"Not the best," I answered; "the best[Pg 82] thing in life is making other people happy ... and that's what the books mean by 'service.'"
Margaret came over to my bothy to-night to ask if I would help Nancy with her home lessons.
"She's crying like anything," said Margaret.
I went over to the farmhouse. Nancy sat at the kitchen table with her books spread out before her. She was wiping her eyes and looked like beginning to weep again.
"It's her pottery," explained Frank, "she canna get it up at all."
Macdonald had ordered the class to learn the first six verses of Gray's Elegy, and threatened dire penalties if each scholar wasn't word perfect.
"I'm afraid," I said. "You'll just have to set your teeth and get it up. Don't repeat it line by line; read the six verses over, then read them again, then again. Read them twenty times, then shut the book and imagine the page is before you, and see how much of the stuff you can say." I used to find this method very effectual when I got up long recitations in my younger days.