WEEK 42 |
THE four travellers walked up to the great gate of the Emerald City and rang the bell. After ringing several times it was opened by the same Guardian of the Gate they had met before.
"What! are you back again?" he asked, in surprise.
"Do you not see us?" answered the Scarecrow.
"But I thought you had gone to visit the Wicked Witch of the West."
"We did visit her," said the Scarecrow.
"And she let you go again?" asked the man, in wonder.
"She could not help it, for she is melted," explained the Scarecrow.
"Melted! Well, that is good news, indeed," said the man. "Who melted her?"
"It was Dorothy," said the Lion, gravely.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed the man, and he bowed very low indeed before her.
Then he led them into his little room and locked the spectacles from the great box on all their eyes, just as he had done before. Afterward they passed on through the gate into the Emerald City, and when the people heard from the Guardian of the Gate that they had melted the Wicked Witch of the West they all gathered around the travellers and followed them in a great crowd to the Palace of Oz.
The soldier with the green whiskers was still on guard before the door, but he let them in at once and they were again met by the beautiful green girl, who showed each of them to their old rooms at once, so they might rest until the Great Oz was ready to receive them.
The soldier had the news carried straight to Oz that Dorothy and the other travellers had come back again, after destroying the Wicked Witch; but Oz made no reply. They thought the Great Wizard would send for them at once, but he did not. They had no word from him the next day, nor the next, nor the next. The waiting was tiresome and wearing, and at last they grew vexed that Oz should treat them in so poor a fashion, after sending them to undergo hardships and slavery. So the Scarecrow at last asked the green girl to take another message to Oz, saying if he did not let them in to see him at once they would call the Winged Monkeys to help them, and find out whether he kept his promises or not. When the Wizard was given this message he was so frightened that he sent word for them to come to the Throne Room at four minutes after nine o'clock the next morning. He had once met the Winged Monkeys in the Land of the West, and he did not wish to meet them again.
The four travellers passed a sleepless night, each thinking of the gift Oz had promised to bestow upon him. Dorothy fell asleep only once, and then she dreamed she was in Kansas, where Aunt Em was telling her how glad she was to have her little girl at home again.
Promptly at nine o'clock the next morning the green whiskered soldier came to them, and four minutes later they all went into the Throne Room of the Great Oz.
Of course each one of them expected to see the Wizard in the shape he had taken before, and all were greatly surprised when they looked about and saw no one at all in the room. They kept close to the door and closer to one another, for the stillness of the empty room was more dreadful than any of the forms they had seen Oz take.
Presently they heard a Voice, seeming to come from somewhere near the top of the great dome, and it said, solemnly.
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Why do you seek me?"
They looked again in every part of the room, and then, seeing no one, Dorothy asked,
"Where are you?"
"I am everywhere," answered the Voice, "but to the eyes of common mortals I am invisible. I will now seat myself upon my throne, that you may converse with me." Indeed, the Voice seemed just then to come straight from the throne itself; so they walked toward it and stood in a row while Dorothy said:
"We have come to claim our promise, O Oz."
"What promise?" asked Oz.
"You promised to send me back to Kansas when the Wicked Witch was destroyed," said the girl.
"And you promised to give me brains," said the Scarecrow.
"And you promised to give me a heart," said the Tin Woodman.
"And you promised to give me courage," said the Cowardly Lion.
"Is the Wicked Witch really destroyed?" asked the Voice, and Dorothy thought it trembled a little.
"Yes," she answered, "I melted her with a bucket of water."
"Dear me," said the Voice; "how sudden! Well, come to me to-morrow, for I must have time to think it over."
"You've had plenty of time already," said the Tin Woodman, angrily.
"We shan't wait a day longer," said the Scarecrow.
"You must keep your promises to us!" exclaimed Dorothy.
