Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 2  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

How the Spaniards Conquered Mexico

THE one thing the early Spaniards wanted above all else was gold. For it they were willing to abandon their homes and families in the Old [4] World, undergo all kinds of hardships and suffering, treat the Indians with great cruelty, and often imperil their own lives. Thus we see what men will do when possessed of a greed for wealth!

In Cuba there lived a Spanish gentleman named Hernando Cortez. He was the son of wealthy parents, and he had studied law. But when nineteen years of age, he had run away from home to find adventures in America. He possessed wonderful courage and great command over men; but by nature he was very cruel. He loved gold, as all the others did in those days, but he loved power and adventure as much as he did wealth.

Cortez heard stories about the wonderful wealth of the King of Mexico. It was said that gold was so common among them that the very people ate and drank from golden vessels. The King was said to live in a palace so covered with gold that it shone like the sun, while he and all his attendants were believed to wear gold embroidered clothes every day. These fabulous stories were told by the natives, and the Spaniards were wild with excitement.

Cortez was placed at the head of an expedition designed to conquer Mexico, and with him were the bravest of the Spanish captains and the wildest adventurers in the New World. Nothing suited [5] Cortez better than this expedition, and with hope he and his men set forth.

The ruler of Mexico was the proud Montezuma. He was far beyond the ordinary Indian in his ways and manners. He lived in a palace, and fared sumptuously upon the dainties of his land. Was it not said of him that he ate fresh fish, brought every day from the coast by runners who came in relays over two hundred miles? Around him was every kind of comfort and luxury, and Mexico, the capital city, showed many evidences of a high civilization.

When Cortez landed at Vera Cruz, Indian runners carried swift word of the stranger to Montezuma, as he sat on his throne in Mexico City. The King turned pale as he heard of the white men, riding strange animals, killing their enemies with the aid of weapons that gave out smoke and made noises like many thunders. He cried in dismay, "They are the children of the sun, who, according to the traditions of my country, have come to take away my throne. Alas! woe is me, and woe is Mexico!" And the brave Indian monarch shed tears of distress.

The runners were sent back to Cortez, bearing presents of gold, jewels, and rich cloth, and begging him to begone with his men and leave the [6] country in peace. When Cortez saw the gifts, his eyes blazed with greed, and he said, "Go tell your Montezuma we will visit him in his palace, even if we have to force our way. Tell him also that we have a disease of the heart; it will take much gold to cure us!"

The King heard this message with dismay, for he did not understand why men should want gold. They could not eat or wear it, and he feared their coming to his beautiful capital.

Cortez burned his ships, so that his men could not think of retreat, and then set out on his march to Mexico City. The terrified natives fled before him at the sight of his horses, and at the sound of his cannon and guns. The roads over the mountains were smooth, with here and there a stone house built nearby for the convenience of traders.

At last Cortez and his adventurers came to a point where they could look down over the city of Mexico. Great white stone buildings, were seen on an island in the middle of a lake, connected with the mainland by means of bridges. The temples and palaces were reflected in the clear water, and the whole scene was peaceful and beautiful. "The Land of Gold! The City of Plenty!" exclaimed Cortez, and he rested awhile before preparing for his triumphal entry.

[7] Montezuma sat in his palace with his attendants around him. "The strangers are in the mountains," announced his chief warrior. "Shall I drive them away, or let them enter?" Montezuma thought awhile, and replied, "It will be of no avail to try and drive them away. Let them enter the city."

Cortez, on a fine horse and covered with all the trappings of war, attended by his captains and men, rode into the city. Montezuma was carried to meet him in a chair beneath a canopy of feathers. His mantle was decorated with gold and precious stones, and his bearers brought with them great quantities of food and rich gifts for the strangers. Alas for poor Montezuma! If he thought that was the way to get rid of the cruel and greedy Spaniard, he was much mistaken!

Cortez was given the freedom of the city. He went everywhere, observing the means of defense and the provisions of warfare. He visited the temples and saw the priests offering up human lives to the heathen gods. He resolved to force these people to adopt the Christian religion, and to abandon their heathen rites. He was very arrogant, and made the Mexicans give him everything he demanded.

So matters went on for several weeks, until the [8] Mexicans showed plainly that they wanted the Spaniards to leave. But the Spaniards wanted more and more gold, and Cortez became anxious, for the natives were growing tired and unfriendly. He felt that he was walking over a volcano that might blow up at any minute. A Mexican slew one of his soldiers. This proved to Montezuma's subjects that the white man could be killed. Cortez demanded that the murderer be turned over to him for punishment, and, when this was done, the Spaniards burned him alive in the public square. The Mexicans became more sullen and dangerous.

Cortez had only two hundred men with him, and around him were thousands of Mexicans. He and his men, already loaded with plunder and in fear of their lives, resolved to escape with what they had. It would mean for them certain destruction if the Mexicans once began hostilities. Montezuma, whom Cortez had quite terrified, advised him to go, so as to escape the wrath of the Mexican people. Just about this time, Alvarado, one of the Spanish captains, witnessing the sacrifice of human lives at a Mexican religious festival, grew so indignant that he ordered his men to fire their cannon into the group, thereby killing some of the priests.

[9] This brought matters to a crisis. The Spaniards must now indeed leave, and leave quickly. So they planned to go by night. But as they departed over the bridge that connected the city with the mainland, the Mexicans discovered them, and began a merciless attack upon them. They swarmed forth by the thousands, cutting away portions of the bridge, hurling stones and arrows, and rushing upon the Spaniards with their spears. Cortez lost many men before he could withdraw. The greedy Spanish soldiers would not follow his advice to drop their packs of gold as they fled. They clung to their plunder to the very last, and, in consequence, many were killed who might have escaped. In Spanish histories this is known as "the sorrowful night."

It took a whole year for Cortez to get enough men from Cuba and Spain to march again upon Mexico. In the meantime Montezuma had been slain by his own people, and Guatemazin reigned in his stead. This time the siege lasted three months, and thousands of the Mexicans were slain before the proud city gave way, and the conquest of Mexico was complete. Cortez had at last broken the heart of the ancient race, and from that time on Mexico was in possession of the Spanish conquerors.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Selfish Tent-Caterpillar

[Illustration]

[22]

O NE could hardly call the Tent-Caterpillars meadow people, for they did not often leave their trees to crawl upon the ground. Yet the Apple-Tree Tent-Caterpillars would not allow anybody to call them forest people. "We live on apple and wild cherry trees," they said, "and you will almost always find us in the orchards or on the roadside trees. There are Forest Tent-Caterpillars, but please don't get us mixed with them. We belong to another branch of the family, the Apple-Tree branch."

The Tree Frog said that he remembered perfectly well when the eggs were laid on the wild cherry tree on the edge of the [23] meadow. "It was early last summer," he said, "and the Moth who laid them was a very agreeable reddish-brown person, about as large as a common Yellow Butterfly. I remember that she had two light yellow lines on each forewing. Another Moth came with her, but did not stay. He was smaller than she, and had the same markings. After he had gone, she asked me if we were ever visited by the Yellow-Billed Cuckoos."

