Text of Plan #990
  WEEK 12  


The Railway Children  by Edith Nesbit

What Bobbie Brought Home

dropcap image H, look up! Speak to me! For my  sake, speak!" The children said the words over and over again to the unconscious hound in a red jersey, who sat with closed eyes and pale face against the side of the tunnel.

"Wet his ears with milk," said Bobbie. "I know they do it to people that faint—with eau-de-Cologne. But I expect milk's just as good."

So they wetted his ears, and some of the milk ran down his neck under the red jersey. It was very dark in the tunnel. The candle end Peter had carried, and which now burned on a flat stone, gave hardly any light at all.

"Oh, do  look up," said Phyllis. "For my  sake! I believe he's dead."

"For my  sake," repeated Bobbie. "No, he isn't."

"For any  sake," said Peter; "come out of it." And he shook the sufferer by the arm.

And then the boy in the red jersey sighed, and opened his eyes, and shut them again and said in a very small voice, "Chuck it."

"Oh, he's not  dead," said Phyllis. "I knew  he wasn't," and she began to cry.

"What's up? I'm all right," said the boy.

"Drink this," said Peter, firmly, thrusting the nose of the milk bottle into the boy's mouth. The boy struggled, and some of the milk was upset before he could get his mouth free to say:

"What is it?"

"It's milk," said Peter. "Fear not, you are in the hands of friends. Phil, you stop bleating this minute."

"Do drink it," said Bobbie, gently; "it'll do you good."

So he drank. And the three stood by without speaking to him.

"Let him be a minute," Peter whispered; "he'll be all right as soon as the milk begins to run like fire through his veins."

He was.

"I'm better now," he announced. "I remember all about it." He tried to move, but the movement ended in a groan. "Bother! I believe I've broken my leg," he said.

"Did you tumble down?" asked Phyllis, sniffing.

"Of course not—I'm not a kiddie," said the boy, indignantly; "it was one of those beastly wires tripped me up, and when I tried to get up again I couldn't stand, so I sat down. Gee whillikins! it does hurt, though. How did you  get here?"

"We saw you all go into the tunnel and then we went across the hill to see you all come out. And the others did—all but you, and you didn't. So we are a rescue party," said Peter, with pride.

"You've got some pluck, I will say," remarked the boy.

"Oh, that's nothing," said Peter, with modesty. "Do you think you could walk if we helped you?"

"I could try," said the boy.

He did try. But he could only stand on one foot; the other dragged in a very nasty way.

"Here, let me sit down. I feel like dying," said the boy. "Let go of me—let go, quick—" He lay down and closed his eyes. The others looked at each other by the dim light of the little candle.

"What on earth!" said Peter.

"Look here," said Bobbie, quickly, "you must go and get help. Go to the nearest house."

"Yes, that's the only thing," said Peter. "Come on."

"If you take his feet and Phil and I take his head, we could carry him to the manhole."

They did it. It was perhaps as well for the sufferer that he had fainted again.

"Now," said Bobbie, "I'll stay with him. You take the longest bit of candle, and, oh—be quick, for this bit won't burn long."

"I don't think Mother would like me leaving you," said Peter, doubtfully. "Let me stay, and you and Phil go."

"No, no," said Bobbie, "you and Phil go—and lend me your knife. I'll try to get his boot off before he wakes up again."

"I hope it's all right what we're doing," said Peter.

"Of course it's right," said Bobbie, impatiently. "What else would  you do? Leave him here all alone because it's dark? Nonsense. Hurry up, that's all."

So they hurried up.

Bobbie watched their dark figures and the little light of the little candle with an odd feeling of having come to the end of everything. She knew now, she thought, what nuns who were bricked up alive in convent walls felt like. Suddenly she gave herself a little shake.

"Don't be a silly little girl," she said. She was always very angry when anyone else called her a little girl, even if the adjective that went first was not "silly" but "nice" or "good" or "clever." And it was only when she was very angry with herself that she allowed Roberta to use that expression to Bobbie.

She fixed the little candle end on a broken brick near the red-jerseyed boy's feet. Then she opened Peter's knife. It was always hard to manage—a halfpenny was generally needed to get it open at all. This time Bobbie somehow got it open with her thumbnail. She broke the nail, and it hurt horribly. Then she cut the boy's bootlace, and got the boot off. She tried to pull off his stocking, but his leg was dreadfully swollen, and it did not seem to be the proper shape. So she cut the stocking down, very slowly and carefully. It was a brown, knitted stocking, and she wondered who had knitted it, and whether it was the boy's mother, and whether she was feeling anxious about him, and how she would feel when he was brought home with his leg broken. When Bobbie had got the stocking off and saw the poor leg, she felt as though the tunnel was growing darker, and the ground felt unsteady, and nothing seemed quite real.

"Silly  little girl!" said Roberta to Bobbie, and felt better.

"The poor leg," she told herself; "it ought to have a cushion—ah!"

She remembered the day when she and Phyllis had torn up their red flannel petticoats to make danger signals to stop the train and prevent an accident. Her flannel petticoat to-day was white, but it would be quite as soft as a red one. She took it off.

"Oh, what useful things flannel petticoats are!" she said; "the man who invented them ought to have a statue directed to him." And she said it aloud, because it seemed that any voice, even her own, would be a comfort in that darkness.

"What  ought to be directed? Who to?" asked the boy, suddenly and very feebly.

"Oh," said Bobbie, "now you're better! Hold your teeth and don't let it hurt too much. Now!"

She had folded the petticoat, and lifting his leg laid it on the cushion of folded flannel.

"Don't faint again, please  don't," said Bobbie, as he groaned. She hastily wetted her handkerchief with milk and spread it over the poor leg.

"Oh, that hurts," cried the boy, shrinking. "Oh—no, it doesn't—it's nice, really."

"What's your name?" said Bobbie.


"Mine's Bobbie."

"But you're a girl, aren't you?"

"Yes, my long name's Roberta."

"I say—Bobbie."


"Wasn't there some more of you just now?"

"Yes, Peter and Phil—that's my brother and sister. They've gone to get someone to carry you out."

"What rum names. All boys'."

"Yes—I wish I was a boy, don't you?"

"I think you're all right as you are."

"I didn't mean that—I meant don't you wish you  were a boy, but of course you are without wishing."

"You're just as brave as a boy. Why didn't you go with the others?"

"Somebody had to stay with you," said Bobbie.

"Tell you what, Bobbie," said Jim, "you're a brick. Shake." He reached out a red-jerseyed arm and Bobbie squeezed his hand.

"I won't shake it," she explained, "because it would shake you , and that would shake your poor leg, and that would hurt. Have you got a hanky?"

"I don't expect I have." He felt in his pocket. "Yes, I have. What for?"

She took it and wetted it with milk and put it on his forehead.

"That's jolly," he said; "what is it?"

"Milk," said Bobbie. "We haven't any water—"

"You're a jolly good little nurse," said Jim.

"I do it for Mother sometimes," said Bobbie—"not milk, of course, but scent, or vinegar and water. I say, I must put the candle out now, because there mayn't be enough of the other one to get you out by."

"By George," said he, "you think of everything."

Bobbie blew. Out went the candle. You have no idea how black-velvety the darkness was.

"I say, Bobbie," said a voice through the blackness, "aren't you afraid of the dark?"

"Not—not very, that is—"

"Let's hold hands," said the boy, and it was really rather good of him, because he was like most boys of his age and hated all material tokens of affection, such as kissing and holding of hands. He called all such things "pawing," and detested them.

The darkness was more bearable to Bobbie now that her hand was held in the large rough hand of the red-jerseyed sufferer; and he, holding her little smooth hot paw, was surprised to find that he did not mind it so much as he expected. She tried to talk, to amuse him, and "take his mind off" his sufferings, but it is very difficult to go on talking in the dark, and presently they found themselves in a silence, only broken now and then by a—

"You all right, Bobbie?"

Or an—

"I'm afraid it's hurting you most awfully, Jim. I am  so sorry."

And it was very cold.

* * * * * *

Peter and Phyllis tramped down the long way of the tunnel towards daylight, the candle-grease dripping over Peter's fingers. There were no accidents unless you count Phyllis's catching her frock on a wire, and tearing a long, jagged slit in it, and tripping over her bootlace when it came undone, or going down on her hands and knees, all four of which were grazed.

"There's no end to this tunnel," said Phyllis—and indeed it did seem very, very long.

"Stick to it," said Peter; "everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep all on."

Which is quite true, if you come to think of it, and a useful thing to remember in seasons of trouble—such as measles, arithmetic, impositions, and those times when you are in disgrace, and feel as though no one would ever love you again, and you could never—never again—love anybody.

"Hurray," said Peter, suddenly, "there's the end of the tunnel—looks just like a pin-hole in a bit of black paper, doesn't it?"

The pin-hole got larger—blue lights lay along the sides of the tunnel. The children could see the gravel way that lay in front of them; the air grew warmer and sweeter. Another twenty steps and they were out in the good glad sunshine with the green trees on both sides.

Phyllis drew a long breath.

"I'll never go into a tunnel again as long as ever I live," said she, "not if there are twenty hundred thousand millions hounds inside with red jerseys and their legs broken."

"Don't be a silly cuckoo," said Peter, as usual. "You'd have  to."

"I think it was very brave and good of me," said Phyllis.

"Not it," said Peter; "you didn't go because you were brave, but because Bobbie and I aren't skunks. Now where's the nearest house, I wonder? You can't see anything here for the trees."

"There's a roof over there," said Phyllis, pointing down the line.

"That's the signal-box," said Peter, "and you know you're not allowed to speak to signalmen on duty. It's wrong."

"I'm not near so afraid of doing wrong as I was of going into that tunnel," said Phyllis. "Come on," and she started to run along the line. So Peter ran, too.

It was very hot in the sunshine, and both children were hot and breathless by the time they stopped, and bending their heads back to look up at the open windows of the signal-box, shouted "Hi!" as loud as their breathless state allowed. But no one answered. The signal-box stood quiet as an empty nursery, and the handrail of its steps was hot to the hands of the children as they climbed softly up. They peeped in at the open door. The signalman was sitting on a chair tilted back against the wall. His head leaned sideways, and his mouth was open. He was fast asleep.

"My hat!" cried Peter; "wake up!" And he cried it in a terrible voice, for he knew that if a signalman sleeps on duty, he risks losing his situation, let alone all the other dreadful risks to trains which expect him to tell them when it is safe for them to go their ways.


The signalman never moved. Then Peter sprang to him and shook him. And slowly, yawning and stretching, the man awoke. But the moment he was  awake he leapt to his feet, put his hands to his head "like a mad maniac," as Phyllis said afterwards, and shouted:

"Oh, my heavens—what's o'clock?"

"Twelve thirteen," said Peter, and indeed it was by the white-faced, round-faced clock on the wall of the signal-box.

The man looked at the clock, sprang to the levers, and wrenched them this way and that. An electric bell tingled—the wires and cranks creaked, and the man threw himself into a chair. He was very pale, and the sweat stood on his forehead "like large dewdrops on a white cabbage," as Phyllis remarked later. He was trembling, too; the children could see his big hairy hands shake from side to side, "with quite extra-sized trembles," to use the subsequent words of Peter. He drew long breaths. Then suddenly he cried, "Thank God, thank God you come in when you did—oh, thank God!" and his shoulders began to heave and his face grew red again, and he hid it in those large hairy hands of his.

"Oh, don't cry—don't," said Phyllis, "it's all right now," and she patted him on one big, broad shoulder, while Peter conscientiously thumped the other.

But the signalman seemed quite broken down, and the children had to pat him and thump him for quite a long time before he found his handkerchief—a red one with mauve and white horseshoes on it—and mopped his face and spoke. During this patting and thumping interval a train thundered by.

"I'm downright shamed, that I am," were the words of the big signalman when he had stopped crying; "snivelling like a kid." Then suddenly he seemed to get cross. "And what was you doing up here, anyway?" he said; "you know it ain't allowed."

"Yes," said Phyllis, "we knew it was wrong—but I wasn't afraid of doing wrong, and so it turned out right. You aren't sorry we came."

"Lor' love you—if you hadn't 'a' come—" he stopped and then went on. "It's a disgrace, so it is, sleeping on duty. If it was to come to be known—even as it is, when no harm's come of it."

"It won't come to be known," said Peter; "we aren't sneaks. All the same, you oughtn't to sleep on duty—it's dangerous."

"Tell me something I don't know," said the man, "but I can't help it. I know'd well enough just how it 'ud be. But I couldn't get off. They couldn't get no one to take on my duty. I tell you I ain't had ten minutes' sleep this last five days. My little chap's ill—pewmonia, the Doctor says—and there's no one but me and 'is little sister to do for him. That's where it is. The gell must 'ave her sleep. Dangerous? Yes, I believe you. Now go and split on me if you like."

