Imagens das páginas

At last he came to a wide moor, where lived some wild ducks; here “But it is so delicious to swim !" said the Duckling ; "so delihe lay the whole night, so tired and so comfortless. In the morning cious when the waters close over your head, and you plunge to the the wild ducks flew up, and perceived their new companion. “Pray bottom!" who are you ?" asked they ; and our little Duckling turned himself “Well, that is a queer sort of pleasure," said the hen; “I think in all directions, and greeted them as politely as possible.

you must be crazy. Not to speak of myself, ask the cat-he is the “You are really uncommonly ugly!" said the wild ducks ; “how- most sensible animal I know-whether he would like to swim, or ever, that does not matter to us, provided you do not marry into to plunge to the bottom of the water. Ask our mistress, the old our families.” Poor thing! he had never thought of marrying ; he woman,-there is no one in the world wiser than she ; do you think only begged permission to lie among the reeds, and drink the water she would take pleasure in swimming, and in the waters closing over of the moor.

her head ?” There he lay for two whole days. On the third day there came “You do not understand me," said the Duckling. two wild geese, or rather ganders, who had not been long out of their “What, we do not understand you! So you think yourself egg-shells, which accounts for their impertinence. “Hark ye,” said wiser than the cat and the old woman, not to speak of myself. Do they, "you are so ugly that we like you infinitely well; will you not fancy any such thing, child, but be thankful for all the kindness come with us and be a bird of passage ? On another moor, not far that has been shown you. Are you not lodged in a warm room, and from this, are some dear, sweet wild geese, as lovely creatures as have have you not the advantage of society from which you can learn ever said hiss, hiss' You are truly in the way to make your for- something? But you are a simpleton, and it is wearisome to have tune, ugly as you are."

any thing to do with you. Believe me, I wish you well. I tell you Bang! a gun went off all at once, and both wild geese were stretched unpleasant truths, but it is thus that real friendship is shown. dead

among the reeds; the water became red with blood; bang ! a Come, for once give yourself the trouble to learn to purr, or to lay gun went off again ; whole flocks of wild geese flew up from among eggs." the reeds, and another report followed.

“I think I will go out into the wide world again,” said the There was a grand hunting party : the hunters lay in ambush all Duckling. around; some were even sitting in the trees, whose huge branches “Well, go," answered the hen. stretched far over the moor. The blue smoke rose through the thick So the Duckling went. He swam on the surface of the water, he trees like a mist, and was dispersed as it fell over the water; the plunged beneath, but all animals passed him by, on account of his hounds splashed about in the mud, the reeds and rushes bent in all ugliness. And the Autumin canse, the leaves turned yellow and directions. How frightened the poor little Duckling was; he turned brown, the wind caught them and danced them about, the air was his head, thinking to hide it under his wings, and in a moment a most very cold, the clouds were heavy with hail or snow, and the raven formidable-looking dog stood close to him, his tongue hanging out of sat on the hedge and croaked : the poor Duckling was certainly not his mouth, his eyes sparkling fearfully. He opened wide his jaws at very comfortable ! the sight of our duckling, showed him his sharp white teeth, and, One evening, just as the sun was setting with unusual brilliancy, splash, splash! he was gone,-gone without hurting him.

a flock of large, beautiful birds rose from out of the brushwood; the “Well! let me be thankful,” sighed he; “I am so ugly that even duckling had never seen anything so beautiful before; their plumage the dog will not eat me.”.

was of a dazzling white, and they had long slender necks. They And now he lay still, though the shooting continued among the were swans; they uttered a singular cry, spread out their long, reeds, shot following shot.

splendid wings, and flew away from these cold regions to warmer The noise did not cease till late in the day, and even then the countries, across the open sea. They flew so high, so very high! and poor little thing dared not stir; he waited several hours before he the little ugly Duckling's feelings were so strange; he turned round looked around him, and then hastened away from the moor as fast and round in the water like a mill-wheel, strained his neck to look as he could; he run over fields and meadows, though the wind was after them, and sent forth such a loud and strange cry, that it almost so high that he had some difficulty in proceeding.

frightened himself. Ah! he could not forget them, those noble Towards evening he reached a wretched little hut, so wretched that birds! those happy birds! When he could see them no longer, he it knew not on which side to fall, and therefore remained standing. plunged to the bottom of the water, and when he rose again was The wind blew violently, so that our poor little Duckling was

almost beside himself. obliged to support himself on his tail, in order to stand against it; The Duckling knew not what the birds were called, knew not but it became worse and worse. He then remaked that the door had whither they were flying, yet he loved them as he had never before lost one of its hinges, and hung so much away that he could creep loved anything; he envied them not, it would never have occurred through the crevice into the room, which he did.

