Text of Plan #990
  WEEK 43  


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  by Mark Twain

Huck Saves the Widow

T HE first thing Tom heard on Friday morning was a glad piece of news—Judge Thatcher's family had come back to town the night before. Both Injun Joe and the treasure sank into secondary importance for a moment, and Becky took the chief place in the boy's interest. He saw her, and they had an exhausting good time playing "hi-spy" and "gully-keeper" with a crowd of their schoolmates. The day was completed and crowned in a peculiarly satisfactory way: Becky teased her mother to appoint the next day for the long-promised and long-delayed picnic, and she consented. The child's delight was boundless; and Tom's not more moderate. The invitations were sent out before sunset, and straightway the young folks of the village were thrown into a fever of preparation and pleasurable anticipation. Tom's excitement enabled him to keep awake until a pretty late hour, and he had good hopes of hearing Huck's "meow," and of having his treasure to astonish Becky and the picnickers with, next day; but he was disappointed. No signal came that night.

Morning came, eventually, and by ten or eleven o'clock a giddy and rollicking company were gathered at Judge Thatcher's, and everything was ready for a start. It was not the custom for elderly people to mar picnics with their presence. The children were considered safe enough under the wings of a few young ladies of eighteen and a few young gentlemen of twenty-three or thereabouts. The old steam-ferryboat was chartered for the occasion; presently the gay throng filed up the main street laden with provision-baskets. Sid was sick and had to miss the fun; Mary remained at home to entertain him. The last thing Mrs. Thatcher said to Becky was:

"You'll not get back till late. Perhaps you'd better stay all night with some of the girls that live near the ferry landing, child."

"Then I'll stay with Susy Harper, mamma."

"Very well. And mind and behave yourself and don't be any trouble."

Presently, as they tripped along, Tom said to Becky:

"Say—I'll tell you what we'll do. 'Stead of going to Joe Harper's we'll climb right up the hill and stop at the Widow Douglas's. She'll have ice-cream! She has it most every day—dead loads of it. And she'll be awful glad to have us."

"Oh, that will be fun!"

Then Becky reflected a moment and said:

"But what will mamma say?"

"How'll she ever know?"

The girl turned the idea over in her mind, and said reluctantly:

"I reckon it's wrong—but—"

"But shucks! Your mother won't know, and so what's the harm? All she wants is that you'll be safe; and I bet you she'd 'a' said go there if she'd 'a' thought of it. I know she would!"

The Widow Douglas's splendid hospitality was a tempting bait. It and Tom's persuasions presently carried the day. So it was decided to say nothing to anybody about the night's program. Presently it occurred to Tom that maybe Huck might come this very night and give the signal. The thought took a deal of the spirit out of his anticipations. Still he could not bear to give up the fun at Widow Douglas's. And why should he give it up, he reasoned—the signal did not come the night before, so why should it be any more likely to come to-night? The sure fun of the evening outweighed the uncertain treasure; and, boy like, he determined to yield to the stronger inclination and not allow himself to think of the box of money another time that day.

Three miles below town the ferryboat stopped at the mouth of a woody hollow and tied up. The crowd swarmed ashore and soon the forest distances and craggy heights echoed far and near with shoutings and laughter. All the different ways of getting hot and tired were gone through with, and by and by the rovers straggled back to camp fortified with responsible appetites, and then the destruction of the good things began. After the feast there was a refreshing season of rest and chat in the shade of spreading oaks. By and by somebody shouted:

"Who's ready for the cave?"

Everybody was. Bundles of candles were procured, and straightway there was a general scamper up the hill. The mouth of the cave was up the hillside—an opening shaped like a letter A. Its massive oaken door stood unbarred. Within was a small chamber, chilly as an icehouse, and walled by Nature with solid limestone that was dewy with a cold sweat. It was romantic and mysterious to stand here in the deep gloom and look out upon the green valley shining in the sun. But the impressiveness of the situation quickly wore off, and the romping began again. The moment a candle was lighted there was a general rush upon the owner of it; a struggle and a gallant defense followed, but the candle was soon knocked down or blown out, and then there was a glad clamor of laughter and a new chase. But all things have an end. By and by the procession went filing down the steep descent of the main avenue, the flickering rank of lights dimly revealing the lofty walls of rock almost to their point of junction sixty feet overhead. This main avenue was not more than eight or ten feet wide. Every few steps other lofty and still narrower crevices branched from it on either hand—for McDougal's cave was but a vast labyrinth of crooked aisles that ran into each other and out again and led nowhere. It was said that one might wander days and nights together through its intricate tangle of rifts and chasms, and never find the end of the cave; and that he might go down and down, and still down, into the earth, and it was just the same—labyrinth under labyrinth, and no end to any of them. No man "knew" the cave. That was an impossible thing. Most of the young men knew a portion of it, and it was not customary to venture much beyond this known portion. Tom Sawyer knew as much of the cave as any one.

The procession moved along the main avenue some three-quarters of a mile, and then groups and couples began to slip aside into branch avenues, fly along the dismal corridors, and take each other by surprise at points where the corridors joined again. Parties were able to elude each other for the space of half an hour without going beyond the "known" ground.

By and by, one group after another came straggling back to the mouth of the cave, panting, hilarious, smeared from head to foot with tallow drippings, daubed with clay, and entirely delighted with the success of the day. Then they were astonished to find that they had been taking no note of time and that night was about at hand. The clanging bell had been calling for half an hour. However, this sort of close to the day's adventures was romantic and therefore satisfactory. When the ferryboat with her wild freight pushed into the stream, nobody cared sixpence for the wasted time but the captain of the craft.

Huck was already upon his watch when the ferryboat's lights went glinting past the wharf. He heard no noise on board, for the young people were as subdued and still as people usually are who are nearly tired to death. He wondered what boat it was, and why she did not stop at the wharf—and then he dropped her out of his mind and put his attention upon his business. The night was growing cloudy and dark. Ten o'clock came, and the noise of vehicles ceased, scattered lights began to wink out, all straggling foot-passengers disappeared, the village betook itself to its slumbers and left the small watcher alone with the silence and the ghosts. Eleven o'clock came, and the tavern lights were put out; darkness everywhere, now. Huck waited what seemed a weary long time, but nothing happened. His faith was weakening. Was there any use? Was there really any use? Why not give it up and turn in?

A noise fell upon his ear. He was all attention in an instant. The alley door closed softly. He sprang to the corner of the brick store. The next moment two men brushed by him, and one seemed to have something under his arm. It must be that box! So they were going to remove the treasure. Why call Tom now? It would be absurd—the men would get away with the box and never be found again. No, he would stick to their wake and follow them; he would trust to the darkness for security from discovery. So communing with himself, Huck stepped out and glided along behind the men, catlike, with bare feet, allowing them to keep just far enough ahead not to be invisible.

They moved up the river street three blocks, then turned to the left up a cross-street. They went straight ahead, then, until they came to the path that led up Cardiff Hill; this they took. They passed by the old Welshman's house, half-way up the hill, without hesitating, and still climbed upward. Good, thought Huck; they will bury it in the old quarry. But they never stopped at the quarry. They passed on, up the summit. They plunged into the narrow path between the tall sumach bushes, and were at once hidden in the gloom. Huck closed up and shortened his distance, now, for they would never be able to see him. He trotted along awhile; then slackened his pace, fearing he was gaining too fast; moved on a piece, then stopped altogether; listened; no sound; none, save that he seemed to hear the beating of his own heart. The hooting of an owl came from over the hill—ominous sound! But no footsteps. Heavens, was everything lost! He was about to spring with winged feet, when a man cleared his throat not four feet from him! Huck's heart shot into his throat, but he swallowed it again; and then he stood there shaking as if a dozen agues had taken charge of him at once, and so weak that he thought he must surely fall to the ground. He knew where he was. He knew he was within five steps of the stile leading into Widow Douglas's grounds. Very well, he thought, let them bury it there; it won't be hard to find.

Now there was a voice—a very low voice—Injun Joe's:

"Damn her, maybe she's got company—there's lights, late as it is."

"I can't see any."

This was that stranger's voice—the stranger of the haunted house. A deadly chill went to Huck's heart—this, then, was the "revenge" job! His thought was, to fly. Then he remembered that the Widow Douglas had been kind to him more than once, and maybe these men were going to murder her. He wished he dared venture to warn her; but he knew he didn't dare—they might come and catch him. He thought all this and more in the moment that elapsed between the stranger's remark and Injun Joe's next—which was—

"Because the bush is in your way. Now—this way—now you see, don't you?"

"Yes. Well, there is  company there, I reckon. Better give it up."

"Give it up, and I just leaving this country forever! Give it up and maybe never have another chance. I tell you again, as I've told you before, I don't care for her swag—you may have it. But her husband was rough on me—many times he was rough on me—and mainly he was the justice of the peace that jugged me for a vagrant. And that ain't all. It ain't a millionth part of it! He had me horsewhipped!—horsewhipped in front of the jail, like a nigger!—with all the town looking on! HORSEWHIPPED!"—do you understand? He took advantage of me and died. But I'll take it out of her."

"Oh, don't kill her! Don't do that!"

"Kill? Who said anything about killing? I would kill him  if he was here; but not her. When you want to get revenge on a woman you don't kill her—bosh! you go for her looks. You slit her nostrils—you notch her ears like a sow!"

"By God, that's—"

"Keep your opinion to yourself! It will be safest for you. I'll tie her to the bed. If she bleeds to death, is that my fault? I'll not cry, if she does. My friend, you'll help me in this thing—for my  sake—that's why you're here—I mightn't be able alone. If you flinch, I'll kill you. Do you understand that? And if I have to kill you, I'll kill her—and then I reckon nobody'll ever know much about who done this business."

"Well, if it's got to be done, let's get at it. The quicker the better—I'm all in a shiver."

"Do it now?  And company there? Look here—I'll get suspicious of you, first thing you know. No—we'll wait till the lights are out—there's no hurry."

Huck felt that a silence was going to ensue—a thing still more awful than any amount of murderous talk; so he held his breath and stepped gingerly back; planted his foot carefully and firmly, after balancing, one-legged, in a precarious way and almost toppling over, first on one side and then on the other. He took another step back, with the same elaboration and the same risks; then another and another, and—a twig snapped under his foot! His breath stopped and he listened. There was no sound—the stillness was perfect. His gratitude was measureless. Now he turned in his tracks, between the walls of sumach bushes—turned himself as carefully as if he were a ship—and then stepped quickly but cautiously along. When he emerged at the quarry he felt secure, and so he picked up his nimble heels and flew. Down, down he sped, till he reached the Welshman's. He banged at the door, and presently the heads of the old man and his two stalwart sons were thrust from windows.

"What's the row there? Who's banging? What do you want?"

"Let me in—quick! I'll tell everything."

"Why, who are you?"

"Huckleberry Finn—quick, let me in!"

"Huckleberry Finn, indeed! It ain't a name to open many doors, I judge! But let him in, lads, and let's see what's the trouble."

"Please don't ever tell I  told you," were Huck's first words when he got in. "Please don't—I'd be killed, sure—but the widow's been good friends to me sometimes, and I want to tell—I will  tell if you'll promise you won't ever say it was me."

"By George, he has  got something to tell, or he wouldn't act so!" exclaimed the old man; "out with it and nobody here'll ever tell, lad."

Three minutes later the old man and his sons, well armed, were up the hill, and just entering the sumach path on tiptoe, their weapons in their hands. Huck accompanied them no farther. He hid behind a great boulder and fell to listening. There was a lagging, anxious silence, and then all of a sudden there was an explosion of firearms and a cry.

Huck waited for no particulars. He sprang away and sped down the hill as fast as his legs could carry him.


God's Troubadour, The Story of St. Francis of Assisi  by Sophie Jewett

The New Road

Francis and his fellow-soldiers were to spend the first night in Spoleto, a city about twenty miles south of Assisi, on the way to Rome. The road ran along at the foot of the mountain, sometimes through forests of oak and beech and walnut trees, sometimes between olive orchards and vineyards. Presently it struck across the plain to Foligno, a busy town lying flat in the valley.

In the square of Foligno, Francis had often stood with his father, selling goods at the fairs. To-day he held his head high as he rode through the familiar market-place. He thought: "I shall come back a famous soldier, and I will never, never sell things at the fair again." He blushed with pride when some one in the street pointed him out to a companion, saying: "That young man, who is dressed and mounted like a lord, is the son of Messer Piero Bernardone, the merchant."

At Foligno the company halted to eat and drink, and to rest through the hottest hours of the day. When they were in the saddle again, and had left the city gates behind them, Francis no longer rode superbly, with his chin in the air. Instead, he went silently, with drooping head, and let his horse lag behind the others along the level stretch of road. He could not himself have told what was the matter; nothing had happened; the woods were as green and the sunshine as bright as in the morning, but he who had been so proud and gay a few hours earlier felt strangely weary and sick at heart. He lingered to let his horse drink from the clear, little river, Clitumnus, that comes dancing down from the mountain and glitters across the plain, but not even the song of the water made him merry. His comrades noticed his silence, but they were all too deeply interested in their own plans and hopes to think of anything else. In the late afternoon they entered the glorious oak forest that filled the ravine where Spoleto lies at the end of the Umbrian valley. Beyond, their way would be through a narrow mountain pass where, over and over again, armies had fought fiercely to hold the road to Rome. Deep in the cool woods, the birds were singing, and, for the first time in his life, it seemed to Francis that they sang not joyfully, but sadly.