"Why did she ask that?" said the Garter Snake.

"Don't you know?" exclaimed the Tree Frog. And then he whispered something to the Garter Snake.

The Garter Snake wriggled with surprise and cried, "Really?"

All through the fall and winter the many, many eggs which the reddish-brown Moth had laid were kept snug and warm on the twig where she had put them. They were placed in rows around the [24] twig, and then well covered to hold them together and keep them warm. The winter winds had blown the twig to and fro, the cold rain had frozen over them, the soft snowflakes had drifted down from the clouds and covered them, only to melt and trickle away again in shining drops. One morning the whole wild cherry tree was covered with beautiful long, glistening crystals of hoar-frost; and still the ring of eggs stayed in its place around the twig, and the life in them slept until spring sunbeams should shine down and quicken it.

But when the spring sunbeams did come! Even before the leaf-buds were open, tiny Larvæ, or Caterpillar babies, came crawling from the ring of eggs and began feeding upon the buds. They took very, very small bites, and that looked as though they were polite children. Still, you know, their mouths were so small that they could not take big ones, [25] and it may not have been politeness after all which made them eat daintily.

When all the Tent-Caterpillars were hatched, and they had eaten every leaf-bud near the egg-ring, they began to crawl down the tree toward the trunk. Once they stopped by a good-sized crotch in the branches. "Let's build here," said the leader; "this place is all right."

Then some of the Tent-Caterpillars said, "Let's!" and some of them said, "Don't let's!" One young fellow said, "Aw, come on! There's a bigger crotch farther down." Of course he should have said, "I think you will like a larger crotch better," but he was young, and, you know, these Larvæ had no father or mother to help them speak in the right way. They were orphans, and it is wonderful how they ever learned to talk at all.

After this, some of the Tent-Caterpillars went on to the larger crotch and some stayed behind. More went than [26] stayed, and when they saw this, those by the smaller crotch gave up and joined their brothers and sisters, as they should have done. It was right to do that which pleased most of them.

It took a great deal of work to make the tent. All helped, spinning hundreds and thousands of white silken threads, laying them side by side, criss-crossing them, fastening the ends to branches and twigs, not forgetting to leave places through which one could crawl in and out. They never worked all day at this, because unless they stopped to eat they would soon have been weak and unable to spin. There were nearly always a few Caterpillars in the tent, but only in the early morning or late afternoon or during the night were they all at home. The rest of the time they were scattered around the tree feeding. Of course there were some cold days when they stayed in. When the weather was chilly [27] they moved slowly and cared very little for food.

There was one young Tent-Caterpillar who happened to be the first hatched, and who seemed to think that because he was a minute older than any of the other children he had the right to his own way. Sometimes he got it, because the others didn't want to have any trouble. Sometimes he didn't get it, and then he was very sulky and disagreeable, even refusing to answer when he was spoken to.

One cold day, when all the Caterpillars stayed in the tent, this oldest brother wanted the warmest place, that in the very middle. It should have belonged to the younger brothers and sisters, for they were not so strong, but he pushed and wriggled his hairy black and brown and yellow body into the very place he wanted, and then scolded everybody around because he had to push to get there. It happened as it always does [28] when a Caterpillar begins to say mean things, and he went on until he was saying some which were really untrue. Nobody answered back, so he scolded and fussed and was exceedingly disagreeable.

All day long he thought how wretched he was, and how badly they treated him, and how he guessed they'd be sorry enough if he went away. The next morning he went. As long as the warm sunshine lasted he did very well. When it began to grow cool, his brothers and sisters crawled past him on their way to the tent. "Come on!" they cried. "It's time to go home."

"Uh-uh!" said the eldest brother (and that meant "No"), "I'm not going."

"Why not?" they asked.

"Oh, because," said he.

When the rest were all together in the tent they talked about him. "Do you suppose he's angry?" said one.

[29] "What should he be angry about?" said another.

"I just believe he is," said a third. "Did you notice the way his hairs bristled?"

"Don't you think we ought to go to get him?" asked two or three of the youngest Caterpillars.

"No," said the older ones. "We haven't done anything. Let him get over it."

So the oldest brother, who had thought that every other Caterpillar in the tent would crawl right out and beg and coax him to come back, waited and waited and waited, but nobody came. The tent was there and the door was open. All he had to do was to crawl in and be at home. He waited so long that at last he had to leave the tree and spin his cocoon without ever having gone back to his brothers and sisters in the tent. He spun his cocoon and mixed the silk with a yellowish- [30] white, then he lay down in it to sleep twenty-one days and grow his wings. The last thought he had before going to sleep was an unhappy and selfish one. Probably he awakened an unhappy and selfish Moth.

His brothers and sisters were sad whenever they thought of him. "But," they said, "what could we do? It wasn't fair for him to have the best of everything, and we never answered when he said mean things. He might have come back at any time and we would have been kind to him."

And they were right. What could they have done? It was very sad, but when a Caterpillar is so selfish and sulky that he cannot live happily with other people, it is much better that he should live quite alone.

 



Anonymous

Once I Saw a Little Bird

Once I saw a little bird

Come hop, hop, hop.

So I cried, "Little bird,

Will you stop, stop, stop?"


I was going to the window

To say, "How do you do?"

But he shook his little tail,

And far away he flew.

 


  WEEK 2  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Augustine of Canterbury

[10] THE monk Gregory walked through the market-place of Rome and looked with pitying eyes at the slaves waiting there to be sold like sheep or oxen. It always made him sorrowful and angry to pass through the market and see those poor patient slaves who seemed to have never a friend to help them. It was better perhaps not to pass by that way, and yet the little he could do by friendly words and kindly looks might cheer some of the poor souls, and so the pity that he felt always drew him back.

He knew the market-place so well, and the look of those weary toil-worn faces, and it always seemed to him a very grey sad world in which he walked. But to-day a strange new sight woke him from his half-dreaming pity and made him press forward with eager watchful eyes.

Surrounded by a throng of dark-skinned, brown-eyed Italians there stood a little group of fair-haired children such as Gregory had never seen before. Their limbs were white; their curls shone in the sunlight like threads of gold, and their eyes were as blue as the sky above.

Gregory beckoned to the merchant who stood close by, and pointing to the fair children, asked from whence they came.

[11] "From Britain," answered the man, "where all the people are as fair and beautiful as these are."

"And are they Christians?" asked the monk, with more and more interest.

The merchant shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.

"All heathens," he answered briefly.

"Ah me," sighed Gregory, "to think that so much beauty should belong to the Prince of Darkness; that the souls in such fair bodies should never be visited by God's light."

He turned once more and looked at the boys. "What is the name of their nation?" he asked.

"They are called Angles," replied the merchant.

For a moment a smile lit up the grave face of the monk, the word sounded with such a happy meaning in his ear.

