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TELL ME A TALE.
A COLLECTION OF SHORT ORIGINAL STORIES
FOR CHILDREN FROM FOUR TO TEN
YEARS OF AGE.
S. BARING GOULD. ETHEL HARDMAN.
MISS C. R. COLERIDGE. LUCY MASSEY.
Dr. J. W. HARDMAN. PHILIP H. NEALE.
A. M. HEATHCOTE. HELEN A. WILMOT-BUXTON.
CHARLOTTE M. YONGE.
SKEFFINGTON & SON, 163, PICCADILLY. W.
THE Tales in this Book are specially intended to be told or
to be read to Children varying in age from four to ten years.
They have been cordially approved by the little ones to whom
they are dedicated, and it is hoped that this favourable verdict
may be confirmed by many other little critics, and that the
tales may help to furnish a satisfactory supply to the never-failing
demand of the Title which is so constantly addressed to those
who are responsible for the entertainment of Children.
TITLE. AUTHOR'S NAME. PAGE.
THE MAGIC UMBRELLA ... A. Heathcote ... I
THE GOOSE CHILDREN ... LZuy Massey ... ... 12
PIXIE LAWN ... ... Charlotte AL Yonge ... 24
LITTLE FRIENDS ... ... Helen A. Wlilmot-Buxton 36
UNDER THE MAYPOLE ... Lucy Massey ... ... 40
ON THE MOUNTAINS ... Helen A. Wilmot-Buxton 45
STOAT'S NEST ... ... Rev. Philip Neale ... 52
GOTTLOB'S PICTURE ... Rev. S. Baring-Gould ... 61
BUNNY ... ... ... A. M. Heathcote ... 76
GRETCHEN, OR THE ENCHANTED
PALACE ... ... Helen A. WVilmot-Buxton 80
BLANCHE'S MAYING ... Miss C. R. Coleridge ... 90
DINO OF THE HILL ... Lucy Massey ... ... 102
PRINCESS SHOCKHEAD .. A. AL Hleathcote ... Ino
LITTLE AND BIG ... ... Ethel Hardman ... 123
THE BLUE BUTTERFLY AND
THE OAF OF THE CAVE Dr. W. Hardman ... 130
hee Magitc umbrella.
BY A. M. HEATHCOTE.
NCE upon a time there lived in a little village on
the edge of a mighty forest three orphan brothers
named Gritz, Fritz, and Witz. They had a nice
little farm, and plenty to live on; but soon after their father
died they grew tired of ploughing fields, and sowing seeds,
and reaping corn, and thought they should like to plough
the great sea, and sow some adventures, and reap the golden
consequences instead; in short, they wanted to have some fun,
and see the world.
So they got a wise old farmer who lived near to look after
their farm for a year, and said he might keep half what he
made by it for himself, and then they all three bought new
strong boots and leather breeches and stout knapsacks, cut
themselves tough ashen clubs, packed up enough food for one
day, and started off through the forest above their village.
Gritz, the eldest, was six feet high, and as strong as a
horse, and he had the most obstinate looking chin that ever
Fritz, the second, was short, slight, and wiry, he was
2 li)bt jtagic XnbrrIa.
thought the cleverest, quickest, and most ingenious lad in the
district, and he had the smallest eyes and the longest fingers
that ever you saw.
Witz, the third, was a jolly stout boy of fifteen, with a
snub nose and straight red hair, he wasn't thought anything
about at all, and he had the shortest nails, and the biggest,
merriest mouth that ever you saw.
The great forest was shaped like a wedge, and if you turned
to the left you soon got through it at the thin end, but if you
went to the right you might walk for thirty miles and still see
nothing but trees. The brothers had often been to the left,
so now they turned to the right, expecting to get to the open
as quickly this way as the other; but they walked, and
walked, and walked all day, and still saw nothing but trunks
of trees when the sun set.
They were very hungry, and had not got much food left, so
Gritz and Fritz looked rather grumpy as they unpacked
their knapsacks, but Witz only said that he was glad to sit
Gritz said he was so much the biggest and strongest that
he wanted more food than the others, so he took a quarter
of each of the others' share-Fritz said nothing, but got
back half his lost portion while Gritz was not looking, and
then exchanged his bit of stale bread for Witz's new roll,
and explained how much more wholesome the former was.
Witz ate what was left him, and said it wasjolly, and then
picked a lot of blackberries, and gave his brothers a good share.
Eb)t fagic BimbrtIIa. 3
Then they lay down to sleep among the trees. Gritz
chose the only soft bit of bank, and stretched out over the
whole of it. Fritz contrived a capital hammock with Witz's
cloak, and used his own for a pillow. Witz slept on some
roughish roots, and said he liked waking early.
He did wake long before the others, and thought he would
lay the breakfast, but there was no breakfast to lay, so he
went to look for some more blackberries, and while he was
picking them he pushed through some bushes, and came all
of a sudden on a funny old man sitting under a tree. He
had a very brown wrinkled face and a long hooked nose, and
was dressed in a glazy mackintosh coat that reached to his
heels; on his head was a round hat made of straw, like the
thatch of a little rick, or an old-fashioned bee-hive, and in his
hand an enormous green umbrella. He looked about two
feet six inches in height, and his umbrella was much the
tallest of the two.
Good morning, Master Witz," he said, I was expecting
you to-day. Let us come and wake up your brothers, and
see how they like a breakfast of nothing but blackberries,"
and he stumped away, shaking off quite a shower of drops
from his hat and coat when he moved, although there had
been no rain for a fortnight.
Witz followed him, not very much surprised that he should
know all about them, for somehow he looked as if he knew
everything, and it seemed natural to do as he bid, and they
soon found Gritz and Fritz grumbling very hard over the
4 jet f)t agic Pnlmrrtda.
want of breakfast. Witz shared his blackberries with them
while he told them about the old man, and the latter having
stared well at them, shook himself like a great dog, so that
the drops flew off in a shower, and made a little rainbow, and
then opened his umbrella, and stuck the handle into the
As he did so it began to swell and grow until it made quite
a tent of green gingham, just big enough for three, and
when he lifted up the side and told them to go in, they found
a table laid out for breakfast inside, and three stools to sit on.
"Thank you," said Witz, as the old man bid them begin,
"but have you had your own breakfast, sir ? "
Yes, to be sure-I had mine on Tuesday week, when last
it rained. Look sharp, or it will all be gone," and sure
enough Gritz and Fritz had already taken the best bits for
When they had finished, the umbrella shut up with a clap,
and who had cleared away the table and washed up the
things was more than they could see.
I hadn't finished my beer," said Gritz.
I couldn't see how that was managed," said Fritz.
Thank you, sir,-that was jolly," said Witz.
But the old man and his umbrella had vanished, and they
set out on their travels again.
At last the forest grew thin, and they began to see water
between the tree stems, and then they found themselves
standing, with rather blank looks, on the edge of a lake, that
b)t ffagic Vmbrtlla. 5
stretched away for miles to the right and left, and seemed
about a league broad.
Gritz proposed wading-but three steps took him up to
Fritz proposed making a raft-but the others said it would
take a week to build.
Witz proposed walking round, but as they turned to do so,
they saw a queer sort of boat coming from a creek close by.
It seemed to be made of green canvass stretched on ribs, the
mast had a crook at the top of it, and the sail looked like a
waterproof cloak; in short it was the old man's umbrella
upside down, and there was his thatched hat peeping over
"Jump in," he cried, "this is the good ship Paragon."
It seemed quite natural by this time to be helped by the
old man, so they all jumped in without more words.
Gritz seated himself in the best place, and stretched out
his long legs so as to be in everyone's way.
Fritz made a swinging seat with his knapsack, and used
Witz's as a footstool, and then took notes as to how the
umbrella was made.
Witz perched himself now here, now there, and looked at
the little waves, and watched the old man steering with a
stiff black gaiter, and asked if he was quite comfortable, and
thought it all awfully jolly.
All too soon for him the keel-that is, the spike-of the
umbrella grounded, and they jumped out, but he was the only
6 b)t fKagic VmTbrfrIa.
one of the three who touched his cap and said thank you.
Again the umbrella shut up with a clap, and dived down
into the lake, old man and all.
Soon after they left the shore they came on a huge field,
with ten thousand wild bulls in it-all mad-some rearing on
their hind legs, some rolling on their backs, some standing on
their heads, and all bellowing. Even Gritz turned pale, but
Witz looked round, and said, I am sure the old man will
help us," and sure enough there he was. The bulls were all
rushing towards them; but the old man threw up his
umbrella and laughed. Down it came on its spike, and
began bounding about like a great, green, bony, dilapidated
raven, flapping its folds, rattling its ribs, opening with a puff,
shutting with a bang, and dancing about among the aston-
ished cattle as if it were as mad as themselves.
First they stopped and stared, then stamped, snorted,
threw up their heels, wheeled round, and made off as hard
as they could, leaving a clear pathway through the middle of
"Now," said the old man, when they were safe on the
other side, and were looking down on a valley with towns
and villages, you see what a capital umbrella this is. If
you can open it I'll give it to you, and you may each
have a day to try-Good bye." And he vaulted on to one of
the mad bulls, sending off a shower of drops in their faces
like a mop, and before they had wiped their eyes he was gone.
Eldest first! cried Gritz, and he seized the umbrella,
bFe M agic miinbrclla. 7
but notwithstanding his great strength he could not open it a
bit. Oh, you won't, won't you," said Gritz, very much
disgusted. Wait till I get to the town "
So they walked on, and soon reached a large, bustling city,
with stalls and workshops, and busy people all about. The
boys had never seen such a place, and at first even the
umbrella was forgotten.
Said Gritz, I could knock down every fellow I see here "
Said Fritz, I could soon make a fortune in this place! "
Said Witz, What a lot of jolly things. But look at that
old woman, she'll break her back." And he helped her up
some steps with her load.
Meantime his brothers each turned to a stall. Gritz asked
for some bread, only paid half the price, and when the baker
complained, knocked him flat down in the road.
Fritz bargained for some meat, and paid the butcher's
daughter so many compliments that she never noticed he had
put an extra half pound into the scales, and had paid her
with a sham coin.
Then Gritz remembered the umbrella, and that his day
was fast passing away, so he turned into a blacksmith's forge,
and asked for the loan of a hammer. He thought one of his
strong blows would soon force the umbrella open, but in-
stead of that the huge hammer split into three bits; one
broke the forge bellows, one knocked half Gritz's teeth down
his throat, and one lamed a valuable horse that was waiting.
to be shod. Gritz dared not refuse to pay for this damage,
8 tl)e fRagic Umnbrdela.
for the townspeople were gathering angrily about the forge,
and when he had done so his purse was empty. However,
he took Witz's money instead, threw the umbrella to Fritz
in a rage, and walked off to get his dinner. Fritz took the
umbrella away quietly to the room they had hired, laid it
down and began to think.
Next morning he was up early, and first he got some oil
and a feather, and oiled every joint in the umbrella that he
could get at, and gently worked, and worked, and tried to
coax it to open, but no, it stuck as hard as if it was all carved
out of stone. Even the little catch in the handle would not
move, and he thought this must be the obstacle, so he went
to the chemist's, and bought the strongest acid he could find,
to try and dissolve the wire-not the least effect did it have,
and so provoked was he that he pushed the bottle away in a
pet, calling the chemist a cheat; it nearly upset, he clutched
at it, and spilt half the acid over his hand and the floor.
Then he found that the chemist was no cheat; his hand was
half skinned, and the carpet was ruined, and he spent the
rest of the day at the surgeon's, and when he had paid his
bill and the landlady's his purse too was empty.
Next day, before Witz had any time to try his hand at the
umbrella they were off again, for his brothers had had enough
of the town.
It doesn't matter a bit," thought Witz, "for if they can't
open it, when Gritz is so strong and Fritz so clever, I shall
never find out the way."
t) fiRagic intbrtlla. 9
So they trudged on, and presently stopped to eat their
dinner by the wayside, but Gritz's mouth was so sore that he
could not touch a bit. Even the bread was too stale and hard
for him. Just then a baker's cart came slowly by, and Witz
running up asked the man if he had some soft new rolls to
sell. He was just going to get them out when he caught
sight of Gritz. Oh no, thank you," he said, whipping up
his horse, "he gave me a roll in the road yesterday, one
shouldn't return injuries so I won't give him one," and off
On they went again, and soon Fritz got as cross as Gritz,
for his hand began to pain him badly, and he had none of
the doctor's ointment left. Presently a woman came riding
by, with a basket, out of which peeped some raw meat.
Witz ran up to her, and asked if she could spare a bit of
mutton-fat to put on a bad hand.
Willingly," said the girl, but when she saw Fritz she
stopped, and slipped something into the hand that Witz
held out. That will do as well, I daresay," she said, as she
rode away, and when he looked into his hand there was the
sham coin Fritz had given her the day before.
Then Witz's big mouth looked very sad when he saw his
brothers in such a bad way, one with hunger and the other
If I only knew how to do it," he said, I might open
the umbrella and make a tent like those the army doctors
have on a battle field, with bandages and ointments and
1io )te faagic mmbrdlla.
good broth for Gritz, and things to cut off legs, and every-
What's the good of wishing, you stupid ?" grumbled the
Very true," said an old woman, who just then caught
them up, wishing is no good. Trying is better. Wishing
wouldn't have helped my bundle up the steps yesterday."