The Lion thought it might be as well to frighten the Wizard, so he gave a large, loud roar, which was so fierce and dreadful that Toto jumped away from him in alarm and tipped over the screen that stood in a corner. As it fell with a crash they looked that way, and the next moment all of them were filled with wonder. For they saw, standing in just the spot the screen had hidden, a little, old man, with a bald head and a wrinkled face, who seemed to be as much surprised as they were. The Tin Woodman, raising his axe, rushed toward the little man and cried out,
"Who are you?"
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," said the little man, in a trembling voice, "but don't strike me—please don't!—and I'll do anything you want me to."
Our friends looked at him in surprise and dismay.
"I thought Oz was a great Head," said Dorothy.
"And I thought Oz was a lovely Lady," said the Scarecrow.
"And I thought Oz was a terrible Beast," said the Tin Woodman.
"And I thought Oz was a Ball of Fire," exclaimed the Lion.
"No; you are all wrong," said the little man, meekly. "I have been making believe."
"Making believe!" cried Dorothy. "Are you not a great Wizard?"
"Hush, my dear," he said; "don't speak so loud, or you will be overheard—and I should be ruined. I'm supposed to be a Great Wizard."
"And aren't you?" she asked.
"Not a bit of it, my dear; I'm just a common man."
"You're more than that," said the Scarecrow, in a grieved tone; "you're a humbug."
"Exactly so!" declared the little man, rubbing his hands together as if it pleased him; "I am a humbug."
"But this is terrible," said the Tin Woodman; "how shall I ever get my heart?"
"Or I my courage?" asked the Lion.
"Or I my brains?" wailed the Scarecrow, wiping the the tears from his eyes with his coat-sleeve.
[Illustration: "_Exactly so! I am a humbug._"]
"My dear friends," said Oz, "I pray you not to speak of these little things. Think of me, and the terrible trouble I'm in at being found out."
"Doesn't anyone else know you're a humbug?" asked Dorothy.
"No one knows it but you four—and myself," replied Oz. "I have fooled everyone so long that I thought I should never be found out. It was a great mistake my ever letting you into the Throne Room. Usually I will not see even my subjects, and so they believe I am something terrible."
"But, I don't understand," said Dorothy, in bewilderment. "How was it that you appeared to me as a great Head?"
"That was one of my tricks," answered Oz. "Step this way, please, and I will tell you all about it."
He led the way to a small chamber in the rear of the Throne Room, and they all followed him. He pointed to one corner, in which lay the Great Head, made out of many thicknesses of paper, and with a carefully painted face.
"This I hung from the ceiling by a wire," said Oz; "I stood behind the screen and pulled a thread, to make the eyes move and the mouth open."
"But how about the voice?" she enquired.
"Oh, I am a ventriloquist," said the little man, "and I can throw the sound of my voice wherever I wish; so that you thought it was coming out of the Head. Here are the other things I used to deceive you." He showed the Scarecrow the dress and the mask he had worn when he seemed to be the lovely Lady; and the Tin Woodman saw that his Terrible Beast was nothing but a lot of skins, sewn together, with slats to keep their sides out. As for the Ball of Fire, the false Wizard had hung that also from the ceiling. It was really a ball of cotton, but when oil was poured upon it the ball burned fiercely.
"Really," said the Scarecrow, "you ought to be ashamed of yourself for being such a humbug."
"I am—I certainly am," answered the little man, sorrowfully; "but it was the only thing I could do. Sit down, please, there are plenty of chairs; and I will tell you my story."
So they sat down and listened while he told the following tale:
"I was born in Omaha—"
"Why, that isn't very far from Kansas!" cried Dorothy.
"No; but it's farther from here," he said, shaking his head at her, sadly. "When I grew up I became a ventriloquist, and at that I was very well trained by a great master. I can imitate any kind of a bird or beast." Here he mewed so like a kitten that Toto pricked up his ears and looked everywhere to see where she was. "After a time," continued Oz, "I tired of that, and became a balloonist."
"What is that?" asked Dorothy.
