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Title: The New McGuffey Fourth Reader

Compiler: William Holmes McGuffey

Release date: October 1, 1998 [eBook #1490]
Most recently updated: April 2, 2015

Language: English


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The New McGuffey Fourth Reader, William H. McGuffey, Compiler


It is now nearly three quarters of a century since the appearance of the first edition of McGuffey's Readers, compiled by Dr. William H. McGuffey. Revisions have since been made from time to time as the advancement in educational theories and the changes in methods of teaching seemed to demand. No other school text- books have retained the popular favor so long or have exerted so general and so wholesome an influence as has this series of Readers.

In preparing the present revision the aim of thie compiler has been to introduce such new matter and methods as the experience and judgment of the best teachers have found most commendable and desirable. He has at the same time endeavored to preserve those essential features which have always distinguished the McGuffey Readers and have so largely contributed to their success. While the majority of the selections are new to the series, care has been taken to maintain the same high literary and ethical standard that has hitherto so distinctly characterized these books. Lessons inculcating kindness, courage, obedience, industry, thrift, true manliness, patriotism, and other duties and obligations form no small portion of the contents. Selections from the masterpieces of English literature include both the older classical productions, without which no school can be complete, and also choice extracts from many of the latest and most popular writers.

The Elocutionary Introduction, by Professor F. Townsend Southwick, presents in brief scope the most important rules for oral reading and those principles of the art that are most necessary for the pupils to master. The teacher should, at the very onset, become thoroughly familiar with the subjects here presented, and the pupils should be referred to this discussion of elocutionary principles as often as occasion may require.

The more difficult words are defined, and their pronunciation is indicated by diacritical marks. The object of this is to aid the pupil in the ready preparation of the reading lesson, and not to supply merely an exercise in the study of words. Short explanatory notes are given wherever required for a full understanding of the text. It is assumed, however, that the pupils have already a general knowledge of most of the subjects alluded to, or that they have ready access to the more common books of reference, and therefore only occasional notes of this character are necessary.

An alphabetical list of the authors of the various selections, together with the brief biographical and critical notes, is given as an appendix to the volume.

Acknowledgments are due to Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., Charles Scribner's Sons, the Century Company, and other publishers who generously permitted the use, in this series, of selections from their copyrighted works.

The selections from Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Emerson, and Lucy Larcom are used by special arrangement with and permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., the authorized publishers of the writings of these authors.


[The Elocutionary Introduction and pronunciation markups are omitted in the Project Gutenberg edition because of abundance of non-ascii characters.]


Young Benjamin Franklin — Nathaniel Hawthorne
A Hard Word
A Song — James Whitcomb Riley
The Journey of Life. An Allegory
What I live for
Try Again! — Charlotte Elizabeth
True Manliness
The Miller of the Dee — Charles Mackay
A Boy on a Farm — Charles Dudley Warner
Meddlesome Mattie
The Eagle
The Old Eagle Tree — John Todd
A New Kind of Fun — From the German
Two Ways of telling a Story — Henry K. Oliver
The Blind Men and the Elephant — John G. Saxe
Harry's Riches
A Happy New Year — Margaret E. Sangster
Jeanette and Jo — Mary Mapes Dodge
Watseka. An Indian Legend
Harry and his Dog — Mary Russell Milford
Little Boy Blue — Eugene Field
If I were a Boy
The Tempest — James T. Fields
The Right Way — Frank R. Stockton
An Adventure with Wolves
The Old Oaken Bucket — Samuel Woodworth
The Farmer and the Fox — James Anthony Frowde
Hiawatha's Childhood — H. W. Longfellow
At Rugby School — Thomas Hughes
Somebody's Darling — Marie La Coste
The Captive — John R. Musick
The Star-Spangled Banner — F. S. Key
Our National Banner — Edward Everett
Burning the Fallow — Susanna Moodie
Piccola — Celia L. Thaxter
The Mountain and the Squirrel — R. W. Emerson
Srange Stories of Ants:
  White Ants — Henry Drummond
  Red Ants — Jules Michelet
Dear Country Mine — R. W. Gilder
My Country
The Four MacNicols — William Black
The Blue and the Gray — Ellen H. Flagg
The Captain's Feather — Samuel M. Peck
The Ride to London — Charles Dickens
The Planting of the Apple Tree — W. C. Bryant
The Apple — John Burroughs
The Bugle Song — Alfred Tennyson
The Story of Captain John Smith — John Esten Cooke
On the Banks of the Tennessee — W. D. Gallagher
Good Will — J. T. Trowbridge
The Good Reader
A Legend of Bregenz — Adelaide A. Procter
The Golden Touch — Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Brook — Alfred Tennyson
The Sermon on the Mount — Bible
The Song of Steam — G. W. Cutter
The Gentle Hand — T. S. Arthur
Spring — Henry Timrod
Marion's Men — William Gilmore Simms
The Pied Piper of Hamelin — Robert Browning




When Benjamin Franklin was a boy he was very fond of fishing; and many of his leisure hours were spent on the margin of the mill pond catching flounders, perch, and eels that came up thither with the tide.

The place where Ben and his playmates did most of their fishing was a marshy spot on the outskirts of Boston. On the edge of the water there was a deep bed of clay, in which the boys were forced to stand while they caught their fish.

"This is very uncomfortable," said Ben Franklin one day to his comrades, while they were standing in the quagmire.

"So it is," said the other boys. "What a pity we have no better place to stand on!"

On the dry land, not far from the quagmire, there were at that time a great many large stones that had been brought there to be used in building the foundation of a new house. Ben mounted upon the highest of these stones.

"Boys," said he, "I have thought of a plan. You know what a plague it is to have to stand in the quagmire yonder. See, I am bedaubed to the knees, and you are all in the same plight.

"Now I propose that we build a wharf. You see these stones? The workmen mean to use them for building a house here. My plan is to take these same stones, carry them to the edge of the water, and build a wharf with them. What say you, lads? Shall we build the wharf?"

"Yes, yes," cried the boys; "let's set about it!"

It was agreed that they should all be on the spot that evening, and begin their grand public enterprise by moonlight.

Accordingly, at the appointed time, the boys met and eagerly began to remove the stones. They worked like a colony of ants, sometimes two or three of them taking hold of one stone; and at last they had carried them all away, and built their little wharf.

"Now, boys," cried Ben, when the job was done, "let's give three cheers, and go home to bed. To-morrow we may catch fish at our ease."

"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" shouted his comrades, and all scampered off home and to bed, to dream of to-morrow's sport.

In the morning the masons came to begin their work. But what was their surprise to find the stones all gone! The master mason, looking carefully on the ground, saw the tracks of many little feet, some with shoes and some barefoot. Following these to the water side, he soon found what had become of the missing building stones.

"Ah! I see what the mischief is," said he; "those little rascals who were here yesterday have stolen the stones to build a wharf with. And I must say that they understand their business well."

He was so angry that he at once went to make a complaint before the magistrate; and his Honor wrote an order to "take the bodies of Benjamin Franklin, and other evil-disposed persons," who had stolen a heap of stones.

If the owner of the stolen property had not been more merciful than the master mason, it might have gone hard with our friend Benjamin and his comrades. But, luckily for them, the gentleman had a respect for Ben's father, and, moreover, was pleased with the spirit of the whole affair. He therefore let the culprits off easily.

But the poor boys had to go through another trial, and receive sentence, and suffer punishment, too, from their own fathers. Many a rod was worn to the stump on that unlucky night. As for Ben, he was less afraid of a whipping than of his father's reproof. And, indeed, his father was very much disturbed.

"Benjamin, come hither," began Mr. Franklin in his usual stern and weighty tone. The boy approached and stood before his father's chair. "Benjamin," said his father, "what could induce you to take property which did not belong to you?"

"Why, father," replied Ben, hanging his head at first, but then lifting his eyes to Mr. Franklin's face, "if it had been merely for my own benefit, I never should have dreamed of it. But I knew that the wharf would be a public convenience. If the owner of the stones should build a house with them, nobody would enjoy any advantage but himself. Now, I made use of them in a way that was for the advantage of many persons."

"My son," said Mr. Franklin solemnly, "so far as it was in your power, you have done a greater harm to the public than to the owner of the stones. I do verily believe, Benjamin, that almost all the public and private misery of mankind arises from a neglect of this great truth,—that evil can produce only evil, that good ends must be wrought out by good means."

To the end of his life, Ben Franklin never forgot this conversation with his father; and we have reason to suppose, that, in most of his public and private career, he sought to act upon the principles which that good and wise man then taught him.

DEFINITIONS:—In defining words, that meaning is given which is appropriate to them in the connection in which they are used. The pupil should look in the dictionary for the meaning of all the others with which he is not perfectly familiar.

Quagmire, soft, wet, miry land. Outskirt, borders. Plague, bother, great trouble. Plight, condition. Wharf, a platform on the shore of a harbor, river, or lake, extending some way into the water. Comrades, companions, playfellows. Magistrate, an officer of the law, justice of the peace. Ringleader, the leader of several persons acting together. Culprits, wrong-doers. Solemnly, with great dignity. Induce, lead persuade. Benefit, profit, accomodation. Verily, truly.

EXERCISE.—Where is Boston? How long ago did Benjamin Franklin live? Learn all that you can about his life and work, and repeat it to the class at the next recitation.


"P-o po, p-o po, Popo, c-a-t cat, Popocat—Oh dear, what a hard word! Let me see, Po-po-cat-e-petl. I can never pronounce it, I am sure. I wish they would not have such hard names in geography," said George Gould, quite out of patience. "Will you please tell me how to pronounce the name of this mountain, father?"

"Why, do you call that a hard word to pronounce, George? I know much harder words than that."

"Well, father this is the hardest word I ever saw," replied George. "I wish they had put the name into the volcano, and burned it up."

"I know how to pronounce it," said Jane. "It is Po-po' ca-ta'petl."

"Po-po' ca-ta'petl," said George, stopping at each syllable. "Well, it is not so very hard, after all; but I wish they would not have any long words, and then one could pronounce them easily enough."

"I do not think so," said his father. "Some of the hardest words I have ever seen are the shortest. I know one little word, with only two letters in it, that very few children, or men either, can always speak."

"Oh, I suppose it is borne French or German word; isn't it, father?"

"No: it is English; and you may think it strange, but it is just as hard to pronounce in one language as another."

"Only two letters! What can it be?" cried both the children.

"The hardest word," replied their father, "I have ever met with in any language—and I have learned several—is a little word of two letters—N-o, no."

"Now you are making fun of us!" cried the children: "that is one of the easiest words in the world." And, to prove that their father was mistaken, they both repeated, "N-o, no; n-o, no," a great many times.

"I am not joking in the least. I really think it is the hardest of all words. It may seem easy enough to you to-night, but perhaps you cannot pronounce it to-morrow."

"I can always say it, I know I can;" said George with much confidence—"NO! Why, it is as easy to say it as to breathe."

"Well, George, I hope you will always find it as easy to pronounce as you think it is now, and that you will be able to speak it when you ought to."

In the morning George went bravely to school, a little proud that he could pronounce so hard a word as "Popocatepetl." Not far frown the schoolhouse was a large pond of very deep water, where the boys used to skate and slide when it was frozen over.

Now, the night before, Jack Frost had been busy changing the surface of the pond into beautiful crystals of ice; and when the boys went to school in the morning they found the pond as smooth and clear as glass. The day was cold, and they thought that by noon the ice would be strong enough to skate upon.

As soon as school was dismissed the boys all ran to the pond,—some to try the ice, and others merely to see it.

"Come, George," said William Green; "now we shall have a glorious time sliding."

George hesitated, and said he did not believe it was strong enough, for it had been frozen over only one night.

"Oh, come on!" said another boy: "I know it is strong enough. I have known it to freeze over in one night, many a time, so it would bear: haven't you, John?"

"Yes," answered John Brown: "it did so one night last winter; and it wasn't so cold as it was last night, either."

But George still hesitated, for his father had forbidden him to go on the ice without special permission.

"I know why George won't go," said John; "he's afraid he might fall down and hurt himself."

"Or the ice might crack," said another; "and the noise would frighten him. Perhaps his mother might not like it."

"He's a coward, that's the reason he won't come."

George could stand this no longer, for he was rather proud of his courage. "I am not afraid," said he; and he ran to the pond, and was the first one on the ice. The boys enjoyed the sport very much, running and sliding, and trying to catch one another on its smooth surface.

More boys kept coming on as they saw the sport, and soon all thought of danger was forgotten. Then suddenly there was a loud cry, "The ice has broken! the ice has broken!" And sure enough, three of the boys had broken through, and were struggling in the water; and one of them was George.

The teacher had heard the noise, and was coming to call the boys from the ice just as they broke through. He tore some boards from a fence close by, and shoved them out on the ice until they came within reach of the boys in the water. After a while he succeeded in getting the three boys out of the water, but not until they were almost frozen.

George's father and mother were very much troubled when he was brought home, and they learned how narrowly he had escaped drowning. But they were so glad to know that. he was safe that they did not ask him any questions until he was warm and comfortable again. But in the evening, when they were all gathered together about the cheerful fire, his father asked him how he came to disobey his positive command.

George answered that he did not want to go on the ice, but the boys made him.

"How did they make you? Did they take hold of you, and drag you on?" asked his father.

"No," said George, "but they all wanted me to go."

"When they asked you, why didn't you say 'No'?"

"I was going to do so: but they called me a coward, and said I was afraid to go; and I couldn't stand that."

"And so," said his father, "you found it easier to disobey me, and run the risk of losing your life, than to say that little word you thought so easy last night. You could not say 'No.'"

George now began to see why this little word"No" was so hard to pronounce. It was not because it was so long, or composed of such difficult sounds; but because it often requires so much real courage to say it,—to say "No" when one is tempted to do wrong.

After that, whenever George was tempted to do wrong, he remembered his narrow escape from drowning, and the importance of the little word "No." The oftener he said it, the easier it became; and in time he could say it, when necessary, without much effort.

DEFINITIONS:—Popocatepetl, a volcano in Mexico (sometimes inaccurately pronounced po po cat' a petl). Prounounce, say distinctly. Syllable, one of the distinct parts of a word. Attracted, drawn. Hesitated, paused. Importance, value. Special, particular.



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.

* From "Afterwhiles." Copyright, 1887. By permission of the
Bowen-Merrill Company, publishers; Indianapolis, Indiana.



Once upon a time, a good many years ago, there was a traveler, and he set out upon a journey. It was a magic journey, and was to seem very long when he began it, and very short when he got halfway through.

He traveled along a rather dark path for some little time, without meeting anything, until at last he came to a beautiful child. So he said to the child, "What do you here?" And the child said, "I am always at play. Come and play with me."

So he played with the child the whole day long, and they were very merry. The sky was so blue, the sun was so bright, the water was so sparkling, the leaves were so green, the flowers were so lovely, and they heard so many singing birds, and saw so many butterflies, that everything was beautiful. This was in fine weather.

When it rained, they loved to watch the falling drops and smell the fresh scents. When it blew, it was delightful to listen to the wind, and fancy what it said, as it came rushing from its home, whistling and howling, and driving the clouds before it, bending the trees, rumbling in the chimneys, shaking the house and making the sea roar in fury.

But when it snowed, that was the best of all; for they liked nothing so well as to look up at the white flakes falling fast and thick, like down frown the breasts of millions of white birds, and to see how smooth and deep the drift was, and to listen to the hush upon the paths and roads.

But one day of a sudden the traveler lost the child. He called to him over and over again, but got no answer. So he went on for a little while without meeting anything, until at last he came to a handsome boy. He said to the boy, "What do you here?" And the boy said, "I am always learning. Come and learn with me."

So he learned with the boy about Jupiter and Juno, and the Greeks and Romans,—more than I could tell, or he either; for he soon forgot a great deal of it. But they were not always learning; they had the merriest games that ever were played.

They rowed upon the river in summer, and skated on the ice in winter; they were active afoot and active on horseback; at cricket, and all games of ball; at prisoner's base, hare-and-hounds, follow-my-leader, and more sports than I can think of: nobody could beat them. As to friends, they had such dear friends, and so many of them, that I want the time to reckon them up. They were all young, like the handsome boy, and were never to be strange to one another all their lives through.

Still, one day, in the midst of all these pleasures, the traveler lost the boy, as he had lost the child, and, after calling him in vain, went on upon his journey. So he went on for a while without seeing anything, until at last he came to a young man. He said to the young man, "What do you here?" And the young man said, "I am always in love. Come and love with me."

But the traveler lost the young man as he had lost the rest of his friends, and, after calling to him to come back, which he never did, went on upon his journey. At last he came to a middle-aged gentleman. So he said to him, "What are you doing here?" And his answer was, "I am always busy. Come and be busy with me."

The traveler began to be very busy with the gentleman, and they went on through the wood together. The whole journey was through a wood, only it had been open and green at first, like a wood in spring, and now began to be thick and dark, like a wood in summer; some of the little trees that had come out earliest were even turning brown.

The gentleman was not alone, but had a lady of about the same age with him, who was his wife; and they had children, who were with them too. They all went on together through the wood, cutting down the trees, and making a path among the branches, and carrying burdens and working hard.

Sometimes they came to a long green avenue that opened into deeper woods. Then they would hear a very distant little voice crying, "Father, father, I am another child! Stop for me!" And presently they would see a very little figure, growing larger as it came along, running to join them. When it came up, they all crowded round it, and kissed and welcomed it; and then they all went on together.

Sometimes they came to several avenues at once; and then they all stood still, and one of the children said, "Father, I am going to sea;" and another said, "Father, I am going to India;" and another, "Father, I am going to seek my fortune where I can;" and another, "Father, I am going to heaven."

So, with many tears at parting, they went, solitary, down those avenues, each child upon its way; and the child who went to heaven rose into the golden air and vanished.

Whenever these partings happened, the traveler looked at the gentleman, and saw him glance up at the sky above the trees, where the day was beginning to decline, and the sunset to come on. He saw, too, that his hair was turning gray. But they could never rest long, for they had their journey to perform, and it was necessary for them to be always busy.

At last, there had been so many partings that there were no children left, and only the traveler, the gentleman, and the lady went upon their way in company. And now the wood was yellow; and now brown; and the leaves, even of the forest trees, began to fall.

They came to an avenue that was darker than the rest, and were pressing forward on their journey without looking down it, when the lady stopped.

"My husband," said the lady, "I am called."

They listened, and they heard a voice a long way down the avenue say, "Mother, mother!"

It was the voice of the child who had said, "I am going to heaven!" and the father cried, "I pray not yet. The sunset is very near. I pray not yet."

But the voice called, "Mother, mother!" without minding him, though his hair was now quite white, and tears were on his face.

Then the mother, who was already drawn into the shade of the dark avenue, and moving away with her arms still around his neck, kissed him and said, "My dearest, I am summoned, and I go!" And she was gone. The traveler and he were left alone together.

And they went on and on, until they came very near to the end of the wood; so near, that they could see the setting sun shining red before them through the trees.

Yet once more, while he broke his way among the branches, the traveler lost his friend. He called and called, but there was no reply, and when he passed out of the wood and saw the peaceful sun going down upon a wide purple prospect, he came to an old man sitting upon a fallen tree. He said to the old man, "What do you here?" And the old man said, with a calm smile, "I am always remembering. Come and remember with me."

So the traveler sat down by the side of the old man, face to face with the serene sunset; and all his friends came softly back and stood around him. The beautiful child, the handsome boy, the young man, the father, mother, and children every one of them was there, and he had lost nothing. He loved them all, and was kind and forbearing with them all, and they all honored and loved him.

DEFINITIONS:—Scents, smells. Cricket, a game at ball very popular in England.Solitary, alone. Summoned, called. Allegory, a truth related in the form of a story.


I live for those who love me,
  Whose hearts are kind and true,
For the heaven that smiles above me,
  And awaits my spirit, too;
For all human ties that bind me,
For the task my God assigned me,
For the bright hopes left behind me,
  And the good that I can do.
I live to learn their story,
  Who suffered for my sake;
To emulate their glory,
And follow in their wake;
Bards, patriots, martyrs, sages,
The noble of all ages,
Whose deeds crown History's pages,
  And Time's great volume make.

I live to hail that season,
  By gifted minds foretold,
When man shall live by reason,
  And not alone by gold;
When man to man united,
And every wrong thing righted,
The whole world shall be lighted
  As Eden was of old.

I live for those who love me,
  For those who know me true;
For the heaven that smiles above me,
  And awaits my spirit, too;
For the cause that needs assistance,
For the wrongs that need resistance,
For the future in the distance,
  And the good that I can do.

DEFINITIONS:—Assigned, allotted, marked out. Emulate, to strive to equal or excel, to rival. Wake, the track left by a vessel in the water; hence, figuratively, in the trail of. Bard, a poet. Martyr, one who scarifices what is of great value to him for the sake of principle. Sage, a wise man.



"Will you give my kite a lift?" said my little nephew to his sister, after trying in vain to make it fly by dragging it along the ground. Lucy very kindly took it up and threw it into the air, but, her brother neglecting to run off at the same moment, the kite fell down again.

"Ah! now, how awkward you are!" said the little fellow. "It was your fault entirely," answered his sister. "Try again, children," said I.

Lucy once more took up the kite. But now John was in too great a hurry; he ran off so suddenly that he twitched the kite out of her hand, and it fell flat as before. "Well, who is to blame now?" asked Lucy. "Try again," said I.

They did, and with more care; but a side wind coming suddenly, as Lucy let go the kite, it was blown against some shrubs, and the tail became entangled in a moment, leaving the poor kite hanging with its head downward.

"There, there!" cried John, "that comes of your throwing it all to one side." "As if I could make the wind blow straight," said Lucy. In the meantime, I went to the kite's assistance; and having disengaged the long tail, I rolled it up, saying, "Come, children, there are too many trees here; let us find a more open space, and then try again."

We soon found a fine, open space, covered with green grass, and free from shrubs and trees. Then, all things being ready, I tossed the kite up just as little John ran off. It rose with all the dignity of a balloon, and promised a lofty flight; but John, delighted to find it pulling so hard at the string, stopped short to look upward and admire. The string slackened, the kite wavered, and, the wind not being very strong, down came the kite to the grass. "O John, you should not have stopped," said I. "However, try again."

"I won't try any more," replied he, rather sullenly. "It is of no use, you see. The kite won't fly, and I don't want to be plagued with it any longer."

"Oh, fie, my little man! would you give up the sport, after all the pains we have taken both to make and to fly the kite? A few disappointments ought not to discourage us. Come, I have wound up your string, and now try again."

And he did try, and succeeded, for the kite was carried upward on the breeze as lightly as a feather; and when the string was all out, John stood in great delight, holding fast the stick and gazing on the kite, which now seemed like a little white speck in the blue sky. "Look, look, aunt, how high it flies! and it pulls like a team of horses, so that I can hardly hold it. I wish I had a mile of string: I am sure it would go to the end of it."

After enjoying the sight as long as he wished, little John proceeded to roll up the string slowly; and when the kite fell, he took it up with great glee, saying that it was not at all hurt, and that it had behaved very well. "Shall we come out to-morrow, aunt, and try again?"

"Yes, my dear, if the weather is fine. And now, as we walk home, tell me, what you have learned from your morning's sport."

"I have learned to fly my kite properly."

"You may thank aunt for it, brother," said Lucy, "for you would have given it up long ago, if she had not persuaded you to try again."

"Yes, dear children, I wish to teach you the value of perseverance, even when nothing more depends upon it than the flying of a kite. Whenever you fail in your attempts to do any good thing, let your motto be,—TRY AGAIN."

DEFINITIONS:—Entangled, twisted in, disordered. Assistance, help, aid. Disengaged, cleared, set free. Dignity, majestic manner. Disappointments, failures or defeats of expectation. Discourage, take away courage. Glee, joy. Perseverance, continuance in anything once begun. Motto, a short sentence or a word full of meaning.

EXERCISE—What is the subject of this lesson? Why was John discouraged in his attempts to fly his kite? What did his aunt say to him? What may we learn from this? What should be our motto if we expect to be successful?



"Please, mother, do sit down and let me try my hand," said Fred Liscom, a bright active boy, twelve years old. Mrs. Liscom, looking pale and worn, was moving languidly about, trying to clear away the breakfast she had scarcely tasted.

She smiled, and said, "You, Fred, you wash dishes?" "Yes, indeed, mother," answered Fred; "I should be a poor scholar if I couldn't, when I've seen you do it so many times. Just try me."

A look of relief came over his mother's face as she seated herself in her low rocking-chair. Fred washed the dishes and put them in the closet. He swept the kitchen, brought up the potatoes from the cellar for the dinner and washed them, and then set out for school.

Fred's father was away from home, and as there was some cold meat in the pantry, Mrs. Liscom found it an easy task to prepare dinner. Fred hurried home from school, set the table, and again washed the dishes.

He kept on in this way for two or three days, till his mother was able to resume her usual work, and he felt amply rewarded when the doctor, who happened in one day, said, "Well, madam, it's my opinion that you would have been very sick if you had not kept quiet."

The doctor did not know how the "quiet" had been secured, nor how the boy's heart bounded at his words. Fred had given up a great deal of what boys hold dear, for the purpose of helping his mother, coasting and skating being just at this time in perfection.

Besides this, his temper and his patience had been severely. tried. He had been in the habit of going early to school, and staying to play after it was dismissed.

The boys missed him, and their curiosity was excited when he would give no other reason for not coming to school earlier, or staying after school, than that he was "wanted at home."

"I'll tell you," said Tom Barton, "I'll find him out, boys—see if I don't!"

So, one morning on his way to school, he called for Fred. As he went around to the side door he walked lightly. and somewhat nearer the kitchen window than was absolutely needful. Looking in, he saw Fred standing at the table with a dishcloth in his hand.

Of course he reported this at school, and various were the greetings poor Fred received at recess. "Well, you're a brave one to stay at home washing dishes!" "Girl boy!" "Pretty Bessie!" "Lost your apron, haven't you, Polly!"

Fred was not wanting either in spirit or in courage, and he was strongly tempted to resent these insults, and to fight some of his tormentors. But his consciousness of right and his love for his mother helped him.

While he was struggling for self mastery, his teacher appeared at the door of the schoolhouse. Fred caught his eye, and it seemed to look, if it did not say, "Don't give up! Be really brave!" He knew the teacher had heard the insulting taunts of his thoughtless schoolmates.

The boys received notice during the day that Fred must not be taunted or teased in any manner. They knew that the teacher meant what he said; and so the brave little boy had no further trouble.


"Fire! fire! " The cry crept out on the still night air, and the fire bells began to mug. Fred was wakened by the alarm and the red light streaming into his room. He dressed himself very quickly, and then tapped at the door of his mother's bedroom.

"It is Mr. Barton's house, mother. Do let me go," he said in eager, excited tones. Mrs. Liscom thought a moment. He was young, but she could trust him, and she knew how much his heart was in the request.

"Yes, you may go," she answered; "but be careful, my boy. If you can help, do so; but do nothing rashly." Fred promised to follow her advice, and hurried to the fire.

Mr. and Mrs. Barton were not at home. The house had been left in charge of the servants. The fire spread with fearful speed, for there was a high wind, and it was found impossible to save the house. The servants ran about screaming and lamenting, but doing nothing to any purpose.

