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Title: Fourth Reader - The Alexandra Readers
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Fourth Reader - The Alexandra Readers" ***

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                        [Illustration: VICTORIA

               LATE QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND]



                         THE ALEXANDRA READERS

                             FOURTH READER

                                  BY

                      W. A. McINTYRE, B.A., LL.D.

                  PRINCIPAL, NORMAL SCHOOL, WINNIPEG

                          JOHN DEARNESS, M.A.

                 VICE-PRINCIPAL, NORMAL SCHOOL, LONDON

                                  AND

                          JOHN C. SAUL, M.A.

              AUTHORIZED BY THE DEPARTMENTS OF EDUCATION
                   FOR USE IN THE SCHOOLS OF ALBERTA
                           AND SASKATCHEWAN

                            PRICE 50 CENTS

                                TORONTO
                  MORANG EDUCATIONAL COMPANY LIMITED
                                 1908

                             COPYRIGHT BY
                  MORANG EDUCATIONAL COMPANY LIMITED
                                 1908

                      COPYRIGHT IN GREAT BRITAIN



        CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

_Dominion Hymn_     _The Duke of Argyle_                               9

The Moonlight Sonata     _Anonymous_                                  10

_The Flight of the Birds_     _Edmund Clarence Stedman_               15

_The Minstrel Boy_     _Thomas Moore_                                 16

The Good Saxon King     _Charles Dickens_                             16

_A Song_     _James Whitcomb Riley_                                   21

_Better than Gold_     _Mrs. J. M. Winton_                            22

The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal     _Joseph Jacobs_            23

_A Canadian Boat-song_     _Thomas Moore_                             28

_The Song Sparrow_     _Henry van Dyke_                               29

The Child of Urbino     _Louise de la Ramée_                          31

_Destruction of Sennacherib’s Army_     _Lord Byron_                  40

_The Arrow and
 the Song_     _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_                           41

The Battle of the Ants     _Henry David Thoreau_                      42

_The Curate and the Mulberry Tree_     _Thomas Love Peacock_          45

_Miriam’s Song_     _Thomas Moore_                                    46

_The Meeting of the Waters_     _Thomas Moore_                        47

The Battle of Balaklava     _William Howard Russell_                  48

_True Worth_     _Ben Jonson_                                         51

_Love of Country_     _Sir Walter Scott_                              52

_Home and Country_     _James Montgomery_                             52

_The Fatherland_     _James Russell Lowell_                           54

The Oak Tree and the Ivy     _Eugene Field_                           55

_Harvest Song_     _James Montgomery_                                 60

_Harvest Time_     _E. Pauline Johnson_                               61

Hare-and-Hounds at Rugby     _Thomas Hughes_                          62

_An Adjudged Case_     _William Cowper_                               69

_Indian Summer_     _Susannah Moodie_                                 71

A Winter Journey     _Alexander Henry_                                73

_The Inchcape Rock_     _Robert Southey_                              78

The Bird of the Morning     _Olive Thorne Miller_                     81

_The Four-leaved Shamrock_     _Samuel Lover_                         84

_King Hacon’s Last Battle_     _Lord Dufferin_                        86

Mr. Pickwick on the Ice     _Charles Dickens_                         88

_Dickens in Camp_     _Francis Bret Harte_                            98

_Home they brought her Warrior_     _Lord Tennyson_                  100

The Locksmith of the Golden Key     _Charles Dickens_                101

_Tubal Cain_     _Charles Mackay_                                    103

_The Bugle Song_     _Lord Tennyson_                                 105

Leif Ericsson     _John Preston True_                                106

_The Loss of the_ Birkenhead     _Sir Francis Hastings Doyle_        113

_The Burial of Sir John Moore_     _Charles Wolfe_                   115

The Second Voyage of Sinbad     _Arabian Nights’ Entertainment_      116

_The Daffodils_     _William Wordsworth_                             122

_The Harp that once thro’ Tara’s Halls_     _Thomas Moore_           123

The Heroine of Verchères     _Francis Parkman_                       123

_The Slave’s Dream_     _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_                 128

_The Song of the Camp_     _Bayard Taylor_                           130

An Uncomfortable Bed     _Charles Kingsley_                          132

_Chinook_     _Ezra Hurlburt Stafford_                               138

_The Ivy Green_     _Charles Dickens_                                139

The Relief of Lucknow     _From a Letter_                            140

_The Charge of the Light Brigade_     _Lord Tennyson_                143

_Haste not, Rest not_     _Johann Wolfgang Goethe_                   146

Doubting Castle     _John Bunyan_                                    147

_The Daisy_     _James Montgomery_                                   153

_Lead, Kindly Light_     _John Henry Newman_                         155

Escape from a Panther     _James Fenimore Cooper_                    156

_Hunting Song_     _Sir Walter Scott_                                162

_The Landing of the Pilgrims_     _Felicia Dorothea Hemans_          163

An Eskimo Hut     _Isaac Hayes_                                      166

_Young Lochinvar_     _Sir Walter Scott_                             170

_The Song my Paddle Sings_     _E. Pauline Johnson_                  172

The First Years of the Red River Settlement     _Alexander Ross_     174

_The Red River Voyageur_     _John Greenleaf Whittier_               178

_Seven Times Four_     _Jean Ingelow_                                180

The Lark at the Diggings     _Charles Reade_                         181

_The Phantom Light of the
 Baie des Chaleurs_     _Arthur Wentworth Eaton_                     185

The Beatitudes     _From the Sermon on the Mount_                    187

Maggie Tulliver and the Gypsies     _George Eliot_                   188

_Lady Clare_     _Lord Tennyson_                                     199

Don Quixote and the Lion     _Miguel de Cervantes_                   203

_The Battle of Blenheim_     _Robert Southey_                        208

A Huron Mission House     _Francis Parkman_                          211

_The Burial of Moses_     _Cecil Frances Alexander_                  213

The Cruise of the Coracle     _Robert Louis Stevenson_               216

_The Sea_     _Bryan Waller Procter_                                 223

_The Wind’s Word_     _Archibald Lampman_                            225

Gulliver among the Giants     _Jonathan Swift_                       226

_To a Water-fowl_     _William Cullen Bryant_                        229

_’Tis the Last Rose of Summer_     _Thomas Moore_                    231

The Archery Contest     _Sir Walter Scott_                           232

_The Plains of Abraham_     _Charles Sangster_                       241

_The Graves of a Household_     _Felicia Dorothea Hemans_            243

The Miraculous Pitcher     _Nathaniel Hawthorne_                     244

_The Unnamed Lake_     _Frederick George Scott_                      253

_The Hunter of the Prairies_     _William Cullen Bryant_             255

Moses goes to the Fair     _Oliver Goldsmith_                        257

_Columbus_     _Joaquin Miller_                                      262

_Opportunity_     _Edward Rowland Sill_                              264

_To-day_     _Thomas Carlyle_                                        265

An Eruption of Vesuvius     _Anonymous_                              266

_The Sermon of St. Francis_     _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_         269

_The Greenwood Tree_     _William Shakespeare_                       271

_Incident of the French Camp_     _Robert Browning_                  272

Robinson Crusoe     _Daniel Defoe_                                   273

_The Wonderful One-hoss Shay_     _Oliver Wendell Holmes_            280

William Tell and his Son     _Chambers’ Tracts_                      285

_Saint Christopher_     _Helen Hunt Jackson_                         287

_General Brock_     _Charles Sangster_                               292

An Iceberg     _Richard Henry Dana_                                  293

_A Legend of Bregenz_     _Adelaide Anne Procter_                    295

Gluck’s Visitor     _John Ruskin_                                    300

_Jacques Cartier_     _Thomas D’Arcy McGee_                          313

_Bless the Lord, O my Soul_     _From the Book of Psalms_            315

The Heroes of the Long Sault     _Francis Parkman_                   317

_The Marseillaise_     _Rouget De Lisle_                             325

_The Watch on the Rhine_     _Max Schneckenburger_                   327

_Scots, Wha Hae Wi’ Wallace Bled_     _Robert Burns_                 329

The Coyote     _Mark Twain_                                          330

_Step by Step_     _Josiah Gilbert Holland_                          333

_A Summer Storm_     _Duncan Campbell Scott_                         335

The Death of Nelson     _Robert Southey_                             336

_The Battle of the Baltic_     _Thomas Campbell_                     342

_Ye Mariners of England_     _Thomas Campbell_                       345

The Apples of Idun     _Hamilton Wright Mabie_                       347

_How they brought the Good News_     _Robert Browning_               354

_Marmion and Douglas_     _Sir Walter Scott_                         356

The Tempest     _Mary Seymour_                                       359

_Edinburgh after Flodden_     _William Edmondstoune Aytoun_          371

The Discovery of the Mackenzie River     _Lawrence J. Burpee_        377

_The Face against the Pane_     _Thomas Bailey Aldrich_              381

The Carronade     _Victor Hugo_                                      385

The Vision of Mirza     _Joseph Addison_                             390

_The Prairies_     _William Cullen Bryant_                           396

The Great Stone Face     _Nathaniel Hawthorne_                       400

_King Oswald’s Feast_     _Archibald Lampman_                        406

The Burning of Moscow     _James T. Headley_                         409

_Ode to the Brave_     _William Collins_                             415

_The Torch of Life_     _Henry Newbolt_                              416



        FOURTH READER



        DOMINION HYMN


    God bless our wide Dominion,
      Our fathers’ chosen land,
    And bind in lasting union,
      Each ocean’s distant strand,
    From where Atlantic terrors
      Our hardy seamen train,
    To where the salt sea mirrors
      The vast Pacific chain.

    Our sires when times were sorest
      Asked none but aid Divine,
    And cleared the tangled forest,
      And wrought the buried mine.
    They tracked the floods and fountains,
      And won, with master hand,
    Far more than gold in mountains,--
      The glorious prairie land.

    Inheritors of glory,
      Oh! countrymen! we swear
    To guard the flag that o’er ye
      Shall onward victory bear.
    Where’er through earth’s far regions
      Its triple crosses fly,
    For God, for home, our legions
      Shall win, or fighting, die!
         --THE DUKE OF ARGYLE.



        THE MOONLIGHT SONATA


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

[Illustration: BEETHOVEN]

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

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

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

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

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

“I shall play to her,” he said, in an excited tone. “Here is
feeling--genius--understanding. I shall play to her, and she will
understand it.” And, before I could prevent him, his hand was upon the
door.

A pale young man was sitting by the table, making shoes; and near him,
leaning sorrowfully upon an old-fashioned harpsichord, sat a young girl,
with a profusion of light hair falling over her bent face. Both were
cleanly but very poorly dressed, and both started and turned towards us
as we entered.

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

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

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

There was something so odd in the whole affair, and something so
pleasant in the manner of the speaker, that the spell was broken, and
all smiled involuntarily.

“Thank you!” said the shoemaker; “but our harpsichord is so wretched,
and we have no music.”

“No music!” echoed my friend. “How, then, does the young lady--”

He paused, and colored up, for the girl looked full at him, and he saw
that she was blind.

“I--I entreat your pardon!” he stammered. “But I had not perceived
before. Then you play by ear?”

“Entirely.”

“And where do you hear the music, since you frequent no concerts?”

“I used to hear a lady practising near us, when we lived at Brühl two
years. During the summer evenings her windows were generally open, and I
walked to and fro outside to listen to her.”

She seemed shy; so Beethoven said no more, but seated himself quietly
before the piano, and began to play. He had no sooner struck the first
chord than I knew what would follow--how grand he would be that night.
And I was not mistaken. Never, during all the years I knew him, did I
hear him play as he then played to that blind girl and her brother. He
was inspired; and from the instant that his fingers began to wander
along the keys, the very tone of the instrument began to grow sweeter
and more equal.

The brother and sister were silent with wonder and rapture. The former
laid aside his work; the latter, with her head bent slightly forward,
and her hands pressed tightly over her breast, crouched down near the
end of the harpsichord, as if fearful lest even the beating of her heart
should break the flow of those magical, sweet sounds. It was as if we
were all bound in a strange dream, and feared only to wake.

Suddenly the flame of the single candle wavered, sank, flickered, and
went out. Beethoven paused, and I threw open the shutters, admitting a
flood of brilliant moonlight. The room was almost as light as before,
and the illumination fell strongest upon the piano and player. But the
chain of his ideas seemed to have been broken by the accident. His head
dropped upon his breast; his hands rested upon his knees; he seemed
absorbed in meditation. It was thus for some time.

At length the young shoemaker rose, and approached him eagerly, yet
reverently. “Wonderful man!” he said, in a low tone; “who and what are
you?”

The composer smiled as only he could smile, benevolently, indulgently,
kindly. “Listen!” he said, and he played the opening bars of the Sonata
in F.

A cry of delight and recognition burst from them both, and exclaiming,
“Then you are Beethoven!” they covered his hands with tears and kisses.

He rose to go, but we held him back with entreaties.

“Play to us once more--only once more!”

He suffered himself to be led back to the instrument. The moon shone
brightly in through the window and lit up his glorious, rugged head and
massive figure. “I shall improvise a sonata to the moonlight!” looking
up thoughtfully to the sky and stars. Then his hands dropped on the
keys, and he began playing a sad and infinitely lovely movement, which
crept gently over the instrument like the calm flow of moonlight over
the dark earth.

This was followed by a wild, elfin passage in triple time--a sort of
grotesque interlude, like the dance of sprites upon the sward. Then came
a swift, breathless, trembling movement, descriptive of flight and
uncertainty, and vague, impulsive terror, which carried us away on its
rustling wings, and left us all in emotion and wonder.

“Farewell to you!” said Beethoven, pushing back his chair and turning
towards the door--“farewell to you!”

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

He paused and looked compassionately, almost tenderly, at the face of
the blind girl. “Yes, yes,” he said, hurriedly; “I shall come again, and
give the young lady some lessons. Farewell! I shall soon come again!”

They followed us in silence more eloquent than words, and stood at their
door till we were out of sight and hearing.

“Let us make haste back,” said Beethoven, “that I may write out that
sonata while I can yet remember it.”

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

       *       *       *       *       *

    Go to the ant, thou sluggard;
    Consider her ways, and be wise:
    Which having no chief, overseer, or ruler,
    Provideth her meat in the summer,
    And gathereth her food in the harvest.
         --_From “The Book of Proverbs.”_



        THE FLIGHT OF THE BIRDS


                  Whither away, Robin,
                  Whither away?
    Is it through envy of the maple leaf,
    Whose blushes mock the crimson of thy breast,
                  Thou wilt not stay?
    The summer days were long, yet all too brief
    The happy season thou hast been our guest:
                  Whither away?

                  Whither away, Bluebird,
                  Whither away?
    The blast is chill, yet in the upper sky
    Thou still canst find the color of thy wing,
                  The hue of May.
    Warbler, why speed thy southern flight? ah, why,
    Thou too, whose song first told us of the spring?
                  Whither away?

                  Whither away, Swallow,
                  Whither away?
    Canst thou no longer tarry in the north,
    Here, where our roof so well hath screened thy nest?
                  Not one short day?
    Wilt thou--as if thou human wert--go forth
    And wander far from them who love thee best?
                  Whither away?
         --EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN.



        THE MINSTREL BOY


    The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
      In the ranks of death you’ll find him;
    His father’s sword he has girded on,
      And his wild harp slung behind him.
    “Land of song!” said the warrior bard,
      “Though all the world betrays thee,
    One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
      One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

    The minstrel fell, but the foeman’s chain
      Could not bring his proud soul under;
    The harp he loved ne’er spoke again,
      For he tore its chords asunder;
    And said, “No chains shall sully thee,
      Thou soul of love and bravery!
    Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
      They shall never sound in slavery!”
         --THOMAS MOORE.



        THE GOOD SAXON KING


Alfred the Great was a young man three and twenty years of age when he
became king of England. Twice in his childhood he had been taken to
Rome, where the Saxon nobles were in the habit of going on pilgrimages,
and once he had stayed for some time in Paris. Learning, however, was
so little cared for in those days that at twelve years of age he had not
been taught to read, although he was the favorite son of King Ethelwulf.

But like most men who grew up to be great and good, he had an excellent
mother. One day this lady, whose name was Osburga, happened, as she sat
among her sons, to read a book of Saxon poetry. The art of printing was
not known until long after that period. The book, which was written, was
illuminated with beautiful, bright letters, richly painted. The brothers
admiring it very much, their mother said, “I shall give it to that one
of you who first learns to read.” Alfred sought out a tutor that very
day, applied himself to learn with great diligence, and soon won the
book. He was proud of it all his life.

[Illustration: CHARLES DICKENS]

This great king, in the first year of his reign, fought nine battles
with the Danes. He made some treaties with them, too, by which the false
Danes swore that they would quit the country. They pretended that they
had taken a very solemn oath; but they thought nothing of breaking
oaths, and treaties, too, as soon as it suited their purpose, and of
coming back again to fight, plunder, and burn.

One fatal winter, in the fourth year of King Alfred’s reign, the Danes
spread themselves in great numbers over England. They so dispersed the
king’s soldiers that Alfred was left alone, and was obliged to disguise
himself as a common peasant, and to take refuge in the cottage of one of
his cowherds, who did not know him.

Here King Alfred, while the Danes sought him far and near, was left
alone one day by the cowherd’s wife, to watch some cakes which she put
to bake upon the hearth. But the king was at work upon his bow and
arrows, with which he hoped to punish the false Danes when a brighter
time should come. He was thinking deeply, too, of his poor, unhappy
subjects, whom the Danes chased through the land. And so his noble mind
forgot the cakes, and they were burnt. “What!” said the cowherd’s wife,
who scolded him well when she came back, and little thought she was
scolding the king; “you will be ready enough to eat them by and by, and
yet you cannot watch them, idle dog!”

At length the Devonshire men made head against a new host of Danes who
landed on their coast. They killed the Danish chief, and captured the
famous flag, on which was the likeness of a raven. The loss of this
standard troubled the Danes greatly. They believed it to be enchanted,
for it had been woven by the three daughters of their king in a single
afternoon. And they had a story among themselves, that when they were
victorious in battle, the raven would stretch his wings and seem to fly;
and that when they were defeated, he would droop.

It was important to know how numerous the Danes were, and how they were
fortified. And so King Alfred, being a good musician, disguised himself
as a minstrel, and went with his harp to the Danish camp. He played and
sang in the very tent of Guthrum, the Danish leader, and entertained the
Danes as they feasted. While he seemed to think of nothing but his
music, he was watchful of their tents, their arms, their
discipline,--everything that he desired to know.

Right soon did this great king entertain them to a different tune.
Summoning all his true followers to meet him at an appointed place, he
put himself at their head, marched on the Danish camp, defeated the
Danes, and besieged them fourteen days to prevent their escape. But,
being as merciful as he was good and brave, he then, instead of killing
them, proposed peace,--on condition that they should all depart from
that western part of England, and settle in the eastern. Guthrum was an
honorable chief, and forever afterwards he was loyal and faithful to the
king. The Danes under him were faithful, too. They plundered and burned
no more, but ploughed and sowed and reaped, and led good honest lives.
And the children of those Danes played many a time with Saxon children
in the sunny fields; and their elders, Danes and Saxons, sat by the red
fire in winter, talking of King Alfred the Great.

All the Danes, however, were not like these under Guthrum. After some
years, more of them came over in the old plundering, burning way. Among
them was a fierce pirate named Hastings, who had the boldness to sail up
the Thames with eighty ships. For three years there was war with these
Danes; and there was a famine in the country, too, and a plague, upon
both human creatures and beasts. But King Alfred, whose mighty heart
never failed him, built large ships, with which to pursue the pirates on
the sea. He encouraged his soldiers, by his brave example, to fight
valiantly against them on the shore. At last he drove them all away; and
then there was repose in England.

As great and good in peace as he was great and good in war, King Alfred
never rested from his labors to improve his people. He loved to talk
with clever men, and with travellers from foreign countries, and to
write down what they told him for his people to read. He had studied
Latin, after learning to read English. And now one of his labors was to
translate Latin books into the English-Saxon tongue, that his people
might be improved by reading them.

He made just laws that his people might live more happily and freely. He
turned away all partial judges that no wrong might be done. He punished
robbers so severely that it was a common thing to say that under the
great King Alfred, garlands of golden chains and jewels might have hung
across the streets and no man would have touched them. He founded
schools. He patiently heard causes himself in his court of justice. The
great desires of his heart were to do right to all his subjects, and to
leave England better, wiser, and happier in all ways than he had found
it.

His industry was astonishing. Every day he divided into portions, and
in each portion devoted himself to a certain pursuit. That he might
divide his time exactly, he had wax torches, or candles, made, all of
the same size and notched across at regular distances. These candles
were always kept burning, and as they burned down he divided the day
into notches, almost as accurately as we now divide it into hours upon
the clock. But it was found that the wind and draughts of air, blowing
into the palace through the doors and windows, caused the candles to
burn unequally. To prevent this the king had them put into cases formed
of wood and white horn. And these were the first lanterns ever made in
England.

King Alfred died in the year 901; but as long ago as that is, his fame,
and the love and gratitude with which his subjects regarded him, are
freshly remembered to the present hour.--CHARLES DICKENS.



        A SONG


    There is ever a song somewhere, my dear,
      There is ever a something sings alway:
    There’s the song of the lark when the skies are clear,
      And the song of the thrush when the skies are gray.
    The sunshine showers across the grain,
      And the bluebird trills in the orchard tree;
    And in and out, when the eaves drip rain,
      The swallows are twittering carelessly.

    There is ever a song somewhere, my dear,
      Be the skies above or dark or fair;
    There is ever a song that our hearts may hear--
    There is ever a song somewhere, my dear--
      There is ever a song somewhere!

    There is ever a song somewhere, my dear,
      In the midnight black or the midday blue:
    The robin pipes when the sun is here,
      And the cricket chirrups the whole night through;
    The buds may blow and the fruit may grow,
      And the autumn leaves drop crisp and sere:
    But whether the sun or the rain or the snow,
      There is ever a song somewhere, my dear.
         --JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY.

     _By permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company.
     Copyright, 1898._



        BETTER THAN GOLD


    Better than grandeur, better than gold,
    Than rank and title a thousand fold,
    Is a healthy body, a mind at ease,
    And simple pleasures that always please;
    A heart that can feel for a neighbor’s woe,
    And share his joys with a genial glow;
    With sympathies large enough to enfold
    All men as brothers, is better than gold.

    Better than gold is a thinking mind,
    That in the realm of books can find
    A treasure surpassing Australian ore,
    And live with the great and good of yore:--
    The sage’s lore and the poet’s lay,
    The glories of empires passed away.
    The world’s great dream will thus unfold
    And yield a pleasure better than gold.

    Better than gold is a peaceful home,
    Where all the fireside charities come,--
    The shrine of love and the haven of life,
    Hallowed by mother, or sister, or wife.
    However humble the home may be,
    Or tried with sorrow by Heaven’s decree,
    The blessings that never were bought or sold
    And centre there, are better than gold.
         --MRS. J. M. WINTON.



        THE TIGER, THE BRAHMAN, AND THE JACKAL


Once upon a time a tiger was caught in a trap. He tried in vain to get
out through the bars, and rolled and bit with rage and grief when he
failed.

By chance a poor Brahman came by. “Let me out of this cage, O pious
one!” cried the tiger.

“Nay, nay, my friend,” replied the Brahman, mildly. “You would probably
eat me up if I did.”

“Not at all!” declared the tiger, with many vows; “on the contrary, I
should be forever grateful, and would serve you as a slave!”

Now, when the tiger sobbed and sighed and wept, the pious Brahman’s
heart softened, and at last he consented to open the door of the cage.
At once, out sprang the tiger, and seizing the poor man, cried:--

“What a fool you are! What is to prevent my eating you now? After being
cooped up so long I am terribly hungry.”

In vain the Brahman pleaded for his life. All that he could gain was a
promise from the tiger to abide by the decision of the first three
things that he chose to question concerning the tiger’s action.

So the Brahman first asked a tree what it thought of the matter, but the
tree replied coldly:--

“What have you to complain about? Don’t I give shade and shelter to all
who pass by, and don’t they in return tear down my branches and pull off
my leaves to feed their cattle? Don’t complain, but be a man!”

Then the Brahman, sad at heart, went further afield till he saw a
buffalo turning a water-wheel. He laid his case before it, but he got no
comfort, for the buffalo answered:--

“You are a fool to expect gratitude! Look at me! Do you not see how hard
I work? While I was young and strong they fed me on the best of food,
but now when I am old and feeble they yoke me here, and give me only the
coarsest fodder to eat!”

The Brahman, still more sad, asked the road to give him its opinion of
the tiger’s conduct.

“My dear sir,” said the road, “how foolish you are to expect anything
else! Here am I, useful to everybody, yet all, rich and poor, great and
small, trample on me as they go past, giving me nothing but the ashes of
their pipes and the husks of their grain!”

On hearing this the Brahman turned back sorrowfully. On his way he met a
jackal, who called out:--

“Why, what’s the matter, Mr. Brahman? You look as miserable as a fish
out of water!”

Then the Brahman told him all that had occurred.

“How very confusing!” said the jackal, when the recital was ended; “will
you tell it over again, for everything has got mixed up in my mind?”

The Brahman told his story all over again, but the jackal shook his head
in a distracted sort of way, and still could not understand.

“It’s very odd,” said he, sadly, “but it all seems to go in at one ear
and out the other! Take me to the place where it all happened, and then,
perhaps, I shall be able to understand it.”

So the cunning jackal and the poor Brahman returned to the cage, and
there was the tiger waiting for his victim, and sharpening his teeth and
claws.

“You’ve been away a long time!” growled the savage beast, “but now let
us begin our dinner.”

“_Our_ dinner!” thought the wretched Brahman, as his knees knocked
together with fright; “what a delicate way he has of putting it!”

“Give me five minutes, my lord!” he pleaded, “in order that I may
explain matters to the jackal here, who is somewhat slow in his wits.”

The tiger consented, and the Brahman began the whole story over again,
not missing a single detail, and spinning as long a yarn as possible.

“Oh, my poor brain! Oh, my poor brain!” cried the jackal, wringing its
paws and scratching its head. “Let me see, how did it all begin? You
were in the cage, and the tiger came walking by--”?

“Pooh! Not at all!” interrupted the tiger. “What a fool you are! _I_ was
in the cage.”

“Yes, of course!” cried the jackal, pretending to tremble with fright.
“Yes! I was in the cage--no, I wasn’t--dear! dear! where are my wits?
Let me see--the tiger was in the Brahman, and the cage came walking by.
No, no, that’s not it, either! Well, don’t mind me, but begin your
dinner, my lord, for I shall never understand it!”

“Yes, you _shall_!” returned the tiger, in a rage at the jackal’s
stupidity; “I’ll _make_ you understand! Look here. I am the tiger--”

“Yes, my lord!”

“And that is the Brahman--”

“Yes, my lord!”

“And that is the cage--”

“Yes, my lord!”

“And I was in the cage--do you understand?”

“Yes, but please, my lord, how did you get in?”

“How did I get in! Why, in the usual way, of course!” cried the tiger,
impatiently.

“O dear me! my head is beginning to whirl again! Please don’t be angry,
my lord, but what is the usual way?”

[Illustration]

At this the tiger lost all patience, and, jumping into the cage, cried,
“This way! Now do you understand how it was?”

“Perfectly!” grinned the jackal, as he instantly shut the door; “and if
you will permit me to say so, I think matters will remain as they
were!”--JOSEPH JACOBS.

     _From “Indian Fairy Tales,” by permission of the author._



        A CANADIAN BOAT-SONG


[Illustration: THOMAS MOORE]

    Faintly as tolls the evening chime,
    Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time.
    Soon as the woods on shore look dim,
    We’ll sing at St. Ann’s our parting hymn.
    Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,
    The Rapids are near, and the daylight’s past!

    Why should we yet our sail unfurl?
    There is not a breath the blue wave to curl!
    But when the wind blows off the shore,
    Oh! sweetly we’ll rest our weary oar.
    Blow, breezes, blow, the stream runs fast,
    The Rapids are near, and the daylight’s past!

    Utawas’ tide! this trembling moon
    Shall see us float over thy surges soon.
    Saint of this green Isle! hear our prayers;
    Oh! grant us cool heavens and favoring airs.
    Blow, breezes, blow, the stream runs fast,
    The Rapids are near, and the daylight’s past!
         --THOMAS MOORE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Attempt the end and never stand in doubt;
    Nothing’s so hard but search will find it out.



        THE SONG SPARROW


    There is a bird I know so well,
      It seems as if he must have sung
      Beside my crib when I was young;
    Before I knew the way to spell
      The name of even the smallest bird,
      His gentle, joyful song I heard.
    Now see if you can tell, my dear,
    What bird it is, that every year,
    Sings “Sweet--sweet--sweet--very merry cheer.”

    He comes in March, when winds are strong,
      And snow returns to hide the earth;
      But still he warms his head with mirth,
    And waits for May. He lingers long
      While flowers fade, and every day
      Repeats his sweet, contented lay;
    As if to say we need not fear
    The seasons’ change, if love is here,
    With “Sweet--sweet--sweet--very merry cheer.”

    He does not wear a Joseph’s coat
      Of many colors, smart and gay;
      His suit is Quaker brown and gray,
    With darker patches at his throat.
      And yet of all the well-dressed throng,
      Not one can sing so brave a song.
    It makes the pride of looks appear
    A vain and foolish thing to hear
    His “Sweet--sweet--sweet--very merry cheer.”

    A lofty place he does not love,
      But sits by choice, and well at ease,
      In hedges, and in little trees
    That stretch their slender arms above
      The meadow-brook; and there he sings
      Till all the field with pleasure rings;
    And so he tells in every ear,
    That lowly homes to heaven are near
    In “Sweet--sweet--sweet--very merry cheer.”

    I like the tune, I like the words;
      They seem so true, so free from art,
      So friendly, and so full of heart,
    That if but one of all the birds
      Could be my comrade everywhere,
      My little brother of the air,
    This is the one I’d choose, my dear,
    Because he’d bless me, every year,
    With “Sweet--sweet--sweet--very merry cheer.”
         --HENRY VAN DYKE.

    _From “The Builders and Other Poems.”
        Copyright, 1897, by Charles Scribner’s Sons._

       *       *       *       *       *

    The only way to have a friend is to be one.



        THE CHILD OF URBINO


Many, many years ago, in old Urbino, in the pleasant land of Italy, a
little boy stood looking out of a high window into the calm, sunshiny
day. He was a pretty boy with hazel eyes and fair hair cut straight
above his brows. He wore a little blue tunic with some embroidery about
the neck of it, and in his hand he carried a little round cap of the
same color.

[Illustration: RAPHAEL]

He was a very happy little boy here in this stately, yet kindly, Urbino.
He had a dear old grandfather and a loving mother; and he had a father
who was very tender to him, and who was full of such true love of art
that the child breathed it with every breath he drew. He often said to
himself, “I mean to become a painter, too.” And the child understood
that to be a painter was to be the greatest thing in the world; for this
child was Raphael, the seven-year-old son of Giovanni Sanzio.

At this time Urbino was growing into fame for its pottery work, and when
its duke wished to send a bridal gift or a present on other festal
occasions, he often chose some of his own Urbino ware. Jars and bowls
and platters and vases were all made and painted at Urbino, whilst
Raphael Sanzio was running about on rosy, infantine feet.

There was a master potter in that day, one Benedetto, who did things
rare and fine in the Urbino ware. He lived within a stone’s throw of
Giovanni Sanzio, and had a beautiful daughter, by name Pacifica. The
house of Benedetto was a long, stone building with a porch at the back
all overclimbed by hardy rose trees, and looking on a garden in which
grew abundantly pear trees, plum trees, and strawberries. The little son
of neighbor Sanzio ran in and out of this bigger house and wider garden
of Benedetto at his pleasure, for the maiden Pacifica was always glad to
see him, and even the master potter would show the child how to lay the
color on the tremulous unbaked clay. Raphael loved Pacifica, as he loved
everything that was beautiful, and every one that was kind.

Master Benedetto had four apprentices or pupils at that time, but the
one that Raphael and Pacifica liked best was one Luca, a youth with a
noble, dark beauty of his own. For love of Pacifica he had come down
from his mountain home, and had bound himself to her father’s service.
Now he spent his days trying in vain to make designs fair enough to find
favor in the eyes of his master.

One day, as Raphael was standing by his favorite window in the potter’s
house, his friend, the handsome Luca, who was also standing there,
sighed so deeply that the child was startled from his dreams. “Good
Luca, what ails you?” he queried, winding his arms about the young man’s
knees.

“Oh, ‘Faello!” sighed the apprentice, wofully, “here is a chance to win
the hand of Pacifica if only I had talent. If the good Lord had only
gifted me with a master’s skill, instead of all the strength of this
great body of mine, I might win Pacifica.”

“What chance is it?” asked Raphael.

“Dear one,” answered Luca, with a tremendous sigh, “you must know that a
new order has come in this very forenoon from the Duke. He wishes a dish
and a jar of the very finest majolica to be painted with the story of
Esther, and made ready in three months from this date. The master has
said that whoever makes a dish and a jar beautiful enough for the great
Duke shall become his partner and the husband of Pacifica. Now you see,
‘Faello mine, why I am so bitterly sad of heart; for at the painting of
clay I am but a tyro. Even your good father told me that, though I had a
heart of gold, yet I would never be able to decorate anything more than
a barber’s basin. Alas! what shall I do? They will all beat me;” and
tears rolled down the poor youth’s face.

Raphael heard all this in silence, leaning his elbows on his friend’s
knee, and his chin on the palms of his own hands. He knew that the other
pupils were better painters by far than his Luca; though not one of them
was such a good-hearted youth, and for none of them did the maiden
Pacifica care.

Raphael was very pensive for a while; then he raised his head and said,
“Listen! I have thought of something, Luca. But I do not know whether
you will let me try it.”

“You angel child! What would your old Luca deny to you? But as for
helping me, put that out of your little mind forever, for no one can
help me.”

“Let me try!” said the child a hundred times.

Luca could hardly restrain his shouts of mirth at the audacious fancy.
Baby Raphael, only seven years old, to paint a majolica dish and vase
for the Duke! But the sight of the serious face of Raphael, looking up
with serene confidence, kept the good fellow grave. So utterly in
earnest was the child, and so intense was Luca’s despair, that the young
man gave way to Raphael’s entreaties.

“Never can I do aught,” he said bitterly. “And sometimes by the help of
cherubs the saints work miracles.”

“It shall be no miracle,” replied Raphael; “it shall be myself, and what
the dear God has put into me.”

From that hour Luca let him do what he would, and through all the lovely
summer days the child shut himself in the garret and studied, and
thought, and worked. For three months Raphael passed the most anxious
hours of all his sunny young life. He would not allow Luca even to look
at what he did. The swallows came in and out of the open window and
fluttered all around him; the morning sunbeams came in, too, and made a
halo about his golden head. He was only seven years old, but he labored
as earnestly as if he were a man grown, his little rosy fingers grasping
that pencil which was to make him, in

[Illustration: RAPHAEL’S MADONNA OF THE CHAIR]

life and death, more famous than all the kings of the earth.

One afternoon Raphael took Luca by the hand and said to him, “Come.” He
led the young man up to the table beneath the window where he had passed
so many days of the spring and summer. Luca gave a great cry, and then
fell on his knees, clasping the little feet of the child.

“Dear Luca,” he said softly, “do not do that. If it be indeed good, let
us thank God.”

What Luca saw was the great oval dish and the great jar or vase with all
manner of graceful symbols and classic designs wrought upon them. Their
borders were garlanded with cherubs and flowers, and the landscapes were
the beautiful landscapes round about Urbino; and amidst the figures
there was one white-robed, golden-crowned Esther, to whom the child
painter had given the face of Pacifica.

“Oh, wondrous boy!” sighed the poor apprentice as he gazed, and his
heart was so full that he burst into tears. At last he said timidly:
“But, Raphael, I do not see how your marvellous creation can help me!
Even if you would allow it to pass as mine, I could not accept such a
thing,--not even to win Pacifica. It would be a fraud, a shame.”

“Wait just a little longer, my good friend, and trust me,” said Raphael.

The next morning was a midsummer day. Now, the pottery was all to be
placed on a long table, and the Duke was then to come and make his
choice from amidst them. A few privileged persons had been invited,
among them the father of Raphael, who came with his little son clinging
to his hand.

The young Duke and his court came riding down the street, and paused
before the old stone house of the master potter. Bowing to the ground,
Master Benedetto led the way, and the others followed into the workshop.
In all there were ten competitors. The dishes and jars were arranged
with a number attached to each--no name to any.

The Duke, doffing his plumed cap, walked down the long room and examined
each production in its turn. With fair words he complimented Signor
Benedetto on the brave show, and only before the work of poor Luca was
he entirely silent. At last, before a vase and a dish that stood at the
farthest end of the table, the Duke gave a sudden cry of wonder and
delight.

“This is beyond all comparison,” said he, taking the great oval dish in
his hands. “It is worth its weight in gold. I pray you, quick, name the
artist.”

“It is marked number eleven, my lord,” answered the master potter,
trembling with pleasure and surprise. “Ho, you who reply to that number,
stand out and give your name.”

But no one moved. The young men looked at one another. Where was this
nameless rival? There were but ten of themselves.

“Ho, there!” cried the master, becoming angry. “Can you not find a
tongue? Who has wrought this wondrous work?”

Then the child loosened his little hand from his father’s hold and
stepped forward, and stood before the master potter.

“I painted it,” he said, with a pleased smile; “I, Raphael.”

Can you not fancy the wonder, the rapture, the questions, the praise,
that followed on the discovery of the child artist? The Duke felt his
eyes wet, and his heart swell. He took a gold chain from his own neck
and threw it over Raphael’s shoulders.

“There is your first reward,” he said. “You shall have many, O wondrous
child, and you shall live when we who stand here are dust!”

Raphael, with winning grace, kissed the Duke’s hand, and then turned to
his own father.

“Is it true that I have won the prize?”

“Quite true, my child,” said Sanzio, with tremulous voice.

Raphael looked up at Master Benedetto and gently said, “Then I claim the
hand of Pacifica.”

“Dear and marvellous child,” murmured Benedetto, “you are only jesting,
I know; but tell me in truth what you would have. I can deny you
nothing; you are my master.”

“I am your pupil,” said Raphael, with sweet simplicity. “Had you not
taught me the secret of your colors, I could have done nothing. Now,
dear Master, and you, my lord Duke, I pray you hear me. By the terms of
this contest I have won the hand of Pacifica and a partnership with
Master Benedetto. I take these rights, and I give them over to my dear
friend, Luca, who is the truest man in all the world, and who loves
Pacifica as no other can do.”

Signor Benedetto stood mute and agitated. Luca, pale as ashes, had
sprung forward and dropped on his knees.

“Listen to the voice of an angel, my good Benedetto,” said the Duke.

The master burst into tears. “I can refuse him nothing,” he said, with a
sob.

“And call the fair Pacifica,” cried the sovereign, “and I shall give her
myself, as a dower, as many gold pieces as we can cram into this famous
vase. Young man, rise up, and be happy!”

But Luca heard not; he was still kneeling at the feet of
Raphael.--LOUISE DE LA RAMÉE.

     _By permission of the publishers, Chatto & Windus, London._

       *       *       *       *       *

    There is a tide in the affairs of men,
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat;
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose our ventures.
         --SHAKESPEARE.



        DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB’S ARMY


[Illustration: LORD BYRON]

    The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
    And his cohorts were gleaming with purple and gold,
    And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
    When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

    Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
    That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
    Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
    That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still.

    And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
    But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
    And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
    And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

    And there lay the rider, distorted and pale,
    With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
    And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
    The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

    And the widows of Asshur are loud in their wail;
    And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
    And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
    Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
         --GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON.



        THE ARROW AND THE SONG


    I shot an arrow into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
    Could not follow in its flight.

    I breathed a song into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For who has sight so keen and strong,
    That it can follow the flight of song?

    Long, long afterwards, in an oak,
    I found the arrow, still unbroke;
    And the song, from beginning to end,
    I found again in the heart of a friend.
         --HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Fear to do base, unworthy things, is valor!
    I never thought an angry person valiant;
    Virtue is never aided by a vice.
         --BEN JONSON.



        THE BATTLE OF THE ANTS


One day when I went out to my woodpile, or rather my pile of stumps, I
observed two large ants, the one red, the other much larger, nearly half
an inch long, and black, fiercely contending with one another. Having
once got hold, they never let go, but struggled and wrestled and rolled
on the chips incessantly. Looking farther, I was surprised to find that
the chips were covered with such combatants; that it was a war between
two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and
frequently two red ones to one black.

[Illustration: H. D. THOREAU]

The legions of these warriors covered all the hills and vales in my
wood-yard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and dying,
both red and black. It was the only battle which I have ever witnessed,
the only battlefield I ever trod while the battle was raging;
internecine war: the red republicans on the one hand, and the black
imperialists on the other. On every side they were engaged in deadly
combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers
never fought so resolutely.

I watched a couple that were fast locked in each other’s embraces, in a
little sunny valley amid the chips, now at noonday prepared to fight
till the sun went down, or life went out. The smaller red champion had
fastened himself like a vise to his adversary’s front, and through all
the tumblings on that field, never for an instant ceased to gnaw at one
of his feelers near the root, having already caused the other to go by
the board; while the stronger black one dashed him from side to side,
and, as I saw on looking nearer, had already divested him of several of
his members.

In the meanwhile there came along a single red ant, evidently full of
excitement, who either had despatched his foe, or had not yet taken part
in the battle. He saw this unequal combat from afar,--for the blacks
were nearly twice the size of the red;--he drew near with rapid pace
till he stood on his guard within half an inch of the combatants; then,
watching his opportunity, he sprang upon the black warrior, and
commenced his operations near the root of his right fore-leg, leaving
the foe to select among his own members. So there were three united for
life, as if a new kind of attraction had been invented which put all
other locks and cements to shame.

I took up the chip on which the three were struggling, carried it into
my house, and placed it under a tumbler on my window-sill, in order to
see the issue. Holding a microscope to the first-mentioned red ant, I
saw that, though he was assiduously gnawing at the near fore-leg of his
enemy, having severed his remaining feeler, his own breast was all torn
away, exposing what vitals he had there to the jaws of the black
warrior, whose breastplate was too thick for him to pierce; and the dark
carbuncles of the sufferer’s eyes shone with ferocity such as only war
could excite.

They struggled half an hour longer under the tumbler, and when I looked
again, the black soldier had severed the heads of his foes from their
bodies, and the still living heads were hanging on either side of him
like ghastly trophies at his saddle-bow, still apparently as firmly
fastened as ever, and he was endeavoring with feeble struggles, being
without feelers and with only the remnant of a leg, and I know not how
many other wounds, to divest himself of them; which at length, after an
hour more, he accomplished. I raised the glass, and he went off over the
window-sill in that crippled state. Whether he finally survived that
combat, I do not know; but I thought that his industry would not be
worth much thereafter. I never learned which party was victorious, nor
the cause of the war; but I felt for the rest of that day as if I had
had my feelings excited and harrowed by witnessing the struggle, the
ferocity, and carnage of a human battle before my door.--HENRY DAVID
THOREAU.

       *       *       *       *       *

      Oh, many a shaft at random sent,
    Finds mark the archer little meant!
    And many a word at random spoken,
    May soothe, or wound, a heart that’s broken.



        THE CURATE AND THE MULBERRY TREE


    Did you hear of the curate who mounted his mare?
    And merrily trotted along to the fair?
    Of creature more tractable none ever heard;
    In the height of her speed she would stop at a word;
    But again, with a word, when the curate said “Hey!”
    She put forth her mettle and galloped away.

    As near to the gates of the city he rode,
    While the sun of September all brilliantly glowed,
    The good man discovered, with eyes of desire,
    A mulberry tree in a hedge of wild-brier;
    On boughs long and lofty, in many a green shoot,
    Hung, large, black, and glossy, the beautiful fruit.

    The curate was hungry and thirsty to boot;
    He shrunk from the thorns, though he longed for the fruit;
    With a word he arrested his courser’s keen speed,
    And he stood up erect on the back of his steed;
    On the saddle he stood while the creature stood still,
    And he gathered the fruit till he took his good fill.

    “Sure never,” he thought, “was a creature so rare,
    So docile, so true, as my excellent mare:
    Lo, here now I stand,” and he gazed all around,
    “As safe and as steady as if on the ground;
    Yet how had it been if some traveller this way
    Had, dreaming no mischief, but chanced to cry ‘Hey’?”

    He stood with his head in the mulberry tree,
    And he spoke out aloud in his fond reverie;
    At the sound of the word the good mare made a push,
    And the curate went down in the wild-brier bush.
    He remembered too late, on his thorny green bed,
    Much that well may be thought cannot wisely be said.
         --THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK.



        MIRIAM’S SONG


    Sound the loud timbrel o’er Egypt’s dark sea!
    Jehovah has triumphed,--His people are free!
    Sing,--for the pride of the tyrant is broken,
      His chariots, his horsemen, all splendid and brave,--
    How vain was their boasting! the Lord hath but spoken,
      And chariots and horsemen are sunk in the wave.
    Sound the loud timbrel o’er Egypt’s dark sea!
    Jehovah has triumphed,--His people are free!

    Praise to the Conqueror, praise to the Lord!
    His word was our arrow, His breath was our sword.
    Who shall return to tell Egypt the story
      Of those she sent forth in the hour of her pride?
    For the Lord has looked out from His pillar of glory,
      And all her brave thousands are dashed in the tide.
    Sound the loud timbrel o’er Egypt’s dark sea!
    Jehovah has triumphed,--His people are free!
         --THOMAS MOORE.



        THE MEETING OF THE WATERS


    There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet,
    As that vale, in whose bosom the bright waters meet;
    Oh! the last rays of feeling and life must depart,
    Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.

    Yet it was not that Nature had shed o’er the scene
    Her purest of crystals and brightest of green;
    ’Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or rill,
    Oh! no--it was something more exquisite still.

    ’Twas that friends, the beloved of my bosom, were near,
    Who made every dear scene of enchantment more dear,
    And who felt how the best charms of Nature improve,
    When we see them reflected from looks that we love.

    Sweet vale of Avoca! how calm could I rest
    In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best,
    Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease,
    And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace.
         --THOMAS MOORE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    But truth shall conquer at the last,
      For round and round we run,
    And ever the right comes uppermost
      And ever is justice done.



        THE BATTLE OF BALAKLAVA


The cavalry, who had been pursuing the Turks on the right, are coming up
to the ridge beneath us, which conceals our cavalry from view. The heavy
brigade in advance is drawn up in two lines. The first line consists of
the Scots Greys and of their old companions in glory, the Enniskillens;
the second, of the 4th Royal Irish, of the 5th Dragoon Guards, and of
the 1st Royal Dragoons. The Light Cavalry Brigade is on their left, in
two lines also. The silence is oppressive; between the cannon bursts one
can hear the champing of bits and the clink of sabres in the valley
below. The Russians on their left drew breath for a moment, and then in
one grand line dashed at the Highlanders. The ground flies beneath their
horses’ feet; gathering speed at every stride, they dash on towards that
thin red streak topped with a line of steel.

As the Russians come within six hundred yards, down goes that line of
steel in front and out rings a rolling volley of musketry. The distance
is too great; the Russians are not checked, but still sweep onward
through the smoke, with the whole force of horse and man, here and there
knocked over by the shot of our batteries above.

With breathless suspense every one awaits the bursting of the wave upon
the line of Gaelic rock; but ere they come within a hundred and fifty
yards, another deadly volley flashes from the levelled rifles, and
carries death and terror into the Russians. They wheel about, open files
right and left, and fly back faster than they came. “Bravo,
Highlanders! well done!” shout the excited spectators. But events
thicken. The Highlanders and their splendid front are soon forgotten;
men scarcely have a moment to think of this fact, that the 93d never
altered their formation to receive that tide of horsemen. “No,” said Sir
Colin Campbell, “I did not think it worth while to form them even four
deep!” The ordinary British line, two deep, was quite sufficient to
repel the attack of these Muscovite cavaliers.

Our eyes were, however, turned in a moment on our own cavalry. We saw
Brigadier-General Scarlett ride along in front of his massive squadrons.
The Russians, their light blue jackets embroidered with silver lace,
were advancing on their left, at an easy gallop, towards the brow of the
hill. A forest of lances glistened in their rear, and several squadrons
of gray-coated dragoons moved up quickly to support them as they reached
the summit. The instant they came in sight, the trumpets of our cavalry
gave out a warning blast which told us all that in another moment we
should see the shock of battle beneath our very eyes. Lord Raglan, all
his staff and escort, and groups of officers, the Zouaves, French
generals and officers, and bodies of French infantry on the height, were
spectators of the scene, as though they were looking on the stage from
the boxes of a theatre. Nearly every one dismounted and sat down, and
not a word was said.

The Russians advanced down the hill at a slow canter, which they changed
to a trot, and at last nearly halted. Their first line was at least
double the length of ours--it was three times as deep. Behind them was a
similar line, equally strong and compact. They evidently despised their
insignificant-looking enemy; but their time was come. The trumpets rang
out again through the valley, and the Greys and Enniskilleners went
right at the centre of the Russian cavalry. The space between them was
only a few hundred yards; it was scarce enough to let the horses “gather
way,” nor had the men quite space sufficient for the full play of their
sword-arms. The Russian line brings forward each wing as our cavalry
advance, and threatens to annihilate them as they pass on. Turning a
little to their left so as to meet the Russian right, the Greys rush on
with a cheer that thrills to every heart--the wild shout of the
Enniskilleners rises through the air at the same instant. As lightning
flashes through a cloud, the Greys and Enniskilleners pierced through
the dark masses of the Russians. The shock was but for a moment. There
was a clash of steel and a light play of sword-blades in the air, and
then the Greys and the Red-coats disappear in the midst of the shaken
and quivering columns. In another moment we see them emerging and
dashing on with diminished numbers and in broken order against the
second line, which is advancing against them as fast as it can, to
retrieve the fortune of the charge. It was a terrible moment. “God help
them! they are lost!” was the exclamation of more than one man, and the
thought of many.

It was a fight of heroes. The first line of Russians--which had been
smashed utterly by our charge, and had fled off at one flank and towards
the centre--were coming back to swallow up our handful of men. By sheer
steel and sheer courage, Enniskillener and Scot were winning their
desperate way right through the enemy’s squadrons, and already gray
horses and red coats had appeared right at the rear of the second mass,
when, with irresistible force, like a bolt from a bow, the 1st Royals,
the 4th Dragoon Guards, and the 5th Dragoon Guards rushed at the
remnants of the first line of the enemy, went through it as though it
were made of pasteboard, and, dashing on the second body of Russians, as
they were still disordered by the terrible assault of the Greys and
their companions, put them to utter rout.

