WEEK 1 |
How it came to pass that Master Cherry the carpenter found a piece of wood that laughed and cried like a child.
THERE was once upon a time . . .
"A king!" my little readers will instantly exclaim.
No children, you are wrong. There was once upon a time a piece of wood.
This wood was not valuable: it was only a common log like those that are burnt in winter in the stoves and fireplaces to make a cheerful blaze and warm the rooms.
I cannot say how it came about, but the fact is, that one fine day this piece of wood was lying in the shop of an old carpenter of the name of Master Antonio. He was, however, called by everybody Master Cherry, on account of the end of his nose, which was always as red and polished as a ripe cherry.
No sooner had Master Cherry set eyes on the piece of wood than his face beamed with delight; and rubbing his hands together with satisfaction, he said softly to himself:
"This wood has come at the right moment; it will just do to make the leg of a little table."
Having said this he immediately took a sharp axe with which to remove the bark and the rough surface. Just, however, as he was going to give the first stroke he remained with his arm suspended in the air, for he heard a very small voice saying imploringly, "Do not strike me so hard!"
Picture to yourselves the astonishment of good old Master Cherry!
He turned his terrified eyes all round the room to try and discover where the little voice could possibly have come from, but he saw nobody! He looked under the bench—nobody; he looked into a cupboard that was always shut—nobody; he looked into a basket of shavings and sawdust—nobody; he even opened the door of the shop and gave a glance into the street—and still nobody. Who, then, could it be?
"I see how it is," he said, laughing and scratching his wig; "evidently that little voice was all my imagination. Let us set to work again."
And taking up the axe he struck a tremendous blow on the piece of wood.
"Oh! oh! you have hurt me!" cried the same little voice dolefully.
This time Master Cherry was petrified. His eyes started out of his head with fright, his mouth remained open, and his tongue hung out almost to the end of his chin, like a mask on a fountain.
This time Master Cherry was petrified.
As soon as he had recovered the use of his speech, he began to say, stuttering and trembling with fear:
"But where on earth can that little voice have come from that said Oh!
So saying, he seized the poor piece of wood and commenced beating it without mercy against the walls of the room.
Then he stopped to listen if he could hear any little voice lamenting. He waited two minutes—nothing; five minutes—nothing; ten minutes—still nothing!
"I see how it is," he then said, forcing himself to laugh and pushing up his wig; "evidently the little voice that said Oh! oh! was all my imagination! Let us set to work again."
But as all the same he was in a great fright, he tried to sing to give himself a little courage.
Putting the axe aside he took his plane, to plane and polish the bit of wood; but whilst he was running it up and down he heard the same little voice say, laughing:
"Have done! you are tickling me all over!"
This time poor Master Cherry fell down as if he had been struck by lightning. When he at last opened his eyes he found himself seated on the floor.
His face was quite changed, even the end of his nose, instead of being crimson, as it was nearly always, had become blue from fright.
K ING HALFDAN lived in Norway long ago. One morning his queen said to him:
"I had a strange dream last night. I thought that I stood in the grass before my bower. I pulled a thorn from my dress. As I held it in my fingers, it grew into a tall tree. The trunk was thick and red as blood, but the lower limbs were fair and green, and the highest ones were white. I thought that the branches of this great tree spread so far that they covered all Norway and even more."
"A strange dream," said King Halfdan. "Dreams are the messengers of the gods. I wonder what they would tell us," and he stroked his beard in thought.
Some time after that a serving-woman came into the feast hall where King Halfdan was. She carried a little white bundle in her arms.
"My lord," she said, "a little son is just born to you."
"Ha!" cried the king, and he jumped up from the high seat and hastened forward until he stood before the woman.
"Show him to me!" he shouted, and there was joy in his voice.
The serving-woman put down her bundle on the ground and turned back the cloth. There was a little naked baby. The king looked at it carefully.
"It is a goodly youngster," he said, and smiled. "Bring Ivar and Thorstein."
They were captains of the king's soldiers. Soon they came.
"Stand as witnesses," Halfdan said.
Then he lifted the baby in his arms, while the old serving-woman brought a silver bowl of water. The king dipped his hand into it and sprinkled the baby, saying:
"I own this baby for my son. He shall be called Harald. My naming gift to him is ten pounds of gold."
"I own this baby for my son. He shall be called Harald."
Then the woman carried the baby back to the queen's room.
"My lord owns him for his son," she said. "And no wonder! He is perfect in every limb."
The queen looked at him and smiled and remembered her dream and thought:
"That great tree! Can it be this little baby of mine?"
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
WEEK 1 |
M ANY years ago there lived in England a wise and good king whose name was Alfred. No other man ever did so much for his country as he; and people now, all over the world, speak of him as Alfred the Great.
In those days a king did not have a very easy life. There was war almost all the time, and no one else could lead his army into battle so well as he. And so, between ruling and fighting, he had a busy time of it indeed.
A fierce, rude people, called the Danes, had come from over the sea, and were fighting the English. There were so many of them, and they were so bold and strong, that for a long time they gained every battle. If they kept on, they would soon be the masters of the whole country.
At last, after a great battle, the English army was broken up and scattered. Every man had to save himself in the best way he could. King Alfred fled alone, in great haste, through the woods and swamps.
Late in the day the king came to the hut of a woodcutter. He was very tired and hungry, and he begged the woodcutter's wife to give him something to eat and a place to sleep in her hut.
The woman was baking some cakes upon the hearth, and she looked with pity upon the poor, ragged fellow who seemed so hungry. She had no thought that he was the king.
"Yes," she said, "I will give you some supper if you will watch these cakes. I want to go out and milk the cow; and you must see that they do not burn while I am gone."
King Alfred was very willing to watch the cakes,
but he had far greater things to think about.
How was he going to get his army together
again? And how was he going to drive the fierce Danes out of the land?
He forgot his hunger; he forgot the cakes; he forgot that he was
in the woodcutter's hut. His mind was busy making plans for
In a little while the woman came back. The cakes were smoking on the hearth. They were burned to a crisp. Ah, how angry she was!
"You lazy fellow!" she cried. "See what you have done! You want something to eat, but you do not want to work!"
I have been told that she even struck the king with a stick;
but I can hardly believe
that she was so
The king must have laughed to himself at the thought of being scolded in this way; and he was so hungry that he did not mind the woman's angry words half so much as the loss of the cakes.
I do not know whether he had anything to eat that night, or whether he had to go to bed without his supper. But it was not many days until he had gathered his men together again, and had beaten the Danes in a great battle.
One day Mother asked Don and Nan, "Would you like to have a party for some birds?"
"I think that would be jolly," said Nan. "Where may we have it?"
"We are all going to the farm," said Mother. "You may have your bird party there."
"New Year's Day will come next week," said Don. "Shall we have our party for the birds then?"
"Yes," said Nan, "and then we can give them good things to eat and wish them a Happy New Year!"
