WEEK 32 |
WHEN Dorothy awoke the sun was shining through the trees and Toto had long been out chasing birds and squirrels. She sat up and looked around her. There was the Scarecrow, still standing patiently in his corner, waiting for her.
"We must go and search for water," she said to him.
"Why do you want water?" he asked.
"To wash my face clean after the dust of the road, and to drink, so the dry bread will not stick in my throat."
"It must be inconvenient to be made of flesh," said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully; "for you must sleep, and eat and drink. However, you have brains, and it is worth a lot of bother to be able to think properly."
They left the cottage and walked through the trees until they found a little spring of clear water, where Dorothy drank and bathed and ate her breakfast. She saw there was not much bread left in the basket, and the girl was thankful the Scarecrow did not have to eat anything, for there was scarcely enough for herself and Toto for the day.
When she had finished her meal, and was about to go back to the road of yellow brick, she was startled to hear a deep groan near by.
"What was that?" she asked, timidly.
"I cannot imagine," replied the Scarecrow; "but we can go and see."
Just then another groan reached their ears, and the sound seemed to come from behind them. They turned and walked through the forest a few steps, when Dorothy discovered something shining in a ray of sunshine that fell between the trees. She ran to the place, and then stopped short, with a cry of surprise.
One of the big trees had been partly chopped through, and standing beside it, with an uplifted axe in his hands, was a man made entirely of tin. His head and arms and legs were jointed upon his body, but he stood perfectly motionless, as if he could not stir at all.
Dorothy looked at him in amazement, and so did the Scarecrow, while Toto barked sharply and made a snap at the tin legs, which hurt his teeth.
"Did you groan?" asked Dorothy.
"Yes," answered the tin man; "I did. I've been groaning for more than a year, and no one has ever heard me before or come to help me."
"What can I do for you?" she enquired, softly, for she was moved by the sad voice in which the man spoke.
"Get an oil-can and oil my joints," he answered. "They are rusted so badly that I cannot move them at all; if I am well oiled I shall soon be all right again. You will find an oil-can on a shelf in my cottage."
Dorothy at once ran back to the cottage and found the oil-can, and then she returned and asked, anxiously,
"Where are your joints?"
"Oil my neck, first," replied the Tin Woodman. So she oiled it, and as it was quite badly rusted the Scarecrow took hold of the tin head and moved it gently from side to side until it worked freely, and then the man could turn it himself.
"Now oil the joints in my arms," he said. And Dorothy oiled them and the Scarecrow bent them carefully until they were quite free from rust and as good as new.
The Tin Woodman gave a sigh of satisfaction and lowered his axe, which he leaned against the tree.
"This is a great comfort," he said. "I have been holding that axe in the air ever since I rusted, and I'm glad to be able to put it down at last. Now, if you will oil the joints of my legs, I shall be all right once more."
So they oiled his legs until he could move them freely; and he thanked them again and again for his release, for he seemed a very polite creature, and very grateful.
"I might have stood there always if you had not come along," he said; "so you have certainly saved my life. How did you happen to be here?"
"We are on our way to the Emerald City, to see the great Oz," she answered, "and we stopped at your cottage to pass the night."
"Why do you wish to see Oz?" he asked.
"I want him to send me back to Kansas; and the Scarecrow wants him to put a few brains into his head," she replied.
The Tin Woodman appeared to think deeply for a moment. Then he said:
"Do you suppose Oz could give me a heart?"
"Why, I guess so," Dorothy answered; "it would be as easy as to give the Scarecrow brains."
[Illustration: "_'This is a great comfort,' said the Tin Woodman._"]
"True," the Tin Woodman returned. "So, if you will allow me to join your party, I will also go to the Emerald City and ask Oz to help me."
"Come along," said the Scarecrow, heartily; and Dorothy added that she would be pleased to have his company. So the Tin Woodman shouldered his axe and they all passed through the forest until they came to the road that was paved with yellow brick.
The Tin Woodman had asked Dorothy to put the oil-can in her basket. "For," he said, "if I should get caught in the rain, and rust again, I would need the oil-can badly."
It was a bit of good luck to have their new comrade join the party, for soon after they had begun their journey again they came to a place where the trees and branches grew so thick over the road that the travellers could not pass. But the Tin Woodman set to work with his axe and chopped so well that soon he cleared a passage for the entire party.
Dorothy was thinking so earnestly as they walked along that she did not notice when the Scarecrow stumbled into a hole and rolled over to the side of the road. Indeed, he was obliged to call to her to help him up again.
"Why didn't you walk around the hole?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"I don't know enough," replied the Scarecrow, cheerfully. "My head is stuffed with straw, you know, and that is why I am going to Oz to ask him for some brains."
"Oh, I see;" said the Tin Woodman. "But, after all, brains are not the best things in the world."