   --WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL.



        TRUE WORTH


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



        LOVE OF COUNTRY


    Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
    Who never to himself hath said,
      This is my own, my native land!
    Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
    As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
      From wand’ring on a foreign strand?
    If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
    For him no minstrel raptures swell;
    High though his titles, proud his name,
    Boundless his wealth as wish can claim:--
    Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
    The wretch concentred all in self,
    Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
    And, doubly dying, shall go down
    To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
    Unwept, unhonor’d, and unsung.
         --SIR WALTER SCOTT.



        HOME AND COUNTRY


    There is a land, of every land the pride,
    Beloved of Heaven o’er all the world beside,
    Where brighter suns dispense serener light,
    And milder moons imparadise the night;
    A land of beauty, virtue, valor, truth,
    Time-tutored age, and love-exalted youth.
    The wandering mariner, whose eye explores
    The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores,
    Views not a realm so beautiful and fair,
    Nor breathes the spirit of a purer air.

    In every clime, the magnet of his soul,
    Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole;
    For in this land of Heaven’s peculiar race,
    The heritage of Nature’s noblest grace,
    There is a spot of earth supremely blest,
    A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest,
    Where man, creation’s tyrant, casts aside
    His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride,
    While in his softened looks benignly blend
    The sire, the son, the husband, brother, friend.

    Here woman reigns; the mother, daughter, wife,
    Strew with fresh flowers the narrow way of life;
    In the clear heaven of her delightful eye
    The angel-guard of love and graces lie;
    Around her knees domestic duties meet,
    And fireside pleasures gambol at her feet.
    Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found?
    Art thou a man?--a patriot?--look around;
    Oh, thou shalt find, howe’er thy footsteps roam,
    That land thy country, and that spot thy home.
         --JAMES MONTGOMERY.

       *       *       *       *       *

    What’s brave, what’s noble, let’s do it.



        THE FATHERLAND


[Illustration: J. R. LOWELL]

    Where is the true man’s fatherland?
      Is it where he by chance is born?
      Doth not the yearning spirit scorn
    In such scant borders to be spanned?
      O yes! his fatherland must be
      As the blue heaven wide and free!

    Is it alone where freedom is,
      Where God is God, and man is man?
      Doth he not claim a broader span
    For the soul’s love of home than this?
      O yes! his fatherland must be
      As the blue heaven wide and free!

    Where’er a human heart doth wear
      Joy’s myrtle-wreath or sorrow’s gyves,
      Where’er a human spirit strives
    After a life more true and fair--
      There is the true man’s birthplace grand;
      His is a world-wide fatherland!

    Where’er a single slave doth pine,
      Where’er one man may help another--
      Thank God for such a birthright, brother--
    That spot of earth is thine and mine!
      There is the true man’s birthplace grand;
      His is a world-wide fatherland!
         --JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.



        THE OAK TREE AND THE IVY


In the greenwood stood a mighty oak. So majestic was he that all who
came that way paused to admire his strength and beauty, and all the
other trees of the greenwood acknowledged him to be their monarch.

Now it came to pass that the ivy loved the oak tree, and inclining her
graceful tendrils where he stood, she crept about his feet, and twined
herself around his sturdy and knotted trunk. And the oak tree pitied the
ivy.

[Illustration: EUGENE FIELD]

“Oho!” he cried, laughing boisterously but good-naturedly,--“oho! so you
love me, do you, little vine? Very well then; play about my feet, and I
shall keep the storms from you and shall tell you pretty stories about
the clouds, the birds, and the stars.”

The ivy marvelled greatly at the strange stories the oak tree told; they
were stories the oak tree heard from the wind that loitered about his
lofty head and whispered to the leaves of his topmost branches.
Sometimes the story was about the great ocean in the east, sometimes of
the broad prairies in the west, sometimes of the ice king who lived in
the north, sometimes of the flower queen who dwelt in the south. Then,
too, the moon told a story to the oak tree every night,--or at least
every night that she came to the greenwood, which was very often, for
the greenwood is a very charming spot, as we all know. And the oak tree
repeated to the ivy every story the moon told and every song the stars
sang.

“Pray, what are the winds saying now?” or “What song is that I hear?”
the ivy would ask; and then the oak tree would repeat the story or the
song, and the ivy would listen in great wonderment.

Whenever the storms came, the oak tree cried to the little ivy: “Cling
close to me, and no harm shall befall thee! See how strong I am; the
tempest does not so much as stir me--I mock its fury!”

Then, seeing how strong and brave he was, the ivy hugged him closely;
his brown, rugged breast protected her from every harm, and she was
secure.

The years went by; how quickly they flew,--spring, summer, winter, and
then again spring, summer, winter,--ah, life is short in the greenwood,
as elsewhere! And now the ivy was no longer a weakly little vine to
excite the pity of the passer-by. Her thousand beautiful arms had twined
hither and thither about the oak tree, covering his brown and knotted
trunk, shooting forth a bright, delicious foliage, and stretching far up
among his lower branches.

The oak tree was always good and gentle to the ivy. “There is a storm
coming over the hills,” he would say. “The east wind tells me so; the
swallows fly low in the air. Cling close to me, and no harm shall befall
thee.”

Then the ivy would cling more closely to the oak tree, and no harm came
to her.

Although the ivy was the most luxuriant vine in all the greenwood, the
oak tree regarded her still as the tender little thing he had laughingly
called to his feet that spring day many years before,--the same little
ivy he had told about the stars, the clouds, and the birds. And just as
patiently as in those days, he now repeated other tales the winds
whispered to his topmost boughs,--tales of the ocean in the east, the
prairies in the west, the ice king in the north, and the flower queen in
the south. And the ivy heard him tell these wondrous things, and she
never wearied with the listening.

“How good the oak tree is to the ivy!” said the ash. “The lazy vine has
naught to do but to twine herself about the strong oak tree and hear him
tell his stories!”

The ivy heard these envious words, and they made her very sad; but she
said nothing of them to the oak tree, and that night the oak tree rocked
her to sleep as he repeated the lullaby a zephyr was singing to him.

“There is a storm coming over the hills,” said the oak tree one day.
“The east wind tells me so; the swallows fly low in the air, and the sky
is dark. Clasp me round about with thy arms, and nestle close to me, and
no harm shall befall thee.”

“I have no fear,” murmured the ivy.

The storm came over the hills and swept down upon the greenwood with
deafening thunder and vivid lightning. The storm king himself rode upon
the blast; his horses breathed flames, and his chariot trailed through
the air like a serpent of fire. The ash fell before the violence of the
storm king’s fury, and the cedars, groaning, fell, and the hemlocks, and
the pines; but the oak tree alone quailed not.

[Illustration]

“Oho!” cried the storm king, angrily, “the oak tree does not bow to me;
he does not tremble in my presence. Well, we shall see.”

With that the storm king hurled a mighty thunderbolt at the oak tree,
and the brave, strong monarch of the greenwood was riven. Then, with a
shout of triumph, the storm king rode away.

“Dear oak tree, you are riven by the storm king’s thunderbolt!” cried
the ivy, in anguish.

“Ay,” said the oak tree, feebly, “my end has come; see, I am shattered
and helpless.”

“But I am unhurt,” remonstrated the ivy; “and I shall bind up your
wounds and nurse you back to health and vigor.”

And so it was that, although the oak tree was ever afterwards a riven
and broken thing, the ivy concealed the scars upon his shattered form
and covered his wounds all over with her soft foliage.

“I had hoped,” she said, “to grow up to thy height, to live with thee
among the clouds, and to hear the solemn voices thou didst hear.”

But the old oak tree said, “Nay, nay, I love thee better as thou art,
for with thy beauty and thy love thou comfortest mine age.”

Then would the ivy tell quaint stories to the oak tree,--stories she had
learned from the crickets, the bees, the butterflies, and the mice when
she was a humble little vine and played at the foot of the majestic oak
tree towering in the greenwood. And these simple tales pleased the old
and riven oak tree; they were not as heroic as the tales the wind, the
clouds, and the stars told, but they were far sweeter, for they were
tales of contentment, of humility, of love. So the old age of the oak
tree was grander than his youth.

And all who went through the greenwood paused to behold and admire the
beauty of the oak tree then; for about his scarred and broken trunk the
gentle vine had so entwined her graceful tendrils and spread her fair
foliage, that one saw not the havoc of the years nor the ruin of the
tempest, but only the glory of the oak tree’s age, which was the ivy’s
love and ministering.--EUGENE FIELD.

     _From “A Little Book of Profitable Tales.” Copyright, 1889, by
     Eugene Field. Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons._



        HARVEST SONG


    The God of harvest praise;
    In loud Thanksgiving raise
        Hand, heart, and voice.
    The valleys laugh and sing,
    Forests and mountains ring,
    The plains their tribute bring,
        The streams rejoice.

    Yes, bless His holy name,
    And joyous thanks proclaim
        Through all the earth.
    To glory in your lot
    Is comely; but be not
    God’s benefits forgot
        Amid your mirth.

    The God of harvest praise,
    Hands, hearts, and voices raise,
        With sweet accord.
    From field to garner throng,
    Bearing your sheaves along,
    And in your harvest song
        Bless ye the Lord.
         --JAMES MONTGOMERY.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever.



        HARVEST TIME


    Pillowed and hushed on the silent plain,
    Wrapped in her mantle of golden grain,

    Wearied of pleasuring weeks away,
    Summer is lying asleep to-day,--

    Where winds come sweet from the wild-rose briers
    And the smoke of the far-off prairie fires.

    Yellow her hair as the goldenrod,
    And brown her cheeks as the prairie sod;

    Purple her eyes as the mists that dream
    At the edge of some laggard sun-drowned stream;

    But over their depths the lashes sweep,
    For Summer is lying to-day asleep.

    The north wind kisses her rosy mouth,
    His rival frowns in the far-off south,

    And comes caressing her sunburnt cheek,
    And Summer awakes for one short week,--

    Awakes and gathers her wealth of grain,
    Then sleeps and dreams for a year again.
         --E. PAULINE JOHNSON.

       *       *       *       *       *

    People are great only as they are kind.



        HARE-AND-HOUNDS AT RUGBY


The only incident worth recording here, however, was the first run at
hare-and-hounds. On the last Tuesday but one of the half-year, Tom was
passing through the hall after dinner, when he was hailed with shouts
from Tadpole and several other boys. They were seated at one of the long
tables; the chorus of their shouts was, “Come and help us tear up
scent.”

[Illustration: THOMAS HUGHES]

Tom approached the table in obedience to the summons, always ready to
help, and found the party engaged in tearing up old newspapers,
copy-books, and magazines into small pieces, with which they were
filling four large canvas bags.

“It’s the turn of our house to find scent for Big-side hare-and-hounds,”
exclaimed Tadpole. “Tear away; there’s no time to lose.”

“I think it’s a great shame,” said another small boy, “to have such a
hard run for the last day.”

“Which run is it?” said Tadpole.

“Oh, the Barby run, I hear,” answered the other. “Nine miles at least,
and hard ground; no chance of getting in at the finish unless you’re a
first-rate runner.”

“Well, I’m going to have a try,” said Tadpole.

“I should like to try, too,” said Tom.

“Well, then, leave your waistcoat behind, and listen at the door, after
roll-call, and you’ll hear where the meet is.”

After roll-call, sure enough, there were two boys at the door, calling
out, “Big-side hare-and-hounds meet at White Hall.” And Tom, having
girded himself with leather strap, and left all superfluous clothing
behind, set off for White Hall, an old gable-ended house some quarter of
a mile from the town, with East, whom he had persuaded to join. At the
meet they found some forty or fifty boys; and Tom felt sure, from having
seen many of them run at football, that he and East were more likely to
get in than they.

After a few minutes’ waiting, two well-known runners, chosen for the
hares, buckled on the four bags filled with scent, compared their
watches with those of young Brooke and Thorne, and started off at a
long, swinging trot across the fields in the direction of Barby. Then
the hounds clustered round Thorne, who explained shortly: “They’re to
have six minutes’ law. We run into the Cock, and every one who comes in
within a quarter of an hour of the hares will be counted, if he has been
round Barby church.”

Then comes a pause of a minute or so, and then the watches are pocketed,
and the pack is led through the gateway into the field which the hares
had first crossed. Here they break into a trot, scattering over the
field to find the first traces of the scent which the hares throw out as
they go along.

The old hounds make straight for the likely points, and in a minute a
cry of “Forward” comes from one of them, and the whole pack, quickening
their pace, make for the spot. The boy who hit the scent first, and the
two or three nearest to him, are over the first fence, and making play
along the hedgerow in the long-grass field beyond. The rest of the pack
rush at the gap already made, and scramble through, jostling one
another. “Forward” again, before they are half through; the pace
quickens into a sharp run, the tail hounds all straining to get up with
the lucky leaders.

They are gallant hares, and the scent lies thick right across another
meadow and into a ploughed field, where the pace begins to tell; then
over a good hedge with a ditch on the other side, and down a large
pasture studded with old thorns, which slopes down to the first brook.
The brook is a small one, and the scent lies right ahead up the opposite
slope, and as thick as ever. Many a youngster now begins to drag his
legs heavily, and feel his heart beat like a hammer, and those farthest
behind think that after all it isn’t worth while to keep it up.

Tom, East, and Tadpole had a good start, and are well along for such
young hands. After rising the slope and crossing the next field, they
find themselves up with the leading hounds, who have overrun the scent
and are trying back. They have come a mile and a half in about eleven
minutes, a pace which shows that it is the last day. Only about
twenty-five of the original starters show here, the

[Illustration: THE START]

rest having already given in. The leaders are busy making casts into the
fields on the left and right, and the others get their second winds.

Then comes the cry of “Forward” again from young Brooke, at the extreme
left, and the pack settles down to work again, steadily and doggedly,
the whole keeping pretty well together. The scent, though still good, is
not so thick. There is no need of that, for in this part of the run
every one knows the line which must be taken, and so there are no casts
to be made, but good downright running and fencing to be done.

All who are now up mean coming in, and they come to the foot of Barby
Hill without losing more than two or three more of the pack. This last
straight two miles and a half is always a vantage-ground for the hounds,
and the hares know it well. They are generally viewed on the side of
Barby Hill, and all eyes are on the lookout for them to-day. But not a
sign of them appears, so now will be the hard work for the hounds, and
there is nothing for it but to cast about for the scent, for it is the
hares’ turn, and they may baffle the pack dreadfully in the next two
miles.

Ill fares it now with our youngsters that they follow young Brooke; for
he takes the wide casts round to the left, conscious of his own powers,
and loving the hard work. However, they struggle after him, sobbing and
plunging along, Tom and East pretty close, and Tadpole some thirty yards
behind.

Now comes a brook, with stiff clay banks, from which they can hardly
drag their legs; and they hear faint cries for help from the wretched
Tadpole, who has fairly stuck fast. But they have too little run left in
themselves to pull up for their own brothers. Three fields more, and
another check, and then “Forward” called away to the extreme right.

The two boys’ souls die within them. They can never do it. Young Brooke
thinks so, too, and says kindly, “You’ll cross a lane after next field;
keep down it, and you’ll hit the Dunchurch-road.” Then he steams away
for the run in, in which he’s sure to be first, as if he were just
starting. They struggle on across the next field, the “Forwards” getting
fainter and fainter, and then ceasing. The whole hunt is out of
ear-shot, and all hope of coming in is over.

“Hang it all!” broke out East, as soon as he had wind enough, pulling
off his hat and mopping his face, all spattered with dirt and lined with
sweat, from which went up a thick steam into the still, cold air. “I
told you how it would be. What a thick I was to come! Here we are dead
beat, and yet I know we’re close to the run in, if we knew the country.”

“Well,” said Tom, mopping away, and gulping down his disappointment, “it
can’t be helped. We did our best, anyhow. Hadn’t we better find this
lane, and go down it as young Brooke told us?”

“I suppose so--nothing else for it,” grunted East. “If ever I go out
last day again,” growl--growl--growl.

So they turned back slowly and sorrowfully, and found the lane, and
went limping down it, plashing in the cold, puddly ruts, and beginning
to feel how the run had taken the heart out of them. The evening closed
in fast, and clouded over, dark, cold, and dreary.

“I say, it must be locking-up, I should think,” remarked East, breaking
the silence; “it’s so dark.”

“What if we’re late?” said Tom.

“No tea, and sent up to the Doctor,” answered East.

The thought didn’t add to their cheerfulness. Presently a faint halloo
was heard from an adjoining field. They answered it and stopped, hoping
for some competent rustic to guide them, when over a gate some twenty
yards ahead crawled the wretched Tadpole, in a state of collapse. He had
lost a shoe in the brook, and been groping after it up to his elbows in
the stiff, wet clay, and a more miserable creature in the shape of a boy
seldom has been seen.

The sight of him, notwithstanding, cheered them, for he was some degree
more wretched than they. They also cheered him, as he was now no longer
under the dread of passing his night alone in the fields. And so in
better heart, the three plashed painfully down the never-ending lane. At
last it widened, just as utter darkness set in, and they came out on to
a turnpike road, and there paused, bewildered, for they had lost all
bearings, and knew not whether to turn to the right or left.

Luckily for them they had not to decide, for lumbering along the road,
with one lamp lighted, and two spavined horses in the shafts, came a
heavy coach, which after a moment’s suspense they recognized as the
Oxford coach, the redoubtable Pig and Whistle.

It lumbered slowly up, and the boys, mustering their last run, caught it
as it passed, and began scrambling up behind, in which exploit East
missed his footing and fell flat on his nose along the road. Then the
others hailed the old scarecrow of a coachman, who pulled up and agreed
to take them in for a shilling. So there they sat on the back seat,
drubbing with their heels, and their teeth chattering with cold, and
jogged into Rugby some forty minutes after locking-up.--THOMAS HUGHES.



        AN ADJUDGED CASE


[Illustration: WILLIAM COWPER]

    Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,
      The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
    The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
      To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

    So the Tongue was the Lawyer and argued the cause
      With a great deal of skill and a wig full of learning;
    While Chief Baron Ear sat to balance the laws,
      So famed for his talent in nicely discerning.

    “In behalf of the Nose it will quickly appear,
      And your lordship,” he said, “will undoubtedly find
    That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear,
      Which amounts to possession time out of mind.”

    Then, holding the spectacles up to the court--
      “Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle
    As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,
      Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle.

    “Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
      (’Tis a case that has happened and may be again),
    That the visage or countenance had not a Nose,
      Pray who would or who could wear spectacles then?

    “On the whole it appears, and my argument shows
      With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
    That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose,
      And the Nose was as plainly intended for them.”

    Then, shifting his side as a lawyer knows how,
      He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes,
    But what were his arguments few people know,
      For the court did not think they were equally wise.

    So his lordship decreed with a grave solemn tone,
      Decisive and clear without one “if” or “but”--
    That whenever the Nose put his spectacles on,
      By daylight or candlelight, Eyes should be shut.
         --WILLIAM COWPER.



        INDIAN SUMMER


[Illustration: MRS. MOODIE]

    By the purple haze that lies
      On the distant rocky height,
    By the deep blue of the skies,
      By the smoky amber light,
    Through the forest arches streaming,
    Where Nature on her throne sits dreaming,
    And the sun is scarcely gleaming,
      Through the cloudless snowy white,--
    Winter’s lovely herald greets us,
    Ere the ice-crowned giant meets us.

    A mellow softness fills the air,--
      No breeze on wanton wings steals by,
    To break the holy quiet there,
      Or make the waters fret and sigh,
    Or the yellow alders shiver,
    That bend to kiss the placid river,
    Flowing on and on forever;

    But the little waves are sleeping,
    O’er the pebbles slowly creeping,
    That last night were flashing, leaping,
      Driven by the restless breeze,
      In lines of foam beneath yon trees.

    Dress’d in robes of gorgeous hue,
      Brown and gold with crimson blent;
    The forest to the waters blue
      Its own enchanting tints has lent;--
    In their dark depths, life-like glowing,
    We see a second forest growing,
    Each pictured leaf and branch bestowing
      A fairy grace to that twin wood,
      Mirror’d within the crystal flood.

    ’Tis pleasant now in forest shades;
      The Indian hunter strings his bow,
    To track through dark entangling glades
      The antler’d deer and bounding doe,--
      Or launch at night the birch canoe,
    To spear the finny tribes that dwell
    On sandy bank, in weedy cell,
    Or pool, the fisher knows right well--
      Seen by the red and vivid glow
      Of pine-torch at his vessel’s bow.

    This dreamy Indian summer-day,
      Attunes the soul to tender sadness;
    We love--but joy not in the ray--
      It is not summer’s fervid gladness,
    But a melancholy glory,
      Hovering softly round decay,
    Like swan that sings her own sad story,
      Ere she floats in death away.

    The day declines, what splendid dyes,
      In fleckered waves of crimson driven,
    Float o’er the saffron sea that lies
      Glowing within the western heaven!
    Oh, it is a peerless even!

    See, the broad red sun has set,
    But his rays are quivering yet
    Through Nature’s vale of violet,
      Streaming bright o’er lake and hill,
      But earth and forest lie so still,
      It sendeth to the heart a chill;
    We start to check the rising tear--
    ’Tis beauty sleeping on her bier.
         --SUSANNAH MOODIE.



        A WINTER JOURNEY


On the first day of January, 1776, I set out from Beaver Lake, attended
by two men, and provided with dried meat, frozen fish, and a small
quantity of roasted maize, sweetened with sugar, which I had brought
from Sault Sainte Marie, for this express occasion. Our provisions were
drawn by the men, upon sledges made of thin boards, a foot in breadth,
and curved upwards in front, after the Indian fashion.

Each day’s journey was commenced at three o’clock in the morning.
Although the sun did not rise until somewhat late, at no time was it
wholly dark, as the northern lights and the reflection of the snow
afforded always sufficient light. In addition, the river, the course of
which I was ascending, was a guide with the aid of which I was not
afraid of being lost.

As the snow was four feet deep, it rendered my progress so much slower
than I had expected, that I soon began to fear the want of provisions.
Moreover, I had not gone far before the wood began to dwindle away, both
in size and quantity, so that it was with difficulty we could collect
sufficient for making a fire, and without fire we could not drink; for
melted snow was our only resource, the ice on the river being too thick
to be penetrated by the axe.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER HENRY]

As the weather continued severely cold, I made my two men sleep on the
same skin with myself, one on each side, and though this arrangement was
particularly beneficial to myself, it increased the comfort of all. At
the usual hour in the morning, we attempted to rise, but found that a
foot of snow had fallen upon our bed, as well as extinguished and
covered our fire. In this situation we remained till daybreak, when,
with much exertion, we collected fresh fuel. Proceeding on our journey,
we found that we could no longer use our sledges on account of the
quantity of newly fallen snow, and we were now compelled to carry our
provisions on our backs. Unfortunately they were a diminished burden.

For the next two days the depth of the snow, and the violence of the
winds, so greatly retarded our journey that my men began to fear being
starved. However, I kept up their courage by telling them that I should
certainly kill red deer and elk, of which the tracks were visible along
the banks of the river, and on the sides of the hills. But to do this
was not easy, as the animals kept within the shelter of the woods, and
the snow was too deep to let me seek them there.

A little later our situation was rendered still more alarming by a fresh
fall of snow, which added nearly two feet to the depth of that which was
on the ground before. At the same time, we were scarcely able to collect
enough wood for making a fire to melt the snow. The only trees around us
were small willows, and the hills were bare of every vegetable
production such as could rear itself above the snow.

On the twentieth, the last remains of our provisions were exhausted, but
I had taken the precaution to conceal a cake of chocolate, in reserve
for an occasion such as this. Towards evening, my men, after walking the
whole day, began to lose their strength, but we, nevertheless, kept on
our feet till it was late. When we encamped, I desired them to fill the
kettle with snow, and showing them the chocolate, told them it would
keep us alive for five days at least, during which we would surely meet
with some Indian at the chase. This revived their spirits, and, the
kettle being filled with two gallons of water, I put into it one square
of the chocolate. The quantity was scarcely sufficient to alter the
color of the water, but each of us drank half a gallon of the warm
liquid, by which we were much refreshed.

In the morning, we allowed ourselves a similar repast, after finishing
which, we marched vigorously for six hours. But now the spirits of my
companions again deserted them, and they declared that they neither
would, nor could, proceed any further. For myself, they advised me to
leave them, and accomplish the journey as I could; as for themselves,
they said they must die soon, and might as well die where they were as
anywhere else.

While things were in this melancholy state, I filled the kettle, and
boiled another square of chocolate. When prepared, I prevailed upon my
desponding companions to return to their warm beverage. On taking it,
they recovered inconceivably, and, after smoking a pipe, consented to go
forward. While their stomachs were comforted by the warm water, they
walked well, but, as evening approached, fatigue overcame them, and they
relapsed into their former condition. The chocolate being now almost
entirely consumed, I began to fear that I must really abandon them, as,
had it not been for keeping company with them, I could have advanced
double the distance, within the time that had been spent. To my great
joy, however, the usual quantity of warm water revived them.

For breakfast the next morning, I put the last square of chocolate into
the kettle, and, our meal finished, we began our march. We were
surrounded by large herds of wolves, which sometimes came close upon us,
and who seemed to know the extremity in which we were, but I carried a
gun, and this was our protection. I fired several times, but
unfortunately missed at each; for a morsel of wolf’s flesh would have
afforded us a banquet.

Our misery, nevertheless, was nearer its end than we imagined. Before
sunset, we discovered, on the ice, some remains of the bones of an elk,
left there by the wolves. Having instantly gathered them, we encamped,
and, filling our kettle, prepared ourselves a meal of strong and
excellent soup. The greater part of the night was passed in boiling and
eating our booty, and early in the morning we felt ourselves strong
enough to proceed.

At noon, we saw the horns of a red deer, standing in the snow on the
river, and on examination, we found that the whole carcass was with
them. By cutting away the ice, we were enabled to lay bare a part of the
back and shoulders, and thus procure a stock of food sufficient for the
rest of our journey. We accordingly encamped, and employed our kettle to
good purpose. We forgot all our misfortunes, and prepared to walk with
cheerfulness the twenty leagues, which, as we reckoned, still lay
between ourselves and Fort des Prairies.--ALEXANDER HENRY.



        THE INCHCAPE ROCK


    No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
    The ship was as still as she could be;
    Her sails from heaven received no motion,
    Her keel was steady in the ocean.

    Without either sign or sound of their shock,
    The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;
    So little they rose, so little they fell,
    They did not move the Inchcape Bell.

    The pious Abbot of Aberbrothock
    Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
    On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
    And over the waves its warning rung.

    When the Rock was hid by the surge’s swell,
    The mariners heard the warning bell;
    And then they knew the perilous Rock,
    And blessed the Abbot of Aberbrothock.

    The sun in heaven was shining gay;
    All things were joyful on that day;
    The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled round,
    And there was joyance in their sound.

    The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen,
    A darker speck on the ocean green;
    Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck,
    And fixed his eye on the darker speck.

    He felt the cheering power of spring;
    It made him whistle, it made him sing:
    His heart was mirthful to excess,
    But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness.

    His eye was on the Inchcape float;
    Quoth he: “My men, put out the boat,
    And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
    And I’ll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothock.”

    The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
    And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
    Sir Ralph bent over from his boat,
    And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.

    Down sank the bell with a gurgling sound,
    The bubbles rose and burst around;
    Quoth Sir Ralph: “The next who comes to the Rock
    Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothock.”

    Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away;
    He scoured the seas for many a day;
    And now, grown rich with plundered store,
    He steers his course for Scotland’s shore.

    So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky
    They cannot see the sun on high;
    The wind hath blown a gale all day,
    At evening it hath died away.

    On the deck the Rover takes his stand;
    So dark it is, they see no land.
    Quoth Sir Ralph: “It will be lighter soon,
    For there is the dawn of the rising moon.”

    “Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar?
    For methinks we should be near the shore.”
    “Now where we are I cannot tell,
    But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.”

    They heard no sound; the swell is strong;
    Though the wind has fallen, they drift along,
    Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock;
    Cried they: “It is the Inchcape Rock!”

    Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
    He cursed himself in his despair:
    The waves rush in on every side;
    The ship is sinking beneath the tide.

    But, even in his dying fear,
    One dreadful sound could the Rover hear,--
    A sound as if, with the Inchcape Bell,
    The fiends below were ringing his knell.
         --ROBERT SOUTHEY.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Thinking is very far from knowing.



        THE BIRD OF THE MORNING


If every bird has his vocation, as a poetical French writer suggests,
that of the American robin must be to inspire cheerfulness and
contentment in men. His joyous “Cheer up! Cheer up! Cheery! Be cheery!
Be cheery!” poured out in the early morning from the top branch of the
highest tree in the neighborhood, is one of the most stimulating sounds
of spring. He must be unfeeling, indeed, who can help deserting his bed
and peering through blinds till he discovers the charming philosopher,
with head erect and breast glowing in the dawning light, forgetting the
cares of life in the ecstasy of song.

Besides admonishing others to cheerfulness, the robin sets the example.
Not only is his cheering voice the first in the morning and the last at
night,--of the day birds,--but no rain is wet enough to dampen his
spirits. In a drizzly, uncomfortable day, when all other birds go about
their necessary tasks of food-hunting in dismal silence, the robin is
not a whit less happy than when the sun shines; and his cheery voice
rings out to comfort not only the inmates of the damp little home in the
maple, but the owners of waterproofs and umbrellas who mope in the
house.

The most delightful study of one summer, not long ago, was the daily
life, the joys and sorrows, of a family of robins, whose pretty castle
in the air rested on a stout fork of a maple-tree branch near my
window. Day by day I watched their ways till I learned to know them
well.

When I first took my seat I felt like an intruder, which the robin
plainly considered me to be. He eyed me with the greatest suspicion,
alighting on the ground in a terrible flutter, resolved to brave the
ogre, yet on the alert, and ready for instant flight should anything
threaten. The moment he touched the ground, he would lower his head and
run with breathless haste five or six feet; then stop, raise his head as
pert as a daisy, and look at the monster to see if it had moved. After
convincing himself that all was safe, he would turn his eyes downwards,
and in an instant thrust his bill into the soil where the sod was thin,
throwing up a little shower of earth, and doing this again and again, so
vehemently that sometimes he was taken off his feet by the jerk. Then he
would drag out a worm, run a few feet farther in a panic-stricken way,
as though “taking his life in his hands,” again look on the ground, and
again pull out a worm; all the time in an inconsequent manner, as though
he had nothing particular on his mind, and merely collected worms by way
of passing the time.

So he would go on, never eating a morsel, but gathering worms till he
had three or four of the wriggling creatures hanging from his firm
little beak. Then he would fly to a low branch, run up a little way,
take another short flight, and thus having, as he plainly intended by
this zigzag course, completely deceived the observer as to his
destination, he would slip quietly to the nest and quickly dispose of
his load. In half a minute he was back again, running and watching, and
digging as before. And this work he kept up nearly all day,--in silence,
too, for, noisy and talkative as the bird is, he keeps his mouth shut
when on the ground. In all my watching of robins for years in several
places, I scarcely ever heard one make a sound when on the ground, near
a human dwelling.

I was surprised to discover, in my close attention to them, that
although early to rise, robins are by no means early to bed. Long after
every feather was supposed to be at rest for the night, I would sit out
and listen to the gossip, the last words, the scraps of song,--different
in every individual robin, yet all variations on the theme, “Be
cheery,”--and often the sharp “He he he he he!” so like a girl’s laugh,
out of the shadowy depths of the maple.

One of the most interesting entertainments of the later days was to hear
the young birds’ music lesson. In the early morning the father would
place himself in the thickest part of the tree, not as usual in plain
sight on the top, and with his pupil near him would begin, “Cheery!
cheery! be cheery!” in a loud, clear voice; and then would follow a
feeble, wavering, uncertain attempt to copy the song. Again papa would
chant the first strain, and baby would pipe out his funny notes. This
was kept up, till in a surprisingly short time, after much daily
practice both with the copy and without, I could hardly tell father from
son.

The baby robin taken apart from his kind is an interesting study.
Before he can fairly balance himself on his uncertain, wavering little
legs, or lay claim to more than the promise of a tail, he displays the
brave, self-reliant spirit of his race. He utters loud, defiant calls,
pecks boldly at an intruding hand, and stands--as well as he is
able--staring one full in the face without blinking, asserting by his
attitude and by every bristling feather that he is a living being; and,
in the depths of your soul, you cannot gainsay him. If you have already,
in his helpless infancy, made him captive, the blush of shame arises,
and you involuntarily throw wide the prison-doors.

   --OLIVE THORNE MILLER.

     _By permission of the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston._



        THE FOUR-LEAVED SHAMROCK


    I’ll seek a four-leaved Shamrock in all the fairy dells,
    And if I find the charmed leaves, oh, how I’ll weave my spells!
    I would not waste my magic mite on diamond, pearl, or gold,
    For treasure tires the weary sense--_such_ triumph is but cold;
    But I would play th’ enchanter’s part in casting bliss around--
    Oh, not a tear, nor aching heart, should in the world be found.

    To worth I would give honor!--I’d dry the mourner’s tears,
    And to the pallid lip recall the smile of happier years,
    And hearts that had been long estranged, and friends that had grown cold,
    Should meet again--like parted streams--and mingle as of old!
    Oh! thus I’d play th’ enchanter’s part, thus scatter bliss around,
    And not a tear, nor aching heart, should in the world be found!

    The heart that had been mourning, o’er vanished dreams of love,
    Should see them all returning--like Noah’s faithful dove;
    And Hope should launch her blessed bark on Sorrow’s darkening sea,
    And Misery’s children have an ark and saved from sinking be.
    Oh! thus I’d play th’ enchanter’s part, thus scatter bliss around,
    And not a tear, nor aching heart, should in the world be found!
         --SAMUEL LOVER.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again,--
      The eternal years of God are hers;
    But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
      And dies among his worshippers.



        KING HACON’S LAST BATTLE


[Illustration: LORD DUFFERIN]

    All was over; day was ending
      As the foemen turned and fled.
      Gloomy red
    Glowed the angry sun descending;
      While round Hacon’s dying bed
    Tears and songs of triumph blending
      Told how fast the conqueror bled.

    “Raise me,” said the king. We raised him--
      Not to ease his desperate pain;
      That were vain!
    “Strong our foe was, but we faced him--
      Show me that red field again.”
    Then with reverent hands we placed him
      High above the battle plain.

    Sudden, on our startled hearing,
      Came the low-breathed, stern command--
      “Lo! ye stand?
    Linger not--the night is nearing;
      Bear me downwards to the strand,
    Where my ships are idly steering
      Off and on, in sight of land.”

    Every whispered word obeying,
      Swift we bore him down the steep,
      O’er the deep,
    Up the tall ship’s side, low swaying
      To the storm-wind’s powerful sweep,
    And his dead companions laying
      Round him--we had time to weep.

    But the king said, “Peace! bring hither
      Spoil and weapons, battle-strown--
      Make no moan;
    Leave me and my dead together;
      Light my torch, and then--begone.”
    But we murmured, each to other,
      “Can we leave him thus alone?”

    Angrily the king replieth;
      Flashed the awful eye again
      With disdain--
    “Call him not _alone_ who lieth
      Low amidst such noble slain;
    Call him not alone who dieth
      Side by side with gallant men.”

    Slowly, sadly we departed--
      Reached again that desolate shore,
      Never more
    Trod by him, the brave, true-hearted,
      Dying in that dark ship’s core!
    Sadder keel from land ne’er parted,
      Nobler freight none ever bore!

    There we lingered, seaward gazing
      Watching o’er that living tomb,
      Through the gloom--
    Gloom which awful light is chasing;
      Blood-red flames the surge illume!
    Lo! King Hacon’s ship is blazing;
      ’Tis the hero’s self-sought doom.

    Right before the wild wind driving,
      Madly plunging--stung by fire--
      No help nigh her--
    Lo! the ship has ceased her striving!
      Mount the red flames higher, higher,
    Till, on ocean’s verge arriving,
      Sudden sinks the viking’s pyre.--
        Hacon’s gone!
         --LORD DUFFERIN.



        MR. PICKWICK ON THE ICE


On Christmas morning Mr. Wardle invited Mr. Pickwick, Mr. Snodgrass, Mr.
Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and his other guests to go down to the pond.

“You skate, of course, Winkle?” said Mr. Wardle.

“Ye--s; oh, yes!” replied Mr. Winkle. “I--I--am _rather_ out of
practice.”

“Oh, _do_ skate, Mr. Winkle,” said Arabella. “I like to see it so
much.”

“Oh, it is so graceful,” said another young lady.

A third young lady said it was “elegant,” and a fourth expressed her
opinion that it was “swanlike.”

“I should be very happy, I am sure,” said Mr. Winkle, reddening, “but I
have no skates.”

This objection was at once overruled. Trundle had a couple of pairs, and
the fat boy announced that there were half a dozen more downstairs;
whereat Mr. Winkle expressed exquisite delight, and looked exquisitely
uncomfortable.

Mr. Wardle led the way to a pretty large sheet of ice; and the fat boy
and Mr. Weller having shovelled and swept away the snow which had fallen
on it during the night, Mr. Bob Sawyer adjusted his skates with a
dexterity which to Mr. Winkle was perfectly marvellous, and described
circles with his left leg, and cut figures of eight, and inscribed upon
the ice, without once stopping for breath, a great many other pleasant
and astonishing devices,--to the excessive satisfaction of Mr. Pickwick,
Mr. Tupman, and the ladies,--which reached a pitch of positive
enthusiasm when Mr. Wardle and Benjamin Allen, assisted by Bob Sawyer,
performed some mystic evolutions which they called a reel.

All this time Mr. Winkle, with his face and hands blue with the cold,
had been forcing a gimlet into the soles of his shoes, and putting his
skates on, with the points behind, and getting the straps into a very
complicated state, with the assistance of Mr. Snodgrass, who knew rather
less about skates than a Hindoo. At length, however, with the
assistance of Mr. Weller, the unfortunate skates were firmly screwed and
buckled on, and Mr. Winkle was raised to his feet.

“Now, then, sir,” said Sam, in an encouraging tone, “off with you, and
show them how to do it.”

“Stop, Sam, stop!” said Mr. Winkle, trembling violently, and clutching
hold of Sam’s arms with the grasp of a drowning man. “How slippery it
is, Sam!”

“Not an uncommon thing upon ice, sir,” replied Mr. Weller. “Hold up,
sir!”

This last observation of Mr. Weller’s bore reference to a demonstration
Mr. Winkle made at the instant of a frantic desire to throw his feet in
the air, and dash the back of his head on the ice.

“These--these--are very awkward skates; aren’t they, Sam?” inquired Mr.
Winkle, staggering.

“I’m afraid there’s an awkward gentleman in ’em, sir,” replied Sam.

“Now, Winkle,” cried Mr. Pickwick, quite unconscious that there was
anything the matter. “Come; the ladies are all anxiety.”

“Yes, yes,” replied Mr. Winkle, with a ghastly smile. “I’m coming.”

“Just going to begin,” said Sam, endeavoring to disengage himself. “Now,
sir, start off!”

“Stop an instant, Sam,” gasped Mr. Winkle, clinging most affectionately
to Mr. Weller. “I find I’ve got a couple of coats at home that I don’t
want, Sam. You may have them, Sam.”

“Thank ’ee, sir,” replied Mr. Weller.

“Never mind touching your hat, Sam,” said Mr. Winkle, hastily. “You
needn’t take your hand away to do that. I meant to have given you five
shillings this morning for a Christmas-box, Sam. I’ll give it to you
this afternoon, Sam.”

“You’re wery good, sir,” replied Mr. Weller.

“Just hold me at first, Sam, will you?” said Mr. Winkle. “There--that’s
right. I shall soon get in the way of it, Sam. Not too fast, Sam; not
too fast.”

Mr. Winkle, stooping forward, with his body half doubled up, was being
assisted over the ice by Mr. Weller, in a very singular and unswanlike
manner, when Mr. Pickwick most innocently shouted from the bank, “Sam!”

“Sir?”

“Here. I want you.”

“Let go, sir,” said Sam. “Don’t you hear the governor calling? Let go,
sir.”

With a violent effort, Mr. Weller disengaged himself from the grasp of
the agonized Pickwickian, and in so doing, administered a considerable
impetus to the unhappy Mr. Winkle. With an accuracy which no degree of
dexterity or practice could have insured, that unfortunate gentleman
bore swiftly down into the centre of the reel, at the very moment when
Mr. Bob Sawyer was performing a flourish of unparalleled beauty. Mr.
Winkle struck wildly against him, and with a loud crash they both fell
heavily. Mr. Pickwick ran to the spot. Bob Sawyer had risen to his feet,
but Mr. Winkle was far too wise to do anything of the kind on skates. He
was seated on the ice, making spasmodic efforts to smile; but anguish
was depicted on every lineament of his face.

“Are you hurt?” inquired Mr. Benjamin Allen, with great anxiety.

“Not much,” said Mr. Winkle, rubbing his back very hard.

Mr. Pickwick was excited and indignant. He beckoned to Mr. Weller, and
said in a stern voice, “Take his skates off.”

“No; but really I had scarcely begun,” remonstrated Mr. Winkle.

“Take his skates off,” repeated Mr. Pickwick, firmly.

The command was not to be resisted. Mr. Winkle allowed Sam to obey it in
silence.

“Lift him up,” said Mr. Pickwick. Sam assisted him to rise.

Mr. Pickwick retired a few paces apart from the bystanders; and
beckoning his friend to approach, fixed a searching look upon him, and
uttered in a low but distinct and emphatic tone, these remarkable words,
“You’re a humbug, sir.”

“A what?” said Mr. Winkle, starting.

“A humbug, sir. I shall speak plainer, if you wish it. An impostor,
sir.”

[Illustration: ON THE SLIDE]

With those words, Mr. Pickwick turned slowly on his heel, and rejoined
his friends.

While Mr. Pickwick was delivering himself of the sentiment just
recorded, Mr. Weller and the fat boy, having by their joint endeavors
cut out a slide, were exercising themselves thereupon in a very masterly
and brilliant manner. Sam Weller, in particular, was displaying that
beautiful feat of fancy sliding which is currently called “knocking at
the cobbler’s door,” and which is achieved by skimming over the ice on
one foot, and occasionally giving a postman’s knock upon it with the
other. It was a good, long slide, and there was something in the motion
which Mr. Pickwick, who was very cold with standing still, could not
help envying.

“It looks like a nice warm exercise that, doesn’t it?” he inquired of
Mr. Wardle.

“Ah, it does indeed,” replied Wardle. “Do you slide?”

“I used to do so on the gutters, when I was a boy,” replied Mr.
Pickwick.

“Try it now,” said Wardle.

“Oh, do, please, Mr. Pickwick!” cried all the ladies.

“I should be very happy to afford you any amusement,” replied Mr.
Pickwick, “but I haven’t done such a thing these thirty years.”

“Pooh, pooh! Nonsense!” said Wardle, dragging off his skates with the
impetuosity which characterized all his proceedings. “Here, I’ll keep
you company; come along!” And away went the good-tempered old fellow
down the slide, with a rapidity which came very close upon Mr. Weller,
and beat the fat boy all to nothing.

Mr. Pickwick paused, considered, pulled off his gloves and put them in
his hat, took two or three short runs, stopped as often, and at last
took another run and went slowly and gravely down the slide, with his
feet about a yard and a quarter apart, amidst the gratified shouts of
all the spectators.

“Keep the pot a-boiling, sir,” said Sam; and down went Wardle again, and
then Mr. Pickwick, and then Sam, and then Mr. Winkle, and then Mr. Bob
Sawyer, and then the fat boy, and then Mr. Snodgrass, following closely
upon each other’s heels, and running after each other with as much
eagerness as if all their future prospects in life depended on their
expedition.

It was the most intensely interesting thing to observe the manner in
which Mr. Pickwick performed his share in the ceremony; to watch the
torture of anxiety with which he viewed the person behind gaining upon
him at the imminent hazard of tripping him up; to see him gradually
expend the painful force he had put on at first, and turn slowly round
on the slide, with his face towards the point from which he had started;
to contemplate the playful smile which mantled his face when he had
accomplished the distance, and the eagerness with which he turned round
when he had done so and ran after his predecessor; his black gaiters
tripping pleasantly through the snow, and his eyes beaming cheerfulness
and gladness through his spectacles; and when he was knocked down
(which happened on the average of every third round), it was the most
invigorating sight that can possibly be imagined to behold him gather up
his hat, gloves, and handkerchief, with a glowing countenance, and
resume his station in the rank with an ardor and enthusiasm that nothing
could abate.

The sport was at its height, the sliding was at the quickest, the
laughter was at the loudest, when a sharp, smart crack was heard. There
was a quick rush towards the bank, a wild scream from the ladies, and a
shout from Mr. Tupman. A large mass of ice disappeared; the water
bubbled up over it; Mr. Pickwick’s hat, gloves, and handkerchief were
floating on the surface, and this was all of Mr. Pickwick that anybody
could see.

Dismay and anguish were depicted on every countenance; the men turned
pale and the women fainted; Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle grasped each
other by the hand, and gazed with frenzied eagerness at the spot where
their leader had gone down; while Mr. Tupman, by way of rendering the
promptest assistance, ran off across the country at his utmost speed,
screaming “Fire!” with all his might.

It was at this moment, when Mr. Wardle and Sam Weller were approaching
the hole with cautious steps, that a face, head, and shoulders emerged
from beneath the water, and disclosed the features and spectacles of Mr.
Pickwick.

“Keep yourself up for an instant--for only one instant!” bawled Mr.
Snodgrass.

“Yes, do, let me implore you--for my sake!” roared Mr. Winkle, deeply
affected.

“Do you feel the bottom there, old fellow?” said Wardle.

“Yes, certainly,” replied Mr. Pickwick, wringing the water from his head
and face, and gasping for breath. “I fell upon my back. I couldn’t get
on my feet at first.”

The clay upon so much of Mr. Pickwick’s coat as was yet visible bore
testimony to the truth of this statement; and as the fears of the
spectators were still further relieved by the fat boy’s suddenly
recollecting that the water was nowhere more than five feet deep,
prodigies of valor were performed to get him out. After a vast quantity
of splashing, and cracking, and struggling, Mr. Pickwick was at length
fairly extricated from his unpleasant position, and once more stood on
dry land.

“Oh, he’ll catch his death of cold,” said Emily.

“Let me wrap this shawl round you,” said Arabella.

“Ah, that’s the best thing you can do,” said Wardle; “and when you’ve
got it on, run home as fast as your legs can carry you, and jump into
bed directly.”

A dozen shawls were offered on the instant. Three or four of the
thickest having been selected, Mr. Pickwick was wrapped up, and started
off, under the guidance of Mr. Weller, presenting the singular
appearance of an elderly gentleman, dripping wet, and without a hat,
with his arms bound down to his sides, skimming over the ground, without
any clearly defined purpose, at the rate of six good English miles an
hour.

But Mr. Pickwick cared not for appearances in such an extreme case, and
urged on by Mr. Weller, he kept at the very top of his speed until he
reached the door of Manor Farm, where he paused not an instant till he
was snug in bed.--CHARLES DICKENS.



        DICKENS IN CAMP


[Illustration: BRET HARTE]

    Above the pines the moon was slowly drifting,
        The river sang below;
    The dim Sierras, far beyond, uplifting
        Their minarets of snow.

    The roaring camp-fire, with rude humor, painted
        The ruddy tints of health
    On haggard face and form that drooped and fainted
        In the fierce race for wealth;

    Till one arose, and from his pack’s scant treasure
        A hoarded volume drew,
    And cards were dropped from hands of listless leisure
        To hear the tale anew;

    And then, while round them shadows gathered faster,
        And as the firelight fell,
    He read aloud the book wherein the Master
        Had writ of “Little Nell.”

    Perhaps ’twas boyish fancy,--for the reader
        Was youngest of them all,--
    But as he read, from clustering pine and cedar
        A silence seemed to fall;

    The fir-trees, gathering closer in the shadows,
        Listened in every spray,
    While the whole camp with “Nell” on English meadows
        Wandered, and lost their way.

    And so, in mountain solitudes, o’ertaken
        As by some spell divine--
    Their cares drop from them, like the needles shaken
        From out the gusty pine.

    Lost is that camp, and wasted all its fire;--
        And he who wrought that spell?
    Ah, towering pine and stately Kentish spire,
        Ye have one tale to tell!

    Lost is that camp! but let its fragrant story
        Blend with the breath that thrills
    With hop-vines’ incense all the pensive glory
        That fills the Kentish hills.

    And on that grave where English oak and holly
        And laurel wreaths entwine,
    Deem it not all a too presumptuous folly,
        This spray of Western pine!
         --FRANCIS BRET HARTE.



        HOME THEY BROUGHT HER WARRIOR


    Home they brought her warrior dead:
      She nor swoon’d, nor utter’d cry:
    All her maidens, watching, said,
      “She must weep or she will die.”

    Then they praised him, soft and low,
      Call’d him worthy to be loved,
    Truest friend and noblest foe;
      Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

    Stole a maiden from her place,
      Lightly to the warrior stept,
    Took the face-cloth from the face;
      Yet she neither moved nor wept.

    Rose a nurse of ninety years,
      Set his child upon her knee--
    Like summer tempest came her tears--
      “Sweet my child, I live for thee.”
         --ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The world goes up and the world goes down,
    And the sunshine follows the rain;
    And yesterday’s sneer and yesterday’s frown
    Can never come over again.
         --KINGSLEY.



        THE LOCKSMITH OF THE GOLDEN KEY


From the workshop of the Golden Key there issued forth a tinkling sound,
so merry and good-humored that it suggested the idea of some one working
blithely, and made quite pleasant music. _Tink, tink, tink_--clear as a
silver bell, and audible at every pause of the street’s harsher noises,
as though it said, “I don’t care; nothing puts me out; I am resolved to
be happy.”

Women scolded, children squalled, heavy carts went rumbling by, horrible
cries proceeded from the lungs of hawkers. Still it struck in again, no
higher, no lower, no louder, no softer; not thrusting itself on people’s
notice a bit the more for having been outdone by louder sounds--_tink,
tink, tink, tink, tink_.

It was a perfect embodiment of the still small voice, free from all
cold, hoarseness, huskiness, or unhealthiness of any kind.
Foot-passengers slackened their pace, and were disposed to linger near
it. Neighbors who had got up splenetic that morning felt good-humor
stealing on them as they heard it, and by degrees became quite
sprightly. Mothers danced their babies to its ringing--still the same
magical _tink, tink, tink_, came gayly from the workshop of the Golden
Key.