"A man who goes up in a balloon on circus day, so as to draw a crowd of people together and get them to pay to see the circus," he explained.
"Oh," she said; "I know."
"Well, one day I went up in a balloon and the ropes got twisted, so that I couldn't come down again. It went way up above the clouds, so far that a current of air struck it and carried it many, many miles away. For a day and a night I travelled through the air, and on the morning of the second day I awoke and found the balloon floating over a strange and beautiful country.
"It came down gradually, and I was not hurt a bit. But I found myself in the midst of a strange people, who, seeing me come from the clouds, thought I was a great Wizard. Of course I let them think so, because they were afraid of me, and promised to do anything I wished them to.
"Just to amuse myself, and keep the good people busy, I ordered them to build this City, and my palace; and they did it all willingly and well. Then I thought, as the country was so green and beautiful, I would call it the Emerald City, and to make the name fit better I put green spectacles on all the people, so that everything they saw was green."
"But isn't everything here green?" asked Dorothy.
"No more than in any other city," replied Oz; "but when you wear green spectacles, why of course everything you see looks green to you. The Emerald City was built a great many years ago, for I was a young man when the balloon brought me here, and I am a very old man now. But my people have worn green glasses on their eyes so long that most of them think it really is an Emerald City, and it certainly is a beautiful place, abounding in jewels and precious metals, and every good thing that is needed to make one happy. I have been good to the people, and they like me; but ever since this Palace was built I have shut myself up and would not see any of them.
"One of my greatest fears was the Witches, for while I had no magical powers at all I soon found out that the Witches were really able to do wonderful things. There were four of them in this country, and they ruled the people who live in the North and South and East and West. Fortunately, the Witches of the North and South were good, and I knew they would do me no harm; but the Witches of the East and West were terribly wicked, and had they not thought I was more powerful than they themselves, they would surely have destroyed me. As it was, I lived in deadly fear of them for many years; so you can imagine how pleased I was when I heard your house had fallen on the Wicked Witch of the East. When you came to me I was willing to promise anything if you would only do away with the other Witch; but, now that you have melted her, I am ashamed to say that I cannot keep my promises."
"I think you are a very bad man," said Dorothy.
"Oh, no, my dear; I'm really a very good man; but I'm a very bad Wizard, I must admit."
"Can't you give me brains?" asked the Scarecrow.
"You don't need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn't know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get."
"That may all be true," said the Scarecrow, "but I shall be very unhappy unless you give me brains."
The false wizard looked at him carefully.
"Well," he said, with a sigh, "I'm not much of a magician, as I said; but if you will come to me to-morrow morning, I will stuff your head with brains. I cannot tell you how to use them, however; you must find that out for yourself."
"Oh, thank you—thank you!" cried the Scarecrow. "I'll find a way to use them, never fear!"
"But how about my courage?" asked the Lion, anxiously.
"You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."
"Perhaps I have, but I'm scared just the same," said the Lion. "I shall really be very unhappy unless you give me the sort of courage that makes one forget he is afraid."
"Very well; I will give you that sort of courage to-morrow," replied Oz.
"How about my heart?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"Why, as for that," answered Oz, "I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart."
"That must be a matter of opinion," said the Tin Woodman. "For my part, I will bear all the unhappiness without a murmur, if you will give me the heart."
"Very well," answered Oz, meekly. "Come to me to-morrow and you shall have a heart. I have played Wizard for so many years that I may as well continue the part a little longer."
"And now," said Dorothy, "how am I to get back to Kansas?"
"We shall have to think about that," replied the little man, "Give me two or three days to consider the matter and I'll try to find a way to carry you over the desert. In the meantime you shall all be treated as my guests, and while you live in the Palace my people will wait upon you and obey your slightest wish. There is only one thing I ask in return for my help—such as it is. You must keep my secret and tell no one I am a humbug."
They agreed to say nothing of what they had learned, and went back to their rooms in high spirits. Even Dorothy had hope that "The Great and Terrible Humbug," as she called him, would find a way to send her back to Kansas, and if he did that she was willing to forgive him everything.