"Have you any?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"No, my head is quite empty," answered the Woodman; "but once I had brains, and a heart also; so, having tried them both, I should much rather have a heart."
"And why is that?" asked the Scarecrow.
"I will tell you my story, and then you will know."
So, while they were walking through the forest, the Tin Woodman told the following story:
"I was born the son of a woodman who chopped down trees in the forest and sold the wood for a living. When I grew up I too became a wood-chopper, and after my father died I took care of my old mother as long as she lived. Then I made up my mind that instead of living alone I would marry, so that I might not become lonely.
"There was one of the Munchkin girls who was so beautiful that I soon grew to love her with all my heart. She, on her part, promised to marry me as soon as I could earn enough money to build a better house for her; so I set to work harder than ever. But the girl lived with an old woman who did not want her to marry anyone, for she was so lazy she wished the girl to remain with her and do the cooking and the housework. So the old woman went to the wicked Witch of the East, and promised her two sheep and a cow if she would prevent the marriage. Thereupon the wicked Witch enchanted my axe, and when I was chopping away at my best one day, for I was anxious to get the new house and my wife as soon as possible, the axe slipped all at once and cut off my left leg.
"This at first seemed a great misfortune, for I knew a one-legged man could not do very well as a wood-chopper. So I went to a tin-smith and had him make me a new leg out of tin. The leg worked very well, once I was used to it; but my action angered the wicked Witch of the East, for she had promised the old woman I should not marry the pretty Munchkin girl. When I began chopping again my axe slipped and cut off my right leg. Again I went to the tinner, and again he made me a leg out of tin. After this the enchanted axe cut off my arms, one after the other; but, nothing daunted, I had them replaced with tin ones. The wicked Witch then made the axe slip and cut off my head, and at first I thought that was the end of me. But the tinner happened to come along, and he made me a new head out of tin.
"I thought I had beaten the wicked Witch then, and I worked harder than ever; but I little knew how cruel my enemy could be. She thought of a new way to kill my love for the beautiful Munchkin maiden, and made my axe slip again, so that it cut right through my body, splitting me into two halves. Once more the tinner came to my help and made me a body of tin, fastening my tin arms and legs and head to it, by means of joints, so that I could move around as well as ever. But, alas! I had now no heart, so that I lost all my love for the Munchkin girl, and did not care whether I married her or not. I suppose she is still living with the old woman, waiting for me to come after her.
"My body shone so brightly in the sun that I felt very proud of it and it did not matter now if my axe slipped, for it could not cut me. There was only one danger—that my joints would rust; but I kept an oil-can in my cottage and took care to oil myself whenever I needed it. However, there came a day when I forgot to do this, and, being caught in a rainstorm, before I thought of the danger my joints had rusted, and I was left to stand in the woods until you came to help me. It was a terrible thing to undergo, but during the year I stood there I had time to think that the greatest loss I had known was the loss of my heart. While I was in love I was the happiest man on earth; but no one can love who has not a heart, and so I am resolved to ask Oz to give me one. If he does, I will go back to the Munchkin maiden and marry her."
Both Dorothy and the Scarecrow had been greatly interested in the story of the Tin Woodman, and now they knew why he was so anxious to get a new heart.
"All the same," said the Scarecrow, "I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one."
"I shall take the heart," returned the Tin Woodman; "for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world."
Dorothy did not say anything, for she was puzzled to know which of her two friends was right, and she decided if she could only get back to Kansas and Aunt Em it did not matter so much whether the Woodman had no brains and the Scarecrow no heart, or each got what he wanted.
What worried her most was that the bread was nearly gone, and another meal for herself and Toto would empty the basket. To be sure neither the Woodman nor the Scarecrow ever ate anything, but she was not made of tin nor straw, and could not live unless she was fed.
The lightning and thunder,
They go and they come,
But the stars and the stillness
Are always at home.
WEEK 32 |
VERYBODY in the United States has heard the song about the
Key was a young lawyer. In the War of 1812 he fought with the American army. The British landed soldiers in Maryland. At Bladensburg they fought and beat the Americans. Key was in this battle on the American side.
After the battle the British army took Washington, and burned the public buildings. Key had a friend who was taken prisoner by the British. He was on one of the British ships. Key went to the ships with a flag of truce. A flag of truce is a white flag. It is carried in war when one side sends a message to the other.
When Key got to the British ships, they were sailing to Baltimore. They were going to try to take Baltimore. The British commander would not let Key go back. He was afraid that he would let the Americans know where the ships were going.
Key was kept a kind of prisoner while the ships attacked Baltimore. The ships tried to take the city by firing at it from the water. The British army tried to take the city on the land side.
The ships did their worst firing at night. They tried to take the little fort near the city.
Key could see the battle. He watched the little fort. He was afraid that the men in it would give up. He was afraid that the fort would be broken down by the cannon balls.
