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Title: School Reading by Grades: Sixth Year
Author: Baldwin, James, 1841-1925
Language: English
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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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "School Reading by Grades: Sixth Year" ***

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  SCHOOL READING BY GRADES

  _SIXTH YEAR_

  BY
  JAMES BALDWIN

  [Illustration]

  NEW YORK      CINCINNATI      CHICAGO
  AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY



  COPYRIGHT, 1897, BY
  AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY.

  SCH. READ. SIXTH YEAR.
  W. P. 12



PREFACE.


The pupil who is in his sixth year at school should be able to read
quite well. He should be able to pronounce at sight and without
hesitation all new or unusual words; and when reading aloud, his tones
should be so clear, his enunciation so faultless, and his manner so
agreeable that his hearers shall listen with pleasure and shall have a
ready understanding of whatever is being read. He is now prepared to
devote more and more attention to literary criticism--that is, to the
study of the peculiarities of style which distinguish any selection,
the passages which are remarkable for their beauty, their truth, or
their adaptation to the particular purpose for which they were
written. The habit should be cultivated of looking for and enjoying
the admirable qualities of any literary production, and particularly
of such productions as are generally recognized as the classics of our
language. While learning to distinguish between good literature and
that sort of writing which, properly speaking, is not literature at
all, the pupil's acquaintance with books is enlarged and extended. He
learns to know what are the best books and why they are so considered;
and he acquires some knowledge of the lives of the best authors and of
the circumstances under which certain of their works were produced.

The present volume is designed to aid the learner in the acquisition
of all these ends. The selections are of a highly interesting
character, and illustrate almost every variety of English composition.
To assist in their comprehension, many of the selections are
introduced or followed by brief historical or bibliographical notes.
Hints also are given as to collateral, or supplementary readings on a
variety of subjects. To assist the pupil still further to enlarge his
acquaintance with books and authors, additional notes, literary and
biographical, are given in the appendix; here also may be found
several pages of brief notes explanatory of difficult passages,
unusual expressions, and historical references, such as might
otherwise be stumbling stones in the way of the learner. The numerous
portraits of authors is another important feature designed to add to
the interest and beauty of the book, and to assist the pupil to a more
intimate acquaintance with the makers of our literature. Most of the
full-page pictures are reproductions of famous paintings, and these,
while serving as illustrations of the text which they accompany, are
designed to introduce the learner to some of the masters of art also,
and perform the more important office of cultivating and enlarging his
æsthetic tastes and sympathies.



CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE

  Two Ways of Telling a Story        _Jean Ingelow_                    7

  The Death of the Flowers           _William Cullen Bryant_          18

  The Great Volcanic Eruption        _J. T. Van Gestel_               20

  The Return of Columbus             _Washington Irving_              25

  What the Sunbeams do               _Arabella B. Buckley_            29

  Horatius at the Bridge             _Thomas Babington Macaulay_      32

  How Sir Francis Drake sailed
      round the World                _James A. Froude_                44

  A Brave Rescue and a Rough Ride    _Richard D. Blackmore_           51

  The Glory of God                   _From the Psalms of David_       65

  The Battle of Bannockburn          _Sir Walter Scott_               66

  The Soldier's Dream                _Thomas Campbell_                75

  Lord Ullin's Daughter              _Thomas Campbell_                76

  Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata                                        78

  The Story of Tempe Wick            _Frank R. Stockton_              83

  Life in Norman England             _W. F. Collier_                  89

  The Romance of the Swan's Nest     _Elizabeth Barrett Browning_     98

  A Patriarch of the Olden Time      _From the "Book of Job"_        102

  How Cortés entered the City of
      Mexico                         _William H. Prescott_           104

  The Skylark                        _James Hogg_                    112

  The Mystery of the Tadpole         _George Henry Lewes_            113

  The Glove and the Lions            _Leigh Hunt_                    119

  True Growth                        _Ben Jonson_                    120

  The Shipwreck                      _Charles Dickens_               121

  The Happy Valley                   _Dr. Samuel Johnson_            135

  The Pass of Killiecrankie          _W. E. Aytoun_                  138

  Summer Rain                        _Henry Ward Beecher_            143

  Life in the Backwoods              _William Dean Howells_          146

  How they besieged the Town         _Charles Reade_                 153

  Lochinvar                          _Sir Walter Scott_              163

  On a Tropical River                _Charles Kingsley_              165

  The Flag of Our Country            _Robert C. Winthrop_            173

  The High Tide on the Coast of
      Lincolnshire, 1571             _Jean Ingelow_                  175

  The Story of Thomas Becket

       I. His Life                   _Anonymous_                     181

      II. His Death                  _Arthur Penrhyn Stanley_        185

  The Pilgrims (1620)                _Edward Everett_                192

  The Landing of the Pilgrims        _Felicia Hemans_                195

  Patriotism                         _William Cowper_                196

  The Robin                          _Charles Conrad Abbott_         197

  Motions of Birds                   _Gilbert White_                 200

  Origin of Rivers                   _John Tyndall_                  202

  Address at the Dedication of
      Gettysburg Cemetery            _Abraham Lincoln_               205

  The American Flag                  _Joseph Rodman Drake_           206

  The Last Fight in the Coliseum,
      A.D. 404                       _Charlotte M. Yonge_            208

  The Passing of Arthur              _Alfred Tennyson_               216

  THE PRINCIPLES OF GOOD READING                                     225

  AUTHORS AND BOOKS                                                  228

  EXPLANATORY NOTES                                                  235


FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.

                                        ARTIST

  Columbus at Barcelona              _R. Balaca_                      24

  The Defense of the Bridge          _A. I. Keller_                   37

  Ruins of a Norman Castle           _From a photograph_              90

  The Lions                          _Rosa Bonheur_                  118

  The Shipwreck                      _A. Marlon_                     129

  Canterbury Cathedral               _From a photograph_             187

  The Departure of the Mayflower     _A. W. Bayes_                   194

  The Last Prayer--Christian
      Martyrs in the Coliseum        _J. L. Gerome_                  212


PORTRAITS OF AUTHORS.

  Washington Irving                                           Title-page

  Thomas Babington Macaulay                                           32

  James Anthony Froude                                                50

  Thomas Campbell                                                     76

  Frank R. Stockton                                                   83

  Elizabeth Barrett Browning                                          98

  William H. Prescott                                                104

  George Henry Lewes                                                 113

  Leigh Hunt                                                         119

  Charles Dickens                                                    121

  Dr. Samuel Johnson                                                 135

  Henry Ward Beecher                                                 143

  William Dean Howells                                               146

  Charles Reade                                                      153

  Charles Kingsley                                                   165

  Jean Ingelow                                                       175

  Arthur Penrhyn Stanley                                             191

  Edward Everett                                                     192

  John Tyndall                                                       202

  Abraham Lincoln                                                    205

  Joseph Rodman Drake                                                206

  Charlotte M. Yonge                                                 208

    Acknowledgments are due to the following persons for their
    courteous permission to use valuable selections from their works:
    Dr. Charles C. Abbott for the essay on "The Robin"; Mr. William
    Dean Howells for his sketch of "Life in the Backwoods"; The J. B.
    Lippincott Company for the selections from Prescott's "Conquest of
    Mexico" and Abbott's "Birdland Echoes"; and Mr. Frank R. Stockton
    for "The Story of Tempe Wicke."



SCHOOL READING.

SIXTH YEAR.



TWO WAYS OF TELLING A STORY.


I.

Who is this? A careless little midshipman, idling about in a great
city, with his pockets full of money.

He is waiting for the coach: it comes up presently, and he gets on the
top of it, and looks about him.

They soon leave the chimney pots behind them; his eyes wander with
delight over the harvest fields, he smells the honeysuckle in the
hedgerow, and he wishes he was down among the hazel bushes, that he
might strip them of the milky nuts; then he sees a great wain piled up
with barley, and he wishes he was seated on the top of it; then they
go through a little wood, and he likes to see the checkered shadows of
the trees lying across the white road; and then a squirrel runs up a
bough, and he can not forbear to whoop and halloo, though he can not
chase it to its nest.

The other passengers are delighted with his simplicity and childlike
glee; and they encourage him to talk to them about the sea and ships,
especially Her Majesty's ship "The Asp," wherein he has the honor to
sail. In the jargon of the sea, he describes her many perfections,
and enlarges on her peculiar advantages; he then confides to them how
a certain middy, having been ordered to the masthead as a punishment,
had seen, while sitting on the topmast crosstrees, something
uncommonly like the sea serpent--but, finding this hint received with
incredulous smiles, he begins to tell them how he hopes that, some
day, he shall be promoted to have charge of the poop. The passengers
hope he will have that honor; they have no doubt he deserves it. His
cheeks flush with pleasure to hear them say so, and he little thinks
that they have no notion in what "that honor" may happen to consist.

The coach stops: the little midshipman, with his hands in his pockets,
sits rattling his money, and singing. There is a poor woman standing
by the door of the village inn; she looks careworn, and well she may,
for, in the spring, her husband went up to the city to seek for work.
He got work, and she was expecting soon to join him there, when alas!
a fellow-workman wrote her word how he had met with an accident, how
he was very ill and wanted his wife to come and nurse him. But she has
two young children, and is destitute; she must walk up all the way,
and she is sick at heart when she thinks that perhaps he may die among
strangers before she can reach him.

She does not think of begging, but seeing the boy's eyes attracted to
her, she makes him a courtesy, and he withdraws his hand and throws
her down a sovereign. She looks at it with incredulous joy, and then
she looks at him.

"It's all right," he says, and the coach starts again, while, full of
gratitude, she hires a cart to take her across the country to the
railway, that the next night she may sit by the bedside of her sick
husband.

The midshipman knows nothing about that; and he never will know.

The passengers go on talking--the little midshipman has told them who
he is, and where he is going; but there is one man who has never
joined in the conversation; he is dark-looking and restless; he sits
apart; he has seen the glitter of the falling coin, and now he watches
the boy more narrowly than before.

He is a strong man, resolute and determined; the boy with the pockets
full of money will be no match for him. The midshipman has told the
other passengers that his father's house is the parsonage at Y----;
the coach goes within five miles of it, and he means to get down at
the nearest point, and walk, or rather run over to his home, through
the great wood.

The man decides to get down too, and go through the wood; he will rob
the little midshipman; perhaps, if he cries out or struggles, he will
do worse. The boy, he thinks, will have no chance against him; it is
quite impossible that he can escape; the way is lonely, and the sun
will be down.

No. There seems indeed little chance of escape; the half-fledged bird
just fluttering down from its nest has no more chance against the
keen-eyed hawk, than the little light-hearted sailor boy will have
against him--at least so thinks the man as he makes his plans.


II.

The coach reaches the village where the boy is to alight. He wishes
the other passengers "good evening," and runs lightly down between the
scattered houses. The man has got down also, and is following.

The path lies through the village churchyard; there is evening
service, and the door is wide open, for it is warm. The little
midshipman stops by the door, looks in, and listens. The clergyman has
just risen, and is giving out his text. Thirteen months have past
since the boy was within a house of prayer; and a feeling of pleasure
and awe induces him to stand still and listen.

"Are not two sparrows [he hears] sold for a farthing? and one of them
shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs
of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not, therefore, ye are of more
value than many sparrows."

He hears the opening sentences of the sermon; and then he remembers
his home, and comes softly out of the porch, full of a calm and
serious pleasure. The clergyman has reminded him of his father, and
his careless heart is now filled with the echoes of his voice and of
his prayers. He thinks on what the clergyman said, of the care of our
heavenly Father for us; he remembers how, when he left home, his
father prayed that he might be preserved through every danger; he does
not remember any particular danger that he has been exposed to,
excepting in the great storm; but he is grateful that he has come home
in safety, and he hopes whenever he shall be in danger, which he
supposes he shall be some day--he hopes, that then the providence of
God will watch over him, and protect him. And so he presses onward to
the entrance of the wood.

The man is there before him. He has pushed himself into the thicket,
and cut a heavy club; he suffers the boy to go on before, and then he
comes out and follows him. It is too light at present for his deed of
darkness and too near the entrance of the wood, but he knows that
shortly the path will branch off into two, and the right one for the
boy to take will be dark and lonely.

But what prompts the little midshipman, when not fifty yards from the
branching of the path, to break into a sudden run? It is not fear, for
he never dreams of danger. Some sudden impulse, or some wild wish for
home, makes him dash off suddenly, with a whoop and a bound. On he
goes, as if running a race; the path bends, and the man loses sight of
him. "But I shall have him yet," he thinks; "he can not keep this pace
up long."

The boy has nearly reached the place where the path divides, when he
startles a young white owl that can scarcely fly, and it goes whirring
along, close to the ground, before him. He gains upon it; another
moment, and it will be his. Now it gets the start again; they come to
the branching of the paths, and the bird goes down the wrong one. The
temptation to follow is too strong to be resisted; he knows that
somewhere, deep in the wood, there is a cross track by which he can
get into the path he has left; if only he runs a little faster, he
shall be at home nearly as soon.

On he rushes; the path takes a bend, and he is just out of sight when
his pursuer comes where the paths divide. The boy has turned to the
right; the man takes the left, and the faster they both run the
farther they are asunder.

The white owl still leads him on; the path gets darker and narrower;
at last he finds that he has missed it altogether, and his feet are on
the soft ground. He flounders about among the trees, vexed with
himself, and panting after his race. At last he finds another track,
and pushes on as fast as he can. He has lost his way--but he keeps
bearing to the left; and, though it is now dark, he thinks that he
must reach the main path sooner or later.

He does not know this part of the wood, but he runs on. O, little
midshipman! why did you chase that owl? If you had kept in the path
with the dark man behind you, there was a chance that you might have
outrun him; or, if he had overtaken you, some passing wayfarer might
have heard your cries, and come to save you. Now you are running on
straight to your death, for the forest water is deep and black at the
bottom of this hill. O, that the moon might come out and show it to you!

The moon is under a thick canopy of heavy black clouds; and there is
not a star to glitter on the water and make it visible. The fern is
soft under his feet as he runs and slips down the sloping hill. At
last he strikes his foot against a stone, stumbles, and falls. Two
minutes more and he will roll into the black water.

"Heyday!" cries the boy, "what's this? Oh, how it tears my hands! Oh,
this thorn bush! Oh, my arms! I can't get free!" He struggles and
pants. "All this comes of leaving the path," he says; "I shouldn't
have cared for rolling down if it hadn't been for this bush. The fern
was soft enough. I'll never stray in a wood at night again. There,
free at last! And my jacket nearly torn off my back!"

With a good deal of patience, and a great many scratches, he gets free
of the thorn which had arrested his progress, when his feet were
within a yard of the water, manages to scramble up the bank, and makes
the best of his way through the wood.

And now, as the clouds move slowly onward, the moon shows her face on
the black surface of the water; and the little white owl comes and
hoots, and flutters over it like a wandering snowdrift. But the boy is
deep in the wood again, and knows nothing of the danger from which he
has escaped.


III.

All this time the dark passenger follows the main track, and believes
that his prey is before him. At last he hears a crashing of dead
boughs, and presently the little midshipman's voice not fifty yards
before him. Yes, it is too true; the boy is in the cross track. He
will pass the cottage in the wood directly, and after that his pursuer
will come upon him.

The boy bounds into the path; but, as he passes the cottage, he is so
thirsty that he thinks he must ask the people if they will sell him a
cup of tea.

He enters without ceremony. "Tea?" says the woodman, who is sitting at
his supper. "No, we have no tea; but perhaps my wife can give thee a
drink of milk. Come in." So he comes in, and shuts the door; and,
while he sits waiting for the milk, footsteps pass. They are the
footsteps of his pursuer, who goes on with the club in his hand, and
is angry and impatient that he has not yet come up with him.

The woman goes to her little dairy for the milk, and the boy thinks
she is a long time. He drinks it, thanks her, and takes his leave.

Fast and fast the man runs on, and, as fast as he can, the boy runs
after him. It is very dark, but there is a yellow streak in the sky,
where the moon is plowing up a furrowed mass of gray cloud, and one or
two stars are blinking through the branches of the trees.

Fast the boy follows, and fast the man runs on, with his weapon in his
hand. Suddenly he hears the joyish whoop--not before, but behind him.
He stops and listens breathlessly. Yes, it is so. He pushes himself
into the thicket, and raises his club to strike when the boy shall pass.

On he comes, running lightly, with his hands in his pockets. A sound
strikes at the same instant on the ears of both; and the boy turns
back from the very jaws of death to listen. It is the sound of wheels,
and it draws rapidly nearer. A man comes up, driving a little gig.

"Halloa?" he says, in a loud, cheerful voice. "What! benighted,
youngster?"

"Oh, is it you, Mr. Davis?" says the boy; "no, I am not benighted; or,
at any rate, I know my way out of the wood."

The man draws farther back among the shrubs. "Why, bless the boy," he
hears the farmer say, "to think of our meeting in this way. The parson
told me he was in hopes of seeing thee some day this week. I'll give
thee a lift. This is a lonely place to be in this time o' night."

"Lonely!" says the boy, laughing. "I don't mind that; and if you know
the way, it's as safe as the quarter-deck."

So he gets into the farmer's gig, and is once more out of reach of the
pursuer. But the man knows that the farmer's house is a quarter of a
mile nearer than the parsonage, and in that quarter of a mile there is
still a chance of committing the robbery. He determines still to make
the attempt, and cuts across the wood with such rapid strides that he
reaches the farmer's gate just as the gig drives up to it.

"Well, thank you, farmer," says the midshipman, as he prepares to get
down.

"I wish you good night, gentlemen," says the man, when he passes.

"Good night, friend," the farmer replies. "I say, my boy, it's a dark
night enough; but I have a mind to drive you on to the parsonage, and
hear the rest of this long tale of yours about the sea serpent."

The little wheels go on again. They pass the man; and he stands still
in the road to listen till the sound dies away. Then he flings his
club into the hedge, and goes back. His evil purposes have all been
frustrated--the thoughtless boy, without knowing anything about it,
has baffled him at every turn.


IV.

And now the little midshipman is at home--the joyful meeting has taken
place; and when they have all admired his growth, and measured his
height on the window frame, and seen him eat his supper, they begin to
question him about his adventures, more for the pleasure of hearing
him talk than any curiosity.

"Adventures!" says the boy, seated between his father and mother on a
sofa. "Why, mother, I wrote you an account of the voyage, and there's
nothing else to tell. Nothing happened to-day--at least nothing
particular."

"Did you come by the coach we told you of?" asks his father.

"Oh, yes, papa; and when we had got about twenty miles, there came up
a beggar, while we changed horses, and I threw down, as I thought, a
shilling, but, as it fell, I saw it was a sovereign. She was very
honest, and showed me what it was, but I didn't take it back, for you
know, it's a long time since I gave anything to anybody."

"Very true, my boy," his mother answers; "but you should not be
careless with your money.

"I suppose you got down at the crossroads?" says his elder brother.

"Yes, and went through the wood. I should have been here sooner if I
hadn't lost my way there."

"Lost your way!" says his mother, alarmed. "My dear boy, you should
not have left the path at dusk."

"Oh, mother," says the little midshipman, with a smile, "you're always
thinking we're in danger. If you could see me sometimes sitting at the
jib-boom end, or across the main topmast crosstrees, you _would_ be
frightened. But what danger can there be in a wood?"

"Well, my boy," she answers, "I don't wish to be over-anxious, and to
make my children uncomfortable by my fears. What did you stray from
the path for?"

"Only to chase a little owl, mother; but I didn't catch her after all.
I got a roll down a bank, and caught my jacket against a thorn bush,
which was rather unlucky. Ah! three large holes I see in my sleeve.
And so I scrambled up again, and got into the path, and stopped at the
cottage for some milk. What a time the woman kept me, to be sure! But
very soon Mr. Davis drove up in his gig, and he brought me on to the
gate."

"And so this story being brought to a close," his father says, "we
find that you had no adventures at all!"

"No, papa, nothing happened; nothing particular, I mean."

Nothing particular! If they could have known, they would have thought
lightly in comparison of the dangers of "the jib-boom end, and the
main topmast crosstrees." But they did not know, any more than we do,
of the dangers that hourly beset us. Some few dangers we are aware of,
and we do what we can to provide against them; but, for the greater
portion, "our eyes are held that we can not see." We walk securely
under His guidance, without whom "not a sparrow falleth to the
ground!" and when we have had escapes that the angels have wondered
at, we come home and say, perhaps, that "nothing has happened; at
least nothing particular."

  --_Jean Ingelow._



THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.


    The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
    Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere.
    Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
    They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread.
    The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
    And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.

    Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang
              and stood
    In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
    Alas! they all are in their graves; the gentle race of flowers
    Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
    The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain
    Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.

    The windflower and the violet, they perished long ago,
    And the brier rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
    But on the hill the goldenrod, and the aster in the wood,
    And the yellow sunflower by the brook in autumn beauty stood,
    Till fell the frost from the clear, cold heaven, as falls the plague
              on men,
    And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and
              glen.

    And now, when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days will
              come,
    To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home;
    When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are
              still,
    And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill,
    The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he
              bore,
    And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

    And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
    The fair, meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.
    In the cold, moist earth we laid her, when the forests cast the
              leaf,
    And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief:
    Yet not unmeet it was that one like that young friend of ours,
    So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.



THE GREAT VOLCANIC ERUPTION.


In 1883 the most destructive volcanic eruption ever known occurred in
the Straits of Sunda and the neighboring islands. The trouble began on
Sunday morning, the 13th of May. Java, Sumatra, and Borneo were
convulsed by earthquakes. The surface of the earth rocked, houses
tumbled down, and big trees were shaken to the ground. Earthquakes are
no rarity in those islands, but this earthquake showed no signs of
ceasing. The earth quivered constantly, and from its depths there
seemed to rise strange sounds and hollow explosions.

On Thursday there came a telegram from Anjer, ninety miles away, on
the northwest coast of Java, intimating that a volcano had broken out
at Krakatoa island, about thirty miles west of Anjer, in Sunda Strait.
I was requested by the Dutch government to go to the scene of action
and take scientific observations, and by four o'clock that afternoon I
started with a party on board a special steamer from Batavia.

As we rounded the northern extremity of Java, we saw ascending from
Krakatoa, still fifty miles away, an immense column of smoke. Its
appearance changed as we approached. First it looked like flame, then it
appeared to be steam, and finally it had the appearance of a pillar of
fire inside one of white fleecy wool. The diameter of this pillar of
fire and smoke was, I should think, at least one and a half miles. All
the while we heard that sullen, thunderous roar which had been a feature
of this disturbance ever since Sunday, and was now becoming louder.

We remained on deck all night and watched. The din increased till we
could with difficulty hear one another's voices. Dawn approached, and
when the rays of the sun fell on the shores of Krakatoa, we saw them
reflected from what we thought was a river, and we resolved to steam
into its mouth and disembark.

When we came to within three quarters of a mile of the shore, we
discovered that what we supposed to be a river was a torrent of molten
sulphur. The smell almost overpowered us. We steamed away to the
windward, and made for the other side of the island.

This island, though volcanic, had up till now been quiet for at least
a century. It was eight or ten miles long and four wide, and was
covered with forests of fine mahogany and rosewood trees. It was
inhabited by a few fishermen, but we found no signs of these people.
The land, down to the water's edge, was covered with powdered pumice
stone, which rained down from the clouds around the great column of
fire. Everything with life had already disappeared from the landscape,
which was covered with a steaming mass of stones and ashes.

Several of us landed and began walking towards the volcano. We sank
deep in the soft pumice, which blistered our feet with its heat. I
climbed painfully upwards toward the crater, in order to measure it
with my sextant; but in a short time the heat melted the mercury off
the mirror of the instrument. I was then half a mile from the crater.

As I was returning to the shore, I saw the bottom of each footstep I
had made on my way up glowing red with the heat from beneath. We
photographed the scene from the deck of the steamer, where the fire
hose was kept playing constantly, wetting the rigging and everything
about the ship to prevent her from taking fire.

The steamer then returned to Batavia, and I went to reside at Anjer.
From my villa on the hillside a mile inland, I could see Krakatoa,
thirty miles away, belching out its never-ending eruption. We supposed
that it would go on till it burned itself out, and that then it would
become quiet again. But in this we were mistaken.

On Sunday morning, the 12th of August, nearly three months later, I
was sitting on the veranda of my house taking my morning cup of tea. I
saw the fishing boats lying at anchor in the bay, the fishermen
themselves being on shore at rest. As my gaze rested on the boats, I
suddenly became aware that they were all beginning to move rapidly in
one direction. Then in an instant, to my intense surprise, they all
disappeared.

I ran farther up the hillside to get a better view, and looked far out
to sea. Instantly a great glare of fire right in the midst of the sea
caught my eye. All the way across the bay and the strait, in a line of
flame reaching to Krakatoa itself, the bottom of the sea seemed to
have cracked open so that the subterraneous fires were belching forth.
On either side the waters were pouring into this gulf with a
tremendous noise, but the fire was not extinguished.

The hissing roar brought out the people of Anjer in excited crowds. My
eyes were turned away for a moment as I beckoned to some one, and
during that moment came a terrible, deafening explosion. It stunned
me; and when I was able again to turn my eyes toward the bay, I could
see nothing. The whole scene was shrouded in darkness, from amid which
came cries and groans, the creaking of breaking beams in the houses,
and, above all, the roar of the breakers on the shore. The city of
Anjer, with its sixty thousand people, had been engulfed!

I afterwards found that the water was one hundred feet deep where the
city of Anjer had been, and that the coast line had moved one and a
half miles inland. A big island in the strait had been split in two,
with a wide passage between its parts. An island to the northwest of
Krakatoa had wholly disappeared. The air was filled with minute
particles of dust, which after some weeks spread even to Europe and
America. What the causes of such a tremendous convulsion may have
been, it is quite impossible accurately to say.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing narrative was written by J. T. Van Gestel, who was at
the time residing in the island of Java. Compare his description of
this event with those of the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction
of Pompeii, given in "School Reading by Grades--Fifth Year." Read also
the younger Pliny's description of the eruption of Vesuvius. It may be
found in Church and Brodribb's translation of selections from Pliny's
Letters. Other interesting readings about volcanoes may be found in
"Volcanoes, Past and Present," by Edward Hull, and in "Volcanoes and
Earthquakes," by Dr. George Hartwig.



[Illustration:

  From the Painting by R. Balaca.      Engraved by Robert Varley.

  Columbus at Barcelona.
]

THE RETURN OF COLUMBUS.


The fame of the discovery made by Columbus had resounded throughout
the nation, and, as his route lay through several of the finest and
most populous provinces of Spain, his journey appeared like the
progress of a sovereign. Wherever he passed, the country poured forth
its inhabitants, who lined the road and thronged the villages. The
streets, windows, and balconies of the towns were filled with eager
spectators, who rent the air with acclamations. His journey was
continually impeded by the multitude pressing to gain a sight of him
and of the Indians, who were regarded with as much astonishment as if
they had been natives of another planet. It was impossible to satisfy
the craving curiosity which assailed himself and his attendants at
every stage with innumerable questions; popular rumor, as usual, had
exaggerated the truth, and had filled the newly found country with all
kinds of wonders.

About the middle of April Columbus arrived at Barcelona, where every
preparation had been made to give him a solemn and magnificent
reception. The beauty and serenity of the weather in that genial
season and favored climate contributed to give splendor to this
memorable ceremony. As he drew near the place, many of the more
youthful courtiers and hidalgos, together with a vast concourse of the
populace, came forth to meet and welcome him. His entrance into this
noble city has been compared to one of those triumphs which the Romans
were accustomed to decree to conquerors. First were paraded the
Indians, painted according to their savage fashion, and decorated with
their national ornaments of gold; after these were borne various kinds
of live parrots, together with stuffed birds and animals of unknown
species, and rare plants supposed to be of precious qualities; while
great care was taken to make a conspicuous display of Indian coronets,
bracelets, and other decorations of gold, which might give an idea of
the wealth of the newly discovered regions. After this followed
Columbus on horseback, surrounded by a brilliant cavalcade of Spanish
chivalry. The streets were almost impassable from the countless
multitude; the windows and balconies were crowded with the fair; the
very roofs were covered with spectators. It seemed as if the public
eye could not be sated with gazing on these trophies of an unknown
world, or on the remarkable man by whom it had been discovered. There
was a sublimity in this event that mingled a solemn feeling with the
public joy. It was looked upon as a vast and signal dispensation of
Providence in reward for the piety of the monarchs; and the majestic
and venerable appearance of the discoverer, so different from the
youth and buoyancy generally expected from roving enterprise, seemed
in harmony with the grandeur and dignity of his achievement.

To receive him with suitable pomp and distinction, the sovereigns had
ordered their throne to be placed in public, under a rich canopy of
brocade of gold, in a vast and splendid saloon. Here the king and
queen awaited his arrival, seated in state, with the Prince Juan
beside them, and attended by the dignitaries of their court, and the
principal nobility of Castile, Valencia, Catalonia, and Aragon, all
impatient to behold the man who had conferred so incalculable a
benefit upon the nation. At length Columbus entered the hall,
surrounded by a brilliant crowd of cavaliers, among whom, says Las
Casas, he was conspicuous for his stately and commanding person,
which, with his countenance rendered venerable by his gray hairs, gave
him the august appearance of a senator of Rome. A modest smile lighted
up his features, showing that he enjoyed the state and glory in which
he came; and certainly nothing could be more deeply moving to a mind
inflamed by noble ambition, and conscious of having greatly deserved,
than these testimonials of the admiration and gratitude of a nation,
or rather of a world. As Columbus approached, the sovereigns rose, as
if receiving a person of the highest rank. Bending his knees, he
offered to kiss their hands; but there was some hesitation on their
part to permit this act of homage. Raising him in the most gracious
manner, they ordered him to seat himself in their presence; a rare
honor in this proud and punctilious court.

At their request, he now gave an account of the most striking events
of his voyage, and a description of the islands discovered. He
displayed specimens of unknown birds and other animals; of rare plants
of medicinal and aromatic virtues; of native gold in dust, in crude
masses, or labored into barbaric ornaments; and, above all, the
natives of these countries, who were objects of intense and
inexhaustible interest. All these he pronounced mere harbingers of
greater discoveries yet to be made, which would add realms of
incalculable wealth to the dominions of their majesties, and whole
nations of proselytes to the true faith.

When he had finished, the sovereigns sank on their knees, and, raising
their clasped hands to heaven, their eyes filled with tears of joy and
gratitude, poured forth thanks and praises to God for so great a
providence; all present followed their example; a deep and solemn
enthusiasm pervaded that splendid assembly, and prevented all common
acclamations of triumph. The anthem _Te Deum laudamus_, chanted by the
choir of the royal chapel, with the accompaniment of instruments, rose
in full body of sacred harmony, bearing up as it were the feelings and
thoughts of the auditors to heaven, "so that" says the venerable Las
Casas, "it seemed as if in that hour they communicated with celestial
delights." Such was the solemn and pious manner in which the brilliant
court of Spain celebrated this sublime event; offering up a grateful
tribute of melody and praise, and giving glory to God for the
discovery of another world.

       *       *       *       *       *

This description of the reception of the great discoverer after his
return from his first voyage, is from Washington Irving's famous book
entitled "The Life and Voyages of Columbus." Other readings on the
same subject are to be found in Prescott's "Ferdinand and Isabella,"
Kingston's "Notable Voyagers," Mrs. Bolton's "Famous Voyagers,"
Saunders' "Story of the Discovery of the New World," and McMaster's
"School History of the United States."



WHAT THE SUNBEAMS DO.


What work do the sunbeams do for us? They do two things,--they give us
light and heat. It is by means of them alone that we see anything.

When the room was dark you could not distinguish the table, the chairs,
or even the walls of the room. Why? Because they had no light waves to
send to your eye. But as the sunbeams began to pour in at the window,
the waves played upon the things in the room; and when they hit them
they bounded off them back to your eye, as a wave of the sea bounds back
from a rock, and strikes against a passing boat. Then, when they fell
upon your eye, they entered it, and excited the retina and the nerves;
and the image of the chair or the table was carried to your brain.

Some substances send back hardly any waves of light, but let them all
pass through them. A pane of clear glass, for instance, lets nearly
all the light waves pass through it; and therefore you often can not
see the glass, because no light messengers come back to you from it.
Thus people have sometimes walked up against a glass door, and broken
it, not seeing it was there.

Those substances are transparent, which, for some reason unknown to
us, allow the ether waves to pass through them. In clear glass, all
the light waves pass through; while in a white wall the larger part of
the rays are reflected back to the eye. Into polished shining metal
the waves hardly enter at all, but are thrown back from the surface;
and so a steel knife or a silver spoon is very bright, and is clearly
seen. Quicksilver is put at the back of looking-glasses because it
reflects so many waves.

The reflected light waves not only make us see things, but they make
us see them in different colors. Imagine a sunbeam playing on a leaf:
part of its waves bound straight back from it to our eye, and make us
see the surface of the leaf; but the rest go right into the leaf
itself, and there some of them are used up and kept prisoners. The
red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet waves are all useful to
the leaf, and it does not let them go again. But it can not absorb the
green waves, and so it throws them back; and they travel to your eye,
and make you see a green color. So, when you say a leaf is green, you
mean that the leaf does not want the green waves of the sunbeam, but
sends them back to you. In the same way the scarlet geranium rejects
the red waves; a white tablecloth sends back nearly the whole of the
waves, and a black coat scarcely any.

Is it not strange that there is really no such thing as color in the
leaf, the table, the coat, or the geranium; that we see them of
different colors because they send back only certain-colored waves to
our eye?

So far we have spoken only of light; but hold your hand in the sun,
and feel the heat of the sunbeams, and then consider if the waves of
heat do not do work also. There are many waves in a sunbeam which move
too slowly to make us see light when they hit our eye; but we can feel
them as heat, though we cannot see them as light.

The simplest way of feeling heat waves is to hold a warm flatiron near
your face. You know that no light comes from it, yet you can feel the
heat waves beating violently against your face.

