The Baldwin Library
A BOX OF STORIES.
. .' ." .
PETER KRAMPEN'S HELPERS.
A BOX OF STORIES.
rACKED FOR YOUNG FOLKS
BLACKIE & SON, 49 & 50 OLD BAILEY, E.C.;
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND DUBLIN.
THE BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE, 7
THE MAN THAT WANTED BUT ONE THING; THE MAN
THAT WANTED EVERYTHING; AND THE MAN THAT
WANTED NOTHING, 17
THE MADNESS OF THE ELDERS; OR, HOW CORN FIRST
'THE TWO BROTHERS, C5
THE RABBITS, THE FOXES, AND THE MAN WITH TllE
GUN, --------- 43
THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG, -- C
A FEW LAST-CENTURY ANECDOTES OF DOGS, G
TOMMAso ANIELLO: A STORY OF A REVOLT,
GRACE DARLING, 1
PETER KRAMPEN AND THE ELVES,
THE WRECK OF THE "LOVELY NELLY," 101
THE STORY OF Mn. VINEGAR, 105
STEME, THE KING, AND THE SPECTACLES, 112
THE PRINCE AND HIS TEACHERS, 125
THE ENCHANTED DONKEY, 13:
LAZY JACK, 159
MEDIO POLLITO, 163
LITTLE PETER AND BIG PAUL, 170
THE PROUD CHURCH-COCK, 175
A BOX OF STORIES.
BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE.
T is now some years ago since a mouse, run-
ning away from a cat, dipped his whiskers
J? into a lake, in order to cool the heat into
which he had got in the course of his run. While
he was doing this, a frog, who happened to be
swimming about among the reeds, saw him, and
took a fancy to his appearance. Frogs in those
days could speak; so he addressed the stranger
with all the civility in the world.
"Sir," said he, making the best bow a frog
could, "may I take the liberty of asking your
name, and the place you come from? Your
appearance and manners bespeak you a perfect
gentleman, and I hope you have perceived that I
S A BOX OF STORIES.
too have the air of a court. My name is Puff-
cheek-Prince Puffcheek, son of King Mud, who
is sovereign in these parts; and my mother is a
respectable frogess of Italy, whose family comes
out of the Po. You could not oblige me more
than by coming over to our palace and taking a
quiet dinner with the family. I shall do myself
the honour of introducing you to the best society,
male and female, of Frogland."
"It is evident," said the mouse, "that you, sir,
are not in the best society yourself, or you would
not ask my name. Everybody worth knowing,
in whatever condition, knows that I am Crumb-
snatcher, son of old Biscuitbiter, and his amiable
wife Gnawloaf, daughter of that high-born
monarch Bacongrub. My mother reared me in
a shady retreat on figs and bon-bons, and all
kinds of good things. How is it possible that I
could accept your invitation? We live in quite
different styles. Your estate is the water; I
dwell on land. Whatever is the food of man-
kind I eat, without giving myself any trouble
about preparing it. I am not afraid of men
although they are so big; for often have I
gone into their beds, and bit their very big toes,
TIE FROGS AND AIICE. 9
while the owner slept away, never once thinking
of me. There are, to be sure, some enemies I
don't like-particularly two. There's the trap-
a horrid invention, the bacon or toasted cheese of
which smells so tempting, that there is no pass-
ing it by. And the cat-the cat-is the worse of
the two, for she can thrust her paw into the
very hole in which I lie, and pull me out. But
excepting these little difficulties, I am very well
off. I eat bread of the finest flour, and cakes
made with rasins, and eggs, and saffron, and cit-
ron, ahd other sweet things. My tooth nibbles
the most delicate slices of ham, and livers daintily
covered with the whitest cauls of fat. As for
cheese, the best of Gloucester is always at my
service; but what I pride myself most upon is
pudding-pudding! a food which is fit for an
angel, and which the king's cook makes with his
own hands six days in the week-sometimes
plum, sometimes batter, sometimes rice, some-
times custard, sometimes orange, sometimes
apple, but all good, and all made for me. Do you
then think that I could go with you, and feast
upon river-weed, on watercress, or kale, or bog-
10 A BOX OF STORIES.
"Why," said the frog, laughing, "you have
a great deal to say upon the affairs of the
kitchen; but still, I can assure you there is some-
thing worth seeing about us water-folk. We
have the art of swimming and walking, so that
we are always at home on land or water. Come,
then, and pay us a visit. Get upon my back
and I'll float you pleasantly to my father's
palace, where you shall be well treated."
The mouse in an evil moment consented, and
got upon Prince Puffcheek's back. He found it
very pleasant for a while, as long as he was close
to the shore; but when he got out into the middle
of the lake he wished himself back again on land,
and he soon had reason; for as they swam along
towards the palace of Frogland, who should pop
his head above the surface of the water but a
water-snake. It was no wonder that Puffcheek
was frightened, for nobody, whether frog or man,
likes to be eaten up in the cool of the evening;
and so he ducked down. This was very well
for him, but very bad for his friend, for poor
Crumbsnatcher could not swim; and, in spite
of his high descent and good feeding, he was
drowned, after leaving a hearty curse upon the
THE FROGS AND MIC. 11
rogue of a frog who had seduced him into the
A very respectable mouse who held a high
office at court, of the name o' Lickplate, happened
to be on the bank when the young prince was
drowned. He was very soiry to see the death,
but very glad to have the first news. So he
scampered away, and, having told it to everybody
he met as a great secret, it was soon spread about.
Old Biscuitbiter, the father, was of course much
grieved for the loss of his son and heir, and im-
mediately called a meeting of the mouse parlia-
ment, to lay before them the horrid villainy com-
mitted by Puffcheek, and witnessed by Lickplate,
who attended quite ready to swear to anything.
"I am a most unhappy father," said old Bis-
cuitbiter, wiping his eyes with a cobweb which
he used as a pocket-handkerchief. "Three of
the most beautiful children that ever gladdened
the eye of a father I have lost. The great enemy
of the mice, that green-eyed monster, with velvet
paws and spring nails, made a meal of my eldest
son, whom she caught one morning nibbling a
slice of bacon in the pantry. My second, poor
innocent, was choked in a trap; and now that
12 A BOX OF STORIES.
villain Puffcheek has drowned my third baby in
the most shameful way in the world. Are we to
put up with this? Is it not our bounden duty
to punish the wretch? Let us go into the field
at once. It is a just and necessary war."
"Yes," said Lickplate, throwing up his hat, "it
is a just and necessary war."
"A just and necessary war!" said all the other
members, throwing up their hats; and accordingly
they voted the supplies.
The army was not long in mustering, and a
fine army it was. They had walnut shells for
helmets, and needles, which they stole from the
housekeeper, for lances; they wore peascods for
cuirasses, and their boots were stout barley straws.
They were proud fellows when old Biscuitbiter
drew them up, and their grand-trumpeter, Signor
Grasshopper, sounded the war charge. You must
not think, however, that the frogs were idle; for
as soon as they heard of this muster of the mice
they came up to the top of the water, croaking
as loud as they could; and when the mice saw
them, they sent an ambassador, a gentleman of
the name of Creeppot, son of old Nipcheese, a
great man in Mouseland
THE FROGS AND MICE. 13
"Gentlemen," said he to the frogs, "I have the
honour of informing you that I am sent by the
right honourable the high court of parliament
of the mice to declare war against you for the
death of that most noble and puissant prince,
Crumbsnatcher. It is our intention to sink,
burn, and destroy you one and all; and I beg
leave to assure your excellencies of my high con-
sideration, with the most sincere wishes for your
long life and happiness."
So saying, the ambassador withdrew; and the
frogs formed themselves into a committee, King
Mud in the chair, to take his message into con-
sideration. The conduct of Puffcheek was so
much blamed that he was called on for a defence.
"Mr. Chairman," said he, "I am a most ill-used
frog-very ill-used, upon the honour of a prince.
This Crumbsnatcher had the folly to think he
could swim like us; and in trying to do so he was
drowned. That's the whole, upon my honour.
(Hear, hear!) But the independence of our
country is now at stake (loud cheering), and it is
no time to be talking of mere abstract questions
of political economy. (Hear, hear!) Let us first
beat the enemy, and then inquire who is right or
14 A BOX OF STORIES.
wrong. We have only to get them into the
water; and then, having pulled them under,
drown them. This is a matter of much more
consequence than asking why we are to fight. I
say, let us fight; and that's all." (Tremendous
cheering from all sides.)
They accordingly determined on war, and,
arming themselves with sharp-pointed rushes,
set out to meet the enemy. A band of hornets
flew before them, sounding the charge. Of course
there were thunder and lightning, and omens in
the sky; for these are things which historians
note as always accompanying matters of equal
importance with the wars of frogs and mice.
When they met it was a bloody battle. It
would be endless to tell all the turns it took: how
Bigcroak killed Lickplate, and King Mud was
slain by Creephole; how Pride-o'-the-puddle,
in revenge, knocked Creephole's brains out with
a pebble, and was himself smashed in pieces
by Nipcheese; how Biscuitbiter, the younger,
was blinded by a lump of mud flung by Dirt-
dabble; and how Puffcheek, the cause of all these
calamities, had his leg broken by old Biscuitbiter,
father of the drowned prince, and was obliged to
THE FROGS AND MICE. 15
hobble off and duck into the lake. This gave the
mice great confidence, and their chief warrior,
one Crustchaw, headed so dreadful a charge
against the frogs, that the nation was in danger of
being forever blotted from the face of the earth
and the waters.
At this conjuncture what was to be done? Are
we to let the frogs be killed, and deprive the
Frenchmen of their favourite food? No! that
would never do; and as they have no help below,
they must look for it above.
In those days there was a god named Jupiter,
and a jolly god he was: so he heard all this hubbub,
and, having nothing better to do, looked down
through his trap-door to see what was going on.
"Ho!" said he, "the frogs are ruined and un-
done. Crustchaw there is as fierce as a Russian
Cossack of the Don, and he is determined on
putting an end to all the family of the croakers.
What must we do to prevent him? What do
you think, Mars, my man?" turning to a rough-
looking fellow in a hairy cap and blue pantaloons,
who was god of war.