"Angles call ye them?" he said. "Nay, angels rather; for angel-like they are, and must become fit company for angels. But to what province of their country do they belong?"

"Deira," was the answer.

"Ay, and from God's ire they shall be snatched," said Gregory, still playing with the words. "And the king of the country, how call ye him?" "Ælla," said the merchant shortly.

"Rightly indeed is your king called Ælla," said Gregory, turning to the wondering boys, "for Alleluia must be chanted in his dominions."

It was an easy matter to buy those fair-haired boys and take them to the convent on the hill, and teach them how to live in the light of God's [12] love. But Gregory wanted more than this. The light must be carried into that far-away land of darkness. His hand was ready to bear the torch, and his heart was filled with an eager longing to be this messenger of light.

Time after time he begged for permission to set out for England, but the Pope and the Roman people had need of his strong arm and wise head, and refused to allow him to leave Rome. At last, however, the Pope secretly and unwillingly gave his consent, and Gregory started off with a few companions and many high hopes. But he did not go far. As soon as it was discovered that their beloved Gregory was gone, the people demanded that he should be recalled, and messengers were sent in haste to fetch him back. He had only gone three days' journey when the messengers overtook him, and so the mission to England came to an end, and with a sorrowful heart Gregory returned to Rome.

But although it was plain that Gregory's work lay in Rome, where ere long he was made Pope, yet he never forgot the great desire of his heart, and never gave up his determination to send the light into that distant land of Britain. So it came to pass that before long he chose out forty monks from his old monastery on the hill and sent them, with Augustine at their head, to the far-away little island which was waiting in darkness for the dawn of God's light.

The monks whom Gregory chose set forth at once as they were bidden, for they had learned above all things to be obedient. But it was a [13] long unknown journey that lay before them, and their hearts were somewhat unwilling and greatly afraid. They started as bravely as they could, but the further they travelled the more troubled they became. People told them the most fearsome tales of the island to which they were bound.

"There is a most terrible sea to cross," said one.

"And even should you escape the fury of the sea, certain death will await you when you arrive," said another.

"Ay," said a third, "for the people are not only heathens but savages, and fierce as wild beasts, and they speak a barbarous language you will never understand."

Sorely disheartened, the monks called a halt, and sent Augustine back to Rome to ask Pope Gregory if they were still to go on in the face of such dangers and difficulties.

It must have been with unwilling feet and a burning heart of shame that Augustine turned back. He who had been specially chosen by Gregory for this special mission could not have been the kind of man who would be willing to turn his back on any foe or give up the fight without even striking a blow.

The little company of monks waited patiently for the return of their messenger, and ere long he was once more in their midst. The tall figure, "higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward," stood erect now, and there was a gleam of triumph in his eyes. The order was to march forward, and there was to be no retreat.

"Let not the toil of the journey nor the tongues [14] of evil-speaking men deter you," wrote Gregory, "but with all possible earnestness and zeal perform that which by God's direction you have undertaken."

They needed a strong leader, this little band of despairing monks, and Gregory wisely added in his letter: "When Augustine, your chief, returns, humbly obey him in all things. Had I my wish I would labour with you."

After that there was not one that talked of going back. Not only was obedience the just rule of their order, but the thought that their beloved Gregory would have been with them if he could, made them set their faces steadfastly to do the work which lay before them.

It was truly a terrible journey which they had undertaken. Their path lay through lonely forests and strange countries, where the people often treated them roughly, stoning them and howling after them as they went. Slowly but surely, however, they went their way, and at last reached the sea which swept its angry raging way between them and the grey island of the north. Then with brave hearts they set sail, but as the ship sped on its way and the land they had left grew fainter and fainter in the dim distance, some wondered if they would ever reach the other side, and others were past caring whether they lived or died. Then some one cried aloud that there was land ahead, and eager strained eyes caught sight of a white line upon the horizon, which grew broader and broader until the cliffs of Albion stood out clear against the [15] blue sky, as dazzling in their whiteness as the ramparts of a heavenly city.

But it was with no expectation of finding a heavenly country that the weary band of monks landed at Ebbesfleet, on the Isle of Thanet. Rather they expected at every turn to meet with demons, savage animals, or still more savage people ready to fall upon them and destroy them.

Now the tales which had been told to these poor monks of all the terrors which lurked in wait for them, were much more frightening than true. The Saxon people of Britain were certainly heathens and worshipped strange gods, but they were a brave kindly people, and Ethelbert, the king of that part of the country, was a strong wise man. Already, too, a star of hope had shone out in the heathen darkness if those poor monks had but known it, for Ethelbert's fair Queen Bertha was a Christian, and near the palace, in the tiny chapel of Saint Martin, God was served daily by a faithful priest who had come with the Queen from France.

So instead of fierce blows and savage treatment, instead of being hunted down and driven out as they had expected, the messengers found a peaceful air of welcome and kindliness about this strange land. There was a friendly look in the eyes of the people who watched them pass, and the poor wayfarers thanked God and took fresh courage.

It was in the springtime of the year, when our little grey island forgets her dullness and decks herself in tender green and budding flowers, that Augustine and his monks came to England. There [16] was a feeling of new life and new hope in the air which cheered their hearts, and before long word was brought from the King himself saying he would meet the strangers on the uplands above the sea and hear the message they had brought.

"We will meet in the open air, with the sky above us," said the King. "All shall be open and straight-forward in the light of day."

The royal seat was set upon the green sward of a flowery meadow overlooking the sea, and there the King awaited his curious new guests. Across the April blue of the sky the white clouds scudded in ever-changing shapes. Below the sparkling sea shone like a ring of sapphires round our brave little island. In every sheltered nook and corner the primroses peeped out with their broad sunny faces. Sea-birds swooped and screamed around the white cliffs; all the birds were busy with nest-building; the old magic of spring was awake once more in the land. But there was something even more strange and wonderful than the returning life of spring coming that day to England. Across the bare wind-swept uplands a procession began to move slowly from the seashore. The people watched in breathless silence, wondering what it all might mean. These were no warriors, for they bore no weapons and there was no sign of war. In front, lifted high, a silver cross caught the gleams of sunshine as they came. Then a great picture was carried aloft, the picture of a Man, such as none had ever seen before. Close behind followed a little company of men in dark strange garments, and at their head [17] walked one taller and straighter than all the rest. Slowly the procession went forward, and as the gleaming silver cross moved ever nearer, the sound of a low wailing chant came floating over the land, drowned now and then by the thunder of the waves breaking upon the shore. Nearer and nearer came the procession, and the wailing chant sounded more clearly. Now the watchers heard strange words in an unknown tongue, but they did not guess that the words which those dark-robed figures were chanting were a prayer that God's mercy might save and protect our England.

The King listened with deep attention to all that Augustine had to say. The minutes slipped past into hours, and still the dark-robed monk spoke out his message. Beginning with the birth at Bethlehem, he told the wonderful story of God made Man, coming to dwell amongst us; of His Cross and Passion, His glorious Resurrection and Ascension, and His call to all men to follow Him.

