Already was I bound, and just ready to be set a-sailing, when the
schoolmaster, taking a walk that way, obliged the boys to set me at liberty.
EVENINGS AT HOME;
THE JUVENILE BUDGET OPENED.
DR. AIKIN AND MRS. BARBAULD.
NEWLY CORRECTED AND REVISED
CECIL HARTLEY, M.A.,
Author of "Principles of the Sciences," 4c. tc.
ILLUSTRATED WITH FINE ENGRAVINGS.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND CO., FARRINGDON STREET.
No apology is necessary for presenting a new, re-
vised, and improved edition of Dr. AIxN and Mrs.
BARBAULD'S Evenings at Home. The well-earned and
long-established popularity of the work has entitled
it to every attention on the part of the publisher;
and so far as regards paper and print, binding and
pictorial illustration, he is happy in the opportunity
of offering to his young friends a Gift-Book for the
Season-for ANY season-worthy of their acceptance.
In bringing the present edition before the world,
the advance of time, and the consequent advance ol
literature, science, and the arts, called for some edi-
torial application. Accordingly, obsolete and rugged
expressions have been modernised or polished; and,
wherever it may have been judged necessary, new and
useful information has been inserted. With the
original plan or tendency of the work, however, not
the slightest liberty has been taken. All that has
been attempted is to render it more in accordance with
the general and improved taste of the age.
Thus, happily interspersing and blending instruction
with amusement, Evenings at Home will, under the
present form of arrangement, be found to contain an
almost exhaustless store of interesting material for
the unfatiguing exercise of mind, from the state of
infancy to that of adolescence. In the perusal of this
volume, brothers and sisters may alike aid each other
and facilitate their mental studies; and with yet
greater advantage, by a little occasional assistance
from Papa or Mamma, the Tutor or the Governess.
The new and beautiful series of illustrations cannot
fail to prove additionally attractive to all.
INTRODUCTION ....................................... Page 1
The Young Mouse ............ ............. 2
The Wasp and the Bee ...................... 3
The Goose and the Horse ....................... 4
The Flying-Fish ................. .............. 5
The Little Dog ... ............. ............ 5
Travellers' Wonders.. ...................... 8
The Discontented Squirrel ....................... 12
On the M artin ................ .... ........... ...... 15
Mouse, Lapdog, and Monkey .................. 18
Animals, and their Countries ............... 19
The Masque of Nature... ...................... 19
The Farm-Yard Journal .......................... 21
The Price of Pleasure ................ ........... 25
The Rat with a Bell................. .................. 27
The Dog Baulked of his Dinner .................... 28
The Kid .................. ......... ................ 31
How to make the best of it ....................... 34
Order and Disorder ............................... .... 35
Live D olls ................ .. .... ... .............. 40
The Hog and other Animals ........................ 44
The Bullies .................. ... .. ..... .... 46
The Travelled Ant .................. .............. 48
The Colonists ............. ............ ............. 55
The Dog and his Relations ........................ 59
History and Adventures of a Cat .............. 61
Canute's Reproof to his Courtiers ............. 67
On Things to be Learned ....................... 69
On the Oak .......... ................. Page 70
Alfred ................... .......... ... ... ....... 83
On the Pine and Fir Tribe ....................... 89
On Different Stations in Life ..................... 95
The Rookery .................. ................... 100
The Ship ....................... .................... 104
Things by their Right Names .................... 111
The Transmigrations of Indur ..................... 113
The Swallow and the Tortoise...................... 128
The Grass Tribe ............................... 130
A Tea Lecture ................................ 134
The Kidnappers .............. ......... ....... 139
On Manufactures .................. ............ .. 142
A Lesson in the Art of Distinguishing ............ 152
The Phoenix and the Dove ....................... 160
The Manufacture of Paper ....................... 161
The Two Robbers ................................. 166
The Council of Quadrupeds....................... 168
Tit for Tat......... ..... .............. .... ... ......... 175
On W ine and Spirits .............................. 177
The Boy without a Genius .......................... 184
Half a Crown's W orth.............................. 188
Trial ......... ....... ..... ............ 191
The Leguminous Plants .. ..... ........... Page 199
On M an........................ ........ .......... 205
Walking the Streets............................... 210
The Compound-flowered Plants ................. 212
On Presence of Mind .............................. 216
Phaeton Junior........ ...... ................. 222
Why an Apple falls .............................. 227
Nature and Education ....... ................ 230
Aversion Subdued................................... 232
The Little Philosopher........... ....................... 239
What different kinds of Living Creatures are
made for........... .................... ......... 242
True Heroism ...................................... 246
On Metals.-Part I................................... 249
Flying and Swimming ....... .............. 258
The Female Choice ...................... ........ 261
On Metals.-Part II ............................... 263
Eyes, and No Eyes; or the Art of Seeing......... 274
Why the Earth moves round the Sun............... 281
The Umbelliferous Plants.......................... 285
Humble Life; or, the Cottagers................... 290
The Birth-day Gift .. ..................... 295
On Earths and Stones........ .............. 297
Show and Use; or the Two Presents ............. 312
The .Cruciform-flowered Plants ................... 315
The Native Village ................................... 320
Perseverance against Fortune ................. Page 327
The Goldfinch and the Linnet....................... 340
The Price of a Victory.............................. 342
Good Company................................. .. 347
The Wanderer's Return........................... 350
Difference and Agreement; or, Sunday Morning 356
The Landlord's Visit ............................. 359
On Emblem s ............................ .............. 366
Ledyard's Praise of Women ....................... 373
Generous Revenge ........ ................... 374
The Power of Habit............................. .. 377
The Cost of a War .................................. 382
Great M en ........................... .................. 386
The Four Sisters.................................... 390
The Gain of a Loss.......... ....................... 394
Wise Men ............................................ 397
A Friend in Need ....................... ............. 401
Master and Slave ....................................... 411
Earth and her Children .............................. 414
A Secret Character Unveiled ....................... 416
A Globe Lecture ............... .................. 426
Envy and Emulation................................. 436
Providence; or, the Shipwreck.................... 439
Epilogue ................................. ...... 445
EVENINGS AT HOME.
THE mansion-house of the pleasant village of Beech-
grove was inhabited by the family of FAIRBORNE, con-
sisting of the master and mistress, and a numerous
progeny of children, boys and girls. Of these, some
were educated at home under their parents' care, and
some were sent out to school. The house was seldom
unprovided with visitors, the intimate friends or rela-
tions of the owners, who were entertained with cheer-
fulness and hospitality, free from ceremony and parade.
They formed, during their stay, part of the family,
and were ready to concur with Mr. and Mrs. Fair-
borne in any little domestic plan for varying their
amusements, and particularly for promoting the in-
struction and entertainment of the younger part of
the household. As some of them were accustomed to
writing, they would frequently produce a fable, a story,
or dialogue, adapted to the age and understanding of
the young people. It was always considered as a high
favour when they would so employ themselves; and
when the pieces had been once read over, they were
carefully deposited by Mrs. Fairborne in a box, of
which she kept the key. None of these were allowed
to be taken out again till all the children were assem-
bled in the holidays. It was then made one of the
evening amusements of the family to rummage the
budget, as their phrase was. One of the youngest
children was sent to the box, who, putting in its little
hand, drew out the paper that came next, and brought
it into the parlour. This was then read distinctly by
one of the older ones ; and after it had undergone suf-
ficient consideration, another little messenger was de-
spatched for a fresh supply; and so on, till as much
time had been spent in this manner as the parents
thought proper. Other children were admitted to
these readings; and as the Budget of Beechgrove Hall
became somewhat celebrated in the neighbourhood, its
proprietors were at length urged to lay it open to the
public. They were induced to comply; and thus,
without further preface, begins the
THE YOUNG MOUSE.
A YOUNG Mouse lived in a cupboard where sweet-
meats were kept: she dined every day upon biscuit,
marmalade, or fine sugar. Never any little Mouse had
lived so well. She had often ventured to peep at the
family while they sat at supper; nay, she had some-
times stolen down on the carpet, and picked up the
crumbs, and nobody had ever hurt her. She would
have been quite happy, but that she was sometimes
frightened by the cat, and then she ran trembling to
the hole behind the wainscot. One day she came
running to her mother in great joy, Mother !" said
she, "the good people of this family have built me a
house to live in; it is in the cupboard: I am sure it
is for me, for it is just big enough; the bottom is of
wood, and it is covered all over with wires ; and I dare
say they have made it on purpose to screen me from
that terrible cat, which has run after me so often:
there is an entrance just big enough for me, but puss
cannot follow; and they have been so good as to put
in some toasted cheese, which smells so deliciously,
that I should have run in directly and taken possession
THE WASP AND THE BEE. y
of my new house, but I thought I would tell you first,
that we might go in together, and both lodge there to-
night, for it will hold us both."
My dear child," said the old Mouse, it is most
happy that you did not go in, for this house is called
a trap, and you would never have come out again, ex-
cept to be devoured, or put to death in some way or
other. Though man has not so fierce a look as a cat,
he is as much our enemy, and has still more cunning."
THE WASP AND THE BEE.
A WASP met a Bee, and said to him, "Pray can
you tell me what is the reason that men are so ill-
natured to me, while they are so fond of you ? We
are very much alike, only that the broad golden rings
about my body make me much handsomer than you
are: we are both winged insects, we both love honey,
and we both sting people when we are angry; yet
men always hate me, and try to kill me, though I am
much more familiar with them than you are, and pay
them visits in their houses, and at their tea-tables, and
at all their meals: while you are very shy, and hardly
ever come near them: yet they build you curious
houses thatched with straw, and take care of and feed
you in the winter very often. I wonder what is the
The Bee said, "Because you never do them any
good, but, on the contrary, are very troublesome and
mischievous; therefore they do not like to see you;
but they know that I am busy all day long in making
them honey. You had better pay them fewer visits,
and try to be useful."
THE GOOSE AND THE HORSE.
A Goose, who was plucking grass upon a common,
thought herself affronted by a Horse who fed near
her, and in hissing accents thus addressed him: "I
am certainly a more noble and perfect animal than
you, for the whole range and extent of your faculties
is confined to one element. I can walk upon the
ground, as well as you: I have, besides, wings, with
which I can raise myself in the air; and, when I
please, I can sport in ponds and lakes, and refresh
myself in the cool waters: I enjoy the different powers
of a bird, a fish, and a quadruped."
The Horse, snorting somewhat disdainfully, replied,
"It is true you inhabit three elements, but you make
no very distinguished figure in any one of them. You
fly, indeed; but your flight is so heavy and clumsy,
that you have no right to put yourself on a level with
the lark or the swallow. You can swim on the sur-
face of the waters, but you cannot live in them as
fishes do; you cannot find much of your food in that
element, nor glide smoothly along the bottom of the
waves. And when you walk, or rather waddle, upon
the ground, with your broad feet, and your long neck
stretched out, hissing at every one who passes by,
you bring upon yourself the derision of all beholders.
I confess that I am formed only to move upon the
ground; but how graceful is my make! how well
turned my limbs how highly finished my whole body !
how great my strength! how astonishing my speed !
I had far rather be confined to one element, and be
admired in that, than be a Goose in all."
THE LITTLE DOG.
THE FLYING FISH.
THE Flying Fish, says the Fable, had originally no
wings, but being of an ambitious and discontented
temper, she repined at always being confined to the
waters, and wished to soar in the air. If I could
fly like the birds," said she, I should not only see
more of the beauties of nature, but I should be able
to escape from those fish which are continually pur-
suing me, and which render my life miserable." She
therefore petitioned Jupiter for a pair of wings: and
immediately she perceived her fins to expand. They
suddenly grew to the length of her whole body, and
became at the same time so strong as to do the office
of pinions. She was at first much pleased with her
new powers, and looked with an air of disdain on all
her former companions; but she soon perceived her-
self exposed to new dangers. When flying in the air,
she was incessantly pursued by the tropic bird and
the albatross; and when, for safety, she dropped into
the water, she was so fatigued with her flight, that she
was less able than ever to escape from her old enemies,
the fish. Finding herself more unhappy than before,
she now begged of Jupiter to recall his present; but
Jupiter said to her, "When I gave you your wings, I
well knew they would prove a curse; but your proud
and restless disposition deserved this disappointment.
Now, therefore, what you begged as a favour, keep as
a punishment !"
THE LITTLE DOG.
"WHAT shall I do," said a very little dog one day to
his mother, to show my gratitude to our good master,
and make myself of some value to him ? I cannot
draw or carry burdens, like the horse; nor give him
6 FIRST EVENING.
milk, like the cow; nor lend him my covering for his
clothing, like the sheep; nor produce him eggs, like
the poultry; nor catch mice and rats so well as the cat.
I cannot divert him with singing, like the canaries and
linnets; nor can I defend him against robbers, like
our relation Towzer; I should not be of use to him
even if I were dead, as the hogs are. I am a poor,
insignificant creature, not worth the cost of keeping;
and I don't see that I can do a single thing to entitle
me to his regard." So saying, the poor little dog
hung down his head in silent despondency.
My dear pet," replied his mother, "though your
abilities are but small, yet a hearty goodwill is suf-
ficient to supply all defects. Do but love your mas-
ter dearly, and prove your love by all the means in
your power, and you will not fail to please him."
The little dog was comforted with this assurance,
and, on his master's approach, ran to him, licked his
feet, gambolled before him, and every now and then
stopped, wagging his tail, and looking up to him with
expressions of the most humble and affectionate
attachment. The master observed him. Ah little
Fido," said he, "you are an honest, good-natured
little fellow!"-and stooped down to pat his head.
Poor Fido was ready to go out of his wits for joy.
Fido was now his master's constant companion in
his walks, playing and skipping around him, and
amusing him by a thousand sportive tricks. He took
care, however, not to be troublesome by leaping on
him with dirty paws, nor would he follow him into the
parlour, unless invited. He also attempted to make
himself useful by a number of little services. He
would drive away the sparrows, as they were stealing
the chickens' meat; and would run and bark with the
utmost fury at any strange pigs or other animals that
offered to come into the yard. He kept the poultry,
geese, and pigs from straying beyond their bounds,
and particularly from doing mischief in the garden.
He was always ready to alarm Towzer if there were
THE LITTLE DOG. 7
any suspicious noise about the house, day or night.
If his master pulled off his coat in the field to help his
workmen, as he would sometimes do, Fido always sat
by it, and would not suffer either man or beast to
touch it. By this means he came to be considered as
a very trusty protector of his master's property.
His master was once confined to his bed with a
dangerous illness. Fido planted himself at the cham-
ber-door, and could not be persuaded to leave it, even
to take food; and as soon as his master had so far
recovered as to sit up, Fido, being admitted into the
room, ran up to him with such marks of excessive joy
and affection as would have melted any heart to be-
hold. This circumstance wonderfully endeared him
to his master; and some time after he had an oppor-
tunity of doing him a very important service. One
hot day, after dinner, his master was sleeping in a
summer-house with Fido by his side. The building
was old and crazy; and the dog, who was faithfully
watching his master, perceived the wall shake, and
pieces of mortar fall from the ceiling. He compre-
hended the danger, and began barking to awake his
master; and this not sufficing, he jumped up, and
gently bit his finger. The master upon this started
up, and had just time to get out of the door before
the whole building fell down. Fido, who was behind,
got hurt by some rubbish which fell upon him; on
which his master had him taken care of with the
utmost tenderness, and ever after acknowledged his
obligation to this little animal as the preserver of his
life. Thus his love and fidelity had their full reward.
Moral. The poorest man may repay his obligations
to the richest and greatest by faithful and affectionate
service-the meanest creature may obtain the favour
and regard of the Creator himself, by humble grati-
tude, and steadfast obedience.
ONE winter's evening, as Captain Compass was sit-
ting by the fireside with his children all around him,
little Jack said to him, Papa, pray tell us some
stories about what you have seen in your voyages. I
have been vastly entertained whilst you were abroad,
with Gulliver's Travels, and the Adventures of Sinbad
the Sailor; and I think, as you have gone round and
round the world, you must have met with things as
wonderful as they did."-" No, my dear," said the
Captain, I never met with Lilliputians, or Brobdig-
nagians, I assure you, nor ever saw the black loadstone
mountain, or the valley of diamonds; but, to be sure,
I have seen a great variety of people, and their dif-
ferent manners and ways of living; and if it will be
any entertainment to you, I will tell you some curious
particulars of what I observed."-" Pray do, Papa,"
cried Jack and all his brothers and sisters; so they
drew close around him, and he began as follows:-
Well then-I was once, about this time of the
year, in a country where it was very cold, and the poor
inhabitants had much ado to keep themselves from
starving. They were clad partly in the skins of beasts,
made smooth and soft by a particular art, but chiefly
in garments made from the outer covering of a middle-
sized quadruped, which they were so cruel as to strip
off his back while he was alive. They dwelt in habi-
tations, part of which was sunk under-ground. The
materials were either stones, or earth hardened by fire;
and so violent in that country were the storms of
wind and rain, that many of them covered their roofs
all over with stones. The walls of their houses had
holes to let in the light; but to prevent the cold air
and wet from coming in, they were faced by a sort of
transparent stone, made artificially of melted sand or
flints. As wood was rather scarce, I know not what
they would have done for firing, had they not disco-
vered in the bowels of the earth a very extraordinary
kind of stone, which, when put among burning wood,
caught fire and flamed like a torch."
Dear me," said Jack, what a wonderful stone!
I suppose it was somewhat like what we call fire-stones,
that shine so when we rub them together."-" I don't
think they would burn," replied the Captain; be-
sides, these are of a darker colour."
