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Jack and the Beanstalk.

41

At some distance from London, in a small village, lived a widow and her son, whose name was Jack. He was a bold, daring fellow, ready for any adventure which promised fun or amusement. Jack's mother had a cow, of which she was very fond, and which, up to this time, had been their chief support. But as she had for some time past been growing poorer every year, she felt that now she must part with the cow. So she told Jack to take the cow to be sold, and he was to be sure to get a good round sum for her. On the road to the market Jack met a butcher, who was carrying in his hat some things which Jack thought very pretty. The butcher saw how eagerly Jack eyed his beans, and said, “ If you want to sell your cow, my fine fellow, I will give you this whole hatful of beans in exchange for her."

Jack was delighted; he seized the hat, and ran back home. Jack's mother was surprised to see him back so soon, and at once asked him for the money. But when Jack said that he had sold the cow for a hatful of beans, she was so angry that she opened the window, and threw them all out into the garden. When Jack rose up next morning he found that one of the beans had taken root, and had grown up, up, up, until its top was quite lost in the clouds. Jack resolved instantly to mount the Beanstalk. So up, up, up, he went till he had reached the very top. Looking round he saw at a distance a large house. Tired and weary he crawled towards it and knocked at the door. The door was opened by a timid-looking woman, who started when she saw him, and besought him to run away, as her husband was a cruel Giant, who would eat him up if he found him there. But Jack begged so earnestly to be admitted, that the woman, who was very kind-hearted, had pity on him, and so she brought him into the kitchen, and set before him on a table some bread and meat, and ale. Jack ate and drank, and soon felt quite refreshed. Presently the woman started, and said, “My husband ! quick, quick! he comes—he comes !” and opened the door of the oven and bid Jack jump in. The Giant was in a dreadful passion when he came in, and almost killed his wife

by a blow which he aimed at her. He then began to sniff and smell, at last he roared out :

Snouk but, Snouk ben,

I smell the smell of earthly men.His wife gave him an evasive answer, and proceeded to lay before him his supper. When the Giant could swallow no more, he called out to his. wife to bring him his hen, which having been brought, whenever the Giant said “Lay," the hem laid a golden egg. The Giant soon fell asleep, and Jack crept out softly and seized the hen, and made off without disturbing the Giant. Away ranı Jack till he came to the Beanstalk ; he was much sooner at the bottom of it now than at the top in the morning; and running to his mother he told all his adventure.

The hen laid as many golden eggs as Jack liked, and his mother before long had another cow and everything which she desired. A second time Jack climbed the Beanstalk, when he ran away with the Giant's bags of money. A third time Jack climbed the Beanstalk, and again gained admission to the Giant's house. On this occasion, when the Giant had supped and fallen asleep Jack tried to run away with a harp, which, when, the Giant said “ Play,” played the most beautifuł tunes. Now the harp was a fairy, and as soon as. Jack touched it, it called out Master ! Master !" so loud that the Giant awoke, but he was some: time before he could understand ha

was the matter. He tried to run after Jack, but Jack got to the top of the Beanstalk first. When he had descended a little way he looked up, and how great was his horror to see the huge hand of the Giant stretched down to seize him by the hair of the head ! He slid and scrambled down the Beanstalk, hardly knowing how, and seeing the Giant just putting his feet over the top, he called out, “Quick, mother, mother!

A hatchet, 20 hatchet !” Jack seized it, and chopped away at the Beanstalk, when down it fell, bringing along with it the Giant. Jack instantly cut off his head. After this Jack and his mother lived very happily, and Jack was a great comfort to her in hes

old age.

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WHEN King Arthur reigned in Britain there lived near the Land's End, in Cornwall, a farmer, who had an only son, named Jack.

In those days St. Michael's Mount of Cornwall, which rises high out of the sea, half a mile from the main land, was kept by a huge giant. He was eighteen feet high, and three yards round; and his fierce and grim looks were the terror of all the people.

Jack resolved to destroy this giant, and therefore took a horn, a shovel, a pick-axe, and a dark lantern. Early in a long winter's evening he swam over to the Mount. There he fell to work at once, and before morning had dug a pit twenty-two feet deep, and as many broad. He covered it at the top with long sticks and straw, and strewed some mould over them to make them look just like solid ground. He then put his horn to his mouth, and blew a loud “tantivy, tantivy.” The giant awoke with the noise, and, running towards Jack, he tumbled headlong into the pit.

another giant, who lived in the same wood, to feast with him upon little Jack.

The window of the room was right over the gates of the castle, and when he saw the two giants coming arm-in-arm, he was prepared to receive them. There were two strong cords in the room. Jack made a large noose, with a slip-knot at the end of both these ; and as the giants were unlocking the iron gates, he cast the ropes over each of their heads. He then threw the ropes across a beam of the roof, and pulled with all his might till he had throttled the giants. When he beheld them quite black in the face, he slid down the ropes, drew his sword, and killed them both, and thus saved himself from their cruelty.

Jack now resolved to rid the kingdom of these horrible giants. So having provided himself with everything proper for his journey, he set out in search of adventures. Passing through a large forest, on a sudden he heard piercing shrieks. He forced his way through the trees, and saw a huge giant, thirty-five feet high, dragging along by the hair of their heads a knight and his beautiful lady, one in each hand. Jack alighted from his horse, and tying him to an oak, put on a coat which made him invisible, under which he carried his sword of sharpness.

The giant now tried to rise; but Jack struck him a blow on the crown of the head, which killed him at once, and then he buried him.

The news of Jack's exploit soon spread; and another giant, called Old Blunderbore, vowed to have his revenge on Jack if it should ever be his fortune to get him into his power. This giant kept an enchanted castle in the midst of a lonesome wood.

When he came up to the giant he made many .strokes at him, but could not reach his body, on account of his great height. At last, putting both hands to his sword, and aiming with all his might, he cut off both the giant's legs ; so that his body tumbled to the ground.

Abour four months after the death of Cormoran, as Jack was taking a journey to Wales, he passed through this very wood ; and being weary he sat down by the side of a pleasant fountain, and fell into a deep sleep.

The giant came to the fountain for water just at this time, and found Jack there ; and when the giant saw who it was, he listed him up and carried him to his castle. When they reached the castle the giant told Jack, with a horrid grin, that men's hearts, seasoned with pepper and vinegar, were his daintiest food ; and having said this, he locked Jack in an upper room, while he went to fetch

Jack then set one foot upon his neck, and cried out, “ Thou cruel wretch ! behold, I give thee the just reward of thy crimes.” And so, plunging his sword into the giant's body, the monster gave a loud groan, and yielded up his life; while the noble knight and his lady were joyful at their deliverance.

After this Jack fought and conquered many more giants, and at length having married a most beautiful lady, and the king of the land having bestowed on him great riches, he passed the rest of his days very happily.

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Cinderella and the Glass Slipper. Dick Whittington and His Cat.

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Cinderella and the Glass

Slipper.

45

fixed upon

MANY ages since a rich man and his wife were the parents of a lovely little daughter. When this child was only nine years of age her mother fell sick and died. Her little daughter was full of grief at the loss of so kind a mother. The father, too, was unhappy, but he sought to get rid of his sorrow by marrying another wife. His choice fell on a widow lady, of a very tyrannical temper, who had two daughters as bad-tempered as herself. The marriage was a very unhappy one; and the woman treated the sweet little motherless girl with great harshness.

This made the father very wretched : he fell into low spirits, which brought him to an early grave. After the death of her father the young orphan was very roughly treated, and she was obliged to do all the meanest work about the kitchen, and the sisters gave her the name of Cinderella.

About this time the king of the land held a feast, which was to last two days, and from among those who came to it the king's son was to choose a bride. Cinderella's two sisters, among others, were invited. en the carriage drove away with them to the palace, poor Cinderella was very sad. At length she was roused by a rapping at the kitchen-door, and she got up to see who was there. She found a little old woman who besought her to give her some food. Cinderella kindly gave her whatever she had, and asked her to step in. “ Thank you, my dear,” said the old woman. “But what are all these tears, my child ?" And then Cinderella told the old woman how she wished to go to the grand ball, but she had no clothes. “But

you
shall

go, my darling," said the old woman;

“or I am not Queen of the Fairies." The fairy then turned a pumpkin into an elegant gilt carriage, six mice into as many fine prancing horses, two rats into coachmen, and six lizards into six spruce footmen. Cinderella's clothes were then changed into a magnificent ball-dress; and the fairy gave her a beautiful pair of glass slippers, and charged her on no account to stay at the ball after the clock struck twelve.

The arrival of so splendid an equipage as Cinderella's at the royal palace attracted general

notice, and the king's son himself handed her out of the carriage, led her into the ball-room, and took her to one of the most distinguished seats. The prince then led her out to the head of the dance. The eyes of the whole company were

the beautiful pair, and all were delighted with her. As soon as Cinderella heard the clock strike eleven and three quarters, she arose, took a hurried leave, and returned home. She had scarcely time to change her dress, when a loud knocking announced the arrival of her sisters.

Next evening the two sisters went again to the ball. After their departure the good old fairy appeared again. Cinderella soon followed to the palace, but dressed in a far more magnificent style than before. The prince was quite delighted to see her again; he did not leave her the whole evening. Cinderella was so much taken with the young prince, that before she was aware of it the clock struck twelve! Alarmed, she sprang from her seat, and almost flew out of the ball-room. The prince, wondering, followed, but could not overtake her. Cinderella, in the hurry, dropped one of her glass slippers, which the prince picked up. Fatigued and breathless, Cinderella reached home in her old clothing, without any of her grandeur, except the remaining glass slipper.

The next day the prince sent forth his heralds throughout the city, saying that he would marry the lady whom the slipper fitted. Every one was anxious to know if the slipper would fit her, and among the rest the two sisters; each tried very hard to make her foot go into it, but it was all of no use. Cinderella, who was present, begged to be allowed to try ; and, sitting down, she put it on her foot with the greatest ease.

At that moment the fairy entered, and, touching Cinderella with her wand, changed her poor clothes into a more magnificent dress than she had yet appeared in. When the sisters found that poor Cinderella was the beautiful princess, they asked her to pardon them for all their cruelty. Cinderella freely for

Then she was conducted to the prince, and a few days afterwards the marriage took place with great pomp.

gave them.

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