WEEK 15 |
AMONG the religious sects which came to England about the time of the settlement of America were the Quakers, or, as they called themselves, "The Society of Friends." They believed that no special honor should be paid to anyone, and that all men should be addressed as "Friend." They even spoke of the King as "Friend James" or "Friend Charles." They would not take off their hats in the presence of anyone, not even the King himself. They always used the words "thee" and "thou," instead of the word "you" in speaking to a person.
Soon after Charles II was crowned King of England, William Penn, who had become a Quaker, was given an audience. When Penn entered the royal room, he found the King standing with his hat on, as was the custom; and all the courtiers were around him uncovered and vying in their efforts to flatter him and do him the most honor.
Penn came up with his hat on. The King at once removed his hat and bowed very low to the approaching Quaker. "Why dost thou remove thy hat, Friend Charles?" asked Penn. "Because it is the custom of this Court for only one man to remain covered," explained the King, to the amazement of the courtiers.
The Quaker men dressed very simply in drab or gray clothes, with broad-brimmed hats. The women wore gray dresses, with simple white cuffs and collars. No matter how rich or poor, the Quakers wore costumes that cost about the same. They believed all men to be equal, and an honest man who tried to do right was entitled to as much respect as the King himself, and more so, if the King was not a good man.
In their meetings the Quakers had no music and no preaching. The people came in and sat silently, until someone was moved by the spirit to speak or pray. Not having any paid preacher, themselves, they believed no one should be paid to preach the Gospel, and so they refused to pay taxes to support the Church of England. Since the Bible said it was wrong to swear, they refused to take an oath in the courts of law, saying that a truthful man did not have to swear to what he said; if he were not a truthful man he did not mind swearing to a lie.
They did not believe in courts of law and quarrels, and they refused to go to law about anything, but settled their differences among themselves. Not believing in quarrels and bloodshed, they disapproved of taking a part in war. They were people of peace, who believed in equality, brotherly love, and simplicity of living.
It was not long before the English Government made laws to prevent the spread of the doctrine of the Quakers. These laws forbade them to hold meetings. Many of the Quakers were thrown into prison and fined, some were publicly flogged, and all were hooted at and sometimes stoned upon the public streets. But the Quakers made no protest, and endured all these persecutions with true Christian spirit.
The Quakers attracted the attention of the young man, William Penn. He was the son of a famous English Admiral, Sir William Penn. When the boy was fifteen years old, he was sent to Oxford University, where he met a Quaker who had great influence over him. At that time the students were required to wear long black gowns. Penn and some of the other younger men refused to wear these gowns, and even went so far as to tear them off of some of their fellow students. For this he and his friends were expelled from College.
His father was very angry, and sent William to Paris to indulge in the gay life of that city, hoping it would divert his mind. After two yeas however, the young man returned to England unchanged in mind, and openly joined the Society of Friends. It was then that he began to preach their doctrines. For this his father disowned him, and the King ordered him thrown into prison.
While in prison he wrote many books and pamphlets on religious subjects, and sternly refused to change his faith. When he was released, he and his father were reconciled, just a short while before the old Admiral died, leaving William Penn his estate.
Penn now found himself a wealthy young man, and resolved to carry out his plan of founding a colony in America for the persecuted Quakers. It seems that the King owed Penn's father a lot of money he had borrowed from him. Penn proposed to the King to cancel the debt by receiving a grant of land in America. This was easy for the King to do, for it cost him nothing, and was a good way to get rid of the debt.
The King said to Penn, "I shall never see you again, William, for the Indians will boil you in their kettle."
"Nay, nay, Friend Charles," replied Penn, "I shall be friends with the savages, and pay them for their lands."
The King was astonished, and asked Penn why he intended to buy lands that were the King's by right of discovery.
"Discovery!" exclaimed Penn. "Suppose a canoe full of savages had landed in England, would they own this kingdom by right of discovery?" To such a question the King made no reply.
Penn wanted his grant named "Sylvania," which means woodland. But the King would add "Penn" to the name in honor of the old Admiral, his friend. And so the future colony of the Quakers came to be called "Pennsylvania."
L IFE in the forest is very different from life in the meadow, and the forest people have many ways of doing which are not known in the world outside. They are a quiet people and do not often talk or sing when there are strangers near. You could never get acquainted with them until you had learned to be quiet also, and to walk through the underbrush without snapping twigs at every step. Then, if you were to live among them and speak their language, you would find that there are many things about which it is not polite to talk. And there is a reason for all this.
In the meadow, although they have their quarrels and their own troubles, they always make it up again and are friendly, but in the forest there are some people who can never get along well together, and who do not go to the same parties or call upon each other. It is not because they are cross, or selfish, or bad. It is just because of the way in which they have to live and hunt, and they cannot help it any more than you could help having eyes of a certain color.
These are things which are all understood in the forest, and the people there are careful what they say and do, so they get on very well indeed, and have many happy times in that quiet, dusky place. When people are born there, they learn these things without thinking about it, but when they come there from some other place it is very hard, for everybody thinks it stupid in strangers to ask about such simple matters.
When Mr. Red Squirrel first came to the forest, he knew
nothing of the way in which they do, and he afterward
said that learning forest manners was even harder than
running away from his old home. You see, Mr. Red
Squirrel was born in the forest, but was carried away
from there when he was only a baby. From that time
until he was grown, he had never set claw upon a tree,
and all he could see of the world he had seen by
peeping through the bars of a cage. His cousins in the
forest learned to frisk along the
He used to wonder if there were nothing better in life, for he had been taken from his woodland home when he was too young to remember about it. One day he saw another Squirrel outside, a dainty little one who looked as though she had never a sad thought. That made him care more than ever to be free, and when he curled down in his cotton nest that night he dreamed about her, and that they were eating acorns together in a tall oak tree.
The next day Mr. Red Squirrel pretended to be sick. He would not run in the wheel or taste the food in his cage. When his master came to look at him, he moaned pitifully and would not move one leg. His master thought that the leg was broken, and took limp little Mr. Red Squirrel in his hand to the window to see what was the matter. The window was up, and when he saw his chance, Mr. Red Squirrel leaped into the open air and was away to the forest. His poor legs were weak from living in such a small cage, but how he ran! His heart thumped wildly under the soft fur of his chest, and his breath came in quick gasps, and still he ran, leaping, scrambling, and sometimes falling, but always nearer the great green trees of his birthplace.