Who but the locksmith could have made such music? A gleam of sun,
shining through the unsashed window, and checkering the dark workshop
with a broad patch of light, fell full upon him, as though attracted by
his sunny heart. There he stood, working at his anvil, his face radiant
with exercise and gladness--the easiest, freest, happiest man in all the
world.

Beside him sat a sleek cat, purring and winking in the light, and
falling every now and then into an idle doze, as from excess of comfort.
The very locks that hung around had something jovial in their rust, and
seemed like gouty old gentlemen of hearty natures, disposed to joke on
their infirmities.

There was nothing surly or severe in the whole scene. It seemed
impossible that any one of the innumerable keys could fit a churlish
strong-box or a prison-door. Store-houses of good things, rooms where
there were fires, books, gossip, and cheering laughter--these were their
proper sphere of action. Places of distrust and cruelty and restraint
they would have quadruple locked forever.

_Tink, tink, tink._ No man who hammered on at a dull, monotonous duty
could have brought such cheerful notes from steel and iron; none but a
chirping, healthy, honest-hearted fellow, who made the best of
everything, and felt kindly towards everybody, could have done it for an
instant. He might have been a coppersmith, and still been musical. If he
had sat on a jolting wagon, full of rods of iron, it seemed as if he
would have brought some harmony out of it.--CHARLES DICKENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

     A clear conscience is better than untold riches.



        TUBAL CAIN


    Old Tubal Cain was a man of might,
      In the days when earth was young;
    By the fierce red light of his furnace bright,
      The strokes of his hammer rung:
    And he lifted high his brawny hand
      On the iron glowing clear,
    Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,
      As he fashioned the sword and the spear.
    And he sang: “Hurrah for my handiwork!
      Hurrah for the spear and the sword!
    Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well,
      For he shall be king and lord!”

    To Tubal Cain came many a one,
      As he wrought by his roaring fire;
    And each one prayed for a strong steel blade
      As the crown of his desire.
    And he made them weapons sharp and strong,
      Till they shouted loud for glee;
    And gave him gifts of pearls and gold,
      And spoils of the forest free.
    And they sang: “Hurrah for Tubal Cain,
      Who hath given us strength anew!
    Hurrah for the smith, hurrah for the fire,
      And hurrah for the metal true!”

    But a sudden change came o’er his heart,
      Ere the setting of the sun;
    And Tubal Cain was filled with pain
      For the evil he had done;
    He saw that men, with rage and hate,
      Made war upon their kind;
    That the land was red with the blood they shed,
      In their lust for carnage blind.
    And he said: “Alas! that ever I made,
      Or that skill of mine should plan,
    The spear and the sword for men whose joy
      Is to slay their fellow-man!”

    And for many a day old Tubal Cain
      Sat brooding o’er his woe;
    And his hand forbore to smite the ore,
      And his furnace smouldered low.
    But he rose at last with a cheerful face,
      And a bright, courageous eye,
    And bared his strong right arm for work,
      While the quick flames mounted high.
    And he sang: “Hurrah for my handicraft!”
      As the red sparks lit the air;
    “Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made,”--
      And he fashioned the first ploughshare.

    And men, taught wisdom from the past,
      In friendship joined their hands;
    Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
      And ploughed the willing lands;
    And sang: “Hurrah for Tubal Cain!
      Our staunch good friend is he;
    And for the ploughshare and the plough
      To him our praise shall be;
    But while oppression lifts its head,
      Or a tyrant would be lord,
    Though we may thank him for the plough,
      We’ll not forget the sword.”
         --CHARLES MACKAY.



        THE BUGLE SONG


      The splendor falls on castle walls
        And snowy summits old in story:
      The long light shakes across the lakes,
        And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
    Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
    Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

      O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
        And thinner, clearer, farther going!
      O sweet and far from cliff and scar
        The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
    Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
    Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

      O love, they die in yon rich sky,
        They faint on hill or field or river:
      Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
        And grow forever and forever.
    Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
    And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.
         --ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON.



        LEIF ERICSSON


Out through the black wolf’s-mouth of massive cliffs one morning a swift
longship sped, with the early wind rounding the great sail and helping
the rowers with their oars. A line of shields hung along each side,
helmeted heads gleamed here and there, and high in the stern the rising
sun made a form shine like a statue of silver flame as he waved farewell
to those on shore, who cheerily waved and shouted farewells back again.
Ulf, the leader, still had a name to win; but what a glorious thing it
was to stand there in the stern of that swift craft and feel it quiver
with life beneath him in response to the rhythmic stroke of the oarsmen,
as it surged through the heaving water. Brightly the sunlight leaped
along the sea. Snow-white was the foam that flashed upwards underneath
the curving prow, and now and then jetted high enough to come hissing
inboard on the wind when the fitful gusts shifted to the rightabout. The
men laughed, and carelessly shook the drops from their broad backs when
it splashed among them.

What a hardy set of men they were, those Northmen of old! They had no
compass; they must steer by the sun, or by the stars, guess at their
rate of sailing, and tell by that how many more days distant was their
destination. If the weather was fine, well. But if the sky clouded over,
and sun nor star was seen for a week or more, while the wind veered at
its own will, the chances were more than even that they would bring up
on some coast where they had never been, with water and food to get, and
perhaps every headland bristling with hostile spears. All this they
knew, yet out to sea they went as happily as a fisherman seeks his nets.
Trading, starving, fighting, plundering--it was all one to them. On the
whole, they seemed to like fighting the best of all, since that is what
their famous poems told most about.

One morning the dawn-light revealed a black spot on the low horizon. A
speck that grew larger, with twinkling, fin-like flashes along each
side, and in due time it proved to be a galley like their own bearing
down straight for them. Nobody stopped to ask any questions. That was
not sea-style then. But just as naturally as two men now in a lonely
journey would shake hands on meeting, these two captains slipped their
arms through their shield-handles, sheered alongside just beyond
oar-tip, and exchanged cards in the shape of whistling javelins.

Up from their benches sprang the rowers. Twang! sang their war bows the
song of the cord, and the air was full of hissing whispers of death as
their shafts hurtled past. Round and round the two galleys circled in a
strange dance, each steersman striving to bring his craft bows on, so as
to

[Illustration: LEIF ERICSSON]

ram and crush the other, while they lurched in the cross-seas, and
rolled till they dipped in tons of water over the rail.

Up sprang the stranger on his prow; tall and broad-shouldered was he,
with a torrent of ruddy hair floating in the wind. As Ulf turned to give
an order to bale out the inrushing water, up rose a brawny arm, and a
great spear flashed down from the high bow of the enemy and struck
fairly between his shoulders. So sharp was the blow, so sudden, that Ulf
pitched forward on one knee for just half a breath. But the spear fell
clanging to the deck. The ruddy warrior stood looking at it with eyes of
amazement. His own spear, that never before had failed! A flash of light
leaped back like a lightning stroke; back to its master whistled the
brand, for, ere he rose, Ulf snatched it up, and, as he rose, he hurled
it--straight through the unguarded arm of the stranger.

“Hold!”

The shout rang sternly across the water and echoed back and forth from
sail to sail. The shouting hushed. Only the creak of the swaying yard,
the hoarse swash of the water, the panting of deep breathing broke the
silence; then once more from the lofty prow came the commanding voice.

“Who and whence art thou?”

“A son of the Forest am I,” answered the other. “Ulf is my name, Ulf the
Silent my title, Jarl Sigurd my father by adoption. The sea is my home,
from over sea I came, and over sea am I going.”

“What dwarfs made that armor?” demanded the other, holding a cloth to
his wounded arm.

“Ten dwarfs welded it, ten dwarfs tempered it, and the same ten guard
the wearer. Thou best shouldst know what five of them can do,” and Ulf
smiled grimly as he held up his hand with outspread fingers.

“Now it is thy turn. Who art thou?”

“Leif is my name,” said the other, “and Eric the Red is my father. To
the west have I been sailing, searching for a land with lumber for
ship-building. Now am I home-bound. Come thou with me and thou shalt be
as my brother; for a good spearman art thou as ever sailed the seas; and
afterwards we shall sail together.”

“I like it well,” said Ulf, frankly, “and homewards I shall go with
thee”--for that was sea-politeness then. So they set a new course by the
stars that night, and before Leif’s arm had ceased to tingle they saw
the black walls of rock that guarded the entrance to his haven.

Many a night in after years Ulf lay awake and watched the stars,
thinking the while of his visit to Greenland and of all that came of it.
A mighty man of his hands was Leif. None could strike a keener blow. Yet
was he hugely delighted when, one afternoon in friendly fray, Ulf again
and again slipped within his guard and with a lithe writhe of his
slender form twined a bear’s hug around his bulky friend and dashed him
earthwards. And to give Ulf one spear’s length advantage in a hot scurry
across country was never to come up with him again.

“Thou art the man of men I long have hunted for!” Leif cried. “Let your
ship rest for a season;--or, better, let your longest-headed seaman
captain it for a voyage, trading, and come thou with me. Far to the
southwards and westwards lie rich timber lands. Where, we know not, yet
storm-driven ships have seen them. These I mean to find, and for such a
distant quest one ship is better than two.” So sunnily looked down the
great man at the slighter one, so joyous at the thought of that voyage
into the mists of the southern seas that Ulf held out his hand in
silence, and the compact was made.

It did not take long to provision the craft, or to arrange other
matters. Soon they were surging once more across apparently boundless
seas. Three times they came to lands unknown to them, yet not the
country of great trees talked of by old sailors around the winter fires.
At last it loomed up in reality above the horizon, covered with timber
enough to build a great city,--more than ever was seen close at hand by
Northmen before. And right lustily swung the axes among them for days
and weeks, until even the keenest trader among them all was contented
with his share of wealth that was to come to him when back at home once
more. There were not lacking signs, either, that savage neighbors might
be unpleasant neighbors, as more than one stone-headed arrow had
whistled past, heralded by the first war-whoop that ever was heard by
ears of white men.

So, like a careful captain, Leif carried his dried fish, his smoked
deer-meat, his water-casks, and his lumber by degrees all on board. He
lit the watch-fires as usual at sundown; but by moonrise, with the early
tide he and his men slipped quietly out of their stockaded camp and into
their vessel, and silently drifted out to sea before the warm land-wind
that still was faintly blowing. And late that night a savage war party
called at the camp with spear and torch to find it only an empty shell.

And even now, in the entrance to a beautiful park in a great city of
that land where he went timber-cutting more than fifteen hundred years
ago, there, high in air, as though still standing on the prow of his
ship, looms up a brave figure in bronze. A close-knit, flexible shirt of
mail guards his form. One hand rests upon his side, holding his curved
war-horn. The other shades the eyes; for, even in this statue of him,
Leif Ericsson is still the crosser of far seas, the finder of strange
lands, the sleepless watcher forever gazing from beneath his shadowed
brows into the golden west.--JOHN PRESTON TRUE.

     _From “The Iron Star,” published by Little, Brown and Company,
     Boston._

       *       *       *       *       *

    I would not enter on my list of friends
    (Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
    Yet wanting sensibility) the man
    Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
    An inadvertent step may crush the snail
    That crawls at evening in the public path;
    But he that has humanity, forewarned,
    Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.
         --COWPER.



        THE LOSS OF THE _BIRKENHEAD_


    Right on our flanks the crimson sun went down;
    The deep sea rolled around in dark repose;
    When, like the wild shriek from some captured town,
          A cry of women rose.

    The stout ship _Birkenhead_ lay hard and fast,
    Caught, without hope, upon a hidden rock;
    Her timbers thrill’d as nerves, when through them pass’d
          The spirit of that shock.

    And ever like base cowards who leave their ranks
    In danger’s hour, before the rush of steel,
    Drifted away, disorderly, the planks
          From underneath her keel.

    So calm the air, so calm and still the flood,
    That low down in its blue translucent glass
    We saw the great fierce fish that thirst for blood,
          Pass slowly, then repass.

    They tarried, the waves tarried, for their prey!
    The sea turn’d one clear smile. Like things asleep
    Those dark shapes in the azure silence lay,
          As quiet as the deep.

    Then amidst oath, and prayer, and rush, and wreck,
    Faint screams, faint questions waiting no reply,
    Our Colonel gave the word, and on deck
          Form’d us in line to die.

    To die!--’twas hard, whilst the sleek ocean glow’d
    Beneath a sky as fair as summer flowers:
    ALL TO THE BOATS! cried one;--he was, thank God,
          No officer of ours!

    Our English hearts beat true:--we would not stir:
    That base appeal we heard, but heeded not:
    On land, on sea, we had our colors, Sir,
          To keep without a spot!

    They shall not say in England, that we fought,
    With shameful strength, unhonor’d life to seek;
    Into mean safety, mean deserters, brought
          By trampling down the weak.

    So we made women with their children go,
    The oars ply back again, and yet again;
    Whilst, inch by inch, the drowning ship sank low,
          Still under steadfast men.

    What followed, why recall?--the brave who died,
    Died without flinching in the bloody surf:
    They sleep as well, beneath that purple tide,
          As others under turf:--

    They sleep as well! and, roused from their wild grave,
    Wearing their wounds like stars, shall rise again,
    Joint-heirs with Christ, because they bled to save
          His weak ones, not in vain.
         --SIR FRANCIS HASTINGS DOYLE.



        THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE


    Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
      As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
    Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
      O’er the grave where our hero we buried.

    We buried him darkly at dead of night,
      The sods with our bayonets turning;
    By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light,
      And the lantern dimly burning.

    No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
      Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;
    But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
      With his martial cloak around him.

    Few and short were the prayers we said,
      And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
    But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
      And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

    We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
      And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
    That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
      And we far away on the billow!

    Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone,
      And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him;
    But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on
      In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

    But half of our heavy task was done
      When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
    And we heard the distant and random gun
      That the foe was sullenly firing.

    Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
      From the field of his fame, fresh and gory!
    We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,--
      But we left him alone with his glory.
         --CHARLES WOLFE.



        THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINBAD


I desired, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days at
Bagdad, but it was not long before I grew weary of an indolent life. My
desire to trade revived. I bought goods suitable for the commerce I
intended, and put to sea a second time with a number of my friends among
the merchants. We traded from island to island, and exchanged our goods
with great profit to ourselves.

At length one day we landed on an island covered with several kinds of
fruit trees, but we could see neither man nor animal. We went to take a
little fresh air in the meadows, along the streams that watered them.
While some of the merchants amused themselves with gathering flowers and
fruits, I filled my bag with food, and sat down near a stream between
two high trees, which formed a thick shade. I made a good meal, and
afterwards fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but when I
awoke the ship was gone. I got up and looked around, but could not see
any of my friends who had landed with me. I perceived the ship under
sail, but so far away that I lost sight of her in a short time.

In this sad condition I was ready to die with grief. I cried out in
agony, beat my head and breast, and threw myself upon the ground, where
I lay some time in despair. I reproached myself a hundred times for not
being content with the produce of my first voyage, which might have been
sufficient for me all my life. But all this was in vain, and my
repentance too late.

At last I resigned myself to my condition. Not knowing what to do, I
climbed up to the top of a lofty tree, and looked about on all sides, to
see if I could discover anything that could give me hopes. When I gazed
towards the sea, I could see nothing but sky and water; but looking over
the land I beheld something white, at so great a distance, however, that
I could not distinguish what it was. I came down from the tree, and,
taking what provisions I had, walked towards the object. As I
approached, I thought it to be a white dome, of a great height and
extent, and when I came up to it, I touched it, and found it to be very
smooth. I examined it carefully to see if it was open on any side, but
saw that it was not. It was, at least, fifty paces around, and so smooth
that it was impossible for me to climb to the top.

Just before sunset the sky became as dark as if it had been covered
with a thick cloud. I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but
much more when I found it caused by a bird of a monstrous size that came
flying towards me. I remembered that I had often heard sailors speak of
a miraculous bird called the roc, and concluded that the great dome
which I so much admired must be its egg. In a few moments the bird
alighted, and sat over the egg. As I perceived her coming, I crept close
to the egg, so that I had before me one of her legs, which was as large
as the trunk of a tree. I tied myself strongly to it with my turban, in
hopes that the roc, next morning, would carry me with her out of this
desert island.

As soon as it was daylight, the bird flew away and carried me so high
that I could not discern the earth. She afterwards descended with so
much rapidity that I almost lost my senses. But when I found myself on
the ground, I speedily untied the knot. I had scarcely done so, when the
roc, having taken up a large serpent in her bill, flew away.

The spot where I found myself was surrounded on all sides by mountains,
that seemed to reach above the clouds, and so steep that there was no
possibility of getting out of the valley. This was a new perplexity.
When I compared this place with the desert island from which the roc had
brought me, I found that I had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through the valley, I saw that it was strewed with diamonds,
some of which were of a surprising size. I took pleasure in looking upon
them; but shortly saw at a distance a great number of serpents, so
large that the smallest of them was capable of swallowing an elephant.
The sight of these serpents greatly terrified me, and very much
diminished the satisfaction I had derived from the diamonds.

I spent the day in exploring the valley, as I found that the serpents
retired in the daytime to their dens, where they hid themselves from
their enemy, the roc. When night came on, I went into a cave, and
secured the entrance, which was low and narrow, with a great stone. I
ate part of my provisions, but the serpents, which began hissing around
me, put me into such extreme fear, that I could not sleep. When the sun
rose, they disappeared and I came out of the cave trembling. I can
justly say that I walked upon diamonds, without feeling any desire to
touch them. At last I sat down, and, notwithstanding my fears, not
having closed my eyes during the night, fell asleep. But I had scarcely
shut my eyes when something that fell near by with a great noise awaked
me. This was a large piece of raw meat, and at the same time I saw
several others fall on the rocks in different places.

I had always regarded as fabulous the stories I had heard sailors and
others relate of the valley of diamonds, and of the devices employed by
merchants to obtain the jewels. Now I found that they had stated nothing
but the truth. The fact is, that the merchants come to the neighborhood
of this valley when the eagles have young ones, and throw great joints
of meat into the valley; the diamonds upon whose points the joints fall
stick to them. The eagles, which are stronger in this country than
anywhere else, pounce upon these pieces of meat, and carry them to their
nests on the precipices of the rock, to feed their young. The merchants
at this time run to the nests, disturb and drive off the eagles by their
shouts, and take away the diamonds that stick to the meat.

Until I perceived the device, I had concluded it to be impossible for me
to escape from the valley which I regarded as my grave; but now I
changed my opinion, and began to think upon the means of my deliverance.
I collected the largest diamonds I could find, and put them into the
leather bag in which I had carried my provisions. Then I took the
largest of the pieces of meat, tied it close round me with the cloth of
my turban, and laid myself upon the ground with my face downwards, the
bag of diamonds being made fast to my girdle.

I had scarcely placed myself in this position when the eagles came. Each
of them seized a piece of meat, and one of the strongest having taken me
up, with the piece of meat to which I was fastened, carried me to his
nest on the top of the mountain. The merchants immediately began their
shouting to frighten the eagles; and when they had obliged them to quit
their prey, one of them came to the nest where I was. He was much
alarmed when he saw me; but recovering himself, instead of inquiring how
I came thither, began to quarrel with me, and asked why I stole his
goods. “You will treat me,” I replied, “with more civility, when you
know me better. Do not be uneasy; I have diamonds enough for you and
myself, more than all the other merchants together. Whatever they have
they owe to chance, but I selected for myself in the bottom of the
valley those which you see in this bag.” I had scarcely done speaking,
when the other merchants came crowding about us, much astonished to see
me. They were much more surprised, however, when I told them my story.

They conducted me to their encampment, and, when I had opened my bag,
they were struck with wonder at the largeness of my diamonds, and
confessed that in all the places they had visited they had never seen
any of such size and perfection. I spent the night with them, and
related my story a second time, for the satisfaction of those who had
not heard it. I could not moderate my joy when I found myself delivered
from the dangers I have mentioned. I thought myself in a dream, and
could scarcely believe myself safe once more.

The merchants continued for several days to throw their pieces of meat
into the valley, and when each was satisfied with the diamonds that had
fallen to his lot, we left the place. We took shipping at the first port
we reached, and finally landed at Bussorah, from whence I proceeded to
Bagdad. There I immediately gave large presents to the poor, and lived
honorably upon the vast riches I had gained with so much trouble and
danger.

   --_The “Arabian Nights’ Entertainment.”_



        THE DAFFODILS


[Illustration: WILLIAM WORDSWORTH]

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
      That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
      A host of golden daffodils
    Beside the lake beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
      And twinkle on the milky way
    They stretched in never-ending line
      Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced, but they
      Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay
      In such a jocund company:
    I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
      In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
      Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills
    And dances with the daffodils.
         --WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.



        THE HARP THAT ONCE THROUGH TARA’S HALLS


    The harp that once through Tara’s halls
      The soul of music shed,
    Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
      As if that soul were fled.
    So sleeps the pride of former days,
      So glory’s thrill is o’er,
    And hearts that once beat high for praise,
      Now feel that pulse no more!

    No more to chiefs and ladies bright
      The harp of Tara swells;
    The chord alone that breaks at night,
      Its tale of ruin tells.
    Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
      The only throb she gives
    Is when some heart indignant breaks,
      To shew that still she lives.
         --_Thomas Moore._



        THE HEROINE OF VERCHÈRES


Among the many incidents that are preserved of Frontenac’s second
administration, none is so well worthy of record as the defence of the
fort at Verchères by the young daughter of the seignior. Some years
later the story was written down from the heroine’s own recital.

Verchères is on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, about twenty miles
below Montreal. A strong blockhouse stood outside the fort, and was
connected with it by a covered way.

[Illustration: FRANCIS PARKMAN]

On the morning of the twenty-second of October, 1692, the inhabitants
were at work in the fields, and nobody was left in the place but two
soldiers, two boys, an old man of eighty, and a number of women and
children. The seignior was on duty at Quebec, and his wife was at
Montreal. Their daughter Madeleine, fourteen years of age, was at the
landing-place, not far from the gate of the fort, with a hired man.
Suddenly she heard firing from the direction where the settlers were at
work, and an instant after, the man cried out, “Run, Miss, run! here
come the Iroquois!” She turned and saw forty or fifty of them at the
distance of a pistol-shot. “I ran for the fort. The Iroquois who chased
me, seeing that they could not catch me alive before I reached the gate,
stopped and fired at me. The bullets whistled about my ears, and made
the time seem very long. As soon as I was near enough to be heard, I
cried out, ‘_To arms! To arms!_’ At the gate I found two women weeping
for their husbands, who had just been killed. I made them go in, and
then I shut the gate. I next thought what I could do to save myself and
the few people who were with me.

“I went to inspect the fort, and found that several palisades had fallen
down, and left openings by which the enemy could easily get in. I
ordered them to be set up again, and helped to carry them myself. When
the breaches were stopped, I went to the blockhouse where the ammunition
was kept, and here I found the two soldiers, one hiding in a corner, and
the other with a lighted match in his hand. ‘What are you going to do
with that match?’ I asked. He answered, ‘Light the powder and blow us
all up.’ ‘You are a miserable coward,’ said I; ‘go out of this place.’ I
spoke so resolutely that he obeyed.

“I then threw off my bonnet; and after putting on a hat and taking a
gun, I said to my two brothers: ‘Let us fight to the death. We are
fighting for our country and our religion. Remember, our father has
taught you that gentlemen are born to shed their blood for the service
of God and the King.’”

The boys, who were twelve and ten years old, aided by the soldiers, whom
her words had inspired with some little courage, began to fire from the
loopholes upon the Iroquois. They, ignorant of the weakness of the
garrison, showed their usual reluctance to attack a fortified place, and
occupied themselves with chasing and butchering the people in the
neighboring fields.

Madeleine ordered a cannon to be fired, partly to deter the enemy from
an assault, and partly to warn some of the soldiers, who were hunting
at a distance. Presently a canoe was seen approaching the landing-place.
It contained a settler named Fontaine, and his family, who were trying
to reach the fort. The Iroquois were still near, and Madeleine feared
that the newcomers would be killed if something were not done to aid
them. She appealed to the soldiers, but finding their courage was not
equal to the attempt, she herself went to the landing-place, and was
able to save the Fontaine family. When they were all landed, she made
them march before her in full sight of the enemy. They put so bold a
face on that the Iroquois thought they themselves had most to fear.

“After sunset a violent north-east wind began to blow, accompanied with
snow and hail. The Iroquois were meanwhile lurking about us; and I
judged by their movements that, instead of being deterred by the storm,
they would climb into the fort under cover of the darkness. I assembled
all my troops, that is to say, six persons, and spoke thus to them: ‘God
has saved us to-day from the hands of our enemies, but we must take care
not to fall into their snares to-night. I will take charge of the fort
with an old man of eighty, and you, Fontaine, with our two soldiers,
will go to the blockhouse with the women and children, because that is
the strongest place. If I am taken, don’t surrender, even if I am cut to
pieces and burned before your eyes. The enemy can’t hurt you in the
blockhouse, if you make the least show of fight.’

“I placed my young brothers on two of the bastions, the old man on the
third, while I took the fourth; and all night, in spite of wind, snow,
and hail, the cries of ‘All’s well’ were kept up from the blockhouse to
the fort, and from the fort to the blockhouse. The Iroquois thought the
place was full of soldiers, and were completely deceived, as they
confessed afterwards.

“I may say with truth that I did not eat or sleep for twice twenty-four
hours, but kept always on the bastion, or went to the blockhouse to see
how the people there were behaving. I always kept a cheerful and smiling
face, and encouraged my little company with the hope of speedy succor.

“We were a week in constant alarm, with the enemy always about us. At
last a lieutenant arrived in the night with forty men. I was at the time
dozing, with my head on the table. The sentinel told me that he heard a
voice from the river. I went up at once to the bastion and asked, ‘Who
are you?’ One of them answered, ‘We are Frenchmen, who come to bring you
help.’

“I caused the gate to be opened, placed a sentinel there, and went down
to the river to meet them. As soon as I saw the officer, I saluted him,
and said, ‘Sir, I surrender my arms to you.’ He answered gallantly,
‘They are already in good hands.’

“He inspected the fort and found everything in order, and a sentinel on
each bastion. ‘It is time to relieve them, sir,’ said I; ‘we have not
been off our bastions for a week.’”

   --FRANCIS PARKMAN.



        THE SLAVE’S DREAM


[Illustration: H. W. LONGFELLOW]

    Beside the ungather’d rice he lay,
      His sickle in his hand;
    His breast was bare, his matted hair
      Was buried in the sand;
    Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,
      He saw his native land.

    Wide through the landscape of his dreams
      The lordly Niger flow’d;
    Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
      Once more a king he strode,
    And heard the tinkling caravans
      Descend the mountain road.

    He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
      Among her children stand;
    They clasp’d his neck, they kiss’d his cheeks,
      They held him by the hand:
    A tear burst from the sleeper’s lids,
      And fell into the sand.

    And then at furious speed he rode
      Along the Niger’s bank;
    His bridle-reins were golden chains,
      And, with a martial clank,
    At each leap, he could feel his scabbard of steel,
      Smiting his stallion’s flank.

    Before him, like a blood-red flag,
      The bright flamingoes flew;
    From morn till night he follow’d their flight,
      O’er plains where the tamarind grew,
    Till he saw the roof of Kaffir huts,
      And the ocean rose to view.

    At night he heard the lion roar,
      And the hyena scream,
    And the river-horse, as he crush’d the reeds,
      Beside some hidden stream;
    And it pass’d, like a glorious roll of drums,
      Through the triumph of his dream.

    The forests, with their myriad tongues,
      Shouted of liberty;
    And the blast of the desert cried aloud,
      With a voice so wild and free,
    That he started in his sleep, and smiled
      At their tempestuous glee.

    He did not feel the driver’s whip,
      Nor the burning heat of day,
    For death had illumined the land of sleep,
      And his lifeless body lay
    A worn-out fetter, that the soul
      Had broken and thrown away!
         --HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.



        THE SONG OF THE CAMP


    “Give us a song,” the soldiers cried,
      The outer trenches guarding,
    When the heated guns of the camps allied
      Grew weary of bombarding.

    The dark Redan, in silent scoff,
      Lay, grim and threatening, under;
    And the tawny mound of the Malakoff
      No longer belched its thunder.

    There was a pause. A guardsman said,
      “We storm the forts to-morrow;
    Sing while we may, another day
      Will bring enough of sorrow.”

    They lay along the battery’s side,
      Below the smoking cannon;
    Brave hearts from Severn and from Clyde,
      And from the banks of Shannon.

    They sang of love, and not of fame;
      Forgot was Britain’s glory;
    Each heart recalled a different name,
      But all sang “Annie Laurie.”

    Voice after voice caught up the song,
      Until its tender passion
    Rose like an anthem, rich and strong,--
      Their battle-eve confession.

    Dear girl, her name he dared not speak,
      But, as the song grew louder,
    Something upon the soldier’s cheek
      Washed off the stains of powder.

    Beyond the darkening ocean burned
      The bloody sunset’s embers,
    While the Crimean valleys learned
     How English love remembers.

    And once again a fire of hell
      Rained on the Russian quarters,
    With scream of shot--and burst of shell,
      And bellowing of the mortars.

    And Irish Nora’s eyes are dim
      For a singer, dumb and gory;
    And English Mary mourns for him
      Who sang of “Annie Laurie.”

    Sleep, soldiers still in honored rest
      Your truth and valor wearing;
    The bravest are the tenderest,--
      The loving are the daring.
         --BAYARD TAYLOR.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The tree does not fall at the first stroke.



        AN UNCOMFORTABLE BED


As Theseus was skirting the valley along the foot of a lofty mountain, a
very tall and strong man came down to meet him, dressed in rich
garments. On his arms were golden bracelets, and round his neck a collar
of jewels. He came forward, bowing courteously, held out both his hands,
and spoke:--

[Illustration: CHARLES KINGSLEY]

“Welcome, fair youth, to these mountains; happy am I to have met you!
For what is greater pleasure to a good man than to entertain strangers?
But I see that you are weary. Come up to my castle, and rest yourself
awhile.”

“I give you thanks,” said Theseus; “but I am in haste to go up the
valley.”

“Alas! you have wandered far from the right way, and you cannot reach
the end of the valley to-night, for there are many miles of mountain
between you and it, and steep passes, and cliffs dangerous after
nightfall. It is well for you that I met you, for my whole joy is to
find strangers, and to feast them at my castle, and hear tales from them
of foreign lands. Come up with me and eat the best of venison, and drink
the rich red wine, and sleep upon my famous bed, of which all travellers
say that they never saw the like. For whatsoever the stature of my
guest, however tall or short, that bed fits him to a hair, and he
sleeps on it as he never slept before.”

And he laid hold on Theseus’s hands, and would not let him go.

Theseus wished to go forward, but he was ashamed to seem churlish to so
hospitable a man; and he was curious to see that wondrous bed; and
besides, he was hungry and weary. Yet he shrank from the man, he knew
not why; for though his voice was gentle and fawning, it was dry and
husky, and though his eyes were gentle, they were dull and cold like
stones. But he consented, and went with the man up a glen which led from
the road, under the dark shadow of the cliffs.

As they went up, the glen grew narrower, and the cliffs higher and
darker, and beneath them a torrent roared, half seen between bare
limestone crags. Around them was neither tree nor bush, while from the
white peaks of the mountain the snow-blasts swept down the glen, cutting
and chilling, till a horror fell on Theseus as he looked round at that
doleful place. He said at last, “Your castle stands, it seems, in a
dreary region.”

“Yes; but once within it, hospitality makes all things cheerful. But who
are these?” and he looked back, and Theseus also. Far below, along the
road which they had left, came a string of laden beasts, and merchants
walking by them.

“Ah, poor souls!” said the stranger. “Well for them that I looked back
and saw them! And well for me, too, for I shall have the more guests at
my feast. Wait awhile till I go down and call them, and we shall eat and
drink together the livelong night. Happy am I, to whom Heaven sends so
many guests at once!”

He ran back down the hill, waving his hand and shouting to the
merchants, while Theseus went slowly up the steep path. But as he went
up he met an aged man, who had been gathering driftwood in the torrent
bed. He had laid down his fagot in the road, and was trying to lift it
again to his shoulder. When he saw Theseus, he called to him and said,--

“O fair youth, help me up with my burden, for my limbs are stiff and
weak with years.”

Then Theseus lifted the burden on his back. The old man blessed him, and
then looked earnestly upon him and said,--

“Who are you, fair youth, and wherefore travel you this doleful road?”

“Who I am my parents know; but I travel this doleful road because I have
been invited by a hospitable man, who promises to feast me and to make
me sleep upon I know not what wondrous bed.”

Then the old man clapped his hands together and cried:--

“Know, fair youth, that you are going to torment and to death, for he
who met you is a robber and a murderer of men. Whatsoever stranger he
meets, he entices him hither to death; and as for this bed of which he
speaks, truly it fits all comers, yet none ever rose alive off it, save
me.”

[Illustration: THESEUS AND PROCRUSTES]

“Why?” asked Theseus, astonished.

“Because, if a man be too tall for it, he lops his limbs till they be
short enough, and if he be too short, he stretches his limbs till they
be long enough; but me only he spared, seven weary years agone, for I
alone of all fitted his bed exactly, so he spared me, and made me his
slave. Once I was a wealthy merchant, and dwelt in a great city; but now
I hew wood and draw water for him, the tormentor of all mortal men.”

Then Theseus said nothing; but he ground his teeth together.

“Escape, then,” said the old man; “for he will have no pity on thy
youth. But yesterday he brought up hither a young man and a maiden, and
fitted them upon his bed; and the young man’s hands and feet he cut off,
but the maiden’s limbs he stretched until she died, and so both perished
miserably--but I am tired of weeping over the slain. He is called
Procrustes, the stretcher. Flee from him; yet whither will you flee? The
cliffs are steep, and who can climb them? and there is no other road.”

But Theseus laid his hand upon the old man’s mouth, and said, “There is
no need to flee;” and he turned to go down the pass.

“Do not tell him that I have warned you, or he will kill me by some evil
death,” the old man screamed after him down the glen; but Theseus strode
on in his wrath.

He said to himself: “This is an ill-ruled land. When shall I have done
ridding it of monsters?” As he spoke, Procrustes came up the hill, and
all the merchants with him, smiling and talking gayly. When he saw
Theseus, he cried, “Ah, fair young guest, have I kept you too long
waiting?”

But Theseus answered, “The man who stretches his guests upon a bed and
hews off their hands and feet, what shall be done to him, when right is
done throughout the land?”

Then the countenance of Procrustes changed, and his cheeks grew as green
as a lizard, and he felt for his sword in haste. But Theseus leaped on
him, and cried:--

“Is this true, my host, or is it false?” and he clasped Procrustes
around waist and elbow, so that he could not draw his sword.

“Is this true, my host, or is it false?” But Procrustes answered never a
word.

Then Theseus flung him from him, and lifted up his dreadful club; and
before Procrustes could strike him, he had struck and felled him to the
ground. And once again he struck him; and his evil soul fled forth, and
went down into the depths squeaking, like a bat into the darkness of a
cave.

Then Theseus stripped him of his gold ornaments, and went up to his
house, and found there great wealth and treasure, which he had stolen
from the passers-by. And he called the people of the country, whom
Procrustes had spoiled a long time, and divided the treasure among them,
and went down the mountains, and away.

   --CHARLES KINGSLEY.



        CHINOOK


    Mildly through the mists of night
    Floats a breath of flowers sweet,
    Warmly through the waning light
    Wafts a wind with perfumed feet,
    Down the gorge and mountain brook,
    With the sound of wings--Chinook!

    By no trail his spirits go,
    Through the mountain-passes high,
    Where the moon is on the snow
    And the screaming eagles fly,
    Where the yawning canyon roars
    With memories of misty shores.

    On still prairies, mountain-locked,
    Frost lies white upon the grass,
    But where the witch of winter walked,
    Now the summer’s masquers pass;
    And at May’s refreshing breath
    Tender flowers rose from death.

    And the breeze, that on the Coast
    Wakened softly at the morn,
    Is on snowy prairies lost
    When the twilight pales forlorn;
    Sweet Chinook! who breathes betimes
    Summer’s kiss in winter climes.
         --EZRA HURLBURT STAFFORD.



        THE IVY GREEN


    Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
      That creepeth o’er ruins old!
    Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
      In his cell so lone and cold.
    The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
      To pleasure his dainty whim;
    And the mouldering dust that years have made
      Is a merry meal for him.
          Creeping where no life is seen,
          A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

    Fast he stealeth on though he wears no wings,
      And a staunch old heart has he;
    How closely he twineth, how tight he clings
      To his friend, the huge Oak Tree!
    And slyly he traileth along the ground,
      And his leaves he gently waves,
    As he joyously hugs, and crawleth around,
      The rich mould of dead men’s graves.
          Creeping where grim death has been,
          A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

    Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed,
      And nations have scattered been,
    But the stout old Ivy shall never fade
      From its hale and hearty green.
    The brave old plant in its lonely days
      Shall fatten upon the past,
    For the stateliest building man can raise
      Is the Ivy’s food at last.
          Creeping on where time has been,
          A rare old plant is the Ivy green.
         --CHARLES DICKENS.



        THE RELIEF OF LUCKNOW


On every side death stared us in the face; no human skill could avert it
any longer. We saw the moment approach when we must bid farewell to
earth, yet without feeling that unutterable horror which must have been
experienced by the unhappy victims at Cawnpore. We were resolved rather
to die than to yield, and were fully persuaded that in twenty-four hours
all would be over. The engineer had said so, and all knew the worst. We
women strove to encourage each other, and to perform the light duties
which had been assigned to us, such as conveying orders to the
batteries, and supplying the men with provisions, especially cups of
coffee, which we prepared day and night.

I had gone out to try to make myself useful, in company with Jessie
Brown, the wife of a corporal in my husband’s regiment. Poor Jessie had
been in a state of restless excitement all through the siege, and had
fallen away visibly within the last few days. A constant fever consumed
her, and her mind wandered occasionally, especially that day, when the
recollections of home seemed powerfully present to her. At last,
overcome with fatigue, she lay down on the ground, wrapped up in her
plaid. I sat beside her, promising to awaken her when, as she said, her
“father should return from the ploughing.”

She fell at length into a profound slumber, motionless and apparently
breathless, her head resting in my lap. I myself could no longer resist
the inclination to sleep, in spite of the continual roar of the cannon.
Suddenly I was aroused by a wild, unearthly scream close to my ear; my
companion stood upright beside me, her arms raised, and her head bent
forward in the attitude of listening.

A look of intense delight broke over her countenance; she grasped my
hand, drew me towards her, and exclaimed: “Dinna ye hear it? dinna ye
hear it? Ay. I’m no dreaming: it’s the slogan o’ the Highlanders! We’re
saved! we’re saved!” Then flinging herself on her knees, she thanked God
with passionate fervor. I felt utterly bewildered; my English ears heard
only the roar of artillery, and I thought my poor Jessie was still
raving; but she darted to the batteries, and I heard her cry incessantly
to the men: “Courage! courage! Hark to the slogan--to the Macgregor, the
grandest of them a’! Here’s help at last!”

To describe the effect of these words upon the soldiers would be
impossible. For a moment they ceased firing, and every soul listened
with intense anxiety. Gradually, however, there arose a murmur of
bitter disappointment, and the wailing of the women, who had flocked to
the spot, burst out anew as the colonel shook his head. Our dull Lowland
ears heard only the rattle of the musketry. A few moments more of this
deathlike suspense, of this agonizing hope, and Jessie, who had again
sunk on the ground, sprang to her feet, and cried in a voice so clear
and piercing that it was heard along the whole line: “Will ye no believe
in it noo? The slogan has ceased, indeed, but the Campbells are comin’!
D’ ye hear? d’ ye hear?”

At that moment all seemed indeed to hear the voice of God in the
distance, when the pibroch of the Highlanders brought us tidings of
deliverance; for now there was no longer any doubt of the fact. That
shrill, penetrating, ceaseless sound, which rose above all other sounds,
could come neither from the advance of the enemy, nor from the work of
the sappers. No, it was indeed the blast of the Scottish bagpipes, now
shrill and harsh, as threatening vengeance on the foe, then in softer
tones, seeming to promise succor to their friends in need.

Never, surely, was there such a scene as that which followed. Not a
heart in the residency of Lucknow but bowed itself before God. All, by
one simultaneous impulse, fell upon their knees, and nothing was heard
but bursting sobs and the murmured voice of prayer. Then all arose, and
there rang out from a thousand lips a great shout of joy, which
resounded far and wide, and lent new vigor to that blessed pibroch.

To our cheer of “God save the Queen,” they replied by the well-known
strain that moves every Scot to tears, “Should auld acquaintance be
forgot.” After that, nothing else made any impression on me. I scarcely
remember what followed. Jessie was presented to the general on his
entrance into the fort, and at the officers’ banquet her health was
drunk by all present, while the pipers marched around the table playing
once more the familiar air of “Auld Lang Syne.”

   --_From a letter by the wife of an officer at Lucknow._



        THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE


[Illustration: LORD TENNYSON]

    Half a league, half a league,
      Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!” he said:
    Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
      Some one had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,

[Illustration: THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE]

    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
      Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell.
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
      Rode the six hundred.

    Flash’d all their sabres bare,
    Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
      All the world wonder’d:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke,
    Right thro’ the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel’d from the sabre-stroke
      Shatter’d and sunder’d.
    Then they rode back, but not--
      Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
      Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
      Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
      All the world wonder’d.
    Honor the charge they made!
    Honor the Light Brigade,
      Noble six hundred!
         --ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON.



        HASTE NOT, REST NOT


[Illustration: J. W. GOETHE]

    Without haste, without rest!
    Bind the motto to thy breast;
    Bear it with thee as a spell;
    Storm or sunshine, guard it well;
    Heed not flowers that round thee bloom
    Bear it onward to the tomb.

    Haste not! let no thoughtless deed
    Mar fore’er the spirit’s speed;
    Ponder well and know the right--
    Onward then with all thy might;
    Haste not! years can ne’er atone
    For one reckless action done.

    Rest not!--life is sweeping by;
    Do and dare before you die;
    Something mighty and sublime
    Leave behind to conquer time.
    Glorious ’tis to live for aye
    When these forms have passed away.

    Haste not, rest not! calmly wait,
    Meekly bear the storms of fate;
    Duty be thy polar guide--
    Do the right, whate’er betide.
    Haste not, rest not! conflicts past,
    God shall crown thy work at last.
         --JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE.



        DOUBTING CASTLE


Now there was, not far from the place where they lay, a castle called
Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair, and it was in his
grounds they now were sleeping; wherefore he, getting up in the morning
early, and walking up and down his fields, caught Christian and Hopeful
asleep in his grounds.

Then, with a grim and surly voice, he bade them awake, and asked them
whence they were and what they did in his grounds. They told him they
were pilgrims and that they had lost their way. Then said the Giant,
“You have this night trespassed on me by trampling in and lying on my
grounds, and therefore you must go along with me.”

[Illustration: JOHN BUNYAN]

So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also
had but little to say, for they knew themselves in fault. The Giant
therefore drove them before him, and put them into his castle, in a very
dark dungeon. Here, then, they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday
night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any
person to ask how they did. In this place Christian had double sorrow,
because it was through his counsel that they were brought into this
distress.

Now Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence. So he told
his wife what he had done, that he had taken a couple of prisoners, and
cast them into his dungeon for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked
her also what he had best do further with them? So she asked him what
they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound? and he told
her. Then she counselled him that when he arose in the morning he
should beat them without mercy.

So when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crab-tree cudgel, and goes
down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating them as
if they were dogs. Then he fell upon them and beat them fearfully, in
such sort that they were not able to help themselves or to turn upon the
floor. This done, he withdraws and leaves them there to condole their
misery, and to mourn under their distress.

The next night she, talking with her husband further about them, and
understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them
to make away with themselves.

So, when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner, as before,
and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given
them the day before, he told them that since they were never likely to
come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an end
of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison. “For why,” said he,
“should you choose to live, seeing it is attended with so much
bitterness?”

But they desired him to let them go. With that, he looked ugly upon
them, and rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself,
but that he fell into one of his fits (for he sometimes in sunshiny
weather fell into fits), and lost for a time the use of his hands.
Wherefore he withdrew and left them as before to consider what to do.

Towards evening the Giant goes down into the dungeon again, to see if
his prisoners had taken his counsel; but when he came there, he found
them alive, and truly, alive was all. For now, for want of bread and
water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they
could do little but breathe.

But, I say, he found them alive, at which he fell into a grievous rage,
and told them that seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be
worse with them than if they had never been born. At this they trembled
greatly, and I think that Christian fell into a swoon; but coming a
little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the Giant’s
counsel, and whether yet they had best take it or no.

Now the Giant’s wife asked him concerning the prisoners, and if they had
taken his counsel. To which he replied, “They are sturdy rogues; they
choose rather to bear all hardships than to make away with themselves.”

Then said she, “Take them into the castle yard to-morrow, and show them
the bones and skulls of those that thou hast already despatched; and
make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou wilt tear them in
pieces as thou hast done their fellows before them.”

So when the morning was come, the Giant goes to them again, and takes
them into the castle yard and shows them, as his wife had bidden him.

“These,” said he, “were once pilgrims as you are, and they trespassed on
my grounds as you have done, and when I thought fit, I tore them in
pieces; and so within ten days I shall do you. Go, get you down to your
den again!” and with that he beat them all the way thither. They lay,
therefore, all day on Saturday in lamentable case, as before.

Now, when the night was come, Mistress Diffidence and her husband the
Giant began to renew their discourse of their prisoners; and the old
Giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor counsel bring them
to an end. And with that his wife replied:--

“I fear,” said she, “that they live in hopes that some one will come to
relieve them; or that they have pick-locks about them, by means of which
they hope to escape.”

“And sayest thou so, my dear?” said the Giant. “I shall therefore search
them in the morning.”

Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in
prayer till almost break of day.

Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed,
brake out into this passionate speech:--

“What a fool,” quoth he, “am I to lie in a dungeon, when I may as well
walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I
am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle.”

Then said Hopeful, “That’s good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy
bosom and try.”

Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the
dungeon door, whose bolt, as he turned the key, gave back, and the door
flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he
went to the outward door that leads into the castle yard, and with his
key opened that door also. After that he went to the iron gate, for that
must be opened too; but that lock went hard, yet the key did open it.

Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed, but that
gate, as it opened, made such a creaking, that it waked Giant Despair,
who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for
his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them.
Then they went on, and came to the king’s highway, and so were safe.

Now when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with
themselves what they should do at that stile to prevent those that
should come after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair. So they
consented to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon the side thereof
this sentence: “Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is
kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country,
and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims.” Many, therefore, that followed
after read what was written and escaped the danger.--JOHN BUNYAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
    Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle’s nest!
    Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain-storm!
    Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
    Ye signs and wonders of the elements,
    Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise!



        THE DAISY


    There is a flower, a little flower,
      With silver crest and golden eye,
    That welcomes every changing hour,
      And weathers every sky.

    The prouder beauties of the field
      In gay but quick succession shine,
    Race after race their honors yield,
      They flourish and decline.

    But this small flower, to Nature dear,
      While moons and stars their courses run,
    Wreathes the whole circle of the year,
      Companion of the sun.

    It smiles upon the lap of May,
      To sultry August spreads its charms,
    Lights pale October on his way,
      And twines December’s arms.

    The purple heath, and golden broom,
      In moory mountains catch the gale,
    O’er lawns the lily spreads perfume,
      The violet in the vale;

    But this bold floweret climbs the hill,
      Hides in the forest, haunts the glen,
    Plays on the margin of the rill,
      Peeps round the fox’s den.

    Within the garden’s cultured round,
      It shares the sweet carnation’s bed;
    And blooms in consecrated ground
      In honor of the dead.

    The lambkin crops its crimson gem,
      The wild bee murmurs on its breast,
    The blue fly bends its pensile stem
      Light o’er the skylark’s nest.

    ’Tis Flora’s page: in every place,
      In every season, fresh and fair,
    It opens with perennial grace,
      And blossoms everywhere.

    On waste and woodland, rock and plain,
      Its humble buds unheeded rise:
    The rose has but a summer reign,
      The daisy never dies.
         --JAMES MONTGOMERY.

       *       *       *       *       *

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain:
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.--DICKINSON.



        LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT


[Illustration: CARDINAL NEWMAN]

    Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
          Lead Thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home,--
          Lead Thou me on!
    Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene,--one step enough for me.

    I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
          Shouldst lead me on:
    I loved to choose and see my path; but now
          Lead Thou me on!
    I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
    Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

    So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
          Will lead me on
    O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
          The night is gone,
    And with the morn those angel faces smile
    Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
         --JOHN HENRY NEWMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

    To him that wills, ways are not wanting.



        ESCAPE FROM A PANTHER


By this time Elizabeth Temple and Louisa had gained the summit of the
mountain, where they left the highway, and pursued their course under
the shade of the trees. Their conversation was entirely occupied with
the little incidents and scenes of their walk, and every tall pine, and
every shrub or flower, called forth some simple expression of
admiration.

[Illustration: FENIMORE COOPER]

In this manner they proceeded along the margin of the precipice, when
Elizabeth suddenly started, and exclaimed,--“Listen! there are the cries
of a child on this mountain! Is there a clearing near us, or can some
little one have strayed from its parents?”

“Such things frequently happen,” returned Louisa. “Let us follow the
sounds: it may be a wanderer starving on the hill.” More than once
Elizabeth was on the point of announcing that she saw the sufferer, when
Louisa caught her by the arm, and, pointing behind them, cried,--

“Look at the dog!”

Brave had been their companion from the time the voice of his young
mistress lured him from his kennel to the present moment. His advanced
age had long before deprived him of his activity; and when his
companions stopped to view the scenery, or to add to their bouquets,
the mastiff would lay his huge frame on the ground, and await their
movements, with his eyes closed, and a listlessness in his air that ill
accorded with the character of a protector.

But when aroused by this cry from Louisa, Miss Temple turned, she saw
the dog with his eyes keenly set on some distant object, his head bent
near the ground, and his hair actually rising on his body, through
fright or anger. It was most probably the latter, for he was growling in
a low key, and occasionally showing his teeth, in a manner that would
have terrified his mistress, had she not so well known his good
qualities.

“Brave!” she said. “Be quiet, Brave! what do you see, fellow?”

At the sound of her voice, the rage of the mastiff, instead of being at
all diminished, began to increase. He stalked in front of the ladies,
and seated himself at the feet of his mistress, growling louder than
before, and occasionally giving vent to his ire by a short, surly
barking.