"Why," said the god of war, "I do not exactly
know;" and he turned up his left mustachio with
16 A BOX OF STORIES.
his right hand-" don't exactly know, your hon-
So King Jupiter took a pinch of snuff, and
finding the whole affair was left to himself, he
flung down a thunderbolt, and ordered a new
force into the field. Down they came at com-
mand, fine troops indeed-anvil-backed, crooked-
clawed, waddle-gaited, nipper-mouthed, scale-
skinned, bone-bodied, flat-spined, shoulder-shin-
ing, eight-footed, two-handed, no-headed,-who
were they ?-Crabs, my dear, crabs.
And the crabs, accordingly, fell upon both
parties, nipping and snipping heads, and legs,
and tails off of both. It was a great stroke of
the Olympic ministry, for it gave a triumph to
neither party. Both ran-the mice to their
holes, the frogs to their caves,
Just as the orb of setting sun
Shot forth its parting ray;
This dreadful war was thus begun
And ended in a day.
THE MAN THAT WANTED
BUT ONE THING;
THE MAN THAT WANTED EVERYTHING;
THE MAN THAT WANTED NOTHING.
" VERY BODY, young and old, children and
.ia l..eards, has heard of the renowned
H i .an Al Raschid, the most illustrious of
the caliphs of Bagdad. Though as the successor
of Mahomet he exercised a despotic sway over
the lives and fortunes of his subjects, yet he did
not shut himself up in his palace, hearing nothing
but the adulations of his dependants, seeing no-
thing but the shadows which surrounded him,
and knowing nothing but what he received
through the medium of interested deception or
malignant falsehood. That he might see with his
own eyes and hear with his own ears, he was
accustomed to go about the streets of Bagdad by
18 A BOX OF STORIES.
night, in disguise, accompanied by Giaffer the
Barmecide, his grand vizier, and Mezrour, his
executioner; one to give him his counsel, the other
to fulfil his commands promptly, on all occasions.
If he saw any commotion among the people he
mixed with them and learned its cause; and if in
passing a house he heard the sounds of distress,
or the complaints of suffering, he entered, for the
purpose of inquiry and administering relief.
Thus he made himself acquainted with the condi-
tion of his subjects, and often heard those salu-
tary truths which never reached his ears through
the walls of his palace, or from the lips of the
slaves that surrounded him.
On one of these occasions, as Al Raschid was
thus perambulating the streets at night in dis-
guise, in passing a splendid mansion he overheard
through the lattice of a window the complaints
of some one who seemed in the deepest distress,
and silently approaching, looked into an apart-
ment which displayed all the signs of wealth and
luxury. On a sofa of satin embroidered with
gold, and sparkling with brilliant gems, he beheld
a man richly dressed, in whom he recognized his
favourite social companion Bedreddin, on whom
THE MAN THAT WANTED. 19
he had showered wealth and honours with more
than eastern prodigality. He was stretched out
on the sofa, slapping his forehead, tearing his
beard, and moaning piteously, as if in the ex-
tremity of suffering. At length starting upon
his feet, he exclaimed in tones of despair, Oh,
Allah! I beseech thee to relieve me from my
misery, and take away my life."
The Commander of the Faithful, who loved
Bedreddin, pitied his sorrows, and being desirous
to know their cause, that he might relieve them,
knocked at the door, which was opened by a black
slave, who, on being informed that they were
strangers in want of food and rest, at once ad-
mitted them, and informed his master, who called
them into his presence, and bade them welcome.
A plentiful feast was spread before them, at which
the master of the house sat down with his guests,
but of which he did not partake, but looked on,
sighing bitterly all the while.
Al Raschid at length ventured to ask him what
caused his distress, and why he refrained from
partaking of the feast with his guests, in proof
that they were welcome. "Has Allah afflicted
thee with disease, that thou canst not enjoy the
20 A EOX OF STORIES.
blessings he has bestowed? Thou art surrounded
by all that wealth can procure; thy dwelling is a
palace, and its apartments are adorned with all
the luxuries which captivate the eye, or admin-
ister to the gratification of the senses. Why is it
then, oh! my brother, that thou are miserable?"
"True, O stranger," replied Bedreddin. "I
have all these. I have health of body; I am rich
enough to purchase all that wealth can bestow;
and if I required more wealth and honours, I am
the favourite companion of the Commander of
the Faithful (on whose head lie the blessing of
Allah!) and of whom I have only to ask, to obtain
all I desire, save one thing only."
"And what is that?" asked the caliph.
"Alas! I adore the beautiful Zuleima, whose
face is like the full moon, whose eyes are brighter
and softer than those of the gazelle, and whose
mouth is like the seal of Solomon. But she loves
another, and all my wealth and honours are as
nothing. The want of one thing renders the
possession of every other of no value. I am the
most wretched of men; my life is a burden, and
my death would be a blessing."
"By the beard of the Prophet," cried the
THE MAN THAT WANTED. 21
caliph, "I swear thy case is a hard one. But
Allah is great and powerful, and will, I trust,
deliver thee from the burden, or give thee
strength to bear it." Then thanking Bedreddin
for his hospitality, the Commander of the Faith-
ful departed with his companions.
Taking their way towards that part of the
city inhabited by the poorer classes of people,
the caliph stumbled over something in the ob-
scurity of night, and was nigh falling to the
ground; at the same moment a voice cried out,
"Allah! preserve me. Am I not wretched enough
already that I must be trodden under foot by a
wandering beggar like myself in the darkness of
Mezrour the executioner, indignant at this in-
sult to the caliph, was preparing to cut off his
head, when his master interposed, and inquired
of the beggar his name, and why he was there
sleeping in the streets at that hour of the night.
"Mashallah!" replied he; "I sleep in the street
because I have nowhere else to sleep, and if I lay
on a satin sofa, my pains and infirmities would
rob me of rest. Whether on divans of silk or in
the dirt is all the same to me, for neither by
22 A BOX OF STORIES.
day nor by night do I know any rest. If I close
my eyes for a moment, my dreams are of nothing
but feasting, and I awake only to feel more bit-
terly the pangs of hunger and disease."
"Hast thou no home to shelter thee, no friends
or kindred to relieve thy necessities, or administer
to thy infirmities?"
"No," replied the beggar. "My house was con-
sumed by fire, my kindred are all dead, and my
friends have deserted me. Alas! stranger, I am
in want of everything: health, clothing, food,
home, kindred, and friends. I am the most
wretched of mankind, and death alone can re-
"Of one thing, at least, I can relieve thee,"
said the caliph, giving him his purse. "Go and
provide thyself food and shelter, and may Allah
restore thy health."
The beggar took the purse, but instead of call-
ing down blessings on the head of his benefactor,
exclaimed, "Of what use is money? it cannot cure
disease;" and the caliph again went on his way
with Giaffer his vizier, and Mezrour his execu-
Passing from the abodes of want and misery,
THE MAN THAT WANTED. 23
they at length reached a splendid palace, and
seeing lights glimmering from the windows, the
caliph approached, and looking through the silken
curtains beheld a man walking backwards and
forwards with languid step as if oppressed with
a load of cares. At length casting himself on a
sofa he stretched out his limbs, and yawning
desperately, exclaimed, Oh! Allah, what shall I
do! what will become of me! I am weary of life;
it is nothing but a cheat, promising what it never
purposes, and a!i:....lii only hopes that end in
disappointment, or if realized, only in disgust."
The curiosity of the caliph being awakened to
know the cause of this despair, he ordered Mez-
rour to knock at the door, which being opened
they pleaded the privilege of strangers to enter
for rest and refreshments. Again, in accordance
with the precepts of the Koran and the customs
of the East, the strangers were admitted to the
presence of the lord of the palace, who received
them with welcome, and directed refreshments
to be brought. But though he treated his guests
with kindness, he neither sat down with them
nor asked any questions, nor joined in their
discourse, walking back and forward languidly,
24 A BOX OF STORIES.
and seeming oppressed with a heavy burden of
At length the caliph approached him reverently
and said, "Thou seemest sorrowful, O my brother!
If thy suffering is of the body, I am a physician
and peradventure can afford thee relief, for I have
travelled into distant lands and collected very
choice remedies for human infirmities."
My sufferings are not of the body but of the
mind." answered the other.
Hast thou lost the beloved of thy heart, the
friend of thy bosom, or been disappointed in the
attainment of that on which thou hast rested all
thy hopes of happiness?"
"Alas! no. I have been disappointed, not in
the means, but in the attainment of happiness.
I want nothing but a want. I am cursed with
the gratification of all my wishes, and the fruition
of all my hopes. I have wasted my life in the
acquisition of riches that only awakened new
desires and honours that no longer gratify my
pride or repay me for the burden of sustaining
them. I have been cheated in the pursuit of
pleasures that weary me in the enjoyment, and
am perishing for lack of the excitement of some
THE MAN THAT WANTED. 25
new want. I have everything I wish, yet enjoy
"Thy case is beyond my skill," replied the
caliph; and the man cursed with the fruition of
all his desires turned his back on him in despair.
The caliph, after thanking him for his hospitality,
departed with his companions, and when they
had reached the street exclaimed:
"Allah preserve me! I will no longer fatigue
myself in a vain pursuit, for it is impossible to
confer happiness on such a perverse generation.
I see it is all the same whether a man wants one
thing, everything, or nothing. Let us go home
THE MADNESS OF THE ELDERS;
OR, HOW CORN FIRST GREW.
XLOF ANKER was burgomaster of Fahlun,
Called the miner's capital, and said also to
be the oldest-fashioned town in Sweden.
Moreover he was the best blacksmith in his pro-
vince and the raciest story-teller, not in the
sense which that term obtains in England, for
Alof's word was reckoned as good as most people's
oath; but nobody in Dalecarlia had such a store
of tales, or was so ready to tell them. In his time
great discontent arose throughout the Norland
provinces, because their French king Bernadotte
would set up schools in all the villages, and re-
quired people to send their children, which the
steady old peasants regarded as an innovation
calculated to undermine the ancient manners and
morals of the North. The general dissatisfaction
THE MADNESS OF THE ELDERS. 27
reached its height among the timber houses and
thatched roofs of Fahlun. The copper miners,
who formed the great body of its citizens, did
nothing for three summer days but smoke toge
their on the mischief that threatened their family
circles; the women wished them all at work again,
for the consumption of barley bread and hot beer
was something beyond their experience; and the
wives of the two innkeepers got scarlet petticoats
and silver-laced caps out of the profits which corn
brandy brought on that occasion. Nobody ap-
proved of the schools but Holsteier, the German
trader, and Hamerfast, the Lap; some thought
they might not do the province so much harm,
and all were anxious to know the opinion of the
burgomaster. Alof Anker said nothing for some
time; he had a particular wagon wheel to shoe
for a Norland baron, so he heated his iron and
wielded his hammer as if there had been nothing
wrong in all Sweden till the work was done, and
the wheel ready for 1 ii i ,, then he took off his
leather apron, left his forge to cool, and seated
himself among his neighbours in the shade of the
overhanging first-floor of the Gustavus Wasa."