Rustily creak the crickets.
Jack Frost came down last night.
He slid to the earth on a star beam,
Keen and sparkling and bright.
WEEK 42 |
A FTER they got the seal, Doctor Kane and his men traveled on. Sometimes they were on the ice. Sometimes they were in the boats. The men were so weak, that they could hardly row the boats. They were so hungry, that they could not sleep well at night.
One day they were rowing, when they heard a sound. It came to them across the water. It did not sound like the cry of sea birds. It sounded like people's voices.
"Listen!" Doctor Kane said to Petersen.
Petersen spoke the same language as the people of Greenland. He listened. The sound came again. Petersen was so glad, that he could hardly speak. He told Kane in a half whisper, that it was the voice of some one speaking his own language. It was some Greenland men in a boat.
The next day they got to a Greenland town. Then they got into a little ship going to England. They knew that they could get home from England. But the ship stopped at another Greenland town. While they were there, a steamer was seen. It came nearer. They could see the stars and stripes flying from her mast. It was an American steamer sent to find Doctor Kane.
Doctor Kane and his men were full of joy. They pushed their little boat into the water once more. This little boat was called the "Faith." It had carried Kane and his men hundreds of miles in icy seas.
Once more the men took their oars, and rowed. This time they rowed with all their might. They held up the little flag that they had carried farther north than anybody had ever been before. They rowed straight to the steamer.
In the bow of the boat was a little man with a tattered red shirt. He
could see that the captain of the boat was looking at him through a
The captain shouted to the little man, "Is that Doctor Kane?"
The little man in the red shirt shouted back, "Yes!"
Doctor Kane and his men had been gone more than two years. People had begun to think that they had all died. This steamer had been sent to find out what had become of them. When the men on the steamer heard that this little man in the red shirt was Doctor Kane himself, they sent up cheer after cheer.
In a few minutes more, Doctor Kane and his men were on the steamer. They were now safe among friends. They were sailing away toward their homes.
I've got shoes with grown up laces,
I've got knickers and a pair of braces,
I'm all ready to run some races.
Who's coming out with me?
I've got a nice new pair of braces,
I've got shoes with new brown laces,
I know wonderful paddly places.
Who's coming out with me?
Every morning my new grace is,
"Thank you, God, for my nice braces:
I can tie my new brown laces."
Who's coming out with me?
WEEK 42 |
W HEN you once begin to look for things you can always find them. Kittie and the boys saw many eggs that spring besides frogs' eggs.
They found a lot of turtles' eggs, for one thing, and even some snakes' eggs.
And the good old sun hatched these eggs with his warm rays, just as well as if he had been their mother.
The turtles and snakes did not hatch their own eggs. My, no! They left that for the sun to do. They did lay them in the warm sand, though, where the sun could get to them; and there the children found them and left them, and went very often to see them. But do you think they saw the little turtles and snakes? Not a bit of it.
They forgot all about them for a few days, and when they went to look they found it was all over with, and only a lot of empty shells left. They nearly cried, they were so disappointed. Every little turtle and every little snake had gone off about its business, and they could not find one, though they searched a long time.
They found fishes' eggs, too, under the stones in a little stream that ran through a meadow near the house, and these they really did watch hatch into little fishes. For Ko built a wall of stones about the place where the eggs were, loose enough to let the water run in and out, but tight enough to prevent the little fishes from getting away.
That summer, too, the boys and their parents went to the seashore to stay three weeks and took Kittie with them.
There was wading, and bathing, and swimming, and sailing, and in the course of their wadings and sailings the children found many curious things.
What pleased them as well as anything, they found the eggs of many strange creatures.
They found that starfish and
what surprised them most of all,—they learned
And such queer cradles as some of these eggs had!
Those of the conch shell were long lines of flat cases like pods, Jack said; and in these pods were the tiniest little conch shells, so very little that they had to look through the magnifying glass to really see them.