Well-but their diet too was remarkable. Some
of them ate fish that had been hung up in the smoke
till they were quite dry and hard; and along with it
they ate either the roots of plants, or a sort of coarse
black cake made of powdered seeds. These were the
poorer class; the richer had a whiter kind of cake,
which they were fond of daubing over with a greasy
matter that was the product of a large animal among
them. This grease they used, too, in almost all their
dishes, and when fresh, it really was not unpalatable.
They also devoured the flesh of many birds and beasts
when they could get it; and ate the leaves and other
parts of a variety of vegetables growing in the country,
some absolutely raw, others variously prepared by the
aid of fire. Another great article of food was the curd
of milk, pressed into a hard mass and salted. This
had so rank a smell, that persons of weak stomachs
often could not bear to come near it. For drink,
they made great use of the water in which certain
dry leaves had been steeped. These leaves, I was
told, came from a great distance. They had also a
method of preparing a liquor of the seeds of a grass-
like vegetable steeped in water, with the addition of
the flower of a bitter plant, and then set to .work or
ferment. I was prevailed upon to taste it, and thought
it at first nauseous enough; but in time I liked it
pretty well. When a large quantity of the ingredients
is used, it becomes perfectly intoxicating. But what
astonished me most, was their use of a liquor so exces-
sively hot and pungent, that it seems like liquid fire.
I once got a mouthful of it by mistake, taking it for
water, which it resembles in appearance; but I thought
it would instantly have taken away my breath. In-
deed, people are not unfrequently killed by it; and yet
many of them will swallow it greedily whenever they
can get it. This, too, is said to be prepared from the
seeds above mentioned, which are innocent and even
salutary in their natural state, though made to yield
such a pernicious juice. The strangest custom that I
believe prevails in any nation, I found here, which
was, that some take a mighty pleasure in filling their
mouths full of stinking smoke; and others, in thrusting
a dirty powder up their nostrils."
I should think it would choke them," said Jack.
It almost did me," answered his father, only to
stand by while they did it-but use, it is truly said, is
I was glad enough to leave this cold climate; and
about half a year after, I fell in with a people enjoying
a delicious temperature of air, and a country full of
beauty and verdure. The trees and shrubs were fur-
nished with a great variety of fruits, which, with other
vegetable products, constituted a large part of the food
of the inhabitants. I particularly relished certain
berries growing in bunches, some white and some red,
of a very pleasant sourish taste, and so transparent
that one might see the seeds at their very centre.
Here were whole fields full of extremely odoriferous
flowers; which they told me were succeeded by pods
bearing seeds, that afforded good nourishment to man
and beast. A great variety of birds enlivened the
groves and woods; among which I was entertained
with one, that without any teaching spoke almost as
articulately as a parrot, though indeed it was all the
repetition of a single word. The people were tolerably
gentle and civilized, and possessed many of the arts of
life. Their dress was very various. Many were clad
only in a thin cloth made of the long fibres of the stalk
of a plant cultivated for the purpose, which they pre-
pared by soaking in water, and then beating with large
mallets. Others wore cloth woven from a sort of
vegetable wool, growing in pods upon bushes. But
the most singular material was a fine glossy stuff, used
chiefly by the richer classes, which, as I was credibly
informed, is manufactured out of the webs of cater-
pillars-a most wonderful circumstance, if we consider
the immense number of caterpillars necessary to the
production of so large a quantity of the stuff as I saw
used. This people are very fantastic in their dress,
especially the women, whose apparel consists of a great
number of articles impossible to be described, and
strangely disguising the natural form of the body. In
some instances they seem very cleanly; but in others
the Hottentots can hardly go beyond them; particu-
larly in the management of their hair, which is all
matted and stiffened with the fat of swine and other
animals, mixed up with powders of various colours and
ingredients. Like most Indian nations, they use fea-
thers in the head-dress. One thing surprised me
much, which was, that they bring up in their houses
an animal of the tiger kind, with formidable teeth and
claws, which, notwithstanding its natural ferocity, is
played with and caressed by the most timid and deli-
cate of their women."
I am sure I would not play with it," said Jack.
Why, you might chance to get an ugly scratch if you
did," said the Captain.
The language of this nation seems very harsh and
unintelligible to a foreigner, yet they converse among
one another with great ease and quickness. One of
the oddest customs is that which men use on saluting
each other. Let the weather be what it will, they
uncover their heads, and remain uncovered for some
time, if they mean to be extraordinarily respectful."
Why, that's like pulling off our hats," said Jack.
"Ah! ah! Papa," cried Betsey, "I have found you
out. You have been telling us of our own country,
and what is done at home all this while." But," said
Jack, "we don't burn stones, or eat grease and pow-
dered seeds, or wear skins and caterpillars' webs, or
play with tigers." No," said the Captain-" pray
what are coals but stones; and is not butter, grease;
and corn, seeds; and leather, skins; and silk, the web
of a kind of caterpillar; and may we not as well call
a cat an animal of the tiger kind, as a tiger an animal
of the cat kind ? So, if you recollect what I have
been describing, you will find, with Betsey's help, that
all the other wonderful things I have told you of are
matters familiar among ourselves. But I meant to
show you, that a foreigner might easily represent every-
thing as equally strange and wonderful among us, as
we could do with respect to his country; and also to
make you sensible that we daily call a great many
things by their names, without ever inquiring into
their nature and properties; so that, in reality, it is
only their names, and not the things themselves, with
which we are acquainted."
*** The passage about the management of hair, in
the preceding page, refers to the period when ladies-
and gentlemen also-used vast quantities of powder,
pomatum, &c. in their head-dress. Happily, for clean-
liness, beauty, and good taste, those times are past,
never, it is hoped, to return.-EDIToR.
THE DISCONTENTED SQUIRREL.
IN a pleasant wood, on the western side of a ridge
of mountains, lived a Squirrel, who had passed two or
three years of his life very happily. At length he
began to grow discontented, and one day fell into the
What, must I spend all my time in this spot, run-
ning up and down the same trees, gathering nuts and
acorns, and dozing away months together in a hole!
I see a great many of the birds who inhabit this wood
ramble about to a distance wherever their fancy leads
THE DISCONTENTED SQUIRREL.
them, and at the approach of winter, set out for some
remote country, where they enjoy summer weather all
the year round. My neighbour Cuckoo tells me he is
just going; and even little Nightingale will soon fol-
low. To be sure, I have not wings like them, but I
have legs nimble enough; and if one do not use them,
one might as well be a mole or a dormouse. I dare
say I could easily reach that blue ridge which I see
from the tops of the trees; which no doubt must be a
fine place, for the sun comes directly from it every
morning, and it often appears all covered with red and
yellow, and the finest colours imaginable. There can
be no harm, at least, in trying, for I can soon get back
again if I don't like it. I am resolved to go, and I will
set out to-morrow morning."
When Squirrel had taken this resolution, he could
not sleep all night for thinking of it; and at peep of
day, prudently taking with him as much provision as
he could conveniently carry, he began his journey in
high spirits. He presently got to the outside of the
wood, and entered upon the open moors that reached
to the foot of the hills. These he crossed before the
sun had got high; and then, having eaten his break-
fast with an excellent appetite, he began to ascend. It
was heavy, toilsome work scrambling up the steep sides
of the mountains; but Squirrel was accustomed to
climbing; so for a while he proceeded expeditiously.
Often, however, was he obliged to stop and take breath;
so that it was a good deal past noon before he had
arrived at the summit of the first cliff. Here he sat
down to eat his dinner; and looking back, was wonder-
fully pleased with the fine prospect. The wood in
which he lived lay far beneath his feet; and he viewed
with scorn the humble habitation in which he had been
born and bred.
When he looked forward, however, he was somewhat
discouraged to observe that another eminence rose
above him, full as distant as that to which he had
already reached; and he now began to feel stiff and
fatigued. However, after a little rest, he set out again,
though not so briskly as before. The ground was
rugged, brown, and bare; and to his great surprise,
instead of finding it warmer as he got nearer the sun,
he felt it grow colder and colder. He had not travelled
two hours before his strength and spirits were almost
spent; and he seriously thought of giving up the point,
and returning before night should come on. While he
was thus deliberating with himself, clouds began to
gather round the mountain, and to take away all view
of distant objects. Presently a storm of mingled snow
and hail came down, driven by a violent wind, which
pelted poor Squirrel most pitifully, and made him
quite unable to move forward or backward. Besides,
he had completely lost his road, and did not know
which way to turn towards that despised home, which
it was now his only desire again to reach. The storm
lasted till the approach of night; and it was as much
as he could do, benumbed and weary as he was, to
crawl to the hollow of a rock at some distance, which
was the best lodging he could find for the night. His
provisions were spent; so that, hungry and shivering,
he crept into the furthest corner of the cavern, and
rolling himself up, with his bushy tail over his back,
he got a little sleep, though disturbed by the cold, and
the shrill whistling of the wind amongst the stones.
The morning broke over the distant tops of the
mountains, when Squirrel, half-frozen and famished,
came out of his lodging, and advanced, as well as he
could, towards the brow of the hill, that he might
discover which way to take. As he was slowly
creeping along, a hungry kite, soaring in the air above,
described him, and making a stoop, carried him off in
her talons. Poor Squirrel, losing his senses with the
fright, was borne away with vast rapidity, and seemed
inevitably doomed to become food for the kite's young
ones; when an eagle, who had seen the kite seize her
prey, pursued her in order to take it from her; and
overtaking her, gave her such a buffet as caused her
ON THE MARTIN.
to drop the Squirrel in order to defend herself. The
poor animal kept falling through the air a long time,
till at last he alighted in the midst of a thick tree, the
leaves and tender boughs of which so broke his fall,
that, though stunned and breathless, he escaped
without material injury, and after lying awhile, came
to himself again. But what were his pleasure and
surprise to find himself in the very tree which con-
tained his nest. "Ah !" said he, "my dear native
place and peaceful home! if ever I am again tempted
to leave you, may I undergo a second time all the
miseries and dangers from which I have now so
ON THE MARTIN.
"LOOK up, my dear," said his papa to little Wil-
liam, at those birds' nests above the chamber windows,
beneath the eaves of the house. Some, you see, are
just begun,-nothing but a little clay stuck against
the wall. Others are half-finished; and others are
quite built-close and tight-leaving nothing but a
small hole for the birds to come in and go out at."
"What nests are they ?" said William.
"They are Martins' nests," replied his father: and
there you see the owners. How busily they fly back-
wards and forwards, bringing clay and earth mi their
bills, and laying it upon their work, forming it into
shape with their bills and feet! The nests are built
very strong and thick, like a mud wall, and are lined
with feathers to make a soft bed for the young.
Martins are a kind of swallows. They feed on flies,
gnats, and other insects; and always build in towns
and villages about the houses. People do not molest
them, for they do good rather than harm; and it is very
amusing to view their manners and actions. See how
swiftly they skim through the air in pursuit of their
prey! In the morning they are up by daybreak, and
twitter about your window while you are asleep in
bed; and all day long they are upon the wing, getting
food for themselves and their young. As soon as they
have caught a few flies, they hasten to their nests, pop
into the hole, and feed their little ones. I'll tell you
a story about the great care they take of their young.
A pair of Martins once built their nest in a porch;
and when they had young ones, it happened that one
of them climbing up to the hole before he was fledged,
fell out, and alighting upon the stones, was killed.
The old birds perceiving this accident, went and got
short bits of strong straw, and stuck them with mud,
like palisades, all round the hole of the nest, in order
to keep the other little ones from tumbling after their
How sagacious that was!" cried William.
Yes," said his father; and I can tell you another
story of their sagacity, and also of their disposition to
help one another. A saucy cock-sparrow (you know
what impudent rogues sparrows are!) had got into a
Martin's nest whilst the owner was abroad; and when
he returned, the sparrow put his head out of the hole,
and pecked at the Martin with open bill as he at-
tempted to enter his own house. The poor Martin
was sadly provoked at this injustice, but was unable
by his own strength to right himself. So he flew
away and gathered a number of his companions, who
all came with bits of clay in their bills, with which
they plastered up the hole of the nest, and kept the
sparrow in prison, who died miserably for want of
food and air."
He was rightly served," said William.
"So he was," rejoined his papa. "Well; I have
more to say about the sagacity of these birds. In
autumn, when it begins to be cold weather, the Mar-
tins and other swallows assemble in great numbers
upon the roofs of high buildings, and prepare for their
departure to a warmer country; for, as all the insects
here die in the winter, they would have nothing to live
on if they were to stay. They take several short
flights in flocks round and round, in order to try their
strength, and then, on some fine calm day, they set
out together for a long journey southwards, over sea
and land, to a very distant country."
But how do they find their way ?" said William.
"We say," answered his father, "that they are
taught by instinct; that is, God has implanted in
their minds a desire of travelling at the season which
he knows to be proper, and has also given them an
impulse to take the right road. They steer their course
through the wide air, directly to the proper spot.
Sometimes, however, storms and contrary winds meet
them, and drive the poor birds about till they are
quite spent, and fall into the sea, unless they happen
to meet with a ship, on which they can alight and rest
themselves. The swallows from this country are
supposed to go as far as the middle of Africa to spend
the winter, where the weather is always warm, and
insects are to be met with all the year. In spring,
they take another long journey back again to these
northern countries. Sometimes, when we have fine
weather very early, a few of them come too soon; for
when it changes to frost and snow again, the poor
creatures are starved for want of food, or perish from
the cold. Hence arises the proverb,
One swallow does not make a summer.
But when a great many of them are come, we may be
sure that winter is over, so that we are always very
glad to see them again. The Martins find their way
back over a great length of sea and land to the very
same villages and houses where they were bred. This
has been discovered by catching some of them, and
marking them. They repair their old nests, or build
new ones, and then set about laying eggs and hatch-
ON THE MARTIN.
IS SECOND EVENING.
ing their youpg. Pretty things I hope you will never
knock down their nests, or take their eggs or young
ones! for as they come such a long way to visit us,
and lodge in our houses without fear, we ought to use
MOUSE, LAPDOG, AND MONKEY.
A POOR little Mouse, being half-starved, ventured
one day to steal from behind the wainscot while the
family were at dinner, and, trembling all the while,
picked up a few crumbs which were scattered on the
floor. She was soon observed, however: everybody
was immediately alarmed; some called for the cat;
others took up whatever was at hand, and endeavoured
to crush her to pieces; and the poor terrified animal
was driven round the room in an agony of terror. At
length, however, she was fortunate enough to gain her
hole, where she sat panting with fatigue. When the
family were again seated, a Lapdog and a Monkey
came into the room. The former jumped into the lap
of his mistress, fawned upon every one of the children,
and made his court so effectually, that he was rewarded
with some of the best morsels of the entertainment.
The Monkey, on the other hand, forced himself into
notice by his grimaces. He played a thousand little
mischievous tricks, and was regaled, at the appearance
of the dessert, with plenty of nuts and apples. The
unfortunate little Mouse, who saw from her hiding-
place everything that passed, sighed, in anguish of
heart, and said to herself, Alas! how ignorant was I,
to imagine that poverty and distress were sufficient
recommendations to the charity of the opulent. I now
find, that whoever is not master of fawning and
buffoonery, is but ill qualified for a dependant, and
will not be suffered even to pick up the crumbs that
fall from the table."
THE MASQUE OF NATURE.
ANIMALS AND THEIR COUNTRIES.
O'ER Afric's sand the tawny Lion stalks:
On Phasis' banks the graceful Pheasant walks:
The lonely Eagle builds on Kilda's shore:
Germania's forests feed the tusky Boar!
From Alp to Alp the sprightly Ibex bounds:
With peaceful lowings Britain's isle resounds:
The Lapland peasant o'er the frozen meer
Is drawn in sledges by the swift Rein-Deer:
The River-Horse and scaly Crocodile
Infest the reedy banks of fruitful Nile:
Dire Dipsas hiss o'er Mauritania's plain:
And Seals and spouting Whales sport in the Northern
THE MASQUE OF NATURE.
WHO is this beautiful Virgin that approaches,
clothed in a robe of light green ? She has a garland
of flowers on her head, and flowers spring up wher-
ever she sets her foot. The snow which covered the
fields, and the ice, which was in the rivers, melt away
when she breathes upon them. The young lambs
frisk about her, and the birds warble in their little
throats to welcome her coming; and when they see
her, they begin to choose their mates, and to build
their nests. Youths and maidens, have ye seen this
beautiful Virgin ? If ye have, tell me who she is, and
what is her name.
Who is this that cometh from the south, thinly clad
in a light transparent garment? her breath is hot
and sultry; she seeks the refreshment of the cool
shade; she seeks the clear streams, the crystal brooks,
to bathe her languid limbs. The brooks and rivulets
fly from her, and are dried up at her approach. She
cools her parched lips with berries, and the grateful
acid of all fruits; the seedy melon, the sharp apple,
and the red pulp of the juicy cherry, which are poured
out plentifully around her. The tanned haymakers
welcome her coming; and the sheep-shearer, who clips
the fleeces off his flock with his sounding shears.
When she cometh, let me lie under the thick shade of
a spreading beech-tree,-let me walk with her in the
early morning, when the dew is yet upon the grass,-
let me wander with her in the soft twilight, when the
shepherd shuts his fold and the star of evening
appears. Who is she that cometh from the south?
Youths and maidens, tell me, if you know, who is she,
and what is her name ?
Who is he that cometh with sober pace, stealing
upon us unawares ? His garments are red with the
blood of the grape, and his temples are bound with a
sheaf of ripe wheat. His hair is thin, and begins to
fall; and the auburn is mixed with mournful grey.
