Well, towards evening the giant goes down to the dungeon 5 again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel; but when he came there, he found them alive. I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born. 10
At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian fell into a swoon; but, coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best take it or no. Now Christian again seemed for doing it, but Hopeful reminded 15 him of the hardships and terrors he had already gone through, and said that they ought to bear up with patience as well as they could, and steadily reject the giant's wicked counsel.
Now, night being come again, and the giant and his 20 wife being in bed, she asked him concerning the prisoners, and if they had taken his counsel. To this he replied, "They are sturdy rogues; they choose rather to bear all hardships than to make away with themselves."
Then said she, "Take them into the castle yard to-morrow, 25 and show them the bones and skulls of those that thou hast already dispatched, and make them believe thou wilt tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them."
So when morning has come, the giant goes to them again, 30 and takes them into the castle yard, and shows them as his wife had bidden him. "These," said he, "were pilgrims, as you are, once, and they trespassed on my grounds, as you have done; and when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces; and so within ten days I will do to you. Get you down to your den again."
And with that he beat them all the way thither. 5
Now, when night was come, Mrs. Diffidence and her husband began to renew their discourse of their prisoners. The old giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor by his counsel bring them to an end.
And with that his wife replied. "I fear," said she, "that 10 they live in hopes that some will come to relieve them, or that they have picklocks about them, by the means of which they hope to escape."
"And sayest thou so, my dear?" said the giant. "I will therefore search them in the morning." 15
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Now a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, broke out into a passionate speech: "What a fool am I, thus to lie in a dungeon! I have a key in 20 my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle."
Then said Hopeful, "That's good news, good brother; pluck it out of thy bosom and try."
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom and began 25 to try at the dungeon door, whose bolt, as he turned the key, gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out.
After that, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too, but that lock went desperately hard: yet the 30 key did open it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed; but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking that it waked Giant Despair, who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the King's highway again, and so were safe. 5
1. Who was traveling with Christian? What mishap first befell them? Why did it occur? What next did they encounter? What happened to the two in Doubting Castle?
2. Explain what an allegory is. Remembering this is an allegory, what do you think each of the following represents in actual life: Bypath Meadow, Vain-Confidence, Doubting Castle, Giant Despair, Mrs. Diffidence, the key called Promise, the King's highway?
3. What is the significance of the name of each of the two leading characters?
4. Select and read aloud a short passage that reminds you of the Bible. In what way is the language of your passage like that of the Bible?
5. John Bunyan (1628-1688) was an Englishman, believed to be the son of a gipsy tinker. He said his youth was very ungodly; but he married a religious woman and early became a preacher. At the same time he began to write books of a religious nature. Because he preached at "unlawful meetings" he was thrown into prison, where he remained for twelve years. It was while he was in the Bedford jail that he wrote the first part of Pilgrim's Progress, the book that has made his name one of the best loved in literature. After his release from prison, he became an elected pastor of the Baptist faith, and spent his remaining years in preaching and writing. What is there in the above extract that may reflect his experiences in Bedford?
CHRISTMAS EVE AT FEZZIWIG'S
BY CHARLES DICKENS
Old Fezziwig in his warehouse laid down his pen and looked up at the clock, which pointed to the hour of seven. He rubbed his hands; adjusted his waistcoat; laughed all over himself, from his shoes to his organ 5 of benevolence; and called out in a comfortable, oily, rich, fat, jovial voice:
"Yo-ho, there! Ebenezer! Dick!"
Ebenezer came briskly in, followed by his fellow 'prentice. 10
"Yo-ho, my boys!" said Fezziwig. "No more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Dick! Christmas, Ebenezer! Let's have the shutters up," cried old Fezziwig, with a sharp clap of his hands, "before a man can say Jack Robinson." 15
You wouldn't believe how those two fellows went at it! They charged into the street with the shutters—one, two, three—had 'em in their places—four, five, six—barred 'em and pinned 'em—seven, eight, nine—and came back before you could have got to twelve, panting like race 20 horses.
"Hilli-ho!" cried old Fezziwig, skipping down from his desk with wonderful agility. "Clear away, my lads, and let's have lots of room here! Hilli-ho, Dick! Chirrup, Ebenezer!" 25
Clear away? There was nothing they wouldn't have cleared away or couldn't have cleared away, with old Fezziwig looking on. It was done in a minute. Every movable was packed off, as if it were dismissed from public life forevermore. The floor was swept and watered, the lamps were trimmed, fuel was heaped upon the fire; and the warehouse was as snug and warm, and dry and bright, 5 as any ballroom you would desire to see.
In came a fiddler with a music book, and went up to the lofty desk, and made an orchestra of it. In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs, beaming and lovable. In came the six 10 young followers whose hearts they broke. In came all the young men and young women employed in the business. In came the housemaid with her cousin the baker. In came the cook with her brother's particular friend the milkman In came the boy from over the way, who was 15 suspected of not having enough to eat from his master. In they all came, one after another—some shyly, some boldly, some gracefully, some awkwardly, some pushing, some pulling. In they all came, anyhow and everyhow.
Away they all went, twenty couples at once; down the 20 middle and up again; round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping; old top couple always turning up in the wrong place; new top couple starting off again as soon as they got there; all top couples at last, and not a bottom one to help them! 25
When this result was brought about, old Fezziwig, clapping his hands to stop the dance, cried out, "Well done!" Then there were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances; and there was cake, and there was a great piece of cold roast, and there was a great piece 30 of cold boiled, and there were mince pies and other delicacies. But the great effect of the evening came after the roast and the boiled, when the fiddler, artful dog, struck up Sir Roger de Coverley. Then old Mr. Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs. Fezziwig. Top couple, too, with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them; three or four and twenty pair of partners; people who were not to 5 be trifled with—people who would dance and had no notion of walking.