And the sharks' eggs! Safe in their tough black cradles with long tendrils at the four corners, they lay. The tendrils, they were told, fastened the sharks' eggs to the weeds and things in the bottom of the sea, so they wouldn't be dashed about by the waves, and the baby sharks could have a chance to grow in safety.
"I don't see why such ugly things as sharks, that sometimes eat people up, need have their eggs so well cared for," Kittie said, one day.
"Everything's eggs are cared for," Jack said, "and I believe almost everything lays eggs, too."
"Everything that's alive has to come out of an egg or a seed, I believe," said Ko.
And he wasn't so very far wrong!
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and doon stairs, in his nicht gown,
Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,
"Are the weans in their beds?—for it's noo ten o'clock."
WEEK 42 |
C HARLES owned a garden. One morning his father called him and pointing to four stakes driven in the ground which certainly had not been there the night before, said:
"All the land within those four stakes is yours, your very own."
Charles was delighted, and thanking his dear father, ran off to get his little cart, for he wished at once to build a stone wall about his property. He did not fear it would run away, but he knew that land-owners always walled in their possessions.
"After the wall is built," said his father, "you may plant in your garden anything you like, and James will give you what you ask for."
In two days the wall was built, and a good one it was too, being strong and even.
The next day James set out some plants for him, and gave the boy some seeds which he planted himself, James telling him how to do it.
He then got his watering-pot and gently sprinkled the newly planted ground with warm water. Running across the lawn, he looked down the road to see if his father had not yet come from the village. His father was nowhere to be seen, but coming down the road was a most remarkable looking man. He was tall and thin and had bright red hair which had evidently not been cut for a very long time. He wore a blue coat, green trousers, red hat, and on his hands, which were large, two very dirty, ragged, white kid gloves.
This wonderful man came up to Charles and asked for a drink of water, which he, being a polite boy, at once brought. The man thanked him, and then said:
"What have you been doing this morning, little man?"
Charles told him about his new garden, and the man listened with much interest.
"Little boy," said he, "there is one seed that you have not got."
"And what is that?"
"The seed of the quick-running squash."
Charles's face fell.
"I don't believe James has that, and I don't know where to get one," he faltered.
"Now , as it happens," said the man, "I have one of those very seeds in my pocket. It is not, however, that of the common, everyday quick-running squash. This one came from India, and is marvellous for its quick-running qualities. You have been kind to me, little boy, and I will give it to you," and with a peculiar smile, this strange man produced from his pocket, instead of the ordinary squash seed, an odd, round, red seed which he gave to Charles, who thanked him heartily, and ran to plant it at once. Having done so, he went back to ask when the quick-running squash would begin to grow. But the man had disappeared, and, although Charles looked up and down the dusty road, he could see nothing of him.
As he stood there, he heard behind him a little rustling noise, and turning, saw coming toward him a green vine. He had, of course, seen vines before, but never, never had he seen such a queer one as this. It was running swiftly toward him, and on the very front was a round yellow ball, about as big as an orange! Charles, looking back to see where it came from, found that it started in the corner of his garden. And what had he planted in that corner? Why, to be sure, the seed of the quick-running squash, which the strange man had just given him.
"Well, well, well!" he shouted, in great excitement, "what an awfully quick-running squash it is. I suppose that little yellow thing in front is the squash itself. But indeed it must not run away from me, I must stop it." And he started swiftly down the street after it.
But, alas, no boy could run as fast as that squash, and Charles saw far ahead the bright yellow ball, now grown to be about the size of an ordinary squash, running and capering merrily over stones big and little, never turning out for anything, but bobbing up and down, up and down, and waving its long green vine like a tail behind it. The boy ran swiftly on. "It shall not get away," he panted. "It belongs to me."
But that the squash did not seem to realize at all. He did not feel that he belonged to anybody, and he did feel that he was a quick-running squash, and so on he scampered.