Now, there are many of these dark heat rays in a sunbeam, and it is
they that do most of the work in the world. It is the heat waves that
make the air hot and light, and so cause it to rise, and make winds
and air currents; and these again give rise to ocean currents. It is
these dark rays, again, that strike upon the land, and give it the
warmth which enables plants to grow. It is they also that keep up the
warmth in our own bodies, both by coming to us directly from the sun,
and also in a very roundabout way through plants.

Coal is made of plants, and the heat it gives out is the heat these
plants once took in. Think how much work is done by burning coal. Not
only are our houses warmed by coal fires and lighted by coal gas, but
our steam engines work entirely by water which has been turned into
steam by the heat of coal fires; and our steamboats travel all over
the world by means of the same power.

In the same way the oil of our lamps comes either from olives, which
grow on trees, or from coal and the remains of plants in the earth.
Even our tallow candles are made of mutton fat, and sheep eat grass;
and so, turn which way we will, we find that the light and heat on our
earth, whether it comes from fires, or candles, or lamps, or gas, is
equally the work of those waves of ether coming from the sun, which
make what we call a sunbeam.

  --_From "The Fairy Land of Science," by Arabella B. Buckley._



HORATIUS AT THE BRIDGE.


Tarquin the Proud was the seventh and last king of Rome. Such were his
acts of tyranny, and such the crimes of his son, "the false Sextus,"
that the people rose in rebellion, and, in the year 509 B.C., drove
him and his family away from Rome and declared that they would have no
more kings. The Tarquins took refuge among the Etruscans, whose
country bordered Rome on the north. They made a treaty of friendship
with Porsena, the king of Clusium, and induced him to raise a large
army for the purpose of forcing the Romans to allow them to return to
power. A battle was fought, and the Romans being defeated were obliged
to flee across the wooden bridge which spanned the Tiber at Rome. To
prevent Porsena from entering the city, the Roman Consul ordered that
the bridge should be destroyed.

[Illustration: Thomas Babington Macaulay.]

The story of the manner in which this was done is told by Lord
Macaulay in his "Lays of Ancient Rome," a collection of heroic ballads
relating to the times of the kings and the early consuls. The author
speaks, not in his own person, but in the person of an ancient
minstrel who is supposed to have lived about one hundred years after
the event, and who therefore knew only what a Roman citizen of that
time could have known.

    But the Consul's brow was sad,
      And the Consul's speech was low,
    And darkly looked he at the wall,
      And darkly at the foe.
    "Their van will be upon us
      Before the bridge goes down;
    And if they once may win the bridge,
      What hope to save the town?"

    Then out spake brave Horatius,
      The captain of the gate:
    "To every man upon this Earth
      Death cometh soon or late;
    And how can man die better
      Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
      And the temples of his gods?

    "Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,
      With all the speed ye may;
    I, with two more to help me,
      Will hold the foe in play.
    In yon strait path a thousand
      May well be stopped by three;
    Now, who will stand on either hand,
      And keep the bridge with me?"

    Then out spake Spurius Lartius,--
      A Ramnian proud was he:
    "Lo, I will stand at thy right hand,
      And keep the bridge with thee."
    And out spake strong Herminius,--
      Of Titian blood was he:
    "I will abide on thy left side,
      And keep the bridge with thee."

    "Horatius," quoth the Consul,
      "As thou say'st, so let it be."
    And straight against that great array
      Forth went the dauntless Three.

        Meanwhile the Tuscan army,
          Right glorious to behold,
    Came flashing back the noonday light,
    Rank behind rank, like surges bright
          Of a broad sea of gold.
    Four hundred trumpets sounded
          A peal of warlike glee,
    As that great host, with measured tread,
    And spears advanced, and ensigns spread,
    Rolled slowly towards the bridge's head,
          Where stood the dauntless Three.

      The Three stood calm and silent,
        And looked upon the foes,
      And a great shout of laughter
        From all the vanguard rose.
      And forth three chiefs came spurring
        Before that deep array;
    To earth they sprang, their swords they drew
    And lifted high their shields, and flew
        To win the narrow way.

    Annus from green Tifernum,
      Lord of the Hill of Vines;
    And Seius, whose eight hundred slaves
      Sicken in Ilva's mines;
    And Picus, long to Clusium
      Vassal in peace and war,
    Who led to fight his Umbrian powers
    From that gray crag where, girt with towers,
    The fortress of Nequinum lowers
      O'er the pale waves of Nar.

    Stout Lartius hurled down Annus
      Into the stream beneath:
    Herminius struck at Seius,
      And clove him to the teeth:
    At Picus brave Horatius
      Darted one fiery thrust;
    And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms
      Clashed in the bloody dust.

    And now no sound of laughter
      Was heard among the foes.
    A wild and wrathful clamor
      From all the vanguard rose.
    Six spears' length from the entrance
      Halted that mighty mass,
    And for a space no man came forth
      To win the narrow pass.

    But hark! the cry is Astur:
      And lo! the ranks divide;
    And the great Lord of Luna
      Comes with his stately stride.
    Upon his ample shoulders
      Clangs loud the fourfold shield,
    And in his hand he shakes the brand
      Which none but he can wield.

    He smiled on those bold Romans
      A smile serene and high;
    He eyed the flinching Tuscans,
      And scorn was in his eye.
    Quoth he, "The she-wolf's litter
      Stand savagely at bay:
    But will ye dare to follow,
      If Astur clears the way?"

    Then whirling up his broadsword
      With both hands to the height,
    He rushed against Horatius,
      And smote with all his might.
    With shield and blade Horatius
      Right deftly turned the blow.
    The blow, though turned, came yet too nigh;
    It missed his helm, but gashed his thigh:
    The Tuscans raised a joyful cry
      To see the red blood flow.

[Illustration:

  Drawn by A. I. Keller.      Engraved by Robert Varley.

  The Defense of the Bridge.
]

    He reeled, and on Herminius
      He leaned one breathing space;
    Then, like a wild cat mad with wounds,
      Sprang right at Astur's face.
    Through teeth and skull and helmet,
      So fierce a thrust he sped,
    The good sword stood a handbreadth out
      Behind the Tuscan's head!

    And the great Lord of Luna
      Fell at that deadly stroke,
    As falls on Mount Alvernus
      A thunder-smitten oak.
    Far o'er the crashing forest
      The giant arms lie spread;
    And the pale augurs, muttering low,
      Gaze on the blasted head.

    Then all Etruria's noblest
      Felt their hearts sink to see
    On the earth the bloody corpses,
      In the path the dauntless Three:
    And, from the ghastly entrance
      Where those bold Romans stood,
    All shrank, like boys who unaware,
    Ranging the woods to start a hare,
    Come to the mouth of the dark lair,
    Where, growling low, a fierce old bear
      Lies amidst bones and blood.

    Yet one man for one moment
      Stood out before the crowd;
    Well known was he to all the Three,
      And they gave him greeting loud:
    "Now welcome, welcome, Sextus!
      Now welcome to thy home!
    Why dost thou stay and turn away?
      Here lies the road to Rome."

    Thrice looked he at the city;
      Thrice looked he at the dead;
    And thrice came on in fury,
      And thrice turned back in dread:
    And, white with fear and hatred,
      Scowled at the narrow way
    Where, wallowing in a pool of blood,
      The bravest Tuscans lay.

    But meanwhile ax and lever
      Have manfully been plied,
    And now the bridge hangs tottering
      Above the boiling tide.
    "Come back, come back, Horatius!"
      Loud cried the Fathers all.
    "Back, Lartius! Back, Herminius!
      Back, ere the ruin fall!"

    Back darted Spurius Lartius;
      Herminius darted back;
    And, as they passed, beneath their feet
      They felt the timbers crack.
    But when they turned their faces,
      And on the farther shore
    Saw brave Horatius stand alone,
      They would have crossed once more.

    But with a crash like thunder
      Fell every loosened beam,
    And, like a dam, the mighty wreck
      Lay right athwart the stream:
    And a long shout of triumph
      Rose from the walls of Rome,
    As to the highest turret tops
      Was splashed the yellow-foam.

    Alone stood brave Horatius,
      But constant still in mind;
    Thrice thirty thousand foes before,
      And the broad flood behind.
    "Down with him!" cried false Sextus,
      With a smile on his pale face.
    "Now, yield thee!" cried Lars Porsena,
      "Now yield thee to our grace."

    Round turned he, as not deigning
      Those craven ranks to see;
    Naught spake he to Lars Porsena,
      To Sextus naught spake he;
    But he saw on Palatinus
      The white porch of his home;
    And he spake to the noble river
      That rolls by the tower of Rome:

    "O, Tiber! Father Tiber!
      To whom the Romans pray,
    A Roman's life, a Roman's arms,
      Take thou in charge this day!"
    So he spake, and speaking sheathed
      The good sword by his side,
    And with his harness on his back,
      Plunged headlong in the tide.

    No sound of joy or sorrow
      Was heard from either bank;
    But friends and foes, in dumb surprise,
    With parted lips and straining eyes,
      Stood gazing where he sank:
    And when above the surges
      They saw his crest appear,
    All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry,
    And even the ranks of Tuscany
      Could scarce forbear to cheer.

    But fiercely ran the current,
      Swollen high by months of rain:
    And fast his blood was flowing;
      And he was sore in pain,
    And heavy with his armor,
      And spent with changing blows:
    And oft they thought him sinking,
      But still again he rose.

    "Curse on him!" quoth false Sextus,
      "Will not the villain drown?
    But for this stay, ere close of day
      We should have sacked the town!"--
    "Heaven help him!" quoth Lars Porsena,
      "And bring him safe to shore;
    For such a gallant feat of arms
      Was never seen before."

    And now he feels the bottom;
      Now on dry earth he stands;
    Now round him throng the Fathers,
      To press his gory hands;
    And now with shouts and clapping,
      And noise of weeping loud,
    He enters through the River Gate,
      Borne by the joyous crowd.

    They gave him of the corn land,
      That was of public right,
    As much as two strong oxen
      Could plow from morn till night;
    And they made a molten image,
      And set it up on high,
    And there it stands unto this day
      To witness if I lie.

    And still his name sounds stirring
      Unto the men of Rome,
    As the trumpet-blast that cries to them
      To charge the Volscians home.
    And mothers pray to Juno
      For boys with hearts as bold
    As his who kept the bridge so well
      In the brave days of old.

    And in the nights of winter
      When the cold north winds blow,
    And the long howling of the wolves
      Is heard amidst the snow;
    When round the lonely cottage
      Roars loud the tempest's din,
    And the good logs of Algidus
      Roar louder yet within;

    When the oldest cask is opened,
      And the largest lamp is lit;
    When the chestnuts glow in the embers,
      And the kid turns on the spit;
    When young and old in circle
      Around the firebrands close;
    When the girls are weaving baskets,
      And the lads are shaping bows;

    When the goodman mends his armor,
      And trims his helmet's plume;
    When the goodwife's shuttle merrily
      Goes flashing through the loom;
    With weeping and with laughter
      Still is the story told,
    How well Horatius kept the bridge
      In the brave days of old.



HOW SIR FRANCIS DRAKE SAILED ROUND THE WORLD.


The ships which the Spaniards used on the Pacific were usually built
on the spot. But Magellan was known to have gone by the Horn, and
where a Portuguese could go an Englishman could go. Drake proposed to
try. The vessels in which he was preparing to tempt fortune seem
preposterously small. The "Pelican," or "Golden Hind," which belonged
to Drake himself, was but 120 tons, at best no larger than a modern
racing yawl, though perhaps no racing yawl was ever better equipped
for the work which she had to do. The next, the "Elizabeth" of London,
was said to be eighty tons; a small pinnace of twelve tons, in which
we should hardly risk a summer cruise round the Land's End, with two
sloops or frigates of fifty and thirty tons, made the rest. The
"Elizabeth" was commanded by Captain Winter, a queen's officer, and
perhaps a son of the old admiral.

[Illustration: Sir Francis Drake.]

We may credit Drake with knowing what he was about. He and his
comrades were carrying their lives in their hands. If they were taken
they would be inevitably hanged. Their safety depended on speed of
sailing, and specially on the power of working fast to windward,
which the heavy square-rigged ships could not do. The crews all told
were one hundred and sixty men and boys.

On November 15th, 1577, the "Pelican" and her consorts sailed out of
Plymouth Sound. The elements frowned on their start. On the second day
they were caught in a winter gale. The "Pelican" sprung her mainmast,
and they put back to refit and repair. Before the middle of December
all was again in order. The weather mended, and with a fair wind and
smooth water they made a fast run down the coast to the Cape de Verde
Islands. There taking up the northeast Trades, they struck across the
Atlantic. They passed the mouth of the Plate River, finding to their
astonishment fresh water at the ship's side in fifty-four fathoms. On
June 20th they reached Port St. Julian on the coast of Patagonia.

It was now midwinter, the stormiest season of the year, and they
remained for six weeks in Port St. Julian. They burnt the twelve-ton
pinnace, as too small for the work they had now before them, and there
remained only the "Pelican," the "Elizabeth," and the "Marigold." In
cold, wild weather they weighed at last, and on August 20th made the
opening of Magellan's Straits. The passage is seventy miles long,
tortuous and dangerous. They had no charts. Icy mountains overhung
them on either side; heavy snow fell below. They brought up
occasionally at an island to rest the men, and let them kill a few
seals and penguins to give them fresh food. Everything they saw was
new, wild, and wonderful.

Having to feel their way, they were three weeks in getting through.
They had counted on reaching the Pacific that the worst of their work
was over, and that they could run north at once into warmer and calmer
latitudes. The peaceful ocean, when they entered it, proved the
stormiest they had ever sailed on. A fierce westerly gale drove them
six hundred miles to the southeast outside the Horn. The "Marigold"
went down in the tremendous encounter. Captain Winter in the
"Elizabeth" made his way back into Magellan's Straits. There he lay
for three weeks, lighting fires nightly to show Drake where he was;
but no Drake appeared. They had agreed, if separated, to meet on the
coast in the latitude of Valparaiso; but Winter was chicken-hearted,
and sore, we are told, "against the mariners' will," when the three
weeks were out, he sailed away for England, where he reported that all
the ships were lost but the "Pelican," and that the "Pelican" was
probably lost too.

Drake had believed better of Winter, and had not expected to be so
deserted. He had himself taken refuge among the islands which form the
Cape, waiting for the spring and milder weather. He used the time in
making surveys, and observing the habits of the native Patagonians.
The days lengthened, and the sea smoothed at last. He then sailed for
Valparaiso, hoping to meet Winter there, as he had arranged. At
Valparaiso there was no Winter, but there was in the port instead a
great galleon just come in from Peru. The galleon's crew took him for
a Spaniard, hoisted their colors, and beat their drums. The "Pelican"
shot alongside. The English sailors in high spirits leaped on board.
No life was taken; Drake never hurt man if he could help it. The crew
jumped overboard, and swam ashore. The prize was examined. Four
hundred pounds' weight of gold was found in her, besides other plunder.

Drake went on next to Tarapaca, where silver from the Andes mines was
shipped for Panama. At Tarapaca there was the same unconsciousness of
danger. The silver bars lay piled on the quay, the muleteers who had
brought them were sleeping peacefully in the sunshine at their side.
The muleteers were left to their slumbers. The bars were lifted into
the English boats. A train of mules or llamas came in at that moment
with a second load as rich as the first. This, too, went into the
"Pelican's" hold. The bullion taken at Tarapaca was worth nearly half
a million ducats.

Still there was no news of Winter. Drake began to realize that he was
now entirely alone, and had only himself and his own crew to depend
on. There was nothing to do but to go through with it, danger adding
to the interest. Arica was the next point visited. Half a hundred
blocks of silver were picked up at Arica. After Arica came Lima, the
chief depot of all, where the grandest haul was looked for. At Lima,
alas! they were just too late. Twelve great hulks lay anchored there.
The sails were unbent, the men were ashore. They contained nothing but
some chests of reels and a few bales of silk and linen. But a
thirteenth, called the "Cacafuego," had sailed a few days before for
the Isthmus with the whole produce of the Lima mines for the season.
Her ballast was silver, her cargo gold and emeralds and rubies.

Drake deliberately cut the cables of the ships in the roads, that they
might drive ashore and be unable to follow him. The "Pelican" spread her
wings, and sped away in pursuit. He would know the "Cacafuego," so he
learned at Lima, by the peculiar cut of her sails. The first man who
caught sight of her was promised a gold chain for his reward. A sail was
seen on the second day. It was not the chase, but it was worth stopping
for. Eighty pounds' weight of gold was found, and a great gold crucifix,
set with emeralds said to be as large as pigeons' eggs.

We learn from the Spanish accounts that the Viceroy of Lima, as soon
as he recovered from his astonishment, dispatched ships in pursuit.
They came up with the last plundered vessel, heard terrible tales of
the rovers' strength, and went back for a larger force. The "Pelican"
meanwhile went along upon her course for eight hundred miles. At
length, off Quito, and close under the shore, the "Cacafuego's"
peculiar sails were sighted, and the gold chain was claimed. There she
was, going lazily along a few miles ahead. Care was needed in
approaching her. If she guessed the "Pelican's" character she would
run in upon the land, and they would lose her. It was afternoon. The
sun was still above the horizon, and Drake meant to wait till night,
when the breeze would be off the shore, as in the tropics it always is.

The "Pelican" sailed two feet to the "Cacafuego's" one. Drake filled his
empty wine skins with water and trailed them astern to stop his way. The
chase supposed that she was followed by some heavily-loaded trader,
and, wishing for company on a lonely voyage, she slackened sail, and
waited for him to come up. At length the sun went down into the ocean,
the rosy light faded from off the snows of the Andes; and when both
ships had become invisible from the shore, the skins were hauled in, the
night wind rose, and the water began to ripple under the "Pelican's"
bows. The "Cacafuego" was swiftly overtaken, and when within a cable's
length a voice hailed her to put her head into the wind. The Spanish
commander, not understanding so strange an order, held on his course. A
broadside brought down his mainyard, and a flight of arrows rattled on
his deck. He was himself wounded. In a few minutes he was a prisoner,
and the ship and her precious freight were in the corsair's power. The
wreck was cut away; the ship was cleared; a prize crew was put on board.
Both vessels turned their heads to the sea. At daybreak no land was to
be seen, and the examination of the prize began. The full value was
never acknowledged. The invoice, if there was one, was destroyed. The
accurate figures were known only to Drake and Queen Elizabeth. A
published schedule acknowledged to twenty tons of silver bullion,
thirteen chests of silver coins, and a hundredweight of gold, but there
were gold nuggets beside in indefinite quantity, and "a great store" of
pearls, emeralds, and diamonds.

Drake, we are told, was greatly satisfied. He thought it prudent to
stay in the neighborhood no longer than necessary. He went north with
all sail set, taking his prize along with him. The master, San Juan de
Anton, was removed on board the "Pelican," to have his wound attended
to. He remained as Drake's guest for a week, and sent in a report of
what he observed to the Spanish government. One at least of Drake's
party spoke excellent Spanish. This person took San Juan over the
ship. She showed signs, San Juan said, of rough service, but was still
in fine condition, with ample arms, spare rope, mattocks, carpenters'
tools of all descriptions. There were eighty-five men on board all
told, fifty of them men of war, the rest young fellows, ship boys, and
the like. Drake himself was treated with great reverence; a sentinel
stood always at his cabin door. He dined alone with music.

[Illustration: James Anthony Froude.]

The "Pelican" met with many other adventures, and at last sailed for
home. Sweeping in fine clear weather round the Cape of Good Hope, she
touched once for water at Sierra Leone, and finally sailed in triumph
into Plymouth Harbor.

English sympathy with an extraordinary exploit is always irresistible.
Shouts of applause rang through the country; and Elizabeth, every bit
of her an English-woman, felt with her subjects. She sent for Drake to
London, made him tell his story over and over again, and was never
weary of listening to him.

  --_From "English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century,"
  by James Anthony Froude._



A BRAVE RESCUE AND A ROUGH RIDE.


It happened upon a November evening (when I was about fifteen years
old, and outgrowing my strength very rapidly, my sister Annie being
turned thirteen, and a deal of rain having fallen, and all the troughs
in the yard being flooded, and the bark from the wood ricks washed
down the gutter, and even our watershoot growing brown) that the ducks
in the barnyard made a terrible quacking, instead of marching off to
their pen, one behind another. Thereupon Annie and I ran out to see
what might be the sense of it. There were thirteen ducks, and ten
lily-white (as the fashion of ducks then was), not, I mean,
twenty-three in all, but ten white and three brown-striped ones; and
without being nice about their color, they all quacked very movingly.
They pushed their gold-colored bills here and there (yet dirty, as
gold is apt to be), and they jumped on the triangles of their feet,
and sounded out of their nostrils; and some of the overexcited ones
ran along low on the ground, quacking grievously, with their bills
snapping and bending, and the roof of their mouths exhibited.

Annie began to cry "dilly, dilly, einy, einy, ducksey," according to
the burden of a tune they seem to have accepted as the national ducks'
anthem; but instead of being soothed by it, they only quacked three
times as hard, and ran round till we were giddy. And then they shook
their tails all together, and looked grave, and went round and round
again.

Now, I am uncommonly fond of ducks, whether roystering, roosting, or
roasted; and it is a fine sight to behold them walk, paddling one after
another, with their toes out, like soldiers drilling, and their little
eyes cocked all ways at once, and the way that they dib with their
bills, and dabble, and throw up their heads and enjoy something, and
then tell the others about it. Therefore, I knew at once, by the way
they were carrying on, that there must be something or other gone wholly
amiss in the duck world. Sister Annie perceived it, too, but with a
greater quickness; for she counted them like a good duck wife, and could
only tell thirteen of them, when she knew there ought to be fourteen.

And so we began to search about, and the ducks ran to lead us aright,
having come that far to fetch us; and when we got down to the foot of
the courtyard where the two great ash trees stand by the side of the
little water, we found good reason for the urgence and melancholy of
the duck birds. Lo! the old white drake, the father of all, a bird of
high manners and chivalry, always the last to help himself from the
pan of barley meal, and the first to show fight to a dog or cock
intruding upon his family, this fine fellow, and a pillar of the
state, was now in a sad predicament, yet quacking very stoutly.

For the brook, wherewith he had been familiar from his callow
childhood, and wherein he was wont to quest for water newts, and
tadpoles, and caddice worms, and other game, this brook, which
afforded him very often scanty space to dabble in, and sometimes
starved the cresses, was now coming down in a great brown flood, as if
the banks never belonged to it. The foaming of it, and the noise, and
the cresting of the corners, and the up and down, like the wave of the
sea, were enough to frighten any duck, though bred upon stormy waters,
which our ducks never had been.

There is always a hurdle six feet long and four and a half in depth,
swung by a chain at either end from an oak laid across the channel.
And the use of this hurdle is to keep our kine at milking time from
straying away there drinking (for in truth they are very dainty) and
to fence strange cattle, or Farmer Snowe's horses, from coming along
the bed of the brook unknown, to steal our substance.

But now this hurdle, which hung in the summer a foot above the
trickle, would have been dipped more than two feet deep but for the
power against it. For the torrent came down so vehemently that the
chains in full stretch were creaking, and the hurdle buffeted almost
flat, and thatched (so to say), with the drift stuff, was going seesaw
with a sulky splash on the dirty red comb of the waters.

But saddest to see was between two bars, where a fog was of rushes,
and flood wood, and wild celery, and dead crow's-foot. For there was
our venerable mallard jammed in by the joint of his shoulder, speaking
aloud as he rose and fell, with his topknot full of water, unable to
comprehend it, with his tail washed far away from him, but often
compelled to be silent, being ducked very harshly against his will by
the choking fall to of the hurdle.

For a moment I could not help laughing; because, being borne high up
and dry by a tumult of the torrent, he gave me a look from his one
little eye (having lost one in fight with a turkey cock), a gaze of
appealing sorrow, and then a loud quack to second it. But the quack
came out of time, I suppose, for his throat got filled with water, as
the hurdle carried him back again. And then there was scarcely the
screw of his tail to be seen until he swung up again, and left small
doubt, by the way he spluttered, and failed to quack, and hung down
his poor crest, but what he must drown in another minute, and frogs
triumph over his body.

Annie was crying and wringing her hands, and I was about to rush into
the water, although I liked not the look of it, but hoped to hold on
by the hurdle, when a man on horseback came suddenly round the corner
of the great ash hedge on the other side of the stream, and his
horse's feet were in the water.

"Ho, there," he cried, "get thee back, boy! The flood will carry thee
down like a straw. I will do it for thee, and no trouble."

With that he leaned forward, and spoke to his mare--she was just of
the tint of a strawberry, a young thing, very beautiful--and she
arched up her neck, as misliking the job; yet, trusting him, would
attempt it. She entered the flood, with her dainty fore legs sloped
further and further in front of her, and her delicate ears pricked
forward, and the size of her great eyes increasing; but he kept her
straight in the turbid rush, by the pressure of his knee on her.

Then she looked back, and wondered at him, as the force of the torrent
grew stronger, but he bade her go on; and on she went, and it foamed
up over her shoulders; and she tossed up her lip and scorned it, for
now her courage was waking.

Then, as the rush of it swept her away, and she struck with her
forefeet down the stream, he leaned from his saddle in a manner which
I never could have thought possible, and caught up old Tom with his
left hand, and set him between his hostlers, and smiled at his faint
quack of gratitude. In a moment all three were carried down stream,
and the rider lay flat on his horse, and tossed the hurdle clear from
him, and made for the bend of smooth water.

They landed some thirty or forty yards lower, in the midst of our
kitchen garden, where the winter cabbage was; but though Annie and I
crept in through the hedge, and were full of our thanks and admiring
him, he would answer us never a word until he had spoken in full to
the mare, as if explaining the whole to her.

"Sweetheart, I know thou couldst have leaped it," he said, as he
patted her cheek, being on the ground by this time, and she was
nudging up to him, with the water pattering off from her; "but I had
good reason, Winnie dear, for making thee go through it."

She answered him kindly with her soft eyes, and sniffed at him very
lovingly, and they understood one another. Then he took from his
waistcoat two peppercorns, and made the old drake swallow them, and
tried him softly on his legs, where the leading gap in the hedge was.

Old Tom stood up quite bravely, and clapped his wings, and shook off
the wet from his tail feathers; and then away into the courtyard, and
his family gathered around him, and they all made a noise in their
throats, and stood up, and put their bills together, to thank God for
his great deliverance.

Having taken all this trouble, and watched the end of that adventure,
the gentleman turned round to us with a pleasant smile on his face, as
if he were lightly amused with himself; and we came up and looked at
him. He was rather short, about John Fry's height, or maybe a little
taller, but very strongly built and springy, as his gait at every step
showed plainly, although his legs were bowed with much riding, and he
looked as if he lived on horseback.

To a boy like me he seemed very old, being over twenty, and well found
in beard; but he was not more than four and twenty, fresh and ruddy
looking, with a short nose and keen blue eyes, and a merry, waggish
jerk about him, as if the world were not in earnest. Yet he had a
sharp, stern way, like the crack of a pistol, if anything misliked
him; and we knew (for children see such things) that it was safer to
tickle than buffet him.

"Well, young ones, what be gaping at?" He gave pretty Annie a chuck on
the chin, and took me all in without winking.

"Your mare," said I, standing stoutly up, being a tall boy now; "I
never saw such a beauty, sir. Will you let me have a ride on her?"

"Think thou couldst ride her, lad? She will have no burden but mine.
Thou couldst never ride her! Tut! I would be loath to kill thee."

"Ride her!" I cried, with the bravest scorn, for she looked so kind and
gentle; "there never was horse upon Exmoor but I could tackle in half an
hour. Only I never ride upon saddle. Take those leathers off of her."

He looked at me with a dry little whistle, and thrust his hands into
his pockets, and so grinned that I could not stand it. And Annie laid
hold of me in such a way that I was almost mad with her. And he
laughed, and approved her for doing so. And the worst of all was--he
said nothing.

"Get away, Annie. Do you think I'm a fool, good sir? Only trust me
with her, and I will not override her."

"For that I will go bail, my son. She is liker to override thee. But
the ground is soft to fall upon, after all this rain. Now come out
into the yard, young man, for the sake of your mother's cabbages. And
the mellow straw bed will be softer for thee, since pride must have
its fall. I am thy mother's cousin, boy, and I'm going up to the
house. Tom Faggus is my name, as everybody knows, and this is my young
mare, Winnie."

What a fool I must have been not to know it at once! Tom Faggus, the
great highwayman, and his young blood mare, the strawberry. Already
her fame was noised abroad, nearly as much as her master's, and my
longing to ride her grew tenfold, but fear came at the back of it. Not
that I had the smallest fear of what the mare could do to me, by fair
play and horse trickery, but that the glory of sitting upon her seemed
to be too great for me; especially as there were rumors abroad that
she was not a mare, after all, but a witch.

However, she looked like a filly all over, and wonderfully beautiful
with her supple stride, and soft slope of shoulder, and glossy coat
beaded with water, and prominent eyes full of docile fire. Whether this
came from her Eastern blood of the Arabs newly imported, and whether the
cream color, mixed with our bay, led to that bright strawberry tint, is
certainly more than I can decide, being chiefly acquaint with farm
horses. And these are of any color and form; you never can count what
they will be, and are lucky to get four legs to them.

Mr. Faggus gave his mare a wink, and she walked demurely after him, a
bright young thing, flowing over with life, yet dropping her soul to a
higher one, and led by love to anything, as the manner is of such
creatures, when they know what is the best for them. Then Winnie trod
lightly upon the straw, because it had soft muck under it, and her
delicate feet came back again.

"Up for it still, boy, be ye?" Tom Faggus stopped, and the mare
stopped there; and they looked at me provokingly.

"Is she able to leap, sir? There is good take-off on this side of the
brook."

Mr. Faggus laughed very quietly, turning round to Winnie so that she
might enter into it. And she, for her part, seemed to know exactly
where the fun lay.

"Good tumble off, you mean, my boy. Well, there can be small harm to
thee. I am akin to thy family, and know the substance of their skulls."

"Let me get up," said I, waxing wroth, for reasons I can not tell
you, because they are too manifold; "take off your saddlebag things. I
will try not to squeeze her ribs in, unless she plays nonsense with me."

Then Mr. Faggus was up on his mettle at this proud speech of mine, and
John Fry was running up all the while, and Bill Dadds, and half a
dozen others. Tom Faggus gave one glance around, and then dropped all
regard for me. The high repute of his mare was at stake, and what was
my life compared to it? Through my defiance, and stupid ways, here was
I in a duello, and my legs not come to their strength yet, and my arms
as limp as herring.

Something of this occurred to him, even in his wrath with me, for he
spoke very softly to the filly, who now could scarce subdue herself;
but she drew in her nostrils, and breathed to his breath, and did all
she could to answer him.

"Not too hard, my dear," he said; "let him gently down on the mixen.
That will be quite enough." Then he turned the saddle off, and I was
up in a moment. She began at first so easily, and pricked her ears so
lovingly, and minced about as if pleased to find so light a weight
upon her, that I thought she knew I could ride a little, and feared to
show any capers. "Gee wugg, Polly!" cried I, for all the men were now
looking on, being then at the leaving-off time; "gee wugg, Polly, and
show what thou be'est made of." With that I plugged my heels into her,
and Billy Dadds flung his hat up.

Nevertheless, she outraged not, though her eyes were frightening Annie,
and John Fry took a pick to keep him safe; but she curbed to and fro
with her strong forearms rising like springs ingathered, waiting and
quivering grievously, and beginning to sweat about it. Then her master
gave a shrill, clear whistle, when her ears were bent toward him, and I
felt her form beneath me gathering up like whalebone, and her hind legs
coming under her, and I knew that I was in for it.

First she reared upright in the air, and struck me full on the nose
with her comb, till I bled worse than Robin Snell made me; and then
down with her fore feet deep in the straw, and with her hind feet
going to heaven. Finding me stick to her still like wax, for my mettle
was up as hers was, away she flew with me swifter than ever I went
before, or since, I trow.

She drove full head at the cob wall--"Oh, Jack, slip off!" screamed
Annie--then she turned like light, when I thought to crush her, and
ground my left knee against it. "Dear me!" I cried, for my breeches were
broken, and short words went the farthest--"if you kill me, you shall
die with me." Then she took the courtyard gate at a leap, knocking my
words between my teeth, and then right over a quickset hedge, as if the
sky were a breath to her; and away for the water meadows, while I lay on
her neck like a child and wished I had never been born.

Straight away, all in the front of the wind, and scattering clouds
around her, all I know of the speed we made was the frightful flash of
her shoulders, and her mane like trees in a tempest. I felt the earth
under us rushing away, and the air left far behind us, and my breath
came and went, and I prayed to God, and was sorry to be so late of it.

All the long swift while, without power of thought, I clung to her
crest and shoulders, and was proud of holding on so long, though sure
of being beaten. Then in her fury at feeling me still, she rushed at
another device for it, and leaped the wide water-trough sideways
across, to and fro, till no breath was left in me. The hazel boughs
took me too hard in the face, and the tall dog-briers got hold of me,
and the ache of my back was like crimping a fish, till I longed to
give it up, thoroughly beaten, and lie there and die in the cresses.

But there came a shrill whistle from up the home hill, where the
people had hurried to watch us, and the mare stopped as if with a
bullet, then set off for home with the speed of a swallow, and going
as smoothly and silently. I never had dreamed of such delicate motion,
fluent, and graceful, and ambient, soft as the breeze flitting over
the flowers, but swift as the summer lightning.

I sat up again, but my strength was all spent, and no time left to
recover it; and though she rose at our gate like a bird, I tumbled off
into the soft mud.

"Well done, lad," Mr. Faggus said, good-naturedly; for all were now
gathered round me, as I rose from the ground, somewhat tottering, and
miry, and crest-fallen, but otherwise none the worse (having fallen
upon my head, which is of uncommon substance); "not at all bad work,
my boy; we may teach you to ride by and by, I see; I thought not to
see you stick on so long--"

"I should have stuck on much longer, sir, if her sides had not been
wet. She was so slippery--"

"Boy, thou art right. She hath given many the slip. Ha! ha! Vex not,
Jack, that I laugh at thee. She is like a sweetheart to me, and better
than any of them be. It would have gone to my heart if thou hadst
conquered. None but I can ride my Winnie mare."