Perhaps he had not grown strong after his long illness, and so could not bear the fatigue of the hard saddle ride. Whatever the reason may have been, it is certain that, when the party reached Spoleto, Francis took to his bed with fever, and that his companions rode on, next day, without him.

And Francis had no wish to follow them. As once before, but this time more powerfully and surely, there had come upon him a great horror of a soldier's life. As he lay burning with fever and sleepless with pain, all his dreams of glory faded. Instead of knights, with shining armour and bright banners, he seemed to see women weeping, little children begging for bread, beautiful cities ruined and desolate.

We do not know how he made his way home. It was a strange and sorry journey, and, at the end of it, he met with ridicule from those who had seen him ride away so bravely to seek his fortune as a soldier. But if his thoughtless friends mocked him, and his father and brother reproached him, his mother was glad to welcome and to care for him. Perhaps she, alone, understood the change in him.

The first days after his return were the most sorrowful that Francis had ever known. Though he was sure that he had decided rightly, it pained him sorely to know that his friends thought him weak, or, perhaps, even cowardly. Besides being hurt, he was puzzled, not knowing what he ought to do next. A week ago his path had lain clear before him, like the white road in the valley; now it had lost itself in a tangled forest. We do not know how long his trouble lasted, nor what he was doing in these dreary weeks; but we know that, by and by, he began to see plainly again, and all his doubts, and puzzles vanished. It was as if he had found his way through the forest and saw the path that he must take, a narrow path and rough, a lonely path, but straight to follow. He did not know that in a few years hundreds of fellow-travellers were to come and ask that they might walk with him along that narrow way; that instead of being, as he had dreamed he might, Francis Bernardone, the most famous knight in Italy, he should become Brother Francis, the man whom all men loved. All that Francis knew was that, in the place of his old love for a soldier's life and his old desire to become a great prince, had come a new love and a new desire: a love for all the ragged and hungry and sick and sorrowful folk in the world, and a desire to feed, and clothe, and heal and comfort them all. This new feeling was very different from his former pity for the poor. He had always been pitiful and generous, glad to give gifts like a patron; now he was like a lover, with a love that seemed to him big enough to include everybody in Assisi, everybody in the wide world. And Francis was happy again. His friends who had seen him, after he came back from Spoleto, pale and sick, restless and disappointed, saw his face brighten, and heard him singing as of old. "Francis Bernardone is like himself once more," they thought. But when they found that he no longer cared for their suppers and their games, they said: "How stupid he is!" and they left him to go his own way.


God's Troubadour, The Story of St. Francis of Assisi  by Sophie Jewett

"The Other Life Is as My Life"

"Who gives himself with his alms, feeds three,

Himself, his hungering neighbour, and Me."—Lowell.

About this time, Francis made a journey to Rome. Perhaps his mother hoped that a change would bring back his strength; perhaps Piero hoped that, seeing many people and hearing news of the war, his son might again be fired with soldierly ambition. Francis himself longed to see the city where so many saints and martyrs had lived and died, and where, he thought, he should find wise and holy men to tell how he might carry out his wish to help and heal all the misery in the world.

It was strange to him to travel again over the road to Spoleto, yet he was far happier in spirit than on that earlier journey. South of Spoleto, the way was new to him, though he came to know every foot of it, a few years later.

In the thirteenth century, as in the twentieth, all travellers to Rome were eager to visit the Church of St. Peter, but, in the thirteenth century, the church itself was not the one whose vast dome we see to-day. It was an older church that Francis Bernardone sought out, but it stood on the same spot, and it must have been exceedingly beautiful. To Francis it seemed the most sacred place in the world, as he walked up the great nave, between the long rows of columns, and as he knelt to pray before the altar. But when he stood again in the church porch, he noticed the crowd of wretched, dirty human beings who clamoured for alms, pulling at the garments and crying in the ears of all who entered the door. As he looked at them and listened to them his eyes filled with tears, and all the sunshine seemed to fade out of the bright Roman sky. "What does it mean?" he asked himself. "Here, in Rome, where there are so many men rich, and wise, and holy, is there no one to take care of all these miserable creatures?" In the shade of a column, a little apart from the others, a beggar was crouching who neither cried to the passers-by, nor clutched at their cloaks. He only stretched out a thin hand, and looked wistfully up into their faces. Francis stood long watching this man. No one gave to him, no one seemed even to see him. The beggar's face looked weary and hopeless, and from time to time the thin hand dropped to his knee. Still Francis watched. He forgot all about the crowds of people. He forgot everything. He was wondering what it must be like to sit from morning till night, ragged and weary, begging for one's daily bread. Suddenly, acting as he always did on the moment's impulse, Francis spoke to the silent beggar and led him away to a deserted corner at the further end of the portico. He gave the man a piece of money and, with no explanation, proposed to exchange clothes with him. The beggar stood stupefied as Francis began to pull off his own rich cloak. It may be that he thought the boy a criminal trying to disguise himself; it may be that he thought him mad. Whatever he thought, he was glad enough to trade his tattered beggar's dress for clothing such as he had sometimes fingered, wonderingly, but had never even hoped to wear. What became of the man we do not know, but Francis, wrapped in a tattered, dirty cloak, went back, to sit all day long, begging at the door of St. Peter's church.

Perhaps it was a foolish thing to do, but, at any rate, the hunger and weariness of that strange day made Francis understand better than ever before the suffering of the poor, and because he understood, he was the better able to help.

After this one day of a beggar's life, Francis was sure that no service in the world could be too low for him to do gladly, and no human being too revolting for him to touch. The most hideous cripple by the roadside seemed to him friend and brother, and his only grief was that he could not make them all understand his love and sympathy.

This joy and confidence lasted all through his journey home. Spoleto was not gloomy this time, and the birds in its oak woods sang to him merrily. As he came up the familiar Umbrian valley, until he met the little river Tescio on its bright, zigzag way, Monte Subasio stood above Assisi rose-red in the sunset, and the walls of the city shone like transparent glass, looking to the eyes of Francis like the walls of the New Jerusalem.

In the weeks that followed, it seemed to Francis that simply loving his fellow-men made all life joyous and easy; but one day he discovered that there were still battles to fight.

He was riding across the valley toward Assisi, and neared a little hospital for lepers, where he had often stopped with gifts of money. His heart was full of sorrow for these sufferers from the most terrible of all diseases, and he thought: "I will go in, to-day, and leave something for them." Outside the gate of the hospital, crouched against the wall in the sunshine, one of the lepers sat to ask alms of passing travellers. The poor man was covered with sores, and revolting to look upon. At sight of him, Francis felt a sickening sense of disgust and horror. He drew his purse hastily from his belt and, tossing it to the leper, rode on as fast as his horse could carry him, trying to forget the face that had been raised to his. Suddenly, like an arrow, the thought struck him: "That man, also, is my brother, and I have despised him!" The rider dropped his rein, and the horse went slowly along the rough road between the olive orchards. Francis was both ashamed and disappointed. He said to himself: "My purse was an insult, for I gave it without love, and with more scorn than pity."

The spring sun was high and hot; the sky was cloudless; not a shadow lay on the vast, bare height of Monte Subasio. At a fountain beside the road some women were washing. They sang as they worked and, at the end of the long fountain basin, a group of children shouted with laughter, dipping their little hands into the cold water, and splashing one another merrily. All the world seemed happy in the sunshine, and, by contrast, the misery of the poor leper seemed the greater. At the sound of hoofs, the songs and laughter ceased and all turned to look at the new-comer; but, to the surprise of everyone, the horseman wheeled swiftly about, and clattered back in the direction from which he had come. "Who is he?" one woman asked of another. "Only that young Bernardone, the merchant's son," was the answer; "people say that he has gone mad." Then an old, bent woman spoke: "Mad or not, he has a kind heart. It was his gold that kept my poor Giovanni alive last winter. I wish that more of the rich folk were mad like him."

Francis heard nothing. He rode fast across the valley toward the little hospital. He had not been gone ten minutes, and the leper, scarcely recovered from his surprise at the generous gift he had received, was creeping to the gate with his treasure. He moved slowly, as if in pain. Francis sprang from his horse, and, kneeling in the dusty road, he lifted the leper's hand to his lips and kissed it, as he had been taught to kiss the hand of a bishop or a prince. It is likely that the leper was as greatly puzzled as the beggar in the porch of St. Peter's had been, but Francis Bernardone was not mad. Instead, he had learned, through his own failure and shame, a lesson that some men never learn; for, "though I give all my gifts to feed the poor, and have not love, it is nothing." From that spring morning, at the gate of the leper hospital, until the day of his death, Francis of Assisi never met the man who was too filthy, or too loathsome, or even too wicked, for him to love.


  WEEK 43  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

George III—The Story of How America Was Lost

G EORGE II. died in October 1759 A.D., and was succeeded by his grandson George III., whose father, the Prince of Wales, had died some years before.

George III. had been born in England, and seemed more of an Englishman than either George I. or George II. For that reason, and because he was young and handsome, the people were glad when he came to the throne. But he proved himself to be an unwise King, and it was during his reign that Britain suffered a great loss—the loss of all the American colonies except Canada.

The wars which Britain had been fighting all over the world had cost a great deal of money. When Pitt saw a thing needed to be done he did not stop to ask how much it would cost—he did it, and afterwards the country had to find ways and means of paying. War always costs a great deal, and the country had been fighting so much that it was now deeply in debt. The King's ministers, therefore, had to find some new way of raising money. It seemed to them that, as the war in America had been for the benefit of the colonies, the colonists ought to pay some of the cost. This being so, King George decided to tax the Americans.

You know what a tax means. If a certain thing costs one shilling a pound, and the Government said, "We will put a tax of twopence a pound on this thing," then it would cost one shilling and twopence, and the extra twopence would go to Government to help to pay the expenses of the country. For it requires money to keep up a country just as much as to keep up a house.

You also know that the King could not make the people pay taxes without the consent of Parliament. That was a right for which the people and Parliament had fought over and over again, and which they had won at last. And if Parliament consented to a tax, it was really the people who consented, as the members of Parliament were chosen by the people.

Now the people of America sent no members to the British Parliament. When King George tried to make them pay taxes, they at once said, "No, that is not just. It is against the laws of Britain. If we are to pay taxes we must be allowed to send members to Parliament as England and Scotland do. If we are to pay taxes we must have a share in making the laws and saying how the money is to be spent."

This was quite reasonable, but King George was not reasonable. He said, "No."

The Americans were very angry at this, and they made up their minds to do without the things which the King wanted to tax. This was very hard for them, especially as one of the things taxed was tea. You can imagine how difficult it would be to do without tea.

While these things were happening, the great Pitt had been ill. When he was well again, and heard what George III. and his foolish ministers had been doing, he was very angry. He said the Americans were quite right, and he talked so fiercely that all the taxes were taken off again, except the one on tea. George insisted on keeping that on. He was very angry with both Pitt and the Americans. He called them rebels, and Pitt the "trumpet of rebellion."

But the Americans would not yield even to one tax. There were meetings all over the States and the young men banded together under the name of "The Sons of Liberty." They swore to do anything rather than use taxed tea.

At last ships arrived in Boston harbour laden with tea. The Americans knew that if once that tea got ashore it would be very difficult to keep the people from buying it. They determined that it should not be landed.

While some of the wise people were talking and advising each other as to what should be done, about twenty young men dressed themselves as Red Indians. They painted their faces brown, stuck feathers in their hair, and put on clothes such as Red Indians wore.

Red Indians are the natives of America and, although they have nearly died out now, in those days it was quite common to see them even in the towns.

With wild war-whoops these make-believe Red Indians ran to the harbour. They sprang on board the tea ships, they seized the chests, opened them with their hatchets, and poured the tea into the water. Chest after chest, chest after chest was burst open, and the tea poured over the ship's side, till three hundred and forty-two chests had been emptied, and the harbour was black with tea leaves.

Many an honest merchant looked sadly on, many a thrifty housewife sighed to see the waste, but no one stopped the work. It was the greatest tea-making that had ever been seen, and for long after it was called the "Boston Tea-Party."

When King George heard about this tea-party he was very angry. To punish the people of Boston he forbade any ships to go there at all, so that the trade of the town was ruined, and the people became quite poor. He sent soldiers to frighten them into obedience, and did many other things in order to punish the rebels.

But the Americans would not bear such treatment, and they talked of war. King George seemed to be quite pleased at the idea of fighting the Americans. "We will soon bring them to their senses," he said; "they will only behave like lions as long as we behave like lambs. I will show them that I mean to be firm, and they will soon be meek enough." But the Americans were not meek at all. They made ready to fight.