At last he was safe and sat trembling on the lowest
branch of a
"What is the name of this place?" asked Mr. Red Squirrel.
"This? Why this is the forest, of course," answered
the Gray Squirrel. "We have no other name for it. It
is possible that there are other forests in the world,
but they cannot be so fine as this, so we call ours
"Are there pleasant neighbors here?" asked Mr. Red Squirrel.
"Very good, very good. My wife and I do not call on many of them, but still they are good enough people, I think."
"Then why don't you call?"
"Why? Why? Because they are not in our set. It would never do." And the Gray Squirrel sat up very straight indeed.
"Who is that gliding fellow on the ground below?" asked the newcomer. "Is he one of your friends?"
"That? That is the Rattlesnake. We never speak to each other. There has always been trouble between our families."
"Who lives in that hollow tree yonder?"
"Sh, sh! That is where the Great Horned Owl has his home. He is asleep now and must not be awakened, for Squirrels and Owls cannot be friendly."
"Because. It has always been so."
"And who is that bird just laying an egg in her nest above us?"
"Speak softly, please. That is the Cowbird, and it is not her nest. You will get into trouble if you talk such things aloud. She can't help it. She has to lay her eggs in other birds' nests, but they don't like it."
Mr. Red Squirrel tried very hard to find out the reason for this, but there are always some things for which no reason can be given; and there are many questions which can never be answered, even if one were to ask, "Why? why? why?" all day long. So Mr. Red Squirrel, being a wise little fellow, stopped asking, and thought by using his eyes and ears he would in time learn all that he needed to know. He had good eyes and keen ears, and he learned very fast without making many mistakes. He had a very happy life among the forest people, and perhaps that was one reason. He learned not to say things which made his friends feel badly, and he did not ask needless questions. And after all, you know, it would have been very foolish to ask questions which nobody could answer, and worse than foolish to ask about matters which he could find out for himself.
It is in the forest as in the world outside. We can know that many things are, but we never know why they are.
There are many flags in many lands,
There are flags of every hue,
But there is no flag, however grand,
Like our own "Red, White and Blue."
I know where the prettiest colors are,
And I'm sure if I only knew
How to get them here I could make a flag
Of glorious "Red, White and Blue."
I would cut a piece from an evening sky,
Where the stars were shining through
And use it just as it was on high,
For my stars and field of blue.
Then I'd want a part of a fleecy cloud,
And some red from a rainbow bright
And put them together side by side,
For my stripes of red and white.
We shall always love the "Stars and Stripes,"
And we mean to be ever true.
To this land of ours and the dear old flag,
The Red, the White and the Blue.
Then hurrah for the flag! our country's flag,
Its stripes and white stars too;
There is no flag in any land,
Like our own "Red, White and Blue!"
WEEK 15 |
A GREY sky overhead; a cold bitter wind sweeping the spray from off the crests of the great grey waves; a grey inhospitable-looking land stretching north and south. This was what the dim morning light showed to the eyes of the anxious watchers in the little boat which was battling its way along the shores of the Firth of Forth. Truly it was but a dark outlook, and the hearts of the little company on board were as heavily overshadowed by the clouds of misfortune, doubt, and foreboding, as the gloomy shores were wrapped in their folds of rolling mist.
It was a royal burden that the little boat bore up the waters of the Firth that wintry day of wind and mist. Edgar the Etheling, grandson of Edmond Ironside, driven from his kingdom by the all-conquering William, had fled northwards with his mother and two sisters, Margaret and Christina. Some faithful followers had thrown in their lot with the royal fugitives, but it was but a small company all told. No wonder that their hearts were heavy that wintry morning. Obliged to flee from their own country, driven out of their course by the raging tempest, what welcome awaited them in this bleak land, of which they had heard many a savage tale? Would they be treated as friends or looked upon as enemies? The royal family had meant to return to Hungary, where Edgar and his sisters had spent the days of their happy childhood, but the winds and waves had proved as furious and unkind as those subjects from whom they had fled, and there seemed nothing to do now but to seek some landing-place along the rocky shore, some shelter from the pitiless storm.
Among the weary, spent travellers there was one who was calm and untroubled, whose face reflected none of the gloom of the skies overhead, on whom the dreary foreboding of the future cast no shadow. Fair and stately as a lily the Princess Margaret stood gazing across the angry waters, marking the desolate rocky shores, watching the white sea-birds as they swooped and rose again, as confident and unruffled as one of those white birds herself. For Margaret knew that a greater than an earthly king was with her, and that He, her Lord and Master, held the grey waters and their uncertain fortunes in the hollow of His hand, able as ever to calm the winds and waves of this troublesome world with that comforting command, "Peace, be still."
"To the right, to the right," shouted a sailor on the look-out; "yonder is a little bay where methinks we should find shelter and means to land."
"Ay, if there be no rocks to guard the way," said the captain cautiously. But nevertheless he turned the boat landwards, and eager eyes scanned the shore as they approached. It seemed indeed a haven of refuge, a peaceful little bay, gathered in from the angry waters by a little wooded arm of land that guarded it so securely that the rough breakers went sweeping past, and the sandy beach sloped gently down to meet the little dancing waves, while the wet sand reflected the swooping white wings of the sea-birds that hovered about the shore.
The little company were thankful indeed to land at last, and to feel the firm earth under their feet once more. The mist too had begun to roll away, and a gleam of sunshine touched into warmer colour the bare hills around. Surely this was a good omen, and they might hope that the clouds of their evil fortune were also about to break. It is more than eight hundred years since that little company landed at the sheltered cove, and it might seem as if their very names were long since forgotten, but a faint memory of far-off romance is still linked to the place by the name it bears, Saint Margaret's Hope.
With weary steps the travellers began to journey inland, where they hoped to find some town or village close by. The few country people they met stared at them with round eyes of wonder. Who could these people be? They were without doubt of high rank. Even the King did not wear such fine garments. The beautiful ladies did not look fit to walk such rough roads. They must have landed from yon boat which lay in the cove beneath. The one thing to be done was certainly to hasten to the court and tell of the arrival of the strangers.
