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A new English reader for beginners

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they would have the bird sing again, although it was the thirty-fourth time they had listened to the same piece, and even then they had not learnt it, for it was rather difficult. But the music-master praised the bird in the highest degree, and even asserted that it was better than a real nightingale, not only in its dress and the beautiful diamonds, but also in its musical power. "For you must perceive, my chief lord and emperor, that with a real nightingale we never can teil what is going to be sung, but with this bird everything is settled. It can be opened and explained, so that people may understand how the waltzes are formed and why one note follows on another."

"This is exactly what we think," they all replied, and then the music-master received permission to exhibit the bird to the people on the following Sunday, and the emperor commanded that they should be present to hear it sing. When they heard it they were like people intoxicated. They all said „Oh!" and held up their forefingers and nodded, but a poor fisherman, who had heard the real nightingale said: "It sounds prettilv enough and the melodies are all alike; yet there seems something wanting, I cannot exactly teil what."

And after this the real nightingale was banished from the empire, and the artificial bird placed on a silk cushion close to the emperor's bed. The presents of gold and precious stones which had been received with it, were round the bird, and it was now advanced to the title of "Little-ImperialToilet-Singer" and to the rank of No. 1 on the left hand; for the emperor considered the left side, on which the heart lies, as the most noble, and the heart of an emperor is in the same place as that of other people.

The music-master wrote a work in twenty-five volumes about the artificial bird, which was very learned and very long and full of the most difficult Chinese words: yet all the