The Baldwui Library
4$-3 462 PG
FiOIy I s U~E
<1b Iag ecnbss.
BY MRS. T. K. HERVEY.
WITH COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS.
CASSELL BETTER :& GALPIN':
LONDON, PARIS & NEW YORK.
STORIES OF THE SUN'S PATH:- PAGE
1. The Water-Bearer; or, the Druid's Mound
(Aquarius-January) ... ... ...... 5
2. The Fishes; or, the Mocking-Bird (Pisces-
February) ... ... ... ... ... ... 12
3. The Ram; or, the Noble Deed (Aries-M-arch) ... 21
4. The Bull; or, King Wisp (Taurus-April) ... 27
5. The Twins; or, Mother Earth (Gemini-May) ... 34
6. The Crab; or, the Ocean Fays (Cancer-June) ... 39
7. The Lion; or, the Lake of the Gazelles (Leo-
July) ... ... .. ...... .. ... 46
8. The Virgin; or, Angel Help (Virg.o-August) ... 53
9. The Balance; or, the Magic Mirror (Libra-
September) ... ... ... ... .. .. 60
10. The Scorpion; or, the Reproving Conscience
(Scorpio-October) ... ... ... ... ... 67
11. The Archer; or, the Land of Truth (Sagittarius
-November) ... ... ... ...... ... 74
12. The Goat; or, the Grateful Arab-(Capricornus
-December) ... ... ... ... ... ... 80
FgITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS ... ... ... 87
KATEY, AND HER FRIEND CLIFFELDA ... ... ... 102
ATHEL, AND THE VALLEY OF THE LOADSTONES ... 111
IGNOTUS; OR, THE MAN WHOM NOBODY KNEW, AND
WHO DID NOT KNOW HIMSELF ... ... ... 133
A WORD ABOUT WITCHES ... ... ... ... 148
THE DRINKERS OF MOONSHINE ... ... ... ... 149
THE HEAV CAT ... ... ...... ... ... ... 151
THE TRAVELLER'S FEAST ... ... ... ... ... 155
THE Two GROOMS ... ... ... ... ... ... 156
NEW STORIES AND OLD LEGENDS.
STORIES OF THE SUN'S PATH.
THE WATER-BEARER; OR, THE DRUID'S MOUND.
Down to the vale this water steers,
How merrily it goes !
'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
And flow as now it flows."
FAR away among the Yorkshire wolds, at
that period of the year when the winter begins
to steal away from us, a very curious and
beautiful sight may be witnessed, which can
best be described as the rising of the springs.
Over the wide downs-not bursting forth
in one full stream, but oozing and trickling
among the grass-numerous small streams
are seen to gush out of the earth. Some-
times, after running for a few miles, these
little streamlets will again disappear. At
6 THE WATER-BEARER;
other times, the separate rivulets collect
together and pass off through a narrow
channel formed in the bed of a fertile valley.
Thence they reach the sea, and the beautiful
springs are finally lost in the boundless ocean.
The following is the legend of the springs.
At no great distance from one of these
wolds or downs there stands a little hillock
of green earth, called the Mound of
The spot is so named because it is supposed
to be one of those green hills to which the
ancient Druids used to retire for the purpose
of administering justice, composing differ-
ences between contending parties, and estab-
One day, in the middle of January, an
aged and weary traveller paced slowly across
the wide and lonely wold, in the direction of
this green hillock.
The stranger's hair was very white-white
as the rime that stood upon the smooth
bare stems of the golden broom which waved
in the breeze as he passed them by, and
OR, THE DRUID'S MOUND. 7
seemed to bow before him on his way. His
beard was whiter still-if whiter could be;
and his very lips were blanched and colour-
less. He bore no sceptre, but only a staff of
the grey willow; yet his carriage was noble
The diadem he wore was beautiful to see.
From the circlet that girt his temples round,
numberless sharp icicles rose upwards, like
so many glassy fingers pointing skyward to
the sun. On every point was set a frost-bead
round and clear, and every bead reflected the
various colours wrought by the rising sun,
and shone beautiful as an opal.
Some called him Aquarius, and some the
Snow King. Others named him the Father
of the Springs.
As the Snow King drew near to the hillock
of green mould, the most delicious strains of
fairy-like music sounded everywhere around
The royal pilgrim stayed his steps, and
resting for a few brief moments, supported
by his staff, listened to the sounds.
8 THE WATER-BEARER;
It was strange that the Snow King only
listened to the music. He seemed not at all
surprised at the wonderful melodies that
floated around the Druid's throne-the Green
Hill of Peace. He never once looked up at
the gigantic harp in the air.
Yet there it stood-or rather hung-a mar-
vellous instrument with innumerable strings!
You could not see where any one of them
began, or where it ended. You might shape
the harp to your own fancy. Nothing was
visible but a mass of golden wires, stretching
upward to the sky !
This magic harp was not played by hands-
not even by fairy hands. Crowds of beautiful
but invisible Spirits swept it with their wings.
The most strange thing was, that the
magic sounds never died away. Your own
distance from that Green Hill only made a
difference in the sounds. The further you
retreated from it, the harsher grew the tones:
the closer you drew to that Mound of Peace,
the sweeter and more soothing the melody
OR, THE DRUID'S MOUND. 9
The pilgrim King drew near to the place
of his rest. For it was here, at the Green
Hill's base, that he came to lay him down.
As the Father of the Springs thus reposed
in the light of the morning, the sun rose
higher and higher in the heavens. And soon,
mingled with the magic tones of the harp in
the air, might be heard, gurgling and gush-
ing among the new grass, sundry small
streams, rising no one could tell how or from
whence; all circling the spot where Old
Aquarius reposed, and mingling and inter-
lacing each other with their pure arms, like
loving children that clasp the parent's neck!
When they had all encircled the King
where he lay-brighter every one of them in
its beauty than the crown he wore-the
small streams ran again beneath the Mound,
and fed the grass-roots about him to make
them greener where he lay.
And now all was still around the Druid's
Mound. The last of the rivulets had disap-
peared. The sun had sunk beneath the hori-
zon. Where was the Snow King ?
10 THE WATER-BEARER ;
Old Aquarius was nowhere to be seen.
But away among the Northern wolds went
a murmur of sweet waters.
Little sister, little sister," said a bubbling
Fount, gushing up and trickling along amidst
the green grass; little sister, whither away
"My journey is long, but the way is
pleasant," answered a little Spring, which
had trickled on before the rest; I go to
seek the depths of Ocean. I am away to
the Pearl Islands, deep down where rocks
are .green with the tangled seaweed, and
shells lie rolled to and fro by the waves.
There Ocean spirits shall mould me into
"And you?-and you?-and you?"
asked of each other several voices at once;
"whither do you go ?-whither do you go?"
"I, to the white Coral reefs built up by
little creatures of the deep," said one. There
I shall shine, pure and bright, among the
great salt waves, and light them to theirwork."
".I, to the shoals of the silver-scaled
OR, THE DRUID'S MOUND. 11
fishes," said another rapid streamlet, bound-
ing on ahead even of her sister Pearl-drop.
" I will help them to gird on their shining
armour, that the weapon of the sword-fish
may not pierce them through."
Then the happy and buoyant Springs,
finding that they were all bound towards the
same great sea, gathered themselves together,
and, forming one full stream, rushed down
into the valley.
Upwards from the borders of the valley
some jutting rocks rose, one above another,
to a great height.
Planted upon the topmost rock sat an old
man, who nodded and smiled down on the
little ravine below. From an urn which he
carried, rolled down a torrent of foamy spray,
that tumbled and dashed from rock to rock,
till it reached the river-bed where the sister-
springs were flowing.
As the waters from above and the waters
below met and mingled, small noisy bubbles,
like the laughter of children, sported about
on the surface of the water.
12 THE FISHES
Again the Old Man smiled and nodded.
Seated high upon the rock you might have
seen him-nay, you may see him ever, in'
the bright January sky, just as he sat that
night, right up against the heavens, the good
and happy Father of the Streams !
There he remained seated, as on a throne;
and the stars shone round him on every side.
And still he smiled and nodded his white
head. And again the purling waters rippled
and splashed, meeting and sparkling, wreath-
ing, foaming, bubbling, and dancing, as the
sister-spray dashed down the rocks. It was
Old Aquarius and his children at play!
THE FISHES; OR, THE MOOKING-BIRD.
"Sweep the snow from before your own door, before
you trouble yourself about the frost upon your neighbour's
THERE are few young people who have not
seen a conservatory for plants, or, as it is more
commonly called, a greenhouse, or hothouse.
To those who have not, it is enough to say
OR, THE MOCKING-BIRD. 18
that a conservatory is a building a large
portion of which is composed of glass. It is
generally heated by artificial means-that is
by stoves, which serve to keep up an equal
temperature. This kind of hothouse is some
times very roomy, and adapted to contain
many other things besides plants.
The building, the contents of which I am
about to describe, is one of these last-named.
Ranged along the walls on every side,
upon wooden benches, tier above tier, bloomed
the most delicious plants that could be
imagined; while uncaged birds-some of
them birds of passage, which were well con-
tent with their warm quarters-sported about
in happy freedom, now this way, and now
that, enjoying the genial atmosphere.
From the centre of the floor rose up a
beautiful little structure, which was not
entirely either a basin for gold-fish, or a
flower-vase, or a fountain; it was all those
three in one !
The structure was a perfect pyramid of
delicate devices. It was composed of the
14 THE FISHES;
purest white marble, and consisted of three
basins, or receptacles, raised one above
another by means of light pillars or shafts
which served to connect them all together.
