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Title: Our Little Irish Cousin
Author: Wade, Mary Hazelton Blanchard, 1860-1936
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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Our Little Irish Cousin


Little Cousin Series


Each volume illustrated with six or more full page plates in tint.
Cloth, 12mo, with decorative cover per volume, $1.00



    Our Little African Cousin
    Our Little Alaskan Cousin
    Our Little Arabian Cousin
    Our Little Argentine Cousin
    Our Little Armenian Cousin
    Our Little Australian Cousin
    Our Little Austrian Cousin
    Our Little Belgian Cousin
    Our Little Bohemian Cousin
    Our Little Brazilian Cousin
    Our Little Bulgarian Cousin
    Our Little Canadian Cousin of the Great Northwest
    Our Little Canadian Cousin of the Maritime Provinces
    Our Little Chinese Cousin
    Our Little Cossack Cousin
    Our Little Cuban Cousin
    Our Little Czecho-Slovac Cousin
    Our Little Danish Cousin
    Our Little Dutch Cousin
    Our Little Egyptian Cousin
    Our Little English Cousin
    Our Little Eskimo Cousin
    Our Little Finnish Cousin
    Our Little French Cousin
    Our Little German Cousin
    Our Little Grecian Cousin
    Our Little Hawaiian Cousin
    Our Little Hindu Cousin
    Our Little Hungarian Cousin
    Our Little Indian Cousin
    Our Little Irish Cousin
    Our Little Italian Cousin
    Our Little Japanese Cousin
    Our Little Jewish Cousin
    Our Little Jugoslav Cousin
    Our Little Korean Cousin
    Our Little Malayan (Brown) Cousin
    Our Little Mexican Cousin
    Our Little Norwegian Cousin
    Our Little Panama Cousin
    Our Little Persian Cousin
    Our Little Philippine Cousin
    Our Little Polish Cousin
    Our Little Porto Rican Cousin
    Our Little Portuguese Cousin
    Our Little Quebec Cousin
    Our Little Roumanian Cousin
    Our Little Russian Cousin
    Our Little Scotch Cousin
    Our Little Servian Cousin
    Our Little Siamese Cousin
    Our Little South African (Boer) Cousin
    Our Little Spanish Cousin
    Our Little Swedish Cousin
    Our Little Swiss Cousin
    Our Little Turkish Cousin
    Our Little Welsh Cousin
    Our Little West Indian Cousin

    L. C. PAGE & COMPANY (Inc.)
    53 Beacon Street      Boston, Mass.

[Illustration: NORAH.]

Our Little Irish Cousin

By Mary Hazelton Wade

_Illustrated by_ L. J. Bridgman


    The Page Company

    _Copyright, 1904_

    _All rights reserved_

    Made in U. S. A.

    Published June, 1904
    Fifth Impression, August, 1908
    Sixth Impression, November, 1909
    Seventh Impression, September, 1910
    Eighth Impression, August, 1912
    Ninth Impression, October, 1915
    Tenth Impression, April, 1920



WITH the home of our Irish cousins we are not very familiar, but with
our Irish cousins themselves we have a better acquaintance, for many of
them have come over to settle in America, and they were among the
bravest of the American troops in the World War. Of the part in the war
taken by their people in Ireland we do not know so intimately, but we do
know that they sent many men to France to help England defeat the
Germans. They took our boys to their homes, and fed and clothed them;
they nursed them back to health and strength, and by so doing the people
of Ireland won their way into the hearts of the people of America.

Since the end of the war the bond between the two countries has grown
even closer, for, under the leadership of America, the nations of
Europe began to listen to Ireland's plea for home rule. This plea was
backed up by active Revolution, as was our own struggle for
independence. Finally the Imperial British Government, with the
interests of the Irish people at heart, granted them Home Rule, to
control their own destinies within the British Empire. Unfortunately,
however, even this did not prove a complete solution of Ireland's
difficulties, for some of the Irish people wished to remain attached to
England, and enjoy the advantages of her wise and just rule. These were
the people of Northern Ireland, called Ulster. So it has been agreed
that they shall remain under English rule, leaving Home Rule for
Southern Ireland.


YOU have often heard people speak of the Emerald Isle. When you have
asked where it is and why it is so called, you have been told it is only
another name for that small island to the northwest of the continent of
Europe called Ireland.

The rains there fall so often, and the sun shines so warmly afterward,
that Mother Nature is able to dress herself in the brightest and
loveliest of colours. The people there are cheerful and good-natured.
They are always ready to smile through their tears and see the funny
side of every hardship.

And, alas! many things have happened to cause their tears to flow. They
have suffered from poverty and hunger. Thousands of them have been
forced to leave parents and friends, and seek a living within the
kindly shores of America.

America is great, America is kind, they may think, but oh! for one look
at the beautiful lakes of Killarney; oh! for a walk over the green
fields and hills of the Emerald Isle. And oh! for the chance to gather a
cluster of shamrock, the emblem of dear old Erin.

The little Irish cousin, who has never left her native land, may be
poor, and sometimes ragged, but her heart is warm and tender, and she
loves her country and her people with a love that will never change, no
matter where she may travel or what fortune may befall her.


    CHAPTER                   PAGE
       I. NORAH                  1
      II. THE THUNDER-STORM     14
     III. ST. PATRICK           32
      IV. DANIEL O'CONNELL      44
       V. KILLARNEY             54
      VI. HALLOWE'EN            70
     VII. FAIRIES               80
    VIII. BLARNEY CASTLE        96

List of Illustrations

  NORAH                                          _Frontispiece_
        OF KILLARNEY"                                       16
  NORAH'S HOME                                              30
  THE MONUMENT TO DANIEL O'CONNELL                          52
  NORAH AND MOLLIE AT LOUGH LEAN                            62

Our Little Irish Cousin



    "Londonderry, Cork, and Kerry,
     Spell _that_ to me without a K."

"CAN you do it now?" said Norah, laughing.

"Can I do it? Yes, easy enough, for I've heard the riddle before.
T-h-a-t. There, Norah, you didn't catch me this time."

Molly laughed, too, as she spoke, and the little girls went on dressing
their rag dolls.

They were great friends, these two children of Ireland, and, although
they were ragged and dirty most of the time, and neither of them owned
hats or shoes, they were happy as the day is long. And, when I say this,
I mean one of the longest days of Ireland, which are very long indeed.

Norah had beautiful blue eyes and dark auburn hair. Her teeth were like
pearls and her cheeks were rosy as the brightest sunset.

"She is a true daughter of Erin," thought her mother, as she looked at
the child. "May God will that she grow up to be as good as she is
beautiful," she said to herself, making the sign of the cross on her

As for Molly, Norah's little playmate, her hair was black as night. Many
other lads and lasses of Ireland have hair like that. It is because,
long years ago, before even the Christ-child dwelt among men, Spaniards
came to the west coast of Ireland and settled among the people there.

They gave their black hair and dark eyes to the people already in the
country, most of whom were fair in face, hair, and eyes. So it happens
that sometimes they now have dark hair and blue eyes, and sometimes
light hair and dark eyes.

"Norah! Norah, darlint! Come and feed the pigs," called her mother.
"They are that hungry they would eat the thatch off the house if they
could reach it."

Norah jumped up, and running home as fast as her young feet could carry
her, took the dish of mush from her mother's hands. She was instantly
surrounded by a thin old mother pig and her ten little ones.

They were cunning little things when they were born, and Norah loved to
hold them in her arms and pet them. But they were big enough now to root
about in the mud, and the little girl held them no longer.

"Oof! oof!" grunted the mother pig. "Good! good!" was what she meant, of
course, as she swallowed her supper as quickly as possible, and the ten
babies followed her example.

Then Norah had to feed the ducks and chickens, and her precious goat.

"I love it. Oh, I love it, next to father and mother and the children,"
thought the little girl.

"How much it knows, and how gentle it is! And what should we do without
the sweet, rich milk it gives us!" she said, turning to Molly, who was
helping her in her work.

"It is a dear little creature" (Molly pronounced it crayther), "but I
love our pet cow better. I suppose the reason is because it is ours.
But, good night till ye, Norah. I must be after getting home."

Molly went running down the lane, while Norah entered the house.

House! It would hardly be fair to give it such a grand name. It was a
small stone hut, not much taller than Norah's father, with a roof
covered with mud and straw mixed together. Such a roof is said to be

There was only one window in the hut, and that was a small one. The door
was divided across the middle, and the upper part of it stood wide open.
Yet, as Norah stepped inside, the air was thick and heavy with smoke.

Over in one corner was a fireplace, and in it cakes of dried peat were
slowly burning. It was the only kind of fuel Norah's mother had to burn,
so it was no wonder the air of the room was smoky.

Do you know what peat is? In Norah's country there are many square miles
of marshy land covered with moss and grasses. If it could speak to us,
this land would tell a wonderful story.

"Ages and ages ago," it would say, "great forests of oak stood here. The
trees grew large and strong. But the rain fell often and the air was
very damp. This is the reason mosses and other plants gathered on the
trunks and branches of the trees. They sent their roots into the moist
bark and fed on the sap that should have nourished the trees.

"The great trees became weaker and weaker as the years passed away,
until at last they sickened and died, and fell to the ground.

"Fir-trees began to grow in the places of the oaks. But they were
treated in the same manner. Their life-giving sap was taken by a new
growth of mosses. The fir-trees died, and added to the great masses of
decaying wood which now covered the damp ground.