"Of course we won't," said Peter, indignantly, but Phyllis ignored the whole of the signalman's speech, except the first six words.

"You asked us," she said, "to tell you something you don't know. Well, I will. There's a boy in the tunnel over there with a red jersey and his leg broken."

"What did he want to go into the blooming tunnel for, then?" said the man.

"Don't you be so cross," said Phyllis, kindly. "We  haven't done anything wrong except coming and waking you up, and that was right, as it happens."

Then Peter told how the boy came to be in the tunnel.

"Well," said the man, "I don't see as I can do anything. I can't leave the box."

"You might tell us where to go after someone who isn't in a box, though," said Phyllis.

"There's Brigden's farm over yonder—where you see the smoke a-coming up through the trees," said the man, more and more grumpy, as Phyllis noticed.

"Well, good-bye, then," said Peter.

But the man said, "Wait a minute." He put his hand in his pocket and brought out some money—a lot of pennies and one or two shillings and sixpences and half-a-crown. He picked out two shillings and held them out.

"Here," he said. "I'll give you this to hold your tongues about what's taken place to-day."

There was a short, unpleasant pause. Then:

"You are  a nasty man, though, aren't you?" said Phyllis.

Peter took a step forward and knocked the man's hand up, so that the shillings leapt out of it and rolled on the floor.

"If anything could  make me sneak, that  would!" he said. "Come, Phil," and marched out of the signal-box with flaming cheeks.

Phyllis hesitated. Then she took the hand, still held out stupidly, that the shillings had been in.

"I forgive you," she said, "even if Peter doesn't. You're not in your proper senses, or you'd never have done that. I know want of sleep sends people mad. Mother told me. I hope your little boy will soon be better, and—"

"Come on, Phil," cried Peter, eagerly.

"I give you my sacred honour-word we'll never tell anyone. Kiss and be friends," said Phyllis, feeling how noble it was of her to try to make up a quarrel in which she was not to blame.

The signalman stooped and kissed her.

"I do believe I'm a bit off my head, Sissy," he said. "Now run along home to Mother. I didn't mean to put you about—there."

So Phil left the hot signal-box and followed Peter across the fields to the farm.

When the farm men, led by Peter and Phyllis and carrying a hurdle covered with horse-cloths, reached the manhole in the tunnel, Bobbie was fast asleep and so was Jim. Worn out with the pain, the Doctor said afterwards.

"Where does he live?" the bailiff from the farm asked, when Jim had been lifted on to the hurdle.

"In Northumberland," answered Bobbie.

"I'm at school at Maidbridge," said Jim. "I suppose I've got to get back there, somehow."

"Seems to me the Doctor ought to have a look in first," said the bailiff.

"Oh, bring him up to our house," said Bobbie. "It's only a little way by the road. I'm sure Mother would say we ought to."

"Will your Ma like you bringing home strangers with broken legs?"

"She took the poor Russian home herself," said Bobbie. "I know she'd say we ought."

"All right," said the bailiff, "you ought to know what your Ma 'ud like. I wouldn't take it upon me to fetch him up to our place without I asked the Missus first, and they call me the Master, too."

"Are you sure your Mother won't mind?" whispered Jim.

"Certain," said Bobbie.

"Then we're to take him up to Three Chimneys?" said the bailiff.

"Of course," said Peter.

"Then my lad shall nip up to Doctor's on his bike, and tell him to come down there. Now, lads, lift him quiet and steady. One, two, three!"

* * * * * *

Thus it happened that Mother, writing away for dear life at a story about a Duchess, a designing villain, a secret passage, and a missing will, dropped her pen as her work-room door burst open, and turned to see Bobbie hatless and red with running.

"Oh, Mother," she cried, "do come down. We found a hound in a red jersey in the tunnel, and he's broken his leg and they're bringing him home."

"They ought to take him to the vet," said Mother, with a worried frown; "I really can't  have a lame dog here."

"He's not a dog, really—he's a boy," said Bobbie, between laughing and choking.

"Then he ought to be taken home to his mother."

"His mother's dead," said Bobbie, "and his father's in Northumberland. Oh, Mother, you will be nice to him? I told him I was sure you'd want us to bring him home. You always want to help everybody."

Mother smiled, but she sighed, too. It is nice that your children should believe you willing to open house and heart to any and every one who needs help. But it is rather embarrassing sometimes, too, when they act on their belief.

"Oh, well," said Mother, "we must make the best of it."

When Jim was carried in, dreadfully white and with set lips whose red had faded to a horrid bluey violet colour, Mother said:

"I am glad you brought him here. Now, Jim, let's get you comfortable in bed before the Doctor comes!"

And Jim, looking at her kind eyes, felt a little, warm, comforting flush of new courage.

"It'll hurt rather, won't it?" he said. "I don't mean to be a coward. You won't think I'm a coward if I faint again, will you? I really and truly don't do it on purpose. And I do hate to give you all this trouble."

"Don't you worry," said Mother; "it's you that have the trouble, you poor dear—not us."

And she kissed him just as if he had been Peter. "We love to have you here—don't we, Bobbie?"

"Yes," said Bobbie—and she saw by her Mother's face how right she had been to bring home the wounded hound in the red jersey.


Heroes of the Middle Ages  by Eva March Tappan

Saint Patrick

A few years before Alaric invaded Italy, a boy was born in Britain, probably on the western coast, who was to become the famous Saint Patrick. It was a wild, rude country. There were bears and wolves and wild boars. It was damp and cold; there was much fog and little sunshine. There were worse troubles than a disagreeable climate, for pirates from Ireland or Caledonia sometimes dashed up to the shore, made savage forays into the country, and sailed away with bands of captives to be sold. as slaves. This fate befell Patrick when a boy of about sixteen. For several years, he was a slave in Ireland and spent much of his time tending cattle. He had been brought up as a Christian, and as he watched his cattle on the hills, he prayed, some days a hundred times. At length there was a chance to escape, and he fled to his home. All his kindred welcomed him and begged him, now that he was rescued from such great dangers, never to go away.


Saint Patrick.

Still his heart was with the Irish. He dreamt one night that a man held before him a letter which began, "The Voice of the Irish;" and as he read, he seemed to hear the people who dwelt by the western ocean calling, "Come and dwell with us," and he made up his mind to spend his life preaching to them.


Bell of St. Patrick.

When the time had come that he felt himself prepared, he returned to the island where he had been a captive. Other preachers went with him, and they traveled up and down the land, telling the people everywhere of the religion of Christ. They wore sandals, and a sort of long cloak which was no more than a large round piece of cloth with a hole in the middle to put the head through. The fore part of their heads was shaved, and the rest of their hair hung down upon their shoulders. When they went on long journeys, they rode in clumsy, two-wheeled wagons; but if the journeys were short, they traveled on foot, staff in hand, chanting psalms as they walked. They carried mass-books and copies of the Gospels and portable altars, and bells made by riveting two pieces of sheet iron together into the form of a rude bell and then dipping it into melted bronze.


Shrine of St. Patrick's Bell.

Generally the people were willing to listen to the strangers, but nevertheless, the lives of the missionaries were often in danger. The chiefs were always at warfare among themselves, and it was not safe to go from one district to another without an escort. In one place the people thought the long, narrow writing tablets of the preachers were straight swords, and that they had come to make trouble. It was some little time before they could be made to understand that the strangers were their friends.


Saint Patrick Baptizing Two Irish Maidens.

There is a story that at one time the missionaries were in danger from Laoghaire, the chief king. At twilight King Laoghaire went out with his nobles to light the fire of the spring festival. On the Hill of Slane he saw another fire. It was forbidden on pain of death that anyone else should kindle a fire so long as the king's was burning, and Laoghaire sent men to learn who these daring strangers were and to bring them before him. It is thought that Patrick's poem, called The Deer's Cry, was written at this time. Part of it is as follows:—

At Tara to-day in this fateful hour,

I place all heaven with its power,

And the sun with its brightness,

And the snow with its whiteness,

And fire with all the strength it hath,

And lightning with its rapid wrath,

And the winds with their swiftness along their path,

And the sea with its deepness,

And the rocks with their steepness,

And the earth with its starkness:

All these I place,

By God's almighty help and grace,

Between myself and the Powers of Darkness.

The thought of the poem is that everything that God has made will help to guard the man who puts trust in His protection. The missionaries told the king that their fire was not to celebrate the coming of spring, but Easter and the resurrection of Christ. He listened closely, and finally gave them permission to preach to his people.

The grateful Irish loved Saint Patrick and were eager to make him gifts, but he would never accept them. There is a pretty story that the little son of an Irishman whom he had baptized loved the good preacher so dearly that when the tired man had fallen asleep, the child would creep up softly and lay sweet-scented flowers upon his breast. The boy afterward became a bishop and succeeded his beloved master.

For many years, Saint Patrick preached and taught and built churches and schoolhouses and monasteries. These monasteries, and others that were founded not long afterward, became the most famous schools of the age. Thousands of pupils came to them from the neighboring countries; and from these seats of learning and piety earnest teachers and missionaries went forth, not only to Britain, but to every corner of Europe. This is the work that was begun by one fearless, faithful, unselfish man.


Bjornstjerne Bjornson

The Tree

The Tree's early leaf buds were bursting their brown;

"Shall I take them away?" said the Frost, sweeping down.

"No, leave them alone

Till the blossoms have grown,"

Prayed the Tree, while he trembled from rootlet to crown.

The Tree bore his blossoms, and all the birds sung:

"Shall I take them away?" said the Wind, as he swung.

"No, leave them alone

Till the blossoms have grown,"

Said the Tree, while his leaflets quivering hung.

The Tree bore his fruit in the midsummer glow:

Said the child, "May I gather thy berries now?

"Yes, all thou canst see:

Take them; all are for thee,"

Said the Tree, while he bent down his laden boughs low.


  WEEK 12  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

Henry VIII—The Story of the King's Six Wives

A FTER the death of Wolsey, Henry chose a wise and gentle man called Sir Thomas More to be his Chancellor.

As the Pope still refused to give Henry leave to send Katherine away, he resolved to do so without leave. He sent her away, married his new wife, Anne Boleyn, and, because the Pope as head of the Church had refused to allow him to send Katherine away, he announced that the Pope had nothing more to do with the Church of England. Henry told the people that in future they must look upon the King of England as head of the Church as well as of the State.

The Pope was very angry with Henry and threatened him with all kinds of punishments, but Henry did not care. He had done what he wished to do, and was no longer afraid of the Pope.

Soon it began to be seen how wise Wolsey had been, for now that Henry ruled without him he became a much worse King than he had been before. Some good and wise men, among them the Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, felt that Henry had been wrong to quarrel with the Pope. They would not acknowledge him as head of the Church, so Henry first put them into prison and then he cut off their heads.

The King soon tired of Anne Boleyn, and, when people told him that she was a wicked woman, he was quite willing to believe them. He put her into prison and presently cut off her head. The very next day he married another lady called Jane Seymour. This lady was good and gentle, but she did not live very long after she was married to Henry. He was very sad at her death, and for two years he did not marry any one else. At the end of that time he married a fourth lady. She was called Anne of Cleves. Henry had never seen her, as she lived in Germany, but he had seen a picture of her painted by a famous artist called Holbein. In it she looked very pretty, and Henry said he would marry her because Thomas Cromwell, who was his chief adviser at that time, told him that it would be a wise thing to do.

But when the lady came to England, Henry found that she was not in the least like her picture. She was not at all pretty; she was very clumsy and awkward and could not speak a word of English.

Henry flew into a great passion, rudely called her "a great Flanders mare" and vowed he would not marry her. He was, however, obliged to do so. He was afraid if he did not, he might have to fight the German Princes who were her friends. But in revenge he put Thomas Cromwell into the Tower, and cut off his head because he had advised this marriage.

Henry soon got rid of his new wife. He offered her a large sum of money if she would go away and let him marry another lady. Anne was quite pleased to do this. No doubt she was glad to get away with her head safe upon her shoulders from such an angry, passionate man.

About a fortnight later Henry married another lady, called Catherine Howard.

This time the King soon discovered that he had married a wicked woman. She was not any more wicked than Henry was himself, but he did not think of that. To punish her, he cut off her head and the heads of several of her friends as well.

About a year later Henry married his sixth and last wife, a lady called Catherine Parr. She was a good woman, and it is wonderful that she should have been willing to marry so bad a man, and one who was so fond of cutting off the heads of his wives. Perhaps she thought that Henry might cut off her head if she refused, and after all it was a fine thing to be called Queen of England.

Catherine Parr was clever and she managed to keep her head upon her shoulders, although Henry once thought of cutting it off, because she did not quite agree with him about religious matters.

Although Henry had quarrelled with the Pope, he did not wish England to become a Protestant country. He wished the people to remain Roman Catholics, but to look upon him instead of the Pope as the head of the Church. So he beheaded and burned the people who tried to follow the teaching of Luther, and he also beheaded and burned those who still looked upon the Pope as the head of the Church.

