UNMrvsITv PEuSS: WELCH, BIGELOW, & Co.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
"SEVEN LITTLE PEOPLE AND THEIR FRIENDS"
CA M BI I Rl) I;
SEVER AND FRANCIS
Entered according to Act of Congcres, in the year 1863, by
HORACE E. SCUIr)DER.
In the Clerk' Office of the District Court for the Di'triCt 4f MIa'achu ctt
To my Sister.
T happened once to Elia, gentlest of humor-
ists, to fall into a reverie, in which his
memory and imagination, playing about the
forms of two children, enchanted him with their
presence, until, under a too searching gaze, the
apparitions grew fainter, passing away at last as
mournful faces, the only embodiments of unful-
filled dreams. Perhaps I also may be permitted
to give the name of "Dream Children" to cer-
tain creations bearing some kinship to those of
Elia, yet differing in this respect, among others,
that whatever aid my memory has given to my
imagination, it has, unlike Elia's, fetched its
subjects from no remoter periods than a some-
what short and uneventful life has contained.
But it would be an unwise task to look too
closely into any points of comparison between
my Dream Children and those of Elia, for I am
afraid I should discover that the mere name is
all they have in common.
Themselves born of dreams, the children chron-
icled in this book are sometimes dreamers also;
but fear not, reader, a summons to a fantastic
banquet of those who live only in dreams, for
if there be such phantoms assembled herein, you
will surely find them restrained from any un-
seemly antics, by the presence of more corporeal
creatures. And as it never was intended that
either children or grown people should live apart,
one from the other, I have thought it most be-
coming that here also they should be in com-
pany, the old and the young together, very much
in earnest about their dreams, I trust, and pos-
sessed of a proper share of common sense when
In fine, lest I should be thought even now
talking in my sleep, I have tried to embody in
the persons of childlike people, of all times of
life, some conceptions of spiritual excellence
which appear to us most readily through the
presence of children, and which reappear, it may
be, in our less worldly moods afterward. The
beauty we dream about may be the most real
water all. As, too, the children who bless us in
ur daily life are by no means mere embodiments
f unearthly excellence, I have not thought it
necessary to rob them of their ordinary attri-
utes for the sake of investing them with some
supernatural character not so easily appreciated
y us : and in consideration of their foolish
credulity, which we of course have outgrown, I
ave permitted them still to overhear the talk
f fowls of the air and beasts of the earth.
Once before I sent forth a flock of children,
rn in like manner with these. They found
eir way to some hospitable homes; and in
ose, at any rate, I hope there will now be
ices to say, not wholly in derision, "Let us
ear what the dreamer saith."
THi POT OF GOLD.
L CHRIF AND RHODA .
II. IN THE NEw LAN .
III. IN THE PALACE OF THE PRINCESS.
IV. IN THE RUINS
V. RHODA AND CHRIF. .
THE TWO ROSES .
JOHN'S NAP ...
THE OLD HOUSE IN THE WHEAT-FOREST
WIDOW DOROTHY'S NEW YEAR'S EVL
L THE OLD LADY AT HOM .
IL THE OLD YEAR OUT AND THE NEW YEAR IN
THE VIOLET .
THE MAGIC-LANTERN .
WHAT BEFELL THE RANGE
THE RICH MAN'S PLACE
UNLUCKY FRITZ .
THE MARRIAGE OF THE PINH
L THE WOOING 185
II. THE BETROTHAL 200
IIL T NUPTIAL 202
THE GOLDEN EGG AND THE COCK OF GOLD 207
CAnL'S VOYAGING . 219
THE PINCE'S VISIT 231
THE POT OF GOLD.
THE POT OF GOLD.
CHRIF AND RHODA.
PON the edge of a marsh, lying near
the sea and fed from it by tidal creeks,
stood a weather-battered house, that
went by the name of the Red Inn.
Its front was on the road, and had a
wide gallery across both the first and
second stories; the end of the house looked up the
oad; but it had only one small square window to
ee out of, and as one came down the way, one
night fancy the Inn peeping out of its single eye for
guests who had long ceased to come, the fierce sea-
aptains and red-nosed sailors who used to sit upon
he galleries and smoke their pipes and drink their
ps One of them, indeed, seemed to have remained,
and to have taken up his post for life upon the roof
of an out-building. There he stood, dressed to-day
just as his friends used to dress fifty years back, when
they dozed on the gallery. His blue coat and buff
waistcoat were somewhat duller, and his cocked hat,
though fast on his head, was rather rusty; but he stood
firm, holding before his nose a quadrant, with which
he was always taking observations, whether the sun
shone or not. Indeed, so stoutly did he keep his post
through all kinds of skies and winds that one would
have known him for the Genius of the Weather. There
was no doubt that he regulated matters. He looked
so positive, as he would whirl round to the east and say
to himself, "Now I'11 have the wind this way," and
then, after a pause, back again to the north, and say,
"Now this way "; and so it would blow just as he said.
But the Genius of the Weather and the name Red
Inn were all that remained of the former glory. The
red paint had gone with the innkeeper and the inn-
keeper's guests; and as if to show that the house had
nothing more to do with the sea and people that
sailed on the sea, an old boat stood on its keel in
the yard, filled with loam, out of which grew all kinds
of flowers in their seasons. This was Rhoda's flower.
The Pot of Gold 17
garden. Rhoda lived in the Red Inn with her grand-
mother, the huckleberry-woman, and with a little boy
named Christopher, or Chrif, as he was always called,
ho was an orphan. They lived in so much of the
nn as they needed, and left the rest of the rooms to
effect on former days when they were all occupied.
When this story begins it was an afternoon in July.
he grandmother had gone to the pasture for berries,
ut she had left the children at home: she never took
hem with her to pick,- that was a way she had.
hey were playing at sailing boats by one of the
-reeks in the marsh. Chrif, with his pocket-knife,
shaped pieces of bark in a rode fashion, and Rhoda
nade a dandelion mast for one, and put two daisy
ilors in another, and freighted a third with grass and
aaves, while in a fourth, against a reed mast leaned a
iolet as passenger, with the ship all to himself. An-
ther and another was added, till quite a little flotilla
as sailing down the stream, some making shipwreck
on rocks, some dangerously driven from side to side
tween a miniature Scylla and Charybdis, or lying
calmed in some quiet curve out of reach of the
rrent, while others pressed on with various fortune
I quite beyond sight. The children shouted with
glee, and made larger ventures, until at length they
had become so expert in ship-building that nothing
was left but to set afloat a Great Eastern which Chrif
had ambitiously made of the largest piece of wood he
"Now I am going to load her with just as much as
she can bear," said he; "and, Rhoda, you must have
a boat too, and we 'll set them both off together."
"But I don't want a great one like yours," said she
"and I 'm not going to load it." So she took an ever
green twig, and fastened upright in it a clover-blossom
while Chrif brought stones and sand and chips and
grass to load his Great Eastern. They launched th
two and started them down the stream. How braves
Mine is going to India," said Chrif I learn
about it in my geography lesson the other day. It'
gone to carry gold, and it will bring back pearls an
pepper and rice."
"Is that a great way offl" asked Rhoda.
"O, it takes years and years to get there," said hi
"It's not far from Thibet."
"How much you know, Chrif said Rhoda.
"I mean to go there some day," said Chrif. "Pee
ple ride on elephants and live in splendid houses."
The Pot of Gold. 9
"Well, mine is going round the world, I guess,"
aid Rhoda; and it really seemed in a fair way to
nake the journey, for it was sailing down the creek,
vhile Chrif's, staggering along with its load, made
shipwreck before it reached India. Its gold went to
be bottom, but the Great Eastern itself, tipping over
n its side, floated down after the evergreen slip with
ts fragile clover ensign.
The children had been so busy that they had not
noticed a thunder-shower almost ready to break upon
hem. They had just time to escape to the house,
hen the rain poured down, and they watched it out
f the one-eye window. The' Genius of the Weather
*emed to be in some doubt: one would say he
anged his mind very often; but then he was so
sitive each time he whirled all round the four
ints, settling which way the wind should blow,-
at was trying experiments, and the children watched
m. "Now I'11 have it this way," he said at last, and
d firmly, looking at the west. He held the quad-
t at his nose and seemed to say, "Now the sun
y come out, and I will take an observation"; and
Ssun did come out, though it was sprinkling still.
The children ran down stairs and into the yard.
The rain had soaked the earth in the boat-garden so
that Rhoda could pull up the weeds. The flowers
throve wonderfully under her care; each month there
were new blossoms. Just now the larkspur and sweet-
william and spider-wort were blooming.
"Quick said Chrif, who was out in the road,
"there's a rainbow!" Rhoda ran to him, and they
watched it together. "Why don't it come nearer 1"
said Chrif, "I should think it might What pretty
colors! and how ugly our old house looks. I wish I
were where the rainbow is."
