Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

TUESDAY.

telling them that neatness was a very essential thing, both for

THE DUSTMAN. health, and also to render them agreeable in the eye of the world.

Robin was a very strong, robust bird, not remarkable for his beauty, but there was a great briskness in his manner which covered As soon as Edward was in bed, the Dustman touched all the many defects, and he was very likely to attract notice. His father pieces of furniture in the room with his little magic wand, wherejudged, from the tone of his chirpings, that he would be a very upon they began to talk; and they talked all about themselves, good songster.

excepting the spittoon, who stood quite still, and was much vexed at Dicky had a remarkably fine plumage ; his breast was of a the rest being so vain, all talking about themselves without ever beautiful red ; his body and wings of an elegant mottled brown, thinking of him wh stood so modestly in the corner, and suffered and bis eyes sparkled like diamonds.

himself

to be spit upon. Flapsy was also very pretty, but more distinguished for the Over the wardrobe there hung a large picture in a gilt frame; it elegance of her shape than for the variety and lustre of her was a landscape, where you might see tall trees, flowers blossoming feathers.

in the grass, and a river that wound itself round a grove, passing Pecksy had no outward charms to recommend her to notice ; but many a grand old castle on its way to the sea. these defects were supplied by the sweetness of her disposition. Her

The Dustman touched the picture with his magic wand, and temper was constantly serene ; she was ever attentive to the hap- immediately the birds began to sing, the boughs of the trees waved piness of her parents, and would not have grieved them for the to and fro, and the clouds actually flew; one could see their shadows world; and her affection for her brothers and sisters was so

flit over the landscape. great, that she constantly preferred their interest to her own, of

The Dustman then lifted little Edward up to the frame, and which we have lately given an instance.

Edward put his legs into the picture. There he stood amid the tall The kind parents attended to them with unremitting affection, grass. He ran to the water's edge, and seated himself in a little and made their daily visit to Master and Miss Benson, who very boat painted red and white, with sails glittering like silver ; six punctually discharged the benevolent office of feeding them. The swans, with golden wreaths round their necks, and bright blue stars Robin Redbreasts, made familiar by repeated favours, approached upon their heads, drew the boat along, nigh a green wood, where the nearer and nearer to their little friends by degrees, and at length trees were telling stories about robbers and witches, and the flowers yentured to enter the room and feed upon the breakfast-table. were talking of the pretty little fairies, and of what the butterflies Miss Harriet was delighted at this circumstance, and Prederick was had said to them. quite transported; he longed to catch the birds, but his mamma told Most beautiful fishes, with scales like gold and silver, swam him that would be the very means to drive them away. Miss Harriet behind the boat, every now and then leaping up, so that the water entreated him not to frighten them on any account; and he was was splashed over Euward's head; gay-plumed birds, red and blue, prevailed on to forbear, but could not help expressing a wish that great and small, flew after him in two long rows; the gnats danced, he had them in a cage, that he might feed them all day long.

and the cockchafers said, “Boom, boom.” They all wished to And you do really think, Frederick," said Mrs. Benson," that accompany Edward, and every one of them had a story to tell. these little delicate creatures are such gluttons as to desire to be fed A pleasant voyage was that! The woods were now thick and all day long? Could you tempt them to do it, they would soon die; gloomy, now like beautiful gardens beaming with flowers and sunbut they know better, and as soon as their appetites are satisfied, shine." Large palaces built of crystal or marble rose from among always leave off eating. Many a little boy may learn a lesson from the trees; young princesses stood in the balconies—these were ali them. Do not you recollect one of your acquaintance, who, if an little girls whom Edward knew well, and with whom he had often apple-pie, or anything else that he calls nice, is set before bim, will played. They stretched out their hands to him, each holding a pretty eat till he makes himself sick ?" Frederick looked ashamed, being little image made of sugar, such as are seen in confectioners shops. conscious that he was too much inclined to indulge his love,of Edward seized the end of one of these little images as he sailed by, delicacies. “Well,” said his mamma, “I see you understand who I and a princess kept hold of the other, so each got half, the princess mean, Frederiek, so we will say no more on that subject; only, the smaller, Edward the larger. At every castle little princes were when you meet with that little gentleman, give my love to him, and keeping guard; they shouldered their golden scimitars, and showered tell him I beg he will be as moderate as his Redbreasts."

down raisins and tin soldiers-these were real princes!

Edward sailed sometimes through woods, sometimes through large halls, or the middle of a town. Among others, he passed

through the town where his purse lived—she who had brought ROBIN'S COME.

him up from his cradle, and who loved him so much. She From the elm-tree's topmost bough,

nodded and beckoned to him as he passed by, and sang the pretty Hark, the robin's early song,

verses she had herself composed and sent to him :Telling one and all that now,

" How many, many hours I think on thee,
Merry spring time hastes along.

My own dear Edward, still my pride and joy;
Welcome tidings thou dost bring,

How have I hung delighted over thee,
Little harbinger of spring.
“ Robin's come.”

