By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: The Art of the Story-Teller
Author: Shedlock, Marie L.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Art of the Story-Teller" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

This etext was created by Doug Levy, _literra scripta manet_.



Some day we shall have a science of education comparable to the
science of medicine; but even when that day arrives the art of
education will still remain the inspiration and the guide of all
wise teachers.  The laws that regulate our physical and mental
development will be reduced to order; but the impulses which lead
each new generation to play its way into possession of all that
is best in life will still have to be interpreted for us by the
artists who, with the wisdom of years, have not lost the direct
vision of children.

Some years ago I heard Miss Shedlock tell stories in England.  Her
fine sense of literary and dramatic values, her power in sympathetic
interpretation, always restrained within the limits of the art she was
using, and her understanding of educational values, based on a wide
experience of teaching, all marked her as an artist in story-telling.
She was equally at home in interpreting the subtle blending of wit and
wisdom in Daudet, the folk lore philosophy of Grimm, or the deeper
world philosophy and poignant human appeal of Hans Christian Andersen.

Then she came to America and for two or three years she taught us the
difference between the nightingale that sings in the tree tops and the
artificial bird that goes with a spring.  Cities like New York, Boston,
Pittsburgh and Chicago listened and heard, if sometimes indistinctly,
the notes of universal appeal, and children saw the Arabian Nights
come true.

Yielding to the appeals of her friends in America and England, Miss
Shedlock has put together in this little book such observations and
suggestions on story-telling as can be put in words.  Those who have
the artist's spirit will find their sense of values quickened by her
words, and they will be led to escape some of the errors into which
even the greatest artists fall.  And even those who tell stories with
their minds will find in these papers wise generalizations and
suggestions born of wide experience and extended study which well go
far towards making even an artificial nightingale's song less
mechanical.  To those who know, the book is a revelation of the
intimate relation between a child's instincts and the finished art of
dramatic presentation.  To those who do not know it will bring echoes
of reality.
            Earl Barnes.






    A SAGA.




Story-telling is almost the oldest art in the world--the first
conscious form of literary communication.  In the East it still
survives, and it is not an uncommon thing to see a crowd at a street
corner held by the simple narration of a story.  There are signs in
the West of a growing interest in this ancient art, and we may yet
live to see the renaissance of the troubadours and the minstrels whose
appeal will then rival that of the mob orator or itinerant politician.
One of the surest signs of a belief in the educational power of the
story is its introduction into the curriculum of the training-college
and the classes of the elementary and secondary schools.  It is just
at the time when the imagination is most keen, the mind being
unhampered by accumulation of facts, that stories appeal most vividly
and are retained for all time.

It is to be hoped that some day stories will be told to school groups
only by experts who have devoted special time and preparation to the
art of telling them.  It is a great fallacy to suppose that the
systematic study of story-telling destroys the spontaneity of
narrative.  After a long experience, I find the exact converse to be
true, namely, that it is only when one has overcome the mechanical
difficulties that one can "let one's self go" in the dramatic interest
of the story.

By the expert story-teller I do not mean the professional elocutionist.
The name, wrongly enough, has become associated in the mind of the
public with persons who beat their breast, tear their hair, and declaim
blood-curdling episodes.  A decade or more ago, the drawing-room reciter
was of this type, and was rapidly becoming the bugbear of social
gatherings.  The difference between the stilted reciter and the simple
story-teller is perhaps best illustrated by an episode in Hans Christian
Andersen's immortal "Story of the Nightingale."  The real Nightingale
and the artificial Nightingale have been bidden by the Emperor to unite
their forces and to sing a duet at a Court function. The duet turns out
most disastrously, and while the artificial Nightingale is singing his
one solo for the thirty-third time, the real Nightingale flies out of
the window back to the green wood--a true artist, instinctively choosing
his right atmosphere.  But the bandmaster--symbol of the pompous
pedagogue--in trying to soothe the outraged feelings of the courtiers,
says, "Because, you see, Ladies and Gentlemen, and above all, Your
Imperial Majesty, with the real nightingale you never can tell what you
will hear, but in the artificial nightingale everything is decided
beforehand.  So it is, and so it must remain.  It cannot be otherwise."

And as in the case of the two nightingales, so it is with the stilted
reciter and the simple narrator: one is busy displaying the machinery,
showing "how the tunes go"; the other is anxious to conceal the art.
Simplicity should be the keynote of story-telling, but (and her the
comparison with the nightingale breaks down) it is a simplicity which
comes after much training in self-control, and much hard work in
overcoming the difficulties which beset the presentation.

I do not mean that there are not born story-tellers who _could_ hold an
audience without preparation, but they are so rare in number that we can
afford to neglect them in our general consideration, for this work is
dedicated to the average story-tellers anxious to make the best use of
their dramatic ability, and it is to them that I present my plea for
special study and preparation before telling a story to a group of
children--that is, if they wish for the far-reaching effects I shall
speak of later on.  Only the preparation must be of a much less
stereotyped nature than that by which the ordinary reciters are trained
for their career.

Some years ago, when I was in America, I was asked to put into the
form of lectures my views as to the educational value of telling
stories. A sudden inspiration seized me.  I began to cherish a dream
of long hours to be spent in the British Museum, the Congressional
Library in Washington and the Public Library in Boston--and this
is the only portion of the dream which has been realized.  I planned
an elaborate scheme of research work which was to result in a
magnificent (if musty) philological treatise.  I thought of trying to
discover by long and patient researches what species of lullaby were
crooned by Egyptian mothers to their babes, and what were the
elementary dramatic poems in vogue among Assyrian nursemaids which
were the prototypes of "Little Jack Horner," "Dickory, Dickory Dock"
and other nursery classics.  I intended to follow up the study of
these ancient documents by making an appendix of modern variants,
showing what progress we had made--if any--among modern nations.

But there came to me suddenly one day the remembrance of a scene from
Racine's "Plaideurs," in which the counsel for the defence, eager to
show how fundamental his knowledge, begins his speech: "Before the
Creation of the World"--And the Judge (with a touch of weariness
tempered by humor) suggests:

"Let us pass on to the Deluge."

And thus I, too, have passed on to the Deluge.  I have abandoned an
account of the origin and past of stories which at best would only
have displayed a little recently acquired book knowledge.  When I
thought of the number of scholars who could treat this part of the
question infinitely better than myself, I realized how much wiser it
would be--though the task is more humdrum--to deal with the present
possibilities of story-telling for our generation of parents
and teachers.

My objects in urging the use of stories in the education of children
are at least fivefold:

First, to give them dramatic joy, for which they have a natural
craving; to develop a sense of humor, which is really a sense of
proportion; to correct certain tendencies by showing the consequences
in the career of the hero in the story [Of this motive the children
must be quite unconscious and there should be no didactic emphasis];
to present by means of example, not precept, such ideals as will
sooner or later be translated into action; and finally, to develop the
imagination, which really includes all the other points.

But the art of story-telling appeals not only to the educational world
and to parents as parents, but also to a wider public interested in
the subject from a purely human point of view.

In contrast to the lofty scheme I had originally proposed to myself, I
now simply place before all those who are interested in the art of
story-telling in any form the practical experiences I have had in my
travels in America and England.

I hope that my readers may profit by my errors, improve on my methods,
and thus help to bring about the revival of an almost lost art.

In Sir Philip Sydney's "Defence of Poesie: we find these words:

"Forsooth he cometh to you with a tale, which holdeth children from
play, and old men from the chimney-corner, and pretending no more,
doth intend the winning of the mind from wickedness to virtue even as
the child is often brought to take most wholesome things by hiding them
in such other as have a pleasant taste."

                                         MARIE L. SHEDLOCK, LONDON.



I propose to deal in this chapter with the difficulties or dangers
which beset the path of the story-teller, because, until we have
overcome these, we cannot hope to bring out the full value of the

The difficulties are many, and yet they ought not to discourage the
would-be narrators, but only show them how all-important is the
preparation for the story, if it is to have the desired effect.

I propose to illustrate by concrete examples, thereby serving a
twofold purpose: one to fix the subject more clearly in the mind of
the student, the other to use the art of story-telling to explain

I have chosen one or two instances from my own personal experience.
The grave mistakes made in my own case may serve as a warning to
others who will find, however, that experience is the best teacher.
For positive work, in the long run, we generally find out our own
method.  On the negative side, however, it is useful to have certain
pitfalls pointed out to us, in order that we may save time by avoiding
them.  It is for this reason that I sound a note of warning.

1.  There is _the danger of side issues_.  An inexperienced story-teller
is exposed to the temptation of breaking off from the main dramatic
interest in a short exciting story in order to introduce a side issue
which is often interesting and helpful but which must be left for a
longer and less dramatic story.  If the interest turns on some dramatic
moment, the action must be quick and uninterrupted, or it will lose half
its effect.

I had been telling a class of young children the story of Polyphemus
and Ulysses, and just at the most dramatic moment in the story some
impulse for which I cannot account prompted me to go off on a side
issue to describe the personal appearance of Ulysses.

The children were visibly bored, but with polite indifference they
listened to my elaborate description of the hero.  If I had given them
an actual description from Homer, I believe that the strength of the
language would have appealed to their imagination (all the more
strongly because the might not have understood the individual words)
and have lessened their disappointment at the dramatic issue being
postponed; but I trusted to my own lame verbal efforts, and signally
failed.  Attention flagged, fidgeting began, the atmosphere was
rapidly becoming spoiled in spit of the patience and toleration still
shown by the children.  At last, however, one little girl in the front
row, as spokeswoman for the class, suddenly said: "If you please,
before you go on any further, do you mind telling us whether, after
all, that Poly . . . [slight pause] . . . that . . . [final attempt]
. . . _Polyanthus_ died?"

Now, the remembrance of this question has been of extreme use to me in
my career as a story-teller.  I have realized that in a short dramatic
story the mind of the listeners must be set at ease with regard to
the ultimate fate of the special Polyanthus who takes the center of
the stage.

I remember, too, the despair of a little boy at a dramatic
representation of "Little Red Riding-Hood," when that little person
delayed the thrilling catastrophe with the Wolf, by singing a pleasant
song on her way through the wood. "Oh, why," said the little boy,
"does she not get on?"  And I quite shared his impatience.

This warning is necessary only in connection with the short dramatic
narrative.  There are occasions when we can well afford to offer short
descriptions for the sake of literary style, and for the purpose of
enlarging the vocabulary of the child.  I have found, however, in
these cases, it is well to take the children into your confidence,
warning them that they are to expect nothing particularly exciting in
the way of dramatic event.  They will then settle down with a freer
mind (though the mood may include a touch of resignation) to the
description you are about to offer them.

2.  _Altering the story to suit special occasions_ is done  sometimes
from extreme conscientiousness, sometimes from sheer ignorance of the
ways of children.  It is the desire to protect them from knowledge which
they already possess and with which they, equally conscientious, are apt
to "turn and rend" the narrator.  I remember once when I was telling the
story of the Siege of Troy to very young children, I suddenly felt
anxious lest there should be anything in the story of the rape of Helen
not altogether suitable for the average age of the class, namely, nine
years.  I threw, therefore, a domestic coloring over the whole subject
and presented an imaginary conversation between Paris and Helen, in
which Paris tried to persuade Helen that she was strong-minded woman
thrown away on a limited society in Sparta, and that she should come
away and visit some of the institutions of the world with him, which
would doubtless prove a mutually instructive journey.[1]  I then gave
the children the view taken by Herodotus that Helen never went to Troy,
but was detained in Egypt.  The children were much thrilled by the
story, and responded most eagerly when, in my inexperience, I invited
them to reproduce in writing for the next day the story I had just told
them.  A small child presented _me_, as you will see, with the ethical
problem from which I had so laboriously protected _her_.  The essay ran:

  Once upon a time the King of Troy's son was called Paris.  And he
  went over to _Greace_ to see what it was like.  And here he saw the
  beautiful Helen_er,_ and likewise her husband Menela_yus_.  And one
  day, Menelayus went out hunting, and left Paris and Helener alone,
  and Paris said: "Do you not feel _dul_ in this _palis_?"_[2] And
  Helener said: "I feel very dull in this _pallice_," and Paris said:
  "Come away and see the world with me."  So they _sliped_ off together,
  and they came to the King of Egypt, and _he_ said: "Who _is_ the
  young lady"?  So Paris told him.  "But," said the King, "it is not
  _propper_ for you to go off with other people's _wifes_.  So Helener
  shall stop here."  Paris stamped his foot.  When Menelayus got home,
  _he_ stamped his foot.  And he called round him all his soldiers,
  and they stood round Troy for eleven years.  At last they thought it
  was no use _standing_ any longer, so they built a wooden horse in
  memory of Helener and the Trojans and it was taken into the town.

Now, the mistake I made in my presentation was to lay any particular
stress on the reason for elopement by my careful readjustment, which
really called more attention to the episode than was necessary for
the age of my audience; and evidently caused confusion in the minds
of some of the children who knew the story in its more accurate
original form.

While traveling in America, I was provided with a delightful appendix
to this story.  I had been telling Miss Longfellow and her sister the
little girl's version of the Siege of Troy, and Mrs. Thorpe made the
following comment, with the American humor the dryness of which adds
so much to its value:

"I never realized before," she said, "how glad the Greeks must have
been to sit down even inside a horse, when they had been standing for
eleven years."

3.  _The danger of introducing unfamiliar words_ is the very opposite
danger of the one to which I have just alluded; it is the taking for
granted that children are acquainted with the meaning of certain words
upon which turns some important point in the story.  We must not
introduce, without at least a passing explanation, words which, if not
rightly understood, would entirely alter the picture we wish to present.

I had once promised to tell stories to an audience of Irish peasants,
and I should like to state here that, though my travels have brought
me in touch with almost every kind of audience, I have never found one
where the atmosphere is so "self-prepared" as in that of a group of
Irish peasants.  To speak to them, especially on the subject of fairy-
tales, is like playing on a delicate harp: the response is so quick
and the sympathy so keen.  Of course, the subject of fairy-tales is
one which is completely familiar to them and comes into their everyday
life.  They have a feeling of awe with regard to fairies, which is
very deep in some parts of Ireland.

On this particular occasion I had been warned by an artist friend who
had kindly promised to sing songs between the stories, that my
audience would be of varying age and almost entirely illiterate.  Many
of the older men and women, who could neither read nor write, had
never been beyond their native village.  I was warned to be very
simple in my language and to explain any difficult words which might
occur in the particular Indian story I had chosen for that night,
namely, "The Tiger, the Jackal and the Brahman."[3]--at a proper
distance, however, lest the audience should class him with the wild
animals.  I then went on with my story, in the course of which I
mentioned a buffalo.  In spite of the warning I had received, I found
it impossible not to believe that the name of this animal would be
familiar to any audience.  I, therefore, went on with the sentence
containing this word, and ended it thus: "And then the Brahman went a
little further and met an old buffalo turning a wheel."

The next day, while walking down the village street, I entered into
conversation with a thirteen-year-old girl who had been in my audience
the night before and who began at once to repeat in her own words the
Indian story in questions.  When she came to the particular sentence I
have just quoted, I was greatly startled to hear _her_ version, which
ran thus: "And the priest went on a little further, and he met another
old gentleman pushing a wheelbarrow."  I stopped her at once, and not
being able to identify the sentence as part of the story I had told, I
questioned her a little more closely.  I found that the word "buffalo,"
had evidently conveyed to her mind an old "buffer" whose name was "Lo,"
probably taken to be an Indian form of appellation, to be treated with
tolerance though it might not be Irish in sound.  Then, not knowing of
any wheel more familiarly than that attached to a barrow, the young
narrator completed the picture in her own mind--but which, one must
admit, had lost something of the Indian atmosphere which I had
intended to gather about.

4.  _The danger of claiming cooperation of the class by means of
questions_ is more serious for the teacher than the child, who
rather enjoys the process and displays a fatal readiness to give any
sort of answer if only he can play a part in the conversation.  If we
could in any way depend on the children giving the kind of answer we
expect, all might go well and the danger would be lessened; but
children have a perpetual way of frustrating our hopes in this
direction, and of landing us in unexpected bypaths from which it is
not always easy to return to the main road without a very violent
reaction.  As illustrative of this, I quote from the "The Madness of
Philip," by Josephine Daskam Bacon, a truly delightful essay on child
psychology in the guise of the lightest of stories.

The scene takes place in a kindergarten, where a bold and fearless
visitor has undertaken to tell a story on the spur of the moment to a
group of restless children.

She opens thus:

"Yesterday, children, as I came out of my yard, what do you think
I saw?"

The elaborately concealed surprise in store was so obvious that
Marantha rose to the occasion and suggested, "An el'phunt."

"Why, no.  Why should I see an elephant in my yard?  It was not
_nearly_ so big as that--it was a little thing."

"A fish," ventured Eddy Brown, whose eye fell upon the aquarium in the
corner.  The raconteuse smiled patiently.

"Now, how could a fish, a live fish, get into my front yard?"

"A dead fish," says Eddy.

He had never been known to relinquish voluntarily an idea.

"No; it was a little kitten," said the story-teller decidedly.  "A
little white kitten.  She was standing right near a big puddle of
water. Now, what else do you think I saw?"

"Another kitten," suggests Marantha, conservatively.

"No; it was a big Newfoundland dog.  He saw the little kitten near the
water.  Now, cats don't like water, do they?  What do they like?"

"Mice," said Joseph Zukoffsky abruptly.

"Well, yes, they do; but there were no mice in my yard.  I'm sure you
know what I mean.  If they don't like _water_, _what_ do they like?"

"Milk," cried Sarah Fuller confidently.

"They like a dry place," said Mrs. R. B. Smith.  "Now, what do you
suppose the dog did?"

It may be that successive failures had disheartened the listeners.
Itmay be that the very range of choice presented to them and the
dog alike dazzled their imagination.  At all events, they made
no answer.

"Nobody knows what the dog did?" repeated the story-teller
encouragingly.  "What would you do if you saw a little kitten
like that?"

And Philip remarked gloomily:

"I'd pull its tail."

"And what do the rest of you think?  I hope you are not as cruel as
that little boy."

A jealous desire to share Philip's success prompted the quick response:

"I'd pull it too."

Now, the reason of the total failure of this story was the inability
to draw any real response from the children, partly because of the
hopeless vagueness of the questions, partly because, there being no
time for reflection, children say the first thing that comes into
their heads without any reference to their real thoughts on the subject.

I cannot imagine anything less like the enlightened methods of the
best kindergarten teaching.  Had Mrs. R. B. Smith been a real, and not
a fictional, person, it would certainly have been her last appearance
as a raconteuse in this educational institution.

5.  _The difficulty of gauging the effect of a story upon the
audience_ rises from lack of observation and experience; it is the
want of these qualities which leads to the adoption of such a method
as I have just presented.  We learn in time that want of expression on
the faces of the audience and want of any kind of external response do
not always mean either lack of interest or attention.  There is often
real interest deep down, but no power, or perhaps no wish, to display
that interest, which is deliberately concealed at times so as to
protect oneself from questions which may be put.

6.  _The danger of overillustration_.  After long experience, and
after considering the effect produced on children when pictures are
shown to them during the narration, I have come to the conclusion that
the appeal to the eye and the ear at the same time is of doubtful
value, and has, generally speaking, a distracting effect: the
concentration on one channel of communication attracts and holds the
attention more completely.  I was confirmed in this theory when I
addressed an audience of blind people[4] for the first time, and
noticed how closely they attended, and how much easier it seemed to
them because they were so completely "undistracted by the sights
around them."

I have often suggested to young teachers two experiments in support
of this theory.  They are not practical experiments, nor could they
be repeated often with the same audience, but they are intensely
interesting, and they serve to show the _actual_ effect of appealing to
one sense at a time.  The first of these experiments is to take a small
group of children and suggest that they should close their eyes while
you tell them a story.  You will then notice how much more attention is
given to the intonation and inflection of the voice.  The reason is
obvious.  With nothing to distract the attention, it is concentrated on
the only thing offered the listeners, that is, sound, to enable them to
seize the dramatic interest of the story.

We find an example of the dramatic power of the voice in its appeal to
the imagination in one of the tributes brought by an old pupil to
Thomas Edward Brown, Master at Clifton College:

"My earliest recollection is that his was the most vivid teaching I
ever received; great width of view and poetical, almost passionate,
power of presentment.  We were reading Froude's History, and I shall
never forget how it was Brown's words, Brown's voice, not the
historian's, that made me feel the great democratic function which the
monasteries performed in England; the view became alive in his mouth."
And in another passage: "All set forth with such dramatic force and
aided by such a splendid voice, left an indelible impression on my

A second experiment, and a much more subtle and difficult one, is to
take the same group of children on another occasion, telling them a
story in pantomime form, giving them first the briefest outline of the
story. In this case it must be of the simplest construction, until the
children are able, if you continue the experiment, to look for
something more subtle.

I have never forgotten the marvelous performance of a play given in
London many years ago entirely in pantomime form.  The play was called
"L'Enfant Prodigue," and was presented by a company of French artists.
It would be almost impossible to exaggerate the strength of that
"silent appeal" to the public.  One was so unaccustomed to reading
meaning and development of character into gesture and facial expression
that it was really a revelation to most of those present--certainly to
all Anglo-Saxons.

I cannot touch on this subject without admitting the enormous dramatic
value connected with the cinematograph.  Though it can never take the
place of an actual performance, whether in story form or on the stage,
it has a real educational value in its possibilities of representation
which it is difficult to overestimate, and I believe that its
introduction into the school curriculum, under the strictest
supervision, will be of extraordinary benefit.  The movement, in its
present chaotic condition, and in the hands of commercial management,
is more likely to stifle than to awaken or stimulate the imagination,
but the educational world is fully alive to the danger, and I am
convinced that in the future of the movement good will predominate.

The real value of the cinematograph in connection with stories is that
it provides the background that is wanting to the inner vision of the
average child, and does not prevent its imagination from filling in
the details later.  For instance, it would be quite impossible for the
average child to get an idea from mere word-painting of the atmosphere
of the polar regions as represented lately on the film in connection
with Captain Scott's expedition, but any stories told later on about
these regions would have an infinitely greater interest.

There is, however, a real danger in using pictures to illustrate the
story, especially if it be one which contains a direct appeal to the
imagination of the child and one quite distinct from the stories which
deal with facts, namely, that you force the whole audience of children
to see the same picture, instead of giving each individual child the
chance of making his own mental picture.  That is of far greater joy,
and of much great educational value, since by this process the child
cooperates with you instead of having all the work done for him.

Queyrat, in his works on "La Logique chez l'Enfant," quotes Madame
Necker de Saussure:[6] "To children and animals actual objects present
themselves, not the terms of their manifestations.  For them thinking
is seeing over again, it is going through the sensations that the real
object would have produced.  Everything which goes on within them is
in the form of pictures, or rather, inanimate scenes in which life is
partially reproduced. . . . Since the child has, as yet, no capacity
for abstraction, he finds a stimulating power in words and a
suggestive inspiration which holds him enchanted.  They awaken vividly
colored images, pictures far more brilliant than would be called into
being by the objects themselves."

Surely, if this be true, we are taking from children that rare power
of mental visualization by offering to their outward vision an _actual_

I was struck with the following note by a critic of the _Outlook_,
referring to a Japanese play but which bears quite directly on the
subject in hand.

"First, we should be inclined to put insistence upon appeal by
_imagination_.  Nothing is built up by lath and canvas; everything
has to be created by the poet's speech."

He alludes to the decoration of one of the scenes which consists
of three pines, showing what can be conjured up in the mind of
the spectator.

              Ah, yes.  Unfolding now before my eyes
              The views I know: the Forest, River, Sea
              And Mist--the scenes of Ono now expand.

I have often heard objections raised to this theory by teachers
dealing with children whose knowledge of objects outside their own
circle is so scanty that words we use without a suspicion that they
are unfamiliar are really foreign expressions to them.  Such words as
sea, woods, fields, mountains, would mean nothing to them, unless some
explanation were offered.  To these objections I have replied that
where we are dealing with objects that can actually be seen with the
bodily eyes, then it is quite legitimate to show pictures before you
begin the story, so that the distraction between the actual and mental
presentation may not cause confusion; but, as the foregoing example
shows, we should endeavor to accustom the children to seeing much more
than mere objects themselves, and in dealing with abstract qualities
we must rely solely on the power and choice of words and dramatic
qualities of presentation, and we need not feel anxious if the
response is not immediate, nor even if it is not quick and eager.[7]

7.  _The danger of obscuring the point of the story with too many
details_ is not peculiar to teachers, nor is it shown only in the
narrative form.  I have often heard really brilliant after-dinner
stories marred by this defect.  One remembers the attempt made by
Sancho Panza to tell a story to Don Quixote.  I have always felt a
keen sympathy with the latter in his impatience over the recital.

"In a village of Estramadura there was a shepherd--no, I mean a
goatherd--which shepherd or goatherd as my story says, was called
Lope Ruiz--and this Lope Ruiz was in love with a shepherdess
called Torralva, who was daughter to a rich herdsman, and this rich

"If this be thy story, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou wilt not have
done these two days.  Tell it concisely, like a man of sense, or else
say no more."

"I tell it in the manner they tell all stories in my country,"
answered Sancho, "and I cannot tell it otherwise, nor ought your
Worship to require me to make new customs."

"Tell it as thou wilt, then," said Don Quixote, "since it is the will
of fate that I should here it, go on."

Sancho continued:

"He looked about him until he espied a fisherman with a boat near him,
but so small that it could only hold one person and one goat.  The
fisherman got into the boat and carried over on goat; he returned and
carried another; he came back again and carried another.  Pray, sir,
keep an account of the goats which the fisherman is carrying over, for
if you lose count of a single one, the story ends, and it will be
impossible to tell a word more. . . . I go on, then. . . . He returned
for another goat, and another, and another and another---"

"_Suppose_ them all carried over," said Don Quixote, "or thou wilt not
have finished carrying them this twelve months!"

"Tell me, how many have passed already?" said Sancho.

"How should I know?" answered Don Quixote.

"See there, now!  Did I not tell thee to keep an exact account?  There
is an end of the story.  I can go no further."

"How can this be?" said Don Quixote.  "Is it so essential to the story
to know the exact number of goats that passed over, that if one error
be made the story can proceed no further?"

"Even so," said Sancho Panza.

8.  _The danger of overexplanation_ is fatal to the artistic success of
any story, but it is even more serious in connection with stories told
from an educational point of view, because it hampers the imagination of
the listener, and since the development of that faculty is one of our
chief aims in telling these stories, we must leave free play, we must
not test the effect, as I have said before, by the material method of
asking questions.  My own experience is that the fewer explanations you
offer, provided you have been careful with the choice of your material
and artistic in the presentation, the more the child will supplement by
his own thinking power what is necessary for the understanding of the story.

Queyrat says: "A child has no need of seizing on the exact meaning of
words; on the contrary, a certain lack of precision seems to stimulate
his imagination only the more vigorously, since it gives him a broader
liberty and firmer independence."[8]

9.  _The danger of lowering the standard_ of the story in order to
appeal to the undeveloped taste of the child is a special one.  I
am alluding here only to the story which is presented from the
educational point of view.  There are moments of relaxation in a
child's life, as in that of an adult, when a lighter taste can be
gratified.  I allude now to the standard of story for school purposes.

There is one development of story-telling which seems to have been
very little considered, either in America or in our own country,
namely, the telling of stories to _old_ people, and that not only
in institutions or in quiet country villages, but in the heart of the
busy cities and in the homes of these old people.  How often, when the
young people are able to enjoy outside amusements, the old people,
necessarily confined to the chimney-corner and many unable to read
much for themselves, might return to the joy of their childhood by
hearing some of the old stories told them in dramatic form.  Here is
a delightful occupation for those of the leisured class who have the
gift, and a much more effective way of reading aloud.

Lady Gregory, in talking to the workhouse folk in Ireland, was moved
by the strange contrast between the poverty of the tellers and the
splendors of the tale.  She says:

"The stories they love are of quite visionary things; of swans that
turn into kings' daughters, and of castles with crowns over the doors,
and of lovers' flights on the backs of eagles, and music-loving
witches, and journeys to the other world, and sleeps that last for
seven hundred years."

I fear it is only the Celtic imagination that will glory in such
romantic material; but I am sure the men and women of the poorhouse
are much more interested than we are apt to think in stories outside
the small circle of their lives.


It would be a truism to suggest that dramatic instinct and dramatic
power of expression are naturally the first essentials for success in
the art of story-telling, and that, without these, no story-teller
would go very far; but I maintain that, even with these gifts, no high
standard of performance will be reached without certain other
qualities, among the first of which I place _apparent_ simplicity,
which is really the _art_ of concealing_ the art.

I am speaking here of the public story-teller, or of the teacher with
a group of children, not the spontaneous (and most rare) power of
telling stories such as Beranger gives us in his poem, "Souvenirs du

                   Mes enfants, dans ce village,
                   Suivi de rois, il passa;
                   Voila; bien longtemps de cela!
                   Je venais d'entrer en menage,
                   A pied grimpant le coteau,
                   Ou pour voir je m'tais mise.

                   Il avait petit chapeau et redingote grise.
                   Il me dit: Bon jour, ma chere.
                   Il vous a parle, grand mere?
                   Il vous a parle?

I am skeptical enough to think that it is not the spontaneity of the
grandmother but the art of Beranger which enhances the effect of the
story told in the poem.

This intimate form of narration, which is delightful in its special
surroundings, would fail to _reach_, much less _hold_, a large audience,
not because of its simplicity, but often because of the want of skill in
arranging material and of the artistic sense of selection which brings
the interest to a focus and arranges the side lights.  In short, the
simplicity we need for the ordinary purpose is that which comes from
ease and produces a sense of being able to let ourselves go, because we
have thought out our effects.  It is when we translate our instinct into
art that the story becomes finished and complete.

I find it necessary to emphasize this point because people are apt to
confuse simplicity of delivery with carelessness of utterance, loose
stringing of sentences of which the only connections seem to be the
ever-recurring use of "and" and "so," and "er . . .," this latter
inarticulate sound having done more to ruin a story and distract the
audience than many more glaring errors of dramatic form.

Real simplicity holds the audience because the lack of apparent effort
in the artist has the most comforting effect upon the listener.  It is
like turning from the whirring machinery of process to the finished
article, which bears no traces of the making except the harmony and
beauty of the whole, which make one realize that the individual parts
have received all proper attention.  What really brings about this
apparent simplicity which insures the success of the story?  It has
been admirably expressed in a passage from Henry James' lecture
on Balzac:

"The fault in the artist which amounts most completely to a failure of
dignity is the absence of _saturation with his idea_.  When
saturation fails, no other real presence avails, as when, on the other
hand, it operates, no failure of method fatally interferes."

I now offer two illustrations of the effect of this saturation, one
to show that the failure of method does not prevent successful effect,
the other to show that when it is combined with the necessary secondary
qualities the perfection of the art is reached.

In illustration of the first point, I recall an experience in the
north of England when the head mistress of an elementary school asked
me to hear a young inexperienced girl tell a story to a group of very
small children.

When she began, I felt somewhat hopeless, because of the complete
failure of method.  She seemed to have all the faults most damaging to
the success of a speaker.  Her voice was harsh, her gestures awkward,
her manner was restless and melodramatic; but, as she went on I soon
began to discount all these faults and, in truth, I soon forgot about
them, for so absorbed was she in her story, so saturated with her
subject, that she quickly communicated her own interest to her
audience, and the children were absolutely spellbound.

The other illustration is connected with a memorable peep behind the
stage, when the late M. Coquelin had invited me to see him in the
greenroom between the first and second acts of "L'abbe Constantin," one
of the plays given during his last season in London, the year before his
death.  The last time I had met M. Coquelin was at a dinner party, where
I had been dazzled by the brilliant conversation of this great artist in
the role of a man of the world.  But on this occasion I met the simple,
kindly priest, so absorbed in his role that he inspired me with the wish
to offer a donation for his poor, and, on taking leave, to ask for his
blessing for myself.  While talking to him, I had felt puzzled.  It was
only when I had left him that I realized what had happened, namely, that
he was too thoroughly saturated with his subject to be able to drop his
role during the interval, in order to assume the more ordinary one of
host and man of the world.

Now, it is this spirit I would wish to inculcate into the would-be
story-tellers.  If they would apply themselves in this manner to their
work, it would bring about a revolution in the art of presentation,
that is, in the art of teaching.  The difficulty of the practical
application of this theory is the constant plea, on the part of
teachers, that there is not the time to work for such a standard in an
art which is so apparently simple that the work expended on it would
never be appreciated.

My answer to this objection is that, though the counsel of perfection
would be to devote a great deal of time to the story, so as to prepare
the atmosphere quite as much as the mere action of the little drama
(just as photographers use time exposure to obtain sky effects, as
well as the more definite objects in the picture), yet it is not so
much a question of time as concentration on the subject, which is one
of the chief factors in the preparation of the story.

So many story-tellers are satisfied with cheap results, and most
audiences are not critical enough to encourage a high standard.[9]
The method of "showing the machinery" has more immediate results, and
it is easy to become discouraged over the drudgery which is not
necessary to secure the approbation of the largest number.  But, since
I am dealing with the essentials of really good story-telling, I may
be pardoned for suggesting the highest standard and the means for
reaching it.

Therefore, I maintain that capacity for work, and even drudgery, is
among the essentials of story-telling.  Personally, I know of nothing
more interesting than watching the story grow gradually from mere
outline into a dramatic whole.  It is the same pleasure, I imagine,
which is felt over the gradual development of a beautiful design on a
loom.  I do not mean machine-made work, which has to be done under
adverse conditions in a certain time and which is similar to thousands
of other pieces of work; but that work, upon which we can bestow
unlimited time and concentrated thought.

The special joy in the slowly-prepared story comes in the exciting
moment when the persons, or even the inanimate objects, become alive
and move as of themselves.  I remember spending two or three
discouraging weeks with Andersen's story of the "Adventures of a
Beetle."  I passed through times of great depression, because all the
little creatures, beetles, ear-wigs, frogs, etc., behaved in such a
conventional way, instead of displaying the strong individuality which
Andersen had bestowed upon them that I began to despair of presenting
a live company at all.

But one day, the _Beetle_, so to speak, "took the stage," and at once
there was life and animation among the minor characters.  Then the main
work was done, and there remained only the comparatively easy task of
guiding the movement of the little drama, suggesting side issues and
polishing the details, always keeping a careful eye on the Beetle,
that he might "gang his ain gait" and preserve to the full his own

There is a tendency in preparing stories to begin with detail work,
often a gesture or side issue which one has remembered from hearing a
story told, but if this is done before the contemplative period, only
scrappy, jerky and ineffective results are obtained, on which one
cannot count for dramatic effects.  This kind of preparation reminds
one of a young peasant woman who was taken to see a performance of
"Wilhelm Tell," and when questioned as to the plot could only sum it
up saying, "I know some fruit was shot at."[10]

I realize the extreme difficulty teachers have to devote the necessary
time to perfecting the stories they tell in school, because this is
only one of the subjects they have to teach in an already over-crowded
curriculum.  To them I would offer this practical advice: Do not be
afraid to repeat your stories.[11]  If you do not undertake more than
seven stories a year, chosen with infinite care, and if you repeated
these stories six times during the year of forty-two weeks, you would
be able to do artistic and, therefore, lasting work; you would also be
able to avoid the direct moral application, for each time a child
hears a story artistically told, a little more of the meaning
underlying the simple story will come to him without any explanation
on your part.  The habit of doing one's best instead of one's second-
best means, in the long run, that one has no interest except in the
preparation of the best, and the stories, few in number, polished and
finished in style, will have an effect of which one can scarcely
overstate the importance.