The excitement was high and the tobacco smoke
28 A BOX OF STORIES.
thick in the four narrow streets which composed
the town of his authority, but all sat silently
puffing as became true Swedes till Alof's pipe
was in full blast, when old Torkel inquired,
"What was his mind on the schools?" "It is not
made up, neighbour," said the burgomaster; "but
I'll tell you a tale.
My grandfather told me that there was once
a time when the people of Sweden ate nothing
but turnips by way of bread, and they were as
wise in their own conceits then as they are now.
In the baron's hall and the miner's hut turnips
were set down daily, roasted and boiled, mashed
and whole, nobody had ever heard of anything
else; though travellers, who had been in Germany
and such outlandish places, brought stories oi
yellow fields, wind-mills, and ovens, they got no
credit. Turnips their valiant forefathers the sea-
kings had eaten with the hams of the bear and
bison; turnips their honest grandmothers had
cooked into many wholesome and savoury dishes
turnips alone were the natural food of man; and
turnips they would eat with all the world and
"The people of the south, indeed, particularly
TIE MADNESS OF THE ELDERS. 29
those in the neighbourhood of Stockholm, had
learned to indulge in broad beans and parsnips,
which were introduced by traders from Riga
and Dantzic, and the fallings-off from old Swedish
honesty and prudence, observed among them by
preachers and moralists, were justly ascribed to
the depraving influence of those foreign luxuries.
The Norland provinces, however, held fast by
the virtuous fashions of their grandfathers, dis-
daining to learn from strangers as they do this
day. Turnips they sowed, and turnips they ate,
from sire to son, as duly as their fields and
their houses descended; a sack per man was
reckoned a fair weekly allowance; and the
strength and courage for which Norlanders are
yet notable was believed to be the product of
their own simple and hardy fare.
"In all the north there was no district more
faithful to ancient customs than the village of
Holdenholm. It was not to be found in my
grandfather's time, and of its situation he could
give no certain information. Some said it stood
on the banks of the Dal, some that it lay beside
the lake of Weenel, some that it rose on the ridge
of the Dovrefeld; but all agreed that a strict
30 A BOX OF STORIES.
adherence to old-world ways had been its chief
distinction. It was even said they did not peel
their turnips there, but ate them, rind and all, in
the most primitive manner. Strangers or traders
introduced no new fashions; there was neither
welcome nor encouragement for such gentry.
The only foreigner who had been known to
settle in Holdenholm, for a hundred years, was
an unlucky Norwegian, who strayed so far to find
refuge-some said from his stepmother, some
from his scolding wife; but he could get nothing
to do, and went southward at the end of the
"Travelling was in such bad repute, as a sign
of unsteady habits, that nobody cared to confess
that he had ever been a league from home; and the
pastor, though a native, was comparatively little
regarded, because he had gone to study at Upsal.
There was no disagreement between the gen-
erations in that village. Son did like father;
daughter, exactly as her mother had done. Old
people, who happened to live longer than usual,
never missed the neighbours of their youth, nor
thought the world had grown wicked or foolish
since they were young.
HE MADNESS OF THE ELDERS. 31
"The Melders had been one of the chief families
in Holdenholm ever since its street was cleared
of the yet more ancient pines. Eighteen Erics
had duly succeeded each other in the cottage, the
field, and the churchyard, and their neighbours
esteemed them all patterns of steadiness, till, in
an evil hour, Eric, the nineteenth, went to cut
wood in the forest, where a company of Jew
pedlars had camped the night before.
"What he found there his neighbours could not
certify, but the general opinion was that it must
have been something strong in a bottle-they had
such things even in the turnip times-and Eric
took to doings the like of which had never been
known in Holdenholm. In the best corner of
his best field he was to be seen in the gray dark
of the morning, and after sundown, delving away
with his wooden spade, as if he hoped to find
some hidden treasure; and instead of sowing tur-
nips in it, as usual, that corner was left to yield
nothing but grass all the summer. The neigh-
bours, of course, concluded that Eric Melder was
mad. That was the only explanation for anything
particular then known in the Norlands; and lest
the village should be infected with such a grievous
32 A BOX OF STORIES.
malady, the burgomaster ordered his immediate
removal to a place of security. Eric left three
sons to manage his affairs; but scarce was he
disposed of to the burgomaster's mind, when the
eldest began to dig and delve in the very same
corner of the very same field, and no persuasion
could induce him to sow turnips there. The
neighbours knew what ought to be done, and they
did it; but in the next spring his brother was in
the same corner, hoeing with all his might in
open day. In short, this strange infection spread
through every branch of the Melders. Eric's
three sons, his five brothers, seven nephews, his
sons-in-law, and even his daughters, all took to
cultivating nothing but grass in the best corners
of their fields, and were, one after another, sent
to the same quarters.
"In these good old times there was but one
madhouse in all the Norlands, and it was now so
full of Melders that the question was,what must be
done with the next whose judgment might happen
to forsake him. The barons and burgomasters of
the country could not settle it, and by a solemn
deputation they laid the matter before the king.
My grandfather, being no historian, never could
TIE MADNESS OF THE ELDERSR. 33
be sure which of our ancient monarchs then filled
the throne of Sweden. It was probably the wise
king Woldo, who issued no coinage, but pieces
of leather on which his name was written, and
made no wars except against the bear and the
wolf. When he heard the wonderful story from
Holdenholm, the wise monarch, without the
advice of his privy-council, determined to hunt
that way. The villagers, charmed with his con-
descension, and in great fear of his hounds, which,
tradition says, were as large as the mountain
bear, deputed the burgomaster to show him the
misused corners of the fields, and explain to his
majesty how many Melders were in the Norland
madhouse. If loyalty had not forbidden, the
steady dwellers of Holdenholm would have
doubted the soundness of the royal brain; for
King Waldo commanded the grass, which the
Melders had cultivated at so large a cost, to be
taken special care of, and proceeded, it is said,
with his train to remove them from durance.
Back they came, with Eric at their head, and
every man fell to work in the corners. Under
their management the grass grew taller than ever
grass was seen in Sweden, and at midsummer it
34 A BOX OF STORIES.
began to shoot forth long green ears. In short,
neighbours, it was barley, and my grandfather
could not say how long after turnips remained in
fashion. Doubtless the steadfast people of Hol-
denholm despised the new-fangled grass for
many a year, and stuck to the honest fare of
their forefathers; but mills and ovens, stills and
brew-houses, came gradually into use throughout
Sweden, and were venerable institutions in my
grandfather's youth. The old man could not
confirm his story by the evidence of chronicle or
charter, but I have heard him say 'that whoso-
ever will plant among men any good thing,
whether of use or of learning, must reckon on
much miscalling in his day, and some trouble
like the madness of the Melders.'"
THE TWO BROTHERS.
SNi,.'E upon a time there were two brothers:
S-.. seph, who was rich as a lord; and James,
who was as poor as Job's turkey, and had
scarcely enough to live upon. But poor
as one was in fortune, as pitiful was the other in
mind, for he would not have given his brother a
farthing, even were it to save his life; so that
poor James in despair left his native country, and
set out to wander all over the face of the world.
So he wandered on and on, till one wet and
cold evening he came to an inn, where he found
twelve youths seated round a fire, who, when they
found poor James benumbed with cold, partly
from the severe season and partly from his ragged
clothes, invited him to sit down by the fire.
James accepted the invitation, for he was
greatly in need of it, and began to warm himself.
And as he was warming himself, one of the young
36 A BOX OF STORIES.
men, whose face was such a picture of sourness
as to make you feel sorry for him when you
looked at him, said:
"Well, neighbour, what think you of this
"What do I think of it!" replied James; "I
think that all the months of the year perform
their duty, but we, who know not what we would
have, wish to give laws to heaven; and wanting
to have things our own way, we do not dive
deeply enough to the bottom to find out whether
what comes into our fancy be good or evil, useful
or hurtful. In winter, when it rains, we want
the sun, and when it shines in the month of
August we want the clouds to discharge them-
selves; never thinking that were this the case
the seasons would be turned topsy-turvy, the
seed sown would be lost, the crops would be de-
stroyed, the bodies of men would faint away, and
nature would go head over heels. Therefore, let
us leave heaven to its own course."
"You speak like Solomon," said the sour-faced
youth; "but you cannot deny that this month of
March, in which we now are, is very impertinent
to send all this frost and rain, snow and hail,
THE TWO BROTHERS. 37
wind and storm, these fogs and tempests, and
other troubles that make one's life a burden."
"You speak only of the ills of this month,"
answered James, "but you don't speak of the
benefits it yields us; for by bringing forward the
spring, it commences the production of things,
and is alone the cause that the sun proves the
happiness of the present time, by leading him
into the house of the Ram."
The youth was greatly pleased at what James
said, for he was in truth no other than the month
of March himself, who had arrived at that inn
with his eleven brothers; and to reward James's
goodness, who had not even found anything ill to
say of a month so gloomy that even the shepherds
do not like to mention it, he gave him a beautiful
little casket, saying:
"Take this, and if you want anything, only ask
first, and opening this box you will see it before
James thanked the youth, with many expres-
sions of respect, and laying the little box under
his head, by way of a pillow, he went to sleep.
As soon, however, as the sun, with the pencil
of his rays, had retouched the dark shadows of
38 A BOX OF STORIES.
night, James took leave of the youths and set out
on his way. But he had hardly proceeded fifty
yards from the inn, when, opening the casket, he
said, "Ah! my friend, I wish I had a litter well
lined with warm fur, and with a little fire inside,
that I might travel warm and comfortable through
the snow." No sooner had he uttered the words
than there appeared a litter, with bearers, who,
lifting him up, placed him in it, whereupon he
told them to carry him home.
When the hour was come to set the jaws to
work, James opened the casket and said:
"I wish for something to eat;" and instantly
there appeared a profusion of the choicest food,
and there was such a banquet that ten crowned
kings might have feasted upon it.
