WEEK 8 |
Geppetto makes Pinocchio new feet, and sells his own coat to buy him a Spelling-book.
N O sooner had the puppet appeased his hunger than he began to cry and to grumble because he wanted a pair of new feet.
But Geppetto, to punish him for his naughtiness, allowed him to cry and to despair for half the day. He then said to him:
"Why should I make you new feet? To enable you, perhaps, to escape again from home?"
"I promise you," said the puppet, sobbing, "that for the future I will be good."
"All boys," replied Geppetto, "when they are bent upon obtaining something, say the same thing."
"I promise you that I will go to school, and that I will study and earn a good character."
"All boys, when they are bent on obtaining something, repeat the same story."
"But I am not like other boys! I am better than all of them and I always speak the truth. I promise you, papa, that I will learn a trade, and that I will be the consolation and the staff of your old age."
Geppetto, although he put on a severe face, had his eyes full of tears and his heart big with sorrow at seeing his poor Pinocchio in such a pitiable state. He did not say another word, but taking his tools and two small pieces of well-seasoned wood he set to work with great diligence.
In less than an hour the feet were finished: two little feet—swift,
Geppetto then said to the puppet:
"Shut your eyes and go to sleep!"
And Pinocchio shut his eyes and pretended to be asleep.
And whilst he pretended to sleep, Geppetto, with a little glue which he had
melted in an
No sooner had the puppet discovered that he had feet than he jumped down from the table on which he was lying, and began to spring and to cut a thousand capers about the room, as if he had gone mad with the greatness of his delight.
"To reward you for what you have done for me," said Pinocchio to his father, "I will go to school at once."
"But to go to school I shall want some clothes."
Geppetto, who was poor, and who had not so much as a farthing in his pocket, then made him a little dress of flowered paper, a pair of shoes from the bark of a tree, and a cap of the crumb of bread.
Pinocchio ran immediately to look at himself in a crock of water, and he was so pleased with his appearance that he said, strutting about like a peacock:
"I look quite like a gentleman!"
Ran to look at himself in a crock of water.
"Yes indeed," answered Geppetto, "for bear in mind that it is not fine clothes that make the gentleman, but rather clean clothes."
"By the bye," added the puppet, "to go to school I am still in want—indeed I am without the best thing, and the most important."
"And what is it?"
"I have no
"You are right: but what shall we do to get one?"
"It is quite easy. We have only to go to the bookseller's and buy it."
"And the money?"
"I have got none."
"No more have I," added the good old man very sadly.
And Pinocchio, although he was a very merry boy, became sad also; because poverty, when it is real poverty, is understood by everybody—even by boys.
"Well, patience!" exclaimed Geppetto, all at once rising to his feet, and putting on his old fustian coat, all patched and darned, he ran out of the house.
He returned shortly, holding in his hand a
"And the coat, papa?"
"I have sold it."
"Why did you sell it?"
"Because I found it too hot."
Pinocchio understood this answer in an instant, and unable to restrain the impulse of his good heart he sprang up, and throwing his arms round Geppetto's neck he began kissing him again and again.
N OW Harald heard men talk of Gyda, the daughter of King Eric.
"She is very beautiful," they said, "but she is very proud, too. She can both read and make runes. No other woman in the world knows so much about herbs as she does. She can cure any sickness. And she is proud of all this!"
Now when King Harald heard that, he thought to himself:
"Fair and proud. I like them both. I will have her for my wife."
So he called his uncle, Guthorm, and said:
"Take rich gifts and go to Gyda's foster-father and tell him that I will marry Gyda."
So Guthorm and his men came to that house and they told the king's message to the foster-father. Gyda was standing near, weaving a rich cloak. She heard the speech. She came up and said, holding her head high and curling her lip:
''I will not waste myself on a king of so few people. Norway is a strange country. There is a little king here and a little king there—hundreds of them scattered about. Now in Denmark there is but one great king over the whole land. And it is so in Sweden. Is no one brave enough to make all of Norway his own?"
She laughed a scornful laugh and walked away. The men stood with open mouths and stared after her. Could it be that she had sent that saucy message to King Harald? They looked at her foster-father. He was chuckling in his beard and said nothing to them. They started out of the house in anger. When they were at the door, Gyda came up to them again and said:
"Give this message to your King Harald for me: I will not be his wife unless he puts all of Norway under him for my sake."
"I will not be his wife unless he puts
all of Norway under him for my sake."
So Guthorm and his men rode homeward across the country. They did not talk. They were all thinking. At last one said:
"How shall we give this message to the king?"
"I have been thinking of that," Guthorm said; "his anger is no little thing."
It was late when they rode into the king's yard; for they had ridden slowly, trying to make some plan for softening the message, but they had thought of none.
"I see light through the
"Yes, the king keeps feast," Guthorm said. "We must give our message before all his guests."
So they went in with very heavy hearts. There sat King
Harald in the high seat. The benches on both sides were
full of men. The tables had been taken out, and the
"Oh, ho!" cried King Harald. "Our messengers! What news?"
Then Guthorm said:
"This Gyda is a bold and saucy girl, King Harald. My tongue refuses to give her message."
The king stamped his foot.
"Out with it!" he cried. "What does she say?"
"She says that she will not marry so little a king," Guthorm answered.
Harald jumped to his feet. His face flushed red. Guthorm stretched out his hand.
"They are not my words, O King; they are the words of a silly girl."
"Is there any more?" the king shouted. "Go on!"
"She said: 'There is one king in Denmark and one king in Sweden. Is there no man brave enough to make himself king of all Norway? Tell King Harald that I will not marry him unless he puts all of Norway under him for my sake.' "
The guests sat speechless, staring at Guthorm. All at once the king broke into a roar of laughter.
"By the hammer of Thor!" he cried, "that is a good message. I thank you, Gyda. Did you hear it, friends? King of all Norway! Why, we are all stupids. Why did we not think of that?"
Then he raised his horn high.
"Now hear my vow. I say that I will not cut my hair or comb it until I am king of all Norway. That I will be or I will die."
Then he drank off the horn of mead, and while he drank it, all the men in the hall stood up and waved their swords and shouted and shouted. That old hall in all its two hundred years of feasts had not heard such a noise before.
"Ah, Harald!" Guthorm cried, "surely Thor in Valhalla smiled when he heard that vow."
The men sat all night talking of that wonderful vow.
On the very next day King Harald sent out his
"We will be your men."
"Then take the oath, and I will be friends with you," he said.
The men took off their swords and laid them down and came one by one and knelt before the king. They put their heads between his knees and said:
"From this day, Harald Halfdanson, I am your man. I will serve you in war. For my land I will pay you taxes. I will be faithful to you as my king."
Then Harald said:
"I am your king, and I will be faithful to you."
Many kings took that oath and thousands of common men. Of all the battles that Harald fought, he did not lose one.
Now for a long time the king's hair and beard had not been combed or cut. They stood out around his head in a great bushy mat of yellow. At a feast one day when the jokes were going round, Harald's uncle said:
"Harald, I will give you a new name. After this you shall be called Harald Shockhead. As my naming gift I give you this drinking-horn."
"It is a good name," laughed all the men.
After that all people called him Harald Shockhead.
During these wars, whenever King Harald got a country for his own, this is what he did. He said:
"All the marshland and the woodland where no people live is mine. For his farm every man shall pay me taxes."
Over every country he put some brave, wise man and called him Earl. He said to the earls:
"You shall collect the taxes and pay them to me. But some you shall keep for yourselves. You shall punish any man who steals or murders or does any wicked thing. When your people are in trouble they shall come to you, and you shall set the thing right. You must keep peace in the land. I will not have my people troubled with robber vikings."
The earls did all these things as best they could; for they were good strong men. The farmers were happy. They said:
"We can work on our farms with peace now. Before King Harald came, something was always wrong. The vikings would come and steal our gold and our grain and burn our houses, or the king would call us to war. Those little kings are always fighting. It is better under King Harald."
