• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The Gorgon's head
 The golden touch
 The paradise of children
 The three golden apples
 The miraculous pitcher
 The chimæra
 Back Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Wonder book for girls and boys
Title: A wonder book for girls & boys
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081939/00001
 Material Information
Title: A wonder book for girls & boys
Uniform Title: Wonder book for girls and boys
Alternate Title: Wonder book for girls and boys
Physical Description: x, 210 p., 19 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864
Crane, Walter, 1845-1915 ( Illustrator )
James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co ( Publisher )
Riverside Press (Cambridge, Mass.) ( Printer )
H.O. Houghton & Company ( Printer )
Elizabeth Robins Pennell Collection (Library of Congress)
Publisher: Osgood, McIlvaine & Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass. ; H.O. Houghton & Company
Publication Date: 1892
 Subjects
Subject: Mythology, Greek -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Mythology, Classical -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1892   ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1892   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1892
Genre: Children's stories
Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Nathaniel Hawthorne ; with 60 designs by Walter Crane.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081939
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223786
notis - ALG4038
oclc - 02916033
lccn - 75314016

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Half Title
        Page i
    Frontispiece
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
    The Gorgon's head
        Page 1
        Introductory to the Gorgon's head
            Page 1
            Page 2
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
        The Gorgon's head
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 22a
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 26a
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 32a
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 36a
            Page 37
            Page 38
        Tanglewood porch - After the story
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
    The golden touch
        Page 42
        Introductory to the golden touch
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
        The golden touch
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 50a
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 62a
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 66a
            Page 67
            Page 68
        Shadow brook - After the story
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
    The paradise of children
        Page 73
        Tanglewood play-room. Introductory to the paradise of children
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
        The paradise of children
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 80a
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 86a
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 92a
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
        Tanglewood play-room - After the story
            Page 100
            Page 101
    The three golden apples
        Page 102
        Subdivision Level 1
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
        The three golden apples
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 112a
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 120a
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 126a
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
        Tanglewood fireside - After the story
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
            Page 139
    The miraculous pitcher
        Page 143
        Introductory to the miraculous pitcher
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
        The miraculous pitcher
            Page 144
            Page 144a
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 148a
            Page 149
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
            Page 158
            Page 158a
            Page 159
            Page 160
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
            Page 164
            Page 165
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
        The hill-side - After the story
            Page 170
            Page 171
    The chimæra
        Page 172
        Introductory to the Chimaera
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
        The chimæra
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
            Page 180
            Page 180a
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
            Page 200a
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
        Bald-summit - After the story
            Page 206
            Page 207
            Page 208
            Page 209
            Page 210
    Back Matter
        Back Matter
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.






















t


















T HE author has long been of opinion that
many of the classical myths were capable of
being rendered into very capital reading for chil-
dren. In the little volume here offered to the
public, he has worked up half a dozen of them,
with this end in view. A great freedom of treat-
ment was necessary to his plan; but it will be ob-
served by every one who attempts to render these
legends malleable in his intellectual furnace, that
they are marvellously independent of all tempo-
rary modes and circumstances. They remain es-
sentially the same, after changes that would affect
the identity of almost anything else.
He does not, therefore, plead guilty to a sac-
rilege, in having sometimes shaped anew, as his
fancy dictated, the forms that have been hallowed
by an antiquity of two or three thousand years.
No epoch of time can claim a copyright in these
immortal fables. They seem never to have been
made; and certainly, so long as man exists, they
can never perish; but, by their indestructibility
itself, they are legitimate subjects for every age to
clothe with its own garniture of manners and sen-
timent, and to imbue with its own morality. In








vi PREFACE
the present version they may have lost much of
their classical aspect (or, at all events, the author
has not been careful to preserve it), and have per-
haps assumed a Gothic or romantic guise.
In performing this pleasant task, -for it has
been really a task fit for hot weather, and one of
the most agreeable, of a literary kind, which he
ever undertook, the author has not always
thought it necessary to write downward, in order
to meet the comprehension of children. He has
generally suffered the theme to soar, whenever
such was its tendency, and when he himself was
buoyant enough to follow without an effort. Chil-
dren possess an unestimated sensibility to what-
ever is deep or high, in imagination or feeling, so
long as it is simple likewise. It is only the arti-
ficial and the complex that bewilder them.
LENOX, July 15, 1851.





















PAGE
THE GORGON'S HEAD.
TANGLEWOOD PORCH. Introductory to The Gorgon's
Head .
THE GORGON'S HEAD 7
TANGLEWOOD PORCH. -After the Story 39
THE GOLDEN TOUCH.
SHADOW BROOK. Introductory to The Golden Touch 42
THE GOLDEN TOUCH 46
SHADOW BROOK. After the Story .69
THE PARADISE OF CHILDREN.
TANGLEWOOD PLAY-ROOM.- Introductory to The Para-
dise of Children 73
THE PARADISE OF CHILDREN 78
TANGLEWOOD PLAY-ROOM. After the Story 100
THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES.
TANGLEWOOD FIRESIDE. Introductory to The Three
Golden Apples 102
THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES. 109
TANGLEWOOD FIRESIDE. After the Story. 136
THE MIRACULOUS PITCHER.
THE HILL- SIDE. Introductory to The Miraculous
Pitcher 140
THE MIRACULOUS PITCHER 144
THE HILL-SIDE. After the Story 170
THE CHIMERA.
BALD-SUMMIT.-- Introductory to The Chimera 172
THE CHIMIERA 176
BALD-SUMMIT. -After the Story 206
vii


















SLISToF SIGiS1


Half-Title .
Frontispiece Bellerophon on Pegasus.
Title iii
Preface v
Tailpiece vi
Contents .vii
List of Designs ix
Tailpiece x
Headpiece TANGLEWOOD PORCH I
THE GORGON'S HEAD-Headpiece 7
Perseus and the Grais 22
Perseus armed by the Nymphs 26
Perseus and the Gorgons 32
Perseus showing the Gorgon's Head 36
Tailpiece 38
Headpiece- TANGLEWOOD PORCH, After the Story 39
Tailpiece 41
Headpiece-SHADOW BROOK 42
THE GOLDEN TOUCH-Headpiece 46
The Stranger appearing to Midas 50
Midas' Daughter turned to Gold 62
Midas with the Pitcher 66
Tailpiece 68
Headpiece SHADOW BROOK, After the Story 69
Tailpiece 72
Headpiece TANGLEWOOD PLAY-ROOM 73
Tailpiece 77
THE PARADISE OF CHILDREN-Headpiece 78
Pandora wonders at the Box 80
Pandora desires to open the Box 86
Pandora opens the Box 92
Tailpiece .. .96
ix











x LIST OF DESIGNS

Headpiece-TANGLEWOOD PLAY-ROOM, After the Story oo
Headpiece TANGLEWOOD FIRESIDE 102
Tailpiece 108
THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES-Headpiece 109
Hercules and the Nymphs 112
Hercules and the Old Man of the Sea 12
Hercules and Atlas 126
Tailpiece 135
Headpiece-TANGLEWOOD FIRESIDE, After the Story 136
Tailpiece 139
Headpiece -THE HILL-SIDE 140
Tailpiece 143
THE MIRACULOUS PITCHER-Headpiece 144
Philemon and Baucis 144
The Strangers in the Village 148
The Strangers entertained 58
Tailpiece 169
Headpiece THE HILL-SIDE, After the Story 170
Tailpiece 171
Headpiece -BALD SUMMIT 172
Tailpiece 75
THE CHIMERA- Headpiece 176
Bellerophon at the Fountain .18o
Bellerophon slays the Chimara 200
Tailpiece 205
Headpiece BALD SUMMIT, After the Story 206
Tailpiece 210










Fffiear. OORC>O.W -afl


INTRODUCTORY TO
THE GORGON'S HEAD
ENEATH the porch of the
country-seat called Tangle-
wood, one fine autumnal
morning, was assembled a
merry party of little folks,
with a tall youth in the midst of them. They
had planned a nutting expedition, and were impa-
tiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-
slopes, and for the sun to pour the warmth of
the Indian summer over the fields and pastures,
and into the nooks of the many-colored woods.
There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever
gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and com-
fortable world. As yet, however, the morning
mist filled up the whole length and breadth of
the valley, above which, on a gently sloping em-
inence, the mansion stood.
This body of white vapor extended to within
less than a hundred yards of the house. It com-
pletely hid everything beyond that distance, ex-
cept a few ruddy or yellow tree-tops, which here










Fffiear. OORC>O.W -afl


INTRODUCTORY TO
THE GORGON'S HEAD
ENEATH the porch of the
country-seat called Tangle-
wood, one fine autumnal
morning, was assembled a
merry party of little folks,
with a tall youth in the midst of them. They
had planned a nutting expedition, and were impa-
tiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-
slopes, and for the sun to pour the warmth of
the Indian summer over the fields and pastures,
and into the nooks of the many-colored woods.
There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever
gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and com-
fortable world. As yet, however, the morning
mist filled up the whole length and breadth of
the valley, above which, on a gently sloping em-
inence, the mansion stood.
This body of white vapor extended to within
less than a hundred yards of the house. It com-
pletely hid everything beyond that distance, ex-
cept a few ruddy or yellow tree-tops, which here








2 TANGLEWOOD PORCH
and there emerged, and were glorified by the early
sunshine, as was likewise the broad surface of the
mist. Four or five miles off to the southward
rose the summit of Monument Mountain, and
seemed to be floating on a cloud. Some fifteen
miles farther away, in the same direction, ap-
peared the loftier Dome of Taconic, looking blue
and indistinct, and hardly so substantial as the
vapory sea that almost rolled over it. The nearer
hills, which bordered the valley, were half sub-
merged, and were specked with little cloud-
wreaths all the way to their tops. On the whole,
there was so much cloud, and so little solid earth,
that it had the effect of a vision.
The children above-mentioned, being as full of
life as they could hold, kept overflowing from the
porch of Tanglewood, and scampering along the
gravel-walk, or rushing across the dewy herbage
of the lawn. I can hardly tell how many of these
small people there were; not less than nine or
ten, however, nor more than a dozen, of all sorts,
sizes, and ages, whether girls or boys. They were
brothers, sisters, and cousins, together with a few
of their young acquaintances, who had been in-
vited by Mr. and Mrs. Pringle to spend some of
this delightful weather with their own children at
Tanglewood. I am afraid to tell you their names,
or even to give them any names which other chil-
dren have ever been called by; because, to my
certain knowledge, authors sometimes get them-
selves into great trouble by accidentally giving the
names of real persons to the characters in their
books. For this reason I mean to call them Prim-









TANGLEWOOD PORCH 3
rose, Periwinkle, Sweet Fern, Dandelion, Blue
Eye, Clover, Huckleberry, Cowslip, Squash-Blos-
som, Milkweed, Plantain, and Buttercup; although,
to .be sure, such titles might better suit a group
of fairies than a company of earthly children.
It is not to be supposed that these little folks
were to be permitted by their careful fathers
and mothers, uncles, aunts, or grandparents, to
stray abroad into the woods and fields, without
the guardianship of some particularly grave and
elderly person. Oh, no, indeed In the first sen-
tence of my book, you will recollect that I spoke
of a tall youth, standing in the midst of the chil-
dren. His name (and I shall let you know his
real name, because he considers it a great honor
to have told the stories that are here to be printed)
- his name was Eustace Bright. He was a stu-
dent at Williams College, and had reached, I
think, at this period, the venerable age of eigh-
teen years; so that he felt quite like a grandfather
towards Periwinkle, Dandelion, Huckleberry,
Squash -Blossom, Milkweed, and the rest, who
were only half or a third as venerable as he. A
trouble in his eyesight (such as many students
think it necessary to have, nowadays, in order to
prove their diligence at their books) had kept him
from college a week or two after the beginning
of the term. But, for my part, I have seldom met
with a pair of eyes that looked as if they could see
farther or better than those of Eustace Bright.
This learned student was slender, and rather
pale, as all Yankee students are; but yet of a
healthy aspect, and as light and active as if he had








4 TANGLEWOOD PORCH
wings to his shoes. By the by, being much ad-
dicted to wading through streamlets and across
meadows, he had put on cowhide boots for the
expedition. He wore a linen blouse, a cloth cap,
and a pair of green spectacles, which he had as-
sumed, probably, less for the preservation of his
eyes than for the dignity that they imparted to
his countenance. In either case, however, he
might as well have let them alone; for Huckle-
berry, a mischievous little elf, crept behind Eus-
tace as he sat on the steps of the porch, snatched
the spectacles from his nose, and clapped them
on her own; and as the student forgot to take
them back, they fell off into the grass, and lay
there till the next spring.
Now, Eustace Bright, you must know, had won
great fame among the children, as a narrator of
wonderful stories; and though he sometimes pre-
tended to be annoyed, when they teased him for
more, and more, and always for more, yet I really
doubt whether he liked anything quite so well as
to tell them. You might have seen his eyes twin-
kle, therefore, when Clover, Sweet Fern, Cowslip,
Buttercup, and most of their playmates, besought
him to relate one of his stories, while they were
waiting for the mist to clear up.
Yes, Cousin Eustace," said Primrose, who was
a bright girl of twelve, with laughing eyes, and a
nose that turned up a little, the morning is cer-
tainly the best time for the stories with which you
so often tire out our patience. We shall be in
less danger of hurting your feelings, by falling
asleep at the most interesting points, as little
Cowslip and I did last night! "