"There is just the color of my larkspur," said
"0 pohl" said Chrif, "only a flower! that's not
much. Now if I were only rich, I wouldn't stay
here. I'd go off into the world ";- but that Chrif was
always saying. "How grand it must be over there
beyond the rainbow!"
"One end is quite near us," said Rhoda.
"Are ye looking for the pot of gold said a voice
behind. It was old Mother Bagg, who had come up.
She sold brooms and lived by herself in the woods.
People said she had a pailful of half-dollars hidden
in the house: but what will not people say She was
dripping wet, but that was nothing to her.
The Pot of Gold. 21
"A pot of gold I" cried Chrif; "where is it "
"It's at the foot of the rainbow," she said. "Did
ye never hear If ye get at the foot of the rainbow,
and then dig and dig, ye 'll come to a pot of gold."
"Rhoda I let's go quick I" said Chrif.
"I don't know," said Rhoda, I want to finish my
"But it's only a few fields away."
Mother Bagg laughed. Ye must hurry," said she.
"The rainbow don't stay for lazy folk."
"I'm off!" said Chrif, and away he went in search
of the pot of gold. Mother Bagg trudged on. Rho-
da watched Chrif as he ran across the fields, till she
ost sight of him behind a hill Then the rainbow
ew fainter and at last faded away, as the sun came
ut more powerfully, and the rain stopped.
"I'm afraid he was too late," she said, and turned
ack to the boat-garden. Her grandmother, the old
uckleberry-woman, now came home, and Rhoda told
er where Chrif had gone. "How rich we shall all
e!" said she, "when Chrif comes back with his pot
"He will not find it, not even a saucerful, you
ay depend upon it," said the grandmother; but
oda was not so sure.
IN THE NEW LAND.
N OW let us hear what happened to Chrif.
He left the road, and went running across the
fields. No matter for the wet places or the brambles
or the fences, he took the straightest way to the rain-
bow. It was not far off when he started, that was
certain, but when he came to the field where he
thought to reach it, behold! the rainbow was still be-
yond and really about as far away as when he first saw
it A hill lay before him, and it seemed to Chrif
that surely upon the top of that hill the rainbow arch
sprung from the ground. He scrambled up, panting:
the colors of the rainbow grew fainter,-- it would soon
be too late. He reached the top,- the sun shone out
brightly, the rain stopped, and Chrif could see the last
tint of the bow fade away in the valley beneath. The
rainbow was gone, and he had not reached the foot
of it, and now how should he know where the pot of
Chrif sat down on the slope of the hill to rest him-
self, and to wish that the rainbow had lasted a few
The Pot of Gold 23
moments longer. I was just coming to it," said he;
"it was in the valley below." As he looked down
there again, he saw a fock of sheep grazing, and under
a tree was the shepherd-boy stretched upon the green
grass, and leaning upon his elbow. Chrif went down
the hill, and, drawing near, called to the boy, but got
no answer: the boy lay still. Then he saw that he
was reading a book, and coming up behind, Chrif
looked over his shoulder and read the page. It was
an old book, and he read:-
"Now beyond the setting of the sun lies the New
Land. It is a country full of mountains and forests
and rivers. The sands of the streams are golden and
all manner of wondrous fruits grow upon the trees,
and monsters dwell in the mountains The inhab-
itants of the land are of tawny skin, and about their
ecks they wear necklaces of pearls, which they say are
ery plentiful thereabout Nor are they loath to traffic
ith merchants who visit those shores. They tell,
moreover, of a great river far inland, which they say is
e end of the earth, for it is so wide that they cannot
e to the other bank. Beyond it, they say live the
ead, and when they die they are placed upright,
ing in that direction, though all other nations face
to the east, and a fishing-hook is placed in the hand
of the dead man, that he may not want for food when
he shall reach the other side. This is what the sav-
ages say; but it is known that it is a country of ex-
ceeding riches, and one traveller relates that upon a
high pillar near the coast is the famous pot of gold,
which if men obtain will never fail them."
"0, where is this country" cried Chrif, reading
no further, and laying his hand upon the book. The
shepherd-boy now looked up.
"Will you go 1" asked Gavin, for that was his name.
"Go !" exclaimed Chrif. That I will. Why, the
pot of gold is there, and I have come to find it."
Yes," said Gavin, "the pot of gold is there, and
many other things. I will see them all. Come! don't
you see the sun is to set, and we must reach the New
Land before it is down."
Gavin jumped up with his book, and set out with
Chrif. The sheep raised their heads and bleated, and
some even began to walk after them; but the boys did
not look back. They entered the dark forest, which
*was flecked with light by the rays of the sun. As
they walked, Gavin told stories out of the book to
Chrif, and the forest grew brighter; the black trees
The Pot of Gold. 25
were clothed in crimson and scarlet, and the birds
that few about them were like birds of fire dating
in and out They heard more distinctly the sound
of plashing water and the voices of men. The forest
became thinner and the sounds clearer, until, leaving
the woods behind them, they stood upon the shore
of a sea. Over the water they saw the low sun shin-
ing, and the golden clouds resting on the shadowy
mountains that towered to the sky. A gleaming path
led across the sea to the New Land, and at this end,
near them, they now saw a ship, with sails set and oars
hung from the sides, while a multitude of boys clus-
tered about it, and fringed the shore, as if waiting to
embark. "The Quest" was painted in red letters
upon the ship's prow, and her flag bore the same
"Let us set sail: cried the sailor-boys from the ship;
and Chrif and Gavin mounted the side, while, amidst
the cheers of those on shore, the ship sailed away over
the gleaming path. Gavin sat by the prow and read
his book. Chrif looked up and around. The sails
were of silk, and the ropes of finest cord. The deck
was made of wood from the algum-tree, and the masts
were white palms. The sails were bent, and the sailor-
boys sat at the oars. Regularly these rose and fell in
the shining sea, and with every stroke, the wind too
filling the sails, the Quest flew forward, cutting the
water which dashed in foam upon the prow. The
waves rolled with them in long lines, and, lifting their
heads, would bow them, and then once more rise, as
Sif they were worshipping the sun. On they sped, the
good ship flying faster as the sun neared the horizon.
"I see the land cried Gavin, who was peering
beyond the sunset, and then the sailor-boys who sat
on the benches redoubled their strokes, while one of
their number, a merry fellow, sang gay songs. The
sun set, and as soon as it went down the land grew
more distinct The mountains rose behind, and the
rivers sounded as they rushed down the sides. It
grew darker, and now, when they could but just see
the shore, the boys stopped the beat of their oars
Andy ended his gay song. The sails drooped to the
mast, for they were at the close of their voyage. Chrif
and Gavin leaped upon the beach, and the boys fol-
lowed after. They could just see the mountains frown-
- ing upon them; the trees crowded around, shaking their
tops and nodding, nodding to the water, from which
rose a floating mist, that hung like a veil over all. The
TMe Pot of Gold 27
boys stood still, gathering about Chrif and Gavin, who
tried in vain to read in the book he carried. The
moon rose, and then everything grew more distinct;
the mountains seemed higher and even more rugged,
the trees bowed and lifted up their heads and in the
distance all could hear the river roaring in its channel
The ground on which they trod was flinty and barren,
and a dreary shore stretched away in the murky shade.
Let us return in our ship," cried the sailor-boys;
and they ran after their leader like frightened sheep.
"I'll not go," shouted Andy after them. I mean
to see my way through this, if it does n't grow any
darker." So he and Chrif and Gavin were left alone.
"Come," said Chrif, "let us find the pot of gold."
"Well said I should like to dip my fingers in
it," said Andy.
"You shall have your share," said Chrif. "It is on
the top of a pillar, not far from the coast If you'll
stand below, I'll get on your shoulders, and then per.
haps I can reach it."
Only don't let it drop on my head," said Andy,
and the three set out, Gavin with his book.
"It would be a good thing if there were guide-
boards in this country," said Andy, as they trudged
along. "Now if we only came to one saying, Pot
of Gold, three miles,' it would look like business."
"0, we can't fail to find it," said Chrif, "for it's not
far from the shore, and we certainly shall be able to
see the pillar." They walked on in silence, skirting
the woods and peering into them for the pillar.
"Ugh I" Andy broke forth; "stepped in a bogI
What a nasty country."
"I wonder the natives don't come along," said
Chrif. "They wear necklaces of pearls, and are
Croak I croak I"
Here's one living all by himself in the bog," said
Andy. "Now his relations have come out; they're
having a meeting. Don't you hear them say, 'Bet-
ter go home I bet-ter go home' I begin to think
"Here is a path," cried Chrif, "leading into the
woods. This is no doubt the one. I do believe I
see the pillar!"
"Have you got a shilling about you to pay the
feet" said Andy, as they turned up the path. "You
don't think we can go up the pillar for nothing "
But even Andy now saw the pillar.