In the story of the "Swineherd," Hans Andersen says:

"On the grave of the Prince's father there grew a rose-tree.  It only
bloomed once in five years, and only bore one rose.  But what a rose!
Its perfume was so exquisite that whoever smelt it forgot at once all
his cares and sorrows."

Lafcadio Hearn says:

"Time weeds out the errors and stupidities of cheap success, and
presents the Truth.  It takes, like the aloe, a long time to flower,
but the blossom is all the  more precious when it appears."


By this term I do not mean anything against the gospel of simplicity
which I am so constantly preaching, but, for want of a better term, I
use the word "artifice" to express the mechanical devices by which we
endeavor to attract and hold the attention of the audience.  The art
of telling stories is, in truth, much more difficult than acting a
part on the stage: First, because the narrator is responsible for the
whole drama and the whole atmosphere which surrounds it.  He has to
live the life of each character and understand the relation which each
bears to the whole. Secondly, because the stage is a miniature one,
gestures and movements must all be so adjusted as not to destroy the
sense of proportion.  I have often noticed that actors, accustomed to
the more roomy public stage, are apt to be too broad in their gestures
and movements when they tell a story.  The special training for the
story-teller should consist not only in the training of the voice and
in choice of language, but above all in power of delicate suggestion,
which cannot always be used on the stage because this is hampered by
the presence of actual things.  The story-teller has to present
these things to the more delicate organism of the "inward eye."

So deeply convinced am I of the miniature character of the story-
telling art that I believe one never gets a perfectly artistic
presentation of this kind in a very large hall or before a very
large audience.

I have made experiments along this line, having twice told a story to
an audience in America[12] exceeding five thousand, but on both
occasions, though the dramatic reaction upon oneself from the response
of so large an audience was both gratifying and stimulating, I was
forced to sacrifice the delicacy of the story and to take from its
artistic value by the necessity of emphasis, in order to be heard by
all present.

Emphasis is the bane of all story-telling, for it destroys the
delicacy, and the whole performance suggests a struggle in conveying
the message.  The indecision of the victory leaves the audience
restless and unsatisfied.

Then, again, as compared with acting on the stage, in telling a story
one misses the help of effective entrances and exits, the footlights,
the costume, the facial expression of your fellow-actor which interprets
so much of what you yourself say without further elaboration on your
part; for, in the story, in case of a dialogue which necessitates great
subtlety and quickness in facial expression and gesture, one has to be
both speaker and listener.

Now, of what artifices can we make use to take the place of all the
extraneous help offered to actors on the stage?  First and foremost,
as a means of suddenly pulling up the attention of the audience, is
the judicious art of pausing.  For those who have not actually had
experience in the matter, this advice will seem trite and unnecessary,
but those who have even a little experience will realize with me the
extraordinary efficacy of this very simple means.  It is really what
Coquelin spoke of as a "high light," where the interest is focused, as
it were, to a point.

I have tried this simple art of _pausing_ with every kind of audience,
and I have rarely know it to fail.  It is very difficult to offer a
concrete example of this, unless one is giving a "live" representation,
but I shall make an attempt, and at least I shall hope to make myself
understood by those who have heard me tell stories.

In Hans Andersen's "Princess and the Pea," the King goes down to open
the door himself.  Now, one may make this point in two ways.  One may
either say: "And then the King went to the door, and at the door there
stood a real Princess," or, "And then the King went to the door, and
at the door there stood--(pause)--a real Princess."

It is difficult to exaggerate the difference of effect produced by so
slight a pause.[13]  With children it means an unconscious curiosity
which expresses itself in a sudden muscular tension.  There is just time
during that instant's pause to _feel_, though not to _formulate, the
question: "What is standing at the door?"  By this means, half your work
of holding the attention is accomplished.  It is not necessary for me to
enter into the psychological reason of this, but I strongly recommend
those who are interested in the question to read the chapter in Ribot's
work on this subject, "Essai sur L'Imagination Creatrice," as well as
Mr. Keatinge's work on "Suggestion."

I would advise all teachers to revise their stories with a view to
introducing the judicious pause, and to vary its use according to the
age, the number, and, above all, the mood of the audience.  Experience
alone can insure success in this matter.  It has taken me many years
to realize the importance of this artifice.

Among other means for holding the attention of the audience and
helping to bring out the points of the story is the use of gesture.  I
consider, however, that it must be a sparing use, and not of a broad
or definite character.  We shall never improve on the advice given by
Hamlet to the actors on this subject: "See that ye o'erstep not the
modesty of Nature."

And yet, perhaps it is not necessary to warn story-tellers against
abuse of gesture.  It is more helpful to encourage them in the use of
it, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, where we are fearful of
expressing ourselves in this way, and when we do the gesture often
lacks subtlety. The Anglo-Saxon, when he does move at all, moves in
solid blocks--a whole arm, a whole leg, the whole body but if one
watches a Frenchman or an Italian in conversation, one suddenly
realizes how varied and subtle are the things which can be suggested
by the mere turn of the wrist or the movement of a finger.  The power
of the hand has been so wonderfully summed up in a passage from
Quintillian that I am justified in offering it to all those who wish
to realize what can be done by a gesture:

"As to the hands, without the aid of which all delivery would be
deficient and weak, it can scarcely be told of what a variety of
motions they are susceptible, since they almost equal in expression
the power of language itself.  For other parts of the body assist the
speaker, but these, I may almost say, speak themselves.  With our
hands we ask, promise, call persons to us and send them away,
threaten, supplicate, intimate dislike or fear; with out hands we
signify joy, grief, doubt, acknowledgement, penitence, and indicate
measure, quantity, number and time.  Have not our hands the power of
inciting, of restraining, or beseeching, of testifying approbation?
. . . So that amidst the great diversity of tongues pervading all
nations and people, the language of the hands appears to be a language
common to all men."[14]

One of the most effective of artifices in telling stories to young
children is the use of mimicry--the imitation of animals' voices and
sound in general is of never-ending joy to the listeners.  However,
I should wish to introduce a note of grave warning in connection with
this subject.  This special artifice can only be used by such narrators
as have special aptitude and gifts in this direction.  There are many
people with good imaginative power but who are wholly lacking in
the power of mimicry, and their efforts in this direction, however
painstaking, remain grotesque and therefore ineffective.  When listening
to such performances, of which children are strangely critical, one is
reminded of the French story in which the amateur animal painter is
showing her picture to an undiscriminating friend:

"Ah!" says the friend, "this is surely meant for a lion?"

"No," says the artist (?), with some slight show of temper, "it is my
little lap-dog."

Another artifice which is particularly successful with very small
children is to insure their attention by inviting their cooperation
before one actually begins the story.  The following has proved quite
effective as a short introduction to my stories when I was addressing
large audiences of children:

"Do you know that last night I had a very strange dream, which I am
going to tell you before I begin the stories?  I dreamed that I was
walking along the streets of---[here would follow the town in which I
happened to be speaking], with a large bundle on my shoulders, and this
bundle was full of stories which I had been collecting all over the
world in different countries; and I was shouting at the top of my voice:
'Stories! Stories! Stories!  Who will listen to my stories?'  And the
children came flocking round me in my dream, saying: 'Tell _us_ your
stories.  _We_ will listen to your stories.'  So I pulled out a story
from my big bundle and I began in a most excited way, "Once upon a time
there lived a King and a Queen who had no children, and they---' Here
a little boy, _very_ much like that little boy I see sitting in the
front row, stopped me, saying: 'Oh, I know _that_ old story: it's
Sleeping Beauty.'

"So I pulled out a second story, and began: 'Once upon a time there
was a little girl who was sent by her  mother to visit her grandmother
---'  Then a little girl, _so_ much like the one sitting at the end of
the second row, said: 'Oh! everybody knows that story!  It's---'"

Here I would like to make a judicious pause, and then the children in
the audience would shout in chorus, with joyful superiority: "Little
Red Riding-Hood!" before I had time to explain that the children in my
dream had done the same.

This method I repeated two or three times, being careful to choose
very well-known stories.  By this time the children were all encouraged
and stimulated.  I usually finished with congratulations on the number
of stories they knew, expressing a hope that some of those I was going
to tell that afternoon would be new to them.  I have rarely found this
plan to fail to establish a friendly relation between oneself and the
juvenile audience.  It is often a matter of great difficulty, not to
_win_ the attention of an audience but to _keep_ it, and one of the most
subtle artifices is to let the audience down (without their perceiving
it) after a dramatic situation, so that the reaction may prepare them
for the interest of the next situation.

An excellent instance of this is to be found in Rudyard Kipling's
story of "The Cat That Walked . . ." where the repetition of words
acts as a sort of sedative until one realizes the beginning of a
fresh situation.

The great point is never to let the audience quite down, that is, in
stories which depend on dramatic situations.  It is just a question of
shade and color in the language.  If you are telling a story in
sections, and one spread over two or three occasions, you should
always stop at an exciting moment.  It encourages speculation in the
children's minds, which increases their interest when the story is
taken up again.

Another very necessary quality in the mere artifice of story-telling
is to watch your audience, so as to be able to know whether its mood
is for action or reaction, and to alter your story accordingly.  The
moods of reaction are rarer, and you must use them for presenting a
different kind of material.  Here is your opportunity for introducing
a piece of poetic description, given in beautiful language, to which
the children cannot listen when they are eager for action and dramatic

Perhaps one of the greatest artifices is to take a quick hold of your
audience by a striking beginning which will enlist their attention
from the start.  You can then relax somewhat, but you must be careful
also of the end because that is what remains most vivid to the children.
If you question them as to which story they like best in a program, you
will constantly find it to be the last one you have told, which has for
the moment blurred out the others.

Here are a few specimens of beginnings which seldom fail to arrest the
attention of the child:

"There was once a giant ogre, and he lived in a cave by himself."
From "The Giant and Jack-straws," David Starr Jordan.

"There were once twenty-five tin soldiers, who were all brothers, for
they had been made out of the same old tin spoon."  From "The Tin
Soldier," Hans Christian Andersen.

"There was once an Emperor who had a horse shod with gold."  From
"The Beetle," Hans Christian Andersen.

"There was once a merchant who was so rich that he could have paved
the whole street with gold, and even then he would have had enough for
a small alley."  From the "The Flying Trunk," Hans Christian Andersen.

"There was once a shilling which came forth from the mint springing
and shouting, 'Hurrah!  Now I am going out into the wide world.'"
From "The Silver Shilling," Hans Christian Andersen.

"In the High and Far Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had
no trunk."  From "The Elephant's Child": "Just So Stories,"
Rudyard Kipling.

"Not always was the Kangaroo as now we behold him, but a Different
Animal with four short legs."   From "Old Man Kangaroo": "Just So
Stories," Rudyard Kipling.

"Whichever way I turn," said the weather-cock on a high steeple, "no
one is satisfied."  From "Fire-side Fables," Edwin Barrow.

"A set of chessmen, left standing on their board, resolved to alter
the rules of the game."  From the same source.

"The Pink Parasol had tender whalebone ribs and a slender stick of
cherry-wood."  From "Very Short Stories," Mrs. W. K. Clifford.

"There was once a poor little Donkey on Wheels: it had never wagged
its tail, or tossed its head, or said 'Hee-haw,' or tasted a tender
thistle."  From the same source.

Now, some of these beginnings are, of course, for very young children,
but they all have the same advantage, that of plunging _in medias res_,
and, therefore, arrest attention at once, contrary to the stories which
open on a leisurely note of description.

In the same way we must be careful about the endings of stories.  They
must impress themselves either in a very dramatic climax to which the
whole story has worked up, as in the following:

"Then he goes out the Wet Wild Woods, or up the Wet Wild Trees, or on
the Wet Wild Roofs, waving his Wild Tail, and walking by his Wild Lone."
From "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling.

Or by an anti-climax for effect:

"We have all this straight from the alderman's newspaper, but it is not
to be depended on."  From "Jack the Dullard," Hans Christian Andersen.

Or by evading the point:

"Whoever does not believe this must buy shares in the Tanner's yard."
From "A Great Grief," Hans Christian Andersen.

Or by some striking general comment:

"He has never caught up with the three days he missed at the beginning
of the world, and he has never learnt how to behave."  From "How the
Camel got his Hump":  "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling.

I have only suggested in this chapter a few of the artifices which I
have found useful in my own experience, but I am sure that many more
might be added.


I am confronted in this portion of my work with a great difficulty,
because I cannot afford to be as catholic as I could wish (this
rejection or selection of material being primarily intended for those
story-tellers dealing with normal children); but I do wish from the
outset to distinguish between a story told to an individual child in
the home circle or by a personal friend, and a story told to a group
of children as part of the school curriculum.  And if I seem to
reiterate this difference, it is because I wish to show very clearly
that the recital of parents and friends may be quite separate in
content and manner from that offered by the teaching world.  In the
former case, almost any subject can be treated, because, knowing the
individual temperament of the child, a wise parent or friend knows
also what can be presented or not presented to the child; but in
dealing with a group of normal children in school much has to be
eliminated that could be given fearlessly to the abnormal child; I
mean the child who, by circumstances or temperament, is developed
beyond his years.

I shall now mention some of the elements which experience has shown
me to be unsuitable for class stories.

I.  _Stories dealing with analysis of motive and feeling_.  This
warning is specially necessary today, because this is, above all, an
age of introspection and analysis.  We have only to glance at the
principal novels and plays during the last quarter of a century, more
especially during the last ten years, to see how this spirit has crept
into our literature and life.

Now, this tendency to analyze is obviously more dangerous for children
than for adults, because, from lack of experience and knowledge of
psychology, the child's analysis is incomplete.  It cannot see all the
causes of the action, nor can it make that philosophical allowance for
mood which brings the adult to truer conclusions.

Therefore, we should discourage the child who shows a tendency to
analyze too closely the motives of its action, and refrain from
presenting to them in our stories any example which might encourage
them to persist in this course.

I remember, on one occasion, when I went to say good night to a little
girl of my acquaintance, I found her sitting up in bed, very wide-
awake.  Her eyes were shining, her cheeks were flushed, and when I
asked her what had excited her so much, she said:

"I _know_ I have done something wrong today, but I cannot quite
remember what it was."

I said: "But, Phyllis, if you put your hand, which is really quite
small, in front of your eyes, you could not see the shape of anything
else, however large it might be.  Now, what you have done today
appears very large because it is so close, but when it is a little
further off, you will be able to see better and know more about it.
So let us wait till tomorrow morning."

I am happy to say that she took my advice.  She was soon fast asleep,
and the next morning she had forgotten the wrong over which she had
been unhealthily brooding the night before.

2.  _Stories dealing too much with sarcasm and satire_.  These
are weapons which are too sharply polished, and therefore too
dangerous, to place in the hands of children.  For here again, as in
the case of analysis, they can only have a very incomplete conception
of the case. They do not know the real cause which produces the
apparently ridiculous appearance, and it is only the abnormally gifted
child or grown-up person who discovers this by instinct.  It takes a
lifetime to arrive at the position described in Sterne's words: "I
would not have let fallen an unseasonable pleasantry in the venerable
presence of misery to be entitled to all the with which Rabelais has
ever scattered."

I will hasten to add that I should not wish children to have their
sympathy too much drawn out, of their emotions kindled too much to
pity, because this would be neither healthy nor helpful to themselves
or others.  I only want to protect children from the dangerous
critical attitude induced by the use of satire which sacrifices too
much of the atmosphere of trust and belief in human beings which ought
to be an essential of child life.  By indulging in satire, the sense of
kindness in children would become perverted, their sympathy cramped,
and they themselves would be old before their time.  We have an
excellent example of this in Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen."

When Kay gets the piece of broken mirror into his eye, he no longer
sees the world from the normal child's point of view; he can no longer
see anything but the foibles of those about him, a condition usually
reached by a course of pessimistic experience.

Andersen sums up the unnatural point of view in these words: "When
Kay tried to repeat the Lord's Prayer, he could only remember the
multiplication table."  Now, without taking these words in any literal
sense, we can admit that they represent the development of the head at
the expense of the heart.

An example of this kind of story to avoid is Andersen's "Story of the
Butterfly."  The bitterness of the Anemones, the sentimentality of the
Violets, the schoolgirlishness of the Snowdrops, the domesticity of
the Sweetpeas--all this tickles the palate of the adult, but does
not belong to the place of the normal child.  Again, I repeat, that
the unusual child may take all this in and even preserve his kindly
attitude towards the world, but it is dangerous atmosphere for the
ordinary child.

3.  _Stories of a sentimental character_.  Strange to say, this
element of sentimentality appeals more to the young teachers than to
the children themselves.  It is difficult to define the difference
between real sentiment and sentimentality, but the healthy normal
boy or girl of, let us say, ten or eleven years old, seems to feel
it unconsciously, though the distinction is not so clear a few
years later.

Mrs. Elisabeth McCracken contributed an excellent article some years
ago to the _Outlook_ on the subject of literature for the young,
in which we find a good illustration of this power of discrimination
on the part of a child.

A young teacher was telling her pupils the story of the emotional lady
who, to put her lover to the test, bade him pick up the glove which
she had thrown down into the arena between the tiger and the lion.
The lover does her bidding in order to vindicate his character as a
brave knight.  One boy after hearing the story at once states his
contempt for the knight's acquiescence, which he declares to be

"But," says the teacher, "you see he really did it to show the lady
how foolish she was."  The answer of the boy sums up what I have been
trying to show: "There was no sense in _his_ being sillier than
_she_ was, to show her _she_ was silly."

If the boy had stopped there, we might have concluded that he was
lacking in imagination or romance, but his next remark proves what a
balanced and discriminating person he was, for he added: "Now, if
_she_ had fallen in, and he had leapt after her to rescue her, that
would have been splendid and of some use."  Given the character of the
lady, we might, as adults, question the last part of the boy's
statement, but this is pure cynicism and fortunately does not enter
into the child's calculations.

In my own personal experience, and I have told this story often in the
German ballad form to girls of ten and twelve in the high schools in
England, I have never found one girl who sympathized with the lady or
who failed to appreciate the poetic justice meted out to her in the
end by the dignified renunciation of the knight.

Chesterton defines sentimentality as "a tame, cold, or small and
inadequate manner of speaking about certain matters which demand
very large and beautiful expression."

I would strongly urge upon young teachers to revise, by this
definition, some of the stories they have included in their
repertories, and see whether they would stand the test or not.

4.  _Stories containing strong sensational episodes_.  The danger
of this kind of story is all the greater because many children delight
in it and some crave for it in the abstract, but fear it in the

An affectionate aunt, on one occasion, anxious to curry favor with a
four-year-old nephew, was taxing her imagination to find a story
suitable for his tender years.  She was greatly startled when he
suddenly said, in a most imperative tone: "Tell me the story of a bear
eating a small boy."  This was so remote from her own choice of
subject that she hesitated at first, but coming to the conclusion that
as the child had chosen the situation he would feel no terror in the
working up of its details, she a most thrilling and blood-curdling
story, leading up to the final catastrophe.  But just as she reached
the great dramatic moment, the child raised his hands in terror and
said: "Oh! Auntie, don't let the bear really eat the boy!"

"Don't you know," said an impatient boy who had been listening to a
mild adventure story considered suitable to his years, "that I don't
take any interest in the story until the decks are dripping with
gore?"  Here we have no opportunity of deciding whether or not the
actual description demanded would be more alarming than the listener
had realized.

Here is a poem of James Stephens, showing a child's taste for
sensational things:

              A man was sitting underneath a tree
              Outside the village, and he asked me
              What name was upon this place, and said he
              Was never here before.  He told a
              Lot of stories to me too.  His nose was flat.
              I asked him how it happened, and he said,
              The first mate of the _Mary Ann_ done that
              With a marling-spike one day, but he was dead,
              And a jolly job too, but he'd have gone a long way
                to have killed him.
              A gold ring in one ear, and the other was bit off by
                a crocodile, bedad,
              That's what he said: He taught me how to chew.
              He was a real nice man.  He liked me too.

The taste that is fed by the sensational contents of the newspapers
and the dramatic excitement of street life, and some of the lurid
representations of the cinematograph, is so much stimulated that the
interest in normal stories is difficult to rouse.  I will not here
dwell on the deleterious effects of over-dramatic stimulation, which
has been known to lead to crime, since I am keener to prevent the
telling of too many sensational stories than to suggest a cure when
the mischief is done.

Kate Douglas Wiggin has said:

"Let us be realistic, by all means, but beware, O story-teller, of
being too realistic.  Avoid the shuddering tale of 'the wicked boy who
stoned the birds,' lest some hearer should be inspired to try the
dreadful experiment and see if it really does kill."

I must emphasize the fact, however, that it is only the excess of this
dramatic element which I deplore.  A certain amount of excitement is
necessary, but this question belongs to the positive side of the
subject, and I shall deal with it later on.

5.  _Stories presenting matters quite outside the plane of a child's
interests, unless they are wrapped in mystery_.  Experience with
children ought to teach us to avoid stories which contain too much
_allusion_ to matters of which the hearers are entirely ignorant.
But judging from the written stories of today, supposed to be for
children, it is still a matter of difficulty to realize that this form
of allusion to "foreign" matters, or making a joke, the appreciation
of which depends solely on a special and "inside" knowledge, is always
bewildering and fatal to sustained dramatic interest.

It is a matter of intense regret that so very few people have
sufficiently clear remembrance of their own childhood to help them to
understand the taste and point of view of the _normal_ child.
There is a passage in the "Brownies," by Mrs. Ewing, which illustrates
the confusion created in the child mind by a facetious allusion in a
dramatic moment which needed a more direct treatment.  When the
nursery toys have all gone astray, one little child exclaims joyfully:

"Why, the old Rocking-Horse's nose has turned up in the oven!"

"It couldn't," remarks a tiresome, facetious doctor, far more anxious
to be funny than to sympathized with the child, "it was the purest
Grecian, modeled from the Elgin marbles."

Now, for grownup people this is an excellent joke, but for a child has
not yet become acquainted with these Grecian masterpieces, the whole
remark is pointless and hampering.[16]

6.  _Stories which appeal to fear or priggishness_.  This is a
class of story which scarcely counts today and against which the
teacher does not need a warning, but I wish to make a passing allusion
to these stories, partly to round off my subject and partly to show
that we have made some improvement in choice of subject.

When I study the evolution of the story from the crude recitals
offered to our children within the last hundred years, I feel that,
though our progress may be slow, it is real and sure.  One has only to
take some examples from the Chaps Books of the beginning of last
century to realize the difference of appeal.  Everything offered then
was either an appeal to fear or to priggishness, and one wonders how
it is that our grandparents and their parents every recovered from the
effects of such stories as were offered to them.  But there is the
consoling thought that no lasting impression was made upon them, such
as I believe _may_ be possible by the right kind of story.

I offer a few examples of the old type of story:

Here is an encouraging address offered to children by a certain Mr.
Janeway about the year 1828:

"Dare you do anything which your parents forbid you, and neglect to do
what they command?  Dare you to run up and down on the Lord's Day, or
do you keep in to read your book, and learn what your good parents

Such an address would have almost tempted children to envy the lot of
orphans, except that the guardians and less close relations might have
been equally, if not more, severe.

From "The Curious Girl," published about 1809:

"Oh! papa, I hope you will have no reason to be dissatisfied with me,
for I love my studies very much, and I am never so happy at my play as
when I have been assiduous at my lessons all day."

"Adolphus: How strange it is, papa, you should believe it possible for
me to act so like a child, now that I am twelve years old!"

Here is a specimen taken from a Chap Book about 1835:

Edward refuses hot bread at breakfast.  His hostess asks whether he
likes it.

"Yes, I am extremely fond of it."

"Why did you refuse it?"

"Because I know that my papa does not approve of my eating it.  Am I
to disobey a Father and Mother I love so well, and forget my duty,
because they are a long way off?  I would not touch the cake, were
I sure nobody would see me.  I myself should know it, and that would
be sufficient.

"Nobly replied!" exclaimed Mrs. C.  "Act always thus, and you must be
happy, for although the whole world should refuse the praise that is
due, you must enjoy the approbation of your conscience, which is
beyond anything else."

Here is a quotation of the same kind from Mrs. Sherwood:

  Tender-souled little creatures, desolated by a sense of sin, if they
  did but eat a spoonful of cupboard jam without Mamma's express
  permission. . . . Would a modern Lucy, jealous of her sister Emily's
  doll, break out thus easily into tearful apology for her guilt: 'I
  know it is wicked in me to be sorry that Emily is happy, but I feel
  that I cannot help it'?  And would a modern mother retort with
  heartfelt joy: 'My dear child, I am glad you have confessed.  Now I
  shall tell you why you feel this wicked sorrow'?--proceeding to
  an account of the depravity of human nature so unredeemed by comfort
  for a childish mind of common intelligence that one can scarcely
  imagine the interview ending in anything less tragic than a fit of
  juvenile hysteria.

Description of a good boy:

  A good boy is dutiful to his Father and Mother, obedient to his master
  and loving to his playfellows.  He is diligent in learning his book
  and takes a pleasure in improving himself in everything that is worthy
  of praise.  He rises early in the morning, makes himself clean and
  decent, and says his prayers.  He loves to hear good advice, is
  thankful to those who give it and always follows it.  He never
  swears[17] or calls names or uses ill words to companions.  He is
  never peevish and fretful, always cheerful and good-tempered.

7.  _Stories of exaggerated and coarse fun_.  In the chapter on
the positive side of this subject I shall speak more in detail of the
educational value of robust and virile representation of fun and of
sheer nonsense, but as a preparation to these statements, I should
like to strike a note of warning against the element of exaggerated
and coarse fun being encouraged in our school stories, partly, because
of the lack of humor in such presentations (a natural product of
stifling imagination) and partly, because the strain of the abnormal
has the same effect as the too frequent use of the melodramatic.

In an article in _Macmillans's Magazine_, December, 1869, Miss
Yonge writes:

"A taste for buffoonery is much to be discouraged, an exclusive taste
for extravagance most unwholesome and even perverting.  It becomes
destructive of reverence and soon degenerates into coarseness.  It
permits nothing poetical or imaginative, nothing sweet or pathetic to
exist, and there is a certain self-satisfaction and superiority in
making game of what others regard with enthusiasm and sentiment which
absolutely bars the way against a higher or softer tone."

Although these words were written nearly half a century ago, they
are so specially applicable today that they seem quite "up-to-date."
Indeed, I think they will hold equally good fifty years hence.

In spite of a strong taste on the part of children for what is ugly
and brutal, I am sure that we ought to eliminate this element as far
as possible from the school stories, especially among poor children.
Not because I think children should be protected from all knowledge of
evil, but because so much of this knowledge comes into their life
outside school that we can well afford to ignore it during school
hours.  At the same time, however, as I shall show by example when I
come to the positive side, it would be well to show children by story
illustration the difference between brutal ugliness without anything
to redeem it and surface ugliness, which may be only a veil over the
beauty that lies underneath.  It might be possible, for instance, to
show children the difference between the real ugliness in the priest's
face of the "Laocoon" group, because of the motive of courage and
endurance behind the suffering.  Many stories in everyday life could
be found to illustrate this.

8.  _Stories of infant piety and death-bed scenes_.  The stories
for children forty years ago contained much of this element, and the
following examples will illustrate this point:

Notes from poems written by a child between six and eight years of
age, by name Philip Freeman, afterwards Archdeacon of Exeter:

                 Poor Robin, thou canst fly no more,
                 Thy joys and sorrows all are o'er.
                 Through Life's tempestuous storms thou'st trod,
                 But now art sunk beneath the sod.
                 Here lost and gone poor Robin lies,
                 He trembles, lingers, falls and dies.
                 He's gone, he's gone, forever lost,
                 No more of him they now can boast.
                 Poor Robin's dangers all are past,
                 He struggled to the very last.
                 Perhaps he spent a happy Life,
                 Without much struggle and much strife.[18]

The prolonged gloom of the main theme is somewhat lightened by the
speculative optimism of the last verse.

                 Life, transient Life, is but a dream,
                 Like Sleep which short doth lengthened seem
                 Till dawn of day, when the bird's lay
                 Doth charm the soul's first peeping gleam.

                 Then farewell to the parting year,
                 Another's come to Nature dear.
                 In every place, thy brightening face
                 Does welcome winter's snowy drear.

                 Alas! our time is much mis-spent.
                 Then we must haste and now repent.
                 We have a book in which to look,
                 For we on Wisdom should be bent.

                 Should God, the Almighty, King of all,
                 Before His judgment-seat now call
                 Us to that place of Joy and Grace
                 Prepared for us since Adam's fall.

I think there is no doubt that we have made considerable progress in
this matter.  Not only do we refrain from telling these highly moral
(_sic_) stories but we have reached the point of parodying them,
in sign of ridicule, as, for instance, in such writing as Belloc's
"Cautionary Tales."  These would be a trifle too grim for a timid
child, but excellent fun for adults.

It should be our study today to prove to children that the immediate
importance to them is not to think of dying and going to Heaven, but
of living and--shall we say?--of going to college, which is a far better
preparation for the life to come than the morbid dwelling upon the
possibility of an early death.

In an article signed "Muriel Harris," I think, from a copy of the
_Tribune_, appeared a delightful article on Sunday books, from which
I quote the following:

"All very good little children died young in the storybooks, so that
unusual goodness must have been the source of considerable anxiety to
affectionate parents.  I came across a little old book the other day
called 'Examples for Youth.'  On the yellow fly-leaf was written, in
childish, carefully-sloping hand: 'Presented to Mary Palmer Junior, by
her sister, to be read on Sundays,' and was dated 1828.  The accounts
are taken from a work on "Piety Promoted," and all of them begin with
unusual piety in early youth and end with the death-bed of the little
paragon, and his or her dying words."

9.  _Stories containing a mixture of fairy tale and science_.  By
this combination one loses what is essential to each, namely, the
fantastic on the one side, and accuracy on the other.  The true fairy
tale should be unhampered by any compromise of probability even; the
scientific representation should be sufficiently marvelous along its
own lines to need no supernatural aid.  Both appeal to the imagination
in different ways.

As an exception to this kind of mixture, I should quote "The Honey
Bee, and Other Stories," translated from the Danish of Evald by C. G.
Moore Smith.  There is a certain robustness in these stories dealing
with the inexorable laws of Nature.  Some of them will appear hard to
the child but they will be of interest to all teachers.

Perhaps the worst element in the choice of stories is that which
insists upon the moral detaching itself and explaining the story.  In
"Alice in Wonderland" the Duchess says, "'And the moral of _that_
is: Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of
themselves.' "How fond she is of finding morals in things," thought
Alice to herself."  (This gives the point of view of the child.)

The following is a case in point, found in a rare old print in the
British Museum:

  Jane S. came home with her clothes soiled and hands badly torn.
 "Where have you been?" asked her mother.

  "I fell down the bank near the mill," said Jane, "and I should have
  been drowned, if Mr. M. had not seen me and pulled me out."

  "Why did you go so near the edge of the brink?"

  "There was a pretty flower there that I wanted, and I only meant to
  take one step, but I slipped and fell down."

  _Moral_: Young people often take but one step in sinful
  indulgence [Poor Jane!], but they fall into soul-destroying sins.
  They can do it by a single act of sin.  [The heinous act of picking a
  flower!] They do it; but the act leads to another, and they fall into
  the gulf of Perdition, unless God interposes.

Now, quite apart from the folly of this story we must condemn it on
moral grounds.  Could we imagine a lower standard of a Deity than that
presented here to the child?

Today the teacher would commend Jane for a laudable interest in
botany, but might add a word of caution about choosing inclined planes
in the close neighborhood of a body of running water as a hunting
ground for specimens and a popular, lucid explanation of the
inexorable law of gravity.

Here we have an instance of applying a moral when we have finished our
story, but there are many stories where nothing is left to chance in
this matter and where there is no means for the child to use ingenuity
or imagination in making out the meaning for himself.

Henry Morley has condemned the use of this method as applied to fairy
stories.  He says: "Moralizing in a fairy story is like the snoring
of _Bottom_ in _Titania's_ lap."

But I think this applies to all stories, and most especially to those
by which we do wish to teach something.

John Burroughs says in his article, "Thou Shalt Not Preach":[19]

"Didactic fiction can never rank high.  Thou shalt not preach or
teach; thou shalt portray and create, and have ends as universal
as nature. . . . What Art demands is that the artist's personal
convictions and notions, his likes and dislikes, do not obtrude
themselves at all; that good and evil stand judged in his work by the
logic of events, as they do in nature, and not by any special pleading
on his part.  He does non hold a brief for either side; he exemplifies
the working of the creative energy. . . . The great artist works in and
_through_ and _from_ moral ideas; his works are indirectly a criticism
of life.  He is moral without having a moral.  The moment a moral
obtrudes itself, that moment he begins to fall from grace as an
artist. . . . The great distinction of Art is that it aims to see life
steadily and to see it whole. . . . It affords the one point of view
whence the world appears harmonious and complete."

It would seem, then, from this passage, that it is of _moral_
importance to put things dramatically.

In Froebel's "Mother Play" he demonstrates the educational value of
stories, emphasizing that their highest use consists in their ability
to enable the child, through _suggestion_, to form a pure and
noble idea of what a man may be or do.  The sensitiveness of a child's
mind is offended if the moral is forced upon him, but if he absorbs it
unconsciously, he has received its influence for all time.

To me the idea of pointing out the moral of the story has always
seemed as futile as tying a flower on a stalk instead of letting the
flower grow out of the stalk, as Nature has intended.  In the first
case, the flower, showy and bright for the moment, soon fades away.
In the second instance, it develops slowly, coming to perfection in
fullness of time because of the life within.

Lastly, the element to avoid is that which rouses emotions which
cannot be translated into action.

Mr. Earl Barnes, to whom all teachers owe a debt of gratitude for the
inspiration of his educational views, insists strongly on this point.
The sole effect of such stories is to produce a form of hysteria,
fortunately short-lived, but a waste of force which might be directed
into a better channel.[20]  Such stories are so easy to recognize that
it would be useless to make a formal list, but I make further allusion
to them, in dealing with stories from the lives of the saints.

These, then, are the main elements to avoid in the selection of material
suitable for normal children.  Much might be added in the way of detail,
and the special tendency of the day may make it necessary to avoid one
class of story more than another, but this care belongs to another
generation of teachers and parents.


In his "Choice of Books," Frederic Harrison has said: "The most useful
help to reading is to know what we shall _not_ read, what we shall keep
from that small, cleared spot in the overgrown jungle of information
which we can call our ordered patch of fruit-bearing knowledge."

Now, the same statement applies to our stories, and, having busied
myself during the last chapter with "clearing my small spot" by
cutting away a mass of unfruitful growth, I am no going to suggest
what would be the best kind of seed to sow in the patch which I have
"reclaimed from the jungle."

Again, I repeat, I have no wish to be dogmatic and in offering
suggestions as to the stories to be told, I am catering only for a
group of normal school children.  My list of subjects does not pretend
to cover the whole ground of children's needs, and just as I exclude
the abnormal or unusual child from the scope of my warning in subjects
to avoid, so do I also exclude that child from the limitation in
choice of subjects to be sought, because you can offer almost any
subject to the unusual child, especially if you stand in close relation
to him and know his powers of apprehension.  In this matter, age has
very little to say; it is a question of the stage of development.