He shakes the brown nuts from the tree. He winds
the horn, and calls the hunters to their sport. The
gun sounds. The trembling partridge and the beauti-
ful pheasant flutter, bleeding in the air, and fall dead
at the sportsman's feet. Who is he that is crowned
with the wheat-sheaf? Youths and maidens, tell me,
if ye know, who is he, and what is his name ?
Who is he that cometh from the north, clothed in
furs and warm wool? He wraps his cloak close about
him. His head is bald; his beard is formed of sharp
icicles. He loves the blazing fire high piled upon the
hearth, and the wine sparkling in the glass. He binds
skates to his feet, and skims over the frozen lakes.
His breath is piercing and cold, and no little flower
dares to peep above the surface of the ground, when
he is by. Whatever he touches turns to ice. If he
were to stroke you with his cold hand, you would be
quite stiff and dead, like a piece of marble. Youths
and maidens, do you see him ? He is coming fast
upon us, and soon he will be here. Tell me, if you
know, who he is, and what is his name ?
THE FARM-YARD JOURNAL.
DEAr ToM,-Since we parted at the breaking-up,
I have been most of the time at a pleasant farm m
Hertfordshire, where I have employed myself in ram-
bling about the country, and assisting, as well as I
could, in the work going on at home and in the fields.
On wet days, and in the evenings, I have amused
myself with keeping a journal of all the great events
that have happened among us; and, hoping that when
you are tired of the bustle of your busy town, you may
receive some entertainment from comparing our
transactions with yours, I have copied out for your
perusal one of the days in my memorandum-book.
Pray let me know, in return, what you are doing,
and believe me,
Your very affectionate friend,
June 10th. Last night we had a dreadful alarm.
A violent scream was heard from the hen-roost; the
geese all set up a cackle, and the dogs barked. Ned,
the boy who lies over the stable, jumped up and ran
into the yard, when he observed a fox galloping away
with a chicken in his mouth, and the dogs in full chase
after him. They could not overtake him, and soon re-
turned. Upon further examination, the large white
cock was found lying on the ground, all bloody, with
his comb torn almost off, and his feathers all ruffled,
and the speckled hen and three chickens lay dead
beside him. The cock recovered, but appeared terribly
frightened. It seems that the fox had jumped over
the garden hedge, and then, crossing part of the yard
behind the straw, had crept into the hen-roost through
a broken pale. John the carpenter was sent for, to
make all fast, and prevent the like mischief again.
Early this morning the brindled cow was delivered
of a fine bull-calf. Both are likely to do well. The
calf is to be fattened for the butcher.
The duck-eggs that were sitten upon by the old
black hen were hatched this day, and the ducklings
all directly ran into the pond, to the great terror of
the hen, who went round and round, clucking with all
her might, in order to call them out; but they did not
regard h9r. An old drake took the little ones under
his care, and they swam about very merrily.
As Dolly this morning was milking the new cow
that was bought at the fair, she kicked with her hind-
legs, and threw down the milk-pail, at the same time
knocking Dolly off her stool into the dirt. For this
offence the cow was sentenced to have her head
fastened to the rack, and her legs tied together.
A kite was observed to hover a long while over the
yard, with an intention of carrying off some of the
young chickens; but the hens called their broods
together under their wings, and the cocks put them-
selves in order of battle, so that the kite 'was dis-
appointed. At length, one chicken, not minding its
mother, but straggling heedlessly to a distance, was
described by the kite, who made a sudden swoop, and
seized it in his talons. The chicken cried out, and
the cocks and hens all screamed; when Ralph, the
farmer's son, who saw the attack, snatched up a loaded
gun, and, just as the kite was flying off with his prey,
fired, and brought him dead to the ground, along with
the poor chicken, who was killed in the fall. The dead
body of the kite was nailed up against the wall, by
way of warning to his savage comrades.
In the forenoon we were alarmed with strange
noises approaching us, and looking out, we saw a num-
ber of people with frying-pans, warming-pans, tongs,
and pokers, beating, ringing, and making all possible
din. We soon discovered them to be our neighbours
of the next farm, in pursuit of a swarm of bees, which
was hovering in the air over their heads. The bees
We soon discovered them to be our neighbours of the next farm, in
pursuit of a swarm of bees which was hovering in the air over their
THE FARM-YARD JOURNAL.
at length alighted on the tall pear-tree in our orchard,
and hung in a bunch from one of the boughs. A
ladder was got, and a man ascending, with gloves on
his hands and an apron tied over his head, swept them
into a hive, rubbed on the inside with honey and sweet
herbs. But, as he was descending, some bees that had
got under his gloves, stung him so severely, that he
hastily threw down the hive, upon which the greater
part of the bees fell out, and began in a rage to fly
among the crowd, and sting all upon whom they
alighted. Away scampered the people, the women
shrieking, the children roaring; and poor Adam, who
had held the hive, was assailed so furiously, that he was
obliged to throw himself on the ground, and creep
under the gooseberry bushes. At length the bees
began to return to the hive, in which the queen bee
had remained; and after a while, all being quietly
settled, a cloth was thrown over it, and the swarm was
About noon, three pigs broke into the garden, where
they were rioting upon the carrots and turnips, and
doing a great deal of mischief by trampling the beds,
and rooting up the plants with their snouts, when
they were spied by old Towzer, the mastiff, who ran
among them, and laying hold of their long ears with
his teeth, made them squeal most dismally, and get
out of the garden as fast as they could.
Roger, the ploughman, when he came for his dinner,
brought word that he had discovered a patridge's nest
with sixteen eggs in the Home Field. Upon which, the
farmer went out and broke them all; saying, that he
did not choose to rear birds upon his corn which he
was not allowed to catch, but must leave to some
qualified sportsman, who would besides break down
his fences in the pursuit. [This was a very unjusti-
fiable act on the part of the farmer.]
A sheep-washing was held this day at the mill-
pool, when seven score were well washed, and then
penned in the High Meadow, to dry. Many of them
21 SECOND EVENING.
made great resistance at being thrown into the water;
and the old ram, being dragged to the brink by a boy
at each horn, and a third pushing behind, by a sudden
spring threw two of them into the water, to the great
diversion of the spectators.
Towards the dusk of the evening, the squire's mon-
grel greyhound, which had been long suspected of
worrying sheep, was caught in the fact. He had
killed two lambs, and was making a hearty meal upon
one of them, when he was disturbed by the approach
of the shepherd's boy, and directly leaped the hedge
and made off. The dead bodies were taken to the
squire's, with an indictment of wilful murder against
the dog. But, when they came to look for the culprit,
he was not to be found in any part of the premises,
and is supposed to have fled his country, through con-
sciousness of his heinous offence.
Joseph, who sleeps in the garret at the old end of
the house, after having been some time in bed, came
down stairs in his shirt, as pale as ashes, and frightened
the maids, who were going up. It was some time
before he could tell what was the matter; at length,
he said he had heard some dreadful noises over-head,
which he was sure must be made by some ghost or
evil spirit; nay, he thought he had seen something
moving, though he owned he durst hardly lift up his
eyes. He concluded with declaring, that he would
rather sit up all night in the kitchen than go to his
room again. The maids were almost as much alarmed
as he, and did not knbw what to do; but the master
overhearing their talk, came out, and insisted upon
their accompanying him to the spot, in order to search
into the affair. They all went into the garret, and for
a while heard nothing; when the master ordered the
candle to be taken away, and every one to keep quite
still. Joseph and the maids stuck close to each other,
and trembled every limb. At length a kind of groan-
ing or snoring began to be heard, which grew louder
and louder, with intervals of a strange sort of hissing.
THE PRICE OF PLEASURE.
" That's it !" whispered Joseph, drawing back towards
the door-the maids were ready to sink; and even the
farmer himself was a little disconcerted. The noise
seemed to come from the rafters, near the thatch. In
a while, a glimpse of moonlight shining through a hole
at the place, plainly discovered the shadow of some-
thing stirring; and, on looking intently, something
like feathers were perceived. The farmer now began
to suspect what the case was; and ordering up a short
ladder, bade Joseph climb to the spot, and thrust his
hand into the hole. This he did rather unwillingly,
and soon drew it back, crying loudly that it was bitten.
However, gathering courage, he put it in again, and
pulled out a large white owl, another at the same time
being heard to fly away. The cause of the alarm was
now made clear enough; and poor Joseph, after being
heartily jeered by the maids, though they had been as
much frightened as he, sneaked into bed again, and
the house soon became quiet.
THE PRICE OF PLEASURE.
"'I THINK I will take a ride," said the little Lord
Linger, after breakfast; bring me my boots, and let
my horse be brought to the door."
The horse was saddled, and his lordship's spurs were
No," said he, I'll have my low chair and the
ponies, and take a drive round the park."
The horse was led back, and the ponies were almost
harnessed, when his lordship sent his valet to counter-
mand them. He would walk into the corn-field, and
see how the new pointer hunted.
After all," says he, I think I will stay at home
and play a game or two at billiards."
He played half a game, but could not make a stroke
to please himself. His tutor, who was present, now
thought it a good opportunity to ask his lordship if
he would read a little.
Why-I think-I will-for I am tired of doing
nothing. What shall we have ?"
Your lordship left off last time in one of the finest
passages of the AEneid. Suppose we finish it."
Well-ay! But-no-I had rather go on with
Hume's history. Or, suppose we do some geography ?"
"With all my heart. The globes are upon the
They went to the study; and the little lord, leaning
upon his elbows, looked at the globe-then twirled it
round two or three times-and thenlistened patiently
while the tutor explained some of its parts and uses.
But whilst he was in the midst of a problem, Come,"
said his lordship, now for a little Virgil."
The book was brought; and the pupil, with a good
deal of help, got through twenty lines.
Well," said he, ringing the bell, "I think we
have done a good deal. Tom bring my bow and
The fine, London-made bow, in its green case, and
the quiver, with all its appurtenances, were brought,
and his lordship went down to the place where the
shooting-butts were erected. He aimed a few shafts
at the target, but not coming near it, he shot all the
remainder at random, and then ordered out his horse.
He sauntered, with a servant at his heels, for a mile
or two through the lanes, and came, just as the clock
struck twelve, to a village green, close by which a
school was kept. A door flew open, and out burst
a shoal of boys, who, spreading over the green, with
immoderate vociferation, instantly began a variety of
sports. Some fell to marbles-some to trap-ball-
some to leap-frog. In short, not one of the whole
crew but was eagerly employed. Everything was
noise, motion, and pleasure. Lord Linger, riding
slowly up, espied one of his tenant's sons, who had
been formerly admitted as a playfellow of his, and
called him from the throng.
Jack," said he, how do you like school ?"
THE RAT WITH A BELL.
"O--pretty well, my lord."
"What-have you a good deal of play ?"
"O no! We have only from twelve to two for
playing and eating our dinners; and then an hour
"That is very little, indeed !"
But we play heartily when we do play, and work
when we work. Good bye, my lord! It is my turn
to go in at trap."
So saying, Jack ran off.
I wish I were a schoolboy !" cried the little lord
THE RAT WITH A BELL.
A LARGE old house in the country was so extremely
infested with rats, that nothing could be secured from
their depredations. They scaled the walls to attack
flitches of bacon, though hung as high as the ceiling.
Hanging shelves afforded no protection to the cheese
and pastry. They penetrated by sap into the store-
room, and plundered it of preserves and sweetmeats.
They gnawed through cupboard-doors, undermined
floors, and ran races behind the wainscots. The cats
could not get at them; they were too cunning and too
well fed to meddle with poison; and traps only now
and then caught a heedless straggler. One of these,
however, on being taken, was the occasion of practising
a new device. This was, to fasten a collar with a
small bell about the prisoner's neck, and then turn
him loose again.
Overjoyed at the recovery of his liberty, the rat ran
into the nearest hole, and went in search of his com-
panions. They heard at a distance the bell tinkle,
tinkle, through the dark passages, and, suspecting
some enemy had got among them, away they scoured,
some one way, and some another. The bell-bearer
pursued; and soon guessing the cause of their flight,
he was greatly amused by it. Wherever he ap-
proached, it was all hurry-scurry, and not a tail of one
of them was to be seen. He chased his old friends
from hole to hole, and room to room, laughing all the
while at their fears, and increasing them by all the
means in his power. Presently he had the whole
house to himself. "That's right (quoth he)-the
fewer, the better cheer." So he rioted alone among
the good things, and stuffed till he could hardly walk.
For two or three days this course of life went on
very pleasantly. He ate, and ate, and played the
bugbear to perfection. At length he grew tired of
this lonely condition, and longed to mix with his
companions again upon the former footing. But the
difficulty was, how to get rid of his bell. He pulled
and tugged with his fore feet, and almost wore the
skin off his neck in the attempt, but all in vain. The
bell was now his plague and torment. He wandered
from room to room, earnestly desiring to make himself
known to one of his companions, but they all kept
out of his reach. At last, as he was moping about
disconsolate, he fell in puss's away, and was devoured
in an instant.
He who is raised so much above his fellow-creatures
as to be the object of their terror, must suffer for it
in losing all the comforts of society. He is a solitary
being in the midst of crowds. He keeps them at a
distance, and they equally shun him. Dread and
affection cannot subsist together.
THE DOG BAULKED OF HIS DINNER.
Think yourself sure of nothing till you've got it:
This is the lesson of the day,
In metaphoric language I might say,
Count not your bird before you've shot it.
Quoth Proverb, 'Twixt the cup and lip,
There's many a slip."
THE DOG BAULKED OF HIS DINNER.
Not every guest invited sits at table,
So says my fable.
A man once gave a dinner to his friend;
His friend !-his patron I should rather think,
By all the loads of meat and drink,
And fruits and jellies without end,
Sent home the morning of the feast.
Jowler, his dog, a social beast,
Soon as he smelt the matter out, away
Scampers to old acquaintance Tray,
And, with expressions kind and hearty,
Invites him to the party.
Tray wanted little pressing to a dinner;
He was, in truth, a gormandizing sinner,
He lick'd his chops and wagg'd his tail;
"Dear friend !" he cried, "I will not fail:
But what's your hour?"
We dine at four;
But, if you come an hour too soon,
You'll find there's something to be done."
His friend withdrawn, Tray, full of glee,
As blithe as blithe could be,
Skipp'd, danced, and played full many an antic,
Like one half frantic,
Then sober in the sun lay winking,
But could not sleep for thinking.
He thought on every dainty dish,
Fried, boil'd, and roast,
Flesh, fowl, and fish,
With tripes and toast,
Fit for a dog to eat;
And in his fancy made a treat,
Might grace a bill of fare
For my Lord Mayor.
At length, just on the stroke of three,
Forth sallied he;
And, through a well-known hole,
He slily stole,
Pop on the scene of action.
Here he beheld, with wondrous satisfaction,
All hands employed, in drawing, stuffing,
Skewering, spitting, and basting,
The red-faced cook, perspiring, puffing,
Chopping, mixing, and tasting.
Tray skulk'd about, now here, now there,
Peep'd into this, and smelt at that,
And lick'd the gravy and the fat,
And cried, 0 rare how I shall fare !"
But Fortune, spiteful as Old Nick,
Resolved to play our dog a trick ;
She made the cook
Just cast a look
Where Tray, beneath the dresser lying,
His promised bliss was eyeing.
A cook, while cooking, is a sort of fury ;-
A maxim worth remembering, I assure ye.
Tray found it true,
And so may you,
If e'er you choose to try.
"How now !" quoth she, "what's this I spy ?
A nasty cur! who let him in ?
Would he were hang'd, with all his kin!
A pretty kitchen guest, indeed!
But I shall pack him off with speed !"
So saying, on poor Tray she flew,
And dragg'd the culprit forth to view;
Then, to his terror and amazement,
Whirl'd him like lightning through the casement.
ONE bleak day in March, Sylvia, returning from a
visit to the sheepfold, met with a young kidling de-
serted by its dam on the naked heath. It was bleating
piteously, and was so benumbed with the cold, that it
could hardly stand. Sylvia took it up in her arms,
and pressed it close to her bosom. She hastened
home, and showing her little foundling to her parents,
begged she might rear it for her own. They con-
sented; and Sylvia immediately got a basket full of
clean straw, and made a bed for him on the hearth.
She warmed some milk, and held it to him in a platter.
The poor creature drank it up eagerly, and then licked
her hand for more. Sylvia was delighted. She
chafed his tender legs with her warm hands, and soon
saw him jump out of his basket, and frisk across the
room. When full, he lay down again and took a
The next day, the kid had a name bestowed upon
him. As he gave tokens of being an excellent jumper,
it was Capriole. He was introduced to all the rest of
the family, and the younger children were allowed to
stroke and pat him; but Sylvia would let nobody be
intimate with him but herself. The great mastiff was
charged never to hurt him, and, indeed, he had no
intention to do it.
Within a few days, Capriole followed Sylvia all
about the house; trotted by her side into the yard;
ran races with her in the Home Field; fed out of her
hand, and was a declared pet and favourite. As the
spring advanced, Sylvia roamed in the fields and
gathered wild flowers, with which she wove garlands,
and hung them round her kid's neck. He could not
32 THIRD EVENING.
be kept, however, from munching his finery, when he
could reach it with his mouth. He was also rather
troublesome in thrusting his nose into the meal-tub
and flour-box, and following people into the dairy,
and sipping the milk that was set for cream. He now
and then got a blow for his intrusion; but his mis-
tress always took his part, and indulged him in every
Capriole's horns now began to bud, and a little
white beard sprouted at the end of his chin. He grew
bold enough to put himself into a fighting posture
whenever he was offended. He butted down little
Colin into the dirt; quarrelled with the geese for
their allowance of corn; and held many a stout battle
with the old turkey-cock. Everybody said, Capriole
is growing too saucy, he must be sent away, or taught
better manners." But Sylvia still stood his friend, and
he repaid her love with many tender caresses.