Soon twenty thousand colonists were in arms, and George Washington, a young soldier, who had already shown his bravery and skill in fighting against the French, was their leader. The war began in the year 1775 A.D., and it was quite as dreadful as a civil war. The colonists looked upon Britain as their mother-country, they talked of it as "home," and now for want of a little kindly feeling and understanding between them, mother and children were fighting bitterly.

As time went on, the Americans became more and more determined not to give in. On the 4th of July 1776 A.D., they very solemnly made their Declaration of Independence. "We, the representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, solemnly publish and declare that these United States are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States." This means that the Americans felt that they were doing right and not wrong in fighting against the mother-country. They felt that they ought to be free, and they declared that they were free and independent. Independent means standing alone.

While the war was being carried on in the States, at home Pitt, the great war minister, who was now called Lord Chatham, was struggling for peace. He had worked very hard to make Britain great, and to make the colonies great. Now, he saw that all his work was to be ruined by civil war, and he tried to stop it. "You cannot conquer America," he said. "They are of our own blood. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, I would never lay down my arms—never, never, never."

But the King and his friends would not listen to Pitt, and the war went on. Then a worse thing happened. France joined America against Britain. Britain, by driving the French out of America, had given the Americans peace. Now, Britain's old enemy had joined with her own people against her. That was the worst blow of all. It frightened the Parliament, and some members wanted to acknowledge the freedom of America.

Old and ill although he was when Pitt heard of it, he rose from his bed, and once more went to speak in the House. His voice was weak and feeble as he spoke. "I am glad," he said, "that I am still alive and able to lift up my voice against breaking up the empire."

Pitt had wanted to give the Americans what they asked for, but now he wanted to fight with France. France, he felt, had no right in the quarrel. He would not yield to French threats what had been refused to America alone.

But Pitt was old and feeble, the excitement of speaking was too much for the great statesman. He fell senseless to the ground, and was carried home to die.

Then not only France but Spain joined with America, and at last the bitter end came. Britain was obliged to give way, and, in 1782 A.D., after a war which had lasted nearly eight years, the United States were acknowledged to be a free and independent country, and Britain lost all her possessions in North America except Canada.


The Fall of the Year  by Dallas Lore Sharp

Whipped by Eagles

dropcap image S you head into Maurice River Cove from Delaware Bay by boat, the great eagle's nest of Garren's Neck Swamp soon looms into view. It is a famous nest, and an ancient nest; for it has a place in the chart of every boat that sails up the river, and has had for I don't know how many years. From the river side of the long swamp the nest is in sight the year round, but from the land side, and from the house where we lived, the nest could be seen only after the leaves of the swamp had fallen. Then all winter long we could see it towering over the swamp; and often, in the distance, we could see the eagles coming and going or soaring in mighty circles high up in the air above it.

That nest had a strange attraction for me. It was the home of eagles, the monarchs of this wide land of swamp and marsh and river.

Between me and the great nest lay a gloomy gum swamp, wet and wild, untouched by the axe and untraveled, except in winter by the coon-hunters. The swamp began just across the road that ran in front of the house; and often at night I would hear the scream of a wild cat in the dark hollows; and once I heard the pat, pat  of its feet as it went leaping along the road.

Then beyond the swamp and the nest stretched a vast wild marsh-land, where the reeds grew, and the tides came in, and the mud-hens lived. And beyond that flowed the river, and beyond the river lay another marsh, and beyond the marsh another swamp. And over all this vast wild world towered the nest of the eagles, like some ancient castle; and over it all—swamp and marsh and river—ruled the eagles, as bold and free as the mighty barons of old.

Is it any wonder that I often found myself gazing away at that nest on the horizon and longing for wings?—for wings with which to soar above the swamp and the bay and the marsh and the river, to circle about and about that lofty eyrie, as wild as the eagles and as free? Is it any wonder that I determined some day to stand up in that nest, wings or no wings, while the eagles should scream about me, and away below me should stretch river and marsh and swamp?

To stand up in that nest, to yell and wave my arms with the eagles wheeling and screaming over me, became the very peak of my boy ambitions.

And I did it. I actually had the eggs of those eagles in my hands. I got into the nest; but I am glad even now that I got out of the nest and reached the ground.

It must have been in the spring of my fourteenth year when, at last, I found myself beneath the eagle tree. It was a stark old white oak, almost limbless, and standing out alone on the marsh some distance from the swamp. The eagle's nest capped its very top.

The nest, I knew, must be big; but not until I had climbed up close under it did I realize that it was the size of a small haystack. There was certainly half a cord of wood in it. I think that it must originally have been built by fish hawks.

Holding to the forking top upon which the nest was placed, I reached out, but could not touch the edge from any side.

I had come determined to get up into it, however, at any hazard; and so I set to work. I never thought of how I was to get down; nor had I dreamed, either, of fearing the eagles. A bald eagle is a bully. I would as soon have thought of fearing our hissing old gander at home.

As I could not get out to the edge of the nest and scale the walls, the only possible way up, apparently, was through the nest. The sticks here in the bottom were old and quite rotten. Digging was easy, and I soon had a good beginning.

The structure was somewhat cone-shaped, the smaller end down. It had grown in circumference as it grew in years and in height, probably because at the bottom the building materials had decayed and gradually fallen away, until now there was a decided outward slant from bottom to top. It had grown lopsided, too, there being a big bulge on one side of the nest near the middle.

The smallness of the bottom at first helped me; there was less of the stuff to be pulled out. I easily broke away the dead timbers and pushed aside the tougher sticks. I intended to cut a channel clear to the top and go up through the nest. Already my head and shoulders were well into it.

Now the work became more difficult. The sticks were newer, some of them being of seasoned oak and hickory, which the birds had taken from cord-wood piles.

I had cut my channel up the side of the nest nearly halfway when I came to a forked branch that I could neither break off nor push aside. I soon found that it was not loose, but that it belonged to the oak tree itself. It ran out through the nest horizontally, extending a little more than a foot beyond the rough walls.

Backing down, I saw that this fork was the support of the bulge that had given the nest its lopsided appearance. A few large timbers had been rested across it, small loose pieces had gradually lodged upon these, and thus in time brought about the big bulge.

I pushed off this loose stuff and the few heavy timbers and found that the fork would bear my weight. It now projected a little way from the walls of the nest. I got a firm hold on the forks out at their ends, swung clear, and drew myself up between them. After a lively scramble, I got carefully to my feet, and, clutching the sticks protruding from the side, stood up, with my eyes almost on a level with the rim of the great nest. This was better than cutting a channel, certainly—at least for the ascent, and I was not then thinking of the descent.

I looked over the protruding sticks of the rim. I caught a glimpse of large dull white eggs!

Eggs of shining gold could not have so fascinated me. There were thousands of persons who could have gold eggs if they cared. But eagles' eggs! Money could not buy such a sight as this.

I was more than ever eager now to get into the nest. Working my fingers among the sticks of the rim for a firm grip, I stuck my toes into the rough wall and began to climb. At some considerable hazard and at the cost of many rents in my clothing, I wriggled up over the edge and into the hollow of the nest where the coveted eggs lay.

The eagles were wheeling and screaming overhead. The weird cac, cac, cac  of the male came down from far above me; while the female, circling closer, would swoop and shrill her menacing, maniacal half-laugh almost in my ears.

Their wild cries thrilled me, and their mighty wings, wheeling so close around me, seemed to catch me in their majestic sweep and almost to carry me in swift, swinging circles through the empty air. An ecstasy of excitement overcame me. I felt no body, no weight of anything. I lost my head completely, and, seizing the eggs, rose to my feet and stood upright in the nest.

The eagles swept nearer. I could feel the wind from their wings. I could see the rolling of their gleaming eyes, and the glint of the sun on their snow-white necks. And as they dipped and turned and careened over me, I came perilously near trying to fly myself.

What a scene lay under me and rolled wide and free to the very edge of the world! The level marsh, the blue, hazy bay, the far-off, unblurred horizon beyond the bending hill of the sea! The wild, free wind from the bay blew in upon my face, the old tree trembled and rocked beneath me, the screaming eagles wove a mazy spell of double circles about me, till I screamed back at them in wild delight.

The sound of my voice seemed to infuriate the birds. The male turned suddenly in his round and swooped directly at me. The movement was instantly understood by his mate, who, thus emboldened, cut under him and hurled herself downward, passing with a vicious grab at my face. I dodged, or she would have hit me.

For the moment I had forgotten where I stood; and, in dodging the eagle, I almost stepped over the edge of the nest. I caught my balance and dropped quickly to my knees, completely unnerved.

Fear like a panic took instant hold on me. Only one desire possessed me—to get down. I crept to the edge and looked over. The sight made me dizzy. Sixty feet of almost empty air! Far down, a few small limbs intervened between me and the ground. But there was nothing by which to descend.

I was dismayed; and my expression, my posture—something, betrayed my confusion to the eagles. They immediately lost all dread of me. While I was looking over, one of them struck me a stinging blow on the head, knocking my cap off into the air.


One of the eagles struck me a stinging blow on the head.

That started me. I must climb down or be knocked over. If only I had continued with my channel to the top! If only that forked branch by which I ascended were within reach! But how could I back over the flaring rim to my whole length and swing my body under against the inward-slanting nest until my feet could touch the fork? But if I ever got down, that was what I must do; for the eagles gave me no chance to cut a channel now.

Laying the eggs back for the time in the hollow, I began tearing away the rim of the nest in order to clear a place over which to back down.

I was momentarily in danger of being hurled off by the birds; for I could not watch them and work, too. And they were growing bolder with every dash. One of them, driving fearfully from behind, flattened me out on the nest. Had the blow been delivered from the front, I should have been knocked headlong to the ground.

I was afraid to delay longer. A good-sized breach was opened in the rim of the nest by this time. And now, if the sticks would not pull out, I might let myself over and reach the fork. Once my feet touched that, I could manage the rest, I knew.

Digging my hands deep into the nest for a firm hold, I began cautiously to back over the rough, stubby rim, reaching with my feet toward the fork.

The eagles seemed to appreciate the opportunity my awkward position offered them. I could not have arranged myself more conveniently to their minds, I am sure. And they made the most of it. I can laugh now; but the memory of it can still make me shiver, too.

I had wriggled over just so that I could bend my body at the waist and bring my legs against the nest when a sharp stub caught in my clothes and held me. I could get neither up nor down. My handhold was of the most precarious kind, and I dared not let go for a moment to get off the snag.

I tried to back out and push off from it, but it seemed to come out with me. It must be broken; and pulling myself up, I dropped with all the force I could put into my body. That loosened, but did not break it. Suddenly, while I was resting between the efforts, the thing gave way.

I was wholly unprepared. All my weight was instantly thrown upon my hands. The jagged sticks cut into my wrists, my grip was pried off, and I fell.

Once, twice, the stubs in the wall of the nest caught and partly stopped me, then broke. I clutched frantically at them, but could not hold. Then, almost before I realized that I was falling, I hung suspended between two limbs—the forks of the white oak branch in the side of the nest.

I had been directly above it when the stub broke, and had fallen through it; and the two branches had caught me right under both of my arms.

For a second I was too dazed to think. Then a swish of wings, a hard blow on the neck, and a shooting pain made my position clear. I was not down yet nor out of danger. The angry birds still had me in reach.

Hanging with one arm, I twisted round until the other arm was free, then seized the branches and swung under, but not before the eagles had given me another raking dab.

Here beneath the branches, close up to the bottom of the nest, I was quite out of the reach of the birds; and through the channel I had cut in my ascent, I climbed quickly down into the tree.

It was now a mere matter of sliding to the ground. But I was so battered and faint that I nearly tumbled. I was a sorry-looking boy—my clothing torn, my hands bleeding, my head and neck clawed in a dozen places.

But what did I do with the eagles' eggs? Why, I allowed the old eagles to hatch them. What else could I do? or what better?


Hannah Flagg Gould

Jack Frost

The Frost looked forth, one still, clear night,

And whispered, "Now I shall be out of sight;

So through the valley and over the height,

In silence I'll take my way:

I will not go on with that blustering train,

The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain,

That make so much bustle and noise in vain,

But I'll be as busy as they."

So he flew to the mountain and powdered its crest;

He lit on the trees, and their boughs he dressed

With diamonds and pearls; and over the breast

Of the quivering lake he spread

A coat of mail, that it need not fear

The glittering point of many a spear

That hung on its margin, far and near,

Where a rock could rear its head.

He went to the window of those who slept,

And over each pane, like a fairy, crept;

Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,

By the morning light were seen

Most beautiful things!—there were flowers and trees;

There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees;

There were cities, and temples, and towers, and these

All pictured in silvery sheen!

