McGuffey Reader and Poetry Story 33


  1. As Robert was one day rambling about, he happened to cry out, “Ho, ho!” He in stantly heard coming back from a hill near by, the same words, “Ho, ho!”
  2. In great surprise, he said with a loud voice, “Who are you?” Upon this, the same words came back, “Who are you?”
  3. Robert now cried out harshly, “You must be a very foolish fellow.” “Foolish fellow!” came back from the hill.
  4. Robert became angry, and with loud and fierce words went toward the spot whence the sounds came. The words all came back to  him  in  the  same  angry  tone.
  5. He then went into the thicket, and looked for the boy who, as he thought, was mocking him; but he could find nobody an ywhere.
  6. When he  went  home,  he  told  his  mother that some boy had hid himself in the wood, for the purpose of mocking him.
  7. “Robert,” said his mother, “you are angry with yourself alone. You heard nothing but your  own  words.”
  8. “Why, mother, how can that be?” said Robert. “Did you never hear an echo?” asked his mother. “An echo, dear mother? No, ma’am.  What  is  it?”
  9. “I will tell you,” said his mother. “You know, when you play with your ball, and throw it against the side of a house, it bounds back to you.” “Yes, mother,” said he, “and I catch it again.”
  10. “Well,” said his mother, “if I were in the open air, by the side of a hill or a large barn, and should speak very loud, my voice would be sent back, so that I could hear again the very words which I spoke.
  11. “That, my son, is an echo. When you thought some one was mocking you, it was only the hill before you, echoing, or sending back, your own voice.
  12. “The bad boy, as you thought it was, spoke no more angrily than yourself. If you had spoken kindly, you would have heard a kind reply.
  13. “Had you spoken in a low, sweet, gentle tone, the voice that came back would have been as low, sweet, and gentle as your own.
  14. “The Bible says, ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath.’ Remember this when  you  are  at  play  with  your  school  mates.
  15. “If any of them should be offended, and speak in a loud, angry tone, remember the echo, and let your words be soft and kind.”
  16. “When you come home from school, and find your little brother cross and peevish, speak mildly to him. You will soon see a smile on his lips, and find that his tones will become mild and  sweet.
  17. “Whether you are in the fields or in the woods, at school or at play, at home or abroad, remember, The good and  the  kind, By kindness their love ever proving, Will dwell with the pure and the loving.”

Continue to Lesson 34