"Foul shame to thee, then, Tom Faggus," cried mother, coming up
suddenly, and speaking so that all were amazed, having never seen her
wrathful, "to put my boy, my boy, across her, as if his life were no
more than thine! A man would have taken thy mad horse and thee, and
flung them both into a horse pond--ay, and what's more, I'll have it
done now, if a hair of his head is injured. Oh, my boy, my boy! Put up
the other arm, Johnny." All the time mother was scolding so, she was
feeling me and wiping me; while Faggus tried to look greatly ashamed,
having sense of the ways of women.

"Only look at his jacket, mother!" cried Annie; "and a shilling's
worth gone from his smallclothes!"

"What care I for his clothes, thou goose? Take that, and heed thine own
a bit." And mother gave Annie a slap which sent her swinging up against
Mr. Faggus, and he caught her, and kissed and protected her; and she
looked at him very nicely, with great tears in her soft blue eyes.

"Oh, fie upon thee, fie upon thee," cried mother (being yet more vexed
with him, because she had beaten Annie); "after all we have done for
thee, and saved thy worthless neck--and to try to kill my son for me!
Never more shall horse of thine enter stable here, since these be thy
returns to me. Small thanks to you, John Fry, I say; much you care for
your master's son!"

"Well, missus, what could us do?" began John; "Jan wudd goo, now
wudd't her, Jem? And how was us--"

"Jan, indeed! Master John, if you please, to a lad of his years and
stature. And now, Tom Faggus, be off, if you please, and think
yourself lucky to go so."

Everybody looked at mother, to hear her talk like that, knowing how
quiet she was day by day, and how pleasant to be cheated. And the men
began to shoulder their shovels, both so as to be away from her, and
to go and tell their wives of it. Winnie, too, was looking at her,
being pointed at so much, and wondering if she had done amiss. And
then she came to me, and trembled, and stooped her head, and asked my
pardon, if she had been too proud with me.

"Winnie shall stop here to-night," said I, for Tom Faggus still said
never a word all the while, but began to buckle his things on.
"Mother, I tell you Winnie shall stop; else I will go away with her. I
never knew what it was, till now, to ride a horse worth riding."

"Young man," said Tom Faggus, still preparing sternly to depart, "you
know more about a horse than any man on Exmoor. Your mother may well
be proud of you, but she need have had no fear. As if I, Tom Faggus,
your father's cousin--and the only thing I am proud of--would ever
have let you mount my mare, which dukes and princes have vainly
sought, except for the courage in your eyes, and the look of your
father about you. I knew you could ride when I saw you, and rarely
you have conquered. But women don't understand us."

With that he fetched a heavy sigh, and feebly got upon Winnie's back,
and she came to say farewell to me. He lifted his hat to my mother
with a glance of sorrow, but never a word, and to me he said: "Open
the gate, Cousin John, if you please. You have beaten her so, that she
cannot leap it, poor thing."

But, before he was truly gone out of our yard, my mother came softly
after him, with her afternoon apron across her eyes, and one hand
ready to offer him. Nevertheless, he made as if he had not seen her,
though he let his horse go slowly. "Stop, Cousin Tom," my mother said,
"a word with you before you go."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Lorna Doone," by Richard Blackmore, from which this extract is taken,
is justly regarded as one of the few really great romances written in
the latter part of the nineteenth century. It is a story of the times
of Charles II., and culminates about the time of the rebellion of
Monmouth in 1685. The narrative is supposed to be related by a sturdy
farmer of Exmoor, named John Ridd, who is the hero of the tale. The
main part of the action centers round the deeds of a band of outlaws
called the Doones, who had established themselves in a narrow valley
of Exmoor, from whence they levied tribute upon their neighbors and
bade defiance to the officers of the law. The quaint and homely style
in which the story is written wins the admiration of all readers, and
gives to the work an indefinable charm.



THE GLORY OF GOD.


    The heavens declare the glory of God;
    And the firmament sheweth his handywork.
    Day unto day uttereth speech,
    And night unto night sheweth knowledge,
    There is no speech nor language,
    Where their voice is not heard.
    Their line is gone out through all the earth,
    And their words to the end of the world.
    In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
    Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    And rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
    His going forth is from the end of the heaven,
    And his circuit unto the ends of it:
    And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
    The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
    The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
    The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
    The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
    The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
    The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
    More to be desired are they than gold; yea than much fine gold;
    Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
    Moreover by them is thy servant warned;
    And in keeping of them there is great reward.
    Who can understand his errors?
    Cleanse thou me from secret faults.
    Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;
    Let them not have dominion over me:
    Then shall I be upright, and I shall be
    Innocent from the great transgression.
    Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart,
    Be acceptable in thy sight,
    O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

  --_From the Psalms of David._



THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN.


The Battle of Bannockburn, in Scotland, was one of the most famous in
history. It was fought June 24th, 1314, between Robert Bruce of
Scotland and Edward II. of England. The army of Bruce consisted of
30,000 men; that of Edward of 100,000, of whom 52,000 were archers.
The story of the battle is thus described by Sir Walter Scott in his
"Tales of a Grandfather":

    Now when Sir Philip Mowbray, the governor of Stirling, came to
    London, to tell the King, that Stirling, the last Scottish town of
    importance which remained in possession of the English, was to be
    surrendered if it were not relieved by force of arms before
    midsummer, then all the English nobles called out, it would be a
    sin and shame to permit the fair conquest which Edward the First
    had made, to be forfeited to the Scots for want of fighting. It
    was, therefore, resolved, that the King should go himself to
    Scotland, with as great forces as he could possibly muster.

    King Edward the Second, therefore, assembled one of the greatest
    armies which a King of England ever commanded. There were troops
    brought from all his dominions. Many brave soldiers from the
    French provinces which the King of England possessed in
    France,--many Irish, many Welsh,--and all the great English nobles
    and barons, with their followers, were assembled in one great army.

    King Robert the Bruce summoned all his nobles and barons to join
    him, when he heard of the great preparations which the King of
    England was making. They were not so numerous as the English by many
    thousand men. In fact, his whole army did not very much exceed
    thirty thousand, and they were much worse armed than the wealthy
    Englishmen; but then, Robert, who was at their head, was one of the
    most expert generals of the time; and the officers he had under him,
    were his brother Edward, his nephew Randolph, his faithful follower
    the Douglas, and other brave and experienced leaders, who commanded
    the same men that had been accustomed to fight and gain victories
    under every disadvantage of situation and numbers.

    The King, on his part, studied how he might supply, by address and
    stratagem, what he wanted in numbers and strength. He knew the
    superiority of the English, both in their heavy-armed cavalry,
    which were much better mounted and armed than that of the Scots,
    and in their archers, who were better trained than any others in
    the world. Both these advantages he resolved to provide against.
    With this purpose, he led his army down into a plain near
    Stirling, called the Park, near which, and beneath it, the English
    army must needs pass through a boggy country, broken with water
    courses, while the Scots occupied hard dry ground. He then caused
    all the ground upon the front of his line of battle, where cavalry
    were likely to act, to be dug full of holes, about as deep as a
    man's knee. They were filled with light brushwood, and the turf
    was laid on the top, so that it appeared a plain field, while in
    reality it was all full of these pits as a honeycomb is of holes.
    He also, it is said, caused steel spikes, called calthrops, to be
    scattered up and down in the plain, where the English cavalry were
    most likely to advance, trusting in that manner to lame and
    destroy their horses.

    When the Scottish army was drawn up, the line stretched north and
    south. On the south, it was terminated by the banks of the brook
    called Bannockburn, which are so rocky, that no troops could attack
    them there. On the left, the Scottish line extended near to the town
    of Stirling. Bruce reviewed his troops very carefully; all the
    useless servants, drivers of carts, and such like, of whom there
    were very many, he ordered to go behind a height, afterwards, in
    memory of the event, called the Gillies' hill, that is, the
    Servants' hill. He then spoke to the soldiers, and expressed his
    determination to gain the victory, or to lose his life on the field
    of battle. He desired that all those who did not propose to fight to
    the last, should leave the field before the battle began, and that
    none should remain except those who were determined to take the
    issue of victory or death, as God should send it.

    When the main body of his army was thus placed in order, the King
    posted Randolph, with a body of horse, near to the Church of St.
    Ninian's, commanding him to use the utmost diligence to prevent
    any succors from being thrown into Stirling Castle. He then
    dispatched James of Douglas, and Sir Robert Keith, the Mareschal
    of the Scottish army, in order that they might survey, as nearly
    as they could, the English force, which was now approaching from
    Falkirk. They returned with information, that the approach of that
    vast host was one of the most beautiful and terrible sights which
    could be seen,--that the whole country seemed covered with men at
    arms on horse and foot,--that the number of standards, banners,
    and pennons (all flags of different kinds) made so gallant a show,
    that the bravest and most numerous host in Christendom might be
    alarmed to see King Edward moving against them.

    It was upon the twenty-third of June (1314) the King of Scotland
    heard the news, that the English army were approaching Stirling.
    He drew out his army, therefore, in the order which he had before
    resolved on. After a short time, Bruce, who was looking out
    anxiously for the enemy, saw a body of English cavalry trying to
    get into Stirling from the eastward. This was the Lord Clifford,
    who, with a chosen body of eight hundred horse had been detached
    to relieve the castle.

    "See, Randolph," said the King to his nephew, "there is a rose
    fallen from your chaplet." By this he meant that Randolph had lost
    some honor, by suffering the enemy to pass where he had been
    stationed to hinder them. Randolph made no reply, but rushed
    against Clifford with little more than half his number. The Scots
    were on foot. The English turned to charge them with their lances,
    and Randolph drew up his men in close order to receive the onset.
    He seemed to be in so much danger, that Douglas asked leave of the
    King to go and assist him. The King refused him permission.

    "Let Randolph," he said, "redeem his own fault; I can not break
    the order of battle for his sake." Still the danger appeared
    greater, and the English horse seemed entirely to encompass the
    small handful of Scottish infantry. "So please you," said Douglas
    to the King, "my heart will not suffer me to stand idle and see
    Randolph perish--I must go to his assistance." He rode off
    accordingly; but long before they had reached the place of combat,
    they saw the English horses galloping off, many with empty saddles.

    "Halt!" said Douglas to his men, "Randolph has gained the day;
    since we were not soon enough to help him in the battle, do not
    let us lessen his glory by approaching the field." Now, that was
    nobly done; especially as Douglas and Randolph were always
    contending which should rise highest in the good opinion of the
    King and the nation.

    The van of the English army now came in sight, and a number of
    their bravest knights drew near to see what the Scots were doing.
    They saw King Robert dressed in his armor, and distinguished by a
    gold crown, which he wore over his helmet. He was not mounted on
    his great war horse, because he did not expect to fight that
    evening. But he rode on a little pony up and down the ranks of his
    army, putting his men in order, and carried in his hand a short
    battle ax made of steel. When the King saw the English horsemen
    draw near, he advanced a little before his own men, that he might
    look at them more nearly.

    There was a knight among the English, called Sir Henry de Bohun,
    who thought this would be a good opportunity to gain great fame to
    himself, and put an end to the war, by killing King Robert. The
    King being poorly mounted, and having no lance, Bohun galloped on
    him suddenly and furiously, thinking, with his long spear, and his
    tall powerful horse, easily to bear him down to the ground. King
    Robert saw him, and permitted him to come very near, then suddenly
    turned his pony a little to one side, so that Sir Henry missed him
    with the lance point, and was in the act of being carried past him
    by the career of his horse. But as he passed, King Robert rose up
    in his stirrups, and struck Sir Henry on the head with his battle
    ax so terrible a blow, that it broke to pieces his iron helmet as
    if it had been a nutshell, and hurled him from his saddle. He was
    dead before he reached the ground. This gallant action was blamed
    by the Scottish leaders, who thought Bruce ought not to have
    exposed himself to so much danger, when the safety of the whole
    army depended on him. The King only kept looking at his weapon,
    which was injured by the force of the blow, and said, "I have
    broken my good battle ax."

    The next morning, being the twenty-fourth of June, at break of day,
    the battle began in terrible earnest. The English as they advanced
    saw the Scots getting into line. The Abbot of Inchaffray walked
    through their ranks barefooted, and exhorted them to fight for their
    freedom. They kneeled down as he passed, and prayed to heaven for
    victory. King Edward, who saw this, called out, "They kneel
    down--they are asking forgiveness." "Yes," said a celebrated English
    baron, called Ingelram de Umphraville, "but they ask it from God,
    not from us--these men will conquer, or die upon the field."

    The English King ordered his men to begin the battle. The archers
    then bent their bows, and began to shoot so closely together, that
    the arrows fell like flakes of snow on a Christmas day. But Bruce,
    as I told you before, was prepared for them. He had in readiness a
    body of men at arms well mounted, who rode at full gallop among the
    archers, and as they had no weapons save their bows and arrows,
    which they could not use when they were attacked hand to hand, they
    were cut down in great numbers, and thrown into total confusion.

    The fine English cavalry then advanced to support their archers,
    and to attack the Scottish line. But coming over the ground, which
    was dug full of pits, the horses fell into these holes, and the
    riders lay tumbling about, without any means of defense, and
    unable to rise, from the weight of their armor. The Englishmen
    began to fall into general disorder; and the Scottish King,
    bringing up more of his forces, attacked and pressed them still
    more closely.

    On a sudden, while the battle was obstinately maintained on both
    sides, an event happened which decided the victory. The servants
    and attendants on the Scottish camp had, as I told you, been sent
    behind the army to a place afterwards called the Gillies' hill.
    But when they saw that their masters were likely to gain the day,
    they rushed from their place of concealment with such weapons as
    they could get, that they might have their share in the victory
    and in the spoil. The English, seeing them come suddenly over the
    hill, mistook this disorderly rabble for a new army coming up to
    sustain the Scots, and, losing all heart, began to shift every man
    for himself. Edward himself left the field as fast as he could
    ride. A valiant knight, Sir Giles de Argentine, attended the King
    till he got him out of the press of the combat. But he would
    retreat no farther. "It is not my custom," he said, "to fly." With
    that he took leave of the King, set spurs to horse, and calling
    out his war cry of Argentine! Argentine! he rushed into the
    thickest of the Scottish ranks, and was killed.

    Edward first fled to Stirling Castle, and entreated admittance;
    but Sir Philip Mowbray, the governor, reminded the fugitive
    sovereign that he was obliged to surrender the castle next day, so
    Edward was fain to fly through the Torwood, closely pursued by
    Douglas with a body of cavalry. An odd circumstance happened
    during the chase, which showed how loosely some of the Scottish
    barons of that day held their political opinions: As Douglas was
    riding furiously after Edward, he met a Scottish knight, Sir
    Laurence Abernethy, with twenty horse. Sir Laurence had hitherto
    owned the English interest, and was bringing this band of
    followers to serve King Edward's army. But learning from Douglas
    that the English King was entirely defeated, he changed sides on
    the spot, and was easily prevailed upon to join Douglas in
    pursuing the unfortunate Edward, with the very followers whom he
    had been leading to join his standard.

    Douglas and Abernethy followed King Edward as far as Dunbar, where
    the English had still a friend, in the governor, Patrick, Earl of
    March. The Earl received Edward in his forlorn condition, and
    furnished him with a fishing skiff, or small ship, in which he
    escaped to England, having entirely lost his fine army, and a
    great number of his bravest nobles.

    The English never before or afterwards, whether in France or
    Scotland, lost so dreadful a battle as that of Bannockburn, nor
    did the Scots ever gain one of the same importance.

Such is the story that is told by Sir Walter Scott in his "Tales of a
Grandfather." It will be interesting now to read Burns's poem
beginning, "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled," which we can easily
imagine to be Bruce's address to his men at the beginning of the great
fight. Read also Sir Walter Scott's metrical description of the
battle, in the long poem entitled "The Lord of the Isles."



THE SOLDIER'S DREAM.


    Our bugles sang truce; for the night cloud had lowered,
      And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
    And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered--
      The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

    When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
      By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain,
    At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
      And thrice ere the morning I dreamed it again.

    Methought from the battlefield's dreadful array,
      Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track;
    'Twas autumn--and sunshine arose on the way
      To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.

    I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
      In life's morning march, when my bosom was young;
    I heard my own mountain goats bleating aloft,
      And knew the sweet strain that the corn reapers sung.

    Then pledged we the wine cup, and fondly I swore
      From my home and my weeping friends never to part;
    My little ones kissed me a thousand times o'er,
      And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart.

    "Stay, stay with us!--rest; thou art weary and worn!"
      And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;
    But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
      And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away!

  --_Thomas Campbell._



LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER.


    A chieftain, to the Highlands bound,
      Cries, "Boatman, do not tarry!
    And I'll give thee a silver pound
      To row us o'er the ferry."

    "Now who be ye, would cross Lochgyle,
      This dark and stormy water?"
    "Oh, I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,
      And this Lord Ullin's daughter.

[Illustration: Thomas Campbell.]

    "And fast before her father's men
      Three days we've fled together;
    For should he find us in the glen,
      My blood would stain the heather.

    "His horsemen hard behind us ride:
      Should they our steps discover,
    Then who will cheer my bonny bride
      When they have slain her lover?"

    Out spoke the hardy Highland wight:
      "I'll go, my chief: I'm ready
    It is not for your silver bright,
      But for your winsome lady;

    "And, by my word, the bonny bird
      In danger shall not tarry;
    So, though the waves are raging white,
      I'll row you o'er the ferry."

    By this the storm grew loud apace;
      The water wraith was shrieking;
    And in the scowl of heaven each face
      Grew dark as they were speaking.

    But still, as wilder blew the wind,
      And as the night grew drearer,
    Adown the glen rode arméd men;
      Their trampling sounded nearer.

    "Oh haste thee, haste," the lady cries,
      "Though tempests round us gather,
    I'll meet the raging of the skies,
      But not an angry father."

    The boat has left a stormy land,
      A stormy sea before her,
    When, oh, too strong for human hand,
      The tempest gathered o'er her.

    And still they rowed amidst the roar
      Of waters fast prevailing.
    Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore:
      His wrath was changed to wailing;

    For, sore dismayed, through storm and shade,
      His child he did discover:
    One lovely hand she stretch'd for aid,
      And one was round her lover.

    "Come back! come back!" he cried in grief,
      "Across this stormy water;
    And I'll forgive your Highland chief,
      My daughter! oh, my daughter!"

    'Twas vain! The loud waves lashed the shore,
      Return or aid preventing:
    The waters wild went o'er his child,
      And he was left lamenting.

  --_Thomas Campbell._



BEETHOVEN'S MOONLIGHT SONATA.


Among the great musical composers of modern times there have been few
who rank with Ludwig van Beethoven. This famous man was born in Bonn,
Germany, in 1770; he died at Vienna in 1827. It may be truthfully said
that the works of Beethoven created a new epoch in the history and
development of music, and his compositions lose none of their
popularity as the years go by.

Beethoven's life was a sad one. He was alone in the world, deaf, and the
object of unkind treatment by those who should have been his friends.
How nobly he rose above all petty annoyances, we can readily understand
when we listen to the grand and solemn strains of his immortal music.
The following story illustrates the kindliness of his nature and shows
how some of his works seemed to be almost the result of inspiration.

       *       *       *       *       *

It happened at Bonn. One moonlight winter's evening I called upon
Beethoven; for I wished him to take a walk, and afterwards sup with
me. In passing through a dark, narrow street, he suddenly paused.
"Hush!" he said, "what sound is that? It is from my Sonata in F. Hark!
how well it is played!"

[Illustration: Ludwig van Beethoven.]

It was a little, mean dwelling, and we paused outside and listened.
The player went on; but, in the midst of the finale, there was a
sudden break; then the voice of sobbing. "I cannot play any more. It
is so beautiful; it is utterly beyond my power to do it justice. Oh,
what would I not give to go to the concert at Cologne!"

"Ah! my sister," said her companion; "why create regrets when there is
no remedy? We can scarcely pay our rent."

"You are right, and yet I wish for once in my life to hear some really
good music. But it is of no use."

Beethoven looked at me. "Let us go in," he said.

"Go in!" I exclaimed. "What can we go in for?"

"I will play to her," he said, in an excited tone. "Here is
feeling--genius--understanding! I will play to her, and she will
understand it." And, before I could prevent him, his hand was upon
the door. It opened, and we entered.

A pale young man was sitting by the table, making shoes; and near him,
leaning sorrowfully upon an old-fashioned piano, sat a young girl,
with a profusion of light hair falling over her face.

"Pardon me," said Beethoven, "but I heard music and was tempted to
enter. I am a musician."

The girl blushed, and the young man looked grave and somewhat annoyed.

"I--I also overheard something of what you said," continued my friend.
"You wish to hear--that is, you would like--that is--shall I play for
you?"

There was something so odd in the whole affair, and something so
comical and pleasant in the manner of the speaker, that the spell was
broken in a moment.

"Thank you," said the shoemaker; "but our piano is so wretched, and we
have no music."

"No music!" echoed my friend; "how, then, does the young lady--" He
paused, and colored; for, as he looked in the girl's face, he saw that
she was blind. "I--I entreat your pardon," he stammered. "I had not
perceived before. Then you play by ear? But where do you hear the
music, since you frequent no concerts?"

"We lived at Bruhl for two years, and while there, I used to hear a
lady practicing near us. During the summer evenings her windows were
generally open, and I walked to and fro outside to listen to her."

She seemed so shy that Beethoven said no more, but seated himself
quietly before the piano and began to play. He had no sooner struck
the first chord than I knew what would follow. Never, during all the
years I knew him, did I hear him play as he then played to that blind
girl and her brother. He seemed to be inspired; and, from the instant
that his fingers began to wander along the keys, the very tone of the
instrument seemed to grow sweeter and more equal.

The brother and sister were silent with wonder and rapture. The former
laid aside his work; the latter, with her head bent slightly forward,
and her hands pressed tightly over her breast, crouched down near the
end of the piano, as if fearful lest even the beating of her heart
should break the flow of those magical sounds.

Suddenly the flame of the single candle wavered, sank, flickered, and
went out. Beethoven paused, and I threw open the shutters, admitting a
flood of brilliant moonlight. The room was almost as light as before,
the moon's rays falling strongest upon the piano and player. His head
dropped upon his breast; his hands rested upon his knees; he seemed
absorbed in deep thought. He remained thus for some time. At length
the young shoemaker rose and approached him eagerly.

"Wonderful man!" he said, in a low tone. "Who and what are you?"

"Listen!" said Beethoven, and he played the opening bars of the Sonata
in F. A cry of recognition burst from them both, and exclaiming, "Then
you are Beethoven!" they covered his hands with tears and kisses.

He rose to go, but we held him back with entreaties. "Play to us once
more--only once more!"

He suffered himself to be led back to the instrument. The moon shone
brightly in through the window, and lighted up his glorious, ragged
head and massive figure. "I will improvise a Sonata to the Moonlight!"
said he, looking up thoughtfully to the sky and stars. Then his hands
dropped on the keys, and he began playing a sad and infinitely lovely
movement, which crept gently over the instrument, like the calm flow
of moonlight over the dark earth. This was followed by a wild, elfin
passage in triple time--a sort of grotesque interlude, like the dance
of sprites upon the lawn. Then came a swift agitato finale--a
breathless, hurrying, trembling movement, descriptive of flight, and
uncertainty, and vague impulsive terror, which carried us away on its
rustling wings, and left us all in emotion and wonder.

"Farewell to you!" said Beethoven, pushing back his chair, and turning
toward the door--"farewell to you!"

"You will come again?" asked they, in one breath.

He paused and looked compassionately, almost tenderly, at the face of
the blind girl.

"Yes, yes," he said hurriedly, "I will come again, and give the young
lady some lessons! Farewell! I will come again!"

Their looks followed us in silence more eloquent than words till we
were out of sight.

"Let us make haste back," said Beethoven, "that I may write out that
Sonata while I can yet remember it."

We did so, and he sat over it until long past day dawn. And this was
the origin of that Moonlight Sonata with which we are all so fondly
acquainted.



THE STORY OF TEMPE WICK.


There are so many curious and unexpected things which may happen in time
of war, especially to people who live in parts of a country where the
enemy may be expected to come, or where the friendly army is already
encamped, that it is impossible to guard against unpleasant occurrences;
and it often happens that the only thing to be depended upon when an
emergency arises, is presence of mind, and quickness of wit.

[Illustration: Frank R. Stockton.]

In these qualities, New Jersey girls have never shown themselves behind
their sisters of other parts of the country, and a very good proof of
this is shown by an incident which took place near Morristown during the
time that the American army was quartered in that neighborhood.

Not far from the town was a farm then known as Wick's farm, situated
in a beautiful wooded country. The daughter of Mr. Wick, named Tempe
(probably short for Temperance), was the owner of a very fine horse,
and on this beautiful animal it was her delight to ride over the roads
and through the woods of the surrounding country. She had been
accustomed to horses since she was a child, and was not afraid to ride
anywhere by herself.

When she first began to canter over these hills and dales, it had been
in times of peace, when there was nothing in this quiet country of
which any one might be afraid; and now, although these were days of
war, she felt no fear. There were soldiers not far away, but these she
looked upon as her friends and protectors; for Washington and his army
had encamped in that region to defend the country against the approach
of the enemy. If any straggling Redcoats should feel a desire to come
along the hills, they would be very apt to restrain their inclinations
so long as they knew that that brave American army was encamped near by.

So Miss Tempe Wick, fearing nothing, rode far and wide, as she had
been in the habit of doing, and every day she and her good steed
became better and better acquainted with each other.

One fine afternoon, as Tempe was slowly riding homeward, within a mile
of her house, she met half a dozen soldiers in Continental uniform,
and two of them, stepping in front of her, called upon her to stop.
When she had done so, one of them seized her bridle. She did not know
the men; but still, as they belonged to Washington's army, who were
her countrymen and friends, she saw no reason to be afraid, and asked
them what they wanted.

At first she received no answer, for they were very busily occupied in
looking at her horse and expressing their satisfaction at the fine
points of the animal. Tempe had had her horse praised before; but
these men were looking at him, and talking about him, very much as if
he were for sale and they were thinking of buying. Presently one of
the men said to her that this was a very excellent horse that she was
riding, and they wanted it. To this Tempe exclaimed, in great
amazement, that it was her own horse, that she wanted him herself, and
had no wish to dispose of him. Some of the soldiers laughed, and one
of them told her that the troops were about to move, and that good
horses were greatly needed, and that they had orders to levy upon the
surrounding country and take horses wherever they could find them.

Now was Tempe astonished beyond measure. If half a dozen British
soldiers had surrounded her, and had declared that they intended to
rob her of her horse, she would not have wondered at it, for they
would have taken it as the property of an enemy. But that the soldiers
of her own country, the men on whom she and all her friends and
neighbors depended for protection and safety, should turn on her and
rob her, as if they had been a set of marauding Hessians, was
something she could scarcely comprehend. But it did not take her long
to understand, that no matter who they were or what they
were,--whether they thought they had a right to do what they
threatened, or whether they had no regard for right and justice,--they
were in earnest, and intended to take her horse. When this conviction
flashed into the mind of Tempe Wick, there also flashed into it a
determination to show these men that a Jersey girl had a will of her
own, and that if they wanted her property, they would have to do a
great deal more than simply to come to her and ask her to hand it over
to them.

After a little parley, during which the man who held her bridle let go
of it, supposing she was about to dismount, she suddenly gave her
spirited horse a sharp cut with the whip, dashed between two of the
soldiers, and before they could comprehend what had happened she was
off and away.

As fast as they could run, the soldiers followed her, one or two of
them firing their guns in the air, thinking to frighten her and make
her stop; but, as though she had been a deer and her pursuers ordinary
hunters, she swiftly sped away from them.

But they did not give up the chase. Some of them knew where this girl
lived, and were confident that when they reached her house, they would
have the horse. If they had known it was such a fine animal, they
would have come after it before. According to their belief, good
horses should go into the army, and people who staid at home, and
expected other people to fight for them, ought to be willing to do
what they could to help in the good cause, and at least give their
horses to the army.

As Tempe sat upon her bounding steed, she knew very well that the
soldiers could never catch her; but her heart sank within her as she
thought of what would happen when they came to the farm and demanded
her horse. Running away from them was only postponing her trouble for
a little while, for there was no one about the place who could prevent
those men from going to the barn and taking away the animal.

It would be of no use to pass her house and ride on and on. Where
should she go? She must come back sometime, and all the soldiers would
have to do would be to halt at the farm, and wait until she returned.
And even if she should take her horse into the wood and tie him to a
tree, they would know by her coming back on foot that she had left him
at no great distance, and they would be sure to follow his tracks and
find him.

As Tempe rode swiftly on, her thoughts galloped as fast as her horse,
and before she reached the house she had come to a conclusion as to
the best thing to be done. She did not ride toward the barn, but
dashed through the gateway of the large yard, and sprang from her
steed. As she turned in, she looked down the road; but the men were
not in sight. What she was going to do was something which people
never did, but it was the only thing she could think of, and she was a
girl whose actions were as quick as her ideas were original. Without
stopping an instant, she took her horse to the back door, and led him
boldly into the house.

This was not the sort of stable to which Tempe's horse or any other
American horse was accustomed; but this animal knew his mistress, and
where she led, he was willing to follow. If one of the farm hands had
attempted to take the creature into the house, there would probably
have been some rearing and plunging; but nothing of this kind happened
as our Jersey girl, with her hand on her horse's bridle, led him
quickly inside and closed the door behind him. As the story goes, she
took him through the kitchen, and then into the parlor, without the
slightest regard to the injury his shoes might do to the well-kept
floor; and from the parlor she led him into a bedroom on the lower
floor, which was usually used as a guest chamber, but which never
before had such a guest as this.

This room had but a single window, the shutters of which were kept
closed when it was not in use, and there was no entrance to it except
through the door which opened from the parlor. The door was quickly
closed, and Tempe stood with her horse in the darkness.

When the soldiers reached the farm they went to the barn. They
examined the outhouses, visited the pasture fields, and made a
thorough search, high and low, near and far; but no sign of a horse
could they find. Of course, the notion that the animal was concealed
in the house did not enter their minds, and the only way in which they
could account for the total disappearance of the horse was, that Tempe
had ridden off with him--where they knew not. We do not know how long
they waited for the sight of a hungry horse coming home to his supper,
but we do know that while there was the slightest danger of her dear
horse being taken away from her, that animal remained a carefully
attended guest in the spare room of the Wick house; and the tradition
is, that he staid there three weeks. There Tempe waited on him as if
he had been a visitor of high degree; and if she was afraid to go to
the barn to bring him hay and oats, she doubtless gave him biscuit and
soft bread,--dainties of which a horse is very fond, especially when
they are brought to him by such a kind mistress as Tempe.

When the cavalry moved away from their camp near Morristown, no one of
them rode on that fine horse on which they had seen a girl gayly
cantering, and which, when they had been about to put their hands upon
it, had flown away, like a butterfly from under the straw hat of a
schoolboy. When the troops were gone, the horse came out of the guest
chamber and went back to his stall in the stable; and that room in
which he passed so many quiet days, and the door through which the
horse timidly stepped under the shadow of that hospitable roof, are
still to be seen at the old Wick house, which stands now, as it stood
then, with its shaded yard and the great willow tree behind it, on the
pleasant country road by which we may drive from Morristown to Mendham
by the way of Washington Corner.

  --_From "Stories of New Jersey," by Frank R. Stockton._



LIFE IN NORMAN ENGLAND.


The tall frowning keep and solid walls of the great stone castles, in
which the Norman barons lived, betokened an age of violence and
suspicion. Beauty gave way to the needs of safety. Girdled with its
green and slimy ditch, round the inner edge of which ran a parapeted
wall pierced along the top with shot holes, stood the buildings,
spreading often over many acres.

[Illustration:

  From a Photograph.      Engraved by John Evans.

  Ruins of a Norman Castle.
]

If an enemy managed to cross the moat and force the gateway, in spite
of a portcullis crashing from above, and melted lead pouring in
burning streams from the perforated top of the rounded arch, but
little of his work was yet done; for the keep lifted its huge angular
block of masonry within the inner bailey or courtyard, and from the
narrow chinks in its ten-foot wall rained a sharp incessant shower of
arrows, sweeping all approaches to the high and narrow stair, by which
alone access could be had to its interior.

These loopholes were the only windows, except in the topmost story,
where the chieftain, like a vulture in his rocky nest, watched all the
surrounding country. The day of splendid oriels had not yet come in
castle architecture.

Thus a baron in his keep could defy, and often did defy, the king upon
his throne. Under his roof, eating daily at his board, lived a throng
of armed retainers; and around his castle lay farms tilled by martial
franklins, who at his call laid aside their implements of husbandry,
took up the sword and spear, which they could wield with equal skill,
and marched beneath his banner to the war.

With robe ungirt and head uncovered each tenant had done homage and
sworn an oath of fealty, placing his joined hands between those of the
sitting baron, and humbly saying as he knelt, "I become your man from
this day forward, of life and limb and of earthly worship; and unto you
I shall be true and faithful, and bear to you faith for the tenements
that I claim to hold of you, saving the faith that I owe unto our
sovereign lord the king." A kiss from the baron completed the ceremony.

The furniture of a Norman keep was not unlike that of an English
house. There was richer ornament--more elaborate carving. A
_faldestol_, the original of our arm-chair, spread its drapery and
cushions for the chieftain in his lounging moods. His bed now boasted
curtains and a roof, although, like the English lord, he still lay
only upon straw. Chimneys tunneled the thick walls, and the cupboards
glittered with glass and silver. Horn lanterns and the old spiked
candlesticks lit up his evening hours, when the chessboard arrayed its
clumsy men, carved out of walrus tusk, then commonly called
whale's-bone. But the baron had an unpleasant trick of breaking the
chessboard on his opponent's head, when he found himself checkmated;
which somewhat marred said opponent's enjoyment of the game. Dice of
horn and bone emptied many a purse in Norman England.

