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TO THE READER

WHILE using this book you will find it easy to form the habit of doing home reading that will be of value to you. There is now a .multitude of books published in cheap form that furnish both entertaining and instructive reading. Every one should aim to own as large and as good a library as circumstances will permit. The books that we own do us more good than the books that we borrow or get from a public library.

You will notice that the little biographical sketches are very brief. You will do well to form the habit of making yourself well acquainted with the authors you read. By doing this you will enjoy their writings more and get more from them. One's habits are of quite as much importance as his knowledge, and contribute very much toward the acquisition of knowledge. Every one should form the habit of using reference books, and you cannot too early form the habit of using a dictionary and an encyclopedia.

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“ WE teach our children the mechanical part of reading, and then turn them loose to take their chances. Our educational system stops just where its assistance might be made invaluable; just where it passes out of the mechanical, and touches the individual ; just where instruction ceases to be a drudgery, and becomes a source of pleasure.”

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CHOICE LITERATURE

Book

FOR INTERMEDIATE GRADES

ALADDIN, OR THE WONDERFUL LAMP

A

LADDIN was the son of a poor tailor who lived

in one of the rich provinces of China. As soon as Aladdin was old enough to learn a trade his father took him into his own shop. He was an idle fellow, and loved play better than work. Most of his time was spent playing in the streets with other boys as idle as himself.

His father died while he was quite young, but he continued his lazy habits, and his mother was obliged to spin cotton and work very hard in order to support both him and herself.

One day, when he was about fifteen years old, he was playing in the street, as usual, when a stranger who was passing by stopped and looked at him. It was a famous African Magician, who wanted the help of some ignorant person, and he felt sure from his manner and appearance that Aladdin could easily be made a tool of. He went into the crowd and placing his hand on Aladdin's shoulder, said, “My

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he gave

good lad, are you not the son of Mustapha, the tailor ?

Yes,” said Aladdin, “but my father has been dead a long time.”

“ Alas!” cried the Magician, “what sad news! I am your father's brother, child. I have been many years abro:d ; and now that I have come home in hope of seeing my brother, you tell me that he is dead!” All the time tears ran down the stranger's cheek. Pulling out a purse, Aladdin two pieces of gold. “Take this, my boy,” says he, “ and give it to your mother. Tell her that I will come and sup with her to-night.”

Greatly pleased, Aladdin ran home. “Mother," said he,“ have I an uncle ?” She told him that he had not. Then he showed her the gold pieces and said that the man who gave them to him said he was his uncle and that he would come and sup with them that night. His mother was astonished, but went to the market and bought provisions, and was busily at work preparing supper when the Magician knocked at the door. He entered, followed by a porter, who brought in all kinds of fruits and sweetmeats.

After the Magician had given to Aladdin the things he had brought, he saluted his mother and asked to be shown the place where his brother was in the habit of sitting. When this was done he fell down and kissed it, and said, with tears in his eyes, “ My poor

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