Text of Plan #990
  WEEK 39  


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  by Mark Twain

Seeking the Buried Treasure

T HERE comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure. This desire suddenly came upon Tom one day. He sallied out to find Joe Harper, but failed of success. Next he sought Ben Rogers; he had gone fishing. Presently he stumbled upon Huck Finn the Red-Handed. Huck would answer. Tom took him to a private place and opened the matter to him confidentially. Huck was willing. Huck was always willing to take a hand in any enterprise that offered entertainment and required no capital, for he had a troublesome superabundance of that sort of time which is not  money. "Where'll we dig?" said Huck.

"Oh, most anywhere."

"Why, is it hid all around?"

"No indeed it ain't. It's hid in mighty particular places, Huck—sometimes on islands, sometimes in rotten chests under the end of a limb of an old dead tree, just where the shadow falls at midnight; but mostly under the floor in ha'nted houses."

"Who hides it?"

"Why, robbers, of course—who'd you reckon? Sunday-school sup'rintendents?"

"I don't know. If 'twas mine I wouldn't hide it; I'd spend it and have a good time."

"So would I. But robbers don't do that way. They always hide it and leave it there."

"Don't they come after it any more?"

"No, they think they will, but they generally forget the marks, or else they die. Anyway, it lays there a long time and gets rusty; and by and by somebody finds an old yellow paper that tells how to find the marks—a paper that's got to be ciphered over about a week because it's mostly signs and hy'roglyphics."


"Hy'roglyphics—pictures and things, you know, that don't seem to mean anything."

"Have you got one of them papers, Tom?"


"Well then, how you going to find the marks?"

"I don't want any marks. They always bury it under a ha'nted house or on an island, or under a dead tree that's got one limb sticking out. Well, we've tried Jackson's Island a little, and we can try it again some time; and there's the old ha'nted house up the Still-House branch, and there's lots of dead-limb trees—dead loads of 'em."

"Is it under all of them?"

"How you talk! No!"

"Then how you going to know which one to go for?"

"Go for all of 'em!"

"Why, Tom, it'll take all summer."

"Well, what of that? Suppose you find a brass pot with a hundred dollars in it, all rusty and gray, or a rotten chest full of di'monds. How's that?"

Huck's eyes glowed.

"That's bully. Plenty bully enough for me. Just you gimme the hundred dollars and I don't want no di'monds."

"All right. But I bet you I  ain't going to throw off on di'monds. Some of 'em's worth twenty dollars apiece—there ain't any, hardly, but's worth six bits or a dollar."

"No! Is that so?"

"Cert'nly—anybody'll tell you so. Hain't you ever seen one, Huck?"

"Not as I remember."

"Oh, kings have slathers of them."

"Well, I don't know no kings, Tom."

"I reckon you don't. But if you was to go to Europe you'd see a raft of 'em hopping around."

"Do they hop?"

"Hop?—your granny! No!"

"Well, what did you say they did, for?"

"Shucks, I only meant you'd see  'em—not hopping, of course—what do they want to hop for?—but I mean you'd just see 'em—scattered around, you know, in a kind of a general way. Like that old humpbacked Richard."

"Richard? What's his other name?"

"He didn't have any other name. Kings don't have any but a given name."


"But they don't."

"Well, if they like it, Tom, all right; but I don't want to be a king and have only just a given name, like a nigger. But say—where you going to dig first?"

"Well, I don't know. S'pose we tackle that old dead-limb tree on the hill t'other side of Still-House branch?"

"I'm agreed."

So they got a crippled pick and a shovel, and set out on their three-mile tramp. They arrived hot and panting, and threw themselves down in the shade of a neighboring elm to rest and have a smoke.

"I like this," said Tom.

"So do I."

"Say, Huck, if we find a treasure here, what you going to do with your share?"

"Well, I'll have pie and a glass of soda every day, and I'll go to every circus that comes along. I bet I'll have a gay time."

"Well, ain't you going to save any of it?"

"Save it? What for?"

"Why, so as to have something to live on, by and by."

"Oh, that ain't any use. Pap would come back to thish yer town some day and get his claws on it if I didn't hurry up, and I tell you he'd clean it out pretty quick. What you going to do with yourn, Tom?"

"I'm going to buy a new drum, and a sure-'nough sword, and a red necktie and a bull pup, and get married."


"That's it."

"Tom, you—why, you ain't in your right mind."

"Wait—you'll see."

"Well, that's the foolishest thing you could do. Look at pap and my mother. Fight! Why, they used to fight all the time. I remember, mighty well."

"That ain't anything. The girl I'm going to marry won't fight."

"Tom, I reckon they're all alike. They'll all comb a body. Now you better think 'bout this awhile. I tell you you better. What's the name of the gal?"

"It ain't a gal at all—it's a girl."

"It's all the same, I reckon; some says gal, some says girl—both's right, like enough. Anyway, what's her name, Tom?"

"I'll tell you some time—not now."

"All right—that'll do. Only if you get married I'll be more lonesomer than ever."

"No you won't. You'll come and live with me. Now stir out of this and we'll go to digging."

They worked and sweated for half an hour. No result. They toiled another half-hour. Still no result. Huck said:

"Do they always bury it as deep as this?"

"Sometimes—not always. Not generally. I reckon we haven't got the right place."

So they chose a new spot and began again. The labor dragged a little, but still they made progress. They pegged away in silence for some time. Finally Huck leaned on his shovel, swabbed the beaded drops from his brow with his sleeve, and said:

"Where you going to dig next, after we get this one?"

"I reckon maybe we'll tackle the old tree that's over yonder on Cardiff Hill back of the widow's."

"I reckon that'll be a good one. But won't the widow take it away from us, Tom? It's on her land."

"She  take it away! Maybe she'd like to try it once. Whoever finds one of these hid treasures, it belongs to him. It don't make any difference whose land it's on."

That was satisfactory. The work went on. By and by Huck said:

"Blame it, we must be in the wrong place again. What do you think?"

"It is  mighty curious, Huck. I don't understand it. Sometimes witches interfere. I reckon maybe that's what's the trouble now."

"Shucks, witches ain't got no power in the daytime."

"Well, that's so. I didn't think of that. Oh, I  know what the matter is! What a blamed lot of fools we are! You got to find out where the shadow of the limb falls at midnight, and that's where you dig!"

"Then consound it, we've fooled away all this work for nothing. Now hang it all, we got to come back in the night. It's an awful long way. Can you get out?"

"I bet I will. We've got to do it to-night, too, because if somebody sees these holes they'll know in a minute what's here and they'll go for it."

"Well, I'll come around and meow to-night."

"All right. Let's hide the tools in the bushes."

The boys were there that night, about the appointed time. They sat in the shadow waiting. It was a lonely place, and an hour made solemn by old traditions. Spirits whispered in the rustling leaves, ghosts lurked in the murky nooks, the deep baying of a hound floated up out of the distance, an owl answered with his sepulchral note. The boys were subdued by these solemnities, and talked little. By and by they judged that twelve had come; they marked where the shadow fell, and began to dig. Their hopes commenced to rise. Their interest grew stronger, and their industry kept pace with it. The hole deepened and still deepened, but every time their hearts jumped to hear the pick strike upon something, they only suffered a new disappointment. It was only a stone or a chunk. At last Tom said:

"It ain't any use, Huck, we're wrong again."

"Well, but we can't  be wrong. We spotted the shadder to a dot."

"I know it, but then there's another thing."

"What's that?"

"Why, we only guessed at the time. Like enough it was too late or too early."

Huck dropped his shovel.

"That's it," said he. "That's the very trouble. We got to give this one up. We can't ever tell the right time, and besides this kind of thing's too awful, here this time of night with witches and ghosts a-fluttering around so. I feel as if something's behind me all the time; and I'm afeard to turn around, becuz maybe there's others in front a-waiting for a chance. I been creeping all over, ever since I got here."

"Well, I've been pretty much so, too, Huck. They most always put in a dead man when they bury a treasure under a tree, to look out for it."


"Yes, they do. I've always heard that."

"Tom, I don't like to fool around much where there's dead people. A body's bound to get into trouble with 'em, sure."

"I don't like to stir 'em up, either. S'pose this one here was to stick his skull out and say something!"

"Don't Tom! It's awful."

"Well, it just is. Huck, I don't feel comfortable a bit."

"Say, Tom, let's give this place up, and try somewheres else."

"All right, I reckon we better."

"What'll it be?"

Tom considered awhile, and then said:

"The ha'nted house. That's it!"

"Blame it, I don't like ha'nted houses, Tom. Why, they're a dern sight worse'n dead people. Dead people might talk, maybe, but they don't come sliding around in a shroud, when you ain't noticing, and peep over your shoulder all of a sudden and grit their teeth, the way a ghost does. I couldn't stand such a thing as that, Tom—nobody could."

"Yes, but, Huck, ghosts don't travel around only at night. They won't hender us from digging there in the daytime."

"Well, that's so. But you know mighty well people don't go about that ha'nted house in the day nor the night."

"Well, that's mostly because they don't like to go where a man's been murdered, anyway—but nothing's ever been seen around that house except in the night—just some blue lights slipping by the windows—no regular ghosts."

"Well, where you see one of them blue lights flickering around, Tom, you can bet there's a ghost mighty close behind it. It stands to reason. Becuz you  know that they don't anybody but ghosts use 'em."

"Yes, that's so. But anyway they don't come around in the daytime, so what's the use of our being afeard?"

"Well, all right. We'll tackle the ha'nted house if you say so—but I reckon it's taking chances."

They had started down the hill by this time. There in the middle of the moonlit valley below them stood the "ha'nted" house, utterly isolated, its fences gone long ago, rank weeds smothering the very doorsteps, the chimney crumbled to ruin, the window-sashes vacant, a corner of the roof caved in. The boys gazed awhile, half expecting to see a blue light flit past a window; then talking in a low tone, as befitted the time and the circumstances, they struck far off to the right, to give the haunted house a wide berth, and took their way homeward through the woods that adorned the rearward side of Cardiff Hill.


Heroes of the Middle Ages  by Eva March Tappan

Edward the Black Prince

T he war between England and Scotland, which ended with the Battle of Bannockburn, would not have lasted so long if the French had not feared the growing strength of England. They had done a great deal to help Scotland, and this did not make the English feel very friendly toward them. Moreover, Edward III., King of England, claimed the French crown, because of his relationship to the late king of France. The result was a struggle which lasted more than a century, and which is, therefore, called the Hundred Years' War. It was in the early part of this war that the famous battles of Crécy and Poitiers were fought, which showed the English yeomen—that is, the sturdy common people—that they could defend themselves with their bows and arrows, and could stand up in battle without protection from the knights. At the battle of Crécy, King Edward shared the command with his son, called the Black Prince from the colour of his armour. In the course of the battle, a messenger came galloping up to the king and told him that his son was in great danger. "If the Frenchmen increase, your son will have too much to do," he said. The king asked, "Is my son dead, unhorsed, or so badly wounded that he cannot support himself?" "No, sire," answered the messenger, "but he is in so hot an engagement that he has great need of your help." The king must have longed to go to his son, but he replied firmly, "Tell those that sent you not to send again for me so long as my son has life; and say I command them to let the boy win his spurs; for I am determined, if it please God, that all the glory and honour of this day shall be given to him and to those to whose care I have entrusted him." The brave prince did win his spurs, that is, he performed deeds which proved him worthy of knighthood; and when the battle was over the king kissed him and said, "You are worthy to be a sovereign."


