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BETTER THAN RUBIES,
BETTER THAN RUBIES.
BETTER THAN RUBIES
Stories for ~tf foung
ILLUSTRATIVE OF FAMILIAR PROVERBS
WITH SIXTY-TWO ILLUSTRATIONS
WILLIAM P. NIMMO
ALL IS NOT COLD THAT GLITTERS, 5
HE WHO SLEEPS LONG IN THE MORNING, TROTS ALL
THE DAY, 30
EVIL COMES TO HIM WHO EVIL DOES, 47
HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR HURTS HIS BEAST, 59
NEVER UNDERTAKE MORE THAN YOU CAN PERFORM
MORE BY GOOD FORTUNE THAN MERIT, 109
P'. ^ ' :' N the first story of an old
,, hotel, situated on the quay of a
.' brge and fashionable seaport
S i town, was a handsome suite of
Si.:oms, with high windows open-
'" ilig upon a large balcony.
These rich apartments were
occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, their son Charles
(a child of eight years old), and a beautiful little dog,
of a rare species, which they called by the poetic
name of Romeo. Charles and Romeo were insepar-
6 ALL IS NOT GOLD
able companions, and formed a most interesting
Charles had the delicate complexion of a girl,
deep blue eyes, light brown hair, the eyebrows and
eyelashes also brown; and, to complete all, his grace
and manners were perfect.
Romeo, on his side, possessed every quality which
distinguishes his race-a broad chest, straight flanks,
and a beautiful head, terminated by the prettiest
little nose that could be seen. His teeth were so
white, and his nostrils so red and fresh, that one
would hardly refuse to eat off the same dish with
him. As to his legs, they were so slight and nimble,
that in a race few animals could beat him.
His hair was white, spotted with black, and was
as sleek as silk. He had round his neck a magni-
ficent gold collar, bound with velvet, which con-
trasted admirably with the whiteness of his hair.
When the weather was fine, the child and dog
would play together on the balcony, much to the
delight of the passers by, who often exclaimed, What
a lovely child !' what a pretty dog !'
If Romeo was insensible to these praises, they at
least gave extreme pleasure to Charles, whose vanity
equalled his beauty. Whenever he went walking, his
THAT GLITTERS. 7
dog accompanied him. A long red ribbon attached
to its collar was always held by Charles, who never,
under any pretence, permitted the servant in attend-
ance to touch his favourite.
This dog was his glory and his pride, but only on
account of its extreme beauty.
True, it would have been sufficient for poor Romeo
to become lame or blind, to lose at the same time
ALL IS NOT GOLD
the affection of his now idolizing master; for Charles
loved nothing but what was rich and brilliant,
and, in a word, was a slave to anything and every-
thing that could flatter his senses or touch his
* One day his father was walking on the quay, when
an enormous dog followed him. He was not aware
of the presence of his companion for some time, but
at length the animal, who was anxious to be taken
notice of, brushed quite close to attract attention.
Mr. Roberts started aside at the apparition. One may
easily imagine that the sight of a large dog with
long black shaggy hair-its mouth wide open, and
the blood oozing from over a dozen wounds, would
frighten a person.
The first thing Mr. Roberts did was to brandish
his cane to keep it off, but the dog looked at him
with such a piteous air that it seemed as if it had
almost something human in its disposition.
Mr. Roberts let drop his cane; the dog then came
close to him and licked his hand. Mr. Roberts
patted him, and said, Come, poor thing, I see you
are a good beast, but what wretch has put you in
this state?' The animal, who could not tell his
misfortunes, contented himself with renewing his
TIIA T GLITTERS.
caresses, and seemed to think he had found a pro-
I understand you, but I think you must have
some other master.'
The dog, as if it understood what had been said,
gave a plaintive moan, and came still nearer
Well; be it so, it will be time enough to give you
back when your proper master claims you ;' and, so
saying, Mr. Roberts took him to the river and laved
His hurts were not of a very grave nature : he
had, doubtless, frightened some children, who had in
turn attacked him with stones.
In about a quarter of an hour Mr. Roberts had
him well washed with his pocket-handkerchief, and
came home with his formidable companion, to whom
he gave on his way the name of Jupiter-a name
which agreed well with his large proportions; and
what was a singular thing, it seemed quite a familiar
one to the dog, for it answered to it from the first
as if it had never been accustomed to any other.
The arrival of Jupiter caused great anxiety to
Charles and the brilliant Romeo. They were stupe-
fied and indignant at his presence.
ALL IS NOT GOLD
Oh papa what a horrible animal,' said Charles.
'On the contrary, my son, 'tis a remarkably
beautiful beast,' replied Mr. Roberts.
That!' said Charles, looking on it with disdain.
Just look what fine strong limbs he has, what an
intelligent face, and such brilliant eyes.'
I see nothing fine about him ; he has large ugly
ears, great clumsy paws,' said Charles, turning to
Romeo and caressing him.
'Perhaps you may one day appreciate his value,
and find him a better friend than Romeo,' said his
'That ugly beast will never be half worth what
THA T GLITTERS. II
Yes, and much more.'
'Romeo, who is so handsome, whose skin is so
smooth and shining that no one could see him and
not admire his beauty '
'Yes, but "All is not Gold that glitters;" you
should reflect on this proverb, for you are very much
inclined to be led away by show; you forget that
beauty is worthless where goodness is wanting.'
'Oh but Papa, Romeo is very good.'
Do you find him anyway useful V
Yes, I find him of great use when I am out walk-
ing, and in my recreation.'
'Well, and that's all.'
'No, Papa, he loves me very much too.'
I daresay, when you give him good things to eat;
but believe me, he would have the same affection for
Indeed, I'm quite sure he loves me better than
anyone in the world.'
Intelligent animals are alone capable of attaching
themselves to their masters, and poor Romeo has
not as much brain as a snail.'
Oh shame, Papa, see how well Romeo gives a
But take from this one quality all his deficiencies,
ALL IS NOT GOLD
and what have you left ? Just think of all he eats and
drinks, and yet he never appears satisfied.'
Eh! yes, but he is only a dog.'
'Jupiter is only a dog too ; and, believe me, you
will soon see a great difference between them.'
'You really intend to keep him here then ?' said
'Without any doubt-at least, until we are ready
to return to our country house-he will be a splendid
'I 'm sure I don't think anything about him. All
that vexes me is that Romeo and I shall have to sub-
mit to the company of such a beast until we leave
town; after that they may do what they like with him,
but he shan't be with you and me, Romeo.'
I wish Jupiter always to be a great friend of ours,
Charles, and he must not be thrown aside.'
He'll be no friend of mine,' said Charles; he is
too ugly and too vulgar.'
'Always the same foolish talk from you. I only
hope that time will teach you better sense.'
During this conversation Jupiter was lying at the
door looking at Charles and Romeo with a very sup-
pliant air. The poor animal seemed to know well that
he was in the presence of two enemies.
THAT GLITTERS. 13
Mr. Roberts went and got dinner for Jupiter, which
he despatched with an appetite that was pleasant to
see. The poor fellow must have had a long fast,
and probably his last meal was not a very tempting
All the day he made great efforts to gain the good
graces of every one.
To Charles and Romeo alone did he appear to be
an unwelcome guest.
Jupiter possessed an extraordinary amount of in-
telligence, and was of a serious disposition. He was
one of those beasts that a blind man would desire to
lead him,-a docile, patient animal. He had been
taught to play dominoes, to beat the tambourine, and
a hundred other tricks. However, these he would
not consent to do, unless to aid his master, and, cer-
tainly, never merely to show his own abilities.
As to Romeo, he was good for nothing, and a
perfect little fool about his beauty. Following the
example of his young master, he looked on the noble
Jupiter in the lowest possible light.
Jupiter was not discouraged, but imagined that
perhaps he was too grave, and began to try if by being
more gay and sprightly he could gain the affection he
so much coveted. Then he would run and leap and
ALL IS NOT GOLD
play all sorts of pranks that he thought likely to
But all his endeavours were thrown away, for
Charles would take Romeo in his arms and say, This
great beast is most tiresome ; I wish he would keep
away from us.'
Spring was coming in, and the delightful freshness
of the air tempted Mr. Roberts to go at once to his
country seat, which was some miles distant from the
city, and the day fixed for their departure soon came.