"Then plants grew up. But they met with the same fate as the trees.

"Thousands and thousands of years passed by. The beautiful forests that
once covered the land were slowly changed into peat."

The peat-bogs are now so thick and heavy that the poor of Ireland can
dig twenty-five feet into them and cut out squares of the solid peat.

After drying them in the air and sunshine, the people burn them in place
of coal. This queer fuel does not make as bright and clear a fire as
coal, but it is cheap, and keeps the poor from suffering.

"Be patient and wait only a few more thousands of years," the bogs would
say to us if they could, "and you may have coal instead of peat. Father
Time will make the change without any work on your part."

But the people of Ireland cannot wait. Most of them are very, very poor.
They live from day to day, glad if they have a roof to cover their heads
and food enough to keep them from starving.

Norah's father hires the land for his little farm from a rich lord who
lives most of the year in England. The Irishman built the little hut on
this land for himself and wife, and his family of growing children.

"What use would it be to spend much time on it?" he would say. "The
better I make the place, the more rent I shall have to pay."

Every year he planted his patch of potatoes and cabbages for himself,
besides oats and turnips and other things for his fowls and pigs and
goat. He mended the thatched roof when it leaked too badly for comfort,
and they all tried to be happy. They succeeded pretty well.

When each new year came around, the home looked about as usual. It was
no better, and no worse, unless, perhaps, it was a wee bit more shabby.

But the children grew fast. They were merry and rosy, and thought very
little about the shabby stone hut they called "home."

"Sivin of us there are," Norah would tell you, "and baby Pat is the
dearest and best of us all."

As she came in to supper that night, her mother lifted the kettle that
hung by a hook over the smoky fire and made a pot of tea. Then she
placed a dish of steaming potatoes and a plate of dark, heavy bread on
the table.

"A good supper, indade," thought the hungry children, and in a few
minutes not a sign of anything to eat could be seen.

"Here chick! chick!" called Norah, dropping crumbs to her pet chicken.
It had kept close beside her during the meal, and once had grown so
impatient that it flew up into the little girl's lap.

An old hen had already gone to roost on the rung of a stool in a dark
corner of the room, while the much-loved goat stood munching grass at
Norah's elbow.

The child's mother did not seem troubled in the least by these things.
She was busy as busy could be, giving hot potatoes and slices of bread
to Mike and Joe, Norah and Katie, while she trotted baby Patsy on her

But when the whole flock of geese came running and flying into the hut
for their share of the family supper, it was a little too much.

"Away with you, noisy creatures!" cried the busy mother. "Away with you!
Mike, take the broom and drive them out. Joe, lend a hand and help your

When the room had been cleared of the greedy geese, every one went on
eating, until not even a crumb was left on the table.

The girls cleared away the dishes; the boys brought a load of peat into
the house, and placed it before the fire to dry for burning; the mother
rocked Patsy to Dreamland, and the father smoked his pipe.

Then, when the work was all done, he told the children there was good

"What is it, what is it?" they all cried together.

"A letter from our own Maggie, in Ameriky. Sure, what else could the
good news be?" said their father. "Listen, and you shall hear it.

      how are yoursilves and the pigs and all the children?
      I have a good place, and my mistress is very kind to
      me. My work is not hard, and I am fast learning the
      ways of this great country. My wages is now two
      dollars and a half the week. In the money of good ould
      Ireland, that is just ten shillin's. By bein' careful
      since I last wrote ye, I have saved enough to send you
      two pounds. My master got the money changed for me, he
      was that kind. What will the money buy yez now? Mother
      darlint must have two pounds of the best tay, and a
      new red woollen petticoat. You, father, will have some
      grand leather boots, and aich of the children must buy
      something for the remimbrance of the sister Maggie far
      across the great say.

      "'Good-bye, and may the blissings of Hiven fall upon

                                          "'MAGGIE O'NEIL.'"

As he came to the end of the letter, every one was silent for a moment.
The mother wiped away some tears which had fallen upon her cheek, and
her husband cleared his throat.

Two pounds! It seemed like a fortune to the little family. It was nearly
enough to pay the year's rent.

"But the pigs are doing well, and, if they keep on, there will be no
trouble when rent time comes," said the father, as they sat talking the
matter over. "The price of the pigs will be enough for the rint, I'm
thinkin'. It shall be as Maggie said. Let the childer go to bed and
dream of the fine things they will see in the town when they go

Somehow or other the children were all stowed away for the night in the
small room next the kitchen, and Norah was soon sound asleep, and
dreaming a most wonderful dream.

It seemed in her dream that the goat was harnessed to the jaunting-car
belonging to the father of her friend Molly. He was a very, very big
goat in the dream, and he looked really handsome, as he capered down the
lane, carrying the whole family to market.

Norah's pet chicken was going to see the sights, for he was perched on
the goat's head. The old mother pig ran by his side, and the baby pigs,
with their curly tails high up in the air, were trying their best to
keep up. Everybody was laughing and singing to the tune of an Irish jig
that Norah's father was playing on the bagpipes.



"WHISHT, now! The fairy folk are passing along. We must get out of their
way, and greet them politely," said Norah to her little sister Kate, as
she made a bow, and whispered, "God speed ye."

The children were out berrying, and were quite a distance from home.
They had wandered down the lane running through their little village,
and were now on the road to Killarney.

"Why, Norah?"

"When you see a cloud of dust sweeping along, you may know the fairies
are travelling. It might bring something bad to us if we stood in their
way. We want them to be our friends, of course."

"Oh, yes, yes, Norah. I'll be careful next time. But I'm tired. Tell me
a story about the fairies."

"I'm tired, too, Katie darlint. But I'll tell ye this much. There once
was a man who did not care for the fairies as he should. Perhaps he did
not believe they used arrows and shot them at the cattle of those people
with whom they were angry. Oh, Katie, it is the living truth that the
fairies can bewitch any one whom they please.

"Well, the man of whom I was tellin' ye bought a farm. It was close to a
beautiful valley where the fairies had their home. He built himself a
house; he ploughed the land; and then he made a lime-kiln on the very
borders of the fairies' home.

"They were so angry that they punished him in many ways. But not all at
once, Katie darlint. First, they killed his horse; next, three of his
cows; and, as though that wasn't enough, nine of his pigs died.


"The farmer knew well enough what was the matter. He took down his
lime-kiln, and was careful after that to keep clear of the borders of

"Look, look, Norah! I hear a carriage. It may be people travelling
through the country. Put on your sweetest smile and maybe they will give
us a penny."

The two children stood still on one side of the road. As the carriage
passed them, little Kate held out her chubby hands, saying, "A penny,
kind lady, if ye plaze."

She was quick to notice that, besides the driver, three gentlemen and a
lady filled the seats of the jaunting-car.

"Take this, little one, for your rosy cheeks and smiling face."

The lady threw out a three-penny piece, as the driver stopped his car
and asked Norah how far it was to the lakes of Killarney.

"Four miles, sir, if ye keep straight on this road," was the answer.

"Do you mean four Irish miles?" asked one of the gentlemen. "For, if you
do, we have an hour's good drive before us."

"Sure, and I always supposed a mile is a mile," answered Norah, with a
perplexed look in her eyes.

The gentleman laughed, and said, "If you go to America when you grow up,
you will find that two of our miles will almost make one of yours."

The car passed on, and the children stood watching the travellers out of

"Isn't it grand to be travelling like that, Katie?" said her sister. "A
jaunting-car is one of the finest things in the world."

But the people who were in the carriage did not agree with her.

"Dear me!" said the lady, "I'm afraid of falling out whenever the horse
goes fast. And as for this beautiful country, I can only see what is on
one side of the road at a time."

"I quite agree with you," said her husband. "I have always wanted to
ride in a jaunting-car, but it is more fun to talk about it than to
really do it."

"But what is a jaunting-car?" perhaps you are wondering.

It is a carriage in which the seats are placed back to back, facing
sideways. It has no top, but has big wheels and big springs underneath.

A small jaunting-car, like the one which had passed the children, has
two wheels, and seats long enough to hold four people, two on each side.
The driver's place is built out in front, reaching over the horse's
back. Such a car is very light, and one horse can carry it easily.

But what the lady said was true. There was no way for the passengers to
hold on firmly. Besides this, they could see the view on only one side
at a time.

A story has been told of a man who was travelling in Ireland and wished
to see the country. He rode in a jaunting-car from Queenstown to Cork.
He sat on the side of the car toward the hill and did not get a single
view of the river. When he went back again he changed his seat to the
opposite side of the car. And still he saw nothing but the hill. It is
no wonder that, when people spoke to him about the river between Cork
and Queenstown, he said, "There is no river. There is nothing to be seen
except a hill."

Do you see the joke? And do you understand the reason why he saw only
one side of the country, though he travelled twice over the same road?

Norah and her little sister had just turned to go home, when they
noticed the sky had grown black with heavy clouds.

"It is going to rain, Katie. We must hurry, for I fear it will thunder
and lighten," said Norah.

The children began to run. Although they did not mind the rain, they
were both afraid of thunder-storms.

"There! hear that, and that!" sobbed Katie, beginning to cry. A streak
of lightning had darted across the sky, followed almost instantly by a
loud peal of thunder.