One evening, having come to a wood, James
opened the casket and said:
"I should like to rest upon this beautiful spot;"
and instantly there appeared, under an oil-cloth
tent, a fine scarlet couch, with down mattresses
and Spanish counterpanes, and sheets as light as
Then he asked for something to eat, and in a
trice there was set out a sideboard covered with
THE TWO BROTHERS. 39
gold and silver fit for a prince; and under an-
other tent a table was spread with viands, the
savoury smell of which extended a hundred miles.
When he had eaten enough he laid himself
down to sleep; and as soon as the cock, who is
the spy of the sun, announced to his master that
the shades of night were wearied and worn, and
it was now time for him, like a skilful general,
to fall upon their rear and make a slaughter of
them, James opened his little box and said:
"I wish to have a handsome dress, for to-day
I shall see my brother, and I should like to make
his mouth water."
No sooner said than done; immediately a
princely dress of the richest black velvet appeared,
with edgings of red camlet, and a lining of yellow
cloth embroidered all over, which looked like a
field of flowers. So dressing himself, James got
into his litter, and soon reached his brother's house.
When Joseph saw his brother arrive with all
this splendour and luxury, he wished to know
what good fortune had befallen him. Then
James told him of the youths whom he had met at
the inn, and of the present they had made him, but
he said nothingof his conversation with the youths.
40 A BOX OF STORIES.
Joseph was now all impatience to get away
from his brother, and told him to go and rest
himself, as he was no doubt tired; then he started
post-haste, and soon arrived at the inn, where,
finding the same youths, he fell to chatting with
them. And when the youth asked him the same
question, what he thought of that month of
March, Joseph, making a big mouth, said:
"Confound the miserable month! the enemy of
the shepherds, which stirs up the ill humours and
brings sickness to our bodies-a month of which,
whenever we would announce ruin to a man, we
say, 'Go, March has shaved you!'-a month of
which, when you wish to call a man presumptuous,
you say, 'What cares March?'-a month, in short,
so hateful, that it would be the best fortune for
the world, the greatest blessing to the earth, the
greatest gain to men, were it excluded from the
band of brothers."
March, who heard himself thus slandered, sup-
pressed his anger till the morning, intending then
to reward Joseph for his calumny; and when
Joseph wished to depart, he gave him a fine whip,
saying to him:
"Whenever you wish for anything, only say,
THE TWO BROTHERS. 41
'Whip, give me a hundred!' and you shall see
pearls strung upon a rush."
Joseph, thanking the youth, went his way in
great haste, not wishing to make trial of the whip
until he reached home. But hardly had he set foot
in the house, when he went into a secret chamber,
intending to hide the money which he expected
to receive from the whip. Then he said, "Whip,
give me a hundred," and thereupon the whip gave
him more than he looked for, making counterpoint
on his legs and back like a musical composer, so
that James, hearing his cries, came running to the
spot; and when he saw that the whip, like a run-
away horse, could not stop itself, he opened his
little box and brought it to a stand-still.
Then he asked Joseph what had happened to
him, and upon hearing his story he told him he
had no one to blame but himself, for, like a block-
head, he alone had caused his own misfortune,
acting like the camel that wanted to have horns
and lost its ears. He bade him mind another
time and keep a bridle on his tongue, which was
the key that had opened to him the storehouse of
misfortune; for if he had spoken well of the youths,
he would perhaps have had the same good for-
42 A BOX OF STORIES.
tune, especially as to speak well of anyone is a
merchandise that costs nothing, and usually brings
profit that is not expected.
In conclusion, James comforted him, bidding
him not seek more wealth than Heaven had given
him, for his little casket would suffice to fill the
houses of thirty misers, and Joseph should be
master of all he possessed, since to the generous
man heaven is treasurer; and he added, that al-
though another brother might have borne Joseph
ill-will for the cruelty with which he had treated
him in his poverty, yet he reflected that his
avarice had been a favourable wind which had
brought him to this port, and therefore wished to
show himself grateful for the benefit.
When Joseph heard these things, he begged his
brother's pardon for his past unkindness, and
entering into partnership, they enjoyed together
their great good fortune, and from that time for-
ward Joseph spoke well of everything, however
bad it might be; for
"The dog that is scalded with hot water,
Has ever after a dread of cold water."
RABBITS, THE FOXES, AND THE MAN
WITH THE GUN.
N a wild exposed promontory, jutting out
S into the sea, round which the wild waves
roared and foamed, there was situated a
rabbit warren. Hundreds of these pretty brown
animals, with their odd, stumpy white tails, long
ears, and sleek, furry skins, had made their bur-
They were very happy rabbits, on the whole,
getting plenty of grass and roots to eat; but every
now and then, the man to whom the warren be-
longed would come with some other men, and,
for a whole day, their guns would go, bang, bang,
bang! and many large bags were filled with the
bodies of murdered rabbits before they went
".way again, for the man sold their skins to the
44 A BOX OF STORIES.
furrier to make muffs and tippets for the ladies
and their little girls. And then it was with the
rabbits as it is with men after nations have been
fighting with each other. One had lost a mother,
a mother her child, a wife a husband; and for a
time they were all very sad. But rabbits are
thoughtless creatures; and they soon forgot their
relations and friends, and went playing hide and
seek in and out of their holes, and behind the
sand-hills, just as if there was not such a thing
as a gun in the world-until the man and his
men came again.
But the rabbits had other enemies than the
men and their guns, and these were the foxes.
In a hole on the side of a gorse-covered hill lived
two old foxes and their cubs, as young foxes are
called. Now foxes, like other animals and people,
must eat, and it happens that what they like best
they can only get by stealing. But, after all, the
foxes did not know it was wrong to steal, so we
must not be too hard on them.
Foxes are particularly fond of ducks and geese,
to which they cannot possibly assert any right,
they being domestic animals; but rabbits are also
great favourites of theirs, and to these they seem
THE RABBITS, ETC. 45
to have more claim, as, being wild, they cannot
belong to any one, any more than the foxes, whom
It happened that one of the young foxes who
dwelt in the hole on the side of the furze-covered
hill had been very ill, and the cause was this.
He was very young, too young, indeed, to seek
his own food, his teeth being small, and not
strong enough to crack a bone; but though
young, he was greedy, and, his father bringing
home a nice fat duck one night, he seized a leg;
but, alas for him! he was unable to manage it,
and the bone stuck in his throat. For some time
the family despaired of his life; but at the time
our story commences he was slowly recovering.
"Ah! father," said Bushytail the sick fox, in a
despairing tone, "I feel so hungry to-night!"
"I'm delighted to hear you say so, my boy,"
replied the father. "What have you got in the
house, Mrs. Fox?"
"Nothing," answered the mother, without a
"Nothing!" exclaimed Mr. Fox. "Why, what
have you done with that goose I brought home
46 A BOX OF STORIES.
"It's all gone. Reynard and Slyboots were
out on the hill all morning, and came home so
hungry!" answered his wife. "But why have
you brought nothing home? You've been out
all day. I made sure you would at least bring
home a rabbit."
"I've been out hunting," said the fox queru-
lously, evidently not pleased with his wife's
"Of course," said Mrs. Fox; but why did you
not bring something home with you?"
"I've been hunting men, and horses, and dogs,"
replied the fox with a lofty air; "but I was hardly
in condition, and so they escaped from my pursuit."
The young foxes looked up admiringly; but the
wife sighed and shook her head, for she knew her
husband was not speaking the truth, and that,
so far from his having been hunting the men,
and horses, and dogs, he had himself been hunted,
and had had a narrow escape. Indeed, had it not
been for the night closing in, he would never have
returned home to his family, but been torn in
pieces by the dogs, and his tail-his handsome
bushy tail-cut off, and hung up as a trophy in
the hall of the squire
THE RABBITS, ETC. 47
"I'm so hungry!" sighed Bushytail again. "I
fancy I could pick just a little bit of rabbit-a
nice, young, tender one."
"You shall have one, my son," replied his
father. "As soon as it is properly dark I will
start for the warren and get one."
In a short time the old fox set off, and in about
an hour he returned with a beautiful young
rabbit swung over his back, of which, after Mrs.
Fox had prepared it, not only Bushytail, but the
rest of the family partook, and pronounced deli-
cious. The next night the fox went again to the
warren, and returned with another rabbit, which
proved even more delicious than the first; and so
on, for many nights-for he was, in spite of his
other faults, a kind father, and did not care what
trouble he took to provide for the wants of his
But as the young foxes grew, they required
more to eat, so the father and mother went to-
gether, and each brought home a rabbit. At last,
so many of the rabbits had lost some one of their
relations, that they determined to find out the
murderers, and put a stop to their crimes and
depredations; so they set a watch and soon found
48 A BOX OF STORIES.
out that it was the foxes. But what they were
to do by way of reprisal they knew not. In their
dilemma they thought of the man with the gun
and his men, who so often came and banged away
"If he could only give the foxes a good fright:
we do not wish them killed," said the rabbits.
So they sent a deputation to the man with the
gun, begging him to frighten away the foxes.
He promised all they asked, and they went
away quite satisfied with their success, and said
to each other that, after all, the man with the gun
was not so badly disposed towards them, seeing
that he so readily undertook to protect them from
their bushy-tailed enemies. However, it was
from no love for the rabbits that the man had
determined to wage war against the foxes, but
because he knew that if he did not do so, he
would be sure to lose a good many skins.
The very same night the man with the gun
went down to the warren, and, having found the
track the fox had made, he set a trap, and also a
noose or snare, that he might get caught in one,
or entangled in the other.
That evening, the old fox having hurt his foot
ITHE RABBITS DEPUTATION.
THE RABBITS, ETC. 49
in trying to get into a hen-roost, his wife was
obliged to go by herself. As she came near the
warren, she thought she heard a noise; so she
turned round and got over a hedge at some dis-
tance from her usual course, and thus for a time
she escaped the snare.
I am alone," said Mrs. Fox; "and if I only take
home a little rabbit, the children will not have
enough for supper, so I must try and get a good
large fat one."
She was soon fortunate enough to catch a fine
plump one; and, throwing it across her back, she
turned her steps homeward.
"I may as well go by the shortest way," said
she to herself, "this rabbit is rather heavy."
So saying, she took the old track, and only dis-
covered her error when it was too late to retreat.
She was caught, owing in a great measure to her
heavy load, which helped to entangle her the
more as she struggled to get free.
The man with the gun, hearing the scuffle,
came down, and soon killed Mrs. Fox.