But he did one thing that was hardly fair;

He peeped in the cupboard, and finding there

That all had forgotten for him to prepare—

"Now just to set them a-thinking,

I'll bite this basket of fruit," said he,

"This costly pitcher I'll burst in three,

And the glass of water they've left for me

Shall 'tchick!'  to tell them I'm drinking."


  WEEK 43  


The Story Book of Science  by Jean Henri Fabre

The Experiment with the Bottle of Cold Water

U NCLE PAUL had rightly said, the evening before, that clouds are nothing but fog floating high in the air instead of spreading over the earth; but he had not said what fogs are composed of and how formed. So the next day he continued his talk of clouds.

"When Mother Ambroisine hangs the clothes she has just washed on the line, what does she do it for? To dry the linen, to free it from the water with which it is saturated. Well, what becomes of this water, if you please?"

"It disappears, I know," answered Jules, "but I should find it very hard to tell what becomes of it."

"This water is dissipated in the air, where it dissolves and becomes as invisible as the air itself. When you wet a heap of dry sand, the water permeates it throughout and disappears. It is true that the sand then takes a different appearance: it was dry before, it is wet afterward. The sand drinks the water that comes into contact with it. Air does the same: it drinks the moisture from the linen and becomes damp itself; and it drinks it so completely that all—air and water—remain as invisible as if the air held no foreign substance. Vapor is the name given to water thus made invisible, or in some sort aërial, that is to say resembling the air; and the reduction of water to this new state is called evaporation. The moisture of the linen we wish to dry evaporates; the water is dissipated in the air and thus becomes invisible vapor, which spreads in every direction at the will of the wind. The warmer it is, the quicker and more abundant the evaporation. Have you not noticed that a wet handkerchief dries very quickly in a hot sun, and loses its moisture only very slowly if the weather is cloudy and cold?"

"Mother Ambroisine is always very glad when she has a fine day for her washing," Claire remarked.

"Remember, too, what happens after watering the garden. When, at close of a very warm day, we have to give a drink to those poor plants dying of thirst, something like this happens: The pump runs at its utmost capacity; you all make haste with your watering-pots; one goes here, another there, carrying water to the suffering plants, seed-plots, and potted flowers. Soon the garden has drunk copiously. How fresh it is then, how the plants, wilted by the heat, regain vigor and straighten up again, as happy as ever! You could almost think you heard them whispering to one another and telling how glad they were to be watered. If it could only stay that way! But, bah! the next day the earth is dry once more and all has to be done over again. What has become of the last evening's water? It has evaporated, dissolved into the air; and now it is perhaps traveling far away, at a great height, until, turned into a scrap of cloud, it falls again in rain. When Jules tires himself working the pump to water the flowers, has he ever thought that the water drawn from the well and spread over the ground sooner or later is dissipated in the immensities of the air to play its modest part in the formation of clouds?"

"In watering my garden," answered Jules, "I did not think I was watering the air more than anything else. But I see now: air is the great drinker. Of the contents of a watering-pot the plants take perhaps a handful; the air drinks up the rest. And that is why we have to do it all over again every day."

"And if you exposed a plateful of water to the sun what would finally become of it?"

"I will answer that," Emile hastened to reply. "Little by little, the water would turn into invisible vapor and there would be nothing but the plate left."

"What takes place at the expense of a plate of water, and of the moisture of the soil or wet linen, takes place also, on a vast scale, over the entire surface of the earth. The air is in contact with damp soil, with innumerable sheets of water, lakes, marshes, streams, rivers, brooks, above all with the sea, the immense sea, which presents thrice as much surface as the dry land. The great drinker, as Jules calls it, the air, must therefore drink to satiety and everywhere and always contain moisture, sometimes more, sometimes less, according to the heat.

"The air that is around us now, that invisible air in which the eye distinguishes nothing, nevertheless contains water that can be made visible. The means is very simple; all that is necessary is to cool the air a little. When you squeeze a wet sponge with the hand, you make water ooze out of it. Cold acts on moist air very much as the pressure of the hand on the sponge: it causes the moisture to distil in the form of minute drops. If Claire will go to the pump and fill a bottle with very cold water, I will show you this curious experiment."

Claire went to the kitchen and came back with a bottle full of the coldest water possible. Her uncle took the bottle, wiped it well with his handkerchief so that no trace of moisture should remain on the outside, and put it on an equally well-wiped plate.

Now the bottle, at first perfectly clear, becomes covered with a kind of fog which tarnishes its transparency: then little drops appear, run down its sides, and fall into the plate. At the end of a quarter of an hour there was enough water accumulated in the plate to fill a thimble.

"The drops of water now running down the outside of the bottle," Uncle Paul explained, "do not come, it is very clear, from the inside, for glass cannot be pierced by water. They come from the surrounding air, which cools off on touching the bottle and lets its moisture distil. If the bottle were colder, if full of ice, the deposit of liquid drops would be more abundant."

"The bottle reminds me of something of the same kind," said Claire. "When you fill a perfectly clean glass with very cold water, the outside of the glass immediately tarnishes and looks as if badly washed."

"That again is the surrounding air depositing its moisture on the cold side of the glass."

"Is that invisible moisture contained in the air abundant?" asked Jules.

"The invisible vapor of the air is always a thing so subtle, so disseminated, that it would take enormous volumes to make a small quantity of water. During the heat of summer, when the air holds the most vapor, it takes 60,000 liters of moist air to furnish one liter of water."

"That is very little," was Jules's comment.

"It is a great deal if one thinks of the immense volume of the atmosphere," replied his uncle, and then added:

"The experiment of the bottle teaches us two things: first, there is always invisible vapor in the air; in the second place, this vapor becomes visible and changes into fog, then into drops of water, by cooling. This return of invisible vapor to visible vapor or fog, then to a state of water, is called condensation. Heat reduces water to invisible vapor, and cold condenses this vapor, that is to say brings it back to a liquid state or at least to the state of visible vapor or fog. We will have the rest this evening."


Four American Patriots  by Alma Holman Burton

The Lawyer

Colonel Hamilton met and loved Elizabeth Schuyler, the daughter of General Schuyler, one of the richest men in New York. Their marriage increased the young officer's reputation and added much to his social position.

Very soon after marriage, Hamilton resigned his place as aide-de-camp to General Washington, on account of a misunderstanding. It happened in the following way: One day, Washington passed Hamilton on the stairs and said, "I would like to speak with you, Colonel."

"I will wait upon your Excellency immediately," replied Hamilton, and went below to deliver some important letters to the postman.

As he returned, General Lafayette stopped to speak with him. Hamilton was very impatient; he talked rapidly, and finally left the Frenchman abruptly. He searched for Washington in his room; he was not there.

At last he found him at the head of the stairs. The great commander-in-chief looked stately and severe.

"Colonel Hamilton," he said, "you have kept me waiting these ten minutes! I must tell you, sir, that you treat me with disrespect."

The face of the young aide-de-camp flushed as he heard the reproving words.

"I am not conscious of it, sir," he replied; "but since you have thought it necessary to tell me so, we part."

"Very well, sir, if it be your choice," said Washington.

The two friends parted in anger. In less than an hour General Washington sent word to Hamilton that he hoped the misunderstanding might be forgotten. Their friendship was continued.

No doubt both men were deeply grieved over their hasty words. But Hamilton had already written out his resignation; he felt he might find a greater field for work. He was soon placed in command of a regiment, and went to the South to join General Lafayette against the British.

The war raged furiously all through the South. At last General Washington himself came from the North with his army. The British at Yorktown were surrounded by land and by sea.

A siege was begun; and then Colonel Hamilton distinguished himself by a very daring deed. Behind a high redoubt lay the guns of the British. Washington said the guns must be taken. Hamilton was named as the leader in an assault; he placed his foot on the shoulder of a sentinel, and was the first to mount the wall; he stood for a moment in full sight of the enemy's guns, calling aloud to his men.

Then he sprang into the ditch below, followed by his devoted soldiers with bayonets fixed. He pressed on past the British sentinels, and, in nine minutes' time, the American flag was floating over the parapet. You may be sure that Washington was proud of his young friend.

Very soon after this, the British surrendered to the American troops, and the long seven years' war was over.

The British army sailed away; Washington bade farewell to his officers, and retired to his home at Mount Vernon.

Hamilton went to Albany to live. He began to study law; in a few months he was able to pass his examinations, and was admitted to the bar.

Now, before the war most of the lawyers were Tories; and after the war they were not allowed to practice in the courts. Thus it came about that Hamilton found a large field for his new profession. He soon had more cases than he could attend to.

There was only one lawyer in the state of New York who seemed to be his equal; this was Aaron Burr, a grandson of Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher of New England.

Burr was a year older than Hamilton; he was handsome and brave, and elegant in his manners.

He had been in the war, and was once a member of Washington's staff.

Washington disliked Burr, and did not keep him long in his service.

Almost everybody admired him, but very few trusted him, because he was dishonorable in his dealings with men.

It often happened that Burr and Hamilton were on different sides in a question of law. Sometimes one and sometimes the other won the case at court.

People began to say that the two young lawyers would soon be rivals in politics.


Alfred Lord Tennyson

Lady Clare

It was the time when lilies blow

And clouds are highest up in air;

Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe

To give his cousin, Lady Clare.

I trow they did not part in scorn:

Lovers long-betroth'd were they:

They too will wed the morrow morn:

God's blessing on the day!

"He does not love me for my birth,

Nor for my lands so broad and fair;

He loves me for my own true worth,

And that is well," said Lady Clare.

In there came old Alice the nurse;

Said: "Who was this that went from thee?"

"It was my cousin," said Lady Clare;

"To-morrow he weds with me."

"O God be thank'd!" said Alice the nurse,

"That all comes round so just and fair:

Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,

And you are not the Lady Clare."

"Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse,"

Said Lady Clare, "that ye speak so wild?"

"As God's above," said Alice the nurse,

"I speak the truth: you are my child.

"The old Earl's daughter died at my breast;

I speak the truth, as I live by bread!

I buried her like my own sweet child,

And put my child in her stead."

"Falsely, falsely have ye done,

O mother," she said, "if this be true,

To keep the best man under the sun

So many years from his due."

"Nay, now, my child," said Alice the nurse,

"But keep the secret for your life,

And all you have will be Lord Ronald's

When you are man and wife."

"If I'm a beggar born," she said,

"I will speak out, for I dare not lie.

Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold,

And fling the diamond necklace by."

"Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse,

"But keep the secret all ye can."

She said: "Not so: but I will know

If there be any faith in man."

"Nay now, what faith?" said Alice the nurse,

"The man will cleave unto his right,"

"And he shall have it," the lady replied,

"Tho' I should die to-night."

"Yet give one kiss to your mother dear!

Alas! my child, I sinn'd for thee."

"O mother, mother, mother," she said,

"So strange it seems to me.

"Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,

My mother dear, if this be so,

And lay your hand upon my head,

And bless me, mother, ere I go."

She clad herself in a russet gown,

She was no longer Lady Clare:

She went by dale, and she went by down,

With a single rose in her hair.

The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought

Leapt up from where she lay,

Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,

And follow'd her all the way.

Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower:

"O Lady Clare, you shame your worth!

Why come you drest like a village maid,

That are the flower of the earth?"

"If I come drest like a village maid,

I am but as my fortunes are:

I am a beggar born," she said,

"And not the Lady Clare."

"Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald,

"For I am yours in word and in deed.

Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald,

"Your riddle is hard to read."

O and proudly stood she up!

Her heart within her did not fail:

She look'd into Lord Ronald's eyes,

And told him all her nurse's tale.

He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn:

He turn'd and kiss'd her where she stood:

"If you are not the heiress born?

And I," said he, "the next in blood—

"If you are not the heiress born,

And I," said he, "the lawful heir,

We two will wed to-morrow morn,

And you shall still be Lady Clare."


  WEEK 43  


Our Little Frankish Cousin of Long Ago  by Evaleen Stein


W HEN the King passed on, Rainolf stood quite bewildered at his sudden advancement; though he could not help but wonder how it would suit Charloun, a fat dull-faced boy who had been made cup-bearer because his father was a powerful noble.

And he did not have to wait long to see. For Charloun had noticed the King talking to Rainolf and as now the latter was alone for a moment, he marched up to him demanding angrily "What did the King say to you?"

Rainolf drew himself up haughtily as he answered, "I don't know that it's any of your business, Charloun! Though," he added, "perhaps it is a little, seeing that he told me I am to be cup-bearer instead of you."

At this Charloun's dull face flushed with rage and he half doubled up his fist to strike Rainolf. But Rainolf, who was watching him, looked him straight in the eye, and "Be careful!" he warned. "This is no place to fight! But if you want to come out doors and do it, I am ready whenever you are."

Charloun, who was at heart a coward, dropped his fat fist and began to think he was not so anxious for a fight after all. And, the truth was, he was really relieved to be rid of the office of cup-bearer as several times Charlemagne had asked him questions about his lessons which he was quite unable to answer. So, muttering to himself, he stalked off; and Rainolf watching him smiled, for he knew Charloun was much more interested in the fact that it was nearly dinner-time than in his lost honors.