Experience has taught me that for the group of normal children,
irrespective of age, the first kind of story suitable for them will
contain an appeal to conditions to which the child is accustomed.  The
reason for this is obvious: the child, having limited experience, can
only be reached by this experience, until his imagination is awakened
and he is enabled to grasp through this faculty what he has not
actually passed through.  Before this awakening has taken place he
enters the realm of fiction, represented in the story, by comparison
with his personal experience.  Every story and every point in the
story mean more as that experience widens, and the interest varies, of
course, with temperament, quickness of perception, power of visualizing
and of concentration.

In "The Marsh King's Daughter," Hans Christian Andersen says:

"The storks have a great many stories which they tell their little
ones, all about the bogs and marshes.  They suit them to their age and
capacity.  The young ones are quite satisfied with _kribble,
krabble_, or some such nonsense, and find it charming; but the
elder ones want something with more meaning."

One of the most interesting experiments to be made in connection with
this subject is to tell the same story at intervals of a year or six
months to an individual child.[21]  The different incidents in the
story which appeal to him (and one must watch it closely, to be sure
the interest is real and not artificially stimulated by any suggestion
on one's own part) will mark his mental development and the gradual
awakening of his imagination.  This experiment is a very delicate one
and will not be infallible, because children are secretive and the
appreciation is often simulated (unconsciously) or concealed through
shyness or want of articulation.  But it is, in spite of this, a
deeply interesting and helpful experiment.

To take a concrete example: Let us suppose the story Andersen's "Tin
Soldier" told to a child of five or six years.  At the first recital,
the point which will interest the child most will be the setting up of
the tin soldiers on the table, because he can understand this by means
of his own experience, in his own nursery.  It is an appeal to
conditions to which he is accustomed and for which no exercise of the
imagination is needed, unless we take the effect of memory to be,
according to Queyrat, retrospective imagination.

The next incident that appeals is the unfamiliar behavior of the toys,
but still in familiar surroundings; that is to say, the _unusual_
activities are carried on in the safe precincts of the nursery--the
_usual_ atmosphere of the child.

I quote from the text:

  Late in the evening the other soldiers were put in their box,
  and the people of the house went to bed.  Now was the time for
  the toys to play; they amused themselves with paying visits,
  fighting battles and giving balls.  The tin soldiers rustled
  about in their box, for they wanted to join the games, but
  they could not get the lid off.  The nut-crackers turned
  somersaults, and the pencil scribbled nonsense on the slate.

Now, from this point onwards in the story, the events will be quite
outside the personal experience of the child and there will have to be
a real stretch of imagination to appreciate the thrilling and blood-
curdling adventures of the tin soldier, namely, the terrible sailing
down the gutter under the bridge, the meeting with the fierce rat who
demands the soldier's passport, the horrible sensation in the fish's
body, etc.  Last of all, perhaps, will come the appreciation of the
best qualities of the hero: his modesty, his dignity, his reticence,
his courage and his constancy.  He seems to combine all the qualities
of the best soldier with those of the best civilian, without the more
obvious qualities which generally attract first.  As for the love
story, we must _expect_ any child to see its tenderness and
beauty, though the individual child may intuitively appreciate these
qualities, but it is not what we wish for or work for at this period
of child life.

This method could be applied to various stories.  I have chosen the
"Tin Soldier" because of its dramatic qualities and because it is
marked off, probably quite unconsciously on the part of Andersen, into
periods which correspond to the child's development.

In Eugene Field's exquisite little poem of "The Dinkey Bird," we find
the objects familiar to the child in _unusual_ places, so that
some imagination is needed to realize that "big red sugar-plums are
clinging to the cliffs beside the sea"; but the introduction of the
fantastic bird and the soothing sound of amfalula tree are new and
delightful sensations, quite out of the child's personal experience.

Another such instance is to be found in Mrs. W. K. Clifford's story of
"Master Willie."  The abnormal behavior of familiar objects, such as a
doll, leads from the ordinary routine to the paths of adventure.  This
story is to be found in a little book called "Very Short Stories," a
most interesting collection for teachers and children.

We now come to the second element we should seek in material, namely,
the element of the unusual, which we have already anticipated in the
story of the "Tin Soldier."

This element is necessary in response to the demand of the child who
expressed the needs of his fellow-playmates when he said: "I want to
go to the place where the shadows are real."  This is the true
definition of "faerie" lands and is the first sign of real mental
development in the child when he is no longer content with the stories
of his own little deeds and experiences, when his ear begins to
appreciate sounds different from the words in his own everyday
language, and when he begins to separate his own personality from the
action of the story.

George Goschen says:

"What I want for the young are books and stories which do not simply
deal with our daily life.  I like the fancy even of little children to
have some larger food than images of their own little lives, and I
confess I am sorry for the children whose imaginations are not
sometimes stimulated by beautiful fairy tales which carry them to
worlds different from those in which their future will be passed. . . .
I hold that what removes them more or less from their daily life is
better than what reminds them of it at every step."[22]

It is because of the great value of leading children to something
beyond the limited circle of their own lives that I deplore the
twaddling boarding-school stories written for girls and the
artificially prepared public school stories for boys.  Why not give
them the dramatic interest of a larger stage?  No account of a cricket
match or a football triumph could present a finer appeal to boys and
girls than the description of the Peacestead in the "Heroes of Asgaard":

"This was the playground of the Aesir, where they practiced trials of
skill one with another and held tournaments and sham fights.  These last
were always conducted in the gentlest and most honorable manner; for the
strongest law of the Peacestead was that no angry blow should be struck
or spiteful word spoken upon the sacred field."

For my part, I would unhesitatingly give to boys and girls an element
of strong romance in the stories which are told them even before they
are twelve.

Miss Sewell says:

"The system that keeps girls in the schoolroom reading simple stories,
without reading Scott and Shakespeare and Spenser, and then hands them
over to the unexplored recesses of the Circulating Library, has been
shown to be the most frivolizing that can be devised."  She sets forth
as the result of her experience that a good novel, especially a
romantic one, read at twelve or fourteen, is really a beneficial thing.

At present, so many of the children from the elementary schools get
their first idea of love, if one can give it such a name from vulgar
pictures displayed in the shop windows or jokes on marriage, culled
from the lowest type of paper, or the proceedings of a divorce court.

What an antidote to such representation might be found in the stories
of Hector and Andromache, Siegfried and Brunnehilde, Dido and Aeneas,
Orpheus and Eurydice, St. Francis and St. Clare!

One of the strongest elements we should introduce into our stories for
children of all ages is that which calls forth love of beauty.  And
the beauty should stand out, not only in the delineation of noble
qualities in our heroes and heroines, but in the beauty and strength
of language and form.

In this latter respect, the Bible stories are of such inestimable
value; all the greater because a child is familiar with the subject
and the stories gain fresh significance from the spoken or winged word
as compared with the mere reading.  As to whether we should keep to
the actual text is a matter of individual experience.  Professor R. G.
Moulton, whose interpretations of the Bible stories are so well known
both in England and America, does not always confine himself to the
actual text, but draws the dramatic elements together, rejecting what
seems to him to break the narrative, but introducing the actual
language where it is the most effective.  Those who have heard him
will realize the success of his method.

There is one Bible story which can be told with scarcely any deviation
from the text, if only a few hints are given beforehand, and that is
the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the Golden Image.  Thus, I think it
wise, if the children are to succeed in partially visualizing the
story, that they should have some idea of the dimensions of the Golden
Image as it would stand out in a vast plain.  It might be well to
compare those dimension with some building with which the child is
familiar.  In London, the matter is easy as the height will compare,
roughly speaking, with Westminster Abbey.  The only change in text I
should adopt is to avoid the constant enumeration of the list of
rulers and the musical instruments.  In doing this, I am aware that I
am sacrificing something of beauty in the rhythm, but, on the other
hand, for narrative purpose the interest is not broken.  The first
time the announcement is made, that is, by the Herald, it should be in
a perfectly loud, clear and toneless voice, such as you would
naturally use when shouting through a trumpet to a vast concourse of
people scattered over a wide plain, reserving all the dramatic tone of
voice for the passage where Nebuchadnezzar is making the announcement
to the three men by themselves.  I can remember Professor Moulton
saying that all the dramatic interest of the story is summed up in
the words "But if not . . ."  This suggestion is a very helpful one,
for it enables us to work up gradually to this point, and then, as
it were, _unwind_, until we reach the words of Nebuchadnezzar's
dramatic recantation.

In this connection, it is a good plan occasionally during the story
hour to introduce really good poetry, which delivered in a dramatic
manner (far removed, of course, from the melodramatic), might give
children their first love of beautiful form in verse.  And I do not
think it necessary to wait for this.  Even the normal child of seven,
though there is nothing arbitrary in the suggestion of this age, will
appreciate the effect, if only on the ear, of beautiful lines well
spoken.  Mahomet has said, in his teaching advice: "Teach your
children poetry: it opens the mind, lends grace to wisdom and makes
heroic virtues hereditary."

To begin with the youngest children of all, here is a poem which
contains a thread of story, just enough to give a human interest:


              When the cows come home, the milk is coming;
              Honey's made when the bees are humming.
              Duck, drake on the rushy lake,
              And the deer live safe in the breezy brake,
              And timid, funny, pert little bunny
              Winks his nose, and sits all sunny.
                                                 CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

Now, in comparing this poem with some of the doggerel verse offered to
small children, one is struck with the literary superiority in the
choice of words.  Here, in spite of the simplicity of the poem, there
is not the ordinary limited vocabulary, nor the forced rhyme, nor the
application of a moral, by which the artist falls from grace.

Again, Eugene Field's "Hushaby Lady," of which the language is most
simple, yet the child is carried away by the beauty of the sound.

I remember hearing some poetry repeated by the children in one of the
elementary schools in Sheffield which made me feel that they had
realized romantic possibilities which would prevent their lives from
ever becoming quite prosaic again, and I wish that this practice were
more usual. There is little difficulty with the children.  I can
remember, in my own experience as a teacher in London, making the
experiment of reading or repeating passages from Milton and
Shakespeare to children from nine to eleven years of age, and the
enthusiastic way they responded by learning those passages by heart.
I have taken with several sets of children such passages from Milton
as the "Echo Song," "Sabrina," "By the Rushy-fringed Bank," "Back,
Shepherds, Back," from "Comus"; "May Morning," "Ode to Shakespeare,"
"Samson," "On His Blindness," etc.  I even ventured on several passage
from "Paradise Lost," and found "Now came still evening on" a
particular favorite with the children.

It seemed even easier to interest them in Shakespeare, and they
learned quite readily and easily many passages from "As You Like It,"
"The Merchant of Venice," "Julius Caesar," "Richard II," "Henry IV,"
and "Henry V."

The method I should recommend in the introduction of both poets
occasionally into the story-hour would be threefold.  First, to choose
passages which appeal for beauty of sound or beauty of mental vision
called up by those sounds; such as "Tell me where is Fancy bred,"
"Titania's Lullaby," "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank."
Secondly, passages for sheer interest of content, such as the Trial
Scene from "The Merchant of Venice," or the Forest Scene in "As You
Like It."  Thirdly, for dramatic and historical interest, such as,
"Men at some time are masters of their fates," the whole of Mark
Antony's speech, and the scene with Imogen and her foster brothers in
the Forest.

It may not be wholly out of place to add here that the children
learned and repeated these passages themselves, and that I offered
them the same advice as I do to all story-tellers.  I discussed quite
openly with them the method I considered best, trying to make them see
that simplicity of delivery was not only the most beautiful but the
most effective means to use and, by the end of a few months, when they
had been allowed to experiment and express themselves, they began to
see that mere ranting was not force and that a sense of reserve power
is infinitely more impressive and inspiring than mere external

I encouraged them to criticize each other for the common good, and
sometimes I read a few lines with overemphasis and too much gesture,
which they were at liberty to point out that they might avoid the
same error.

Excellent collections of poems for this purpose of narrative are:
Mrs. P. A. Barnett's series of "Song and Story," published by Adam
Black, and "The Posy Ring," chosen and classified by Kate Douglas
Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith, published by Doubleday.  For older
children, "The Call of the Homeland," selected and arranged by Dr. R.
P. Scott and Katharine T. Wallas, published by Houghton, Mifflin, and
"Golden Numbers," chosen and classified by Kate Douglas Wiggin and
Nora Archibald Smith, published by Doubleday.

I think it is well to have a goodly number of stories illustrating the
importance of common-sense and resourcefulness.

For this reason, I consider the stories treating of the ultimate
success of the youngest son[23] very admirable for the purpose,
because the youngest child who begins by being considered inferior
to the older ones triumphs in the end, either from resourcefulness
or from common-sense or from some higher quality, such as kindness
to animals, courage in overcoming difficulties, etc.[24]

Thus, we have the story of Cinderella.  The cynic might imagine that
it was the diminutive size of her foot that insured her success.  The
child does not realize any advantage in this, but, though the matter
need not be pressed, the story leaves us with the impression that
Cinderella had been patient and industrious, and forbearing with her
sisters.  We know that she was strictly obedient to her godmother, and
in order to be this she makes her dramatic exit from the ball which is
the beginning of her triumph.  There are many who might say that these
qualities do not meet with reward in life and that they end in
establishing a habit of drudgery, but, after all, we must have poetic
justice in a fairy story, occasionally, at any rate, even if the child
is confused by the apparent contradiction.

Such a story is "Jesper and the Hares."  Here, however, it is not at
first resourcefulness that helps the hero, but sheer kindness of
heart, which prompts him first to help the ants, and then to show
civility to the old woman, without for a moment expecting any material
benefit from such actions.  At the end, he does win on his own
ingenuity and resourcefulness, and if we regret that his trickery has
such wonderful results, we must remember the aim was to win the
princess for herself, and that there was little choice left him.  I
consider that the end of this story is one of the most remarkable I
have found in my long years of browsing among fairy tales.  I should
suggest stopping at the words: "The Tub is full," as any addition
seems to destroy the subtlety of the story.[25]

Another story of this kind, admirable for children from six years and
upwards, is, "What the Old Man Does is Always Right."  Here, perhaps,
the entire lack of common-sense on the part of the hero would serve
rather as a warning than a stimulating example, but the conduct of
the wife in excusing the errors of her foolish husband is a model of

In the story of "Hereafter-this,"[26] we have just the converse: a
perfectly foolish wife shielded by a most patient and forbearing
husband, whose tolerance and common-sense save the situation.

One of the most important elements to seek in our choice of stories is
that which tends to develop, eventually, a fine sense of humor in a
child.  I purposely use the word, "eventually," because I realize,
first, that humor has various stages, and that seldom, if ever, can
one expect an appreciation of fine humor from a normal child, that is,
from an elemental mind.  It seems as if the rough-and-tumble element
were almost a necessary stage through which children must pass, and
which is a normal and healthy stage; but up to now we have quite
unnecessarily extended the period of elephantine fun, and, though we
cannot control the manner in which children are catered to along this
line in their homes, we can restrict the folly of appealing too
strongly or too long to this elemental faculty in our schools.  Of
course, the temptation is strong because the appeal is so easy, but
there is a tacit recognition that horseplay and practical jokes are
no longer considered as an essential part of a child's education.
We note this in the changed attitude in the schools, taken by more
advanced educators, towards bullying, fagging, hazing, etc.  As a
reaction, then, from more obvious fun, there should be a certain
number of stories which make appeal to a more subtle element, and
in the chapter on the questions put to me by teachers on various
occasions I speak more in detail as to the educational value of a
finer humor in our stories.

At some period there ought to be presented in our stories the
superstitions connected with the primitive history of the race, dealing
with the fairy proper, giants, dwarfs, gnomes, nixies, brownies and
other elemental beings.  Andrew Lang says: "Without our savage ancestors
we should have had no poetry.  Conceive the human race born into the
world in its present advanced condition, weighing, analyzing, examining
everything.  Such a race would have been destitute of poetry and
flattened by common-sense.  Barbarians did the _dreaming_ of the world."

But it is a question of much debate among educators as to what should
be the period of the child's life in which these stories are to be
presented.  I, myself, was formerly of the opinion that they belonged
to the very primitive age of the individual, just as they belong to
the primitive age of the race, but experience in telling stories has
taught me to compromise.

Some people maintain that little children, who take things with brutal
logic, ought not to be allowed the fairy tale in its more limited form
of the supernatural; whereas, if presented to older children, this
material can be criticized, catalogued and (alas!) rejected as
worthless, or retained with flippant toleration.

While realizing a certain value in this point of view, I am bound to
admit that if we regulate our stories entirely on this basis, we lose
the real value of the fairy tale element.  It is the one element which
causes little children to _wonder_, simply because no scientific
analysis of the story can be presented to them.  It is somewhat
heartrending to feel that "Jack and the Bean Stalk" and stories of
that ilk are to be handed over to the critical youth who will condemn
the quick growth of the tree as being contrary to the order of nature,
and wonder why _Jack_ was not playing football on the school team
instead of climbing trees in search of imaginary adventures.

A wonderful plea for the telling of early superstitions to children is
to be found in an old Indian allegory called, "The Blazing Mansion."

  An old man owned a large rambling Mansion.  The pillars were
  rotten, the galleries tumbling down, the thatch dry and combustible,
  and there was only one door.  Suddenly, one day, there was a smell
  of fire: the old man rushed out.  To his horror he saw that the
  thatch was aflame, the rotten pillars were catching fire one by
  one, and the rafters were burning like tinder.  But, inside, the
  children went on amusing themselves quite happily.  The distracted
  Father said: "I will run in and save my children.  I will seize
  them in my strong arms, I will bear them harmless through the
  falling rafters and the blazing beams."  Then the sad thought
  came to him that the children were romping and ignorant.  "If
  I say the house is on fire, they will not understand me.  If
  I try to seize them, they will romp about and try to escape.
  Alas! not a moment to be lost!"  Suddenly a bright thought
  flashed across the old man's mind.  "My children are ignorant,"
  he said; "they love toys and glittering playthings.  I will
  promise them playthings of unheard-of beauty.  Then they will

  So the old man shouted: "Children, come out of the house and see
  these beautiful toys!  Chariots with white oxen, all gold and
  tinsel.  See these exquisite little antelopes.  Whoever saw
  such goats as these?  Children, children come quickly, or they
  will all be gone!"

  Forth from the blazing ruin the children came in hot haste.  The
  word, "plaything," was almost the only word they could understand.

  Then the Father, rejoiced that his offspring were freed from peril,
  procured for them one of the most beautiful chariots ever seen.
  The chariot had a canopy like a pagoda; it had tiny rails and
  balustrades and rows of jingling bells.  Milk-white oxen drew
  the chariot.  The children were astonished when they were placed

Perhaps, as a compromise, one might give the gentler superstitions
to very small children, and leave such a blood-curdling story as
"Bluebeard" to a more robust age.

There is one modern method which has always seemed to me much to be
condemned, and that is the habit of changing the end of a story, for
fear of alarming the child.  This is quite indefensible.  In doing
this we are tampering with folklore and confusing stages of development.

Now, I know that there are individual children that, at a tender age,
might be alarmed at such a story, for instance, as "Little Red Riding-
Hood"; in which case, it is better to sacrifice the "wonder stage" and
present the story later on.

I live in dread of finding one day a bowdlerized form of "Bluebeard,"
prepared for a junior standard, in which, to produce a satisfactory
finale, all the wives come to life again, and "live happily ever
after" with Bluebeard and each other!

And from this point it seems an easy transition to the subject of
legends of different kinds.  Some of the old country legends in
connection with flowers are very charming for children, and so long as
we do not tread on the sacred ground of the nature students, we may
indulge in a moderate use of such stories, of which a few will be
found in the List of Stories, given later.

With regard to the introduction of legends connected with saints into
the school curriculum, my chief plea is the element of the unusual
which they contain and an appeal to a sense of mysticism and wonder
which is a wise antidote to the prosaic and commercial tendencies of
today.  Though many of the actions of the saints may be the result of
a morbid strain of self-sacrifice, at least none of them was engaged
in the sole occupation of becoming rich: their ideals were often lofty
and unselfish; their courage high, and their deeds noble.  We must be
careful, in the choice of our legends, to show up the virile qualities
rather than to dwell on the elements of horror in details of martyrdom,
or on the too-constantly recurring miracles, lest we should defeat our
own ends.  For the children might think lightly of the dangers to which
the saints were exposed if they found them too often preserved at the
last moment from the punishment they were brave enough to undergo.  For
one or another of these reasons, I should avoid the detailed history of
St. Juliana, St. Vincent, St. Quintin, St. Eustace, St. Winifred, St.
Theodore, St. James the More, St. Katharine, St. Cuthbert, St. Alphage,
St. Peter of Milan, St. Quirine and Juliet, St. Alban and others.

The danger of telling stories connected with sudden conversions is
that they are apt to place too much emphasis on the process, rather
than on the goal to be reached.  We should always insist on the
splendid deeds performed after a real conversion, not the details of
the conversion itself; as, for instance, the beautiful and poetical
work done by St. Christopher when he realized what work he could do
most effectively.

On the other hand, there are many stories of the saints dealing with
actions and motives which would appeal to the imagination and are not
only worthy of imitation, but are not wholly outside the life and
experience even of the child.[28]

Having protested against the elephantine joke and the too-frequent use
of exaggerated fun, I now endeavor to restore the balance by suggesting
the introduction into the school curriculum of a few purely grotesque
stories which serve as an antidote to sentimentality or utilitarianism.
But they must be presented as nonsense, so that the children may use
them for what they are intended as--pure relaxation.  Such a story is
that of "The Wolf and the Kids," which I present in my own version at
the end of the book.  I have had serious objections offered to this
story by several educational people, because of the revenge taken by the
goat on the wolf, but I am inclined to think that if the story is to be
taken as anything but sheer nonsense, it is surely sentimental to extend
our sympathy toward a caller who has devoured six of his hostess'
children.  With regard to the wolf being cut open, there is not the
slightest need to accentuate the physical side.  Children accept the
deed as they accept the cutting off of a giant's head, because they do
not associate it with pain, especially if the deed is presented half
humorously.  The moment in the story where their sympathy is aroused is
the swallowing of the kids, because the children do realize the
possibility of being disposed of in the mother's absence.  (Needless to
say, I never point out the moral of the kids' disobedience to the mother
in opening the door.)  I have always noticed a moment of breathlessness
even in a grown-up audience when the wolf swallows the kids, and that
the recovery of them "all safe and sound, all huddled together" is quite
as much appreciated by the adult audience as by the children, and is
worth the tremor caused by the wolf's summary action.

I have not always been able to impress upon the teachers the fact that
this story _must_ be taken lightly.  A very earnest young student
came to me once after the telling of this story and said in an awe-
struck voice: "Do you cor-relate?"  Having recovered from the effect
of this word, which she carefully explained, I said that, as a rule, I
preferred to keep the story quite apart from the other lessons, just
an undivided whole, because it had effects of its own which were best
brought about by not being connected with other lessons.  She frowned
her disapproval and said: "I am sorry, because I thought I would take
the Goat for my nature study lesson and then tell your story at the
end."  I thought of the terrible struggle in the child's mind between
his conscientious wish to be accurate and his dramatic enjoyment of
the abnormal habits of a goat who went out with scissors, needle and
thread; but I have been most careful since to repudiate any connection
with nature study in this and a few other stories in my repertoire.

One might occasionally introduce one of Edward Lear's "Nonsense
Rhymes."  For instance:

                  There was an Old Man of Cape Horn
                  Who wished he had never been born.
                    So he sat in a chair
                    Till he died of despair,
                  That dolorous Old Man of Cape Horn.

Now, except in case of very young children, this could not possibly
be taken seriously.  The least observant normal boy or girl would
recognize the hollowness of the pessimism that prevents an old man
from at least an attempt to rise from his chair.

The following I have chosen as repeated with intense appreciation and
much dramatic vigor by a little boy just five years old:

                There was an old man who said: "Hush!
                I perceive a young bird in that bush."
                  When they said: "Is it small?"
                  He replied, "Not at all.
                It is four times as large as the bush."[29]

One of the most desirable of all elements to introduce into our
stories is that which encourages kinship with animals.  With very
young children this is easy, because during those early years when the
mind is not clogged with knowledge, the sympathetic imagination
enables them to enter into the feeling of animals.  Andersen has an
illustration of this point in his "Ice Maiden":

"Children who cannot talk yet can understand the language of fowls and
ducks quite well, and cats and dogs speak to them quite as plainly as
Father and Mother; but that is only when the children are very small,
and then even Grandpapa's stick will become a perfect horse to them
that can neigh and, in their eyes, is furnished with legs and a tail.
With some children this period ends later than with others, and of
such we are accustomed to say that they are very backward, and that
they have remained children for a long time.  People are in the habit
of saying strange things."

Felix Adler says:

"Perhaps the chief attraction of fairy tales is due to their
representing the child as living in brotherly friendship with nature
and all creatures.  Trees, flowers, animals, wild and tame, even the
stars are represented as comrades of children.  That animals are only
human beings in disguise is an axiom in the fairy tales.  Animals
are humanized, that is, the kinship between animal and human life
is still keenly felt, and this reminds us of those early animistic
interpretations of nature which subsequently led to doctrines
of metempsychosis."[30]

I think that beyond question the finest animal stories are to be
found in the Indian collections, of which I furnish a list in the
last chapter.

With regard to the development of the love of Nature through the
telling of stories, we are confronted with a great difficulty in the
elementary schools because so many of the children have never been out
of the towns, have never seen a daisy, a blade of grass and scarcely a
tree, so that in giving, in the form of a story, a beautiful
description of scenery, you can make no appeal to the retrospective
imagination, and only the rarely gifted child well be able to make
pictures while listening to a style which is beyond his everyday use.
Nevertheless, once in a while, when the children are in a quiet mood,
not eager for action but able to give themselves up to the pure joy of
sound, then it is possible to give them a beautiful piece of writing
in praise of Nature, such as the following, taken from "The Divine
Adventure," by Fiona Macleod:

  Then he remembered the ancient wisdom of the Gael and came
  out of the Forest Chapel and went into the woods.  He put
  his lip to the earth, and lifted a green leaf to his brow,
  and held a branch to his ear; and because he was no longer
  heavy with the sweet clay of mortality, though yet of human
  clan, he heard that which we do not hear, and saw that which
  we do not see, and knew that which we do not know.  All the
  green life was his.  In that new world he saw the lives of
  trees, now pale green, now of woodsmoke blue, now of amethyst;
  the gray lives of stone; breaths of the grass and reed,
  creatures of the air, delicate and wild as fawns, or
  swift and fierce and terrible tigers of that undiscovered
  wilderness, with birds almost invisible but for their
  luminous wings, and opalescent crests.

The value of this particular passage is the mystery pervading the
whole picture, which forms so beautiful an antidote to the eternal
explaining of things.  I think it of the highest importance for the
children to realize that the best and most beautiful things cannot be
expressed in everyday language and that they must content themselves
with a flash here and there of the beauty which may come later.  One
does not enhance the beauty of the mountain by pulling to pieces some
of the earthy clogs; one does not increase the impression of a vast
ocean by analyzing the single drops of water.  But at a reverent
distance one gets a clear impression of the whole, and can afford to
leave the details in the shadow.

In presenting such passages (and it must be done very sparingly),
experience has taught me that we should take the children into our
confidence by telling them frankly that nothing exciting is going to
happen, so that they well be free to listen to the mere words.  A very
interesting experiment might occasionally be made by asking the
children some weeks afterwards to tell you in their own words what
pictures were made on their minds.  This is a very different thing
from allowing the children to reproduce the passage at once, the
danger of which proceeding I speak of later in detail.[31]

We now come to the question as to what proportion of _dramatic
excitement_ we should present in the stories for a normal group of
children.  Personally, I should like, while the child is very young,
I mean in main, not in years, to exclude the element of dramatic
excitement, but though this may be possible for the individual child,
it is quite Utopian to hope that we can keep the average child free
from what is in the atmosphere.  Children crave for excitement, and
unless we give it to them in legitimate form, they will take it in any
riotous form it presents itself, and if from our experience we can
control their mental digestion by a moderate supply of what they
demand, we may save them from devouring too eagerly the raw material
they can so easily find for themselves.

There is a humorous passage bearing on this question in the story of
the small Scotch boy, when he asks leave of his parents to present the
pious little book--a gift to himself from an aunt to a little sick
friend, hoping probably that the friend's chastened condition will make
him more lenient towards this mawkish form of literature.  The parents
expostulate, pointing out to their son how ungrateful he is, and how
ungracious it would be to part with his aunt's gift.  Then the boy can
contain himself no longer.  He bursts out, unconsciously expressing the
normal attitude of children at a certain stage of development:

"It's a _daft_ book ony way: there's naebody gets kilt ent.  I like
stories about folk gettin' their heids cut off, or there's nae wile
beasts.  I I like stories about black men gettin' ate up, an' white
men killin' lions and tigers an' bears an'---"

Then, again, we have the passage from George Eliot's "Mill on
the Floss":

"Oh, dear! I wish they would not fight at your school, Tom.  Didn't
it hurt you?"

"Hurt me?  No," said Tom, putting up the hooks again, taking out a
large pocketknife, and slowly opening the largest blade, which he
looked at meditatively as he rubbed his finger along it.  Then he

"I gave Spooner a black eye--that's what he got for wanting to leather
me.  I wasn't going to go halves because anybody leathered me."

"Oh! how brave you are, Tom.  I think you are like Samson.  If there
came a lion roaring at men, I think you'd fight him, wouldn't you, Tom?"

"How can a lion come roaring at you, you silly thing?  There's no lions
only in the shows."

"No, but if we were in the lion countries--I mean in Africa where it's
very hot, the lions eat people there.  I can show it you in the book
where I read it."

"Well, I should get a gun and shoot him."

"But if you hadn't a gun?--we might have gone out, you know, not
thinking, just as we go out fishing, and then a great lion might come
towards us roaring, and we could not get away from him.  What should
you do, Tom?"

Tom paused, and at last turned away contemptuously, saying: "But the
lion _isn't_ coming.  What's the use of talking?"

This passage illustrates also the difference between the highly-
developed imagination of the one and the stodgy prosaical temperament
of the other.  Tom could enter into the elementary question of giving
his schoolfellow a black eye, but could not possibly enter into the
drama of the imaginary arrival of a lion.  He was sorely in need of
fairy stories.

It is to this element we have to cater, and we cannot shirk our

William James says:

"Living things, moving things or things that savor of danger or blood,
that have a dramatic quality, these are the things natively interesting
to childhood, to the exclusion of almost everything else, and the
teacher of young children, until more artificial interests have grown
up, will keep in touch with his pupils by constant appeal to such
matters as these."[32]

Of course the savor of danger and blood is only _one_ of the things to
which we should appeal, but I give the whole passage to make the point

This is one of the most difficult parts of our selection, namely, how
to present enough excitement for the child and yet include enough
constructive element which will satisfy him when the thirst for
"blugginess" is slaked.

And here I should like to say that, while wishing to encourage in
children great admiration and reverence for the courage and other fine
qualities which have been displayed in times of war and which have
mitigated its horrors, I think we should show that some of the finest
moments in these heroes' lives had nothing to do with their profession
as soldiers.  Thus, we have the well-known story of Sir Philip Sydney
and the soldier; the wonderful scene where Roland drags the bodies of
his dead friends to receive the blessing of the Archbishop after the
battle of Roncesvall;[33] and of Napoleon sending the sailor back to
England. There is a moment in the story of Gunnar when he pauses in
the midst of the slaughter of his enemies, and says, "I wonder if I am
less base than others, because I kill men less willingly than they."

And in the "Burning of Njal,"[34] we have the words of the boy, Thord,
when his grandmother, Bergthora, urges him to go out of the burning

"'You promised me when I was little, grandmother, that I should never
go from you till I wished it of myself.  And I would rather die with
you than live after you.'"

Here the moral courage is so splendidly shown: none of these heroes
feared to die in battle or in open single fight; but to face death by
fire for higher considerations is a point of view worth presenting to
the child.

In spite of all the dramatic excitement roused by the conduct of our
soldiers and sailors, should we not try to offer also in our stories
the romance and excitement of saving as well as taking life?

I would have quite a collection dealing with the thrilling adventures
of the Lifeboat and the Fire Brigade, of which I shall present
examples in the final story list.

Finally, we ought to include a certain number of stories dealing with
death, especially with children who are of an age to realize that it
must come to all, and that this is not a calamity but a perfectly
natural and simple thing.  At present the child in the street
invariably connects death with sordid accidents.  I think they should
have stories of death coming in heroic form, as when a man or woman
dies for a great cause, in which he has opportunity of admiring
courage, devotion and unselfishness; or of death coming as a result of
treachery, such as we find in the death of Baldur, the death of
Siegfried, and others, so that children may learn to abhor such deeds;
but also a fair proportion of stories dealing with death that comes
naturally, when our work is done, and our strength gone, which has no
more tragedy than the falling of a leaf from the tree.  In this way,
we can give children the first idea that the individual is so much
less than the whole.

Little children often take death very naturally.  A boy of five met
two of his older companions at the school door.  They said sadly and
solemnly: "We have just seen a dead man!"  "Well," said the little
philosopher, "that's all right.  We've _all_ got to die when our
work is done."

In one of the Buddha stories which I reproduce at the end of this
book, the little Hare (who is, I think, a symbol of nervous
individualism) constantly says: "Suppose the Earth were to fall
in, what would become of me?"

As an antidote to the ordinary attitude towards death, I commend an
episode from a German folklore story which is called "Unlucky John,"
and which is included in the list of stories recommended at the end
of this book.

The following sums up in poetic form some of the material necessary
for the wants of a child.

                              THE CHILD

               The little new soul has come to earth,
                 He has taken his staff for the pilgrim's way.
               His sandals are girt on his tender feet,
                 And he carries his scrip for what gifts he may.

               What will you give to him, Fate Divine?
                 What for his scrip on the winding road?
               A crown for his head, or a laurel wreath?
                 A sword to wield, or is gold his load?

               What will you give him for weal or woe?
                 What for the journey through day and night?
               Give or withhold from him power and fame,
                 But give to him love of the earth's delight.

               Let him be lover of wind and sun
                 And of falling rain; and the friend of trees;
               With a singing heart for the pride of noon,
                 And a tender heart for what twilight sees.

               Let him be lover of you and yours--
                 The Child and Mary; but also Pan
               And the sylvan gods of the woods and hills,
                 And the god that is hid in his fellowman.

               Love and a song and the joy of the earth,
                 These be gifts for his scrip to keep
               Till, the journey ended, he stands at last
                 In the gathering dark, at the gate of sleep.

                                                   ETHEL CLIFFORD

And so our stories should contain all the essentials for the child's
scrip on the road of life, providing the essentials and holding or
withholding the non-essentials.  But, above all, let us fill the scrip
with gifts that the child need never reject, even when he passes
through to "the gate of sleep."


We are now come to the most important part of the question of story-
telling, to which all the foregoing remarks have been gradually
leading, and that is the effect of these stories upon the child, quite
apart from the dramatic joy he experiences in listening to them, which
would in itself be quite enough to justify us in the telling.  But,
since I have urged the extreme importance of giving so much time to
the manner of telling and of bestowing so much care in the selection
of the material, it is right that we should expect some permanent
results or else those who are not satisfied with the mere enjoyment of
the children will seek other methods of appeal--it is to them that I
most specially dedicate this chapter.