All the trunks were packed, and the servants wait-
ing their orders.
THAT GLITTERS. 15
Here Jupiter and Romeo,' said Mr. Roberts, who
held two muzzles and a chain in his hand. Romeo
came at the command of his master, but Jupiter was
nowhere to be found. . They at last caught,
but could not hold him; he growled, and would not
let the chain be fastened on his neck, and when he
got his liberty he ran fast as he could into the hotel.
Charles smiled maliciously on seeing the wise
Jupiter disobeying so openly his master's orders.
Go, fetch that dog at once,' said Mr. Roberts, or
we shall lose the train.'
His orders were useless, for they had scarcely been
given when Jupiter appeared, bringing on his mouth
a small valise, belonging to his master, which had
'Yes, my poor fellow, I neglected to bring that.
You have a better memory than your master.' Then
he patted him, and turning to Romeo said, "Tis not
you, idle beast, that would show such attention to
Charles was very much humbled at the conduct of
The next day the family were all settled in the
country, and Romeo got the same quarters he occupied
the previous year, both in the house and garden.
i6 ALL IS NOT GOLD
Jupiter was sent to the farm house, and the separa-
tion of the two dogs gave the greatest pleasure to
Charles; he at last found himself free of Jupiter,
whose plebeian nature seemed every day to become
more uncouth. In spite of all this, and of himself,
Charles could not help thinking that Jupiter had
really more intelligence than Romeo, and he was glad
to be separated from him on this account also.
The steward's son (John) was a great friend to
Jupiter from the first; he was struck with the great
strength of the animal, and its intelligent air de-,
lighted him. The two were never separate, and'
Jupiter returned his affection double fold. They
even took their meals together, and Jupiter would
sit with his paws crossed waiting for his own plate
with the greatest patience.
All communication ceased between Romeo and
Jupiter. They rarely saw each other, and when they
did chance to meet, Romeo would turn away his head
for fear he should have to recognize his old companion.
Charles would not speak to him either, and when
he saw him following John, he said to himself, Two
vulgar rustics; they are well matched.'
John was a strongly built fellow, without the least
pretence to beauty; however, there was such a frank
good-natured expression in his face that his appearance
was prepossessing, and a child with more intelligence
than Charles would soon find that he was far from
being the stupid Master Charles took him for.
Charles would willingly have dismissed both John
and Jupiter from the farm if he had had the power,
which fortunately he had not.
At his father's country residence Charles had more
liberty than was allowed him'in the city; he had per-
mission to go alone through all the grounds attached
to the mansion, but he was strictly forbid ever to go
beyond their boundary, for on one side there was a
thick forest, and on the other preserved grounds.
His father had often promised to take him through
ALL IS NOT GOLD
the forest, but he had never yet found an opportunity
for doing so.
Charles felt great curiosity to go there, for he
believed it was some fairy place, so he resolved to
venture with Romeo only as his companion. He
knew well that he was about to disobey his father's
orders, but he was to be away from home this day,
and Charles thought he should have his adventure
over before his father's return, so he watched a suit-
able time when no one was likely to observe him,
and went off with his favourite to the forest.
The genial sun of spring time was throwing its
light on the trees just newly coming into blossom,
showing the delicate green not yet fully developed in
colour, and at the same time hiding the earth and
drawing from it a delightful fresh perfume. Tht
exhilarating air had its influence on Charles's spirits-
he was quite gay, and inclined to be in good humour
with himself and everything. Romeo also forgot his
beauty, and seemed to enjoy the rustic scenery which
From time to time the child would stop and listen
to the birds singing, or to see a rabbit with its ears
elevated and its little tail rolled up, flying like the
wind at their apDroach.
THAT GLITTERS. 19
Have at him, Romeo,' cried Charles, but it
contented Romeo simply to look at the rabbit and
leave it to enjoy its liberty.
'Idle dog!' said the child, and they continued
their walk without knowing where they were going,
and with no concern as to when they would get
When Mr. Roberts returned in the afternoon, he
found a letter from a friend informing him that two
wolves had been seen in the neighbourhood, and
asking him to make one of a party which was forming
for the purpose of hunting them out of the country.
His first impulse on reading this letter was to send
for his son and repeat the orders he had already
given him, not to attempt to go beyond the walks of
their own grounds when he went out.
20 ALL IS NOT GOLD
They sought him and called his name everywhere,
but no Charles, no Romeo was to be found, so they
came to the conclusion that both must have gone
Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were very uneasy; there
was no time to be lost. A minute's delay might
prove fatal to the child, who was out without the
slightest protection. Mr. Roberts took his gun and
sent for the steward, who was an excellent shot.
The steward was absent, but John offered to go
instead of his father.
I killed a wolf last winter, sir,' said he; and am
ready to do the same again when occasion offers.'
And how did you kill the wolf of which you
speak, John ?' asked Mr. Roberts.
With a blow of a pitch-fork; and I killed it as
easy with that as I would with a shot from that gun.
We must not venture, sir, without Jupiter, who, I am
certain, will do us great service.'
I have no doubt of that; and 'tis with him I
hope to trace the road my son has taken.'
Jupiter seemed to understand all they were saying,
and walked quite impatiently about his master.
Mr. Roberts sent for a dress belonging to Charles,
and held it to Jupiter, saying, Seek him.'
The dog ran off at once, snuffed about the garden,
and then went out through a little gate nearest the
The gate was standing half open.
"T was by this gate he went out,' said Mr.
Roberts. Imprudent child; God grant that your
disobedience may not be severely punished !'
Now that Jupiter had got on Charles's track, he
walked on without hesitation, smelling the ground
ALL IS NO GOLD
,occasionally to make sure he was keeping on the
Mr. Roberts and John followed in silence, keep-
ing a look-out on all sides, and frequently calling
' Charles ;' but they got no answer except the echo
of their own voices.
Jupiter always kept in advance. They proceeded
for a long time in this way, and at length perceived
a little white animal coming rapidly in their direction.
I think that is Romeo,' said Mr. Roberts, who
had very long sight; 'but what has happened that
he has abandoned his young master?' and a cold
sweat came over his whole frame.
A few minutes after Romeo came quite close and
passed Jupiter first, and then Mr. Roberts and John,
without ever noticing them or stopping, but kept on
at the same swift speed, and seemed almost frightened
Jupiter, on his side, quickened his pace in the
opposite direction, and growled furiously.
Mr. Roberts became pale as death, and large
drops of perspiration fell from his brow.
John was no less frightened, but did not dare say
a word, for he felt certain Charles had been attacked
by the wolves.
Jupiter's speed became still quicker and quicker;
when suddenly he stopped opposite a large hole, and
Mr. Roberts and John rushed on,
the gun loaded and ready to fire. >- '
Idp hll_,'!' Ci a .. k Lk ie \I.,L "- a' ,";
--- .. 7i' -. ',
All Mr. Roberts's limbs trembled he was horrified
to recognize the voice of Charles. They entered
immediately under the thick trees, Jupiter always
first, who seemed to be sensible of their danger, for
he advanced with the greatest caution, but he never
ceased to bark.
They were so thickly surrounded by trees that
they could scarcely see two yards before them, and
they had to walk through knee-deep in broken
branches and briars. 'T was certainly necessary to
have the foolish curiosity of a child to venture
wantonly, or trust one's life in such a place.
ALL IS NOT GOLD
In a moment they heard, quite close to them, wild
howling, which made them stop. Help! help!'
cried Charles, in a most pitiable tone.
This way, sir,' said John, who had just then dis-
covered a path. At the same instant Mr. Roberts
heard a shot, followed by fearful howling, which so
terrified him that he missed his way and lost sight of
He regained the path after a violent effort-for he
had got himself entangled in the briars-and soon
made his way to John.
He arrived just in time to see two wolves in the
last agonies of death.
One had been killed by John, the other strangled
by the brave Jupiter, who had also killed five young
cubs in their den.
Charles,' cried Mr. Roberts, not perceiving his
I am here, papa,' replied the child.
Mr. Roberts raised his eyes and saw his son, who,
on first perceiving the wolves, had just time, and
fortunately the presence of mind, to climb up a tree
Come down,' said his father.
Are all the wolves dead, papa V
THAT GLITTERS. 25
Yes, and so well killed that they never will come
to life again.'
Charles slid himself down the tree.