Meantime in the great banquet hall near the schoolroom long tables were set, the one for the royal family being placed on a dais at the upper end of the room. There were no cloths on these tables which were all made of polished boards laid over trestles, but on the royal one and those for the many noble ladies and gentlemen of the household were fine silver plates and gold and silver cups and flagons. There were neither forks nor spoons, however, only knives, which were needed to cut the meat of which there was always a great supply, and this and the other things people were expected to eat with their fingers. At the lower end of the hall were tables for the humbler palace folks, who had only wooden plates and great earthenware platters for their meat.

Rainolf had come into the hall while things were being made ready, and as he stood quietly watching them he thought how different was the great palace, with its handsome rooms and all the gold and silver dishes from his own home. His father's castle, like those of most of the Frankish nobles through the country, was just a big wooden house built around a square courtyard and protected outside by a palisade of roughly hewn logs and a moat beyond that. To be sure, there were many things going on within the wooden walls of the big rambling house. His father had had his own armorer; there was a stable for his war horses; there was a small mill where they ground the grain raised by the peasants on the castle lands; there were rooms where his mother and her maids spun and wove and embroidered;—though as Rainolf looked at the wonderful tapestries hanging on the palace walls he could not but admit they were more beautiful than those his mother had so carefully made for their home and which he had always before thought the finest in all the world. And then the dishes at home were just great wooden bowls with only a few silver and copper flagons,—but never mind, for dinner was ready and all the palace folks were taking their places.

Rainolf, as he had been bidden, came and stood near the chair of Charlemagne. Though it seemed strange to him to be so close to the great King, yet he was not so awkward in his new place as he had been used to waiting on his father in the same way.

Meantime, Aymon and the other pages busied themselves bringing in food for the royal table and those of the nobles. The boys only carried the dishes, for the carving and serving of them was an honor belonging to the high-born young men.

"Boy," whispered one of these, a tall handsome youth standing near Rainolf, "take that golden flagon and fill the King's cup with wine."

Rainolf hastened to do as he was told, and lifting in both hands the beautiful golden cup richly chased with figures of saints and circled with precious stones, he sank on one knee, as his father had taught him, and held it up to the King, who received it graciously, barely tasted it, and set it down by his plate. And Rainolf found that being cup-bearer for Charlemagne was not very hard work, as he took only three sips of wine all through the dinner. Wine was then the common drink, but the King despised drunkenness and always set the example of taking but little.

Neither was the dinner elaborate, for Charlemagne liked simple things, and, best of all, the roasted pheasants and hares which presently two hunters came bringing in piping hot and still on the long iron spits on which they had been cooked at the kitchen fireplace. These were carved and placed on the King's plate by the young Frankish noble who served also Queen Luitgarde and a tall man in rich priestly robes who sat at the King's left. This was the Archbishop of the Aachen cathedral, and near him was the teacher Master Alcuin; for Charlemagne always delighted to honor religion and learning.

At the royal table also sat young Master Einhard who smiled kindly at Rainolf, who colored and smiled back; for the two seemed drawn to one another, and, indeed, were to become close friends in spite of the difference in their ages. Next to Master Einhard the dwarf Malagis perched on his own special chair, and now and then catching Rainolf's eye he would give him so droll a wink that the boy could hardly keep his face straight; and he did not dare to laugh for all through dinner everybody kept very still because at one side of the hall a brown-robed monk was standing holding in his hands a parchment book from which he read aloud in Latin.

The book was a beautifully painted copy of "The City of God," written by the good Saint Augustine. Rainolf was not yet far enough along in his studies to understand it very well, and very likely most of the other people in the room were in the same case; but he noticed that Charlemagne listened attentively and seemed greatly to enjoy it, for he understood Latin and liked always to be read to while he ate.

Presently, however, the reading and dinner both came to an end; the latter finishing with large baskets of apples and cherries which were passed around to every one.

When the King left the hall it was to go, as usual, straight upstairs to his sleeping-room where he took off his clothes and went to bed for a couple of hours. Charlemagne counted much on this after-dinner nap, for his life was busy and full of care and he was but a poor sleeper at night. So hush, everybody!


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

The Two Travelers

Two Friends, Ganem and Salem, were journeying together, when they came to a broad stream at the foot of a hill. The woods were near at hand, and the shade was so welcome after the heat of the desert that they halted here to rest. After they had eaten and slept, they arose to go on, when they discovered near at hand a white stone, upon which was written in curious lettering this inscription:—

Travelers, we have prepared an excellent banquet for your refreshment; but you must be bold and deserve it before you can obtain it. What you are to do is this: throw yourselves bravely into the stream and swim to the other side. You will find there a lion carved from marble. This statue you must lift upon your shoulders and, with one run, carry to the top of yonder mountain, never heeding the thorns which prick your feet nor the wild beasts that may be lurking in the bushes to devour you. When once you have gained the top of the mountain, you will find yourselves in possession of great happiness.

Ganem was truly delighted when he read these words. "See, Salem," he cried, "here lies the road which will lead us to the end of all our travels and labor. Let us start at once, and see if what the stone says be true."

Salem, however, was of another mind. "Perhaps," he made answer, "this writing is but the jest of some idle beggar. Perhaps the current of the stream runs too swiftly for any man to swim it. Perhaps the lion is too heavy to carry, even if it be there. It is almost impossible that any one could reach the top of yonder mountain in one run. Take my word, it is not worth while to attempt any such mad venture. I for one will have no part in it."

Nevertheless, Ganem was not to be discouraged. "My mind is fully made up to try it," he replied, "and if you will not go with me, I must go alone." So the two friends embraced, and Salem rode off on his camel.

He was scarcely out of sight before Ganem had stripped off his clothes and thrown himself into the stream. He soon found that he was in the midst of a whirlpool, but he kept bravely on, and at last reached the other side in safety. When he had rested a few moments on the beach, he lifted the marble lion with one mighty effort, and with one run reached the top of the mountain. Here he saw to his great surprise that he was standing before the gates of a beautiful city. He was gazing at it in admiration, when strange roars came from the inside of the lion on his shoulder. The roaring grew louder and louder, until finally the turrets of the city were trembling and the mountain-sides reëchoing with the tumult. Then Ganem saw to his astonishment that great crowds of people were pouring out of the city gates. They did not seem afraid of the noise, for they all wore smiling faces. As they came nearer, Ganem saw that they were led by a group of young noblemen, who held by the rein a prancing black charger. Slowly they advanced and knelt before Ganem, saying,—

"Brave stranger, we beseech thee to put on these regal robes which we are bringing, and, mounted upon this charger, ride back with thy subjects to the city."

Ganem, who could scarcely believe his ears, begged them to explain to him the meaning of these honors, and the noble youths replied,—

"Whenever our king dies, we place upon the stone by the river the inscription which you have read. Then we wait patiently until a traveler passes by who is brave enough to undertake the bold venture. Thus we are always assured that our king is a man who is fearless of heart and dauntless of purpose. We crown you to-day as King over our city."


Joseph Rodman Drake

Song from "The Culprit Fay"

Ouphe and Goblin! Imp and Sprite!

Elf of eve! and starry Fay!

Ye that love the moon's soft light,

Hither, hither wend your way;

Twine ye in a jocund ring,

Sing and trip it merrily,

Hand to hand, and wing to wing,

Round the wild witch-hazel tree.

The beetle guards our holy ground,

He flies about the haunted place,

And if mortal there be found,

He hums in his ears and flaps his face;

The leaf-harp sounds our roundelay,

The owlet's eyes our lanterns be;

Thus we sing, and dance, and play,

Round the wild witch-hazel tree.

But, hark! from tower on tree-top high,

The sentry-elf his call has made:

A streak is in the eastern sky,

Shapes of moonlight! Flit and fade!

The hilltops gleam in morning's spring,

The skylark shakes his dappled wing,

The day-glimpse glimmers on the lawn,

The cock has crowed, and the Fays are gone.


  WEEK 43  


The Struggle for Sea Power  by M. B. Synge

At the Cape of Good Hope

"I hear the sound of pioneers,

Of nations yet to be."


T HE capture of the Cape of Good Hope was an important result of the battles of Camperdown and Trafalgar. The first of these destroyed the sea power of Holland, the second secured it to England.

Slowly but surely the little colony founded by Van Riebeek at the Cape had grown and prospered. Let us take up its story from those early days.

For some time, the colonists had been content to stay under the shadow of Table Mountain, but as the years passed on, the younger colonists became adventurous. Musket in hand, to drive back the native Hottentots of the country, they began to explore inland, until little settlements sprang up in all directions. They were presently joined by some 300 French Huguenots, who had been driven from their country and taken refuge in Holland. At first these people clung to their French language and service of the French church, but soon the Dutch forbade this, and they talked and worshipped with their neighbours. Not long after their arrival, a terrible outbreak of smallpox swept whole tribes of Hottentots away, and the inland country was clear for the European colonists. Farther and farther inland now they spread, over the mountains to the pasture land beyond. The grass was thin, and it was necessary to graze the cattle over wide stretches of ground. Thus they became more and more cut off from the coast and from the far-off homes of their ancestors. With their wives and children they followed the cattle from spot to spot: their children were untaught, their wives forgot the neat and cleanly ways of their Dutch forefathers. At last they reached the Great Fish River and came in contact with the Kaffirs. These were the natives, who occupied the lands from the Zambesi to the Great Fish River. They consisted of a number of tribes, constantly making war on each other, who appear later under various names of Zulus, Swazis, and Basutos.

All the colonists fretted under the misrule of the Dutch East India Company. They were worried with petty laws and obliged to pay heavy taxes; the farmers were told exactly what to grow, and forced to give up much of their produce. The company had broken faith with the natives, and had imported a number of slaves into the colony, which had no need of negro labour. When, therefore, in the year 1795 the news spread, that English troops were in possession of Cape Town, the idea of change was not wholly unwelcome. The English came as friends of the Dutch, in their united struggle against the French. The Prince of Orange was an exile in England, and the English carried a letter from him to the Dutch officials at the Cape.

Conquerors and conquered came of the same stock. Of all the nations in Europe, the people of Holland are closest to those of Great Britain. True, 1400 years of separation had altered the history of each, but many points of resemblance were left. Both were a liberty-loving people, both were Protestant, both had Viking blood in their veins. Moreover, it was as simple for the Dutchman to learn English, as it was for the Englishman to learn Dutch. Here is a quaint picture, of how the colonists from the surrounding districts came into Cape Town, to take the oath of allegiance to George III. of England.

Over the Dutch castle flew the English flag. Within was the English governor. The gates stood open. First came the Dutch officials, all dressed in black, "well-fed, rosy-cheeked men with powdered hair." They walked in pairs with their hats off. They were followed by the Boers or farmers, who had come in from distant parts of the colony. They were splendid men, head and shoulders above their neighbours, and broad in proportion. They were dressed in blue cloth jackets and trousers and tall flat hats. Behind each, crept a black Hottentot servant, carrying his master's umbrella. The Hottentot was small: he wore a sheepskin round his shoulders, and a hat trimmed with ostrich feathers.

For nearly eight years, the English ruled. Then came another peace between France and England after the battle of Copenhagen, by which the Cape was given back to Holland, now subject to France. The old Dutch East India Company had by this time disappeared, for since the battle of Camperdown, Holland had lost command of the sea. For the next three years, the Cape was hers again. Africa is a land of surprises: once more she was to change hands.

The Cape had been "swept into the whirlpool" of the European conflict raging with Napoleon. More than ever now, England felt the importance of possessing the Cape as a naval stronghold, as a half-way house to her ever-increasing dominions in India. The power of the sea was now hers beyond dispute. The victory of Trafalgar made all things possible. So she sent an expedition to South Africa. Early in the new year of 1806, sixty-three English ships came sweeping into Table Bay. But a gale was blowing, and the heavy surf rolling in to the shore, made landing impossible for a time. The Dutch prepared to defend Cape Town, but they had not the means or the men. It was the height of summer, and the Boers of the country could not leave their farms. So the English took the Cape, and once again the British flag flew from the top of the castle ramparts.

A few years later the English occupation was acknowledged, and Holland sold her rights for the sum of £6,000,000.

The English governors were men of high character, and anxious for the welfare of the new colony. Reforms were introduced, schools were built, the slave-trade was forbidden, justice administered. The Dutch law was allowed to remain as it was, and it is to-day the common law of all the British colonies in South Africa.

It seemed as if an era of peace and prosperity were about to begin, and there seemed no reason why the history of the happy union of English and Dutch at New York, in America, should not repeat itself.


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

The Escape of William Tell

On the lakes of Switzerland storms of wind arise very quickly. The Swiss used to dread these storms so much that they gave names to the winds as if they were people. The south wind, which is the fiercest, they called the Föhn. There used to be a law that when the Föhn arose, all fires were to be put out. For the wind whistled and blew down the wide chimneys like great bellows, till the fires flared up so fiercely that the houses, which were built of wood, were in danger of being burned to the ground. Now one of these fierce storms arose.