The Pot of Gold 29
"HurrahI" he cried, "let's push on But he
did not need to hurry Chrif, and Gavin was never
behind. The path grew rougher; but that was noth-
ing to them, as they pressed forward eagerly. Now
they were at the base of the pillar, and the three
stood peering up to its top. The moon still shone,
and lighted up, though dimly, the scene, so that they
could make out the pot of gold resting upon the
summit of the pillar.
"Stand at the foot, Andy," said Chrif, "and you
upon his shoulders, Gavin, and then I will stand upon
yours. Perhaps I can reaah it"
"I don't want the pot of gold," said Gavin. "I
have seen it; that is enough. Now I will see other
things. I will visit the Magic Fountain, and then I
will go westward till I find the Great River. Yes, the
Great River I" and Gavin shaded his eyes, looking
through the woods.
His comrades would not obey his beckoning, and
Gavin turned away into the forest. They heard his
footfall, then it died away, and they heard it no more.
"I want the pot of gold," said Chrif, and then
he thought for a moment, trying to recollect "Yes,
I want it I will take it to the Red Inn and Rhoda
and the old grandmother; then I shall be very rich,
and we shall have everything we wish."
As he said these words he looked on the pillar, and
behold I a picture was on its surface. It was the Red
Inn, with its yard, and Rhoda standing by the boat-
garden, weeding it and watering the flowers. The as-
ters were in bloom. He saw everything, the house,
too, the old grandmother at the one-eye window, and
the Genius of the Weather, still taking observations:
but he only glanced a moment at these. He kept his
eyes on Rhoda, who would look up every little while
from her garden, and watch the road, as if she were
expecting Chrif As he gazed on the picture, the
pillar faded out of sight, the pot of gold on the top
disappeared, and then the picture also went out, and
Chrif was in darkness.
Hark I" whispered Andy, at his side. "I hear
Te Pot of Gold. 31
IN THE PALACE OF THE PRINCESS.
IN the midst of the gloom and desolatenes all
about him, Chrif heard the faint music that
would sound, and then pause, as if waiting for them
to follow. Its notes were sweet and enticing.
"O, let us go where the music is I" cried Andy.
"There must be all that we want."
But Chrif was reluctant, for he desired to find the
lost pillar again. Yet, as the music continued, it be-
came more enchanting, and Chrif suffered Andy to
pull him along until he was as eager as Andy him-
selt The moon still shone, but now more brightly,
and it made their path full of beauty. The ground
yielded to their tread, and they pressed on, led by
the music, which grew more clear and loud. It was
the music of flutes, and it seemed even as if the trees
rocked gently, keeping time with it But the trees
they were leaving behind, for as they neared the flut-
ists, they emerged from the woods. Now the moon
shone upon the scene before them, but the moon was
hardly more brilliant than the blaze of a myriad lamps
that shone in the streets and from the houses of a
great city that stood upon the plain.
Andy was wild with delight as they entered the
streets, and Chrif heard and saw all with new won-
der at every moment It was no doubt a festive
night, for not only were the streets lighted so that
the rows of lights looked like strings of pearls, but
the fronts of the houses were hung with gay lanterns.
People jostled one another good-humoredly upon the
walk, and many were dressed in fanciful robes of the
most elegant patterns. At every square fireworks were
rushing up into the sky, or whirling round on wheels,
or flying across the streets like birds; there was great
clapping of hands and loud huzzas. The curtains were
drawn from the windows of the houses, and Chrif and
Andy could see within crowds of people there also,
walking about amongst flowers or dancing in couples.
The music of the flutes, which still seemed to draw
them on, now ceased, and they heard a horn sounding
not far off. They stood still; so did all about them.
The boys and girls stopped clapping; the fireworks
waited; the people in the streets stood where they
were, and in the houses no one moved. The horn
sounded again, and every one held his breath.
The Pot of Gold 33
TL, just before them appeared the man who blew
the horn. He sat upon a prancing horse, and was
all ablaze with colors. Now he blew his horn once
more, and as the sound curled away like smoke into
the air, he called out in a loud voice, -
"This night there is a ball in the Palace, and all
may come, and to whomsoever the Princess shall
give her hand in the dance, he shall have the pot
"Hurrah 1" cried all the people, but Chrif cried
hurrah louder than alL "Hurrah shouted Andy.
"What times we will have I' And with Chrif he set
out for the Palace, while all the people followed.
Away went the fireworks again, the people in the
houses danced, and the children clapped and sang
in the streets. When they were come to the Palace,
that was more magnificent than all the rest of the
city. Fountains sparkled in front "Drink I" said a
girl who sat in the very centre of the largest foun-
tain, and she held out her hollow hand, which was
full of the fountain's water. They drank from her
hand, and the fountain became of ruby color, and
the maiden within smiled through it. Andy would
have lingered here, but Chrif drew him on. They
34 Dream Children.
marched up the steps of the Palace, and ne
said nay. Why should they, for no one was hand-
somer than Chrif, and Andy had a face to look
at. When they entered the great hall, they saw the
Princess upon her throne. There was dancing and
gayety; but the Princess did not dance, she was
waiting for the handsomest, to dance with him, and
all the good-looking dancers stood in a row, each
trying to look handsomer than the other, but the
Princess would not choose one of them. Everything
about the Palace was as splendid as it could be, but
there was one charming toy. It was a pearl clock,
that stood above the Princess, and when the hours
came round, a golden cuckoo, covered with diamonds,
would open a little door, come out, cuckoo as many
times as there were hours, and then go back, shutting
the door carefully after him, so that his diamonds
might not get dusty. But it was not time yet for
him to come out
Although the handsomest dancers stood in a row,
waiting to be asked by the Princess, yet there was a
great frolic going on at the same time among the
others. Flower-balls were thrown about, midst shouts
of laughter, and every one seemed determined to
The Pot of Gold.
have a most riotous time. Andy thought he should
like that; but then he hoped he might get a chance
to dance with the Princess. She saw them both, and
she said to herself, "There are two who are hand-
somest, and one is handsomer than the other," but she
did nothing yet Andy, tired of waiting, joined the
frolic-party, but Chrif stood still. The Princess looked
at him again, and said to herself, No one could be
handsomer." Then she stepped down from her throne.
The frolic-party kept on, but the row of handsome
dancers was in a great flutter. Every one hoped
that he was the one, and each tried his utmost to
look splendid. But the Princess passed them all
by, and came to Chrif.
"Dance with me," said she, and she held out her
If Chrif was the handsomest, yet the Princess was
the most beautiful. Such a pair never was seen be-
fore. All the dancers who stood in a row became
black with anger, not one of them was now in the
least handsome. But the Princess at that moment
added to her beauty all that they lost. One might
say that she was now perfectly beautiful
"Dance with me," said she, "and you shall have
the pot of gold."
"The pot of gold I" said Chrif, yes, that is it.
"And you shall do what you please with it," said
"What was I to do with it?" said Chrif, hesitating
and rubbing his forehead. "0,1 know. I was to take
it home to Rhoda, and then we should be rich, and
have all we wanted."
As he said these words, the Princess tapped impa-
tiently with her foot, the music danced, and yet, -
"Cuckoo I cuckoo I"
The door of the pearl clock had sprung open, and
the bird stood upon the sill, bowing as he sang.
What did he sing The dancers and the Princess
and the frolic-party heard cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo
What did Chrif hear
"Rhoda sits by the one-eye window, watching for"
Chrif. The flowers are dead in the boat-garden. The
old grandmother thinks Rhoda is foolish. Chrif will
never come back,' she says. 'He cares nothing for
The cuckoo jumped in again, and slammed the door
after her. The music grew fainter, but the cuckoo's
song sounded yet Chrif saw the dancers in a row,
black with anger, and the frolic-party raging about,
and the Princess standing before him.
The Pot of Gold
"Are you a fool he heard Andy whisper in his
ear, as he whirled past him. "Then I will dance with
Harsh music grated on his ear, the walls of the
Palace stood about bare and crumbling, ugly forms
writhed about him, and one pair more mad than all
the others vanished into the night Then the cackoo's
song ceased, and Chrif was alone.
IN THE RUINS.
SIGHT and sound had vanished, but sense re-
mained. The water of the fountain which Chrif
had drunk from the maiden's hand, at first making
his pulse to beat quicker and his cheeks to glow, now
began to bur within him, till he seemed set on fire.
The air about was stifling, and the burning within
drove Chrif forth through the darkness. He stumbled
on he knew not whither, for it was black night before
and behind, and the moon had set. He must have
been driven forward thus for some time, when he be-
gan to see a glimmering of light in the east It was
the first touch of dawn, and now the day grew clearer
and he could see that he was walking over a wide
plain. Only one object could he make out in the
distance before him. It was a ruined building, stand-
ing alone, with a few trees, tall poplars, which had been
planted in two rows, and between which a path led.