Edward III
(From a Wall Painting in Westminster Abbey

After this battle, the English pressed on to besiege Calais. One whole year the French refused to yield, and they would not give up the town until they were starving. Edward was so angry at the long resistance that he told the people of Calais there was only one way in which they could look for any mercy from him. If six of their principal men would come to him in their shirts, bareheaded, barefooted, and with ropes about their necks, he would be merciful to the others. The richest man in town offered himself first, and five others followed. "Take them away and hang them," commanded King Edward; but his wife Philippa fell upon her knees and said, "Since I crossed the sea with great danger to see you, I have never asked you one favour. Now I most humbly ask for the sake of the Son of the Blessed Mary, and for your love to me that you will be merciful to these six men." The king replied, "Ah, lady, I wish you had been anywhere else than here, but I cannot refuse you. Do as you please with them." The queen feasted them, and gave them new clothes and sent them back safely to their homes. This story was told by Queen Philippa's secretary, a man named Froissart, who wrote a famous history of the time, which is known as Froissart's Chronicles.

Froissart tells another story about the courtesy and modesty of the Black Prince after the French king had been taken prisoner at the battle of Poitiers. Here it is just as the old chronicler told it:—


Queen Philippa Pleading for the Men of Calais

"The Prince of Wales gave a supper in his pavilion to the king of France and to the greater part of the princes and barons who were prisoners. The prince seated the king of France and his son, the Lord Philip, at an elevated and well-covered table. With them were Sir James de Bour'bon, the Lord John d'Artois, the earls of Tancarville, of Estampes, of Dammartin, of Granville, and the lord of Partenay. The other knights and squires were placed at different tables. The prince himself served the king's table as well as the others with every mark of humility, and would not sit down at it, in spite of all his entreaties for him so to do, saying that he was not worthy of such an honour, nor did it appertain to him to seat himself at the table of so great a king, or of so valiant a man as he had shown himself by his actions that day. He added, also, with a noble air, `Dear sir, do not make a poor meal because the Almighty God has not gratified your wishes in the event of this day; for be assured that my lord and father will show you every honour and friendship in his power, and will arrange your ransom so reasonably that you will henceforward always remain friends. In my opinion, you have cause to be glad that the success of this battle did not turn out as you desired; for you have this day acquired such high renown for prowess that you have surpassed all the best knights on your side. I do not, dear sir, say this to flatter you, for all those of our side who have seen and observed the actions of each party have unanimously allowed this to be your due, and decree you the prize and garland for it.' At the end of this speech there were murmurs of praise heard from every one. And the French said the prince had spoken nobly and truly; and that he would be one of the most gallant princes in Christendom if God should grant him life to pursue his career of glory."


Tomb of the Black Prince, in Canterbury Cathedral
(His helmet, shield, and shirt of mail are shown above)

The Black Prince never came to the throne, for he died one year before his father. If he had lived, his courage and gentleness and kindly tact might have prevented some of the troubles that England had to meet.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My Lost Youth

Often I think of the beautiful town

That is seated by the sea;

Often in thought go up and down

The pleasant streets of that dear old town,

And my youth comes back to me.

And a verse of a Lapland song

Is haunting my memory still:

"A boy's will is the wind's will,

And the thoughts of youth, are long, long thoughts."

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,

And catch, in sudden gleams,

The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,

And islands that were the Hesperides

Of all my boyish dreams.

And the burden of that old song,

It murmurs and whispers still:

"A boy's will is the wind's will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the black wharves and the slips,

And the sea-tides tossing free;

And Spanish sailors with bearded lips,

And the beauty and mystery of the ships,

And the magic of the sea.

And the voice of that wayward song

Is singing and saying still:

"A boy's will is the wind's will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the bulwarks by the shore,

And the fort upon the hill;

The sunrise gun, with its hollow roar,

The drum-beat repeated o'er and o'er,

And the bugle wild and shrill.

And the music of that old song

Throbs in my memory still:

"A boy's will is the wind's will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the sea-fight far away,

How it thundered o'er the tide!

And the dead captains, as they lay

In their graves, o'erlooking the tranquil bay

Where they in battle died.

And the sound of that mournful song

Goes through me with a thrill:

"A boy's will is the wind's will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I can see the breezy dome of groves,

The shadows of Deering's Woods;

And the friendships old and the early loves

Come back with a Sabbath sound, as of doves

In quiet neighborhoods.

And the verse of that sweet old song,

It flutters and murmurs still:

"A boy's will is the wind's will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the gleams and glooms that dart

Across the school-boy's brain;

The song and the silence in the heart,

That in part are prophecies, and in part

Are longings wild and vain.

And the voice of that fitful song

Sings on, and is never still:

"A boy's will is the wind's will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts." . . . .


  WEEK 39  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

George II—The Story of Bonnie Prince Charlie

G EORGE I. died in 1727 A.D., and was succeeded by his son, George II. Like his father he was very German, but he could speak a little English. He had a very clever wife called Queen Caroline, and she helped him to rule. He had also a very clever Prime Minister called Walpole.

Walpole had begun to be powerful under George I., and although George II. did not like him, he still remained in power. He was the first "peace minister" Britain ever had. Instead of urging the King and people to fight, he tried in every way he could to keep the peace.

He saw that the best thing for the country was to be at peace. He saw that it was best for the people to have time to sow and reap, to build ships, to make goods, and to trade with other countries, and that they could neither have time nor money to do this if they were always fighting. So he would not fight, and Britain grew prosperous.

But the people did not all think as Walpole did. A quarrel with Spain arose and, try how he might, Walpole could not keep the peace, and war was declared. Strange to say, the people rejoiced at the news. They decorated their houses, lit bonfires, and rang bells as if some great good fortune had befallen the country. "They may ring their bells now," said Walpole sadly, "but they will soon be wringing their hands." The peace which had lasted twenty years was broken, and Walpole was quite right when he said that the people would soon be wringing their hands, for the war with Spain was a miserable failure and brought much trouble and sorrow upon them.

This war was followed by another called the War of the Austrian Succession. The Emperor of Austria died leaving his kingdom to his daughter, Maria Theresa. But some of the kings of Europe thought that they would take her lands from her and make their own kingdoms greater. To prevent this the British fought for Maria Theresa against France and Spain, and George II. and his soldiers defeated the French in a battle called Dettingen. This is the last battle in which a British King led his soldiers himself. People began to see that kings could serve their countries in better ways than by fighting.

While this war was going on the Jacobites tried again to set James Stuart upon the throne. This time it was not James but his son Charles who landed in Scotland. He came with only seven followers, and at first the people were afraid and unwilling to follow him.

But Charles was very different from his father. He was gallant and brave, and handsome. He talked and smiled and won his way to the brave Highland hearts till he was at the head of fifteen hundred men, all willing and ready to die for their King and Prince.

"Go home," said one old chieftain to him, when he first landed, "there is no safety for you here."

"I have come home," replied Prince Charlie.

"Charles Stuart," he said to another chief, called Cameron of Lochiel, "has come to claim his own and win the crown of his ancestors, or die in the attempt. Lochiel, if he chooses, may stay at home and learn the fate of his Prince from the newspapers."

"No," replied Lochiel, "no, I will share the fate of my Prince, and so shall every man over whom I have power."

So in a dark Highland glen the standard of the Prince was raised. It was red silk, and on it were the proud words, Tandem Triumphans,  which means "Triumphant at last." And as the red silk folds fluttered out on the mountain breeze it was greeted by the sounds of bagpipes and the shouts of the people.

Then raise the banner, raise it high,

For Charles we'll conquer or we'll die:

The clans a' leal and true men be,

And show me who will daunton thee.

Our good King James will soon come hame,

And traitors a' be put to shame;

Auld Scotland shall again be free;

There's nane on earth can daunton thee.

After the raising of his standard Charles marched south till he reached Edinburgh, his army growing as he went. Lochiel and his followers marched into Edinburgh, and there, at the Market Cross, amid the cheering of some of the people and the sullen silence of others, James VIII. was once more proclaimed King of Scotland. A beautiful lady on horseback, with a drawn sword in her hand, gave the white cockade to those who crushed round her, impatient to enter the service of the Prince.

Later in the day, Charles himself rode into the town and the people crowded to meet him, cheering and weeping, eager to kiss his hand or touch his clothes, covering even his boots with tears and kisses.

The castle of Edinburgh was held by the soldiers of King George, and as the Prince reached Holyrood, the old palace of the Stuarts, a cannon from the castle thundered out, and a shot struck the wall of the palace not far from where Charles stood. But he was neither startled nor afraid and, turning, walked quietly into the palace.

That night the Prince gave a ball. The old palace, which had stood so long empty and silent, was gay with lights and flowers. The sounds of laughter and music were heard there, perhaps for the first time since the days of the beautiful Mary, Queen of Scots.

Lovely ladies and brave men crowded to see and do honour to their Bonnie Prince Charlie, and they went away happy if they had touched his hand or heard his voice.

But there were other things to do besides dancing. The army of King George, under Sir John Cope, had landed at Dunbar and was marching to Edinburgh. Charles decided to march out to meet him.

Early on the morning of the 20th September, the Highlanders rose and made ready for battle. Prince Charlie placed himself at their head and, drawing his sword, cried, "Gentlemen, I have thrown away the scabbard." By that he meant that there was no turning back, and that his sword would never again be sheathed until he conquered or died, and the men, hearing the words, shouted and cheered as they followed him.

Next day a battle was fought at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh. Prince Charlie and his men were up so early that they were ready to attack before Sir John Cope and his soldiers were prepared. The Highlanders gave them no time to prepare, but charged so fiercely and quickly that in about five minutes the battle was over. The soldiers of King George ran away and Charles won a complete victory. Sir John ran away too, and was the first to bring the news of his own defeat to Berwick.

Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar,

Charlie, meet me an ye daur,

And I'll learn ye the art of war,

If ye'll meet me in the morning.

Hey! Johnnie Cope, are ye waking yet?

And are your drums a-beating yet?

Oh, haste ye up, for the drums do beat,

Oh fye, Cope, rise up in the morning.

When Charlie looked the letter upon,

He drew his sword the scabbard from,

"Come, follow me, my merry merry men,

And we'll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning."

When Johnnie Cope to Berwick came

They speired at him, "Where's a' your men?"

"In faith," say he, "I dinna ken,

I left them a' this morning."

Now Johnnie, troth ye were na blate,

To come wi' the news o' your ain defeat,

And leave your men in sic a strait

So early in the morning.

