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Temptation Resisted
by [?]

Charles Murray left home, with his books in his satchel, for school. Before starting, he kissed his little sister, and patted Juno on the head, and as he went singing away, he felt as happy as any little boy could wish to feel. Charles was a good-tempered lad, but he had the fault common to a great many boys, that of being tempted and enticed by others to do things which he knew to be contrary to the wishes of his parents. Such acts never made him feel any happier; for the fear that his disobedience would be found out, and the consciousness of having done wrong, were far from being pleasant companions.

On the present occasion, as he walked briskly in the direction of the school, he repeated over his lessons in his mind, and was intent upon having them so perfect as to be able to repeat every word. He had gone nearly half the distance, and was still thinking over his lessons, when he stopped suddenly, as a voice called out,

“Halloo, Charley!”

Turning in the direction from which the voice came, he saw Archy Benton, with his school basket in his hand; but he was going from, instead of in the direction of the school.

“Where are you going, Archy?” asked Charles, calling out to him.

“Into the woods, for chestnuts.”

“Ain’t you going to school, to-day?”

“No, indeed. There was a sharp frost last night, and Uncle John says the wind will rattle down the chestnuts like hail.”

“Did your father say you might go?”

“No, indeed. I asked him, but he said I couldn’t go until Saturday. But the hogs are in the woods, and will eat the chestnuts all up, before Saturday. So I am going to-day. Come, go along, won’t you? It is such a fine day, and the ground will be covered with chestnuts. We can get home at the usual time, and no one will suspect that we were not at school.”

“I should like to go, very well,” said Charley; “but I know father will be greatly displeased, if he finds it out, and I am afraid he will get to know it, in some way.”

“How could he get to know it? Isn’t he at his store all the time?”

“But he might think to ask me if I was at school. And I never will tell a lie.”

“You could say yes, and not tell a lie, either,” returned Archy. “You were at school yesterday.”

“No, I couldn’t. A lie, father says, is in the intent to deceive. He would, of course, mean to ask whether I was at school to-day, and if I said yes, I would tell a lie.”

“It isn’t so clear to me that you would. At any rate, I don’t see such great harm in a little fib. It doesn’t hurt any body.”

“Father says a falsehood hurts a boy a great deal more than he thinks for. And one day he showed me in the Bible where liars were classed with murderers, and other wicked spirits, in hell. I can’t tell a lie, Archy.”

“There won’t be any need of your doing so,” urged Archy; “for I am sure he will never think to ask you about it. Why should he?”

“I don’t know. But whenever I have been doing any thing wrong, he is sure to begin to question me, and lead me on until I betray the secret of my fault.”

“Never mind. Come and go with me. It is such a fine day. We shan’t have another like it. It will rain on Saturday, I’ll bet any thing. So come along, now, and let us have a day in the woods, while we can.”

Charles was very strongly tempted. When he thought of the confinement of school, and then of the freedom of a day in the woods, he felt much inclined to go with Archy.

“Come along,” said Archy, as Charles stood balancing the matter in his mind. And he took hold of his arm, and drew him in a direction opposite from the school. “Come! you are just the boy I want. I was thinking about you the moment before I saw you.”