A NUMBER of wild young fellows were one day out walking when they saw a young lady approach, riding on a pony. One of them said to the others, “I’ll back myself to make that girl laugh,” and a supper was at once staked by both sides on the result. Our hero then ran out in front of the pony, and kept on shouting “I’m going to die! I’m going to die!” at the same time pulling out from over the top of a wall a stalk of millet, to which he attached his own waistband, and tying the latter round his neck, made a pretence of hanging himself. The young lady did laugh as she passed by, to the great amusement of the assembled com-pany; but as when she was already some distance off their friend did not move, the others laughed louder than ever. However, on going up to him they saw that his tongue protruded, and that his eyes were glazed; he was, in fact, quite dead. Was it not strange that a man should be able to hang himself on a millet stalk? It is a good warning against practical joking.
Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o