The British fired bomb-shells and rockets at the
fort. When these
burst, they made a light. By this light Key could see that the little
fort was still standing. He could see the flag still waving over it.
He tells this in his song in these
"And the rocket's red glare,
the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there."
But after many hours of fighting the British became discouraged. They found that they could not take the city. The ships almost ceased to fire.
Key did not know whether the fort had been knocked down or not. He
could not see whether the flag was still flying or not. He thought
that the Americans might have given up. He felt what he wrote in
"Oh! say, does that star-
spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free,
and the home of the brave?"
When the break of day came, Key looked toward the fort. It was still
standing. There was a flag flying over it. It grew lighter. He could
that it was the American flag. His feelings are told in two lines
" 'Tis the star spangled banner,
Oh, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free,
and the home of the brave!"
Key was full of joy. He took an old letter from his pocket. The back
of this letter had no writing on it. Here he wrote the song about the
The British commander now let Key go ashore. When he got to Baltimore, he wrote out his song. He gave it to a friend. This friend took it to a printing office. But the printers had all turned soldiers. They had all gone to defend the city.
There was one boy left in the office. He knew how to print. He took the verses and printed them on a broad sheet of paper.
The printed song was soon in the hands of the soldiers around
Baltimore. It was sung in the
streets. It was sung in the theaters.
It traveled all over the country. Everybody learned to
"Then conquer we must,
for our cause it is just;
And this be our
'In God is our
in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free,
and the home of the brave."
There is in my old
A page at which I like to look,
Where knights and squires come riding down
The cobbles of some steep old town,
And ladies from beneath the eaves
Flutter their bravest handkerchiefs,
Or, smiling proudly, toss down gages . . .
But that was in the Middle Ages.
It wouldn't happen now; but still,
Whenever I look up the hill
Where, dark against the green and blue,
The firs come marching, two by two,
I wonder if perhaps I might
See suddenly a shining knight
Winding his way from blue to
Exactly as it would have been
Those many, many years ago. . . .
Perhaps I might. You never know.
WEEK 32 |
HE span of Bays were talking together in their
stalls, and the other Horses were
listening. That was one trouble with living in
the barn, you could not say anything
"I am worried about the
"Well," said his aunt, "you know he is teething, and that may be the reason."
"That is no excuse," said his mother sternly. "He has been teething ever since he was five days old, and he will not cut his last tooth for three years yet. I don't call it goodness to keep from cribbing when you don't want to crib, and the time to stop is now. Besides, if he waits until he has all his teeth, he won't be able to break himself of the habit when he does try."
"That is so," said his aunt, "and he will ruin his teeth, too."
"Pooh!" exclaimed the Bay Colt, who had heard what they were saying. "I can stop whenever I want to, and they're my own teeth, anyway. It isn't anybody's else business if I do ruin them."
"There!" said his mother to his aunt, "you see what I mean. That is just the way he talks all the time. Now what would you do?"
"Let him alone," snorted the Dappled Gray. "Let him alone, and he will get some Horse sense after he has been broken. He'll have a hard time of it, but he'll come out all right."
The Bay Colt kicked against the side of the stall, he was so vexed. "I'll thank you to let me alone," said he. "I don't see why everybody tells me what I ought to do. Guess I know a thing or two."
"I'll tell you why," said the Dappled Gray, in a
voice that sounded as though he
were trying very hard not to lose his temper. "It
is because you are young and we
like you, and we can save you trouble if you mind
what we tell you. I had lost the
black pits in my front teeth before you were born,
and when a Horse has lived long
enough to lose the black pits from his teeth, he
knows a good deal. You don't know
The Bay Colt tossed his head and did not answer.
When he was led out to drink, the
For a few days after this, the Bay Colt had a very
good time. Nobody gave him any
advice, and even when he gnawed at the edge of the
manger, his mother did not seem
to notice it. After he found that she
anything, he didn't gnaw, or
crib, so much. He was such a foolish and contrary
young fellow that when people
told him not to do a thing, he always wanted to do
that thing worse than
anything else in the world. His cousin, the
The Bay Colt was very fond of his cousin, but he
did like to tease her, and once in
the fall, before they came to stay in the barn, he
called her a
"I don't care," said her cousin. "I'm going
anyway, and you can stay at home if you
The next morning the Bay Colt was in the pasture
again. The farmer and his man had
found him far away and led him back. "I had a
fine time," he said to his cousin,
"and I don't feel a bit mean. I'm going again
The next morning when the Gray Colt saw him, he
had a queer wooden thing around his
neck, and fastened to this was a pole that stuck
out ahead of him. It tired his
neck and bothered him when he wanted to run. If
he had tried to jump the fence, it
would have thrown him down. When the
The Gray Colt was too polite to say anything about
his wearing the poke, and she
talked about the grass, the sky, the trees, and
everything else she could think of.
Once she was about to speak of the fence, and then
she remembered and stopped short.