I think we are of the threshold of the re-discovery of an old truth,
that _dramatic presentation_ is the quickest and the surest
method of appeal, because it is the only one with which memory plays
no tricks. If a thing has appeared before us in a vital form nothing
can really destroy it; it is because things are often given in a
blurred, faint light that they gradually fade out of our memory.  A
very keen scientist was deploring to me, on one occasion, the fact
that stories were told so much in the schools, to the detriment of
science, for which he claimed the same indestructible element that I
recognize in the best-told stories.  Being very much interested in her
point of view, I asked her to tell me, looking back on her school
days, what she could remember as standing out from other less clear
information.  After thinking some little time over the matter, she
said with some embarrassment, but with candor that did her much honor:

"Well, now I come to think of it, it was the story of Cinderella."

Now, I am not holding any brief for this story in particular.  I think
the reason it was remembered was because of the dramatic form in which
it was presented to her, which fired her imagination and kept the
memory alight.  I quite realize that a scientific fact might also have
been easily remembered if it had been presented in the form of a
successful chemical experiment; but this also has something of the
dramatic appeal and will be remembered on that account.

Sully says: "We cannot understand the fascination of a story for
children save in remembering that for their young minds, quick to
imagine, and unversed in abstract reflection, words are not dead
things but _winged_, as the old Greeks called them."[35]

The _Red Queen_, in "Alice Through the Looking-Glass," was more
psychological than she was aware of when she made the memorable
statement: "When once you've _said_ a thing, that _fixes_ it, and
you must take the consequences."

In Curtin's "Introduction to Myths and Folk Tales of the Russians",
he says:

"I remember well the feeling roused in my mind at the mention or sight
of the name _Lucifer_ during the early years of my life.  It stood for
me as the name of a being stupendous, dreadful in moral deformity,
lurid, hideous and mighty.  I remember the surprise with which, when I
had grown somewhat older and began to study Latin, I came upon the name
in Virgil where it means _light-bringer_--the herald of the Sun."

Plato has said that "the end of education should be the training by
suitable habits of the instincts of virtue in the child."

About two thousand years later, Sir Philip Sydney, in his "Defence of
Poesy," says: "The final end of learning is to draw and lead us to so
high a perfection as our degenerate souls, made worse by their clay
lodgings, can be capable of."

And yet it is neither the Greek philosopher nor the Elizabethan poet
that makes the everyday application of these principles; but we have
a hint of this application from the Pueblo tribe of Indians, of whom
Lummis tells us the following:

"There is no duty to which a Pueblo child is trained in which he has
to be content with a bare command: do this.  For each, he learns a
fairy-tale designed to explain how children first came to know that
it was right to 'do this,' and detailing the sad results that befall
those who did otherwise.  Some tribes have regular story-tellers, men
who have devoted a great deal of time to learning the myths and stories
of their people and who possess, in addition to good memory, a vivid
imagination.  The mother sends for one of these, and having prepared a
feast for him, she and her little brood, who are curled up near her,
await the fairy stories of the dreamer who after his feast and smoke
entertains the company for hours."

In modern times, the nurse, who is now receiving such complete training
for her duties with children, should be ready to imitate the "dreamer"
of the Indian tribe.  I rejoice to find that regular instruction in
story-telling is being given in many of the institutions where the
nurses are trained.

Some years ago there appeared a book by Dion Calthrop called "King
Peter," which illustrates very fully the effect of story-telling.  It
is the account of the education of a young prince which is carried on
at first by means of stories, and later he is taken out into the arena
of life to show what is happening there--the dramatic appeal being
always the means used to awaken his imagination.  The fact that only
_one_ story a year is told him prevents our seeing the effect from day
to day, but the time matters little.  We only need faith to believe
that the growth, though slow, was sure.

There is something of the same idea in the "Adventures of Telemachus,"
written by Fenelon for his royal pupil, the young Duke of Burgundy, but
whereas Calthrop trusts to the results of indirect teaching by means of
dramatic stories, Fenelon, on the contrary, makes use of the somewhat
heavy, didactic method, so that one would think the attention of the
young prince must have wandered at times; and I imagine Telemachus was
in the same condition when he was addressed at such length by Mentor,
who, being Minerva, though in disguise, should occasionally have
displayed that sense of humor which must always temper true wisdom.

Take, for instance the heavy reproof conveyed in the following passage:

"Death and shipwreck are less dreadful than the pleasures that attack
Virtue. . . . Youth is full of presumption and arrogance, though
nothing in the world is so frail: it fears nothing, and vainly relies
utmost levity and without any precaution."

And on another occasion, when Calypso hospitably provides clothes for
the shipwrecked men, and Telemachus is handling a tunic of the finest
wool and white as snow, with a vest of purple embroidered with gold,
and displaying much pleasure in the magnificence of the clothes,
Mentor addresses him in a severe voice, saying: "Are these, O
Telemachus, the thoughts that ought to occupy the heart of the son
of Ulysses?  A young man who loves to dress vainly, as a woman does,
is unworthy of wisdom or glory."

I remember, as a school girl of thirteen, having to commit to memory
several books of these adventures, so as to become familiar with the
style.  Far from being impressed by the wisdom of Mentor, I was simply
bored, and wondered why Telemachus did not escape from him.  The only
part in the book that really interested me was Calypso's unrequited
love for Telemachus, but this was always the point where we ceased to
learn by heart, which surprised me greatly, for it was here that the
real human interest seemed to begin.

Of all the effects which I hope for from the telling of stories in the
schools, I, personally, place first the dramatic joy we bring to the
children and to ourselves.  But there are many who would consider this
result as fantastic, if not frivolous, and not to be classed among the
educational values connected with the introduction of stories into the
school curriculum.  I, therefore, propose to speak of other effects of
story-telling which may seem of more practical value.

The first, which is of a purely negative character, is that through
means of a dramatic story we may counteract some of the sights and
sounds of the street which appeal to the melodramatic instinct in
children.  I am sure that all teachers whose work lies in crowded
cities must have realized the effect produced on children by what they
see and hear on their way to and from school.  If we merely consider
the bill boards with their realistic representations, quite apart from
the actual dramatic happenings in the street, we at once perceive that
the ordinary school interests pale before such lurid appeals as these.
How can we expect the child who has stood openmouthed before a poster
representing a woman chloroformed by a burglar (while that hero
escapes in safety with jewels) to display any interest in the arid
monotony of the multiplication table?  The illegitimate excitement
created by the sight of the depraved burglar can only be counteracted
by something equally exciting along the realistic but legitimate side
of appeal; and this is where the story of the right kind becomes so
valuable, and why the teacher who is artistic enough to undertake the
task can find the short path to results which theorists seek for so
long in vain.  It is not even necessary to have an exceedingly
exciting story; sometimes one which will bring about pure reaction may
be just as suitable.

I remember in my personal experience an instance of this kind.  I had
been reading with some children of about ten years old the story from
"Cymbeline" of _Imogen_ in the forest scene, when the brothers strew
flowers upon her, and sing the funeral dirge,

                   Fear no more the heat of the sun.

Just as we had all taken on this tender, gentle mood, the door opened
and one of the prefects announced in a loud voice the news of the
relief of Mafeking.  The children were on their feet at once, cheering
lustily, and for the moment the joy over the relief of the brave
garrison was the predominant feeling.  Then, I took advantage of a
momentary reaction and said: "Now, children, don't you think we can
pay England the tribute of going back to England's greatest poet?"  In
a few minutes we were back in the heart of the forest, and I can still
hear the delightful intonation of those subdued voices repeating,

                 Golden lads and girls all must
                 Like chimney-sweepers come to dust.

It is interesting to note that the same problem that is exercising us
today was a source of difficulty to people in remote times.  The
following is taken from an old Chinese document, and has particular
interest for us at this time:

"The philosopher, Mentius (born 371 B. C.), was left fatherless at a
very tender age and brought up by his mother, Changsi.  The care of
this prudent and attentive mother has been cited as a model for all
virtuous parents.  The house she occupied was near that of a butcher;
she observed at the first cry of the animals that were being
slaughtered, the little Mentius ran to be present at the sight, and
that, on his return, he sought to imitate what he had seen.  Fearful
lest his heart might become hardened, and accustomed to the sights of
blood, she removed to another house which was in the neighborhood of a
cemetery.  The relations of those who were buried there came often to
weep upon their graves, and make their customary libations.  The lad
soon took pleasure in their ceremonies and amused himself by imitating
them.  This was a new subject of uneasiness to his mother: she feared
her son might come to consider as a jest what is of all things the
most serious, and that he might acquire a habit of performing with
levity, and as a matter of routine merely, ceremonies which demand the
most exact attention and respect.  Again, therefore, she anxiously
changed the dwelling, and went to live in the city, opposite a school,
where her son found examples the most worthy of imitation, and began
to profit by them.  This anecdote has become incorporated by the
Chinese into a proverb, which they constantly quote: The mother of
Mentius seeks a neighborhood."

Another influence we have to counteract is that of newspaper headings
and placards which catch the eye of children in the streets and appeal
so powerfully to their imagination.

Shakespeare has said:

                  Tell me where is Fancy bred,
                  Or in the heart, or in the head?
                  How begot, how nourished?
                  It is engendered in the eyes
                  With gazing fed,
                  And Fancy dies in the cradle where it lies.
                  Let us all ring Fancy's knell.
                  I'll begin it--ding, dong, bell.
                                           "Merchant of Venice."

If this be true, it is of importance to decide what our children shall
look upon as far as we can control the vision, so that we can form
some idea of the effect upon their imagination.

Having alluded to the dangerous influence of the street, I should
hasten to say that this influence is very far from being altogether
bad.  There are possibilities of romance in street life which may have
just the same kind of effect on children as the telling of exciting
stories.  I am indebted to Mrs. Arnold Glover, Honorary Secretary of
the National Organization of Girls' Clubs,[36] one of the most widely
informed people on this subject, for the two following experiences
gathered from the streets and which bear indirectly on the subject of

Mrs. Glover was visiting a sick woman in a very poor neighborhood, and
found, sitting on the door-step of the house, two little children,
holding something tightly grasped in their little hands, and gazing
with much expectancy towards the top of the street.  She longed to
know what they were doing, but not being one of those unimaginative
and tactless folk who rush headlong into the mysteries of children's
doings, she passed them at first in silence.  It was only when she
found them still in the same silent and expectant posture half an hour
later that she said tentatively: "I wonder whether you would tell me
what you are doing here?"  After some hesitation, one of them said, in
a shy voice: "We're waitin' for the  barrer."  It then transpired
that, once a week, a vegetable-and-flower-cart was driven through this
particular street, on its way to a more prosperous neighborhood, and
on a few red-letter days, a flower, or a sprig, or even a root
sometimes fell out of the back of the cart; and these two little
children were sitting there in hope, with their hands full of soil,
ready to plant anything which might by some golden chance fall that
way, in their secret garden of oyster shells.

This seems to me as charming a fairy tale as any that our books
can supply.

On another occasion, Mrs. Glover was collecting the pennies for the
Holiday Fund Savings Bank from the children who came weekly to her
house.  She noticed on three consecutive Mondays that one little lad
deliberately helped himself to a new envelope from her table.  Not
wishing to frighten or startle him, she allowed this to continue for
some weeks, and then one day, having dismissed the other children, she
asked him quite quietly why he was taking the envelopes.  At first he
was very sulky, and said: "I need them more than you do."  She quite
agreed this might be, but reminded him that, after all, they belonged
to her.  She promised, however, that if he would tell her for what
purpose he wanted the envelopes, she would endeavor to help him in the
matter.  Then came the astonishing announcement: "I am building a
navy."  After a little more gradual questioning, Mrs. Glover drew from
the boy the information that the Borough water carts passed through
the side street once a week, flushing the gutter; that then the
envelope ships were made to sail on the water and pass under the
covered ways which formed bridges for wayfarers and tunnels for the
"navy."  Great was the excitement when the ships passed out of sight
and were recognized as they arrived safely at the other end.  Of
course, the expenses in raw material were greatly diminished by the
illicit acquisition of Mrs. Glover's property, and in this way she had
unconsciously provided the neighborhood with a navy and a commander.
Her first instinct, after becoming acquainted with the whole story,
was to present the boy with a real boat, but on second thought she
collected and gave him a number of old envelopes with names and
addresses upon them, which added greatly to the excitement of the
sailing, because they could be more easily identified as they came out
of the other end of the tunnel, and had their respective reputations
as to speed.

Here is indeed food for romance, and I give both instances to prove
that the advantages of street life are to be taken into consideration
as well as the disadvantages, though I think we are bound to admit
that the latter outweigh the former.

One of the immediate results of dramatic stories is the escape from the
commonplace, to which I have already alluded in quoting Mr. Goschen's
words.  The desire for this escape is a healthy one, common to adults
and children.  When we wish to get away from our own surroundings and
interests, we do for ourselves what I maintain we ought to do for
children: we step into the land of fiction.  It has always been a source
of astonishment to me that, in trying to escape from our own everyday
surroundings, we do not step more boldly into the land of pure romance,
which would form a real contrast to our everyday life, but, in nine
cases out of ten, the fiction which is sought after deals with the
subjects of our ordinary existence, namely, frenzied finance, sordid
poverty, political corruption, fast society, and religious doubts.

There is the same danger in the selection of fiction for children:
namely, a tendency to choose very utilitarian stories, both in form
and substance, so that we do not lift the children out of the
commonplace.  I remember once seeing the titles of two little books,
the contents of which were being read or told to children; one was
called, "Tom the Bootblack"; the other, "Dan the Newsboy."  My chief
objection to these stories was the fact that neither of the heroes
rejoiced in his work for the work's sake.  Had _Tom_ even invented a
new kind of blacking, or if _Dan_ had started a newspaper, it might
have been encouraging for those among the listeners who were thinking
of engaging in similar professions.  It is true, both gentlemen amassed
large fortunes, but surely the school age is not to be limited to such
dreams and aspirations as these!  One wearies of the tales of boys who
arrive in a town with one cent in their pocket and leave it as
millionaires, with the added importance of a mayoralty.  It is
undoubtedly true that the romantic prototype of these worthy youths is
_Dick Whittingon_, for whom we unconsciously cherish the affection which
we often bestow on a far-off personage.  Perhaps--who can say?--it is
the picturesque adjunct of the cat, lacking to modern millionaires.

I do not think it Utopian to present to children a fair share of
stories which deal with the importance of things "untouched by hand."
They, too, can learn at an early age that "the things which are seen
are temporal, but the things which are unseen are spiritual."  To
those who wish to try the effect of such stories on children, I
present for their encouragement the following lines from James
Whitcomb Riley:

                  THE TREASURE OF THE WISE MAN[37]

            Oh, the night was dark and the night was late,
            When the robbers came to rob him;
            And they picked the lock of his palace-gate,
            The robbers who came to rob him--;
            They picked the lock of the palace-gate,
            Seized his jewels and gems of State,
            His coffers of gold and his priceless plate,--
            The robbers that came to rob him.

            But loud laughed he in the morning red!--
            For of what had the robbers robbed him?
            Ho! hidden safe, as he slept in bed,
            When the robbers came to rob him,--
            They robbed him not of a golden shred
            Of the childish dreams in his wise old head-

            "And they're welcome to all things else," he said,
            When the robbers came to rob him.

There is a great deal of this romantic spirit, combined with a
delightful sense of irresponsibility, which I claim above all things
for small children, to be found in our old nursery rhymes.  I quote
from the following article written by the Rev. R. L. Gales for the

After speaking on the subject of fairy stories being eliminated from
the school curriculum, the writer adds:

"This would be lessening the joy of the world and taking from
generations yet unborn the capacity for wonder, the power to take a
large unselfish interest in the spectacle of things, and putting them
forever at the mercy of small private cares.

"A nursery rhyme is the most sane, the most unselfish thing in the
world. It calls up some delightful image--a little nut-tree with a
silver walnut and a golden pear; some romantic adventure only for the
child's delight and liberation from the bondage of unseeing dullness:
it brings before the mind the quintessence of some good thing:

"'The little dog laughed to see such sport'--there is the soul of
good humor, of sanity, of health in the laughter of that innocently
wicked little dog.  It is the laughter of pure frolic without
unkindness.  To have laughed with the little dog as a child is the
best preservative against mirthless laughter in later years--the
horse laughter of brutality, the ugly laughter of spite, the acrid
laughter of fanaticism.  The world of nursery rhymes, the old world of
Mrs. Slipper-Slopper, is the world of natural things, of quick,
healthy motion, of the joy of living.

"In nursery rhymes the child is entertained with all the pageant of
the world.  It walks in fairy gardens, and for it the singing birds
pass.  All the King's horses and all the King's men pass before it in
their glorious array.  Craftsmen of all sorts, bakers, confectioners,
silversmiths, blacksmiths are busy for it with all their arts and
mysteries, as at the court of an eastern King."

In insisting upon the value of this escape from the commonplace, I
cannot prove the importance of it more clearly than by showing what
may happen to a child who is deprived of his birthright by having none
of the fairy tale element presented to him.  In "Father and Son," Mr.
Edmund Gosse says:

"Meanwhile, capable as I was of reading, I found my greatest pleasure
in the pages of books.  The range of these was limited, for storybooks
of every description were sternly excluded.  No fiction of any kind,
religious or secular, was admitted into the house.  In this it was to
my Mother, not to my Father, that the prohibition was due.  She had a
remarkable, I confess, to me somewhat unaccountable impression that to
'tell a story,' that is, to compose fictitious narrative of any king,
was a sin. . . . Nor would she read the chivalrous tales in the verse
of Sir Walter Scott, obstinately alleging that they were not true. She
would nothing but lyrical and subjective poetry.  As a child, however,
she had possessed a passion for making up stories, and so considerable
a skill in it, that she was constantly being begged to indulge others
with its exercise. . . . 'When I was a very little child,' she says,
'I used to amuse myself and my brothers with inventing stories such as
I had read.  Having, I suppose, a naturally restless mind and busy
imagination, this soon became the chief pleasure of my life.
Unfortunately, my brothers were always fond of encouraging this
propensity, and I found in Taylor, my maid, a still greater tempter.
I had not known there was any harm in it, until Miss Shore, a
Calvinistic governess, finding it out, lectured me severely and told
me it was wicked.  From that time forth, I considered that to invent a
story of any kind was a sin. . . . But the longing to do so grew with
violence. . . . The simplicity of Truth was not enough for me.  I must
needs embroider imagination upon it, and the vanity and wickedness
which disgraced my heart are more than I am able to express.'  This
[the author, her son, adds] is surely a very painful instance of the
repression of an instinct."

In contrast to the stifling of the imagination, it is good to recall
the story of the great Hermite who, having listened to the discussion
of the Monday sitting at the Academie des Sciences (Insitut de France)
as to the best way to teach the "young idea how to shoot" in the
direction of mathematical genius, said: "_Cultivez l'imagination,
messieurs.  Tout est La.  Si vous voulez des mathematiciens, donnez
a vos enfants a; lire--des Contes de Fees._"

Another important effect of the story is to develop at an early age
sympathy for children of other countries where conditions are different
from our own.

I have so constantly to deal with the question of confusion between
truth and fiction in the minds of children that it might be useful
to offer here an example of the way they make the distinction for

Mrs. Ewing says on this subject:

"If there are young intellects so imperfect as to be incapable of
distinguishing between fancy and falsehood, it is most desirable to
develop in them the power to do so, but, as a rule, in childhood, we
appreciate the distinction with a vivacity which as elders our care-
clogged memories fail to recall."

Mr. P. A. Barnett, in his book on the "Common-sense of Education,"
says, alluding to fairy-tales:

"Children will _act_ them but not act _upon_ them, and they
will not accept the incidents as part of their effectual belief.  They
will imagine, to be sure, grotesque worlds, full of admirable and
interesting personages to whom strange things might have happened.  So
much the better: this largeness of imagination is one of the
possessions that distinguish the better nurtured child from others
less fortunate."

The following passage from Stevenson's essay on _"Child Play"_[38]
will furnish an instance of children's aptitude for creating their
own dramatic atmosphere:

"When my cousin and I took our porridge of a morning, we had a device
to enliven the course of a meal.  He ate his with sugar, and explained
it to be a country continually buried under snow.  I took mine with
milk, and explained it to be country suffering gradual inundation.
You can imagine us exchanging bulletins; how here was an island still
unsubmerged, here a valley not yet covered with snow; what inventions
were made; how his population lived in cabins on perches and traveled
on stilts, and how mine was always in boats; how the interest grew
furious as the last corner of safe ground was cut off on all sides and
grew smaller every moment; and how, in fine, the food was of
altogether secondary importance, and might even have been nauseous, so
long as we seasoned it with these dreams.  But perhaps the most
exciting moments I ever had over a meal were in the case of calf's
foot jelly.  It was hardly possible not to believe--and you may
be quite sure, so far from trying, I did all I could to favor the
illusion--that some part of it was hollow and that sooner or
later my spoon would lay open the secret tabernacle of the golden
rock.  There, might some _Red-Beard_ await his hour; there might
one find the treasures of the Forty Thieves.  And so I quarried on
slowly, with bated breath, savoring the interest.  Believe me, I had
little palate left for the jelly; and though I preferred the taste
when I tool cream with it, I used often to go without because the
cream dimmed the transparent fractures."

In his work on "Imagination," Ribot says: "The free initiative of
children is always superior to the imitations we pretend to make
for them."

The passage from Robert Louis Stevenson becomes more clear from a
scientific point of view when taken in connection with one from Karl
Groos' book on the "Psychology of Animal Play":

"The child is wholly absorbed in his play, and yet under the ebb and
flow of thought and feeling like still water under wind-swept waves,
he has the knowledge that it is pretense after all.  Behind the sham
'I' that takes part in the game, stands the unchanged 'I' which
regards the sham 'I' with quiet superiority."

Queyrat speaks of play as one of the distinct phases of a child's
imagination; it is "essentially a metamorphosis of reality, a
transformation of places and things."

Now to return to the point which Mrs. Ewing makes, namely, that we
should develop in normal children the power of distinguishing between
truth and falsehood.

I should suggest including two or three stories which would test that
power in children, and if they fail to realize the difference between
romancing and telling lies, then it is evident that they need special
attention and help along this line.  I give the titles of two stories
of this kind in the collection at the end of the book.[39]

Thus far we have dealt only with the negative results of stories, but
there are more important effects, and I am persuaded that if we are
careful in our choice of stories, and artistic in our presentation,
so that the truth is framed, so to speak, in the memory, we can
unconsciously correct evil tendencies in children which they recognize
in themselves only when they have already criticized them in the
characters of the story.  I have sometimes been misunderstood on this
point, and, therefore, I should like to make it quite clear.  I do
_not_ mean that stories should take the place entirely of moral or
direct teaching, but that on many occasions they could supplement
and strengthen moral teaching, because the dramatic appeal to the
imagination is quicker than the moral appeal to the conscience.  A
child will often resist the latter lest it should make him uncomfortable
or appeal to his personal sense of responsibility: it is often not in
his power to resist the former, because it has taken possession of him
before he is aware of it.

As a concrete example, I offer three verses from a poem entitled, "A
Ballad for a Boy," written some twelve years ago by W. Cory, an Eton
master.  The whole poem is to be found in a book of poems known as

The poem describes a fight between two ships, the French ship,
_Temeraire_, and the English ship, _Quebec_.  The English ship was
destroyed by fire; Farmer, the captain, was killed, and the officers
take prisoners:

  They dealt with us as brethren, they mourned for Farmer dead,
  And as the wounded captives passed each Breton bowed the head.
  Then spoke the French lieutenant:
  "'Twas the fire that won, not we.
  You never struck your flag to _us_; You'll go to England free."[41]

  'Twas the sixth day of October, seventeen hundred seventy-nine,
  A year when nations ventured against us to combine,
  _Quebec_ was burned and Farmer slain, by us remembered not;
  But thanks be to the French book wherein they're not forgot.

  And you, if you've got to fight the French, my youngster, bear in
  Those seamen of King Louis so chivalrous and kind;
  Think of the Breton gentlemen who took our lads to Brest,
  And treat some rescued Breton as a comrade and a guest.

But in all our stories, in order to produce desired effects we must
refrain from holding, as Burroughs says, "a brief for either side,"
and we must let the people in the story be judged by their deeds and
leave the decision of the children free in this matter.[42]

In a review of Ladd's "Psychology" in the _Academy_, we find a
passage which refers as much to the story as to the novel:

"The psychological novelist girds up his loins and sets himself to
write little essays on each of his characters.  If he have the gift of
the thing he may analyze motives with a subtlety which is more than
their desert, and exhibit simple folk passing through the most
dazzling rotations.  If he be a novice, he is reduced to mere crude
invention--the result in both cases is quite beyond the true purpose
of Art.  Art--when all is said and done--a suggestion, and it
refuses to be explained.  Make it obvious, unfold it in detail, and
you reduce it to a dead letter."

Again, there is a sentence by Schopenhauer applied to novels which
would apply equally well to stories:

"Skill consists in setting the inner life in motion with the smallest
possible array of circumstances, for it is this inner life that
excites our interest."

In order to produce an encouraging and lasting effect by means of our
stories, we should be careful to introduce a certain number from
fiction where virtue is rewarded and vice punished, because to
appreciate the fact that "virtue is its own reward" it takes a
developed and philosophic mind, or a born saint, of whom there will
not, I think, be many among normal children: a comforting fact, on the
whole, as the normal teacher is apt to confuse them with prigs.

A grande dame visiting an elementary school listened to the telling of
an exciting story from fiction, and was impressed by the thrill of
delight which passed through the children.  But when the story was
finished, she said: "But _oh!_ what a pity the story was not
taken from actual history!"

Now, not only was this comment quite beside the mark, but the lady in
question did not realize that pure fiction has one quality which
history cannot have.  The historian, bound by fact and accuracy, must
often let his hero come to grief.  The poet (or, in this case we may
call him, in the Greek sense, the "maker" of stories) strives to show
_ideal_ justice.

What encouragement to virtue, except for the abnormal child, can be
offered by the stories of good men coming to grief, such as we find
Miltiades, Phocion, Socrates, Severus, Cicero, Cato and Caesar?

Sir Philip Sydney says in his "Defence of Poesy":

"Only the poet declining to be held by the limitations of the lawyer,
the _historian_, the grammarian, the rhetorician, the logician,
the physician, the metaphysician is lifted up with the vigor of his
own imagination; doth grow in effect into another nature in making
things either better than Nature bringeth forth or quite anew, as the
Heroes, Demi-gods, Cyclops, Furies and such like so as he goeth hand-
in-hand with Nature, not inclosed in the narrow range of her gifts but
freely ranging within the Zodiac of his own art--_her_ world is brazen;
the poet only delivers a golden one."

The effect of the story need not stop at the negative task of correcting
evil tendencies.  There is the positive effect of translating the
abstract ideal of the story into concrete action.

I was told by Lady Henry Somerset that when the first set of children
came down from London for a fortnight's holiday in the country, she
was much startled and shocked by the obscenity of the games they
played amongst themselves.  Being a sound psychologist, Lady Henry
wisely refrained from appearing surprised or from attempting any
direct method of reproof.  "I saw," she said, "that the 'goody'
element would have no effect, so I changed the whole atmosphere by
reading to them or telling them the most thrilling medieval tales
without any commentary.  By the end of the fortnight the activities
had all changed.  The boys were performing astonishing deeds of
prowess, and the girls were allowing themselves to be rescued from
burning towers and fetid dungeons."  Now, if these deeds of chivalry
appear somewhat stilted to us, we can at least realize that, having
changed the whole atmosphere of the filthy games, it is easier to
translate the deeds into something a little more in accordance with
the spirit of the age, and boys will more readily wish later on to
save their sisters from dangers more sordid and commonplace than fiery
towers and dark dungeons, if they have once performed the deeds in
which they had to court danger and self-sacrifice for themselves.

And now we come to the question as to how these effects are to be
maintained.  In what has already been stated as to the danger of
introducing the dogmatic and direct appeal into the story, it is
evident that the avoidance of this element is the first means of
preserving the story in all its artistic force in the memory of the
child.  We must be careful, as I point out in the chapter on Questions,
not to interfere by comment or question with the atmosphere we have
made round the story, or else, in the future, that story will become
blurred and overlaid with the remembrance, not of the artistic whole,
as presented by the teller of the story, but by some unimportant small
side issue raised by an irrelevant question or a superfluous comment.

Many people think that the dramatization of the story by the children
themselves helps to maintain the effect produced.  Personally, I fear
there is the same danger as in the immediate reproduction of the story,
but by some unimportant small side issue raised by an irrelevant
question or a superfluous comment.

Many people think that the dramatization of the story by the children
themselves helps to maintain the effect produced.  Personally, I fear
there is the same danger as in the immediate reproduction of the story,
namely, that the general dramatic effect may be weakened.

If, however, there is to be dramatization (and I do not wish to
dogmatize on the subject), I think it should be confined to facts
and not fancies, and this is why I realize the futility of the
dramatization of fairy tales.

Horace E. Scudder says on this subject:

"Nothing has done more to vulgarize the fairy than its introduction
on the stage.  The charm of the fairy tale is its divorce from human
experience: the charm of the stage is its realization in miniature of
human life.  If a frog is heard to speak, if a dog is changed before
our eyes into a prince by having cold water dashed over it, the charm
of the fairy tale has fled, and, in its place, we have the perplexing
pleasure of _legerdemain_.   Since the real life of a fairy is in
the imagination, a wrong is committed when it is dragged from its
shadowy hiding-place and made to turn into ashes under the calcium
light of the understanding."[43]

I am bound to admit that the teachers have a case when they plead for
this reproducing of the story, and there are three arguments they use
the validity of which I admit, but which have nevertheless not
converted me, because the loss, to my mind, would exceed the gain.

The first argument they put forward is that the reproduction of the
story enables the child to enlarge and improve his vocabulary.  Now I
greatly sympathize with this point of view, but, as I regard the story
hour as a very precious and special one, which I think may have a
lasting effect on the character of a child, I do not think it important
that, during this hour, a child should be called upon to improve his
vocabulary at the expense of the dramatic whole, and at the expense
of the literary form in which the story has been presented.  It would
be like using the Bible for parsing or paraphrase or pronunciation.
So far, I believe, the line has been drawn here, though there are
blasphemers who have laid impious hands on Milton or Shakespeare
for this purpose.

There are surely other lessons, as I have already said in dealing
with the reproduction of the story quite apart from the dramatization,
lessons more utilitarian in character, which can be used for this
purpose: the facts of history (I mean the mere facts as compared with
the deep truths), and those of geography.  Above all, the grammar
lessons are those in which the vocabulary can be enlarged and improved.
But I am anxious to keep the story hour apart as dedicated to something
higher than these excellent but utilitarian considerations.

The second argument used by the teachers is the joy felt by the
children in being allowed to dramatize the stories.  This, too,
appeals very strongly to me, but there is a means of satisfying their
desire and yet protecting the dramatic whole, and that is occasionally
to allow children to act out their own dramatic inventions; this, to
my mind, has great educational significance: it is original and
creative work and, apart from the joy of the immediate performance,
there is the interesting process of comparison which can be presented
to the children, showing them the difference between their elementary
attempts and the finished product of the experienced artist.  This
difference they can be led to recognize by their own powers of
observation if the teachers are not in too great a hurry to point it
out themselves.

Here is a short original story, quoted by the French psychologist,
Queyrat, in his "Jeux de l'Enfance," written by a child of five:

"One day I went to sea in a life-boat--all at once I saw an enormous
whale, and I jumped out of the boat to catch him, but he was so big
that I climbed on his back and rode astride, and all the little
fishes laughed to see."

Here is a complete and exciting drama, making a wonderful picture and
teeming with adventure.  We could scarcely offer anything to so small
a child for reproduction that would be a greater stimulus to the

Here is another, offered by Loti, but the age of the child is not given:

"Once upon a time a little girl out in the Colonies cut open a huge
melon, and out popped a green beast and stung her, and the little
child died."

Loti adds:

"The phrases 'out in the Colonies' and 'a huge melon' were enough to
plunge me suddenly into a dream.  As by an apparition, I beheld
tropical trees, forests alive with marvelous birds.  Oh! the simple
magic of the words 'the Colonies'!  In my childhood they stood for a
multitude of distant sun-scorched countries, with their palm-trees,
their enormous flowers, their black natives, their wild beasts, their
endless possibilities of adventure."

I quote this in full because it shows so clearly the magic force of
words to evoke pictures, without any material representation.  It is
just the opposite effect of the pictures presented to the bodily eye
without the splendid educational opportunity for the child to form
his own mental image.

I am more and more convinced that the rare power of visualization is
accounted for by the lack of mental practice afforded along these lines.

The third argument used by teachers in favor of the dramatization of
the stories is that it is a means of discovering how much the child
has really learned from the story.  Now this argument makes absolutely
no appeal to me.

My experience, in the first place, has taught me that a child very
seldom gives out any account of a deep impression made upon him: it
is too sacred and personal.  But he very soon learns to know what is
expected of him, and he keeps a set of stock sentences which he has
found out are acceptable to the teacher.  How can we possibly gauge
the deep effects of a story in this way, or how can a child, by acting
out a story, describe the subtle elements which one has tried to
introduce?  One might as well try to show with a pint measure how the
sun and rain have affected a plant, instead of rejoicing in the beauty
of the sure, if slow, growth.

Then, again, why are we in such a hurry to find out what effects have
been produced by our stories?  Does it matter whether we know today or
tomorrow how much a child has understood?  For my part, so sure do I
feel of the effect that I am willing to wait indefinitely.  Only, I
must make sure that the first presentation is truly dramatic and

The teachers of general subjects have a much easier and more simple
task.  Those who teach science, mathematics, even, to a certain extent,
history and literature, are able to gauge with a fair amount of accuracy
by means of examination what their pupils have learned.  The teaching
carried on by means of stories can never be gauged in the same manner.

Carlyle has said:

"Of this thing be certain: wouldst thou plant for Eternity, then plant
into the deep infinite faculties of man, his Fantasy and Heart.  Wouldst
thou plant for Year and Day, then plant into his shallow superficial
faculties, his self-love and arithmetical understanding, what will
grow there."[44]

If we use this marvelous art of story-telling in the way I have tried
to show, then the children who have been confided to our care will one
day be able to bring _us_ the tribute which Bjornson brought to Hans
Christian Andersen:

                Wings you gave to my Imagination,
                  Me uplifting to the strange and great;
                Gave my heart the poet's revelation,
                  Glorifying things of low estate.

                When my child-soul hungered all-unknowing,
                  With great truths its need you satisfied:
                Now, a world-worn man, to you is owing
                  That the child in me has never died.



The following questions have been put to me so often by teachers, in
my own country and in America, that I have thought it might be useful
to give in my book some of the attempts I have made to answer them;
and I wish to record here an expression of gratitude to the teachers
who have asked these questions at the close of my lectures.  It has
enabled me to formulate my views on the subject and to clear up, by
means of research and thought, the reason for certain things which I
had more or less taken for granted.  It has also constantly modified
my own point of view, and has prevented me from becoming too dogmatic
in dealing with other people's methods.