to him to wish such beauty for himself; he would have been quite In this room lived an old women, with her tom cat, and her hen; contented if the ducks in the duck-yard had but endured his company and the cat, whom she called her little son, knew how to set up his —the poor, ugly animal ! back and purr; indeed, he could even emit sparks, when stroked And the winter was so cold, so cold! The Duckling was obliged to the wrong way. The hen had very short legs, and was therefore swim round'and round in the water to kecp it from freezing ; but called "Cuckoo Short-legs ;" she laid very good eggs, and the old every night the opening in which he swam became smaller and woman loved her as her own child.

smaller. It froze so that the crust of ice crackled. The Duckling The next morning the new guest was perceived; the cat began to was obliged to make good use of his legs to prevent the water from mew, and the hen to cackle.

freezing entirely. At last, wearied out, he lay stiff and cold in the “ What is the matter ?" asked the old woman, looking round ; | ice. however, her eyes were not good, so she took the young Duckling Early in the morning there passed by a peasant, who saw him, to be a fat duck who had lost her way. “This is a capital catch,' broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe, and brought him home said she ; " I shall now have duck's eggs, if it be not a drake: we to his wife. must try.”

He now revived. The children would have played with bim, but And so the Duckling was put to the proof for three weeks, but no our Duckling thought they wished to tease him, and in his terror eggs made their appearance.

jumped into the milk-pail, so that the milk was spilled about the Now the cat was master of the house, and the hen was the mis- room. The good woman screamed and clapped her hands. He flew tress, and they used always to say, “ We and the world," for they thence into the pan where the butter was kept, and thence into the magined themselves to be not only the half of the world, but also by meal-barrel, and out again ; and then how strange he looked ! far the better half. The Duckling thought it was possible to be of The woman screamed, and struck at him with the tongs; the a different opinion, but that the hen would not allow.

children raced with each other trying to catch him, and laughed and “Can you lay eggs?" asked she.

screamed likewise. It was well for him that the door stood open; "No."

he jumped out among the bushes into the new-fallen snow : he lay “Well, then, hold your tongue."

there as in a dream. And the cat said, “ Can you set up your back ? can you purr ?". But it would be too melancholy to relate all the trouble and

misery that he was obliged to suffer during the severity of the “Well, then, you should have no opinion when reasonable persons winter. He was lying on a moor among the reeds, when the sun are speaking.'

began to shine warmly again, the larks sang, and beautiful spring So the Duckling sat alone in a corner, and was in a very bad had returned. humour; however, he happened to think of the fresh air and bright And once more he shock bis wings. They were stronger than sunshine, and these thoughts gave him such a strong desire to swim formerly, and bore him forwards quickly, and before he was well again, that he could not belp telling it to the hen.

aware of it, he was in a large garden where the apple trees stood in “What ails you ?" said the hen. “ You have nothing to do, and full bloom; where the syringas sent forth their fragrance, and hung therefore brood over these fancies; either lay eggs or purr, then you their long green branches down into the winding canal. Oh! every will forget them."

thing was so lovely, so full of the freshness of spring! And out of


the thicket came three beautiful white swans. They displayed

Now the nobleman, hearing what he did say, their feathers so proudly, and swam so lightly, so dightly! The

Was pleased, and invited him home the next day;

His wife and his children he charged him to bring; Duckling knew the glorious creatures, and was seized with a strange

In token of favour he gave him a ring. melancholy. “I will fly to them, those kingly birds,” said he; "they will kill

He thanked his honour, and taking his leave, me, because I, ugly as I am, have presumed to approach them: but

He went to his wife, who would hardly believe it matters not ; better to be killed by them than to be bitten by the

But this same story himself he might raise; ducks, pecked by the hens, kicked by the girl who feeds the poultry,

Yet seeing the ring she was lost in amaze. and to have so much to suffer during the winter !"

Betimes in the morning the good wife she arose, He flew into the water and swam towards the beautiful creatures ;

And made them all fine in the best of their clothes ; they saw him and shot forward to meet him. “Only kill me," said

The goodman, with his goodwife, and children small, the poor animal, and he bowed his head low, expecting death ; but

They all went to dine at the nobleman's hall. what did he see in the water? He saw beneath him his own form,

But when they came there, as truth does report, no longer that of a plump, ugly, grey bird—it was that of a

All things were prepared in a plentiful sort; swan!

And they at the nobleman's table did dine, It matters not to have been born in a duck-yard if one has been

With all kinds of dainties, and plenty of wine. hatched from a swan's egg.