'I was near dying of fright,' said he, throwing
himself into his father's arms.
Why did you not ask Romeo to defend you ?'
Charles did not answer, but knelt down on the
ground before Jupiter, and caressed the noble
animal, whose mouth was still all smeared with
I am glad to see you act thus, my dear son,' said
his father, 'tis just what you should do, for, while
your pretty Romeo abandoned you to the mercy
of wild beasts, this brave Jupiter conducted us here,
and without his aid you would certainly have
Charles got up ; his eyes were full of tears, and in
an instant he threw his arms round John's neck, for
he felt grateful to him also.
Jupiter wagged his tail with the greatest satisfaction.
Let us make our way home now,' said Mr.
John took the wolf he had killed on his shoulders,
and placed the other across the broad back of
Jupiter; also the five cubs, which he tied together.
Charles knelt down on the ground before Jupiter, and caressed the noble animal. Page 25.
ALL IS NOT GOLD THAT GLITTERS. 27
You will go first, John, with Jupiter; 'tis only what
you deserve this day.'
John would have refused the honour had he dared.
They started, and Mr. Roberts said in a low tone
to Charles, "'tis only to-day that the two rustics are
indeed well matched, and it would be difficult to find
a better pair.'
Oh papa, how very unjust I have been, but I
shall be so no longer; John and Jupiter will be from
this forward my fond friends.'
And your brilliant Romeo ? Remember All is
not gold that glitters."'
You may well say it, and I know the truth of the
proverb now from experience. When I think how
Romeo was in such a hurry to fly from the wolves,
that he ran between my legs and threw me down,
leaving me barely time to reach the tree for
You may also learn, from all that has happened,
never to associate with weak silly fellows.'
Mrs. Roberts was in a dreadful state of excite-
ment when she saw Romeo return alone, and resolved
to follow her husband. She did all she could to
induce Romeo to accompany her, but he obstinately
refused to leave the house. She met the procession
28 ALL IS NOT GOLD
in the middle of the forest, and then everything was
explained to her.
The evening was spent in feasting: John and
Jupiter had their places at the table as the heroes of
Jupiter, although he ate without a napkin, con-
ducted himself well during the supper.
It was remarked that he refused nothing he was
offered, nor did he leave the smallest crumb on his
Romeo was locked up in the stable, first, to punish
his cowardice, and also in hopes that he might at
THA T GLITTERS. 29
least employ himself in hunting the mice ; but those
wise little animals soon saw that they had no enemy
in him, and actually played with his paws.
Charles was now thoroughly convinced that Romeo
was a useless, selfish animal, and Jupiter the King of
_-, t" ,
liNCE upon a time there lived 3
a pretty little mouse, almost as '
white as snow; its little eyes and "-.,
toes were the only parts where
any colour could be seen, and '
these were of a delicate red,; "
>Zr its mother loved it to a fault, .: .)
and she gave it the name of ''*":'
Whitey. Whitey was a mouse of an aristocratic
race-in a word a lady mouse. But though so very
pretty, she was born without any claims to fortune.
When her time had come to leave the nursery, she
HE WHO SLEEPS LONG, ETC. 31
had no other resource but to work for her bread.
She had one great fault, she was lazy-very lazy.
Her mother did all she could to rouse her in the
morning, when all other mice were up attending to
their affairs ; but she never could get her out of her
hole. 'Yes, mother, by and bye,' Whitey would
say; then she turned and rubbed her eyes, and
scratched her little feet, and occupied herself so
long in this manner, that when her mother came
back after paying her usual visits, she found her
lazy daughter just as she had left her. The mother
spoiled her too, for even while she upbraided her for
her idleness, she always gave her a crust of bread
which she had in reserve for herself, and that because
the hour for thieving in the streets was past, and
Whitey might encounter great dangers in trying to
steal so late. However, the mother soon began to
32 HE WHO SLEEPS LONG
see that her tenderness for her offspring was only
encouraging her laziness, and so she said to her one
day, My dear daughter, if to-morrow I died of some
sudden illness, or perhaps were brought to an untimely
end by meeting with a cat, you would soon perish
with hunger, because you don't know how to get
your own food yet; you must then prepare yourself
at once to seek for your daily pittance ; don't forget
what I say now, for this crust is the last you will
receive from your mother.'
Whitey was not a bit frightened at her speech.
She said to herself, Mother has always been so good
to me that I am sure she will not see me want;'
but she was mistaken this time. Her mother, fearing
that the beauty of Whitey might tempt her to be
weak enough to change her determination, did not
come home at all that day, but sought out a barn
hard by, where she remained full of uneasy thoughts
regarding her lazy daughter. Whitey waited in vain
not only for her mother but for her usual crust, and
she began to feel very hungry ; the poor little creature
ran every minute to the edge of her hole, listening
anxiously to every sound. After several hours had
passed in this way, she became certain that some
great misfortune had befallen her mother. Hunger
TROTS ALL THE DAY. 33
and sadness kept her awake longer than usual, but
sleep has great power over youth, and poor Whitey
soon forgot her griefs and fell into a sweet slumber.
Next morning found her in bed as late as ever.
However, she must go now, notwithstanding all
her grief, in search of something to eat, as her
hunger was almost insufferable.
To go out late in the streets was a very imprudent
thing for Whitey, but there was nothing else for it.
go she must. She ventured bravely out of her hole,
the mouth of which was in a dining-room, behind
an oak sideboard. She understood, however, by
the instinct of her species that it would not do to
proceed too quickly ; she must first see that the field
is clear for her, otherwise her adventure would prove
34 HE WHO SLEEPS LONG
worse than useless. Her mother had often told her
the conduct a mouse should follow through life, and
all her advices, at another time disregarded, came
to her aid in this decisive moment. Whitey was
meditating on what road it would be best for her to
take, when she saw suddenly, and to her utter dismay,
an enormous black cat sleeping on a chair. If the
poor mouse had had only two feet she would as-
suredly have fallen that instant on her back, so
great was her terror in seeing thus near her so
formidable an enemy of her race. She became fixed
to the spot, and could not help giving a feeble cry.
This cry made the cat bound, who never slept but
with one eye and one ear. Whitey would have been
TROTS ALL THE DAY. 35
irrevocably lost, if the knowledge of danger had not
given her presence of mind to escape through the
slit of a door which was near, and which led into an
antechamber, where she might succeed in hiding
herself. The cat gave a leap, and came with such
force against the door that she was thrown back
quite stunned, thus paying dearly for her ferocity.
Whitey passed quickly from the ante-chamber to
the kitchen, where she was next frightened by a fat
cook, with a cold in her head, snorting like a horse.
The first sneeze made the little mouse crawl into
the sink; the second made her force herself through
one of the holes in it so far that in a few seconds she
was washed through the pipe with the dirty water.
36 IHE WHO SLEEPS LONG
She found herself at last in the street, all covered
with filth. Her fine white fur was now well spoiled
by this precipitate descent; but it mattered little, she
was at liberty and saved-at least she thought so.
She was stupefied for a long time, but gaining,
little by little, her senses, she began to look about to
see if she was in safe quarters.
At first she advanced very cautiously with a
measured step, and at last hid herself in a gutter.
She then got alarmed at the crowds of people on all
sides, this being the first time she was ever in the
street, and she wondered greatly if really every mouse
was forced to search like her for food. Whitey kept
her eyes fixed on a bit of bread thrown away by a
little school-boy with disdain a few steps from her
hiding place. She could have reached it in a second,
but then she might be discovered, chased, and per-
haps crushed to death. 'If I could see another
mouse,' said she to herself, that would give me
courage, and I certainly would act as bravely as it;
but I see none. However, I must not die of hunger,'
she added, and made one step in advance. But she
heard the noise of a heavy foot coming along the
pavement, and this obliged her to seek shelter once
more. A moment after her road seemed clear, and
TROTS ALL THE DA Y.
she tried again to gain the morsel of bread which she
so much coveted, but the passing of a carriage, drawn
by two horses, threw her into fresh terror. Never in
her life had she seen such an enormous thing, and
off she ran again for the gutter, but so quickly that
she tripped over an oyster shell and rolled like a ball,
to hide herself again.