[Illustration: Horn Lantern.]

Dances and music whiled away the long winter nights; and on summer
evenings the castle courtyards resounded with the noise of football,
_kayles_ (a sort of ninepins), wrestling, boxing, leaping, and the
fierce joys of the bull bait. But out of doors, when no fighting was
on hand, the hound, the hawk, and the lance attracted the best
energies and skill of the Norman gentleman.

Rousing the forest game with dogs, they shot at it with barbed and
feathered arrows. A field of ripening corn never turned the chase
aside: it was one privilege of a feudal baron to ride as he pleased
over his tenants' crops, and another to quarter his insolent hunting
train in the farmhouses which pleased him best! The elaborate details
of _woodcraft_ became an important part of a noble boy's education;
for the numerous bugle calls and scientific dissection of a dead stag
took many seasons to learn.

After the Conquest, to kill a deer or own a hawk came more than ever
to be regarded as the special privilege of the aristocracy. The hawk,
daintily dressed, as befitted the companion of nobility, with his head
wrapped in an embroidered hood, and a peal of silver bells tinkling
from his rough legs, sat in state, bound with leathern jesses to the
wrist, which was protected by a thick glove. The ladies and the clergy
loved him. By many a mere the abbots ambled on their ponies over the
swampy soil, and sweet shrill voices cheered the long-winged hawk, as
he darted off in pursuit of the soaring quarry.

[Illustration: The Hawk.]

The author of "Ivanhoe" has made the tournament a picture familiar to
all readers of romance. It therefore needs no long description here.
It was held in honor of some great event--a coronation, wedding, or
victory. Having practiced well during squirehood at the _quintain_,
the knight, clad in full armor, with visor barred and the colors of
his lady on crest and scarf, rode into the lists, for which some level
green was chosen and surrounded with a palisade.

For days before, his shield had been hanging in a neighboring church,
as a sign of his intention to compete in this great game of chivalry.
If any stain lay on his knighthood, a lady, by touching the suspended
shield with a wand, could debar him from a share in the jousting. And
if, when he had entered the lists he was rude to a lady, or broke in
any way the etiquette of the tilt yard, he was beaten from the lists
with the ashwood lances of the knights.

[Illustration: The Knight.]

The simple joust was the shock of two knights, who galloped with
leveled spears at each other, aiming at breast or head, with the
object either of unhorsing the antagonist, or, if he sat his charger
well, of splintering the lance upon his helmet or his shield. The
mellay hurled together, at the dropping of the prince's baton, two
parties of knights, who hacked away at each other with ax and mace and
sword, often gashing limbs and breaking bones in the wild excitement
of the fray. Bright eyes glanced from the surrounding galleries upon
the brutal sport; and when the victor, with broken plume, and battered
armor, dragged his weary limbs to the footstool of the beauty who
presided as Queen over the festival, her white hands decorated him
with the meed of his achievements.

The Normans probably dined at nine in the morning. When they rose they
took a light meal; and ate something also after their day's work,
immediately before going to bed. Goose and garlic formed a favorite
dish. Their cookery was more elaborate, and, in comparison, more
delicate, than the preparations for an English feed; but the character
for temperance, which they brought with them from the Continent, soon
vanished.

The poorer classes hardly ever ate flesh, living principally on bread,
butter, and cheese,--a social fact which seems to underlie that usage
of our tongue by which the living animals in field or stall bore
English names--ox, sheep, calf, pig, deer; while their flesh, promoted
to Norman dishes, rejoiced in names of French origin--beef, mutton,
veal, pork, venison. Round cakes, piously marked with a cross, piled
the tables, on which pastry of various kinds also appeared. In good
houses cups of glass held the wine, which was borne from the cellar
below in jugs.

Squatted around the door or on the stair leading to the Norman dining
hall, was a crowd of beggars or lickers, who grew so insolent in the
days of Rufus, that ushers, armed with rods, were posted outside to
beat back the noisy throng, who thought little of snatching the dishes
as the cooks carried them to table!

The juggler, who under the Normans filled the place of the English
gleeman, tumbled, sang, and balanced knives in the hall; or out in the
bailey of an afternoon displayed the acquirements of his trained
monkey or bear. The fool, too, clad in colored patchwork, cracked his
ribald jokes and shook his cap and bells at the elbow of roaring
barons, when the board was spread and the circles of the wine began.

While knights hunted in the greenwood or tilted in the lists, and
jugglers tumbled in the noisy hall, the monk in the quiet scriptorium
compiled chronicles of passing events, copied valuable manuscripts,
and painted rich borders and brilliant initials on every page. These
illuminations form a valuable set of materials for our pictures of
life in the Middle Ages.

Monasteries served many useful purposes at the time of which I write.
Besides their manifest value as centers of study and literary work,
they gave alms to the poor, a supper and a bed to travelers; their
tenants were better off and better treated than the tenants of the
nobles; the monks could store grain, grow apples, and cultivate their
flower beds with little risk of injury from war, because they had
spiritual thunders at their call, which awed even the most reckless of
the soldiery into a respect for sacred property.

Splendid structures those monasteries generally were, since that vivid
taste for architecture which the Norman possessed in a high degree,
and which could not find room for its display in the naked strength of
the solid keep, lavished its entire energy and grace upon buildings
lying in the safe shadow of the Cross. Nor was architectural taste the
only reason for their magnificence. Since they were nearly all erected
as offerings to Heaven, the religion of the age impelled the pious
builders to spare no cost in decorating the exterior with fretwork and
sculpture of Caen stone, the interior with gilded cornices and windows
of painted glass.

As schools, too, the monasteries did no trifling service to society
in the Middle Ages. In addition to their influence as great centers of
learning, English law had enjoined every mass priest to keep a school
in his parish church, where all the young committed to his care might
be instructed. This custom continued long after the Norman Conquest.
In the Trinity College Psalter we have a picture of a Norman school,
where the pupils sit in a circular row around the master as he
lectures to them from a long roll of manuscript. Two writers sit by
the desk, busy with copies resembling that which the teacher holds.

The youth of the middle classes, destined for the cloister or the
merchant's stall, chiefly thronged these schools. The aristocracy
cared little for book-learning. Very few indeed of the barons could
read or write. But all could ride, fence, tilt, play, and carve
extremely well; for to these accomplishments many years of pagehood
and squirehood were given.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing description of manners and customs during the age of
feudalism has been adapted from a popular "History of England," by W.
F. Collier. A much fuller description may be found in Knight's
"History of England," and in Green's "Short History of the English
People." The period described was in many respects the most romantic
in the history of the world, and many delightful and instructive books
have been written concerning it. Read Scott's "Ivanhoe" and "The
Talisman." Reference may also be had to Pauli's "Pictures of Old
England," and Jusserand's "English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages."



THE ROMANCE OF THE SWAN'S NEST.

[Illustration: Elizabeth Barrett Browning.]

    "So the dreams depart,
    So the fading phantoms flee,
    And the sharp reality
    Now must act its part."

  --_Westwood's "Beads from a Rosary."_


I.

    Little Ellie sits alone
      'Mid the beeches of a meadow,
        By a stream side on the grass,
    And the trees are showering down
      Doubles of their leaves in shadow,
        On her shining hair and face.


II.

    She has thrown her bonnet by,
      And her feet she has been dipping
        In the shallow water's flow;
    Now she holds them nakedly
      In her hands, all sleek and dripping,
        While she rocketh to and fro.


III.

    Little Ellie sits alone,
      And the smile she softly uses
        Fills the silence like a speech,
    While she thinks what shall be done,
      And the sweetest pleasure chooses
        For her future within reach.


IV.

    Little Ellie in her smile
      Chooses, "I will have a lover,
        Riding on a steed of steeds:
    He shall love me without guile,
      And to _him_ I will discover
        The swan's nest among the reeds.


V.

    "And the steed shall be red roan,
      And the lover shall be noble,
        With an eye that takes the breath.
    And the lute he plays upon
      Shall strike ladies into trouble,
        As his sword strikes men to death.


VI.

    "And the steed it shall be shod
      All in silver, housed in azure;
        And the mane shall swim the wind;
    And the hoofs along the sod
      Shall flash onward, and keep measure,
        Till the shepherds look behind.


VII.

    "But my lover will not prize
      All the glory that he rides in,
        When he gazes in my face.
    He will say, 'O Love, thine eyes
      Build the shrine my soul abides in,
        And I kneel here for thy grace!'


VIII.

    "Then, aye, then he shall kneel low,
      With the red-roan steed anear him,
        Which shall seem to understand,
    Till I answer, 'Rise and go!
      For the world must love and fear him
        Whom I gift with heart and hand.'


IX.

    "Then he will arise so pale,
      I shall feel my own lips tremble
        With a _yes_ I must not say:
    Nathless maiden brave, 'Farewell,'
      I will utter, and dissemble--
        'Light to-morrow with to-day!'


X.

    "Then he'll ride among the hills
      To the wide world past the river,
        There to put away all wrong,
    To make straight distorted wills,
      And to empty the broad quiver
        Which the wicked bear along.


XI.

    "Three times shall a young foot page
      Swim the stream, and climb the mountain,
        And kneel down beside my feet:
    'Lo! my master sends this gage,
      Lady, for thy pity's counting.
        What wilt thou exchange for it?'


XII.

    "And the first time I will send
      A white rosebud for a guerdon--
        And the second time, a glove;
    But the third time--I may bend
      From my pride, and answer--'Pardon,
        If he comes to take my love.'


XIII.

    "Then the young foot page will run--
      Then my lover will ride faster,
        Till he kneeleth at my knee:
    'I am a duke's eldest son!
      Thousand serfs do call me master,--
        But, O Love, I love but _thee_!'"...


XIV.

    Little Ellie, with her smile
      Not yet ended, rose up gayly,
        Tied the bonnet, donned the shoe,
    And went homeward, round a mile,
      Just to see, as she did daily,
        What more eggs were with the two.


XV.

    Pushing through the elm-tree copse,
      Winding up the stream, light-hearted,
        Where the osier pathway leads,
    Past the boughs she stoops, and stops.
      Lo, the wild swan had deserted,
        And a rat had gnawed the reeds!


XVI.

    Ellie went home sad and slow.
      If she found the lover ever,
        With his red-roan steed of steeds,
    Sooth I know not; but I know
      She could never show him--never,
         That swan's nest among the reeds.

  --_Elizabeth Barrett Browning._



A PATRIARCH OF THE OLDEN TIME


Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved
me; when his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I
walked through darkness; as I was in the days of my youth, when the
secret of God was upon my tabernacle; when the Almighty was yet with
me; when my children were about me; when I washed my steps with
butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil.

When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it
gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the
fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that
was ready to perish came upon me; and I caused the widow's heart to sing
for joy. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a
father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not, I searched out.

Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved
for the poor? Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know
mine integrity. If I did despise the cause of my man servant or of my
maid servant, when they contended with me, what then shall I do when
God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not
he that made me make him also?

If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes
of the widow to fail, or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the
fatherless hath not eaten thereof; if I have seen any perish for want
of clothing, or any poor without covering; if his loins have not
blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; if
I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in
the gate; then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm
be broken from the bone.

If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up
myself when evil found him (neither have I suffered my mouth to sin,
by wishing a curse to his soul. The stranger did not lodge in the
street; but I opened my doors to the traveler). If my land cry against
me, or the furrows likewise thereof complain; if I have eaten the
fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to
lose their life: let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle
instead of barley.

  --_From the "Book of Job."_



HOW CORTÉS ENTERED THE CITY OF MEXICO.

[Illustration: William H. Prescott.]


Mexico, when first discovered by Europeans, was inhabited by a
civilized race called Aztecs. The conquest of that country and the
subjugation of its people by the Spaniards under Hernando Cortés, in
1518-21, was one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of the
Western Continent. William H. Prescott, our American historian, in his
"Conquest of Mexico," has told the story of that event in a manner so
delightful that the whole narrative reads like a romance. His
description of the entry of the Spaniards into the capital city of the
Aztecs is as follows:--

    It was the eighth of November, 1519, a conspicuous day in history,
    as that on which the Europeans first set foot in the capital of
    the Western World.

    Cortés with his little body of horse formed a sort of advanced
    guard to the army. Then came the Spanish infantry, who in a
    summer's campaign had acquired the discipline and the
    weather-beaten aspect of veterans. The baggage occupied the
    center; and the rear was closed by the dark files of Tlascalan
    warriors. The whole number must have fallen short of seven
    thousand; of which fewer than four hundred were Spaniards.

    Everywhere the conquerors beheld the evidence of a crowded and
    thriving population, exceeding all they had yet seen. The temples
    and principal buildings of the cities were covered with a hard
    white stucco, which glistened like enamel in the level beams of
    the morning. The margin of the lake was thickly gemmed with towns
    and hamlets. The water was darkened by swarms of canoes filled
    with Indians, who clambered up the sides of the causeway and gazed
    with curious astonishment on the strangers. And here, also, they
    beheld those fairy islands of flowers, overshadowed occasionally
    by trees of considerable size, rising and falling with the gentle
    undulation of the billows.

    At the distance of half a league from the capital, they
    encountered a solid work, or curtain of stone, which traversed the
    dike. It was twelve feet high, was strengthened by towers at the
    extremities, and in the center was a battlemented gateway, which
    opened a passage to the troops.

    Here they were met by several hundred Aztec chiefs, who came out
    to announce the approach of Montezuma and to welcome the Spaniards
    to his capital. They were dressed in the fanciful gala costume of
    the country, with the _maxlatl_, or cotton sash, around their
    loins, and a broad mantle of the same material, or of the
    brilliant feather embroidery, flowing gracefully down their
    shoulders. On their necks and arms they displayed collars and
    bracelets of turquoise mosaic, with which delicate plumage was
    curiously mingled, while their ears and underlips, and
    occasionally their noses, were garnished with pendants formed of
    precious stones, or crescents of fine gold.

    As each cacique made the usual formal salutation of the country
    separately to the general, the tedious ceremony delayed the march
    more than an hour. After this the army experienced no further
    interruption till it reached a bridge near the gates of the city.
    It was built of wood, and was thrown across an opening of the
    dike, which furnished an outlet to the waters when agitated by the
    winds or swollen by a sudden influx in the rainy season. It was a
    drawbridge; and the Spaniards, as they crossed it, felt how truly
    they were committing themselves to the mercy of Montezuma, who, by
    thus cutting off their communications with the country, might hold
    them prisoners in his capital.

    In the midst of these unpleasant reflections, they beheld the
    glittering retinue of the emperor emerging from the great street
    which led then, as it still does, through the heart of the city.
    Amidst a crowd of Indian nobles, preceded by three officers of
    state bearing golden wands, they saw the royal palanquin blazing
    with burnished gold. It was borne on the shoulders of nobles, and
    over it a canopy of gaudy feather work, powdered with jewels and
    fringed with silver, was supported by four attendants of the same
    rank. They were barefooted, and walked with a slow, measured pace,
    and with eyes bent on the ground.

    When the train had come within a convenient distance, it halted, and
    Montezuma, descending from his litter, came forward, leaning on the
    arms of the lords of Tezcuco and Iztapalapan, his nephew and
    brother, both of whom had already been made known to the Spaniards.
    As the monarch advanced under the canopy, the obsequious attendants
    strewed the ground with cotton tapestry, that his imperial feet
    might not be contaminated by the rude soil. His subjects of high and
    low degree, who lined the sides of the causeway, bent forward with
    their eyes fastened on the ground as he passed, and some of the
    humbler class prostrated themselves before him.

    Montezuma wore the girdle and ample square cloak, _tilmatli_, of his
    nation. It was made of the finest cotton, with the embroidered ends
    gathered in a knot round his neck. His feet were defended by sandals
    having soles of gold, and the leathern thongs which bound them to
    his ankles were embossed with the same metal. Both the cloak and
    sandals were sprinkled with pearls and precious stones, among which
    the emerald, and another green stone of high estimation among the
    Aztecs, were conspicuous. On his head he wore no other ornament than
    a _panache_ of plumes of the royal green, which floated down his
    back, the badge of military, rather than of regal, rank.

    He was at this time about forty years of age. His person was tall
    and thin, but not ill made. His hair, which was black and
    straight, was not very long; to wear it short was considered
    unbecoming to persons of rank. His beard was thin; his complexion
    somewhat paler than is often found in his dusky, or rather
    copper-colored, race. His features, though serious in their
    expression, did not wear the look of melancholy, indeed of
    dejection, which characterizes his portrait, and which may well
    have settled on them at a later period. He moved with dignity, and
    his whole demeanor, tempered by an expression of benignity not to
    have been anticipated from the reports circulated of his
    character, was worthy of a great prince.

    The army halted as he drew near. Cortés, dismounting, threw his
    reins to a page, and supported by a few of the principal
    cavaliers, advanced to meet him. The interview must have been one
    of uncommon interest to both. In Montezuma, Cortés beheld the lord
    of the broad realms he had traversed, whose magnificence and power
    had been the burden of every tongue. In the Spaniard, on the other
    hand, the Aztec prince saw the strange being whose history seemed
    to be so mysteriously connected with his own; the predicted one of
    his oracles, whose achievements proclaimed him something more than
    human.

    But whatever may have been the monarch's feelings, he so far
    suppressed them as to receive his guest with princely courtesy,
    and to express his satisfaction at personally seeing him in his
    capital. Cortés responded by the most profound expressions of
    respect, while he made ample acknowledgments for the substantial
    proofs which the emperor had given the Spaniards of his
    munificence. He then hung round Montezuma's neck a sparkling chain
    of colored crystal, accompanying this with a movement as if to
    embrace him, when he was restrained by the two Aztec lords,
    shocked at the menaced profanation of the sacred person of their
    master. After the interchange of these civilities, Montezuma
    appointed his brother to conduct the Spaniards to their residence
    in the capital, and, again entering his litter, was borne off
    amidst prostrate crowds in the same state in which he had come.
    The Spaniards quickly followed, and, with colors flying and music
    playing, soon made their entrance into the southern quarter of
    Tenochtitlan.

    Here, again, they found fresh cause for admiration in the grandeur
    of the city and the superior style of its architecture. The
    dwellings of the poorer class were, indeed, chiefly of reeds and
    mud. But the great avenue through which they were now marching was
    lined with the houses of the nobles, who were encouraged by the
    emperor to make the capital their residence. They were built of a
    red porous stone drawn from quarries in the neighborhood, and,
    though they rarely rose to a second story, often covered a large
    space of ground. The flat roofs, _azoteas_, were protected by
    stone parapets, so that every house was a fortress. Sometimes
    these roofs resembled parterres of flowers, so thickly were they
    covered with them, but more frequently these were cultivated in
    broad terraced gardens, laid out between the edifices.
    Occasionally a great square or market place intervened, surrounded
    by its porticoes of stone and stucco; or a pyramidal temple reared
    its colossal bulk, crowned with its tapering sanctuaries, and
    altars blazing with inextinguishable fires. The great street
    facing the southern causeway, unlike most others in the place, was
    wide, and extended some miles in nearly a straight line, as before
    noticed, through the center of the city. A spectator standing at
    one end of it, as his eye ranged along the deep vista of temples,
    terraces, and gardens, might clearly discern the other, with the
    blue mountains in the distance, which, in the transparent
    atmosphere of the table-land, seemed almost in contact with the
    buildings.

    But what most impressed the Spaniards was the throngs of people
    who swarmed through the streets and on the canals, filling every
    doorway and window and clustering on the roofs of the buildings.
    "I well remember the spectacle," exclaims Bernal Diaz; "it seems
    now, after so many years, as present to my mind as if it were but
    yesterday." But what must have been the sensations of the Aztecs
    themselves, as they looked on the portentous pageant! as they
    heard, now for the first time, the well-cemented pavement ring
    under the iron tramp of the horses,--the strange animals which
    fear had clothed in such supernatural terrors: as they gazed on
    the children of the East, revealing their celestial origin in
    their fair complexions; saw the bright falchions and bonnets of
    steel, a metal to them unknown, glancing like meteors in the sun,
    while sounds of unearthly music--at least, such as their rude
    instruments had never wakened--floated in the air?

    [Illustration: Hernando Cortés.]

    As they passed down the spacious street, the troops repeatedly
    traversed bridges suspended above canals, along which they saw the
    Indian barks gliding swiftly with their little cargoes of fruits
    and vegetables for the markets of Tenochtitlan. At length they
    halted before a broad area near the center of the city, where rose
    the huge pyramidal pile dedicated to the patron war god of the
    Aztecs, second only, in size as well as sanctity, to the temple of
    Cholula, and covering the same ground now in part occupied by the
    great cathedral of Mexico.

    Facing the western gate of the inclosure of the temple, stood a
    low range of stone buildings, spreading over a wide extent of
    ground, the palace of Axayacatl, Montezuma's father, built by that
    monarch about fifty years before. It was appropriated as the
    barracks of the Spaniards. The emperor himself was in the
    courtyard, waiting to receive them. Approaching Cortés, he took
    from a vase of flowers, borne by one of his slaves, a massy
    collar, in which the shell of a species of crawfish, much prized
    by the Indians, was set in gold and connected by heavy links of
    the same metal. From this chain depended eight ornaments, also of
    gold, made in resemblance of the same shellfish, a span in length
    each, and of delicate workmanship; for the Aztec goldsmiths were
    confessed to have shown skill in their craft not inferior to their
    brethren of Europe. Montezuma, as he hung the gorgeous collar
    round the general's neck, said, "This palace belongs to you,
    Malinche" (the epithet by which he always addressed him), "and
    your brethren. Rest after your fatigues, for you have much need to
    do so, and in a little while I will visit you again." So saying,
    he withdrew with his attendants, evincing in this act a delicate
    consideration not to have been expected in a barbarian.



THE SKYLARK.


      Bird of the wilderness,
      Blithesome and cumberless,
    Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
      Emblem of happiness,
      Blest is thy dwelling place:
    Oh to abide in the desert with thee!

      Wild is thy lay, and loud,
      Far in the downy cloud:
    Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.
      Where, on thy dewy wing,
      Where art thou journeying?
    Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.

      O'er fell and fountain sheen,
      O'er moor and mountain green,
    O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,
      Over the cloudlet dim,
      Over the rainbow's rim,
    Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!

      Then, when the gloaming comes,
      Low in the heather blooms
    Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be;
      Emblem of happiness,
      Blest is thy dwelling place:
    Oh to abide in the desert with thee!

  --_James Hogg._



THE MYSTERY OF THE TADPOLE.


A blade of grass is a mystery, if men would but distill it out. When my
learned friend Dr. Syntax, glancing round my workroom, observed a vase
full of tadpoles, he asked me in a tone of sniffling superiority: "Do
you really mean to say you find any interest in those little beasts?"

[Illustration: George Henry Lewes.]

"As much as you find in books," I answered, with some energy.

"H'm," grunted Syntax.

Very absurd isn't it? But we all have our hobbies. I can pass a
bookstall on which I perceive that the ignorance of the bookseller
permits him to exhibit now and then rare editions of valuable books at
almost no price at all. The sight gives me no thrill--it does not even
cause me to slacken my pace.

But I can't so easily pass a pond in which I see a shoal of tadpoles
swimming about, as ignorant of their own value as the bookseller is of
his books. I may walk on, but the sight has sent a slight electric
shock through me.

"Why, sir," I said to my learned friend, "there is more to me in the
_tail_ of one of those tadpoles than in all the musty old volumes you
so much delight to pick up. But I won't thrash your dog unless you
thrash mine."

"Why, what on earth can you do with the tail?"

[Illustration: Tadpoles in different Stages of Development.]

"Do with it? Study it, experiment on it, put it under the microscope,
and day by day watch the growth of its various parts. At first it is
little more than a mass of cells. Then I notice that these cells begin
to take a definite shape, and blood vessels appear in them. Then the
muscles begin to appear."

"Very interesting, I dare say."

"You don't seem to think so, by your tone. But look in this vase: here
are several tadpoles with the most apologetic of tails--mere stumps,
in fact. I cut them off nine days ago."

"Will they grow again?"

"Perfectly; for, although the frog dispenses with a tail almost as
soon as he reaches the frog form, the tadpole needs his tail to swim
with; and when by any accident he loses it, Nature kindly supplies him
with another."

"Yes, yes," added Syntax, glad to feel himself once more among things
of which he knew something; "just like the lobster or the crab, you
know. They tear off their legs and arms in a most reckless way, and
yet they always grow new ones again."

"Would you like to know what has become of the tails which I cut off
from these fellows?"

"Aren't they dead?"

"Not at all. Alive and kicking."

"Alive after nine days? Oh! oh!"

"Here they are, in this glass. It is exactly nine days since they were
cut off, and I have been watching them daily under the microscope. I
assure you that I have seen them _grow_, not _larger_, indeed, but
develop more and more, muscle fibers appearing each day where before
there were none at all."

"Come, now, you are trying to see what a fool you can make of me."

"I am perfectly serious. The discovery is none of mine. It was made by
M. Vulpian in Paris. He says that the tails live many days--as many as
eighteen in one instance; but I have never kept mine alive more than
eleven. He says, moreover, that they not only grow, as I have said,
but that they seem to possess feeling, for they twist about with a
rapid swimming movement when irritated."

"Well, but I say, how _could_ they live when separated from the body?
Our arms or legs don't live; the lobster's legs don't live."

"Quite true. But in those cases we have limbs of a complex
organization, which require a complex apparatus in order to sustain
their life. They must have blood, the blood must circulate."

"Stop, stop! I don't want to understand why our arms can't live apart
from our bodies. They don't. The fact is enough for me. I want to know
why the tail of a tadpole can live apart from the body."

"It _can_. Is not the fact enough for you in that case also? Well, I
was going to tell you the reason. The tail will live apart from the
body only so long as it retains its early immature form. If you cut it
off from a tadpole which is old enough to have lost its external gills
a week or more, the tail will _not_ live more than three or four days.
And every tail will die as soon as it reaches the point in its
development which requires the circulation of the blood as a necessary
condition."

"But where does it get food?"

"That is more than I can say. I don't know that it wants food. You
know that reptiles can live without food a wonderful length of time."

"Really, I begin to think there is more in these little beasts than I
ever dreamed of. But it must take a great deal of study to get at
these facts."

"Not more than to get at any of the other open secrets of Nature. But,
since you are interested, look at these tails as the tadpoles come
bobbing against the side of the glass. Do you see how they are covered
with little white spots?"

"No."

"Look closer. All over the tail there are tiny, cotton-like spots.
Take a lens, if your eye isn't sharp enough. There, now you see them."

"Yes; I see a sort of _fluff_ scattered about."

"That fluff is an immense colony of parasites. Let us place the
tadpole under the microscope, and you will see each spot turn out to
be a multitude of elegant and active animals, having bodies not unlike
a crystal goblet supported on an extremely long and flexible stem, and
having round their rim or mouth a range of long, delicate hairs, the
motion of which gives a wheel-like aspect, and makes an eddy in the
water which brings food to the animal."

"This is really interesting! How active they are! How they shrink up,
and then, unwinding their twisted stems, expand again! What's the name
of this thing?"

"_Vorticella_. It may be found growing on water fleas, plants, decayed
wood, or these tadpoles. People who study the animalcules are very
fond of this Vorticella."

"Well, I never could have believed such a patch of fluff could turn
out a sight like this: I could watch it for an hour. But what are
those small yellowish things sticking on the side of these parasites?"

"Those, my dear Syntax, are also parasites."

"What, parasites living on parasites?"

"Why not? Nature is economical. Don't you live on beef, and mutton,
and fish? Don't these beeves, muttons, and fishes live on vegetables
and animals? Don't the vegetables and animals live on other organic
matters? Eat and be eaten, is one law: live and let live, is another."

[Illustration: The Tadpole's last Stage.]

The learned Doctor remained thoughtful; then he screwed up one side of
his face into the most frightful wrinkles, while with the eye of the
other he resumed his examination of the Vorticella.

  --_George Henry Lewes._



[Illustration:

  From the Painting by Rosa Bonheur.      Engraved by Horace Baker.

  The Lions.
]

THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS.


    King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,
    And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;
    The nobles filled the benches, with the ladies in their pride,
    And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he
              sighed:
    And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,--
    Valor and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

[Illustration: Leigh Hunt.]

    Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;
    They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their
              paws;
    With wallowing might and stifled roar, they rolled on one another,
    Till all the pit, with sand and mane, was in a thunderous smother;
    The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air:
    Said Francis, then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than
              there."

    De Lorge's love o'erheard the king, a beauteous, lively dame,
    With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the
              same;
    She thought, "The Count, my lover, is brave as brave can be,
    He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;
    King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;
    I'll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine."

    She dropped her glove, to prove his love; then looked at him, and
              smiled;
    He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:
    The leap was quick, return was quick, he soon regained the place,
    Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
    "In faith," cried Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he
              sat;
    "No love," quoth he, "but vanity sets love a task like that."

  --_Leigh Hunt._



TRUE GROWTH.


        It is not growing like a tree
        In bulk, doth make man better be;
    Or standing like an oak, three hundred year,
    To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere;
        A lily of a day
        Is fairer far in May,
      Although it fall and die that night--
      It was the plant and flower of Light.
    In small proportions we just beauties see;
    And in short measures life may perfect be.

  --_Ben Jonson._



THE SHIPWRECK.


I.

Having made up my mind to go down to Yarmouth, I went round to the
coach office and took the box seat on the mail. In the evening I
started, by that conveyance, down the road.

"Don't you think that a very remarkable sky?" I asked the coachman, in
the first stage out of London. "I don't remember to have seen one like
it."

"Nor I--not equal to it," he replied. "That's wind, sir; there'll be
mischief done at sea, I expect before long."

[Illustration: Charles Dickens.]

It was a murky confusion--here and there blotted with a color like the
color of the smoke from damp fuel--of flying clouds tossed up into
most remarkable heaps, suggesting greater heights in the clouds than
there were depths below them to the bottom of the deepest hollows in
the earth, through which the wild moon seemed to plunge headlong, as
if, in a dread disturbance of the laws of nature, she had lost her way
and were frightened. There had been wind all day; and it was rising
then, with an extraordinary great sound. In another hour it had much
increased, and the sky was more overcast, and it blew harder.

But as the night advanced, the clouds closing in and densely
overspreading the whole sky, then very dark, it came on to blow harder
and harder. It still increased, until our horses could scarcely face
the wind. Many times in the dark part of the night (it was then late
in September, when the nights were not short) the leaders turned
about, or came to a dead stop; and we were often in apprehension that
the coach would be blown over.

When the day broke, it blew harder and harder. I had been in Yarmouth
when the seamen said it blew great guns, but I had never known the
like of this, or anything approaching to it. We came to Ipswich--very
late, having had to fight every inch of ground since we were ten miles
out of London; and found a cluster of people in the market place, who
had risen from their beds in the night, fearful of falling chimneys.
Some of these, congregating about the innyard while we changed horses,
told us of great sheets of lead having been ripped off a high church
tower and flung into a by-street, which they then blocked up. Others
had to tell of country people, coming in from neighboring villages,
who had seen great trees lying torn out of the earth, and whole ricks
scattered about the roads and fields. Still there was no abatement in
the storm, but it blew harder.

As we struggled on, nearer and nearer to the sea, from which the
mighty wind was blowing dead on shore, its force became more and more
terrific. Long before we saw the sea, its spray was on our lips, and
showered salt rain upon us. The water was out, over miles and miles of
the flat country adjacent to Yarmouth; and every sheet and puddle
lashed its banks, and had its stress of little breakers setting
heavily towards us. When we came within sight of the sea, the waves on
the horizon, caught at intervals above the rolling abyss, were like
glimpses of another shore with towers and buildings. When at last we
got into the town, the people came out to their doors, all aslant, and
with streaming hair, making a wonder of the mail that had come through
such a night.

I put up at the old inn, and went down to look at the sea, staggering
along the street, which was strewn with sand and seaweed, and with
flying blotches of sea foam; afraid of falling slates and tiles; and
holding by people I met at angry corners. Coming near the beach, I
saw, not only the boatmen, but half the people of the town, lurking
behind buildings; some now and then braving the fury of the storm to
look away to sea, and blown sheer out of their course in trying to get
zigzag back.

Joining these groups, I found bewailing women whose husbands were away
in herring or oyster boats, which there was too much reason to think
might have foundered before they could run in anywhere for safety.
Grizzled old sailors were among the people, shaking their heads as
they looked from water to sky, and muttering to one another;
shipowners excited and uneasy; children huddling together, and peering
into older faces; even stout mariners disturbed and anxious, leveling
their glasses at the sea from behind places of shelter, as if they
were surveying an enemy.

The tremendous sea itself, when I could find sufficient pause to look
at it, in the agitation of the blinding wind, the flying stones and
sand, and the awful noise, confounded me. As the high watery walls
came rolling in, and, at their highest, tumbled into surf, they looked
as if the least would engulf the town. As the receding wave swept back
with a hoarse roar, it seemed to scoop out caves in the beach, as if
its purpose were to undermine the earth. When some white-headed
billows thundered on, and dashed themselves to pieces before they
reached the land, every fragment of the late whole seemed possessed by
the full might of its wrath, rushing to be gathered to the composition
of another monster. Undulating hills were changed to valleys,
undulating valleys (with a storm bird sometimes skimming through them)
were lifted up to hills; masses of water shivered and shook the beach
with a booming sound; every shape tumultuously rolled on, as soon as
made, to change its shape and place, and beat another shape and place
away; the ideal shore on the horizon, with its towers and buildings,
rose and fell; the clouds flew fast and thick; I seemed to see a
rending and upheaving of all nature.

Not finding my old friend, Ham, among the people whom this memorable
wind--for it is still remembered down there as the greatest ever known
to blow upon that coast--had brought together, I made my way to his
house. It was shut; and as no one answered to my knocking, I went by
back ways and by-lanes to the yard where he worked. I learned there
that he had gone to Lowestoft, to meet some sudden exigency of ship
repairing in which his skill was required; but that he would be back
to-morrow morning in good time.