Then when he had finished there was a silence over all, for the King sat in deep thought, and the people waited for his answer. At last he spoke.

"Truly the words and promises which ye bring me are fair," he said, "but they are new to me and of doubtful authority. I cannot therefore accept them and forsake the religion in which I and all my people have so long believed. But because you are strangers and have come from afar to my country, and as it would seem that ye believe your teaching to be good and excellent, we will not molest you, but rather receive you with kindness [18] and hospitality. Nor do we forbid you to teach and preach your religion."

The King was even better than his word, and the forty monks were given a home to live in, near the palace of Canterbury, and were treated in every way as honoured guests. There they taught and preached to all the people who would listen to them. But there was something besides preaching and teaching which won the hearts of these Saxon people.

The simple, honest, busy lives of the little company of monks, the "silent power of holiness," taught people better than any words what this new service meant. Like the magic touch of spring over the dead land, a new life flowed in, and the first sign of its power was the baptism of the King, when he laid aside his royal robes and took service under his new Master. Before the feast of Christmas came round, ten thousand people were enrolled under the banner of Christ, which had been borne so faithfully by His servant Augustine.

It was good news to send to Gregory, and the monks might well rejoice as they listened to the sound of the Alleluias that echoed now within that heathen land.

But although so much had been done in such a short time, there was ever more and more to do, and the little company of monks, with Augustine at their head, never thought of growing weary or needing rest while so much was still to be accomplished.

Augustine had been commanded by Gregory to [19] return to France and there be consecrated Archbishop; and so the first Archbishop of Canterbury began his work as a prince of the Church and a careful shepherd of his little flock. Many a greeting of encouragement came from Rome, and Pope Gregory sent a most precious gift of a copy of the Holy Bible. It was just one single copy, sent over land and sea to a little island, where God's light had only begun to break dimly through the clouds of heathen darkness, and yet it was the seed from which has sprung the glory and honour of our England.

Slowly but surely the monks worked on, building their churches and carrying their torch further and further into the darkness. King Ethelbert, "noble and valiant" as his name signified, was no half-hearted soldier of Christ, and in simple loyalty he gave up his own royal palace at Canterbury for the monks who were doing God's work in his kingdom. With such an example before them, it was little wonder that the people as well pressed forward to help in the work. It is said, too, that many miracles were performed by these simple faithful monks; many sick folk were healed, and wonders were worked as in the days of the Apostles.

But it was not only the monks who went out to work. Augustine, the Archbishop, would never consent to stay safely at home, but was always the first to undertake fresh journeys and risk new dangers. In his simple monk's robe, unarmed and on foot, he went with his brethren from north to south, from east to west, preaching and teaching through the length [20] and breadth of England. Sometimes they met with harsh treatment; showers of stones, and even sharp weapons were used against them, but no serious hurt ever befell the little band of brave men.

Now among the wild mountains of Wales there were still many of the early British Christians who had been driven there by the conquering Saxons. Augustine was very anxious that these men should join with him now and help to make the whole land Christian. But these poor men hated the Saxons, who had driven them from their home and conquered their land. It seemed almost too much to expect them to return good for so much evil. However, they agreed to meet Augustine and his monks and talk the matter over. They fixed the meeting-place on the border of Wales, and there, under a great oak tree, the stranger Archbishop from Rome, and the hunted bishops and monks of the ancient British Church, met.

They talked long and earnestly, and at one time it seemed as if Augustine would persuade them to help him in his work. But those British Christians were very bitter in their dislike to their Saxon conquerors, and they mistrusted a stranger monk who called himself Archbishop of Canterbury. They scarcely knew what to decide, but took counsel with an old hermit who lived a holy life among the wild mountains of Wales.

"Is it our duty to make friends with this man?" they asked.

"If he is a man of God, then follow him," replied the hermit.

[21] "But how are we to know if he be a man of God?" they asked.

"If he be meek and lowly, he bears the yoke of Christ, and offers the same to you," was the answer. "But if he be proud and haughty he cannot be of God."

"How are we to judge whether he be meek and lowly or proud and haughty?" they asked again.

"Contrive it thus," said the hermit. "See that this man and his company arrive first at the meeting-place, so that he may be seated ere you come. If he shall arise and greet you, be sure he is Christ's servant. But if he despises you, and does not rise at your coming, then you may in turn despise him."

The plan was easily carried out. The great oak tree spread its branches over Augustine's little company as they rested there, waiting for the coming of the men who had promised to meet them there. Augustine, weary and anxious, sat in his seat gazing out with thoughtful, troubled eyes which saw no fair green meadows or pleasant landscape, but only dark clouds of distrust and enmity. So when at last the company of British priests drew near, the tall figure dreaming his dreams sat on motionless in his seat, and made no movement to rise or come forward to greet them.

Half triumphantly, then, those men of the ancient British Church decided that Augustine was no servant of God, and they refused to have aught to do with him.

So Augustine went back to his work alone, and it [22] is to him and his little band of faithful monks that England owes her great debt of gratitude. Long and patiently he worked, never sparing himself, and well had he earned his rest when they laid him in his quiet grave in the church at Canterbury, which he himself had built. We know little of Augustine; he was but a messenger sent by the great Gregory who had planned the mission to England. But to us the man who carried out the plan, the messenger who brought the message, the hand that bore the torch, is worthy of a special love and honour. Like that other messenger, Saint John the Baptist, sent by God, he desired no honour for himself, but was content to be a voice crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make His paths straight."

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Little Red Hen

Part 2 of 2


[Illustration]


[6] The little red hen said,

"Who will thresh the wheat?"


The pig said, "Not I."

The cat said, "Not I."

The dog said, "Not I."


The little red hen said,

"I will then."

And she did.



[Illustration]


[7] The little red hen said,

"Who will grind the wheat?"


The pig said, "Not I."

The cat said, "Not I."

The dog said, "Not I."


The little red hen said,

"I will then."

And she did.



[Illustration]


[8] The little red hen said,

"Who will make the bread?"


The pig said, "Not I."

The cat said, "Not I."

The dog said, "Not I."


The little red hen said,

"I will then."

And she did.



[Illustration]


[9] The little red hen said,

"Who will eat the bread?"


The pig said, "I will."

The cat said, "I will."

The dog said, "I will."


The little red hen said,

"You shall not eat the bread.

I will eat it."

And she did.


[10] The little red hen found a seed.

It was a wheat seed.


She said,

"Who will plant the wheat?

Who will cut the wheat?

Who will thresh the wheat?

Who will grind the wheat?

Who will make the bread?"


The pig said, "I will not."

The cat said, "I will not."

The dog said, "I will not."


The little red hen said,

"Then you shall not eat the bread."

 



Anonymous

Bow-Wow-Wow

Bow-wow-wow!