Down this path he walked, while the poplars seemed
to present arms, and call for his pass.
"No doubt they guard some treasure," said Chrif,
and he thought with a sigh of the treasure which he
had failed to find. The door of the ruined building
stood ajar, and, after listening in vain for an answer to
his call, he pushed it open, and stood on the threshold.
It was dark within, but when his eyes grew used to
the darkness he could make out the figure of an old
man, sitting in a chair by a table. Chrif now spoke
again, but got no answer. "He has not yet waked,"
said he, and groped his way, with his hands stretched
out before him, to the table. It was covered with
great books and papers, and a lamp which had burned
out hung above it.
"Sir! wake up!" said Chrif, and he laid his hand
on his shoulder.
The old man fell forward on the table.
The Pot of Gold. 39
He has just died I" said Chrif, in horror, starting
back. He called aloud, but there was no one else in
the ruins but himself and the old man. He brought
him out into the air, and buried him beneath the plain.
This was a sacred duty; and then Chrif returned to the
ruins. He lighted the lamp that swung from above,
and looked around the room. The furniture was the
chair and table laden with books and papers. One
door opened upon the poplar path, another was oppo-
site, behind the chair. It was of stone, and upon the
top of it were written two lines, one in letters that he
could read, the other, beneath, in strange characters.
He read the upper, -
"Behind this door lies the Pot of Gold: who reads the
words written below shall learn the secret of the shut
But he could not read the lower line, and he turned to
the books upon the table.
This is the way at last," said he, slowly. "I must
get wisdom so that I can read the strange words."
His eyes fell on a paper which lay upon an open
book. It was written upon: these were the old man's
words, -"The secret is mine. I have discovered
the meaning of the characters"; but he had not dis-
40 Dream Children.
closed the meaning, and now Chrif had his work
to do from the beginning, for when he read other
things that the man had written, he could not under-
stand them: he must begin at the beginning. Chrif
trimmed the lamp, and sat down to his work. The sun
had risen without, but no window let its light into the
room where he worked. He sat at the table, with the
lamp swinging overhead, and studied the great books.
Little by little they gave him knowledge, and he pored
on, eager to read the mysterious writing. He forgot
what he had come for; he forgot where he had been.
The only good thing seemed to him to read the writ-
ing. The old man had read it, but had left no proof
thereof, and Chrif said to himself, He never read it;
but I will read it." All that was in the heavy books
he sought and pondered upon, until he could think of
It was noon, and Chrif, weary with his labor, walked
back and forth beneath the poplars to rest himself, but
he continued to think about what he had read. The
poplars gave little shade, but they shut in the path,
so that he could tell exactly where he was walking.
When he reached the end, he turned back, and then he
turned again. The tops of the two rows of trees were
The Pot of Gold 41
quite near each other, for though the trees hold them-
selves very erect, yet the highest branches must bend
some; they were like the crests on soldiers' helmets,
and the poplars shook their heads to each other,--
"We know what it all means," said they; "we are
keeping guard; but if it were permitted to speak aloud,
we could tell much."
Once, when Chrif had reached the end of the walk,
he heard wheels, and a wagon drove by, with a farm-
ing-man in it The wagon halted, and the farmer
said: "Good-day, sir, fine weather"; Chrif hardly
replied,--he only moved his head.
"The old man is dead, I suppose," continued the
farmer, "and you are in his place. Well, I will tell
you a story, -it is the same one I used to tell him,
but he would pay no attention to it"
The farmer began, while Chrif walked slowly to the
door, turning his back on the farmer.
"A husbandman, who had come to the end of his
life, wished his sons to make a trial of farming; and,
calling them to himself, he said: Children, I am now
finishing my life, but you, if you search, will find in
my vineyard what lies hidden there.' So they, thinking
that a treasure-pot must there be buried, went to work
and dug up the whole vineyard, after the death of
their father, and found, to be sure, no treasure-pot,
but then the vineyard had been so well dug that it
bore fruit most abundantly."
"That is foolish; it does not concern me," said
Chrif, entering the door, while the farmer drove away.
Again he sat at the table, and applied himself
to work with new ardor. The more intense his in-
terest, the nearer did he seem to come to the object
of his search,- the meaning of the mysterious let-
ters. It seemed almost as if the books themselves
helped him, and opened to the right places: the lamp
increased its flame; his mind grew dearer; the hidden
knowledge would soon be his.
The sun had not set when Chrif, trembling in every
limb, rose from his chair, and approached the stone
door. He had discovered the secret letters,--now
could he read them on the door 1 More brightly the
lamp burned,-the old ruins were full of light; the
air was still, so still that he heard the creaking of the
poplar-tops. A flood of light fell upon the mysterious
letters as Chrif looked upon them, while the line
above, which formerly he had read, now faded out of
sight. Chrif, slowly, and to himself,-as if the poplars
would hear and tell his secret, -read the words, -
The Pot of Gold 43
Knock, and this door will on."
Chrif raised his hand, weak with trembling, and
knocked once upon the stone door. It flew open, and
he stood on the entrance. One shining spot he saw
in the darkness within. It was the pot of gold.
Chrif raised a cry of joy, and was pressing forward to
seize it, when letters of fire burned upon its side, so
that he drew back amazed. They burned through the
darkness more brightly than the gold gleamed, and he
could not but read: -
"I am the Pot of Gold. think before thou seizst me: all
things can I give thee save one. If thou hast me, thou
canst not have that: close thine eyes; then if thou
chooses me, open them again."
Chrif, obeying, closed his eyes. Ah what were
those sights he saw I what those sounds he heard
He heard the winds howling; he saw the snow cover-
ing the ground; he saw the boat-garden under the
white shroud; the Red Inn deserted; a white form
that glided past him, weeping low. "Rhoda!" he
cried, and forgot the pot of gold with its flaming let-
ters, the stone door with its mysterious signs, the
heavy books, and the swinging lamp. He stretched
forth his hand to grasp the gliding figure; it fed from
him, and he followed in the darkness, for his eyes were
dosed. Yet pursuing thus, a light, shed back from
the flying form, shone through and illumined his eye;
the figure vanished, but the light grew stronger, and
led him on. On he went, down a mountain-side, into
the tender valley. All about him, as the light increased,
he saw the blessed fields and orchards; men sowing
seed, and cattle grazing; boys and girls playing in
the meadows. The broad light fell on all, and yet
he saw as in a dream, with his eyes still closed. All
was not there, he knew; something was wanting. He
stopped, he listened.
"Chrif, dear Chrifl"
The blessed light burst his eyelids apart, and, 0 joy I
there stood Rhoda beside him.
RHODA AND CHRIF.
" \X HERE have you been so long I" said Rhoda,
V' looking into his face. "I have been so
lonely." He looked at her, and she cast her eyes
The Pot of Gold. 45
"So long said he.
"I had come at last to look for you," said she,
timidly. "The winter was so dreary, and I said,
'When spring comes, I will seek him.'"
"Winterl spring said Chrif aloud, and with
"It seems as though it had been all winter," said
Rhoda. "When grandmother died, it was as though
all were gone; but now you have come again."
"Dead I" said Chrif.
"She died a year ago," said Rhoda.
"Rhoda, you are dreaming," said Chrif, "or else
I am. Winter -spring a year It was but yes-
terday that I left."
Rhoda looked at him, and smiled. They stood by
the water-side, and Chrif, meditating these things,
looked into its depths. There looked back two faces.
Yes they were Chrif and Rhoda still, but they were
no longer little children. Then Chrif remembered
all, and he walked by her side in silence.
They walked through the apple-orchard. The fra-
grance of the flowers filled the air, and the white
blossoms that were blown from the trees sprinkled
the grass, while some fell upon the two. They
talked of love, and Chrif thought nothing wanting,
as he spoke of the trees and the blossoms, of the
green grass and the balmy air; but Rhoda was silent
"Is there anything needed," said Chrif, "to com-
plete our joy "
They followed the path ; it passed through the
churchyard, and led to the porch. Hand in hand
they entered the church. Their lips were silent, for
there were words spoken and sung. The minis-
ter stood in the desk, while mourners were below
around the coffin of a child. The choir sang the
triumph of the Son of Man over death. The min-
ister spoke of salvation and the resurrection, and,
leaning over the desk, he looked upon the congre-
gation, saying, -
"Except ye become as little children, ye shall in
no wise enter into the kingdom of Heaven."
But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the
love of God perfected."
The mourners passed out to the grave, while Chrif
and Rhoda went through the church, and out into
the open air. Above them were the pines through
which the wind passed. Their fragrance was breathed
out, while the soft leaves lay upon the ground.
