The Master and his Scholar

196. THE MASTER AND HIS SCHOLAR. As a schoolmaster was walking upon the bank of a river, not far from his school, he heard a cry as of one in distress; advancing a few paces farther, he saw one of his scholars in the water, hanging by the bough of a willow. The boy had, it seems, been learning to swim with corks; and now thinking himself sufficiently experienced, had thrown those implements aside, and ventured into the water without them; but the force of the stream having hurried him out of his depth, he had certainly been drowned, had not the branch of a willow, which grew on the bank, providentially hung in his way.
The master took up the corks, which lay upon the ground, and throwing them to his scholar, inade use of this opportunity to read a lecture to him upon the inconsiderate rashness of youth. “Let this be an example to you,” says he, “in the conduct of your future life, never to throw away your corks till time has given you strength and experience enough to swim without them.” [more info]

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