Kissing thy rosy cheeks, my darling boy!
Of the winter we are Weaty,

Thy first low accents it was mine to hear,

To-day my farewell words to thee shall fly:
Weary of its frost and snow,

Oh! may the Lord thy shield be ever near;
Longing for the sunshine cheery,

And fit thee for a mansion in the sky!"
And the brooklet's gurgling flow,
Gladly then we hear thee sing

And all the birds sung with her, the flowers danced upon their
The reveillé of the spring.

stems, and the old trees nodded their heads, whilst the Dustman told “ Robin's come.”

stories to them also.
Ring it out o'er hill and plain,

Through the garden's Ionely towers,
Till the green leaves dance again,

SAGACITY OF A NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN.
Till the air is sweet with flowers:
Wake the cowslip by the rill,

Some venison suspended in the hut of a Redskin to dry being stolen,
Wake the yellow daffodil.

the owner plunged into the forest in pursuit of the unknown thief. Hé “Robin's come." had not proceeded far before he met a party of travellers. He asked them

if they had seen a little white man, carrying a short rifle, followed by a Then, as thou wert wont of yore,

little short-tailed dog; for he was sure, he said, that this was a faithful Build thy nest and rear thy young,

description of the person who bad :tolen his provisions. Close behind our cottage door,

The travellers had met the thief, and they asked the Indian, who In the woodbine leaves among;

assured them he had never seen him, how it was he could describe him Hurt or harm thou need'st not fear,

80 accurately. Nothing rude shall venture near.

“I know the thief is a little short man,” replied the Indian, “because he “Robin's co me." made a pile of stones to stand upon to reach my venison ; I know that he

is old, because his footsteps, which I have traced among the dead leaves of Swinging still o'er yonder lane,

the forest, are short and near together; I know that he is a Whiteskin Robin answers merrily,

because he turns out his toes, which the Redskins never do; I know that he Ravished by the sweet refrain,

carries a short rifle by the marks of the barrel on the bark of the tree Alice clasps her bands in glee,

against which it leaned; the footsteps of the dog show me that they were Shouting from the open door

made by a small animal, and the marks made in the dust at the place where With her clear voice, o'er and o'er,

he was seated while his master stole my meat showed me the length of his “ Robin's come.'' tail, which is very short.

HOLGER THE DANE.

knighthood, upon Hoitfeldt's breast, just when, to save the fleet, he

blew up his ship and himself with it. “THERE is in Denmark an old castle called Kronborg; it stands And the third flame led him into Greenland's wretched buts, where close by the Sound of Elsinore, where every day large ships, English, stood the priest, Hans Egede, with love in his words and deeds, and Russian, and Prussian, may be seen sailing along. And as they pass the flame shone like a star upon his breast, pointing to the third the old castle, they salute it with their cannons, ' Boom!'—and the heart in the Danish standard. castle answers with its cannons, 'Boom! This is the same as saying And the old grandfather's thoughts preceded the fourth flame, “Good day!' and 'Thank you!' No ships sail past during the winter, for he knew well whither that hovering torch-light would lead. for then the Sound is covered with ice, and becomes a very broad in the peasant woman's lonely chamber stood Frederick the Sixth, highway leading from Denmark to Sweden ; the Danish and Swedish writing his name with chalk on the rafters; the flame flickered flags flutter overhead, and Danes and Swedes walk and drive to and about his bosom, flickered in his heart,-it was in that peasant's cot fro-meet and say to each other "Good day!' • Thank you !'- not that his heart became a heart for Denniark's arms. And the old with the report of cannons, but with a hearty, friendly shake of the grandfather wiped his eyes, for he had known and served King hands; and they buy wheaten bread and biscuits of each other, Frederick of the silver-white hair and kind blue eyes, and he folded because every one fancies foreign bread the best.

his hands and gazed before him in silence. Just then the old man's But the glory of the scene is still the old Kronborg, and beneath, daughter-in-law came up and reminded him that it was late, and in those dark, tremendous caverns, where no man can venture in time for him to rest, and that the table was spread for supper. sits Holger the Dane. He is clothed in iron and steel, he rests his “But what a beautiful image you have made, grandfather," said head on bis sinewy arm, his long beard hangs over the marble table, she. “Holger the Dane, and our old coat-of-arms complete. I into which he seems to have grown fast. There he sleeps and fancy I have seen this face before." dreams, and in his dreams he sees all that is going on up in Den- “No, that you have not,” replied the old man, " but I have seen mark. Every Christmas-eve an angel of God comes to him, and it, and I have tried to cut it in wood, just as I remember it. It was tells him that he has dreamt truly, and that he may sleep on, for on the 2nd of April, when the English fleet lay off the coast, when Denmark is in no danger. But whenever danger shall threaten we showed ourselves to be Danes of the true old breed ! I was of her, then will Holger the Dane arise in his might, and as he disen. Steen Bille's squadron; I stood on the deck of the Denmark; there gages his beard, the marble table will burst in twain !--then will he was a man by my side-it really seemed that the cannon-balls feared come forth and fight in such wise that all the countries of the world and shunned him! So merrily he sang the fine old battle-songs, shall ring with the fame thereof !”