No one noticed when Gessler's boat pushed off from the shore how dark the sky had grown nor how keenly the wind was blowing. But before the boat had gone very far the waves began to rise, and the wind to blow fiercer and fiercer.

Soon the little boat was tossing wildly on great white-crested waves. The rowers bent to the oars and rowed with all their might. But in spite of all they could do, the waves broke over the boat, filling it with water. They were tossed here and there, until it seemed every minute that they would sink.

Pale with fear, the captain stood at the helm. He was an Austrian who knew nothing of the Swiss lakes, and he had never before been in such a storm. He was helpless, and he knew that very soon the boat would be a wreck.

Wrapped in his mantle, Gessler sat silent and still, watching the storm. He, too, knew the danger.

As the waves dashed over him, one of Gessler's servants staggered to his master's feet. "My lord," he said, "you see our need and danger, yet methinks there is one man on board who could save us."

"Who is that?" asked Gessler.

"William Tell, your prisoner," replied the man. "He is known to be one of the best sailors on this lake. He knows every inch of it. If any one can save the boat, he can."

"Bring him here," said Gessler.

"It seems you are a sailor as well as an archer, Tell," said Gessler, when his prisoner had been brought before him. "Can you save the boat and bring us to land?"

"Yes," said Tell.

"Unbind him, then," said Gessler to the soldier, "but mark you, Tell, you go not free. Even although you save us, you are still my prisoner. Do not think to have any reward."

The rope which bound Tell's hands was cut, and he took his place at the helm.

The waves still dashed high, the wind still howled, but under Tell's firm hand the boat seemed to steady itself, and the rowers bent to their work with new courage and strength in answer to his commanding voice.

Tell, leaning forward, peered through the darkness and the spray. There was one place where he knew it would be possible to land—where a bold and desperate man at least might land. He was looking for that place. Nearer and nearer to the shore he steered. At last he was quite close to it. He glanced quickly round. His bow and arrows lay beside him. He bent and seized them. Then with one great leap he sprang ashore, and as he leaped he gave the boat a backward push with his foot, sending it out again into the stormy waters of the lake.


As Tell leaped he gave the boat a backward push with his foot

There was a wild outcry from the sailors, but Tell was free, for no one dared to follow him. Quickly clambering up the mountainside, he disappeared among the trees.

As Tell vanished, Gessler stood up and shouted in anger, but the little boat, rocking and tossing on the waves, drifted out into the lake, and the Austrian sailors, to whom the shore was unknown, dared not row near to it again, lest they should be dashed to pieces upon the rocks. Even as it was, they expected every moment that the boat would sink, and that all would be drowned. But despair seemed to give the sailors fresh strength, and soon the wind fell and the waves became quieter. A few hours later, wet, weary, but safe, Gessler and his company landed on the shore of Schwytz.


  WEEK 43  


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

Where To Lay the Blame

Many and many a man has come to trouble—so he will say—by following his wife's advice. This is how it was with a man of whom I shall tell you.

T HERE was once upon a time a fisherman who had fished all day long and had caught not so much as a sprat. So at night there he sat by the fire, rubbing his knees and warming his shins, and waiting for supper that his wife was cooking for him, and his hunger was as sharp as vinegar, and his temper hot enough to fry fat.

While he sat there grumbling and growling and trying to make himself comfortable and warm, there suddenly came a knock at the door. The good woman opened it, and there stood an old man, clad all in red from head to foot, and with a snowy beard at his chin as white as winter snow.

The fisherman's wife stood gaping and staring at the strange figure, but the old man in red walked straight into the hut. "Bring your nets, fisherman," said he, "and come with me. There is something that I want you to catch for me, and if I have luck I will pay you for your fishing as never fisherman was paid before."

"Not I," said the fisherman, "I go out no more this night. I have been fishing all day long until my back is nearly broken, and have caught nothing, and now I am not such a fool as to go out and leave a warm fire and a good supper at your bidding."

But the fisherman's wife had listened to what the old man had said about paying for the job, and she was of a different mind from her husband. "Come," said she, "the old man promises to pay you well. This is not a chance to be lost, I can tell you, and my advice to you is that you go."

The fisherman shook his head. No, he would not go; he had said he would not, and he would not. But the wife only smiled and said again, "My advice to you is that you go."

The fisherman grumbled and grumbled, and swore that he would not go. The wife said nothing but one thing. She did not argue; she did not lose her temper; she only said to everything that he said, "My advice to you is that you go."

At last the fisherman's anger boiled over. "Very well," said he, spitting his words at her; "if you will drive me out into the night, I suppose I will have to go." And then he spoke the words that so many men say: "Many a man has come to trouble by following his wife's advice."

Then down he took his fur cap and up he took his nets, and off he and the old man marched through the moonlight, their shadows bobbing along like black spiders behind them.

Well, on they went, out from the town and across the fields and through the woods, until at last they came to a dreary, lonesome desert, where nothing was to be seen but gray rocks and weeds and thistles.

"Well," said the fisherman, "I have fished, man and boy, for forty-seven years, but never did I see as unlikely a place to catch anything as this."

But the old man said never a word. First of all he drew a great circle with strange figures, marking it with his finger upon the ground. Then out from under his red gown he brought a tinder-box and steel, and a little silver casket covered all over with strange figures of serpents and dragons and what not. He brought some sticks of spice-wood from his pouch, and then he struck a light and made a fire. Out of the box he took a gray powder, which he flung upon the little blaze.


Puff! flash! A vivid flame went up into the moonlight, and then a dense smoke as black as ink, which spread out wider and wider, far and near, till all below was darker than the darkest midnight. Then the old man began to utter strange spells and words. Presently there began a rumbling that sounded louder and louder and nearer and nearer, until it roared and bellowed like thunder. The earth rocked and swayed, and the poor fisherman shook and trembled with fear till his teeth clattered in his head.

Then suddenly the roaring and bellowing ceased, and all was as still as death, though the darkness was as thick and black as ever.

"Now," said the old magician—for such he was—"now we are about to take a journey such as no one ever travelled before. Heed well what I tell you. Speak not a single word, for if you do, misfortune will be sure to happen."

"Ain't I to say anything?" said the fisherman.


"Not even boo' to a goose?"


"Well, that is pretty hard upon a man who likes to say his say," said the fisherman.

"And moreover," said the old man, "I must blindfold you as well."

Thereupon he took from his pocket a handkerchief, and made ready to tie it about the fisherman's eyes.

"And ain't I to see anything at all?" said the fisherman.


"Not even so much as a single feather?"


"Well, then," said the fisherman, "I wish I'd not come."

But the old man tied the handkerchief tightly around his eyes, and then he was as blind as a bat.

"Now," said the old man, "throw your leg over what you feel and hold fast."

The fisherman reached down his hand, and there felt the back of something rough and hairy. He flung his leg over it, and whisk! whizz! off he shot through the air like a sky-rocket. Nothing was left for him to do but grip tightly with hands and feet and to hold fast. On they went, and on they went, until, after a great while, whatever it was that was carrying him lit upon the ground, and there the fisherman found himself standing, for that which had brought him had gone.

The old man whipped the handkerchief off his eyes, and there the fisherman found himself on the shores of the sea, where there was nothing to be seen but water upon one side and rocks and naked sand upon the other.

"This is the place for you to cast your nets," said the old magician; "for if we catch nothing here we catch nothing at all."

The fisherman unrolled his nets and cast them and dragged them, and then cast them and dragged them again, but neither time caught so much as a herring. But the third time that he cast he found that he had caught something that weighed as heavy as lead.


He pulled and pulled, until by-and-by he dragged the load ashore, and what should it be but a great chest of wood, blackened by the sea-water, and covered with shells and green moss.

That was the very thing that the magician had come to fish for.

From his pouch the old man took a little golden key, which he fitted into a key-hole in the side of the chest. He threw back the lid; the fisherman looked within, and there was the prettiest little palace that man's eye ever beheld, all made of mother-of-pearl and silver-frosted as white as snow. The old magician lifted the little palace out of the box and set it upon the ground.

Then, lo and behold! a marvellous thing happened; for the palace instantly began to grow for all the world like a soap-bubble, until it stood in the moonlight gleaming and glistening like snow, the windows bright with the lights of a thousand wax tapers, and the sound of music and voices and laughter coming from within.

Hardly could the fisherman catch his breath from one strange thing when another happened. The old magician took off his clothes and his face—yes, his face—for all the world as though it had been a mask, and there stood as handsome and noble a young man as ever the light looked on. Then, beckoning to the fisherman, dumb with wonder, he led the way up the great flight of marble steps to the palace door. As he came the door swung open with a blaze of light, and there stood hundreds of noblemen, all clad in silks and satins and velvets, who, when they saw the magician, bowed low before him, as though he had been a king. Leading the way, they brought the two through halls and chambers and room after room, each more magnificent than the other, until they came to one that surpassed a hundredfold any of the others.

At the farther end was a golden throne, and upon it sat a lady more lovely and beautiful than a dream, her eyes as bright as diamonds, her cheeks like rose leaves, and her hair like spun gold. She came half-way down the steps of the throne to welcome the magician, and when the two met they kissed one another before all those who were looking on.


Then she brought him to the throne and seated him beside her, and there they talked for a long time very earnestly.

Nobody said a word to the fisherman, who stood staring about him like an owl. "I wonder," said he to himself at last, "if they will give a body a bite to eat by-and-by?" for, to tell the truth, the good supper that he had come away from at home had left a sharp hunger gnawing at his insides, and he longed for something good and warm to fill the empty place. But time passed, and not so much as a crust of bread was brought to stay his stomach.

By-and-by the clock struck twelve, and then the two who sat upon the throne arose. The beautiful lady took the magician by the hand, and, turning to those who stood around, said, in a loud voice, "Behold him who alone is worthy to possess the jewel of jewels! Unto him do I give it, and with it all power of powers!" Thereon she opened a golden casket that stood beside her, and brought thence a little crystal ball, about as big as a pigeon's egg, in which was something that glistened like a spark of fire. The magician took the crystal ball and thrust it into his bosom; but what it was the fisherman could not guess, and if you do not know I shall not tell you.

Then for the first time the beautiful lady seemed to notice the fisherman. She beckoned him, and when he stood beside her two men came carrying a chest. The chief treasurer opened it, and it was full of bags of gold money.


"How will you have it?" said the beautiful lady.

"Have what?" said the fisherman.

"Have the pay for your labor?" said the beautiful lady.

"I will," said the fisherman, promptly, "take it in my hat."

"So be it," said the beautiful lady. She waved her hand, and the chief treasurer took a bag from the chest, untied it, and emptied a cataract of gold into the fur cap. The fisherman had never seen so much wealth in all his life before, and he stood like a man turned to stone.

"Is this all mine?" said the fisherman.

"It is," said the beautiful lady.

"Then God bless your pretty eyes," said the fisherman.

Then the magician kissed the beautiful lady, and, beckoning to the fisherman, left the throne-room the same way that they had come. The noblemen, in silks and satins and velvets, marched ahead, and back they went through the other apartments, until at last they came to the door.

Out they stepped, and then what do you suppose happened?

If the wonderful palace had grown like a bubble, like a bubble it vanished. There the two stood on the sea-shore, with nothing to be seen but rocks and sand and water, and the starry sky overhead.

The fisherman shook his cap of gold, and it jingled and tinkled, and was as heavy as lead. If it was not all a dream, he was rich for life. "But anyhow," said he, "they might have given a body a bite to eat."

The magician put on his red clothes and his face again, making himself as hoary and as old as before. He took out his flint and steel, and his sticks of spice-wood and his gray powder, and made a great fire and smoke just as he had done before. Then again he tied his handkerchief over the fisherman's eyes. "Remember," said he, "what I told you when we started upon our journey. Keep your mouth tight shut, for if you utter so much as a single word you are a lost man. Now throw your leg over what you feel and hold fast."

The fisherman had his net over one arm and his cap of gold in the other hand; nevertheless, there he felt the same hairy thing he had felt before. He flung his leg over it, and away he was gone through the air like a sky-rocket.

Now, he had grown somewhat used to strange things by this time, so he began to think that he would like to see what sort of a creature it was upon which he was riding thus through the sky. So he contrived, in spite of his net and cap, to push up the handkerchief from over one eye. Out he peeped, and then he saw as clear as day what the strange steed was.

He was riding upon a he-goat as black as night, and in front of him was the magician riding upon just such another, his great red robe fluttering out behind him in the moonlight like huge red wings.

"Great herring and little fishes!" roared the fisherman; "it is a billy-goat!"

Instantly goats, old man, and all were gone like a flash. Down fell the fisherman through the empty sky, whirling over and over and around and around like a frog. He held tightly to his net, but away flew his fur cap, the golden money falling in a shower like sparks of yellow light. Down he fell and down he fell, until his head spun like a top.


By good-luck his house was just below, with its thatch of soft rushes. Into the very middle of it he tumbled, and right through the thatch—bump!—into the room below.