The lower basin-that nearest to the ground
-was the largest of the three. This was
filled with pure water, in which swam
numerous gold and silver fishes, whose shin-
ing scales glanced brightly through the limpid
pool as they glided round and round, or rose
up to the surface for a moment to open their
mouths, and drink down a hurried gulp of
The basin next in height, and immediately
above that which held the fishes, was of the
same form, only a little smaller. It was filled
with flowers-geraniums, verbenas, and that
delightful plant the heliotrope, called by
children, from its peculiar and delicious
The third, or highest basin of all, which
was also the smallest of the three, was a
This fountain was so arranged that the
OR, THE MOCKING-BIRD. 15
water it sent forth should not fall upon the
flowers in the vase immediately beneath, but
only just sprinkled the blossoms-enough to
refresh them, but not to keep them too moist.
In order to ensure this, small spouts or jets
of water were made to issue from the extreme
edge of the fountain-vase. By this means little
streams were thrown out to some distance,
falling down into the lowest and largest
basin of all, that which held the fishes.
Now, of these fishes, scarce any two were
ever of one mind. One was an extremely
grave fish-a very odd fish indeed. He
called himself" Goldfin." Nothing displeased
him more than to see the gambols of his
frisky young friend, Silverscales, who, never
content to take the same monotonous swim
round and round the basin, like our sober-
minded Goldfin, was continually jerking here
and there, from one side to the other, as if
some mischievous little water-midge had
bitten him! Then, again, there was the
thirsty old fellow Scaleyback, who was for
ever thrusting his nose above water. If you
16 THE FISHES;
had seen the number of g-lps of air he took
during a single day, you would have thought
he must have swelled himself out like a
But the two which caused by their freaks
the greatest annoyance to our grave friend
Goldfin, were very young fishes indeed, the
youngest inhabitants of the basin.
The names of these two were Springtail
and Fluttergills. They both entirely agreed
together on one point, that there was nothing
like a good frolic. They were, besides, the
most ambitious little fishes that ever lived
under a fountain. They were always laying
their heads together, and framing some new
feat or other which should discompose the
gravity of poor Goldfin.
Their favourite pastime was that of imitat-
ing, or rather trying to imitate, the action
of the flying fish. The absurd attempt they
made to leap out of the water was the most
laughable thing possible. They never could
do it. They never succeeded in getting
more than a nose above the surface. They
OR, THE MOCKING-BIRD. 17'
only jerked, and twisted, and floundered
about-tumbling back again, flapping with
their fins and switching with their tails,
and altogether making a commotion in the
water that would be quite unbearable even
on dry land.
This state of things was, on one occasion,
observed by an impertinent young Sedge-
warbler who had perched himself upon the
very brim of the centre basin, or vase. There
she stood, pluming her wings, enjoying the
scents of the flowers, and peering down with
her own bright eyes at the gold and silver
What are you at down below there?"
she chirped. What a bubbling and a
hubbub you are making! Pray be quiet:
the water will not be fit to drink."
"Never mind the water," answered
Springtail and Fluttergills, both in a
breath, while they went on vaulting as
awkwardly as ever. "Just look at us;
see, here we go! Are we not like flying
18 THE FISHES;
"Really this is ridiculous," said the warbler.
"Why, it was but the other day that the
very fish you speak of got finely laughed
at for imitating the Petrel. I heard the
whole story from the Petrel herself just
before I came here. She had been in a
storm out at sea. All at once she saw a
great flying fish, with long fins, taking
little leaps along the waves, and fancying
himself Mother Cary's chicken! It was
truly most absurd !"
Here was a piece of presumption on the
part of the warbler! she seemed to think
there was nothing in creation equal to a
bird, and that a fish had no business to
Altogether, the scene was more than our
friend Goldfin could endure. So he swam
with the greatest dignity towards the spot
above which the warbler was perched, and
just told her what he thought of it.
"I have been fully as much annoyed
and provoked as you could be, Miss Prat-
tler," said he, "at witnessing such an il.la
OR, THE MOCKING-BIRD. 19
waste of time as this on the part of my
companions here; but I must say that I
think you are the last who should venture
to take them to task for their conduct. If
I do not mistake, you are called the English
Mock-bird. And I can bear witness (al-
though some people will insist upon it that
I have no ears) that you have imitated
the notes of the swallow, the lark, the
sparrow, and the linnet within the last five
Oh I how the lhtle fishes laughed! You
should have heard them. They laughed
till the water bubbled again!
But old Goldfin had not done talking yet.
"Aff all," he went on, "I feel very
much obliged to you, Miss Mimic, for the
good lesson I have learned from you. I
now see that there is such a thing as a
proper ambition. Your own notes are not
at all musical-indeed, quite the reverse;
they are. harsh and guttural in the extreme.
.You are wise, therefore, to adopt the notes
of other, sweeter songsters. Even my
20 THE FISHES.
young friends, the fishes, here, foolish as
I once thought them, are rather to be
praised than blamed for seeking to attain
to the greatness of others superior to them-
selves-such as the wonderful flying fish."
On hearing this, Springtail and Flutter-
gills bounced about more violently than ever.
But they were rebuked by Goldfin.
"Softly-softly, ye foolish little ones!"
said the old fish, "I only said that it was
laudable to endeavour to become what you
admire in others. It is unwise to per-
severe in trials like these, when repeated
failures should convince you that you are
framed differently, and must ever, therefore,
remain unequal to the feat, in eneavour-
ing to accomplish which you have exhausted
the energies which might have been more
The little fishes, hearing this, dived to
Nay, be not cast down," added Goldfin,
good-humouredly, as he saw them humbled
beneath his rebuke. Strive-strive al-
THE RAM; OR, THE NOBLE DEED. 21
ways, my children," he said; "strive ever
in future to be as good, as just now you
strove to be great. Only do this, and
.hereafter you shall stand traced in characters
of light on the face of heaven itself l"
THE RAM; OR, THE NOBLE DEED.
S"There's nothing to be seen but woods,
And rocks that spread a hoary gleam,
And this one beast that from the bed
Of the green meadow hangs his head
Over the silent stream."
ON the banks of a wide pool shadowed by
some fine old elm trees, one fine evening in
spring, a flock of sheep lay quietly chewing
the cud in a pleasant meadow.
They had browsed till they were weary.
Their evening meal had concluded with a
copious draught of water from the shaded
pool in whose depths the wide elm branches
were pictured; and they now laid themselves
down on its green margin to enjoy the quiet
of the closing day-or perhaps to collect
22 THE RAM;
their thoughts previous to settling down to
sleep at the hour of the coming sunset.
It was just that dreamy hour when gos-
siping folks love best to talk over old times,
and tell quaint tales. Even sheep, it would
seem, have a tendency to be garrulous at
such a time-judging from the remarks
of one thoughtful Ram, who, instead of
reposing on the turf with the rest of the
flock, stood apart muttering to himself, as he
gazed idly into the still depths of the meadow
This Ram, who, if he was proud of any-
thing, was proud of his horns, in the most
careless mood possible began butting against
a tree as if to try their strength, while he
discussed with himself what kind of sheep
those could have possibly have been who
were so fortunate as to obtain for their
shepherdess the renowned Little Bo-Peep!"
"I wonder," said he-for he now began
to talk aloud, without once looking round at
his companions in order to note whether they
were paying attention to what he said-' I
OR, THE NOBLE DEED. 23
wonder if, like myself, they belonged to the
Merino race, who have been such great
travellers in Spain? Ah, no!" he added,
"now I think of it, I have no doubt that
they were nothing better than sheep of Syria
or Egypt, because so much is said in the
story about their tails!
"Ay, ay," he went on; that was it, I
am convinced. I remember that I once saw
a true Syrian sheep. Its tail was so enor-
mously fat that the shepherd who watched
the flock to which the creature belonged was
obliged to attach a piece of board to the
under part of its tail, to keep it from the
ground, and thus prevent it from trailing too
heavily behind! The shepherd added little
wheels to the board; so the sheep had a
carriage for his tail, while the rest of his
body went on foot!"
This, although perfectly true, was rather a
surprising and amusing fact. The other
sheep, who heard it, laughed till they were
quite black in the face!
No sooner was their noisy merriment at
24 THE RAM ;
an end than the Ram began to ponder upon
"How I long for the warm June month
to come again," he said. Then I shall be
soused over head and ears in yonder pool.
When my wool is thus made sweet and
clean, then comes the shepherd with his
shears. Hurrah! for the shearing! How
comfortable and cool I shall be in the dog-
There was a time," he continued, more
seriously, "when our wool was taken from
our backs in a much less agreeable manner.
I have heard somewhere of a country of
barbarians where the creatures of my race
used to have their coats literally torn from
their backs! Ugh! it makes one's flesh
creep under the wool even to think of it!"
While the Ram continued thus to talk to
himself, he was all the time watching the
flickering shadows of the pool.
As the shadows moved and danced to the
tune of a light breeze which was just then
blowing, and nodded to each other at every
OR, THE NOBLE DEED. 25
new remark made by the Ram, it chanced,
naturally enough, that they changed their
forms and their positions very frequently.
Sometimes, as the wind waved about the
real branches overhead, the shadows beneath
were swayed, now here and now there.
Sometimes the great boles of the trees them-
selves would for a moment be mirrored in
the clear little miniature lake, and then
again as quickly become hidden by the flut-
It happened that, while the Ram was still
intently gazing on the pool, the shadows in
their changing assumed a strange form.
A broken and divided bough of one of
the elm-trees was seen mirrored in the water.
This broken bough bore an exact resem-
blance to some huge sea-monster, with open
jaws. Cleft in two, the jagged and bristling
hollow seemed filled with monstrous teeth,
till the whole thing was terrible to look upon.
The Ram, gazing quietly down, saw the
horrible image. He never once paused to
reflect that it was most likely but a new form
26 THE RAM; OR, THE NOBLE DEED.
which the shadows had assumed. His heart
sank within him.
Oh!" thought he, this is some dread-
ful monster of the deep! some shark or
crocodile such as I have heard strange tales
about. Doubtless he comes to seize some
of my friends and fellow-beings, who are
lying at this moment so quietly at rest, little
dreaming of the fate that awaits them."
And the poor Ram shuddered.
"I will save them!" he cried, as the
thought suddenly occurred to him that, by
giving himself up to satisfy the hunger of
the sea-monster, he might save the flock.
Yes," cried the noble Ram, "I will save
So saying, he plunged deep within the
now eddying pool.
The rippled waters closed above the head
of the devoted animal, but he was not per-
mitted to perish.
No sooner did the Ram sink beneath the
water, than he at once discovered his mis-
THE BULL; OR, KING WISP. 27
No monster was there-all was still; and,
swimming to the opposite bank, the noble
creature stood once more in safety, speech-
less with gratitude for his unexpected de-
When, on that lovely spring night, the
sun had set, and when the flickering shadows
were no longer to be seen in the meadow
pool, then the figure of the Ram was dis-
tinctly visible on the face of the night-sky,
set round with glorious stars!
THE BULL; OR, KING WISP.
A little Elfin Sprite was he;
His lamp a glow-worm bright.
Too long he ruled the Fens;-but see
A champion comes in sight."
IN the midst of a wild morass, at a very late
hour of the evening, an hour at which all
respectable and well-ordered birds ought to
have been in their nests, a great number of
bitterns were suddenly summoned together to
take their trial for a serious misdemeanor.
28 THE BULL;
He at whose call the birds assembled was
a queer and tricksy little sprite. His name
was Will-of-the-Wisp. See him when you
would, he was ever the same flighty, frisk-
about thing. In one hand he always carried
a glow-worm in a glass case, which served
for a lantern to light him over the swamp.
In the other hand he bore a wand of the
burly-headed reed-mace, in sign of autho-
rity; for the mischievous little urchin dubbed
himself Lord of the Marshes and King of
On this particular occasion, the queer
little Swamp-king was more than usually
full of his own importance. Flitting about
from flag to flag and from bullrush to bull-
rush, scudding across the watery moor, and
flashing his glow-worm lantern in the face
of every bird he made prisoner, he gathered
together his offending subjects. Then, hav-
ing ranged them in a circle, the Dwarf-king
squatted himself down in the midst of them,
grinning and wagging his malicious little
head to see what a panic they were all in!
OR, KING WISP. 29
"( Come, come, Master Bumpy-coss," said
he to the tallest of the bitterns, "tell me
what you were about last night to make my
beautiful bog-land shake as it did, till my
very teeth chattered again? There was I
busily plaitting rushes to make myself a
nightcap, for fear the night-wind should
give me the ear-ache, when, as sure as I
am keeper of the marshes, the whole region
of bog-land shook under my feet. Answer
me; what were you about-you, Bumpy-
coss with the long legs ?"
Bumpy-coss looked very humble, and
onlr answered, I was fast asleep."
At this reply, Will-of-the-Wisp shook
his mace in the face of the speaker, as
much as to say, I'll pay you for this
by-and-by." Then, turning to the next, he
Butter-bump, where were you when the
domains of moor-swamp quivered like a jelly
beneath my feet?"
But Butter-bump replied," I was mind-
ing my own business-rocking the nest of
30 THE BULL;
my little Butter-bumps on the other side of
Again King Wisp shook his mace,
while he grinned more mischievously than
Mire-drum," said he to another of the
birds, leave off plucking at the flags there,
and answer me directly. Was it you that
danced a hornpipe among the rushes?
Come, come, sirrah; I am not to be trifled
"Not I, indeed," said Mire-drum, looking
uncommonly demure. I was winging my
way right over your head while you were
twisting your reed-cap, and wondering to
myself what strange whim led you to take
such care of a noddle that had nothing in
it but conceit."
At this speech, King Wisp was so irri-
tated that he struck Mire-drum a smart rap
across the bill with the end of his wand.
His patience was exhausted; he could get
nothing out of any of them. And, while
making up his mind to inflict some punish-
on, KING WISP. 31
ment upon them all, he addressed the re-
mainder in no very musical tones.
"Bumpie, Bull-of-the-bog, Bittour, Bog-
bumper, one and all of you, confess at once
what mischief you were about, or as sure
as frogs are in the fens I will make an
example of you. Do you think to escape
my vengeance by laughing in my face, as
I see you are all doing at this moment?
I can convict you all; for, know, 0 re-
bellious subjects, that I heard you! I
heard all your booming voices roaring
together like nothing on this side bog-land
but a great wild bull! and, 0 shame upon
you! you thought with this wild bellowing
to shake my kingdom of the bog about my
Before any bird could answer, a rushing
and tearing was heard far off along the
ridge of the swamp, where it was bordered
by some low-lying shrubs and coarse grass-
All stood bewildered at the sound; and
as for King Wisp, he would have shaken
32 THE BULL,
in his shoes-if he had worn any. As it
was, the glow-worm lantern in his hand
quivered and flickered and danced to the
fearful tune his pulses were beating, as he
listened to a roar which now resounded on
every side, and with which certainly the
bitterns had nothing to do.
On he came, roaring and lashing his sides
with his tail-a great white Bull with black-
Now1, the morass shook indeed. The
quagmire quivered from one end to the
Rearing his beautiful head aloft and wag-
ging his horns as i he would have liked
to play at pitch-and-toss with King Wisp,
on came the gallant Bull! Away with
you!" said the stately animal, addressing
the pigmy mace-bearer. Away with you,
you insignificant little Jack-a-lantern, you!
I am tired of witnessing your fantastic
tricks night after night. It was I that
shook the morass, for I thought I was
shaking you. Away with you! Leave my
OR, KING WISP. 33
birds alone. They shall boom as much
as they like and as often as they like. I
only wish I had caught you laying a
finger upon them, that's all!"
Another roar from the beautiful white
Bull, and away vanished Will-of-the-Wisp!
All that was ever seen of him or of
anything that belonged to him, from that
time, was the little glow-worm that had
formed his lantern. Glad to escape, it
lived a happy life ever after in the nearest
"brushwood at hand.
As for the Bull, he undertook to guide
the bitterns to their nests whenever the
month of April came round.
After the night when they were so wrong-
fully accused, whenever at that period of the
year they were occupied in any of the duties
allotted to them, they had only to look up,
and they were sure to see bright stars, like
lovelier glow-worms, shining above them,
and wearing, to their imagination, the form
of their friend and deliverer-the beautiful
34 THE TWINS;
THE TWINS; OR, MOTHER EARTH.
Oh, blessed creatures! I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee.
The fulness of your bliss, I feel-I feel it all!
Oh! evil day! if I were sullen
While the earth is herself adorning
This sweet May morning!"
TALES have been told of many gracious
creatures-beings in human form, faithful
animals having different natures from our
own, and good fairies who have no exist-
ence but in the imagination; but there is
one kindly being of whom we have not yet
said half what she deserves, although her
various offspring have from time to time
been spoken of. She is to us the most
gracious visible spirit of the whole universe,
and we call her Mother Earth."
One joyful day there were born to her
One of these little ones was white, and
the other was black. One was called an
European, and the other an African; and
OR, MOTHER EARTH. 35
both were alike beautiful in their mother's
Mother Earth, ever careful of the babes
she nurses upon her bosom, desired to bring
them up wisely, and educate them in all
virtue and knowledge. To this good end,
she obtained a tutor for the two boys.
Unfortunately, however, it happened that
the mother's choice fell upon a person en-
tirely unfit for the charge she confided to
him. This man's name was Prejudice; and
we shall see towhatevil results his teaching led.
As the twins grew up, it soon became
clear that the poor black child had been
entirely neglected. His white brother, on
the contrary, had been taught many things
-everything, in short, except humility and
So, as years went on, the boy with the
white face began to look down with con-
tempt upon his poor brother's darker skin.
He spoke to him haughtily. He com-
manded him in all things. In short, he
made him his slave.
36 THE TWINS;
Now, the black child was gentle and
lowly-hearted. He never once thought of
rebelling against his twin-brother with the
white face. It is true that at times he
could not help feeling that his birthright
was equal with his brother's; for, were
they not," he said in his heart, "were
they not both the children of one mother ? "
Yet he never complained to her. The
young black slave kept his soul in silence,
and did the bidding of his white master.
But it fell out before very long that the
watchful mother, ever heedful of the wel-
fare of her children, and guarding both
with equal love, discovered with pain and
anguish of heart that something was
Then she gathered them both to her
bosom; and in that great day when they
were both about to fall asleep together in
her arms, she whispered to them with soft
voice, before they sank to rest.
Child with the white skin," she mur-
mured, I take you to my bosom. There
OR, MOTHER EARTH. 37
you shall fall asleep. But, before the sun
goes down, and before sleep overtakes you
as night overtakes the day, pray your black
brother to pardon you all the ill you have
done to him."
Then the dark child-for he, too, lay
softly on her bosom-spoke quickly, with a
firm voice, before the quivering lips of the
white could find words to answer.
Nay, mother," he cried, "I forgive
him already. He shall not be humbled
before me. I pardon and I love him."
Then the heart of the white brother was
Oh! noble heart!" he exclaimed, "thy
nature is equal-nay, it is greater than mine.
I have made thee a slave, who should'st have
ruled over me!"
And they wept together on their mother's
Then she comforted them both, saying-
" It is enough. Lie down and take your
And they fell asleep there and then.
38 THE TWINS.
Behold them now! Look up above.
Turn your eyes towards the skies.
There they tread the blue fields together !
One never travels the way which the other
goes not. They are brothers in heart-in
life-in soul. Chains could scarcely bind
them more closely together than love binds
them now, and no bondage could enslave
the one without the other. The fetter upon
the body of the black twin would only serve
to rivet a twofold fetter upon the soul of
Listen! The dark boy says to the fair
one, "Look in my face, brother; I am
dark as the sky when it is without a star.
But, remember, as we tread its fields to-
gether, that even while its face is dark, it
is Heaven still!"
To the dark child the fair one whispers,
" We are both the children of one mother-
our mother Earth. As she smiled on us,
let us smile on each other-and on her. My
face is white, and so is innocence-white as
thesnow! Let usbeinnocent, oh, my brother!"
THE CRAB; OR, THE OCEAN FAYS. 39
Behold, then, the Twin Brothers! They
are dancing joyfully along the blue un-
clouded skies. And the stars are at their
THE CRAB; OR, THE OCEAN FAYS.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee !"
IN a favoured part of Great Britain, on the
sea-coast, there lies a beautiful bay, sheltered
and shut in by high and white chalk cliffs.
The peculiar position of some jutting rocks,
which stretch out on either side towards the
great deep, tends to arrest the force of the
waves as they flow towards the shore at the
coming-in of the tide. The consequence is,
that within the bay the waters stand as quiet
and peaceful as those of some tideless lake or
silent mountain tarn.
This favoured spot is known to the
40 THE CRAB;
children of the district as the Fairies'
One day the fairy Flotilla, the diminutive
queen of all the ocean fays, embarked with
her tiny crew on board of her fast-sailing
ship, the Pearly Nautilus.
Curving upwards at one end so as to form
a sort of hood or covered quarter-deck, this
beautiful fairy ark, with its double tiers of
brisk rowers, looked very like a miniature
copy of one of those old-fashioned pictures
one sometimes sees representing the Dragon-
ships of the Norsemen, or Sea Kings of
As the little vessel circled the bay, the
fairy Flotilla-who, by-the-by, was quite a
Britannia in her small way, ruling most des-
potically the ocean domain around her-the
fairy Flotilla suddenly called out to the little
elf at the wheel, bidding him instantly turn
the vessel's prow towards the shore.
As the vessel approached the sands, it was
soon clear to every small eye on board that
a most determined quarrel was going on there
OR, THE OCEAN FAYS. 41
between two hermit-crabs, or, as they are
sometimes called, soldier-crabs. The shouts
of the combatants echoed far and wide, till
the quiet bay resounded with their furious
The impatience of the steersman to obey
the command of Flotilla, however, had nearly
caused the wreck of the beautiful Nautilus.
Just as the light bark gave one sweep round
in the direction of the shore-" Mussels
ahead!" cried out a lithe young midshipman-
fairy perched up among the rigging.
Just in time, the steersman caused the
vessel'to glide on one side, as a great blue
mussel opened his two shells as if he would
have swallowed it up at a mouthful!
No sooner had they reached the sands than
every fairy on board lifted up his hands in
perfect astonishment at the sight that pre-
Cast anchor at once," cried Flotilla; I
must put a stop to this. I love peace above
all things, and cannot permit a scene of strife
like this to disturb the repose of my happy
42 THE CRAB;
dominions. A fight, forsooth!-A struggle
here on my gold-grain sands ? I never heard
of such a thing !-There, they are at it
again! Down-down with the anchor with
all speed, or I shall jump overboard."
Instantly the anchor was lowered; for
they had now approached as close to the
shore as the vessel could be brought. Down
it sank, attached to a wiry piece of black sea-
weed which served for a cable. The anchor
soon dived deep into the fine sand of the bay,
and held the little craft as firm as a rock.
Two of the boat's crew now launched a
huge cockle-shell over the side of the Nau-
tilus, into which sprang Flotilla. After her
scampered Billy Boatswain, Bob the
Wheeler, Rigging Tim, and Mat of the Mid-
Bounding on shore, and planting her foot
right between the two combatants, Flotilla
looked severely first at one and then at
Now, Sir Hermit, what have you to say
for yourself? she exclaimed to the first, a
OR, THE OCEAN FAYS. 43
surly, long-clawed, fishy-looking fellow as
ever you saw.
And you ? she continued, facing about
like a grenadier doing his exercise. How
can you answer to me, Sir Soldier, for break-
ing the queen's peace, and turning a secluded
and peaceful harbour like this into a battle-
field to crack skulls in, eh ? Answer me, I
This last, who was a regular old soldier,
and knew well enough what he was about,
shouldered round, and staring Flotilla some-
what rudely in the face, replied, doggedly
enough, Yonder insolent crab caught hold
of my nose with his great long right-hand
pincer, and gave it such a twinge that, sharp
as my sense of smell generally is, I verily
believe I shall not smell fungus for a month
But what did you do to provoke him ?"
"What did he do? interrupted Surly-
bones, frowning as black as thunder at both
Flotilla and the old soldier, what did he
44 THE CRAB;
do? Why, I was quietly enough seeking
about here and there for a new shell-for I
was rather unwieldy of late, and the last
house I lodged in refused to hold me any
longer. Just as I had fixed upon a neat little
Natica shell, and tried it on to see if it would
fit-which it did most capitally-this crusty
old crab here came and whipped it out of my
claws, and jumped into it himself!"
"Shame on you both!" cried Flotilla.
"Your conduct is quite disgraceful. Are
there not houses enough below the deep for
all your crustaceous tribe, without your
squabbling here on dry land for every little
stray periwinkle of a thing you see ?
Come hither," she continued, calling to
one of her crew, take the measure of these
quarrelsome fellows. There, be speedy. Now,
away out to sea. Dive down into its blue
depths, and bring up two shells just fitted to
receive these two troublesome lodgers."
No sooner said than done. In less than
half a minute the Fairy Diver returned. He
bore in his arms-althbnugh the load almost
OR, THE OCEAN FAYS. 45
bent him double-two Turbo Pica shells, on
the outside of which was written, Unfur-
nished apartments for single crabs."
Into these, without awaiting an invitation
to enter, leaped the late combatants, perfectly
Away they both crawled as fast as their
legs could carry them, each with his new
house on his back, too glad to escape from
the just reproaches of their Sovereign, Lady
When all was silent once more within the
narrow bay; when the Fairy Ark had again
swept far away over the crystal waters; a
solitary crab stood alone upon the sands.
She was not a hermit-crab nor a soldier-
crab-neither a recluse nor awilfulbattler with
the world. She had been a silent looker-on.
When the heavens grew bright and stars
swam in the moon's wake, the pure bright
sky, looking down with lustrous eyes upon
the peaceful bay, saw the unoffending crab,
and traced out her form in light. She was
a crab who never used her claws.
46 THE LION;
THE LION; OR, THE LAKE OF THE GAZELLES.
"With a noise like distant thunder,
A troop of deer came sweeping by;
And suddenly, behold a wonder I
For of that band of rushing deer
A single one in mid career
Hath stopped . .
A doe, most beautiful, clear white,
A radiant creature, silver bright!"
FAR, very far away in the land of the East,
where the heat of the climate is much more
oppressive than it is with us even during the
dog-days, there lies a Great Desert of dry
sand. So barren of moisture is the ground,
that travellers in that part of the country
may journey many and many weary miles
without finding one drop of water to quench
In the midst of this arid plain, a sort of
mist or haze will sometimes meet the eye of
the wayfarer, bearing an exact resemblance
to a piece of water. This delusive appearance
is sometimes termed a Mirage; but in the
country where it appears it is called by the
OR, THE LAKE OF THE GAZELLES. 47
beautiful name of The Lake of the
The following legend may very well have
given rise to the name.
A herd of wild gazelles one day set out in
search of a spring. The sultry heat had
parched them with thirst, and they cared
not whither they wandered, so that at
their journey's end they could but find the
refreshing draught for which they pined.
As they wandered away further and further
from their usual places of resort, one of the
herd, a graceful creature even more bright-
eyed and beautiful than the rest, arrested
the steps of the others.
"Behold," she cried, "we have left the
palm-trees far behind. And see the distant
minarets which point out the homes of man
have faded from our sight. Pause awhile,
my sisters. Yonder lies the border of the
Great Desert; let us not turn that way, lest
we should lose ourselves in the midst of the
wide region of sand which lies like a vast
48 THE LION;
Why, that is the very place to which we
are journeying," answered -two or three of
the Gazelles at once, bounding forward still
faster. We are going in search of the
beautiful lake of which we have heard so
much-the Lake of the Great Desert."
Oh! you are sadly mistaken," cried the
beautiful Gazelle. "There is no real lake
in all the Desert. That which you speak of
is nothing but a deceitful appearance. Pray,
pray turn back."
"What nonsense is this!" cried out the
rest of the herd. "Why, see! there it is.
Yonder is the lake. Will you now venture
to tell us that that is not water? Pooh!
That is indeed the Mirage, which gleams
bright as the true water," cried again the
warning voice of the beautiful guide. Go
no further, I entreat you."
Seeing that her good counsel was offered
in vain, and that not one of the herd would
attend to her warning; the beautiful creature
now entreated permission to go on first, in
OR, THE LAKE OF THE GAZELLES. 49
advance of the herd, and so ascertain by
means of a nearer view whether she or her
companions were in the right.
They all agreed to this; but they could
not resist a laugh at her expense the moment
she was gone.
"Ho! ho!" said one, "she has found a
mare's nest, indeed."
Ha! ha! the silly one," said another.
" When she finds it is real water, as she will,
she will weep tears of vexation enough to
make a new lake."
Not so silly, either," said a third. She
has gone on fleet-footed enough. She thinks
to get the first taste of the sweet waters all
to herself !"
Soon the nimble creature returned. She
brought them the assurance that on a nearer
view the seeming lake was no lake at all.
But, instead of being convinced, the herd
were more than ever determined, like head-
strong brutes as they were, to go and judge
Away they went. But not one of them
50 THE LION;
sped on with such rapid steps as she who had
warned them to forbear. Far from shrinking
from the dangers the rest were so foolish as
to incur, the only thought, the only wish of
this generous creature now was how to save
It all at once occurred to her that she had
seen lying on the desert sand the shaggy
hide of a great Libyan lion, probably cast
down there by some poor traveller who had
been deluded thither by the appearance of the
The beautiful Gazelle at once formed the
design of herself creeping within the lion's
skin, and so scaring back the foolish herd
from the distant and fatal lake. It was her
last resource, since they were deaf to the
voice of reason; and she hastened to carry
her plan into effect.
Meantime the herd pursued their way,-
wondering to themselves what had become of
Just as they had begun to fear that some
accident must have befallen her, their eyes
on, THE LAKE OF THE GAZELLES. 51
encountered a moving object coming along
the sands towards them.
What was their terror on beholding what
seemed to be a huge lion making its way
towards the spot where they stood!
With one accord they all turned round
and fled back the way they came For,"
said they, "already he has no doubt eaten
up our poor sister Fleet-foot, and now he is
coming for us!"
It was well they fled so fast, or they would
have heard the loud laughter of Fleet-foot.
Now that she saw them once more pursuing
a safer direction, their sudden fright at the
fancied danger she had conjured up so
amused her that she could scarcely crawl out
of the lion's skin for the mirth that shook her
Well, well," she cried, as soon as she
could get breath for laughing, surely you
must be the most foolish race beneath the
sun. I quite blush to belong to you. No-
thing would persuade you to retreat before a
real evil; and yet no sooner does a fancied
52 THE LION.
danger appear before your giddy eyes, than
you run away helter-skelter like so many
She quickly cast off the lion's skin, saying,
as she did so, Lie there, old shaggy sides!
you have done us all good service."
She then walked quietly after the herd.
Finding them, at last, panting and out of
breath with their panic and the long run they
had had, she took compassion on them and
told them what she had done.
They readily forgave her, since they could
not but feel that she had no other resource
to save them from losing their way, as the
traveller must have done who had left his
lion-carpet in the desert.
One of the elder Gazelles, in particular,
was much touched by the kindness which had
"I shall never forget it," he said, "as
long as I live. Look up yonder at this clear
blue eastern sky," he added. If you look
well at it just above there, over your head,
you will see that the stars are set in the form
THE VIRGIN; OR, ANGEL HELP. 53
of a Lion. Every shepherd knows the sign.
But to me it will henceforth have a meaning
which I never traced in it before. I shall
always, when I look at the Lion, think of
our kind-hearted sister Fleet-foot; and the
stars that shine all about it will seem to me
ever, from this night, like her own bright
eyes keeping watch over our safety."
THE VIRGIN ; OR, ANGEL HELP.
Swiftly turn the murmuring wheel!
Night has brought the welcome hour,
When the weary fingers feel
Help, as if from fairy power;
Dewy night o'erspreads the ground,
Turn the swift wheel round and round."
IT was past midnight when, in a narrow
room very poorly and scantily furnished,
and lighted scarcely at all, a poor Maid sat
before her spinning-wheel.
At one end of the room, where she was
toiling, there stood a small and homely bed,
on which lay the mother of the Maid. She
was old, and much too ill to rise; and, being
54 THE VIRGIN;
unable to work, she must have starved, but
that her daughter, who was good and dutiful,
supplied the wants of both by her industry.
But it was only by very hard toil, spinning
all the day and a great part of the night,
that the poor Maid could earn enough for
the support of her mother, whom she loved
most tenderly. Often and often she lay down
on her bed when the early morning hours
were sounding, and wept bitterly to think
that she could work no more, on account of
the fatigue that oppressed her, and the sleepi-
ness that, in spite of all her efforts, would
steal over her senses.
But the poor Maid was patient. She never
indulged in any idle repinings; and the wants
of her mother and herself were very few.
On this night she felt more than usually
oppressed. She had heard the church clocks
strike the hour of midnight; and still the
appointed task she had set herself to finish
was not done.
As she sat thus, patiently toiling, and
striving hard to keep her eyes open but a
'Floating with noiseless wings into the rooms. kind angen
took up the abandoned task."
OR, ANGEL HELP. 55
little while longer, and vainly urging her
flagging fingers to pursue their labour, all
at once a strain of music sounded overhead.
As she listened to the sounds, by little
and little the wheel grew dim before her
eyes-the distaff faded from her sight-her
hands relaxed their hold-she fell asleep.
As the, Maid leaned back in her chair,
hushed in the sweetest and most profound
slumber, the entire room became suddenly
illuminated with a bright and dazzling light.
And soon, instead of the one poor solitary
Maid sitting alone in the midnight by the
bedside of the sick, the whole chamber be-
came filled with radiant guests.
Floating with noiseless wings into the
room, kind angels took up the abandoned
task. Yes! angel feet turned once more the
silent wheel, and angel fingers twisted the
neglected flax-for no task of kindness is too
humble for the good.
On the sill of the narrow casement window
stood a flower-pot. The plant that grew
there was small and stunted. It consisted
56 THE VIRGIN;
only of a stem and a few green leaves, with-
out bud or blossom.
As one of the angel watchers bent across
the lattice, and gazed upon the features of
the sleeping Maid, a single tear of pity
dropped on the drooping plant.
Slowly, a single bud began to form be-
tween the closed-up leaves. Then the bud
grew larger and larger, till at last it burst
its leafy sheath, and blossomed into a full-
The flower that grew up beneath the angel's
tears, was a fair and graceful lily-a flower
everywhere held to be the emblem of purity.
But now the tired sleeper stirred slightly
in her dreams, and the radiant guests pre-
pared to depart.
As softly as they had entered they stole
away out of the room; and the dazzling
light faded with their retreating steps.
The Maid awoke. She looked at the work
before her, and what was her astonishment
to find, not only that her task was completed,
but that more of the flax was spun than she
OR, ANGEL HELP. 57
could herself have twisted during an entire
Oh! mother," she could not help exclaim-
ing in the innocent joy of her heart-" Oh!
mother, my task is done !"
The mother awoke at the sound of
that beloved voice, and she answered-
" Well hast thou done, my good and dutiful
Then her daughter spoke to her again,
saying-" Nay, my mother, I have slept.
Angels must have toiled in my stead, for the
work is not the work of my hands."
Sick as she was, and weary with age, a
smile of intense happiness lighted the mother's
placid face, as she again said, Angels may
well have helped thee; for of all children
thou hast shown thyself the most patient and
As the Maid turned aside her head to wipe
away a tear of joy that rolled down her cheek
at the words her mother spoke, her glance
fell on the lily. Oh! mother, mother !"
she cried, a new wonder is here : last night
58 THE VIRGIN;
not a bud was to be seen, yet, behold-a lily
Time, my darling," replied the mother,
"has no power over the virtuous. Purity
and truth are blossoms for all seasons."
Still, the poor Maid wondered greatly. All
the day she pondered on the miraculous work
that had been wrought by hands unseen by
her. And as she looked at the pure white
petals of the lily's flower, she marvelled more
As soon as night drew down again, she
determined, if possible, to keep awake and
watch how the mysterious work was done.
But no sooner had the clock struck twelve
than once more the same delicious music
stole through the room.
As before, she now found it impossible
any longer to keep her eyes open. While
her ears drank in the melody, by degrees
every object faded from before her; and
soon she sank into a sound and peaceful
Again, as on the night before, the angels
OR, ANGEL HELP. 59
came and took up her task. While one
plied the wheel and spun the thread, another
watered the lily with precious and sacred
dews, till a delightful odour filled all the
And now, at the first movement of the
sleeper, again the angels vanished as they
came-with noiseless wings and soundless
And so the guardian angels came and went
night after night.
But when at length the Maid's hard daily
toil, together with the nightly angel help,
had brought a sufficient amount of comfort
to the sick mother, and health once more
returned to her cheek, then the midnight
work ceased to be carried on by invisible
But the Maid's heart was strengthened.
She grew even more trustful than she had
been of old. She never any more shed tears
when her wearied fingers refused to pursue
their midnight trip. She knew and felt that
the guardian watchers were around and about
her everywhere, whether she could see them
60 THE BALANCE;
or not, and that they would surely assist her
in the time of her need.
Meanwhile the lily flower bloomed on and
faded not; and was ever looked upon as an
emblem of the blameless Maid. It was,
besides, a tender and truthful witness to the
presence of good angels in the chamber made
sacred by the devotion of a duteous child.
This is an ancient tale; and the Shepherds
of old time, who watched their flocks beneath
the night sky, and who heard it told, when
they looked at a certain constellation on
high, fancied they could trace in the stars
the figure of the Maid; and they named the
constellation Virgo, or the Virgin.
THE BALANCE; OR, THE MAGIC MIRROR.
A wondrous Mirror of rare glass she held,
Which showed men their own minds.
And Rich and Poor, when in the balance weighed,
Were equal found in blessing."
ON the borders of a thick and bosky wood,
two travellers met by chance. Finding no
OR, THE MAGIC MIRROR. 61
better company, they both agreed to journey
The wood through which their path lay,
and which it was thus agreed that they should
explore in each other's society, was what is
called a rouel wood; that is, a wood inter-
sected by numerous paths, all meeting in the
middle at one common point, like the spokes
of a wheel.
As the two journeyed on, they soon found
that the entire path which they had selected
was strewed with thorns. Still they pursued
their way, not choosing to be daunted by the
very first difficulty they encountered, but
remembering that it is wiser sometimes to
bear with the lesser evils that lie about our
path, than to rush heedlessly upon others of
which we know not the extent. The perse-
verance of the two wayfarers was soon amply
They had not proceeded far before the
ground seemed to change beneath their feet
as if by magic. Where before the whole
pathway had appeared crowded on every side
62 THE BALANCE;
with prickly briars, flowers now sprang up
around their feet. Sweet airs came breathing
between the close branches of the forest trees,
where lately not a breath was stirring; and
the hitherto unbroken silence became all at
once filled with the merry music of birds.
As Downheart and Cheery-for so were
the travellers named-drew near to the centre
of the wood, they could see quite plainly the
point at which all the paths met.
As the eyes of the two were directed
towards the same spot, they both at one and
the same time uttered an exclamation of
In the heart of the forest, in its bright
green centre-for the grass there was
brighter than the emerald and greener than
the green sea waves-in the heart of the
verdant wood stood a woman, beautiful as
the dawn! In one hand she carried a pair
of golden Scales; in the other was held a
Mirror of rare device.
Where, except the skies, can the woman
have dropped from?" exclaimed Cheery.
OR, THE MAGIC MIRROR. 63
"Look how fixed she stands; as if she had
stood there since the world began. She is
beautiful as we picture the angels. Let us
hasten on. Be her purpose what it may, I
will answer for it that she presents herself
here in our path for good rather than for
But Downheart drew back in fear.
"Nay," he cried, let us rather retrace our
steps. The woman is no doubt an en-
chantress; we shall be bewitched here in
this wild and lonely wood, and never find
our way out again."
While they yet delayed to advance, Down-
heart dreading to plunge deeper into the
recesses of the wood, and Cheery urging him
forward, the beautiful apparition beckoned to
them, and encouraged them with the sweetest
smiles to approach the spot where she stood.
Her voice, too, sounded clear through the
woody labyrinth, like the tinkling of a
solitary sheep-bell among the untrodden
Approach without fear," she said. I
64 THE BALANCE;
am no enchantress. Men call me by various
names, to none of which I have any claim.
Some name me Fate: some call me Chance:
others have termed me Fortune, and painted
me blind; that was an error. It is my
followers who are blind, and not I. To you,
Downheart," she continued, addressing the
one who had shrunk from her, "to you I
appear a formidable enemy-a wicked en-
chantress. You, Cheery," she added,
speaking to the other, believe me to be
nothing less than a gracious guardian spirit.
I am neither the one nor the other. My
real name is Libra. My dwelling is in the
centre of this great wheel-this place of
many paths, which in another language is
called the world. Here I stand for ever. I
bear in my hands the Mirror of men's minds;
and I carry the Scales of human happiness
As she spoke, she held out the mirror
before the eyes of Downheart and Cheery.
Ah cried out Cheery, in an ecstasy of
delight, what lovely things I see! There
OR, THE MAGIC MIRROR. 65
are palaces, and a great sparkling ocean, and
"a garden of flowers, and jewels And what
"a wonderful sunlight is showered over all I"
Bah!" said Downheart, turning a scorn-
ful glance at the mirror, I see nothing but
paltry hovels built of clay. Palaces indeed !
As for your ocean, why it is nothing but a
muddy stream. What you call flowers seem
to me only nettles. Your jewels are bits of
broken glass. And as for the sunlight, why
the whole mirror is in darkness; so heavy
are the clouds spread over all, that I can
scarcely trace out the objects reflected in
So it is!" cried the bearer of the mirror.
You both see with your minds rather than
with your eyes. Now try the Scales."
So saying, she held them aloft, and desired
Cheery to place himself in one, and Down-
heart to occupy the other.
"There," said Libra, as they took their
places, now remember that he whose scale
weighs the heavier is the happier man of the
66 THE BALANCE.
Down went Cheery! while Downheart
literally kicked the beam!
"How is this?" asked Libra. "Are
you," she said to Downheart, so barren of
wealth that you can purchase no joy the
world affords ?"
"Not I," answered Downheart, looking
very gloomy. My coffers are filled with
gold; and I am this day journeying in
search of broad lands, which I intend to
"And you?" said Libra, looking in-
quiringly at Cheery.
I have not a penny in my purse !" he
answered cheerfully. I am but a poor
traveller in search of work."
Then Libra said to them, Farewell, my
friends. My Mirror I leave with you. If
you look for the Scales-behold! they are
on high. The Balance of human happiness
and misery is held-there!"
The voice ceased. The vision of the fair
woman was no longer to be seen. But as the
night deepened around the travellers' way,
THE SCORPION. 67
they both distinctly saw traced out upon the
pure, clear sky, the Balance set among the
THE SCORPION; OR, THE REPROVING CONSCIENCE.
There is no Scorpion like a guilty mind-
No sting so terrible as he must bear
Whose conscience still reproves."
IN one of the happiest homes in the south of
Europe there once lived a brother and sister,
whose names were Francis and Jessy.
Through all their childhood they had been
the dearest companions, never giving each
other an unkind word, but loving and serving
each other always.
It happened one day, when the brother
and sister were out at play, that they wandered
hand in hand a long, long way from home.
Chatting together as they went, singing songs
and telling tales, no wonder that the way
seemed short to them as they wandered
further and further away, losing sight alto-
gether of their happy home and the kind
68 THE SCORPION;
faces which ever looked with love upon them
When at length it occurred to them that
they had wandered further than they had
intended when they first set out, they looked
around them to see where they were. All
around them lay stretched a rugged plot of
ground, dry and sandy as a desert, and
dotted over with rude stones and pieces of
The children were much dismayed when,
on seeing where they stood, they all at once
recognized it as the place which they had
been especially forbidden to approach; for it
was said that scorpions were sometimes found
there, hidden under the stones.
Scarcely had Francis seated himself to
rest upon a piece of rock, than one of these
creatures, crawling out from beneath it,
stung him in the leg.
No sooner did Jessy perceive what had
befallen her brother, than, fearless for her-
self, she knelt down on the ground, and, placing
her lips to the wound, sucked out the poison!
on, THE REPROVING CONSCIENCE. 69
The two children returned home, and told
the tale; but no further harm came of the
wound, and the story was soon forgotten.
It was forgotten by all but Francis. In
his grateful heart the love for his sister
deepened: he loved her more than his life;
for had she not saved his life ?
But many years passed on, many changes
took place; and at last, when both Francis
and Jessy were grown up into man and
woman, the brother had a bitter quarrel with
his sister. Jessy had now been some time
married, and had fallen into poverty. Her
children were growing up around her, and
she could not provide enough for their wants.
Then, as one day the recollection of her own
childhood's home came back upon her, she
thought, I wonder if my dear brother
Francis is angry with me still? "
So she sent one of her little ones to the
house where Francis lived, telling the child
what to say. The little one knocked at its
uncle's door, saying, Let me in, uncle
Francis: my name is Jessy, like my mother's
70 THE SCORPION;
-let me in. My mother sends me to you
But Francis was angry, and he shut the
door against the child. Then the mother
sent another child to plead for her with her
"unkind brother Francis.
This child knocked as the other had done.
"Open, open to me, uncle Francis," this
little one said also. Open and let me in!
My name is Francis, and I am called after
you. Give me bread for my little sister
Jessy. Jessy gave all hers to me, and now
she has none left, and is hungry! "
At this the heart of the man reproached
him, for he remembered his own sister Jessy's
love for him when she sucked the scorpion's
poison from his wound. But he only said,
though his voice failed him, Go away, go
Then Jessy went herself to try if she could
soften the heart of her brother. When she
reached his door, she stood there and could
say nothing: she only knelt down and wept
in his sight. Francis saw her kneeling
OR, THE REPROVING CONSCIENCE. 71
on his door-stone, and he turned away his
Soon after this Francis fell ill: he was in
a raging fever, and the doctors could do
nothing for him. What puzzled them most
was, that he was always talking of a scorpion
that was stinging him. He would rise up in
his bed every half-hour, and insist upon it
that something was goading, and stinging,
and chafing him so that he could not
Now there was a good physician who
watched day and night by the sick bed of
Francis, and it was he who first began to
suspect that Francis was unhappy in his
mind on account of some error he had com-
mitted, and that it was his conscience, and not
a scorpion, that was stinging him. So the
good doctor thought he would get at the
truth. Taking the sick man's hand in his
own, he said to him kindly, What were
you thinking of at the moment you fancied
you felt the scorpion's sting? "
Francis answered, "I was thinking of my
72 THE SCORPION;
sister, and her two children, Jessy and
Where did you see them last ?" asked
On my door-step," was the answer.
"Would you like to see them there again?"
inquired again the physician.
Oh, that I should replied the sick
man, rising up quite strong. If I could
but see them there once more I should be
happy-I should be well! "
Not long after this-by the contrivance of
the kind doctor-a pair of little feet came
running into the sick man's room, and a
small voice cried out," Uncle, uncle I hope
you are better."
Then came two more little feet, pattering,
pattering into the room; and another voice,
smaller and more musical than the last, if
possible, said, Uncle, uncle lift me up to
Then the heart of Francis smote him, and
he could not answer them for his tears.
At that moment the good doctor entered
OR, THE REPROVING CONSCIENCE. 73
the room. Leaning on his arm was a woman
whose face Francis knew well. She was his
Again he hid his face from her, covering
it with his hands. But this time it was in
shame, and not in anger.
After they had made friends, and kissed
each other as they used to do of old when
they two were happy children together--
Now," said the kind physician to the sick
man, "do you feel the scorpion's sting any
No, it is gone," said Francis.
Oh, he is gone, is he ? said the good
doctor, with a sly laugh; "I thought so.
Well, then, now I will tell you what he was.
He was nothing but a conceit of your brain.
Nevertheless, we are all much obliged to him
for giving you such twinges as he did: his
name ought to be written in letters of gold,
or his form traced out in stars, for all the
good he has done !
And now," pursued this true friend,
somewhat more seriously, let me read you.
74 THE ARCHER;
a lesson. Whenever in future you fancy
you feel a scorpion stinging you, just question
your own heart, and try to find out if there
is anything on your mind which reproaches
you. Depend upon it that there is no sting
so painful as a self-rebuke-no scorpion so
terrible as a reproving conscience! "
THE ARCHER; OR, THE LAND OF TRUTH.
Joy sparkles in the prancing courser's eyes,
And horse and horseman are a happy pair."
OF all the beautiful regions that lie beneath
the heavens, there is none so wonderfully
fair as the Land of Truth.
No one who has ever wandered among its
delightful paths, or basked within the beams
of its never-setting sun, is willing to forsake
it any more. An eternal music fills the air
which surrounds it on all sides-sweeter than
is ever heard elsewhere.
In this blessed land there are no shadows.
The very ground is flooded with light, bright
OR, THE LAND OF TRUTH. 75
as that which streams down front the skies
stretched above it.
In the midst of the smiling pastures of this
happy country, once rose a Castle stately and
tall. Such a Castle was never seen before
nor since. The floors were so polished that
they reflected every object around. The roof
was transparent and reached to the sky. The
portals stood wide and were open to all.
The Castle was inhabited by a Prince of
surpassing beauty. Day and night his plea-
sure was to range the surrounding forests.
Mounted on a horse noble in bearing as him-
self, and swifter than the winds, he sat the
creature's back as if he were part of the
animal itself! In his hands were a bow and
arrow. He carried no quiver of arrows.
The shaft of Truth never flew wrong, and was
therefore never lost.
One day the Prince gave a great banquet.
He summoned all the country round, and
bade all men come and make cheer with
Numbers flocked greedily to the banquet,
76 THE ARCHER:
for the sake of the good things which they
expected to see spread upon the board when
the hour of feasting should arrive. Some,
again, came merely to laugh; others to taste,
for once in their lives, the waters of the
Castle well, which was famed far and near
as the most delightful and refreshing spring
in all the universe.
When nearly all the guests were assembled,
the Prince looked searchingly round the vast
hall; but he could find no one worthy to sit
at his right hand.
Just then a sudden cry was heard without
the open gates.
The Prince rose up and went out.
No sooner had he reached the boundary
of his domain, than he saw, just beyond the
gates, a man beating a poor girl with a heavy
stick. The girl shrieked and cried out for
Thereupon the Prince called to them both
to come in, and tell him what was the matter.
The man answered that he was one of
those bidden to the banquet. And to all out-
OR, THE LAND OF TRUTH. 77
ward seeming he would have done honour to
the feast, for he was robed like a king.
This poor girl," he said, is my servant.
As we approached together these princely
halls, I condescended to show her into what
a rare place we were about to be admitted.
I even told her of the good things that were
to be had by merely appearing to relish the
plenty spread before the guests. But the
foolish thing refused to enter."
"How is this?" said the Prince, turning
to the poor girl-not sternly, but with a
gentle smile upon his face.
The girl answered very meekly, Indeed,
Sir, I would rather stand without."
"Why so?" still urged the Prince.
Because I am used to do so," she an-
swered; "and because I can see no beauty
in the land that lies within:-I am blind.
Oh, is that all ?" said the Prince. "Only
let me take from your eyes the film that
covers them, and you will surely enter in
with the rest and share the feast."
"Nay, Sir," said the girl, again; "I would
78 THE ARCHER;
not enter for the sake of anything I could
get by it. If ever I should see clearly-if
ever I should be taught to see beauty in the
land where you dwell-then will I enter in
willingly, and love it for its own sake."
Again the Prince smiled on the poor girl,
and turning to her master, he said-
"You have taught this poor forlorn one
after your fashion;-you have tried to do
away with her blindness with a scourge:-
now take a lesson from me."
And the Prince, with a gentle hand, while
kneeling lowly on the ground at her feet,
withdrew the film from her eyes.
Then the humble child of sorrow and
neglect gazed around her with a great won-
der in her eyes. She spoke not one word;
till all at once her looks fell on the Prince.
Then she fell at once upon his neck, crying-
"Wonderful is the loveliness I see every-
where around me! You too are beautiful;
I see Truth in your eyes-and I love you
from my soul!"
Then said the Prince-
OR, THE LAND OF TRUTH. 79
"Dear maid, come in to the banquet.
You only are worthy to sit at my right
And 0 what a banquet it was I The pure
waters of the crystal well flowed in goblets
of silver, and was most sweet to the taste.
Fruits unknown to other lands, gathered
freshly every hour, stood on the banquet-
board. Music came breathing in from all
quarters of the land, and the very breezes
made sweet harmony one with another.
When the banquet was done, the Prince
rose up and called for his horse. Again he
mounted, and rode away to the woods. Again
he sat the noble beast as if he were a part of
it. Again he took his arrow and his bow.
He had not been gone long before a sud-
den blaze of light, more vivid even than
that which usually surrounded the Land of
Truth, was seen to issue from a particular
quarter of the wood.
All the guests rushed out in amazement.
Rising above the forest trees they saw a
strange vision. It was a form, half horse
80 THE GOAT;
and half man. A bow and arrow were in
the man's hand.
They all said it was the Prince and his
When again they turned towards the Castle
walls-behold, the Castle had vanished! Of
all the wonders of the banquet nothing was
Only-still and ever-along the beautiful
blue fields above, crowned with stars, rides
the Princely Archer, with his arrow and his
THE GOAT ; OR, THE GRATEFUL ARAB.
The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seemed to run
So fast out of his heart, I thought
They never would have done."
AMroNo the Swiss Alps, where, besides the
loftier mountain ranges, lies many a fissured
rock and craggy wild, no animal is more
expert in climbing, or more safe amidst the
surrounding dangers, than the common Goat.
on, THE GRATEFUL ARAB. 81
This useful animal, while it is equally sure-
footed with the safe-treading mule, is at the
same time capable of sustaining itself in
situations where the mule would in vain
attempt to preserve its balance. In the
Alpine and other mountainous countries, the
goat will sometimes be seen poised, with
scarcely any hold for its feet, upon the jutting
points and crags of rocks, and upon the sides
and by the brink of formidable precipices.
More strange still are the feats which these
animals are taught to perform in Syria.
Passing through one of the beautiful
villages which lie scattered among the moun-
tains of Switzerland, an Arab was one day
seen to wander, followed closely by a goat.
The animal was one of the Dwarf African
breed, having close short hair, little beard,
and with a small pendulous, tassel-like excres-
cence of skin hanging from each side of the
The Goat was so different in appearance
from those ordinarily seen in that part of the
world, and the Arab, with his dark com-
82 THE GOAT;
plexion, brilliant eyes, and strange costume,
was so novel an object, that nearly all the
villagers left their various occupations to
follow the man and his four-footed companion.
Seeing the people disposed to the pastime,
the Arab commenced his exhibition. From
a small box which hung at his side, suspended
from his neck by a leather strap, Hassan
took a piece of wood in the form of a cylinder,
and placed it upright on the ground. He
then called to the Goat, addressing it by the
name of Abou," and bidding it to mount
upon the wood.
Abou instantly obeyed the voice of his
master; and, mounting to the top of the
tube, appeared to clasp the upper ridge with
all his four feet at once.
The villagers shouted, little children clapped
their hands, and all were vastly surprised.
But this was nothing to what Abou was able
to accomplish. Hassan, his master, took a
second piece of wood from the box, then a
third, then a fourth, then a fifth, and so on.
These pieces were placed in succession one
OR, THE GRATEFUL ARAB. 83
above another. Every time a new piece was
added to the pile, Abou was desired to mount.
He did so each time, till the pillar of small
separate tubes having now risen up to a
considerable height, Abou remained perched
upon the summit, to the no small amusement
of the lookers-on; until, at his master's
command, he at last finally descended.
"Down, Abou," said his master. "Is
Abou hungry? he continued, as the Goat
began to crop some rank grass that grew
A little girl, who was eating some bread,
here offered a piece to the Arab; but the
Arab shook his head. Hassan no eat," he
said, "while Abou is hungry. Abouonce saved
Hassan's life. Here, Abou," the good Arab
went on, offering the bread to his follower;
"Abou, eat and be glad! "
But the good Hassan was not allowed to
go unfed either. The people who had crowded
round the two, although they were not rich
themselves, each gave some trifling piece of
money to the wandering Arab.
84 THE GOAT;
The heart of the exiled Arabian was
touched by their charity. "Too much!"'
he cried-" too much! Hassan no ask so
much. You good people, very good people I
What can Hassan do? Tell him how he
shall thank you? "
With one voice the villagers cried, Pray,
good Arab, tell us the story of the Goat.
Let us hear how Abou saved the life of
Then Hassan seated himself on the ground,
with his Goat by his side; and all the villagers
seated themselves in a circle round about
him, while he cheerfully told them how it
One day," said he, while Hassan tra-
velled-very weary, very hungry-amongst
your great Alps, Hassan's foot slipped, and
he fell. He tumbled from craggy rock to
rock. He was stunned; he was giddy; his
brain whirled round. He gave himself up
When Hassan came to his senses again,
he found himself lying midway down a steep,
OR, THE GRATEFUL ARAB. 85
steep mountain There was no help near,
no living thing. Hassan's heart was heavy;
he could hope for no deliverance. No eye
could see him; no hand could reach him.
Hassan mourned too for Abou, as he
thought, 'what will poor Abou do without
his master, who took care of him and fed
"The first sight Hassan saw, when the
tears had rolled from his eyes, was Abou
coming down the rocks to him!
Hassan shouted to his favourite, and bade
him go back; for the master feared his
servant would be killed. But nothing would
"Down he came, leaping from rock to
rock, and from crag to jutting crag, safe and
unhurt. Hassan's heart beat for joy!
"Hassan took the good servant in his
arms, and fondled him as if he had been a
child. When again he looked up he saw
some men--stout Alpine hunters- gazing
down on the poor Arab where he lay.
"They had watched the Goat's movements,
86 THE GOAT; OR, THE GRATEFUL ARAB.
and, guided to the spot, beheld the danger in
which his master stood.
Soon they brought him means of help-
a long stout rope, and a stick they called an
alpenstock. With these the kind hunters
came to Hassan's help, and brought him
safely to the summit of the rock-his faithful
Abou following after I "
Hassan's tale was ended. But the simple
Arab crossed his hands over his rugged
breast, and added, You behold me, good
friends. I live-Hassan lives to tell you the
tale. You are good people. You no think
Hassan wrong when he says, 'Good deed
shines there!' "
And Hassan pointed upwards.
"Look up, my friends," he added. "When
the day is done, and the night comes, look
up; you will see Abou in the sky!"
Night came, and the villagers did as
Hassan had said.
And then, on high among the celestial
signs, the stars showed Capricornus the Goat.
FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-
THERE is a pleasant legend told in Alsatia to
this day, and one that is loved by all, because,
though but a legend, it speaks of what we all
know in showing how the good and dutiful are
cared for amidst the troubles and difficulties
which beset them in the world. The monks
of old time got hold of it and put it into Latin,
a German of our own day has delighted to
tell it in verse, and children are never weary
of hearing how the good Fritheof fared
among the lime-burners.
There was a certain King, who was a good
sort of man enough, except for two very great
faults he had. One was this : he was so easy
in giving belief to every story that was told to
him, that he sometimes did not a little harm
when he wished only to do good. When a
child, on being told that the moon was made
of his favourite curd cheese, he cried very
88 FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS.
heartily because he could not get at it. In
short, he could swallow the story, but not the
moon. The other fault was that he would
fly off into a terrible passion upon very
slight, provocation, and made himself miser-
able for a long time afterwards in repenting
at leisure for the wrong he had inflicted in
This King had no children of his own; but
he had a young nephew, the son of his only
sister, of whom he was very fond. So he
begged his sister to let the boy come and
live with' him, and promised to adopt him, to
educate him, and to treat him in every way
as his own son, and to give him his own
kingdom to rule over when he could no
longer rule over it himself, which was very
Thus it happened that the boy Fritheof
grew up in his uncle's palace, and became
his constant attendant. He was his page
and cup-bearer, and in hunting and other
royal sports was ever at his side. Nor
was Fritheof less esteemed by his gentle
FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS. '89
mistress, the Queen. Ill-health very often
kept her confined within the palace walls,
and one of her greatest pleasures was to sit
among her bower-maidens listening to the
sweet music of the lute, on which Fritheof
played with great skill; while he often ac-
companied with its chords such verses as he
himself composed. These compositions were
always simple ballads, the subjects of which
were the noble deeds of good men and
Now, the steward of the King's house-
hold was an ill-conditioned fellow, of a
jealous and grudging temper; and he no
sooner perceived in what favour the young
Fritheof was held by his royal master
and mistress, than he set his evil mind to
work, plotting how he might get him into
disgrace; "for," thought he, "if I can
but make it appear that the boy is decep-
tive and ungrateful, I shall myself stand
higher in favour than ever, for having
opened their eyes to his wickedness."
So, one day the false steward appeared
90 FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS.
before the King, and, with an assumed look
of deep distress, begged to be allowed to
speak of a burthen that lay heavy on his
"Speak," said the King; "but be brief,
for the hounds are baying, the steeds neigh-
ing, and Fritheof is impatient for the chase."
"Please your Highness," said the
steward, "it is of my young Lord Fritheof
that I would speak. It grieves me to have
to say it; but my duty to your-- "
Well, well, speak out, man!" inter-
rupted the King, as he saw the speaker
apparently hesitating how to proceed.
"Alas! that I should say it of my dear
young master; but the truth must be told.
Fair as he speaks when you, my lord, are
by-yet, no sooner is your back turned
than he mocks all you say and do, and, in
short, makes your Highness a perfect laugh-
ing-stock among your courtiers. It is
known to you, my gracious master, how
the young dog- Ahem! I mean, how
this clever young gentleman, your nephew
FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS. '1
and heir, composes all manner of songs,
and sings them to the lute. Only this
very morning my ears were shocked at
the coarse words I overheard him rehearse
in the midst of his companions, touching
your Highness's- "
"My what?" asked the King. "Tell
me instantly, or--"
"Pardon me, gracious King," said the
false steward, "I dare not utter to your
Highness's ears such filthy doggrel."
Repeat them, I command you," retorted
the King, with an angry gesture, "or pre-
pare to lose your head."
Thus ordered, with downcast eyes, as if
overcome with shame, the wicked man re-
cited the following lines, which his own low
mind had invented:-
My uncle, my uncle,
He had a carbuncle,
Bright and red, on the top of his nose;
A wart on his thumb,
And a few more to come,
And a corn upon each of his toes."
You should have seen the furious rage
92 FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS.
into which the King flew on hearing this.
Fritheof almost at the same moment ap-
pearing, equipped for the chase, with a
voice of thunder he ordered him to quit
his sight, and never again appear in his
presence. No sooner was the youth gone,
in sorrow and amazement, than the King
ordered his steward to dispatch a mes-
senger, post-haste, to the neighboring
forest, the abode of the lime-burners, to
command them to throw alive into their
frightful furnace the first living being
who should seek their dwelling on the
morrow to ask this question: Have the
King's commands been fulfilled?"
He then further desired him to order
Fritheof to start for the forest with the
first dawn of day, and to ask of the lime-
burners, The commands of my lord the
King, are they fulfilled ?"
So here was the poor innocent Fritheof
in a terrible strait, with, as it seemed, no
eye to watch over and save him from the
cruel wrath of his uncle.
FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS. 93
It so happened that as Fritheof passed
hurriedly out of the presence-chamber he
met his mother, the King's sister, on her
way to the palace to pay a visit to her royal
relative. With a voice broken by sobs, he
told her what had occurred, and implored her
advice as to what he should do to regain his
uncle's favour, which he seemed to have lost
by some error of which he was wholly un-
conscious. His mother, who was as wise as
she was loving, and always had some good
old saying or maxim to comfort the afflicted
or to guide the failing, bade him be of
good cheer, and trust that all would yet go
"My child," she said, "God strikes not
with both hands. A little time and a little
patience do great things. Go to your cham-
ber, dry your tears, and think well if you
can recall any act unworthy of you, which
you may unwittingly have committed. If
so, repent it, and when my brother's anger
has cooled down, go straight to him. Con-
fess your error, and entreat his pardon. If
94 FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS.
not-if your conscience acquits you, be pa-
tient, and leave the rest to God."
She then fondly kissed her beloved son,
and was proceeding on her way, when she
turned back for a moment to ask the boy
whom he had found in the King's presence
when he had himself entered and was so
roughly dismissed. When told that he had
seen no one there except the steward of the
household, she at once divined the truth, for
she saw through the crafty character of the
ignoble man, and she took her course accord-
When she entered the King's chamber he
was striding up and down, like a caged wild
beast chafing at his prison; and she might
as well have attempted to stroke an enraged
lion as to smooth down his angry mood. He
was so absorbed in his own thoughts that he
scarcely saw her, and she took heed not to
address him. Only, each time he passed and
repassed her where she stood, she repeated
low to herself some of those apt old sayings
which her memory recalled. The first was-
FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS. 95
Quick believers need broad shoulders."
The second was-
Beware of the vinegar of sweet wine."
The third was-
A child's service is little, but he is no little
fool that despises it."
She then went her way, knowing well that
these sayings would ring in his ears in good
time, though he seemed not to heed them at
the moment; and she was right, as we shall
see in the end.
Meanwhile the evil-minded steward sought
Fritheof, and, pretending to sympathise in
his trouble, offered his advice and his services
to help him out of the difficulty.
"Oh, thanks- a thousand thanks, good
Sir," exclaimed the unsuspecting boy; only
tell how I can get back the love of my dear
uncle and I shall be grateful to you all my
Well, well," said the steward, we will
see what can be done. The fact is, you came
upon the King at an unlucky moment; he
was just then chafing with anger at those
96 FRITHEOF AND THE LIME-BURNERS.
stupid lime-burners in the forest, who have
failed to complete some work he gave them
to do. If you will take my advice you will
start off to them before the dawn, and ask
them if the King's commands have been
obeyed. Do this, and, take my word for it,
all will go well."
Too glad was Fritheof to think that he
might be restored to his uncle's affection on
such easy terms. After passing an anxious
and sleepless night, he arose long before it
was light, and set out for the forest. He
began his journey in a blinding storm of
wind and rain. The road was dreary and
the way was long. As he approached the
gloomy depths of the vast woods, wild
animals, scared by his footsteps in that lonely
region, would cross his path, shrieking as
they flew by.
The owl was abroad, the bat and the toad,
And so was the cat-a-mountain;
The ant and the mole sat both in a hole,
And the frog peeped out of the fountain."
Yet Fritheof went on his way full of