Thus encouraged Witz took hold of the umbrella, and
directly he put his hand to it open it went, and then it
spread into a beautiful little hospital tent, with a merry little
doctor inside, and a kind nurse, and everything you could
want, and Gritz and Fritz were soon attended to, and made
quite comfortable. But although he had not got anything
for himself Witz looked the happiest of the three, and began
to wish for an easy cart to carry his brothers in until they
were quite well. Sure enough, in a few minutes there was
the umbrella turned into the queerest, but most comfortable
cart you ever saw, with four parasols for wheels, and six suits
of macintosh for horses. Witz himself drove, and the old
woman jumped up behind, holding on by the elastic band,
and then she turned into the old man, and shook off such a
shower of drops, that they laid all the dust in the road as
they went along.
So Witz kept the umbrella, and found it very useful on
their travels, and afterwards too when they got safe home
again to their own farm. He could almost always open it,
but not quite always, nor do I think he ever found out the
te tiagic irmbrtIla. n
secret of his success. I am quite sure his brothers did not,
for not only could they never do it themselves, but they said
it was all chance, and the old man's spite against themselves.
Now why they were so cross about it I can't see, for everyone
noticed that though the umbrella was always at work, doing
all it was told, yet Witz never grew rich himself, nor became
any handsomer, nor any cleverer, while his brothers had
everything they wanted, and such a lot of money, that
Gritz's strength and Fritz's sharpness were of no use, and
grew less and less every day for want of exercise.
I have said that Witz could not quite always open the
umbrella, and one of his failures was when he fell in love
with the wise farmer's daughter and she wouldn't marry him
because of his red hair. He was very unhappy, and rushed
out into the farmer's orchard with his umbrella, ordering it
to turn at once into a barber's shop, that he might have his
hair dyed coal black, but struggle as he might the umbrella
would not open, so he gave it up, and thought his red head
was an old friend, and he should be sorry to lose it.
The wise old farmer was looking over the hedge all the
while. That's the first time," .he said, "that I have seen
him try to use his umbrella for himself, and he couldn't open
it. Hum-ha !" So he went and told his daughter all about
it, and I think she changed her mind afterwards, and saw
that red hair did not much matter if you had the secret of
so useful a friend as the Magic Umbrella."
BY LUCY MASSEY
NCE upon a time there could be seen, under a low
rock on the south coast of Cornwall, a tiny house.
You would hardly have known that it was a house,
save for the smoke which rose through a hole in the roof
into the still blue air; for the cottage was almost the colour
of the rock against which it leaned, having been built partly
of the keel of an old boat, and partly of such other pieces
of wood as had been found from time to time on the beach.
Inside there was only one room, and that not square or
oblong or round, but of an odd three-cornered shape, which
the old woman who lived in it called very convenient. For
one of the corners served for bedroom, another for kitchen
and pantry, and the third was the drawing room of the little
house, furnished with a round table and two chairs.
Mrs. Pendean did not live alone in her rock castle, two
grandchildren shared it with her, and Adwin and Esther
were happy children with each other and their dearold Grand-
mother and the beautiful sea to love, and with long summer
days before them in which to climb the rocks, or splash with
bare feet through warm pools of sea water. They had the
Cjt 6ooet i)ilbru. 13
geese to tend, and knitting to do on warm evenings on the
beach, and never a care or trouble in the world.
Come children, get up," called Mrs. Pendean, one bright
September morning, the geese must go as far as the sand-
The thirty-seven geese which were making such a noise
outside the cottage belonged to Mrs. Pendean, and it was
Adwin and Esther's work to drive them out to find grass
wherever it grew along the coast. The sandbanks were
more than a mile away; and when the geese were driven
there, the children knew that they must carry dinner with
them, and not come home till evening. The geese under-
stood all about it. As soon as they saw Adwin coming with
his stick, they began to move in a long line, one behind
another, making a great noise as they went. Adwin had
his stick, and walked behind; Esther carried the basket.
They passed no houses as they went, but far off on the
heights they could see the towers of Castle Key, and could
mark the red flag flying,which showed that the Earl-my lord,
as the children always called him-was just now at home.
"Adwin," cried Esther presently. She had run on a
little in front, and when the boy came to where she was
standing he, too, gave a little cry of surprise, for across the
smooth sand was a long line of footsteps-not the mark of
a bare foot, like theirs or those of their companions, but the
print of a tiny boot with a smooth heel, that had no nails in
it, but made deep holes in the soft sand, through which the
14 Vgjt 0oo0ia bilbt'lm.
rising tide was even now welling up. Esther wanted to run
on quickly, following the line of steps, but the geese had no
curiosity about the matter, and would not move on any
faster, only stretching out their long necks and hissing when
Adwin touched them with the stick.
Here was the grass at last, growing on soil which had
slipped from the top of the cliff. It was a rocky cliff, and
in it there were many caves, some quite small ones, some
stretching so far back into the darkness that no one had
ever made their way to the end. Some were full of sea
water every high tide, some were quite dry. The children
had no need now to trace the footsteps any further-
they had no need to wonder longer whose was the foot
that had made them, for sitting on a stone in the mouth of
one of the caves was a little lady, such a tiny child she
seemed to be there alone. Is it one of the good people ? "
whispered Esther apprehensively to Adwin-for the little
girl wore a white dress, her gold curls were covered with a
green silk band, and she was singing softly to herself,
beating time with one of those tiny feet.
She did not stop singing as the children came up, and
they could hear every word in the clear little voice-
Who has frayed the pretty dove
Sitting on her nest?
Warm her smooth grey eggs above
Was her feathered breast.
Was it you, oh angry kite?
'Yes,' sang all the rest."
1je Oooae Cbilbren. 15
It sounded just like a fairy song, Esther thought. Presently
the little maiden gave a sign with her hand that Adwin and
Esther should come to her. If she was not a fairy she was
like a little queen when she began to speak. I am glad to
see you, children," she said. "I am all alone here-but
send away those ugly things, with their long necks. I don't
like them." Now they knew who the little fairy was.
They had seen her sometimes in my lord's great coach-
Lady Maud, the Earl's only little girl.
Adwin held his cap in his hand as he answered respect-
fully: We cannot send the geese away, my lady ; we
brought them here to eat the grass: but they will not hurt
you." Then Lady Maud stood up: Do you think I am
afraid ? she asked; "but you are not good children, you
two, or you would do what I told you. What are your
names ? "
They call us the goose children," answered Adwin,
"but our real, own, right names are Esther and Adwin."
And what are you doing here, goose children ? "
Esther did not wish that Adwin should do all the
talking, so she answered quickly, "We look after the geese
and gather wood for Grandmother's fire, my lady."
Perhaps I may help you pick up the wood, if it does not
hurt mry hands," said the little lady, looking down on her
tiny fingers in their silk gloves. But, first of all, I must
go into this cave, and you must come with me."
"Indeed, you must not," cried Adwin hastily, that is
16 6t00 Coote C~illirtin.
one of the caves where the sea comes; and, besides, it is
full of holes and dangerous places, and no one knows what
there is inside-perhaps lions."
I want to find out," cried Lady Maud, taking two or
three steps into the cave. It is very pretty here, and I
should rather like to see a lion."
Esther ran after, and took hold of the little green mantle.
"Don't go," she implored ; there are pixies and good
neighbours in the cave, and they sing-nobody knows what
it is that they sing-but if anyone hearkens they never come
Silly child," said the little lady, "you think so because
you have never been taught, there are no such things as
pixies. Let me go, if you please, little goose girl." And
Lady Maud ran, singing gaily, along the smooth sand floor
of the cave into the darkness beyond, while Adwin and
Esther very unwillingly followed, holding each other's hands
as at each step it grew darker.
Presently the floor felt rough-it was strewn with large
and sharp stones, which were slippery with weed, and some-
times the children slipped between the stones into pools of
sea water. Esther pulled Adwin's hand : Oh don't go
on," she whispered, it angers the pixies when the water
is splashed, and perhaps they will harm the geese; do let
us go back."
It is my duty to look after the little lady," replied Adwin
manfully, "but you go back, Esther, and see to the geese."
Cbe 6ooae Cjilbrern. 17
Before Esther could answer Lady Maud had come to a
stop, perhaps a little out of breath, and not finding the wet,
dark cave quite as delightful as she had fancied. "You
see now," she said, turning round, "that there are no such
things as pixies, and that there are no lions in the cave.
You will know better another time; so I think we may go
back, and I will help you gather sticks."
The part of the cave where they were standing was not
quite dark, for just over their heads was an opening like
a tall chimney, which pierced through to the cliff above,
and down which some gleams of the bright morning sun
made their way. By this light the children could see the
dark shining leaves of the ferns which tapestried all the
upper part of the cave. Get me those leaves to take
home, little boy," cried Lady Maud, pointing to a very
beautiful cluster which hung above their heads.
I can't reach those, my lady; but there are plenty here
just as pretty," said Adwin.
Lady Maud looked at him in much surprise, and then,
seeing that he made no attempt to climb the steep rock face
for the ferns she had pointed out, she suddenly put her foot
on one of the narrow stone ledges, and holding by tufted
ferns, climbed so well that she nearly reached the plant she
sought. But before her fingers could grasp it, she gave a
sharp cry of pain, and would have fallen from her dangerous
perch had not Adwin swung himself up so that he could
hold her, while Esther below steadied her with her hands.
18 0f1e Coose Cjilbrti.
Are you hurt, my lady ? "
"My ankle, the sharp stone cut it."
"Sit down here, and Esther shall tie my handkerchief
round it," said Adwin, pulling off the red cotton one he
wore round his neck, and don't you cry, my lady."
The little lady bit her lip, and pressed her hands together,
as Esther, not very skilfully, bound up the cut and bleeding
ankle; but the children were surprised to find that after the
first cry of pain not another sound came from her lips,
though she was evidently a good deal hurt. It was hard work
to get back, even when Adwin and Esther held each one of
Lady Maud's hands. She had often to sit down to rest,
and certainly it did seem that the pools into which they
slipped, as they again passed through the dark part of the
cave, were far deeper than those through which they had
splashed in coming.
Oh Adwin, look, is it the tide ? cried Esther presently,
for all the smooth sand in the mouth of the cave was covered
with water, and little waves were rolling in one after the
other. The boy never spoke, but Esther turned angrily to
Lady Maud : You would go, you know you would, though
Adwin told you not; and now we shall all be drowned."
Drowned, nonsense," cried Adwin sharply, but we
must go back, my lady; I am afraid we can't get out yet."
The sea will come after us, you know it will," cried Esther,
breaking into passionate sobs. Oh what will Granny say ?
And there are the geese."
t 0 @oo00gt brillirtn. '9
"Hush," muttered Adwin, seizing Esther's arm a little
roughly, for he saw the tears gathering in Lady Maud's blue
eyes. "I wish I hadn't come," she said. I ran away. Do
you think we shall be drowned ? Papa will be so sorry."
No fear of being drowned, my lady," and Adwin tried
to speak very courageously. Don't you remember the
pretty ferns-the sea water does not come where they grow.
We shall be quite safe if we climb back over these stones,
only we must be quick before the pools get any deeper."
Oh how long the time seemed, even when at last they
reached the higher part of the cave, and, sitting curled up
on one of the narrow ledges, tried to eat the brown bread
and cream which Esther had carried in her basket. They
were hungry, but somehow the food did not seem to have
any taste in the half darkness, or was it that, in spite of
Adwin's courageous words, they were each one secretly a
good deal frightened, as the slow tide still crept on, wetting
the stones below their feet, and floating the fringing weeds.
Esther was crying sadly, but Lady Maud sat very still, till
suddenly she said, with something like a little catch in her
breath, "It was all my fault, I wish I hadn't made you come,
do you really think we shall be drowned ? "
Adwin had no answer ready-the water had already
touched their feet, if it rose much higher, then indeed-
Do you think you could climb to that stone," he said to
the two little girls, who, in their fear and trouble, had put
their arms round each other, and were crouching in the
20 Efbt @ootJ c )tiIlreln
driest corner of the ledge, "if you would put your foot on my
shoulder, Lady Maud, I do think you could."
But what will you do then, little boy, there is only room
for two ? "
Adwin knew this quite well, but instead of answering he
laid hold of Esther's hand. Now, Essie, you show her the
way," and he steadied himself as well as he could on the
ledge, and straightened his shoulder. But Esther did not
heed, her eyes were fixed on the dark passage leading to the
cave's mouth-the sounds there were more than the water
could have made as it washed in, and what was that sudden
spark, as if a match had been struck, and then the steady
gleam of a lantern; oars, too, dipping in the water; voices
shouting Lady Maud's name ?
"Just in time," thought Adwin, "only just in time."
Oh, Papa, it is Papa, he has come to look for me," and
in her eagerness Lady Maud almost slipped from the narrow
ledge on which she balanced herself with outstretched arms.
The boatmen lifted the children one by one into the boat,
and the Earl held his little girl very fast in his arms, never
heeding how the poor stained frock dripped over his coat.
Hardly a word was spoken as the boatmen backed towards
the cave's mouth; only Adwin and Esther held each other's
hands, and little Maud clung to her father as if she would
never let him go. How strange it seemed to come out into
the sunshine, and find everything looking as it did in the
morning, only that the children thought the sea had never
be ooai Cbiltrrn. 21
before been so blue, nor had they known how beautiful were
the smooth sands, and the dark weeds, and the screaming
"I won't run away again, Papa," whispered Lady Maud,
" I am sorry, but please do let me dry in the sun before we
go home, because I'm such a figure." The Earl only laughed,
as he lifted her on his knee.