I went back to the inn; and when I had washed and dressed, and tried
to sleep, but in vain, it was five o'clock in the afternoon. I had not
sat five minutes by the coffee-room fire, when the waiter, coming to
stir it as an excuse for talking, told me that two colliers had gone
down, with all hands, a few miles away; and that some other ships had
been seen laboring hard in the Roads, and trying in great distress to
keep off shore. "Mercy on them, and on all poor sailors," said he, "if
we had another night like the last!"

I was very much depressed in spirits, very solitary, and felt an
uneasiness in Ham's not being there, disproportionate to the occasion.
I was seriously affected, without knowing how much, by late events,
and my exposure to the fierce wind had confused me. There was that
jumble in my thoughts and recollections that I had lost the clear
arrangement of time and distance. Thus, if I had gone out into the
town, I should not have been surprised, I think, to encounter some one
who I knew must be then in London. So to speak, there was in these
respects a curious inattention in my mind. Yet it was busy, too, with
all the remembrances the place naturally awakened, and they were
particularly distinct and vivid.

In this state, the waiter's dismal intelligence about the ships
immediately connected itself, without any effort of my volition, with my
uneasiness about Ham. I was persuaded that possibly he would attempt to
return from Lowestoft by sea, and be lost. This grew so strong with me,
that I resolved to go back to the yard before I took my dinner, and ask
the boat builder if he thought his attempting to return by sea at all
likely. If he gave me the least reason to think so, I would go over to
Lowestoft and prevent it by bringing him with me.

I hastily ordered my dinner, and went back to the yard. I was none too
soon; for the boat builder, with a lantern in his hand, was locking
the yard gate. He quite laughed when I asked him the question, and
said there was no fear; no man in his senses, or out of them, would
put off in such a gale of wind, least of all Ham Peggotty, who had
been born to seafaring.

I went back to the inn. The howl and roar, the rattling of the doors
and windows, the rumbling in the chimneys, the apparent rocking of the
very house that sheltered me, and the prodigious tumult of the sea,
were more fearful than in the morning. But there was now a great
darkness besides; and that invested the storm with new terrors, real
and fanciful.

I could not eat, I could not sit still, I could not continue steadfast
in anything. Something within me, faintly answering to the storm
without, tossed up the depths of my memory and made a tumult in them.
Yet, in all the hurry of my thoughts, wild running with thundering
sea, the storm and my uneasiness regarding Ham were always in the
foreground.

My dinner went away almost untasted, and I tried to refresh myself
with a glass or two of wine. In vain. I fell into a dull slumber
before the fire, without losing my consciousness either of the uproar
out of doors or of the place in which I was. Both became overshadowed
by a new undefinable horror; and when I awoke--or rather when I shook
off the lethargy that bound me in my chair--my whole frame thrilled
with objectless and unintelligible fear.

I walked to and fro, tried to read an old gazetteer, listened to the
awful noises; looked at faces, scenes, and figures in the fire. At
length the steady ticking of the undisturbed clock on the wall
tormented me to that degree that I resolved to go to bed.

It was reassuring, on such a night, to be told that some of the inn
servants had agreed together to sit up until morning. I went to bed,
exceedingly weary and heavy; but on my lying down all such sensations
vanished, as if by magic, and I was broad awake, with every sense
refined.

For hours I lay there, listening to the wind and water; imagining now
that I heard shrieks out at sea, now that I distinctly heard the
firing of signal guns, and now the fall of houses in the town. I got
up several times and looked out, but could see nothing except the
reflection in the window panes of the faint candle I had left burning,
and of my own haggard face looking in at me from the black void.

At length my restlessness attained to such a pitch, that I hurried on
my clothes, and went downstairs. In the large kitchen, where I dimly
saw bacon and ropes of onions hanging from the beams, the watchers
were clustered together, in various attitudes, about a table,
purposely moved away from the great chimney, and brought near the
door. A pretty girl who had her ears stopped with her apron, and her
eyes upon the door, screamed when I appeared, supposing me to be a
spirit; but the others had more presence of mind, and were glad of an
addition to their company. One man, referring to the topic they had
been discussing, asked me whether I thought the souls of the collier
crews who had gone down were out in the storm?

I remained there, I dare say two hours. There was a dark gloom in my
solitary chamber when I at length returned to it; but I was tired now,
and, getting into bed again, fell off a tower and down a precipice
into the depths of sleep. I have an impression that for a long time,
though I dreamed of being elsewhere and in a variety of scenes, it was
always blowing in my dream. At length I lost that feeble hold upon
reality, and was engaged with two dear friends, but who they were I
don't know, at the siege of some town in a roar of cannonading.


II.

The thunder of the cannon was so loud and incessant, that I could not
hear something I much desired to hear, until I made a great exertion,
and awoke. It was broad day--eight or nine o'clock; the storm raging,
in lieu of the batteries; and some one knocking and calling at my door.

"What is the matter?" I cried.

"A wreck! close by!"

I sprang out of bed, and asked what wreck?

[Illustration:

  From the Painting by A. Marlon.      Carbon by Braun, Clement & Co.
  Engraved by Walter Aikman.

  The Shipwreck.
]

"A schooner, from Spain or Portugal, laden with fruit and wine. Make
haste, sir, if you want to see her! Its thought she'll go to pieces
every moment."

The excited voice went clamoring along the staircase; and I wrapped
myself in my clothes as quickly as I could, and ran into the street.
Numbers of people were there before us, all running in one direction,
to the beach. I ran the same way, outstripping a good many, and soon
came facing the wild sea.

The wind might by this time have lulled a little, though not more
sensibly than if the cannonading I had dreamed of had been diminished
by the silencing of half a dozen guns out of hundreds. But the sea,
having upon it the additional agitation of the whole night, was
infinitely more terrific than when I had seen it last. Every
appearance it had then presented bore the expression of being
_swelled_; and the height to which the breakers rose, and, looking
over one another, bore one another down, and rolled in, in
interminable hosts, was most appalling.

In the difficulty of hearing anything but wind and waves, and in the
crowd, and the unspeakable confusion, and my first breathless attempts
to stand against the weather, I was so confused that I looked out to
sea for the wreck, and saw nothing but the foaming heads of the great
waves. A half-dressed boatman standing next me pointed with his bare
arm (a tattooed arrow on it, pointing in the same direction) to the
left. Then, O great Heaven, I saw it, close in upon us!

One mast was broken short off, six or eight feet from the deck, and
lay over the side, entangled in a maze of sail and rigging; and all
that ruin, as the ship rolled and beat,--which she did without a
moment's pause, and with a violence quite inconceivable,--beat the
side as if it would stave it in. Some efforts were even then being
made to cut this portion of the wreck away; for as the ship, which was
broadside on, turned towards us in her rolling, I plainly descried her
people at work with axes, especially one active figure, with long
curling hair, conspicuous among the rest. But a great cry, which was
audible even above the wind and water, rose from the shore at this
moment: the sea, sweeping over the rolling wreck, made a clean breach,
and carried men, spars, casks, planks, bulwarks, heaps of such toys,
into the boiling surge.

The second mast was yet standing, with the rags of a rent sail, and a
wild confusion of broken cordage, flapping to and fro. The ship had
struck once, the same boatman hoarsely said in my ear, and then lifted
in and struck again. I understood him to add that she was parting
amidships, and I could readily suppose so, for the rolling and beating
were too tremendous for any human work to suffer long. As he spoke,
there was another great cry of pity from the beach: four men arose
with the wreck out of the deep, clinging to the rigging of the
remaining mast; uppermost, the active figure with the curling hair.

There was a bell on board; and as the ship rolled and dashed, like a
desperate creature driven mad, now showing us the whole sweep of her
deck, as she turned on her beam ends towards the shore, now nothing but
her keel, as she sprung wildly over and turned towards the sea, the
bell rang; and its sound, the knell of those unhappy men, was borne
towards us on the wind. Again we lost her, and again she rose. Two men
were gone. The agony on shore increased. Men groaned and clasped their
hands; women shrieked, and turned away their faces. Some ran wildly up
and down along the beach, crying for help where no help could be. I
found myself one of these, frantically imploring a knot of sailors whom
I knew, not to let those two lost creatures perish before our eyes.

They were making out to me, in an agitated way, that the lifeboat had
been bravely manned an hour ago, and could do nothing; and that as no
man would be so desperate as to attempt to wade off with a rope, and
establish a communication with the shore, there was nothing left to try;
when I noticed that some new sensation moved the people on the beach,
and saw them part, and Ham come breaking through them to the front.

I ran to him, as well as I know, to repeat my appeal for help. But
distracted though I was by a sight so new to me and terrible, the
determination in his face, and his look out to sea, awoke me to a
knowledge of his danger. I held him back with both arms, and implored
the men with whom I had been speaking not to listen to him, not to do
murder, not to let him stir from off that sand.

Another cry arose from the shore; and, looking towards the wreck, we saw
the cruel sail, with blow on blow, beat off the lower of the two men,
and fly up in triumph round the active figure left alone upon the mast.

Against such a sight, and against such determination as that of the
calmly desperate man who was already accustomed to lead half the
people present, I might as hopefully have intreated the wind. "Mas'r
Davy," he said cheerily, grasping me by both hands, "if my time is
come, 'tis come. If't an't, I'll bide it. Lord above bless you, and
bless all! Mates, make me ready! I'm a going off!"

I was swept away, but not unkindly, to some distance, where the people
around me made me stay; urging, as I confusedly perceived, that he was
bent on going, with help or without, and that I should endanger the
precautions for his safety by troubling those with whom they rested. I
don't know what I answered, or what they rejoined, but I saw hurry on
the beach, and men running with ropes from a capstan that was there,
and penetrating into a circle of figures that hid him from me. Then I
saw him standing alone, in a seaman's frock and trowsers, a rope in
his hand or slung to his wrist, another round his body; and several of
the best men holding, at a little distance, to the latter, which he
laid out himself, slack upon the shore, at his feet.

The wreck, even to my unpracticed eye, was breaking up. I saw that she
was parting in the middle, and that the life of the solitary man upon
the mast hung by a thread. Still he clung to it.

Ham watched the sea, standing alone, with the silence of suspended
breath behind him, and the storm before, until there was a great
retiring wave, when, with a backward glance at those who held the
rope, which was made fast round his body, he dashed in after it, and
in a moment was buffeting with the water--rising with the hills,
falling with valleys, lost beneath the foam; then drawn again to land.
They hauled in hastily.

He was hurt. I saw blood on his face from where I stood; but he took
no thought of that. He seemed hurriedly to give them some directions
for leaving him more free, or so I judged from the motion of his
arm--and was gone, as before.

And now he made for the wreck--rising with the hills, falling with the
valleys, lost beneath the rugged foam, borne in towards the shore,
borne on towards the ship, striving hard and valiantly. The distance
was nothing, but the power of the sea and wind made the strife deadly.

At length he neared the wreck. He was so near that with one more of
his vigorous strokes he would be clinging to it,--when a high, green,
vast hillside of water, moving on shoreward from beyond the ship, he
seemed to leap up into it with a mighty bound, and the ship was gone!

Some eddying fragments I saw in the sea, as if a mere cask had been
broken, in running to the spot where they were hauling in.
Consternation was in every face. They drew him to my very
feet--insensible, dead. He was carried to the nearest house; and, no
one preventing me now, I remained near him, busy, while every means of
restoration was tried; but he had been beaten to death by the great
wave, and his generous heart was stilled for ever.

  --_From "David Copperfield," by Charles Dickens._



THE HAPPY VALLEY.


The place which the wisdom or policy of antiquity had destined for the
residence of the Abyssinian princes was a spacious valley in the
kingdom of Amhara, surrounded on every side by mountains, of which the
summits overhang the middle part. The only passage by which it could
be entered was a cavern that passed under a rock, of which it has been
long disputed whether it was the work of Nature or of human industry.

[Illustration: Dr. Samuel Johnson.]

The outlet of the cavern was concealed by a thick wood, and the mouth,
which opened into the valley, was closed with gates of iron forged by
the artificers of ancient days, so massy that no man could, without
the help of engines, open or shut them.

From the mountains, on every side, rivulets descended, that filled all
the valley with verdure and fertility, and formed a lake in the
middle, inhabited by fish of every species, and frequented by every
fowl which Nature has taught to dip the wing in water. This lake
discharged its superfluities by a stream, which entered a dark cleft
of the mountain on the northern side, and fell, with dreadful noise,
from precipice to precipice, till it was heard no more.

The sides of the mountains were covered with trees. The banks of the
brooks were diversified with flowers. Every blast shook spices from
the rocks, and every month dropped fruits upon the ground. All animals
that bite the grass or browse the shrub, whether wild or tame,
wandered in this extensive circuit, secured from beasts of prey by the
mountains which confined them.

On one part were flocks and herds feeding in the pastures; on another,
all the beasts of chase frisking in the lawns; the sprightly kid was
bounding on the rocks, the subtle monkey frolicking in the trees, and
the solemn elephant reposing in the shade. All the diversities of the
world were brought together; the blessings of nature were collected,
and its evils extracted and excluded.

The valley, wide and fruitful, supplied its inhabitants with the
necessaries of life; and all delights and superfluities were added at
the annual visit which the Emperor paid his children, when the iron
gate was opened to the sound of music, and during eight days every one
that resided in the valley was required to propose whatever might
contribute to make seclusion pleasant, to fill up the vacancies of
attention, and lessen the tediousness of the time.

Every desire was immediately granted. All the artificers of pleasure
were called to gladden the festivity; the musicians exerted the power
of harmony, and the dancers showed their activity before the princes,
in hope that they should pass their lives in this blissful captivity,
to which those only were admitted whose performance was thought
capable of adding novelty to luxury.

Such was the appearance of security and delight which this retirement
afforded, that they to whom it was new always desired that it might be
perpetual; and as those on whom the iron gate had once closed were
never suffered to return, the effect of long experience could not be
known. Thus every year produced new schemes of delight and new
competitors for imprisonment.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Samuel Johnson's "Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia," from which this
selection is taken, was first published in 1759. "The late Mr.
Strahan, the printer, told me," says Boswell, "that Johnson wrote it,
so that with the profits he might defray the expenses of his mother's
funeral, and pay some little debts which she had left. He told Sir
Joshua Reynolds that he composed it in the evenings of one week, sent
it to the press in portions as it was written, and had never since
read it over. None of his writings have been so extensively diffused
over Europe, for it has been translated into most, if not all, of the
modern languages. This tale, with all the charms of oriental imagery,
and all the force and beauty of which the English language is capable,
leads us through the most important scenes of human life, and shows us
that this stage of our being is full of 'vanity and vexation of spirit.'"

The peculiarities of style which distinguish all of Johnson's writings
are well illustrated in this story. Notice the stately flow of
high-sounding words; the dignified formality of many of the
descriptive passages; and the richness and perfection which
characterize the production as a whole.



THE PASS OF KILLIECRANKIE.


John Græme of Claverhouse, whose title of Viscount Dundee had been
given him in reward for his cruelties to the Western Covenanters, was
the instigator and leader of a revolt of the Highland clans against
the government of William III. in Scotland. General Mackay, with his
loyal Scotch regiments, was sent out to suppress the uprising. But as
they climbed the pass of Killiecrankie, on the 27th of July, 1689,
Dundee charged them at the head of three thousand clansmen, and swept
them in headlong rout down the glen. His death in the moment of
victory broke, however, the only bond which held the Highlanders
together, and in a few weeks the host which had spread terror through
the Lowlands melted helplessly away.

The Græmes, or Grahams, were among the most noted of Scottish
families, and included some of the most distinguished men of the
country. Among them were Sir John the Græme, the faithful aid of Sir
William Wallace, who fell in the battle of Falkirk, 1298, and the
celebrated Marquis of Montrose, who died in 1650, and whose exploits
are immortalized in Scott's "Legend of Montrose."

In the following stirring verses from "The Lays of the Scottish
Cavaliers," by W. E. Aytoun, the fight at Killiecrankie is described,
presumably, by one of the adherents of Dundee. The title of the poem
in its complete form is "The Burial March of Dundee." Our selection
includes only so much as relates to the conflict in the pass.

    On the heights of Killiecrankie
      Yester-morn our army lay:
    Slowly rose the mist in columns
      From the river's broken way;
    Hoarsely roared the swollen torrent,
      And the pass was wrapt in gloom,
    When the clansmen rose together
      From their lair amidst the broom.
    Then we belted on our tartans,
      And our bonnets down we drew,
    And we felt our broadswords' edges,
      And we proved them to be true;
    And we prayed the prayer of soldiers,
      And we cried the gathering cry,
    And we clasped the hands of kinsmen,
      And we swore to do or die!
    Then our leader rode before us
      On his war horse black as night--
    Well the Cameronian rebels
      Knew that charger in the fight!--
    And a cry of exultation
      From the bearded warriors rose;
    For we loved the house of Claver'se,
      And we thought of good Montrose,
    But he raised his hand for silence--
      "Soldiers! I have sworn a vow:
    Ere the evening star shall glisten
      On Schehallion's lofty brow,
    Either we shall rest in triumph,
      Or another of the Græmes
    Shall have died in battle harness
      For his country and King James!
    Think upon the Royal Martyr--
      Think of what his race endure--
    Think of him whom butchers murdered
      On the field of Magus Muir:--
    By his sacred blood I charge ye,
      By the ruined hearth and shrine--
    By the blighted hopes of Scotland,
      By your injuries and mine--
    Strike this day as if the anvil
      Lay beneath your blows the while,
    Be they Covenanting traitors,
      Or the brood of false Argyle!
    Strike! and drive the trembling rebels
      Backwards o'er the stormy Forth;
    Let them tell their pale Convention
      How they fared within the North.
    Let them tell that Highland honor
      Is not to be bought or sold,
    That we scorn their prince's anger
      As we loathe his foreign gold.
    Strike! and when the fight is over,
      If ye look in vain for me,
    Where the dead are lying thickest,
      Search for him that was Dundee!"
    Loudly then the hills reëchoed
      With our answer to his call,
    But a deeper echo sounded
      In the bosoms of us all.
    For the lands of wide Breadalbane
      Not a man who heard him speak
    Would that day have left the battle.
      Burning eye and flushing cheek
    Told the clansmen's fierce emotion,
      And they harder drew their breath;
    For their souls were strong within them,
      Stronger than the grasp of death.
    Soon we heard a challenge trumpet
      Sounding in the pass below,
    And the distant tramp of horses,
      And the voices of the foe:
    Down we crouched amid the bracken,
      Till the Lowland ranks drew near,
    Panting like the hounds in summer,
      When they scent the stately deer.
    From the dark defile emerging,
      Next we saw the squadrons come,
    Leslie's foot and Leven's troopers
      Marching to the tuck of drum;
    Through the scattered wood of birches,
      O'er the broken ground and heath,
    Wound the long battalion slowly,
      Till they gained the field beneath;
    Then we bounded from our covert.--
      Judge how looked the Saxons then,
    When they saw the rugged mountain
      Start to life with armèd men!
    Like a tempest down the ridges
      Swept the hurricane of steel,
    Rose the slogan of Macdonald,--
      Flashed the broadsword of Lochiell!
    Vainly sped the withering volley
      'Mongst the foremost of our band--
    On we poured until we met them,
      Foot to foot, and hand to hand.
    Horse and man went down like driftwood
      When the floods are black at Yule,
    And their carcasses are whirling
      In the Garry's deepest pool.
    Horse and man went down before us--
      Living foe there tarried none
    On the field of Killiecrankie,
      When that stubborn fight was done!
    And the evening star was shining
      On Schehallion's distant head,
    When we wiped our bloody broadswords,
      And returned to count the dead.
    There we found him gashed and gory,
      Stretched upon the cumbered plain,
    As he told us where to seek him,
      In the thickest of the slain.
    And a smile was on his visage,
      For within his dying ear
    Pealed the joyful note of triumph,
      And the clansmen's clamorous cheer:
    So, amidst the battle's thunder,
      Shot, and steel, and scorching flame,
    In the glory of his manhood
      Passed the spirit of the Græme!



SUMMER RAIN.


It is a long time since much rain fell. The ground is a little dry, the
road is a good deal dusty. The garden bakes. Transplanted trees are
thirsty. Wheels are shrinking and tires are looking dangerous. Men
speculate on the clouds; they begin to calculate how long it will be, if
no rain falls, before the potatoes will suffer; the oats, the grass, the
corn--everything! To be sure, nothing is yet suffering; but then--

[Illustration: Henry Ward Beecher.]

Rain, rain, rain! All day, all night, steady raining. Will it never
stop? The hay is out and spoiling. The rain washes the garden. All
things have drunk their fill. The springs revive, the meadows are wet;
the rivers run discolored with soil from every hill.

Smoking cattle reek under the sheds. Hens, and fowl in general,
shelter and plume. The sky is leaden. The clouds are full yet. The
long fleece covers the mountains. The hills are capped in white. The
air is full of moisture.

The wind roars down the chimney. The birds are silent. No insects
chirp. Closets smell moldy. The barometer is clogged. We thump it, but
it will not get up. It seems to have an understanding with the
weather. The trees drip, shoes are muddy, carriage and wagon are
splashed with dirt. Paths are soft.

So it is. When it is clear we want rain, and when it rains we wish it
would shine. But after all, how lucky for grumblers that they are not
allowed to meddle with the weather, and that it is put above their
reach. What a scrambling, selfish, mischief-making time we should
have, if men undertook to parcel out the seasons and the weather
according to their several humors or interests!

If one will but look for enjoyment, how much there is in every change
of weather. The formation of clouds--the various signs and signals,
the uncertain wheeling and marching of the fleecy cohorts, the shades
of light and gray in the broken heavens--all have their pleasure to an
observant eye. Then come the wind gust, the distant dark cloud, the
occasional fiery streak shot down through it, the run and hurry of men
whose work may suffer!

Indeed, sir, your humble servant, even, was stirred up on the day
after Fourth of July. The grass in the old orchard was not my best.
Indeed, we grumbled at it considerably while it was yet standing. But
being cut and the rain threatening it, one would have thought it gold
by the nimble way in which we tried to save it!

Blessed be horse rakes! Once, half a dozen men with half a dozen rakes
would have gone whisking up and down, thrusting out and pulling in the
long-handled rakes with slow and laborious progress. But no more of
that. See friend Turner, mounted on the wheeled horse rake, riding
about as if for pleasure. It is easy times when _men_ ride and
_horses_ rake.

Meanwhile, the clouds come bowling noiselessly through the air, and
spit here and there a drop preliminary. Well, if one thing suffers,
another gains! See how the leaves are washed; the grass drinks, even
drinks; the garden drinks; everything drinks.

It is our opinion that everything except man is laughing and
rejoicing. Trees shake their leaves with a softer sound. Rocks look
moist and soft, at least where the moss grows. Even the solitary old
pine tree chords his harp, and sings soft and low melodies with
plaintive undulations!

A good summer storm is a rain of riches. If gold and silver rattled
down from the clouds, they could hardly enrich the land so much as
soft, long rains. Every drop is silver going to the mint. The roots
are machinery, and, catching the willing drops, they array them,
refine them, roll them, stamp them, and turn them out coined berries,
apples, grains, and grasses!

When the heavens send clouds and they bank up the horizon, be sure
they have hidden gold in them. All the mountains of California are not
so rich as are the soft mines of heaven, that send down treasures upon
man without tasking him, and pour riches upon his field without spade
or pickax--without his search or notice.

Well, let it rain, then! No matter if the journey is delayed, the
picnic spoiled, the visit adjourned. Blessed be rain--and rain in
summer. And blessed be he who watereth the earth and enricheth it for
man and beast.

  --_Henry Ward Beecher._



LIFE IN THE BACKWOODS.

[Illustration: William Dean Howells.]


It would not be easy to say where or when the first log cabin was built,
but it is safe to say that it was somewhere in the English colonies of
North America, and it is certain that it became the type of the
settler's house throughout the whole middle west. It may be called the
American house, the Western house, the Ohio house. Hardly any other
house was built for a hundred years by the men who were clearing the
land for the stately mansions of our day. As long as the primeval
forests stood, the log cabin remained the woodsman's home; and not fifty
years ago, I saw log cabins newly built in one of the richest and most
prosperous regions of Ohio. They were, to be sure, log cabins of a finer
pattern than the first settler reared. They were of logs handsomely
shaped with the broadax; the joints between the logs were plastered with
mortar; the chimney at the end was of stone; the roof was shingled, the
windows were of glass, and the door was solid and well hung. But
throughout that region there were many log cabins, mostly sunk to the
uses of stables and corn cribs, of the kind that the borderers built in
the times of the Indian War, from 1750 to 1800. They were framed of the
round logs untouched by the ax except for the notches at the ends where
they were fitted into one another; the chimney was of small sticks stuck
together with mud, and was as frail as a barn swallow's nest; the walls
were stuffed with moss, plastered with clay; the floor was of rough
boards called puncheons, riven from the block with a heavy knife; the
roof was of clapboards laid loosely on the rafters, and held in place
with logs fastened athwart them.

[Illustration: Log Cabin.]

There is a delightful account of such a log cabin by John S. Williams,
whose father settled in the woods of Belmont County in 1800. "Our
cabin," he says, "had been raised, covered, part of the cracks
chinked, and part of the floor laid, when we moved in on Christmas
day. There had not been a stick cut except in building the cabin,
which was so high from the ground that a bear, wolf, panther, or any
animal less in size than a cow could enter without even a squeeze....
The green ash puncheons had shrunk so as to leave cracks in the floor
and doors from one to two inches wide. At both the doors we had high,
unsteady, and sometimes icy steps, made by piling the logs cut out of
the walls, for the doors and the window, if it could be called a
window, when perhaps it was the largest spot in the top, bottom, or
sides of the cabin where the wind could _not_ enter. It was made by
sawing out a log, and placing sticks across and then by pasting an
old newspaper over the hole, and applying hog's lard, we had a kind of
glazing which shed a most beautiful and mellow light across the cabin
when the sun shone on it. All other light entered at the doors,
cracks, and chimneys. Our cabin was twenty-four by eighteen. The west
end was occupied by two beds, the center of each side by a door.... On
the opposite side of the window, made of clapboards, supported on pins
driven into the walls, were our shelves. On these shelves my sister
displayed in simple order, a host of pewter plates, and dishes and
spoons, scoured and bright.... Our chimney occupied most of the east
end; with pots and kettles opposite the window, under the shelves, a
gun on hooks over the north door, four split-bottomed chairs, three
three-legged stools, and a small eight by ten looking-glass sloped
from the wall over a large towel and comb case.... We got a roof laid
over head as soon as possible, but it was laid of loose clapboards
split from a red-oak, and a cat might have shaken every board in our
ceiling.... We made two kinds of furniture. One kind was of hickory
bark, with the outside shaved off. This we would take off all around
the tree, the size of which would determine the caliber of our box.
Into one end we would place a flat piece of bark or puncheon, cut
round to fit in the bark, which stood on end the same as when on the
tree.... A much finer article was made of slippery-elm bark, shaved
smooth, with the inside out, bent round and sewed together, where the
end of the hoop or main bark lapped over.... This was the finest
furniture in a lady's dressing room," and such a cabin and its
appointments were splendor and luxury beside those of the very
earliest pioneers, and many of the latest. The Williamses were
Quakers, and the mother was recently from England; they were of far
gentler breeding and finer tastes than most of their neighbors, who
had been backwoodsmen for generations.

When the first settlers broke the silence of the woods with the stroke
of their axes, and hewed out a space for their cabins and their
fields, they inclosed their homes with a high stockade of logs, for
defense against the Indians; or if they built their cabins outside the
wooden walls of their stronghold, they always expected to flee to it
at the first alarm, and to stand siege within it.

The Indians had no cannon, and the logs of the stockade were proof
against their rifles; if a breach was made, there was still the
blockhouse left, the citadel of every little fort. This was heavily
built, and pierced with loopholes for the riflemen within, whose wives
ran bullets for them at its mighty hearth, and who kept the savage foe
from its sides by firing down upon them through the projecting timbers
of its upper story. But in many a fearful siege the Indians set the
roof ablaze with arrows wrapped in burning tow, and then the fight
became desperate indeed. After the Indian war ended, the stockade was
no longer needed, and the settlers had only the wild beasts to contend
with, and those constant enemies of the poor in all ages and
conditions,--hunger and cold.

Winter after winter, the Williamses heard the wolves howling round
them in the woods, and this music was familiar to the ears of all the
Ohio pioneers, who trusted their rifles for both the safety and
support of their families. They deadened the trees around them by
girdling them with the ax, and planted the spaces between the leafless
trunks with corn and beans and pumpkins. These were their necessaries,
but they had an occasional luxury in the wild honey from the hollow of
a bee tree when the bears had not got at it.

In its season, there was an abundance of wild fruit, plums and
cherries, haws and grapes, berries, and nuts of every kind, and the
maples yielded all the sugar they chose to make from them. But it was
long before they had, at any time, the profusion which our modern arts
enable us to enjoy the whole year round, and in the hard beginnings
the orchard and the garden were forgotten for the fields.

When once the settler was housed against the weather, he had the
conditions of a certain rude comfort indoors. If his cabin was not
proof against the wind and rain or snow, its vast fireplace formed the
means of heating, while the forest was an inexhaustible store of fuel.
At first he dressed in the skins and pelts of the deer and fox and
wolf, and his costume could have varied little from that of the red
savage about him, for we often read how he mistook Indians for white
men at first sight, and how the Indians in their turn mistook white
men for their own people.

The whole family went barefoot in the summer, but in winter the
pioneer wore moccasins of buckskin, and buckskin leggins or trousers;
his coat was a hunting shirt belted at the waist and fringed where it
fell to his knees. It was of homespun, a mixture of wool and flax
called linsey-woolsey, and out of this the dresses of his wife and
daughters were made; the wool was shorn from the sheep which were so
scarce that they were never killed for their flesh, except by the
wolves, which were very fond of mutton, but had no use for wool.

For a wedding dress a cotton check was thought superb, and it really
cost a dollar a yard; silks, satins, laces, were unknown. A man never
left his house without his rifle; the gun was a part of his dress, and
in his belt he carried a hunting knife and a hatchet; on his head he
wore a cap of squirrel skin, often with the plume-like tail dangling
from it.

The furniture of the cabins was, like the clothing of the pioneers,
homemade. A bedstead was contrived by stretching poles from forked
sticks driven into the ground, and laying clapboards across them; the
bedclothes were bearskins. Stools, benches, and tables were roughed
out with auger and broadax; the puncheon floor was left bare, and if
the earth formed the floor, no rug ever replaced the grass which was
its first carpet. The cabin had but one room where the whole of life
went on by day; the father and mother slept there at night, and the
children mounted to their chamber in the loft by means of a ladder.

The food was what has been already named. The meat was venison, bear,
raccoon, wild turkey, wild duck, and pheasant; the drink was water, or
rye coffee, or whisky which the little stills everywhere supplied only
too abundantly. Wheat bread was long unknown, and corn cakes of
various makings and bakings supplied its place. The most delicious
morsel of all was corn grated while still in the milk and fashioned
into round cakes eaten hot from the clapboard before the fire, or from
the mysterious depths of the Dutch oven, buried in coals and ashes on
the hearth. There was soon a great flow of milk from the kine that
multiplied in the woods and pastures, and there was sweetening enough
from the maple tree and the bee tree, but salt was very scarce and
very dear, and long journeys were made through the perilous woods to
and from the licks, or salt springs, which the deer had discovered
before the white man or red man knew them.

The bees which hived their honey in the hollow trees were tame bees
gone wild, and with the coming of the settlers, some of the wild
things increased so much that they became a pest. Such were the crows
which literally blackened the fields after the settlers plowed, and
which the whole family had to fight from the corn when it was planted.
Such were the rabbits, and such, above all, were the squirrels which
overran the farms, and devoured every green thing till the people
combined in great squirrel hunts and destroyed them by tens of
thousands. The larger game had meanwhile disappeared. The buffalo and
the elk went first; the deer followed, and the bear, and even the
useless wolf. But long after these the poisonous reptiles lingered,
the rattlesnake, the moccasin, and the yet deadlier copperhead; and it
was only when the whole country was cleared that they ceased to be a
very common danger.

  --_From "Stories of Ohio," by William Dean Howells._



HOW THEY BESIEGED THE TOWN.


Charles Reade, in his great romance entitled "The Cloister and the
Hearth," has not only presented us with a story of absorbing interest,
but has given us a vivid and accurate view of manners and customs
during one of the most interesting periods of history. The following
extract is particularly interesting because of its vivid portrayal of
the methods of warfare in vogue at that time. There was a rebellion in
Flanders. More than one knight had broken his oath of fealty to the
Duke of Burgundy, who was the ruler of that country, and some of the
strongest castles were fortified by rebels. To subdue these
dissatisfied spirits and to reduce the country again to subjection,
Counts Anthony and Baldwyn of Burgundy had entered Flanders at the
head of a considerable army and were carrying fire and sword among the
enemies of the Duke. One of their exploits at this time is thus
narrated by the novelist:--

[Illustration: Charles Reade.]

    One afternoon they came in sight of a strongly fortified town; and
    a whisper went through the little army that this was a disaffected
    place. But upon coming nearer they saw that the great gate stood
    open, and the towers that flanked it on each side were manned
    with a single sentinel apiece. So the advancing force somewhat
    broke their array and marched carelessly.

    When they were within a furlong, the drawbridge across the moat
    rose slowly and creaking till it stood vertical against the fort;
    and the very moment it settled, into this warlike attitude, down
    rattled the portcullis at the gate, and the towers and curtains
    bristled with lances and crossbows.

    A stern hum ran through the front rank and spread to the rear.

    "Halt!" cried their leader. The word went down the line, and they
    halted. "Herald to the gate!"

    A herald spurred out of the ranks, and halting twenty yards from
    the gate, raised his bugle with his herald's flag hanging down
    round it, and blew a summons. A tall figure in brazen armor
    appeared over the gate. A few fiery words passed between him and
    the herald, which were not audible; but their import was clear,
    for the herald blew a single keen and threatening note at the
    walls, and came galloping back with war in his face.