Yet Henry helped on the Reformation, for he gave an order that a Bible should be placed in every church, so that people might go there and read it. And as books were still very dear, these Bibles were chained to the desks in case people should be tempted to steal them away.

Henry VII. had left a great deal of money when he died, but Henry VIII. was so extravagant and reckless that he soon spent it all. He tried many ways of getting more money, and after he quarrelled with the Pope he thought of a new way.

All over England there were monasteries and convents in which men and women lived who gave up their lives to good works. They cared for the sick and poor, taught the people how to read and write, and did many other useful things. Some of these monasteries and convents were very rich, possessing land and jewels besides much money. Henry said that the people who lived in these places led wicked lives. No doubt some of them did, but many of them led good lives and brought great comfort and happiness to the poor around them. But because of the evil which some did, Henry shut up these monasteries and convents. He sent the people who had lived in them out into the fields and streets homeless wanderers, and took all their money and lands for himself.

Besides doing this Henry taxed the people very heavily, and at last they rebelled. It was a curious rabble-like army which gathered together—an army of peasants and weavers led by priests and monks carrying their sacred banners and crucifixes.

They called their rebellion "The Pilgrimage of Grace." "Who is your leader?" asked the Duke of Norfolk, who had been sent against them.

"Our leader is Poverty," they replied, "and we are driven on by Necessity."

Although the King was not well prepared, the rebels did not succeed. The Duke of Norfolk persuaded them to go home, promising them pardon in the King's name. They went home, but the following year the rebellion broke out again. This time the King's soldiers were better prepared. The rebels were defeated, many of them being taken prisoner and put to death in cruel ways.

Henry VIII. died in 1547 A.D., having reigned for nearly thirty-eight years. His reign was a great one for England, the country becoming more important among the kingdoms of Europe than it had ever been. But Henry himself was bad and selfish, and at the end of his reign at least, proved himself to be a cruel tyrant.


Winter  by Dallas Lore Sharp

A Chapter of Things To Hear This Winter


Y OU should hear the three great silences of winter: the wide, sudden silence that falls at twilight on the coming of the first winter frost; the smothered hush that waits the breaking of a winter storm; the crystal stillness, the speech of the stars, that pervades earth and sky on a brilliant, stirless winter night. You should hear—or is it feel?— them all.


So should you hear the great voices of the winter: the voice of the north wind; the voice of a pine forest; the voice of the surf on a stormy shore. There is no music that I know like the wild mighty music of the winter winds in the winter woods. It will often happen that you can pass through a bare stretch of naked hardwoods immediately into a grove of thick-limbed spruces or pines. Never miss such an opportunity. Do not let the high winds of this winter blow on and away without your hearing them—at least once—as they sweep through the hardwoods on into the deep resounding pines.


Did you ever hear the running, rumbling, reverberating sound of the shore-to-shore split of a wide sheet of new ice? You will hear it as the sun rises over the pond, as the tide turns in the ice-bound river, and when the ice contracts with falling temperature,—a startling bolt of sound, a quake, that cleaves the ice across and splits its way into the heart of the frozen hills.


One of the most unnatural of all the sounds out-of-doors is the clashing, glassy rattle of trees ice-coated and shaken by the wind. It is as if you were in some weird china shop, where the curtains, the very clothes of the customers, were all of broken glass. It is the rattle of death, not of life; no, rather it is the rustle of the ermine robe of Winter, as he passes crystal-booted down his crystal halls.


If winter is the season of large sounds, it is also the season of small sounds, for it is the season of wide silence when the slightest of stirrings can be heard. Three of these small sounds you must listen for this winter: the smothered tinkle-tunkle  of water running under thin ice, as where the brook passes a pebbly shallow; then the tick-tick-tick  of the first snowflakes hitting the brown leaves on a forest floor; then the fine sharp scratch of a curled and toothed beech leaf skating before a noiseless breath of wind over the crusty snow. Only he that hath ears will hear these sounds, speaking, as they do, for the vast voiceless moments of the winter world.


I have not heard the "covey call" of the quail this winter. But there is not a quail left alive in all the fields and sprout-lands within sound of me. I used to hear them here on Mullein Hill; a covey used to roost down the wooded hillside in front of the house; but even they are gone—hunted out of life; shot and eaten off of my small world. What a horribly hungry animal man is!

But you may have the quail still in your fields. If so, then go out toward dusk on a quiet, snowy day, especially if you have heard shooting in the fields that day, and try to hear some one of the covey calling the flock together: Whir-r-rl-ee! Whir-r-rl-ee! Whirl-ee-gee!— the sweetest, softest, tenderest call you will ever hear!



And you certainly do have chickadees in your woods. If so, then go out any time of day, but go on a cold, bleak, blustery day, when everything is a-shiver, and, as Uncle Remus would say, "meet up" with a chickadee. It is worth having a winter, just to meet a chickadee in the empty woods and hear him call—a little pin-point of live sound, an undaunted, unnumbed voice interrupting the thick jargon of the winter to tell you that all this bluster and blow and biting cold can't get at the heart of a bird that must weigh, all told, with all his winter feathers on, fully—an ounce or two!


And then the partridge—you must hear him, bursting like a bottled hurricane from the brown leaves at your feet!


Among the sweet winter sounds, that are as good to listen to as the songs of the summer birds, you should hear: the loud joyous cackling of the hens on a sunny January day; the munching of horses at night when the wild winds are whistling about the barn; the quiet hum about the hives,—

"When come the calm mild days, as still such days will come,

To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home."

And then, the sound of the first rain on the shingles—the first February rain after a long frozen period! How it spatters the shingles with spring—spring—spring!


It was in the latter end of December, upon a gloomy day that was heavy with the oppression of a coming storm. In the heart of the maple swamp all was still and cold and dead. Suddenly, as out of a tomb, I heard the small, thin cry of a tiny tree-frog. And how small and thin it sounded in the vast silences of that winter swamp! And yet how clear and ringing! A thrill of life tingling out through the numb, nerveless body of the woods that has ever since made a dead day for me impossible.

Have you heard him yet?


"After all," says some one of our writers, "it is only a matter of which side of the tree you stand on, whether it is summer or winter." Just so. But, after all, is it not a good thing to stand on the winter side during the winter? to have a winter while we have it, and then have spring? No shivering around on the spring side of the tree for me. I will button up my coat, brace my back against the winter side and shout to the hoary old monarch—

"And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,

And gie's a hand o' thine;"

and what a grip he has!


Robert Browning

Pippa's Song

The year's at the spring

And day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven;

The hillside's dew-pearled;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in His heaven—

All's right with the world!


  WEEK 12  


The Story Book of Science  by Jean Henri Fabre

The Metals

"C OPPER and tin are called metals," continued Uncle Paul. "They are heavy, shining substances, which bear the blows of the hammer without breaking. They flatten, but do not break. There are still other substances which possess the considerable weight of copper and tin, as well as their brilliancy and resistance to blows. All these substances are called metals."

"Then lead, which is so heavy, is a metal too?" asked Emile.

"Iron also, silver and gold?" queried his brother.

"Yes, these substances and still others are metals. All have a peculiar brilliancy called metallic luster, but the color varies. Copper is red; gold, yellow; silver, iron, lead, tin, white, with a very slightly different shade one from another."

"The candlesticks Mother Ambroisine is drying in the sun," said Emile, "are a magnificent yellow and so shiny they dazzle. Are they gold?"

"No, my dear child; your uncle does not possess such riches. They are brass. To vary the colors and other properties of the metals, instead of always using them separately, they often mix two or three together, or even more. They melt them together, and the whole constitutes a sort of new metal, different from those which enter into its composition. Thus, in melting together copper and a kind of white metal called zinc, the same as the garden watering pots are made of, they obtain brass, which has not the red of copper, nor the white of zinc, but the yellow of gold. The material of the candlesticks is, then, made of copper and zinc together; in a word, it is brass, and not gold, in spite of its luster and yellow color. Gold is yellow and glitters; but all that is yellow and glitters is not gold. At the last village fair they sold magnificent rings whose brilliancy deceived you. In gold, they would have cost a fine sum. The merchant sold them for a sou. They were brass."

"How can they tell gold from brass, since the color and luster are almost the same?" asked Jules.

"By the weight, chiefly. Gold is much heavier than brass; it is indeed the heaviest metal in frequent use. After it comes lead, then silver, copper, iron, tin, and finally zinc, the lightest of all."

"You told us that to melt copper," put in Emile, "they needed a fire so intense, that the heat of a red-hot stove would be nothing in comparison. All metals do not resist like that, for I remember very well in what a sorry way the first leaden soldiers you gave me came to their end. Last winter, I had lined them up on the luke-warm stove. Just when I was not watching, the troop tottered, sank down, and ran in little streams of melted lead. I had only time to save half a dozen grenadiers, and their feet were missing."

"And when Mother Ambroisine thoughtlessly put the lamp on the stove," added Jules, "oh! it was soon done for: a finger's breadth of tin had disappeared."

"Tin and lead melt very easily," explained Uncle Paul. "The heat of our hearth is enough to make them run. Zinc also melts without much trouble; but silver, then copper, then gold, and finally iron, need fires of an intensity unknown in our houses. Iron, above all, has excessive resistance, very valuable to us.

"Shovels, tongs, grates, stoves, are iron. These various objects, always in contact with the fire, do not melt, however; do not even soften. To soften iron, so as to shape it easily on the anvil by blows from the hammer, the smith needs all the heat of his forge. In vain would he blow and put on coal; he would never succeed in melting it. Iron, however, can be melted, but you must use the most intense heat that human skill can produce."


Builders of Our Country: Book I  by Gertrude van Duyn Southworth

King Philip's War

IN 1675, war broke out once more between the Massachusetts settlers and the Indians. This was called King Philip's War.

King Philip was the chief of the Wampanoag tribe. His father, Massasoit, had been very friendly to the English. Philip, however, did not inherit his love for the settlers. Far from it.

There were three main reasons why King Philip looked with suspicion on the white men. The first was because of what befell his brother Alexander. On the death of Massasoit, Alexander had been made chief of the tribe. For some offense, the English had arrested, imprisoned, and tried him. And while in their prison, Alexander had taken a sickness which caused his death. This was hard to forgive. Why should the Englishmen interfere in the affairs of an Indian chief?

Philip's second grudge against the settlers arose from jealousy. He saw them rapidly becoming powerful and occupying large tracts of land. The land had been paid for, it is true. Yet no Indian could enjoy being shut out of his old hunting grounds that they might be turned into fields for the crops and cattle of strangers.

In the third place, certain of these Englishmen were teaching the Indians a new religion. Many Indians had accepted the Christian faith. They were living in Christian towns and wearing the white man's clothes. "Praying Indians," they were called. What possible reason could the white man have for converting the savages unless it was to add to his own power through their friendship?

King Philip felt all these things very keenly, and yet it is doubtful if he would have gone to war over them had it not been for the urging of his warriors.

These warriors loved the warpath. For many years they had been living peacefully. Now they craved the excitement of lying in ambush and springing out on their foes; or of creeping unseen, nearer and nearer a sleeping village, and in an hour's time, turning it into a mass of flames.

So, urged on by his braves and his own inclinations, King Philip began sending messengers to friendly tribes, inviting them to join in a mighty war on "the palefaces."

The English did not know that Philip was preparing for war till an Indian told the Governor of Plymouth. For doing so, this Indian was murdered by some of Philip's men. And these, in their turn, were hanged by the English.

This was the crisis. The Indian chief's patience was at an end. These English must not hang his braves. Philip was very angry and vented his wrath on the town of Swanzey. The war that followed was a terrible one. The settlers were in constant fear and danger. Hiding behind bushes and trees, the Indians let fly their death-dealing arrows. Many of the Indians used guns, which they had secured in trade from the white men.

Oftentimes King Philip's braves, coming upon a house where a mother and her children were alone, would kill them and then burn the house. Imagine how the father must have felt when he came home from the fields and found that his whole family had been murdered! Imagine how the children must have trembled in their beds when they heard the war whoops of the approaching Indians! These savages often danced like fiends around their victims' houses, yelling and waving their tomahawks. Often a whole village would be burned to the ground, and the inhabitants killed or made captives.

First, the settlements in southern Massachusetts were attacked. Then the Indians' fury was turned on those along the western frontier. On Sunday, the 1st of September, the greater part of Deerfield was burned, only a large storehouse being saved.

During services on that same Sunday, the people of Hadley were startled to hear the yells of Indians. Seizing their guns, which were always near them, the men rushed from the church. The village seemed fairly to swarm with painted savages. For a moment all was confusion. Suddenly a man with white hair and a long white beard rushed among the terrified English. Rallying them, he led a charge against the Indians and soon put them to flight. Then the brave old fighter disappeared as suddenly as he had come.