The farm-house where Sylvia lived was situated in
a sweet valley, by the side of a clear stream, bordered
with trees. Above the house rose a sloping meadow,
and beyond that was an open common, covered with
purple heath and yellow furze. Farther on, at some
distance, rose a steep hill, the summit of which was a
bare, craggy rock, hardly accessible to human feet.
Capriole, ranging at his pleasure, often got upon the
common, and was pleased with browsing the short
grass and wild herbs which grew there. Still, how-
ever, when his mistress came to see him, he would
run, bounding at her call, and accompany her back to
One fine summer's day, Sylvia, after having finished
the business of the morning, wanted to play with her
kid; and missing him, she went to the side of the
common, and called aloud, Capriole! Capriole!" ex-
pecting to see him come running to her, as usual. No
Capriole came. She went on and on, still calling her
kid with the most endearing accents, but nothing was
to be seen of him. Her heart began to flutter. What
THE KID. W
can have become of him? Surely somebody must
have stolen him,-or perhaps the neighbours' dogs
have worried him. Oh, my poor Capriole! my dear
Capriole! I shall never see you again!"-and Sylvia
began to weep.
She still went on, looking wistfully all around, and
making the place echo with Capriole! Capriole! where
are you, my Capriole ?" till at length she came to
the foot of the steep hill. She climbed up its sides, to
get a better view. No kid was to be seen. She sat
down, and wept, and wrung her hands. After a while,
she fancied she heard a bleating like the well-known
voice of her Capriole. She started up, and looked
towards the sound, which seemed a great way over-
head. At length she spied, just on the edge of a steep
crag, her Capriole peeping over. She stretched out
her hands to him, and began to call, but with a timid
voice, lest in his impatience to return to her, he should
leap down and break his neck. But there was no
such danger. Capriole was inhaling the fresh breeze
of the mountains, and enjoying with rapture the
scenes for which nature designed him. His bleat-
ing was the expression of joy, and he bestowed
not a thought on his kind mistress, nor paid the least
attention to her call. Sylvia ascended as high as she
could towards him, and called louder and louder, but
all in vain. Capriole leaped from rock to rock,
cropped the fine herbage in the clefts, and was quite
lost in the pleasure of his new existence.
Poor Sylvia stayed till she was tired, and then
returned disconsolate to the farm, to relate her mis-
fortune. She got her brothers to accompany her back
to the hill, and took with her a slice of white bread
and some milk, to tempt the little wanderer home.
But he had mounted still higher, and had joined a
herd of companions of the same species, with whom
he was frisking and sporting. He had neither eyes
nor ears for his old friends of the valley. All former
habits were broken at once, and he had commenced
34 THIRD EVENING.
free commoner of nature. Sylvia came back crying,
as much from vexation as sorrow. The little ungrate-
ful thing!" said she-" so well as I loved him, and so
kindly as I treated him, to desert me in this way at
last !-But he was always a rover!"
"Take care then, Sylvia," said her mother, "how
you set your heart upon rovers again !"
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT.
ROBINET, a peasant of Lorraine, after a hard day's
work at the next market-town, was returning home
with a basket in his hand. What a delicious supper
shall I have !" said he to himself. "This piece of kid,
well stewed down, with my onions sliced, thickened
with my meal, and seasoned with my salt and pepper,
will make a dish fit for the bishop of the diocese.
Then I have a good piece of barley-loaf at home to
finish with. How I long to be at it !"
A noise in the hedge now attracted his notice, and
he spied a squirrel nimbly running up a tree, and
popping into a hole between the branches. "Ha!"
thought he, "what a nice present a nest of young
squirrels will be to my little master I'll try if I can
get it." Upon this, he set down his basket in the
road, and began to climb up the tree. He had half
ascended, when, casting a look at his basket, he saw a
dog with his nose in it, ferreting out the piece of kid's
flesh. He made all possible speed down, but the dog
was too quick for him, and ran off with the meat in
his mouth. Robinet looked after him-" Well," said
he, "then I must be content with soup-maigre-and
no bad thing neither."
He travelled on, and came to a little public-house
by the road side, where an acquaintance of his was
siting on a bench drinking. He invited Robinet to
take a draught. Robinet seated himself by his friend,
and set his basket on the bench close by him. A
tame raven, kept at the house, came slily behind him,
ORDER AND DISORDER.
and, perching on the basket, stole away the bag in
which the meal was tied up, and hopped off with it to
his hole. Robinet did not perceive the theft till he
had got on his way again. He returned, to search for
his bag, but could hear no tidings of it. Well," says
he, "my soup will be the thinner; but I will boil a slice
of bread with it, and that will do it some good, at least."
He went on again, and arrived at a little brook,
over which was laid a narrow plank. A young woman
coming up to pass at the same time, Robinet gallantly
offered her his hand. As soon as she had got to the
middle, either through fear or sport, she shrieked out,
and cried she was falling. Robinet, hastening to sup-
port her with his other hand, let his basket drop into
the stream. As soon as she was safe over, he jumped
in and recovered it, but when he took it out, he per-
ceived that all the salt was melted, and the pepper
washed away. Nothing was now left but the onions.
"Well!" says Robinet, then I must sup to-night upon
roasted onions and barley bread. Last night I had
the bread alone. To-morrow morning it will not
signify what I had." So saying, he trudged on, singing
ORDER AND DISORDER.
A Fairy Tale.
JULIET was a clever, well-disposed girl, but apt to
be heedless. She could do her lessons very well, but
commonly as much time was taken up in getting her
things together as in doing what she was set about.
If she were to work, there was generally the housewife
to seek in one place, and the thread-papers in another.
The scissors were left in her pocket up stairs, and
the thimble was rolling about the floor. In writing,
the copy-book was generally missing, and the ink dried
up, and the pens, new and old, all tumbled about the
cupboard. The slate and slate-pencil were never found
together. In making her exercises, the English dic-
tionary always came to hand instead of the French
grammar; and when she was to read a chapter, she
usually got hold of Robinson Crusoe, or the World
Displayed, instead of the Testament.
Juliet's mamma was almost tired of teaching her,
so she sent her to make a visit to an old lady in the
country, a very good woman, but rather strict with
young folk. Here she was shut up in a room above
stairs by herself after breakfast every day, till she had
quite finished the tasks set her. This house was one
of the very few that are still haunted by fairies.
One of these, whose name was Disorder, took a plea-
sure in plaguing poor Juliet. She was a frightful
figure to look at; being crooked and squint-eyed, with
her hair hanging about her face, and her dress put on
all awry, and full of rents and tatters. She prevailed
on the old lady to let her set Juliet her tasks; so one
morning she came up with a work-bag full of threads
of silk of all sorts of colours, mixed and entangled to-
gether, and a flower, very nicely worked, to copy. It
was a pansy, and the gradual melting of its hues into
one another was imitated with great accuracy and
beauty. "Here, Miss," said she, "my mistress has
sent you a piece of work to do, and she insists upon
having it done before you come down to dinner. You
will find all the materials in this bag."
Juliet took the flower and the bag, and turned out
all the silks upon the table. She slowly pulled out a
red, and a purple, and a blue, and a yellow, and at
length fixed upon one to begin working with. After
taking two or three stitches, and looking at her model,
she found another shade was wanted. This was to be
hunted out from the bunch, and a long while it took
her to find it. It was soon necessary to change it
for another. Juliet saw that, in going on at this rate,
it would take days instead of hours to work the
flower, so she laid down the needle and fell a-crying.
After this had continued some time, she was startled
at the sound of some one stamping on the floor;
ORDER AND DISORDER.
and taking her handkerchief from her eyes, she
spied a neat diminutive figure advancing towards
her. She was as upright as an arrow, and had not
so much as a hair out of its place, or the least article
of her dress rumpled or discomposed. When she
came up to Juliet, My dear," said she, I heard you
crying, and knowing you to be a good girl in the main,
I am come to your assistance. My name is Order;
your mamma is well acquainted with me, though this
is the first time you ever saw me. But I hope we
shall know one another better for the future." She
then sprang upon the table, and with a wand gave a
tap upon the heap of entangled silk. Immediately
the threads separated, and arranged themselves in a
long row consisting of little skeins, in which all of the
same colour were collected together, those approaching
nearest in shade being placed next each other. This
done, she disappeared. Juliet, as soon as her surprise
was over, resumed her work, and found it to go on
with ease and pleasure. She finished the flower by
dinner-time, and obtained great praise. for the neatness
of the execution.
The next day, the ill-natured fairy came up with a
great book under her arm. This," said she, "is my
mistress's house-book, and she says you must draw
out against dinner an exact account of what it has
cost her last year in all the articles of housekeeping,
including clothes, rent, taxes, wages, and the like.
You must state separately the amount of every article,
under the heads of baker, butcher, milliner, shoemaker,
and so forth, taking special care not to miss a single
thing entered down in the book. Here is a quire of
paper and a parcel of pens." So saying, with a mali-
cious grin, she left her.
Juliet turned pale at the very thought of the task
she had to perform. She opened the great book and
saw all the pages closely written, but in the most
confused manner possible. Here was, Paid Mr.
Crusty for a week's bread and baking, so much."-
38 THIRD EVENING.
Then, "Paid Mr. Pinchtoe for shoes, so much."-
"Paid half a year's rent, so much." Then came a
butcher's bill, succeeded by a milliner's, and that by a
tallow-chandler's. "What shall I do ?" cried poor
Juliet-" where am I to begin, and how can I possibly
pick out all these things ? Was ever such a tedious
perplexing task ? 0 that my good little creature were
here again with her wand! "
She had but just uttered the words, when the fairy
Order stood before her. "Don't be startled, my
dear," said she; I knew your wish, and made haste
to comply with it. Let me see your book." She
turned over a few leaves, and then cried, I see my
cross-grained sister has played you a trick; she has
brought you the day-book, instead of the ledger; but
I will set the matter to rights instantly." She va-
nished, and presently returned with another book, in
which she showed Juliet every one of the articles
required standing at the tops of the pages, and all the
particulars entered under them from the day-book;
so that there was nothing for her to do but cast up
the sums, and copy out the heads with their amount
in single lines. As Juliet was a ready accountant,
she was not long in finishing the business, and pro-
duced her account, neatly written on one sheet of
paper, at dinner.
The next day Juliet's tormentor brought her up a
large box full of letters stamped upon small bits of
ivory, capitals and common letters of all sorts, but
jumbled together promiscuously, as though they had
been shaken in a bag. Now, Miss," said she,
" before you come down to dinner, you must exactly
copy out this poem in these ivory letters, placing them
line by line on the floor of your room."
Juliet thought at first that this task would be pretty
sport enough; but, when she set about it, she found
such trouble in hunting out the letters she wanted,
every one seeming to come to hand before the right
one, that she proceeded very slowly; and the poem
Oh that my good little creature were here again with her wand !" She
had but just uttered the words when the fairy Order stood before her.-
ORDER AND DISORDER.
being a long one, it was plain that night would come
before it was finished. Sitting down, and crying for
her kind friend, was therefore her only resource.
Order was not far distant, for, indeed, she had been
watching her proceedings all the while. She made
herself visible, and, giving a tap on the letters with
her wand, they immediately arranged themselves
alphabetically in little double heaps, the small in one,
and the great in the other. After this operation,
Juliet's task went on with such expedition, that she
called up the old lady an hour before dinner to be
witness to its completion.
The good lady kissed her, and told her that as
she hoped she was now made fully sensible of the
benefits of order, and the inconveniences of disorder,
she would not confine her any longer to work by her-
self at set tasks, but she should come and sit with her.
Juliet took such pains to please her, by doing every-
thing with the greatest neatness and regularity, and
reforming all her careless habits, that when she was
sent back to her mother, the following presents were
made her, in order constantly to remind her of the
beauty and advantage of order.
A cabinet of English coins, in which all the gold
and silver money of our kings was arranged in the
order of their reigns.
A set of plaster casts of the Roman emperors.
A cabinet of beautiful shells, displayed according to
the most approved system.
A very complete box of water-colours, and another
of crayons, sorted in all the shades of the primary
And, a very nice housewife, with all the implements
belonging to a sempstress, and good store of the best
needles, in sizes.
I WISH very much, mamma," said a little girl as
she was walking one fine spring morning, with her doll
in her arms, that my doll could breathe, and speak,
and tell me how she loves these sweet and bright little
flowers, that are coming up all over the banks and
hedge-rows." As she said this, she turned her eyes
first upon the pretty but inanimate little figure she
had pressed to her bosom, and then upon the fair and
sunshiny scene that lay all around her. Everything
appeared to have had a fresh life given.
The trees, and flowers, and sparkling rivulets looked
so gay, that one might almost fancy them to be really
rejoicing that the summer was coming again ; and as for
the birds and the young lambs, with which the soft
green fields were full, the one sang so sweetly and
cheerily, and the others did so sport about in the sun-
shine, that our little girl could not contain herself for
delight. But when she looked at her doll again, her
eyes ceased to sparkle, for there it was, with its painted
cheeks, and its moveless lips and eyes, a thing more
without life than any other object near her. It had
been her companion in the winter, when the cold
winds and the snow had kept her shut up in the house,
and she had amused herself tolerably well, in making
it frocks and hats, of all variety of fashions; but she
had not once thought then about its having no life, or
feeling like herself, and she was contented with it,
merely because nothing led her to reflect, that her care
and labour about it were useless.
But everything now reminded her, that there was
a vast difference between the gayest toy-shop and the
beautiful country dressed up by the returning spring;
and she could not but think that the very best play-
thing which her mamma could buy her, was not so
really worth possessing as the flowers that were
growing wild but fragrantly on the hedges. Before,
therefore, she had long continued her walk, her doll
was entirely neglected, and it lay upon her arm as
though it were a burden. She began gathering some
of the prettiest of the wild geraniums, and the sweet
little blue harebells, that peeped and smiled from
among the dewy grass, and having formed them into a
wreath, she felt for a short time as though she pos-
sessed something that she could love much better than
a doll, that had no sense of the happy spring-time.
Are they not beautiful, mamma ?" said she, hold-
ing them up with delight. They are, indeed, dear
Ellen," said her mamma, and they ought to make
you love that great Creator, who, while he had the
power to make this world, and the sun, and the stars,
as also had the benevolence to adorn the earth so
beautifully, to make it the pleasant abode of the young
Little Ellen understood and felt the truth of her
mamma's observation, and she never afterwards looked
upon the lovely scenes which every season of the year
in turn produces, without recalling it to her thoughts.
But scarcely had she ceased expressing her pleasure at
the sight of her spring-flowers, when their heads began
to droop, their leaves to grow flaccid, and all their
brightness to fade away. What a sad thing it is,
mamma," exclaimed the disappointed little girl, that
we should not be able longer to preserve such beautiful
It would, indeed, be sad," was the answer, if they
had not been intended only to bloom in a particular
situation, and then for a short time only. But you
must learn to observe, Ellen, that all these beautiful
little objects are ornaments to the earth, which can be
easily destroyed, while things more necessary to our
comfort are better defended, or by nature different."
Ellen looked vexed when she found it would be of
no use to carry the flowers any farther, and she was
again without anything to pet and love. To her
great delight, however, on passing a small green recess
on one side of the road, they saw a man sitting and
employing his skill in making captives of many of the
sweet little birds, whose songs she had listened to with
such pleasure. If she had reflected a moment on the
real cruelty of this occupation, she would not have
observed the birdcatcher with such feelings of gratifi-
cation; but she was intent on nothing but the pleasure
she should have in possessing one of the little warblers,
and she forgot the barbarity of making it a prisoner,
in the thoughts of what care she would take to feed it,
and make it lie in her bosom, and sleep there when
the weather was again very cold. One of the birds,
therefore, was bought, and the man lent her one of his
small cages to carry it home in.
Overjoyed at possessing such a dear little creature,
so gentle and pretty, and, what was still more in her
thoughts, a real living being that would in time know
her and sing to her, Ellen carried the cage as the
greatest treasure that could have been given her; and
so delighted was she, that she could not help stopping
every now and then to look at the bird, and she every
time expressed more fondness for it. But at last, not
satisfied with these momentary glances, she begged
her mamma to rest a few minutes, and she sat down on
a bank to enjoy more leisurely the sight of her new
companion. The birds in the trees and hedges were
all singing loudly and joyfully, and they flew from
bough to bough, flitting their gay wings in the air, and
chasing each other, for the very pleasure of floating
on the pleasant breeze. Oh how delightful!" said
Ellen, to possess one of these pretty, happy things ;"
and she looked at her little bird in the cage.-Alas !
there it sat, up at one end of the perch, its head droop-
ing, its wings folded to its sides, but rough and broken,
and its eyes half-covered with a thick film. Ellen
spoke to it, but the poor little creature was not to be
so cheered, and she looked at her mamma, more grieved
Yes," said the latter, smiling, "I had no doubt
you would soon discover your error, or I should not
have so readily agreed to your wishes. I had no doubt
you would be very kind to the bird, but your kindness
could not supply the place either of its liberty, or of
the pleasure it doubtless has among its own proper
companions in the woods. Besides, Ellen, though you
might. love it very much, you would never feel great
satisfaction in attending to a thing which would have
no reason to thank you for your pains, and could never
talk with you!"
