McGuffey Reader and Poetry



1. Father, and Charles, and Lucy, and I went to the beach yesterday. We took our dinner, and stayed all day.

2. Father and Charles went out a little way from the shore in a boat, and fished, while Lucy and I gathered sea mosses.

3. We took off our shoes and stockings, and waded into the shallow water. We had a pail to put our seaweeds in.

4. We found such beautiful ones. Some wore purple, some pink, and some brown. When they were spread out in the water, the purple ones looked like plumes, and the brown ones like little trees.

5. Such a funny thing happened to Lucy. She slipped on a stone, and down she went into the water. How we both laughed! But the wind and sun soon dried Lucy’s dress.

6. Then father came and took us in the boat for a row. After that we had a picnic dinner in the woods.

7. Then father spread his coat on the grass, and took a nap while we children played on the beach.



1. Ralph Wick was seven years old. In most things he was a fine boy, but he was too apt to cry.

2. When he could not have what he wanted, he would cry for it and say, “I will have it.”

3. If he was told that it would hurt him, and he could not have it, he would begin to tease and cry.

4. One day, he went with his mother into the fields. The sun shone. The grass was cut. The flowers were in bloom.

5. Ralph thought he was, for once, a good boy. A smile was on his face. He wished to do as he was told.

6. He said, “Mother, I will be good now. I will do as you bid me. Please let me toss this hay.”

7. “That I will,” said his mother. So they threw the hay, as Ralph wished, and he was very happy.

8. “Now you must be tired,” said his mother. “Sit down here, and I will get a nice red rose for you.”

9. “I would like to have one,” said Ralph. So his mother brought the red rose to him.

10. “Thank you, mother,” he said. “But you have a white one, also. Please give me that.”


11. “No, my dear,” said his mother. “See how many thorns it has on its stem. You must not touch it. If you should try to pluck a rose like this, you would be sure to hurt your hand.”

12. When Ralph found that he could not have the white rose, he began to scream, and snatched it. But he was soon very sorry. The thorns tore his hand. It was so sore he could not use it for some time.

13. Ralph did not soon forget this. When he wanted what he should not have, his mother would point to his sore hand. He at last learned to do as he was told.

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