The unfortunate piece of bread was then still
exciting her appetite. Whitey looked at it in sad-
ness, hoping that a chance of getting it would soon
------I----- -- -. .-,,-.-----. -
arrive. While consoling herself with this hope, a
large dog came up and swallowed the much-longed-
38 HE WHO SLEEPS LONG
for bit in a second. This cast her into despair, for
his one mouthful would have served her amply for at
least three days. What was to become of her? She
could see nothing but death before her, and it would
be well for her to resign herself to meet it. She
was engaged in these painful reflections when she
saw suddenly a crust of cheese lying so close to her
that she need only put out her paw to get it. Pro-
vidence had sent it, without doubt, and you may be
sure she lost no time in securing it. Poor Whitey
found the cheese delicious; what although 't was
very dirty-her appetite was sharp enough after her
long fast. True, it was only very common, coarse
stuff, but she found it superior to anything she had
ever tasted, for 'hunger is a good sauce.'
Alas! poor Whitey was to be well punished for
her laziness, for she had not half finished her well-
sought repast when a torrent of water came rushing
along the sewer, sweeping her away with it to the
very middle of the public road. She opened her
eyes in some minutes, but only to see herself tor-
mented by a group of little boys, who, thinking her
dead, began to turn her about with their feet. This
new danger was not less serious than the former ones,
for any of her tormentors might have crushed her in
TROTS ALL THIE DA Y. 39
an instant, and, though she escaped death from them,
the very first vehicle that passed might put her out
Whitey at last summoned up courage, and with the
quickness of lightning was away to seek another
more secure refuge.
The children, dumb with astonishment, soon dis-
persed, for none of them could discover where she
was hiding, and they all thought that she was a dead
mouse come to life again.
Whitey having sense enough to escape them, had
as much left as to make her way into a grocer's shop
40 HS WHO SLEEPS LONG
-he being too busy to observe her. Here she took
a lodging behind a cask of sugar. Her apartments
this time were well chosen, and she congratulated
herself on having found such an asylum. Her little
eyes glistened with delight in looking on all the fine
things to eat that surrounded her-sugar- plums,
biscuits, and everything that could tempt a far more
delicate appetite than poor Whitey's. In her ecstasy
she forgot that she was an uninvited guest, and
actually had the impudence to crawl on the top of
the highest cask of sugar in the whole shop.
The grocer was in the habit of going over his
establishment every night to see if all was in proper
order, and you may be sure that it was not long
before he perceived the imprudent mouse. Hi3
TROTS ALL THE DAY 41
great eyes stared at sight of his unwelcome visitor,
and laying hold of a hatchet near him, he threw it
with all his force at poor Whitey. He was so quick
in his movements that Whitey had scarcely time to
save herself, for down came the lid of the cask with
a heavy fall. The result of this false blow only ex-
cited more the wrath of the grocer, and, far from
coming to more friendly terms with his pretty little
visitor, he rushed again to capture her. His pre-
cipitation was such that the first jump he gave brought
three bags of coffee, a cask of molasses, and several
boxes of bon-bons, to the ground.
42 lHE WHO SLEEPS LONG
Whitey, more dead than alive at sight of this
disaster, at length gained the door, and escaped into
The street did not give her much confidence;
'twas plain that she could not exist long there, so she
just crept into the only shop open-a pawnbroker's.
There was such a variety of articles in the shop, that
a mouse could easily find a hundred hiding-places.
But, unfortunately (nothing is complete in this world),
there was nothing eatable to be found, and thus
starvation again stared her in the face.
Poor Whitey got under an old arm-chair to try and
recover her breath, for her heart beat quickly with
fear, and her little paws were no longer able to bear
her. She deplored her miserable fate, and saw that
she was ever destined to be a most unlucky mouse.
She could not help reproaching herself too-for had
she lent an ear to the wise counsels of her mother,
she would never have found herself in her present
Whitey was disturbed in her meditations by the
sight of an owl perched right over her. This bird of
ill-omen was on his perch dark and sullen, and fixed
his great glassy eyes on the poor little mouse.
The owl's singular appearance compelled Whitey
TROTS ALL TfHE DA Y.
to leave his company, and she gained the streets
once more without ever looking behind her. Night
had come on, and, thanks to this one lucky circum-
stance, the poor little animal could walk at ease
where the street was not well lighted. But she had
no heart now to enjoy her freedom, for her hunger,
appeased for a while by the morsel of cheese, was
now keener than ever. She was worn out with fatigue,
and sat down and cried piteously, when suddenly she
found herself locked in the embraces of her anxious
mother, who had been on the look-out all day for
44 IIE WHO SLEEPS LONG, ETC.
The mother loaded her with caresses, and made
her go with her to some safer place where she might
learn all that had befallen her. The mother then
said to her, Come, my child, 't is ringing midnight;
this is the hour that we may go about without danger.'
They walked leisurely from street to street, and at
last stopped at a fine house, and got in through the key-
hole. They mounted a splendid staircase and gained
the dining-room; but finding only a few crumbs
there, they sought out the pantry, the door of which
was wide open, owing to the negligence of the servant.
Refresh yourself now, my child ;' and Whitey began
to eat herself almost sick. That's enough,' said her
mother, and without waiting longer she conducted
her to a new nest, where they lived together.
My dear child,' said she to her, 'your adventures
of this day are the reward of your own idleness, and
if you had risen at the hour I called you, nothing of
this would ever have happened you.
First, you would not have seen the black cat, for
she is never there at the hour I leave, and is again
absent when I return at night.
Second, you would not have seen the fat cook, for
when I go out she is in her bed snoring.
Third, you might have eaten your piece at
' Your adventures of this day are the reward of your own
idleness.' Page 44.
45 HE WHO SLEEPS LONG, ETC.
liberty in the street, for no one is up to throw water
Fourth, you might have got into the grocer's
without any danger, and tasted all the things that so
much tempted you, for there are few grocers who are
not in bed by midnight.
Everything, you see, must be done at a proper
Ie who sleeps long in the morning, trots all the day."
This proverb is not alone applicable to you; it is
addressed also to the idle and, negligent of every
Reflect seriously on it, and with this advice I wish
you good night.'
%... . .
N M EvI. C, es --
i '" .1 \\, .kt ,l L,..\ Paul
Pl1 is a I, i lBc itha to her s.I ter Einilv.
to dure t\Vh:et l I, Ln ,jo0 i. a soe future
time,' replied Bertha, whose indignation
i'iwas beyond description. :uI an o
I l' r I'Clor r1'.: t G,:,.:I ll ua el* puiie i him.'
i ,, '''i'i Vhat i it "
, lI'."! 'OIh', I am xery certain he will have
I to ctudure the pain of it at some future
i time,' replied Bertha, whose indignation
was beyond description.
But what has he done ?'
What has he done ? '
E VIL COMES TO HIM
Well, then, my dear Emily, he tried all he could
to drown a frog.'
Drown a frog!' said Emily, in a tone of raillery.
Yes, a frog.'
But, Bertha, that would be a thing impossible.'
'So he thought, for he held it under the water
until he grew tired, but when he found he could not
drown it, he took it out and made a little fire of
dried brambles, and, notwithstanding all I said to
him, he burned the little beast to death.'
Oh the young wretch,' said Emily.
WHO EVIL DOES. 49
'Now, won't he be punished 1'
Assuredly he will; and, moreover, we will never
play with him again.'
Indeed we will not,' said Bertha; he is always
trying to do something very wicked. We can get
on well enough without him; and now let us com-
mence to make our little garden.'
The garden was soon planned, and though it was
not much larger than a table, they made an avenue,
a flower and fruit garden, where many different fruits
and flowers were to be found; 't was very simple, but
pretty, and Emily and Bertha were in admiration of
their work when it occurred to them that there was
something wanting-a fountain. 'We must have
one,' said Bertha. In a few minutes they contrived
to make one with a basin of water and other simple
They were in great delight with their little play
when they heard a mocking laugh near them, and
turning round they beheld Paul.
What a pretty garden,' cried Paul in a sarcastic
'Away with you, you little murderer, we will not
play with you,' said Emily.
Do you really believe, then, my fair cousins, that
EVIL COMES TO HIM
I care much for the company of two little fools like
making a pleasure-ground for black beetles,' and so
'Yes, fools if you wish, but we have still enough
of sense to enjoy ourselves without hurting any one.'
