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BLACK BEAUTY.

without knowing what is good and what is bad for it."

"Bill Starkey," continued John, "did not mean to frighten his brother into fits, when he dressed up like a ghost, and ran after him in the moonlight; but he did; and that bright handsome little fellow, that might have been the pride of any mother's heart, is just no better than an idiot, and never will be, if he live to be eighty years old. You were a good deal cut up yourself, Tom, two weeks ago, when those young ladies left your hothouse door open, with a frosty east wind blowing right in; you said it killed a good many of your plants."

"A good many!" said Tom, "there was not one of the tender cuttings that was not nipped off; I shall have to strike all over again, and the worst of it is, that I don't know where to go to get fresh ones. I was nearly mad when I came in and saw what was done."

"And yet," said John, "I am sure the young ladies did not mean it, it was only ignorance!"

I heard no more of this conversation, for the medicine did well and sent me to sleep, and in the morning I felt much better: but I often thought of John's words when I came to know more of the world.