Up hill and down dale the little company journeyed on, until at last even Margaret's brave spirit grew weary, and she begged them to rest awhile in one of the green fields, where there was a great stone that would make a comfortable seat for the tired ladies. "Saint Margaret's Stone" the people call it still, and many a poor wayfarer, tired out with the tramp along dusty roads, sits and rests there now, as did the Princess Margaret long ago.
Perhaps in happier days afterwards, Margaret, looking back, may have often thought of that stone when she read the old story of Jacob and his stony pillow. Had not she, like him a weary fugitive driven from home, chosen a stone to rest upon? Had not a golden link with heaven been formed there too, and had not God's kind angels spread around her their tender care, leading her into the peaceful paths of light and happiness?
It was as they sat resting there that they were startled by the sound of many feet approaching, and a company of horsemen were seen coming towards them. Did they come as friends or enemies, was the swift thought that passed through each anxious mind. But fears were soon dispelled by the words of welcome that greeted them, and the rough men behaved themselves most reverently and courteously. They were come in the name of their King, Malcolm of Scotland, to bid the travellers welcome, they said. The royal palace close by at Dunfermline was at their disposal. Their lord himself was far away in England fighting against the usurper, but he would ere long be back to give them his own royal welcome.
So with lightened hearts and less weary feet the travellers went on, and soon caught sight of the town, built like an eagle's nest upon the steep hillside.
Now the King, Malcolm Canmore or Great Head, had made up his mind to befriend the fugitive Prince, and to uphold his cause against the usurping Norman. He himself knew what it meant to be a homeless wanderer, for when but a boy, the treacherous Macbeth had seized his kingdom, and it was by the strength of his own right arm and dauntless courage that he had won back his crown. He had never forgotten the kindness he had received at the Saxon court at the hands of Edward the Confessor, and perhaps there too he had seen the boy Edgar and his beautiful sister Margaret. Margaret's beauty was not a thing to be lightly forgotten, and the Scottish King, with his lionlike head and lionlike nature, had a large heart which was very easily touched by beauty of any kind.
It was soon seen, after the King's return to his palace at Dunfermline, that he loved the gentle Margaret with all the devotion of his great heart. She seemed to him something so precious, so delicately fair, that he hardly dared dream of winning her. It was like roughly plucking a harebell which had bravely lifted its head among the stones on his mountain path, linked to earth only by that slender stem which one rough touch might break. But he did most truly love her, and as his Queen he would be able to shield and guard from any harm the flower of his heart.
Margaret, however, was sorely troubled. This was not the life she had planned. She had thought to leave behind her the cares and troubles of a court, and to find peace and quietness in a convent home, where she might serve God. Far away in Hungary, where she had spent her childhood, and in the peaceful old home in England, she had loved to listen to stories of the lives of the saints, and especially had she pondered over the life of Saint Margaret, and longed to follow in her namesake's steps.
But there are more ways than one of serving God, and Margaret dimly saw that perhaps the path beset with most difficulties might be the one that her Master would have chosen. It would be sweet to serve Him in the peaceful shelter of a convent cell, but faithful and brave soldiers do not seek the safest posts, where duties are easy and dangers few. They seek to endure hardness and not ease. To be a good Queen might be a higher and more difficult task than to be a devout nun.
So Margaret at last consented to be wed, and when the first primroses were beginning to star the woods, and spring hastened to breathe a softer welcome to the English bride, the royal marriage took place at Dunfermline in the happy Eastertide.
But although the King had now attained the wish of his heart, he did not yet fully understand how pure and precious a gift had been bestowed upon him. Not very long after his marriage with Margaret, evil tongues began to whisper secret tales to which the King should never have given heed. They told how the Queen, when he was absent, stole out from the palace to meet his enemies in a certain cave not very far off in the woods.
Angry and suspicious, the King determined to find out the truth of the story, and one day, pretending to go out to the hunt, he returned secretly to the palace. With a heavy heart he watched his fair Queen quietly slip through the postern gate, and make her way through the woods to the fatal cave. He followed her silently, and when she disappeared, crept close to the opening and listened. Yes, it was true! A great wave of fury surged up in his heart as he heard the voice he loved so well speaking to some one inside the cave. Too angry to stir for a moment, he stood there listening to the words she spoke; but as he listened a look of bewilderment flashed across his face, the red flush of anger faded, and he hung his head as if ashamed. For the voice he heard was indeed Margaret's, but it was to God she spoke. "King and Lord of all," she prayed, "teach my dear King to serve Thee truly, to love Thee perfectly, and to walk in Thy light."
There were no more suspicious thoughts, no more listening to evil gossip after this, but the heart of Malcolm was bound more closely by the golden thread of love to his dear Queen, and thus through her was linked to God.
The news of the King's marriage with the beautiful English Princess was carried far and near, and the people wondered greatly what manner of Queen she would make. They watched her narrowly, and at first were not quite sure if her manners and customs were to their liking. Was it pride that made this great lady dress herself in such fair robes—kirtles of rainbow hue that hung in graceful folds, mantles all broidered with gay devices in colours borrowed from the peacock's plumes? Yet as they looked at their own strong useful garments, grey and dun-coloured as the wintry skies, they allowed that perhaps a little cheerful touch of colour might not come amiss.
Margaret's speech too was soft and courteous, and they were fain to confess that her graciousness won their hearts, almost in spite of themselves. But they were suspicious at first of all the changes at the court. Why, even the King himself began to show more kingly manners and to live in greater state. The servants no longer did their work in a slovenly way; the common drinking-cups and platters were replaced by silver goblets and golden dishes. The palace was royally furnished; all was fitly set out and well ordered. And yet the people very clearly saw that it could not be pride that made the gentle Queen insist on all this state. They soon found that a self-denying pitiful heart dwelt under her magnificent robes, that she was ready to give even her own garments to clothe the poor, and if she fed off a golden platter, the food was as simple as that of the humblest of the land. But she was a Queen, and the simple rule of her life was that all things should be fitly ordered. Neither in this did she stop at her own palace gates. The whole kingdom soon felt the influence of the hand that could guide even the great-headed Malcolm.