"It's too bad," whinnied the Gray Colt. "I'm very sorry for you."
"And what do you think?" said the
"I heard the
This was all in the fall, before the cold weather
had sent them to live in the barn,
and while the
You know there are some Colts who learn obedience easily, and there are others who have one hard struggle to stop jumping, and another to stop cribbing, and another to stop kicking, and so on, all through their Colthood. The older Horses are sorry for them and try to help them, for they know that neither Colt nor Horse can really enjoy life until he is trying to do right. To be sure, people sometimes do wrong even then, but if they will take advice and keep on trying they are certain to turn out well.
And now, when the Bay Colt seemed to have forgotten the lesson he had in the fall, and after he had told the other Horses to let him alone, very strange things began to happen. The farmer took him from his stall and made him open his mouth. Then a piece of iron was slipped into it, which lay on top of his tongue and fitted into the place on each side of his jaw where there were no teeth. Long lines were fastened to this iron on either side, and when he tossed his head and sidled around, these lines were gently pulled by the farmer and the iron bit pressed down his tongue.
The farmer was very kind, but the Bay Colt did not
want the bit in his mouth, so he
acted as ugly as he knew how, and kicked, and
snapped with his jaws open, and tried
to run. The farmer did not grow angry or cross,
yet whenever the
He missed the Gray Colt from her usual place, but soon she came in with one of the farmer's men. She had been driven for the first time also.
"Hallo!" said he. "Have you had a bit in your mouth too? Wasn't it dreadful? I am so angry that my hoofs fairly tingle to hit that farmer."
"It was hard," said the Gray Colt, "but the man who drove me was very kind and let me rest often. He patted me, too, and that helped me to be brave. My mother says we won't mind the bit at all after we are used to it."
"Well," said the Bay Colt, "I'm never going to be
used to it. I won't stand it, and
that's all there is about it." He stamped his
hoofs and looked very important.
Two-year-olds often look quite as important as
ten-year-olds, and they feel much
more so. The
When he said that he would not stand it to be
driven, a queer little sound ran
through the stalls. It was like the wind passing
over a wheatfield, and was caused
by the older Horses taking a long breath and
whispering to themselves. The
The next day both Colts were driven again, and the
next day, and the next, and the
next. By this time the
Her cousin had a sore mouth from jerking on the lines.
When the Gray Colt learned to walk steadily and turn as her driver wished, she was allowed to draw a light log through the furrows of a field. This tired her, but it made her very proud, and she arched her neck and took the daintiest of steps. It was not necessary that the log should be drawn over the field; still, she did not know this, and thought it was real work, when it was done only to teach her to pull. The man who was driving her patted her neck and held her nose in his hand. When he stopped to eat an apple, he gave her the core, and she thought she had never tasted anything so good. As she went back to her stall, she called to the Horses near, "I have been working. I have drawn a log all around a field."
The Blind Horse spoke softly to her. "You will have a happy life, my dear, because you are a willing worker."
Although the Bay Colt didn't say anything, he
thought a great deal, and about many
things. While he was thinking he
crib, but the noise of his biting
teeth on the wood startled him, and he shook his
head and whispered to himself, "I
will never crib again." When he ate his supper,
his sore mouth hurt him, but he
"You deserve it," he said to
himself. "It wouldn't have been sore if
you had been steady like your cousin."
The Dappled Gray had noticed how suddenly he
stopped cribbing, and so watched him
for a few days. He saw that the
"Perfect," answered the Bay Colt. "Did you notice the last furrow we turned? Can you do any better than that? If I had jumped, it would have been crooked instead of straight; and if I had stopped, it would not be done yet."
"Good furrow! Wonderful furrow!" answered the
Dappled Gray. "Always knew you'd be
a good worker when you got down to it. You are
one of us now, one of the working
Horses. Glad of it.
"Do you like being grown up?" said the Bay Colt's mother to him.
"Like it?" he answered with a laugh. "I'm so proud that I don't know what to do. I wouldn't go back to the old life of all play for anything in the world. And my little cousin made me see my mistakes. Was there ever another Colt as foolish as I?"
"A great many of them," said his mother. "More than you would guess. They kick and bite and try to run because they cannot always have their own way; and then, when they have tried the farmer's way, and begin to pay for his care of them, they find it very much better than the life of all play. Colts will be Colts."
I saw a ship that sailed the sea.
It left me as the sun went down.
The white birds flew and followed it
To town—to London town.
Right sad were we to stand alone
And see it pass away;
And yet we knew some ship would come—
Some other ship—some other day.
WEEK 32 |
E PAMINONDAS used to go to see his Auntie 'most every day, and she nearly always gave him something to take home to his Mammy.
One day she gave him a big piece of cake; nice, yellow, rich gold-cake.
Epaminondas took it in his fist and held it all scrunched up tight, like this, and came along home.