No, indeed, mamma," said Ellen, and she hung
down her head, looked again at the bird, and, after
playing a few moments with the door of the cage, con-
tinued, "Well, I am sure you are right, and it would
be very useless and very cruel to keep a thing a pri.
soner only for my own satisfaction, and it would be a
bad companion after all." So saying, she opened the
door, the bird put its head at first fearfully out, and
then, shaking its wings, darted out, and was sogn
perched and singing on one of the trees hard by.
Ellen looked again at her doll, and began almost to
think that she must be contented with her playthings,
which could neither fade nor feel it cruel to be locked
up. But this thought continued only a moment, and
as they passed through a field where several lambs
were lying about, she made another attempt at finding
something which she might play with and love at the
same time. But she was again disappointed; a lamb
was very pretty, very gentle, and very playful; but
after she had succeeded in getting near one, and had
spoken to it very kindly, and called it by a hundred
tender names, it looked at her for an instant, and then
bounding away, could not be induced to return by all
the persuasion she could employ.
The walk was now nearly at an end, and the sweet
spring morning had only made Ellen dissatisfied with
her senseless and inanimate doll. Before, however,
reaching home, her mamma had to call at the cottage
of one of the villagers, and thither they now went. A
neat little garden before the door was smelling sweetly
with some carefully-cultivated plants, and everything
about the place bore an air of great neatness. But
what struck Ellen the most were three or four children
who were playing among the flowers, the youngest of
which was nursed by a girl about seven years old
Oh, what a dear little baby," said she, going up
to it, and at the moment it stretched out its arms, and
laughing in her own smiling face, put its little flaxen
head against her bosom. "Indeed, indeed, mamma,"
said she, "it is a live doll;" and she gave her own
painted one to the young nurse, and took the infant,
all joy and innocence, in her arms.
Ellen had now found something which was as beau-
tiful as the spring-flowers, as gentle and happy as the
free birds, as gay as the sportive little lambs, and,
which was better still, endowed with a mind and rea-
son like her own to rejoice in all that is bright, and
beautiful, and good upon the earth. The thoughts
with which she returned home, led her ever afterwards
to employ her summer days and winter evenings in
more profitable occupations than formerly; and there
was many a live doll in the neighbourhood,whose little
lips soon began to lisp its thanks for the pretty pre-
sents or the warm clothing with which her industry
THE HOG, AND OTHER ANIMALS.
A DEBATE once arose among the animals in a farm-
yard, which of them was most valued by their common
master. After the horse, the ox, the cow, the sheep,
and the dog, had stated their several pretensions, the
hog took up the discourse.
It is plain," said he, "that the greatest value must
be set upon that animal which is kept most for his
own sake, without expecting from him any return of
THE HOG, AND OTHER ANIMALS.
use and service. Now which of you can boast so much
in that respect as I can ?
As for you, Horse, though you are very well fed
and lodged, and have servants to attend upon you and
make you sleek and clean, yet all this is for the sake
of your labour. Do not I see you taken out early
every morning, put in chains, or fastened to the shafts
of a heavy cart, and not brought back till noon; when,
after a short respite, you are taken to work again till
late in the evening ? I may say just the same to the
Ox, except that he works for poorer fare.
For you, Mrs. Cow, who are so dainty over your
chopped straw and grains, you are thought worth
keeping only for your milk, which is drained from
you twice a day, to the last drop, while your poor
young ones are taken from you, and sent I know not
You, poor innocent Sheep, who are turned out to
shift for yourselves upon the bare hills, or penned
upon the fallows, with now and then a withered turnip
or some musty hay, you pay dearly enough for your
keep, by resigning your warm coat every year, for want
of which you are liable to be starved to death on some
of the cold nights, before summer.
As for the Dog, who prides himself so much on
being admitted to our master's table, and made his
companion, that he will scarcely condescend to reckon
himself one of us, he is obliged to do all the offices of
a domestic servant by day, and to keep watch during
the night, while we are quietly asleep.
In short, you are all of you creatures maintained
for use-poor subservient things, made to be enslaved
or pillaged. I, on the contrary, have a warm stye and
plenty of provisions all at free cost. I have nothing
to do but to grow fat and follow my amusement; and
my master is best pleased when he sees me lying at
ease in the sun, or gratifying my appetite for food."
Thus argued the Hog, and put the rest to silence
46 FOURTH EVENING.
by so much logic and rhetoric. This was not long
before winter set in. It proved a very scarce season
for fodder of all kinds; so that the farmer began to
consider how he was to maintain all his live stock till
spring. It will be impossible for me," thought he,
" to keep them all; I must therefore part with those I
can best spare. As for my horses and working oxen,
I shall have business enough to employ them; they
must be kept, cost what it will. My cows will not
give me much milk in the winter, but they will calve
in the spring, and be ready for the new grass. I must
not lose the profit of my dairy. The sheep, poor
things, will take care of themselves as long as there is
a bite upon the hills; and should deep snow come, we
must do with them as well as we can, by the help of a
few turnips and some hay; for I must have their wool
at shearing-time, to make out my rent with. But my
hogs will eat me out of house and home, without doing
me any good. They must go to pot, that's certain;
and the sooner I get rid of the fat ones, the better."
So saying, he singled out the orator, as one of the
.prime among them, and sent him to the butcher the
very next day.
As young Francis was walking through a village
with his tutor, they were annoyed by two or three cur
dogs that come running after them with looks of the
utmost fury, snarling and barking as though they
would tear their throats, and seeming every moment
ready to fly upon them. Francis every now and then
stopped, and shook his stick at them, or stooped down
to pick up a stone, upon which the curs retreated as
fast as they came; but as soon as he turned about,
they were after his heels again. This lasted till they
came to a farm-yard, through which their road lay.
A large mastiff was lying down in it, at his ease in the
sun. Francis was almost afraid to pass him, and kept
as close to his tutor as possible. However, the dog
took not the least notice of them.
Presently they came upon a common, where, going
near a flock of geese, they were assailed with hissing,
and pursued some way by these foolish birds, which,
stretching out their long necks, made a very ridi-
culous figure. Francis only laughed at them, though
he was tempted to give the foremost a switch across
his neck. A little further, was a herd of cows, with a
bull among them, upon which Francis looked with
some degree of apprehension; but they kept quietly
grazing, and did not take their heads from the ground
as he passed.
It is a lucky thing," said Francis to his tutor,
"that mastiffs and bulls are not so quarrelsome as
curs and geese; but what can be the reason of it ?"
The reason," replied his tutor, "is, that paltry
and contemptible animals, possessing no confidence in
their own strength and courage, and knowing them-
selves liable to injury from most of those that come
in their way, think it safest to act the part of bullies,
and to make a show of attacking those of whom in
reality they are afraid. Whereas animals which are
conscious of force sufficient for their own protection,
suspecting no evil designs from others, entertain none
themselves, but maintain a dignified composure.
"Thus you will find it among mankind. Weak,
mean, petty characters are suspicious, snarling,
and petulant. They raise an outcry against their
superiors in talents and reputation, of whom they
stand in awe, and put on airs of defiance and inso-
lence through mere cowardice. But the truly great
are calm and inoffensive. They fear no injury, and
offer none. They even suffer slight attacks to go
unnoticed, conscious of their power to right them-
selves whenever the occasion shall seem to require it."
THE TRAVELLED ANT.
THERE was a garden enclosed with high brick
walls, and laid out somewhat in the old fashion.
Under the walls were wide beds, planted with flowers,
garden-stuff, and fruit-trees. Next to them, was a
broad gravel walk running round the garden, and the
middle was laid out in grass-plots, and beds of flowers
and shrubs, with a fishpond in the centre.
Near the root of one of the wall-fruit-trees, a nu-
merous colony of ants was established, which had
extended its subterraneous works over great part of
the bed in its neighbourhood. One day, two of the
inhabitants, meeting in a gallery under-ground, fell
into the following conversation:-
"Ha! my friend," said the first, "is it you?
I am glad to see you. Where have you been this
long time ? All your acquaintance have been in pain
about you, lest you should have met with some
Why," replied the other, I am, indeed, a sort of
stranger; for you must know I am but just returned
from a long journey."
A journey! whither, pray, and on what account ?"
"A tour of mere curiosity. I had long felt dissa-
tisfied with knowing so little about this world of ours,
so at length I took a resolution to explore it. And
I may now boast that I have gone round its utmost
extremities, and that no considerable part of it has
escaped my researches."
"Wonderful! What a traveller you have been,
and what sights you must have seen!"
"Why, yes, I have seen more than most ants, to be
sure; but it has been at the expense of so much toil
and danger, that I know not whether it were worth
THE TRAVELLED ANT. 49
Will you oblige me with some account of your
Willingly. I set out, then, early one sunshiny
morning; and, after crossing our territory and the
line of plantation by which it is bordered, I came
upon a wide, open plain, where, as far as the eye
could reach, not a single green thing was to be de-
scried, but the hard soil was everywhere covered
with huge stones, which made travelling equally
painful to the eye and the feet. As I was toiling
onwards, I heard a rumbling noise behind me, which
became louder and louder. I looked back, and with
the utmost horror beheld a prodigious rolling moun-
tain approaching me so fast, that it was impossible
to get out of the way. I threw myself flat on the
ground, behind a stone, and lay expecting nothing but
instant death. The mountain soon passed over me,
and I continued, I know not how long, in a state of
insensibility. When I recovered, I began to stretch
my limbs one by one, and to my surprise found my-
self not in the least injured; but the stone beside me
was almost buried in the earth by the crash!"
"What an escape!"
A wonderful one, indeed. I journeyed on over
the desert, and at length came to the end of it, and
entered upon a wide, green tract, consisting chiefly of
tall, narrow-pointed leaves, which grew so thick and
entangled, that it was with the greatest difficulty I
could make my way between them; and I should
continually have lost my road, had I not taken care
to keep the sun in view before me. When I had
got near the middle of this region, I was startled
with the sight of a huge four-legged monster, with
a yellow speckled skin, which took a flying leap
directly over me. Somewhat further, before I was
aware, I ran upon one of those long, round, crawling
creatures, without head, tail, or legs, which we some-
times meet with under-ground, near our settlement.
50 FOURTH EVENING.
As soon as he felt me upon him, he drew back into
his hole so swiftly, that he was near drawing me in
along with him. However, I jumped off, and pro-
ceeded on my way.
With much labour, I got at last to the end of this
perplexed tract, and came to an open space, like that
in which we live, in the midst of which grew trees so
tall that I could not see to their tops. Being hungry,
I climbed up the first I came to, in expectation of
finding some fruit; but, after a weary search, I re-
turned empty. I tried several others with no better
success. There were, indeed, leaves and flowers in
plenty, but nothing of which I could make a meal;
so that I might have been famished, had I not found
some sour, harsh berries upon the ground, on which
I made a poor repast. While I was doing this, a
greater danger than any of the former befel me.
One of those two-legged feathered creatures, which
we often see to our cost, jumped down from a bough,
and picked up in his enormous beak the very berry
on which I was standing. Luckily, he did not swallow
it immediately, but flew up again with it to the tree;
and in the mean time I disengaged myself, and fell
from a vast height to the ground, but received no hurt.
I crossed this plantation, and came to another
entangled green like the first. After I had laboured
through it, I came suddenly to the side of a vast glit-
tering plain, the nature of which I could not possibly
guess at. I walked along a fallen leaf which lay on
the side, and, coming to the farther edge of it, I was
greatly surprised to see another ant coming from
below to meet me. I advanced to give him a fraternal
embrace, but, instead of what I expected, I met a cold,
yielding matter, in which I should have sunk, had I
not speedily turned about, and caught hold of the
leaf, by which I drew myself up again. And now I
found this great plain to consist of that fluid which
sometimes falls from the sky, and causes us so much
trouble, by filling our holes.
THE TRAVELLED ANT.
"As I stood considering how to proceed on my
journey, a gentle breeze arose, which, before I was
aware, carried the leaf I was upon away from the solid
land into this yielding fluid, which, however, bore it
up, and me along with it. At first, I was greatly
alarmed, and ran round and round my leaf, in order to
find some way of getting back; but, perceiving this to
be impracticable, I resigned myself to my fate, and
even began to take some pleasure in the easy motion
by which I was borne forwards. But what new and
wonderful forms of living creatures did I see inhabit-
ing this liquid land! Bodies of prodigious bulk,
covered with shining scales of various colours, shot by
me with vast rapidity, and sported a thousand ways.
I They had large heads and staring eyes, tremendous
wide mouths, but no legs; and they seemed to be
Carried on by the action of what appeared like small
Swings planted on various parts of their body, and espe-
cially at the end of the tail, which continually waved
about. Other smaller creatures, of a great variety of
extraordinary forms, were moving through the clear
fluid, or resting upon its surface; and I saw with
terror numbers of them continually seized and swal-
lowed by the larger ones before mentioned.
When I had got near the middle, the smooth sur-
face of this plain was all roughened, and moved up
and down, so as to toss about my leaf, and nearly over-
set it. I trembled to think what would become of me,
should I be thrown amidst all these terrible monsters.
At last, however, I got safe to the other side, and with
joy set my feet on dry land again. I ascended a gentle
green slope, which led to a tall plantation like that
which I had before passed through. Another green
plain, and another stony desert succeeded; which
brought me at length to the opposite boundary of our
world, enclosed by the same immense mound rising to
the heavens, which limits us on this side.
Here I fell in with another nation of our species,
differing little in their way of life from ourselves.
They invited me to their settlement, and entertained
me hospitably, and I accompanied them in several
excursions in the neighbourhood. There was a charm-
ing fruit-tree at no great distance, to which we made
frequent visits. One day, as I was regaling deliciously
on the heart of a green-gage plum, I felt myself all on
a sudden carried along with great swiftness, till I got
into a dark place, where a horrid crash threw me upon
a soft moist piece of flesh, whence I was soon driven
forth in a torrent of wind and moisture, and found
myself on the ground all covered with slime. I dis-
engaged myself with difficulty, and, looking up, de-
scried one of those enormous two-legged animals,
which often shake the ground over our heads, and put
us into terror.
My new friends now began to hint to me that it
was time to depart, for you know we are not fond of
naturalizing strangers. And lucky, indeed, it was for
me that I received the hint when I did; for I had but
just left the place, and was travelling over a neigh-
bouring eminence, when I heard behind me a tremen-
dous noise ; and looking back, I saw the whole of their
settlement blown into the air, with a prodigious explo-
sion of fire and smoke. Numbers of half-burnt bodies,
together with the ruins of their habitations, were
thrown to a vast distance around; and such a suffo-
cating vapour arose, that I lay for some time deprived
of sense and motion. From some of the wretched
fugitives I learned that the disaster was attributed to
subterranean fire bursting its way to the surface; the
cause of which, however, was supposed to be connected
with the machinations of that malignant two-legged
monster, from whose jaws I had so narrowly escaped,
who had been observed, just before the explosion, to
pour through the holes leading to the great apartment
of the settlement, a number of black shining grains.
On my return from this remote country, I kept
along the boundary-wall, which I knew by observa-
tion must at length bring me back to my own home.
THE TRAVELLED ANT. 53
I met with several wandering tribes of our species in
my road, and frequently joined their foraging parties
in search of food. One day, a company of us, allured
by the smell of something sweet, climbed up some
lofty pillars, on which was placed a vast round edifice,
having only one entrance. At this were continually
coming in and going out those winged animals, some-
what like ourselves in form, but many times bigger, and
armed with a dreadful sting, which we so often meet
with sipping the juices of flowers; but whether they
were the architects of this great mansion, or it was
built for them by some beneficent being of greater
powers, I am unable to decide. It seemed, however,
to be the place where they deposited what they so in-
dustriously collect; for they were perpetually arriving
loaded with a fragrant substance, which they carried
in, and then returned empty. We had a great desire
to enter with them, but were deterred by their for-
midable appearance, and a kind of angry hum which
continually proceeded from the house. At length, two
or three of the boldest of our party, watching a time
when the entrance was pretty free, ventured to go in;
but we soon saw them driven out in great haste, and
trampled down and massacred just at the gate-way.
The rest of us made a speedy retreat.
Two more adventures which happened to me, had
very nearly prevented my return to my own country.
Having one evening, together with a companion, taken
up my quarters in an empty snail-shell, there came on
such a shower of rain in the night, that the shell was
presently filled. I awoke nearly suffocated; but luckily,
having my head turned towards the mouth of the shell,
I arose to the top, and made a shift to crawl to a dry
place. My companion, who had got further into the
shell, never arose again.
Not long after, as I was travelling under the wall,
I described a curious pit, with a circular orifice, gradu-
ally growing narrower to the bottom. On coming
close to the brink, in order to survey it, the edge,
04 FOURTH EVENING.
which was of fine sand, gave way, and I slid down the
pit. As soon as I had reached the bottom, a creature
with a huge pair of horns and dreadful claws made his
appearance from beneath the sand, and attempted to
seize me. I flew back, and ran up the side of the pit,
when he threw over me such a shower of sand as
blinded me, and had like to have brought me down
again. However, by exerting all my strength, I got
out of his reach, and did not cease running till I was
at a considerable distance. I was afterward informed
that this was the den of an ant-lion, a terrible foe of
our species, which, not equalling us in speed, is obliged
to make use of this crafty device to entrap his heed-
This was the last of my perils. To my great joy,
I reached my native place last night, where I mean to
stay content for the future. I do not know how far
I have benefited from my travels, but one important
conclusion I have drawn from them."
"What is that ?" said his friend.
Why, you know it is the current opinion with us,
that everything in this world was made for our use.