“What does he see?” said Elizabeth. “There must be some animal in
sight.”

Hearing no answer from her companion, Miss Temple turned her head, and
beheld Louisa standing with her face whitened to the color of death, and
her finger pointing upwards. The quick eye of Elizabeth glanced in the
direction indicated by her friend, where she saw the fierce front and
glaring eyes of a female panther, fixed on them and threatening to
leap.

“Let us fly,” exclaimed Elizabeth, grasping the arm of Louisa, whose
form yielded like melting snow.

There was not a single feeling in the temperament of Elizabeth Temple
that could prompt her to desert a companion in such an extremity. She
fell on her knees by the side of the inanimate Louisa, encouraging their
only safeguard, the dog, at the same time, by the sound of her voice.

“Courage, Brave!” she cried, her own tones beginning to tremble,
“courage, courage, good Brave!”

A quarter-grown cub, that had hitherto been unseen, now appeared,
dropping from the branches of a sapling. This vicious creature
approached the dog, imitating the actions and sounds of its parent, but
exhibiting a strange mixture of the playfulness of a kitten with the
ferocity of its race. Standing on its hind legs, it would rend the bark
of a tree with its fore paws, and play the antics of a cat; and then, by
lashing itself with its tail, growling and scratching the earth, it
would attempt the manifestations of anger that rendered its parent so
terrific.

All this time Brave stood firm and undaunted, short tail erect, his body
drawn backwards on its haunches, and his eyes following the movements of
both dam and cub. At every gambol played by the latter, it approached
nigher to the dog, the growling of the three becoming more horrid at
each moment, until the younger beast, overleaping its intended bound,
fell directly before the mastiff. There was a moment of fearful cries
and struggles, but they ended, almost as soon as commenced, by the cub
appearing in the air, hurled from the jaws of Brave with a violence that
sent it against a tree so forcibly as to render it completely senseless.

Elizabeth witnessed the short struggle, and her blood was warming with
the triumph of the dog, when she saw the form of the old panther in the
air, springing twenty feet from the branch of the beech to the back of
the mastiff. No words can describe the fury of the conflict that
followed. It was a confused struggle on the dry leaves, accompanied by
loud and terrific cries. Miss Temple continued on her knees, bending
over the form of Louisa, her eyes fixed on the animals, with an interest
so horrid, and yet so intense, that she almost forgot her own stake in
the result.

So rapid and vigorous were the bounds of the inhabitant of the forest,
that its active frame seemed constantly in the air, while the dog nobly
faced his foe at each successive leap. When the panther lighted on the
shoulders of the mastiff, which were its constant aim, old Brave, though
torn with her talons, and stained with his own blood, that already
flowed from a dozen wounds, would shake off his furious foe like a
feather, and, rearing on his hind legs, rush to the fray again with his
jaws distended and a dauntless eye.

But age, and his pampered life, greatly disqualified the noble mastiff
for such a struggle. In everything but courage he was only the vestige
of what he had once been. A higher bound than ever raised the wary and
furious beast far beyond the reach of the dog, who was making a
desperate but fruitless dash at her, from which she alighted in a
favorable position on the back of her aged foe. For a single moment only
could the panther remain there, the great strength of the dog returning
with a convulsive effort. But Elizabeth saw, as Brave fastened his teeth
in the side of his enemy, that the collar of brass around his neck,
which had been glittering throughout the fray, was of the color of
blood, and, directly, that his frame was sinking to the earth, where it
soon lay prostrate and helpless. Several mighty efforts of the wildcat
to extricate herself from the jaws of the dog followed, but they were
fruitless, until the mastiff turned on his back, his lips collapsed, and
his teeth loosened, when the short convulsions and stillness that
succeeded announced the death of poor Brave.

Elizabeth now lay wholly at the mercy of the beast. There is said to be
something in the front of the image of the Maker that daunts the hearts
of the inferior beings of His creation; and it would seem that some such
power, in the present instance, suspended the threatened blow. The eyes
of the monster and the kneeling maiden met for an instant, when the
former stooped to examine her fallen foe; next, to scent her luckless
cub. From the latter examination she turned, however, with her eyes
apparently emitting flashes of fire, her tail lashing her sides
furiously, and her claws projecting inches from her broad feet.

Miss Temple did not or could not move. Her hands were clasped in the
attitude of prayer, but her eyes were still drawn to her terrible
enemy. Her cheeks were blanched to the whiteness of marble, and her lips
were slightly separated with horror.

The moment seemed now to have arrived for the fatal termination, when a
rustling of leaves behind seemed rather to mock the organs than to meet
her ears. “Hist! hist!” said a low voice, “stoop lower, girl; your
bonnet hides the creature’s head.”

It was rather the yielding of nature than a compliance with this
unexpected order that caused the head of the girl to sink on her bosom.
Then she heard the report of the rifle, the whizzing of the bullet, and
the enraged cries of the beast, who was rolling over on the earth,
tearing the twigs and branches within her reach. At the next instant
Leather-Stocking rushed by her, and called aloud:--

“Come in, Hector; come in; ’tis a hard-lived animal, and may jump
again.”

The brave hunter fearlessly maintained his position, notwithstanding the
violent bounds of the wounded panther, until his rifle was again loaded,
when he stepped up to the animal, and, placing the muzzle close to her
head, every spark of life was extinguished by the discharge.

   --JAMES FENIMORE COOPER.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The purest treasure mortal times afford
    Is spotless reputation; that away,
    Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.



        HUNTING SONG


    Waken, lords and ladies gay!
    On the mountain dawns the day;
      All the jolly chase is here
      With hawk and horse and hunting-spear!
    Hounds are in their couples yelling,
    Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling.
      Merrily, merrily mingle they;
      Waken, lords and ladies gay!

    Waken, lords and ladies gay!
    The mist has left the mountain gray;
      Springlets in the dawn are steaming,
      Diamonds on the brake are gleaming,
    And foresters have busy been
    To track the buck in thicket green:
      Now we come to chant our lay;
      Waken, lords and ladies gay!

    Waken, lords and ladies gay!
    To the greensward haste away!
      We can show you where he lies,
      Fleet of foot and tall of size;
    We can show the marks he made
    When ’gainst the oak his antlers frayed;
      You shall see him brought to bay;
      Waken, lords and ladies gay!

    Louder, louder chant the lay,
    “Waken, lords and ladies gay!”
      Tell them youth and mirth and glee
      Run a course as well as we.
    Time, stern huntsman! who can balk,
    Stanch as hound and fleet as hawk?
      Think of this, and rise with day,
      Gentle lords and ladies gay!
         --SIR WALTER SCOTT.



        THE LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS


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

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

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

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

[Illustration: THE LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS]

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

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

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

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

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

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



        AN ESKIMO HUT


On the slope, fifty yards from the beach, in the midst of rocks and
boulders, stood the settlement--two stone huts, twenty yards apart!
These huts were in shape much like an old-fashioned country clay oven,
square in front, and sloping back into the hill, now covered with snow,
and, until after entering, I could not discover of what material they
were made. To get inside, I was obliged to crawl on my hands and knees
through a covered passage about twelve feet long. The chief, upon
hearing my footsteps, came out to welcome me, which he did by patting me
on the back and grinning in my face. Preceding me with a smoking torch,
which was a piece of burning moss saturated with fat, he advanced
through these low, narrow passages, tramping over several snarling dogs
and half-grown puppies.

After making two or three turns, I observed at last a bright light
streaming down through a hole, into which my guide elevated his body;
and then, moving to one side, he made room for his guest. I found myself
in a den in which I could not stand upright, but which was crowded with
human beings of all ages and sizes. I was received with a hilarious
shout which assured me of welcome. Like a flock of sheep crowding into a
pen, they packed themselves in the corners to make room for me on the
only seat which I could discover. I had come to gratify my own
curiosity, but theirs was even more rapacious than mine, and must be
first satisfied. Everything I had on and about me underwent the closest
examination.

My long beard greatly excited their interest and admiration. Being
themselves without beards, or at most having only a few stiff hairs upon
the upper lip and the point of the chin, I could readily appreciate
their curiosity. They touched it and stroked it, patting me all the
while on the back, and hanging on my arms, legs, and shoulders. They
were greatly puzzled over my woollen clothing, and could not comprehend
of what kind of skins it was made. The nearest that I could approach to
a description was that it grew on an animal looking like a hare. That it
was not skin, I could not make them understand.

During these incidents I found leisure to examine the hut. The whole
interior was about ten feet in diameter and five and a half feet high.
The walls were made of stones, moss, and the bones of whale, narwhal,
and other animals. They were not arched, but drawn in gradually from the
foundation, and capped by long slabs of slate-stone, stretching from
side to side.

The floor was covered with thin, flat stones. Half of this floor, at the
back part of the hut, was elevated a foot. This elevation served both as
bed and seat, being covered with dry grass, over which were spread bear
and dog skins. At the corners in front were similar elevations, under
one of which lay a number of pups, with their mother, and under the
other was stowed a joint of meat. The front of the hut was square, and
through it, above the passageway, opened a window; a square sheet of
strips of dried intestine, sewed together, admitted the light.

The hole of entrance in the floor was close to the front wall, and was
covered with a piece of sealskin. The walls were lined with seal or fox
skins, stretched to dry. In the cracks between the stones were thrust
whipstocks, and bone pegs on which hung coils of harpoon lines. On one
side of me sat an old woman, and on the other side a young one, each
busily engaged in attending to a smoky, greasy lamp. A third woman sat
in a corner, similarly occupied.

The lamps were made of soapstone, and in shape much resembled a
clam-shell, being about eight inches in diameter. The cavity was filled
with oil, and on the straight edge a flame was burning quite
brilliantly. The wick which supplied fuel to the flame was of moss. The
only business of the women seemed to be to prevent the lamps from
smoking, and to keep them supplied with blubber, large pieces of which
were placed in them, the heat of the flame trying out the oil. About
three inches above this flame, hung, suspended from the ceiling, an
oblong square pot of the same material as the lamp, in which something
was slowly simmering. Over this was suspended a rack made of bear-rib
bones lashed together crosswise, on which were placed to dry, stockings,
mittens, and other articles of clothing.

The inmates had no other fire than was supplied by the lamps, nor did
they need any. The hut was absolutely hot. So many persons crowded into
so small a space would, of themselves, keep the place warm. I counted
eighteen, and may, very probably, have missed two or three small ones.
Centring each around its own particular lamp and pot were three
families, one of which was represented by three generations. These three
families numbered, in all, thirteen individuals; but besides these there
were some visitors from the other hut.

The air of the place was insufferable, except for a short time. There
may have been a vent-hole, but I did not see any. I perspired as if in
the tropics. Perceiving this, the company invited me to dispense with
part of my clothing. I declined, however, the intended courtesy, telling
them that I must go back to my people.

First, however, I must have something to eat. This was an invitation
which I feared; and now that it had come, I knew that it would be unwise
to decline it. They laughed heartily when I thanked them in their own
language in reply to their invitation to eat; and immediately a not very
beautiful young damsel poured some of the contents of one of the
before-mentioned pots into a skin dish, and after sipping it, to make
sure, as I supposed, that it was not too hot, she passed it to me over a
group of heads. At first my courage forsook me; but all eyes were fixed
upon me, and it would have been highly impolitic to shrink. I therefore
shut my eyes, swallowed the dose, and retired. I was afterwards told
that it was their great delicacy, which had been proffered to me; but,
even then, it was well that I was ignorant of what it was
composed.--ISAAC HAYES.



        YOUNG LOCHINVAR


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

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

    So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall,
    Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
    Then spoke the bride’s father, his hand on his sword,
    (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word)
    “O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
    Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?”

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

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

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

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

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



        THE SONG MY PADDLE SINGS


    West wind, blow from your prairie nest,
    Blow from the mountains, blow from the west.
    The sail is idle, the sailor too;
    Oh! wind of the west, we wait for you.
    Blow, blow!
    I have wooed you so,
    But never a favor you bestow.
    You rock your cradle the hills between,
    But scorn to notice my white lateen.

    I stow the sail and unship the mast:
    I wooed you long, but my wooing’s past;
    My paddle will lull you into rest:
    O drowsy wind of the drowsy west,
    Sleep, sleep!
    By your mountains steep,
    Or down where the prairie grasses sweep,
    Now fold in slumber your laggard wings,
    For soft is the song my paddle sings.

    August is laughing across the sky,
    Laughing while paddle, canoe and I
    Drift, drift,
    Where the hills uplift
    On either side of the current swift.
    The river rolls in its rocky bed,
    My paddle is plying its way ahead,
    Dip, dip,
    When the waters flip
    In foam as over their breast we slip.

    And oh, the river runs swifter now;
    The eddies circle about my bow:
    Swirl, swirl!
    How the ripples curl
    In many a dangerous pool awhirl!
    And far to forwards the rapids roar,
    Fretting their margin for evermore;
    Dash, dash,
    With a mighty crash,
    They seethe and boil and bound and splash.

    Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe!
    The reckless waves you must plunge into.
    Reel, reel,
    On your trembling keel,
    But never a fear my craft will feel.

    We’ve raced the rapids; we’re far ahead:
    The river slips through its silent bed.
    Sway, sway,
    As the bubbles spray
    And fall in tinkling tunes away.

    And up on the hills against the sky,
    A fir-tree rocking its lullaby
    Swings, swings,
    Its emerald wings,
    Swelling the song that my paddle sings.
         --E. PAULINE JOHNSON.



        THE FIRST YEARS OF THE RED RIVER SETTLEMENT


In the year 1812, several Scottish families emigrated to Hudson Bay,
with a view to colonizing the tract of country known as the Red River
district. This tract had been purchased from the Hudson’s Bay Company by
the Earl of Selkirk, under whose direction and patronage the settlers
left their native land to seek a home in the unknown wilderness of the
west.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER ROSS]

The emigrants arrived in safety, after a journey across sea and land
which gave them a slight foretaste of the perilous life on which they
had embarked. But a few hours had passed over their heads in the land of
their adoption, when an array of armed men, painted, disfigured, and
dressed in the savage costume of the country, warned them that they were
unwelcome visitors. These crested warriors, for the most part, were
employees of the North-West Company, the great rivals of the Hudson’s
Bay Company, who were afraid that the new settlers would ruin the
fur-trade. As this order to depart was soon followed by the fear of
perishing through want of food, the settlers resolved to seek refuge at
Pembina, seventy miles distant. Hither, a straggling party promised to
conduct them.

The settlement of this contract between parties ignorant of each other’s
language furnished a scene as curious as it was interesting: the
language employed on the one side being Gaelic and broken English; on
the other, an Indian jargon and mongrel French, with a mixture of signs
and gestures, wry faces, and grim countenances. The bargain proved to be
a hard one for the emigrants. The Indians agreed to carry the children
and others not able to walk, but all the rest, both men and women, had
to trudge on foot; while all their treasured goods were given by way of
payment to their guides. One man, for example, had to give his gun, an
old family piece, that had been carried by his father at the battle of
Culloden. One of the women also parted with her marriage ring, the sight
of which on her finger was a temptation to the Indians, who are
remarkably fond of trinkets.

No sooner had the gypsy train got under way, than the savages scampered
on ahead, and were soon out of sight with the children, leaving the
terrified mothers running and crying after them for their babes. This
heartless trick was often played them; but without any other harm than
a fright. In other ways the emigrants suffered greatly, especially from
cold, wet, and walking in English shoes; their feet blistered and
swelled, so that many of them were hardly able to move by the time they
reached their journey’s end.

At Pembina the people passed the winter in tents or huts according to
Indian fashion, and lived on the products of the chase in common with
the natives. This mode of life was not without its charms; it tended to
foster kind and generous feelings between the two races, who parted with
regret when the Scots in May, 1813, returned to the colony to commence
their work as farmers.

They now enjoyed peace, but hunger pressed on them, and they often had a
hard time to get food. Fish were very scarce that season, as were roots
and berries; so that their only dependence was on a harsh and tasteless
wild parsnip, and on a species of nettle. These, sometimes raw,
sometimes boiled, they ate without salt.

While such was their summer fare, the hoe was at work, and a little seed
wheat, procured at Fort Alexander, an Indian trading-post on the
Winnipeg River, turned out very well. One of the settlers, from the
planting of four quarts, reaped twelve and a half bushels. But they had
a difficult task to save the crop from the fowls of the air. In the
spring myriads of blackbirds and wild pigeons passed the colony in their
migration to the north and returned again on their way to the south,
during the time of harvest. They were in such flocks as to threaten the
little patches of grain with total destruction. Bird-nets, guns, and
scarecrows were all in use, and men, women, and children kept constantly
going about their little gardens from morning till night, driving away
or slaying the greedy birds.

The fears of the settlers had now vanished. They were cheered by the
hope that the North-Westers would not disturb them any more. Under this
impression, they began to take courage, and to prepare for the arrival
of their friends, for they expected all the other emigrants before the
winter. In this hope they were disappointed. It was late in the season
before they learned that their friends were delayed, and then, rather
than consume the little grain they had secured, they resolved to try
Pembina again, and to save what seed they could for another year.

At Pembina disappointment awaited them. Notwithstanding the great
kindness shown by the French half-breeds to the Scottish settlers during
the last winter, they now kept aloof and treated their visitors coldly.
Ignorant and awkward as the settlers were with regard to the chase, they
had to think and act for themselves, slaving all winter in deep snows to
preserve life. A plot, too, was discovered to murder two of the party
who undertook to hunt, and so this means of life was closed to them.
Provisions, which they had to buy, and then to drag home with great
labor, were very scarce and very dear.

At last, at the beginning of 1814, the settlers returned to the colony
once more in a state of great poverty. They had even had to barter away
their clothing for food. Half-naked, and discouraged, many of them
severely frostbitten, they again took up their struggle for life in the
Settlement.--ALEXANDER ROSS.

     _Adapted from “The Red River Settlement.”_



        THE RED RIVER VOYAGEUR


[Illustration: J. G. WHITTIER]

    Out and in the river is winding
      The links of its long red chain,
    Through belts of dusky pine-land
      And gusty leagues of plain.

    Only at times a smoke-wreath
      With the drifting cloud-rack joins,--
    The smoke of the hunting-lodges
      Of the wild Assiniboins!

    Drearily blows the north wind
      From the land of ice and snow;
    The eyes that look are weary,
      And heavy the hands that row.

    And with one foot on the water,
      And one upon the shore,
    The Angel of Shadow gives warning
      That day shall be no more.

    Is it the clang of wild-geese?
      Is it the Indian’s yell,
    That lends to the voice of the north wind
      The tones of a far-off bell?

    The voyageur smiles as he listens
      To the sound that grows apace;
    Well he knows the vesper ringing
      Of the bells of St. Boniface--

    The bells of the Roman Mission,
      That call from their turrets twain,
    To the boatman on the river,
      To the hunter on the plain!

    Even so in our mortal journey
      The bitter north winds blow,
    And thus upon life’s Red River
      Our hearts, as oarsmen, row.

    And when the Angel of Shadow
      Rests his feet on wave and shore,
    And our eyes grow dim with watching,
      And our hearts faint at the oar,

    Happy is he who heareth
      The signal of his release
    In the bells of the Holy City,
      The chimes of eternal peace!
         --JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.



        SEVEN TIMES FOUR


    Heigh ho! daisies and buttercups,
      Fair yellow daffodils, stately and tall;
    When the wind wakes, how they rock in the grasses,
      And dance with the cuckoo-buds, slender and small;
    Here’s two bonny boys, and here’s mother’s own lasses,
            Eager to gather them all.

    Heigh ho! daisies and buttercups,
      Mother shall thread them a daisy-chain;
    Sing them a song of the pretty hedge-sparrow,
      That loved her brown little ones, loved them full fain;
    Sing, “Heart thou art wide, though the house be but narrow”--
            Sing once, and sing it again.

    Heigh ho! daisies and buttercups,
      Sweet wagging cowslips, they bend and they bow;
    A ship sails afar over warm ocean waters,
      And haply one missing doth stand at her prow.
    O bonny brown sons, and O sweet little daughters,
            Maybe he thinks of you now!

    Heigh ho! daisies and buttercups,
      Fair yellow daffodils, stately and tall;
    A sunshiny world full of laughter and leisure,
      And fresh hearts, unconscious of sorrow and thrall;
    Send down on their pleasure smiles passing its measure--
            God that is over us all.
         --JEAN INGELOW.



        THE LARK AT THE DIGGINGS


The house was thatched and whitewashed, and English was written on it
and on every foot of ground round it. A furze bush had been planted by
the door. Vertical oak palings were the fence, with a five-barred gate
in the middle of them. From the little plantation all the magnificent
trees and shrubs of Australia had been excluded, and oak and ash reigned
safe from overtowering rivals. They passed to the back of the house, and
there George’s countenance fell a little, for on the oval grass-plot and
gravel-walk he found from thirty to forty rough fellows, most of them
diggers.

[Illustration: CHARLES READE]

“Ah, well,” said he, on reflection, “we could not expect to have it all
to ourselves, and indeed it would be a sin to wish it, you know. Now,
Tom, come this way; here it is, here it is--there!” Tom looked up, and
in a gigantic cage was a light brown bird.

He was utterly confounded. “What, is it _this_ we came twelve miles to
see?”

“Ay! and twice twelve wouldn’t have been much to me.”

“Well, but what is the lark you talked of?”

“This is it!”

“This? This is a bird.”

“Well, and isn’t a lark a bird?”

“Oh, ay, I see! ha! ha! ha! ha!”

Robinson’s merriment was interrupted by a harsh remonstrance from
several of the diggers, who were all from the other end of the camp.

“Hold your cackle,” cried one, “he is going to sing;” and the whole
party had their eyes turned with expectation towards the bird.

Like most singers, he kept them waiting a bit. But at last, just at
noon, when the mistress of the house had warranted him to sing, the
little feathered exile began, as it were, to tune his pipes. The savage
men gathered round the cage that moment, and amidst a dead stillness the
bird uttered some very uncertain chirps, but after a while he seemed to
revive his memories, to call his ancient cadences back to him one by
one, and to string them together.

And then the same sun that had warmed his little heart at home came
glowing down on him here, and he gave music back for it more and more,
till at last--amidst breathless silence and glistening eyes of the rough
diggers hanging on his voice--out burst in that distant land his English
song.

It swelled from his little throat and gushed from him with thrilling
force and plenty, and every time he checked his song to think of its
theme, the green meadows, the quiet stealing streams, the clover he
first soared from and the spring he sang so well, a loud sigh from many
a rough bosom, many a wild and wicked heart, told how tight the
listeners had held their breath to hear him. And, when he swelled with
song again, and poured with all his soul the green meadows, the quiet
brooks, the honey-clover, and the English spring, the rugged mouths
opened and so stayed, and the shaggy lips trembled, and more than one
drop trickled from fierce unbridled hearts down bronzed and rugged
cheeks.

Home! sweet home!

And these shaggy men, full of oaths and strife and cupidity, had once
been white-headed boys, and had strolled about the English fields with
little sisters and little brothers, and seen the lark rise, and heard
him sing this very song. The little playmates lay in the churchyard, and
they were full of oaths, and drink, and riot, and remorses; but no note
was changed in this immortal song. And so, for a moment or two, years of
vice rolled away like a dark cloud from the memory, and the past shone
out in the sunshine; they came back, bright as the immortal notes that
had lighted them, those faded pictures and those fleeted days; the
cottage, the old mother’s tears, when he left her without one grain of
sorrow; the village church and its simple chimes; the clover field hard
by in which he lay and gambolled, while the lark praised God overhead;
the chubby playmates that never grew to be wicked; the sweet hours of
youth and innocence, and home!

“What will you take for him, mistress? I will give you five pounds for
him!”

“No! no! I won’t take five pounds for my bird!”

“Of course she won’t,” cried another, “she wouldn’t be such a flat.
Here, missus,” cried he, “I’ll give you that for him,” and he extended a
brown hand with at least thirty new sovereigns glittering in it.

The woman trembled; she and her husband were just emerging from poverty
after a hard fight.

“Oh!” she cried, “it is a shame to tempt a poor woman with so much gold.
We had six brought over, and all died on the way but this one!” and she
threw her white apron over her head, not to see the glittering bribe.

“Bother you, put the money up and don’t tempt the woman,” was the cry.
Another added, “Why, you fool, it wouldn’t live a week if you had it,”
and they all abused the man; but the woman turned to him kindly, and
said:--

“You come to me every Sunday, and he shall sing to you. You will get
more pleasure from him so,” said she sweetly, “than if he was always by
you.”

“So I shall, old girl,” replied the rough, in a friendly tone.

George stayed till the lark gave up singing altogether, and then he
said: “Now, I’m off. I don’t want to hear bad language after that: let
us take the lark’s chirp home to bed with us.” And they made off; and
true it was, the pure strains dwelt upon their spirits, and refreshed
and purified these sojourners in an evil place.

   --CHARLES READE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A good example is the best sermon.



        THE PHANTOM LIGHT OF THE BAIE DES CHALEURS


    ’Tis the laughter of pines that swing and sway
    Where the breeze from the land meets the breeze from the bay;
    ’Tis the silvery foam of the silver tide
    In ripples that reach to the forest side;
    ’Tis the fisherman’s boat, in a track of sheen,
    Plying through tangled seaweed green
              O’er the Baie des Chaleurs.

    Who has not heard of the phantom light
    That over the moaning waves, at night,
    Dances and drifts in endless play,
    Close to the shore, then far away,
    Fierce as the flame in sunset skies,
    Cold as the winter light that lies
              On the Baie des Chaleurs?

    They tell us that many a year ago,
    From lands where the palm and the olive grow,
    Where vines with their purple clusters creep
    Over the hillsides gray and steep,
    A knight in his doublet, slashed with gold,
    Famed, in that chivalrous time of old,
    For valorous deeds and courage rare,
    Sailed with a princess wondrous fair
              To the Baie des Chaleurs.

    That a pirate crew from some isle of the sea,
    A murderous band as e’er could be,
    With a shadowy sail, and a flag of night,
    That flaunted and flew in heaven’s sight,
    Sailed in the wake of the lovers there,
    And sank the ship and its freight so fair
              In the Baie des Chaleurs.

    Strange is the tale that the fishermen tell:
    They say that a ball of fire fell
    Straight from the sky, with crash and roar,
    Lighting the bay from shore to shore;
    Then the ship, with shudder and with groan,
    Sank through the waves to the caverns lone
              Of the Baie des Chaleurs.

    That was the last of the pirate crew;
    But many a night a black flag flew
    From the mast of a spectre vessel, sailed
    By a spectre band that wept and wailed
    For the wreck they had wrought on the sea, on the land,
    For the innocent blood they had spilt on the sand
              Of the Baie des Chaleurs.

    This is the tale of the phantom light
    That fills the mariner’s heart, at night,
    With dread as it gleams o’er his path on the bay,
    Now by the shore, then far away,
    Fierce as the flame in sunset skies,
    Cold as the winter moon that lies
              On the Baie des Chaleurs.
         --ARTHUR WENTWORTH EATON.



        THE BEATITUDES


    Blessed are the poor in spirit:
                  For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are they that mourn:
                  For they shall be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek:
                  For they shall inherit the earth.
    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
                  For they shall be filled.

    Blessed are the merciful:
                  For they shall obtain mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart:
                  For they shall see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers:
                  For they shall be called the children of God.
    Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
                  For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
         --_From the Sermon on the Mount._



        MAGGIE TULLIVER AND THE GYPSIES


The resolution that gathered in Maggie’s mind was not so simple as that
of going home. No! she would run away and go to the gypsies, and Tom
should never see her any more. That was by no means a new idea to
Maggie. The gypsies, she considered, would gladly receive her, and pay
her much respect on account of her superior knowledge. She had once
mentioned her views on this point to her brother Tom and had suggested
that he should stain his face brown, and they should run away together.
But Tom had rejected the scheme with contempt, observing that gypsies
were thieves, and that they hardly got anything to eat, and had nothing
to drive but a donkey.

[Illustration: GEORGE ELIOT]

To-day, however, Maggie thought her misery had reached a pitch at which
gypsydom was her only refuge, and she rose from her seat on the roots of
the tree with the sense that this was a great crisis in her life. She
would run straight away till she came to Dunlow Common, where there
would certainly be gypsies; and cruel Tom, and the rest of her relations
who found fault with her, should never see her any more. She thought of
her father, as she ran along, but determined that she would secretly
send him a letter by a small gypsy, who would run away without telling
where she was, and just let him know that she was well and happy and
always loved him very much.

It seemed to Maggie that she had been running a very great distance
indeed, and it was really surprising that the Common did not come within
sight. At last, however, the green fields came to an end, and she found
herself looking through the bars of a gate into a lane with a wide
margin of grass on each side of it. She crept through the bars and
walked on with a new spirit. It was not, however, without a leaping of
the heart that she caught sight of a small pair of bare legs sticking
up, feet uppermost, by the side of a hillock. It was a boy asleep, and
she trotted along faster and more lightly, lest she should wake him. It
did not occur to her that he was one of her friends, the gypsies, who
probably would have very kindly manners. But the fact was so, for at the
next bend in the lane she really saw the little black tent with the blue
smoke rising before it, which was to be her refuge. She even saw a tall
female figure by the column of smoke, doubtless the gypsy mother, who
provided the tea and other groceries.

It was plain she had attracted attention. For the tall figure, who
proved to be a young woman with a baby on her arm, walked slowly to meet
her.

“My little lady, where are you going?” the gypsy said, in a coaxing
tone.

It was delightful, and just what she expected. The gypsies saw at once
that she was a little lady, and were prepared to treat her accordingly.

“Not any farther,” said Maggie, feeling as if she were saying what she
had rehearsed in a dream. “I’m coming to stay with _you_, please.”

“That’s pretty; come, then. Why, what a nice little lady you are, to be
sure!” said the gypsy, taking her by the hand. Maggie thought her very
agreeable, but wished she had not been so dirty.

There was quite a group round the fire when they reached it. An old
gypsy woman was seated on the ground nursing her knees, and poking a
skewer into the round kettle that sent forth an odorous steam. Two small
shock-headed children were lying prone and resting on their elbows; and
a placid donkey was bending his head over a tall girl, who, lying on her
back, was scratching his nose and indulging him with a bite of excellent
stolen hay.

The slanting sunlight fell kindly upon them, and the scene was really
very pretty and comfortable, Maggie thought, only she hoped they would
soon set out the teacups.

At last the old woman said: “What! my pretty lady, are you come to stay
with us? Sit down and tell us where you come from.”

[Illustration: MAGGIE AT THE GYPSY ENCAMPMENT]

It was just like a story. Maggie liked to be called pretty lady and
treated in this way. She sat down, and said:--

“I’m come from home because I’m unhappy, and I mean to be a gypsy. I’ll
live with you if you like, and I can teach you a great many things.”

“Such a clever little lady,” said the woman with the baby, sitting down
by Maggie, and allowing the baby to crawl. “And such a pretty bonnet and
frock,” she added, taking off Maggie’s bonnet, and looking at it while
she made a remark to the old woman, in an unknown language. The tall
girl snatched the bonnet and put it on her own head hind-foremost, with
a grin. But Maggie was determined not to show any weakness on this
subject.

“I don’t want to wear a bonnet,” she said; “I’d rather wear a red
handkerchief, like yours.”

“Oh, what a nice little lady!--and rich, I’m sure,” said the old woman.
“Didn’t you live in a beautiful house at home?”

“Yes; my home is pretty, and I’m very fond of the river, where we go
fishing, but I’m often very unhappy. I should have liked to bring my
books with me, but I came away in a hurry, you know. But I can tell you
almost everything there is in my books; I’ve read them so many times,
and that will amuse you. And I can tell you something about geography,
too,--that’s about the world we live in,--very useful and interesting.
Did you ever hear about Columbus?”

“Is that where you live, my little lady?” said the old woman, at the
mention of Columbus.

“Oh, no!” said Maggie, with some pity. “Columbus was a very wonderful
man, who found out half the world, and they put chains on him and
treated him very badly, you know. It’s in my geography, but perhaps it’s
rather too long to tell before tea--I want my tea so.” The last words
burst from Maggie, in spite of herself.

“Why, she’s hungry, poor little lady,” said the younger woman. “Give her
some of the cold victuals. You’ve been walking a good way, I’ll be
bound, my dear. Where’s your home?”

“It’s Dorlcote Mill, a long way off,” said Maggie. “My father is Mr.
Tulliver, but we musn’t let him know where I am, or he will take me home
again. Where does the queen of the gypsies live?”

“What! do you want to go to her, my little lady?” said the younger
woman. The tall girl, meanwhile, was constantly staring at Maggie and
grinning. Her manners were certainly not agreeable.

“No,” said Maggie; “I’m only thinking that if she isn’t a very good
queen you might be glad when she died, and you could choose another. If
I were a queen, I’d be a very good queen, and kind to everybody.”

“Here’s a bit of nice victuals, then,” said the old woman, handing to
Maggie a lump of dry bread, which she had taken from a bag of scraps,
and a piece of cold bacon.

“Thank you,” said Maggie, looking at the food without taking it; “but
will you give me some bread and butter and tea, instead? I don’t like
bacon.”

“We’ve got no tea or butter,” said the old woman, with something like a
scowl, as if she were getting tired of coaxing.

“Oh, a little bread and treacle would do,” said Maggie.

“We’ve got no treacle,” said the old woman, crossly.

Then the old woman, seeming to forget Maggie’s hunger, poked the skewer
into the pot with new vigor, and the younger crept under the tent and
reached out some platters and spoons. Maggie trembled a little, and was
afraid the tears would come into her eyes. But the springing tears were
checked by new terror, when two men came up. The elder of the two
carried a bag, which he flung down, addressing the women in a loud and
scolding tone.

Both the men now seemed to be asking about Maggie, for they looked at
her. At last the younger woman said in her coaxing tone, “This nice
little lady’s come to live with us; aren’t you glad?”

“Ay, very glad,” said the younger man, who was looking at Maggie’s
silver thimble and other small matters that had been taken from her
pocket. He returned them all, except the thimble, to the younger woman,
with some remark, and she put them again in Maggie’s pocket. The men
seated themselves, and began to attack the contents of the kettle,--a
stew of meat and potatoes,--which had been taken off the fire and turned
out into a yellow platter.

Maggie began to think that Tom must be right about the gypsies; they
must certainly be thieves, unless the man meant to return her thimble by
and by. She would willingly have given it to him, for she was not at all
attached to her thimble. But the idea that she was among thieves
prevented her from feeling any comfort. The women saw that she was
frightened.

“We’ve nothing nice for a lady to eat,” said the old woman. “And she’s
so hungry, sweet little lady.”

“Here, my dear, try if you can eat a bit of this,” said the younger
woman, handing some of the stew in a brown dish, with an iron spoon, to
Maggie, who remembered that the old woman had seemed angry with her for
not liking the bread and bacon, and dared not refuse the stew, though
fear had chased away her appetite. If her father would only come by in
the gig and take her up!

“What! you don’t like the smell of it, my dear,” said the young woman,
observing that Maggie did not even take a spoonful of the stew. “Try a
bit, come.”

“No, thank you,” said Maggie, trying to smile in a friendly way. “I
haven’t time, I think; it seems getting darker. I think I must go home
now, and come again another day, and then I can bring you a basket with
some jam tarts and things.”

Maggie rose from her seat; but her hope sank when the old gypsy woman
said, “Stop a bit, stop a bit, little lady; we’ll take you home, all
safe, when we’ve done supper; you shall ride home, like a lady.”

Maggie sat down again, with little faith in this promise, though she
presently saw the tall girl putting a bridle on the donkey, and throwing
a couple of bags on his back.

“Now, then, little missis,” said the younger man, rising, and leading
the donkey forward, “tell us where you live; what’s the name of the
place?”

“Dorlcote Mill is my home,” said Maggie, eagerly. “My father is Mr.
Tulliver; he lives there.”

“What! a big mill a little way this side of St. Ogg’s?”

“Yes,” said Maggie. “Is it far off? I think I should like to walk there,
if you please.”

“No, no, it’ll be getting dark; we must make haste. And the donkey’ll
carry you as nice as can be; you’ll see.”

He lifted Maggie as he spoke, and set her on the donkey. She felt
relieved that it was not the old man who was going with her, but she had
only a trembling hope that she was really going home.

“Here’s your pretty bonnet,” said the younger woman, putting it on
Maggie’s head; “and you’ll say we’ve been very good to you, won’t you?
and what a nice little lady we said you were.”

“Oh, yes, thank you,” said Maggie; “I’m very much obliged to you. But I
wish you’d go with me, too.” She thought that anything was better than
going with one of the dreadful men alone.

“Ah, you’re fondest of me, aren’t you?” said the woman. “But I can’t go;
you’ll go too fast for me.”

It now appeared that the man also was to be seated on the donkey,
holding Maggie before him, and no nightmare had ever seemed to her more
horrible. When the woman had patted her on the back, and said “Good-by,”
the donkey set off at a rapid walk along the lane towards the point
Maggie had come from an hour ago.

At last--oh, sight of joy!--this lane, the longest in the world, was
coming to an end, was opening on a broad highroad, where there was
actually a coach passing! And there was a finger-post at the
corner,--she had surely seen that finger-post before,--“To St. Ogg’s, 2
miles.”

The gypsy really meant to take her home, then; he was probably a good
man, after all, and might have been rather hurt at the thought that she
didn’t like coming with him alone. This idea became stronger as she felt
more and more certain that she knew the road quite well. She was
thinking how she might open a conversation with the injured gypsy, when,
as they reached a cross-road, Maggie caught sight of some one coming on
a white-faced horse.

“Oh, stop, stop!” she cried out. “There’s my father! Oh, father,
father!”

The sudden joy was almost painful, and before her father reached her,
she was sobbing. Great was Mr. Tulliver’s wonder, for he had made a
round from Basset, and had not yet been home.

“Why, what’s the meaning of this?” he said, checking his horse, while
Maggie slipped from the donkey and ran to her father’s stirrup.

“The little miss lost herself, I reckon,” said the gypsy. “She’d come
to our tent at the far end of Dunlow Lane, and I was bringing her where
she said her home was. It’s a good way to come after being on the tramp
all day.”

“Oh, yes, father, he’s been very good to bring me home,” said Maggie. “A
very kind, good man!”

“Here, then, my man,” said Mr. Tulliver, taking out five shillings.
“It’s the best day’s work you ever did. I couldn’t afford to lose the
little lass; here, lift her up before me.”

“Why, Maggie, how’s this, how’s this?” he said, as they rode along,
while she laid her head against her father and sobbed. “How came you to
be rambling about and lose yourself?”

“Oh, father,” sobbed Maggie, “I ran away because I was so unhappy. Tom
was so angry with me. I couldn’t bear it.”

“Pooh, pooh,” said Mr. Tulliver, soothingly; “you mustn’t think of
running away from father. What would father do without his little lass?”

“Oh, no; I never shall again, father--never.”

Mr. Tulliver spoke his mind very strongly when he reached home that
evening; and the effect was seen in the fact that Maggie never heard one
reproach from her mother or one taunt from Tom about this foolish
business of her running away to the gypsies.--GEORGE ELIOT.

       *       *       *       *       *

    He is idle that might be better employed.



        LADY CLARE


    It was the time when lilies blow,
      And clouds are highest up in air,
    Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
      To give his cousin, Lady Clare.

    I trow they did not part in scorn:
      Lovers long-betroth’d were they:
    They two will wed the morrow morn:
      God’s blessing on the day!

    “He does not love me for my birth,
      Nor for my lands so broad and fair;
    He loves me for my own true worth,
      And that is well,” said Lady Clare.

    In there came old Alice the nurse,
      Said, “Who was this that went from thee?”
    “It was my cousin,” said Lady Clare,
      “To-morrow he weds with me.”

    “O God be thank’d!” said Alice the nurse,
      “That all comes round so just and fair:
    Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,
      And you are not the Lady Clare.”

    “Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse?”
      Said Lady Clare, “that ye speak so wild?”
    “As God’s above,” said Alice the nurse,
      “I speak the truth: you are my child.

    “The old Earl’s daughter died at my breast;
      I speak the truth, as I live by bread!
    I buried her like my own sweet child,
      And put my child in her stead.”

    “Falsely, falsely have ye done,
      O mother,” she said, “if this be true,
    To keep the best man under the sun
      So many years from his due.”

    “Nay now, my child,” said Alice the nurse,
      “But keep the secret for your life,
    And all you have will be Lord Ronald’s,
      When you are man and wife.”

    “If I’m a beggar born,” she said,
      “I will speak out, for I dare not lie.
    Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold,
      And fling the diamond necklace by.”

    “Nay now, my child,” said Alice the nurse,
      “But keep the secret all ye can.”
    She said, “Not so: but I will know
      If there be any faith in man.”

    “Nay now, what faith?” said Alice the nurse,
      “The man will cleave unto his right.”
    “And he shall have it,” the Lady replied,
      “Tho’ I should die to-night.”

    “Yet give one kiss to your mother dear!
      Alas, my child, I sinn’d for thee.”
    “O mother, mother, mother,” she said,
      “So strange it seems to me.

    “Yet here’s a kiss for my mother dear,
      My mother dear, if this be so,
    And lay your hand upon my head,
      And bless me, mother, ere I go.”

    She clad herself in a russet gown,
      She was no longer Lady Clare:
    She went by dale and she went by down
      With a single rose in her hair.

    The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
      Leapt up from where she lay,
    Dropt her head in the maiden’s hand,
      And follow’d her all the way.

    Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower:
      “O Lady Clare, you shame your worth!
    Why come you drest like a village maid,
      That are the flower of the earth?”

    “If I come drest like a village maid,
      I am but as my fortunes are:
    I am a beggar born,” she said,
      “And not the Lady Clare.”

    “Play me no tricks,” said Lord Ronald,
      “For I am yours in word and in deed.
    Play me no tricks,” said Lord Ronald,
      “Your riddle is hard to read.”

    O and proudly stood she up!
      Her heart within her did not fail:
    She look’d into Lord Ronald’s eyes,
      And told him all her nurse’s tale.

    He laugh’d a laugh of merry scorn:
      He turn’d and kiss’d her where she stood:
    “If you are not the heiress born,
      And I,” said he, “the next in blood--

    “If you are not the heiress born,
      And I,” said he, “the lawful heir,
    We two will wed to-morrow morn,
      And you shall still be Lady Clare.”
         --ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON.



        THE BRITISH EMPIRE


    Not by the power of Commerce, Art, or Pen,
      Shall our great Empire stand, nor has it stood,
    But by the noble deeds of noble men--
      Heroic lives and heroes’ outpoured blood.
         --FREDERICK GEORGE SCOTT.



        DON QUIXOTE AND THE LION


Absorbed in his thoughts, Don Quixote, the famous knight, had not
proceeded more than half a league on his journey when, raising his head,
he perceived a cart covered with royal flags coming along the road they
were travelling, and, persuaded that this must be some new adventure, he
called aloud to Sancho, his squire, to bring him his helmet. As the
squire approached, he called to him: “Give me that helmet, my friend,
for either I know little of adventures or what I observe yonder is one
that will, and does, call on me to arm myself.”

[Illustration: CERVANTES]

By the time that Don Quixote had put on his helmet, the cart with the
flags had come up, unattended by any one except the carter on a mule,
and a man sitting before the door of the cart. The knight planted
himself before it, and said: “Where are you going, brothers? What cart
is this? What have you got in it? What flags are those?”

To this the carter replied: “The cart is mine; what is in it is a pair
of fine caged lions, which the governor of Oran is sending to court as a
present to his Majesty, and the flags are our lord the king’s, to show
that this is his property.”

“Are the lions large?” asked Don Quixote.

“So large,” replied the man who sat at the door of the cart, “that
larger have never crossed from Africa to Spain. I am the keeper, and I
have brought over others, but never any like these. They are hungry now,
for they have eaten nothing to-day, so let your worship stand aside, for
we must make haste to the place where we are to feed them.”

Hereon, smiling slightly, Don Quixote exclaimed: “Get down, my good
fellow, and as you are the keeper, open the cages and turn out those
beasts, and in the midst of this plain, I shall let them know who Don
Quixote of La Mancha is, in spite and in the teeth of the enchanters who
sent them to me.”

At this instant Sancho came up, saying to the keeper of the lions: “Sir,
do something to keep my master, Don Quixote, from fighting those lions;
for if he does, they’ll tear us all to pieces here.”

“Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “you leave this business to me;” and then
turning to the keeper, he exclaimed: “By all that’s good, Sir Keeper, if
you do not open the cages this very instant, I shall pin you to the cart
with this lance.”

The carter, seeing the determination of the knight, said to him: “Please
your worship, let me unyoke the mules, and place myself in safety along
with them before the lions are turned out, for if they kill the mules, I
am ruined for life. All I possess is this cart and mules.”

“O man of little faith,” replied Don Quixote, “get down and unyoke. You
shall soon see that you are exerting yourself for nothing, and that you
might have spared yourself the trouble.”

The carter got down, and with all speed unyoked the mules, and the
keeper called out at the top of his voice: “I call all here to witness
that against my will and under compulsion I open the cages and let the
lions loose, and that I warn this gentleman that he shall be accountable
for all the harm and mischief which these beasts may do, and for my
salary and dues as well.” Then, speaking to the carter and Sancho, he
said: “You, gentlemen, place yourselves in safety before I open, for I
know they will do me no harm.”

Sancho, with tears in his eyes, entreated his master to give up the
enterprise. “Look ye, señor,” said he, “there’s no enchantment here, not
anything of the sort; for between the bars and chinks of the cage I have
seen the paw of a real lion, and judging by that, I reckon that such a
paw should belong to a lion much bigger than a mountain.”

“Fear, at any rate,” replied Don Quixote, “will make him look bigger to
thee than half the world. Retire, Sancho, and leave me. I say no more.”
And renewing his commands to the keeper, and repeating his threats, he
gave warning to Sancho to spur his horse, and to the carter to drive
away his mules. Both Sancho and the carter did not disobey the commands
of the knight, but strove to get away from the cart before the lions
broke loose.

During the delay that occurred while the keeper was opening the cage,
Don Quixote was considering whether it would not be well to do battle on
foot instead of on horseback, and he finally resolved to fight on foot,
fearing that his horse might take fright at the sight of the lions. He
therefore sprang to the ground, flung his lance aside, braced his
buckler on his arm, and drawing his sword, advanced slowly with resolute
courage, to plant himself in front of the cart. The keeper, seeing that
the knight had taken up his position, and that it was impossible for him
to avoid letting out the lions without getting into trouble, flung open
the doors of the cage containing the lion, which was now seen to be of
enormous size and grim and hideous mien.

The first thing the lion did was to turn round in the cage in which he
lay, and protrude his claws and stretch himself thoroughly. He next
opened his mouth and yawned very leisurely. When he had done this, he
put his head out of the cage and looked all round with eyes like glowing
coals. Don Quixote merely observed him steadily, longing for him to leap
from the cart and come to close quarters with him, when he hoped to hew
him to pieces. But the noble beast turned about and very coolly and
tranquilly lay down again in the cage. Seeing this, Don Quixote ordered
the keeper to take a stick to him and provoke him, to make him come out.

“That I will not,” said the keeper; “for if I anger him, the first he’ll
tear in pieces will be myself. Be satisfied, Sir Knight, with what you
have done, which leaves nothing more to be said on the score of courage,
and do not seek to tempt fortune a second time. The lion has the door
open; he is free to come out or not to come out; but as he has not come
out so far, he will not come out to-day. The greatness of your worship’s
courage has been fully manifested already; no brave champion, so it
strikes me, is bound to do more than challenge his enemy and wait for
him on the field. If his adversary does not come, on him lies the
disgrace, and he who waits for him carries off the crown of victory.”

“That is true,” said Don Quixote; “close the door, my friend, and let me
have by way of certificate in the best form thou canst what thou hast
seen me do. Close the door, as I bade thee, while I make signals to the
fugitives that have left us, that they may learn this exploit from thy
lips.”

The keeper obeyed, and Don Quixote, fixing his handkerchief on the point
of his lance, proceeded to recall the others, who still continued to
fly, looking back at every step. Sancho, however, happening to observe
the signal, exclaimed: “May I die if my master has not overcome the wild
beasts, for he is calling to us.”

They stopped, and, perceiving that it was Don Quixote who was making
signals, they approached slowly until they were near enough to hear him
distinctly calling to them. They returned at length to the cart, and as
they came up, Don Quixote said to the carter: “Put your mules to the
cart once more, brother, and continue your journey; and do thou, Sancho,
give him two gold crowns for himself and the keeper, to compensate them
for the delay they have incurred through me.”

Sancho paid the crowns, the keeper kissed Don Quixote’s hands for the
bounty bestowed on him, and promised to give an account of the valiant
exploit to the king himself, as soon as he saw him at court. The cart
went its way, and Don Quixote and Sancho went theirs.

   --MIGUEL DE CERVANTES.



        THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM


    It was a summer evening,
      Old Kaspar’s work was done,
    And he before his cottage door
      Was sitting in the sun,
    And by him sported on the green
    His little grandchild Wilhelmine.

    She saw her brother Peterkin
      Roll something large and round,
    Which he beside the rivulet
      In playing there had found;
    He came to ask what he had found,
    That was so large, and smooth, and round.

    Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
      Who stood expectant by;
    And then the old man shook his head,
      And with a natural sigh:
    “’Tis some poor fellow’s skull,” said he,
    “Who fell in the great victory.

    “I find them in the garden,
      For there’s many here about;
    And often when I go to plough,
      The ploughshare turns them out!
    For many thousand men,” said he,
    “Were slain in that great victory.”

    “Now tell us what ’twas all about,”
      Young Peterkin, he cries;
    And little Wilhelmine looks up,
      With wonder-waiting eyes;
    “Now tell us all about the war,
    And what they fought each other for.”

    “It was the English,” Kaspar cried,
      “Who put the French to rout;
    But what they fought each other for,
      I could not well make out;
    But everybody said,” quoth he,
    “That ’twas a famous victory.

    “My father lived at Blenheim then,
      Yon little stream hard by;
    They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
      And he was forced to fly;
    So with his wife and child he fled,
    Nor had he where to rest his head.

    “With fire and sword the country round
      Was wasted far and wide,
    And many a nursing mother then
      And new-born baby died;
    But things like that, you know, must be
    At every famous victory.

    “They say it was a shocking sight
      After the field was won;
    For many thousand bodies here
      Lay rotting in the sun;
    But things like that, you know, must be
    After a famous victory.

    “Great praise the Duke of Marlbro’ won,
      And our good Prince Eugene.”
    “Why, ’twas a very wicked thing!”
      Said little Wilhelmine.
    “Nay--nay--my little girl,” quoth he,
    “It was a famous victory.

    “And everybody praised the Duke,
      Who this great fight did win.”
    “But what good came of it at last?”
      Quoth little Peterkin.
    “Why, that I cannot tell,” said he,
    “But ’twas a famous victory.”
         --ROBERT SOUTHEY.



        A HURON MISSION HOUSE


By the ancient Huron custom, when a man or a family wanted a house, the
whole village joined in building one. In the present case the
neighboring town also took part in the work. Before October the task was
finished.

The house was constructed after the Huron model. It was thirty-six feet
long and about twenty feet wide, framed with strong sapling poles
planted in the earth to form the sides, with the ends bent into an arch
for the roof,--the whole lashed firmly together, braced with cross
poles, and closely covered with overlapping sheets of bark.

Without, the structure was strictly Indian; but within, the priests,
with the aid of their tools, made changes which were the astonishment of
all the country. They divided their dwelling by transverse partitions
into three apartments, each with its wooden door,--a wondrous novelty in
the eyes of their visitors. The first served as a hall, an anteroom, and
a place of storage for corn, beans, and dried fish. The second--the
largest of the three--was at once kitchen, workshop, dining-room,
drawing-room, school-room, and bedchamber. The third was the chapel.
Here they made their altar, and here were their images, pictures, and
sacred vessels.

Their fire was on the ground, in the middle of the second apartment, the
smoke escaping by a hole in the roof. At the sides were placed two wide
platforms, after the Huron fashion, four feet from the earthen floor. On
these were chests in which they kept their clothing, and beneath them
they slept, reclining on sheets of bark, and covered with skins and the
garments they wore by day. Rude stools, a hand-mill, an Indian mortar
for crushing corn, and a clock completed the furniture of the room.

There was no lack of visitors, for the house contained marvels the fame
of which was noised abroad to the uttermost confines of the Huron
nation. Chief among them was the clock. The guests would sit in
expectant silence by the hour, squatted on the ground, waiting to hear
it strike. They thought it was alive, and asked what it ate. As the last
stroke sounded, one of the Frenchmen would cry “Stop!”--and to the
admiration of the company the obedient clock was silent. The mill was
another wonder, and they never tired of turning it. Besides these, there
was a prism and a magnet; also a magnifying glass, wherein a flea was
transformed to a frightful monster, and a multiplying lens which showed
them the same object eleven times repeated.

“What does the Captain say?” was the frequent question; for by this
title of honor they designated the clock.

“When he strikes twelve times he says, ‘Hang on the kettle’; and when he
strikes four times he says, ‘Get up and go home.’”

Both interpretations were remembered. At noon visitors were never
wanting; but at the stroke of four all arose and departed, leaving the
missionaries for a time in peace.--FRANCIS PARKMAN.



        THE BURIAL OF MOSES


    By Nebo’s lonely mountain,
      On this side Jordan’s wave,
    In a vale in the land of Moab
      There lies a lonely grave;
    And no man knows that sepulchre,
      And no man saw it e’er,
    For the angels of God upturn’d the sod,
      And laid the dead man there.

    That was the grandest funeral
      That ever pass’d on earth;
    But no man heard the trampling,
      Or saw the train go forth--
    Noiselessly as the daylight
      Comes back when night is done,
    And the crimson streak on ocean’s cheek
      Grows into the great sun;

    Noiselessly as the spring-time
      Her crown of verdure weaves,
    And all the trees on all the hills
      Open their thousand leaves;
    So without sound of music,
      Or voice of them that wept,
    Silently down from the mountain’s crown,
      The great procession swept.

    Perchance the bald old eagle
      On gray Beth-peor’s height
    Out of his lonely eyrie
      Look’d on the wondrous sight;
    Perchance the lion stalking
      Still shuns that hallow’d spot,
    For beast and bird have seen and heard
      That which man knoweth not.

    But when the warrior dieth,
      His comrades in the war,
    With arms reversed and muffled drum,
      Follow his funeral car;
    They show the banners taken,
      They tell his battles won,
    And after him lead his masterless steed,
      While peals the minute gun.

    Amid the noblest of the land,
      We lay the sage to rest,
    And give the bard an honor’d place,
      With costly marble dressed,
    In the great minster transept,
      Where lights like glories fall,
    And the organ rings, and the sweet choir sings,
      Along the emblazon’d wall.

    This was the truest warrior
      That ever buckled sword;
    This the most gifted poet
      That ever breathed a word;
    And never earth’s philosopher
      Traced with his golden pen
    On the deathless page truths half so sage
      As he wrote down for men.

    And had he not high honor--
      The hillside for a pall,
    To lie in state while angels wait
      With stars for tapers tall,
    And the dark rock pines, like tossing plumes,
      Over his bier to wave,
    And God’s own hand in that lonely land
      To lay him in the grave,--

    In that strange grave without a name,
      Whence his uncoffin’d clay
    Shall break again, O wondrous thought,
      Before the judgment-day,
    And stand with glory wrapt around
      On the hills he never trod,
    And speak of the strife that won our life
      With the Incarnate Son of God?

    O lonely grave in Moab’s land!
      O dark Beth-peor’s hill!
    Speak to these curious hearts of ours
      And teach them to be still.
    God hath His mysteries of grace,
      Ways that we cannot tell;
    He hides them deep like the hidden sleep
      Of him He loved so well.
         --CECIL FRANCES ALEXANDER.



        THE CRUISE OF THE CORACLE


It was broad day when I awoke, and found myself tossing at the
south-west end of Treasure Island. I was scarcely a quarter of a mile to
seaward, and it was my first thought to paddle in and land. But that
notion was soon given over. Among the fallen rocks the breakers spouted
and bellowed; loud reverberations, heavy sprays flying and falling,
succeeded one another from second to second; and I saw myself, if I
ventured nearer, dashed to death upon the rough shore, or spending my
strength in vain to scale the beetling crags.

[Illustration: R. L. STEVENSON]

Nor was that all; for crawling together on flat tables of rock, or
letting themselves drop into the sea with loud reports, I beheld huge
slimy monsters,--soft snails, as it were, of incredible bigness,--two or
three score of them together, making the rocks to echo with their
barkings. I have understood since that they were sea-lions, and entirely
harmless. But the look of them, added to the difficulty of the shore and
the high running of the surf, was more than enough to disgust me with
that landing-place. I felt willing rather to starve at sea than to
confront such perils.

There was a great, smooth swell upon the sea. The wind blowing steady
and gentle from the south, there was no contrariety between that and the
current, and the billows rose and fell unbroken. Had it been otherwise,
I must long ago have perished; but as it was, it is surprising how
easily and securely my little and light boat could ride. Often, as I
still lay at the bottom, and kept no more than an eye above the gunwale,
I would see a big blue summit heaving close above me; yet the coracle
would but bounce a little, dance as if on springs, and subside on the
other side into the trough as lightly as a bird.

I began after a little to grow very bold, and sat up to try my skill at
paddling. But even a small change in the disposition of the weight will
produce violent changes in the behavior of a coracle. And I had hardly
moved before the boat, giving up at once her gentle dancing movement,
ran straight down a slope of water so steep that it made me giddy, and
stuck her nose, with a spout of spray, deep into the side of the next
wave.

I was drenched and terrified, and fell instantly back into my old
position, whereupon the coracle seemed to find her head again, and led
me as softly as before among the billows. It was plain she was not to be
interfered with, and at that rate, since I could in no way influence her
course, what hope had I left of reaching land?

I began to be horribly frightened, but I kept my head, for all that.
First, moving with all care, I gradually bailed out the coracle with my
sea-cap; then getting my eye once more above the gunwale, I set myself
to study how it was she managed to slip so quietly through the rollers.
I found each wave, instead of the big, smooth, glossy mountain it looks
from the shore, or from a vessel’s deck, was for all the world like any
range of hills on the dry land, full of peaks and smooth places and
valleys. The coracle, left to herself, turning from side to side,
threaded, so to speak, her way through these lower parts, and avoided
the steep slopes and higher toppling summits of the wave.

“Well, now,” thought I to myself, “it is plain I must lie where I am,
and not disturb the balance; but it is plain, also, that I can put the
paddle over the side, and from time to time, in smooth places, give her
a shove or two towards land.”

No sooner thought upon than done. There I lay on my elbows, in the most
trying attitude, and every now and again gave a weak stroke or two to
turn her head to shore. It was very tiring, and slow work, yet I did
visibly gain ground; and, as we drew near the Cape of the Woods, though
I saw I must infallibly miss that point, I had still made some hundred
yards of easting. I was, indeed, close in. I could see the cool, green
tree-tops swaying together in the breeze, and I felt sure I should make
the next promontory without fail.

It was high time, for I now began to be tortured with thirst. The glow
of the sun from above, its thousand-fold reflection from the waves, the
sea-water that fell and dried upon me, caking my very lips with salt,
combined to make my throat burn and my brain ache. The sight of the
trees so near at hand had almost made me sick with longing; but the
current had soon carried me past the point; and, as the next reach of
sea opened out, I beheld a sight that changed the nature of my thoughts.

Right in front of me, not half a mile away, I beheld the _Hispaniola_
under sail. I made sure, of course, that I should be taken; but I was so
distressed for want of water that I scarce knew whether to be glad or
sorry at the thought; and, long before I had come to a conclusion,
surprise had taken entire possession of my mind, and I could do nothing
but stare and wonder.

The _Hispaniola_ was under her mainsail and two jibs, and the beautiful
white canvas shone in the sun like snow or silver. When I first sighted
her, all her sails were drawing, she was lying a course about
north-west, and I presumed the men on board were going round the island
on their way back to the anchorage. Presently she began to fetch more
and more to the westward, so that I thought they had sighted me and were
going about in chase. At last, however, she fell right into the wind’s
eye, was taken dead aback, and stood there awhile helpless, with her
sails shivering.

Meanwhile, the schooner gradually fell off, and filled again upon
another tack, sailed swiftly for a minute or so, and brought up once
more dead in the wind’s eye. Again and again was this repeated. To and
fro, up and down, north, south, east, and west, the _Hispaniola_ sailed
by swoops and dashes, and at each repetition ended as she had begun,
with rapidly flapping canvas. It became plain to me that nobody was
steering. And, if so, where were the men?

Either they were drunk, or had deserted her, I thought, and perhaps, if
I could get on board, I might return the vessel to her captain.

The current was bearing coracle and schooner southwards at an equal
rate. As for the latter’s sailing, it was so wild and intermittent, and
she hung each time so long in irons, that she certainly gained nothing,
if she did not even lose. If only I dared to sit up and paddle, I made
sure that I could overhaul her. The scheme had an air of adventure that
inspired me, and the thought of the water-breaker beside the
fore-companion doubled my growing courage.

Up I got, was welcomed almost instantly by another cloud of spray, but
this time stuck to my purpose; and set myself, with all my strength and
caution, to paddle after the unsteered _Hispaniola_. Once I shipped a
sea so heavy that I had to stop and bail, with my heart fluttering like
a bird; but gradually I got into the way of the thing, and guided my
coracle among the waves, with only now and then a blow upon her bows
and a dash of foam in my face.

I was now gaining rapidly on the schooner; I could see the brass glisten
on the tiller as it banged about; and still no soul appeared upon her
decks. I could not choose but suppose she was deserted. If not, the men
were lying helpless below, where I might batten them down, perhaps; and
do what I chose with the ship.

For some time she had been doing the worst thing possible for
me--standing still. She headed nearly due south, yawing, of course, all
the time. Each time she fell off her sails partly filled, and these
brought her, in a moment, right to the wind again. I have said this was
the worst thing possible for me; for, helpless as she looked in this
situation, with the canvas crackling like cannon, and the blocks
trundling and banging on the deck, she still continued to run away from
me, not only with the speed of the current, but by the whole amount of
her leeway, which was naturally great.

But now, at last, I had my chance. The breeze fell, for some seconds,
very low, and the current gradually turning her, the _Hispaniola_
revolved slowly round her centre, and at last presented me her stern,
with the cabin window still gaping open, and the lamp over the table
still burning on into the day. The mainsail hung drooped like a banner.
She was stock-still, but for the current.

For the last little while I had even lost; but now, redoubling my
efforts, I began once more to overhaul the chase. I was not a hundred
yards from her when the wind came again in a clap; she filled on the
port tack, and was off again, stooping and skimming like a swallow.

My first impulse was one of despair, but my second was towards joy.
Round she came, till she was broadside on to me--round still till she
had covered a half, and then two-thirds, and then three-quarters of the
distance that separated us. I could see the waves boiling white under
her forefoot. Immensely tall she looked to me from my low station in the
coracle.

And then, of a sudden, I began to comprehend. I had scarce time to
think--scarce time to act and save myself. I was on the summit of one
swell when the schooner came stooping over the next. The bowsprit was
over my head. I sprang to my feet, and leaped, stamping the coracle
under water. With one hand I caught the jib-boom, while my foot was
lodged between the stay and the brace; and as I still clung there
panting, a dull blow told me that the schooner had charged down upon and
struck the coracle, and that I was left without retreat on the
_Hispaniola_.

   --ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

     _From “Treasure Island,” by permission._

       *       *       *       *       *

    No man is born into the world whose work
    Is not born with him: there is always work,
    And tools to work withal, for those who will;
    And blesséd are the horny hands of toil.--LOWELL.



        THE SEA


    The Sea! the Sea! the open Sea!
    The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
    Without a mark, without a bound,
    It runneth the earth’s wide regions round;
    It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
    Or like a cradled creature lies.

    I’m on the Sea! I’m on the Sea!
    I am where I would ever be,
    With the blue above, and the blue below,
    And silence whereso’er I go:
    If a storm should come, and awake the deep,
    What matter? I shall ride and sleep.

    I love, oh, how I love, to ride
    On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
    When every mad wave drowns the moon,
    Or whistles aloft its tempest tune,
    And tells how goeth the world below,
    And why the south-west blasts do blow!

    I never was on the dull, tame shore,
    But I loved the great Sea more and more,
    And backwards flew to her billowy breast,
    Like a bird that seeketh its mother’s nest:
    And a mother she was and is to me;
    For I was born on the open Sea!

[Illustration: THE SEA

James.]

    The waves were white, and red the morn,
    In the noisy hour when I was born;
    And the whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled,
    And the dolphins bared their backs of gold;
    And never was heard such an outcry wild
    As welcomed to life the Ocean-child.

    I’ve lived since then, in calm and strife,
    Full fifty summers a sailor’s life,
    With wealth to spend, and power to range,
    But never have sought, nor sighed for change;
    And Death, whenever he comes to me,
    Shall come on the wild unbounded sea!
         --BRYAN WALLER PROCTER.



        THE WIND’S WORD


[Illustration: ARCHIBALD LAMPMAN]

    The wind charged every way, and fled
      Across the meadows and the wheat;
    It whirled the swallows overhead,
      And swung the daisies at my feet.

    As if in mockery of me,
      And all the deadness of my thought,
    It mounted to the largest glee,
      And, like a lord that laughed and fought,
    Took all the maples by surprise,
      And made the poplars clash and shiver,
    And flung my hair about my eyes,
      And sprang and blackened on the river.

    And through the elm-tree tops, and round
      The city steeples wild and high,
    It floundered with a mighty sound,
      A buoyant voice that seemed to cry,--

    “Behold how grand I am, how free!
      And all the forest bends my way!
    I roam the earth, I stalk the sea,
      And make my labor but a play.”
         --ARCHIBALD LAMPMAN.



        GULLIVER AMONG THE GIANTS


It was about twelve at noon, and a servant brought in dinner. It was
only one substantial meal of meat, fit for the plain condition of a
husbandman, in a dish of about four-and-twenty feet diameter. The
company consisted of the farmer and his wife, three children, and an old
grandmother. When they were seated, the farmer placed me at some
distance from him on the table, which was thirty feet high from the
floor.

I was in a terrible fright, and kept as far as I could from the edge,
for fear of falling. The wife minced a bit of meat, then crumbled some
bread on a trencher, and placed it before me. I made her a low bow,
took out my knife and fork, and fell to eating, which gave them
exceeding delight. The mistress sent her maid for a small dram cup,
which held about two gallons, and filled it with drink. I took up the
vessel with much difficulty in both hands, and in a most respectful
manner drank to her ladyship’s health, expressing the words as loudly as
I could in English: which made the company laugh so heartily that I was
almost deafened with the noise. This liquor tasted like cider, and was
not unpleasant.

[Illustration: DEAN SWIFT]

Then the master made me a sign to come to his side; but, as I walked on
the table, being in great surprise all the time, I happened to stumble
against a crust, and fell flat on my face, but received no hurt. I got
up immediately, and, observing the good people to be in much concern, I
took my hat, which I held under my arm, out of good manners, and, waving
it over my head, gave three cheers to show I had received no mischief by
my fall.

On advancing towards my master, his youngest son, who sat next to him,
an arch boy of about ten years old, took me up by the legs, and held me
so high in the air that I trembled in every limb; but his father
snatched me from him, and at the same time gave him such a box on the
left ear as would have felled a European troop of horse to the earth,
and ordered him to be taken from the table. As I was afraid the boy
might owe me a spite, I fell on my knees, and, pointing to him, made my
master to understand as well as I could that I desired his son might be
pardoned. The father complied, and the lad took his seat again;
whereupon I went to him and kissed his hand, which my master took, and
made him stroke me gently with it.

In the midst of dinner, my mistress’s favorite cat leaped into her lap.
I heard a noise behind me like that of a dozen stocking weavers at work;
and, turning my head, I found it proceeded from the purring of that
animal, who seemed to be three times larger than an ox, as I computed by
the view of her head and one of her paws, while her mistress was feeding
and stroking her. The fierceness of the cat’s countenance altogether
discomposed me, though I stood at the farther end of the table, above
fifty feet off, and though my mistress held her fast, for fear she might
give a spring and seize me in her talons. But it happened that there was
no danger, for she took not the least notice of me, although my master
placed me within three yards of her.

As I have been always told, and have found true by experience in my
travels, that flying, or discovering fear before a fierce animal, is a
certain way to make it pursue or attack you, I resolved, in this
dangerous juncture, to show no manner of concern. I walked with
intrepidity five or six times before the very head of the cat, and came
within half a yard of her; whereupon she drew herself back, as if she
were afraid of me. I had less apprehension concerning the dogs, whereof
three or four came into the room,--as it is usual in farmers’
houses,--one of which was a mastiff, equal in bulk to four elephants,
and a greyhound somewhat taller than the mastiff, but not so large.

   --JONATHAN SWIFT.



        TO A WATER-FOWL


[Illustration: W. C. BRYANT]

        Whither midst falling dew,
    While glow the heavens with the last steps of day
    Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
        Thy solitary way?

        Vainly the fowler’s eye
    Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
    As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
        Thy figure floats along.

        Seek’st thou the plashy brink
    Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
    Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
        On the chafed ocean-side?

        There is a Power whose care
    Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,--
    The desert and illimitable air,--
        Lone wandering, but not lost.

        All day thy wings have fanned,
    At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere,
    Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
        Though the dark night is near.

        And soon that toil shall end;
    Soon shalt thou find a summer home and rest,
    And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
        Soon, o’er thy sheltered nest.

        Thou’rt gone; the abyss of heaven
    Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
    Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
        And shall not soon depart.

        He who, from zone to zone,
    Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
    In the long way that I must tread alone,
        Will lead my steps aright.
         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Though the mills of God grind slowly,
    Yet they grind exceeding small.--LONGFELLOW.



’TIS THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER


    ’Tis the last rose of summer
      Left blooming alone;
    All her lovely companions
      Are faded and gone;
    No flower of her kindred,
      No rose-bud is nigh,
    To reflect back her blushes
      Or give sigh for sigh.

    I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one,
      To pine on the stem;
    Since the lovely are sleeping,
      Go, sleep thou with them.
    Thus kindly I scatter
      Thy leaves o’er the bed
    Where thy mates of the garden
      Lie scentless and dead.

    So soon may I follow,
      When friendships decay,
    And from Love’s shining circle
      The gems drop away.
    When true hearts lie withered,
      And fond ones are flown,
    Oh! who would inhabit
      This bleak world alone?
         --THOMAS MOORE.



        THE ARCHERY CONTEST


“The yeomen and commons,” said De Bracy, “must not be dismissed
discontented for lack of their share in the sports.”

“The day,” said Waldemar, “is not yet very far spent--let the archers
shoot a few rounds at the target, and the prize be adjudged. This will
be an abundant fulfilment of the Prince’s promises, so far as this herd
of Saxon serfs is concerned.”

[Illustration: SIR WALTER SCOTT]

“I thank thee, Waldemar,” said Prince John; “thou remindest me, too,
that I have a debt to pay to that insolent peasant who yesterday
insulted my person. The banquet also shall go forward to-night as we
proposed. Were this my last hour of power, it should be an hour sacred
to revenge and to pleasure--let new cares come with to-morrow’s new
day.”

The sound of the trumpet soon recalled those spectators who had already
begun to leave the field; and proclamation was made that the Prince,
suddenly called by high public duties, was obliged to discontinue the
entertainments of to-morrow’s festival; nevertheless, unwilling that so
many good yeomen should depart without a trial of skill, he was pleased
to appoint that the archery competition intended for to-morrow should
take place at once. To the best archer a prize was to be awarded,--a
bugle-horn, mounted with silver, and a silken baldric, richly ornamented
with a medallion of St. Hubert, the patron of woodland sport.

More than thirty yeomen at first presented themselves as competitors,
several of whom were rangers and underkeepers in the royal forests.
When, however, the archers understood with whom they were to be matched,
upwards of twenty withdrew from the contest, unwilling to encounter the
dishonor of almost certain defeat. The diminished list of competitors,
however, still amounted to eight. Prince John, before the contest began,
stepped from his royal seat to view more nearly the persons of these
chosen yeomen, several of whom wore the royal livery. Having satisfied
his curiosity, he looked for the object of his resentment, whom he
observed standing on the same spot, and with the same composed
countenance which he had shown upon the preceding day.

“Fellow,” said Prince John, “I guessed by thy insolent babble thou wert
no true lover of the longbow, and I see thou darest not adventure thy
skill among such merry men as stand yonder.”

“Under favor, sir,” replied the yeoman, “I have another reason for
refraining to shoot, besides the fearing discomfiture and disgrace.”

“And what is thy other reason?” said Prince John, who, for some cause
which perhaps he could not himself have explained, felt a painful
curiosity respecting this individual.

“Because,” replied the woodsman, “I know not if these yeomen and I are
used to shoot at the same marks; and because, moreover, I know not how
your Grace might relish the winning of a third prize by one who has
unwittingly fallen under your displeasure.”

Prince John colored as he put the question, “What is thy name, yeoman?”

“Locksley,” answered the yeoman.

“Then, Locksley,” said Prince John, “thou shalt shoot in thy turn, when
these yeomen have displayed their skill. If thou carriest the prize, I
shall add to it twenty nobles; but if thou losest it, thou shalt be
stripped of thy Lincoln green, and scourged out of the lists with
bowstrings, for a wordy and insolent braggart.”

“And how if I refuse to shoot on such a wager?” said the yeoman. “Your
Grace’s power, supported as it is by so many men-at-arms, may indeed
easily strip and scourge me, but cannot compel me to bend or to draw my
bow.”

“If thou refusest my fair proffer,” said the Prince, “the provost of the
lists shall cut thy bowstring, break thy bow and arrows, and expel thee
from the presence as a faint-hearted craven.”

“This is no fair chance you put on me, proud Prince,” said the yeoman,
“to compel me to peril myself against the best archers of Leicester and
Staffordshire, under the penalty of infamy if they should overshoot me.
Nevertheless, I shall obey your will.”

[Illustration: LOCKSLEY DISCHARGING HIS ARROW]

“Look to him close, men-at-arms,” said Prince John; “his heart is
sinking; I am jealous lest he attempt to escape the trial. And do you,
good fellows, shoot boldly round; a buck and a butt of wine are ready
for your refreshment in yonder tent when the prize is won.”

A target was placed at the upper end of the southern avenue which led to
the lists. One by one the archers, stepping forward, delivered their
shafts yeomanlike and bravely. Of twenty-four arrows, shot in
succession, ten were fixed in the target, and the others ranged so near
it that, considering the distance of the mark, it was accounted good
archery. Of the ten shafts which hit the target, two within the inner
ring were shot by Hubert, a forester, who was accordingly pronounced
victorious.

“Now, Locksley,” said Prince John to the bold yeoman, with a bitter
smile, “wilt thou try conclusions with Hubert?”

“Since it be no better,” said Locksley, “I am content to try my fortune;
on condition that when I have shot two shafts at yonder mark of
Hubert’s, he shall be bound to shoot one at that which I shall propose.”

“That is but fair,” answered Prince John, “and it shall not be refused
thee. If thou dost beat this braggart, Hubert, I shall fill the bugle
with silver pennies for thee.”

“A man can but do his best,” answered Hubert; “but my grandsire drew a
good longbow at Hastings, and I trust not to dishonor his memory.”

The former target was now removed, and a fresh one of the same size
placed in its room. Hubert, who, as victor in the first trial of skill,
had the right to shoot first, took his aim with great deliberation. At
length he made a step forward, and raising the bow at the full stretch
of his left arm, till the centre or grasping place was nigh level with
his face, he drew the bowstring to his ear. The arrow whistled through
the air, and lighted within the inner ring of the target, but not
exactly in the centre.

“You have not allowed for the wind, Hubert,” said his antagonist,
bending his bow, “or that had been a better shot.”

So saying, and without showing the least anxiety to pause upon his aim,
Locksley stepped to the appointed station, and shot his arrow as
carelessly in appearance as if he had not even looked at the mark. He
was speaking almost at the instant that the shaft left the bowstring,
yet it alighted in the target two inches nearer to the white spot which
marked the centre than that of Hubert.

“By the light of heaven!” said Prince John to Hubert, “an thou suffer
that runagate knave to overcome thee, thou art worthy of the gallows.”

Hubert had but one set speech for all occasions.

“An your highness were to hang me,” he said, “a man can but do his best.
Nevertheless, my grandsire drew a good bow--”

“The foul fiend on thy grandsire and all his generation!” interrupted
John; “shoot, knave, and shoot thy best, or it shall be the worse for
thee.”

Thus exhorted, Hubert resumed his place, and not neglecting the caution
which he had received from his adversary, he made the necessary
allowance for a very light air of wind, which had just arisen, and shot
so successfully that his arrow alighted in the very centre of the
target.

“A Hubert! a Hubert!” shouted the populace, more interested in a known
person than in a stranger. “In the clout!--in the clout!--a Hubert
forever!”

“Thou canst not mend that shot, Locksley,” said the Prince, with an
insulting smile.

“I shall notch his shaft for him, however,” replied Locksley.

And letting fly his arrow with a little more precaution than before, it
lighted right upon that of his competitor, which it split to shivers.
The people who stood around were so astonished at his wonderful
dexterity that they could not even give vent to their surprise in their
usual clamor. “This must be the fiend, and no man of flesh and blood,”
whispered the yeomen to each other; “such archery has never been seen
since a bow was first bent in Britain.”

“And now,” said Locksley, “I crave your Grace’s permission to plant such
a mark as is used in the North Country; and welcome every brave yeoman
who shall try a shot at it to win a smile from the bonnie lass he loves
best.”

He then turned to leave the lists. “Let your guards attend me,” he said,
“if you please--I go but to cut a rod from the nearest willow bush.”

Prince John made a signal that some attendants should follow him in
case of his escape; but the cry of “Shame! shame!” which burst from the
multitude, induced him to alter his ungenerous purpose.

Locksley returned almost instantly with a willow wand about six feet in
length, perfectly straight, and rather thicker than a man’s thumb. He
began to peel this with great composure, observing, at the same time,
that to ask a good woodsman to shoot at a target so broad as had
hitherto been used, was to put shame upon his skill. A child of seven
years old, he said, might hit it with a headless shaft; but, he added,
walking deliberately to the other end of the lists, and sticking the
willow wand upright in the ground, “he that hits that rod at fivescore
yards, I call him an archer fit to bear both bow and quiver before a
king, even if it were the stout King Richard himself.”

“My grandsire,” said Hubert, “drew a good bow at the battle of Hastings,
and never shot at such a mark in his life--and neither shall I. If this
yeoman can cleave that rod, I give him the bucklers--or rather, I yield
to the fiend that is in his jerkin, and not to any human skill. I might
as well shoot at the edge of our parson’s whittle, or at a wheat straw,
or at a sunbeam, as at a twinkling white streak which I can hardly see.”

“Cowardly dog!” said Prince John. “Sirrah Locksley, do thou shoot; but,
if thou hittest such a mark, I shall say thou art the first man ever did
so. Howe’er it be, thou shalt not crow over us with a mere show of
superior skill.”

“I shall do my best, as Hubert says,” said Locksley; “no man can do
more.”

So saying, he again bent his bow, but on the present occasion looked
with attention to his weapon, and changed the string which he thought
was no longer truly round, having been a little frayed by the two former
shots. He then took his aim with some deliberation, and the multitude
awaited the event in breathless silence. The archer vindicated their
opinion of his skill; his arrow split the willow rod against which it
was aimed. A jubilee of acclamations followed; and even Prince John, in
admiration of Locksley’s skill, lost for an instant his dislike to his
person. “These twenty nobles,” he said, “which, with the bugle thou hast
fairly won, are thine own; we shall make them fifty, if thou wilt take
livery and service with us as a yeoman of our bodyguard, and be near to
our person. For never did so strong a hand bend a bow, or so true an eye
direct a shaft.”

“Pardon me, noble Prince,” said Locksley; “but I have vowed that if ever
I take service, it shall be with your royal brother, King Richard. These
twenty nobles I leave to Hubert, who has this day drawn as brave a bow
as his grandsire did at Hastings. Had he not refused the trial, he would
have hit the wand as well as I.”

Hubert shook his head as he received with reluctance the bounty of the
stranger; and Locksley, anxious to escape further observation, mixed
with the crowd and was seen no more.--SIR WALTER SCOTT.



        THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM


              I stood upon the plain
              That had trembled, when the slain
    Hurled their proud, defiant curses at the battle-heated foe,
              When the steed dashed right and left,
              Through the bloody gaps he cleft,
    When the bridle-rein was broken, and the rider was laid low.

              What busy feet had trod
              Upon the very sod
    When I marshalled the battalions of my fancy to my aid!
              And I saw the combat dire,
              Heard the quick, incessant fire,
    And the cannons’ echoes startling the reverberating glade.

              I heard the chorus dire,
              That jarred along the lyre
    On which the hymn of battle rung, like surgings of the wave,
              When the storm, at blackest night,
              Wakes the ocean in affright,
    As it shouts its mighty Pibroch o’er some shipwrecked vessel’s grave.

              I saw the broad claymore
              Flash from its scabbard, o’er
    The ranks that quailed and shuddered at the close and fierce attack;
              When victory gave the word,
              Auld Scotia drew the sword,
    And with arms that never faltered drove the brave defenders back.

              I saw two great chiefs die,
              Their last breaths like the sigh
    Of the zephyr-sprite that wantons on the rosy lips of morn;
              No enemy-poisoned darts,
              No rancor in their hearts,
    To unfit them for their triumph over death’s impending scorn.

              And as I thought and gazed,
              My soul, exultant, praised
    The power to whom each mighty act and victory are due;
              For the saint-like peace that smiled
              Like a heaven-gifted child,
    And for the air of quietude that steeped the distant view.

              Oh, rare, divinest life
              Of peace compared with strife!
    Yours is the truest splendor, and the most enduring fame;
              All the glory ever reaped
              Where the fiends of battle leaped,
    In harsh discord to the music of your undertoned acclaim.
         --CHARLES SANGSTER.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Still runs the water when the brook is deep.



        THE GRAVES OF A HOUSEHOLD


[Illustration: MRS. HEMANS]

    They grew in beauty side by side,
      They fill’d one home with glee;
    Their graves are sever’d far and wide
      By mount and stream and sea.

    The same fond mother bent at night
      O’er each fair sleeping brow;
    She had each folded flower in sight:
      Where are those dreamers now?

    One ’midst the forests of the West
      By a dark stream is laid;
    The Indian knows his place of rest,
      Far in the cedar-shade.

    The sea, the blue lone sea, hath one;
      He lies where pearls lie deep;
    He was the loved of all, yet none
      O’er his low bed may weep!

    One sleeps where southern vines are drest
      Above the noble slain;
    He wrapt his colors round his breast
      On a blood-red field of Spain.

    And one--o’er her the myrtle showers
      Its leaves, by soft winds fann’d;
    She faded ’midst Italian flowers;
      The last of that bright band.

    And parted thus they rest who play’d
      Beneath the same green tree;
    Whose voices mingled as they pray’d
      Around one parent knee!

    They that with smiles lit up the hall
      And cheer’d with mirth the hearth;
    Alas, for love! if thou wert all,
      And naught beyond, O Earth!
         --FELICIA DOROTHEA HEMANS.



        THE MIRACULOUS PITCHER


One evening, in times long ago, old Philemon and his wife Baucis sat at
their cottage door, enjoying the calm and beautiful sunset. They talked
together about their garden, and their cow, and their bees, and their
grape vine on which the grapes were beginning to turn purple.

The shouts of children, and the fierce barking of dogs in the village
near at hand, grew louder and louder, until, at last, it was hardly
possible for Baucis and Philemon to hear each other speak.

“Ah, wife,” cried Philemon, “I fear some poor traveller is seeking food
and lodging in the village yonder, and our neighbors have set their dogs
at him, as their custom is.”

“Welladay!” answered Baucis, “I do wish our neighbors felt a little more
kindness for their fellow-creatures.”

“I never heard the dogs so loud!” observed the good old man.

“Nor the children so rude!” answered his good old wife.

[Illustration: NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE]

They sat shaking their heads, while the noise came nearer and nearer,
until, at the foot of the little hill on which their cottage stood, they
saw two travellers approaching, on foot. Close behind them came the
fierce dogs, snarling at their very heels. A little farther off ran a
crowd of children, who sent up shrill cries, and flung stones at the two
strangers with all their might. The travellers were very humbly clad,
and this, I am afraid, was the reason why the villagers had allowed
their children and dogs to treat them so rudely.

“Come, wife,” said Philemon to Baucis, “let us go and meet these
people.”

“Go you and meet them,” answered Baucis, “while I make haste within
doors, and see whether we can get them anything for supper.”

Accordingly, she hastened into the cottage. Philemon went forward and
extended his hand, saying in the heartiest tone, “Welcome, strangers!
welcome!”

“Thank you,” replied the younger of the two, in a lively kind of a way.
“This is quite another greeting than we have met with yonder in the
village.”

Philemon was glad to see him in such good spirits; nor, indeed, would
you have fancied, by the traveller’s look and manner, that he was weary
with a long day’s journey. He was dressed in rather an odd way, with a
sort of cap on his head, the brim of which stuck out over both ears.
Though it was a summer evening, the traveller wore a cloak, which he
kept wrapped closely about him. Philemon perceived, too, that he had on
a singular pair of shoes. He was so wonderfully light and active that it
appeared as if his feet sometimes rose from the ground of their own
accord.

“I used to be light-footed in my youth,” said Philemon to the traveller.
“But I always find my feet grow heavier towards nightfall.”

“There is nothing like a good staff to help one along,” answered the
stranger; “and I happen to have an excellent one, as you see.”

This staff, in fact, was the oddest-looking staff that Philemon had ever
beheld; it was made of olive wood, and had something like a little pair
of wings near the top. Two snakes carved in the wood were twining
themselves about the staff, and old Philemon almost thought them alive,
and that he could see them wriggling and twisting. Before he could ask
any questions, however, the elder stranger drew his attention from the
wonderful staff by speaking to him.

“Was there not,” asked the stranger, in a deep tone of voice, “a lake,
in very ancient times, covering the spot where now stands yonder
village?”

“Not in my time, friend,” answered Philemon; “and yet I am an old man,
as you see. There were always the fields and meadows, just as they are
now, and the trees, and the stream murmuring through the midst of the
valley.”

The stranger shook his head. “Since the inhabitants of yonder village
have forgotten the affections and sympathies of their nature, it were
better that the lake should be rippling over their dwellings again!” He
looked so stern that Philemon was almost frightened; the more so, that
when he shook his head, there was a roll as of thunder in the air.

While Baucis was getting the supper, the travellers both began to talk
with Philemon.

“Pray, my friend,” asked the old man of the younger stranger, “what may
I call your name?”

“Why, I am very nimble, as you see,” answered the traveller. “So, if you
call me Quicksilver, the name will fit me well.”

“Quicksilver? Quicksilver?” repeated Philemon. “It is a very odd name!
And your companion there! Has he as strange a one?”

“You must ask the thunder to tell it you,” replied Quicksilver. “No
other voice is loud enough.”

Baucis had now got supper ready and, coming to the door, began to make
apologies for the poor fare which she was forced to set before her
guests.

“All will be very well; do not trouble yourself, my good dame,” replied
the elder stranger, kindly. “An honest, hearty welcome to a guest turns
the coarsest food to nectar and ambrosia.”

The supper was exceedingly small, and the travellers drank all the milk
in their bowls at one draught.

[Illustration]

“A little more milk, kind Mother Baucis, if you please,” said
Quicksilver. “The day has been hot, and I am very much athirst.”

“Now, my dear people,” said Baucis, in great confusion, “I am sorry and
ashamed; but the truth is, there is hardly a drop more milk in the
pitcher.”

“It appears to me,” cried Quicksilver, taking the pitcher by the handle,
“that matters are not quite so bad as you represent them. Here is
certainly more milk in the pitcher.” And to the vast astonishment of
Baucis, he proceeded to fill not only his own bowl, but his companion’s
likewise. The good woman could scarcely believe her eyes.

“But I am old,” thought Baucis to herself, “and apt to be forgetful. I
suppose I must have made a mistake. At all events, the pitcher is empty
now.”

“What excellent milk!” observed Quicksilver, after quaffing the entire
contents of the second bowl. “Excuse me, my kind hostess, but I must
really ask you for a little more.”

Baucis turned the pitcher upside down to show that there was not a drop
left. What was her surprise, therefore, when such a stream of milk fell
bubbling into the bowl that it was filled to the brim, and overflowed
upon the table.

“And now a slice of your brown loaf, Mother Baucis,” said Quicksilver,
“and a little honey!”

Baucis cut him a slice accordingly; and though the loaf, when she and
her husband ate of it, had been rather dry and crusty, it was now as
light and moist as if but a few hours out of the oven. But, oh, the
honey! Its color was that of the purest gold, and it had the odor of a
thousand flowers. Never was such honey tasted, seen, or smelled.

Baucis could not but think that there was something out of the common in
all that had been going on. So, after helping the guests, she sat down
by Philemon, and told him what she had seen.

“Did you ever hear the like?” she whispered.

“No, I never did,” answered Philemon, with a smile. “And I rather think,
my dear wife, that there happened to be a little more in the pitcher
than you thought--that is all.”

“Another cup of this delicious milk,” said Quicksilver, “and I shall
then have supped better than a prince.”

This time old Philemon took up the pitcher himself; for he was curious
to discover whether there was any reality in what Baucis had whispered
to him. On taking up the pitcher, therefore, he slyly peeped into it,
and was fully satisfied that it contained not so much as a single drop.
All at once, however, he beheld a little white fountain which gushed up
from the bottom of the pitcher, and speedily filled it to the brim. It
was lucky that Philemon, in his surprise, did not drop the miraculous
pitcher from his hand. He quickly set it down and cried out, “Who are
ye, wonder-working strangers?”

“Your guests, Philemon, and your friends!” replied the elder traveller,
in his mild, deep voice. “We are your guests and friends, and may your
pitcher never be empty for kind Baucis and yourself, nor for the needy
wayfarers!”

The supper being now over, the strangers requested to be shown to their
place of repose. When left alone the good old couple spent some time in
conversation about the events of the evening, and then lay down to
sleep.

The old man and his wife were stirring betimes the next morning, and the
strangers likewise arose with the sun, and made their preparations to
depart. They asked Philemon and Baucis to walk forth with them a short
distance and show them the road.

“Ah me!” exclaimed Philemon, when they had walked a little way from
their door. “If our neighbors knew what a blessed thing it is to show
hospitality to strangers, they would tie up their dogs, and never allow
their children to fling another stone.”

“It is a sin and a shame for them to behave so!” cried good old Baucis.

“My dear friends,” cried Quicksilver, with the liveliest look of
mischief in his eyes, “where is this village that you talk about? On
which side of us does it lie?”

Philemon and his wife turned towards the valley, where at sunset, only
the day before, they had seen the meadows, the houses, the gardens, the
street, the children playing in it. But what was their astonishment!
There was no longer any appearance of a village! Even the fertile valley
in the hollow of which it lay had ceased to have existence. In its stead
they beheld the broad blue surface of a lake which filled the great
basin of the valley from brim to brim.

“Alas!” cried these kind-hearted old people, “what has become of our
poor neighbors?”

“They exist no longer as men and women,” said the elder traveller, in
his grand and deep voice, while a roll of thunder seemed to echo it in
the distance. “There was neither use nor beauty in such a life as
theirs; therefore the lake that was of old has spread itself forth again
to reflect the sky.

“As for you, good Philemon,” continued the elder traveller,--“and you,
kind Baucis,--you, with your scanty means, have done well, my dear old
friends. Request whatever favor you have most at heart, and it is
granted.” Philemon and Baucis looked at one another, and then one
uttered the desire of both their hearts.

“Let us live together while we live, and leave the world at the same
instant when we die!”

“Be it so!” replied the stranger, with majestic kindness. “Now look
towards your cottage.”

They did so. What was their surprise on beholding a tall edifice of
white marble on the spot where their humble residence had stood.

“There is your home,” said the stranger, smiling on them both. “Show
your kindness in yonder palace as freely as in the poor hovel to which
you welcomed us last evening.”

The astonished old people fell on their knees to thank him; but, behold!
neither he nor Quicksilver was there.

So Philemon and Baucis took up their residence in the marble palace, and
spent their time in making everybody happy and comfortable who happened
to pass that way. They lived in their palace a very great while, and
grew older and older, and very old indeed. At length, however, there
came a summer morning when Philemon and Baucis failed to make their
appearance, as on other mornings. The guests searched everywhere, but
all to no purpose. At last they espied in front of the door, two
venerable trees, which no one had ever seen there before. One was an oak
and the other a linden tree.

While the guests were marvelling how these trees could have come to be
so tall in a single night, a breeze sprang up and set their boughs
astir. Then there was a deep murmur in the air, as if the two trees were
speaking.

“I am Philemon!” murmured the oak.

“I am Baucis!” murmured the linden tree.

And oh, what a hospitable shade did they fling around them! Whenever a
wayfarer paused beneath it, he heard a whisper of the leaves above his
head, and wondered how the sound could so much resemble words like
these,--

“Welcome, welcome, dear traveller, welcome!”

   --NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.



        THE UNNAMED LAKE


    It sleeps among the thousand hills
      Where no man ever trod,
    And only Nature’s music fills
      The silences of God.

    Great mountains tower above its shore,
      Green rushes fringe its brim,
    And o’er its breast forevermore
      The wanton breezes skim.

    Dark clouds that intercept the sun
      Go there in spring to weep,
    And there, when autumn days are done,
      White mists lie down to sleep.

    Sunrise and sunset crown with gold
      The peaks of ageless stone,
    Where winds have thundered from of old
      And storms have set their throne.

    No echoes of the world afar
      Disturb it night or day,
    But sun and shadow, moon and star,
      Pass and repass for aye.

    ’Twas in the gray of early dawn,
      When first the lake we spied,
    And fragments of a cloud were drawn
      Half down the mountain side.

    Along the shore a heron flew,
      And from a speck on high,
    That hovered in the deepening blue,
      We heard the fish-hawk’s cry.

    Among the cloud-capt solitudes,
      No sound the silence broke,
    Save when, in whispers down the woods,
      The guardian mountains spoke.

    Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
      Returning whence we came,
    We passed in silence, and the lake
      We left without a name.
         --FREDERICK GEORGE SCOTT.



        THE HUNTER OF THE PRAIRIES


    Ay, this is freedom! these pure skies
      Were never stained with village smoke:
    The fragrant wind, that through them flies,
      Is breathed from wastes by plough unbroke.
    Here, with my rifle and my steed,
      And her who left the world for me,
    I plant me, where the red deer feed
      In the green desert--and am free.

    For here the fair savannas know
      No barriers in the bloomy grass;
    Wherever breeze of heaven may blow,
      Or beam of heaven may glance, I pass.
    In pastures, measureless as air,
      The bison is my noble game;
    The bounding elk, whose antlers tear
      The branches, falls before my aim.

    Mine are the river-fowl that scream
      From the long strip of waving sedge;
    The bear that marks my weapon’s gleam.
      Hides vainly in the forest’s edge;
    In vain the she-wolf stands at bay;
      The brinded catamount, that lies
    High in the boughs to watch his prey,
      Even in the act of springing, dies.

    With what free growth the elm and plane
      Fling their huge arms across my way,
    Gray, old, and cumbered with a train
      Of vines, as huge, and old, and gray!
    Free stray the lucid streams, and find
      No taint in these fresh lawns and shades;
    Free spring the flowers that scent the wind
      Where never scythe has swept the glades.

    Alone the Fire, when frost-winds sere
      The heavy herbage of the ground,
    Gathers his annual harvest here,
      With roaring like the battle’s sound,
    And hurrying flames that sweep the plain,
      And smoke-streams gushing up the sky:
    I meet the flames with flames again,
      And at my door they cower and die.

    Here, from dim woods, the aged past
      Speaks solemnly; and I behold
    The boundless future in the vast
      And lonely river, seawards rolled.
    Who feeds its founts with rain and dew?
      Who moves, I ask, its gliding mass,
    And trains the bordering vines, whose blue
      Bright clusters tempt me as I pass?

    Broad are these streams--my steed obeys,
      Plunges, and bears me through the tide.
    Wide are these woods--I thread the maze
      Of giant stems, nor ask a guide.
    I hunt till day’s last glimmer dies
      O’er woody vale and grassy height;
    And kind the voice and glad the eyes
      That welcome my return at night.
         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.



        MOSES GOES TO THE FAIR


As we were now to hold up our heads a little higher in the world, my
wife suggested that it would be proper to sell the colt, which was grown
old, at a neighboring fair, and buy us a horse that would carry single
or double upon an occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church or
upon a visit. This at first I opposed stoutly; but it was as stoutly
defended. However, as I weakened, my antagonist gained strength, till at
last we agreed to part with him.

[Illustration: OLIVER GOLDSMITH]

As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going
myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing
could prevail upon her to permit me from home. “No, my dear,” said she,
“our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell to very good
advantage. You know all our great bargains are of his purchasing. He
always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them till he gets a
bargain.”

As I had some opinion of my son’s prudence, I was willing enough to
intrust him with this commission; and the next morning I perceived his
sisters very busy in fitting out Moses for the fair,--trimming his hair,
brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins. The business of the
toilet being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing him mounted
upon the colt, with a deal box before him to bring home groceries in.

He had on a coat made of that cloth they call thunder and lightning,
which, though grown too short, was much too good to be thrown away. His
waistcoat was of gosling-green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a
broad black ribbon. We all followed him several paces from the door,
bawling after him, “Good luck! good luck!” till we could see him no
longer.

When it was almost nightfall, I began to wonder what could keep our son
so long at the fair. “Never mind our son,” cried my wife; “depend upon
it, he knows what he is about. I’ll warrant we’ll never see him sell his
hen on a rainy day. I have seen him buy such bargains as would amaze
one. I’ll tell you a good story about that, that will make you split
your sides with laughing-- But, as I live, yonder comes Moses without a
horse, and the box at his back.”

As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and sweating under the deal
box, which he had strapped round his shoulders like a pedler.

“Welcome, welcome, Moses! Well, my boy, what have you brought us from
the fair?”

“I have brought you myself,” said Moses, with a sly look, and resting
the box on the dresser.

“Ay, Moses,” cried my wife, “that we know; but where is the horse?”

“I have sold him,” replied Moses, “for three pounds five shillings and
twopence.”

“Well done, my good boy,” returned she; “I knew you would touch them
off. Between ourselves, three pounds five shillings and twopence is no
bad day’s work. Come, let us have it then.”

“I have brought back no money,” cried Moses, again; “I have laid it all
out in a bargain,--and here it is,” pulling out a bundle from his
breast; “here they are,--a gross of green spectacles, with silver rims
and shagreen cases.”

“A gross of green spectacles!” repeated my wife, in a faint voice. “And
you have parted with the colt, and brought us back nothing but a gross
of green paltry spectacles!”

“Dear mother,” cried the boy, “why won’t you listen to reason? I had
them a dead bargain, or I should not have bought them. The silver rims
alone will sell for double the money.”

“A fig for the silver rims!” cried my wife, in a passion; “I dare swear
they won’t sell for above half the money at the rate of broken silver,
five shillings an ounce.”

“You need be under no uneasiness,” said I, “about selling the rims, for
they are not worth sixpence; for I perceive they are only copper
varnished over.”

[Illustration]

“What!” cried my wife; “not silver! the rims not silver!”

“No,” cried I; “no more silver than your saucepan.”

“And so,” returned she, “we have parted with the colt, and have got only
a gross of green spectacles, with copper rims and shagreen cases? A
murrain take such trumpery! The blockhead has been imposed upon, and
should have known his company better.”

“There, my dear,” cried I, “you are wrong; he should not have known them
at all.”

“To bring me such stuff!” returned she; “if I had them, I would throw
them into the fire.”

“There again you are wrong, my dear,” said I; “for though they are
copper, we shall keep them by us, as copper spectacles, you know, are
better than nothing.”

By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived. He now saw that he
had been imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his figure,
had marked him for an easy prey. I therefore asked the circumstances of
his deception. He sold the horse, it seems, and walked the fair in
search of another. A reverend-looking man brought him to a tent, under
pretence of having one to sell.

“Here,” continued Moses, “we met another man, very well dressed, who
desired to borrow twenty pounds upon these, saying that he wanted money,
and would dispose of them for a third of the value. The first gentleman
whispered me to buy them, and cautioned me not to let so good an offer
pass. I sent to Mr. Flamborough, and they talked him up as finely as
they did me; and so at last we were persuaded to buy the two gross
between us.”

Our family had now made several vain attempts to be fine. “You see, my
children,” said I, “how little is to be got by attempts to impose upon
the world. Those that are poor and will associate with none but the rich
are hated by those they avoid, and despised by those they
follow.”--OLIVER GOLDSMITH.



        COLUMBUS


    Behind him lay the gray Azores,
      Behind, the Gates of Hercules,
    Before him not the ghost of shores,
      Before him only shoreless seas.
    The good mate said, “Now must we pray,
      For lo! the very stars are gone;
    Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
      “Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”

    “My men grow mutinous day by day,
      My men grow ghastly wan, and weak.”
    The stout mate thought of home; a spray
      Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
    “What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
      If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
    “Why, you may say, at break of day,
      ‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’”

    They sailed and sailed as winds might blow,
      Until at last the blanched mate said:
    “Why, now not even God would know
      Should I and all my men fall dead.
    These very winds forget their way,
      For God from these dread seas is gone.
    Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say--”
      He said, “Sail on! sail on! and on!”

[Illustration: CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS]

    They sailed. They sailed. Then spoke the mate:
      “This mad sea shows his teeth to-night;
    He curls his lips, he lies in wait
      With lifted teeth as if to bite;
    Brave Admiral, say but one good word,
      What shall we do when hope is gone?”
    The words leaped like a leaping sword,
      “Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”

    Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,
      And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
    Of all dark nights! and then a speck,
      “A light! A light! A light! A light!”
    It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
      It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
    He gained a world; he gave that world
      Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”
         --JOAQUIN MILLER.



        OPPORTUNITY


    This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:--
    There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
    And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
    A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
    Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
    Wavered, then staggered backwards, hemmed by foes.
    A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
    And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel--
    That blue blade that the king’s son bears,--but this
    Blunt thing--!” he snapt and flung it from his hand,
    And lowering crept away and left the field.
    Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,
    And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
    Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
    And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
    Lifted afresh, he hewed his enemy down,
    And saved a great cause that heroic day.
         --EDWARD ROWLAND SILL.



        TO-DAY


[Illustration: THOMAS CARLYLE]

    So here hath been dawning
      Another blue day;
    Think wilt thou let it
      Slip useless away?

    Out of eternity
      This new day is born,
    Into eternity,
      At night, will return.

    Behold it aforetime
      No eye ever did;
    So soon it forever
      From all eyes is hid!

    Here hath been dawning
      Another blue day;
    Think, wilt thou let it
      Slip useless away?
         --THOMAS CARLYLE.



        AN ERUPTION OF VESUVIUS


Many years ago there stood a town in Italy, at the foot of Mount
Vesuvius, which was to Rome what Brighton or Hastings is to London--a
very fashionable watering-place, at which Roman gentlemen and members of
the senate built villas, to which they were in the habit of retiring
from the fatigues of business or the broils of politics. The outsides of
all the houses were adorned with frescoes, and every shop glittered with
all the colors of the rainbow. At the end of each street there was a
charming fountain, and any one who sat down beside it to cool himself
had a delightful view of the Mediterranean, then as beautiful, as blue,
and as sunny as it is now. On a fine day, crowds might be seen lounging
here; some sauntering up and down in gala dresses of purple, while
slaves passed to and fro, bearing on their heads splendid vases; others
sat on marble benches, shaded from the sun by awnings, and having before
them tables covered with wine, and fruit, and flowers. Every house in
that town was a little palace, and every palace was like a temple, or
one of our great public buildings.

On entering one of these mansions, the visitor passed through a
vestibule decorated with rows of pillars, and then found himself in the
room in which the household gods kept guard over the owner’s treasure,
which was placed in a safe, or strong box, secured with brass or iron
bands. Issuing thence, the visitor found himself in an apartment paved
with mosaic, and decorated with paintings, in which were kept the family
papers and archives. It contained a dining room and a supper room, and a
number of sleeping rooms; a cabinet, filled with rare jewels and
antiquities, and sometimes a fine collection of paintings; and, last of
all, a pillared peristyle, opening out upon the garden, in which the
finest fruit hung temptingly in the rich light of a golden sky, and
fountains, which flung their waters aloft in every imaginable form and
device, cooled the air and discoursed sweet music to the ear. On the
gate there was always the image of a dog, and underneath it the
inscription, “Beware the dog.”

The pillars in the peristyle were encircled with garlands of flowers,
which were renewed every morning. The tables of citron-wood were inlaid
with silver; the couches were of bronze, gilt and jewelled, and were
furnished with thick cushions and tapestry, embroidered with marvellous
skill. When the master gave a dinner party, the guests reclined upon
these cushions, washed their hands in silver basins, and dried them with
napkins fringed with purple. They ate oysters brought from the shores of
Britain, kids which were carved to the sound of music, and fruits served
up on ice in the hottest days of summer; and while the cup-bearers
filled their golden cups with the rarest and most delicate wines, other
attendants crowned them with flowers wet with dew, and dancers executed
for their pleasure the most graceful movements.

One day, when such festivities as these were in full activity, Vesuvius
sent up a tall and very black column of smoke, something like a
pine-tree; and suddenly, in broad noonday, darkness black as pitch came
over the scene! There was a frightful din of cries and groans, mingled
confusedly together. The brother lost his sister, the husband his wife,
the mother her child; for the darkness became so dense that nothing
could be seen but the flashes which every now and then darted forth from
the summit of the neighboring mountain. The earth trembled, the houses
shook and began to fall, and the sea rolled back from the land as if
terrified; the air became thick with dust; and then, amidst tremendous
and awful noise, a shower of ashes and stones fell upon the town and
blotted it out forever!

The inhabitants died just as the catastrophe found them--guests in their
banqueting halls, soldiers at their posts, prisoners in their dungeons,
thieves in their theft, maidens at the mirror, slaves at the fountain,
traders in their shops, students at their books. Some attempted flight,
guided by blind people, who had walked so long in darkness that no
thicker shadows could ever come upon them; but of these many were struck
down on the way. When, a few days afterwards, people came from the
surrounding country to the place, they found naught but a black, level,
smoking plain, sloping to the sea, and covered thickly with ashes!
Down, down beneath, thousands and thousands were sleeping “the sleep
that knows no waking,” with all their little pomps, and vanities, and
pleasures, and luxuries buried with them.

This took place on the 23d of August, A.D. 79; and the name of the town,
thus suddenly overwhelmed with ruin, was Pompeii. Sixteen hundred and
seventeen years afterwards, curious persons began to dig and excavate on
the spot, and lo! they found the city pretty much as it was when
overwhelmed. The houses were standing, the paintings were fresh, and the
skeletons stood in the very positions and the very places in which death
had overtaken their owners so long ago! The researches are still going
on, new wonders are every day coming to light, and we soon shall have
almost as perfect an idea of a Roman town, in the first century of the
Christian era, as if we had walked the streets and gossiped with the
idle loungers at the fountains. Pompeii is the ghost of an extinct
civilization rising up before us.

   --ANONYMOUS.



        THE SERMON OF ST. FRANCIS


    Up soared the lark into the air,
    A shaft of song, a wingèd prayer,
    As if a soul, released from pain,
    Were flying back to heaven again.

    St. Francis heard; it was to him
    An emblem of the Seraphim;
    The upward motion of the fire,
    The light, the heat, the heart’s desire.

    Around Assisi’s convent gate
    The birds, God’s poor who cannot wait,
    From moor and mere and darksome wood
    Came flocking for their dole of food.

    “O brother birds,” St. Francis said,
    “Ye come to me and ask for bread,
    But not with bread alone to-day
    Shall ye be fed and sent away.

    “Ye shall be fed, ye happy birds,
    With manna of celestial words;
    Not mine, though mine they seem to be,
    Not mine, though they be spoken through me.

    “O, doubly are ye bound to praise
    The great Creator in your lays;
    He giveth you your plumes of down,
    Your crimson hoods, your cloaks of brown.

    “He giveth you your wings to fly
    And breathe a purer air on high,
    And careth for you everywhere,
    Who for yourselves so little care!”

    With flutter of swift wings and songs
    Together rose the feathered throngs,
    And singing scattered far apart;
    Deep peace was in St. Francis’ heart.

    He knew not if the brotherhood
    His homily had understood:
    He only knew that to one ear
    The meaning of his words was clear.
         --HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.



        THE GREENWOOD TREE


        Under the greenwood tree
        Who loves to lie with me,
        And turn his merry note
        Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
    Come hither, come hither, come hither;
        Here shall he see
        No enemy,
    But winter and rough weather.

        Who doth ambition shun,
        And loves to lie in the sun,
        Seeking the food he eats,
        And pleased with what he gets,
    Come hither, come hither, come hither;
        Here shall he see
        No enemy,
    But winter and rough weather.
         --WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.



        INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP


[Illustration: ROBERT BROWNING]

    You know, we French stormed Ratisbon:
      A mile or so away,
    On a little mound, Napoleon
      Stood on our storming-day;
    With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,
      Legs wide, arms locked behind,
    As if to balance the prone brow
      Oppressive with its mind.

    Just as perhaps he mused, “My plans
      That soar, to earth may fall,
    Let once my army-leader Lannes
      Waver at yonder wall,”
    Out ’twixt the battery-smokes there flew
      A rider, bound on bound
    Full-galloping; nor bridle drew
      Until he reached the mound.

    Then off there flung in smiling joy,
      And held himself erect
    By just his horse’s mane, a boy;
      You hardly could suspect--
    (So tight he kept his lips compressed,
      Scarce any blood came through)--
    You looked twice ere you saw his breast
      Was all but shot in two.

    “Well,” cried he, “Emperor, by God’s grace
      We’ve got you Ratisbon!
    The Marshal’s in the market-place,
      And you’ll be there anon
    To see your flag-bird flap his vans
      Where I, to heart’s desire,
    Perched him!” The chief’s eye flashed; his plans
      Soared up again like fire.

    The chief’s eye flashed; but presently
      Softened itself, as sheathes
    A film the mother-eagle’s eye
      When her bruised eaglet breathes;
    “You’re wounded!” “Nay,” the soldier’s pride
      Touched to the quick, he said:
    “I’m killed, Sire!” And his chief beside,
      Smiling, the boy fell dead.
         --ROBERT BROWNING.



        ROBINSON CRUSOE


When I waked, it was broad day. The weather was clear, and the storm had
abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before; but what
surprised me most was, that by the swelling of the tide the ship was
lifted off in the night from the sand where she lay, and was driven up
almost as far as the rock where I had been so bruised by the waves
dashing me against it. I saw that I could easily swim to the vessel,
and accordingly I pulled off my clothes and took to the water. But when
I reached the ship, my difficulty was still greater to know how to get
on board; for, as she lay aground, and high out of the water, there was
nothing within my reach by which to climb on board. I swam round her
twice, and the second time I spied a small piece of rope, by the help of
which I got into the forecastle of the ship.

[Illustration: DANIEL DEFOE]

When I had climbed on board, I found that the ship was bulged, and that
she had a great deal of water in her hold, but that she lay on the side
of a bank of hard earth, in such a way that her stern was lifted up on
the bank, while her bow was low, almost to the water. By this means all
her quarter was free, and all that was in that part was dry; for you may
be sure my first work was to find out what was spoiled and what was not.
And, first, I found that all the ship’s provisions were dry and
untouched by the water; and, being very well disposed to eat, I went to
the bread-room, and filling my pockets with biscuits, ate them.

I now needed nothing but a boat, to furnish myself with many things
which I foresaw would be very necessary to me. It was in vain, however,
to sit still and wish for what was not to be had, and this extremity
roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or three
large spars of wood, and a spare topmast or two in the ship. I resolved
to fall to work with these, and so flung as many of them overboard as I
could manage, tying each one with a rope, that they might not float
away. When I had done this, I went down the ship’s side, and, pulling
them to me, tied four of them together at both ends, as well as I could,
in the form of a raft. By laying two or three short pieces of plank upon
them, crossways, I found I could walk upon them very well, but that they
were not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light. So I
went to work, and with a carpenter’s saw cut a spare topmast into three
lengths, and added these to my raft, with a great deal of labor and
pains. But the hope of furnishing myself with necessaries encouraged me
to go beyond what I should have been able to do upon another occasion.

My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight. My next
care was what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it
from the surf of the sea. However, I was not long considering this. I
first laid all the plank, or boards, upon it that I could get, and,
having considered well what I most needed, I first got three of the
seamen’s chests, which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them
down upon my raft. The first of these I filled with provisions; namely,
bread, rice, three cheeses, five pieces of dried goat’s flesh and a
little remainder of grain which had been laid by for some fowls which we
brought to sea with us, but which had been killed. There had been some
barley and wheat together; but, to my great disappointment, I found
afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all.

While I was doing this, I found that the tide had begun to flow, though
it was very calm, and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and
waistcoat, which I had left on the shore, upon the sands, swim away. As
for my trousers, which were only linen, and open-kneed, I had swam on
board in them and my stockings. However, this set me on rummaging for
clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I needed for
present use, for I had other things which my eye was more upon; as,
first, tools to work with on shore. And it was after long searching that
I found out the carpenter’s chest, which was, indeed, a very useful
prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-load of gold would have
been at that time. I got it down to my raft, whole as it was, without
losing time to look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.

My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good
fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured
first, with some powder-horns and a small bag of shot, and two old rusty
swords. I knew there were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew
not where our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them.
Two of them were dry and good, the third had taken water. These two I
got to my raft, with the arms. And now, I thought myself pretty

[Illustration: CRUSOE ON THE RAFT]

well freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them,
having neither sail, oar, nor rudder; and the least capful of wind would
have overset all my navigation.

I had three encouragements: first, a smooth, calm sea; secondly, the
fact that the tide was rising and setting in to the shore; thirdly, what
little wind there was blew me towards the land. And thus, having found
two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and, besides the tools
which were in the chest, two saws, an axe, and a hammer, with this cargo
I put to sea. For a mile or thereabouts my raft went very well, only
that I found it drive a little distant from the place where I had landed
before. By this I perceived that there was some indraft of the water,
and consequently hoped to find some creek or river there, which I might
use as a port to get to land with my cargo.

At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to
which, with great pain and difficulty, I guided my raft, and at last got
so near, that, reaching ground with my oar, I could thrust her directly
in. But here I almost dropped all my cargo into the sea again; for the
shore lay pretty steep and sloping, and, wherever I might land, one end
of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie so high, and the other be
sunk so low, that it would endanger my cargo again. All that I could do
was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my
oar like an anchor, to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a
flat piece of ground, which I expected the water would flow over. And
so it did. As soon as I found water enough, for my raft drew about a
foot of water, I thrust her up on that flat piece of ground, and there
moored her by sticking my two broken oars into the ground--one on one
side, near one end, and one on the other side, near the other end. Thus
I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo safe
on shore.

I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many things out of
the ship, which would be useful to me, and particularly some of the
rigging and sails, and such other things as might come to land; and I
resolved to make another voyage on board the vessel, if possible. I got
on board the ship as before and prepared a second raft; and, having had
experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it
so hard. Still, I brought away many things very useful to me; as, first,
in the carpenter’s stores, I found two or three bags full of nails and
spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all,
that most useful thing, a grindstone. All these I secured, together with
several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three iron
crowbars, and two barrels of musket bullets, seven muskets, and another
fowling-piece, with a small quantity of powder, a large bagful of small
shot, and a great roll of sheet-lead; but this last was so heavy I could
not hoist it up to get it over the ship’s side. Besides these things, I
took all the men’s clothes that I could find, and a spare foretop-sail,
a hammock, and some bedding; and with these I loaded my second raft,
and brought them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.

On the thirteenth day I was preparing for my twelfth trip, when I found
the sky overcast. The wind began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it
blew a gale from the shore. It blew very hard all that night, and in the
morning, when I looked out, behold, no ship was to be seen! I was a
little surprised, but recovered myself with this satisfactory
reflection, that I had lost no time, nor omitted any diligence, to get
everything out of her that could be useful to me; and, indeed, there was
little left in her that I was able to bring away, even if I had had more
time.--DANIEL DEFOE.



        THE WONDERFUL ONE-HOSS SHAY


[Illustration: O. W. HOLMES]

    Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay
    That was built in such a logical way?
    It ran a hundred years to a day,
    And then of a sudden it--ah, but stay,
    I’ll tell you what happened without delay,
    Scaring the parson into fits,
    Frightening people out of their wits--
    Have you ever heard of that, I say?
    Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.
    Georgius Secundus was then alive--
    Snuffy old drone from the German hive.
    That was the year when Lisbon town
    Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
    And Braddock’s army was done so brown,
    Left without a scalp to its crown.
    It was on the terrible Earthquake-day
    That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.
    Now, in building of chaises, I’ll tell you what,
    There is always somewhere a weakest spot--
    In hub, tire, felloe, in spring, or thill,
    In panel, or crossbar, or floor, or sill,
    In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace--lurking still,
    Find it somewhere you must and will--
    Above or below, or within or without--
    And that’s the reason, beyond a doubt,
    A chaise breaks down but doesn’t wear out.

    So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
    Where he could find the strongest oak,
    That couldn’t be split nor bent nor broke:
    That was for spokes and floor and sills;
    He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
    The crossbars were ash from the straightest trees;
    The panels of white-wood that cuts like cheese
    But lasts like iron for things like these;
    The hubs of logs from the “Settler’s ellum,”
    Last of its timber--they couldn’t sell ’em;
    Never an axe had seen their chips,
    And the wedges flew from between their lips,
    Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;
    Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
    Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin, too,
    Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
    Thoroughbrace bison-skin thick and wide;
    Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
    Found in the pit when the tanner died.
    That was the way he “put her through.”--
    “There!” said the Deacon, “naow she’ll dew.”
    Do! I tell you, I rather guess
    She was a wonder, and nothing less!
    Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
    Deacon and Deaconess dropped away,
    Children and grandchildren--where were they?
    But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
    As fresh as on Lisbon Earthquake-day!

    Eighteen hundred: it came and found
    The Deacon’s masterpiece strong and sound.
    Eighteen hundred increased by ten--
    “Hahnsum kerridge” they called it then.
    Eighteen hundred and twenty came--
    Running as usual; much the same.
    Thirty and forty at last arrive,
    And then come fifty and fifty-five.
    Little of all we value here
    Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
    Without both feeling and looking queer.
    In fact, there’s nothing that keeps its youth,
    So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
    (This is a moral that runs at large;
    Take it.--You’re welcome.--No extra charge.)

    First of November--the Earthquake-day:
    There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay;
    A general flavor of mild decay,
    But nothing local, as one may say.
    There couldn’t be, for the Deacon’s art
    Had made it so like in every part
    That there wasn’t a chance for one to start.
    For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,
    And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
    And the panels just as strong as the floor,
    And the whippletree neither less nor more,
    And the back-crossbar as strong as the fore,
    And spring and axle and hub encore.
    And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
    In another hour it will be worn out!

    First of November, ’Fifty-five!
    This morning the parson takes a drive.
    Now, small boys, get out of the way!
    Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
    Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
    “Huddup!” said the parson.--Off went they.
    The parson was working his Sunday text--
    Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
    At what the--Moses--was coming next.
    All at once the horse stood still
    Close by the meet’n’-house on the hill.
   --First a shiver, and then a thrill,
    Then something decidedly like a spill,
    And the parson was sitting upon a rock
    At half-past nine by the meet’n’-house clock--
    Just the hour of the Earthquake-shock!
   --What do you think the parson found,
    When he got up and stared around?
    The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
    As if it had been to the mill and ground!
    You see, of course, if you’re not a dunce,
    How it went to pieces all at once--
    All at once, and nothing first--
    Just as bubbles do when they burst.

    End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
    Logic is logic. That’s all I say.
         --OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Have more than thou showest,
    Speak less than thou knowest,
    Lend less than thou owest.
         --Shakespeare.



        WILLIAM TELL AND HIS SON


The sun already shone brightly as William Tell entered the town of
Altorf, and he advanced at once to the public place, where the first
object that caught his eyes was a handsome cap embroidered with gold
stuck upon the end of a long pole. Soldiers were walking around it in
silence, and the people of Altorf as they passed bowed their heads to
the symbol of authority. The cap had been set up by Gessler, the
Austrian commander, for the purpose of discovering those who were not
submissive to the Austrian power, which had ruled the people of the
Swiss Cantons for a long time with great severity. He suspected that the
people were about to break into rebellion, and with a view to learn who
were the most discontented, he had placed the ducal cap of Austria on
this pole, publicly proclaiming that every one passing near, or within
sight of it, should bow before it in proof of his homage to the duke.

Tell was much surprised at this new and strange attempt to humble the
people, and leaning on his crossbow, gazed scornfully on them and the
soldiers. The captain of the guard at length observed this man, who
alone amidst the cringing crowd carried his head erect. He ordered him
to be seized and disarmed by the soldiers and then conducted him to
Gessler, who put some questions to him. These he answered so haughtily
that Gessler was both surprised and angry. Suddenly he was struck by the
likeness between him and the boy Walter Tell, whom he had seized and
put in prison the previous day for uttering some seditious words. He
immediately asked his name, which he no sooner heard than he knew him to
be the archer so famous as the best marksman in the Canton.

Gessler at once resolved to punish both father and son at the same time,
by a method which was perhaps the most refined act of torture that man
ever imagined. As soon, then, as the youth was brought out, the governor
turned to Tell and said: “I have often heard of your great skill as an
archer and I now intend to put it to the proof. Your son shall be placed
at a distance of a hundred yards with an apple on his head. If you
strike the apple with your arrow, I shall pardon you both, but if you
refuse this trial, your son shall die before your eyes.”

Tell implored Gessler to spare him so cruel a trial, in which he might
perhaps kill his beloved boy with his own hand. The governor would not
alter his purpose, so Tell at last agreed to shoot at the apple as the
only chance of saving his son’s life. Walter stood with his back to a
linden tree. Gessler, some distance behind, watched every motion. His
crossbow and one arrow were handed to Tell; he tried the point, broke
the weapon, and demanded his quiver. It was brought to him, and emptied
at his feet. He stooped down and, taking a long time to choose an arrow,
managed to hide a second in his girdle.

After being in doubt for some time, his whole soul beaming in his face,
his love for his son rendering him almost powerless, he at length roused
himself--drew the bow--aimed--shot--and the apple, struck to the core,
was carried away by the arrow.

The market-place was filled with loud cheers. Walter flew to embrace his
father, who, overcome by his emotions, fell fainting to the ground, thus
exposing the second arrow to view. Gessler stood over him awaiting his
recovery, which speedily taking place, Tell rose and turned away with
horror from the governor, who, however, scarcely yet believing his
senses, thus addressed him: “Incomparable archer, I shall keep my
promise; but what needed you with that second arrow which I see in your
girdle?” Tell replied that it was the custom of the bowmen of Uri to
have always one arrow in reserve. “Nay, nay,” said Gessler, “tell me
your real motive, and, whatever it may have been, speak frankly, and
your life is spared.” “The second shaft,” replied Tell, “was to pierce
your heart, tyrant, if I had chanced to harm my son.”

   --CHAMBERS’ _Tracts_.



        SAINT CHRISTOPHER


    For many a year Saint Christopher
      Served God in many a land;
    And master painters drew his face,
      With loving heart and hand,
    On altar fronts and churches’ walls;
      And peasants used to say,--
    To look on good Saint Christopher
      Brought luck for all the day.

    For many a year, in lowly hut,
      The giant dwelt content
    Upon the bank, and back and forth
      Across the stream he went;
    And on his giant shoulders bore
      All travellers who came,
    By night, by day, or rich or poor,
      All in King Jesus’ name.

    But much he doubted if the King
      His work would note or know,
    And often with a weary heart
      He waded to and fro.
    One night, as wrapped in sleep he lay,
      He sudden heard a call,--
    “O Christopher, come, carry me!”
      He sprang, looked out, but all

    Was dark and silent on the shore.
      “It must be that I dreamed,”
    He said, and laid him down again;
      But instantly there seemed
    Again the feeble, distant cry,--
      “Oh, come and carry me!”
    Again he sprang and looked; again
      No living thing could see.

    The third time came the plaintive voice,
      Like infant’s, soft and weak;

[Illustration: SAINT CHRISTOPHER

Titian]

    With lantern strode the giant forth,
      More carefully to seek.
    Down on the bank a little child
      He found,--a piteous sight,--
    Who, weeping, earnestly implored
      To cross that very night.

    With gruff good-will he picked him up,
      And on his neck to ride
    He tossed him, as men play with babes,
      And plunged into the tide.
    But as the water closed around
      His knees, the infant’s weight
    Grew heavier and heavier,
      Until it was so great

    The giant scarce could stand upright,
      His staff shook in his hand,
    His mighty knees bent under him,
      He barely reached the land.
    And, staggering, set the infant down,
      And turned to scan his face;
    When, lo! he saw a halo bright
      Which lit up all the place.

    Then Christopher fell down, afraid
      At marvel of the thing,
    And dreamed not that it was the face
      Of Jesus Christ, his King,
    Until the infant spoke, and said:
      “O Christopher, behold!
    I am the Lord whom thou hast served.
      Rise up, be glad and bold!

    “For I have seen, and noted well,
      Thy works of charity;
    And that thou art my servant good
      A token thou shalt see.
    Plant firmly here upon this bank
      Thy stalwart staff of pine,
    And it shall blossom and bear fruit,
      This very hour, in sign.”

    Then, vanishing, the infant smiled.
      The giant, left alone,
    Saw on the bank, with luscious dates,
      His stout pine staff bent down.

    I think the lesson is as good
      To-day as it was then--
    As good to us called Christians
      As to the heathen men,--
    The lesson of Saint Christopher,
      Who spent his strength for others,
    And saved his soul by working hard
      To help and save his brothers!
         --HELEN HUNT JACKSON.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Who sows his corn in the fields trusts in God.



        GENERAL BROCK


    One voice, one people,--one in heart
      And soul, and feeling, and desire!
      Relight the smouldering martial fire,
      Sound the mute trumpet, strike the lyre.
      The hero-deed cannot expire;
        The dead still play their part.

    Raise high the monumental stone!
      A nation’s fealty is theirs,
      And we are the rejoicing heirs,
      The honored sons of sires whose cares
      We take upon us unawares,
        As freely as our own.

    We boast not of the victory,
      But render homage, deep and just,
      To his--to their--immortal dust,
      Who proved so worthy of their trust,
      No lofty pile nor sculptured bust
        Can herald their degree.

    No tongue can blazon forth their fame--
      The cheers that stir the sacred hill
      Are but mere promptings of the will
      That conquered then, that conquers still;
      And generations yet shall thrill
        At Brock’s remembered name.
         --CHARLES SANGSTER.



        AN ICEBERG


At twelve o’clock we went below, and had just got through dinner, when
the cook put his head down the scuttle and told us to come on deck and
see the finest sight we had ever seen. “Where away, Doctor?” asked the
first man who was up. “On the larboard bow.” And there lay, floating in
the ocean, several miles off, an immense, irregular mass, its top and
points covered with snow, and its centre of a deep indigo color. This
was an iceberg, and of the largest size, as one of our men said who had
been in the Northern Ocean. As far as the eye could reach, the sea in
every direction was of a deep blue color, the waves running high and
fresh, and sparkling in the light, and in the midst lay this immense
mountain-island, its cavities and valleys thrown into deep shade, and
its points and pinnacles glittering in the sun.

All hands were soon on deck, looking at it, and admiring in various ways
its beauty and grandeur. But no description can give any idea of the
strangeness, splendor, and, really, the sublimity of the sight. Its
great size,--for it must have been from two to three miles in
circumference and several hundred feet in height,--its slow motion, as
its base rose and sank in the water and its high points nodded against
the clouds; the dashing of the waves upon it, which, breaking high with
foam, lined its base with a white crust; and the thundering sound of the
crackling of the mass, and the breaking and tumbling down of huge
pieces, together with its nearness and approach, which added a slight
element of fear,--all combined to give it the character of true
sublimity.

The main body of the mass was, as I have said, of an indigo color, its
base incrusted with frozen foam; and as it grew thin and transparent
towards the edges and top, its color shaded off from a deep blue to the
whiteness of snow. It seemed to be drifting slowly towards the north, so
that we kept away and avoided it.

It was in sight all the afternoon; and when we got to leeward of it the
wind died away, so that we lay to, quite near it for the greater part of
the night. Unfortunately, there was no moon, but it was a clear night,
and we could plainly mark the long, regular heaving of the stupendous
mass, as its edges moved slowly against the stars, now revealing them,
and now shutting them in. Several times in our watch loud cracks were
heard, and several pieces fell down, plunging heavily into the sea.
Towards morning a strong breeze sprang up, and we sailed away, and left
it astern. At daylight it was out of sight.

   --RICHARD HENRY DANA.

       *       *       *       *       *

    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
    Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.--SHAKESPEARE.



        A LEGEND OF BREGENZ


    Girt round with rugged mountains
      The fair Lake Constance lies;
    In her blue heart reflected,
      Shine back the starry skies;
    And, watching each white cloudlet
      Float silently and slow,
    You think a piece of Heaven
      Lies on our earth below!

    Midnight is there: and Silence,
      Enthroned in Heaven, looks down
    Upon her own calm mirror,
      Upon a sleeping town:
    For Bregenz, that quaint city
      Upon the Tyrol shore,
    Has stood above Lake Constance
      A thousand years and more.

    Her battlements and towers,
      From off their rocky steep,
    Have cast their trembling shadow
      For ages on the deep.
    Mountain and lake and valley
      A sacred legend know,
    Of how the town was saved one night
      Three hundred years ago.

    Far from her home and kindred
      A Tyrol maid had fled,
    To serve in the Swiss valleys,
      And toil for daily bread;
    And every year that fleeted
      So silently and fast
    Seemed to bear farther from her
      The memory of the Past.

    She spoke no more of Bregenz
      With longing and with tears;
    Her Tyrol home seemed faded
      In a deep mist of years;
    Yet, when her master’s children
      Would clustering round her stand,
    She sang them ancient ballads
      Of her own native land;

    And when at morn and evening
      She knelt before God’s throne,
    The accents of her childhood
      Rose to her lips alone.
    And so she dwelt: the valley
      More peaceful year by year;
    When suddenly strange portents
      Of some great deed seemed near.

    One day, out in the meadow,
      With strangers from the town
    Some secret plan discussing,
      The men walked up and down.
    At eve they all assembled;
      Then care and doubt were fled;
    With jovial laugh they feasted;
      The board was nobly spread.

    The elder of the village
      Rose up, his glass in hand,
    And cried, “We drink the downfall
      Of an accursed land!
    The night is growing darker;
      Ere one more day is flown,
    Bregenz, our foeman’s stronghold,
      Bregenz shall be our own!”

    The women shrank in terror,
      Yet Pride, too, had her part;
    But one poor Tyrol maiden
      Felt death within her heart.
    Nothing she heard around her,
      Though shouts rang forth again;
    Gone were the green Swiss valleys,
      The pasture and the plain;

    Before her eyes one vision,
      And in her heart one cry
    That said, “Go forth! save Bregenz,
      And then, if need be, die!”
    With trembling haste and breathless,
      With noiseless step she sped;
    Horses and weary cattle
      Were standing in the shed;

    She loosed the strong white charger
      That fed from out her hand;
    She mounted, and she turned his head
      Towards her native land.
    Out--out into the darkness--
      Faster, and still more fast;--
    The smooth grass flies behind her,
      The chestnut wood is past;

    She looks up; clouds are heavy;
      Why is her steed so slow?--
    Scarcely the wind beside them
      Can pass them as they go.
    “Faster!” she cries, “oh, faster!”
      Eleven the church bells chime;
    “O God,” she cries, “help Bregenz,
      And bring me there in time!”

    But louder than bells’ ringing,
      Or lowing of the kine,
    Grows nearer in the midnight
      The rushing of the Rhine.
    She strives to pierce the blackness,
      And looser throws the rein;
    Her steed must breast the waters
      That dash above his mane.

    How gallantly, how nobly,
      He struggles through the foam!
    And see--in the far distance
      Shine out the lights of home!
    Up the steep bank he bears her,
      And now they rush again
    Towards the heights of Bregenz
      That tower above the plain.

    They reach the gates of Bregenz
      Just as the midnight rings,
    And out come serf and soldier
      To meet the news she brings.
    Bregenz is saved! Ere daylight
      Her battlements are manned;
    Defiance greets the army
      That marches on the land.

    Three hundred years are vanished,
      And yet upon the hill
    An old stone gateway rises
      To do her honor still.
    And there, when Bregenz women
      Sit spinning in the shade,
    They see in quaint old carving
      The Charger and the Maid.

    And when, to guard old Bregenz
      By gateway, street, and tower,
    The warder paces all night long
      And calls each passing hour;
    “Nine,” “ten,” “eleven,” he cries aloud,
      And then (Oh, crown of Fame!),
    When midnight pauses in the skies,
      He calls the maiden’s name!
         --ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER.



        GLUCK’S VISITOR


In a secluded and mountainous part of Styria there was, in old time, a
valley of the most surprising fertility. It was surrounded on all sides
by steep and rocky mountains, rising into peaks, which were always
covered with snow, and from which a number of torrents descended in
constant cataracts. One of these fell westwards over the face of a crag
so high that when the sun had set to everything else, and all below was
darkness, his beams still shone full upon this waterfall, so that it
looked like a shower of gold. It was, therefore, called by the people of
the neighborhood the Golden River. It was strange that none of these
streams fell into the valley itself. They all descended on the other
side of the mountains, and wound away through broad plains and by
populous cities. But the clouds were drawn so constantly to the snowy
hills that in time of drought and heat, when all the country round was
burnt up, there was still rain in the little valley; and its crops were
so heavy, and its hay so high, and its apples so red, and its grapes so
blue, and its wine so rich, and its honey so sweet, that it was a marvel
to every one who beheld it, and was commonly called the Treasure Valley.

[Illustration: JOHN RUSKIN]

The whole of this little valley belonged to three brothers called
Schwartz, Hans, and Gluck. Schwartz and Hans, the two elder brothers,
were very ugly men, with overhanging eyebrows and small dull eyes, which
were always half shut, so that you couldn’t see into _them_, and always
fancied that they saw very far into _you_. They lived by farming the
Treasure Valley, and very good farmers they were.

They killed everything that did not pay for its eating. They shot the
blackbirds because they pecked the fruit, they poisoned the crickets for
eating the crumbs in the kitchen, and smothered the locusts, which used
to sing all summer in the lime trees. They worked their servants without
any wages till they would not work any more, and then quarrelled with
them, and turned them out of doors without paying them. It would have
been very odd, if, with such a farm and such a system of farming, they
hadn’t got very rich; and very rich they _did_ get. They generally
contrived to hold their own grain until it was very dear, and then sell
it for twice its value; they had heaps of gold lying about on their
floors, yet it was never known that they had given so much as a penny or
a crust in charity. They were, in a word, of so cruel and grinding a
temper as to receive from all those with whom they had any dealings the
nickname of the “Black Brothers.”

The youngest brother, Gluck, was as completely opposed, in both
appearance and character, to his seniors as could possibly be imagined
or desired. He was not above twelve years old, fair, blue-eyed, and kind
in temper to every living thing. He did not, of course, agree
particularly well with his brothers; or, rather, they did not agree with
_him_. He was usually appointed to the honorable office of
turnspit,--when there was anything to roast, which was not often; for,
to do the brothers justice, they were hardly less sparing upon
themselves than upon other people. At other times he used to clean the
shoes, floors, and sometimes the plates,--occasionally getting what was
left upon them by way of encouragement, and a wholesome quantity of dry
blows by way of education.

Things went on in this manner for a long time. At last came a very wet
summer, and everything went wrong in the country around. The hay had
hardly been got in when the haystacks were floated bodily down to the
sea by a flood; the vines were cut to pieces by the hail; the grain was
all killed by a black blight; only in the Treasure Valley, as usual, all
was safe. As it had rain when there was rain nowhere else, so it had sun
when there was sun nowhere else. Everybody came to buy grain at the
farm, and went away pouring curses on the “Black Brothers.” They asked
what they liked and got it, except from the poor people, who could only
beg, and several of whom were starved at their very door without the
slightest regard or notice.

It was drawing towards winter, and very cold weather, when one day the
two elder brothers had gone out, with their usual warning to little
Gluck, who was left to mind the roast, that he was to let nobody in and
give nothing out. Gluck sat down quite close to the fire, for it was
raining very hard, and the kitchen walls were by no means dry or
comfortable-looking. He turned and turned, and the roast got nice and
brown. “What a pity,” thought Gluck, “my brothers never ask anybody to
dinner! I’m sure when they have such a nice piece of mutton as this, and
nobody else has so much as a dry piece of bread, it would do their
hearts good to have somebody to eat it with them.”

Just as he spoke there came a double knock at the house door, yet heavy
and dull, as though the knocker had been tied up,--more like a puff than
a knock.

“It must be the wind,” said Gluck; “nobody else would venture to knock
double knocks at our door.”

No, it wasn’t the wind; there it came again very hard, and what was
particularly surprising, the knocker seemed to be in a hurry, and not to
be in the least afraid of the consequences. Gluck went to the window,
opened it, and put his head out to see who it was.

It was the most extraordinary-looking gentleman he had ever seen in his
life. He had a very large nose, slightly brass-colored; his cheeks were
very round and very red; his eyes twinkled merrily through long silky
eyelashes; his mustaches curled twice round like a corkscrew on each
side of his mouth, and his hair, of a curious mixed pepper-and-salt
color, descended far over his shoulders. He was about four feet six in
height, and wore a conical, pointed cap of nearly the same altitude,
decorated with a black feather some three feet high. His coat was
prolonged behind, but was almost hidden by the swelling folds of an
enormous black, glossy-looking cloak, which must have been very much too
long in calm weather, as the wind, whistling round the old house,
carried it clear out from the wearer’s shoulders to about four times his
own length.

Gluck was so frightened by the singular appearance of his visitor that
he remained fixed without uttering a word, until the old gentleman,
having performed another, and a more energetic tune on the knocker,
turned round to look after his fly-away cloak. In so doing, he caught
sight of Gluck’s little yellow head jammed in the window, with its mouth
and eyes very wide open indeed.

“Hello!” said the little gentleman, “that’s not the way to answer the
door: I’m wet, let me in.”

To do the little gentleman justice he _was_ wet. His feather hung down
between his legs like a beaten puppy’s tail, dripping like an umbrella;
and from the ends of his mustaches the water was running into his
waistcoat pockets and out again like a mill stream.

[Illustration: THE VISITOR AT THE DOOR]

“I beg pardon, sir!” said Gluck. “I’m very sorry, but I really can’t.”

“Can’t what?” said the old gentleman.

“I can’t let you in, sir,--I can’t indeed; my brothers would beat me to
death, sir. What do you want, sir?”

“Want?” said the old gentleman, crossly. “I want fire and shelter; and
there’s your great fire there blazing, crackling, and dancing on the
walls, with nobody to feel it. Let me in, I say; I want only to warm
myself.”

Gluck had had his head, by this time, so long out of the window, that he
began to feel that it was really unpleasantly cold, and when he turned
and saw the beautiful fire rustling and roaring and throwing long bright
tongues by the chimney, his heart melted within him that it should be
burning away for nothing. “He does look _very_ wet,” said little Gluck;
“I’ll just let him in for a quarter of an hour.” Round he went to the
door and opened it; and as the little gentleman walked in, there came a
gust of wind through the house that made the old chimneys totter.

“That’s a good boy,” said the little gentleman. “Never mind your
brothers. I’ll talk to them.”

“Pray, sir, don’t do any such thing,” said Gluck. “I can’t let you stay
till they come; they’d be the death of me.”

“Dear me,” said the old gentleman, “I’m very sorry to hear that. How
long may I stay?”

“Only till the mutton’s done, sir,” replied Gluck, “and it’s very
brown.”

The old gentleman walked into the kitchen, and sat himself down on the
hob, with the top of his cap accommodated up the chimney, for it was a
great deal too high for the roof.

“You’ll soon dry there, sir,” said Gluck, and sat down again to turn the
mutton. But the old gentleman did _not_ dry there, but went on drip,
drip, dripping among the cinders, and the fire fizzed, and sputtered,
and began to look very black and uncomfortable; never was such a cloak;
every fold in it ran like a gutter.

“I beg pardon, sir,” said Gluck, at length, after watching the water
spreading in long quicksilver-like streams over the floor for a quarter
of an hour; “mayn’t I take your cloak?”

“No, thank you,” said the old gentleman.

“Your cap, sir?”

“I am all right, thank you,” said the old gentleman, rather gruffly.

“But--sir--I’m very sorry,” said Gluck, hesitatingly, “but--really,
sir--you’re--putting the fire out.”

“It’ll take longer to do the mutton, then,” replied his visitor, dryly.

Gluck was very much puzzled by the behavior of his guest, it was such a
strange mixture of coolness and humility. He turned away at the string
thoughtfully for another five minutes.

“That mutton looks very nice,” said the old gentleman. “Can’t you give
me a little bit?”

“Impossible, sir,” said Gluck.

“I’m very hungry,” continued the old gentleman. “I’ve had nothing to eat
yesterday nor to-day. They surely couldn’t miss a bit from the knuckle!”

He spoke in so very melancholy a tone that it quite melted Gluck’s
heart. “They promised me one slice to-day, sir,” said he; “I can give
you that, but not a bit more.”

“That’s a good boy,” said the old gentleman, again.

Then Gluck warmed a plate and sharpened a knife. “I don’t care if I do
get beaten for it,” thought he. Just as he had cut a large slice out of
the mutton there came a tremendous rap at the door. The old gentleman
jumped off the hob, as if it had suddenly become inconveniently warm.
Gluck fitted the slice into the mutton again, and ran to open the door.

“What did you keep us waiting in the rain for?” said Schwartz, as he
walked in, throwing his umbrella in Gluck’s face. “Ay! what for indeed,
you little vagabond?” said Hans, administering a blow on the ear as he
followed his brother into the kitchen.

“Bless my soul!” said Schwartz, when he opened the door.

“Amen!” said the little gentleman, who had taken his cap off, and was
standing in the middle of the kitchen, bowing with the utmost possible
swiftness.

“Who’s that?” said Schwartz, catching up a rolling-pin, and turning to
Gluck with a fierce frown.

“I don’t know, indeed, brother,” said Gluck, in great terror.

“How did he get in?” roared Schwartz.

“My dear brother,” said Gluck, “he was so _very_ wet!”

The rolling-pin was descending on Gluck’s head; but, at the instant, the
old gentleman interposed his conical cap, on which it crashed with a
shock that shook the water out of it all over the room. What was very
odd, the rolling-pin no sooner touched the cap than it flew out of
Schwartz’s hand, spinning like a straw in a high wind, and fell into the
corner at the farther end of the room.

“Who are you, sir?” demanded Schwartz, turning upon him.

“What’s your business?” snarled Hans.

“I’m a poor old man, sir,” the little gentleman began very modestly,
“and I saw your fire through the window, and begged shelter for a
quarter of an hour.”

“Have the goodness to walk out again, then,” said Schwartz. “We’ve quite
enough water in our kitchen, without making it a drying-house.”

“It is a cold day to turn an old man out in, sir; look at my gray
hairs!” They hung down to his shoulders, as I told you before.

“Ay!” said Hans, “there are enough of them to keep you warm. Walk!”

“I’m very, very hungry, sir; couldn’t you spare me a bit of bread before
I go?”

“Bread, indeed!” said Schwartz. “Do you suppose we’ve nothing to do
with our bread but to give it to such red-nosed fellows as you?”

“Why don’t you sell your feather?” said Hans, sneeringly. “Out with
you!”

“A little bit,” said the old gentleman.

“Be off!” said Schwartz.

“Pray, gentlemen!”

“Off and be hanged!” cried Hans, seizing him by the collar. But he had
no sooner touched the old gentleman’s collar than away he went after the
rolling-pin, spinning round and round till he fell in the corner on top
of it. Then Schwartz was very angry, and ran at the old gentleman to
turn him out; but he also had hardly touched him, when away he went
after Hans and the rolling-pin, and hit his head against the wall as he
tumbled into the corner. And so there they lay, all three.

Then the old gentleman spun himself round with velocity in the opposite
direction, continued to spin until his long cloak was all wound neatly
about him, clapped his cap on his head, very much on one side (for it
could not stand upright without going through the ceiling), gave an
additional twist to his corkscrew mustaches, and replied with perfect
coolness: “Gentlemen, I wish you a very good morning. At twelve o’clock
to-night I’ll call again; after such a refusal of hospitality as I have
just experienced, you will not be surprised if that visit is the last I
ever pay you.”

“If I ever catch you here again,” muttered Schwartz, coming half
frightened out of the corner--but before he could finish his sentence
the old gentleman had shut the house door behind him with a great bang;
and there drove past the window at the same instant a wreath of ragged
cloud that whirled and rolled away down the valley in all manner of
shapes, turning over and over in the air, and melting away at last in a
gush of rain.

“A very pretty business, indeed, Mr. Gluck!” said Schwartz. “Dish the
mutton, sir! If ever I catch you at such a trick again--bless me, why,
the mutton’s been cut!”

“You promised me one slice, brother, you know,” said Gluck.

“Oh! and you were cutting it hot, I suppose, and going to catch all the
gravy. It’ll be long before I promise you such a thing again. Leave the
room, sir, and have the kindness to wait in the coal cellar till I call
you!”

Gluck left the room melancholy enough. The brothers ate as much as they
could, locked the rest in the cupboard, and proceeded to get very drunk
after dinner.

Such a night as it was! Howling wind and rushing rain without
intermission! The brothers had just sense enough left to put up all the
shutters and double-bar the door before they went to bed. They usually
slept in the same room. As the clock struck twelve they were both
awakened by a tremendous crash. Their door broke open with a violence
that shook the house from top to bottom,

“What’s that?” cried Schwartz, starting up in his bed.

“Only I,” said the little gentleman.

The two brothers sat up on their pillows and stared into the darkness.
The room was full of water, and by the misty moonbeam which found its
way through a hole in the shutter they could see in the midst of it an
immense foam globe, spinning round and bobbing up and down like a cork,
on which, as on a most luxurious cushion, reclined the little old
gentleman, cap and all. There was plenty of room for it now, for the
roof was off.

“Sorry to inconvenience you,” said their visitor, with a laugh. “I’m
afraid your beds are dampish; perhaps you had better go to your
brother’s room; I’ve left the ceiling on there.”

They required no second admonition, but rushed into Gluck’s room, wet
through, and in an agony of terror.

“You’ll find my card on the kitchen table,” the old gentleman called
after them. “Remember, the _last_ visit!”

“Pray Heaven it may!” said Schwartz, shuddering. And the foam globe
disappeared.

Dawn came at last, and the two brothers looked out of Gluck’s window in
the morning. The Treasure Valley was one mass of ruin and desolation.
The flood had swept away trees, crops, and cattle, and left in their
stead a waste of red sand and gray mud. The two brothers crept shivering
and horror-struck into the kitchen. The water had gutted the whole first
floor; grain, money, almost every movable thing had been swept away, and
there was left only a small white card on the kitchen table. On it, in
large, breezy, long-legged letters, were engraved the words:

[Illustration: _South-West Wind_]

   --JOHN RUSKIN.



        JACQUES CARTIER


    In the seaport of St. Malo, ’twas a smiling morn in May,
    When the Commodore Jacques Cartier to the westwards sailed away;
    In the crowded old cathedral all the town were on their knees
    For the safe return of kinsmen from the undiscovered seas;
    And every autumn blast that swept o’er pinnacle and pier,
    Fill’d manly hearts with sorrow, and gentle hearts with fear.

    A year passed o’er St. Malo--again came round the day
    When the Commodore Jacques Cartier to the westwards sailed away;
    But no tidings from the absent had come the way they went,
    And tearful were the vigils that many a maiden spent;
    And manly hearts were filled with gloom, and gentle hearts with fear,
    When no tidings came from Cartier at the closing of the year.

    But the Earth is as the Future, it hath its hidden side;
    And the captain of St. Malo was rejoicing, in his pride,
    In the forests of the North;--while his townsmen mourned his loss,
    He was rearing on Mount Royal the _fleur-de-lis_ and cross;
    And when two months were over, and added to the year,
    St. Malo hailed him home again, cheer answering to cheer.

    He told them of a region, hard, iron-bound, and cold,
    Nor seas of pearl abounded, nor mines of shining gold:
    Where the Wind from Thule freezes the word upon the lip,
    And the ice in spring comes sailing athwart the early ship;
    He told them of the frozen scene until they thrilled with fear,
    And piled fresh fuel on the hearth to make him better cheer.

    But when he changed the strain--he told how soon are cast
    In early spring the fetters that hold the waters fast;
    How the winter causeway, broken, is drifted out to sea,
    And the rills and rivers sing with pride the anthem of the free;
    How the magic wand of summer clad the landscape to his eyes,
    Like the dry bones of the just, when they wake in Paradise.

    He told them of the Algonquin braves--the hunters of the wild,
    Of how the Indian mother in the forest rocks her child;
    Of how, poor souls! they fancy, in every living thing
    A spirit good or evil, that claims their worshipping;
    Of how they brought their sick and maimed for him to breathe upon,
    And of the wonders wrought for them through the Gospel of St. John.

    He told them of the river whose mighty current gave
    Its freshness for a hundred leagues to Ocean’s briny wave;
    He told them of the glorious scene presented to his sight,
    What time he reared the cross and crown on Hochelaga’s height,
    And of the fortress cliff that keeps of Canada the key;
    And they welcomed back Jacques Cartier from his perils o’er the sea.
         --THOMAS D’ARCY MCGEE.



        BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL


    Bless the Lord, O my soul;
      And all that is within me, bless his holy name.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul,
      And forget not all his benefits:
    Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
      Who healeth all thy diseases;
    Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
      Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies:
    Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
      So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle.

    The Lord executeth righteous acts,
      And judgments for all that are oppressed.
    He made known his ways unto Moses,
      His doings unto the children of Israel.
    The Lord is full of compassion and gracious,
      Slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
    He will not always chide;
      Neither will he keep his anger forever.
    He hath not dealt with us after our sins,
      Nor rewarded us after our iniquities.

    For as the heaven is high above the earth,
      So great is his mercy towards them that fear him.
    As far as the east is from the west,
      So far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
    Like as a father pitieth his children,
      So the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
    For he knoweth our frame;
      He remembereth that we are dust.

    As for man, his days are as grass;
      As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
    For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;
      And the place thereof shall know it no more.
    But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,
      And his righteousness unto children’s children,
    To such as keep his covenant,
      And to those that remember his precepts to do them.