Fred found Tom outside, in safety. "Where is Katy?" he asked. Tom, trembling with terror, seemed to have had no thought but of his own escape. He said, "Katy is in the house!" "In what room?" asked Fred. "In that one," answered Tom, pointing to a window in the upper story.

It was no time for words, but for instant, vigorous action. The staircase was already on fire; there was but one way to reach Katy, and that full of danger. The second floor might fall at any moment, and Fred knew it. But he trusted in an arm stronger than his own, and silently sought help and guidance.

A ladder was quickly brought, and placed against the house. Fred mounted it, followed by the hired man, dashed in the sash of the window, and pushed his way into the room where the poor child lay nearly suffocated with smoke.

He roused her with some difficulty, carried her to the window, and placed her upon the sill. She was instantly grasped by strong arms, and carried down the ladder, Fred following as fast as possible. They had scarcely reached the ground before a crash of falling timbers told them that they had barely escaped with their lives.

Tom Barton never forgot the lesson of that night; and he came to believe, and to act upon the belief, in after years, that true manliness is in harmony with gentleness, kindness, and self-denial.

DEFINITIONS:—Languidly, feebly. Amply, fully. Opinion, judgment, belief. Absolutely, wholly, entirely. Resent, to consider as an injury. Consciousness, inward feeling, knowledge of what passes in one's own mind.



There dwelt a miller hale and bold
  Beside the river Dee;
He worked and sang from morn till night,
  No lark more blithe than he;
And this the burden of his song
  Forever used to be,—
"I envy nobody; no, not I,
  And nobody envies me!"

"Thou'rt wrong, my friend!" said good King Hal;
  "Thou'rt wrong as wrong can be;
For could my heart be light as thine,
  I'd gladly change with thee.
And tell me now, what makes thee sing,
  With voice so loud and free,
While I am sad, though I'm the king,
  Beside the river Dee."

The miller smiled and doffed his cap:
  "I earn my bread," quoth he;
"I love my wife, I love my friend,
  I love my children three;
I owe no penny I cannot pay;
  I thank the river Dee,
That turns the mill that grinds the corn,
  To feed my babes and me."

"Good friend," said Hal, and sighed the while,
  "Farewell! and happy be;
But say no more, if thou'dst be true,
  That no one envies thee.
Thy mealy cap is worth my crown,
  Thy mill my kingdom's fee;
Such men as thou are England's boast,
  Oh miller of the Dee!"

DEFINITIONS:—Hale, hearty, strong. Blithe, happy. Quoth, said.
Fee, wealth, possession.



Say what you will about the general usefulness of boys, it is my impression that a farm without a boy would very soon come to grief. What the boy does is the life of the farm. He is the factotum, always in demand, always expected to do the thousand indispensable things that nobody else will do. Upon him fall all the odds and ends, the most difficult things.

After everybody else is through, he has to finish up. His work is like a woman's,—perpetually waiting on others. Everybody knows how much easier it is to eat a good dinner than it is to wash the dishes afterward. Consider what a boy on a farm is required to do; things that must be done, or life would actually stop.

It is understood, in the first place, that he is to do all the errands, to go to the store, to the post office, and to carry all sorts of messages. If he had as many legs as a centiped, they would tire before night. His two short limbs seem to him entirely inadequate to the task. He would like to have as many legs as a wheel has spokes, and rotate about in the same way.

This he sometimes tries to do; and the people who have seen him "turning cart wheels" along the side of the road, have supposed that he was amusing himself and idling his time; he was only trying to invent a new mode of locomotion, so that he could economize his legs, and do his errands with greater dispatch.

He practices standing on his head, in order to accustom himself to any position. Leapfrog is one of his methods of getting over the ground quickly. He would willingly go an errand any distance if he could leapfrog it with a few other boys.

He has a natural genius for combining pleasure with business. This is the reason why, when he is sent to the spring for a pitcher of water, he is absent so long; for he stops to poke the frog that sits on the stone, or, if there is a penstock, to put his hand over the spout, and squirt the water a little while.

He is the one who spreads the grass when the men have cut it; he mows it away in the barn; he rides the horse, to cultivate the corn, up and down the hot, weary rows; he picks up the potatoes when they are dug; he drives the cows night and morning; he brings wood and water, and splits kindling; he gets up the horse, and puts out the horse; whether he is in the house or out of it, there is always something for him to do.

Just before the school in winter he shovels paths; in summer he turns the grindstone. He knows where there are lots of wintergreens and sweet flags, but, instead of going for them, he is to stay indoors and pare apples, and stone raisins, and pound something in a mortar. And yet, with his mind full of schemes of what he would like to do, and his hands full of occupations, he is an idle boy, who has nothing to busy himself with but school and chores!

He would gladly do all the work if somebody else would do the chores, he thinks; and yet I doubt if any boy ever amounted to anything in the world; or was of much use as a man, who did not enjoy the advantages of a liberal education in the way of chores. —From "Being a Boy."

DEFINITIONS:—Factotum, a person employed to do all kinds of work. Indispensable, absolutely necessary. Perpetually, continually. Centiped, an insect with a great number of feet. Economize, to save. Dispatch, diligence, haste. Penstock, a wooden tube for conducting water. Chores, the light work of the household either within or without doors.

EXERCISE.—Call you tell of anything else that a boy on a farm must do? What advantages has a country boy over a city boy? What advantages has the city boy?


Oh, how one ugly trick has spoiled
  The sweetest and the best!
Matilda, though a pleasant child,
  One grievous fault possessed,
Which, like a cloud before the skies,
Hid all her better qualities.

Sometimes, she'd lift the teapot lid
  To peep at what was in it;
Or tilt the kettle, if you did
  But turn your back a minute.
In vain you told her not to touch,
Her trick of meddling grew so much.

Her grandmamma went out one day,
  And, by mistake, she laid
Her spectacles and snuffbox gay,
  Too near the little maid;
"Ah! well," thought she, "I'll try them on,
As soon as grandmamma is gone."

Forthwith, she placed upon her nose
  The glasses large and wide;
And looking round, as I suppose,
  The snuffbox, too, she spied.
"Oh, what a pretty box is this!
I'll open it," said little miss.

"I know that grandmamma would say,
  'Don't meddle with it, dear;'
But then she's far enough away,
  And no one else is near;
Beside, what can there be amiss
In opening such a box as this?"

So, thumb and finger went to work
  To move the stubborn lid;
And, presently, a mighty jerk
  The mighty mischief did;
For all at once, ah! woeful case!
The snuff came puffing in her face.

Poor eyes, and nose, and mouth, and chin
  A dismal sight presented;
And as the snuff got further in,
  Sincerely she repented.
In vain she ran about for ease,
She could do nothing else but sneeze.

She dashed the spectacles away,
  To wipe her tingling eyes;
And, as in twenty bits they lay,
  Her grandmamma she spies.
"Heyday! and what's the matter now?"
Cried grandmamma, with angry brow.

Matilda, smarting with the pain,
  And tingling still, and sore,
Made many a promise to refrain
  From meddling evermore;
And 'tis a fact, as I have heard,
She ever since has kept her word.

DEFINITIONS:—Qualities, traits of character. Meddling, interfering without right. Forthwith, at once. Spied, saw. Amiss, wrong, faulty. Woeful, sad, sorrowful. TIngling, smarting. Refrain, to keep from.

EXERCISE.—Write the story of Meddlesome Mattie, using your own words and not trying to make rhymes. What lesson may be learned from this story? What is a snuffbox? This story was written almost a hundred years ago. Do ladies use snuffboxes now?


The eagle is called the king of the birds. He is a large, fierce bird of prey, of immense strength and great courage; and he sweeps through the air with a majesty and dignity well becoming to his noble title.

The eagle leads a solitary life in the wild places of the earth. He dwells on the crags of mountains or on the lonely peaks of huge rocks, at whose base the ocean dashes its waves. He swoops down through dark forests, and uninhabited prairies, and gloomy glens, seeking his prey.

The Golden Eagle is a splendid bird. The female at full growth is three feet and a half in length, while the wings stretch from tip to tip no less than nine feet. The male is not quite so large, but very nearly so. The name "golden" is taken from the color of the plumes of the head and neck, which are of a rich golden red hue. The rest of the body is for the most part covered with rich blackish brown feathers.

The eagle is well armed for battle and plunder. The beak is powerful, and bent like a hook, with edges as sharp as a knife. The feet are furnished with four terrible toes, which have long and sharp nails, called talons. The eyes are piercing, and flash forth the proudest glances.

The eagle flies with most graceful ease. On his broad wings, moved by strong muscles, he sweeps boldly through the air, rising in circles till he is all but lost to the sight of the beholder. From this high position he can see far and wide beneath him; his keen eye singles out his prey at a long distance; and down he dives with the suddenness of a flash of lightning.

This terrible suddenness of attack commonly kills the victim on the instant. The weapon of death is not the beak, but either the wing or the claws; a flap of the wing or a clutch of the talons is usually enough for the purpose. The eagle kills and eats birds that are smaller and weaker than himself, he lives upon the best of the game, and he drags the best of the fish out of the river or the sea. He carries off the farmer's poultry, and often also young pigs or lambs; sometimes, it is said, he has carried off to his nest even a little boy or girl.

The eagle's nest, or eyrie, is high up on the ledge of some precipice, where hardly any enemy can come. Of course it is a very large nest; but it is not carefully or nicely built. It is a rough affair, like the rook's nest; a lot of sticks and twigs, and heath or grass, with a more comfortable hollow in the middle, which is padded with softer materials. Here the young are reared; and here the male bird brings home prey for the female and the eaglets; bones and flesh are scattered about everywhere. The eagle is much attached to the spot where he makes his home; he dwells in the same eyrie year after year, and shows little desire to seek his fortunes elsewhere.

DEFINITIONS:—Immense, very great. Majesty, stateliness, elevation of manner. Dignity, grace, loftiness of manner. Title, name. Solitary, living by oneself. Crags, steep, rugged rocks. Base, foot, bottom. Plumes, feathers. Talons, claws. Eyrie, the nest of a bird that builds in a lofty place. Ledge, a ridge or projection. Rook, a bird resembling a crow, but smaller. Reared, brought up. Eaglets, young eagles.

EXERCISE.—What qualities of the eagle may be admired? What traits has he that are not to be admired?



In a distant field stood a large tulip tree, apparently of a century's growth, and one of the most gigantic. It looked like the father of the surrounding forest. A single tree of huge dimensions, standing all alone, is a sublime object.

On the top of this tree, an old eagle, commonly called the "Fishing Eagle," had built her nest every year, for many years, and, undisturbed, had raised her young. A remarkable place to choose, as she procured her food from the ocean, and this tree stood full ten miles from the seashore. It had long been known as the "Old Eagle Tree."

On a warm, sunny day, the workmen were hoeing corn in an adjoining field. At a certain hour of the day, the old eagle was known to set off for the seaside, to gather food for her young. As she this day returned with a large fish in her claws, the workmen surrounded the tree, and by yelling and hooting, and throwing stones, so scared the poor bird that she dropped her fish, and they carried it off in triumph.

The men soon dispersed, but Joseph sat down under a bush near by, to watch, and to bestow unavailing pity. The bird soon returned to her nest, without food. The eaglets at once set up a cry for food, so shrill, so clear, and so clamorous that the boy was greatly moved.

The parent bird seemed to try to soothe them; but their appetites were too keen, and it was all in vain. She then perched herself on a limb near them, and looked down into the nest in a manner that seemed to say, "I know not what to do next."

Her indecision was but momentary; again she poised herself, uttered one or two sharp notes, as if telling them to "lie still," balanced her body, spread her wings, and was away again for the sea.

Joseph was determined to see the result. His eye followed her till she grew small, smaller, a mere speck in the sky, and then disappeared. What boy has not thus watched the flight of the bird of his country!

She was gone nearly two hours, about double her usual time for a voyage, when she again returned, on a slow weary wing, flying uncommonly low, in order to have a heavier atmosphere to sustain her, with another fish in her talons.

On nearing the field, she made a circuit round it, to see if her enemies were again there. Finding the coast clear, she once more reached the tree, drooping, faint, and weary, and evidently nearly exhausted. Again the eaglets set up their cry, which was soon hushed by the distribution of a dinner, such as, save the cooking, a king might admire.

"Glorious bird!" cried the boy, "what a spirit! Other birds can fly more swiftly, others can sing more sweetly, others scream more loudly; but what other bird, when persecuted and robbed, when weary, when discouraged, when so far from the sea, would have done this?

"Glorious bird! I will learn a lesson from thee to-day. I will never forget hereafter, that when the spirit is determined it can do almost anything. Others would have drooped, and hung the head, and mourned over the cruelty of man, and sighed over the wants of the nestlings; but thou, by at once recovering the loss, hast forgotten all.

"I will learn of thee, noble bird! I will remember this. I will set my mark high. I will try to do something, and to be something in the world; I will never yield to discouragements."

DEFINITIONS:—Century, the space of a hundred years. Gigantic, very large. Dimensions, size. Sublime, grand, noble. Disperse, scattered. Unavailing, useless. Eaglets, young eagles. Clamorous, loud, noisy. Indecision, want of fixed purpose. Momentary, for a single moment. Circuit, movement round in a circle. Exhausted, wholly tired out. Nestlings, young birds in the nest.

EXERCISE.—What lesson may be learned from this story? Why is the eagle called the bird of our country? What is meant by the expression "finding the coast clear"? What is the advantage of setting one's mark high? Can you think of any other story which teaches the lesson that one should never yield to discouragements?


A certain German nobleman provided his son with a tutor whose duty it was to cultivate the mind. and morals of the youth.

One day as the tutor and his pupil were taking a walk in the country, they came to the edge of a wood, where they observed a half-felled tree, and saw lying by it a pair of wooden shoes. The day being warm, the workman, resting from his toil, was cooling his feet in a neighboring brook. The young nobleman, in a spirit of fun, picked up a few small rounded pebbles and said: "I'll put these in the old fellow's shoes, and we'll enjoy his grimaces when he tries to put them on. It will be great fun."

"Well," said the tutor, "I doubt if you will get much fun out of that. He must be a poor man. No doubt his lot is a hard one. Would there be fun in adding to his troubles? I can't help thinking that if you were to surprise him in a different way, say by putting a little money in each shoe, you would enjoy his grimaces better. You have plenty of money. What do you say? Is it worth trying?"

The boy who, though mischievous, was very kind-hearted and generous, caught quickly at the proposal of the tutor, and slipped a silver coin into each shoe. Then they hid behind a tree to watch the outcome of their innocent prank. They had not very long to wait. An elderly man came back to his work—hard work it was, too hard for a man of his years—and slipped his right foot into his shoe.

Feeling something hard in the shoe he withdrew his foot and looked to see what the object might be, when lo! he discovered the coin. A look of puzzled amazement came over his sad face, which made the two watchers chuckle with amusement. He turned the coin over and over in his hand, and gazed at it in astonishment.

As he looked at it he felt with his foot for the other shoe, and slipped that one on. To his great surprise that shoe, too, held a coin. Holding up both silver pieces, and staring at them in silence, he made a most impressive picture, which was by no means lost upon the two beholders. Then suddenly clasping his hands together he fell upon his knees and gave thanks for the blessing that had come upon him.

As he prayed, the boy and his tutor learned from his words that his poor wife was sick and helpless at hone, and that his orphaned grandchildren were suffering for food, while he, old and feeble, was striving by heavy toil to earn a crust. The old man invoked the blessing of Heaven upon the unknown but generous soul who had pitied his poverty—the kind heart, whosesoever it might be, that could thus beat warm in charity and kindness for the hungry and the poor.

"He has gone," said the old man, "without even waiting to be thanked. But go where he may, far as he may, the earth is not wide enough but that the blessing of an old man shall seek him out and find him. The blessing of the poor flies fast," he cried; "it will overtake him and abide with him to the end of life.

"May the charity of God and the care of His angels go with him, keep him from poverty, shield him froln sickness, guard him from evil, and ever fill his heart with warmth and joy, as he has filled mine this day! I'll work no more to-day. I'll go home to my wife and children, and they shall join me in calling for blessings upon their kind helper." He put on his shoes, shouldered his ax, and departed.

Then the two watchers had a little dialogue.

"Now I call this the best kind of fun," said the tutor. "Why, boy, what are you sniveling at?"

"You are sniveling, too," said the boy.

"Well, then, both of us are sniveling," said the tutor. "So, you see, fun may lead to sniveling as well as to laughing. Of all the pleasures of life, those are the most blessed which are expressed by tears rather than laughter."

"Come on!" said the boy.

"Where next?" asked the tutor.

"Why, to follow him, to be sure. I want to know where they live and who they are. Do you think I will let his wife be sick and his grandchildren be hungry if I can help it? I have learned a new kind of fun, and I want more of it."

"My dear boy, I don't for a moment think you will stop with one good joke of this kind. Youth, with a heart like yours, never does things by halves."

So they followed the subject of their joke to his home, and the young nobleman, by means of his well-filled purse, found means to enjoy much more of his new-found variety of fun.

DEFINITIONS:—Tutor, teacher. Grimace, distortion of the face.
Impressive, touching. Invoked, called down.



In one of the most populous cities of New England, a few years ago, a party of lads, all members of the same school, got up a grand sleigh ride. The sleigh was a very large one, drawn by six gray horses.

On the following day, as the teacher entered the schoolroom, he found his pupils in high glee, as they chattered about the fun and frolic of their excursion. In answer to some inquiries, one of the lads gave him an account of their trip and its various incidents.

As he drew near the end of his story, he exclaimed: "Oh, sir! there was one thing I had almost forgotten. As we were coming home, we saw ahead of us a queer-looking affair in the road. It proved to be a rusty old sleigh, fastened behind a covered wagon, proceeding at a very slow rate, and taking up the whole road.

"Finding that the owner was not disposed to turn out, we determined upon a volley of snowballs and a good hurrah. They produced the right effect, for the crazy machine turned out into the deep snow, and the skinny old pony started on a full trot.

"As we passed, some one gave the horse a good crack, which made him run faster than he ever did before, I'll warrant.

"With that, an old fellow in the wagon, who was buried up under an old hat, bawled out, 'Why do you frighten my horse?' 'Why don't you turn out, then?' says the driver. So we gave him three rousing cheers more. His horse was frightened again, and ran up against a loaded wagon, and, I believe, almost capsized the old creature—and so we left him."

"Well, boys," replied the teacher, "take your seats, and I will tell you a story, and all about a sleigh ride, too. Yesterday afternoon a very venerable old clergyman was on his way from Boston to Salem, to pass the rest of the winter at the house of his son. That he might be prepared for journeying in the following spring he took with him his wagon, and for the winter his sleigh, which he fastened behind the wagon.

"His sight and hearing were somewhat blunted by age, and he was proceeding very slowly; for his horse was old and feeble, like its owner. He was suddenly disturbed by loud hurrahs from behind, and by a furious pelting of balls of snow and ice upon the top of his wagon.

"In his alarm he dropped his reins, and his horse began to run away. In the midst of the old man's trouble, there rushed by him, with loud shouts, a large party of boys, in a sleigh drawn by six horses. 'Turn out! turn out, old fellow!' 'Give us the road!' 'What will you take for your pony?' 'What's the price of oats, old man?' were the various cries that met his ears.

"'Pray, do not frighten my horse!' exclaimed the infirm driver. 'Turn out, then! turn out!' was the answer, which was followed by repeated cracks and blows front the long whip of the 'grand sleigh,' with showers of snowballs, and three tremendous hurrahs from the boys.

"The terror of the old man and his horse was increased, and the latter ran away with him, to the great danger of his life. He contrived, however, to stop his horse just in season prevent his being dashed against a loaded wagon. A short distance brought him to the house of his son. That son, boys, is your instructor, and that 'old fellow' was your teacher's father!"

When the boys perceived how rude and unkind their conduct appeared from another point of view, they were very much ashamed of their thoughtlessness, and most of them had the manliness to apologize to their teacher for what they had done.

DEFINITIONS:—Populous, full of inhabitants. Excursion, a pleasure trip. Incidents, things that happens, events. Warrant, to declare with assurance. Capsized, upset. Venerable, deserving of honor and respect. Blunted, dulled.

EXERCISES.—Repeat the boy's story of the sleigh ride. The teacher's story. Were the boys ill-natured or only thoughtless? Is thoughtlessness any excuse for rudeness or unkindness?



It was six men of Indostan,
  To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the elephant,
  (Though all of them were blind,)
That each by observation
  Might satisfy his mind.

The first approached the elephant,
  And, happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
  At once began to bawl
"God bless me! but the elephant
  Is very like a wall!"

The second, feeling of the tusk,
  Cried: "Ho! what have we here.
So very round, and smooth, and sharp?
  To me 'tis very clear,
This wonder of an elephant
  Is very like a spear!"

The third approached the animal,
  And, happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
  Thus boldly up he spoke:
"I see," quoth he, "the elephant
  Is very like a snake!"

The fourth reached out his eager hand,
  And felt about the knee:
"What most this wondrous beast is like
  Is very plain," quoth he;
"'Tis clear enough the elephant
  Is very like a tree!"

The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
  Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most:
  Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant
  Is very like a fan!"

The sixth no sooner had begun
  About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
  That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the elephant
  Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
  Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
  Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
  And all were in the wrong!

DEFINITIONS:—Indostan, Hindostan, a county in Asia now commonly called India. Quoth, said.


One day, our little Harry spent the morning with his young playmate, Johnny Crane, who lived in a fine house, and on Sundays rode to church in the grandest carriage to be seen in all the country round.

When Harry returned home, he said, "Mother, Johnny has money in both pockets!"

"Has he, dear?"

"Yes, ma'am; and he says he could get ever so much more if he wanted it."

"Well, now, that's very pleasant for him," I returned cheerfully, as a reply was plainly expected. "Very pleasant; don't you think so?"

"Yes, ma'am; only—"

"Only what, Harry?"

"Why, he has a big popgun, and a watch, and a hobbyhorse, and lots of things." And Harry looked up at my face with a disconsolate stare.

"Well, my boy, what of that?"

"Nothing, mother," and the telltale tears sprang to his eyes, "only I guess we are very poor, aren't we?"

"No, indeed, Harry, we are very far from being poor. We are not so rich as Mr. Crane's family, if that is what you mean."

"O mother!" insisted the little fellow, "I do think we are very poor; anyhow, I am!"

"O Harry!" I exclaimed reproachfully.

"Yes, ma'am, I am," he sobbed; "I have scarcely anything—I mean anything that's worth money—except things to eat and wear, and I'd have to have them anyway."

"Have to have them?" I echoed, at the same time laying my sewing upon the table, so that I might reason with him on that point; "do you not know, my son—"

Just then Uncle Ben looked up frown the paper he had been reading: "Harry," said he, "I want to find out something about eyes; so, if you will let me have yours, I will give you a dollar apiece for them."

"For my eyes!" exclaimed Harry, very much astonished.

"Yes," resumed Uncle Ben, quietly, "for your eyes. I will give you chloroform, so it will not hurt you in the least, and you shall have a beautiful glass pair for nothing, to wear in their place. Come, a dollar apiece, cash down! What do you say? I will take them out as quick as a wink."

"Give you my eyes, uncle!" cried Harry, looking wild at the very thought, "I think not." And the startled little fellow shook his head defiantly.

"Well, five, ten, twenty dollars, then." Harry shook his head at every offer.

"No, sir! I wouldn't let you have them for a thousand dollars! What could I do without my eyes? I couldn't see mother, or the baby, or the flowers, or the horses, or anything," added Harry, growing warmer and warmer.

"I will give you two thousand," urged Uncle Ben, taking a roll of bank notes out of his pocket. Harry, standing at a safe distance, shouted that he never would do any such thing.

"Very well," continued the uncle, with a serious air, at the same time writing something in his notebook, "I can't afford to give you more than two thousand dollars, so I shall have to do without your eyes; but," he added, "I will tell you what I will do, I will give you twenty dollars if you will let me put a few drops from this bottle in your ears. It will not hurt, but it. will make you deaf. I want to try some experiments with deafness, you see. Come quickly, now! Here are the twenty dollars all ready for you."

"Make me deaf!" shouted Harry, without even looking at the gold pieces temptingly displayed upon the table. "I guess you will not do that, either. Why, I couldn't hear a single word if I were deaf, could I?"

"Probably not," replied Uncle Ben. So, of course, Harry refused again. He would never give up his hearing, he said, "no, not for three thousand dollars."

Uncle Ben made another note in his book, and then came out with large bids for "a right arm," then "left arm," "hands," "feet," "nose," finally ending with an offer of ten thousand dollars for "mother," and five thousand for "the baby."

To all of these offers Harry shook his head, his eyes flashing, and exclamations of surprise and indignation bursting from his lips. At last, Uncle Ben said he must give up his experiments, for Harry's prices were entirely too high.

"Ha! ha!" laughed the boy, exultingly, and he folded his dimpled arms and looked as if to say, "I'd like to see the man who could pay them!"

"Why, Harry, look here!" exclaimed Uncle Ben, peeping into his notebook, "here is a big addition sum, I tell you! " He added the numbers, and they amounted to thirty-two thousand dollars.

"There, Harry," said Uncle Ben, "don't you think you are foolish not to accept some of my offers?" "No, sir, I don't," answered Harry, resolutely. "Then," said Uncle Ben, "you talk of being poor, and by your own showing you have treasures for which you will not take thirty-two thousand dollars. What do you say to that?"

Harry didn't know exactly what to say. So he blushed for a second, and just then tears came rolling down his cheeks, and he threw his chubby arms around my neck. "Mother," he whispered, "isn't God good to make everybody so rich?"

DEFINITIONS:—Disconsolate, filled with grief. Reproachfully, with censure or reproof. Chloroform, an oily liquid, the vapor of which causes insensibility. Startled, shocked. Defiantly, daringly. Afford, to be able to pay for. Experiments, acts performed to discover some truth. Exclamations, expressions of surprise, anger, etc. Exultingly, in a triumphant manner. Treasures, things which are very much valued.



Coming, coming, coming!
  Listen! perhaps you'll hear
Over the snow the bugles blow
  To welcome the glad new year.
In the steeple tongues are swinging,
There are merry sleigh bells ringing,
And the people for joy are singing,
  It's coming, coming near.

Flying, sighing, dying,
  Going away to-night,
Weary and old, its story told,
  The year that was full and bright.
Oh, we are half sorry it's leaving
Good-by has a sound of grieving;
But its work is done and its weaving;
  God speed its parting flight!

Tripping, slipping, skipping,
  Like a child in its wooing grace,
With never a tear and never a fear,
  And a light in its laughing face;
With hands held out to greet us,
With gay little steps to meet us,
With sweet eyes that entreat us,
  The new year comes to its place.

Coming, coming, coming!
  Promising lovely things—
The gold and the gray of the summer day,
  The winter with fleecy-wings;
Promising swift birds glancing,
And the patter of raindrops dancing,
And the sunbeam's arrowy lancing,
  Dear gifts the new year brings.

Coming, coming, coming!
  The world is a vision of white;
From the powdered eaves to the sere-brown leaves
  That are hidden out of sight.
In the steeple tongues are swinging,
The bells are merrily ringing,
And "Happy New-Year" we're singing,
  For the old year goes to-night.



Two girls I know—Jeannette and Jo,
  And one if always moping;
The other lassie, come what may,
  Is ever bravely hoping.

Beauty of face and girlish grace
  Are theirs, for joy or sorrow;
Jeannette takes brightly every day,
And Jo dreads each to-morrow.