TANGLEWOOD PORCH 5
Naughty Primrose," cried Cowslip, a child of
six years old; I did not fall asleep, and I only
shut my eyes, so as to see a picture of what Cousin
Eustace was telling about. His stories are good
to hear at night, because we can dream about
them asleep; and good in the morning, too, be-
cause then we can dream about them awake. So
I hope he will tell us one this very minute."
Thank you, my little Cowslip," said Eustace;
" certainly you shall have the best story I can
think of, if it were only for defending me so well
from that naughty Primrose. But, children, I
have already told you so many fairy tales, that
I doubt whether there is a single one which you
have not heard at least twice over. I am afraid
you will fall asleep in reality, if I repeat any of
them again."'
No, no, no! cried Blue Eye, Periwinkle, Plan-
tain, and half a dozen others. We like a story
all the better for having heard it two or three
times before."
And it is a truth, as regards children, that a
story seems often to deepen its mark in their in-
terest, not merely by two or three, but by num-
berless repetitions. But Eustace Bright, in the
exuberance of his resources, scorned to avail him-
self of an advantage which an older story-teller
would have been glad to grasp at.
It would be a great pity," said he, if a man
of my learning (to say nothing of original fancy)
could not find a new story every day, year in and
year out, for children such as you. I will tell you
one of the nursery tales that were made for the


_ I









6 TANGLEWOOD PORCH
amusement of our great old grandmother, the
Earth, when she was a child in frock and pinafore.
There are a hundred such; and it is a wonder to
me that they have not long ago been put into pic-
ture-books for little girls and boys. But, instead
of that, old gray-bearded grandsires pore over
them in musty volumes of Greek, and puzzle
themselves with trying to find out when, and how,
and for what they were made."
"Well, well, well, well, Cousin Eustace! cried
all the children at once; talk no more ;about
your stories, but begin."
Sit down, then, every soul of you," said Eus-
tace Bright, and be all as still as so many mice.
At the slightest interruption, whether,from great,
naughty Primrose, little Dandelion, or any other,
I shall bite the story short off between my teeth,
and swallow the untold part. But, in the first
place, do any of you know what a Gorgon is ? "
I do," said Primrose.
Then hold your tongue! rejoined Eustace,
who had rather she would have known nothing
about the matter. Hold all your tongues, and
I shall tell you a sweet pretty story of a Gorgon's
head."
And so he did, as you may begin to read on
the next page. Working up his sophomorical
erudition with a good deal of tact, and incurring
great obligations to Professor Anthon, he, never-
theless, disregarded all classical authorities, when-
'ever the vagrant audacity of his imagination im-
pelled him to do so.



















i ERSEUS was the son of
Danae, who was the daughter
S of a king. And when Per-
Sseus was a very little boy,
S some wicked people put his
mother and himself into a
chest, and set them afloat
upon the sea. The wind blew freshly, and drove
the chest away from the shore, and the uneasy
billows tossed it up and down; while Danae
clasped her child closely to her bosom, and dreaded
that some big wave would dash its foamy crest
over them both. The chest sailed on, however,
and neither sank nor was upset; until, when night
was coming, it floated so near an island that it got
entangled in a fisherman's nets, and was drawn
out high and dry upon the sand. The island was
called Seriphus, and it was reigned over by King
Polydectes, who happened to be the fisherman's
brother.
This fisherman, I am glad to tell you, was an
exceedingly humane and upright man. He showed
great kindness to Danae and her little boy; and








8 THE GORGON'S HEAD
continued to befriend them, until Perseus had
grown to be a handsome youth, very strong and
active, and skillful in the use of arms. Long be-
fore this time, King Polydectes had seen the two
strangers the mother and her child who had
come to his dominions in a floating chest. As
he was not good and kind, like his brother the
fisherman, but extremely wicked, he resolved to
send Perseus on a dangerous enterprise, in which
he would probably be killed, and then to do some
great mischief to Danae herself. So this bad-
hearted king spent a long while in considering
-what was the most dangerous thing that a young
man could possibly undertake to perform. At
last, having hit upon an enterprise that promised
to turn out as fatally as he desired, he sent for the
youthful Perseus.
The young man came to the palace, and found
the king sitting upon his throne.
Perseus," said King Polydectes, smiling craft-
ily upon him, you are grown up a fine young
man. You and your good mother have received
a great deal of kindness from myself, as well as
from my worthy brother the fisherman, and I sup-
pose you would not be sorry to repay some of it."
Please, your Majesty," answered Perseus, I
would willingly risk my life to do so."
"Well, then," continued the king, still with a
cunning smile on his lips, I have a little adven-
ture to propose to you; and, as you are a brave
and enterprising youth, you will doubtless look
upon it as a great piece of good luck to have
so rare an opportunity of distinguishing yourself.








THE GORGON'S HEAD 9
You must know, my good Perseus, I think of
getting married to the beautiful Princess Hippo-
damia; and it is customary, on these occasions, to
make the bride a present of some far-fetched and
elegant curiosity. I have been a little perplexed,
I must honestly confess, where to obtain anything
likely to please a princess of her exquisite taste.
But, this morning, I flatter myself, I have thought
of precisely the article."
And can I assist your Majesty in obtaining
it? cried Perseus, eagerly.
"You can, if you are as brave a youth as I be-
lieve you to be," replied King Polydectes, with
the utmost graciousness of manner. The bridal
gift which I have set my heart on presenting to
the beautiful Hippodamia is the head of the Gor-
gon Medusa with the snaky locks; and I depend
on you, my dear Perseus, to bring it to me. So,
as I am anxious to settle affairs with the princess,
the sooner you go in quest of the Gorgon, the
better I shall be pleased."
"I will set out to-morrow morning," answered
Perseus.
Pray do so, my gallant youth," rejoined the
king. And, Perseus, in cutting off the Gorgon's
head,, be careful to make a clean stroke, so as not
to injure its appearance. You must bring it home
in the very best condition, in order to suit the
exquisite taste of the beautiful Princess Hippo-
damia."
Perseus left the palace, but was scarcely out of
hearing before Polydectes burst into a laugh; be-
ing greatly amused, wicked king that he was, to









Io THE GORGON'S HEAD
find how readily the young man fell into the snare.
The news quickly spread abroad that Perseus had
undertaken to cut off the head of Medusa with
the snaky locks. Everybody was rejoiced; for
most of the inhabitants of the island were as
wicked as the king himself, and would have liked
nothing better than to see some enormous mis-
chief happen to Danae and her son. The only
good man in this unfortunate island of Seriphus
appears to have been the fisherman. As Perseus
walked along, therefore, the people pointed after
him, and made mouths, and winked to one another,
and ridiculed him as loudly as they dared.
Ho, ho! cried they; Medusa's snakes will
sting him soundly "
Now, there were three Gorgons alive at that
period; and they were the most strange and ter-
rible monsters that had ever been since the world
was made, or that have been seen in after days,
or that are likely to be seen in all time to come.
I hardly know what sort of creature or hobgoblin
to call them. They were three sisters, and seem
to have borne some distant resemblance to women,
but were really a very frightful and mischievous
species of dragon. It is, indeed, difficult to ima-
gine what hideous beings these three sisters were.
Why, instead of locks of hair, if you can believe
me, they had each of them a hundred enormous
snakes growing on their heads, all alive, twisting,
wriggling, curling, and thrusting out their ven-
omous tongues, with forked stings at the end!
The teeth of the Gorgons were terribly long
tusks; their hands were made of brass; and their








THE GORGON'S HEAD it
bodies were all over scales, which, if not iron, were
something as hard and impenetrable. They had
wings, too, and exceedingly splendid ones, I can
assure you; for every feather in them was pure,
bright, glittering, burnished gold, and they looked
very dazzlingly, no doubt, when the Gorgons were
flying about in the sunshine.
But when people happened to catch a glimpse
of their glittering brightness, aloft in the air, they
seldom stopped to gaze, but ran and hid them-
selves as speedily as they could. You will think,
perhaps, that they were afraid of being stung by
the serpents that served the Gorgons instead of
hair, or of having their heads bitten off by their
ugly tusks,- or of being torn all to pieces by
their brazen claws. Well, to be sure, these were
some of the dangers, but by no means the greatest,
nor the most difficult to avoid. For the worst
thing about these abominable Gorgons was; that,
if once a poor mortal fixed his eyes full upon one
of their faces, he was certain, that very instant, to
be changed from warm flesh and blood into cold
and lifeless stone !
Thus, as you will easily perceive, it was a very
dangerous adventure that the wicked King Poly-
dectes had contrived for this innocent young
man. Perseus himself, when he had thought
over the matter, could not help seeing that he had
very little chance of coming safely through it, and
that he was far more likely to become a stone
image than to bring back the head of Medusa
with the snaky locks. For, not to speak of other
difficulties, there was one which it would have








12 THE GORGON'S HEAD
puzzled an older man than Perseus to get over.
Not only must he fight with and slay this golden-
winged, iron-scaled, long-tusked, brazen-clawed,
snaky-haired monster, but he must do it with his
eyes shut, or, at least, without so much as a glance
at the enemy with whom he was contending.
Else, while his arm was lifted to strike, he would
stiffen into stone, and stand with that uplifted arm
for centuries, until time, and the wind and weather,
should crumble him quite away. This would be
a very sad thing to befall a young man who
wanted to perform a great many brave deeds, and
to enjoy a great deal of happiness, in this bright
and beautiful world.
So disconsolate did these thoughts make him,
that Perseus could not bear to tell his mother
what he had undertaken to do. He therefore
took his shield, girded on his sword, and crossed
over from the island to the mainland, where he
sat down in a solitary place, and hardly refrained
from shedding tears.
But, while he was in this sorrowful mood, he
heard a voice close beside him.
Perseus," said the voice, why are you sad ?"
He lifted his head from his hands, in which
he had hidden it, and, behold! all alone as Per-
seus had supposed himself to be, there was a
stranger in the solitary place. It was a brisk, in-
telligent, and remarkably shrewd-looking young
man, with a cloak over his shoulders, an odd sort
of cap on his head, a strangely twisted staff in
his hand, and a short and very crooked sword
hanging by his side. He was exceedingly light








THE GORGON'S HEAD 13
and active in his figure, like a person much accus-
tomed to gymnastic exercises, and well able to
leap or run. Above all, the stranger had such a
cheerful, knowing, and helpful aspect (though it
was certainly a little mischievous, into the bar-
gain), that Perseus could not help feeling his
spirits grow livelier as he gazed at him. Besides,
being really a courageous youth, he felt greatly
ashamed that anybody should have found him
with tears in his eyes, like a timid little school-
boy, when, after all, there might be no occasion
for despair. So Perseus wiped his eyes, and an-
swered the stranger pretty briskly, putting on as
brave a look as he could.
I am not so very sad," said he, only thought-
ful about an adventure that I have undertaken."
Oho!" answered the stranger. "Well, tell
me all about it, and possibly I may be of service
to you. I have helped a good many young men
through adventures that looked difficult enough
beforehand. Perhaps you may have heard of me.
I have more names than one; but the name of
Quicksilver suits me as well as any other. Tell
me what the trouble is, and we will talk the mat-
ter over, and see what can be done."
The stranger's words and manner put Perseus
into quite a different mood from his former one.
He resolved to tell Quicksilver all his difficulties,
since he could not easily be worse off than he
already was, and, very possibly, his new friend
might give him some advice that would turn out
well in the end. So he let the stranger know, in
few words, precisely what the case was,- how









14 THE GORGON'S HEAD
that King Polydectes wanted the head of Medusa
with the snaky locks as a bridal gift for the beau-
tiful Princess Hippodamia, and how that he had
undertaken to get it for him, but was afraid of
being turned into stone.
And that would be a great pity," said Quick-
silver, with his mischievous smile. You would
make a very handsome marble statue, it is true,
and it would be a considerable number of centu-
ries before you crumbled away; but, on the whole,
one would rather be a young man for a few years
than a stone image for a great many."
"Oh, far rather! exclaimed Perseus, with the
tears again standing in his eyes. "And, besides,
what would my dear mother do, if her beloved
son were turned into a stone? "
"Well, well, let us hope that the affair will not
turn out so very badly," replied Quicksilver, in an
encouraging tone. I am the very person to
help you, if anybody can. My sister and myself
will do our utmost to bring you safe through the
adventure, ugly as it now looks."
Your sister ? repeated Perseus.
Yes, my sister," said the stranger. She is
very wise, I promise you; and as for myself, I
generally have all my wits about me, such as they
are. If you show yourself bold and cautious, and
follow our advice, you need not fear being a stone
image yet awhile. But, first of all, you must polish
your shield, till you can see your face in it as dis-
tinctly as in a mirror."
This seemed to Perseus rather an odd begin-
ning of the adventure; for he thought it of far








