Графични страници
PDF файл

6. Straight in through the frightened children,

Unshrinking, the red man strode,
And loosed on the blazing hearthstone,

From his shoulder, a light-borne load;
And out of the pile of deer-skins,

With look as serene and mild
As if it had been his cradle,

Stepped softly a little child.

7. As he chafed at the fire his fingers,

Close pressed to the brawny knee,
The gaze that the silent savage

Bent on him was strange to se
And then, with a voice whose yearning

The father could scarcely stem,
He said, -to the children pointing,

" I want him to be like them!

8. “They weep for the boy in the wigwam :

I bring him a moon of days,
To learn of the speaking paper,

To hear of the wiser ways
Of the people beyond the water,

To break with the plow the sod, -
To be kind to papoose and woman,

To pray to the white man's God."

9. “I give thee my hand !” and the lady

Pressed forward with sudden cheer; - Thou shalt eat of my English pudding

And drink of my Christmas beer.-
My sweethearts, this night, remember,

All strangers are kith and kin,

This night when the dear Lord's mother

Could find no room at the inn!”

10. Next morn from the colony belfry

Pealed gayly the Sunday chime,
And merrily forth the people

Flocked, keeping the Christmas time.
And the lady, with bright-eyed children

Behind her, their lips a-smile,
And the chief in his skins and wampum,

Came walking the narrow aisle.

11. Forthwith from the congregation

Broke fiercely a sullen cry:
" Out ! out! with the crafty red-skin!

Have at him! A spy! A spy!"
And quickly from belts leaped daggers,

And swords from their sheaths flashed bare,
And men from their seats defiant

Sprang, ready to slay him there.

12. But, facing the crowd with courage

As calm as a knight of yore,
Stepped bravely the fair-browed woman

The thrust of the steel before ;
And spake with a queenly gesture,

Her hand on the chief's brown breast :
“ Ye dare not impeach my honor !

Ye dare not insult my guest !

13. They dropped at her word their weapons,

Half-shamed as the lady smiled,
And told them the red man's story,

And showed them the red man's child;

And pledged them her broad plantations,

That never would such betray
The trust that a Christian woman
Had shown on a Christmas Day!


What time of the year is the incident related in the poem supposed to have happened ? What is meant by “laid on a sunny head a touch as of benediction "(2) ? “Or ever" means “ before" (3). Was the mother frightened when the boy said, “There's a face at the window-pane" ? What did she do? Who entered when she threw open the door? What did the Indian do when he entered? What did he say he wanted ? What is meant by a moon of days” (8) ? By “the speaking paper" (8)? How did the lady receive the chief ? What happened when the lady, her children, and the Indian went to church on Christmas ? What did the lady do? What did she say (12) ? How did the congregation act ?


6. ST mùi tao ne Qislý ; adv. 14. á' ero nạtt'; n. a balloonist. at the same time.

14. spěç' y fies; v. mentions so 6. före shôrt' ened; v, rep as to distinguish from other resented as seen slanting.

things. 12. păr å chụtę; n. a contri- 15. grăp' něl=ī ron; n. an an

vance shaped somewhat like a chor with four or five claws, large umbrella, by means of used to hold small vessels. which anything may be sent 15. smock'=frocks; n.

down slowly from a balloon. linen shirts worn over the coat 13. vălve; n. a lid or cover.

by farm laborers.


In a Balloon. 1. It would appear that in almost every age, from time immemorial, there has been a strong feeling in certain ambitious mortals to ascend among the clouds. Taking balloons as they are, “ for better, for worse," let us for once have

flight in the air. 2. The first thing you naturally expect is some extraordinary sensation in springing high up into the air, which


takes away your breath for a time. But no such thing occurs. The extraordinary part is, that you experience no sensation at all, so far as motion is concerned.

3. A very amusing illustration of this is given in a letter published by a well-known author, shortly after his ascent. “I do not despise you,” says he, “ for talking about a balloon going up, for it is an error which you share in common with some millions of our fellow-creatures ; and I, in the days of my ignorance, thought with the rest of you. I know better now. The fact is, we do not go up at all; but at about five minutes past six, on Friday evening, Vauxhall Gardens, with all the people in them, went down!"

4. Feeling nothing of the ascending motion, the first impression that takes possession of you, in “going up a balloon, is the quietude—the silence, that grows more and more entire. The restless heaving to and fro of the huge inflated sphere above your head (to say nothing of the noise of the crowd), the flapping of ropes, the rustling of silk, and the creaking of the basket-work of the car,all have ceased. There is a total cessation of all atmospheric resistance. You sit in a silence which becomes more perfect every second. After the bustle of many moving objects, you stare before you into blank air.

5. So much for what you first feel; and now, what is the first thing you do? In this case we all do the same thing: we look over the side of the car.

We do this very cautiously, keeping a firm seat; and then, holding on by the edge, we carefully protrude the peak of our travelingcap, and then the tip of the nose, over the edge of the car, upon which we rest our mouth.

6. Everything below is seen in so new a form, so flat compressed, and so simultaneously,so much too-much

at-a-time,--that the first look is hardly so satisfactory as could be desired. But soon we thrust the chin fairly over the edge, and take a good stare downward ; and this repays us much better. Objects appear under very novel circumstances from this vertical position. They are stunted and foreshortened, and rapidly flattened to a map-like appearance; they get smaller and smaller, and clearer and clearer.

7. Away goes the earth, with all its objects—sinking lower and lower, and everything becoming less and less, but getting more and more distinct and defined as it diminishes in size. But, besides the retreat toward minuteness, the objects flatten as they lessen: men and women are five inches high, then four, three, two, one inch, and now a speck. The great city is a board set out with toys, its public edifices turned into baby-houses.

8. As for the Father of Rivers, he becomes a duskygray, winding streamlet ; and his largest ships are no more than flat, pale decks, all the masts and rigging being foreshortened to nothing. We soon come now to the shadowy, the indistinct; and then all is lost in air. Floating clouds fill up the space beneath.

9. How do we feel, all this time? · Calm, sir,—calm and resigned.” Yes, and more than this. After a little while, when you find nothing happens, and see nothing likely to happen, a delightful serenity takes the place of all other sensations.

10. To this the extraordinary silence, as well as the pale beauty and floating hues that surround you, is chiefly attributable. The silence is perfect,-a wonder and a rapture. We hear the ticking of our watches,-tick! tick ! or is it the beat of our own hearts? We are sure of the watch; and now we think we can hear both.

« ПредишнаНапред »