One early morn they watched the dawn—
  I saw them stand together;
Their whole day's sport, 'twas very plain,
  Depended on the weather.

"'Twill storm! ' cried Jo. Jeannette spoke low,
  "Yes, but 'twill soon be over."
And, as she spoke, the sudden shower
  Came, beating down the clover.

"I told you so!" cried angry Jo:
  "It always is a-raining!"
Then hid her face in dire despair,
  Lamenting and complaining.

But sweet Jeannette, quite hopeful yet,—
  I tell it to her honor,—
Looked up and waited till the sun
  Came streaming in upon her.

The broken clouds sailed off in crowds,
  Across a sea of glory.
Jeannette and Jo ran, laughing, in—
  Which ends my simple story.

Joy is divine. Come storm, come shine,
  The hopeful are the gladdest;
And doubt and dread, children, believe
  Of all things are the saddest.

In morning's light, let youth be bright;
  Take in the sunshine tender;
Then, at the close, shall life's decline
Be full of sunset splendor.

And ye who fret, try, like Jeannette,
  To shun all weak complaining;
And not, like Jo, cry out too soon—
  "It always is a-raining!"



Many years ago there lived in the west a tribe of Indians who called themselves Illinois. They were not savage and warlike, as the tribes around them were, but they liked to live in peace, hunting the deer in the great woods, and taking the fish from the shallow streams.

On the bank of a pretty little river that flows into the great Mississippi a small band of these Indians had built their wigwams. All along the stream were tall oaks and spreading walnut trees, with here and there a grove of wild plums or a thicket of hazel bushes. But only half a mile away began the great prairie, where there was neither tree nor bush, but only tall grass; and it stretched like a green sea as far as the eye could reach.

What there was on the other side of the prairie the Indians did not know. But they had been told that a fierce race of men lived there who loved only war.

"We will live quietly in our own place," they said, "and then these strangers will not molest us."

And so for many years they lived, in a careless, happy way by the side of the pretty river; and few of their young men dared to wander far from the friendly shelter of the woods.

One day in summer, when the woods were full of the songs of birds, and the prairie of the sweet odors of flowers, the Illinois had a festival under the oaks that shaded their village. The young people played merry games on the greeIr, while their fathers and mothers sat in the doors of the wigwams and talked of the peaceful days that were past.

All at once a savage yell was heard in the hazel thicket by the river; then another from the edge of the prairie; and then a third from the lower end of the village. In a moment all was terror and confusion. Too well the Illinois knew the meaning of these cries. The savage strangers from beyond the prairie had come at last.

The attack had been so sudden and fierce that the Illinois could not defend themselves. They scattered and fled far into the woods on the other side of the little river. Then, one by one, they came together in a rocky glen where they could hide from danger. But even there they could hear the yells of their foes, and they could see the black smoke that rose from their burning wigwams.

What could they do, now that this ruin had at last come upon them? The bravest among them were in despair. They threw their bows upon the ground. The warriors were gloomy and silent. They said it was useless to fight with foes so strong and fierce. The women and children wept as though heartbroken.

But at the very moment when all seemed lost, a young girl stood up among them. She had been well known in the little village. Her thoughtful, quiet ways had endeared her to old and young alike. Her name was Watseka.

There were no tears in Watseka's eyes as she turned her face toward the gloomy warriors. All her quietness of manner was gone. There was no fear in her voice as she spoke.

"Are you men," she said, "and do you thus give up all hope? Turn your faces toward the village. Do you see the smoke of our burning homes? Our enemies are counting the scalps they have taken. They are eating the deer that you killed yesterday on your own hunting grounds. And do you stand here and do nothing?"

Some of the warriors turned their faces toward the burning village, but no one spoke.

"Very well," said Watseka. "If you dare not, then I will show you what can be done. Follow me, women of the Illinois! The strangers shall not laugh because they have driven us so easily from our homes. They shall not feed upon the corn that we have raised. We will show them what the Illinois can do. Follow me!"

As Watseka spoke, her eyes sparkled with a light which filled every heart with new courage. With one accord the women and girls gathered around her.

"Lead us, Watseka!" they cried. "We will follow you. We are not afraid."

They armed themselves with the bows and the hatchets which the warriors had thrown upon the ground. Those who could find nothing else, picked up stones and sticks. The boys joined them, their eyes flashing with eagerness. All felt that Watseka would lead them to victory.

Then it was that courage came into the hearts of the warriors.

"Are we men, and do we let the women and boys thus outdo us?" they cried. "No, we alone will drive our foes from our home. We alone will avenge our kinsmen whom they have slain. We will fear nothing. We will never rest until we have won back all that we have lost!"

And so Watseka and the women and boys did not go into battle. But the warriors of the Illinois in the darkness of the night crept silently back through the shadows of the wood. While their foes lay sleepng by the fires of the burning wigwams, they swept down upon them like a thunderbolt from the clear sky. Their revenge was swift and terrible.

And so the Illinois were again at peace, for the fierce warriors who dwelt on the other side of the prairie dared never molest them again. And they rebuilt their wigwams by the side of the pleasant river, and there they lived in comfort for many long years. Nor did they ever forget how the maiden, Watseka, had saved them in their hour of greatest need. The story of her bravery was told and retold a thousand times; the warriors talked of her beauty; the women praised her goodness; other tribes heard of her and talked about the hero maiden of the Illinois; and so long as there were Indians in that western land, the name of Watseka was remembered and honored.

DEFINITIONS:—Molest, harm. Prairie, a treeless plain. Wigwam, an
Indian house.



"Beg, Frisk, beg," said little Harry, as he sat on an inverted basket, at his grandmother's door, eating, with great satisfaction, a porringer of bread and milk. His little sister Annie sat on the ground opposite to him, now twisting her flowers into garlands, and now throwing them away.

"Beg, Frisk, beg!" repeated Harry, holding a bit of bread just out of the dog s reach; and the obedient Frisk squatted himself on his hind legs, and held up his fore paws, waiting for master Harry to give him the tempting morsel.

The little boy and the little dog were great friends. Frisk loved him dearly, much better than he did any one else, perhaps, because he remembered that Harry was his earliest and firmest friend during a time of great trouble.

Poor Frisk had come as a stray dog to Milton, the place where Harry lived. If he could have told his own story, it would probably have been a very pitiful one, of kicks and cuffs, of hunger and foul weather.

Certain it is, he made his appearance at the very door where
Harry was now sitting, in miserable plight, wet, dirty, and half
starved; and there he met Harry, who took a fancy to him, and
Harry's grandmother, who drove him off with a broom.

Harry, at length, obtained permission for the little dog to remain as a sort of outdoor pensioner, and fed him with stray bones and cold potatoes, and such things as he could get for him. He also provided him with a little basket to sleep in, the very same which, turned up, afterward served Harry for a seat.

After a while, having proved his good qualities by barking away a set of pilferers, who were making an attack on the great pear tree, he was admitted into the house, and became one of its most vigilant and valued inmates. He could fetch or carry either by land or water; would pick up a thimble or a ball of cotton, if little Annie should happen to drop them; or take Harry's dinner to school for him with perfect honesty.

"Beg, Frisk, beg!" said Harry, and gave him, after long waiting, the expected morsel. Frisk was satisfied, but Harry was not. The little boy, though a good-humored fellow in the main, had turns of naughtiness, which were apt to last him all day, and this promised to prove one of his worst. It was a holidays, and in the afternoon his cousins, Jane and William, were to come and see him and Annie; and the pears were to be gathered, and the children were to have a treat.

Harry, in his impatience, thought the morning would never be over. He played such pranks—buffeting Frisk, cutting the curls off of Annie's doll, and finally breaking his grandmother's spectacles—that before his visitors arrived, indeed, almost immediately after dinner, he contrived to be sent to bed in disgrace.

Poor Harry! there he lay, rolling and kicking, while Jane, and William, and Annie were busy gathering the fine, mellow pears. William was up in the tree, gathering and shaking. Annie and Jane were catching them in their aprons, or picking them up from the ground, now piling them in baskets, and now eating the nicest and ripest, while Frisk was barking gayly among them, as if he were catching pears too!

Poor Harry! He could hear all this glee and merriment through the open window, as he lay in bed. The storm of passion having subsided, there he lay weeping and disconsolate, a grievous sob bursting forth every now and then, as he heard the loud peals of childish laughter, and as he thought how he should have laughed, and how happy he should have been, had he not forfeited all his pleasure by his own bad conduct.

He wondered if Annie would not be so good-natured as to bring him a pear. All on a sudden, he heard a little foot on the stair, pitapat, and he thought she was coming. Pitapat came the foot, nearer and nearer, and at last a small head peeped, half afraid, through the half-open door.

But it was not Annie's head; it was Frisk's—poor Frisk, whom Harry had been teasing all the norning, and who came into the room wagging his tail, with a great pear in his mouth; and, jumping upon the bed, he laid it in the little boy's hand.

Is not Frisk a fine, grateful fellow? and does he not deserve a share of Harry's breakfast, whether he begs for it or not? And little Harry will remember from the events of this day that kindness, even though shown to a dog, will always be rewarded; and that ill nature and bad temper are connected with nothing but pain and disgrace.

DEFINITIONS:—Inverted, turned upside down. Porringer, a small metallic dish. Remembered, had not forgotten. Plight, condition. Pensioner, one who is supported by others. Pilferers, those who steal little things. Vigilant, watchful. Inmates, those living in the same house. Holiday, a day of amusement. Buffeting, striking with the hand. Subsided, become quiet. Forfeited, lost. Connected, united, have a close relation.

EXERCISE.—What two lessons may be learned from this story? Is it a good rule to return kindness for unkindness? Do you think that Harry's dog brought him the pear because he was really grateful?



The little toy dog is covered with dust,
  But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
  And his musket it molds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
  And the soldier was passing fair,
And there was a time when our Little Boy Blue
  Kissed them and put them there.

"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
  "And don't you make any noise!"
So, toddling off to his trundle bed,
  He dreamed of the pretty toys:
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
  Awakened our Little Boy Blue—
Oh, the years are many, the years are long;
  But the little toy friends are true.

Ah, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
  Each in the same old place,
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
  The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting these long years thro'
  In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
  Since he kissed them and put them there.

* From " A Little Book of Western Verse." Copyright, 1889, by Eugene Field. By permission of Charles Scribner's Sons, publishers.


If I were a boy again, and knew what I know now, I would not be quite so positive in my opinions as I used to be. Boys generally think that they are very certain about many things. A boy of fifteen is generally a great deal more sure of what he thinks he knows than a man of fifty.

You ask the boy a question and he will probably answer you right off, with great assurance; he knows all about it. Ask a man of large experience and ripe wisdom the same question, and he will say, "Well, there is much to be said about it. I am inclined on the whole to think so and so, but other intelligent men think otherwise."

When I was a small boy, I traveled from central Massachusetts to western New York, crossing the river at Albany, and going the rest of the way by canal. On the canal boat a kindly gentleman was talking to me one day, and I mentioned the fact that I had crossed the Connecticut River at Albany. How I got it in my head that it was the Connecticut River, I do not know, for I knew my geography very well then; but in some unaccountable way I had it fixed in my mind that the river at Albany was the Connecticut, and I called it so.

"Why," said the gentleman, "that is the Hudson River."

"Oh, no, sir!" I replied, politely but firmly. "You're mistaken.
That is the Connecticut River."

The gentleman smiled and said no more. I was not much in the habit, I think, of contradicting my elders; but in this matter I was perfectly sure that I was right, and so I thought it my duty to correct the gentleman's geography. I felt rather sorry for him that he should be so ignorant. One day, after I reached home, I was looking over my route on the map, and lo! there was Albany standing on the Hudson River, a hundred miles from the Connecticut.

Then I did not feel half so sorry for the gentleman's ignorance as I did for my own. I never told anybody that story until I wrote it down on these pages the other day; but I have thought of it a thousand times, and always with a blush for my boldness.

Nor was it the only time that I was perfectly sure of things that really were not so. It is hard for a boy to learn that he may be mistaken; but, unless he is a fool, he learns it after a while. The sooner he finds it out, the better for him.

If I were a boy, I would not think that I and the boys of my time were an exception to the general rule—a new kind of boys, unlike all who have lived before, having different feelings and different ways. To be honest, I must own that I used to think so myself. I was quite inclined to reject the counsel of my elders by saying to myself, "That may have been well enough for boys thirty or fifty years ago, but it isn't the thing for me and my set of boys." But that was nonsense. The boys of one generation are not different from the boys of another generation.

If we say that boyhood lasts fifteen or sixteen years, I have known three generations of boys, some of them city boys and some of them country boys, and they are all very much alike—so nearly alike that the old rules of industry and patience and perseverance and self-control are as applicable to one generation as to another. The fact is, that what your fathers and teachers have found by experience to be good for boys, will be good for you; and what their experience has taught them will be bad for boys, will be bad for you. You are just boys, nothing more nor less.

DEFINITIONS:— Assurance, certainty. Route, road. Generation, people living at the same time. Applicable, can be applied.

EXERCISE—Find on the map, Albany, the Hudson River, and the
Connecticut River.



We were crowded in the cabin;
  Not a soul would dare to sleep
It was midnight on the waters,
  And a storm was on the deep.

'Tis a fearful thing in winter
  To be shattered by the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet
  Thunder, "Cut away the mast!"

So we shuddered there in silence,
  For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring,
  And the breakers threatened death.

And as thus we sat in darkness,
  Each one busy in his prayers,
"We are lost!" the captain shouted,
  As he staggered down the stairs.

But his little daughter whispered,
  As she took his icy hand,
"Isn't God upon the ocean,
  Just the same as on the land?"

Then we kissed the little maiden,
  And we spoke in better cheer;
And we anchored safe in harbor
  When the morn was shining clear.

DEFINITIONS:—Deep, the ocean. Blast, tempest. Breakers, waves of the sea broken by rocks. Cheer, state of mind.



"Oh, Andy!" said little Jenny Murdock, "I'm so glad you came along this way. I can't get over."

"Can't get over?" said Andrew. "Why what's the matter?"

"The bridge is gone," said Jenny. "When I came across after breakfast it was there, and now it's over on the other side, and how can I get back home?"

"Why, so it is," said Andrew. "It was all right when I came over a little while ago, but old Donald pulls it on the other side every morning after he has driven his cows across, and I don't think he has any right to do it. I suppose he thinks the bridge was made for him and his cows."

"Now I must go down to the big bridge, Andy, and I want you to go with me. I'm afraid to go through all those dark woods by myself," said Jenny.

"But I can't go, Jenny," said Andrew, "it's nearly school time now."

Andrew was a Scotch boy, and a fine fellow. He was next to the head of his school, and he was as good at play as he was at his book.

Jenny Murdock, his most particular friend, was a little girl who lived very near Andrew's home. She had no brothers or sisters, but Andrew had always been as good as a brother to her; and, therefore, when she stood by the water's edge that morning, just ready to burst into tears, she thought all her troubles over when she saw Andrew coming along the road.

He had always helped her out of her troubles before, and she saw no reason why he should not do so now. She had crossed the creek in search of wild flowers, and when she wished to return had found the bridge removed, as Andrew supposed, by old Donald McKenzie, who pastured his cows on this side of the creek.

This stream was not very wide, nor very deep at its edges, but in the center it was four or five feet deep; and in the spring the water ran very swiftly, so that wading across it, either by cattle or men, was quite a difficult undertaking. As for Jenny, she could not get across at all without a bridge, and there was none nearer than the wagon bridge, a mile and a half below.

"You will go with me, Andy, won't you?" said the little girl.

"And be late to school?" said he. "I have not been late yet, you know, Jenny."

"Perhaps Dominie Black will think you have been sick or had to mind the cows," said Jenny.

"He won't think so unless I tell him," said Andrew, "and you know
I won't do that."

"If we were to run all the way, would you be too late?" said

"If we were to run all the way? I should not get to school till after copy time. I expect every minute to hear the school bell ring," said Andrew.

"But what can I do, then?" said poor little Jenny. "I can't wait here till school's out, and I don't want to go up to the schoolhouse, for all the boys to laugh at me."

"No," said Andrew, reflecting very seriously, "I must take you home some way or other. It won't do to leave you here, and, no matter where you might stay, your mother would be very much troubled about you."

"Yes," said Jenny, "she would think I was drowned."

Time pressed, and Jenny's countenance became more and more overcast, but Andrew could think of no way in which he could take the little girl home without being late and losing his standing in the school.

It was impossible to get her across the stream at any place nearer than the "big bridge"; he would not take her that way, and make up a false story to account for his lateness at school, and he could not leave her alone or take her with him.

What was to be done? While several absurd and impracticable plans were passing through his brain, the school bell began to ring, and he must start immediately to reach the schoolhouse in time.

And now his anxiety and perplexity became more intense than ever; and Jenny, looking up into his troubled countenance, began to cry.

Andrew, who had never before failed to be at the school door before the first tap of the bell, began to despair. Was there nothing to be done?

Yes! a happy thought passed through his mind. How strange that he should not have thought of it before! He would ask Dominie Black to let him take Jennie home. What could be more sensible and straightforward than such a plan?

Of course, the good old schoolmaster gave Andrew the desired permission, and everything ended happily. But the best thing about the whole affair was the lesson that the young Scotch boy learned that day.

The lesson was this: when we are puzzling our brains with plans to help ourselves out of trouble, let us always stop a moment in our planning, and try to think if there is not some simple way out of the difficulty, which shall be in every respect perfectly right. If we do this, we shall probably find a way more easy and satisfactory than any which we can devise.

DEFINITIONS:—Particular, not ordinary, worthy of special
attention, chief. Dominie, the Scotch name for schoolmaster.
Reflecting, thinking earnestly. Overcast, covered with gloom.
Account, to state the reasons. Impracticable, not possible.
Anxiety, care, trouble of mind. Devise, plan, contrive.

EXERCISES. Why could not Jenny cross the stream? Would it have been right for Andrew to have told an untruth even to help Jenny out of trouble? What did he finally do? What does this lesson teach us to do in case of trouble?


Some forty years ago I passed the winter in the wilderness of northern Maine. I was passionately fond of skating, and the numerous lakes and rivers, frozen by the intense cold, offered an ample field to the lover of this pastime.

Sometimes my skating excursions were made by moonlight; and it was on such an occasion that I met with an adventure which even now I cannot recall without a thrill of horror.

I had left our cabin one evening just before dusk, with the intention of skating a short distance up the Kennebec, which glided directly before the door. The night was beautifully clear with the light of the full moon and millions of stars. Light also came glinting from ice and snow-wreath and incrusted branches, as the eye followed for miles the broad gleam of the river, that like a jeweled zone swept between the mighty forests that bordered its banks.

And yet all was still. The cold seemed to have frozen tree, air, water, and every living thing. Even the ringing of my skates echoed back from the hill with a startling clearness; and the crackle of the ice, as I passed over it in my course, seemed to follow the tide of the river with lightning speed.

I had gone up the river nearly two miles, when, coming to a little stream which flows into the larger, I turned into it to explore its course. Fir and hemlock of a century's growth met overhead, and formed an archway radiant with frost-work. All was dark within; but I was young and fearless, and I laughed and shouted with excitement and joy.

My wild hurrah rang through the silent woods, and I stood listening to the echoes until all was hushed. Suddenly a sound arose,—it seemed to come from beneath the ice. It was low and tremulous at first, but it ended in one long wild howl.

I was appalled. Never before had such a sound met my ears. Presently I heard the brushwood on shore crash as though from the tread of some animal. The blood rushed to my forehead; my energies returned, and I looked around me for some means of escape.

The moon shone through the opening at the mouth of the creek by which I had entered the forest; and, considering this the best way of escape, I darted toward it like an arrow. It was hardly a hundred yards distant, and the swallow could scarcely have excelled me in flight; yet, as I turned my eyes to the shore, I could see several dark objects dashing through the brushwood at a pace nearly double in speed to my own. By their great speed, and the short yells which they occasionally gave, I knew at once that these were the much-dreaded gray wolves.

The bushes that skirted the shore now seemed to rush past with the velocity of lightning, as I dashed on in my flight to pass the narrow opening. The outlet was nearly gained; a few seconds more, and I would be comparatively safe. But in a moment my pursuers appeared on the bank above me, which here rose to the height of ten or twelve feet. There was no time for thought; I bent my head, and dashed wildly forward. The wolves sprang, but, miscalculating my speed, they fell behind, as I glided out upon the river!

I turned toward home. The light flakes of snow spun from the iron of my skates, and I was some distance from my pursuers, when their fierce howl told me they were still in hot pursuit. I did not look back; I did not feel afraid, or sorry, or glad; one thought of home, of the bright faces awaiting my return, and of their tears if they never should see me,—and then all the energies of body and mind were exerted for escape.

I was perfectly at home on the ice. Many were the days that I had spent on my good skates, never thinking that they would one day prove my only means of safety.

Every half-minute a furious yelp from my fierce attendants made me but too certain that they were in close pursuit. Nearer and nearer they came. At last I heard their feet pattering on the ice; I even felt their very breath, and heard their snuffing scent! Every nerve and muscle in my frame was strained to the utmost.

The trees along the shore seemed to dance in an uncertain light, my brain turned with my own breathless speed, my pursuers hissed forth their breath with a sound truly horrible, when all at once an involuntary motion on my part turned me out of my course.

The wolves close behind, unable to stop, and as unable to turn on smooth ice, slipped and fell, still going on far ahead. Their tongues were lolling out, their white tusks were gleaming from their bloody mouths, their dark shaggy breasts were flecked with foam; and as they passed me their eyes glared, and they howled with fury.

The thought flashed on my mind that by turning aside whenever they came too near I might avoid them; for, owing to the formation of their feet, they are unable to run on ice except in a straight line. I immediately acted upon this plan, but the wolves having regained their feet sprang directly toward me.

The race was renewed for twenty yards up the stream; they were almost close at my back, when I glided round and dashed directly past them. A fierce yell greeted this movement, and the wolves, slipping on their haunches, again slid onward, presenting a perfect picture of helplessness and disappointed rage. Thus I gained nearly a hundred yards at each turning. This was repeated two or three times, the baffled animals becoming every moment more and more excited.

At one time, by delaying my turning too long, my bloodthirsty antagonists came so near that they threw their white foam over my coat as they sprang to seize me, and their teeth clashed together like the spring of a fox-trap. Had my skates failed for one instant, had I tripped on a stick, or had my foot been caught in a fissure, the story I am now telling would never have been told.

I thought over all the chances. I knew where they would first seize me if I fell. I thought how long it would be before I died, and then of the search for my body: for oh, how fast man's mind traces out all the dread colors of death's picture only those who have been near the grim original can tell!

At last I came opposite the cabin, and my hounds—I knew their deep voices—roused by the noise, bayed furiously from their kennels. I heard their chains rattle—how I wished they would break them!—then I should have had protectors to match the fiercest dwellers of the forest. The wolves, taking the hint conveyed by the dogs, stopped in their mad career, and after a few moments turned and fled.

I watched them until their forms disappeared over a neighboring hill; then, taking off my skates, I wended my way to the cabin with feelings which may be better imagined than described. But even yet I never see a broad sheet of ice by moonlight without thinking of that snuffing breath, and those ferocious beasts that followed me so closely down that frozen river.

DEFINITIONS:—Glinting, glancing, glittering. Zone, belt.
Velocity, swiftness. Fissure, crack.

EXERCISE.—Where is the Kennebec River? In what part of our country is Maine?



How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
  When fond recollection presents them to view!
The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood,
  And every loved spot which my infancy knew;
The wide-spreading pond, and the mill that stood by it:
  The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell:
The cot of my father, the dairy house nigh it,
  And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the well:
The old oaken bucket, the ironbound bucket,
  The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.

That moss-covered vessel I hail as a treasure;
  For often, at noon, when returned from the field,
I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure,
  The purest and sweetest that nature can yield.
How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing,
  And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell;
Then soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing,
  And dripping with coolness it rose from the well:
The old oaken bucket, the ironbound bucket,
  The moss-covered bucket arose from the well.

How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
  As poised on the curb, it inclined to my lips!
Not a full blushing goblet could tempt me to leave it,
  Though filled with the nectar which Jupiter sips;
And now, far removed from thy loved situation,
  The tear of regret will intrusively swell,
As fancy reverts to my father's plantation,
  And sighs for the bucket which hangs in the well:
The old oaken bucket, the ironbound bucket,
  The moss-covered bucket, which hangs in the well.

DEFINITIONS:—Cataract, a great fall of water. Overflowing, running over. Exquisite, exceeding, extreme. Poised, balanced. Goblet, a kind of cup or drinking vessel. Nectar, the drink of the gods. Intrusively, without right or welcome. Reverts, returns.

EXERCISE.—Who was the author of "The Old Oaken Bucket"? What does the poem describe? and what feeling does it express?



A farmer, whose poultry-yard had suffered severely from the foxes, succeeded at last in catching one in a trap. "Ah, you rascal!" said he, as he saw him struggling, "I'll teach you to steal my fat geese!—you shall hang on the tree yonder, and your brothers shall see what comes of thieving."

The farmer was twisting a halter to do what he threatened, when the fox, whose tongue had helped him in hard pinches before, thought there could be no harm in trying whether it might not do him one more good turn.

"You will hang me," he said, "to frighten my brother foxes. On the word of a fox, they won't care; they'll come and look at me, but they will dine at your expense before they go home again."

"Then I shall hang you for yourself, as a rogue and a rascal," said the farmer.

"I am only what nature chose to make me," the fox answered. "I didn't make myself."

"You stole my geese," said the man.

"Why did nature make me like geese, then?" said the fox. "Live and let live; give me my share, and I won't touch yours."

"I don't understand your fine talk," answered the farmer; "but I know that you are a thief, and that you deserve to be hanged."

"His head is too thick to let me catch him so," thought the fox; "I wonder if his heart is any softer! You are taking away the life of a fellow-creature," he said; "that's a responsibility—life is a curious thing, and who knows what comes after it?

"You say I am a rogue—I say I am not; but at any rate, I ought not to be hanged—for if I am not, I don't deserve it; and if I am, you should give me time to repent! I have him now," thought the fox; "let him. get out if he can."

"Why, what would you have me do with you?" said the man.

"My notion is that you should let me go, and give me a lamb, or goose or two, every month, and then I could live without stealing; but perhaps you know better; my education may have been neglected; you should shut me up, and take care of me, and teach me. Who knows but I may turn into a dog? Stranger things than this have happened."

"Very pretty," said the farmer; "we have dogs enough, and more, too, than we can take care of, without you. No, no, Master Fox, I have caught you, and I am determined that you shall swing. There will be one rogue less in the world, anyhow."

"It is mere hate and unchristian vengeance," said the fox.

"No, friend," the farmer answered; "I don't hate you, and I don't want to revenge myself on you; but you and I can't get on together, and I think I am of more importance in this world than you. If nettles and thistles grow in my cabbage garden, I don't try to persuade them to grow into cabbages. I just dig them up.

"I don't hate them; on the contrary, I feel a sense of pity for them. But I feel somehow that they mustn't hinder me with my cabbages, and that I must put them away; and so, my poor friend, I am sorry for you, but I am afraid you must swing."



By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them.
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.

