Boy Life: Stories and Readings Selected from the Works of William Dean Howells, and Arranged for Supplementary Reading in Elementary Schools

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Harper & brothers, 1909 - Boys - 187 pages
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Page 64 - CUSTOMS. I SOMETIMES wonder how much these have changed since my boy's time. Of course they differ somewhat from generation to generation, and from East to West and North to South, but not so much, I believe, as grown people are apt to think. Everywhere and always the world of boys is outside of the laws that govern grownup communities...
Page 42 - ... minutely in his daily doings and dreamings, and it may amuse them to compare these doings and dreamings with their own. For convenience, I shall call this boy, my boy; but I hope he might have been almost anybody's boy; and I mean him sometimes for a boy in general, as well as a boy in particular. It seems to me that my Boy's Town was a town peculiarly adapted for a boy to be a boy in.
Page 171 - EVERT boy is two or three boys, or twenty or thirty different kinds of boys in one ; he is all the time living many lives and forming many characters; but it is a good thing if he can keep one life and one character when he gets to be a man. He may turn out to be like an onion when he is grown up, and be nothing but hulls, that you keep peeling off, one after another, till yon think you have got down to the heart, at last, and then you have got down to nothing.
Page 51 - THE RIVER It seems to me that the best way to get at the heart of any boy's town is to take its different watercourses and follow them into it. The house where my boy first lived was not far from the river, and he must have seen it often before he noticed it. But he was not aware of it till he found it under the bridge. Without the river there could not have been a bridge; the fact of the bridge may have made him look for the river; but the bridge is foremost in his mind. It is a long, wooden tunnel,...
Page 42 - It had a river, the great Miami River, which was as blue as the sky when it was not as yellow as gold ; and it had another river, called the Old River, which was the Miami's former channel, and which held an island in its sluggish loop ; the boys called it The Island ; and it must have been about the size of Australia ; perhaps it was not so large. Then this town had a Canal, and a Canal-Basin, and a First Lock and a Second Lock ; you could walk out to the First Lock, but the Second Lock was at the...
Page 32 - But that only made him hollo the louder, >and he 43 holloed so loud that at last he made somebody hear. It was Hen Billard's grandmother, and she put her head out of the window with her night-cap on, to see what the matter was. Jim Leonard caught sight of her and he screamed, "Fire, fire, fire! I'm drownding, Mrs. Billard! Oh, do somebody come!
Page 64 - ... No boy can violate them without losing his standing among the other boys, and he cannot enter into their world without coming under them. He must do this, and must not do that; he obeys, but he does not know why, any more than the far-off savages from whom his customs seem mostly to have come. His world is all in and through the world of men and women, but no man or woman can get into it any more than if it were a world of invisible beings.
Page 110 - ... been brought alive to market. But, anyhow, when a boy had a coon, he had to have a store-box turned open side down to keep it in, behind the house; and he had to have a little door in the box to pull the coon out through when he wanted to show it to other boys, or to look at it himself, which he did forty or fifty times a day, when he first got it. He had to have a small collar for the coon, and a little chain, because the coon would gnaw through a string in a minute. The coon himself never seemed...
Page 81 - ... books, or the fume of dreams they sent up in his mind. He must rather have soothed against his soft, caressing ignorance the ache of his fantastic spirit, and reposed his intensity of purpose in that lax and easy aimlessness. Their friendship was not only more innocent than any other friendship my boy had, but it was wholly innocent; they loved each other, and that was all; and why people love one another there is never any satisfactory telling.
Page 41 - I CALL it a Boy's Town because I wish it to •*• appear to the reader as a town appears to a boy from his third to his eleventh year, when he seldom, if ever, catches a glimpse of life much higher than the middle of a man, and has the most distorted and mistaken views of most things.

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