The Pot of Gold 47
Again they spoke of love, and Rhoda whispered
of what they had seen. "That alone is perfect,"
So they came now to the Red Inn. They entered
the yard. There was the old boat-garden. Sweet-
peas were in flower, and morning-glories climbed up
the side of the house. They entered, and looked
out of the one-eyed window, as they used. The
Genius of the Weather stood firm. He was taking
an observation, and he had positively affirmed that
the wind should be west, and west it was. They
rambled over the Inn, and.walked out upon the gal-
lery, where they looked off to sea. A thin voice
called out to them from the road below. Chrif
looked down. A pinched-up woman, with brooms
on her back, was creeping along.
"Well, have ye found the pot of gold I" she asked.
It was old Mother Bagg.
THE Two ROSES.
THE TWO ROSES.
N the garden of the Princess stood a
rose-bush, overhanging a pool of water;
there were two rose-buds upon one stem,
and ever since they had begun to un-
curl their leaves, and to look out, they
had fallen in love with each other. All the day they
looked into the water, and so looked at each other,
or rather at each other's reflection; but that was a
great deal, and as much as they could do, for it was
impossible for the rose-buds to turn their heads.
One day, they saw another rose-bud that hung be-
low them, but had no companion, plucked off the bush
by the gardener.
"That might happen to one of us," said the lover-
rose, in alarm; "I could not bear to part from you,
and surely the gardener would pluck you first, you are
"It cannot be," said the maiden-rose; "we are
both on one stem, and he never will separate us. We
shall always stay upon the bush, and I shall see your
face in the water."
"You know nothing at all about it," said a thorn
on the stem, sharply. Do you think you are always
to stay looking into the water in that silly fashion
No, indeed I if your heads are not cut off like our
neighbor's there just now, you will one day drop to
pieces, and fall into the dirty water, and there will be
an end of all your fine stuff."
"Do not let us believe him," said the maiden-
I shall not," said the other; "it never can be that
we should be so unhappy. But I wish I might get
nearer to you to touch you; then I should be per-
fectly happy; but now I can only look at you in the
The next day was a beautiful one, and in the early
morning the maiden-rose felt so warmed by the sun,
that she opened her leaves more and more, till she was
by far the loveliest rose-bud on the bush. And so her
lover thought as he looked into the water, but he could
not get nearer to her. It was still early morning when
The Two Rose. 53
the gardener came again to the bush; he came up
behind, and they did not see him, but soon the lover-
rose saw in the water the movement of a hand. Snip I
and instead of two roses looking up from the water, he
saw only himself; the gardener had cut off his com-
I told you so I" said the harsh voice of the thorn
that had spoken before. I knew she would be taken
next Now are you going to look into the puddle all
day I wish you joy."
There was a snail at the bottom of the bush, who
lived by himself in his own shell; nevertheless, he
was quite interested in the love affair of the two roses;
he had heard them whisper together, and, being much
older, and having no children of his own, he had
decided to call himself their uncle, and look after
their happiness; but it was unfortunate that the roses
had always been so occupied with looking at each
other in the water, that they had never seen their
uncle, and he had not yet ventured to interrupt
them by speaking; besides, he was too much inter-
ested in watching them. But now the snail felt it
his duty to speak, and he thought it a good time to
announce his relationship. So he spoke, coming part
way out of his house, that his voice might be heard
My dear young friend up there on the rose-bush,
you may not know it, but I am your uncle. That is
to say, I have adopted you for my nephew, and so did
I adopt your friend, whom you love. I am not your
uncle by blood exactly, though I knew your mother
very well. I am an old gentleman, and you will par-
don me, I am sure, but I am in great concern about
your young friend. Where did the gardener take her
to this morning, and how soon is lie coming for you,
for now I suppose you are to be married 1 Speak out !
you need n't be ashamed to talk about .such matters to
an old gentleman like me, and I am your uncle, too;
that is, I call myself so."
The rose listened to all this, but he could not see
the snail, his adopted uncle; but the snail spoke
kindly, and so he answered 0, my dear sir, my
good uncle, if you will let me call you so -" ("Yes,
yes!" broke in the delighted snail; certainly, cer-
tainly ")--" if I only knew but I never shall see her
"Why, bless me!" said the old gentleman, nearly
getting out of his house, in his astonishment; "you
The Two Roses.
don't mean to say you don't know where she's gone,
and that the gardener did n't tell you anything about
O, if he but had I" said the rose, mournfully.
The snail was astonished. "Bless me I" said he
again, nearly straining himself to get out of doors; I
never heard of such a thing I I thought it was all
right I must see the gardener instantly. I know
him very well, and I assure you I shall not rest till I
am satisfied. Keep a good heart, and all shall yet go
well. Trust your uncle; that is, I call myself so.
Good by !" and the snail started instantly to find the
gardener, or, failing him, to see the princess herself,
though he had said nothing about that to the rose, for
fear he should be thought too presumptuous. He was
obliged to carry his house with him, which was, how-
ever, rather convenient than otherwise, for he might
have to spend several nights on the road.
Now the gardener had carried off the maiden-rose
for the princess. She was that day to be married, and
she wished a rose-bud -the most beautiful one in the
garden-to wear upon her bosom. At the wedding
all the court was present, for so she had ordered, and
any one that chose might bring a gift. Almost every
one brought something,-something that was value.
able, and last of all came a poor poet. The usher
would have put him away, for he was meanly dressed,
but the princess held out her hand to him.
The poet blushed, but he put his hand in his bosom
and drew forth a little poem, exquisitely written on
cream-colored paper, but what was written was much
more beautiful I have nothing to give, lady," said
he, "but my own fancies. I have no other riches."
The princess looked at the poem, and at the last
pearl that had been given; then she took the rose-bud
from her bosom, and gave it to the poet, and said:
" You have given me something of yourself; when I
thank you, I too must give you something like your
gift. You are a poet, and have fancies, but I am only
a princess; you shall have something that I have
The poet went home to his little chamber, and he
carried the rose with him. "It will wither soon," said
he, "but I shall never forget how it smells, nor how
it looked when the princess gave it to me"; and he
pressed it that he might keep it from falling to pieces.
He made a little book on purpose to hold it, and
wrote the story of it below in poetry, saying that it
The Two Roses.
was the guerdon of his art, and drew a blue line
around the page. The rose longed to tell him her
story, but she could not, and beside she was growing
This all happened of course long before the snail
reached the princess, or even the gardener, for he
went to both. He was two days and two nights mak-
ing the journey, and he would not have reached the
end of it then, if he had not climbed up into a wheel-
barrow, which he knew the gardener would use soon.
So the gardener wheeled him, together with some
plants in pots, quite up to the door of the palace, only
the old gentleman came very near being wheeled back
again, he was so long in getting himself and house
down to the ground. But there he was, and in a few
hours he was at the door-step, though he felt somewhat
puzzled then to know just what course to take.
A girl came singing by the door. It was Bertha,
the gardener's daughter; and though she had no palace
to live in, or maids to wait upon her, she was quite as
beautiful as the princess, who, indeed, was very kind
to Bertha. The girl stopped in her song, for she saw
the snail, and she picked it up and put it in her
pocket, thinking it would be a good plaything for her
little brother. She walked through the garden, and
came to the rose-bush that hung over the water. She,
too, looked into the pool for a moment and blushed;
she was looking to see if the water stirred, for that was
a sign that her love would not run smoothly; but the
water did not stir, and she laughed, and, turning to the
bush, picked a rose. It was the lone rose that had
lost its companion. "Will Anton like it best in my
hair, or in my bosom I" said she to herself, and she
put it in her bosom and walked toward the wood.
I too am picked," said the rose to himself. Bet-
ter so. I did not care to live alone, and who knows
but perhaps I am to join her, as my uncle, as he called
himself, said T" The snail, in the bottom of Bertha's
pocket, heard this, but alas! though he spoke, and
spoke encouragingly, it was impossible to make him-
self heard. Upon the bush, the thorn, who had
spoken twice before, saw the rose picked.
"So you are plucked too, are you said he, jeer-
ingly. Good by to you remember me to your love
- when you see her I "
It was evening now, and quiet. Bertha came out
of the woods, and Anton was with her,-Anton, the
The Two Roses.
poet; but she did not have the rose; he held it in his
hand; the other hand held hers. They parted at the
gardener's house, and the poet walked home; he
passed the palace, and saw the princess within; she
was dancing, and the jewels sparkled upon her. He
smiled to himself. "She has her jewels," said he,
"but I have the rose."
Then in his little chamber he opened the book
which he had made to hold the rose which the prin-
cess gave him. "My Art's Guerdon," he read in the
lines below; and on the opposite page he pressed the
new rose, and wrote beneath, "Love's Grace," and
drew a red line around it.
