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Title: Busy Ben and Idle Isaac
Author: Unknown
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                       DEAN & SON’S PENNY BOOKS.

                          PRETTY STORY BOOKS.

                               BUSY BEN
                            AND IDLE ISAAC.



                               BUSY BEN,
                            AND IDLE ISAAC.


In a very pretty village, there once lived two boys, named Benjamin and
Isaac. Benjamin was always at work, doing something; but Isaac liked
best to take his ease, and did not care, like Benjamin, to be tidy and
clean; but went ragged and dirty: so, at last, they were called by the
neighbours, BUSY BEN, and IDLE ISAAC.


One morning, as Busy Ben was passing through the village he saw Isaac
idling about, “What! not doing any thing?” said Ben. “I have been lying
in the sun,” replied Isaac, “and now I am so hot, I have taken off my
jacket, to cool myself.”

Busy Ben saw that he had, and he saw also what a torn shirt he had
under it.


“And I,” said Ben, “have been working in the garden, and watering the
beds. Is it not much better to be at work, than lying in the sun?”

“You may think so,” said Idle Isaac, yawning, “but I do not; besides,
my father can afford to keep me without,—he has plenty of work.”

“But he may not always have plenty of work,” answered Ben: “and even if
he has, it is better to learn to keep ourselves.”


Such was the way these two boys talked to each other; but Isaac did not
improve, he still idled his time away; true, he would now and then take
a spade in hand, but he never did any work with it, but stood still or,
sauntered about, staring first at one thing and then at another.


Ben, on the contrary, by being always busy, grew up strong healthy, and
clever; and, though still a boy, was soon able to maintain himself.

The farmers round about were always glad of his help to tend their
sheep, for Ben was never above being industrious, and though he often
worked hard, Busy Ben was happier, and more cheerful, than Idle Isaac.

And so it will always be: for

    “From honest labour many a blessing springs,
    And health, and wealth, and happiness, it brings.”

When Ben was fifteen years old, a gentleman, who was a ship-builder,
came to the village, and was so much pleased by what he heard of Busy
Ben, that he apprenticed him. Ben was attentive to what he was taught,
and soon became a clever workman,—for, by trying to find out the
meaning of what he was doing, he was soon able to finish the work in a
much better manner than he would otherwise have done.



And thus Busy Ben passed many years; the more he got on, the harder he
worked; and the cleverer he became, the more pains he took to improve.
At last, by industry and frugality, he was able to set up in business
for himself, and still keeping on as he began, he became a rich man.

Idle Isaac had grown up, too, but was as lazy a man as he had been
idle when a boy. As usual, he was never seen at work,—but was often
seen idling away his time,—or in the company of boys, equally idle as

Never having learned to be useful to anybody else, he was now of no
use to himself, and was often without a meal, and always in shabby
clothes;—for no one cared to assist an idle man, who had brought on
his own troubles.


One day, whilst sitting in a public-house, as he often did, reading the
newspaper, he saw in it that Busy Ben had built a ship, which was the
talk of all London; and that the Queen, hearing how Busy Ben got on,
from a poor boy, to be what he was, had knighted him. And this was all
owing to his good conduct and industry.

Idle Isaac now began to wish he had minded what Busy Ben had said to
him when a boy: he was at this time very poor, so he knew he must do
something;—but never having been taught a trade—what that something
was, we shall soon see.


Ben, by this time had a wife and two children, a little boy and girl;
and they had a pet dog and cat: and, one morning, there was a great
yelping and mewing between them, for the man who usually brought their
meat was a long while past his time.


“O, here he is,” at last cried one of the children; “but, papa, it is
not the same man that came before.”

And who do you think the new cats’ meat man was?—Idle Isaac!—yes, it
was indeed him!

Ben rang for his servant, and desired him to ask Isaac into the hall.

When Idle Isaac came in, and saw Sir Benjamin, he was very sad, for he
well knew that he had passed the time in idleness in which he might,
had he been industrious and saving, have gained a good home for himself.

“I am properly punished,” said Idle Isaac, “for my want of industry;
and you are justly made happy for your application.” “It is never too
late to mend,” said Ben; “but it is of little use to work hard, unless
you save up a part of what you earn.” “I am sure you speak truth,”
answered Isaac, “for you have earned for yourself a fine house, and
wealth, whilst I have only a poor hovel, and a barrow.”

                   =“It is never too late to mend,”=

said Ben again, “and if you will promise to save up a part of what you
earn, and put it into the savings’ bank, I will put as much money to
it every half year, that you may have something to live on in your old

                   =Save for old age while you may;
                   Sunshine lasts not all the day.=

So Isaac promised, as he wheeled away his barrow, that he would
try.—And I hope all my little readers, who may be like Idle Isaac,
will take pattern by BUSY BEN.


                           NURSE ROCKBABY’S
                          PRETTY STORY BOOKS.

                              _12 Sorts._


                1 New Historical Alphabet
                2 The Ramble; and what was seen in it
                3 Hans Dolan, and his Cat
                4 Easy Reading and Pretty Pictures
                5 The Brother and Sister
                6 Little Rhymes for Little Readers
                7 Greedy Peter
                8 An Entertaining Walk with Mamma
                9 The Little Merchant
               10 Story of the Princess Fairlocks
               11 Busy Ben and Idle Isaac
               12 A Little Child’s Little Book of
                    Goodness and Happiness


                  _Nurse Rockbaby’s Pretty Stories_,
                         COLOURED ENGRAVINGS,

                         _12 Sorts, 2d. each_.

    Transcriber’s Notes:

     - Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).
     - Text enclosed by equals is in bold (=bold=).
     - Silently corrected typographical errors.

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