    The Lord hath established his throne in the heavens;
      And his kingdom ruleth over all.
    Bless the Lord, ye angels of his,
      Ye mighty in strength;
    That fulfil his word,
      Hearkening unto the voice of his word.
    Bless the Lord, all ye his hosts;
      Ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
    Bless the Lord, all ye his works,
      In all places of his dominion.
         --_From the Book of Psalms._



        THE HEROES OF THE LONG SAULT


In April, 1660, a young officer named Daulac, commandant of the garrison
at Montreal, asked leave of Maisonneuve, the governor, to lead a party
of volunteers against the Iroquois. His plan was bold to desperation. It
was known that Iroquois warriors, in great numbers, had wintered among
the forests of the Ottawa. Daulac proposed to waylay them on their
descent of the river, and fight them without regard to disparity of
force; and Maisonneuve, judging that a display of enterprise and
boldness might act as a check on the audacity of the enemy, at last gave
his consent.

Adam Daulac was a young man of good family, who had come to the colony
three years before, at the age of twenty-two. He had held some military
command in France, though in what rank does not appear. He had been busy
for some time among the young men of Montreal, inviting them to join him
in the enterprise he meditated. Sixteen of them caught his spirit. They
bound themselves by oath to accept no quarter; and, having gained
Maisonneuve’s consent, they made their wills, confessed, and received
the sacraments.

After a solemn farewell they embarked in several canoes, well supplied
with arms and ammunition. They were very indifferent canoe-men, and it
is said that they lost a week in vain attempts to pass the swift current
of Ste. Anne, at the head of the Island of Montreal. At length they were
successful, and entering the mouth of the Ottawa, crossed the Lake of
Two Mountains, and slowly advanced against the current.

About the first of May they reached the foot of the formidable rapid
called the Long Sault, where a tumult of waters, foaming among ledges
and boulders, barred the onward way. It was needless to go farther. The
Iroquois were sure to pass the Sault, and could be fought here as well
as elsewhere. Just below the rapid, where the forests sloped gently to
the shore, among the bushes and stumps of a rough clearing made in
constructing it, stood a palisade fort, the work of an Algonquin
war-party in the past autumn. It was a mere enclosure of trunks of small
trees planted in a circle, and was already in ruins. Such as it was, the
Frenchmen took possession of it. They made their fires and slung their
kettles, on the neighboring shore; and here they were soon joined by
forty Hurons and four Algonquins. Daulac, it seems, made no objection to
their company, and they all bivouacked together. Morning, noon, and
night, they prayed in three different tongues; and when at sunset the
long reach of forest on the farther shore basked peacefully in the level
rays, the rapids joined their hoarse music to the notes of their evening
hymn.

In a day or two their scouts came in with tidings that two Iroquois
canoes were coming down the Sault. Daulac had time to set his men in
ambush among the bushes at a point where he thought the strangers likely
to land. He judged aright. Canoes, bearing five Iroquois, approached,
and were met by a volley fired with such precipitation that one or more
of them escaped, fled into the forest, and told their mischance to their
main body, two hundred in number, on the river above. A fleet of canoes
suddenly appeared, bounding down the rapids, filled with warriors eager
for revenge. The allies had barely time to escape to their fort, leaving
their kettles still slung over the fires. The Iroquois made a hasty
attack, and were quickly repulsed. They next opened a parley, hoping, no
doubt, to gain some advantage by surprise. Failing in this, they set
themselves, after their custom on such occasions, to building a rude
fort of their own in the neighboring forest.

This gave the French a breathing-time, and they used it for
strengthening their defences. Being provided with tools, they planted a
row of stakes within their palisade, to form a double fence, and filled
the intervening space with earth and stones to the height of a man,
leaving some twenty loopholes, at each of which three marksmen were
stationed. Their work was still unfinished when the Iroquois were upon
them again. They had broken to pieces the birch canoes of the French and
their allies, and, kindling the bark, rushed up to pile it blazing
against the palisade; but so brisk and steady a fire met them that they
recoiled, and at last gave way. They came on again, and again were
driven back, leaving many of their number on the ground, among them the
principal chief of the Senecas.

This dashed the spirits of the Iroquois, and they sent a canoe to call
to their aid five hundred of their warriors, who were mustered near the
mouth of the Richelieu. These were the allies whom, but for this
untoward check, they were on their way to join for a combined attack on
Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal. It was maddening to see their grand
project thwarted by a few French and Indians ensconced in a paltry
redoubt, scarcely better than a cattle-pen, but they were forced to
digest the affront as best they might.

Meanwhile, crouched behind trees and logs, they beset the fort,
harassing its defenders day and night with a spattering fire and a
constant menace of attack. Thus five days passed. Hunger, thirst, and
want of sleep wrought fatally on the strength of the French and their
allies, who, pent up together in their narrow prison, fought and prayed
by turns. Deprived as they were of water, they could not swallow the
crushed Indian corn, or “hominy,” which was their only food. Some of
them, under cover of a brisk fire, ran down to the river and filled such
small vessels as they had; but this pittance only tantalized their
thirst. They dug a hole in the fort, and were rewarded at last by a
little muddy water oozing through the clay.

Among the assailants were a number of Hurons, adopted by the Iroquois,
and fighting on their side. These renegades now tried to seduce their
countrymen in the fort. Half dead with thirst and famine, they took the
bait, and one, two, or three at a time, climbed the palisade and ran
over to the enemy, amid the hootings and execrations of those whom they
deserted. Their chief stood firm; and when he saw his nephew join the
other fugitives, he fired his pistol at him in a rage. The four
Algonquins, who had no mercy to hope for, stood fast, with the courage
of despair.

On the fifth day an uproar of unearthly yells from seven hundred savage
throats, mingled with a clattering salute of musketry, told the
Frenchmen that the expected reënforcement had come; and soon, in the
forest and on the clearing, a crowd of warriors mustered for the attack.
Knowing from the Huron deserters the weakness of their enemy, they had
no doubt of an easy victory. They

[Illustration: THE DEATH OF DAULAC]

advanced cautiously, as was usual with the Iroquois before their blood
was up, screeching, leaping from side to side, and firing as they came
on; but the French were at their posts, and every loophole darted its
tongue of fire. The Iroquois, astonished at the persistent vigor of the
defence, fell back discomfited. The fire of the French, who were
themselves completely under cover, had told upon them with deadly
effect. Three days more wore away in a series of futile attacks, made
with little concert or vigor; and during all this time Daulac and his
men, reeling with exhaustion, fought and prayed as before, sure of a
martyr’s reward.

The uncertain temper common to all Indians now began to declare itself.
Some of the Iroquois were for going home. Others revolted at the
thought, and declared that it would be an eternal disgrace to lose so
many men, at the hands of so paltry an enemy, and yet fail to take
revenge. It was resolved to make a general assault, and volunteers were
called for to lead the attack. No precaution was neglected. Large and
heavy shields, four or five feet high, were made by lashing together
with the aid of cross-bars three split logs. Covering themselves with
these mantelets, the chosen band advanced, followed by the motley throng
of warriors. In spite of a brisk fire, they reached the palisade, and,
crouching below the range of shot, hewed furiously with their hatchets
to cut their way through. The rest followed close, and swarmed like
angry hornets around the little fort, hacking and tearing to get in.

Daulac had crammed a large musketoon with powder and plugged up the
muzzle. Lighting the fuse inserted in it, he tried to throw it over the
barrier, to burst like a grenade among the crowd of savages without; but
it struck the ragged top of one of the palisades, fell back among the
Frenchmen, and exploded, killing or wounding several of them, and nearly
blinding others. In the confusion that followed, the Iroquois got
possession of the loopholes, and, thrusting in their guns, fired on
those within. In a moment more they had torn a breach in the palisade;
but, nerved with the energy of desperation, Daulac and his followers
sprang to defend it. Daulac was struck dead, but the survivors kept up
the fight. With a sword or a hatchet in one hand and a knife in the
other, they threw themselves against the throng of enemies, striking and
stabbing with the fury of madmen; till the Iroquois, despairing of
taking them alive, fired volley after volley, and shot them down. All
was over, and a burst of triumphant yells proclaimed the dear-bought
victory.

Searching the pile of corpses, the victors found four Frenchmen still
breathing. Three had scarcely a spark of life, and, as no time was to be
lost, they burned them on the spot. The fourth, less fortunate, seemed
likely to survive, and they reserved him for future torments. As for the
Huron deserters, their cowardice profited them little. The Iroquois,
regardless of their promises, fell upon them, burned some at once, and
carried the rest to their villages for a similar fate. Five of the
number had the good fortune to escape, and it was from them, aided by
admissions made long afterwards by the Iroquois themselves, that the
French of Canada derived all their knowledge of this glorious disaster.

To the colony it proved a salvation. The Iroquois had had fighting
enough. If seventeen Frenchmen, four Algonquins, and one Huron, behind a
picket fence, could hold seven hundred warriors at bay so long, what
might they expect from many such, fighting behind walls of stone? For
that year they thought no more of capturing Quebec and Montreal, but
went home dejected and amazed, to howl over their losses, and nurse
their dashed courage for a day of vengeance.--FRANCIS PARKMAN.



        THE MARSEILLAISE


    Ye sons of Freedom, wake to glory!
      Hark! hark! what myriads bid you rise--
    Your children, wives, and grandsires hoary,
      Behold their tears and hear their cries!
    Shall hateful tyrants, mischiefs breeding,
      With hireling hosts, a ruffian band,
      Affright and desolate the land,
    While peace and liberty lie bleeding?
      To arms! to arms! ye brave!
        The avenging sword unsheath:
    March on! march on! all hearts resolved
      On victory or death.

    Now, now, the dangerous storm is rolling,
      Which treacherous kings confederate raise;
    The dogs of war, let loose, are howling,
      And lo! our fields and cities blaze;
    And shall we basely view the ruin,
      While lawless force with guilty stride,
      Spreads desolation far and wide,
    With crimes and blood his hands imbruing?

    With luxury and pride surrounded,
      The vile, insatiate despots dare
    (Their thirst of power and gold unbounded)
      To mete and vend the light and air.
    Like beasts of burden would they load us,
      Like gods would bid their slaves adore;
      But man is man, and who is more?
    Then shall they longer lash and goad us?

    O Liberty! can man resign thee,
      Once having felt thy generous flame?
    Can dungeons, bolts, or bars confine thee,
      Or whips thy noble spirit tame?
    Too long the world has wept bewailing
      That Falsehood’s dagger tyrants wield;
      But Freedom is our sword and shield,
    And all their arts are unavailing.
         --ROUGET DE LISLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    He that humbles himself shall be exalted.



        THE WATCH ON THE RHINE


    A voice resounds like thunder-peal,
    ’Mid dashing waves and clang of steel,
    “The Rhine! the Rhine! the German Rhine!
    Who guards to-day my stream divine?”
      Dear Fatherland! no danger thine:
      Firm stand thy sons to watch the Rhine.

    They stand, a hundred thousand strong,
    Quick to avenge their country’s wrong:
    With filial love their bosoms swell:
    They’ll guard the sacred landmark well.

    And though in death our hopes decay,
    The Rhine will own no foreign sway;
    For rich with water as its flood
    Is Germany with hero blood.

    From yon blue sky are bending now
    The hero-dead to hear our vow:
    “As long as German hearts are free
    The Rhine, the Rhine, shall German be.”

    “While flows one drop of German blood,
    Or sword remains to guard thy flood,
    While rifle rests in patriot hand,
    No foe shall tread thy sacred strand.”

[Illustration: QUEEN LOUISE OF PRUSSIA AND HER SONS]

    Our oath resounds; the river flows;
    In golden light our banner glows;
    Our hearts will guard thy stream divine:
    The Rhine! the Rhine! the German Rhine!
         --MAX SCHNECKENBURGER.



        SCOTS, WHA HAE WI’ WALLACE BLED


[Illustration: ROBERT BURNS]

    Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
    Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
    Welcome to your gory bed,
              Or to victorie!
    Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
    See the front o’ battle lour;
    See approach proud Edward’s power--
              Chains and slaverie!

    Wha will be a traitor knave?
    Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
    Wha sae base as be a slave?
              Let him turn and flee!
    Wha, for Scotland’s king and law,
    Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
    Free-man stand, or free-man fa’,
              Let him on wi’ me!

    By oppression’s woes and pains!
    By your sons in servile chains!
    We will drain our dearest veins,
              But they _shall_ be free!
    Lay the proud usurpers low!
    Tyrants fall in every foe!
    Liberty’s in every blow!--
              Let us do--or die!
         --ROBERT BURNS.



        THE COYOTE


The coyote is a long, slim, sick, and sorry-looking skeleton, with a
gray wolfskin stretched over it, a tolerably bushy tail that forever
sags down with a despairing expression of forsakenness and misery, a
furtive and evil eye, and a long, sharp face, with slightly lifted lip
and exposed teeth.

[Illustration: MARK TWAIN]

He has a general slinking expression all over. The coyote is a living,
breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out
of luck, and friendless. He is so spiritless and cowardly that even
while his exposed teeth are pretending a threat, the rest of his face is
apologizing for it. And he is _so_ homely!--so scrawny, and ribby, and
coarse-haired, and pitiful.

When he sees you, he lifts his lip and lets a flash of his teeth out,
and then turns a little out of the course he was pursuing, depresses his
head a bit, and strikes a long, soft-footed trot through the brush,
glancing over his shoulder at you, from time to time, till he is about
out of easy pistol range, and then he stops and takes a deliberate
survey of you; he will trot fifty yards and stop again--another fifty
and stop again; and, finally, the gray of his gliding body blends with
the gray of the brush, and he disappears.

All this is when you make no demonstration against him; but if you do,
he develops a livelier interest in his journey, and instantly
electrifies his heels and puts such a deal of real estate between
himself and your weapon, that by the time you have raised the hammer you
see that you need a rifle, and by the time you have got him in line you
need a cannon, and by the time you have drawn a bead on him you see well
enough that nothing but an unusually long-winded streak of lightning
could reach him where he is now.

But if you start a swift-footed dog after him, you will enjoy it ever so
much--especially if it is a dog that has a good opinion of himself, and
has been brought up to think that he knows something about speed. The
coyote will go swinging gently off on that deceitful trot of his, and
every little while he will smile a fraudful smile over his shoulder that
will fill that dog entirely full of encouragement and worldly ambition,
and make him lay his head still lower to the ground, and stretch his
neck farther to the front, and pant more fiercely, and stick his tail
out straighter behind, and move his furious legs with a yet wilder
frenzy, and leave a broader and broader, and higher and denser cloud of
dust behind, marking his long wake across the level plain!

And all this time the dog is only a short twenty feet behind the coyote,
and to save the life of him he cannot understand why it is that he
cannot get perceptibly closer; and he begins to get aggravated, and it
makes him more and more angry to see how gently the coyote glides along
and never pants or sweats or ceases to smile; and he grows still more
and more incensed to see how shamefully he has been taken in by an
entire stranger, and what an ignoble swindle that long, calm,
soft-footed trot is; and next he notices that he is getting fagged, and
that the coyote actually has to slacken speed a little to keep from
running away from him--and then that town dog is angry in earnest, and
he begins to strain, and weep, and paw the sand higher than ever, and
reach for the coyote with concentrated and desperate energy.

This spurt finds him six feet behind the gliding enemy, and two miles
from his friends. And then, in the instant that a wild new hope is
lighting up his face, the coyote turns and smiles blandly upon him once
more, and with a something about it which seems to say: “Well, I shall
have to tear myself away from you,--business is business, and it will
not do for me to be fooling along this way all day,”--and forthwith
there is a rushing sound, and the sudden splitting of a long crack
through the atmosphere, and behold that dog is solitary and alone in
the midst of a vast solitude!

It makes his head swim. He stops, and looks all around; climbs the
nearest mound, and gazes into the distance; shakes his head
reflectively, and then, without a word, he turns and jogs along back to
his train, and takes up a humble position under the hindmost wagon, and
feels unspeakably mean, and looks ashamed, and hangs his tail at
half-mast for a week. And for as much as a year after that, whenever
there is a great hue and cry after a coyote, that dog will merely glance
in that direction without emotion, and apparently observe to himself, “I
believe I do not wish any of the pie.”

   --SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS [MARK TWAIN].



        STEP BY STEP


    Heaven is not reached by a single bound,
      But we build the ladder by which we rise
      From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
    And we mount to its summit, round by round.

    I count this thing to be grandly true,
      That a noble deed is a step towards God,
      Lifting the soul from the common clod
    To a purer air and a fairer view.

    We rise by the things that are ’neath our feet;
      By what we have mastered of good; and gain
      By the pride deposed, and the passion slain,
    And the vanquished ills that we hourly meet.

    We hope, we aspire, we resolve, we trust,
      When the morning calls to life and light;
      But our hearts grow weary, and ere the night
    Our lives are trailing the sordid dust.

    We hope, we resolve, we aspire, we pray;
      And we think that we mount the air on wings
      Beyond the recall of earthly things,
    While our feet still cling to the heavy clay.

    Wings are for angels, but feet for men!
      We may borrow the wings to find the way;
      We may hope, and resolve, and aspire, and pray,
    But our feet must rise or we fall again.

    Only in dreams is a ladder thrown
      From the weary earth to the sapphire walls;
      But the dreams depart and the ladder falls,
    And the sleeper wakes on his pillow of stone.

    Heaven is not reached at a single bound,
      But we build the ladder by which we rise
      From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
    And we mount to its summit round by round.
         --JOSIAH GILBERT HOLLAND.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A right thought is as a true key.



        A SUMMER STORM


    Last night a storm fell on the world
      From height of drouth and heat,
    The surly clouds for weeks were furled,
      The air could only sway and beat;

    The beetles clattered at the blind,
      The hawks fell twanging from the sky,
    The west unrolled a feathery wind,
      And the night fell sullenly.

    A storm leaped roaring from its lair,
      Like the shadow of doom;
    The poignard lightning searched the air,
      The thunder ripped the shattered gloom;

    The rain came down with a roar like fire,
      Full-voiced and clamorous and deep;
    The weary world had its heart’s desire,
      And fell asleep.

    And now in the morning early,
      The clouds are sailing by;
    Clearly, oh! so clearly,
      The distant mountains lie.

    The wind is very mild and slow,
      The clouds obey his will,
    They part and part and onwards go,
      Travelling together still.

    ’Tis very sweet to be alive,
      On a morning that’s so fair,
    For nothing seems to stir or strive,
      In the unconscious air.

    A tawny thrush is in the wood,
      Ringing so wild and free;
    Only one bird has a blither mood,
      The white-throat on the tree.
         --DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT



        THE DEATH OF NELSON


It had been part of Nelson’s prayer, that the British fleet might be
distinguished by humanity in the victory which he expected. Setting an
example himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing on the
_Redoubtable_, supposing that she had struck, because her guns were
silent; for, as she carried no flag, there was no means of instantly
ascertaining the fact. From this ship, which he had thus twice spared,
he received his death. A ball fired from her mizzentop, which, in the
then situation of the two vessels, was not more than fifteen yards from
that part of the deck where he was standing, struck the epaulet on his
left shoulder, about a quarter after one, just in the heat of action. He
fell upon his face, on the spot which was covered with his poor
secretary’s blood.

Hardy, who was a few steps from him, turning round, saw three men
raising him up. “They have done for me at last, Hardy,” said he. “I hope
not,” cried Hardy. “Yes,” he replied; “my backbone is shot through.” Yet
even now, not for a moment losing his presence of mind, he observed, as
they were carrying him down the ladder, that the tiller ropes, which had
been shot away, were not yet replaced, and ordered that new ones should
be rove immediately; then, that he might not be seen by the crew, he
took out his handkerchief, and covered his face and his stars. Had he
but concealed these badges of honor from the enemy, England, perhaps,
would not have had cause to receive with sorrow the news of Trafalgar.
The cockpit was crowded with wounded and dying men, over whose bodies he
was with some difficulty conveyed, and laid upon a pallet in the
midshipmen’s berth.

[Illustration: ROBERT SOUTHEY]

It was soon perceived, upon examination, that the wound was mortal.
This, however, was concealed from all except Captain Hardy, the
chaplain, and the medical attendants. Nelson himself being certain, from
the sensation in his back, and the gush of blood he felt momently within
his breast, that no human care could avail him, insisted that the
surgeon should leave him, and attend to those to whom he might be
useful; “for,” said he, “you can do nothing for me.” All that could be
done was to fan him with paper, and frequently to give him lemonade to
alleviate his intense thirst. He was in great pain, and expressed much
anxiety for the event of the action, which now began to declare itself.
As often as a ship struck, the crew of the _Victory_ hurrahed, and at
every hurrah, a visible expression of joy gleamed in the eyes, and
marked the countenance of the dying hero. But he became impatient to see
Hardy; and as that officer, though often sent for, could not leave the
deck, Nelson feared that some fatal cause prevented him, and repeatedly
cried, “Will no one bring Hardy to me? he must be killed! he is surely
dead!” An hour and ten minutes elapsed from the time when Nelson
received his wound, before Hardy could come to him. They shook hands in
silence, Hardy in vain struggling to suppress the feelings of that most
painful and yet sublime moment. “Well, Hardy,” said Nelson, “how goes
the day with us?” “Very well,” replied Hardy; “ten ships have struck,
but five of the van have tacked, and show an intention to bear down upon
the _Victory_. I have called two or three of our fresh ships round, and
have no doubt of giving them a drubbing.” “I hope,” said Nelson, “none
of our ships have struck.” Hardy answered, “There is no fear of that.”
Then, and not till then, Nelson spoke of himself. “I am a dead man,
Hardy,” said he; “I am going fast; it will be all over with me soon.
Come nearer to me.” Hardy observed that he hoped Mr. Beatty could yet
hold out some prospect of life. “Oh, no,” he replied; “it is
impossible. My back is shot through. Beatty will tell you so.” Hardy
then once more shook hands with him, and with a heart almost bursting,
hastened upon deck.

[Illustration]

By this time all feeling below the breast was gone, and Nelson, having
made the surgeon ascertain this, said to him: “You know I am gone. I
know it. I feel something rising in my breast,” putting his hand on his
left side, “which tells me so.” And upon Beatty’s inquiring whether his
pain was very great, he replied, so great that he wished he was dead.
“Yet,” said he, in a lower voice, “one would like to live a little
longer, too!” Captain Hardy, some fifty minutes after he had left the
cockpit, returned, and again taking the hand of his dying friend and
commander, congratulated him on having gained a complete victory. How
many of the enemy were taken he did not know, as it was impossible to
perceive them distinctly, but fourteen or fifteen at least. “That’s
well,” cried Nelson; “but I bargained for twenty.” And then, in a
stronger voice, he said, “Anchor, Hardy, anchor.” Hardy, upon this,
hinted that Admiral Collingwood would take upon himself the direction of
affairs. “Not while I live, Hardy,” said the dying Nelson, ineffectually
endeavoring to raise himself from the bed; “do you anchor.” His previous
orders for preparing to anchor had shown how clearly he foresaw the
necessity of this.

Presently, calling Hardy back, he said to him in a low voice, “Don’t
throw me overboard;” and he desired that he might be buried by his
parents, unless it should please the king to order otherwise. Then,
“Kiss me, Hardy,” said he. Hardy knelt down and kissed his cheek; and
Nelson said, “Now I am satisfied. Thank God, I have done my duty!” Hardy
stood over him in silence for a moment or two, then knelt again and
kissed his forehead. “Who is that?” said Nelson; and being informed, he
replied, “God bless you, Hardy.” And Hardy then left him forever. Nelson
now desired to be turned upon his right side, and said, “I wish I had
not left the deck, for I shall soon be gone.” Death was, indeed, rapidly
approaching. He said to the chaplain, “Doctor, I have _not_ been a
_great_ sinner.” His articulation now became difficult; but he was
distinctly heard to say, “Thank God, I have done my duty!” These words
he repeatedly pronounced, and they were the last words which he uttered.
He expired at thirty minutes after four, three hours and a quarter after
he had received his wound.

The death of Nelson was felt in England as something more than a public
calamity; men started at the intelligence, and turned pale, as if they
had heard of the loss of a near friend. An object of our admiration and
affection, of our pride and of our hopes, was suddenly taken from us;
and it seemed as if we had never till then known how deeply we loved and
reverenced him. The victory of Trafalgar was celebrated, indeed, with
the usual forms of rejoicing, but they were without joy; for such
already was the glory of the British navy, through Nelson’s surpassing
genius, that it scarcely seemed to receive any addition from the most
signal victory that ever was achieved upon the seas; and the destruction
of this mighty fleet hardly appeared to add to our security or strength;
for while Nelson was living to watch the combined squadrons of the
enemy, we felt ourselves as secure as now, when they were no longer in
existence.

There was reason to suppose that in the course of nature Nelson might
have attained, like his father, to a good old age. Yet he cannot be said
to have fallen prematurely whose work was done; nor ought he to be
lamented who died so full of honors, and at the height of human fame.
He has left us, not indeed his mantle of inspiration, but a name and an
example which are at this moment inspiring thousands of the youth of
England--a name which is our pride, and an example which will continue
to be our shield and our strength. Thus it is that the spirits of the
great and the wise continue to live and to act after them.--$1



        THE BATTLE OF THE BALTIC


[Illustration: THOMAS CAMPBELL]

    Of Nelson and the North,
    Sing the glorious day’s renown,
    When to battle fierce came forth
    All the might of Denmark’s crown,
    And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
    By each gun the lighted brand,
    In a bold, determined hand,
    And the Prince of all the land
    Led them on.

    Like leviathans afloat,
    Lay their bulwarks on the brine;
    While the sign of battle flew
    On the lofty British line:
    It was ten of April morn by the chime:
    As they drifted on their path,
    There was silence deep as death;
    And the boldest held his breath,
    For a time.

    But the might of England flush’d
    To anticipate the scene;
    And her van the fleeter rush’d
    O’er the deadly space between.
    “Hearts of oak!” our captains cried; when each gun
    From its adamantine lips
    Spread a death-shade round the ships,
    Like the hurricane eclipse
    Of the sun.

    Again! again! again!
    And the havoc did not slack,
    Till a feeble cheer the Dane
    To our cheering sent us back;
    Their shots along the deep slowly boom--
    Then ceased--and all is wail,
    As they strike the shattered sail;
    Or, in conflagration pale,
    Light the gloom.

    Out spoke the victor then,
    As he hail’d them o’er the wave;
    “Ye are brothers! ye are men!
    And we conquer but to save:--
    So peace instead of death let us bring;
    But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
    With the crews, at England’s feet,
    And make submission meet
    To our King.”

    Then Denmark blessed our chief
    That he gave her wounds repose;
    And the sounds of joy and grief
    From her people wildly rose,
    As death withdrew his shades from the day.
    While the sun look’d smiling bright
    O’er a wide and woful sight,
    Where the fires of funeral light
    Died away.

    Now joy, old England, raise
    For the tidings of thy might,
    By the festal cities’ blaze,
    Whilst the wine-cup shines in light;
    And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
    Let us think of them that sleep
    Full many a fathom deep,
    By thy wild and stormy steep,
    Elsinore!

    Brave hearts! to Britain’s pride
    Once so faithful and so true,
    On the deck of fame that died,
    With the gallant good Riou:
    Soft sighs the winds of Heaven o’er their grave!
    While the billow mournful rolls,
    And the mermaid’s song condoles,
    Singing glory to the souls
    Of the brave!
         --THOMAS CAMPBELL.



        YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND


    Ye mariners of England!
      That guard our native seas;
    Whose flag has braved a thousand years,
      The battle and the breeze!
    Your glorious standard launch again
      To match another foe!
    And sweep through the deep
      While the stormy winds do blow;
    While the battle rages loud and long,
      And the stormy winds do blow.

    The spirits of your fathers
      Shall start from every wave!
    For the deck it was their field of fame,
      And ocean was their grave:
    Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
      Your manly hearts shall glow,
    As ye sweep through the deep
      While the stormy winds do blow;
    While the battle rages loud and long,
      And the stormy winds do blow.

    Britannia needs no bulwarks,
      No towers along the steep;
    Her march is o’er the mountain-waves,
      Her home is on the deep.
    With thunders from her native oak,
      She quells the floods below,
    As they roar on the shore
      When the stormy winds do blow;
    When the battle rages loud and long,
      And the stormy winds do blow.

    The meteor flag of England
      Shall yet terrific burn;
    Till danger’s troubled night depart,
      And the star of peace return.
    Then, then, ye ocean warriors!
      Our song and feast shall flow
    To the fame of your name,
      When the storm has ceased to blow;
    When the fiery fight is heard no more,
      And the storm has ceased to blow!
         --THOMAS CAMPBELL.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Do what you ought, come what may.



        THE APPLES OF IDUN


Once upon a time Odin, Loke, and Hœner started on a journey. They had
often travelled together before on all sorts of errands, for they had a
great many things to look after, and more than once they had fallen into
trouble through the prying, meddlesome, malicious spirit of Loke, who
was never so happy as when he was doing wrong. When the gods went on a
journey, they travelled fast and hard, for they were strong, active,
spirits who loved nothing so much as hard work, hard blows, storm,
peril, and struggle. There were no roads through the country over which
they made their way, only high mountains to be climbed by rocky paths,
deep valleys into which the sun hardly looked during half the year, and
swift-rushing streams, cold as ice, and treacherous to the surest foot
and the strongest arm. Not a bird flew through the air, not an animal
sprang through the trees. It was as still as a desert. The gods walked
on and on, getting more tired and hungry at every step. The sun was
sinking low over the steep, pine-crested mountains, and the travellers
had neither breakfasted nor dined. Even Odin was beginning to feel the
pangs of hunger, like the most ordinary mortal, when suddenly, entering
a little valley, the famished gods came upon a herd of cattle. It was
the work of a minute to kill a great ox and to have the carcass swinging
in a huge pot over a roaring fire.

But never were gods so unlucky before! In spite of their hunger the pot
would not boil. They piled on the wood until the great, flames crackled
and licked the pot with their fiery tongues, but every time the cover
was lifted there was the meat just as raw as when it was put in. It is
easy to imagine that the travellers were not in very good humor. As they
were talking about it, and wondering how it could be, a voice called out
from the branches of the oak overhead, “If you will give me my fill,
I’ll make the pot boil.”

The gods looked first at each other and then into the tree, and there
they discovered a great eagle. They were glad enough to get their supper
on almost any terms, so they told the eagle he might have what he wanted
if he would only get the meat cooked. The bird was as good as his word,
and, in less time than it takes to tell it, supper was ready. Then the
eagle flew down and picked out both shoulders and both legs. This was a
pretty large share, it must be confessed, and Loke, who was always angry
when anybody got more than he, no sooner saw what the eagle had taken
than he seized a great pole and began to beat the rapacious bird
unmercifully. Whereupon a very singular thing happened: the pole stuck
fast in the huge talons of the eagle at one end, and Loke stuck fast at
the other end. Struggle as he might, he could not get loose, and as the
great bird sailed away over the tops of the trees, Loke went pounding
along on the ground, striking against rocks and branches until he was
bruised half to death.

The eagle was not an ordinary bird by any means, as Loke soon found when
he begged for mercy. The giant Thjasse happened to be flying abroad in
his eagle plumage when the hungry travellers came under the oak and
tried to cook the ox. It was into his hands that Loke had fallen, and he
was not to get away until he had promised to pay roundly for his
freedom.

If there was one thing which the gods prized above their other treasures
in Asgard, it was the beautiful fruit of Idun, kept by the goddess in a
golden casket and given to the gods to keep them forever young and fair.
Without these Apples all their power could not have kept them from
getting old like the meanest of mortals. Without the Apples of Idun,
Asgard itself would have lost its charm; for what would heaven be
without youth and beauty forever shining through it?

Thjasse told Loke that he could not go unless he would promise to bring
him the Apples of Idun. Loke was wicked enough for anything; but when it
came to robbing the gods of their immortality, even he hesitated. And
while he hesitated the eagle dashed hither and thither, flinging him
against the sides of the mountains and dragging him through the great
tough boughs of the oaks until his courage gave out entirely, and he
promised to steal the Apples out of Asgard and give them to the giant.

Loke was bruised and sore enough when he got on his feet again to hate
the giant, who handled him so roughly, with all his heart, but he was
not unwilling to keep his promise to steal the Apples, if only for the
sake of tormenting the other gods. But how was it to be done? Idun
guarded the golden fruit of immortality with sleepless watchfulness. No
one ever touched it but herself, and a beautiful sight it was to see her
fair hands spread it forth for the morning feasts in Asgard. The power
which Loke possessed lay not so much in his own strength, although he
had a smooth way of deceiving people, as in the goodness of others who
had no thought of his doing wrong because they never did wrong
themselves.

Not long after all this happened, Loke came carelessly up to Idun as she
was gathering her Apples to put them away in the beautiful carven box
which held them.

“Good morning, goddess,” said he. “How fair and golden your Apples are!”

“Yes,” answered Idun; “the bloom of youth keeps them always beautiful.”

“I never saw anything like them,” continued Loke, slowly, as if he were
talking about a matter of no importance, “until the other day.”

Idun looked up at once with the greatest interest and curiosity in her
face. She was very proud of her Apples, and she knew that no earthly
trees, however large and fair, bore the immortal fruit.

“Where have you seen any Apples like them?” she asked.

“Oh, just outside the gates,” said Loke, indifferently. “If you care to
see them, I’ll take you there. It will keep you but a moment. The tree
is only a little way off.”

Idun was anxious to go at once.

“Better take your Apples with you to compare them with the others,” said
the wily god, as she prepared to go.

Idun gathered up the golden Apples and went out of Asgard, carrying with
her all that made it heaven. No sooner was she beyond the gates than a
mighty rushing sound was heard, like the coming of a tempest, and before
she could think or act, the giant Thjasse, in his eagle plumage, was
bearing her swiftly away through the air to his desolate, icy home in
Thrymheim, where, after vainly trying to persuade her to let him eat the
Apples and be forever young like the gods, he kept her a lonely
prisoner.

Loke, after keeping his promise and delivering Idun into the hands of
the giant, strayed back into Asgard as if nothing had happened. The next
morning, when the gods assembled for their feast, there was no Idun. Day
after day went past, and still the beautiful goddess did not come.
Little by little the light of youth and beauty faded from the home of
the gods, and they themselves became old and haggard. Their strong,
young faces were lined with care and furrowed by age, their raven locks
passed from gray to white, and their flashing eyes became dim and
hollow. Brage, the god of poetry, could make no music while his
beautiful wife was gone he knew not whither.

Morning after morning the faded light broke on paler and ever paler
faces, until even in heaven the eternal light of youth seemed to be
going out forever.

Finally the gods could bear the loss of power and joy no longer. They
made rigorous inquiry. They tracked Loke on that fair morning when he
led Idun beyond the gates; they seized him and brought him into solemn
council, and when he read in their haggard faces the deadly hate which
flamed in all their hearts against his treachery, his courage failed,
and he promised to bring Idun back to Asgard if the goddess Freyja would
lend him her falconguise. No sooner said than done; and with eager gaze
the gods watched him as he flew away, becoming at last only a dark,
moving speck against the sky.

After long and weary flight, Loke came to Thrymheim, and was glad enough
to find Thjasse gone to sea and Idun alone in his dreary house. He
changed her instantly into a nut, and taking her thus disguised in his
talons, flew away as fast as his falcon wings could carry him. And he
had need of all his speed, for Thjasse, coming suddenly home and finding
Idun and her precious fruit gone, guessed what had happened, and,
putting on his eagle plumage, flew forth in a mighty rage, with
vengeance in his heart. Like the rushing wings of a tempest, his mighty
pinions beat the air and bore him swiftly onwards. From mountain peak to
mountain peak he measured his wide course, almost grazing at times the
murmuring pine forests, and then sweeping high in mid-air with nothing
above but the arching sky and nothing beneath but the tossing sea.

At last he sees the falcon far ahead, and now his flight becomes like
the flash of the lightning for swiftness, and like the rushing of clouds
for uproar. The haggard faces of the gods line the walls of Asgard and
watch the race with tremulous eagerness. Youth and immortality are
staked upon the winning of Loke. He is weary enough and frightened
enough too, as the eagle sweeps on close behind him; but he makes
desperate efforts to widen the distance between them. Little by little
the eagle gains on the falcon. The gods grow white with fear; they rush
off and prepare great fires upon the walls. With fainting, drooping wing
the falcon passes over and drops exhausted by the wall. In an instant
the fires have been lighted, and the great flames roar to heaven. The
eagle sweeps across the fiery line a second later, and falls, maimed and
burned, to the ground, where a dozen fierce hands smite the life out of
him, and the great giant Thjasse perishes among his foes.

Idun resumes her natural form as Brage rushes to meet her. The gods
crowd around her. She spreads the feast, the golden Apples gleaming with
unspeakable lustre in the eyes of the gods. They eat; and once more
their faces glow with the beauty of immortal youth, their eyes flash
with the radiance of divine power, and, while Idun stands like a star
for beauty among the throng, the song of Brage is heard once more; for
poetry and immortality are wedded again.--HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE.

     _From “Norse Stories,” by permission of the author and of the
     publishers, Dodd, Mead and Company, New York._

       *       *       *       *       *

    He that is not wise will not be taught.



        HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX


    I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
    I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
    “Good speed!” cried the watch as the gate bolts undrew;
    “Speed!” echoed the wall to us galloping through.
    Behind shut the postern, the light sank to rest,
    And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

    Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace,
    Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
    I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
    Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
    Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
    Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

    ’Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
    Lokeren, the cocks crew, and twilight dawned clear;
    At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
    At Duffeld, ’twas morning as plain as could be;
    And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime.
    So Joris broke silence with, “Yet there is time!”

    At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
    And against him the cattle stood black every one,
    To stare through the mist at us galloping past,
    And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
    With resolute shoulders, each butting away
    The haze, as some bluff river-headland its spray:

    And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
    For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
    And one eye’s black intelligence--ever that glance
    O’er its white edge at me, his own master, askance!
    And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
    His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.

    By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, “Stay spur!
    Your Roos galloped bravely; the fault’s not in her,
    We’ll remember at Aix,”--for one heard the quick wheeze
    Of her chest, saw the stretched neck, and staggering knees,
    And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
    As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

    So, we were left galloping, Joris and I,
    Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
    The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,
    ’Neath our foot broke the brittle, bright stubble, like chaff;
    Till over by Dalhem a dome-tower sprang white,
    And “Gallop,” cried Joris, “for Aix is in sight!”

    “How they’ll greet us!”--and all in a moment his roan
    Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
    And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
    Of the news, which alone could save Aix from her fate,
    With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
    And with circles of red for his eye-sockets’ rim.

    Then I cast loose my buff-coat, each holster let fall,
    Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
    Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
    Called my Roland his pet name, my horse without peer;
    Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good,
    Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood!

    And all I remember is,--friends flocking round
    As I sat with his head ’twixt my knees on the ground;
    And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
    As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
    Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
    Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.
         --ROBERT BROWNING.



        MARMION AND DOUGLAS


    The train from out the castle drew;
    But Marmion stopped to bid adieu.
      “Though something I might plain,” he said,
    “Of cold respect to stranger guest,
    Sent hither by your king’s behest,
      While in Tantallon’s towers I stayed,
    Part we in friendship from your land,
    And, noble earl, receive my hand.”

    But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
    Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:
    “My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
    Be open, at my sovereign’s will,
    To each one whom he lists, howe’er
    Unmeet to be the owner’s peer.
    My castles are my king’s alone,
    From turret to foundation stone:
    The hand of Douglas is his own,
    And never shall, in friendly grasp,
    The hand of such as Marmion clasp.”

    Burned Marmion’s swarthy cheek like fire,
    And shook his very frame for ire;
      And “This to me?” he said;
    “An ’twere not for thy hoary beard,
    Such hand as Marmion’s had not spared
      To cleave the Douglas’ head.
    And first, I tell thee, haughty peer,
    He who does England’s message here,
    Although the meanest in her state,
    May well, proud Angus, be thy mate.

    “And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,
      Even in thy pitch of pride,
    Here in thy hold, thy vassals near,
      I tell thee thou’rt defied!
    And if thou saidst I am not peer
    To any lord in Scotland here,
    Lowland or Highland, far or near,
      Lord Angus, thou hast lied.”

    On the earl’s cheek the flush of rage
    O’ercame the ashen hue of age:
    Fierce he broke forth: “And dar’st thou then
    To beard the lion in his den,
      The Douglas in his hall?
    And hop’st thou hence unscathed to go?
    No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no!--
    Up drawbridge, grooms!--what, warder, ho!
      Let the portcullis fall!”

    Lord Marmion turned,--well was his need,--
    And dashed the rowels in his steed;
    Like arrow through the archway sprung;
    The ponderous gate behind him rung;
    To pass there was such scanty room,
    The bars, descending, grazed his plume.
    The steed along the drawbridge flies,
    Just as it trembled on the rise;
    Nor lighter does the swallow skim
    Along the smooth lake’s level brim.
    And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
    He halts, and turns with clenchèd hand,
    And shout of loud defiance pours,
    And shook his gauntlet at the towers.
         --SIR WALTER SCOTT.



        THE TEMPEST


Upon a lonely island of the sea, far from the haunts of humanity, there
dwelt an old man and his beautiful daughter. She had been very young
when she was taken there, so young that she could not remember ever
having seen a human face, excepting the face of Prospero, her father.

[Illustration: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE]

Their home was in a rocky cavern, which was divided into two or three
apartments, and in one of these the old man kept his books, which
treated of a strange art, much thought of in olden time. It was called
magic; and it is said that by this means Prospero had released many good
spirits which a bad witch named Sycorax had managed to confine in the
hollow trunks of large old trees, just because they would not do the
wicked things she commanded.

One of these released spirits had the pretty name of Ariel; a lively
little sprite, who, in gratitude to Prospero, was always ready to do his
will. But Ariel had a dislike to a monster called Caliban,--the son of
wicked Sycorax,--and took great pleasure in tormenting him.

Though Prospero found this ugly Caliban in the woods, and took him home
to his cavern, treating him with great

[Illustration: THE STORM]

kindness, it seemed impossible to teach him anything really useful; so
at length he was put to draw water and carry wood, while Ariel watched
to see how he executed these duties.

Ariel was such a delicate sprite that no mortal’s eye could perceive him
save the eye of Prospero; and thus, when Caliban was lazy, he was not
able to see that it was Ariel who would pinch him and tease him, or else
take some fantastic shape and tumble in his way, and so vex him, as a
punishment for not doing the will of Prospero.

Strange as it may seem, this old man of the island could get the spirits
to rouse the winds and the waves at his pleasure. Once, when a violent
storm was raging, he showed his daughter Miranda a ship quite full of
human beings, whose lives were in peril from the surging waves. “Oh,
dear father,” cried the maiden, “if indeed your power has raised this
storm, have pity on these poor creatures and calm the wind. If I could,
I would rather sink the sea beneath the earth, than have the ship and so
many lives destroyed.”

“No person on board the vessel shall be harmed,” said Prospero, soothing
her alarm. “I have done this for your sake, Miranda. You wonder--ah! you
know not who you are, or whence you came; in fact, you only know that I
am your father, and that this cavern is our home. You were scarce three
years old when I brought you here; you cannot then remember any previous
time?”

“Yes, my father, I can,” replied Miranda.

Then Prospero entreated her to say what remembrance she had of the days
of her infancy.

“It is but little,” said the maiden. “It seems indeed like unto a dream,
and yet surely there was a time when several women were in attendance on
me.”

“That is quite true,” replied Prospero. “How can you recall this?--can
it be possible that you remember our coming here?”

“No, I can recall nothing more than I have said, father.”

Upon this Prospero decided that the time had come when he should tell
his daughter the story of her life. “Twelve years ago, Miranda,” he
began, “I was duke of Milan, and you the heiress of my wealth and a
princess. I had a brother younger than myself, to whom I trusted the
management of my affairs, little dreaming of his unworthiness. Buried
among my books, I neglected all else, and Antonio used this opportunity
to gain an influence over my subjects; and then, with the aid of an
enemy of mine, the king of Naples, to make himself duke in my place.

“He feared to take our lives by violence, but having forced us on board
a vessel, Antonio put out to sea, and then removing us into a smaller
boat without sail or mast, left us to what he believed would prove a
certain death.

“A lord of my court, by name Gonzalo, had, however, felt some
presentiment of danger, and thus had, out of his love for me, taken the
precaution of putting food, apparel, and my highly valued books into the
boat.”

“Oh, father,” said Miranda, “what a care, what a trouble must I, a
little child, have been to you, then!”

“Nay, my child,” replied Prospero, passing his hand fondly over her
hair; “not a care, but a comforter, a consoler! I could hardly have
borne up under such misfortunes, but for your innocent face and baby
tongue. Our food lasted till the boat touched this island; and here my
great joy has been to watch over and instruct you.”

“But tell me, father, why this furious storm?” cried Miranda.

“By this storm my cruel brother and the king of Naples are cast ashore
upon this island.”

As he spoke these words Prospero touched his daughter with his magic
wand, and her eyes closed in sleep.

Just then Ariel came to his master to tell how he had treated the
company on board the ship, describing their great alarm, and how the
young Ferdinand, son of the king, had leaped into the sea, to the grief
of his father, who believed him lost. “But he is not lost,” said Ariel.
“He is sitting now in a corner of the island, with not one hair of his
head injured; but he is grieving sadly, because he concludes that the
king, his father, has been drowned.”

“Bring the young prince hither, Ariel,” said Prospero. “Where is the
king, and where my brother Antonio?”

“Searching for Ferdinand,” replied the sprite. “Searching with a very
faint hope, for they believe they saw him perish. In fact, although all
the ship’s company is safe, each believes himself the only survivor;
and even the ship is invisible to them, though it lies in the harbor.”

“Thy duty has been well done,” said Prospero. “There is more work yet
for thee, Ariel.”

“More work!” cried the sprite. “But, master, you promised me my liberty;
and pray remember I have done you good service. I have made no mistakes,
told no lies, neither have I murmured at the commands laid upon me.”

“How now?” said Prospero. “Do you forget from what I freed you? Do you
forget Sycorax, the wicked witch? Where was she born? Tell me, Ariel.”

“Sir, she was born in Algiers.”

“Was she?” said Prospero. “Now let me remind you of something which
methinks you have forgotten. Sycorax was for her wicked witchcraft
banished from Algiers, and left upon this lonely island by some sailors;
and because you were not able to obey her commands, she shut you up in a
hollow tree. Do you forget that I found you howling there, and set you
free?”

Ariel was ashamed of having seemed ungrateful. “Pardon me, dear master,”
he said. “I will continue to obey your orders.”

“Do so, and then I shall set you free,” said Prospero; and having
received his directions, Ariel went off to where Ferdinand sat upon the
grass with a sad countenance.

“Come, young gentleman,” said the sprite. “Come, and let the lady
Miranda have a sight of you;” and he began to sing this song, which
gave Ferdinand news of his father, and roused him from his silent
grief:--

    “Full fathom five thy father lies:
          Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes:
          Nothing of him that doth fade
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
    Hark! now I hear them,--Ding-dong, bell.”

Following the sound of Ariel’s sweet voice, Ferdinand found himself in
the presence of Prospero and Miranda, who stood under the shade of a
large tree.

“O father,” cried the maiden, who had never before seen any human being
besides Prospero, “surely this must be a spirit coming towards us?”

“It is a young man who was one of the company in the ship,” said
Prospero. “He is in great grief, which somewhat lessens the beauty of
his features. Having lost his companions, he is wandering in search of
them.”

Ferdinand now saw with amazement and delight the beautiful Miranda, and
he began to address her as if she were the goddess of an enchanted
island.

She replied that she was but a simple maiden and no goddess, and would
have given an account of herself, had not Prospero interrupted her. He
foresaw that these two young people would become much attached to each
other, and therefore resolved to throw many difficulties in Ferdinand’s
way, that he might prove the strength and constancy of his affection.

“I will bind you hand and foot,” he cried. “Shell-fish, acorns, withered
roots shall be your food, and salt sea water your only drink.”

“No,” cried Ferdinand, drawing his sword; “I shall resist such
entertainment--at any rate until I am overcome by some more powerful
enemy than yourself.”

At this Prospero raised his magic wand, which completely fixed Ferdinand
to the spot, so that he could not move!

“O father, be not so unkind,” cried Miranda, clinging to the old man.
“Have some pity on him, for indeed it seems to me that he is good and
true.”

“Silence, girl. You think much of this youth because you have seen no
comelier form than mine: but I tell you there are others who in person
excel him as far as he excels in beauty the monster, Caliban.”

Then, turning to the prince, Prospero cried, “Come, young sir; you have
no power to disobey me.”

And Ferdinand found himself compelled to follow the old man into the
cavern, although he turned once and again to gaze upon Miranda. “In
truth this man’s threats would seem as nothing to me,” he sighed, “if
only I might from my prison behold this fair maid.”

Ferdinand was not confined very long; he was brought out and set to some
laborious task, while Prospero from his study watched both the young man
and Miranda.

The prince had been ordered to pile up some heavy logs of wood, and
soon the maiden saw him half-fainting beneath his burden. “Pray rest,”
she cried; “my father will for three hours be at his studies. I entreat
you not to work so hard.”

“Dear lady, I dare not rest,” said Ferdinand; “I must finish my task.”

“Sit down and I shall carry the logs for a while,” said the maiden; but
Ferdinand would not have it so, and so she began to assist him, though
the business went on but slowly because they were talking together.

But Prospero was not among his books, as Miranda thought; he was quite
close to them, although invisible, and he smiled as he heard his
daughter tell her name, and smiled again as Ferdinand professed his
great love and admiration for her.

“I fear I am talking too freely. I have forgotten my father’s command,”
said Miranda, at last.

And here Prospero nodded his head, and said to himself, “My daughter
shall be queen of Naples.”

They had not talked long, before Miranda had promised to be the bride of
Ferdinand; and then her father no longer concealed his presence, but
made himself visible to the eyes of these young people. “Be not afraid,
daughter,” he said; “I have heard all that has passed, but I approve it.
As for you, Ferdinand, if I have been hard, it was but to try if you
were worthy of my child; and by giving her to you I make amends for it
all.”

Calling his attendant, Ariel, Prospero left them, saying he had
business to attend to; which business was to hear how the sprite had
been tormenting and frightening his master’s brother and the king of
Naples. When they were weary and well-nigh famished, he set a delicate
banquet before them; but only to appear again as a monster, who carried
the untasted food away. Then he spoke to them, still in the form of a
harpy, and reminded them of the shameful way in which they had treated
Prospero and his little child, adding that in punishment this shipwreck
had befallen them.

The king and Antonio were greatly distressed at this; and Ariel declared
that though he was but a sprite, he could not but pity them, their grief
seemed so sincere.

“Bring them here,” cried Prospero. “Bring them quickly, my good Ariel;
for if you feel for them, much more should I who am a human being, such
as they, take compassion on them in their misfortune, and freely forgive
the past.”