By the time he got home
there wasn't anything left but a
fistful of crumbs. His Mammy
"What you got there, Epaminondas?"
"Cake, Mammy," said Epaminondas.
"Cake!" said his Mammy. "Epaminondas, you ain't got the sense you was born with! That's no way to carry cake. The way to carry cake is to wrap it all up nice in some leaves and put it in your hat, and put your hat on your head, and come along home. You hear me, Epaminondas?"
"Yes, Mammy," said Epaminondas.
Next day Epaminondas went to see his Auntie, and she gave him a pound of butter for his Mammy—fine, fresh, sweet butter.
Epaminondas wrapped it up in leaves and put it in his hat, and put his hat on his head, and came along home.
It was a very hot day. Pretty soon the butter began to melt. It melted, and melted, and as it melted it ran down Epaminondas' forehead; then it ran over his face, and in his ears, and down his neck.
When he got home, all the butter Epaminondas had was on him. His Mammy looked at him, and then she said:
"Law's sake! Epaminondas, what you got in your hat?"
"Butter, Mammy," said Epaminondas; "Auntie gave it to me."
"Butter!" said his Mammy. "Epaminondas, you ain't got the sense you was born with! Don't you know that's no way to carry butter? The way to carry butter is to wrap it up in some leaves and take it down to the brook, and cool it in the water, and cool it in the water, and cool it in the water, and then take it on your hands, careful, and bring it along home."
"Yes, Mammy," said Epaminondas.
By and by, another day, Epaminondas went to see his Auntie again, and this time she gave him a little new puppy-dog to take home.
Epaminondas put it in some leaves and took it down to the brook; and there he cooled it in the water, and cooled it in the water, and cooled it in the water; then he took it in his hands and came along home.
When he got home, the puppy-dog was almost dead. His Mammy looked at it, and she said:
"Law's sake! Epaminondas, what you got there?"
"A puppy-dog, Mammy," said Epaminondas.
"A puppy-dog!" said his Mammy. "My gracious sakes alive, Epaminondas, you ain't got the sense you was born with! That ain't the way to carry a puppy-dog! The way to carry a puppy-dog is to take a long piece of string and tie one end of it round the puppy-dog's neck and put the puppy-dog on the ground, and take hold of the other end of the string and come along home, like this."
"All right, Mammy," said Epaminondas.
Next day, Epaminondas went to see his Auntie again, and when he came to go home she gave him a loaf of bread to carry to his Mammy—a brown, fresh, crusty loaf of bread.
So Epaminondas tied a string around the end of the loaf and took hold of the end of the string and came along home, like this.
When he got home his Mammy looked at the thing on the end of the string, and she said:
"My laws a-massy! Epaminondas, what you got on the end of that string?"
"Bread, Mammy," said Epaminondas; "Auntie gave it to me."
"Bread!!!" said his Mammy. "O Epaminondas, Epaminondas, you ain't got the sense you was born with; you never did have the sense you was born with; you never will have the sense you was born with! Now I ain't gwine tell you any more ways to bring truck home.
And don't you go see your Auntie, neither. I'll go see her my own self. But I'll just tell you one thing, Epaminondas! You see these here six mince pies I done make? You see how I done set 'em on the doorstep to cool? Well, now, you hear me, Epaminondas, you be careful how you step on those pies!"
"Yes, Mammy," said Epaminondas.
Then Epaminondas' Mammy put on her bonnet and her shawl and took a basket in her hand and went away to see Auntie. The six mince pies sat cooling in a row on the doorstep.
And then,—and then,—Epaminondas was careful how he stepped on those pies!
And, do you know, children, nobody knows what happened next! The person who told me the story didn't know; nobody knows. But you can guess.
Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad on foreign lands.
I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.
I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping in to town.
If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,
To where the roads on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.
WEEK 32 |
"And because right is right, to follow right
Were wisdom, in the scorn of consequence."
NE of the most familiar figures in Athens at this time was that of Socrates, and the story of his life and death,
thrills us with interest
Socrates was a well-known figure in Athens.
But his greatness did not spring from his learning, rather it sprang from his thoughtfulness, and his close observation of his fellow-men. He was a man who hated everything sham, or hollow. He loved truth and justice for their own sake; he loved all that was high, and honourable, and right. He was a well-known figure in Athens, for all day long, he wandered about the streets, now talking with a group of clever men at one of the corners, now speaking to the children, who might care to listen, now arguing with his devoted pupils and disciples.
This great Socrates was strange enough to look at. He was very ugly, with a flat nose and prominent eyes, and he was dressed very shabbily, because he was always poor. When the men of Athens turned on him at the last, and brought him up for trial, £4 was all he had to offer for his life. Wealth, beauty, praise,—these things he despised as unworthy. Truth, justice, courage, honour,—these were the things, that made a man acceptable to his God.