    The leader moved out of the line to meet him, and their heads had
    not been together two seconds ere he turned in his saddle and
    shouted, "Pioneers, to the van!" and in a moment hedges were
    leveled, and the force took the field and encamped just out of
    shot from the walls; and away went mounted officers flying south,
    east, and west, to the friendly towns, for catapults, palisades,
    mantelets, raw hides, tar barrels, carpenters, provisions, and all
    the materials for a siege.

    The besiegers encamped a furlong from the walls, and made roads;
    kept their pikemen in camp ready for an assault when practicable;
    and sent forward their sappers, pioneers, catapultiers, and
    crossbowmen. These opened a siege by filling the moat and mining,
    or breaching the wall, etc. And as much of their work had to be
    done under close fire of arrows, quarrels, bolts, stones, and
    little rocks, the above artists "had need of a hundred eyes," and
    acted in concert with a vigilance, and an amount of individual
    intelligence, daring, and skill that made a siege very
    interesting, and even amusing,--to lookers-on.

    The first thing they did was to advance their carpenters behind
    rolling mantelets, and to erect a stockade high and strong on the
    very edge of the moat. Some lives were lost at this, but not many;
    for a strong force of crossbowmen, including Denys, rolled their
    mantelets[1] up and shot over the workmen's heads at every
    besieged person who showed his nose, and at every loophole, arrow
    slit, or other aperture, which commanded the particular spot the
    carpenters happened to be upon. Covered by their condensed fire,
    these soon raised a high palisade between them and the ordinary
    missiles from the walls.

    But the besieged expected this, and ran out at night their hoards
    or wooden penthouses on the top of the curtains. The curtains were
    built with square holes near the top to receive the beams that
    supported these structures, the true defense of mediæval forts,
    from which the besieged delivered their missiles with far more
    freedom and variety of range than they could shoot through the
    oblique but immovable loopholes of the curtain. On this the
    besiegers brought up mangonels, and set them hurling huge stones
    at these wood works and battering them to pieces. At the same time
    they built a triangular wooden tower as high as the curtain, and
    kept it ready for use, and just out of shot.

    This was a terrible sight to the besieged. These wooden towers had
    taken many a town. They began to mine underneath that part of the
    moat the tower stood frowning at; and made other preparations to
    give it a warm reception. The besiegers also mined, but at another
    part, their object being to get under the square barbican and
    throw it down. All this time Denys was behind his mantelet with
    another arbalester, protecting the workmen and making some
    excellent shots. These ended by earning him the esteem of an
    unseen archer, who every now and then sent a winged compliment
    quivering into his mantelet. One came and stuck within an inch of
    the narrow slit through which Denys was squinting at the moment.

    [Illustration: Hoard, or Penthouse.]

    "Ha! ha!" cried he, "you shoot well, my friend. Come forth and
    receive my congratulations! Shall merit, such as thine, hide its
    head? Comrade, it is one of those Englishmen, with his half ell
    shaft. I'll not die till I've had a shot at London wall."

    On the side of the besieged was a figure that soon attracted great
    notice by promenading under fire. It was a tall knight, clad in
    complete brass, and carrying a light but prodigiously long lance,
    with which he directed the movements of the besieged. And when any
    disaster befell the besiegers, this tall knight and his long lance
    were pretty sure to be concerned in it.

    My young reader will say, "Why did not Denys shoot him?"

    Denys did shoot him; every day of his life; other arbalesters shot
    him; archers shot him. Everybody shot him. He was there to be
    shot, apparently. But the abomination was, he did not mind being
    shot. Nay, worse, he got at last so demoralized as not to seem to
    know when he was shot. At last the besiegers got spiteful, and
    would not waste any more good steel on him.

    It was a bright day, clear, but not quite frosty. The efforts of
    the besieging force were concentrated against a space of about two
    hundred and fifty yards, containing two curtains and two towers,
    one of which was the square barbican, the other had a pointed roof
    that was built to overlap, and by this means a row of dangerous
    crenelets between the roof and the masonry grinned down at the
    nearer assailants, and looked not very unlike the grinders of a
    modern frigate with each port nearly closed. The curtains were
    overlapped with penthouses somewhat shattered by the mangonels,
    and other slinging engines of the besiegers.

    On the besiegers' edge of the moat was what seemed at first sight
    a gigantic arsenal, longer than it was broad, peopled by human
    ants, and full of busy, honest industry, and displaying all the
    various mechanical science of the age in full operation. Here the
    lever at work, there the winch and pulley, here the balance, there
    the capstan. Everywhere heaps of stones, and piles of fascines,
    mantelets, and rows of fire barrels. Mantelets rolling, the hammer
    tapping all day, horses and carts in endless succession rattling
    up with materials.

    At the edge of the moat opposite the wooden tower, a strong
    penthouse, which they called "a cat," might be seen stealing
    towards the curtain, and gradually filling up the moat with
    fascines and rubbish, which the workmen flung out at its mouth. It
    was advanced by two sets of ropes passing round pulleys, and each
    worked by a windlass at some distance from the cat. The knight
    burnt the first cat by flinging blazing tar barrels on it. So the
    besiegers made the roof of this one very steep, and covered it
    with raw hides, and the tar barrels could not harm it.

    And now the engineers proceeded to the unusual step of slinging
    fifty-pound stones at an individual.

    This catapult was a scientific, simple, and beautiful engine, and
    very effective in vertical fire at the short ranges of the period.

    Imagine a fir tree cut down, and set to turn round a horizontal
    axis on lofty uprights, but not in equilibrium; three fourths of
    the tree being on the hither side. At the shorter and thicker end
    of the tree was fastened a weight of half a ton. This butt end
    just before the discharge pointed towards the enemy. By means of a
    powerful winch the long tapering portion of the tree was forced
    down to the very ground, and fastened by a bolt; and the stone
    placed in a sling attached to the tree's nose. But this process of
    course raised the butt end with its huge weight high in the air,
    and kept it there struggling in vain to come down. The bolt was
    now drawn; then the short end swung furiously down, the long end
    went as furiously up, and at its highest elevation flung the huge
    stone out of the sling with a tremendous jerk. In this case the
    huge mass so flung missed the knight, but came down near him on
    the penthouse, and went through it like paper, making an awful gap
    in roof and floor.

    [Illustration: A Catapult.]

    "Aha! a good shot!" cried Baldwyn of Burgundy.

    The tall knight retired. The besiegers hooted him. He reappeared
    on the platform of the barbican, his helmet being just visible
    above the parapet. He seemed very busy, and soon an enormous
    Turkish catapult made its appearance on the platform, and, aided
    by the elevation at which it was planted, flung a twenty-pound
    stone two hundred and forty yards in the air. The next stone
    struck a horse that was bringing up a sheaf of arrows in a cart,
    bowled the horse over dead like a rabbit, and split the cart. It
    was then turned at the besiegers' wooden tower, supposed to be out
    of shot. Sir Turk slung stones cut with sharp edges on purpose,
    and struck it repeatedly, and broke it in several places. The
    besiegers turned two of their slinging engines on this monster,
    and kept constantly slinging smaller stones on to the platform of
    the barbican, and killed two of the engineers. But the Turk
    disdained to retort. He flung a forty-pound stone on to the
    besiegers' great catapult, and hitting it in the neighborhood of
    the axis, knocked the whole structure to pieces, and sent the
    engineers skipping and yelling.

    The next morning an unwelcome sight greeted the besieged. The cat
    was covered with mattresses and raw hides, and fast filling up the
    moat. The knight stoned it, but in vain; flung burning tar barrels
    on it, but in vain. Then with his own hands he let down by a rope
    a bag of burning sulphur and pitch, and stunk them out. But
    Baldwyn, armed like a lobster, ran, and bounding on the roof, cut
    the string, and the work went on. Then the knight sent fresh
    engineers into the mine, and undermined the place and underpinned
    it with beams, and covered the beams thickly with grease and tar.

    At break of day the moat was filled, and the wooden tower began to
    move on its wheels towards a part of the curtain on which two
    catapults were already playing, to breach the hoards and clear the
    way. There was something awful and magical in its approach without
    visible agency, for it was driven by internal rollers worked by
    leverage.

    On the top was a platform, where stood the first assailing party
    protected in front by the drawbridge of the turret, which stood
    vertical till lowered on to the wall; but better protected by full
    suits of armor. The besieged slung at the tower, and struck it
    often, but in vain. It was well defended with mattresses and
    hides, and presently was at the edge of the moat. The knight bade
    fire the mine underneath it.

    Then the Turkish engine flung a stone of half a hundredweight
    right amongst the knights, and carried two away with it off the
    tower on to the plain.

    And now the besieging catapults flung blazing tar barrels, and fired
    the hoards on both sides, and the assailants ran up the ladders
    behind the tower, and lowered the drawbridge on to the battered
    curtain, while the catapults in concert flung tar barrels, and fired
    the adjoining works to dislodge the defenders. The armed men on the
    platform sprang on the bridge, led by Baldwyn. The invulnerable
    knight and his men at arms met them, and a fearful combat ensued, in
    which many a figure was seen to fall headlong down off the narrow
    bridge. But fresh besiegers kept swarming up behind the tower, and
    the besieged were driven off the bridge.

    Another minute, and the town would have been taken; but so well
    had the firing of the mines been timed, that just at this instant
    the underpinnings gave way, and the tower suddenly sank away from
    the walls, tearing the drawbridge clear and pouring the soldiers
    off it against the masonry and on to the dry moat.

    The besieged uttered a fierce shout, and in a moment surrounded
    Baldwyn and his fellows; but strange to say, offered them quarter.
    While a party disarmed and disposed of these, others fired the
    turret in fifty places with a sort of hand grenades. At this work
    who so busy as the tall knight? He put fire bags on his long
    spear, and thrust them into the doomed structure late so terrible.
    To do this, he was obliged to stand on a projecting beam, holding
    on by the hand of a pikeman to steady himself. This provoked
    Denys; he ran out from his mantelet, hoping to escape notice in
    the confusion, and leveling his crossbow missed the knight clean,
    but sent his bolt into the brain of the pikeman, and the tall
    knight fell heavily from the wall, lance and all.

    The knight, his armor glittering in the morning sun, fell
    headlong, but turning as he neared the water, struck it with a
    slap that sounded a mile off.

    None ever thought to see him again. But he fell at the edge of the
    fascines, and his spear stuck into them under the water, and by a
    mighty effort he got to the side, but could not get out. Anthony
    sent a dozen knights with a white flag to take him prisoner. He
    submitted like a lamb, but said nothing.

[Footnote 1: For explanation of this and similar terms used in this
selection, see the notes at the end of this book and especially the
word "Castle" in Webster's International Dictionary.]



LOCHINVAR.

LADY HERON'S SONG.


    Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west!
    Through all the wide Border his steed was the best:
    And, save his good broadsword, he weapons had none;
    He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone.
    So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
    There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

    He staid not for brake, and he stopped not for stone;
    He swam the Esk river, where ford there was none;
    But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
    The bride had consented--the gallant came late;
    For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
    Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

    So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,
    Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all.
    Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,
    (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word),
    "Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
    Or to dance at our bridal, young lord Lochinvar?"

    "I long wooed your daughter--my suit you denied;
    Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide;
    And now I am come with this lost love of mine
    To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
    There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
    That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."

    The bride kissed the goblet, the knight took it up;
    He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup;
    She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
    With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
    He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar--
    "Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.

    So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
    That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
    While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
    And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
    And the bridemaidens whispered, "'Twere better by far
    To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."

    One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
    When they reached the hall door, and the charger stood near;
    So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
    So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
    "She is won! We are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur!
    They'll have fleet steeds that follow!" quoth young Lochinvar.

    There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan;
    Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran;
    There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
    But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
    So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
    Have you e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?

  --_From "Marmion," by Sir Walter Scott._



ON A TROPICAL RIVER.


"Westward Ho!" is a novel written by Rev. Charles Kingsley, and first
published in 1855. It is a story of the times of Queen Elizabeth, of
the threatened invasion of England by the Spanish Armada, and of wild
adventure on the sea and in the forests of the New World. Several
historical personages are made to appear in the story, such as Sir
Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Admiral Hawkins, and others. The
hero is Amyas Leigh, "a Devonshire youth of great bodily strength, of
lively affection and sweet temper, combined with a marked propensity
to combat from his earliest years." Amyas and his companions had
undertaken an expedition to discover the fabled golden city of Manoa,
which was said to exist somewhere in the wilds of South America. They
had been searching more than three years for this city when they
reached the Meta River in canoes, and the following adventure occurred.

[Illustration: Charles Kingsley.]

       *       *       *       *       *

For three hours or more Amyas Leigh and his companions paddled easily
up the glassy and windless reaches, between two green
flower-bespangled walls of forest, gay with innumerable birds and
insects; while down from the branches which overhung the stream, long
trailers hung to the water's edge, and seemed admiring in the clear
mirror the images of their own gorgeous flowers. River, trees,
flowers, birds, insects,--it was all a fairyland; but it was a
colossal one; and yet the voyagers took little note of it.

It was now to them an everyday occurrence to see trees full two
hundred feet high one mass of yellow or purple blossom to the highest
twigs, and every branch and stem one hanging garden of crimson and
orange orchids or vanillas. Common to them were all the fantastic and
enormous shapes with which Nature bedecks her robes beneath the fierce
suns and fattening rains of the tropic forest. Common were forms and
colors of bird, and fish, and butterfly, more strange and bright than
ever opium eater dreamed.

The long processions of monkeys, who kept pace with them along the
tree tops, and proclaimed their wonder in every imaginable whistle and
grunt and howl, had ceased to move their laughter, as much as the roar
of the jaguar and the rustle of the boa had ceased to move their fear;
and when a brilliant green and rose-colored fish, flat-bodied like a
bream, flat-finned like a salmon, and sawtoothed like a shark, leaped
clean on board of the canoe to escape the rush of a huge alligator
(whose loathsome snout, ere he could stop, actually rattled against
the canoe), Jack coolly picked up the fish and said:

"He's four pound weight! If you catch fish for us like that, old
fellow, just keep in our wake, and we'll give you the cleanings for
your wages!"

They paddled onward hour after hour, sheltering themselves as best
they could under the shadow of the southern bank, while on their right
hand the full sun glare lay upon the enormous wall of mimosas, figs,
and laurels, which formed the northern forest, broken by the slender
shafts of bamboo tufts, and decked with a thousand gaudy parasites;
bank upon bank of gorgeous bloom piled upward to the sky, till where
its outline cut the blue, flowers and leaves, too lofty to be
distinguished by the eye, formed a broken rainbow of all hues
quivering in the ascending streams of azure mist, until they seemed to
melt and mingle with the very heavens.

And as the sun rose higher and higher, a great stillness fell upon the
forest. The jaguars and the monkeys had hidden themselves in the
darkest depths of the woods. The birds' notes died out one by one; the
very butterflies ceased their flitting over the tree tops, and slept
with outspread wings upon the glossy leaves, undistinguishable from
the flowers around them. Now and then a parrot swung and screamed at
them from an overhanging bough; or a thirsty monkey slid lazily down a
swinging vine to the surface of the stream, dipped up the water in his
tiny hand, and started chattering back, as his eyes met those of some
foul alligator peering upward through the clear depths below.

In shaded nooks beneath the boughs, rabbits as large as sheep went
paddling sleepily round and round, thrusting up their unwieldy heads
among the blooms of the blue water lilies; while black and purple
water hens ran up and down upon the rafts of floating leaves. The
shining snout of a fresh-water dolphin rose slowly to the surface; a
jet of spray whirred up; a rainbow hung upon it for a moment; and the
black snout sank lazily again.

Here and there, too, upon some shallow pebbly shore, scarlet
flamingoes stood dreaming knee-deep on one leg; crested cranes pranced
up and down, admiring their own finery; and irises and egrets dipped
their bills under water in search of prey; but before noon, even those
had slipped away, and there reigned a stillness which might be
heard--a stillness in which, as Humboldt says: "If beyond the silence
we listen for the faintest undertones, we detect a stifled, continuous
hum of insects, which crowd the air close to the earth; a confused
swarming murmur which hangs round every bush, in the cracked bark of
trees, in the soil undermined by lizards and bees; a voice proclaiming
to us that all Nature breathes, that under a thousand different forms
life swarms in the gaping and dusty earth, as much as in the bosom of
the waters, and in the air which breathes around."

At last a soft and distant murmur, increasing gradually to a heavy
roar, announced that they were nearing some cataract; till, turning a
point where the alluvial soil rose into a low cliff fringed with
delicate ferns, they came in full sight of a scene at which all
paused--not with astonishment, but with something very like disgust.

"Rapids again!" grumbled one. "I thought we had had enough of them on
the Orinoco!"

"We shall have to get out, and draw the canoes overland, I suppose!"

"There's worse behind; don't you see the spray behind the palms?"

"Stop grumbling, my masters, and don't cry out before you are hurt.
Paddle right up to the largest of those islands, and let us look about
us."

In front of them was a snow-white bar of foam, some ten feet high,
along which were ranged three or four islands of black rock. Each was
crested with a knot of lofty palms, whose green tops stood out clear
against the bright sky, while the lower half of their stems loomed
hazy through a luminous veil of rainbowed mist. The banks right and
left of the fall were so densely fringed with a low hedge of shrubs
that landing seemed almost impossible; and their Indian guide,
suddenly looking round him and whispering, bade them beware of
savages, and pointed to a canoe which lay swinging in the eddies under
the largest island, moored apparently to the root of some tree.

"Silence, all!" cried Amyas, "and paddle up thither and seize the
canoe. If there be an Indian on the island, we will have speech of
him. But mind, and treat him friendly; and on your lives, neither
strike nor shoot, even if he offers to fight."

So, choosing a line of smooth backwater just in the wake of the
island, they drove their canoes up by main force, and fastened them
safely by the side of the Indian's, while Amyas, always the foremost,
sprang boldly on shore, whispering to the Indian boy to follow him.

Once on the island, Amyas felt sure enough that, if its wild tenant
had not seen them approach, he certainly had not heard them, so
deafening was the noise which filled his brain, and which seemed to
make the very leaves upon the bushes quiver and the solid stone
beneath his feet reel and ring. For two hundred yards and more above
the fall, nothing met his eye but one white waste of raging foam, with
here and there a transverse dike of rock, which hurled columns of
spray and surges of beaded water high into the air,--strangely
contrasting with the still and silent cliffs of green leaves which
walled the river right and left, and more strangely still with the
knots of enormous palms upon the islets, which reared their polished
shafts a hundred feet into the air, straight and upright as masts,
while their broad plumes and golden-clustered fruit slept in the
sunshine far aloft, the image of the stateliest repose amid the
wildest wrath of Nature.

Ten yards farther, the cataract fell sheer in thunder; but a high
fern-fringed rock turned its force away from the beach. Here, if
anywhere, was the place to find the owner of the canoe. He leaped down
upon the pebbles; and as he did so, a figure rose from behind a
neighboring rock, and met him face to face. It was an Indian girl.

He spoke first, in some Indian tongue, gently and smilingly, and made
a half-step forward; but quick as light she caught up from the ground
a bow, and held it fiercely toward him, fitted with the long arrow,
with which, as he could see, she had been striking fish, for a line of
twisted grass hung from its barbed head. Amyas stopped, laid down his
own bow and sword, and made another step in advance, smiling still,
and making all Indian signs of amity. But the arrow was still pointed
straight at his breast, and he knew the mettle and strength of the
forest nymphs well enough to stand still and call for the Indian boy.

[Illustration: A figure rose from behind a neighboring rock.]

The boy, who had been peering from above, leaped down to them in a
moment; and began, as the safest method, groveling on his nose upon
the pebbles, while he tried two or three dialects, one of which at
last she seemed to understand, and answered in a tone of evident
suspicion and anger.

"What does she say?"

"That you are a Spaniard and a robber because you have a beard."

"Tell her that we are no Spaniards, but that we hate them, and are
come across the great waters to help the Indians to kill them."

The boy had no sooner spoken, than, nimble as a deer, the nymph had
sprung up the rocks, and darted between the palm stems to her own
canoe. Suddenly she caught sight of the English boats, and stopped
with a cry of fear and rage.

"Let her pass!" shouted Amyas, who had followed her closely. "Push
your boats off, and let her pass. Boy, tell her to go on; they will
not come near her."

But she hesitated still, and with arrow drawn to the head, faced first
on the boat's crew, and then on Amyas, till the Englishmen had shoved
off full twenty yards.

Then, leaping into her tiny piragua, she darted into the wildest whirl
of the eddies, shooting along with vigorous strokes, while the English
trembled as they saw the frail bark spinning and leaping amid the
muzzles of the alligators and the huge dog-toothed trout. But, with
the swiftness of an arrow, she reached the northern bank, drove her
canoe among the bushes, and, leaping from it, darted into the bush,
and vanished like a dream.

       *       *       *       *       *

The chief interest in the foregoing story lies, of course, in its
faithful and glowing picture of scenery in the midst of a tropical
forest. The learner should read it a second time and try to point out
all the passages that are remarkable for their wealth of description.
He should try to form in his mind an image of the sights and sounds
that he would encounter in a voyage up the Meta River or any other of
the tributaries of the Orinoco or the Amazon.



THE FLAG OF OUR COUNTRY.


I.

There is the national flag. He must be cold indeed who can look upon
its folds, rippling in the breeze, without pride of country. If he be
in a foreign land, the flag is companionship and country itself, with
all its endearments.

Who, as he sees it, can think of a state merely? Whose eyes once
fastened upon its radiant trophies, can fail to recognize the image of
the whole nation? It has been called a "floating piece of poetry," and
yet I know not if it have an intrinsic beauty beyond other ensigns.
Its highest beauty is in what it symbolizes. It is because it
represents all, that all gaze at it with delight and reverence.

It is a piece of bunting lifted in the air; but it speaks sublimely,
and every part has a voice. Its stripes of alternate red and white
proclaim the original union of thirteen states to maintain the
Declaration of Independence. Its stars of white on a field of blue
proclaim that union of states constituting our national constellation,
which receives a new star with every new state. The two together
signify union past and present.

The very colors have a language which was officially recognized by our
fathers. White is for purity, red for valor, blue for justice; and
altogether, bunting, stripes, stars, and colors, blazing in the sky,
make the flag of our country to be cherished by all our hearts, to be
upheld by all our hands.


II.

I have said enough and more than enough to manifest the spirit in
which this flag is now committed to your charge. It is the national
ensign, pure and simple, dearer to all hearts at this moment as we
lift it to the gale, and see no other sign of hope upon the storm
cloud which rolls and rattles above it, save that which is its own
radiant hues--dearer, a thousand fold dearer to us all than ever it
was before, while gilded by the sunshine of prosperity and playing
with the zephyrs of peace. It will speak for itself far more
eloquently than I can speak for it.

Behold it! Listen to it! Every star has a tongue; every stripe is
articulate. There is no speech nor language where their voices are not
heard. There is magic in the web of it. It has an answer for every
question of duty. It has a solution for every doubt and every
perplexity. It has a word of good cheer for every hour of gloom or of
despondency.

Behold it! Listen to it! It speaks of earlier and of later struggles.
It speaks of victories and sometimes of reverses, on the sea and on
the land. It speaks of patriots and heroes among the living and among
the dead; and of him, the first and greatest of them all, around whose
consecrated ashes this unnatural and abhorrent strife has been so long
raging. But, before all and above all other associations and
memories,--whether of glorious men, or glorious deeds, or glorious
places,--its voice is ever of Union and Liberty, of the Constitution
and of the Laws.

  --_Robert C. Winthrop._



THE HIGH TIDE ON THE COAST OF LINCOLNSHIRE--1571.


    The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
      The ringers ran by two, by three:--
    "Pull, if ye never pulled before,
      Good ringers, pull your best," quoth he.
    "Play up, play up, O Boston bells!
    Ply all your changes, all your swells;
    Play up 'The Brides of Enderby'!"

[Illustration: Jean Ingelow.]

    Men say it was a stolen tide;
      The Lord that sent it, he knows all;
    But in mine ears doth still abide
      The message that the bells let fall:
    And there was naught of strange, beside
    The flights of mews and peewits pied
      By millions crouched on the old sea wall.

    I sat and spun within the door,
      My thread brake off, I raised mine eyes;
    The level sun, like ruddy ore,
      Lay sinking in the barren skies,
    And dark against day's golden death
    She moved where Lindis wandereth,
    My son's fair wife, Elizabeth.

    "Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,
    Ere the early dews were falling,
    Far away I heard her song.
    "Cusha! Cusha!" all along,
    Where the reedy Lindis floweth,
        Floweth, floweth;
    From the meads where melick groweth
    Faintly came her milking song,

    "Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,
    "For the dews will soon be falling;
    Leave your meadow grasses mellow,
        Mellow, mellow;
    Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
    Come up, Whitefoot, come up, Lightfoot;
    Quit the stalks of parsley hollow,
        Hollow, hollow;
    Come up, Jetty, rise and follow,
    From the clovers lift your head;
    Come up, Whitefoot, come up, Lightfoot,
    Come up, Jetty, rise and follow,
    Jetty, to the milking shed."

    If it be long, ay, long ago,
        When I begin to think how long,
    Again I hear the Lindis flow,
        Swift as an arrow, sharp and strong;
    And all the air, it seemeth me,
    Is full of floating bells (saith she),
    That ring the tune of Enderby.

    All fresh the level pasture lay,
        And not a shadow might be seen,
    Save where full five good miles away
        The steeple towered from out the green.
    And lo! the great bell far and wide
    Was heard in all the country side
    That Saturday at eventide.

    The swanherds where their sedges are
        Moved on in sunset's golden breath,
    The shepherd lads I heard afar,
        And my son's wife, Elizabeth;
    Till floating o'er the grassy sea
    Came down that kindly message free,
    The "Brides of Mavis Enderby."

    Then some looked up into the sky,
      And all along where Lindis flows
    To where the goodly vessels lie,
      And where the lordly steeple shows.
    They said, "And why should this thing be?
    What danger lowers by land or sea?
    They ring the tune of Enderby!

    "For evil news from Mablethorpe,
      Of pirate galleys warping down;
    For ships ashore beyond the scorpe,
      They have not spared to wake the town:
    But while the west is red to see,
    And storms be none, and pirates flee,
    Why ring 'The Brides of Enderby'?"

    I looked without, and lo! my son
      Came riding down with might and main;
    He raised a shout as he drew on,
      Till all the welkin rang again,
    "Elizabeth! Elizabeth!"
    (A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
    Than my son's wife, Elizabeth.)

    "The old sea wall," he cried, "is down,
      The rising tide comes on apace,
    And boats adrift in yonder town
      Go sailing up the market place."
    He shook as one that looks on death:
    "God save you, mother!" straight he saith,
    "Where is my wife, Elizabeth?"

    "Good son, where Lindis winds away,
      With her two bairns I marked her long;
    And ere yon bells began to play,
      Afar I heard her milking song."
    He looked across the grassy lea,
    To right, to left, "Ho, Enderby!"
    They rang "The Brides of Enderby!"

    With that he cried and beat his breast;
      For, lo! along the river's bed
    A mighty eygre reared his crest,
      And up the Lindis raging sped.
    It swept with thunderous noises loud;
    Shaped like a curling snow-white cloud,
    Or like a demon in a shroud.

    And rearing Lindis backward pressed
      Shook all her trembling banks amain;
    Then madly at the eygre's breast
      Flung up her weltering walls again.
    Then banks came down with ruin and rout--
    Then beaten foam flew round about--
    Then all the mighty floods were out.

    So far, so fast the eygre drave,
      The heart had hardly time to beat
    Before a shallow seething wave
      Sobbed in the grasses at our feet;
    The feet had hardly time to flee
    Before it brake against the knee,
    And all the world was in the sea.

    Upon the roof we sat that night,
      The noise of bells went sweeping by;
    I marked the lofty beacon light
      Stream from the church tower, red and high--
    A lurid mark and dread to see;
    And awesome bells they were to me,
    That in the dark rang "Enderby."

    They rang the sailor lads to guide
      From roof to roof who fearless rowed;
    And I--my son was at my side,
      And yet the ruddy beacon glowed;
    And yet he moaned beneath his breath,
    "Oh, come in life, or come in death!
    Oh lost! my love Elizabeth."

    And didst thou visit him no more?
      Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter dear;
    The waters laid thee at his door,
      Ere yet the early dawn was clear.
    Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace,
    The lifted sun shone on thy face,
    Down drifted to thy dwelling place.

    That flow strewed wrecks about the grass,
      That ebb swept out the flocks to sea;
    A fatal ebb and flow, alas!
      To many more than mine and me:
    But each will mourn his own (she saith),
    And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
    Than my son's wife, Elizabeth.

    I shall never hear her more
    By the reedy Lindis shore,
    "Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,
    Ere the early dews be falling;
    I shall never hear her song,
    "Cusha! Cusha!" all along
    Where the sunny Lindis floweth,
      Goeth, floweth;
    From the meads where melick groweth,
    Where the water winding down,
    Onward floweth to the town.

    I shall never see her more
    Where the reeds and rushes quiver,
      Shiver, quiver;
    Stand beside the sobbing river,
    Sobbing, throbbing, in its falling
    To the sandy, lonesome shore;
    I shall never hear her calling,
    "Leave your meadow grasses mellow,
      Mellow, mellow;
    Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
    Come up, Whitefoot, come up, Lightfoot;
    Quit your pipes of parsley hollow,
      Hollow, hollow;
    Come up, Lightfoot, rise and follow;
      Lightfoot, Whitefoot,
    From your clovers lift the head;
    Come up, Jetty, follow, follow,
    Jetty, to the milking shed."

  --_Jean Ingelow._



THE STORY OF THOMAS BECKET.


I. HIS LIFE.

Henry II. began his reign over England in the year 1154, and he was
the mightiest king that had yet sat upon the throne. He had vast
possessions. All England and nearly half of France were his, and he
was well able to rule over them and keep them in order.

He was a short, stout, reddish-haired man, with a face well-tanned by
exposure to the wind and the sun. His legs were bowed by constant
riding. Ever busy at something, he rarely sat down, except at meals;
and there was plenty of work for him to do.

In the early years of his reign his chief friend and servant was
Thomas Becket, who was a clever and handsome man. He knew well how to
please the king by sharing in his amusements, and by helping him in
the great work of keeping order among his barons and knights.

When Becket was a young man he was out hunting, one day, with his pet
hawk upon his wrist. Riding carelessly along, he came to a narrow
wooden bridge, which crossed a stream close to a mill. When in the
middle of the bridge his horse stumbled, and Becket, horse, and hawk
were thrown into the water.

The horse at once swam to the bank. So did Becket, but, upon looking
back, he saw his hawk struggling in the middle of the stream. Its
straps had become entangled about its feet and wings, and the bird was
helpless. Although the stream was running swiftly to the great
mill-wheel, Becket turned round and swam back to save the hawk.

By this time the current had carried him very near to the wheel, and
in another moment both man and bird must have been crushed to death.
But just then the miller saw the danger and stopped the mill. Becket
climbed out of the water with the bird in his hand, seeming not at all
frightened because of the danger which he had escaped. During his
entire life he had many trials and was opposed by many enemies; but he
faced them all as fearlessly as he had risked drowning in order to
save his hawk.

King Henry made Becket his chancellor, that is his chief minister, and
gave him much wealth. Becket lived in great splendor in a fine palace.
He was so hospitable that he kept an open table, at which all were
free to come and feast when they chose. His clothes were the finest
and gayest that could be made, and wherever he went he took with him
troops of friends and servants.

Once, when he was sent to France to settle a dispute with the French
king, he traveled with such a large train of followers that the people
were filled with wonder. We can picture the procession entering a
quiet country town.

"First came two hundred boys singing quaint songs or glees. Then
followed great hounds with their keepers, behind whom were wagons
guarded by fierce English mastiffs. One of the wagons was laden with
beer to be given away to the people who might render any help on the
road.

"Then came twelve horses, upon each of which sat a monkey and a groom.
After all these there followed a vast company of knights and squires
and priests, riding two and two.

"Last of all came Becket and a few friends, with whom he talked by the
way." We can imagine the wonder of the French people at so fine, yet
strange, a show. We can hear them exclaim, "What kind of a man must
the king of England be, when his chancellor can travel in such state!"

At this time the Church in England possessed great power and wealth.
It was the safeguard that stood between the people and the greed and
cruelty of their rulers. It was the protector of the poor, and the
friend of the oppressed; and even the king was obliged to obey its
commands.

King Henry was jealous of the influence of the Church. He resolved
that, having already reduced the power of the barons, he would now
reduce the power of the Church. And among all his faithful men, who
would be more likely to help him in such business than his friend
Becket, who had hitherto been his ablest assistant in every undertaking?

[Illustration: Thomas Becket. (From an Old Painting.)]

It happened about this time that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the
highest officer of the Church in England, died. This event was very
pleasing to Henry, and through his influence the Pope appointed Thomas
Becket to be the new archbishop.

Becket had hitherto been faithful to Henry in all things, but he now
felt that his first duty was to the Church, and he resolved to defend
its rights, even though he should displease the king. He changed
entirely the manner of his life. Instead of his splendid clothes, he
wore a monk's dress and a hair shirt next to his skin. He tried, as
people understood it in those times, to carry out the teachings of his
Lord and Master; and every day he waited upon a number of poor men
and washed their feet. Instead of gay knights only good and pious men
sat at his table. He gave up his chancellorship, and told the king
plainly that he would resist all attempts to take away the rights of
the Church.

Many were the quarrels after that between the king and the archbishop.
At one time, in a fit of rage, Henry cried out: "I will not be
preached at by you. Are you not the son of one of my clowns?"

"It is true," replied the archbishop, "I am not descended from ancient
kings, but neither was the blessed Peter to whom were given the keys
of the kingdom of heaven."

"But Peter," said the king, "died for his Lord."

"And I, too, will die for my Lord," said Becket, "when the time shall
come."

And it was not long till the time did come. Upon hearing some hasty,
angry words from the king, four knights set out to Canterbury,
determined to kill Becket, and thus not only put an end to the long
quarrel but win the king's favor for themselves.