He buried her body close by, and set a snare
on her grave; for, said he to himself, "Doubtless
this fox, thief as she is, has relatives who will
50 A BOX OF STORIES.
miss her, and will come to look after her and my
rabbits; and I may perhaps catch some more of
Mr. Fox, and Reynard, Bushytail, and Slyboots,
his sons, sat waiting and listening at home; but
no mother nor any supper made an appearance.
They sighed and grumbled, and at last were
obliged to go to bed without anything to eat.
The next day passed, but still no Mrs. Fox ap-
peared. She was lying quiet under the green
sod with the noose above her, waiting for those
she loved best. Old Mr. Fox fared the worst.
Such a kind affectionate wife, so loving a mother,
could hardly leave a lame husband and helpless
family to starve. No! death alone could account
for her absence. Two days passed, and he and
his family were on the verge of perishing with
hunger. Still, the old fox's foot was so bad from
the nail which had run into it, that he could
hardly put it on the ground; and, had his own
life only been at stake, he would gladly have lain
down and died.
But Reynard, Bushytail, and Slyboots were
"I will try and reach the warren," said he,
THE RABBITS, ETC. 51
So bidding the young ones keep good heart till
he returned, he sallied forth. Slow were his
steps and weary the way; and the loss of his dear
companion made him feel very sad. As he neared
the gap in the wall by which he had been in the
habit of entering the rabbit warren, what was it
that made him lift his head and sniff the air?
He felt, nay, he knew his wife was not far off;
and as he got through the gap he saw the little
mound under which poor Mother Fox lay buried;
he uttered a low whine, and lay down upon it to
die! For he became entangled in the snare, and
when the man with the gun came next morning,
he found poor, loving, devoted Mr. Fox, lying cold
and stiff on the grave of his poor wife!
The man with the gun was now quite satisfied
that he had destroyed the foes of the rabbits, and
took no further trouble in the matter. As for the
three young foxes left at home, they became so
alarmed at the mysterious disappearance of their
parents, that they were too frightened to go in
search of them; and shortly afterwards they
removed to another part of the country, from
whence nothing was ever heard of them. The
rabbits were now left entirely undisturbed by
52 A BOX OF STORIES.
foxes, and sent another deputation to the man
with the gun to thank him for his kind inter-
vention on their behalf. To this he replied that
he was only too glad to have been of any service
to them, at the same time, however, saying to
himself, "No foxes, more rabbits." The deputa-
tion then withdrew, and were regaled with a
luncheon of lettuce leaves and carrots in the
kitchen of the man with the gun.
THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG.
r was on Saturday morning, in the spring of
the year, and probably in Germany, the
S land of smokers, that a worthy Hedgehog
was seen walking up and down in front
of his modest hut, puffing great clouds of
smoke from a meerschaum pipe nearly as large
as himself. This modest hut he and his industri-
ous wife had ingeniously made of thorns and
brambles. To protect his family from the ravag-
ing propensities of the aristocratic dogs, the sly
old fellow had only left a small hole as an
entrance to his abode, protecting it by a portcullis
of strong thorns, and by planting several thistle
trees on both sides of the door, as it may be
Being Saturday morning, there was a great
washing going on inside the hut; not of clothes,
54 A BOX OF STORIES.
but of children, which accounted for the shrill
squeaks and screams that were heard outside, and
which had probably driven the father of the
family to smoke his pipe out of doors.
Mrs. Hedgehog was a resolute woman, and
when she had anything to do she did it with all
her might. Having resolved upon thoroughly
cleaning her little ones once a week, she did it
well, and fixed upon Saturday, because she
wanted all her scrubbing done on one day.
Accordingly, early every Saturday morning the
young brood saw, with terror, a huge cabbage
leaf dragged into the room and filled to the brim
with water, and a big oyster shell, full of white
sand, placed beside it. Seizing the eldest child
by the ear, Mrs. Hedgehog placed him between
her knees, and, with a handful of nettles, dipped
in sand, began her operations with such a will
that, not unfrequently, dirt and skin disappeared
On this particular morning, when the family
washing was completed, and the little victims of
cleanliness were huddled round the fire getting
dry, Mrs. H. went bustling about and prepared
THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG. 55
"Hoggie, Hoggie! breakfast is ready," soon cried
the good woman; and, calling her children, she
tied on their bibs.
"Good Hedgy!" grunted the portly father, as
he entered and placed his great pipe on the
mantelpiece; "breakfast already, the children
washed, the house clean and cozy! Come, then,
comfort of my heart, and kiss me! "
"Oh, fiddlesticks! eat your fried worms while
they are hot," replied the practical wife, placing
the food on the table, and drawing in a chair for
"Ah! delicious, delicious!" cried her husband;
"where and when did you catch this fine fat
"Don't you know it's the early bird that catches
the worm?" said Mrs. Hedgehog; "and while
you lay dreaming about worms this morning I
got up and caught them."
After breakfast had been discussed, Mr. Hedge-
hog rose and said:
"I think, my dear, I had better go to the
cabbage field and see whether the plants require
hoeing. I'll be back to dinner."
I'm sure you will," replied his wife a little
56 A BOX OF STORIES.
sharply; but he did not mind her. Turning to
his eldest boy, he said:
"Hodgy-podgy, go fill my pipe; and you,"
turning to the youngest one, "you get my walk-
After leisurely walking a short distance, Mr.
Hedgehog arrived in sight of his cabbage field,
and who should he see standing there but the
young aristocrat, Lord Hare.
"'Your servant, my lord," said Hedgehog,
rapidly advancing; "to what am I indebted for
the honour of your lordship's early call? "
"For that honour you are indebted to my legs,
which brought me here," replied his lordship;
"and I came to buy some of your cabbages."
"How incautious of your lordship to expose
yourself to such great danger! This is the hunt-
ing-ground of the dogs, and your old enemies
would kill you, were they but to scent you out,"
replied Hedgehog with a warning shake of his
head; although this was only said because the
latter did not care about Lord Hare's purchasing
his cabbages; he always selected the best, but
had an awkward habit of forgetting to pay for
THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG. 57
"It might be dangerous for you," retorted the
hare; "but my legs enable me to defy capture."
"Never pride yourself upon earthly things;
they are very often a delusion and a snare. Now,
I don't pride myself upon the swiftness of my
legs; but I think I can run you a race, and beat
you, at any time."
"What a joke!" cried the hare, holding his
sides for laughter. "Will you venture against
me on a racecourse the length of your own nose?"
"Softly, softly, my lord," replied Hedgehog.
"I will wager as high as you can wish that I will
beat you in a running race, and let the distance
be from here to the other end of my field,-yon-
der, where the thistle trees are growing."
"Be it so," said the Hare contemptuously.
"If I lose you shall win a ducat and a bottle of
I have neither ducats nor champagne; but if
I lose," answered Hedgehog, "I will give you my
eldest son to be your servant for five years."
"All right, my good fellow; I promise to be a
good master to your boy. And now, let us
"Not yet, my good lord; the business of this
58 A BOX OF STORIES.
world must not be done in haste, but requires
preparation. I must go home first and rest my-
self, be rubbed, and greased too; then I will
return and wait your pleasure. Let us meet here
at twelve o'clock, and start when the village bell
gives the last stroke of noon."
"Very well," said the Hare. "I certainly
believe you will require all these preparations,
and many more, to outrun me. Meanwhile, by
way of preparation, I will take a run for a mile
or two. Adieu! Hoggie;" and off he strutted,
delighted with the idea of getting a valet de
chambre on such easy terms; for the Hare was
poor, and had to do much of his own domestic
"I'll catch you, you thief! too poor to buy, too
proud to work," soliloquized the Hedgehog, as he
plodded homeward. "Perhaps you think that I
would consider it an honour to have my son
grow up under your poverty-stricken tuition,
and that you also honour us by eating our best
cabbages for nothing. But I'll catch you, and, at
any rate, get paid for once."
Hedgey, my dear," said he to his wife, after
he had taken a short rest in his easy chair, "go
THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG. 59
and dress yourself, and make yourself appear
exactly the same as I do."
"Hoggie, are you crazy? said Mrs. H. "What
is the matter with you this morning?"
"Go and do as I tell you; I am going to run a race
with Lord Hare," said Hoggie, with an air of pride.
Mrs. Hedgehog jumped up, threw her arms
wildly about, dropping a plateful of snails that
she was preparing for dinner, and shrieked:
"What! you run a race with Hare-that
dancing-master! Oh! you blockhead! where
have your senses gone?"
"Foolish woman, can you not believe in the
wisdom of your lord and master? Go, get your-
self ready. I promise you we will sup on cham-
pagne to-night, and I will adorn your neck with
a golden ducat; for these are the stakes Lord
Hare has put up," replied her husband in a con-
"Why, if I lose, which is impossible if you
play your part well, our Hodgepodgy will have
to serve Lord Hare five years for nothing"
"01O! heartless father! exclaimed Mrs. Hedge-
hog; "and so you have sold our boy to an un-
60 A BOX OF STORIES.
principled aristocrat? Come here, my darling!
Your mother will defend your liberty with her
life as long as these nails and arms are hers;"
and clutching the affrighted Hodgepodgy in her
embrace, she wept aloud.
"Why don't you keep cool, Hedgy, instead of
going on in that manner," said the husband and
father. I tell you it all depends upon yourself
whether you lose your son or win gold and wine.
Sit down by me, now, and listen. As soon as
you are dressed so as to look like me, you must
hasten to the north end of our cabbage field and
hide under the thistle-trees that stand at the end
of the sixth furrow; listen there for the village
clock's last stroke of twelve; it is the signal for
our start. I run in the sixth furrow, Lord Hare
in the seventh. I shall not run, but dodge round
at the outset, and hide under the cabbages. Im-
mediately Lord Hare arrives at the end of his
furrow, raise yourself on your hind-legs and cry,
'I am here!' in as loud and deep a voice as you
"Oh, you rogue!" said his wife. "But don't
you fear he will find out your trick?"
"One Hedgehog looks exactly like another,"
THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG. 61
calmly replied the old schemer; "so go and get
All in a tremble the poor woman said good-
bye to her children, and, after a short toilet,
started off for the north end of the cabbage field.
Soon after Hedgehog also trotted off with Hodge-
Lord Hare was already on the spot, strutting up
and down with the air of a victor.
"So you are here at last," he said to Hedgehog;
" and this is my little servant ?" he added, lifting
Hodgepodgy's snout with his dainty paw.
With a jerk and a squeak the urchin slipped
behind his father.