Here is the account of him by his great friend. "At one time we were fellow-soldiers together," he says. "His fortitude in enduring cold was surprising. There was a severe frost, for the winter in that region is really tremendous; and everybody else either remained indoors, or if they went out, had on an amazing quantity of clothes, and were well shod and had their feet swathed in felt and fleeces; in the midst of this, Socrates, with his bare feet on the ice and in his ordinary dress, marched better than the other soldiers who had shoes, and they looked daggers at him because he seemed to despise them."
Such was the man who stood head and shoulders above his fellows. Let us look at him when he is an old man still discoursing, in the streets of Athens. This time he is speaking to two little schoolboys on friendship. He has just been brought into a newly built school.
"Having come in," he says, "we found the boys all in their white array, and games at dice were going on among them. There was also a circle of lookers-on: among them was Lysis. He was standing with the other boys and youths, having a crown upon his head, like a vision, and not less worthy of praise for his goodness than for his beauty. We went over to the opposite side of the room, where we sat down and began to talk. This attracted Lysis, who was constantly turning round to look at us—he was evidently wanting to come to us."
Presently Lysis and a boy friend came and sat down by the old man, and Socrates began talking to them.
"Which of you two youths is the elder?" he asked.
"That is a matter of dispute between us," answered one of the boys.
"And which is the nobler? Is that also a matter of dispute?"
"Yes, certainly," they answered.
"And another disputed point is, which is the fairer?"
The two boys laughed.
"I do not ask which is the richer of the two," he said, "for you are friends, are you not?"
"Certainly," they replied.
"And friends have all things in common, so that one of you can be no richer than the other, if you say truly that you are friends."
In this way the wise old man talked to the boys. But as time went on, the men of Athens did not approve of his teaching. He talked as if there were higher things than sacrificing to the Greek gods, and the Greeks grew alarmed.
The trial and death of Socrates, as it has been written by his beloved pupil Plato, is one of the masterpieces
And the men of Athens condemned him to die.
Fearlessly he speaks to his judges of death.
"Be of good cheer about death," he cries to the crowded court, "and know of a certainty that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life, or after death. The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways—I to die and you to live. Which is better, God only knows."
Every touching detail of the last hours of the master is carefully told by his faithful pupil Plato.
The sun was just setting upon the hills behind Athens, when Socrates took the cup of poison, which was to end his seventy years of work. Friend after friend broke down, and sobs of strong men filled the room as the Greek philosopher lay dying.
"What is this strange outcry?" he asked at last. "I have been told that a man should die in peace. Be quiet, then, and have patience."
And so he died, "of all the men of his time, the wisest and justest and best."
Rushes in a watery place,
And reeds in a hollow;
A soaring skylark in the sky,
A darting swallow;
And where pale blossom used to hang
Ripe fruit to follow.
WEEK 32 |
The first person they stopped to watch was a Juggler doing tricks. It was quite wonderful to see him keep three balls in the air all at the same time, or balance a pole on the end of his nose. But when he took out a frying-pan from behind his stall, and said to the Twins, who were standing right in front of him, "Now, I 'll be after making you a bit of an omelet without any cooking," their eyes were fairly popping out of their heads with surprise.
The Juggler broke an egg into the frying-pan. Then he clapped on the cover, waved the pan in the air, and lifted the cover again. Instead of an omelet there in the frying-pan was a little black chicken crying "Peep, peep," as if it wanted its mother!
The Juggler looked very much surprised himself, and the Twins were simply astonished.
"Will you see that now!" Larry whispered to Eileen. "Sure, if only Old Speckle could be learning that trick, 't would save her a deal of sitting."
"Indeed, then, 't is magic," Eileen answered back, "and there 's no luck in that same! Do you come away now, Larry McQueen, or he might be casting his spells on yourself and turning you into something else entirely, a goat maybe, or a Leprechaun!"
This seemed quite likely to Larry, too, so they slipped hurriedly out under the elbows of the crowd just as the Juggler was in the very act of finding a white rabbit in the crown of his hat. They never stopped running until they found themselves in the middle of a group of people in a distant part of the Fairgrounds.
This crowd had gathered around a rough-looking man with a bundle of papers under his arm. He was waving a leaflet in the air and shouting, "Ladies and Gentlemen—Whist now till I sing you a song of Old Ireland. 'T is the Ballad of the Census Taker!" Then he began to sing in a voice as loud as a clap of thunder. This was the first verse of the song:—
"Oh, they 're taking of the Census
In the country and the town.
Have your children got the measles?
Are your chimneys tumbling down?"
Every one seemed to think this a very funny song and at the end of the second verse they all joined in the chorus. The Ballad Singer sang louder than all the rest of the people put together.
"Musha, the roars of him are like the roars of a giant," Eileen said to Larry. "Indeed, I 'm fearing he 'll burst himself with the noise that 's in him."