Now, I have seen such vast tracts not at all fit for our
residence, and peopled with creatures so much larger
and stronger than ourselves, that I cannot help being
convinced that the Creator had in view their accom-
modation as well as ours, in making this world."
"I confess this seems probable enough; but you
had better keep your opinion to yourself."
Why so ?"
You know we ants are a vain race, and make high
pretensions to wisdom as well as antiquity. We shall
be affronted with any attempts to lessen our import-
ance in our own eyes."
But there is no wisdom in being deceived."
"Well-do as you think proper. Meantime, fare-
well, and thanks for the entertainment you have given
COME," said Mr. Barlow to his boys, "I have a
new play for you. I will be the founder of a colony;
and you shall be people of different trades and pro-
fessions coming to offer yourselves to go with me.
What are you, A ?"
A. I am a farmer, sir.
Mr. B. Very well! Farming is the chief thing we
have to depend upon, so we cannot have too much of
it. But you must be a working farmer, not a gentle-
man farmer. Labourers will be scarce among us, and
every man must put his own hand to the plough.
There will be woods to clear and marshes to drain,
and a great deal of stubborn work to do.
A. I shall be ready to do my part, sir.
Mr. B. Well then, I shall entertain you willingly,
and as many more of your profession as you can bring.
You shall have land enough, and utensils; and you
may fall to work as soon as you please. Now for the
B. I am a miller, sir.
Mr. B. A very useful trade! The corn we grow
must be ground, or it will do us little good. But what
will you do for a mill, my friend ?
B. I suppose we must make one, sir.
Mr. B. True; but then you must bring with you a
millwright for the purpose. As for millstones, we will
take them out with us. Who is next ?
C. I am a carpenter, sir.
Mr. B. The most necessary man that could offer!
We shall find you work enough, never fear. There
will be houses to build, fences to make, and all sorts
of wooden furniture to provide. But our timber is all
growing. You will have a deal of hard work to do in
felling trees, and sawing planks, and shaping posts,
56 FOURTH EVENING.
and the like. You must be a field carpenter as well as
a house carpenter.
0. I will, sir.
Mr. B. Very well; then I engage you; but you
had better bring two or three able hands along with
D. I am a blacksmith, sir.
Mr. B. An excellent companion for the carpenter!
We cannot do without either of you; so you may
bring your great bellows and anvil, and we will set up
a forge for you as soon as we arrive. But, by the by,
we shall want a mason for that purpose.
E. I am one, sir.
Mr. B. That's well. Though we may live in log
houses at first, we shall want brick or stone work for
chimneys, and hearths, and ovens, so there will be em-
ployment for a mason. But if you can make bricks
and burn lime too, you will be still more useful.
E. I will try what I can do, sir.
Mr. B. No man can do more. I engage you. Who
is next ?
F. I am a shoemaker, sir.
Mr. B. And shoes we cannot well do without. But
can you make them, like Eumaeus in the Odyssey, out
of a raw hide ? for I fear we shall get no leather.
F. But I can dress hides, too.
Mr. B. Can you? Then you are a clever fellow,
and I will have you, though I give you double wages.
G. I am a tailor, sir.
Mr. B. Well-Though it will be some time before
we want holiday suits, yet we must not go naked; so
there will be work for the tailor. But you are not
above mending and patching, I hope, for we must not
mind patched clothes while we work in the woods.
G. I am not, sir.
Mr. B. Then I engage you.
H. I am a weaver, sir.
Mr. B. Weaving is a very useful art, but I question
if we can find room for it in our colony for the present.
We shall not grow either hemp or flax for some time
to come, and it will be cheaper for us to import our
cloth than to make it. In a few years, however, we
may be very glad of you.
T. I am a silversmith and jeweller, sir.
Mr. B. Then, my friend, you cannot go to a worse
place than a new colony to set up your trade in. You
will break us, or we shall starve you.
J. But I understand clock and watch making, too.
Mr. B. That is somewhat more to our purpose, for
we shall want to know how time goes. But I doubt
we cannot give you sufficient encouragement for a long
while to come. For the present, you had better stay
where you are.
K. I am a barber and hair-dresser, sir.
Mr. B. Alas, what can we do with you? If you
will shave our men's rough beards once a week, and
crop their hair once a quarter, and be content to help
the carpenter, or follow the plough the rest of your
time, we shall reward you accordingly. But you will
have no ladies and gentlemen to dress for a ball, or
wigs to curl and powder for Sundays, I assure you.
Your trade will not stand by itself with us for a great
while to come.
L. I am a doctor, sir.
Mr. B. Then, sir, you are very welcome. Health
is the first of blessings, and if you can give us that,
you will be a valuable man, indeed. But I hope you
understand surgery as well as physic, for we are likely
enough to get cuts and bruises, and broken bones
L. I have had experience in that branch too, sir.
Mr. B. And if you understand the nature of plants,
and their uses both in medicine and diet, it will be a
great addition to your usefulness.
L. Botany has been a favourite study with me, sir;
and I have some knowledge of chemistry, and the
other parts of natural history, too.
Mr. B. Then you will be a treasure to us, sir, and
58 FOURTH EVENING.
I shall be happy to make it worth your while to go
M. I, sir, am a lawyer.
Mr. B. Sir, your most obedient servant. When we
are rich enough to go to law, we will let you know.
N. I am a schoolmaster, sir.
Mr. B. That is a profession which I am sure I do
not mean to undervalue; and as soon as ever we have
young folk in our colony, we shall be glad of your
services. Though we are to be hardworking, plain
people, we do not intend to be ignorant, and we shall
make it a point to have every one taught reading and
writing, and the first rules of ciphering, at least. In
the mean time, till we have employment enough for
you in teaching, you may keep the accounts and
records of the colony; and on Sunday you may read
prayers to all those that choose to attend upon you.
N. With all my heart, sir.
Mr. B. Then I engage you. Who comes here with
so bold an air ?
O. I am a soldier, sir; will you have me ?
Mr. B. We are peaceable people, and I hope shall
have no occasion to fight. We mean honestly to pur-
chase our land from the natives, and to be just and
fair in all our dealings with them. William Penn,
the founder of Pennsylvania, followed that plan; and,
when the Indians were at war with all the other Euro-
pean settlers, a person in a Quaker's habit might pass
through all their most ferocious tribes without the
least injury. It is my intention, however, to make
all my colonists soldiers, so far as to be able to defend
themselves if attacked, and that being the case, we
shall have no need of soldiers by trade.
P. I am a gentleman, sir; and I have a great desire
to accompany you, because I hear game is very plen-
tiful in that country.
M4r. B. A gentleman! And what good will you do
us, sir ?
THE DOG AND HIS RELATIONS.
P. 0, sir, that is not at all my object. I only
mean to amuse myself.
Mr. B. But do you mean, sir, that we should pay
for your amusement ?
P. As to maintenance, I expect to be able to kill
game enough for my own eating, with a little bread
and garden stuff, which you will give me. Then I will
be content with a house somewhat better than the
common ones; and your barber shall be my valet; so
I shall give very little trouble.
Mr. B. And pray, sir, what inducement can we
have for doing all this for you ?
P. Why, sir, you will have the credit of having one
gentleman at least in your colony.
Mr. B. Ha, ha, ha! A facetious gentleman, truly!
Well, sir, when we are ambitious of such a distinction,
we will send for you.
THE DOG AND HIS RELATIONS.
KEEPER was a farmer's mastiff, honest, brave, and
vigilant. One day as he was ranging at some distance
from home, he espied a Wolf and a Fox sitting together
at the corner of a wood. Keeper, not much liking
their looks, though by no means fearing them, was
turning another way, when they called after him, and
civilly desired him to stay. Surely, sir," says Rey-
nard, you won't disown your relations. My Cousin
Ghaunt and I were just talking over family matters,
and we both agreed that we had the honour of reck-
oning you among our kin. You must know that,
according to the best accounts, the wolves and dogs
were originally one race in the forests of Armenia;
but the dogs taking to living with man, have since
60 FIFTH EVENING.
become inhabitants of towns and villages, while the
wolves have retained their ancient mode of life. As to
my ancestors, the foxes, they were a branch of the
same family, who settled farther northwards, where
they became stinted in growth, and adopted the custom
of living in holes under-ground. The cold has sharpened
our noses, and given us a thicker fur and bushy tails
to keep us warm. But we have all a family likeness ;
which it is impossible to mistake; and I am sure it is
our interest to be good friends with each other."
The wolf was of the same opinion; and Keeper,
looking narrowly at them, could not help acknowledg-
ing their relationship. As he had a generous heart,
he readily entered into friendship with them. They
took a ramble together; but Keeper was rather sur-
prised at observing the suspicious shyness with which
some of the weaker sort of animals surveyed them, and
wondered at the hasty flight of a flock of sheep as soon
as they came within view. However, he gave his
cousins a cordial invitation to come and see him at his
yard, and then took his leave.
They did not fail to come the next day, about dusk.
Keeper received them kindly, and treated them with
part of his own supper. They staid with him till after
dark, and then marched off with many compliments.
The next morning, word was brought to the farm that
a goose and three goslings were missing, and that two
lambs were found almost devoured in the Home Field.
Keeper was too honest himself readily to suspect
others, so he never thought of his kinsmen on the
occasion. Soon after, they paid him a second evening
visit, and next day another loss appeared, of a hen and
her chickens, and a fat sheep. Now Keeper could
not help mistrusting a little, and blamed himself for
admitting strangers without his master's knowledge.
However, he still did not love to think ill of his own
They came a third time. Keeper received them
rather coldly, and hinted that he should like better to
HISTORY OF A CAT. 61
see them in the daytime; but they excused themselves
for want of leisure. When they took their leave, he
resolved to follow at some distance and watch their
motions. A litter of young pigs happened to be lying
under a haystack, outside of the yard. The wolf
seized one by the back, and ran off with him. The pig
set up a most dismal squeal; and Keeper, running up
at the noise, caught his dear cousin in the fact. He
flew at him and made him relinquish his prey, though
not without much snarling and growling. The fox,
who had been prowling about the hen-roost, now came
up and began to make protestations of his own inno-
cence, with heavy reproaches against the wolf for thus
disgracing the family. Begone, scoundrels, both! "
cried Keeper, "I know you now too well. You may
be of my blood, but I am sure you are not of my spirit.
Keeper holds no kindred with villains." So saying,
he drove them from the premises.
THE HISTORY AND ADVENTURES OF A CAT.
SOME days ago died Grimalkin, the favourite tabby
cat of Mrs. Petlove. Her disorder was a shortness of
breath, proceeding partly from old age, and partly
from fat. As she felt her end approaching, she called
her children to her, and, with a great deal of difficulty,
spoke as follows:-
Before I depart from this world, my children,I mean,
if my breath will give me leave, to relate to you the
principal events of my life, as the variety of scenes I
have gone through may afford you some useful instruc-
tion for avoiding those dangers to which our species
are particularly exposed.
"Without further preface, then, I was born at a
farm-house in a village some miles hence; and almost
as soon as I came into the world, I was very near
leaving it again. My mother brought five of us at a
litter; and as the frugal people of the house kept cats
only to be useful, and were already sufficiently stocked,
we were immediately doomed to be drowned; and ac-
cordingly a boy was ordered to take us all and throw
us into the horse-pond. This commission he per-
formed with the pleasure boys seem naturally to take
in acts of cruelty, and we were presently set a swim-
ming. While we were struggling for life, a little girl,
daughter to the farmer, came running to the pond-side,
and begged very hard that she might save one of us,
and bring it up for her own. After some dispute, her
request was granted; and the boy reaching out his
arm, took hold of me, who was luckily nearest him,
and brought me out when I was just spent. I was
laid on the grass, and it was some time before I re-
covered. The girl then restored me to my mother,
who was overjoyed to get again one of her little ones;
and, for fear of another mischance, she took me in her
mouth to a dark hole, where she kept me till I could
see, and was able to run by her side. As soon as I
came to light again, my little mistress took possession
of me, and tended me very carefully. Her fondness,
indeed, was sometimes troublesome, as she pinched
my sides with carrying me, and once or twice hurt me
a good deal by letting me fall. Soon, however, I be-
came strong and active, and played and gambolled all
day long, to the great delight of my mistress and her
At this time I had another narrow escape. A man
brought into the house a strange dog, who had been
taught to worry all the cats that came in his way. My
mother slunk away at his entrance; but I, thinking,
like a little fool, as I was, that I was able to protect
myself, staid on the floor, growling and setting up my
back by way of defiance. The dog instantly ran at
me, and, before I could get my claws ready, seized me
with his mouth, and began to gripe and shake me
most terribly. I screamed out, and by good luck my
mistress was within hearing. She ran to us, but
was not able to disengage me; however, a servant,
seeing her distress, took a great stick, and gave the
HISTORY OF A CAT.
dog such a bang on the back, that he was forced to
let me go. He had used me so roughly, that I was
not able to stand for some time; but by care and a
good constitution I recovered.
I was now running after everybody's heels, by
which means I got one day locked up in the dairy. I
was not sorry for this accident, thinking to feast upon
the cream and other good things. But having climbed
up a shelf to get at a bowl of cream, I unluckily fell
backwards into a large vessel of butter-milk, where I
should probably have been drowned, had not the maid
heard the noise and come to see what was the matter.
She took me out, scolding bitterly at me, and after
making me undergo a severe discipline at the pump, to
clean me, she dismissed me with a good whipping. I
took care not to follow her into the dairy again.
After a while, I began to get into the yard, and my
mother took me into the barn upon a mousing expe-
dition. I shall never forget the pleasure this gave me.
We sat by a hole, and presently out came a mouse
with a brood of young ones. My mother darted
among them, and first demolished the old one, and
then pursued the little ones, who ran about squeaking
in dreadful perplexity. I now thought it was time
for me to do something, and accordingly ran after a
straggler, and soon overtook it. 0, how proud was I,
as I stood over my trembling captive, and patted him
with my paws! My pride, however, soon met with
a check; for seeing one day a large rat, I courage-
ously flew at him; but, instead of turning tail, he
gave me such a bite on the nose, that I ran away to
my mother, mewing piteously, with my face all bloody
and swelled. For some time I did not meddle with
rats again; but at length growing stronger and more
skilful, I feared neither rats nor any other vermin, and
acquired the reputation of an excellent hunter.
I had some other escapes about this time. Once I
happened to meet with some poisoned food laid for
the rats, and, eating it, I was thrown into a disorder
tiU FIFTH EVENING.
that was very near killing me. At another time, I
chanced to set my foot in a rat-trap, and received so
many deep wounds from its teeth, that though I was
loosened as gently as possible by the people who heard
me cry, I was rendered lame for some weeks after.
Time went on, and I arrived at my full growth; and
forming an acquaintance with a he-cat about my own
age, we made a match of it. I became a mother in
due time, and had the mortification of seeing several
broods of my kittens disposed of in the same manner
as my brothers and sisters had been. I shall mention
two or three more adventures in the order I remember
them. I was once prowling for birds along a hedge,
at some distance from home, when the squire's grey-
hounds came that way a-coursing. As soon as they
spied me, they set off at full speed, and running much
faster than I could do, were just.at my tail, when I
reached a tree, and saved myself by climbing up it.
But a greater danger befel me on meeting with a
parcel of boys returning from school. They sur-
rounded me before I was aware, and obliged me to
take refuge in a tree; but I soon found that a poor
defence against such enemies; for they assembled about
it, and threw stones on all sides, so that I could not
avoid receiving many hard blows, one of which brought
me senseless to the ground. The biggest boy now
seized me, and proposed to the rest making what he
called rare sport with me. This sport was to tie me
to a board, and, launching me on a pond, to set some
water-dogs at me, who were to duck and half-drown
me, while I was to defend myself by biting their
noses, and scratching their eyes. Already was I
bound, and just ready to be set a-sailing, when the
schoolmaster, taking a walk that way, and seeing the
bustle, came up, and obliged the boys to set me at
liberty, severely reprimanding them for their cruel
The next remarkable incident of my life was the
occasion of my removal from the country. My mis-
tress's brother had a tame linnet, of which he was
very fond; for it would come and alight on his
shoulder when he called it, and feed out of his hand;
and it sang well besides. This bird was usually either
in its cage or upon a high perch; but one unlucky
day, when he and I were alone in the room together,
he came down on the table, to pick up crumbs. I spied
him, and, not being able to resist the temptation,
sprang at him, and, catching him in my claws, soon
began to devour him. I had almost finished, when his
master came into the room; and seeing me with the
remains of the poor linnet in my mouth, he ran to me in
the greatest fury, and after chasing me several times
round the room, at length caught me. He was pro-
ceeding instantly to hang me, when his sister, by many
entreaties and tears, persuaded him, after a good
whipping, to forgive me, upon the promise that I
should be sent away. Accordingly, the next market-
day I was despatched in the cart to a relation of theirs
in this town, who wanted a good cat, as the house was
overrun with mice.