Who was he and where did he come from? Many thought an angel had come down to deliver them from their hated foe. But the old man was merely an Englishman named William Goffe. When King Charles I of England was beheaded, this William Goffe had had a hand in the affair. He had fled to New England for protection and was at this time being secreted in the neighborhood of Hadley.

As the cold weather drew near, King Philip gathered his warriors and joined the Narragansett tribe that they might camp together during the winter. The winter was not favorable to the Indians' mode of attack. The leafless trees did not provide a good screen. So these two Indian tribes chose a piece of rising ground in the middle of a great cedar swamp, and here they fortified themselves. Around their camp they built a thick wall of logs. Inside the wall they set up their wigwams, and then nearly three thousand Indians settled down for the winter in what seemed to them perfect safety.

Now was the white men's chance to strike a blow that the Indians would feel. The different settlements sent men, until a goodly army was ready to march against the Indian encampment.

On the 19th of December, this army arrived at the cedar swamp. There was but one entrance to the fort, and but one way to reach the entrance. This was by crossing a brook on a fallen tree. The danger of such a crossing was plain. Still there was no hesitation. The soldiers rushed toward the log.

In an instant the walls of the fort were alive, and the front rank fell before the first blaze of the Indian guns. Others sprang to take their places and were met by another volley. But nothing stopped the forward rush of the colonists. On they went, faster than the Indians could reload their guns. Crossing the log in spite of the firing, they rushed through the entrance into the fort.

A hand-to-hand fight followed. Thinking of their murdered wives and children, the white men fought like tigers. The confusion was terrible.

About sunset a blinding snowstorm filled the air; and under its protection, King Philip, the Narragansett chief, and many warriors, climbed the fortifications and fled into the forests. Then the wigwams were set on fire; and the white men retreated with their wounded and captives, leaving the Indian women and children to die in the flames with the wounded braves.

In this battle over a thousand Indians perished, and the power of the mighty Narragansett tribe was completely broken.

Still, the sad fate of so many braves only added to the hate of those warriors who had escaped. The war went on as savagely as ever all through the next summer. At last King Philip's wife and son were taken prisoners. This was a hard blow for the poor chief. "Now my heart breaks," he said, "and I am ready to die."

But though he may have been ready to die, he certainly was not ready to make peace. When one of his warriors, discouraged by their small numbers, suggested peace to him, Philip promptly struck the man dead.

Near by stood the brother of the murdered man. In an instant, all his loyalty to his chief was turned to hate. He would be revenged. At the first opportunity he slipped away and going to the English told them that they would find King Philip at his old home, Mount Hope.

And there on August 12th the avenger led a company of English soldiers, who surrounded the Indian chief before he suspected their presence. Suddenly hearing footsteps, Philip sprang to his feet and dashed for the woods. As he was fleeing past his betrayer, he received full in his heart the shot of the angry Indian. He fell on his face with his gun under him. Then his slayer sprang upon the body and chopping off the head carried it in triumph to the English colony at Plymouth. And this was the end of King Philip's War, and of the great tribe of the Wampanoag Indians.


Emily Dickinson

Perhaps You'd Like To Buy a Flower

Perhaps you'd like to buy a flower?

But I could never sell.

If you would like to borrow

Until the daffodil

Unties her yellow bonnet

Beneath the village door,

Until the bees, from clover rows

Their hock and sherry draw,

Why, I will lend until just then,

But not an hour more!


  WEEK 12  


Otto of the Silver Hand  by Howard Pyle

A Ride for Life


B UT not yet was Otto safe, and all danger past and gone by. Suddenly, as they stood there, the harsh clangor of a bell broke the silence of the starry night above their heads, and as they raised their faces and looked up, they saw lights flashing from window to window. Presently came the sound of a hoarse voice shouting something that, from the distance, they could not understand.

One-eyed Hans smote his hand upon his thigh. "Look," said he, "here is what comes of having a soft heart in one's bosom. I overcame and bound a watchman up yonder, and forced him to tell me where our young Baron lay. It was on my mind to run my knife into him after he had told me everything, but then, bethinking how the young Baron hated the thought of bloodshed, I said to myself, 'No, Hans, I will spare the villain's life.' See now what comes of being merciful; here, by hook or by crook, the fellow has loosed himself from his bonds, and brings the whole castle about our ears like a nest of wasps."

"We must fly," said the Baron; "for nothing else in the world is left me, now that all have deserted me in this black time of trouble, excepting these six faithful ones."

His voice was bitter, bitter, as he spoke; then stooping, he raised Otto in his arms, and bearing him gently, began rapidly descending the rocky slope to the level road that ran along the edge of the hill beneath. Close behind him followed the rest; Hans still grimed with soot and in his bare feet. A little distance from the road and under the shade of the forest trees, seven horses stood waiting. The Baron mounted upon his great black charger, seating little Otto upon the saddle in front of him. "Forward!" he cried, and away they clattered and out upon the road. Then—"To St. Michaelsburg," said Baron Conrad, in his deep voice, and the horses' heads were turned to the westward, and away they galloped through the black shadows of the forest, leaving Trutz-Drachen behind them.

But still the sound of the alarm bell rang through the beating of the horses' hoofs, and as Hans looked over his shoulder, he saw the light of torches flashing hither and thither along the outer walls in front of the great barbican.

In Castle Trutz-Drachen all was confusion and uproar; flashing torches lit up the dull gray walls; horses neighed and stamped, and men shouted and called to one another in the bustle of making ready. Presently Baron Henry came striding along the corridor clad in light armor, which he had hastily donned when roused from his sleep by the news that his prisoner had escaped. Below in the courtyard his horse was standing, and without waiting for assistance, he swung himself into the saddle. Then away they all rode and down the steep path, armor ringing, swords clanking, and iron-shod hoofs striking sparks of fire from the hard stones. At their head rode Baron Henry; his triangular shield hung over his shoulder, and in his hand he bore a long, heavy, steel-pointed lance with a pennant flickering darkly from the end.

At the high-road at the base of the slope they paused, for they were at a loss to know which direction the fugitives had taken; a half a score of the retainers leaped from their horses, and began hurrying about hither and thither, and up and down, like hounds searching for the lost scent, and all the time Baron Henry sat still as a rock in the midst of the confusion.

Suddenly a shout was raised from the forest just beyond the road; they had come upon the place where the horses had been tied. It was an easy matter to trace the way that Baron Conrad and his followers had taken thence back to the high-road, but there again they were at a loss. The road ran straight as an arrow eastward and westward—had the fugitives taken their way to the east or to the west?

Baron Henry called his head-man, Nicholas Stein, to him, and the two spoke together for a while in an undertone. At last the Baron's lieutenant reined his horse back, and choosing first one and then another, divided the company into two parties. The baron placed himself at the head of one band and Nicholas Stein at the head of the other. "Forward!" he cried, and away clattered the two companies of horsemen in opposite directions.

It was toward the westward that Baron Henry of Trutz-Drachen rode at the head of his men.

The early springtide sun shot its rays of misty, yellow light across the rolling tops of the forest trees where the little birds were singing in the glory of the May morning. But Baron Henry and his followers thought nothing of the beauty of the peaceful day, and heard nothing of the multitudinous sound of the singing birds as, with a confused sound of galloping hoofs, they swept along the highway, leaving behind them a slow-curling, low-trailing cloud of dust.

As the sun rose more full and warm, the misty wreaths began to dissolve, until at last they parted and rolled asunder like a white curtain and there, before the pursuing horsemen, lay the crest of the mountain toward which they were riding, and up which the road wound steeply.


He was gazing straight before him with a set and stony face.

"Yonder they are," cried a sudden voice behind Baron Henry of Trutz-Drachen, and at the cry all looked upward.

Far away upon the mountain-side curled a cloud of dust, from the midst of which came the star-like flash of burnished armor gleaming in the sun.

Baron Henry said never a word, but his lips curled in a grim smile.

And as the mist wreaths parted One-eyed Hans looked behind and down into the leafy valley beneath. "Yonder they come," said he. "They have followed sharply to gain so much upon us, even though our horses are wearied with all the travelling we have done hither and yon these five days past. How far is it, Lord Baron, from here to Michaelsburg?"

"About ten leagues," said the Baron, in a gloomy voice.

Hans puckered his mouth as though to whistle, but the Baron saw nothing of it, for he was gazing straight before him with a set and stony face. Those who followed him looked at one another, and the same thought was in the mind of each—how long would it be before those who pursued would close the distance between them?

When that happened it meant death to one and all.

They reached the crest of the hill, and down they dashed upon the other side; for there the road was smooth and level as it sloped away into the valley, but it was in dead silence that they rode. Now and then those who followed the Baron looked back over their shoulders. They had gained a mile upon their pursuers when the helmeted heads rose above the crest of the mountain, but what was the gain of a mile with a smooth road between them, and fresh horses to weary ones?

On they rode and on they rode. The sun rose higher and higher, and hotter and hotter. There was no time to rest and water their panting horses. Only once, when they crossed a shallow stretch of water, the poor animals bent their heads and caught a few gulps from the cool stream, and the One-eyed Hans washed a part of the soot from his hands and face. On and on they rode; never once did the Baron Conrad move his head or alter that steadfast look as, gazing straight before him, he rode steadily forward along the endless stretch of road, with poor little Otto's yellow head and white face resting against his steel-clad shoulder—and St. Michaelsburg still eight leagues away.

A little rise of ground lay before them, and as they climbed it, all, excepting the baron, turned their heads as with one accord and looked behind them. Then more than one heart failed, for through the leaves of the trees below, they caught the glint of armor of those who followed—not more than a mile away. The next moment they swept over the crest, and there, below them, lay the broad shining river, and nearer a tributary stream spanned by a rude, narrow, three-arched, stone bridge where the road crossed the deep, slow-moving water.

Down the slope plodded the weary horses, and so to the bridge-head.

"Halt," cried the baron suddenly, and drew rein.

The others stood bewildered. What did he mean to do? He turned to Hans and his blue eyes shone like steel.

"Hans," said he, in his deep voice, "thou hast served me long and truly; wilt thou for this one last time do my bidding?"

"Aye," said Hans, briefly.

"Swear it," said the Baron.

"I swear it," said Hans, and he drew the sign of the cross upon his heart.

"That is good," said the Baron, grimly. "Then take thou this child, and with the others ride with all the speed that thou canst to St. Michaelsburg. Give the child into the charge of the Abbot Otto. Tell him how that I have sworn fealty to the Emperor, and what I have gained thereby—my castle burnt, my people slain, and this poor, simple child, my only son, mutilated by my enemy."

"And thou, my Lord Baron?" said Hans.

"I will stay here," said the Baron, quietly, "and keep back those who follow as long as God will give me grace so to do."

A murmur of remonstrance rose among the faithful few who were with him, two of whom were near of kin. But Conrad of Drachenhausen turned fiercely upon them. "How now," said he, "have I fallen so low in my troubles that even ye dare to raise your voices against me? By the good Heaven, I will begin my work here by slaying the first man who dares to raise word against my bidding." Then he turned from them. "Here, Hans," said he, "take the boy; and remember, knave, what thou hast sworn."

He pressed Otto close to his breast in one last embrace. "My little child," he murmured, "try not to hate thy father when thou thinkest of him hereafter, even though he be hard and bloody as thou knowest."

But with his suffering and weakness, little Otto knew nothing of what was passing; it was only as in a faint flickering dream that he lived in what was done around him.

"Farewell, Otto," said the Baron, but Otto's lips only moved faintly in answer. His father kissed him upon either cheek. "Come, Hans," said he, hastily, "take him hence;" and he loosed Otto's arms from about his neck.

Hans took Otto upon the saddle in front of him.

"Oh! my dear Lord Baron," said he, and then stopped with a gulp, and turned his grotesquely twitching face aside.

"Go," said the Baron, harshly, "there is no time to lose in woman's tears."

"Farewell, Conrad! farewell, Conrad!" said his two kinsmen, and coming forward they kissed him upon the cheek; then they turned and rode away after Hans, and Baron Conrad was left alone to face his mortal foe.



Jataka Tales  by Ellen C. Babbitt

Grannie's Blackie

O NCE upon a time a rich man gave a baby Elephant to a woman.

She took the best of care of this great baby and soon became very fond of him.

The children in the village called her Granny, and they called the Elephant "Granny's Blackie."

The Elephant carried the children on his back all over the village. They shared their goodies with him and he played with them.

"Please, Blackie, give us a swing," they said to him almost every day.

"Come on! Who is first?" Blackie answered and picked them up with his trunk, swung them high in the air, and then put them down again, carefully.


Blackie swung them high in the air.

But Blackie never did any work.

He ate and slept, played with the children, and visited with Granny.

One day Blackie wanted Granny to go off to the woods with him.

"I can't go, Blackie, dear. I have too much work to do."

Then Blackie looked at her and saw that she was growing old and feeble.

"I am young and strong," he thought. "I'll see if I cannot find some work to do. If I could bring some money home to her, she would not have to work so hard."

So next morning, bright and early, he started down to the river bank.

There he found a man who was in great trouble. There was a long line of wagons so heavily loaded that the oxen could not draw them through the shallow water.

When the man saw Blackie standing on the bank he asked, "Who owns this Elephant? I want to hire him to help my Oxen pull these wagons across the river."

A child standing near by said, "That is Granny's Blackie."

"Very well," said the man, "I'll pay two pieces of silver for each wagon this Elephant draws across the river."

Blackie was glad to hear this promise. He went into the river, and drew one wagon after another across to the other side.

Then he went up to the man for the money.

The man counted out one piece of silver for each wagon.

When Blackie saw that the man had counted out but one piece of silver for each wagon, instead of two, he would not touch the money at all. He stood in the road and would not let the wagons pass him.


He would not touch the money at all.

The man tried to get Blackie out of the way, but not one step would he move.

Then the man went back and counted out another piece of silver for each of the wagons and put the silver in a bag tied around Blackie's neck.

Then Blackie started for home, proud to think that he had a present for Granny.

The children had missed Blackie and had asked Granny where he was, but she said she did not know where he had gone.

They all looked for him but it was nearly night before they heard him coming.

"Where have you been, Blackie? And what is that around your neck?" the children cried, running to meet their playmate.

But Blackie would not stop to talk with his playmates. He ran straight home to Granny.

"Oh, Blackie!" she said, "Where have you been? What is in that bag?" And she took the bag off his neck.

Blackie told her that he had earned some money for her.


Blackie told her that he had earned some money for her.

"Oh, Blackie, Blackie," said Granny, "how hard you must have worked to earn these pieces of silver! What a good Blackie you are!"

And after that Blackie did all the hard work and Granny rested, and they were both very happy.


  WEEK 12  


The Awakening of Europe  by M. B. Synge

Maria Theresa

"Fair Austria spreads her mournful charms,

The Queen—the beauty, sets the world in arms."

—Dr Johnson.

A NSON returned home to find that during his four years' absence Europe had plunged into a terrible war. He had but just started when the Emperor of Austria died somewhat unexpectedly. He had left his crown and all his vast possessions to his eldest daughter, Maria Theresa. The story of this young and beautiful queen, left at the age of twenty-three to rule over the large empire of Austria, is a stirring one in the world's history.

She was born at Vienna in 1717, and was "the prettiest little maiden in the world," when Frederick the Great was beginning his unhappy childhood at Berlin. When she was but seven years old, her father made up his mind that she should succeed him if he had no son. He drew up a great document, known to history as the "Pragmatic Sanction." It was accepted by Spain, England, Prussia, Russia, and Holland, and refused by France and Bavaria. The little Maria Theresa was brought up as the future Empress of Austria. At the age of fourteen she was admitted to council meetings, and she listened with eager interest to all she could understand. People often took advantage of the little girl, giving her petitions to carry to her father till he became angry with her:

"You seem to think that a sovereign has nothing to do but to grant favours," he said at last.

"I see nothing else that can make a crown bearable," answered the child.

She insisted on learning the history and geography of her own country, and ever tried to fit herself for the high position she was some day to take. One story says that a marriage between Maria Theresa and Frederick the Great was planned, which might have altered the whole course of European history. A marriage with the Spanish heir was certainly talked of, but Maria Theresa, with tears, insisted on marrying her cousin, the Duke of Lorraine. She had been married four years when her father died. Maria Theresa suddenly found herself Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and Sovereign of the Netherlands. She reigned over some of the finest and fairest provinces of Europe; over nations speaking different languages, governed by different laws, and held together by no link save that of acknowledging the same queen. That queen was very young and very beautiful, but quite inexperienced.

Within a few months her right to these provinces was questioned, and Europe began to grab her outlying possessions. France, Spain, and Prussia led the way. England and Holland remained true to their promise. Like a hind in the forest when the hunters are abroad and the fiercely baying hounds are on every side, so stood the lovely Queen Maria Theresa. She trembled for the safety of her empire, not knowing from which side the fury of the chase would burst upon her. She was determined to yield nothing.

"The inheritance which my father has left me, we will not part with these. Death, if it must be, but not dishonour."

Her helpless condition excited the greatest pity in England, and King George II. came over in person to fight for her. But before he came over to help, Frederick the Great had already claimed Silesia. One snowy day in April 1741, he fought a great battle against the Austrians, and all Europe from this time seemed to break into war. In the midst of these distresses a son and heir was born, and called Joseph.

After this, and amid scenes of the greatest enthusiasm, Maria Theresa was crowned Queen of Hungary. Presburg, the old capital, was some fifty miles from Vienna. Here the old iron crown of Hungary was placed upon her head, a sacred robe was thrown over her, a sword was girded to her side. Thus dressed, she mounted a splendid horse, and riding to a piece of rising ground she drew her sword, and, waving it towards the four quarters of the globe, she seemed to be defying war and "conquering all who saw her."

The crown had never been placed on so small a head before; it had been lined with cushions to make it fit. But it was heavy and hot, and when the young queen sat down to dine in the great hall of the castle after the coronation, she begged to have it taken off. As it was removed, her beautiful hair, no longer confined, fell in long ringlets on her shoulders. It is said that her Hungarian nobles could hardly keep from shouting applause.

Three months later, at this very Presburg, one of the most famous scenes in history took place, when Maria Theresa threw herself and her infant son upon the mercy of these very Hungarian nobles.

Her enemies had now reached the very gates of Vienna, and, taking the six-month-old baby, she was obliged to flee for her life, leaving her husband to maintain her cause. Making her way to her old capital, she summoned the Hungarians to a great meeting in the castle. It was September 11, 1741, a day ever remembered in the annals of Hungary. The great hall was already full when the young queen entered. She was in deep mourning, for it was not yet a year since her father had died. Her dress was Hungarian, the iron crown was on her head, the sword of state in her hand. Though her step was firm, her tears were falling fast, and for some time after she had ascended the throne she was unable to speak. For some moments there was deep silence. Then a statesman rose and explained the melancholy position to which the queen was reduced.

Maria Theresa had now recovered herself. On a cushion before her lay her baby son Joseph, afterwards Emperor of Austria. The queen now took him in her arms. She held him up to the assembly before her. Her face, still wet with tears, was "beautiful as the moon riding among wet, stormy clouds." She spoke in Latin, the official language of Hungary to this day.

"The kingdom of Hungary, our person, our children, our crowns, are at stake," she cried to them amidst her sobs. "Forsaken by all, we seek shelter only in the tried fidelity, the arms, the well-known valour of the Hungarians."

The beauty and distress of their unhappy queen roused every Hungarian to the wildest enthusiasm. Each man drew his sword, and all cried as with one voice, which re-echoed through the lofty hall, "Our lives, our blood for your Majesty! We will die for our king,  Maria Theresa!"

The young queen burst into tears.

"We wept too," said one of the nobles present; "but they were tears of pity, admiration, and fury."

From this day matters improved. It is true the province of Silesia was lost; but through the long wars that characterised the reign, other provinces were added to Austria.

And so the queen played her difficult part, and played it well. She was succeeded on the throne by her son Joseph, while her youngest daughter, Marie Antoinette, became the wife of the French Dauphin, of whom we shall hear presently.


The Children of Odin: A Book of Northern Myths  by Padraic Colum

Odin Wins for Men the Magic Mead


dropcap image T was the Dwarfs who brewed the Magic Mead, and it was the Giants who hid it away. But it was Odin who brought it from the place where it was hidden and gave it to the sons of men. Those who drank of the Magic Mead became very wise, and not only that but they could put their wisdom into such beautiful words that every one who heard would love and remember it.

The Dwarfs brewed the Magic Mead through cruelty and villainy. They made it out of the blood of a man. The man was Kvasir the Poet. He had wisdom, and he had such beautiful words with it, that what he said was loved and remembered by all. The Dwarfs brought Kvasir down into their caverns and they killed him there. "Now," they said, "we have Kvasir's blood and Kvasir's wisdom. No one else will have his wisdom but us." They poured the blood into three jars and they mixed it with honey, and from it they brewed the Magic Mead.

Having killed a man the Dwarfs became more and more bold. They came out of their caverns and went up and down through Midgard, the World of Men. They went into Jötunheim, and began to play their evil tricks on the most harmless of the Giants.

They came upon one Giant who was very simple. Gilling was his name. They persuaded Gilling to row them out to sea in a boat. Then the two most cunning of the Dwarfs, Galar and Fialar, steered the boat onto a rock. The boat split. Gilling, who could not swim, was drowned. The Dwarfs clambered up on pieces of the boat and came safely ashore. They were so delighted with their evil tricks that they wanted to play some more of them.

Galar and Fialar then thought of a new piece of mischief they might do. They led their band of Dwarfs to Gilling's house and screamed out to his wife that Gilling was dead. The Giant's wife began to weep and lament. At last she rushed out of the house weeping and clapping her hands. Now Galar and Fialar had clambered up on the lintel of the house, and as she came running out they cast a millstone on her head. It struck her and Gilling's wife fell down dead. More and more the Dwarfs were delighted at the destruction they were making.

They were so insolent now that they made up songs and sang them, songs that were all a boast of how they had killed Kvasir the Poet, and Gilling the Giant, and Gilling's wife. They stayed around Jötunheim, tormenting all whom they were able to torment, and flattering themselves that they were great and strong. They stayed too long, however. Suttung, Gilling's brother, tracked them down and captured them.

Suttung was not harmless and simple like Gilling, his brother. He was cunning and he was covetous. Once they were in his hands the Dwarfs had no chance of making an escape. He took them and left them on a rock in the sea, a rock that the tide could cover.

The Giant stood up in the water taller than the rock, and the tide as it came in did not rise above his knees. He stood there watching the Dwarfs as the water rose up round them and they became more and more terrified.

"Oh, take us off the rock, good Suttung," they cried out to him. "Take us off the rock and we will give you gold and jewels. Take us off the rock and we will give you a necklace as beautiful as Brisingamen." So they cried out to him, but the Giant Suttung only laughed at them. He had no need of gold or jewels.

Then Fialar and Galar cried out: "Take us off the rock and we will give you the jars of the Magic Mead we have brewed."

"The Magic Mead," said Suttung. "This is something that no one else has. It would be well to get it, for it might help us in the battle against the Gods. Yes, I will get the Magic Mead from them."

He took the band of Dwarfs off the rock, but he held Galar and Fialar, their chiefs, while the others went into their caverns and brought up the jars of the Magic Mead. Suttung took the Mead and brought it to a cavern in a mountain near his dwelling. And thus it happened that the Magic Mead, brewed by the Dwarfs through cruelty and villainy, came into the hands of the Giants. And the story now tells how Odin, the Eldest of the Gods, at that time in the world as Vegtam the Wanderer, took the Magic Mead out of Suttung's possession and brought it into the world of men.

dropcap image OW, Suttung had a daughter named Gunnlöd, and she by her goodness and her beauty was like Gerda and Skadi, the Giant maids whom the Dwellers in Asgard favored. Suttung, that he might have a guardian for the Magic Mead, enchanted Gunnlöd, turning her from a beautiful Giant maiden into a witch with long teeth and sharp nails. He shut her into the cavern where the jars of the Magic Mead were hidden.

Odin heard of the death of Kvasir whom he honored above all men. The Dwarfs who slew him he had closed up in their caverns so that they were never again able to come out into the World of Men. And then he set out to get the Magic Mead that he might give it to men, so that, tasting it, they would have wisdom, and words would be at their command that would make wisdom loved and remembered.

How Odin won the Magic Mead out of the rock-covered cavern where Suttung had hidden it, and how he broke the enchantment that lay upon Gunnlöd, Suttung's daughter, is a story often told around the hearths of men.

dropcap image INE strong thralls were mowing in a field as a Wanderer went by clad in a dark blue cloak and carrying a wanderer's staff in his hand. One of the thralls spoke to the Wanderer: "Tell them in the house of Baugi up yonder that I can mow no more until a whetstone to sharpen my scythe is sent to me."

"Here is a whetstone," said the Wanderer, and he took one from his belt. The thrall who had spoken whetted his scythe with it and began to mow. The grass went down before his scythe as if the wind had cut it. "Give us the whetstone, give us the whetstone," cried the other thralls. The Wanderer threw the whetstone amongst them, leaving them quarreling over it, and went on his way.

The Wanderer came to the house of Baugi, the brother of Suttung. He rested in Baugi's house, and at supper time he was given food at the great table. And while he was eating with the Giant a Messenger from the field came in.

"Baugi," said the Messenger, "your nine thralls are all dead. They killed each other with their scythes, fighting in the field about a whetstone. There are no thralls now to do your work."

"What shall I do, what shall I do?" said Baugi the Giant. "My fields will not be mown now, and I shall have no hay to feed my cattle and my horses in the winter."