Down came the rain in torrents, just as the children turned from the
road and entered the lane leading to their own little village. As they
did so, the sound of wheels could be heard behind them.

They were in too great a hurry and too much frightened to turn around.
But as they reached their own door, the very jaunting-car they had met
on the road to Killarney drove up.

The children's mother had been watching from the doorway.

"Come in, children, as fast as you can. I was near beside mesilf, I was
that worried about ye."

Then the good woman, turning with a welcome smile to the people in the
carriage, asked them to shelter themselves from the storm in her poor
little cot.

The two drenched children rushed to the fireplace and stood there with
the water dripping from their skirts and making little puddles on the
floor of the cabin.

In the meantime, their mother was making her visitors as comfortable as
she could. Two of the gentlemen took seats on the edge of a big feather
bed, for there were not chairs enough to go around. The lady was given
the best chair, after Norah's mother had dusted it with her apron, and
placed it near the fire.

The flock of geese had somehow managed to follow the visitors into the
house, and the big apron was next used to drive the poor wet creatures
out into the storm. It was plain to see they did not enjoy it any more
than the people themselves.

"You must excuse us for taking you by surprise in this way," said the
lady, as soon as it was quiet enough for the kind Irishwoman to hear
her, "but we saw the storm suddenly coming up, and we knew we were too
far from Killarney to get there before it should break upon us." She
smiled as she went on, "Indeed, it overtook us before we could even
reach your village."

As she finished speaking, there was a blinding flash of lightning. It
was almost instantly followed by a peal of thunder which shook the
little cabin again and again.

Norah's mother made the sign of the cross upon her breast, and her lips
moved in prayer. Every one was silent as flash after flash of bright
light came through the window, and one peal of thunder followed close
upon another.

It was a good half-hour before the storm began to die away.

"Yes, the rain comes often in these parts, and thunder-storms are a
common matter in the summer time," said Mrs. O'Neil, when they fell to
talking again.

"That is one of the reasons why I don't like jaunting-cars," said her
lady visitor. "They have no covering, and in a sudden rain there is no
way of keeping dry."

"Wheniver the lightning comes as it did a few minutes ago," said Mrs.
O'Neil, "it makes me think of a story told by me father, God rest his

"There was once a man working in his garden. It began to thunder, and
the man was scared. He put his head through a hole in the wall. 'God
save whativer is out of me.' That is what he prayed.

"He had no sooner said those words than the wall fell and his head was
taken off entirely.

"You see, he didn't pray for the _whole_ of him.

"Now, my good father said that was just right. The man was selfish to
think only of himsilf. He should have prayed large, for all the folk
around him, and not small, just for himsilf. It was the judgment of
Hiven upon him.

"But, dear me! I must tend to my baking. I had clean forgot it in the

Mrs. O'Neil turned to the fireplace and lifted a round, low pot out of
the ashes. When she had set it on the table, she took off the cover.
Then, turning the pot upside down, a dark, heavy loaf of bread fell out
upon the table.

The visitors rose to go, thanking the good woman for her kindness in
giving them shelter during the storm.

But Mrs. O'Neil would not hear of their leaving so near supper-time,
with Killarney a good hour's drive away.

She told them she had a nice pat of butter in the cupboard. The wild
berries picked by the children had been covered over, so they were not
softened by the rain while on the way home. With a pot of good tea and
the newly-baked bread, she proudly thought her visitors might satisfy
their hunger.

After looking at her husband and the other gentlemen, the lady sat down
again, saying:

"You are very kind and generous, Mrs. O'Neil, like the rest of your
people. Wherever I have travelled in Ireland I have met just such
kindness. I shall never forget my visit here.

"And what a beautiful country it is! I never saw such green grass
anywhere else in the world. No wonder it is called 'The Emerald Isle.'"

Mrs. O'Neil smiled her happiest smile. She loved to hear her country

"Ah! Ireland was a great place once," she cried. "But times have
changed, and many of the days have been sad ones since the rule of our
own kings. Did ye ever hear tell of the famine?" she asked.

"Yes, indeed," said one of the gentlemen, as Mrs. O'Neil bustled about
the table. "I shall never forget a story I read at the time. I was a
little boy in school. It was about a family who were suffering terribly
from the famine. Their supply of potatoes had come to an end and the new
crop was killed by the blight. There was no money to pay the rent, and
the poor little children with their parents were turned out of their
home by the hard-hearted landlord.

"But at this dreadful moment, help came from a kind friend in America,
and they were saved from further suffering."

When he had finished speaking, Mrs. O'Neil told of the suffering people
who became homeless and starving, and who died before help reached them.

Norah crept close to her mother's side as she listened to the story. Her
big blue eyes were full of tears.

This dreadful famine happened before Mrs. O'Neil was born, for Norah's
grandmother was herself a child at the time.

The potato crop had been poor for several years, and many were the
families who were obliged to beg from those who were a little better off
than themselves. But at last there came a season when all the crops
failed. It was the dreadful year of 1847, when the blight fell upon
every part of Ireland.

Stop for a minute and think of the thousands of little children who
lived almost entirely on potatoes up to this time. Some of them, it is
true, had bread every day, and meat once or twice a week.

But there were many many homes where the only food of the family was
potatoes. Then you can picture what happened when there were no more

The smiles soon gave place to tears. The roses faded away from the
cheeks. The bright eyes grew dull and heavy.

Poor little children of Ireland! Think what became of them when the last
piece of furniture had been sold to buy bread!

Alas! many of them were soon without even shelter. For they were driven
with their parents out of their small homes, because there was no
possible way of paying the rent.

Then what? Fever and sickness travelled from place to place. Death
followed in their pathway. There were many days of cruel suffering
before the rest of the world waked up and sent help to the sick and the
starving in Ireland.

America showed herself a kind friend in that sad time. It was some of
the very food she sent to Ireland that saved the life of Norah's
grandmother. She and her brothers were nearly starving when the help
came. They lived on the seashore and had been trying to keep themselves
alive by eating seaweed and moss. Those were dreadful times, indeed.

Mrs. O'Neil stopped to pat Norah's head, which was in her apron. The
child was crying softly.

"There, there, those hard days are over now, my child," said her mother,
tenderly. "The sky is brighter for Ireland than it has been these many
years. You must not let this fine lady see you cry. Enough water has
fallen outside to-day without our adding to the shower."

[Illustration: NORAH'S HOME.]

Norah began to laugh, while she wiped away the tears with her mother's

The visitors once more rose to go. At the same time one of the gentlemen
stepped to Mrs. O'Neil's side and said in a low tone, "We would not
think of offering pay for your kindness to us this afternoon, but it
will give me a great deal of pleasure if you will take this and buy a
little kid with it for Norah."

He pressed some money into the good woman's hands.

"But we have one goat now, as you must have seen," she said.

"Two goats will give the children twice as much milk as one," he
answered, with a laugh. "And, besides, I want Norah to have the new goat
for her very own."

Mrs. O'Neil could not refuse such a kind offer. "Thank ye entirely, and
may Hiven send its blessing on ye all."

By this time the driver had brought the horse and the jaunting-car from
the little shed, and the party drove off in the direction of Killarney.



"SURE and it's Father Tom himself," said Norah's mother. She was in the
midst of the family washing. Katie was rocking baby Patsy, and Norah was
brushing up the rough mud floor. Every one stopped work at once and ran
out of the cabin, the mother wiping her hands on her apron, and Norah
lifting Patsy and carrying him along in her strong young arms.

The whole village had by this time turned out into the lane and gathered
around the kind fat priest, who had a smile for each and all.

There were old people hobbling along with the help of sticks, men who
had stopped work for the sake of a blessing from the priest, mothers
with babies in their arms, and children big and little.

It was a glad day when Father Tom came to the village to see how all
were getting along. There were so few people that the village had no
church of its own. They went four miles every Sunday to the nearest
service. Almost every one had to walk, for there were only two or three
donkeys and one or two rough carts in the whole place. A visit from the
priest was a great honour, a very great honour. The children knelt in
his pathway that he might lay his hands on them and bless them. The men
took off their hats and bowed their heads low as he passed by. The old
women made as good curtsys as their stiff backs would let them.

Norah put little Patsy down on the ground, whispering, "Patsy, dear,
touch the good man's robe with your little hands. It will make ye a
better boy."

Father Tom must have heard the whisper. He turned around and placed his
hands on the baby's curly head. Then he made a short prayer and blessed

"I will take a sup of tea with you, Mrs. O'Neil," he said to Norah's
mother. "I am quite tired, for I have walked all the way from my home
this morning."

Mrs. O'Neil was much pleased. She hurried home, while the priest and
children followed her more slowly.

As she hung the kettle over the fire and set the table for the priest's
lunch, he gathered the children around him and told them stories of St.
Patrick, the dearest of all saints to the Irish people.

It was a long, long time ago that the King of Ireland was holding a
festival in the Hall of Tara.

"Put out all the fires," he had commanded his people. "Let no light be
seen till a blaze bursts forth from the hill of Tara."

Not one of his subjects would have dared to disobey the king's command.

You may judge, therefore, how surprised he was when he looked out into
the darkness and saw a light. It grew stronger and stronger every
moment. A great fire was blazing near by on the top of a hill!

