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little damsel, but in a surreptitious sneaking manner, which older suitors would have considered undignified. Such a mean position did he for some time occupy in the house of his affianced, that on several occasions when Mr. Taylor came home drunk, Joshua was locked up in the coalcellar, lest he should meet the eye of the tipsy parent, who, when he was in his cups, did not possess the most amiable disposition in the world. From that coal-cellar Joshua would emerge lowspirited and grimy, and in a despondent mood; but sundry marks of affection from Ellen, the effects of which were afterwards visible in black patches on her nose and cheeks and cherry lips, invariably restored him to cheerfulness. Such a courtship was not dignified; but Joshua and Ellen were perfectly satisfied; and so was Dan, who thoroughly approved of his twin-sister's choice of a sweetheart.
As the children grew in years, the ties that united Ellen and Joshua were weakened; while those that united the boys were strengthened, until a very perfect and unselfish love was established between them. Both the lads were in the same condition as regarded their time. Joshua had his on his hands because he had not made up his mind what he was going to be; and Daniel had his on his hands because he had broken his legs. Each had his particular fancy.
Joshua's was music; Dan's was birds.
Condemned to a sedentary life from the nature of his affliction, and not able to run about as other boys did—for when his sister had let him fall from her arms out of the window the breaking of his legs was not the only injury he had received -Dan turned his attention to a couple of canaries which were part of his parents' household gods. In course of time the birds
fond of him; and he trained them to do such pretty tricks, and was himself of so gentle and amiable a disposition, that good-natured neighbours made him occasional presents of birds—such as a linnet, or a lark, or a pair of bullfinches—until he had gathered around him a small collection of feathered younglings. With these companions his life was as happy as life could be. He did not mope or fret because his legs were useless, and because he was compelled to use crutches; on the contrary, he absolutely loved his wooden props, as if they were bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
* You are right not to be a wood-turner, Jo,' said Dan, when his friend related to him the sub
stance of the family discussions. “If my legs were like
I wouldn't be.' Dan called his friend 'Jo.' It was not quite right for Joshua, he said, but it sounded pretty. And so it did, especially from his lips.
'I wish your legs were like mine, Dan,' said Joshua.
* It’s of no use wishing,' replied Dan. 'You know what mother says; it takes all sorts to make a world.'
• Sound legs and broken legs—eh, Dan ?'
“Yes,' answered Dan merrily; and long ones and short ones, and thick ones and thin ones. Besides, if I had the strongest and biggest legs in the world, I don't think I should be happier than I am.'
‘But wouldn't you like to be a hero—the same as I am going to be ?' asked Joshua.
• We can't all be heroes. You go and fight with lions; I will stop and play with birds. I couldn't tame lions; but I can tame birds.' Which he could, and did.
Dan was fond of speaking about lions because his name was Daniel ; and many and many a time had he and Joshua read the wonderful story of Daniel in the lions' den. Joshua did not
know much of the Bible until Dan introduced it to him, and read to him in his thin sweet voice the marvellous romances in that Book of books.
There was a hero for you !' exclaimed Joshua admiringly, referring to the biblical Daniel. “I wonder what made him so brave.'
• Because he was doing what he knew to be right,' replied Dan.
'I daresay,' was the acquiescent rejoinder.
* And because he was not afraid to speak the truth even to Belshazzar; and because, above all, he believed in God. So God delivered him.'
• All because he was doing right,' said Joshua.
*All because he was doing right,' repeated Dan. 'I'm not a bit brave; that is because I am lame, perhaps. If I was thrown into a lions' den I should die of fear-I am sure I should; but if I was thrown into a birds' cage, full of strange birds, I would soon make friends with them : they would come and eat out of my hand in no time.'
Dan, indeed, was wonderfully learned about birds and their habits, and possessed a singular power over them. He could train them to anything almost. And bear this in mind : he used no cruel means in his training of them. What he
taught them he taught them by kindness; and they were subservient to him from love, and not from fear. The nature of the affliction which condemned him to a sedentary life, sharpened and concentrated his mental faculties, and endued him with a surprising patience. If it had been otherwise, he could never have trained the birds so thoroughly. Never mind what they wereblackbirds, linnets, larks, bullfinches, canariesthey were one and all his willing slaves, and, in the course of time, performed the tasks he set them with their best ability. Give Dan any one of these birds, and in a few weeks it would hop upon his finger, dance at his whistle, come at his call, fall dead upon the table, and jump up again at a given signal as lively as a cricket. He made little carts for them to draw, little swords for them to carry, little ladders for them to climb up, little guns for them to fire off, little houses for them to go
in at the doors of and come out of the chimneys of. It was a sight worth seeing to watch them go through their performances : to see the dead bird lie on its back on the table, and watch cunningly out of a corner of its left eye for the signal which allowed it to come to life again; to see the family birds, after indulging in a little