  --_Anonymous._


II. HIS DEATH.

The vespers had already begun, and the monks were singing the service
in the choir, when two boys rushed up the nave, announcing, more by
their terrified gestures than by their words, that the soldiers were
bursting into the palace and monastery. Instantly the service was
thrown into the utmost confusion; part remained at prayer, part fled
into the numerous hiding places the vast fabric affords; and part
went down the steps of the choir into the transept to meet the little
band at the door.

"Come in, come in!" exclaimed one of them. "Come in, and let us die
together."

The Archbishop continued to stand outside, and said: "Go and finish
the service. So long as you keep in the entrance, I shall not come
in." They fell back a few paces, and he stepped within the door, but,
finding the whole place thronged with people, he paused on the
threshold, and asked, "What is it that these people fear?" One general
answer broke forth, "The armed men in the cloister." As he turned and
said, "I shall go out to them," he heard the clash of arms behind. The
knights had just forced their way into the cloister, and were now (as
would appear from their being thus seen through the open door)
advancing along its southern side. They were in mail, which covered
their faces up to their eyes, and carried their swords drawn. Three
had hatchets. Fitzurse, with the ax he had taken from the carpenters,
was foremost, shouting as he came, "Here, here, king's men!"
Immediately behind him followed Robert Fitzranulph, with three other
knights; and a motley group--some their own followers, some from the
town--with weapons, though not in armor, brought up the rear. At this
sight, so unwonted in the peaceful cloisters of Canterbury, not
probably beheld since the time when the monastery had been sacked by
the Danes, the monks within, regardless of all remonstrances, shut the
door of the cathedral, and proceeded to barricade it with iron bars. A
loud knocking was heard from the band without, who, having vainly
endeavored to prevent the entrance of the knights into the cloister,
now rushed before them to take refuge in the church. Becket, who had
stepped some paces into the cathedral, but was resisting the
solicitations of those immediately about him to move up into the choir
for safety, darted back, calling aloud as he went, "Away, you cowards!
By virtue of your obedience I command you not to shut the door--the
church must not be turned into a castle." With his own hands he thrust
them away from the door, opened it himself, and catching hold of the
excluded monks, dragged them into the building, exclaiming, "Come in,
come in--faster, faster!"

[Illustration:

  From a Photograph.      Engraved by Charles Meeder.

  Canterbury Cathedral.
]

The knights, who had been checked for a moment by the sight of the
closed door, on seeing it unexpectedly thrown open, rushed into the
church. It was, we must remember, about five o'clock in a winter
evening; the shades of night were gathering, and were deepened into a
still darker gloom within the high and massive walls of the vast
cathedral, which was only illuminated here and there by the solitary
lamps burning before the altars. The twilight, lengthening from the
shortest day a fortnight before, was but just sufficient to reveal the
outline of objects.

In the dim twilight they could just discern a group of figures
mounting the steps of the eastern staircase. One of the knights called
out to them, "Stay." Another, "Where is Thomas Becket, traitor to the
king?" No answer was returned. None could have been expected by any
one who remembered the indignant silence with which Becket had swept
by when the same words had been applied by Randulf of Broc at
Northampton. Fitzurse rushed forward, and, stumbling against one of
the monks on the lower step, still not able to distinguish clearly in
the darkness, exclaimed, "Where is the Archbishop?" Instantly the
answer came: "Reginald, here I am, no traitor, but the archbishop and
priest of God; what do you wish?" and from the fourth step, which he
had reached in his ascent, with a slight motion of his head--noticed
apparently as his peculiar manner in moments of excitement--Becket
descended to the transept. Attired, we are told, in his white rochet,
with a cloak and hood thrown over his shoulders, he thus suddenly
confronted his assailants. Fitzurse sprang back two or three paces,
and Becket passing by him took up his station between the central
pillar and the massive wall which still forms the southwest corner of
what was then the chapel of St. Benedict. Here they gathered round
him, with the cry, "Absolve the bishops whom you have excommunicated."
"I cannot do other than I have done," he replied, and turning to
Fitzurse, he added, "Reginald, you have received many favors at my
hands; why do you come into my church armed?" Fitzurse planted the ax
against his breast, and returned for answer, "You shall die--I will
tear out your heart." Another, perhaps in kindness, struck him between
the shoulders with the flat of his sword, exclaiming, "Fly; you are a
dead man." "I am ready to die," replied the primate, "for God and the
Church; but I warn you, I curse you in the name of God Almighty, if
you do not let my men escape."

The well-known horror which in that age was felt at an act of
sacrilege, together with the sight of the crowds who were rushing in
from the town through the nave, turned their efforts for the next few
moments to carrying him out of the church. Fitzurse threw down the ax,
and tried to drag him out by the collar of his long cloak, calling,
"Come with us--you are our prisoner." "I will not fly, you detestable
fellow," was Becket's reply, roused to his usual vehemence, and
wrenching the cloak out of Fitzurse's grasp. The three knights
struggled violently to put him on Tracy's shoulders. Becket set his
back against the pillar, and resisted with all his might, whilst Grim,
vehemently remonstrating, threw his arms around him to aid his
efforts. In the scuffle, Becket fastened upon Tracy, shook him by his
coat of mail, and exerting his great strength flung him down on the
pavement. It was hopeless to carry on the attempt to remove him. And
in the final struggle which now began, Fitzurse, as before, took the
lead. He approached with his drawn sword, and waving it over his head,
cried, "Strike, strike!" but merely dashed off his cap. Tracy sprang
forward and struck a more decided blow.

The blood from the first blow was trickling down his face in a thin
streak; he wiped it with his arm, and when he saw the stain, he said,
"Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." At the third blow, he
sank on his knees--his arms falling, but his hands still joined as if
in prayer. With his face turned towards the altar of St. Benedict, he
murmured in a low voice, "For the name of Jesus, and the defense of
the Church, I am willing to die." Without moving hand or foot, he
fell flat on his face as he spoke. In this posture he received a
tremendous blow, aimed with such violence that the scalp or crown of
the head was severed from the skull. "Let us go--let us go," said Hugh
of Horsea, "the traitor is dead; he will rise no more."

       *       *       *       *       *

The life of Thomas Becket, and his tragic death, have furnished themes
for many noble contributions to English literature. Arthur Penrhyn
Stanley, Dean of Westminster, has written of him, in a very impartial
and trustworthy manner, in his "Historical Memoirs of Canterbury" from
which the above extract is taken. The poet Tennyson, late in life,
composed a tragedy entitled "Becket" which portrays in a vivid,
poetical manner the most striking scenes in the career of the great
archbishop. James Anthony Froude, in "Short Stories on Great
Subjects," has written a charming and instructive essay on the "Life
and Times of Thomas Becket"; and Professor Freeman has presented us
with a similar historical study in his "Saint Thomas of Canterbury."
It may also be observed that Chaucer's immortal work, "The Canterbury
Tales," depends for its connecting thread upon the once general custom
of making pilgrimages to the tomb of Becket.

[Illustration: Dean Stanley.]



THE PILGRIMS. (1620.)


Methinks I see one solitary, adventurous vessel, the "Mayflower," of a
forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future state, and bound
across the unknown sea. I behold it pursuing, with a thousand
misgivings, the uncertain, the tedious voyage. Suns rise and set, and
weeks and months pass, and winter surprises them on the deep, but brings
them not the sight of the wished-for shore. I see them now, scantily
supplied with provisions, crowded almost to suffocation, in their
ill-stored prison, delayed by calms, pursuing a circuitous route,--and
now, driven in fury before the raging tempest, on the high and giddy
waves. The awful voice of the storm brawls through the rigging.

[Illustration: Edward Everett.]

The laboring masts seem straining from their base; the dismal sound of
the pumps is heard; the ship leaps, as it were, madly, from billow to
billow; the ocean breaks, and settles with engulfing floods over the
floating deck, and beats with deadening, shivering weight, against the
staggering vessel.

I see them escape from these perils, pursuing their all but desperate
undertaking, and landed at last, after a five months' passage, on the
ice-clad rocks of Plymouth,--weak and weary from the voyage, poorly
armed, scantily provisioned, without shelter, without means,
surrounded by hostile tribes.

Shut now the volume of history, and tell me, on any principle of human
probability, what shall be the fate of this handful of adventurers?
Tell me, man of military science, in how many months were they all
swept off by the thirty savage tribes, enumerated within the early
limits of New England?

Tell me, politician, how long did a shadow of a colony on which your
conventions and treaties had not smiled, languish on the distant
coast? Student of history, compare for me the baffled projects, the
deserted settlements, the abandoned adventures of other times, and
find the parallel of this.

Was it the winter's storm, beating upon the houseless heads of women
and children? was it hard labor and spare meals? was it disease? was
it the tomahawk? was it the deep malady of a blighted hope, a ruined
enterprise, and a broken heart, aching in its last moments at the
recollection of the loved and left, beyond the sea? was it some, or
all of these united, that hurried this forsaken company to their
melancholy fate?

And is it possible, that neither of these causes, that not all
combined, were able to blast this bud of hope? Is it possible, that
from a beginning so feeble, so frail, so worthy not so much of
admiration as of pity, there has gone forth a progress so steady, a
growth so wonderful, an expansion so ample, a reality so important, a
promise, yet to be fulfilled, so glorious?

  --_Edward Everett._



[Illustration:

  From the Painting by A. W. Bayes.      Engraved by E. Heinemann.

  The Departure of the Mayflower.
]

THE LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS.

(1620.)


    The breaking waves dashed high
      On a stern and rock-bound coast,
    And the trees against a stormy sky,
      Their giant branches tossed.

    And the heavy night hung dark
      The hills and waters o'er,
    When a band of exiles moored their bark
      On the wild New England shore.

    Not as the conqueror comes,
      They, the true-hearted, came;
    Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
      And the trumpet that sings of fame.

    Not as the flying come,
      In silence and in fear;
    They shook the depths of the desert gloom
      With their hymns of lofty cheer.

    Amidst the storm they sang,
      And the stars heard, and the sea:
    And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
      To the anthem of the free!

    The ocean eagle soared
      From his nest by the white wave's foam:
    And the rocking pines of the forest roared,--
      This was their welcome home!

    There were men with hoary hair,
      Amidst that pilgrim band;
    Why had _they_ come to wither there,
      Away from their childhood's land?

    There was woman's fearless eye,
      Lit by her deep love's truth;
    There was manhood's brow serenely high,
      And the fiery heart of youth.

    What sought they thus afar?
      Bright jewels of the mine?
    The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?--
      They sought a faith's pure shrine!

    Ay! call it holy ground,
      The soil where first they trod:
    They have left unstained what there they found,
      Freedom to worship God.

  --_Felicia Hemans._



    Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause
    Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve
    Receive proud recompense. We give in charge
    Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic Muse,
    Proud of the treasure, marches with it down
    To latest times; and Sculpture, in her turn,
    Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass
    To guard them, and to immortalize her trust.

  --_William Cowper._



THE ROBIN.


The robin is perhaps the best known of all our birds. The name is so
prominent in children's stories, in folklore, in poetry, and in
general literature, that even town children who have never seen the
bird know it by name; but to many grown people, even those who have
lived all their lives in the country, the robin is not familiar as a
winter bird. It is known to come and go, it is true, but is supposed
to be merely in transit, and just where the observer happens to be is
not its abiding place. This impression is due to lack of observation,
for the birds are as well disposed towards your thicket and cedar
trees as those of some far-off neighbor.

This crystal-clear, cold January day, with the mercury almost at zero,
I found the robins on the south hillside, and seldom have they shown
to better advantage. One was perched in a sapling beech to which the
leaves still clung. It chirped at times so that its companions could
hear it, and was answered by them, as well as by the nuthatches, a
tree creeper, some sparrows, and a winter wren.

It was a cozy, warm spot wherein these birds had gathered, which,
strangely enough, was filled with music even when every bird was mute.
This robin was half concealed among the crisp beech leaves, and
these--not the birds about them--were singing. The breeze caused them
to tremble violently, and their thin edges were as harp strings, the
wiry sound produced being smoothed by the crisp rattling caused by the
leaves' rapid contact with each other.

It was much like the click of butterflies' wings, but greatly
exaggerated. A simple sound, but a sweet, wholesome one that made me
think less of the winter's rigor and recalled the recent warm autumnal
days. They were singing leaves, and the robin watched them closely as
he stood near by, and chirped at times, as if to encourage them.
Altogether it made a pretty picture, one of those that human skill has
not yet transferred to a printed page; and our winter sunshine is full
of just such beauty.

How incomprehensible it is that any one should speak of the _few_
robins that venture to remain! Flocks of a hundred or more are not
uncommon in the depth of winter, and this recalls the fact that at
this time of year robins are never alone. It may appear so for a time,
but when the bird you are watching is ready to move on, his call will
be answered by others that you have not seen, and half a dozen at
least will fly off to new scenes.

This is often noticed on a much larger scale when we flush robins in a
field. They are generally widely scattered, and, go where you will,
there will be one or two hopping before you; but when one takes alarm,
the danger cry is heard by all, and a great flock will gather in the
air in an incredibly short time.

Robins are not lovers of frozen ground; they know where the earth
resists frost, down in the marshy meadows, and there they congregate
in the dreary midwinter afternoons, after spending the morning feeding
upon berries. I have seen them picking those of the cedar, poison ivy,
green brier, and even the seedy, withered fruit of the poke; but at
times this question of food supply must be a difficult problem to
solve, and then they leave us for a while, until pleasanter weather
prevails, when they venture back.

In April, when the chill of winter is no longer in its bones, the
robin becomes prominent, and the more so because of the noise it
makes. It sings fairly well, and early in the morning there is a world
of suggestiveness in the ringing notes. The song is loud, declamatory,
and acceptable more for the pleasant thoughts it occasions than for
the actual melody. We are always glad to hear the robins, but never
for the same reason that we listen to a wood thrush. Of course there
are exceptions.

With the close of the nesting season--and this extends well into the
summer--much of the attractiveness of the bird disappears. As
individual members of great loose flocks that fret the upper air with
an incessant chirping, they offer little to entertain us even when the
less hardy minstrels of the summer have sought their southern homes.

It is true that they add something to the picture of a dreamy October
afternoon when the mellow sunlight tips the wilted grasses with dull
gold. They restore for the time the summertide activity of the meadows
when with golden-winged woodpeckers they chase the crickets in the
close-cropped pastures, but they are soon forgotten if a song sparrow
sings or a wary hawk screams among the clouds. Robins are always
welcome, but never more so than when they chatter, on an April
morning, of the near future with its buds and blossoms.

  --_From "Bird-Land Echoes," by Charles Conrad Abbott._



THE MOTIONS OF BIRDS.


A good ornithologist should be able to distinguish birds by their air
as well as by their colors and shape, on the wing as well as on the
ground; and in the bush as well as in the hand. For though it must not
be said that every species of bird has a manner peculiar to itself,
yet there is somewhat in most _genera_, at least, that at first sight
discriminates them, and enables a judicious observer to pronounce upon
them with some certainty.

Thus kites and buzzards sail round in circles with wings expanded and
motionless; and it is from their gliding manner that the former are
still called in the north of England gleads, from the Saxon verb
_glidan_, to glide. Hen harriers fly low over the meadows or fields of
corn, and beat the ground regularly like a pointer or setting dog.
Owls move in a buoyant manner, as if lighter than the air; they seem
to want ballast.

There is a peculiarity belonging to ravens that must draw the
attention even of the most incurious--they spend all their leisure
time in striking and cuffing each other on the wing in a kind of
playful skirmish; and, when they move from one place to another,
frequently turn on their backs with a loud croak, and seem to be
falling to the ground. When this odd gesture betides them, they are
scratching themselves with one foot, and thus lose the center of
gravity. Rooks sometimes dive and tumble in a frolicsome manner; crows
and daws swagger in their walk; woodpeckers fly with a wavy motion,
opening and closing their wings at every stroke, and so are always
rising or falling in curves. All of this genus use their tails, which
incline downward, as a support while they run up trees. Parrots, like
all other hooked-clawed birds, walk awkwardly, and make use of their
bill as a third foot, climbing and descending with ridiculous caution.

All the gallinæ parade and walk gracefully, and run nimbly, but fly
with difficulty, with an impetuous whirring, and in a straight line.
Magpies and jays flutter with powerless wings, and make no dispatch;
herons seem encumbered with too much sail for their light bodies, but
these vast hollow wings are necessary in carrying burdens, such as
large fishes, and the like; pigeons, and particularly the sort called
smiters, have a way of clashing their wings, the one against the
other, over their backs with a loud snap; another variety, called
tumblers, turn themselves over in the air.

The kingfisher darts along like an arrow; fern owls, or goatsuckers,
glance in the dusk over the tops of trees like a meteor; swallows
sweep over the surface of the ground and water, and distinguish
themselves by rapid turns and quick evolutions; swifts dash round in
circles; and the bank martin moves with frequent vacillations like a
butterfly.

Most small birds hop; but wagtails and larks walk, moving their legs
alternately. All the duck kind waddle; divers and auks walk as if
fettered, and stand erect, on their tails. Geese and cranes, and most
wild fowls, move in figured flights, often changing their position.

  --_From "The Natural History of Selbourne," by Gilbert White._



THE ORIGIN OF RIVERS.


Let us trace a river to its source. Beginning where it empties itself
into the sea, and following it backwards, we find it from time to time
joined by tributaries which swell its waters. The river of course
becomes smaller as these tributaries are passed. It shrinks first to a
brook, then to a stream; this again divides itself into a number of
smaller streamlets, ending in mere threads of water. These constitute
the source of the river, and are usually found among hills.

Thus, the Severn has its source in the Welsh mountains; the Thames in
the Cotswold Hills; the Missouri in the Rocky Mountains; and the
Amazon in the Andes of Peru.

[Illustration: John Tyndall.]

But it is quite plain that we have not yet reached the real beginning
of the rivers. Whence do the earliest streams derive their water? A
brief residence among the mountains would prove to you that they are
fed by rains. In dry weather you would find the streams feeble,
sometimes, indeed, quite dried up. In wet weather you would see them
foaming torrents. In general these streams lose themselves as little
threads of water upon the hillsides; but sometimes you may trace a
river to a definite spring. But you very soon assure yourself that
such springs are also fed by rain, which has percolated through the
rocks or soil, and which, through some orifice that it has found or
formed, comes to the light of day.

But we can not end here. Whence comes the rain that forms the mountain
streams? Observation enables you to answer the question. Rain does not
come from a clear sky. It comes from clouds.

But what are clouds? Is there nothing you are acquainted with which
they resemble? You discover at once a likeness between them and the
condensed steam of a locomotive. At every puff of the engine a cloud
is projected into the air.

Watch the cloud sharply. You notice that it first forms at a little
distance from the top of the funnel. Give close attention and you will
sometimes see a perfectly clear space between the funnel and the
cloud. Through that clear space the thing which makes the cloud must
pass. What then is this thing which at one moment is transparent and
invisible, and at the next moment visible as a dense opaque cloud?

It is the _steam_ or _vapor of water_ from the boiler. Within the
boiler this steam is transparent and invisible; but to keep it in this
invisible state a heat would be required as great as that within the
boiler. When the vapor mingles with the cold air above the hot funnel,
it ceases to be vapor. Every bit of steam shrinks, when chilled, to a
much more minute particle of water. The liquid particles thus produced
form a kind of _water dust_ of exceeding fineness, which floats in the
air, and is called a _cloud_.

Watch the cloud banner from the funnel of a running locomotive: you
see it growing gradually less dense. It finally melts away altogether,
and, if you continue your observations, you will not fail to notice
that the speed of its disappearance depends on the character of the
day. In moist weather the cloud hangs long and lazily in the air; in
dry weather it is rapidly licked up. What has become of it? It has
been reconverted into true invisible vapor. The _drier_ the air, and
the _hotter_ the air, the greater is the amount of cloud which can be
thus dissolved in it.

Make the lid of a kettle air-tight, and permit the steam to issue from
the spout; a cloud is formed in all respects similar to that which
issues from the funnel of the locomotive. To produce the cloud, in the
case of the locomotive and the kettle, _heat_ is necessary. By heating
the water we first convert it into steam, and then by chilling the
steam we convert it into cloud. Is there any fire in nature which
produces the clouds of our atmosphere? There is--the fire of the sun.

By tracing the course of a river, we find that both its beginning and
its ending are in the sea. All its water is derived from the sea, and to
the sea it returns its floods. But if we seek for its causes, we find
that its beginning and its ending are in the sun. For it is the fire of
the sun that produces the clouds from which the water of the river is
derived, and it is the same fire of the sun that dries up its stream.

  --_Adapted from "Forms of Water in Clouds and Rivers,"
  by John Tyndall._



ADDRESS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

AT THE DEDICATION OF GETTYSBURG CEMETERY, THE 19TH OF NOVEMBER, 1863.


Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a
great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so
conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great
battlefield of the war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that
field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives
that their nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that
we should do this.

[Illustration: Abraham Lincoln.]

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we
can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or
detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say
here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the
living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they
who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to
be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they
gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that
these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God,
shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by
the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.



THE AMERICAN FLAG.


    When Freedom, from her mountain height,
      Unfurled her standard to the air,
    She tore the azure robe of night,
      And set the stars of glory there;
    She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
    The milky baldric of the skies,
    And striped its pure, celestial white
    With streakings of the morning light;
    Then from his mansion in the sun
    She called her eagle bearer down,
    And gave into his mighty hand
    The symbol of her chosen land.

[Illustration: Joseph Rodman Drake.]

    Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
    The sign of hope and triumph high!
    When speaks the signal trumpet tone,
    And the long line comes gleaming on
    (Ere yet the life blood, warm and wet,
    Has dimmed the glistening bayonet),
    Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
    To where thy sky-born glories burn,
    And as his springing steps advance,
    Catch war and vengeance from thy glance.
    And when the cannon mouthings loud
    Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud,
    And gory sabers rise and fall,
    Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall,
    Then shall thy meteor glances glow,
      And cowering foes shall sink beneath
    Each gallant arm that strikes below
      That lovely messenger of death.
    Flag of the seas! on ocean's wave
    Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave;
    When death, careering on the gale,
    Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail,
    And frighted waves rush wildly back
    Before the broadside's reeling rack,
    Each dying wanderer of the sea
    Shall look at once to heaven and thee,
    And smile to see thy splendors fly
    In triumph o'er his closing eye.

    Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
      By angel hands to valor given,
    Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
      And all thy hues were born in heaven.
    Forever float that standard sheet!
      Where breathes the foe, but falls before us,
    With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,
      And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us!

  --_Joseph Rodman Drake._



THE LAST FIGHT IN THE COLISEUM, A.D. 404.

[Illustration: Charlotte M. Yonge.]


The grandest and most renowned of all ancient amphitheaters is the
Coliseum at Rome. It was built by Vespasian and his son Titus, the
conquerors of Jerusalem, in a valley in the midst of the seven hills
of Rome. The captive Jews were forced to labor at it; and the
materials--granite outside, and a softer stone within--are so solid,
and so admirably put together, that still, at the end of eighteen
centuries, it has scarcely even become a ruin, but remains one of the
greatest wonders of Rome. Five acres of ground were inclosed within
the oval of its outer wall, which outside rises perpendicularly in
tiers of arches one above another. Within, the galleries of seats
projected forwards, each tier coming out far beyond the one above it;
so that between the lowest and the outer wall there was room for a
great variety of chambers, passages, and vaults around the central
space, called the arena.

Altogether, when full, this huge building held no fewer than 87,000
spectators! It had no roof; but when there was rain, or if the sun was
too hot, the sailors in the porticoes unfurled awnings that ran along
upon ropes, and formed a covering of silk and gold tissue over the
whole. Purple was the favorite color for this veil, because, when the
sun shone through it, it cast such beautiful rosy tints on the snowy
arena and the white purple-edged togas of the Roman citizens.

When the emperor had seated himself and given the signal, the sports
began. Sometimes a rope dancing elephant would begin the
entertainment, by mounting even to the summit of the building and
descending by a cord. Or a lion came forth with a jeweled crown on his
head, a diamond necklace round his neck, his mane plaited with gold,
and his claws gilded, and played a hundred pretty gentle antics with a
little hare that danced fearlessly within his grasp.

Sometimes water was let into the arena, a ship sailed in, and falling
to pieces in the midst, sent a crowd of strange animals swimming in
all directions. Sometimes the ground opened, and trees came growing up
through it, bearing golden fruit. Or the beautiful old tale of Orpheus
was acted: these trees would follow the harp and song of a musician;
but--to make the whole part complete--it was no mere play, but in real
earnest, that the Orpheus of the piece fell a prey to live bears.

For the Coliseum had not been built for such harmless spectacles as
those first described. The fierce Romans wanted to be excited and to
feel themselves strongly stirred; and, presently, the doors of the pits
and dens around the arena were thrown open, and absolutely savage beasts
were let loose upon one another--rhinoceroses and tigers, bulls and
lions, leopards and wild boars--while the people watched with ferocious
curiosity to see the various kinds of attack and defense, their ears at
the same time being delighted, instead of horror-struck, by the roars
and howls of the noble creatures whose courage was thus misused.

[Illustration: The Coliseum at the Present Day.]

Wild beasts tearing each other to pieces might, one would think,
satisfy any taste for horror; but the spectators needed even nobler
game to be set before their favorite monsters:--men were brought
forward to confront them. Some of these were, at first, in full armor,
and fought hard, generally with success. Or hunters came, almost
unarmed, and gained the victory by swiftness and dexterity, throwing a
piece of cloth over a lion's head, or disconcerting him by putting
their fist down his throat. But it was not only skill, but death, that
the Romans loved to see; and condemned criminals and deserters were
reserved to feast the lions, and to entertain the populace with their
various kinds of death. Among those condemned was many a Christian
martyr, who witnessed a good confession before the savage-eyed
multitude around the arena, and "met the lion's gory mane" with a calm
resolution and a hopeful joy that the lookers-on could not understand.
To see a Christian die, with upward gaze, and hymns of joy on his
tongue, was the most strange and unaccountable sight the Coliseum
could offer; and it was therefore the choicest, and reserved for the
last of the spectacles in which the brute creation had a part.

The carcasses were dragged off with hooks, the bloodstained sand was
covered with a fresh green layer, perfume was wafted in stronger
clouds, and a procession come forward--tall, well-made men, in the
prime of their strength. Some carried a sword and a lasso, others a
trident and a net; some were in light armor, others in the full, heavy
equipment of a soldier; some on horseback, some in chariots, some on
foot. They marched in, and made their obeisance to the emperor; and
with one voice their greeting sounded through the building: "Hail,
Cæsar; those about to die salute thee!" They were the gladiators--the
swordsmen trained to fight to the death to amuse the populace.

[Illustration:

  From the Painting by J. L. Gerome.      Engraved by Henry Wolf.

  The Last Prayer--Christian Martyrs in the Coliseum.
]

Fights of all sorts took place,--the light-armed soldier and the
netsman--the lasso and the javelin--the two heavy-armed warriors,--all
combinations of single combat, and sometimes a general mêlée. When a
gladiator wounded his adversary, he shouted to the spectators, "He has
it!" and looked up to know whether he should kill or spare. When the
people held up their thumbs, the conquered was left to recover, if he
could; if they turned them down, he was to die; and if he showed any
reluctance to present his throat for the deathblow, there was a
scornful shout, "Receive the steel!"

      "I see before me the gladiator lie:
        He leans upon his hand; his manly brow
      Consents to death, but conquers agony;
        And his drooped head sinks gradually low;
        And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
      From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
        Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
      The arena swims around him--he is gone,
    Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won."

Christianity, however, worked its way upwards, and at last was
professed by the emperor on his throne. Persecution came to an end,
and no more martyrs fed the beasts in the Coliseum. The Christian
emperors endeavored to prevent any more shows where cruelty and death
formed the chief interest, and no truly religious person could endure
the spectacle; but custom and love of excitement prevailed even
against the emperor. They went on for fully a hundred years after Rome
had, in name, become a Christian city.

Meantime the enemies of Rome were coming nearer and nearer. Alaric, the
great chief of the Goths, led his forces into Italy, and threatened the
city itself. Honorius, the emperor, was a cowardly, almost idiotic boy;
but his brave general, Stilicho, assembled his forces, met the Goths,
and gave them a complete defeat, on Easter day of the year 403. He
pursued them to the mountains, and for that time saved Rome.

In the joy of victory, the Roman Senate invited the conqueror and his
ward Honorius to enter the city in triumph, at the opening of the new
year, with the white steeds, purple robes, and vermilion cheeks with
which, of old, victorious generals were welcomed at Rome. The churches
were visited instead of the Temple of Jupiter, and there was no murder
of the captives; but Roman bloodthirstiness was not yet allayed, and,
after the procession had been completed, the Coliseum shows commenced,
innocently at first, with races on foot, on horseback, and in chariots;
then followed a grand hunt of beasts turned loose in the arena; and next
a sword dance. But after the sword dance came the arraying of swordsmen,
with no blunted weapons, but with sharp spears and swords--a gladiator
combat in full earnest. The people, enchanted, applauded with shouts of
ecstasy this gratification of their savage tastes.

Suddenly, however, there was an interruption. A rude, roughly robed
man, bareheaded and barefooted, had sprung into the arena, and, waving
back the gladiators, began to call aloud upon the people to cease from
the shedding of innocent blood, and not to requite God's mercy, in
turning away the sword of the enemy, by encouraging murder. Shouts,
howls, cries, broke in upon his words; this was no place for
preachings,--the old customs of Rome should be observed,--"Back, old
man!"--"On, gladiators!"

The gladiators thrust aside the meddler, and rushed to the attack. He
still stood between, holding them apart, striving in vain to be heard.
"Sedition! sedition!"--"Down with him!"--was the cry; and the prefect
in authority himself added his voice. The gladiators, enraged at
interference with their vocation, cut him down. Stones, or whatever
came to hand, rained upon him from the furious people, and he perished
in the midst of the arena! He lay dead; and then the people began to
reflect upon what had been done.

His dress showed that he was one of the hermits who had vowed themselves
to a life of prayer and self-denial, and who were greatly reverenced,
even by the most thoughtless. The few who had previously seen him, told
that he had come from the wilds of Asia on a pilgrimage, to visit the
shrines and keep his Christmas at Rome. They knew that he was a holy
man--no more. But his spirit had been stirred by the sight of thousands
flocking to see men slaughter one another, and in his simple-hearted
zeal he had resolved to stop the cruelty, or die.

He had died, but not in vain. His work was done. The shock of such a
death before their eyes turned the hearts of the people; they saw the
wickedness and cruelty to which they had blindly surrendered
themselves; and since the day when the hermit died in the Coliseum,
there has never been another fight of gladiators. The custom was
utterly abolished; and one habitual crime at least was wiped from the
earth by the self-devotion of one humble, obscure, and nameless man.

  --_From "A Book of Golden Deeds," by Charlotte Yonge._



THE PASSING OF ARTHUR.


The reader has already become somewhat acquainted with the marvelous
history of King Arthur, and has read about the poems and romances by
which the memory of his life and exploits have been preserved. He has
also read the mythical account of the King's last hours on earth as
recorded in the quaint old romance written by Sir Thomas Malory. Here
he may read another rendering of the same story, written in grand and
beautiful poetic form by Alfred Tennyson. In the "Idylls of the King,"
Lord Tennyson has given us a complete history of Arthur and of the
brave knights and fair ladies who lived at his court. These poems are
among the noblest ever written in our language. Turn now to the last
story in "School Reading by Grades--Fifth Year," and compare each
passage in that brief narrative with its corresponding passage in the
following poem.

