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the churchyard, and when they had nearly come up with her, the king turned away, for he fancied that she was indeed a witch.
• The people must judge her!' said he. And the people pronounced that she should be burned as a witch.
She was now taken from the splendours of the royal palace to a dark, damp dungeon, where the wind whistled through a grating; and instead of silk and velvet, they gave her the bunch of nettles which she had gathered : this was to serve as her pillow, while the hard, burning coats of mail that she had plaited were to be her coverlet. But nothing could have been more welcome to her : she resumed her work, and prayed to Heaven. The boys in the street sang lampoons upon her outside her prison, and not a soul comforted her with a kind word.
Towards evening, the rustling of a swan's wings sounded near the grating. This was her youngest brother, who had discovered his sister's dungeon; and she sobbed for joy on seeing him, although she knew that the following night would in all probability be her last. But now- her work was almost completed, and her brothers were there.
The archbishop came to spend the last hour with her, as he had promised the king he would do. But she shook her head, and begged him by looks and by signs to go away; for, unless she completed her work that night, her sufferings, her tears, and her sleepless nights would all prove vain. The archbishop left the prison, muttering calumnies against her; but poor Elisa knew that she was innocent, and never paused at her work.
The little mice ran about the floor; they dragged the nettles to her feet, in order to help as well as they could; while a thrush sat near the grating of the window, and sang sweetly all night long, to keep up her spirits.
At early dawn, about an hour before sunrise, the eleven brothers presented themselves at the palace-gate, and requested to be shewn in to the king; but they were told it was impossible. It was still dark; and the king was asleep, and could not be waked. They implored, they threatened, the guard appeared, and at last the king himself came out to inquire what was the matter; but just then the sun rose, the princes vanished, and eleven swans flew over the palace.
The whole population flowed out through the gates of the town to see the witch burned. An old, sorry-looking hack drew the cart on which she sat; she was dressed in a sackcloth kirtle, and her beautiful hair was hanging loose on her shoulders ; her cheeks were as pale as death, and her lips moved slightly, while her fingers continued braiding the green flax. Even on her way to death, she would not interrupt the work she had undertaken ; the
l ten coats of mail lay at her feet, and she was finishing the eleventh.
The people scoffed at her: 'Look how the witch is muttering! She has no psalm-book in her hand—no! she is busy with her hateful juggling. Let's tear her work to pieces.' And they all rushed forward, and were going to tear the coats of mail, when eleven wild swans darted down, and placing themselves round her in the cart, flapped their large wings. The crowd then gave way in alarm.
''Tis a sign from Heaven ! She is surely innocent!' whispered the multitude; but they did not dare to say so aloud.
The executioner now took hold of her; but she hastily threw the eleven coats of mail over the swans, when eleven handsome princes instantly stood before her. Only
the youngest had a swan's wing instead of an arm, because a sleeve was wanting to complete his coat of mail, for she had not been able to finish it.
"Now I may speak,' said she; “I am innocent !'
And the mob, on seeing what had taken place, now bowed before her, as if she had been a saint; but she sank fainting into her brothers' arms, exhausted by the intense anxiety and grief she had suffered.
· Yes, she is innocent !' said the eldest brother, and he now related all that had happened; and as he spoke, the air was filled with the perfume as of millions of roses, for every stick of firewood in the funeral pile had taken root and put forth buds and flowers, and there stood a fragrant hedge, both tall and thick, full of red roses; and quite above bloomed a flower as white and brilliant as a star.
The king plucked it, and placed it in Elisa's bosom, and then she awoke from her swoon with a peaceful and happy heart. And all the bells fell a-ringing of themselves, and birds flocked thither in long processions. And such a wedding-party as returned to the palace, no king had ever seen before !
[Write from dictation] The procession was on its way to the place of execution. The queen rode sorrowfully along, her once brilliant countenance full of affliction and anxiety. She was exhausted, too, by the long monotonous work she had vowed to accomplish in silence, and by the thought that in all probability she must die before the expiration of her brothers' woes. It is pleasant to perceive how easily her sorrows are ended, and to imagine the magnificent festivities with which the king would recognise her peculiarly tender and faithful love.
[Spell and write] artificial, economy, occasions, resolutely, adventurous, fatiguing,
evaporation, stimulus, undismayed, offensive, formidable, obstinacy, ridicule, consequences, audacious, encouraged, stratagem, succeeded, perseverance, incautious, assailant, adversary, experienced, honourable.
A whaling-vessel lay moored to a piece of ice, on which, at a considerable distance, a large bear was observed prowling about for prey. One of the ship's company, emboldened by an artificial courage, derived from the free use of rum, which in his economy he had stored for special occasions, undertook to pursue and attack the bear that was within view. Armed only with a whale-lance, he resolutely, and against all persuasion, set out on his adventurous exploit. A fatiguing journey of about half a league, over a yielding surface of snow and rugged hummocks, brought him within a few yards of the enemy, which, to his surprise, undauntedly faced him, and seemed to invite him to the combat. His courage being by this time greatly subdued, partly by evaporation of the stimulus, and partly by the undismayed and even threatening aspect of the bear, he levelled his lance, in an attitude suited either for offensive or defensive action, and stopped. The bear also stood still; in vain the adventurer tried to rally courage to make the attack—his enemy was too formidable, and his appearance too imposing. In vain also he shouted, advanced his lance, and made feints of attack; the enemy, either not understanding or despising such unmanliness, obstinately stood his ground. Already the limbs of the sailor began to quiver ; but the fear of ridicule from his messmates had its influence, and he yet scarcely dared to retreat. Bruin, however, possessing less reflection, or being regardless of consequences, began with audacious boldness to advance. His nigh approach and unshaken step subdued the spark of bravery and that dread of ridicule that had hitherto upheld our adventurer; he turned and fled. But now was the time of danger; the sailor's flight encouraged the bear in turn to pursue, and being better practised in snow-travelling, and better provided for it, he rapidly gained upon the fugitive. The whale-lance, his only defence, encumbering him in his retreat, he threw it down, and kept on. This fortunately excited the bear's attention; he stopped, pawed it, bit it, and then renewed the chase. Again he was at the heels of the panting seaman, who, conscious of the favourable effects of the lance, dropped one of his mittens ; the stratagem succeeded, and while Bruin again stopped to examine it, the fugitive, improving the interval, made