It's the great watch dog.

I know by his honest bark,

Bow-wow-wow!

Says the great watch dog,

When he hears a foot in the dark.


Not a breath can stir

But he's up with a whir

And a big bow-wow gives he,

And with tail on end,

He'll the house defend

Far better than lock or key.

 


  WEEK 2  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

King Canute on the Seashore

A HUNDRED years or more after the time of Alfred the Great there was a king of England named Canute. King Canute was a Dane; but the Danes were not so fierce and cruel then as they had been when they were at war with King Alfred.

The great men and officers who were around King Canute were always praising him.

[11] "You are the greatest man that ever lived," one would say.

Then another would say, "O king! there can never be another man so mighty as you."

And another would say, "Great Canute, there is nothing in the world that dares to disobey you."

The king was a man of sense, and he grew very tired of hearing such foolish speeches.

One day he was by the seashore, and his officers were with him. They were praising him, as they were in the habit of doing. He thought that now he would teach them a lesson, and so he bade them set his chair on the beach close by the edge of the water.

"Am I the greatest man in the world?" he asked.

"O king!" they cried, "there is no one so mighty as you."

"Do all things obey me?" he asked.

"There is nothing that dares to disobey you, O king!" they said. "The world bows before you, and gives you honor."

"Will the sea obey me?" he asked; and he looked down at the little waves which were lapping the sand at his feet.

The foolish officers were puzzled, but they did not dare to say "No."

[12] "Command it, O king! and it will obey," said one.

"Sea," cried Canute, "I command you to come no farther! Waves, stop your rolling, and do not dare to touch my feet!"


[Illustration]

"Sea, I command you to come no farther!"

But the tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king's chair, and wet not only his feet, but also his robe. His officers stood about him, alarmed, and wondering whether he was not mad.

Then Canute took off his crown, and threw it down upon the sand.

"I shall never wear it again," he said. "And do you, my men, learn a lesson from what you have seen. There is only one King who is all-powerful; and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand. It is he whom you ought to praise and serve above all others."

 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

Market Day with Father

[Illustration]

Part 1 of 2

[29] ONE afternoon Kit and Kat were playing around the kitchen doorstep, while their Mother sat on a bench by the door, peeling some onions for supper. It was not yet supper-time, but Vrouw Vedder was always ahead of the clock with the work.

Kit and Kat had a pan of water and were teaching their ducklings to swim. They each had one little fat duckling of their very own. The ducklings squawked when Kit lifted them over the edge of the pan into the water.

"Don't do that, Kit," said Kat. "The ducklings don't like it. You didn't like it when you  fell into the water, did you?"

"But I'm not a duck," said Kit.

"Well, anyway, they're tired and want to go to their mother," said Kat. "Let's [30] do something else! I'll tell you what! Let's go out to the garden and help Father get the boat loaded for market."

"All right," said Kit. "May we, Mother?"

"Yes," said Vrouw Vedder; "and you may ask Father if he will take you to market with him to-morrow if it's fair. Tell him I said you could ask."

"Oh, goody, goody!" said Kit and Kat, both at once; and they ran as fast as their wooden shoes would take them out into the garden.

They found their father cutting cabbages and gathering them into piles. He was stopping to light his pipe, when they reached him.

"O Father!" said Kit and Kat both together. "May we go on the boat to market with you to-morrow morning? Mother said we might ask!"


[Illustration]

Father Vedder blew two puffs from his pipe without answering.

"We'll help you load the boat," said Kit.

[32] "Yes," said Kat, "I can carry a cabbage."

"I can carry two," said Kit. "We'll both be good," said Kat.


[Illustration]

"Very well," said Father, at last. "We'll see how you work! And to-morrow morning, if it's fair, I'll see! But you must go to bed early to-night, because you'll have to get up very early in the morning, if you go [33] with me! Now you each take a cabbage and run along."

Father Vedder went back to his work.

Kit and Kat ran to the cabbage-pile. Kat took one, and Kit took two—just to show that he could.

"When Father says 'I'll see,' he always means 'yes,' " Kat said to Kit.

Perhaps it seems queer to you that they should go to market in a boat, but it didn't seem queer at all to the Twins.

Your see, in Holland there are a great many canals. They cross the fields like roadways of water, and that is what they really are. Little canals open into big ones, and big ones go clear to the sea.

It is very easy for farmers to load their vegetables for market right on a boat. They can pull the boat out into the big canal, and then away they go to sell their produce in the town.

The canals flow through the towns, too, and make water streets, where boats go up and down as carriages go here.

[34] The Twins and their father worked like beavers, washing the vegetables and packing them in baskets, until their good old boat was filled with cabbages and onions and beets and carrots and all sorts of good things to eat.


[Illustration]

By that time it was nearly dark, and they were all three very hungry; so they went home.

[35] They found that Mother Vedder had made buttermilk porridge for supper. The Twins loved buttermilk porridge. They each ate three bowls of it, and then their mother put them to bed.

This is a picture of the bed! It opened [36] like a cupboard right into the kitchen, and it was like going to bed on a shelf in the pantry.


[Illustration]

The very next thing the Twins knew, it was morning, and there was Vrouw Vedder calling to them.

"It's market day, and the sun is almost up. Come Kit and Kat, if you want to go with Father," she said.

The Twins bounced out like two rubber balls. They ate some breakfast and then ran to the boat.

Father was there before them. He helped them into the boat and put them both on one seat, and told them to sit still. Then he got in and took the pole and pushed off.

Vrouw Vedder stood on the canal bank to see them pass.

"Be good children; mind Father, and don't get lost," she called after them.

Kit and Kat were very busy all the way to town, looking at the things to be seen on each side of the canal.

It was so early in the morning that the [37] grass was all shiny with dew. Black and white cows were eating the rich green grass, and a few laborers were already in the fields.


[Illustration]

They passed little groups of farm buildings, their red-tiled roofs shining in the morning sun; and the windmills threw long, long shadows across the fields.

The blue blossoms of the flax nodded to them from the canal bank; and once they saw a stork fly over a mossy green roof, to her nest on the chimney, with a frog in her mouth.

[38] They went under bridges and by little canals that opened into the main canal. They passed so close to some of the houses that Kit and Kat could see the white curtains blowing in the windows, and the pots of red geraniums standing on the sill. In one house the family waved their hands to Kit and Kat from the breakfast table, and a little farther on they passed a woman who was washing clothes in the canal. Other boats filled with vegetables and flowers of all colors passed them. And they were going to market too. Only no other boat had twins in it.

"Good day, neighbor Vedder," one man called out. "Are you taking a pair of fat pigs to market?"

By and by they came to the town. There were a great many boats in the canal here, and people calling back and forth to each other from them.

Kit and Kat saw a boat that the Captain's family lived in. It was like a floating house.


[Illustration]

[39] The Twins thought it must be grand to live on a boat like that, just going about from town to town, seeing new sights every day.

"We should never have to go to school at all," said Kit.

They wished their own boat were big enough to move about in; but Father told [40] them they must sit very, very still all the time.

There were houses on each side of the canal, in the town, and people were clattering along over the pavement in their wooden shoes.

 



Anonymous

The North Wind Doth Blow

The north wind doth blow

And we shall have snow,

And what will poor robin do then?

Poor thing!


He'll sit in a barn,

And to keep himself warm,

Will hide his head under his wing.

Poor thing!

 


  WEEK 2  

  Thursday  


Mary Macgregor

Siegfried Wins the Treasure

[11] Now this is what befell the Prince.

In his wanderings he reached the country called Isenland, where the warlike but beautiful Queen Brunhild reigned. He gazed with wonder at her castle, so strong it stood on the edge of the sea, guarded by seven great gates. Her marble palaces also made him marvel, so white they glittered in the sun.

But most of all he marvelled at this haughty queen, who refused to marry any knight unless he could vanquish her in every contest to which she summoned him.

Brunhild from the castle window saw the fair face and the strong limbs of the hero, and demanded that he should be brought into her presence, and as a sign of her favour she showed the young Prince her magic horse Gana.

Yet Siegfried had no wish to conquer the [12] warrior-queen and gain her hand and her broad dominions for his own. Siegfried thought only of a wonder-maiden, unknown, unseen as yet, though in his heart he hid an image of her as he dreamed that she would be.

It is true that Siegfried had no love for the haughty Brunhild. It is also true that he wished to prove to her that he alone was a match for all her boldest warriors, and had even power to bewitch her magic steed, Gana, if so he willed, and steal it from her side.

And so one day a spirit of mischief urged the Prince on to a gay prank, as also a wayward spirit urged him no longer to brook Queen Brunhild's haughty mien.

Before he left Isenland, therefore, Siegfried in a merry mood threw to the ground the seven great gates that guarded the Queen's strong castle. Then he called to Gana, the magic steed, to follow him into the world, and this the charger did with right good-will.

Whether Siegfried sent Gana back to Isenland or not I do not know, but I know that in the days to come Queen Brunhild never forgave the hero for his daring feat.

[13] When the Prince had left Isenland he rode on and on until he came to a great mountain. Here near a cave he found two little dwarfish Nibelungs, surrounded by twelve foolish giants. The two little Nibelungs were princes, the giants were their counsellors.

Now the King of the Nibelungs had but just died in the dark little underground town of Nibelheim, and the two tiny princes were the sons of the dead king.

But they had not come to the mountain-side to mourn for their royal father. Not so indeed had they come, but to divide the great hoard of treasure which the King had bequeathed to them at his death.

Already they had begun to quarrel over the treasure, and the twelve foolish giants looked on, but did not know what to say or do, so they did nothing, and never spoke at all.

The dwarfs had themselves carried the hoard out of the cave where usually it was hidden, and they had spread it on the mountain-side.

There it lay, gold as far as the eye could see, and farther. Jewels, too, were there, more [14] than twelve waggons could carry away in four days and nights, each going three journeys.

Indeed, however much you took from this marvellous treasure, never did it seem to grow less.

But more precious even than the gold or the jewels of the hoard was a wonderful sword which it possessed. It was named Balmung, and had been tempered by the Nibelungs in their glowing forges underneath the glad green earth.

Before the magic strength of Balmung's stroke, the strongest warrior must fall, nor could his armour save him, however close its links had been welded by some doughty smith.

As Siegfried rode towards the two little dwarfs, they turned and saw him, with his bright, fair face, and flowing locks.

Nimble as little hares they darted to his side, and begged that he would come and divide their treasure. He should have the good sword Balmung as reward, they cried.

Siegfried dismounted, well pleased to do these ugly little men a kindness.

[15] But alas! ere long the dwarfs began to mock at the hero with their harsh voices, and to wag their horrid little heads at him, while they screamed in a fury that he was not dividing the treasure as they wished.

Then Siegfried grew angry with the tiny princes, and seizing the magic sword, he cut off their heads. The twelve foolish giants also he slew, and thus became himself master of the marvellous hoard as well as of the good sword Balmung.


[Illustration]

Seizing the magic sword, he cut off their heads

Seven hundred valiant champions, hearing the blast of the hero's horn, now gathered together to defend the country from this strange young warrior. But he vanquished them all, and forced them to promise that they would henceforth serve no other lord save him alone. And this they did, being proud of his great might.

Now tidings of the slaughter of the two tiny princes had reached Nibelheim, and great was the wrath of the little men and little women who dwelt in the dark town beneath the earth.

Alberich, the mightiest of all the dwarfs, gathered together his army of little gnomes to [16] avenge the death of the two dwarf princes and also, for Alberich was a greedy man, to gain for himself the great hoard.

When Siegfried saw Alberich at the head of his army of little men he laughed aloud, and with a light heart he chased them all into the great cave on the mountain-side.

From off the mighty dwarf, Alberich, he stripped his famous Cloak of Darkness, which made him who wore it not only invisible, but strong as twelve strong men. He snatched also from the dwarf's fingers his wishing rod, which was a Magic Wand. And last of all he made Alberich and his thousands of tiny warriors take an oath, binding them evermore to serve him alone. Then hiding the treasure in the cave with the seven hundred champions whom he had conquered, he left Alberich and his army of little men to guard it, until he came again. And Alberich and his dwarfs were faithful to the hero who had shorn them of their treasure, and served him for evermore.

Siegfried, the magic sword Balmung by his side, the Cloak of Darkness thrown over his [17] arm, the Magic Wand in his strong right hand, went over the mountain, across the plains, nor did he tarry until he came again to the castle built on the banks of the river Rhine in his own low-lying country of the Netherlands.

 



Mary Macgregor

Siegfried Comes Home

[18] The walls of the old castle rang. King Siegmund, his knights and liegemen, all were welcoming Prince Siegfried home. They had not seen their hero-prince since he had been sent long years before to be under the charge of Mimer the blacksmith.

He had grown but more fair, more noble, they thought, as they gazed upon his stalwart limbs, his fearless eyes.

And what tales of prowess clustered around his name! Already their Prince had done great deeds as he had ridden from land to land.

The King and his liegemen had heard of the slaughter of the terrible dragon, of the capture of the great treasure, of the defiance of the warlike and beautiful Brunhild. They could [19] wish for no more renowned prince than their own Prince Siegfried.

Thus Siegmund and his subjects rejoiced that the heir to the throne was once again in his own country.

In the Queen's bower, too, there was great joy. Sieglinde wept, but her tears were not those of sadness. Sieglinde wept for very gladness that her son had come home safe from his wonderful adventures.

Now Siegmund wished to give a great feast in honour of his son. It should be on his birthday which was very near, the birthday on which the young Prince would be twenty-one years of age.

Far and wide throughout the Netherlands and into distant realms tidings of the feast were borne. Kinsmen and strangers, lords and ladies all were asked to the banquet in the great castle hall where Siegmund reigned supreme.

It was the merry month of June when the feast was held, and the sun shone bright on maidens in fair raiment, on knights in burnished armour.

[20] Siegfried was to be knighted on this June day along with four hundred young squires of his father's realm. The Prince was clad in gorgeous armour, and on the cloak flung around his shoulders jewels were seen to sparkle in the sunlight, jewels made fast with gold embroidery worked by the white hands of the Queen and her fair damsels.

In games and merry pastimes the hours of the day sped fast away, until the great bell of the Minster pealed, calling the gay company to the house of God for evensong. Siegfried and the four hundred squires knelt before the altar, ere they were knighted by the royal hand of Siegmund the King.


[Illustration]

Knighted by the royal hand of Siegmund the King

The solemn service ended, the new-made knights hastened back to the castle, and there in the great hall a mighty tournament was held. Knights who had grown grey in service tilted with those who but that day had been given the grace of knighthood. Lances splintered, shields fell before the mighty onslaughts of the gallant warriors, until King Siegmund bade the tilting cease.

Then in the great hall feasting and song held [21] sway until daylight faded and the stars shone bright.

Yet no weariness knew the merry-makers. The next morning, and for six long summer days, they tilted, they sang, they feasted.

When at length the great festival drew to a close, Siegmund in the presence of his guests gave to his dear son Siegfried many lands and strong castles over which he might be lord.

To all his son's comrades, too, the King gave steeds and costly raiment, while Queen Sieglinde bestowed upon them freely coins of gold. Such abundant gifts had never before been dreamed of as were thus lavished by Siegmund and Sieglinde on their guests.

As the rich nobles looked upon the brave young Prince Siegfried, there were some who whispered among themselves that they would fain have him to rule in the land.

Siegfried heard their whispers, but in no wise did he give heed to the wish of the nobles.

Never, he thought, while his beautiful mother and his bounteous father lived, would he wear the crown.

[22] Indeed Siegfried had no wish to sit upon a throne, he wished but to subdue the evil-doers in the land. Or better still he wished to go forth in search of new adventure. And this right soon he did.

 



Mary Macgregor

Kriemhild's Dream

[23] Now in the Kingdom of Burgundy the court sat in the city of Worms, a city built on the banks of the great Rhine river.

At this court dwelt a beautiful Princess named Kriemhild. More beautiful was she than any other maiden in the wide world. Gentle and kind too she was, so that her fame had spread to many a far-off land.

The King, her father, had died when Kriemhild was a tiny maiden. Her mother was Queen Uté, who loved well her beautiful and gentle daughter.

But though the maiden's father was dead, she was well guarded by her three royal brothers, King Gunther, King Gernot, and King Giselher.

It was King Gunther, Kriemhild's eldest [24] brother, who sat upon the throne, and it was to him that the liegemen took their oath of fealty.

King Gunther's chief counsellor was his uncle, a cruel man, whose name was Hagen.

There was great wealth and splendour at the Court of Worms, and many nobles and barons flocked thither to take service under King Gunther's banners.

Now one night it chanced that Kriemhild dreamed a strange dream. As she lay in her soft, white bed it seemed to the Princess that a beautiful hawk, with feathers of gold, came and perched upon her wrist.

Strong and wild was the bird, but in her dream Kriemhild fondled and petted it until it grew quiet and tame. Then the Princess dressed herself for the hunt, and with her hawk on her wrist set out with her three royal brothers to enjoy the sport.

No sooner, however, did the maiden loosen the hawk from off her wrist than it soared upward toward the bright blue sky.

Then the dream-maiden saw two mighty eagles swoop down upon her petted hawk, and [25] bearing it away in their cruel talons, tear it into pieces.

When the Princess awoke and remembered her dream she trembled for fear. In the early dawn the beautiful maiden slipped into her mother's bower. Perchance the Queen would be able to tell her the meaning of her dream.

Queen Uté listened kindly to her daughter's fears, but when she heard of the two cruel eagles she covered her face with her fair white hands and answered slowly: "The hawk, my daughter, is a noble knight who shall be thy husband, but, alas, unless God defend him from his foes, thou shalt lose him ere he has long been thine."

But the beautiful maiden tossed her head, forgetting the sorrow of her dream, and cried with a light heart, "O lady mother, I wish no knight to woo me from thy side. Merry and glad is my life here in our court at Worms, and here will I dwell with thee and my three royal brothers."

"Nay," said the Queen, "speak not thus, fair daughter, for God will send to thee a noble knight and strong."

[26] Yet still the maiden laughed. She knew not that even now a hero of great renown was on his way to the royal city, a hero who already bore the maiden's image in his heart, and hoped to win her one day for his bride.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Lazy Snail

[Illustration]

[31]

I N the lower part of the meadow, where the grass grew tall and tender, there lived a fine and sturdy young Snail; that is to say, a fine-looking Snail. His shell was a beautiful soft gray, and its curves were regular and perfect. His body was soft and moist, and just what a Snail's body should be. Of course, when it came to travelling, he could not go fast, for none of his family are rapid travellers, still, if he had been plucky and patient, [32] he might have seen much of the meadow, and perhaps some of the world outside. His friends and neighbors often told him that he ought to start out on a little journey to see the sights, but he would always answer, "Oh, it is too hard work!"

There was nobody who liked stories of meadow life better than this same Snail, and he would often stop some friendly Cricket or Snake to ask for the news. After they had told him, they would say, "Why, don't you ever get out to see these things for yourself?" and he would give a little sigh and answer, "It is too far to go."

"But you needn't go the whole distance in one day," his visitor would say, "only a little at a time."

"Yes, and then I would have to keep starting on again every little while," the Snail would reply. "What of that?" said the visitor; "you would have plenty of resting spells, when you could lie in the shade of a tall weed and enjoy yourself."

[33] "Well, what is the use?" the Snail would say. "I can't enjoy resting if I know I've got to go to work again," and he would sigh once more.

So there he lived, eating and sleeping, and wishing he could see the world, and meet the people in the upper part of the meadow, but just so lazy that he wouldn't start out to find them.

He never thought that the Butterflies and Beetles might not like it to have him keep calling them to him and making them tell him the news. Oh, no indeed! If he wanted them to do anything for him, he asked them quickly enough, and they, being happy, good-natured people, would always do as he asked them to.

There came a day, though, when he asked too much. The Grasshoppers had been telling him about some very delicious new plants that grew a little distance away, and the Snail wanted some very badly. "Can't you bring me some?" he [34] said. "There are so many of you, and you have such good, strong legs. I should think you might each bring me a small piece in your mouths, and then I should have a fine dinner of it."

The Grasshoppers didn't say anything then, but when they were so far away that he could not hear them, they said to each other, "If the Snail wants the food so much, he might better go for it. We have other things to do," and they hopped off on their own business.

The Snail sat there, and wondered and wondered that they did not come. He kept thinking how he would like some of the new food for dinner, but there it ended. He didn't want it enough to get it for himself.

The Grasshoppers told all their friends about the Snail's request, and everybody thought, "Such a lazy, good-for-nothing fellow deserves to be left quite alone." So it happened that for a very long time nobody went near the Snail.

[35] The weather grew hotter and hotter. The clouds, which blew across the sky, kept their rain until they were well past the meadow, and so it happened that the river grew shallower and shallower, and the sunshine dried the tiny pools and rivulets which kept the lower meadow damp. The grass began to turn brown and dry, and, all in all, it was trying weather for Snails.

One day, a Butterfly called some of her friends together, and told them that she had seen the Snail lying in his old place, looking thin and hungry. "The grass is all dried around him," she said; "I believe he is starving, and too lazy to go nearer the river, where there is still good food for him."

They all talked it over together, and some of them said it was of no use to help a Snail who was too lazy to do anything for himself. Others said, "Well, he is too weak to help himself now, at all events, [36] and we might help him this once." And that is exactly what they did. The Butterflies and the Mosquitoes flew ahead to find the best place to put the Snail, and all the Grasshoppers, and Beetles, and other strong crawling creatures took turns in rolling the Snail down toward the river.

They left him where the green things were fresh and tender, and he grew strong and plump once more. It is even said that he was not so lazy afterward, but one cannot tell whether to believe it or not, for everybody knows that when people let themselves grow up lazy, as he did, it is almost impossible for them to get over it when they want to. One thing is sure: the meadow people who helped him were happier and better for doing a kind thing, no matter what became of the Snail.

 



Anonymous

Some Little Mice

Some little mice sat in a barn to spin;

Pussy came by and popped his head in.

"Shall I come in and cut off your threads?"

"Oh, no! kind sir, you will bite off our heads!"

 


  WEEK 2  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

Marquette in Iowa

THE first white men to go into the middle of our country were Frenchmen. The French had settled in Canada. They sent missionaries to preach to the Indians in the West. They also sent traders to buy furs from the Indians.

The Frenchmen heard the Indians talk about a great river in the West. But no Frenchman had ever gone far enough to see the Mississippi.

Marquette was a priest. Joliet was a trader. These two men were sent to find the great river that the Indians talked about.

They traveled in two birch canoes. They took five men to paddle the canoes. They took some smoked meat to eat on the way. They also took some Indian corn. They had trinkets to trade to [12] the Indians. Hatchets, and beads, and bits of cloth were the money they used to pay the Indians for what they wanted.

The friendly Indians in Wisconsin tried to persuade them not to go. They told them that the Indians on the great river would kill them.

The friendly Indians also told them that there was a demon in one part of the river. They said that this demon roared so loud that he could be heard a long way off. They said that the demon would draw the travelers down into the water. Then they told about great monsters that ate up men and their canoes.

But Marquette and the men with him thought they would risk the journey. They would not turn back for fear of the demon or the monsters.

The two little canoes went down the Wisconsin River. After some days they came to the Mississippi. More than a hundred years before, the Spaniards had seen the lower part of this river. But no white man had ever seen this part of the great river. Marquette did not know that any white man had ever seen any part of the Mississippi.

The two little canoes now turned their bows down the river. Sometimes they saw great herds of buffaloes. Some of these came to the bank of the [13] river to look at the men in the canoes. They had long, shaggy manes, which hung down over their eyes.

For two weeks the travelers paddled down the river. In all this time they did not see any Indians. After they had gone hundreds of miles in this way, they came to a place where they saw tracks in the mud. It was in what is now the State of Iowa.

Marquette and Joliet left the men in their canoes, and followed the tracks. After walking two hours, they came to an Indian village. The Frenchmen came near enough to hear the Indians talking. The Indians did not see them.

Joliet and Marquette did not know whether the Indians would kill them or not. They said a short prayer. Then they stood out in full view, and gave a loud shout.

The Indians came out of their tents like bees. They stared at the strangers. Then four Indians came toward them. These Indians carried a peace pipe. They held this up toward the sun. This meant that they were friendly.

The Indians now offered the peace pipe to the Frenchmen. The Frenchmen took it, and smoked with the Indians. This was the Indian way of saying, "We are friends."


[Illustration]

Marquette and Joliet

[15] Marquette asked the Indians what tribe they belonged to. They told him that they were of the tribe called the Illinois.

They took Joliet and Marquette into their village. They came to the door of a large wig-wam. A chief stood in the door. He shaded his eyes with both hands, as if the sun were shining in his face. Then he made a little speech.

He said, "Frenchmen, how bright the sun shines when you come to see us! We are all waiting for you. You shall now come into our houses in peace."

The Illinois Indians made a feast for their new friends. First they had mush of corn meal, with fat meat in it. One of the Indians fed the Frenchmen as though they were babies. He put mush into their mouths with a large spoon.

Then came some fish. The Indian that fed the visitors picked out the bones with his fingers. Then he put the pieces of fish into their mouths. After this they had some roasted dog. The Frenchmen did not like this. Last, they were fed with buffalo meat.

The next morning six hundred Indians went to the canoes to tell the Frenchmen good-by. They gave Marquette a young Indian slave. And they gave him a peace pipe to carry with him.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

How the Turtle Saved His Own Life

[10]

A KING once had a lake made in the courtyard for the young princes to play in. They swam about in it, and sailed their boats and rafts on it. One day the king told them he had asked the men to put some fishes into the lake.

Off the boys ran to see the fishes. Now, along with the fishes, there was a Turtle. The boys were delighted with the fishes, but they had never seen a Turtle, and they were afraid of it, thinking it was a demon. They ran back to their father, crying, "There is a demon on the bank of the lake."

The king ordered his men to catch the demon, and to bring it to the palace. When the Turtle was brought in, the boys cried and ran away.

The king was very fond of his sons, so he ordered the men who had brought the Turtle to kill it.

"How shall we kill it?" they asked.

[11] "Pound it to powder," said some one. "Bake it in hot coals," said another.


[Illustration]

"Throw the thing into the lake."

So one plan after another was spoken of. Then an old man who had always been afraid of the water said: "Throw the thing into the lake where it flows out over the rocks into the river. Then it will surely be killed."

When the Turtle heard what the old man said, he thrust out his head and asked: "Friend, what have [12] I done that you should do such a dreadful thing as that to me? The other plans were bad enough, but to throw me into the lake! Don't speak of such a cruel thing!"

When the king heard what the Turtle said, he told his men to take the Turtle at once and throw it into the lake.

The Turtle laughed to himself as he slid away down the river to his old home. "Good!" he said, "those people do not know how safe I am in the water!"

 



Anonymous

Bobby Shafto

Bobby Shafto's gone to sea,

With silver buckles on his knee,

He'll come back and marry me,—

Pretty Bobby Shafto!


Bobby Shafto's fat and fair;

Combing out his yellow hair;

He's my love forever mair,—

Pretty Bobby Shafto!