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THE UPSHOT OF WAR
THOMAS CARLYLE (1795–1881) was a Scottish philosopher and essayist. He was always protesting and denouncing, and his rough style is not easy to read. He was a thorough student of German literature, and his fondness for its idioms is shown in all his work. Personally he had to contend with much illness and anxiety, and though his irritable temper made him “ower hard to live with,” he was respected for his great mental strength and for his unflinching honesty. His book “Heroes and Hero Worship” is a favorite with young people.
Note. This selection is taken from “Sartor Resartus,” a collection of whimsical essays on various topics, in which the author pretends to 10 quote from a German writer what are really his own opinions.
What, speaking in quite unofficial language, is the net purport and upshot of war?
“To my own knowledge, for example, there dwell and toil in the British village of Dumdrudge usually some five 15 hundred souls. From these, by certain natural enemies' of the French, there are successfully selected during the French war say thirty able-bodied men. Dumdrudge, at her own expense, has nursed them. She has, not without difficulty and sorrow, fed them up to manhood, and even 20 trained them to crafts, so that one can weave, another build, another hammer, and the weakest can stand under. thirty stone avoirdupois. Nevertheless, amid much weeping and swearing, they are selected, all dressed in red,
and shipped away at the public charges some two thousand miles, or say only to the south of Spain, and fed there till wanted.
“And now to that same spot in the south of Spain are 5 thirty French artisans from a French Dumdrudge in like
manner wending, till at length, after infinite effort, the two parties come into actual juxtaposition; and Thirty stands fronting Thirty, each with a gun in his hand. Straightway the word “Fire!' is given; and they blow 10 the souls out of one another; and in place of sixty brisk,
useful craftsmen, the world has sixty dead carcasses, which it must bury, and anew shed tears for.
“ Had these men any quarrel ? Busy as the Devil is, not the smallest! They lived far enough apart; were the 15 entirest strangers; nay, in so wide a universe, there was
even, unconsciously, by commerce, some mutual helpfulness between them.
“How then ? Simpleton! their Governors had fallen out, and instead of shooting one another, had the cunning 20 to make these poor blockheads shoot. Alas! so is it in all
other lands; still, as of old, what devilry soever Kings do, the Greeks must pay the piper.""
English standard of weight equal to fourteen pounds.
GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON (1788–1824) was one of the great English poets. His best work may be ranked with what is most worthy of admiration in English literature, though many of his poems are lacking in moral quality. A few months before his death Byron generously undertook to lead the revolutionary troops in Greece, who were trying to free 5 their country from the yoke of the Sultan.
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
The mountains look on Marathon —
And Marathon looks on the sea;
I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o’er sea-born Salamis;
And men in nations; — all were his !
And where are they ? and where art thou,
My country ? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic bosom beats no more !
'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though linked among a fettered race,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
Sappho (săf’o): a Greek poetess who lived about 600 B.C. Delos : a famous island belonging to Greece. It was dedicated to the gods and kept sacred from war. Phæbus : Phæbus Apollo, the god of poetry and song,' was said to have been born at Delos. — Marathon: a plain in Greece, north of Athens, where a great military victory was won in 490 B.C. - the Persians : the Persian king Darius was defeated in this battle. Sal'amis: a Greek island. In the bay of Salamis a great naval battle took place in 480 B.C., which resulted in the driving back of the Persian invaders.
THE CRAGS OF HALKET HEAD
SIR WALTER Scott (1771–1832) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. When he was less than two years old he had an illness that left him lame. He was taken to his grandfather's home, in the hope that the country life would do him good, and it was there that he first learned to love the old Scotch ballads and traditions which he afterwards wove into his novels and poems. Scott has often been called “the Great Enchanter,” so wonderful was his power of description. He wrote many novels which are known as the Waverley Novels, from the name of the first one of the series.
NOTE. — Sir Arthur Wardour and his daughter Isabella, finding themselves overtaken by approaching darkness on the sands of a dangerous sea- 10 coast have put themselves under the guidance of an old vagrant named Ochiltree. The story is taken from “The Antiquary.”
The waves had now encroached so much upon the beach that the firm and smooth footing which they had hitherto had upon the sand must be exchanged for à 15 rougher path close to the foot of the precipice, and in some places even raised upon its lower ledges. It would have been utterly impossible for Sir Arthur Wardour or his daughter to have found their way along these shelves without the guidance and encouragement of the beggar, 20 who had been there before in high tides, though never, he acknowledged, “in so awesome a night as this.”
It was indeed an awful evening. The howling of the storm mingled with the shrieks of the sea fowl and sounded like the dirge of the three devoted beings who, 25