Who could have dared to disobey the king? What was the meaning of the
fire? The Druid priest for whom the king sent in haste said:

"O king, if that fire is not put out to-night, it will never die in this

Now it happened that the festival which the king and his people were
celebrating was held on the night before Easter Sunday. Few people of
Erin had at that time heard of Easter Sunday. They knew nothing of the
life of the Christ Child. They were Druids, and had a strange belief of
their own.

Their chief priests dwelt in the dark forests of oak-trees, and taught
their followers to worship fire as the symbol of the sun.

But a new teacher had come into their country. He had a message to the
people. He wished to tell them of the Christian religion and of Jesus,
who had lived and suffered and died to help all mankind.

The name of the new teacher was Patrick, and Scotland was his early
home. When he was sixteen years old, he was surprised by a band of
robbers. They made him their prisoner and took him with them to Ireland.

After he had been with them six months, he managed to get free and went
back to Scotland.

But he was carried off a second time, and again he escaped. After he
reached his own home once more, he said to himself, "I should like to
help the people of Ireland. I should like to tell them of Jesus and his

He began to study and prepare himself for teaching. At last he was made
a bishop.

After many years, he was able to go back to Ireland. It was what he had
long wished to do.

It was the eve of Easter Sunday when he lighted that great fire on the
hilltop and surprised the king by his daring.

"I will send for the man who kindled that fire. Let him come before me
at once," commanded the king.

Patrick was brought in haste, but he was not frightened in the least.

When the king and the princes, the nobles and the Druid priests were
gathered together, he told them he had come to Erin to put out the fires
of the Druids. He wished to stop the making of the pagan sacrifices in
which the people then believed. He had brought something better in their
place. It was the Christian religion.

What do you suppose the king replied?

He was very angry, of course. But still he asked Patrick to meet the
wise men of the country the next day and talk the matter over. Then he
could explain his belief to them.

On the next day he did meet them. He talked so well and so wisely that
many of the listeners thought he knew a great deal more than they did.
They became Christians then and there.

The king then gave Patrick the right to preach all over Ireland. As he
went from place to place, he spoke so well that all those who listened
to him felt his great power.

In a short time the whole of the people became Christians, and the
strange worship of the Druids came to an end.

Father Tom told Norah and her sister many wonderful stories of the life
of St. Patrick. He told of a spring of water he had visited. This spring
worked miracles.

It happened that St. Patrick and St. Bridget were one day taking a walk.
She said she was thirsty. St. Patrick struck the ground with his staff.
Water instantly began to bubble up through the earth, and a spring has
been there ever since.

Father Tom went on to tell of strange wriggling things called snakes. He
had seen them in other countries. They were something like big worms,
and were of different colours. The bite of some of them was poisonous.

"But we have none of them in our own beautiful Ireland," he said. "You
may thank the blessed St. Patrick for sending them out of this country."

Norah and Katie both shivered when they thought of the snakes. How good
St. Patrick was to drive the horrid creatures out of Ireland!

"There is a grand church in the city of Dublin called St. Patrick's
Cathedral. When you grow up, Norah, you must surely visit it," said the
kind priest, as he finished his story-telling. "It stands on the very
spot where St. Patrick himself once built a church. It is a fine
building, and its spire reaches higher up toward heaven than anything
you have ever seen made by men.

"But, my dear little children, your mother has prepared me a nice
luncheon. I must eat it, and then visit poor Widow McGee, who is very

A half-hour afterward, Father Tom had left the little home, and Mrs.
O'Neil was once more hard at work over her wash-tub. Norah was out in
the yard amusing baby Patsy.

"Mother, mother," she called, "Mrs. Maloney is on her way here. She has
just stopped at Mrs. Flynn's."

"Come in and get some petaties ready for her, Norah. I don't want to
stop again in my work." (Mrs. O'Neil pronounced it "wurruk.")

Mrs. Maloney lived in a lonely cabin about two miles away. You would
hardly believe it, but Norah's home was almost a palace beside Mrs.

There was one little window, as she would have called it. It was really
only a hole in the wall. When heavy rains fell, the old woman stuffed it
with marsh-grass. The thatched roof had fallen in at one end of the
cabin. The furniture was a chair and a rough bedstead.

Poor old Mrs. Maloney! Once she had a strong husband and eight happy
children, but, one by one, they had died, and now she was old and
feeble, and had no one in the world to look after her.

Is it any wonder that the generous people whom she visited always had
something to give and a kind word to speak to her?

Every few days, she went from house to house, holding out her apron as
she stood in the doorway. She did not need to say a word. One kind woman
would give her a bit of tea, another a loaf of bread, a third a
cabbage, and a fourth a little butter.

In this way she was kept from starving, or from going to the workhouse,
which she dreaded nearly as much.

As Norah dropped the potatoes into her apron, the old woman blessed her
heartily. As she turned to leave, Mrs. O'Neil called after her to ask
how she got along in yesterday's bad storm.

"Sure and I was that feared I dared not stay in the cabin. It was so bad
I thought it would fall down on me shoulders. So I wint out and sat on
the turf behind it. I was wet indade when the storm was over."

"Too bad, too bad," said Mrs. O'Neil, in a voice of pity. "We must see
what can be done for you."

She did not forget. That very night she asked her husband if he could
not find time to mend the old woman's hut and make it safe to live in.
He promised her that as soon as the potatoes were hoed he would get his
friend Mickey Flynn to help him and they would fix it all right.

"Ah! Tim, Tim," said his wife, with her eyes full of tears, "of all the
eight children Mrs. Maloney has lost, there is none she grieves over
like her boy John, that went to Ameriky and was never heard of again.

"Maybe he lost his life on the way there. Maybe he died all alone in
that far-away land, with no kind friends near him. No one but God

Mrs. O'Neil crossed herself as she went on, "Think of our own dear girl
in Ameriky, and what might happen to her!"



    "O Paddy, dear, and did you hear
     The news that's going round?
     The shamrock is forbid by law
     To grow on Irish ground."

NORAH was sitting by her father's side as the family were gathered
around the fireplace one chilly evening. She was singing that song they
loved so well, "The Wearing of the Green."

"I picked some shamrock leaves this morning, and I put them in the big
book to press. Can they go in the next letter to Maggie, mother?" asked
the little girl, as she finished singing.

She jumped down from her seat and went to a shelf, from which she took
the treasure of the family. It was the only book they owned besides
their prayer-books.

It told the story of a man loved by every child of Erin,--the story of
Daniel O'Connell.

Opening the leaves carefully, Norah took out a spray of tiny leaves.
They looked very much like the white clover which is so common in the
fields of America. It was a cluster of shamrock leaves, the emblem of

"Yes, it shall go to Maggie without fail," said Norah's mother. "It will
make her heart glad to see it. The fields behind our cabin will come to
her mind, and the goat she loved so well, feeding there. Oh, but she has
niver seen Patsy yet!"

"Father, please tell us the story of that great man," said Norah. "I am
never tired of hearing it."

Norah pointed to the big book as she spoke. The first money Maggie had
sent from America had bought it, so it was doubly precious to every one
in the little home.

Daniel O'Connell! What a friend he had been to Ireland! The face of
Norah's father grew brighter as he began to tell the story of the brave
man who had worked so hard to help his people. But the story-teller
first went back in the history of Ireland to a time long before the
birth of O'Connell.

The Irish had at last been conquered by England. They had fought against
her for four hundred years. It was hard now to have English rulers in
the country and to have English lords take their lands away from them.

It was harder still to have these rulers say, "You must worship as we
worship. If you remain Catholics, we will punish you."

The hard-hearted Cromwell came to Ireland, bringing a large supply of
Bibles, scythes, and firearms. The Bibles were for those who were
willing to become Protestants. The firearms were used for killing those
who would not give up their religion. The scythes cut down the crops of
those who did not happen to get killed and yet held to their faith.

"They shall be starved into obeying my orders," said the stern Cromwell.

As though this were not enough, forty thousand of the Irish people were
driven to the seacoast. They were put on board ships and sent to Spain.
Never more should they see the Emerald Isle they loved so well.

Weeping and moaning could be heard all through Ireland. But a still more
pitiful sight followed. It was a procession of children who had been
taken from their homes. They, too, were driven on board ships which were
waiting for them. These poor helpless boys and girls were to become
slaves on the tobacco plantations of the West Indies.

How their mothers' hearts must have ached! What sobs and groans must
have filled many a lonely cottage of Ireland!

One hundred and fifty years passed by. They were hard years, and full of

Then the people began to whisper to each other, "A real helper has come
at last."

It was the young Irishman, Daniel O'Connell, who lived the life of a
country boy in a quiet place in Kerry. It was scarcely twenty-five miles
from Norah's home.

An old schoolmaster taught Daniel his letters in a little village
school. No one noticed the brightness of the boy's mind until long
afterward, when he was sent to a college in France. After he had been
there a year, the principal began to see he was not like most boys.

"He will be a great man, unless I am much mistaken," he thought. He was
not disappointed.

Daniel studied hard and became a lawyer. His chief thought was always,
"Ireland! Poor Ireland! How can I help my country?"

He worked early and late. He studied far into the night. He would have
little chance as a lawyer unless he became very wise, and was keen and
quick in his wits.

For he was a Catholic. That was much against him. The judges in the
courts were Protestants and were ready to favour Protestant lawyers.

But O'Connell's heart was full of courage. He did not lose hope for a
single moment.

When he began to practise law, he showed every one what a bright mind he
had. He was quick to see little mistakes and point them out.