Suddenly he came to a very large rock, and stopped for a moment to take breath, and in that moment Charles caught up with him, and simply sat down on him.
"Now, squash," said he, slapping him on the side, "your journey is ended."
The words were scarcely spoken when he suddenly felt himself lifted up in the air, and bumpity, bump, over the stone flew the squash, carrying with him his very much astonished little master! The squash had been growing all the time, and was now about three times as big as an ordinary one. Charles, who had a pony of his own, knew how to ride, but never had he ridden anything so extraordinary as this. On they flew, roll, waddle, bump, bump, roll, waddle, bang, the boy digging his knees hard into the sides of the squash to avoid being thrown. He had a dreadfully hard time. Mount the next quick-running squash you meet, and you will see for yourself how it is.
To Charles's great delight, he now saw his father coming toward him, riding his big white horse Nero, who was very much frightened when he saw the boy on such a strange yellow steed. But Nero soon calmed down at his master's voice, and turning, rode along beside the big squash, although he had to go at full speed to do so. "Gallopty-gallop" went Nero and "bumpity-bump" went the squash. Papa lost his hat (Charles had parted with his long before).
"What are you doing, my son, and what, what is it you are riding?" asked his father.
"A quick-running squash, Papa," gasped Charles, who, although bruised, refused to give up the squash, and was still pluckily keeping his seat. "Stop it, oh, do stop it, Papa."
His father knew that this could be no ordinary squash, and saw that it evidently did not intend to stop.
"I will try to turn it and make it go back," he said; so riding Nero nearer and nearer the squash, he forced it up against a stone wall. But, instead of going back, this extraordinary squash jumped with scarcely a moment's hesitation over the high wall, and went bobbing along into the rough field beyond. But alas, before them was a broad lake, and as he could not swim, back he was forced to turn. Over the wall and back again over the same road and toward the garden whence he came, Charles still on his back and Charles's papa galloping at full speed behind.
The squash, however, must have had a good heart, for when he reached the house again, he of his own accord turned in at the gate and ran up to the wall of Charles's garden. There he stopped, for he was now so big that he could not climb walls, and indeed, had he been able to get in, he would have filled the little garden to overflowing, for he was really enormous. Charles's father had actually to get a ladder for the poor little fellow to climb down, and he was so tired that he had to be carried to the house. But the squash was tired, too, dreadfully tired. I suppose it is a very bad thing for a growing squash to take much exercise. This certainly was a growing squash, and there is also no doubt that he had taken a great deal of exercise that morning. Be that as it may, when the family were at luncheon, they were alarmed by hearing a violent explosion near the house. Rushing out to see what could have happened, they found that the marvellous quick-running squash had burst! It lay spread all over the lawn in a thousand pieces.
The family, and all the neighbors' families for miles around, had squash pie for a week.
Dark brown is the river,
Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
With trees on either hand.
Green leaves a-floating,
Castles of the foam,
Boats of mine a-boating—
Where will all come home?
On goes the river
And out past the mill,
Away down the valley,
Away down the hill.
Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.
WEEK 42 |
"The Gaul shall come against thee
From the land of snow and night;
Thou shalt give his fair-haired armies
To the raven and the kite."
W E left Rome struggling to assert herself above the neighbouring tribes of Italy. But she had further struggles before her, before she should be free and great—great enough to conquer even Greece herself.
Some hundred years had passed away, since the death of the traitor Coriolanus, and one Camillus was now Dictator.
And now some new foes began to sweep down, from the north, towards Rome. They were known to the Romans, as the Gauls, a fierce and savage people, who loved fighting. They were tall, strong men with fair hair, unlike the dark Romans. They dressed in bright colours, with gold collars round their necks, carrying round shields and huge broadswords.
Over the Alps came these savage warriors, on and on towards Rome herself. No one had ever seen the like of them before, and the Romans grew very much alarmed, when they heard the Gauls shouting out their war-songs and clashing their arms like barbarians.