As he stood looking at the two, something dropped
upon the table. It was the snail, the old gentleman
that called himself the uncle of these two. He had
crawled, with his house, out of Bertha's pocket, as she
sat with Anton under the trees, and had fastened on
to Anton's coat, for he wished to stay by the rose.
The poet did not now remove him, for he was fond of
snails. He stood there looking at the roses. The
maiden-rose had still some consciousness, but she was
very faint She knew her lover, and he knew her.
"We never shall part now!" said they to one an-
6o Dream Chilrern
other; and the snail saw it all, and was perfectly
"I knew it would all come right," cried he. "Take
my blessing, children, for I have a right to give it I
am your uncle; that is, I call myself so."
The poet shut the book.
Now, at last, I touch you," said the lover-rose.
I O HEN Mary had given her dolls their
supper, and sent them to bed, she went
up-stairs into the father's library, where
she kept her grocery-store. It stood in
a corner of the room, and any one
could see just what it was, for it was fitted out in
perfect order. In front was a counter, with scales,
and behind it were shelves and drawers and chests.
The drawers were for cloves and allspice, for tapioca
and starch and rice; tumblers stood on the shelves,
with sugar-plums ; cheese was on the counter, and
loaves of bread. Above was a clock, which said, as
plainly as it could say anything, "No tick in this
store." Now in front of the shop all day long stood
John, the grocer, and all night he stood behind the
window to keep thieves away. In his better days, he
carried a candle on one arm, but the candle was
so heavy that at last he could carry it no longer, and
his arm broke. So John had only one arm, but he
was an uncommonly good-looking grocer for all that,
with his green jacket and white apron, and so handy
that he did up parcels as well with one arm as with
Mary found John standing in front of his shop,
waiting for customers. She opened the drawers to
see if anything had been sold. The two almonds
were in the tumbler, where they had been for several
days; the cloves were in the clove-drawer, and the
raisins were in the tapioca-drawer, for the tapioca was
all out Everything was there, but it was no fault of
John's that nothing had been sold, for he had been all
day where he had been, rain or shine, for several
months. He stood where he was told to stand, and
so sometimes he stayed in front of the shop all night,
waiting for customers, but, of course, none came; and
when Mary came in the morning, there he would be,
with his green jacket and white apron, as bright as
ever, and yet he had not slept a wink. Even when he
broke his arm, he was not put in the hospital.
It must have been that Mary remembered all this,
for when she came up this evening, she suddenly said:
"There I John shall sleep to-night He must be
tired of standing, and I mean he shall have a nap. I
don't believe any thieves will come." She looked
about for a good place near by, for it would not do to
have him go too far from the grocery-store. If any-
body were suddenly to want some doves in the middle
of the night,- one of their rich customers, -John
must be on hand.
She walked round the library until she came to
some old and musty books that stood all of a height
on the shelf, and were dressed in one suit of dingy
leather, so that they looked like old soldiers, who had
retired from active service on half-pay; and so they
were, for Mary's father never used them now, but he
gave them a comfortable home on the shelf, because
they had once been useful. Mary lifted the green
baize that hung over the tops of the books to keep
the dust out, and, reaching in as far as she could, laid
"Now go to sleep," said she; "I'11 pull the bed-
curtains down," and she let the green baize fall.
I said that John was so faithful that he did pre-
cisely what he was told to do, without asking any
questions. Accordingly, he went to sleep immedi-
lately, although he knew perfectly well that Mary,
without knowing it, had placed him on the very out-
side of his new bed, so that he was in danger of falling
over in his sleep. And that is just what he did when
Mary went out of the room, shutting the door after
her. He fell from the top of the old soldier-books to
the shelf on which they stood.
It was rather trying not to wake up, but John was
firm. He had been told to sleep, and he said aloud:
"I am quite sure I fell, and a good way too, but
that's not my business. I've been told to sleep, -
sleep's the word then." After a pause, he went on:
"' I really should like to know whether my arm is
broken; it feels as the other did when the candle
grew too heavy, but that will be attended to in its
proper time; just now it's my business to sleep." So
he kept on sleeping, as he was bidden.
The old soldier-books now spoke out, for they were
facing the wall like all the rest; they spoke all to-
gether, when they spoke at all.
What are you doing down there, little scamp 1"
"I am sleeping," said John; and I am no scamp,
but an honest grocer."
"What did you get on our heads then for I We
7ohn's Nap. 67
tumbled you off. Did you break your arm We
hope so I"
"I don't know," said John. "I can't attend to
more than one thing at a time. I 'm sleeping now,
and it's very hard work."
"What a fool I" said the old soldier-books to
themselves, and they would pay no further attention
to John, but reflected upon their insides, which were
very curious. John slept on faithfully, though he
heard some strange noises about him, for John's fall
had brought all the neighborhood together, and there
was quite a crowd around him. The arm was indeed
broken off, and lay at a little distance from him.
Four solemn beetles were examining it They all
shook their heads slowly, though they said nothing,
but presently they walked off together.
What's that for I" asked a bookworm of a friend,
for there were a great many bookworms present, who
had all come out of the books near by without any
"They're coming back again," he replied, for he
did n't know either; and then they joined the crowd
that had gathered round John.
Just then a shiner slipped through the mob. He
had come from the other end of the library, but
that was nothing to him. "What's the matter with
you 1" said he, wriggling up to John till he stood on
his green jacket.
I'm sleeping," said John.
"0, you are, are you 1" said the shiner, and he
slipped off, for he never can stay still.
"The beetles are coming back, as I told you,"
said the second bookworm, who had guessed at it.
They brought eight others with them, so that there
were twelve in all, and they surrounded the arm.
The crowd now left John, and stood about the arm
and the beetles.
"I wonder what's going on," said he. "This
sleeping is extremely hard."
What's going on 1" asked the first bookworm.
"They're going to take the arm to the hospital,"
said the second bookworm, positively, for he began to
think he knew everything.
"We 're going to bury the arm," said one of the
Bury the arm I" said John, and he began to have
bad dreams in his sleep.
The shiner, who had been all round the library since
Yohn's Nap. 69
he was there last, slipped along, and over John's face.
"They're going to bury your arm," said he, and
was off again.
The twelve beetles went off with the arm, and all
the bookworms went also to see it done, so that John
was left sleeping alone. It was now twelve o'clock,
and although the old soldier-books were in front of
him, he could hear what was going on outside. There
was somebody at the grocery-store.
Dear me I" said John; "I suppose somebody
wants some cloves, and how am I to get out and
besides I was told to sleep. But perhaps it is the
It was two mice who were out late at night, and,
seeing no light in the shop, and thinking John must
have gone to sleep, had stopped to help themselves.
"Cloves John heard one mouse say.
"Almonds!" said the other, and they were soon
busily at work.
"Where's John i" whispered one.
"Here I am," said John, as loud as he could;
"I'm asleep. 0 you rascals "
"Then, if you're asleep, we won't wake you," said
they. "Pray don't disturb yourself." And they went
on to the raisins.
Presently they left, and it was again quiet. "I
wonder if they buried my arm," at last said John,
for he continued to talk in his sleep. He heard the
noise of a crowd coming that way. It was the beetles
and the bookworms returning. The twelve beetles all
stood round John, and shook their heads solemnly.
The bookworms pushed nearer; but the beetles walked
"What now I" said the first bookworm to the
"They give it up," said he, for he was afraid of
guessing wrong, if he said what he did before. But
they did not give it up, for they came back again, and
fifty more came with them.
"What are they going to do asked the first
bookworm of a by-stander, for he had lost faith in his
"You will see presently," said he, in a knowing
Are they going to take me to the hospital asked
John. "I 'm well enough here."
"They're going to bury you," said the shiner, who
had just come round again.
"That's it! that's it! said the by-stander, and
every one thought he was in the secret
7okn's Nap. 71
"Shall I wake up I" said John to himself "No I"
said he, doggedly; "I was told to sleep, and I won't
The two and sixty beetles now stood round John,
and held a counciL Could he be moved I They had
brought together all who were in the library, old and
"Let us try," said one.
Now, then, all at once," said the head beetle, but
John did not stir. The youngest beetle thought he
felt him move, but no one else thought so.
"We must make a grave where he is," said one; but
that was no easy matter.
"We will go home and think about it," said the
head beetle, finally, and they marched off. The
bookworms, too, scattered to their various books, for
there seemed to be nothing further to see, and John
was left entirely alone.
The next morning, after Mary had dressed her dolls,
and given them breakfast, and sent them to school,
she came up-stairs to the library to attend to her
"I hope there have been no thieves here while
John was taking his nap," said she. John heard this,
and called out to tell her what had happened, but
that she found out for herself. The almonds gone, the
rice strewed about, and the cloves and raisins sadly
"The mice came while John slept I" said she.