Do we take these two children with us, my lord ?"
asked one of the boatmen, pointing to Adwin and Esther.
"No, thank you," they both cried, "we must stay because
of the geese."
"" Yes, Papa, they are the goose children, and I like them
so much, do say they may come up to the Castle and play,
only they have no shoes, but I thought you would give them
some," said the little lady breathlessly, as with one hand
she tried to keep Adwin from climbing over the boat side,
and with the other held Esther's sleeve.
Was it these children who led you into the cave ? "
asked the Earl, looking, Adwin thought, rather severely at
Oh, dear no, Papa, I went of my own self, I did so want
to see if there were any lions, and there are not, so my book
of Natural History is quite right."
"And this little boy and girl wanted to see the lions too,
I suppose ? said the Earl, smiling this time.
"They did not want to go in at all, they said there were
pixies there, fairies you know, Papa; they really did think so,
22 tbe 8oo0s CI)ilbrtn.
they only came to help me, and do you know I'm almost
quite sure I should have been drowned if they hadn't been
there, would you have been very, very sorry ? "
The Earl drew his arm closer round the little girl, as he
turned to Adwin.
I must hear more of this, my boy, so you went into
danger to help my little girl ? "
It was our duty to look after the young lady, sir,-my
lord, I mean," replied Adwin manfully, but turning very red,
and shifting from one foot to another.
"You belong to old Mrs. Pendean, I think,-well, tell her
from me she may be proud of two children who do their
duty; I shall come soon and see her, and you; now we must
say good bye, and you and your sister had better run home
and get dry clothes as soon as you can."
The boat pushed off. Adwin and Esther, standing on the
sands, made their best bow and curtsey.
Good bye, goose children, come and see me very soon."
"We need not really go home, need we, Adwin?" said
Esther, "it doesn't matter about being wet."
Go home and leave the geese," cried Adwin, laughing,
But where were the geese ?
They had taken advantage of the absence of their little
guardians to stray hither and thither, and some of them were
slipping about on their broad feet in a foolish, helpless
manner on a wet slippery rock, while others were to be dimly
be Oooat Ci)iltrnt. 23
seen far off on a distant piece of grass to which they had no
right. The children were soon dry enough as they raced
hither and thither in the hot sunshine, shouting, laughing,
and grumbling a little by turns. At last the flock was all
gathered once more on the grassy banks, and Adwin and
Esther sat down to finish their dinner, and talk of the
wonderful adventure of the morning.
"I don't think I want to go to the Castle, do you,
Adwin ? asked Esther.
I don't know; I should like to see the little lady again."
I'm glad we are the goose children, I shouldn't like to
be Lady Maud, I love the cottage and dear Granny best, and
the geese, don't you ? "
But she was a very nice little lady," answered Adwin.
(CousIN LucY's STORY.)
BY C. M. YONGE.
0 you want to hear about my sight of the pixies,
It was a long time ago, when I was eight years
old, and my brother Charlie seven. Our home was in
London, and there was not so much travelling about then
as there is now, so that we never went into the country
except in August and September, when the whole family
went into lodgings somewhere by the seaside.
In the summer that I am speaking of, there came one
morning, late in May, a letter with tidings that the school
where our brothers were was to be dispersed because of the
scarlet fever, and that Frank and George would be at home
in the evening. Now, our Mother had a great dread of their
bringing the infection home with them and giving it to us,
so she made arrangements at once for letting my two sisters
and their governess stay at Grandmamma's house at the
other side of the square for the next fortnight. I believe we
two little ones should have gone there likewise, but my
3Pirit Kalon. 25
father's old friend, Mr. Buckley, happened to be staying with
us, and he begged to carry us straight off with him to his
country rectory,-Nurse and all. He was a kind old man, at
least we thought him old then, though he could not have
been really so; and he never was so happy, it was said,
as when he had small children staying with him without
Mammas or Nurses.
I am sure we were happy enough. I never see banksia
roses without thinking of the wonder and delight of seeing
his house quite covered with them, white and buff, dear little
fairy-like roses as they seemed to me. Then there was his
big dog, Captain, so friendly and good-natured, and his
housekeeper, Mrs. Trimmins, came out quite astonished, but
quite delighted, to see whom he had brought home.
We had never seen such a sight in our lives as the big
white thorn, that looked as if snow were lying on it. We
had never gathered dog roses nor honeysuckles, nor seen
strawberries except in a pottle or a plate. And when we
were taken into a field full of cowslips, I think we went quite
wild, when Nurse shewed us how to make a tisty tosty, as
she called a cowslip ball, the sweetest thing I know.
Those were charming days. We got up early to carry our
own white mugs, with Charles and Lucy on them in gold
letters, to be filled with warm milk from the cow, and we
watched the milking, and helped to feed the chickens, and
get the eggs, till the big bell rang, and we went in to be
tidied up for prayers, and breakfast with Mr. Buckley. He
26 iite 3Latun.
let me pour out the tea! Wasn't that grand? And he
treated me like any lady visitor, letting us both eat "grown
up" things, marmalade, and tongue, and all that was
Sometimes he let us come with him when he went to the
school, or the cottages, by pretty paths full of flowers, which
he would pull down for us, and if we came back by the river,
he would throw in sticks and stones for Captain to swim or
dive for. Or we played in the garden, or followed old James,
the gardener, about, watching and wondering at everything
he did, and sometimes getting scolded for doing mischief
when we thought we were helping.
Perhaps the best time of all came after four o'clock. For
then we could have two play-fellows, whom we admired
very much, Arthur Evans, who lived with his mother in a
pretty house, whose garden joined Mr. Buckley's, while his
father was away at sea: and Johnny Hudson, whose father
had the big house with the avenue leading up to it. Arthur
was an only child, and all Johnny's brothers and sisters were
much older than he, and of no use to play with, so these two
were great chums. They did lessons all day, except on Satur-
days and Thursdays, with a clergyman, who took pupils, in
the next village, but they came back at about four o'clock,
and that was what we looked forward to all day long.
They were twelve and eleven years old, but they seemed
nobly great boys to us, and Charlie only longed to be like
them. They really were much more good-natured to us
oir'ie Lahun. 27
than our own brothers were. Being shut up in a London
house made it sometimes difficult to be good-tempered, and
Frank and George were often rough and teasing to us. To
these boys, unused to younger children, I fancy we were
like pretty playthings; they were amused at our delight and
wonder, and petted us a good deal, especially Arthur, who
persuaded his mother to make a feast for us in her garden.
Johnny promised us all sorts of diversions when the hay
was cut in his father's fields, and we were most anxious that
it should be done before we went home. I don't think we
were very sorry when we heard that Frank and George
were both beginning to have the fever, so that no one could
tell how long our visit would be; and I am afraid we
thought it great fun that Nurse made up her mind to go
home and help take care of them, Mrs. Trimmins declaring
that she should only enjoy the care of such little dears as
I am rather afraid she did not find us quite such little
dears when Nurse was gone. She had petted us a good
deal, and we could not quite make up our minds that she
need be obeyed quite like Nurse. I don't think we were
very naughty, or more properly, we were naughty, but not
bad. We did go and confess it when our ball broke through
the cucumber frames, and they all (except James) treated us
as if we had done a wonderful thing in telling of ourselves.
But we grew very noisy and untidy, left things about, and
took our own way as we should never have dared to do if
28 irie .Laln.
Nurse's hand had been over us; and I did a good many
things she would never have thought proper in a little girl.
What were they ? I think the worst was riding astride
on the old cart-horse going to carry the hay I remember
that, because Mr. Buckley saw me, and came tolift me down
with such a shocked look on his face, that I have been
ashamed ever since whenever I think of it.
I rather think, too, that Johnny Hudson had nearly had
enough of us, and that he began to find us troublesome, for he
sometimes spoke quite roughly to Charlie. Indeed Charlie
was always after him, and now and then did mischief. He
got all Arthur's fishing line into a dreadful tangle, and let
Johnny's butterflies fall, so that they were all mixed up
together, and when we tried to mend them we stuck the
Cream-spot's under-wings on to the Red-Admiral, and
nothing would persuade Johnny that we had not done it on
purpose. And what was still worse was fingering the
collection of eggs, and so crushing up the turtle dove's,
which was one of those he cared most about.
He was very angry then, but Charlie cried so dreadfully,
and so did I, that at last he forgave us.
The great purpose of the boys was to go to Pixie Lawn,
as they called it, to get some young jackdaws, and we were
wild to go with them. It was more than two miles off, and
in another parish; and the only time they would be able to
manage going would be after school in the evening. They
told us it would be too far and too late for us, but this we
Pirir Lalun. 29
did not believe. We knew that pixies were a sort of fairies,
and were charmed with the notion of a place named after
them. We followed James about the garden, and questioned
him on a report that had come to us that he had seen the
pixies. No, it wasn't he, it was his Uncle Ned, riding home
from Dene one night, who couldn't open the gate, and
while he was fumbling with it he heard them laughing-
They laughed like-like anything-like a pixie-
"But didn't he see them, James ? "
No, missie, I don't know as he did; but I did hear tell
of a woman out at Dene as said she saw 'em. My Granny
knew her when she was a lass."
"And what were they like, James ? "
They was little weeny things as would go into a flower;
and they danced and bobbed up and down for all the world
like feathers on a line to scare the birds; and if she had
only wished once she would have had luck to get what she
"And was it at Pixie Lawn, James? "
To be sure it were, Master Charles. Pixie Lawn, I've
heard tell, belonged to the old monks long ago, and them's
the places for that sort of cattle."
We wanted to know why he called the pixies cattle,"
but he said he wanted to prick out some stupid plants or
other, and that we terrified" him out of his senses, by
which he meant teased him.
All this made us frantic to be of the party ; and as we had
30 i3irit Raton.
a strong suspicion that Johnny, at least, had no mind to take
us, we started in good time before the boys would set off,
and sat down on the step of a stile we knew they would
have to pass.
We waited and waited till, just as we had decided that
they had gone some other way, up they came, with baskets
slung on their backs, and we jumped out upon them with a
shout of glee. I don't think we were very welcome. Johnny
said something about little bores, and was for sending us
home again, but Arthur called us plucky little kids, and said
we should come, though Johnny teased him a little by saying
we should be very tired, and he would not help carry us, and
that we shouldn't have a bit of the good stuff in their baskets.
For as Johnny would miss the late dinner, and Arthur his
Mother's tea, they had each secured a packet of provisions
in the baskets that were to carry home the jackdaws.
It was a very nice walk, first through a path-field, where
the long grass was moving like the waves of the sea, bending
and rising as the wind passed over it,-then through a wood,
and afterwards in meadows along a river bank, with such
flowers as it seems to me I have never seen since. Nobody
could get tired when there were continually to be seen fish
rising, and making little circles in the water, or sometimes
jumping high straight out of it, and water-rats swimming
across, and moor-hens with their broods seen only for a
moment, then diving, and once a pair of glorious blue king-
fishers flashed along the bank.
i9irie Lahun. 31
It did not seem a very long way after all before we came
to a field sloping up from the river, ending in a walled space,
with a bit of old ruinous building covered with ivy on the
top of the low hill.
We scrambled up, along the hedge of the field, which was
all laid down for hay, till we came to the wall, which was
built of flint-stones, and about five feet high.
I must explain what we did not understand then, that the
place inside was an old chantry chapel, one of the little
Churches that used to be built in former times that services
might be kept up in remembrance of the forefathers of the
It had not been used for three hundred years, and a good
deal of it had fallen down, but the gentleman to whom it
belonged, knowing that it had been a Church, did not like
it to be made a playplace by idle boys, and besides, thought
climbing there dangerous. So he built a high wall round it,
with a strong gate, and locked it up, letting no one in but
people who wanted to see the curious architecture of the old
window and little turret.
There was scarcely a boy in the neighbourhood who did
not think it a shame and a hardship to be shut out of such a
fine scrambling place, so full of owl's, and wren's, and jack-
daw's nests, and as we crept round that cruel wall, there was
a great deal of abuse poured forth upon Sir Thomas, whom
we little ones thought of as a kind of savage ogre, or miser,
only wishing to deprive us of pleasure.
32 Jirtt Laln.
Round outside the wall we went, getting over one or two
hedges and ditches where there were comfortable gaps, and
coming at last to the gate, which we all hoped to be able
It was all close, straight palings, sharp at the top, so that
even the boys thought it quite hopeless, but, looking a little
farther on, there was a place where the hedge of the field
we had entered-another grass mead-joined the wall, and
above it a stone had been kicked out, and another off the
top. Someone had no doubt been over it, and wherever boy
had been, boy could go.
Arthur tried it first, with Johnny to give him a hoist, and
soon called back that there was a jolly elder bush on the
other side to get down by. Then Johnny prepared to follow,
but to get us over was an absolute impossibility.
No," said Johnny, 'you must wait for us here. I told
you you'd no business to come, so you must take the conse-
quences. Come, don't cry, we'll not be long."
You are in Pixie Lawn, you know," called Arthur from
the other side of the wall. "Yes, that's the name of the
field you are in. Never mind. We'll come back soon.
Give them some of the grub, Johnny, to stop their mouths.
Here's such a bit of tower up here, I think there must be
an owl's nest."