The moment the song ended, the Ballad Singer passed the hat, and the crowd began to melt away. "There you go, now," cried the Singer, "lepping away on your two hind legs like scared rabbits! Come along back now, and buy the Ballad of 'The Peeler and the Goat.' Sure, 't is a fine song entirely and one you 'll all be wanting to sing yourselves when once you 've heard it." He seized a young man by the arm. "Walk up and buy a ballad now," he said to him. "Troth, you 've the look of a fine singer yourself, and dear knows what minute you may be needing one, and none handy. Come now, buy before 't is too late."
The young man turned very red. "I don't think I 'll be wanting any ballads," he said, and tried to pull away.
"You don't think!" shouted the Ballad Singer. "Of course, you don't think, you 've nothing whatever to do it with!"
The crowd laughed. The poor young man bought a ballad.
"There now," cried the Singer, "you 're the broth of a boy after all! Who 'll be after buying the next one off of me?"
His eyes lighted on the Twins. They shook in their shoes. "He 'll be clapping one of them on us next," Larry said to Eileen. "We 'd best be going along"; and they crept out of the crowd just as he began to roar out a new song.
An old woman, with a white cap and a shawl over her head and a basket on her arm, smiled at them as they slipped by. She jerked her thumb over her shoulder at the Ballad Singer. "Melodious is the closed mouth," she said.
"Indeed, ma'am, I 've often heard my Mother say so," Eileen answered politely. She curtsied to the old woman.
The old woman looked pleased. "Will you come along with me out of the sound of this—the both of you?" she said. "And I 'll take you to hear things that will keep the memory of Ireland green while there 's an Irishman left in the world."
She led them to a raised platform some distance away. Over the platform there floated a white flag with a green harp on it. The old woman pointed to it. "Do you remember the old harp of Tara?" she said to the Twins. "'T is nowhere else at all now but on the flag, but time was, long, long years ago, when the harp itself was played on Tara's hill. And in those days there were poets to praise Ireland, and singers to sing her songs. And here they will be telling of those days, and singing those songs. Come and listen. 'T is a Feis they 're having, and prizes given for the best tale told, or the best song sung."
The old woman and the Twins made their way to the platform and sat down on a bench near the edge of it. Many other people were sitting or standing about. An old man stood up on the platform. He told the story of Cuchulain — the "Hound of Culain"—and how he fought all the greatest warriors of the world on the day he first took arms.
When he had finished, another man took his place and told the story of Deirdre and Naisi, and another told the fate of the four children of Lir that were turned into four beautiful swans by their cruel stepmother.
And when the stories were finished a prize was given for the best one, and the Twins were glad that it was for the story of Deirdre, for that tale was like an old friend to them.
After that there was music, and the dances of old Ireland—the reel and the lilt. And when last of all came the Irish jig, the old woman put her basket down on the ground.
"Sure, the music is like the springtime in my bones," she said to the Twins. "Bedad. I 'd the foot of the world on me when I was a girl and I can still shake one with the best of them, if I do say it myself."
She put her hands on her hips and began to dance! The music got into everybody else's bones, too, and soon everybody around the platform, and on it, too,—old and young, large and small,—was dancing gayly to the sound of it.
The Twins danced with the rest, and they were having such a good time that they might have forgotten to go home at all if all of a sudden, Larry had n't shaken Eileen's arm and said, "Look there!"
"Where?" Eileen said.
"There!" said Larry. "The rough man with the brown horse."
The moment Eileen saw the man with the brown horse she took Larry's hand and they both ran as fast as they could back to their Father.
"We saw the Tinker!" they cried the moment they saw Mr. McQueen.
"Then we 'd as well be starting home," said Mr. McQueen. "I 'd rather not be meeting the gentleman on the road after dark."
He got Colleen and put her into the cart once more. Then he and the Twins had something to eat. They bought a ginger cake shaped like a rabbit, and another like a man from one of the hawkers, and they bought some sugar sticks, too, and these, with what they had brought from home, made their supper.
Then Mr. McQueen brought out his notched stick. "We've sold the pig," he said, with his finger on the first notch, "and the butter and eggs was the second notch." Then he went over all the other notches. "And besides all else I've bought Herself a shawl," he said to the Twins.
The Twins wanted to get home because the Secret was getting so big inside of them, they knew they could n't possibly hold it in much longer, and they did n't want to let it out until they were at home and could tell their Father and Mother both at the same time. So they said good-bye to Diddy, and Eileen took off the ribbons and kept them to remember her by. Then they hurried away.
It was after dark when at last they drove into the yard. Mrs. McQueen came running to the door to greet them and hear all about the Fair.
Eileen and Larry told her about the prize, and about Lady Kathleen buying the pig, and about seeing the Tinker, while their Father was putting up Colleen.
Then when he came in with all his bundles, and took the three golden sovereigns out of his pocket, to show to the Mother, the Twins could n't keep still another minute. "It 's for you! To pay the rent!" they cried.