He stayed in the court-room during the whole of a trial. He would not
leave it for a minute, even if he had been there many hours. He had
lunch brought in to him. He was afraid if he left the court that
something might be said he ought to hear.

"He is very bright." "He sees every blunder." "He is a sharp-witted
fellow." People began to say things like these. Or, perhaps, some bold
Irishman would tell his friend, "England can't have it all her own way
much longer. Dan O'Connell will see to that."

Now, while this clever young lawyer was busy in the courts in the
daytime, he was doing just as important work in the night.

Evening after evening he met with the friends of Ireland. He talked with
them of the best way to help their country.

"But no blood must be shed," he would say again and again. "No blood
must be shed. That would be too high a price to pay. Besides, it has
been fully tried for hundreds of years, and nothing but bitterness and
misery has come of it. And yet the Catholics must have equal rights with
the Protestants."

He saw only one way of bringing this about. It was by getting all the
people to vote alike. Then the English rulers would see how strong and
how much in earnest the Irish people were.

There were years of hard work before Daniel O'Connell was able to bring
about any change. At last, however, the government of England was
obliged to pass a law giving Catholics the right to vote and hold office
the same as Protestants.

It is said that when the king signed the law he was so angry he broke
the pen with which it was done, and stamped upon it. But he knew he had
to do it, and there was no way out of it.


Daniel O'Connell had won. He was the great Liberator of his religion in
Great Britain.

He now tried to gain a separate government for Ireland. But he did not
live to finish his work. He was seized with illness. This very time was
the beginning of the dreadful famine.

O'Connell could not keep his mind from thinking of the sufferings of his
people, and so, of course, he gained no strength. His doctors gave up

The great lawyer and Liberator had but one wish now. He would like to
die in Rome under the blessing of the Pope. He did not live long enough
to reach the religious capital of the Catholic world, but his heart was
preserved and sent there, by his own wish.

His body was sent to Ireland, where there was a grand funeral.

A great monument stands to-day in the city of Dublin. It was built in
honour of Ireland's brave helper and true lover, Daniel O'Connell.

It is shaped like the round towers still standing here and there
throughout Ireland. They are so old that no one knows when or why they
were built. They stand tall and straight and strong and silent. But it
seems as though they would say, "Look at us and think of the grand
old days of Erin!"

Some people think they were watch-towers from which the enemy could be
discovered far away.

When the people wished to build a monument to Daniel O'Connell, they
thought nothing would be more proper than a copy of the old watch-towers
still standing in the country and reminding every one of the old glories
of Ireland.

As Norah's father finished the story, the little girl got up softly and
went to a drawer, from which she drew a picture. It was that of a white
hound, the dog Daniel O'Connell loved so much.

"Father," she said, putting her arms around his neck, "if you ever see a
white hound at the fair in Killarney, please buy it for your little
Norah. I will love it tenderly for the sake of that great man."



"MOTHER, mother! Mollie says can I go with her for a day at Killarney?"
cried Norah, rushing into the house quite out of breath.

And, indeed, it was no wonder. She had run every step from her friend
Mollie's, which was a good half-mile away.

Mollie's father seemed quite rich in Norah's eyes. He had a farm, where
he kept three cows and twenty sheep. Yes, and a horse besides. Not a
donkey, mind you. Two of Norah's neighbours owned donkeys, but Mollie's
father was so well off that he had a real live horse, and a jaunting-car
of his very own.

When the work was not heavy, the farmer sometimes took his family for a
day's pleasure.

"If it is fine weather to-morrow," he promised Mollie, "you shall ask
Norah to go with us. It will be a rale treat for her."

How Norah's eyes sparkled as she told her mother of the invitation! Her
cheeks were more rosy than ever, and as she laughed over the good news,
her teeth looked for all the world like the loveliest of pearls.

The next morning she was out-of-doors at sunrise, to see what signs
there were of good weather. Dame Nature was very kind to the little
girl, and made the sun spread his loveliest colours over the eastern

There was a great scrubbing and cleaning before Norah was ready to
start. Her mother combed and brushed her thick, long hair, and made it
into two glossy braids. What did it matter if there was no hat to wear!
She was so pretty, she did not need straw or ribbon to make people stop
to look at the bright, happy face, with eyes ever ready to laugh or

When she was dressed in her pink cotton gown (it was the only one she
had, and her mother had washed and ironed and mended it the night
before, after Norah had gone to bed), she ate her breakfast, and slipped
over the fields to Mollie's, as happy as a lark.

The horse and car already stood waiting at the door. Mollie and Norah,
and Mollie's sister Bridget, sat together on one side of the car, while
the jolly farmer, with his wife and baby, filled the other seat.
Mollie's big brother Tim was the driver.

As they jogged along through the beautiful country, the party sang
"Killarney" and other favourite songs. After awhile, Mollie's mother
started "The harp that once thro' Tara's halls," and every one joined in
with a will.

When the song came to an end, the farmer told the children about an old
harper who used to go wandering through the country. He stopped at
every place to play the tunes the people loved so well.

But that was before Mollie and Norah were born. Yes, before even the
farmer himself was born. He had heard his mother tell about the old man,
and how bright his eyes grew as his fingers drew out the tunes from the

Once upon a time there were many such harpers in the country. Those were
the days of the Irish kings and lords. There were feasts and dancing and
music in many a stone castle in those times.

But now, alas, most of the castles are only ruins, where the kindly ivy
covers the piles of stones, and the wind howls through the empty door
and window places.

One castle was the grandest of all. It was called the Hall of Tara, and
was built on the top of a high hill. Mollie and Norah had often heard
of the doings in that grand building.

It was the place where the Irish princes met together to choose their
king. It was there that he was crowned, upon an upright stone that
actually roared during the ceremony. At least, so the story runs.

The laws of the country were made in the Hall of Tara, and a great feast
was served there before commencing business each day. Three loud blasts
were sounded by the trumpeter to call the people together in the great

Not only princes and nobles met in Tara's Hall. There were also poets
and wise men. For those were the days when Ireland had places of
learning where many scholars gathered, to study history and poetry, the
movements of the sun and stars, and many other things. Those were great
days for Old Ireland.

"Oh, see! See!" cried Norah.

Mollie's brother stopped the horse to let every one see the beautiful
sight before them. The lovely lakes, shut in by high mountains, were
ahead of them.

"They are the jewels of Erin," cried Mollie's mother. "They are diamonds
sparkling on the breast of our country."

It was no wonder she spoke as she did. It would be hard to find any spot
in the world more beautiful than the Lakes of Killarney.

As the horse started up once more, they passed high stone walls covered
with moss and ferns and ivy. The branches of tall trees met together
over their heads, with vines wound lovingly about their trunks. The
whole view was so beautiful that even the children became quiet. No one
felt like talking.

"We will not spend any time in Killarney town," said Mollie's father.
"This is going to be a day outdoors, childer. We'll have a rale

Mollie and Norah clapped their hands.

"We must go to Ross Castle, that's sure. And of course you want to visit
Muckross Abbey and hear the echo below the Eagle's Nest," the farmer
went on.

    "Castle Lough and Glenna bay,
        Mountains Tore and Eagle's Nest;
     Still at Muckross you must pray,
        Though the monks are now at rest."

So sang the girls in answer.

You must know that Killarney is the most beautiful part of the beautiful
country of Ireland. One day is not enough to see all that is worth

No one could blame the children for not wanting to spend any of their
time in the little dirty town at the end of the lakes.

The horse was driven close to the shore of Lough Lean, or the Lake of
Learning. This is the name given it by the people of the country
because two universities once stood near its shores.

The party got out of the jaunting-car and sat down at the water's edge
to eat their lunch. There were no cakes or pies, but nothing could have
tasted better to the hungry children than the thick slices of bread and
butter, the home-made cheese, and the rich goat's milk.

And then, every time they lifted their eyes they could see the green
meadows on one side, and on the other the mountains covered with purple
heather and thick forests.

Out on the clear waters of Lough Lean were many little islands, looking
like so many emeralds set in the silvery bosom of the lake.

"What lovely homes they would make for the fairies," whispered Norah to
Mollie. She always spoke of the fairies in a whisper. Perhaps she felt
they might be provoked if she mentioned them in her usual voice.


"I believe they choose just such places to live in," answered Mollie. "I
think there must be hawthorn-trees growing there."

Both Norah and Mollie believed in fairies. They had as much faith in
them as many little boys and girls in America have in Santa Claus. They
thought hawthorn-trees the favourite places for the midnight parties of
the fairies. It was in the shade of the hawthorn-trees that these
beautiful sprites feasted on dew, and danced to the music of fairy

As the children sat whispering together, Molly's father began to tell
the story of Lough Lean. The little girls were only too glad to listen.

He told the old legend of the time when there was no lake at all. A fine
city stood here in its place, and in the city there lived a brave
warrior, whose name was O'Donaghue.

Everything one could wish for was in the city except plenty of water.
There was one small spring, to be sure. A great magician had given it
to the people. But he had made one condition, which was this: whoever
drew water from the spring must cover it with a certain silver vessel.

It happened one day that the brave O'Donaghue drank more wine than he
should. It made him very bold. He ordered his servants to go to the
spring and bring him the silver bowl that covered it.

"It will make a good bathtub for me," he said, and he laughed merrily.

"Pray don't make us do this," cried his frightened servants.