"The first stroke of twelve," said Hedgehog, as
the village clock gave forth the sound. "Position!
Each competitor stood in his furrow, and
"Boom!" sounded the last stroke of the hour.
The Hedgehog made a grand display of arms and
legs, and then quietly wheeled under the cabbages.
The Hare went off like a flash of lightning.
Judge of the latter's surprise, however, when, on
his arrival at the goal, he saw the Hedgehog
already there, and heard him call out:
62 A BOX OF STORIES.
I am here!"
"The mischief you are!" exclaimed the Hare;
" then back again. One, two, three!" and off he
jumped, while Mrs. Hedgehog crept under the
thistles, and her husband laughed under the
cabbages, where he had heard the whole con-
"I am here!" said the same voice, when the
panting Hare returned to his starting-place!"
"This cannot be; there must be some mistake,"
said the surprised and angry Hare. "Let us try
"Very well," said Hedgehog. "One, two, three
"I am here!" again met the ears of the bewil-
dered Hare on his second arrival at the north end
of the field.
Then, back again," groaned the poor Hare;
and, without a single second, he dashed off at a
wonderful rate, his furry body fairly flying.
But, alas! it was all in vain; the same terrible
"I am here!" greeted him as he again reached
"Oh, dreadful!" he gasped. "I shall never
outlive this mortification. Dear friend, give me
THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG. 63
one more trial, and if I fail you shall take all my
property, and I will exile myself from my native
Very well, my lord," said the cunning old
Hedgehog; "but you must admit you have
clearly lost your wager. However, I will be
magnanimous. Try, then, once more."
And again the poor Hare started. Had he but
looked back he could have seen father and son
turning somersaults in the middle of the furrow.
But, as it was, the Hare ran on with all his might.
But, when half-way to the goal, his breath gave
out; he leaped, staggered, and fell down dead,
his heart being fairly broken through the middle.
Now, the Hedgehogs came running to the
Hare, pretending to be full of sorrow, and making
believe to do everything to restore or revive him;
but all in vain; the Hare was dead, and remained
Then they carried the body home, and had a
coffin made for it. They then brought it back
to the spot where the Hare fell, so valiantly
fighting for his fame, where they made a grave
and buried him.
They then succeeded to his property, after
64 A BOX OF STORIES.
which they returned home, and had a great
jollification in honour of the event. Father
Hedgehog pierced a hole through a golden ducat,
and put it on a chain which the children formed
out of dandelion blossoms; and then, with great
solemnity, the husband decorated the neck of his
wife with the ducat and the chain. They then
danced and drank till there was no more to
drink, and as their feet were tired, they all went
to bed, where they slept as sound as though they
had been righteous, instead of murdering, plun-
A FEW LAST-CENTURY ANECDOTES
" _ATURALISTS have usually assigned the
S ift of superior intelligence among brute
creatures to the horse, the elephant, and
the dog; but without disparagement to the noble
instincts and wonderful docility of the two for-
mer animals, we might justly give pre-eminence
to the latter. The amazing sagacity of the dog,
his gratitude, his unshaken fidelity, that acute
sense of shame which often betrays his faults,
and that consciousness of good desert with which
he comes to claim the reward of his services, are
circumstances of self-conviction, of thought, or in-
telligence, very nearly resembling that which we
observe in the human character. These qualities,
together with his great utility for various pur-
poses, have rendered him the early attendant and
66 A BOX OF STORIES.
common favourite of man. Every anecdote there-
fore that tends to elucidate the nature and powers
of this animal must be particularly interesting to
the lovers of natural history. Many and wonder-
ful are the instances of sagacity, fidelity, and at-
tention, and even of foresight, which these faith-
ful animals have evinced towards their masters.
Some such will doubtless occur to the mind of
every reader as falling under his own observa-
tion. The anecdotes which follow have been
gathered from several sources, but are completely
authentic, which is perhaps one of the first re-
commendations to anecdotes of this nature.
M. Valde, in his journey through France, pub-
lished in 1792, gives a curious account of the
manner in which the country people in the neigh-
bourhood of Peronne and Doulens had trained
their dogs to elude the vigilance of the officers of
the revenue. At night these animals were laden
each with a parcel of goods proportioned to its
size, except one alone who was their leader, and
went without any burden. A crack of a whip
was the signal for them to set out. The leader
travelled at a little distance before the rest, and
if he perceived the traces of any stranger, he
ANECDOTES OF DOGS. 67
returned to the other dogs; these either took a
different way, or if the danger was pressing con-
coaled themselves behind the hedges, and lay
close till the patrol had passed. When they ar-
rived at the habitation of their master's associate,
they hid themselves in the neighboring fields
and hedges, while their leader went to the house
and scratched at the door or barked till he was
admitted, when he lay quietly down as at home;
by this the smuggler knew that the caravan had
arrived, and if the coast was clear he went out
and gave a loud whistle, when the dogs came run-
ning to him from their several hiding-places.
At the time of the French Revolution at the
end of the last century, a dog went daily to the
parade before the palace of the Tuileries, thrust
himself between the legs of the musicians, marched
with them, halted with them, and after the parade
disappeared until the next morning, when he re-
sumed this occupation. The constant attendance
of this dog, and the pleasure which he seemed to
take in the music, made him a favourite with the
band, who gave him the name of Parade." One
gave him food to-day, another to-morrow; and
he understood, by a slight signal and a word or
68 A BOX OF STORIES.
two, whom he was to follow for his dinner; after
which, faithful to his independence, the dog
always withdrew in spite of any caresses or
threats. Sometimes he went to the opera and
sometimes to the Comedie Italienne, in each of
which houses he found his way to the orchestra,
and would lie down quietly in one corner
In the year 1791 a person went to a house in
Deptford to take lodgings under pretence that he
had just arrived from the West Indies; and after
having agreed on terms, said he should send in
his trunk that night, and come himself next day.
About nine o'clock in the evening a trunk was
brought by two porters, and was carried into the
bed-room. Just as the family were preparing to
go to bed, their little house-dog, deserting his
usual station in the shop, placed himself close to
the door of the chamber where the chest was de-
posited, and kept up an incessant barking. The
moment the chamber door was opened, the dog
flew at the chest, against which it barked and
scratched with great vehemence and fury. At
first they tried to get the dog out of the room,
but in vain. Calling in some neighbours, and
ANECDOTES OF DOGS. 69
making them eye-witnesses of the circumstances,
they began to move the trunk about, when they
quickly discovered that it contained something
alive. Suspicion increasing, they were induced
to open it, when to their utter astonishment who
should present himself but their new lodger, who
had been thus conveyed in to rob the house.
The servant of Sir Henry Lee, of Blenheim in
Staffordshire, had formed the design of murder-
ing his master and robbing the house; but the
night he had fixed on for the committal of the
deeds, a mastiff, which had never been much
taken notice of by its master, for the first time
followed him upstairs when he retired to rest,
got under the bed, and could not be removed by
either master or man. In the dead of night the
same servant entered the room to execute his
horrid design, but was instantly seized by the
dog, and being secured confessed his intentions.
Sir Henry was so much impressed with the saga-
cious faithfulness of the hitherto neglected mas-
tiff, that he had his portrait painted by Johnston
and hung in his dining-room. There were ten
quaint lines in one corner of the picture which
70 A BOX OF STORIES.
"But in my dog, whereof I made no store,
I find more love than those I trusted more."
Dogs will sometimes imitate the actions of
their masters, will open a door that is fastened
with a latch, or pull a bell where they are de-
sirous of gaining admittance. Faber mentions one
belonging to a nobleman of the Medici family,
which always attended at its master's table, took
from him his plates, and brought him others;
and if he wanted wine, would carry it to him in
a glass placed upon a silver plate without spilling
the smallest drop. The same dog would also hold
the stirrups in its teeth whilst its master was
mounting his horse.
In Petit's Campaign of Italy, published in
1800, we have the following anecdote which
places the nobility and sagacity of the dog in the
most engaging light:-" In traversing the Alps
over the mountain Great St. Bernard, many people
perish among the almost inaccessible rocks, whose
summits are covered with eternal snow. At the
time we crossed them, the chapel of the monas-
tery of St. Bernard was filled with dead bodies
which the dogs had discovered, suffocated and
benumbed under the snow. With what emotions
ANECDOTES OF DOGS. 71
of pleasure did I caress these dogs so useful to
travellers. How can one speak of them without
being moved by their charitable instinct! Not-
withstanding the paucity of our eatables there
was not a French soldier who did not manifest
an eagerness to give them some biscuit, some
bread, and even a share of their meat. Morning
and evening these dogs go out on discovery, and
if in the midst of their wandering courses the
echo of some unfortunate creature ready to perish
reaches their attentive ears, they run towards
those who call out, express their joy, and seem
to bid the sufferer take courage till they have
been to procure assistance; in fact they hasten
back to the convent, and with an air of inquiet-
ude and sadness announce in a very discernible
manner what they have seen. In that case a
small basket is fastened round the dog's neck,
filled with food proper for reanimating life al-
most exhausted; and by following the humane
messenger an unhappy creature is thus frequently
snatched from impending destruction."
During a severe storm in the winter of 1789
a ship belonging to Newcastle was lost near Yar-
mouth, and a Newfoundland dog alone escaped
72 A BOX OF STORIES.
to shore, bringing in his mouth the captain's
pocket-book. He landed amid a number of
people, many of whom in vain endeavoured to
take the book from him. The sagacious animal,
as if sensible of the importance of his charge,
which in all probability was delivered to him by
his perishing master, at length leapt fawningly
against the breast of a man who had attracted
his notice among the crowd, and delivered the
book to him. The dog immediately returned to
the place where he had landed, and watched
with great attention for everything that came
from the wrecked vessel, seizing them, and en-
deavouring to bring them to land.
That dogs are capable of attachment to each
other is also evident from the well-known history
of the dog at St. Alban's, which being left by
his master at an inn there till he returned from
London, and being ill-treated by a large dog
belonging to the house, stole privately off. It
soon returned with a friend that was much larger
and stronger than himself, and both fell upon the
aggressor, and punished him severely for his
cruelty to a stranger. A similar fact is recorded
in Stolberg's Travels in Switzerland of a dog
ANECDOTES OF DOGS. 73
which belonged to the Franciscan convent of
Acradina. The region about was infested by a
wolf, whom his powers alone were not competent
to subdue. For several days successively he care-
fully buried his allotment of meat and bones,
then collected several other dogs, feasted them
from his hoard, conducted them to the chase,
and by their assistance tore the wolf in pieces.