A fight took place near Rome in which the Gauls were victorious, and Brennus, the King of the Gauls, led his rough army into Rome. To their surprise they found the city empty. Terror had seized the Romans. They had no hope of defending their city, so they made their way, with their women and children, to the Capitol, a steep rocky hill, defended with strong walls, the great national temple of old Rome, where they hoped to be safe.
The city itself was empty save for a few infirm and sick people, a little garrison, and eighty old senators, who determined to sit still in the Forum and await the foe. They were too old to flee; they thought if they sacrificed themselves to the gods, the city would be saved. They dressed themselves in their splendid robes of state, and sat down in a row, with their ivory staves in their hands, on their ivory chairs, to await what they knew must be their end.
The savage Gauls burst into Rome. When they came to the Forum they stood amazed, at the sight of the eighty grand old men, sitting calm and still in their chairs. One of the Gauls put out his hand to touch one of the long white beards, but the old man resented it and struck the rude soldier with his ivory staff. At this, the Gaul instantly drew his sword, and killed the old Roman. Then the slaughter began. The Gauls killed the old men, plundered their houses, and then attacked the Capitol.
The Romans let them come half-way up, and then hurled them down the steep rocks. As they could not take the Capitol by force, the Gauls now laid siege to it. Time went on and the brave Romans were nearly starved, shut up in the lofty Capitol and surrounded by their enemies. At last a Roman made his way through the Gauls at night, climbed the steep rock to the Capitol, and told the weary garrison, that Camillus was coming with an army to rescue them. Then he slid down the rock and made his way back safely. But the broken twigs and torn ivy, showed the Gauls, that the Capitol had been scaled. What man had done, man could do.
So King Brennus sent up some of his men by night in twos; they crept up silently, but just as they came to the top, some geese began to cackle and scream, and a Roman ran out, to see what was the matter. There he saw a tall Gaul standing on the wall, at the top of the rock. Rushing at him, he struck him such a blow, that knocked him right off the wall, and down the rocks, and no other Gauls dared to climb up.
But in the end the Romans won; for Camillus arrived on the scene, defeated the Gauls, took their camp, and not a man was left to carry back the news to their own country.
So Rome shook herself free once more, and Camillus was always known, as the second founder of Rome, for he had saved his city from the Gauls.
Lady Moon, Lady Moon, where are you roving?
Over the sea.
Lady Moon, Lady Moon, whom are you loving?
All that love me.
Are you not tired with rolling, and never
Resting to sleep?
Why look so pale and so sad, as forever
Wishing to weep?
Ask me not this, little child, if you love me;
You are too bold;
I must obey my dear Father above me,
And do as I'm told.
Lady Moon, Lady Moon, where are you roving?
Over the sea.
Lady Moon, Lady Moon, whom are you loving?
All that love me.
WEEK 42 |
WEEK 42 |
Joshua xx: 1, to xxi: 45.
HERE was among the Israelites one custom which seems so strange, and so different from our ways, that it will be interesting to hear about it. It was their rule with regard to any man who by accident killed another man. With us, whenever a man has been killed, the man who killed him, if he can be found, is taken by an officer before the judge, and he is tried. If he killed the man by accident, not wishing to do harm, he is set free. If he meant to kill him he is punished; he may be sentenced to die for the other man's death; and when he is put to death it is by the officer of the law.
But in the lands of the east, where the Israelites lived, it was very different. There, when a man was killed, his nearest relative always took it upon himself to kill the man who had killed him; and he undertook to kill this man without trial, without a judge, and by his own hand, whether the man deserved to die, or did not deserve it. Two men might be working in the forest together, and one man's axe might fly from his hand and kill the other; or one man hunting might kill another hunter by mistake. No matter whether the man was guilty or innocent, the nearest relative of the one who had lost his life must find the man who had killed him, and kill him in return, wherever he was. If he could not find him, sometimes he would kill any member of his family whom he could find. This man was called "the avenger of blood," because he took vengeance for the blood of his relative, whether the one whom he slew deserved to die or not. When Moses gave laws to the children of Israel he found this custom of having an "avenger of blood" rooted so deeply in the habits of the people, that it could not be broken up. In fact, it still remains, even to this day, among the village people in the land where the Israelites lived.