In the service of this family I continued a good
while, performing my duty as a mouser extremely
well, so that I was in high esteem. I soon became
acquainted with all the particulars of a town life, and
distinguished my activity in climbing up walls and
houses, and jumping from roof to roof, either in pur-
suit of prey, or upon gossiping parties with my com-
panions. Once, however, I had like to have suffered
for my venturing; for having made a great jump from
one house to another, I alighted on a loose tile, which
giving way with me, I fell from a vast height into the
street, and should certainly have been killed, had I
not had the luck to fall into a dung-cart, whence I
escaped with no other injury but being half-stifled
Notwithstanding the danger I had run from killing
the linnet, I am sorry to confess that I was again
guilty of a similar offence. I contrived one night to
HISTORY OF A CAT.
leap down from a roof upon the board of some
pigeon-holes, which led to a garret inhabited by
pigeons. I entered, and finding them asleep, made
sad havoc among all that were within my reach, killing
and sucking the blood of nearly a dozen. I was near
paying dearly for this, too; for, on attempting to
return, I found it was impossible for me to leap up
again to the place whence I had descended, so that,
after several dangerous trials, I was obliged to wait
trembling in the place where I had committed all
these murders, till the owner came up in the morning
to feed his pigeons. I rushed out between his legs
as soon as the door was opened, and had the good
fortune to get safe down stairs, and make my escape
through a window unknown; but never shall I forget
the horrors I felt that night! Let my double danger
be a warning to you, my children, to control your
savage appetites, and on no account to do harm to
those creatures which, like ourselves, are under the
protection of man. We cats all lie under a bad
name for treacherous dispositions in this respect, and
with shame I must acknowledge, it is but too well
Well-but my breath begins to fail me, and I must
hasten to a conclusion. I still lived in the same
family, when our present kind mistress, Mrs. Petlove,
having lost a favourite tabby, advertised a very hand-
some price for another that should as nearly as
possible resemble her dead darling. My owners,
tempted by the offer, took me for the good lady's
inspection, and I had the honour of being preferred
to a multitude of rivals. I was immediately settled
in the comfortable mansion we now inhabit, and had
many favours and indulgences bestowed upon me,
such as I had never before experienced. Among
these, I reckon one of the principal, that of being
allowed to rear all my children, and to see them grow
up in peace and plenty. My adventures here have
been few; for after the monkey had spitefully bitten
off the last joint of my tail (for which I had the
satisfaction to see him soundly corrected), I kept
beyond the length of his chain; and neither the
parrot nor the lapdogs ever dared to molest me. One
of the greatest afflictions I have felt here, was the
stifling of a whole litter of my kittens by a fat old
lady, a friend of my mistress's, who sat down on the
chair where they lay, and never perceived the mischief
she was doing till she arose, though I pulled her
clothes, and used all the means in my power to show
my uneasiness. This misfortune my mistress took to
heart almost as much as myself, and the lady has
never since entered our doors. Indeed, both I and
mine have ever been treated here with the utmost
kindness-perhaps with too much; for to the pam-
pering me with delicacies, together with Mrs. Abigail's
frequent washings, I attribute this asthma, which is
now putting an end to my life, rather sooner than its
natural period. But I know all was meant well; and
with my last breath I charge you all to show your
gratitude to our worthy mistress, by every return in
"And now, my dear children, farewell; we shall
perhaps meet again in a land where there are no dogs
to worry us, or boys to torment us-Adieu !"
Having thus said, Grimalkin became speechless,
and presently departed this life, to the great grief of
all the family.
CANUTE'S REPROOF TO HIS COURTIERS.
CANUTE ............ King of England.
OswAL, OFFA ...... CoUrtiers.
Scene.-The Sa-Side, near Southampton-The Tide coming in.
Canute. Is it true, my fiends, what you have so
often told me, that I am the greatest of monarchs ?
Ofa. It is true, my liege; you are the most
powerful of all kings.
Oswald. We are all your slaves; we kiss the dust
of your feet.
Offa. Not only we, but even the elements, are
your slaves. The land obeys you from shore to
shore; and the sea obeys you.
Canute. Does the sea, with its loud boisterous
waves, obey me ? Will that terrible element be still
at my bidding ?
Ofa. Yes, the sea is yours; it was made to bear
your ships upon its bosom, and to pour the treasures
of the world at your royal feet. It is boisterous to
your enemies, but it knows you to be its sovereign.
Canute. Is not the tide coming up ?
Oswald. Yes, my liege; you may perceive the swell
Canute. Bring me a chair, then; set it here upon
Offa. Where the tide is coming up, my gracious
Canute. Yes, set it just here.
Oswald (aside). I wonder what he is going to do!
Offa (aside). Surely he is not such a fool as to
Canute. 0, mighty Ocean! thou art my subject; my
courtiers tell me so; and it is thy bounden duty to
obey me. Thus, then, I stretch my sceptre over thee,
and command thee to retire. Roll back thy swelling
waves, nor let them presume to wet the feet of me,
thy royal master.
Oswald (aside). I believe the sea will pay very little
regard to his royal commands.
Offa. See how fast the tide rises!
Oswald. The next wave will come up to the chair.
It is a folly to stay; we shall be covered with salt-
Canute. Well, does the sea obey my commands?
If it be my subject, it is a very rebellious subject.
See how it swells, and dashes the angry foam and salt
spray over my sacred person. Vile sycophants! did
ON THINGS TO BE LEARNED.
you think I was the dupe of your base lies ? that I
believed your abject flatteries ? Know, there is only
one Being whom the sea will obey. He is Sovereign
of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
It is only He who can say to the ocean, "Thus far
shalt thou go, but no farther, and here shall thy proud
waves be stayed." A king is but a man, and a man
is but a worm. Shall a worm assume the power of
the great God, and think the elements will obey him ?
Take away this crown, I will never wear it more.
May kings learn to be humble from my example, and
courtiers learn truth from your disgrace!
DIALOGUE, ON THINGS TO BE LEARNED.
Between Mamma and Kitty.
Kitty. PRAY, mamma, may I leave off working ? I
Mamma. You have done very little, my dear; you
know you were to finish all that hem.
K. But I had rather write now, mamma, or read, or
get my French grammar.
M. I know very well what that means, Kitty; you
had rather do anything than what I set you about.
K. No, mamma; but you know I can work very
well already, and I have a great many more things to
learn. There's Miss Rich, that cannot sew half so well
as I, and she is learning music and drawing already,
besides dancing, and I don't know how many other
things. She tells me that they hardly work at all in
M. Your tongue runs at a great rate, my dear; but
in the first place you cannot sew very well, for if you
could, you would not have been so long in doing this
little piece. Then I hope you will allow, that mammas
know better what is proper for their little girls to
learn than they do themselves.
K. To be sure, mamma; but as I suppose I must
learn all these things some time or other, I thought
70 FIFTH EVENING.
you would like to have me begin them soon, for I
have often heard you say that children cannot be set
too early about what is necessary for them to do.
M. That's very true, but all things are not equally
necessary to every one; for some, that are very fit for
one, are scarcely proper at all for others.
K. Why, mamma P
M. Because, my dear, it is the purpose of all edu-
cation to fit persons for the station in which they are
hereafter to live; and you know there are very great
differences in that respect, both among men and
K. Are there P I thought all ladies lived alike.
ff. It is usual to call all well-educated women, who
have no occasion to work for their livelihood, ladies;
but if you will think a little, you must see that they
live very differently from each other; for their fathers
and husbands are in very different ranks and situa-
tions in the world, you know.
K. Yes, I know that some are lords, and some are
squires, and some are clergymen, and some are mer-
chants, and some are doctors, and some are shop-
M. Well; and do you think that the wives and
daughters of these persons have just the same things
to do, and the same duties to perform ? You know
how I spend my time. I have to go to market, and
provide for the family, to look after the servants, to
help in taking care of you children, and in teaching
you, to see that your clothes are in proper condition,
and assist in making and mending for myself, and for
you, and your papa. All this is my necessary duty;
and besides this, I must go out a-visiting, to keep up
our acquaintance; this I call partly business, and partly
amusement. Then when I am tired, and have done
all that I think is necessary, I may amuse myself with
reading, or in any other proper way. Now a great
many of these employment do not belong to Lady
Wealthy, or Mrs. Rich, who keep housekeepers and
ON TIIIGS TO BE LEARNED.
governesses, and servants of all kinds, to do every-
thing for them. It is very proper, therefore, for them
to pay more attention to music, drawing, ornamental
work, and any other elegant manner of passing their
time, and making themselves agreeable.
K. And shall I have all the same things to do,
mamma, that you have ?
M. It is impossible, my dear, to foresee what your
future station will be; but you have no reason to ex-
pect that if you have a family, you will have fewer
duties to perform than I have. This is the way of life
for which your education should prepare you; and
everything will be useful and important for you to
learn, in proportion as it will make you fit for this.
K. But when I am grown a young lady, shall I not
have to visit, and go to assemblies and plays, as the
Misses Wilson and the Misses Johnson do ?
M. It is very likely you may enter into some amuse-
ment of this sort; but even then you will have several
more serious employment, which will take up a much
greater part of your time; and if you do not perform
those duties properly, you will have no right to par-
take of the pleasure.
K. What will they be, mamma ?
M. Why don't you think it proper that you should
assist me in my household affairs a little, as soon as
you are able ?
K. 0, yes, mamma, I should be very glad to do that.
M. Well, consider what talents will be necessary
for that purpose; will not a good hand at your needle
be one of the very first qualities ?
K. I believe it will.
M. Yes, and not only in assisting me, but in
making things for yourself You know how we
admired Miss Smart's ingenuity when she was with
us, in contriving and making so many articles of her
dress, for which she must otherwise have gone to the
milliner's, which would have cost a great deal of
72 FIFTH EVENING.
K. Yes, she made my pretty bonnet, and she made
you a very handsome cap.
M. Very true; she was so clever as not only to
furnish herself with these things, but to oblige her
friends with some of her work. And I dare say she
does a great deal of plain work also for herself and
her mother. Well, then, you are convinced of the
importance of this business, I hope.
K. Yes, mamma.
M. Reading and writing are such necessary parts
of education, that I need not say much to you about
K. 0 no, for I love reading dearly.
M. I know you do, if you can get entertaining
stories to read; but there are many books also to be
read for instruction, which perhaps may not be so
pleasant at first.
K. But what need is there of so many books of
this sort ?
M. Some are to teach you your duty to your Maker
and your fellow-creatures, of which I hope you are
sensible you ought not to be ignorant. Then if is
very right to be acquainted with geography; for you
remember how poor Miss Blunder was laughed at for
saying, that, if ever she went to France, it should be
K. That was because England is an island, and all
surrounded with water, was it not ?
M. Yes, Great Britain, which contains both Eng-
land and Scotland, is an island. Well, it is very use-
ful to know something of the value of plants, and
animals, and minerals, because we are always using
some or other of them. Something, too, of the hea-
venly bodies is very proper to be known, both that we
may admire the power and wisdom of God in creating
them, and that we may not make foolish mistakes
when their motions and properties are the subject of
conversation. The knowledge of history, too, is very
important, especially that of our own country; and,
ON THINGS TO BE LEARNED.
in short, everything that makes part of the discourse
of rational and well-educated people ought, in some
degree, to be studied by every one who has proper
K. Yes, I like some of those things very well.
But pray, mamma, what do I learn French for-am
I ever to live in France ?
M. Probably not, my dear; but there are many
books written in French that are very well worth
reading; and it may every now and then happen that
you may be in company with foreigners who cannot
speak English, and as they almost all talk French,
you may be able to converse with them in that lan-
K. Yes, I remember there was a gentleman here
that came from Germany, I think, and he could
hardly talk a word of English, but papa and you
could talk to him in French ; and I wished very much
to be able to understand what you were saying, for I
believe part of it was about me.
M. It was. Well, then, you see the use of French.
But I cannot say this is a necessary part of know-
ledge to young women in general, only it is well
worth acquiring if a person have leisure and oppor-
tunity. I will tell you, however, what is quite neces-
sary for one in your situation, and that is, to write a
good hand, and to cast accounts well.
K. I should like to write well, because then I
should send letters to my friends when I pleased, and
it would not be such a scrawl as our maid Betty
writes, that I dare say her friends can hardly make
M. She had not the advantage of learning when
young, for you know she taught herself since she
came to us, which was a very sensible thing of her,
and I suppose she will improve. Well, but accounts
are almost as necessary as writing; for how could I
cast up all the market bills and tradesmen's accounts,
and keep my house-books without it ?
K. And what is the use of that, mamma ?
A. It is of use to prevent us being overcharged in
anything, and to know exactly how much we spend,
and whether or no we are exceeding our income, and
in what articles we ought to be more saving. With-
out keeping accounts, the richest man might soon
come to be ruined before he knew that his affairs were
K. But do women always keep accounts? I thought
that was generally the business of the men.
M. It is their business to keep the accounts be-
longing to their trade, or profession, or estate; but it
is the business of their wives to keep all the house-
hold accounts; and a woman in almost any rank,
unless, perhaps, some of the highest of all, is to
blame if she do not take upon her this necessary
office. I remember a remarkable instance of the
benefit which a young lady derived from an attention
to this point. An eminent merchant in London failed
for a great sum.
K. What does that mean, mamma ?
M. That he owed a great deal more than he could
pay. His creditors, that is, those to whom he was
indebted, on examining his accounts, found great defi-
ciencies, which they could not make out; for he had
kept his books very irregularly, and had omitted to
put down many things that he had bought and sold.
They suspected, therefore, that great waste had been
made in the family expenses; and they were the more
suspicious of this, as a daughter, who was a very gen-
teel young lady, was his housekeeper, his wife being
dead. She was told of this; upon which, when the
creditors all met, she sent them her house-books for
their examination. They were all written in a very
fair hand, and every single article was entered with
the greatest regularity, and the sums were all cast up
with perfect exactness. The gentlemen were so
highly pleased with the proof of the young lady's
ability, that they all agreed to make her a handsome
ON THINGS TO BE LEARNED.
present out of the effects; and one of the richest of
them, who was in want of a clever wife, soon after
paid his addresses to her, and married her.
K. That was very lucky, for I suppose she took care
of her poor father, when she was rich. But I shall
have nothing of that sort to do for a long time to
M. No; but young women should keep their own
account of clothes, and pocket-money, and other ex-
penses, as I intend you shall do when you grow up.
K. Am I not to learn dancing, and music, and
drawing too, mamma ?
M. Dancing you shall certainly learn pretty soon,
because it is not only an agreeable accomplishment in
itself, but is useful in forming the body to ease and
elegance in all its motions. Music is a highly orna-
mental accomplishment; but, though a woman of mid-
dling station may be admired for its possession, she
will never be censured for being without it. The
propriety of attempting to acquire a practical acquaint-
ance with music must depend upon natural genius for
it, and upon leisure and other accidental circumstances.
For some it is too expensive, and many are unable to
make such progress in it as will repay the pains of
beginning. Drawing, on the other hand, is of far
more value than music, even as a mere accomplish-
ment; and, in point of utility as well as of interest, it
is infinitely more important. There is hardly a station
in life-hardly any mechanical art, howsoever humble-
in which drawing may not occasionally be found ser-
viceable. In the making of patterns for all sorts of
fancy-work, in the designing of draperies for the
decoration of an apartment, and in various other
household affairs, it is extremely useful; and, while in
the country, or when travelling abroad, to be able to
sketch a remarkable building, a rare bird or other
animal, or a beautiful landscape, is an elegant and
highly intellectual attainment, that, for its intrinsic
value, can hardly be appreciated too highly. It is soon
enough, however, for us to think about these things,
and at any rate, they are not to come in till you have
made a proficiency in what is yet more useful and
necessary. But I see you have now finished what I
set you about, so you shall take a walk with me into
the market-place, where there are two or three things
I wish to purchase.
K Shall we not call at the bookseller's, to inquire
for those new books that Miss Reader was talking
M. Perhaps we may. Now lay up your work neatly,
and get on your hat and tippet.
ON THE OAK.-A DIALOGUE.
Tut. COME, my boys, let us sit down awhile under
yon shady tree. I don't know how your young legs
feel, but mine are almost tired.
Geo. I am not tired, but I am very hot.
.lar. And I am hot, and very thirsty too.
Tat. When you have cooled yourself, you may drink
out of that clear brook. In the mean time, we will
read a little out of a book I have in my pocket.
[They go and sit down at the foot of a tree.]
Har. What an amazingly large tree! How wide
its branches spread! Pray what tree is it ?
Geo. I can tell you that. It is an Oak. Don't you
see the acorns ?
Tut. Yes, it is an Oak-the noblest tree this country
produces ;-not only grand and beautiful to the sight,
but of the greatest importance from its uses.
Har. I should like to know something about it.
Tut. Very well; then instead of reading, we will
sit and talk about Oaks. George, you knew the oak
by its acorns-should you have known it if there had
been none ?
Geo. I don't know-I believe not.
Tut. Observe, then, in the first place, that its bark
is very rugged. Then see in what manner it grows.
Its great arms run out almost horizontally from its
trunk, giving the whole tree a sort of round form, and
making it spread far on every side. Its branches are
also subject to be crooked or kneed. By these marks
you might guess at an oak even in winter, when quite
bare of leaves. But its leaves afford a surer mark of
distinction, since they differ a good deal from those of
other English trees, being neither whole and even at
the edges, nor yet cut like the teeth of a saw, but
rather deeply scolloped,and formed into several rounded
divisions. Their colour is a fine deep green. Then
Tut. Yes-all kinds of plants have what may pro-
perly be called fruit, though we are apt to give that
name only to such as are food for man. The fruit of
a plant is the seed, with what contains it. This, in
the oak, is called an acorn, which is a kind of nut,
partly enclosed in a cup.
Geo. Acorn-cups are very pretty things. I have
made boats of them, and set them swimming in a
Tut. And if you were no bigger than a fairy, you
might use them for drinking-cups, as those imaginary
little beings are said to do.
Pearly drops of dew we drink
In acorn-cups, filled to the brink."
Har. Are acorns good to eat ?