  There the wrinkled old Nokomis
Nursed the little Hiawatha,
Rocked him in his linden cradle,
Bedded soft in moss and rushes,
Safely bound with reindeer sinews;
Stilled his fretful wail by saying,
"Hush! the Naked Bear will hear thee!"
Lulled him into slumber, singing,
"Ewa-yea! my little owlet!
Who is this that lights the wigwam?
With his great eyes lights the wigwam?
Ewa-yea! my little owlet!"

  Many things Nokomis taught him
Of the stars that shine in heaven;
Showed him Ishkoodah, the comet,
Ishkoodah with fiery tresses;
Showed the Death-Dance of the spirits,
Warriors with their plumes and war clubs,
Flaring far away to northward
In the frosty nights of winter;
Showed the broad white road in heaven,
Pathway of the ghosts, the shadows,
Running straight across the heavens,
Crowded with the ghosts, the shadows.

  At the door on summer evenings
Sat the little Hiawatha;
Heard the whispering of the pine trees,
Heard the lapping of the waters,
Sounds of music, words of wonder;
"Minne-wawa" said the pine trees,
"Mudway-ashka!" said the water.

  Saw the firefly, Wah-wah-taysee,
Flitting through the dusk of evening,
With the twinkle of its candle
Lighting up the brakes and bushes,
And he sang the song of children,
Sang the song Nokomis taught him:
  "Wah-wah-taysee, little firefly,
  Little, flitting, white-fire insect,
  Little, dancing, white-fire creature,
  Light me with your little candle,
  Ere upon my bed I lay me,
  Ere in sleep I close my eyelids!"

  Saw the moon rise from the water,
Rippling, rounding from the water,
Saw the flecks and shadows on it,
Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered:
"Once a warrior, very angry,
Seized his grandmother and threw her
Up into the sky at midnight;
Right against the moon he threw her.
'Tis her body that you see there."

  Saw the rainbow in the heaven,
In the eastern sky, the rainbow,
Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered:
"'Tis the heaven of flowers you see there;
All the wild flowers of the forest,
All the lilies of the prairie,
When on earth they fade and perish,
Blossom in that heaven above us."

  When he heard the owls at midnight,
Hooting, laughing, in the forest,
"What is that?" he cried in terror,
"What is that," he said, "Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered.
"That is but the owl and owlet,
Talking in their native language,
Talking, scolding, at each other."

  Then the little Hiawatha
Learned of every bird its language,
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How they built their nests in summer,
Where they hid themselves in winter,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Chickens."

  Of all beasts he learned the language,
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How the beavers built their lodges.
Where the squirrels hid their acorns,
How the reindeer ran so swiftly,
Why the rabbit was so timid,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Brothers."

  Then Iagoo the great boaster,
He the marvelous story-teller,
He the traveler and the talker,
He the friend of old Nokomis,
Made a bow for Hiawatha;
From a branch of ash he made it,
From an oak bough made the arrows,
Tipped with flint, and winged with feathers,
And the cord he made of deerskin.

  Then he said to Hiawatha:
"Go, my son, into the forest,
Where the red deer herd together,
Kill for us a famous roebuck,
Kill for us a deer with antlers!"

  Forth into the forest straightway
All alone walked Hiawatha
Proudly, with his bow and arrows;
And the birds sang round him, o'er him
"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha!"
Sang the robin, sang the bluebird,
"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha!"

  And the rabbit from his pathway
Leaped aside, and at a distance
Sat erect upon his haunches,
Half in fear and half in frolic,
Saying to the little hunter,
"Do not shoot me, Hiawatha!"

  But he heeded not, nor heard them,
For his thoughts were with the red deer;
On their tracks his eyes were fastened,
Leading downward to the river,
To the ford across the river,
And as one in slumber walked he.

  Hidden in the alder bushes,
There he waited till the deer came,
Till he saw two antlers lifted,
Saw two eyes look from the thicket,
Saw two nostrils point to windward,
And a deer came down the pathway,
Flecked with leafy light and shadow.
And his heart within him fluttered
Trembled like the leaves above him,
Like the birch-leaf palpitated,
As the deer came down the pathway.

  Then, upon one knee uprising,
Hiawatha aimed an arrow;
Scarce a twig moved with his motion,
Scarce a leaf was stirred or rustled,
But the wary roebuck darted,
Stamped with all his hoofs together,
Listened with one foot uplifted,
Leaped as if to meet the arrow;
Ah! the singing, fatal arrow,
Like a wasp it buzzed, and stung him.

  Dead he lay there in the forest,
By the ford across the river;
Beat his timid heart no longer;
But the heart of Hiawatha
Throbbed and shouted and exulted,
As he bore the red deer homeward.

DEFINITIONS:—Sinews, tendons. Tresses, long, flowing hair. Ghosts, spirits. Lodges, huts, dwellings. Wigwam, an Indian hut or dwelling. Antlers, the horns of the deer. Palpitated, fluttered, trembled. Fatal, causing death.



The little schoolboys went quietly to their own beds, and began undressing and talking to one another in whispers: while the elder, amongst whom was Tom, sat chatting about on one another's beds, with their jackets and waistcoats off.

Poor little Arthur was overwhelmed with the novelty of his position. The idea of sleeping in the room with strange boys had clearly never crossed his mind before, and was as painful as it was strange to him. He could hardly bear to take his jacket off; however, presently, with an effort, off it came, and then he paused and looked at Tom, who was sitting at the bottom of his bed, talking and laughing.

"Please, Brown," he whispered, "may I wash my face and hands?"

"Of course, if you like," said Tom, staring: "that's your wash-hand stand under the window, second from your bed. You'll have to go down for more water in the morning if you use it all."

And on he went with his talk, while Arthur stole timidly from between the beds out to his wash-hand stand, and began his ablutions, thereby drawing for a moment on himself the attention of the room.

On went the talk and laughter. Arthur finished his washing and undressing, and put on his nightgown. He then looked round more nervously than ever. Two or three of the little boys were already in bed, sitting up with their chins on their knees. The light burned clear, the noise went on.

It was a trying moment for the poor, little, lonely boy; however, this time he did not ask Tom what he might or might not do, but dropped on his knees by his bedside, as he had done every day from his childhood, to open his heart to Him who heareth the cry and beareth the sorrows of the tender child, and the strong man in agony.

Tom was sitting at the bottom of his bed unlacing his boots, so that his back was toward Arthur, and he did not see what had happened, and looked up in wonder at the sudden silence. Then two or three boys laughed and sneered, and a big, brutal fellow, who was standing in the middle of the room, picked up a slipper and shied it at the kneeling boy, calling him a sniveling young shaver.

Then Tom saw the whole, and the next moment the boot he had just pulled off flew straight at the head of the bully, who had just time to throw up his arm and catch it on his elbow. "Brown, you rascal! What do you mean by that?" roared he, stamping with pain."

"Never mind what I mean," said Tom, stepping on to the floor, every drop of blood in his body tingling: "if any fellow wants the other boot, he knows how to get it."

What would have been the result is doubtful, for at this moment the sixth-form boy came in, and not another word could be said. Tom and the rest rushed into bed and finished their unrobing there, and the old janitor had put out the candle in another minute, and toddled on to the next room, shutting the door with his usual, "Good night, gen'l'm'n."

There were many boys in the room by whom that little scene was taken to heart before they slept. But sleep seemed to have deserted the pillow of poor Tom. For some time his excitement and the flood of memories which chased one another through his brain, kept him from thinking or resolving. His head throbbed, his heart leapt, and he could hardly keep himself from springing out of bed and rushing about the room.

Then the thought of his own mother came across him, and the promise he had made at her knee, years ago, never to forget to kneel by his bedside and give himself up to his Father before he laid his head on the pillow, from which it might never rise; and he lay down gently, and cried as if his heart would break. He was only fourteen years old.

It was no light act of courage in those days for a little fellow to say his prayers publicly, even at Rugby. A few years later, when Arnold's manly piety had begun to leaven the school, the tables turned; before he died, in the Schoolhouse at least, and I believe in the other houses, the rule was the other way.

But poor Tom had come to school in other times. The first few nights after he came he did not kneel down because of the noise, but sat up in bed till the candle was out, and then stole out and said his prayers, in fear lest some one should find him out. So did many another poor little fellow.

Then he began to think that he might just as well say his prayers in bed, and then that is did not matter whether he was kneeling, or sitting, or lying down. And so it had come to pass with Tom, as with all who will not confess their Lord before men; and for the last year he had probably not said his prayers in earnest a dozen times.

Poor Tom! the first and bitterest feeling, which was like to break his heart, was the sense of his own cowardice. The vice of all others which he loathed was brought in and burned in on his own soul. He had lied to his mother, to his conscience, to his God. How could he bear it? And then the poor, little, weak boy, whom he had pitied and almost scorned for his weakness, had done that which he, braggart as he was, dared not do.

The first dawn of comfort came to him in vowing to himself that he would stand by that boy through thick and thin, and cheer him, and help him, and bear his burdens, for the good deed done that night. Then he resolved to write home next day and tell his mother all, and what a coward her son had been. And then peace came to him as he resolved, lastly, to bear his testimony next morning.

The morning would be harder than the night to begin with, but he felt that he could not afford to let one chance slip. Several times he faltered, for the Devil showed him, first, all his old friends calling him "Saint," and "Squaretoes," and a dozen hard names, and whispered to him that his motives would be misunderstood, and he would be left alone with the new boy; whereas, it was his duty to keep all means of influence, that he might do good to the largest number.

And then came the more subtle temptation, "shall I not be showing myself braver than others by doing this? Have I any right to begin it now? Ought I not rather to pray in my own study, letting other boys know that I do so, and trying to lead them to it, while in public, at least, I should go on as I have done?" However, his good angel was too strong that night, and he turned on his side and slept, tired of trying to reason, but resolved to follow the impulse which had been so strong, and in which he had found peace.

Next morning he was up and washed and dressed, all but his jacket and waistcoat, just as the ten minutes' bell began to ring, and then in the face of the whole room he knelt down to pray. Not five words could he say,—the bell mocked him; he was listening for every whisper in the room,—what were they all thinking of him?

He was ashamed to go on kneeling, ashamed to rise from his knees. At last, as it were from his inmost heart, a still, small voice seemed to breathe forth the words of the publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" He repeated them over and over, and rose from his knees comforted and humbled, and ready to face the whole world.

It was not needed: two other boys besides Arthur had already followed his example, and he went down to the great school with a glimmering of another lesson in his heart,—the lesson that he who has conquered his own coward spirit has conquered the whole outward world; and also that however we may fancy ourselves alone on the side of good, the King and Lord of men is nowhere without his witnesses.

He found, too, how greatly he had exaggerated the effect to be produced by his act. For a few nights there was a sneer or a laugh when he knelt down, but this passed off soon, and one by one all the other boys but three or four followed the lead.

—Adapted from "School Days at Rugby."

DEFINITIONS:—Waistcoat, a vest. Overwhelmed, overcome, cast down. Novelty, newness. Ablution, the act of washing. Sneered, showed contempt. Bully, a noisy, blustering fellow, more insolent than courageous. Tingling, having a thrilling feeling. Leaven, to make a general change, to imbue. Loathed, hated, detested. Braggart, a boaster. Vowing, making a solemn promise to God. Testimony, open declaration. Faltered, hesitated. Motive, that which causes action, cause, reason. Subtle, artful, cunning.

NOTES.—"Rugby" the scene of this story, is a celebrated grammar school which was established at the town of Rugby, England, in 1667.

Sixth-form boy. The school was graded into six classes or "forms," and the boys of the highest, or sixth, form were expected to keep the smaller boys under them in order.



Into a ward of the whitewashed halls,
  Where the dead and dying lay,
Wounded by bayonets, shells, and balls,
  Somebody's darling was borne one day;

Somebody's darling, so young and brave,
  Wearing yet on his pale, sweet face,
Soon to be hid by the dust of the grave,

The lingering light of his boyhood's grace.

Matted and damp are the curls of gold,
  Kissing the snow of that fair young brow;
Pale are the lips of delicate mold
  Somebody's darling is dying now.

Back from his beautiful, blue-veined brow,
  Brush all the wandering waves of gold;
Cross his hands, on his bosom now;
  Somebody's darling is still and cold.

Kiss him once for somebody's sake,
  Murmur a prayer soft and low;
One bright curl from its fair mates take;
  They were somebody's pride, you know;

Somebody's hand has rested there;
  Was it a mother's, soft and white?
And have the lips of a sister fair
  Been baptized in the waves of light?

God knows best! he was somebody's love.
  Somebody's heart enshrined him there;
Somebody wafted his name above,
  Night and morn, on the wings of prayer.

Somebody wept when he marched away,
  Looking so handsome, brave, and grand;
Somebody's kiss on his forehead lay;
  Somebody clung to his parting hand.

Somebody's watching and waiting for him,
  Yearning to hold him again to her heart;
And there he lies, with his blue eyes dim,
  And the smiling, childlike lips apart.

Tenderly bury the fair young dead,
  Pausing to drop on his grave a tear;
Carve on the wooden slab at his head,
  "Somebody's darling slumbers here."

DEFINITIONS:—Bayonet, a short, pointed iron weapon, fitted to the muzzle of a gun. Darling, one dearly loved. Lingering, protracted. Matted, twisted together. Delicate, soft and fair. Mold, shape. Wandering, straying. Enshrined, cherished. Wafted, caused to float. Yearning, being eager, longing. Tenderly, gently, kindly.



There is no more beautiful and thrilling tale of early pioneer days than the story of Helen Patterson. She was born in Kentucky; but while she was still a child her parents removed to St. Louis County, Missouri, and lived for a time in a settlement called Cold Water, which is in St. Ferdinand township. About the year 1808 or 1809, her father took his family to the St. Charles district, and settled only a few miles from the home of the veteran backwoodsman, Daniel Boone.

At the time of this last removal, Helen was about eighteen years of age. She was a very religious girl, and had been taught to believe that whatever she prayed for would be granted.

Shortly after the family had settled in their new home, bands of prowling savages began to roam about the neighborhood. The Indians would plunder the cabins of the settlers during their absence, and drive away their cattle, horses, and hogs.

One day business called all the Patterson family to the village, except Helen. She was busily engaged in spinning, when the house was surrounded by nine Indians. Resistance was useless. She did not attempt to escape or even cry out for help; for one of the savages who spoke English gave her to understand that she would be killed if she did so.

She was told that she must follow the Indians. They took such things as they could conveniently carry, and with their captive set off on foot through the forest, in a northwestern direction. The shrewd girl had brought a ball of yarn with her, and from this she occasionally broke off a bit and dropped it at the side of the path, as a guide to her father and friends, who she knew would soon be in pursuit.

This came very near being fatal to Helen, for one of the Indians observed what she was doing, and raised his hatchet to brain her. The others interceded, but the ball of yarn was taken from her, and she was closely watched lest she might resort to some other device for marking a trail.

It was early in the morning when Helen was captured. Her parents were expected to return to the cabin by noon, and she reasoned that they would be in pursuit before the Indians had gone very far. As the savages were on foot, and her father would no doubt follow them on horseback, he might overtake them before dark. The uneasiness expressed by her captors during the afternoon encouraged her in the belief that her friends were in pursuit.

A little before sunset, two of the Indians went back to reconnoiter, and the other seven, with the captive, continued on in the forest. Shortly after sunset, the two Indians who had fallen behind joined the others, and all held a short consultation, which the white girl could not understand.

The conference lasted but a few moments, and then the savages hastened forward with Helen to a creek, where the banks were sloping, and the water shallow enough for them to wade the stream. By the time they had crossed, it was quite dark. The night was cloudy, and distant thunder could occasionally be heard.

The Indians hurried their captive to a place half a mile from the ford, and there tied her with strips of deerskin to one of the low branches of an elm. Her hands were extended above her head, and her wrists were crossed and tied so tightly that she found it impossible to release them. When they had secured her to their own satisfaction, the Indians left her, assuring her that they were going back to the ford to shoot her father and his companions as they crossed it.

Helen was almost frantic with fear and grief. Added to the uncertainty of her own fate was the knowledge that her father and friends were marching right into an Indian ambuscade.

In the midst of her trouble, she did not forget her pious teaching. She prayed God to send down his angels and release her. But no angel came. In her distress, the rumbling thunders in the distance were unheard, and she hardly noticed the shower until she was drenched to the skin.

The rain thoroughly wet the strips of deerskin with which she was tied, and as they stretched she almost unconsciously slipped her hands from them. Her prayer had been answered by the rain. She hastily untied her feet, and sped away toward the creek. Guided by the lightning's friendly glare, she crossed the stream half a mile above the ford, and hastened to meet her father and friends.

At every flash of lightning she strained her eyes, hoping to catch sight of them. At last moving forms were seen in the distance, but they were too far away for her to determine whether they were white men or Indians. Crouching down at the root of a tree by the path, she waited until they were within a few rods of her, and then cried in a low voice,"Father! Father!"

"That is Helen," said Mr. Patterson.

She bounded to her feet, and in a moment was at his side, telling him how she had escaped. The rescuing party was composed of her father and two brothers, a neighbor named Shultz, and Nathan and Daniel M. Boone, sons of the great pioneer, Daniel Boone.

She told them where the Indians were lying in ambush, and the frontiersmen decided to surprise them. They crossed the creek on a log, and stole down to the ford, but the Indians were gone. No doubt the savages had discovered the escape of the prisoner, and, knowing that their plan to surprise the white men had failed, became frightened and fled.

Helen Patterson always believed it was her prayers that saved her father, her brothers, and herself in that trying hour. —From "Stories of Missouri."

DEFINITIONS:—Thrilling, exciting. Veteran, long experienced. Shrewd, artful, cunning. Interceded, stepped in between, prevented. Trail, pathway.



Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
  What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro'the perilous fight,
  O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
 Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
  O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mist of the deep,
  Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
  As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
  In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: oh, long may wave
  O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
  That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
  Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
  From the terror of night or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
  O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
  Between their loved homes and wild war's desolation;
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
  Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
  And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
  O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

DEFINITIONS:—Hailed, greeted. Perilous, full of danger. Ramparts, the walls of a fortification. Bombs, shells fired from mortars. Haughty, overbearing. Fitfully, by starts. Discloses, reveals to sight. Havoc, destruction.

NOTE.—This song was composed in September, 1814, at the time of the bombardment of Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, by the British.



All hail to our glorious ensign! courage to the heart and strength to the hand, to which, in all time, it shall be intrusted! May it ever wave first in honor, in unsullied glory and patriotic hope, on the dome of the Capitol, on the country's stronghold, on the tented plain, on the wave-rocked topmast.

Wheresoever, on the earth's surface, the eye of the American shall behold it, may he have reason to bless it! On whatsoever spot it is planted, there may freedom have a foothold, humanity a brave champion, and religion an altar. Though stained with blood in a righteous cause, may it never, in any cause, be stained with shame.

Alike when its gorgeous folds shall wanton in lazy holiday triumphs on the summer breeze, and its tattered fragments be dimly seen through the clouds of war, may it be the joy and pride of the American heart. First raised in the cause of right and liberty, in that cause alone may it forever spread out its streaming blazonry to the battle and the storm. Having been borne victoriously across a mighty continent, and floating in triumph on every sea, may virtue, and freedom, and peace, forever follow where it leads the way!



The day was sultry, and toward noon a strong wind sprang up that roared in the pine tops like the dashing of distant billows, but without in the least degree abating the heat. The children were lying listlessly upon the floor, and the girl and I were finishing sunbonnets, when Mary suddenly exclaimed, "Bless us, mistress, what a smoke!"

I ran immediately to the door, but was not able to distinguish ten yards before me. The swamp immediately below us was on fire, and the heavy wind was driving a dense black cloud of smoke directly toward us.

"What can this mean?" I cried. "Who can have set fire to the fallow?" As I ceased speaking, John Thomas stood pale and trembling before me. "John, what is the meaning of this fire?"

"Oh, ma'am, I hope you will forgive me; it was I set fire to it, and I would give all I have in the world if I had not done it."

"What is the danger?"

"Oh, I'm afraid that we shall all be burnt up," said John, beginning to whimper. "What shall we do?"

"Why, we must get out of it as fast as we can, and leave the house to its fate."

"We can't get out," said the man, in a low hollow tone, which seemed the concentration of fear; "I would have got out of it if I could; but just step to the back door, ma'am, and see."

Behind, before, on every side, we were surrounded by a wall of fire, burning furiously within a hundred yards of us, and cutting off all possibility of retreat; for, could we have found an opening through the burning heaps, we could not have seen our way through the dense canopy of smoke; and, buried as we were in the heart of the forest, no one could discover our situation till we were beyond the reach of help.

I closed the door, and went back to the parlor. Fear was knocking loudly at my heart, for our utter helplessness destroyed all hope of our being able to effect our escape. The girl sat upon the floor by the children, who, unconscious of the peril that hung over them, had both fallen asleep. She was silently weeping; while the boy who had caused the mischief was crying aloud.

A strange calm succeeded my first alarm. I sat down upon the step of the door, and watched the awful scene in silence. The fire was raging in the cedar swamp immediately below the ridge on which the house stood, and it presented a spectacle truly appalling.

From out of the dense folds of a canopy of black smoke—the blackest I ever saw—leaped up red forks of lurid flame as high as the tree tops, igniting the branches of a group of tall pines that had been left for saw logs. A deep gloom blotted out the heavens from our sight. The air was filled with fiery particles, which floated even to the doorstep-while the crackling and roaring of the flames might have been heard at a great distance.

To reach the shore of the lake, we must pass through the burning swamp, and not a bird could pass over it with unscorched wings. The fierce wind drove the flames at the sides and back of the house up the clearing; and our passage to the road or to the forest, on the right and left, was entirely obstructed by a sea of flames. Our only ark of safety was the house, so long as it remained untouched by the fire.

I turned to young Thomas, and asked him how long he thought that would be. "When the fire clears this little ridge in front, ma'am. The Lord have mercy on us then, or we must all go."

I threw myself down on the floor beside my children, and pressed them to my heart, while inwardly I thanked God that they were asleep, unconscious of danger, and unable by their cries to distract our attention from adopting any plan which might offer to effect their escape.

The heat soon became suffocating. We were parched with thirst, and there was not a drop of water in the house, and none to be procured nearer than the lake. I turned once more to the door, hoping that a passage might have been burnt through to the water. I saw nothing but a dense cloud of fire and smoke—could hear nothing but the crackling and roaring of flames, which were gaining so fast upon us that I felt their scorching breath in my face.

"Ah," thought I,—and it was a most bitter thought,—"what will my beloved husband say when he returns and finds that his poor wife and his dear girls have perished in this miserable manner? But God can save us yet."

The thought had scarcely found a voice in my heart before the wind rose to a hurricane, scattering the flames on all sides into a tempest of burning billows. I buried my head in my apron, for I thought that all was lost, when a most terrific crash of thunder burst over our heads, and, like the breaking of a waterspout, down came the rushing torrent of rain which had been pent up for so many weeks.

In a few minutes the chipyard was all afloat, and the fire effectually checked. The storm which, unnoticed by us, had been gathering all day, and which was the only one of any note we had that summer, continued to rage all night, and before morning had quite subdued the cruel enemy whose approach we had viewed with such dread.

—Prom "Roughing it in the Bush."



Poor, sweet Piccola! Did you hear
What happened to Piccola, children dear?
'Tis seldom Fortune such favor grants
As fell to this little maid of France.

'Twas Christmas time, and her parents poor
Could hardly drive the wolf from the door,
Striving with poverty's patient pain
Only to live till summer again.

No gift for Piccola! sad were they
When dawned the morning of Christmas day!
Their little darling no joy might stir;
St. Nicholas nothing would bring to her!

But Piccola never doubted at all
That something beautiful must befall
Every child upon Christmas day,
And so she slept till the dawn was gray.

And full of faith, when at last she woke,
She stole to her shoe as the morning broke;
Such sounds of gladness filled all the air,
'Twas plain St. Nicholas had been there.

In rushed Piccola, sweet, half wild—
Never was seen such a joyful child—
"See what the good saint brought!" she cried,
And mother and father must peep inside.

Now such a story I never heard!
There was a little shivering bird!
A sparrow, that in at the window flew,
Had crept into Piccola's tiny shoe!

"How good poor Piccola must have been!"
She cried, as happy as any queen,
While the starving sparrow she fed and warmed,
And danced with rapture, she was so charmed.

Children, this story I tell to you,
Of Piccola sweet and her bird, is true.
In the far-off land of France, they say,
Still do they live to this very day.

DEFINITIONS:—Dawned, began to grow light. Befall, happen.
Shivering, trembling from cold. Tiny, very small.



The mountain and the squirrel
  Had a quarrel,
  And the former called the latter "Little Prig";
  Bun replied: "You are doubtless very big;
  But all sorts of things and weather
  Must be taken in together
  To make up a year
  And a sphere.
  And I think it no disgrace
  To occupy my place.
  If I'm not so large as you,
  You are not so small as I,
  And not half so spry.
  I'll not deny you make
  A very pretty squirrel track;
  Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
  If I cannot carry forests on my back,
  Neither can you crack a nut."



The white ant is a small insect, the body being of a yellowish white color, and repulsive in appearance. This tiny earth-dweller lives almost entirely on wood. When a tree is cut down, white ants immediately swarm toward the food thus unwittingly provided for them by man.

You might reside in Africa for many years and never see one of these ants, for they live underground; but their ravages confront the explorer at almost every step. You build a house in Uganda. For a short time you fancy that you have pitched upon the only spot in the country where there are no white ants. But one day the doorposts totter, and lintel and rafters come down with a crash. You look at a section of any one of the wrecked timbers, and find that the whole inside has been eaten away.

The apparently solid logs of the whole house are now all mere cylinders of bark, and through the thickest of them you could push your little finger. The household furniture—in fact everything made of wood—has been attacked and utterly ruined. Indeed, the ants will gnaw through most substances except earthenware, glass, iron, and tin. So greatly are these tiny creatures feared in certain parts of Africa that, in those districts, wooden trunks are never carried by experienced travelers.

The white ant is never visible. Why it should not show itself is strange—it is stone blind. But its modesty is really due to a desire for self-protection; for the moment it shows itself above ground it finds a dozen enemies waiting to devour it. Still, the white ant can never procure food until it does come above the surface of the soil.

Night is the great feeding time in the tropics, but it is clear that darkness is no protection to the ant, and yet without coming out of the ground it cannot live. The difficulty is solved thus: It takes earth up with it. White ants may have reached the top of a tree, and yet they were underground not long ago. They took up soil with them, building it into tunnel-huts as they moved upward; and in these huts they lived securely, feasting on the wood of the tree, around which they had built solid walls of earth.

Millions of trees, in some districts, are plastered over with mud tubes, galleries, and chambers. It is not unusual to find a tree having thousands of pounds of earth packed around it. The earth is conveyed by the insects up a central pipe, with which all the various galleries communicate, and which, at the downward end, connects with passages running deep into the ground.

The white ant's method of working is as follows: At the foot of a tree the tiniest hole cautiously opens in the soil close to the bark. A small head appears with a tiny grain of earth clasped in its jaws. Against the tree trunk this grain is deposited and the head is withdrawn. Again the little creature returns with another grain, which is laid beside the first, tight against it, and the builder once more disappears underground in search of more of these unquarried building stones.

A third grain is not placed against the tree, but against the former grains; a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth grain follow, and the plan of a foundation begins to suggest itself. The grains are formed into a semicircular wall, and the work is pushed forward by many thousands of the little masons. As the wall grows higher and higher, it takes the shape of a long perpendicular tunnel running up the side of the tree—a marvel of architectural skill.