He laughed all the louder, and answered: "Don't be afraid. The water
will be all the better for the fresh night air."

The silver bowl was brought to the daring warrior. But as the servants
entered the house, they imagined they heard terrible sounds about them.

They shook with fear as they thought, "We are going to be punished for
breaking the magician's command."

One of the servants was so frightened that he left the city and fled to
the mountains. It was well for him that he did so, for when the morning
came, he looked down into the valley and saw no city at all.

Not a sign of a house or living being was in sight. A sheet of water was
stretched out before his astonished eyes. It was the beautiful Lough

As Mollie's father repeated the legend, the children bent over the lake.
Perhaps they could see the roofs of palaces, or the tops of towers,
still standing on the bottom of the water. They had heard of people who
said they had seen them. But the children were disappointed.

Perhaps when they went rowing in the afternoon, they might yet catch a
glimpse of the hidden city. Who could tell?

Mollie's father had more to tell of another man, whose name was also
O'Donaghue. He pointed to a little island not far from the shore. It was
Ross Island, and an old, old castle, called Ross Castle, was still
standing there.

The stone walls were now in ruins. They were overgrown with moss and
ivy. But hundreds and hundreds of years ago it was a great stronghold of
Ireland's bravest warriors.

The chief of them all was the daring O'Donaghue. Even now he cannot rest
easy in his grave. Every seven years he rises up, and, mounting a white
horse, rides around Ross Castle. And as he rides every stone goes back
into its old place, and the castle is once more as strong and grand as
in its best days.

But this is only for the one night. When the sun shines the next
morning, a heap of ruins is standing there, where the owls and bats may
keep house in comfort.

"How I should like to see the knight on his white horse!" said Norah.

"Yes, but I should be afraid, I'm sure," said Mollie. "After all, the
day is the best time to be outdoors, and my bed at home is the safest
place after dark."

When the lunch was eaten, the whole party crossed a bridge that spanned
the water to Ross Island. The children played games over the smooth
lawns, picked flowers, and told fairy stories.

Then Mollie's brother rowed the girls out on the lake. Many a time he
rested on his oars while the children called out and then listened for
the echo to answer them.

"There it is, hark!" said Tim.

A party of travellers came rowing toward them. They had hired an Irish
piper to go with them. As he played a slow tune, the answer came back.

Tim whistled, and the echo repeated it. Then Norah sang the first line
of "Come Back to Erin," and the echo sang it back again.

But the afternoon was going fast, and the children could now hear
Mollie's father calling to them from the shore. They must get back to
land as soon as possible.

When they reached the car, they jumped in, and all started at once for
Muckross Abbey, at the other end of the lake.

It had once been a great place of learning, but it was now in ruins. Ah!
but such beautiful ruins, covered with mosses and creeping vines. How
the ivy seemed to love the old stone walls!

Some of Ireland's greatest men were buried here. Poets and soldiers and
wise men lie in their tombs. Norah and Mollie stepped softly and spoke
in low tones as they walked among them, half-buried in moss and ivy.

But they did not linger long. They loved the sunshine and the brightness
outside, and were glad to get back to them.

They took their places in the jaunting-car once more, and started on
their homeward way.

As they drove along, they passed the grand home of a rich Englishman. A
long and fine driveway led up to it from the road. It was almost hidden
in a lovely grove.

Just as they drew near, a party of horsemen passed them and turned into
the driveway, blowing their horns. They had been out hunting and were
now returning.

"Arrah! they have a jolly life," said Mollie's mother. "Hunting and
fishing and feasting. That is the way they pass their days. But, glory
be to God, I have my husband and childer and our little farm, and I am

She might have said, also:

"I live in the most beautiful part of beautiful Ireland. I can look to
my heart's content at the lovely hills and lakes, the fields filled with
flowers, and the cascades rippling down the mountainsides."

Yes, let glory be to God that the poor can enjoy these blessings, and it
costs them nothing.



"IT'S jumping wid joy I am," said Norah.

It was the eve of the first day of November, and the little girl was
putting on a new dress. Her father had been to the pig fair at
Killarney. He had sold his pigs for a good price, and had brought home
enough blue cloth to make gowns for both Norah and Katie.

But what is a pig fair? perhaps you are wondering. It is like any other
fair in the old countries, except that little else is sold besides pigs.

Pigs! pigs! pigs! Big pigs and little pigs. Pigs rolling in fat and
weighing a good three hundred pounds. Little baby pigs, pink and white,
and too young to leave their mothers.

Streets full of men and pigs. Everybody talking, and many of them
laughing and telling each other funny stories.

And all along the sides of the roads were horses and donkeys fastened to
queer-looking wagons, in which the pigs had been brought to market.

Oh, a pig fair is a jolly sight, as Norah's brother would tell you.

The two blue dresses were made in a hurry by the mother, and now the
whole family were going to a party at Mollie's house. It was to
celebrate Hallowe'en. Patsy had to go, too, for there was no one to
leave him with at home.

There was no baby-carriage for him. But that did not matter. He could go
on his mother's broad back, after she had wrapped a big shawl over her

The father led the procession. He felt very grand in a coat with long
tails and a tall hat.

Of course, Norah and Katie felt fine in their new gowns. They walked
behind their mother, looking from time to time at her new red petticoat,
and then at their own dresses.

It seemed a longer walk than usual, because they were so anxious to get
there and join in the sport.

"Hear the piper, hear the piper!" shouted Katie, as they at last drew
near the farmhouse. And her little bare feet began to dance along the

A minute more, and the house door opened wide, and the visitors were
made welcome.

The kitchen was not large, and it was already well filled. The big bed
had been moved over into a corner to make room for dancing. The older
people, who did not dance, sat on the edge of the bed, while the
children nestled together on the floor against the wall.

The turf fire was glowing in the big fireplace, and giving a pleasant
welcome to all. On the rafters overhead, some hens were fast asleep, not
seeming to mind the music and laughter in the least.

The piper was playing his jolliest tunes, and two young people were
dancing a jig when Norah arrived.

"Good! good!" cried the rest of the company, as the young girl went
around and around the young man, her partner, never once losing the
step. Her heavy shoes made a great clatter as they came down on the
paved floor.

Her face grew redder and redder. Her breath came harder and harder, but
she would not give up dancing till the piper himself left off playing.

"Let us bob for apples now," said the host. "We will give these young
folks a chance to get their breath."

A big tub of water was brought in, and some apples were set floating in
it. Who would duck for the apples? Every one who had a chance. It did
not matter how old or how young they might be.

It was such fun! One head after another went down into the water to see
who could seize an apple between his teeth without using his hands to
help him.

When the company grew tired of this sport, there were other games and
more lively dances.

Then there were refreshments. There was plenty of tea for the big folks,
and bread and cheese and potato cakes for all.

As they sat eating, the piper began to play a soft, sad tune.

"They do say he learned it of the fairies," whispered Mollie to Norah.

Just then, the children's school-teacher came and sat down beside them.
He heard the word "Fairies."

"Do you believe in fairies?" he asked Norah.

She lifted her blue eyes in surprise.

"Sure, sir. They live in the hills and caves. And there be some, I have
heard, who have their homes under the waves of the sea. This night they
are more lively than at most times.

"Mother was careful this morning not to drain the milk-pail. She wanted
to leave a drop in case the fairy folk should come along and wish for a
sup. And sure, sir, father never puts the fire out at night. He says
maybe the fairies might like to rest a bit on our hearth before the

The schoolmaster smiled, but did not contradict the little girl. He
thought it would only trouble the child.

Norah's father had once said, "The teacher is a man of great larnin'.
And, strange to say, I have heard that people of larnin' have little
belief in fairy folk."

"Would you like me to tell you a story?" asked the teacher, after a
moment or two.

"Oh, plaze do, indade!" said Norah and Mollie together. They loved their
teacher dearly.

Their school was kept in a plain, bare little room with rough benches
and desks. There was nothing bright or pretty about it. But their
teacher was kind, and tried to help them learn. They were always glad to
be with him and hear him talk.

"You have never been to the north of Ireland, have you?" he asked.

"Oh, no, sir. We've never been farther from home than the Lakes of
Killarney," answered Mollie.

"But you know, of course, that this is an island, and if you travel to
the northeastern shore of Ireland you must cross the sea if you want to
go to Scotland."

"Yes, indeed, you showed that to us on the map at school."

"I will tell you of a giant named Finn McCool, who is said to have lived
on that rocky shore. Do you know what a giant is?"

"Oh, yes. He's like any other man, only he's ever and ever so much
bigger," answered Norah.

"Very well, then. This particular giant wished to fight another giant
who lived in Scotland. He invited him to come across the sea to Ireland.
But the Scotch giant was not able to swim. So he answered:

"'I would gladly come if I could, but I cannot get across.'

"'It's an aisy matter to make a road for you,' said Finn. 'It is hardly
worth speaking about.'

"He set to work at once and built a road, or causeway, made of stone
pillars. They were placed close together, and reached upward from the
bed of the sea. Of course, the Scotch giant could not refuse to come

"Could we see it if we went there?" Mollie eagerly asked.

"You could see a part of it. But, according to the legend, it was broken
in two by the sea. Even now, you could walk out upon it for quite a
distance. But the causeway slopes downward into the water, and then
seems to stop. Some people, however, believe it extends under the sea
clear to Scotland.