Johnny tossed one basket over- the wall, and left us the
other. We were quite hungry enough to be rather consoled
by the sandwiches and plum cake we found. We had a nice
joi'r IKawlt. 33
bank to sit on, in the moss, and it was pleasant to rest, in
spite of our wishes to be on the other side, and know what
all the rustling of ivy branches, and shouting, and calling,
meant. We munched away, and listened, and called out
sometimes to know what was going on, but only once got
any answer, and then were told not to make such a noise,
and we were too close under the wall to see much, nor could
we get far away because of the tall grass; James, and indeed
his master, had impressed on us that it was quite wicked
to go and trample in grass laid up for hay.
Well, by and bye the crackling of ivy boughs, the twitter-
ing and fluttering of alarmed sparrows and starlings, and the
calls of the boys went farther off, to the other side of the
chapel, I believe; and then all became quiet, and we heard
no more. I wondered Charlie had not called to them, but
I looked at him, and his little head was on my knee, and he
was fast asleep. I was glad of it, for if he had begun to cry
and call, I should not have known what to do, so I kept quite
still for fear of waking him, and laid my head down on my arm,
while the shadow of the ivied belfry and the little hill went
farther and farther over the field, and there was a sheep-bell
tinkling somewhere, and the river made a pleasant noise,
and the nightjar said, Whirr, whirr, whirr."
By and bye there came something strange--" Whoo-
whoo-whoo-whyoo." I looked up, and it seemed to me
that an enormous white-winged butterfly or moth was going
softly over me. All was changed. It was not exactly dark,
34 iYir" lawun.
but there was a beautiful soft blue overhead, and great broad
golden moon, the biggest moon I ever saw, rising up oppo-
site, and all the slope of the field below was like silver,
wavy, frosted, silveryness, and in the midst of it shone out
white-crowned creatures, gently moving, bending to one
another, quantities of them, softly dancing. Oh yes, there
was the tallest, the queen, no doubt! The pixies themselves
by moonlight. I was too much awe-stricken to wake Charlie,
but another of those Whoo-whoos woke him, and he
sat up frightened.
The pixies! the pixies Charlie," I whispered, "don't
you see them dancing ? Now let's wish."
But Charlie only put his fists in his eyes, and cried,." I
don't like it I want to be at home."
I wish you wouldn't be such a silly little boy," I cried.
At that very moment there came a call of Lucy, Charlie
Where are you "
It was Mr. Buckley's voice, and Charlie shouted back.
I believe I was very glad to do the same, for I was beginning
to feel chilled and frightened, and as if pixies were strange,
It turned out that-quite contrary to their wont-Arthur
and Johnny had quarrelled about an owl's nest, they had
tumbled, cross and sulky, over the wall on different sides, and
had either forgotten all about us, or each supposed us to be
with the other. At the Rectory, we were thought to be with
them, and not missed till bed-time. Then, after enquiring
pirit Ialln. 35
for us at each house, Mr. Buckley, with Mr. Hudson and
Johnny, in a terrible fright and some disgrace, had come in
search of us. Of course their coming drove away the
What were they? Well, Arthur and everyone, except old
James, would have it they were Ox-eyes, not pixies-great
moon-daisies in the grass. They took me to see them, to
convince me by daylight, but the scythes had been busy
there, and all the Ox-eyes were down with the grass. For
many years of my life I was quite sure I had seen a pixy
dance, and that we had wasted our wishes, like the old woman
with the pudding on the end of her nose, and I would not
say I am certain of the contrary now !
As to the chantry chapel, the wall is down now, and it is
repaired, and makes a beautiful little Church for the people
at the railway station near the river, who are much too
knowing now ever to think about pixies!
BY HELEN A. WILMOT-BUXTON.
AM Maggie, and I live with Father and Mother at
the farm. I don't remember ever living anywhere
Else, so I suppose I never did; but Father often
"talks of when he was in London, so I don't know where I
could have been there. But I would much rather be at our
farm than anywhere else; it is so nice there, and I get such
good times all to myself.
I don't know whether it is nicest in summer or winter.
In the summer I am out all day long. Sometimes I go down
to the meadows where all the cows are, and they just look
at me a minute, then go on eating. They are always hungry,
those cows. I can't think how they can go on eating grass
all day long as they do, and one day when I saved a bit of
bread and butter from breakfast, and gave it to Buttercup,
she just sniffed at it and would not eat it; silly thing! After
that, of course, I did not save her any more bread and
butter, and I always walk right past her now and go into
the paddock, where Toby, our pony, is; and I often take
him a nice apple, and he runs all over the field after me.
Littit Irienbf. 37
Then it is so shady in the paddock, especially one corner,
which I call my house. There is a tall tree there with great
branches, and I believe there is a bird's nest up there. I
look up very often to see if I can see it, but Mother says
there isn't, because birds only build in hedges, so I don't
know, I'm sure, but I'll tell you why I think so. Often
when I go to my house, where I have my tea sometimes all
by myself, a dear little bird comes and stands quite close on
a twig and chirps to me, till I ask him to have some crumbs,
and sometimes a blackberry too.
I do so wish I could understand his language, for I am
sure he wanted to tell me something one day, some time ago
now it is, and since then I have not seen him so often, and
lately I have not seen him at all.
Sometimes I am very unhappy about it, for something very
strange happened about that time, and I cannot help thinking
that if I could only have understood the little bird, I could
have helped him.
But what I am going to say is quite a secret, because I
never told even Mother quite all about it, for when I began
something she said I was fanciful, so I left off talking about
it. I don't quite know what fanciful means, but I suppose
it is something naughty.
It was winter, and Father had gone to the town, and he
had promised to bring me home a dolly, so I wanted him
to come back very much, and it was getting so late, I was
afraid Mother would send me to bed. So after sitting ever
38 little .fritenl.
so long on the fluffy rug in front of the parlour fire (Mother
was busy baking nice things in the kitchen, so would not let
me in), I crept out into the barn just to see if Father was in
sight yet. But he was not there-only Bob, our farm boy
was there, and he was standing by a great pail of water,
and in his hands were two sweet little baby kittens, which
he was actually going to drown. He was a wicked boy, and
I told him so too, and I snatched up the poor kittens, and
ran with them back to the parlour, where they soon got
quite warm. Then I went to find Mouser, our cat, and,
what was very funny, I found cuddled up with her another
kitten. It was very strange how such a lot of kittens all
came so suddenly to the farm.
So I just told Mouser all about my kittens, and she really
is a most sensible cat, for directly I brought them to her, she
began licking them and mewing to them just as if she
When Father came home I began to tell him all about it.
Father took me on his knee, and when he had heard all
about it, he and Mother told me I might keep the kittens, and
so I did, and we played on the rug in the evening, and they
got quite big, and used to stand up on their hind legs. Well,
it was the summer after that, that Birdie used to come, and
sometimes Tibby used to go with me to my house. Tibby
seemed to like Birdie, and used to lie on my lap with his
eyes half shut, and make a funny little noise when Birdie
sang. But one day Birdie did not come, nor the next, and
LittT l frienb6. 39
I was so sad that I told Tibby, and suddenly I noticed Tibby
looked rather different at me, and seemed to think I was
going to hit him. I went to my house again and again, but
I never saw Birdie after that. I found some feathers down
by my seat, which I thought he had dropped, but he never
used to drop his feathers like that. Then I thought Bob,
that wicked boy, had killed him, but when I said so to
Mother, she said he had not, so I never speak about him now.
I hope Tibby does not know anything about it, but he is
always very funny when I talk of Birdie. If I could only
understand Tibby's language, too, how nice it would be.
7141 r Ore Innl-ole,
BY LUCY MASSEY.
HIS Mayday morning they will plant the Maypole
on the green,
And hang it round with cowslip wreaths and blue
bells set between;
With starry thorn, with knotted fern, with chesnut blossoms
And Phil, the bailiff's son, will bring red roses from the Hall.
We'll twist the roses in a crown for little Rose, our Queen,
They count her for the prettiest maid twixtt here and Apple-
Bold Phil is always chosen King: the village people say
Some mischief would be sure to chance to who should say
The sky is clear, the dew is dry, the village is astir;
The girls are gone to dress the Queen, the boys to welcome her;
From Briersley Wood and Oakencroft to Dene upon the hill
They break the cowslip's sturdy stalk, and tie the daffodil.
tuntbr ti)t fiappolt. 41
Phil marches boldly on in front, he carries roses red,
The little Queen steps far behind, and often turns her head :
" Let someone run for Willy Bligh and lead him to the green,
And bid him bring his fiddle there to play before the Queen."
Blind Willy sits at home to-day beside his father's last,
He hears the laughing boys and girls go running, racing past;
He tries to play, the strings are dumb, he tries his voice in
He does not know what swells his throat, but only feels the
He thinks, "'Tis hard to bear to-day that everyone can see
My little Rose made Queen of May, yes, everyone but me;
The ferny wreath she bid me twine she quite forgets to wear:
There's many a gayer crown than mine to set upon her hair.
She loves the lilac blue and white, the kingcup blossom tall;
Her sceptre's sweet with gilly flower, soft guelden rose for
I almost fancied she might come to let me touch and smell,
But with King Philip by her side perhaps that were not well."
He thinks, Dear little Rose, my friend, to-morrow you will
Will pity me that others dance, while I must bide at home;
Then I shall laugh, and tell you true I envy no one there,
Now I have little Rose again to sit beside my chair.
42 finBtr tl)t flappoIt.
The sweet May feel is in the air, I hear young lambs ableat,
I hear the wings of happy birds that fold and stir and fleet;
And God is good, and life is good, and folks are mostly
And I can find the comfort out, altho' my eyes are blind."
Quick footsteps scamper down the lane, while panting voices
" Come, take your cap, and take your kit, you're wanted,
The while we lead you down, be sure your bravest tunes to
'Tis all in honour of the Queen, and our spring holiday."
"Now, fiddler boy," quoth ruddy Phil, "play quickly and
Play 'See the conquering hero comes' the while we march
The while we march to Briersley Wood, and round by
For I am King, you know, to-day, with little Rose for Queen.
'Tis I shall walk in front of all, you, fiddler boy, behind;
I call the tunes I want, and you be always quick to mind;
When you play up the boys and girls may all begin to sing."
Says little Rose, Before we go, I'd better choose the
Sntutr the fKappole. 43
Says little Rose, The wheel goes round and takes us up
Blind Will was fiddler yesterday, and now he wears the
She twines the roses in her hand, the roses white and red,
And smiles to see how gay they show on Willy's shining
The boys are all afraid to cheer, the girls crowd frightened
For Philip's fists are clenched with rage, and Philip's face is
Says Rose, We have a throne of moss, and there we two
But Phil has snatched the rosy crown, and thrown and
Then queenly Rose stands up and smiles, as calmly as
" There's many a bloom as sweet," she says, on thicket
and on shawe;
Come, Willy, give the ferny crown you twined me yesterday,
And take your fiddle in your hand, your sweetest tune to
He draws the bow across the strings: the wood doves coo
You hear the plumy ferns adrip beside the waterfall;
44 Unlbtr tte FMappoIe.
Streams eddy soft round fretting stones, the gummy ches-
Are lit with lamps of rosy bloom, and musical with bees.
He draws the bow across the strings : white daisies speck
The boys come back with shout and glee, the girls are steal-
Phil turns a sulky back, and goes, while no one knows or
For all about the wreathed pole they dance upon the meads.
And now they march by Briersley Wood, through Appledene
They pull the rounded hawthorn buds, or cut the sturdy sloe;
With lifted face and quiet smile, with gentle hand to guide,
Walks little Rose, the Queen of May, and Willy walks beside.
The sky above is tender grey, gold gorse is on the wold;
The beeches shed their russet sheaths, their crumpled leaves
It is the blythest Mayday rout the country side has seen-
The day when Fiddler Will was King, and bonnie Rose his
ien the O ountainq.
BY HELEN A. WILMOT-BUXTON.
S HEN," said Hugh, "you won't take me up the
mountain, to find the purple flowers that I
want so much; and if I mayn't climb a moun-
tain I should like to know what's the use of an Alpen stock."
Hugh was very much disappointed. He had asked, nay he
had begged Nurse to take him up the big mountain, where
the snow was, to find the lovely purple flowers the lady had
found up there, and Nurse had refused. It was a great trouble
to poor Hugh, for he had set his heart upon the expedition.
He hoped to find all manner of beautiful things up on the top
of the mountain, and it was so tiresome to always go the same
walk, just where there was nothing to be seen.
Hugh was staying at a large hotel with his Mamma, who
was an invalid, in a very beautiful part of Switzerland. He
had been given a real Alpen stock and he was very eager
to use it. But Nurse shook her head. "No, Master Hugh,
the snows aint melted yet, so it is impossible to think of,"
But," said Hugh, crying, "it is no use going up there
46 nt tbte fRountaini.
when the snow is not there, because the purple flowers grow
right in the snow, the lady says."
Good night, Master Hugh, go to sleep," said Nurse, and
she left the room. And then it was that the idea first came
into Hugh's head.
Why should he not go up the mountain by himself? He
was delighted at the thought, and made up his mind to wake
up early next day, and start before anyone was out of bed.
This he did. He dressed himself, and filled his satchel
with biscuits, and two apples which he had saved; then,
taking his Alpen stock, he left the hotel for the mountain. It
was a beautiful morning; the sun had only just risen, and
the snow on the far off mountains looked pink. It was well
for Hugh that he had his A Ipen stock, for the way was both
steep and slippery. Hugh did not mind that. He liked to
listen to the rush of the water-falls as they dashed to the
valley beneath, and to feel the keen, cold air on his face. And
only to think he had the whole day before him to do just what
he liked. But what was best of all was to know that he was
going to quite a new place-to a place which perhaps no one
had ever discovered before! What lovely flowers might he
not find-and perhaps meet with some great adventures.
Who knows but what he might fall in with a giant, or a fairy,
or a witch, or even a dragon.
Hugh began to feel hungry. He had had no breakfast, and
he had tired himself with walking. So he found a seat on an
old tree stump, where the white sorrel was growing, and
On tbl fountaini. 47
"opened his satchel. He emptied his flask, and ate two biscuits
and one apple, then he looked about for water to replenish
his bottle, but just there he saw no stream. He heard the
roar of a far cff torrent, so he thought he had better go on.
The sun was now shining very brightly, and Hugh saw a
great many blue flowers growing on the slopes, but he had
gathered many gentians before, so he did not pay much heed
to them, but pushed onwards. As he climbed up higher, it
became very cold-so cold, indeed, that Hugh wished he had
put on his overcoat. The road grew more steep and more
slippery every instant, so that it was difficult to get on.
It is a very good thing I have got my Alpen stock," said
Hugh to himself, "if I had not, I expect I should never get
up to the top."
Presently he stopped on his way to look back at the valley,
where the hotel stood, but both valley and hotel were out
Then he glanced around him, and felt a little frightened,
because he was surrounded on all sides by huge mountains,
which seemed to be frowning down upon him, so dark and
cold did they look.
I wonder which is the highest, and if I shall ever get to
it," said Hugh, stopping once more, and looking up be-
wildered at the snowy peaks, that seemed just as far off as
ever, I expect they grow up there, where the point is, and
that's where I'll go."
He pushed on manfully till he began to think it must be
48 On tlb FIitountaing.
dinner-time, and as it was bitterly cold and the ground all
covered with snow, he wondered where he should sit to eat
his biscuits. Luckily for him, he caught sight of a funny
little stone hut, or shelter, into which he was glad enough to
creep. There was some grass and dry straw in the corner,
on which he sat, and very pleased he was to get away from
the cold, cutting wind.
"This shall be my house," said Hugh, and he set out his
dinner. When he had eaten his biscuits and apple, he still
felt hungry, but there was nothing more to eat, so he got up
and pursued his way. It was colder than ever; and very
dreary it all looked half-veiled in mist.
Hugh began to feel disheartened. He was growing almost
hopeless, when suddenly he caught sight of something purple
peeping up out of the snow-and what do you think it was?-
the purple flower that he was in search of. He was very
pleased, and forgot the cold and everything else, and began
to descend the mountain after the flowers. Poor Hugh he
did not know his danger.
He had gathered quite a number of them, and tied them up
into two bunches, one for his Mamma, and the other to be
divided between Nurse and himself, when it began to snow so
heavily that in a few minutes his black coat was all white.
It was time to go home.
Yes, but which was the way. Hugh stood and gazed about
him. It was all strange to him. He knew not one of the
mountains. He was lost. He began to feel frightened.
On the fBlountaind. 49
He heard the distant roar of a torrent, and fancied it was
the growl of some wild beast. Oh! if only he had not come.
What would happen to him, if night overtook him here on
the lonely mountain? He could scarce see an inch before
him, and was afraid lest he might walk too near the edge,
and lose his footing.
The tears filled his eyes, and he shouted aloud, hoping to
make himself heard.
There seemed to come an answer-it came from the
mountain over there. Someone was calling to him. Hugh
shouted again, and once more the answer came. Then there
was someone over there-someone who would help him. He
hurried forward. Still the answer to his cry came; but so
soon as it had died away there was a deep silence. And
then something white moved, he fancied, and Hugh started.
He thought, with horror, that it was a wolf, come to eat him
up, but it turned out to be only a stone. He went on, feeling
cold to the heart, and very much afraid, when, looking down
on the ground, he noticed something in the snow that added
to his fear. There were footprints-not a man's, nor a dog's,
-at least Hugh had never seen a dog with such big feet-
then, what could they be ? A wolf's !
Hugh stopped, afraid to go on, and a great fear filled him.
Then came the thought, that even here on the bleak moun-
tain, there was One who would, and could, guard him, and
he felt comforted. He retraced his steps, and turned up a
50 0n t)e Jountains.
narrow, winding path, hoping to get away from the wolf. This
path led him to a shelter made of stones, and very like the
one he had had his dinner in. Here he determined to spend
the night, and, cuddling himself down, tried to go to sleep.
But he could not sleep-he lay awake in fear and trembling,
expecting the coming of the dreaded wolf. He had resolved
to defend himself with his A Ipen stock, and held it tight in his
hand for that purpose.
It was quite dark now, and snowing hard. Hugh began
to shout aloud, calling for help, and crying bitterly, when his
cry was taken up by strange voices, and repeated in mocking
chorus. The poor little boy fancied that some wicked
mountain goblins were making fun of him, but in truth it
was only the echo. What was that? He left off crying.
There was a sound of approaching footsteps. Could it be
his Nurse ? No, no, it was the wolf.
Hugh started up in horror, and seized his Alpen stock. The
sounds came nearer and nearer. Hugh peeped from his
shelter, and saw the form of a four-footed creature coming
towards him through the gloom.
It was the wolf.
The poor child shut his eyes, and held his stick in readi-
ness for its approach.
It comes nearer and nearer; nearer and nearer; and, oh !
it is in the shelter. Hugh feels it close to him; he opens his
eyes, and strikes the creature with his stick.
A howl of pain made him start-the creature was hurt-
On tl)y 11otuntainl. 51
and what do you think? it was not a wolf after all, but a
very large dog.
It was hurt and frightened, and limped away; and, call
as he would, Hugh could not induce it to come back.
And after that, the poor child felt a numbness creeping
over him, and he lay down to rest. He was very, very
miserable, and both cold and sleepy. He forgot about the
wolf, and about everything else, and the snow fell thicker
The dog was sorry for the child. He was a good, faithful
creature, and knew that poor men could not do anything
to help themselves out in the snow. He had saved many
people in his time, and he was not going to let Hugh die,
although he had behaved so unkindly to him. And so,
when the child lay down to sleep, the good dog came into
the hut, and lay down by his side, and kept him warm.
When Hugh's friends found him next day, he was still
lying in the shelter, the good dog keeping him warm; and
it was due to the devotion of the faithful creature that the
child's life was saved.
The dog belonged to a shepherd, who was rewarded by
Hugh's Mamma; but it was not the shepherd, but the noble
dog that had saved Hugh's life, and the little boy loved all
dogs ever after, as, of course, everyone must.
BY THE REV. PHILIP NEALE,
AUTHOR OF "A VOLCANO AT WORK."
4 tell me a story, please, Mamma ? said little
Clara Chale to her Mother, as they travelled
back from the sea-side one summer's afternoon.
"I am quite tired of looking out of the window. I have
counted all the tunnels and stations since we started from
Brighton, and it seems as if we should never get back to
London. And I am so anxious to see Papa and Nurse and
dear little Constance again."
What an impatient little girl mine is," said Mrs. Chale.
" It is less than an hour since we left Brighton, and after
we have stopped at Croydon we shall soon be at our
Where are we now, then," said Clara, I think we have
passed through all the four tunnels, and I am so glad-for I
don't like being in the dark at all."
If you look out of the window," said her mother, "you
will see a little station with a curious name that we are just
coming to. If you can make out the name as we run
Aatoat'4 Vivst. 53
through, I will tell you a story about it. It is the place
where Nurse lived when she was a little girl, and the story
shall be about her. None of the passenger trains stop there
now, and it is only used for goods, and you will have to be
very quick if you make out the name at all."
In another minute, with a shrill whistle, the express dashed
at full speed through the little station, and it was as much as
Clara could do to see what she wished. With a cry of delight
she called out, Stoat's Nest!-oh what a funny name,
Mamma, now do tell me something about it. I never knew
that was the place where dear old Nurse came from."
Yes, it was in one of those cottages near the line that
Mabel lived when she was a little girl, and it is something
that she did when she was ten years old-just your age-
that I will now tell you about."
It is more than forty years ago since this railway to
Brighton was made. Of course at first, there were not
many trains, nor did they travel so fast as our express has
been going this afternoon. Mabel's father died when she
was quite a baby. He had been a gatekeeper at a place near
Stoat's Nest, where the road crosses the railway. He lived
in a cottage close to the line, and his work was to attend to
the gates at the level crossing. When he died, Mabel's
Mother was allowed to keep on the cottage, and perform the
duties which her husband had previously done. Of course
Mabel often helped her Mother, and knew what the work
was. The great white gates had to be kept shut across the
54 &taat'6 fltst.
road, to prevent anything from getting on to the railway, in
front of the trains. They were only opened when horses
and carts wanted to cross, and the gatekeeper had to be very
careful not to open them when trains were expected.
There was not very much work to be done there in those
days. The trains were few and far between. The road at
the crossing only led to a neighboring farm, and very few
horses or carts passed along it. Sometimes the gates were
only opened three or four times in the day, so that there was
very little for Mabel or her Mother to do. Their chief work
was, as each train passed in the day-time, to hold out a
white flag to show to the engine driver that the line was
clear. There was also a red flag to be used as a danger
signal, but at such a quiet spot as Stoat's Nest it had never
Living so close to the line, and seeing the trains go past
at exactly the same time every day, Mabel soon got to know
all about them. She could tell almost to a minute when the
trains in each direction were to be expected, and quickly
became a great help to her Mother. It was almost as much
as she could manage, when she had to open and shut the
great heavy gates, but this was not often, and her mother
seldom left her alone.
But one day it happened that Mabel's Mother had some
business to do, which took her away from the crossing for
the greater part of the afternoon. It was market day at
Croydon, and she had walked the four miles to do some
dptoat'! 5jest. 55
shopping there. Mabel was therefore left alone to attend to
the gates. It was so seldom that she had the place to her-
self that she was very proud of it. Her Mother was not
expected back till seven o'clock. All through the afternoon
the little gatekeeper kept to her post. She had not much to
do, however. Nothing came along the road which needed
the gates to be opened. And as each train steamed past,
Mabel was there, holding out her white flag to show that all
was well. Three passenger trains and one long goods had
thus gone past, and now there only remained one more
before her Mother would be home again. This was the
fastest train of the day-an express to Brighton-which
passed through Stoat's Nest about half-past six. Mabel was
always most particular about this express, because it went
by so fast, and made such a noise and rattle as it dashed
along. Sometimes it was drawn by two engines, and almost
took her off her feet as it swept past.
Just a quarter of an hour before the train was due, a
waggon heavily laden with barley came along the road lead-
ing over the railway. It was on its way to the farm, and to
get there it had to cross the line. Mabel wanted the carter
to wait until the express had passed, but he was anxious to
get his day's work done, and said there was plenty of time.
Mabel went in to the cottage, looked at the clock, and
seeing that it still wanted more than ten minutes to the time,
she opened the gates for the waggon to cross. There was
no risk in doing this, but, unfortunately, just as it was pas-
56 ^toat'8 fitt
sing over the railway lines the waggon broke down. One of
the hind wheels came off, and the waggon tilted over on its
side. The barley fell out on to the crossing, and completely
blocked the line on which the express was expected.
Poor Mabel was in a great fright and did not know what
to do. The broken wheel prevented the waggon being
moved, and there it lay, right in the track of the train.
There were no cottages near from which help could be had.
The carter in charge of the waggon was an old man, who
cared more for his horses than for anything else. He de-
clared he would not leave them, whatever happened. And
so anything that could be thought of for warning the express
had to be done by Mabel alone. There was not a moment
to be lost. It was too late to get assistance and move the
waggon. All that could now be done was to run down the
line and try to get the express to stop before it reached the
Only a few precious minutes remained. A hurried glance
at the clock showed Mabel that it was just twenty minutes'
past six. Another ten minutes and the express would be due
at Stoat's Nest. There was not much to delay it on its
way from London Bridge, and it generally kept its time.
Mabel soon realized that there was only one thing for her
to do. She must run along the line and try to attract the
driver's attention. She never stopped to think how this
was to be managed, but darted off along the line to meet the
coming train. The path at the side was very rough, and
btoat's 12tot. 57
Mabel did not get on very fast. Still she hurried on, for
she knew how very precious every minute was. Partly from
running, and partly from excitement, her heart began to beat
so fast that she was obliged to go more slowly. Then came
a pain in her side, which made her stop altogether. But it
was only for a moment, for the brave little girl knew that
she must press on at any cost. And then as she started on
again, she suddenly remembered something. How was she
to stop the train ? was the thought which darted through her
mind. In her haste she had forgotten this in setting out.
Perhaps after all she would be unable to attract the attention
of the driver, as the train swept past. And then-what
then ? She could not bear to think of what would happen
next. How she blamed herself now for coming away without
the red signal flag, which would at once have caught the
driver's eye, and told him of danger ahead. But it was too
late for that to be done now. Then Mabel wondered whether
anything else would answer the same purpose. She knew
that red was always a danger signal, and as she looked down
at her frock, a sudden thought flashed across her. Her
dress was red, so perhaps that would do as well. At any
rate, if the driver saw it at all he would know it was meant
to indicate something wrong. And so poor little Mabel took
off her red frock, and then ran on again. She was none too
soon, for a white line of steam in the distance showed that
the train was approaching. With all her exertions she was
not more than half a mile away from the crossing. And yet
58 toat's aiat.
the closed gates and broken waggon could not be seen, owing
to a curve in the line.