So Ariel brought the king and Prospero’s brother into his presence; and
with them came Gonzalo, who had proved his love for his master by
putting food and apparel into the boat in which he had been left to the
mercy of the winds and waves.

When Prospero spoke to Gonzalo, and called him the preserver of his
life, Antonio knew this old man must be his own much-injured brother,
and he began to implore his pardon with many tears; the king also asked
forgiveness for the part he had taken against him.

Prospero assured them that he freely forgave all; and, opening a door,
he showed them Ferdinand, who was engaged in a game of chess with
Miranda. What joy was this to the father and son, both of whom believed
the other had been lost in the storm!

The king of Naples was astonished at the beauty of Miranda. “Is this a
goddess” he asked, “who parted us that she might bring us together?”

“Not a goddess,” answered Ferdinand, smiling. “A fair maiden, whom I
have asked to be my bride. She is the daughter of the duke of Milan,
who, in giving her to me, has made himself my second father.”

“Then I must be her father,” said the king. “And, first, I must ask her
forgiveness.”

“Not so,” interrupted Prospero; “let us rather forget the past and think
only of the happy present.” And then, embracing his brother, he declared
that all his troubles had been overruled by Providence; as, but for
their meeting on the desert island, perhaps Ferdinand would never have
known and loved Miranda.

The ship was safe in harbor, the sailors were on board, and the whole
company intended to depart together in the morning; but for that last
evening they partook of some refreshments in the cavern, which was so
soon now to be deserted, while Prospero gave them the story of his
adventures.

Before he left the island he dismissed Ariel from his service, to the
joy of the active sprite, who loved liberty above all else. “But,
master, I shall attend your passage home, and get for you prosperous
winds; and then how merrily I’ll live.” And at this Ariel broke into a
sweet song, which went like this:--

      “Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
      In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
      There I couch when owls do cry.
      On the bat’s back I do fly
      After summer merrily:
    Merrily, merrily shall I live now,
    Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.”

Prospero’s last act was to bury all his magical books and his wand; for
he meant to have nothing more to do with the art, but to spend the rest
of his life in his native land, watching over the welfare of his people,
and at peace with all the world.

As soon as the party reached Naples, the marriage of Ferdinand and
Miranda took place with much splendor, thus completing the happiness of
Prospero, now again duke of Milan, but whom we have learned to know as
the old man of the island.--MARY SEYMOUR.

     _From “Tales from Shakespeare,” by Mary Seymour, published by
     Thomas Nelson & Sons, Edinburgh._

       *       *       *       *       *

    Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
    Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears;
    To me the meanest flower that blows can give
    Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
         --WORDSWORTH.



        EDINBURGH AFTER FLODDEN


    News of battle! News of battle!
      Hark! ’tis ringing down the street;
    And the archways and the pavement
      Bear the clang of hurrying feet.
    News of battle! who hath brought it?
      News of triumph! who should bring
    Tidings from our noble army,
      Greetings from our gallant king?
    All last night we watched the beacons
      Blazing on the hills afar,
    Each one bearing, as it kindled,
      Message of the opened war.
    All night long the northern streamers
      Shot across the trembling sky;
    Fearful lights, that never beckon
      Save when kings or heroes die.

    News of battle! who hath brought it?
      All are thronging to the gate;
    “Warder--warder! open quickly!
      Man--is this a time to wait?”
    And the heavy gates are opened:
      Then a murmur long and loud,
    And a cry of fear and wonder
      Bursts from out the bending crowd.
    For they see in battered harness
      Only one hard-stricken man;
    And his weary steed is wounded,
      And his cheek is pale and wan:
    Spearless hangs a bloody banner
      In his weak and drooping hand--
    What! can this be Randolph Murray,
      Captain of the city band?

    Round him crush the people, crying,
      “Tell us all--oh, tell us true!
    Where are they who went to battle,
      Randolph Murray, sworn to you?
    Where are they, our brothers,--children?
      Have they met the English foe?
    Why art thou alone, unfollowed?
      Is it weal, or is it woe?”

    Like a corpse the grisly warrior
      Looks out from his helm of steel;
    But no words he speaks in answer--
      Only with his armèd heel
    Chides his weary steed, and onwards
      Up the city streets they ride;
    Fathers, sisters, mothers, children,
      Shrieking, praying by his side.
    “By the God that made thee, Randolph!
      Tell us what mischance has come.”
    Then he lifts his riven banner,
      And the asker’s voice is dumb.
    The elders of the city
      Have met within their hall--
    The men whom good King James had charged
      To watch the tower and wall.
    “Your hands are weak with age,” he said,
      “Your hearts are stout and true;
    So bide ye in the Maiden Town,
      While others fight for you.
    My trumpet from the border side
      Shall send a blast so clear,
    That all who wait within the gate
      That stirring sound may hear.
    Or if it be the will of Heaven
      That back I never come,
    And if, instead of Scottish shouts,
      Ye hear the English drum,--
    Then let the warning bells ring out,
      Then gird you to the fray,
    Then man the walls like burghers stout,
      And fight while fight you may.
    ’Twere better that in fiery flame
      The roof should thunder down,
    Than that the foot of foreign foe
      Should trample in the town!”

    Then in came Randolph Murray,--
      His step was slow and weak,
    And, as he doffed his dinted helm,
    The tears ran down his cheek:
      They fell upon his corselet,
    And on his mailèd hand,
      As he gazed around him wistfully,
    Leaning sorely on his brand.
      And none who then beheld him
    But straight were smote with fear,
      For a bolder and a sterner man
    Had never couched a spear.
      They knew so sad a messenger
    Some ghastly news must bring,
      And all of them were fathers,
    And their sons were with the King.

    And up then rose the Provost--
      A brave old man was he,
    Of ancient name, and knightly fame,
      And chivalrous degree.
    He ruled our city like a Lord
      Who brooked no equal here.
    And ever for the townsman’s rights
      Stood up ’gainst prince and peer.
    And he had seen the Scottish host
      March from the Borough-muir,
    With music-storm and clamorous shout,
      And all the din that thunders out
    When youth’s of victory sure.
      But yet a dearer thought had he,--
      For, with a father’s pride,
    He saw his last remaining son
      Go forth by Randolph’s side,
    With casque on head and spur on heel
      All keen to do and dare;
    And proudly did that gallant boy
      Dunedin’s banner bear.
    Oh! woful now was the old man’s look,
      And he spake right heavily--
    “Now, Randolph, tell thy tidings,
      However sharp they be!
    Woe is written on thy visage,
      Death is looking from thy face:
    Speak!--though it be of overthrow,
      It cannot be disgrace!”

    Right bitter was the agony
      That wrung that soldier proud:
    Thrice did he strive to answer,
      And thrice he groaned aloud.
    Then he gave the riven banner
      To the old man’s shaking hand,
    Saying--“That is all I bring ye
      From the bravest of the land!
    Ay! ye may look upon it--
      It was guarded well and long,
    By your brothers and your children,
      By the valiant and the strong.

    One by one they fell around it,
      As the archers laid them low,
    Grimly dying, still unconquered,
      With their faces to the foe.
    Ay! ye may well look upon it--
      There is more than honor there,
    Else, be sure, I had not brought it
      From the field of dark despair.
    Never yet was royal banner
      Steeped in such a costly dye;
    It hath lain upon a bosom
      Where no other shroud shall lie.
    Sirs! I charge you, keep it holy,
      Keep it as a sacred thing,
    For the stain you see upon it
      Was the life-blood of your King!”

    Woe, and woe, and lamentation!
      What a piteous cry was there!
    Widows, maidens, mothers, children,
      Shrieking, sobbing in despair!
    “Oh, the blackest day for Scotland
      That she ever knew before!
    Oh, our king! the good, the noble,
      Shall we see him never more?
    Woe to us, and woe to Scotland!
      Oh, our sons, our sons and men!
    Surely some have ’scaped the Southron,
      Surely some will come again!”
    Till the oak that fell last winter
      Shall uprear its shattered stem--
    Wives and mothers of Dunedin--
      Ye may look in vain for them!
         --WILLIAM EDMONDSTOUNE AYTOUN.



        THE DISCOVERY OF THE MACKENZIE RIVER


[Illustration: ALEXANDER MACKENZIE]

Upon a bright June morning, in the year 1789, the gates of Fort
Chipewyan, on the south shore of Lake Athabaska, opened to give passage
to a party of gayly dressed fur-traders. At their head strode a handsome
young Scotsman named Alexander Mackenzie. The love of adventure had
brought him from the Highlands to Montreal, where he joined a company of
merchants engaged in the western fur-trade. Bartering blankets and beads
for beaver-skins soon grew wearisome, however, and Mackenzie looked
around eagerly for a chance to win fame for himself and glory for his
adopted country. He had heard of the wonderful journey of Samuel Hearne,
from the shores of Hudson Bay to the far-off mouth of the Coppermine
River, and determined that he too would explore the immense unknown
country that lay to the northward.

Fort Chipewyan had been built only in 1788, by Mackenzie’s cousin
Roderick, and although some of the fur-traders had pushed their way a
few hundred miles farther north to the shores of Great Slave Lake,
nothing was known of what lay beyond, except from the reports of roving
Indians. These Indians were in the habit of bringing their furs to Fort
Chipewyan to trade, and Mackenzie never lost a chance of questioning
them as to the nature of the country through which they had travelled.
They would draw rude maps for him on birch-bark, or in the sand, of
rivers, lakes, and mountains. Finally they told him of a mighty river
that ran out of the western end of Great Slave Lake. None of them had
ever been to its mouth, but they had been told by Indians of a different
tribe who lived upon the banks of this river, that it emptied into the
sea at such an immense distance that one would have to journey for
several years to reach the salt water. Mackenzie knew that this could
not be true, but he made up his mind to explore this great river and
discover whether it flowed into the Arctic Sea or into the Pacific.

All preparations having been made, therefore, he and his plucky little
band of French-Canadian boatmen and Indian hunters got into their
canoes. Amid shouts of farewell from the fort, the paddles dipped
noiselessly into the water, and they were off on their long journey to
the mouth of the Mackenzie. A few days’ paddling brought them to Great
Slave Lake, which they had to cross very carefully in their frail
birch-bark canoes, as great masses of ice were still floating about in
spite of the warm June sun. Before the end of the month they had reached
the western end of the lake, and entered the Mackenzie River.

Day by day and week by week they paddled steadily onwards, the days
growing longer as they went farther north. It must have seemed strange
to rise, as they did, at two o’clock in the morning, and find the sun
already up before them. As they journeyed down the river they met many
new tribes of Indians, who had never before seen white men. Sometimes
the Indians would rush into the woods in terror; at other times they
would brandish their spears and clubs threateningly, until Mackenzie
made them understand by signs that the white men were friends, not
enemies. Then they would come near and examine with wonder his strange
clothes and weapons, and they were willing to offer him all that they
owned for a handful of bright-colored beads.

Early in July, Mackenzie reached a point where another river emptied
into the one he was exploring. The Indians told him that this river came
from a very great lake, which they called Bear Lake, some distance off
to the eastward. Two days later he came to what were afterwards known as
the Ramparts of the Mackenzie River, where the rocky banks rise to a
great height, as straight as the walls of a room. The river grew narrow
at this point and rushed forward so violently that Mackenzie and his men
feared every moment would be their last. With great care, however, they
managed to keep the canoes afloat, and presently the river widened out
again and the current became less rapid.

Mackenzie now knew, from the direction of the river, that it must empty
into the Arctic Sea, and as the short summer would soon be over, he
would have to turn back within a few days. He therefore urged his men
forward at their utmost speed. On July 10th, he came to a place where
the river divides into a number of channels. He chose what seemed the
largest, and on they went, racing for the mouth of the great river.
Finally the banks widened out into what seemed at first to be a lake.
Weary and dispirited, the explorer landed upon an island and threw
himself down upon the hard ground to sleep. A shout from one of his men
aroused him a few hours later. The water had risen, he said, and was
carrying away their provisions. There could no longer be any doubt. The
rising water was the tide, and the long task was completed. They had
reached the mouth of the Mackenzie, and stood upon the shores of the
Arctic Sea. A post was driven into the frozen ground, upon which
Mackenzie carved his own name and those of his men, with the date. Then
he gave the word, and the canoes bounded away with renewed energy on the
long journey back to Fort Chipewyan.

   --LAWRENCE J. BURPEE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Count that day lost whose low descending sun
    Views from thy hand no worthy action done.



        THE FACE AGAINST THE PANE


    Mabel, little Mabel,
      With face against the pane,
    Looks out across the night,
    And sees the Beacon Light
      A-trembling in the rain.
    She hears the sea-bird screech,
    And the breakers on the beach
      Making moan, making moan.
    And the wind about the eaves
    Of the cottage sobs and grieves;
      And the willow tree is blown
        To and fro, to and fro,
    Till it seems like some old crone
    Standing out there all alone,
        With her woe!
    Wringing, as she stands,
    Her gaunt and palsied hands;
    While Mabel, timid Mabel,
      With face against the pane,
    Looks out across the night,
    And sees the Beacon Light
      A-trembling in the rain.

    Set the table, maiden Mabel,
      And make the cabin warm;
    Your little fisher lover
      Is out there in the storm;
    And your father,--you are weeping!
      O Mabel, timid Mabel,
      Go spread the supper table,
    And set the tea a-steeping.
    Your lover’s heart is brave,
      His boat is staunch and tight;
    And your father knows the perilous reef
      That makes the water white.
    But Mabel, Mabel darling,
      With her face against the pane,
    Looks out across the night
      At the Beacon in the rain.

    The heavens are veined with fire
      And the thunder, how it rolls!
    In the lullings of the storm
      The solemn church bell tolls
        For lost souls!
    But no sexton sounds the knell;
      In that belfry, old and high,
    Unseen fingers sway the bell,
      As the wind goes tearing by!
    How it tolls, for the souls
      Of the sailors on the sea!
    God pity them, God pity them,
      Wherever they may be!
    God pity wives and sweethearts
      Who wait and wait, in vain!
    And pity little Mabel,
      With her face against the pane.

    A boom! the lighthouse gun!
      How its echo rolls and rolls!
    ’Tis to warn home-bound ships
        Off the shoals.
    See, a rocket cleaves the sky--
      From the fort, a shaft of light!
    See, it fades, and, fading, leaves
      Golden furrows on the night!
    What makes Mabel’s cheek so pale?
      What makes Mabel’s lips so white?
    Did she see the helpless sail
      That, tossing here and there
      Like a feather in the air,
    Went down and out of sight--
    Down, down, and out of sight?
    Oh, watch no more, no more,
      With face against the pane;
    You cannot see the men that drown
      By the Beacon in the rain!

    From a shoal of richest rubies
      Breaks the morning clear and cold;
    And the angel of the village spire,
      Frost-touched, is bright as gold.
    Four ancient fishermen
      In the pleasant autumn air,
    Come toiling up the sands
    With something in their hands,--
    Two bodies stark and white,
    Ah! so ghastly in the light,
      With sea-weed in their hair.

    Oh, ancient fishermen,
      Go up to yonder cot!
    You’ll find a little child
      With face against the pane,
    Who looks towards the beach,
      And, looking, sees it not.
    She will never watch again!
      Never watch and weep at night!
    For those pretty, saintly eyes
    Look beyond the stormy skies,
      And they see the Beacon Light.
         --THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH.

     _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._

       *       *       *       *       *

    This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.



        THE CARRONADE


A frightful thing had just happened; one of the carronades of the
battery, a twenty-four pound cannon, had become loose.

This is perhaps the most dreadful thing that can take place at sea.
Nothing more terrible can happen to a man-of-war under full sail. A
cannon that breaks loose from its fastenings is suddenly transformed
into a supernatural beast. It is a monster developed from a machine.
This mass rolls along on its wheels as easily as a billiard ball; it
rolls with the rolling, pitches with the pitching, comes and goes, stops
and seems to meditate, begins anew, darts like an arrow from one end of
the ship to the other, whirls around, turns aside, evades, rears, hits
out, crushes, kills, exterminates.

[Illustration: VICTOR HUGO]

It has the air of having lost its patience, and of taking a mysterious,
dull revenge. The mad mass leaps like a panther; it has the weight of an
elephant, the agility of a mouse, the obstinacy of an axe; it takes one
by surprise like the surge of the sea; it flashes like lightning; it is
deaf as the tomb; it weighs ten thousand pounds, and it bounds like a
child’s ball. How can one guard against these terrible movements?

The ship had within its depths, so to speak, imprisoned lightning
struggling to escape; something like the rumbling of thunder during an
earthquake. In an instant the crew were on their feet. Brave men though
they were, they paused, silent, pale, and undecided, looking down at the
gun deck. Some one pushed them aside with his elbow and descended. It
was their passenger, the peasant, the man about whom they had been
talking a minute ago.

Having reached the foot of the ladder he halted. The cannon was rolling
to and fro on the gun deck. A dim wavering of lights and shadows was
added to this spectacle by the marine lantern swinging under the deck.
The outlines of the cannon were becoming indistinguishable by reason of
the rapidity of its motion; sometimes it looked black when the light
shone upon it, then again it would cast pale, glimmering reflections in
the darkness.

It was still pursuing its work of destruction. It had already shattered
four other pieces, and made two breaches in the ship’s side, fortunately
above the water line. It rushed frantically against the timbers; the
stout riders resisted,--curved timbers have great strength; but one
could hear them crack under this tremendous assault. The whole ship was
filled with the tumult.

The captain, who had rapidly recovered his self-possession, had given
orders to throw down the hatchway all that could abate the rage and
check the mad onslaught of this infuriated gun,--mattresses, hammocks,
spare sails, coils of rope, and bales of paper. But what availed these
rags? No one dared to go down to arrange them, and in a few moments they
were reduced to lint. Meanwhile the havoc increased. The mizzenmast was
split and even the mainmast was damaged by the convulsive blows of the
cannon. The fractures in the side grew larger and the ship began to
leak.

The old passenger, who had descended to the gun deck, looked like one
carved in stone, as he stood motionless at the foot of the ladder.
Suddenly, as the escaped cannon was tossing from side to side, a man
appeared, grasping an iron bar. It was the chief gunner, whose criminal
negligence was the cause of the catastrophe. Having brought about the
evil, he now intended to repair it. Holding a handspike in one hand, and
in the other a rope with a noose in it, he had jumped through the
hatchway to the deck below.

Then began a terrible struggle; a contest between mind and matter; a
duel between man and the inanimate. The man stood in one corner holding
in his hands the bar and the rope; calm, livid, and tragic, he stood
firmly on his legs that were like two pillars of steel. He was waiting
for the cannon to approach him. The gunner knew his piece, and he felt
as if it must know him. They had lived together a long time. How often
had he put his hand into its mouth! He began to talk to it as he would
to a dog. “Come,” said he. Possibly he loved it.

When, in the act of accepting this awful hand-to-hand struggle, the
gunner approached to challenge the cannon, it happened that the surging
sea held the gun motionless for an instant, as if stupefied. “Come on!”
said the man. It seemed to listen. Suddenly it leaped towards him. The
man dodged. Then the struggle began,--a contest unheard of; the human
warrior attacking the brazen beast; blind force on one side, soul on the
other. It was as if a gigantic insect of iron was endowed with the will
of a demon. Now and then this colossal grasshopper would strike the low
ceiling of the gun deck, then falling back on its four wheels, like a
tiger on all fours, would rush upon the man. He--supple, agile,
adroit--writhed like a serpent before these lightning movements.

A piece of broken chain remained attached to the carronade; one end was
fastened to the gun carriage; the other end thrashed wildly around,
aggravating the danger with every bound of the cannon. The screw held it
as in a clenched hand, and this chain, multiplying the strokes of the
battering ram by those of the thong, made a terrible whirlwind around
the gun,--a lash of iron in a fist of brass. The chain complicated the
combat.

Despite all this, the man fought. Suddenly the cannon seemed to say to
itself: “Now, then, there must be an end to this.” And it stopped. A
crisis was felt to be at hand. All at once it hurled itself upon the
gunner, who sprang aside with a laugh as the cannon passed him. Then,
as though blind and beside itself, it turned from the man and rolled
from stern to stem, splintering the latter and causing a breach in the
walls of the prow.

The gunner took refuge at the foot of the ladder, a short distance from
the old man, who stood watching. Without taking the trouble to turn, the
cannon rushed backwards on the man, as swift as the blow of an axe. The
gunner, if driven against the side of the ship, would be lost. A cry
arose from the crew.

The old passenger, who until this moment had stood motionless, sprang
forwards more swiftly than all those mad whirls. He had seized a bale of
paper, and at the risk of being crushed succeeded in throwing it between
the wheels of the carronade.

The bale had the effect of a plug. The carronade stumbled, and the
gunner thrust his iron bar between the spokes of the back wheels.
Pitching forwards, the cannon stopped; and the man, using his bar for a
lever, rocked it backwards and forwards. The heavy mass upset, with the
resonant sound of a bell that crashes in its fall. The man flung himself
upon it, and passed the slip noose round the neck of the defeated
monster.

The combat was ended. The man had conquered. The ant had overcome the
mastodon; the pigmy had imprisoned the thunderbolt.

   --_From the French of_ VICTOR HUGO.



        THE VISION OF MIRZA


On the fifth day of the moon, which, according to the custom of my
forefathers, I always keep holy, after having offered up my morning
devotions, I ascended to the high hills of Bagdad, in order to pass the
rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on
the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the
vanity of human life; and passing from one thought to another, “Surely,”
said I, “man is but a shadow, and life a dream.” Whilst I was thus
musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far
from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a
little musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him, he applied
it to his lips, and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceeding
sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly
melodious, and altogether different from anything I had ever heard. My
heart melted away in secret raptures.

[Illustration: JOSEPH ADDISON]

I had been often told that the rock before me was the haunt of a genius,
and that several had been entertained with that music who had passed by
it, but never heard that the musician had before made himself visible.
When he had raised my thoughts by those transporting airs which he
played to taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I looked upon him
like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and by the waving of his hand,
directed me to approach to the place where he sat. I drew near with that
reverence which is due to a superior nature; and as my heart was
entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell down at
his feet and wept. The genius smiled upon me with a look of compassion
that familiarized him to my imagination, and at once dispelled all the
fears with which I approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and
taking me by the hand, “Mirza,” said he, “I have heard thee in thy
soliloquies; follow me.”

He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and placing me on
the top of it. “Cast thy eyes eastward,” said he, “and tell me what thou
seest.”--“I see,” said I, “a huge valley, and a prodigious tide of water
rolling through it.” “The valley that thou seest,” said he, “is the vale
of Misery; and the tide of water that thou seest is part of the great
tide of Eternity.” “What is the reason,” said I, “that the tide I see
rises out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick
mist at the other?” “What thou seest,” said he, “is that portion of
Eternity which is called Time, measured out by the sun, and reaching
from the beginning of the world to its consummation.”

“Examine now,” said he, “this sea that is bounded with darkness at both
ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it.” “I see a bridge,” said
I, “standing in the midst of the tide.” “The bridge thou seest,” said
he, “is Human life; consider it attentively.” Upon a more leisurely
survey of it, I found that it consisted of threescore and ten entire
arches, with several broken arches, which, added to those that were
entire, made up the number to about an hundred. As I was counting the
arches, the genius told me that this bridge first consisted of a
thousand arches; but that a great flood swept away the rest, and left
the bridge in the ruinous condition I now beheld it.

“But tell me further,” said he, “what thou discoverest on it.” “I see
multitudes of people passing over it,” said I, “and a black cloud
hanging on each end of it.” As I looked more attentively, I saw several
of the passengers dropping through the bridge into the great tide that
flowed underneath it; and upon further examination, perceived there were
innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the bridge, which the
passengers no sooner trod upon but they fell through them into the tide,
and immediately disappeared. These hidden pitfalls were set very thick
at the entrance of the bridge, so that throngs of people no sooner broke
through the cloud but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner
towards the middle, but multiplied and lay closer together towards the
end of the arches that were entire. There were, indeed, some persons,
but their number was very small, that continued a kind of hobbling march
on the broken arches, but fell through, one after another, being quite
tired and spent with so long a walk.

I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful structure,
and the great variety of objects which it presented. My heart was filled
with a deep melancholy, to see several dropping unexpectedly in the
midst of mirth and jollity, and catching at everything that stood by
them to save themselves; some were looking up towards the heavens in a
thoughtful posture, and in the midst of a speculation stumbled and fell
out of sight; multitudes were busy in the pursuit of bubbles, that
glittered in their eyes, and danced before them, but often when they
thought themselves within the reach of them, their footing failed, and
down they sank. In this confusion of objects I observed some with
scimiters in their hands, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting
several persons upon trap-doors which did not seem to lie in their way,
and which they might have escaped had they not been thus forced upon
them.

The genius seeing me indulge myself in this melancholy prospect, told me
I had dwelt long enough upon it. “Take thine eyes off the bridge,” said
he, “and tell me if thou seest any thing that thou dost not comprehend.”
Upon looking up, “What mean,” said I, “those great flocks of birds that
are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it from
time to time? I see vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, and, among
many other feathered creatures, several little winged boys, that perch
in great numbers upon the middle arches.” “These,” said the genius, “are
Envy, Avarice, Superstition, Despair, Love, with the like cares and
passions that infest human life.”

I here fetched a deep sigh: “Alas,” said I, “man was made in vain! how
is he given away to misery and mortality, tortured in life, and
swallowed up in death!” The genius being moved with compassion towards
me, bid me quit so uncomfortable a prospect. “Look no more,” said he,
“on man in the first stage of his existence, in his setting out for
eternity, but cast thine eye on that thick mist into which the tide
bears the several generations of mortals that fall into it.” I directed
my sight as I was ordered, and I saw the valley opening at the farther
end, and spreading into an immense ocean, that had a huge rock of
adamant running through the midst of it, and dividing it into two equal
parts. The clouds still rested on one half of it, insomuch that I could
discover nothing in it; but the other appeared to me a vast ocean,
planted with innumerable islands that were covered with fruits and
flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that rang
among them. I could see persons dressed in glorious habits, with
garlands upon their heads, passing among the trees, lying down by the
side of fountains, or resting on beds of flowers, and could hear a
confused harmony of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, and
musical instruments.

Gladness grew in me at the discovery of so delightful a scene. I wished
for the wings of an eagle, that I might fly away to those happy seats;
but the genius told me there was no passage to them, except through the
gates of death that I saw opening every moment upon the bridge. “The
islands,” said he, “that lie so fresh and green before thee, and with
which the whole face of the ocean appears spotted, as far as thou canst
see, are more in number than the sand on the sea-shore: there are
myriads of islands behind those which thou here discoverest, reaching
farther than thine eye, or even thine imagination, can extend itself.
These are the mansions of good men after death, who, according to the
degree and kinds of virtue in which they excelled, are distributed among
these several islands, which abound with pleasures of different kinds
and degrees, suitable to the relishes and perfections of those who are
settled in them; every island is a paradise, accommodated to its
respective inhabitants. Are not these, O Mirza, habitations worth
contending for? Does life appear miserable, that gives thee
opportunities of earning such a reward? Is death to be feared, that will
convey thee to so happy an existence? Think not man was made in vain,
who has such an eternity reserved for him.”

I gazed with inexpressible pleasure on these happy islands. At length
said I, “Show me now, I beseech thee, the secrets that lie hid under
those dark clouds which cover the ocean, on the other side of the rock
of adamant.” The genius making me no answer, I turned about to address
myself to him a second time, but I found he had left me. I then turned
again to the vision I had been so long contemplating; but instead of the
rolling tide, the arched bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing
but the long, hollow valley of Bagdad, with oxen, sheep, and camels
grazing upon the sides of it.--JOSEPH ADDISON.



        THE PRAIRIES


      These are the gardens of the desert, these
    The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
    For which the speech of England has no name--
    The Prairies. I behold them for the first,
    And my heart swells, while the dilated sight
    Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch
    In airy undulations, far away,
    As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
    Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
    And motionless forever. Motionless?--
    No--they are all unchained again. The clouds
    Sweep over with their shadows, and, beneath,
    The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;
    Dark hollows seem to glide along, and chase
    The sunny ridges. Breezes of the South!
    Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers,
    And pass the prairie-hawk that, poised on high,
    Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not,--ye have played
    Among the palms of Mexico and vines
    Of Texas, and have crisped the limpid brooks
    That from the fountains of Sonora glide
    Into the calm Pacific--have ye fanned
    A nobler or a lovelier scene than this?
    Man hath no part in all this glorious work:
    The Hand that built the firmament hath heaved
    And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their slopes
    With herbage, planted them with island groves,
    And hedged them round with forests. Fitting floor
    For this magnificent temple of the sky--
    With flowers whose glory and whose multitude
    Rival the constellations! The great heavens
    Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love,--
    A nearer vault, and of a tenderer blue,
    Than that which bends above our Eastern hills.

      As o’er the verdant waste I guide my steed,
    Among the high, rank grass that sweeps his sides,
    The hollow beating of his footstep seems
    A sacrilegious sound. I think of those
    Upon whose rest he tramples. Are they here--
    The dead of other days?--and did the dust
    Of these fair solitudes once stir with life,
    And burn with passion? Let the mighty mounds
    That overlook the rivers, or that rise
    In the dim forest crowded with old oaks,--
    Answer. A race, that long has passed away,
    Built them;--a disciplined and populous race
    Heaped with long toil, the earth, while yet the Greek
    Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms
    Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock
    The glittering Parthenon. These ample fields
    Nourished their harvests, here their herds were fed,
    When haply by their stalls the bison lowed,
    And bowed his manèd shoulder to the yoke.
    All day this desert murmured with their toils,
    Till twilight blushed, and lovers walked, and wooed
    In a forgotten language, and old tunes,
    From instruments of unremembered form,
    Gave to soft winds a voice. The red man came--
    The roaming hunter tribes, warlike and fierce,
    And the mound-builders vanished from the earth.
    The solitude of centuries untold
    Has settled where they dwelt. The prairie-wolf
    Hunts in their meadows, and his fresh-dug den
    Yawns by my path. The gopher mines the ground
    Where stood their swarming cities. All is gone;
    All,--save the piles of earth that hold their bones,
    The platforms where they worshipped unknown gods,
    The barriers which they builded from the soil
    To keep the foe at bay, till o’er the walls
    The wild beleaguerers broke, and, one by one,
    The strongholds of the plain were forced, and heaped
    With corpses. The brown vultures of the wood
    Flocked to those vast uncovered sepulchres,
    And sat, unscared and silent, at their feast.
    Haply, some solitary fugitive,
    Lurking in marsh and forest, till the sense
    Of desolation and of fear became
    Bitterer than death, yielded himself to die.
    Man’s better nature triumphed then; kind words
    Welcomed and soothed him; the rude conquerors
    Seated the captive with their chiefs; he chose
    A bride among their maidens, and at length
    Seemed to forget--yet ne’er forgot--the wife
    Of his first love, and her sweet little ones,
    Butchered, amid their shrieks, with all his race.

      Thus change the forms of being. Thus arise
    Races of living things, glorious in strength,
    And perish, as the quickening breath of God
    Fills them, or is withdrawn. The red man, too,
    Has left the blooming wilds he ranged so long,
    And, nearer to the Rocky Mountains, sought
    A wider hunting-ground. The beaver builds
    No longer by these streams, but far away
    On waters whose blue surface ne’er gave back
    The white man’s face--among Missouri’s springs,
    And pools whose issues swell the Oregon,
    He rears his little Venice. In the plains
    The bison feeds no more. Twice twenty leagues
    Beyond remotest smoke of hunter’s camp,
    Roams the majestic brute, in herds that shake
    The earth with thundering steps;--yet here I meet
    His ancient footprints stamped beside the pool.

      Still this great solitude is quick with life.
    Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers
    They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds,
    And birds, that scarce have learned the fear of man,
    Are here, and sliding reptiles of the ground,
    Startlingly beautiful. The graceful deer
    Bounds to the woods at my approach. The bee,
    A more adventurous colonist than man,
    With whom he came across the Eastern deep,
    Fills the savannas with his murmurings,
    And hides his sweets, as in the golden age,
    Within the hollow oak. I listen long
    To his domestic hum, and think I hear
    The sound of that advancing multitude
    Which soon shall fill these deserts. From the ground
    Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice
    Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn
    Of Sabbath worshippers. The low of herds
    Blends with the rustling of the heavy grain
    Over the dark-brown furrows. All at once
    A fresher wind sweeps by, and breaks my dream,
    And I am in the wilderness alone.
         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.



        THE GREAT STONE FACE


One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother and her little boy
sat at the door of their cottage in a fertile and populous valley,
talking about the Great Stone Face. They had but to lift their eyes, and
there it was plainly to be seen, though miles away, with the sunshine
brightening all its features.

This Great Stone Face was a work of nature, formed on the perpendicular
side of a mountain by some immense rocks, which had been thrown
together in such a position as, when viewed at a proper distance,
precisely to resemble the features of the human countenance. It seemed
as if an enormous giant had sculptured his own likeness on the
precipice. There was the broad arch of the forehead, a hundred feet in
height; the nose with its long bridge; and the vast lips, which, if they
could have spoken, would have rolled their thunder accents from one end
of the valley to the other.

It was a happy lot for the children in the valley to grow up to manhood
or womanhood with the Great Stone Face before their eyes, for all the
features were noble, and the expression was at once grand and sweet, as
if it were the glow of a vast, warm heart, that embraced all mankind in
its affections and had room for more. It was an education only to look
at it. According to the belief of many people, the valley owed much of
its fertility to this benign aspect that was continually beaming over
it, illuminating the clouds and infusing its tenderness into the
sunshine.

As the mother and her son, whose name was Ernest, continued to talk
about the Great Stone Face, the boy said, “Mother, if I were to see a
man with such a face I should love him dearly.”

“If an old prophecy should come to pass,” answered his mother, “we may
see a man, sometime or other, with exactly such a face as that.”

“What prophecy do you mean, dear mother?” eagerly inquired Ernest.
“Pray, tell me all about it!”

So his mother told him a story that her own mother had told to her when
she herself was even younger than little Ernest; a story not of things
that were past, but of what was yet to come; a story, nevertheless, so
very old that even the Indians, who formerly inhabited this valley, had
heard it from their forefathers, to whom, as they said, it had been
murmured by the mountain streams and whispered by the wind among the
tree-tops. The story was that at some future day a child should be born
hereabouts who was destined to become the greatest and noblest personage
of his time, and whose countenance in manhood should bear an exact
resemblance to the Great Stone Face.

And Ernest never forgot the story that his mother told him. It was
always in his mind whenever he looked upon the Great Stone Face. He
spent his childhood in the log cottage where he was born, and was
dutiful to his mother and helpful to her in many things, assisting her
much with his little hands and more with his loving heart. In this
manner, from a happy yet often pensive child, he grew up to be a mild,
quiet, unobtrusive boy, sun-browned with labor in the fields, but with
intelligence beaming from his face. Yet he had had no teacher, save only
that the Great Stone Face became one to him. When the toil of the day
was over, he would gaze at it for hours, until he began to imagine that
those vast features recognized him, and gave him a smile of kindness and
encouragement, responsive to his own look of veneration.

As time went on there were many apparent fulfilments of the ancient
prophecy which had excited such hope and longing in the boy’s heart.
First came the merchant, Mr. Gathergold, who had gone forth from the
valley in childhood and had now returned with great wealth. Ernest
thought of all the ways by which a man of wealth might transform himself
into an angel of beneficence, and he waited the great man’s coming,
hoping to behold the living likeness of those wondrous features on the
mountainside. But he turned sadly away from the people who were
shouting, “The very image of the Great Stone Face,” and gazed up the
valley, where, gilded by the last sunbeams, he could still distinguish
those glorious features which had so impressed themselves into his soul.

Ten years later it began to be rumored that one who had gone forth to be
a soldier, and was now a great general, bore striking likeness to the
Great Stone Face. Again, when Ernest was in middle life, there came a
report that the likeness of the Great Stone Face had appeared upon the
shoulders of an eminent statesman. But in both soldier and statesman the
cherished hopes of the dwellers in the valley were doomed to
disappointment, and Ernest became an aged man with his childhood’s
prophecy yet unfulfilled.

Meantime Ernest had ceased to be obscure. Wise and busy men came from
far to converse with him. While they talked together, his face would
kindle, unawares, and shine upon them as with mild evening light.
Passing up the valley as they took their leave, and pausing to look at
the Great Stone Face, his guests imagined that they had seen its
likeness in a human countenance, but could not remember where.

While Ernest had been growing up and growing old, a new poet had made
his way to fame. He likewise was a native of the valley. The songs of
this poet found their way to Ernest. As he read stanzas that caused the
soul to thrill within him, he lifted his eyes to the vast countenance
beaming on him so kindly.

“O majestic friend,” he murmured, addressing the Great Stone Face, “is
not this man worthy to resemble thee?”

The Face seemed to smile, but answered not a word.

Now it happened that the poet had not only heard of Ernest, but had also
meditated much upon his character, until he deemed nothing so desirable
as to meet this man, whose untaught wisdom walked hand in hand with the
noble simplicity of his life. One summer morning found him at Ernest’s
cottage.

As Ernest listened to the poet, he imagined that the Great Stone Face
was bending forward to listen too. He gazed earnestly into the poet’s
glowing eyes.

“Who are you, my strangely gifted guest?” he said.

The poet laid his finger on the volume that Ernest had been reading.

“You have read these poems,” said he. “You know me, then,--for I wrote
them.”

Again and still more earnestly than before, Ernest examined the poet’s
features. But his countenance fell; he shook his head and sighed.

“You hoped,” said the poet, faintly smiling, “to find in me the likeness
of the Great Stone Face, and you are disappointed. I am not worthy to be
typified by yonder image. I have had grand dreams, but they have been
only dreams, because I have lived--and that, too, by my own
choice--among poor and mean realities.” The poet spoke sadly, and his
eyes were dim with tears. So likewise were those of Ernest.

At the hour of sunset, as had long been his custom, Ernest was to preach
to the people in the open air. He and the poet, arm in arm, still
talking together as they went along, proceeded to the spot. It was a
small nook among the hills, with a gray precipice behind, the stern
front of which was relieved by the pleasant foliage of many creeping
plants. At a distance was seen the Great Stone Face, with solemnity and
cheer in its aspect.

At a small elevation, set in a rich framework of vegetation, there
appeared a niche spacious enough to admit a human figure. Into this
natural pulpit Ernest ascended, and threw a look of familiar kindness
around upon the audience. He began to speak, giving to the people of
what was in his heart and mind. His words had power, because they
accorded with his thoughts; and his thoughts had reality and depth,
because they harmonized with the life which he had always lived.

The poet, as he listened, felt that the being and character of Ernest
were a nobler strain of poetry than he had ever written. His eyes
glistened with tears as he gazed reverently at the venerable man. At
that moment, in sympathy with a thought which he was about to utter, the
face of Ernest assumed a grandeur of expression so imbued with
benevolence that the poet, by an irresistible impulse, threw his arms
aloft and shouted,--

“Behold! behold! Ernest is himself the likeness of the Great Stone
Face!”

Then all the people looked, and saw that what the deep-sighted poet said
was true. The prophecy was fulfilled. But Ernest, having finished what
he had to say, took the poet’s arm and walked slowly homewards, still
hoping that some wiser and better man than himself would by and by
appear, bearing a resemblance to the Great Stone Face.

   --NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (_Adapted_).



        KING OSWALD’S FEAST


    The king had labored all an autumn day
    For his folk’s good, and welfare of the kirk,
    And now when eventide was well away,
              And deepest mirk

    Lay heavy on York town, he sat at meat,
    With his great councillors round him and his kin,
    And a blithe face was sat in every seat,
              And far within

    The hall was jubilant with banqueting,
    The tankards foaming high as they could hold
    With mead, the plates well heaped, and everything
              Was served with gold.

    Then came to the king’s side the doorkeeper,
    And said, “The folk are thronging at the gate,
    And flaunt their rags and many plaints prefer,
              And through the grate

    “I see that many are ill-clad and lean,
    For fields are poor this year, and food hard-won.”
    And the good king made answer, “’Twere ill seen,
              And foully done,

    “Were I to feast while many starve without;”
    And he bade bear the most and best of all
    To give the folk; and lo, they raised a shout
              That shook the hall.

    And now lean fare for those at board was set,
    But came again the doorkeeper and cried,--
    “The folk still hail thee, sir, nor will they yet
              Be satisfied;

    “They say they have no surety for their lives,
    When winters bring hard nights and heatless suns,
    Nor bread nor raiment have they for their wives
              And little ones.”

    Then said the king, “It is not well that I
    Should eat from gold when many are so poor,
    For he that guards his greatness guards a lie;
              Of that be sure.”

    And so he bade collect the golden plate,
    And all the tankards, and break up, and bear,
    And give them to the folk that thronged the gate,
              To each his share.

    And the great councillors in cold surprise
    Looked on and murmured; but unmindfully
    The king sat dreaming with far-fixèd eyes,
              And it may be

    He saw some vision of that Holy One
    Who knew no rest or shelter for His head,
    When self was scorned and brotherhood begun.
              “’Tis just,” he said:

    “Henceforward wood shall serve me for my plate,
    And earthen cups suffice me for my mead;
    With them that joy or travail at my gate
              I laugh or bleed.”
         --ARCHIBALD LAMPMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Heed how thou livest. Do no act by day
    Which from the night shall drive thy peace away.
    In months of sun so live that months of rain
    Shall still be happy. Evermore restrain
    Evil and cherish good; so shall there be
    Another and a happier life for thee.--WHITTIER.



        THE BURNING OF MOSCOW


At length Moscow, with its domes and towers and palaces, appeared
insight of the French army; and Napoleon, who had joined the advanced
guard, gazed long and thoughtfully on that goal of his wishes. Marshal
Murat went forward, and entered the gates with his splendid cavalry; but
as he passed through the streets, he was struck by the solitude that
surrounded him. Nothing was heard but the heavy tramp of his squadrons
as he passed along, for a deserted and abandoned city was the meagre
prize for which such unparalleled efforts had been made.

As night drew its curtain over the splendid capital, Napoleon entered
the gates, and immediately appointed Marshal Mortier governor. In his
directions he commanded him to abstain from all pillage. “For this,”
said he, “you shall be answerable with your life. Defend Moscow against
all, whether friend or foe.” The bright moon rose over the mighty city,
tipping with silver the domes of more than two hundred churches, and
pouring a flood of light over a thousand palaces and the dwellings of
three hundred thousand inhabitants. The weary soldiers sank to rest, but
there was no sleep for Mortier’s eyes.

Not the palaces and their rich ornaments, nor the parks and gardens and
the magnificence that everywhere surrounded him, kept him wakeful, but
the foreboding that some calamity was hanging over the silent capital.
When he entered it, scarcely a living soul met his gaze as he looked
down the long streets; and when he broke open the buildings, he found
parlors and bedrooms and chambers all furnished and in order, but no
occupants. This sudden abandonment of their homes betokened some secret
purpose yet to be fulfilled. The midnight moon was setting over the
city, when the cry of “Fire!” reached the ears of Mortier; and the first
light over Napoleon’s faltering empire was kindled, and that most
wondrous scene of modern times commenced,--the Burning of Moscow.

Mortier, as governor of the city, immediately issued his orders, and was
putting forth every exertion, when at daylight Napoleon hastened to him.
Affecting to disbelieve the reports that the inhabitants were firing
their own city, he put more rigid commands on Mortier, to keep the
soldiers from the work of destruction. The Marshal simply pointed to
some iron-covered houses that had not yet been opened, from every
crevice of which smoke was issuing like steam from the sides of a
pent-up volcano. Sad and thoughtful, Napoleon turned towards the
Kremlin, the ancient palace of the Czars, whose huge structure rose high
above the surrounding edifices.

In the morning, Mortier, by great exertions, was enabled to subdue the
fire; but the next night, September 15th, at midnight, the sentinels on
watch upon the lofty Kremlin saw below them the flames bursting through
the houses and palaces, and the cry of “Fire! fire!” passed through the
city. The dread scene was now fairly opened. Fiery balloons were seen
dropping from the air and lighting on the houses; dull explosions were
heard on every side from the shut-up dwellings; and the next moment
light burst forth, and the flames were raging through the apartments.

All was uproar and confusion. The serene air and moonlight of the night
before had given way to driving clouds and a wild tempest, that swept
like the roar of the sea over the city. Flames arose on every side,
blazing and crackling in the storm; while clouds of smoke and sparks, in
an incessant shower, went driving towards the Kremlin. The clouds
themselves seemed turned into fire, rolling wrath over devoted Moscow.
Mortier, crushed with the responsibility thrown upon his shoulders,
moved with his Young Guard amid this desolation, blowing up the houses
and facing the tempest and the flames, struggling nobly to arrest the
conflagration.

He hastened from place to place amid the ruins, his face blackened with
smoke, and his hair and eyebrows singed with the fierce heat. At length
the day dawned,--a day of tempest and of flame,--and Mortier, who had
strained every nerve for thirty-six hours, entered a palace and dropped
down from fatigue. The manly form and stalwart arm that had so often
carried death into the ranks of the enemy, at length gave way, and the
gloomy Marshal lay and panted in utter exhaustion. But the night of
tempest had been succeeded by a day of tempest; and when night again
enveloped the city, it was one broad flame, waving to and fro in the
blast.

The wind had increased to a perfect hurricane, and shifted from quarter
to quarter, as if on purpose to swell the sea of fire and extinguish the
last hope. The fire was approaching the Kremlin; and already the roar of
the flames and crash of falling houses, and the crackling of burning
timbers, were borne to the ears of the startled Emperor. He arose and
walked to and fro, stopping convulsively and gazing on the terrific
scene. His Marshals rushed into his presence, and on their knees
besought him to flee; but he still clung to that haughty palace as if it
were his empire.

But at length the shout, “The Kremlin is on fire!” was heard above the
roar of the conflagration, and Napoleon reluctantly consented to leave.
He descended into the streets with his staff, and looked about for a way
of egress, but the flames blocked every passage. At length they
discovered a postern gate, leading to the Moskwa, and entered it; but
they had passed still further into the danger. As Napoleon cast his eye
round the open space, girdled and arched with fire, smoke, and cinders,
he saw one single street yet open, but all on fire. Into this he rushed,
and amid the crash of falling houses and the raging of the flames, over
burning ruins, through clouds of rolling smoke, and between walls of
fire, he pressed on. At length, half suffocated, he emerged in safety
from the blazing city, and took up his quarters in a palace nearly three
miles distant.

Mortier, relieved from his anxiety for the Emperor, redoubled his
efforts to arrest the conflagration. His men cheerfully rushed into
every danger. Breathing nothing but smoke and ashes; canopied by flame
and smoke and cinders; surrounded by walls of fire, that rocked to and
fro, and fell, with a crash, amid the blazing ruins, carrying down with
them red-hot roofs of iron,--he struggled against an enemy that no
boldness could awe or courage overcome.

Those brave troops had often heard without fear the tramp of thousands
of cavalry sweeping to battle; but now they stood in still terror before
the march of the conflagration, under whose burning footsteps was heard
the incessant crash of falling houses, palaces, and churches. The roar
of the hurricane, mingled with that of the flames, was more terrible
than the thunder of artillery; and before this new foe, in the midst of
this battle of the elements, the awe-struck army stood affrighted and
powerless.

When night again descended on the city, it presented a spectacle, the
like of which was never seen before, and which baffles all description.
The streets were streets of fire, the heavens a canopy of fire, and the
entire body of the city a mass of fire, fed by a hurricane that sped the
blazing fragments in a constant stream through the air. Incessant
explosions, from the blowing up of stores of oil, tar, and spirits,
shook the very foundations of the city, and sent vast volumes of smoke
rolling furiously towards the sky.

Huge sheets of canvas on fire came floating like messengers of death
through the flames; the towers and domes of the churches and palaces,
glowing with a red heat over the wild sea below, then tottering a moment
on their bases, were hurled by the tempest into the common ruin.
Thousands of wretches, before unseen, were driven by the heat from the
cellars and hovels, and streamed in an incessant throng through the
streets.

Children were seen carrying their parents; the strong, the weak; while
thousands more were staggering under the loads of plunder which they had
snatched from the flames. This, too, would frequently take fire in the
falling shower; and the miserable creatures would be compelled to drop
it and flee for their lives. It was a scene of woe and fear
inconceivable and indescribable! A mighty and closely packed city of
houses, churches, and palaces, wrapped from limit to limit in flames,
which are fed by a whirling hurricane, is a sight this world will seldom
see.

But this was within the city. To Napoleon, without, the spectacle was
still more sublime and terrific. When the flames had overcome all
obstacles, and had wrapped everything in their red mantle, that great
city looked like a sea of rolling fire, swept by a tempest that drove it
into billows. Huge domes and towers, throwing off sparks like blazing
firebrands, now disappeared in their maddening flow, as they rushed and
broke high over their tops, scattering their spray of fire against the
clouds. The heavens themselves seemed to have caught the conflagration,
and the angry masses that swept it rolled over a bosom of fire.

Napoleon stood and gazed on the scene in silent awe. Though nearly three
miles distant, the windows and walls of his apartment were so hot that
he could scarcely bear his hand against them. Said he, years
afterwards, “It was the spectacle of a sea and billows of fire, a sky
and clouds of flame; mountains of red rolling flames, like immense waves
of the sea, alternately bursting forth and elevating themselves to skies
of fire, and then sinking into the flame below. O, it was the most
grand, the most sublime, and the most terrific sight the world ever
beheld!”

   --JAMES T. HEADLEY.



        ODE TO THE BRAVE


    How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
    By all their country’s wishes blest!
    When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
    Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
    She there shall dress a sweeter sod
    Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.

    By fairy hands their knell is rung;
    By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
    There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
    To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
    And Freedom shall awhile repair,
    To dwell a weeping hermit there.
         --WILLIAM COLLINS.

       *       *       *       *       *

    If little labor, little are our gains;
    Man’s fortunes are according to his pains.



        THE TORCH OF LIFE


    There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night--
      Ten to make and the match to win--
    A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
      An hour to play and the last man in.
    And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
      Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
    But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote:
      “Play up! play up! and play the game!”

    The sand of the desert is sodden red,--
      Red with the wreck of a square that broke;--
    The Gatling’s jammed and the Colonel dead,
      And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
    The river of death has brimmed his banks,
      And England’s far, and Honor a name,
    But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
      “Play up! play up! and play the game!”

    This is the word that year by year
      While in her place the school is set,
    Every one of her sons must hear,
      And none that hears it dare forget.
    This they all with a joyful mind
      Bear through life like a torch in flame,
    And falling fling to the host behind:
      “Play up! play up! and play the game!”
         --HENRY NEWBOLT.





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