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QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. Who wrote this story? Tell|7. Tell how Eppie took the what you know of her.
place of the lost gold in 2. How was cloth made in olden the heart of Silas Marner.
times? What inventions 8. Read aloud the description changed all this? Tell of the vain search for the how cloth is made now.
gold. 3. Who was Silas Marner? 9. Was Silas Marner fortunate 4. Into what kind of man had or unfortunate when he
sorrow changed him? What lost his gold and found only did he love?
Eppie? Give reasons for 5. What became of his gold?
your answer. 6. What other gold came in its
Mary Ann Evans was born in the Midlands of England in 1819. She did not begin writing for the public until she was over thirty years old. Her pen name was George Eliot. Charles Dickens was the first to guess the new writer to be a woman. Her“ Adam Bede," “ Silas Marner,” and “Romola ” are remarkably interesting. Her books are for older readers but all children enjoy the story of Little Eppie. She died in London in 1880.
The sunset was gilding his low little room
There is so much delightful reading in the Scotch dialect, if we may call it such, that it will pay you to learn to read a Scotch poem. Unless you learn to read to some extent the Scotch dialect, or the Scotch form of the English language, you will be deprived always of the joy of reading and of understanding the wonderful poems of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet. Robert Burns is the only poet who ever wrote in the English language whose birthday (January 25th) is celebrated in all large cities all over the world wherever the English language is spoken. So you see that, if so many people love to read his poems, it must be worth while to learn to read the Scotch dialect in which he wrote.
You know what “cuddle” means. And you will at once see that “ doon” means down. So you see that the Scotch words are very like the English words of the same meaning.
This poem tells a sweet story of a good Scotch mother who is putting to bed her three little boys, her“ bairnies," which means babies or little children. They are named Jamie, Rab (Robert), and Tam (Tom).
Jamie, Rab, and Tam have been put to bed, and told to "cuddle doon.” They are like all small boys who sleep together, and they refuse to go to sleep, but instead indulge in “mickle faucht and din,” which just means much playful fighting and noise. You have often done the same thing yourselves.
The mother, to quiet the “waukrife rogues,” or wakeful rascals, threatens them with their father's coming. But boylike, they pay no attention. Then she tries to “froon ” (frown) at them, but the little rascals are so cunning that she “haps them up,” or gathers them into her loving arms, hugs them, covers them up, and again begs them to “cuddle doon.”
Just at this time, Jamie remembers that he is hungry, and calls out, “I want a piece!” Then the other boys join in and also want “ a piece.” The good mother “rins” (runs) and brings them “pieces" and drinks. The pieces “stap awee" (stop a bit) the “soun'” (sound or noise). Then she again begs them to “cuddle doon," and go to sleep.
But after a silence of five minutes, “wee Rab” (little Rob) demands that she make Tam “gie ower kittlin' wi' his taes " (quit tickling with his toes). She makes Tam, who is very mischievous, quit tickling Rab with his toes, and again for a time all is quiet.
Then the rascals hear their father's “ fit” (footstep), and turn their faces to the wall and pretend to be sound asleep.
The tired father comes in and asks, “ Hae a' the weans been gude?” (Have all the children been good ?)
The good mother, always ready to find excuses for them when they are in trouble, but well knowing that the mischievous rascals are only pretending to be asleep, tells him that —
“The bairnies, John, are in their beds,
An' lang since cuddled doon." The father “pits aff his shoon” (puts or takes off his shoes), and the parents prepare for bed. But before they go to bed themselves, they go to take a last good-night look at the "bairnies." Despite all their fighting and disputing, the children are now really asleep with their arms around each other.
The fond mother “straiks each croon” (strokes lovingly each head), and with tears of love whispers, “O, bairnies, cuddle doon!”
Then she thinks that her dear babies who “ cuddled doon at nicht” (night) will soon grow up to be men and have to meet the “ big warl's cark and care ” (the big world's worry and care), which will “ quaten doon (quiet down) their glee." And as she herself goes to bed, she prays that “He who sits aboon” (above) will, when life is over for her dear boys, whisper gently to them, who are also His children, —
“O, bairnies, cuddle doon!”
The meanings of the following Scotch words are easy to understand and remember because most of them are very like the English words: bairnies: babies, little children. steeks the door: 'shuts the cuddle doon: lie down and go to door. sleep.
awee : a little while. waukrife rogues: mischievously hae: have. wakeful rascals.
a': all. gie a froon: give a frown. pits aff his shoon: puts off his hap them up: “ tucks them shoes. in,” covers them up.
lang : long curley heid: curly head. bed oursels: go to bed ourselves. wa': wall.
oor: our. rin: run.
airm : arm. weanies : little ones.
straik each croon: stroke each wee : little.
crown or head. oot: out.
nicht: night. frae : from.
big warl's cark and care: big claes : clothes.
world's worry and care. mither : mother.
quaten doon their glee: quiet gie ower at ance: quit at once. down their glee. kittlin' wi' his taes: tickling ilka ane : every one. with his toes.
aboon: above. toon : town.
pows be bauld: heads (or polls) aye : always.
be bald. fit: foot or footsteps.