A few hours after the battle the Highlanders were back in Edinburgh marching up and down the streets playing, "The King shall enjoy his own again," on the bagpipes. All the Jacobites rejoiced and thought that they had really triumphed at last.


The Fall of the Year  by Dallas Lore Sharp

The Clock Strikes One

"The clock strikes one,

And all is still around the house!

But in the gloom

A little mouse

Goes creepy-creep from room to room."

dropcap image HE clock of the year strikes one! — not in the dark silent night of winter, but in the hot light of midsummer.

It is a burning July day,—one o'clock in the afternoon of the year,—and all is still around the fields and woods. All is still. All is hushed. But yet, as I listen, I hear things in the dried grass, and in the leaves overhead, going "creepy-creep," as you have heard the little mouse in the silent night.

I am lying on a bed of grass in the shade of a great oak tree, as the clock of the year strikes one. I am all alone in the quiet of the hot, hushed day. Alone? Are you alone in the big upstairs at midnight, when you hear the little mouse going "creepy-creep" from room to room? No; and I am not alone.

High overhead the clouds are drifting past; and between them, far away, is the blue of the sky—and how blue, how cool, how far, far away! But how near and warm seems the earth!

I lie outstretched upon it, feeling the burnt crisp grass beneath me, a beetle creeping under my shoulder, the heat of a big stone against my side. I throw out my hands, push my fingers into the hot soil, and try to take hold of the big earth as if I were a child clinging to my mother.

And so I am. But I am not frightened, as I used to be, when the little mouse went "creepy-creep," and my real mother brought a candle to scare the mouse away. It is because I am growing old? But I cannot grow old to my mother. And the earth is my mother, my second mother. The beetle moving under my shoulder is one of my brothers; the hot stone by my side is another of my brothers; the big oak tree over me is another of my brothers; and so are the clouds, the white clouds drifting, drifting, drifting, so far away yonder, through the blue, blue sky.

The clock of the year strikes one. The summer sun is overhead. The flood-tide of summer life has come. It is the noon hour of the year.

The drowsy silence of the full, hot noon lies deep across the field. Stream and cattle and pasture-slope are quiet in repose. The eyes of the earth are heavy. The air is asleep. Yet the round shadow of my oak begins to shift. The cattle do not move; the pasture still sleeps under the wide, white glare.

But already the noon is passing—to-day I see the signs of coming autumn everywhere.

Of the four seasons of the year summer is the shortest, and the one we are least acquainted with. Summer is hardly a pause between spring and autumn, simply the hour of the year's noon.

We can be glad with the spring, sad with the autumn, eager with the winter; but it is hard for us to go softly, to pause and to be still with the summer; to rest on our wings a little like the broad-winged hawk yonder, far up in the wide sky.

But now the hawk is not still. The shadow of my oak begins to lengthen. The hour is gone; and, wavering softly down the languid air, falls a yellow leaf from a slender birch near by. I remember, too, that on my way through the woodlot I frightened a small flock of robins from a pine; and more than a week ago the swallows were gathering upon the telegraph wires. So quickly summer passes. It was springtime but yesterday, it seems; to-day the autumn is here.

It is a July day. At dawn the birds were singing, fresh and full-throated almost as in spring. Then the sun burned through the mist, and the chorus ceased. Now I do not hear even the chewink and the talkative vireo. Only the fiery notes of the scarlet tanager come to me through the dry white heat of the noon, and the resonant song of the indigo bunting—a hot, metallic, quivering song, as out of a "hot and copper sky."

There are nestlings still in the woods. This indigo bunting has eggs or young in the bushes of the hillside; the scarlet tanager by some accident has but lately finished his nest in the tall oaks. I looked in upon some half-fledged cuckoos along the fence. But all of these are late. Most of the year's young are upon the wing.

A few of the spring's flowers are still opening. I noticed the bees upon some tardy raspberry blossoms; here and there is a stray dandelion. But these are late. The season's fruit has already set, is already ripening. Spring is gone; the sun is overhead; the red wood-lily is open. To-day is the noon of the year.

High noon! and the red wood-lily is aflame in the old fields, and in the low tangles of sweet-fern and blackberry that border the upland woods.

The wood-lily is the flower of fire. How impossible it would be to kindle a wood-lily on the cold, damp soil of April! It can be lighted only on this kiln-dried soil of July. This old hilly pasture is baking in the sun; the low mouldy moss that creeps over its thin breast crackles and crumbles under my feet; the patches of sweet-fern that blotch it here and there crisp in the heat and fill the smothered air with their spicy breath; while the wood-lily opens wide and full, lifting its spotted lips to the sun for his scorching kiss. See it glow! Should the withered thicket burst suddenly into a blaze, it would be no wonder, so hot and fiery seem the petals of this flower of the sun.

How unlike the tender, delicate fragrant flowers of spring are these strong flowers of the coming fall! They make a high bank along the stream—milkweed, boneset, peppermint, turtle-head, joe-pye-weed, jewel-weed, smartweed, and budding goldenrod! Life has grown lusty and lazy and rank.

But life has to grow lusty and rank, for the winter is coming; and as the woodchucks are eating and eating, enough to last them until spring comes again, so the plants are storing fat in their tap-roots, and ripening millions of seeds, to carry them safely through the long dead months of winter.

The autumn is the great planting time out of doors. Every autumn wind is a sower going forth to sow. And he must have seeds and to spare—seeds for the waysides for the winter birds to eat, seeds for the stony places where there is no depth of soil for them, seeds for the ploughed fields where they are not allowed to grow, seeds for every nook and corner, in order that somewhere each plant may find a place to live, and so continue its kind from year to year.

Look at the seeds of the boneset, joe-pye-weed, milkweed, and goldenrod! Seeds with wings and plumes and parachutes that go floating and flying and ballooning.

"Over the fields where the daisies grow,

Over the flushing clover,

A host of the tiniest fairies go—

Dancing, balancing to and fro,

Rolling and tumbling over.

"Quivering, balancing, drifting by,

Floating in sun and shadow—

Maybe the souls of the flowers that die

Wander, like this, to the summer sky

Over a happy meadow."

—From "Thistledown" by Charles Buxton Going

So they do. They wander away to the sky, but they come down again to the meadow to make it happy next summer with new flowers; for these are the seed-souls of thistles and daisies and fall dandelions seeking new bodies for themselves in the warm soil of Mother Earth.

Mother Earth! How tender and warm and abundant she is! As I lie here under the oak, a child in her arms, I see the thistle-down go floating by, and on the same laggard breeze comes up from the maple swamp the odor of the sweet pepper-bush. A little flock of chickadees stop in the white birches and quiz me. "Who are you?"  "Who are you-you-you?" they ask, dropping down closer and closer to get a peek into my face.

Perhaps they don't know who I am. Perhaps I don't know who they are. They are not fish hawks, of course; but neither am I an alligator or a pumpkin, as the chickadees surely know. This much I am quite sure of, however: that this little flock is a family—a family of young chickadees and their two parents, it may be, who are out seeing the world together, and who will stay together far into the cold coming winter.

They are one of the first signs of the autumn to me, and one of my surest, sweetest comforts as the bleak cold winds come down from the north. For the winds will not drive my chickadees away, no matter how cold and how hard they blow, no matter how dark and how dead the winter woods when, in the night of the year, the clock strikes twelve.

The clock to-day strikes one, and all is still with drowsy sleep out of doors. The big yellow butterflies, like falling leaves, are flitting through the woods; the thistledown is floating, floating past; and in the sleepy air I see the shimmering of the spiders' silky balloons, as the tiny aeronauts sail over on their strange voyages through the sky.

How easy to climb into one of their baskets, and in the fairy craft drift far, far away! How pleasant, too, if only the noon of the year would last and last; if only the warm sun would shine and shine; if only the soft sleepy winds would sleep and sleep; if only we had nothing to do but drift and drift and drift!

But we have a great deal to do, and we can't get any of it done by drifting. Nor can we get it done by lying, as I am lying, outstretched upon the warm earth this July day. Already the sun has passed overhead; already the cattle are up and grazing; already the round shadow of the oak tree begins to lie long across the slope. The noon hour is spent. I hear the quivering click-clack of a mowing-machine in a distant hay field. The work of the day goes on. My hour of rest is almost over, my summer vacation is nearly done. Work begins again to-morrow.

But I am ready for it. I have rested outstretched upon the warm earth. I have breathed the sweet air of the woods. I have felt the warm life-giving sun upon my face. I have been a child of the earth. I have been a brother to the stone and the bird and the beetle. And now I am strong to do my work, no matter what it is.


William Butler Yeats

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire a-flame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And some one called me by my name:

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done,

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.


  WEEK 39  


The Story Book of Science  by Jean Henri Fabre

Thunder and the Lightning-Rod

"B Y their clever researches, Franklin, de Romas, and many others have revealed to us the nature of lightning; they have taught us, in particular, that when its quantity is small, it leaps to meet one's finger in bright, crackling sparks, without danger to the experimenter, and that all bodies containing it attract neighboring light substances, just as the kite-string attracted the straws in the experiment made by de Romas, and just as sealing-wax and rubbed paper attract the down of feathers. In short, they taught us that electricity is the cause of thunder.

"Now there are two distinct kinds of electricity, which are present in equal quantities in all bodies. As long as they are united, nothing betrays their presence; it is as if they did not exist. But, once separated, they seek each other across all obstacles, attract each other, and rush toward each other with an explosion and a flash of light. Then all is in complete repose until these two electric principles are again separated. The two electricities, therefore, supplement and neutralize each other; that is to say, they form something invisible, inoffensive, inert, that is found everywhere and is called neutral electricity. To electrify a body is to decompose its neutral electricity, to disunite the two principles which, when mixed remain inert, but, separated from each other, manifest their wonderful properties and their violent tendency to recombination. Rubbing is one way of effecting the separation of the two electric principles, but it is far from being the only one. Every radical change in the inmost nature of a body also causes a manifestation of the two electricities. So clouds, which are water changed into vapor by the sun's heat, are often found to be electrified.

"When two differently electrified clouds come near together, immediately their contrary electricities run toward each other to recombine, and with a loud report there is a burst of flame that throws a bright and sudden light. This light is lightning; this burst of flame is a thunderbolt; the noise of the explosion is thunder. Finally, the electric spark can dart from a cloud electrified in one way to a spot on the ground electrified in the other.

"Generally you know a thunderbolt only by the sudden illumination it produces and the crash of its explosion. To see the thunderbolt itself you must overcome an unwarranted fear and look attentively at the clouds, the center of the storm. From moment to moment you can see a dazzling streak of light, simple or ramified, and of very irregular sinuous shape. A glowing furnace, metals at white heat, have not its brilliancy; the sun alone furnishes a comparison worthy the sovereign splendor of the thunderbolt."

"I saw the thunderbolt," put in Jules, "when it struck the big pine the day of the storm. For a moment I was blinded by its brightness, as if I had looked the sun full in the face."

"The next storm," said Emile, "I will watch the sky to see the ribbon of fire, but on condition that uncle is there. I should not dare to alone; it is so terrible."

"I, too," added Claire, "will do my best to overcome my fear, if Uncle is only there."

"I will be there, my children," their uncle promised them, "if my presence reassures you, for it is a most imposing sight, that of a stormy sky set on fire by lightning and full of the rumbling of the thunder. And yet, when from the bosom of the clouds there comes the dazzling flash of the thunderbolt and the whole region echoes with the crash of the explosion, a foolish fear dominates you; admiration has no further place in your mind, and your terrified eyes close at the magnificence of the electrical phenomena of the atmosphere, proclaiming with so much eloquence the majesty of the works of God. From your heart, congealed with fear, there comes no outburst of gratitude, for you do not know that at this moment, in the flashes of lightning, the uproar of the shower, of the thunder, and of the unchained winds, a great providential act is being accomplished. Thunder, in fact, is far more the cause of life than of death. In spite of the terrible but rare accidents that it causes, obeying in that the inscrutable decrees of God, it is one of the most powerful means that Providence employs to render the atmosphere wholesome, to clear the air we breathe of the deadly exhalations engendered by decay. We burn straw and paper torches in our rooms to purify the air; with its immense sheets of flame the thunderbolt produces an analogous effect in the surrounding atmosphere. Each of those lightning flashes that make you start with fear is a pledge of general salubrity; each of those claps of thunder that freeze you with fear is a sign of the great work of purification that is operating in favor of life. And who does not know with what delight, after a storm, the breast fills itself with pure air, when the atmosphere, purified by the fires of the thunderbolt, gives new life to all that breathe it! Let us beware then of a foolish terror when it thunders, but lift up our thoughts to God, from whom the thunder and the lightning have received their salutary mission.

"The thunderbolt, like everything in this world, plays a part in accord with the general well-being; but, again, like everything else, it can, in fulfilling the hidden purposes of an all-seeing Providence, cause here and there a rare accident that makes us forget the immense service it renders us. Let us always remember that nothing happens without the permission of our heavenly Father. A reverent fear of God ought to exclude all other fear. Let us, then, calmly examine the danger that a thunderbolt exposes us to. Let us remember above all that a thunderbolt by preference strikes the most prominent points of ground, for it is there that the opposite electricity, attracted by that of the storm-cloud, is present in greatest abundance, ready to unite with that which attracts it."

"The two electricities, seeking reunion do their utmost to meet," said Claire, to fix the facts in her mind. "That of the ground, in its effort to reach the cloud, gains the top of a tall tree; that of the cloud, on its side, is impelled downward toward the tree. Then comes the moment when the two electricities, still attracting each other but no longer having a road open for their peaceful reunion, rush together with a crash. Then the streak of fire can't help reaching the tree. Is that it, Uncle?"

"My dear child, I could not have put it better myself. That is why, in fact, high buildings, towers, steeples, tall trees, are the points most exposed to fire from heaven. In the open country it would be very imprudent, during a storm to seek refuge from rain under a tree, especially a tall and isolated one. If the thunderbolt is to fall in the neighborhood, it will preferably be upon that tree, which forms a high point where the electricity of the ground accumulates, to get as near as possible to that of the cloud attracting it. The sad and deplorable instances every year of persons struck by lightning are for the most part confined to the imprudent who seek shelter from the rain under a tall tree."

"If you had not known about these things, Uncle," Jules here remarked, "we should have been killed the day of the storm, when I wanted to get under the tall pine-tree."

"It is very doubtful whether the thunderbolt, in destroying the tree, would have spared us. It is impious boldness to expose one's self to peril without a motive, and then to throw upon Providence the task of extricating us from our perilous situation. Heaven will help him who helps himself. We helped ourselves by fleeing from the dangerous tree, and we arrived home safe. But to help oneself effectively requires knowledge; so, to impress these things well on your mind, I emphasize once more the danger that, in time of storm, lurks in high towers, steeples, lofty buildings, and, above all, in tall and isolated trees. As for other precautions that are commonly recommended, such as not to run, in order not to cause a violent displacement of the air, and to shut the doors and windows in order to prevent a draught, they are of no value whatever: the direction taken by the thunderbolt is in no way affected by the air-currents. Railway trains, which run at high speed and displace the air with so much violence, are not more exposed to lightning than objects at rest. Every-day experience is a proof of it."

"When it thunders," said Emile, "Mother Ambroisine hurries to shut all the doors and windows."

"Mother Ambroisine is like a great many others who believe they are safe as soon as they cease to see the peril. They shut themselves up so as not to hear the thunder nor see the lightning; but that does not in the least lessen the danger."

"Then there are no precautions to be taken?" asked Jules.

"In the usual circumstances, none, unless it be this precaution: to be of good heart and rely on the will of God.

"To protect tall buildings, more menaced than others, we use a lightning-conductor, a wonderful invention due to Franklin's genius. The lightning-conductor is composed of a rod of iron, long, strong, and pointed, fastened to the top of the building. From its base starts another rod, also of iron, which runs along the roofs and walls, where it is fastened with staples, and plunges into damp ground or, better still, into a deep well of water. If a thunderbolt falls, it strikes the lightning-conductor, which is the nearest object to the cloud as well as the best suited to the electric current on account of its metallic nature. Besides, its pointed form has much to do with its efficacy. The bolt that strikes the metal lightning-conductor follows it and is dissipated in the depths of the earth without causing any damage."


Four American Patriots  by Alma Holman Burton

The Voyage

When the vessel had left the land behind, Alexander began to look about him. He soon knew the sailors by name, and they all grew very fond of him. His best friend was a Scotch pilot who had been in service for many years. This old pilot told Alexander how King George of England had sent armies across the sea to help the Americans fight the French.

"Those Frenchmen wanted the earth," he said. "They first wanted the coast of Maine, and then they wanted the beaver lands on the great river called the Ohio. And never a bit would they let the British trade for the furs of the Injuns. Every man knows that the land belonged to the king; and his majesty sent over the pick of his armies to fight for it."

Then he told how the French forts on the Ohio had been taken by the British General Forbes and a "likely American lad" by the name of George Washington, and how the forts along the St. Lawrence had been seized by the brave General Wolfe and his army; and how, at last, the British had gained the great fresh water lakes in the north, and all the land along the Ohio.

The old man had his own ideas about the people who lived in the colonies.

"I cannot well make out these Americans," he said. "They're a headstrong lot, laddie. They've made trouble from the first; and, now they've had a hand fighting the French, they're pesky ready to fall upon the king's troops sent over to keep them in order."

And while the old tar pulled away at his wheel, he told how the Americans would not consent to be taxed by Parliament; how Patrick Henry, a bold young man in Virginia, had defied the king in open meeting about a stamp tax, and how Boston and other cities had refused to buy any more goods from British merchants till the tax was taken off.

"It makes bad shipping business, laddie," he groaned; "and it's all bad from the beginning of it, and I know you'll say so yourself when you see the carryings on.

"They call themselves 'Sons of Liberty,' and have big meetings on the green, and they do a power of speaking and reading newspapers instead of smoking their pipes and keeping the peace.

"Last year, at Boston, when the king's troops stood in the streets to keep the rascals quiet, the folk came and hooted at them, and would not go home; and the troops fired the guns, and killed two or three of the men.

"And Samuel Adams, a very bold man, with the whole town at his back, ordered the king's troops out of Boston. Think of that, laddie!

"The king's officers wanted orders from the king before they put the bayonets to the throats of the villains; so they took the troops to an island in the harbor; and there they are to-day, keeping close watch on the town. I think we'll see their bayonets shining when we sail up the bay."

Alexander made up his mind that the Americans must be very wicked indeed. On the island of Nevis, no one said a word against the great king of England who sat on a throne.

Alexander learned all he could about the Americans. He was almost afraid to go to a country where men were bold enough to defy King George's grenadiers.

The ship plunged slowly along towards his new home.

One night he heard the cry of "Fire! fire!" He ran to the hatchway. The deck was in a red glare of light. The sailors were running to and fro with buckets of water. Everybody thought the vessel would be destroyed, but at last the fire was put out.

A few days later, the ship passed an island where long lines of soldiers in red coats were marching. The bayonets gleamed in the sunshine, and the voices of the captains rang over the water as they gave their commands.

"There they are, sure enough, laddie," said the old Scotch pilot. "The king's troops are waiting, and watching the town of Boston!"

And when Alexander saw the steeples of the city, he wondered if the king's troops would ever march again into Boston with their bayonets fixed.


Four American Patriots  by Alma Holman Burton

"The Little West Indian"

Alexander Hamilton landed at Boston on a bright day in October, 1772. He had only time to look about the docks. Then he took a packet for New York, where he intended to go to school.

When he reached New York, he hunted up some clergymen, to whom he gave letters from his friend, Mr. Knox. These gentlemen received him with much kindness, and advised him to go to the grammar school at Elizabethtown, in New Jersey.

Before very long, Alexander was hard at work. He soon had many friends in Elizabethtown. Governor Livingston welcomed him to his home, and he often spent his evenings reading in the governor's library.

Once, when the baby of a lady friend died, he watched all night by the little casket. The room was lighted dimly with one candle, and as he sat alone such beautiful thoughts came to him about the dead child that he wrote them out in verse. The next morning he gave the verses to the sad mother. They comforted her very much.

At the end of one year, Alexander had been so diligent in the grammar school that he was ready for college. He went to see the president of Princeton College. He told him he was anxious to finish his studies as soon as possible, and asked to be allowed to double the work outside of the class.

The president declared that no such thing had ever been done, but promised to talk with the officers about it. He soon wrote Alexander that it had been decided to refuse his request. "But I am convinced," he said, "that you will do honor to any seminary in which you may be educated."

Alexander returned to New York. He entered Columbia College, which was then called King's College. Here he was so witty and amiable that he made many friends. He wrote a play, which the British officers acted, and he joined a debating club where the students talked much about the troubles with the king.

Alexander remembered what the old Scotch pilot had said about the Americans, and at first he always debated on the king's side.

But one time, I do not know why, he went up to Boston. Perhaps it was to attend to some business for his old employer at the counting-house. He found Boston in great excitement. A few nights before, the people in that city had met together to talk about the tax which Parliament had put on tea. They said they would not buy taxed tea, and that the ships in the harbor must take it back to England; but the king's governor would not send the tea back. Then some of the men dressed themselves like Indians, and hurried down to the harbor. They climbed up the sides of the ships and threw the tea overboard.

Now, the people knew very well that they would be punished for this bold act. Every night they held great public meetings. You may be sure that Alexander Hamilton attended all the meetings while he was in Boston.

He heard Samuel Adams, John Hancock, James Otis, and other patriots speak.

They said they were willing to pay taxes if they might vote like the freemen of England; but not a single American was allowed to sit in Parliament, and so Parliament had no right to tax Americans.

They said, if one tax were paid, many more must be paid; and, if the people dared to resist the law of Parliament, British troops would soon be placed in every town.