But the chiefs, who liked to fight and go
"We will make that Shockhead smart," he said.
So they harried the coast of King Harald's country. They filled their ships with gold. They ate other men's meals. They burned farmhouses behind them. The people cried out to the earls for help. So the earls had out their ships all the time trying to catch Solfi, but he was too clever for them.
In the spring he went to a certain king, Audbiorn, and said to him:
"Now, there are two things that we can do. We can become this Shockhead Harald's thralls, we can kneel before him and put our heads between his knees. Or else we can fight. My father thought it better to die in battle than to be any man's thrall. How is it? Will you join with my cousin Arnvid and me against this young Shockhead?"
"Yes, I will do it," said the king.
Have you ever heard the wind go "Yooooo"?
'Tis a pitiful sound to hear!
It seems to chill you through and through
With a strange and speechless fear.
'T is the voice of the night that broods outside
When folks should be asleep,
And many and many 's the time I 've cried
To the darkness brooding far and wide
Over the land and the deep:
"Whom do you want, O lonely night,
That you wail the long hours through?"
And the night would say in its ghostly way:
My mother told me long ago
(When I was a little tad)
That when the night went wailing so,
Somebody had been bad;
And then, when I was snug in bed,
Whither I had been sent,
With blankets pulled up 'round my head,
I'd think of what my mother'd said,
And wonder what boy she meant!
And "Who's been bad to-day?" I'd ask
Of the wind that hoarsely blew,
And the voice would say in its meaningful way:
That this was true I must allow—
You 'll not believe it, though!
Yes, though I 'm quite a model now,
I was not always so.
And if you doubt what things I say,
Suppose you make the test;
Suppose, when you 've been bad some day
And up to bed are sent away
From mother and the rest—
Suppose you ask, "Who has been bad?"
And then you 'll hear what 's true;
For the wind will moan in its ruefulest tone:
WEEK 8 |
HERE was once a king of
Battle after battle had been fought. Six times had Bruce
led his brave little army against his foes;
and six times had his men been beaten, and driven into
flight. At last his army was
One rainy day, Bruce lay on the ground under a rude shed,
As he lay thinking, he saw a spider over his head, making ready to weave her web. He watched her as she toiled slowly and with great care. Six times she tried to throw her frail thread from one beam to another, and six times it fell short.
"Poor thing!" said Bruce: "you, too, know what it is to fail."
But the spider did not lose hope with the sixth failure.
With still more care, she made ready to try for the seventh
time. Bruce almost forgot his own troubles as he watched her
swing herself out upon the slender line. Would she fail
again? No! The thread was carried safely to the beam, and
"I, too, will try a seventh time!" cried Bruce.
He arose and called his men together. He told
them of his plans, and sent them out with
I have heard it said, that, after that day, no one by the name of
Bruce would ever hurt a spider. The lesson which the little
Uncle Tom went to the farm one Saturday in March. Don and Nan went with him.
"If you hear a strange sound coming down from the sky, please tell me about it," said Uncle Tom.
"Will it be a pleasant sound?" Nan asked.
"It is the call I like best to hear in spring," said her uncle.
"What will make it?" asked Don.
"If you hear it, I will tell you," said Uncle Tom.
When it was time to go to bed, Don said, "We did not
hear any strange call
Uncle Tom said, "Perhaps you will hear
Don went to sleep but in the night something woke him. He went to the window and looked out. A big moon was in the sky and he liked to watch it.
While he stood by the window he heard something calling. The sound was high over the house. He did not know what it was.
He ran to Uncle Tom's door and said, "I hear it! I hear it! Come to the window and listen, too."
They woke Nan so she could listen with them.
"That is the call of the wild geese," said Uncle Tom. "They have been in the South for the winter. Now they are flying to the North."
"It is very cold," said Nan. "How do they know it is spring?"
"They feel like flying when the time comes. That is all I can tell you about it," said Uncle Tom.
"No man knows why the wild geese come when they do. Some springs there is still snow on the ground when they come. Often the ice is not all melted in the lakes when they fly over."
"I like to hear them," said Nan. "I think each one calls to tell the other geese that he is coming, too."
The next morning Don and Nan went outdoors. After a while they saw something like a big V in the sky. One goose made the point of the V and the other geese flew in two lines like the sides of the letter.
The birds that flew in a flock shaped like a letter V were wild geese. Don and Nan could hear them call.
They ran to find Uncle Tom. He was standing on a little hill while he watched the geese fly over. He could see them fly far away.
"I wonder how they know the way to their summer homes," said Nan.
"I wonder how they fly South in the fall and North in the spring without any maps," said Don.
"I wonder, too," said Uncle Tom, "and no one can tell us!"
Humble we must be
If to heaven we go;
High is the roof there,
But the gate is low.
WEEK 8 |
IPPERTY-LIPPERTY-LIP scampered Peter Rabbit behind the
tumble-down stone wall along one side of the Old Orchard. It was
early in the morning, very early in the morning. In fact, jolly,
Peter had been out all night this time, but he wasn't sleepy, not the least teeny, weeny bit. You see, sweet Mistress Spring had arrived, and there was so much happening on every side, and Peter was so afraid he would miss something, that he wouldn't have slept at all if he could have helped it. Peter had come over to the Old Orchard so early this morning to see if there had been any new arrivals the day before.
"Birds are funny creatures," said Peter, as he hopped over a low place in the old stone wall and was fairly in the Old Orchard.
"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!" cried a rather sharp scolding voice. "Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! You don't know what you are talking about, Peter Rabbit. They are not funny creatures at all. They are the most sensible folks in all the wide world."
Peter cut a long hop short right in the middle, to sit up with shining eyes. "Oh, Jenny Wren, I'm so glad to see you! When did you arrive?" he cried.
"Mr. Wren and I have just arrived, and thank goodness we are here at last," replied Jenny Wren, fussing about, as only she can, in a branch above Peter. "I never was more thankful in my life to see a place than I am right this minute to see the Old Orchard once more. It seems ages and ages since we left it."
"Well, if you are so fond of it what did you leave it for?"
demanded Peter. "It is just as I said before—you birds are funny
creatures. You never stay put; at least a lot of you don't.
Sammy Jay and Tommy Tit the Chickadee and Drummer the Woodpecker
and a few others have a little sense; they don't go off on long,
foolish journeys. But the rest of
"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!" interrupted Jenny Wren. "You don't know what you are talking about, and no one sounds so silly as one who tries to talk about something he knows nothing about."
Peter chuckled. "That tongue of yours is just as sharp as ever," said he. "But just the same it is good to hear it. We certainly would miss it. I was beginning to be a little worried for fear something might have happened to you so that you wouldn't be back here this summer. You know me well enough, Jenny Wren, to know that you can't hurt me with your tongue, sharp as it is, so you may as well save your breath to tell me a few things I want to know. Now if you are as fond of the Old Orchard as you pretend to be, why did you ever leave it?"
Jenny Wren's bright eyes snapped. "Why do you eat?" she asked tartly.
"Because I'm hungry," replied Peter promptly.
"What would you eat if there were nothing to eat?" snapped Jenny.
"That's a silly question," retorted Peter.
"No more silly than asking me why I leave
the Old Orchard,"
replied Jenny. "Do give us birds credit for a little common
sense, Peter. We can't live without eating any more than you can,
and in winter there is no food at all here for most of us, so we
go where there is food. Those who are lucky enough to eat the
kinds of food that can be found here in winter stay here. They
are lucky. That's what they are—lucky.
This is the saucy little House Wren who builds near your home.
"Still what?" prompted Peter.
"I wonder sometimes if you folks who are at home all the time
know just what a blessed place home is," replied Jenny. "It is
only six months since we went south, but I said it seems ages,
and it does. The best part of going away is coming home. I don't
care if that does sound rather mixed; it is true just the same.