and fired and fought as if he were more than mortal. I can recall All this about Holger the Dane was told one evening by an old his face even now; but whence he came or whither he went, I knew grandfather to his little grandson, and the bcy was sure that all his not; indeed, no one knew. I have often thought it might have grandfather said must be true. Now this old man was a carver, been Holger the Dane himself, and that he had swam down from one of those whose employment is to carve the figure-heads of ships, Kronborg to help us in the hour of danger; that was only my and as he sat talking to the little boy, he cut out of wood a large fancy, perhaps—at any rate, here stands his likeness.” image intended to represent Holger the Dane; there he was with And the image cast its huge shadow up the wall, even to the ceiling his long beard, standing so proudly erect, holding in one hand his and the shadow seemed to move too, just as though the real living broad battle-sword, and leaning the other on his shield with the Holger the Dane were actually present in the room ; but this might Danish coat-of-arms upon it.

be because the flame of the candle flickered so unsteadily. And his And the old grandfather told so many anecdotes about different son's wife kissed the old grandfather, and led him to the large armmen and women famed in Danish history, that at last the little boy chair at the table, where she and her husband, who, of course, was began to imagine he must know quite as much as Holger the Dane, son to the old grandfather, and father to the little boy in bed, sat for he could dream of nothing but these things ; and after the child down to eat their evening meal. And the old grandfather talked had gone to bed, he still thought over what he had heard, and the while about the Danish lions and the Danish hearts, and about pressed his chin down into the pillow, fancying that he, too, bad a the strength and gentleness they were meant to typify. And he long beard, and that it had grown into the bed.

showed how that there was another kind of strength, quite different But the old grandfather still sat at his work, carving the Danish from that which lies in the sword-pointing, as he spoke to the shelf coat-of-arms, and when he had finished it, he looked at the whole where a few old, well-read, well-worn books were lying, amoug them image, and thought over all that he had heard and read, and told Holberg's comedies, those comedies which people take up and read that evening to the little boy; and he nodded his head, and wiped again and again, because they are so charmingly written that all the his spectacles, and then put them on again, saying, " Ah, yes, Holger characters described in them seem as well known to you as persons the Dane will certainly not come in my time, but the boy in the bed you have lived with all your life. yonder, he, perchance, may see him and stand beside him in the hour “ You see he, too, knew how to carve,” remarked the old man; of need." And again the old grandfather nodded his head, and the “ he could carve out people's humours and caprices.” And then the more he looked at his Holger the Dane the more he felt persuaded old grandfather nodded at the looking-glass, over which the almathat this was a very good image that he had now made ; he could nack, with the “Round Tower," on its cover, was stuck, saying, almost fancy it had colour, and that the armour shone like real iron "Tycho Brahe, he again-he was one of those who used the sword and steel; the hearts on the Danish arms grew redder and redder, — not to cut into human flesh and bone, but to make clear a plain and the lions, with their golden crowns, sprang forward fiercely—80 | highway among all the stars of heaven! And then he whose father it seemed-while he looked at them.

was of my own craft, the old carver's son-he with the white hair and "Surely this is the prettiest coat-of-arms in the world !” said the broad shoulders, whom we ourselves have seen, he whose fame is in old man." The lions denote strength, and the hearts symbolize all countries of the earth! he, to be sure, could carve in stone, I mildness and love." He looked on the uppermost lion, and thought can only carve wood. Ah, yes, Holger the Dane comes to us in of King Canute, who subjected proud England

many different ways, that all the world may hear to Denmark's throne; he looked at the second

of Denmark's strength! Now, shall we drink lion, and then remembered Waldemar, who ga

Bertel Thorwaldsen's health ?” thered the Danish States into one, and van

But the little boy in bed all this while saw disquished the Vends; he looked at the third lion,

tinctly before him the ancient castle of Kronborg, and thought of Margaret, who united the crowns

standing alone above the sound of Elsinore, and of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. He looked

the real Holger the Dane sitting in the caverns at the red hearts, and they seemed to shine

underground, with his beard grown fast into the brighter than ever ; they were changed into

marble table, and dreaming of all that happens in moving flames, and his thoughts followed each

the world above him. And Holger the Dane, flame.

among other things, dreamt of the narrow, meanly The first flame led him into a dark, narrow

furnished chamber wherein sat the wood-carver ; dungeon, wherein sat a captive, a beautiful woman.

he heard all that was said there and bowed his It was Eleanora Ulfeld, the daughter of Christian

head in his dream, saying: the Fourth; the flame settled upon her bosom,

“ Yes, remember me still, good Danish people ! and bloomed like a rose above the heart of that

Bear me in mind! I will not fail to come in your noblest and best of all Danish women.

hour of need!" “ Yes, that is one heart in Denmark's stan

And the sun shone brightly on Kronborg's dard!" quoth the old grandfather.

towers, and the wind wafted the notes of the And his thoughts followed the second flame,

hunter's horn across from the neighbouring and it led him to the sea, where the cannons

country, the ship sailed past and saluted the castle roared and the ships lay wrapped in smoke; and

—“Boom, BOOM!" and Kronborg returned in the flame rested, like the badge of an order of

“ Boom, BOOM !" But, loud as their

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

answer

A POLISH LEGEND.

cannons roared, Holger the Dane awakened not yet, for they only

O, Master, dear! with curols sweet I'll call thee: meant, “ Good day!” and “ Thank you !"