'That's a nice amusement you are at just now-
making a pleasure-ground for black beetles,' and so
saying he kicked the little garden about, and broke
the fountain to atoms.
Emily and Bertha cried so loud that their mother
ran out to see what was wrong.
Paul, satisfied with his new piece of mischief, fled
off quite delighted.
The sisters told their mother what had happened,
WHO EVIL DOES.
and she, quite indignant and displeased, ordered
Paul to be sought out and brought to her.
He could be found nowhere, so she had to reserve
the expression to him of her displeasure in the mean-
time, but resolved on sending him home the next
Paul had climbed up a tree, and enjoyed very much
the search they were making for him, always saying
to himself, You're caught, my dear Aunt.'
He was delighted to have escaped so well the
wrath of his Aunt, and forgetting that her scolding
was still in reserve for him, he had already devised
another mischievous act.
From the tree where he had climbed he could see
into their neighbour's garden, in which was a hot-house
just lately constructed, and a source of great pride
to its proprietor.
'Yes,' said he, 'that would be great fun,' and,
coming down, he filled his pockets with stones.
Mounted once more, he soon beheld their neigh-
bour sitting on a garden seat opposite the hot-house,
and apparently lost in admiration.
Paul watched him for a long time, and wished
much that he would retire, as his presence was only
spoiling his intended sport. After a while the old
EVIL COMES TO HIII
man, overcome by
,- -5 _-----.
the heat of the sun, fell into a
S, sound sleep ; his
large straw hat com-
pletely covered his
eyes, and this happy
circumstance left the
/". field quite cjear for
Paul's meditated at-
tack. He placed
himself so that no
on.: co:,il e-e him, and let fly the
fir t -t..ne. which was well aimed,
a I Lr...ec one pane of glass. De-
llitc, u;th his success, off goes
ano.tlicr r.nd another, each one
i.iik r're-1i havoc.
-Thie old man, not hearing
.,ell eucn in his waking moments,
.a.s quite deaf while asleep.
H-:mev-.r, the incessant noise of
L.ri.. lii Iass at length brought
im to_ hi;-s enses.
He sti.rted up, and, with a
loud exclamation, demanded the
meaning of such destruction.
WHO EVIL DOES.
Another stone, rightly aimed as the rest, was the
only reply to his inquiry.
Awake he was now, and gazed with astonishment
on his beautiful hot-house. But it was not sufficient
for him to see his property thus destroyed ; he must
set about at once to discover the culprit.
He looked on all sides; put on his spectacles;
but Paul, being well hidden, and the old man's sight
not over keen, he failed to observe him.
The poor man was in despair. Paul was enjoying
The continued noise had also attracted the notice
of some people living a little way off, and one said
that he observed the stones were thrown from Mrs.
54 EVIL COMES TO HIM
Paul, seeing he was discovered, slid down the tree,
but in so doing he cut both his legs. The pain he
suffered was most severe, but he managed to suppress
This was his first punishment.
By this time the old man, crimson with rage, came
to Mrs. Vernent's house and asked to see her. He
told her the circumstances, and said he would bring
the police and have the young rascal committed to
prison unless he was paid for the damage done to his
hot-house. Mrs. Vernent hastened to appease his
anger, and told him she would not see him at any
loss. The old man left quite satisfied with her
promise, and said he regretted what had happened
for her sake.
Bertha and Emily were dismayed at the conduct
WHO EVIL DOES.
of their cousin, and Mrs. Vernent said she never
heard of anything so wicked, adding that the sooner
such doings were put a stop to the better. Mrs.
Vernent, accompanied by a servant, went down to
the garden to seek for Paul. Their search was
useless. They looked everywhere-among the trees
and in the high grass, as they thought it likely he
would try to hide himself in some such place-but
he was not to be seen. Mrs. Vernent then thought
that he might have fallen into the pond, which was
four feet deep, and they were on the point of exa-
mining it when they heard a painful cry. That's
Paul's voice surely; but where is he 7'
Why, madam, I think the voice is from the stack-
yard; but how could he have got there, as I have
the key in my pocket V'
That's just where he is,' said Mrs. Vernent; the
unfortunate child must have leaped the wall and
broken his leg.' Both of them ran towards the door,
and when they entered, what did they see but poor
Paul, his face and hands dreadfully swollen, and he
rolling on the ground in despair.
On examining him they found that he was in a
dreadful state. 'The unhappy child has doubtless
been tormenting the bees,' exclaimed the servant.
56 EVIL COMES TO HIM, ETC.
'T was the truth.
Paul, having heard the old man conversing with
his aunt, hastened to get out of the way. He
managed to get into the stack-yard, and, thinking
himself secure, sat down under a tree and began to
examine the wounds in his legs; but he had the evil
spirit of mischief in his heart still urging him on,
who soon found another occupation worthy of his taste.
He saw a bee-hive near him, and the bees coming
and going from their work. 'The wicked things,'
said he, 'I must burn them ;' and taking a match
from his pocket he approached the hive. The bees,
not liking such a visitor to come so near them,
' lie did not cease to see frogs in his ravings.' Page 58.
58 EVIL COMES TO HIM, ETC.
collected round him, and stung him with all their
venom, leaving him in the piteous condition in which
his aunt found him.
They conveyed him home and put him to bed,
where he remained eight days in a fever, and all that
time he did not cease to see, in his ravings, frogs
coming through the curtains of his bed with torches
to burn him, and bees were continually tormenting
When he recovered he began to complain of all he
had suffered to his aunt, who only reproached him
severely and said-
'What you have undergone is a just punishment
for your disgraceful conduct; and ever bear in mind
"Evil comes to him who evil does."'
-- ACATION was just beginning, and
the pupils of the different schools were
going home to enjoy the reward of their
labours for the past twelve months. They
were all in the highest spirits, looking
forward to the many amusements which
Robert and Henry were two friends, and
such as are seldom met with now-a-days.
-- Their mothers had been boarders at
the same school, and the friendship formed there had
gib ez t 0 0 f n r
6o HIE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
There was only eighteen months' difference between
the ages of Robert and Henry.
They had the same nurse, and were brought up
breathing the same air.
Of course, when they were old enough, they were
sent to the same school.
The approach of the vacation was much talked of
by them, for they were to spend a great part of it
Robert had two sisters married to captains in the
army, who, of course, possessed excellent horses,
and servants to tend them; so Robert had great
opportunities to amuse himself during the holidays.
Henry always spent a great deal of his time at
Robert's father's house, and when they were together
they did nothing but talk of horses and ponies, and
considered themselves great men.
Robert would often say to Henry, when any of
their companions were present, Come over and see
me, and we will have a ride on horseback.' This
phrase sounded very grand in Robert's opinion. It
must be told that when he was allowed to go on
horseback, a servant always led the beast in case
any accident might befall the rider.
This manner of riding seemed very undignified to
HURTS HIS BEAST. 61
boys at a large school, but their friends would not
permit them to go alone, and they had either to
submit to their wishes, or be vulgar enough to walk,
which was very much against the wishes of the
Robert was most anxious to get mounted in a more
independent fashion, and resolved to try and per-
suade his father to buy him a pony for this vacation.
'A pony! Oh! you are getting absurd, Robert,'
said his father.
Why so, papa V'
'First, because, if you got a pony, you would then
want a servant to look after it, and this would be an
expense which I am not inclined to allow, seeing
that it is needless.'
'But, papa, I will take care of it myself, and, as
for what it would eat, there's plenty of grass in the
'Why, Robert, do you really think that a horse
would not eat more than a rabbit ? But even sup-
posing what you say had some sense in it, I will not
buy you a pony in the meantime; you are not old
enough yet to have one.'
But only for the vacation, papa; you could give
it back after.'
62 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
'No, my dear child, let that be sufficient. Your
sisters' husbands have horses, and you may continue
to ride them with their permission, or walk as your
'Yes, indeed, what riding it is to have a servant
always leading the horse! I would rather have a
donkey that I could call my own, and that I could
drive wherever my fancy wished.'
'Are you saying what you think, Robert?'
'Well, that alters the question.'
Would you really buy me a donkey, dear papa F'
Yes, I '11 do that, though at the same time I am
sure you will not be able to tend it.'
Well, papa, you will see. I will soon prove to
you the contrary.'