In December 1784 a dog was left by a smug-
gling vessel near Boomer on the coast of North-
umberland. Finding himself deserted he began
to worry sheep, and did so much damage that he
became the terror of the country within a circuit
of twenty miles. When he caught a sheep he bit
a hole in its right side, and after eating the fat
about the kidneys, left it. Several of them thus
lacerated were found alive by the shepherds, and
being taken proper care of some of them recovered
and afterwards had lambs. From his delicacy in
this respect, the destruction he did may in some
measure be conceived, as it may be supposed that
the fat of only one sheep per day would hardly
satisfy his hunger. The farmers were so much
alarmed at his depredations that various means
were devised for his destruction. They frequently
74 A BOX OF STORIES.
pursued him with hounds, greyhounds, &c., but
when the dogs came up with him, he laid down
on his back as if supplicating for mercy, and in
that position they never hurt him. He therefore
lay quietly taking his rest till the hunters ap-
proached, when he made off without being fol-
lowed by the hounds till they were again excited
to the pursuit, which always terminated unsuc-
cessfully. His constant residence during the day
was upon a rock on the Heugh Hill near Howick,
where he had a view of four roads that approached
it; and in March 1785, after many fruitless at-
tempts, he was at last shot there.
A STORY OF A REVOLT.
YqfOMMASO ANIELLO, commonly called
'- Massaniello, was the son of a fisherman of
:'. Amalfi, in Italy, where he was born in the
year 1624. For some years before and after the
birth of our hero, Naples was under the dominion
of the house of Austria, and was governed by
The Neapolitans at this period were not by any
means disaffected towards their governors, and
had hitherto cheerfully paid all the taxes and tri-
butes that had been imposed upon them; but in
1646 a new duty was put on fruit, which, being the
principal food of nearly four-fifths of the popula-
tion, bore hardly upon them, and led to a resist-
ance as sudden as it was unexpected. Petitions
and remonstrances to rescind the obnoxious duty
76 A LOX OF STORIES.
were made to the viceroy, but in vain. That
official felt his pride wounded by the spirit of
opposition displayed against the impost, and
resisted it so strenuously, that an uncontrollable
revolt immediately broke forth, which led to
dire and dreadful results, which have been re-
corded as one of the most successful attempts on
the part of a populace to resist tyranny, in
Massaniello at this time was about twenty-two
years of age, tall and handsome, and with a com-
manding bearing. He wore the usual short linen
trousers, blue waiscoat, and scarlet worsted cap of
the Neapolitan labouring class. His legs and
feet were bare, and his air was that of a young
man possessing a bold and ardent disposition,
entirely unaccompanied by any of the appearances
of ignorance and ferocity usually to be found
among leaders of a mob.
On the evening of the publication of the edict,
our young fisherman was returning home from
his boat in rather a bad humour. He had been
out all day, and the result of his labour was a
very poor "catch." On his way home he met
with an old playmate named Perrone, who in
TOMMASO ANIELLO. 77
former days had been an associate of his in boyish
freaks and mischievous undertakings common to
boys in all countries. Perrone, however, had in a
wrong sense, improved upon his early experiences,
and had become a member of a company of young
men whose means of livelihood were not very
creditable. Massaniello exchanged courtesies with
him, and after a few commonplace remarks, said,
"If I was a man like you, Perrone, and under-
stood how to manage a body of men, I would
soon right this lop-sided city, and set it straight
"No doubt, Tommaso," replied Perrone, "you
would do great things for a day or two; but in
the long run you would just leave everything-
city, tax-makers, tax-payers, governors, and
everything else, pretty much as you found
Massaniello declared on his honour that such
should not be the case if an opportunity offered
itself; and that if he could only find a small
number of young men as bold and resolute as
himself, he would go to work heartily, and that
in three days no tongue should speak, or beard
wag against them in all the country.
78 A BOX OF STORIES.
Perrone and a few friends who had gathered
round, smiled at his enthusiasm, and encouraged
him to proceed. Thus induced, he went on to
express himself in forcible language, and con-
cluded by saying to the rapidly-increasing crowd,
"All of you who swear like me in hearty good
faith, join hands with me, and we will act to-
gether; thousands will come to our aid, and
strong must be the barrier that will stand
"Agreed!" cried several of the bystanders; but
at this moment two of the officers of the city laid
hold of the basket of fish which Massaniello bore
on his arm, and reminded him that he had not
paid the tax for the fish, and insinuated that he
was one of those who wanted to escape by unfair
means from the payment of taxes by law estab-
lished. This proceeding rendered the young
fisherman indignant, and he violently exclaimed:
"I am! and cursed be he through a hundred
generations who pays a tax on fish or fruit, or any
other article of food, inflicted upon us by tyrants
who live in luxury, while we die of hunger and
fatigue!" The crowd applauded this impassioned
statement, and followed Massaniello to his house,
TOMMASO ANIELLO. 79
from the window of which he gave them a part-
ing harangue, in which he indicated his intention
to be in readiness at any moment to take up the
cause of the people, if they would aid him in
making Naples a free city.
The festival of the Carmelites was usually
celebrated in the middle of July; and a part of
the ceremonies consisted of a mock fight, in which
one band of young men represented Turks, and
another company acted as Christians.
The former had to defend a wooden castle
which was supposed to be attacked by the latter.
Massaniello succeeded in getting himself ap-
pointed captain of one of these parties, and
Perrone was appointed to the leadership of the
other. For many days they had thus an oppor-
tunity of reviewing and training their followers,
who were armed with sticks and canes; and not
a few were let into the secret of their being
trained to use them against their oppressors
should an occasion present itself.
But there was no need to wait for the day of
the festival, for a circumstance occurred which
induced the disaffected to break out into open
rebellion at once, and without any preconcerted
80 A EOX OF STORIES.
plan. On the seventh of July a disturbance
happened in the market-place, between the col-
lectors of the tax and some gardeners from
Pozzuoli who had brought some figs into the city,
respecting who should pay the duty, the buyer
or the seller. After the tumult had continued
for some hours, and while the dispute was at its
height, Massaniello suddenly appeared, and with a
loud voice called upon the people to listen to him
"Fools and slaves," said he, "to altercate and
tear each other to pieces, to determine that which
ought to be determined in a far different manner
Why should either party pay this abominable
tax? Is it not levelled at your very lives-does
it not strike at the very roots of your sustenance
-and is it not an affront to nature and to God,
who gives the fruits of the earth to all who will
labour to cultivate and gather them? Cease your
idle clamours, and if you wish to right yourselves,
fight against those who enforce the tax with a
hard hand and harder hearts. Down with the
tax-gatherers! down with the wretches who
would grind you into dust, that you may enjoy
the fruits of your labours like men, and not creep
half-famished into your graves!"
TOMMASO ANIELLO. 81
This appeal, so boldly and suddenly uttered, at
first startled the wondering populace; but after a
few moments' pause, the manner in which they
drew forth their arms and flourished their rude
weapons, seemed to indicate their resolution to
obey the suggestions of the bold young fisherman;
and another similar appeal from his lips induced
a simultaneous rush of the mob to the office, built
in the market-place, for the reception of the
duties. In a few minutes the doors were broken
in, the money found in it scattered in all direc-
tions, the officers beaten and dispersed, and the
office itself began to send up flames which gave
warning to all parts of the city that an insurrec-
tion had commenced.
Thousands of the inhabitants now flocked to
join Massaniello, and with one voice he was
appointed leader of the insurgents. His first
orders were to burn down all the other tax-offices
in the city, and separate parties were speedily
organized, and departed in various directions to
execute them. These quickly returned to the
market-place, and were as rapidly marshalled by
their leader, and marched directly to the palace
of the viceroy, who, alarmed for his own safety,
82 A BOX OF STORIES.
instead of heading his guards and trying to
restore order, escaped from the palace by a back
outlet, while its gates and courts were immedi-
ately thronged by the insurgents, and every room
In the meantime the viceroy was making his
escape towards the Castle del Ovo; but being
overtaken by the rioters, he was seized and
threatened with immediate death. However,
by throwing some handfuls of gold among them,
he again escaped and took refuge in the convent
of Minims, where he was soon after found by the
Archbishop of Naples and several nobles.
To this place Massaniello and his followers now
repaired, and with loud shouts of intimidation
demanded an immediate conference with the
assembled rulers. The large hall of the convent
was at once thrown open, and the affrighted vice-
roy, with Cardinal Filomarino, made his appear-
ance on a platform at the upper end, with several
governors and noblemen.
The young fisherman, covered with blood and
dust, and blackened with smoke and ashes, waved
his hand for his followers to stand back, and
walked boldly into the centre of the hall with
TOMMASO ANIELLO. 83
his sword drawn. As he approached the conclave
he assured them that all danger would be at an
end the moment the unjust tax was repealed,
that in token of peace he would sheath his
sword and promise obedience in the name of his
The cardinal, eager in his desire to seize upon
the favourable moment, hastily drew up an
ordinance by which he abolished all taxes on
provisions, and pardon to all offending during
the insurrection. To secure the good faith of
Massaniello, he also proposed to him the receipt
of an annual pension of two thousand four hun-
dred crowns. This the patriot immediately
rejected, declaring that if the viceroy would
keep his word he would find them obedient
It was now expected that the tumult would
cease; but this is not the only instance that
history affords of the ease with which a storm
can be raised, and the difficulty of quelling it, for
when Massaniello returned to the market-place
with a few followers to restore order, he found
Perrone, his old associate, with many other mal-
contents who were bent on plunder, and who
84 A BOX OF STORIES.
loudly clamoured for the wrecking of the houses
of all concerned in the imposition of the tax. To
resist this demand was impossible, and a reluctant
order was given to the mob to proceed to this act
of retribution, as it was designated. For several
days, therefore, the city was given up to tumult
and disorder; fires were blazing in every direc-
tion; the most costly mansions were levelled to
the ground; the most superb furniture, pictures,
and sculpture were thrown about in confusion or
trampled under foot; while plate, jewels, and other
valuables were carried off by those who waded
through fire and blood and falling ruins to obtain
Massaniello was now "Lord of Naples," and
with his associates, master of the whole city.
