fasten up the blanket.
Mr. F. In that case, if you continued to sprinkle water on the fire, a steam would rise up the chimney, and produce the same effect, though not so rapidly. You have now, that is if you have profited by what has been said, learned to act a useful, kind, and humane part, in the several cases of a cut finger, a tight ring, a person fainting, a scald or burn, and a chimney on fire. Make these the subject of conversation, try to call forth and increase in each other kind intentions, self-possession, knowledge, prudence, promptitude, patience, and perseverance, and you will find learning to act will be both pleasing and profitable.
E. How much we should have lost, if we had not begun to learn to act.
M. And how wise we shall get, if we go on to learn as much, every time we meet, as we have learned now.
Mr. F. May it please God, of his great goodness, to teach you so to number your days, that you may apply your hearts unto wisdom, living in the fear of the Lord, and acting a useful part to all around you. When we next meet, we will speak of more trying cases than those which have now occupied our attention.
After Mr. Franklin had left the young people, Mary tried the method of taking off a tight ring, and succeeded capitally. They then talked over what had been said by their papa, and remembered it all so well, that Edward felt quite equal to put out a chimney on fire; Thomas knew that he could recover a person who had fainted; and little Peter himself said, that when any of them burned their fingers, he would go and fetch some flour, and shake it on the sore place directly.
ACTS OF HUMANITY CONTINUED.
THERE was a fine scuffle, on the following evening, when the young people saw their papa on the garden seat. Every one hastened to the spot, and Mr. Franklin, without loss of time, began thus:-"Accidents of a more serious kind shall now be spoken of, such as require a greater degree of self-possession than have already been mentioned. Though some have naturally more courage and steadiness of disposition than others, yet all may, in a degree, increase their self-possession by making a right use of their reason. A friend of mine, when at a large inn, being awakened by the cry of fire, was so much confused with a sense of his danger, that he forgot where he was, and could not find the door of his chamber. In this extremity he had the good sense to sit down on the bed to collect himself. He called to mind the beginning of his journey, and the places through which he had passed, until he found out the town he was then in. No sooner did he know this, than he instantly walked straight to the door, and made his escape, being well acquainted with the inn rooms. This quality of self-possession
is invaluable. The want of it has occasioned distressing consequences, the possession of it has averted fearful calamities."
Thomas. What a fright that gentleman must have been in, before he found out where he was!
Mr. Franklin. I will give you another instance of self-possession, which is more generally known than the former one. A lady was awakened by the crackling of fire, and saw it shining under her chamber floor. Her husband would immediately have opened the door, but she prevented him, lest the smoke and flames should burst in upon them. The children, with a maid, slept in a room opening out of theirs. She went and awakened them, and tying together the sheets and blankets, she sent down the maid from the window first, and then let down the children, one by one, to her. Last of all she and her husband descended. A few minutes after, the floor fell in, and all the house was in flames.
Edward. This is more remarkable than the other.
Mary. I could never tie the sheets together as she did.
Mr. F. Nor would it be expected of you; but if you learn how to act in such a case, and accustom yourself to reflect on such matters, the time may come when you will be able to show as much coolness, self-possession, and decision as she did: let us now
proceed. It may appear, at first, a trifling thing for a person to have dust, or dirt, in his eyes; but if it should happen to be lime, and not be removed, it may deprive him of sight for ever. Should any of you be present when such a misfortune has occurred, remember that to wash the eyes freely, with warm water, is the simplest remedy. If a syringe, or a squirt, be at hand, the affected eye should be well syringed, by placing, with great caution, the point of the instrument under the eyelid. Every particle of lime must be removed.
M. Remember that, Edward. It must be warm water, mind.
Mr. F. And if ever such an accident should take place among you, as the bursting of a blood vessel, so that any of you bled freely at the mouth, the best thing you can do, while the doctor is sent for, is to take two tea spoonsful of common salt in a wine glass of water. This is a remedy always at hand. But now let me question you. Remember, that the question for each of you to put is, "What can I do?" Were you, Thomas, to see a drowned man just pulled out of the water, and the people round him did not know how to act, what could you do?
T. I could run for a doctor.
Mr. F. And a very good thing, too; you could not act better; and the best way to do it, would be to do it directly. And now, Mary and Edward, what could you do?