It isn't home down there in the sunny South, even if we do spend
as much time there as we do here. This is home, and there's no
place like it! What's that,
"He sings as if he were," said Peter, for all the time
Jenny Wren looked over at Mr. Wren fondly. "Isn't he a dear to
sing to me like that? And isn't it a perfectly beautiful spring
song?" said she. Then, without waiting for Peter to reply, her
tongue rattled on. "I do wish he would be careful. Sometimes I am
afraid he will overdo. Just look at him now! He is singing so
hard that he is shaking all over. He always is that way. There is
one thing true about us Wrens, and this is that when we do things
we do them with all our might. When we work we work with all our
"And, when you scold you scold with all your might," interrupted Peter mischievously.
Jenny Wren opened her mouth for a sharp reply, but laughed instead. "I suppose I do scold a good deal," said she, "but if I didn't goodness knows who wouldn't impose on us. I can't bear to be imposed on."
"Did you have a pleasant journey up from the sunny South?" asked Peter.
"Fairly pleasant," replied Jenny. "We took it rather easily. Some birds hurry right through without stopping, but I should think they would be tired to death when they arrive. We rest whenever we are tired, and just follow along behind Mistress Spring, keeping far enough behind so that if she has to turn back we will not get caught by Jack Frost. It gives us time to get our new suits on the way. You know everybody expects you to have new things when you return home. How do you like my new suit, Peter?" Jenny bobbed and twisted and turned to show it off. It was plain to see that she was very proud of it.
"Very much," replied Peter. "I am very fond of brown. Brown and gray are my favorite colors." You know Peter's own coat is brown and gray.
"That is one of the most sensible things I have heard you say," chattered Jenny Wren. "The more I see of bright colors the better I like brown. It always is in good taste. It goes well with almost everything. It is neat and it is useful. If there is need of getting out of sight in a hurry you can do it if you wear brown. But if you wear bright colors it isn't so easy. I never envy anybody who happens to have brighter clothes than mine. I've seen dreadful things happen all because of wearing bright colors."
"What?" demanded Peter.
"I'd rather not talk about them," declared Jenny in a very emphatic way. " 'Way down where we spent the winter some of the feathered folks who live there all the year round wear the brightest and most beautiful suits I've ever seen. They are simply gorgeous. But I've noticed that in times of danger these are the folks dreadful things happen to. You see they simply can't get out of sight. For my part I would far rather be simply and neatly dressed and feel safe than to wear wonderful clothes and never know a minute's peace. Why, there are some families I know of which, because of their beautiful suits, have been so hunted by men that hardly any are left. But gracious, Peter Rabbit, I can't sit here all day talking to you! I must find out who else has arrived in the Old Orchard and must look my old house over to see if it is fit to live in."
A boy was given permission to put his hand into a pitcher to get some filberts. But he took such a great fistful that he could not draw his hand out again. There he stood, unwilling to give up a single filbert and yet unable to get them all out at once. Vexed and disappointed he began to cry.
"My boy," said his mother, "be satisfied with half the nuts you have taken and you will easily get your hand out. Then perhaps you may have some more filberts some other time."
Do not attempt too much at once.
Weatherby George Dupree
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."
Put on a golden gown,
Drove to the end of the town.
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."
Put up a notice,
"LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISLAID.
QUITE OF HER OWN ACCORD,
SHE TRIED TO GET DOWN TO THE END
OF THE TOWN—FORTY SHILLINGS
(Commonly known as Jim)
Not to go blaming him.
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."
Hasn't been heard of since.
Said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
"If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"
(Now then, very softly)
W. G. Du P.
C/o his M*****
Though he was only 3.
Said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:
WEEK 8 |
hen she woke up it was evening; the crickets were singing in the ashes on the hearth, the rush-candle was lighted, and the Woman of a Thousand Years was sitting on the other side of the fire supping her whey.
She heard a clatter before the door, and then a strange creature came in. The look of him made Maid-alone afeard, but the Woman of a Thousand Years said, "Take no heed of him; he is the Gruagach that we call 'Trouble-the-House.' "
He had horse's legs, but for all that he was not as tall as a horse would be if it stood up. He had the ears of a horse too, but he had the face of a poor-spirited man. He sidled to the dresser, and he took down a brass plate and the tin covers, and he began to polish them with a napkin that was hanging on the line. He sidled to the fire then and sat before it, his horse's legs folded under him like a tailor's. He wore a long coat that was made of plaited rushes, and he had hairy arm, and big hands that he clasped behind his neck when he sat down.
No one spoke to him and he spoke to no one, and in a while he got up and took the pail and went out. When he was gone the Woman of a Thousand Years said, "If you can catch him while he is doing some stint of work, and lay your command on him, he will carry you through the Three Woods. But you will have to come upon him and speak to him while he is doing some task."
Trouble-the-House brought back a pail full of water and then went out of the door. Maid-alone heard the clatter of his hoofs outside, and the Woman of a Thousand Years told her he had gone off to sleep in the middle of a field of furze-bushes. "Catch him to-morrow while he's doing some task," she said, "and he will carry you to the place you would go."
Then the Woman of a Thousand Years took off her Cloak of crow-feathers, and she wrapped herself in a quilt of small birds' feathers and gave another quilt to Maid-alone, and they spread out the rushes and the moss, and they laid down and went to sleep.
Maid-alone dreamt of her step-mother's goats, and of the Giant and his beasts, and then she wakened. When she went to sleep again she was happy that she was in a quiet house with only the stir of the crickets to trouble her rest.
The Woman of a Thousand Years rose first, and she went out to wash her face in the dew of the morning. When she came back her eyes were bright and her step was quick. "Maid-alone," said she, "I have thought of what is to befall you. You must make no delay but go to the King's Castle. Find Trouble-the-House and lay the command on him that he is to take you there through the Three Woods."
Maid-alone, without waiting to eat her crust, went out to look for Trouble-the-House. He was in the field of furze-bushes where he had slept the night. His coat of plaited rushes was off, and he was brushing off his hide the thorns and prickles of the furze. Maid-alone went strait to him, but he rose up and went clattering away.
She went back to the house of the Woman of a Thousand Years and ate her crust and drank her bowl of elder-berry wine. Again she went to find Trouble-the-House, and she came upon him as he was grinding oats at the quern-stone. When he saw her on her way he rose and betook himself to the field of the furze-bushes. For the rest of the day he did no work, and every time Maid-alone came on him he was lying on his back, idling his time.
This is what the Woman of a Thousand Years told her to do: she was to sit by the fire with the Crow-feather Cloak about her so that Trouble-the-House would think that only the woman was there. And when he was fixing the fire she was to catch hold of his rush-plaited coat and lay her command on her to carry her through the Three Woods and to the King's Castle.
So Maid-alone put on the Cloak of crow-feathers and the Woman of a Thousand Years put on her brown habit and sat with her back to the brown wall; in the little light made by the rush-candle she wasn't to be seen at all.
Then Trouble-the-House came clattering to the door. He went to the dresser and took down the brass plate and the tin covers and he polished them with the napkin that was hanging on the line. He threw side-looks at the fire, and when he saw that it was burning low he came to it, and squatting down before it put kindlings in. Maid-alone laid her hands on his coat of plaited rushes and she said: "You must carry me through the Three Woods and to the King's Castle this very night."
"I'll carry you, I'll carry you since so you'll have it," said the Glashan, and he rose up and went out.
"Go to him now," said the Woman of a Thousand Years. "You'll find him where he's taking a drink of water at the well. Through the Three Woods you will go: the Wood of Bronze, the Wood of Silver, and the Wood of Gold. Pluck a twig in each wood no matter what the Gruagach says to you, and make him carry whatever the twig turns into. When you come to the King's Castle go into it by the least grand way, wearing the Crow-feather Cloak that I now bestow on you.
