Графични страници
PDF файл

valley, and rode up to the crowd, which was increasing every moment. It was the Emperor's suite, who, giving up all hope of following his perilous course, had gone back to where they had left their horses in the morning, and ridden around, hoping to meet their master on the other side of the mountain. "Has the Emperor passed this way ? " one of them called out. "He climbed up so far among the rocks that we lost sight of him." The shepherd cast a terrified look at the wall, and, pointing upward, said: "That must be he up yonder. God have mercy upon him!"

8. The Emperor's attendants gazed at the figure and at one another in horror. One of them had a speakingtrumpet such as mountaineers sometimes use for shouting among the hills. He raised it to his mouth, and cried at the pitch of his voice: "If it be the Emperor who stands there, we pray him to cast down a stone." There was a breathless hush of suspense now among the crowd, anc. down came the stone, crashing into the roof of a cottage at the foot of the rock.

9. A loud cry of lamentation broke from the people and was echoed on every side among the mountains. For the young Emperor was loved for the winning charm of his manner, and for his frank and kindly ways.

10. The sound reached Max's ears, and looking down, he could see the crowd of people, appearing from the giddy height like an army of ants-a black patch on the bright green of the valley. The sound and sight raised his hopes; he had completely given up all thought of delivering himself by his own exertions, but he still thought help from others might be possible. And now that his situation was discovered, the people he knew would do whatever lay in the power of man for his deliverance. So he kept up his

courage and waited patiently and hopefully. It was hard to believe that he, standing there in the bright sunshine, full of youthful health and strength, was a dying man, and never would leave that spot alive.

11. Higher and higher rose the sun. It was midday now, and the reflected heat from the rocky wall was wellnigh too great to bear. The stones beneath his feet became hot as a furnace, and the sunbeams smote fiercely on his head. Exhausted by hunger and thirst, by heat and weariness, he sank down on the scorching rock. The furious headache and dizziness which came over him made him think that he was about to become insensible. He longed for some certainty as to his fate before consciousness should forsake him, and, following a sudden thought, he drew from his pocket a small parchment book, tore out a blank leaf and wrote on it with a pencil, then tied the parchment to a stone with some gold ribbon he happened to have with him, and let the stone fall down into the valley as he had the first.

12. What he had written was the question whether any human help was possible. He waited long and patiently for the answer; but no sound reached his ear except the hoarse cry of the eagle. A second and a third time he repeated the message, lest the first should not have been observed-still there was silence, though the crowd in the valley had been increasing all day; and now a vast assembly-the inhabitants of Zierlein and all the district round—had gathered at the foot of the fatal throne which the Emperor had desired for himself.

Give synonyms for emerged (2); abruptly (3); expert (3); talons (4); literally (5); exclamation (6); terrified (7).


3. bōast' ful ness; n. brag- 6. mood; n. state of mind.


6. vision; n. a supernatural sight.

8. chink; n. an opening of greater length than breadth.

3. pěn'alty; n. punishment for an offense.

3. ĕn dūre; v. to suffer firmly. 3. fạl'tẽrèd; v. trembled.

4. pär tāk'ĕr; n. a sharer.

8. ōres; n. metals not freed from earth and other substances.

The Power of the Blessed Sacrament. Part III.

1. Terrible indeed-who can tell how terrible ?—were those hours of suspense to Max. Many deep and heartsearching thoughts visited him-thoughts of remorse for many sins, of self-reproach for great responsibilities unfulfilled. The day wore on; the sun was fast sinking toward the West, and Max could no longer resist the conviction that there was no help possible, that for him all hope was over. It seemed, as soon as he had faced this certainty, that a calm resignation, a high courage and resolve, took possession of his soul. If he was to die, he would die as became a king and a Christian-if this world were vanishing from him, he would lay firm hold of the next.

2. Again he tore a leaf from his book, and wrote on it. There was no more gold ribbon to bind it to the stone, so he took the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece-what value had it for a dying man?—and from that high and airy grave he threw down the stone among the living. It was found, like the others before it. None had answered those, because no one was willing to be a messenger of death to the much-loved Emperor. The man who found the stone read the letter aloud to the assembled crowd, for the Emperor's message was addressed to all Tyrol.

3. And this was the message :


O Tyrol, my last warm

thanks to thee for thy love which has so long been faithful to me. In my pride and boastfulness I tempted God, and my life is now the penalty. I know that no help is possible. God's will be done-His will is just and right. Yet one thing, good friends, you can do for me, and I will be thankful to you even in death. Send a messenger to Zierlein immediately for the Blessed Sacrament, for which my soul thirsts. And when the priest has come, let it be announced to me by a shot, and let another shot tell me when I am to receive the blessing. And when I pray, unite your prayers with mine to the great Helper in time of need, that He may strengthen me to endure the pains of a lingering death. Farewell, my Tyrol. MAX." The reader's voice often faltered as he read this letter amid the cries and sobs of the multitude.

4. Off sped the messenger to Zierlein, and in all haste came the priest. Max heard the shot, and, looking down, could see the priest standing with uplifted hands holding the ostensorium. He threw himself on his knees, in all penitence and submission, praying that he might be a spiritual partaker of Christ, though he could not in reality receive the bread of salvation. Then the second shot rang on the air, and through the speaking-trumpet came the words of the blessing:

5. "May God's blessing be upon thee in thy great need -the blessing of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, whom heaven and earth praise forever." The Emperor felt a deep peace filling his heart as the words of the blessing were wafted to his ears. By this time the sun had sunk behind the mountain range beyond the valley of Zierlein; but a rosy flush still lingered on the snowy summits, and the western sky glowed in crimson and gold. Beneath, in the deep purple shade of the valley, the people all knelt

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]
« ПредишнаНапред »