Journeys Through Bookland V3
by Charles H. Sylvester
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse



BY CHARLES H. SYLVESTER Author of English and American Literature




JOHN'S PUMPKIN .......... Mrs. Archibald

THE MOCK TURTLE'S STORY .......... Lewis Carrol

THE SPIDER AND THE FLY .......... Mary Hoiritt

A FAREWELL .......... Charles Kingsley

QUEEN ALICE .......... Lewis Carroll

THE LEPRECHAUN .......... William Allingham

THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER .......... Lewis Carroll

BETH GELERT .......... William R. Spencer

ROBINSON CRUSOE .......... Daniel Defoe

FAITHLESS SALLY BROWN .......... Thomas Hood

THE MARINER'S DREAM .......... William Dimond

THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON .......... Johann Rudolph Wyss

ECHO .......... John G. Saxe



BARBARA FRIETCHIE .......... John Greenleaf Whittier


CUPID AND PSYCHE .......... Adapted by Anna McCaleb

THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN .......... Robert Browning

FRITHIOF THE BOLD .......... Adapted by Grace E. Sellon

THE STORY OF SIEGFRIED .......... Adapted by Grace E. Sellon

NIGHT .......... Robert Southey

LOCHINVAR .......... Sir Walter Scott



For Classification of Selections, see General Index, at end of Volume X





Last spring I found a pumpkin seed, And thought that I would go And plant it in a secret place, That no one else would know, And watch all summer long to see It grow, and grow, and grow, And maybe raise a pumpkin for A Jack-a-lantern show.

I stuck a stick beside the seed, And thought that I should shout One morning when I stooped and saw The greenest little sprout! I used to carry water there, When no one was about, And every day I'd count to see How many leaves were out.

Till by and by there came a flower The color of the sun, Which withered up, and then I saw The pumpkin was begun; But oh! I knew I'd have to wait So long to have my fun, Before that small green ball could be A great big yellow one.

At last, one day, when it had grown To be the proper size, Said Aunt Matilda: "John, see here, I'll give you a surprise!" She took me to a pantry shelf, And there before my eyes, Was set a dreadful row of half A dozen pumpkin pies.

Said Aunt Matilda; "John, I found A pumpkin, high and dry, Upon a pile of rubbish, down Behind that worn-out sty!" O, dear, I didn't cry, because I'm quite too big to cry, But, honestly, I couldn't eat A mouthful of the pie.



NOTE.—The Mock Turtle's Story is from Alice in Wonderland, one of the most delightful books that ever was written for children. It tells the story of a little girl's dream of Wonderland—a curious country where one's size changes constantly, and where one meets and talks with the quaintest, most interesting creatures. Through the Looking-Glass, a companion book to Alice in Wonderland, is almost equally charming, with its descriptions of the land where everything happens backward. Queen Alice, and The Walrus and the Carpenter, are from Through the Looking-Glass.

The real name of the man who wrote these books was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, but every one knows him better as Lewis Carroll. He was a staid and learned mathematician, who wrote valuable books on most difficult mathematical subjects; for instance, he wrote a Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry, and it is not a joke, though the name may sound like one to a person who has read Alice in Wonderland. However, there was one subject in which this grave lecturer on mathematics was more interested than he was in his own lectures, and that was children—especially little girls. He liked to have them with him always, and they, seeing in him a friend and playmate, coaxed him constantly for stories and stories, and yet more stories.

One day, in July, 1862, he took three of his little friends, Alice and Edith and Lorina Liddell, for a trip up the river, and on that afternoon he began telling them about Alice and her Wonderland, continuing the story on other occasions, He had no intention then of making a book, but the story pleased little Alice and her sisters so well that they talked about it at home and among their grown-up friends, who finally persuaded the author to have it printed. It has gone on growing more and more popular, and will keep on doing so as long as children love fun and wonderful happenings.

The pictures which Sir John Tenniel made for Lewis Carroll's books are almost as famous as the books themselves, and every child who has studied them knows exactly how dear little Alice looked, and feels certain that he would recognize a Gryphon or a Mock Turtle anywhere. The pictures given here are after Tenniel's drawings.

They had not gone far before they saw the Mock Turtle in the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and, as they came nearer, Alice could hear him sighing as if his heart would break. She pitied him deeply.

"What is his sorrow?" she asked the Gryphon, and the Gryphon answered, "It's all his fancy, that: he hasn't got no sorrow, you know. Come on!"

So they went up to the Mock Turtle, who looked at them with large eyes full of tears, but said nothing.

"This here young lady," said the Gryphon, "she wants for to know your history, she do."

"I'll tell it her," said the Mock Turtle in a deep-hollow tone: "sit down both of you, and don't speak a word till I've finished."

So they sat down, and nobody spoke for some minutes. Alice thought to herself, "I don't see how he can EVER finish, if he doesn't begin." But she waited patiently.

"Once," said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, "I was a real Turtle."

These words were followed by a very long silence, broken only by an occasional exclamation of "Hjckrrh!" from the Gryphon, and the constant heavy sighing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was very nearly getting up and saying "Thank you, sir, for your interesting story," but she could not help thinking there MUST be more to come, so she sat still and said nothing.

"When we were little," the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, "we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle—we used to call him Tortoise—"

"Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?" Alice asked.

"We called him Tortoise because he taught us," said the Mock Turtle angrily; "really you are very dull."

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking such a simple question," added the Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink into the earth. At last the Gryphon said to the Mock Turtle, "Drive on, old fellow! Don't be all day about it!" and he went on in these words:

"Yes, we went to school in the sea, though you mayn't believe it—"

"I never said I didn't!" interrupted Alice.

"You did," said the Mock Turtle.

"Hold your tongue!" added the Gryphon, before Alice could speak again. The Mock Turtle went on:

"We had the best of educations—in fact, we went to school every day-"

"I'VE been to a day-school too," said Alice; "you needn't be so proud as all that."

"With extras?" asked the Mock Turtle a little anxiously.

"Yes," said Alice, "we learned French and music."

"And washing?" said the Mock Turtle.

"Certainly not!" said Alice indignantly.

"Ah! then yours wasn't a really good school," said the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. "Now at OURS they had at the end of the bill, 'French, music, AND WASHING—extra.'"

"You couldn't have wanted it much," said Alice, "living at the bottom of the sea."

"I couldn't afford to learn it," said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. "I only took the regular course."

"What was that?" inquired Alice.

"Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied; "and then the different branches of Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."

"I never heard of 'Uglification'," Alice ventured to say. "What is it?"

The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. "Never heard of uglifying!" it exclaimed. "You know what to beautify is, I suppose?"

"Yes," said Alice, doubtfully; "it means—to—make—anything— prettier.

"Well then," the Gryphon went on, "if you don't know what to uglify is, you ARE a simpleton."

Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions about it, so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said, "What else had you to learn?"

"Well, there was Mystery," the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers—"Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling—the Drawling-master was an old conger eel, that used to come once a week: HE taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils."

"What was THAT like?" said Alice.

"Well, I can't show it you, myself," the Mock Turtle said: "I'm too stiff. And the Gryphon never learned it."

"Hadn't time," said the Gryphon. "I went to the Classical master, though. He was an old crab, HE was."

"I never went to him," the Mock Turtle said with a sigh: "he taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say." "So he did, so he did." said the Gryphon, sighing in his turn, and both creatures hid their faces in their paws.

"And how many hours a day did you do lessons?" said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.

"Ten hours the first day," said the Mock Turtle; "nine the next, and so on."

"What a curious plan!" exclaimed Alice.

"That's the reason they're called lessons," the Gryphon remarked: "because they lessen from day to day."

This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she thought it over a little before she made her next remark. "Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday?"

"Of course it was," said the Mock Turtle.

"And how did you manage on the twelfth?" Alice went on eagerly.

"That's enough about lessons," the Gryphon interrupted in a very decided tone: "tell her something about the games now."

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice and tried to speak, but for a minute or two sobs choked his voice. "Same as if he had a bone in his throat," said the Gryphon, and it set to work shaking him and punching him in the back.

At last the Mock Turtle recovered his voice, and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on again:

"You may not have lived much under the sea"—("I haven't," said Alice)—"and perhaps you were never even introduced to a lobster"— (Alice began to say "I once tasted"—but checked herself hastily, and said, "No, never")—"so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster-Quadrille is!"

"No, indeed," said Alice. "What sort of a dance is it?"

"Why," said the Gryphon, "you first form into a line along the seashore—"

"Two lines!" cried the Mock Turtle. "Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on: then, when you've cleared all the jellyfish out of the way—"

"THAT generally takes some time," interrupted the Gryphon.

"You advance twice—"

"Each with a lobster as a partner!" cried the Gryphon.

"Of course," the Mock Turtle said: "advance twice, set to partners—"

"Change lobsters, and retire in same order," continued the Gryphon.

"Then you know," the Mock Turtle went on, "you throw the—"

"The lobsters!" shouted the Gryphon, with a bound into the air. "As far out to the sea as you can—"

"Swim after them!" screamed the Gryphon.

"Turn a somersault in the sea!" cried the Mock Turtle, capering wildly about.

"Change lobsters again!" yelled the Gryphon at the top of its voice.

"Back to land again, and—that's all the first figure," said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and the two creatures, who had been jumping about like mad things all this time, sat down again very sadly and quietly, and looked at Alice.

"It must be a very pretty dance," said Alice timidly.

"Would you like to see a little of it?" said the Mock Turtle.

"Very much indeed," said Alice.

"Come, let's try the first figure!" said the Mock Turtle to the Gryphon. "We can do it without lobsters, you know. Which shall sing?"

"Oh, YOU sing," said the Gryphon. "I've forgotten the words."

So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they passed too close, and waving their fore paws to mark the time, while the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and sadly: "'Will you walk a little faster!' said a whiting to a snail, 'There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance? Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance? Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?

"'You can really have no notion how delightful it will be When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!' But the snail replied 'Too far, too far!' and gave a look askance— Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

"'What matters it how far we go?' his scaly friend replied, 'There is another shore, you know, upon the other side. The further off from England the nearer is to France; Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance. Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance? Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?'"

"Thank you, it's a very interesting dance to watch," said Alice, feeling very glad that it was over at last; "and I do so like that curious song about the whiting!"

"Oh, as to the whiting," said the Mock Turtle, "they—you've seen them, of course?"

"Yes," said Alice, "I've often seen them at dinn—" she checked herself hastily.

"I don't know where Dinn may be," said the Mock Turtle, "but if you've seen them so often, of course you know what they're like."

"I believe so," Alice replied thoughtfully. "They have their tails in their mouths; and they're all over crumbs."

"You're wrong about the crumbs," said the Mock Turtle; "crumbs would all wash off in the sea. But they HAVE their tails in their mouths; and the reason is"—here the Mock Turtle yawned and shut his eyes. "Tell her about the reason and all that," he said to the Gryphon.

"The reason is," said the Gryphon, "that they WOULD go with the lobsters to the dance. So they got thrown out to sea. So they had to fall a long way. So they got their tails fast in their mouths. So they couldn't get them out again. That's all."

"Thank you," said Alice, "it's very interesting. I never knew so much about a whiting before."

"I can tell you more than that, if you like," said the Gryphon. "Do you know why it's called a whiting?"

"I never thought about it," said Alice. "Why?"

"IT DOES THE BOOTS AND SHOES," the Gryphon replied very solemnly.

Alice was thoroughly puzzled. "Does the boots and shoes!" she repeated in a wondering tone.

"Why, what are YOUR shoes done with?" said the Gryphon. "I mean, what makes them so shiny?"

Alice looked down at them, and considered a little before she gave her answer. "They're done with blacking, I believe."

"Boots and shoes under the sea," the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, "are done with whiting. Now you know."

"And what are they made of?" Alice asked in a tone of great curiosity.

"Soles and eels, of course," the Gryphon replied rather impatiently; "any shrimp could have told you that."

"If I'd been the whiting," said Alice, whose thoughts were still running on the song, "I'd have said, to the porpoise, 'Keep back, please; we don't want YOU with us!'"

"They were obliged to have him with them," the Mock Turtle said; "no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise."

"Wouldn't it really?" said Alice in a tone of great surprise.

"Of course not," said the Mock Turtle; "why, if a fish came to ME, and told me he was going a journey, I should say 'With what porpoise?'"

"Don't you mean 'purpose'?" said Alice.

"I mean what I say," the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone.

And the Gryphon added, "Come, let's hear some of YOUR adventures."

"I could tell you my adventures—beginning from this morning," said Alice a little timidly; "but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."

"Explain all that," said the Mock Turtle.

"No, no! the adventures first," said the Gryphon in an impatient tone; "explanations take such a dreadful time."

So Alice began telling them her adventures from the time when she first saw the White Rabbit; she was a little nervous about it just at first, the two creatures got so close to her, one on each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so VERY wide, but she gained courage as she went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got to the part about her repeating, "You are old, Father William," to the caterpillar, and the words all coming different, and then the Mock Turtle drew a long breath, and said, "That's very curious."

"It's all about as curious as it can be," said the Gryphon.

"It all came different!" the Mock Turtle repeated thoughtfully. "I should like to hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her to begin." He looked at the Gryphon as if he thought it had some kind of authority over Alice.

"Stand up and repeat, ''Tis the voice of the sluggard'," said the Gryphon.

"How the creatures order one about, and make one repeat lessons!" thought Alice. "I might just as well be at school at once."

However, she got up, and began to repeat it, but her head was so full of the Lobster-Quadrille, that she hardly knew what she was saying, and the words came very queer indeed:

"'Tis the voice of the lobster; I heard him declare, 'You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.' As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes."

"That's different from what I used to say when I was a child," said the Gryphon.

"Well, I never heard it before," said the Mock Turtle; "but it sounds uncommon nonsense."

Alice said nothing; she had sat down again with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would ever happen in a natural way again.

"I should like to have it explained," said the Mock Turtle.

"She can't explain it," said the Gryphon hastily. "Go on with the next verse."

"But about his toes?" the Mock Turtle persisted. "How COULD he turn them out with his nose, you know?"

"It's the first position in dancing," Alice said; but she was dreadfully puzzled by the whole thing, and longed to change the subject.

"Go on with the next verse," the Gryphon repeated impatiently; "it begins 'I passed by his garden.'"

Alice did not dare to disobey, though she felt sure it would all come wrong, and she went on in a trembling voice:

"I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye, How the owl and the oyster were sharing the pie."

"What IS the use of repeating all that stuff," the Mock Turtle interrupted, "if you don't explain it as you go on? It's by far the most confusing thing I ever heard."

"Yes, I think you'd better leave off," said the Gryphon, and Alice was only too glad to do so.

"Shall we try another figure of the Lobster-Quadrille?" the Gryphon went on. "Or would you like the Mock Turtle to sing you a song?"

"Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Turtle would be so kind," Alice replied, so eagerly that the Gryphon said, in a rather offended tone, "Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing her 'Turtle Soup,' will you, old fellow?"

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began, in a voice sometimes choked with sobs, to sing this: "Beautiful Soup, so rich and green, Waiting in a hot tureen! Who for such dainties would not stoop? Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! Beau—ootiful Soo—oop! Beau—ootiful Soo—oop! Soo—oop of the e—e—evening, Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

"Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish, Game, or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two p ennyworth only of beautiful Soup? Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup? Beau—ootiful Soo—oop! Beau—ootiful Soo—oop! Soo—oop of the e—e—evening, Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!"



"Will you walk into my parlor?" Said a spider to a fly: 'Tis the prettiest little parlor That ever you did spy. The way into my parlor Is up a winding stair, And I have many pretty things To show when you are there." "Oh, no, no!" said the little fly, "To ask me is in vain; For who goes up your winding stair Can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary With soaring up so high; Will you rest upon my little bed?" Said the spider to the fly. "There are pretty curtains drawn around, The sheets are fine and thin; And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in." "Oh, no, no!" said the little fly, "For I've often heard it said, They never, never wake again Who sleep upon your bed."

Said the cunning spider to the fly, "Dear friend, what shall I do To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you? I have within my pantry Good store of all that's nice; I'm sure you're very welcome— Will you please to take a slice?" "Oh, no, no!" said the little fly; "Kind sir, that cannot be; I've heard what's in your pantry, And I do not wish to see."

"Sweet creature," said the spider, "You're witty and you're wise; How handsome are your gauzy wings, How brilliant are your eyes. I have a little looking-glass Upon my parlor shelf; If you'll step in one moment, dear, You shall behold yourself." "I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "For what you're pleased to say, And bidding you good morning, now, I'll call another day."

The spider turned him round about, And went into his den, For well he knew the silly fly Would soon be back again; So he wove a subtle thread In a little corner sly, And set his table ready To dine upon the fly. He went out to his door again, And merrily did sing, "Come hither, hither, pretty fly, With the pearl and silver wing; Your robes are green and purple, There's a crest upon your head; Your eyes are like the diamond bright, But mine are dull as lead."

Alas, alas! how very soon This silly little fly, Hearing his wily, flattering words, Came slowly flitting by: With buzzing wings she hung aloft, Then near and nearer drew— Thought only of her brilliant eyes And green and purple hue; Thought only of her crested head— Poor foolish thing! At last Up jumped the cunning spider, And fiercely held her fast.

He dragged her up his winding stair, Into his dismal den, Within his little parlor—but She ne'er came out again! And now, dear little children Who may this story read, To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you, ne'er give heed: Unto an evil counsellor Close heart and ear and eye, And learn a lesson from this tale Of the spider and the fly.



My fairest child, I have no song to give you; No lark could pipe to skies so dull and gray; Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you For every day.

Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever; Do noble things, not dream them, all day long: And so make life, death, and that vast forever One grand sweet song.



Alice threw herself down to rest on a lawn as soft as moss, with little flower beds dotted about it here and there. "Oh, how glad I am to get here! And what IS this on my head?" she exclaimed, as she put her hands up to something very heavy, that fitted tight all round her head.

"But how CAN it have got there without my knowing it?" she said to herself, as she lifted it off, and set it on her lap to make out what it could possibly be. It was a golden crown.

"Well, this IS grand!" said Alice. "I never expected I should be a queen so soon—and I'll tell you what it is, your majesty," she went on in a severe tone (she was always rather fond of scolding herself), "it'll never do for you to be lolling about on the grass like that! Queens have to be dignified, you know!"

So she got up and walked about—rather stiffly just at first, as she was afraid that the crown might come off: but she comforted herself with the thought that there was nobody to see her; "and if I really am a queen," she said, as she sat down again, "I shall be able to manage it quite well in time."

Everything was happening so oddly that she didn't feel a bit surprised at finding the Red Queen and the White Queen sitting close to her, one on each side: she would have liked very much to ask them how they came there, but she feared it would not be quite civil. However, there would be no harm, she thought, in asking if the game was over.

"Please, would you tell me—" she began, looking timidly at the Red Queen.

"Speak when you're spoken to!" the Queen sharply interrupted her.

"But if everybody obeyed that rule," said Alice, who was always ready for a little argument, "and if you only spoke when you were spoken to, and the other person always waited for YOU to begin, you see nobody would ever say anything, so—"

"Ridiculous!" cried the Queen. "Why, don't you see, child—" here she broke off with a frown, and, after thinking for a minute, suddenly changed the subject of the conversation. "What do you mean by 'If you really are a queen?' What right have you to call yourself so? You can't be a queen, you know, till you've passed the proper examination. And the sooner we begin it, the better."

"I only said 'if'," poor Alice pleaded in a piteous tone.

The two queens looked at each other, and the Red Queen remarked, with a little shudder, "She SAYS she only said 'if'—"

"But she said a great deal more than that," the White Queen moaned, wringing her hands. "Oh, ever so much more than that."

"So you did, you know," the Red Queen said to Alice. "Always speak the truth—think before you speak—and write it down afterward."

"I'm sure I didn't mean—" Alice was beginning, but the Red Queen interrupted her impatiently.

"That's just what I complain of. You SHOULD have meant! What do you suppose is the use of a child without any meaning? Even a joke should have some meaning—and a child's more important than a joke, I hope. You couldn't deny that, even if you tried with both hands."

"I don't deny things with my HANDS," Alice objected. "Nobody said you did," said the Red Queen. "I said you couldn't if you tried."

"She's in that state of mind," said the White Queen, "that she wants to deny SOMETHING—only she doesn't know what to deny."

"A nasty, vicious temper," the Red Queen remarked; and there was an uncomfortable silence for a minute or two.

The Red Queen broke the silence by saying to the White Queen, "I invite you to Alice's dinner party this afternoon."

The White Queen smiled feebly, and said, "And I invite YOU."

"I didn't know I was to have a party at all," said Alice; "but if there is to be one, I think I ought to invite the guests."

"We gave you the opportunity of doing it," the Red Queen remarked: "but I dare say you've not had many lessons in manners yet?"

"Manners are not taught in lessons," said Alice. "Lessons teach you to do sums, and things of that sort."

"Can you do addition?" the White Queen asked. "What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?"

"I don't know," said Alice. "I lost count."

"She can't do Addition," the Red Queen interrupted. "Can you do Subtraction? Take nine from eight."

"Nine from eight I can't, you know," Alice replied very readily: "but—"

"She can't do Subtraction," said the White Queen. "Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife—what's the answer to that?"

"I suppose—" Alice was beginning, but the Red Queen answered for her. "Bread-and-butter, of course. Try another Subtraction sum. Take a bone from a dog: what remains?"

Alice considered. "The bone wouldn't remain, of course, if I took it— and the dog wouldn't remain; it would come to bite me—and I'm sure I shouldn't remain!"

"Then you think nothing would remain?" said the Red Queen.

"I think that's the answer."

"Wrong as usual," said the Red Queen; "the dog's temper would remain."

"But I don't see how—"

"Why, look here!" the Red Queen cried. "The dog would lose its temper, wouldn't it?"

"Perhaps it would," Alice replied cautiously.

"Then if the dog went away, its temper would remain!" the Queen exclaimed triumphantly.

Alice said, as gravely as she could, "They might go different ways." But she couldn't help thinking to herself, "What nonsense we ARE talking!"

"She can't do sums a BIT," the queens said together, with great emphasis.

"Can YOU do sums?" Alice said, turning suddenly on the White Queen, for she didn't like being found fault with so much.

The Queen gasped and shut her eyes. "I can do Addition," she said, "if you give me time—but I can't do Subtraction under ANY circumstances!"

"Of course you know your A B C?" said the Red Queen.

"To be sure I do," said Alice.

"So do I," the White Queen whispered: "we'll often say it over together, dear. And I'll tell you a secret—I can read words of one letter! Isn't THAT grand? However, don't be discouraged. You'll come to it in time."

Here the Red Queen began again. "Can you answer useful questions?" she said. "How is bread made?"

"I know THAT," Alice cried eagerly. "You take some flour—"

"Where do you pick the flower?" the White Queen asked. "In a garden, or in the hedges?"

"Well, it isn't PICKED at all," Alice explained: "it's GROUND—"

"How many acres of ground?" said the White Queen. "You mustn't leave out so many things."

"Fan her head!" the Red Queen anxiously interrupted. "She'll be feverish after so much thinking." So they set to work and fanned her with bunches of leaves, till she had to beg them to leave off, it blew her hair about so.

"She's all right again now," said the Red Queen. "Do you know languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"

"Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.

"Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

Alice thought she saw a way out of the difficulty this time. "If you'll tell me what language 'fiddle-de-dee' is, I'll tell you the French for it!" she exclaimed triumphantly.

But the Red Queen drew herself up rather stiffly, and said, "Queens never make bargains."

"I wish queens never asked questions," Alice thought to herself.

"Don't let us quarrel," the White Queen said, in an anxious tone. "What is the cause of lightning?"

"The cause of lightning," Alice said, very decidedly, for she felt quite certain about this, "is the thunder—no, no!" she hastily corrected herself. "I meant the other way."

"It's too late to correct it," said the Red Queen: "when you've once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the consequences."

"Which reminds me," the White Queen said, looking down and nervously clasping and unclasping her hands, "we had SUCH a thunderstorm last Tuesday—I mean one of the last set of Tuesdays, you know."

Alice was puzzled. "In OUR country," she remarked, "there's only one day at a time."

The Red Queen said, "That's a poor thin way of doing things. Now HERE, we mostly have days and nights two or three at a time, and sometimes in the winter we take as many as five nights together—for warmth, you know."

"Are five nights warmer than one night, then?" Alice ventured to ask.

"Five times as warm, of course."

"But they should be five times as COLD, by the same rule—"

"Just so!" cried the Red Queen. "Five times as warm, AND five times as cold—just as I'm five times as rich as you are, AND five times as clever!"

Alice sighed and gave it up. "It's exactly like a riddle with no answer!" she thought.

"Humpty Dumpty saw it too," the White Queen went on in a low voice, more as if she were talking to herself. "He came to the door with a corkscrew in his hand—"

"What did he want?" said the Red Queen.

"He said he WOULD come in," the White Queen went on, "because he was looking for a hippopotamus. Now, as it happened, there wasn't such a thing in the house, that morning."

"Is there generally?" Alice asked in an astonished tone.

"Well, only on Thursdays," said the Queen.

"I know what he came for," said Alice: "he wanted to punish the fish, because—"

Here the White Queen began again. "It was SUCH a thunderstorm, you can't think!" ("She NEVER could, you know," said the Red Queen.) "And part of the roof came off, and ever so much thunder got in—and it went rolling round the room in great lumps—and knocking over the tables and things—till I was so frightened, I couldn't remember my own name!"

Alice thought to herself, "I never should TRY to remember my name in the middle of an accident! Where would be the use of it?" but she did not say this aloud, for fear of hurting the poor Queen's feelings.

"Your Majesty must excuse her," the Red Queen said to Alice, taking one of the White Queen's hands in her own, and gently stroking it: "she means well, but she can't help saying foolish things, as a general rule."

The White Queen looked timidly at Alice, who felt she OUGHT to say something kind, but really couldn't think of anything at the moment.

"She never was really well brought up," the Red Queen went on: "but it's amazing how good-tempered she is! Pat her on the head, and see how pleased she'll be!" But this was more than Alice had courage to do.

"A little kindness—and putting her hair in papers—would do wonders with her—"

The White Queen gave a deep sigh, and laid her head on Alice's shoulder. "I AM so sleepy!" she moaned.

"She's tired, poor thing!" said the Red Queen. "Smooth her hair—lend her your nightcap—and sing her a soothing lullaby."

"I haven't got a nightcap with me," said Alice, as she tried to obey the first direction: "and I don't know any soothing lullabies."

"I must do it myself, then," said the Red Queen, and she began:

"Hush-a-by, lady, in Alice's lap! Till the feast's ready, we've time for a nap: When the feast's over, we'll go to the ball— Red Queen, and White Queen, and Alice, and all!"

"And now you know the words," she added, as she put her head down on Alice's other shoulder, "just sing it through to ME; I'm getting sleepy, too." In another moment both queens were fast asleep, and snoring loud.

"What AM I to do?" exclaimed Alice, looking about in great perplexity, as first one round head, and then the other, rolled down from her shoulder, and lay like a heavy lump in her lap. "I don't think it EVER happened before, that any one had to take care of two queens asleep at once! No, not in all the history of England—it couldn't, you know, because there never was more than one queen at a time. Do wake up, you heavy things!" she went on in an impatient tone; but there was no answer but a gentle snoring.



NOTE.—The Leprecaun, or Shoemaker, is one of the solitary fairies of Ireland. He is a little fellow who wears a red coat with seven buttons in each row, and a cocked or pointed hat, on the point of which he often spins round like a top. You may often see him under the hedge mending shoes; where, if you are sharp enough, you may catch him and make him give up the big crocks of gold, of which the little miser has saved many and many. But you must be careful, for if after you have seen him once you take your eyes off him for a single instant, he vanishes into the air like a wreath of smoke.

Little cowboy, what have you heard, Up on the lonely rath's green mound? Only the plaintive yellow-bird Singing in sultry fields around? Chary, chary, chary, chee-e! Only the grasshopper and the bee? "Tip-tap, rip-rap, Tick-a-tack-too! Scarlet leather sewn together, This will make a shoe. Left, right, pull it tight, Summer days are warm; Underground in winter, Laughing at the storm!"

Lay your ear close to the hill: Do you not catch the tiny clamor, Busy click of an elfin hammer, Voice of the Leprecaun singing shrill As he merrily plies his trade? He's a span And a quarter in height; Get him in sight, hold him fast, And you're a made Man!

You watch your cattle the summer day, Sup on potatoes, sleep in the hay; How should you like to roll in your carriage And look for a duchess's daughter in marriage? Seize the shoemaker, so you may! "Big boots a-hunting, Sandals in the hall, White for a wedding feast, And pink for a ball: This way, that way, So we make a shoe, Getting rich every stitch, Tick-tack-too!"

Nine and ninety treasure crocks This keen miser-fairy hath, Hid in mountain, wood and rocks, Ruin and round-tower, cave or rath, And where the cormorants build; From the times of old Guarded by him; Each of them filled Full to the brim With gold!

I caught him at work one day myself, In the castle ditch where the foxglove grows, A wrinkled, wizened and bearded elf, Spectacles stuck on the top of his nose, Silver buckles to his hose, Leather apron, shoe in his lap. "Rip-rap, tip-tap, Tick-tack-too!

A grig stepped upon my cap, Away the moth flew. Buskins for a fairy prince, Brogues for his son, Pay me well, pay me well, When the job's done."

The rogue was mine beyond a doubt; I stared at him, he stared at me! "Servant, Sir!" "Humph," said he, And pulled a snuff-box out; He took a long pinch, looked better pleased, The queer little Leprecaun, Offered the box with a whimsical grace, Pouf! he flung the dust in my face, And, while I sneezed, was gone!



The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright— And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done— "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky; No birds were flying overhead— There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?" "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear.

"Oysters, come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach; We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him, But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head— Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat— And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet.

Four others Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more— All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock, Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes—and ships—and sealing wax— Of cabbages—and kings— And why the sea is boiling hot— And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed— Now if you're ready, Oysters dear, We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue. "After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said, "Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!" The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice: I wish you were not quite so deaf— I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said: "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size, Holding his pocket-handkerchief Before his streaming eyes.

"Oh, Oysters," said the Carpenter, "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?" But answer came there none— And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.



The spearmen heard the bugle sound, And cheerily smiled the morn; And many a brach, and many a hound, Obeyed Llewelyn's horn.

And still he blew a louder blast, And gave a lustier cheer, "Come, Gelert, come, wert never last Llewelyn's horn to hear.

"O, where does faithful Gelert roam, The flower of all his race; So true, so brave,—a lamb at home, A lion in the chase?"

In sooth, he was a peerless hound, The gift of royal John; But now no Gelert could be found And all the chase rode on.

That day Llewelyn little loved The chase of hart and hare; And scant and small the booty proved, For Gelert was not there.

Unpleased, Llewelyn homeward hied, When, near the portal seat, His truant Gelert he espied, Bounding his lord to greet.

But when he gained his castle door, Aghast the chieftain stood; The hound all o'er was smeared with gore; His lips, his fangs, ran blood. Llewelyn gazed with fierce surprise; Unused such looks to meet, His favorite checked his joyful guise, And crouched, and licked his feet.

Onward, in haste, Llewelyn passed, And on went Gelert, too; And still, where'er his eyes he cast, Fresh blood-gouts shocked his view.

O'erturned his infant's bed he found, With blood-stained covert rent; And all around the walls and ground With recent blood besprent.

He called his child,—no voice replied,— He searched with terror wild; Blood, blood he found on every side, But nowhere found his child.

"Hell-hound! my child's by thee devoured," The frantic father cried; And to the hilt his vengeful sword He plunged in Gelert's side.

Aroused by Gelert's dying yell, Some slumberer wakened nigh; What words the parent's joy could tell To hear his infant's cry!

Concealed beneath a tumbled heap His hurried search had missed, All glowing from his rosy sleep, The cherub boy he kissed.

Nor scathe had he, nor harm, nor dread, But, the same couch beneath, Lay a gaunt wolf, all torn and dead, Tremendous still in death.

Ah, what was then Llewelyn's pain! For now the truth was clear; His gallant hound the wolf had slain To save Llewelyn's heir.



The author of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe, lived in England from 1661 to 1731. He was a brave, liberty-loving man who was always in opposition to the tyranny of the government, and was many times punished for his independent speech and lively interest in the wrongs of his fellows.

We do not know positively what inspired him to write the story, or where he got his facts. It has been generally believed that his tale was founded on The Life and Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, a book which was published about seven years before Robinson Crusoe appeared, in 1719. Selkirk was a buccaneer on a ship cruising in the South Atlantic. He quarreled violently with his captain, and at his own request was put ashore alone on the island of Juan Fernandez. Here he lived for four years and four months, and was then rescued by a privateer. The adventures of Selkirk have so little in common with those of Robinson Crusoe that it is doubtful whether Defoe had the former in mind at all. Moreover, there had been published in England some twenty years before Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe the story of Peter Serrano, who was shipwrecked and lived for several years on an island near the mouth of the Orinoco.

This is the scene of Robinson Crusoe, and it is probable that Defoe was influenced by Serrano's story.

The title-page of the first edition is as follows:

"The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner; Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un- inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With an Account how he was at last as strangely delivered by Pyrates. Written by Himself. London: Printed for W. Taylor at the Ship in Pater-Noster-Row. MDCCXIX"

The story as Defoe tells it is vividly written in what seems to us now rather quaint phraseology, but everything appears so simple and so real that it is hard to believe that the man who wrote the story did not really have the experiences he relates. Defoe did not intend to write a book for children, and Robinson Crusoe is really the first great English story, and the forerunner of our modern novels. The book, however, became very popular, and the children seized upon it at once and made it their own particular story. Countless editions of it have been printed, and it has been translated into almost every modern language. Besides this, there have been dozens of English versions of Robinson Crusoe, from simple little tales in words of one syllable, to finer editions in which Defoe's language has been modernized and a really new story created. However, there is nothing so charming and so real as Crusoe's own account of himself, and the selections which follow are taken from the larger book just about as they were written by Defoe.

Robinson Crusoe was a good honest Englishman, who made the best of a hard situation and worked his way into comparative comfort in spite of a thousand difficulties and dangers, of which only those who read the book have any idea. He was so manly about it always, and so straightforward in his account of what he did, that it is worth any one's while to read the entire book.


I am now to be supposed retired in my castle, after my late voyage to the wreck, my frigate laid up and secured under water, and my condition restored to what it was before; I had more wealth than I had before, but was not at all the richer; for I had no more use for it than the Indians of Peru had before the Spaniards came there.

It was one of the nights in the rainy season in March, the four-and- twentieth year of my first setting foot in this island of solitariness; I was lying in my bed or hammock awake, very well in health, had no pain, no distemper, no uneasiness of body, nor any uneasiness of mind more than ordinary, but could by no means close my eyes; that is, so as to sleep; no, not a wink all night long. It is impossible to set down the innumerable crowd of thoughts that whirled through that great thoroughfare of the brain, the memory, in this night's time: I ran over the whole history of my life in miniature, or by abridgment, as I may call it, to my coming to this island, and also of that part of my life since I came to this island.

When these thoughts were over, my head was for some time taken up in considering the nature of those wretched creatures, the cannibals, [Footnote: Crusoe had been much disturbed by discovering footprints and remains of fires, which showed him that his island had been visited. As he found human bones near the embers, he knew that his visitors were cannibals.] and how it came to pass in the world that the wise Governor of all things should give up any of his creatures to such inhumanity—nay, to something so much below even brutality itself—as to devour its own kind: but, as this ended in some (at that time) fruitless speculations, it occurred to me to inquire, what part of the world these wretches lived in? how far off the coast was from whence they came? what they ventured over so far from home for? what kind of boats they had? and why I might not order myself and my business so, that I might be able to go over thither, as they were to come to me?

I never so much as troubled myself to consider what I should do with myself when I went thither; what would become of me if I fell into the hands of these savages; or how I should escape them if they attacked me; but my mind was wholly bent upon the notion of my passing over in my boat to the mainland. I looked upon my present condition as the most miserable that could possibly be; that I was not able to throw myself into anything but death, that could be called worse; and if I reached the shore of the main, I might perhaps meet with relief, or I might coast along, till I came to some inhabited country, where I might find some relief; and, after all, perhaps I might fall in with some Christian ship that would take me in; and if the worst came to the worst, I could but die, which would put an end to all these miseries at once.

When this had agitated my thoughts for two hours or more, with such violence that it set my very blood into a ferment, and my pulse beat as if I had been in a fever, merely with the extraordinary fervor of my mind about it, Nature, as if I had been fatigued and exhausted with the very thoughts of it, threw me into a sound sleep. One would have thought I should have dreamed of it, but I did not, nor of anything relating to it; but I dreamed that as I was going out in the morning as usual, from my castle, I saw upon the shore two canoes and eleven savages, coming to land, and that they brought with them another savage, whom they were going to kill, in order to eat him; when, on a sudden, the savage that they were going to kill jumped away, and ran for his life; and I thought, in my sleep, that he came running into my little thick grove before my fortification, to hide himself; and that I, seeing him alone, and not perceiving that the others sought him that way, showed myself to him, and smiling upon him, encouraged him; that he kneeled down to me, seeming to pray me to assist him; upon which I showed him my ladder, made him go up, and carried him into my cave, and he became my servant; and that as soon as I had gotten this man, I said to myself, "Now I may certainly venture to the mainland, for this fellow will serve me as a pilot, and will tell me what to do, and whither to go for provisions, and whither not to go for fear of being devoured; what places to venture into, and what to escape." I waked with this thought; and was under such inexpressible impressions of joy at the prospect of my escape in my dream, that the disappointments which I felt upon coming to myself, and finding that it was no more than a dream, were equally extravagant the other way, and threw me into a very great dejection of spirit.

Upon this, however, I made this conclusion: that my only way to go about to attempt an escape was, to endeavor to get a savage into my possession; and, if possible, it should be one of their prisoners, whom they had condemned to be eaten, and should bring hither to kill. My next thing was to contrive how to do it, and this indeed was very difficult to resolve on; but as I could pitch upon no probable means for it, so I resolved to put myself upon the watch, to see them when they came on shore, and leave the rest to the event, taking such measures as the opportunity should present, let what would be.

With these resolutions in my thoughts, I set myself upon the scout as often as possible, and indeed so often, that I was heartily tired of it. About a year and a half after I had entertained these notions, and by long musing had, as it were, resolved them all into nothing, for want of an occasion to put them into execution, I was surprised one morning by seeing no less than five canoes all on shore together on my side of the island, and the people who belonged to them all landed and out of my sight. The number of them broke all my measures; for seeing so many, and knowing that they always came four or six, or sometimes more in a boat, I could not tell what to think of it, or how to take my measures to attack twenty or thirty men single-handed; and so lay still in my castle, perplexed and discomforted; however, I put myself into all the same postures for an attack that I had formerly provided, and was just as ready for action if anything had presented.

Having waited a good while, listening to hear if they made any noise, at length being very impatient, I set my guns at the foot of my ladder, and clambered up to the top of the hill, by my two stages; standing so, however, that my head did not appear above the hill, so that they could not perceive me by any means. Here I observed, by the help of my perspective glass, that they were no less than thirty in number; that they had a fire kindled, and that they had meat dressed; how they had cooked it, I knew not, or what it was; but they were all dancing, in I know not how many barbarous gestures and figures, their own way, round the fire.

While I was thus looking on them, I perceived, by my perspective, two miserable wretches dragged from the boats, where, it seems, they were laid by, and were now brought out for the slaughter. I perceived one of them immediately fall; being knocked down, I suppose, with a club, or wooden sword, for that was their way, and two or three others were at work immediately, cutting him open for their cookery, while the other victim was left standing by himself, till they should be ready for him. In that very moment, this poor wretch seeing himself a little at liberty, Nature inspired him with hopes of life, arid he started away from them, and ran with incredible swiftness along the sands, directly toward me—I mean, toward that part of the coast where my habitation was.

I was dreadfully frighted, I must acknowledge, when I perceived him run my way; and especially when, as I thought, I saw him pursued by the whole body; and now I expected that part of my dream was coming to pass, and that he would certainly take shelter in my grove; but I could not depend, by any means, upon my dream for the rest, that the other savages would not pursue him thither, and find him there. However, I kept my station, and my spirits began to recover when I found that there was not above three men that followed him, and still more was I encouraged, when I found that he outstripped them exceedingly in running, and gained ground on them, so that, if he could but hold out for half an hour, I saw easily he would fairly get away from them all.

There was between them and my castle the creek, which I mentioned often at the first part of my story, where I landed my cargoes out of the ship; and this I saw plainly he must necessarily swim over, or the poor wretch would be taken there; but when the savage escaping came thither, he made nothing of it, though the tide was then up; but, plunging in, swam through in about thirty strokes, or thereabouts, landed, and ran with exceeding strength and swiftness; when the three pursuers came to the creek, I found that two of them could swim, but the third could not, and that, standing on the other side, he looked at the others, but went no further, and soon after went softly back; which, as it happened, was very well for him in the end. I observed that the two who swam were yet more than twice as long swimming over the creek as the fellow was that fled from them.

It came now very warmly upon my thoughts, and indeed irresistibly, that now was the time to get me a servant, and perhaps a companion or assistant; and that I was plainly called by Providence to save this poor creature's life; I immediately ran down the ladders with all possible expedition, fetched my two guns, for they were both at the foot of the ladders, as I observed before, and getting up again with the same haste to the top of the hill, I crossed toward the sea; and having a very short cut, and all down hill, clapped myself in the way between the pursuers and the pursued, hallooing aloud to him that fled, who, looking back, was at first perhaps as much frighted at me as at them; but I beckoned with my hand to him to come back; and, in the meantime, I slowly advanced toward the two that followed; then rushing at once upon the foremost, I knocked him down with the stock of my piece; I was loth to fire because I would not have the rest hear; though, at that distance, it would not have been easily heard, and being out of sight of the smoke, too, they would not have known what to make of it. Having knocked this fellow down, the other who pursued him stopped, as if he had been frighted, and I advanced toward him: but as I came nearer, I perceived presently he had a bow and arrow, and was fitting it to shoot at me: so I was then necessitated to shoot at him first, which I did, and killed him at the first shot.

The poor savage who fled, but had stopped, though he saw both his enemies fallen and killed, as he thought, yet was so frighted with the fire and noise of my piece, that he stood stock-still, and neither came forward nor went backward, though he seemed rather inclined still to fly than to come on. I hallooed again to him, and made signs to come forward, which he easily understood, and came a little way, and then stopped again, then a little further, and stopped again, and I could then perceive that he stood trembling, as if he had been taken prisoner, and had just been to be killed, as his two enemies were. I beckoned to him again to come to me, and gave him all the signs of encouragement that I could think of, and he came nearer and nearer, kneeling down every ten or twelve steps, in token of acknowledgment for my saving his life. I smiled at him, and looked pleasantly, and beckoned to him to come still nearer; at length, he came close to me, and then he kneeled down again, kissed the ground, and laid his head upon the ground, and, taking me by the foot, set my foot upon his head; this, it seems, was in token of swearing to be my slave forever. I took him up and made much of him, and encouraged him all I could. But there was more work to do yet; for I perceived the savage whom I had knocked down was not killed, but stunned with the blow, and began to come to himself: so I pointed to him, and showed him the savage, that he was not dead; upon this he spoke some words to me, and though I could not understand them, yet I thought they were pleasant to hear; for they were the first sound of a man's voice that I had heard, my own excepted, for above twenty-five years.

But there was no time for such reflections now; the savage who was knocked down recovered himself so far as to sit up upon the ground, and I perceived that my savage began to be afraid; but when I saw that, I presented my other piece at the man, as if I would shoot him; upon this, my savage, for so I called him now, made a motion to me to lend him my sword, which hung naked in a belt by my side; so I did, He no sooner had it, but he runs to his enemy, and at one blow cut off his head so cleverly that no executioner in Germany could have done it sooner or better; which I thought very strange for one who, I had reason to believe, never saw a sword in his life before, except their own wooden swords: however, it seems, as I learned afterward, they make their wooden swords so sharp, so heavy, and the wood is so hard, that they will even cut off heads with them, ay, and arms, and that at one blow, too. When he had done this, he comes laughing to me in sign of triumph, and brought me the sword again, and with abundance of gestures which I did not understand, laid it down, with the head of the savage that he had killed, just before me.

But that which astonished him most was to know how I killed the other Indian so far off; so, pointing to him, he made signs to me to let him go to him; and I bade him go, as well as I could; when he came to him, he stood like one amazed, looking at him, turning him first on one side, then on the other, looked at the wound the bullet had made, which it seems was just in his breast, where it had made a hole, and no great quantity of blood had followed; but he had bled inwardly, for he was quite dead. He took up his bow and arrows, and came back, so I turned to go away, and beckoned him to follow me, making signs to him that more might come after them. Upon this he made signs to me that he should bury them with sand, that they might not be seen by the rest, if they followed; and so I made signs to him again to do so. He fell to work; and in an instant he had scraped a hole in the sand with his hands, big enough to bury the first in, and then dragged him into it, and covered him; and did so by the other also; I believe he had buried them both in a quarter of an hour. Then calling him away, I carried him, not to my castle, but quite away to my cave on the further part of the island: so I did not let my dream come to pass in that part, that he came into my grove for shelter. Here I gave him bread and a bunch of raisins to eat, and a draught of water, which I found he was indeed in great distress for, from his running: and having refreshed him, I made signs for him to go and lie down to sleep, showing him a place where I had laid some rice straw, and a blanket upon it, which I used to sleep upon myself sometimes; so the poor creature lay down, and went to sleep.

He was a comely, handsome fellow, perfectly well made, with straight, strong limbs, not too large, tall and well shaped; and, as I reckon, about twenty-six years of age. He had a very good countenance, not a fierce and surly aspect, but seemed to have something very manly in his face; and yet he had all the sweetness and softness of a European in his countenance too, especially when he smiled. His hair was long and black, not curled like wool; his forehead very high and large; and a great vivacity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes. The color of the skin was not quite black, but very tawny; and yet not an ugly, yellow, nauseous tawny, as the Brazilians and Virginians, and other natives of America are, but of a bright kind of a dun-olive color, that had in it something very agreeable, though not very easy to describe. His face was round and plump; his nose small, not flat like the negroes, a very good mouth, thin lips, and his fine teeth well set, and as white as ivory.

After he had slumbered, rather than slept, about half an hour, he awoke again, and came out of the cave to me; for I had been milking my goats, which I had in the inclosure just by: when he espied me, he came running to me, laying himself down again upon the ground, with all the possible signs of an humble, thankful disposition, making a great many antic gestures to show it; at last he laid his head flat upon the ground, close to my foot, and set my other foot upon his head, as he had done before; and after this, made all the signs to me of subjection, servitude, and submission imaginable, to let me know how he would serve me so long as he lived. I understood him in many things, and let him know I was very well pleased with him.

In a little time I began to speak to him, and teach him to speak to me; and, first, I let him know his name should be FRIDAY, which was the day I saved his life; I called him so for the memory of the time; I likewise taught him to say "Master"; and then let him know that was to be my name: I likewise taught him to say "Yes" and "No" and to know the meaning of them; I gave him some milk in an earthen pot, and let him see me drink it before him, and sop my bread in it; and I gave him a cake of bread to do the like, which he quickly complied with, and made signs that it was very good for him. I kept there with him all night; but, as soon as it was day, I beckoned to him to come with me, and let him know I would give him some clothes; at which he seemed very glad, for he was stark naked.

As we went by the place where he had buried the two men, he pointed exactly to the place, and showed me the marks that he had made to find them again, making signs to me that we should dig them up again and eat them. At this, I appeared very angry, expressed my abhorrence of it, made as if I would vomit at the thoughts of it, and beckoned with my hand to him to come away, which he did immediately, with great submission. I then led him up to the top of the hill, to see if his enemies were gone; and pulling out my glass, I looked, and saw plainly the place where they had been, but no appearance of them or their canoes; so that it was plain they were gone, and had left their two comrades behind them, without any search after them.

But I was not content with this discovery; but having now more courage, and consequently more curiosity, I took my man Friday with me, giving him the sword in his hand, with the bow and arrows at his back, which I found he could use very dexterously, making him carry one gun for me, and I two for myself; and away we marched to the place where these creatures had been; for I had a mind now to get some fuller intelligence of them. When I came to the place, my very blood ran chill in my veins, and my heart sunk within me, at the horror of the spectacle; indeed, it was a dreadful sight, at least it was so to me, though Friday made nothing of it. Friday, by his signs, made me understand that they brought over four prisoners to feast upon; that three of them were eaten up, and that he, pointing to himself, was the fourth; that there had been a great battle between them and their next king, of whose subjects, it seems, he had been one; and that they had taken a great number of prisoners, all of which were carried to several places, by those who had taken them in the fight, in order to feast upon them, as was done here by these wretches upon those they brought hither.

We then came back to our castle; and there I fell to work for my man Friday; and first of all, I gave him a pair of linen drawers, which I had out of the poor gunner's chest I mentioned, which I found in the wreck, and which, with a little alteration, fitted him very well; then I made him a jerkin of goat's skin, as well as my skill would allow, and I was now grown a tolerably good tailor; and I gave him a cap which I had made of a hare's skin, very convenient, and fashionable enough; and thus he was clothed, for the present, tolerably well; and was mighty well pleased to see himself almost as well clothed as his master. It is true, he went awkwardly in these clothes at first: wearing the drawers was very awkward to him, and the sleeves of the waistcoat galled his shoulders and the inside of his arms; but a little easing them where he complained they hurt him, and using himself to them, at length he took to them very well.

The next day, after I came home to my hutch with him, I began to consider where I should lodge him; and that I might do well for him and yet be perfectly easy myself, I made a little tent for him in the vacant place between my two fortifications, in the inside of the last, and in the outside of the first; and as there was a door or entrance there into my cave, I made a formal framed doorcase, and a door to it of boards, and set it up in the passage, a little within the entrance; and, causing the door to open in the inside, I barred it up in the night, taking in my ladders, too; so that Friday could no way come at me in the inside of my innermost wall, without making so much noise in getting over it that it must needs awaken me; for my first wall had now a complete roof over it of long poles, covering all my tent, and leaning up to the side of the hill; which was again laid across with smaller sticks, instead of laths, and then thatched over a great thickness with the rice straw, which was strong, like reeds; and at the hole or place which was left to go in or out by the ladder, I had placed a kind of trapdoor, which, if it had been attempted on the outside, would not have opened at all, but would have fallen down and made a great noise; and as to weapons, I took them all into my side every night, But I needed none of all this precaution: for never man had a more faithful, loving, sincere servant than Friday was to me; without passions, sullenness, or designs, perfectly obliging and engaging; his very affections were tied to me like those of a child to a father; and I dare say he would have sacrificed his life to save mine, upon any occasion whatsoever; the many testimonies he gave me of this put it out of doubt, and soon convinced me that I needed to use no precautions for my safety on his account.

I was greatly delighted with him, and made it my business to teach him everything that was proper to make him useful, handy, and helpful; but especially to make him speak, and understand me when I spoke; and he was the aptest scholar that ever was; and particularly was so merry, so constantly diligent, and so pleased when he could but understand me, or make me understand him, that it was very pleasant to me to talk to him. Now my life began to be so easy that I began to say to myself, that could I but have been safe from more savages, I cared not if I was never to be removed from the place where I lived.


I soon found a way to convince him that I would do him no harm, and taking him up by the hand, laughed at him, and pointing at a fowl which was indeed a parrot, and to my gun, and to the ground under the parrot, to let him see I would make it fall, I made him understand that I would shoot and kill that bird; accordingly, I fired, and bade him look, and immediately he saw the parrot fall. He stood like one frighted again, notwithstanding all I had said to him; and I found he was the more amazed, because he did not see me put anything into the gun; but thought that there must be some wonderful fund of death and destruction in that thing, able to kill man, beast, bird, or anything near or far off; and the astonishment this created in him was such as could not wear off for a long time; and, I believe, if I would have let him, he would have worshipped me and my gun; as for the gun itself, he would not so much as touch it for several days after; but would speak to it and talk to it, as if it had answered him, when he was by himself; which, as I afterward learned of him, was to desire it not to kill him. Well, after his astonishment was a little over at this, I pointed to him to run and fetch the bird I had shot, which he did, but stayed some time; for the parrot, not being quite dead, had fluttered away a good distance from the place where she fell; however, he found her, took her up, and brought her to me; and as I had perceived his ignorance about the gun before, I took this advantage to charge the gun again, and not to let him see me do it, that I might be ready for any other mark that might present.

I resolved to feast him the next day by roasting a piece of a kid; this I did by hanging it before the fire on a string, as I had seen many people do in England, setting two poles up, one on each side of the fire, and one across the top, and tying the string to the cross stick, letting the meat turn continually. This Friday admired very much; but when he came to taste the flesh, he took so many ways to tell me how well he liked it, that I could not but understand him: and at last he told me, as well as he could, he would never eat man's flesh any more, which I was very glad to hear.

The next day, I set him to work beating some corn out, and sifting it in the manner I used to do, as I observed before; and he soon understood how to do it as well as I, especially after he had seen what the meaning of it was, and that it was to make bread of; for after that, I let him see me make my bread, and bake it too; and in a little time, Friday was able to do all the work for me, as well as I could do it myself.

This was the pleasantest year of all the life I led in this place. Friday began to talk pretty well, and understand the names of almost everything I had occasion to call for, and of every place I had to send him to, and talk a great deal to me: so that, in short, I began now to have some use for my tongue again, which, indeed, I had very little occasion for before, that is to say, about speech.

Besides the pleasure of talking to him, I had a singular satisfaction in the fellow himself: his simple, unfeigned honesty appeared to me more and more every day, and I began really to love the creature; and on his side I believe he loved me more than it was possible for him ever to love anything before.

I had a mind once to try if he had any inclination for his own country again; and having taught him English so well that he could answer me almost any questions, I asked him whether the nation that he belonged to never conquered in battle. At which he smiled, and said, "Yes, yes, we always fight the better"; that is, he meant, always get the better in fight; and so we began the following discourse:

Master.—You always fight the better; how came you to be taken prisoner, then, Friday?

Friday.—My nation beat much for all that.

Master.—How beat? If your nation beat them, how came you to be taken?

Friday.—They more many than my nation, in the place where me was: they take one, two, three and me: my nation over-beat them in the yonder place, where me no was; there my nation take one, two, great thousand.

Master.—But why did not your side recover you from the hands of your enemies, then?

Friday.—They run, one, two, three, and me, and make go in the canoe; my nation have no canoe that time.

Master.—Well, Friday, and what does your nation do with the men they take; do they carry them away and eat them, as these did?

Friday.—Yes, my nation eat mans too, eat all up.

Master.—Where do they carry them?

Friday.—Go to other place, where they think.

Master.—Do they come hither?

Friday.—Yes, yes, they come hither; come other else place.

Master.—Have you been here with them?

Friday.—Yes, I been here (points to the N.W. side of the island, which it seems was their side).

By this, I understood that my man Friday had formerly been among the savages who used to come on shore on the further part of the island, on the same man-eating occasions that he was now brought for: and, some time after, when I took the courage to carry him to that side, being the same formerly mentioned, he presently knew the place, and told me he was there once, when they ate up twenty men, two women, and one child. He could not tell twenty in English, but he numbered them, by laying so many stones in a row, and pointing to me to tell them over.


I was fast asleep in my hutch one morning, when my man Friday came running in to me, and called aloud, "Master, Master, they are come, they are come!" I jumped up, and, regardless of danger, I went, as soon as I could get my clothes on, through my little grove, which, by the way, was by this time grown to be a very thick wood; I say, regardless of danger, I went without my arms, which was not my custom to do; but I was surprised, when, turning my eyes to the sea, I presently saw a boat at about a league and a half distant, standing in for the shore, with a shoulder-of-mutton sail, as they call it, and the wind blowing pretty fair to bring them in: also I observed presently, that they did not come from that side which the shore lay on, but from the southernmost end of the island. Upon this I called Friday in, and bade him lie close, for these were not the people we looked for, and we might not know yet whether they were friends or enemies. In the next place, I went in to fetch my perspective glass, to see what I could make of them; and, having taken the ladder out, I climbed up to the top of the hill, as I used to do when I was apprehensive of anything, to take my view the plainer, without being discovered.

I had scarce set my foot upon the hill, when my eye plainly discovered a ship lying at anchor, at about two leagues and a half distance from me, S.S.E., but not above a league and a half from the shore. By my observation, it appeared plainly to be an English ship, and the boat appeared to be an English longboat.

I cannot express the confusion I was in; though the joy of seeing a ship, and one that I had reason to believe was manned by my own countrymen, and consequently friends, was such as I cannot describe; but yet I had some secret doubts about me—I cannot tell from whence they came—bidding me keep upon my guard; for that I had better continue as I was, than fall into the hands of thieves and murderers.

I saw the boat draw near the shore, as if they looked for a creek to thrust in at, for the convenience of landing; however, as they did not come quite far enough, they did not see the little inlet where I formerly landed my rafts, but ran their boat on shore, upon the beach, at about half a mile from me; which was very happy for me; for otherwise they would have landed just at my door, as I may say, and would soon have beaten me out of my castle, and perhaps have plundered me of all I had. When they were on shore, I was fully satisfied they were Englishmen, at least most of them; one or two I thought were Dutch, but it did not prove so; there were in all eleven men, whereof three of them I found were unarmed, and, as I thought, bound; and when the first four or five of them were jumped on shore, they took those three out of the boat, as prisoners. One of the three I could perceive using the most passionate gestures of entreaty, affliction, and despair, even to a kind of extravagance; the other two, I could perceive, lifted up their hands sometimes, and appeared concerned indeed, but not to such a degree as the first. I was perfectly confounded at the sight, and knew not what the meaning of it should be.

All this while I had no thought of what the matter really was, but stood trembling with the horror of the sight, expecting every moment when the three prisoners should be killed; nay, once I saw one of the villains lift up his arm with a great cutlass, as the seamen call it, or sword, to strike one of the poor men; and I expected to see him fall every moment; at which all the blood in my body seemed to run chill in my veins. I wished heartily that I had any way to have come undiscovered within shot of them, that I might have secured the three men, for I saw no firearms they had among them; but it fell out to my mind another way. After I had observed the outrageous usage of the three men by the insolent seamen, I observed the fellows run scattering about the island, as if they wanted to see the country. I observed that the three other men had liberty to go also where they pleased; but they sat down all three upon the ground very pensive, and looked like men in despair.

It was just at high water when these people came on shore; and while they rambled about to see what kind of a place they were in, they had carelessly stayed till the tide was spent, and the water was ebbed considerably away, leaving their boat aground. They had left two men in the boat, who, as I found afterward, having drunk a little too much brandy, fell asleep; however, one of them, waking a little sooner than the other, and finding the boat too fast aground for him to stir it, hallooed out for the rest, who were straggling about; upon which they all soon came to the boat; but it was past all their strength to launch her, the boat being very heavy, and the shore on that side being a soft oozy sand, almost like a quicksand. In this condition, like true seamen, who are, perhaps, the least of all mankind given to forethought, they gave it over, and away they strolled about the country again; and I heard one of them say aloud to another, calling them off from the boat, "Why, let her alone, Jack, can't you? she'll float next tide"; by which I was fully confirmed in the main inquiry of what countrymen they were. All this while I kept myself very close, not once daring to stir out of my castle any further than to my place of observation; and very glad I was to think how well it was fortified. I knew it was no less than ten hours before the boat could float again, and by that time it would be dark, and I might be at more liberty to see their motions, and to hear their discourse, if they had any. In the meantime, I fitted myself up for a battle, as before, though with more caution, knowing I had to do with another kind of enemy than I had at first. I ordered Friday also, whom I had made an excellent marksman with his gun, to load himself with arms. I took myself two fowling pieces, and I gave him three muskets; my figure, indeed, was very fierce; I had my formidable goatskin coat on, with my great cap, a naked sword by my side, two pistols in my belt, and a gun upon each shoulder.

It was my design not to have made any attempt till it was dark; but about two o'clock, being the heat of the day, I found that they were all gone straggling into the woods, and, as I thought, laid down to sleep; the three poor distressed men, too anxious for their condition to get any sleep, were, however, sat down under the shelter of a great tree, at about a quarter of a mile from me, and, as I thought, out of sight of any of the rest. Upon this I resolved to discover myself to them, and learn something of their condition. Immediately I marched as above, my man Friday at a good distance behind me, as formidable for his arms as I was. I came as near them undiscovered as I could, and then, before any of them saw me, I called aloud to them in Spanish, "What are ye, gentlemen?" They started up at the noise, but were ten times more confounded when they saw me, and the uncouth figure that I made. They made no answer at all, but I thought I perceived them just going to fly from me, when I spoke to them in English.

"Gentlemen," said I, "do not be surprised at me; perhaps you may have a friend near, when you did not expect it."

"He must be sent directly from Heaven, then," said one of them very gravely to me, and pulling off his hat at the same time to me; "for our condition is past the help of man."

"All help is from Heaven, sir," said I; "but can you put a stranger in the way to help you? for you seem to be in some great distress. I saw you when you landed; and when you seemed to make application to the brutes that came with you, I saw one of them lift up his sword to kill you."

The poor man, with tears running down his face, and trembling, looking like one astonished, returned—

"Am I talking to God, or man? Is it a real man, or an angel?"

"Be in no fear about that, sir," said I; "if God had sent an angel to relieve you, he would have come better clothed, and armed after another manner than you see me in; pray lay aside your fears; I am a man, an Englishman, and disposed to assist you; you see I have one servant only; we have arms and ammunition; tell us freely, can we serve you? What is your case?"

"Our case, sir," said he, "is too long to tell you, while our murderers are so near us; but in short, sir, I was commander of that ship; my men have mutinied against me; they have been hardly prevailed on not to murder me, and at last have set me on shore in this desolate place, with these two men with me—one my mate, the other a passenger; where we expected to perish, believing the place to be uninhabited, and know not what to think of it."

"Where are those brutes, your enemies," said I; "do you know where they are gone?"

"There they lie, sir," said he, pointing to a thicket of trees; "my heart trembles for fear they have seen us, and heard you speak: if they have, they will certainly murder us all."

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse