WEEK 3 |
Geppetto having returned home begins at once to make a puppet, to which he gives the name of Pinocchio. The first tricks played by the puppet.
G EPPETTO lived in a small ground-floor room that was only lighted from the staircase. The furniture could not have been simpler,—a bad chair, a poor bed, and a broken-down table. At the end of the room there was a fireplace with a lighted fire; but the fire was painted, and by the fire was a painted saucepan that was boiling cheerfully, and sending out a cloud of smoke that looked exactly like real smoke.
As soon as he reached home Geppetto took his tools and set to work to cut out and model his puppet.
"What name shall I give him?" he said to himself; "I think I will call him Pinocchio. It is a name that will bring him luck. I once knew a whole family so called. There was Pinocchio the father, Pinocchia the mother, and Pinocchi the children, and all of them did well. The richest of them was a beggar."
Having found a name for his puppet he began to work in good earnest, and he first made his hair, then his forehead, and then his eyes.
The eyes being finished, imagine his astonishment when he peceived that they moved and looked fixedly at him.
Geppetto seeing himself stared at by those two wooden eyes took it almost in bad part, and said in an angry voice:
"Wicked wooden eyes, why do you look at me?"
No one answered.
He then proceeded to carve the nose; but no sooner had he made it than it began to grow. And it grew, and grew, and grew, until in a few minutes it had become an immense nose that seemed as if it would never end.
Poor Geppetto tired himself out with cutting it off; but the more he cut and shortened it, the longer did that impertinent nose become!
The mouth was not even completed when it began to laugh and deride him.
"Stop laughing!" said Geppetto, provoked; but he might as well have spoken to the wall.
"Stop laughing, I say!" he roared in a threatening tone.
The mouth then ceased laughing, but put out its tongue as far as it would go.
Geppetto, not to spoil his handiwork, pretended not to see, and continued his labours. After the mouth he fashioned the chin, then the throat, then the shoulders, the stomach, the arms and the hands.
The hands were scarcely finished when Geppetto felt his wig snatched from his head. He turned round, and what did he see? He saw his yellow wig in the puppet's hand.
But Pinocchio, instead of returning it, put it on his own head, and was in consequence nearly smothered.
Geppetto at this insolent and derisive behaviour felt sadder and more melancholy than he had ever been in his life before; and turning to Pinocchio he said to him:
"You young rascal! You are not yet completed, and you are already beginning to show want of respect to your father! That is bad, my boy, very bad!"
And he dried a tear.
The legs and the feet remained to be done. When Geppetto had finished the feet he received a kick on the point of his nose.
When Geppetto had finished the feet he received a kick on the point of his nose.
"I deserve it!" he said to himself; "I should have thought of it sooner! Now it is too late!"
He then took the puppet under the arms and placed him on the floor to teach him to walk.
Pinocchio's legs were stiff and he could not move, but Geppetto led him by the hand and showed him how to put one foot before the other.
When his legs became flexible Pinocchio began to walk by himself and to run about the room; until, having gone out of the house door, he jumped into the street and escaped.
Poor Geppetto rushed after him but was not able to overtake him, for that rascal Pinocchio leapt in front of him like a hare, and knocking his wooden feet together against the pavement made as much clatter as twenty pairs of peasants' clogs.
Geppetto rushed after him.
"Stop him! stop him!" shouted Geppetto but the people in the street, seeing a wooden puppet running like a racehorse, stood still in astonishment to look at it, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed, until it beats description.
At last, as good luck would have it, a carabineer arrived who, hearing the uproar, imagined that a colt had escaped from his master. Planting himself courageously with his legs apart in the middle of the road, he waited with the determined purpose of stopping him, and thus preventing the chance of worse disasters.
When Pinocchio, still at some distance, saw the carabineer barricading the whole street, he endeavoured to take him by surprise and to pass between his legs. But he failed signally.
The carabineer without disturbing himself in the least caught him cleverly by the nose—it was an immense nose of ridiculous proportions that seemed made on purpose to be laid hold of by carabineers—and consigned him to Geppetto. Wishing to punish him, Geppetto intended to pull his ears at once. But imagine his feelings when he could not succeed in finding them. And do you know the reason? It was that, in his hurry to model him, he had forgotten to make them.
He then took him by the collar, and as he was leading him away he said to him, shaking his head threateningly:
"We will go home at once, and as soon as we arrive we will regulate our accounts, never doubt it."
At this announcement Pinocchio threw himself on the ground and would not take another step. In the meanwhile a crowd of idlers and inquisitive people began to assemble and to make a ring round them.
Some of them said one thing, some another.
"Poor puppet!" said several, "he is right not to wish to return home! Who knows
how Geppetto, that bad old man, will beat
And the others added maliciously:
"Geppetto seems a good man! but with boys he is a regular tyrant! If that poor
puppet is left in his hands he is quite capable of tearing him in
It ended in so much being said and done that the carabineer at last set Pinocchio at liberty and conducted Geppetto to prison. The poor man, not being ready with words to defend himself, cried like a calf, and as he was being led away to prison sobbed out:
"Wretched boy! And to think how I have laboured to make him a well-conducted
puppet! But it serves me right! I should have thought of it
What happened afterwards is a story that really is past all belief, but I will relate it to you in the following chapters.
A T another time Harald asked:
"What is your country, Olaf? Have you always been a thrall?"
The thrall's eyes flashed.
"When you are a man," he said, "and go
" 'You are all grown to be men. There is not
"He had three ships. These he gave to three of my brothers. But I stayed that spring and built me a boat. I made her for only twenty oars because I thought few men would follow me; for I was young, fifteen years old. I made her in the likeness of a dragon. At the prow I carved the head with open mouth and forked tongue thrust out. I painted the eyes red for anger.
" 'There, stand so!' I said, 'and glare and hiss at my foes.'
"In the stern I curved the tail up almost as high as the head. There I put the pilot's seat and a strong tiller for the rudder. On the breast and sides I carved the dragon's scales. Then I painted it all black and on the tip of every scale I put gold. I called her 'Waverunner.' There she sat on the rollers, as fair a ship as I ever saw.
"The night that it was finished I went to my father's
feast. After the meats were eaten and the
"But others jumped to their feet with their
"On the next morning we got into my dragon and started. I sat high in the pilot's seat. As our boat flashed down the rollers into the water I made this song and sang it:
" 'The dragon runs.
Where will she steer?
Where swords will sing,
Where spears will bite,
Where I shall laugh.'
"So we harried the coast of Norway. We ate at many men's tables uninvited. Many men we found overburdened with gold. Then I said:
"Oh! it is better to live on the sea and let other men raise your crops and cook your meals. A house smells of smoke, a ship smells of frolic. From a house you see a sooty roof, from a ship you see Valhalla.
"Up and down the water we went to get much wealth and much frolic. After a while my men said:
" 'Not yet,' I answered. 'Viking is better for summer. When the ice comes, and our dragon cannot play, then we will get our farm and sit down.'
"At last the winter came, and I said to my men:
" 'Now for the farm. I have my eye on one up the coast a way in King Halfdan's country.'
"So we set off for it. We landed late at night and pulled our boat up on shore and walked quietly to the house. It was rather a wealthy farm, for there were tables and a storehouse and a smithy at the sides of the house. There was but one door to the house. We went to it, and I struck it with my spear.
" 'Hello! Ho! Hello!' I shouted, and my men made a great din.
"At last some one from inside said:
" 'Who calls?'
" 'I call,' I answered. 'Open! or you will think it Thor who calls,' and I struck my shield against the door so that it made a great clanging.
"I struck my shield against the door
so that it made a great clanging."
"The door opened only a little, but I pushed it wide and leaped into the room. It was so dark that I could see nothing but a few sparks on the hearth. I stood with my back to the wall; for I wanted no sword reaching out of the dark for me.
" 'Now start up the fire,' I said.
" 'Come, come!' I called, when no one obeyed. 'A fire! This is cold welcome for your guests.'
"My men laughed.
" 'Yes, a stingy host! He acts as though he had not expected us.'
"But now the farmer was blowing on the coals and putting on fresh wood. Soon it blazed up, and we could see about us. We were in a little feast hall, with its fire down in the middle of it. There were benches for twenty men along each side. The farmer crouched by the fire, afraid to move. On a bench in a far corner were a dozen people huddled together.
" 'Ho, thralls!' I called to them. 'Bring in the table. We are hungry.'
"Off they ran through a door at the back of the hall. My men came in and lay down by the fire and warmed themselves, but I set two of them as guards at the door.
" 'Well, friend farmer,' laughed one, 'why such a long face? Do you not think we shall be merry company?'
" 'We came only to cheer you,' said another. 'What man wants to spend the winter with no guests?'
" 'Ah!' another then cried out, sitting up. 'Here comes something that will be a welcome guest to my stomach.'
"The thralls were bringing in a great pot of meat. They
set up a crane over the fire and hung the pot upon it,
and we sat and watched it boil while we joked. At last
the supper began. The farmer sat gloomily on the bench
and would not
eat, and you cannot wonder; for he saw us
putting potfuls of his good beef and
" 'You would not eat with us. You cannot say no to half of my ale. I drink this to your health.'
"Then I drank half of the hornful and sent the rest across the fire to the farmer. He took it and smiled, saying:
" 'Since it is to my health, I will drink it. I thought that all this night's work would be my death.'
" 'Oh, do not fear that!' I laughed, 'for a dead man sets no tables.'
"So we drank and all grew merrier. At last I stood up and said:
" 'I like this little taste of your hospitality, friend farmer. I have decided to accept more of it.'
"My men roared with laughter.
" 'Come,' they cried, 'thank him for that, farmer. Did you ever have such a lordly guest before?'
"I went on:
" 'Now there is no fun in having guests unless they keep you company and make you merry. So I will give out this law: that my men shall never leave you alone. Hakon there shall be your constant companion, friend farmer. He shall not leave you day or night, whether you are working or playing or sleeping. Leif and Grim shall be the same kind of friends to your two sons.'
"I named nine others and said:
" 'And these shall follow your thralls in the same way. Now, am I not careful to make your time go merrily?'
"So I set guards over every one in that house. Not once all that winter did they stir out of sight of some of us. So no tales got out to the neighbors. Besides, it was a lonely place, and by good luck no one came that way. Oh! that was fat and easy living.
"Well, after we had been there for a long time, Hakon came in to the feast one night and said:
" 'I heard a cuckoo
" 'It is the call to go
"All my men put their hands to their mouths and shouted. Their eyes danced. Big Thorleif stood up and stretched himself.
" 'I am stiff with long sitting,' he said. 'I itch for a fight.'
"I turned to the farmer.
" 'This is our last feast with you,' I said.
" 'Well,' he laughed, 'this has been the busiest winter I ever spent, and the merriest. May good luck go with you!'
" 'By the beard of Odin!' I cried; 'you have taken our joke like a man.'
"My men pounded the table with their fists.
" 'By the hammer of Thor!' shouted Grim. 'Here is no
stingy coward. He is a man fit to carry my
"Then all my men poured around that farmer and clapped him on the shoulder and piled things upon him, saying:
" 'Here is a ring for Sif the Friendly.'
" 'And here is a bracelet.'
" 'A sword would not be ashamed to hang at your side.'
"I took five great bracelets of gold from our treasure chest and gave them to him.
"The old man's eyes opened wide at all these things, and at the same time he laughed.
" 'May Odin send me such guests every winter!' he said.
"Early next morning we shook hands with our host and boarded the 'Waverunner' and sailed off.
" 'Where shall we go?' my men asked.
" 'Let the gods decide,' I said, and tossed up my spear.
"When it fell on the deck it pointed
" 'Here,' they said, 'is a rascal who has been harrying our coasts. We sunk his ship and men, but him we brought to you.'
" 'A robber viking?' said the king, and scowled at me.
"I threw back my head and laughed.
" 'Yes. And with all your fingers it took you a year to catch me.'
"The king frowned more angrily.
" 'Saucy, too?' he said. 'Well, thieves must die. Take him out, Thorkel, and let him taste your sword.'
"Your mother, the queen, was standing by. Now she put her hand on his arm and smiled and said:
" 'He is only a lad. Let him live. And would he not be a good gift for our baby?'
"Your father thought a moment, then looked at your mother and smiled.
" 'Soft heart!' he said gently to her; then to Thorkel, 'Well, let him go, Thorkel!'
"Then he turned to me again, frowning.
" 'But, young sharp-tongue, now that we have caught you we will put you into a trap that you cannot get out of. Weld an iron collar on his neck.'
"So I lived and now am your tooth thrall. Well, it is the luck of war. But by the chair of Odin, I kept my vow!"
"Yes!" cried Harald, jumping to his feet. "And had a joke into the bargain. Ah! sometime I will make a brave vow like that."
Nothing is quite so quiet and clean
As snow that falls in the night;
And is n't it jolly to jump from bed
And find the whole world white?
It lies on the window ledges,
It lies on the boughs of the trees,
While sparrows crowd at the kitchen door,
With a pitiful "If you please?"
It lies on the arm of the lamp-post,
Where the lighter's ladder goes,
And the policeman under it beats his arms,
And stamps—to feel his toes;
The butcher's boy is rolling a ball
To throw at the man with coals,
And old Mrs. Ingram has fastened a piece
Of flannel under her soles;
No sound there is in the snowy road
From the horses' cautious feet,
And all is hushed but the postman's knocks
Rat-tatting down the street,
Till men come round with shovels
To clear the snow away,—
What a pity it is that when it falls
They never let it stay!
And while we are having breakfast
Papa says, "Isn't it light?
And all because of the thousands of geese
The Old Woman plucked last night.
"And if you are good," he tells us,
"And attend to your A B C,
You may go in the garden and make a snow man
As big or bigger than me."
WEEK 3 |
A HUNDRED years or more after the time of Alfred the Great there was a king of England named Canute. King Canute was a Dane; but the Danes were not so fierce and cruel then as they had been when they were at war with King Alfred.
The great men and officers who were around King Canute were always praising him.
"You are the greatest man that ever lived," one would say.
Then another would say, "O king! there can never be another man so mighty as you."
And another would say, "Great Canute, there is nothing in the world that dares to disobey you."
The king was a man of sense, and he grew very tired of hearing such foolish speeches.
One day he was by the seashore, and his officers were with him. They were praising him, as they were in the habit of doing. He thought that now he would teach them a lesson, and so he bade them set his chair on the beach close by the edge of the water.
"Am I the greatest man in the world?" he asked.
"O king!" they cried, "there is no one so mighty as you."
"Do all things obey me?" he asked.
"There is nothing that dares to disobey you, O king!" they said. "The world bows before you, and gives you honor."
"Will the sea obey me?" he asked; and he looked down at the little waves which were lapping the sand at his feet.
The foolish officers were puzzled, but they did not dare to say "No."
"Command it, O king! and it will obey," said one.
"Sea," cried Canute, "I command you to come no farther! Waves, stop your rolling, and do not dare to touch my feet!"
"Sea, I command you to come no farther!"
But the tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king's chair, and wet not only his feet, but also his robe. His officers stood about him, alarmed, and wondering whether he was not mad.
Then Canute took off his crown, and threw it down upon the sand.
"I shall never wear it again," he said. "And do you, my men, learn a lesson from what you have seen. There is only one King who is all-powerful; and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand. It is he whom you ought to praise and serve above all others."
Don said, "Uncle Tom, will birds find fine seeds if we put them on the snow?"
Uncle Tom told him, "Some birds come to bare ground to look for food. If you put hay on the snow it will be dark and look somewhat like bare ground. Then you can put seeds near the hay."
So Don put out some seeds and hay.
After a while he and Nan looked out of the window and saw some juncos eating the seeds.
The juncos twittered in a very pleasant way while they ate.
These birds had dark gray backs and heads and throats and breasts. Most of their under feathers were white. Their tails were gray with white outer feathers.
"I am glad juncos came to our party, too!" said Nan.
At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.
Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.
There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter's camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.
These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.
I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.
So when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story-Books.
WEEK 3 |
As soon as Mamma was ready, after breakfast, she called Willy, and said, "Before we go out, one thing I must tell you, Willy—when I let you bring home a snowball yesterday, it was to amuse you and make you happy, not to make you cry, and even something worse, Willy."
"I know what you mean, Mamma," said Willy, colouring; "but if you will let me make another snowball, I promise that it shall not make me naughty any more, even if it melts again."
"It is easy to promise," replied his Mamma; "but do you think you will be able to keep your promise, if you should again lose a snowball? You are but a little boy, Willy, and I doubt whether you can command yourself yet."
"Command myself, Mamma! how can I do that? I know that you command me, and Papa commands me; but how can I command myself?"
"Suppose that you felt as if you were going to be out of temper, or to cry, you should say to yourself, or think to yourself,—'Willy, you must not cry, you must not be cross; it is wrong to cry, it is wrong to be naughty;'—that is the way to command yourself—but that is not all, you must also know how to obey when you command."
"Oh, Mamma, I know how to obey commands; I am used to obey you and Papa, so I shall know how to obey myself."
"Well, my dear, we shall try; but I assure you it is not very easy for a little boy of your age to be able to command himself; and to keep a promise."
"Indeed, Mamma," said Willy, "I am not such a very little boy; you know, I shall be four years old next birth-day; and I am three years older than Sophy; and Ann sometimes says that I am a great big boy."
"Whether you are big or little I do not much care; but whether you are good or naughty I mind a great deal."
"Well, Mamma, only try, and you will see."
"I will, my dear," replied his Mamma.
They then went out, and found that a great deal more snow had fallen in the night, which made it so deep on the ground that Willy could hardly lift up his feet to walk through it, and when he tried to run, down he was in the midst of it; but this was only fun to him, for the snow was as soft as a feather bed: he scrambled up again as well as he could, when something came and knocked him down again. It was a good hard blow he got, but still it did not hurt him; and when he looked up, he saw that it was a great lump of snow which had fallen from the branch of a tree over his head.
"Indeed, my dear, we must not stay here," cried his Mamma. "I shall have my bonnet and cloak spoiled more even than if the snow was falling from the clouds, for then it comes in light flakes; but from the trees it falls in great masses." So she took Willy to a part of the walk where there were no trees, and there he made his snowball, and brought it home, and put it out at window: he would gladly have kept the sash of the window open, but this Ann would not allow; so he stood at the window watching his ball through the panes of glass, and he saw there was no water in the plate, so he thought to himself—"My ball is safe; it does not melt; I shall keep it a great long while to play with;" and he jumped about for joy, and once or twice, when Ann was busy about the room, he ventured to open the sash for a moment to feel his ball, and it was quite hard, and so cold, "so very cold, that I am sure it is not melting," said he.
The worst of it was, that when night came the shutters were shut, and he could see his ball no longer. He wished sadly to take it in, and could not help thinking it would be safer within doors, than left out there all alone, in the cold and the dark. He asked Ann, but she fell a laughing: "The cold is just what suits it, my dear; if you take it in, it will be sure to melt as it did yesterday." So Willy was obliged to make up his mind to let it remain out all night; but when he went to bed, and had wished his Papa and Mamma, and Ann, good night, he went to the window, and opening a fold of the shutter, said, "Good night, snowball; now mind you don't melt before to-morrow morning." But, alas! the poor snowball did not mind, or rather it could not mind; for the next morning the sun shone very bright, and its rays fell full upon the snowball; and, though it was winter, the rays were warm enough to begin melting the snowball: first they melted the surface, that is, the outside, and made the snowball quite wet; then the water which came from the melted snow dribbled down into the plate, and the sunbeams, which became warmer as the sun rose higher in the sky, melted the next surface, and every surface that was melted the ball became smaller and smaller, till, when Willy awoke and got up, it was dwindled away, so that it was no larger than an apple. Poor Willy was wofully disappointed: the colour came into his cheeks, and the tears into his eyes, when he suddenly recollected the promise he made his Mamma, not to put himself out of temper about the second snowball; so he tried all he could, and winked his eyes to prevent the tears from falling; and he said to Ann, who was dressing him, "Now, I am not naughty about the snowball, am I?"
"No," replied she; "you bear it like a man."
This praise gave him spirits and as soon as he was dressed, he ran to his Mamma, told her that his ball was almost quite melted, but that he had not cried about it, nor even been out of temper.
"I am very glad of that, my love," said Mamma, taking him on her knees and kissing him.
"Now I see that you can remember your promise, and keep it, I shall trust you another time." And Willy thought how much happier he was when his Mamma kissed and caressed him than when she was vexed and angry with him, as she was when he cried for the loss of the first snowball.
"Why in the world do you walk sideways like that?" said a Mother Crab to her son. "You should always walk straight forward with your toes turned out."
"Show me how to walk, mother dear," answered the little Crab obediently, "I want to learn."
So the old Crab tried and tried to walk straight forward. But she could walk sideways only, like her son. And when she wanted to turn her toes out she tripped and fell on her nose.
Do not tell others how to act unless you can set a good example.
There was an Old Person whose habits
Induced him to feed upon Rabbits;
When he'd eaten eighteen,
He turned perfectly green,
Upon which he relinquished those habits.
WEEK 3 |
irl-go-with-the-goats remembered on the moment what she had to do to make the house well-ordered for her step-mother's return. She ran to the door and pushed past her step-sisters, and taking the besom out of the corner, she started to sweep the floor up towards the hearth.
And then she heard Buttercup and Berry-bright talking to her mother as they came up the loaning, "Oh, Mother," said Buttercup, "I am as glad to see you as if you had brought a Roc's Egg to me."
"Oh, what will I say to Dame Dale so that she will know I am as glad as Buttercup is to see her back?" said Girl-go-with-the-Goats. "A Roc's Egg! I could never think of anything as magnificent as that!"
"Oh, Mother," said Berry-bright, "I am as glad to see you as if you had brought a Phœnix Feather to me."
"A Phœnix Feather!" said Girl-go-with-the-Goats. "I could never think of anything as magnificent as that."
And then Dame Dale was at the door-way. Girl-go-with-the-Goats turned round to Dame Dale, the besom in her hands and her face all red with blushes. "I am more pleased to see you," said she, "than if you had brought salt to the house when it was lacking it."
"The idea!" said Buttercup.
"The idea!" said Berry-bright.
But Girl-go-with-the-Goats knew what it was for the house to be without salt for the bread, and salt for the porridge, and salt for the egg. And if the house had been without it there would have been nothing more welcome than salt coming in. But Dame Dale was angry when instead of hearing of a Roc's Egg and a Phœnix Feather she heard of salt.
"You are more pleased to see me than if I had brought salt to a house licking it," she said. "That's to say nothing at all in welcome of me. And it is you who should have given me the welcome from the hearth."
Girl-go-with-the-Goats turned round and swept up the floor and tidied the ashes round the hearth. "She can only think of what goes on her tongue," said Buttercup. "How could fine words or fine thoughts come into her head?"
"It would have been better," said Berry-bright, "if one of your own daughters had stayed within the house to give you a welcome from the hearth."
"How is it," said Dame Dale to Girl-go-with-the-Goats, "how is it that although I have given you good food and good shelter, you never have a good word to say to me?"
Girl-go-with-the-Goats did not answer because she could not think of a word to say.
"It was bad enough," said Buttercup, "for her to treat the King's son the way she did."
"Lord!" said Dame Dale, "was the King's son near this?"
"He was at the garden fornenst the door," said Berry-bright. "He wanted berries off our bushes. And we would have brought him the berries in his own silver cup or in one of our best earthenware ones, only nothing would do her except bring him the berries on an old shoe she found in the garden."
"So the King's son rode away from the place in high dudgeon, taking hardly any notice of us," said Buttercup.
"How could such a thing have been let happen?" said Dame Dale.
"Indeed we would not have let it happen if we had known she was there," said Buttercup, "but she hid behind the hedges—we know her way—and we did not see her at all until she was standing before the King's son with the berries in the old shoe."
"The idea of such a thing!" said Dame Dale. "The very idea of it makes me shake with shame."
"Well, she turned the Prince away—and oh, how princely and fine he was looking!—and that ought to be a satisfaction to her," said Berry-bright.
"And I know he would have noticed me," said Berry-bright.
"He certainly would have noticed my hands when I held them up with the cup in them," said Buttercup.
Girl-go-with-the-Goats had now tidied up the ashes around the fire, and there was nothing else for her to do but put the besom in the corner and turn round to them. Her face was still red, but on her forehead, like an apple-blossom in color, there was a star.
And when she saw the star on the forehead of Girl-go-with-the-Goats Dame Dale had to look from one to the other of her daughters. Neither had a star on her forehead. And Dame Dale saw that the face of Berry-bright was too high-colored and that the face of Buttercup was too pinched. And when she looked back to the star on the forehead of Girl-go-with-the-Goats she got very angry.
"So," said she, "it is that mark on your forehead that makes you too proud to talk to the people and too proud to give them a fitting welcome! I suppose you put herbs or blossoms on your forehead to bring that out. But there's no one here who wants to see it. Put your hand in the ashes now and smear that mark across. And keep the smear of ashes on it until the mark has gone away."
Girl-go-with-the-Goats bent down to the ashes and took some on her hand and smeared it across the star on her forehead. But Dame Dale was not pleased either when she turned to her with the star smeared over. Girl-go-with-the-Goats looked like one she should be sorry for. But Dame Dale could not be sorry for her on account of her not giving her a fitting welcome when she came in, and also on account of her having approached the King's son, and having on her forehead a star that made her so different from Buttercup and Berry-bright. So instead of being sorry for her when she turned round with the smear of ashes across her forehead, Dame Dale took a more settled dislike to her. "I wish you out of my sight," she said, "and as you are called 'Go-with-the-Goats,' go now and live with the goats. There's the Goat-shed for you to rest in and sleep in. Come to this hearth no more unless you are sent for. Your supper and your dinner sill be left for you on the doorstep, and as for breakfast, you can get that for yourself by taking some of the milk from the goats in the morning. But although you'll be outside of it, there will be the work of the house that you will still have to do. Go now," said she, "and may all bad temper go with you."
Girl-go-with-the-Goats went outside, but she thought she could not bear to go away from the house. So she stood there with her hand against the porch, and with her heart heavy within her and her eyes flowing over with tears.
IT was easy to find a ship to my liking; for all kinds of trading vessels go out from London to every country that is known.
One day I met an old sea captain who had been often to the coast of Africa. He was pleased with my talk.
"If you want to see the world," he said, "you must sail with me." And then he told me that he was going again to Africa, to trade with the black people there. He would carry out a load of cheap trinkets to exchange for gold dust and feathers and other rare and curious things.
I was very glad to go with him. I would see strange lands and savage people. I would have many a stirring adventure.
Before ten days had passed, we were out on the great ocean. Our ship was headed toward the south.
The captain was very kind to me. He taught me much that every sailor ought to know. He showed me how to steer and manage the vessel. He told me about the tides and the compass and how to reckon the ship's course.
The voyage was a pleasant one, and I saw more wonderful things than I can name.
When, at last, we sailed back to London, we had gold enough to make a poor man rich.
I had nearly six pounds of the yellow dust for my own share.
I had learned to be a trader as well as a sailor.
It would take too long to tell you of all my voyages. Some of them were happy and successful; but the most were unpleasant and full of disappointment.
Sometimes I went to Africa, sometimes to the new land of South America. But wherever I sailed I found the life of a sailor by no means easy.
I did not care so much now to see strange sights and visit unknown shores.
I cared more for the money or goods that I would get by trading.
At last a sudden end was put to all my sailing. And it is of this that I will now tell you.
Said the Wind to the Moon, "I will blow you out,
In the air
Like a ghost in a chair,
Always looking what I am about—
I hate to be watched; I'll blow you out."
The Wind blew hard, and out went the Moon.
On a heap
Of clouds to sleep,
Down lay the Wind, and slumbered soon,
Muttering low, "I've done for that Moon."
He turned in his bed; she was there again!
In the sky,
With her one ghost eye,
The Moon shone white and alive and plain.
Said the Wind, "I will blow you out again."
The Wind blew hard, and the Moon grew dim.
"With my sledge,
And my wedge,
I have knocked off her edge!
If only I blow right fierce and grim,
The creature will soon be dimmer than dim."
He blew and he blew, and she thinned to a thread.
To blow her to snuff!
One good puff more where the last was bred,
And glimmer, glimmer, glum will go the thread."
He blew a great blast, and the thread was gone
In the air
Was a moonbeam bare;
Far off and harmless the shy stars shone—
Sure and certain the Moon was gone!
The Wind he took to his revels once more;
Like a merry-mad clown,
He leaped and hallooed with whistle and roar—
"What's that?" The glimmering thread once more!
He flew in a rage—he danced and blew;
But in vain
Was the pain
Of his bursting brain;
For still the broader the Moon-scrap grew,
The broader he swelled his big cheeks and blew.
Slowly she grew—till she filled the night,
On her throne
In the sky alone,
A matchless, wonderful silvery light,
Radiant and lovely, the Queen of the Night.
Said the Wind: "What a marvel of power am I!
With my breath,
I blew her to death—
First blew her away right out of the sky—
Then blew her in; what strength have I!"
But the Moon she knew nothing about the affair;
In the sky,
With her one white eye,
Motionless, miles above the air,
She had never heard the great Wind blare.
WEEK 3 |
"Oh you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey?"
C AESAR now assembled his soldiers on the banks of the river Rubicon, which divided Italy from Gaul. The Romans still thought his heart might fail or his troops desert him. But neither of these things happened. True, it is said, that for a moment, the great conqueror paused.
Suddenly dismayed by the greatness of his undertaking, he asked himself, was he right to bring so much trouble on his countrymen? The destinies of the Roman nation hung on his decision. Then, as if acting on some sudden impulse, he cried, "The die is cast." So saying he urged his charger through the stream. The Rubicon was crossed. He was on his way to Rome. There could be no turning back now.
Caesar paused on the banks of the Rubicon.
The news reached Rome. Cæsar's charger had been seen on the Apennine hills. He was coming at last. Pompey did not hesitate. In flight lay his only safety. Up rose consuls and senators, and leaving their wives and children to their fate, they fled for their lives, with Pompey, out of Rome. They played the part of cowards, and in the old Roman days, men would not have deserted their city like this.
"It is all panic and blunder," cried Cicero; "the flight of the Senate, the departure of the magistrates, the closing of the treasury, will not stop Cæsar—I am broken-hearted."
Pompey could not raise an army by land, but the sea was his. His was the East with all its treasures, his the fleets of the Mediterranean. Cæsar might win for the moment, but Pompey had the naval power to bring against Italy.
So Cæsar entered Rome in peace. He soon left it again for Spain, where he went to prepare an army and a fleet to fight against Pompey.
"I go," he said to the Romans—"I go to engage an army without a general: I shall return, to attack a general, without an army."
The Romans at once made him Dictator, and he set out for his chase after Pompey. Pompey was in Greece preparing for his great invasion of Italy. It was early in January, just a year since he had crossed the Rubicon, that Cæsar sailed from Brindisi for Greece. Pompey's admiral, from the heights of Corfu, saw his ship. He had let Cæsar pass, but he would not let his soldiers and ships pass in the same way. So Cæsar waited on one side of the Adriatic and his ships and troops on the other. The months passed on and Cæsar watched in vain for the sails of his ships.
There is an old story that says he at last made up his mind to row over to Brindisi and see what had happened. He hired a boat of twelve oars, disguised himself as a slave, crept on board in the night-time, and lay down at the bottom of the boat. It was very rough and the waves were dashing very high on the Greek coast, so high, indeed, as to render the crossing very dangerous. The master of the boat ordered the rowers to turn back. Then the disguised slave arose.
"Go forward, my friend," shouted the great Cæsar, above the roar of wave and wind. "Fear nothing, you carry Cæsar and his fortunes."
The rivals for Roman power met at last, in Greece, and Pompey was defeated once and for ever by Cæsar. Pompey's fall was complete. He escaped secretly on foot to the coast, and getting on board a merchant vessel, sailed to Mitylene, where his wife and son were waiting. His wife received the news with tears, and sinking into Pompey's arms, she cried, "Ah that I should see you reduced to one poor vessel, who were wont to sail in these seas with a fleet of five hundred ships!"
Putting his wife and son on board, Pompey now sailed down the coast of Asia Minor, then across to Cyprus, and on to Egypt. Egypt was under Roman influence, though not exactly a Roman province, and here the fugitive might gain protection.
The country was under a boy king, called Ptolemy, and his sister Cleopatra. Pompey anchored at sea and sent to the young king for permission to land. He was invited to come ashore, and saying good-bye to his wife, he stepped into the boat sent for him. As he stepped ashore, he was treacherously murdered, his head cut off, and his body thrown back into the sea. A devoted slave whom Pompey had set free, watched for the body to be washed on shore; then he wrapped it in his shirt and buried it in the sand, and so the last rites were performed for one, who but a short time since, was second to none in Rome.
Meanwhile Cæsar had been following his fallen foe. Hearing that he had sailed for Egypt, he took ship and landed at Alexandria, to be received by the news of Pompey's death. Hoping to please him, the head of his rival was brought him. From it, he turned in horror and burst into tears, for Pompey had once been his friend.
I N all the realm of King Cadmus there was no mortal hunter like young Prince Actaeon. The fiercest boars fell at the touch of his spear, so strong and sure was his thrust, and the dogs of his pack were not more swift in overtaking the deer than was Prince Actaeon himself.
Only one other excelled him in the hunt, and that was the goddess Diana, twin sister of Apollo. Followed by her nymphs, the fair goddess loved to roam the woods and mountains by day, hunting until the noon sun was high overhead, and the heat became too great for comfort.
Then the nymphs laid aside their bows and arrows, their spears and their mantles, to rest in a glade deep in the forest. Diana had chosen this home for herself, and it was held sacred for her use.
No mortal might go into the glade and live. The very air of this charmed place was so clear and sweet, so cool and fragrant, that mortals seemed warned before entering it. They knew that here among the trees in this fair grove was the resting place of some deity, and turned their steps away in reverence.
But one day when the noon heat was great, Actaeon, tired of the hunt, left his comrades and, following a little brook, wandered away into the depths of the wood, seeking a cool and restful spot. He came at last to the edge of Diana's glade and heard the splashing of water and the merry voices of the nymphs at play.
Parting the branches of some laurel trees, he peeped through and saw a silvery fountain gushing from a rock, and a little pool of clear water where Diana and her nymphs were preparing to bathe. One nymph loosed the fillet which bound Diana's hair, so that it fell in shining waves over her bare shoulders and floated around her like a golden cloud. One untied the thongs of her sandals, while another laid aside her mantle and held ready fresh linen. Others busily drew water and filled great urns.
All these things Actaeon watched without thought of wrongdoing, until one of the nymphs happened to look toward the laurel trees and saw him peering out through the branches.
The nymph screamed, and ran to shield Diana from his curious gaze. The other maidens rushed also to screen the goddess, but it was too late!
A rosy color spread over Diana's cheeks and brow. Shame and anger were in her heart. She reached for her spear to kill Actaeon, but it lay far from her hand. Then she seized one of the urns and, raising it high above her head, dashed the water in Actaeon's face.
Raising one of the urns high above her head, Diana dashed the water in Actaeon's face.
"Go, now," Diana cried, "and boast, if you can, of your boldness!"
Actaeon fell down on the bank of the little brook, and as he fell huge ears and branching antlers sprang from his head. His arms became hairy, and hoofs took the place of his hands and feet. Gazing in the clear water of the little brook, he saw only a frightened stag which bounded away through the woods.
A frightened stag bounded away through the woods.
Back toward his comrades Actaeon ran, but at sight of his dogs he felt a great fear and turned again into the forest. But the dogs had seen him and, leaping up at the sight of a deer, followed hard after poor Actaeon.
Never did he run so swiftly. Over rocks and hills and across streams he sped, with the fleetness of the wind, but still his dogs pursued him.
Now he thought sadly of how he himself had chased other deer, rejoicing to see them panting and weary. He remembered how often he had urged on his dogs and felt no pity.
As he ran Actaeon's heart beat wild and fast from fright and weariness, until at length, worn out, he fell to the earth, and the dogs overtook him.
His spirit passed from the body of the stag and slumbered ever after in the land of the shades.
Such was the harshness of the goddess Diana to mortals who were overbold.
Mrs. Earth makes silver black,
Mrs. Earth makes iron red
But Mrs. Earth can not stain gold,
Nor ruby red.
Mrs. Earth the slenderest bone
Whitens in her bosom cold,
But Mrs. Earth can change my dreams
No more than ruby or gold.
Mrs. Earth and Mr. Sun
Can tan my skin, and tire my toes,
But all that I'm thinking of, ever shall think,
Why, neither knows.
WEEK 3 |
You have heard so much about tears in the account of Elizabeth Ann's life so far that I won't tell you much about the few days which followed, as the family talked over and hurriedly prepared to obey the doctor's verdict, which was that Aunt Harriet was very, very sick, and must go away at once to a warm climate, and Aunt Frances must go, too, but not Elizabeth Ann, for Aunt Frances would need to give all her time to taking care of Aunt Harriet. And anyhow the doctor didn't think it best, either for Aunt Harriet or for Elizabeth Ann, to have them in the same house.
Grace couldn't go of course, but to everybody's surprise she said she didn't mind, because she had a bachelor brother, who kept a grocery store, who had been wanting her for years to go and keep house for him. She said she had stayed on just out of conscientiousness because she knew Aunt Harriet couldn't get along without her! And if you notice, that's the way things often happen to very, very conscientious people.
Elizabeth Ann, however, had no grocer brother. She had, it is true, a great many relatives, and of course it was settled she should go to some of them till Aunt Frances could take her back. For the time being, just now, while everything was so distracted and confused, she was to go to stay with the Lathrop cousins, who lived in the same city, although it was very evident that the Lathrops were not perfectly crazy with delight over the prospect.
Still, something had to be done
at once, and Aunt Frances was so frantic with the
packing up, and the moving men coming to take
the furniture to storage, and her anxiety over her
mother—she had switched to Aunt Harriet, you see, all the
conscientiousness she had lavished on Elizabeth Ann—nothing much could be
extracted from her about Elizabeth Ann. "Just keep her for
the present, Molly!" she said to Cousin Molly Lathrop. "I'll
do something soon. I'll write you. I'll make another arrangement
Her voice was quavering on the edge of tears, and
Cousin Molly Lathrop, who hated scenes, said hastily, "Yes, oh,
yes, of course. For the present
Elizabeth Ann did not of course for a moment dream that Cousin Molly was thinking any such things about her, but she could not help seeing that Cousin Molly was not any too enthusiastic about taking her in; and she was already feeling terribly forlorn about the sudden, unexpected change in Aunt Frances, who had been so wrapped up in her and now was just as much wrapped up in Aunt Harriet. Do you know, I am sorry for Elizabeth Ann, and, what's more, I have been ever since this story began.
Well, since I promised you that I was not going to tell about more tears, I won't say a single word about the day when the two aunts went away on the train, for there is nothing much but tears to tell about, except perhaps an absent look in Aunt Frances's eyes which hurt the little girl's feelings dreadfully.
And then Cousin Molly took the hand of the sobbing little girl and led her back to the Lathrop house. But if you think you are now going to hear about the Lathrops, you are quite mistaken, for just at this moment old Mrs. Lathrop took a hand in the matter. She was Cousin Molly's husband's mother, and, of course, no relation at all to Elizabeth Ann, and so was less enthusiastic than anybody else. All that Elizabeth Ann ever saw of this old lady, who now turned the current of her life again, was her head, sticking out of a second-story window; and that's all that you need to know about her, either. It was a very much agitated old head, and it bobbed and shook with the intensity with which the imperative old voice called upon Cousin Molly and Elizabeth Ann to stop right there where they were on the front walk.
"The doctor says that what's the matter with Bridget is scarlet fever, and we've all got to be quarantined. There's no earthly sense bringing that child in to be sick and have it, and be nursed, and make the quarantine twice as long!"
"But, Mother!" called Cousin Molly. "I can't leave the child in the middle of the street!"
Elizabeth Ann was actually glad to hear her say that, because she was feeling so awfully unwanted, which is, if you think of it, not a very cheerful feeling for a little girl who has been the hub round which a whole household was revolving.
"You don't have to!" shouted old Mrs.
Lathrop out of her second-story window. Although she did not
add "You gump!" aloud, you could feel she was meaning
just that. "You don't have to! You can just send
her to the Putney cousins. All nonsense about her not
going there in the first place. They invited her the
minute they heard of Harriet's being so bad. They're the
natural ones to take her in. Abigail is her mother's
own aunt, and Ann is her own first-cousin-once-removed
under the sun, Mother!" shouted Cousin Molly back, "can I
get her to the Putneys'? You can't send a child
of nine a thousand miles without
Old Mrs. Lathrop looked again as though she were saying "You gump!" and said aloud, "Why, there's James, going to New York on business in a few days anyhow. He can just go now, and take her along and put her on the right train at Albany. If he wires from here, they'll meet her in Hillsboro."
And that was just what happened. Perhaps you may have guessed by this time that when old Mrs. Lathrop issued orders they were usually obeyed. As to who the Bridget was who had the scarlet fever, I know no more than you. I take it, from the name, she was the cook. Unless, indeed, old Mrs. Lathrop made her up for the occasion, which I think she would have been quite capable of doing, don't you?
At any rate, with no more ifs or ands, Elizabeth Ann's satchel was packed, and Cousin James Lathrop's satchel was packed, and the two set off together, the big, portly, middle-aged man quite as much afraid of his mother as Elizabeth Ann was. But he was going to New York, and it is conceivable that he thought once or twice on the trip that there were good times in New York as well as business engagements, whereas poor Elizabeth Ann was being sent straight to the one place in the world where there were no good times at all. Aunt Harriet had said so, ever so many times. Poor Elizabeth Ann!
T HE Merry Little Breezes soon spread the news over the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest that a stranger had come from the North. At once all the little meadow people and forest folk made some excuse to go over to the big poplar tree where the stranger was so busy eating. At first he was very shy and had nothing to say. He was a queer fellow, and he was so big, and his teeth were so sharp and so long, that his visitors kept their distance.
Reddy Fox, who, you know, is a great boaster and likes to brag of how smart he is and how brave he is, came with the rest of the little meadow people.
"Pooh," exclaimed Reddy Fox. "Who's afraid of that fellow?"
"Pooh," exclaimed Reddy Fox. "Who's afraid of that fellow?"
Just then the stranger began to come down the tree. Reddy backed away.
"It looks as if you were afraid, Reddy Fox," said Peter Rabbit.
"I'm not afraid of anything," said Reddy Fox, and swelled himself up to look twice as big as he really is.
"It seems to me I hear Bowser the Hound," piped up Striped Chipmunk.
Now Striped Chipmunk had not heard Bowser the Hound at all when he spoke, but just then there was the patter of heavy feet among the dried leaves, and sure enough there was Bowser himself. My, how everybody did run,—everybody but the stranger from the North. He kept on coming down the tree just the same. Bowser saw him and stopped in surprise. He had never seen anything quite like this big dark fellow.
"Bow, wow, wow!" shouted Bowser in his deepest voice.
Now, when Bowser used that great deep voice of his, he was accustomed to seeing all the little meadow people and forest folk run, but this stranger did not even hurry. Bowser was so surprised that he just stood still and stared. Then he growled his deepest growl. Still the stranger paid no attention to him. Bowser did not know what to make of it.
"I'll teach that fellow a lesson," said Bowser to himself. "I'll shake him, and shake him and shake him until he hasn't any breath left."
By this time the stranger was down on the ground and starting for another tree, minding his own business. Then something happened. Bowser made a rush at him, and instead of running, what do you suppose the stranger did? He just rolled himself up in a tight ball with his head tucked down in his waistcoat. When he was rolled up that way, all the little spears hidden in the hair of his coat stood right out until he looked like a great chestnut-burr. Bowser stopped short. Then he reached out his nose and sniffed at this queer thing. Slap! The tail of the stranger struck Bowser the Hound right across the side of his face, and a dozen of those little spears were left sticking there just like pins in a pin-cushion.
"Wow! wow! wow! wow!" yelled Bowser at the top of his lungs, and started for home with his tail between his legs, and yelling with every jump. Then the stranger unrolled himself and smiled, and all the little meadow people and forest folk who had been watching shouted aloud for joy.
And this is the way that Prickly Porky the Porcupine made friends.
My fairest child, I have no song to give thee,
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and gray;
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I would leave thee,
For every day.
Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them all day long:
And so make life, death, and that vast forever
One grand, sweet song.
WEEK 3 |
Joshua vii: 1, to viii: 35.
HILE the Israelites at God's word were destroying the city of Jericho there was one man who disobeyed God's command. A man named Achan, of the tribe of Judah, saw in one house a beautiful garment that had come from Babylon, and a wedge-shaped piece of gold and some silver. He looked at it, longed to have it for his own, took it secretly to his tent, and hid it. He thought that no one had seen him do this thing. But God saw it all; and Achan's robbery of God, to whom everything belonged that was in Jericho, brought great trouble to Israel.
From Jericho there was a road up the ravines and valleys leading to the mountain country. On one of the hills above the plain stood a little city called Ai. Joshua did not think it needful for all the army to go and take Ai, because it was a small place. So he sent a small army of three thousand men. But the men of Ai came out against them, and killed a number of them, and drove them away, so that they failed to take the city.
And when the rest of the people heard of this defeat they were filled with fear. Joshua was alarmed, not because he was afraid of the Canaanites, but because he knew that God was not with the men who went against Ai. And Joshua fell on his face before the Lord, and said:
"O Lord God, why hast thou led us across Jordan only to let us fall before our enemies? What shall I say, O Lord, now that the men of Israel have been beaten and driven away?"
And God said to Joshua:
"Israel has sinned. They have disobeyed my words, and have broken their promise. They have taken the treasure that belongs to me, and have kept it. And that is the reason why I have left them to suffer from their enemies. My curse shall rest on the people until they bring back that which is stolen, and punish the man who robbed me." And God told Joshua how to find the man who had done this evil thing.
The next morning, very early, Joshua called all the tribes of Israel to come before him. When the tribe of Judah came near God showed to Joshua that this was the tribe. Then as the divisions of Judah came by God pointed out one division; and in that division one household, and in that household one family, and in that family one man. Achan was singled out as the man who had robbed God.
And Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give honor to the Lord God, and confess your sin to him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not try to hide it from me."
And Achan said, "I have sinned against the Lord. I saw in Jericho a garment from Babylon, and a wedge of gold, and some pieces of silver, and I hid them in my tent." Then Joshua sent messengers, who ran to the tent of Achan, and found the hidden things, and brought them out before all the people.
Then, because Achan's crime had harmed all the people, and because his children were with him in the crime, they took them all, Achan, and his sons and his daughters, and the treasure that had been stolen, and even his sheep and his oxen, and his tent, and all that was in it. And the people threw stones upon them until all were dead; then they burned their bodies and all the things in the tent. And over the ashes they piled up a heap of stones, so that all who saw it would remember what came to Achan for his sin.
Thus did God show to his people how careful they must be to obey his commands, if they would have God with them. After this Joshua sent another army, larger than before, against Ai. And they took the city, and destroyed it, as they had destroyed Jericho. But God allowed the people to take for themselves what they found in the city of Ai.
Then they marched on over the mountains, until they came near to the city of Shechem, in the middle of the land of Canaan. The people of the land were so filled with fear that none of them resisted the march of the Israelites. Near Shechem are the two mountains, Ebal on the north, and Gerizim on the south. Between these is a great hollow place, like a vast bowl. There Joshua gathered all the people of Israel, with their wives and their children.