Many abuses had crept into the ancient Church, and Margaret longed to set these right. It must have been a strange sight to see the Queen in her beautiful robes, seated in the midst of all the clever men when they were gathered together to talk the matter over. If she was in earnest, so were they. Many a frowning black look was cast at the maiden who dared single-handed to do battle for the right. But Margaret loved her Church, and like Sir Galahad "her strength was as the strength of ten, because her heart was pure," and in the end she triumphed. Little by little, too, she taught her people that Sunday was a holy day, a day of rest for man and beast—a lesson sorely needed then, and never since forgotten.
So it seemed as if the love of God which dwelt in Margaret's heart was already bringing light into the dark places, and making the crooked ways straight, and she rejoiced to find that she could serve Him in the world as well as in the cloister.
It soon became known that any one in want or in trouble would find a friend in the new Queen. Her pitiful heart was linked to a helpful hand, and no one was ever turned empty away. Many were the ransoms she paid for poor English prisoners carried off captive in the fierce raids of the Scots. Widows and orphans flocked to the court, sure that the Queen would always befriend them in their distress.
Sometimes the King would laugh, and say that none of his possessions were safe from those hands that were so ready to give. When her purse was empty, the Queen would take off one of her own garments to clothe some shivering beggar, and when money was needed she would dip her hands into the King's private store of gold, well knowing that he grudged her nothing.
"Aha! I have caught thee now," he cried one day as he found her hurrying from his treasure-chest with well-filled hands. "What and if I have thee arrested, tried, and found guilty of robbery?"
Margaret smiled as she looked up into those kind laughing eyes.
"I plead guilty at once," she said, holding out the gold.
"Nay, dear heart," said the King, closing her fingers over the golden pieces. "Thou canst not steal what is already thine own. All that I have, thou knowest, is thine."
How truly the great rough King loved this gentle maiden! Everything she touched, everything she loved, was sacred to him. Often he would lift the books she had been using, and although he could not read the words she loved, he would hold the volumes lovingly in his great strong hands, and, half ashamed, would bend to kiss the covers which her hands had touched. Nothing, he thought, was quite good enough for his Queen. He could not bear that even the bindings of her books should be only of rough leather, and when he found a cunning worker in metals, he would have the covers overlaid with gold and precious stones, and with many a round white pearl, fit emblem of his Margaret, the Pearl of Queens.
It was one of these precious books, a book of the gospels, which Margaret loved above all the rest. Not only was its jewelled cover a token of the King's love, but the precious words inside were fitly illuminated with golden letters, and there were pictures of the four Evangelists most fair to look upon.
Now it happened that one day when Margaret was journeying from Dunfermline, a careless servant, who carried the book, let it slip from its wrappings into the midst of a river which they were fording. The man did not perceive that the book was lost, and thought no more of it until called upon by the Queen to deliver his precious burden. Long and sorrowfully he sought for it, retracing carefully each step he had come until at last he reached the river. Then he grew hopeless indeed. If it should have fallen into the stream, it would mean the end of the Queen's precious book. Ah! it was too true; there, in a clear stretch of water, where the ripples scarcely stirred the surface, he saw the gleam of white parchment as the leaves were gently stirred to and fro by the moving water. He bent down and lifted it carefully, and holding it safe in his hands, he gazed with wonder at the open leaves. The little coverings of silk which protected the golden letters had been loosened and swept away, but upon the pages themselves there was not a stain or blur. Not a single letter was washed out; the fair illuminated pictures were as clear and unspoiled as ever; the gold shone undimmed upon the pure white parchment leaves; the water had not injured one of the precious words of the Queen's book.
Once there was a cat and a mouse.
They lived in the same house.
The cat bit the mouse's tail off.
"Pray, puss," said the mouse,
"give me my long tail again."
"No, " said the cat,
"I will not give you your tail
till you bring me some milk."
First she leaped,
And then she ran,
Till she came to the cow,
And thus she began:
"Pray, cow, give me some milk for the cat.
Then she will give me my long tail again."
"No," said the cow,
"I will give you no milk
till you bring me some hay.
First she leaped,
And then she ran,
Till she came to the farmer,
And thus she began:
"Pray, farmer, give me some hay
for the cow.
Then she will give me some milk
for the cat,
And then the cat will give me
my long tail again."
"No," said the farmer,
"I will give you no hay
till you bring me some meat."
First she leaped,
And then she ran,
Till she came to the butcher,
And thus she began:
"Pray, butcher, give me some meat
for the farmer.
Then he will give me some hay
for the cow,
The cow will give me some milk
for the cat,
And then the cat will give me
my long tail again."
"No," said the butcher,
"I will give you no meat
till you bring me some bread."
First she leaped,
And then she ran,
Till she came to the baker,
And thus she began:
"Pray, baker, give me some bread
for the butcher.
Then he will give me some meat
for the farmer,
The farmer will give me some hay
for the cow,
The cow will give me some milk
for the cat,
And then the cat will give me
my long tail again."
"Yes," said the baker,
"I will give you some bread.
But if you eat my flour,
I will cut off your head."
The baker gave the mouse some bread,
and she took it to the butcher.
The butcher gave the mouse some meat,
and she took it to the farmer.
The farmer gave the mouse some hay,
and she took it to the cow.
The cow gave the mouse some milk,
and she took it to the cat.
And then the cat gave the mouse
her long tail again.
— English Folk Tale
When the toys are growing weary;
And the twilight gathers in,
When the nursery still re-echoes
With the children's merry din;
Then unseen, unheard, unnoticed,
Comes an old man up the stair,
Lightly to the children passes,
Lays his hand upon their hair.
Softly smiles the good old Dustman,
In their eyes the dust he throws,
Till their little heads are falling
And their eyelids gently close.
Then the Dustman very gently
Takes each little dimpled hand,
Leads them through the sweet green shadows,
Far away to Slumberland.
WEEK 15 |
A-TRI is the name of a little town in
A long time ago, the King of Atri bought a fine large bell,
and had it hung up in a tower in the market place. A long
rope that reached almost to the ground was
"It is the bell of justice," said the king.
When at last everything was ready, the people of Atri had a
great holiday. All the men and women and children came down
to the market place to look at the bell of justice. It was a
very pretty bell, and was
"How we should like to hear it ring!" they said.