His successes induced many high families, whose
fortunes were desperate, to join with him in his
future proceedings, and to exact from the timid
viceroy further concessions. That official, again
taken by surprise, scarcely knew how to act. On
the one hand he seemed personally in danger, the
city in jeopardy, and the lives and properties of
the nobility and clergy at hazard; and on the
other hand, he had no power in himself to grant
TOMMASO ANIELLO. 85
the demands of the multitude. It was impossible
for him to gain time to consult the emperor by
any postponement, as the whole populace were at
his palace gates; and therefore to appease the
insurgents he drew up a false deed in letters of
gold, and sent it to the leaders by their favourite,
the Duke of Matalone. But some of the secret
enemies of the viceroy's council exposed the
fraud, and the duke was pulled from his horse,
ill-treated by the mob, and at last committed as
a prisoner to the custody of Perrone.
Massaniello, in the meantime, tattered and
half-naked, commanded his followers, who were
now well armed, and reckoned about a hundred
thousand men, with a most absolute sway. He
directed all his energies to the accomplishment
of what he considered the freedom of his native
city. He ate and slept little, gave his orders
with great precision and judgment, appeared full
of humility and moderation, and was evidently
not influenced by interested views or personal
But he had unfortunately linked himself with
the vile and the abandoned. The bandit Perrone
-for he was little else-was already jealous of
86 A BOX OF STORIES.
his extraordinary popularity, and hated him for
his moderation and the increasing respect he
obtained from the friends of order and of peace.
He therefore liberated the Duke of Matalone,
upon receiving a bribe, and united in a con-
spiracy with him against Massaniello and the
viceroy, both of whom were to be destroyed;
and Joseph, the brother of the duke, was to be
placed at the head of affairs.
Desirous of restoring order, and cementing
together the new order of things as quickly as
possible, Massaniello was busy negotiating a gen-
eral peace and accommodation, and the convent of
the Carmelites was again chosen as the place for
discussing all the questions. Having full confi-
dence in their leader, the followers of Massaniello
had contented themselves with waiting patiently
for the result, and a great number had departed
to their homes to obtain refreshment and rest,
while the remainder, enfeebled by fatigue, were
but thinly scattered round the hall of conference.
Taking advantage of this circumstance, Perrone
suddenly summoned his adherents, who, being
joined by a number of hired followers of the
duke, amounting altogether to about three hun-
TOMMASO ANIELLO. 87
dred, they surrounded the convent, put those who
resisted to death, burst open the gates, and pene-
trating to the place where the conference was
being held, fired a volley through the window at
Massaniello, the viceroy, and the others who had
assembled together. Massaniello immediately re-
tired from the platform on which he was stand-
ing, and quickly passing through some private
passages, got into a narrow court at the con-
vent, leading to the stables. Here, mounting a
horse, he with incredible swiftness spread the
alarm to his friends, and in a short time was
surrounded by an armed multitude, who made a
furious attack upon Perrone and his party, slew
a hundred and sixty of them, and beheaded
Perrone himself and the Duke of Matalone in the
market-place as traitors.
This conspiracy rendered Massaniello severe
and suspicious, and, being influenced by those
around who secretly hated him, he began to abuse
his power, by putting several persons to death
upon slight pretences; and to force the viceroy to
acquiesce in his terms, he cut off all communica-
tion with his castles, which were unprovided with
provisions and ammunition. The viceroy, like-
88 A BOX OF STORIES.
wise, being afraid lest the French should take
advantage of the commotion, earnestly desired to
agree to a treaty, which was accordingly concluded
on the fifth day of the insurrection. By this
treaty it was stipulated that all duties imposed
since the time of Charles the Fifth should be
abolished, and that the writ of exemption granted
by that emperor should be delivered to the people;
that for the future no new duties should be im-
posed; and other important conditions were added
by mutual arrangement.
When this treaty was solemnly published, the
people manifested extreme joy, believing that
they had now recovered all their ancient rights
and privileges. Massaniello, at the desire of the
viceroy, went to the palace to visit him, accom
panied by the archbishop, who was obliged to
threaten him with excommunication before he
would consent to lay aside his rags and assume
a magnificent dress.
The viceroy now, to preserve some shadow of
his own authority, appointed Massaniello to the
office of captain-general of the forces of the city.
The next day he received a further commission,
which gave him power to establish a sort of
TOMMASO ANIELLO. 89
martial law, for the punishment of all outrages and
violence; and he began to exercise all the power
of sovereign authority. Having caused several
gibbets to be erected in one of the streets, he
pronounced sentence on all those who had been
found disturbing the public peace, and condemned
several to death. This course tended to restore
order in the city and to extinguish the insurrection.
The grandeur and prosperity of Massaniello
were, however, but of short duration; for on the
fourth day of his accession to office he was seized
with violent pains in his head, and trembling,
and was at last both distracted and delirious, yet
still retaining sufficient power over himself to
remain at his post. But the nature of his illness
was soon apparent by his unaccountable and
He continually raved about assassinations and
murder, and gave sudden orders for the seizure
and execution of some of his best friends. But
still the multitude clung to him as their deliverer,
and clustered round him whenever he moved
abroad; and, among the mass of vile characters
that are invariably mixed up with public com-
motions, there were many who took his "madness
90 A BOX OF STORIES.
for a warrant," and under the shadow of his name
committed the cruelest atrocities. At last his
disease took a more serious turn, and some of the
first men in Naples would have fallen victims to
his insane suspicions of plots against his person.
In this state he became so dangerous that the
viceroy at length gave orders for his assassina-
tion, and a band of hired bravos rushed upon him
one day when he was in the midst of a furious
harangue, and stabbed him to the heart. They
then fixed his head upon a pole, and carried it
about the city as in triumph, while his body
suffered every indignity. But a few days after-
wards, upon the price of bread being increased,
they began to regret the death of Massaniello;
and having taken up his body, they carried it in
solemn procession through the city, and afterwards
buried it with all the ceremonies of a royal funeral.
Such is the history of one of the most extra-
ordinary popular revolts upon record. It com-
menced from causes comparatively trifling, swept
away all the usual authority and power of the
state like a hurricane, and like a hurricane, it
soon subsided, leaving behind it only the traces
of its desolating power.
"N, the month of September, 1838, the F..,-,i -
shire, a steamer sailing between Hull and
J' Dundee, after slowly struggling on for
some time in a tremendous gale, became at length
unmanageable, and drifted towards the Fern, or
Fame, Islands off the Northumberland coast, with-
out.being seen either from the lighthouses erected
upon them, or the one at Bamborough Castle on
the mainland. The passengers had all retired to
their berths, not without great fear and anxiety,
but still without any idea of immediate danger.
In the middle of the night they were all suddenly
aroused by order of the captain, who said he
feared they were near sunken rocks. As he was
speaking the vessel struck, and instantly split
into two parts. The helpless passengers had
scarcely time to understand their danger before
92 A BOX OF STORIES.
that portion of the deck on which they stood
sunk beneath the waves, and all were drowned
but one. He threw himself into a boat in which
eight of the crew were endeavouring to escape,
and happily they all got safe to land. The captain,
with his wife in his arms, clung to the wreck
until both were washed overboard together.
The remaining half of the vessel, on which
there were nine of the crew, stuck fast in the
rock on which she had struck. They were safe
for the present, but expected that the returning
tide would wash them away. Anxiously did
they watch for the morning light, in the hope
that some one might perceive their dreadful
situation. And yet what could anyone do for
them? Craggy and dangerous rocky islets lay
between them and the nearest land, and around
these rocks the sea was running mountains high;
they dared not hope for life, when lo! in the
gray light of the early dawn, they perceived a
small boat put off from one of the lighthouses.
As they watched its progress with straining eyes,
they saw that there were only two rowers to
guide the boat on that tremendous sea, and as
it neared them they perceived that one of these
GRACE DARLING. 93
two was a woman. Alas! what hope was there
now! They feared to look, being certain that it
might be engulfed in the waters at any moment.
But no; it was guided by experienced hands, and
rose and sank with the huge billows, as if fearless
of danger. Now it comes nearer, and the rowers
are plainly seen-an aged man and a young girl
-but they seem equal to their arduous task, and
with unwearied energy advance towards the
anxious watchers! They near the breakers!
Surely the boat is gone! Another instant and it
touches the rock: the moment for rescue is seized,
and all are safely brought to shore.
The story of this deed of daring spread, and a
thrill of admiration ran through the kingdom at
the conduct of this heroic girl, and the name of
Grace Darling, the lighthouse-keeper's daughter,
was in the mouth of everybody. All desired to
see her, to express their admiration of her noble
disinterestedness, and crowds hastened to the
spot. They found a simple and unassuming girl,
who, with her parents, lived in one of the light-
houses. She was indeed a heroine, for she gloried
not in the deed she had done; and so natural was
it to her to forget herself and to think of others,
94 A BOX OF STORIES.
that she could not understand why it was thought
so wonderful. She had done as much before, she
said, and gladly would again if she thought she
could save the life of a fellow-creature. She was
overwhelmed with presents and flattery, but they
harmed her not; she remained as unpretending
and simple as ever.
It was ascertained from her father that when
his daughter proposed to go to that fearful rock,
he at first decidedly refused, for he did not
believe the boat could live in such a tempestuous
sea. But when she replied that she would go
alone if he would not accompany her, he resolved
to brave the storm for her sake.
When we think how deeply the old man must
have loved so noble and good a daughter, we may
imagine the grief with which he perceived-as
soon he did-that her cheek became paler and
her step less firm. Gradually her health declined,
and she was removed to a milder air. Finding
no improvement in his beloved child, her father
longed to have her home again. She was brought
back to gladden his heart for a few short weeks,
and then calmly expired on the 22nd of October,
GRACE DARLING. 95
Such is the simple and touching story of Grace
Darling. In Bamborough churchyard, where
she was buried, a monument was erected as an
expression of the sympathy and interest excited
by her heroism, and by the beautiful simplicity
of her character.
PETER KRAMPEN AND THE ELVES.
0V'NCE upon a time, Peter Krampen, a shoo-
maker of Wiessnichtwo, in Germany, had,
through no fault of his own, become so
poor that he had only leather enough left to
make one pair of shoes; and he did not know in
the world where to look for a fresh supply. In
the evening he cut out the leather, meaning to
make it up in the morning; and, as he had a
good conscience, he lay quietly down to sleep,
first commending himself to God. In the morn-
ing he said his prayers, partook of a humble
breakfast of brown bread and milk, lighted his
pipe, and sat down to work, when, lo and behold!
the pair of shoes were already made, and there
they stood, complete and cleaned for sale upon his
board. Peter was perfectly amazed, and knew