They said they were willing to obey a king, but they would not obey a tyrant.

The more Alexander listened to the talks of these great men, the more he admired them. He even found himself clapping his hands and cheering with all the rest when they cried, "No taxation without representation!"

And when he returned to New York, he would not defend the king's laws any more. He argued in debate on the side of the patriots.

He often walked under the shade of a grove of trees, talking low to himself. And when the neighbors passed by, they pointed him out and said, "There is the little West Indian, who makes such fine speeches in King's College."


Alfred Lord Tennyson

The Poet's Song

The rain had fallen, the Poet arose,

He pass'd by the town and out of the street;

A light wind blew from the gates of the sun,

And waves of shadow went over the wheat;

And he sat him down in a lonely place,

And chanted a melody loud and sweet,

That made the wild-swan pause in her cloud,

And the lark drop down at his feet.

The swallow stopt as he hunted the fly,

The snake slipt under a spray,

The wild hawk stood with the down on his beak,

And stared, with his foot on the prey;

And the nightingale thought, "I have sung many songs,

But never a one so gay,

For he sings of what the world will be

When the years have died away."


  WEEK 39  


Our Little Celtic Cousin of Long Ago  by Evaleen Stein

The Book of Kells

It was the day after the battle of Clontarf, and the Celtic camp was already broken up and the soldiers scattering back to their homes. The body of the dead high king, Brian Boru, was to be borne in a cart drawn by white oxen and covered with a purple pall to the church of Armagh, a very sacred place in the kingdom of Ulster. There, with solemn ceremonies, the Celtic monarch would be buried, standing with his face to the east, wrapped in his royal mantle, his shield and spear beside him.

Now it happened that Kells was one of the stopping places on the way to Armagh; and when Ferdiad heard this, he begged his foster-father that he and Conn might go that far along with the pages who attended the different kings and flaiths.

"We can ride in the cart for the pages, and stay at Kells and you can stop for us when you come back from Armagh!" said Ferdiad eagerly. "I want to hunt for Saint Columkille's book and Conn will help me." For Ferdiad had told his foster-father about what the Dane prisoner had said.

Angus had no hope that the beautiful book might be found, but Ferdiad begged so hard that he agreed and Ferdiad ran off happily to tell Conn.

So it came about that the two boys went along when the funeral procession set off, the white oxen and royal cart leading the way while close behind rode poet Angus chanting sorrowful songs in honor of the dead king. After him came as many of the Celtic kings and flaiths as could arrange to go to Armagh, and last of all followed the host of attendants for these, the boys among them.

At Kells the funeral train was received with every honor, and after a brief rest moved on to the north; but Ferdiad and Conn stayed behind. The boys were warmly greeted by the monks, who knew Ferdiad well and were fond of the lad; and they were especially glad to see him as they had not heard from him since the day of the raid.

He soon told them what he had found out about the beautiful book, and Brother Patrick said, "Yes, lad, I remember finding the body of no doubt the very man the Dane prisoner told you he had fought with over the gold case, and we gave the wicked heathen Christian burial where we found him. If the book was thrown away soon after the fight, it must be somewhere not far from that spot."

"Oh, please show us the place and let's begin looking right away!" cried Ferdiad.

"I can show you the grave," said Brother Patrick with a sigh, "but unless the blessed Saint Columkille has worked a miracle, the beautiful book is surely ruined by this time!"

The spot to which he led the way was in a woodland skirting the monastery fields, and just beyond was a bog where the monks had once cut the peat they burned in winter, though it had now become quite dry. Several of them who had heard Ferdiad's story came along, and all began to search. But most of them were no longer young, and it seemed to them a hopeless task; though they constantly mourned the loss of the most beautiful book in Ireland.

As the Kells school was over for the summer, there were no young students to help search, for they had all gone away for a time; so at last Ferdiad and Conn found themselves the ones who must find the book if any one did.

Up and down through the trees they went, peering and poking under every swirl of fallen leaves or dead boughs where they glimpsed anything that looked in the least like the brown carved leather that covered the lost book. Ferdiad led the way southeastward from where the two Danes had fought, "For," he said, "that is the direction Brother Patrick says the raiders went after they left Kells, and even yet you can see the broken branches where they drove the cows through the woods on their way toward the sea."

The boys got down on their hands and knees and looked under every thicket of bushes, and Conn even poked under the tufts of violets and cowslips.

"Why, Conn," laughed Ferdiad, "it's too big to hide under those! Saint Columkille's book is at least a foot wide and more than that long, and thick through!"

Indeed, they got as interested as in a game of hide and seek; moreover, the monks offered as prize, if the book was found, a handsome bow and arrows with a quiver of red enameled leather, such as they gave to their best student at the end of his year's school work.

For almost a week the boys searched and searched in vain. At last Ferdiad said, "There's a fairy mound somewhere in these woods, I think not far from here. Let's go around it three times and say a charm and maybe the fairies will help us!"

"All right!" agreed Conn, and soon finding the little hill thay walked around it backward three times, each saying softly under his breath a special charm rime; for many such had been handed down among the people from the days of the DeDanaans.

Now it was an odd thing, but that very morning while Conn with a stick was poking under some hazel bushes, Ferdiad, in looking behind a log at the edge of the woodland, happened to start a young hare. Off scampered the little creature out of the woods and over a corner of the peat bog. Suddenly,—plump!  down it tumbled head over heels in a hole where, long before, the monastery brothers had been cutting their peat.

Ferdiad, who was fond of hunting with his red and green hounds, though he had none with him, instinctively ran after the hare to see what had become of it. Though the ground was spongy lower down, for some distance from the top the bog was dry; and when Ferdiad came to the hole, there was the frightened little hare huddled up at the bottom and in his scrambles to get out his hind legs were scattering the brown dry leaves that had blown over from the forest the autumn before.

As Ferdiad bent over his eyes began to grow very round as he stared, not at the little hare, but at something lying at one side of the ragged hole where the hare had been most active in scattering away the leaves. The corner of a brown flat object was laid bare, and Ferdiad, springing down hurriedly, cleared away the rest of the leaves and drew out—but, of course, you have guessed what!

Yes, indeed, it truly was the angel book which by some strange chance had fallen into the peat hole when the Dane, hurrying to join the other raiders, had come out of the woodland and cutting across a corner of the bog had torn it from the case and flung it away. It had dropped under a projecting edge of the peat, and this and the drifting leaves had protected it from the weather so that when Ferdiad lifted it out, though its thick leather cover was marred and discolored in places, yet when he opened it its marvelous painted pages shone out as bright and beautiful and undimmed as when it first came from the hand of the unknown artist hundreds of years before!


The drifting leaves had protected it from the weather.

"Conn! Conn!"  shouted Ferdiad, trembling with excitement, "Come here! I have found it!"

In a moment Conn came running, and when Ferdiad told him how he had discovered it he stared in surprise. "Do you suppose it could have been a DeDanaan fairy in the form of a hare that helped you find it?" he cried. "I was sure I saw some fairies flitting around there in the woods after we came back from the mound."

"I don't know," said Ferdiad, "it might have been!"

And perhaps it was; and perhaps, too, as the monks declared when Ferdiad bore back the book in triumph to the monastery, the blessed Saint Columkille of the angels who had guided the hand of the bygone artist had indeed wrought a miracle and so saved those rare painted pages from harm as they lay all the long months hidden in the bog.

In very truth, the angels must still guard the sacred volume; for all these things I have told you happened long and long ago. Long and long ago Ferdiad and Conn and Eileen lived out their happy lives and long ago poet Angus sang his last sweet song. The raths of the Celtic people of old and the duns of their high kings are now only ruined walls watched over by the hidden fairies, and their beloved Ireland has passed through many changes and has known much of sorrow. Yet through all the passing centuries the Great Gospel of Saint Columkille, or the Book of Kells, as it is more often called to-day, still keeps its lovely pages untarnished and unfading. In the city of Dublin, which once was but the fortress at the Ford of the Hurdles, still it is jealously cherished, and still it is ranked, as in the days of Ferdiad, the most beautiful book in all the world.


The Tortoise and the Geese and Other Fables of Bidpai  by Maude Barrows Dutton

The Hare, the Fox, and the Wolf


A hungry Wolf was passing through a wood when he came upon a Hare sitting up on her hind legs at the foot of an oak tree. He was about to spring upon her, when the Hare suddenly spoke to him.

"Sir Wolf," she said, "I know that you are faint with hunger, and that you are out in search of food. But before you swallow me, I ask you to think of my size, and remember that I shall be but a solitary mouthful for your Highness. Now about a furlong from here there lives a Fox, who is so plump and fat that he can scarcely walk. If you should eat him, then you would indeed feel that you had truly dined. If it is pleasing to you, I will pay this Fox a visit; entice him from his hole, and, if he prove to your liking, you can devour him."

The Wolf was easily persuaded by these words, and told the Hare to run on ahead to the hole of the Fox. When she had arrived there, she bade the Wolf remain outside while she went in.

"Ah! now not only am I free from the Wolf, but I will have my revenge on this old Fox, who has so often chased my white tail through the bushes," she thought to herself.

When she came to the Fox, she put on a very meek expression, and bowed low. The Fox was very civil, and asked the Hare what good fortune it was that had brought her there.

"Only the great desire to see your Worship," replied the Hare humbly; "and there is one of my relations at the door who is no less anxious to kiss your hands, but he dares not enter without your permission."

The cunning Fox mistrusted the Hare's flattering words, but he said to himself, "I will repay her in her own coin." At the same time he answered aloud, "Madam, you do me great honor. Your friend shall be most welcome. But," he added, "before receiving him I must ask you to allow me first to sweep out the corners of the house and spread down my best carpet."

The Hare therefore went out and told the Wolf all that had happened. The Wolf's mouth fairly watered with the thought of his fine dinner.

But the Fox was by no means the stupid creature that the Hare took him to be. He had long ago built a deep pit in the centre of his passageway, and covered it over with sticks so that no one besides himself knew that it was there. He now hastened to take away the sticks and cover the pit merely with straw. When this was done, he asked the Hare and his friend to walk in. The Hare, curious to see the finish of her little game, followed the Wolf, and before they knew it, both found themselves rolling together in the bottom of the pit. The Wolf, believing that the Hare had planned this device, immediately fell upon her and ate her up, while the Fox stole out of his hole by a secret door.


  WEEK 39  


The Struggle for Sea Power  by M. B. Synge

The Battle of Trafalgar

"England expects every man to do his duty."

—Nelson's signal.

T HE morning of October 21 dawned. It was one of the most important days in the history of the world, for on it, England won her greatest naval victory, and lost her greatest sailor, Lord Nelson.

The sun never rose on a grander scene. Thirty-three French and Spanish ships stretched in a long line covering five miles of sea, off the coast of Spain between Cadiz and Gibraltar. In the distance behind them, Cape Trafalgar was dimly visible in the brightening light against the eastern sky. Towering among the Spanish ships, was the Santissima Trinidad, with her 130 guns, the largest warship afloat, a gleaming mass of red and white. She had escaped the British at Cape St Vincent; she was not going to escape them again. The French and Spanish flagships were there in the midst, Villeneuve being in command of the whole.


