Well, I am, and I will go there to-night when I get through work.
Abraham was elated with the idea of getting hold of this new work. He viewed the character of Washington with admiration, and he would know what different biographers said of him. He was not a little impatient for his days work to be done. He toiled as usual, however, with a good degree of interest in his work, until night, when he prepared himself to call on Mr. Crawford.
The family gave him a cordial welcome, and Mrs. Crawford said: I wonder what has brought you out to- night. I havent seen you here for a long time.
Perhaps you wont be so glad to see me after you learn what I came for, replied Abraham.
And what did you come for, that makes you think so? asked Mr. Crawford.
I came to borrow a book.
A book, hey! That is a good errand, I am sure.
But I did not know as you would be willing to lend it.
What book is it? asked Mr. Crawford. I have no doubt that I can accommodate you.
It is the Life of Washington. I was told that you had it, and I want to read it.
I wish all the boys wanted to read it, said Mr. Crawford. I will lend it to you, Abe, with great pleasure. I am glad to see that you like to read.
I will not take it unless you are perfectly willing to lend it, said Abraham.
If I did not want you should have it, I should tell you so. I am not one of those persons who are afraid to tell what they thinks. I am glad that I have the book to lend you.
I will take good care of it, and return it to you all safe, responded Abraham. This was just like him. So considerate a boy would not ask the loan of a book without some diffidence, and when it was borrowed, he would feel that great care must be used to preserve it. He valued the few books which he himself possessed so highly as to lead him to think that other people held their volumes in equal estimation. It was really an excellent trait of character that caused him to use so much discretion in borrowing books, for the borrowing of this single article has been the occasion of much trouble in neighbourhoods. In consequence of thoughtlessness and less regard for the interests of others than their own, many persons have borrowed books and never returned them, or else returned them in a much worse condition than when they were received. Frequently books are lost in this way from Sabbath-school and other libraries. Borrowers do not return them. They think so little of their obligations that the books are forgotten and lost. Book borrowers are very apt to be negligent, so that when we see a lad so particular as Abraham was, it is worth while to take note of the fact.
It will take me some time to read so large a work, said he, as he took it from Mr. Crawford. Perhaps you will want it before I get through with it.
Oh, no; you are such a great reader that you will finish it in short metre. Keep it as long as you want it, and I shall be suited.
I thank you, Abraham replied, as he arose to leave. Good night.
Good night, several voices responded.
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