QUESTION I:  _Why do I consider it necessary to spend so many years
on the art of story-telling, which takes in, after all, such a
restricted portion of literature?_

Just in the same way that an actor thinks it worth while to go through
so many years' training to fit him for the stage, although dramatic
literature is also only one branch of general literature.  The region
of storyland is the legitimate stage for children.  They crave drama
as we do, and because there are comparatively few good story-tellers,
children do not have their dramatic needs satisfied.  What is the
result?  We either take them to dramatic performances for grown-up
people, or we have children's theaters where the pieces, charming as
they may be, are of necessity deprived of the essential elements which
constitute a drama--or they are shriveled up to suit the capacity of
the child.  Therefore, it would seem wiser, while the children are
quite young, to keep them to the simple presentation of stories,
because with their imagination keener at that period, they have the
delight of the inner vision and they do not need, as we do, the
artificial stimulus provided by the machinery of the stage.

QUESTION II:  _What is to be done if a child asks you: "Is the story

I hope I shall be considered Utopian in my ideas if a say that it is
quite easy, even with small children, to teach them that the seeing of
truth is a relative matter which depends on the eyes of the seer.  If
we were not afraid to tell our children that all through life there
are grown-up people who do not see things that others see, their own
difficulties would be helped.

In his "Imagination Creatrice," Queyrat says:

"To get down into the recesses of a child's mind, one would have to
become even as he is; we are reduced to interpreting that child in the
terms of an adult.  The children we observe live and grow in a
civilized community, and the result of this is that the development of
their imagination is rarely free or complete, for as soon as it rises
beyond the average level, the rationalistic education of parents and
schoolmasters at once endeavors to curb it.  It is restrained in its
flight by an antagonistic power which treats it as a kind of incipient

It is quite easy to show children that if one keeps things where they
belong, they are true with regard to each other, but that if one drags
these things out of the shadowy atmosphere of the "make-believe," and
forces them into the land of actual facts, the whole thing is out
of gear.

To take a concrete example: The arrival of the coach made from a
pumpkin and driven by mice is entirely in harmony with the _Cinderella_
surroundings, and I have never heard one child raise any question of the
difficulty of traveling in such a coach or of the uncertainty of mice in
drawing it.  But, suggest to the child that this diminutive vehicle
could be driven among the cars of Broadway, or amongst the motor
omnibuses in the Strand, and you would bring confusion at once into
his mind.

Having once grasped this, the children will lose the idea that fairy
stories are just for them, and not for their elders, and from this
they will go on to see that it is the child-like mind of the poet and
seer that continues to appreciate these things; that it is the dull,
heavy person whose eyes so soon become dim and unable to see any more
the visions which were once his own.

In his essay on "Poetry and Life" (Glasgow, 1889), Professor Bradley

"It is the effect of poetry, not only by expressing emotion but in
other ways also, to bring life into the dead mass of our experience,
and to make the world significant."

This applies to children as well as to adults.  There may come to the
child in the story hour, by some stirring poem or dramatic narration,
a sudden flash of the possibilities of life which he had not hitherto
realized in the even course of school experience.

"Poetry," says Professor Bradley, "is a way of representing truth; but
there is in it, as its detractors have always insisted, a certain
untruth or illusion.  We need not deny this, so long as we remember
that the illusion is conscious, that no one wishes to deceive, and
that no one is deceived.  But it would be better to say that poetry is
false to literal fact for the sake of obtaining a higher truth.
First, in order to represent the connection between a more significant
part of experience and a less significant, poetry, instead of linking
them together by a chain which touches one by one the intermediate
objects that connect them, leaps from one to the other.  It thus falls
at once into conflict with common-sense."

Now, the whole of this passage bears as much on the question of the
truth embodied in a fairy tale as a poem, and it would be interesting
to take some of these tales and try to discover where they are false
to actual fact for the sake of a higher truth.

Let us take, for instance, the Story of Cinderella: The coach and
pumpkins to which I have alluded and all the magic part of the story,
are false to actual facts as we meet them in our every life; but is it
not a higher truth that _Cinderella_ could escape from her chimney
corner by thinking of the brightness outside?  In this sense
we all travel in pumpkin coaches.

Take the Story of Psyche, in any one of the many forms it is presented
to us in folk-story.  The magic transformation of the lover is false
to actual fact; but is it not a higher truth that we are often
transformed by circumstance, and that love and courage can overcome
most difficulties?

Take the Story of the Three Bears.  It is not in accordance with
established fact that bears should extend hospitality to children
who invade their territory.  Is it not true in a higher sense that
fearlessness often lessens or averts danger?

Take the Story of Jack and the Bean Stalk.  The rapid growth of the
bean stalk and the encounter with the giant are false to literal fact;
but is it not a higher truth that the spirit of courage and high
adventure leads us straight out of the commonplace and often sordid
facts of life?

Now, all these considerations are too subtle for the child, and, if
offered in explanation, would destroy the excitement and interest of
the story; but they are good for those of us who are presenting such
stories: they provide not only an argument against the objection
raised by unimaginative people as to the futility, if not immorality,
of presenting these primitive tales, but clear up our own doubt and
justify us in the use of them, if we need such justification.

For myself, I am perfectly satisfied that, being part of the history
of primitive people, it would be foolish to ignore them from an
evolutionary point of view, which constitutes their chief importance;
and it is only from the point of view of expediency that I mention the
potential truths they contain.

QUESTION III:  _What are you to do if a child says he does not like
fairy tales_?

This is not an uncommon case.  What we have first to determine, under
these circumstances, is whether this dislike springs from a stolid,
prosaic nature, whether it springs from a real inability to visualize
such pictures as the fairy or marvelous element in the story present,
or whether (and this is often the real reason) it is from a fear of
being asked to believe what his judgment resents as untrue, or whether
he thinks it is "grown-up" to reject such pleasure as unworthy of his

In the first case, it is wise to persevere, in hopes of developing the
dormant imagination.  If the child resents the apparent want of truth
we can teach him how many-sided truth is, as I suggested in my answer
to the first question.  In the other cases, we must try to make it
clear that the delight he may venture to take now will increase, not
decrease, with years; that the more one brings _to_ a thing, in the way
of experience and knowledge, the more one will draw _out_ of it.

Let us take as a concrete example the question of Santa Claus.  This
joy has almost disappeared, for we have torn away the last shred of
mystery about the personage by allowing him to be materialized in the
Christmas shops and bazaars.

But the original myth need never have disappeared; the link could
easily have been kept by gradually telling the child that the Santa
Claus they worshiped as a mysterious and invisible power is nothing
but the spirit of charity and kindness that makes us remember others,
and that this spirit often takes the form of material gifts.  We can
also lead them a step higher and show them that this spirit of
kindness can do more than provide material things; so that the old
nursery tale has laid a beautiful foundation which need never be
pulled up: we can build upon it and add to it all through our lives.

Is not _one_ of the reasons that children reject fairy tales this,
that such very _poor_ material is offered them?  There is a dreary
flatness about all except the very best which revolts the child of
literary appreciation and would fail to strike a spark in the
more prosaic.

QUESTION IV:  _Do I recommend learning a story by heart, or telling
it in one's own words_?

This would largely depend on the kind of story.  If the style is
classic or if the interest of the story is closely connected with the
style, as in Andersen, Kipling or Stevenson, then it is better to
commit it absolutely to memory.  But if this process should take too
long (I mean for those who cannot afford the time to specialize), or
if it produces a stilted effect, then it is wiser to read the story
many times over, let it soak in, taking notes of certain passages
which would add to the dramatic interest of the story, and not trouble
about the word accuracy of the whole.

For instance, for very young children the story of _Pandora_, as
told in the "Wonder-Book" could be shortened so as to leave principally
the dramatic dialogue between the two children, which could be easily
committed to memory by the narrator and would appeal most directly to
the children.  Or for older children: in taking a beautiful medieval
story such as "Our Lady's Tumbler," retold by Wickstead, the original
text could hardly be presented so as to hold an audience; but while
giving up a great deal of the elaborate material, we should try to
present many of the characteristic passages which seem to sum up the
situation.  For instance, before his performance, the _Tumbler_ cries:
"What am I doing?  For there is none here so caitiff but who vies with
all the rest in serving God after his trade."  And after his act of
devotion: "Lady, this is a choice performance.  I do it for no other but
for you; so aid me God, I do not--for you and for your Son.  And this I
dare avouch and boast, that for me it is no play-work.  But I am serving
you, and that pays me."

On the other hand, there are some very gifted narrators who can only
tell the story in their own words.  I consider that both methods are
necessary to the all-round story-teller.

QUESTION V:  _How do I set about preparing a story_?

Here again the preparation depends a great deal on the kind of story:
whether it has to be committed to memory or rearranged to suit a
certain age of child, or told entirely in one's own words.  But there
is one kind of preparation which is the same for any story, that is,
living with it for a long time, until one has really obtained the
right atmosphere, especially in the case of inanimate objects.  This
is where Hans Christian Andersen reigns supreme.  Horace Scudder says
of him: "By some transmigration, souls have passed into tin soldiers,
balls, tops, money-pigs, coins, shoes and even such attenuated things
as darning-needles, and when, informing these apparent dead and stupid
bodies, they begin to make manifestations, it is always in perfect
consistency with the ordinary conditions of the bodies they occupy,
though the several objects become, by the endowment of souls, suddenly
expanded in their capacity."[45]

Now, my test of being ready with such stories is whether I have ceased
to look upon such objects _as_ inanimate.  Let us take some of those
quoted from Andersen.  First, the _Tin Soldier_. To me, since I have
lived in the story, he is a real live hero, holding his own with some
of the bravest fighting heroes in history or fiction.  As for his being
merely of tin, I entirely forget it, except when I realize against what
odds he fights, or when I stop to admire the wonderful way Andersen
carries out his simile of the old tin spoon--the stiffness of the
musket, and the tears of tin.

Take the _Top_ and the _Ball_, and, except for the delightful way they
discuss the respective merits of cork and mahogany in their ancestors,
you would completely forget that they are not real human beings with the
live passions and frailties common to youth.

As for the _Beetle_--who ever thinks of him as a mere entomological
specimen?  Is he not the symbol of the self-satisfied traveler who
learns nothing en route but the importance of his own personality?  And
the _Darning-Needle_?  It is impossible to divorce human interest from
the ambition of this little piece of steel.

And this same method applied to the preparation of any shows that
one can sometimes rise from the role of mere interpreter to that of
creator--that is to say, the objects live afresh for you in response
to the appeal you make in recognizing their possibilities of vitality.

As a mere practical suggestion, I would advise that, as soon as one has
overcome the difficulties of the text (if actually learning by heart,
there is nothing but the drudgery of constant repetition), and as one
begins to work the story into true dramatic form, always say the words
aloud, and many times aloud, before trying them even on one person.
More suggestions come to one in the way of effects from hearing the
sounds of the words, and more complete mental pictures, in this way
than any other--it is a sort of testing period, the results of which
may or may not have to be modified when produced in public.  In case
of committing to memory, I advise word perfection first, not trying
dramatic effects before this is reached; but, on the other hand, if
you are using your own words, you can think out the effects as you
go along--I mean, during the preparation. Gestures, pauses, facial
expression often help to fix the choice of words one decides to use,
though here again the public performance will often modify the result.
I strongly advise that all gestures be studied before the glass, because
this most faithfully recording friend, whose sincerity we dare not
question, will prevent glaring errors, and also help by the correction
of these to more satisfactory results along positive lines.  If your
gesture does not satisfy you (and practice will make one more and more
critical), it is generally because you have not made sufficient
allowance for the power of imagination in your audience.  Emphasis
in gesture is just as inartistic--and therefore ineffective--as
emphasis in tone or language.

Before deciding, however, either on the facial expression or gesture,
we must consider the chief characters in the story, and study how we
can best--_not_ present them, but allow them to present themselves,
which is a very different thing.  The greatest tribute which can be
paid to a story-teller, as to an actor, is that his own personality is
temporarily forgotten, because he has so completely identified himself
with his role.

When we have decided what the chief characters really mean to do, we
can let ourselves go in the impersonation.

I shall now take a story as a concrete example, namely, the Buddhist
legend of the "Lion and the Hare."[46]

We have here the _Lion_ and the _Hare_ as types--the other animals are
less individual and therefore display less salient qualities.  The
little hare's chief characteristics are nervousness, fussiness, and
misdirected imagination.  We must bear this all in mind when she appears
on the stage--fortunately these characteristics lend themselves easily
to dramatic representation.  The _Lion_ is not only large-hearted but
broad-minded.  It is good to have an opportunity of presenting to the
children a lion who has other qualities than physical beauty or
extraordinary strength (here again there will lurk the danger of
alarming the nature students).  He is even more interesting than
the magnanimous lion whom we have sometimes been privileged to meet
in fiction.

Of course we grown-up people know that the _Lion_ is the Buddha in
disguise.  Children will not be able to realize this, nor is it the
least necessary that they should do so; but they will grasp the idea
that he is a very unusual lion, not to be met with in Paul Du Chaillu's
adventures, still less in the quasi-domestic atmosphere of the
Zoological Gardens.  If our presentation is life-like and sincere,
we shall convey all we intend to the child.  This is part of what
I call the atmosphere of the story, which, as in a photograph, can
only be obtained by long exposure, that is to say, in the case of
preparation we must bestow much reflection and sympathy.

Because these two animals are the chief characters, they must be
painted in fainter colors--they should be suggested rather than
presented in detail.  It might be well to give a definite gesture to
the _Elephant_--say, a characteristic movement with his trunk--a scowl
to the _Tiger_, a supercilious and enigmatic smile to the _Camel_
(suggested by Kipling's wonderful creation).  But if a gesture were
given to each of the animals, the effect would become monotonous, and
the minor characters would crowd the foreground of the picture, impeding
the action and leaving little to the imagination of the audience.  I
personally have found it effective to repeat the gestures of these
animals as they are leaving the stage, but less markedly, as it is
only a form of reminder.

Now, what is the impression we wish to leave on the mind of the child,
apart from the dramatic joy and interest we have endeavored to provide?
Surely it is that he may realize the danger of a panic.  One method of
doing this (alas! a favorite one still) is to say at the end of the
story: "Now, children, what do we learn from this?"  Of this method Lord
Morley has said: "It is a commonplace to the wise, and an everlasting
puzzle to the foolish, that direct inculcation of morals should
invariably prove so powerless an instrument, so futile a method."

If this direct method were really effective, we might as well put the
little drama aside, and say plainly: "It is foolish to be nervous; it
is dangerous to make loose statements.  Large-minded people understand
things better than those who are narrow-minded."

All these abstract statements would be as true and as tiresome as the
multiplication table.  The child might or might not fix them in his
mind, but he would not act upon them.

But, put all the artistic warmth of which you are capable into the
presentation of the story, and, without one word of comment from you,
the children will feel the dramatic intensity of that vast concourse
of animals brought together by the feeble utterance of one irresponsible
little hare.  Let them feel the dignity and calm of the _Lion_, which
accounts for his authority; his tender but firm treatment of the foolish
little _Hare_; and listen to the glorious finale when all the animals
retire convinced of their folly; and you will find that you have adopted
the same method as the _Lion_ (who must have been an unconscious
follower of Froebel), and that there is nothing to add to the picture.

QUESTION VI:  _Is it wise to talk over a story with children and to
encourage them in the habit of asking questions about it_?

At the time, no!  The effect produced is to be by dramatic means, and
this would be destroyed any attempt at analysis by means of questions.

The medium that has been used in the telling of the story is (or ought
to be) a purely artistic one which will reach the child through the
medium of the emotions: the appeal to the intellect or the reason is
a different method, which must be used at a different time.  When you
are enjoying the fragrance of a flower or the beauty of its color, it
is not the moment to be reminded of its botanical classification, just
as in the botany lesson it would be somewhat irrelevant to talk of the
part that flowers play in the happiness of life.

From a practical point of view, it is not wise to encourage questions
on the part of the children, because they are apt to disturb the
atmosphere by bringing in entirely irrelevant matter, so that in
looking back on the telling of the story, the child often remembers
the irrelevant conversation to the exclusion of the dramatic interest
of the story itself.[47]

I remember once making what I considered at the time a most effective
appeal to some children who had been listening to the Story of the
Little Tin Soldier, and, unable to refrain from the cheap method of
questioning, of which I have now recognized the futility, I asked:
"Don't you think it was nice of the little dancer to rush down into
the fire to join the brave little soldier?"  "Well," said a prosaic
little lad of six: "_I_ thought the draught carried her down."

QUESTION VII:  _Is it wise to call upon children to repeat the story
as soon as it has been told_?

My answer here is decidedly in the negative.

While fully appreciating the modern idea of children expressing
themselves, I very much deprecate this so-called self-expression
taking the form of mere reproduction.  I have dealt with this matter
in detail in another portion of my book.  This is one of the occasions
when children should be taking in, not giving out (even the most
fanatic of moderns must agree that there _are_ such moments).

When, after much careful preparation, an expert has told a story to
the best of his ability, to encourage the children to reproduce this
story with their imperfect vocabulary and with no special gift of
speech (I am always alluding to the normal group of children) is as
futile as if, after the performance of a musical piece by a great
artist, some individual member of the audience were to be called upon
to give _his_ rendering of the original rendering.  The result
would be that the musical joy of the audience would be completely
destroyed and the performer himself would share in the loss.[48]

I have always maintained that five minutes of complete silence after
the story would do more to fix the impression on the mind of the child
than any amount of attempt at reproducing it.  The general statement
made in Dr. Montessor's wonderful chapter on "Silence" would seem to
me of special application to the moments following on the telling of
a story.

QUESTION VIII:  _Should children be encouraged to illustrate the
stories which they have heard_?

As a dramatic interest to the teachers and the children, I think it
is a very praiseworthy experiment, if used somewhat sparingly.  But
I seriously doubt whether these illustrations in any way indicate the
impression made on the mind of the child.  It is the same question
that arises when that child is called upon, or expresses a wish, to
reproduce the story in his own words: the unfamiliar medium in both
instances makes it almost impossible for the child to convey his
meaning, unless he is an artist in the one case or he has real
literary power of expression in the other.

My own impression, confirmed by many teachers who have made the
experiment, is that a certain amount of disappointment is mixed
up with the daring joy in the attempt, simply because the children
can get nowhere near the ideal which has presented itself to the
"inner eye."

I remember a kindergarten teacher saying that on one occasion, when
she had told to the class a thrilling story of a knight, one of the
children immediately asked for permission to draw a picture of him on
the blackboard.  So spontaneous a request could not, of course, be
refused, and, full of assurance, the would-be artist began to give his
impression of the knight's appearance.  When the picture was finished,
the child stood back for a moment to judge for himself of the result.
He put down the chalk and said sadly: "And I _thought_ he was so

Nevertheless, except for the drawback of the other children seeing a
picture which might be inferior to their own mental vision, I should
quite approve of such experiments, as long as they are not taken as
literal data of what the children have really received.  It would,
however, be better not to have the picture drawn on a blackboard but
at the child's private desk, to be seen by the teacher and not, unless
the picture were exceptionally good, to be shown to the other children.

One of the best effects of such an experiment would be to show a child
how difficult it is to give the impression one wishes to record, and
which would enable him later on to appreciate the beauty of such work
in the hands of a finished artist.

I can anticipate the jeers with which such remarks would be received
by the Futurist School, but, according to their own theory, I ought to
be allowed to express the matter _as I see it_, however faulty the
vision may appear to them.[49]

QUESTION IX:  _In what way can the dramatic method of story-telling
be used in ordinary class teaching_?

This is too large a question to answer fully in so general a survey as
this work, but I should like to give one or two examples as to how the
element of story-telling could be introduced.

I have always thought that the only way in which we could make either
a history or literature lesson live, so as to take a real hold on the
mind of the pupil at any age, would be that, instead of offering lists
of events, crowded into the fictitious area of one reign, one should
take a single event, say in one lesson out of five, and give it in the
most splendid language and in the most dramatic manner.

To come to a concrete example: Supposing that one is talking to the
class of Greece, either in connection with its history, its geography
or its literature, could any mere accumulation of facts give a clearer
idea of the life of the people than a dramatically told story from
Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles or Euripides?

What in the history of Iceland could give any more graphic idea of
the whole character of the life and customs of the inhabitants than
one of the famous sagas, such as "The Burning of Njal" or "The Death
of Gunnar"?

In teaching the history of Spain, what could make the pupils understand
better the spirit of knight-errantry, its faults and its qualities, than
a recital from "Don Quixote" or from the tale of "The Cid"?

In a word, the stories must appeal so vividly to the imagination that
they will light up the whole period of history which we wish them to
illustrate and keep it alive in the memory for all time.

But quite apart from the dramatic presentation of history, there are
very great possibilities for the short story introduced into the
portrait of some great personage, insignificant in itself, but which
throws a sudden sidelight on his character, showing the mind behind
the actual deeds; this is what I mean by using the dramatic method.

To take a concrete example: Suppose, in giving an account of the life
of Napoleon, after enlarging upon his campaigns, his European policy,
his indomitable will, one were suddenly to give an idea of his many-
sidedness by relating how he actually found time to compile a catechism
which was used for some years in the elementary schools of France.  What
sidelights might be thrown in this way on such characters as Nero,
Caesar, Henry VIII, Luther, Goethe!

To take one example from these: Instead of making the whole career of
Henry VIII center round the fact that he was a much-married man, could
we not present his artistic side and speak of his charming contributions
to music?

So much for the history lessons.  But could not the dramatic form and
interest be introduced into our geography lessons?  Think of the
romance of the Panama Canal, the position of Constantinople, as
affecting the history of Europe, the shape of Greece, England as an
island, the position of Thibet, the interior of Africa--to what
wonderful story-telling would these themes lend themselves!

QUESTION X:  _Which should predominate in the story--the dramatic or
the poetic element_?

This is a much debated point.  From experience I have come to the
conclusion that, though both should be found in the whole range of
stories, the dramatic element should prevail from the very nature of
the presentation, and also because it reaches the larger number of
children, at least of normal children.  Almost every child is dramatic,
in the sense that it loves action (not necessarily an action in which
it has to bear a part).  It is the exceptional child who is reached by
the poetic side, and just as on the stage the action must be quicker
and more concentrated than in a poem--than even a dramatic poem--the
poetical side, which must be painted in more delicate colors or
presented in less obvious form, often escapes them.  Of course, the
very reason why we must include the poetical element is that it is
an unexpressed need of most children.  Their need of the dramatic is
more loudly proclaimed and more easily satisfied.

QUESTION XI:  _What is the educational value of humor in the stories
told to our children_?

My answer to this is that humor means so much more than is usually
understood by this term.  So many people seem to think that to have a
sense of humor is merely to be tickled by a funny element in a story.
It surely means something much more subtle than this.  It is Thackeray
who says: "If humor only meant laughter, but the humorist profess to
awaken and direct your love, your pity, your kindness, your scorn for
untruth and pretension, your tenderness for the weak, the poor, the
oppressed, the unhappy."  So that, in our stories, the introduction of
humor should not merely depend on the doubtful amusement that follows
on a sense of incongruity.  It should inculcate a sense of proportion
brought about by an effort of imagination; it shows a child its real
position in the universe and prevents hasty conclusions.  It shortens
the period of joy in horse-play and practical jokes.  It brings about
a clearer perception of all situations, enabling the child to get the
point of view of another person.  It is the first instilling of
philosophy into the mind of a child and prevents much suffering later
on when the blows of life fall upon him; for a sense of humor teaches
us at an early age not to expect too much: and this philosophy can be
developed with cynicism or pessimism, without even destroying the
_joie de vivre_.

One cannot, however, sufficiently emphasize the fact that these far-
reaching results can be brought about only by humor quite distinct
from the broader fun and hilarity which have also their use in an
educational scheme.

From my own experience, I have learned that development of humor is
with most children extremely slow.  It _is_ quite natural and quite
right that at first pure fun, obvious situations and elementary jokes
should please them, but we can very gradually appeal to something more
subtle, and if I were asked what story would educate our children most
thoroughly in appreciation of humor, I should say that "Alice in
Wonderland" was the most effective.

What better object lesson could be given in humorous form of taking
somebody else's point of view than that given to _Alice_ by the
_Mock Turtle_ in speaking of the _Whiting_--

"You know what they're like?"

"I believe so," said Alice.  "They have their tails in their mouths--
and they're all over crumbs."

"You're wrong about the crumbs," said the Mock Turtle.  "Crumbs would
all wash off in the sea."

Or when _Alice_ is speaking to the _Mouse_ of her cat, and says:

"She is such a dear quiet thing--and a capital one for catching mice---"
and then suddenly realizes the point of view of the _Mouse_, who was
"trembling down to the end of its tail."

Then, as an instance of how a lack of humor leads to illogical
conclusions (a condition common to most children), we have the
conversation between _Alice_ and the _Pigeon_:

ALICE:  "But little girls eat quite as  much as serpents, you know."

PIGEON:  "I don't believe it.  But if they do, why then they're a kind
of serpent, that's all I can say."

Then, as an instance of how a sense of humor would prevent too much

"I have a right to think," said Alice sharply.

"Just about as much right," said the Duchess, "as pigs have to fly."


  The following stories do not form a comprehensive selection;
  this I have endeavored to give in the List of Stories.  The
  stories given are chiefly taken from my own repertoire, and
  have been so constantly asked by teachers that I am glad of
  an opportunity of presenting them in full.

  I regret that I have been unable to furnish many of the stories
  I consider good for narration, but the difficulty of obtaining
  permission has deterred me from further efforts  in this direction.


Then Sturla got ready to sail away with the king, and his name was put
on the list.  He went on board before many men had come; he had a
sleeping bag and a travelling chest, and took his place on the foredeck.
A little later the king came on to the quay, and a company of men with
him.  Sturla rose and bowed, and bade the king "hail," but the king
answered nothing, and went aft along the ship to the quarter-deck.
They sailed that day to go south along the coast.  But in the evening
when men unpacked their provisions Sturla sat still, and no one invited
him to mess.  Then a servant of the king's came and asked Sturla if he
had any meat and drink.  Sturla said "NO."  Then the king's servant went
to the king and spoke with him, out of hearing, and then went forward to
Sturla and said: "You shall go to mess with Thorir Mouth and Erlend
Maw."  They took him into their mess, but rather stiffly.  When men were
turning in to sleep, a sailor of the king's asked who should tell them
stories.  There was little answer.  Then said he: "Sturla the Icelander,
will you tell stories?"  "As you will," said Sturla.  So he told them
the story of Huld, better and fuller than any one there had ever heard
it told before.  Then many men pushed forward to the fore-deck, wanting
to hear as clearly as might be, and there was a great crowd.  The queen
asked: "What is that crowd on deck there?"  A man answered: "The men are
listening to the story that the Icelander tells."  "What story is that?"
said she.  He answers: "It is about a great troll-wife, and it is a good
story and well told."  The king bade her pay no heed to that, and go to
sleep.  She says: "I think this Icelander must be a good fellow, and
less to blame than he is reported."  The King was silent.

So the night passed, and the next morning there was no wind for them,
and the king's ship lay in the same place.  Later in the day, when men
sat at their drink, the king sent dishes from his table to Sturla.
Sturla's messmates were pleased with this:  "You bring better luck
than we thought, if this sort of thing goes on."  After dinner the
queen sent for Sturla and asked him to come to her and bring the
troll-wife story along with him.  So Sturla went aft to the quarter-
deck, and greeted the king and queen.  The king answered little, the
queen well and cheerfully.  She asked him to tell the same story he
had told overnight.  He did so, for a great part of the day.  When he
finished, the queen thanked him, and many others besides, and made him
out in their minds to be a learned man and sensible.  But the king
said nothing; only he smiled a little.  Sturla thought he saw that the
king's whole frame of mind was brighter than the day before.  So he
said to the king that he had made a poem about him, and another about
his father: "I would gladly get a hearing for them."  The queen said:
"Let him recite his poem; I am told that he is the best of poets, and
his poem will be excellent."  The king bade him say on, if he would,
and repeat the poem he professed to have made about him.  Sturla
chanted it to the end.  The queen said: "To my mind that is a good
poem."  The king said to her: "Can you follow the poem so clearly?"
"I would be fain to have you think so, Sir," said the queen.  The king
said: "I have learned that Sturla is good at verses."  Sturla took his
leave of the king and queen and went to his place.  There was no
sailing for the king all that day.  In the evening before he went to
bed he sent for Sturla.  And when he came he greeted the king and
said: "What will you have me to do, Sir?"  The king called for a
silver goblet full of wine, and drank some and gave it to Sturla and
said: "A health to a friend in wine!" (_Vin skal til vinar drekka_).
Sturla said: "God be praised for it!"  "Even so," says the king, "and
now I wish you to say the poem you have made about my father."  Sturla
repeated it: and when it was finished men praised it much and most of
all the queen.  The king said: "To my thinking, you are a better reciter
than the Pope."
                Sturlunga Saga, vol.ii, p.269.


In the grey beginnings of the world, or ever the flower of justice
had rooted in the heart, there lived among the daughters of men two
children, sisters, of one house.

In childhood did they leap and climb and swim with the men children of
their race, and were nurtured on the same stories of gods and heroes.

In maidenhood they could do all that a maiden might and more--delve
could they no less than spin, hunt no less than weave, brew pottage and
helm ships, wake the harp and tell the stars, face all danger and laugh
at all pain.

Joyous in toil-time and rest-time were they as the days and years
of their youth came and went.  Death had spared their house, and
unhappiness knew they  none.  Yet often as at falling day they sat
before sleep round the hearth of red fire, listening with the
household to the brave songs of gods and heroes, there would surely
creep into their hearts a shadow--the thought that whatever the
years of their lives, and whatever the generous deeds, there would
for them, as women, be no escape at the last from the dire mists of
Hela, the fogland beyond the grave for all such as die not in battle;
no escape for them from Hela, and no place for ever for them or for
their kind among the glory-crowned, sword-shriven heroes of echoing

That shadow had first fallen in their lusty childhood, had slowly
gathered darkness through the overflowing days of maidenhood, and
now, in the strong tide of full womanhood, often lay upon their
future as the moon Odin's wrath lies upon the sun.

But stout were they to face danger and laugh at pain, and for all the
shadow upon their hope they lived brave and songful days--the one a
homekeeper and in her turn a mother of men: the other unhusbanded,
but gentle to ignorance and sickness and sorrow through the width
and length of the land.

And thus, facing life fearlessly and ever with a smile, those two
women lived even unto extreme old age, unto the one's children's
children's children, labouring truly unto the end and keeping strong
hearts against the dread day of Hela, and the fate-locked gates
of Valhalla.

But at the end a wonder.

As these sisters looked their last upon the sun, the one in the
ancestral homestead under the eyes of love, the other in a distant
land among strange faces, behold the wind of Thor, and out of the deep
of heaven the white horses of Odin, All-Father, bearing Valkyrie,
shining messengers of Valhalla.  And those two world-worn women,
faithful in all their lives, were caught up in death in divine arms
and borne far from the fogs of Hela to golden thrones among the battle
heroes, upon which the Nornir, sitting at the loom of life, had from
all eternity graven their names.

And from that hour have the gates of Valhalla been thrown wide to all
faithful endeavour whether of man or woman.
                                             JOHN RUSSELL
                                  Headmaster of the King Alfred School.


Christopher was of the lineage of the Canaaneans and he was of a right
great stature, and had a terrible and fearful cheer and countenance.
And he was twelve cubits of length.  And, as it is read in some
histories, when he served and dwelled with the king of Canaaneans, it
came in his mind that he would seek the greatest prince that was in
the world and him he would serve and obey.

And so far he went that he came to a right great king, of whom the
renown generally was that he was the greatest of the world.  And when
the king saw him received him into his service and made him to dwell
in his court.

Upon a time a minstrel sung tofore him a song in which he named oft
the devil.  And the king which was a Christian man, when he heard him
name the devil, made anon the sign of the cross in his visage.  And
when Christopher saw that, he had great marvel what sign it was and
wherefore the king made it.  And he demanded it of him.  And because
the king would not say, he said, "If thou tell me not, I shall no
longer dwell with thee."  And then the king told to him saying,
"Alway when I hear the devil named, I fear that he should have power
over me, and I garnish me with this sign that he grieve not nor annoy
me."  Then Christopher said to him, "Thou doubtest the devil that he
hurt thee not?  Then is the devil more mighty and greater than thou
art.  I am then deceived of my hope and purpose; for I supposed that I
had found the most mighty and the most greatest lord of the world.
But I commend thee to God, for I will go seek him to be my lord and I
his servant."

And then he departed from this king and hasted him to seek the devil.
And as he went by a great desert he saw a great company of knights.
Of which a knight cruel and horrible came to him and demanded whither
he went.  And Christopher answered to him and said, "I go to seek the
devil for to be my master."  And he said, "I am he that thou seekest."
And then Christopher was glad and bound himself to be his servant
perpetual, and took him for his master and lord.

And as they went together by a common way, they found there a cross
erect and standing.  And anon as the devil saw the cross, he was
afeard and fled, and left the right way and brought Christopher about
by a sharp desert, and after, when they were past the cross, he
brought him to the highway that they had left.  And when Christopher
saw that, he marvelled and demanded whereof he doubted that he had
left high and fair way and had gone so far about by so hard desert.
And the devil would not tell him in no wise.  Then Christopher said to
him, "If thou wilt not tell me I shall anon depart from thee and shall
serve thee no more."  Therefore the devil was constrained to tell him,
and said "There was a man called Christ which was hanged on the cross,
and when I see his sign, I am sore afeard and flee from it
wheresomever I find it."  To whom Christopher said, "Then he is
greater and more mightier than thou, when thou art afraid of his sign.
And I see well that I have laboured in vain since I have not founden
the greatest lord of all the earth.  And I will serve thee no longer.
Go thy way then: for I will go seek Jesus Christ."

And when he had long sought and demanded where he should find Christ,
at last he came into a great desert to an hermit that dwelled there.
And this hermit preached to him of Jesus Christ and informed him in
the faith diligently.  And he said to him, "This king whom thou
desirest to serve, requireth this service that thou must oft fast."
And Christopher said to him, "Require of me some other thing and I
shall do it.  For that which thou requirest I may not do."  And the
hermit said, "Thou must then wake and make many prayers."  And
Christopher said to him, "I wot not what it is.  I may do no such
thing."  And then the hermit said unto him, "Knowest thou such a river
in which many be perished and lost?"  To whom Christopher said, "I
know it well."  Then said the hermit, "Because thou art noble and high
of stature and strong in thy members, thou shalt be resident by that
river and shalt bear over all them that shall pass there.  Which shall
be a thing right convenable to Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom thou
desirest to serve, and I hope He shall shew Himself to thee."  Then
said Christopher, "Certes, this service may I well do, and I promise
to Him for to do it."

Then went Christopher to this river, and made there his habitation for
him.  And he bare a great pole in his hand instead of a staff, by
which he sustained him in the water; and bare over all manner of
people without ceasing.  And there he abode, thus doing, many days.

And on a time, as he slept in his lodge, he heard the voice of a child
which called him and said, "Christopher, come out and bear me over."
Then he awoke and went out; but he found no man.  And when he was
again in his house, he heard the same voice, and he ran out and found
no body.  The third time he was called, and came thither, and found a
child beside the rivage of the river: which prayed him goodly to bear
him over the water.  And then Christopher lift up the child on his
shoulders and took his staff and entered in to the river for to pass.
And the water of the river arose and swelled more and more.  And the
child was heavy as lead.  And always as he went further the water
increased and grew more, and the child more and more waxed heavy: in
so much that Christopher had great anguish and feared to be drowned.
And when he was escaped with great pain and passed the water, and set
the child aground, he said to the child, "Child, thou hast put me in
great peril.  Thou weighest almost as I had had all the world upon me.
I might bear no greater burden."  And the child answered, "Christopher,
marvel thou no thing.  For thou hast not only borne all the world upon
thee; but thou hast borne Him that created and made the world upon thy
shoulders.  I am Jesus Christ, the king to whom thou servest in this
work.  And that thou mayest know that I say to thee truth, set thy staff
in the earth by the house, and thou shalt see to-morrow that it shall
bear flowers and fruit."  And anon he vanished from his eyes.