The way in which the building is done is extremely curious. Each grain or stone, as it is brought to the top, is covered with mortar. Without this precaution the wall would crumble into dust before reaching half an inch in height; but the insect pours over the earthen grains a sticky secretion, turning each grain round and round until it has been overspread with the gluelike liquid. Then the stone is placed with great care in the proper position, and is worked about vigorously for a moment or two until it is well set.

To every hundred workers in a white-ant colony, which numbers many thousands of individuals, there are, perhaps, two soldiers. These are larger in build than the laborers, and never perform any other work than sentry duty; yet they go about with a certain air of business, as if one were the architect and the other the superintendent of the structure being built.

They are stationed at the mouth of the tunnel. Sometimes enemies—other species of ants—draw near, and then the working white ants, being but poor, defenseless creatures, blind and unarmed, would be in danger of death were not their big fighting comrades on guard. The soldiers rush to the rescue and, with a few sweeps of their scythe-like jaws, clear the field. While the attacking party is carrying off its dead, the builders, unconscious of the fray, quietly continue at their work.

It is not only a tree here and there that exhibits the work of the white ant, but in many places the whole forest is so colored with dull red columns as to give a distinct tone to the landscape. The earth tubes crumble into dust in the summer, the clay is scattered over the country by the wind, and in this way tends to increase and refresh the soil.

Again, during the rains, this ant-raised earth is washed into the rivulets and borne away to fertilize distant valleys, or is carried to the ocean, where, along the coast line, it "sows the dust of continents to be."



Peter Huber, walking one day in a field near Geneva, saw on the ground a strong detachment of reddish colored ants on the march, and bethought himself of following them. On the flanks of the column, as if to dress its ranks, a few sped to and fro in eager haste. After marching for about a quarter of an hour, they halted before an ant-hill belonging to some small black ants, and a desperate struggle took place at its gates.

A small number of blacks offered a brave resistance; but the great majority of the people thus assailed fled through the gates remotest from the scene of combat, carrying away their young. It was just these which were the cause of the strife—what the blacks most feared being the theft of their offspring. And soon the assailants, who had succeeded in penetrating into the city, might be seen emerging from it, loaded with the young black progeny.

The red ants, encumbered with their living booty, left the unfortunate city in the desolation of its great loss, and resumed the road to their own habitation, whither their astonished observer followed them. But how was his astonishment augmented when at the threshold of the red ants' community, a small population of black ants came forward to receive the plunder, welcoming with visible joy these children of their own race, which would perpetuate it in foreign lands!

This, then, was a mixed city, where the strong warrior ants lived on a perfectly good understanding with the little blacks. But what of the latter? Huber soon discovered that they were the workers of the community. It was they alone who did all the building. They alone took care of the young red ants and the captives of their own species. They alone administered the affairs of the city, provided its supplies of food, and waited upon their red masters who, like great infant giants, allowed their little attendants to feed them at the mouth.

The only occupations of the red masters were war, theft, and kidnaping. Nothing did they do in the intervals but wander about lazily, and bask in the sunshine at the doors of their barracks.

Huber made an experiment. He wanted to see what would be the result if the great red ants found themselves without servants. He put a few into a glass case, and put some honey for them in a corner, so that they had nothing to do but take it. Miserable the degradation, cruel the punishment with which slavery afflicts the enslavers! They did not touch it; they seemed to know nothing; they had become so grossly ignorant that they could no longer feed themselves. Some of them died from starvation, with food before them.

To complete the experiment, Huber then introduced into the case one black ant. The presence of this sagacious slave changed the face of things, and reestablished life and order. He went straight to the honey, and fed the dying simpletons.

The little blacks in many things carry a moral authority whose signs are very visible. They do not, for example, permit the great red ants to go out alone on useless expeditions, but compel them to return into the city. Nor are they even at liberty to go out in a body if their wise little slaves do not think the weather favorable, if they fear a storm, or if the day is far advanced. When an excursion proves unsuccessful, and they return without children, the little blacks are stationed at the gates of the city to forbid their ingress, and send them back to the combat; nay more, you may see them take the cowards by the collar, and force them to retrace their route.

These are astounding facts; but they were seen by Huber, as here described. Not being able to trust his eyes, he summoned one of the greatest naturalists of Sweden, Jurine, to his side, to make new investigations and decide whether he had been deceived. This witness, and others who made similar observations, found that his discoveries were just as he had described them. Yet, after all these weighty testimonies, I still doubted, until on a certain occasion in the park of Fontainebleau, I saw it with my own eyes.

It was half past four in the afternoon of a very warm day. From a pile of stones emerged a column of from four to five hundred red or reddish ants. They marched rapidly toward a piece of turf, kept in order by their sergeants, whom I saw on the flanks and who would not permit any one to straggle.

Suddenly the mass seemed to sink and disappear. There was no sign of ant-hills in the turf; but after a while I detected an almost imperceptible orifice, through which we saw them vanish in less time than it takes to write these words. I supposed that probably this was the entrance to their own home; but in less than a minute they showed me that I was mistaken. Out they thronged, each carrying a young captive in its mandibles.

From the short time they had taken, it was evident that they had a previous knowledge of the place, and knew where the infant blacks were kept. Perhaps it was no+ their first journey. The black ants whose home had been invaded sallied out in considerable numbers. They did not attempt to fight. They seemed frightened and stunned. They endeavored only to delay the red ants by clinging to them. A red ant was thus stopped; but another red one, who was free, relieved him of his burden, and thereupon the black ant relaxed his grasp.

It was, in fact, a pitiful sight. The blacks offered no serious resistance. The five hundred reds succeeded in carrying off fully three hundred young ants. At two or three feet from the hole, the blacks ceased to pursue them, and returned slowly to their home.

DEFINITIONS:—Repulsive, disagreeable. Tropics, the warm regions near the equator. Precaution, care taken beforehand. Fray, fight. Augmented, made greater. Astounding, overwhelming. Mandibles, the mouth organs of insects. Sallied, rushed forth.



Dear country mine! far in that viewless west,
And ocean-warded, strife thou too hast known;
But may thy sun hereafter bloodless shine,
And may thy way be onward without wrath,
And upward on no carcass of the slain;
And if thou smitest let it be for peace
And justice—not in hate, or pride, or lust
Of empire. Mayst thou ever be, O land,
Noble and pure as thou art free and strong;
So shalt thou lift a light for all the world
And for all time, and bring the Age of Peace.

—By permission, From "Five Books of Song."


I love my country's vine-clad hills,
Her thousand bright and gushing rills,
  Her sunshine and her storms;
Her rough and rugged rocks that rear
Their hoary heads high in the air,
  In wild fantastic forms.

I love her rivers deep and wide,
Those mighty streams that seaward glide,
  To seek the ocean's breast;
Her smiling fields, her pleasant vales,
Her shady dells, her flowery dales—
  Abodes of peaceful rest.

I love her forests, dark and lone,
For there the wild-bird's merry tone
  I hear from morn till night;
And lovelier flowers are there, I ween,
Than e'er in Eastern lands were seen
   In varied colors bright.

Her forests and her valleys fair,
Her flowers that scent the morning air,
  All have their charms for me;
But more I love my country's name,
  Those words that echo deathless fame—
The Land of Liberty.



This is the true story of how four lads in a fishing village in the North of Scotland, being left orphans by the drowning of their father, learned the great lesson of self-help.

They were the four MacNicols,—Robert, an active, stout-sinewed, black-eyed lad of seventeen; his two younger brothers, Duncan and Nicol; and his cousin Neil.

It was a sad evening for Rob MacNicol when the body of his father was brought home to their poor lodgings. It was his first introduction to the hard facts of life.

"Neil," said Rob to his cousin, "we'll have to think about things now. We have just about as much left as will pay the lodgings this week, and Nicol must go three nights a week to the night school. What we get for stripping the nets will not do now."—"It will not," said Neil.

"Neil," said he, "if we had only a net; do you not think we could trawl for cuddies?" And again he said, "Neil, do you not think we could make a net for ourselves out of the old rags lying about the shed?" And again he said, "Do you think that Peter the tailor would let us have his old boat for a shilling a week?"

It was clear that Rob had been carefully considering the details of this plan. And it was eagerly welcomed, not only by Neil, but also by the brothers, Duncan and Nicol.

It was agreed, under Rob's direction, to set to work at once. So Rob bade his brothers and cousin get their rude fishing rods, and hie away down to the rocks at the mouth of the harbor, and see what fish they could get for him during the afternoon.

Meanwhile he himself went along to a shed which was used as a sort of storage house by some of the fishermen; and here he found lying about plenty of pieces of net that had been cast aside as worthless.

Rob was allowed to pick out a number of pieces that he thought might serve his purpose; and these he carried home. But then came the question of floats and sinkers. Enough pieces of cork to form the floats might in time be found about the beach; but the sinkers had all been removed from the castaway netting.


Rob was a quick-witted lad, and soon formed the plan of rigging up a couple of guy poles, as the salmon fishers call them, one for each end of the small seine he had in view. These guy poles, with a lump of lead at the lower end, would keep the net vertical while it was being dragged through the water.

All this took up the best part of the afternoon; for he had to hunt about before he could get a couple of stout poles; and he had to bargain with the blacksmith for a lump of lead. Then he walked along to the point where the other MacNicols were busy fishing.

They had been lucky with their lines and bait. On the rocks beside them lay two or three small codfish, a large flounder, two good-sized lythe, and nearly a dozen saithe. Rob washed them clean, put a string through their gills, and marched off with them to the village.

He felt no shame in trying to sell fish: was it not the whole trade of the village? So he walked into the grocer's shop.

"Will you buy some fish?" said he; "they're fresh."

The grocer looked at them.

"What do you want?"

"A ball of twine."

"Let me tell you this, Rob," said the grocer severely, "that a lad in your place should be thinking of something else than flying a kite."

"I don't want to fly a kite," said Rob, "I want to mend a net."

"Oh, that is quite different," said the grocer. So Rob had his ball of twine—and a very large one it was. Off he set to his companions. "Come away, boys, I have other work for you."


Well, it took them several days of very hard and constant work before they rigged up something resembling a small seine. Then Rob fixed his guy poles to it; and the lads went to the grocer, and got from him a lot of old rope, on the promise to give him a few fresh fish whenever they happened to have a good haul. Then Rob proceeded to his interview with Peter the tailor, who, after a good deal of grumbling, agreed to let them have his boat for a shilling a week.

Rob went back eager and joyous. Forthwith a thorough inspection of the boat was set about by the lads: they tested the oars, they tested the thole pins, they had a new piece of cork put into the bottom. For that evening, when it grew a little more toward dusk, they would make their first cast with their net.

Yes; and that evening, when it had quite turned to dusk, the people of Erisaig were startled with a new proclamation. It was Neil MacNicol, standing in front of the cottages, and boldly calling forth these words:—


The sale of the cuddies went on briskly. Indeed, when the people had gone away there was not a fish left except a dozen that Rob had put into a can of water, to be given to the grocer as part payment for the loan of the ropes.

"What do you make it altogether?" said Neil to Rob, who was counting the money.

"Three shillings and ninepence."

"Three shillings and ninepence! Man, that's a lot! Will you put it in the savings bank?"

"No, I will not," said Rob. "I'm not satisfied with the net, Neil. We must have better ropes all the way round; and sinkers, too."


One afternoon, about ten days afterward, they set out as usual. They had earned more than enough to pay their landlady, the tailor, and the schoolmaster; and every farthing beyond these expenses they had spent on the net.

Well, on this afternoon, Duncan and Nicol were pulling away to one of the small, quiet bays, and Rob was idly looking around him, when he saw something on the surface of the sea at some distance off that excited a sudden interest. It was what the fishermen call "broken water,"—a seething produced by a shoal of fish.

"Look, look, Neil!" he cried. "It's either mackerel or herring: shall we try for them?"

The greatest excitement now prevailed on board. The younger brothers pulled their hardest for that rough patch on the water.

They came nearer and nearer that strange hissing of the water. They kept rather away from it; and Rob quietly dropped the guy pole over, paying out the net rapidly, so that it should not be dragged after the boat.

Then the three lads pulled hard, and in a circle, so that at last they were sending the bow of the boat straight toward the floating guy pole. The other guy pole was near the stern of the boat, the rope made fast to one of the thwarts. In a few minutes Rob had caught this first guy pole: they were now possessed of the two ends of the net.

But the water had grown suddenly quiet. Had the fish dived, and escaped them? There was not the motion of a fin anywhere, and yet the net seemed heavy to haul.

"Rob," said Neil, almost in a whisper, "we've got them!"

"We haven't got them, but they're in the net. Man, I wonder if it'll hold out?"

Then it was that the diligent patching and the strong tackle told; for they had succeeded in inclosing a goodly portion of a large shoal of mackerel, and the weight seemed more than they could get into the boat.

But even the strength of the younger lads seemed to grow into the strength of giants when they saw through the clear water a great moving mass like quicksilver. And then the wild excitement of hauling in; the difficulty of it; the danger of the fish escaping; the warning cries of Rob; the possibility of swamping the boat, as all the four were straining their utmost at one side!

When that heaving, sparkling mass of quicksilver at last was captured, the young lads sat down quite exhausted, wet through, but happy.

"Man! Rob, what do you think of that?" said Neil, in amazement.

"What do I think?" said Rob. "I think, that, if we could get two or three more hauls like that, I would soon buy a share in Coll MacDougall's boat, and go after the herring."


They had no more thought that afternoon of "cuddy" fishing after this famous "take," but rowed back to Erisaig; then Rob left the boat at the slip, and walked up to the office of the fish salesman.

"What will you give me for mackerel?" he said. The salesman laughed at him, thinking he had caught a few with rods and flies.

"I'm not buying mackerel," said he; "not by the half-dozen."

"I have half a boat load," said Rob.

The salesman glanced toward the slip, and saw the tailor's boat pretty low in the water.

"I'll go down to the slip with you."

So he and Rob together walked down to the slip, and the salesman had a look at the mackeral.

"Well, I will buy the mackerel from you," he said. "I will give you half a crown the hundred for them."

"Half a crown!" said Rob. "I will take three and sixpence the hundred for them."

"I will not give it to you. But I will give you three shillings the hundred, and a good price too."—"Very well, then," said Rob.

So the MacNicols got altogether two pounds and eight shillings for that load of mackerel; and out of that Rob spent the eight shillings on still further improving the net, the two pounds going into the savings hank.


As time went on, by dint of hard and constant work, the sum in the savings bank slowly increased; and at last Rob announced to his companions that they had saved enough to enable him to purchase a share in Coll MacDougall's boat.

These MacNicol boys had grown to be very much respected in Erisaig; and one day, as Rob was going along the main street, the banker called him into his office. "Rob," said he, "have you seen the yacht at the building yard?"

"Yes," said Rob, rather wistfully, for many a time he had stood and looked at the beautiful lines of the new craft; "she's a splendid boat."

"Well, you see, Rob," continued Mr. Bailie, regarding him with a good-natured look, "I had the boat built as a kind of speculation. Now, I have been hearing a good deal about you, Rob, from the neighbors. They say that you and your brothers and cousin are good, careful seamen. Now, do you think you could manage that new boat?"

Rob was quite bewildered. All he could say was, "I am obliged to you, sir. Will you wait for a minute till I see Neil?" And very soon the wild rumor ran through Erisaig, that Rob MacNicol had been appointed master of the new yacht the Mary of Argyle and that he had taken his brothers and cousin as a crew.

Rob sold out his share in MacDougall's boat, and bought jerseys and black boots and yellow oilskins for his companions; so that the new crew, if they were rather slightly built, looked spruce enough as they went down to the slip to overhaul the Mary of Argyle.


Then came the afternoon on which they were to set out for the first time after the herring. All Erisaig came out to see; and Rob was a proud lad as he stepped on board, and took his seat as stroke oar.

It was not until they were at the mouth of the harbor that something occurred which seemed likely to turn this fine setting out into ridicule. This was Daft Sandy (a half-witted old man to whom Robert MacNicol had been kind), who rowed his boat right across the course of the Mary of Argyle, and, as she came up, called to Rob.

"What do you want?" cried Rob.

"I want to come on board, Rob," the old man said, as he now rowed his boat up to the stern of the yacht. "Rob," said he, in a whisper, as he fastened the painter of his boat, "I promised I would tell you something. I'll show you how to find the herring."

"You!" said Rob.

"Yes, Rob," said Daft Sandy; "I'll make a rich man of you. I will tell you something about the herring that no one in Erisaig knows,—that no one in all Scotland knows."

Then he begged Rob to take him for that night's fishing. He had discovered a sure sign of the presence of herring, unknown to any of the fishermen: it was the appearance, on the surface of the water, of small air-bubbles.

Rob MacNicol was doubtful, for he had never heard of this thing before; but at last he could not resist the pleading of the old man. So they pulled in, and anchored the boats until toward sunset. Then, taking poor Sandy on board of the Mary of Argyle, they set forth again, rowing slowly as the light faded out of the sky, and keeping watch all around on the almost glassy sea.


The night was coming on, and they were far away from home; but old Sandy kept up his watch, studying the water as though he expected to find pearls floating in it. At last, in great excitement, he grasped Rob's arm. Leaning over the side of the boat, they could just make out in the dusk a great quantity of air-bubbles rising to the surface.

"Put some stones along with the sinkers, Rob," the old man said, in a whisper, as though he were afraid of the herring hearing. "Go deep, deep, deep!"

To let out a long drift-net, which sometimes goes as deep as fifteen fathoms, is an easy affair: but to haul it in again is a hard task; and when it happens to be laden, and heavily laden, with silver gleaming fish, that is a breakback business for four young lads.

But if you are hauling in yard after yard of a dripping net, only to find the brown meshes starred at every point with the shining silver of the herring, then even young lads can work like men. Sandy was laughing all the while.

"Rob, my man, what think you of the air-bubbles now? Maybe Daft Sandy is not so daft after all. And do you think I would go and tell any one but yourself, Rob?"

Rob could not speak; he was breathless. Nor was their work nearly done when they had got in the net, with all its splendid silver treasure. For as there was not a breath of wind, they had to set to work to pull the heavy boat back to Erisaig. The gray dawn gave way to a glowing sunrise; and when they at length reached the quay, tired out with work and want of sleep, the people were all about.

Mr. Bailie came along and shook hands with Rob, and congratulated him; for it turned out that, while not another Erisaig boat had that night got more than from two to three crans, the Mary Of Argyle had ten crans—as good herring as ever were got out of Loch Scrone.

Well, the MacNicol lads were now in a fair way of earning an independent and honorable living. And the last that the present writer heard of them was this: that they had bought outright the Mary of Argyle and her nets, from the banker; and that they were building for themselves a small stone cottage on the slope of the hill above Erisaig; and that Daft Sandy was to become a sort of major-domo,—cook, gardener, and mender of nets.

DEFINITIONS:—Details, particulars. Lythe, saithe, cuddies, kinds of fish. Thole pins, pins to keep the oars in place. Trawl, to fish with a net. Vertical, upright. Dint, means. Interest, attention. Prevailed, existed. Seething, a stir, a boiling. Told, had a great effect. Thwarts, benches. Crans, barrels. Daft, weak- minded. Major-domo, steward.



Two soldiers, lying where they fell
  Upon the reddened clay,—
In daytime foes; at night, in peace,
  Breathing their lives away.
Brave hearts had stirred each manly breast;
  Fate only made them foes;
And lying, dying, side by side,
  A softened feeling rose.

"Our time is short," one faint voice said:
  "To-day we've done our best
On different sides. What matters now?
  To-morrow we're at rest.
Life lies behind. I might not care
  For only my own sake;
But far away are other hearts
  That this day's work will break.

"Among New Hampshire's snowy hills
  There pray for me to-night
A woman, and a little girl
  With hair like golden light."
And at the thought broke forth, at last,
  The cry of anguish wild,
That would no longer be repressed,—
  "O God! my wife and child!"

"And," said the other dying man,
  "Across the Georgia plain
There watch and wait for me loved ones
  I'll never see again.
A little girl with dark bright eyes
  Each day waits at the door;
The father's step, the father's kiss,
  Will never meet her more.

"To-day we sought each other's lives;
  Death levels all that now,
For soon before God's mercy seat
  Together shall we bow.
Forgive each other while we may;
  Life's but a weary game,
And, right or wrong, the morning sun
  Will find us dead the same."
And the little girl with golden hair,
  And one with dark eyes bright,
On Hampshire's hills and Georgia's plain,
  Were fatherless that night.

DEFINITIONS:—Anguish, great sorrow or distress. Sought, looked for, tried to destroy. Levels, makes all equal or of the same height. Repressed, held back, restrained. Foes, enemies. Fatherless, without a living father.

EXERCISE.—In what war did the incident here narrated occur? Where is New Hampshire? Where is Georgia? Where did this battle probably take place? What is meant by "hair like golden light"?



The dew is on the heather,
  The moon is in the sky,
And the captain's waving feather
  Proclaims the hour is nigh
When some upon their horses
  Shall through the battle ride,
And some with bleeding corses
  Must on the heather bide.

The dust is on the heather,
  The moon is in the sky,
And about the captain's feather
  The bolts of battle fly.
But hark! What sudden wonder
  Breaks forth upon the gloom?
It is the cannon's thunder,—
  It is the voice of doom.

The blood is on the heather,
  The night is in the sky,
And the gallant captain's feather
  Shall wave no more on high.
The grave and holy brother
  To God is saying mass;
But who shall tell his mother,
  And who shall tell his lass?



When the coach came round with "London" blazoned in letters of gold upon the boot, it gave Tom such a turn, that he was half disposed to run away. But he didn't do it; for he took his seat upon the box instead, and looking down upon the four grays felt as if he were another gray himself, or at all events, a part of the turn-out; and was quite confused by the novelty and splendor of his situation.

And really it might have confused a less modest man than Tom to find himself sitting next to that coachman; for of all the swells that ever flourished a whip professionally, he might have been elected Emperor. He didn't handle the gloves like another man, but put them on—even when he was standing on the pavement, quite detached from the coach—as if the four grays were, somehow or other, at the ends of the fingers. It was the same with his hat. He did things with his hat, which nothing but an unlimited knowledge of horses and the wildest freedom of the road could ever have made him perfect in. Valuable little parcels were brought to him with particular instructions, and he pitched them into his hat, and stuck it on again, as if the laws of gravity did not admit of such an event as its being knocked off or blown off, and nothing like an accident could befall it.

The guard, too! Seventy breezy miles a day were written in his very whiskers. His manners were a canter; his conversation a round trot. He was a fast coach upon a downhill turnpike road; he was all pace. A wagon couldn't have moved slowly, with that guard and his key bugle on top of it.

These were all foreshadowings of London, Tom thought, as he sat upon the box and looked about it. Such a coachman, and such a guard, never could have existed between Salisbury and any other place. The coach was none of your steady-going yokel coaches, but a swaggering, rakish London coach; up all night, and lying by all day, and leading a wild, dissipated life. It cared no more for Salisbury than if it had been a hamlet.

It rattled noisily through the best streets, defied the Cathedral, took the worst corners sharpest, went cutting in everywhere, making everything get out of its way; and spun along the open country road, blowing a lively defiance out of its key bugle, as its last glad parting legacy.


It was a charming evening, mild and bright. And even with the weight upon his mind which arose out of the immensity and uncertainty of London, Tom could not resist the captivating sense of rapid motion through the pleasant air.

The four dappled steeds skimmed along, as if they liked it quite as well as Tom did; the bugle was in as high spirits as the horses themselves; the coachman chimed in sometimes with his voice; the wheels hummed cheerfully in unison; the brasswork on the harness was an orchestra of little bells; and thus they went clinking, jingling, rattling smoothly on; the whole concern, from the buckles of the leaders' coupling reins to the handle of the hind boot, was one great instrument of music.

Yoho, past hedges, gates, and trees; past cottages and burns, and people going home from work. Yoho, past donkey chaises, drawn aside into the ditch, and empty carts with rampant horses, whipped up at a bound upon the little watercourse, and held by struggling carters close to the five-barred gate, until the coach had passed the narrow turning on the road. Yoho, by churches dropped down by themselves in quiet nooks, with rustic burial grounds about them, where the graves are green and daisies sleep—for it is evening—on the bosoms of the dead.

Yoho, past streams, in which the cattle cool their feet, and where the rushes grow; past paddock-fences, farms, and rickyards.; past last year's stacks, cut, slice by slice, away, and showing, in the waning light, like ruined gables, odd and brown. Yoho, down the pebbly dip, and through the merry watersplash, and up at a canter to the level road again. Yoho! Yoho!

Yoho, among the gathering shades; making of no account the deep reflections of the trees, but scampering on through light and darkness, all the same, as if the light of London fifty miles away were quite enough to travel by, and some to spare. Yoho, beside the village green, where cricket players linger yet, and every little indentation made in the fresh grass by bat or wicket, ball or player's foot, sheds out its perfume on the night. And then a sudden brief halt at the door of a strange inn—the "Bald-faced Stag"—an exchange of greetings, a new passenger, a change of teams.


Away with four fresh horses from the Bald-faced Stag, where the village idlers congregate about the door admiring; and the last team, with traces hanging loose, go roaming off toward the pond, until observed and shouted after by a dozen throats, while volunteering boys pursue them. Now, with a clattering of hoofs and striking out of fiery sparks, across the old stone bridge, and down again into the shadowy road, and through the open gate, and far away, away, into the word. Yoho!

See the bright moon! High up before we know it: making the earth reflect the objects on its breast like water. Hedges, trees, low cottages, church steeples, blighted stumps, and flourishing young slips, have all grown vain upon the sudden, and mean to contemplate their own fair images till morning.

The poplars yonder rustle, that their quivering leaves may see themselves upon the ground. Not so the oak; trembling does not become him; and he watches himself in his stout old burly steadfastness, without the motion of a twig. But, leaving oaks and poplars to their own devices, the stage moves swiftly on, while the moon keeps even pace with it, gliding over ditch and brake, upon the plowed land and the smooth, along the steep hillside and steeper wall, as if it were a phantom Hunter.

Clouds too! And a mist upon the hollow! Not a dull fog that hides it, but a light airy gauzelike mist, which in our eyes of modest admiration gives a new charm to the beauties it is spread before. Yoho! Why now we travel like the moon herself. Hiding this minute in a grove of trees; next minute in a patch of vapor; emerging now upon our clear broad course; withdrawing now, but always dashing on, our journey is a counterpart of hers. Yoho! A match against the moon!

The beauty of the night is hardly felt, when Day comes leaping up. Yoho! Two stages, and the country roads are almost changed to a continuous street. Yoho, past market gardens, rows of houses, villas, crescents, terraces, and squares; past wagons, coaches, carts; past early workmen, late stragglers, and sober carriers of loads; past brick and mortar in its every shape; and in among the rattling pavements, where a jaunty seat upon a coach is not so easy to preserve! Yoho, down countless turnings, and through countless mazy ways, until an old innyard is gained, and Tom Pinch, getting down, quite stunned and giddy, is in London!

—Adapted from "Martin Chuzzlewit."

DEFINITIONS:—Swells, self-important personages. Guard, conductor. Legacy, something left by will. Boot, a place for baggage at either end of a stagecoach. Dip, slope. Dowager, an English title for widow.