But if they had been twice as many—aye, four times—old Mr. Fezziwig would have been a match for them and so would Mrs. Fezziwig. As to her, she was worthy to 10 be his partner in every sense of the term. If that's not high praise, tell me higher and I'll use it. . . . And when Mr. Fezziwig and Mrs. Fezziwig had gone all through the dance—advance and retire, both hands to your partner, bow and curtsy, thread the needle, and back to your place—Fezziwig 15 "cut" so deftly that he appeared to wink with his legs, and came upon his feet again without a stagger.
When the clock struck eleven this domestic ball broke up. Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig took their stations one on either side of the door, and shaking hands with every person 20 individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas. When everybody had retired but the two apprentices they did the same to them; and thus the cheerful voices died away and the lads were left to their beds—which were under a counter in the back shop. 25
—A Christmas Carol.
1. A Christmas Carol is a story everybody should read and re-read. Why do you think it is so popular? What is there about this selection that is likable? How does it reflect the joy of the Christmas season?
2. List the books you know that Dickens wrote. Which have you read? Find some interesting facts about Dickens's life and report these to the class.
JEAN VALJEAN MEETS THE BISHOP
BY VICTOR HUGO
Victor Hugo (1802-1885), poet, dramatist, and novelist, dominated the literature of France during the nineteenth century. His novel, Les Miserables, written in 1862, during Hugo's long political exile, exemplifies his extensive knowledge of the deplorable conditions of life in France at that time, his understanding of the human heart, and his marvelous literary ability.
In the following extract from Les Miserables, the most famous character of the book, Jean Valjean, an ex-convict, takes his first step toward final regeneration by meeting Bishop D. The Bishop, known also as Monseigneur Welcome, voluntarily lived a simple and austere life with his sister and old housekeeper, but had humored his one weakness by retaining his table silver and handsome silver candlesticks.
Valjean is speaking to the Bishop at the beginning of the extract.
"You! Listen! I am Jean Valjean, the galley slave. I was nineteen years in prison. Four days ago they let me out and I started for Pontarlier. I have been tramping for four days since I left Toulon, and to-day I walked twelve leagues. When I came into the town this 5 evening I went to the inn, but because of my yellow passport that I had shown at the police office, they drove me out. Then I went to the other inn and the landlord said to me, 'Off with you!' Everywhere it was the same; no one would have anything to do with me. Even the 10 jailer of the prison would not take me in. So I was lying on a stone in the square, when a good woman came along and she said to me, pointing to this place, 'Knock there. They will take you in.' What is this? Is it an inn? I have money—all that I earned in the prison for nineteen years—109 francs and 15 sous. I will pay. I am terribly tired and almost famished. Will you let me stay here?"
"Madame Magloire," said the Bishop to his aged housekeeper, "you will please lay another place for supper." 5
Jean Valjean shuffled to the table where the lamp stood. He took a large yellow paper from his pocket and unfolded it. "Wait," he said, "You don't seem to understand. I am a galley slave, a convict, just from prison. This is my yellow passport which makes everyone drive me away. 10 You must read it. I can read it myself; I learned to read in the prison, where they have a class for those that want to learn. This is what it says on my yellow paper: 'Jean Valjean, a liberated convict, has been nineteen years at the galleys. Five years for burglary, fourteen years 15 for having tried four times to escape. A very dangerous man.' Now, will you turn me away like all the others, or will you give me food and a bed? Perhaps you have a stable?"
"Madame Magloire," said the Bishop, "kindly put clean 20 sheets on our extra bed in the alcove."
Madame Magloire left the room at once to carry out these instructions. The Bishop turned to the ex-convict, saying, "Draw a chair to the fire, sir, we shall eat presently. Your bed will be prepared while we are at supper." 25
* * * * *
After bidding good-night to his sister and Madame Magloire, the Bishop took one of the silver candlesticks and handing the other to his guest, Jean Valjean, he said, "I will conduct you to your room, sir. I trust you will have a good night's rest. To-morrow morning, before you leave, 30 you will drink a glass of milk from our cow."
As the cathedral bell struck two, Jean Valjean awoke. The strange sensation of sleeping in a comfortable bed once more, after nineteen years of life in the galleys, disturbed his sleep. His first weariness had worn off after a few hours of deep sleep. After looking into the darkness 5 about him, he tried to sleep again. When many agitating sensations have filled a man's day, and still preoccupy his mind, he may fall asleep once, but he cannot go to sleep a second time. So sleep had come to Jean Valjean, but would not return to him, and he lay awake thinking. 10
His mind was filled with troubled ideas, which seemed to float in a kind of obscurity. His old recollections and recent experiences became confused, lost their identity, grew out of proportion, dwindled, then disappeared entirely, all in a distressing vagueness. But one thought persistently 15 returned, to the exclusion of all the others. It was this: the six silver forks and spoons and the handsome silver ladle were in the next room, only a few yards from him. He had seen Madame Magloire put them into a small cupboard in the adjoining room, on the right as you came from 20 the dining room. It was fine, old silver—the ladle alone must be worth at least 200 francs, which was twice as much as he had earned during his nineteen years in the galleys.
For one hour his mind was occupied with this absorbing 25 theme—weighing, wavering, even struggling. Suddenly at the stroke of three, he sat upright, reached out for his knapsack, which he had thrown into a corner, and found himself, to his surprise, seated on the edge of the bed. He sat thus for a while, deep in thought; then stooped, took 30 off his shoes; then once more resumed his thoughts, sitting motionless. During this period, he again had the sensation of all his old and new experiences crossing and recrossing each other in his mind and weighing upon him. He was thinking of an old companion of the galleys, recalling his queer mannerisms, when the clock struck the quarter or half hour, seeming to call to him "To work!" 5
He stood up and listened. The house was absolutely silent. He tiptoed to the window and looked out. The wind was driving heavy clouds across a full moon, producing alternate light and darkness, within and without. Jean Valjean examined the window; it was closed by a small peg, 10 had no bars, and looked upon the little garden. He opened it, but closed it again promptly upon the sharp cold wind that entered. A study of the garden showed it to be inclosed by a low whitewashed wall, and a view of treetops at regular intervals beyond indicated a public walk. 15
This study being completed, Jean Valjean returned to the alcove, drew from his knapsack an iron bar which he placed on the bed, put his shoes in a compartment of his knapsack, which he then lifted to his shoulders, drew his cap down over his eyes, took his stick from the corner, and 20 finally returning to the bed, took up the article which he had laid there.
* * * * *
At sunrise the following morning, the Bishop was walking as usual in his little garden, when Madame Magloire came hurrying toward him in the greatest excitement. 25
"Monseigneur," she exclaimed, "all our table silver is stolen and the man is gone."
Just then, glancing at the corner of the garden, she saw that the coping of the wall had been broken away.
"Look at the wall! He must have climbed over into the 30 lane! And all our silver stolen! What a crime!"
After a moment's silence, the Bishop said earnestly to Madame Magloire,
"As a matter of fact, was the silver really ours?"
The old housekeeper stood speechless. The Bishop continued, 5
"It was wrong of me to keep that silver; it belonged rightfully to the poor. And that man was a poor man, surely."
"Oh, Monseigneur!" murmured Madame Magloire, "neither Mademoiselle your sister, nor I, care about the 10 silver. It was only for you. What will Monseigneur eat with now?"
"Are not pewter forks and spoons to be had?" said the Bishop.
"Pewter smells," said Madame Magloire. 15
"Then iron?" continued the Bishop.
"Iron has a bad taste," and Madame Magloire grimaced expressively.
"That still leaves wood," exclaimed the Bishop triumphantly. Later, at breakfast, the Bishop jokingly commented 20 to his silent sister and grumbling housekeeper, that for a breakfast of bread and milk even a wooden fork was unnecessary.
"Just think of it," muttered Madame Magloire as she trotted back and forth between the dining room and kitchen, 25 "to take in a convict like that, and let him eat and sleep with decent people. It's lucky that he didn't do worse than steal. It terrifies one just to think of what might have happened."
At the moment that the Bishop and his sister were 30 leaving the table, there was a knock at the door.
"Enter," said the Bishop.
The door opened, and there appeared three gendarmes holding a man by the collar. The man was Jean Valjean. The leader of the party, a corporal, saluted the Bishop.
"Monseigneur," he began.
Jean Valjean looked up, dazed. 5
"Monseigneur!" he muttered, "then this is not an inn. He is not just a priest!"
"Silence," commanded the corporal. "This is Monseigneur the Bishop."
The aged Bishop was making his way to Jean Valjean as 10 rapidly as he could.
"Ah, here you are again," he said, "I am glad to see you. You know I gave you the candlesticks, too. Why did you not take them? They are worth at least 200 francs. You should have taken them along with the plate 15 silver."
Words cannot describe the expression in the eyes of Jean Valjean as he gazed at the Bishop.
"Then, Monseigneur, what this man says is true?" asked the corporal. "He looked as if he was escaping from somewhere, 20 so we arrested him. And then we found this silver plate upon him."
"And then," interrupted the Bishop, "he explained, of course, that an old priest at whose house he stayed last night gave him the plate? I see. And you brought him 25 back. You were wrong."
"Then we are to let him go?" asked the corporal.
"Certainly," replied the Bishop.
Jean Valjean was released. He staggered back.
"Is it true that I am free?" he murmured weakly. 30
"Yes, of course. And my friend," the Bishop continued, "take the candlesticks with you this time."
Going to the mantelpiece, he took down the two candlesticks and brought them to Jean Valjean. The two women watched, speechless, but made no sign of dissent. Jean Valjean was trembling; he took the candlesticks mechanically, as if in a dream. 5
"Depart in peace," said the Bishop, "and, by the way, when you come again, enter by the front door; it is only latched."
Turning to the gendarmes, he said, "Gentlemen, it is unnecessary for you to remain." 10
The gendarmes retired.
Jean Valjean seemed unable to recover his senses; he felt himself about to faint, when the Bishop approached and said to him, in a very low voice,
"Remember always, my friend, that I have your promise 15 to use this money to become an honest man."
Jean Valjean, unconscious of having made a promise of any kind, remained silent.
With great solemnity, the Bishop continued, in a low but firm voice: 20
"Jean Valjean, henceforth you belong only to good. Your soul I have bought and herewith I banish from it all black thoughts and the spirit of Evil, and give it to Good."
1. Who are the two characters that come into contact here? Tell what each is like. What, in a way, does each represent?
2. Did Valjean have any intention of robbing anyone when he asked for lodging? Was Valjean accountable for the theft? Discuss fully.
3. Where is the point of highest dramatic interest? If you were painting a scene from the selection, which would you select?
4. Explain why the Bishop did what he did in the final scene.
A VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT
BY JONATHAN SWIFT
The adventures of Captain Lemuel Gulliver, as told by Swift in Gulliver's Travels, have been read with delight for two hundred years. Gulliver first lands in Lilliput and has thrilling adventures among the little people. Then he visits Brobdingnag, the land of giants. His third voyage takes him to Laputa, where he sees the philosophers; and on the fourth he visits the land of the Houyhnhnms. The last two voyages are not so entertaining as the first two, which are classics.
We set sail from Bristol May 4th, 1699, and our voyage at first was very prosperous. It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with the particulars of our adventures in those seas; let it suffice to inform him that in our passage from thence to the East 5 Indies we were driven by a violent storm to the northwest of Van Diemen's Land. By an observation we found ourselves in the latitude of thirty degrees, two minutes, south. Twelve of our crew were dead by immoderate labor and ill food, and the rest were in a very weak condition. 10
On the fifth of November, which was the beginning of summer in those parts, the weather being very hazy, the seamen spied a rock within half a cable's length of the ship; but the wind was so strong that we were driven directly upon it and immediately split. Six of the crew, of whom 15 I was one, having let down the boat into the sea, made a shift to get clear of the ship and the rock. We rowed, by my computation, about three leagues, till we were able to work no longer, being already spent with labor while we were in the ship. We therefore trusted ourselves to the mercy of the waves, and in about half an hour the boat was overset by a sudden flurry from the north. What became of my companions in the boat, as well as those who escaped on the rock or were left in the vessel, I cannot 5 tell; but conclude they were all lost.
For my own part I swam as fortune directed me, and was pushed forward by wind and tide. I often let my legs drop, and could feel no bottom; but when I was almost gone, and able to struggle no longer, I found myself within 10 my depth, and by this time the storm was much abated. The declivity was so small that I walked near a mile before I got to the shore, which I reached, as I conjectured, at about eight o'clock in the evening. I then advanced forward near half a mile, but could not discover any sign of houses or 15 inhabitants; at least I was in so weak a condition that I did not observe them. I was extremely tired, and with that, and the heat of the weather, and about half a pint of brandy that I drank as I left the ship, I found myself much inclined to sleep. I lay down on the grass, which was 20 very short and soft, where I slept sounder than ever I remember to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, above nine hours; for when I awaked it was just daylight. I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir; for as I happened to lie on my back, I found my arms and legs were strongly 25 fastened on each side to the ground; and my hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the same manner. I likewise felt several slender ligatures across my body, from my armpits to my thighs. I could only look upwards, the sun began to grow hot, and the light offended my eyes. 30 I heard a confused noise about me, but in the posture in which I lay, I could see nothing except the sky.
In a little time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin, when bending mine eyes downward as much as I could I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his 5 hands, and a quiver at his back. In the meantime I felt at least forty more of the same kind (as I conjectured) following the first. I was in the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud that they all ran back in a fright; and some of them, as I was afterwards told, were hurt with the falls 10 they got by leaping from my sides upon the ground. However they soon returned, and one of them, who ventured so far as to get a full sight of my face, lifting up his hands and eyes by way of admiration, cried out in a shrill but distinct voice, "Hekinah degul"; and others repeated the 15 same words several times, but I then knew not what they meant. I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great uneasiness.
At length, struggling to get loose, I had the fortune to break the strings and wrench out the pegs that fastened 20 my left arm to the ground; for, by lifting it up to my face, I discovered the methods they had taken to bind me; and, at the same time, with a violent pull which gave me excessive pain, I a little loosened the strings that tied down my hair on the left side, so that I was just able to turn my 25 head about two inches; but the creatures ran off a second time, before I could seize them, whereupon there was a great shout in a very shrill accent, and after it ceased I heard one of them cry aloud, "Tolgo phonac," when in an instant I felt above a hundred arrows discharged on my 30 left hand, which pricked me like so many needles; and, besides, they shot another flight into the air, as we do bombs in Europe, whereof many, I suppose, fell on my body (though I felt them not) and some on my face, which I immediately covered with my left hand. When this shower was over, I fell a groaning with grief and pain; and then striving again to get loose, they discharged another volley 5 larger than the first, and some of them attempted with spears to stick me in the sides; but, by good luck, I had on me a buff jerkin, which they could not pierce.
I thought it the most prudent method to lie still, and my design was to continue so till night, when my left hand 10 being already loose I could easily free myself. And as for the inhabitants, I had reason to believe I might be a match for the greatest armies they could bring against me, if they were all of the same size with him that I saw. But fortune disposed otherwise of me. When the people 15 observed I was quiet, they discharged no more arrows; but by the noise I heard I knew their numbers increased; and about four yards from me, over against my right ear, I heard a knocking for above an hour, like that of people at work; when, turning my head that way as well as the pegs 20 and strings would permit me, I saw a stage erected about a foot and a half from the ground, capable of holding four of the inhabitants, with two or three ladders to mount it, from whence one of them, who seemed to be a person of quality, made me a long speech, whereof I understood not 25 one syllable. But I should have mentioned that before the principal person began his oration he cried out three times, "Langro dehlsan" (these words and the former were afterwards repeated and explained to me), whereupon immediately about fifty of the inhabitants came and cut the 30 strings that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of turning it to the right and of observing the person and gesture of him that was to speak. He appeared to be of a middle age, and taller than any of the other three who attended him, whereof one was a page that held up his train, and seemed to be somewhat longer than my middle finger; the other two stood one 5 on each side to support him. He acted every part of an orator, and I could observe many periods of threatenings, and others of promises, pity, and kindness. I answered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting up my left hand and both mine eyes to the sun, as 10 calling him for a witness: and being almost famished with hunger, having not eaten a morsel for some hours before I left the ship, I found the demands of nature so strong upon me that I could not forbear showing my impatience (perhaps against the strict rules of decency) 15 by putting my finger frequently on my mouth, to signify that I wanted food. The hurgo (for so they call a great lord, as I afterwards learned) understood me very well.
He descended from the stage, and commanded that 20 several ladders should be applied to my side on which above a hundred of the inhabitants mounted, and walked toward my mouth, laden with baskets full of meat, which had been provided and sent thither by the king's orders upon the first intelligence he received of me. I observed there was 25 the flesh of several animals, but could not distinguish them by the taste. There were shoulders, legs, and loins, shaped like those of mutton, and very well dressed, but smaller than the wings of a lark. I ate them by two or three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a time about 30 the bigness of musket bullets. They supplied me as fast as they could, showing a thousand marks of wonder and astonishment at my bulk and appetite. I then made another sign that I wanted drink. They found by my eating that a small quantity would not suffice me, and, being a most ingenious people, they flung up with great dexterity one of their largest hogsheads; then rolled it toward my hand, 5 and beat out the top; I drank it off at a draft, which I might well do, for it did not hold half a pint and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy, but much more delicious. They brought me a second hogshead, which I drank in the same manner and made signs for more, but they had none 10 to give me. When I had performed these wonders they shouted for joy, and danced upon my breast, repeating several times, as they did at first, "Hekinah degul." They made me a sign that I should throw down the two hogsheads, but first warning the people below to stand out 15 of the way, crying aloud, "Borach mivola"; and when they saw the vessels in the air, there was an universal shout of "Hekinah degul." I confess I was often tempted, while they were passing backward and forward on my body, to seize forty or fifty of the first that came in my reach, and 20 dash them against the ground. But the remembrance of what I had felt, which probably might not be the worst they could do, and the promise of honor I made them, for so I interpreted my submissive behavior, soon drove out these imaginations. Besides, I now considered myself as 25 bound by the laws of hospitality to a people who had treated me with so much expense and magnificence. However, in my thoughts I could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who durst venture to mount and walk upon my body, while one of my hands was 30 at liberty, without trembling at the very sight of so prodigious a creature as I must appear to them.
After some time, when they observed that I made no more demand for meat, there appeared before me a person of high rank from His Imperial Majesty. His Excellency having mounted on the small of my right leg, advanced forward, up to my face, with about a dozen of his retinue, and 5 producing his credentials under the signet royal, which he applied close to mine eyes, spoke about ten minutes, without any signs of anger, but with a kind of determinate resolution, often pointing forward, which, as I afterward found, was toward the capital city, about half a mile distant, 10 whither it was agreed by His Majesty in council that I must be conveyed. I answered in a few words, but to no purpose, and made a sign with my hand that was loose, putting it to the other (but over His Excellency's head for fear of hurting him or his train) and then to my own head 15 and body, to signify that I desired my liberty. It appeared that he understood me well enough, for he shook his head by way of disapprobation, and held his hand in a posture to show that I must be carried as a prisoner. However, he made other signs to let me understand that I should have meat and 20 drink enough, and very good treatment: whereupon I once more thought of attempting to break my bonds, but again, when I felt the smart of their arrows upon my face and hands, which were all in blisters, and many of the darts still sticking in them, and observing likewise that the 25 number of my enemies increased, I gave tokens to let them know that they might do with me what they pleased. Upon this the hurgo and his train withdrew with much civility and cheerful countenances.
Soon after I heard a general shout, with frequent repetition 30 of the words "Peplom selan," and I felt great numbers of the people on my left side relaxing the cords to such a degree that I was able to turn upon my right. But before this they had daubed my face and both my hands with a sort of ointment very pleasant to the smell, which in a few minutes removed all the smart of their arrows. These circumstances, added to the refreshment I had 5 received by their victuals and drink, which were very nourishing, disposed me to sleep. I slept about eight hours as I was afterward assured; and it was no wonder, for the physicians, by the emperor's order, had mingled a sleeping potion in the hogsheads of wine. 10
It seems that upon the first moment I was discovered sleeping on the ground after my landing, the emperor had early notice of it by an express, and determined in council that I should be tied in the manner I have related (which was done in the night while I slept), that plenty of 15 meat and drink should be sent to me, and a machine prepared to carry me to the capital city.
This resolution perhaps may appear very bold and dangerous, and I am confident would not be imitated by any prince in Europe on the like occasion; however, in 20 my opinion it was extremely prudent as well as generous. For supposing these people had endeavored to kill me with their spears and arrows while I was asleep, I should certainly have awaked with the first sense of smart, which might so far have roused my rage and strength as to have 25 enabled me to break the strings wherewith I was tied; after which, as they were not able to make resistance, so they could expect no mercy.
These people are most excellent mathematicians, and arrived to a great perfection in mechanics by the countenance 30 and encouragement of the emperor, who is a renowned patron of learning. This prince hath several machines fixed on wheels for the carriage of trees and other great weights. He often builds his largest men of war, whereof some are nine feet long, in the woods where the timber grows, and has them carried on these engines three or four hundred yards to the sea. Five hundred carpenters 5 and engineers were immediately set at work to prepare the greatest engine they had. It was a frame of wood raised three inches from the ground, about seven feet long and four wide, moving upon twenty-two wheels. The shout I heard was upon the arrival of this engine, which it seems 10 set out in four hours after my landing. It was brought parallel to me as I lay. But the principal difficulty was to raise and place me in this vehicle. Eighty poles, each of one foot high, were erected for this purpose, and very strong cords of the bigness of packthread were fastened by hooks 15 to many bandages, which the workmen had girt round my neck, my hands, my body, and my legs. Nine hundred of the strongest men were employed to draw up these cords by many pulleys fastened on the poles, and thus in less than three hours, I was raised and flung into the engine, 20 and there tied fast. All this I was told, for while the whole operation was performing, I lay in a profound sleep, by the force of that soporiferous medicine infused into my liquor. Fifteen hundred of the emperor's largest horses, each about four inches and a half high, were employed to 25 draw me toward the metropolis, which, as I said, was half a mile distant.
About four hours after we began our journey, I awaked by a very ridiculous accident; for the carriage being stopped a while to adjust something that was out of order, two or 30 three of the young natives had the curiosity to see how I looked when I was asleep; they climbed up into the engine, and advancing very softly to my face, one of them, an officer in the guards, put the sharp end of his half-pike a good way into my left nostril, which tickled my nose like a straw, and made me sneeze violently; whereupon they stole off unperceived, and it was three weeks before I knew 5 the cause of my awaking so suddenly. We made a long march the remaining part of that day, and rested that night with five hundred guards on each side of me, half with torches, and half with bows and arrows, ready to shoot me if I should offer to stir. The next morning at 10 sunrise we continued our march, and arrived within two hundred yards of the city gates about noon. The emperor and all his court came out to meet us, but his great officers would by no means suffer His Majesty to endanger his person by mounting on my body. 15
At the place where the carriage stopped, there stood an ancient temple, esteemed to be the largest in the whole kingdom, which having been polluted some years before by an unnatural murder, was, according to the zeal of those people, looked on as profane, and therefore had been applied 20 to common use, and all the ornaments and furniture carried away. In this edifice it was determined I should lodge. The great gate fronting to the north was about four feet high, and almost two feet wide, through which I could easily creep. On each side of the gate was a small window, not 25 above six inches from the ground; into that on the left side the king's smiths conveyed fourscore and eleven chains, like those that hang to a lady's watch in Europe, and almost as large, which were locked to my left leg with six and thirty padlocks. Over against this temple, on the other side 30 of the great highway, at twenty foot distance, there was a turret at least five foot high. Here the emperor ascended with at least twenty lords of his court, to have an opportunity of viewing me, as I was told, for I could not see them. It was reckoned that above an hundred thousand inhabitants came out of the town upon the same errand; and in spite of my guards, I believe there could not be fewer 5 than ten thousand, at several times, who mounted upon my body by the help of ladders. But a proclamation was soon issued to forbid it upon pain of death. When the workmen found that it was impossible for me to break loose, they cut all the strings that bound me; whereupon I rose up 10 with as melancholy a disposition as ever I had in my life. But the noise and astonishment of the people at seeing me rise and walk are not to be expressed. The chains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me not only the liberty of walking backwards and forwards in 15 a semicircle, but being fixed within four inches of the gate, allowed me to creep in, and lie at full length in the temple.
1. Relate briefly what happened to Gulliver after he landed on Lilliput. What devices does Swift use to make this story appear real.
2. Do the little people act exactly like people of our own kind?
3. Swift was a master satirist; that is, he was constantly ridiculing people, things, or customs. Do you find any trace of satire in this selection?
4. Pronounce, define, and use in sentences: prosperous league inhabitant pulley perceived violent forty soporiferous syllable morsel dexterity metropolis intrepidity diminutive parallel hospitality
5. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was born and educated in Dublin, Ireland. Most of his manhood was spent in that country, where he figured prominently in political and religious affairs. In 1713 he was made dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
THE STRUGGLE IN THE ARENA
BY HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ
Nero was the emperor of Rome, A. D. 54-68. He was a wicked tyrant among whose crimes are the death of his first wife, the death of his own mother, and the murder of a second wife. Two thirds of the city of Rome was burned, and the emperor has been accused of having had the fire set so he could enjoy the sight. Be that as it may, Nero laid the blame on the Christians whom he persecuted. They were thrown into prison, fed to wild beasts in the arena, and burned on poles. Among the captives were the maid Lygia, and her faithful guard, Ursus. Vinicius, Lygia's lover, belonged to the Roman nobility. He had once tried to seize Lygia, but Ursus had foiled his plan by killing the attendant, Croton.
The prefect of the city waved a red handkerchief, the hinges opposite Caesar's podium creaked, and out of the dark gully came Ursus into the brightly lighted arena.
The giant blinked, dazed evidently by the glitter of the arena; then he pushed into the center, gazing around as 5 if to see what he had to meet. It was known to all the Augustans and to most of the spectators that he was the man who had stifled Croton; hence at sight of him a murmur passed along every bench. In Rome there was no lack of gladiators larger by far than the common 10 measure of man, but Roman eyes had never seen the like of Ursus. Cassius, standing in Caesar's podium, seemed puny compared with that Lygian.
Senators, vestals, Caesar, the Augustans, and the people gazed with the delight of experts at his mighty limbs as 15 large as tree trunks, at his breast as large as two shields joined together, and his arms of a Hercules. The murmur rose every instant. For those multitudes there could be no higher pleasure than to look at those muscles in play in the exertion of a struggle. The murmur rose to shouts, and eager questions were put: Where did the people live 5 who could produce such a giant?
He stood there, in the middle of the amphitheater, naked, more like a stone colossus than a man, with a collected expression, and at the same time the sad look of a barbarian; and while surveying the empty arena, he gazed 10 wonderingly with his blue childlike eyes, now at the spectators, now at Caesar, now at the grating of the cunicula, whence, as he thought, his executioners would come.
At that moment when he stepped into the arena his simple heart was beating for the last time with the hope 15 that perhaps a cross was waiting for him; but when he saw neither the cross nor the hole in which it might be put, he thought that he was unworthy of such favor—that he would find death in another way, and surely from wild beasts. He was unarmed, and had determined to die as 20 became a confessor of the "Lamb," peacefully and patiently. Meanwhile he wished to pray once more to the Savior; so he knelt on the arena, joined his hands, and raised his eyes toward the stars which were glittering in the lofty opening of the amphitheater. 25
That act displeased the crowds. They had had enough of those Christians who died like sheep. They understood that if the giant would not defend himself the spectacle would be a failure. Here and there hisses were heard. Some began to cry for scourgers, whose office it was to 30 lash combatants unwilling to fight. But soon all had grown silent, for no one knew what was waiting for the giant, nor whether he would not be ready to struggle when he met death eye to eye.
In fact, they had not long to wait. Suddenly the shrill sound of brazen trumpets was heard, and at that signal a grating opposite Caesar's podium was opened, and into the 5 arena rushed, amid shouts of beast keepers, an enormous German aurochs, bearing on his head the naked body of a woman.
"Lygia! Lygia!" cried Vinicius.
Then he seized his hair near the temples, squirmed like a 10 man who feels a sharp dart in his body, and began to repeat in hoarse accents:
"I believe! I believe! O Christ, a miracle!"
And he did not even feel that Petronius covered his head that moment with the toga. It seemed to him that 15 death or pain had closed his eyes. He did not look, he did not see. The feeling of some awful emptiness possessed him. In his head there remained not a thought; his lips merely repeated, as if in madness,
"I believe! I believe! I believe!" 20
This time the amphitheater was silent. The Augustans rose in their places, as one man, for in the arena something uncommon had happened. That Lygian, obedient and ready to die, when he saw his queen on the horns of the wild beast sprang up as if touched by living fire, and 25 bending forward he ran at the raging animal.
From all breasts a sudden cry of amazement was heard, after which came deep silence.
The Lygian fell on the raging bull in a twinkle, and seized him by the horns. 30
"Look!" cried Petronius, snatching the toga from the head of Vinicius.
The latter rose; his face was as pale as linen, and he looked into the arena with a glassy, vacant stare.
All breasts ceased to breathe. In the amphitheater a fly might be heard on the wing. People could not believe their own eyes. Since Rome was Rome, no one had seen such a 5 spectacle.
The Lygian held the wild beast by the horns. The man's feet sank in the sand to his ankles, his back was bent like a drawn bow, his head was hidden between his shoulders, on his arms the muscles came out so that the skin almost 10 burst from their pressure; but he had stopped the bull in his tracks. And the man and the beast remained so still that the spectators thought themselves looking at a picture showing a deed of Hercules or Theseus, or a group hewn from stone. 15
But in that apparent repose there was a tremendous exertion of two struggling forces. The bull sank his feet as well as did the man in the sand, and his dark, shaggy body was curved so that it seemed a gigantic ball. Which of the two would fail first, which would fall first,—that 20 was the question for those spectators enamored of such struggles; a question which at that moment meant more for them than their own fate, than all Rome and its lordship over the world.
That Lygian was in their eyes then a demigod worthy of 25 honor and statues. Caesar himself stood up as well as others. He and Tigellinus, hearing of the man's strength, had arranged this spectacle purposely, and said to each other with a jeer, "Let that slayer of Croton kill the bull which we choose for him"; so they looked now with 30 amazement at that picture as if not believing that it could be real.
In the amphitheater were men who had raised their arms and remained in that posture. Sweat covered the faces of others, as if they themselves were struggling with the beast. In the Circus nothing was heard save the sound of flame in the lamps, and the crackle of bits of coal 5 as they dropped from the torches. Their voices died on the lips of the spectators, but their hearts were beating in their breasts as if to split them. It seemed to all that the struggle was lasting for ages. But the man and the beast continued on in their monstrous exertion; one 10 might have said that they were planted in the earth.
Meanwhile a dull roar resembling a groan was heard from the arena, after which a brief shout was wrested from every breast, and again there was silence. People thought themselves dreaming till the enormous head of the bull 15 began to turn in the iron hands of the barbarian. The face, neck, and arms of the Lygian grew purple; his back bent still more. It was clear that he was rallying the remnant of his superhuman strength, but that he could not last long. 20
Duller and duller, hoarser and hoarser, more and more painful grew the groan of the bull as it mingled with the whistling breath from the breast of the giant. The head of the beast turned more and more, and from his jaws came a long, foaming tongue. 25
A moment more, and to the ears of spectators sitting nearer came as it were the crack of breaking bones; then the beast rolled on the earth with his neck twisted in death.
The giant removed in a twinkle the ropes from the horns of the bull, and, raising the maiden, began to breathe 30 hurriedly. His face became pale, his hair stuck together from sweat, his shoulders and arms seemed flooded with water. For a moment he stood as if only half conscious; then he raised his eyes and looked at the spectators.
The amphitheater had gone wild.
The walls of the building were trembling from the roar of tens of thousands of people. Since the beginning of spectacles 5 there was no memory of such excitement. Those who were sitting on the highest rows came down, crowding in the passages between benches to look more nearly at the strong man. Everywhere were heard cries for mercy, passionate and persistent, which soon turned into one 10 unbroken thunder. That giant had become dear to those people enamored of physical strength; he was the first personage in Rome.
He understood that the multitudes were striving to grant him his life and restore him his freedom, but clearly his 15 thought was not on himself alone. He looked around awhile; then approached Caesar's podium, and holding the body of the maiden on his outstretched arms, raised his eyes with entreaty, as if to say,
"Have mercy on her! Save the maiden. I did that for 20 her sake!"
The spectators understood perfectly what he wanted. At sight of the unconscious maiden, who near the enormous Lygian seemed a child, emotion seized the multitude of senators and knights. Her slender form, as white as if 25 chiseled from alabaster, her fainting, the dreadful danger from which the giant had freed her, and finally her beauty and attachment had moved every heart. Some thought the man a father begging mercy for his child. Pity burst forth suddenly, like a flame. They had had blood, death, 30 and torture in sufficiency. Voices choked with tears began to entreat mercy for both.
Meanwhile, Ursus, holding the girl in his arms, moved around the arena, and with his eyes and with motions begged her life for her. Now Vinicius started up from his seat, sprang over the barrier which separated the front places from the arena, and, running to Lygia, covered her naked 5 body with his toga.
Then he tore apart the tunic on his breast, laid bare the scars left by wounds received in the Armenian war, and stretched out his hands to the audience.
Then the enthusiasm of the multitude passed everything 10 seen in a circus before. The crowd stamped and howled. Voices calling for mercy grew simply terrible. People not only took the part of the athlete, but rose in defense of the soldier, the maiden, their love. Thousands of spectators turned to Caesar with flashes of anger in their eyes and with 15 clinched fists.
But Caesar halted and hesitated. Against Vinicius he had no hatred indeed, and the death of Lygia did not concern him; but he preferred to see the body of the maiden rent by the horns of the bull or torn by the claws of beasts. 20 His cruelty, his deformed imagination and deformed desires, found a kind of delight in such spectacles. And now the people wanted to rob him. Hence anger appeared on his bloated face. Self-love also would not let him yield to the wish of the multitude, and still he did not dare to oppose 25 it, through his inborn cowardice.
So he gazed around to see if, among the Augustans at least, he could not find fingers turned down in sign of death. But Petronius held up his hand, and looked almost challengingly into Nero's face. Vestinius, superstitious but 30 inclined to enthusiasm, a man who feared ghosts but not the living, gave a sign for mercy also.
Then Nero turned to the place where command over the pretorians was held by the stern Subrius Flavius, hitherto devoted with whole soul to him, and saw something unusual. The face of the old tribune was stern, but covered with tears, and he was holding his hand up in sign of mercy. 5
Now rage began to possess the multitude. Dust rose from beneath the stamping feet, and filled the amphitheater. In the midst of shouts were heard cries: "Ahenobarbus! Matricide! Incendiary!"
Nero was alarmed. The people were absolute lords in the 10 Circus. He wanted their favor on his side against the senate and the patricians, and especially after the burning of Rome he strove by all means to win it, and turn their anger against the Christians. He understood, besides, that to oppose longer was simply dangerous. A disturbance 15 begun in the Circus might seize the whole city, and have results incalculable. And seeing everywhere frowning brows, moved faces, and eyes fixed on him, he gave the sign for mercy.
1. At about what time is this story laid? Where? Compare its setting with that of "The Lists at Ashby," page 363.
2. Who are the chief characters? What was the general situation with respect to the Christians?
3. Did Ursus know what he was to confront when he entered the arena? Why did he expect to be crucified?
4. Relate what took place in the arena.
5. Explain: podium, Hercules, colossus, superhuman, barbarian; line 13, page 407; lines 8-9, page 412.
6. Sienkiewicz (shĕn-kyā'vǐch) is a famous Polish novelist (1846-1916). His best known novel is Quo Vadis ("Whither goest thou?").
(From Jeremiah Curtin's translation of Quo Vadis, copyrighted by Little, Brown & Company.)
POLONIUS'S ADVICE TO HIS SON
BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Memorize a goodly passage from this, and interpret the meaning of your selection to the class.
There; my blessing with thee! And these few precepts in thy memory See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. 5 Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in, 10 Bear 't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; 15 For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are most select and generous, chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, 20 And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all; to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
1. Spend at least one recitation discussing the life and works of Shakespeare. Bring to class some interesting accounts of him or his plays.
BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Antonio, a merchant-shipper of Venice, has met with financial losses. Shylock, his grasping creditor and competitor, demands in court the fulfillment of Antonio's bond, which states that Antonio has forfeited a pound of his own flesh to Shylock. Portia, a young woman who plays the part of attorney for Antonio, makes the following appeal to Shylock for mercy.
The quality of mercy is not strain'd; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes 5 The throned monarch better than his crown; His scepter shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this scepter'd sway; 10 It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God's When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this,— 15 That, in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy, And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy.
—The Merchant of Venice.
1. Read this extract line by line, and interpret its meaning. Then read the whole of it aloud as Portia spoke it.
GOOD BOOKS YOU SHOULD KNOW
The following list of book titles suggests some good library browsing for you. Try reading one good book a week outside of school hours. Aside from the immediate pleasure and knowledge derived, you will thus establish an invaluable habit and set up for yourself standards of literary judgment.
Alcott's Eight Cousins Aldrich's Story of a Bad Boy Baldwin's Discovery of the Old Northwest Baldwin's Fifty Famous Rides and Riders Baldwin's Old Greek Stories Brown's Rab and his Friends Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Burnett's Secret Garden Burroughs's Bird Stories Burroughs's Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers Clemens's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Clemens's Adventures of Tom Sawyer Clemens's Prince and the Pauper Clemens's Roughing It Cooke's Stories of the Old Dominion Cooper's Deerslayer Cooper's Pathfinder Cooper's Spy Dana's Two Years before the Mast Dickens's Child's History of England Dickens's Christmas Carol Dickens's Cricket on the Hearth Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby Dickens's Pickwick Papers Garland's Boy Life on the Prairie Guerber's Myths and Legends of the Middle Ages Hill's On the Trail of Washington Holland's Historic Boyhoods Holland's Historic Girlhoods Howells's Stories of Ohio Hughes's Tom Brown at Rugby Irving's Sketch Book Kipling's Captains Courageous Kipling's Jungle Books Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare London's Call of the Wild Longfellow's Courtship of Miles Standish Lucas's Slowcoach Mabie's Book of Christmas Mabie's Book of Old English Ballads Mabie's Famous Stories Every Child should Know Marden's Stories from Life Ollivant's Bob, Son of Battle Pyle's Men of Iron Roosevelt's Stories of the Great West Scott's Ivanhoe Scott's Quentin Durward Seton's Trail of the Sandhill Stag Stevenson's Kidnapped Stevenson's Master of Ballantrae Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey Stockton's Stories of New Jersey Swift's Gulliver's Travels Tarkington's Penrod Thompson's Stories of Indiana Warner's Being a Boy Whitehead's Standard Bearer Wiggin's Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Yonge's Book of Golden Deeds
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Obvious punctuation errors repaired.
Page 15, "occured" changed to "occurred" (Lincoln's assasination occurred)
Diacritical marks are denoted by:
Characters with a breve by ĕ Characters with a macron by ē Characters with a caron by ǐ Chacacters with an oe-ligature by [oe]