Geo. No, that they are not. I have tried, and did
not like them at all.
ut. In the early ages of man, before he cultivated
the earth, but lived upon such wild products as nature
afforded, we are told that acorns made a considerable
ON THE OAK.
part of his food, and at this day I believe they are
eaten in some countries. But this is in warmer cli-
mates, where they probably become sweeter and better-
flavoured than with us. The chief use we make of
them is to feed hogs. In those parts of England
where oak woods are common, great herds of swine are
kept, which are driven into the woods in autumn,
when the acorns fall, and provide themselves plenti-
fully for two or three months. This, however, is a
small part of the praise of the oak. You will be sur-
prised when I tell you, that to this tree our country
owes its chief glory and security.
Har. Ay, how can that be ?
Tut. I don't know whether, in your reading, you
have ever met with the story, that Athens, a famous
city in Greece, consulting the oracle how it might best
defend itself against its enemies, was advised to trust
to wooden walls.
Har. Wooden walls !-that's odd-I should think
stone walls better, for wooden ones might be set on
Tut. True; but the meaning was, that as Athens
was a place of great trade, and its people were skilled
in maritime affairs, they ought to trust to their ships.
Well, this is the case with Great Britain. As it is an
island, it has no need of walls and fortifications, while
it possesses ships to keep all enemies at a distance.
Now, we have the greatest and finest navy in the
world, by which we both defend ourselves, and attack
other nations when they insult us; and this is nearly
all built of oak.
Geo. Would no other wood do to build ships ?
Tut. With the exception of teak, an East Indian
wood, none nearly so well, especially for men-of-war;
for it is the stoutest and strongest wood we have; and
therefore best fitted, both to keep sound under water,
and to bear the blows and shocks of the waves, and the
terrible strokes of cannon-balls. It is a peculiar ex-
cellence for this last purpose, that oak is not so liable
to splinter or shiver as other woods, so that a ball
can pass through it without making a large hole. Did
you never hear the old song,-
Hearts of Oak are our Ships,
Hearts of Oak are our men," &c.?
Tut. It was made at a time when England was more
successful in war than had ever before been known,
and our success was properly attributed chiefly to our
fleet, the great support of which is the British oak; so
1 hope you will henceforth look upon oaks with due
Har. Yes; the oak shall always be my favourite
Tut. Had not Pope reason, when he said, in his
Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
The weeping amber or the balmy tree,
While by our Oaks the precious loads are borne,
And realms commanded, which those trees adorn !"
These lines refer to its use as well for merchant-ships
as for men-of-war; and in fact nearly all our ships are
built of either native or foreign oak.
Har. But are not some ships made of iron ?
Tut. Yes; of late years, since steam has been
brought into operation for the propulsion of vessels on
the water, as well as for a thousand other purposes,
numbers of ships (called steam-ships, or steamers), and
many of them very large, and capable of proceeding
against wind and tide, have been constructed of iron.
Geo. Are the masts of ships made of oak ?
Tut. No-it would be too heavy. Besides, it
would not be easy to find trunks of oak long and
straight enough for that purpose. They are made of
various sorts of fir and pine, which grow very tall and
Geo. Is oak wood used for anything besides ship-
ON THE OAK.
Tut. 0 yes !-It is one of the principal woods of
the carpenter, being employed wherever great strength
and durability are required. It is used for door and
window frames, and the beams that are laid in walls,
to strengthen them. Floors and staircases are some-
times made with it; and in old houses in the country,
which were built when oak was more plentiful than
at present, almost all the timber about them was oak.
It is also occasionally used for furniture, as tables,
chairs, drawers, and bedsteads; though mahogany has
now much taken its place for the better sort of goods,
and the lighter and softer woods for the cheaper; for
the hardness of oak renders it difficult and expensive
to work. It is still, however, the chief material used
in mill-work, in bridge and water-works, for waggon
and cart bodies, for large casks and tubs, and for the
last piece of furniture a man has occasion for. What
is that, do you think, George ?
Geo. I don't know.
Har. A coffin.
Tut. So it is.
Har. But why should that be made of such strong
Tut. There can be no other reason than the weak
attachment that we are apt to have for our bodies when
we have done with them, which has made men in
various countries desirous of keeping them as long
as possible from decay. But I have not yet done
with the oak. Were either of you ever in a tanner's
Geo. We often go by one at the end of the town;
but we durst not go in for fear of the great dog.
Tut. But he is always chained in the daytime.
Har. Yes-but he barks so loud, and looks so fierce,
that we were afraid he would break his chain.
Tut. I doubt you are a couple of cowards. How-
ever, I suppose you came near enough to observe great
stacks of bark in the yard.
Geo. 0 yes;-there are several.
Tut. Those are oak bark, and it is used in tanning
Har. What does it do to them ?
Tut. I'll tell you. Every part of the oak abounds
in a quality called astringency, or a binding power.
The effect of this is to make more close and compact,
or to shrivel up, all soft things, and thereby make them
firmer and less liable to decay. The hide, then, when
taken from the animal, after being steeped in lime and
water, to get off the hair and grease, is put to soak
in a liquor made by boiling oak bark in water. This
liquor is strongly astringent, and by stiffening the soft
hide, turns it into what we call leather. Other things
are also tanned for the purpose of preserving them,
as fishing-nets and boat-sails. This use of the bark
of the oak makes it a very valuable commodity;
and you may see people in the woods carefully strip-
ping the oaks, when cut down, and piling up the bark
Geo. I have seen such heaps of bark, but I thought
they were only to burn.
Tut. No--they are much too valuable for that. But
I have another use of the oak to mention, and that is
Har. Dyeing! I wonder what colour it can dye ?
Tut. Oak sawdust is a principal ingredient in dye-
ing a sort of cloth called fustian. By various mixtures
and management, it is made to give fustians all the
different -hades of drab and brown. Then, all the
parts of the oak, like all other astringent vegetables,
produce a dark blue, or black, by the addition of any
preparation of iron. The bark is sometimes used in
this way for dyeing black. And did you ever see
what boys call the oak-apple ?
Geo. Yes-I have gathered oak-apples myself.
Tut. Do you know what they are ?
Geo. I thought they were the fruit of the oak.
Tut. No-I have told you that the acorns are the
fruit. These are excrescences formed by an insect.
ON THE OAK.
Geo. An insect!-how can insects make such a thing?
Tut. It is a sort of a fly, that has a power of piercing
the outer skin of the oak boughs, under which it lays
its eggs. The part then swells into a sort of ball,
and the young insects, when hatched, eat their way
out. Well; this ball, or apple, is a pretty strong astrin-
gent, and is sometimes used in dying black. But in
the warm countries, there is a species of oak which
bears round excrescences of the same kind, called galls,
which become hard, and are the strongest astringents
known. They are the principal ingredient in the
black dyes, and common ink is made with them, to-
gether with a substance called green vitriol, or cop-
peras, which contains iron.
I have now told you the chief uses that I can recol-
lect of the oak; and these are so important, that who-
ever drops an acorn into the ground, and takes proper
care of it when it comes up, may be said to be a bene-
factor to his country. Besides, no sight can be more
beautiful and majestic than a fine oak wood. It is an
ornament fit for the habitation of the first nobleman
in the land.
liar. I wonder, then, that all rich gentlemen, who
have ground enough, do not cover it with oaks.
Tut. Many of them, especially of late years, have
made great plantations of these trees. But all soils
do not suit them: and then there is another circum-
stance which prevents many from being at this trouble
and expense, which is, the long time an oak takes in
growing, so that no person can reasonably expect to
profit by those of his own planting. An oak of fifty
years is greatly short of its full growth, and they are
scarcely arrived at perfection under a century. Some
say, not under five centuries. However, it is our duty
to think of posterity as well as ourselves; and they
who receive oaks from their ancestors, ought certainly
to furnish others to their successors.
Har. Then I think that every one who cuts down
an oak should be obliged to plant another.
Tut. Very right-but he should plant two or three
for one, for fear of accidents in their growing.
I will now repeat to you some verses, describing the
oak in its state of full growth, or rather of the com-
mencement of decay, with the various animals living
upon it-and then we will walk.
See where yon Oak its awful structure rears,
The massive growth of twice a hundred years;
Survey his rugged trunk, with moss o'ergrown,
His lusty arms in rude disorder thrown,
His forking branches wide at distance spread,
And, dark'ning half the sky, his lofty head;
A mighty castle, built by nature's hands,
Peopled by various living tribes,he stands.
His airy top the clamorous rooks invest,
And crowd the waving boughs with many a nest.
Midway the nimble squirrel builds his bower;
And sharp-bill'd pies the insect tribes devour,
That gnaw beneath the bark their secret ways,
While unperceived the stately pile decays."
Persons of the Drama :
ALFRED .......... King of England.
GUBBA .......... a Farmer.
GANDELIN ........ his Wife.
ELLA ............ an Oficer of Alfred.
Scene-The Isle of Athelney.
Alfred. How retired and quiet is everything in this
little spot! The river winds its silent waters round
this retreat; and the tangled bushes of the thicket
fence it from the attack of an enemy. The bloody
Danes have not yet pierced into this wild solitude. I
believe I am safe from their pursuit. But I hope I
shall find some inhabitants here, otherwise I shall die
of hunger.-Ha! here is a narrow path through the
wood; and I think I see the smoke of a cottage rising
between the trees. I will bend my steps thither.
Scene-Before the Cottage.
GUBB. coming forward. GANDELIN within.
Alfred. Good even to you, good man. Are you
disposed to show hospitality to a poor traveller ?
Gubba. Why truly there are so many poor travellers
now-a-days, that if we entertain them all, we shall
have nothing left for ourselves. However, come along
to my wife, and we will see what can be done for
you. Wife, I am very weary; I have been chopping
wood all day.
Gandelin. You are always ready for your supper,
but it is not ready for you, I assure you; the cakes
will take an hour to bake, and the sun is yet high; it
has not yet dipped behind the old barn. But who
have you with you, I trow ?
Alfred. Good mother, I am a stranger; and entreat
you to afford me food and shelter.
Gandelin. Good mother, quotha! Good wife, it
you please, and welcome. But I do not love strangers;
and the land has no reason to love them. It has
never been a merry day for Old England, since strangers
came into it.
Alfred. I am not a stranger in England, though I
am a stranger here. I am a true-born Englishman.
Gubba. And do you hate those wicked Danes, that
eat us up, and burn our .houses, and drive away our
Alfred. I do hate them.
Gandelin. Heartily! he does not speak heartily,
Alfred. Heartily I hate them;-most heartily.
Gubba. Give me thy hand, then; thou art an
Alfred. I was with King Alfred in the last battle
Gandelin. With King Alfred? Heaven bless him!
Gubba. What is become of our good King ?
Alfred. Did you love him, then?
Gubba. Yes, as much as a poor man may love a
king; and knelt down and prayed for him every nihgt,
that he might conquer those Danish wolves; but it
was not to be so.
Alfred. You could not love Alfred better than I
Gubba. But what is become of him ?
Alfred. He is thought to be dead.
Gubba. Well, these are sad times; Heaven help
us! Come, you shall be welcome to share the brown
loaf with us; I suppose you are too sharp-set to be
Gandelin. Ay, come with us; you shall be as wel-
come as a prince! But hark ye, husband; though I
am very willing to be charitable to this stranger (it
would be a sin to be otherwise), yet there is no reason
he should not do something to maintain himself; he
looks strong and capable.
Gubba. Why, that's true. What can you do,
Alfred. I am very willing to help you in anything
you choose to set me about. It will please me best
to earn my bread before I eat it.
Gubba. Let me see. Can you tie up faggots
Alfred. I have not been used to it. I am afraid I
should be awkward.
Gubba. Can you thatch ? There is a piece blown
off the cow-house.
Alfred. Alas! I cannot thatch.
Gandelin. Ask him if he can weave rushes; we
want some new baskets.
Alfred. I have never learned.
Gubba. Can you stack hay ?
Gubba. Why, here's a fellow! and yet he hath as
many pair of hands as his neighbours. Dame, can
you employ him in the house ? He might lay wood
on the fire, and rub the tables.
Gandelin. Let him watch these cakes, then; I must
go and milk the kine.
Gubba. And I'll go and stack the wood, since
supper is not ready.
Gandelin. But pray, observe, friend! do not let the
cakes burn; turn them often on the hearth.
Alfred. I shall observe your directions.
Alfred. For myself, I could bear it; but England,
my bleeding country, for thee my heart is wrung with
bitter anguish !-From the Humber to the Thames
the rivers are stained with blood- My brave soldiers
cut to pieces !-My poor people-some massacred,
others driven from their warm homes, stripped, abused,
insulted;-and I, whom Heaven appointed their shep-
herd, unable to rescue my defenceless flock from the
ravenous jaws of these devourers !--Gracious Heaven,
if I am not worthy to save this land from the Danish
sword, raise up some other hero to fight with more
success than I have done, and let me spend my life in
this obscure cottage, in these servile offices! I shall
be content, if England be happy.
0 here come my blunt host and hostess.
Enter GUBBA and GANDELIN.
Gandelin. Help me down with the pail, husband.
This new milk, with the cakes, will make an excellent
supper; but, mercy on us, how they are burnt! black
as my shoe! they have not once been turned; you
oaf, you lubber, you lazy loon-
Alfred. Indeed, dame, I am sorry for it; but my
mind was full of sad thoughts.
Gubba. Come, wife, you must forgive him; perhaps
he is in love. I remember when I was in love with
Gandelin. You remember!
Gubba. Yes, dame, I do remember it, though it is
many a long year since: my mother was making a
kettle of furmetv-
Gandelin. Pr'ythee, hold thy tongue, and let us eat
Alfred. How refreshing is this sweet new milk, and
this wholesome bread!
Gubba. Eat heartily, friend. Where shall we lodge
him, Gandelin ?
Gandelin. We have but one bed, you know; but
there is fresh straw in the barn.
Alfred (aside). If I shall not lodge like a king, at
least I shall lodge like a soldier. Alas! how many of
my poor soldiers are stretched on the bare ground.
Gandelin. What noise do I hear ? It is the tram-
pling of horses. Good husband, go and see what is
Alfred. Heaven forbid my misfortunes should bring
destruction on this simple family! I had rather have
perished in the wood.
GUBBA returns, followed by ELLA with
his sword drawn.
Gandelin. Mercy defend us, a sword !
Gubba. The Danes! the Danes! 0, do not kill us!
Ella (kneeling). My liege, my lord, my sovereign!
have I found you ?
Alfred (embracing him). My brave Ella!
Ella. I bring you good news, my sovereign Your
troops that were shut up in Kinwith Castle made a
desperate sally-the Danes were slaughtered. The
fierce Hubba lies gasping on the plain.
Alfred. Is it possible! Am I yet a king ?
Ella. Their famous standard, the Danish raven, is
taken; their troops are panic-struck ; the English sol-
diers call aloud for Alfred. Here is a letter which will
inform you of more particulars. (Gives a letter.)
Gubba (aside). What will become of us? Ah!
dame, that tongue of thine has undone us !
Gandelin. O, my poor dear husband! we shall all
be hanged, that's certain. But who could have
thought it was the king ?
Gubba. Why, Gandelin, do you see, we might have
guessed he was born to be a King, or some such great
man, because, you know, he was fit for nothing else.
Alfred (coming forward). God be praised for these
tidings! Hope has sprung up out of the depths of
despair. 0, my friend! shall I again shine in arms,
-again fight at the head of my brave Englishmen,-
lead them on to victory! Our friends shall now lift
up their heads again.
Ella. Yes, you have many friends, who have long
been obliged, like their master, to skulk in deserts and
caves, and wander from cottage to cottage. When
they hear you are alive, and in arms again, they will
leave their fastnesses, and flock to your standard.
Alfred. I am impatient to meet them: my people
shall be revenged.
Gubba and Gandelin (throwing themselves at the feet
of ALFRED). 0 my lord-
Gandelin. We hope your majesty will put us to a
merciful death. Indeed, we did not know your ma-
Gubba. If your majesty could but pardon my wife's
tongue; she means no harm, poor woman.
Alfred. Pardon you, good people! I not only par-
don you, but thank you. You have afforded me pro-
tection in my distress; and if ever I am seated again
on the throne of England, my first care shall be to
reward your hospitality. I am now going to protect
you. Come, my faithful Ella, to arms! to arms! My
bosom burns to face once more the haughty Dane;
and here I vow to Heaven, that I will never sheath
the sword against these robbers, till either I lose my
life in this just cause, or
Till dove-like Peace return to England's shore,
And war and slaughter vex the land no more.
ON THE PINE AND FIR TRIBE.
Tut. Let us sit down awhile on this bench, and look
about us. What a charming prospect!
Har. I admire those pleasure-grounds. What
beautiful clumps of trees there are in that lawn!
Geo. But what a dark, gloomy wood that is at the
back of the house!
Tat. It is a fir plantation; and those trees always
look dismal in the summer, when there are so many
finer greens to compare them with. But the winter
is their time for show, when other trees are stripped
of their verdure.
Geo. Then they are evergreens!
Tut. Yes; most of the fir tribe are evergreens; and
as they are generally natives of cold, mountainous
countries, they contribute greatly to cheer the wintry
Geo. You were so good, when we walked out last,
to tell us a great deal about oaks. I thought it one
of the prettiest lessons I ever heard. I should be
glad if you would give us such another about firs.
Har. So should I too, I am sure.
Tut. With all my heart, and I am pleasedthat you ask
me. Nothing is so great an encouragement to a tutor
as to find his pupils of their own accord seeking after
Geo. And I think it is very useful to know such
things as these.
Tut. Certainly it is. Well then You may know
the Pine or Fir tribe in general at first sight, as most
of them are of a bluish-green colour, and all have