The good wife was in bed, snoring away for dear life; but such a noise as the fisherman made coming into the house was enough to wake the dead. Up she jumped, and there she sat, staring and winking with sleep, and with her brains as addled as a duck's egg in a thunder-storm.

"There!" said the fisherman, as he gathered himself up and rubbed his shoulder, "that is what comes of following a woman's advice!"


Will o' the Wasps  by Margaret Warner Morley

Wasp Flowers

"N OW," said Uncle Will, as he and Theodore were together on the porch the next day, "if you watch this little yellow jacket that has just come to taste the sugar spilled on the table you can see the tongue for yourself, and then you will remember about it." And sure enough, on the table where the grown people had been drinking their tea some grains of sugar had fallen in a drop of water, and a yellow jacket had found it. All at once Uncle Will popped a tumbler over her ladyship, which did not seem to disturb her at all—she was so busy.

"She is taking her afternoon tea," said Uncle Will, "and we will just invite her to remain until we have had a good look at her."

"She has a little, broad, flat tongue," said Theodore, laying his head on the table to see the better.

"That is so, and she cannot let it out like a telescope or fold it up like a jackknife—she has not bee-tricks in her tongue. It is just an ordinary nice little tongue to like up honey with."

"But how can she get the honey out of the flowers?" Theodore asked.

"She can't get it out of all of them," Uncle Will assured him. "The nectar that lies at the bottom of the flowers with long tubes is not for her. She can only sup with the flower people who offer refreshments in flat saucers or open cups."

"She has to sit and look on when the bumble bees go visiting the grand palaces of the Iris people," said Theodore, laughing. "She can only go to ordinary houses."

"Very true, but on the other hand you often see the wasps visiting the asters and goldenrods, very genteel families, I assure you, and the charming peach blossoms. And while there are some flowers so exclusive that only bees are welcome at their nectar parties, as you very well know, I wonder if you know that there are other flowers that seem to spread their tables on purpose for wasps?"

"No, Uncle Will o' the Wasps, I never heard of those flower folks. Please tell me about them," and Theodore settled himself comfortably down to listen.

"Well," Uncle Will went on, "it is this way. Do you remember the figwort growing along the roadside by the old field?"

"Yes, you showed me the little, brown, urn-shaped flowers and you said you would tell me something nice about them some day."

"Well, what I was going to tell you about them is this. Those are wasp flowers."

"Wasp flowers!" echoed Theodore, straightening up.

"Yes, wasp flowers. The wasps like them, and they are just the right size for the wasps to reach into and get the honey."

"Oh, go on and tell about it," begged Theodore, sitting up quite straight.

"I will if you will go and fetch me a stalk of figwort blossoms." So away raced Theodore and soon came back with the flowers.

"There was a wasp on it when I got there, which is why I stayed so long. I watched it till it flew away," he gasped, as he arrived out of breath at Uncle Will's side.

"The proper thing to do," said Uncle Will. "Now, then, why do you suppose the figwort keeps honey in its cups for the wasps to drink?"

"It wants them to carry pollen," promptly returned Theodore, who knew how the busy bees bear pollen from flower to flower when they go to gather honey.

"Here," said Uncle Will, after he had looked carefully at the figwort blossoms, "this flower is ready with fresh pollen. See the stamens?"

"All covered with flower-dust," said Theodore, looking through the magnifying-glass that Uncle Will always had ready in his pocket.

"Yes, and where is the pistil?"

"I don't see it; oh, yes, there it is, curled back out of the way—the wasps might go in a dozen times without touching it."

"But that doesn't matter," explained Uncle Will, "for the truth is, it has already been dusted. It ripens first, you know, and as soon as the pollen dusts it, it turns down out of the way and the stamens then ripen."

"The pistils and stamens ripen at different times because the flower does not want to be fertilized by its own pollen—isn't that so?"

"That is it, you wise botanist," replied Uncle Will, giving Theodore's ear a little tweak. "And so the wasps go flying about from figwort to figwort, carrying the pollen from one to the stigma of another." "But teacher says not on purpose. They just go to get a drink of nectar, and don't even know what they are doing with the pollen. She says perhaps they don't even know it sticks to them. But you and I don't believe that, Uncle Will o' the Wasps, do we?"

"What do we believe?" asked Uncle Will with interest.

"Oh, you know! We believe that the flowers invite the bees and wasps."

"They send out little perfumed notes," put in Uncle Will.

"Yes, some people think it is only perfumery that goes out of the flowers, but we know better. And the bees and wasps and butterflies and all the other insect friends get the notes and come to tea, and they sit around and sip nectar and eat little delicate ambrosia wafers, and talk and exchange the news, and when the visitors are ready to go the flower says to the bee, 'Take some of these ambrosia wafers home to your children; it is too bad they couldn't come too. Take all you can carry, it won't keep, you know.' So the bees fill their baskets and the flower says, 'Oh, dear friends, won't you each take a few ambrosia wafers to our relatives whose houses you pass on the way?' And so all the insects take some of the ambrosia to leave at the houses of the other flowers, and they say what a good they have had, and thank you, they are very glad to take the pollen—I mean the ambrosia—and leave it with the other flowers. Now, then, Uncle Will, isn't that what happens?"

"Anyway," was the answer, "that is a much prettier way to tell it, and I am sure it is a true as the very truest fairy story."

"Tell some more about wasp flowers, Uncle Will o' the Wasps."

"Let me see, do you know the story of the figs?"

"No, I never heard it. Please tell it!"

"To begin with, I suppose you know what a fig is?"

"I should think so! If I only had one I would show you how well I know what to do with it too."

"You young gourmand!" said Uncle Will. "You deserve not to have another word—for you only think about what is good to eat!"

"Well," said Theodore, "I have to think about that, too, sometimes; but please go on with the wasp story."

"If you lived where figs grow you would not see any fig flowers. You would see little tiny figs coming out on the branches of the fig tree—just as if apples came sprouting out without any blossoms, you know."

"How funny!" said Theodore.

"Yes, but the funniest part is yet to come. Each little fig is really a little pocket full of flowers—"

"You don't mean they are inside the fig?"

"I do mean exactly that. But they are not flowers with bright petals like the apple blossoms. They are tiny little petalless flowers that grow as thick as they can stand all over the inside of the little fig pocket. There is a little opening at the end of the fig just big enough for a small wasp to creep through. In the countries where the fig grows best these little wasps are always present, and when the fig blossom is ripe in goes the little wasp to get the honey and lay its eggs there that the larvae may feed on the ovules of the fig."

"Oh, my!" said Theodore; "no spiders or minced fly?"

"No, these people are vegetarians. When the wasp has laid a few eggs it squeezes out through the opening again, all nicely dusted with fig pollen to carry to another fig pocket full of petalless flowers. Thus it fertilizes the flowers so that the seeds are able to develop."

"But what good does that do it the larva eats the seeds?"

"Oh, well, it only eats a few, and no doubt the fig is glad to give some ovules in payment for its services in carrying the pollen."

"When we eat a fig, what are we eating, Uncle Will,—seeds, and was eggs and grubs? What is the good part?"

"When we eat a fig, nephew mine, we eat a whole cluster of little fruits all imbedded in the sweet pulp and covered with the thick skin that surrounds them. Here," said Uncle Will, drawing a package from his pocket, "you can see for yourself."

Theodore opened the package and squealed with delight, for it was filled with delicious whole figs.

"Open one," said Uncle Will, and Theodore did so. "There you have it," Uncle Will went on, "all as plain as the nose on your face. That fig is not one fruit as you might think—it is a whole storehouse full of little fruits."

"Well, what next?" demanded Theodore with twinkling eyes.

"I leave that to you," said Uncle Will, solemnly.

"I think it would be a good plan to see how these figs taste," said Theodore, also solemnly.

"You mean it would be a good plan to taste how these figs taste, don't you?" asked Uncle Will, yet more solemnly—then they both laughed heartily and fell to and ate up all the figs.

"Are there other wasp flowers?" Theodore asked as soon as he could speak.

"Why, yes; at least there are a good many flowers that wasps like. The thing to do will be to watch all summer and find out for yourself which flowers ask the wasps to take a cup of afternoon tea at their houses."

"Don't you mean a cup of afternoon nectar, Uncle Will?"

"Oh, yes, of course, a cup of afternoon nectar is exactly what I mean."

"And the flower fairies pass it around instead of the beautiful goddess Hebe, who passed the nectar to the gods on Mount Olympus," added Theodore.

"I suspect," said Uncle Will, "that the wasps do not wait to have it passed, they just walk in and help themselves. That might seem rather ill-bred to us, but no doubt it is considered good manners in wasp land."


Edward Lear

The Duck and the Kangaroo


Said the Duck to the Kangaroo,

"Good gracious! how you hop!

Over the fields and the water too,

As if you never would stop!

My life is a bore in this nasty pond,

And I long to go out in the world beyond!

I wish I could hop like you!"

Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.


"Please give me a ride on your back!"

Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

"I would sit quite still, and say nothing but 'Quack,'

The whole of the long day through!

And we'd go to the Dee, and the Jelly Bo Lee,

Over the land, and over the sea;—

Please take me a ride! O do!"

Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.


Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,

"This requires some little reflection;

Perhaps on the whole it might bring me luck,

And there seems but one objection,

Which is, if you'll let me speak so bold,

Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,

And would probably give me the roo-

Matiz!" said the Kangaroo.


Said the Duck, "As I sate on the rocks,

I have thought over that completely,

And I bought four pairs of worsted socks

Which fit my web-feet neatly.

And to keep out the cold I've bought a cloak,

And every day a cigar I'll smoke,

All to follow my own dear true

Love of a Kangaroo!"


Said the Kangaroo, "I'm ready!

All in the moonlight pale;

But to balance me well, dear Duck, sit steady!

And quite at the end of my tail!"

So away they went with a hop and a bound,

And they hopped the whole world three times round;

And who so happy,—O who,

As the Duck and the Kangaroo?


  WEEK 43  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Crown of Thorns

Matthew xxvi: 57, to xxvii: 26; Mark xv: 1 to 15; Luke xxii: 66, to xxiii: 25; John xviii: 19, to xix: 16.

Part 1 of 2

dropcap image ROM the house of Annas the enemies of Jesus led him away bound to the house of Caiaphas, whom the Romans had lately made high-priest. There all the rulers of the Jews were called together, and they tried to find men who would swear that they had heard Jesus say some wicked thing. This would give the rulers an excuse for putting Jesus to death. But they could find nothing. Some men swore one thing, and some swore another; but their words did not agree.

Finally the high-priest stood up, and said to Jesus, who stood bound in the middle of the hall, "Have you nothing to say? What is it that these men are speaking against you?"

But Jesus stood silent, answering nothing. Then the high-priest spoke again, "Are you the Christ, the Son of God?"

And Jesus said, "I am; and the time shall come when you will see the Son of man sitting on the throne of power and coming in the clouds of heaven!"

These words made the high-priest very angry. He said to the rulers, "Do you hear these dreadful words? He says that he is the Son of God. What do you think of words like these?"

They all said, with one voice, "He deserves to be put to death!"

Then the servants of the high-priest and the soldiers that held Jesus began to mock him. They spat on him, and they covered his face, and struck him with their hands, and said, "If you are a prophet, tell who it is that is striking you!"

The rulers of the Jews and the priests and the scribes passed a vote that Jesus should be put to death. But the land of the Jews was then ruled by the Romans, and no man could be put to death unless the Roman governor commanded it. The Roman governor at that time was a man named Pontius Pilate, and he was then in the city. So all the rulers and a great crowd of people came to Pilate's castle, bringing with them Jesus, who was still bound with cords.

Up to this time Judas Iscariot, although he had betrayed Jesus, did not believe that he would be put to death. Perhaps he thought that Jesus would save himself from death, as he had saved others, by some wonderful work. But when he saw Jesus bound and beaten, and doing nothing to protect himself, and when he heard the rulers vote that Jesus should be put to death, Judas knew how wicked was the deed that he had wrought. He brought back the thirty pieces of silver that had been given to him as the reward for betraying his Lord, and he said, "I have sinned in betraying one who has done no wrong!"


Judas returns the silver to the priests

But they answered him, "What is that to us? You look after that!"

When Judas saw that they would not take back the money and let Jesus go free, he carried the thirty pieces to the Temple, and threw them down on the floor. Then he went away and hanged himself. And thus the traitor died.

After that the rulers scarcely knew what to do with the money. They said, "We cannot put it into the treasury of the Temple, because it is the price paid for a man's blood."

And when they had talked together, they used it in buying a piece of ground called "the potter's field." This they set apart as a place for burying strangers who died in the city and had no friends. But every one in Jerusalem spoke of that place as "The Field of Blood."

It was very early in the morning when the rulers of the Jews brought Jesus to Pilate. They would not go into Pilate's hall, because Pilate was not of their nation; and Pilate came out to them, and asked them, "What charge do you bring against this man?"