Nelson Before Trafalgar.

The sea was very calm, the lightest of breezes ruffled its surface from time to time, while a long Atlantic swell rolled at intervals towards the straits.

Some ten miles away was the British fleet, numbering twenty-seven ships. It lay in two long columns. At the head of one was Admiral Collingwood on board the Royal Sovereign; at the head of the other was Lord Nelson, the hero of the Nile and Copenhagen, on board the Victory. He had come on deck soon after daybreak,—a "homely figure, slender, stooping, boyish—boyish still in spite of so many battle scars, with the careless hair lying low on his forehead." The empty sleeve of his right arm, his sightless eye, the weather-stained uniform, the orders shining on his breast—all spoke of faithful service to his country. to-day he was to complete that faithful service, by the surrender of his life.

Afraid lest the glitter of his medals should make him too great a mark for his foes, it was suggested to him to remove them.

"In honour I gained them," was the proud answer; "in honour I will die with them."

His plans for the battle had been made long ago. All through the moonless night, his signals had been flashing across the dark waters. He knew the position of the enemy's fleet. The order for sailing had been given, and the decks were being cleared for action, when Nelson withdrew to his cabin. There he was found a little later on his knees, writing, and this is what he wrote: "May the great God whom I worship, grant to my country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory; and may no misconduct in any one tarnish it; and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British fleet. For myself, I commit my life to Him who made me, and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is intrusted to me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen."

The British fleet was heading direct for the foe when Nelson next came on deck. It was about half-past eleven, when flags from the mast-head of the Victory, spelt out to the slowly moving ships Nelson's famous signal—"England expects every man to do his duty." It is said that a shout of approval greeted the admiral's message.

"I can do no more," said Nelson. "I thank God for this great opportunity of doing my duty."

On sailed the British ships in two lines, a mile apart, led by Nelson and Collingwood. They were sailing at right angles to the enemy's line, intending to cut it in two at two points. Nelson's old plan, of arranging for two English ships to attack one French, was at work. The French and Spanish flagships were in the middle of the line, and against them Nelson and Collingwood directed their course.

It was just after noon when a very tempest of shot was poured on to the Victory from eight great battleships around her. Nelson was pacing the deck, with his old friend and comrade Captain Hardy. Suddenly a shot passed between them. Both men started and looked at one another.

"This is too warm work to last long, Hardy," he said, smiling.

The Victory moved on amid tremendous fire. Her sails were riddled with shot, her topmast was falling; but still her guns were silent till, suddenly, she discharged at the French flagship a deafening crash of cannon-balls, which struck down 400 of her men and put twenty guns out of action at once. Moving on her way with dignity, she next attacked a French ship, the Redoubtable. Fiercely raged the battle now along the line. Fiercely fought French and Spanish, none more bravely than the Redoubtable herself. Nothing could exceed the valour of the French on board the little ship, now fighting for her life between the Victory and the Temeraire. With half her masts gone, her hull shot through and through, twenty of her guns out of action and more than half her crew dead or dying, she fought on, with a heroism worthy of victory. It was a shot from her, that killed England's greatest admiral.

He was pacing the deck with Hardy, when quite suddenly he fell, mortally wounded, with his face to the deck.


"They have done for me at last, Hardy," he exclaimed, as the captain picked him up. "My backbone is shot through."

It was true. The shadow of death had been over him all day.

"God bless you, Blackwood," he had said to one of his officers, before the action began; "I shall never speak to you again."

They carried the wounded man below. Bravely he covered his face and medals with a handkerchief that his sailors might not recognise him.

Few stories in history are more pathetic, than this one of the death of Nelson, in the hour of victory. Faithfully every word that fell from the lips of the dying man, has been recorded, until every child now knows the details of those last sad moments.


Stories of William Tell Told to the Children  by H. E. Marshall

How the Cap of Austria Was Set Up

Werner Stauffacher said good-bye to his wife Gertrude, and set out for the Canton of Uri. There he spent some days going from village to village, trying to find out how the peasants and common people felt. Everywhere that he went he heard bitter complaints and groans. Gessler was cruel to every one, high and low, and every one was full of hatred against him. One of the things which troubled the people most was the building of the castle near Altorf, which Gessler called the "Curb of Uri." The castle was still unfinished, but Gessler already used it as a prison.

Stauffacher was glad when he heard how every one hated Gessler, and when he had found out what the common people thought, he resolved to visit his friend Walter Fürst. So he went to Altorf where Walter lived.

As Stauffacher crossed the market-place to go to Walter's house, he heard a great noise of shouting and trampling of feet. He stopped to see what it might mean.

Down the street a party of Austrian soldiers came marching. One of them carried a long pole, and another a red cap with a peacock's feather in it. Behind them followed a crowd of women and children, laughing and shouting.

The soldiers marched into the square, which was surrounded by houses and shaded by lime-trees. In the square they stopped and looked around.

"Where shall we put it?" said one.

"Here in the middle."

"No, here at the cross-roads."

"Yes, that is better, the folk must pass that way."

The soldiers gathered round, and while some of them kept the people back, others dug a hole. Then the pole with the red cap on top of it was firmly planted in the ground.

What could this mean, Stauffacher asked himself, as he stood looking on.

As soon as the pole was set up, a gaily-clad herald stepped out from the crowd and blew his trumpet.


A gaily clad herald stepped out from the crowd

"Silence!" he cried. "All listen and attend, in the name of his most sacred Majesty the Emperor. See ye this cap here set up? It is His Majesty's will and commandment that ye do all bow the knee and bend the head as ye do pass it by. Ye shall do all reverence to it as to His Majesty the Emperor himself. Whoso disobeys shall be punished by imprisonment and death."

Then, with another flourish of trumpets, the herald and the soldiers marched off, followed by a loud laugh of scorn from the crowd which had gathered.

"What new folly of the Governor's is this?" they cried.

"Who ever heard of such nonsense?"

"Bow to a cap—an empty cap!"

"If it were even the Emperor's crown! But Gessler's cap!"

"Shame on him!"

"What freeborn man will so dishonour himself?"

This was a new insult to a free people. They had never refused homage to the Emperor, nor obedience to any of the great nobles who had been sent to rule over them. But to bare the head and bend the knee before a cap! It was not to be borne. But what could they do? Who was there to help them?

So, with many murmurs and heavy hearts, the people went slowly away, and the market-place was left empty, except for the hat upon the pole and the soldier who watched beside it.

Full of thoughts both sad and angry Stauffacher went on to the house of Walter Fürst.


Felicia Dorothea Hemans


The boy stood on the burning deck,

Whence all but him had fled;

The flame that lit the battle's wreck,

Shone round him o'er the dead;

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,

As born to rule the storm;

A creature of heroic blood,

A proud though childlike form.

The flames rolled on—he would not go

Without his father's word;

That father, faint in death below,

His voice no longer heard.

He called aloud: "Say, Father, say

If yet my task is done!"

He knew not that the chieftain lay

Unconscious of his son.

"Speak, Father!" once again he cried,

"If I may yet be gone!"

And but the booming shots replied,

And fast the flames rolled on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,

And in his waving hair;

And looked from that lone post of death,

In still, yet brave despair;

And shouted but once more aloud,

"My Father! must I stay?"

While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,

The wreathing fires made way.

They wrapt the ship in splendor wild,

They caught the flag on high,

And streamed above the gallant child,

Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder sound—

The boy—O! where was he?

—Ask of the winds that far around

With fragments strewed the sea

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair

That well had borne their part—

But the noblest thing that perished there

Was that young faithful heart!


  WEEK 39  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—Across the Lake  by Lisa M. Ripperton

Manis the Miller

T HERE was a man from the mountain, named Donal, once married the daughter of a stingy old couple who lived on the lowland. He used to stay and work on his own wee patch of land all the week round, till it came to Saturday evening, and on Saturday evening he went to his wife's father's to spend Sunday with him.

Coming and going he always passed the mill of Manis, the miller; and Manis, who used to be watching him passing, always noticed, and thought it strange, that while he jumped the mill-race going to his wife's father's on a Saturday evening, he had always to wade through it coming back. And at last he stopped Donal one Monday morning, and asked him the meaning of it.

"Well, I'll tell you," says Donal, says he. "It's this: My old father-in-law is such a very small eater, that he says grace and blesses himself when I've only got a few pieces out of my meals; so I'm always weak coming back on Monday morning."

Manis, he thought over this to himself for a while, and then says he: "Would you mind letting me go with you next Saturday evening? If you do, I promise you that you'll leap the mill-race coming back."

"I'll be glad to have you," says Donal.

Very well and good. When Saturday evening came, Manis joined Donal and off they both trudged to Donal's father-in-law's.

The old man was not too well pleased at seeing Donal bringing a fresh hand, but Manis, he didn't pretend to see this, but made himself as welcome as the flowers in May. And when supper was laid down on Saturday night, Manis gave Donal the nudge, and both of them began to tie their shoes as if they had got loose, and they tied and tied away at their shoes, till the old man had eaten a couple of minutes, and then said grace and finished and got up from the table, thinking they wouldn't have the ill-manners to sit down after the meal was over.

But down to the table my brave Manis and Donal sat, and ate their hearty skinful. And when the old fellow saw this, he was gruff and grumpy enough, and it was little they could get out of him between that and bedtime.

But Manis kept a lively chat going, and told good stories, that passed away the night; and when bedtime came and they offered Manis a bed in the room, Manis said no, that there was no place he could sleep only one, and that was along the fireside.

The old man and the old woman both objected to this, and said they couldn't think of allowing a stranger to sleep there; but all they could say or do wasn't any use, and Manis said he couldn't and wouldn't sleep in any other place, and insisted on lying down there, and lie down there he did in spite of them all, and they all went off to their beds.

But though Manis lay down, he was very careful not to let himself go to sleep; and when he was near about two hours lying, he hears the room door open easy, and the old woman puts her head out and listens, and Manis he snored as if he hadn't slept for ten days and ten nights before.

When the old woman heard this, she came on up the floor and looked at him, and saw him like as if he was dead asleep. Then she hastened to put a pot of water on the fire, and began to make a pot of stir-about for herself and the old man, for this was the way, as Manis had well suspected, that they used to cheat Donal.

But just in the middle of the cooking of the pot of stir-about, doesn't Manis roll over and pretend to waken up? Up he sits, and rubs his eyes, and looks about him, and looks at the woman and at the pot on the fire.

"Ah," says he, "is it here ye are, or is it mornin' with ye?"

"Well, no," says she, "it isn't mornin', but we have a cow that's not well, and I had to put a mash on the fire here for her. I'm sorry I wakened ye."

"Oh, no, no!" says Manis, says he, "you haven't wakened me at all. It's this sore ankle I have here," says he, rubbing his ankle. "I've a very, very sore ankle," says he, "and it troubles me sometimes at night," he says, "and no matter how sound asleep I may be, it wakens me up, and I've got to sit up until I cure it." Says he: "There's nothin' cures it but soot—till I rub plenty of soot out of the chimney to it."