"I might work for you," said the Wanderer.

"One man's work is no use to me," said the Giant, "I must have the work of nine men."

"I shall do the work of nine men," said the Wanderer, "give me a trial, and see."

The next day Vegtam the Wanderer went into Baugi's field. He did as much work as the nine thralls had done in a day.

"Stay with me for the season," said Baugi, "and I shall give you a full reward."

So Vegtam stayed at the Giant's house and worked in the Giant's fields, and when all the work of the season was done Baugi said to him:

"Speak now and tell me what reward I am to give you."

"The only reward I shall ask of you," said Vegtam, "is a draught of the Magic Mead."

"The Magic Mead?" said Baugi. "I do not know where it is nor how to get it."

"Your brother Suttung has it. Go to him and claim a draught of the Magic Mead for me."

Baugi went to Suttung. But when he heard what he had come for, the Giant Suttung turned on his brother in a rage.

"A draught of the Magic Mead?" he said. "To no one will I give a draught of the Magic Mead. Have I not enchanted my daughter Gunnlöd, so that she may watch over it? And you tell me that a Wanderer who has done the work of nine men for you asks a draught of the Magic Mead for his fee! O Giant as foolish as Gilling! O oaf of a Giant! Who could have done such work for you, and who would demand such a fee from you, but one of our enemies, the Æsir? Go from me now and never come to me again with talk of the Magic Mead."

Baugi went back to his house and told the Wanderer that Suttung would yield none of the Magic Mead. "I hold you to your bargain," said Vegtam the Wanderer, "and you will have to get me the fee I asked. Come with me now and help me to get it."

He made Baugi bring him to the place where the Magic Mead was hidden. The place was a cavern in the mountain. In front of that cavern was a great mass of stone.

"We cannot move that stone nor get through it," said Baugi. "I cannot help you to your fee."

The Wanderer drew an auger from his belt. "This will bore through the rock if there is strength behind it. You have the strength, Giant. Begin now and bore."

Baugi took the auger in his hands and bored with all his strength, and the Wanderer stood by leaning on his staff, calm and majestic in his cloak of blue.

"I have made a deep, deep hole. It goes through the rock," Baugi said, at last.

The Wanderer went to the hole and blew into it. The dust of the rock flew back into their faces.

"So that is your boasted strength, Giant," he said. "You have not bored half-way through the rock. Work again."

Then Baugi took the auger again and he bored deeper and deeper into the rock. And he blew into it, and lo! His breath went through. Then he looked at the Wanderer to see what he would do; his eyes had become fierce and he held the auger in his hand as if it were a stabbing knife.

"Look up to the head of the rock," said the Wanderer. As Baugi looked up the Wanderer changed himself into a snake and glided into the hole in the rock. And Baugi struck at him with the auger, hoping to kill him, but the snake slipped through.

dropcap image EHIND the mighty rock there was a hollow place all lighted up by the shining crystals in the rock. And within the hollow place there was an ill-looking witch, with long teeth and sharp nails. But she sat there rocking herself and letting tears fall from her eyes. "O youth and beauty," she sang, "O sight of men and women, sad, sad for me it is that you are shut away, and that I have only this closed-in cavern and this horrible form."

A snake glided across the floor. "Oh, that you were deadly and that you might slay me," cried the witch. The snake glided past her. Then she heard a voice speak softly: "Gunnlöd, Gunnlöd!" She looked round, and there standing behind her was a majestic man, clad in a cloak of dark blue, Odin, Eldest of the Gods.

"You have come to take the Magic Mead that my father has set me here to guard," she cried. "You shall not have it. Rather shall I spill it out on the thirsty earth of the cavern."

"Gunnlöd," he said, and he came to her. She looked at him and she felt the red blood of youth come back into her cheeks. She put her hands with their sharp nails over her breast, and she felt the nails drive into her flesh. "Save me from all this ugliness," she cried.

"I will save you," Odin said. He went to her. He took her hands and held them. He kissed her on the mouth. All the marks of ill favor went from her. She was no longer bent, but tall and shapely. Her eyes became wide and deep blue. Her mouth became red and her hands soft and beautiful. She became as fair as Gerda, the Giant maid whom Frey had wed.

They stayed looking at each other, then they sat down side by side and talked softly to each other, Odin, the Eldest of the Gods, and Gunnlöd, the beautiful Giant maiden.

She gave him the three jars of the Magic Mead and she told him she would go out of the cavern with him. Three days passed and still they were together. Then Odin by his wisdom found hidden paths and passages that led out of the cavern and he brought Gunnlöd out into the light of the day.

And he brought with him the jars of the Magic Mead, the Mead whose taste gives wisdom, and wisdom in such beautiful words that all love and remember it. And Gunnlöd, who had tasted a little of the Magic Mead, wandered through the world singing of the beauty and the might of Odin, and of her love for him.


William Wordsworth

Written in March

The cock is crowing,

The stream is flowing,

The small birds twitter,

The lake doth glitter,

The green field sleeps in the sun;

The oldest and youngest

Are at work with the strongest;

The cattle are grazing,

Their heads never raising;

There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated

The snow hath retreated,

And now doth fare ill

On the top of the bare hill;

The plowboy is whooping—anon—anon:

There's joy in the mountains,

There's life in the fountains;

Small clouds are sailing,

Blue sky prevailing;

The rain is over and gone!


  WEEK 12  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—Upon the Rock  by Lisa M. Ripperton

The Beginning of the Armadillos


THIS, O Best Beloved, is another story of the High and Far-Off Times. In the very middle of those times was a Stickly-Prickly Hedgehog, and he lived on the banks of the turbid Amazon, eating shelly snails and things. And he had a friend, a Slow-Solid Tortoise, who lived on the banks of the turbid Amazon, eating green lettuces and things. And so that was all right, Best Beloved. Do you see?

But also, and at the same time, in those High and Far-Off Times, there was a Painted Jaguar, and he lived on the banks of the turbid Amazon too; and he ate everything that he could catch. When he could not catch deer or monkeys he would eat frogs and beetles; and when he could not catch frogs and beetles he went to his Mother Jaguar, and she told him how to eat hedgehogs and tortoises.

She said to him ever so many times, graciously waving her tail, "My son, when you find a Hedgehog you must drop him into the water and then he will uncoil, and when you catch a Tortoise you must scoop him out of his shell with your paw." And so that was all right, Best Beloved.

One beautiful night on the banks of the turbid Amazon, Painted Jaguar found Stickly-Prickly Hedgehog and Slow-Solid Tortoise sitting under the trunk of a fallen tree. They could not run away, and so Stickly-Prickly curled himself up into a ball, because he was a Hedgehog, and Slow-Solid Tortoise drew in his head and feet into his shell as far as they would go, because he was a Tortoise; and so that  was all right, Best Beloved. Do you see?

"Now attend to me," said Painted Jaguar, "because this is very important. My mother said that when I meet a Hedgehog I am to drop him into the water and then he will uncoil, and when I meet a Tortoise I am to scoop him out of his shell with my paw. Now which of you is Hedgehog and which is Tortoise? because, to save my spots, I can't tell."

"Are you sure of what your Mummy told you?" said Stickly-Prickly Hedgehog. "Are you quite sure? Perhaps she said that when you uncoil a Tortoise you must shell him out the water with a scoop, and when you paw a Hedgehog you must drop him on the shell."

"Are you sure of what your Mummy told you?" said Slow-and-Solid Tortoise. "Are you quite sure? Perhaps she said that when you water a Hedgehog you must drop him into your paw, and when you meet a Tortoise you must shell him till he uncoils."

"I don't think it was at all like that," said Painted Jaguar, but he felt a little puzzled; "but, please, say it again more distinctly."

"When you scoop water with your paw you uncoil it with a Hedgehog," said Stickly-Prickly. "Remember that, because it's important."

"But,"  said the Tortoise, "when you paw your meat you drop it into a Tortoise with a scoop. Why can't you understand?"

"You are making my spots ache," said Painted Jaguar; "and besides, I didn't want your advice at all. I only wanted to know which of you is Hedgehog and which is Tortoise."

"I shan't tell you," said Stickly-Prickly. "but you can scoop me out of my shell if you like."

"Aha!" said Painted Jaguar. "Now I know you're Tortoise. You thought I wouldn't! Now I will." Painted Jaguar darted out his paddy-paw just as Stickly-Prickly curled himself up, and of course Jaguar's paddy-paw was just filled with prickles. Worse than that, he knocked Stickly-Prickly away and away into the woods and the bushes, where it was too dark to find him. Then he put his paddy-paw into his mouth, and of course the prickles hurt him worse than ever. As soon as he could speak he said, "Now I know he isn't Tortoise at all. But"—and then he scratched his head with his un-prickly paw—"how do I know that this other is Tortoise?"

"But I am  Tortoise," said Slow-and-Solid. "Your mother was quite right. She said that you were to scoop me out of my shell with your paw. Begin."

"You didn't say she said that a minute ago," said Painted Jaguar, sucking the prickles out of his paddy-paw. "You said she said something quite different."

"Well, suppose you say that I said that she said something quite different, I don't see that it makes any difference; because if she said what you said I said she said, it's just the same as if I said what she said she said. On the other hand, if you think she said that you were to uncoil me with a scoop, instead of pawing me into drops with a shell, I can't help that, can I?"

"But you said you wanted to be scooped out of your shell with my paw," said Painted Jaguar.

"If you'll think again you'll find that I didn't say anything of the kind. I said that your mother said that you were to scoop me out of my shell," said Slow-and-Solid.

"What will happen if I do?" said the Jaguar most sniffily and most cautious.

"I don't know, because I've never been scooped out of my shell before; but I tell you truly, if you want to see me swim away you've only got to drop me into the water."

"I don't believe it," said Painted Jaguar. "You've mixed up all the things my mother told me to do with the things that you asked me whether I was sure that she didn't say, till I don't know whether I'm on my head or my painted tail; and now you come and tell me something I can  understand, and it makes me more mixy than before. My mother told me that I was to drop one of you two into the water, and as you seem so anxious to be dropped I think you don't want to be dropped. So jump into the turbid Amazon and be quick about it."

"I warn you that your Mummy won't be pleased. Don't tell her I didn't tell you," said Slow-Solid.

"If you say another word about what my mother said—" the Jaguar answered, but he had not finished the sentence before Slow-and-Solid quietly dived into the turbid Amazon, swam under water for a long way, and came out on the bank where Stickly-Prickly was waiting for him.

"That was a very narrow escape," said Stickly-Prickly. "I don't rib Painted Jaguar. What did you tell him that you were?"

"I told him truthfully that I was a truthful Tortoise, but he wouldn't believe it, and he made me jump into the river to see if I was, and I was, and he is surprised. Now he's gone to tell his Mummy. Listen to him!"

They could hear Painted Jaguar roaring up and down among the trees and the bushes by the side of the turbid Amazon, till his Mummy came.

"Son, son!" said his mother ever so many times, graciously waving her tail, "what have you been doing that you shouldn't have done?"

"I tried to scoop something that said it wanted to be scooped out of its shell with my paw, and my paw is full of per-ickles," said Painted Jaguar.

"Son, son!" said his mother ever so many times, graciously waving her tail, "by the prickles in your paddy-paw I see that that must have been a Hedgehog. You should have dropped him into the water.

"I did that to the other thing; and he said he was a Tortoise, and I didn't believe him, and it was quite true, and he has dived under the turbid Amazon, and he won't come up again, and I haven't anything at all to eat, and I think we had better find lodgings somewhere else. They are too clever on the turbid Amazon for poor me!"

"Son, son!" said his mother ever so many times, graciously waving her tail, "now attend to me and remember what I say. A Hedgehog curls himself up into a ball and his prickles stick out every which way at once. By this you may know the Hedgehog."

"I don't like this old lady one little bit," said Stickly-Prickly, under the shadow of a large leaf. "I wonder what else she knows?"

"A Tortoise can't curl himself up," Mother Jaguar went on, ever so many times, graciously waving her tail. "He only draws his head and legs into his shell. By this you may know the tortoise."

"I don't like this old lady at all—at all," said Slow-and-Solid Tortoise. "Even Painted Jaguar can't forget those directions. It's a great pity that you can't swim, Stickly-Prickly."

"Don't talk to me," said Stickly-Prickly. "Just think how much better it would be if you could curl up. This is  a mess! Listen to Painted Jaguar."

Painted Jaguar was sitting on the banks of the turbid Amazon sucking prickles out of his Paws and saying to himself—

"Can't curl, but can swim—

Slow-Solid, that's him!

Curls up, but can't swim—

Stickly-Prickly, that's him!"

"He'll never forget that this month of Sundays," said Stickly-Prickly. "Hold up my chin, Slow-and-Solid. I'm going to try to learn to swim. It may be useful."

"Excellent!" said Slow-and-Solid; and he held up Stickly-Prickly's chin, while Stickly-Prickly kicked in the waters of the turbid Amazon.