  Come, let us plant the apple tree.
Cleave the tough greensward with the spade;
Wide let its hollow bed be made;
There gently lay the roots, and there
Sift the dark mold with kindly care,
  And press it o'er them tenderly,
As round the sleeping infant's feet
We softly fold the cradle sheet;
  So plant we the apple tree.

  What plant we in this apple tree?
Buds, which the breath of summer days
Shall lengthen into leafy sprays;
Boughs where the thrush, with crimson breast,
Shall haunt, and sing, and hide her nest;
  We plant, upon the sunny lea,
A shadow for the noontide hour,
A shelter from the summer shower,
  When we plant the apple tree.

  What plant we in this apple tree?
Sweets for a hundred flowery springs,
To load the May wind's restless wings,
When, from the orchard row, he pours
Its fragrance through our open doors;
 A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
  We plant with the apple tree.

  What plant we in this apple tree?
Fruits that shall swell in sunny June,
And redden in the August noon,
And drop, when gentle airs come by,
That fan the blue September sky,
  While children come, with cries of glee,
And seek them where the fragrant grass
Betrays their bed to those who pass,
  At the foot of the apple tree.

  And when, above this apple tree,
The winter stars are quivering bright,
The winds go howling through the night,
Girls, whose young eyes o'erflow with mirth,
Shall peel its fruit by cottage hearth,
  And guests in prouder homes shall see,
Heaped with the grape of Cintra's vine,
And golden orange of the line,
  The fruit of the apple tree.

  The fruitage of this apple tree,
Winds and our flag of stripe and star
Shall bear to coasts that lie afar,
Where men shall wonder at the view,
And ask in what fair groves they grew;
  And sojourners beyond the sea
Shall think of childhood's careless day,
And long, long hours of summer play,
  In the shade of the apple tree.

  Each year shall give this apple tree
A broader flush of roseate bloom,
A deeper maze of verdurous gloom,
And loosen, when the frost-clouds lower,
The crisp brown leaves in thicker shower.
  The years shall come and pass, but we
Shall hear no longer, where we lie,
The summer's songs, the autumn's sigh,
  In the boughs of the apple tree.

  And time shall waste this apple tree.
Oh, when its aged branches throw
Thin shadows on the ground below,
Shall fraud and force and iron will
Oppress the weak and helpless still?
  What shall the tasks of mercy be,
Amid the toils, the strifes, the tears
Of those who live when length of years
  Is wasting this apple tree?

  "Who planted this old apple tree?"
The children of that distant day
Thus to some aged man shall say;
And, gazing on its mossy stem,
The gray-haired man shall answer them:
  "A poet of the land was he,
Born in the rude but good old times;
'Tis said he made some quaint old rhymes
  On planting the apple tree."

DEFINITIONS:—Greensward, turf or sod green with grass. Mold, crumbling earth. Lea, a grassy field. Cintra, a town in Portugal noted for its fine climate and its delicious grapes. Line, the equator. Roseate, rose-colored. Verdurous, greenish.



The apple is the commonest and yet the most varied and beautiful of fruits. A dish of them is as becoming to the center table in winter as is the vase of flowers in summer—a bouquet of Spitzenbergs and Greenings and Northern Spies.

A rose when it blooms, the apple is a rose when it ripens. It pleases every sense to which it can be addressed,—the touch, the smell, the sight, the taste; and when it falls in the still October days it pleases the ear. It is a call to a banquet,—it is a signal that the feast is ready. The bough would fain hold it, but it can now assert its independence; it can now live a life of its own.

Daily the stem relaxes its hold, till finally it lets go completely, and down comes the painted sphere with a mellow thump to the earth, toward which it has been nodding so long.

It will now take time to meditate and ripen! What delicious thoughts it has there, nestled with its fellows under the fence, turning acid into sugar, and sugar into wine!

How pleasing to the touch. I love to stroke its polished rondure with my hand, to carry it in my pocket on my tramp over the winter hills, or through the early spring woods. You are company, you redcheek Spitz or you salmon-fleshed Greening! I toy with you, press your face to mine, toss you in the air, roll you on the ground, see you shine out where you lie amid the moss and dry leaves and sticks.

You are so alive! You glow like a ruddy flower. You look so animated I almost expect to see you move! I postpone the eating of you, you are so beautiful! How compact, how exquisitely tinted! Stained by the sun and varnished against the rains. An independent vegetable existence, alive and vascular as my own flesh; capable of being wounded, bleeding, wasting away, or almost repairing damages!

How they resist the cold! holding out almost as long as the red cheeks of the boys do. A frost that destroys the potatoes and other roots only makes the apple more crisp and vigorous; they peep out from the chance November snows unscathed.

When I see the fruit vender on the street corner stamping his feet and beating his hands to keep them warm, and his naked apples lying exposed to the blasts, I wonder if they do not ache, too, to clap their hands and enliven their circulation. But they can stand it nearly as long as the vender can.

Noble common fruit, best friend of man and most loved by him, following him like his dog or his cow, wherever he goes! His homestead is not planted till you are planted; your roots intertwine with his; thriving best where he thrives best, loving the limestone and the frost, the plow and the pruning knife, you are indeed suggestive of hardy, cheerful industry, and a healthy life in the open air.

Do you remember the apple hole in the garden or back of the house, Ben Bolt? In the fall, after the bins in the cellar had been well stocked, we excavated a circular pit in the warm, mellow earth, and covering the bottom with clean rye straw, emptied in basketful after basketful of hardy choice varieties, till there was a tent-shaped mound several feet high, of shining, variegated fruit.

Then wrapping it about with a thick layer of long rye straw, and tucking it up snug and warm, the mound was covered with a thin coating of earth, a flat stone on top holding down the straw. As winter set in, another coating of earth was put upon it, with perhaps an overcoat of coarse, dry stable manure, and the precious pile was left in silence and darkness till spring. How the earth tempers and flavors the apples! It draws out all the acrid, unripe qualities, and infuses into them a subtile, refreshing taste of the soil.

As the supply in the bins and barrels gets low, and spring approaches, the buried treasures in the garden are remembered. With spade and ax we go out, and penetrate through the snow and frozen earth till the inner dressing of straw is laid bare. It is not quite as clear and bright as when we placed it there last fall, but the fruit beneath, which the hand soon exposes, is just as bright and far more luscious.

Then, as day after day you resort to the hole, and removing the straw and earth from the opening, thrust your arm into the fragrant pit, you have a better chance than ever before to become acquainted with your favorites by the sense of touch. How you feel for them reaching to the right and left.

When you were a schoolboy you stowed them away in your pockets, and ate them along the road and at recess, and again at noon time; and they, in a measure, corrected the effects of the cake and pie with which your mother filled your lunch basket.

—Adapted "Winter Sunshine."

DEFINITIONS:—Meditate, to reflect. Rondure, state of being round. Exquisitely, with great perfection. Vascular, made up of small vessels. Unscathed, not injured. Vender, seller.



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.

Oh hark! oh hear! how thin and clear,
  And thinner, clearer, farther going!
Oh 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.

Oh love, they die in yon rich sky,
  They faint on hill, or field, or rivers
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.

DEFINITIONS:—Splendor, light, glory. Summits, mountain, tops, lofty mountains. Cataract, a waterfall. Scar, a bare place on a mountain side. Elfland, fairyland.



Captain Smith was born at Willoughby, in England, in the month of January, 1579. His parents died when he was a mere child, and he was left alone in the world without any one to take care of him. Yet he was a brave and independent boy, and he soon showed that he was well able to make his own way in the world. He was fond of adventure, as most boys are; and while he was still a youth he wandered away to Holland, and spent some time with the English army which was there.

When he came back to England, he began to train himself for the life of a soldier. Instead of passing his time in idleness with other young men of WilloughLy, he went out to the woods near by and built a sort of house for himself of the boughs of trees. Here he intended to stay; and as for food, he meant to shoot deer, and live on the venison. In this "Bower," as he called it, he got together as many books on warlike matters as he could find; and he spent the greater part of his time in studying them.

Young John Smith had a horse and lance with which he practiced every day, riding swiftly and trying to strike a ring or other object from the bough of a tree to which it had been hung. He also practiced with his sword to make his eye keen and his wrist tough; and he fired at trees with his pistol, to become a good marksman. By such means as these he fitted himself for the life of a soldier; and then he set out in search of adventures.

He crossed the English Channel and landed in France; but three Frenchmen who had come over with him in the ship treated him very badly. They saw that he was but a mere boy, and stole the trunk in which were all his clothing and his money. They left him in great trouble, for he was in a strange country without friends. But he kept a brave heart, and soon showed that he could take care of himself. He wandered on through France, meeting many kind persons on the way who helped him, until at last he came to the city of Marseilles on the Mediterranean Sea.

As his plan was to go and fight the Turks, he went on board a ship bound for Rome, which was on his way. The ship set sail, but soon a great storm arose, and the vessel was tossed about, and in danger of being wrecked. Some of the men on board said that Smith, being a stranger, had brought them bad luck, and that the only way to escape the storm was to get rid of him; so they seized him and threw him into the sea.

The waves were running very high at the time, and there was great danger of his being drowned. But he was a good swimmer, and struck out for the nearest land. This was a small island, called the Isle of St. Mary's, not far from the coast of Nice, and here he was thrown on shore by the waves. The weather was very cold, and he had nothing to eat. But soon another ship came in sight; he was seen by the crew; and a boat was sent to take him off of the island. As he went on board the ship he was overjoyed to find that the captain was an old friend of his.

The ship was bound for Egypt; but as Smith was in search of adventures, he cared nothing for that. He agreed to go to Egypt, and as usual something happened to him on the way. They met with an enemy's ship; a sharp fight took place, and the enemy's ship was taken. As young Smith had fought bravely, he received about two thousand dollars in gold as his share of the prize money.

This made him quite rich, and he resolved to go on in search of further adventures. The captain of the ship put him ashore, and he set out for Transylvania, east of Austria, where there was fighting between the Christians and the Turks. He had to pass through a rough, wild country, but he did so safely, and at last reached the Christian army, and was enrolled as a soldier in it. He soon proved to his friends that he was no common soldier.


The Turks had shut themselves up in a strong castle, where they were closely besieged by the Christians. From the castle a Turkish lord sent word to the Christian camp that he was ready to fight any soldier that might be sent against him. The Christians accepted the offer, and drew lots to see who should meet him. The lot fell on John Smith, and when the day came he rode forward to meet his enemy.

The Turk was ready. The two enemies rushed upon each other, but the fight was soon over. Smith's lance struck the Turk in the forehead and hurled him dead to the ground. Smith then leaped from his horse and cut off the Turk's head, and the whole Christian army shouted with joy.

Very soon a second Turk came out to avenge his friend, and he and Smith rode at each other. Both their lances were shivered in pieces, but Smith fired his pistol and broke his enemy's arm. He fell from his horse, and Smith, leaping down, struck off his head, as he had struck off that of the first Turk.

The young soldier was now in high spirits, and he sent a challenge to the Turks. The challenge was accepted by a famous Turk called Bonnymulgro. It was agreed that they were to fight hand to hand with swords, pistols, and battle-axes. They rushed at full gallop toward each other. After firing their pistols they began to use their battle-axes.

Bonnymulgro was a strong man and a dangerous enemy. He struck Smith so heavy a blow on the head that he reeled in his saddle and dropped his ax. At this a loud shout rose from the Turks on the walls, and they shouted louder still, as they saw Smith wheel his horse and fly, with the big Turk after him. But this was only a part of Smith's plan. As soon as the Turk caught up with him and raised his ax, the young soldier quickly wheeled his horse and ran his sword through Bonnymulgro's breast. The Turk fell from the saddle, still trying to fight. But Smith struck him down and cut off his head, which he held up to show that the fight was ended.

John Smith was now a distinguished soldier, but he was soon to find that war is not entirely made up of brave deeds and rich rewards. A day came when ill-fortune befell him. In a great battle in which the Christians were beaten, John Smith was wounded and left on the field. He lay there until night, when some thieves, who had come to rob the dead bodies of whatever they could find upon them, heard him groaning from the pain of his wound, and stopped. He had on a very rich suit of armor, and from this they supposed that he was some great lord. Hence they did not kill him, but resolved to carry him away and keep him prisoner until he paid a large price for his freedom.

John Smith did not tell them that they were mistaken in this, as his life depended on his saying nothing. They carried him to a city called Axiopolis, and here they found that he was only a poor soldier. He was, therefore, sold in the slave market as a common slave, and was sent to a Turkish officer called a tymor, who lived near the Sea of Azov.

The tymor was a very hard master. He stripped off Smith's clothes and ordered him to put on coarse sheepskins. He next shaved his head and put an iron ring round his neck, after which he ordered him to go to work with the rest of his slaves. Smith's life was now very miserable. He therefore made up his mind to escape as soon as possible.

His work sometimes took him to a lonely barn on the tymor's estate, where his business was to thresh out grain with a flail. One day while he was at this labor the tymor came to the barn. He was in a very bad humor, and when he saw Smith he began to offer him every insult. This made the young soldier very angry. He looked around him. No one was in sight, and he had in his hands his heavy flail. At last the tymor struck him with his riding whip, at which John Smith returned a deadly blow with his flail.

The great thing now was to get away, and the young fellow did not stop long to think. He took off his coarse sheepskins and clothed himself in the tymor's suit, then he leaped on that officer's horse and rode off at full gallop. He meant to make his way to Russia where he was sure that he would be safe; but he did not know the road.

After wandering about for many days, he came at last to a Russian fortress. There he was received with the greatest kindness; the iron ring was struck from his neck, and not long afterward he went on his way toward England, "drowned in joy," as he said, at his escape.


Young John Smith soon found that London was no place for a man like himself. He could not remain idle, and he began to long for new adventures. He had seen life in Europe and Asia, and now his thoughts were turned toward America. But little was then known of that country, and many strange and exciting stories were told about it. Now and then sailors had visited it; and when they came back they reported that the earth was full of gold and precious stones, and that the rivers ran over golden sands.

James I., who was King of England at that time, gave the right to Sir Thomas Gates and others to form a settlement in the New World; and in December, 1606, three small vessels set sail for the shores of America. John Smith was on board one of the vessels. The ships, with one hundred and five men in them, crossed the ocean in safety, and reached the West India Islands. They then sailed northward along the coast of Florida and the Carolinas, looking for a good harbor.

When they reached the mouth of Chesapeake Bay they were tossed by a terrible storm' but managed to sail into a harbor without being wrecked. This was in April, 1607, and some time was spent in looking for a place to make a settlement. Before them was a broad river, which was called Powhatan by the Indians, and this they sailed up, delighted with the beautiful prospect before them.

Some Indians came down to the shore and stared at the ships as they sailed by, but the settlers went on up the broad current until they reached a sort of island close to the shore. Here, on the 13th of May, 1607, the ships cast anchor, and here a settlement was made, and was called, in honor of the king, Jamestown. To-day there is nothing to mark the spot, except an old ruined church.

King James had not told any one the names of the men who were to rule over the settlement. The paper containing their names was sealed up in a box which was not to be opened until the ships reached the end of their voyage. But the time had now come: the box was opened, and the name of John Smith was found among those who were to be councilors.

The colonists soon saw that Smith had more sense and energy than all the rest. He was the real leader. Nobody had any respect for the councilors, who were a poor set at the best. They passed their time in eating and drinking and idleness. They had seen little of the Indians, and very foolishly seemed to care nothing about them. Besides this, but very little was done toward raising corn for food. Smith knew that the woods were full of Indians, and also that the food in the ships would not last always. He, therefore, set out with a few men to visit the king of the Indian tribes, who lived some distance farther up the river.

The name of the Indian king was Powhatan, and he ruled over all the Indians in eastern Virginia. He received Captain Smith with great show of kindness, and the two talked together by means of signs; but Smith saw at once that he had a cunning enemy to deal with.

Having finished his visit, Captain Smith and his men rowed back down the river; but when they reached Jamestown they found that some Indians had made an attack upon the place. No doubt but that Powhatan had sent them as soon as he knew that Smith was not there. One of the settlers had been killed by an arrow, and several had been wounded. But a cannon shot had been fired from one of the ships, and as it crashed through the woods the frightened Indians fled and did not return.


King James had ordered that the country of Virginia should be explored, and in the fall, Smith, with a few men, set out for this purpose. As they were rowing up the Chickehominy River some Indians came down to the bank and made signs of friendship. They told Smith that if he wanted a smaller boat to go up higher they would give him one, and also guides to show him the way.

Smith accepted the offer, and the canoe was brought. He got into it with one of his men and some Indians; and then, ordering the rest of his men not to leave the big boat nor to go ashore during his absence, he set off in his canoe to explore the river higher up. He was hardly out of sight when the men disobeyed him and went on shore. The Indians attacked them suddenly, driving them back to the boat, and taking one of them prisoner. Then they hastened up the river after Smith.

They soon overtook him; for, after going some distance, he had stopped and landed, and, taking one of the Indian guides with him, he had set out on foot to look at the country.

He was going through the woods with his guide when a flight of arrows came from behind some trees, and the Indians rushed upon him. He was, indeed, in great danger. He fired his gun at the Indians, and this frightened them so much that he might have escaped had he not run into a swamp. The ground was so soft that before he knew it he sank to his waist. The Indians then rushed quickly upon him and took him prisoner.

Things now seemed hopeless. He was in the hands of his enemies, and had very little doubt that they would put him to death. He tried what he could do with their chief. It chanced that he had a small pocket compass with him, and this he explained to the chief, and made a present of it to him. By this means he gained some time, and also the favor of the chief. When, at last, the warriors bound him to a tree and bent their bows to shoot him, the chief came forward, waving the compass, and ordered them to stop.

After this he was carried through many Indian villages, and was at last led before Powhatan, their king. His case was soon decided. The Indians hated the whites, and now that they had their leader in their hands they resolved to put him to death. A large stone was brought in and Smith's head was laid upon it. Then, at an order from the king, a tall savage raised a club to beat out his brains. In a moment the club would have fallen, and Smith would have died; but a kind Providence watched over him.

An Indian girl, twelve or thirteen years old, sprang toward him. From her dress, it was plain that she was a princess. The large feather in her black hair was like that worn by Powhatan, and her moccasins were embroidered like the old king's. On her arms were bracelets of shells, and from her shoulders fell a robe of doeskin, covered with the feathers of birds, and lined with down from the breasts of wild pigeons.

This girl was Pocahontas, the favorite daughter of the old king. She was filled with pity for the poor prisoner, and ran and threw her arms about him, looking up to her father as she did so. The heavy club did not fall. The blow would have killed Pocahontas, as Smith's head was clasped to her breast; and Powhatan ordered that the prisoner's life should be spared. He was, therefore, unbound, and Powhatan soon showed him that he had nothing to fear. In a few days he was allowed to go back to Jamestown.

Captain Smith had many other adventures while he was in Virginia, but at last a painful accident changed all his plans. As he was rowing down James River one day some powder in his boat took fire, and he was terribly burned. His clothes were all in flames, and he jumped into the water in order to put out the fire. But he was so overcome by the pain that he could not swim, and he was almost drowned before his men could help him back into the boat.

There was no surgeon in Jamestown to dress his wounds, and he made up his mind to go to England and find one. A ship was about ready to sail, and he at once took passage for home.

That was the last that was seen of John Smith in Virginia. He had come over in the spring of 1607, and he went back in the autumn of 1609. It seems a very short time—not three years in all; but in this time he had laid, broad and deep, the foundations of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

—From "Stories of the Old Dominion."

DEFINITIONS:—Venison, the flesh of deer. Ducats, gold coins worth nearly seven dollars each. Tymor, a Turkish officer. Flail, a wooden club used for beating out grains

EXERCISE.—On the map trace John Smith's various journeys in
Europe. Find England, Holland, the English Channel, France,
Marseilles, the Mediterranean Sea, Rome, Nice, Egypt, Austria,
Transylvania, Turkey, Constantinople, Sea of Azov, Russia, Paris,
Spain, London. Trace the course of John Smith's first voyage to
America. Find the West Indies, Florida, the Carolinas, Chesapeake
Bay, James River, Chickahominy River.



I sit by the open window,
  And look to the hills away,
Over beautiful undulations
  That glow with the flowers of May;
And as the lights and the shadows
  With the passing moments change,
Comes many a scene of beauty
  Within my vision's range.
But there is not one among them
  That is half so dear to me
As an old log cabin I think of,
  On the banks of the Tennessee.

Now up from the rolling meadows,
  And down from the hilltops now,
Fresh breezes steal in at my window,
  And sweetly fan my brow;
And the sounds that they gather and bring me.
  From rivulet, meadow, and hill,
Come in with a touching cadence,
  And my throbbing bosom fill;
But the dearest thoughts thus wakened,
  And in tears brought back to me,
Cluster 'round that old log cabin
  On the banks of the Tennessee.

To many a fond remembrance
  My thoughts are backward cast,
As I sit by the open window
  And recall the faded past;
For all along the windings
  Of the ever moving years
Lie wrecks of hope and of purpose,
  That I now behold through tears;
And, of all of them, the saddest
  That is thus brought back to me
Makes holy that old log cabin
  On the banks of the Tennessee.

Glad voices now greet me daily,
  Sweet faces I oft behold,
Yet I sit by the open window,
  And dream of the times of old—
Of a voice that on earth is silent,
  Of a face that is seen no more,
Of a spirit that faltered not ever
  In the struggles of days now o'er;
And a beautiful grave comes pictured
  For ever and ever to me,
From a knoll near that old log cabin
  On the banks of the Tennessee.

DEFINITIONS:—Undulations, wavelike motion. Rivulet, a small stream. Knoll, a round-topped hill of medium height.

EXERCISE.—On the map, trace the course of the Tennessee



I suppose you all, my boys, are looking for some sort of success in life; it is right that you should; but what are your notions of success? To get rich as soon as possible, without regard to the means by which your wealth is acquired?

There is no true success in that: when you have gained millions, you may yet be poorer than when you had nothing; and it is that same reckless ambition which has brought many a bright and capable boy, not to great estate at last, but to miserable failure and disgrace; not to a palace, but to a prison.

Wealth rightly got and rightly used, rational enjoyment, power, fame,—these are all worthy objects of ambition; but they are not the highest objects, and you may acquire them all without achieving true success. But if, whatever you seek, you put good will into all your actions, you are sure of the best success at last; for whatever else you gain or miss, you are building up a noble and beautiful character, which is not only the best of possessions in this world, but also is about all you can expect to take with you into the next.

I say, good will in all your actions. You are not simply to be kind and helpful to others; but, whatever you do, give honest, earnest purpose to it. Thomas is put by his parents to learn a business. But Thomas does not like to apply himself very closely. "What's the use?" he says. "I'm not paid much, and I'm not going to work much. I'll get along just as easily as I can, and have as good times as I can."

So he shirks his tasks; and instead of thinking about his employer's interests, or his own self-improvement, gives his mind to trifles,—often to evil things, which in their ruinous effects upon his life are not trifles. As soon as he is free from his daily duties, he is off with his companions, having what they call a good time; his heart is with them even while his hands are employed in the shop or store.

He does nothing thoroughly well,—not at all for want of talent, but solely for lack of good will. He is not preparing himself to be one of those efficient clerks or workmen who are always in demand, and who receive the highest wages.

There is a class of people who are the pest of every community—workmen who do not know their trade, men of business ignorant of the first principles of business. They can never be relied upon to do well anything they undertake. They are always making blunders which other people have to suffer for, and which react upon themselves. They are always getting out of employment, and failing in business.

To make up for what they lack in knowledge and thoroughness, they often resort to trick and fraud, and become not merely contemptible, but criminal. Thomas is preparing himself to be one of this class. You cannot, boys, expect to raise a good crop from evil seed.

By Thomas's side works another boy, whom we will call James,—a lad of only ordinary capacity, very likely. If Thomas and all the other boys did their best, there would be but small chance for James ever to become eminent. But he has something better than talent: he brings good will to his work. Whatever he learns, he learns so well that it becomes a part of himself.

His employers find that they can depend upon him. Customers soon learn to like and trust him. By diligence, self-culture, good habits, cheerful and kindly conduct, he is laying the foundation of a generous manhood and a genuine success.

In short, boys, by slighting your tasks you hurt yourself more than you wrong your employer. By honest service you benefit yourself more than you help him. If you were aiming at mere worldly advancement only, I should still say that good will was the very best investment you could make in business.

By cheating a customer, you gain only a temporary and unreal advantage. By serving him with right good will,—doing by him as you would be done by,—you not only secure his confidence, but also his good will in return. But this is a sordid consideration conspired with the inward satisfaction, the glow and expansion of soul which attend a good action done for itself alone. If I were to sum up all I have to say to you in one last word of love and counsel, that one word should be—Good will.

DEFINITIONS:—Character, the sum of qualities which distinguishes one person from another. Purpose, intention, aim. Principles, fixed rules. Capacity, ability, the power of receiving ideas. Sordid, base, meanly avaricious.

EXERCISE.—What is meant by the phrase "to apply himself," in the fourth paragraph? What is meant by "a generous manhood," tenth paragraph? By "expansion of soul," twelfth paragraph? Tell what is meant by "good will," as taught by this lesson.


It is told of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, that, as he was seated one day in his private room, a written petition was brought to him with the request that it should be immediately read. The king had just returned from hunting, and the glare of the sun, or some other cause, had so dazzled his eyes that he found it difficult to make out a single word of the writing.

His private secretary happened to be absent, and the soldier who brought the petition could not read. There was a page, or favorite boy-servant, waiting in the hall, and upon him the king called. The page was a son of one of the noblemen of the court, but proved to be a very poor reader.

In the first place, he did not articulate distinctly. He huddled his words together in the utterance, as if they were syllables of one long word, which he must get through with as speedily as possible. His pronunciation was bad, and he did not modulate his voice so as to bring out the meaning of what he read. Every sentence was uttered with a dismal monotony of voice, as if it did not differ in any respect from that which preceded it.

"Stop!" said the king, impatiently. "Is it an auctioneer's list of goods to be sold that you are hurrying over? Send your companion to me." Another page who stood at the door now entered, and to him the king gave the petition. The second page began by hemming and clearing his throat in such an affected manner that the king jokingly asked him if he had not slept in the public garden, with the gate open, the night before.

The second page had a good share of self-conceit, however, and so was not greatly confused by the king's jest. He determined that he would avoid the mistake which his comrade had made. So he commenced reading the petition slowly and with great formality, emphasizing every word, and prolonging the articulation of every syllable. But his manner was so tedious that the king cried out, "Stop! are you reciting a lesson in the elementary sounds? Out of the room! But no—stay! Send me that little girl who is sitting there by the fountain."

The girl thus pointed out by the king was a daughter of one of the laborers employed by the royal gardener; and she had come to help her father weed the flower beds. It chanced that, like many of the poor people in Prussia, she had received a good education. She was somewhat alarmed when she found herself in the king's presence, but took courage when the king told her that he only wanted her to read for him, as his eyes were weak.

Now, Ernestine (for this was the name of the little girl) was fond of reading aloud, and often many of the neighbors would assemble at her father's house to hear her; those who could not read themselves would come to her, also, with their letters from distant friends or children, and she thus formed the habit of reading various sorts of handwriting promptly and well.

The king gave her the petition, and she rapidly glanced through the opening lines to get some idea of what it was about. As she read, her eyes began to glisten and her breast to heave. "What is the matter?" asked the king; "don't you know how to read?" "Oh, yes, sire" she replied, addressing him with the title usually applied to him; "I will now read it, if you please."

