THE ONTARIO READERS
AUTHORIZED BY THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION
Entered, according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year 1909, in the office of the Minister of Agriculture by the Minister of Education for Ontario
Toronto: The T. EATON Co Limited '14-1
The Minister of Education is indebted to Goldwin Smith, Rudyard Kipling, Henry Newbolt, The Earl of Dunraven, Sir W. F. Butler, Frank T. Bullen, Charles G. D. Roberts, W. Wilfred Campbell, Frederick George Scott, Agnes Maule Machar, Agnes C. Laut, Marjorie L. C. Pickthall, and S. T. Wood, for special permission to reproduce, in this Reader, selections from their writings.
He is indebted to Lord Tennyson for special permission to reproduce the poems from the works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson; to Lloyd Osbourne for permission to reproduce the extract from Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped"; and to C. Egerton Ryerson for permission to reproduce the extract from Egerton Ryerson's "The Loyalists of America and their Times."
He is also indebted to Macmillan & Co., Limited, for special permission to reproduce selected poems from the works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Sir F. H. Doyle, Cecil Frances Alexander; to Longmans, Green & Co., for the selections from Froude's "Short Studies on Great Subjects" and from his "History of England"; to Smith, Elder & Co., for the extract from F. T. Bullen's "The Cruise of the Cachalot"; to Elkin Mathews for Henry Newbolt's poem from "The Island Race"; to Thomas Nelson & Sons for the extract from W. F. Collier's "History of the British Empire"; to The Copp Clark Co., Limited, for selected poems from the works of Charles G. D. Roberts, and of Agnes Maule Machar; to the Hunter-Rose Company for the extract from Canniff Haight's "Country Life in Canada"; to Morang & Company for selected poems from the works of Archibald Lampman, and for the extract from Roberts' "History of Canada"; and to Houghton Mifflin Company for the article from "The Atlantic Monthly" on "British Colonial and Naval Power."
The Minister is grateful to these authors and publishers and to others, not mentioned here, through whose courtesy he has been able to include in this Reader so many copyright selections.
Toronto, May, 1909.
The Children's Song Rudyard Kipling Our Country Alfred, Lord Tennyson Tom Tulliver at School George Eliot Ingratitude William Shakespeare The Giant Charles Mackay The Discovery of America William Robertson The First Spring Day Christina G. Rossetti The Battle of the Pipes Robert Louis Stevenson Bega Marjorie L. C. Pickthall A Musical Instrument Elizabeth Barrett Browning Wolfe and Montcalm Francis Parkman Canada Charles G. D. Roberts Scrooge's Christmas Charles Dickens Hands All Round Alfred, Lord Tennyson Judah's Supplication to Joseph Bible Miriam's Song Thomas Moore The Destruction of Sennacherib George Gordon, Lord Byron The Lark at the Diggings Charles Reade The Ancient Mariner Samuel Taylor Coleridge At the Close of the French Period in Canada Charles G. D. Roberts A Hymn of Empire Frederick George Scott Story of Absalom Bible The Burial of Moses Cecil Frances Alexander The Crusader and the Saracen Sir Walter Scott Mercy William Shakespeare From "An August Reverie" William Wilfred Campbell Work and Wages John Ruskin Untrodden Ways Agnes Maule Machar The First Ploughing Charles G. D. Roberts The Archery Contest Sir Walter Scott In November Archibald Lampman Autumn Woods William Cullen Bryant In a Canoe Lord Dunraven Afton Water Robert Burns David Copperfield's First Journey Alone Charles Dickens The Barefoot Boy John G. Whittier Country Life in Canada in the "Thirties" Canniff Haight Heat Archibald Lampman The Two Paths Bible Bernardo del Carpio Felicia Hemans Moses' Bargains Oliver Goldsmith The Maple Charles G. D. Roberts The Greenwood Tree William Shakespeare Lake Superior Major W. F. Butler The Red River Plain Major W. F. Butler The Unnamed Lake Frederick George Scott Life in Norman England William F. Collier Ye Mariners of England Thomas Campbell Instruction Bible Home Thoughts From Abroad Robert Browning The Bells of Shandon Francis Mahony The Vision of Mirzah Joseph Addison Forbearance Ralph Waldo Emerson Mercy to Animals William Cowper The United Empire Loyalists Egerton Ryerson Oft, in the Stilly Night Thomas Moore The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls Thomas Moore Hudson Strait Agnes C. Laut Scots, Wha Hae Robert Burns St. Ambrose Crew Win Their First Race Thomas Hughes Hunting Song Sir Walter Scott Border Ballad Sir Walter Scott The Great Northern Diver Samuel T. Wood To the Cuckoo William Wordsworth On the Grasshopper and Cricket John Keats The Great Northwest Major W. F. Butler Rule, Britannia James Thomson The Commandment and the Reward Bible The Spacious Firmament Joseph Addison June James Russell Lowell The Fifth Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor "The Arabian Nights Entertainments" Ocean George Gordon, Lord Byron Pontiac's Attempt to Capture Fort Detroit Major Richardson My Native Land Sir Walter Scott Morning on the Lievre Archibald Lampman Evening Archibald Lampman An Elizabethan Seaman James Anthony Froude The Sea-King's Burial Charles Mackay My Castles in Spain George William Curtis Aladdin James Russell Lowell Drake's Voyage Round the World James Anthony Froude The Solitary Reaper William Wordsworth Clouds, Rains, and Rivers John Tyndall Fitz-James and Roderick Dhu Sir Walter Scott The Indignation of Nicholas Nickleby Charles Dickens Dickens in Camp Bret Harte Dost Thou Look Back on What Hath Been Alfred, Lord Tennyson The Passing of Arthur Sir Thomas Malory The Armada Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay Departure and Death of Nelson Robert Southey Waterloo George Gordon, Lord Byron Ode Written in 1746 William Collins Balaklava William Howard Russell Funeral of Wellington Alfred, Lord Tennyson In a Cave with a Whale Frank T. Bullen The Glove and the Lions Leigh Hunt Three Scenes in the Tyrol Richter Marston Moor William Mackworth Praed London Goldwin Smith How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix Robert Browning An Incident of the French Camp Robert Browning British Colonial and Naval Power "Atlantic Monthly" England, My England William Ernest Henley A Good Time Going Oliver Wendell Holmes God is Our Refuge Bible Indian Summer Susanna Moodie The Skylark James Hogg What is War John Bright The Homes of England Felicia Hemans To a Water-Fowl William Cullen Bryant The Fascination of Light Samuel T. Wood Daffodils William Wordsworth To the Dandelion James Russell Lowell True Greatness George Eliot The Private of the Buffs Sir Francis Hastings Doyle Honourable Toil Thomas Carlyle On his Blindness John Milton Mysterious Night Joseph Blanco White Vitai Lampada Henry Newbolt The Irreparable Past Frederick W. Robertson A Christmas Hymn, 1837 Alfred Domett The Quarrel William Shakespeare Recessional Rudyard Kipling
The Good Land
For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, springing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of oil olives and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
And thou shalt eat and be full, and thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.
THE CHILDREN'S SONG
Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee Our love and toil in the years to be, When we are grown and take our place, As men and women with our race.
Father in Heaven who lovest all, Oh help Thy children when they call; That they may build from age to age, An undefiled heritage.
Teach us to bear the yoke in youth With steadfastness and careful truth; That, in our time, Thy Grace may give The Truth whereby the Nations live.
Teach us to rule ourselves alway, Controlled and cleanly night and day, That we may bring, if need arise, No maimed or worthless sacrifice.
Teach us to look in all our ends, On Thee for judge, and not our friends; That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed By fear or favour of the crowd.
Teach us the Strength that cannot seek, By deed or thought, to hurt the weak; That, under Thee, we may possess Man's strength to comfort man's distress.
Teach us Delight in simple things, And Mirth that has no bitter springs, Forgiveness free of evil done, And Love to all men 'neath the sun!
Land of our Birth, our faith, our pride, For whose dear sake our fathers died, Oh Motherland, we pledge to thee, Head, heart, and hand through years to be!
Love thou thy land, with love far-brought From out the storied Past, and used Within the Present, but transfused Thro' future time by power of thought.
TOM TULLIVER AT SCHOOL
It was Mr. Tulliver's first visit to see Tom, for the lad must learn not to think too much about home.
"Well, my lad," he said to Tom, when Mr. Stelling had left the room to announce the arrival to his wife, and Maggie had begun to kiss Tom freely, "you look rarely. School agrees with you."
Tom wished he had looked rather ill.
"I don't think I am well, father," said Tom; "I wish you'd ask Mr. Stelling not to let me do Euclid—it brings on the toothache, I think."
(The toothache was the only malady to which Tom had ever been subject.)
"Euclid, my lad; why, what's that?" said Mr. Tulliver.
"Oh, I don't know. It's definitions, and axioms, and triangles, and things. It's a book I've got to learn in; there's no sense in it."
"Go, go!" said Mr. Tulliver, reprovingly, "you mustn't say so. You must learn what your master tells you. He knows what it's right for you to learn."
"I'll help you now, Tom," said Maggie, with a little air of patronizing consolation. "I'm come to stay ever so long, if Mrs. Stelling asks me. I've brought my box and my pinafores, haven't I, father?"
"You help me, you silly little thing!" said Tom, in such high spirits at this announcement that he quite enjoyed the idea of confounding Maggie by showing her a page of Euclid. "I should like to see you doing one of my lessons! Why, I learn Latin too! Girls never learn such things. They're too silly."
"I know what Latin is very well," said Maggie, confidently. "Latin's a language. There are Latin words in the Dictionary. There's 'bonus, a gift.'"
"Now, you're just wrong there, Miss Maggie!" said Tom, secretly astonished. "You think you're very wise. But 'bonus' means 'good,' as it happens—'bonus, bona, bonum.'"
"Well, that's no reason why it shouldn't mean 'gift,'" said Maggie, stoutly. "It may mean several things—almost every word does. There's 'lawn'—it means the grass-plot, as well as the stuff pocket-handkerchiefs are made of."
"Well done, little 'un," said Mr. Tulliver, laughing, while Tom felt rather disgusted with Maggie's knowingness, though beyond measure cheerful at the thought that she was going to stay with him. Her conceit would soon be overawed by the actual inspection of his books.
Mrs. Stelling, in her pressing invitation, did not mention a longer time than a week for Maggie's stay; but Mr. Stelling, who took her between his knees, and asked her where she stole her dark eyes from, insisted that she must stay a fortnight. Maggie thought Mr. Stelling was a charming man, and Mr. Tulliver was quite proud to leave his little wench where she would have an opportunity of showing her cleverness to appreciating strangers. So it was agreed that she should not be fetched home till the end of the fortnight.
"Now, then, come with me into the study, Maggie," said Tom, as their father drove away. "What do you shake and toss your head now for, you silly?" he continued; for, though her hair was now under a new dispensation, and was brushed smoothly behind her ears, she seemed still in imagination to be tossing it out of her eyes. "It makes you look as if you were crazy."
"Oh, I can't help it," said Maggie, impatiently. "Don't tease me, Tom. Oh, what books!" she exclaimed, as she saw the book-cases in the study. "How I should like to have as many books as that!"
"Why, you couldn't read one of 'em," said Tom, triumphantly. "They're all Latin."
"No, they aren't," said Maggie. "I can read the back of this ... 'History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.'"
"Well, what does that mean? You don't know," said Tom, wagging his head.
"But I could soon find out," said Maggie, scornfully.
"I should look inside, and see what it was about."
"You'd better not, Miss Maggie," said Tom, seeing her hand on the volume. "Mr. Stelling lets nobody touch his books without leave, and I shall catch it if you take it out."
"Oh, very well! Let me see all your books, then," said Maggie, turning to throw her arms round Tom's neck, and rub his cheek with her small, round nose.
Tom, in the gladness of his heart at having dear old Maggie to dispute with and crow over again, seized her round the waist, and began to jump with her round the large library table. Away they jumped with more and more vigour, till Maggie's hair flew from behind her ears, and twirled about like an animated mop. But the revolutions round the table became more and more irregular in their sweep, till at last reaching Mr. Stelling's reading-stand, they sent it thundering down with its heavy lexicons to the floor. Happily it was the ground-floor, and the study was a one-storied wing to the house, so that the downfall made no alarming resonance, though Tom stood dizzy and aghast for a few minutes, dreading the appearance of Mr. or Mrs. Stelling.
"Oh, I say, Maggie," said Tom at last, lifting up the stand, "we must keep quiet here, you know. If we break anything, Mrs. Stelling'll make us cry peccavi."
"What's that?" said Maggie.
"Oh, it's the Latin for a good scolding," said Tom, not without some pride in his knowledge.
"Is she a cross woman?" said Maggie.
"I believe you!" said Tom, with an emphatic nod.
"I think all women are crosser than men," said Maggie. "Aunt Glegg's a great deal crosser than Uncle Glegg, and mother scolds me more than father does."
"Well, you'll be a woman some day," said Tom, "so you needn't talk."
"But I shall be a clever woman," said Maggie, with a toss.
"Oh, I daresay, and a nasty, conceited thing. Everybody'll hate you."
"But you oughtn't to hate me, Tom. It'll be very wicked of you, for I shall be your sister."
"Yes, but if you're a nasty, disagreeable thing, I shall hate you."
"Oh but, Tom, you won't! I shan't be disagreeable. I shall be very good to you, and I shall be good to everybody. You won't hate me really, will you, Tom?"
"Oh, bother, never mind! Come, it's time for me to learn my lessons. See here, what I've got to do," said Tom, drawing Maggie towards him and showing her his theorem, while she pushed her hair behind her ears, and prepared herself to prove her capability of helping him in Euclid. She began to read with full confidence in her own powers; but presently, becoming quite bewildered, her face flushed with irritation. It was unavoidable: she must confess her incompetency, and she was not fond of humiliation.
"It's nonsense!" she said, "and very ugly stuff; nobody need want to make it out."
"Ah, there now, Miss Maggie!" said Tom, drawing the book away and wagging his head at her; "you see you're not so clever as you thought you were."
"Oh," said Maggie, pouting, "I daresay I could make it out if I'd learned what goes before, as you have."
"But that's what you just couldn't, Miss Wisdom," said Tom. "For it's all the harder when you know what goes before; for then you've got to say what definition 3 is, and what axiom V is. But get along with you now; I must go on with this. Here's the Latin Grammar. See what you can make of that."
Maggie found the Latin Grammar quite soothing after her mathematical mortification, for she delighted in new words, and quickly found that there was an English Key at the end, which would make her very wise about Latin, at slight expense. It was really very interesting—the Latin Grammar that Tom had said no girls could learn, and she was proud because she found it interesting.
"Now, then, Magsie, give us the Grammar!"
"Oh, Tom, it's such a pretty book!" she said, as she jumped out of the large arm-chair to give it him; "it's much prettier than the Dictionary. I could learn Latin very soon. I don't think it's at all hard."
"Oh, I know what you've been doing," said Tom; "you've been reading the English at the end. Any donkey can do that."
Tom seized the book and opened it with a determined and business-like air, as much as to say that he had a lesson to learn which no donkeys would find themselves equal to. Maggie, rather piqued, turned to the book-cases to amuse herself with puzzling out the titles.
George Eliot: "The Mill on the Floss."
Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind As man's ingratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen Because thou art not seen, Although thy breath be rude.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, Thou dost not bite so nigh As benefits forgot; Though thou the waters warp, Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remembered not.
There came a Giant to my door, A Giant fierce and strong; His step was heavy on the floor, His arms were ten yards long. He scowled and frowned; he shook the ground; I trembled through and through; At length I looked him in the face And cried, "Who cares for you?"
The mighty Giant, as I spoke, Grew pale, and thin, and small, And through his body, as 'twere smoke, I saw the sunshine fall. His blood-red eyes turned blue as skies:— "Is this," I cried, with growing pride, "Is this the mighty foe?"
He sank before my earnest face, He vanished quite away, And left no shadow in his place Between me and the day. Such giants come to strike us dumb, But, weak in every part, They melt before the strong man's eyes, And fly the true of heart.
THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA
Next morning, being Friday the third day of August, in the year 1492, Columbus set sail, a little before sunrise, in presence of a vast crowd of spectators, who sent up their supplications to Heaven for the prosperous issue of the voyage, which they wished rather than expected. Columbus steered directly for the Canary Islands, and arrived there without any occurrence that would have deserved notice on any other occasion. But, in a voyage of such expectation and importance, every circumstance was the object of attention.
As they proceeded, the indications of approaching land seemed to be more certain, and excited hope in proportion. The birds began to appear in flocks, making towards the south-west. Columbus, in imitation of the Portuguese navigators, who had been guided in several of their discoveries by the motion of birds, altered his course from due west towards that quarter whither they pointed their flight. But, after holding on for several days in this new direction, without any better success than formerly, having seen no object during thirty days but the sea and the sky, the hopes of his companions subsided faster than they had risen; their fears revived with additional force; impatience, rage, and despair appeared in every countenance. All sense of subordination was lost. The officers, who had hitherto concurred with Columbus in opinion, and supported his authority, now took part with the private men; they assembled tumultuously on the deck, expostulated with their commander, mingled threats with their expostulations, and required him instantly to tack about and return to Europe. Columbus perceived that it would be of no avail to have recourse to any of his former arts, which, having been tried so often, had lost their effect; and that it was impossible to rekindle any zeal for the success of the expedition among men in whose breasts fear had extinguished every generous sentiment. He saw that it was no less vain to think of employing either gentle or severe measures to quell a mutiny so general and so violent. It was necessary, on all these accounts, to soothe passions which he could no longer command, and to give way to a torrent too impetuous to be checked. He promised solemnly to his men that he would comply with their request, provided they would accompany him and obey his command for three days longer, and if, during that time, land were not discovered, he would then abandon the enterprise, and direct his course towards Spain.
Enraged as the sailors were, and impatient to turn their faces again towards their native country, this proposition did not appear to them unreasonable; nor did Columbus hazard much in confining himself to a term so short. The presages of discovering land were now so numerous and promising that he deemed them infallible. For some days the sounding-line reached the bottom, and the soil which it brought up indicated land to be at no great distance. The flocks of birds increased, and were composed not only of sea-fowl, but of such land-birds as could not be supposed to fly far from the shore. The crew of the Pinta observed a cane floating, which seemed to have been newly cut, and likewise a piece of timber artificially carved. The sailors aboard the Nigna took up the branch of a tree with red berries perfectly fresh. The clouds around the setting sun assumed a new appearance; the air was more mild and warm, and during night the wind became unequal and variable. From all these symptoms, Columbus was so confident of being near land, that on the evening of the eleventh of October, after public prayers for success, he ordered the sails to be furled, and the ships to lie to, keeping strict watch lest they should be driven ashore in the night. During this interval of suspense and expectation, no man shut his eyes, all kept upon deck, gazing towards that quarter where they expected to discover the land, which had so long been the object of their wishes.
About two hours before midnight, Columbus, standing on the forecastle, observed a light in the distance, and privately pointed it out to Pedro Guttierez, a page of the Queen's wardrobe. Guttierez perceived it, and calling to Salcedo, comptroller of the fleet, all three saw it in motion, as if it were carried from place to place. A little after midnight, the joyful sound of "Land! Land!" was heard from the Pinta, which kept always ahead of the other ships. But, having been so often deceived by fallacious appearances, every man was now become slow of belief, and waited in all the anguish of uncertainty and impatience for the return of day. As soon as morning dawned, all doubts and fears were dispelled. From every ship an island was seen about two leagues to the north, whose flat and verdant fields, well stored with wood, and watered with many rivulets, presented the aspect of a delightful country.
The crew of the Pinta instantly began the Te Deum, as a hymn of thanksgiving to God, and were joined by those of the other ships with tears of joy and transports of congratulation. This office of gratitude to Heaven was followed by an act of justice to their commander. They threw themselves at the feet of Columbus, with feelings of self-condemnation, mingled with reverence. They implored him to pardon their ignorance, incredulity, and insolence, which had created him so much unnecessary disquiet, and had so often obstructed the prosecution of his well-concerted plan; and passing, in the warmth of their admiration, from one extreme to the other, they now pronounced the man whom they had so lately reviled and threatened, to be a person inspired by Heaven with sagacity and fortitude more than human, in order to accomplish a design so far beyond the ideas and conceptions of all former ages.
William Robertson: "The History of America."
THE FIRST SPRING DAY
I wonder if the sap is stirring yet, If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate, If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun, And crocus fires are kindled one by one: Sing, robin, sing! I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.
I wonder if the spring-tide of this year Will bring another spring both lost and dear; If heart and spirit will find out their spring, Or if the world alone will bud and sing: Sing, hope, to me! Sweet notes, my hope, sweet notes for memory.
The sap will surely quicken soon or late, The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate; So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom, Or in this world, or in the world to come: Sing, voice of Spring! Till I, too, blossom and rejoice and sing.
Be that which you would make others.
THE BATTLE OF THE PIPES
A thing happened worth narrating at the close of a visit paid me by Robin Oig, one of the sons of the notorious Rob Roy. As he was leaving, just in the door, he met Alan coming in; and the two drew back and looked at each other like strange dogs. They were neither of them big men, but they seemed fairly to swell out with pride. Each wore a sword, and by a movement of his haunch, thrust clear the hilt of it, so that it might be the more readily grasped and the blade drawn.
"Mr. Stewart, I am thinking," says Robin.
"Troth, Mr. Macgregor, it's not a name to be ashamed of," answered Alan.
"I did not know ye were in my country, sir," says Robin.
"It sticks in my mind that I am in the country of my friends, the Maclarens," says Alan.
"That's a kittle point," returned the other. "There may be two words to say to that. But I think I will have heard that you are a man of your sword?"
"Unless ye were born deaf, Mr. Macgregor, ye will have heard a good deal more than that," says Alan. "I am not the only man who can draw steel in Appin; and when my kinsman and captain, Ardshiel, had a talk with a gentleman of your name, not so many years back, I could never hear that the Macgregor had the best of it."
"Do you mean my father, sir?" says Robin.
"Well, I wouldnae wonder," says Alan. "The gentleman I have in my mind had the ill-taste to clap Campbell to his name."
"My father was an old man," returned Robin. "The match was unequal. You and me would make a better pair, sir."
"I was thinking that," said Alan.
I was half out of bed, and Duncan had been hanging at the elbow of these fighting cocks, ready to intervene upon the least occasion. But when that word was uttered, it was a case of now or never; and Duncan, with something of a white face to be sure, thrust himself between.
"Gentlemen," said he, "I will have been thinking of a very different matter. Here are my pipes, and here are you two gentlemen who are baith acclaimed pipers. It's an auld dispute which one of ye's the best. Here will be a braw chance to settle it."
"Why, sir," said Alan, still addressing Robin, from whom indeed he had not so much as shifted his eyes, nor yet Robin from him, "why, sir," says Alan, "I think I will have heard some sough of the sort. Have ye music, as folk say? Are ye a bit of a piper?"
"I can pipe like a Maccrimmon!" cries Robin.
"And that is a very bold word," quoth Alan.
"I have made bolder words good before now," returned Robin, "and that against better adversaries."
"It is easy to try that," says Alan.
Duncan Dhu made haste to bring out the pair of pipes that was his principal possession, and to set before his guests a muttonham and a bottle of that drink which they call Athole brose. The two enemies were still on the very breach of a quarrel; but down they sat, one upon each side of the peat fire, with a mighty show of politeness. Maclaren pressed them to taste his muttonham and "the wife's brose," reminding them the wife was out of Athole and had a name far and wide for her skill in that confection. But Robin put aside these hospitalities as bad for the breath.
"I would have ye to remark, sir," said Alan, "that I havenae broken bread for near upon ten hours, which will be worse for the breath than any brose in Scotland."
"I will take no advantages, Mr. Stewart," replied Robin. "Eat and drink; I'll follow."
Each ate a small portion of the ham and drank a glass of the brose to Mrs. Maclaren; and then, after a great number of civilities, Robin took the pipes and played a little spring in a very ranting manner.
"Ay, ye can blow," said Alan; and, taking the instrument from his rival, he first played the same spring in a manner identical with Robin's; and then wandered into variations, which, as he went on, he decorated with a perfect flight of grace-notes, such as pipers love, and call the "warblers."
I had been pleased with Robin's playing, Alan's ravished me.
"That's no very bad, Mr. Stewart," said the rival, "but ye show a poor device in your warbler."
"Me!" cried Alan, the blood starting to his face. "I give ye the lie."
"Do ye own yourself beaten at the pipes, then," said Robin, "that ye seek to change them for the sword?"
"And that's very well said, Mr. Macgregor," returned Alan; "and in the meantime" (laying a strong accent on the word) "I take back the lie. I appeal to Duncan."
"Indeed, ye need appeal to naebody," said Robin. "Ye're a far better judge than any Maclaren in Balwhidder: for it's a God's truth that you're a very creditable piper for a Stewart. Hand me the pipes."
Alan did as he asked; and Robin proceeded to imitate and correct some part of Alan's variations, which it seemed that he remembered perfectly.
"Ay, ye have music," said Alan, gloomily.
"And now be the judge yourself, Mr. Stewart," said Robin; and taking up the variations from the beginning, he worked them throughout to so new a purpose, with such ingenuity and sentiment, and with so odd a fancy and so quick a knack in the grace-notes, that I was amazed to hear him.
As for Alan his face grew dark and hot, and he sat and gnawed his fingers, like a man under some deep affront. "Enough!" he cried. "Ye can blow the pipes—make the most of that." And he made as if to rise.
But Robin only held out his hand as if to ask for silence, and struck into the slow music of a pibroch. It was a fine piece of music in itself, and nobly played; but, it seems besides, it was a piece peculiar to the Appin Stewarts and a chief favourite with Alan. The first notes were scarce out, before there came a change in his face; when the time quickened, he seemed to grow restless in his seat; and long before that piece was at an end, the last signs of his anger died from him, and he had no thought but for the music.
"Robin Oig," he said, when it was done, "ye are a great piper. I am not fit to blow in the same kingdom with ye. Body of me! ye have more music in your sporran than I have in my head! And, though it still sticks in my mind that I could show ye another of it with the cold steel, I warn ye beforehand—it'll no be fair! It would go against my heart to haggle a man that can blow the pipes as you can!"
Thereupon the quarrel was made up. All night long the pipes were changing hands, and the day had come pretty bright before Robin as much as thought upon the road.
Robert Louis Stevenson: "Kidnapped."
From the clouded belfry calling Hear my soft ascending swells, Hear my notes like swallows falling: I am Bega, least of bells. When great Turkeful rolls and rings All the storm-touched turret swings, Echoing battle, loud and long. When great Tatwin wakening roars To the far-off shining shores, All the seamen know his song. I am Bega, least of bells; In my throat my message swells. I, with all the winds athrill, Murmuring softly, murmuring still, "God around me, God above me, God to guard me, God to love me."
I am Bega, least of bells; Weaving wonder, wind-born spells. High above the morning mist, Wreathed in rose and amethyst, Still the dreams of music float Silver from my silver throat, Whispering beauty, whispering peace. When great Tatwin's golden voice Bids the listening land rejoice, When great Turkeful rings and rolls Thunder down to trembling souls, Then my notes, like curlews flying, Sinking, falling, lifting, sighing, Softly answer, softly cease. I, with all the airs at play, Murmuring softly, murmuring say, "God around me, God above me, God to guard me, God to love me."
Marjorie L. C. Pickthall
Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing.
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
I. Peter, III.
A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
What was he doing, the great god Pan, Down in the reeds by the river? Spreading ruin and scattering ban, Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat, And breaking the golden lilies afloat With the dragon-fly on the river.
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan From the deep, cool bed of the river: The limpid water turbidly ran, And the broken lilies a-dying lay, And the dragon-fly had fled away, Ere he brought it out of the river.
High on the shore sat the great god Pan, While turbidly flow'd the river; And hack'd and hew'd as a great god can, With his hard, bleak steel at the patient reed, Till there was not a sign of a leaf, indeed, To prove it fresh from the river.
He cut it short, did the great god Pan, (How tall it stood in the river!) Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man, Steadily from the outside ring, And notch'd the poor, dry, empty thing In holes, as he sat by the river.
"This is the way," laugh'd the great god Pan, (Laugh'd while he sat by the river) "The only way, since gods began To make sweet music, they could succeed." Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed, He blew in power by the river.
Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan! Piercing sweet by the river! Blinding sweet, O great god Pan! The sun on the hill forgot to die, And the lilies reviv'd, and the dragon-fly Came back to dream on the river.
Yet, half a beast is the great god Pan, To laugh as he sits by the river, Making a poet out of a man: The true gods sigh for the cost and pain,— For the reed which grows nevermore again As a reed with the reeds in the river.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
If little labour, little are our gains; Man's fortunes are according to his pains.
WOLFE AND MONTCALM
The eventful night of the twelfth was clear and calm, with no light but that of the stars. Within two hours before daybreak thirty boats, crowded with sixteen hundred soldiers, cast off from the vessels and floated downward in perfect order with the current of the ebb-tide. To the boundless joy of the army, Wolfe's malady had abated, and he was able to command in person. His ruined health, the gloomy prospect of the siege, and the disaster at Montmorenci, had oppressed him with the deepest melancholy, but never impaired for a moment the promptness of his decisions, or the impetuous energy of his action.
He sat in the stern of one of the boats, pale and weak, but borne up to a calm height of resolution. Every order had been given, every arrangement made, and it only remained to face the issue. The ebbing tide sufficed to bear the boats along, and nothing broke the silence of the night but the gurgling of the river, and the low voice of Wolfe, as he repeated to the officers about him the stanzas of Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard," which had recently appeared, and which he had just received from England. Perhaps as he uttered those strangely appropriate words:—
"The paths of glory lead but to the grave," the shadows of his own approaching fate stole with mournful prophecy across his mind. "Gentlemen," he said, as he closed his recital, "I would rather have written those lines than take Quebec to-morrow."
As they approached the landing-place, the boats edged closer in towards the northern shore, and the woody precipices rose high on their left like a wall of undistinguished blackness.
"Qui vive?" shouted a French sentinel from out the impervious gloom.
"La France!" answered a captain of Fraser's Highlanders from the foremost boat.
As boats were frequently passing down the river with supplies for the garrison, and as a convoy from Bougainville was expected that very night, the sentinel was deceived and allowed the English to proceed. A few moments later, they were challenged again, and this time they could discern the soldier running close down to the water's edge, as if all his suspicions were aroused; but the skilful replies of the Highlander once more saved the party from discovery.
They reached the landing-place in safety,—an indentation in the shore about a league above the city and now bearing the name of Wolfe's Cove. Here a narrow path led up the face of the heights, and a French guard was posted at the top to defend the pass. By the force of the current the foremost boats, including that which carried Wolfe himself, were borne a little below the spot. The general was one of the first on shore. He looked upward at the rugged heights which towered above him in the gloom. "You can try it," he coolly observed to an officer near him; "but I don't think you'll get up."
At the point where the Highlanders landed, one of their captains, Donald Macdonald, apparently the same whose presence of mind had just saved the enterprise from ruin, was climbing in advance of his men, when he was challenged by a sentinel. He replied in French, by declaring that he had been sent to relieve the guard, and ordering the soldier to withdraw. Before the latter was undeceived, a crowd of Highlanders were close at hand, while the steeps below were thronged with eager climbers, dragging themselves up by trees, roots, and bushes. The guard turned out and made a brief though brave resistance. In a moment they were cut to pieces, dispersed, or made prisoners, while men after men came swarming up the height and quickly formed upon the plains above. Meanwhile the vessels had dropped downward with the current and anchored opposite the landing-place. The remaining troops disembarked, and with the dawn of day, the whole were brought in safety to the shore.
The sun rose, and from the ramparts of Quebec the astonished people saw the Plains of Abraham glittering with arms, and the dark-red lines of the English forming in array of battle. Breathless messengers had borne the evil tidings to Montcalm, and far and near his wide-extended camp resounded with the rolling of alarm-drums and the din of startled preparation. He, too, had had his struggles and his sorrows. The civil power had thwarted him; famine, discontent, and disaffection were rife among his soldiers; and no small portion of the Canadian militia had dispersed from sheer starvation. In spite of all, he had trusted to hold out till the winter frosts should drive the invaders from before the town, when on that disastrous morning the news of their successful temerity fell like a cannon-shot upon his ear. Still he assumed a tone of confidence. "They have got to the weak side of us at last," he is reported to have said, "and we must crush them with our numbers." With headlong haste his troops were pouring over the bridge of St. Charles, and gathering in heavy masses under the western ramparts of the town. Could numbers give assurance of success, their triumph would have been secure, for five French battalions and the armed colonial peasantry amounted in all to more than seven thousand five hundred men. Full in sight before stretched the long, thin lines of the British forces—the Highlanders, the steady soldiery of England, and the hardy levies of the provinces—less than five thousand in number, but all inured to battle, and strong in the full assurance of success.
It was nine o'clock, and the adverse armies stood motionless, each gazing on the other. The clouds hung low, and at intervals warm light showers descended besprinkling both alike. The coppice and corn-fields in front of the British troops were filled with French sharp-shooters, who kept up a distant spattering fire. Here and there a soldier fell in the ranks, and the gap was filled in silence.
At a little before ten the British could see that Montcalm was preparing to advance, and in a few moments all his troops appeared in rapid motion. They came on in three divisions, shouting after the manner of their nation, and firing heavily as soon as they came within range. In the British ranks not a trigger was pulled, not a soldier stirred, and their ominous composure seemed to damp the spirits of the assailants. It was not till the French were within forty yards that the fatal word was given, and the British muskets blazed forth at once in one crashing explosion. Like a ship at full career arrested with sudden ruin on a sunken rock, the ranks of Montcalm staggered, shivered, and broke before that wasting storm of lead. The smoke rolling along the field for a moment shut out the view, but, when the white wreaths were scattered on the wind, a wretched spectacle was disclosed: men and officers tumbled in heaps, battalions resolved into a mob, order and obedience gone; and, when the British muskets were levelled for a second volley, the masses of the militia were seen to cower and shrink with uncontrollable panic. For a few minutes the French regulars stood their ground, returning a sharp and not ineffectual fire. But now, echoing cheer on cheer, redoubling volley on volley, trampling the dying and the dead, and driving the fugitives in crowds, the British troops advanced and swept the field before them. The ardour of the men burst all restraint. They broke into a run and with unsparing slaughter chased the flying multitude to the gates of Quebec. Foremost of all, the light-footed Highlanders dashed along in furious pursuit, hewing down the Frenchmen with their broadswords and slaying many in the very ditch of the fortifications. Never was victory more quick or more decisive.
In the short action and pursuit the French lost fifteen hundred men, killed, wounded, and taken. Of the remainder some escaped within the city, and others fled across the St. Charles to rejoin their comrades who had been left to guard the camp. The pursuers were recalled by sound of trumpet, the broken ranks were formed afresh, and the English troops withdrawn beyond reach of the cannon of Quebec. Townshend and Murray, the only general officers who remained unhurt, passed to the head of every regiment in turn and thanked the soldiers for the bravery they had shown; yet the triumph of the victors was mingled with sadness as tidings went from rank to rank that Wolfe had fallen.
In the heat of the action, as he advanced at the head of the grenadiers of Louisburg, a bullet shattered his wrist, but he wrapped his handkerchief about the wound, and showed no sign of pain. A moment more and a ball pierced his side. Still he pressed forward waving his sword and cheering his soldiers to the attack, when a third shot lodged deep within his breast. He paused, reeled, and staggering to one side, fell to earth. Brown, a lieutenant of the grenadiers, Henderson, a volunteer, an officer of artillery, and a private soldier, raised him together in their arms, and bearing him to the rear laid him softly on the grass. They asked if he would have a surgeon, but he shook his head and answered that all was over with him. His eyes closed with the torpor of approaching death, and those around sustained his fainting form. Yet they could not withhold their gaze from the wild turmoil before them, and the charging ranks of their companions rushing through fire and smoke. "See how they run," one of the officers exclaimed, as the French fell in confusion before the levelled bayonets. "Who run?" demanded Wolfe, opening his eyes like a man aroused from sleep. "The enemy, sir," was the reply; "they give way everywhere." "Then," said the dying general, "tell Colonel Burton to march Webb's regiment down to Charles River, to cut off their retreat from the bridge. Now, God be praised, I shall die in peace," he murmured; and turning on his side he calmly breathed his last.
Almost at the same moment fell his great adversary, Montcalm, as he strove with vain bravery to rally his shattered ranks. Struck down with a mortal wound, he was placed upon a litter and borne to the General Hospital on the banks of the St. Charles. The surgeons told him that he could not recover. "I am glad of it," was his calm reply. He then asked how long he might survive, and was told that he had not many hours remaining. "So much the better," he said; "I am happy that I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec." Officers from the garrison came to his bedside to ask his orders and instructions. "I will give no more orders," replied the defeated soldier; "I have much business that must be attended to, of greater moment than your ruined garrison and this wretched country. My time is very short, therefore, pray leave me."
The victorious army encamped before Quebec and pushed their preparations for the siege with zealous energy, but, before a single gun was brought to bear, the white flag was hung out, and the garrison surrendered. On the eighteenth of September, 1759, the rock-built citadel of Canada passed for ever from the hands of its ancient masters.
Parkman: "The Conspiracy of Pontiac."
Montcalm and Wolfe! Wolfe and Montcalm! Quebec, thy storied citadel Attests in burning song and psalm How here thy heroes fell!
O thou that bor'st the battle's brunt At Queenston and at Lundy's Lane,— On whose scant ranks, but iron front The battle broke in vain!—
Whose was the danger, whose the day, From whose triumphant throats the cheers, At Chrysler's Farm, at Chateauguay, Storming like clarion-bursts our ears?
On soft Pacific slopes,—beside Strange floods that northward rave and fall,— Where chafes Acadia's chainless tide— Thy sons await thy call.
They wait; but some in exile, some With strangers housed, in stranger lands,— And some Canadian lips are dumb Beneath Egyptian sands.
O mystic Nile! Thy secret yields Before us; thy most ancient dreams Are mixed with far Canadian fields And murmur of Canadian streams.
But thou, my country, dream not thou! Wake, and behold how night is done,— How on thy breast, and o'er thy brow, Bursts the uprising sun!
Charles G. D. Roberts
Love your country, believe in her, honour her, work for her, live for her, die for her. Never has any people been endowed with a nobler birthright or blessed with prospects of a fairer future.
(On Christmas Eve, Scrooge, "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner," is visited by three ghosts in succession—The Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The first recalled the experiences of Scrooge's youth, the second showed him Christmas as it might be spent and incidentally, too, what some people thought of him. The third showed him the "shadows of the things that have not happened, but will happen in the time before us." He saw himself dead, uncared for, unwept, unwatched, his effects plundered by the charwoman, laundress, and undertaker's man and realized the end to which he must come unless he led an altered life. Holding up his hands he prayed to have his fate reversed and saw the Ghost shrink and dwindle down into a bedpost.)
Yes! and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own to make amends in.
"I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. "The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. O Jacob Marley! Heaven and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!"
He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions, that his broken voice could scarcely answer to his call. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears.
"They are not torn down," cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed curtains in his arms,—"they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here,—I am here,—the shadows of the things that would have been may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will!"
His hands were busy with his garments all this time; turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.
"I don't know what to do!" cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. "I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A Merry Christmas to everybody! A Happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!"
He had frisked into the sitting-room, and was now standing there, perfectly winded.
"There's the sauce-pan that the gruel was in!" cried Scrooge, starting off again, and going round the fireplace. "There's the door by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered! There's the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present sat! There's the window where I saw the wandering Spirits! It's all right, it's all true, it all happened. Ha, ha, ha!"
Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs!
"I don't know what day of the month it is," said Scrooge. "I don't know how long I have been amongst the Spirits. I don't know anything. I'm quite a baby. Never mind. I don't care. I'd rather be a baby. Hallo! Whoop! Hallo here!"
He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Clang, clash, hammer; ding, dong, bell. Bell, dong, ding; hammer, clang, clash! O, glorious, glorious!
Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; golden sunlight; heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. O, glorious, glorious!
"What's to-day?" cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.
"Eh?" returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.
"What's to-day, my fine fellow?" said Scrooge.
"To-day!" replied the boy. "Why, CHRISTMAS DAY."
"It's Christmas Day!" said Scrooge to himself. "I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. Hallo, my fine fellow?"
"Hallo!" returned the boy.
"Do you know the Poulterer's, in the next street but one, at the corner?" Scrooge inquired.
"I should hope I did," replied the lad.
"An intelligent boy!" said Scrooge. "A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they've sold the prize turkey that was hanging up there?—Not the little prize turkey, the big one?"
"What, the one as big as me?" said the boy.
"What a delightful boy!" said Scrooge. "It's a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!"
"It's hanging there now," replied the boy.
"Is it?" said Scrooge. "Go and buy it."
"WALK-ER!" exclaimed the boy.
"No, no," said Scrooge, "I am in earnest. Go and buy it and tell 'em to bring it here, that I may give them the direction where to take it. Come back with the man, and I'll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes, and I'll give you half-a-crown!"
The boy was off like a shot. He must have had a steady hand at the trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast.
"I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's," whispered Scrooge, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh. "He shan't know who sends it. It's twice the size of Tiny Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob's will be!"
The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one, but write he did, somehow, and went down-stairs to open the street door, ready for the coming of the Poulterer's man. As he stood there, waiting his arrival, the knocker caught his eye.
"I shall love it as long as I live!" cried Scrooge, patting it with his hand. "I scarcely ever looked at it before. What an honest expression it has in its face! It's a wonderful knocker!—Here's the turkey. Hallo! Whoop! How are you? Merry Christmas!"
It was a turkey! He could never have stood upon his legs, that bird. He would have snapped 'em off short in a minute, like sticks of sealing-wax.
"Why, it's impossible to carry that to Camden Town," said Scrooge. "You must have a cab."
The chuckle with which he said this, and the chuckle with which he paid for the turkey, and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab, and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy, were only exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathlessly in his chair again, and chuckled till he cried.
Shaving was not an easy task, for his hand continued to shake very much; and shaving requires attention, even when you don't dance while you are at it. But, if he had cut the end of his nose off, he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it, and been quite satisfied.
He dressed himself "all in his best," and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; and, walking with his hands behind him, Scrooge regarded everyone with a delighted smile. He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good-humoured fellows said: "Good-morning, sir! A Merry Christmas to you!" And Scrooge said often afterwards, that, of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard, those were the blithest in his ears....
He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses and up to the windows, and found that every thing could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk—that anything—could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon, he turned his steps towards his nephew's house.
He passed the door a dozen times before he had the courage to go up and knock. But he made a dash and did it.
"Is your master at home, my dear?" said Scrooge to the girl. "Nice girl! Very."
"Where is he, my love?" said Scrooge.
"He's in the dining-room, sir, along with mistress. I'll show you upstairs, if you please."
"Thank'ee. He knows me," said Scrooge, with his hand already on the dining-room lock. "I'll go in here, my dear."
He turned it gently, and sidled his face in, round the door. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array); for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points, and like to see that everything is right.
"Fred!" said Scrooge. Dear heart alive, how his niece by marriage started!...
"Why, bless my soul!" cried Fred, "Who's that?"
"It's I. Your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?"
Let him in! It is a mercy he didn't shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier. His niece looked just the same. So did Topper when he came. So did the plump sister when she came. So did everybody when they came. Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, won-der-ful happiness!
But he was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Bob Cratchit coming late! That was the first thing he had set his heart upon.
And he did it; yes, he did! The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the Tank.
His hat was off, before he opened the door, his comforter, too. He was on his stool in a jiffy, driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o'clock.
"Hallo!" growled Scrooge, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. "What do you mean by coming here at this time of day?"
"I am very sorry, sir," said Bob. "I am behind my time."
"You are!" repeated Scrooge. "Yes, I think you are. Step this way, sir, if you please."
"It's only once a year, sir," pleaded Bob, appearing from the Tank. "It shall not be repeated. I was making rather merry yesterday, sir."
"Now, I'll tell you what, my friend," said Scrooge, "I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore," he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in his waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again,—"and, therefore, I am about to raise your salary!"
Bob trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it, holding him, and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat.
"A Merry Christmas, Bob!" said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. "A Merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we'll discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another scuttle of coal before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit!"
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind any way, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed, and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE!
Dickens: "A Christmas Carol."
HANDS ALL ROUND
First pledge our Queen this solemn night, Then drink to England, every guest; That man's the best Cosmopolite Who loves his native country best. May freedom's oak for ever live With stronger life from day to day; That man's the true Conservative Who lops the moulder'd branch away. Hands all round! God the traitor's hope confound! To this great cause of Freedom drink, my friends, And the great name of England, round and round.
To all the loyal hearts who long To keep our English Empire whole! To all our noble sons, the strong New England of the Southern Pole! To England under Indian skies, To those dark millions of her realm! To Canada whom we love and prize, Whatever statesman hold the helm. Hands all round! God the traitor's hope confound! To this great name of England drink, my friends, And all her glorious empire, round and round.
To all our statesmen so they be True leaders of the land's desire! To both our Houses, may they see Beyond the borough and the shire! We sail'd wherever ship could sail, We founded many a mighty state; Pray God our greatness may not fail Through craven fears of being great. Hands all round! God the traitor's hope confound! To this great cause of Freedom drink, my friends, And the great name of England, round and round.
JUDAH'S SUPPLICATION TO JOSEPH
And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; and he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground. And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? know ye not that such a man as I can indeed divine? And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found. And he said, God forbid that I should do so: the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my bondman; but as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.
Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him. And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die. And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. And our father said, Go again, buy us a little food. And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us. And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons: and the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I have not seen him since: and if ye take this one also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. Now, therefore, when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then shall I bear the blame to my father for ever. Now therefore, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest I see the evil that shall come on my father.
Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother whom ye sold into Egypt. And now be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and there are yet five years in the which there shall be neither ploughing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: and there will I nourish thee; for there are yet five years of famine; lest thou come to poverty, thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast. And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him.
(Read Exodus, XV.)
Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea! Jehovah hath triumphed—His people are free. Sing—for the pride of the tyrant is broken, His chariots and horsemen all splendid and brave, How vain was their boasting! the Lord hath but spoken, And chariots and horsemen are sunk in the wave. Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea! Jehovah hath triumphed—His people are free.
Praise to the Conqueror, praise to the Lord! His word was the arrow, His breath was our sword! Who shall return to tell Egypt the story Of those she sent forth in the power of her pride? For the Lord hath looked out from His pillar of glory, And all her brave thousands are dashed in the tide. Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea! Jehovah hath triumphed—His people are free.
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB
(Read II. Kings, XIX. 35)
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride: And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider, distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail; And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: But the tent of the upright shall flourish. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: And his children shall have a place of refuge.
THE LARK AT THE DIGGINGS
The friends strode briskly on, and a little after eleven o'clock they came upon a small squatter's house and premises. "Here we are," cried George, and his eyes glittered with innocent delight.
The house was thatched and whitewashed, and English was written on it and on every foot of ground round it. A furze-bush had been planted by the door. Vertical oak palings were the fence, with a five-barred gate in the middle of them. From the little plantation, all the magnificent trees and shrubs of Australia had been excluded with amazing resolution and consistency, and oak and ash reigned safe from overtowering rivals. They passed to the back of the house, and there George's countenance fell a little, for on the oval grass-plot and gravel-walk he found from thirty to forty rough fellows, most of them diggers.
"Ah, well," said he, on reflection, "we could not expect to have it all to ourselves, and indeed it would be a sin to wish it, you know. Now, Tom, come this way; here it is, here it is,—there." Tom looked up, and in a gigantic cage was a light brown bird.
He was utterly confounded. "What, is it this we came twelve miles to see?"
"Ay! and twice twelve wouldn't have been much to me."
"Well, but what is the lark you talked of?"
"This is it."
"This? This is a bird."
"Well, and isn't a lark a bird?"
"O, ay! I see! ha! ha! ha! ha!"
Robinson's merriment was interrupted by a harsh remonstrance from several of the diggers, who were all from the other end of the camp.
"Hold your—cackle," cried one, "he is going to sing;" and the whole party had their eyes turned with expectation towards the bird.
Like most singers, he kept them waiting a bit. But at last, just at noon, when the mistress of the house had warranted him to sing, the little feathered exile began, as it were, to tune his pipes. The savage men gathered round the cage that moment, and amidst a dead stillness the bird uttered some very uncertain chirps, but after awhile he seemed to revive his memories, and call his ancient cadences back to him one by one, and string them sotto voce.
And then the same sun that had warmed his little heart at home came glowing down on him here, and he gave music back for it more and more, till at last—amidst breathless silence and glistening eyes of the rough diggers hanging on his voice—out burst in that distant land his English song.
It swelled his little throat and gushed from him with thrilling force and purity, and every time he checked his song to think of its theme, the green meadows, the quiet stealing streams, the clover he first soared from, and the spring he sang so well, a loud sigh from many a rough bosom, many a wild and wicked heart, told how tight the listeners had held their breath to hear him; and when he swelled with song again, and poured with all his soul the green meadows, the quiet brooks, the honey clover, and the English spring, the rugged mouths opened and so stayed, and the shaggy lips trembled, and more than one drop trickled from fierce unbridled hearts down bronzed and rugged cheeks.
And these shaggy men, full of oaths and strife and cupidity, had once been white-headed boys, and had strolled about the English fields with little sisters and little brothers, and seen the lark rise, and heard him sing this very song. The little playmates lay in the churchyard, and they were full of oaths and drink and lusts and remorses,—but no note was changed in this immortal song. And so for a moment or two, years of vice rolled away like a dark cloud from the memory, and the past shone out in the song-shine: they came back, bright as the immortal notes that lighted them, those faded pictures and those fleeted days; the cottage, the old mother's tears when he left her without one grain of sorrow; the village church and its simple chimes; the clover field hard by in which he lay and gambolled, while the lark praised God overhead; the chubby playmates that never grew to be wicked, the sweet hours of youth—and innocence—and home.
Charles Reade: "It is Never Too Late to Mend."
THE ANCIENT MARINER
It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. "By thy long gray beard and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?
The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide, And I am next of kin; The guests are met, the feast is set: May'st hear the merry din."
He holds him with his skinny hand, "There was a ship," quoth he. "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard, loon!" Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
He holds him with his glittering eye— The Wedding-Guest stood still, And listens like a three years' child: The Mariner hath his will.
The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone: He cannot choose but hear; And thus spake on that ancient man, The bright-eyed Mariner:
"The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, Merrily did we drop Below the kirk, below the hill, Below the lighthouse top.
The Sun came up upon the left, Out of the sea came he! And he shone bright, and on the right Went down into the sea.
Higher and higher every day, Till over the mast at noon—" The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, For he heard the loud bassoon.
The Bride hath paced into the hall, Red as a rose is she; Nodding their heads before her goes The merry minstrelsy.
The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast, Yet he cannot choose but hear; And thus spake on that ancient man, The bright-eyed Mariner:
"And now the storm-blast came, and he Was tyrannous and strong: He struck with his o'ertaking wings, And chased us south along.
With sloping masts and dipping prow, As who pursued with yell and blow Still treads the shadow of his foe, And forward bends his head, The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast, And southward aye we fled.
And now there came both mist and snow, And it grew wondrous cold: And ice, mast-high, came floating by, As green as emerald.
And through the drifts the snowy clifts Did send a dismal sheen: Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken— The ice was all between.
The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around: It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, Like noises in a swound.
At length did cross an Albatross,— Thorough the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, We hailed it in God's name.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat, And round and round it flew. The ice did split with a thunder-fit; The helmsman steered us through!
And a good south wind sprung up behind; The Albatross did follow, And every day, for food or play, Came to the mariners' hollo!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, It perched for vespers nine; Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white, Glimmered the white Moon-shine."
"God save thee, ancient Mariner, From the fiends, that plague thee thus!— Why look'st thou so?"—"With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross."
AT THE CLOSE OF THE FRENCH PERIOD IN CANADA
When the flag of France departed from Canada, it left a people destined to find under the new rule a fuller freedom, an ampler political development, a far more abundant prosperity. It left a people destined to honour their new allegiance by loyalty and heroic service in the hour of trial.
This people, which thus became British by a campaign and a treaty, was destined to form the solid core around which should grow the vast Confederation of Canada. But for them there would now, in all likelihood, be no Canada. By their rejection of the proposals of the revolted colonies, the northern half of this continent was preserved to Great Britain. The debt which the empire owes to the French Canadians is immeasurably greater than we at present realize. Let us examine the characteristics of the small and isolated people which was to exercise such a deep influence on the future of this continent.
The whole population of Canada when she came under the British flag was about sixty thousand. This hardy handful was gathered chiefly at Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal. The rest trailed thinly along the shores of the St. Lawrence and the Richelieu. The lands about the Great Lakes, and the western country, were held only by a few scattered forts, buried here and there in the green wilderness. At Detroit had sprung up a scanty settlement of perhaps one thousand souls. In these remote posts the all-important question was still that of the fur-trade with the Indians. The traders and the soldiers, cut off from civilization, frequently took wives from the Indian tribes about them, and settled down to a life half barbarous. These men soon grew as lawless as their adopted kinsfolk. They were a weakness and a discredit to the country in time of peace, but in war their skill and daring were the frontier's best defence.
Quebec had seven thousand inhabitants. Most of them dwelt between the water's edge and the foot of the great cliff whose top was crowned by the citadel. Where the shoulder of the promontory swept around toward the St. Charles, the slope became more gentle, and there the houses and streets began to clamber toward the summit. Streets that found themselves growing too precipitous had a way, then as now, of changing suddenly into flights of stairs. The city walls, grimly bastioned, ran in bold zigzags across the face of the steep in a way to daunt assailants. Down the hillside, past the cathedral and the college, through the heart of the city, clattered a noisy brook, which in time of freshet flooded the neighbouring streets. Part of the city was within walls, part without. Most of the houses were low, one-story buildings, with large expanse of steep roof, and high dormer windows. Along the incline leading down to the St. Charles stretched populous suburbs. On the high plateau where now lies the stately New Town, there was then but a bleak pasture-land whose grasses waved against the city gates.
Montreal, after its childhood of awful trial, had greatly prospered. Its population had risen to about nine thousand. The fur-trade of the mysterious Northwest, developed by a succession of daring and tireless wood-rangers, had poured its wealth into the lap of the city of Maisonneuve. The houses, some of which were built of the light gray stone which now gives dignity to the city, were usually of but one story. They were arranged in three or four long lines parallel to the river. The towers of the Seminary of St. Sulpicius and the spires of three churches, standing out against the green of the stately mountain, were conspicuous from afar to voyagers coming up the river from Quebec. The city was inclosed by a stone wall and a shallow ditch, once useful as a defence against the Indians, but no protection in the face of serious assault. At the lower end of the city, covering the landing-place, rose a high earthwork crowned with cannon.
The houses of the habitants, tillers of the soil, were small cabins, humble but warm, with wide, overhanging eaves, and consisting at most of two rooms. The partition, when there was one, was of boards. Lath and plaster were unknown. The walls within, to the height of a man's shoulders, were worn smooth by the backs that leaned against them. Solid wooden boxes and benches usually took the place of chairs. A clumsy loom, on which the women wove their coarse homespuns of wool or flax, occupied one corner of the main room; and a deep, box-like cradle, always rocking, stood beside the ample fireplace. Over the fire stood the long, black arms of a crane, on which was done most of the cooking; though the "bake-kettle" sometimes relieved its labours, and the brick oven was a standby in houses of the rich habitants, as well as of the gentry. For the roasting of meats the spit was much in use; and there was a gridiron with legs, to stand on the hearth, with a heap of hot coals raked under it. The houses even of the upper classes were seldom two stories in height. But they were generally furnished with a good deal of luxury; and in the cities they were sometimes built of stone.
A typical country mansion, the dwelling of a seigneur on his own domain, was usually of the following fashion. The main building, one story in height but perhaps a hundred feet long, was surmounted by lofty gables and a very steep roof, built thus to shed the snow and to give a roomy attic for bed-chambers. The attic was lighted by numerous, high-peaked dormer windows, piercing the expanse of the roof. This main building was flanked by one or more wings. Around it clustered the wash-house (adjoining the kitchen), coach house, barns, stable, and woodsheds. This homelike cluster of walls and roofs was sheltered from the winter storm by groves of evergreen, and girdled cheerily by orchard and kitchen-garden. On one side, and not far off, was usually a village with a church-spire gleaming over it; on the other a circular stone mill, resembling a little fortress rather than a peaceful aid to industry. This structure, where all the tenants of the seigneur were obliged to grind their grain, had indeed been built in the first place to serve not only as a mill, but as a place of refuge from the Iroquois. It was furnished with loopholes, and was impregnable to the attacks of an enemy lacking cannon.
The dress of the upper classes was like that prevailing among the same classes in France, though much less extravagant. The long, wide-frocked coats were of gay-coloured and costly material, with lace at neck and wristbands. The waistcoat might be richly embroidered with gold or silver. Knee-breeches took the place of our unsightly trousers, and were fastened with bright buckles at the knee. Stockings were of white or coloured silk, and shoes were set off by broad buckles at the instep. These, of course, were the dresses of ceremony, the dresses seen at balls and grand receptions. Out-of-doors, and in the winter especially, the costumes of the nobility were more distinctly Canadian. Overcoats of native cloth were worn, with large, pointed hoods. Their pattern is preserved to the present day in the blanket coats of our snow-shoers. Young men might be seen going about in colours that brightened the desolate winter landscape. Gay belts of green, blue, red, or yellow enriched the waists of their thick overcoats. Their scarlet leggings were laced up with green ribbons. Their moccasins were gorgeously embroidered with dyed porcupine quills. Their caps of beaver or martin were sometimes tied down over their ears with vivid handkerchiefs of silk. The habitants were rougher and more sombre in their dress. A black homespun coat, gray leggings, gray woollen cap, heavy moccasins of cowhide,—this grave costume was usually brightened by a belt or sash of the liveliest colours. The country-women had to content themselves with the same coarse homespuns, which they wore in short, full skirts. But they got the gay colours which they loved in kerchiefs for their necks and shoulders.
In war the regulars were sharply distinguished from those of the British army by their uniforms. The white of the House of Bourbon was the colour that marked their regiments, as scarlet marked those of the British. The militia and wood-rangers fought in their ordinary dress,—or, occasionally, with the object of terrifying their enemies, put on the war-paint and eagle-quills of the Indians. The muskets of the day were the heavy weapons known as flint-locks. When the trigger was pulled the flint came down sharply on a piece of steel, and the spark, falling into a shallow "pan" of powder called the "priming," ignited the charge. The regulars carried bayonets on the ends of their muskets, but the militia and rangers had little use for these weapons. They depended on their marksmanship, which was deadly. The regulars fired breast high in the direction of their enemy, trusting to the steadiness and closeness of their fire; but the colonials did not waste their precious bullets and powder in this way. They had learned from the Indians, whom they could beat at their own game, to fight from behind trees, rocks, or hillocks, to load and fire lying down, and to surprise their enemies by stealing noiselessly through the underbrush. At close quarters they fought, like the Indians, with knife and hatchet, both of which were carried in their belts. From the ranger's belt, too, when on the march, hung the leathern bag of bullets, and the inevitable tobacco-pouch; while from his neck swung a powder-horn, often richly carved, together with his cherished pipe inclosed in its case of skin. Very often, however, the ranger spared himself the trouble of a pipe by scooping a bowl in the back of his tomahawk and fitting it with a hollow handle. Thus the same implement became both the comfort of his leisure and the torment of his enemies. In winter, when the Canadians, expert in the use of the snow-shoe and fearless of the cold, did much of their fighting, they wore thick peaked hoods over their heads, and looked like a procession of friars wending through the silent forest on some errand of piety or mercy. Their hands were covered by thick mittens of woollen yarn, and they dragged their provisions and blankets on sleds or toboggans. At night they would use their snow-shoes to shovel a wide, circular pit in the snow, clearing it away to the bare earth. In the centre of the pit, they would build their camp fire, and sleep around it on piles of spruce boughs, secure from the winter wind. The leaders, usually members of the nobility, fared on these expeditions as rudely as their men, and outdid them in courage and endurance. Some of the most noted chiefs of the wood-rangers were scions of the noblest families; and though living most of the year the life of savages, were able to shine by their graces and refinement in the courtliest society of the day.
Charles G. D. Roberts: "History of Canada."
A HYMN OF EMPIRE
Lord, by Whose might the Heavens stand, The Source from Whom they came, Who holdest nations in Thy hand, And call'st the stars by name, Thine ageless forces do not cease To mould us as of yore— The chiselling of the arts of peace, The anvil-strikes of war.
Then bind our realm in brotherhood, Firm laws and equal rights, Let each uphold the Empire's good In freedom that unites; And make that speech whose thunders roll Down the broad stream of time The harbinger from pole to pole Of love and peace sublime.
Lord, turn the hearts of cowards who prate, Afraid to dare or spend, The doctrine of a narrower state More easy to defend; Not this the watchword of our sires, Who breathed with ocean's breath, Not this our spirit's ancient fires, Which naught could quench but death.
Strong are we? Make us stronger yet; Great? Make us greater far; Our feet antarctic oceans fret, Our crown the polar star: Round Earth's wild coasts our batteries speak, Our highway is the main, We stand as guardian of the weak, We burst the oppressor's chain.
Great God, uphold us in our task, Keep pure and clean our rule, Silence the honeyed words which mask The wisdom of the fool; The pillars of the world are Thine, Pour down Thy bounteous grace, And make illustrious and divine The sceptre of our race.
F. G. Scott
STORY OF ABSALOM
So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men. For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people. And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.
* * * * *
And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near.
And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.
And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the Lord thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.
And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
* * * * *
And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
II. Samuel, XVIII-XIX.
I slept, and dreamed that life was beauty; I woke, and found that life was duty. Was my dream, then, a shadowy lie? Toil on, brave heart, unceasingly, And thou shalt find thy dream to be A noonday light and truth to thee.
THE BURIAL OF MOSES
(Read Deuteronomy, XXXII. 48-50)
By Nebo's lonely mountain, On this side Jordan's wave, In a vale in the land of Moab, There lies a lonely grave; And no man knows that sepulchre, And no man saw it e'er; For the angels of God upturned the sod, And laid the dead man there.
That was the grandest funeral That ever passed on earth; But no man heard the trampling, Or saw the train go forth: Noiselessly as the daylight Comes when the night is done, And the crimson streak on ocean's cheek Grows into the great sun;