When the children went to the farm, they tied some suet to a branch of a tree by the farm house. They took some nuts out of the shells and put them into cracks in the suet.
On New Year's Day a little bird came to the branch. Most of his feather coat was gray. But his throat was black and he had a black cap.
He perched on top of the suet and ate some of it. Then he clung with his head down and reached to get some from the under side.
Don and Nan laughed to see the little bird eat his treat with his feet up and his head down.
The bird put his bill into the suet and found a piece of nut.
He carried the nut in his bill to another tree. Then he put the nut on a branch and held it there with one foot while he ate it.
After he ate the nut he sat on the branch and sang, "Chickadee dee dee! Chickadee dee dee!"
While he was singing, some more little birds with black caps came.
They had very good bird manners. Only one bird came to the piece of suet at one time. They took turns.
Don and Nan said, "Happy New Year, Chickadees!"
And the little birds sang, "Chickadee dee dee! Chickadee dee!"
The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw—
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't fancy I exaggerate—
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning where the two had sat
They found no trace of the dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole the pair away!
But the truth about the cat and the pup
Is this: They ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)
WEEK 1 |
"Oh, Mamma!" cried Willy (who was a little boy, between three and four years old), "come and look at the window, see what a number of bits of paper are falling." He then attempted to count them—"One, two, three, four, five—oh, I can never count them, there are so many."
Mamma, who was not yet up, began to rub her eyes, and looking at the window, saw that large flakes of snow were falling. She knew that Willy had seen snow the winter before, but he was then only two years and a half old, and had forgotten it. As soon as she was dressed she opened the window, and told Willy to put out his hand and catch some of the white flakes which were falling; several fell into his hand, but before he could draw it in to show them to his Mamma they were gone.
"Where can they be gone, Mamma?" asked Willy; "I am sure they did not slip through my fingers, for I held them close together, and they did not fly away, or I should have seen them go."
"No, my dear, they are melted by the warmth of your hand." Mamma then explained to him that what he saw falling was snow; that snow was made of water, which, in winter, when the weather is very cold, freezes, and turns to snow. Willy said that the snow had felt very cold to his hand.—"But your hand was very warm to the snow, and so it unfroze it, and turned it back to water." Willy looked at his hand, and found that the palm, on which the snow had fallen, was wet.
"That is the snow which the warmth of your hand has turned to water, and that is called melting the snow."
Willy wondered, for all this was quite new to him.
"But, look Mamma; the snow on the ground is not melted?"
"Cannot you guess why, Willy? try—what was it made your hand melt the snow?"
"Why, Mamma, you said it was the warmth of my hand. Oh yes, I do guess it now, Mamma; the ground is not warm like my hand, so it cannot melt the snow."
Willy could not help looking at the pretty flakes of snow. The snow fell so fast that the ground was soon entirely covered with it, and he saw a number of little boys playing with it: they took it up in their hands and made it into balls, and then threw it at each other. At first Willy was afraid they would hurt each other, but when he saw that the ball of snow broke all to pieces when it struck one of the boys, and that the boy only laughed, and began gathering up the snow into a ball to throw back again at his play-fellow, he saw that the snow did them no harm. He also longed to go out to play with the snow; but his Mamma told him he must wait, till the fall of snow was over, and then she would take him out, and he should play with the snow that was on the ground. Willy was very impatient; he stood looking at the window, and thought the snow would never cease; but he was accustomed to obey, and to obey without grumbling.
"Where can all this snow come from, Mamma?" said he.
"From the clouds, my dear; those black clouds up yonder. They pour down rain, when the weather is not very cold; but when it is very cold the drops of rain are frozen into flakes of snow."
"Oh how I wish the sun would shine," said Willy, "and the snow fall no longer, that I might go out."
"The sun does shine," said his Mamma; "but you cannot see it, because those black clouds hide the sun from you."
"Oh no, Mamma," cried Willy, "there is no sun now any where; look all round, there is nothing but dark clouds."
Mamma smiled, and lifting up her black silk apron, so as to hide her face, exclaimed—"Oh, poor Mamma, she has no more face."
"Yes, but she has," cried Willy, laughing and peeping behind the apron; "it is only the black apron that hides it."
Just then the clouds began to part, and Willy saw a beam of sunshine coming from between them; and he said, "I think, Mamma, I can get a peep behind the corner of the black apron that hides the sun."
"The sun always shines when it is daylight, for it is the sun which makes it daylight."
Soon afterwards the sun shone brightly, the snow ceased falling, and Willy ran to put on his things to go out.
"I am ready, Mamma," said he, as he came back into her room, with his hat on, and a warm shawl.
"That will not do now, Willy; you must ask Ann to put you on a great coat, for it is quite winter weather; it is a frost, and this shawl is not warm enough: besides, you must put on your little boots, for the snow would get into your shoes."
"I should not mind it if it did," replied Willy.
"Ah, but the warmth of your feet would do like the warmth of your hands,—it would melt the snow into water, which would wet your stockings; and then, perhaps, you would catch cold, and be obliged to stay in doors instead of playing with the snow."
Willy thought he should not like that at all; besides, having never worn a pair of boots, he wished very much to put them on for the first time. He thought Ann was a terribly long time in lacing them, so impatient was he to be out; and he began kicking about his legs to hurry her. But she told him that only made her longer, for while his feet were jigging about she could not get the lace into the holes, which were very small, the boots being new. So William found that the best way was to be quiet; then Ann went on lacing as fast again, and had soon finished.
Willy strutted about in his new boots, showed Mamma how he looked like Papa in boots, thought himself a little man, and was so much pleased that he forgot the snow; till Mamma asked him whether he had put on boots to walk about on the carpet.
"Oh no!" cried he, suddenly recollecting the snow; "let us go, Mamma; let us go out directly."
Then Mamma took his hand, and they went down stairs, and when they opened the street door, there came in such a cold wind, that Willy could not help exclaiming—"Oh, how cold it is!" But he soon forgot the cold in the pleasure he took in trampling in the snow: he found that it was very soft, and that every step he took his feet made a deep print in the snow, for it was now lying about three inches thick on the ground.
"Indeed, it would have been over my shoes," cried he; "but it cannot get into my boots, they are so much higher, and they keep my feet so nice and warm; but then, Mamma, my warm feet will melt the snow."
"No," replied his mother; "there are your boots between your feet and the snow, and the warmth of your feet will hardly get through them. Besides, if it did, the melted snow would not get through your boots very easily to wet your feet."
Then Willy began kicking up the snow, as he saw the other boys do to amuse themselves; and he met Harry, one of his little friends, who was come out to play with the snow also; so they played together, gathering up as much snow with their hands as they could hold, and squeezing it together into a ball as hard as they could, and then throwing it at each other: they ran after each other with their snowballs, and played all sorts of gambols; till, at last, Willy cried out—"Well, I am sure it is hot enough now, and I don't want my great coat."