"You'll make a fine swimmer yet," said Slow-and-Solid. "Now, if you can unlace my back-plates a little, I'll see what I can do towards curling up. It may be useful."

Stickly-Prickly helped to unlace Tortoise's back-plates, so that by twisting and straining Slow-and-Solid actually managed to curl up a tiddy wee bit.

"Excellent!" said Stickly-Prickly; "but I shouldn't do any more just now. It's making you black in the face. Kindly lead me into the water once again and I'll practice that side-stroke which you say is so easy." And so Stickly-Prickly practiced, and Slow-Solid swam alongside.

"Excellent!" said Slow-and-Solid. "A little more practice will make you a regular whale. Now, if I may trouble you to unlace my back and front plates two holes more, I'll try that fascinating bend that you say is so easy. Won't Painted Jaguar be surprised!"

"Excellent!" said Stickly-Prickly, all wet from the turbid Amazon. "I declare, I shouldn't know you from one of my own family. Two holes, I think, you said? A little more expression, please, and don't grunt quite so much, or Painted Jaguar may hear us. When you've finished, I want to try that long dive which you say is so easy. Won't Painted Jaguar be surprised!"

And so Stickly-Prickly dived, and Slow-and-Solid dived alongside.

"Excellent!" said Slow-and-Solid. "A leetle more attention to holding your breath and you will be able to keep house at the bottom of the turbid Amazon. Now I'll try that exercise of putting my hind legs round my ears which you say is so peculiarly comfortable. Won't Painted Jaguar be surprised!"

"Excellent!" said Stickly-Prickly. "But it's straining your back-plates a little. They are all overlapping now, instead of lying side by side."

"Oh, that's the result of exercise," said Slow-and-Solid. "I've noticed that your prickles seem to be melting into one another, and that you're growing to look rather more like a pinecone, and less like a chestnut-burr, than you used to."

"Am I?" said Stickly-Prickly. "That comes from my soaking in the water. Oh, won't Painted Jaguar be surprised!"

They went on with their exercises, each helping the other, till morning came; and when the sun was high they rested and dried themselves. Then they saw that they were both of them quite different from what they had been.

"Stickly-Prickly," said Tortoise after breakfast, "I am not what I was yesterday; but I think that I may yet amuse Painted Jaguar.

"That was the very thing I was thinking just now," said Stickly-Prickly. "I think scales are a tremendous improvement on prickles—to say nothing of being able to swim. Oh, won't  Painted Jaguar be surprised! Let's go and find him."

By and by they found Painted Jaguar, still nursing his paddy-paw that had been hurt the night before. He was so astonished that he fell three times backward over his own painted tail without stopping.

"Good morning!" said Stickly-Prickly. "And how is your dear gracious Mummy this morning?"

"She is quite well, thank you," said Painted Jaguar; "but you must forgive me if I do not at this precise moment recall your name."

"That's unkind of you," said Stickly-Prickly, "seeing that this time yesterday you tried to scoop me out of my shell with your paw."

"But you hadn't any shell. It was all prickles," said Painted Jaguar. "I know it was. Just look at my paw!"

"You told me to drop into the turbid Amazon and be drowned," said Slow-Solid. "Why are you so rude and forgetful to-day?"

"Don't you remember what your mother told you?" said Stickly-Prickly,—

"Can't curl, but can swim—;

Stickly-Prickly, that's him!

Curls up, but can't swim—

Slow-Solid, that's him!"

Then they both curled themselves up and rolled round and round Painted Jaguar till his eyes turned truly cart-wheels in his head.

Then he went to fetch his mother.

"Mother," he said, "there are two new animals in the woods to-day, and the one that you said couldn't swim, swims, and the one that you said couldn't curl up, curls; and they've gone shares in their prickles, I think, because both of them are scaly all over, instead of one being smooth and the other very prickly; and, besides that, they are rolling round and round in circles, and I don't feel comfy."

"Son, son!" said Mother Jaguar ever so many times, graciously waving her tail, "a Hedgehog is a Hedgehog, and can't be anything but a Hedgehog; and a Tortoise is a Tortoise, and can never be anything else."

"But it isn't a Hedgehog, and it isn't a Tortoise. It's a little bit of both, and I don't know its proper name."

"Nonsense!" said Mother Jaguar. "Everything has its proper name. I should call it "Armadillo" till I found out the real one. And I should leave it alone."

So Painted Jaguar did as he was told, especially about leaving them alone; but the curious thing is that from that day to this, O Best Beloved, no one on the banks of the turbid Amazon has ever called Stickly-Prickly and Slow-Solid anything except Armadillo. There are Hedgehogs and Tortoises in other places, of course (there are some in my garden); but the real old and clever kind, with their scales lying lippety-lappety one over the other, like pine-cone scales, that lived on the banks of the turbid Amazon in the High and Far-Off Days, are always called Armadillos, because they were so clever.

So that's  all right, Best Beloved. Do you see?


I'VE never sailed the Amazon,

I've never reached Brazil;

But the Don and Magdalena,

They can go there when they will!

Yes, weekly from Southampton,

Great steamers, white and gold,

Go rolling down to Rio

(Roll down—roll down to Rio!)

And I'd like to roll to Rio

Some day before I'm old!

I've never seen a Jaguar,

Nor yet an Armadill

O dilloing in his armour,

And I s'pose I never will,

Unless I go to Rio

These wonders to behold—

Roll down—roll down to Rio—

Roll really down to Rio!

Oh, I'd love to roll to Rio

Some day before I'm old!


The Bee People  by Margaret Warner Morley

Miss Apis's Legs


T HE reason Miss Apis never forgets her baskets is, that they are fastened on to her. For, I must tell you, her legs are as remarkable as her twelve thousand six hundred and three eyes, her folding tongue, and her very peculiar honey-sac.

She has six legs fastened to her thorax, which you remember is the division of her body next back of her head.


Although she is so well supplied with legs, she has no arms; since she has no arms, she has no hands.

That seems rather unfortunate, and we are inclined to be sorry for her, but I doubt she would thank us for feeling so.

She probably feels sorry for us because we have not six legs, and wonders how we get along with only two to prop us up and help us to go about, with not even wings to help. For besides six legs, Miss Apis has four wings. They are wonderful wings; but we must return to legs.

Since Miss Apis has no hands, she uses all six legs, or rather the claws at the ends of them, for clinging fast to things.

She also uses all six legs to walk and run with, and once in a while, when under great excitement, to jump a little.

The claws at the ends of her legs are not ordinary claws such as cats or hens have; there is nothing ordinary about Miss Apis, I must remind you, not even her claws.

In this picture you can see Miss Apis's foot and the claw at the end very plainly.

The truth is, she has been sitting with her foot under the microscope, and if you will believe me, picture number II. is just what you see in the circle in picture number I., only number II. is very much magnified.


The claw at the end, as you see in the picture number II., is made of four sharp points, two long and two short ones.

There is a claw like this at the end of each of Miss Apis's six feet.

They are as good as a whole box of tools, being a great deal better than hands and fingers for doing some of the things she is in the habit of doing. Between the points on each foot is a small pad (+), that can stick fast to smooth surfaces like the pad on a fly's foot, and so enable Miss Apis to walk on slippery places if she wants to.

Her foot is made of four very movable joints besides the claw, and this enables her to curl it about objects so as to get a better grasp of them.

When she pleases she can turn up her claws and use them as hooks by which to suspend herself. You will see later that it is very important for her to be able to hang herself up when she wishes.


But what have her legs to do with pollen baskets? you are asking.

They have a great deal to do with them, for Miss Apis carries her baskets on her hind legs.

Oh, well, laugh if you want to. I have known people before who laughed too soon.

I wonder where you would fit pollen baskets to Miss Apis if you had it to do?

Probably you would put them on her head, where she could not see because of them, and where she could not reach them, and where the pollen would always be spilling out, if she ever succeeded in getting any in.

But I can tell you, you might look Miss Apis over from top to toe, and you would not find another place as good as her hind legs for disposing of pollen baskets.

Each of her legs has ten joints. There are two small ones (1, 2) close to the body, which are very much alike on all the legs. Then comes a long joint (3) which is quite similar in all six legs; then comes a second long joint (4) which is very curious.


The fifth joint is also interesting. 6, 7, 8, 9 are the small joints forming the foot, and 10 is the last joint of all, or the claw.

Miss Apis carries her pollen baskets on the outside of the fourth joint of each of her hind legs. As she walks about, they are not in her way. She does not spill the pollen, and she can easily reach the baskets with her other legs when she wants to fill them.

The outside of the joint is hollowed a little, and along the outer edge of this hollow space are stiff hairs that turn towards the middle and make a very complete little basket to hold the pollen that is put into it.

Miss Apis has been kind enough to sit with her left hind leg under the microscope and have its picture taken, so we can see the pollen basket very clearly.

The large leg at the left of Miss Apis is the magnified picture of the leg in the circle.

If you look at her with a little hand-magnifying glass, you can get quite a good view of her pollen baskets.

How do you suppose Miss Apis gets the pollen which she puts into her baskets?

If you look at her body and at the upper part of all her six legs, you will find them covered with long hairs. If you look at the hairs under a magnifying glass you will find them branched, as you see in the picture.

When Miss Apis wants pollen she scrapes it from the anther cells with her claws, and gathers it together with her leg. Very often her whole body becomes dusted with it, and wherever the pollen grains touch the branched hairs they cling fast to them. Miss Apis wriggles about in the flowers, scraping out the pollen with her feet, and collecting it on her branched hairs. Then she carefully brushes it together, and by means of her legs transfers it to her pollen baskets.


For you must know she has a number of brushes on her legs to help her to gather up the pollen.

These brushes are tufts or rows of stiff hairs that are not branched.

If we look on the under side of her hind leg, the same that bears the pollen basket on the fourth joint of its upper side, we shall see two kinds of brushes or combs for gathering the pollen together, the stiff hairs on the edge of the fourth joint, and the sharp teeth that cover the fifth joint. Each hind leg is supplied with these useful brushes, and one hind leg scrapes the pollen into the basket of the other.


The first chance you get you must watch Miss Apis gathering pollen. Sometimes she looks as if she were running about over a head of flowers to find something she had lost,—now this way and now that she goes in a great hurry, then turns around and around. But she has not lost anything, and she has not gone crazy; she is merely collecting pollen as fast as she can, and if you have sharp eyes you will see her rub, rub, rubbing it with her legs back into her baskets.

It is astonishing how much she can carry. When her baskets are full she goes about with a ball of pollen attached to each of her hind legs.


Full pollen basket

If she goes into morning-glory blossoms, this pollen ball is white; if she happens to be visiting wood-lilies, it is dark reddish brown; and if she has been going to see the sweet-peas, it is bright yellow. She carries it to the hive and stores it up there for the young bees and for winter use, and it soon assumes a uniform dark brown color.

There is nothing neater than a bee. It disturbs her terribly to have a dirty face or a dusty wing, and she is forever cleaning herself.

If you look along the outer edge of the fifth joint on her front leg, you will see her eye-comb. She has to keep the pollen and dust combed out of her eye-hairs —or else how could she see? And when she is combing her eyes she evidently thinks she may just as well, being a very neat person, comb her head also.


She cleans off her velvety thorax with the brushes on her middle legs, where she also carries a prong for preening her wings, and for prying the pollen out of her baskets. You can see this prong on the inside of her middle leg at the bottom of the fourth joint. You see the pollen is really the flour from which she makes her bee bread, or ambrosia, as it is sometimes called. As she collects it she moistens it with honey so that it can be kneaded into a sticky mass, like dough, and thus packed securely in her baskets.


All her legs have brushes, and when she is pollen-gathering you can see her dusting every part of her body with these brushes.

Over her head she passes the brushes on her fore legs, over her back and under her body she passes the brushes on her middle legs.

Then she rubs her legs together to collect the pollen on the combs of the hind legs.

Since she gathers the flour for her bread on the hair of her body, she is obliged to keep herself very, very clean, so all the leg brushes are also toilet brushes, and are used to keep her clean as well as to gather pollen.

The most remarkable of her toilet articles are her antenna cleaners, but their story comes later.

It is much easier to watch Miss Apis performing her toilet than it is to distinguish her various combs and brushes. If you wet her a little, then dust her lightly with flour and put her on the window, you can see the whole operation.

She generally cleans her antennæ, and combs her head and eyes first. She turns her head from side to side, and puts her front leg up over it and draws her convenient comb through the hairs. She turns her head about, using first one front leg and then the other, until she has it as clean as a bee's head ought to be. She generally puts out her tongue and gives that a good rubbing too, grasping it in both her fore feet.


When you watch a bee performing her toilet you will understand why her legs are so beautifully jointed. She must be able to move them in all directions, and put them over her back or under her body.


She generally cleans her back with her middle legs; and her abdomen, as the last division of the body is called, with her hind legs.