And then Christopher set his staff in the earth and when he arose on
the morrow, he found his staff like a palm-tree bearing flowers,
leaves and dates.


Once upon a time a Welshman was walking on London Bridge, staring at
the traffic and wondering why there were so many kites hovering about.
He had come to London, after many adventures with thieves and
highwaymen, which need not be related here, in charge of a herd of
black Welsh cattle.  He had sold them with much profit, and with
jingling gold in his pocket he was going about to see the sights of
the city.

He was carrying a hazel staff in his hand, for you must know that a
good staff is as necessary to a drover as teeth are to his dogs.  He
stood still to gaze at some wares in a shop (for at that time London
Bridge was shops from beginning to end), when he noticed that a man
was looking at his stick with a long fixed look.  The man after a
while came to him and asked him where he came from.

"I come from my own country," said the Welshman, rather surlily, for
he could not see what business the man had to ask such a question.

"Do not take it amiss," said the stranger: "if you will only answer my
questions, and take my advice, it will be of greater benefit to you
than you imagine.  Do you remember where you cut that stick?"

The Welshman was still suspicious, and said: "What does it matter where
I cut it?"

"It matters," said the questioner, "because there is a treasure hidden
near the spot where you cut that stick.  If you can remember the place
and conduct me to it, I will put you in possession of great riches."

The Welshman now understood he had to deal with a sorcerer, and he was
greatly perplexed as to what to do.  On the one hand, he was tempted
by the prospect of wealth; on the other hand, he knew that the
sorcerer must have derived his knowledge from devils, and he feared to
have anything to do with the powers of darkness.  The cunning man
strove hard to persuade him, and at length made him promise to shew
the place where he cut his hazel staff.

The Welshman and the magician journeyed together to Wales.  They went
to Craig y Dinas, the Rock of the Fortress, at the head of the Neath
valley, near Pont Nedd Fechan, and the Welshman, pointing to the stock
or root of an old hazel, said: "This is where I cut my stick."

"Let us dig," said the sorcerer.  They digged until they came to a
broad, flat stone.  Prying this up, they found some steps leading
downwards.  They went down the steps and along a narrow passage until
they came to a door.  "Are you brave?" asked the sorcerer; "will you
come in with me?"

"I will," said the Welshman, his curiosity getting the better of
his fear.

They opened the door, and a great cave opened out before them.  There
was a faint red light in the cave, and they could see everything.  The
first thing they came to was a bell.

"Do not touch that bell," said the sorcerer, "or it will be all over
with us both."

As they went further in, the Welshman saw that the place was not
empty. There were soldiers lying down asleep, thousands of them, as
far as ever the eye could see.  Each one was clad in bright armour,
the steel helmet of each was on his head, the shining shield of each
was on his arm, the sword of each was near his hand, each had his
spear stuck in the ground near him, and each and all were asleep.

In the midst of the cave was a great round table at which sat warriors
whose noble features and richly-dight armour proclaimed that they were
not as the roll of common men.

Each of these, too, had his head bent down in sleep.  On a golden
throne on the further side of the round table was a king of gigantic
stature and august presence.  In his hand, held below the hilt, was a
mighty sword with scabbard and haft of gold studded with gleaming
gems; on his head was a crown set with precious stones which flashed
and glinted like so many points of fire.  Sleep had set its seal on
his eyelids also.

"Are they asleep?" asked the Welshman, hardly believing his own eyes.

"Yes, each and all of them," answered the sorcerer.  "But, if you
touch yonder bell, they will all awake."

"How long have they been asleep?"

"For over a thousand years."

"Who are they?"

"Arthur's warriors, waiting for the time to come when they shall
destroy all the enemy of the Cymry and re-possess the strand of
Britain, establishing their own king once more at Caer Lleon."

"Who are these sitting at the round table?"

"These are Arthur's knights--Owain, the son of Urien; Cai, the
son of Cynyr; Gnalchmai, the son of Gwyar; Peredir, the son of Efrawe;
Geraint, the son of Erbin; Ciernay, the son of Celhddon; Edeyrn, the
son of Nudd; Cymri, the son of Clydno."

"And on the golden throne?" broke in the Welshman.

"Is Arthur himself, with his sword Excalibur in his hand," replied
the sorcerer.

Impatient by this time at the Welshman's questions, the sorcerer
hastened to a great heap of yellow gold on the floor of the cave.  He
took up as much as he could carry, and bade his companion do the same.
"It is time for us to go," he then said, and he led the way towards
the door by which they had entered.

But the Welshman was fascinated by the sight of the countless soldiers
in their glittering arms--all asleep.

"How I should like to see them all awaking!" he said to himself.  "I
will touch the bell--I _must_ see them all arising from their sleep."

When they came to the bell, he struck it until it rang through the
whole place.  As soon as it rang, lo! the thousands of warriors leapt
to their feet and the ground beneath them shook with the sound of the
steel arms.  And a great voice came from their midst: "Who rang the
bell?  Has the day come?"

The sorcerer was so much frightened that he shook like an aspen leaf.
He shouted in answer: "No, the day has not come.  Sleep on."

The mighty host was all in motion, and the Welshman's eyes were dazzled
as he looked at the bright steel arms which illumined the cave as with
the light of myriad flames of fire.

"Arthur," said the voice again, "awake; the bell has rung, the day is
breaking.  Awake, Arthur the Great."

"No," shouted the sorcerer, "it is still night.  Sleep on, Arthur
the Great."

A sound came from the throne.  Arthur was standing, and the jewels in
his crown shone like bright stars above the countless throng.  His
voice was strong and sweet like the sound of many waters, and he said:

"My warriors, the day has not come when the Black Eagle and the Golden
Eagle shall go to war.  It is only a seeker after gold who has rung
the bell.  Sleep on, my warriors; the morn of Wales has not yet dawned."

A peaceful sound like the distant sigh of the sea came over the cave,
and in a trice the soldiers were all asleep again.  The sorcerer
hurried the Welshman out of the cave, moved the stone back to its
place and vanished.

Many a time did the Welshman try to find his way into the cave again,
but though he dug over every inch of the hill, he has never again
found the entrance to Arthur's Cave.

                     From "THE WELSH FAIRY BOOK," by W. JENKYN THOMAS.
                                   published by FISHER UNWIN.


There was once a stone-cutter whose name was Hafiz, and all day long
he chipped, chipped, chipped at his block.  And often he grew very
weary of his task and he would say to himself impatiently, "Why should
I not have pleasure and amusement as other folk have?"

One day, when the sun was very hot and when he felt specially weary,
he suddenly heard the sound of many feet, and, looking up from his
work, he saw a great procession coming his way.  It was the King,
mounted on a splendid charger, all his soldiers to the right, in their
shining armour, and the servants to the left, dressed in gorgeous
clothing, ready to do his behests.

And Hafiz said: "How splendid to be a King!  If only I could be a
King, if only for ten minutes, so that I might know what it feels
like!"  And then, even as he spoke, he seemed to be dreaming, and
in his dream he sang this little song:

                "Ah me!  Ah me!
                If Hafiz only the King could be!"[51]

And then a voice from the air around seemed to answer him and to say:

                "Be thou the King."

And Hafiz became the King, and he it was that sat on the splendid
charger, and they were his soldiers to the right and his servants to
the left.  And Hafiz said: "I am King, and there is no one stronger
in the whole world than I."

But soon, in spite of the golden canopy over his head, Hafiz began to
feel the terrible heat of the rays of the sun, and soon he noticed
that the soldiers and servants were weary, that his horse drooped, and
that he, Hafiz, was overcome, and he said angrily: "What!  Is there
something stronger in the world than a King?"  And, almost without
knowing it, he again sang his song more boldly than the first time:

                "Ah me!  Ah me!
                If Hafiz only the Sun could be!"

And the Voice answered:

                "Be thou the Sun."

And Hafiz became the Sun, and shone down upon the Earth, but, because
he did not know how to shine very wisely, he shone very fiercely, so
that the crops dried up, and folk grew sick and died.  And then there
arose from the East a little cloud which slipped between Hafiz and the
Earth, so that he could no longer shine down upon it, and he said:
"Is there something stronger in the world than the Sun?"

                "Ah me!  Ah me!
                If Hafiz only the Cloud could be!"

                "Be thou the Cloud.

And Hafiz became the Cloud, and rained down water upon the Earth, but,
because he did not know how to do so wisely, there fell so much rain
that all the little rivulets became great rivers, and all the great
rivers overflowed their banks, and carried everything before them in
swift torrent--all except one great rock which stood unmoved.  And Hafiz
said: "Is there something stronger than the Cloud?"

                "Ah me!  Ah me!
                If Hafiz only the Rock could be!"

And the Voice said:

                "Be thou the Rock."

And Hafiz became the Rock, and the Cloud disappeared and the waters
went down.

And Hafiz the Rock, saw coming towards him a man--he could not see the
face.  As the man approached he suddenly raised a hammer and struck
Hafiz, so that he felt it through all his stony body.  And Hafiz said:
"Is there something stronger in the world than the Rock?

                "Ah me!  Ah me!
                If Hafiz only that Man might be!"

And the Voice said:

                "Be thou---Thyself."

And Hafiz seized the hammer and said:

"The Sun was stronger than the King, the Cloud was stronger than the
sun, the Rock was stronger then the Cloud, but I, Hafiz, was stronger
than all."
             Adapted and arranged by the Author.

TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH. (From the Russian)

Long long ago there lived a King who was such a mighty monarch that
whenever he sneezed everyone in the whole country had to say, "To your
good health!"  Everyone said it except the Shepherd with the bright
blue eyes, and he would not say it.

The King heard of this and was very angry, and sent for the Shepherd
to appear before him.

The Shepherd came and stood before the throne, where the King sat
looking very grand and powerful.  But however grand or powerful he
might be, the Shepherd did not feel a bit afraid of him.

"Say at once 'To my good health'!" cried the King.

"To my good health," replied the Shepherd.

"To mine--to _mine_, you rascal, you vagabond!" stormed the King.

"To mine, to mine, Your Majesty," was the answer.

"But to _mine_--to my own!" roared the King, and beat on his
breast in a rage.

"Well, yes; to mine, of course, to my own," cried the Shepherd, and
gently tapped his breast.

The King was beside himself with fury and did not know what to do,
when the Lord chamberlain interfered:

"Say at once--say this very moment, 'To your health, Your Majesty,'
for if you don't say it you will lose your life," he whispered.

"No, I won't say it tell I get the Princess for my wife," was the
Shepherd's answer.

Now the Princess was sitting on a little throne beside the King, her
father, and she look as sweet and lovely as a little golden dove.
When she heard what the Shepherd said, she could not help laughing,
for there is no denying the fact that this young shepherd with the
blue eyes pleased her very much; indeed, he pleased her better than
any king's son she had yet seen.

But the King was not as pleasant as his daughter, and gave orders to
throw the Shepherd into the white bear's pit.

The guards led him away and thrust him into the pit with the white
bear, who had had nothing to eat for two days and was very hungry.
The door of the pit was hardly closed when the bear rushed at the
shepherd; but when it saw his eyes it was so frightened that it was
ready to eat itself.  It shrank away into a corner and gazed at him
from there, and in spite of being so famished, did not dare to touch
him, but sucked its own paws from sheer hunger.  The Shepherd felt
that if he once removed his eyes off the beast he was a dead man, and
in order to keep himself awake he made songs and sang them, and so the
night went by.

Next morning the Lord Chamberlain came to see the Shepherd's bones,
and was amazed to find him alive and well.  He led him to the King,
who fell into a furious passion, and said:

"Well, you have learned what it is to be very near death, and now will
you say, 'To my very good health'?"

But the Shepherd answered:

"I am not afraid of ten deaths!  I will only say it if I may have the
Princess for my wife."

"Then go to your death," cried the King, and ordered him to be thrown
into the den with the wild boars.

The wild boars had not been fed for a week, and when the Shepherd
was thrust into their den they rushed at him to tear him to pieces.
But the Shepherd took a little flute out of the sleeve of his jacket,
and began to play a merry tune, on which the wild boars first of all
shrank shyly away, and then got up on their hind legs and danced
gaily.  The Shepherd would have given anything to be able to laugh,
they looked so funny; but he dared not stop playing, for he knew well
enough that the moment he stopped they would fall upon him and tear
him to pieces.  His eyes were of no use to him here, for he could not
have stared ten wild boars in the face at once; so he kept playing,
and the wild boars danced very slowly, as if in a minuet; then by
degrees he played faster and faster, till they could hardly twist and
turn quickly enough, and ended by all falling over each other in a
heap, quite exhausted and out of breath.

Then the Shepherd ventured to laugh at last; and he laughed so long
and so loud that when the Lord Chamberlain came early in the morning,
expecting to find only his bones, the tears were still running down
his cheeks from laughter.

As soon as the King was dressed the Shepherd was again brought before
him; but he was more angry than ever to think the wild boars had not
torn the man to bits, and he said:

"Well, you have learned what it feels to be near ten deaths, _now_ say
'To my good health'!"

But the shepherd broke in with:

"I do not fear a hundred deaths; and I will only say it if I may have
the Princess for my wife."

"Then go to a hundred deaths!" roared the King, and ordered the
Shepherd to be thrown down the deep vault of scythes.

The guards dragged him away to a dark dungeon, in the middle of which
was a deep well with sharp scythes all round it.  At the bottom of the
well was a little light by which one could see, if anyone was thrown
in, whether he had fallen to the bottom.

When the Shepherd was dragged to the dungeon he begged the guards to
leave him alone a little while that he might look down into the pit of
scythes; perhaps he might after all make up his mind to say, "To your
good health" to the King.

So the guards left him alone, and he stuck up his long stick near the
wall, hung his cloak round the stick and put his hat on the top.  He
also hung his knapsack up beside the cloak, so that it might seem to
have some body within it.  When this was done, he called out to the
guards and said that he had considered the matter, but after all he
could not make up his mind to say what the King wished.

The guards came in, threw the hat and cloak, knapsack and stick all
down in the well together, watched to see how they put out the light
at the bottom, and came away, thinking that now there was really an
end to the Shepherd.  But he had hidden in a dark corner, and was now
laughing to himself all the time.

Quite early next morning came the Lord Chamberlain with a lamp, and he
nearly fell backwards with surprise when he saw the Shepherd alive and
well.  He brought him to the King, whose fury was greater than ever,
but who cried:

"Well, now you have been near a hundred deaths; will you say, 'To your
good health'?"

But the Shepherd only gave the answer:

"I won't say it till the Princess is my wife."

"Perhaps, after all, you may do it for less," said the King, who saw
that there was no chance of making away with the shepherd; and he
ordered the state coach to be got ready; then he made the Shepherd get
in with him and sit beside him, and ordered the coachman to drive to
the silver wood.

When they reached it, he said:

"Do you see this silver wood?  Well, if you will say 'To your good
health,' I will give it to you."

The shepherd turned hot and cold by turns, but he still persisted:

"I will not say it till the Princess is my wife."

The King was much vexed; he drove further on till they came to a
splendid castle, all of gold, and then he said:

"Do you see this golden castle?  Well, I will give you that too, the
silver wood and the gold castle, if only you will say one thing to me:
'To your good health.'"

The Shepherd gaped and wondered, and was quite dazzled but he
still said:

"No, I will not say it till I have the Princess for my wife."

This time the King was overwhelmed with grief, and gave orders to
drive on to the diamond pond and there he tried once more:

"You shall have the all--all, if you will but say 'To your good

The Shepherd had to shut his staring eyes tight not to be dazzled with
the brilliant pond, but still he said:

"No, no; I will not say it till I have the Princess for my wife."

Then the King saw that all his efforts were useless, and that he might
as well give in; so he said:

"Well, well, it is all the same to me--I will give you my daughter to
wife; but then you really must say to me, 'To your good health.'"

"Of course I'll say it; why should I not say it?  It stands to reason
that I shall say it then."

At this the King was more delighted than anyone could have believed.
He made it known all through the country that there were going to be
great rejoicings, as the Princess was going to be married.  And
everyone rejoiced to think that the Princess who had refused so many
royal suitors, should have ended by falling in love with the staring-
eyed Shepherd.

There was such a wedding as had never been seen.  Everyone ate and
drank and danced.  Even the sick were feasted, and quite tiny new-born
children had presents given them.  But the greatest merrymaking was in
the King's palace; there the best bands played and the best food was
cooked.  A crowd of people sat down to table, and all was fun and

And when the groomsman, according to custom, brought in the great
boar's head on a big dish and placed it before the King, so that he
might carve it and give everyone a share, the savoury smell was so
strong that the King began to sneeze with all his might.

"To your very good health!" cried the Shepherd before anyone else, and
the King was so delighted that he did not regret having given him his

In time, when the old King died, the Shepherd succeeded him.  He made
a very good king, and never expected his people to wish him well
against their wills: but, all the same, everyone did wish him well,
because they loved him.


There was once a cock who grew so dreadfully proud that he would have
nothing to say to anybody.  He left his house, it being far beneath
his dignity to have any trammel of that sort in his life, and as for
his former acquaintance, he cut them all.

One day, whilst walking about, he came to a few little sparks of fire
which were nearly dead.

They cried out to him: "Please fan us with your wings, and we shall
come to the full vigour of life again."

But he did not deign to answer, and as he was going away one of the
sparks said; "Ah well! we shall die, but our big brother, the Fire
will pay you out for this one day."

On another day he was airing himself in a meadow, showing himself off
in a very superb set of clothes.  A voice calling from somewhere said:
"Please be so good as to drop us into the water again."

He looked about and saw a few drops of water: they had got separated
from their friends in the river, and were pining away with grief.  "Oh!
please be so good as to drop us into the water again," they said; but,
without any answer, he drank up the drops.  He was too proud and a great
deal too big to talk to a poor little puddle of water; but the drops
said: "Our big brother, the Water, will one day take you in hand, you
proud and senseless creature."

Some days afterwards, during a great storm of rain, thunder and
lightning, the cock took shelter in a little empty cottage, and shut
to the door; and he thought: "I am clever; I am in comfort.  What
fools people are to top out in a storm like this!  What's that?"
thought he. "I never heard a sound like that before."

In a little while it grew much louder, and when a few minutes had
passed, it was a perfect howl.  "Oh!" thought he, "this will never
do.  I must stop it somehow.  But what is it I have to stop?"

He soon found it was the wind, shouting through the keyhole, so he
plugged up the keyhole with a bit of clay, and then the wind was able
to rest.  He was very tired with whistling so long through the keyhole,
and he said: "Now, if ever I have at any time a chance of doing a good
turn to that princely domestic fowl, I well do it."

Weeks afterwards, the cock looked in at a house door: he seldom went
there, because the miser to whom the house belonged almost starved
himself, and so, of course, there was nothing over for anybody else.

To his amazement the cock saw the miser bending over a pot on the
fire.  At last the old fellow turned round to get a spoon with which
to stir his pot, and then the cock, waking up, looked in and saw that
the miser was making oyster-soup, for he had found some oyster-shells
in an ash-pit, and to give the mixture a colour he had put in a few
halfpence in the pot.

The miser chanced to turn quickly round, while the cock was peering
into the saucepan, and, chuckling to himself, he said: "I shall have
chicken broth after all."

He tripped up the cock into the pot and shut the lid on.  The bird,
feeling warm, said: "Water, water, don't boil!"  But the water only
said: "You drank up my young brothers once: don't ask a favour of _me_."

Then he called out to the Fire: "Oh! kind Fire, don't boil the water."
But the fire replied: "You once let my young sisters die: you cannot
expect any mercy from me."  So he flared up and boiled the water all
the faster.

At last, when the cock got unpleasantly warm, he thought of the wind,
and called out: "Oh, Wind, come to my help!" and the Wind said: "Why,
there is that noble domestic bird in trouble.  I will help him."  So
he came down the chimney, blew out the fire, blew the lid off the pot,
and blew the cock far away into the air, and at last settled him on a
steeple, where the cock remained ever since.  And people say that the
halfpence which were in the pot when it was boiling have given him the
queer brown colour he still wears.
                                     From the Spanish.


There lived once, in Russia, a peasant and his wife who would have
been as happy as the day is long, if only God had given them a
little child.

One day, as they were watching the children playing in the snow, the
man said to the woman:

"Wife, shall we go out and help the children make a snowball?"

But the wife answered, smiling:

"Nay, husband, but since God has given us no little child, let us go
and fashion one from the snow."

And she put on her long blue cloak, and he put on his long brown
coat, and they went out onto the crisp snow, and began to fashion
the little child.

First, they made the feet and the legs and the little body, and then
they took a ball of snow for the head.  And at that moment a stranger
in a long cloak, with his hat well drawn over his face, passed that
way, and said: "Heaven help your undertaking!"

And the peasants crossed themselves and said:

"It is well to ask help from Heaven in all we do."

Then they went on fashioning the little child.  And they made two
holes for the eyes and formed the nose and the mouth.  And then--
wonder of wonders--the little child came alive, and breath came from
its nostrils and parted lips.

And the man was feared, and said to his wife: "What have we done?"

And the wife said: "This is the little girl child God has sent us."
And she gathered it into her arms, and the loose snow fell away from
the little creature.  Her hair became golden and her eyes were as blue
as forget-me-nots--but there was no colour in her cheeks, because
there was no blood in her veins.

In a few days she was like a child of three or four, and in a few
weeks she seemed to be the age of nine or ten, and ran about gaily
and prattled with the other children, who loved her so dearly, though
she was so different from them.

Only, happy as she was, and dearly as her parents loved her, there was
one terror in her life, and that was the sun.  And during the day she
would run and hide herself in cool, damp places away from the sunshine,
and this the other children could not understand.

As the Spring advanced and the days grew longer and warmed, little
Snegourka (for this was the name by which she was known) grew paler
and thinner, and her mother would often ask her: "What ails you, my
darling?" and Snegourka would say: "Nothing, Mother but I wish the sun
were not so bright."

One day, on St. John's Day, the children of the village came to fetch
her for a day in the woods, and they gathered flowers for her and did
all they to make her happy, but it was only when the great red sun
went down that Snegourka drew a deep breath of relief and spread her
little hands out to the cool evening air.  And the boys, glad at her
gladness, said: "Let us do something for Snegourka.  Let us light a
bonfire."  And Snegourka not knowing what a bonfire was, she clapped
her hands and was as merry and eager as they.  And she helped them
gather the sticks, and then they all stood round the pile and the boys
set fire to the wood.

Snegourka stood watching the flames and listening to the crackle of
the wood: and then suddenly they heard a tiny sound and looking at the
place where Snegourka had been standing, they saw nothing but a little
snow-drift fast melting.  And they called and called, "Snegourka!
Snegourka!" thinking she had run into the forest.  But there was no
answer.  Snegourka had disappeared from this life as mysteriously as
she had come into it.
                        Adapted by the author.


The river was so clear because it was the home of a very beautiful
Water Nixie who lived in it, and who sometimes could emerge from her
home and sit in woman's form upon the bank.  She had a dark green
smock upon her, the colour of the water-weed that waves as the water
wills it, deep, deep down.  And in her long wet hair were the white
flowers of the water-violet, and she held a reed mace in her hand.
Her face was very sad because she had lived a long life, and known so
many adventures, ever since she was a baby, which was nearly a hundred
years ago.  For creatures of the streams and trees live a long, long
time, and when they die they lose themselves in Nature.  That means
that they are forever clouds, or trees, or rivers, and never have the
form of men and women again.

All water creatures would live, if they might choose it, in the sea,
where they are born.  It is in the sea they float hand-in-hand upon
the crested billows, and sink deep in the great troughs of the strong
waves, that are as green as jade.  They follow the foam and lose
themselves in the wide ocean--

                "Where great whales come sailing by,
                 Sail and sail with unshut eye;"

and they store in the Sea King's palace the golden phosphor of the
sea.  But this Water Nixie had lost her happiness through not being
good.  She had forgotten many things that had been told her, and she
had done many things that grieved others.  She had stolen somebody
else's property--quite a large bundle of happiness--which belonged
elsewhere and not to her.  Happiness is generally made to fit the
person who owns it, just as do your shoes, or clothes; so that when
you take someone else's it's very little good to you, for it fits
badly, and you can never forget it isn't yours.

So what with one thing and another, this Water Nixie had to be punished,
and the Queen of the Sea had banished her from the waves.[52]

"You shall live for a long time in little places where you will weary
of yourself.  You will learn to know yourself so well that everything
you want will seem too good for you, and you will cease to claim it.
And so, in time, you shall get free."

Then the Nixie had to rise up and go away, and be shut into the
fastness of a very small space, according to the words of the Queen.
And this small space was--a tear.

At first she could hardly express her misery, and by thinking so
continuously of the wideness and savour of the sea, she brought a dash
of the brine with her, that makes the saltness of our tears.  She
became many times smaller than her own stature; even then, by standing
upright and spreading wide her arms, she touched with her finger-tips
the walls of her tiny crystal home.  How she longed that this tear
might be wept, and the walls of her prison shattered!  But the owner
of this tear was of a very proud nature, and she was so sad that tears
seemed to her in no wise to express her grief.

She was a Princess who lived in a country that was not her home.  What
were tears to her?  If she could have stood on the top of the very
highest hill and with both hands caught the great winds of heaven,
strong as they, and striven with them, perhaps she might have felt as
if she expressed all she knew.  Or, if she could have torn down the
stars from the heavens, or cast her mantle over the sun.  But tears!
Would they have helped to tell her sorrow?  You cry if you soil your
copybook, don't you? or pinch your hand?  So you may imagine the
Nixie's home was a safe one, and she turned round and round in the
captivity of that tear.

For twenty years she dwelt in that strong heart, till she grew to be
accustomed to her cell.  At last, in this wise came her release.

An old gipsy came one morning to the Castle and begged to see the
Princess.  She must see her, she cried.  And the Princess came down
the steps to meet her, and the gipsy gave her a small roll of paper,
but in the midst of the page was a picture, small as the picture
reflected in the iris of an eye.  The picture shewed a hill, with
one tree on the sky-line, and a long road wound round the hill.

And suddenly in the Princess' memory a voice spoke to her.  Many
sounds she heard, gathered up into one great silence, like the quiet
there is in forest spaces, when it is Summer and the green is deep:--

           "Blessed are they that have the home longing,
            For they shall go home."

Then the Princess gave the gipsy two golden pieces, and went up to
her chamber, and long that night she sat, looking out upon the sky.

She had no need to look upon the honeyed scroll, though she held it
closely.  Clearly before her did she see that small picture: the hill,
and the tree, and the winding road, imaged as if mirrored in the iris
of an eye.  And in her memory she was upon that road, and the hill
rose beside her, and the little tree was outlined, every twig of it,
against the sky.

And as she saw all this, an overwhelming love of the place arose in
her, a love of that certain bit of country that was so sharp and
strong, that it stung and swayed her, as she leaned on the window-sill.

And because the love of a country is one of the deepest loves you may
feel, the band of her control was loosened, and the tears came welling
to her eyes.  Up they brimmed and over in salty rush and follow,
dimming her eyes, magnifying everything, speared for a moment on her
eyelashes, then shimmering to their fall.  And at last came the tear
that held the disobedient Nixie.

Splish! it fell.  And she was free.

If you could have seen how pretty she looked standing there, about
the height of a grass-blade, wringing out her long wet hair.  Every
bit of moisture she wrung out of it, she was so glad to be quit of
that tear.  Then she raised her two arms above her in one delicious
stretch, and if you had been the size of a mustard-seed perhaps you
might have heard her laughing.  Then she grew a little, and grew and
grew, till she was about the height of a bluebell, and as slender
to see.

She stood looking at the splash on the window-sill that had been her
prison so long, and then with three steps of her bare feet, she
reached the jessamine that was growing by the window, and by this
she swung herself to the ground.

Away she sped over the dew-drenched meadows till she came to the running
brook, and with all her longing in her outstretched hands, she kneeled
down by the crooked willows among all the comfry and the loosestrife,
and the yellow irises and the reeds.

Then she slid into the wide, cool stream.

                                  From "THE CHILDREN AND THE PICTURES."
                                    PAMELA TENNANT (LADY GLENCONNER).


There lived once upon a time in China a wise Emperor who had one
daughter.  His daughter was remarkable for her perfect beauty.  Her
feet were the smallest in the world; her eyes were long and slanting
and bright as brown onyxes, and when you heard her laugh it was like
the listening to a tinkling stream or to the chimes of a silver bell.
Moreover, the Emperor's daughter was as wise as she was beautiful, and
she chanted the verse of the great poets better than anyone in the
land.  The Emperor was old in years; his son was married and had
begotten a son; he was, therefore, quite happy with regard to the
succession to the throne, but he wished before he died to see his
daughter wedded to someone who should be worthy of her.

Many suitors presented themselves to the palace as soon as it became
know that the Emperor desired a son-in-law, but when they reached the
palace they were met by the Lord Chamberlain, who told them that the
Emperor had decided that only the man who found and brought back the
blue rose should marry his daughter.  The suitors were much puzzled by
this order.  What was the blue rose and where was it to be found?  In
all, a hundred and fifty at once put away from them all thought of
winning the hand of the Emperor's daughter, since they considered the
condition imposed to be absurd.

The other hundred set about trying to find the blue rose.  One of them--
his name was Ti-Fun-Ti--he was a merchant and was immensely rich, at
once went to the largest shop in the town and said to the shopkeeper,
"I want a blue rose, the best you have."

The shopkeeper, with many apologies, explained that he did not stock
blue roses.  He had red roses in profusion, white, pink and yellow
roses, but no blue roses.  There had hitherto been no demand for
the article.

"Well," said Ti-Fun-Ti, "you must get one for me.  I do not mind how
much money it costs, but I must have a blue rose."

The shopkeeper said he would do his best, but he feared it would be an
expensive article and difficult to procure.  Another of the suitors,
whose name I have forgotten, was a warrior, and extremely brave; he
mounted his horse, and taking with him a hundred archers and a
thousand horsemen, he marched into the territory of the King of the
Five Rivers, whom he knew to be the richest king in the world and the
possessor of the rarest treasures, and demanded of him the blue rose,
threatening him with a terrible doom should he be reluctant to give
it up.

The King of the Five Rivers, who disliked soldiers, and had a horror
of noise, physical violence, and every kind of fuss (his bodyguard was
armed solely with fans and sunshades), rose from the cushions on which
he was lying when the demand was made, and, tinkling a small bell, said
to the servant who straightway appeared, "Fetch me the blue rose."

The servant retired and returned presently bearing on a silken cushion
a large sapphire which was carved so as to imitate a full-blown rose
with all its petals.

"This," said the king of the Five Rivers, "is the blue rose.  You are
welcome to it."

The warrior took it, and after making brief, soldier-like thanks, he
went straight back to the Emperor's palace, saying that he had lost no
time in finding the blue rose.  He was ushered into the presence of
the Emperor, who as soon as he heard the warrior's story and saw the
blue rose which had been brought sent for his daughter and said to
her: "This intrepid warrior has brought you what he claims to be the
blue rose.  Has he accomplished the quest?"

The Princess took the precious object in her hands, and after examining
it for a moment, said: "This is not a rose at all.  It is a sapphire;
I have no need of precious stones."  And the warrior went away in

The merchant, hearing of the warrior's failure, was all the more anxious
to win the prize.  He sought the shopkeeper and said to him: "Have you
got me the blue rose?"  I trust you have; because, if not, I shall most
assuredly be the means of your death.  My brother-in-law is chief
magistrate, and I am allied by marriage to all the chief officials in
the kingdom."

The shopkeeper turned pale and said: "Sir, give me three days and I
will procure you the rose without fail."  The merchant granted him the
three days and went away.  Now the shopkeeper was at his wit's end as
to what to do, for he knew well there was no such thing as a blue
rose.  For two days he did nothing but moan and wring his hands, and
on the third day he went to his wife and said, "Wife, we are ruined."

But his wife, who was a sensible woman, said: "Nonsense.  If there
is no such thing as a blue rose we must make one.  Go to the chemist
and ask him for a strong dye which well change a white rose into a
blue one."

So the shopkeeper went to the chemist and asked him for a dye, and
the chemist gave him a bottle of red liquid, telling him to pick a
white rose and to dip its stalk into the liquid and the rose would
turn blue.  The shopkeeper did as he was told; the rose turned into
a beautiful blue and the shopkeeper took it to the merchant, who at
once went with it to the palace saying that he had found the blue rose.

He was ushered into the presence of the Emperor, who as soon as he saw
the blue rose sent for his daughter and said to her: "This wealthy
merchant has brought you what he claims to be the blue rose.  Has he
accomplished the quest?"

The Princess took the flower in her hands and after examining it for a
moment said: "This is a white rose, its stalk has been dipped in a
poisonous dye and it has turned blue.  Were a butterfly to settle upon
it it would die of the potent fume.  Take it back.  I have no need of
a dyed rose." And she returned it to the merchant with many elegantly
expressed thanks.

The other ninety-eight suitors all sought in various ways for the blue
rose.  Some of them traveled all over the world seeking it; some of
them sought the aid of wizards and astrologers, and one did not
hesitate to invoke the help of the dwarfs that live underground; but
all of them, whether they traveled in far countries or took counsel
with wizards and demons or sat pondering in lonely places, failed to
find the blue rose.

At last they all abandoned the quest except the Lord Chief Justice,
who was the most skillful lawyer and statesman in the country.  After
thinking over the matter for several months he sent for the most
famous artist in the country and said to him: "Make me a china cup.
Let it be milk-white in colour and perfect in shape, and paint on
it a rose, a blue rose."

The artist made obeisance and withdrew, and worked for two months at the
Lord Chief Justice's cup.  In two months' time it was finished, and the
world has never seen such a beautiful cup, so perfect in symmetry, so
delicate in texture, and the rose on it, the blue rose, was a living
flower, picked in fairyland and floating on the rare milky surface of
the porcelain.  When the Lord Chief Justice saw it he gasped with
surprise and pleasure, for he was a great lover of porcelain, and never
in his life had he seen such a piece.  He said to himself, "Without
doubt the blue rose is here on this cup and nowhere else."

So, after handsomely rewarding the artist, he went to the Emperor's
palace and said that he had brought the blue rose.  He was ushered
into the Emperor's presence, who as he saw the cup sent for his
daughter and said to her: "This eminent lawyer has brought you what he
claims to be the blue rose.  Has he accomplished the quest?"

The Princess took the bowl in her hands, and after examining it for
a moment said: "This bowl is the most beautiful piece of china I have
ever seen.  If you are kind enough to let me keep it I will put it
aside until I receive the blue rose.  For so beautiful is it that no
other flower is worthy to be put in it except the blue rose."

The Lord Chief Justice thanked the Princess for accepting the bowl
with many elegantly turned phrases, and he went away in discomfiture.

After this there was no one in the whole country who ventured on the
quest of the blue rose.  It happened that not long after the Lord
Chief Justice's attempt a strolling minstrel visited the kingdom of
the Emperor.  One evening he was playing his one-stringed instrument
outside a dark wall.  It was a summer's evening, and the sun had sunk
in a glory of dusty gold, and in the violet twilight one or two stars
were twinkling like spearheads.  There was an incessant noise made by
the croaking of frogs and the chatter of grasshoppers.  The minstrel
was singing a short song over and over again to a monotonous tune.
The sense of it was something like this:

                  I watched beside the willow trees
                    The river, as the evening fell,
                  The twilight came and brought no breeze,
                    Nor dew, nor water for the well.