Sleep not again. I hear the birds' blithe song The cannons must mean something very different from that before

Loud in the woodlands. Evil may befall thee, he will awake; yet awake he will, when there is need, for work and

And jealous eyes awaken, tarrying long,

Now tbat the morn is near. strength dwell in Holger the Dave.

0, Master, dear! forth from the window looking,
THE D EW-K IN G.

Attentive mark the signs of yonder heaven:
Judge if aright I read what they betoken-

Thine all the loss, if vain the warning given "Bring hither my steed! quickly bring him hither. The sun

The morn, the morn is near. has long sunk to rest. The stars are already out; the moon shines ;

O, Master, dear! since thou from hence wert straying, and the dew already glistens in the meads. The south wind no

Nor sleep nor rest these eyes have visited : longer blows, or if it does blow, it no longer warıns, but its breath

My prayers unceasing, to the Virgin praying is cooling. Then quickly bring me my steed, for all further delay

That thou in peace thy backward way might tread. is but time lost to ine. With heaving bosom the dark-eyed maiden

The inorn, the morn is near. has long been waiting for me. On the wings of the eagle, on the

0, Master, dear! hence to the fields with mewings of the wind, I will fly away on my swift-footed steed, for the

Me thou forbadest to slumber through the night; night is so short, and the day is so long, and it is in the night time

And I have watch'd that live-long nigot for thee, alone that I can live."

But in my song I know thou takest no delight Thus cried Trojan, the King of the brave Servians, who could

For now the dawn is near. not endure the rays of the sun: never had he beheld the light of the brilliant day. For, had but one sunbeam fallen upon Trojan's At length Trojan came forth, mounted his steed, and away he head, he would have resolved like a rain-cloud, and his body turned flew with the swiftness of an arrow.” to dew.

Scarcely bad he crossed the paved courtyard and the bridge of The obedient squire leads the horse from the stable. Trojan lime-tree wood, when the bright light spread upon him from the springs upon him, and bounds away. The faithful attendant other side of the hill. follows.

“ That is the sun !” exclaimed the affrighted squire. “How cool and refreshing !-the very time for me !" exclaims " Then is the moment of my death but too surely come !" replied Trojan, in joyous mood ; "of a truth the stars glimmer, the moon Trojan, with repressed vexation. “I will dismount, and press my shines, but their pale rays give no warmth. The pearly dew, white poor body close to the damp earth. But do thou cast thy cloak as coral, covers the verdaut mead, and in every drop I perceive the over me, and at sunset come with my steed to fetch me." Then image of the stars, and of the moon's bright face. How silent! trembling, he leaped from his horse, and sank fainting upon the how tranquil! Nothing disturbs my senses; only now and then damp earth. The faithful squire carefully spread his cloak over the the melancholy voice of the owl resounds from the dark forest."

poor king. “0, my lord,” replied the squire, “inuch better do I love the

Away goes

the squire with the steeds to the palace, knocks at the sun and the bright day, though his beams are hot, than the gloomy iron gate. "Open, porter, open quickly!” he cries, all trembling shades of night. Then I am almost blind, and the loveliest colours with fright. Down drops the drawbridge, the squire bounds in at -the violet and the rose, and the fragrant lilac-are all black alike. the gate, and calls the servants together. “Where is the king ? And in the night all things sleep-birds, beasts, and mnen. At where is Trojan ?” they all inquire. He points in tears to the times only the wanderer from the village discerns a solitary light on horses. “The king lies upon the field; he lies upon the damp the highway; at times only the faithful guardian of the house, earth; a cloak covers his body; and I am to fetch him with his when he sniffs a wolf or something stravge, wakens echo with his steed at sunset." barking. Like the billowy sea, like the corn field waving in the It was a sultry day, not a breath of wind stirred, and the sun wind, so does echo wave and undulate from every side. And not a scorched like fire. Trojan trembled beneath his cloak for fear, and bird disturbs the silence of night; for the minstrel of spring, the heat; and he vowed in his mind, if he should get out of this peril, lark roused by the dawn, flies cheerily over the verdant lea, and, never to wait again for the dawn of morning. with the sun, greets the fair day. At night he sleeps, like all other Herdsmen passing that way to tend their cattle come to the beings, to recruit his strength. And we, good my lord, we roam spot where Trojan lay. “Behold! there lies a cloak.” They lift about in the thick shades of nocturnal darkness."