Then the king came down the street.
"Perhaps he will ring it," said the people; and everybody stood very still, and waited to see what he would do.
But he did not ring the bell. He did not even take the rope in his hands. When he came to the foot of the tower, he stopped, and raised his hand.
"My people," he said, "do you see this beautiful bell? It is your bell; but it must never be rung except in case of need. If any one of you is wronged at any time, he may come and ring the bell; and then the judges shall come together at once, and hear his case, and give him justice. Rich and poor, old and young, all alike may come; but no one must touch the rope unless he knows that he has been wronged."
Many years passed by after this. Many times did the bell in
the market place ring out to call the judges together. Many
wrongs were righted, many ill-doers were punished. At last
the hempen rope was almost worn out. The lower part of it
"This will never do," said the judges one day. "What if a child should be wronged? It could not ring the bell to let us know it."
They gave orders that a new rope should be put upon the bell
at once,—a rope that should hang down to the ground, so that
the smallest child could reach it. But there was not a rope
to be found in all Atri. They would have to send across the
mountains for one, and it would be many days before it could
be brought. What if some great wrong should be done before
it came? How could the judges know about it, if the
"Let me fix it for you," said a man who stood by.
He ran into his garden, which was not far away, and soon came back with a long grape-vine in his hands.
"This will do for a rope," he said; and he climbed up, and
fastened it to the bell. The
"Yes," said the judges, "it is a very good rope. Let it be as it is."
Now, on the
But the knight, when he grew older, cared no more to ride
into battle; he cared no more to do brave deeds; he thought
of nothing but gold; he became a miser. At last he sold
all that he had, except his horse, and went to live in a
little hut on the
"What is the use of keeping that lazy steed?" said the miser to himself one morning. "Every week it costs me more to keep him than he is worth. I might sell him; but there is not a man that wants him. I cannot even give him away. I will turn him out to shift for himself, and pick grass by the roadside. If he starves to death, so much the better."
So the brave old horse was turned out to find what he could among the rocks on the barren hill-side. Lame and sick, he strolled along the dusty roads, glad to find a blade of grass or a thistle. The boys threw stones at him, the dogs barked at him, and in all the world there was no one to pity him.
One hot afternoon, when no one was upon the street, the
horse chanced to wander into the
He stretched his thin neck, and took one of the tempting morsels in his mouth. It was hard to break it from the vine. He pulled at it, and the great bell above him began to ring. All the people in Atri heard it. It seemed to say,—
Some one has done me wrong!
Some one has done me wrong!
Oh! come and judge my case!
Oh! come and judge my case!
For I've been wronged!"
The judges heard it. They put on their robes, and went
out through the hot streets to the
"Ha!" cried one, "it is the miser's steed. He has come
to call for justice; for his master, as
"He pleads his cause as well as any dumb brute can," said another.
"And he shall have justice!" said the third.
"Go bring the miser before us," said the judges.
"Some one has done me wrong!"
And when he came, they bade him stand and hear their
"This horse has served you well for many a year," they said. "He has saved you from many a peril. He has helped you gain your wealth. Therefore we order that one half of all your gold shall be set aside to buy him shelter and food, a green pasture, where he may graze, and a warm stall to comfort him in his old age."
The miser hung his head, and grieved to lose his gold; but the people shouted with joy, and the horse was led away to his new stall and a dinner such as he had not had in many a day.
T HE first thing that was done after they got the sledge back to the village was to feed the dogs. The dogs were very hungry; they had smelled the fresh meat for a long time without so much as a bite of it, and they had had nothing to eat for two whole days. They jumped about and howled again and got their harnesses dreadfully tangled.
Kesshoo unharnessed them and gave them some bones, and while they
were crunching them and quarreling among themselves, Koolee
crawled into the igloo and brought out a bowl. The bowl was made
"This is for a charm," said Koolee. "If you each take a sip of water from this bowl my son will always have good luck in spying bears!"
She passed the bowl around, and each person took a sip of the
water. When Menie's turn came he took a big, big mouthful,
because he wanted to be very brave, indeed, and find a bear every
week. But he was in too much of a hurry. The water went down his
"That's a poor beginning for a great
Everybody laughed at Menie. Menie hated to be laughed at. He went away and found Nip and Tup. They wouldn't laugh at him, he knew. He thought he liked dogs better than people anyway.
Nip and Tup were trying to get their noses into the circle with the other dogs, but the big dogs snapped at them and drove them away, so Menie got some scraps and fed them.
Meanwhile Koolee stood by the sledge and divided the meat among her neighbors. First she gave one of the hind legs to the wives of the Angakok, because he always had to have the best of everything. She gave the kidneys to Koko's mother. To each one she gave just the part she had asked for. When each woman had been given her share, Kesshoo took what was left and put it on the storehouse.
The storehouse wasn't really a house at all. It was just a great stone platform standing up on legs, like a giant's table. The meat was placed on the top of it, so the dogs could not reach it, no matter how high they jumped.
When the rest of the meat was taken care of, Koolee took the bear's head and carried it into the igloo.
All the people followed her. Then Koolee did a queer thing. She placed the head on a bench, with the nose pointing toward the Big Rock, because the bear had come from that direction. Then she stopped up the nostrils with moss and grease. She greased the bear's mouth, too.
"Bears like grease," she said. "And if I stop up his nose like that bears will never be able to smell anything. Then the hunters can get near and kill them before they know it." You see Koolee was a great believer in signs and in magic. All the other people were too.
She called to the twins, "Come here, Menie and Monnie."
The twins had come in with the others, but they were so short they were out of sight in the crowd. They crawled under the elbows of the grown people and stood beside Koolee.
"Look, children," she said to them, "your grandfather, who is dead, sent you this bear. He wants you to send him something. In five days the bear's spirit will go to the land where your grandfather's spirit lives. What would you like to have the bear's spirit take to your grandfather for a gift?"
"I'll send him the little fish that father carved for me out of bone," said Menie. He squirmed through the crowd and got it from a corner of his bed and brought it to his mother. She put it on the bear's head.
Monnie gave her a leather string with a lucky stone tied to it. Koolee put that on the bear's head too.
Then she said, "There! In five days' time the bear's spirit will give the shadows of these things to your grandfather. Then we can eat the head, but not until we are sure the bear's spirit has reached the home of the Dead."
"That is well," the Angakok said to the twins, when Koolee had finished. "Your grandfather will be pleased with your presents, I know. Your grandfather was a just man. I knew him well. He always paid great respect to Me. Whenever he brought a bear home he gave me not only a hind leg, but the liver as well! I should not be surprised if he sent the bear this way, knowing how fond I am of bear's liver."
The Angakok placed his hand on his stomach and rolled up his eyes. "But times are not what they once were," he went on. "People care now only for their own stomachs! They would rather have the liver themselves than give it to the Angakok! They will be sorry when it is too late."
He shook his head and heaved a great sigh. Koolee looked at Kesshoo. She was very anxious. Kesshoo went out at once to the storehouse. He climbed to the top and got the liver.
By this time all the people had crawled out of the igloo again, and were ready to carry home their meat. Kesshoo ran to the Angakok and gave him the bear's liver. The Angakok handed it to one of his wives to carry. The other one already had the bear's leg. He said to Kesshoo, "You are a just man, like your father. I know the secrets of the sun, moon, and stars. You know your duty! You shall have your reward." He looked very solemn and waddled away toward his igloo with the two wives behind him carrying the meat. All the rest of the people followed after him and went into their own igloos.
Oh, Peterkin Pout and Gregory Grout
Are two little goblins black,
Full oft from my house I've driven them out,
But somehow they still come back.
They clamber up to the baby's mouth,
And pull the corners down;
They perch aloft on the baby's brow,
And twist it into a frown.
And one says "Must!" and t' other says "Can't!"
And one says "Shall!" and t' other says "Shan't!"
Oh, Peterkin Pout and Gregory Grout,
I pray you now, from my house keep out!
But Samuel Smile and Lemuel Laugh
Are two little fairies light;
They're always ready for fun and chaff,
And sunshine is their delight.
And when they creep into Baby's eyes,
Why, there the sunbeams are;
And when they peep through her rosy lips,
Her laughter rings near and far.
And one says "Please!" and t' other says "Do!"
And both together say "I love you!"
So, Lemuel Laugh and Samuel Smile,
Come in, my dears, and tarry awhile!
WEEK 15 |
Proudly the Goths marched along with Beowulf in their midst, until they reached Hart Hall. And there, still carrying the hideous head of Grendel, they entered in and greeted Hrothgar.
Great was the astonishment of the king and his nobles at the sight of Beowulf. Never again had they thought to see the daring warrior. So now they welcomed him with much rejoicing, and their rejoicing was mingled with wonder and awe as they gazed upon the awful head. The queen, too, who sat beside the king, turned from it with a shudder.
Then when the noise of joyful greeting was stilled a little, Beowulf spoke.
"Behold, O king!" he said, "we bring thee these offerings in token of victory. From the conflict under the water have I hardly escaped with my life. Had not the All-wise shielded me, I had nevermore seen the sun and the joyful light of day. For although Hrunting be a mighty and good sword, in this fight it availed me nothing. So I cast it from me and fought with mine hands only.
"But the Water Witch was strong and evil, and I had but little hope of life, when it chanced that I saw on the walls there of that grim cave an old and powerful sword.
"Quickly then I drew that weapon and therewith slew I the dreadful foe. After that I espied the body of Grendel which lay there and cut off his head, which now I bring to thee. But even as I had done that, lo! a marvel happened, and the blade did melt even as ice under the summer sun. Such was the venom of that Ogre's blood, that the hilt only of the sword have I borne away with me.
"But now, I promise thee, henceforth mayest thou and thy company of warriors sleep safe in Hart Hall. No longer will the Demon folk trouble it."
Then Beowulf gave the golden hilt to the king, and he, taking it, gazed on it in wonder. It was exceeding ancient and of marvellous workmanship, a very treasure. Upon the gold of it in curious letters was written for whom that sword had been first wrought. The writing told, too, how it had been made in days long past, when giants stalked the earth in pride.
In the Hall there was silence as Hrothgar gazed upon the relic. Then in the silence he spoke.
"Thy glory is exalted through wide ways, O friend Beowulf," he said. "Over every nation thy fame doth spread. Yet thou bearest it modestly, true warrior-like. Again I renew my plighted love to thee, and to thine own people mayest thou long be a joy.
"I for half a hundred years had ruled my folk, and under all the wide heaven there was no foe who stood against me. Within my borders there was peace and joy. Then lo, after joy came sadness, and Grendel became my foe, my invader. But thanks be to the Eternal Lord I am yet in life to see that fearful head besprent with gore.
"And now, O Great-in-war, go thou to thy seat, enjoy the feast, and when it shall be morning, thou and I shall deal together in many treasures."
Then at these words Beowulf was glad at heart, and went straightway to his seat as the king commanded. And once again the Dane folk and the Goths feasted together in merry mood.
At length the day grew dim and darkness fell upon the land. All the courtiers then rose, and the grey-bearded king sought his couch. Beowulf, too, rejoiced greatly at the thought of rest, for he was weary with his long contest. So the king's servants, with every honour and reverence, guided him to the room prepared for him.
Silence and peace descended upon the Hall and palace. Hour after hour the night passed, and no demon foe disturbed the sleep of Goth or Dane.
And when the morning sun shone again the Goths arose, eager to see their own land once more.
Beowulf then called one of his thanes and bade him bear the famous sword, Hrunting, back again to Hunferth. Great thanks he gave for it, nor spoke he word of blame against the good blade. "Nay, 'twas a good war friend," said the high-souled warrior.
Then, impatient to depart, with arms all ready, the Goths came to bid King Hrothgar farewell.
"Now to thee we sea-farers would bid farewell," said Beowulf, "for we would seek again our own king, Hygelac. Here have we been kindly served. Thou hast entreated us well. If I can now do aught more of warlike works on thy behalf, O Hrothgar, I am straightway ready. If from far over the sea I hear that to thy dwelling foes come again, I will bring thousands of warriors to thine aid.
"For well I know that Hygelac, King of the Goths, young though he be, will help me to fight for thee, and will not refuse his thanes."
With gracious words the old king thanked the young warrior. Rich presents, too, he gave to him, of gold and gems, and splendidly wrought armour. Then he bade him seek his own people, but come again right speedily.
As Hrothgar said farewell he put his arms round Beowulf's neck and kissed him. Then as he watched the hero march away across the fields of summer green, his eyes filled with tears. It was to the king as if he parted from a beloved son.
Proudly and gladly the Goths marched on until they came to the shore where the warden watched who had met them at their first landing. Now as he saw them come he rode towards them with words of welcome. For already the tale of Beowulf's great deeds had been told to him.
And thus at length the Goths reached their ship where it lay by the shore awaiting their coming. Into it was piled all the treasure with which Hrothgar had loaded the heroes. The horses were led on board, the glittering shields were hung along the sides, the sails were spread.
Then from out his treasure hoard Beowulf chose a splendid sword and gave it to the thane who had watched by the ship, and kept it safe. And he, greatly rejoicing, departed to his fellows, and was by them ever after held in honour by reason of the sword that Beowulf had given to him.
Now at length all was ready. The last man leaped on board, the sails shook themselves to the wind, and out upon the waves floated the foam-necked vessel.
Bounding over the sea went the Goths, listening to the song of the wind and the waves, until they came to the shore of their beloved land.
The ship touched the shore. Right joyously the warriors sprang to earth, greeting their kinsmen who welcomed them from the far land.
Beowulf then bade his servants bring the great load of treasure, while he and his comrades set out along the sandy shore to Hygelac's palace.
Quickly before them ran messengers bearing to the king the joyous news that Beowulf, his loved comrade, had returned alive and unhurt. Unwounded from the game of war he had returned, and was even now marching towards the palace.
Gladly the king greeted the hero; joyful words he spake. Then he made Beowulf to sit beside him while Hygd, his fair queen, bare the mead-cup through the hall.
Hygelac was eager to hear all that had befallen his friend. "Tell it unto me," he cried, "how befell it with thee on the way, dear Beowulf? How hath it fared with thee since thou didst on a sudden resolve to seek conflict afar? Sorrow and care have possessed my mind. I have grieved for thee, my friend, lest evil should come to thee. Therefore this day I thank the All-wise that I see thee safe and whole."
"It is no secret, my Lord Hygelac," answered Beowulf, "how I met and overcame the Ogre. None of Grendel's kinsmen who may yet dwell upon earth have any cause to boast of that twilight meeting."
And then from the beginning of the adventure to the end of it Beowulf told. Sitting beside the king he told of all that had befallen him and his comrades since first they set sail from Gothland. He told of the friendly greeting of the king, of the fight with Grendel, and with Grendel's mother, the foul Water Witch. And at last he told of all the rewards and thanks that had been heaped upon him.
To all the tale Hygelac listened with wonder and delight, for he joyed to hear of the great deeds of his loved comrade.
When Beowulf had finished telling the tale, he bade his servants bring in the treasure. Then turning to the king he spoke again.
"To thee, O warrior-king," he said, "I gladly give these riches. For all my joy in life cometh from thee. Save thee, O Hygelac, few kinsmen have I."
Then to the king he gave a splendid suit of armour, helmet and sword, four steeds all with their rich harness, and much treasure beside.
To Hygd, the queen, Beowulf gave the collar which Wealtheow had bestowed upon him. Also he gave to her three black steeds saddled and harnessed with gold and silver work.
And the king, on his part, gave Beowulf a sword of honour, a palace, and much land. Thus was the mighty warrior brought to great honour.
Then for many years Beowulf lived happy and beloved. For although he was strong and mighty in battle, he was gentle and courteous in peace. His was no savage soul delighting in slaughter; he held himself ever in battle but as a good soldier should.
Indeed Beowulf was so gentle in peace that in his youth the great warriors of the Goths had thought little of him. But now that he had proved that though in peace his words were smooth, in battle his arm was strong, all men honoured him.
And thus it befell that when Hygelac died in battle, and afterward his son also, the broad realm of Gothland was given unto Beowulf to rule. And there for fifty years he reigned a well-loved king, and all the land had peace.
I F the Rattlesnake is the king of the forest in the daytime, the Great Horned Owl is the king at night. Indeed, he is much the more powerful of the two, for he is king of air and earth alike and can go wherever he wishes, while the snake can only rule over those who live near the ground or who are so careless as to come to him there.
There was but one pair of Great Horned Owls in the forest, and they lived in the deepest shade, having their great clumsy nest in the hollow of a tall tree. You might have walked past it a hundred times and never have guessed that any Owls lived there, if you did not notice the round pellets of bone and hair on the grass. They are such hungry fellows that they swallow their food with the bones in it. Then their tough little stomachs go to work, rolling all the pieces of bone and hair into balls and sending them back to be cast out of the Owls' mouths to the ground.
The Great Horned Owl was a very large bird. His whole body was covered with brown, dull yellow, and white feathers. Even his feet and legs were covered, and all that you could see besides were his black claws and his black hooked bill. Yes, at night you could see his eyes, too, and they were wonderful great eyes that could see in the dark, but they were shut in the daytime when he was resting. His wife, who was the queen of the forest at night, looked exactly like him, only she was larger than he. And that is the way among Owls,—the wife is always larger than her husband.
Every night when the sun had gone down, the Great Horned Owl and his wife would come out of their hollow tree and sit blinking on a branch near by, waiting until it got dark enough for them to see quite plainly. As the light faded, the little black spots in their eyes would grow bigger and bigger, and then off they would go on their great soft, noiseless wings, hunting in the grass and among the branches for the supper which they called breakfast.
Mrs. Owl could not be gone very long at a time, for
there were two large round white eggs in the nest which
must not get cold. Her husband was on the wing most of
the night, and he often flew home
with some tender
morsel for her. He was really a
One night, after they had both been flying through
forest and over field, he came back to the hollow tree
to rest. He expected to find
You see, even then he did not seem to think that he could do anything to keep them warm. But the next time he looked in, he put one feathered foot on the round eggs and was surprised to find how cool they were.
It fairly made his head feathers stand on end to think
of it, and he was so frightened that he forgot to be
cross, and stepped right in and covered them with his
own breast. What if they had already been left too
long, and the Owlets within would never hatch? Would
The night seemed so long, too. It had always been
short enough before, and he had often disliked to have
daylight come, for then he had to go to bed. He was
very much upset, and it is no wonder that when he heard
a doleful wail from a neighboring tree, and knew that
his cousin, the Screech Owl, was near, he raised his
head and called loudly,
The Screech Owl heard him and flew at once to a branch beside the nest hollow. He was a jolly little fellow in spite of his doleful call, and before he could talk at all he had to bend his body, look behind him, nod his head, and shake himself, as Screech Owls always do when they alight. Then he looked into the tree and saw his big cousin, the Great Horned Owl, the night king of the forest, sitting on the eggs and looking very, very grumpy. How he did laugh! "What is the matter?" said he. "Didn't you like your wife's way of brooding over the eggs? Or did she get tired of staying at home and make you help tend the nest?"
"Matter enough," grumbled the Great Horned Owl. "We
went hunting together at twilight and she
home yet. I didn't get into the nest until I had to,
but it was growing very cold and I
having our eggs hatch for anything.
"Well," said his cousin, "you are having a hard time. Are you hungry?"
The Great Horned Owl said that he was, so the Screech Owl went hunting and brought him food. "I will look in every night," he said, "and bring you a lunch. I'm afraid something has happened to your wife and that she will not be back."
As he flew away he called out, "It is too bad. I am very sorry for you. But then, I suppose you would never have the Owlets if you didn't stick to the nest."
This last remark made the Great Horned Owl quite angry. "Much he knows about it," he said. "I guess if he had ever tried it he would be a little more sorry for me." And then he began to think, "Who have I heard say those very words before? Who? Who? Who?"
All at once the Great Horned Owl remembered how many times he had said just that to his patient wife, and he began to feel very uncomfortable. His ears tingled and he felt a queer hot feeling under his face feathers. Perhaps he hadn't been acting very well after all! He knew that even when he told her he was sorry, he had been thinking she made a great fuss. Well, if she would only come back now, that should all be changed, and he shifted his weight and wriggled around into a more comfortable position.
Now, if this were just a story, one could say that
A finer pair of children were never hatched, and their
father thought them far ahead of all his other broods.
It is said that the Screech Owl was more thoughtful of his wife after his cousin had to hatch the eggs, and it is too bad that some of the other forest people could not have learned the same lesson; but the Great Horned Owl never told, and the Screech Owl kept his secret, and to this day there are many people in the forest who know nothing whatever about it.
Said the first little chick,
With a queer little squirm,
"I wish I could find
A fat little worm."
Said the next little chick,
With an odd little shrug,
"I wish I could find
A fat little bug."
Said the third little chick,
With a shrill little squeal,
"I wish I could find
Some nice yellow meal."
Said the fourth little chick,
With a small sigh of grief,
"I wish I could find
A little green leaf."
"See here," called the hen
From the near garden patch,
"If you want any breakfast
Just come here and scratch!"
WEEK 15 |
AT the time of the Revolution there were but few people living on the
north side of the
The Indians were sent by British officers to do this killing. There
was a British fort at
George Rogers Clark was an American colonel. He wanted to stop the murder of the settlers by the Indians. He thought that he could do it by taking the British posts.
He had three hundred men. They went down the
The people living in Kaskaskia were French. By treating them well, Clark made them all friendly to the Americans.
When the British at
But Clark thought that he would not wait to be taken. He thought that
he would just go and take the British. If he could manage to get to
Clark started with a hundred and seventy men. The country was nearly all covered with water. The men were in the wet almost all the time. Clark had hard work to keep his men cheerful. He did everything he could to amuse them.
They had to wade through deep rivers. The water was icy cold. But Clark made a joke of it. He kept them laughing whenever he could.
At one place the men refused to go through the freezing water. Clark
The little drummer was soon seated high on the shoulders of the tall man. "Now go ahead!" said Clark.
The soldier marched into the water. The little drummer beat a march on his drum. Clark cried out, "Forward!" Then he plunged into the water after the tall soldier. All the men went in after him. They were soon safe on the other side.
At another river the little drummer was floated over on the top of his
At last the men drew near to
Clark's men got frightened at last, and then they had no heart to go
any farther. But Clark remembered what the Indians did when they went
to war. He took a little
With his face blackened like an Indian's, he gave an Indian war-whoop. The men followed him again.
The men were tired and hungry. But they soon reached dry ground. They
were now in sight of the fort. Clark marched his little army round and
round in such a way as to make it seem that he had many men with him.
He wrote a fierce letter to the British
After some fighting, the British
O NCE upon a time there was an Ox named Big Red. He had a younger brother named Little Red. These two brothers did all the carting on a large farm.
Now the farmer had an only daughter and she was soon to be married. Her mother gave orders that the Pig should be fattened for the wedding feast.
Little Red noticed that the Pig was fed on choice food. He said to his brother, "How is it, Big Red, that you and I are given only straw and grass to eat, while we do all the hard work on the farm? That lazy Pig does nothing but eat the choice food the farmer gives him."
Little Red noticed that the Pig was fed on choice food.
Said his brother, "My dear Little Red, envy him not. That little Pig is eating the food of death! He is being fattened for the wedding feast. Eat your straw and grass and be content and live long."
Not long afterwards the fattened Pig was killed and cooked for the wedding feast.
The fattened Pig was killed and cooked for the wedding feast.
Then Big Red said, "Did you see, Little Red, what became of the Pig after all his fine feeding?"
"Yes," said the little brother, "we can go on eating plain food for years, but the poor little Pig ate the food of death and now he is dead. His feed was good while it lasted, but it did not last long."
Three little owlets
In a hollow tree,
Cuddled up together
Close as could be.
When the moon came out
And the dew lay wet,
Mother flew about
To see what she could get.
She caught a little mouse,
So velvety and soft,
She caught some little sparrows,
And then she flew aloft
To the three little owlets
In a hollow tree,
Cuddled up together
Close as could be.
"Tu-whoo," said the old owl,
"Isn't this good cheer!"
"Tu-whit," said the owlets,
"Thank you, mother dear."
Tu-whit, tu-whit, tu-whit,