Quicker than it takes me to tell about it the train came in
sight. It was travelling as fast as usual, and this evening it
had two engines to it. Mabel was the more thankful for
this, because there was now a double chance of being seen
by the men on one engine or the other. Regardless of
danger she stood between the rails, in front of the coming
train, waving her red frock. How anxious she was as it
drew nearer! She was so afraid she might not be seen, and
that the express with all its passengers would rush on to
destruction. Not till the train was close upon her did she
step out of the way, and then, as she stood at one side, it
dashed past. A strange little figure she looked, standing
there flushed and breathless, without her frock, and waving
something red in her hand. There was little fear of a driver
running past such an object as that without seeing it. At
first sight, as he dashed along, he could not make out what
it was. But coming nearer he soon saw what was meant.
Something red was being waved-he could not make out
what it was-but he knew the colour, and it meant danger.
In an instant his hand was on the regulator, and steam was
shut off. And then, as he rushed past the little girl, he saw
by her face that there was something wrong. Her lips
moved, and he knew that she was trying to call out some
warning, but the noise of the train drowned it all. She was
pointing with her hand towards the gates as he swept by,
btat'o a itt. 59
and then the driver began to understand. He called out to
his mate, Breaks! something wrong at the crossing! and
then his deep, loud whistle sounded, and everything was
being done to pull up the express.
What a relief it was to Mabel when she heard the welcome
sound of that engine-whistle. She could not be sure till
then that she had been seen. But in another minute all
danger was over, for the train gradually slackened speed,
and came to a stand close to the crossing gates. It must
have had a narrow escape, for the front engine was only
a few yards away from the broken waggon. You cannot
tell how thankful, all the passengers were as they left their
carriages, and saw how near they had been to what might
have proved a dreadful accident. They soon learnt from
the driver of the strange warning which he had had, and how
they all owed their lives to the brave little girl who had taken
such pains to stop the train.
The broken waggon was soon removed, and the train,
after a short delay, started on again for Brighton. One of
the most grateful passengers in the train, Clara, was your
own Grandpapa. He has often told me how Mabel came
quietly back, while the train was waiting at the crossing,
and went about her work as if nothing had happened.
Was Grandpapa in the train, then," said Clara, and
did Mabel really save his life ? "
Yes, dear, and that is one reason why we are all so fond of
her. A day or two after, it was found out who the brave girl
60 4toat'l largt.
was, and then Mabel was properly rewarded for what she
had done. A sum of money was collected by the passengers
and given to Mabel and her Mother.
And then, later on, when Mabel was old enough, she came
to live at Grandpapa's. First she used to wait upon me,
and a dear, good, faithful servant she was. And now she has
come to live with us at Kensington, to look after my Clara
and little Constance, and that is how it is you both have
such a kind old Nurse.
She still keeps the little red frock, which proved so useful
in stopping the train. It is very old and faded now, and
quite out of fashion too, but Nurse likes to have it by her
still, to remind her of that eventful afternoon more than
forty years ago. She cannot bear to have her brave action
that day, praised or talked about. She always says it was
nothing after all, and that it ought to have been forgotten by
us, long ago, but your Grandpapa and I are grateful still, and
perhaps some day, when you are very good, you will be able
to coax Nurse into shewing you the little frock which she
once waved as a danger signal near Stoat's Nest.
BY THE REV. S. BARING-GOULD.
NCE upon a time far from here, in Germany, there
lay an old man on his death-bed. Before he died,
he called his wife to him, and said, I leave my
little Gottlob entirely to your care, send him to travel in the
world that he may learn that there are also men beyond the
mountains, and that the horizon that he sees from the
cottage door is not the whole circle of the world. Give him
the Picture, and bid him never part with it. Now kiss me."
The woman embraced her old man, then he laid his right
hand on little Gottlob's head, and so blessing him, went
Gottlob waxed big as the years passed, and at last, one
day, his mother called him to her side, and said, My dear
Gottlob, it is now time that you should leave home and
travel, and earn your livelihood. We will have a suet
pudding to-day, with sugar, as a treat. After that I will give
you your father's legacy, and you shall go."
"But why will you not come with me into the wide
world ? asked Gottlob. "When you are tired of walking, I
will carry you."
62 Oottlob'6 Victurr.
That cannot be," answered the old woman, "I have
the pigeons to feed, and the plants to water, and to pick the
caterpillars off the vine."
When dinner came, Gottlob enjoyed the pudding very
much. When it was over, his mother opened a cupboard,
and brought out a picture in a handsome frame, that had
two shutters on hinges that closed over it. She opened
these doors, and placed the Picture before her son.
"Oh! the beautiful Picture !" exclaimed Gottlob, joyously.
"See there is the Holy Christ seated on a golden cloud,
and at His feet is the world outspread with flowers, springing
out of the earth, and rivers with fishes swimming in them,
and in the air below His feet are birds flying, and over His
head the heavens are sparkling with stars, and sun, and
moon. Then, round the frame is written in golden charac-
ters, For Thy pleasure they are and were created.' "
When Gottlob's mother heard her son thus speak, she
smiled, and said, "I am heartily glad to hear you thus
describe what you see, for know, that this Picture has
wondrous properties. It is not visible to all: to some it
looks but a blank board, to others it presents a polished
surface, like a mirror. At times the painting will not be so
distinct as at others, but that cannot be helped, and you
need not be angry with yourself because it is so. But if you
lose all sight of it, or it remain clouded for a long continu-
ance, then be sure that there is something wrong with you
in heart or eye."
OottIob'f i3icturt. 63
Then Gottlob took the Picture on his back, and went
away. But every other step he took, he turned and looked
behind him at his Mother, and he saw her standing in the
doorway surrounded with vine leaves. At length he could
no longer discern any more of her than the white cap, and
at last he saw her no more at all.
He went through a forest. The sun was shining, and was
hot, and it drew out the sweet scents of the trees, and
sparkled among their leaves. The bracken stood in clumps
like plumes of green feathers. The wood-doves cooed to
each other. The squirrels ran from tree to tree overhead,
along the interweaving boughs.
Presently Gottlob came out of the wood, and found
himself on a broad moor. He walked on briskly, but night
fell before he reached a house. That mattered little, the
sky was clear, the air warm. The moon became brighter
as the day declined.
Gottlob lay under a thornbush, put the Picture at his side,
and looked up into the sky.
The air was very still. In a pond at some distance frogs
were croaking. How far it seemed to the moon and yet
how much further to that twinkling star near it, and into
what unmeasured depths did the dark sky sink away
beyond the star!
A little silver cloud stole across the face of the moon, and
made a brown ring round it, then slid away and was lost.
Slowly the doors of the Picture swung apart, and the boy
64 .ottlob'. .icturt.
looked at his Picture in wonder. Gloriously did the figure
of Christ shine, and His crown was bright as a lighted
window seen from afar at night. Then the thorn tree under
which it was placed burst into flowers, and a nightingale
came from the far wood and perched in the thorn, and sang.
As the May blossoms poured forth scent, and the bird
warbled, Gottlob's eyes closed, and he fell asleep. He woke
when the eastern sky became a field of flame. Then Gottlob
said his prayers, lifted the Picture to his back, and walked on.
After a while a town came in sight, lying in a valley.
Gottlob whistled a merry tune, and trudged down the hill,
and entered the street of the little town.
Here," said he, "I am certain to find work and earn
my bread. If one man does not need me, another will."
He had brought a supply of bread with him from home.
He had eaten that for his breakfast. He thought it would
be good to serve a baker, so he went into the shop of one,
and offered his services. He was not required, so he went
to a tinker. He was not needed by the tinker, so he tried
a cooper; but the cooper did not need him. So he went
from one man to another, and it really seemed to him that
he was one too many in the world. No one needed him.
Night came, and found him still in the street. He seated
himself on the churchyard steps, very tired, with his head
in his hands.
Who are you ? asked an elderly man who was passing.
"My name is Gottlob," answered the boy. "I am in
Oottlob'l Victurt. 65
search of work. I have walked all day and found none."
Then the man said, Come with me; I am a carpenter;
you may work in my shop, and I will give you food."
Then Gottlob thanked him, and stood up, and went with
the man. The carpenter was a kindly man, and he liked
the boy, and his wife also was a good woman, and she came
to think there was no harm in him, only both agreed that he
was somewhat foolish or simple.
"What is that you have brought with you?"asked Master
Stumpf, the carpenter.
"This," answered Gottlob, placing the Picture on the
table, is my father's legacy, a very beautiful Picture."
Picture exclaimed the good woman. I see nothing
but a board, that will do admirably for me for ironing on."
I will allow that the joinery is good," said the carpenter,
but of Picture there is none; only well-seasoned oak panel.
It is just what is wanted for the signboard of the Golden
Gottlob looked in dismay at his Picture, and as he looked
the lines and colours faded clean away.
I cannot part with it," he said, either as an ironing
board, or as a signboard, I would rather go out into the
street again, and carry my Picture with me."
My boy," said carpenter Stumpf, "you need not leave
us. We will not rob you of your toy."
Gottlob was satisfied. He thanked them, and retired to
the garret where he was to sleep, taking the Picture with him.
66 @ottlob'd 3icturt.
Since he had come under shelter, the weather had changed.
The wind had risen, and the rain began to fall in torrents.
Thunder rolled, and lightning flared through the window of
the garret chamber.
Gottlob said his prayers, hung his lamp to a nail before
the Picture, extinguished it, and went to bed. The wind
and rain roared on the tiles, and the boy could hardly sleep.
A blaze of lightning filled the garret, and lo !-the tiny lamp
kindled in the flash, the doors of the Picture flew open, the
wind blew a trumpet strain through a fissure, a strain that
rose and fell and changed like a tune played on organ pipes
with one finger. Then the storm passed away, the lightning
became less vivid, and the boom of the thunder more dis-
tant. The wind note was changed to the winding of a horn,
and then to the sweet music of a flute.
On the following day, Gottlobwas employed in carrying linen
to various houses, for the carpenter's wife was a washerwoman.
Many days passed, Gottlob at one time helped in the shop,
at another in the laundry. On Sundays he got a walk in the
country, and then he picked flowers, which he placed in a
mug before the Picture that his father had left him.
Good Master Stumpf and his wife could not quite make
out the boy,-they were never able to see anything like a
Picture in the father's legacy.
"I am sure that Gottlob is half-witted," said Stumpf,
who but a fool would suppose there was any beauty in a
blank board ?"
Oottlob'f picture. 67
"That is true," said his wife. "Look at neighbour
Dumm's boy, he sucks liquorice-root all day, and plays in
the gutter. That I call childlike and beautiful. But
Gottlob! he has no delight in making mud-pies, or paddling
in puddles; so he must be a fool."
Do you not think," said the carpenter, "that it would be
well if we took away the board on which he sets his heart,
and about which he is crazy ? "
It might break his heart," objected the good woman.
However, they did it. The opportunity to do it came
Gottlob fell ill with a fever, and lay several nights and days
very sick in his garret. But in the night, when he was
burning and tossing with fever, the lamp kindled of its own
accord before his Picture, and the flowers opened, and poured
forth the sweetest fragrance, and grew, and grew, till they
formed an arch of roses and honeysuckle round it. Also
the straw on which Gottlob lay stood up on end, quite crisp
and laden with golden corn, with blue cornflower and scarlet
poppy winking and smiling in and out between the stalks,
and the crickets sang, and the summer air waved among the
corn with a pleasant rustle. Then-all at once, as though
struck with death, the poppies lost their leaves, and the blue
flower turned shrivelled and black, the corn fell in a mass on
the"ground, and spilled its golden grain all over the floor,
and the crickets ceased to sing, and the sun ceased to shine,
and the wind moaned sadly.
68 Oottlob' oPicturr.
Master Stumpf had carried the father's legacy away.
"Now," said the carpenter, I hope the boy will take a
turn and become sensible, and think no more of birds and
flowers, and butterflies, and such like trash. When I am
delirious I do not talk as he has been talking in his fever."
O, no," answered his wife. When you are fevered you
cast up accounts which never come right."
That is what I call being delirious in a common sense
way," said Stumpf. "Now I will tell you what I intend to
do with the Picture, as Gottlob calls it. The Baroness
Bricabrac is fond of curiosities, and as the frame is handsome
perhaps she will buy it, and Gottlob shall have the money."
Next day the carpenter carried the picture to the Baroness,
who was charmed with it. What a sweet mirror she
said, And so prettily framed. I will certainly buy it."
Mirror thought Stumpf. It is a board, not a look-
ing-glass. What can the lady mean ? "
The Baroness opened her purse, and took out thirty pieces
of silver. Will this be thought sufficient ?" she asked.
After the Picture was gone, Gottlob's dreams were full of
horror, but he recovered his health, though not his spirits.
His soul seemed strangely crushed, life looked wonderfully
blank before him, but why this was so he did not find out at
once. One day, however, he saw that his Picture was gone,
he had been robbed of his father's legacy. Then with a cry
of despair he cast himself on the floor.
"Silly child," said the woman Stumpf; "you should
Oottlob'g picture. 69
rejoice to have thirty shillings, and be rid of that piece of
unprofitable rubbish Now you are rich."
Then Gottlob stood up, and took the silver, and looked at
it, and counted it, and a horror of the money came over him.