it up, and perceive a man; and they quickly drew off the cloak A stately mansion glistened in the distance-in every window entirely from himn. Trojan shrieked, and besought them by all they appeared a light. There Trojan's love awaited the coming of her held dear, crying, “Cover me again with tlie cloak! let me not be lord. Trojan's stripes fall thicker and faster on the flanks of his scorched by the fire!" steed, and away he flies with the swiftness of an arrow. He bounds But in vain he beseeches or entreats them—the sun shines bright across the bridge of lime-tree wood and over the paved courtyard. and darts his beans directly upon Trojan's face. All at once he is He leaps from his horse and hastens into the well-known halls. silent, for his eyes are turned into two drops; head, neck, and

Long waited the squire, holding the horses by the bridle, till sleep bosom dissolve, and presently his whole body is transformed, as it closed his weary eyelids. At length, rousing up, he said to himself, were, into tears. And the corpse of Trojan glistens for a nioment “Hark! the cocks are already crowing! I nust waken my king. longer like dew; but these drops, too, are soon dried up by the heat Long is the way to, his palace, and the day already begins to of the day. dawn."

About sunset the faithful squire hastens to the spot with the Approaching the door of the bedchamber, he rapped at it with servants of the palace. Trojan is not there. He finds nought but vigorous hand. “O, my liege, awake! awake, my king! Day the cloak upon the ground; he wrings his hands, and weeps bitterly. already begins to dawn. Let us quickly to horse, and ride back to Vain are thy tears and thy sorrow, 'faithful squire, they will not the palace.

restore thy king to life again. "Disturb not my slumber," cried Trojan, angrily, to his attendant, “I know well when day begins to dawn, when the sun sends forth his first rays as the signal for my death. Wait outside

THE GENEROUS LION. with the horses." The obedient squire answered not a word, and waited a long time. in full assurance of seeing himn immediately devoured: contrary, however,

A CERTAIN person inhumanly cast a poor little dog into the den of a lion, He looked around, and perceived with alarm the first faint gleam of to his expectation, the noblo animal not only spared the victim, but soon daybreak. And lie hastened in, and with vigorous hand he rapped honoured him with particular affection. louder than before at the door of the dark chamber.

He regarded the dog as an unfortunate fellow-prisoner, who, on his part, " Awake, O, ny liege!" cried he, filled with despair

. “If thou from motives of gratitude, was constantly fawning about his generous lord tarriest but another moment, the sun's rays will kill thee."

They long lived together in uninterrupted peace and friendship: one watched " Wait but a moment, and then I will hasten away. If I but while the other slept: first the lion fed, and then his humble companion. mount my horse before the rosy dawn awakes, before the bright sun

In a word, the magnanimity of the one and the gratitude of the other had begins to shine, I shall be in my palace in a trice."

united them in the closest inanner. Long did the obedient altındant wait, beguiling the time with

But a careless servant, forgetting that other creatures required fool as the following song:

well as himself, left :he two friends twenty-four hours without victuals.

At last, recollecting his charge, he brought them their usual provisions, 0, Master, dear! or sleeping or awaking,

when the dog eagerly caught at the first morsel, at the expense of his life: Sleep not again; for lo! the morn is nigh ;

for the hungry lion instantly seized his companion, and killed him. The perpeAnd in the cast that carly star is breaking

tration of this horrid deed was followed by a severe and painful repentance. The day's forerunner known unto mine

tye.

The liou's dejection daily increa ed. Ho refused his food with heroic The morn, the morn is pear.

obstinacy, and voluntarily starved himself to death,

THE SEASONS.

MY MOTHER. Who is this beautiful virgin that approaches, clothed in a robe of

Who fed me from her gentle breast,

And hush'd me in her arms to rest, light green? She has a garland of flowers on her head, and flowers spring up wherever she sets her foot. The snow wbich

And on my cheek sweet kisses prest? covered the fields, and the ice which was on the rivers, melt away

My Mother. when she breathes upon them. The young lambs frisk about her,

When sleep forsook my open eye, and the birds warble to welcome her coming ; when they see her

Who was it sung sweet lullaby, they begin to choose their mates and to build their nests. Youths

And rock'd me that I should not cry

y? and maidens, have you seen this beautiful virgin ? If ye have, tell

My Mother. me who she is, and what is her name?

Who sat and watch'd my infant head, Who is this that cometh from the South, thinly elad in a light

When sleeping on my cradle bed, transparent garment ? Her breath is hot and sultry; she seeks

And tears of sweet affection shed ? the refreshment of the cool shade; she seeks the clear streams, the

My Mother, crystal brooks, to bathe her languid limbs. The brooks and rivulets

When pain and sickness made me cry, fly from her, and are dried up at her approach. She cools her

Who gaz'd upon my heavy eye, parched lips with berries and the grateful acids of fruits. The

And wept for fear that I should die ? tanned haymakers welcome her coming, and the sheep-shearer, who

My Mother. clips the fleeces off his flock with his sounding shears. When she cometh let me lie under the thick shade of a spreading beech tree.

Who drest my doll in clothes so gay, Let me walk with her in the early morning, when the dew is yet

And taught me pretty how to play,

And minded all I had to say ? upon the grass. Let me wander with her in the soft twilight, when the shepherd shuts his fold, and the star of the evening appears.