And Manis takes hold of the tongs, and he begins pulling the soot down out of the chimney from above the pot, and for every one piece that fell on the fire, there were five pieces that fell into the pot. And when Manis thought he had the posset well enough spiced with the soot, he raised up a little of the soot from the fire and rubbed his ankle with it.

"And now," says he, "that's all right, and I'll sleep sound and not waken again till mornin'." And he stretched himself out again, and began to snore.

The old woman was pretty well vexed that she had had her night's work spoiled, and she went up to the room to the old man and told him what had happened to the stir-about. He got into a bad rage entirely, and asked her was Manis asleep again, and she said he was. Then he ordered her to go down and make an oat scowder and put it on the ashes for him.

She went down, and got the oatmeal, and made a good scowder, and set it on the ashes, and then sat by it for the short while it would be doing.

But she hadn't it many minutes on the ashes when Manis let a cry out of him, as if it was in his sleep, and up he jumps and rubs his eyes and looks about him; and when he saw her, he said: "Och! is it here ye are? And I'm glad ye are," says he; "because I've a great trouble on me mind, that's lying a load over me heart and wouldn't let me sleep, and I want to relieve me mind to ye," says Manis; "an' then I'll sleep hearty and sound all the night after. I'll tell you the story," says he.

So he catches hold of the tongs in his two hands, and as he told the story he would stir them about through the ashes.

Says he: "I want to tell you that my father afore he died was a very rich man and owned no end of land. He had three sons, myself and Teddy and Tom; and the three of us were three good hard workers. I always liked Teddy and Tom; but however it came out, Tom and Teddy hated me, and they never lost a chance of trying to damage me with my father and turn him against me. He sent Teddy and Tom to school and gave them a grand education, but he only gave me the spade in my fist and sent me out to the fields. And when Teddy and Tom came back from school, they were two gentlemen, and use to ride their horses and hunt with their hounds; and me they always made look after the horses and groom them and saddle them and bridle them, and be there in the yard to meet them when they would come in from their riding, and take charge of their horses, give them a rubbing down, and stable them for them.

"In my own mind, I use to think that this wasn't exactly fair or brotherly treatment: but I said nothing, for I liked both Teddy and Tom. And prouder and prouder of them every day got my father, and more and more every day he disliked me, until at long and at last, when he came to die, he liked Teddy and Tom that much, and he liked poor Manis that little, that he drew up his will and divided his land into four parts and left it in this way:

"Now, supposin'," says Manis, says he, digging the point of the tongs into the scowder, "supposin'," says he, "there was my father's farm. He cut it across this way," says he, drawing the tongs through the scowder in one way. "Then he cut it across this way," says he, drawing the tongs through the scowder in the other direction; "and that quarter," says he, tossing away a quarter of the scowder with the point of the tongs, "he gave to my mother. And that quarter there," says he, tossing off the other quarter into the dirt, "he gave to Teddy, and this quarter here," says he, tossing the third quarter, "he gave to Tom. And this last quarter," says Manis, says he, digging the point of the tongs right into the heart of the other quarter of the scowder, and lifting it up and looking at it, "this quarter," says he, "he gave to the priest," and he pitched it as far from him down the floor as he could. "And there," says he, throwing down the tongs, "he left poor Manis what he is today—a beggar and an outcast! That, ma'am," says he, "is my story, and now that I've relieved my mind, I'll sleep sound and well till morning." And down he stretched himself by the fireside, and begins to snore again.

And the old woman she started up to the room, and she told the old man what had happened to the scowder; and the old fellow got into a mighty rage entirely, and was for getting up and going down to have the life of Manis, for he was starving with the hunger. But she tried to soothe him as well as she could. And then he told her to go down to the kitchen and make something else on the fire for him.

"O, it's no use," says she, "a-trying to make anything on the fire, for there'll be some other ache coming on that fellow's ankle or some other trouble on his mind, and he'll be getting up in the middle of it all to tell me about it. But I'll tell you what I'll do," says she, "I'll go out and I'll milk the cow, and give you a good jug of sweet milk to drink, and that will take the hunger off you till morning."

He told her to get up quick and do it, or she would find him dead of the hunger.

And off she went as quickly as she could, and took a jug off the kitchen dresser, and slipped out, leaving Manis snoring loudly in the kitchen. But when Manis thought that she had had time to have the jug near filled from the cow, he slips out to the byre, and as it was dark he talked like the old man: "And," says he, "I'll die with the hunger if you don't hurry with that."

So she filled the jug, and she reached it to him in the dark, and he drank it off, and gave her back the empty jug, and went in and lay down.

Then she milked off another jug for herself and drank it, and came slipping in, and put the jug easy on the dresser, so as not to waken Manis, and went up to the room.

When she came up, the old fellow was raging there. Says he: "You might have milked all the cows in the county since, an' me dead with hunger here waitin' on it. Give me my jug of milk," says he.

"And what do ye mean?" says she.

"What does yourself mean, you old blatherskite?" says the old man, says he.

Says she, "Didn't you come out to the byre and ask me for the jug of milk there, an' didn't I give it to you, and didn't you drink it all?"

"Be this and be that," says he, "but this is a nice how-do-ye-do. It's that scoundrel," says he, "in the kitchen, that's tricked ye again. An' be this an' be that," says he, "I'm goin' down now to have his life."

And when she heard how she had been tricked, she was not a bit sorry to let him go and have Manis's life.

But Manis had been listening with his ear to the keyhole to hear what was going on, and when he heard this, and while the man was preparing to go down and take his life, he hauled in a calf, and put it by the fireside where he had been lying, and threw the cover over it.

And when the man came down with the sledge-hammer, he went to the place where he knew Manis had been lying, and he struck with all his might, and he drove the hammer through the calf's skull, and the calf only just gave one moo!  and died. And then the old fellow went back to his bed content, and the miller went out and off home again.

When the old fellow and his woman got up in the morning early to go and bury the miller, they found the trick he had played on them, and they were in a pretty rage. But when the breakfast was made this morning, and Donal and all of them sat down, I can tell you the old fellow was in no hurry saying grace, and Donal he got his hearty fill for once in his life anyhow, and so did he at night.

And when Donal was going back home on Monday morning, he leapt the mill-race, and Manis came out, and gave him a cheer. He took Manis's both hands, and he shook them right hearty.

And every Monday morning after, for the three years that the old fellow lived, Manis always saw Donal leap the mill-race as easy as a sparrow might hop over a rod.

At the end of the three years, the old fellow died, and Donal went to live on the farm altogether, and there was no friend ever came to see him that was more heartily welcomed than Manis the Miller.


Will o' the Wasps  by Margaret Warner Morley

Concerning Stings

"D O hornets sting the insects they capture, Uncle Will o' the Wasps?" asked Theodore, giving his uncle a loving little pat on the arm.

"No; you see it isn't necessary," was Uncle Will's ready answer. "They chew them right up with their hard jaws and carry them home to feed fresh to the larvae."

"The hornets sting the protect their young from enemies. Pelopaeus stings to feed her young ones," said Theodore.

"Very true," answered Uncle Will, "and some people think that long ago all the bees and wasps stung food for their young ones. They think that this was why they had their sharp stings with the poison bags attached."

"But bees don't need to sting, for they eat honey and feed that and bee-bread made out of flower-pollen to their children."

"That is true now, but maybe a long time ago it was different. You know the wasps and bees are closely related. They all belong to the great division of the Hymenoptera, or gauze-winged insects."

"Well," said Theodore, "if that is so, how did the bees learn to eat honey and give up stinging insects for food?"

"That is the question. I don't know just how it came about, but in the course of time it might have happened."

"If they hadn't learned better, people would never have had any honey. I like honey. Perhaps sometime the wasps will learn to make honey, and then perhaps in a long, long time all the insects will forget how to sting."

"Perhaps," said Uncle Will, "but that will be after our day, if it ever happens at all, and meantime they make poison enough every year to defeat an army."

"Perhaps they have defeated armies," said Theodore, "the way the bees once did when the people threw the hives down from the town walls among the soldiers. How they did run!"

"Yes," said Uncle Will, "hornets too have been known to scatter soldiers. And hornets can sting people to death."

"Are their stings like bee stings?" "Yes, they are about the same thing. Do you remember how to bee sting is made?"

"Yes! If you will draw me a picture like that one in the bee book, Uncle Will, I can explain it all out to you."

"Now we will see"; and Uncle Will drew the picture.

"That," said Theodore touching it with his finger, "is the poison sac. When the wasp wants to, it can squeeze the little sac—"

"How?" interrupted Uncle Will.

"Oh, just by contracting the little muscles that belong to it. And the poison, when it is squeezed out, runs down through the stinger, which is hollow. And the end of the stinger is barbed, like a fish-hook, only it has more barbs than a fish-hook. The bee does not like to sting, because the barbs stick fast, and sometimes it is hard to pull them out. Sometimes the bee cannot pull them out, but the sting pulls loose and then the bee dies."

"Well done," said Uncle Will, "You certainly know more about bees than they know about themselves."

"And wasps too, because wasps are like bees."

"Not altogether," said Uncle Will, "As far as the sting is concerned I grant they are all very much alike, except that the big hornets, like the bumble bees, are strong enough to pull out their stingers without losing them and I have never noticed that they object to using their poisoned daggers."


  WEEK 39  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Parables on the Mount of Olives

Matthew xxiv: 1, to xxv: 46;
Mark xiii: 1 to 37,
Luke xxi: 5 to 38.

dropcap image FTER Jesus had spoken his last words to the people and their rulers, he walked out of the Temple with his disciples. As they were passing through the great gates on the east of the Temple the disciples said to Jesus, "Master, what a splendid building this is! Look at these great stones in the foundation!"

Jesus answered his disciples, "Do you see these great walls? The time is coming when these buildings shall be thrown down; when not one stone that you are looking upon shall be left in its place; when the very foundations of this house and this city shall be torn up!"

These words filled the followers of Jesus with the deepest sorrow, for they loved the Temple and the city of Jerusalem, as all Jews loved it, and to them it all seemed the ruin of the whole world. Yet they believed the words of their Master, for they knew that he was a prophet, whose words were sure to come to pass, and that he was more than a prophet, even the son of God. They walked with Jesus down into the valley of the brook Kedron, and up the slopes of the Mount of Olives. On the top of the mountain they looked down upon the Temple and the city; and then some of the disciples said to Jesus:

"Master, tell us when shall these dreadful things be? Give us some sign, that we may know when they are coming."