The rush-candle went out, and Maid-alone saw no more of the Woman of a Thousand Years. She went out of the door, and to the well, and she saw the Gruagach there taking a drink of water. She bade him take her to the King's Castle, through the Three Woods, and to make good speed. He stooped down and she got upon his back.
They went on and on until they came to the Wood of Bronze. The moon was clear in the sky and it showed the glitter of the leaves and the twigs and the branches. One wakeful blackbird was flying and crying through that wood as Maid-alone and the Gruagach went on.
Then remembering what the Woman of a Thousand Years had told her to do, Maid-alone put up her hand and broke off a glittering twig with its glittering leaves. The Gruagach pinched her hands saying: "Beaten I'll be coming back through is wood for the thing you have done, girl. Break off no more twigs or I'll leave you on the ground."
But the twig she had broken off turned into a glittering dress, with a glittering veil and a pair of glittering shoes, and Maid-alone forgot the pinches that the Gruagach gave her, such delight was hers.
They came to a second wood. Still the moon was clear in the sky and the leaves and twigs shone white and bright. A wakeful cuckoo was crying in the wood, and as they went on Maid-alone broke off a silver twig with silver leaves.
It turned into a silver dress with a silver veil and a pair of silver shoes. Maid-alone left it on the Gruagach's shoulders with the dress of glittering bronze. But Trouble-the-House, when he knew what she had done, shook her until she was dizzy. "Beaten I'll be when I come back through this wood for the thing you have done," said he. "Break off no more twigs, break off no more twigs, or I'll leave you down to go your way by yourself." Maid-alone forgot the shaking he gave her, such delight was hers at the sight of the silver dress beside the bronze one.
They came into the third wood. The moon was still clear in the sky, and it showed leaves soft as candle flames and twigs that were rods of brightness. A nightingale sang in that wood, and its song was like the moonlight on the leaves.
Maid-alone was afeard that the Gruagach would leave her alone in that wood if she broke off a twig with leaves, and for a long time she would not put up her hand to break one off. But she might not leave that wood without taking a golden twig with its golden leaves. Then, as they were coming out of the thick of the wood she reached up and broke off a shining twig with its shining leaves.
The Gruagach slapped her with his great hands. "Beaten I'll be in every wood I go through for what you have done, Girl."
But Maid-alone did not heed the beating he gave her. For the twig and the leaves turned into a shining dress, with a shining veil and a pair of shining shoes. This dress, too, she put across the Gruagach's shoulders, and the two went on.
After they came out of the Three Woods, they went across seven ridges, but Maid-alone did not heed the distance they traveled, for her mind was on the three fine dresses that were before her, the gleaming, and glittering, and shining dresses. They came to a white river and they heard cocks crowing, more cocks that ever Maid-alone heard crow together before. And looking hard in the direction that the cocks were crowing she saw the roofs of the King's Castle.
The Gruagach put her down on the ground and he left her dresses beside her. Then he loosened his coat of plaited rushes, took it off, and putting it across his shoulder started running back along the way they had come. Maid-alone was left standing beside a great tree.
WHEN I awoke it was broad daylight. The sun was up. The sky was clear. The air seemed soft and mild. A fine day was beginning.
It did not take me long to come down from my lodging place.
I looked out toward the sea.
To my great wonder, I saw that the ship was now much closer to the shore. The high tide had lifted her off the sand. It had carried her toward the land and left her on a huge rock less than a mile away.
I could see that the good ship stood upright and was firmly wedged into the rock.
The waves had not broken her up, but her masts had been snapped off, and all her rigging was gone.
The sea was quite smooth, and the tide was still going out. Soon the beach was bare, and I could walk a long way out.
I was now within a quarter of a mile of the ship.
As I looked at her, a sad thought came to my mind. For if we had all kept on board when she stuck in the sand, we would now have been safe.
But there was no use in thinking of what might have been.
I waded out as far as I could, and then swam for the ship.
As I came near her, I saw that she was lying high out of the water. The part of the rock that was uncovered rose steep and straight into the air. There was no place for me to set my feet.
I swam round the ship twice. How could I ever climb up her smooth sides?
I was about to give up, when I saw a small piece of rope hanging down from the deck. It reached almost to the water. How strange that I did not see it at first!
I seized hold of the rope, and climbed hand over hand to the deck.
I went into the ship's cabin. I looked all through the unlucky vessel.
The Sea is a good friend of mine;
For when I come along,
She makes her ripples dance for glee
And sings a splendid song.
Down close beside her I can watch
The silver sails unfurl,
And every rolling, tumbling wave
Upon the shore uncurl;—
They make wide mirrors for the sky
And zig-zag ropes of sand,
To mark the farthest edges where
The water touches land.
At night the Moon a pathway makes
Across the spreading Sea;
It must be for the Sea's mermaids
And small mermen, and me.
It leads straight from its skyward end
To ripples at my feet,
And sometime I perchance may trip
Along the golden street;
I'd like to visit with the Moon
And walk the Milky Way
And linger with the little stars—
If the golden path would stay!
WEEK 8 |
"God's in His Heaven,
All's right with the world."
VENTS which affect us
But the Jews—those direct descendants of Abraham the patriarch, who had long ago migrated from Chaldea to the land of Canaan,—the Jews were looking for a great earthly conqueror. They had refused to acknowledge the claims of Christ to be that conqueror, and they wished to bring about His death as soon as possible.
"What thinkest thou?" they said one day—"Is it lawful to give tribute to Cæsar, or not?"
"Show Me the tribute money," answered Christ.
And they brought Him a penny, a Roman penny made of silver, worth about sevenpence-halfpenny of present money.
"Whose is this image and superscription?" He asked them.
"Cæsar's," was their answer.
Then saith He unto them: "Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and to God the things which are God's."
This was no earthly conqueror like the Cæsars, whom they could expect to give them high places, to restore to them their rights and exalt them above their fellows. This Man taught that the world must be a great brotherhood, bound together by peace and love. And the Jews put Him to death, crucifying Him, according to their eastern custom.
They had killed Him when He was yet young, but they could not kill His teaching. Under His disciples and apostles it spread rapidly.
"Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel (good news) to every creature."
These had been among the last commands given to the followers of Christ. Among the first to carry out this great command of his Master was Paul.
The first city he chose in which to preach was Antioch—"Antioch the Beautiful," or the Crown of the East, as the men of old called the city. North of Tyre and Sidon, on the sea-coast of Syria, it stood, on the great trade-road between Ephesus and the East. Here were men from Cyprus and men from Cyrene, here lived numbers of wealthy Romans and Greeks. It was a good place to which to carry the good news. In a year's time Paul had taught many people, and here the name of "Christian" was first given to those who followed the teaching of Christ.
Tiberius the emperor was dead, and Claudius Cæsar was ruling over the Roman Empire; but the new teaching in far-away Antioch had not yet penetrated into the heart of Rome, though the sayings of the Master had been written down in the four books still known as the Gospels.
From Antioch St Paul crossed over to Cyprus, the island to which the Phœnicians had made their first voyage across the seas, and which now belonged to Rome.
After a time he set sail for the mainland of Asia Minor.
Asia Minor was indeed the highway by which Christianity passed to the capital of the world. Travelling from town to town, mainly along the great caravan routes of the country, the faithful apostle reached the sea-coast near the old town of Troy.
Here one night he had a dream. A man of Macedonia, in the bright clothing of that nation, appeared to him.
"Come over into Macedonia and help us," he said.
Paul could not resist such an appeal. Setting sail, he crossed over to Macedonia, setting foot for the first time on European soil. From thence he passed south to Athens, once the most beautiful city in the world.
Here he would see the great statue of the goddess Athene crowning the Acropolis. He knew how corrupt the city had grown since the brilliant times of Pericles, and "his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry."
Standing on Mars Hill, a lofty rock rising from the very heart of the city, with the clear blue sky of Greece above him, he spoke to the men of Athens from the very depths of his heart.
Again and again we find him travelling from town to town, standing amidst temples and "idols made with hands," and telling the people of the Master he would have them serve instead. At Ephesus, where, glittering in brilliant beauty, stood the great temple of Diana, Paul nearly lost his life in the uproar that followed his plain speaking. But he was ready to die for the Master if need be. Again preaching at Jerusalem, tumults arose which ended in his imprisonment and his well-known trial.
"I stand at Cæsar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged," he said, appealing to the highest tribunal in the land. "I appeal unto Cæsar."
"Hast thou appealed unto Cæsar? Unto Cæsar shalt thou go," cried Festus, ruler of the province.
T HERE was once in Arcady a fair and gentle nymph named Callisto. The gods had given her many graces and blessings, the greatest of which was her little son Arcas.
Jupiter himself was so pleased with Callisto's goodness and charm that he came often to visit her and watch her at play with Arcas.
These visits filled Juno with anger, and she planned a cruel punishment for Callisto. Wrapping herself in her long gray cloak, the goddess descended from Mount Olympus, passing through the dusky cloud gates down to the earth. She found Callisto just awakening in her forest bower. Her rosy little son Arcas lay asleep beside her.
Juno made herself invisible and waited until Callisto rose and came out of her bower. Then, touching the nymph on her shoulder, she changed her into a great furry bear.
Poor Callisto saw her slender white fingers change into long claws, and her arms grow black and hairy. She fell to the earth and began to walk on all fours. Then Juno returned to Mount Olympus.
When the other nymphs came to seek Callisto, they could not find her. Only a great hairy bear stood in the entrance to the bower, trying to fondle the little boy Arcas and turn him over with her paw as he lay asleep.
A great hairy bear was trying to fondle the little Arcas.
The nymphs drove the bear away, although it looked back at them sadly as they flung sticks and stones after it.
Thinking that the bear had killed Callisto, the maidens took Arcas to a shepherd, who loved and cared for him.
Sometimes the shepherd saw a bear prowling around his hut, trying to look in at the window or the door. He drove the beast away and flung his spear at it, until at last the poor thing was afraid to come near the hut, and stayed at the edge of the woods, watching always for a sight of the little boy who lived with the shepherd.
Sometimes Arcas would stray near the forest, gathering flowers or playing with his ball. Then the bear would run to greet him, growling softly and kindly, but the child always screamed and ran back.
Arcas plays with his ball.
When Arcas grew old enough, the shepherd taught him to use a spear and took him hunting.
As long as the shepherd was with Arcas, Callisto hid herself. But one day the youth came alone, holding his spear in his hand and feeling very brave and proud.
Callisto stood on her hind legs and came toward him, holding out her great paws, trying to speak and tell him that she was his mother, enchanted into this wild beast. Arcas saw her coming and raised his spear to kill the bear, but something held his arm and the spear was not thrown.
Jupiter, watching over Arcas on his first hunt, had seen beneath the bear's fur and hairy paws, and knew that this was the nymph Callisto.
He stayed the hand of Arcas, and took away his spear. He could not undo Juno's evil work, so he changed Arcas into a young bear. At once he understood his mother and knew what she had been trying to tell him.
Jupiter stayed the hand of Arcas, and took away his spear.
Callisto and Arcas would have been happy to roam the woods together, but Jupiter thought of something far better for them. As the Great Bear and the Little Bear he took them up into the heavenly realms and gave them the sky for their playground.
Juno was angry when she saw the new constellations placed among the stars, but she could not interfere because Jupiter was the ruler of the heavens.
Juno was angry when she saw the new constellations.
So she went to Neptune, the god who ruled the sea, and made him promise her that he would forbid the bears to rest like the other stars beneath the ocean.
And so the Big Bear and the Little Bear, always moving around near the Pole, stay forever in the sky, but being near each other they are happy, and have learned to rest content among the clouds.
Low on his fours the Lion
Treads with the surly Bear,
But Men straight upward from the dust
Walk with their heads in air;
The free sweet winds of heaven,
The sunlight from on high
Beat on their clear bright cheeks and brows
As they go striding by;
The doors of all their houses
They arch so they may go,
Uplifted o'er the four-foot beasts,
Unstooping, to and fro.
WEEK 8 |
She was relieved at the absence of a piano and secretly rejoiced that she would not need to practise. In her heart she had not liked her music lessons at all, but she had never dreamed of not accepting them from Aunt Frances as she accepted everything else. Also she had liked to hear Aunt Frances boast about how much better she could play than other children of her age.
She was downstairs by this time, and, opening a door out of the parlor, found herself back in the kitchen, the long line of sunny windows and the bright flowers giving her that quick little thrill again. Cousin Ann looked up from her ironing, nodded, and said: "All through? You'd better come in and get warmed up. Those rooms get awfully cold these January days. Winters we mostly use this room so's to get the good of the kitchen stove." She added after a moment, during which Elizabeth Ann stood by the stove, warming her hands: "There's one place you haven't seen yet—the milk-room. Mother's down there now, churning. That's the door—the middle one."
Elizabeth Ann had been wondering and wondering where in the world Aunt Abigail was. So she stepped quickly to the door, and went down the cold dark stairs she found there. At the bottom was a door, locked apparently, for she could find no fastening. She heard steps inside, the door was briskly cast open, and she almost fell into the arms of Aunt Abigail, who caught her as she stumbled forward, saying: "Well, I've been expectin' you down here for a long time. I never saw a little girl yet who didn't like to watch butter-making. Don't you love to run the butter-worker over it? I do, myself, for all I'm seventy-two!"
"I don't know anything about it," said Elizabeth Ann. "I don't know what you make butter out of. We always bought ours."
"Well, for goodness' sakes!" said Aunt Abigail. She turned and called across the room. "Henry, did you ever! Here's Betsy saying she don't know what we make butter out of! She actually never saw anybody making butter!"
Uncle Henry was sitting down, near the window, turning the handle to a small barrel swung between two uprights. He stopped for a moment and considered Aunt Abigail's remark with the same serious attention he had given to Elizabeth Ann's discovery about left and right. Then he began to turn the churn over and over again and said, peaceably: "Well, Mother, you never saw anybody laying asphalt pavement, I'll warrant you! And I suppose Betsy knows all about that."
Elizabeth Ann's spirits rose. She felt very superior indeed. "Oh, yes," she assured them, "I know all about that! Didn't you ever see anybody doing that? Why, I've seen them hundreds of times! Every day as we went to school they were doing over the whole pavement for blocks along there."
Aunt Abigail and Uncle Henry looked at her with interest, and Aunt Abigail said: "Well, now, think of that! Tell us all about it!"
"Why, there's a big black sort of wagon," began Elizabeth Ann, "and they run it up and down and pour out the black stuff on the road. And that's all there is to it." She stopped, rather abruptly, looking uneasy. Uncle Henry inquired: "Now there's one thing I've always wanted to know. How do they keep that stuff from hardening on them? How do they keep it hot?"
The little girl looked blank. "Why, a fire, I suppose," she faltered, searching her memory desperately and finding there only a dim recollection of a red glow somewhere connected with the familiar scene at which she had so often looked with unseeing eyes.
"Of course a fire," agreed Uncle Henry. "But what do they burn in it, coke or coal or wood or charcoal? And how do they get any draft to keep it going?"
Elizabeth Ann shook her head. "I never noticed," she said.
Aunt Abigail asked her now, "What do they do to the road before they pour it on?"
"Do?" said Elizabeth Ann. "I didn't know they did anything."
"Well, they can't pour it right on a dirt road, can they?" asked Aunt Abigail. "Don't they put down cracked stone or something?"
Elizabeth Ann looked down at her toes. "I never noticed," she said.
"I wonder how long it takes for it to harden?" said Uncle Henry.
"I never noticed," said Elizabeth Ann, in a small voice.