In the midst of this place they built an altar of unhewn stones heaped up, for they had left the Tabernacle and the brazen altar standing in the camp at Gilgal, by Jordan. On this new altar they gave offerings to the Lord and worshipped.
Then before all the people Joshua read the law which Moses had written. And all the people, with their wives, and even the little children, listened to the law of the Lord. Half of the tribes stood on the slope of Mount Ebal on the north, and these, as Joshua read the words of warning which God had given to those who should disobey, all answered with one voice "Amen." And the other half of the tribes stood on the slope of Mount Gerizim on the south; and as Joshua read God's words of blessing to those who should obey the law, these answered "Amen."
When they had done all this, and thus given the land to the Lord and pledged themselves to serve God, they marched again down the mountains, past the smouldering ruins of Ai, past the heap of stones that covered Achan, and past the broken walls of Jericho, back to the camp at Gilgal beside the river.
Jericho as it now is.
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 the wharf, a man had made a shipyard beside that wide river. And, in that shipyard, he had built the brig Industry for Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob, and it was all done, as much as ships are ever done before they are put in the water. And Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob had been to see the brig Industry, and they had set the day on which she should be launched.
So the master of the shipyard was very busy, getting things ready for the launching. First, he had the men dig away the bank of the river just below the Industry, and make it slope the same, both in the water and out, so that she should slide down easily until she floated. But a ship will not slide down with only dirt to go on. There has to be a slippery place for it to slide on.
So the men got great timbers, which are logs that have been made all square and smooth, and they laid them down in two rows, under the sides of the Industry. They laid the timbers away under the water, so that the ship should slide on them until she floated, and not go off the ends into the mud. And they joined the ends of the timbers in each row so that each row of timbers was just as if it had been a single timber, and they made them strong enough to bear the weight of the ship without sinking into the dirt or getting out of place. These timbers they call the ways, and they were just like a great wooden railroad track from the bows of the Industry all the way under the water.
When the ways were done, the men took other great timbers and put them on top of the ways, and fastened them together strongly. These were the sliding ways, and they were almost as long as the ship. They would slide down with the ship, over the great wooden railroad track. And the men put strong braces from the keel of the ship to the sliding ways, and they fastened great planks so that the sliding ways should not slide off sidewise.
Then they put short timbers straight up from the sliding ways to the sides of the Industry, and they fastened planks to the sides of the ship, for these straight-up timbers to hold on by. There were a great many of these short timbers, and they were fastened together and well braced to the sliding ways, so that they couldn't fall over, and under each one of them were wedges. For the weight of the ship was still borne by the keel, that rested on blocks on the ground. But when these wedges were driven in, it would make the posts press on the planks that were fastened to the sides of the ship, and it would lift the ship a little, so that the men could knock out the keel blocks with their beetles. And then, if the ways were all greasy, the ship would begin to slide.
And at last everything was done, the ways, and the sliding ways, and the framework that would carry the ship. And this framework, made up of the short posts and the braces and the sliding ways, is sometimes called the cradle. And the master of the shipyard sent and got enough of the best of the right kind of grease, and he had the men grease the ways. And the men put on a lot of grease, —barrels of it,—and they made sure that nothing should go wrong.
And the master of the shipyard had a long stick stuck in one of the mast holes of the Industry. This stick was not long enough for a mast, but it was to hoist a flag on, and it would be taken down after the brig was launched. And the launching was set for the next day.
And the next day came, and it was a bright and beautiful day, which made the heart of the master glad. And pretty soon the people began to come from the city, for they knew that the brig Industry would be launched that day, and that city was only a little way from the shipyard. So they kept coming and coming, and they crowded as near to the Industry as the master would let them, but he wouldn't let them get very near for fear that some of them might get hurt. And when it was nearly time for the launch, there were so many people there that it was a wonder that any were left in the city. And, last of all, came Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob, and Captain Jonathan's daughter Lois. This was before Captain Jonathan's daughter Lois was Captain Jacob's wife.
And the master met them and led them right through the crowd, and many people bowed to Lois or spoke to her, for she knew nearly everybody there. And they went up on a sloping plank that had been fastened for the carpenters to use in building the ship, and they went right up until they stepped upon the deck. It was a long way up, as long as from the ground to the roof of a house.. Then the master of the shipyard looked, and he saw that the tide was almost high, and he walked to the side of the Industry and raised his hand.
When the master raised his hand, all the people were suddenly very still, and the men began to drive in the wedges with their beetles. And no sound was in that shipyard but the sound of the beetles as they drove in the wedges. And at last the wedges were driven in enough, so that the brig Industry almost began to slide, and Captain Jonathan's daughter Lois got up into the bows as far as she could. And in her hand she held a bottle of wine.
Then the master gave another signal and the men knocked out the last things that held the vessel. And, very slowly at first, the Industry began to slide.
And Captain Jonathan spoke to his daughter Lois. "Now, Lois," he said.
And Lois heard him, and she lifted the bottle of wine high, and brought it down hard on the upper part of the stem. "I christen thee Industry!" she cried, as loud as she could.
And the bottle smashed, and the wine ran down upon the stem; and all the people saw Lois smash the bottle, and they saw the wine running down upon the stem of the Industry, and they raised a great shout. And the master hoisted a flag up on the make-believe mast, and the flag was all folded up. But as soon as it got to the top of the mast, the master pulled the other end of the rope hard, and the flag unfolded and waved in the breeze. It was a long white flag with a blue border, and on it, in blue letters, was the word "Industry ."
So the flag waved while the Industry slid faster and faster; and the people kept on shouting until she struck the water with a tremendous splash and sent the spray flying high. And she was going so fast that she kept on, in the water, until she had gone nearly the whole way across the river. Then she stopped, for there was a rope that was fastened to her by one end, and by the other end to a great log that was buried in the ground so that it stuck a little way straight up. And the rope got tight, so that she couldn't go any farther, and the men all pulled on the rope together, and every time they gave a pull they called out something that was like a song, but it wasn't a song. "O, rouse him, boys!" "O, ho, ye-o." "Ye—o, ho—ho." This made the pulling easier.
And the Industry came back slowly, and they steered her, and she came up beside the wharf of the shipyard. And they tied her to the wharf with great ropes, and the launching was over. So all the people went home, and as they went, they talked about the launching, and said how well the master of the shipyard had done it.
Then some men rowed out on the river and got the cradle, for it was not fastened to the Industry strongly, and it had floated out from under her in the water. That was just what they meant it should do, for it was the easiest way to get it out. And they fastened a rope to the cradle and rowed ashore with the other end of the rope. Then the men pulled the cradle ashore.
And Lois leaned upon the rail, and watched them until they had pulled it in, and then she turned away. And Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob came up, and Lois joined them, and they all walked down a plank with little ups on it, for the Industry was light, and it was high tide, so that it was still a long way from her deck to the wharf. And when they had got down on the wharf, they walked home slowly, too, and they talked about the launching.
And that's all.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star;
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
When the blazing sun is set,
And the grass with dew is wet,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye
Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.