"It is certainly a wonderful thing, and many people from other countries
go to see it.

"Do you suppose it was really the work of giants, children?"

"Indade, whatever else could it be, sir? No common man could do it."

"No one knows; no one knows," said the schoolmaster, thoughtfully. "But
come, let us join in the songs. We know more about them."

How sweet and clear the voices sounded, as the favourite tunes of
Ireland rang through the farmhouse.

Then came fairy stories and jokes, and the party broke up just as the
little wooden clock on the mantel struck the hour of midnight.



"WAKE up, me darlint. You have been dozing by the fire long enough,"
said Norah's father.

It was a cold evening in winter. Patsy was sound asleep in his bed. The
good mother sat knitting socks for her husband; Mike was whittling a
hockey stick to play with the next day. Little Katie was singing her rag
doll to sleep, while Norah lay on the floor by the fireplace with eyes
shut tight and breathing softly.

When her father touched her cheek and spoke to her, she sprang up with a
sudden start.

"I've been dreaming. Oh, it was such a beautiful dream!" she exclaimed.
"I was with the fairies in a big cave. They were having a party, and
they looked just lovely. Indade, it was the sweetest dream I ever had."

"Do tell us about it," cried Katie. "Oh, do, Norah. And don't forget a
single thing."

Norah's cheeks were rosy red, and her blue eyes sparkled as she painted
the dream picture to the listening family.

She had been in the grand hall of a cave. It was like no other hall she
had ever seen. The walls were shining with precious stones. Shining
pendants hung from the ceiling and glistened in the light given by
hundreds of fairy torches.

But the fairies themselves were the loveliest sight of all. Oh, they
were such tiny creatures! The young lady fairies were all in white, and
their soft, fair hair hung far down over their shoulders.

The young gentlemen fairies wore green jackets and white breeches.

The fairy queen had a golden crown on her head, and when she waved her
golden wand, every one hastened to do her bidding.

They all had sweet, kind faces, and looked lovingly at Norah as they
danced around her to the fairy music.

When Norah had got this far in her story, she turned to her father, and

"Then you called me, and the fairies all looked sad, and
then--then--that's all I can remember."

"The fairies are wonderful people, and we must keep them for our
friends, but I don't want them to call my Norah away from me. You must
never turn your ears to the fairy music, my child."

Norah's father looked serious as he said these words. He had heard of a
young girl who had listened to fairy music. It made her lose all love
for her dearest friends. She forgot everything that had happened in her
life. After that, she could only think of the fairies, and long to be
with them. She died a short time afterward.

But, of course, Norah had only been _dreaming_ of the fairies. That was
quite different.

"Tell us some fairy stories, father dear. It is just the night for
them," begged Katie.

Her father liked nothing better. He began at once to tell of a battle
between two bands of fairies. It was in the night-time, and not far from
the very place where they were living.

Norah's father had seen with his own eyes the man who told the story of
the strange battle.

The fairies were no more than nine inches tall, but there were millions
of them. They marched along in rows just like any other soldiers. The
men of one army were in green coats, and the men of the other in red

When they had drawn up and faced each other, the signal was given to
begin the battle.

What a fight it was! The man who saw it became so excited he began to
shout. Then, lo and behold! every fairy vanished from sight, and he
found himself lying all alone on the roadside.

Had he been asleep? was it all a dream, like that of Norah's? He
declared that was impossible.

The mother and children listened eagerly to the story. They believed
every word of it.

The father did not stop here. He told now of a grand ball given by the
fairies. A woman in Sligo saw it her very own self.

It was out in a big field, and the moon was shining on the beautiful
scene. Hundreds of fireflies flew about the fairies, who were dancing
like angels.

But the music! There was never anything like it in the world. A big frog
played the big fiddle, and two kittens performed on the little ones.
Then there were two big drums beaten by cats, while fat little pigs
blew the trumpets. It must have been a wonderful sight.

"The fairies are very fond of childer," said Mrs. O'Neil. "They are that
fond of them, they sometimes carry away a sleeping baby to their own
home and leave a fairy child in its place. And that's the very truth.
But come, husband, tell one more story before we go to bed."

"Oh, do, do, father!" cried Mike, and Norah and Katie repeated, "Do,
do," after their brother.

How could any father refuse when children begged like that?

Norah took possession of one of his knees, Katie of the other, while
Mike stretched himself out on the floor at his father's feet. As soon as
all was quiet, they listened to the story of "Ethna, the Bride."

Once upon a time there was a great lord, who had a beautiful young wife.
Her name was Ethna. Her husband was so proud of her, he held feasts
every day. All the noblest people in the land came to his castle and
danced and sang and took part in these feasts.

It happened one evening that, in the very midst of a dance, as the fair
Ethna was whirling about through the hall in her rich garments of gauze,
studded with sparkling jewels, she sank lifeless to the floor.

"She has fainted, she has fainted," cried the company.

She was carried to a couch, where she lay for hours without knowing
anything happening about her.

But as the morning light began to creep in through the window, she awoke
and told her husband she had been in the palace of the fairies. It was
very, very beautiful. She longed to go back now and listen to the fairy
music. It filled her with such joy as she had never felt before.

All that day her friends watched her closely, so she might not leave
them again. It was of no use. As soon as the twilight settled down over
the castle, there was the sound of soft music outside the walls.
Instantly the beautiful Ethna closed her eyes and sank to sleep.

Every means was tried to wake her, but in vain. Her nurse was set to
watch her, but for some reason she could not keep awake, and before the
night was over, she, too, fell asleep.

When she awoke, she discovered that her charge was missing. Ah! where
had she gone?

Every place about the castle was searched, but it was of no use. People
were sent now in one direction, now in another, but every one brought
back the same word,--there was no sign nor trace of the fair bride. Then
the young lord said:

"I know where she must be. She has gone to the fairies. I will go to
their king, Finvarra. He has always been a good friend to me. He will
help me to get her back."

Little did he dream that the king of the fairies, even Finvarra himself,
had fallen in love with Ethna, and had spirited her away from her home.

The young lord mounted his horse, and away he rode at full speed till he
came to the hill of the fairies. There he stopped.

All at once he heard voices. This is what he heard:

"Finvarra is happy now. He has won the fair young Ethna. She will never
leave his palace again."

"Ah!" was the reply, "it may happen yet. For if her husband digs down
through this hill, he can win Ethna again."

"We shall see! We shall see!" exclaimed the lord when he heard these

He sent off at once for workmen to come to the fairy hill. They were to
bring pickaxes and spades.

"Dig without stopping," was his command. "Dig till you come to the fairy

A great company of men was soon at work. The air rang with the noise of
their spades striking against the rocks and earth.

When night came they had made a tunnel into the very heart of the hill.
They went home to rest, and with the first light of morning they came
back to go on with their work.

But, behold! The hill looked as though no man had touched it. The dirt
had all been replaced at the order of the powerful fairy king, Finvarra.

The young lord did not give up hope, however. The men were set to work
again, and again the same thing happened as before. The work of the day
was undone the next night. A third time the lord tried, and a third time
he failed.

He was overcome by sorrow and disappointment, when he heard a soft voice
speaking somewhere near him. It said:

"If you sprinkle salt over the earth the men dig up, Finvarra will have
no power over it."

Once more the young lord was filled with hope. He sent out into the land
in every direction to get quantities of salt from the people. And when
the workmen stopped digging at nightfall, the salt was plentifully
sprinkled over the earth.

How anxious the young lord was now! Had he really found a way of
defeating the fairies? The next morning he eagerly hurried to the hill
to see.

What the voice said was really true. The tunnel was just as it had been
left the night before. Another day's work was enough to see it dug clear
to the middle of the hill, and far down into the earth.

And then the men, putting their ears to the ground, could hear fairy
music. Voices, too, could be heard around them. This is what they heard:

"Finvarra is sad at heart. It is no wonder. His palace will crumble to
dust, if one of these mortals touches it with his spade."

"Why does he not save us then, and give up the young bride?" said
another voice.

Then King Finvarra himself spoke, in a true kingly way. He commanded the
workmen to stop digging, promising that at sunset he would give Ethna up
to her husband.

The young lord was glad of heart, and told the men to lay down their
spades. He could hardly wait for evening to come. But it did come at
last, and found the impatient husband sitting on his handsome horse and
waiting by the hillside for his bride.

As the sun lighted the western sky with his most glorious colours,
Ethna, dressed in her silver robe, appeared in the pathway before her

He swept her from the ground in his strong arms, and away they galloped
back to the castle.

But it was not the same Ethna as before the fairy spell had been cast
upon her. Oh, no! She seemed like one half-asleep. Day after day she lay
on her bed with her eyes closed. She did not move or speak.

"She has eaten of the fairy food," said the people. "It will be
impossible to break the spell that has been cast upon her." And every
one was filled with grief.

Three months passed by with no change in Ethna. One night, as the young
lord was riding through the country, he heard a voice speaking near him.
It said:

"The young husband won back his beautiful bride. But what good has it
done him? Her spirit is still with the fairies, and, as far as he is
concerned, she is like one dead."

As soon as this voice became silent, another could be heard, saying:

"There is one way to break the fairy spell. Her husband must take off
her girdle and burn it. Then he must scatter the ashes before the door.
He must not forget to take the enchanted pin by which the girdle is now
fastened and bury it in a deep hole in the earth. This is the only way
of regaining the spirit of his wife."