Uncle Henry said, "Oh!" and stopped asking questions. Aunt Abigail turned away and put a stick of wood in the stove. Elizabeth Ann did not feel very superior now, and when Aunt Abigail said, "Now the butter's beginning to come. Don't you want to watch and see everything I do, so's you can answer if anybody asks you how butter is made?" Elizabeth Ann understood perfectly what was in Aunt Abigail's mind, and gave to the process of butter-making a more alert and aroused attention than she had ever before given to anything. It was so interesting, too, that in no time she forgot why she was watching, and was absorbed in the fascinations of the dairy for their own sake.
She looked in the churn as Aunt Abigail unscrewed the top, and saw the thick, sour cream separating into buttermilk and tiny golden particles. "It's gathering," said Aunt Abigail, screwing the lid back on. "Father'll churn it a little more till it really comes. And you and I will scald the wooden butter things and get everything ready. You'd better take that apron there to keep your dress clean."
Wouldn't Aunt Frances have been astonished if she could have looked in on Elizabeth Ann that very first morning of her stay at the hateful Putney Farm and have seen her wrapped in a gingham apron, her face bright with interest, trotting here and there in the stone-floored milk-room! She was allowed the excitement of pulling out the plug from the bottom of the churn, and dodged back hastily to escape the gush of buttermilk spouting into the pail held by Aunt Abigail. And she poured the water in to wash the butter, and screwed on the top herself, and, again all herself (for Uncle Henry had gone off as soon as the butter had "come"), swung the barrel back and forth six or seven times to swish the water all through the particles of butter. She even helped Aunt Abigail scoop out the great yellow lumps—her imagination had never conceived of so much butter in all the world! Then Aunt Abigail let her run the curiously shaped wooden butter-worker back and forth over the butter, squeezing out the water, and then pile it up again with her wooden paddle into a mound of gold. She weighed out the salt needed on the scales, and was very much surprised to find that there really is such a thing as an ounce. She had never met it before outside the pages of her arithmetic book and she didn't know it lived anywhere else.
After the salt was worked in she watched Aunt Abigail's deft, wrinkled old hands make pats and rolls. It looked like the greatest fun, and too easy for anything; and when Aunt Abigail asked her if she wouldn't like to make up the last half-pound into a pat for dinner, she took up the wooden paddle confidently. And then she got one of the surprises that Putney Farm seemed to have for her. She discovered that her hands didn't seem to belong to her at all, that her fingers were all thumbs, that she didn't seem to know in the least beforehand how hard a stroke she was going to give nor which way her fingers were going to go. It was, as a matter of fact, the first time Elizabeth Ann had tried to do anything with her hands except to write and figure and play on the piano, and naturally she wasn't very well acquainted with them. She stopped in dismay, looking at the shapeless, battered heap of butter before her and holding out her hands as though they were not part of her.
Aunt Abigail laughed, took up the paddle, and after three or four passes the butter was a smooth, yellow ball. "Well, that brings it all back to me!" she said—"when I was a little girl, when my grandmother first let me try to make a pat. I was about five years old—my! what a mess I made of it! And I remember—doesn't it seem funny—that she laughed and said her Great-aunt Elmira had taught her how to handle butter right here in this very milk-room. Let's see, Grandmother was born the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. That's quite a while ago, isn't it? But butter hasn't changed much, I guess, nor little girls either."
Elizabeth Ann listened to this statement with a very queer, startled expression on her face, as though she hadn't understood the words. Now for a moment she stood staring up in Aunt Abigail's face, and yet not seeing her at all, because she was thinking so hard. She was thinking! "Why! There were real people living when the Declaration of Independence was signed—real people, not just history people—old women teaching little girls how to do things—right in this very room, on this very floor—and the Declaration of Independence just signed!"
To tell the honest truth, although she had passed a very good examination in the little book on American history they had studied in school, Elizabeth Ann had never to that moment had any notion that there ever had been really and truly any Declaration of Independence at all. It had been like the ounce, living exclusively inside her schoolbooks for little girls to be examined about. And now here Aunt Abigail, talking about a butter-pat, had brought it to life!
Of course all this only lasted a moment, because it was such a new idea! She soon lost track of what she was thinking of; she rubbed her eyes as though she were coming out of a dream, she thought, confusedly: "What did butter have to do with the Declaration of Independence? Nothing, of course! It couldn't!" and the whole impression seemed to pass out of her mind. But it was an impression which was to come again and again during the next few months.
H ARDLY was Jimmy Skunk beyond sight and hearing after having made his call than Redeye the Vireo, whose home is in a tree just at the foot of the hill where Prickly Porky lives, heard a very strange noise. He was very busy, was Redeye, telling all who would listen how happy he was and what a beautiful world this is. Redeye seems to think that this is his special mission in life, that he was put in the Green Forest for this one special purpose,—to sing all day long, even in the hottest weather when other birds forget to sing, his little song of gladness and happiness. It never seems to enter his head that he is making other people happy just by being happy himself and saying so.
At first he hardly noticed the strange noise, but when he stopped singing for a bit of a rest, he heard it very plainly, and it sounded so very queer that he flew up the hill towards the place from which it seemed to come, and there his bright eyes soon discovered Prickly Porky. Right away he saw that Prickly Porky was in some kind of trouble, and that it was he who was making the queer noise. Prickly Porky was on the ground at the foot of a tree, and he was rolling over and kicking and clawing at his mouth, from which a little piece of bark was hanging. It was such a strange performance that Redeye simply stared for a minute. Then in a flash it came to him what it meant. Prickly Porky was choking, and if something wasn't done to help him, he might choke to death!
Now there was nothing that Redeye himself could do to help, for he was too small. He must get help somewhere else, and he must do it quickly. Anxiously he looked this way and that way, but there was no one in sight. Then he remembered that Unc' Billy Possum's hollow tree was not far away. Perhaps Unc' Billy could help. He hoped that Unc' Billy was at home, and he wasted no time in finding out. Unc' Billy was at home, and when he heard that his old friend Prickly Porky was in trouble, he hurried up the hill as fast as ever he could. He saw right away what was the trouble.
"Yo' keep still just a minute, Brer Porky!" he commanded, for he did not dare go very near while Prickly Porky was rolling and kicking around so, for fear that he would get against some of the thousand little spears Prickly Porky carries hidden in his coat. Prickly Porky did as he was told. Indeed, he was so weak from his long struggle that he was glad to. Unc' Billy caught hold of the piece of bark hanging from Prickly Porky's mouth. Then he braced himself and pulled with all his might.
Then he braced himself and pulled with all his might.
For a minute the piece of bark held. Then it gave way so suddenly that Unc' Billy fell over flat on his back. Unc' Billy scrambled to his feet and looked reprovingly at Prickly Porky, who lay panting for breath, and with big tears rolling down his face.
"Ah cert'nly am surprised, Brer Porky; Ah cert'nly am surprised that yo' should be so greedy that yo' choke yo'self," said Unc' Billy, shaking his head.
Prickly Porky grinned weakly and rather foolishly. "It wasn't greed, Unc' Billy. It wasn't greed at all," he replied.
"Then what was it, may Ah ask?" demanded Unc' Billy severely.
"I thought of something funny right in the middle of my meal, and I laughed just as I started to swallow, and the piece of bark went down the wrong way," explained Prickly Porky. And then, as if the mere thought of the thing that had made him laugh before was too much for him, he began to laugh again. He laughed and laughed and laughed, until finally Unc' Billy quite lost patience.
"Yo' cert'nly have lost your manners, Brer Porky!" he snapped.
Prickly Porky wiped the tears from his eyes. "Come closer so that I can whisper, Unc' Billy," said he.
A little bit suspiciously Unc' Billy came near enough for Prickly Porky to whisper, and when he had finished, Unc' Billy was wiping tears of laughter from his own eyes.
God bless our native land!
Firm may she ever stand,
Through storm and night:
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do Thou our country save
By Thy great might!