The Father and Mother looked at each other. "Now, what are they at all," said Mrs. McQueen, "but the best children in the width of the world? Was n't I after telling you that we 'd make it out somehow? And to think of her being a thoroughbred like that, and we never knowing it at all." She meant the pig!
But Mr. McQueen never said a word. He just gave Larry and Eileen a great hug.
Then Mr. McQueen went over all the errands with his wife, and last of all he brought out the shawl. "There, old woman," he said, "is a fairing for you!"
"The Saints be praised for this day!" cried Mrs. McQueen. "The rent paid, and me with a fine new shawl the equal of any in the parish."
It was a happy family that went to bed in the little farmhouse that night. Only Mrs. McQueen did n't sleep well. She got up a number of times in the night to be sure there were no Tinkers prowling about. "For one can't be too careful with so much money in the house," she said to herself.
How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower.
How skilfully she builds her cell;
How neat she spreads her wax,
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.
In works of labor or of skill
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed;
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.
WEEK 32 |
Exodus xvii: 1, to xxxi: 18.
HILE the Israelites were journeying through the desert they had great trouble from want of water. Between the wells of Elim and Mount Sinai, they found no streams nor springs. Their sheep and men suffered from thirst, and the little children were crying for water. The people came to Moses, and said in great anger:
"Give us water, or we shall die. Why have you brought us up from Egypt to kill us here in the desert?"
And Moses called on God, and said:
"Lord, what shall I do to this people? They are almost ready to stone me in their anger. How can I give them water?"
Then God told Moses what to do; and this was what Moses did:
He brought the people together before a great rock, and with his rod he struck the rock. Then out of the rock came forth a stream of water, which ran like a little river through the camp, and gave them plenty of water for themselves and for their flocks.
Moses strikes the rock.
While they were in camp around this rock at Rephidim the wild people who had their homes in the desert, and were called the Amalekites, made sudden war on the Israelites. They came down upon them from the mountains, while they were weary with marching, and killed some of the Israelites. Then Moses called out those of the people who were fit for war, and made a young man named Joshua their leader; and they fought a battle with the Amalekites.
While they were fighting, Moses stood on a rock, where all could see him, and prayed the Lord God to help his people. His hands were stretched out toward heaven; and while Moses' hands were reaching upward the Israelites were strong, and drove back the enemy. But when Moses' arms fell down, then the enemy drove back the men of Israel.
So Aaron, Moses' brother, and Hur (who is thought to have been Moses' brother-in-law, the husband of his sister Miriam), stood beside Moses, and held up his hands until the Israelites won the victory, and overcame the men of Amalek.
In the third month after the Israelites had left the land of Egypt they came to a great mountain which rises straight up from the plain, so straight that one can walk up to it and touch it with his hand. This was Mount Sinai; and it was one of a group of mountains called Horeb, where Moses saw the burning bush, and heard God's voice, as we read in Story 21.
The Israelites made their camp in front of Mount Sinai, and stayed there for many days. And God said to Moses:
"Let none of the people go up on the mount, or come near to touch it. If even one of your cattle or sheep shall touch the mountain it must be killed. This is a holy place, where God will show his glory."
And a few days after this, the people heard the voice as of many trumpets sounding on the top of the mountain. They looked, and saw that the mountain was covered with clouds and smoke, and lightnings were flashing from it, while the thunder rolled and crashed. And the mountain shook and trembled, as though an earthquake were tearing it in pieces.
The people were filled with alarm. They came out of their tents, and ran back from the foot of the mountain, and stood far off, trembling with fear. Then God spoke in the hearing of all the people, as with a voice of thunder, and said:
"I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
And then God spoke to all the people the words of the Ten Commandments, to which you have listened many times. The words are these:
Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.
Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.
And all the people heard these words spoken by the Lord God; and they saw the mountain smoking, and the lightning flashing, and they were frightened. They said to Moses:
"Let not God speak to us any more; for the sound of his voice will take away our lives. Let God speak to you, Moses, and do you speak to us God's words."
"Fear not," said Moses, "for God has come to you, to speak with you, that you may fear him, and do his will."
And Moses drew near to the mountain, where the clouds and darkness and lightnings were. Then God called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up, and with him was his helper, the young man Joshua. Joshua stayed on the side of the mountain, but Moses went up alone to the top, among the clouds.
And there Moses stayed upon the mountain, alone with God, for forty days, talking with God, and listening to the words which God spoke to him, the laws for the people of Israel to obey. And God gave to Moses two flat tablets of stone, upon which God had written with his own hand the Ten Commandments.
Moses comes down from Mt. Sinai with tables of stone.
A house of cards
Is neat and small:
Shake the table,
It must fall.
Find the Court cards
One by one;
Raise it, roof it—
Now it's done:—
Shake the table!
That's the fun.