He ran out of the house, holding the silver, and hastened to
the house of the Baroness Bricabrac, artd knocked at the
door, and went into her hall, and thrust his way into her
sitting-room. There on a table stood his Picture. This was on
a summer day. The window was open, and twelve yellow
butterflies flitted in a ray of sunshine which smote upon the
Picture, then soared up, and formed a glittering, fluttering
crown as of golden stars above the Picture. Also, a branch
of jessamine, borne by the draught, was carried in at the
casement, and garlanded the holy Picture. Likewise a
swallow swept in, and perching under the Picture began to
twitter. Gottlob threw himself on his knees, looking into
the beautiful Picture of Christ, enthroned in glory above all
How very romantic," said the Baroness. This is like
Narcissus, who was lost in admiration of his own pretty
face, when he saw it reflected in water, so Jupiter turned
him into a flower that stands and nods above a pool."
As the lady spoke the jessamine shrank through the win-
dow, as if it had been touched by a rough hand and was
sensitive, and withdrew in pain; also the circle of butter-
flies splintered and flickered away ; and the swallow spread
her wings and flew out of the window. Moreover, the colours
70 oottlob' Picture.
and lines and forms began to fade out of the painting, as if
each word of the Baroness had been a wet sponge smearing
0 Lady!" exclaimed Gottlob, "this is my father's
legacy, and Master Stumpf had no right to sell you the
Picture," repeated the Baroness, "you mean mirror."
"No, no!" said the boy excitedly. "The Holy Christ,
seated on a golden cloud, with the sparkling stars about
Him, and all the world in flower under His feet."
How extraordinary!" said the lady. "I see only a
looking-glass in a pretty frame."
Kind lady, it is my father's legacy. He bade me never
part with it. Here is your money again, only let me have
my Picture once more."
I cannot refuse you," said the Baroness Bricabrac. "And
indeed I am tired of the toy. The birds and insects have
come into the room, and been very troublesome since
it has been here; and the gardener has had a world of
trouble with the roses and clematis and jessamine, which
have been bursting their ties, and trailing in at the window.
I will have a real good new glass in a plaster-gilt frame with
stuffed birds and dried flowers about it."
When Gottlob heard he might take his Picture, he caught
it in his arms and held it against his beating heart, and ran
out of the room, ran out of the house, ran out of the street,
out of the town, away, away, with the glad tears on his
iottlob' i)icturt. 71
cheek into the country, and he did not stop till he reached
a forest of pines. Then, at last, he stood still, and set his
Picture on the ground, and knelt down and examined it all
over, to see that it was safe and unhurt.
As he thus knelt, the fragrance of the pines surrounded
him, and the air was full as well of sound, the murmur of
the wind among the myriad needles of the firs, and through
the trees smote streaks of sunlight, making bars of orange
splendour. The evening was creeping on ; the sun was
Presently the sun set, and then the golden bars dis-
appeared. In the forest a blue-grey shadow spread. Never-
theless the golden cloud in the Picture began to shine
brighter as the light of day declined, and the stars in the
painting twinkled like real stars, and the white robe of the
Lord Christ was as if it was woven out of the light of a
By degrees night came on ; and as night fell clouds
gathered over the sky, and the wind moaned mournfully
through the aisles of the pinewood. Then there was a
shaking of the tree-tops, and a fall of old dry fir cones.
Gottlob looked up, and a large rain drop fell on his face.
The boy hastily closed the doors of his Picture, and crept
for shelter under a gigantic pine. Presently the rain came
down, and the gale raved through the forest. The trees
shivered and shook off their moisture, wet trickled down
their trunks. Gottlob clasped his Picture, fearing lest the
72 8ottlob'4 jicturt.
water should spoil it. His clothes clung to him. The earth
was sodden, and chilled him. His hands were numb, his
heart sick, and tears and rain dimmed his eyes.
In sooth it is warm enough in Master Stumpfs kitchen,"
said a greeting voice near. "Terribly cold is it here!
Wet-wet-wet and cold, wrr-r-r "
Who are you ? asked Gottlob, trembling.
Never mind enquiring who I am," answered the same
voice ; I will talk to you whilst you crouch shivering there.
You are hungry-that I know. Ah How good a supper
you would have been eating now had you not left the house
of the Stumpfs. Thirty shillings! Let me reckon what
you might have had at the inn for that. A warm room, a
beef-steak and fried potatoes, brown and crisp." Then
there came a sound as of munching, "and a bottle of wine,
mulled, may be, with cloves and nutmeg and sugar. You
have lost all this by leaving the money. Fool-fool-
pitiful fool." Then ensued a harsh laugh.
Gottlob said nothing, but looked about him to see who
was addressing him.
"Tell me," the voice went on, what have you got for
your pains? A dripping piece of wood, hunger, cold, ague,
fever. What is beautiful passes. Flowers die, colours fade,
songs cease, sunshine is clouded ; glow-worms are but filthy
grubs, the flowers of the field are but hay. Ah! Gottlob,
think nothing of that which is not of practical and material
use, which will not feed and fatten and keep dry and warm."
Oottfob'g Victurt. 73
Then Gottlob saw that he was addressed by a round white
face, that stood up out of the ground, where it was covered
with dead fir spines and fallen empty fir cones. The head
was quite round, and white, like as if it were covered with
white kid, and it had two little beady eyes that were lustre-
less; also a mouth without lips, and no colour in it; when
it opened it was white like the rest of the face. Gottlob was
so angry that he ran up to this little head and struck it, and
it rolled away screaming like a jay, till it struck against the
trunk of a tree, and then, puff! It was gone in smoke.
So Gottlob thought he must have been dreaming, or wander-
ing in his mind, and that this was nothing at all but a puff-
ball. He went after it, and picked up a ragged bit of skin,
like old leather. He looked at it, but could make no face
out of the torn fragment. Then he turned to go back to
where he had left the Picture, and was astonished to see
that it was no longer standing against the tree, but was
down, and was moving away. He ran to it, and saw that
it was on the backs of hundreds of centipedes, and wood lice,
and that black beetles were harnessed to it, and a great toad
sat on the edge of the Picture urging the beetles on.
Gottlob was so astonished that he stood still with open
eyes; but he soon recovered himself, for the wood lice were
rolled up in balls, and the Picture rolled on them so fast, and
the beetles ran so quickly, and the centipedes pushed and
drew so vigorously, and the toad used such exertion to make
all run together, that in a very few minutes the Picture
74 60ttIob'B picture.
would be gone. Gottlob pushed the toad off his seat, and
when he did that the toad spat at him, and blistered his
hand. Then the centipedes stung him, but Gottlob minded
nothing. He took up his Picture, and put it to his heart,
and clasped his arms round it, and ran away with it out of
the forest. But the beetles were all about it, and creeping
things of all kinds, and they crawled over Gottlob's hands,
and tickled his face, and made him very uncomfortable.
He had to put down the Picture and rub them off him.
At last he came outside of the forest, and then, at once,
all the creeping creatures fell off, and crawled back into the
darkness under the trees.
When Gottlob was out of the shadows, on the moor, he
found he had come to the place where he had slept the night
before entering the town. There was the thorn bush that
had flowered. If it were not the same, it was one very like
it. So he set down the Picture, and opened the shutters.
Now the night of storm was nearly passed. In the east
day began to dawn, lines of carmine and gold were drawn in
the sky over the distant hills. Then a flush of pink went up
over all the canopy of grey vapour. In another moment the
whole sky was a blazing glorious vault of fire.
The picture was changed in that growing light, the frame
struck root, and threw out branches and leaves. Moreover,
the Picture expanded, it became so big that the frame was
like a huge chancel arch over it; also it altered its appear-
ance, it became transparent as glass, so that Gottlob could
8ottlob'fi Picture. 75
see the glorious sky, and the purple hills, and the waking
flowers through it, but at the same time he saw even more
distinctly than before the figure of Christ on His throne.
Also from out of the distance, through the Picture poured
floods of melody, but whence they rose and poured Gottlob
could not guess. He put his hand to his head, he was
bewildered. Then he thought he-saw his mother's white
cap behind, and her hand beckoning to him. And then
the whole Picture quivered like gold leaf in the sun, and he
could not tell what he saw, he was so dazzled and mazed:
only through the quivering light he saw the hand of his
mother beckoning. Then, not knowing what he did, Gottlob
stepped forward, and went through the frame, and then-I
cannot tell you any more, for I know no more, the quivering
light was like the sun shining on a gently rolling sea, and
BY A. M. HEATHCOTE.
E all know that the rabbit has remarkably long ears,
and a remarkably short tail, but perhaps some
people do not know how he came by them. There
was a time-though I have forgotten the exact year, and
really have not time to turn over the leaves of all the date-
trees to find out-when the rabbit's ears were no more
remarkable than those of his neighbours-the weazels, and
stoats, and others-and when he had a magnificent tail,
almost as bushy as the squirrel's, and much longer than the
tale I am going to tell. At that time he was not at all timid
and shy, but very inquisitive and full of curiosity; he was
always trying to find out all sorts of little matters that did
not at all concern him, and asking so many questions that
he was being snubbed all the day long; and I believe that
was how it happened that his nose got so short and dumpy,
but I am not sure about that.
Once he asked the woodpecker what was the good of such
a long bill, and the woodpecker said, "to send in to people,
like other bills," and gave him such a poke in the hind leg
that he limped for days after it. Next week he was pestering
his cousin the hare to know why he made his home in the
grass instead of living underground like himself; but his
cousin looked very scornful, and said that living in a hole
was not good form," which made the rabbit very sad at
the time, for he knew that his family was very ancient, and
had worn fur at a time when none but kings and princes
might do so, and he did not like to be told that he did not
do the correct thing-even in slang. However, he was soon
at it again : peeping under the fronds of the ferns in autumn,
and asking why they looked so seedy ; inquiring of the hawk
whether he thought it becoming at his age to be so fond of a
little lark; bothering the foxgloves to know why the fox had
so many of them, and never wore them (they said, I believe,
that the fox hated all gloves, especially dogskins, though his
relation the wolf was often seen with a pair of white kids);
and in fact poking his nose for ever into his neighbours'
affairs, instead of attending to the large family in his own
burrow at home.
Well, among other things, he took into his head that he
would very much like to know how Dame Nature made
those fungusses that we see so often in the woods, and which
are so like glazy brown buns ; but Dame Nature is not
particularly fond of having her secrets pried into; at least
it would seem to be so, for she always gives a good deal of
trouble to those who undertake to give an account of her
doings; and so when our friend the rabbit met her one day
in the forest, and asked her as a great favour for the recipe
for her "excellent brown buns," she told him that little
rabbits shouldn't ask questions, and whisked round the
corner of the nearest bush.
This refusal however only made him the more anxious to
find it out-for he was pretty well used to snubs, as we have
seen, and his nose was already getting flattened-and he laid
a plot accordingly to do so.
He knew well enough where the Dame's great bakehouse
was-in a cave in the very heart of the great forest-where
she spent a great deal of time in the autumn baking the
leaves brown, and in the winter preparing the iceing for
her Christmas cake, or hardening the crust of the earth ; but
he had never yet managed to get a peep inside, or to find out
how she carried on her cookery.
However curiosity now made him bolder, and having found
thather great spring sap-boiling was over and cleared away,
and that her summer cutting-out of the leaves was disposed of,
he concluded that she would be thinking about her brown buns,
and he cautiously made his way to the door of the bakehouse.
Now he did not dare to go in, as he was well aware that
the Dame always searched well round the bakehouse before
even lighting her fire, in order to be sure that no one was
there; so he determined to listen at the door, and in order
to keep it ajar he thrust his tail in, just as she shut it to.
He accomplished what he intended, for the latch of the door
did not catch, though the Dame gave it a good hard slam,
but at the same time it gave his tail so severe a pinch that
on turning round he found to his horror that he had left the
greater part of it between the door and the doorpost.
However, in his eager curiosity he did not take much heed
of this misfortune, and as at this moment he heard some of
his woodland friends approaching, to whom he had boasted
of his coming discovery, he softly pushed the door open a
little, and tried to peep in. Unluckily for him the hinges of
the door had not been oiled lately, and gave a great creak,
and he had barely time to see the Dame shaking off the
powder from some hazel tassels (baking powder he thought)
before she pushed the door to with a bang, and the rabbit,
barely withdrawing his head in time, found himself fast
caught by the ears. His friends were drawing near, and he
could already hear the weazel remarking rather spitefully,
"Well, we shall see," so he struggled and pulled with all his
might to get out of his ignominious and painful position, but
in vain; Dame Nature's carpentry is apt to be well fitted,
and the door held him like a vice.
His friends soon appeared, and were not sparing of their
jokes; but after a good laugh they set to work to pull him
out of his trap. The process was a painful one, and when it
was at last accomplished he found that his ears had been
pulled out to at least double their proper length, while his
poor tail was reduced to a mere stump.
Thus, then, ended his attempt to find out the recipe for
the brown buns, and ever since that time he has been known
by the nickname of Bunny.
B Y HELEN A. WILMOT-B UXTON
HE little girl, about whom I am going to tell you,
lived in a tiny village in Germany. She had never
been to a town in all her life, and often wondered
what it could be like. She worked in a farm house, and knew
many things that you don't, I suspect. She milked the cow;
made cheese and butter; drove her Master's geese to feed
in the meadows, and picked up wood for the winter's fire.
Little Gretchen liked to sit in the forest beneath the shadow
of the oak, watching the merry sunbeams playing hide and
seek together; liked to listen to the hum of the insects, and
the glad song of the birds-yes, it was all very pleasant,
and her Mistress was very kind to her. But one day, when
Gretchen was sitting on the grass, tying up a bundle of
sticks, for it was autumn, and it would soon be cold enough
for fires, a funny looking old woman came up to her. The
old woman had a very long nose, and a very long chin; she
Orcetdn, or e riinancbttl Palace. 81
leaned on a stick, and wore a scarlet cloak. You can guess
at once that she was a witch.
Well, she sat down on a stump of a tree, and nodded a
good day to the little girl.
"And how is the Mistress ?" she asked, setting down a
basket upon the grass, and proceeding to gather up a handful
She is very busy, making harvest cakes," answered
She is always busy,-how hard she works to be sure."
"Yes," said Gretchen.
"Up with the birds, and working all day long-faugh,"
and the old witch made a grimace, which made her look
uglier than ever. Work, work, work, and all for nothing-
now if it made her rich I could understand it," she said.
"The Mistress does not work for that," said Gretchen.
Good day, Mother Bridget," and she went back to the farm.
Next day Gretchen met Mother Bridget again.
"Good day, little Gretchen," said Mother Bridget; how
pale you look, and no wonder-poor child Why the Mis-
tress works you to death."
I do work hard, indeed," said Gretchen.
And what wages do you get ? Very little, I'll be bound.
Your Mistress is very stingy,-everyone knows that. Poor
child! I daresay you have never been out of your village-
never seen the yearly fair in the town-never bought yourself
a new ribbon."
82 Orttcftn, or foJe encbanttl talact.
Oh! but I have, Mother Bridget. The pedlar comes to
our village sometimes, and I buy just what I like."
The witch laughed a mocking laugh. She was a wicked
old witch, if only Gretchen had known it.
What should you say to leaving the farm, and the hard
work, Gretchen, and seeking a new place in the town, where
you need not work at all-where you can earn so much
money, that you won't know what to do with it all ?"
Gretchen's eyes sparkled.
I should like that, very much," she said.
Then run away, and go to the town and seek your for-
tune," said Mother Bridget, and with that she hobbled away.
Now Gretchen could not sleep that night. She thought a
great deal about the town where she might make her fortune
so easily, and it seemed very hard that she should be kept
working in a village to earn so little. For many days and
many nights she thought so much of what the witch had
said that her Mistress scolded her for want of attention to
her duties. She let the cakes burn, and forgot to draw
the water; the wood which she had collected she left in the
damp, so that it would not kindle, and altogether she did so
much mischief that the busy, hard-working farmer's wife was
fain to punish her.
Gretchen rebelled against the punishment which her neglect
so richly deserved, and resolved to run away and seek a new
fortune in the far off town.
It was a moonlight night when she crossed the pale meadows
&retcbn, or 1fj CEncbantteb alace. 83
beyond the farm. All was still and silent save the hoot of the
owl as it hovered above her. She hurried on her way till she
had left all the old familiar scenes far behind. At last she
came in sight of a great town-the sound of voices and the
crash of traffic reached her ears. She began to grow excited.
Soon she would be in the town, the place where she was to
make a fortune.
Now between her and the city there was a river, across
which stretched a bridge. There were people crossing back-
wards and forwards continually, and there were many ships
upon the water. Gretchen stood looking down upon them-
it was a pretty sight, for the river was flooded with silver
moonlight. As she stood on the bridge, a giant came and
looked over the rails, and he was so big that Gretchen felt
like a dwarf.
Please, sir," said Gretchen humbly, do you happen to
know where I can find a situation in the town ? "
The giant was a very good-natured personage. He stooped
to catch Gretchen's remarks, which he could not have heard
else, for he was so very high up above her.
"There is plenty of work to be done in the city, little
maiden," he answered. What sort of work can you do? "
I want to make a fortune, and I want to enjoy myself.
There is a lady somewhere in the city who wants a servant,
and who will pay her high wages, they tell me."
The giant laughed a most unpleasant laugh, and, instead of
answering, turned his back upon the little girl and walked away.
84 Orctcljcn, or Cte encI)antet alalace.
Then came a tiny dwarf, and to him, Gretchen put the
I am looking for that lady, myself," said the dwarf. I
have been looking for her all my life,but haven't found her yet."
Dear, dear," sighed Gretchen, how sorry I am, I left
my home. I am so hungry-will you give me a penny to
buy some bread ? "
"I have not any pennies," said the dwarf; "don't you
see I am starving? "
Gretchen felt very unhappy. She left the bridge, and
found herself in the city-such a busy, noisy place, full of
beautiful shops and long streets and big houses. Gretchen
was very hungry. She looked wistfully in at the plate-glass
windows, longing for some of the nice cakes there displayed.
Presently she went into one of the grand shops.
Please, will you give me a cake ? she said.
Where is your money ? said the man.
I have none," answered Gretchen. "But I am very
I can't help that," said the man roughly; "go away, or
you shall go to prison."
Poor Gretchen was afraid to beg any more after that. She
crept away from the glare of the lamps under an archway,
and began to cry.
While she sat crying a little boy, who was selling matches,
came up to her, and, seeing how unhappy she was, tried to
OrttUbtn, or I)Et ncd)anteu 3Palace. 85
"Ah, dear Gretchen, that wicked old woman is a witch;
I know her," he said, when the little girl had told her story.
"She persuaded me to leave my home in the same way;
but I have made up my mind to go back, only you see it is
very difficult, because one has to cross the bridge, and there
is a giant on the other side, who tries to prevent it."
I think when you go I'll go too," said Gretchen; "but
oh I should like to find the place the witch told me about."
At that moment Mother Bridget herself appeared, and
Gretchen, forgetting everything but her wish to make a for-
tune, ran up to her, and caught her by the gown.
Oh here you are," said Mother Bridget. Come with
me, and I'll show you the fine things in the city-and you
shall choose your house."
"My house. What house ? asked Gretchen.
"Why the house you'll buy when you have made your
fortune, to be sure."
Oh that will be capital-won't you come too ? said
Gretchen, holding our her hand to the little boy, but the boy
He thinks me a witch; silly boy," said Mother Bridget.
So Gretchen followed the old woman, still feeling very
hungry, but hoping that soon she should have something to
appease her appetite. They threaded their way through the
city, passing large houses and brilliant shops, and in the
pleasure of seeing the lovely jewels spread out in the gold-
86 rttrcbet, or Et)e (Endanteb Palace.
smith's windows, and the beautiful clothes and toys, Gretchen
began to forget her hunger.
"Now," said the witch, "you must choose your future
I am so hungry," said Gretchen, "may I not have a bit
of bread first ? "
"Bread!" cried the witch; "eat bread, when you can
have cake-silly child."
But can I have cake ?" asked Gretchen.
Some day, of course, when you have made a fortune."
But I am hungry now," said Gretchen.
Never mind-don't take any notice, and it will go off.
If you like I will help you choose a house, and then we'll
have supper together."
Ah, that will be very nice," said Gretchen.
So they walked on.
Now there were so many houses, and they were all so
beautiful, that it was no easy matter to select the best, and
Gretchen had quite made up her mind to have the best of
At last they came to a Palace, built of marble, and this
seemed to Gretchen quite the nicest she had seen.
"This shall be mine," she cried. "I will certainly live
Yes. You have made a wise choice," said the wicked
old witch, who knew full well that the Palace was enchanted.
May I not go inside, and just see if it is as nice there as
Orttcbtn, or Ee enciianttr Palace. 87
it looks outside ? asked Gretchen, little knowing, poor
child, what she was asking.
Certainly," said the witch, and they went in.
"You must walk softly, for every one is asleep. You see
it is rather late," said the witch. It is lucky for us that
they are, or we should certainly not be allowed to look over it."
It was a lovely palace-the floors were covered with the
softest carpets, the curtains were embroidered in gold and
silver, and the furniture was of carved ebony. There were
cabinets of ivory about the rooms, and rose-coloured lamps,
some of which hung from the ceiling, while others were held
by marble statues.
All these things will be mine some day," said Gretchen,
and she stretched forth her hand to touch one of the cabinets.
What was her surprise when she found that it eluded her
grasp-it was air, and she could not touch it, for you see it
was an enchanted Palace.
Some day, when they are really yours, you will be able
to touch them," said the witch.
I begin to feel very hungry again," said Gretchen.
We'll go into the banqueting hall and have a feast," said
Now comes the strangest part of this strange story. They
went into the banqueting hall, and the table there was full
of delicious things-creams and jellies, cakes and fruits,
wines and cool and sparkling drinks."
Help yourself," said the witch.
88 Orttcben, or &Elc Onclantenll alace.
Gretchen took some jelly, and poured out a glass of iced
lemonade. She poured and poured, but the glass seemed
still empty. She took a goblet of wine, and poured some of
it into her glass-still the glass was empty, and so it was
with the jellies and the creams and all the other good things.
You can imagine how tantalising it was to poor Gretchen.
At last she could bear it no longer, and began to cry. Then
she felt sure that Mother Bridget was a witch, and that the
Palace was enchanted, and, having come to this conclusion,
she made up her mind to escape from them as soon as ever
she could. It was a lucky thing for Gretchen that she found
out so soon about the wicked old woman, for had she once
gone to sleep in that enchanted Palace I expect she would
never have escaped at all. As it was, she managed to jump
out of the window, and run away; and I can tell you she
made good use of her legs, for the witch was behind her.
She managed to reach the river before Mother Bridget could
catch her up, and there she met the little match boy.
"I am afraid to go over," sobbed the little boy; "the
giant is waiting for us on the other side. I can see him."
Just then that other giant-the good-natured one who had
spoken to Gretchen, you remember,-happened to be passing
across the bridge.
Ah, come back, have you ? he said. Want to get
over, I suppose."
"Oh yes, please, good Mr. Giant; and we are so weak, won't
you help us, because the witch is behind us," said Gretchen.
Oretdcen, or be ncd)antela Palace. 89
"I'll take you on my shoulders-jump up," said the good-
natured giant; and they jumped up as quick as lightning.
The giant carried them safely over, and dropped them on
the other side.
Now run home, and take my advice," said the giant:
"never run away again; but do what you are told, and be
good children : for so long as you are good no witch can do
you any harm."
Gretchen and Karl thanked the good giant, and promised
to take his advice. Gretchen's kind Mistress received her
back at the farm, and forgave her; and for Karl, his Mother
punished him a little, for he deserved it, and then kissed
him, because he really was very sorry for his naughtiness.
BY MISS C. R. COLERIDGE.
AUTHOR OF LADY BETTY," ETC.
S ELL you a tale ? You are always wanting tales;
and I don't think I have any to tell."
Oh just one little one, Auntie, something
about a little girl."
Well! I wonder whether it ever occurred to you to think
what little girls were like who lived a long time ago, and
how different their lives were from yours."
No, no, Auntie, do tell me about them. Did they do
any lessons ? What were they like ? "
Well, I will tell you something about one of them. But
you must shut your eyes, and think yourself back four
hundred years and more, right into the reign of Henry VII."
Four hundred years ago if you had gone out on a fine May
morning you would have seen our old Church tower, looking
very much as it does now, but there would have been no
pretty rectory house near it; and over there on the hill you
would have seen only the very oldest part of the Hall, not
covered with grey and yellow lichen, and overgrown with
i3I~unndt'fj fMayfina. 91
ivy as it is now, but quite new and red and strong looking;
and there at the side, where the drawing-room windows are,
with the striped blinds, there would have been a rough
old square tower, with battlements on the top, and tall,
narrow slits instead of pleasant windows. But where the
lawn tennis ground is, I think, there was a nice little garden,
with gay roses and sweet herbs, tucked in behind high walls;
and the wood was bigger, and spread much further, and had
hardly any little paths leading through it, only very rough
narrow tracks, known to wood cutters and charcoal burners.
Little Blanche Bevan woke up one morning within the
walls of the old Hall, and as she rolled herself round on her
funny little carved oak bedstead, and saw the sun shining
in through her narrow window, she remembered that it was
the first of May, and that she was to have a whole holiday,
and to go out into the wood to bring home the May. For
Blanche had lessons to do, as a rule. She learned to read,
and to embroider, and to sing; and she had rather a dull
life, for she was an only child, and she never had little girls
to come and spend the day with her.
Oh, Auntie, why not ? "
Because, in the first place, gentlemen's houses were so far
apart from each other, and the roads were so bad, that
ladies and children could not travel. They had no carriages
either to drive about in in bad weather; and then, after the
long Wars of the Roses, of which you have read in your
History of England, the country was so disturbed, and there
92 33Iancbdt'fi f(aing.
were so many rough characters about, that the lonely fields
and lanes were dangerous to walk in; and people could not
take nice country walks as they can now. Moreover, Sir
Richard Bevan, little Blanche's Father, had been one of
those who had fought for the White Rose of York; and,
though he with all his party had agreed to the peace, and
submitted to King Henry the Seventh, he had never grown
cordial with men of the opposite side, and he and his nearest
neighbour, Sir John Askew, who had been an ardent Lancas-
trian, had never made up the old quarrel. Indeed they did
many foolish things to annoy one another, and held their
heads very high when they met on public occasions. It was
wonderful, too, how fond the cattle, and the herd boys
belonging to each were of getting on the wrong side of the
hedge and damaging each other's property; and what tales
each had to tell of the bad doings of the other.
So Blanche Bevan could never go and play with the little
Askews, or have them come to make a feast with her in the
little garden under the wall, outside of which she very seldom
went. But now she was eight years old, and her Mother had
given her leave to go a Maying with the servant maids and
the little girls of the village, since they need not to go far
into the wood, and all the lads and men belonging to Wood-
leigh Hall, as Blanche's home was called, would be there on
the look out, so none of the Askew followers would dare to
So quite in the early morning, as we have seen, Blanche