                  When from the tangled banks of grass
                    A bird across the water flew,
                  And in the river's hard grey glass
                    I saw a flash of azure blue.

As he sang he heard a rustle on the wall, and looking up he saw a
slight figure white against the twilight, beckoning him.  He walked
along under the wall until he came to a gate, and there someone was
waiting for him, and he was gently led into the shadow of a dark cedar
tree.  In the dim twilight he saw two bright eyes looking at him, and
he understood their message.  In the twilight a thousand meaningless
nothings were whispered in the light of the stars, and the hours fled
swiftly.  When the East began to grow light, the Princess (for it was
she) said it was time to go.

"But," said the minstrel, "to-morrow I shall come to the palace and
ask for your hand."

"Alas!" said the Princess, "I would that were possible, but my father
has made a foolish condition that only he may wed me who finds the
blue rose."

"That is simple," said the minstrel.  "I will find it."  And they said
good night to each other.

The next morning the minstrel went to the palace, and on his way he
picked a common white rose from a wayside garden.  He was ushered into
the Emperor's presence, who sent for his daughter and said to her:
"This penniless minstrel has brought you what he claims to be the blue
rose.  Has he accomplished the quest?"

The Princess took the rose in her hands and said: "Yes, this is without
doubt the blue rose."

But the Lord Chief Justice and all who were present respectfully
pointed out that the rose was a common white rose and not a blue
one, and the objection was with many forms and phrases conveyed to
the Princess.

"I think the rose is blue," said the Princess.  "Perhaps you are all
colour blind."

The Emperor, with whom the decision rested, decided that if the
Princess thought the rose was blue it was blue, for it was well
known that her perception was more acute than that of any one
else in the kingdom.

So the minstrel married the Princess, and they settled on the sea
coast in a little seen house with a garden full of white roses, and
they lived happily ever afterwards.  And the Emperor, knowing that
his daughter had made a good match, died in peace.
                                                    MAURICE BARING.


Once upon a time in the country of Japan there lived two frogs, one
of whom made his home in a ditch near the town of Osaka, on the sea
coast, while the other dwelt in a clear little stream which ran
through the city of Kioto.  At such a great distance apart, they had
never even heard of each other; but, funnily enough, the idea came
into both their heads at once that they should like to see a little
of the world, and the frog who lived at Kioto wanted to visit Osaka,
and the frog who lived at Osaka wished to go to Kioto, where the great
Mikado had his palace.

So one fine morning in the spring, they both set out along the road
that led from Kioto to Osaka, one from one end and the other from
the other.

The journey was more tiring than they expected, for they did not know
much about travelling, and half-way between the two towns there rose
a mountain which had to be climbed.  It took them a long time and a
great many hops to reach the top, but there they were at last, and
what was the surprise of each to see another frog before him!  They
looked at each other for a moment without speaking, and then fell
into conversation, and explained the cause of their meeting so far
from their homes.  It was delightful to find that they both felt the
same wish--to learn a little more of their native country--and as
there was no sort of hurry they stretched themselves out in a cool,
damp place, and agreed that they would have a good rest before they
parted to go their ways.

"What a pity we are not bigger," said the Osaka frog, "and then we
could see both towns from here and tell if it worth our while going

"Oh, that is easily manage," returned the Kioto frog.  "We have only
got to stand up on our hind legs, and hold on to each other, and then
we can each look at the town he is travelling to."

This idea pleased the Osaka frog so much that he at once jumped up and
put his front paws on the shoulder of his friend, who had risen also.
There they both stood, stretching themselves as high as they could,
and holding each other tightly, so that they might not fall down.  The
Kioto frog turned his nose towards Osaka, and the Osaka frog turned
his nose toward Kioto; but the foolish thing forgot that when the
stood up their great eyes lay in the backs of their heads, and that
though their noses might point to the places to which they wanted to
go, their eyes beheld the places from which they had come.

"Dear me!" cried the Osaka frog; "Kioto is exactly like Osaka.  It is
certainly not worth such a long journey.  I shall go home."

"If I had had any idea that Osaka was only a copy of Kioto I should
never have travelled all this way," exclaimed the frog from Kioto, and
as he spoke, he took his hands from his friend's shoulders and they
both fell down to the grass.

Then they took a polite farewell of each other, and set off for home,
again, and to the end of their lives they believed that Osaka and
Kioto, which are as different to look at as two towns can be, were
as like as two peas.
                        THE VIOLET LOVING BOOK.


Once upon a time a Snake went out of his hole to take an airing.  He
crawled about, greatly enjoying the scenery and the fresh whiff of the
breeze, until, seeing an open door, he went in.  Now this door was the
door of the palace of the King, and inside was the King himself, with
all his courtiers.

Imagine their horror at seeing a huge Snake crawling in at the
door.  They all ran away except the king, who felt that his rank
forbade him to be a coward, and the King's son.  The King called out
for somebody to come and kill the Snake; but this horrified them still
more, because in that country the people believed it to be wicked to
kill any living thing, even snakes and scorpion and wasps.  So the
courtiers did nothing, but the young Prince obeyed his father, and
killed the Snake with his stick.

After a while the Snake's wife became anxious and set out in search of
her husband.  She too saw the open door of the palace, and in she
went. O horror! there on the floor lay the body of her husband all
covered with blood and quite dead.  No one saw the Snake's wife crawl
in; she inquired of a white ant what had happened, and when she found
that the young prince had killed her husband, she made a vow that, as
he had made her a widow, so she would make his wife a widow.

That night, when all the world was asleep, the Snake crept into the
Prince's bedroom, and coiled round his neck.  The Prince slept on,
and when he awoke in the morning, he was surprised to find his neck
encircled with the coils of a snake.  He was afraid to stir, so there
he remained, until the Prince's mother became anxious and went to see
what was the matter.  When she entered his room, and saw him in this
plight, she gave a loud shriek, and ran off to tell the king.

"Call the archers," said the King.

The archers came in a row, fitted the arrows to the bows, the bows
were raised and ready to shoot, when, on a sudden, from the Snake
there issued a voice which spoke as follows:

"O archers, wait, wait and hear me before you shoot.  It is not fair
to carry out the sentence before you have heard the case.  Is not this
a good law: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth?  Is it not so,
O King?"

"Yes," replied the King, "that is our law."

"Then," said the snake, "I plead the law.  Your son has made me a
widow, so it is fair and right that I should make his wife a widow."

"That sounds right enough," said the King, "but right and law are not
always the same thing.  We had better ask somebody who knows."

They asked all the judges, but none of them could tell the law of the
matter.  They shook their heads, and said they would look up all their
law-books, and see whether anything of the sort had ever happened
before, and if so, how it had been decided.  That is the way judges
used to decide cases in that country, though I dare say it sounds to
you a very funny way.  It looked as if they had not much sense in
their own heads, and perhaps that was true.  The upshot of it all was
that not a judge would give an opinion; so the King sent messengers
all over the countryside, to see if they could find somebody somewhere
who knew something.

One of these messengers found a party of five shepherds, who were
sitting upon a hill and trying to decide a quarrel of their own.  They
gave their opinions so freely, and in language so very strong, that
the King's messenger said to himself, "Here are the men for us.  Here
are five men, each with an opinion of his own, and all different."
Posthaste he scurried back to the King, and told him that he had found
at last some one ready to judge the knotty point.

So the King and the Queen, and the Prince and Princess, and all the
courtiers, got on horseback, and away they galloped to the hill
whereupon the five shepherds were sitting, and the Snake too went
with them, coiled around the neck of the Prince.

When they got to the shepherds' hill, the shepherds were dreadfully
frightened.  At first they thought the strangers were a gang of robbers,
and when they saw it was the King their next thought was that one of
their misdeeds had been found out; and each of them began thinking
what was the last thing he had done, and wondering, was it that?

But the King and the courtiers got off their horses, and said good
day, in the most civil way.  So the shepherds felt their minds set at
ease again.  Then the King said:

"Worthy shepherds, we have a question to put to you, which not all the
judges in all the courts of my city have been able to solve.  Here is
my son, and here, as you see, is a snake coiled round his neck.  Now,
the husband of this Snake came creeping into my palace hall, and my
son the Prince killed him; so this Snake, who is the wife of the other,
says that, as my son has made her a widow, so she has a right to widow
my son's wife.  What do you think about it?"

The first shepherd said: "I think she is quite right, my Lord the
King.  If anyone made my wife a widow, I would pretty soon do the
same to him."

This was brave language, and the other shepherds shook their heads and
looked fierce.  But the King was puzzled, and could not quite understand
it.  You see, in the first place, if the man's wife were a widow, the
man would be dead; and then it is hard to see that he could do anything.
So to make sure, the King asked the second shepherd whether that was his
opinion too.

"Yes," said the second shepherd; "now the Prince has killed the Snake,
the Snake has a right to kill the Prince if he can."  But that was not
of much use either, as the Snake was as dead as a doornail.  So the
King passed on to the third.

"I agree with my mates," said the third shepherd.  "Because, you see,
a Prince is a Prince, but then a Snake is a Snake."  That was quite
true, they all admitted, but it did not seem to help the matter much.
Then the King asked the fourth shepherd to say what he thought.

The fourth shepherd said: "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;
so I think a widow should be a widow, if so be she don't marry again."

By this time the poor King was so puzzled that he hardly knew whether
he stood on his head or his heels.  But there was still the fifth
shepherd left; the oldest and wisest of them all; and the fifth
shepherd said:

"King, I should like to ask two questions."

"Ask twenty, if you like," said the King.  He did not promise to
answer them, so he could afford to be generous.

"First.  I ask the Princess how many sons she has."

"Four," said the Princess.

"And how many sons has Mistress Snake here?"

Seven," said the Snake.

"Then," said the old shepherd, "it will be quite fair for Mistress
Snake to kill his Highness the Prince when her Highness the Princess
has had three sons more."

"I never thought of that," said the Snake.  "Good-bye, King, and all
you good people.  Send a message when the Princess has had three more
sons, and you may count upon me--I will not fail you."

So saying, she uncoiled from the Prince's neck and slid away among
the grass.

The King and the Prince and everybody shook hands with the wise old
shepherd, and went home again.  And the Princess never had any more
sons at all.  She and the Prince lived happily for many years; and if
they are not dead they are living still.
                                          From "THE TALKING THRUSH."


And it came to pass that the Buddha (to be) was born again as a Lion.
Just as he had helped his fellow-men, he now began to help his fellow-
animals, and there was a great deal to be done.  For instance, there
was a little nervous Hare who was always afraid that something
dreadful was going to happen to her.  She was always saying: "Suppose
the Earth were to fall in, what would happen to me?"  And she said
this so often that at last she thought it really was about to happen.
One day, when she had been saying over and over again, "Suppose the
Earth were to fall in, what would happen to me?" she heard a slight
noise: it really was only a heavy fruit which had fallen upon a
rustling leaf, but the little Hare was so nervous she was ready
to believe anything, and she said in a frightened tone: "The Earth
is falling in."  She ran away as fast as she could go, and presently
she met an old brother Hare, who said: "Where are you running to
Mistress Hare?"

And the little Hare said: "I have no time to stop and tell you
anything. The Earth is falling in, and I am running away."

"The Earth is falling in, is it?" said the old brother Hare, in a tone
of much astonishment; and he repeated this to _his_ brother hare, and
_he_ to _his_ brother hare, and he to his brother hare, until at last
there were a hundred thousand brother hares, all shouting: "The Earth is
falling in."  Now presently the bigger animals began to take the cry up.
First the deer, and then the sheep, and then the wild boar, and then the
buffalo, and then the camel, and then the tiger, and then the elephant.

Now the wise Lion heard all this noise and wondered at it.  "There are
no signs," he said, "of the Earth falling in.  They must have heard
something."  And then he stopped them all short and said: "What is
this you are saying?"

And the Elephant said: "I remarked that the Earth was falling in."

"How do you know this?" asked the Lion.

"Why, now I come to think of it, it was the Tiger that remarked it
to me."

And the Tiger said: "I had it from the Camel," and the Camel said: "I
had it from the Buffalo."  And the buffalo from the wild boar, and the
wild boar from the sheep, and the sheep from the deer, and the deer
from the hares, and the Hares said: "Oh! _we_ heard it from _that_
little Hare."

And the Lion said: "Little Hare, _what_ made you say that the Earth
was falling in?"

And the little Hare said: "I _saw_ it."

"You saw it?" said the Lion.  "Where?"

"Yonder, by that tree."

"Well," said the Lion, "come with me and I will show you how---"

"No, no," said the Hare, "I would not go near that tree for anything,
I'm _so_ nervous."

"But," said the Lion, "I am going to take you on my back."  And he
took her on his back, and begged the animals to stay where they were
until they returned.  Then he showed the little Hare how the fruit had
fallen upon the leaf, making the noise that had frightened her, and
she said: "Yes, I see--the Earth is _not_ falling in." and the Lion
said: "Shall we go back and tell the other animals?"  And they went
back.  The little Hare stood before the animals and said: "The Earth
is _not_ falling in."  And all the animals began to repeat this to one
another, and they dispersed gradually, and you heard the words more and
more softly:

"The Earth is _not_ falling in," etc., etc., etc., until the sound died
away altogether.
                  From "EASTERN STORIES AND LEGENDS."

  [NOTE:--This story I have told in my own words, using the language
  I have found most effective for very young children.]


And it came to pass that the Buddha was born a Hare and lived in a
wood; on one side was the foot of a mountain, on another a river, on
the third side a border village.

And with him lived three friends: a Monkey, a Jackal and an Otter;
each of these creatures got food on his own hunting ground.  In the
evening they met together, and the Hare taught his companions many
wise things: that the moral law should be observed, that alms should
be given to the poor, and that holy days should be kept.

One day the Buddha said: "To-morrow is a fast day.  Feed any beggars
that come to you by giving food from your own table."  They all

The next day the Otter went down to the bank of the Ganges to seek his
prey.  Now a fisherman had landed seven red fish and had buried them
in the sand on the river's bank while he went down the stream catching
more fish.  The Otter scented the buried fish, dug up the sand till he
came upon them, and he called aloud: "Does any one own these fish?"
And, not seeing the owner, he laid the fish in the jungle where he
dwelt, intending to eat them at a fitting time.  Then he lay down,
thinking how virtuous he was.

The Jackal also went off in search of food, and found in the hut of a
field watcher a lizard, two spits, and a pot of milk-curd.

And, after thrice crying aloud, "To whom do these belong?" and not
finding an owner, he put on his neck the rope for lifting the pot, and
grasping the spits and lizard with his teeth, he laid them in his own
lair, thinking, "In due season I will devour them," and then he lay
down, thinking how virtuous he had been.

But the Hare (who was the Buddha-to-be) in due time came out, thinking
to lie (in contemplation) on the Kuca grass.  "It is impossible for me
to offer _grass_ to any beggars who may chance to come by, and I have
no oil or rice or fish.  If any beggar comes to me, I will give him (of)
my own flesh to eat."

Now when Sakka, the King of the Gods, heard this thing, he determined
to put the Royal Hare to the test.  So he came in disguise of a Brahmin
to the Otter and said: "Wise Sir, if I could get something to eat, I
would perform _all_ my priestly duties."

The Otter said: "I will give you food.  Seven red fish have I safely
brought to land from the sacred river of the Ganges.  Eat thy fill, O
Brahmin, and stay in this wood."

And the Brahmin said: "Let it be until to-morrow, and I will see to
it then."

Then he went to the Jackal, who confessed that he had stolen the food,
but he begged the Brahmin to accept it and remain in the wood: but the
Brahmin said: "Let it be until the morrow, and then I well see to it."

Then the Brahmin went to the wise Hare, and the Hare said: "Behold, I
will give you of my flesh to eat.  But you must not take life on this
holy day.  When you have piled up the logs I will sacrifice myself by
falling into the midst of the flames, and when my body is roasted you
shall eat my flesh and perform all your priestly duties."

Now when Sakka heard these words he caused a heap of burning coals
to appear, and the Wisdom Being, rising from the grass, came to the
place, but before casting himself into the flames he shook himself,
lest perchance there should be any insects in his coat who might
suffer death.  Then, offering his body as a free gift, he sprang up,
and like a royal swan, lighting on a bed of lotus in an ecstasy of
joy, he fell on the heap of live coals.  But the flame failed even to
heat the pores or the hair on the body of the Wisdom Being, and it was
as if he had entered a region of frost.  Then he addressed the Brahmin
in these words: "Brahmin, the fire that you have kindled is icy cold;
it fails to heat the pores of the hair on my body.  What is the
meaning of this?"

"O most wise Hare!  I am Sakka, and have come to put your virtue to
the test."

And the Buddha in a sweet voice said: "No god or man could find in me
an unwillingness to die."

Then Sakka said: "O wise Hare, be thy virtue known to all the ages
to come."

And seizing the mountain he squeezed out the juice and daubed on the
moon the signs of the young hare.

Then he placed him back on the grass that he might continue his
Sabbath meditation, and returned to Heaven.

And the four creatures lived together and kept the moral law.

                                     From "EASTERN STORIES AND LEGENDS."


Now it came to pass that the Buddha was reborn in the shape of a
parrot, and he greatly excelled all other parrots in his strength and
beauty. And when he was full grown his father, who had long been the
leader of the flock in their flights to other climes, said to him: "My
son, behold, thou shalt rest.  I will lead the birds."  And the
parrots rejoiced in the strength of their new leader, and willingly
did they follow him.  Now from that day on, the Buddha undertook to
feed his parents, and would not consent that they should do any more
work.  Each day he led his flock to the Himalaya Hills, and when he
had eaten his fill of the clumps of rice that grew there, he filled
his beak with food for the dear parents who were waiting his return.

Now there was a man appointed to watch the rice-fields, and he did
his best to drive the parrots away, but there seemed to be some secret
power in the leader of this flock which the keeper could not overcome.

He noticed that the parrots ate their fill and then flew away, but
that the Parrot-King not only satisfied his hunger, but carried away
rice in his beak.

Now he feared there would be no rice left, and he went to his master,
the Brahmin, to tell him what had happened; and even as the master
listened there came to him the thought that the Parrot-King was
something higher than he seemed, and he loved him even before he saw
him.  But he said nothing of this, and only warned the Keeper that
he should set a snare and catch the dangerous bird.  So the man did
as he was bidden: he made a small cage and set the snare, and sat
down in his hut waiting for the birds to come.  And soon he saw the
Parrot-King amidst his flock, who, because he had no greed, sought
no richer spot, but flew down to the same place in which he had fed
the day before.

Now, no sooner had he touched the ground than he felt his feet caught
in the noose.  Then fear crept into his bird heart, but a stronger
feeling was there to crush it down, for he thought: "If I cry out the
Cry of the Captured, my Kinsfolk will be terrified, and they will fly
away foodless.  But if I lie still, then their hunger will be satisfied,
and may they safely come to my aid."  Thus, was the parrot both brave
and prudent.

But alas! he did not know that his Kinsfolk had nought of his brave
spirit.  When _they_ had eaten their fill, though they heard the
thrice-uttered cry of the captured, they flew away, nor heed the sad
plight of their leader.

Then was the heart of the Parrot-King sore within him, and he said:
"All these my kith and kin, and not one to look back on me.  Alas!
what sin have I done?"

The watchman now heard the cry if the Parrot-King, and the sound of
the other parrots flying through the air.  "What is that?" he cried,
and leaving his hut he came to the place where he had laid the snare.
There he found the captive parrot; he tied his feet together and
brought him to the Brahmin, his master.  Now, when the Brahmin saw the
Parrot-King, he felt his strong power, and his heart was full of love
to him, but he hid his feelings, and said in a voice of anger: "Is thy
greed greater than that of all other birds?  They eat their fill, but
thou canst takest away each day more food than thou canst eat.  Doest
thou this out of hatred for me, or dost thou store up the food in same
granary for selfish greed?"

And the Great Being made answer in a sweet human voice: "I hate thee
not, O Brahmin.  Nor do I store the rice in a granary for selfish greed.
But this thing I do.  Each day I pay a debt which is due--each day I
grant a loan, and each day I store up a treasure."

Now the Brahmin could not understand the words of the Buddha (because
true wisdom had not entered his heart) and he said: "I pray thee, O
Wondrous Bird, to make these words clear unto me."

And then the Parrot-King made answer: "I carry food to my ancient
parents who can no longer seek that food for themselves: thus I pay
my daily debt.  I carry food to my callow chicks whose wings are
yet ungrown.  When I am old they will care for me--this my loan to
them.  And for other birds, weak and helpless of wing, who need
the aid of the strong, for them I lay up a store; to these I give
in charity."

Then was the Brahmin much moved and showed the love that was in his
heart.  "Eat thy fill, O Righteous Bird, and let thy Kinsfolk eat,
too, for thy sake."  And he wished to bestow a thousand acres of land
upon him, but the Great Being would only take a tiny portion round
which were set boundary stores.

And the parrot returned with a head of rice, and said: "Arise, dear
parents, that I may take you to a place of plenty."  And he told them
the story of his deliverance.
                                From "EASTERN STORIES AND LEGENDS."



There was once a poor Prince.  He owned a Kingdom--a very small one,
but it was big enough to allow him to marry, and he was determined
to marry.  Now, it was really very bold on his part to say to a King's
daughter: "Will you marry me?"  But he dared to do so, for his name
was known far and wide, and there were hundreds of princesses who would
willingly have said: "Yes, thank you."  But, would _she_?  We shall
hear what happened.

On the grave of the Prince's father, there grew a rose-tree--such
a wonderful rose-tree!  It bloomed only once in five years, and then
it bore only one rose--but what a rose!  Its perfume was so sweet
that whoever smelt it forgot all his cares and sorrows.  The Prince
had also a nightingale which could sing as if all the delicious
melodies in the world were contained in its little throat.  The rose
and the nightingale were both to be given to the Princess, and were
therefore placed in two great silver caskets and sent to her.  The
Emperor had them carried before him into the great hall where the
Princess was playing at "visiting" with her ladies-in-waiting--they
had nothing else to do.  When she saw the caskets with the presents in
them, she clapped her hands with joy.

"If it were only a little pussy-cat," she cried.  But out came a
beautiful rose.

"How elegantly it is made," said all the ladies of the court.

"It is more than elegant," said the Emperor, "It is _neat_.

"Fie, papa," she said, "it is not made at all; it is a _natural_ rose."

"Let us see what the other casket contains before we lose our temper,"
said the Emperor, and then out came the little nightingale and sang so
sweetly that at first nobody could think of anything to say against it."

"_Superbe, superbe_," cried the ladies of the court, for they all
chattered French, one worse than the other.

"How the bird reminds me of the late Empress' musical-box!" said an
old Lord-in-Waiting.  "Ah, me! the same tone, the same execution."

"The very same," said the Emperor, and he cried like a little child.

"I hope it is not a real bird," said the Princess.

Oh, yes! it is a real bird," said those who had brought it.

"Then let the bird fly away," she said, and she would on no account
allow the Prince to come in.

But he was not to be disheartened; he smeared his face with black and
brown, drew his cap over his forehead, and knocked at the Palace door.
The Emperor opened it.

"Good day, Emperor," he said.  "Could I get work at the Palace?"

"Well, there are so many wanting places," said the Emperor; "but let
me see!--I need a Swineherd.  I have a good many pigs to keep."

So the Prince was made Imperial Swineherd.  He had a wretched little
room near the pig-sty and here he was obliged to stay.  But the whole
day he sat and worked, and by the evening he had made a neat little
pipkin, and round it was a set of bells, and as soon as the pot began
to boil, the bells fell to jingling most sweetly and played the old

                     "Ach du lieber Augustin,
                      Alles is weg, weg, weg!"[54]

But the most wonderful thing was that when you held your finger in
the steam of the pipkin, you could immediately smell what dinner was
cooking on every hearth in the town.  That was something very
different from a rose.

The Princess was walking out with her ladies-in-waiting, and when she
heard the melody, she stopped short, and looked pleased, for she could
play "Ach du lieber Augustin" herself; it was the only tune she knew,
and that she played with one finger.  "Why, that is the tune I play,"
she said.  "What a cultivated Swineherd he must be.  Go down and ask
him how much his instrument costs."

So one of the ladies-in-waiting was obliged to go down, but she put on
pattens first.

"How much do you want for your pipkin?" asked the Lady-in-waiting.

"I will have ten kisses from the Princess," said the Swineherd.

"Good gracious!" said the Lady-in-waiting.

"I will not take less," said the Swineherd.

"Well, what did he say?" asked the Princess.

"I really cannot tell you," said the Lady-in-waiting.  "It is too

"Then you must whisper it," said the Princess.

So she whispered it.

"He is very rude," said the Princess, and she walked away.  But she
had gone only a few steps when the bells sounded so sweetly:

                        "Ach du lieber Augustin
                         Alles ist weg, weg, weg!"

"Listen," said the Princess, "ask him whether he will have his kisses
from my Ladies-in-waiting."

"No, thank you," said the Swineherd.  "I will have ten kisses from the
Princess, or, I will keep my pipkin."

"How tiresome!" said the Princess; "but you must stand round me, so
that nobody shall see."

So the ladies-in-waiting stood round her and they spread out their
skirts.  The Swineherd got the kisses, and she got the pipkin.

How delighted she was.  All the evening and the whole of the next day,
that pot was made to boil.  And you might have known what everybody
was cooking on every hearth in town, from the Chamberlain's to the
shoemaker's.  The court ladies danced and clapped their hands.

"We know who is to have fruit-soup and pancakes, and we know who is
going to have porridge, and cutlets.  How very interesting it is!"

"Most interesting, indeed," said the first Lady-of-Honor.

"Yes, but hold your tongues, for I am the Emperor's daughter."

"Of course we will," they cried in one breath.

The Swineherd, or the Prince, nobody knew that he was not a real
Swineherd, did not let the day pass without doing something, and
he made a rattle which could play all the waltzes, and the polkas
and the hop-dances which had been know since the creation of the

"But this is _superbe_!" said the Princess, who was just passing:
"I have never heard  more beautiful composition.  Go and as him what
the instrument costs.  But I will give no more kisses."

"He insists on a hundred kisses from the Princess," said the ladies-
in-waiting who had been down to ask.

"I think he must be quite mad," said the Princess, and she walked
away.  But when she had taken a few steps, she stopped short, and
said: "One must encourage the fine arts, and I am the emperor's
daughter.  Tell him he may have ten kisses, as before, and the rest he
can take from my ladies-in-waiting."

"Yes, but we object to that," said the ladies-in-waiting.

"That is nonsense," said the Princess.  "If I can kiss him, surely you
can do the same.  Go down at once.  Don't I give you board and wages?"

So the ladies-in-waiting were obliged to go down to the Swineherd again.

"A hundred kisses from the Princess, or each keeps his own."

"Stand round me," she said.  And all the ladies-in-waiting stood round
her, and the Swineherd began to kiss her.

"What can all the crowd be down by the pig-sty?" said the Emperor,
stepping out onto the balcony.  He rubbed his eyes and put on his
spectacles.  "It is the court ladies up to some of their tricks.  I
must go down and look after them."  He pulled up his slippers, for
they were shoes which he had trodden down at heel.

Gracious goodness, how he hurried!  As soon as he came into the
garden, he walked very softly, and the ladies-in-waiting had so
much to do counting the kisses, so that everything could be done
fairly, and that the Swineherd should get neither too many nor
too few, that they never noticed the Emperor at all.  He stood
on tip-toe.

"What is this all about?" he said, when he saw the kissing that was
going on, and he hit them on the head with his slipper, just as the
Swineherd was getting the eighty-sixth kiss.  "Heraus!" said the
Emperor, for he was angry, and both the Princess and the Swineherd
were turned out of his Kingdom.

The Princess wept, the Swineherd scolded, and the rain streamed down.

"Oh! wretched creature that I am," said the Princess.  "If I had only
taken the handsome Prince!  Oh, how unhappy I am!"

Then the Swineherd went behind a tree, washed the black and brown off
his face, threw of his ragged clothes, and stood forth in his royal
apparel, looking so handsome that she was obliged to curtsey.

"I have learned to despise you," he said.  "You would not have an
honorable Prince.  You could not appreciate a rose or a nightingale,
but for a musical toy, you kissed the Swineherd.  Now you have your

So he went into his Kingdom, shut the door and bolted it, and she had
to stand outside singing:

                      "Ach, du lieber Augustin,
                       Alles is weg, weg, weg!"


In China, you must know, the Emperor is a Chinaman, and all those
around him are Chinamen, too.  It is many years since all this
happened, and for that very reason it is worth hearing, before it
is forgotten.

The Emperor's palace was the most beautiful in the world; built all
of fine porcelain and very costly, but so fragile that it was very
difficult to touch, and you had to be very careful in doing so.  The
most wonderful flowers were to be seen in the garden, and to the most
beautiful silver bells, tinkling bells were tied, for fear people
should pass by without noticing them.  How well everything had been
thought out in the Emperor's garden!  This was so big, that the
gardener himself did not know where it ended.  If you walked on and on
you came to the most beautiful forest, with tall trees and big lakes.
The wood stretched right down to the sea which was blue and deep;
great ships could pass underneath the branches, and here a nightingale
had made its home, and its singing was so entrancing that the poor
fisherman, though he had so many other things to do, would lie still
and listen when he was out at night drawing in his nets.

"How beautiful it is!" he said; but then he was forced to think about
his own affairs, and the Nightingale was forgotten.  The next day,
when it sang again, the fisherman said the same thing: "How beautiful
it is!"

Travellers from all the countries of the world came to the emperor's
town, and expressed their admiration of the palace and the garden,
but when they heard the Nightingale, they all said: "This is the
best of all!"

Now, when these travellers came home, they told of what they had seen.
And scholars wrote many books about the town, the palace and the garden,
but nobody left out the Nightingale; it was always spoken of as the most
wonderful of all they had seen.  And those who had the gift of the Poet,
wrote the most delightful poems all about the Nightingale in the wood
near the deep lake.

The books went round the world, and in the course of time some of them
reached the Emperor.  He sat in his golden chair, and read and read,
nodding his head every minute; for it pleased him to read the beautiful
descriptions of the town, the palace and the garden.

"But the Nightingale is the best of all," he read.

"What is this?" said the Emperor.  "The Nightingale!  I now nothing
whatever about it.  To think of there being such a bird in my Kingdom--
nay in my very garden--and I have never heard it. And to think one
should learn such a thing for the first time from a book!"

Then he summoned his Lord-in-Waiting, who was such a grand personage
that if anyone inferior in rank ventured to speak to him, or ask him
about anything, he merely answered "P," which meant nothing whatever.

"There is said to be a most wonderful bird, called the Nightingale,"
said the Emperor; "they say it is the best thing in my great Kingdom.
Why have I  been told nothing about it?"

"I have never heard it mentioned before," said the Lord-in-Waiting.
"It has certainly never been presented at court."

"It is my good pleasure that it shall appear to-night and sing before
me!" said the Emperor.  "The whole world knows what is mine, and I
myself do not know it."

"I have never heard it mentioned before," said the Lord-in-Waiting.
"I will seek it, and I shall find it."

But where was it to be found?  The Lord-in-Waiting ran up and down all
the stairs, through halls and passages, but not one of all those whom
he met had ever heard a word about the Nightingale; so the Lord-in-
Waiting ran back to the Emperor and told him that it must certainly
be a fable invented by writers of books.

"Your Majesty must not believe all that is written in books.  It is
pure invention, something which is called the Black Art."

"But," said the Emperor, "the book in which I have read this was sent
to me by His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, and therefore this cannot
be a falsehood.  I will hear the Nightingale.  It must appear this
evening!  It has my Imperial favor, and if it fails to appear the Court
shall be trampled upon after the Court has supped."

"Tsing-pe!" said the Lord-in-Waiting, and again he ran up and down all
the stairs, through all the passages, and half the Court ran with him,
for they had no wish to be trampled upon.  And many questions were
asked about the wonderful Nightingale, of whom all had heard except
those who lived at Court.

At last, they met a poor little girl in the kitchen.  She said: "Oh,
yes! The Nightingale!  I know it well.  How it can sing!  Every evening
I have permission to take the broken pieces from the table to my poor
sick mother who lives near the sea-shore, and on my way back, when I
feel tired, and rest a while in the wood, then I hear the Nightingale
sing, and my eyes are filled with tears; it is as if my mother kissed

"Little kitchen-maid," said the Lord-in-Waiting, "I will get a permanent
place for you in the Court Kitchen and permission to see the Emperor
dine, if you can lead us to the Nightingale; for it has been commanded
to appear at Court to-night."

So they started off all together where the bird used to sing; half the
Court went, too.  They were going along at a good pace, when suddenly
they heard a cow lowing.

"Oh," said a Court-Page.  "There it is!  What a wonderful power for so
small a creature!  I have certainly heard it before."

"No, those are the cows lowing," said the little kitchen-maid.  "We
are a long way from the place yet."

Then the frogs began to croak in the marsh.  "Glorious," said the Court-
Preacher.  "Now, I hear it--it is just like little church-bells."

"No, those are the frogs," said the little kitchen-maid.  "But now I
think we shall soon hear it."

And then the Nightingale began to sing.

"There it is," said the little girl.  "Listen, listen--there it
sits!"  And she pointed to a little gray bird in the branches.

"Is it possible!" said the Lord-in-Waiting.  "I had never supposed it
would look like that.  How very plain it looks!  It has certainly lost
its color from seeing so many grand folk here."

"Little Nightingale," called out the little kitchen-maid, "our gracious
Emperor wishes you to sing for him."

"With the greatest pleasure," said the Nightingale, and it sang, and
it was a joy to hear it.

"It sounds like little glass bells," said the Lord-in-Waiting; "and
just look at its little throat, how it moves!  It is astonishing to
think we have never heard it before!  It will have a real _success_
at Court."

"Shall I sing for the Emperor again?" asked the Nightingale, who
thought that the Emperor  was there in person.

"Mine excellent little Nightingale," said the Lord-in-Waiting, "I have
the great pleasure of bidding you to a Court-Festival this night, when
you will enchant His Imperial Majesty with your delightful warbling."

"My voice sounds better among the green trees," said the Nightingale.
But it came willingly when it knew the Emperor wished it.

There was a great deal of furbishing up at the palace.  The walls and
ceiling which were of porcelain, shone with the light of a thousand
golden lamps.  The most beautiful flowers of the tinkling kind were
placed in the passages.  There was a running to and fro and a great
draught, but that is just what made the bells ring, and one could not
hear oneself speak.  In the middle of the great hall where the Emperor
sat, a golden rod had been set up on which the Nightingale was to
perch.  The whole Court was present, and the little kitchen-maid
was allowed to stand behind the door, for she had now the actual
title of Court Kitchen-Maid.  All were there in their smartest
clothes, and they all looked toward the little gray bird to which
the Emperor nodded.

And then the Nightingale sang, so gloriously that tears sprang into
the Emperor's eyes and rolled down his cheeks, and the Nightingale
sang even more sweetly.  The song went straight to the heart, and the
Emperor was so delighted that he declared that the Nightingale should
have his golden slipper to hang round its neck.  But the Nightingale
declined.  It had already had its reward.