"That was too bad I Well, I hope he has had a good
nap," and she went to bring him to his post. John
was delighted, for he was rather tired of sleeping; it
made his head ache, so much was all the while hap-
pening. When he was awake, everything went on
But when Mary went to get John, she was somewhat
puzzled to find him. There were a great many books
in the library, and she had been round it two or three
times before she had found a place to her liking.
Now she went round and round again; she passed
by the old soldier-books, and John, who heard her
come, tried in vain to make her hear him.
"Tell her!" he cried to the old soldier-books.
"Why don't you tell her 1" but they had their backs
to her, and beside they would have nothing to do with
John, they despised him. She even lifted the green
baize bed-curtain there, as in other places, but of
course she did not see John, and how could she know
7ohn's Nap. 73
that he had fallen out of bed She sat down on a
chair, and looked all round.
"Where can John be I" said she.
"Here, here I he shouted ; here I am, fast
asleep, as you told me." But she did not hear him,
and the old soldier-books got excessively angry.
That evening her father helped her hunt; he even
took down the books next to the old soldier-books,
but he did not stir those.
"I am afraid we shall have to give it up, Mary,"
said he; and she said, 0 dear !" but that could not
bring John back.
Alas, poor John so young, and with so many gro-
ceries to sell, to be shut up with beetles and book-
worms and shiners, with disagreeable old soldier-books
standing guard over him. Days passed, and they had
all given up looking for him.
"Well," said John, "there is nothing to do but to
sleep," and sleep he did, without troubling himself
any further about his neighbors. The bookworms
looked at him occasionally, and the shiner generally
passed that way, but the beetles never came, they were
so hard at work thinking about him.
The year passed, twenty years passed. The
library looked much as ever, though the old soldier-
74 Dream Children.
books were rather more shabbily dressed. But the
father was an old man, and Mary was married. O
that was quite an old story. The two were together in
the library, but the grocery-store was no longer there;
the business was neglected after John disappeared,
and the whole had been moved to the garret. Mary
and her father were talking about what had'happened
many hundred years ago.
I can tell you where we shall find something about
it," said he, and he went to the shelves and took down
the old soldier-books. A shiner slipped out, and ran
back of the books.
"I believe I have not touched these books for
thirty years," said he, wiping off the dust. When the
books had been taken out, Mary saw something. She
drew it out; it was an old dust-covered wooden doll.
It was John, but he was still asleep.
O, I remember !" said she. "When I was a little
girl, I put this doll away among the books so carefully
that I never could find it again. It was my giocery-
man. Don't you remember, father "
He smiled; no, he had forgotten it
But John had slept so long that he did not know
her. "Don't disturb me," said he ; "I was told
THE OLD HOUSE IN THE
THE OLD HOUSE IN THE
N old, forsaken house, fast falling
into decay, stood at the end of a
field of wheat An irregular path
led through the field up to the door
of the house, but no one entered the
doorway, though it was open; the path ended there,
because the field ended also, and there was a lane
running past It was an August afternoon, and the
locusts kept up their z-ing sound all over the field.
The wheat had grown so tall and so ripe that it would
soon be reaped and sheaved. Therefore, this after-
noon, it was rejoicing in the warm sunshine, and nod-
ding its crests to every puff of wind. Months before,
when the stalks had just appeared above the earth, a
pair of ground-birds had built their nest in the field;
there had the mother-bird sat, and the father watched
and guarded; the wheat grew about their home, and
kept it out of sight, so that, although the working-
men, who every day crossed the field, had worn a path
which led but a short distance from the nest, it was
never discovered, and never disturbed. Now, it was
even more completely hidden; but the parent birds,
and the one little bird that alone remained to them,
had long ago left their home. The wheat grew while
the birds flew off, until it was a perfect forest almost
as far as one could see; and if the old occupants of
the nest were to come back to their deserted home,
they would find themselves wandering about in an
almost impenetrable wood, whose tops far above them
waved and rustled to the wind.
So high, indeed, had the trees of the wheat-forest
grown, that two children, who walked along the soli-
tary path, were wholly hidden from sight. There was
not room to walk abreast, therefore the little boy
walked in front, and the little girl behind. But where
the path made a slight bend, some one had cut down
a few stalks of the wheat, and they lay upon the
ground at one side. It was an opening just large
enough for the two, and here they stopped, and sat
upon the felled wheat, with their baskets beside them.
The Old House in the W eat-Forest. 79
They had come out to play, and had been gathering
flowers and mosses.
"This is a clearing in the forest," said the little
boy, who was called Jonas; "and here will we have
"Well!" said the little girl, and her name was
Lucy; "where shall we build the house 1"
"Here," said he, "in this corer. But we must
first have a log-house, for there is no saw-mill."
They took the wheat-trees that had been felled, and
broke them into pieces, and with these they made a
rude wigwam, which would have to answer until they
should get more settled.
"Now let us have a garden," said Lucy. "We
will have a kitchen-garden and a flower-garden; we
will make the flower-garden first, so that it may be
pretty in front of the house."
Then they emptied their baskets of flowers and
moss. With the moss they made borders for the
flower-beds, and a path to the house. They set the
flowers out, sticking the stems in the earth, the flowers
holding up their heads, and looking as brave and fresh
as if they had always grown there.
"Now we must have a wheat-field," said Jonas,
"for we cannot make bread of flowers."
So they planted a patch with the crests of the wheat.
plants, but they did not stand very straight
"See, I will make some butter I" said Lucy; and
she pulled her buttercups off their stems, and made a
"We will have cows," said she; "and oxen," said
he; "and lambs," said she, "and hens."
Now we must build a barn," said Jonas; and they
broke off more of the wheat-stalks.
The children were too busy with their play to hear
what was going on not far off. Nevertheless, there
was a something going on. The two ground-birds,
who once lived in the field before the wheat-forest had
grown up, had come back to visit the old homestead,
and their young one was with them. They flew over
the tops of the wheat for some time before they could
discover their home, it was so completely hidden, and
the place was changed so much; but at last they found
it, and they alighted, and hopped in and out of the old
"How the place has changed !" said the mother.
"I should scarcely know it, but the nest is the same,
only somewhat the worse for wear."
I knew it as soon as I saw the black stone," said
The Old House in the Wheat-Forest. 81
the father. "Many a time have I perched on that
stone while the mother sat in the nest Yes, and here
is' the very spot where I found that shining beetle.
Do you remember, mother, I brought it to you just
after the egg was hatched I"
Yes," said she, and she nodded to the young one;
"you may well believe those were long days before
you broke the shell. It was in this very nest that you
"The forest was not half so high when I remember,"
said the young one. I recollect the first day that I
flew over the top."
"And yet," said the father, "though you would
hardly believe it, there was not a tree in the forest
when we built the house. But that only shows how
old your mother and I are grown. We have come to
point out the house where you were born. It is yours.
We may not be here next spring. There is no saying;
but you will come at any rate. A very little pains
will put everything in order. I flatter myself that the
house is not so badly built; and it is a good place for
worms and bugs."
The forest will be so high then that I shall not be
able to get at the house at all," said the young one.
" But it is rather a good place, if one only had neigh-
I know something," said the father. "I am older
than you ; the forest will soon be cut down, and it
will be here as when we first came last spring. You
can easily find the place by the black rock."
It was while the family of ground-birds was thus
chattering, and while Jonas and Lucy were building
houses in the clearing, that others came into the
wheat-forest, and walked along the path. It was an
old couple, who were also revisiting former scenes,
but they were alone. The old gentleman was white-
haired, and carried a gold-headed cane, which he
swung just as regularly as if it were one of his legs.
His wife followed behind, and held up her dress
This was once all a forest, do you not remember,
wife 1" said he. I was a boy when it was cleared,
and I remember very well going with my grandfather
to help stake the wood. We lived, you know, then in
the old log-house."
"I never saw that," said she.
"No it was pulled down before you came here to
live. But you have not forgotten the flower-garden,
which remained long afterward."
The Old House in the Wheat-Forest. 83
It was full of hollyhocks," said she.
Yes; grandmother thought they kept off the fever.
But halloa I what is this I" and he stopped.
Grandfather," said little Jonas, is that you 1
Don't step on our flower-garden. See! there is our
house, and there are the barns, and this is the wheat-
"Well done I" said he; "and who is that little
"It is Lucy," said he, while she stood there blush-
ing; she lives in the red farm-house."
"It is Lucy Marron," said the old lady.
"Lucy Marron !" said the old gentleman ; "why
that is my old playmate, Sim Marron's granddaugh-
ter," and he gave her a kiss; "many a time we 've
reaped wheat together."
"Where are you going, grandpa 1" asked Jonas.
0, we're going to the old house. Don't you want
to come too "
So the children took their baskets, with what flowers
were left, and followed. They walked in a line along
the path, the grandfather, with his gold-headed cane,
in front, and Jonas last At length they emerged from
the wheat, and entered the old house, which was,
indeed, sadly dilapidated.