They answered, "If he were not an evil-doer, we would not have brought him to you."

Pilate did not wish to be troubled, and he said, "Take him away, and judge him by your own law!"

The Jews said to Pilate, "We are not allowed to put any man to death, and we have brought him to you. We have found this man teaching evil, and telling men not to pay taxes to the Emperor Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king."

Then Pilate went into his court-room, and sent for Jesus; and when he looked at Jesus, he said, "Are you the King of the Jews? Your own people have brought you to me. What have you done?"


Jesus brought before Pilate

Jesus said to him, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were of this world, then those who serve me would fight to save me from my enemies. But now my kingdom is not here."

Pilate said, "Are you a king, then?"

Jesus answered him, "You have spoken it. I am a king. For this was I born, and for this I came into the world, that I might speak the truth of God to men."

"Truth," said Pilate, "What is truth?"

Then, without waiting for an answer, Pilate went out to the rulers and the crowd, and said, "I find no evil in this man."


The Rose and the Ring  by William Makepeace Thackeray

How Betsinda Got the Warming-Pan


L ITTLE Betsinda came in to put Gruffanuff's hair in paper; and the Countess was so pleased, that, for a wonder, she complimented Betsinda. "Betsinda!" she said, "you dressed my hair very nicely to-day; I promised you a little present. Here are five sh—no, here is a pretty little ring, that I picked—that I have had some time." And she gave Betsinda the ring she had picked up in the court. It fitted Betsinda exactly.

"It's like the ring the Princess used to wear," says the maid.

"No such thing," says Gruffanuff, "I have had it ever so long. There—tuck me up quite comfortable; and now, as it's a very cold night (the snow is beating in at the window), you may go and warm dear Prince Giglio's bed, like a good girl, and then you may unrip my green silk, and then you can just do me up a little cap for the morning, and then you can mend that hole in my silk stocking, and then you can go to bed, Betsinda. Mind, I shall want my cup of tea at five o'clock in the morning."

"I suppose I had best warm both the young gentlemen's beds, ma'am," says Betsinda.

Gruffanuff, for reply, said, "Hau-au-ho!—Grau-haw-hoo!—Hong-hrho!" In fact, she was snoring sound asleep.

Her room, you know, is next to the King and Queen, and the Princess is next to them. So pretty Betsinda went away for the coals to the kitchen, and filled the royal warming-pan.

Now, she was a very kind, merry, civil, pretty girl; but there must have been something very captivating about her this evening, for all the women in the servants' hall began to scold and abuse her. The housekeeper said she was a pert, stuck-up thing; the upper-housemaid asked, how dare she wear such ringlets and ribbons, it was quite improper! The cook (for there was a woman-cook as well as a man-cook) said to the kitchen-maid that she never could see any thing in that creetur; but as for the men, every one of them, coachman John, Buttons the page, and Monseur, the Prince of Crim Tartary's valet, started up, and said—

"My eyes!"

"O mussy!"

"O jemmany!"

"O ciel!"

What a pretty girl Betsinda is!

"Hands off; none of your impertinence, you vulgar, low people!" says Betsinda, walking off with her pan of coals. She heard the young gentlemen playing at billiards as she went up stairs: first to Prince Giglio's bed, which she warmed, and then to Prince Bulbo's room.

He came in just as she had done; and as soon as he saw her, "O! O! O! O! O! O! what a beyou—oo—ootiful creature you are. You angel—you peri—you rose-bud, let me be thy bulbul—thy Bulbo, too! Fly to the desert, fly with me! I never saw a young gazelle to glad me with its dark blue eye that had eyes like thine. Thou nymph of beauty, take, take this young heart. A truer never did itself sustain within a soldier's waistcoat. Be mine! Be mine! Be Princess of Crim Tartary! My Royal father will approve our union; and, as for that little carrotty-haired Angelica, I do not care a fig for her any more."

"Go away, your Royal Highness, and go to bed, please," said Betsinda, with the warming-pan.

But Bulbo said: "No, never, till thou swearest to be mine, thou lovely, blushing, chambermaid divine! Here, at thy feet, the Royal Bulbo lies, the trembling captive of Betsinda's eyes."

And he went on, making himself so absurd and ridiculous,  that Betsinda, who was full of fun, gave him a touch with the warming-pan, which, I promise you, made him cry "O-o-o-o!" in a very different manner.


Prince Bulbo made such a noise that Prince Giglio, who heard him from the next room, came in to see what was the matter. As soon as he saw what was taking place, Giglio, in a fury, rushed on Bulbo, kicked him in the rudest manner up to the ceiling, and went on kicking him till his hair was quite out of curl.

Poor Betsinda did not know whether to laugh or to cry; the kicking certainly must hurt the Prince, but then he looked so droll! When Giglio had done knocking him up and down to the ground, and whilst he went into a corner rubbing himself, what do you think Giglio does? He goes down on his knees to Betsinda, takes her hand, begs her to accept his heart, and offers to marry her that moment. Fancy Betsinda's condition, who had been in love with the Prince ever since she first saw him in the Palace garden, when she was quite a little child.

"Oh, divine Betsinda!" says the Prince, "how have I lived fifteen years in thy company without seeing thy perfections? What woman in all Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, nay, in Australia, only it is not yet discovered, can presume to be thy equal? Angelica? Pish! Gruffanuff? Phoo! The Queen? Ha, ha! Thou art my Queen. Thou art the real Angelica, because thou art really angelic."

"Oh, Prince! I am but a poor chambermaid," says Betsinda, looking, however, very much pleased.

"Didst thou not tend me in my sickness, when all forsook me?" continues Giglio. "Did not thy gentle hand smooth my pillow, and bring me jelly and roast chicken?"

"Yes, dear Prince, I did," says Betsinda, "and I sewed your Royal Highness' shirt-buttons on too, if you please, your Royal Highness," cries this artless maiden.

When poor Prince Bulbo, who was now madly in love with Betsinda, heard this declaration, when he saw the unmistakable glances which she flung upon Giglio, Bulbo began to cry bitterly, and tore quantities of hair out of his head, till it all covered the room like so much tow.


Betsinda had left the warming-pan on the floor while the Princes were going on with their conversation, and as they began now to quarrel and be very fierce with one another, she thought proper to run away.

"You great big blubbering booby, tearing your hair in the corner there; of course you will give me satisfaction for insulting Betsinda. You  dare to kneel down at Princess Giglio's knees and kiss her hand!"

"She's not Princess Giglio!" roars out Bulbo. "She shall be Princess Bulbo, no other shall be Princess Bulbo."

"You are engaged to my cousin!" bellows out Giglio.

"I hate your cousin," says Bulbo.

"You shall give me satisfaction for insulting her!" cries Giglio in a fury.

"I'll have your life."

"I'll run you through."

"I'll cut your throat."

"I'll blow your brains out."

"I'll knock your head off."

"I'll send a friend to you in the morning."

"I'll send a bullet into you in the afternoon."

"We'll meet again," says Giglio, shaking his fist in Bulbo's face; and seizing up the warming-pan, he kissed it because, forsooth, Betsinda had carried it, and rushed down stairs. What should he see on the landing but his Majesty talking to Betsinda, whom he called by all sorts of fond names. His Majesty had heard a row in the building, so he stated, and smelling something burning had come out to see what the matter was.

"It's the young gentlemen smoking, perhaps, sir," says Betsinda.

"Charming chambermaid," says the King (like all the rest of them), "never mind the young men! Turn thy eyes on a middle-aged autocrat, who has been considered not ill-looking in his time."

"Oh, sir! what will her Majesty say?" cries Betsinda.

"Her Majesty!" laughs the monarch. "Her Majesty be hanged. Am I not Autocrat of Paflagonia? Have I not blocks, ropes, axes, hangmen—ha? Runs not a river by my palace wall? Have I not sacks to sew up wives withal? Say but the word, that thou wilt be mine own,—your mistress straightway in a sack is sewn, and thou the sharer of my heart and throne."


When Giglio heard these atrocious sentiments, he forgot the respect usually paid to Royalty, lifted up the warming-pan and knocked down the King as flat as a pancake; after which, Master Giglio took to his heels and ran away, and Betsinda went off screaming, and the Queen, the Princess, and Gruffanuff all came out of their rooms. Fancy their feelings on beholding their husband, father, sovereign, in this posture!



The Rose and the Ring  by William Makepeace Thackeray

How King Valoroso Was in a Dreadful Passion


A S soon as the coals began to burn him, the King came to himself and stood up. "Ho! my captain of the guards!" His Majesty exclaimed, stamping his royal feet with rage. O piteous spectacle! the King's nose was bent quite crooked by the blow of Prince Giglio! His Majesty ground his teeth with rage. "Hedzoff," he said, taking a death warrant out of his dressing-gown pocket, "Hedzoff, good Hedzoff, seize upon the Prince. Thou'lt find him in his chamber two pair up. But now he dared, with sacrilegious hand, to strike the sacred night-cap of a king—Hedzoff, and floor me with a warming-pan! Away, no more demur, the villain dies! See it be done, or else,—h'm!—ha!—h'm! mind thine own eyes!" and followed by the ladies, and lifting up the tails of his dressing-gown, the King entered his own apartment.


Captain Hedzoff was very much affected, having a sincere love for Giglio. "Poor, poor Giglio!" he said, the tears rolling over his manly face, and dripping down his moustachios; "my noble young prince, is it my hand must lead thee to death?"

"Lead him to fiddlestick, Hedzoff," said a female voice. It was Gruffanuff, who had come out in her dressing-gown when she heard the noise. "The King said you were to hang the Prince. Well, hang the Prince."


"I don't understand you," says Hedzoff, who was not a very clever man.

"You Gaby! he didn't say which  Prince," says Gruffanuff.

"No; he didn't say which, certainly," said Hedzoff.

"Well, then, take Bulbo, and hang him!"

When Captain Hedzoff heard this he began to dance about for joy. "Obedience is a soldier's honor," says he. "Prince Bulbo's head will do capitally, and he went to arrest the Prince the very first thing next morning.

He knocked at the door. "Who's there?" says Bulbo. "Captain Hedzoff? Step in, pray, my good Captain. I'm delighted to see you. I have been expecting you."

"Have you?" says Hedzoff.

"Sleibootz, my Chamberlain, will act for me," says the Prince.

"I beg your Royal Highness' pardon, but you will have to act for yourself, and it's a pity to wake Baron Sleibootz."

The Prince Bulbo still seemed to take the matter very coolly. "Of course, Captain," says he, "you are come about that affair with Prince Giglio."

"Precisely," says Hedzoff, "that affair of Prince Giglio."

"Is it to be pistols or swords, Captain?" asks Bulbo. "I'm a pretty good hand with both, and I'll do for Prince Giglio as sure as my name is my Royal Highness Prince Bulbo."

"There's some mistake, my Lord," says the Captain. "The business is done with axes  among us,"

"Axes? That's sharp work," says Bulbo. "Call my Chamberlain; he'll be my second, and in ten minutes I flatter myself you'll see Master Giglio's head off his impertinent shoulders. I'm hungry for his blood! Hoo-oo, aw!" and he looked as savage as an ogre.


"I beg your pardon, sir, but by this warrant I am to take you prisoner, and hand you over to—to the executioner."

"Pooh, pooh, my good man!—Stop, I say—ho!—hulloa!" was all that this luckless prince was enabled to say, for Hedzoff's Guards seizing him, tied a handkerchief over his mouth and face, and carried him to the place of execution.

The King, who happened to be talking to Glumboso, saw him pass, and took a pinch of snuff, and said: "So much for Giglio. Now let's go to breakfast."

The Captain of the Guard handed over his prisoner to the Sheriff, with the fatal order:



"It's a mistake," said Bulbo, who did not seem to understand the business in the least.


"Poo—poo—pooh," says the Sheriff. "Fetch Jack Ketch instantly. Jack Ketch!"

And poor Bulbo was led to the scaffold, where an executioner with a block and a tremendous axe was always ready in case he should be wanted.

But we must now revert to Giglio and Betsinda.


Robert Burns

To a Mouse

On Turning Up Her Nest with the Plow, November, 1785

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,

Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!

Thou needna start awa' sae hasty,

Wi' bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin and chase thee,

Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion

Has broken Nature's social union,

And justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle

At me, thy poor earth-born companion

And fellow-mortal!

I doubtna, whiles, but thou may thieve;

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

A daimen icker in a thrave

'S a sma' request:

I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave,

And never miss 't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!

Its silly wa's the win's are strewin'!

And naething now to big a new ane

O' foggage green,

And bleak December's winds ensuin',

Baith snell and keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,

And weary winter comin' fast,

And cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell,

Till, crash! the cruel coulter passed

Out through thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves and stibble

Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!

Now thou's turned out for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald,

To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

And cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best-laid schemes o' mice and men

Gang aft a-gley,

And lea'e us naught but grief and pain,

For promised joy.

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But, och! I backward cast my e'e

On prospects drear!

And forward, though I canna see,

I guess and fear.