Robert's father kept his word, and Henry received
the following the day after :-
'MY DEAR HENRY,-I asked papa to buy me a
pony for the vacation, but he only consented to give
me a donkey, but 't is such a fine one. It is not
like those ugly beasts you see every day. Coco
(that's the name I have given him) is well made.
He is jet black, has such slender legs, and his hoofs
are so small! his ears, of course, are long; but he
HURTS HIS BEAST 63
carries them so well. His nose is just like velvet,
and he has a fine tail. In a word, he is so big and
handsome that many people have taken him to be a
mule. His disposition is so gentle, that he eats off
my hand, like the goat we had last year. People
say that donkeys are stupid, but I assure you Coco
is far otherwise. He turns round when he hears me
coming into the stable, and seems to smile at me.
64 IIE WHO RIDES TOO 1AR
'T is true I kissed him more than a hundred times
since yesterday, and I have given him I don't know
how many lumps of sugar. I put pomade on his
hair to make it more glossy, and I varnished his
shoes. If you could only have seen his delight, and
how he held his feet that I might do them better.
'I don't wish to say any more about my donkey,
in case you should think I am exaggerating; but you
must judge for yourself when you see him, for you will
be good enough to say to your father (my godfather)
that we are expecting you to spend a week here.
'Papa is writing by the same post. I wanted to
go for you with Coco, but papa said nine miles
would be too much for him. I am very sorry, for
Coco is so strong, but papa would not allow me go.
Hoping to see you soon, my dear Henry, yours
'P.S.-I am going to tell Coco you are coming.'
Henry bounded with delight on receiving this
letter, and as his father readily consented to let him
pay the visit, it was arranged that he should start
from home the next day.
Robert expected him at noon, but he did not
HURTS HIS BEAST. 65
arrive till the evening, and all that time Robert was
mounted on his donkey waiting the coming of his
Henry had hardly perceived Robert, when he
jumped from the carriage and threw his arms round
his neck and embraced him tenderly; one would
have thought they had been separated for years,
their joy was so great at meeting. Coco was standing
by, and seemed full of spirits also, and began to bray
his welcome to the best and oldest friend of his
Ha! what a pretty beast,' said Robert.
'Yes, he certainly is,' said Henry, caressing the
We shall amuse ourselves well with him, Henry.'
'I am sure we shall, Robert.'
They remained a long time outside the door ad-
miring the animal, and would have stayed much
longer had not Robert's father called them in.
Well, Henry, are you not going to speak to me V'
Excuse me, godfather,' and then he wished him
good evening, and gave him all the news and com-
pliments with which he had been trusted.
I hope you are going to be well amused with
Mr. Coco,' said the father, 'only remember, He
66 HIE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
who rides too far hurts his beast,"-that is to say,
my dear children, that you must be sure and not
fatigue Coco, if you wish him to amuse you well
during the whole of your vacation.'
Oh papa! what an idea. I hope to have him
for many years,' said Robert.
Then if you do, remember my advice. Where
are you going to take Henry V'
I would like to let him see more of my donkey.'
'And what about dinner ? Henry must be ready
That's true, papa.'
Take care, then-you are already forgetting the
courtesies of life for your donkey.'
Dinner did not last long, for the two friends were
all impatience to rejoin Coco.
But when they came to look for him he was
nowhere to be seen. The beast had been tied
negligently to a tree, and had effected his escape
during the absence of his master.
Where is Coco ?' cried Robert, quite stupefied.
I 'm sure I can't tell,' said Henry.
'Ah just look at him yonder.'
In the orchard.'
HURTS HIS BEAST
They both ran. The donkey had taken shelter
under an apple-tree, and was eating the fallen
Coco, you bad donkey,' said Robert, when he had
come within a few paces of the animal. Coco looked
up at him, and then made off for another apple-tree,
and commenced eating the fruit as before.
Robert and Henry laughed heartily at him.
Whenever Coco saw them approach him he always
ran the further off; and as the garden was very ex-
tensive, he might have continued this game until the
morrow, if the gardener had not happened to come
sM- t[..,:,ii l'im .uJ..Ii,]', ',lle hio. vas
The gardener, indignant at such conduct, seized the
donkey by the bridle, and brought him to his young
master, saying, in a bitter tone, Here's a beast that
r "y ._ y o=
68 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
will do fine work in the garden if he is to be allowed
to continue this sort of thing.'
Hold your tongue, Stephen-he will be better in
The gardener went off grumbling.
Henry mounted the donkey, and tried hard to
make him gallop; but the animal would only walk a
few seconds, and then stop.
Here !' cried Robert. Coco would go on a little,
but soon stopped again.
Henry was beginning to think that Robert had
been too extravagant in his praises of Coco.
Robert's father, who had been behind a tree for
some time, came forward and said, Wait a little,
boys, I'll soon make him gallop,'-and taking the
donkey by the bridle, led him to a road facing his
stable. 'Away now,' said he, and off set the donkey
at full speed.
Do you understand now ?'
What papa V'
'Why, Coco's language.'
'Well, he wished to tell you, that after being six
hours on his legs, he was rather anxious to take some
HURTS HIS BEAST.
'Is that it '
Of course it is, and I think you had better go
now and unharness him, so that he may sleep at ease
-particularly as you have a good walk in reserve for
On arriving at the stable, Robert found Henry
there before him, and he had already done all that
Robert came to do. They had only now to wish the
donkey Good-night;' and this they did in a most
affectionate manner, and before they left the stable
he was sleeping soundly.
An hour after, the two friends retired to their
chamber, and never ceased talking of the pleasure
that was in store for them on the morrow. They
were to go as far as the park to see the preparations
70 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
being made there for a review, and then they were
to dine with one of Robert's sisters.
To-morrow' came at last, and the two boys were
up at five o'clock-very much to Coco's displeasure,
for he did not seem much to relish such early rising.
He commenced braying, and would soon have
awakened all in the house, had not Henry stopped
his mouth with a good handful of hay. When they
got him quiet, they commenced his toilet. They
varnished his hoofs, perfumed his hair with essence
of violet-a very exquisite odour for a donkey.
'Ha! how nice he looks,' said Robert. Oh,
very !' replied Henry.
They then put a new saddle on him, which was of
bright yellow, and contrasted well with his black
hair. They were two hours engaged in dressing
Robert's father, on coming to take his usual morn-
ing walk, went first to the stables, as he was certain
of finding there the two collegians.
What already up and dressed, the three of you,'
said he, laughing.
Oh, papa, you are confounding us with the
Well, I 'm sure you are never separate.'
HURTS HIS BEAST 71
After all, Coco is so handsome, that it does not
matter much if we are associated with him. Does it
'What I said ought to be most humiliating to poor
How so, papa 7'
Do you really think that the poor beast can have
a good opinion of either of you V
Why not, then?'
'Simply because you have been tormenting him
with varnish, pomade, perfume, bridle and saddle,
and, I daresay, have never given him a morsel to eat.'
That's quite true, he certainly did not get much,'
said the two boys, surprised at their own forgetfulness.
Well, then, take off bridle and saddle, and let him
eat his breakfast at ease, while you come and do the
same-for I believe you have decided to start on
your journey at once.'
As soon as ever we can,' said Robert; the sooner
After you have seen your sister, I think you had
better find some excuse to come home through the
greatest thoroughfare, that you may be the better
able to show Coco to the public,' said Robert's
72 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
Papa, you are making fun of us; we only intend
to go through the woods, and then to my sister's.'
Well, my children, now that you have breakfasted,
I think you had better prepare for your excursion.'
They equipped Coco again, but it was with much
difficulty that they got him to leave the stable.
When they did manage to get him outside, he cast a
long wistful look towards the orchard. They guessed
that the poor donkey was still dreaming of the apples.
Here, Coco !' cried the two friends, both mounting
on the poor beast's back.
The donkey hesitated no longer; he seemed to
know that it was no use.
Coco was very strong, and as he had had a good
breakfast, he did not much mind his burden.
Go, my children, and do nothing imprudent;
remember my advice.'
Oh, yes, Papa, we will.'
They were not much more than ten yards from the
house when Robert said to Henry, Ha how well
I think he goes just as fast as a young pony,' said
'We will go and visit Smith before we go to my
sister's,' replied Robert.
HURTS HIIS BEAST. 73
'Is it very far ?' asked Henry.