"I have seen tears in the Emperor's eyes.  That is my greatest reward.
An Emperor's tears have a wonderful power.  God knows I am sufficiently
rewarded," and again its sweet, glorious voice was heard.

"That is the most delightful coquetting I have ever known," said the
ladies sitting round, and they took water into their mouths, in order
to gurgle when anyone spoke to them, and they really thought they were
like the Nightingale.  Even the footmen and the chambermaids sent word
that they were satisfied, and that means a great deal, for they are
always the most difficult people to please.  Yes, indeed, there was no
doubt as to the Nightingale's success.  It was to stay at Court, and
have its own cage, with liberty to go out twice in the daytime, and
once at night.  Twelve footmen went out with it, and each held a silk
ribbon which was tied to the bird's leg, and which they held very
tightly.  There was not much pleasure in an outing of that sort.  The
whole town was talking about the wonderful bird, and when two people
met, one said: "Nightin--"  and the other said "gale," and they sighed
and understood one another.  Eleven cheese-mongers' children were called
after the bird, though none of them could sing a note.

One day a large parcel came for the Emperor.  Outside was written the
word: "Nightingale."

"Here we have a new book about our wonderful bird," said the Emperor.
But it was not a book; it was a little work of art which lay in a box--
an artificial Nightingale, which looked exactly like the real one, but
it was studded all over with diamonds, rubies and sapphires.  As soon
as you wound it up, it could sing one of the songs which the real bird
sang, and its tail moved up and down and glittered with silver and
gold.  Round its neck was a ribbon on which was written: "The Emperor
of Japan's Nightingale is poor indeed, compared with the Emperor
of China's."

"That is delightful," they all said, and on the messenger who had
brought the artificial bird, they bestowed the title of "Imperial

"Let them sing together, and _what_ a duet that will be!"

And so they had to sing, but the thing would not work, because the
real Nightingale could only sing in its own way, and the artificial
Nightingale went by clockwork.

"That is not its fault," said the band-master.  "Time is its strong
point and it has quite my method."

Then the artificial Nightingale had to sing alone.  It had just as
much success as the real bird, and it was so much handsomer to look
at; it glittered like bracelets and breast-pins.  It sang the same
tune three and thirty times, and still it was not tired; the people
would willingly listen to the whole performance over again from the
start, but the Emperor suggested that the real Nightingale should sing
for a while--where was it?  Nobody had noticed it had flown out
of the open window back to its green woods.

"But what is the meaning of all this?" said the Emperor.  All the
courtiers railed at the Nightingale and said it was a most ungrateful

"We have the better of the two," they said, and the artificial
Nightingale had to sing again, and this was the thirty-fourth time
they had heard the same tune.  But they did not know it properly
event then because it was so difficult, and the band-master praised
the wonderful bird in the highest terms and even asserted that it
was superior to the real bird, not only as regarded the outside,
with the many lovely diamonds, but the inside as well.

"You see, ladies and gentlemen, and above all your Imperial Majesty,
that with the real Nightingale, you can never predict what may happen,
but with the artificial bird, everything is settled beforehand; so it
remains and it cannot be changed.  One can account for it.  One can
rip it open, and show the human ingenuity, explaining how the cylinders
lie, how they work, and how one thing is the result of another."

"That is just what we think," they all exclaimed, and the bandmaster
received permission to exhibit the bird to the people on the following
Sunday.  The Emperor said they would hear it sing.  They listened and
were as much delighted as if they had been drunk with tea, which is
Chinese, you know, and they all said: "Oh!" and stuck their forefingers
in the air, and nodded their heads.  But the poor fisherman who had
heard the real Nightingale, said: "It sounds quite well, and a little
like it, but there is something wanting, I do not know what."

The real Nightingale was banished from the Kingdom.

The artificial bird had its place on a silken cushion close to the
Emperor's bed.  All the presents it had received, the gold and
precious stones, lay all round it, and it had been honored with the
title of High-Imperial-Bed-Room-Singer--in the first rank, on the
left side, for even the Emperor considered that side the grander on
which the heart is placed, and even an Emperor has his heart on the
left side.

The band-master wrote twenty-five volumes about the wonderful artificial
bird.  The book was very learned and very long, filled with the most
difficult words in the Chinese language, and everybody said they had
read and understood it, for otherwise they would have been considered
stupid, and would have been trampled upon.

And thus a whole year passed away.  The Emperor, the Court, and all
the Chinamen knew every little gurgle in the artificial bird's song,
and just for this reason, they were all the better pleased with it.
They could sing it themselves--which they did.

The boys in the street sang "Iodizing," and, "cluck, cluck," and even
the Emperor sang it.  Yes, it was certainly beautiful!

But one evening, while the bird was singing, and the Emperor lay in
bed listening to it, there was a whirring sound inside the bird, and
something whizzed; all the wheels ran round, and the music stopped.

The Emperor sprang out of bed and sent for the Court Physician, but
what could he do?  Then they sent for the watch-maker, and after much
talk and examination, he patched the bird up, but he said it must be
spared as much as possible, because the hammers were so worn out--and he
could not put new ones in so that the music could be counted on.  This
was a great grief.  The bird could only be allowed to sing once a year,
and even that was risky, but on these occasions, the band-master would
make a little speech, full of difficult words, saying the bird was just
as good as ever--and that was true.

Five years passed away, and a great sorrow had come to the country.
The people all really cared for their Emperor, and now he was ill and
it was said he could not live.  A new Emperor had been chosen, and the
people stood about the streets, and questioned the Lord-in-Waiting
about their Emperor's condition.

"P!" he said, and shook his head.

The Emperor lay pale and cold on his great, gorgeous bed; the whole
Court believed that he was dead, and they all hastened to pay homage
to the new Emperor.  The footmen hurried off to discuss matters, and
the chambermaids gave a great coffee-party.  Cloth had been laid down
in all the rooms and passages, so that not even a footstep should be
heard and it was all so very quiet.  But the Emperor was not yet dead.
He lay stiff and pale in the sumptuous bed, with its long velvet
curtains and heavy gold tassels; high above was an open window, and
the moon shone in upon the Emperor and the artificial bird.  The poor
Emperor could hardly breathe; he felt as if someone were sitting on
his chest; he opened his eyes and saw that it was Death sitting on his
chest, wearing his golden crown, holding in one hand his golden sword,
and in the other his splendid banner.  And from the folds of the
velvet curtains strange faces peered forth; some terrible to look on,
others mild and friendly--these were the Emperor's good and bad deeds,
which gazed upon him now that Death sat upon his heart.

"Do you remember this?" whispered one after the other.  "Do you remember
that?"  They told him so much that the sweat poured down his face.

"I never knew that," said the Emperor.  "Music! music!  Beat the great
Chinese drum!" he called out, "so that I may not hear what they are

But they kept on, and Death nodded his head, like a Chinaman, at
everything they said.

"Music, music," cried the Emperor.  "You precious little golden bird!
Sing to me, ah! sing to me!  I have given you gold and costly treasure.
I have hung my golden slipper about your neck.  Sing to me. Sing to me!"

But the bird was silent; there was no one to wind him up, and therefore
he could not sing.  Death went on, staring at the Emperor with his great
hollow eyes, and it was terribly still.

Then suddenly, close to the window, came the sound of a lovely song.
It was the little live Nightingale perched on a branch outside.  It had
heard of its Emperor's need, and had therefore flown hither to bring him
comfort and hope, and as he sang, the faces became paler and the blood
coursed more freely through the Emperor's veins.  Even Death himself
listened and said: "Go on, little Nightingale.  Go on."

"Yes, if you will give me the splendid sword.  Yes, if you will give
me the Imperial banner!  Yes, if you will give me the Emperor's crown!"

And Death gave back all these treasures for a song.  And still the
Nightingale sang on.  He sang of the quiet churchyard, where the white
roses grow, where the elder flowers bloom, and where the grass is kept
moist by the tears of those left behind, and there came to Death such
a longing to see his garden, that he floated out of the window, like a
could white mist.

"Thank you, thank you," said the Emperor.  "You heavenly little bird,
I know you well!  I banished you from the land, and you have charmed
away the evil spirits from my bed and you have driven Death from my
heart.  How shall I reward you?"

"You have rewarded me," said the Nightingale.  "I brought tears to your
eyes the first time I sang, and I shall never forget that.  Those are
the jewels which touched the heart of the singer; but sleep now, that
you may wake fresh and strong.  I will sing to you."  Then it sang
again, and the Emperor fell into a sweet sleep.

The sun shone in upon him through the window, when he woke the next
morning feeling strong and well.  None of his servants had come back,
because they thought he was dead, but the Nightingale was still singing.

You will always stay with me," said the Emperor.  "You shall only sing
when it pleases you, and I will break the artificial Nightingale into
a thousand pieces."

"Do not do that," said the Nightingale.  "It has done the best it
could.  Keep it with you.  I cannot build my nest in a palace, but let
me come just as I please.  I well sit on the branch near the window,
and sing to you that you may both joyful and thoughtful.  I will sing
to you of the happy folk, and of those that suffer; I will sing of
the evil and of the good, which is being hidden from you.  The little
singing bird flies hither and thither, to the poor fisherman, to the
peasant's hut, to many who live far from your Court.  Your heart is
dearer to me than your crown, and yet the crown has a breath of
sanctity, too.  I will come, I will sing to you!  But one thing
you must promise me!"

"All that you ask," said the Emperor, and stood there in his imperial
robes which he had put on himself, and held the heavy golden sword on
his heart.

"I beg you, let no one know that you have a little bird who tells you
everything.  It will be far better so!"

Then the Nightingale flew away.

The servants came to look upon their dead Emperor.  Yes, there they
stood; and the Emperor said: "Good morning!"


There was once a Prince who wished to marry a Princess, but she must
be a _real_ Princess.  He travelled all over the world to find
one, but there was always something wrong.  There were plenty of
Princesses, but whether they were _real_ or not he could not be
sure.  There was always something that was not quite right.  So he
came home again, feeling very sad, for he was so anxious to have a
real Princess.

One evening there was a terrible storm; it lightened and thundered, and
the rain came down in torrents; it was a fearful night.  In the midst
of the storm there came a knocking at the town-gate, and the old King
himself went down to open it.  There, outside stood a princess.  But
what a state she was in from the rain and the storm!  The water was
running out of her hair on to her clothes, into he shoes and out at
the heels; and yet she said she was a _real_ Princess.

"We shall soon find out about that," thought the old Queen.  But she
said never a word.  She went into the bedroom, took off all the
bedclothes and put a pea on the bedstead.  Then she took twenty
mattresses and laid them on the pea and twenty eider-down quilts on
the mattresses.  And the Princess was to sleep on the top of all.

In the morning they came to her and asked her how she had slept.

"Oh! wretchedly," said the Princess.  "I scarcely closed my eyes the
whole night long.  Heaven knows what could have been in the bed!  I
have lain upon something hard, so that my whole body is black and
blue.  It is quite dreadful."

They could see now that she was a _real_ Princess, because she
had felt the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty eider-down
quilts.  Nobody but a real Princess could be so sensitive.

So the Prince married her, for now he knew that he had found a _real_
Princess, and the pea was sent to an Art Museum, where it can still be
seen, if nobody has taken it away.

Now, mark you: This is a true story.



  I had intended, in this section, to offer an appendix of titles of
  stories and books which should cover all the ground of possible
  narrative in schools; but I have found so many lists containing
  standard books and stories, that I have decided that this original
  plan would be a work of supererogation.  What is really needed is
  a supplementary list to those already published--a specialized list
  which is the result of private research and personal experience.
  I have for many years spent considerable time in the British Museum
  and some of the principal libraries in America.  I now offer the
  fruit of my labor.



  THE STORY OF THESEUS.  From Kingsley's "Heroes."
    How Theseus lifted the stone.
    How Theseus slew the Corynetes.
    How Theseus slew Sinis.
    How Theseus slew Kerkyon and Procrustes.
    How Theseus slew the Medea and was acknowledged the
      son of Aegeus.
    How Theseus slew the Minotaur. To be told in six parts
      as a series.



    From "Wonder Tales from Herodotus," by N. Barrington D'Almeida.
    These stories are intended for reading, but could be shortened
    for effective narration.




    From "Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls," by W. H. Weston.
    These stories must be shortened and adapted for narration.


    From "Tales from Plutarch," by F. J. Rowbotham.  These stories
    may be shortened and told in sections.



    From "The Talking Thrush," by W. H. D. Rouse.

    From "Old Deccan Days," by Mary Frere.

    This story may be found in "The Fairy Ring," edited by Kate
    Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith; also in "Tales of
    the Punjab," by F. A. Steel, under the title of "The Tiger,
    the Brahman and the Jackal."

    From "Old Deccan Days," by Mary Frere.  This story  may be
    found in "The Fairy Ring," edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin
    and Nora Archibald Smith.


    From "Indian Fairy Tales," by Joseph Jacobs.



    From "Tales of the Punjab," by F. A. Steel.


    From "Indian Nights Entertainment," by Synnerton.

    This story should be abridged for narration.


    From "Tibetan Tales," by F. A. Schiefner.

    From "Out of the East," by Lafcadio Hearn.

    From "Indian Fairy Tales," by Mark Thornhill.



    From "A Collection of Eastern Stories and Legends,"
    by M. L. Shedlock.

    This story may be found in "Tales of Laughter," edited by
    Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith, under the
    title of "The Blind Man, the Deaf Man and the Donkey."

    From "Legendary Lore of all Nations."


    A good story for boys, to be given in shortened form.
    From "The Kipling Reader," by Rudyard Kipling.


    One of the few stories wherein the Jackal shows skill
    combined with gratitude.  From "Folk Tales of Kashmir,"
    by J. H. Knowles.

    From "Folk Tales of Kashmir," by J. H. Knowles.





    From "Manx Tales," by Sophia Morrison.

    From "Contes Populaires Malgaches," by Gariel Ferrand.




    From "Myths and Legends of Flowers, Trees, Fruits, and Plants,"
    by C. M. Skinner.





    From "Chinese Fairy Tales", by H. A. Giles.



    From "Sixty Folk Tales from Slavonic Sources,"
    by O. H. Wratislaw.


    From "Chinese Fairy Stories," by N. A. Pitnam.  This
    story must be shortened and adapted for narration.




    From "Fairy Gold," by Ernest Rhys.

    From "Cossack Fairy Tales," by R. N. Bain.

    From "Myths and Legends of Japan," by F. H. Davis.



    From "Old World Japan," by Frank Rinder.

    From "Stories of Early British Heroes," by C. G. Hartley.

    From "The Voyage of Maildun," in "Old Celtic Romances,"
    by P. W. Joyce.

    From "Heroes of Asgard," by M. R. Earle.
    In three parts for young children.

    From "Evenings with the Old Story Tellers."

    From "Russian Wonder Tales," by Post Wheeler.  This is
    more suitable for reading.

    From "Rip Van Winkle," by Washington Irving.

    From "Myths and Legends of Japan," by F. H. Davis.

    From "The Book of Legends Told Over Again,"
    by H. E. Scudder.

    From "Myths and Legends of Flowers, Trees, Fruit
    and Plants," by C. M. Skinner.  A Talmud legend.

    From "Child-Lore."



    From "A Book of Ballad Stories," by Mary Macleod.


    From "Au Pays des Legendes," by Eugene Herepin.


    From "Zuni Folk Tales," by F. H. Cushing.

    From "Legends of the Iroquois," by W. V. Canfield.


    From "Kaffir Folk Tales," by G. M. Theal.


    From "Bulletin De Folk Lore, Liege."






    From "Tales of Old Lusitania," by Coelho.


  THE LOST SPEAR.  (To be shortened.)

  THE HERMIT.  (By Voltaire.)

  THE BLUE CAT.  (From the French.)



    From "The Golden Fairy Book."

    From "Uncle Remus in Hansaland," by Mary and Newman Tremearne.







    From "Servian Stories and Legends."





    From "Contes Populaires du Pays Wallon," by August Gittee.




    From "Contes Populaires Malgaches," by Gabriel Ferrand.

    From "The Maori Tales," by Baroness Orczy and Montagu
    Marstow.  This story is given for the same purpose as
    "A Long Bow Story" from Andrew Lang's "Olive Fairy Book."


    From "Tales from the Land of Grapes and Nuts,"
    by Charles Sellers.






    From the "Gesta Romanorum."

    From "Unpublished Legends of  Virgil,"
    collected by C. G. Leland.

  SEEING THAT ALL WAS RIGHT.  (A good story for boys.)


    From "Legends of Florence," by C. G. Leland.







    From "Myths and Folk Tales of the Russians, Western
    Slavs and Magyars," by Jeremiah Curtin.  These stories
    need shortening and adapting.

    This story should  be shortened to add to the dramatic power.
    [From a Chap Book.]

    From "Fairy Tales," by Hans Christian Andersen.

    From "More English Fairy Tales," by Joseph Jacobs.  This story
    and "The Fisherman and his Wife" are great favorites and could
    be told one after the other, one to illustrate the patient life,
    and the other the patient husband.

    This is a very dramatic and pagan story, to be used with discretion.


    From "Papuan Fairy Tales." by Annie Ker.

    From "Cornwall's  Wonderland," by Mabel Quiller-Couch.
    To be told in shortened form.




    From "Fairy Tales from Finland," by Zachris Topelius.


    From "Australian Legendary Tales," by Mrs. K. L. Parker.

    From "The English Fairy Book," by Ernest Rhys. I have been
    asked so often for this particular story I am glad to be
    able to provide it in very poetical language.









    From Grimm's Fairy Tales, edited by Mrs. Edgar Lucas.

  OLE-LUK-OIE.  Series of seven stories.



    For younger children.  From Andersen's Fairy Tales.













    For older children.  From Andersen's Fairy Tales.  The two
    best editions of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales are
    the translation by Mrs. Edgar Lucas and the only complete
    English edition by W. A. and J. K. Craigie.



    From "All Sorts of Stories Book," by Mrs. L. B. Lang.

    From "The Orange Fairy Book."  A story for boys.





    From "The Red Romance Book."




    From "The Lilac Fairy Book."

    As a preparation for Cupid and Psyche.
    From "The Blue Fairy Book."


    From "The Green Fairy Book".

    From "The Crimson Fairy Book."  To be given in shorter form.

    From "The Olive Fairy Book."  This story makes children learn
    to distinguish between falsehood and romance.


    From "The Animal Story Book."


    This story should be divided and told in two sections.

    From "The Arabian Nights Entertainment," edited by Andrew Lang.















    From "An Indian Tale or Two," by William Swinton.


   [This is sometimes due to a kind action shown to some
   humble person or to an animal.]

    From "The Kiltartan Wonder Book," by Lady Gregory.

    From "Russian Fairy Tales," by F. B. Bain.

    From "The Violet Fairy Book," by Andrew Lang.

    From "Myths and Folk Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs
    and Magyars," by Jeremiah Curtin.

    From "Fairy Tales," by Hans Christian Andersen.

    From "The Golden Fairy Book."


    From "Legends of the French Provinces."

    From "Russian Wonder Tales," by Post Wheeler. This story is
    more suitable for reading than telling.

    From Grimm's Fairy Tales, edited by Mrs. Edgar Lucas.

    From "Roumanian Fairy Tales," by J. M. Percival.


  THE STORY OF SAINT BRANDONS.  Vol. 7, page 52.

  THE STORY OF SAINT FRANCIS.  Vol. 5, page 125.



  SAINT MARTIN AND THE CLOAK. Vol. 6, page 142.
    From the "Legenda Aurea."

    From "Tales Facetiae."

    From "The Welsh Fairy Book," by W. J. Thomas.

    Twelfth Century Legend Done Out of Old French into English,
    by J. H. Wickstead.  This story may be shortened and adapted
    without sacrificing too much of the beauty of the style.

    From "A Child's Book of Saints," by William Canton.  This
    should be shortened and somewhat simplified for narration,
    especially in the technical, ecclesiastical terms.




    From "Old  English History for Children," by E. A. Freeman.
    I commend all those who tell these stories to read the
    comments made on them by E. A. Freeman himself.


    From "The Enchanted Garden," by Mrs. M. L. Molesworth.  This
    may be shortened and arranged for narration.

  From "Twenty-six Ideal Stories for Girls," by Helena M. Conrad.
  A fairy tale for grown-ups, for  pure relaxation.

    From "All-Fellows Seven Legends of Lower Redemption,"
    by Laurence Housman.

  From "Fairy Tales," by Oscar Wilde.

    From "Windlestraw, Legends in Rhyme of Plants and Animals,"
    by Pamela Glenconner.  From the Provencal.


    From "Tales for Little People,"  Nos. 323 and 318,
    by Maud Symonds.

    From "The Little Wonder Box," in "Stories Told to a Child,"
    by Jean Ingelow.




    From "Nos Enfants," by Anatole France.

    From "The Book of Knight and Barbara," by David Starr Jordan.
    For very small children.


    From "The Girl from the  Marshcroft," by Selma Lagerlof.
    Both stories should be shortened and adapted for narration.

    I trust that the grouping of my stories in this section
    may not be misleading. Under "Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales"
    I have included many stories which contain valuable ethical
    teaching, deep philosophy and stimulating examples for conduct
    in life.  I regret that I have been unable to find a good
    collection of stories from history for narrative purposes.
    I have made a careful and lengthy search, but the stories
    are all written from the _reading_ point of view rather
    than the _telling_.


    Fairy Tales; translated by Mrs. Edgar Lucas.  Dutton.
    Fairy Tales; edited by W. A. and J. K. Craigie.  Oxford
      University Press.

    Jataka Tales.  Century.

  BAIN, R. N.
    Cossack Fairy Tales.  Burt.
    Russian Fairy Tales.  Burt.

    History of English Balladry.  Badger.

    The Jataka; or Stories of the Buddha's Former Births;
    translated from the Pali by Various Hands. In Six Volumes.
    University Press.

    Children of the Dawn.  Stokes.


    King Peter.  Duckworth.

    The Legends of the Iroquois.  Wessels.

    A Child's Book of Saints.  Dutton.
    A Child's Book of Warriors.  Dutton.

  CHILD LORE.  Nimmo.

    Slav Fairy Tales; translated by E. J. Harding.  Burt.

  CLARK, K. M.
    Maori Tales. Nutt.

    Tales of Old Lusitania.   Swan Sonnenschein.

    Twenty-six Ideal Stories for Girls.  Hutchinson.

    Cornwall's Wonderland.  Dutton.

    Myths and Folk Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs
    and Magyars.  Little.

    Zuni Folk Tales.  Putnam.

  DARTON, E. J. H.
    Pilgrim Tales; from Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims.  Dodge.
    Wonder Book of Old Romance.  Stokes.

    Norse Fairy Tales.  Putnam.

    Buddhist Birth Stories.  Trubner.

  DAVIS, F. H.
    Myths and Legends of Japan.  Crowell.

  EARLE, M. R.
    Heroes of Asgard.  Macmillan.
    Evenings with the Old Story Tellers.  Leavitt and Allen.

    The Queen Bee and Other Nature Tales; translated
    by C. C. Moore-Smith.  Nelson.

    Contes Populaires Malgaches.  Leroux.

    Chinese Nights' Entertainment.  Putnam

    Nos Enfants.  Hachette.

    Old English History for Children.  Dutton.

    Old Deccan Days.  Murray.

    Stories from Froissart; edited by Henry Nebolt.  Macmillan.

  GESTA ROMANORUM.  Swan Sonnenschein.

  GILES, H. A.
    Chinese Fairy Tales.  Gowans.

    Contes Populaires du Pays Wallon.  Vanderpooten.

    Windlestraw, Legends in Rhyme of Plants and Animals.
    Chiswick Press.

  GOLDEN FAIRY BOOK.  Hutchinson.

    The Kiltartan Wonder Book.  Dutton.

  GRIMM, J. L. K. AND W. K.
    GRIMM Fairy Tales; translated by Mrs. Edgar Lucas.  Leppincott.

    Uncle Remus; His Songs and His Sayings.  Appleton.

    Stories of Early British Heroes.  Dent.

    Out of the East.  Houghton.

    Wonder Storied from Herodotus; edited by N. Barrington D'Almeida.

    Au Pays Du Legendes.  Calliere.

    Stories from the History of Ceylon for Children.  Capper.

    All-Fellows Seven Legends of Lower Redemption.  Kegan Paul.

    The Little Wonder Box.  Griffeths, Farren and Company.
    Stories Told to a Child.  Little.

    Rip Van Winkle.  Macmillan.

    Indian Fairy Tales.  Putnam.
    More English Fairy Tales.  Putnam.

    The Book of Knight and Barbara.  Appleton.

  JOYCE, P. W.
    Old Celtic Romances.  Longmans.

    Heroes of Asgard.  Macmillan.

    Papuan Fairy Tales.  Macmillan.

    Heroes.  Macmillan.

    The Jungle Book.  Macmillan.
    The Kipling Reader.  Appleton.
    The Second Jungle Book.  Macmillan.

    Folk Tales of Kashmir.  Trubner.

   The Girl from Marshcroft.  Little.

    Arabian Nights' Entertainment.  Longmans.
    The Blue Fairy Book.  Longmans.
    The Crimson Fairy Book  Longmans.
    The Green Fairy Book.  Longmans.
    The Lilac Fairy Book.  Longmans.
    The Olive Fairy Book.  Longmans.
    The Orange Fairy Book.  Longmans.
    The Red Fairy Book.  Longmans.
    The Violet Fairy Book.  Longmans.

  LANG. L. B.
    All Sorts of Stories Book.  Longmans.


    Legends of Florence.  Macmillan
    Unpublished Legends of Virgil.  Stock.

    Indian Myths and Legends.  Gresham Publishing House.

    A Book of Ballad Stories.  Stokes.

    The Enchanted Garden.  Unwin.

    Classic Myths and Legends.  Gresham Publishing House.

    Manx Fairy Tales.  Nutt.

  NAAKE, J. T.
    Slavonic Fairy Tales.  King.

    Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists.  Holt.

    Old Hungarian Fairy Tales.  Dean.

    Australian Legendary Tales.  Nutt.

    The Children's Library of the Saints.  Jackson.

    Roumanian Fairy Tales.  Holt.

    Fairy Tales.  Dutton.

    Chinese Fairy Stories.  Crowell.

    Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls; retold by W. H. Weston.  Stokes
    Tales from Plutarch, by F. J. Rowbotham.  Crowell.

    Tales of the Heroic Ages; Frithjof, Viking of Norway, and Roland,
      Paladin of France.  Putnam.
    Tales of the Heroic Ages; Siegfried, Hero of the North, and
      Beowulf, Hero of Anglo-Saxons.  Putnam.

    Hansa Folk Lore, Customs, Proverbs, etc.  Clarendon Press.

    The English Fairy Book.  Stokes.
    Fairy Gold.  Dutton.
    The Garden of Romance.  Kegan Paul.

    Old World Japan.  Allen.

    Tales and Talks from History.  Caldwell.

  ROUSE, W. H. D.
    The Talking Thrush.  Dutton.

    Tibetan Tales.  Trubner.

    The Book of Legends Told Over Again.  Houghton.

    Tales from the Land of Grapes and Nuts.  Field and Tuer.


    A Collection of Eastern Stories and Legends.  Dutton.

    Myths and Legends of Flowers, Fruits and Plants.  Lippincott.

    Book of Ballads for Boys and Girls.  Oxford University Press.

    Tales of the Punjab.  Macmillan.

    Northwest Slav Legends and Fairy Stories.  Erben.

    An Indian Tale or Two; Reprinted from Blackheath Local Guide.

    Legendary Lore of all Nations.  Ivison, Taylor & Company.

    Indian Nights' Entertainment.  Stock.


    The Children and the Pictures.  Macmillan.

  THEAL, G. M.
    Kaffir Folk Lore.  Swan Sonnenschein.

    The Welsh Fairy Book.  Stokes.

    Indian Fairy Tales.  Hatchard.

    Fairy Tales from Finland.  Unwin.

    Uncle Remus in Hansaland.

    Russian Wonder Tales.  Century.

    Our Lady's Tumbler; Twelfth Century Legend Done Out of Old French
      into English.  Mosher.

    The Fairy Ring.  Doubleday.
    Tales of Laughter.  Doubleday.

    Fairy Tales.  Putnam.

    The Indian Story Book.  Macmillan.

    Sixty Folk Tales from Exclusively Slavonic Sources.  Stock.


1. I venture to hope (at this long distance of years) that my
 language in telling the story was more simple than appears
 from this account.

2. This difference of spelling in the same essay will be much
 appreciated by those who know how gladly children offer an
 orthographical alternative, in hopes that one if not the other
 may satisfy the exigency of the situation.

3. See "List of Stories."

4. At the Congressional Library in Washington.

5. Letters of T. E. Brown, page 55.

6. Page 55.

7. In further illustration of this point see "When Burbage
 Played," Austen Dobson, and "In the Nursery," Hans Andersen.

8. "Les jeux des enfants," page 16.

9. A noted Greek gymnast struck his pupil, though he was applauded
 by the whole assembly.  "You did it clumsily, and not as you ought,
 for these people would never have praised you for anything really

10. For further details on the question of preparation of the story,
 see chapter on "Questions Asked by Teachers."

11. Sully says that children love exact repetition because of the
 intense enjoyment bound up with the process of imaginative realization.

12. At the Summer School at Chautauqua, New York, and at Lincoln
 Park, Chicago.

13. There must be no more emphasis in the second manner than the first.

14. From "Education of an Orator," Book II, Chapter 3.

15. One child's favorite book bore the exciting title of "Birth, Life
 and Death of Crazy Jane."

16. This does not imply that the child would not appreciate in the
 right context the thrilling and romantic story in connection with
 the finding of the Elgin marbles.

17. One is almost inclined to prefer Marjorie Fleming's little
 innocent oaths.

               "But she was more than usual calm,
                She did not give a single dam."

18. Published by John Loder, bookseller, Woodbridge, in 1829.

19. From "Literary Values."

20. A story is told of Confucius, who, having attended a funeral,
 presented his horse to the chief mourner.  When asked why he
 bestowed this gift, he replied: "I wept with the man, so I felt
 I ought to _do_ something for him."

21. This experiment cannot be made with a group of children for
 obvious reasons.

22. From an address on "The Cultivation of the Imagination."

23. "The House in the Wood" (Grimm), is another instance of
 triumph for the youngest child.

24. See list of stories under this heading.

25. To be found in Andrew Lang's "The Violet Fairy Book."

26. To be found in Jacob's "More English Fairy Tales."

27. From the "Thabagata."

28. For selection of suitable stories among legends of the Saints,
 see list of stories under the heading, "Stories from the Lives of
 the Saints."

29. These words have been set most effectively to music by Miss
 Margaret Ruthven Lang.

30. From "The Use of Fairy Tales," in "Moral Instruction of Children".

31. See Chapter on Questions asked by Teachers.

32. From "Talks to Teachers," page 93.

33. An excellent account of this is to be found in "The Song of Roland,"
  by Arthur Way and Frederic Spender.

34. Njal's Burning, from "The Red Book of Romance," by Andrew Lang.

35. From "Studies of Childhood."

36. England.

37. From "The Lockerbie Book," by James Whitcomb Riley, copyright, 1911.
 Used by special permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merril Company.

38. From "Virginibus Puerisque."

39. See "Long Bow Story;" "John and the Pig."

40. Published by George Allen & Co.

41. This is even a higher spirit than that shown in the advice given in
 the "Agamemnon" (speaking of the victor's attitude after the taking of

            "Yea, let no craving for forbidden gain
             Bid conquerors yield before the darts of greed."

42. It is curious to find that the story of Puss-in-Boots in its
 variants is sometimes presented with a moral, sometimes without.
 In the Valley of the Ganges it has _none_.  In Cashmere it has
 one moral, in Zanzibar another.

43. From Hans Christian Andersen, in "Childhood in Literature and Art."

44. "Sartor Resartus," Book III, page 218.

45. From "Childhood in Literature and Art."

46. See "Eastern Stories and Fables," published by Routledge.

47. See Chapter I.

48. In this matter I have, in England, the support of Dr. Kimmins,
 Chief Inspector of Education in the London County Council, who is
 strongly opposed to the immediate reproduction of stories.

49. These remarks refer only to the illustrations of stories told.
 Whether children should be encouraged to self-expression in drawing
 (quite apart form reproducing in one medium what has been conveyed
 to them in another), is too large a question to deal with in this
 special work on story-telling.

50. I give the following story, quoted by Professor Ker in his Romanes
 lecture, 1906, as an encouragement to those who develop the art of

51. The melody to be crooned at first and to grow louder at each

52. "The punishment that can most affect Merfolk is to restrict their
 freedom.  And this is how the Queen of the Sea punished the Nixie of
 our tale."

53. The three stories from Hans Christian Andersen have for so long
 formed part of my repertoire that I have been requested to include
 them.  I am offering a free translation of my own from the Danish

54. Alas! dear Augustin,
    All is lost, lost!


My thanks are due to:

Mrs. Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon, for permission to use an extract
  from "The Madness of Philip," and to her publishers.

To Messrs. Houghton Mifflin, for permission to use extract from "Thou
  Shalt Not Preach," by Mr. John Burroughs.

To Messrs. Macmillan and Co., for permission to use, "Milking Time,"
  of Miss Rossetti.

To Mrs. William Sharp, for permission to use passage from "The Divine
  Adventure," by Fiona MacLeod.

To Miss Ethel CLifford, for permission to use the poem of "The Child."

To Mr. James Whitcomb Riley and the Bobbs Merrill Co., for permission
  to use "The Treasure of the Wise Man."

To Professor Ker, for permission to quote from "Sturla the Historian."

To Mr. John Russell, for permission to print in full, "A Saga."

To Messrs. Longmans, Green, and Co., for permission to use "The Two
  Frogs," from the Violate Fairy Book, and "To Your Good Health," from
  the Crimson Fairy Book.

To Mr. Heinemann and Lady Glenconner, for permission to reprint
  "The  Water Nixie," by Pamela Tennant, from "The Children and
  the Pictures."

To Mr. Maurice Baring and the Editor of _The Morning Post_, for
  permission to reprint "The Blue Rose" from _The Morning Post_.

To Dr. Walter Rouse and Mr. J. M. Dent, for permission to reprint from
  "The Talking Thrush" the story of "The Wise Old Shepherd."

To Rev. R. L. Gales, for permission to use the article on "Nursery
  Rhymes" from the _Nation_.

To Mr. Edmund Gosse, for permission to use extracts from "Father
  and Son."

To Messrs. Chatto & Windus, for permission to use "Essay on Child's
  Play" (from _Virginibus Puerisque_) and other papers.

To Mr. George Allen & Co., for permission to use "Ballad for a Boy,"
  by W. Cory, from "Ionica."

To Professor Bradley, for permission to quote from his essay on
  "Poetry and Life."

To Mr. P. A. Barnett, for permission to quote from "The Commonsense
  of Education."

To Mr. James Stephens, for permission to reprint "The Man and the Boy."

To Mr. Harold Barnes, for permission to use version of the "The
  Proud Cock."  To Mrs. Arnold Glover, for permission to print
  two of her stories.

To Miss Emilie Poulson, for permission to use her translation of
  Bjornsen's Poem.

To George Routledge & Son, for permission to use stories from
  "Eastern Stories and Fables."

To Mrs. W. K. Clifford, for permission to quote from "Very Short

To Mr. W. Jenkyn Thomas and Mr. Fisher Unwin, for permission to use
  "Arthur in the Cave" from the Welsh Fairy Book.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Art of the Story-Teller" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.