Then Jesus sat down with his disciples on the mountain and told them of many things that were to come upon the city and the world; how wars should arise, and earthquakes and diseases should break forth; how enemies were to come and fight against Jerusalem, and destroy it and scatter its people; and how trouble should arise upon all the earth. And he told them that he would sometime come again, as the Lord of all; and that all who believe in him should watch, and be ready to meet him. Then he gave the Parable of "The Ten Young Women." This was the story:

"There were ten young women who were going out one night with their lamps in their hands to meet a wedding party. Five of these young women were wise, and five were foolish. Those that were foolish took with them their lighted lamps, but had no more oil than that which was in the lamps; but each of the wise young women carried also a bottle of oil. It was night, and while they were waiting for the bridal party they all fell asleep. At midnight they were all awaked by the sudden cry, 'The bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him!'

"Then all the young women rose up, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish ones said, 'Let us have some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'

"But the other young women said, 'Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you too; go to those who sell, and buy oil for yourselves.'

"The young women who had no oil went away to buy; and while they were away the bridal party came, and those that were ready went in with them to the feast; and then the door was shut. And afterward the other young women came, knocking on the door, and calling out, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'

"But he said, 'I do not know you.'

"And he would not open the door. Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour when your Lord will come."


The coming of the bridegroom.

Jesus also gave to his disciples another parable or picture of what shall come to pass at the end of the world. He said:

"When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the angels of God shall come with him, then he shall sit on his glorious throne as King. And before him shall be brought together all the people of the world; and he shall divide them, and make them stand apart, just as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. And he shall put his sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. Then the King shall say to those on his right hand, 'Come, ye, whom my Father has blessed; come, and take the kingdom which God has made ready for you. For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me into your home; I was naked, and you gave me clothes; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.'

"Then all those on the right of the King will say:

" 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and feed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked and gave thee clothes? And when did we see thee sick, or in prison, and come to thee?'

"And the King shall answer, and shall say to them:

" 'Inasmuch as you did it to one of these my brothers, even the very least of them, you did it to me.'

"Then the King shall turn to those on his left hand, and shall say to them:

" 'Go away from me, ye cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been made ready for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you did not open your doors to me; I was naked, and you gave me no clothes; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.'

"Then shall they answer him:

" 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not help thee?'

"And the King shall say to them:

" 'Inasmuch as you did it not to one of these the least of my brothers, you did it not to me.'

"And the wicked shall go away to be punished forever; but the righteous unto everlasting life."

After these words, Jesus went with his disciples again to Bethany.


They took the unfaithful servant away.


The Rose and the Ring  by William Makepeace Thackeray

How Blackstick Was Not Asked to the Christening


W HEN the Princess Angelica was born, her parents not only did not ask the Fairy Blackstick to the christening party, but gave orders to their porter absolutely to refuse her if she called. This porter's name was Gruffanuff, and he had been selected for the post by their Royal Highnesses because he was a very tall, fierce man, who could say "Not at home" to a tradesman or an unwelcome visitor with a rudeness which frightened most such persons away. He was the husband of that Countess whose picture we have just seen, and as long as they were together they quarrelled from morning till night. Now this fellow tried his rudeness once too often, as you shall hear. For the Fairy Blackstick coming to call upon the Prince and Princess, who were actually sitting at the open drawing-room window, Gruffanuff not only denied them, but made the most odious vulgar sign  as he was going to slam the door in the Fairy's face! "Git away, hold Blackstick!" said he. "I tell you, Master and Missis aint at home to you"; and he was, as we have said, going  to slam the door.


But the Fairy, with her wand, prevented the door being shut; and Gruffanuff came out again in a fury, swearing in the most abominable way, and asking the Fairy, "whether she thought he was a-going to stay at that there door hall day?"

"You are going to stay at that door all day and all night, and for many a long year," the Fairy said, very majestically; and Gruffanuff, coming out of the door, straddling before it with his great calves, burst out laughing, and cried: "Ha, ha, ha! this is a good un! Ha—ah—what's this? Let me down—O—o—H'm!" and then he was dumb!

For, as the Fairy waved her wand over him, he felt himself rising off the ground, and fluttering up against the door, and then, as if a screw ran into his stomach, he felt a dreadful pain there, and was pinned to the door; and then his arms flew up over his head; and his legs, after writhing about wildly, twisted under his body; and he felt cold, cold, growing over him, as if he was turning into metal, and he said: "O—o—H'm!" and could say no more, because he was dumb.


He was  turned into metal! He was from being brazen, brass!  He was neither more nor less than a knocker! And there he was, nailed to the door in the blazing summer day, till he burned almost red-hot; and there he was, nailed to the door all the bitter winter nights, till his brass nose was dropping with icicles. And the postman came and rapped at him, and the vulgarest boy with a letter came and hit him up against the door. And the King and Queen (Princess and Prince they were then), coming home from a walk that evening, the King said: "Hullo, my dear! you have had a new knocker put on the door. Why, it's rather like our porter in the face! What has become of that boozy vagabond?" And the housemaid came and scrubbed his nose with sandpaper. And once, when the Princess Angelica's little sister was born, he was tied up in an old kid glove; and, another night, some larking  young men tried to wrench him off, and put him to the most excruciating agony with a turnscrew. And then the Queen had a fancy to have the color of the door altered; and the painters dabbed him over the mouth and eyes, and nearly choked him, as they painted him pea-green. I warrant he had leisure to repent of having been rude to the Fairy Blackstick!

As for his wife, she did not miss him; and as he was always guzzling beer at the public-house, and notoriously quarrelling with his wife, and in debt to the tradesmen, it was supposed he had run away from all these evils and emigrated to Australia or America. And when the Prince and Princess chose to become King and Queen, they left their old house, and nobody thought of the porter any more.


The Rose and the Ring  by William Makepeace Thackeray

How Princess Angelica Took a Little Maid


O NE day, when the Princess Angelica was quite a little girl, she was walking in the garden of the palace, with Mrs. Gruffanuff, the governess, holding a parasol over her head to keep her sweet complexion from the freckles, and Angelica was carrying a bun to feed the swans and ducks in the royal pond.


They had not reached the duck-pond, when there came toddling up to them such a funny little girl! She had a great quantity of hair blowing about her chubby little cheeks, and looked as if she had not been washed or combed for ever so long. She wore a ragged bit of a cloak, and had only one shoe on.

"You little wretch, who let you in here?" asked Gruffanuff.

"Dive me dat bun," said the little girl, "me vely hungy."

"Hungry! what is that?" asked Princess Angelica, and gave the child the bun.

"Oh, Princess!" says Gruffanuff, "how good, how kind, how truly angelical you are! See, your Majesties," she said to the King and Queen, who now came up, along with their nephew, Prince Giglio, "how kind the Princess is! She met this little dirty wretch in the garden—I can't tell how she came in here, or why the guards did not shoot her dead at the gate!—and the dear darling of a Princess has given her the whole of her bun!"

"I didn't want it," said Angelica.

"But you are a darling little angel all the same," says the governess.

"Yes; I know I am," said Angelica. "Dirty little girl, don't you think I am very pretty?" Indeed, she had on the finest of little dresses and hats, and, as her hair was carefully curled, she really looked very well.

"Oh, pooty, pooty!" says the little girl, capering about, laughing, and dancing, and munching her bun; and as she ate it she began to sing, "Oh what fun to have a plum bun! how I wis it never was done!" At which, and her funny accent, Angelica, Giglio, and the King and Queen began to laugh very merrily.

"I can dance as well as sing," says the little girl. "I can dance, and I can sing, and I can do all sorts of ting." And she ran to a flower-bed, and pulling a few polyanthuses, rhododendrons, and other flowers, made herself a little wreath, and danced before the King and Queen so drolly and prettily that everybody was delighted.

"Who was your mother—who were your relations, little girl?" said the Queen.


The little girl said: "Little lion was my brudder; great big lioness my mudder; neber heard of any udder." And she capered away on her one shoe, and everybody was exceedingly diverted.

So Angelica said to the Queen: "Mamma, my parrot flew away yesterday out of its cage, and I don't care any more for any of my toys, and I think this funny little dirty child will amuse me. I will take her home and give her some of my old frocks."

"Oh, the generous darling!" says Gruffanuff.

"Which I have worn ever so many times, and am quite tired of," Angelica went on; "and she shall be my little maid. Will you go home with me, little dirty girl?"

The child clapped her hands, and said: "Go home with you—yes! You pooty Princess!—Have a nice dinner and wear a new dress!"

And they all laughed again, and took home the child to the palace, where, when she was washed and combed, and had one of the Princess' frocks given to her, she looked as handsome as Angelica, almost. Not that Angelica ever thought so; for this little lady never imagined that anybody in the world could be as pretty, as good, or as clever as herself. In order that the little girl should not become too proud and conceited, Mrs. Gruffanuff took her old ragged mantle and one shoe, and put them into a glass box, with a card laid upon them, upon which was written: "These were the old clothes in which little BETSINDA was found when the great goodness and admirable kindness of her Royal Highness, the Princess Angelica, received this little outcast." And the date was added, and the box locked up.

For a while little Betsinda was a great favorite with the Princess, and she danced, and sang, and made her little rhymes, to amuse her mistress. But then the Princess got a monkey, and afterwards a little dog, and afterwards a doll, and did not care for Betsinda any more, who became very melancholy and quiet, and sang no more funny songs, because nobody cared to hear her. And then, as she grew older, she was made a little lady's-maid to the Princess; and though she had no wages, she worked and mended, and put Angelica's hair in papers, and was never cross when scolded, and was always eager to please her mistress, and was always up early and to bed late, and at hand when wanted, and in fact became a perfect little maid. So the two girls grew up, and when the Princess came out, Betsinda was never tired of waiting on her; and made her dresses better than the best milliner, and was useful in a hundred ways. Whilst the Princess was having her masters, Betsinda would sit and watch them; and in this way she picked up a great deal of learning; for she was always awake, though her mistress was not, and listened to the wise professors when Angelica was yawning, or thinking of the next ball. And when the dancing-master came, Betsinda learned along with Angelica; and when the music-master came, she watched him, and practised the Princess' pieces when Angelica was away at balls and parties; and when the drawing-master came, she took note of all he said and did; and the same with French, Italian, and all other languages—she learned them from the teacher who came to Angelica. When the Princess was going out of an evening she would say: "My good Betsinda, you may as well finish what I have begun."  "Yes, Miss," Betsinda would say, and sit down very cheerful, not to finish  what Angelica begun, but to do  it.

For instance, the Princess would begin a head of a warrior, let us say, and when it was begun it was something like this.


But when it was done, the warrior was like this (only handsomer still if possible), and the Princess put her name to the drawing; and the Court and King and Queen, and above all poor Giglio, admired the picture of all things, and said: "Was there ever a genius like Angelica?"


So, I am sorry to say, was it with the Princess' embroidery and other accomplishments; and Angelica actually believed that she did these things herself, and received all the flattery of the Court as if every word of it was true. Thus she began to think that there was no young woman in all the world equal to herself, and that there was no young man good enough for her. As for Betsinda, as she heard none of these praises, she was not puffed up by them, and being a most grateful, good-natured girl, she was only too anxious to do every thing which might give her mistress pleasure. Now you begin to perceive that Angelica had faults of her own, and was by no means such a wonder of wonders as people represented her Royal Highness to be.



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