Not at all; and, besides, Coco is so strong he can
go a long distance without minding it.'
'Are you quite sure V'
Don't you know that it is almost impossible to
tire out a donkey, no matter what papa says.'
They took the road leading to Smith's, allowing
Coco to go quietly so long as any one could see them,
but as soon as the road became more lonely, they
made him gallop as hard as they could. At one
time Robert held the reins, and then Henry. Chang-
ing their positions so often made poor Coco quite
impatient, who had not so much vanity as his
Three little boys, about their own age, met them
on the road. Robert and Henry, wanting to show
how expert they were in riding, commenced to whip
poor Coco to make him gallop faster.
'Ha! look at two donkeys on another's back,'
cried one of the boys, with a loud laugh.
Robert hearing this remark, stopped Coco suddenly,
turned in his saddle, and asked-
What is that you said V'
'I said "two donkeys on another's back,"' replied
the boy insolently, and the three began to laugh.
74 IHE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
Robert whispered something to Henry, who then
said, But what would we do with the donkey '
Oh! he '11 wait-we won't be long-you'll see.'
The two friends got off Coco's back; they were
so slender and delicate that their aggressors could
not help looking at them with surprise as they came
towards them with a threatening air.
The little fellows want to fight us! Well, we '11
see,' cried he who had insulted Robert and Henry.
They had hardly discovered their intention when
the two collegians, well up in the art of boxing,
according to the rules followed at College, made the
little rustics feel that although they were possessed
of more physical strength, they were not equal to the
superior education of their assailants, and soon found
themselves on the ground.
Now that their honour was vindicated, the two
friends cast one look of supreme contempt on their
conquered enemies, and prepared to resume their
But alas Coco, with his wise disposition, had gone
off, apparently never casting the smallest thought on
the two cavaliers; or perhaps he thought that, as his
masters were making their way on foot, they would
not want to go on his back; probably he might think
HURTS HIS BEAST 75
also of finding an apple tree on his way. The con-
querors were very angry at being thus obliged to run
after their donkey, the more so because they found it
difficult to catch him, he was running so fast.
'Coco Coco you shabby Coco stop.'
But Coco was deaf to all their entreaties.
Hie is decidedly too wise to obey you,' said Henry,
quite amused at the passion Robert was in.
The donkey would sometimes turn his head and
look at them, and then commence to run still faster.
76 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
He would have continued his race far longer had he
not been stopped by a carriage that had met with
some accident, and was lying across the road.
We have you now,' said Robert, laying hold of the
bridle just as Coco was preparing for another start.
He gave him a great whipping, and corrected him
most severely for his conduct.
You must learn to behave yourself in future,' said
Robert, and both again mounted him and continued
the road to Smith's.
When they had nearly arrived, Henry said to
Robert-' Do you like Smith 1'
'Yes-middling; he came to see me on his donkey
last year, just to show it off; and indeed he would
have done better to hide it, for you never saw such
an ugly animal; to see it walking you would think it
had corns on its feet.'
Oh! I see, you are only going to see him so that
you may show off Coco V'
Exactly; to make him hold his tongue, for he is
a most detestable boaster. Everything he has is
better than anyone else's. He told us one day at
school that he had a most beautiful gun, and when
we went to see him, to admire it, guess what it was V'
HURTS HIS BEAST 77
'An old gun without a cock, and the barrel all
eaten with rust ; now is he not a great liar ?
'And what did he say?'
Him he pretended that it only wanted a little
repair to make it the finest gun in the country. But
look, there's his house; wait till you see his donkey.
I'll engage he'll show us everything. He has a
famous cock that he says the King of Siam sent to
his father. Oh I assure you he's a great liar.'
'But is the cock handsome ?'
'Well, all the feathers are hanging off.it, and his
78 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
spurs would make good pen-holders. I am sure 't is
as old as the king of Siam who sent it. But you will
be soon able to judge for yourself, for here we are
The two collegians stopped before
the railings of a house of good
appearance. Robert stooped in his saddle and rang
the bell to announce their arrival. Then he said to
'We will enter on Coco's back-that will have a
That's a capital idea,' said Henry.
The gardener opened the gate. 'Is Smith at
home V asked Robert, sitting as like an officer as he
Master Charles, is it V replied the gardener.
HURTS HIS BEAST. 79
'No, sir; all the family have gone to the sea-side
for two months.'
That's annoying,' said Robert; however, we will
see him some other time.'
That is a fine donkey you have, gentlemen; lie
seems very strong,' said the gardener, patting Coco.
'Yes; he is well enough,' said Robert, carelessly.
He is very handsome indeed, and looks as well
as any pony,' replied the gardener.
Papa wanted to buy me a pony, but I preferred
this beast; he is less trouble,' said Robert.
Then, thinking he had made some effect on the
poor gardener, he added-
'Good day, sir; you will be good enough to tell
Smith that Robert, one of his school companions,
came to pay him a visit.'
Then he saluted him, as also Henry, and soon
poor Coco was trotting away again.
Did I not tell you, Henry, that Coco would be
taken for a pony?'
'T is quite true, I see.'
'After all, I 'm sorry that that bragging Smith was
not at home-we would have had a good laugh at
Oh I'm sure that the gardener will tell him
80 HIE WHO RIDES TOO FAR *
great things about your donkey; he admired him
too much not to speak about him.'
'Ah, man that was why I spoke (without attach-
ing much importance to what he said) of the pony
papa wanted to give me.'
Oh! I knew that.'
'Wait till you hear all what Smith will say about
his trip to the sea-side. He will have swum three
miles every morning, and eaten whale at every meal.'
But tell me where we are going now asked
We will go and see Nugent, and then we will go
straight to my sister's.'
'But I think he lives very far away.'
'Yes, if we were walking; but when we have
That will tire him, perhaps, too much.'
Him! I tell you, Henry, that he could travel
twenty miles, at least.'
'Are you quite sure '
Indeed I am.'
But I don't know Nugent.'
Well, I do; he is in my class.'
Is he as great a fool as Smith V
'Oh, no! on the contrary, he is very amusing.
HURTS HIS BEAST 81
He is on my left-hand side in the class, and we often
have a feast in his desk, because I am breeding silk-
worms in mine. We are associated, you see, for two
Then he's a nice fellow V'
Yes, and so funny-if you only knew-he tells
such absurd stories that you would almost die of
laughing; he is altogether a good fellow; besides,
you know that I am to compete with him next
winter; and last year, when I was in the sick-room,
he came every day to see me.'
'As you say, then, he is a good fellow,' said
Henry, quite delighted with the last trait in his
82 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
He would have been to see me long before this,
but his father never allows him away any distance,
under the pretext of his being wild, and you know
what notions parents take into their heads.'
'Yes; if you only knew all the cautions I got
before I came away. Papa told [me how wild and
wicked every donkey is, and to take care lest I
should meet with some terrible accident,' said Henry.
'Well, I suppose he took Coco to be like all the
rest of his kind,' said Robert.
Coco was all this time taking his own way, without
paying the slightest attention to the conversation of
the two cavaliers. He only asked himself why they
were always on his back, or else fastening him to
something, or pushing him right and left whenever it
pleased them. All this seemed to him very tyran-
nical, as well as extremely foolish; but the poor
beast had to be resigned.
They soon arrived at the foot of a hill which led
to the road to Nugent's house. But here they were
also doomed to disappointment, for they found
Nugent was from home. They were received by his
eldest sister, a young girl about seventeen, who
informed them of the absence of her brother, and
asked them to come in and rest for a while.
HURTS HIS BEAST
Robert begged she would excuse them, as they
were not at liberty to avail themselves of her gracious
invitation, having still many visits to pay that day,
and desired she would say to her brother, on his
return, that Robert, his school-fellow, accompanied
by Henry (a friend of whom he had often heard him
speak), had come to see him.'
And I will also tell him that you came on a very
pretty donkey,' said the young girl, smiling.
They saluted her and left, making poor Coco trot
his best to show off to advantage before Nugent's
When they were again on the road, Robert said-
'If we just go the length of Taylor's to see him,
'Who is he '
He is my right-hand companion in desk.'
Is he amusing V'
Not very; he sleeps nearly all day.'
Then why do you want to see him 1'
'Oh just because I know him.'
'Well! is it far away V'
No, just at the other side of the river.'