She also uses her hind legs to clean her wings, drawing down one wing at a time and holding it tightly against her side while she polishes it with her brushes.


She spends a great deal of time rubbing her hind legs together, and sometimes she performs the difficult acrobatic feat of standing on her two front legs and rubbing the other four together.


She looks very cunning as she rubs and scrubs every part of her fuzzy little body; and if you want to see her do it, all you need do is to look.


No matter how dirty she may have become, if she is allowed to stand still for a few minutes she will look as if she had on a new suit of clothes and had never known what it was to touch a speck of dirt; so effective are her numerous brushes and bombs.


A Bee's Brush and Comb


Lewis Carroll

My Fairy

I have a fairy by my side

Which says I must not sleep,

When once in pain I loudly cried

It said "You must not weep."

If, full of mirth, I smile and grin,

It says "You must not laugh;"

When once I wished to drink some gin

It said "You must not quaff."

When once a meal I wished to taste

It said "You must not bite;"

When to the wars I went in haste

It said "You must not fight."

"What may I do?" at length I cried,

Tired of the painful task.

The fairy quietly replied,

And said "You must not ask."


  WEEK 12  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot

John iv: 46 to 54;
Luke iv: 16 to 31.

dropcap image ROM Sychar, the village near Jacob's well, Jesus went northward into Galilee, to Cana, the place where he had made the water into wine, as we read in Story 116. The news that Jesus had come back from Jerusalem, and was again in Galilee, went through all that part of the land, and everybody wished to see the prophet who had wrought such wonders.

There was one man living in Capernaum, a town beside the Sea of Galilee, who heard with great joy that Jesus was again at Cana. He was a man of high rank, a nobleman at the court of King Herod; but he was in deep trouble over his son, who was very sick, and in danger of dying. This nobleman went up the mountains in great haste from Capernaum to Cana, to see Jesus. He rode all night, and in the morning, when he found Jesus, he begged him to come down to Capernaum and cure his son. Jesus said to the man, "You people will not believe on me as the Saviour, unless you continually see signs and wonders."

"O my lord," said the father, "do come down quickly, or my child will die."

"You may go home," said Jesus, "for your son will live."

The man believed the words of Jesus, and went home, but he did not hurry, nor did he ask Jesus to go with him. The next morning, as he was going down the mountains, his servants met him, and said, "Master, your son is living, and is better."

"At what hour did he begin to grow better?" asked the nobleman.

"It was yesterday, at seven o-clock in the morning, when the fever left him," they answered.

That was the very hour when Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." And after that the nobleman believed in Jesus, and so did all who were living in his house.

Jesus had come to Galilee to preach to the people, and to tell them of his gospel. He thought that he would begin his preaching in the town of Nazareth, where he had lived so many years, where his brothers and sisters were living still, and where all the people had known him. He loved the men who had played with him when he and they were boys together, and he longed to give them the first news of his gospel.


The well of the wise men, near Bethlehem.

So Jesus went to Nazareth; and, as on the Sabbath-days he had always worshipped in the synagogue, he went to that place once more. He was no longer the carpenter, but the teacher, the prophet, of whom all in the land were talking, and the synagogue was filled with people eager to hear him, and, especially, hoping to see him do some wonderful works. Seated on the floor before him were men who had known him since he was a little boy, and perhaps some of his own sisters were looking down from the gallery behind the lattice-screen.

Jesus stood up, to show that he wished to read from the Scriptures, and the officer who had the care of the books handed him the roll of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus turned to the sixty-first chapter, and from it read:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

Because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor.

He hath sent me to proclaim freedom to the captives,

And recovering of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those that are bruised,

To proclaim the year of God's grace to men.

When Jesus had read these words he rolled up the book and gave it again to the keeper of the rolls, and sat down; for in the synagogue a man stood up to read the Bible, and sat down to speak to the people. He began by saying:

"This day this word of the Lord has come to pass before you."

And then he showed how he had been sent to preach to the poor, to set the captives free, to give sight to the blind, to comfort those in trouble, and to tell men the news of God's grace. At first the people listened with the deepest interest, and they were touched with the kind and tender words that he spoke.

But soon they began to whisper among themselves. One said, "Why should this carpenter try to teach us?" And another, "This man is no teacher! He is only the son of Joseph! We know his brothers, and his sisters are living here." And some began to say, "Why does he not do here the wonders that they say he has done in other places? We want to see some of his miracles!"

Jesus knew their thoughts, and he said, "I know that you will say to me, 'Let us see a miracle like that on the nobleman's son in Capernaum.' Of a truth, I say to you, 'No prophet has honour among his own people.'

"You remember what is told of Elijah the prophet; when the heavens were shut up, and there was no rain for three years and six months. There were many widows in the land of Israel at that time, but Elijah was not sent by the Lord to any one of them. The Lord sent him out of the land to Zarephath, a town near Zidon, to a widow there; and there he wrought his miracles.

"And in the time of Elisha the prophet, there were many lepers in Israel that Elisha might have cured; but the only leper that Elisha made well was Naaman the Syrian."

All this made the people in the synagogue very angry; for they cared only to see some wonderful work, and not to hear the words of Jesus. They would not listen to him; they leaped up from their seats upon the floor, they laid hold of Jesus, and dragged him out doors. They then took him up to the top of the hill above the city, and they would have thrown him down to his death. But Jesus, by the power of God, slipped quietly out of their hands and went away, for the time for him to die had not yet come.

Very sadly Jesus went away from Nazareth, for he had longed to bring God's blessings to his own people. He walked down the mountains to the city of Capernaum, by the seashore, and there on the Sabbath-days he taught the people in the synagogues.

You can read the story of Elijah the prophet and the woman of Zarephath in Story 76, and the story of Elisha healing Naaman the Syrian in Story 86. These were the stories of which Jesus spoke to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth.


Jacob's well as it is now.


The Princess and the Goblin  by George MacDonald

Why the Princess Has a Story about Her

T HERE was once a little princess who—

"But Mr. Author, why do you always write about princesses?"

"Because every little girl is a princess."

"You will make them vain if you tell them that."

"Not if they understand what I mean."

"Then what do you mean?"

"What do you mean by a princess?"

"The daughter of a king."

"Very well, then every little girl is a princess, and there would be no need to say anything about it, except that she is always in danger of forgetting her rank, and behaving as if she had grown out of the mud. I have seen little princesses behave like children of thieves and lying beggars, and that is why they need to be told they are princesses. And that is why when I tell a story of this kind, I like to tell it about a princess. Then I can say better what I mean, because I can then give her every beautiful thing I want her to have."

"Please go on."

There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys. His palace was built upon one of the mountains, and was very grand and beautiful. The princess, whose name was Irene, was born there, but she was sent soon after her birth, because her mother was not very strong, to be brought up by country people in a large house, half castle, half farm-house, on the side of another mountain, about halfway between its base and its peak.


The princess was a sweet little creature, and at the time my story begins was about eight years old, I think, but she got older very fast. Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night-sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue. Those eyes you would have thought must have known they came from there, so often were they turned up in that direction. The ceiling of her nursery was blue, with stars in it, as like the sky as they could make it. But I doubt if ever she saw the real sky with the stars in it, for a reason which I had better mention at once.

These mountains were full of hollow places underneath; huge caverns, and winding ways, some with water running through them, and some shining with all colors of the rainbow when a light was taken in. There would not have been much known about them, had there not been mines there, great deep pits, with long galleries and passages running off from them, which had been dug to get at the ore of which the mountains were full. In the course of digging, the miners came upon many of these natural caverns. A few of them had far-off openings out on the side of a mountain, or into a ravine.

Now in these subterranean caverns lived a strange race of beings, called by some gnomes, by some kobolds, by some goblins. There was a legend current in the country that at one time they lived above ground, and were very like other people. But for some reason or other, concerning which there were different legendary theories, the king had laid what they thought too severe taxes upon them, or had required observances of them they did not like, or had begun to treat them with more severity in some way or other, and impose stricter laws; and the consequence was that they had all disappeared from the face of the country. According to the legend, however, instead of going to some other country, they had all taken refuge in the subterranean caverns, whence they never came out but at night, and then seldom showed themselves in any numbers, and never to many people at once. It was only in the least frequented and most difficult parts of the mountains that they were said to gather even at night in the open air. Those who had caught sight of any of them said that they had greatly altered in the course of generations; and no wonder, seeing they lived away from the sun, in cold and wet and dark places. They were now, not ordinarily ugly, but either absolutely hideous, or ludicrously grotesque both in face and form. There was no invention, they said, of the most lawless imagination expressed by pen or pencil, that could surpass the extravagance of their appearance. And as they grew mis-shapen in body they had grown in knowledge and cleverness, and now were able to do things no mortal could see the possibility of. But as they grew in cunning, they grew in mischief, and their great delight was in every way they could think of to annoy the people who lived in the open-air-story above them. They had enough of affection left for each other, to preserve them from being absolutely cruel for cruelty's sake to those that came in their way; but still they so heartily cherished the ancestral grudge against those who occupied their former possessions, and especially against the descendants of the king who had caused their expulsion, that they sought every opportunity of tormenting them in ways that were as odd as their inventors; and although dwarfed and mis-shapen, they had strength equal to their cunning. In the process of time they had got a king, and a government of their own, whose chief business, beyond their own simple affairs, was to devise trouble for their neighbors. It will now be pretty evident why the little princess had never seen the sky at night. They were much too afraid of the goblins to let her out of the house then, even in company with ever so many attendants; and they had good reason, as we shall see by-and-by.




The Princess and the Goblin  by George MacDonald

The Princess Loses Herself

I HAVE said the Princess Irene was about eight years old when my story begins. And this is how it begins.

One very wet day, when the mountain was covered with mist which was constantly gathering itself together into rain-drops, and pouring down on the roofs of the great old house, whence it fell in a fringe of water from the eaves all round about it, the princess could not of course go out. She got very tired, so tired that even her toys could no longer amuse her. You would wonder at that if I had time to describe to you one half of the toys she had. But then you wouldn't have the toys themselves, and that makes all the difference: you can't get tired of a thing before you have it. It was a picture, though, worth seeing—the princess sitting in the nursery with the sky-ceiling over her head, at a great table covered with her toys. If the artist would like to draw this, I should advise him not to meddle with the toys. I am afraid of attempting to describe them, and I think he had better not try to draw them. He had better not. He can do a thousand things I can't, but I don't think he could draw those toys. No man could better make the princess herself than he could, though—leaning with her back bowed into the back of the chair, her head hanging down, and her hands in her lap, very miserable as she would say herself, not even knowing what she would like, except to go out and get very wet, catch a particularly nice cold, and have to go to bed and take gruel. The next moment after you see her sitting there, her nurse goes out of the room.


Her hands in her lap, very miserable.

Even that is a change, and the princess wakes up a little, and looks about her. Then she tumbles off her chair, and runs out of the door, not the same door the nurse went out of, but one which opened at the foot of a curious old stair of worm-eaten oak, which looked as if never any one had set foot upon it. She had once before been up six steps, and that was sufficient reason, in such a day, for trying to find out what was at the top of it.

Up and up she ran—such a long way it seemed to her!—until she came to the top of the third flight. There she found the landing was the end of a long passage. Into this she ran. It was full of doors on each side. There were so many that she did not care to open any, but ran on to the end, where she turned into another passage, also full of doors. When she had turned twice more, and still saw doors and only doors about her, she began to get frightened. It was so silent! And all those doors must hide rooms with nobody in them! That was dreadful. Also the rain made a great trampling noise on the roof. She turned and started at full speed, her little footsteps echoing through the sounds of the rain—back for the stairs and her safe nursery. So she thought, but she had lost herself long ago. It doesn't follow that she was  lost, because she had lost herself though.

She ran for some distance, turned several times, and then began to be afraid. Very soon she was sure that she had lost the way back. Rooms everywhere, and no stair! Her little heart beat as fast as her little feet ran, and a lump of tears was growing in her throat. But she was too eager and perhaps too frightened to cry for some time. At last her hope failed her. Nothing but passages and doors everywhere! She threw herself on the floor, and began to wail and cry.

She did not cry long, however, for she was as brave as could be expected of a princess of her age. After a good cry, she got up, and brushed the dust from her frock. Oh what old dust it was! Then she wiped her eyes with her hands, for princesses don't always have their handkerchiefs in their pockets, any more than some other little girls I know of. Next, like a true princess, she resolved on going wisely to work to find her way back: she would walk through the passages, and look in every direction for the stair. This she did, but without success. She went over the same ground again and again without knowing it, for the passages and doors were all alike. At last, in a corner, through a half-open door, she did see a stair. But alas! it went the wrong way: instead of going down, it went up. Frightened as she was, however, she could not help wishing to see where yet further the stair could lead. It was very narrow, and so steep that she went up like a four-legged creature on her hands and feet.


William Wordsworth

The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.