For her our prayers shall rise
To God, above the skies;
On Him we wait:
Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with watchful eye,
To Thee aloud we cry,
"God save the State! "
WEEK 8 |
T HERE is an old legend which tells us that the good Saint Patrick, before he returned to the Green Island where he had been a slave, stayed for a while in Wales and thought to make his home there. He loved its wild mountains and deep glens dearly, its dancing streams and purple cliffs rising so straight from the edge of the blue sea. There was much work there, too, waiting to be done, and he thought that he was the man to do it. But one evening, as he sat at sundown upon the steep rock of Cam Ilidi, a messenger of God was sent in a vision to change his purpose. It was a fitting time and place for a heavenly vision. Below him the heathery moors sloped down to the edge of the sea, whose blue waters stretched out their shining glory of sapphire and gold in the sunset glow, and above in the sky the clouds were flinging wide their banners of rose and crimson. So full was the very air of wondrous light and colour that the angel who stood beside him seemed but a part of the shining glory.
"Dost thou see," said the angel, "beyond yon golden sea, a dim blue line beneath the sunset edge? That is the land where thou shalt dwell and wage thy warfare for God, the land from whence thou shalt enter into thy rest. This country is not for thee, but is reserved for one who shall be born thirty years hence." So it was that Saint Patrick went to Ireland, while Wales waited for the saint whom God should send.
Full thirty years then passed away before Saint David, patron saint of Wales, was born. His father, it is said, was kin to King Arthur, and his mother was a poor Irish nun. Leaving her monastery, the gentle nun went to live in a cottage at the edge of the cliffs, above a little bay which is still called by her name. Here, while the wild winds dashed the spray far up the cliffs and shrieked like demons around the little cottage, her baby was born.
Perhaps the favourite name of all others in Wales has ever been David or Dewi. Sometimes it is spelt Dafyd, and the old nickname "Taffy" may have been the way which English tongues pronounced it. It was this name of David which they gave to the baby born in the wind-swept cottage that stormy night, little guessing that it was to be the name of the patron saint of Wales.
Like other children wild and free, he grew up strong and hardy; learned to climb the rocks like a young goat and to live his life out of doors, the sky above for his roof and the thymy grass for his carpet. But that was when he was but a little boy. Growing older, there were lessons to be learned and duties to be done, and so young David was sent to be tamed and taught at the monastery school.
Paulinus, his master, loved the boy, and found him quick to learn and easy to teach. In the old stories of Saint David's life there is not much told of his childhood, but it is said that "David grew up full of grace and lovely to be looked at. And he learned at school the psalms, lessons of the whole year, mass and communion; and there his fellow disciples saw a dove with a golden beak playing about his lips, and singing the hymns of God."
Pure lips from which no ugly word ever fell, kindly speech that turned quarrels into friendliness, straightforward truth and honour, that was what his companions noted when they watched young David, and this was why perhaps they spoke of the dove with golden beak that played about his lips.
One other thing the old story tells about the boy. Paulinus the master suffered once from a dreadful pain in his eyes. For a time he could see nothing and feel nothing but his misery, and he did not know when David came and stood beside him in pitying silence. But presently he felt cool hands laid on his aching eyes, a tender touch that gently stroked the hot suffering eyelids until in some miraculous fashion it charmed the pain away.
As the Master of old in Galilee brought peace and healing by the touch of His kind hand, it is not strange that those who walk closest in His footprints should have learned from Him the virtue that lies in a tender loving touch.
There were rough times to be faced when David grew to manhood and became the head of his monastery. Not only was the land continually plundered by foreign foes, but there were still many bards and chieftains who hated Christianity and looked upon David as their foe. The love of music and poetry was as strong in the land as the love of the sword, and these bards were the teachers of the people, poets who sang of the great deeds of heroes, and told in flowing verse of their victories and defeats. Thus it was a great matter to win these bards to the service of Christ, and David counted it a great victory when they listened to his teaching and were willing to enter Christ's service. The monasteries welcomed them eagerly, knowing that the music of their harps lifted men's souls to heaven.
So the banner of Christ floated more and more triumphantly over the land, and one by one the monasteries were founded by David, and filled with men eager to take service under that banner. It was no easy life that tempted men to become monks in those days. Saint David's rule was so strict that only those who were willing to endure hardness could have found pleasure in living as they did. Clothes rough and coarse, made from the skins of animals, food of the simplest, work of some sort from morning till night, this was what Saint David's followers willingly endured. Every moment of the day had its duties, either prayer or hard work in the fields. Instead of oxen or horses, the monks themselves were harnessed to the plough, and patiently plodded through the work given to them to do.
But through it all the love of beauty and music and poetry was never crushed out, but rather grew stronger in these simple monks. One thing they loved above all, and that was to make copies of the Holy Book, and each one strove to make his copy as fair and exquisite as skill could achieve. So much did they love this work that a special rule was obliged to be made, which ordered that when the church bell rang the brothers were to stop work at once, the sentence be left unfinished, and even the word left half written. Instant obedience was one of the first things David's monks learned, and it taught them how to conquer the world.
Upon the same rock of Saint Patrick's vision David built his own beloved monastery, and there, in sight of the sea he loved and those purple hills of glory, he too received the heavenly messenger and heard the summons, "Friend, come up higher."
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.
One day, in the long ago, the brig Industry had just got back from her first voyage to a far country, and she lay at that wharf. And the men had begun to take out of her all the many things that she had brought back from that far country. To do that some of the men had little low trucks, something like the little trucks that men use now to load steamers and freight cars, and they wheeled the little trucks up the long plank with little ups on it when the trucks were empty, and they ran down the plank with them when they were full. The little ups did not go all the way across the plank, but were only in the middle of it, so that the men could walk on them but they wouldn't be in the way of the wheels. And some of the men carried things on their backs, and some of them carried barrows without any wheels, one man at each end. And Captain Solomon saw to the unloading, and was very careful that they didn't break anything.
First they brought out the china dishes that Captain Jacob had bought for Lois. All the dishes and platters and plates and cups and saucers were packed in barrels, with straw around them, so that they wouldn't get broken. And a man took a barrel and got it carefully on a truck and walked down the plank with the truck, and over to one corner of the wharf. And when he got to that corner of the wharf, he took the barrel carefully off the truck and set it down. And pretty soon there was a procession of men going up one plank and down another with Lois's things, and they were all put in that corner of the wharf.
When the china dishes that had the houses and trees and birds painted on them in blue had all been taken off, they took the big boxes that had the tea-sets of delicate china in them, and the tea-pots of queer shapes. And those boxes were put with the barrels. And they took the little boxes that had the carved ivory images in them, and then they brought the tables that had the tops inlaid with ebony and ivory, and the tables of teak-wood, and the trays that were shiny black with birds and flowers painted on them in red and silver and gold. But they didn't take Lois's camel's hair shawl nor the piece to go around her neck, because Lois had taken them herself. And when the men had taken all of those things out, they had all the things that were Lois's, and they were all together in the corner of the wharf.
While those men were taking Lois's things out, other men were getting ready to empty the hold of the Industry. The hold is the place under the deck of a ship, nearest the bottom. The Industry had only one deck in the middle part of her, so all that was under that deck was the hold. And there was a big square hole in the deck to get the things in and out. That hole is called the hatchway, and there is a strong cover to fasten over it when the ship is sailing.
These other men had fastened ropes to the yard and had swung the yard around so that the ropes were almost over the hatchway. The ropes were fastened so that it would be easier to hoist things up, in somewhat the same way that the men at the shipyard had hoisted the mast, to step it, when the ship was built. Then they lowered the end of the rope down into the hold, and some men who were down there fastened it around a lot of the chests of tea, and the men on deck hoisted, and the tea came up, slowly, until it was high enough. Then they swung it over the side, and let it down upon the wharf. And some men undid the rope, and they were ready to hoist something else.