The two pages were about to leave the room. "Remain," said the king. The little girl began to read the petition. It was from a poor widow, whose only son had been drafted to serve in the army, although his health was delicate and his pursuits had been such as to unfit him for military life. His father had been killed in battle, and the son had a strong desire to become a portrait painter.

The writer told her story in a simple, concise manner, that carried to the heart a belief of its truth: and Ernestine read it with so much feeling, and with an articulation so just, in tones so pure and distinct, that when she had finished, the king, into whose eyes the tears had started, exclaimed, "Oh! now I understand what it is all about; but I might never have known, certainly I never should have felt, its meaning had I trusted to these young gentlemen, whom I now dismiss from my service for one year, advising them to occupy the time in learning to read."

"As for you, my young lady," continued the king, "I know you will ask no better reward for your trouble than the pleasure of carrying to this poor widow my order for her son's immediate discharge. Let me see if you can write as well as you can read. Take this pen, and write as I dictate." He then dictated an order, which Ernestine wrote, and he signed. Calling one of his guards, he bade him go with the girl and see that the order was obeyed.

How much happiness was Ernestine the means of bestowing through her good elocution, united to the happy circumstance that brought it to the knowledge of the king! First there were her poor neighbors, to whom she could give instruction and entertainment. Then there was the poor widow who sent the petition, and who not only regained her son, but received through Ernestine an order for him to paint the king's likeness; so that the poor boy soon rose to great distinction, and had more orders than he could attend to. Words could not express his gratitude, and that of his mother, to the little girl.

And Ernestine had, moreover, the satisfaction of aiding her father to rise in the world, so that he became the king's chief gardener. The king did not forget her, but had her well educated at his own expense. As for the two pages, she was indirectly the means of doing them good, also; for, ashamed of their bad reading, they commenced studying in earnest, till they overcame the faults that had offended the king. Both finally rose to distinction; and they owed their advancement in life chiefly to their good elocution.

DEFINITIONS:—Petition, a formal request. Articulate, to utter the elementary sounds. Modulate, to vary or inflect. Monotony, lack of variety. Affected, unnatural and silly.



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
  Toward 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
Toward 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!

DEFINITIONS:—Fleeted, passed quickly. Portents, signs, indications. Jovial, joyful, gladsome. Board, dinner table. Charger, a horse for battle or parade. Serf, slave, serving man.

EXERCISE.—On the map of Europe, find Lake Constance, Tyrol,
Bregenz. What are the mountains called which surround Lake
Constance? Where is the Rhine?



Once upon a time, there lived a very rich man, and a king besides, whose name was Midas; and he had a little daughter, whom nobody but myself ever heard of, and whose name I either never knew, or have entirely forgotten. So, because I love odd names for little girls, I choose to call her Marygold.

This King Midas was fonder of gold than of anything else in the world. He valued his royal crown chiefly because it was composed of that precious metal. If he loved anything better, or half so well, it was the one little maiden who played so merrily around her father's footstool. But the more Midas loved his daughter, the more did he desire and seek for wealth. He thought, foolish man! that the best thing he could possibly do for this dear child would be to bequeath her the largest pile of glistening coin that had ever been heaped together since the world was made.

Thus he gave all his thoughts and all his time to this one purpose. If ever he happened to gaze for an instant at the gold-tinted clouds of sunset, he wished that they were real gold, and that they could be squeezed safely into his strong box. When little Marygold ran to meet him, with a bunch of buttercups and dandelions, he used to say, "Pooh, pooh, child! If these flowers were as golden as they look, they would be worth the plucking!"

At length (as people always grow more and more foolish, unless they take care to grow wiser and wiser) Midas had got to be so exceedingly unreasonable, that he could scarcely bear to see or touch any object that was not gold. He made it his custom, therefore, to pass a large portion of every day in a dark and dreary apartment, under ground, at the basement of his palace. It was here that he kept his wealth. To this dismal hole—for it was little better than a dungeon—Midas betook himself, whenever he wanted to be particularly happy.

Here, after carefully locking the door, he would take a bag of gold coin, or a gold cup as big as a washbowl, or a heavy golden bar, or a peck measure of gold dust, and bring them from the obscure corners of the room into the one bright and narrow sunbeam that fell from the dungeonlike window. He valued the sunbeam for no other reason but that his treasure would not shine without its help.

And then would he reckon over the coins in the bag; toss up the bar, and catch it as it came down; sift the gold dust through his fingers;` look at the funny image of his own face, as reflected in the burnished circumference of the cup; and whisper to himself, "O Midas, rich King Midas, what a happy man art thou!"


Midas was enjoying himself in his treasure room, one day, as usual, when he perceived a shadow fall over the heaps of gold; and, looking up, he beheld the figure of a stranger, standing in the bright and narrow sunbeam! It was a young man, with a cheerful and ruddy face.

Whether it was that the imagination of King Midas threw a yellow tinge over everything, or whatever the cause might be, he could not help fancying that the smile with which the stranger regarded him had a kind of golden brightness in it. Certainly, there was now a brighter gleam upon all the piled-up treasures than before. Even the remotest corners had their share of it, and were lighted up, when the stranger smiled, as with tips of flame and sparkles of fire.

As Midas knew that he had carefully turned the key in the lock, and that no mortal strength could possibly break into his treasure room, he, of course, concluded that his visitor must be something more than mortal.

Midas had met such beings before now, and was not sorry to meet one of them again. The stranger's aspect, indeed, was so good-humored and kindly, if not beneficent, that it would have been unreasonable to suspect him of intending any mischief. It was far more probable that he came to do Midas a favor. And what could that favor be, unless to multiply his heaps of treasure?

The stranger gazed about the room; and, when his lustrous smile had glistened upon all the golden objects that were there, he turned again to Midas.

"You are a wealthy man, friend Midas!" he observed. "I doubt whether any other four walls on earth contain so much gold as you have contrived to pile up in this room."

"I have done pretty well,—pretty well," answered Midas, in a discontented tone. "But, after all, it is but a trifle, when you consider that it has taken me my whole lifetime to get it together. If one could live a thousand years, he might have time to grow rich!"

"What!" exclaimed the stranger. "Then you are not satisfied?"

Midas shook his head.

"And pray, what would satisfy you?" asked the stranger. "Merely for the curiosity of the thing, I should be glad to know."

Why did the stranger ask this question? Did he have it in his power to gratify the king's wishes? It was an odd question, to say the least.


Midas paused and meditated. He felt sure that this stranger, with such a golden luster in his good-humored smile, had come hither with both the power and the purpose of gratifying his utmost wishes. Now, therefore, was the fortunate moment, when he had but to speak, and obtain whatever possible, or seemingly impossible thing, it might come into his head to ask. So he thought, and thought, and thought, and heaped up one golden mountain upon another, in his imagination, without being able to imagine them big enough.

At last a bright idea occurred to King Midas.

Raising his head, he looked the lustrous stranger in the face.

"Well, Midas," observed his visitor, "I see that you have at length hit upon something that will satisfy you. Tell me your wish."

"It is only this," replied Midas. "I am weary of collecting my treasures with so much trouble, and beholding the heap so diminutive, after I have done my best. I wish everything that I touch to be changed to gold!"

The stranger's smile grew so bright and radiant, that it seemed to fill the room like an outburst of the sun, gleaming into a shadowy dell, where the yellow autumnal leaves—for so looked the lumps and particles of gold—lie strewn in the glow of light.

"The Golden Touch!" exclaimed he. "You certainly deserve credit, friend Midas, for striking out so brilliant a fancy. But are you quite sure that this will satisfy you?"

"How could it fail?" said Midas.

"And will you never regret the possession of it?"

"What could induce me?" asked Midas. "I ask nothing else, to render me perfectly happy."

"Be it as you wish, then," replied the stranger, waving his hand in token of farewell. "To-morrow, at sunrise, you will find yourself gifted with the Golden Touch."

The figure of the stranger then became exceedingly bright, and Midas involuntarily closed his eyes. On opening them again, he beheld only one yellow sunbeam in the room, and, all around him, the glistening of the precious metal which he had spent his life in hoarding up.


Whether Midas slept as usual that night, the story does not say. But when the earliest sunbeam shone through the window, and gilded the ceiling over his head, it seemed to him that this bright yellow sunbeam was reflected in rather a singular way on the white coverimg of the bed. Looking more closely, what was his astonishment and delight, when he found that this linen fabric had been transmuted to what seemed a woven texture of the purest and brightest gold! The Golden Touch had come to him with the first sunbeam!

Midas started up, in a kind of joyful frenzy, and ran about the room, grasping at everything that happened to be in his way. He seized one of the bedposts, and it became immediately a fluted golden pillar. He pulled aside a window curtain in order to admit a clear spectacle of the wonders which he was performing, and the tassel grew heavy in his hand, a mass of gold. He took up a book from the table; at his first touch, it assumed the appearance of such a splendidly bound and gilt-edged volume as one often meets with nowadays; but on running his fingers through the leaves, behold! it was a bundle of thin golden plates, in which all the wisdom of the book had grown illegible.

He hurriedly put on his clothes, and was enraptured to see himself in a magnificent suit of gold cloth, which retained its flexibility and softness,although it burdened him a little with its weight. He drew out his handkerchief, which little Marygold had hemmed for him; that was likewise gold, with the dear child's neat and pretty stitches running all along the border, in gold thread!

Somehow or other, this last transformation did not quite please King Midas. He would rather that his little daughter's handiwork should have remained just the same as when she climbed his knee and put it into his hand.

But it was not worth while to vex himself about a trifle. Midas took his spectacles from his pocket, and put them on his nose, in order that he might see more distinctly what he was about. In those days, spectacles for common people had not been invented, but were already worn by kings; else, how could Midas have had any? To his great perplexity; however, excellent as the glasses were, he discovered that he could not possibly see through them. But this was the most natural thing in the world; for, on taking them off, the transparent crystals turned out to be plates of yellow metal, and, of course, were worthless as spectacles, though valuable as gold. It struck Midas as rather inconvenient, that, with all his wealth, he could never again be rich enough to own a pair of serviceable spectacles.

"It is no great matter, nevertheless," said he to himself, very philosophically. "We cannot expect any great good, without its being accompanied with some small inconvenience. The Golden Touch is worth the sacrifice of a pair of spectacles at least, if not of one's very eyesight. My own eyes will serve for ordinary purposes, and little Marygold will soon be old enough to read to me."


Wise King Midas was so exalted by his good fortune, that the palace seemed not sufficiently spacious to contain him. He therefore went downstairs, and smiled on observing that the balustrade of the staircase became a bar of burnished gold, as his hand passed over it, in his descent. He lifted the door-latch (it was brass only a moment ago, but golden when his fingers quitted it), and emerged into the garden. Here, as it happened, he found a great number of beautiful roses in full bloom, and others in all the stages of lovely bud and blossom. Very delicious was their fragrance in the morning breeze. Their delicate blush was one of the fairest sights in the world; so gentle, so modest, and so full of sweet soothing, did these roses seem to be.

But Midas knew a way to make them far more precious, according to his way of thinking, than roses had ever been before. So he took great pains in going from bush to bush, and exercised his magic touch most untiringly; until every individual flower and bud, and even the worms at the heart of some of them, were changed to gold. By the time this good work was completed, King Midas was summoned to breakfast; and as the morning air had given him an excellent appetite, he made haste back to the palace.

What was usually a king's breakfast in the days of Midas, I really do not know, and cannot stop now to investigate. To the best of my knowledge, however, on this particular morning, the breakfast consisted of hot cakes, some nice little brook trout, roasted potatoes, fresh boiled eggs, and coffee for King Midas himself, and a bowl of bread and milk for his daughter Marygold.

Little Marygold had not yet made her appearance. Her father ordered her to be called, and seating himself at table, awaited the child's coming, in order to begin his own breakfast. To do Midas justice, he really loved his daughter, and loved her so much the more this morning, on account of the good fortune which had befallen him. It was not a great while before he heard her coming along the passage, crying bitterly. This circumstance surprised him, because Marygold was one of the most cheerful little people whom you would see in a summer's day, and hardly shed a tear in a twelvemonth.

When Midas heard her sobs, he determined to put little Marygold into better spirits by an agreeable surprise; so, leaning across the table, he touched his danghter's bowl (which was a china one, with pretty figures all around it), and changed it into gleaming gold.

Meanwhile, Marygold slowly and sadly opened the door, and showed herself with her apron at her eyes, still sobbing as if her heart would break.

"How now, my little lady!" cried Midas. "Pray, what is the matter with you, this bright morning?"

Marygold, without taking the apron from her eyes, held out her hand, in which was one of the roses which Midas had so recently changed into gold.

"Beautiful!" exclaimed her father. "And what is there in this magnificent golden rose to make you cry?"

"Ah, dear father!" answered the child, between her sobs, "it is not beautiful, but the ugliest flower that ever grew! As soon as I was dressed, I ran into the garden to gather some roses for you; because I know you like them, and like them the better when gathered by your little daughter. But oh, dear, dear me! What do you think has happened? Such a sad thing! All the beautiful roses, that smelled so sweetly, and had so many lovely blushes, are blighted and spoilt! They are grown quite yellow, as you see this one, and have no longer any fragrance! What can have been the matter with them?"

"Pooh, my dear little girl,—pray don't cry about it!" said Midas, who was ashamed to confess that he himself had wrought the change which so greatly afflicted her. "Sit down, and eat your bread and milk. You will find it easy enough to exchange a golden rose like that (which will last hundreds of years), for an ordinary one which would wither in a day."

"I don't care for such roses as this!" cried Marygold, tossing it contemptuously away. "It has no smell, and the hard petals prick my nose!"

The child now sat down to table, but was so occupied with her grief for blighted roses that she did not even notice the wonderful change in her china bowl. Perhaps this was all the better; for Marygold was accustomed to take pleasure in looking at the queer figures and strange trees and houses that were painted on the outside of the bowl; and those ornaments were now entirely lost in the yellow hue of the metal.


Midas, meanwhile, had poured out a cup of coffee; and, as a matter of course, the coffeepot, whatever metal it may have been when he took it up, was gold when he set it down. He thought to himself that it was rather an extravagant style of splendor, in a king of his simple habits, to breakfast off a service of gold, and began to be puzzled with the difficulty of keeping his treasures safe. The cupboard and the kitchen would no longer be a secure place of deposit for articles so valuable as golden bowls and golden coffeepots.

Amid these thoughts, he lifted a spoonful of coffee to his lips, and, sipping it, was astonished to perceive that the instant his lips touched the liquid it became molten gold, and the next moment, hardened into a lump!

"Ha!" exclaimed Midas, rather aghast.

"What is the matter, father?" asked little Marygold, gazing at him, with the tears still standing in her eyes.

"Nothing, child, nothing!" said Midas. "Take your milk before it gets quite cold."

He took one of the nice little trouts on his plate, and touched its tail with his finger. To his horror, it was immediately changed from a brook trout into a gold fish, and looked as if it had been very cunningly made by the nicest goldsmith in the world. Its little bones were now golden wires; its fins and tail were thin plates of gold; and there were the marks of the fork in it, and all the delicate, frothy appearance of a nicely fried fish, exactly imitated in metal.

"I don't quite see," thought he to himself, "how I am to get any breakfast!"

He took one of the smoking-hot cakes, and had scarcely broken it, when, to his cruel mortification, though a moment before, it had been of the whitest wheat, it assumed the yellow hue of Indian meal. Its solidity and increased weight made him too bitterly sensible that it was gold. Almost in despair, he helped himself to a boiled egg, which immediately underwent a change similar to that of the trout and the cake.

"Well, this is terrible!" thought he, leaning back in his chair, and looking quite enviously at little Marygold, who was now eating her bread and milk with great satisfaction. "Such a costly breakfast before me, and nothing that can be eaten!"


Hoping that, by dint of great dispatch, he might avoid what he now felt to be a considerable inconvenience, King Midas next snatched a hot potato, and attempted to cram it into his mouth, and swallow it in a hurry. But the Golden Touch was too nimble for him. He found his mouth full, not of mealy potato, but of solid metal, which so burnt his tongue that he roared aloud, and, jumping up from the table, began to dance and stamp about the room, both with pain and affright.

"Father, dear father!" cried little Marygold, who was a very affectionate child, "pray what is the matter? Have you burnt your mouth?"

"Ah, dear child," groaned Midas, dolefully, "I don't know what is to become of your poor father!"

And, truly, did you ever hear of such a pitiable case, in all your lives? Here was literally the richest breakfast that could be set before a king, and its very richness made it absolutely good for nothing. The poorest laborer, sitting down to his crust of bread and cup of water, was far better off than King Midas, whose delicate food was really worth its weight in gold.

And what was to be done? Already, at breakfast, Midas was excessively hungry. Would he be less so by dinner time? And how ravenous would be his appetite for supper, which must undoubtedly consist of the same sort of indigestible dishes as those now before him! How many days, think you, would he survive a continuance of this rich fare?

These reflections so troubled wise King Midas, that he began to doubt whether, after all, riches are the one desirable thing in the world, or even the most desirable. But this was only a passing thought. So fascinated was Midas with the glitter of the yellow metal, that he would still have refused to give up the Golden Touch for so paltry a consideration as a breakfast. Just imagine what a price for one meal's victuals! It would have been the same as paying millions and millions of money for some fried trout, an egg, a potato, a hot cake, and a cup of coffee!

"It would be much too dear," thought Midas.

Nevertheless, so great was his hunger, and the perplexity of his situation, that he again groaned aloud, and very grievously too. Our pretty Marygold could endure it no longer. She sat a moment gazing at her father, and trying, with all the might of her little wits, to find out what was the matter with him. Then, with a sweet and sorrowful impulse to comfort him, she started from her chair, and, running to Midas, threw her arms affectionately about his knees. He bent down and kissed her. He felt that his little daughter's love was worth a thousand times more than he had gained by the Golden Touch.

"My precious, precious Marygold!" cried he.

But Marygold made no answer.


Alas, what had King Midas done? How fatal was the gift which the stranger had bestowed! The moment the lips of Midas touched Marygold's forehead, a change had taken place. Her sweet, rosy face, so full of affection as it had been, assumed a glittering yellow color, with yellow tear-drops congealing on her cheeks. Her beautiful brown ringlets took the same tint. Her soft and tender little form grew hard and inflexible within her father's encircling arms. O terrible misfortune! The victim of his insatiable desire for wealth, little Marygold was a human child no longer, but a golden statue!

Yes, there she was, with the questioning look of love, grief, and pity, hardened into her face. It was the prettiest and most woeful sight that ever mortal saw. All the features and tokens of Marygold were there; even the beloved little dimple remained in her golden chin. But, the more perfect was the resemblance, the greater was the father's agony at beholding this golden image, which was all that was left him of a daughter.

It had been a favorite phrase of Midas, whenever he felt particularly fond of the child, to say that she was worth her weight in gold. And now the phrase had become literally true. And, now, at last, when it was too late, he felt how infinitely a warm and tender heart, that loved him, exceeded in value all the wealth that could be piled up betwixt the earth and sky!

It would be too sad a story, if I were to tell you how Midas, in the fullness of all his gratified desires, began to wring his hands and bemoan himself; and how he could neither bear to look at Marygold, nor yet to look away from her. Except when his eyes were fixed on the image, he could not possibly believe that she was changed to gold. But, stealing another glance, there was the precious little figure, with a yellow tear-drop on its yellow cheek, and a look so piteous and tender, that it seemed as if that very expression must needs soften the gold, and make it flesh again. This, however, could not be. So Midas had only to wring his hands, and to wish that he were the poorest man in the wide world, if the loss of all his wealth might bring back the faintest rose-color to his dear child's face.


While he was in this tumult of despair, he suddenly beheld a stranger, standing near the door. Midas bent down his head, without speaking; for he recognized the same figure which had appeared to him the day before in the treasure room, and had bestowed on him this disastrous power of the Golden Touch. The stranger's countenance still wore a smile, which seemed to shed a yellow luster all about the room, and gleamed on little Marygold's image, and on the other objects that had been transmuted by the touch of Midas.

"Well, friend Midas," said the stranger, "pray, how do you succeed with the Golden Touch?"

Midas shook his head.

"I am very miserable," said he.

"Very miserable! indeed!" exclaimed the stranger; "and how happens that? Have I not faithfully kept my promise with you? Have you not everything that your heart desired?"

"Gold is not everything," answered Midas. "And I have lost all that my heart really cared for."

"Ah! So you have made a discovery, since yesterday?" observed the stranger. "Let us see, then. Which of these two things do you think is really worth the most,—the gift of the Golden Touch, or one cup of clear cold water?"

"O blessed water!" exclaimed Midas. "It will never moisten my parched throat again!"

"The Golden Touch," continued the stranger, "or a crust of bread?"

"A piece of bread," answered Midas, "is worth all the gold on earth!"

"The Golden Touch," asked the stranger, "or your own little
Marygold, warm, soft, and loving, as she was an hour ago?"

"O my child, my dear child!" cried poor King Midas, wringing his hands. "I would not have given that one small dimple in her chin for the power of changing this whole big earth into a solid lump of gold!"

"You are wiser than you were, King Midas?" said the stranger, looking seriously at him. "Your own heart, I perceive, has not been entirely changed from flesh to gold. Were it so, your case would indeed be desperate. But you appear to be still capable of understanding that the commonest things, such as lie within everybody's grasp, are more valuable than the riches which so many mortals sigh and struggle after. Tell me, now, do you sincerely desire to rid yourself of this Golden Touch?"

"It is hateful to me!" replied Midas.

A fly settled on his nose, but immediately fell to the floor; for it, too, had become gold. Midas shuddered.

"Go, then," said the stranger, "and plunge into the river that glides past the bottom of your garden. Take likewise a vase of the same water, and sprinkle it over any object that you may desire to change back again from gold into its former substance. If you do this in earnestness and sincerity, it may possibly repair the mischief which your avarice has occasioned."

King Midas bowed low; and when he lifted his head, the lustrous stranger had vanished.


You will easily believe that Midas lost no time in snatching up a great earthen pitcher (but, alas me! it was no longer earthen after he touched it), and in hastening to the riverside. As he ran along, and forced his way through the shrubbery, it was positively marvelous to see how the foliage turned yellow behind him, as if the autumn had been there, and nowhere else. On reaching the river's brink, he plunged headlong in, without waiting so much as to pull off his shoes.

"Poof! poof! poof!" gasped King Midas, as his head emerged out of the water. "Well; this is really a refreshing bath, and I think it must have quite washed away the Golden Touch. And now for filling my pitcher!"

As he dipped the pitcher into the water, it gladdened his very heart to see it change from gold into the same good, honest, earthen vessel which it had been before he touched it. He was conscious, also, of a change within himself. A cold, hard, and heavy weight seemed to have gone out of his bosom. No doubt his heart had been gradually losing its human substance, and been changing into insensible metal, but had now been softened back again into flesh. Perceiving a violet, that grew on the bank of the river, Midas touched it with his finger, and was overjoyed to find that the delicate flower retained its purple hue, instead of undergoing a yellow blight. The curse of the Golden Touch had, therefore, really been removed from him.


King Midas hastened back to the palace; and, I suppose, the servants knew not what to make of it when they saw their royal master so carefully bringing home an earthen pitcher of water. But that water, which was to undo all the mischief that his folly had wrought, was more precious to Midas than an ocean of molten gold could have been. The first thing he did, as you need hardly be told, was to sprinkle it by handfuls over the golden figure of little Marygold.

No sooner did it fall on her than you would have laughed to see how the rosy color came back to the dear child's cheek!—and how astonished she was to find herself dripping wet, and her father still throwing more water over her!

"Pray do not, dear father!" cried she. "See how you have wet my nice frock, which I put on only this morning!"

For Marygold did not know that she had been a little golden statue; nor could she remember anything that had happened since the moment when she ran with outstretched arms to comfort her father.

Her father did not think it necessary to tell his beloved child how very foolish he had been, but contented himself with showing how much wiser he had now grown. For this purpose, he led little Marygold into the garden, where he sprinkled all the remainder of the water over the rosebushes, and with such good effect that above five thousand roses recovered their beautiful bloom. There were two circumstances, however, which, as long as he lived, used to remind King Midas of the Golden Touch. One was, that the sands of the river in which he had bathed, sparkled like gold; the other, that little Marygold's hair had now a golden tinge, which he had never observed in it before she had been changed by the effect of his kiss. This change of hue was really an improvement, and made Marygold's hair richer than in her babyhood.

When King Midas had grown quite an old man, and used to take Marygold's children on his knee, he was fond of telling them this marvelous story. And then would he stroke their glossy ringlets, and tell them that their hair, likewise, had a rich shade of gold, which they had inherited from their mother.

"And, to tell you the truth, my precious little folks," said King Midas, "ever since that morning, I have hated the very sight of all other gold, save this!"

—From "A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls."



I come from haunts of coot and hern,
  I make a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among the fern,
  To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
  Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
  And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
  To join the brimming river;
For men may come, and men may go,
  But I go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways,
  In little sharps and trebles;
I bubble into eddying bays,
  I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
  By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
  With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
  To join the brimming river;
For men may come; and men may go,
  But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
  With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
  And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
  Upon me, as I travel,
With many a silvery waterbreak
  Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
  To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
  I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
  That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
  Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
  Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
  In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars,
  I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
  To join the brimming river;
For men may come, and men may go,
  But I go on forever.

DEFINITIONS:—Coot, a kind of wild duck. Hern, a wading bird, heron. Bicker, run with a quivering, tremulous motion. Thorps, small villages. Foreland, headland. Shingly, gravelly.


And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him.

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying: 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.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother bath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift….

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell….

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Ye have heard that it bath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

—Matthew, Chapter V.

DEFINITIONS:—Revile, reproach, abuse. Tittle, the smallest part. Scribes, those among the Jews who read and explained the law to the people. Pharisees, a Jewish sect noted for its strict observance of the law.

EXERCISE.—Point out on the map, Galilee, Jerusalem, Judea, Jordan, Capernaum. The mountain referred to in the first paragraph was near Capernaum. Which paragraphs in this extract are called "The Beatitudes"? Why? Look in the dictionary for the meaning of the word "beatitude."


Harness me down with your iron bands,
  Be sure of your curb and rein,
For I scorn the strength of your puny hands
  As a tempest scorns a chain.
How I laughed as I lay concealed from sight,
  For many a countless hour,
At the childish boasts of human might,
  And the pride of human power!

When I saw an army upon the land,
  A navy upon the seas,
Creeping along, a snail-like band,
  Or waiting the wayward breeze;
When I saw the peasant faintly reel,
  With the toil which he faintly bore,
As constant he turned at the tardy wheel,
  Or tugged at the weary oar;

When I measured the panting courser's speed,
  The flight of the carrier dove,
As they bore a law a king decreed,
  Or the lines of impatient love;
I could not but think how the world would feel,
  As these were outstripped far,
When I should be bound to the rushing keel,
  Or chained to the flying car.

Ha ha! ha ha! they found me at last,
  They invited me forth at length;
And I rushed to my throne with a thunder-blast,
  And laughed in my iron strength.
Oh then you saw a wonderous change
  On earth and ocean wide,
Where now my fiery armies range,
  Nor wait for wind nor tide.