THE GORGON'S HEAD 15
more consequence that the shield should be strong
enough to defend him from the Gorgon's brazen
claws, than that it should be bright enough to
show him the reflection of his face. However,
concluding that Quicksilver knew better than
himself, he immediately set to work, and scrubbed
the shield with so much diligence and good-will,
that it very quickly shone like the moon at har-
vest-time. Quicksilver looked at it with a smile,
and nodded his approbation. Then, taking off
his own short and crooked sword, he girded it
about Perseus, instead of the one which he had
before worn.
"No sword but mine will answer your pur-
pose," observed he; "the blade has a most ex-
cellent temper, and will cut through iron and
brass as easily as through the slenderest twig.
And now we will set out. The next thing is to
find the Three Gray Women, who will tell us
where to find the Nymphs."
The Three Gray Women!" cried Perseus, to
whom this seemed only a new difficulty in the
path of his adventure; pray who may the Three
Gray Women be ? I never heard of them be-
fore."
They are three very strange old ladies," said
Quicksilver, laughing. They have but one eye
among them, and only one tooth. Moreover, you
must find them out by starlight, or in the dusk of
the evening; for they never show themselves by
the light either of the sun or moon."
But," said Perseus, "why should I waste my
time with these Three Gray Women? Would it









16 THE GORGON'S HEAD
not be better to set out at. once in search of the
terrible Gorgons? "
No, no," answered his friend. "There are
other things to be done, before you can find your
way to the Gorgons. There is nothing for it but
to hunt up these old ladies; and when we meet
with them, you may be sure that the Gorgons are
not a great way off. Come, let us be stirring !"
Perseus, by this time, felt so much confidence in
his companion's sagacity, that he made no more
objections, and professed himself ready to begin
the adventure immediately. They accordingly
set out, and walked at a pretty brisk pace; so
brisk, indeed, that Perseus found it rather difficult
to keep up with his nimble friend Quicksilver.
To say the truth, he had a singular idea that
Quicksilver was furnished with a pair of winged
shoes, which, of course, helped him along marvel-
ously. And then, too, when Perseus looked side-
ways at him, out of the corner of his eye, he
seemed to see wings on the side of his head; al-
though, if he turned a full gaze, there were no
such things to be perceived, but only an odd kind
of cap. But, at all events, the twisted staff was
evidently a great convenience to Quicksilver, and
enabled him to proceed so fast, that Perseus,
though a remarkably active young man, began to
be out of breath.
"Here!" cried Quicksilver, at last,--for he
knew well enough, rogue that he was, how hard
Perseus found it to keep pace with him, -" take
you the staff, for you need it a great deal more
than I. Are there no better walkers than your-
self in the island of Seriphus ?"








THE GORGON'S HEAD 17
I could walk pretty well," said Perseus, glan-
cing slyly at his companion's feet, if I had only
a pair of winged shoes."
We must see about getting you a pair," an-
swered Quicksilver.
But the staff helped Perseus along so bravely
that he no longer felt the slightest weariness. In
fact, the stick seemed to be alive in his hand, and
to lend some of its life to Perseus. He and
Quicksilver now walked onward at their ease,
talking very sociably together; and Quicksilver
told so many pleasant stories about his former ad-
ventures, and how well his wits had served him
on various occasions, that Perseus began to think
him a very wonderful person. He evidently knew
the world; and nobody is so charming to a young
man as a friend who has that kind of knowledge.
Perseus listened the more eagerly, in the hope of
brightening his own wits by what he heard.
At last, he happened to recollect that Quick-
silver had spoken of a sister, who was to lend her
assistance in the adventure which they were now
bound upon.
Where is she? he inquired. Shall we not
meet her soon ? "
All at the proper time," said his companion.
"But this sister of mine, you must understand, is
quite a different sort of character from myself.
She is very grave and prudent, seldom smiles,
never laughs, and makes it a rule not to utter a
word unless she has something particularly pro-
found to say. Neither will she listen to any but
the wisest conversation."








18 .THE GORGON'S HEAD
Dear me! ejaculated Perseus ; I shall be
:afraid to say a syllable."
She is a very accomplished person, I assure
you," continued Quicksilver, and has all the arts
and sciences at her fingers' ends. In short, she is
so immoderately wise that many people call her
wisdom personified. But, to tell you the truth,
she has hardly vivacity enough for my taste; and
I think you would scarcely find her so pleasant
a traveling companion as myself. She has her
good points, nevertheless; and you will find the
benefit of them, in your encounter with the Gor-
gons."
By this time it had grown quite dusk. They
were now come to a very wild and desert place,
overgrown with shaggy bushes, and so silent and
solitary that nobody seemed ever to have dwelt or
journeyed there. All was waste and desolate, in
the gray twilight, which grew every moment more
obscure. Perseus looked about him, rather dis-
consolately, and asked Quicksilver whether they
had a great deal farther to go.
Hist hist! whispered his companion. "Make
no noise! This is just the time and place to meet
the Three Gray Women. Be careful that they do
not see you before you see them; for, though
they have but a single eye among the three, it is
as sharp-sighted as half a dozen common.eyes."
But what must I do," asked Perseus, when
we meet them? "
Quicksilver explained to Perseus how the
Three Gray Women managed with their one eye.
They were in the habit, it seems, of changing it








THE GORGON'S HEAD 19
from one to another, as if it had been a pair of
spectacles, or -which would have suited them
better a quizzing-glass. When one of the three
had kept the eye a certain time, she, took it out of
the socket and passed it to one of her sisters,
whose turn it might happen to be, and who im-
mediately clapped it into her own head, and en-
joyed a peep at the visible world. Thus it will
easily be understood that only one of the Three
Gray Women could see, while the other two were
in utter darkness; and, moreover, at the instant
when the eye was passing from hand to hand,
neither of the poor' old ladies was able to see a
wink. I have heard of a great many strange
things, in my day, and have witnessed not a few;
but none, it seems to me, that can compare with
the oddity of these Three, Gray Women, all peep-
ing through a single eye.
So thought Perseus, likewise, and was so as-
tonished that he almost fancied his companion
was joking with him, ard that there were no such
old women in the world.
You will soon find whether I tell the truth or
no," observed Quicksilver. "Hark! hush! hist!
hist! There they come, now!"
Perseus looked earnestly through the dusk of
the evening, and there, sure enough, at no great
distance off, he described the Three Gray Women.
The light being so faint, he could not well make
out what sort of figures they were; only he dis-
covered that they had long gray hair; and, as they
came nearer, he saw that two of them had but the
empty socket of an eye, in the middle of their









20 THE GORGON'S HEAD
'foreheads. But, in the middle of the third sister's
forehead, there was a very large, bright, and pier-
cing eye, which sparkled like a great diamond in a
ring; and so penetrating did it seem to be, that
Perseus could not help thinking it must possess
the gift of seeing in the darkest midnight just as
perfectly as at noonday. The sight of three per-
sons' eyes was melted and collected into that sin-
gle one.
Thus the three old dames got along about as
comfortably, upon the whole, as if they could all
see at once. She who chanced to have the eye in
her forehead led the other two by the hands, peep-
ing sharply about her, all the while; insomuch
that Perseus dreaded lest she should see right
through the thick clump of bushes behind which
he and Quicksilver had hidden themselves. My
stars it was positively terrible to be within reach
of so very sharp an eye!
But, before they reached the clump of bushes,
one of the Three Gray Women spoke.
"Sister! Sister Scarecrow!" cried she, "you
have had the eye long enough. It is my turn
now!"
Let me keep it a. moment longer, Sister Night-
mare," answered Scarecrow. I thought I had a
glimpse of something behind that thick bush."
"Well, and what of that?" retorted Night-
mare, peevishly. Can't I see into a thick bush
as easily as yourself? The eye is mine as well as
yours; and I know the use of it as well as you,
or may be a little better. I insist upon taking a
peep immediately!"








THE GORGON'S HEAD 21
But here the .third sister, whose name was
Shakejoint, began to complain, and said that'it
was her turn to have the eye, and that Scarecrow
and Nightmare wanted to keep it all to them-
selves. To end the dispute, old Dame Scarecrow
took the eye out of her forehead, and held it forth
in her hand.
Take it, one of you," cried she, and quit this
foolish quarreling. For my part, I shall be glad
of a little thick darkness. Take it quickly, how-
ever, or I must clap it into my own head again!"
Accordingly, both Nightmare and Shakejoint
put out their hands, groping eagerly to snatch the
eye out of the hand of Scarecrow. But, being
both alike blind, they could not easily find where
Scarecrow's hand was; and Scarecrow, being now
just as much in the dark as Shakejoint and Night-
mare, could not at once meet either of their hands,
in order to put the eye into it. Thus (as you will
see, with half an eye, my wise little auditors), these
good old dames had fallen into a strange perplex-
ity. For, though the eye shone and 'glistened
like a star, as Scarecrow held it out, yet the Gray
Women caught not,the least glimpse of its light,
and were all three in utter darkness, from too im-
patient a desire to see.
Quicksilver was so much tickled at beholding
Shakejoint and Nightmare both groping for the
eye, and each finding fault with Scarecrow and
one another, that he could scarcely help laughing
aloud.
Now is your time !" he whispered to Perseus.
Quick, quick! before they can clap the eye into








22 THE GORGON'S HEAD
either of their heads. Rush out upon the old
S ladies, and snatch it from Scarecrow's hand!"
In an instant, while the Three Gray Women
were still scolding each other, Perseus leaped
from behind the clump of bushes, and made him-
self master of the prize. The marvelous eye, as
he held it in his hand, shone very brightly, and
seemed to look up into his face with a knowing
air, and an expression as if it would have winked,
had it been provided with a pair of eyelids for
that purpose. But the Gray Women knew no-
thing of what had happened; and, each suppos-
ing that one of her sisters was in possession of
the eye, they began their quarrel anew. At last,
as Perseus did not wish to put these respectable
dames to greater inconvenience than was really
necessary, he thought it right to explain the mat-
ter.
My good ladies," said he, pray do not be an-
gry with one another. If anybody is in fault, it
is myself; for I have the honor to hold your very
brilliant and excellent eye in my own hand!"
You! you have our eye And who are you ? "
screamed the Three Gray Women, all in a breath;
for they were terribly frightened, of course, at
hearing a strange voice, and discovering that their
eyesight had got into the hands of they could not
guess whom. "Oh, what shall we do, sisters?
what shall we do? We are all in the dark Give
.us our eye! Give us our one, precious, solitary
eye You have two of your own! Give us our
eye!"
"Tell them," whispered Quicksilver to Perseus,




















"J




CI


,,




,








THE GORGON'S HEAD 23
"that they shall have back the eye as soon as they
direct you where to find the Nymphs who have
the flying slippers, the magic wallet, and the hel-
met of darkness."
My dear, good, admirable old ladies," said
Perseus, addressing the Gray Women, there is
no occasion for putting yourselves into such a
fright. I am by no means a bad young man.
You shall have back your eye, safe and sound,
and as bright as ever, the moment you tell me
where to find the Nymphs."
The Nymphs! Goodness me! sisters, what
Nymphs does he mean?" screamed Scarecrow.
" There are a great many Nymphs, people say;
some that go a-hunting in the woods, and some
that live inside of trees, and some that have a
comfortable home in fountains of water. We
know nothing at all about them. We are three
unfortunate old souls, that go wandering about in
the dusk, and never had but one eye amongst us,
and that one you have stolen away. Oh, give it
back, good stranger!-whoever you are, give it
back!"
All this while the Three Gray Women were
groping with their outstretched hands, and trying
their utmost to get hold of Perseus. But he took
good care to keep out of their reach.
My respectable dames," said he, for his
mother had taught him always to use the greatest
civility, -" I hold your eye fast in my hand, and
shall keep it safely for you, until you please to tell
me where to find these Nymphs. The Nymphs,
I mean, who keep the enchanted wallet, the flying









24 THE GORGON'S HEAD
slippers, and the--what is it?--the helmet of in-
visibility."
Mercy on us, sisters! -what is the young man
talking about?" exclaimed Scarecrow, Night-
mare, and Shakejoint, one to another, with great
appearance of astonishment. A pair of flying
slippers, quoth he! His heels would quickly fly
higher than his head, if he were silly enough to
put them on. And a helmet of invisibility! How
could a helmet make him invisible, unless it were
big enough for him to hide under it? And an
enchanted wallet! What sort of a contrivance
may that be, I wonder ? No, no, good stranger!
we can tell you nothing of these marvelous things.
You have two eyes of your own, and we have but
a single one amongst us three. You can find out
such wonders better than three blind old crea-
tures, like us."
Perseus, hearing them talk in this way, began
really to think that the Gray Women knew no-
thing of the matter; and, as it grieved him to
have put them to so much trouble, he was just on
the point of restoring their eye and asking par-
don for his rudeness in snatching it away. But
Quicksilver caught his hand.
Don't let them make a fool of you !" said he.
These Three Gray Women are the only persons
in the world that can tell you where to find the
Nymphs; and, unless you get that information,
you will never succeed in cutting off the head of
Medusa with the snaky locks. Keep fast hold
of the eye, and all will go well."
As it turned out, Quicksilver was in the right.








THE GORGON'S HEAD 25
There are but few things that people prize so
much as they do their eyesight; and the Gray
Women valued their single eye as highly as if it
had been half a dozen, which was the number
they ought to have had. Finding that there was
no other way of recovering it, they at last told
Perseus what he wanted to know. No sooner
had they done so, than he immediately, and with
the utmost respect, clapped the eye into the va-
cant socket in one of their foreheads, thanked
them for their kindness, and bade them farewell.
Before the young man was out of hearing, how-
ever, they had got into a new dispute, because he
happened to have given the eye to Scarecrow,
who had already taken her turn of it when their
trouble with Perseus commenced.
It is greatly to be feared that the Three Gray
Women were very much in the habit of disturbing
their mutual harmony by bickerings of this sort;
which was the more pity, as they could not con-
veniently do without one another, and were evi-
dently intended to be inseparable companions.
As a general rule, I would advise all people,
whether sisters or brothers, old or young, who
chance to have but one eye amongst them, to cul-
tivate forbearance, and not all insist upon peeping
through it at once.
Quicksilver and Perseus, in the mean time, were
making the best of their way in quest of the
Nymphs. The old dames had given them such
particular directions, that they were not long in
finding them out. They proved to be very dif-
ferent persons from Nightmare, Shakejoint, and








26 THE GORGON'S HEAD
Scarecrow; for, instead of being old, they were
young and beautiful; and instead of one eye
amongst the sisterhood, each Nymph had two ex-
ceedingly bright eyes of her own, with which she
looked very kindly at Perseus. They seemed to
be acquainted with Quicksilver; and, when he
told them the adventure which Perseus had under-
taken, they made no difficulty about giving him
the valuable articles that were in their custody.
In the first place, they brought out what appeared
to be a small purse, made of deerskin and curi-
ously embroidered, and bade him be sure and keep
it safe. This was the magic wallet. The Nymphs
next produced a pair of shoes, or slippers, or san-
dals, with a nice little pair of wings at the heel of
each.
"Put them on, Perseus," said Quicksilver.
You will find yourself as light-heeled as you can
desire for the remainder of our journey."
So Perseus proceeded to put one of the slippers
on, while he laid the other on the ground by his
side. Unexpectedly, however, this other slipper
spread its wings, fluttered up off the ground, and
would probably have flown away, if Quicksilver
had not made a leap, and luckily caught it in the
air.
Be more careful," said he, as he gave it back
to Perseus. It would frighten the birds, up
aloft, if they should see a flying slipper amongst
them."
When Perseus had got on both of these won-
derful slippers, he was altogether too buoyant to
tread on earth. Making a step or two, lo and






























I ;








THE GORGON'S HEAD 27
behold! upward he popped into the air, high
above the heads of Quicksilver and the Nymphs,
and found it very difficult to clamber down again.
Winged slippers, and all such high-flying con-
trivances, are seldom quite easy to manage until
one grows a little accustomed to them. Quick-
silver laughed at his companion's involuntary ac-
tivity, and told him that he must not be in so
desperate a hurry, but must wait for the invisible
helmet.
The good-natured Nymphs had the helmet, with
its dark tuft of waving plumes, all in readiness to
put upon his head. And now there happened
about as wonderful an incident as anything that
I have yet told you. The instant before the hel-
met was put on, there stood Perseus, a beautiful
young man, with golden ringlets and rosy cheeks,
the crooked sword by his side, and the brightly
polished shield upon his arm, a figure that
seemed all made up of courage, sprightliness, and
glorious light. But when the helmet had de-
scended over his white brow, there was no longer
any Perseus to be seen! Nothing but empty air!
Even the helmet, that covered him with its invisi-
bility, had vanished!
Where are you, Perseus? asked Quicksilver.
Why, here, to be sure! answered Perseus,
very quietly, although his voice seemed to come
out of the transparent atmosphere. "Just where
I was a moment ago. Don't you see me ? "
No, indeed answered his friend. You are
hidden under the helmet. But, if I cannot see
you, neither can the Gorgons. Follow me, there-









28 THE GORGON'S HEAD
fore, and we will try your dexterity in using the
winged slippers."
With these words, Quicksilver's cap spread its
wings, as if his head were about to fly away from
his shoulders; but his whole figure rose lightly
into the air, and Perseus followed. By the time
they had ascended a few hundred feet, the young
man began to feel what a delightful thing it was
to leave the dull earth so far beneath him, and to
be able to flit about like a bird.
It was now deep night. Perseus looked up-
ward, and saw the round, bright, silvery moon,
and thought that he should desire nothing better
than to soar up thither, and spend his life there.
Then he looked downward again, and saw the
earth, with its seas and lakes, and the silver courses
of its rivers, and its snowy mountain-peaks, and
the breadth of its fields, and the dark cluster of
its woods, and its cities of white marble; and, with
the moonshine sleeping over the whole scene, it
was as beautiful as the moon or any star could be.
And, among other objects, he saw the island of
Seriphus, where his dear mother was. Some-
times he and Quicksilver approached a cloud that,
at a distance, looked as if it were made of fleecy
silver; although, when they plunged into it, they
found themselves chilled and moistened with gray
mist. So swift was their flight, however, that, in
an instant, they emerged from the cloud into the
moonlight again. Once, a high-soaring eagle flew
right against the invisible Perseus. The bravest
sights were the meteors, that gleamed suddenly
out, as if. a bonfire had been kindled in the sky,








THE GORGON'S HEAD 29
and made the moonshine pale for as much as a
hundred miles around them.
As the two companions flew onward, Perseus
fancied that he could hear the rustle of a garment
close by his side; and it was on the side opposite
to the one where he beheld Quicksilver, yet only
Quicksilver was visible.
Whose garment is this," inquired Perseus,
"that keeps rustling close beside me in the
breeze?"
Oh, it is my sister's! answered Quicksilver.
" She is coming along with us, as I told you she
would. We could do nothing without the help
of my sister. You have no idea how wise she is.
She has such eyes, too! Why, she can see you,
at this moment, just as distinctly as if you were
not invisible; and I'll venture to say, she will be
the first to discover the Gorgons."
By this time, in their swift voyage through the
air, they had come within sight of the great ocean,
and were soon flying over it. Far beneath them,
the waves tossed themselves tumultuously in mid-
sea, or rolled a white surf-line upon the long
beaches, or foamed against the rocky cliffs, with
a roar that was thunderous, in the lower world;
although it became a gentle murmur, like the
voice of a baby half asleep, before it reached the
ears of Perseus. Just then a voice spoke in the
air close by him. It seemed to be a woman's
voice, and was melodious, though not exactly what
might be called sweet, but grave and mild.
Perseus," said the voice, there are the Gor-
gons."









30 THE GORGON'S HEAD
Where ? exclaimed Perseus. I cannot see
them."
On the shore of that island beneath you," re-
plied the voice. A pebble, dropped from your
hand, would strike in the midst of them."
I told you she would be the first to discover
them," said Quicksilver to Perseus. And there
they are!"
Straight downward, two or three thousand feet
below him, Perseus perceived a small island, with
the sea breaking into white foam all around its
rocky shore, except on one side, where there was
a beach of snowy sand. He descended towards
it, and, looking earnestly at a cluster or heap of
brightness, at the foot of a precipice of black
rocks, behold, there were the terrible Gorgons!
They lay fast asleep, soothed by the thunder of
the sea; for it required a tumult that would have
deafened everybody else to lull such fierce crea-
tures into slumber. The moonlight glistened
on their steely scales, and on their golden wings,
which drooped idly over the sand. Their brazen
claws, horrible to look at, were thrust out, and
clutched the wave-beaten fragments of rock, while
the sleeping Gorgons dreamed of tearing some
poor mortal all to pieces. The snakes that served
them instead of hair seemed likewise to be asleep;
although, now and then, one would writhe, and
lift its head, and thrust out its forked tongue,
emitting a drowsy hiss, and then let itself subside
among its sister snakes.
The Gorgons were more like an awful, gigantic
kind of insect, immense, golden-winged beetles,








THE GORGON'S HEAD 31
or dragon-flies, or things of that sort, -at once
ugly and beautiful,--than like anything else;
only that they were a thousand, and a million
times as big. And, with all this, there was some-
thing partly human about them, too. Luckily for
Perseus, their faces were completely hidden from
him by the posture in which they lay; for, had he
but looked one instant at them, he would have
fallen heavily out of the air, an image of senseless
stone.
Now," whispered Quicksilver, as he hovered
by the side of Perseus, now is your time to
do the deed Be quick; for, if one of the Gorgons
should awake, you are too late!"
Which shall I strike at? asked Perseus,
drawing his sword and descending a little lower.
They all three look alike. All three have snaky
locks. Which of the three is Medusa? "
It must be understood that Medusa was the
only one of these dragon-monsters whose head
-Perseus could possibly cut off. As for the other
two, let him have the sharpest sword that ever
was forged, and he might have hacked away by
the hour together, without doing them the least
harm.
Be cautious," said the calm voice which had
before spoken to him. One of the Gorgons is
stirring in her sleep, and is just about to turn
over. That is Medusa. Do not look at her!
The sight would turn you to stone! Look at the
reflection of her face and figure in the bright mir-
ror of your shield."
Perseus now understood Quicksilver's motive









32 THE GORGON'S HEAD
for so earnestly exhorting him to polish his
shield. In its surface he could safely look at
the reflection of the Gorgon's face. And there
it was, that terrible countenance, mirrored in
the brightness of the shield, with the moonlight
falling over it, and displaying all its horror. The
snakes, whose venomous natures could not alto-
gether sleep, kept twisting themselves over the
forehead. It was the fiercest and most horrible
face that ever was seen or imagined, and yet with
a strange, fearful, and savage kind of beauty in it.
The eyes were closed, and the Gorgon was still in
a deep slumber; but there was an unquiet expres-
sion disturbing her features, as if the monster was
troubled with an ugly dream. She gnashed her
white tusks, and dug into the sand with her bra-
zen claws.
The snakes, too, seemed to feel Medusa's
dream, and to be made more restless by it. They
twined themselves into tumultuous knots, writhed
fiercely, and uplifted a hundred hissing heads,
without opening their eyes.
Now, now whispered Quicksilver, who was
growing impatient. Make a dash at the mon-
ster!"
But be calm," said the grave, melodious voice
at the young man's side. Look in your shield,
as you fly downward, and take care that you do
not miss your first stroke."
Perseus flew cautiously downward, still keep-
ing his eyes on Medusa's face, as reflected in his
shield. The nearer he came, the more terrible
did the snaky visage and metallic body of the

































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THE GORGON'S HEAD 33
monster grow. At last, when he found himself
hovering over her within arm's length, Perseus
uplifted his sword, while, at the same instant, each
separate snake upon the Gorgon's head stretched
threateningly upward, and Medusa unclosed her
eyes. But she awoke too late. The sword was
sharp; the stroke fell like a lightning-flash; and
the head of the wicked Medusa tumbled from her
body!
Admirably done! cried Quicksilver. Make
haste, and clap the head into your magic wallet."
To the astonishment of Perseus, the small em-
broidered wallet, which he had hung about his
neck, and which had hitherto been no bigger than
a purse, grew all at once large enough to contain
Medusa's head. As quick as thought, he snatched
it up, with the snakes still writhing upon it, and
thrust it in.
"Your task is done," said the calm voice.
Now fly; for the other Gorgons will do their
utmost to take vengeance for Medusa's death."
It was, indeed, necessary to take flight; for
Perseus had not done the deed so quietly but that
the clash of his sword, and the hissing of the
snakes, and the thump of Medusa's head as it
tumbled upon the sea-beaten sand, awoke the
other two monsters. There they sat, for an in.
stant, sleepily rubbing their eyes with their bra-
zen fingers, while all the snakes on their heads
reared themselves on end with surprise, and with
venomous malice against they knew not what.
But when the Gorgons saw the scaly carcass of
Medusa, headless, and her golden wings all ruf-









34 THE GORGON'S HEAD
fled, and half spread out on the sand, it was really
awful to hear what yells and screeches they set
up. And then the snakes! They sent forth a
hundred-fold hiss, with one consent, and Medusa's
snakes answered them out of the magic wallet.
No sooner were the Gorgons broad awake than
they hurtled upward into the air, brandishing
their brass talons, gnashing their horrible tusks,
and flapping their huge wings so wildly that
some of the golden feathers were shaken out, and
floated down upon the shore. And there, perhaps,
those very feathers lie scattered, till this day. Up
rose the Gorgons, as I tell you, staring horribly
about, in hopes of turning somebody to stone.
Had Perseus looked them in the face, or had he
fallen into their clutches, his poor mother would
never have kissed her boy again! But he took
good care to turn his eyes another way; and, as
he wore the helmet of invisibility, the Gorgons
knew not in what direction to follow him; nor
did he fail to make the best use of the winged
slippers, by soaring upward a perpendicular mile
or so. At that height, when the screams of those
abominable creatures sounded faintly beneath
him, he made a straight course for the island of
Seriphus, in order to carry Medusa's head to King
Polydectes.
I have no time to tell you of several marvelous
things that befell Perseus, on his way homeward;
such as his killing a hideous sea-monster, just as it
was on the point of devouring a beautiful maiden;
nor how he changed an enormous giant into a
mountain of stone, merely by showing him the








THE GORGON'S HEAD 35
head of the Gorgon. If you doubt this latter
story, you may make a voyage to Africa, some
day or other; and see the very mountain, which is
still known by the ancient giant's name.
Finally, our brave Perseus arrived at the island,
where he expected to see his dear mother. But,
during his absence, the wicked king had treated
Danae so very ill that she was compelled to make
her escape, and had taken refuge in a temple,
where some good old priests were extremely kind
to her. These praiseworthy priests, and the kind-
hearted fisherman, who had first shown hospitality
to Danae and little Perseus when he found them
afloat in the chest, seem to have been the only
persons on the island who cared about doing
right. All the rest of the people, as well as King
Polydectes himself, were remarkably ill-behaved,
and deserved no better destiny than that which
was now to happen.
Not finding his mother at home, Perseus went
straight to the palace, and was immediately ush-
ered into the presence of the king. Polydectes
was by no means rejoiced to see him; for he had
felt almost certain, in his own evil mind, that the
Gorgons would have torn the poor young man to
pieces, and have eaten him up, out of the way.
However, seeing him safely returned, he put the
best face he could upon the matter and asked
Perseus how he had succeeded.
Have you performed your promise ? inquired
he. Have you brought me the head of Medusa
with the snaky locks? If not, young man, it will
cost you dear; for I must have a bridal present









36 THE GORGON'S HEAD
for the beautiful Princess Hippodamia, and there
is nothing else that she would admire so much."
Yes, please your Majesty," answered Perseus,
in a quiet way, as if it were no very wonderful
deed for such a young man as he to perform. I
have brought you the Gorgon's head, snaky locks
and all! "
Indeed! Pray let me see it," quoth King
Polydectes. It must be a very curious spectacle,
if all that travelers tell about it be true! "
Your Majesty is in the right," replied Perseus.
It is really an object that will be pretty certain
to fix the regards of all who look at it. And, if
your Majesty think fit, I would suggest that a
holiday be proclaimed, and that all your Majesty's
subjects be summoned to behold this wonderful
curiosity. Few of them, I imagine, have seen a
Gorgon's head before, and perhaps. never may
again! "
The king well knew that his subjects were an
idle set of reprobates, and very fond of sight-seeing,
as idle persons usually are. So he took the young
man's advice, and sent out heralds and messen-
gers, in all directions, to blow the trumpet at the
street-corners, and in the market-places, and wher-
" ever two roads met, and summon everybody to
court. Thither, accordingly, came a great multi-
tude of good-for-nothing vagabonds, all of whom,
out of pure love of mischief, would have been
glad if Perseus had met with some ill-hap in his
encounter with the Gorgons. If there were any
better people in the island (as I really hope there
may have been, although the story tells nothing



















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THE GORGON'S HEAD 37
about any such), they stayed quietly at home, mind-
ing their business, and taking care of their little
children. Most of the inhabitants, at all events,
ran as fast as they could to the palace, and shoved,
and pushed, and elbowed one another, in their
eagerness to get near a balcony, on which Perseus
showed himself, holding the embroidered wallet
in his hand.
On a platform, within full view of the balcony,
sat the mighty King Polydectes, amid his evil
counselors, and with his flattering courtiers in a
semicircle round about him. Monarch, counsel-
ors, courtiers, and subjects, all gazed eagerly to-
wards Perseus.
"Show us the head! Show us the head!"
shouted the people; and there was a fierceness in
their cry as if they would tear Perseus to pieces,
unless he should satisfy them with what he had to
show. Show us the head of Medusa with the
snaky locks!"
A feeling of sorrow and pity came over the
youthful Perseus.
0 King Polydectes," cried he, "and ye many
people, I am very loath to show you the Gorgon's
head!"
Ah, the villain and coward! yelled the peo-
ple, more fiercely than before. He is making
game of us! He has no Gorgon's head! Show
us the head, if you have it, or we will take your
own head for a football! "
The evil counselors whispered bad advice in
the king's ear; the courtiers murmured, with one
consent, that Perseus had shown disrespect to








38 THE GORGON'S HEAD
their royal lord and master; and the great King
Polydectes himself waved his hand, and ordered
him, with the stern, deep voice of authority, on
his peril, to produce the head.
Show me the Gorgon's head, or I will cut off
your own! "
And Perseus sighed.
"This instant," repeated Polydectes, or you
die! "
"Behold it, then!" cried Perseus, in a voice
like the blast of a trumpet.
And, suddenly holding up the head, not an
eyelid had time to wink before the wicked King
Polydectes, his evil counselors, and all his fierce
subjects were no longer anything but the mere
images of a monarch and his people. They were
all fixed, forever, in the look and attitude of that
moment! At the first glimpse of the terrible
head of Medusa, they whitened into marble!
And Perseus thrust the head back into his wallet,
and went to tell his dear mother that she need no
longer be afraid of the wicked King Polydectes.






















WAS not that a very fine story ?" asked Eus-
tace.
"Oh, yes, yes!" cried Cowslip, clapping her
hands. And those funny old women, with only
one eye amongst them! I never heard of any-
thing so strange."
"As to their one tooth, which they shifted
about," observed Primrose, "there was nothing so
very wonderful in that. I suppose it was a false
tooth. But think of your turning Mercury into
Quicksilver, and talking about his sister! You
are too ridiculous !"
And was she not his sister? asked Eustace
Bright. If I had thought of it sooner, I would
have described her as a maiden lady, who kept a
pet owl! "
Well, at any rate," said Primrose, your story
seems to have driven away the mist."
And, indeed, while the tale was going forward,
the vapors had been quite exhaled from the land-
39









40 TANGLEWOOD PORCH
scape. A scene was now disclosed which the
spectators might almost fancy as having been
created since they had last looked in the direction
where it lay. About half a mile distant, in 'the
lap of the valley, now appeared a beautiful lake,
which reflected a perfect image of its own wooded
banks, and of the summits of the more distant
hills. It gleamed in glassy tranquillity, without
the trace of a winged breeze on any part of its
bosom. Beyond its farther shore was Monument
Mountain, in a recumbent position, stretching al-
most across the valley. Eustace Bright compared
it to a huge, headless sphinx, wrapped in a Persian
shawl; and, indeed, so rich and diversified was the
autumnal foliage of its woods, that the simile of
the shawl was by no means too high-colored for
the reality.' In the lower ground, between Tan-
glewood and the lake, the clumps of trees and
borders of woodland were chiefly golden-leaved or
dusky brown, as having suffered more from frost
than the foliage on the hillsides.
Over all this scene there was a genial sunshine,
intermingled with a slight haze, which made it
unspeakably soft and tender. Oh, what a day of
Indian summer was it going to be! The children
snatched their baskets, and set forth, with hop,
skip, and jump, and all sorts of frisks and gam-
bols; while Cousin Eustace proved his fitness to
preside over the party, by outdoing all their antics,
and performing several new capers, which none
of them could ever hope to imitate. Behind went
a good old dog, whose name was Ben. He was
one of the most respectable and kind-hearted of









TANGLEWOOD PORCH 41
quadrupeds, and probably felt it to be his duty not
to trust the children away from their parents with-
out some better guardian than this feather-brained
Eustace Bright.



















INTRODUCTORY TO
THE GOLDEN TOUCH
T noon, our juvenile party
assembled in a dell, through
the depths of which ran a
little brook. The dell was
narrow, and its steep sides,
from the margin of the stream upward, were
thickly set with trees, chiefly walnuts and chest-
nuts, among which grew a few oaks and maples.
In the summer time, the shade of so many clus-
tering branches, meeting and intermingling across
the rivulet, was deep enough to produce a noon-
tide twilight. Hence came the name of Shadow
Brook. But now, ever since autumn had crept
into this secluded place, all the dark verdure was
changed to gold, so that it really kindled up the
dell, instead of shading it. The bright yellow
leaves, even had it been a cloudy day, would
have seemed to keep the sunlight among them;
and enough of them had fallen to strew all the
bed and margin of the brook with sunlight, too.
Thus the shady nook, where summer had cooled



















INTRODUCTORY TO
THE GOLDEN TOUCH
T noon, our juvenile party
assembled in a dell, through
the depths of which ran a
little brook. The dell was
narrow, and its steep sides,
from the margin of the stream upward, were
thickly set with trees, chiefly walnuts and chest-
nuts, among which grew a few oaks and maples.
In the summer time, the shade of so many clus-
tering branches, meeting and intermingling across
the rivulet, was deep enough to produce a noon-
tide twilight. Hence came the name of Shadow
Brook. But now, ever since autumn had crept
into this secluded place, all the dark verdure was
changed to gold, so that it really kindled up the
dell, instead of shading it. The bright yellow
leaves, even had it been a cloudy day, would
have seemed to keep the sunlight among them;
and enough of them had fallen to strew all the
bed and margin of the brook with sunlight, too.
Thus the shady nook, where summer had cooled








SHADOW BROOK 43
herself, was now the sunniest spot anywhere to
be found.
The little brook ran albng over its pathway of
gold, here pausing to form a pool, in which min-
nows were darting to and fro; and then it hurried
onward at a swifter pace, as if in haste to reach
the lake; and, forgetting to look whither it went,
it tumbled over the root of a tree, which stretched
quite across its current. You would have laughed
to hear how noisily it babbled about this accident.
And even after it had run onward, the brook still
kept talking to itself, as if it were in a maze. It
was wonder-smitten, I suppose, at finding its dark
dell so illuminated, and at hearing the prattle and
merriment of so many children. So it stole away
as quickly as it could, and hid itself in the lake.
In the dell of Shadow Brook, Eus tace Bright
-and his little friends had eaten their dinner. They
had brought plenty of good things from Tangle-
wood, in their baskets, and had spread them out
on the stumps of trees and on mossy trunks, and
had feasted merrily, and made a very nice dinner
indeed. After it was over, nobody felt like stir-
ring.
"We will rest ourselves here," said several of
the children, while Cousin Eustace tells us an-
other of his pretty stories."
Cousin Eustace had a good right to be tired, as
well as the children, for he htAd performed great
feats on that memorable forenoon. Dandelion,
Clover, Cowslip, and Buttercup were almost per-
suaded that he had winged slippers, like those
which the Nymphs gave Perseus; so often had









SHADOW BROOK


the student shown himself at the tiptop of a nut-
tree, when only a moment before he had been
standing on the ground. And then, what showers
of walnuts had he sent rattling down upon their
heads, for their busy little hands to gather into
the baskets! In short, he had been as active as a
squirrel or a monkey, and now, flinging himself
down on the yellow leaves, seemed inclined to
take a little rest.
But children have no mercy nor consideration
for anybody's weariness.; and if you had but a
single breath left, they would ask you to spend it
in telling them a story.
Cousin Eustace," said Cowslip, that was a
very nice story of the Gorgon's Head. Do you
think you could tell us another as good? "
"Yes, child," said Eustace, pulling the brim of
his cap over his eyes, as if preparing for a nap.
" I can tell you a dozen, as good or better, if I
choose."
O Primrose and Periwinkle, do you hear what
he says? cried Cowslip, dancing with delight.
" Cousin Eustace is going to tell us a dozen bet-
ter stories than that about the Gorgon's Head!"
I did not promise you even one, you fool-
ish little Cowslip!" said Eustace, half pettishly.
" However, I suppose you must have it. This is
the consequence of having earned a reputation!
I wish I were a great deal duller than I am, or
that I had never shown half the bright qualities
with which nature has endowed me; and then I
might have my nap out, in peace and comfort! "
But Cousin Eustace, as I think I have hinted


#. 44








SHADOW BROOK 45
before, was as fond of telling his stories as the
children of hearing them. His mind was in a
free and happy state, and took delight in its own
activity, and scarcely required any external im-
pulse to set it at work.
How different is this spontaneous play of the
intellect from the trained diligence of maturer
years, when toil has perhaps grown easy by:long
habit, and the day's work may have become essen-
tial to the day's comfort, although the rest of the
matter has bubbled away! This remark, however,
is not meant for the children to hear.
Without further solicitation, Eustace Bright
proceeded to tell the following really splendid
story. It had come into his mind as he lay look-
ing upward into the depths of a tree, and. observ-
ing how the touch of Autumn had transmuted
every one of its green leaves into what resembled
the purest gold. And this change, which we have
all of us witnessed, is as wonderful as anything
that Eustace told about in the story of Midas.



















NCE upon a time, there lived
a very rich man, and a king
besides, whose name was Mi-
das; and he had a little
daughter, whom nobody but
myself ever heard of, and
whose name I either never
knew, or have entirely forgotten. So, because I
love odd names for little girls, I choose to call
her Marygold.
This King Midas was fonder of gold than of
anything else in the world. He valued his royal
crown chiefly because it was composed of that
precious metal. If he loved anything better, or
half so well, it was the one little maiden who
played so merrily around her father's footstool.
But the more Midas loved his daughter, the more
did he desire and seek for wealth. He thought,
foolish man that the best thing he could possi-
bly do for this dear child would be to bequeath
her the immensest pile of yellow, glistening coin,
that had ever been heaped together since the world
was made. Thus, he gave all his thoughts and








THE GOLDEN. TOUCH 47
all his time to this one purpose. If ever he hap-
pened to gaze for an instant at the gold-tinted
clouds of sunset, he wished that they were real
gold, and that they could be squeezed safely into
his strong box. When little Marygold ran to
meet him, with a bunch of buttercups and dande-
lions, he used to say, Poh, poh, child! If these
flowers were as golden as they look, they would
be worth the plucking!"
And yet, in his earlier days, before he was so
entirely possessed of this insane desire for riches,
King Midas had shown a great taste for flowers.
He had planted a garden, in which grew the big-
gest and beautifullest and sweetest roses that any
mortal ever saw or smelt. These roses were still
growing in the garden, as large, as lovely, and as
fragrant, as when Midas used to pass whole hours
in gazing at them, and inhaling their perfume.
But now, if he looked at them at all, it was only
to calculate how much the garden would be worth
if each of the innumerable rose-petals were a thin
plate of gold. And though he once was fond of
music (in spite of an idle story about his ears,
which were said to resemble those of an ass), the
only music for poor Midas, now, was the chink of
one coin against another.
At length (as people always grow more and
more foolish, unless they take care to grow wiser
and wiser), Midas had got to be so exceedingly
unreasonable, that he could scarcely bear to see
or touch any object that was not gold. He made
it his custom, therefore, to pass a large portion of
every day in a dark and dreary apartment, under









48 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
ground, at the basement of his palace. It was
here that he kept his wealth. To this dismal hole
- for it was little better than a dungeon Midas
betook himself, whenever he wanted to be partic-
ularly happy. Here, after carefully locking the
door, he would take a bag of gold coin, or a gold
cup as big as a washbowl, or a heavy golden bar,
or a peck-measure of gold-dust, and bring them
from the obscure corners of the room into the one
bright and narrow sunbeam that fell from the
dungeon-like window. He valued the sunbeam
for no other reason but that his treasure would
not shine without its help. And then would he
reckon over the coins in the bag; toss up the bar,
and catch it as it came down; sift the gold-dust
through his fingers; look at the funny image of
his own face, as reflected in the burnished circum-
ference of the cup; and whisper to himself, O
Midas, rich King Midas, what a happy man art
thou!" But it was laughable to see how the
image of his face kept grinning at him, out of the
polished surface of the cup. It seemed to be
aware of his foolish behavior, and to have a naughty
inclination to make fun of him.
Midas called himself a happy man, but felt that
he was not yet quite so happy as he might be.
The very tiptop of enjoyment would never be
reached, unless the whole world were to become
his treasure-room, and be filled with yellow metal
which should be all his own.
Now, I need hardly remind such wise little
people as you are, that in the old, old times, when
King Midas was alive, a great many things came








THE GOLDEN TOUCH 49
to pass, which we should consider wonderful if
they were to happen in our own day and country.
And, on the other hand, a great many things take
place nowadays, which seem not only wonderful
to us, but at which the people of old times would
have stared their eyes out. On the whole, I re-
gard our own times.as the strangest of the two;
but, however that may be, I must go on with my
story.
Midas was enjoying himself in his treasure-
room, one day, as usual, when he perceived a
shadow fall over the heaps of gold; and, looking
suddenly up, what should he behold but the figure
of a stranger, standing in the bright and narrow
sunbeam! It was a young man, with a cheerful
and ruddy face. Whether it was that the imagi-
nation of King Midas threw a yellow tinge over
everything, or whatever the cause might be, he
could not help fancying that the smile with which
the stranger regarded him had a kind of golden
radiance in it. Certainly, although his figure in-
tercepted the sunshine, there was now a brighter
gleam upon all the piled-up treasures than before.
Even the remotest corners had their share of it,
and were lighted up, when the stranger smiled, as
with tips of flame and sparkles of fire.
As Midas knew that he had carefully' turned
the key in the lock, and that no mortal strength
could possibly break into his treasure-room, he, of
course, concluded that his visitor must be some-
thing more than mortal. It is no matter about
telling you who he was. In those days, when the
earth was comparatively a new affair, it was sup-








50, THE GOLDEN TOUCH
posed to be often the resort of beings endowed
with supernatural power, and who used to interest
themselves in the joys and sorrows of men, women,
and children, half playfully and half seriously.
Midas had met such beings before now, and was
not sorry to meet one of them again. The stran-
ger's aspect, indeed, was so good-humored and
kindly, if not beneficent, that it would have been
unreasonable to suspect him of intending any mis-
chief. It was far more probable that he came to
do Midas a favor. And what could that favor be,
unless to multiply his heaps of treasure?
The stranger gazed about the room; and when
his Justrous smile had glistened upon all the golden
objects that were there, he turned again to Midas.
You are a wealthy man, friend Midas!" he
observed. I doubt whether any other four walls,
on earth, contain so much gold as you have con-
trived to pile up in this room."
'" I have done pretty well, pretty well," an-
swered Midas, in a discontented tone. But,
after all, it is but a trifle, when you consider that
it has taken me my whole life to get it together.
If one could live a thousand years, he might have
time to grow rich "
What! exclaimed the stranger. Then you
are not satisfied? "
Midas shook his head.
And pray what would satisfy you ?" asked the
stranger. Merely for the curiosity of the thing,
I should be glad to know."
Midas paused and meditated. He felt a pre-
sentiment that this stranger, with such a golden

















v
i '
j








THE GOLDEN TOUCH 51
lustre in his good-humored smile, had come hither
with both the power and the purpose of gratifying
his utmost wishes. Now, therefore, was the for-
tunate moment, when he had but to speak, and
obtain whatever possible, or seemingly impossible
thing, it might come into his head to ask. So he
thought, and thought, and thought, and heaped
up one golden mountain upon another, in his
imagination, without being able to imagine them
big enough. At last, a bright idea occurred to
King Midas. It seemed really as bright as the
glistening metal which he loved so much.
Raising his head, he looked the lustrous stran-
ger in the face.
Well, Midas," observed his visitor, "I see that
you have at length hit upon something that will
satisfy you. Tell me your wish."
It is only this," replied Midas. I am weary
of collecting my treasures with so much trouble,
and beholding the heap so diminutive, after I have
done my best. I wish everything that I touch to
be changed to gold "
The stranger's smile grew so very broad, that it
seemed to fill the room like an outburst of the
sun, gleaming into a shadowy dell, where the yel-
low autumnal leaves for so looked the lumps
and particles of gold lie strewn in the glow of
light.
The Golden Touch!" exclaimed he. You
certainly deserve credit, friend Midas, for striking
out so brilliant a conception. But are you quite
sure that this will satisfy you ? "
How could it fail ? said Midas.








52 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
And will you never regret the possession of
it ? "
What could induce me? asked Midas. I
ask nothing else, to render me perfectly happy."
Be it as you wish, then," replied the stranger,
waving his hand in token of farewell. To-mor-
row, at sunrise, you will find yourself gifted with
the Golden Touch."
The figure of the stranger then became exceed-
ingly bright, and Midas involuntarily closed his
eyes. On opening them again, he beheld only
one yellow sunbeam in the room, and, all around
him, the glistening of the precious metal which he
had spent his life in hoarding up.
Whether Midas slept as usual that night, the
story does not say. Asleep or awake, however,
his mind was probably in the state of a child's, to
whom a beautiful new plaything has been prom-
ised in the morning. At any rate, day had hardly
peeped over the hills, when King Midas was broad
awake, and, stretching his arms out of bed, began
to touch the objects that were within reach. He
was anxious to prove whether the Golden Touch
had really come, according to the stranger's prom-
ise. So he laid his finger on a chair by the bed-
side, and on various other things, but was griev-
ously disappointed to perceive that they remained
of exactly the same substance as before. Indeed,
he felt very much afraid that he had only dreamed
about the lustrous stranger, or else that the latter
had been making game of him. And what a mis-
erable affair would it be, if, after all his hopes,
Midas must content himself with what little gold








THE GOLDEN TOUCH 53
he could scrape together by ordinary means, in-
stead of creating it by a touch!
All this while, it was only the gray of the morn-
ing, with but a streak of brightness along the
edge of the sky, where Midas could not see it.
He lay in a very disconsolate mood, regretting
the'downfall of his hopes, and kept growing sad-
der and sadder, until the earliest sunbeam shone
through the window, and gilded the ceiling over
his head. It seemed to Midas that this bright
yellow sunbeam was reflected in rather a singular
way on the white covering of the bed. Looking
more closely, what was his astonishment and de-
light, when he found that this linen fabric had
been transmuted to what seemed a woven texture
of the purest and brightest gold! The Golden
Touch had come to him with the first sunbeam!
Midas started up, in a kind of joyful frenzy, and
ran about the room, grasping at everything that
happened to be in his way. He seized one of the-
bed-posts, and it became immediately a fluted
golden pillar. He pulled aside a window-curtain,
in order to admit a clear spectacle of the wonders
which he was performing; and the tassel grew
heavy in his hand, a mass of gold. He took up
a book from the table. At his first touch, it as-
sumed the appearance of such a splendidly bound
and gilt-edged volume as one often meets with,
nowadays; but, on running his fingers through
the leaves, behold! it was a bundle of thin golden
plates, in which all the wisdom of the book had
grown illegible. He hurriedly put on his clothes,
and was enraptured to see himself in a magnifi-









54 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
cent suit of gold cloth, which retained its flexi-
bility and softness, although it burdened him a
little with its weight. He drew out his handker-
chief, which little Marygold had hemmed for him.
That was likewise gold, with the dear child's neat
and pretty stitches running all along the border,
in gold thread!
Somehow or other, this last transformation did
not quite please King Midas. He would rather
that his little daughter's handiwork should have
remained just the same as when she climbed his
knee and put it into his hand.
But it was not worth while to vex himself about
a trifle. Midas now took his spectacles from his
pocket, and put them on his nose, in order that
he might see more distinctly what he was about.
In those days, spectacles for common people had
not been invented, but were already worn by kings;
else, how could Midas have had any? To his
great perplexity, however, excellent as the glasses
were, he discovered that he could not possibly see
through them. But this was the most natural
thing in the world; for, on taking them off, the
transparent crystal turned out to be plates of yel-
low metal, and, of course, were worthless as spec-
tacles, though valuable as gold. It struck Midas
as rather inconvenient that, with all his wealth, he
could never again be rich enough to own a pair
of serviceable spectacles.
It is no great matter, nevertheless," said he to
himself, very philosophically. We cannot expect
any great good, without its being accompanied
with some small inconvenience. The Golden








THE GOLDEN TOUCH 55
Touch is worth the sacrifice of a pair of specta-
cles, at least, if not of one's very eyesight. My
own eyes will serve for ordinary purposes, and little
Marygold will soon be old enough to read to me."
Wise King Midas was so exalted by his good
fortune, that the palace seemed not sufficiently
spacious to contain him. He therefore went
downstairs, and smiled, on observing that the bal-
ustrade of the staircase became a bar of burnished
gold, as his hand passed over it, in his descent.
He lifted the door-latch (it was brass only a mo-
ment ago, but golden when his fingers quitted it),
and emerged into the garden. Here, as it hap-
pened, he found a great number of beautiful roses
in full bloom, and others in all the stages of lovely
bud and blossom. Very delicious was their fra-
grance in the morning breeze. Their delicate
blush was one of the fairest sights in the world;
so gentle, so modest, and so full of sweet tranquil-
lity, did these roses seem to be.
But Midas knew a way to make them far more
precious, according to his way of thinking, than
roses had ever been before. So he took great
pains in going from bush to bush, and exercised
his magic touch most indefatigably; until every
individual flower and bud, and even the worms at
the heart of some of them,, were changed to gold.
By the time this good work was completed, King
Midas was summoned to breakfast; and as the
morning air had given him an excellent appetite,
he made haste back to the palace.
What was usually a king's breakfast in the days
of Midas, I really do not know, and cannot stop









56 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
now to investigate. To the best of my belief, how-
ever, on this particular morning, the 'breakfast
consisted of hot cakes, some nice little brook
trout, roasted potatoes, fresh boiled eggs, and
coffee, for King Midas himself, and a bowl of
bread and milk for his daughter Marygold. At
all events, this is a breakfast fit to set before a
king; and, whether he had it or not, King Midas
could not have had a better.
Little Marygold had not yet made her appear-
ance. Her father ordered her to be called, and,
seating himself at table, awaited the child's com-
ing, in order to begin his own breakfast. To do
Midas justice, he really loved his daughter, and
loved her so much the more this morning, on ac-
count of the good fortune which had befallen
him. It was not a great while before he heard
her coming along the passageway crying bitterly.
This circumstance surprised him, because Mary-
gold was one of the cheerfullest little people whom
you would see in a summer's day, and hardly shed
a thimbleful of tears in a twelvemonth. When
Midas heard her sobs, he determined to put little
Marygold into better spirits, by an agreeable sur-
prise; so, leaning across the table, he touched his
daughter's bowl (which was a China one, with
pretty figures all around it), and transmuted it to
gleaming gold.
Meanwhile, Marygold slowly and disconsolately
opened the door, and showed herself with her
apron at her eyes, still sobbing as if her heart
would break.
"How now, my little lady!" cried Midas.








THE GOLDEN TOUCH 57
"Pray what is the matter with you, this bright
morning? "
Marygold, without taking the apron from her
eyes, held out her hand, in which was one of the
roses which Midas had so recently transmuted.
Beautiful! exclaimed her father. And
what is there in this magnificent golden rose to
make you cry ? "
Ah, dear father answered the child, as well
as her sobs would let her; it is not beautiful, but
the ugliest flower that ever grew As soon as I
was dressed I ran into the garden to gather some
roses for you; because I know you like them,
and like them the better when gathered by your
little daughter. But, oh dear, dear me! What
do you think has happened? Such a misfortune!
All the beautiful roses, that smelled so sweetly
and had so many lovely blushes, are blighted and
spoilt! They are grown quite yellow, as you see
this one, and have no longer any fragrance!
What can have been the matter with them? "
"Poh, my dear little girl, -pray don't cry
about it 1" said Midas, who was ashamed to con-
fess that he himself had wrought the change
which so greatly afflicted her. Sit down and
eat your bread and milk You will find it easy
enough to exchange a golden rose like that
(which will last hundreds of years) for an ordinary
one which would wither in a day."
I don't care for such roses as this!" cried
Marygold, tossing it contemptuously away. It
has no smell, and the hard petals prick my
nose "









58 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
The child now sat down to table, but was so
occupied with her grief for the blighted roses that
she did not even notice the wonderful transmuta-
tion of her China bowl. Perhaps this was all the
better; for Marygold was accustomed to take
pleasure in looking at the queer figures, and
strange trees and houses, that were painted on
the circumference of the bowl; and these orna-
ments were now entirely lost in the yellow hue of
the metal.
Midas, meanwhile, had poured out a cup of
coffee, and, as a matter of course, the coffee-pot,
whatever metal it may have been when he took
it up, was gold when he set it down. He thought
to himself, that it was rather an extravagant style
of splendor, in a king of his simple habits, to
breakfast off a service of gold, and began to be
puzzled with the difficulty of keeping his treasures
safe. The cupboard and the kitchen would no
longer be a secure place of deposit for articles so
valuable as golden bowls and coffee-pots.
Amid these thoughts, he lifted a spoonful of
coffee to his lips, and, sipping it, was astonished
to perceive that, the instant his lips touched the
liquid, it became molten gold, and, the next mo-
ment, hardened into a lump !
Ha!" exclaimed Midas, rather aghast.
"What is the matter, father?" asked little
Marygold, gazing at him, with the tears still
standing in her eyes.
"Nothing, child, nothing !" said Midas. Eat
your milk, before it gets quite cold."
He took one of the nice little trouts on his








THE GOLDEN TOUCH 59
plate, and, by way of experiment, touched its tail
with his finger. To his horror, it was immediately
transmuted from an admirably fried brook-trout
into a gold-fish, though not one of those gold-
fishes which people often keep in glass globes, as
ornaments for the parlor. No; but it was really
a metallic fish, and looked as if it had been very
cunningly made by the nicest goldsmith in the
world. Its little bones were now golden wires;
its fins and tail were thin plates of gold; and there
were the marks of the fork in it, and all the deli-
cate, frothy appearance of a nicely fried fish, ex-
actly imitated in metal. A very pretty piece of
work, as you may suppose; only King Midas,
just at that moment, would much rather have had
a real trout in his dish than this elaborate and
valuable imitation of one.
I don't quite see," thought he to himself, how
I am to get any breakfast."
He took one of the smoking-hot cakes, and had
scarcely broken it, when, to his cruel mortifica-
tion, though, a moment before, it had been of the
whitest wheat, it assumed the yellow hue of Indian
meal. To say the truth, if it had really been a hot
Indian cake, Midas would have prized it a good
deal more than he now did, when its solidity and
increased weight made him too bitterly sensible
that it was gold. Almost in despair, he helped
himself to a boiled egg, which immediately under-
went a change similar to those of the trout and
the cake. The egg, indeed, might have been
mistaken for one of those which the famous
goose, in the story-book, was in the habit of lay-








60 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
ing; but King Midas was the only goose that had
anything to do with the matter.
Well, this is a quandary!" thought he, lean-
ing back in his chair, and looking quite enviously
at little Marygold, who was now eating her bread
and milk with great satisfaction. Such a costly
breakfast before me, and nothing that can be
eaten!"
Hoping that, by dint of great dispatch, he
might avoid what he now felt to be a considerable
inconvenience, King Midas next snatched a hot
potato, and attempted to cram it into his mouth,
and swallow it in a hurry. But the Golden Touch
was too nimble for him. He found his mouth
full, not of mealy potato, but of solid metal,
which so burnt his tongue that he roared aloud,
and, jumping up from the table, began to dance
and stamp about the room, both with pain and
affright.
Father, dear father! cried little Marygold,
who was a very affectionate child, "pray what is
the matter ? Have you burnt your mouth ? "
Ah, dear child," groaned Midas, dolefully, I
don't know what is to become of your poor fa-
ther!"
And, truly, my dear little folks, did you ever
hear of such a pitiable case in all your lives?
Here was literally the richest breakfast that could
be set before a king, and its very richness made
it absolutely good for nothing. The poorest la-
borer, sitting down to his crust of bread and cup
of water, was far better off than King Midas,
whose delicate food was really worth its weight in









THE GOLDEN TOUCH 61
gold. And what was to be done? Already, at
breakfast, Midas was excessively hungry. Would
he be less so by dinner time? And how rav-
enous would be his appetite for supper, which
must undoubtedly consist of the same sort of in-
digestible dishes as those now before him How
many days, think you, would he survive a con-
tinuance of this rich fare?
These reflections so troubled wise King Midas,
that he began to doubt whether,. after all, riches
are the one desirable thing in the world, or even
the most desirable. But this was only a passing
thought. So fascinated was Midas with the glit-
ter of the yellow metal, that he would still have
refused to give up the Golden Touch ftor so pal-
try a consideration as a breakfast. Just imagine
what a price for one meal's victuals It would
have been the same as paying millions and mil-
lions of money (and as many millions more as
would take forever to reckon up) for some fried
trout, an egg, a potato, a hot cake, and a cup of
coffee!
It would be quite too dear," thought Midas.
Nevertheless, so great was his hunger, and the
perplexity of his situation, that he again groaned
aloud, and very grievously too. Our pretty Mary-
gold could endure it no longer. She sat, a mo-
ment, gazing at her father, and trying, with all the
might of her little wits, to find out what was the
matter with him. Then, with a sweet and sorrow-
ful impulse to comfort him, she started from her
chair, and, running to Midas, threw her arms af-
fectionately about his knees. He bent down and








62 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
kissed her. He felt that his little daughter's love
was worth a thousand times more than he had
gained by the Golden Touch.
My precious, precious Marygold cried he.
But Marygold made no answer.
Alas, what had he done? How fatal was the
gift which the stranger bestowed! The moment
the lips of Midas touched Marygold's forehead,
a change had taken place. Her sweet, rosy face,
so full of affection as it had been, assumed a glit-
tering yellow color, with yellow tear-drops con-
gealing on her cheeks. Her beautiful brown
ringlets took the same tint. Her soft and tender
little form grew hard and inflexible within her
father's ein'ciccling arms. Oh, terrible misfortune!
The v ictifi of his insatiable desire for wealth, lit-
tle Marygold was a human child no longer, but a
golden statue!
Yes, there she was, with the questioning look
of love, grief, and pity, hardened into her face.
It was the prettiest and most woeful sight that
ever mortal saw. All the features and tokens of
Marygold were there; even the beloved little
dimple remained in her golden chin. But the
more perfect was the resemblance, the greater was
the father's agony at beholding this golden image,
which was all that was left him of a daughter. It
had been a favorite phrase of Midas, whenever he
felt particularly fond of the child, to say that she
was worth her weight in gold. And now the
phrase had become literally true. And now, at
last, when it was too late, he felt how infinitely a
warm and tender heart, that loved him, exceeded













































'8, /~.
nlI


If-








THE GOLDEN TOUCH 63
in value all the wealth that could be piled up be-
twixt the earth and sky !
It would be too sad a story, if I were to tell you
how Midas, in the fullness of all his gratified de-
sires, began to wring his hands and bemoan him-
self; and how he could neither bear to look at
Marygold, nor yet to look away from her. Except
when his eyes were fixed on the image, he could
not possibly believe that she was changed to gold.
But, stealing another glance, there was the precious
little figure, with a yellow tear-drop on its yellow
cheek, and a look so piteous and tender, that it
seemed as if that very expression must needs
soften the gold, and make it flesh again. This,
however, could not be. So Midas had only to
wring his hands, and to wish that he were the
poorest man in the wide world, if the loss of all
'his wealth might bring back the faintest rose-color
to his dear child's face.
While he was in this tumult of despair, he
suddenly beheld a stranger standing near the
door. Midas bent down his head, without speak-
ing; for he recognized the same figure which had
appeared to him, the day before, in the treasure-
room, and had bestowed on him this disastrous
faculty of the Golden Touch. The stranger's
countenance still wore a smile, which seemed
to shed a yellow lustre all about the room, and
gleamed on little Marygold's image, and on the
other objects that had been transmuted by the
touch of Midas.
Well, friend Midas," said the stranger, pray
how do you succeed with the Golden Touch ?"








THE GOLDEN TOUCH


Midas shook his head.
I am very miserable," said he.
"Very miserable, indeed!" exclaimed the stran-
ger. "And how happens that? Have I not
faithfully kept my promise with you? Have you
not everything that your heart desired? "
Gold is not everything," answered Midas.
"And I have lost all that my heart really cared
for."
Ah! So you have made a discovery, since
yesterday ? observed the stranger. Let us see,
then. Which of these two things do you think
is really worth the most, the gift of the Golden
Touch, or one cup of clear cold water? "
0 blessed water! exclaimed Midas. It will
never moisten my parched throat again! "
The Golden Touch," continued the stranger,
" or a crust of bread ? "
A piece of bread," answered Midas, is worth
all the gold on earth! "
The Golden Touch," asked the stranger, or
your own little Marygold, warm, soft, and loving
as she was an hour ago ? "
Oh, my child, my dear child!" cried poor
Midas, wringing his hands. I would not have
given that one small dimple in her chin for the
power of changing this whole big earth into a
solid lump of gold "
You are wiser than you were, King Midas! "
said the stranger, looking seriously at him.
" Your own heart, I perceive, has not been entirely
changed from flesh to gold. Were it so, your
case would indeed be desperate. But you appear








STHE GOLDEN TOUCH 65
to be still capable of understanding that the com-
monest things, such as lie within everybody's
grasp, are more valuable than the riches which so
many mortals sigh and struggle after. Tell me,
now, do you sincerely desire to rid yourself of this
Golden Touch? "
It is hateful to me! replied Midas.
A fly settled on his nose, but immediately fell
to the floor; for it, too, had become gold. Midas
shuddered.
Go, then," said the stranger, and plunge into
the river that glides past the bottom of your gar-
den. Take likewise a vase of the same water, and
sprinkle it over any object that you may desire to
change back again from gold into its former sub-
stance. If you do this in earnestness and sin-
cerity, it may possibly repair the mischief which
your avarice has occasioned."
King Midas bowed low; and when he lifted his
head, the lustrous stranger had vanished.
You will easily believe that Midas lost no time
in snatching up a great earthen pitcher (but, alas
me! it was no longer earthen after he touched
it), and hastening to the river-side. As he scam-
pered along, and forced his way through the
shrubbery, it was positively marvelous to see how
the foliage turned yellow behind him, as if the
autumn had been there, and nowhere else. On
reaching the river's brink, he plunged headlong
in, without waiting so much as to pull off his
shoes.
Poof! poof! poof!" snorted King Midas, as
his head emerged out of the water. Well; this









66 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
is really a refreshing bath, and I think it must
have quite washed away the Golden Touch. And
now for filling my pitcher! "
As he dipped the pitcher into the water, it glad-
dened his very heart to see it change from gold
into the same good, honest earthen vessel which
it had been before he touched it. He was con-
scious, also, of a change within himself. A cold,
hard, and heavy weight seemed to have gone out
of his bosom. No doubt, his heart had been grad-
ually losing its human substance, and transmuting
itself into insensible metal, but had now softened
back again into flesh. Perceiving a violet, that
grew on the bank of the river, Midas touched it
with his finger, and was overjoyed to find that the
delicate flower retained its purple hue, instead of
undergoing a yellow blight. The curse of the
Golden Touch had, therefore, really been removed
from him.
King Midas hastened back to the palace; and,
I suppose, the servants knew not what to make
of it when they saw their royal master so carefully
bringing home an earthen pitcher of water. But
that water, which was to undo all the mischief that
his folly had wrought, was more precious to Midas
than an ocean of molten gold could have been.
The first thing he did, as you need hardly be told,
was to sprinkle it by handfuls over the golden
figure of little Marygold.
No sooner did it fall on her than you would
have laughed to see how the rosy color came back
to the dear child's cheek! and how she began to
sneeze and sputter! and how astonished she







[Iii


U-
I~J


2"1









THE GOLDEN TOUCH 67
was to find herself dripping wet, and her father
still throwing more water over her !
Pray do not, dear father cried she. See
how you have wet my nice frock, which I put on
only this morning "
For Marygold did not know that she had been
a little golden statue; nor could she remember
anything that had happened since the moment
when she ran with outstretched arms to comfort
poor King Midas.
Her father did not think it necessary to tell
his beloved child how very foolish he had been,
but contented himself with showing how much
wiser he had now grown. For this purpose, he led
little Marygold into the garden, where he sprin-
kled all the remainder of the water over the rose-
bushes, and with such good effect that above five
thousand roses recovered their beautiful bloom.
There were two circumstances, however, which, as
long as he lived, used to put King Midas in mind
of the Golden Touch. One was, that the sands of
the river sparkled like gold; the other, that little
Marygold's hair had now a golden tinge, which he
had never observed in it before she had been
transmuted by the effect of his kiss. This change
of hue was really an improvement, and made
Marygold's hair richer than in her babyhood.
When King Midas had grown quite an old
man, and used to trot Marygold's children on his
knee, he was fond of telling them this marvelous
story, pretty much as I have now told it to you.
And then would he stroke their glossy ringlets,
and tell them that their hair, likewise, had a rich










68 THE GOLDEN TOUCH
shade of gold, which they had inherited from their
mother.
And to tell you the truth, my precious little
folks," quoth King Midas, diligently trotting the
children all the while, ever since that morning,
I have hated the very sight of all other gold, save
this!"



















SELL, children," inquired Eus-
tace, who was very fond of
eliciting a definite opinion.
from his auditors, "did you
ever, in all your lives, listen
to a better story than this of
'The Golden Touch'?"
Why, as to the story of King Midas," said
saucy Primrose, it was a famous one thousands
of years before Mr. Eustace Bright came into the
world, and will continue to be so long after he
quits it. But some people have what we may call
'The Leaden Touch,' and make everything dull
and heavy that they lay their fingers upon."
You are a smart child, Primrose, to be not
yet in your teens," said Eustace, taken rather
aback by the piquancy of her criticism. But
,you well know, in your naughty little heart, that
SI have burnished the old gold of Midas all over
anew, and have made it shine as it never shone
before. And then that figure of Marygold! Do
you perceive no nice workmanship in that ? And
how finely I have brought out and deepened the
69







70 SHADOW BROOK
moral! What say you, Sweet Fern, Dandelion,
Clover, Periwinkle? Would any of you, after
hearing this story, be so foolish as to desire the
faculty of changing things to gold ? "
I should like," said Periwinkle, a girl of ten,
"to have the power of turning everything to gold
with my right forefinger; but, with my left fore-
finger, I should want the power of changing it
back again, if the first change did not please me.
And I know what I would do, this very after-
noon!"
Pray tell me," said Eustace.
Why," answered Periwinkle, "I would touch
every one of these golden leaves on the trees with
my left forefinger, and make them all green again;
so that we might have the summer back at once,
with no ugly winter in the mean time."
O Periwinkle!" cried Eustace Bright, there
you are wrong, and would do a great deal of mis-
chief. Were I Midas, I would make nothing
else but just such golden days as these over and
over again, all the year throughout. My best
thoughts always come a little too late. Why did
not I tell you how old King Midas came to Amer-
ica, and changed the dusky autumn, such as it is
in other countries, into the burnished beauty
which it here puts on? He gilded the leaves of
the great volume of Nature."
Cousin Eustace," said Sweet Fern, a good lit-
tle boy, who was always making particular inquiries
about the precise height of giants and the littleness
of fairies, how big was Marygold, and how much
did she weigh after she was turned to gold?"








SHADOW BROOK 71
"She was about as tall as you are," replied Eus-
tace, and, as gold is very heavy, she weighed at
least two thousand pounds, and might have been
coined into thirty or forty thousand gold dollars.
I wish Primrose were worth half as much. Come,
little people, let us clamber out of the dell, and
look about us."
They did so. The sun was now an hour or
two beyond its noontide mark, and filled the great
hollow of the valley with its western radiance, so
that it seemed to be brimming with mellow light,
and to spill it over the surrounding hill-sides, like.
golden wine out of a bowl. It was such a day
that you could not help saying of it, There never
was such a day before! although yesterday was
just such a day, and to-morrow will be just such
another. Ah, but there are very few of them in
a twelvemonth's circle! It is a remarkable pecul-
iarity of these October days, that each of them
seems to occupy a great deal of space, although
the sun rises rather tardily at that season of the
year, and goes to bed, as little children ought, at
sober six o'clock, or even earlier. We cannot,
therefore, call the days long; but they appear,
somehow or other, to make up for their shortness
by their breadth; and when the cool night comes,
we are conscious of having enjoyed a big armful
of life, since morning.
"Come, children, come cried Eustace Bright.
" More nuts, more nuts, more nuts! Fill all your
baskets; and, at Christmas time, I will crack them
for you, and tell you beautiful stories! "
So away they went; all of them in excellent








72 SHADOW BROOK
spirits, except little Dandelion, who, I am sorry
to tell you, had been sitting on a chestnut-bur,
and was stuck as full as a pincushion of its
prickles. Dear me, how uncomfortably he must
have felt!





T1i7a



















--'-" --. 1 TAIGLE\VOuD PILAV-
77- RO0 1i. INTRODUCTORY
S TO THE PARADISE OF
S CHILDREN
:- HE golden days of October
-. passed away, as so many other
October have, and brown No-
vember likewise, and the greater part of chill De-
cember, too. At last came merry Christmas, and
Eustace Bright along with it, making it all the
merrier by his presence. And, the day after his
arrival from college, there came a mighty snow-
storm. Up to this time, the winter had held back,
and had given us a good many mild days, which
were like smiles upon its wrinkled visage. The
grass had kept itself green, in sheltered places,
such as the nooks of southern hill-slopes, and along
the lee of the stone fences. It was but a week or
two ago, and since the beginning of the month,
that the children had found a dandelion in bloom,
on the margin of Shadow Brook, where it glides
out of the dell.
But no more green grass and dandelions now.
73



















--'-" --. 1 TAIGLE\VOuD PILAV-
77- RO0 1i. INTRODUCTORY
S TO THE PARADISE OF
S CHILDREN
:- HE golden days of October
-. passed away, as so many other
October have, and brown No-
vember likewise, and the greater part of chill De-
cember, too. At last came merry Christmas, and
Eustace Bright along with it, making it all the
merrier by his presence. And, the day after his
arrival from college, there came a mighty snow-
storm. Up to this time, the winter had held back,
and had given us a good many mild days, which
were like smiles upon its wrinkled visage. The
grass had kept itself green, in sheltered places,
such as the nooks of southern hill-slopes, and along
the lee of the stone fences. It was but a week or
two ago, and since the beginning of the month,
that the children had found a dandelion in bloom,
on the margin of Shadow Brook, where it glides
out of the dell.
But no more green grass and dandelions now.
73









74 TANGLEWOOD PLAY-ROOM
This was such a snow-storm! Twenty miles of
it might have been visible at once, between :the
windows of Tanglewood and the dome of Taco-
nic, had it been possible to see so far among the
eddying drifts that whitened all the atmosphere.
It seemed as if the hills were giants, and were
flinging monstrous handfuls of snow at one an-
other, in their enormous sport. So thick were the
fluttering snow-flakes, that even the trees, mid-
way down the valley, were hidden by them the
greater part of the time. Sometimes, it is true,
the little prisoners of Tanglewood could discern
a dim outline of Monument Mountain, and the
smooth whiteness of the frozen lake at its base,
and the black or gray tracts of woodland in the
nearer landscape. But these were merely peeps
through the tempest.
Nevertheless, the children rejoiced greatly in
the snow-storm. They had already made ac-
quaintance with it, by tumbling heels over head
into its highest drifts, and'flinging snow at one
another, as we have just fancied the Berkshire
mountains to be doing. And now they had come
back to their spacious play-room, which was as big
as the great drawing-room, and was lumbered
with all sorts of playthings, large and small. The
biggest was a rocking-horse, that looked like a
real pony; and there was a whole family of
wooden, waxen, plaster, and china dolls, besides
rag-babies; and blocks enough to build Bunker
Hill Monument, and nine-pins, and balls, and
humming-tops, and battledores, and grace-sticks,
and skipping-ropes, and more of such valuable









TANGLEWOOD PLAY-ROOM 75
property than I could tell of in a printed page.
But the children liked the snow-storm better than
them all. It suggested so many brisk enjoy-
ments for to-morrow, and all the remainder of the
winter. The sleigh-ride; the slides down hill into
the valley; the snow-images that were to be
shaped out; the snow-fortresses that were to be
built; and the snowballing to be carried on !
So the little folks blessed the snow-storm, and
were glad to see it come thicker and thicker, and
watched hopefully the long drift that was piling
itself up in the avenue, and was already higher
than any of their heads.
"Why, we shall be blocked up till spring!"
cried they, with the hugest delight. What a pity
that the house is too high to be quite covered up!
The little red house, down yonder, will be buried
up to its eaves."
You silly children, what do you want of more
snow? asked'Eustace, who, tired of some novel
that he was skimming through, had strolled into
the play-room. It has done mischief enough'
already, by spoiling the only skating that I could
hope for through the winter. We shall see no-
thing more of the lake till April; and this was to
have been my first day upon it Don't you pity
me, Primrose? "
Oh, to be sure!" answered Primrose, laugh-
ing. But, for your comfort, we will listen to an-
other of your old stories, such as you told us un-
der the porch, and down in the hollow, by Shadow
Brook. Perhaps I shall like them better now,
when there is nothing to do, than while there were









76 TANGLEWOOD PLAY-ROOM
nuts to be gathered, and beautiful weather to en-
joy."
Hereupon, Periwinkle, Clover, Sweet Fern, and
as many others of the little fraternity and cousin-
hood as were still at Tanglewood, gathered about
Eustace, and earnestly besought him for a story.
The student yawned, stretched himself, and then,
to the vast admiration of the small people, skipped
three times back and forth over the top of a chair,
in order, as he explained to them, to set his wits
in motion.
Well, well, children," said he, after these pre-
liminaries, since you insist, and Primrose has set
her heart upon it, I will see what can be done for
you. And, that you may know what happy days
there were before snow-storms came into fash-
ion, I will tell you a story of the oldest of all old
times, when the world was as new as Sweet Fern's
bran-new humming-top. There was then but one
season in the year, and that was the delightful
summer; and but one age for mortals, and that
was childhood."
I never heard of that before," said Primrose.
Of course, you never did," answered Eus-
tace. It shall be a story of what nobody but
myself ever dreamed of, a Paradise of chil-
dren, and how, by the naughtiness of just such
a little imp as Primrose here, it all came to no-
thing."
So Eustace Bright sat down in the chair which
he had just been skipping over, took Cowslip
upon his knee, ordered silence throughout the
auditory, and began a story about a sad naughty




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