The Elson Readers, Book 5
by William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck
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I had three hundred cooks to prepare my food, and each one cooked me two dishes. When I was ready for my meal, I took up twenty waiters in my hand and placed them upon the table; a hundred more attended on the ground, carrying the dishes. The waiters upon the table drew these things up by cords, as we might draw a bucket from a well.

One joint of meat generally made a mouthful for me, but once I actually had a sirloin of beef so large that I was forced to make three bites of it. I never had another as big. The geese and turkeys also only made a mouthful, and of the small fowl I could take up twenty at a time on my fork.


I must now tell my reader of a great plot that had been formed against me in the island of Lilliput.

I was preparing to pay my promised visit to the Emperor of Blefuscu, when one day a Lilliputian noble called at my house privately, and at night; and without sending in his name, he asked me to allow him to come in and speak to me.

I went out and picked up his lordship and brought him on to my table. Then I fastened the door of my house and sat down in front of the noble. As I saw he looked very anxious and troubled, I asked him if anything was the matter. At that he begged me to listen to him with patience, as he had much to tell me that concerned my life and honor. I replied that I was all eagerness to hear him, and this is what he told me:

"You must know," said he, "that his Majesty has lately had many private meetings with his nobles about yourself. And two days ago he formed a plan that will do you great injury. You know that Skyresh has always been your mortal enemy; and his hatred grew even more when you so successfully won the ships of the Blefuscudians. He was very jealous, and considered you had taken away some of the glory that ought to have been his, as an admiral of his Majesty. This lord, with some others who dislike you, has prepared a charge against you of treason and other crimes. Now, because I consider this to be unjust treatment, and because you have always shown me kindness and courtesy, I have risked my life to come here tonight to warn you.

"Skyresh and the other nobles insisted that you should be put to death, and that in the most cruel way: either by setting fire to your house while you slept, or by having you shot with poisoned arrows by twenty thousand men. But his Majesty could not be persuaded to do this cruelty, and decided to spare your life. Then Reldresal, who has always been your true friend, was asked by the Emperor to give his opinion, which he accordingly did.

"He allowed your crimes to be very great, but said that he considered mercy ought to be shown you in return for the services you had rendered the Empire. He advised his Majesty to spare your life, but have both your eyes put out. By this means justice would be satisfied, and the loss of your eyes would not take from your bodily strength, so that you could still be useful to us. This proposal of Reldresal was not at all approved by the other lords. Skyresh flew into a great passion, and said he wondered Reldresal could dare to wish to save the life of a traitor. He again accused you of being a traitor, and insisted that you should be put to death.

"Still his Majesty refused to consent to your death, but said that, as the court did not consider putting out your eyes was sufficient punishment for your crimes, some other must be thought of.

"Then Reldresal again spoke, saying that, as it cost so much to feed you, another way of punishing you would be to give you less and less to eat, until you were gradually starved to death.

"This proposal was agreed upon, but it was decided to keep the plan of starving you a great secret. In three days from now Reldresal will be sent here to read these accusations I have now told to you, and to tell you that his Majesty condemns you to the loss of your eyes. Twenty of his Majesty's surgeons will attend in order to perform the operation, which will be done by shooting very sharp pointed arrows into the balls of your eyes as you lie upon the ground.

"I have now told you all that will happen to you, and must leave you to act as you think best. As no one must know I have been here with you now, I must hasten back to the court as secretly as I can."

This his lordship immediately did, leaving me in much doubt and trouble. Knowing the good and just laws of the island of Lilliput, I was much shocked and astonished to find the Emperor could so far forget them as to condemn an innocent man to so brutal a punishment. I tried to think what I had better do to save myself. My first idea was to wait quietly and go through with my trial. Then I could plead my innocence and try to obtain mercy. But, upon second thoughts, I saw that this was a dangerous, almost a hopeless, plan, as my enemies at court were so bitter against me.

Then I almost made up my mind to use my own strength, for while I had liberty I knew that I could easily overcome all the Lilliputians and knock the city to pieces with stones. But I put the idea away as unfair and dishonorable, because I had given my oath not to harm the island and its inhabitants. And even though the Emperor was so unjust and cruel to me, I did not consider that his conduct freed me from the promise I had made.

At last I formed a plan by which I hoped to save my eyesight and my liberty, and, as things proved, it was a very fortunate plan for me. As I had obtained the Emperor's permission to visit the island of Blefuscu, I at once made preparations to go there. I sent a letter to Reldresal telling him I intended to visit Blefuscu, according to the permission I had obtained from his Majesty, and that I was starts g that morning. By wading and swimming I crossed the channel and reached the port of Blefuscu.

I found the people there had long expected me, and they appeared very pleased to see me. They lent me two guides to show me the way to the capital city. These men I held in my hands, while they directed me which way to take. Having arrived at the city gate, I put them down and desired them to tell his Majesty, the Emperor of Blefuscu, that I was awaiting his commands.

I had an answer in about an hour, which was that his Majesty and the royal family were coming out to receive me.

The Emperor and his train then rode out of the palace, and the Empress and her ladies also drove up in coaches. They did not seem at all frightened at seeing me. I lay upon the ground to kiss his Majesty's and the Empress's hands. I told his Majesty I had come according to my promise and with the consent of the Emperor of Lilliput, and that I considered it a great honor to receive the welcome I did. I also begged to offer his Majesty any service I could render him.

I was treated with much kindness and generosity while at Blefuscu; but as there was no place large enough for me to get into, I had to be without house and bed. So I was forced to sleep upon the ground, wrapped in my cloak.


Three days after my arrival at Blefuscu I was walking along the coast, when I suddenly caught sight of some object in the sea that looked like a boat overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and waded out into the water. As I drew near the object, I could plainly see that it was a big boat, which, I suppose, must have been driven there by some tempest. Having made this discovery, I hastened back to shore and went to the city to beg his Majesty to lend me twenty of his tallest ships, and three thousand sailors, under the command of an admiral.

The Emperor gave his consent, and the fleet of ships sailed to the place where I had discovered the boat. I again waded into the water, and found that the tide had driven the boat still nearer the shore. The sailors in the ships were all provided with cord, which I had twisted together and made strong. I walked as near the boat as I could, then swam up to it. The sailors threw me the end of the cord, which I fastened to part of the boat and the other end to a man-of-war. Then, getting behind the boat, I swam and pushed it as best I could with one hand until I had got it out of the deep water. Being then able to walk, I rested a few minutes, and then, taking some other ropes, I fastened all of them to the boat and they to the vessels the Emperor had lent me. Then the sailors pulled, and I shoved, and, the wind being favorable, we arrived at the shore of Blefuscu, dragging the boat with us. With the help of two thousand men, with ropes and engines, I was able to turn the boat upon the right side, and found it was in quite good condition.

After this I worked hard for many days making paddles for my boat, and getting it ready to go to sea in. The people of Blefuscu came and gazed in wonder and astonishment at so immense a vessel. I told the Emperor that my good fortune had thrown this boat in my way to carry me to some place from which I might be able to return to my native land. And I begged his Majesty to allow me to have materials with which to fit it up, and also to give me his gracious permission to depart when it was ready. This his Majesty most kindly granted me.

Five hundred workmen were employed to make two sails for my boat, under my directions. This had to be done by sewing together thirteen' folds of their strongest linen. Then I made rope by twisting together twenty or thirty lengths of the stoutest cord upon the island. After a long search by the seashore I discovered a large stone, which had to serve me for an anchor. I used the fat of three hundred cows for greasing my boat. Then I set to work and cut down some of the largest trees to make into oars and masts. His Majesty's carpenters helped me greatly in smoothing them after I had cut them into shape.

In about a month all was ready, and I sent to tell his Majesty I was going to take my leave.

The Emperor and royal family came out of the palace and allowed me to kiss their hands. His Majesty presented me with fifty purses containing two hundred pieces of gold hands. I told his Majesty I had come according to my promise and with the consent of the Emperor of Lilliput, and that I considered it a great honor to receive the welcome I did. I also begged to offer his Majesty any service I could render him.

I was treated with much kindness and generosity while at Blefuscu; but as there was no place large enough for me to get into, I had to be without house and bed. So I was forced to sleep upon the ground, wrapped in my cloak.


Three days after my arrival at Blefuscu I was walking along the coast, when I suddenly caught sight of some object in the sea that looked like a boat overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and waded out into the water. As I drew near the object, I could plainly see that it was a big boat, which, I suppose, must have been driven there by some tempest. Having made this discovery, I hastened back to shore and went to the city to beg his Majesty to lend me twenty of his tallest ships, and three thousand sailors, under the command of an admiral.

The Emperor gave his consent, and the fleet of ships sailed to the place where I had discovered the boat. I again waded into the water, and found that the tide had driven the boat still nearer the shore. The sailors in the ships were all provided with cord, which I had twisted together and made strong. I walked as near the boat as I could, then swam up to it. The sailors threw me the end of the cord, which I fastened to part of the boat and the other end to a man-of-war. Then, getting behind the boat, I swam and pushed it as best I could with one hand until I had got it out of the deep water. Being then able to walk, I rested a few minutes, and then, taking some other ropes, I fastened all of them to the boat and they to the vessels the Emperor had lent me. Then the sailors pulled, and I shoved, and, the wind being favorable, we arrived at the shore of Blefuscu, dragging the boat with us. With the help of two thousand men, with ropes and engines, I was able to turn the boat upon the right side, and found it was in quite good condition.

After this I worked hard for many days making paddles for my boat, and getting it ready to go to sea in. The people of Blefuscu came and gazed in wonder and astonishment at so immense a vessel. I told the Emperor that my good fortune had thrown this boat in my way to carry me to some place from which I might be able to return to my native land. And I begged his Majesty to allow me to have materials with which to fit it up, and also to give me his gracious permission to depart when it was ready. This his Majesty most kindly granted me.

Five hundred workmen were employed to make two sails for my boat, under my directions. This had to be done by sewing together thirteen' folds of their strongest linen. Then I made rope by twisting together twenty or thirty lengths of the stoutest cord upon the island. After a long search by the seashore I discovered a large stone, which had to serve me for an anchor. I used the fat of three hundred cows for greasing my boat. Then I set to work and cut down some of the largest trees to make into oars and masts. His Majesty's carpenters helped me greatly in smoothing them after I had cut them into shape.

In about a month all was ready, and I sent to tell his Majesty I was going to take my leave.

The Emperor and royal family came out of the palace and allowed me to kiss their hands. His Majesty presented me with fifty purses containing two hundred pieces of gold did Gulliver capture the fleet from Blefuscu? 7. What did the Emperor of Lilliput wish to do when Gulliver had won the victory? 8. What evil thing about war does this incident show? 9. Can a nation fight a great war without desire to add to its territory? Was this true of the United States in the war recently fought?' 10. What was Gulliver's feeling about the proposal of the Emperor? Was he right? 11. How did the Emperor feel toward him after his refusal? 12. How did Gulliver learn of the plot against him? 13. Why did he not use his strength against his enemies? 14. What did he decide to do? 15. What fortunate discovery did Gulliver make at Blefuscu? 16. How did Gulliver get back to England? 17. Name two or three things that you think he learned on his travels. 18. What are we told about the education of children in Lilliput? 19. Why did the people consider deceit worse than stealing? 20. What did they think of a person who returns evil for good? 21. Name some of the laws of the Lilliputians. Which of these laws do you like, and why? 22. Why were not all the people of Lilliput good when they had such good laws? 23. Compare Gulliver's adventures with those of Baron Munchausen. 24. How does this story differ as to its source from the Arabian Nights tales? 25. Show that it has the two values mentioned on page 146. 26. Class readings: Select passages to be read aloud in class. 27. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell the story briefly in your own words, following the topic headings given in the book. 28. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: keep; human; engines; bandages; turret; carriages; merchantman. 29. Pronounce: ruined; drowned; waistcoat; Imperial; courtiers; theater; reigned; learned; Lilliput; graciously; fortnight; Lilliputians.

Phrases for Study

express consent, capital crime, state and person, mortal enemy, confounded with astonishment, gave me a good character, fair voyage.




I was born at York, in England, on the first of March, 1632. From the time that I was quite a young child I had felt a great wish to spend my life at sea, and as I grew, so did this taste grow more and more strong; till at last on September first, 1651, I ran away from my school and home, and found my way on foot to Hull, where I soon got a place on board a ship.

Never did any young adventurer's misfortunes begin sooner or continue longer than mine, for when we were far out at sea, some Turks in a small ship came on our track in full chase. After a long pursuit our vessel was captured, and all on board were taken as slaves.

The chief of the Turks took me as his prize to a port which was held by the Moors. There I remained in slavery for several years, and bitterly did I repent my rash act in leaving my good parents in England.

At length I found an opportunity to escape to a vessel that was passing by, and was kindly received by the captain, who proved to be an English sailor bound on a voyage of trade.

I had not been aboard more than twelve days when a high wind took us off, we knew not where. All at once there was a cry of "Land!" and the ship struck on a bank of sand, in which she sank so deep that we could not get her off. At last we found that we must make up our minds to leave her and get to shore as well as we could. There had been a boat at her stern, but we found it had been torn off by the force of the waves. One small boat was still left on the ship's side, so we got into it.

There we were, all of us, on the wild sea. The heart of s each now grew faint, our cheeks were pale, and our eyes were dim, for there was but one hope, and that was to find some bay, and so get in the lee of the land.

The sea grew more and more rough, and its white foam would curl and boil till at last the waves in their wild sport burst on the boat's side, and we were all thrown out.

I could swim well, but the force of the waves made me lose my breath too much to do so. At length one large wave took me to the shore and left me high and dry, though half dead with fear. I got on my feet and made the best of my way for the land; but just then the curve of a huge wave rose up as high as a hill, and this I had no strength to keep from, so it took me back to the sea. I did my best to float on the top, and held my breath to do so. The next wave was quite as high, and shut me up in its bulk. I held my hands down tight to my sides, and then my head shot out at the top of the waves. This gave me breath, and soon my feet felt the ground.

I stood quite still for a short time, to let the sea run back from me, and then I set off with all my might to the shore, but yet the waves caught me, and twice more did they take me back, and twice more land me on the shore. I thought the last wave would have been the death of me, for it drove me on a piece of rock, and with such force as to leave me in a kind of swoon. I soon regained my senses and got up to the cliffs close to the shore, where I found some grass out of the reach of the sea. There I sat down, safe on land at last.

I felt so wrapped in joy that all I could do was to walk up and down the coast, now lift up my hands, now fold them on my breast and thank God for all that he had done for me, when the rest of the men were lost. I now cast my eyes round me, to find out what kind of place it was that I had been thus thrown in, like a bird in a storm. Then all the glee I felt at first left me; for I was wet and cold, and had no dry clothes to put on, no food to eat, and not a friend to help me.

I feared that there might be wild beasts here, and I had no gun to shoot them with, or to keep me from their jaws. I had but a knife and a pipe.

It now grew dark; and where was I to go for the night? I thought the top of some high tree would be a good place to keep me out of harm's way; and that there I might sit and think of death, for, as yet, I had no hope of life.

Well, I went to my tree and made a kind of nest to sleep in. Then I cut a stick to keep off beasts of prey, in case any should come, and -fell asleep just as if the branch I lay on had been a bed of down.

When I woke up, it was broad day; the sky too was clear and the sea calm. But I saw from the top of the tree that in the night the ship had left the bank of sand, and lay but a mile from me. I soon threw off my clothes, took to the sea, and swam up to the wreck. But how was I to get on deck? I had gone twice around the ship, when a piece of rope caught my eye, which hung down from her side so low that at first the waves hid it. By the help of this rope I got on board.


I found that there was a bulge in the ship, and that she had sprung a leak. You may be sure that my first thought was to look around for some food, and I soon made my way to the bin where the bread was kept, and ate some of it as I went to and fro, for there was no time to lose. What I stood most in need of was a boat to take the goods to shore. But it was vain to wish for that which could not be had; and as there were some spare yards in the ship, two or three large planks, and a mast or two; I fell to work with these to make a raft.

I put four spars side by side, and laid short bits of plank on them, crossways, to make my raft strong. Though these planks would bear my own weight, they were too slight to bear much of my freight. So I took a saw, which was on board, and cut a mast in three lengths, and these gave great strength to the raft. I found some bread and rice, a Dutch cheese, and some dry goat's flesh.

My next task was to screen my goods from the spray of the sea; and this did not take long, for there were three large chests on board which held all, and these I put on the raft.

"See, here is a prize!" said I, out loud (though there was none to hear me); "now I shall not starve." For I found four large guns. But how was my raft to be got to land? I had no sail, no oars; and a gust of wind would make all my store slide off. Yet there were three things which I was glad of a calm sea, a tide which set in to the shore, and a slight breeze to blow me there.

I had the good luck to find some oars in a part of the ship in which I had made no search till now. With these I put to sea, and for half a mile my raft went well; but soon I found it driven to one side. At length I saw a creek, up which, with some toil, I took my raft.

I saw that there were birds on the isle, and I shot one of them. Mine must have been the first gun that had been heard there since the world was made; for, at the sound of it, whole flocks of birds flew up, with loud cries, from all parts of the wood. The shape of the beak of the one I shot was like that of a hawk, but the claws were not so large.

I now went back to my raft to land my stores, and this took up the rest of the day: What to do at night I knew not, nor where to find a safe place to land my stores on. I did not like to lie down on the ground, for fear of beasts of prey, as well as snakes; but there was no cause for these fears, as I have since found. I put the chests and boards round me as well as I could, and made a kind of hut for the night.

As there was still a great store of things left in the ship which would be of use to me, I thought that I ought to bring them to land at once; for I knew that the first storm would break up the ship. So I went on board, and took good care this time not to load my raft too much.

The first thing sought for was the tool chest; and in it were some bags of nails, spikes, saws, knives, and such things; but best of all, I found a stone to grind my tools on. There were two or three flasks, some large bags of shot, and a roll of lead; but this last I had not the strength to hoist up to the ship's side, so as to get it on my raft. There were some spare sails too, which I brought to shore.

Now that I had two freights of goods on hand, I made a tent with the ship's sails, to stow them in, and cut the poles for it from the wood. I now took all the things out of the casks and chests and put the casks in piles round the tent to give it strength; and when this was done, I shut up the door with the boards, spread on the ground one of the beds which I had brought from the ship, laid two guns close to my head and went to bed for the first time. I slept all night, for I was much in need of rest.

The next day I was sad and sick at heart, for I felt how dull it was to be thus cut off from all the rest of the world! I had no great wish for work; but there was too much to be done for me to dwell long on my sad lot. Each day, as it came, I went off to the wreck to fetch more things; and I brought back as much as the raft would hold.

The last time I went to the wreck the wind blew so hard that I made up my mind to go on board next time at low tide. I found some tea and some gold coin; but as to the gold, it made me laugh to look at it. "O drug!" said I, "thou art of no use to me! I care not to save thee. Stay where thou art till the ship goes down; then go thou with it!" Still, I thought I might just as well take it; so I put it in a piece of the sail and threw it on deck, that I might place it on the raft. By-and-by the wind blew from the shore, so I had to hurry back with all speed; for I knew that at the turn of the tide I should find it hard work to get to land at all. But in spite of the high wind I came to my home all safe. At dawn I put my head out and cast my eyes on the sea, when lo! no ship was there!. This great change in the face of things, and the loss of such a friend, quite struck me down. Yet I was glad to think that I had brought to shore all that could be of use to me. I had now to look out for some spot where I could make my home. Halfway up the hill there was a small plain, four or five score feet long and twice as broad; and as it had a full view of the sea, I thought that it would be a good place for my house.


I first dug a trench round a space which took in twelve yards; and in this I drove two rows of stakes, till they stood firm like piles, five and a half feet from the ground. I made the stakes close and tight with bits of rope and put small sticks on the top of them in the shape of spikes. This made so strong a fence that no man or beast could get in. The door of my house was on top, and I had to climb up to it by steps, which I took in with me, so that no one else might come up by the same way. Close to the back of the house stood a sand rock, in which I made a cave, and laid all the earth that I had dug out of it round my house, to the height of a foot and a half. I had to go out once a day in search of food. The first time, I saw some, goats, but they were too shy to let me get near them. At first I thought that for the lack of pen and ink I should lose all note of time; so I made a large post, in the shape of a cross, on which I cut these words: "I came on shore here on the thirtieth of September, 1659." On the side of this post I made a notch each day, and this I kept up till the last. I have not yet said a word of my four pets, which were two cats, a dog, and a parrot. You may guess how fond I was of them, for they were all the friends left to me. I brought the dog and two cats from the ship. The dog would fetch things for me at all times, and by his bark, his whine, his growl, and his tricks, he would all but talk to me; yet he could not give me thought for thought. If I could but have had someone near me to find fault with, or to find fault with me, what a treat it would have been!

I was a long way out of the course of ships; and oh! how dull it was to be cast on this lone spot with no one to love, no one to make me laugh, no one to make me weep, no one to make me think.. It was dull to roam day by day from the wood to the shore, and from the shore back to the wood, and feed on my own thoughts all the while.

So much for the sad view of my case; but like most things, it had a bright side as well as a dark one. For here was I safe on land, while all the rest of the ship's crew were lost. True, I was cast on a rough and rude part of the globe, but there were no beasts of prey on it to kill or hurt me. God had sent the ship so near to me that I had got from it all things to meet my wants for the rest of my days. Let life be what it might, there was surely much to thank God for. And I soon gave up all dull thoughts, and did not so much as look out for a sail.

My goods from the wreck remained in the cave for more than ten months; I decided then that it was time to put them right, as they took up all the space and left me no room to turn in; so I made my small cave a large one, and dug it out a long way back in the sand rock.

Then I brought the mouth of the cave up to my fence, and so made a back way to my house. This done, I put shelves on each side to hold my goods, which made the cave look like a shop full of stores. To make these shelves was a very difficult task and took a long time; for to make a board I was forced to cut down a whole tree, chop away with my ax till one side was flat, and then cut at the other side till the board was thin enough, when I smoothed it with my adz. But, in this way, out of each tree I would get only one plank. I made for myself also a table and a chair, and finally got my castle, as I called it, in good order.

I usually rose early and worked till noon, when I ate my meal; then I went out with my gun, after which I worked once more till the sun had set; and then to bed. It took me more than a week to change the shape and size of my cave. Unfortunately, I made it far too large, for, later on, the earth fell in from the roof; and had I been in it when this took place, I should have lost my life. I had now to set up posts in my cave, with planks on the top of them, so as to make a roof of wood.


I had to go to bed at dusk, till I made a lamp of goat's fat, which I put in a clay dish; and this, with a piece of hemp for a wick, made a good light. As I had found a, use for the bag which had held the fowls' food on board ship, I shook out from it the husks of grain. This was just at the time when the great rains fell, and in the course of a month, blades of rice and barley sprang up. As time went by, and the grain was ripe, I kept it, and took care to sow it each year; but I could not boast of a crop of grain for three years.

I knew that tools would be my first want and that I should have to grind mine on the stone, as they were blunt and worn with use. But as it took both hands to hold the tool, I could not turn the stone; so I made a wheel by which I could move it with my foot. This was no small task, but I took great pains with it, and at length it was done.

I had now been in the isle twelve months, and I thought it was time to go all round it in search of its woods, springs, and creeks. So I set off, and brought back with me limes and grapes in their prime, large and ripe. I had hung the grapes in the sun to dry, and in a few days' time went to fetch them, that I might lay up a store. The vale on the banks of which they grew was fresh and green, and a clear, bright stream ran through it, which gave so great a charm to the spot as to make me wish to live there.

But there was no view of the sea from this vale, while from my house no ships could come on my side of the isle and not be seen by me; yet the cool, soft banks were so sweet and new to me that much of my time was spent there.

In the first of the three years in which I had grown barley, I had sown it too late; in the next it was spoiled by the drought; but the third year's crop had sprung up well.

Few of us think of the cost at which a loaf of bread is made. Of course, there was no plow here to turn up the earth, and no spade to dig it with, so I made one with wood; but this was soon worn out, and for want of a rake I made use of the bough of a tree. When I had got the grain home, I had to thresh it, part the grain from the chaff, and store it up. Then came the want of sieves to clean it, of a mill to grind it, and of yeast to make bread of it.

If I could have found a large stone, slightly hollow on top, I might, by pounding the grain on it with another round stone, have made very good meal. But all the stones I could find were too soft; and in the end I had to make a sort of mill of hard wood, in which I burned a hollow place, and in that pounded the grain into' meal with a heavy stick.

Baking I did by building a big fire, raking away the ashes, and putting the dough on the hot place, covered with a kind of basin made of clay, over which 'I had heaped the red ashes.

Thus my bread was made, though I had no tools; and no one could say that I did not earn it by the sweat of my brow. When the rain kept me indoors, it was good fun to teach my pet bird Poll to talk; but so mute were all things round me that the sound of my own voice made me start.

My chief wants now were jars, pots, cups, and plates, but I knew not how I could make them. At last I went in search of clay, and found a bank of it a mile from my house; but it was quite a joke to see the queer shapes and forms that I made out of it. For some of my pots and jars were too weak to bear their own weight; and they would fall out here, and in there, in all sorts of ways; while some, when they were put in the sun to bake, would crack with the heat of its rays. You may guess what my joy was when at last a pot was made which would stand the fire, so that I could boil the meat for broth!

The next thing to turn my thoughts to was the ship's boat, which lay on the high ridge of sand, where it had been thrust by the storm which had cast me on these shores. But it lay with the keel to the sky, so I had to dig the sand from it and turn it up with the help of a pole. When I had done this, I found it was all in vain, for I had not the strength to launch it. So all I could do now was to make a boat of less size out of a tree; and I found one that was just fit for it, which grew not far from the shore, but I could no more stir this than I could the ship's boat.

"Well," thought I, "I must give up the boat, and with it all my hopes of leaving the isle. But I have this to think of: I am lord of the whole isle; in fact, a king. I have wood with which I might build a fleet, and grapes, if not grain, to freight it with, though all my wealth is but a few gold coins." For these I had no sort of use, and could have found it in my heart to give them all for a peck of peas and some ink, which last I stood much in need of. But it was best to dwell more on what I had than on what I had not.

I now must needs try once more to build a boat, but this time it was to have a mast, for which the ship's sails would be of great use. I made a deck at each end to keep out the spray of the sea, a bin for my food, and a rest for my gun, with a flap to screen it from the wet. More than all, the boat was one of such a size that I could launch it.

My first cruise was up and down the creek, but soon I got bold, and made the whole round of my isle. I took with me bread, cakes, a pot of rice, half a goat, and two greatcoats, one of which was to lie on, and one to put on at night. I set sail in the sixth year of my reign. On the east side of the isle there was a large ridge of rocks which lay two miles from the shore, and a shoal of sand lay for half a mile from the rocks to the beach. To get round this point I had to sail a great way out to sea; and here I all but lost my life.

But I got back to my home at last. On my way there, quite worn out with the toils of the boat, I lay down in the shade to rest my limbs, and slept. But judge, if you can what a start I gave when a voice woke me out of my sleep, and spoke my name three times! A voice in this wild place!, To call me by name, too! Then the voice said, "Robin! Robin Crusoe! Where are you? Where have you been? How came you here?" But now I saw it all; for at the top of the hedge sat Poll, who did but say the words she had been taught by me.

I now went in search of some goats, and laid snares for them, with rice for a bait. I had set the traps in the night, and found they had stood, though the bait was all gone. So I thought of a new way to take them, which was to make a pit and lay sticks and grass on it so as to hide it; and in this way I caught an old goat and some kids. But the old goat was much too fierce for me, soy I let him go.

I brought all the young ones home, and let them fast a long time, till at last they fed from my hand and were quite tame. I kept them in a kind of park, in which there were trees to screen them from the sun. At first my park was half a mile round; but it struck me that, in so great a space, the kids would soon get as wild as if they had the range of the whole vale, and that it would be as well to give them less room; so I had to make a hedge, which took me three months to plant. My park held a flock of twelve goats, and in two years time there were more than two score.

My dog sat at meals with me, and one cat on each side of me, on stools, and we had Poll to talk to us. Now for a word or two as to the dress in which I made a tour round the isle. I could but think how droll it would look in the streets of the town in which I was born.

I usually wore a high cap of goatskin, with a long flap that hung down to keep the sun and rain from my neck, a coat made from the skin of a goat, too, the skirts of which came down to my hips, and the same on my legs, with no shoes, but flaps of the fur round my shins. I had a broad belt of the same around my waist, which drew on with two thongs; and from it, on my right side; hung a saw and an ax; and on my left side a pouch for the shot. My beard had not been cut since I came here. But no more need be said of my looks, for there were few to see me.


A strange sight was now in store for me, which was to change the whole course of my life in the isle.

One day at noon, while on a stroll down to a part of the shore that was new to me, what should I see on the sand but the print of a man's foot! I felt as if I were bound by a spell, and could not stir from the spot.

By-and-by I stole a look around me, but no one was in sight. What could this mean? I went three or four times to look at it. There it was-the print of a man's foot: toes, heel, and all the parts of a foot. How could it have come there?

My head swam with fear; and as I left the spot, I made two or three steps, and then took a look around me; then two steps more, and did the same thing. I took fright at the stump of an old tree, and ran to my house, as if for my life. How could aught in the shape of a man come to that shore, and I not know it? Where was the ship that brought him? Then a vague dread took hold of my mind, that some man, or set of men, had found me out; and it might be that they meant to kill me, or rob me of all I had.

Fear kept me indoors for three days, till the want of food drove me out. At last I was so bold as to go down to the coast to look once more at the print of the foot, to see if it was the same shape as my own. I found it was not so large by a great deal; so it was clear that it was not one of my own footprints and that there were men in the isle.

One day as I went from the hill to the coast, a scene lay in front of me which made me sick at heart. The spot was spread with the bones of men. There was a round place dug in the earth, where a fire had been made, and here some men had come to feast. Now that I had seen this sight, I knew not how to act; I kept close to my home, and would scarce stir from it save to milk my flock of goats.

A few days later I was struck by the sight of some smoke, which came from a fire no more than two miles off. From this time I lost all my peace of mind. Day and night a dread would haunt me that the men who had made this fire would find me out. I went home and drew up my steps, but first I made all things round me look wild and rude. To load my gun was the next thing to do; and I thought it would be best to stay at home and hide.

But this was not to be borne long. I had no spy to send out, and all I could do was to get to the top of the hill and keep a good lookout. At last, through my glass, I could see a group of wild men join in a dance round their fire. As soon as they stopped, I took two guns and slung a sword on my side; then with all speed I set off to the top of the hill, once more to have a good view.

This time I made up my mind to go up to the men, but not with a view to kill them, for I felt that it would be wrong to do so. With a heavy load of arms it took me two hours to reach the spot where the fire was; and by the time I got there the men had all gone; but I saw them in four boats out at sea.

Down on the shore there was a proof of what the work of these men had been. The signs of their feast made me sick at heart, and I shut my eyes. I durst not fire my gun when I went out for food on that side of the isle, lest there should be some of the men left, who might hear it, and so find me out.

From this time all went well with me for two years; but it was not to last. One day, as I stood on the hill, I saw six boats on the shore. What could this mean? Where were the men who had brought them? And what had they come for? I saw through my glass that there were a score and a half at least on the east side of the isle. They had meat on the fire, round which I could see them dance. They then took a man from one of the boats, who was bound hand and foot; but when they loosed his bonds, he set off as fast as his feet would take him, and in a straight line to my house.

To tell the truth, when I saw all the rest of the men run to catch him, my hair stood on end with fright. In the creek he swam like a fish, and the plunge which he took brought him through it in a few strokes. All the men now gave up the chase but two, and they swam through the creek, but by no means so fast as the slave had done.

Now, I thought, was the time to help the poor man, and my heart told me it would be right to do so. I ran down my steps with my two guns, and went with all speed up the hill, and then down by a short cut to meet them.

I gave a sign to the poor slave to come to me, and at the same time went up to meet the two men who were in chase of him. I made a rush at the first of these, to knock him down with the stock of my gun, and he fell. I saw the one who was left aim at me with his bow; so, to save my life, I aimed carefully and shot him dead.

The smoke and noise from my gun gave the poor slave who had been bound such a shock that he stood still on the spot, as if he had been in a trance. I gave a loud shout for him to come to me, and I took care to show him that I was a friend, and made all the signs I could think of to coax him up to me. At length he came, knelt down to kiss the ground, and then took hold of my foot and set it on his head. All this meant that he was my slave; and I bade him rise and made much of him.

I did not like to take my slave to my house, or to my cave; so I threw down some straw from the rice plant for him to sleep on, and gave him some bread and a bunch of dry grapes to eat. He was a fine man, with straight, strong limbs, tall and young. His hair was thick, like wool, and black. His head was large and high, and he had bright black eyes. He was of a dark-brown hue; his face was round and his nose small, but not flat; he had a good mouth with thin lips, with which he could give a soft smile; and his teeth were as white as snow.

Toward evening I had been out to milk my goats, and when he saw me, he ran to me and lay down-on the ground to show me his thanks. He then put his head on the ground and set my foot on his head, as he had done at first. He took all the means he could think of to let me know that he would serve me all his life; and I gave a sign to make him understand that I thought well of him.

The next thing was to think of some name to call him by. I chose that of the sixth day of the week, Friday, as he came to me on that day. I took care not to lose sight of him all that night. When the sun rose, we event up to the top of the hill to look out for the men; but as we could not see them or their boats, it was clear that they had left the isle.

I now set to work to make my man a cap of hare's skin, and gave him a goat's skin to wear round his waist. It was a great source of pride to him to find that his clothes were as good as my own.

At night I kept my guns, swords, and bow close to my side; but there was no need for this, as my slave was, in sooth, most true to me. He did all that he was set to do, with his whole heart in the work; and I knew that he would lay down his life to save mine. What could a man do more than that? And oh, the joy to have him here to cheer me in this lone isle!


I did my best to teach him, so like a child he was, to do and feel all that was right. I found him apt and full of fun; and he took great pains to understand and learn all that I could tell him.

One day I sent him to beat out and sift some grain. I let him see me make the bread, and he soon did all the work. I felt quite a love for his true, warm heart, and he soon learned to talk to me. One day I said, "Do the men of your tribe win in fight?" He told me, with a smile, that they did. "Well, then," said I, "how came they to let their foes take you?"

"They run one, two, three, and make go in the boat that time."

"Well, and what do the men do with those they take?"

"Eat them all up."

This was not good news for me, but I went on, and said, "Where do they take them?"

"Go to next place where they think."

"Do they come here?"

"Yes, yes, they come here, come else place, too."

"Have you been here with them twice?"

"Yes, come there."

He meant the northwest side of the isle, so to this spot I took him the next day. He knew the place, and told me he was there once, and with him twelve men. To let me know this, he placed twelve stones all in a row, and made me count them.

"Are not the boats lost on your shore now and then?"

He said that there was no fear, and that no boats were lost. He told me that up a great way by the moon—that is, where the moon then came up—there dwelt a tribe of white men like me, with beards. I felt sure that they must have come from Spain, to work the gold mines. I put this to him: "Could I go from this isle and join those men?"

"Yes, yes, you may go in two boats."

It was hard to see how one man could go in two boats, but what he meant was a boat twice as large as my own.

To please my poor slave, I gave him a sketch of my whole life; I told him where I was born and where I spent my days when a child. He was glad to hear tales of the land of my birth, and of the trade which we kept up, in ships, with all parts of the known world. I gave him a knife and a belt, which made him dance with joy.

One day as we stood on the top of the hill at the east side of the isle, I saw him fix his eyes on the mainland, and stand for a long time gazing at it; then jump and sing, and call out to me.

"What do you see?" said I.

"O joy!" said he, with a fierce glee in his eyes, "O glad! There see my land!"

Why did he strain his eyes to stare at this land as if he had a wish to be there? It put fears in my mind which made me feel far less at my ease with him. Thought I, if he should go back to his home, he will think no more of what I have taught him and done for him. He will be sure to tell the rest of his tribe all my ways, and come back with, it may be, scores of them, and kill me, and then dance round me, as they did round the men, the last time they came on my isle.

But these were all false fears, though they found a place in my mind for a long while; and I was not so kind to him now as I had been. From this time I made it a rule, day by day, to find out if there were grounds for my fears or not. I said, "Do you wish to be once more in your own land?"

"Yes! I be much O glad to be at my own land."

"What would you do there? Would you turn wild, and be as you were?"

"No, no, I would tell them to be good, tell them eat bread, grain, milk, no eat man more!"

"Why, they would kill you!"

"No, no, they no kill; they love learn."

He then told me that some white men who had come on their shores in a boat had taught them a great deal.

"Then will you go back to your land with me?"

He said he could not swim so far, so I told him he should help me to build a boat to go in. Then he said, "If you go, I go."

"I go? Why, they would eat me!"

"No, me make them much love you."

Then he told me, as well as he could, how kind they had been to some white men. I brought out the large boat to hear what he thought of it, but he said it was too small. We then went to look at the old ship's boat, which, as it had been in the sun for years, was not at all in a sound state. The poor man made sure that it would do. But how were we to know this? I told him we should build a boat as large as that, and that he should go home in it. He spoke not a word, but was grave and sad.

"What ails you?" said I.

"Why you grieve mad with your man?"

"What do you mean? I am not cross with you."

"No cross? No cross with me? Why send your man home to his own land, then?"

"Did you not tell me you would like to go back?"

"Yes, yes, we both there; no wish self there, if you not there!"

"And what should I do there?"

"You do great deal much good! You teach wild men be good men."

We soon set to work to make a boat that would take us both. The first thing was to look out for some large tree that grew near the shore, so that we could launch our boat when it was made. My slave's plan was to burn the wood to make it the right shape; but as mine was to hew it, I set him to work with my tools, and in two months' time we had made a good, strong boat; but it took a long while to get her down to the shore and float her.

Friday had the whole charge of her; and, large as she was, he made her move with ease, and said, "Me think she go there well, though great blow wind!" He did not know that I meant to make a mast and sail. I cut down a young fir tree for the mast, and then I set to work at the sail. It made me laugh to see my man stand and stare, when he came to watch me sail the boat. But he soon gave a jump, a laugh, and a clap of the hands when for the first time he saw the sail jib and fall, now on this side, now on that.

The next thing to do was to stow our boat up in the creek, where we dug a small dock; and when the tide was low, we made a dam to keep out the sea. The time of year had now come for us to set sail, so we got out all our stores to put them into the boat.


I was fast asleep in my hutch one morning, when my man Friday came running in to me and called aloud, "Master, master, they are come, they are come!" I jumped up and went out, as soon as I could get my clothes on, through my little grove, which, by the way, was by this time grown to be a very thick wood. I went without my arms, which was not my custom; but I was surprised when, turning my eyes to the sea, I saw a boat at about a league and a half distance, standing in for the shore, with a shoulder-of-mutton sail, as they call it, and the wind blowing pretty fair to bring them in; also I saw that they did not come from that side which the shore lay on, but from the south end of the island.

Upon this I hastily called Friday in, and bade him lie close, for we did not know yet whether they were friends or enemies. In the next place, I went in to fetch my glass, to see what I could make of them; and, having climbed up to the top of the hill, I saw a ship lying at anchor, at about two leagues from me, but not above a league and a half from the shore. It seemed to be an English ship, and the boat looked like an English longboat.

They ran their boat on shore upon the beach, at about half a mile from me; which was very happy for me, else they would have landed just at my door, as I may say, and would soon have beaten me out of my caste, and perhaps have plundered me of all I had. When they were on shore, I saw they were Englishmen; there were, in all, eleven men, whereof three of them I found were unarmed, and, as I thought, bound; and when the first four or five of them had jumped on shore, they took those three out of the boat as prisoners; one of the three I could see using the gestures of entreaty and despair; the other two, I could see, lifted up their hands and appeared concerned, but not to such a degree as the first.

I was shocked and terrified at the sight of all this and knew not what the meaning of it could be. Friday called out to me in English, as well as he could, "O master! you see English mans eat prisoner as well as savage mans." "Why, Friday," said I, "do you think they are going to eat them, then?" "Yes," said Friday, "they will eat them." "No, no," said I, "Friday, I am afraid they will murder them indeed; but you may be sure they will not eat them."

I expected every minute to see the three prisoners killed, so I fitted myself up for a battle, though with much caution, knowing that I had to do with another kind of enemy than if I were fighting savages. I ordered Friday also to load himself with arms. I took myself two fowling pieces, and I gave him two muskets. My figure was very fierce; I had my goatskin coat on, with the great cap, a naked sword, two pistols in my belt, and a gun upon each shoulder.

It was my design not to make any attempt till it was dark; but about two o'clock, being the heat of the day, I found, in short, they had all gone straggling into the woods, and, as I thought, had all lain down to sleep. The three poor, distressed men, too anxious for their condition to get any sleep, had, however, sat down under the shelter of a great tree.

I resolved to discover myself to them, and learn something of their condition; immediately I marched toward them, my man Friday at a good distance behind me, as formidable for his arms as I, but not making quite so staring a specter-like figure as I did. I came as near them undiscovered as I could, and then, before any of them saw me, I called aloud to them in Spanish, "Who are ye, sirs?"

They gave a start at my voice and at my strange dress, and made a move as if they would flee from me. I said, "Do not fear me, for it may be that you have a friend at hand, though you do not think it." "He must be sent from the sky, then," said one of them with a grave look; and he took off his hat to me at the same time. "All help is from thence, sir," I said. "But what can I do to aid you? You look as if you had some load of grief on your breast. A moment ago I saw one of the men lift his sword as if to kill you."

The tears ran down the poor man's face as he said, "Is this a god, or is it but a man?" "Have no doubt on that score, sir," said I, "for a god would not have come with a dress like this. No, do not fear-nor raise your hopes too high; for you see but a man, yet one who will do all he can to help you. Your speech shows me that you come from the same land as I do. I will do all I can to serve you. Tell me your case."

"Our case, sir, is too long to tell you while they who would kill us are so near. My name is Paul. To be short, sir, my crew have thrust me out of my ship, which you see out there, and have left me here to die. It was as much as I could do to make them sheathe their swords, which you saw were drawn to slay me. They have set me down in this isle with these two men, my friend here, and the ship's mate."

"Where have they gone?" said I.

"There, in the wood close by. I fear they may have seen and heard us. If they have, they will be sure to kill us all."

"Have they firearms?"

"They have four guns, one of which is in the boat."

"Well, then, leave all to me!"

"There are two of the men," said he, "who are worse than the rest. All but these I feel sure would go back to work the ship."

I thought it was best to speak out to Paul at once, and

I said, "Now if I save your life, there are two things which you must do."

But he read my thoughts, and said, "If you save my life, you shall do as you like with me and my ship, and take her where you please."

I saw that the two men, in whose charge the boat had been left, had come on shore; so the first thing I did was to send Friday to fetch from it the oars, the sail, and the gun. And now the ship might be said to be in our hands. When the time came for the men to go back to the ship, they were in a great rage; for, as the boat had now no sail or oars, they knew not how to get out to their ship.

We heard them say that it was a strange sort of isle, for sprites had come to the boat, to take off the sails and oars. W e could see them run to and fro, with great rage; then go and sit in the boat to rest, and then come on shore once more. When they drew near to us, Paul and Friday would fain have had me fall on them at once. But my wish was to spare them, and kill as few as possible. I told two of my men to creep on their hands and knees close to the ground so that they might not be seen, and when they got 'up to the men, not to fire till I gave the word.

They had not stood thus long when three of the crew came up to us. Till now we had but heard their voices, but when they came so near as to be seen, Paul and Friday shot at them. Two of the men fell dead, and they were the worst of the crew, and the third ran off. At the sound of the guns I came up, but it was so dark that the men could not tell if there were three of us or three score.

It fell out just as I wished, for I heard the men ask: "To whom must we yield, and where are they?" Friday told them that Paul was there with the king of the isle, who had brought with him a crowd of men! At this, one of the crew said: "If Paul will spare our lives, we will yield." "Then," said Friday, "you shall know the king's will." Then Paul said to them: "You know my voice; if you lay down your arms, the king will spare your lives."

They fell on their knees to beg the same of me. I took good care that they did not see me, but I gave them my word that they should all live, that I should take four of them to work the ship, and that the rest would be bound hand and foot for the good faith of the four. This was to show them what a stern king I was.

Of course I soon set them free, and I put them in a way to take my place on the isle. I told them of all my ways, taught them how to mind the goats, how to work the farm, and how to make the bread. I gave them a house to live in, firearms, tools and my two tame cats-in fact, all that I owned but Poll and my gold.

As I sat on the top of the hill, Paul came up to me. He held out his hand to point to the ship, and with much warmth took me to his arms and said: "My dear friend, there is your ship! For this vessel is all yours, and all that is in her, and so are all of us."

I made ready to go on board the ship, but told the captain I would stay that night to get my things in shape, and asked him to go on board in the meantime and keep things right on the ship.

I cast my eyes to the ship, which rode half a mile off the shore, at the mouth of the creek, and near the place where I had brought my raft to the land. Yes, there she stood, the ship that was to set me free and to take hie where I might choose to go. She set her sails to the wind, and her flags threw out their gay stripes in the breeze. Such a sight was too much for me, and I fell down faint with joy.

Friday and Paul then went on board the ship, and Paul took charge of her once more. We did not start that night, but at noon the next day I left the isle-that lone isle, where I had spent so great a part of my life.

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board a great goatskin cap I had made, and my parrot; also the money which had lain by me so long useless that it was grown rusty or tarnished, and could hardly pass for gold till it had been a little rubbed and handled. And thus I left the island, the nineteenth of December, as I found by the ship's account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it seven-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days. In this vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England the eleventh of June, in the year 1687.


Biography. Daniel Defoe (1659-1731), an English author, was born in London. He was well educated and devoted himself chiefly to writing. He was active in political life, and many of his early pamphlets were attacks upon the government. Robinson Crusoe, his greatest story, is a world classic. It is founded mainly on the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, who told Defoe about his own experiences as a castaway on an island. Defoe tells his story in simple, direct language, with frequent use of details and illustrations.

Discussion. 1. Why was an ocean voyage so difficult and dangerous at the time when Robinson Crusoe was written? 2. Find the lines that describe what you think was the most difficult work undertaken by Robinson Crusoe. 3. What under king required the most perseverance? Find lines that show this. 4. At what time did Crusoe show the greatest courage? Find lines that seem to yore to prove your answer is correct. 5. What was the greatest disappointment that he had to bear while on the island? 6. What do you think was the greatest happiness he had? 7. Find lines that tell how Robinson Crusoe studied to make something which was very necessary to him. 8. Mention something he made that you have tried to make. 9. How did your result compare with his? What reason can you give for this? 10. This story shows how dependent we are upon the tools, the inventions, and the means of protection that men have devised for making life happy. Crusoe had to make for himself under great difficulties things that we think nothing of. Show from the story how dependent we are upon the cooperation and assistance of others. Imagine the cooperation that has been necessary to give you milk, oranges or bananas, sugar for your dessert, meat for your dinner. What has been done to give you the stove on which your dinner is cooked, the fuel that it burns, the light that you use at night, the telephone that you use? Crusoe had to get along without such assistance. Do you owe anything, any return service, for what you receive and use? If Crusoe's hut had taken fire, what would have happened? What would happen if your home should catch fire? Who would pay for the help given you? If Crusoe had been attacked by robbers, what would have happened? What keeps you safe at night? If Crusoe had wished to go on a long journey, what would have been necessary? Who would help you if you had to take such a journey? 12. Tell a story about your debt to someone for an invention or discovery that makes your life pleasanter or safer. Tell a story about your debt for the sugar you use for your desert. Tell a story to illustrate what the government does for you. 13. Class readings: Select passages to be read aloud in class. 14. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell the story briefly in your own words, using the topic headings given in the book. 15. You will enjoy seeing the pictures in the edition of Robinson Crusoe that is illustrated by N. C. Wyeth. 16. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: stern; bulge; spikes; adz; limes; mute; league; thong; fowling; piece. 17. Pronounce: pursuit; swoon; spars; drought;; sieve; launch; cruise; shoal; tour; jib; gesture; formidable; sheathe; sprites.

Phrases for Study lee of the land, in sooth, spare yards, I found him apt, O drug, standing in for the shore, give me thought for thought, appeared concerned, whole round of my isle, discover myself to them, bound by a spell, specter-like figure.



Now that you have read all of these tales of adventure, perhaps some evening you will curl up in that big chair in a cozy place and will close your eyes and dream a dream. And in that dream you will see-who knows? Ali Baba and Aladdin in their queer dress, and Sindbad, the rich old sailor, and Captain Lemuel Gulliver, and Robin Hood in his Lincoln green, and Robinson Crusoe with his man Friday. All of them will sit down near you, between you and the fire perhaps, and they will talk to each other about the meaning of all the perils and successes that life brought them. And you will doubtless get the idea from them all that every man, rich or poor, ought to feel some responsibility to others. Ali Baba and Aladdin and Sindbad will tell the company, there in the firelight before your very eyes, how they felt that they owed something to' others because of the wealth they had, gained. Aladdin became a serious and public-spirited man, though as a boy he had been of little worth. Ali Baba and Sindbad helped others and did many good deeds.

Then Robin Hood will join in the conversation. He lived in a time, as you can see from his story, when the poor not only had no chance but were oppressed. Robin tried to do away with some of this injustice. He was an outlaw; he did many things that it would not be right to do today; but he did these things in order to help people who were wretched and who had no chance.

And next, Robinson Crusoe has a word to say. His experience, he tells us, showed him how much we depend on each other. If a man is suddenly cut off from his fellows, has to get his own food or starve, build his own house with his own rude tools or freeze, he finds out how much he owes to the cooperation of thousands of other people.

And finally, Captain Gulliver, who has been listening quietly for a long time, knocks the ashes from his pipe as he gets up to go, and says: "You know, it all comes down to this: can a man or a nation stand being rich and strong? You know those Lilliputians, when they conquered the people of Blefuscu, wanted right away to annex the lands of their enemies. They had no right to the lands; they had enough of their own; if I had let them do what they planned, they would have made many people very miserable, But the moment they saw a chance to grab something, they wanted to go right after it.. And it makes me wonder about this America that is so much discussed just now. In my day we scarcely knew there was such a country, but you know how strong and prosperous the Americans are, and what a war they can fight, and how many rich men they have. They seem to me to have found that lamp and ring that friend Aladdin once had; everything they touch seems to turn to gold, and they can build a city over night. I just wonder what they will do with all this power?"

And they all shake their heads, as if to say that they wonder, too. And the fire has grown lower and lower, so that you can hardly see the strange forms.—And then father calls to you to wake up and get your lesson or go to bed, and they all vanish at the sound of that voice.

How would you answer Captain Gulliver's question about America? What did America do with its power in the World War? What good American citizens that you know of have used their wealth to found libraries, hospitals, parks, and other public benefits? Show that boys and girls join together in teamwork for the good of all by organizing clubs, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Junior Red Cross, etc. Mention kinds of service these organizations give for the good of all. Show that each of the six stories in Part II has the two values mentioned in the first paragraph on page 146. Which story did you enjoy most? Which gave you the most worth-while ideas? What gains have you made in your ability to read silently with speed and understanding?



A man lives in the last half of life on the memory of things read in the first half of life.




When Mother used to tell you a story about when she was a little girl, you were interested only in the story and in the pictures her words called up in your mind. Suppose some older person had been listening while she told one of these tales, and had been interested not alone in the adventure that she was telling about, as you were, but in the way in which she told it. This person, your uncle, let's say, would notice how Mother planned her story so as to keep the very most exciting thing to the last, and how you grew more and more excited about it, and how your eyes shone, and her eyes too, and how without knowing it she was letting him see what kind of people they were in her story, and what kind of little girl she was-very brave, you know-and when at the end you drew a long breath and had that delightful little thrill that you always have at the end of a perfectly wonderful story-after all this, suppose your uncle should look at Mother in a funny kind of way and should say, "Bless me, Sis, I had no idea you were an author."

What would you say? Mother an author? Why, an author is a person who writes big books in words that no one can understand, but Mother, she-why, she is Mother!

Yet your uncle is right. Mother is an author when she thinks back over her life and picks out something that is interesting, and then tells it in her very most interesting way to please you. If she would only write out that story, and a printer would print it in a book, and in the front of the book you should read "When I Was a Little Girl." By Mother"-that would be a Book, and Mother would be a real author.

Now long, long ago, there weren't any books. When Mother told you a story, if you had lived then, you would remember it and would tell it to other people, and after you grew up you would tell it to your children, and when they had grown up, they would tell it to your grandchildren, and so on and on. Who wrote Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty, or the Three Bears? You don't know. Nobody knows. They just happened. They were told by mothers to their children and so on and so on, and after centuries, perhaps, when printing had been invented, some printer man thought, like your uncle, that here was a story that ought to be printed and so he made a book of it. But he didn't claim to be the author of it, for he was not.

So, some of the stories you have read in this book do not have any author's name attached to them. And even if they did, you were not thinking, while you were reading, about the man who wrote them. You just thought of the story and whether you liked it or not. Yet no small part of the advantage that you enjoy because you live now, instead of in the days when there were no books, lies in the fact that you can become acquainted with the men and women who have written the stories and poems that you read.

Let's put it this way. In those old days that we have been speaking about, you would have had to depend upon your Mother, or some other mother, or some village weaver of tales, for your stories. But they were busy, and you couldn't get enough stories to satisfy your appetite. Then one-time, let's say, a strange, wandering fellow came to your village. And he had yards and yards of the most wonderful stories to tell. And he went home with you, let's say, and stayed there, and did nothing but tell you stories whenever you wanted them, first thing in the morning, and after school, and bedtime, and all. And he was never too busy. And you learned to know him, what an interesting man he was, and what fine eyes he had, and what a smile that made you smile back before he said a word, and how he loved Truth and hated lies, and loved Honor and hated shameful things. He was your author, your book, your book of books. And he was as dear to you, in himself, as his stories were.

Now you can have just such a friend, no, you can have a whole company of just such friends, for yourself. How? In books, of course. Only they won't be merely books; they will be friends. Washington Irving, teller of wonderful stories, and Robert Louis Stevenson are there, in those books, and you can learn them as well as their stories. And Henry W. Longfellow, writer of stories in verse; and John G. Whittier, writer of poems about barefoot boys and corn huskings; and Benjamin Franklin, a kindly philosopher-there, that word is too hard for you, but it just slipped out, and so you will have to be told that a philosopher is a person who thinks about life and its meaning.

That's what all authors are, in a way. That's what makes them authors. They don't just eat and sleep and do their work, whatever it is-they think about life. And what they see and think they set down for you. To know them is to know delightful friends who will tell you what everything means and will answer all your questions.

There they are, on your bookshelf. They won't speak to you unless you speak first. If you want to do something else and don't wish to be bothered, they won't bother you. But when you want to talk with them, they are ready. Call upon them often, and you will learn one of the blessedest things about life, the companionship of boobs.

Some of them, men of our own America, are to be introduced to you in the following pages. From now on you are to do three things. First, you are to listen and enjoy when they tell you what they have to say. Next, you are to begin to do just what your uncle was doing when he listened to Mother telling you that story-you are to see that there is a way to tell something that is good, and that if one has learned this way, like Mother, he is an author. And last, you are to find that these authors are real persons whom you can learn to know. Then you will love them, just as you love Mother, not alone for what they say, but for what they are.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born in Boston in the early colonial days. While still a boy, he learned the printer's trade, but, having difficulty with his brother, for whom he worked, he went to Philadelphia,-where later he became owner and editor of the Philadelphia Gazette, the city's leading newspaper. Later he established another periodical, called Poor Richard's Almanac.

Franklin was greatly interested in the study of science. He "snatched lightning from the skies" by the use of a key and a kite with a silk string. This experiment led to his invention of the lightning rod, which was soon placed on public and private buildings not only in America but also in England and France. He invented the "Franklin Stove," which is still in use in some places. This is an open stove made in such a way as to economize heat and save fuel. Franklin invented a street lamp which was used for lighting the streets of Philadelphia.

Franklin was big-hearted and wished to be of real service to his fellow-citizens. He organized a debating club, a night watch, a volunteer fire company, a street-cleaning department, and a public library-the first of its kind in America.

His-services to the new government that the Americans were just setting up were equally noteworthy. He went to England to represent the colonies and did all that he could to patch up the quarrel between the colonies and the mother country. When all these attempts failed, he gave himself heart and soul to the business of making a new government. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Later, as a special minister to France he delighted Frenchmen by his humor and his common sense, and he even succeeded in securing the promise of the French government to acknowledge the independence of the colonies and to send ships and men to their assistance.

In a letter to a friend in 1779, Franklin tells the story, "The Whistle." "An Ax to Grind" is from his autobiography.


When I was a child seven years old, my friends on a holiday filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children, and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then ran home and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family.

My brothers and sisters and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, "Don't give too much for the whistle";' and I saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.

When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees-his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it-I have said to myself, "This man gives too much for his whistle."

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, "He pays indeed," said I, "too much for his whistle."

If I knew a miser who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, "Poor man," said I, "you pay too much for your whistle."

When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind or of his fortune to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, "Mistaken man," said I, "you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle."

If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts and ends his career in a prison, "Alas!" say I, "he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle."

In short, I conceive that a great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.


Discussion. 1. Why did Franklin say that lie paid too much for his whistle' 2. How was this incident of use to him afterwards? 3. How does it apply to a man too fond of popularity? To the miser? To the man of pleasure? To the one who cares too much for appearance? 4. Can you think of other incidents that illustrate what Franklin had in mind? 5. Extravagance has been called the great fault of Americans. During the World war what efforts were made by our people to. Correct this fault? Why were the efforts successful? 6. Why is it necessary to continue these efforts now? If all Americans would practice what Franklin advises, what would be the effect on the cost of living, and why? 7. In what ways can you save some of the pennies you might spend foolishly? S. What do you know about Postal Savings deposits? 9. Write a letter to your teacher, proposing that the children in your class save as many pennies as possible for savings accounts, pointing out some ways in which children may save their pennies; bring in a part of Franklin's story in the most interesting way that you can. 10. Tell what you can about the author. 11. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: coppers; voluntarily; vexation; ambitious; esteem; contracts. 12. Pronounce: directly: chagrin; sacrificing; levee; accumulating; laudable; equipage.

Phrases for Study

impression continuing, corporeal sensations, political bustles, above his fortune.


When I was a little boy, I remember, one cold winter morning, I was accosted by a smiling man with an ax on his shoulder. "My pretty boy," said he, "has your father a grindstone?"

"Yes, sir," said I.

"You are a fine little fellow!" said he. "Will you, let me grind my ax on it?"

Pleased with the compliment of "fine little fellow," "Oh, yes, sir," I answered. "It is down in the shop."

"And will you, my man," said he, patting me on the head, "get me a little hot water?"

How could I refuse? I ran, and soon brought a kettleful.

"How old are you-and what's your name?" continued he, without waiting for a reply. "I'm sure you are one of the finest lads that I have ever seen. Will you just turn a few minutes for me?"

Tickled with the flattery, like a little fool, I went to work, and bitterly did I rue the day. It was a new ax, and I toiled and tugged till I was almost tired to death. The school bell rang, and I could not get away. My hands were blistered, and the ax was not half ground.

At length, however, it was sharpened, and the man turned to me with, "Now, you little rascal, you've played truant! Scud to school, or you'll rue it!"

"Alas!" thought I, "it was hard enough to turn a grindstone this cold day, but now to be called a little rascal is too much." It sank deep into my mind, and often have I thought of it since.


Discussion. 1. In this story Franklin advises you to be on your guard against flatterers who wish to make use of you in order to gain their o"-n ends. What made Franklin do as the man wanted him to? What do you think of the man? 2. How would you have sought the boy's help? 3. In what way was this incident of use to Franklin afterwards? 4. What is meant when we say of a person that he has "an ax to grind"? 5. How do you think Franklin valued sincerity? 6. How do you value it? 7. Tell the story as the man would have told it to a friend. 8. Pronounce: accosted.


William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) was born in the rugged hill country of western Massachusetts. From infancy he showed remarkable powers of mind. He could read by the time he was two years old, wrote verses at nine, and when scarcely eighteen wrote his most noted poem, "Thanatopsis," now one of the world's classics. He had a wonderful memory, and it is said he could repeat "by heart" every poem he had written.

Bryant removed to New York, where in 1825 he became editor of the Evening Post. Through the remainder of—his long life he devoted his energy and great gifts to building up one of the most forceful of American newspapers, but he found time also to study Nature and to write so many poems that we now think of him as a poet, not as an editor. He was also a student, and we are indebted to him for some excellent translations from old authors. And, finally, he was a public-spirited American, interested in all matters that have to do with the honor of our country. Imagine yourself in New York City during the latter part of the last century. If you were walking up Broadway almost any morning, your attention would be attracted to a venerable looking man, with heavy, flowing, snow-white hair and beard, whom you would be quite likely to meet swinging along at a vigorous pace. You would not need to be told that this man is our first American poet, with whose verses you are already familiar; and you would probably know, too, that he is also the editor of the Evening Post and that, although now past eighty, he is on his way to his office, walking from his home some two miles away, as he has done, rain or shine, for over half a century.

This great man was not too busy with affairs, or too learned, to look for the joy that comes from companionship with Nature. Like Irving he chose American subjects taken from his own surroundings: the scenes of his boyhood, the flowers, birds, and hills of his old New England home. He found pleasure in the simplest things, and he wrote about this pleasure in the simplest way. In this simplicity and the variety of his interests his wealth consisted; a treasure that made rich not only the poet who possessed it but all Americans, to whom he left his life and works for an inheritance.


When beechen buds begin to swell, And woods the bluebird's warble know, The yellow violet's modest bell Peeps from the last year's leaves below.

Ere russet fields their green resume, Sweet flower, I love, in forest bare, To meet thee, when thy faint perfume; Alone is in the virgin air.

Of all her train, the hands of Spring First plant thee in the watery mold; And I have seen thee blossoming Beside the snow-bank's edges cold.

Thy parent sun, who bade thee view dale-skies, and chilling moisture sip, Has bathed thee in his own bright hue, And streaked with jet thy glowing lip.

Yet slight thy form, and low thy seat, And earthward bent thy gentle eye, Unapt the passing view to meet, When loftier flowers are flaunting nigh.

Oft, in the sunless April day, Thy early smile has stayed my walk, But 'midst the gorgeous blooms of May I passed thee on thy humble stalk.

So they who climb to wealth forget The friends in darker fortunes tried. I copied them—but I regret That I should ape the ways of pride.

And when again the genial hour Awakes the painted tribes of light, I'll not o'erlook the modest flower That made the weds of April bright.


Discussion. 1. When does the poet say the violet makes its appearance? 2. Why is the violet called a "modest" flower? 3. Why does the violet make glad the heart of the poet? When the woods and fields are full of flowers, does he notice the violet? 4. What does "alone" add to the meaning of line 8, page 298? 5. What is meant by "her train," line 9, page 298? 6. What are "the hands of Spring"? 7. In what sense is the sun the "parent" of the violet? 8. Why does Bryant say the violet's seat is low? 9. What does the poet say the violet's "early smile" has often done for him? 10. Point out the stanzas in which the poet tells you where he finds the violet; the stanzas in which he tells you about the appearance and character of the flower; the stanzas in which he rebukes himself for passing it by, and makes a promise. 11. Why does Bryant stop to view the violet in April and pass it by in May? 12. With what does the poet compare this treatment of the violet? 13. What does the poet say he regrets? 14. What other flowers come very early in the spring? How do you feel when you see them? 15. Which stanza of the poem do you like best? 16. What other poem on the violet have you read? 17. Tell what you can about the author. 18. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: beechen; russet; train; jet; unapt. 19. Pronounce: ere; parent; gorgeous; humble; genial.

Phrases for Study

modest bell, stayed my walk, their green resume, in darker fortunes tried, virgin air, ape the ways of pride, pale skies, genial hour, flaunting nigh, painted tribes of light.


Is this a time to be cloudy and sad, When our Mother Nature laughs around, When even the deep blue heavens look glad, And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

There are notes of joy from the hangbird and wren, And the gossip of swallows through all the sky; The ground squirrel gayly chirps by his den, And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

The clouds are at play in the azure space, And their shadows at play on the bright green vale, And here they stretch to the frolic chase, And there they roll on the easy gale.

There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower; There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree; There's a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower, And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray, On the leaping waters and gay young isles, Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away.


Discussion. 1. What season is described here? 2. What are the signs that Nature is glad? How do all these things affect the poet? How do you sometimes feel on a cold, rainy day? 3. What signs of gladness are mentioned in the first two stanzas? 4. Which of these have you seen in springtime? 5. Have you ever seen clouds that seemed to chase one another? 6. What is meant by "a laugh from the brook"? 7. What does the poet say the sun will do for us? 8. Do you think spring is "a time to be cloudy and sad"? Why? 9. Why do city boys and girls like to visit the country? 10. Read again "A Forward Look," pages 19-20, and then point out fancies that Bryant uses in this poem to help us see the beauty and wonder of Nature. 11. Commit to memory the stanza that you like best. 12. Pronounce: wilding; azure; isles; ay.

Phrases for Study

gladness breathes, frolic chase, blossoming ground, aspen bower, gossip of swallows, titter of winds, azure space, broad-faced sun.


John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was born near the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, not far from Hawthorne's birthplace. He had very little opportunity for education beyond what the district school afforded, for his parents were too poor to send him away to school. His two years' attendance at Haverhill Academy was paid for by his own work at making ladies' slippers for twenty-five cents a pair. He began writing verses almost as soon as he learned to write at all, but his father discouraged this ambition as frivolous, saying it would never give him bread. His family were Quakers, sturdy of stature as of character. He is called "The Quaker Poet."

Whittier led the life of a New England farm boy, used to hard work and few pleasures. His library consisted of practically one book, the family Bible. Later, a copy of Burns's poems was loaned to him by the district schoolmaster. Like Burns he had great sympathy with the humble and the poor. In his poems. Whittier described the scenes and told the legends of his own locality. Home Ballads and Songs of Labor, in which "The Huskers" and "The Corn-Song" appear, are among his most widely read books. They picture country life and the scenes of the simple occupations common in his part of the country. Whittier was intensely patriotic and religious by nature. His happiness lay in his association with his friends, with children, animals, and the outdoor world.

In these respects he was like Bryant, a man who found pleasure in simple things. Like Bryant, also, he was interested in public affairs. Any injustice to the poor he opposed passionately. He wrote many poems in protest against slavery. He wrote, also, ballads of early New England history, and some of our most beautiful religious poetry comes from his pen. His life was less filled with business cares than that of Bryant, but it was equally full of interests that made him happy and source of help and joy to others.


It was late in mild October, and the long autumnal rain Had left the summer harvest-fields all green with grass again; The first sharp frosts had fallen, leaving all the woodlands gay With the hues of summer's rainbow or the meadow flowers of May.

Through a thin, dry mist, that morning, the sun rose broad and red; At first a rayless disk of fire, he brightened as he sped; Yet even his noontide glory fell chastened and subdued On the cornfields and the orchards and softly pictured wood.

And all that quiet afternoon, slow sloping to the night, He wove with golden shuttle the haze with yellow light; Slanting through the tented beeches, he glorified the hill; And, beneath it, pond and meadow lay brighter, greener still.

And shouting boys in woodland haunts caught glimpses of that sky, Flecked by the many-tinted leaves, and laughed, they knew not why; And schoolgirls, gay with aster-flowers, beside the meadow brooks, Mingled the glow of autumn with the sunshine of sweet looks.

From spire and barn looked westerly the patient weathercocks; But even the birches on the hill stood motionless as rocks. No sound was in the woodlands save the squirrel's dropping shell, And the yellow leaves among the boughs, low rustling as they fell.

The summer grains were harvested; the stubble-fields lay dry, Where June winds rolled, in light and shade, the pale green waves of rye; But still, on gentle hill-slopes, in valleys fringed with wood, ungathered, bleaching in the sun, the heavy corn crop stood.

Bent low by autumn's wind and rain, through husks that, dry and sear, Unfolded from their ripened charge, shone out the yellow ear; Beneath, the turnip lay concealed in many a verdant fold, And glistened in the slanting light the pumpkin's sphere of gold.

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