My Mother, Who is she that cometh from the South ? Youths and maidens

Who ran to help me when I fell, tell me, if you know, who is she and what is her name?

And would some pretty story tell, Who is he that cometh with sober pace, stealing upon us un

Or kiss the place to make it well ? awares ? His garments are red with the blood of the grape, and his

My Mother, temples are bound with a sheaf of ripe wheat. His hair is thin, and

Who taught my infant lips to pray, begins to fall, and the auburn is mixed with mournful gray. He

To love God's holy Word and Day, shakes the brown nuts from the tree. He winds the horn and calls

And walk in Wisdom's pleasant way? the hunters to their sport. The gun sounds; the trembling par

My Mother. tridge and the beautiful pheasant flutter, bleeding, in the air, and

And can I ever cease to be fall dead at the sportsman's feet. Youths and maidens tell me, if

Affectionate and kind to thee, you know, who is he, and what is his name?

Who wast so very kind to me, Who is he that cometh from the North in furs and warm wool ?

My Mother? He wraps his cloak close about him. His head is bald; his beard is made of sharp icicles. He loves the blazing fire high piled upon

Oh, no! The thought I cannot bear;

And, if God please my life to spare, the hearth, and the wine sparkling in the glass. He binds skates to his feet, and skims over frozen lakes. His breath is piercing and

I hope I shall reward thy care,

My Mother. cold, and no little flower dares to peep above the surface of the ground when he is by. Whatever he touches turns to ice. Youths

When thou art feeble, old, and gray, and maidens do you see him ? He is coming upon us, and will

My healthy arm shall be thy stay, soon be here. Tell me, if you know, who is he, and what is his

And I will soothe thy pains away, name?

My Mother.

And when I see thee hang thy head,
ONE AGAINST FOUR.

'Twill be my turn to watch thy bed, A MERCHANT, a soldier, a priest, and a philosopher walked one day into a

And tears of sweet affection shed, poor man's orchard, and, plucking some of the ripest fruit, ate it. They

Ny Mother. also gathered a good deal that was not ripe, which, after tasting, they threw

For God, who lives above the skies, away. The gardener perceived the waste and injury they committed, but

Would look with vengeance in his eyes, thought that, as he was alone, it would not be prudent to enter into a

If I should ever dare despise dispute with four persons. So he went up to the philosopher and said to

My Mother. him, " Good day, sir. In your capacity of philosopher, you are the sustainer of our religion, and direct weak and erring men to follow the right path that leads to happiness. As to this holy priest, I am his humble but

THE STORY OF MR. VINEGAR. unworthy servant. I have much respect for soldiers, because they defend our bomes and country from enemies who would rob and enslave us.

MR. AND Mrs. Vinegar lived in a vinegar bottle. Now, one day, When men like you, sir, and them, come into my garden, and help them

when Mr. Vinegar was from home, Mrs. Vinegar, who was a very selves to my fruit, it gives me much pleasure ; and I feel honoured by your good housewife, was busily sweeping her house, when an unlucky condescension. But who is this merchant ? What is he? By what right thump of the broom brought the whole house, clitter-clatter, clittere does he come into my garden, without so much as saying, “by your leave,' clatter, about her ears. In an agony of grief she rushed forth to and destroy my father's property? He can make no excuse." Saying meet her husband. On seeing him, she exclaimed, “Oh, Mr. Vinethese words, he laid hold of the merchant, bound him hand and foot, and gar, Mr. Vinegar, we are ruined, we are ruined! I have knocked thrust him into a corner.

the house down, and it is all to pieces!" Then he said to the soldier, who was tipsy, “Thy two companions are

Mr. Vinegar then said, “My dear, let us see what can be done, respectable and well behaved : they are at liberty to consider this garden as their own, although I pay rent and taxes for it; but as for you, you come

Here is the door, I will take it on my back, and we will go forth to here only to pollute it and destroy it.” With these words he seized him by

seek our fortune.” They walked all that day and, at night, entered the collar, bound him, and put him aside.

a thick forest. They were both exceedingly tired, and Mr. Vinegar Next he addressed the philosopher, saying: "Everybody respects the said, " My love, I will climb up into a tree, drag up the door, and ministers of our holy religion, when they show themselves worthy disciples you shall follow." He accordingly did so, and they both stretched of our Master, and I have myself the greatest respect for them; but thou, their weary limbs on the door, and fell fast asleep, who hast pretensions to superior knowledge, do you not know that it is a In the middle of the night Mr. Vinegar was disturbed by the crime to devastate a garden that does not belong to you? What use is sound of voices beneath the tree, and, to his great dismay, he peryour knowledge to you, if it does not make you wiser and better. You ceived that a party of thieves were met to divide their booty. are no better than an ass carrying a load of books on his back.” With these “Here, Jack," said one, "here's £5 for you. Here, Bill, here's words he seized the philosopher, and tied him to a tree. When the priest was thus left by himself the gardener said to him, listen no longer, his terror was so great ihat he trembled most vio

£10 for you. Here, Bob, here's £3 for you.” Mr. Vinegar could "Hark ye ; you pretend to be a priest, but you are only an imposter, a wolf lently, and shook down the door on the heads of the thieves. in sheep's clothing. Do not the commandments teach- thou shalt not steal --and yet you have stolen my father's fruit: does not the religion you

Away scampered the thieves ; but Mr. Vinegar dared not quit his profess say — do uuto others as you would be done unto.' Why, then, retreat till broad daylight. He then scrambled out of the tree, and have you come here to rob me?” Upon this the gardener seized the went to lift up the door. What should he behold but a lot of pretended priest and tied his hands behind his back, and led him to his golden guineas ! “ Come down, Mrs. Vinegar," he cried, “ come companions, nor would he release them until they had each paid for the down, I say! Our fortune's made, our fortune's made—come down, ruit they had caten and wasted,

I say?"

66

99 me.

16

the man, ber day.”

Mrs. Vinegar got down as fast as she could, and saw the money The sage Phrygian listened to their replies with a smile, but without with equal delight. "Now, my dear,” said she, “I'll tell you raising any objections, when presently they arrived at a cross road, where what you shall do. There is a fair at the neighbouring town, you they perceived two dogs sitting under a tree. One of them had on a brass shall take these forty guineas and buy a cow. I can make butter collar, and was crouching, with his fore feet crossed upon each other

, and cheese

, which you shall sell at market, and we shall then be quite at his case, while the other sat half erect in a sort of defiant able to live very comfortably." Mr. Vinegar joyfully assents, takes

“Look, look," said the foremost boy to Æsop," don't those dogs look as if the money, and goes off to the fair.

they were talking together like friends and neighbours. You, Æsop, who When he arrived he walked up and down, and at length saw a understand the language of animals so well, translate for us what they are beautiful red cow. It was an excellent milker, and perfect in every saying respect. “Oh," thought Mr. Vinegar, “if I had but that cow I " Willingly," said the hunchback, approaching the dogs, and þending should be the happiest man alive." So he offers the forty guineas his head as if listening. for the cow, and the owner declared that, as he was a friend, he'd “ The spaniel asked the other dog to whom he belongs; he answered oblige him, and the bargain was made. Proud of his purchase, he proudly that he has no master.” drove the cow backwards and forwards to show it.

" Are you quite sure of that ?” asked the spaniel. By and by he saw a man playing the bagpipes. “Tweedle-dum,

“ Look at my neck," replied the independent dog," you will find no tweedle-dee;" the children followed him about, and he appeared to collar there--no chain--I am my own master, I belong to nobody but be pocketing money on all sides. “Well," thought Mr. Vinegar, “if myself. He whose name is graven on your collar decides when you shall

wake and when you shall sleep, and when you are asleep he wakes you I had but that beautiful instrument, I should be the happiest man with his whistle, whether you like it or not. You must follow him wherealive. My fortune would be made." So he went up to the man.

ever he goes, hunting or travelling. If you wish to run, and he wishes you “ Friend,” says he, “what a beautiful instrument that is, and what to lie down, you must do as he bids you or get a beating. I can go where a deal of money you must make." Why, yes,” said the man, “I I please, and rest when I like. I have no master but my own fancy-my make a great deal of money, to be sure, and it is a wonderful instru- time is áll my own." ment.” “Oh,” cried Mr. Vinegar, “how I should like to possess Very good,” replied the spaniel, “ tell me, then, how it bappened that it!”. “Well," said the man, “as you are a friend, I don't much you were so late in keeping your appointment with me at this place ?" mind parting with it. You shall have it for that red cow." “ Done," "I met some naughty boys on the road who would not let me pass them said the delighted Mr. Vinegar; so the beautiful red cow was given and they pelted me with stones, so that I was obliged to go a long way for the bagpipes.

round to find another road.”

" That is the first obstacle to your liberty,” said the spaniel. He walked up and down with his purchase; but in vain he attempted to play a tune, and, instead of pocketing pence, the boys went through the sheep-fold, in spite of the dogs who wanted to fight with

“Oh, that's nothing," replied the other, “I cut across the fields, and followed him hooting, laughing, and pelting. Poor Mr. Vinegar, his fingers grew very cold, and, heartily ashamed and mortified, he was

· And, if I am not deceived, you left a bit of your ear behind you,” said leaving the town, when he met å man with a fin thi

pair of the spaniel. gloves. "Oh, my fingers are so very cold," said Mr. Vinegar to "Oh, that's not worth speaking about,” interrupted the other ; "liberty himself; “if I had but those beautiful gloves, I should be the hap- is of much more consequence than the tip of one's ear. But, excuse me, piest man alive.” He went up to the man, and said to him, “ Friend, I must go pow, for I have not a moment to lose if I wish for my you seem to have a capital pair of gloves there.” “Yes, truly,” cried dinner.” " and my hands are as warm as possible this cold Novem

“ How is that?" asked the spaniel. "Well,” said Mr. Vinegar, "I should like to have

“Because I must be at the iarm before dinner is over. The children them.” “ What will you give ?" said the man;

there are very fond of me. I let them ride on my back, and in return for

as you are a friend, I don't much mind letting you have them for those bagpipes." my condescension they give me the bits left on the dinner table.” Done,” cried Mr. Vinegar. He put on the gloves and felt per- but politeness restrained him.

The spaniel shook his head and opened his mouth as if he would laugh fectly hapry as he trudged homewards.

"That is all very fine,” said he ; "you have been driven out of the high Aí last he grew very tired, when he saw a man coming towards road by some bad boys, you have had to fight with the shepherd's dogs him with a good stout stick in his hand. “Oh," said Mr. Vinegar, before you could get here to meet me, and you have to depend for your " if I had but that stick! I should then be the happiest man alive." dinner on the whims of the farmer's children. Is that what you call "doing He accosted the man. “Friend, what a rare good stick you have as you like?' If I am not mistaken you are the slave of an encounter, of got.” “Yes," said the man, "I have used it for many a long mile, violence, and af hunger, to which you must every moment submit or fight; and a good friend it has been. But, if you have a fancy for it, as you while I-I have to depend only upon one master, and when I have done are a friend, I don't mind giving it to you for that pair of gloves." my duty I have nothing to trouble myself about.” Mr. Vinegar's hands were so warm, and his legs so tired, that he faces

, but they soon became serious.

At first the schoolboys listened to Æsop's discourse with a smile on their gladly exchanged. As he drew near to the wood where he had left his wife, he heard hunchback in silence ; at last

, the boldest, addressing him, said

When Æsop had finished what he had to say, the boys looked at the a parrot on a tree calling out his name, “ Mr. Vinegar, you foolish

“And the conclusion of your fable, what is it?" man, you blockhead, you simpleton; you went to the fair and laid

“The conclusion,” replied Æsop,“ is, that man, if wise, imitates the out all your money in buying a cow ; not content with that, you spaniel, and takes DUTY for his master, so as not to be the slave of accident changed it for bagpipes, on which you could not play, and which and temptation.” were not worth oue-tenth of the money. You fool, you-you had no sooner got the bagpipes than you changed them for the gloves,

THE CORN EAR AND THE THISTLE. which were not worth one quarter of the money; and, when you had

A COUNTRYMAN with silver white hair walked with his youthful grandson got the gloves, you changed them for a poor miserable stick. And in the corn field at the time of harvest. The old man jested with the now, for your forty guineas, cow, bagpipes, and gloves, you have reapers, that they were but children when compared to him, who bad nothing to show but that poor miserable stick, which you might | laboured in more than sixty harvests. bave cut in any hedge.".

Now one of the reapers offered him a scythe ; the old man took it, and, On this the bird laughed immoderately, and Mr. Vinegar, falling like a vigorous youth, cut down a swathe. And the reapers shouted and into a violent rage, threw the stick at its head. The stick lodged in flourished their scythes in honour of him. the tree, and he returned to his wife without money, cow, bag pipes,

The youth, his grandson, said to him, “Grandfather, how is it that you ves, or stick, and she instantly gave him such a sound cudgelling have such a happy old age?" that she almost broke every bone in his skin.

The old man answered, “ Look you, my son, throughout my life I have confided in God, alike in evil as in pleasant days: thus I have always been

of good courage. I have been diligent in my calling, and laboured faithTHE TWO DOGS.

fully : thus I have gained bodily strength and the blessing of God. I have walked uprightly before God, and peaceably with all men: and thus have

I prepared for myself gladness and peace. And with advancing years all Æsop, passing one day through the suburbs of Athens, saw two school- this has been strengthened and established in me by the grace of God. Do boys, with their satchels at their backs, going to school in the fields, or, likewise, my son. Then thy old age will be like a rich sheaf, which the rather, playing truant.

Lord of the harvest gathers joyfully into his granary.” At the sight of the hunchbacked philosopher, whose stories had so often "To what dost thou compare an evil old age ?” asked the youth. amused their leisure hours, the boys ran to him, and begged him to tell He walked in silence by the side of the old man. Then the latter, them a fable ; but Æsop, who was a slave, replied that, as he was going on pointing with his staff to a thistle by the way-side, said, “ Behold here the an errand for his master, he could not stop.

image of a barren disconsolate old age It is lonely and unnoticed ; its The boys then joined Æsop on his way, for the pleasure of hearing him gray head is the sport of the wind, and its seeds are scattered abroad.” talk. He inquired of one of the boys what prevented him going to school. The boy replied that it was such a beautiful day he thought he would THE ARCH BOY--A gentleman being at table, forgot to help his little rather spend it in the fields. Asking the other boy his reason, he replied boy; upon which the child said to him, “Sir, will you please to give me that he was tired of learning lessons, and both agreed that they were tired some salt ?" "For what?" said the father. “For the moat you are going to of obeying a master.

give me,” replied the boy

A FABLE.

« AnteriorContinuar »