84 Dream Children.
"Dear, dear I" said the old gentleman, and shook
his head. "It will not last much longer. And yet,
fifty years ago this very day, you and I stood in this
room. Do you remember, Sarah 1" and he looked at
her with a smile.
"Well enough," said she; "as if it were yesterday.
There stood the minister, and there, too, stood that
tall Sim Marron, who nodded to all the questions."
"And it was in this room," said he, as they moved
along, that I first saw you. You were dressed in a
plaid gingham, and wore one of those gigantic calashes
that were in fashion then."
I must have looked like a fright," said she.
"I did n't think so," said he, smiling. "But I
remember how awkwardly I stood in the doorway, for
I had not expected to see you. You had just come.
I must have nearly scraped the soles of my shoes off,
so anxious did I appear to get them clean after I
caught sight of you."
The old couple had said these and many other like
things often before; but to-day, and in the old house,
they had every right to say them over again, and so
they rambled through the rooms, and talked of old
times, when the house was gay and they were young.
The Old House in te Wheat-Forest. 85
Jonas and Lucy, too, played about the rooms, and
found many long-disused pieces of household-ware.
They were playing at getting dinner ready in the old
kitchen, when they were called by the grandmother to
leave with them, for it was sundown. They all left
the solitary house, but they did not pass through the
wheat-forest. They took the lane, and there they
could walk abreast As before, the old couple went
in front, the grandfather swinging his cane regularly,
and the grandmother holding up her skirts, while
behind came the children, hand in hand, and carrying
their baskets. They passed down the lane as the
shadows deepened, and the still air seemed to fold as
a garment over the woods and fields. The old house
was left behind, and soon they were out of sight.
In the wheat-forest, too, it was deserted. The
ground-birds, old and young, had flown away, and the
little nest lay hidden as before among the wheat-stalks.
In the clearing stood the house of wheat-logs yet, and
the barns, and the drooping wheat. But the flowers
that stood before so bravely, and held their heads so
loftily, now hung down, shrivelled, so that the clearing
seemed deserted and forlorn. The wheat-forest itself
moved gently in the light wind, and bent its crests
toward the old house, as if nodding it familiarly a
good-night And the old house, just now so merry
with the tread and voices of the children and the
grandparents, stood silent: the soft air passed through
it, and upon the doorstep of well-worn stone a cricket
chirped, and was answered by others near by.
Many thoughts, doubtless, came to it, called into
being by the visit of its old inmates. It was older
than they, but no one observed its birthday, and yet
this was its birthday. Yes, to-day the old house was a
hundred years old; but those who had feasted there
when the doors were thrown open to the warming, as
it was called, had long since passed away, and even
their sons were now old men. But for all that, al-
though the birthday of the old house was not remem-
bered even by those who had just visited it, yet in
its heart of oak it was full of kindly feeling. It looked
out upon the wheat-forest
Yes I the wheat nods to me ; once the forest-
trees bent over me, but I was young then, and they
were old. Now it is I that am old, and the wheat is
young. Nothing can remain young but our hearts.
There love is, and love is everlasting. Yes the
couple that were married here in the parlor, just fifty
The Old House in the Wheat-Forest. 87
years ago, are old now, but their love has left their
hearts young. And the children who were with them,
and who went away hand in hand, for out of my
garret-window I saw them, they are young and will
grow old, but love will never grow old; love will
never die. The wheat will be cut down, as the forest
before it. New seed will be sown. The birds that
were here last spring have gone away, but there will
be new ones next spring. And I shall one day fall
down, and no doubt a new house will be built here,
and there will be weddings in that. Ah it is eter-
nally beautiful, for love is eternal."
Then the moon rose, and entered without hinderance
the old house. It filled it with light. In the village,
the people slept. The old couple slept, and dreamed
of their wedding-night fifty years ago. Lucy and
Jonas also each were asleep and dreaming of one
another. The moon visited them all. But the old
house was better off. It was not asleep, and it
seemed to it as if all that had gone before was less
beautiful than this night, for it remembered the years
gone, and it had its present joy.
It could not be more perfect," said the old house,
and the wheat-forest nodded familiarly.
New Year's Eve.
WIDOW DOROTHY'S NEW
THE OLD LADY AT HOME.
HE Widow Dorothy and her house
were made just about the same time,
and for nearly eighty years had stood
all sorts of weather. The house had
grown to her like a shell, and it was
a shell crusted with barnacles inside and out, one
might say. There had she been born, just as it was
finished by her father; there the father and mother
had died; from it had moved away her brothers and
sisters, who went off to the ends of the earth, and
were all'dead now; there she had been married, and
there had she lived ever since, seeing, one by one,
husband and children leave the threshold, some going
to their long home, some, like their uncles and aunts,
going to the ends of the earth. The memories of
these were as barnacles clinging to the old shell of a
house, and in it lived old Widow Dorothy, with one
little servant-maid, Charity by name, and charity by
education, for she had been brought up in the poor-
house, till the happy day when the widow took her
home to live with her.
To have torn down the old house would have been
to tug at the old lady's heart-strings, which were fas-
tened to every beam and rafter of the building, and
yet, every day, people who passed by shook their
heads, and wondered what the old lady was thinking
of, that she did not sell the house and land, and grow
suddenly rich, and even put up a brown stone house
like her neighbors, five stories high, with velvet carpets
on every floor, and all the modem improvements;
instead of which, she must live in a shabby old
wooden house, in the handsomest street in the city,
with a front-yard full of hollyhocks, and a back-yard
where the neighbors could see the white-headed Char-
ity jumping up and down to jerk water out of a
stubborn pump, as tall as a small monument.
For all that people talked so, and indeed worried
her with such offers to buy, that the old lady put up a
Widow Doroty's New Year's Eve. 93
placard on the gate, Not for sale; inquire without,"
Widow Dorothy lived on contentedly, her only dis-
comfort being that some day, when she should be
carried out of the gate to return no more, the dear
old house would be torn down, the wave of city
magnificence washing away the barnacle-covered shell.
However, this was only what she thought of once in a
while; she was too sensible to hook in troubles from
next year, as she said, when she had plenty lying
about handy, if she only wanted to use them. And,
besides, she lived in hope that one day her young-
est boy, George, who had left her years ago, would
come back and live in the old, house when she gave
"When I do come back, mother," he had said,
laughing as he stood on the doorstep taking leave,
it shall be on New Year's Eve, in time to sing the
old year out and the new year in with you" ; for that
had been the custom from time immemorial in the
family, and to this day the widow observed the last
night of the year with the greatest ceremony possible,
and started off in company with the New Year in so
lively a fashion, that Charity, in her small mind, firmly
believed that upon New Year's Eve, which came, she
knew, but once a year, people were turned, like an
old carpet, and used on the other side.
Now the eve had once more come round, and it
was once more in the wooden house, just as it was
of course everywhere else. But it was more cheerful
there than in many places; more cheerful, certainly,
than outside, where the sleet was driving, as if wrap-
ping up the old year to get him off at twelve o'clock,
before the new year should come in; more cheerful
than in many other wooden houses in the city, which
had no stone houses, except warehouses, for neighbors;
and indeed, more cheerful was it in the widow's
wooden house, I make no doubt, than in some of
the great brown-stone buildings that looked down on
her little shelL The outside was white with rime,
and the grotesque heads that grinned from their
places atop the water-spout, had each an icicle beard
and frosty hair, but then all this only made the house
within more exceedingly bright and inviting. Inviting
it surely was in the warm room where the widow and
Charity were in readiness, but where was the com-
pany I The fire burned on the hearth, candles stood
along the room at regular intervals, blinking at each
other, the chairs were placed about in an amiable way,
Widow Dorothy's New Year's Eve. 95
a arranged that when people sat down they might
instantly begin talking, for every chair had its neigh-
or; the grim chest of drawers, with its brass paws,
paned against the wall, and looked on, and so did the
teat presses, with their frowning mouldings; while in
le very middle of the room, as if it had walked out to
t a better view, stood the tall, solemn clock. But
here was the company, for it certainly was a com-
ny night I Perhaps the widow and Charity were
waiting for them. The clock was just upon the stroke
( eight, and they were sitting quietly, knitting blue
rI socks. The old lady was in her great chair,
dressed in her stiffest black-silk dress, with her whitest
ap, starched till you could hardly bend it upon her
ead, spectacles on nose, and her fingers making the
eel pins fly toward the toe of her unfinished sock;
while in a straw chair, so high that her toes only just
uched the floor, and so straight-backed that one
uld know it was an obstinate set of men who made
used such chairs, in this sat Charity, dressed in a
n gown, with a waist just under her arms, her
ite hair tied in a good hard knot, and her fingers
ing with the widow's. ,ut though she looked as
glued to the back of her chair, she could not help at