      So all day long the noise of battle roll'd
    Among the mountains by the winter sea;
    Until King Arthur's Table, man by man,
    Had fall'n in Lyonesse about their lord,
    King Arthur. Then, because his wound was deep,
    The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him,
    Sir Bedivere, the last of all his knights,
    And bore him to a chapel nigh the field,
    A broken chancel with a broken cross,
    That stood on a dark strait of barren land.
    On one side lay the Ocean, and on one
    Lay a great water, and the moon was full.
      Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere:
    "The sequel of to-day unsolders all
    The goodliest fellowship of famous knights
    Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep
    They sleep--the men I loved. I think that we
    Shall never more, at any future time,
    Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds,
    Walking about the gardens and the halls
    Of Camelot, as in the days that were.
    I perish by this people which I made,--
    Tho' Merlin sware that I should come again
    To rule once more; but let what will be, be,
    I am so deeply smitten thro' the helm
    That without help I can not last till morn.
    Thou therefore take my brand Excalibur,
    Which was my pride: for thou rememberest how
    In those old days, one summer noon, an arm
    Rose up from out the bosom of the lake,
    Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
    Holding the sword--and how I row'd across
    And took it, and have worn it, like a king:
    And, wheresoever I am sung or told
    In after time, this also shall be known:
    But now delay not: take Excalibur,
    And fling him far into the middle mere;
    Watch what thou seëst and lightly bring me word."
      To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere:
    "It is not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus,
    Aidless, alone, and smitten thro' the helm.
    A little thing may harm a wounded man.
    Yet I thy hest will all perform at full,
    Watch what I see, and lightly bring thee word."
      So saying, from the ruin'd shrine he stept,
    And in the moon athwart the place of tombs,
    Where lay the mighty bones of ancient men,
    Old knights, and over them the sea wind sang
    Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam. He, stepping down
    By zigzag paths, and juts of pointed rock,
    Came on the shining levels of the lake.
      There drew he forth the brand Excalibur,
    And o'er him, drawing it, the winter moon,
    Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth
    And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt:
    For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks,
    Myriads of topaz lights, and jacinth work
    Of subtlest jewelry. He gazed so long
    That both his eyes were dazzled, as he stood,
    This way and that dividing the swift mind,
    In act to throw: but at the last it seem'd
    Better to leave Excalibur conceal'd
    There in the many-knotted waterflags,
    That whistled stiff and dry about the marge.
    So strode he back slow to the wounded King.
      Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere:
    "Hast thou perform'd my mission which I gave?
    What is it thou hast seen? or what hast heard?"
      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
    "I heard the ripple washing in the reeds,
    And the wild water lapping on the crag."
      To whom replied King Arthur, faint and pale:
    "Thou hast betray'd thy nature and thy name,
    Not rendering true answer, as beseem'd
    Thy fëalty, nor like a noble knight:
    For surer sign had follow'd, either hand,
    Or voice, or else a motion of the mere.
    This is a shameful thing for men to lie.
    Yet now I charge thee, quickly go again,
    As thou art lief and dear, and do the thing
    I bade thee, watch, and lightly bring me word."
      Then went Sir Bedivere the second time
    Across the ridge, and paced beside the mere,
    Counting the dewy pebbles, fix'd in thought;
    But when he saw the wonder of the hilt,
    How curiously and strangely chased, he smote
    His palms together, and he cried aloud:
      "And if indeed I cast the brand away,
    Surely a precious thing, one worthy note,
    Should thus be lost for ever from the earth,
    Which might have pleased the eyes of many men.
    What good should follow this, if this were done?
    What harm, undone? deep harm to disobey,
    Seeing obedience is the bond of rule.
    Were it well to obey then, if a king demand
    An act unprofitable, against himself?
    The King is sick, and knows not what he does.
    What record, or what relic of my lord
    Should be to after time, but empty breath
    And rumors of a doubt? but were this kept,
    Stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings,
    Some one might show it at a joust of arms,
    Saying, 'King Arthur's sword, Excalibur,
    Wrought by the lonely maiden of the Lake.
    Nine years she wrought it, sitting in the deeps
    Upon the hidden bases of the hills.'
    So might some old man speak in the after time
    To all the people, winning reverence.
    But now much honor and much fame were lost."
      So spake he, clouded with his own conceit,--
    And hid Excalibur the second time,
    And so strode back slow to the wounded King.
      Then spoke King Arthur, breathing heavily:
    "What is it thou hast seen? or what hast heard?"
      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
    "I heard the water lapping on the crag,
    And the long ripple washing in the reeds."
      To whom replied King Arthur, much in wrath:
    "Ah, miserable and unkind, untrue,
    Unknightly, traitor-hearted! Woe is me!
    Authority forgets a dying king,
    Laid widow'd of the power in his eye
    That bow'd the will. I see thee what thou art,
    For thou, the latest-left of all my knights,
    In whom should meet the offices of all,
    Thou wouldst betray me for the precious hilt;
    Either from lust of gold, or like a girl
    Valuing the giddy pleasure of the eyes.
    Yet, for a man may fail in duty twice,
    And the third time may prosper, get thee hence:
    But, if thou spare to fling Excalibur,
    I will arise and slay thee with my hands."
      Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran,
    And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged
    Among the bulrush beds, and clutch'd the sword,
    And strongly wheel'd and threw it. The great brand
    Made lightnings in the splendor of the moon,
    And flashing round and round, and whirl'd in an arch,
    Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,
    Seen where the moving isles of winter shock
    By night, with noises of the Northern Sea.
    So flash'd and fell the brand Excalibur:
    But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm
    Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
    And caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
    Three times, and drew him under in the mere.
    And lightly went the other to the King.
      Then spoke King Arthur, drawing thicker breath:
    "Now see I by thine eyes that this is done.
    Speak out: what is it thou hast heard, or seen?"
      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
    "Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems
    Should blind my purpose, for I never saw,
    Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die,
    Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men,
    So great a miracle as yonder hilt.
    Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him;
    But when I look'd again, behold an arm,
    Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
    That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
    Three times and drew him under in the mere."
      And answer made King Arthur, breathing hard:
    "My end draws nigh; 'tis time that I were gone.
    Make broad thy shoulders to receive my weight,
    And bear me to the margin; yet I fear
    My wound hath taken cold, and I shall die."
      So saying, from the pavement he half rose,
    Slowly, with pain, reclining on his arm,
    And looking wistfully with wide blue eyes
    As in a picture. Him Sir Bedivere
    Remorsefully regarded thro' his tears,
    And would have spoken, but he found not words;
    Then took with care, and kneeling on one knee,
    O'er both his shoulders drew the languid hands,
    And rising bore him thro' the place of tombs.
      But, as he walk'd, King Arthur panted hard,
    Like one that feels a nightmare on his bed
    When all the house is mute. So sigh'd the King,
    Muttering and murmuring at his ear, "Quick, quick!
    I fear it is too late, and I shall die."
    But the other swiftly strode from ridge to ridge,
    Clothed with his breath, and looking as he walk'd,
    Larger than human on the frozen hills.
    He heard the deep behind him, and a cry
    Before. His own thought drove him, like a goad.
    Dry clash'd his harness in the icy caves
    And barren chasms, and all to left and right
    The bare black cliff clang'd round him, as he based
    His feet on jets of slippery crag that rang
    Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed heels--
    And on a sudden, lo! the level lake,
    And the long glories of the winter moon.
      Then saw they how there hove a dusky barge,
    Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern,
    Beneath them; and descending they were ware
    That all the decks were dense with stately forms
    Black-stoled, black-hooded, like a dream--by these
    Three Queens with crowns of gold--and from them rose
    A cry that shiver'd to the tingling stars,
    And, as it were one voice, an agony
    Of lamentation, like a wind, that shrills
    All night in a waste land, where no one comes,
    Or hath come, since the making of the world.
      Then murmur'd Arthur, "Place me in the barge."
    So to the barge they came. There those three Queens
    Put forth their hands, and took the King, and wept....
      Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:
    "Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go?
    Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?
    For now I see the true old times are dead,
    When every morning brought a noble chance,
    And every chance brought out a noble knight....
    But now the whole Round Table is dissolved
    Which was an image of the mighty world,
    And I, the last, go forth companionless,
    And the days darken round me, and the years,
    Among new men, strange faces, other minds."
      And slowly answered Arthur from the barge:
    "The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
    And God fulfills himself in many ways,
    Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
    Comfort thyself; what comfort is in me?
    I have lived my life, and that which I have done
    May He within himself make pure! but thou,
    If thou shouldst never see my face again,
    Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
    Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
    Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
    For what are men better than sheep or goats
    That nourish a blind life within the brain,
    If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
    Both for themselves and those who call them friends?
    For so the whole round earth is every way
    Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
    But now farewell. I am going a long way
    With these thou seëst--if indeed I go
    (For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)--
    To the island-valley of Avilion
    Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
    Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
    Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard lawns
    And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea,
    Where I will heal me of my grievous wound."
      So said he, and the barge with oar and sail
    Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan
    That, fluting a wild carol ere her death,
    Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood
    With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere
    Revolving many memories, till the hull
    Look'd one black dot against the verge of dawn,
    And on the mere the wailing died away.

  --_From "The Idylls of the King," by Alfred Tennyson._



FOR STUDY AND REFERENCE.


PRINCIPLES OF GOOD READING.

To become a good reader, patient and long-continued practice is
necessary. We learn to read by much reading and never by the study of
formal rules. Nevertheless, a knowledge of the following general
principles and definitions may be of some value in assisting the
learner to acquire correct habits in the practice of oral reading.

PRONUNCIATION.

Under this term are included Articulation, Syllabication, and Accent.

Correct articulation requires that each letter, syllable, and word
should be clearly and properly pronounced. Incorrect articulation is
the result either of careless habits or of natural defects. In either
case, it may be largely overcome by persistent and careful drill in
the pronunciation of those words in which the greatest difficulty is
experienced. Conversation, declamation, calisthenics, singing, and
similar exercises should be engaged in, in order to assist in
overcoming habits of timidity or diffidence, and to give increased
power and flexibility to the vocal organs.

Syllabication and accent are learned by careful observation and by
reference, in all cases of doubt, to some standard dictionary.

EXPRESSION.

Correct expression in reading has reference to tone of voice,
inflection, pitch, emphasis, all of which are included under
modulation.

TONE.

Tone, or quality of voice, is the kind of sound employed in reading or
speaking. A conversational tone is such as is used in ordinary
conversation for the expression of quiet or unemotional thoughts. A
full tone of voice is used in the expression of high or lofty
sentiments, and of feelings of joy, courage, or exultation. A middle
tone is used in the rendering of expressions which while not
conversational in character are too unimpassioned to require a full
tone. A low or subdued tone is used in passages where the sense
requires a suppression of sound. The only rule necessary is this:
_Study so to regulate the tone of voice that it shall always be in
harmony with the thoughts expressed._

INFLECTION.

Inflection is the upward or downward movement of the voice in speaking
or reading. There are two inflections: the _rising inflection_, in
which the voice slides upward; and the _falling inflection_, in which
the voice slides downward. Sometimes there is a union of the two
inflections upon a single sound or syllable, in order to express
surprise, scorn, irony, sorrow, or other strong or peculiar emotion.
This union of inflections is called _circumflex_. No rule for
inflections can be given which is not subject to numerous exceptions.
The movement of the voice, whether upward or downward, is in all cases
determined by the thought in the sentence. _That inflection should be
used which will assist to convey, in the most natural and forcible
manner, the meaning intended by the author._

PITCH.

Very closely related to tone and inflection is pitch, by which is meant
the degree of elevation of the voice. Pitch may be _middle_, _high_, or
_low_. Middle pitch is that which is used in common conversation and in
the expression of unemotional thoughts. Light and joyous emotions and
lively narration require a high pitch. Passages expressing sadness, deep
joy, dignified serenity of mind, and kindred emotions, require a low
pitch. Hence, the only rule to be observed is this: _Let the pitch be
always in harmony with the sentiments to be expressed._

EMPHASIS.

Emphasis is any change of pitch, or variation of the voice, which
serves to call special attention to an important word, syllable, or
expression. The only rule that can be given for securing correctness
of emphasis is: _Be natural._ Children, in ordinary conversation,
never make mistakes in emphasis. If they are made to understand what
they are reading, have not been permitted to imitate incorrect models,
and are not hampered by unnecessary rules, they will read as well as
they talk. Let reading be but conversation from the book, and not only
emphasis, but pitch and inflection will require but little separate
attention, and no special rules.

PAUSES.

Pauses in reading are necessary to make the meaning clear or to assist
in the proper modulation of the voice and therefore in the correct
rendering of the sentiments of the author. The former are called
grammatical pauses, and are indicated by the marks of punctuation; the
latter are called rhetorical pauses, and depend for their correct
usage upon the reader's understanding of the thoughts which he is
endeavoring to render. In reading poetry, a slight pause is generally
proper at the end of each line, and sometimes also at the middle of
each line. The latter is called the _cæsural_ pause. The object of
poetic pauses is simply to promote the melody.


AUTHORS AND BOOKS.

=Abbott, Charles Conrad=, the author of the essay on "The Robin" (page
197), is an American writer and naturalist. He was born at Trenton, N.
J., in 1843. He is an ardent lover of nature, and has written several
delightful books on subjects relating to popular science and outdoor
life. Among these are "Birdland Echoes," from which the above-named
essay is taken; "A Naturalist's Wanderings about Home," and "Waste
Land Wanderings."

=Aytoun= (ā´toon), =William Edmonstoune=, the author of the selection
entitled "The Pass of Killiecrankie" (page 138), was a Scottish lawyer
and poet. Born in Edinburgh, 1813; died, 1865. He was for many years one
of the editors of "Blackwood's Magazine." He wrote "Lays of the Scottish
Cavaliers," "Ballads of Scotland," and other poems.

=Blackmore, Richard D.=, the author of "Lorna Doone," is an English
lawyer and novelist. Born in Berkshire, 1825. Besides "Lorna Doone,"
he has written "Alice Lorraine," "Springhaven," "The Maid of Sker,"
and several other stories.

=Browning, Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett=, the author of "The Romance of the
Swan's Nest" (page 98), was an English poet. Born in Durham, England,
1806. In 1846 she married Robert Browning, and during the rest of her
life resided chiefly at Florence, Italy, where she died in 1861. She
wrote "Prometheus Bound" (1833), "Aurora Leigh" (1857), and many
shorter poems.

=Bryant, William Cullen=, the author of "The Death of the Flowers"
(page 18), was one of the most popular of American poets. Born at
Cummington, Mass., 1794; died at New York, 1878. Besides his poems, he
wrote translations of Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey," and was for more
than half a century one of the editors of "The Evening Post" (New York).

=Buckley, Arabella Burton=, is an English author and naturalist. Born
at Brighton, England, 1840. She has written several books on
scientific subjects for young readers: "The Fairy Land of Science,"
from which our selection is taken (page 29), "Winners in Life's Race,"
and "Life and her Children."

=Campbell, Thomas=: A British poet and critic. Born at Glasgow,
Scotland, 1777; died, 1844. He wrote "The Pleasures of Hope,"
"Hohenlinden," "Lochiel's Warning," and many other well-known poems.

"=Cloister and the Hearth, The=": An historical romance, by Charles
Reade, first published in 1861. The scenes are laid mostly in Holland
and Italy, and the time is the middle of the fifteenth century. See
page 153.

=Collier, W. F.=, author of the sketch on "Life in Norman England" (page
89), is an English historian. He has written "The History of the British
Empire," "A History of England," and several other similar works.

=Cowper, William=: A celebrated English poet. Born, 1731; died, 1800.
His principal work was "The Task," from which our brief selection
(page 196) has been taken. He wrote also "John Gilpin," "Tirocinium,"
and several other poems.

"=David Copperfield, The Personal History of=": A novel, by Charles
Dickens, first published in 1849. "Of all my books," says Dickens, "I
like this the best." Many scenes in the novelist's own life are
depicted in this story. The character from whom the book took its name
is a timid boy reduced to desperation by the cruelty of his
stepfather, Mr. Murdstone. At ten years of age he is sent to a
warehouse in London, where he was employed in rough work at a small
salary. He finally runs away, and is protected and adopted by an
eccentric maiden lady, Miss Betsey Trotwood. He becomes a writer, and
marries a gentle, innocent little lady, whom he calls his "child
wife"; she dies, and he afterwards marries a woman of stronger mind,
named Agnes Wickfield. The selection which we give (page 121) is a
fair example of the style which characterizes the story.

=Dickens, Charles=: The most popular of English novelists. Born, 1812;
died, 1870. Wrote "The Pickwick Papers," "Nicholas Nickleby," "Oliver
Twist," "David Copperfield," from which our story of "The Shipwreck"
(page 121) has been taken, and numerous other works of fiction.

=Drake, Joseph Rodman=, author of "The American Flag" (page 206), was
an American poet. Born at New York, 1795; died, 1820. His principal
work was "The Culprit Fay," written in 1816.

=Everett, Edward=: An American statesman and orator. Born at Boston,
Mass., 1794; died, 1865. He was editor of the "North American Review,"
member of Congress, Governor of Massachusetts, President of Harvard
College, Secretary of State in the cabinet of Millard Fillmore, and
United States Senator from Massachusetts. His orations and speeches
fill four volumes.

=Froude, James Anthony=: A noted English historian. Born, 1818; died,
1894. His chief work was a "History of England from the Fall of Wolsey
to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada." He also wrote four volumes of
"Short Studies on Great Subjects," "Cæsar, a Sketch," "Life of Lord
Beaconsfield," "Life of Carlyle," etc.

=Hemans, Mrs. Felicia=: An English poet. Born at Liverpool, 1793; died,
1835. She wrote numerous short poems, which were at one time very
popular. She is best remembered in this country as the author of "The
Landing of the Pilgrims" (page 195), "Casabianca," and similar pieces.

=Hogg, James=: A Scottish poet, often called from his occupation the
Ettrick Shepherd. Born, 1770; died, 1835. Among his poems are "The
Queen's Wake" (1813), "The Pilgrims of the Sun" (1815), and many short
pieces.

=Howells, William Dean=: An American novelist and poet. Born at
Martinsville, Ohio, 1837. He was for ten years editor of the "Atlantic
Monthly." He has written numerous novels, several short comedies or
farces, and a volume of poetry. Our selection is from one of his
latest works, "Stories of Ohio," a series of sketches relating to the
settlement and early history of that commonwealth.

=Hunt, James Henry Leigh=, author of the poem entitled "The Glove and
the Lions" (page 119), was an English essayist and poet. Born, 1784;
died, 1859. His chief poem is "The Story of Rimini"; his principal
prose works are "Life of Lord Byron" (1828), and "Autobiography" (1850).

"=Idylls of the King=": The first part of this noble poem by Lord
Tennyson appeared in 1859, and the remaining parts were issued at
various intervals until its completion. It comprises twelve books, or
poems, which should be read in the following order: "The Coming of
Arthur," "Gareth and Lynette," "The Marriage of Geraint," "Geraint and
Enid," "Balin and Balan," "Merlin and Vivien," "Lancelot and Elaine,"
"The Holy Grail," "Pelleas and Etarre," "The Last Tournament,"
"Guinevere," "The Passing of Arthur." Taken together in this order,
these various poems present a complete and connected history of King
Arthur and his knights. See page 216.

=Ingelow= (in´je lō), =Jean=: An English poet and novelist. Born at
Boston, Lincolnshire, 1830; died, 1897. Wrote "Off the Skelligs,"
"Fated to be Free," "A Motto Changed," several children's books, and
numerous poems.

=Irving, Washington=: An eminent American writer. Born, 1783; died,
1859. His principal works are "Columbus and his Companions" (from
which the extract beginning on page 25 is taken), "The Sketch Book,"
"Tales of a Traveler" (1824), "The Conquest of Granada" (1829), "The
Alhambra" (1832), "Oliver Goldsmith" (1849), "Mahomet and His
Successors" (1850), "Life of George Washington" (1859).

"=Job, The Book of=": One of the books of the Old Testament, the
authorship of which is unknown, but has been ascribed to various
persons and periods of time. It is doubtless one of the oldest
literary productions in our possession, and may be described as a
poetic drama, having a didactic purpose. The hero of the book is Job,
a man of great wealth and prosperity, who has been suddenly overtaken
by misfortune. The great literary merit of the work is recognized by
all scholars.

=Johnson, Dr. Samuel=: An eminent English essayist, poet, and
lexicographer. Born, 1709; died, 1784. For his biography, see
Macaulay's essay on his life and works in "School Reading by
Grades--Seventh Year."

=Jonson, Ben=: A celebrated English poet and dramatist. Born, 1573;
died, 1637. Among his plays are "Every Man in his Humour" (1598),
"Cynthia's Revels" (1600), "The Alchemist" (1610), etc.

=Kingsley, Charles=: An eminent English author and clergyman. See
Biographical Notes in "School Reading by Grades--Fifth Year."

"=Lays of Ancient Rome=": A volume of poems written by Lord Macaulay
and first published in 1842. It includes "Horatius" (see page 32),
"The Battle of Lake Regillus," "Virginia," and "The Prophecy of Capys."

=Lewes= (lū´es), =George Henry=: An English philosophical and
miscellaneous writer. Born at London, 1817; died, 1878. He wrote
"Seaside Studies" (1858), "Studies in Animal Life" (1862), "Problems
of Life and Mind" (1874), and many other works on scientific and
philosophical subjects.

=Lincoln, Abraham=: The sixteenth President of the United States. Born
in Kentucky, 1809; died at Washington, D. C., 1865. The "Address at
Gettysburg" (page 205) is generally conceded to be one of the noblest
examples of oratory produced in modern times.

"=Lorna Doone=: a Romance of Exmoor." First published in 1869. See
page 64.

"=Mexico, History of the Conquest of=," by William H. Prescott (see
page 104), was first published in 1843. Other works relating to the
same event are "The Spanish Conquest in America," by Sir Arthur Helps,
"The Fair God" (a romance) by General Lew Wallace.

=Prescott, William Hickling=: An eminent American historian. Born at
Salem, Mass., 1796; died, 1859. His principal works are "History of
the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella" (1838), "Conquest of Mexico" (see
note above), "Conquest of Peru" (1847), "History of Philip II" (1858).

=Reade, Charles=: A noted English barrister and novelist. Born in
Oxfordshire, 1814; died, 1884. His novels are very numerous, but the
best is "The Cloister and the Hearth," from which our selection is
taken (page 153). Several of his writings are noted for their strong
opposition to social evils.

=Scott, Sir Walter.= See Biographical Notes in "School Reading by
Grades--Fifth Year."

=Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn=: An English divine and historian. Born,
1815; died, 1881. He traveled in Egypt and Palestine in 1852-53; wrote
"Sinai and Palestine" (1856), "Memorials of Canterbury" (1855),
"History of the Jewish Church" (1865), etc.

=Stockton, Frank Richard=: A noted American author and humorist. Born
at Philadelphia, 1834. He has written "Rudder Grange," "The Clocks of
Rondaine," "Pomona's Travels," "Stories of New Jersey," and many
other works, including several books for children.

"=Tales of a Grandfather=": A collection of historical stories, by Sir
Walter Scott, first published in four series, 1827-30. See page 66.

=Tennyson, Alfred.= See Biographical Notes in "School Reading by
Grades--Fifth Year."

=Tyndall, John=: An eminent British scientist. Born in Ireland, 1820;
died in England, 1893. Among his works are "The Forms of Water in
Clouds and Rivers" (1873) from which our extract is selected (page
202), "Hours of Exercise in the Alps" (1871), "Fragments of Science"
(1892), and many other works of a similar character.

"=Westward Ho! or the Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh=": A
novel by Charles Kingsley, first published in 1855. See page 165.

=Winthrop, Robert Charles=: An American statesman and orator. Born at
Boston, 1809; died, 1894. His most famous addresses were delivered at
the laying of the corner-stone of the Washington Monument, 1848, and
at the completion of the same monument, 1885.

=White, Gilbert=: An English clergyman and naturalist, famous as the
author of "Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne" (1789). He was
born at Selborne, 1720; died there, 1793.

=Yonge= (yung), =Charlotte Mary=: An English writer and novelist. Born
at Otterbourne, 1823. She has written more than a hundred volumes,
including, "The Heir of Redclyffe," "Daisy Chain," "Landmarks of
History," and "A Book of Golden Deeds," from which the selection
beginning on page 208 is taken.


EXPLANATORY NOTES.

=Page 20.= "Straits of Sunda." The passage between the islands of Java
and Sumatra, leading from the Indian Ocean to the Sea of Java. See a
good map of this part of the world.

=25.= "The Return of Columbus." Returning from his first voyage (see
"School Reading by Grades--Fourth Year," page 43), Columbus reached
Palos, March 15, 1493. The selection here given from Irving describes
his triumphal reception a few weeks later at the court of Ferdinand
and Isabella at Barcelona.

"Hidalgos." Spanish noblemen of the lower class.

=27.= "Las Casas." A Spanish historian, born, 1474; died, 1566. He
went to America in 1502, and in 1542 was Bishop of Chiapas in Mexico.
We are indebted to him for some of the earliest trustworthy accounts
of the Spanish discoveries. He was the friend and defender of the
Indians against their European conquerors.

=28.= "_Te Deum laudamus._" "We praise thee, O God."

=32.= Tarquin the Proud, or Tarquinius Superbus, reigned, according to
the traditional account, from 534 to 509 B.C. The modern name of
Clusium is Chiusi (Kē [=oo]´sē). It is situated in the province
of Siena in Italy, and is famous for its ruins of Etruscan origin.

=33.= "Consul." After the expulsion of the kings from Rome the
governing power was vested in two consuls, who were elected annually.
At the time of the story, one of the consuls had been slain in battle
with Porsena. Our selection begins with the twenty-sixth stanza of
Macaulay's poem.

"Ramnian," belonging to the Ramnes, the first of the three tribes
which originally composed the Roman nation. Herminius was a member of
the second tribe, or Tities. The third tribe were the Luceres.

=35.= For the places mentioned on this and the following pages, see
some good classical atlas.

=36.= "She-wolf's litter." A reference to the legend that Romulus and
Remus, the founders of Rome, were, when babes, protected and reared by
a she-wolf.

=42.= "Fathers." The Roman senators.

=44.= Sir Francis Drake was an English seaman, born about 1540; died,
1596. He was famous for his operations on the sea against the
Spaniards of America, and especially for being the first Englishman to
circumnavigate the globe.

=66.= Bannockburn is the name of a small village three miles south of
Stirling, in Scotland. Robert Bruce, one of the national heroes of
Scotland, was born, 1274; died, 1329. His right to the throne of
Scotland was disputed by Edward I. of England, who claimed the
suzerainty of that country for himself. The war which resulted from
this dispute was continued by Edward II. until he met with the signal
defeat here narrated. Bruce's right to the Scottish throne was
formally acknowledged by England in 1328.

=89.= "Great stone castles." For a description of the different parts
of a Norman castle mentioned in this selection, see the word "Castle"
in Webster's International Dictionary.

=93.= "Conquest." The Norman conquest under Duke William, 1066. See
"School Reading by Grades--Fourth Year," page 181.

"Author of 'Ivanhoe.'" Sir Walter Scott. See "Ivanhoe," Chapter VIII.

"Quintain." An upright post, on the top of which turned a cross-piece,
having on one end a broad board and on the other a sandbag. The
endeavor was to strike the board with the lance while riding under it
and get away without being hit by the sandbag.

=96.= "Scriptorium." A room in a monastery where the monks wrote or
copied manuscripts. See "School Reading by Grades--Fifth Year," page
170.

=100.= "Nathless." Nevertheless.

=104.= Cortés. Hernando Cortés was born in Spain in 1485. In 1504, at
the age of nineteen, he sailed for Santo Domingo, where he was
received with great favor, and where for several years he held
important offices in connection with the government of the new colony.
In 1518 he organized the expedition for the conquest of Mexico. The
city was finally captured, after a gallant defense of 77 days, August
13, 1521. Utterly neglected and forsaken in his old age, Cortés died
at Seville, in Spain, December 2, 1547.

=106.= "Palanquin" (păl an kēn´). An inclosed litter, borne on
men's shoulders, for conveying a single person.

=106.= "Cacique" (k[.a] sēk´). A chieftain, or nobleman, among the
Aztecs or Indians.

=107.= "Panache" (păn [.a]sh´). A plume or bunch of feathers. A
military plume.

=109.= "Tenochtitlan" (ten ōch tēt län´). The Aztec name for
their chief city, the site of which is now occupied by the city of
Mexico. It was founded about two hundred years before the Spanish
conquest, and was built on an island in Tezcuco Lake. The name Mexitl,
or Mexico, was also applied to the city, or to a portion of it.

=110.= "Bernal Diaz" (dē´äth). A Spanish soldier in the army of
Cortés, who afterwards wrote a history of the conquest.

=111.= "Montezuma." Cortés repaid this chieftain for his kindness by
seizing him in his own house and carrying him to the Spanish quarters,
where he kept him as a prisoner. The Aztecs attacked the quarters, and
Montezuma, by the direction of Cortés, appeared on the wall to counsel
peace. This so exasperated them that they pelted him with stones, and
wounded him so that he died four days later.

=118.= "The Lions." Rosa Bonheur, from whose painting this picture has
been reproduced, is one of the most famous painters of the nineteenth
century, especially of animal life and of landscapes. She was born at
Bordeaux, France, in 1828. For nearly fifty years she has been
directress of the Free School of Design for Young Girls in Paris. Many
of her paintings have received high praise, but the one by which she
is best known in this country is "The Horse Fair," in the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New York.

=138.= "Sir William Wallace." One of the national heroes of Scotland.
His deeds are commemorated in a once very popular romance by Jane
Porter entitled "The Scottish Chiefs" (1810).

=139.= "Schehallion." A mountain 35 miles northwest of Perth.
Altitude, 3547 feet.

=140.= "Royal Martyr." King Charles I. of England, beheaded by
Parliament, 1649.

"King James." James II., at that time a fugitive from his throne.

"Covenanting traitors." Adherents of the "Solemn League and Covenant"
adopted by the Scottish Parliament in 1638, and by the English
Parliament in 1643, for the preservation of the reformed religion in
Scotland and the suppression of papacy and prelacy.

=153.= "Burgundy." The limits and character of the region known by
this name have varied greatly at different periods of history. The
Burgundy here mentioned was the great duchy of that name, the capital
of which was Dijon. The Duke of Burgundy at the time of this story was
the famous Charles the Bold, who was its ruler from 1467 to 1477.
After his death it passed into the control of the king of France.

"Flanders." This country, which now forms the southeastern part of the
province of Zealand, Netherlands, was united to Burgundy in 1369.
Upon the death of Charles the Bold it passed to Austria; but since
that time it has been successively acquired by various other
neighboring states.

=154.= "Palisades." Strong long stakes one end of which is set in the
ground and the other sharpened.

"Sappers." Builders of fortifications.

=155.= "Quarrels." Square-headed arrows for crossbows.

"Mantelets." Large shields of rope, wood, or metal.

"Mangonels." Engines for throwing stones or javelins.

=156.= "Barbican." See "Castle" in Webster's International Dictionary.
A tower for defending the entrance to a castle.

"Arbalester." A crossbowman.

"Half ell shaft." A shaft or arrow half an ell in length.

=158.= "Fascines" (făs´sēnz). Bundles of sticks bound together
and used for filling ditches or raising batteries.

=160.= "Sir Turk." The Turkish catapult just described.

=163.= "Solway." Solway Firth, an arm of the Irish Sea, extending into
Scotland: remarkable for the rapidity of its tides.

=164.= "Graeme" (grām). See page 138.

=165.= "Manoa" (mä nō´ä). The city ruled by the gilded king, El
Dorado. It was said to be built on an island in a lake called Parima,
somewhere in the northern part of South America. Beginning about 1530,
great numbers of expeditions were made by the Spaniards in search of
this fabled city, all of which ended in disappointment and disaster.

=175.= "Naught of strange." Nothing out of the usual order.

=176.= "Lindis." A small stream in Lincolnshire.

"Melick" (mĕl´ĭk). Melic grass, a kind of grass eaten by cattle.

=177.= "Warping down." Turning aside out of a straight course; moving
in zigzag lines.

"Scope." A sea wall, or steep shore.

=178.= "Bairns." Little children.

=179.= "Eygre" (ē´gẽr). The flood tide moving with great force
and swiftness up the river.

=181.= Henry II. of England was born in 1133; died, 1189. He was the
first of the Plantagenet line of kings.

=182.= Thomas Becket, born in London, 1118, was the son of a rich
merchant, and became a member of the household of Theobald, archbishop
of Canterbury, about 1142. Through the influence of Theobald his
interests with the king were advanced, and he became chancellor during
the first year of Henry's reign. He was murdered in 1170.

=190.= In 1172 Becket was canonized under the title of St. Thomas of
Canterbury, and in 1220 his bones were removed to Trinity Chapel,
where they became the object of great veneration. For several
centuries pilgrimages were made to his shrine from all parts of
England. Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" were related by a party of
pilgrims who were making this journey, presumably near the close of
the fourteenth century. By order of King Henry VIII. the shrine was
finally destroyed, and the bones of Becket were scattered and burned.

=200.= "Genera." Plural of _genus_--a name applied to a class of
objects subdivided into species.

"Hen harriers." Hawks which fly low and harass fowls or small animals.

=201.= "Gallinæ" (găl lī´ne). The order of birds which includes
domestic fowls, pheasants, quails, grouse, etc.

=205.= The National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was
dedicated by President Lincoln, November 19, 1863. It was here that
the great battle of Gettysburg was fought, July 1, 2, and 3 of the
same year. The cemetery contains the graves of 3580 soldiers, with a
central monument, built at a cost of $50,000, and a large number of
regimental monuments on the various historic points of the battlefield.

=208.= "Vespasian and his son Titus." Vespasian was emperor of Rome
A.D. 70-79. He was succeeded by his son Titus, who died two years
later. Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Titus, acting as his
father's general, in the year 70. Both these emperors expended large
sums on public works. The Coliseum, although begun by Vespasian in 72,
was not finished during his reign. Despite the enormous mass of the
present ruins, it is estimated that they comprise only about one third
of the original materials; the remainder have been carried away,
destroyed, or used in the construction of other buildings.

=209.= "Orpheus." The sweet musician of Thrace whose music charmed
birds and beasts, and caused even rocks and trees to move from their
places to listen to the divine melody.

=212.= "The Last Prayer." Jean Leon Gérôme, the painter of this
picture, is a celebrated French artist, born at Vesoul in 1824. He
studied in Italy, and to perfect himself in his art, traveled for some
years in Egypt, Turkey, and other eastern countries. As might have
been expected, the subjects of many of his paintings are oriental. In
1863, he became professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts. His
works are very numerous and meritorious.

=213.= The stanza of poetry quoted on this page is from Lord Byron's
"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage."

"Honorius." Honorius was born at Constantinople, A.D. 384, and became
emperor of the western empire in 395 at the age of eleven years. He
married the daughter of his guardian, Stilicho, in 398. It was during
his reign (in 410) that Rome was taken and sacked by Alaric the Goth.
He died in 423.

=216.= "Lyonesse" (lī o nĕs´). A mythical region, said to have
extended from Land's End, in Cornwall, to the Scilly Islands. A
tradition still exists of the submersion and destruction of this
country, probably in the tenth century. King Arthur was said to have
been a native of Lyonesse.

=217.= "Camelot." A legendary town in England where Arthur had his
palace and court. It is supposed by some to have been near Winchester;
others locate it in Wales.

"Merlin." A half-legendary bard and wizard, who is supposed to have
lived in the early part of the sixth century. He was the companion and
counselor of Arthur, and instituted the Round Table at Carduel. The
famous prose romance, called the "Romance of Merlin," was written in
French by Hélie de Borron about the year 1200. It was translated into
English about the middle of the fifteenth century.

"Excalibur." The sword which Arthur had received from the Lady of the
Lake. It had many miraculous qualities, and the wearer of its scabbard
could lose no blood.

=223.= "Daïs throne." A throne raised upon an elevated platform or daïs.

=224.= "Avilion." In Celtic mythology, the Land of the Blessed--an
earthly paradise in the western seas. All the great heroes of mediæval
times, as Arthur and Ogier the Dane, were carried there, where they
lived in perfect happiness at the court of Morgan le Fay, the queen of
the fairies.



Transcriber's Note


  * Line numbers removed from short stories.

  * Obvious punctuation and spelling errors repaired.

  * Footnote moved to the end of short story.

  * In Table of Contents "Portraits of Authors" page number corrected
    for Arthur Penrhyn Stanley from "190" to "191".

  * Chiusi (Kē [=oo]´sē) contains [=oo] representing a "long oo" sound
    not represented in any charts.

  * Text enclosed between equal signs was in bold face in the original
    (=bold=).





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