But, Robert, the poor donkey will be sure to be
84 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
Did I not tell you twice before, Henry, that he
can travel twenty miles ?'
Henry knew well how anxious Robert was to let
all his friends see that he had got a donkey, and so
gave him his own way.
They travelled a good half-hour without ever ex-
changing a word, for they were getting tired them-
selves of sitting on the donkey's back.
When they reached Taylor's house, they found
that their sleepy companion had gone out in the
morning to fish-fell asleep over his rod, and rolled
into the water, where he had been found, about three
hours before their arrival, by a servant, ,
and at this moment they were nursing
him in bed.
Henry could not help laughing at this third dis-
appointment, and saw how much tried poor Robert's
HURTS HIS BEAST. 85
But Robert was not to be put out. He said, after a
moment's silence, We will go and see Harris.'
'Oh! are you quite sure to find him at home 1'
said Henry very gently.
Oh I was not thinking of that,' said Robert,
seeing his friend was laughing at him.
The poor donkey was made to gallop as fast as he
could. Robert was quite delighted, for he saw on the
road a friend of his walking with his father and mother.
At last,' said he, without ever letting Henry know
what had given him so much pleasure, he made Coco
do his best to gallop before his friends, and brought
him up within a few feet of where they were walking
'Robert!' cried his friend, as soon as he had re-
cognised the cavaliers.
Edward replied Robert, pretending to be very
Edward came dancing forward, waving his hat,
which so frightened the donkey that he started off,
and Robert, in pulling him up suddenly, made Coco
jump backwards, which action sent both of the boys
over his head.
They all began to laugh, for neither was hurt.
Coco seemed perfectly indifferent.
The interview with Edward's family began in too
Coco sent both of the boys over his head. Page 85.
HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR, ETC. 87
ridiculous a fashion to continue long. So the two
collegians, putting a good face on the affair, and ap-
pearing to enjoy the accident, hastened to remount
Coco and proceed on their journey.
After a little while Robert said-' What a beast
that Edward is, with his savage dance !'
Yes, but it was so ridiculous to see us.'
'That might be, but Edward will tell all my school-
fellows, and have them laughing at our expense.'
In that case, can't you laugh too, and that will
be all,' replied Henry.
We will go on as far as the forest, Henry.'
Yes, but that's a long distance-think of Coco.'
What an idea! how often have I told you that
he could easily go twenty miles, and we are not half
that distance yet 1'
If you can depend on that 't is all right.'
They went towards the forest, much to the dis-
appointment of Coco, who felt that he was always
going the further from his stable.
When Robert found he was doomed to be dis-
appointed everywhere, he thought that by going to
the forest he would be sure to find a companion of
his who lived there, and who never left home; he was
certain of that.
88 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
The weather hitherto had been delightful, but nov
the sky became quite clouded, and a cold wind began
to blow. Coco was very docile for some time, but
now began to show signs of worn-out patience.
Get on, Coco, or we will be caught in a storm.'
The rain fell in great drops, and thunder-peals
were heard at a distance.
I wish we could see some house to take shelter
in,' said Robert.
Look !' replied Henry, 'there is a hut on a little
bit, let us hasten to it.'
So there is,' said his companion, just at the
entrance of the forest.'
They made poor Coco go much against his will
and strength, and soon arrived at the little house,
where they got cover from the storm.
'We are lucky enough in our misfortune,' said
Ha! what rain,' said Henry.
But that heavy rain is soon over,' replied Robert,
'and when it ceases, we can go on through the forest.'
The thunder grew louder and louder, and the two
friends became very frightened ; Coco was no less so.
I think I will loosen Coco's band, I daresay he
must be a little tired,' said Robert.
HURTS HIS BEAST. 89
They remained until the storm had passed away;
Coco was glad of his rest, but his fine skin was all
dirty, and he was completely covered with mud.
Robert felt no inclination to take him in his present
state to see his friend-the only one he was so sure
of finding at home, so they had no choice now but
to go to his sister's; and, as the weather was still
very threatening, they made all the haste they could
back. Poor Coco's legs were bending under his
burden, but his master never paid the least attention
The luncheon hour was long past, and they both
felt very hungry.
I will make Coco gallop fast till we get to my
'No no, let him take his own time, I would rather
wait a while than push him any faster. I 'm afraid he
will get sick,' said Henry.
'You make me angry, Henry, when I told you so
often that he could go any distance within twenty
miles without being fatigued.'
'But listen how he breathes,' said Henry.
That's nothing; everyone breathes like that when
they go travelling.'
No, Robert, not like that, I assure you.'
HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
But Robert was so convinced of the strength of
his donkey, that he would not cease to gallop him.
Coco stopped at the first pool of water to drink.
You will see, Robert, that he will never be able
to take us home.'
Robert only laughed at him.
You may laugh if you like, but I tell you that
beast is sick.'
In saying this, Henry came off Coco's back.
Robert tried hard to persuade him to remount. He
would not, but walked all the way by Robert's side.
Robert wanted to make a good entry to his sister's
HURTS IIIS BEAST 91
house, and as they approached the gate he spurred
Coco on. The poor donkey, quite exhausted, re-
fused to move; his legs gave way, and all his limbs
I told you he was ill,' said Henry with impatience.
Robert came off and examined him with some
'I think you're right,' said he, 'he has a very
The servant had been sent out to look for them,
for they had been long expected.
When he saw them, he said-' Your donkey is very
ill, Master Robert.'
Now, are you satisfied V' said Henry.
We must try and get him to the stable,' continued
Poor Coco, dragged, pushed, and caressed, con-
sented at last to move the few steps that were still
between him and a place of rest.
Robert's sister came down when she saw them all
round the poor beast.
Good day, Robert-good day, Henry; but what
has happened to your poor donkey ?'
I don't know,' said Robert, who felt himself very
92 HE WHO RIDES TOO FAR
They put Coco into the most comfortable stall in.
the stable, and sent at once for the veterinary sur-
geon who was in the habit of attending their horses.
He made no delay in coming, and examined Coco,
who was very ill indeed. He ordered him to be
kept very warm, and well attended-for he was
showing symptoms of a severe fever. But I have
great hopes,' said he of bringing him round ; for our
patient has a very strong constitution ; he seems to
have been very much worked beyond his strength,
however. Let us see; how far have you brought
Robert told him very frankly the distance.
And you must have forced him to run a great
part of the way, for his heart is beating so very
'We did, sir.'
That was very wrong of you. He might have
been able to walk far enough, but a donkey is not
made for galloping. However, we '11 try to save his
Oh, sir, I beg of you to do all you can for him,'
said Robert, the tears in his eyes.
I tell you this, however-he will be laid up for
six weeks at least, as the malady will not reach the
HURTS HIS BEAST. 93
crisis for twenty-one days, and he will require the
remainder to recover himself.'
'Six weeks! vacation will be over then,' said
Robert, with a sigh.
That's annoying enough, my child, but there's no
help for it now.'
The surgeon left his orders, and said he would see
Coco again on the morrow.
Robert's father came over at night to see what
had become of the collegians, as they did not return
He found them installed-not in bed-but in the
stable with Coco.
They were very sorry for the accident that had
thus thwarted all their projects of pleasure. '" He who
rides too far, hurts his beast." I told you to think well
on this proverb,' said he.
The children never spoke.
I told you also to act with prudence, so that Coco
might serve you during the whole of your vacation.'
Oh, papa, don't reproach us, I am sorry enough
for what has happened.'
I believe that, my child; and I trust that this
lesson will not be lost on either of you, but that it
may teach you not only to be kind and considerate
He found them installed-not in bed-but in the stable
with Coco. Page 93.
lHE WHO RIDES TOO FAR, ETC. 95
to the animals you may one day possess, but also to
govern yourselves-for you must now know that you
cannot abuse anything without running the risk of
Coco was well tended, and soon recovered; but,
as the veterinary said, it was not till after the return
to studies of our two collegians.
T-fucY, my dear child, what are you
'm just finishing a new jacket for
) my doll, mother.'
'That's all well enough; but your
father is to arrive home to-night, and
you have the music to study that he
expects to hear you play for him.'
Oh! I'll do that, mamma.'
And the fable that you are to recite.'
I '11 have that learned too, mamma.'
'Are you perfectly sure '
' Quite sure.'