But Moses gave a law which was to take the place of the old custom, and to teach the people greater justice in their dealings with each other. And when they came into the land of Canaan, Joshua carried out the plan which Moses had commanded.
Joshua chose in the land six cities, three on one side of the river Jordan, and three on the other side. All of these were well-known places and easy to find. Most of them were on mountains, and could be seen far away. They were so chosen that from almost any part of the land a man could reach one of these cities in a day, or at the most in two days. These cities were called "Cities of Refuge," because in them a man who had killed another by mistake could find refuge from the avenger of blood.
When a man killed another by accident, wherever he was, he ran as quickly as possible to the nearest of these cities of refuge. The avenger of blood followed him, and might perhaps overtake him and kill him before he reached the city. But almost always the man, having some start before his enemy, would get to the city of refuge first.
There the elders of the city looked into the case. They learned all the facts; and if the man was really guilty, and deserved to die, they gave him up to be killed by the avenger. But if he was innocent, and did not mean to kill the man who was dead, they forbade the avenger to touch him, and kept him in safety.
A line was drawn around the city, at a distance from the wall, within which line the avenger could not come to do the man harm; and within this line were fields, where the man could work and raise crops, so that he could have food.
And there at the city of refuge the innocent man who had killed another without meaning to kill, lived until the high-priest died. After the high-priest died, and another high-priest took his place, the man could go back to his own home and live in peace.
The Ark with the Golden Cherubim.
These were the cities of refuge in the land of Israel: On the north, Kedesh in the tribe of Naphtali; in the center, Shechem, at the foot of Mount Gerizim, in the tribe of Ephraim; and on the south, Hebron, Caleb's city, in the tribe of Judah. These were among the mountains, on the west of the river Jordan. On the east of the river Jordan, the cities were Golan of Bashan in Manasseh, Ramoth of Gilead, in the tribe of Gad, and Bezer in the highlands of the tribe of Reuben.
This law taught the Israelites to be patient, and to control themselves, to protect the innocent, and to seek for justice, and not yield to sudden anger.
Among the tribes there was one which had no land given to it in one place. This was the tribe of Levi, to which Moses and Aaron belonged. The men of this tribe were priests, who offered the sacrifices, and Levites, who cared for the Tabernacle and its worship. Moses and Joshua did not think it well to have all the Levites living in one part of the country, so he gave them cities, and in some places the fields around the cities, in many parts of the land. From these places they went up to the Tabernacle to serve, each for a certain part of the year; and the rest of the year stayed in their homes and cared for their fields.
When the war was over, and the land was divided, Joshua fixed the Tabernacle at a place called Shiloh, not far from the center of the land, so that from all the tribes the people could come up at least once a year for worship. They were told to come from their homes three times in each year, and to worship the Lord at Shiloh.
These three times were for the feast of the Passover in the spring, when the lamb was killed, and roasted, and eaten with unleavened bread, of which we read in Story 28; the feast of the Tabernacles in the fall, when for a week they slept out of doors in huts made of twigs and boughs, to keep in mind their life in the wilderness; and the feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover, when they laid on the altar the first ripe fruits from the fields. All these three great feasts were kept at the place of the altar and the Tabernacle.
And at Shiloh, before the Tabernacle, they placed the altar, on which the offerings were laid twice every day. (See Stories 27 and 28.)
God had kept his promise, and had brought the Israelites into a land which was their own, and had given them rest from all their enemies.
If a pig wore a wig,
What could we say?
Treat him as a gentleman,
And say "Good day."
If his tail chanced to fail,
What could we do?—
Send him to the tailoress
To get one new.