"The weather is not at all warmer than it was," said his Mamma; "but you have been running about so much that you are both very hot, and if you pulled off your great coat now, the cold air would blow upon you."
"Oh, how pleasant that would be!" cried Willy, interrupting her.
"But," continued she, "it would certainly give you cold, and make you very ill, perhaps oblige you to stay within doors."
Then Willy thought it better to keep on his great coat, though he was so hot. Just then Harry, running after him, threw him down, and he rolled about in the snow, crying out, "How nicely this cools me!"
But his Mamma would not allow him to remain there, and told him it was now time to go home. Willy was very, very sorry to leave such pleasant sport, and begged so hard to stay a little longer, that his Mamma knew not how to refuse him, so she granted him ten minutes more; and looked at her watch to know when the ten minutes would be over.
"Harry," said Willy, laughing, "I wish I could get inside the watch, and stop it!" Then they agreed that, as they must soon go in, they had better each make a very large snowball, to take home with them; and when Mamma called Willy, saying the ten minutes were over, he had made a snowball nearly half as big as his head, and he carried it home with him.
There was once a little Kid whose growing horns made him think he was a grown-up Billy Goat and able to take care of himself. So one evening when the flock started home from the pasture and his mother called, the Kid paid no heed and kept right on nibbling the tender grass. A little later when he lifted his head, the flock was gone.
He was all alone. The sun was sinking. Long shadows came creeping over the ground. A chilly little wind came creeping with them making scary noises in the grass. The Kid shivered as he thought of the terrible Wolf. Then he started wildly over the field, bleating for his mother. But not half-way, near a clump of trees, there was the Wolf!
The Kid knew there was little hope for him.
"Please, Mr. Wolf," he said trembling, "I know you are going to eat me. But first please pipe me a tune, for I want to dance and be merry as long as I can."
The Wolf liked the idea of a little music before eating, so he struck up a merry tune and the Kid leaped and frisked gaily.
The Wolf and the Kid
Meanwhile, the flock was moving slowly homeward. In the still evening air the Wolf's piping carried far. The Shepherd Dogs pricked up their ears. They recognized the song the Wolf sings before a feast, and in a moment they were racing back to the pasture. The Wolf's song ended suddenly, and as he ran, with the Dogs at his heels, he called himself a fool for turning piper to please a Kid, when he should have stuck to his butcher's trade.
Do not let anything turn you from your purpose.
I never saw a purple cow.
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one.
WEEK 1 |
ecause she used to herd Goats in the high places and the rocky places, she went by the name of Girl-go-with-the-Goats. But that was not the name that she herself called herself. She called herself Maid-alone.
Her feet were scratched with briars and bruised with stones. She was dressed in rags threaded together. And neither the red of pleasure nor the red of health had ever come into her face. She lived with her step-mother, Dame Dale, and her two step-sisters, Berry-bright and Buttercup. Now one day as Berry-bright was dizening herself with a necklace of beads and Buttercup was looking at herself in a plate of brass, and old woman came up to the house. Her dress was the queerest that anyone ever saw, a Cloak of crow-feathers and nothing else.
"My, my, my," said the old woman as she came into the house. "My, my, my, what became of the big tree that used to grow fornenst your little house?"
"The big tree!" said Berry-bright, "I have heard my mother speak of that big tree. But she never saw it herself. They say that the gypsies once lighted their fires around that big tree, and that the leaves withered and the branches and the root, and the tree died away. But my mother never remembers to have seen it."
"My, my, my," said the old woman. "It must be a long time since I was round this way, and where is the well that used to be on my right-hand side as I came into the house?"
"I used to hear my grandmother speak of that well, "said Buttercup. "But it was dried up before her time."
"My, my, my," said the old woman. "It's a long time since I was round this way. But now that I'm here, maidens dear, put the griddle on the fire and knead and bake a cake for me."
"There's no fire on the hearthstone as you see," said Berry-bright, "and we are not going to put down a fire for you now."
"Nor can we knead a cake and put it on the griddle for you," said Buttercup.
"We have just washed our hands in new milk," said Berry-bright.
"As we wash them everyday," said Buttercup.
"So that our hands will be as white as blossoms," said Berry-bright.
"In three months from this the King's son is to choose out a maiden to wed."
"And there are no maidens fairer than we two," said Buttercup, " and one or the other of us the King's son is sure to marry."
"And so we have to keep our hands white and fair," said Berry-bright. "We couldn't think of putting down a fire now that we have washed them in new milk."
"And to put a griddle on!" said Buttercup. "That would be to hold them over the fire and make the skin of our hands split."
"And to knead a cake!" said Berry-bright. "That would be to roughen our hands. The end of it is, old woman, we can't do anything for you."
"My, my, my," said the old woman. "Then I will get nothing to stay my hunger."
"If you had come before we washed our hands with new milk," said Buttercup, "we should have done what you'd ask."
Then they went on doing what they had been doing before, one looking at herself in a plate of brass and the other dizening herself with a necklace of beads. And the old woman in the Cloak of crow-feathers was standing there looking at them when Girl-go-with-the-Goats came in.
"Did you milk the goats?" said Berry-bright.
"I did," said Girl-go-with-the-Goats.
"I hope you've ground the corn at the quern to-day," said Berry-bright, "for our mother, Dame Dale, will be coming home hungry from the market."
"I have ground the corn at the quern," said Girl-go-with-the-Goats.
She went outside and came back with a bundle of sticks. She took down a measure of flour that she had ground at the quern and kneaded a cake. She lit a fire and put the griddle on it. She baked the cake, cut it into four quarters, and gave it to the old woman.
"Help me over the stepping-stones, Brown Girl," said the old woman to her then.
"I will," said Girl-go-with-the-Goats. She went out of doors with the old woman in the Crow-feather Cloak.
"How that girl shows her ungentility," said Buttercup. "It is easy knowing the stock she came from by the way she makes up with every beggar and stroller."
"A beggar she herself would be," said Buttercup, "if our mother and ourselves did not give her bread and bed."
"She saw her own kind no doubt in Crow-feather-Cloak," said Berry-bright. "But call her now, sister, and bring her back, so that she'll have time to cook supper for our mother who must be on her way home by this."
"Really, sister," said Buttercup, "you might go to the door yourself."
"You will have that plate of brass worn out looking at yourself," said Berry-bright.
So Berry-bright and Buttercup spoke to each other; and neither went to the door to call Girl-go-with-the-Goats, who by this time was as far as the stepping-stones with the Old Woman in the Crow-feather Cloak.
MY name is Robinson Crusoe. I was born in the old city of York, where there is a broad river, with ships coming and going.
When I was a little boy, I spent much of my time looking at the river.
How pleasant was the quiet stream, flowing, always flowing, toward the far-away sea!
I liked to watch the ships as they came in with their white sails spread to the wind.
I liked to think of the strange lands which they must have visited, and of the many wonderful things they must have passed.
I wished to be a sailor. I thought how grand it must be to sail and sail on the wide blue sea, with the sky above and the waves beneath. Nothing could be pleasanter.
My father wanted me to learn a trade. But I could not bear the thought of it. I could not bear the thought of working every day in a dusty shop.
I did not wish to stay in York all my life. I wanted to see the world. I would be a sailor and nothing else.
My mother was very sad when I told her.
A sailor's life, she said, was a hard life. There were many storms at sea, and ships were often wrecked.
She told me, too, that there were great fishes in the sea, and that they would eat me up if I fell into the water.
Then she gave me a cake, and kissed me. "How much safer it is to be at home!" she said.
But I would not listen to her. My mind was made up, and a sailor I would be.
When I was eighteen years old, I left my pleasant home and went to sea.
Who comes dancing over the snow,
His soft little feet all bare and rosy?
Open the door though the wild winds blow,
Take the child in and make him cozy.
Take him in and hold him dear,
For he is the wonderful glad New Year.
WEEK 1 |
"Great men have been among us."
T WO men were now pushing their way to the forefront of affairs in Rome—men whose names were to become famous, not only in the history of their own country, but famous in the history of the whole world. Their names were Pompey and Cæsar. They were born within six years of one another, about a hundred years before the birth of Christ, and they were young men still, when they became rivals for Roman power.
Pompey first made his mark. As a child he was very beautiful, and he was ever beloved by the people of Rome for his gentle ways and his kingly manners. He early distinguished himself by fighting, for Rome had still enemies left in both Spain and Africa. On his return from the wars, though still a very young man, he was made consul of Rome.
There is a story told of him at this time, which shows how popular he was. There was an ancient custom in Rome, by which the knights, who had served their time in the wars, led their horses into the market-place, before two officers: they gave an account of their service and received their discharge, every man with honour or disgrace, according to his deserts. The knights were passing thus, before the officers, when Pompey was seen leading his horse into the Forum, wearing the dress of a consul.
"Pompey the Great," said the senior officer, "I demand of you, whether you have served the full time in the laws which is ordered by the Roman law."
"Yes," replied Pompey in a loud voice, "I have served all, and all under myself as general."
On hearing this all the people gave a great shout, and they went on shouting, till the officers rose from their judgment-seat and accompanied the hero to his home, amid the clapping of hands and shouts of joy.
When his term of office was over he was given authority, for three years, over the whole Mediterranean Sea, so that he might crush out the pirates or sea-robbers, who were ruining the trade of that great sea.
Now these sea-robbers were growing very dangerous. They had built for themselves swift-sailing ships, with which to pursue the merchant vessels; they had harbours, towers, and beacons, all round the sea-coast. Their ships had gilded masts, the sails were purple, the oars plated with silver. They were the terror of navigators from the Straits of Gibraltar, to the shores of the Black Sea; they stopped and robbed the ships bringing wheat from Sicily and Alexandria, to feed the Romans, and it was plain that something must be done.
Pompey divided the sea into thirteen parts, and sent officers and men to fight the sea-robbers in each part. Up and down the blue Mediterranean, sailed these ships, chasing the pirates, till in forty days the whole sea was cleared and Pompey was free to undertake some new work, for his country. The great kingdoms of the East were once more on the war-path, and Pompey was now sent to subdue them.
When Pompey next returned to Rome, he was at the height of his glory. He had marched a great Roman army through Syria; he had extended the Roman Empire, as far as the river Euphrates. It was small wonder, then, that Rome accorded him a two days' triumph, which exceeded in magnificence, even the triumph of Paulus. All his great deeds were set forth on bronze tablets which were carried before him. These told how he had founded cities, captured eight hundred ships, one thousand fortresses, and nearly as many towns; he had poured money wholesale into the treasury of Rome, while three hundred captive princes walked before his chariot. He returned triumphant, and dreams of kingship were already in his mind. He had left Rome but four years before, the very idol of the people.
"Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climbed up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The livelong day with patient expectation
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome;
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout
Till Tiber trembled underneath her banks?"
But now, as he stepped from his chariot after his triumph, Pompey the Great found himself alone; no longer was he surrounded by admirers and flatterers, no longer was he the idol of Rome.
For another favourite had enthroned himself in the hearts of the people. And that was Julius Cæsar—a far greater man than Pompey could ever be, for
"This was the greatest Roman of them all."
T HERE was once a boy named Icarus who, with his father Daedalus, was imprisoned in a tower on the island of Crete.
From the little window of this lonely tower they could see the blue ocean and watch the gulls and eagles sweep back and forth over the island.
Sometimes a ship sailed out toward other lands, and then Daedalus and Icarus would long for freedom, and wish that they might sail away to Delos and never again see the island of Crete.
Daedalus at last found a way for them to escape from the tower, but they were obliged to hide themselves in the loneliest parts of the island. Minos, the king who had put them in prison, watched the coming and going of all ships, and so Daedalus and Icarus never found courage to go near the harbor where the outgoing galleys lay anchored.
In spite of this, Icarus was almost happy. Besides the blue sea, the ships, and the birds, which he loved to watch, he found shellfish along the shore, crabs among the rocks, and many other curious things.
But Daedalus grew more lonely and miserable and spent all his time watching the gulls as they flew in the air, and planning how he and Icarus might escape from the island.
One day Icarus was throwing stones at the gulls. He killed one of the birds and brought it to his father.
"See how the feathers shine, and how long the wings are!" said the boy.
"See," said Icarus, "how the feathers shine, and how long the wings are!"
Daedalus took the bird in his hands and turned it over slowly, examining the wings.
"Now if we had wings," laughed Icarus, "we could fly away and be free."
For a long time his father sat silent, holding the dead bird. Now and then he looked up and watched other birds as they wheeled in the air over the sea and the island.
At last he thought of a plan and said softly to himself, "We shall have wings, too."
After that, Daedalus was idle no more. He plucked feathers from all the birds that Icarus could kill, and began to make two great wings. He fastened the feathers to a framework with melted wax and threads pulled from his linen mantle.
Daedalus fastened the feathers to a framework.
When these two wings were finished, Daedalus bound them on himself. He rose into the air, waving his arms, now up, now down, and went soaring far out over the water.
Icarus jumped about in delight, and shouted to his father to come back and make another pair of wings so that they might fly away and leave Crete forever.
When Daedalus had finished another pair of wings he bound the smaller pair on his son. Then he warned Icarus not to wander off alone in the air but to follow him closely.
"If you fly too low, the dampness of the sea will make your feathers heavy, and you will sink into the water," said Daedalus. But if you fly too near the sun the heat will melt the wax and you will fall."
Icarus promised to fly just as his father bade him. Leaping from the highest cliff on the island, they flew away toward Delos.
At first Icarus was obedient and followed close behind his father, but soon in the joy of flying he forgot all that his father had told him, and stretching his arms upward he went higher and higher into the heavens.
Icarus went higher and higher into the heavens.
Daedalus called to him to return, but the wind passed so swiftly that it carried all sound away, and Icarus could not hear. His wings bore him higher and still higher into the region of the clouds. As he went up and up the air grew warmer and warmer, but he forgot his father's warning and flew on.
At length he saw feathers floating in the air around him and suddenly he remembered his father's warning. He knew that the heat of the sun had melted the wax that held the feathers to the framework.
Finally Icarus felt himself sinking, and fluttered his wings wildly in an effort to fly, but such a storm of feathers swept around him that he could not see.
With a wild cry, turning and whirling through the sky, poor Icarus fell down into the blue waters of the sea—known ever since as the Icarian.
Daedalus heard his cry and flew to the spot, but nothing could be seen of Icarus or his wings except a handful of white feathers which floated on the water.
Sadly the father went on with his journey, and finally reached the shore of a friendly island. There he built a temple to Apollo and hung up his wings as an offering to the god. But ever after he mourned his son, and never again did he try to fly.
Of all the trees in England,
Her sweet three corners in,
Only the Ash, the bonnie Ash
Burns fierce while it is green.
Of all the trees in England,
From sea to sea again,
The Willow loveliest stoops her boughs
Beneath the driving rain.
Of all the trees in England,
Past frankincense and myrrh,
There's none for smell, of bloom and smoke,
Like Lime and Juniper.
Of all the trees in England,
Oak, Elder, Elm and Thorn,
The Yew alone burns lamps of peace
For them that lie forlorn.
WEEK 1 |
When this story begins, Elizabeth Ann, who is the heroine of it, was a little girl of nine, who lived with her Great-aunt Harriet in a medium-sized city in a medium-sized State in the middle of this country; and that's all you need to know about the place, for it's not the important thing in the story; and anyhow you know all about it because it was probably very much like the place you live in yourself.
Elizabeth Ann's Great-aunt Harriet was a widow who was not very rich or very poor, and she had one daughter, Frances, who gave piano lessons to little girls. They kept a "girl" whose name was Grace and who had asthma dreadfully and wasn't very much of a "girl" at all, being nearer fifty than forty. Aunt Harriet, who was very tender-hearted, kept her chiefly because she couldn't get any other place on account of her coughing so you could hear her all over the house.
So now you know the names of all the household. And this is how they looked: Aunt Harriet was very small and thin and old, Grace was very small and thin and middle-aged, Aunt Frances (for Elizabeth Ann called her "Aunt," although she was really, of course, a first-cousin-once-removed) was small and thin and if the light wasn't too strong might be called young, and Elizabeth Ann was very small and thin and little. And yet they all had plenty to eat. I wonder what was the matter with them?
It was certainly not because they were not good, for no womenkind in all the world had kinder hearts than they. You have heard how Aunt Harriet kept Grace (in spite of the fact that she was a very depressing person) on account of her asthma; and when Elizabeth Ann's father and mother both died when she was a baby, although there were many other cousins and uncles and aunts in the family, these two women fairly rushed upon the little baby-orphan, taking her home and surrounding her henceforth with the most loving devotion.
They had said to themselves that it was their manifest duty to save the dear little thing from the other relatives, who had no idea about how to bring up a sensitive, impressionable child, and they were sure, from the way Elizabeth Ann looked at six months, that she was going to be a sensitive, impressionable child. It is possible also that they were a little bored with their empty life in their rather forlorn, little brick house in the medium-sized city, and that they welcomed the occupation and new interests which a child would bring in.
But they thought that
they chiefly desired to save dear Edward's child from the
other kin, especially from the Putney cousins, who had written
down from their Vermont farm that they would be glad
to take the little girl into
But "anything but the Putneys!" said Aunt Harriet, a great
many times. They were related only by marriage to her,
and she had her own opinion of them as a
stiffnecked, cold-hearted, undemonstrative, and hard set of New Englanders. "I
boarded near them one summer when you were a baby,
Frances, and I shall never forget the way they were
treating some children visiting there!
Aunt Harriet never meant to say any of this when Elizabeth Ann could hear, but the little girl's ears were as sharp as little girls' ears always are, and long before she was nine she knew all about the opinion Aunt Harriet had of the Putneys. She did not know, to be sure, what "chores" were, but she took it confidently from Aunt Harriet's voice that they were something very, very dreadful.
There was certainly neither coldness nor hardness in the way Aunt Harriet and Aunt Frances treated Elizabeth Ann. They had really given themselves up to the new responsibility, especially Aunt Frances, who was very conscientious about everything. As soon as the baby came there to live, Aunt Frances stopped reading novels and magazines, and re-read one book after another which told her how to bring up children. And she joined a Mothers' Club which met once a week. And she took a correspondence course in mothercraft from a school in Chicago which teaches that business by mail. So you can see that by the time Elizabeth Ann was nine years old Aunt Frances must have known all that anybody can know about how to bring up children. And Elizabeth Ann got the benefit of it all.
She and her Aunt Frances were simply inseparable. Aunt Frances shared in all Elizabeth Ann's doings and even in all her thoughts. She was especially anxious to share all the little girl's thoughts, because she felt that the trouble with most children is that they are not understood, and she was determined that she would thoroughly understand Elizabeth Ann down to the bottom of her little mind. Aunt Frances (down in the bottom of her own mind) thought that her mother had never really understood her, and she meant to do better by Elizabeth Ann. She also loved the little girl with all her heart, and longed, above everything in the world, to protect her from all harm and to keep her happy and strong and well.
And yet Elizabeth Ann was neither very strong nor well. And as to her being happy, you can judge for yourself when you have read all this story. She was very small for her age, with a rather pale face and big dark eyes which had in them a frightened, wistful expression that went to Aunt Frances's tender heart and made her ache to take care of Elizabeth Ann better and better.
Aunt Frances was afraid of a great many
things herself, and she knew how to sympathize with timidity. She
was always quick to reassure the little girl with all
her might and main whenever there was anything to fear.
When they were out walking (Aunt Frances took her out
for a walk up one block and down another every
single day, no matter how tired the music lessons had
made her), the aunt's eyes were always on the alert
to avoid anything which might frighten Elizabeth Ann. If a
big dog trotted by, Aunt Frances always said, hastily: "There,
there, dear! That's a nice doggie, I'm sure. I don't
believe he ever bites little
Or if it thundered and lightened, Aunt Frances always dropped everything she might be doing and held Elizabeth Ann tightly in her arms until it was all over. And at night—Elizabeth Ann did not sleep very well—when the little girl woke up screaming with a bad dream, it was always dear Aunt Frances who came to her bedside, a warm wrapper over her nightgown so that she need not hurry back to her own room, a candle lighting up her tired, kind face. She always took the little girl into her thin arms and held her close against her thin breast. "Tell Aunt Frances all about your naughty dream, darling," she would murmur, "so's to get it off your mind!"
She had read in her books that you can tell a great deal about children's inner lives by analyzing their dreams, and besides, if she did not urge Elizabeth Ann to tell it, she was afraid the sensitive, nervous little thing would "lie awake and brood over it." This was the phrase she always used the next day to her mother when Aunt Harriet exclaimed about her paleness and the dark rings under her eyes. So she listened patiently while the little girl told her all about the fearful dreams she had, the great dogs with huge red mouths that ran after her, the Indians who scalped her, her schoolhouse on fire so that she had to jump from a third-story window and was all broken to bits—once in a while Elizabeth Ann got so interested in all this that she went on and made up more awful things even than she had dreamed, and told long stories which showed her to be a child of great imagination. But all these dreams and continuations of dreams Aunt Frances wrote down the first thing the next morning, and, with frequent references to a thick book full of hard words, she tried her best to puzzle out from them exactly what kind of little girl Elizabeth Ann really was.
H APPY JACK SQUIRREL had had a wonderful day. He had found some big chestnut-trees that he had never seen before, and which promised to give him all the nuts he would want for all the next winter. Now he was thinking of going home, for it was getting late in the afternoon. He looked out across the open field where Mr. Goshawk had nearly caught him that morning. His home was on the other side.
"It's a long way 'round," said Happy Jack to himself, "but it is best to be safe and sure."
So Happy Jack started on his long journey around the open field. Now, Happy Jack's eyes are bright, and there is very little that Happy Jack does not see. So, as he was jumping from one tree to another, he spied something down on the ground which excited his curiosity.
"I must stop and see what that is," said Happy Jack. So down the tree he ran, and in a few minutes he had found the queer thing, which had caught his eyes. It was smooth and black and white, and at one end it was very sharp with a tiny little barb. Happy Jack found it out by pricking himself with it.
"Ooch," he cried, and dropped the queer thing. Pretty soon he noticed there were a lot more on the ground.
"I wonder what they are," said Happy Jack. "They don't grow, for they haven't any roots. They are not thorns, for there is no plant from which they could come. They are not alive, so what can they be?"
Now, Happy Jack's eyes are bright, but sometimes he doesn't use them to the very best advantage. He was so busy examining the queer things on the ground that he never once thought to look up in the tops of the trees. If he had, perhaps he would not have been so much puzzled. As it was he just gathered up three or four of the queer things and started on again. On the way he met Peter Rabbit and showed Peter what he had. Now, you know Peter Rabbit is very curious. He just couldn't sit still, but must scamper over to the place Happy Jack Squirrel told him about.
"You'd better be careful, Peter Rabbit; they're very sharp," shouted Happy Jack.
But as usual, Peter was in too much of a hurry to heed what was said to him. Lipperty-lipperty-lip, lipperty-lipperty-lip, went Peter Rabbit through the woods, as fast as his long legs would take him. Then suddenly he squealed and sat down to nurse one of his feet. But he was up again in a flash with another squeal louder than before. Peter Rabbit had found the queer things that Happy Jack Squirrel had told him about. One was sticking in his foot, and one was in the white patch on the seat of his trousers.
The frost is here,
And fuel is dear,
And woods are sear,
And fires burn clear,
And frost is here
And has bitten the heel of the going year.
Bite, frost, bite!
You roll up away from the light
The blue woodlouse and the plump dor-mouse,
And the bees are still'd, and the flies are kill'd,
And you bite far into the heart of the house,
But not into mine.
Bite, frost, bite!
The woods are all the searer,
The fuel is all the dearer,
The fires are all the clearer,
My spring is all the nearer,
You have bitten into the heart of the earth,
But not into mine.
WEEK 1 |
Joshua i: 1, to ii: 24.
FTER the death of Moses, while the children of Israel were still encamped upon the east bank of the river Jordan, God spoke to Joshua, and said:
"Now that Moses my servant is dead, you are to take his place and to rule this people. Do not delay, but lead them across the river Jordan, and conquer the land which I have given to them."
Then God told Joshua how large would be the land which the Israelites were to have, if they should show themselves worthy of it. It was to reach from the great river Euphrates, far in the north, down to the border of Egypt on the south, and from the desert on the east to the Great Sea on the west. And God said to Joshua:
"Be strong and of a good courage. I will be with you as I was with Moses. Read constantly the book of the law which Moses gave you, and be careful to obey all that is written in it. Do this and you will have good success."
Then Joshua gave orders to his officers. He said, "Go through the camp, and tell the people to prepare food for a journey; for in three days we shall pass over the river Jordan, and shall go into the land which the Lord has promised us."
To say this was very bold; for at that time of the year, in the spring, the Jordan was much larger than at other times. All its banks were overflowed, and it was running as a broad, deep, swift river, down to the Dead Sea, a few miles to the south. No one could possibly walk through it; only a strong man could swim in its powerful current; and the Israelites had no boats in which they could cross it.
On the other side of the river, a few miles distant, the Israelites could see the high walls of the city of Jericho, standing at the foot of the mountains. Before the rest of the land could be won, this city must be taken, for it stood beside the road leading up to the mountain country.
Joshua chose two careful, brave, and wise men, and said to them, "Go across the river, and get into the city of Jericho; find out all you can about it, and come back in two days."
The two men swam across the river, and walked over to Jericho, and went into the city. But they had been seen, and the king of Jericho sent men to take them prisoners. They came to a house which stood on the wall of the city, where was living a woman named Rahab; and she hid the men.
But these strange men had been seen going into her house, and the king sent his officers after them. The woman hid the men on the roof of the house, and heaped over them stalks of flax, which are like long reeds, so that the officers could not find them. After the officers had gone away, thinking that the two spies had left the city, the woman Rahab came to the two men, and said to them:
"All of us in this city know that your God is mighty and terrible, and that he has given you this land. We have heard how your God dried up the Red Sea before you, and led you through the desert, and gave you victory over your enemies. And now all the people in this city are in fear of you, for they know that your God will give you this city and all this land."
"Now," said Rahab, "promise me in the name of the Lord, that you will spare my life, and the lives of my father and mother, and of my brothers and sisters, when you take this city."
And the men said, "We will pledge our life for yours, that no harm shall come to you; for you have saved our lives."
This woman's house stood on the wall of the city. From one of its windows Rahab let down outside a rope, upon which the men could slide down to the ground. It happened that this rope was of a bright scarlet color.
The two spies said to Rahab, "When our men come to take this city, you shall have this scarlet rope hanging in the window. Bring your father, and mother, and family into the house, and keep them there while we are taking the city. We will tell all our men not to harm the people who are in the house where the scarlet cord hangs from the window; and thus all your family will be safe when the city is taken."
Then the two men, at night, slid down the rope and found their way to the river, and swam over it again, and told their story to Joshua. They said, "Truly the Lord has given to us all the land; for all the people in it are in terror before us, and will not dare to oppose us."
The two spies let down by a rope.
One fact was a great help to the Israelites in their plans for taking the land of Canaan. It was not held by one people, or ruled over by one king, who could unite all his people against the Israelites. There were many small nations living in the land, and each little tribe, and even each city, was ruled by its own king. So it would be easy for the Israelites to destroy them one by one, so long as they kept apart and did not band themselves together into one army.
The Israelites were now a strong and united people, trained for war, and willing to obey one leader, so that all the twelve tribes were ready to fight as one man.
NCE upon a time there was a wide river that ran into the ocean, and beside it was a little city. And in that city was a wharf where great ships came from far countries. And a narrow road led down a very steep hill to that wharf, and anybody that wanted to go to the wharf had to go down the steep hill on the narrow road, for there wasn't any other way.
And because ships had come there for a great many years, and all the sailors and all the captains and all the men who had business with the ships had to go on that narrow road, the flagstones that made the sidewalks were much worn. That was a great many years ago.
The river and the ocean are there yet, as they always have been and always will be; and the city is there, but it is a different kind of a city from what it used to be. And the wharf is slowly falling down, for it is not used now; and the narrow road down the steep hill is all grown up with weeds and grass.
A great many years ago, when the ships still came to that wharf, a man used to go down the narrow road very often, for, although he had no business with the ships that came there, he liked to look at them and to be near them. And at last he thought he would be a ship-builder; for he had studied the building of ships and he knew how.
So he looked all around for a place that would be good for ship-building. He had to have a place that was pretty level and pretty smooth, and it must be beside the water, and the water right next to it must be wide enough, so that the ships, when they were launched, would not go slam-bang into the show on the other side; and it must be deep enough, so that the ships would not stick in the mud at the bottom.
At last, when he had looked at a great many places, he found the right kind of a place for ship-building. It was a great meadow, all smooth and flat, beside a wide river. The men who had owned it had used it to cut salt hay from; for it was not very far from the great ocean, and the tide came up and went down there, and sometimes the meadow was all covered with water at high tide. So this man, who wanted to build ships, bought the meadow and paid the men money for it, and it was his.
Then he began to make it ready for building ships. There wasn't very much to do to it. First he built a blacksmith shop in one corner, near the road. And what the blacksmith shop was for is told about in the Blacksmith Story.
While the men were building the blacksmith shop, other men were building a shed on the other side of the meadow. A part of the shed was all open in front, with only posts there, to hold up the roof. The other part had a wall all around. The open part was to put logs in, so that they would dry enough, and for the men to work in when it rained. In the part with the wall all around was a furnace and a boiler. And from the boiler was a pipe that went out through the wall at the back and into a long wooden box. Then, when a fire was built in the furnace, the water in the boiler got hotter and hotter until it boiled and turned to steam; and the steam went through the pipe into the long wooden box. You will know, pretty soon, why they wanted steam in the long wooden box.
That was all there was to do to the meadow to make it a shipyard, and the master of the shipyard didn't do anything more to it until he began to build a ship. Then, one day, two men came to see the master. One was Captain Jonathan and the other was Captain Jacob.
"We have decided to have a vessel built for us," said Captain Jonathan. "It will be a brig, and we shall call it the Industry. We should like to have you build it."
The master was very glad to hear Captain Jonathan say that, and he said that he would build the brig Industry for them, and he would make it very strong and very safe, so that it could sail through any kind of a storm and not be hurt. So Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob and the master agreed about the brig Industry, and Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob went away.
Then the master of the shipyard sent for a lot of men who knew how to build ships. And some of them he sent away to find trees that were the right kind. He wanted all the trees to be live-oak, and some of them he wanted to be straight and some crooked. So the men went where those trees grew, and they picked out a great many live-oak trees. And some of the trees were straight and some were crooked; and the crooked ones were all kinds of shapes that were right to go in a ship. And they cut those trees down and they cut off the branches, so that the trees were nothing but logs. It was winter, but no snow was on the ground, for snow does not often fall where those trees grow.
Then the men went to work with a great many yoke of oxen, and they hauled those logs to the river that was nearest, and they loaded the logs into a vessel that was waiting there. They couldn't load them on railroad cars, for they did not have railroads then. And when the vessel was all loaded so that it couldn't take any more, the men got on and they sailed away out of the river and over the great ocean until they came to the wide river that the shipyard was beside. And they sailed up that river until they came to the shipyard, and they tied the ship with great ropes to a wharf that the other men had built while they were away getting the live-oak logs. And they took all the logs out of the vessel and put them on the ground, not in a pile, but each one by itself. And the logs, put that way, each by itself, nearly covered the ground, so that there was hardly room to walk about without walking on the logs.
Then the master of the shipyard came and looked at each log carefully, and decided where it would go the best in the ship, and he had the men pile the logs in the open shed in order. And three of the largest and straightest logs he picked out for the keel of the Industry. For the keel is the very bottomest part of a vessel, so that it has to be laid first of all; and it must be very strong, for all the ribs are fastened to it.
So the men took their broadaxes and their adzes and went to work upon the keel logs, making them square and smoothing them off. A broadaxe is like a common axe, but it has a broad blade; and an adze is like an axe turned a quarter way around, so that it cuts like a hoe when it is used for weeding, except that it is sharp and heavy. And the sound of the adzes and of the axes on the live-oak logs was a pleasant sound, and the master of the shipyard liked to hear it. And the men talked with each other while they worked.
While the men were making the keel logs square and smooth, the master of the shipyard looked to see where was the best place to lay the keel so that the Industry would slide off nicely and easily into the water when it was all done and they were ready to have it slide off. And he decided where was the best place; and when they had finished making the logs square and smooth, and had fitted them well together, they got out the old oxen. For there were two yoke of oxen that belonged to the master of the shipyard. And the oxen put down their heads and the men put the yoke over and the bows under, and they hitched a great heavy chain to the yoke. And the old oxen started, and they walked slowly along, and the driver walked beside them; and the great chain dragged along the ground.
When the oxen had come to the largest of the keel logs they stopped, of their own accord. And the men lifted one end of the log with bars, and they slipped the chain under that end and fastened it. Then the driver of the oxen said: "Gee up, there!" And the oxen pulled and strained at the yoke, and at last the log started. And they dragged it along the ground, slowly, until they came to the place for the keel, and there they stopped. And the men unfastened the chain and the oxen went back for another log.
They dragged it along the ground, slowly.
Then other men put that log in its place, and set it up on blocks of wood. The end that was nearest the water was to be the back end of the keel and the stern-post would be fastened to it. The stern-post is another log that has been smoothed off, and it sticks almost straight up; or that is the way that they built vessels then. Now they make the stern-post slope a little. And they made the keel slope a little towards the water, so that the ship, when it was all done, would slide into the water stern first. Why they make ships go into the water stern first is a mystery, but that is the way they do. It seems a strange way, for a ship never sails backwards as long as it lives, after it has once got into the water.
When the men had set the first keel log in its place, they set the second log, that the oxen had dragged over, next to the first one, and when they had got it straight and in line with the first one, they fastened the two logs together with tree nails. Tree nails are round sticks as big around as your wrist and as long as your two arms. And they bore great holes that are rather a tight fit for them, and they soak the tree nails in water, so that they will go in easily and then will swell up until they are very tight in the holes, and they drive them in with great mallets, or wooden hammers. And when they had the second log set in place, they set the third one in the same way, and blocked them all up with great pieces of wood.
Then the keel was all ready. It got gradually narrower toward the bow, or front end, until, at the very front end, it was not much wider than a brand new pencil is long. To this end the men would fasten the stem. The stem is a log that curves a little out, and it is set up sloping a little out. That is the part of a ship that goes first in the water.
And then the men were very busy, getting the ribs ready, and the stern-post and the stem. And the master of the shipyard was very busy, finding what logs would do for ribs, for each rib curves differently from the others, and he had to find logs that curved the way the ribs ought to curve, and only needed to be smoothed off. And when the master had found the right logs, he told the men to smooth them off with their adzes and their axes. So, from all over the shipyard came the sound of the axes and the adzes, and the sound was so pleasant to the master that he was smiling all the time.
And the stern-post was set up, with a framework of sticks to hold it, and it was fastened with tree nails; and the stem was set up, with more framework to hold it, and that was fastened with tree nails. The framework of sticks they call a scaffolding. And the ribs were set up, each one in its place, and they were fastened together at the top by sticks to hold them in place until the ship should be so far done as to hold itself together. And they were fastened to the keel by tree nails.
So, in time, the ship took shape. And the brig Industry looked like the skeleton of a ship, but the master of the shipyard was glad as he saw the vessel grow. And it was time to put in the great beams to hold up the decks, and the knees to fasten the beams to the ribs. Knees are shaped like a bent knee. And one part of the knee goes against the rib and the other part goes under the deck beam and holds it up. And the ship is held together this way, too, because the knees and the deck beams and the ribs are all fastened together. The knees are made of that part of a tree where a big branch grows, and one part of the knee is the trunk of the tree and the other part is the beginning of the big branch.
So, in time, the ship took shape.
So the men hewed out the knees and fitted them in their places, and fastened them to the ribs with tree nails. And they hewed out the deck beams and laid them on the knees, and they fastened them to the knees with tree nails. The Industry had only one deck along the middle part of her, and two decks at the bow and two at the stern, and a little bit of a deck, that was no more than a floor over the bottom. And when they had done most of the deck beams in this way, they began to cover the outside of the skeleton ship with planks. For the ship was strong enough.
The planks for the outside were great thick planks of oak, as thick as a little boy's hand is long, and they were straight, while the outside of the ship was curved. And to make the planks curved so that they would fit on the ribs, outside, the men used the long wooden box and the pipe that went into it from the boiler. They put planks into the long wooden box, as many as it would hold, and they filled the boiler almost full of water, and built a fire in the furnace under the boiler. And the water got hot, and it began to boil, and steam went into the pipe and into the long wooden box and into the planks that were in the box. And when the planks had stayed in the steam for a long time, so that the steam had gone into them, they would bend into any kind of a shape, like a piece of lead. And if they were held in that shape while they dried, then, when they were dry, they would keep that shape. Little boys' hockey sticks are bent that way.
So the men put the planks into the wooden box, and, when they were all bendy, they took them out and put them on the ship where they belonged. And, when they had dried, they fastened them to the ribs with tree nails, and they drove in the tree nails with their great mallets that they swung in their two hands. These mallets are called beetles. And the sound of the mallets was a different sound from the sound of the axes and the adzes. The sound of the axes was a soft kind of sound because the axes cut when they hit; but the sound of the beetles was a hard sound.
And at last the ship was all covered with planks from stem to stern-post, and the decks were all done, and the beams covered with planks. And the men caulked the ship. That is filling all the places between the planks with oakum. The places between the planks they call the seams; and oakum is the fibres of rope all picked out, like excelsior. And when they had driven the oakum into the seams of the outside of the ship and the seams of the decks, they smeared it well with pitch, both within and without, so that water couldn't get in. And over the planks they put a sheathing of thin boards, and over the sheathing of thin boards they put thin sheets of copper where it would be in the salt water, and they fastened the sheets of copper with copper nails. For barnacles and weeds that grow in the water can't grow on copper, but they would grow on the bottom of the ship if it didn't have the copper, and they might grow very large, so that the ship could not sail fast.
They built the cabin and the galley, that is the kitchen of a ship, and finished the Industry so far as the carpenters could finish it. And they hung the rudder, and they put in place the great bowsprit, but they didn't put in the masts. The riggers do that after the vessel is in the water. And they painted the Industry within and without, and the outside was painted black, with two gold stripes around, where the deck is, and at the very top of the rail, where the sailors lean over. And around was a white stripe, and in the white stripe were black squares, to make her look like a warship; for warships, then, were like that, and behind every black square was a gun, and the black squares would lift up. But the Industry hadn't any guns, and the black squares wouldn't lift up. They were only shams. And the inside of her was painted white.
Then, one day, when the brig Industry was finished, even to the painting of her name in gold letters on her stern, Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob came, and they stood beside the master of the shipyard and looked at her. And the master took them all over the vessel and showed them how strongly she was built and how well. For he was proud of his work.
And Captain Jonathan thanked the master for building the brig Industry so well and making her so strong; but Captain Jacob said nothing. And the master answered Captain Jonathan, and said that everything was ready for the launching. How they launched the Industry you shall hear in another story.
And that's all.
Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber;
Holy angels guard thy bed;
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head.
Sleep, my babe, thy food and raiment,
House and home, thy friends provide;
All without thy care, or payment,
All thy wants are well supplied.
How much better thou'rt attended
Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven He descended,
And became a child like thee!
Soft and easy is thy cradle;
Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay,
When His birthplace was a stable,
And His softest bed was hay.
See the kindly shepherds round him,
Telling wonders from the sky!
When they sought Him, there they found Him,
With his Virgin-Mother by.
See the lovely babe a-dressing;
Lovely infant, how He smiled!
When He wept, the mother's blessing
Soothed and hushed the holy child.
Lo, He slumbers in His manger,
Where the honest oxen fed;
—Peace, my darling here's no danger!
Here's no ox a-near thy bed!
Mayst thou live to know and fear Him,
Trust and love Him all thy days;
Then go dwell forever near Him,
See His face, and sing His praise!
I could give thee thousand kisses,
Hoping what I most desire;
Not a mother's fondest wishes
Can to greater joys aspire.