Hurrah! hurrah! the waters o'er
  The mountain's steep declines
Time, space, have yielded to my power,
  The world, the world is mine!
The rivers the sun has earliest blessed,
  And those where his beams decline,
The giant streams of the queenly West,
  And the Orient floods divine.

In the darksome depths of the fathomless mine
  My tireless arm doth play;
Where the rocks ne'er saw the sun's decline,
  Or the dawn of the glorious day.
I bring earth's glittering jewels up
  From the hidden cave below;
And I make the fountain's granite cup
  With a crystal gush o'erflow.

I blow the bellows, I forge the steel,
  In all the shops of trade;
I hammer the ore, and turn the wheel
  Where my arms of strength are made;
I manage the furnace, the mill, the mint;
  I carry, I spin, I weave;
And all my doings I put into print,
  On every Saturday eve.

I've no muscle to weary, no frame to decay,
  No bones to be laid on the shelf;
And soon I intend you shall go and play,
  While I manage the world myself.
But harness me down with your iron bands,
  Be sure of your curb and rein,
For I scorn the strength of your puny hands,
  As the tempest scorns a chain.




When and where, it matters not now to relate—but once upon a time, as I was passing through a thinly peopled district of country, night came down upon me almost unawares. Being on foot, I could not hope to gain the village toward which my steps were directed until a late hour; and I therefore preferred seeking shelter and a night's lodging at the first humble dwelling that presented itself.

Dusky twilight was giving place to deeper shadows, when I found myself in the vicinity of a dwelling, from the small uncurtained windows of which the light shone with a pleasant promise of good cheer and comfort. The house stood within an inclosure, and a short distance from the road along which I was moving with wearied feet.

Turning aside, and passing through the ill-hung gate, I approached the dwelling. Slowly the gate swung on its wooden hinges, and the rattle of its latch, in closing, did not disturb the air until I had nearly reached the porch in front of the house, in which a slender girl, who had noticed my entrance, stood awaiting my arrival.

A deep, quick bark answered, almost like an echo, the sound of the shutting gate, and, sudden as an apparition, the form of an immense dog loomed in the doorway. At the instant when he was about to spring, a light hand was laid upon his shaggy neck, and a low word spoken.

"Go in, Tiger," said the girl, not in a voice of authority, yet in her gentle tones was the consciousness that she would be obeyed; and, as she spoke, she lightly bore upon the animal with her hand, and he turned away and disappeared within the dwelling.

"Who's that?" A rough voice asked the question; and now a heavy looking man took the dog's place in the door.

"How far is it to G——?" I asked, not deeming it best to say, in the beginning, that I sought a resting-place for the night.

"To G——!" growled the man, but not so harshly as at first.
"It's good six miles from here."

"A long distance; and I'm a stranger, and on foot," said I. "If you can make room for me until morning, I will be very thankful."

I saw the girl's hand move quickly up his arm, until it rested on his shoulder, and now she leaned to him still closer.

"Come in. We'll try what can be done for you." There was a change in the man's voice that made me wonder. I entered a large room, in which blazed a brisk fire. Before the fire sat two stout lads, who turned upon me their heavy eyes, with no very welcome greeting. A middle-aged woman was standing at a table, and two children were amusing themselves with a kitten on the floor.

"A stranger, mother," said the man who had given me so rude a greeting at the door; "and he wants us to let him stay all night."

The woman looked at me doubtingly for a few moments, and then replied coldly, "We don't keep a public house."

"I'm aware of that, ma'am," said I; "but night has overtaken me, and it's a long way yet to G——."

"Too far for a tired man to go on foot," said the master of the house, kindly, "so it's no use talking about it, mother; we must give him a bed."

So unobtrusively that I scarce noticed the movement, the girl had drawn to her mother's side. What she said to her I did not hear, for the brief words were uttered in a low voice; but I noticed, as she spoke, one small; fair hand rested on the woman's hand.

Was there magic in that touch? The woman's repulsive aspect changed into one of kindly welcome, and she said: "Yes, it's a long way to G——. I guess we can find a place for him."

Many times more during that evening, did I observe the magic power of that hand and voice—the one gentle yet potent as the other. On the next morning, breakfast being over, I was preparing to take my departure when my host informed me that if I would wait for half an hour he would give me a ride in his wagon to G— —, as business required him to go there. I was very well pleased to accept of the invitation.

In due time the farmer's wagon was driven into the road before the house, and I was invited to get in. I noticed the horse as a rough-looking Canadian pony, with a certain air of stubborn endurance. As the farmer took his seat by my side, the family came to the door to see us off.

"Dick!" said the farmer in a peremptory voice, giving the rein a quick jerk as he spoke. But Dick moved not a step. "Dick! you vagabond! get up." And the farmer's whip cracked sharply by the pony's ear.

It availed not, however, this second appeal. Dick stood firmly disobedient. Next the whip was brought down upon him with an impatient hand; but the pony only reared up a little. Fast and sharp the strokes were next dealt to the number of half a dozen. The man might as well have beaten the wagon, for all his end was gained.

A stout lad now came out into the road, and, catching Dick by the bridle, jerked him forward, using, at the same time, the customary language on such occasions, but Dick met this new ally with increased stubbornness, planting his fore feet more firmly and at a sharper angle with the ground.

The impatient boy now struck the pony on the side of the head with his clenched hand, and jerked cruelly at its bridle. It availed nothing, however; Dick was not to be wrought upon by any such arguments.

"Don't do so, John!" I turned my head as the maiden's sweet voice reached my ear. She was passing through the gate into the road, and, in the next moment, had taken hold of the lad and drawn him away from the animal. No strength was exerted in this; she took hold of his arm, and he obeyed her wish as readily as if he had no thought beyond her gratification.

And now that soft hand was laid gently on the pony's neck, and a single low word spoken. How instantly were the tense muscles relaxed—how quickly the stubborn air vanished.

"Poor Dick!" said the maiden, as she stroked his neck lightly; or softly patted it with a childlike hand. "Now, go along, you provoking fellow!" she added, in a half-chiding, yet affectionate voice, as she drew up the bridle.

The pony turned toward her, and rubbed his head against her arm for an instant or two; then, pricking up his ears, he started off at a light, cheerful trot, and went on his way as freely as if no silly crotchet had ever entered his stubborn brain.

"What a wonderful power that hand possesses!" said I, speaking to my companion, as we rode away.

He looked at me for a moment, as if my remark had occasioned surprise. Then a light came into his countenance, and he said briefly, "She's good! Everybody and everything loves her."

Was that, indeed, the secret of her power? Was the quality of her soul perceived in the impression of her hand, even by brute beasts? The father's explanation was doubtless the true one. Yet have I ever since wondered, and still do wonder, at the potency which lay in that maiden's magic touch. I have seen something of the same power, showing itself in the loving and the good, but never to the extent as instanced in her, whom, for want of a better name, I must still call "Gentle Hand."

DEFINITIONS:—Vicinity, neighborhood. Unobtrusively, not noticeably, modestly. Repulsive, repelling, forbidding. Potent, powerful, effective. Host, one from whom another receives food, lodging, or entertainment. Peremptory, commanding, decisive. Availed, was of use, had effect. Ally, a confederate, one who unites with another in some purpose. Tense, strained to stiffness, rigid. Relaxed, loosened. Chiding, scolding, rebuking. Crochet, a perverse fancy, a whim. Instanced, mentioned as an example.



Spring, with that nameless pathos in the air
Which dwells with all things fair—
Spring, with her golden sun and silver rain,
Is with us once again!

Out in the woods the jasmine burns
Its fragrant lamps, and turns
Into a royal court, with green festoons,
The banks of dark lagoons:
In the deep heart of every forest tree
The blood is all a-glee;
And there's a look about the leafless bowers
As if they dreamed of flowers.

Already, here and there, on frailest stems
Appear some azure gems,
Small as might deck, upon a gala day,
The forehead of a fay.
In gardens you may note amid the dearth,
The crocus breaking earth,
And, near the snowdrop's tender white and green,
The violet in its screen.

But many gleams and shadows needs must pass
Along the budding grass,
And weeks go by before the enamored South
Shall kiss the rose's mouth;
Still there's a sense of blossoms yet unborn
In the sweet air of morn:
One almost to see the very street
Grow purple at his feet.

At times a fragrant breeze comes floating by,
And brings, you know not why,
A feeling as when eager crowds await
Before a palace gate
Some wondrous pageant; and you scarce would start
If, from a beech's heart,
A blue-eyed Dryad, stepping forth, should say,
"Behold me! I am May!"



The partisan had managed admirably, but he was now compelled to fly. The advantage of the ground was no longer with him. Tarleton, with his entire force, had now passed through the avenue, and had appeared in the open court in front. The necessity of rapid flight became apparent to Singleton, and the wild, lively notes of his trumpet were accordingly heard stirring the air at not more than rifle distance from the gathering troop of Tarleton. Bitterly aroused by this seeming audacity,—an audacity to which Tarleton, waging a war hitherto of continual successes, had never been accustomed,—his ire grew into fury.

"What, men! shall these rebels carry it so?" he cried aloud.—"Advance, Captain Barsfield! Advance to the right of the fence with twenty men, and stop not to mark your steps. Advance, sir, and charge forward. You should know the ground by this time. Away!—Captain Kearney, to you wood! Sweep it, sir, with your sabers; and meet in the rear of the garden."

The officers thus commanded moved to the execution of their charges with sufficient celerity. The commands and movements of Major Singleton were much more cool, and not less prompt. He hurried along by his scattered men as they lay here and there covered by this or that bush or tree: "Carry off no bullets that you can spare them, men. Fire as soon as they reach the garden; and when your pieces are clear, take down the hill and mount."

Three minutes did not elapse before the rifles had each poured forth its treasured death; and without pausing to behold the effects of their discharge, each partisan, duly obedient, was on his way, leaping off from cover to cover through the thick woods to the hollow where their horses had been fastened.

The furious Tarleton meanwhile led the way through the garden, the palings of which were torn away to give his cavalry free passage. With a soldier's rage, he hurried forward the pursuit, in a line tolerably direct, after the flying partisans. But Singleton was too good a soldier, and too familiar with the ground, to keep his men in mass in a wild flight through woods becoming denser at every step.

When they had reached a knoll at some little distance beyond the place where his horses had been fastened, he addressed his troop as follows: "We must break here, my men. Each man will take his own path, and we will all scatter as far apart as possible. Make your way, all of you, for the swamp, however, where in a couple of hours you may all be safe.—Lance Frampton, you will ride with me."

Each trooper knew the country, and, accustomed to individual enterprise and the duties of the scout, there was no hardship to the men of Marion in such a separation. On all hands they glided off, and at a far freer pace than when they rode together in a body. A thousand tracks they found in the woods about them, in pursuing which there was now no obstruction, no jostling of brother-horsemen pressing upon the same route. Singleton and his youthful companion darted away at an easy pace into the woods, in which they had scarcely shrouded themselves before they heard the rushing and fierce cries of Tarleton's dragoons.

"Do you remember, Lance," said Singleton to the boy,—"do you remember the chase we had from the Oaks when Proctor pursued us?"

"Yes, sir; and a narrow chance it was when your horse tumbled. I thought they would have caught and killed you then, sir; but I didn't know anything of fighting in the woods then."

"Keep cool, and there's little danger anywhere," responded Singleton. "Men in a hurry are always in danger. To be safe, be steady. But hark! do you not hear them now? Some of them have got upon our track."

"I do hear a noise, sir: there was a dry bush that cracked then."

"And a voice,—that was a shout. Let us stop for a moment and reload. A shot may be wanted."

Coolly dismounting, Singleton proceeded to charge his rifle, which had been slung across his shoulder. His companion did the same. While loading, the former felt a slight pain and stiffness in his left arm: "I am hurt, Lance, I do believe. Look here at my shoulder."

"There's blood, sir; and the coat's cut with a bullet. The bullet's in your arm, sir."

"No, not now. It has been there, I believe, though the wound is slight. There! now mount; we have no time to see to it now."

"That's true, sir, for I hear the horses. And look now, major! There's two of the dragoons coming through the bush, and straight toward us."

"Two only?" said Singleton, again unslinging his rifle. The boy readily understood the movement, and proceeded to do likewise; but he was too late. The shot of Singleton was immediate, and the foremost trooper fell forward from his horse. His companion fled.

"Don't 'light, Lance: keep on. There's only one now, and he won't trouble us. Away, sir!" It was time to speed. The report of the shot and the fall of the dragoon gave a direction to the whole force of the pursuers, whose shouts and cries might now be heard ringing in all directions through the forest behind them.

"They can't reach us, Lance," said Singleton, as they hastened forward. "We shall round that bay in a few seconds, and they will be sure to boggle into it. On, boy, and waste no eyesight in looking behind you. Push on; the bay is before us."

Thus speaking, guiding and encouraging the boy, the fearless partisan kept on. In a few minutes they had rounded the thick bay, and were deeply sheltered in a dense wood well known at that period by a romantic title, which doubtless had its story. "My Lady's Fancy. We are safe now, Lance, and a little rest will do no harm."

The partisan, as he spoke, drew up his horse, threw himself from his back, fastened him to a hanging branch, and, passing down to a hollow where a little brooklet ran trickling along with a gentle murmur, drank deeply of its sweet and quiet waters, which he scooped up with a calabash that hung on a bough above.

Then, throwing himself down under the shadow of the tree, he lay as quietly as if there had been no danger tracking his footsteps, and no deadly enemy still prowling in the neighborhood and hungering for his blood.

—From "Mellichampe."

DEFINITIONS:—Partisan, any one of a body of light troops, designed to carry on a desultory warfare. Audacity, daring spirit. Knoll, a little round hill. Shrouded, hidden. Calabash, a dry gourd scooped out.

NOTES.—Marion's Men. During the Revolution, General Francis Marion was in command of a body of partisan soldiers known by the above title. They were for the most part poorly clad and equipped, but their bravery, self-denial, and patriotism enabled them to do good service in the cause of freedom. Their deeds have been commemorated in Bryant's well-known poem, the first stanza of which is as follows:—

  "Our band is few, but true and tried,
     Our leader frank and bold;
   The British soldier trembles
     When Marion's name is told."

Tarleton. Colonel Tarleton was in command of a portion of the British forces in South Carolina during the Revolution. He was an able, brave, but merciless soldier.



Hamelin town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin, what a pity!


They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles.
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.


At last the people in a body
To the town hall came flocking:
"'Tis clear," cried they, "our mayor's a noddy;
And as for our corporation—shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin!
Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we're lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!"
At this the mayor and corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.


An hour they sat in council;
At length the mayor broke silence
"For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;
I wish I were a mile hence!
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain—
I'm sure my poor head aches again,
I've scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!"
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap!
"Bless us," cried the mayor, "what's that?"
(With the corporation as he sat
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous),
"Only a scraping of shoes on the mat
Anything like the sound of a rat
Slakes my heart go pit-a-pat!"


"Come in!"—the mayor cried, looking bigger:
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red,
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in;
There was no guessing his kith and kin:
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one: "It's as my great-grandsire,
Starting up at the trump of doom's tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!"


He advanced to the council table:
And, "Please your honors," said he, "I'm able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep or swim or fly or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
The mole and toad and newt and viper;
And people call me the Pied Piper."
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
To match with his coat of the selfsame check;
And at the scarf's end hung a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
Over his vesture so old-fangled.)
"Yet," said he, "poor piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham,
Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampire bats:
And as for what your brain bewilders,
If I can rid your town of rats
Will you give me a thousand guilders?"
"One? fifty thousand!"—was the exclamation
Of the astonished mayor and corporation.


Into the street the piper stepped
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,
Like a candle flame where salt is sprinkled;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives—
Followed the piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser,
Wherein all plunged and perished!
—Save one who, stout as Julius Caesar,
Swam across and lived to carry
To rat-land home his commentary:
Which was, "At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
Into a cider-press's gripe:
And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards,
And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks,
And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks:
And it seemed as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery
Is breathed) called out, 'Oh rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!
So munch on, crunch on, take your nunchion,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!'
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
All ready staved, like a great sun shone
Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Just as methought it said, 'Come, bore me!'
—I found the Weser rolling o'er me."


You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple.
"Go, cried the mayor, "and get long poles,
Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
Consult with carpenters and builders,
And leave in our town not even a trace
Of the rats!" when suddenly, up the face
Of the piper perked in the market place,
With a "First, if you please, my thousand guilders!"


A thousand guilders! The mayor looked blue;
So did the corporation too.
To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
"Beside," quoth the mayor with a knowing wink.
"Our business was done at the river's brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what's dead can't come to life, I think.
So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink
From the duty of giving you something for drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty.
A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!"


The piper's face fell, and he cried,
"No trifling! I can't wait. Beside,
I've promised to visit by dinner time
Bagdat, and accept the prime
Of the head cook's pottage, all he's rich in,
For having left, in the caliph's kitchen,
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor:
With him I proved no bargain driver,
With you, don't think I'll bate a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe after another fashion."


"How?" cried the mayor, "d'ye think I brook
Being worse treated than a cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst!"


Once more he stepped into the street
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as yet musician's cunning
Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering
Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farmyard when barley is scattering
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.


The mayor was dumb, and the council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
Unable to move a step, or cry
To the children merrily skipping by,
—Could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the piper's back.
But how the mayor was on the rack,
And the wretched council's bosoms beat,
As the piper turned from the High Street
To where the Weser rolled its waters
Right in the way of their sons and daughters
However he turned from South to West,
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
And after him the children pressed;
Great was the joy in every breast.
"He never can cross that mighty top!
He's forced to let the piping drop,
And we shall see our children stop!"
When, lo, as they reached the mountain side,
A wonderous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed;
And the piper advanced and the children followed,
And when all were in to the very last,
The door in the mountain side shut fast.
Did I say, all? No! One was lame,
And could not dance the whole of the way;
And in after years, if you would blame
His sadness, he was used to say,—
"It's dull in our town since my playmates left!
I can't forget that I'm bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the piper also promised me.
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed and fruit trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outrun our fallow deer,
And honeybees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles' wings:
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!"


Also, alas, for Hamelin!
  There came into many a burgher's pate
  A text which says that heaven's gate
  Opes to the rich at as easy rate
As the needle's eye takes a camel in!
The mayor sent East, West, North, and South,
To offer the piper, by word of mouth,
  Whatever it was men's lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart's content,
If he'd only return the way he went,
And bring the children behind him.
But when they saw 'twas a lost endeavor,
And piper and dancers were gone forever,
They made a decree that lawyers never
  Should think their records dated duly
If, after the day of the month and year,
These words did not as well appear,
 "And so long after what happened here
  On the twenty-second of July,
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six:"
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children's last retreat,
They called it the Pied Piper's Street,
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labor.
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
  To shock with mirth a street so solemn;
But opposite the place of the cavern
  They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away,
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That in Transylvania there's a tribe
Of alien people who ascribe
The outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbors lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterranean prison
Into which they were trepanned
Long time ago in a mighty band
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why, they don't understand.


So, Willy, let me and you be wipers
Of scores out with all men—especially pipers!
And whether they pipe us FROM rats or FROM mice,
If we've promised them aught, let us keep our promise.

DEFINITIONS:—Corporation, city government. Ermine, furs used for lining the robes of mayors and other high officials. Guilder, a silver coin worth about 40 cents. Adept, one fully skilled in anything. Nunchion, the same as luncheon. Puncheon, a cask containing 84 gallons. Poke, pocket. Caliph, a Mohammedan ruler. Stiver, a Dutch coin worth about two cents. Burgher, a citizen of the town.

EXERCISE. In your geographies find all the places named in this poem.


Arthur, Timothy S. An American writer, born near Newburgh, New York, in 1809. Most of his life was passed in Baltimore and Philadelphia. He wrote more than a hundred volumes, nearly all of which are now forgotten. His best-known work is a temperance tale entitled "Ten Nights in a Bar-room." He died in 1885.

Browning, Robert. An English poet, born near London in 1812. He
was educated at London University, and spent most of his life in
Italy. He was the author of many volumes of poetry. He died at
Venice in 1889.

Bryant, William Cullen. An American poet, born at Cummington, Massachusetts, in 1794; died in New York in 1878. His poems relate for the most part to subjects connected with the woods and fields and the beauties of nature. For fifty years he was the editor of the New York Evening Post.

Burroughs, John. An American writer, born at Roxbury, New York, in 1837. His writings include many delightful essays on out-door subjects. Among his best books are "Wake-Robin," Birds and Poets," "Winter Sunshine," and "Fresh Fields."

Cooke, John Esten. An American writer, born at Winchester, Virginia, in 1830. Among his works are a number of interesting stories and sketches of life in Virginia. He died in 1886.

Cutter, George W. An American writer, whose home was in
Washington, D.C. His most popular work is the short poem entitled
"The Song of Steam." He was born in 1801; died in 1865.

Dickens, Charles. One of the most famous of English novelists, born at Landport, near Portsmouth, England, in 1812. His greatest novel is "David Copperfield," but some of his most pleasing work is found in the "Pickwick Papers." Among his other writings are "The Old Curiosity Shop," "Dombey and Son," "Martin Chuzzlewit," and "Nicholas Nickleby." His "Christmas Carol" and other Christmas stories are delightful reading. He died at Gadshill in 1870.

Dodge, Mary Napes. An American author, born at New York in 1838. She has been the editor of St. Nicholas since its beginning in 1875, and has written several charming stories for children.

Drummond, Henry. A Scottish clergyman, author, and naturalist. His most popular work is "Tropical Africa"; but he also wrote many sermons, essays, and religious books. He died in 1897.

Elizabeth, Charlotte. An English writer, Charlotte Elizabeth Browne Tonna, born at Norwich in 1790. She wrote some novels, and several tracts on religious subjects, and was editor of the Christian Lady's Magazine, but her works are now seldom read. She died in 1846.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. A famous American writer and philosopher, born at Boston in 1803; died in 1882. His works are included in fourteen volumes of essays, poems, and criticisms.

Everett, Edward. An American statesman and orator, born in
Massachusetts in 1794; died in 1865.

Field, Eugene. A popular American journalist and poet, born in
Missouri in 1850, died at Chicago in 1896. His best poems are
contained in the volumes entitled "Love Songs of Childhood" and
"A Little Book of Western Verse."

Fields, James T. An American publisher and author, born at
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1817. He wrote a little poetry, and
a few well-known prose works, among which his "Yesterdays with
Authors" is the best. He died at Boston in 1881.

Flagg, Ellen H. An American writer of verses, whose home was in the South. Her best-known production is "The Blue and the Gray."

Froude, James Anthony. An English writer, born in Devonshire in 1818. His writings relate chiefly to historical subjects, and include a "History of England" and "Short Studies on Great Subjepts," both of which are works of the highest order. He died in 1894.

Gallagher, William D. An American journalist born in Pennsylvania in 1808. The greater part of his life was spent in Kentucky, and his best poems relate to Western and Southern subjects. He died in 1894.

Gilder, Richard Watson. An American editor and poet, born at Bordentown, New Jersey, in 1844. He was for many years the editor of Lee Century Magazine. His works are collected in a volume entitled "Five Books of Song."

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. One of the greatest of American prose writers, born at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804. Besides writing some famous novels, he.was,the author of "The Wonder Book," "Tanglewood Tales," and "Grandfather's Chair," delightful books for children. He died at Plymouth, New Hampshire, in 1864.

Hughes, Thomas. An English writer, born near Newbury in 1823. He is well known in this country as the author of "Tom Brown's School Days at Rugby," an excellent book for boys. He died in 1896.

Key, Francis Scott. An American lawyer and author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," was born in Maryland in 1779; died in 1843.

La Coste, Marie. An American writer whose home was in the South.
She is remembered for the single poem, "Somebody's Darling"

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. One of the greatest of American poets, born at Portland, Maine, in 1807. He held for some years the professorship of Modern Languages in Bowdoin College, and later a similar professorship in Harvard College. Many of his poems are well known to all young readers. He died in Cambridge in 1882.

Mackay, Charles. A Scottish poet, born at Perth in 1814. He was editor of the Illustrated London News for several years, and wrote three or four volumes of poems. He died in London in 1889.

Macdonald, George. A Scottish writer, born at Huntly, Scotland, in 1824. He was the author of a number of popular novels, of several books for the young, and of two or three works on religious subjects.

Michelet, Jules. A famous French historian and miscellaneous writer, born in Paris in 1798. He died in 1872.

Mitford, Mary Russell. An English author, born in Hampshire in 1787. She wrote several dramas and poems besides numerous stories for children. Her most popular work is "Our Village." She died in 1855.

Musick, John R. An American writer born in Missouri in 1849; died in 1901. He was the author of several works relating to American history.

Moodie, Susanna. An English author, born in 1803. She was the sister of the noted historical writer, Agnes Strickland. Her best book is "Roughing it in the Bush," a record of experiences in the backwoods of Canada. She died in 1885.

Peck, Samuel Minturn. An American author, born at Tuskaloosa, Alabama, in 1854. He has written several popular songs and some stories.

Procter, Adelaide Anne. An English poet, daughter of Bryan Waller Procter, born in London in 1825. She wrote one volume of poems, entitled, "Legends and Lyrics." She died in 1864.

Riley, James Whitcomb. An American poet, born at Greenfield,
Indiana, in 1853. Much of his poetry is In Western dialect. He
was author of "Rhymes of Childhood," "Afterwhiles," "A Child
World," "Neighborly Poems," and several other volumes of verses.

Sangster, Margaret E. An American author and journalist, born in New Rochelle, New York, in 1838, has written many volumes on social and religious subjects besides several books of verses.

Save, John Godfrey. An American poet, born at Highgate, Vermont, in 1816. Most of his poems are humorous, and have been very popular. He died at Albany, New York, 1887.

Simms, William Gilmore (page 248). An American writer, born at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1806. He wrote several novels, most of them relating to life in the South. He was also the author of a volume of poems, and of a history of South Carolina. He died in 1870.

Stockton, Frank R.. An American writer, born at Philadelphia in 1834. Among his books for children are "Roundabout Rambles" and "Tales out of School:" He has also written a number of novels and several volumes of shorter stories for grown-up people.

Tennyson, Alfred. One of the greatest of English poets, born in Lincolnshire in 1809. He was made poet-laureate in 1850. Many of his poems are well known to young readers' and very popular. He died in 1892.

Thaxter, Celia Leighton. An American writer, born at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1835. She wrote "Among the Isles of Shoals," and some other volumes of prose, but is remembered chiefly for her "Poems for Children." She died in 1894.

Timrod, Henry. An American poet, born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1829. His poems, published in a single volume, have been much admired. He died in 1867.

Todd, John. An American clergyman and author, born at Rutland,
Vermont, in 1800. He wrote "Lectures for Children" and the
"Student's Manual," books once popular, but now almost. He died
at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1873.

Trowbridge, John Townsend. An American writer, born at Ogden, New York, in 1827. He was the author of a large number of popular books for boys, besides several volumes of poetry and some successful novels.

Warner, Charles Dudley. An American author, born at Plainfield, Massachusetts, in 1829. He was the author of many volumes of essays and sketches, and of "Being a Boy," a book for younger readers. He died in 1900.

Woodworth, Samuel. An American author and editor, born at Scituate, Massachusetts, in 1785. He wrote several poems, but he is remembered chiefly as the writer of "The Old Oaken Bucket." He died at New York in 1842.

End Project Gutenberg etext of The New McGuffey First Reader