BLTC Press Titles


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The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


Jed, the Poorhouse Boy

by Horatio Alger

Excerpt:

Had Jed come alone he might have met with a disagreeable reception; but Mr. Fogson's quick eye recognized in his companion the son of the poorhouse autocrat, Squire Dixon, and he summoned up an ingratiating smile on his rugged features.

"How are you, Master Percy?" he said smoothly. "Did your pa come with you?"

"Yes, he's over to the house. Mrs. Fogson wants you to go right home, as he may want to see you."

"All right! It will give me pleasure. It always does me good to see your pa."

Percy looked at him critically, and thought that Mr. Fogson was about as homely a man as he had ever seen. It was fortunate that the keeper of the poorhouse could not read his thoughts, for, like most ugly men, Mr. Fogeon thought himself on the whole rather prepossessing.

Fogson took his place beside Percy, and curtly desired Jed to walk behind.

Jed smiled to himself, for he understood that Mr. Fogson considered him not entitled to a place in such superior company.

Mr. Fogson addressed several questions to Percy, which the latter answered languidly, as if he considered it rather a bore to be entertained by a man in Fogson's position. Indeed he almost snubbed him, and Jed was pleased to find the man who made so many unpleasant speeches to others treated in the same manner himself. As a general thing, a man who bullies others has to take his turn in being bullied himself.

Meanwhile Mrs. Fogg was chatting with Squire Dixon.

"Nobody can tell what I have to put up with from them paupers," she said. "You'd actilly think they paid their board by the way they talk. The fact is, the Averys pampered and indulged them altogether too much."

"That is so, Mrs. Fogson," said the squire pompously, " and that, I may remark, was the reason I dismissed them from their responsible position. Do they—ahem !—complain of anything in particular?"

"Why, they want butter every day!" exclaimed Mrs. Fogson. "Think of it! Butter every day for paupers!"

"As you justly observe, this is very unreasonable. And how often do you give them butter?"

"Once a week—on Sundays."

"Very judicious. It impresses them with the difference between Sunday and other days. It shows your religious training, Mra Fogson."

"I always aim to be religious, Squire Dixon," said Mrs. Fogson meekly.

"Well, and what else?"

"Likewise the old people expect tea every day. They say Mrs Avery gave it to them."

"I dare say she did. It's an imposition on the town to spend their—ahem !—hard-earned money on such luxuries."

"That's the way I look at it, Squire Dixon."

"How often do you give them meat?"

"Every other day. I get the cheapest cuts from the butcher—what he has left over. But they ain't satisfied. They want it every day."

"Shocking!" exclaimed the squire, arching his brows.

"So I say. Of course I get a good many sour looks, and more complaints, but I tell 'em that if they ain't suited with their boarding-house they can go somewhere else."

"Very good! Very good indeed; ha, ha! I presume none of them have left the poorhouse in consequence?"

"No, but one has threatened to do so."

"Who is that?" asked Squire Dixon quickly.

"The boy Jed."

"Oh, yes, he was the one who opened the gate for me. Now, what sort of a boy is he, Mrs. Fogson?"

"He's an impudent young jackanapes," answered Mrs. Fogson spitefully, "begging your pardon for using such an inelegant expression."

"It is forcible, however, Mrs. Fogson. It is forcible, and I think you are quite justified in using it. So he is impudent?"


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