At these words the young lord was filled with new hope.

He hurried home as fast as his swiftest horse could carry him, and went
at once to the room of his sleeping wife.

He hastened to her side, and began to do exactly as the voice had

He drew out the enchanted pin. He removed the girdle. He burned it in
the fire. Then, carefully gathering the ashes, he scattered them before
the door. The enchanted pin was buried in a deep hole.

He went anxiously back to Ethna's room.

She was already coming back to life. As her husband stood at her side,
she began to smile at him in her old, sweet way.

And now she moved and spoke, and took up her life as in the days before
the fairy spell was cast upon her.

Her husband and all others in the castle were filled with happiness.
There was great rejoicing. The beautiful Ethna was safe, and King
Finvarra never again tried to win her to the fairy realm.

Is it a true story? some one asks. If you do not believe it, you need
only go to the hill through which the tunnel was dug. It can be seen,
even now. And people still call it the Fairies' Glen.

When Norah's father finished the story, the children begged him to tell
"just one more, plaze." But he pointed to the clock.

"Late, late it is for you childer to be up," he said. "It is to bed ye
must go this very minute."

A quarter of an hour afterward, every one in the little cabin was
settled for the night.



NORAH'S friend, Mollie, had just got home from a long journey. At least
it seemed a long one to Norah, who had never been farther away from home
than the Lakes of Killarney.

Mollie had been all the way to Cork and Queenstown with her father and
mother. They went to see Mollie's uncle start for America on a big

Queenstown is at the mouth of the River Lee. It used to be called the
Cove of Cork, but the name was changed to Queenstown in honour of Queen

It seemed a very big place to Mollie. As she described the queer cars
running through the city, and the great steamers at the docks, it was a
wonderful picture that little Norah saw in her mind.

Mollie had gone there in a railway train. When the guard shut her and
her parents inside the car and locked the door, she was a little
frightened at first. Then the engine gave a fearful shriek, and the
train moved.

There were many other people in the car, or rather "compartment of the
railway carriage," as they call it in the British Isles. Their cars are
divided into three or four parts, with doors opening on the sides. Each
part is called a compartment.

It was quite a jolly crowd. Every one seemed in good humour, and
strangers were soon talking together as if they had always known each
other. They told funny stories, they joked and laughed, and Mollie soon
forgot her fear of the fast moving train. "It was just like a party,"
she told Norah.

At every station, the guard unlocked the door and let out those who
were going no farther. Others then got in, so the company was changing
all the time.

The compartment in which Mollie rode was a third-class one, and the
floor and seats were quite bare. But these things did not trouble the
little girl. Her parents could not afford to buy tickets to go first or
second-class. They were glad enough to be able to go at all.

Cork was reached at last, and Mollie could hardly sleep nights after
going about the city in the daytime and seeing the strange sights.

When her uncle had gone away on the big steamer, she went with her
father and mother into some of the mills and factories. She saw glass
spun into beautiful shapes, woollen cloths woven by huge machines, and
many other things made as if by magic.

"Sure, it seems as if these big wheels must be turned by the fairies,"
she said to Norah, as she told her little friend of what she had seen.

It was all very interesting, but Norah liked best of all to hear of
Mollie's visit to Blarney Castle. She asked her to repeat it over and
over again.

Not far away from Cork is the busy little town of Blarney. And a little
way out from Blarney is an old, old castle which is visited by people
from all over the world.

Did you ever hear of the Blarney Stone? Or did you ever hear one person
say to another, who has made a very polite or flattering speech, "Well,
well, I think you must have kissed the Blarney Stone?"

Perhaps you did not understand the reason for such a remark. Now you
shall hear it.

If you ever climb to the top of the walls of Blarney Castle and look
down over the walls on the outside, you will see a certain stone.


It is a magic stone, you may be told. It has a great charm, for, if you
kiss it, you will be blessed ever after with the power of eloquent
speech. Your words to charm and wheedle will never fail you. You will
always be able to say the right thing in the right place at the right
time. You will say it so well you will make yourself very pleasing to
your listeners.

But how is anybody able to kiss the Blarney Stone? It is too far down to
be reached from the top, and too far up to be reached from the bottom.
There is only one way. You must have a rope tied to your waist, and
trust some one to let you down over the wall till you reach it.

There are some people foolish enough to do this very thing.

As Mollie stood looking and wishing she dared try it, she heard some
one telling a story. It was about a young man who got his friends to
lower him out over the wall.

But, just as his lips touched the stone, a shower of coins fell to the
ground below. The young man had forgotten to take the money out of his

Every one laughed at the story, and Mollie wished she could have been
there to see the funny sight.

"I didn't kiss the real Blarney Stone," she told Norah. "But there was
one inside the walls. It was a sort of make-believe Blarney Stone, and
we all kissed that instead."

"Daniel O'Connell must have been to Blarney Castle and kissed the
stone," said Norah, quite seriously. "How else could he have had the
power to move every one by his words? He was a great man. When I grow
up, I'll be after going to the great city of Dublin to see his
monimint. You see if I don't, Mollie darlint."

"Maybe we'll be going together, Norah," was the answer.

And the two little girls skipped arm in arm across the fields of the
beautiful Emerald Isle.


Selections from The Page Company's Books for Young People


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day."--_Utica, N. Y., Observer._


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"It possesses a plot of much merit and through its 324 pages it weaves a
tale of love and of adventure which ranks it among the best books for
girls."--_Cohoes American._



  _Each large 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated,
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"More of such books should be written, books that acquaint young readers
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"Mr. Johnston has done faithful work in this volume, and his relation of
battles, sieges and struggles of these famous Indians with the whites
for the possession of America is a worthy addition to United States
History."--_New York Marine Journal._


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and young men."--_New London Day._


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stirring the blood with thrilling force."--_Pittsburgh Post._


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book of wide appeal to all who love the history of actual
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Who Led the United States and Her Allies to a Glorious Victory.

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will pick out 'the best machine gun in the world;' the man who worked
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"As fascinating as fiction are these biographies, which emphasize their
humble beginning and drive home the truth that just as every soldier of
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youngster carries potential success under his hat."--_New York World._

FAMOUS LEADERS OF CHARACTER: In America from the Latter Half of the
Nineteenth Century

"An informing, interesting and inspiring book for boys."--_Presbyterian

"... Is a book that should be read by every boy in the whole
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be followed. It is well worth reading."--_Cortland Standard._



  12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated by Adelaide
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This story happened many hundreds of years ago in the quaint Flemish
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  Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and
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  12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated by John Goss       $1.50

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MR. DO SOMETHING; Of the Island of Make Believe


    With 8 plates in full color, and many other
          illustrations, cloth decorative, 12mo            $1.75

The pervading genius of the story is "Do Something," a roly-poly fairy,
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  Cloth decorative, 12mo, illustrated      $1.65

Denise is a modern heroine, brave and laughter-loving, with all the
appeal and charm which go to make a fascinating character.



  Cloth decorative, 12mo, illustrated      $1.65

Imagine yourself in this position,--a little girl, moving with your
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quite an important character, as you will see.



  Cloth decorative, 12mo, illustrated      $1.65

This story is marked by a timely point of view. The story tells of the
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  _Each, one volume, cloth decorative, 12mo,_      $1.10



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This book explains how to cook so simply that no one can fail to
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A little girl, home from school on Saturday mornings, finds out how to
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In simple, clear wording, Mrs. Waterman explains every step of the
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This little volume is an excellent guide for the young gardener. In
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  _Each large 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated,
        per volume_                                     $1.65


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_Each large 12mo, cloth, illustrated, per volume_, $1.75


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  _Each large 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated,
        per volume_                                       1.75


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_Published with the approval of "The Boy Scouts of America."_

  _Each, one volume. 12mo, cloth decorative,
        illustrated, per volume_                    $1.75


The story of a bright young factory worker who cannot enlist, but his
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The boys of Gillfield who were not old enough to go to war found just as
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"The best book for boys I have ever read!" says our editor. Mr. Corcoran
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Eleven Volumes

The Hildegarde-Margaret Series, beginning with "Queen Hildegarde" and
ending with "The Merryweathers," make one of the best and most popular
series of books for girls ever written.

  _Each large 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated, per volume_  $1.75
  _The eleven volumes boxed as a set_                          $19.25






  Cloth decorative, 12mo, with eight plates in full
        color and many text illustrations              $1.75

"Little ones will understand and delight in the stories and
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  Cloth decorative, square 12mo, illustrated     $1.75

A charming collection of short stories and clever poems for children.


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A noteworthy collection of short stories and poems for children, which
will prove as popular with mothers as with boys and girls.


  Cloth decorative, square 12mo, illustrated     $1.75

The story of their lives and other wonderful things related by the Man
in the Moon, done in the vernacular from the lunacular form by Laura E.




  Cloth decorative, 12mo, illustrated    $1.75

No girl ever deserved more to have a series of stories written about her
than does HONOR BRIGHT, the newest heroine of a talented author who has
created many charming girls. Born of American parents who die in the far
East, Honor spends her school days at the Pension Madeline in Vevey,
Switzerland, surrounded by playmates of half a dozen nationalities. As
are all of Mrs. Richards' heroines, HONOR BRIGHT is the highest type of
the young girl of America, with all the independence of character which
is American to the core in young as in old.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note: Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Our Little Irish Cousin" ***

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