The feast being over, he soon let them know The good creature felt himself really elevated by all the troubles

That he then intended on them to bestow and adversities he had experienced. He could now rightly estimate

A farm-house, with thirty good acres of land; his own happiness, and the larger swans swam round him, and

And gave them the writings then, with his own hand. stroked him with their beaks.

" Because thou art careful and good to thy wife, Some little children were running about in the garden; they

I'll make thy days happy the rest of thy life; threw grain and bread into the water, and the youngest exclaimed,

It shall be for ever, for thee and thy heirs, " There is a new one!" the others also cried out, “Yes, there is a

Because I beheld thy industrious cares.” new swan come !" and they clapped their hands, and danced around.

No tongue then is able in full to express They ran to their father and mother, bread and cake were

The depth of their joy, and true thankfulness; thrown into the water, and every one said, “The new one is

With many a curtsey, and bow to the ground. the best, so young and so beautiful!" and the old swans bowed

Such noblemen-there are but few to be found. before him. The young swan felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wings; he scarcely knew what to do, he was far too happy, but still not proud, for a good heart is never proud. He remembered how he had been persecuted and derided, and he

LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS. now heard every one say be was the most beautiful of all beautiful

“My poor flowers are quite faded!” said little Ida. “Only yesterbirds. The syringas bent down their branches towards him low into day evening tKey were so pretty, and now they are all drooping ! the water, and the sun shone so warmly and brightly-he shook his what can be the reason of it pis she inquired of the student, who feathers, stretched his slender neck, and in the joy of his heart said, was sitting on the sofa. He was a great favourite with Ida, because “How little did I dream of so much happiness when I was the ugly, he used to tell her stories, and cut out all sorts of pretty things for despised Duckling!"

her in paper-such as hearts with little ladies dancing in them, high castles with open doors, &c. “Why do these flowers look so deplor

able ?” she asked again, showing him a bouquet of faded flowers. THE NOBLEMAN AND THRASHER; OR,

“Do you not know ?” replied the student. “ Your flowers went to THE GENEROUS GIFT.

a ball last night, and are tired ; that is why they all hang their

A NOBLEMAN lived in a village of late,
Hard by a poor thrasher, whose charge it was great;

“Surely flowers cannot dance!" exclaimed little Ida.
For he had seven children, and most of them small,

“Of course they can dance! When it is dark, and we are all gone And nought but his labour to support them withal.

to bed, they jump about as merrily as possible. They have a ball

almost every night."
He never was given to idle and lurk,
For this nobleman saw him go daily to work,

“May their children go to the ball, too ?” asked Ida.
With his flail, and his bag, and his bottle of beer,

Yes," said the student, “ little daisies, and lilies of the valley." As cheerful as those that have hundreds a year.

“And where do the prettiest flowers dance ?" Thus careful and constant, each morning he went

“ Have you never been in the large garden in front of the KenUnto his daily labour with joy and content;

sington Palace, the garden so full of flowers ? Surely you recollect So jocular and jolly he'd whistle and sig,

the swans which came swimming up to you when you threw them As blithe and as brisk as the birds in the spring.

crumbs of bread? There you may imagine they have splendid

balls." One morning this nobleman, taking a walk,

“I was there yesterday with my mother,” said Ida,“ but there He met this poor man, and freely did talk; He asked him (at first) many questions at large,

were no leaves on the trees, neither did I see a single flower. What And then began talking concerning his charge.

can have become of them ? There were so many in the summer

time!" “ Thou hast many children, I very well know:

" They are now at the palace,” answered the student. Thy labour is hard, and thy wages are low,

as the King leaves his summer residence, and returns with all his And yet thou art cheerful ; I pray tell me true,

court to the town, the flowers likewise hasten out of the garden and How can you maintain them as well as you do ?”

into the palace, where they enjoy themselves famously. Oh, if you “I carefully carry home what I do earn,

could but see them! The two loveliest roses sit on the throne, and My daily expenses by this I do learn;

play king and queen. The red cockscombs then arrange themselves And find it possible, though we be poor,

in rows before them, bowing very low : they are the gentlemen of To still keep the ravenous wolf from the door.

the bed-chamber. After that the prettiest among the flowers come “I reap and I mow, and I harrow and sow,

in and open the ball. The blue violets represent midshipmen, and Sometimes a hedging and ditching I go;

begin dancing with the hyacinths and crocuses, who take the part of No work comes amiss, for I thrash and I plough,

young ladies. The tulips and the tall orange lilies are old dowagers, Thus my bread I do earn by the sweat of my brow.

whose business it is to see that everything goes on with perfect pro"My wife she is willing to pull in a yoke,

priety." We live like two lambs, nor each other provoke ;

“ But," asked the astonished little Ida, “may the flowers give their We both of us strive, like the labouring ant,

ball in the King's palace ?" And do our endeavours to keep us from want.

“No one knows anything about it," replied the student. “Perhaps “And when I come home from my labour at night,

once during the night the old chamberlain may come in with his To my wife and my children in whom I delight,

great bunch of keys, to see that all is right; but as soon as the To see them come round me with prattling noise

flowers hear the jingling of the keys they are quite still, and hide Now these are the riches a poor man enjoys.

themselves behind the long damask window-curtains. •I smell “ Though I am as weary as weary may be,

flowers here,' says the old chamberlain, but he is not able to find The youngest I commonly dance on my knee;

them." I find that content is a moderate feast,

" That is very funny,” said Ida, clapping her little hands ; " but I never repine at my lot in the least.”

could not I see the flowers ?"

16 As soon

“ To be sure you can see them,” returned the student. “ You playing on the pianoforte, but the tones were lower and sweeter than have only to peep in at the window next time you go to the palace. she had ever heard before. I did so to-day, and saw a long yellow lily lying on the sofa. That “Now my flowers must certainly be dancing," said she. “Oh, was a court lady."

how I should like to see them !” but she dared not get up for fear “ Can the flowers in the Botanic Garden go there, too? Can of waking her father and mother. ** If they would only come in they go so far?” asked Ida.

here!" Still the flowers did not come, and the music sounded so Certainly, for flowers can fly if they wish it. The pretty red sweetly. At last she could restrain herself no longer, she must see and yellow butterflies, that look so much like flowers, are, in fact, the dancing. So she crept lightly out of the bed, and stole towards nothing else. They jump from their stalks, move their petals as if the door of the room. Oh, what wonderful things she saw then! they were little wings, and fly about, as a reward for always behav- There was no night-lamp burning here; however, it was quite ing themselves well; they are allowed, instead of sitting quietly on light in the room, for the moon shone brightly through the windows their stalks, to flutter hither and thither all day long, till wings on the floor. All the hyacinths and tulips stood there in two rows, actually grow out of their petals. You have often seen it yourself. whilst their empty pots might still be seen in front of the windows; For the rest, it may be that the flowers in the Botanic Garden have they performed figures, and took hold of each other by the long not heard what inerry-making goes on every night at the palace ; green leaves. At the piano sat down a large yellow lily, which Ida but I assure you if, next time you go into the garden, you whisper fancied she must have seen before, for she remembered the student's to one of the flowers that a ball is to be given at night at the palace, saying that this flower was exceedingly like Miss Laura, and how the news will be repeated from flower to flower, and thither they everyone had laughed at his remark. Now she herself agreed that will all fly to a certainty. Then, should the curator come into the lily did resemble this young lady, for she had exactly her way the garden, and find all his flowers gone, he will not be able to of playing, bowing her long yellow face now on one side, now on imagine what is become of them.”

the other, and nodding her head to mark the time. A tall, blue “ Indeed !” said Ida ; "and, pray, how can the flowers repeat to crocus now stepped forward, sprang upon the table on which lay each other what I say to them? I am sure that flowers cannot Ida’s playthings, went straight up to the bed, and drew back the speak.”

curtains. There lay the sick flowers, but they rose immediately, “No, they cannot speak-you are right there,” returned the and greeted the other flowers, who invited them to their dance. The student: "but they make themselves understood by pantomime. sick flowers appeared quite well again, and danced as merrily as the Have you never seen them move to and fro at the least breath of rest. air? They can understand each other this way as well as we can Suddenly a heavy noise, as of something falling from the table, by talking.'

was heard. Ida cast a glance that way, and saw that it was the rod “And does the curator understand their pantomime ?" asked which she had found on her bed on the morning of Shrove Tuesday, Ida.

and which seemed desirous of ranking itself among the flowers. It “Oh! certainly. One morning he came into the garden, and was certainly a very pretty rod, for a wax doll was fixed on the top, perceived that a tall nettle was conversing in pantomime with a wearing a hat as broad-brimmed as the counsellor's, with a bluepretty red carnaton. • Thou art so beautiful,' said she to the car, and-red ribbon tied round it. It hopped upon its three red stilts in nation, and I love thee so much !' But the curator could not allow the middle of the flowers, and stamped the floor merrily with its feet. such goings on, so he gave a rap at the nettle's leaves, which are its It was dancing the Mazurka, which the flowers could not dance; fingers, and in doing so he stung himself, and since then he has they were too light-footed to stamp. never dared to touch a nettle."

All at once the wax-doll on the rod swelled out to a giant, tall and " Ah, ah !" laughed little Ida, “that was very droll.”

broad, and exclaimed in a loud voice, “ What do you mean by putting “What do you mean by this?” here interrupted the tedious such trash into the child's head ? It is all fantastical nonsense !" counsellor, who had come on a visit, “putting such trash into the And now the doll looked as much like the counsellor in his broadchild's head.” He could not endure the student, and always used to brimmed hat as one drop of water resembles another: her counscold when he saw him cutting out pasteboard gures-as, for tenance looked as yellow and peevish as his : the paper flowers on instance, a man on the gallows, holding a heart in his hand, which the rod, however, pinched her thin legs, whereupon she shrunk upto was meant for a heart stealer; or an old witch riding on a broom- her original size. stick, and carrying her husband on the tip of her nose. He used The little Ida thought this scene so droll that she could not help always to say then as now, "What do you mean by putting such laughing; the ball-company, however, did not notice it, and the rod trash into the child's head ? It is all fantastical nonsense !"

continued to stamp about, till at length the doll.counsellor was But still little Ida thought what the student had told her about the obliged to dance too, whither she would or no, and make herself now Aowers was very droll, and she could not leave off thinking of it. thin, now thick, now tall, now short, till at last the flowers interShe was now sure that her flowers hung their heads because they ceded for her, and the rod then left her in peace. were tired with dancing so much the night before. So she took A loud knocking was now heard from the drawer in which lay them to the pretty little table where her playthings were arranged. Ida's doll. It was Sophy who made the noise. She put her head Her doll lay sleeping in the cradle, but Ida said to her, “You must out of the drawer, and asked in great astonishment, “ Is there a ball get up, Sophy, and be content to sleep to-night in the table.drawer, here?—why has no one told me of it?". for the poor flowers are ill, and must sleep in your bed. Perhaps “Will you dance with me?" asked the nutcrackers. “Certainly they will be well again by to-morrow.” She then took the doll out of you are a very fit person to dance with me!” said Sophy, turning the bed, but the good lady looked vexed at having to give up her her back upon him. She then sat down on the table, expecting that cradle to the flowers.

one of the flowers would come up and ask her to dance, but no one Ida then laid the faded flowers in her doll's bed, drew the cover- came; she coughed—“hem ! hem !” still no one came. Meantime ing over them, and told them to lie quite still, while she made some the nutcrackers danced by himself, and his steps were not at all camomile tea for them to drink, in order that they might be well | badly made. again the next day. And she drew the curtains round the bed that Aš no flowers came forward to ask Sophy to dance, all at once she the sun might not dazzle their eyes.

let herself fall down upon the floor, which excited a general comAll the evening she thought of nothing else but what the student motion, so that all the flowers ran up to ask her whether she had bad told her, and just before she went to bed she ran up to the window hurt hereslf. But she had received no injury. The flowers, howwhere her mother's tulips and hyacinths stood, behind the blinds, ever, were all very polite, especially Ida's flowers, who took the and whispered to them," I know very well that you are going to a opportunity of thanking the doll for the comfortable bed in which ball to-night.” But the flowers moved not a leaf, and pretended not they had slept so quietly, and then seized her hands to dance with to bave heard ber.

her, whilst all the other flowers stood in a circle round them. Sophy After she was in bed she thought for a long time how delightful was now quite happy, and begged Ida's flowers to make use of her it must be to see the flowers dancing in the palace, and said to her bed again after the ball, as she did not at all mind sleeping one self, “I wonder whether my flowers have been there ?" but before night in the table-drawer. she could satisfy herself she fell asleep. During the night she awoke: But the flowers said : “ We owe you many thanks for your kindshe had been dreaming of the student and the flowers, and of the ness, we shall not live long enough to need it; we shall be quite counsellor, who told her that they were making game of her. All dead by to-morrow; but ask the little Ida to bury us in the garden was still in the room, the night-lamp was burning on the table, and near her canary-bird, then we shall grow again next summer, and be her father and inother were both asleep.

even more beautiful than we have been this year.” "I wonder whether my flowers are still lying in Sophy’s bed?" 'No, you must not die!" replied Sophy warmly, as she kissed the said she. “I should very much like to know." She raised herself flowers. Just then the door was suddenly opened, and a number of a little, and looking towards the door, which stood half open, she flowers danced inro the room. Ida could not conceive where these saw that the flowers and all her playthings were just as she had left flowers came from, unless from the king's garden. First of all them. She listened, and it seemed to ber as if some one must be entered two beautiful roses, wearing golden crowns, then followed stocks and pinks, bowing to the company on all sides. They had about the darning-needle, who was so fine that she fancied herself a also a band of music with them; great poppies and peonies blew sewing-needle." upon pea-shells till they were quite red in the face, whilst blue and "One may have too much of a good thing!" said the Dustman. white campanulas rang a merry peal of bells. These were followed "I would rather show you something else; I will show you my by an immense number of different flowers, all dancing ; violets, brother. He never comes more than once to any one; and whomdaisies, lilies of the valley, narcissuses, and others, who all moved so soever he visits, he takes on his horse, and tells him a story. He gracefully that it was delightful to see them.

knows only two stories, the one unspeakably delightful, such as no At last these happy flowers wished one another “good night;" so one in the world can imagine; the other so dreadful, so horrible-it little Ida once more crept into bed to dream of all the beautiful is not to be described." things she had seen.

And the Dustman lifted little Edward up to the window, saying, The next morning, as soon as she was up and dressed, she went to “ There is my brother, the other Dustman; he is called Death! her little table to see if her flowers were there. She drew aside the You see he is not so frightful as he is represented in picture-books, bed-curtains-yes ! there lay the flowers, but to-day they were much where he seems to be all bones ; no, he wears garments embroidered more faded then yesterday! Sophy, too, was lying in the drawer, but with silver, it is the gayest of uniforms; a mantle of black velvet she looked uncommonly sleepy.

flutters over his horse, behind him. See how he gallops !" "Can you not think of something to say to me?" asked little Ida And Edward saw the other Dustman ride on, and make old and of her ; but Sophy made a most stupid face, and answered not a young with him on his horse : some he placed in front, and others syllable.

behind; but he always asked first what sort of a journal they had to "You are not at all good !” said Ida ; "and yet all the flowers let show. you dance with them.” She them chose out from her play-things a “Good,” they all replied. “Yes, but let me see it," said he ; so little pasteboard box with birds painted on it, and therein she placed they were obliged to show it to him; and all those who had “ Very the faded flowers, “That shall be your coffin," said she, “and when good," written in it were put in front of the horse, and heard the story my cousins come to see me, they shall go with me to bury you in the that was so delightful; but those who had “ Middling" or garden, in order that next summer you may bloom again, and be inscribed in their journals, were obliged to get up behind, and listen still more beautiful than you have been this year.”

to the horrible story. They trembled, and wept; they tried to The two cousins, of whom she spoke, were two lively boys, called jump down from the horse's back ; but they could not, for they were James and Alfred. Their father had given them two new cross- as firmly fixed on it as if they had grown there. bows, which they brought with them to show to Ida. She told “Death is a most beautiful Dustman,” said Edward : "I am not them of the poor flowers that were dead, and were to be buried in afraid of him.” the garden. Then there was a funeral procession. The two boys "That you should not be,” said the Dustman, "only take care walked in front with their bows slung across their shoulders, and to have a good journal to show." little Ida followed carrying the dead flowers in their pretty coffin. "Ah, this is very instructive !" muttered the great-grandfather's A grave was dug for them in the garden. Ida kissed the flowers portrait. “It is always useful to give one's opinion.” He was now once more, then laid the box down in the hollow, and James and satisfied. Alfred shot arrows over the grave with their cross-bows, for they These are the stories of Old Robin; perhaps he may tell you had neither guns nor cannon.

more some evening.



[ocr errors]


It happened one day that a Cat met a Fox in a wood, and thinking him' a very clever fellow, well acquainted with the ways of the world, Pussy

spoke in a friendly way to him, saying, “Good-day, dear Master Fox; how do “Now may I have some stories ?” asked little Edward, as soon as

you do? how do you get on, and pray how do you manage to get a living, the Dustman had put him to sleep.

these hard times?" "We shall have no time for them this evening,” said the Dust- The Fox, who was a very proud and consequential fellow, looked at the man, spreading his picture-umbrella over him. " Look at these Cat from head to foot, tail and all, and considered in his mind whether he Chinese!” The umbrella resembled a large willow pattern plate, should condescend to give Pussy an answer or not. At last he said—“Oh, with blue trees and pointed bridges ; little Chinese men and women you motley fool, you simpleton, you mouse-caicher, how dare you presumé stood nodding their heads among them.

tospeak to a gentleman? What does it concern you how I am?-what do you “ By to-morrow morning all the world must be put in order,” | know, what can you do for yourself, what's your best trick, shaver ?" said the Dustman : “it is a festival day—it is Sunday. I must go self, when the dogs run after me, by climbing up a tall tree."

· My best trick, and the only one I know,” replied Pussy, is to save myto the church-tower, to see whether the little nisses are rubbing the

"Oh! is that all,” said Mr. Fox;" why, I have more than a hundred better bells, so as to make them ring merrily. I must away to the fields, tricks than that ; I am up to everything; I am a match for anybody and to see that the winds are sweeping the dust off the grass and leaves. everybody, I am. I pity you. You are only a Cat. Just come along with I must take down the stars in order to brighten them. I put them me, and I'll show you what a chase I'll lead the hounds, and trick them at into my apron, but first they must be numbered ; and the holes in last. You shall see, Mouser.” which they fit up in the sky must be numbered also, that every

one Presently a Huntsman came along with his bright scarlet coat on, and may return to its proper place : else they would not sit firmly, and his four hourds with him. As soon as Pussy saw them, she scampered up we should have too many falling stars--one coming down after into a tree, and perched herself upon a little branch, where she was quite another."

concealed by the leaves.

* What are you afraid of?” said Mr. Fox, “can't you face a dog?-bah! you * Listen to me, good Sir Robin," said an old Portrait, which hung by the wall, near where Edward was sleeping. “Do you know that

are only fit to catch mice.”

“ Take care of yourself, Mr. Fox,” replied Pussy ; “quick, the hounds I am Edward's great-grandfather ? I am much obliged to you for

will have you ; open your sack, bring out your cleverest trick." telling the boy stories ; but you must not puzzle him. Stars cannot

But before poor Reynard could play his best trick the hounds had caught be taken down and brightened ; they are bodies like our earth.” him, and held him so tight that he screamed with pain.

Many thanks, old great-grandfather!" said the Dustman; many “Oh, Mr. Fox," cried Pussy, when she saw the fate of the Fox; "you thanks ! Thou art certainly very old, but I am older still ! I am an have come to grief in spite of your hundred tricks. One good one, like mine, old heathen ; the Greeks and Romans call me the God of Dreams. and your life would not have been sacrificed." I have been in families of the greatest distinction, and I go there still ! I know how to deal with great and small! Now it is thy

THE THIRSTY FLY. turn; say what thou pleasest !" “So one is no longer allowed to speak one's mind !" muttered

Busy, curious, thirsty fly, the old Portrait.

Drink with me, and drink as I;
And presently Edward awoke.

Freely welcome to my cup,
Could'st thou sip and sip it up.

Make the most of life you may,

Life is short and wears away ; “Good EVENING!" said the Dustman; and Edward nodded his

Both alike are mine and thine, head to him, and jumped up to turn his great-grandfather's portrait

llastening quick to thy decline: to the wall, in order that he might not interrupt them as on yester

Thine's a summer- - mine no more, day-night.

Though repeated to threescore; “Now you shall tell me stories about the five green peas who

Threescore summers, when they're gone, all lived in one pod ; and about the cock courting the hen; and

Will appear as short as one.

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too ?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share ?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled ?
Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No! no ! never can it be!
Never, never, can it be !
And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infant's bear,
And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast?
And not sit the table near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?
And not sit both night and day,
Weeping all our tears away?
0, no! never can it be!
Never, nerer, can it be!
He doth give His joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
He doth feel the sorrow too.
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not nigh;
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And ihy Maker is not near.
O, He gives to us His joy,
That our griefs He may destroy;
Till our grief is filed and gone,
He doth sit by us and moan.


[ocr errors]

WE ARE SEVEN. A SIMPLE child, dear brother Jim,

That lightly draws its breath, And feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death ?
I met a little cottage girl:

Her age was eight, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl,

And clustered round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair,

Her beauty made me glad.
“Sisters and brothers, little maid,

How many may you be ?" . “How many ? seven in all," she said

And wondering looked at me. “ And where are they, I pray you tell ?”

She answered : “Seven are we; And two of us at Conway dwell, And two are gone to sea.

THE TOWN MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY MOUSE. “Two of us in the churchyard lie

My sister and my brother ; And in the churchyard cottage I

ONCE upon a time a Country Mouse, remembering an old Dwell near them with my mother."

acquaintance who had gone up to town to seek his fortune, sent “You say that two at Conway dwell, him an invitation to come and spend a few days in the country. And two are gone to sea;

The Town Mouse gladly accepted the invitation, for he was Yet you are seven: I pray you tell, greatly in want of a little fresh air, and soon arrived at Mouse's Sweet maid, how this


be ?” Hall. The Country Mouse was an old-fashioned body, who Then did the little maid reply:

thought hospitality was best shown in making his guest comfort“Seven boys and girls are we;

able and quite at home; and showed his good sense and warm Two of us in the churchyard lie, feeling by giving his friend a very hearty welcome. Beneath the churchyard tree."

For a long time beforehand the Country Mouse had been “You run about, my little maid, saving up all the tit-bits of cheese-parings, bacon-rinds, nuts, Your limbs they are alive;

peas, and such things that mice rejoice in, to entertain his friend If two are in the churchyard laid, with, and was not a little proud of the table he spread before him. Then ye are only five.”

But the Town Mouse had lost his simple taste by long residence “Their graves are green, they may be

in the city, at aldermen's houses, and was so dainty that there

was scarcely a bit of anything good enough for his nice picking. seen, The little maid replied;

His host, on the contrary, seemed to enjoy himself greatly in “Twelve steps or more from mother's nibbling an ear of barley, so that the guest might have all the

feast to himself. door, And they are side by side. At last the Town Mouse remarked : “Mus,” said he, “ we are

Let very old friends, so there need be no ceremony between us. “My stockings there I often koit, My kerchiefs there I hem ;

me ask how you can endure this dull, hum-drum life in the And there upon the ground I sit

country-with no amusements, and nothing to enliven your I sit and sing them.

existence? Why, I should grow melancholy here in a week. It

seems to me you are wasting your time here. Had you not “And often after sunset, sir,

better go with me to town; I can introduce you to some of the When it is light and fair,

most fashionable society, and show you real life, with lots of fun I take my little porringer,

and pleasure, and good living too- for we keep a French cook in And eat my supper there.

our family! Say you'll come, and I shall be delighted.” “The first that died was little Jane :

The Country Mouse was quite flattered at his friend's condeIn bed she moaning lay,

scension, and jumped at the proposal. So, after it became dark, Till God released her of her pain,

they crept up to town, and about midnight arrived at a fine old And then she went away.

mansion, where the Town Mouse had taken up his residence. “So in the churchyard she was laid; The house was splendidly furnished, and there were tokens of And all the summer dry,

abundant wealth and luxury. There had been a grand dinner Together round her grave we play'd, party in the evening, and the crumbs that had fallen from the My brother John and I.

table would have feasted all the mice in the house for a whole And when the ground was white with week. snow,

“Make yourself at home," said the Town Mouse to his friend, And I could run and slide,

who was a little shy amid so much dazzling magnificence. But My brother John was forced to go: he enjoyed the rare feast very much, and was thinking how much And he lies by her side."

better off he should be here than in the country, when all of a “How many are you then,” said I, sudden the door of the room was burst open, and a party of halfIf they be two in Heaven ?"

tipsy revellers rushed in, seated themselves at table, and ordered The little maiden did reply

supper. The terrified little creatures scampered away to the “0! Master, we are seven.” nearest holes they could find, from which they could not venture

When “But they are dead—those two are dead, to stir out, because there were several dogs in the room. Their spirits are in Heaven.”

things became quiet again, and the company had retired to bed, 'Twas throwing words away, for still

the Country Mouse peeped out from his hiding place, and, seeing The little maid would have her will,

the coast clear, he whispered to his companion," I am going ; And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

this town life won't suit me, I can see very well. Give me peace

and quiet, and you may have luxury and dissipation if you like it.
Home is home, if it be ever so homely. Farewell, friend ! I am

much obliged for your kindness, and if ever you come into the DANCE little baby, dance up high ;

country again you shall be sure of a welcome and peace to Never mind, baby, mother is by;

enjoy it.”
Crow and caper-caper and crow :
There, little baby, there you go.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been ?
Up to the ceiling, down to the ground;
Backwards and forwards, round and round;

I've been up to London to look at the queen.
Dance, little baby, mother will sing,

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, what did you there? With the merry coral, ding, ding, ding.

I frightened a little mouse under the chair.


WHERE art thou roving,

Sweet humming-bee,
Far from thy garden bive,

Under the tree ?
Why hast thou ventured,

On winglets so frail,
To take such a voyage,

From thy haunts in the vale
The brotherless cormorant

Lonely and black,
The storm-petrel harsh screaming,

With death on her track:
The gull and the curlew,

Exultingly brave,
Are the only companions

For thee on the ware.
There is no flower-cup,

To banquet within ;
No fortress of honey,

To leaguer and win ;
No sheltering blossom,

Should tempest.come on;
No glow-worm to guide thee,

When daylight is gone. Then, oh! hasten back

To thy mates of the hive,
Wbile that last pilot-beam

Of the sun is alive-
But just as I closed

My advice to the bee,
The poor little traveller

Dropt into the sea !

Cock crows in the morn,

To tell us to rise,
And he who lies late,

Will never be wise:
For, early to bed,

And early to rise,
Is the way to be healthy,

And wealthy, and wise

London : Printed by TAYLOR and GREENING, Graystoke-place. Fetter-lane; and Published for the Proprietors by W. KENT and Co., Paternoster-row.

Agents for the Continent: W. S. KIRKLAND and Co., 27, Rue de Richelieu, Paris.

« AnteriorContinuar »