And so they did, until the hold of the Industry was all emptied. Some of the things they could not let down upon the wharf, and those things the men took down on their little trucks. They took out the tea, and the chests of camphor-wood and the chests of cedar and the spices in great packages. And they took out the images carved out of ivory; and those had been packed carefully in boxes. And they took out the little trays and tables of lacquered wood, and the tables of ebony and ivory and teak-wood. And, last of all, they took out the logs of teak-wood. But the camel's hair shawls and the cloth of goat's hair were not in the hold, but had been put in chests of camphor-wood and kept in the cabin.
At last the Industry was all unloaded, and she floated higher in the water than she had done, for all those things were heavy. And Captain Solomon sent for a big wagon. And the wagon came down the steep hill on the narrow road on to the wharf, and Captain Solomon had it back up to the place where the men had put all the things that were Lois's. But the things that were Captain Jonathan's and Captain Jacob's, the men carried up to their office on the little trucks. And Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob were there, and they saw all the things and told the men where to put them.
The men who had come with the wagon loaded all the things that were Lois's upon the wagon. There were so many of them that they couldn't get them all on, but they had to come again for another load. And when the wagon was loaded, the men started the horses and the horses pulled very hard, and away they went up the steep hill and to Captain Jacob's house, and there was Lois. She had the men unload the wagon, and unpack the things in the yard. And the servants carried the things into the house very carefully, and put them where Lois had told them to.
First, they carried all the platters and the plates and the vegetable dishes and the cups and the saucers, that had trees and houses painted on them in blue, into the kitchen and the pantry. There were a great many of these dishes, and they filled up all the tables and all the chairs, and some of them had to be put on the floor. Then two maids washed and wiped them, and there were so many dishes that it took them a long time; but when they were all washed, the picture that was painted on the platters and the plates and the vegetable dishes and the cups and the saucers was all pretty and shiny, so that it could be seen plainly. It was a picture that showed a Chinese house, that is queer and not like our houses; and there was a funny little hump-backed bridge over some water, and two people were on that bridge. And there were some queer looking trees and two birds were in the air over the two people. It was a Chinese fairy story that the picture told, and some day you may learn what the two people were there for, and why they were changed into the two birds. Some of those very platters and plates and cups and saucers are in that little city still, in a china closet in the house that was once Captain Jacob's and Lois's.
They filled up all the tables and all the chairs.
And, when the dishes were washed, a maid brought them and put most of them in the great china closet in the dining- room. The china closet was double and it took up nearly the whole side of the room. And it had two sets of doors, one on the right and one on the left, and each of the four doors had funny little panes of glass that were diamond-shaped; but they were all over the doors except a little round place at the top, so that the china that was in the closet showed when the doors were shut.
And the maid put the vegetable dishes and the dinner plates on the lowest shelves of the closet, and she stood the platters up on edge behind them. And on the next shelves she put the plates for soup and the breakfast plates of all kinds and the supper plates. And then she put in most of the cups and the saucers and the tea-pots and the sugar bowls and the cream pitchers. But there were two platters and two soup tureens that were too big to go in that closet, anywhere. And those she put on the top of the great mahogany sideboard, because she didn't know where else to put them. And there they stood for a long time, beside the cream pitcher and the tea-pot and the sugar bowl made of silver. This cream pitcher and the tea-pot and the sugar bowl were Lois's own, and they were old, even then, for they had been her grandmother's. Between the platters, in the middle of the sideboard, stood the wine glasses and the two decanters, that were Captain Jacob's; and the decanters were kept filled with wine.
When the maid had got all these dishes put away in the dining-room, Lois told her to bring a tea-pot and a sugar bowl and a cream pitcher and two cups and saucers, that were a part of that set that had the fairy story painted on each piece, up to her room. And while the maid was getting the things, Lois went up-stairs to get a place ready for them.
In Lois's room was a great mahogany bedstead. It didn't have any springs because they didn't make springs to beds then, but it was corded, instead. That is, there was a rope wound around pegs in the sides and the ends, back and forth; and on the cords there was a mattress stuffed with corn husks. This mattress was pretty hard but it didn't have any lumps in it, so it didn't matter that it was hard, for on top of it was a great feather bed. And at each corner of the bed carved posts went up almost to the ceiling, and across the top of the four posts was a canopy, that had curtains hanging down. The curtains were drawn back now, for it was summer; but on winter nights and mornings it was very cold in that room, for people didn't have furnaces in houses then, and when there was a fire it was covered at night, so that it didn't heat the room much. A good deal of the time Lois didn't have a fire, because it took so long to get the room warmed that she was dressed long before it got warm. So she needed to have the curtains about the bed in the winter. And, at the head of the bed, hung a warming-pan. Inside the warming-pan they put coals from the fire, and they used to slide it in the bed, between the sheets, to warm the bed.
And there was a mahogany bureau and a dressing-table, and above the dressing-table hung a Dutch mirror. And, beside the bed, was a little square mahogany sewing-table, with two drawers and with a leaf on each side that would lift up and make the table bigger. And, on the other side of the bed, was a little three-legged table with the top turned up on a hinge. That table was mahogany, too, and the top was an oval shape.
And Lois came, and she went to the little table that had the top turned up, and she turned down the top, so that it was flat, and when she had turned it down, there was a spring bolt that fastened it so that it could not tip and so that none of the things which were put on it could slide off. And she put a napkin on the top, and then the maid came in with one of the trays that was shiny black with birds and flowers painted on it, in red and silver and gold. And on the tray were the tea-things which Lois had told her to bring. And she put the tray down on the little oval top of the table, and went away. But Lois stood for a long while, looking at the little table with the tray and the tea-things on it, and thinking how pretty it all was. And she happened to think that she hadn't any tea.
"Well, I never!" said Lois. And she gave a little laugh, and she called to the maid to bring a little caddy of tea—a china caddy that belonged with those things. And presently the maid came, and she brought a little china tea-caddy, that had the same picture painted on it, in blue. And she set it down and went away, and pretty soon Lois went downstairs again.
Then the maids asked where they should put the other things. And Lois had them carry the tea-set of delicate china into the parlor and she took it herself and put the thin, pretty cups and saucers and the pitchers and the sugar bowl into an ebony case, that Captain Jacob had there. There were doors to the case, so that Lois thought the delicate china would not get broken. And she put some of the tea-pots made in the shape of dragons and queer beasts in the parlor and some she put in the sitting-room.
And the little tables of teak-wood and ebony and ivory she put wherever she could find room for them—some in the parlor and some in the sitting-room. But there was one little table for chess-playing, and that she had put in the sitting-room by Captain Jacob's chair, for he liked to play chess in the evening, and Lois had to play with him, whether she wanted to or not. That table had its top inlaid with ivory and ebony in little squares, first a black square then a white square; and around the squares went two thin lines of black and white. But the top of the table was round, so that the man who made it had put a pattern in black and white in the round parts beyond the squares.
And Lois put the image of the procession of elephants, that was carved out of a great tusk, on the mantel-piece in the parlor, between the two brass candlesticks that stood there, one on each corner. But the squatting idol, that Lois thought was very ugly, she put on a shelf at one side of the parlor, beside some great shells that Captain Jacob had.
At last, she had all the things put away somewhere, and she was very tired.
And it was almost supper time. So she went up to her room to get ready, and then she sat down to wait for Captain Jacob.
And that's all.
Oh, hush thee, my babie, thy sire was a knight,
Thy mother a lady, both lovely and bright;
The woods and the glens from the tower which we see,
They all are belonging, dear babie, to thee.
O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo
O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo
Oh, fear not the bugle, though loudly it blows,
It calls but the warders that guard thy repose;
Their bows would be bended, their blades would be red,
Ere the step of a foeman draws near to thy bed.
O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo
O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo
Oh, hush thee, my babie, the time will soon come,
When thy sleep shall be broken by trumpet and drum;
Then hush thee, my darling, take rest while you may,
For strife comes with manhood, and waking with day.
O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo
O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo