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3. None of these things is true—none of them. There is a vast Catholic literature, and a vast literature not professedly Catholic which is good and pure, which will stimulate a desire for study, and help to cultivate every quality of the mind and heart. Does anybody realize how many good books twelve or fifteen dollars will buy nowadays? And, after all, there are not fifty really great books in all languages. If one have fifty books, one has the best literature in all languages. A book-shelf thus furnished is a treasure which neither adversity nor fatigue nor sickness itself can take away.
4. Each child may even have his own book-shelf, with his favorites on it, and such volumes as treat of his favorite hobby—for every child old enough should have a hobby, even if it be only the collecting of pebbles, and every chance should be given him to enjoy his hobby and to develop it into a serious study. A little fellow who used to range his pebbles on the table in the lamplight, and get such hints as he could about them out of an old text-book, is a great geologist. And a little girl who used to hang over her very own copy of Adelaide Procter's poems is spoken of as one of the cleverest newspaper men (though she is a woman) in the city of New York. The taste of the early days, encouraged in a humble way, became the talent which was to make their future.
5. There should be no bookless house in all this land - least of all among Catholics, whose ancestors in Christ preserved all that is great in literature. Let the trashy novels, paper-backed, soiled, borrowed or picked up, be cast out. Let the choosing of books not be left to mere chance. A little brains put into it will be returned with more than its first value. What goes into the precious minds of the young ought not to be carelessly chosen.
And it is true that, in the beginning, it is the easiest possible thing to interest young people in good and great books. But if one lets them wallow in whatever printed stuff happens to come in their way, one finds it hard to conduct them back again. Let the books be carefully chosen—a few at a time—be laid within the circle of the evening lamp—and God bless you all!
MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN.
3. om' Y nous; a. foreboding 10. dy shěv'eled; a. disordered; evil.
disarranged. 4. shroud; n. clothes; especial 10. spěc' tēr; n. an appearance; ly the dress of the dead.
a ghost. 6. thătch; n. straw or other 11. liv'Yd; a. lead color.
substance used to cover the 14. twājn; n. two. roof of a building for secur 18. €ôr mo rant; n. a sea. ing it from rain.
raven; a great glutton.
The Poor Fisher Folk.
1. 'Tis night; within the close-shut cabin door
The room is wrapped in shade, save where there fall Some twilight rays that creep along the floor
And show the fisher's nets upon the wall.
2. Five children on the long low mattress lie,
A nest of little souls, it heaves with dreams;
And redden the dark roof with crimson gleams.
3. The mother kneels and thinks, and, pale with fear,
She prays alone, hearing the billows shout ;
The ominous old ocean sobs without.
4. Janet is sad : her husband is alone,
Wrapped in the black shroud of this bitter night : His children are so little, there is none To give him aid.—“ Were they but old, they
might." Ah, mother! when they too are on the main, How wilt thou weep, “Would they were young
5. She takes her lantern,-'tis his hour at last ;
She will go forth, and see if the day breaks, And if his signal-fire be at the mast ;
Ah no,-not yet !-no breath of morning wakes.
6. Sudden her anxious eyes, that peer and watch
Through the deep shade, a neighbor's dwelling find. No light within the thin door shakes, the thatch
O’er the green walls is twisted of the wind,
7. Yellow and dirty as a swollen rill.
"Ah me!” she saith, “ here doth that widow dwell : Few days ago my goodman left her ill;
I will go in and see if all be well."
8. She strikes the door, she listens ; none replies,
And Janet shudders. "Husbandless, alone,
Good neighbor!'-she sleeps heavy as a stone."
9. She calls again, she knocks : 'tis silence still,
No sound, no answer! Now she opes the door; She enters; and her lantern's gleam lights ill
The house so mute but for the wild waves' roar.
10. Half clothed, dark-featured, motionless lay she,
The once strong mother, now devoid of life;
All that the poor leave after their long strife.
11. The cold and livid arm, already stiff,
Hung o'er the soaked straw of her wretched bed.
The parting soul with a great cry had fled,
12. That cry of death which startles the dim ear
Of vast Eternity. And all the while
Slept face to face, on each sweet face a smile.
13. The dying mother o'er them, as they lay,
Had cast her gown and wrapped her mantle's fold; Feeling chill death creep up, she willed that they
Should yet be warmed while she was lying cold.
14. Rocked by their own weight, sweetly sleep the twain,
With even breath, and foreheads calm and clear ; So sound that the last trump might call in vain,
For, being innocent, they have no fear.
15. Ah, why does Janet pass so fast away?
What hath she stolen from the awful dead ?
And hurries home, and hides it in her bed ?
16. The dawn was whitening over the sea's verge
As she sat pensive, touching broken chords
Howled a sad concert to her broken words,
17. " Ah, my poor husband! we had five before ;
Already so much care, so much to find,
What was that noise ? His step ? Ah no, the wind.
18. 6 That I should be afraid of him I love!
I have done ill. If he should beat me now,
Not yet, poor man."-She sits with careful brow,
Of winds and waves that dash against his prow,
19. Sudden the door flies open wide, and lets
Noisily in the daylight scarcely clear;
Stands on the threshold with a joyous cheer.
20. How gay their hearts that wedded love made light !
ing?” “ Bad.
But I embrace thee, and my heart is glad.
21. " There was a demon in the wind that blew :
I tore my net, caught nothing, broke my line,
What did you all the night long, Janet mine ?
22. She, trembling in the darkness, answered, "I?
Oh, naught! I sewed, I watched, I was afraid ;
But it is over.” Shyly then she said :