This is the second instalment in our McGuffey Readers series, in which we reproduce some of the best moral tales from the classic 1800s schoolbooks that sold an estimated 122 million copies by 1960, the largest circulation of any book in the world next to the Bible and Webster’s Dictionary. McGuffey’s Readers played an important role in American history, offering children not only lessons in reading, grammar, and spelling, but also in moral conduct and character. Enjoy, and share with your children!
A Kind Brother
A boy was once sent from home to take a basket of things to his grandmother.
The basket was so full that it was very heavy. So his little brother went with him, to help carry the
They put a pole under the handle of the basket, and each then took hold of an end of the pole. In this way they could carry the basket very nicely.
Now the older boy thought, “My brother Tom does not know about this pole.
“If I slip the basket near him, his side will be heavy, and mine light; but if the basket is in the middle of the pole, it will be as heavy for me as it is for him.
“Tom does not know this as I do. But I will not do it. It would be wrong, and I will not do what is wrong.”
Then he slipped the basket quite near his own end of the pole. His load was now heavier than that of his little brother.
Yet he was happy; for he felt that he had done right. Had he deceived his brother, he would not have felt at all happy.
This story is reproduced from McGuffey’s Second Eclectic Reader, Revised Edition, published in 1879.
The McGuffey Readers, first published in the 1830s, were a series of illustrated readers for elementary schoolchildren written by U. S. educator and clergyman William Holmes McGuffey (1800–1873). They were widely used as textbooks in U.S. schools from the mid-1800s up until the early 20th century. They are still used by some schools today, especially homeschools focused on nurturing and raising children with a classical education and moral character development.